New Afternoon Teas To Try In London This Month: May 2019

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Summer Garden Afternoon Tea at the Egerton House Hotel

London’s awash with afternoon teas, from the traditional to the quirky to the vegan. And new ones are always being added to the selection too — take a look at the menus making their debut in London this month, including special Chelsea Flower Show afternoon teas. Some of them are only around for a short time, so book quickly if they take your fancy.

St James’s Afternoon Tea at The Stafford

We’re kicking things off with a playful offering this month — the St James’s Afternoon Tea takes inspiration from the area of St James’s, with nods to the luxury shops and boutiques that surround the hotel.

Lock & Co. hatmakers, tailor Henry Poole & Co, and James J. Fox cigar shop are all represented in the all-important top tier via an edible bowler hat, tuxedo and cigar respectively. The cheddar and chive scones use cheese from local cheesemonger Paxton & Whitfield too.

St James’s Afternoon Tea at The Stafford. £45, or £58 with a glass of champagne.

Available: Daily, 12pm-7pm.

Gin Afternoon Tea at Conrad London St James

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Why nobody has come up with the heavenly crossover of gin and afternoon tea before is beyond us, but those wizards at Emmeline’s Lounge have finally done it.

The Gin Afternoon Tea was created in partnership with the City of London Distillery, and offers gin infused treats, washed down with cocktails.

For example, notes of juniper berries, fresh orange and lemon and coriander seeds in the Square Mile Gin have been paired with a charred lemon and pink grapefruit tart with rosemary meringue. The Six Bells Gin is served alongside the elderflower jelly honey cake and pear mousse delice. Freshly baked scones, a selection of sandwiches and teas from Lalani & Co also make an appearance. But really, we’re here for the gin.

Gin Afternoon Tea at Emmeline’s Lounge, Conrad London St James. £45 per person with a glass of champagne or three cocktail tasters, or £100 for two with a bottle of champagne.

Available: Daily, 1.30pm-6pm

Summer Garden Afternoon Tea at The Egerton House Hotel

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The entirety of the Egerton House Hotel has been given something of a floral makeover in advance of the Chelsea Flower Show — and that includes the food.

The traditional English afternoon tea has been replaced with a summer garden version, including rosewater chocolate brownie, summer fruit vanilla tart, marigold macaroons, lavender posset with poppy seed biscuit, blueberry tower and a spinach, blackcurrant and edible flowers cupcake.

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Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free afternoon tea options are available, and botanical cocktails are on the bar menu throughout the summer too.

Summer Garden Afternoon Tea at The Egerton House Hotel. £48 per person/£64.50 per person with champagne.

Available: until September 2019

English Country Garden Afternoon Tea at 108 Pantry

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108 Pantry launches an English Country Garden Afternoon Tea — its first afternoon tea that’s available in a fully vegan option, with floral flavours and seasonal ingredients leading the menu. Savouries include smashed avocado, roasted piquillo peppers and rocket, or barbecue baked sweet potato, coriander, lime and cashew mayo on onion bread.

Lemon drizzle cake, cashew & blueberry ‘cheesecake’ and salted caramel slice with toffee popcorn are among the sweet options, but the highlight, at least for originality, is a lollipop encasing an edible flower.

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English Country Garden Afternoon Tea at 108 Pantry. £32 per person/£42 with a glass of sparkling wine.

Available: Monday-Friday, 2pm-6pm. Saturday-Sunday 12pm-6pm.

Floral-Inspired Afternoon Tea at 100 Queen’s Gate Hotel

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Located so close to the event, it’s no surprise that 100 Queen’s Gate is getting in on the Chelsea Flower Show action, by temporarily transforming its traditional afternoon tea into a floral offering.

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The meal is hosted inside Botanica, the hotel’s new plant-filled tea room, and consists of pickled baby carrot, baby beetroot and courgette flowers, along with botanical-inspired pasties, and cakes served on a bed of edible chocolate soil. Savouries include gin and tonic smoked salmon and cream cheese, on flower-shaped dark rye bread.

Chelsea Flower Show afternoon tea at 100 Queen’s Gate. £35 per person.

Available: 13 May-30 June 2019.

Traditional afternoon tea at The Green Room at The Curtain Hotel, Shoreditch

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With all these themed, limited edition afternoon teas, it’s refreshing to see someone sticking with good old-fashioned tradition.

The newly-launched afternoon tea at The Green Room — located within the Curtain Hotel — promises traditional afternoon tea with all of the trimmings, including plain & fruit scones with jam and clotted cream, a selection of fine tea cakes, smoked salmon bagel, gin & tonic cucumber sandwich and devilled eggs.

Even better, the venue has partnered with local social enterprise Hackney Herbal to curate a bespoke blend of teas and infusions to accompany all that nosh.

Afternoon tea at The Green Room. £30 per person/£40 with champagne.

Available: 1pm-4pm, Friday-Sunday

Crosstown Doughnut afternoon tea at Bluebird Chelsea

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Doughnuts? Did someone say doughnuts? Crosstown Doughnuts teams up with Bluebird Chelsea for a floral afternoon tea, tying in with the Chelsea Flower Show. The three-tier afternoon tea is piled with Crosstown doughnut bites, cakes, scones and sandwiches, including red velvet and rose petal cupcakes and neroli blossom and strawberry macaroons. Centre stage is Crosstown’s bespoke vegan orange blossom dough bite.

Choose from tea, coffee or champagne to wash it down.

Bluebird in Bloom afternoon tea at Bluebird Chelsea. £29.50 per person.

Available: 21-25 May 2019.

Sweet Pink Afternoon Tea at Maitre Choux Chelsea

Usually, afternoon tea is only served at the Soho branch of choux pastry bakery Maitre Choux — but to coincide with the Chelsea Flower Show, it’s coming to the Flower Room of the King’s Road branch.

They’ve certainly stuck to a theme, with Spanish raspberry pink éclairs, pink champagne, and a whole wall of pastel pink flowers — definitely one to book if you’re as interested in photographing your food as you are eating it.

Sweet Pink Afternoon Tea at Maitre Choux, Chelsea. £22-£36 per person.

Available: 21-25 May 2019

Quintessentially British Afternoon Tea at Roast

Borough Market restaurant Roast launches an afternoon tea focusing on traditional British ingredients. The menu is subject to change due to its reliance on fresh, seasonal produce, but a sample includes coronation chicken and cucumber, cream cheese & mint sandwiches, scones with strawberry preserve, and Victoria sponge cake. Tuck in inside that gorgeous conservatory-like dining room overlooking the market.

British Afternoon Tea at Roast, Borough Market. £25 per person, or £0 per person with champagne.

Available: Monday-Saturday, 12pm-6pm

Afternoon Tea Academy at Plate, Old Street

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Don’t be misled by the name — you won’t be making your own meal at the Afternoon Tea Academy. Instead, the team at the upmarket restaurant have worked with tea company P.M. David Silva & Sons to pair each tier of the traditional stand with a tea, and an expert is on hand throughout to talk through the pairings.

The food menu errs on the fancy side of traditional, with roast chicken, beetroot hummus and peppered beef pastrami sandwich fillings, buttermilk scones, and handmade pastries including rhubarb and custard mille-feuille.

Afternoon Tea Academy at Plate. £39-£49 per person.

Available: Selected dates from 11 May.

And finally…

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It’s not brand new, but the Filipino Afternoon Tea at Romulo Cafe has only just come to our attention. It launched in March, designed for two people to share, and blends traditional English tea with Filipino twists — think Filipino style light brown, crumb-speckled buns, served with Cornish clotted cream and purple yam jam. The sweet section of the menu includes traditional Filipino dessert made with dulce de leche buttercream, cashews, chewy and sweet meringue, and a mango float.

#london, #londonist, #uk

Things To Do Today In London: Monday 13 May 2019

Siobhan Miller performs live in Clerkenwell

Things to do

LAST CHANCE: It’s the final week of National Portrait Gallery’s Elizabethan Treasures exhibition, which brings together miniature paintings from the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. See the works of Nicholas Hilliard and his pupil Isaac Oliver, who created impressively detailed miniature portraits of high society and royalty. National Portrait Gallery, £10, book aheaduntil 19 May

LONDON WINE WEEK: Good news vino lovers — London Wine Week begins today. Register for a free digital pass to take advantage of the special offers running all week at venues all over the capital, including £6 flights of tastings of three wines, and food and wine pairings in certain restaurants. See all venues taking part. Various locations (hub at Flat Iron Square), digital pass is free, book ahead13-19 May

Time’s running out to see the Elizabethan Treasures exhibition

LIFE BEGINS AT 40: Midlife crises are the topic at the Royal Society tonight. Professor Mark Jackson looks at what causes a midlife crisis, and why societal changes have caused them to become more common in recent years, including deepening anxieties about economic decline, political instability. The Royal Society (St James’s), free, just turn up, 6.30pm-7.30pm

THE RED SHOES: 1948 drama film The Red Shoes is screened at Dulwich Picture Gallery. It’s the tale of a rising ballerina who is forced to choose between her art and love, knowing the decision will have consequences. Dulwich Picture Gallery, £10/£8, book ahead7pm

LAB RATS: Dan Lyons, author of Lab Rats: Why Modern Work Makes People Miserable, discusses how the hypocrisy of the working environment in Silicon Valley has spread out worldwide. It’s increasingly common for even low-grade employees to be expected to view their jobs with a cult-like fervour, despite diminishing prospects of promotion — and Lyons asks what can be done to reverse this change. The Water Rats (King’s Cross), £7/£5, book ahead7pm

LEARN TO ROLLER SKATE: Get your skates on — quite literally — and learn how to roller skate at this beginners’ class for adults. Learn the basics, and combine skating with fitness in the low-impact, high-intensity workshop. Skate hire and protection pads included. Balham (location provided on booking), £13, book ahead7pm-8pm (sponsor)

MEN’S MENTAL HEALTH: Rotimi Akinsete — author of new tome This Book Could Help — wrote it in collaboration with charity Mind, and aims to offer advice on how to achieve balanced mental health and defeat the outdated ideas that can stop men from looking after themselves. Tonight, he speaks about why men should make mental health a priority, and why we should all be talking about mental health more. Foyles Charing Cross Road, make a donation to Mind on the door, book ahead7pm-8pm

BOUQUET MAKING: Ever fancied your chances as a florist? Join professionals from Moyses Stevens for a hand-tied bouquet making workshop, and create a masterpiece of spring blooms to take home. Canapes and drinks from bar No 11 Pimlico Road are included. 11 Pimlico Road, £50, book ahead,7pm-8.30pm

Enjoy drinks while you try bouquet making

CHARITY COMEDY: Josh Widdicombe, Kerry Godliman and John Robins are among the impressive line-up at Cracking Comedy in aid of Women And Children First. Money raised goes to the charity which helps support women, children, mothers and babies in the world’s poorest communities. Leicester Square Theatre, £22, book ahead, 7.30pm

NEON LIFE DRAWING: It’s life drawing, but not as you know it. The models are covered in reactive paints which glow under UV lights, and you’re provided with neon pastels to recreate what you see. The session begins with quick drawing exercises to get you warmed up, before you’re given free rein to be as creative as you like — the less traditional, the better. Queen of Hoxton, £14, book ahead7.30pm-9.30pm

LIVE MUSIC: Traditional Scottish singer Siobhan Miller performs an intimate gig, showing off her soulful voice and self-penned lyrics. She’s won several folk music awards, and performed in venues as diverse as the  National Theatre of Scotland, Broadway in New York, and Cambridge Folk Festival. The Slaughtered Lamb (Clerkenwell), £14, book ahead8.15pm

Tube ponderings with Barry Heck

Our resident tube fancier dishes out daily thoughts on the London Underground.

The first London Underground line opened in January 1863, with the section from Paddington to Farringdon. That much is well known. But do you know where spade first hit dirt in the construction of that first line? It seems to be outside Euston station, according to this newspaper article from January 1860. Seymour Street is modern Eversholt Street, so I think the first dig took place as shown on the map below.

Follow Barry Heck on Twitter @HeckTube.

Good cause of the day

Comedians Pierre Novellie, Harriet Kemsley, Bobby Mair and Kate Barron come together for a fundraising night of comedy in Hackney tonight, in aid of mental health charity Mind. Find out more and book tickets.

#london, #londonist, #uk

Things To Do Today In London: Thursday 28 March 2019

Take part in a gin tasting

Things to do

LONDON COFFEE FESTIVAL: Caffeine addicts and connoisseurs will be pleased to know that the London Coffee Festival opens its doors and fires up its coffee machines today. Watch 16 coffee masters go head to head to be crowned the winner, take part in a mindful coffee tasting experience, watch some of the world’s best latte artists at work, and of course, get a pick-me-up in the roaster village. Old Truman Brewery (Brick Lane), £18.50, book ahead,28-31 March

COUNTRY LIVING FAIR: A four-day festival of stalls, crafts, demonstrations, workshops, food and drink, the Country Living Spring Fair takes over Alexandra Palace from today. Watch cookery demos, learn how to do calligraphy, pick up tips on taking care of chickens, and stock up on beauty products, homewares, gifts, food and drink. Alexandra Palace, from £8.50 (additional charge for workshops), book ahead28-31 March

GIN WIN: Gin in always a win in our book, but there are actual, boozy prizes to be won in a tasting game at this evening of gin. Two gin cocktails, plus tastings of three gins overseen by an expert are included in your ticket price. Six Storeys (Soho Square), £30, book ahead, 6pm/7.45pm

GOODBYE EUROPE: Documentary experts 1000 Londoners screen Goodbye Europe, a series of short films coinciding with the UK’s departure from the EU (…maybe). Watch short films about people from the 28 EU countries who now call London home, some of whom take part in a panel discussion after the film. Curzon Soho, £16.50/£14, book ahead6.30pm

FEMINIST HISTORY: See objects in Bishopsgate Institute’s archive that relate to women’s and feminist history, and hear their stories from  Library and Digital Archives Manager Grace Biggins. Tales told include that of Britain’s first female firefighter. Bishopsgate Institute (Liverpool Street), £7/£5, book ahead6.30pm-7.30pm

BREXIT LESSONS: Confused about what the heck is going on with Brexit? This panel discussion may clear things up for you — or it may confuse you further. Experts in EU law, politics, economics and Brexit itself gather to discuss what’s been decided so far, and what the short-term implications for Britain are likely to be. LSE (Holborn), free, just turn up, 6.30pm-8pm

UNSENT LETTERS: From Beethoven to Van Gogh, Virginia Woolf to Iris Murdoch, and George III to JFK, many well-known historical figures wrote letters that they left unsent… but not unseen. Actors Harriet Walter and Tuppence Middleton read out these letters, which never made it to their recipients. The Tabernacle (Notting Hill), £30-£39.99, book ahead6.45pm-8.15pm

EXPLORE ANTARCTICA: Find out how polar exploration has helped us better understand the world at this talk. Dr Anna Jones of the British Antarctic Survey and Dr Richard Powell of the Scott Polar Research Institute are among the experts sharing their thoughts on how early polar explorers paved the way for modern day research. The Royal Society (St James’s), free, just turn up, 7pm-8pm

Watch a film inside this gorgeous temple

TEENAGE DIARY: Rufus Hound hosts an evening with actress and impressionist Jan Ravens reading extracts from her teenage diaries to the audience. Hear about her time growing up in Merseyside, covering school, her best friend Nicky, her love of pop music, and her crush on Gary. British Library, £10/£7, book ahead7pm-8.30pm

GOLDEN PARTY: Golden Tongue is a poetry night shining the spotlight on work by South Asian women, celebrating the diversity of their diaspora and identities. There’s an all-gold dress code for tonight’s event, where poets and spoken word artists including Shagufta K. Iqbal, Amani Z. Saeed and Afshan D’Souza Lodhi share their work. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), £10, book ahead7.30pm

TEMPLE CINEMA: As cinema settings go, this one’s pretty impressive — the Andaz London hotel’s Masonic temple, buried underground in Liverpool Street, complete with lacquered thrones, marble columns and a golden zodiac-adorned ceiling. If you manage to tear your eyes off your surroundings and glance at the screen, the film being shown is Hereditary, a 2018 horror masterpiece. Andaz London (Liverpool Street), £15, book ahead7.30pm-10.30pm

Tube ponderings with Barry Heck

Our resident tube fancier dishes out daily thoughts on the London Underground.

Yesterday‘s image of a power socket in a tube train comes from the wonderful Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum — a treasure trove for anyone who loves transport. Visit this Sunday when the engines will be all a-steam, and a chance to see a fire engine from London’s Burning.

Follow Barry Heck on Twitter @HeckTube.

Good cause of the day

Book ahead for this Sunday’s concert at Cadogan Hall, raising money for the Princess Alice Hospice. The Princess Alice Hospice community choir joins forces with the Strawberry Hill House choir and West End stars for an evening of show tunes. Find out more and book tickets.

#londonist, #uk

New Plans For London’s Huge Spherical Music Arena Unveiled

Photo: Madison Square Garden Company

A cathedral-sized black sphere, embedded in the middle of Stratford. There’s nothing ominous about this at all…

Plans have been unveiled for a future London music arena with a capacity of 21,500 — the MSG Sphere. MSG stands for Madison Square Garden Company, the team behind New York’s famous venue. It wants to get its claws into London, and sees Stratford as a target ripe for the picking. Word first emerged of the venue over a year ago, at which point it looked like a cathedral-sized floating golf ball.

The sphere won’t look like a sunken nightmare version of the Epcot Centre most the time. Instead it will be covered with LED panels, broadcasting high-definition concert footage or advertisements. Because yes, the future is going to turn out like Blade Runner, and we’re getting unavoidable adverts 90 metres up in the sky.

Photo: Madison Square Garden Company

There are questions about the necessity of such a venue in London. The city already has the O2 Arena and the Wembley Arena, to cater for such events. However in the structure’s planning document, MSG Company argues that New York has seven sizeable arenas that can host world tours, and has a similar population base to London. This seems to be failing to take into account that Wembley, the Emirates and the new Tottenham Hotspur stadiums are all viable options for some of the biggest music acts in the world.

The venue aims to be more than a music arena as the planning document also outlines its uses for theatre, immersive cinema, conferences, corporate events, ring sports and e-sports events. It also will contain a smaller music venue with a capacity of 500, which aims to support grassroots music.

Where the Sphere will fit into Stratford, on a 1.9 hectare site that’s currently a disused coach park. Photos: Madison Square Garden Company

This isn’t the only archaeologically brazen music venue that’s currently planned for London. There’s also The Centre For Music and its bold ziggurat design. Is this the future for London? Architecturally gimmicky venues?

The MSG Sphere is only at the planning stage so there’s still a lot that can change, but it has support from the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Culture Secretary Matt Hancock, which will be a boon to its chances of being built.

Some have voiced criticisms of the new venue, arguing it will block sunlight out of the area, and the brownfield site could instead be used to provide London with desperately needed houses. There’s a petition against the venue started by local residents, who also worry that the Sphere will cause overcrowding in an already-heaving area.

Not to end on a sour note, but one Twitter user pointed out the Sphere’s design similarities to the a scene of massive destruction from Japanese cult-classic Akira and now we can’t un-see it.

#londonist, #uk

Beasts Of London: Lions, Foxes And Fleas Tell Their Stories At Museum Of London

Beasts of London animal history exhibition at Museum of London
Image: Museum of London

The history of London’s animal residents — from pigeons to lions, elephants, horses and rats — is told in a new event at Museum of London. Beasts of London gives animals their own voices to tell their stories of living in the capital, dating as far back as the Roman Londinium.

What is Beasts of London?

Beasts of London animal history exhibition at Museum of London
Image: Museum of London

Rather than being an exhibition, Beasts of London is described as an ‘immersive tour through London’s history’, voiced by the animals who witnessed it, and showing how their existence contributed to making the capital what it is today. Museum of London worked with Guildhall School of Music & Drama to create Beasts of London, using ‘video projection mapping’ to bring it to life.

The mighty lions of the Roman Empire, and the humble rabbit — which the Romans introduced to Britain as a food source — are represented, along with the rats who were thought to be responsible for the Great Plague, and the fleas who were actually responsible for spreading it. Modern day residents including foxes and parakeets also feature.

Beasts of London animal history exhibition at Museum of London
Image: Museum of London

We’re promised tales of ‘cruelty and companionship’, suggesting a truthful — if often brutal — and un-sugarcoated account of humans’ relationship with animals throughout London’s history. Watch the trailer for more idea of what to expect.

Which celebrities are voicing Beasts of London?

Like most Londoners, we don’t speak lion or pigeon, so thankfully the animals’ stories have been translated into human, with celebrities voicing their thoughts. Brian Blessed, Pam Ferris, Kate Moss, Nish Kumar, Stephen Mangan, Angellica Bell and Joe Pasquale have all been named as taking part so far.

Beasts of London animal history exhibition at Museum of London
The bacterium, voiced by Brian Blessed. Image: Museum of London

You might expect Blessed’s inimitable boom to emit from a lion or elephant, but he’s been assigned the role of… Bacterium — London’s smallest creature, and the source of the Great Plague. Ferris voices Aquila the eagle, who guides visitors through Roman London, while Pasquale voices a dormouse. The full cast list can be seen on the Museum of London website.

Is Beasts of London suitable for children?

Beasts of London animal history exhibition at Museum of London
Image: Museum of London

Museum of London recommends Beasts of London for anyone aged 7+, due to scenes that may be upsetting to anyone younger than this. That said, they won’t stop younger children attending — it’s at the discretion of parents and carers. The experience takes about an hour.

How much are tickets for Beasts of London?

Beasts of London animal history exhibition at Museum of London
Image: Museum of London

Adults tickets start at £8, and concessions at £6.40. Tickets are available to book at half-hour intervals, and it’s expected to be a popular event so we do recommend that you book — particular if you’re planning to visit in the first few weeks, or at weekends or school holidays.

When does Beasts of London open at Museum of London?

Beasts of London animal history exhibition at Museum of London
Image: Museum of London

Beasts of London opens at Museum of London on Friday 5 April 2019 and runs until 5 January 2020.

#londonist, #uk

Two More Cherished Pubs Closing In Mayfair And Brentford

Good pubs are dropping like (bar)flies with the demise of two more much-loved boozers.

The imminent closure of The Water Poet in Spitalfields on 29 March 2019 has already been noted widely. But it’s not alone.

Magpie and Crown, Brentford

Over in Brentford, the Magpie and Crown breathed its last over the weekend (24 March). This CAMRA favourite was noted for its superb range of ales, a trait it has boasted for decades. It even has literary connections, as one of the possible models for The Flying Swan in the novels of Robert Rankin. The building will remain mothballed while the neighbouring blocks are redeveloped.

Other pubs in Brentford may be on borrowed time. The football stadium famously includes a pub at each of its four corners. It’s not yet clear if the quartet will survive when the club shifts to its new ground in 2020.

The Audley, Mayfair

Meanwhile, The Audley appears to be closing on 15 April, according to its website. The ornate corner house has been sold to developers who will convert it to a hotel with a pub or bar at ground level (see approved planning application). Owners Greene King initially confirmed the closure, but later backtracked. Even so, a message saying that the pub will cease trading on 15 April still appears prominently on its website.

The Audley is noted for its elegant interiors and terracotta exteriors. It’s a touch of class, and yet still a relatively grounded pub among the way-above-your-pay-grade Mayfair neighbours. Its loss may be mourned by Michelle Obama, who paid a visit in 2009.

Image: Shutterstock

With thanks to Mike Paterson and Joanna Moncrieff, members of the Londonist Pub People Facebook page. Let us know on this group, or in the comments if you’ve heard about any other good pubs that face closure.

#londonist, #uk

Things To Do Today In London: Tuesday 26 March 2019

Northern Ballet tells the story of Queen Victoria

Things to do

NORTHERN BALLET: The story of Queen Victoria is told through dance in Northern Ballet’s latest production, which comes to London for just one week. Her love for Albert and her grief at his untimely death are depicted through passionate and powerful choreography. Sadlers Wells, £15-£60, book ahead26-30 March

QUEEN OF SOHO: Margaret Thatcher as a cabaret superstar. Not something you see every day, but 1980s drag cabaret show Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho imagines the former prime minister getting lost in Soho on the eve of a crucial vote and discovering a talent for cabaret. Wiltons (Limehouse), £10.50-£20, book ahead26-30 March

THINK SPACE: The latest in the Royal Observatory’s Think Space lectures focuses on Jupiter’s X-Ray Aurorae. It’s the gas planet’s equivalent to our own Northern Lights, and is a permanent feature due to Jupiter’s fast rotational period. Royal Observatory (Greenwich), £10.30, book ahead5.15pm-6.15pm

TWILIGHT ARCHITECTURE: Join an expert guide for an architecture themed tour of Barbican by twilight, learning about the construction and design of the estate as you go. The evening finished with a three-course meal at Osteria, an Italian restaurant within the Barbican complex. Barbican, £35, book ahead6pm

MOTHER’S DAY CARDS: With Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday, add a personal touch to your mum’s day by making a personalised handmade card. All materials are provided, but the design… that’s all you. Drink, Shop & Do (King’s Cross), free when you buy a drink, book aheadfrom 6pm

Take a twilight architecture tour of Barbican

AN IMPECCABLE SPY: Author Owen Matthews discusses his new book, An Impeccable Spy, the true story of spy Richard Sorge who was a German journalist and Soviet military intelligence officer during the second world war. Hatchards (Piccadilly), £6, book ahead6.30pm

POETRY WORKSHOP: Poet Ian MacLachlan leads free workshops for page poets wanting to improve their performance skills, and performance poets who want to hone their writing. Poet and performance poets come together to share their skills and experience with each other. Wembley Library, free, book ahead6.30pm-8.30pm

SPRING CONCERT: The LSE Choir and Orchestra perform a spring concert, showcasing works including Requiem by Mozart. Dvorak’s 2 Slavonic Dances, Bruch’s Violin Concerto No.1 and Schumann’s Overture , Scherzo and Finale. St Clement Danes Church (Strand), £7, book ahead7pm

Create a bouquet at this masterclass

HEDGEHOG ART: Attend the launch of a new exhibition of hedgehog themed art. As well as getting a preview of the work on display, hear from Michel Birkenwald of Barnes Hedgehogs about the Barnes Hedgehogs campaign. OSO Arts Centre (Barnes), free, book ahead7pm

AMERICAN MEMORIAL: The Theodore Roosevelt Memorial on an island in the Potomac River is America’s largest presidential memorial, and is the subject of new documentary The Man On The Island which looks at why the unusual location was chosen. Michael Patrick Cullinane, professor of US History at the University of Roehampton, introduces a screening.  British Library, £8/£5, book ahead7.15pm-8.30pm

EDIBLE BOUQUET: Learn how to make your own bouquet… with edible ingredients. Rosemary, olive and mint are just some of the components used in this floristry class, led by London florist Rebel Rebel. ASK Italian (Paddington), £21.86, book ahead7.30pm-9.30pm

Tube ponderings with Barry Heck

Our resident tube fancier dishes out daily thoughts on the London Underground.

Victoria line's 50th anniversary

The Victoria line is 50 years old this month. Amazing thought, isn’t it: humans could travel unimpeded from Walthamstow to Brixton a whole four months before we could land on the Moon. But do you know how its stations got their names? Find out in Londonist’s guide to Victoria line etymology.

Follow Barry Heck on Twitter @HeckTube.

Good cause of the day

Ivo Graham, Olga Koch and Eleanor Morton are just some of the comedians performing at tonight’s Comedy Grotto, which is raising money in aid of Syrian refugees. Find out more and book tickets.

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