Things to do in London this week

Harry Fletcher
1 / 2
Things to do in London this week
Getty Images

Christmas is terrifyingly close (less than seven weeks away – where has 2019 gone?) and London is all prepped for festive fun.

The light displays are already adding a seasonal sparkle to the city’s streets, ice rinks are up and ready for action and the capital's winter terraces will be serving mulled wine and hot gin by the bucket load next week.

Elsewhere, there are chances to see indie favourites perform at a London institution, to drink at a lovely new wine bar, and plenty more besides.

These are our picks of the best things to get up to in London next week.

Get your skates on

It might only be November, but London is already fully committed to festive frolicking, and ice rinks are springing up around the capital thick and fast. The Natural History Museum is already open for business, and offers one of the most stunning backdrops for skating anywhere in the city. Keep an eye out for Skate at Somerset House – another beautiful spot, which opens on Wednesday. See our full guide here.

Various dates and locations,

Support Movember with a little stand-up

Omid Djalili headlines a special stand-up night that's raising awareness for Movember – the movement helping to tackle testicular cancer in the UK. He’ll be joined by up-and-comer Lee Peart, as well as footballer John Hartson – who fought the cancer himself. Chuckle for charity and support the cause with a £5 donation. Organisers will also release an additional set of free tickets on the morning of November 12 if tickets sell out ahead of time.

November 12, New Moon Public House, 88 Gracechurch Street, EC3V 0DN,

Cosy up on a winter terrace

London’s terraces are the perfect way to take refuge from the cold winter nights. From the Wizard of Oz-themed garden at the Queen of Hoxton, to the seasonal sophistication on offer at Orrery – which opens on Friday – there are dozens of fantastic spots for a winter warmer next week. Check out our full guide here.

Various dates and locations,

See Steve McQueen's groundbreaking exhibition

(Dave Benett)

Acclaimed film director and Turner-prize winning visual artist Steve McQueen is launching a new exhibition at the Tate Britain. Hugely ambitious in its scale, the installation saw him reach out to every school in London, attempting to photograph every year three student in London to showcase the future of the city.

November 12-May 3, Tate Britain,

Visit the National for some unmissable theatre

(Marc Brenner)

The novels of Elena Ferrante are being adapted for the stage once again, with My Brilliant Friend launching at the National Theatre on Tuesday – following the initial run at the Rose Theatre which received strong reviews. Niamh Cusack and Catherine McCormack star in the production as two friends, whose relationship is analysed through fresh eyes after one of them goes missing without a trace.

November 12–February 22, National Theatre, SE1 9PX,

Pre-Christmas fermentation masterclass at Cub

Cub – the brainchild of master bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana – is launching a series of fermentation events this month. The restaurant is welcoming people of all experiences to create their own ferments, using underappreciated and commonly disregarded ingredients.

November 13-14, 153 Hoxton St, N1 6PJ​,

Experience an interactive exhibition in Marylebone

Contemporary artist Dominic Harris has brought his first ever show Imagine to Halcyon in Marylebone, offering a thought-provoking and immersive experience in the heart of west London. The artist has turned his sights on the information age, utilising cutting edge technology and classical art techniques to create something unique. Don’t miss it.

Until 2020, 144-146 New Bond St, W1S 2PF​,

Bag tickets for Vampire Weekend at Alexandra Palace

(Getty Images)

Indie favourites Vampire Weekend are heading back to London for their first major UK show in five years this week, following intimate dates in Hackney and Islington earlier in the year. They come to Ally Pally for two nights off the back of acclaimed fourth album Father of the Bride – and while Wednesday tickets are sold out, there's still some availability for Thursday.

November 13-14, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY,

Be natural at Bar Aspen

A new wine bar is arriving in Camden this week, putting the emphasis on natural and orange vino. The speakeasy-style spot is run by Sunny Hodge – the mind behind Diogenes the Dog wine bar in Elephant & Castle – and it promises to be an intriguing spots for local wine lovers to check out.

Friday from November 15, The Cellars, Music & Beans, 82 Camden High St, NW1 0LT,