Make, see and do differently with our pick of the month’s most eclectic events
Words Aisha Nozari
80’s Aerobic in the park
Jane Fonda, feminist heroine for our times? Discuss. Then dust off your legwarmers and leotards, squeeze your bottom into some (preferably fluorescent) lycra and march yourself down to Hyde Park, where retro events company Reflex are hosting a string of free aerobics sessions this month. Dancing with the Stars choreographer Giulia Settomini is set to host the workouts, helping you get into the groove with 80’s-inspired dance routines that are firmly focused on fun. All you need to bring along are earphones, a mobile phone with Internet connection – and your energy A-game.
Hyde Park, various dates in September, free
Tissues at the ready – Nick Cave has some UK dates lined up this month and fans of the alt-rock legend will no doubt be scrambling to bag tickets. With over 40 years of stormy ballads under his belt, the Warracknabeal-born musician will be bringing his inimitable sound to the capital for two dates only, so you’ll want to get in there early if you’re looking to have your spine thoroughly tingled by the king of goth himself.
The 02 Peninsular Square, 30th Sep, £35-£52
Totally Thames Festival
The Totally Thames Festival is set to make a splash this month (sorry) with its annual celebration of all things River Thames. With a programme embracing a diverse mix of activities from art exhibitions and river races to community events and regattas, the aim is to inspire, connect and enthral visitors around London’s iconic waterway. This year’s festival will also include an enormous installation of digitally designed prints created in response to the amounts of plastic litter found in the river, plus a series of sculptures crafted from objects that have washed up on the Thames’ shore. Expect river swims, talks, walks and of course a cocktail pop-up. Dive in.
Various London locations, 1-30 Sep, free
THE FOOD ASSEMBLY
London’s food assemblies celebrate pride in not just local ingredients, but in local communities. Connecting Londoners with the click of a button to local, high quality produce – from fruit and veg to cheese, jam, meat and beer – The Food Assembly combines the convenience of online shopping with the importance of a cohesive, caring local network. Gathering each Tuesday at Islington Town House between 5.30pm-7.30.pm, shoppers get the opportunity to mingle with both farmers and neighbours. Make sure to hang around, too, for the subsequent pub quiz.
Islington Town House, every Tuesday, free
Basquiat: Boom for Real
It’s incredible to think that the Barbican’s new show represents the UK’s first large-scale exhibition of radical American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. A pioneering prodigy of the 70s New York art scene who graduated from downtown graffiti artist to uptown tastemaker, Basquiat’s popularity in the Big Apple quickly snowballed into international acclaim. Drawing from both international museums and private collections, Basquiat: Boom for Real brings together a blistering roundup of over 100 works – many never seen before in the UK – and offers fresh research that sheds new light on some of his most famous pieces, enabling these iconic paintings to be understood as never before.
Barbican, 21 Sep – 28 Jan, £16
Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival
The tradition of the Pearly Kings and Queens originates from a true story that sounds more like a fairy-tale. In the 1870s an orphan named Henry Croft – a street sweeper in North-West London’s Somers Town market- used to collect money for charity wearing a suit covered in pearl buttons to attract attention. His combination of philanthropy and style caught on, and each year his descendants and fans still take to the streets in the name of charity, kitted out in natty dark suits studded with dazzling pearls. London magic.
St Martin in the Fields, 30th Sep, free
Sea Life After Dark with Booze
You don’t have to be five to enjoy an aquarium. From watching weird creatures wind their way through underwater tunnels to patting indigenous aquatic wildlife in a touch pool, the otherworldly beauty never dates. But take it from us – everything becomes a whole lot more magical when it’s dark outside, you have the entire place to yourself and there’s prosecco involved – as we discovered at London Aquariam’s SEA LIFE After Dark, where you can dip beneath the surface for a VIP late opening. Cosy up to sharks, rays and jellyfish away from the daytime squawks of the public before treating yourself to a drink or five at the aquarium’s Pacific Wreck bar.
Southbank, all through September, £29
A Late Summer Night’s Dream Ball
Situated 100 feet above the streets of Kensington with sweeping views of the surrounding London skyline, The Late Night Cocktail Club returns to the borough’s achingly cool Roof Gardens for its 5th birthday bash. Hailed as an evening of magical revelry and dalliance (oo-er), the city’s best mixologists will be on hand to create some serious cocktails, and there’ll be spellbinding live entertainment from acrobats, stilt walkers, magicians and musicians. Don your best masquerade mask and get ready to shake up your social life.
Kensington Roof Gardens, 30th September, £43
Calling all cigar connoisseurs: one of London’s most glamorous destinations, the phenomenally swanky champagne bar Voltaire, is holding a one-of-a-kind cigar masterclass this month. Kicking off with a discussion led by a world-leading cigar buff, the two-hour session offers an introduction to a range of hand-rolled Havana, Cohiba, Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta cigars, paired with a selected brand of spirits. Devotees of Don Draper, book now.
Voltaire, Blackfriars, 5th September, £35