Things To Do This Week In London: 25 September-1 October 2023

Things to do this week is sponsored by City Cruises.

All week

Five people silhouetted in front of a huge illuminated creation of one of Monet's works.
Monet: The Immersive Experience opens on Thursday

TOTALLY THAMES: We're in the final week of this year's Totally Thames festival, an event that celebrates London's main waterway through walks, tours, talks and other events. See it out with a bang, with paddle steamer cruises, guided walks themed on The Mayflower, photography workshops and a whole flood of other things to see and do. Until 1 October

DEPTFORD X: The 25th anniversary edition of arts festival Deptford X includes a commemorative exhibition and publication as well as commissions by six artists. Over 100 artists are involved in the Deptford X Fringe too, with open studios, talks and workshops, and a community parade. FREE, until 1 October

QUEEN OF SOHO: Hit 'big gay odyssey' drag show Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho returns to Wilton's Music Hall. Set on the eve of the vote on Section 28, a clause relating to homosexuality, it imagines an alternative universe where Margaret Thatcher ends up becoming a cabaret superstar in Soho. 25-30 September

HELEN BAUER: Comedian Helen Bauer brings her current show, Grand Supreme Darling Princess, to Soho Theatre, celebrating the women in her life, from her mother to her best friend to Disney princesses. 25-30 September

An old fashioned cocktail in front of a record player
Check out a brand new bar in Angel. Image: David Robson

FRIEZE SCULPTURE: If you've been through Regent's Park in the last couple of days — perhaps on a lovely autumn walk — you may have noticed sculptures popping up all over the place. That's the Frieze Sculpture trail, a free art trail that coincides with Frieze Art Fair, and you've got a month to visit all 22 of this year's sculptures. FREE, until 29 October

DRINK OF THE WEEK: Angel has a new bar — The 411 — which takes its cue from SoHo, NYC — and stars pool tables, a record player, buttermilk chicken burgers and a range of cocktails — including Manhattans, Texan Picates and picklebacks.

EAT OF THE WEEK: Whitehall's stunning OWO Building has a tasty new tenant; Paper Moon specialises in Milanese dishes and Italian cocktails and wine — and this is its first outpost in the UK. If swanky gnocchi and antipasti are your bag, this is one to add to your list.

DAY TRIP OF THE WEEK: Ever been to Lewes? The East Sussex town has charm by the bucketload, including quaint streets, an historic castle, antique shops, pubs, a brewery, and Anne of Cleves' House — something of a misnomer, as Henry VIII's wife never even visited the property. Anyway, have a browse of our guide to things to do in Lewes, but be warned — it's a very hilly town.

Monday 25 September

A table laid up for a meal with glasses of champagne and small plates.
Treat yourself to a champagne masterclass dinner on Thursday.

ROTHERHITHE: Got the day off? Start your week with a tour of the "mysterious history of Rotherhithe", organised by the Brunel Museum. See the ruins of Edward III’s manor house, where the Mayflower first set sail, the tomb of an 18th-century prince of Palau and, of course, the site of Marc Brunel’s Thames Tunnel. Ticket includes entry to the museum. 10.30am-noon.

RELAXED MONDAYS: Every so often, Bloomsbury's Cartoon Museum offers Relaxed Mondays, specifically designed for children and young people with autism spectrum conditions or sensory processing differences, and their families. It's a chance to visit the museum without the usual distractions of other visitors, and take part in workshops or a self-led trail. FREE, 11am-1.30pm

MICROPLASTICS: What are microplastics, where are they washing up, and what are the dangers to health and the environment? Dr Ian Mudway has some answers at today's Gresham lecture in Holborn. FREE, 6pm

TESSA HADLEY: Author Tessa Hadley is the special guest at a book salon event at the Charlotte Street Hotel. Hear about Hadley's new novel, After The Funeral, as she chats to journalist and author Kate Maxwell about her work, followed by a Q&A session and book signing. 6.30pm

ALFIE BOE: Tenor Alfie Boe gives a performance at the London Palladium, showcasing his vocal talent with a selection of songs. VIP Meet and Greet packages are available too, if you're a huge fan and want to meet the man himself. 7pm

TORA: Norwegian blues inspired pop/rock band TORA offer a lively evening in Putney, performing at the Half Moon, fronted by guitarist Tora Dahle Aagård. Support act is The Lucky 13s featuring Jamie Johnson. 8pm

MONDAYS IN LONDON: Looking for something else to do, today or any other week? Take a look at our guide to things to do in London on a Monday — we've gathered together live music venues, comedy and cabaret clubs which keep going on what is usually the quietest day of the week, along with guided walks and tours scheduled on a Monday, and a few special offers too.

Tuesday 26 September

The interior of restaurant Norma
Sicilian restaurant Norma hosts a guest chef series across four evenings.

GUEST CHEF SERIES: Restaurant Norma in Fitzrovia celebrates its fourth birthday with guest chef dinners across four evenings this week. It kicks off tonight with Lisa Goodwin-Allen and Jozef Rogulski offering Sicilian-inspired fine dining, with Giuseppe Federici serving vegan Italian comfort food tomorrow, Danilo Cortellini specialising in classic Italian flavours on Thursday, and Olivia Cavalli finishing up with seasonal recipes from her own cookbook on Friday. 26-29 September

CHELSEA HISTORY FESTIVAL: The National Army Museum, the Royal Hospital Chelsea and Chelsea Physic Garden team up again for this year's Chelsea History Festival, which covers local, national and global history. This year includes special events marking the 300th anniversary of the death of Sir Christopher Wren, as well as punk and movie-themed tours of Chelsea, and the chance to hear from Sir Michael Palin about his latest book. 26 September-1 October

LONDON IN 1901: What was London like at the start of the 20th century, when Queen Victoria's reign came to an end? London Metropolitan Archives offers a free online talk giving an insight into everyday life in 1901, using documents from the archives. FREE, 1pm-2pm

DOCKLANDS: Join photographer Niki Gorick at Guildhall Library (or watch online) as she discusses the diverse ways that people live and work in the modern Docklands. Part of Totally Thames festival. FREE, 2pm-3pm

NET ZERO: We're hearing a lot about net zero — the concept of cutting carbon emissions to a point that any which are produced are absorbed by oceans and forests. As part of an ongoing Gresham College lecture series, Professor Myles Allen talks about when and how fast we need to reduce carbon emissions to net zero — a talk given added impetus by recent Government announcements. FREE, 6pm

SISTER SLEUTHS:  Alice Castle, Anne Coates and Julie Anderson are all female crime fiction writers whose books feature female sleuths. Head to Kensington Central Library tonight to see them discuss why women write crime fiction, the limits of what readers will believe of a female detective, and more. FREE, 6.30pm-7.30pm

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See out summer in style on a cruise along the Thames

A sightseeing family on a boat - the Shard behind them

Summer's about to check out, but there's still time to say sayonara in style — by treating yourself to a cruise along the Thames. On City's Cruise's boats, you can glide along the water between Westminster and North Greenwich — drinking in views of some of London's greatest landmarks.

With the wind in your hair (and, with luck, the sun in the sky), you can pick out Big Ben, the London Eye, The Shard and The O2. You even get to sail right beneath the icon that is Tower Bridge! It makes for a wholesome summer's day for the entire family — and thanks to informative and entertaining commentary from the captain, you'll come away with fresh nuggets of trivia too!

Just think: no trains, no traffic. Just your favourite people, a guaranteed seat, and refreshments at your beck and call.

See out summer in style with City Cruises, and book online to avoid queuing at the ticket desk.

Wednesday 27 September

Scots Guards playing musical instruments in a garden, wearing red tunics and black bearskin hats.
Chelsea History Festival packs a lot into this week. Photo: James McCauley

STAMPEX: Taking place at Islington's Business Design Centre, Stampex is a collectibles event, with focus mainly on stamps, run by the Philatelic Traders’ Society. It's a chance to meet and trade with other collectors and learn from experts... and this year, the world's rarest stamp is on show. 27-30 September

RUBENS & WOMEN: Dulwich Picture Gallery shows a different side to Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens in new exhibition Rubens & Women. View paintings and drawings from throughout his career, demonstrating how his relationships with women — from family members to female patrons — inspired his creativity and career. 27 September-28 January

CHAPEL TOUR: Arrive in plenty of time to get a free guided tour of Fitzrovia Chapel, a beautiful building tucked away in the back streets of central London. Places are limited on a first come first served basis. FREE, 12pm

SHAPARAK KHORSANDI: Comedian Shaparak Khorsandi is at Foyles Charing Cross Road to discuss her new book, Scatter Brain, with comedian and actress Isy Suttie. The book is a look back over Khorsandi's life living with undiagnosed ADHD until her 40s, and the difficulties that presented. 7pm

POETIVITY: Head to Artsdepot in North Finchley for Poetivity, an evening of spoken word, rap, and an open mic, all with a positive spin. Choose a performer ticket to book yourself a five-minute slot on the night, or an audience ticket if you wish to simply watch others performing. 8pm

THE SWIMMING POOL: Barbican Cinema continues its series focusing on the work of Bulgarian film director Binka Zhelyazkova, with a screening of 1977 film The Swimming Pool. It's set on the streets of Sofia, where a jilted young woman starts a relationship with an older man, and is one of few colour films made by the director. 8.15pm

Thursday 28 September

Musician Rosie Charles
Rosie Charles performs in Late Night Jazz at the Royal Albert Hall.

IMMERSIVE MONET: French Impressionist painter Claude Monet is the latest to get the immersive art experience treatment. The Boiler House on Brick Lane immerses visitors in Monet's works, as well as re-creations of his creative atelier and his luscious gardens at Giverny, in a new exhibition opening today. From 28 September

LIGHTROOM LIVE: Classical pianist Yuja Wang takes over Lightroom in King's Cross for a series of intimate concerts, performing a repertoire of pieces inspired by her response to David Hockney’s artworks, which are currently on display in the space. Performances at 7pm and 9pm, 28-30 September

SHORT FILM FESTIVAL: Taking place in Leicester Square across the next four days, Discover Film Festival brings together filmmakers from around the world for a celebration of short films, via a programme of cinema screenings and networking events. 28 September-1 October

BRITISH ART FAIR: The 32nd edition of British Art Fair takes place at Chelsea's Saatchi Gallery, showcasing Modern British and Contemporary British Art, with 70+ exhibitors. Additionally this year, the fair includes a special exhibition, Crossing Borders: Internationalism in Modern British Art. 28 September-1 October

EMAIL IS DEAD: Intuit Mailchimp teams up with the Design Museum for a new display looking at how email will shape our future in an age of AI, and new methods of connecting online. What will email look like in the year 2070... if it still exists at all? FREE, 28 September-22 October

DEATH PENALTY: Although long abandoned in the UK, the death penalty is still used in many countries across the world including members of the Commonwealth. In today's free Gresham lecture, Professor Leslie Thomas KC looks at the history of capital punishment, and asks "Is it a colonial relic which reinforces societal injustices?". FREE, 6pm

CHAMPAGNE MASTERCLASS DINNER: Uncork your knowledge of all things fizz with a champagne masterclass and paired dinner at St Pancras Brasserie by Searcys. Learn about the different grape varieties through a guided tasting, paired with a three-course dinner of seasonal dishes. 6.30pm-9.30pm

LATE NIGHT JAZZ: Singer-songwriter and producer Rosie Charles steps into the spotlight at this week's Late Night Jazz at the Royal Albert Hall. Make for the more intimate Elgar Room to enjoy the relaxed performance, with a drink from the bar. 9.30pm

ONE FOR THE RUM-LOVERS: In denial about the end of summer? Yeah, us too. Islington's Laki Kane's here to help, with a one-night-only, defiantly tropical takeover from the Isle of Man's Outlier Distilling and Manx cocktail royalty Kiki Lounge. Expect double-rum daiquiris on the menu, plus a piña colada/old fashioned mash-up that sounds like the good kind of chaos. From 7pm

Friday 29 September

Lolly Adefope
Lolly Adefope guest DJs at Scared To Dance.

AFRICA WRITES: The British Library hosts Africa Writes, a biennial celebration of contemporary literature from Africa and the diaspora. It's organised by the Royal African Society and this year’s programme includes writers and creators such as Kwame Dawes, Claudia Rankine, Caleb Azumah Nelson, Ibrahim Kamara, Kelechi Okafor, Magdalene Abraha, Franklyn Addo and Heather Agyepong. It begins tonight with Ghanaian polymath Blitz Bazawule discussing his debut novel The Scent of Burnt Flowers, in conversation with writer Irenosen Okojie. 29 September-1 October

BOY'S DRESS: Leading fashion historian Amy de la Haye and renowned expert collector Alasdair Peebles have teamed up to curate the Fashion & Textile Museum's new exhibition, Oh Boy! Boy's Dress 1760-1930, which opens today. The first three months of the exhibition focuses on how, aged six, boys would abandon dresses in favour of breeches, with a selection of historic garments on show. 29 September-3 March

SPIES: LIES AND DECEPTION: The Imperial War Museum unveils a major exhibition about the role, purpose and human cost of espionage, deceit and misdirection, from the first world war to the present day. 150 objects, including gadgets, official documents, art and newly digitised film and photography go on display, telling the stories of people whose actions changed the path of human conflicts. FREE, 29 September-14 April

WOMEN AND INVENTING: Science historian Dr Elizabeth Burton gives an online talk from the National Archives, about the new opportunities which were offered to women in the Victorian age, enabling them to carve out legacies in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Pioneering female inventors including Ada Lovelace and Hertha Ayrton are also discussed. 2pm

SCARED TO DANCE: Actor and comedian Lolly Adefope is the guest DJ at tonight's Scared to Dance, an alternative club night playing post-punk, indiepop, new wave and art rock music. Takes place at the Shacklewell Arms in Dalston. 11pm

Saturday 30 September

People browsing printed textiles at a stall at the DIY Art Market
See what you can find at the DIY Art Market

CLASSIC CAR BOOT SALE: All manner of vintage vehicles park up at King's Cross for the autumn edition of the Classic Car Boot Sale. Ogle the wheels, while buying vintage fashion from the back of them. Other entertainment includes clothing repair workshops, live DJs, and motorcycle and scooter ride-ins. 30 September-1 October

QUEER NATURE: Kew Gardens launches a brand new festival, Queer Nature, celebrating the diversity and beauty of plants and fungi. View new art installations, hear from Kew scientists, horticulturists, and writers on their individual perspectives on queerness and nature, and book ahead for themed After Hours events. 30 September-29 October

BRIXTON STREET ART: Take a walking tour of Brixton with guide Angela Morgan to see some of the area's best examples of street art. Brixton is one of London's top centres for murals, which often come with a community focus. 10.30am-12.30pm

ISLINGTON DOUBLE: Tour guide Nigel Smith is running a double-header of tours today, focussing on the history of Islington. In the morning, he traces how the area developed from a rural backwater into the thriving centre it is today. In the afternoon, he explores the numerous landmark cinemas in the area. 11am and 3pm

DIY ART MARKET: Over 100 emerging and established artists showcase and sell their works at the DIY Art Market in Peckham. The event champions a diverse range of artists, offering them somewhere affordable to sell their work, and gives the public a chance to buy products directly from the creatives who made them. 11am-5pm

IBIZA BRUNCH: As closing parties take place in Ibiza, The Folly offers an alternative for anyone unable to fly out there. The Ibiza Live Orchestra brunch features live reworkings of iconic dance anthems, from Fat Boy Slim to Basement Jaxx and Rudimental, with the option to add a two-course meal to your ticket. 12pm-6pm

UNLIMITED SUSHI: Skip the cornflakes today, because Lambeth's Pan Asian restaurant Chino Latino is laying on a bottomless sushi brunch, featuring salmon sashimi, maki rolls, tuna nigiri, vegetable gyoza and more. 12pm-4pm (every Sat until 29 Oct)

KNIGHTSBRIDGE: Join "The Naked Anthropologist" Laura Agustin for a tour of "The Backside of Knightsbridge Barracks", with historical insights that "bring out the lives of unnamed Londoners, the 'ordinary folks', highlighting issues of gender, sex and class". 1pm

PRIDE SWIM: Cossies at the ready! The first Pride Swim takes places in the London Royal Docks today. So long as you sign up to NOWCA (and you can swim, obvs), you can take the plunge. All participants gets a goodies bag, and there's an after-swim party too. 1pm-4pm

HANDFEST: 14 bands, two stages and no clashes: that'll be Handfest — an orgy of punk, ska and rock, at the Dome in Tufnell Park. Among those on the line-up are Lightyear, Popes of Chillitown, Hell's Ditch and The Meffs. From 2pm

CLUB DE FROMAGE: Cheesy disco night Club de Fromage is at the O2 Academy Islington every Saturday evening, playing pop, rock and indie tunes and power ballads, along with balloons, sing alongs, confetti cannons and other entertainment. Tonight is a 00s vs 10s party, so expect to hear songs from the last couple of decades. Top tip: anyone in fancy dress gets to queue jump. 10.30pm

Sunday 1 October

A stall laid out with vintage clothes and homewares at the Classic Car Boot Sale
The Classic Car Boot Sale parks up in King's Cross. Photo: Mykola Romanovsky

APPLE DAY: Fulham Palace celebrates the orchard harvest with its annual Apple Day. There's a market selling autumnal-themed goods, a baking competition and tombola, with garden games, crafts and face painting for children. The cafe is open selling refreshments throughout the day. 11am-4pm

PHOTO WALK: Expert photography tutor Marissa Roth leads a photography walk around Kensington Gardens, where you can pick up tips and tricks and master your camera while snapping pics of the park in autumn. 12pm-2pm

MUSIC AND BEER: 50 beers and ciders from south London are poured at the Bedford in Balham today — paired with live music throughout the afternoon and evening. There's also the chance to chat to brewers, and to win prizes. From 1pm

FORAGING IN HAMPSTEAD: Here's a chance to get better acquainted with nature's larder — forager and organic vegetable grower Heath Bunting takes you on a walk on Hampstead Heath to learn about everything from bush-craft to poisonous plants to food processing and preservation. 2pm-3.30pm

WALTHAMSTOW WALK: Footprints of Lonodn guide Joanna Moncrieff leads a guided walk around Walthamstow, starting at the former home of William Morris, and visiting a theatre hidden within a school, a remnant from Robert Smirke’s General Post Office, and the original Walthamstow Village containing the Ancient House. 2pm-4pm

SAXOPHON QUARTETT: The Arcis Saxophon Quartett, who hail from Germany, perform at today's Sunday Concert at Conway Hall. Their repertoire includes work from from the 18th to the 21st century, including Mozart, Bach and Ligeti. 6.30pm

BIA FERRIERA: Brazillian singer and multi-instrumentalist Bia Ferriera makes her London debut in a live show at Rich Mix in Shoreditch. Expect to hear a blend of soul, R&B and rap, combined with Brazilian musical influences such as samba and repente. 7.30pm

Good cause of the week

How do you fancy getting a look around Hampton Court Palace's gardens while also raising money for a good cause? On 19 November, a 10k run around the Palace grounds and wider area is taking place, to raise money for Putney's Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability. It's £15 entry with a £150 fundraising target. Join in, and help support people with life changing brain injury and neurological conditions.