Events in central London in November 2012:
From a writing perspective, it seems like no time since I was writing here about events that included the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games but from a day to day perspective those events seem a long way behind us - one of life's conundrums. In any event, London carries on each month with a long string of signficant events and, as ever, I aim to give you just a small selection to get a taste of what's happening in central London in November.
Ice Skating at the Natural History Museum:
2nd November 2012 - 6th January 2013
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD
In keeping with a well established tradition, as Winter comes, out comes the Ice Rink in front of one of London's iconic buildings, adding to the distinctly Christmassy feel in the capital. Originally, one of just a very few ice rinks in London, many buildings and attractions now have them but the Ice Rink at the Natural History Museum remains on of the largest at 950 square meters. Open from 10.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. on most days and from 10.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m. on thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, this is a great family event. For those not keen on scating, there is a good range of catering including some seasonal specials, such as mulled wine, for that inner warmth.
Travel: Walk along Harrington Road and up Cromwell Place to cross Cromwell Road to the Natural History Museum.
London Children's Film Festival:
30th october - 7th November 2012
Barbican Centre, Silk Street, City of London, London EC2Y 8DS
Now in its seventh year, the London Children's Film festival is a superb opportunity for children to get involved in film in every way - from viewing to making their own films. A combination of the screening of children's films from all over the globe to workshops of various kinds that give children a chance to experience what is involved in making films and even gives them a chance to do so themselves, the London Children's Film Festival is a great way to let your children get really engaged but be prepared to get jealous yourself.
Travel: Take the Piccadilly Line from South kensington station direct to Kings Cross and then change to the Metropolitan or Hammersmith & City Line to Barbican station for the very short walk to the Barbican Centre.
2nd November 2012 - 3rd February 2013
Apollo Theatre, 29 Shaftesbury Avenue, Soho, London W1D 7EZ
One of Shaekepeare's best loved comedies, this version stars Mark Rylance in the title role of Viola and follows his acclaimed role in Jerusalem and the earlier showing of Twelfth Night for a short season this autumn at the Globe Theatre. A shipwreck separates twins Viola and Sebastian, each assuming the other to have perished. Viola disguises herself as a man so as to serve in the court of Orsino, the Duke of Illyria, who sends her to woo the beautiful Countess Olivia on his behalf. Olivia - in mourning after the loss of her brother - has turned away all suitors, until she becomes instantly enamoured with Viola, now known as Cesario. Meanwhile, Olivia’s drunken uncle, Sir Toby, decides to play a trick on her uptight servant, Malvolio (played by Stephen Fry), with hilarious results. A hilarious tale full of mistaken identity and unrequited love. Twelfth Night is running concurrently with Richard II at the same theatre.
Stay at: Harrington Court Apartments, Harrington Road, South Kensington, London SW7 3ES
Travel: Take the Picaddily Line from South Kensington station direct to Piccadilly Circus for the short walk up Shaftesbury Avenue to the Apollo Theatre.
5th November 2012
Bishops Park, Fulham Palace Road, London SW6
Variously referred to as "Bonfire Night", "Guy Fawkes Night" and "Fireworks Night" 5th November is the day when London, and the rest of the UK., lights up with bonfires and fireworks and we all become children. So, what is it all about ? In 1605, Guy Fawkes and several other plotters tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Specifically, as Catholics, Guy Fawkes and Robert Catesby intended to assassinate King James I (first king of a united England and Scotland) and replace him with a catholic monarch. In a plot that defies imagination in our security conscious times, they acquired the lease of an undercroft beneath the House of Lords and built up a stockpile of gunpower. Tipped off by an anonymous letter, the authorities searched Westminster Palace in the early hours of 5th November and found Guy Fawkes there guarding the explosives. The Bishops Park event, following so close to the recent latest Bond movie premiere, has a James Bond theme with music from the Bond films and is a well organised family event.
Travel: Take the District Line from South Kensington station to Putney Bridge Station (Wimbledon line). Come out of the station and walk to the left a short distance along new Kings Road and then turn right into Fulham High Street for Bishops Park.
World Travel Market
5th - 8th November 2012
ExCel, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, London E16 1X
One of the world's largest travel exhibitions, World Travel Market is now a trade only event and no longer has a public day. The event has great importance to the travel industry and is a splendid opportunity for London to display all the new developments around the capital, particularly to the east in the area of the Olympic Park and south of that at Custom House to a large number of exhibitors and visiting travel professionals. ExCeL is sectioned off into areas for each region of the world and many stands occupy large areas, sometimes on more than one level. This is a tremendous opportunity for those involved with travel and hospitality to meet and network and the exhibition also has a number of conferences and highlights, such as World Responsible Tourism Day.
Stay at: Harrington Court Apartments, South Kensington, London, SW7 3ES
Travel: Underground from South Kensington station to Tower Hill for the short walk to Tower Gateway DLR station and the ride direct to Custom House for ExCeL
London Jazz Festival 2012
9th - 18th November 2012
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX
Now celebrating it's 20th annual event, the London Jazz Festival, which sprang from the Camden Festival years ago, brings together a broad mix of international and British artists to celebrate the rich cultural diversity of London now across a 10 day span based at one of London's premier venues - the Southbank Centre. Those raking part this year including Herbie Hancock, playing his first solo in the U.K., Marcy Gray who is joined by David Murray on saxophone and a 15 piece big band. Further elements of the Festival take place at the Barbican and the Royal Albert Hall - so do carefully check which venue you should go to for the artists you want to see.
I can't say it better than the web site's own headline: "The oldest, longest, most popular civic procession in the world". Dating from 1215, the Lord Mayor's Show is the inauguration of the new Lord Mayor of the City of London (not to be confused with the wider London of 32 boroughs, which has its own Mayor, this is the historic 1 square mile right at the heart of London's financial district). In a centuries old tradition, the new Lord Mayor, having been sworn in the previous day, leaves Mansion House in the State Coach to travel to the Royal Courts of Justice, where he swears loyalty to the reigning monarch. The Lord Mayor's coach is preceeded by a 3.5 mile long procession made up of countless floats, 22 marching bands (many in centuries old costume), vintage cars, carriages and several features from other countries - such as an American stagecoach and a Japanese Taiko drum band. The procession is watched live by around 500,000 people, so it is wise to grab your spot early, and millions more on TV around the world.
You may be thinking "but surely the Ideal Home Show is in March and April" and indeed it is but this show is a special seasonal show focussed on home improvements and preparations for Christmas festivities. With 600 exhibitors in 6 sections arranged around Interiors and Furnishings, Food and Drink, Home Improvement and Outdoor Living, Fashion and Beauty, Technology and Gadgets and, last but not least, Gifts and Decorations there is certainly something here for everyone. Whether you want advice from an expert or simply want to browse for ideas, this spin off of the main Ideal Home Show is the show for you.
Stay at: Harrington Court Apartments, Harrington Road, South Kensington, London SW7 3ES
Travel: Take the District Line from South Kensington Station to Earls Court Station (2 stops). leave Earls Court Station by the warwick Road exit and earls Court Exhibition Centre is just across Warwick Road.
Business Start-Up Show 2012:
22nd - 23rd November 2012
Olympia Grand Hall, Hammersmith Road, London W14 8UX
In current economic climes, this show is likely to have a very strong draw as an excellent opportunity to seek advice on starting up a business, growing an existing business and for networking with fellow entrepreneurs to pick their brains and experience to make your business even better. An annual event over the last 12 years, the Business Start-up Show is now the U.K.'s biggest such event and is expecting to attract 20,000 fellow business people and is no longer limited simply to start-ups but to growing existing businesses and everything surrounding driving business in the U.K. today. An impressive list of speakers and range of workshops makes this the event to try to make time for in your busy schedule.
Stay at: Harrington Court Apartments, South Kensington, London, SW7 3ES Travel: Underground from South Kensington station direct to Olympia station (3 stops on the District Line)
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 2012:
23rd November 2012 - 6th January 2013
Hyde Park, Knightsbridge, Westminster, London, W2 2U
With Christmas not too far away and the shops stocked with Christmas gifts, it's hard to avoid an underlying theme. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland takes place in a section of Hyde Park close to Hyde Park Corner and offers a wide range of attractions and entertainment for visitors to London and Londoners alike and across all ages. Father Christmas and his helpers welcome the young ones to Santa's Grotto whilst older children and adults enjoy a giant Ferris wheel, a range of other fairground rides, ice skating, a German Christmas Market and some excellent food and drink choices, including mulled wine, hot cider and hot chocolate to keep those late November night time temperatures at bay.
Travel: Take the Piccadilly Line from South Kensington direct to Hyde Park Corner for the short walk into Hyde Park and the Winter Wonderland.
Of necessity, this is our short selection and there are many more events taking place across London this November in music, theatre, sports and much more.
Keep up to date with events in London in July 2012 as they are added by going to our Facebook page and pressing the "Like" button or by adding us to your circles on Google+ or following us on Pinterest. You can get travel directions to each from Harrington Court Apartments and you will see further London events posted by Harrington Court Serviced Apartments. You can add them to your own London events in August 2012, if you want to - to help with planning your London trip. You can also learn about events in central London in August 2012 and later months by following Harrington Court Serviced Apartments blog.