Hovering between the start of the festive season and the end of autumn, November sees a full programme of cultural events land in the capital. Visitors staying at any one of Red Carnation’s London Hotels during this period will have the chance to preview the city’s finest Christmas festivities while also being in easy reach of an impressive selection of art exhibitions, theatre performances, sporting fixtures and live music events. Here’s our pick of unmissable events in London in November.
Southbank Centre Winter Festival
A trip to the annual Winter Festival at The Southbank Centre is guaranteed to put you in the festive mood. The popular event combines seasonal shows and performances with a charming Christmas market, which offers gourmet festive treats alongside gifts and decorations. There are also many fun-filled pop-ups to enjoy, including a cosy alpine lodge.
10th November 2017 – 4th January 2018, Southbank Centre.
Lord Mayor’s Show and Fireworks
Every year, the newly elected Lord Mayor participates in a tradition that dates back over 800 years and involves him or her travelling from the city of London to Westminster in order to pledge allegiance to the crown. This historic procession is a joyous and dazzling display of British pageantry. The day kicks off with a flotilla on the Thames, which features the Queen’s own row barge ‘Gloriana’, alongside other splendid vessels. This is followed by the procession to Westminster and the celebration ends with a fantastic firework display over the Thames at 5.15pm.
11th November 2017, various venues.
Regent Street Motor Show
An essential event for motoring enthusiasts, Regents Street is pedestrianised for one day only in November to celebrate 125 years of motoring, showcasing everything from vintage and classic cars to just-released models. Visitors can enjoy plenty of entertainment throughout the day, including interactive displays and the opportunity to get up close to the latest, most innovative electric cars, with a chance to test drive one yourself.
4th November 2017, Regent Street.
A highly influential and significant figure in the art world, this autumn’s exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery has drawn on collections from across the world in order to bring together over 50 of Cézanne’s portraits, several of which have not been seen before in the UK. Portrait painting was an integral part of the artist’s creative output, and this exhibition provides insight into the themes behind each work and the characteristics that typify Cézanne’s paintings.
Until February 2018, National Portrait Gallery.
Bonfire Night, also referred to as Guy Fawkes night, is a long-established and much-loved British tradition. The event dates back to 1605, when the plot of Catholic traitor Guy Fawkes, who had hoped to blow up the Houses of Parliament, was foiled and bonfires were lit to mark the safety of the King. Each year, Bonfire Night is celebrated on the 5th November and spectacular firework displays take place around that date to mark the occasion. Take advantage of Kensington Roof Gardens panoramic views and admire the finest of London’s fireworks whilst enjoying some delicious cocktails and snacks.
4th November 2017, Bonfire Night Special at Kensington Roof Gardens.
EFG London Jazz Festival
One the biggest and most prestigious jazz festivals in the world, the EFG London Jazz Festival includes over 350 performances from some of the globe’s best jazz musicians spread over ten days. The festival makes use of over 60 venues across the capital to showcase the finest talents in the genre, from long established musicians to up-and-coming bands. The programme also includes several events aimed at families and young people.
10th – 18th November 2017, various venues.
Finnish Winter Sauna
Be inspired by the Finns this winter and banish any seasonal chills with a relaxing sauna experience. This year, a Finnish Rooftop Sauna has been installed at The Queen Elizabeth Roof Gardens on the Southbank, offering a restorative escape from the winter weather. Each sauna session lasts for 70 minutes and afterwards visitors can enjoy a warming winter drink at The Rooftop Bar.
From 10th November – 30th December 2017, The Queen Elizabeth Roof Gardens, Southbank.
Nitto ATP Finals, 12th-19th November 2017
A fast paced and enjoyable end to the ATP tennis season, the ATP Finals see the best names in the sport battle it out at London’s 02 Arena. Visitors can expect to watch the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and rising star Alexander Zverev go head to head to compete for the winning title.
Fast becoming this year’s must-see West End production, The Ferryman is a deeply powerful and thought-provoking production. Written by acclaimed playwright Jez Butterworth and directed by Sam Mendes, the action takes place on a farm in rural Ireland in 1981, and grapples with politics, love, history and death. The Ferryman’s original run at the Royal Court Theatre sold out in just a day, but fortunately it’s West End transfer signals more tickets and the season’s next smash hit.
Until 6th January 2018, Gielgud Theatre.
Impressionists in London
Seeking refuge from the Franco-Prussian war, many French artists came to Britain in the 1870s. Their arrival had a lasting effect on British art and now a major exhibition examines the work produced in this period. Expect to see masterpieces created by the likes of Monet, Pissarro and Tissot during their time in the UK, and also learn about the intriguing relationship between French and British artists of the time.2nd November 2017 – 7th May 2018, Tate Britain.
Centrally located and designed as a home-from-home for every guest, Red Carnation’s London hotels offer the perfect base from which to explore the best that London has to offer.
Image Credits: Lead image © ATP World Tour. Southbank Winter Market © Rebecca Brindle. Cézanne self portrait in bowler hat © Ole Haupt. Finnish sauna © Miki Sordi, Aalto University. Camille Pissarro ‘Charing Cross Bridge’ oil painting © National Gallery of Art (Washington, USA.)