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Events and things to do in and near Soho

London is one of the world's most vibrant cities, and entertainment can come in all shapes and sizes - from the latest A-List actor walking the boards in Shaftesbury Avenue to the newest shot-pouring specialist in Soho or a wonderful new exhibition at one of the many much loved museums.

Our Local Ambassadors are trained to be able to help with any requests you may have. We pride ourselves on service, and will do our utmost to locate and book tickets or make reservations on your behalf at no extra cost.

Our boutique Soho hotel in central London is near to Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street, putting you right on the doorstep of a plethora of entertainment!

Take a look at what's going on around us and please let us know if we can offer any assistance:

Justin Timberlake : 1st and 2nd April 
The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0BB
Tube: North Greenwich Station
The star's first solo show at the arena since 2007.

NOVEMBER EVENTS

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize: 13th November - 8th February 2015

National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place, London WC2H 0HE

Tube: Leicester Square / Charing Cross / Piccadilly Circus / Embankment / Covent Garden

Showcasing the work of the most talented professional photographers, photography students and gifted amateurs across the world, the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize regularly attracts over 5,000 entries by more than 2,000 photographers who compete for the prestigious prize, not to mention the £12,000 which goes to the winner.

The exhibition has been running at the National Portrait Gallery for almost twenty years, and is an annual fixture and a highlight of the arts calendar in London, with approximately 60 works selected from the thousands of submissions. Last year, Spencer Murphy, 35, scooped the prize for his photograph of jockey Katie Walsh.

Visitors can see the winning and shortlisted portraits until February 2015.

London Jazz Festival: 14th - 23rd November

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo / Embankment

Defying those who believe jazz is dead, thousands of performers and fans flock to the annual London Jazz Festival, which returns for a 22nd time this year.

The 10-day festival presents 2,500 artists across 60 venues, and consistently delivers a flamboyant programme reflecting the diverse roots of our great city. More than 250 shows take place in a variety of venues, including the Southbank Centre, Royal Albert Hall, Barbican Centre, Ronnie Scott's, 606 Club, The Forge and Artsdepot.

The organisers habitually attract some top rare performers and blend them together with both newcomers and mainstays of the British jazz scene - from stars of the American jazz tradition to key players of the European scene and free musical thinkers. Given the obsessive nature of ardent jazz fans, together with the small venues (which include restaurants and bars), tickets often sell out fast - you have been warned!  

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland: 21st November - 4th January 2015

Hyde Park, Rangers Lodge, Belgravia, London W2 2UH

Tube: Knightsbridge  

Throughout late November and December the section of Hyde Park near Hyde Park Corner is transformed into a Winter Wonderland, complete with fairground rides, a giant wheel, circus, Christmas market, food and drink stalls, Santa's grotto and, of course, an ice rink.

Now into its sixth consecutive year, it's already a favourite in many Londoners' calendars. New for this year is the Magical Ice Kingdom, a walk-through world of ice and snow with woodland creatures and a unicorn-pulled carriage. Doing your best Torvill and Dean impersonation is a great way to embrace the cold and the Ice Rink - which surrounds the Victorian bandstand and is illuminated by 108,000 pea-lights - is the biggest of its kind in the UK.

A turn on the 53-metre-high Observational Wheel offers great views over London's most popular Christmas attraction. Zippos Circus is always a hit and the show never fails to pull crowds into its heated big top when temperatures plummet, whilst the daredevil Zippos Cirque Berserk entertains the evening crowd. The traditional Angels Christmas Market, with its wooden chalets and various Bavarian-style bars and cafes, is a hoot, as is the Spiegel Saloon, a large, festive and fully covered restaurant.

Don't go with an empty wallet because while the whole thing is not cheap, it's such fun you'll want to get into the spirit and spend! (Remember: advanced booking on the main attractions is advised while you'll need to buy tokens from kiosks dotted around the fair for the many rides.)

Free entry to the site means you can just walk around and absorb the festive ambiance - but it will take a strong will not to succumb to the smells and fun on offer…!

Thanksgiving in London 2014: 27th November

Celebrate Thanksgiving in London with American food and fun!

The American holiday of Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. This year it falls on 27 November.

In Britain, while it's not an official holiday, lots of American expats and tourists, as well as their friends and relatives, like to mark the occasion by coming together to eat a traditional Thanksgiving feast. 

Festive food for Thanksgiving includes turkey, pumpkin pie, chowder and anything with an American theme.

Thanksgiving menus are available on the day from lots of London hotels, pubs and restaurants.

St Andrew's Day in London: 30th November

Celebrate St Andrew's Day – Scotland's national day – in London.

St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and St Andrew's Day is Scotland's official national day.

On St Andrew's Day many people in London devote themselves to a celebration of all things Scottish. Expect bagpipes, tartan, golf, whisky and, of course, haggis! 

History of St Andrew and Scotland

St Andrew was the brother of St Peter, and Christ's first disciple. He spent his life spreading the word of Jesus and died as a martyr on a diagonal cross (the St Andrew's flag shows a white diagonal cross on a blue background).

His ties to Scotland stem from a traditional tale that St Andrew's bones were housed there for several hundred years up until the Reformation.

As well as Scotland, St Andrew is the patron saint of Russia, Greece and Romania.

The St Andrew's cross flag of Scotland was incorporated into the Union Jack of Great Britain today.

DECEMBER EVENTS

Tristan und Isolde: 5th - 21st December 

Royal Opera House, Bow Street, London WC2E 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden / Leicester Square

A major hallmark of Antonio Pappano's tenure as Music Director of the Royal Opera House has been his exploration of Wagner. Continuing that theme, he returns to conduct Tristan und Isolde, Christof Loy's award-winning production first performed here in 2009. 

Wagner's epic opera is an Arthurian love story of knights and duelling-to-the-death, which starts with the fiery Isolde being taken aboard a ship to marry King Marke of Cornwall against her will. She is escorted on the journey by the knight Tristan, the king's nephew, who she rails against as the one responsible for her situation. Tristan also killed her fiancé Morold, but a mistaken love potion later and the opera enters an otherworldly evocation of love, in which state Tristan and Isolde risk everything to be together. 

Nina Stemme returns as Isolde and renowned Wagnerian John Tomlinson, who sings the role of King Marke, both reprise their roles from the 2009 production. They are joined by American tenor and Wagner specialist Stephen Gould, as Tristan.

 

Great Christmas Pudding Race: 6th December

Covent Garden Piazza, Covent Garden, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden / Leicester Square / Charing Cross 

You're familiar with the egg and spoon race. Well how about the Christmas Pudding Race? Covent Garden Piazza swells with spectators as about 150 contestants in teams of six don fancy dress and race around a course strewn with flour-filled balloons, foam jets and other obstacles - all while trying to balance a Christmas pudding on a flimsy plate! 

The race has been going on every year since 1980 and raises money for Cancer Research. At this time of year Covent Garden is a great place to be, with shops full of Christmas decorations and street performers putting on entertaining shows before and after the main event. The perfect way to break up a day of Christmas shopping in Covent Garden's collection of stylish stores! 

 

London International Horse Show: 16th - 22nd December  

Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London W14 8UX

Tube: Kensington Olympia

London's annual equestrian fiesta graces Olympia once more for a full week of galloping, jumping and pinpoint dressage steps. There's something to please everybody at the London International Horse Show, with the UK's only World Cup dressage qualifier, spectacular show-jumping competitions, and some fantastic equestrian shopping opportunities. 

As well as the elegant steeds trotting around, there are usually some dog-related competitions too, including a canine agility contest. The grand finale is an enormous festive parade with hundreds of horses, costumes and music combining to a spectacular climax.


The Peter Pan Cup in Hyde Park: 25th December

Hyde Park, London W2 2UH

While children across London wait eagerly to unwrap their presents, members of the Serpentine Swimming Club will be preparing to swim their traditional 100-yard (91-metre) Christmas Day race.

Swimmers have met in London's Hyde Park on Christmas morning since 1864 to compete in the famous event, the first of which was won by H. Coulter. He won a gold medal, which became the customary prize for the winner.

J.M. Barrie and The Peter Pan Cup

Novelist J.M. Barrie donated the first Peter Pan Cup in 1904, the same year that his play Peter Pan made its debut on the London stage. Like the fictional boy who never grew up, the race has taken on a legendary appeal.

Serpentine Swimming Club

The Serpentine Swimming Club is one of the oldest swimming clubs in the country and holds races every Saturday morning, with the distance depending on the time of year.

The Race

The Peter Pan Cup is only open to members of the Serpentine Swimming Club who have qualified during the season. The icy Serpentine waters are usually below 4C (40F) degrees in the winter, so swimmers must become acclimatised over a period of time.

The race on 25th December takes place on the south bank of the lake, close to the Serpentine Café. Spectators are welcome, but you're advised to wrap up warm!

 

New Year's Eve in London

Celebrate New Year's Eve in London. It's one of the capital's biggest party nights, with a host of festivities, fireworks and fun!

On New Year's Eve, London comes alive with celebrations, fireworks and parties in every corner of the capital. Be here at midnight to help see in the New Year with a bang!

Prepare to be dazzled by spectacular fireworks along the river Thames. For those who like to party, New Year's Eve in London offers you some of the best clubs, pubs, dining and special events in the world. 

And the fun doesn't stop with New Year's Eve; there's a host of exciting events in London on New Year's Day too, including the fantastic New Year's Day Parade. 


Christmas in London 2014

London acquires a special sparkle around Christmas time. The weather is frosty, the Christmas lights are twinkling, and shoppers fill the streets.

The centrepiece of London's festive spectacle is the giant Christmas tree – a gift to London from the people of Norway – which is beautifully adorned and set up in Trafalgar Square each year.

There's a wealth of family entertainment on offer over the festive season, from temporary ice skating rinks to Santa's grottos and pantomimes.

On Christmas Day, London's hundreds of Christian churches, chapels and cathedrals hold Christmas services, which everyone is welcome to attend.

Holidays and closures over Christmas

Christmas Day (25th December) and Boxing Day (26th December) are the one time of the year when London feels quiet.

There is no public transport on Christmas Day and a reduced service on Boxing Day. Most London attractions and shops, and many restaurants, are closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. 

 

ONGOING EVENTS

Rembrandt - The Final Years: until 8th January 2015

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN


Tube: Charing Cross / Leicester Square / Embankment / Piccadilly Circus / Covent Garden

Approximately 40 paintings, 20 drawings and 30 prints from Rembrandt's final creative period are featured in Rembrandt: The Final Years, a blockbuster exhibition at London's National Gallery staged in Autumn 2014.

Organised by the National Gallery in collaboration with the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, it's the first ever in-depth, focused exploration of Rembrandt's late works. Works from the final years of his life, from the 1650s until his death in 1669, show how Rembrandt showed no signs of complacency. In fact, his later works are among his best and it’s this period that defines our image of Rembrandt the man and the artist.

Wedding Dresses 1775 - 2014: until 15th March 2015

Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London SW7 2RL

Tube: South Kensington Station

The V&A turns its attentions, and not inconsiderable costume collection, to the subject of marriage, and in particular the evolution of the wedding dress over the past two hundred years. 

When did white become the norm? And how have notable fashion designers from Norman Hartnell and Charles James to the outré John Galliano, Christian Lacroix and Vivienne Westwood and classic Vera Wang put their own mark on this iconic form? 

Augmenting the V&A's own pieces will be some new acquisitions and loans such as Dita Von Teese's purple dress (worn when she married Marilyn Manson) and the outfits worn by Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale on their wedding day.

 

Soho Theatre

Bang in the creative heart of London, Soho Theatre is a major new writing theatre and a writers’ development organisation of national significance.  With a programme spanning theatre, comedy, cabaret and writers’ events and home to a lively bar, Soho Theatre is one of the most vibrant venues on London’s cultural scene.

For a full list of their shows visit www.sohotheatre.com/whats-on/

More

When it comes to theatre and comedy we have always found the pages of Time Out offer a broad and helpful insight. Take a look through and

London International Horse Show: 16th - 22nd December  
Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London W14 8UX
Tube: Kensington Olympia
London's annual equestrian fiesta graces Olympia once more for a full week of galloping, jumping and pinpoint dressage steps. There's something to please everybody at the London International Horse Show, with the UK's only World Cup dressage qualifier, spectacular show-jumping competitions, and some fantastic equestrian shopping opportunities. 
As well as the elegant steeds trotting around, there are usually some dog-related competitions too, including a canine agility contest. The grand finale is an enormous festive parade with hundreds of horses, costumes and music combining to a spectacular climax.
see if there is anything that takes your fancy.

 

Football has always been a huge draw for people visiting London and as the capital now has six teams (Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, QPR, Chelsea, West Ham & Fulham) in the premier league there is always a high profile match at weekends. Tickets can be tricky to get hold of for some games but it is always worth asking the question at reception.

Museums and galleries  are always a great way to spend an afternoon. Whether it’s wondering what the latest feature piece in the Tate Modern actually means or enjoying old (and we mean prehistoric!) classics like the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum, there will always be something to see.

If your request is something simpler – perhaps a recommendation for a good local bar or restaurant – then please do not hesitate to talk to our team. We work closely with many of the local businesses and will have a number of exclusive offers with some of our favourite local places that we can offer our guests soon!

 

If we can be of any assistance, no matter what the request, please just let us know: soho.info@thenadler.com

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