What's new in London in February
This February, fall in love with London's culture at blockbuster exhibitions, such as the Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition launching at the V&A, take your nearest and dearest out for a delicious meal at a newly-opened restaurant (don't forget to share a pic!) or enjoy one of London's hottest new theatre productions. Read on to see our top picks.
London & Partners
Cancer Research UK Winter Run
Central London, 3 February 2019
The Cancer Research UK London Winter Run is a 10k challenge through the heart of the city, passing world famous landmarks and instantly recognisable areas inhabited by winter creatures. Since the first event in 2015 over 65,000 people have taken part, raising over £2,000,000 for Cancer Research UK and other good causes.
Hendrix Flat Friday Late
Hendrix Flat, 8 February 2019
Come and help celebrate the three-year anniversary of the opening of the Hendrix Flat with a party dedicated to Jimi's legendary headline gigs at the Royal Albert Hall in 1969. Expect live music, DJs, drinks, film projections and exclusive access to parts of the house usually closed to the public, including the stairs that Hendrix would have walked up to his third-floor flat and the guest room where George Harrison famously stayed.
Orchids Festival: Colombia
Kew Gardens, 9 February – 10 March 2019
Colombia's unparalleled biodiversity and vibrant culture is the inspiration for Kew's 24th annual Orchids Festival. Stepping into the Princess of Wales Conservatory, visitors will find themselves transported to an entrancing paradise evoking the sights, smells and sounds of Colombia. Throughout the festival, there will be an exciting programme of weekend and evening events and activities featuring Colombian music, dance and cuisine, as well as a series of engaging talks from Kew's orchid experts.
Chinese New Year in London
London's West End, 10 February 2019
In 2019, Chinese New Year falls on 5 February and will celebrate the Year of the Pig. The main Chinese New Year events will take place in London's Chinatown, West End and Trafalgar Square on 10 February, complete with the famous colourful parade and lion and dragon dances. The celebrations culminate in a spectacular Chinese New Year fireworks display.
The London Classic Car Show
ExCeL London, 14 – 17 February 2019
The London Classic Car Show is the must-attend event for any classic car owner, collector, expert or enthusiast. Bringing together an international celebration of the very best dealers, manufacturers, car clubs and products it's the perfect day for all! Set in London's premier events venue, one of the show's most exciting features is an indoor driving runway where classic cars are fired up and driven.
National Maritime Museum, 16 – 24 February 2019
Celebrate LGBT month at the museum with workshops exploring LGBT lives and identities across the world. This includes an evening of talks celebrating and reflecting on LGBTQ lives throughout history, 'OUTing the past' (9 February), an evening of incredible drag performances and immersive experiences to put the 'queen' into Queen's House (16 February) and 'HMS Rainbow' day (19 February) when you can join together to create one big rainbow flag made up of hundreds of origami boats.
Cutty Sark 150
Cutty Sark, celebrations start in February and continue throughout the year 2019
One of the world's most famous ships, the last surviving tea clipper and the fastest and greatest of her time will be marking her 150th anniversary in 2019. To celebrate this landmark occasion, Cutty Sark will be hosting a range of special events throughout the year, including concerts, theatre and poetry performances relating to her impressive career, her Victorian maritime heritage and historic connections to China, Australia and the rest of the world.
Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams
V&A, 2 February – 14 July 2019
This is the largest and most comprehensive exhibition ever staged in the UK on the House of Dior. Spanning from 1947 to the present day, the exhibition traces the history and impact of one of the 20th century's most influential couturiers, and the artistic directors who have succeeded him. Ensembles will be shown alongside accessories, fashion photography, film, perfume, make-up, illustrations, magazines, and Christian Dior's personal possessions to explore the legacy of the couturier.
Andy Warhol Polaroid Pictures
Bastian gallery, 2 February – 13 April 2019
The inaugural exhibition will include a series of over 60 portrait and self-portrait Polaroid photographs by Andy Warhol - some of which are exhibited for the first time - depicting artists, actors, politicians and friends of his eccentric Factory entourage. The exhibition offers an intimate portrayal of New York in the 1970s and 80s during the establishment of a new visual culture. Positioning Warhol as both subject and spectator, the series highlights the artist's prolific capacity as a chronicler of his time.
Tracey Emin: A Fortnight of Tears
White Cube Bermondsey, 6 February – 7 April 2019
A solo exhibition by artist Tracey Emin to chronicle recent developments in her practice. This significant exhibition spans the entire gallery and brings together new paintings, photography, large-scale bronze sculptures and film, all stemming from the artist's deeply personal memories and emotions ranging from loss, grief, longing and spiritual love.
Nelson Mandela: The Official Exhibition
Leake Street Waterloo, 8 February – 2 June 2019
This is a major new global exhibition that explores the life of the world's most famous freedom fighter and political leader. His epic story is told in a series of experiential galleries. With exclusive stories from Madiba himself, his family and those that knew him best, visitors will see Nelson Mandela in a new light.
Diane Arbus: In the Beginning
Hayward Gallery, 13 February – 6 May 2019
This exhibition explores the first seven years of photographer Diane Arbus' career, from 1956 to 1962. Her photographs of children and eccentrics, couples and circus performers, female impersonators and pedestrians are among the most intimate, surprising and haunting works of the 20th century. This exhibition is the first solo show of Arbus' work in the UK for 12 years. Organised by the Metropolitan Museum of Art it features more than 100 photography.
Elizabethan Treasures: Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver
National Portrait Gallery, 21 February – 19 May 2019
The first major exhibition on Tudor and Jacobean portrait miniatures in the UK for over 35 years, Elizabethan Treasures: Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver will bring together key works from the National Portrait Gallery and major loans from public and private collections to showcase the careers of the most skilled artists of the period, Nicholas Hilliard (1547? – 1619) and Isaac Oliver (c.1565 – 1617).
Science Gallery London, 28 February – 12 May 2019
This exhibition will question the nature of the human body and the science, ethics and technology that enable its repair or alteration. It will explore the latest research into the engineering of body parts at a cellular, tissue, organ or limb level, while investigating whether 'spare parts' can exist outside of the biological body to be shared or exchanged in the future. Artists featured include Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr, John A. Douglas and Marianne Cloutier.
Entertainment & Theatre
The Perfect Date Night at...
Southbank Centre, February 2019
February at Southbank Centre is jam-packed with gigs and contemporary music, some of which would make the perfect date-night near this year's V-Day. On 10 February, treat your loved one to Gershwin Reimagined by Troy Miller, with timeless classics such as 'Embraceable you', 'Summertime' and 'I got Rhythm' performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra and double Mercury award-nominated Laura Mvula. Yann Tiersen, who composed the score for Amelie will also be presenting his new album in two UK exclusive dates in the Royal Festival Hall (19, 20 February).
All About Eve
Noël Coward Theatre, 2 February – 11 May 2019
Lifting the curtain on a world of jealousy and ambition, this new production, from one of the world's most innovative theatre directors, asks why our fascination with celebrity, youth and identity never seems to get old.
Wyndham's Theatre, 5 February – 27 April 2019
David Suchet and Brendan Coyle are set to star in the West End transfer of Jonathan Church's 50th anniversary production of Arthur Miller's play. Two brothers, Victor and Walter Franz, one a New York cop nearing retirement, the other a successful surgeon, meet for the first time in sixteen years to sell their family furniture stored in the attic of a condemned New York brownstone. Revelation follows stunning revelation as each brother realises the price they have paid for heart-breaking decisions made decades earlier.
National Theatre, 9 February – 30 April 2019
A ferocious new version of Molière's comic masterpiece. Orgon is the man who has everything. Money, power, a beautiful home and family. But lately he's been questioning the point of it all. When he invites the irresistible Tartuffe into his seemingly perfect household, he unleashes a whirlwind of deception and seduction that threatens everything.
Only Fools and Horses
Theatre Royal Haymarket, 9 February – 6 July 2019
The landmark, British television series Only Fools and Horses, written by the late John Sullivan, undoubtedly holds a special place in many hearts. Now John's son Jim Sullivan has teamed up with comedy giant Paul Whitehouse to write and produce a script and score to honour his father's legacy; recreating the iconic series into a brand-new, home-grown British Musical spectacular. Lovely Jubbly!
The Girl on the Train
Richmond Theatre, 11 – 17 February 2019
Adapted from Paula Hawkin's novel – an international phenomenon– this gripping new play will keep you guessing until the final moment. Rachel Watson longs for a different life. Her only escape is the perfect couple she watches through the train window every day, happy and in love. Or so it appears. When Rachel learns that the woman she's been secretly watching has suddenly disappeared, she finds herself as a witness and even a suspect in a thrilling mystery.
Beethoven Moonlight Sonata by Candlelight
St Martin-in-the-Fields, 14 February 2019
This Valentine's Day, enjoy an evening of total romance and serenity in the beautiful surroundings of St Martin-in-the-Fields, a gorgeous church sitting in the corner of the famous Trafalgar Square. The evening will be filled with some of the most loved works for piano, performed by Aleksei Demchenko.
National Theatre, 14 February – 26 March 2019
After a sold-out run, Follies, winner of the Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival, returns in 2019. New York, 1971. There's a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves.
Adelphi Theatre, February 2019
The Tony Award-nominated smash hit musical Waitress will have its official UK premiere in the West End, with music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles. Currently playing its third year on Broadway, the show will bring with it an all-female lead creative team – a West End musical first. Katharine McPhee joins the cast to play Jenna, a waitress and expert pie-maker who dreams of a way out of her small town and rocky marriage, when a baking contest in a nearby county shows her a chance at a fresh start, she must find the courage to seize it.
Vintry & Mercer
The City of London, 4 February 2019
Nestled in the heart of London along a narrow street, you'll find the capital's newest luxury boutique hotel. The 92 bespoke rooms and suites draw interior inspiration from the historic trading guilds of the City of London and create a unique hideaway in the bustling borough. The Vintry Kitchen can be found downstairs where you can sample delicious Asian tapas before heading to the terrace for a tipple overlooking iconic London sights like St Paul's Cathedral and The Shard.
Food & Drink
Valentine's Day Special Menu
Frenchie Covent Garden, 14 February 2019
Greg Marchand's modern French brasserie based on Henrietta Street, with its elegant and intimate setting, lends itself perfectly to the romance of Valentine's Day. With a stunning 5-course tasting menu created for the evening, guests will find the perfect background for a night a deux. This year Frenchie have created their indulgent dessert; baked Alaska with chocolate, mint and chartreuse, using Guittard chocolate, making this dish the star of the Frenchie show.
'Say I Do this Valentine's Day'
St Pancras Champagne Bar, until 31 December 2019
As the last stop before a romantic trip to Paris and with the longest Champagne bar in Europe, this is fast becoming the ideal place to propose. Adding to the romance, it's just below the famous 30ft lovers statue 'The Meeting Place' and Tracey Emin's evocative artwork in bright pink neon: 'I want my time with you'. Searcys will give you a helping hand in the proposal department with a new edible engagement ring box to present to your loved one as part of an engagement package.
Marylebone, February 2019
This new restaurant from acclaimed Italian chef Carlo Scotto, previously Head Chef at Babbo in Mayfair, will be a two-tiered affair with a casual ground floor space and then a first-floor fine dining experience with an exquisite 10 course tasting menu.
Mayfair, February 2019
Close your eyes and picture Ibiza – the sun, the cocktails, the beach and the restaurants. The good news is, you don't have to wait until the summer to get there! IT Ibiza is a dining & social experience, offering food, 'aperitivo' and world class DJs. Set in a former art gallery in the heart of Mayfair and it will also double up as a gallery for emerging artists. In charge of the menu is renowned chef Gennaro Esposito. Brunch will be served all day on Sunday for those who want to continue the party.
Dalston, February 2019
Dalston is known for its alternative scene, so it's no surprise that the unusual fusion of Japanese and Italian food and a no-phone rule will be the latest addition to its culinary offering. Angelina will combine the two cuisines, forming a menu that celebrates regional and seasonal dishes from the two countries. It will also host a hidden drinking den called Golden Gal, inspired by Tokyo's famous Shinjuku district.
Centre Point, February 2019
If you've got a soft spot for the good old days, head to VIVI where you can enjoy retro food in iconic surroundings. VIVI will offer a 'nostalgia' themed menu, all served up in a digital art-strewn space. Expect old-school classics like chicken kievs with fries, jelly and custard and Victoria sponge. The surrounding space will embody the nostalgia theme, with lights designed to mimic the children's toy 'PlayPlax' and there will also be a Liquid Lounge for smoothies, power shakes and superfood shots as well as the VIVI Gallery for an epic view.