Tower of London

Tower of London Food Festival is in the Tower of London’s dry moat from 12 to 15 September 2019. Packed with the tastiest street food stalls and artisan food producers, you can enjoy live cookery demos in The Kitchen, plus family fun and live music. Entry is included in palace admission.

Royal Academy

From 21 September 2019, the Royal Academy of Arts has a solo exhibition of the internationally acclaimed British sculptor Antony Gormley. The most significant exhibition of his work in the UK for over a decade, it brings together both existing and specially conceived new works for the occasion, from drawings and sculptures to experiential environments.

Gormley sees the exhibition as a ‘test site’; engaging the senses, employing scale, darkness and light, and using elemental, organic and industrial materials across all 13 rooms in the Main Galleries. The works confront the Beaux-Arts architecture, creating a series of distinct encounters that come together as a collective experience. It is a summation of Gormley’s enduring concern with the dark space of the body and the body’s relation to its surroundings: the body as space and the body in space.

This exhibition follows in the Royal Academy’s tradition of celebrating its Royal Academicians, continuing a strand of programming that has showcased some of the most important living artists including David Hockney and Anselm Kiefer.

Science Gallery London

Anxiety is typically characterised as fear of an anticipated or non-tangible threat. It can manifest as a feeling of unease, sometimes accompanied by physical discomfort such as muscular tension, shortness of breath or dizziness. And Anxiety is the subject of the next exhibition at the Science Gallery London.

Opening on 19 September 2019, it brings together artists and scientists to explore notions of anxiety in contemporary society, asking what causes anxiety and questioning how anxiety increasingly affects us all. The exhibition and events programme feature research from King’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN) alongside new and existing artworks from international artists.

The season will question: What is the emotional role of anxiety in society? What role does genetics play in making some people more prone to anxiety than others? What are the anxiety-provoking issues in contemporary society? Is the experience of anxiety influenced by social factors, economics, class, gender or ethnicity? Is anxiety used as a political tool? Can anxious states of being fuel positive action?

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

The O2

First came the musical. Then the movies. And now Mamma Mia! The Party opens on 19 September, previewing from 29 August 2019.

This new immersive theatrical and dining experience is in a specially-adapted venue within The O2. It is set in a taverna on the island of Skopelos; sitting around tables in the taverna’s courtyard complete with a fountain, olive trees and bougainvillaea. Nikos and his wife Kate run the restaurant together with their family and friends. Told through dialogue and ABBA songs, a warm, romantic and funny story evolves and unfolds during the evening and takes place around the guests as they sit at their tables enjoying a delicious Greek meal. The evening ends with the main floor transforming into a 1970s disco, where audience members are welcome to stay and sing and dance to ABBA.

Mamma Mia! The Party has music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus (some songs with Stig Anderson), and a story by Calle Norlén, Roine Söderlundh and Björn Ulvaeus, adapted for the UK by writer, comedian and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig.


Zandra Rhodes: Fifty Years of Fabulous opens at the Fashion and Textile Museum on Bermondsey Street on 27 September 2019. This retrospective highlights 100 key looks, as well as 50 original textiles, celebrating five decades of the distinguished career of a British design legend.

The acclaimed British designer Dame Zandra Rhodes DBE founded her eponymous fashion house in 1969 with a small collection. Her prints were Pop Art-infused commentaries on the world of Sixties Britain; the designer felt that there was inherent structure within the pattern that could work with and enhance the shape and construction of a dress. With this concept as a starting point and with her distinctive approach to cut and form, the house of Zandra Rhodes soon became one of the most recognisable labels in London.

Totally Thames

Totally Thames is back from 1 to 30 September 2019 for a month-long season of arts, cultural and river events throughout the 42-mile stretch of the Thames in London. Expect boat parties, walking tours, contemporary installations, photo exhibitions, concerts and more. And all to celebrate London’s arterial river.

Highlights include The Ship of Tolerance at the Millennium Bridge – a 60-foot long, hand-crafted wooden ship art installation, and Mid-River Milonga – the chance to tango down the Thames on the Dixie Queen.

Image by Johannes Plenio from Pixabay

BBC Proms in the Park

The BBC Proms is billed as the world’s greatest classical music festival. The finale of the two-month festival is an open-air concert in Hyde Park. BBC Proms in the Park is on Saturday 14 September 2019 and it has a great line-up. The headliner is Barry Manilow with a catalogue of instantly-recognisable hits.

There’s also Chrissie Hynde (of The Pretenders), English-Italian singer-songwriter Jack Savoretti, Lighthouse Family with some great singalong numbers and Radio 2 favourite Gabrielle.

Science Museum

Over in South Kensington, the Science Museum has a new gallery opening this month. Free to visit, Science City 1550–1800: The Linbury Gallery explores how London’s scientists and artisans transformed our understanding of the world in that period.

The gallery takes visitors on a 250-year journey through London as the city became a globally-important hub of trade, exploration and scientific enquiry. Opening on 12 September 2019, find out how London’s evolution into a world city during this time facilitated the ground-breaking work of artisans designing precise scientific instruments and scholars placing empirical evidence at the heart of discovery.

Images L-R: Dutch terrestrial globe, 1599, made by Willem Janszoon Blaeu © Science Museum Group; Plate from book Micrographia, by Robert Hooke, 1665 © Science Museum Group; Newton’s reflecting telescope, 1671 © courtesy of the Royal Society collections, 2019

Goldsmiths’ Fair

On from 24 September to 6 October 2019, Goldsmiths’ Fair showcases the best of fine jewellery and contemporary silver. There’s work on display by emerging designers, recent graduates and established makers.

Goldsmiths’ Company is one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of the City of London that received a Royal Charter in 1327. Goldsmiths Fair is held at Goldsmiths’ Hall and features 136 exceptional, independent designer-makers from across the UK. The curated programme of talks, exhibitions and tours celebrate both design innovation and outstanding craftsmanship.

Bridge Theatre

Two Ladies is a new play by Irish playwright Nancy Harris, directed by Nicholas Hytner. This production runs for six weeks from 14 September with Zoë Wanamaker and Zrinka Cvitešić playing Hélène and Sophia respectively.

This is award-winning stage and screen actor Zoë Wanamaker’s debut at the Bridge Theatre. Zrinka Cvitešić returns to the London stage after her Olivier award-winning performance in Once.

As their husbands clash over an international crisis, the first ladies of France and America find themselves alone together in a side room. Friends, or enemies? When the stakes are so high, can they trust each other? Can they trust their husbands?

Even More

If you would like even more ideas for this month, do have a look at last month’s recommendations as many are still valid for September too.


The next Tate Modern Hyundai Commission is unveiled in the Turbine Hall on 2 October 2019. The artist with the honour of creating a site-specific work is Kara Walker. She is renowned for her candid explorations of race, gender, sexuality and violence, from drawings, prints, murals, shadow puppets and projections to large-scale sculptural installations.

Also at Tate Modern next month, a major exhibition of the work of visionary Korean artist Nam June Paik opens on 17 October 2019. Renowned for his pioneering use of emerging technologies, Paik’s innovative yet playfully entertaining work remains an inspiration for artists, musicians and performers across the globe.

The Royal Academy has Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits from 27 October 2019. This is the first exhibition to focus on the celebrated artist’s visceral and unflinching self-portraits. Executed over almost seven decades on canvas and paper, the exhibition will bring together around 50 works that chart Freud’s (1922-2011) artistic development.

And at the Hayward Gallery at Southbank Centre, there is a major retrospective exhibition of the work of Bridget Riley from 23 October 2019. Spanning 70 years of the artist’s career, it will be the largest exhibition of her work in the UK for 16 years.


Do check out the latest offers as London Bridge Hotel has weekend rates from as low as £99. And when you can’t be at the hotel, you can try making the Quarter Bar’s cocktails with these recipes.

Laura Porter writes and contributes to many other publications while maintaining an impressive afternoon tea addiction. You can find Laura on Twitter as @AboutLondon, on Instagram as @AboutLondon and on Facebook as @AboutLondonLaura.

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