As the nights draw in and the temperature drops, fill your November diary with cosy dinners, winter walks and an action-packed cultural calendar. On the music front, the London Jazz Festival returns this month for its 31st year, and Drumsheds – the much anticipated new club from the team behind Printworks – is now open in Tottenham. The north London neighbourhood is having a moment, with a flurry of new restaurant and bar openings too. Looking to continue the night? Check out our guide to London’s pulsating music scene.
Without further ado, here are the best things to do in London this November.
The best art exhibitions and events in London
David Hockney: Drawing from Life at National Portrait Gallery
When: Until 21 January 2024
Where: St. Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE
How much: From 21 GBP
Drawing from Life first opened in the spring of 2020 for just 20 days before the pandemic forced the National Portrait Gallery to close. The gallery then underwent a multi-million point renovation, reopening in June 2023. Hockney’s exhibition returns for autumn, exploring the artist’s prolific body of work over the last six decades. It includes intimate portraits of sitters including his mother, Laura Hockney, fashion designer Celia Birtwell and former partner and curator Gregory Evans, as well as self-portraits and more than 30 new drawings – including a depiction of a rakish Harry Styles, which caused a flurry of media attention when it was released in August.
Georg Baselitz: Sculptures 2011-2015 at Serpentine Galleries
When: Until 7 January 2024
Where: Serpentine South Gallery, London, W2 3XA
How much: Free
German artist Georg Baselitz is perhaps best known for his expressionistic paintings of human forms, yet he has also worked in sculpture since 1979. Serpentine Galleries is currently showing a collection of Baselitz’s never before seen sculptures, composed from 2011 to 2015, and selected in collaboration with the artist. The sculptures are shown with loose, inky drawings which were composed at the same time by the artist, inviting the viewer to explore his creative process, and how works inform each other across mediums. Each wooden sculpture is made from a single tree trunk, which Baselitz carved using power saws, axes and chisels, and retain the timber’s texture. The exhibition is free to view and will remain on show until January.
Ainu Stories: Contemporary Lives by the Saru River at Japan House
When: 16 November – 21 April 2024
Where: 101-111 Kensington High Street, London W8 5SA
How much: Free
Located on Kensington High Street, Japan House acts as a Japanese cultural hub for Europe. Its latest exhibition focuses on contemporary Ainu, an indigenous community native to Northern Japan. Curated in collaboration with the people of Biratori – a town in Hokkaido – it explores Ainu culture through its distinctive language (which differs to Japanese), music, craft and photography. The exhibit is accompanied by an extensive events programme that is soon to be announced, including live emus-rimse (sword-dance) performances and cookery workshops.
The Missing Thread at Somerset House
When: Until 7 January 2024
Where: Strand, London WC2R 1LA
How much: From 12 GBP
A new autumn exhibition at Somerset House, The Missing Thread, shines a light on the stories of Black British fashion. Spanning the 1970s to the present day, it presents a powerful look at the legacy and evolution of Black style and design in visual culture, and the impact of Black creativity through music, photography and art. The exhibit includes archival work by the late Joe Casely-Hayford and original commissions by contemporary Black designers, including Nicholas Daley, Bianca Saunders and Saul Nash.
Hiroshi Sugimoto at Hayward Gallery
When: Until 11 January 2024
Where: Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX
How much: 18 GBP
Hayward Gallery presents a retrospective this October dedicated to Japanese photographer and architect Hiroshi Sugimoto. The exhibition showcases photographs of historic theatres, the natural world and portraiture, alongside lesser-known works from his expansive oeuvre. Join Hiroshi Sugimoto on 11 October for an evening of conversation with curator Ralph Rugoff.
Gucci Cosmos at 180 Studios
When: Until 31 December
Where: 180 Strand, Temple, London WC2R 1EA
How much: 18 GBP
First unveiled in Shanghai, Gucci Cosmos curates noteworthy designs from the luxury brand’s extensive archives, charting Gucci’s rise from a Florence-based purveyor of leather luggage to a global fashion giant. It arrives in London this October, with immersive set design by British artist Es Devlin, including newly developed elements that pay tribute to the city.
Marina Abramović at the Royal Academy
When: Until 10 December
Where: Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD
How much: Tickets from 25.50 GBP
Iconic performance art pioneer Marina Abramović is presenting key moments from her career in this new major exhibition at the Royal Academy, including sculpture, video, installation and performance. Works including The Artist is Present will be re-staged with archive footage, while others will be reperformed by a new generation of performance artists trained in Abramović’s method. Different works will be reperformed throughout the run of the show, so a second visit will result in an entirely new experience. Consult the performance schedule at the Royal Academy’s website for full information.
Capturing the Moment at Tate Modern
When: Until 28 January 2024
Where: Bankside, London SE1 9TG
How much: 20 GBP
Tate Modern’s Capturing the Moment explores how photography changed the course of painting by studying some of the most iconic artworks in both mediums, from the expressive paintings of Pablo Picasso and Paula Rego, to the striking seascape photographs by Hiroshi Sugimoto. Many works explore how the mediums’ boundaries have been blurred, including Pauline Boty’s pop paintings, and the photorealist works of Gerhard Richter.
Music events and happenings in London
EFG London Jazz Festival
When: 10-19 November
Where: Across London
How much: Varies
November sees London’s annual jazz festival return to the concert halls and clubs of the city for its 31st iteration. Most of the action takes place around the Southbank Centre, but there’s gigs in key spots like Ronnie Scott’s and the Jazz Cafe, and some other more unexpected places too. Some of the big names this year are keyboard prodigy Cory Henry, playing at Here at Outernet; Bill Laurance and Michael League (both Snarky Puppy bandmates of Henry’s) at Southbank Centre, and Joshua Redman Group at The Barbican. Some other smaller gigs that are not to be missed include trumpeter and composer Yazz Ahmed at King’s Place, and Melbourne jazz house bassist Horatio Luna at Fox and Firkin in Lewisham.
Where: 6 Glover Drive, London, N18 3HF
How much: Tickets from 29.50 GBP
The team behind the now closed club Printworks has transformed a former IKEA warehouse in Tottenham into an enormous club. Drumsheds is made up of three distinct venues: Z, a 1000-cap venue; Y, a longer 5000-cap space, and X, the main warehouse space. With a capacity of 15,000 people alone, X is one of the largest clubs in Europe, and stretches 100 metres in every direction. The rooms are kitted out with top quality sound systems, digital screens and dynamic lighting rigs and projections. Upcoming shows are put on in partnership with Duppy Share rum and include a curation of DJs by Bicep; Skepta; and Chase & Status in the new year. Many of the shows have already sold out, so book your tickets now.
Where: 39b Markfield Road, London N15 4QA
How much: Cocktails from 9.5 GBP
DJs Bradley Zero and Nathanael Williams, the duo behind Peckham’s Jumbi bar, have opened a new hi-fi music bar in Tottenham called Moko. The bar serves a food menu inspired by the African-Caribbean diaspora during the day, and turns up the tunes and pours cocktails at night. There’s a booth designed by Don Heston and Lucas Edwards, and the bar has a large vinyl library and quality audio equipment from Friendly Pressure. Check out the events programme to see who’s playing.
Food and drink happenings in London
Bistro Freddie, Shoreditch
Where: 74 Luke Street, London, EC2A 4PY
How much: 14-28.5 GBP for mains
The team behind Spitalfields-based natural wine bar Crispin has opened Bistro Freddie, a new restaurant in Shoreditch (which also joins Bar Crispin in Soho). One of London’s buzziest new openings, the menu is overseen by head chef Anna Søgaard, who previously worked at Erst in Manchester, and combines traditional French dishes with an impressive French wine list. The 45-cover restaurant has an energetic atmosphere with an open kitchen and convivial bar and table seating. Order the rabbit, bacon and apple cider pie to share, followed by the marmalade steamed pudding.
Bar Levan, Peckham
When: Opening 23 November
Where: Unit 5, 12-16, Blenheim Grove, London, SE15 4QL
How much: TBC
European small plates specialist Levan, considered one of the best restaurants in Peckham, is adding to its local offering by opening the 34-seat Bar Levan next door, a wine bar with a similar ethos to their original restaurant, and a focus on organic and biodynamic wines. The menu is created by the Levan kitchen team and features plenty of playful snacks, including rillettes, charcuterie, cheese, mussels on crisps and an indulgent Croque Monsieur – all inspired by the owner’s favourite wine bars in Paris. Like the restaurant, music is at the heart of the offering – the owner was formally a record label owner – and a discerning vinyl soundtrack will accompany evening sittings.
Where: 120a W Green Road, South Tottenham, London, N15 5AA
How much: Sharing plates 5-22 GBP
Neighbourhood small plates restaurant and wine bar Pasero, which opened in October 2022, is celebrating the appointment of a new head chef this month with Angelos Angelides, who previously worked at Brat, Honey & Co and Bao, and will take the reins until the end of the year. His European cooking is inspired by his Cypriot and Serbian heritage. The menu changes weekly, and recent dishes have included lamb tartare, chestnut and pumpkin wontons, and marinated mackerel and caper stems.
Where: 3 Great Titchfield Street, London W1W 8AX
How much: 65 GBP for set dinner; 35 GBP for set lunch
Following the success of her first restaurant in Brixton Village, Adejoké Bakare has sized up with a new 50-cover location in London’s Fitzrovia. The menu at Chishuru continues to pay homage to the heat and flavours of Joké’s West African heritage, with nostalgic dishes are reminiscent of her Nigerian upbringing. Try Sinasir rice cake with white and brown crab and squash puree, or egusi, comprising cabbage stuffed with caramelised shallots, utazi leaf, and a wild watermelon seed sauce. Cocktails feature West African herbs, such as the house-pickled okra martini, and the considered wine list has been curated to complement the menu’s flavour and spice. The restaurant itself is an aesthetic delight, with rough plastered walls, pigmented cement and textiles by British-Nigerian designer Eva Sonaike.
Supa Ya izakaya rebrand
Where: 191 Rye Lane, London, SE15 4TP
How much: Plates from 6 GBP
Dalston’s delightfully irreverent ramen restaurant Supa Ya Ramen opened its second location in Peckham in 2022, and has announced its rebranding as a Japanese izakaya-style small plates bar. Although the focus contrasts with their Dalston ramen spot, noodles are still present in the menu here in the form of brothless ramen dishes. The same fun fusion twists can be found in the dishes: one bowl takes a decidedly Italian slant with burrata, slow roasted tomatoes and basil, while another is like a delicious deconstructed burger assembled over mazesoba, with pulled shortrib, pickled cucumber, crispy hash browns covered in kewpie mayo, and sweet caramelised onions. The Japanese flavours extend to the cocktail menu too, where a twist on an old fashioned comes served with tiny flakes of aromatic nori. For Japanese flavours with a focus on fun and informality, you can’t beat Supa Ya.
Brunswick House Jazz in the Cellars
When: Until 30 November
Where: 30 Wandsworth Road, London, SW8 2LG
How much: Cocktails from 11 GBP
Chef Jackson Boxer’s Brunswick House – a restaurant and bar with rooms, housed in a Georgian mansion in Vauxhall – is relaunching its weekly music night, Jazz in the Cellars, this September, in partnership with Woodford Reserve. The series begins on Tuesday 5 September, and will run until the end of November. The music is led by local jazz musician Mark Kavuma, who has more than a decade of experience playing trumpet and keys in the London jazz scene. Expect a mix of jazz, soul, blues and gospel, accompanied by classic cocktails, and a weekly-changing wine menu.
Continue your cultural tour of London with our insider guide to the city’s greatest galleries and museums.