What’s new Autumn/Winter

As the weather turns colder, London City Island’s social scene is hotting up. Here’s what’s happening in the local area and beyond this season

Did you know that the English National Ballet is based at London City Island? Having moved there in 2019 from South Kensington, the 93,000-square foot state-of-the-art building holds regular events, with its impressive exhibition space, café and views into the rehearsal studios. Show your support by snapping up a ticket to its upcoming production of Swan Lake, running from 12-22 January 2023 at the London Coliseum (it’s also heading to Liverpool and Manchester). And if you leave feeling inspired, dip (or point) your toe into its online training classes, Ballet Active, which are designed to help you nail your demi-plié in your own living room.

English National Ballet dancers in Swan Lake ©Laurent Liotardo

October is Black History Month which means throughout the month you’ll find Canary Wharf’s very own Poet’s Corner – in collaboration with Sxwks Collective – taking place on the Crossrail Place Roof Garden. With poems and stories about the Black experience shared by talented British artists, it’s free to join and happening on 8, 15, 19 and 22 October at 1pm (performances last around 30 minutes). And don’t miss the debut UK solo show of Nigerian artist Jacqueline Suowari, who is showing her brand-new exhibition, The Way They See Us, at our very own London Lighthouse Gallery & Studio until the end of the month.

Another must-see is prestigious Prague-born Slovak artist Maria Bartuszová’s new exhibition at the Tate Modern. With abstract plaster sculptures dating from the 1960s to the 1980s, enjoy perusing her distinctive creations – described as curiously unfinished and transitory in nature – until 16 April.

Those craving a more high-octane experience should hot-foot it to the 02 to catch Pulitzer Prize and Grammy-award winner Kendrick Lamar’s The Big Steppers Tour, which makes a brief London appearance for three nights from 7-9 November as he brings his celebrated Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers album to the stage.


GET HERE: Take the Jubilee line westbound to Waterloo and the Bakerloo line northbound to Charing Cross for the London Coliseum (it’s a five-minute walk from there). Crossrail Place Roof Garden is nearby on foot, or hop on the bus at Leamouth/Orchard Place for 10 minutes. Take the Jubilee line westbound to London Bridge for the Tate Modern (it’s a 10-minute walk). For the 02, why not soak in some views on the London Cable Car Emirates Air Line? Take the DLR to Royal Victoria and hop on at Emirates Air Line Royal Docks, riding all the way to Greenwich Peninsula.

Fairgame at Canary Wharf

Soda & Friends is taking part in London Cocktail Week. Photo Milly Fletcher

For those in the mood for something sinister in the run up to 31 October, popular local haunt the Lockdown Room is hosting a “LockDawn of the Dead Halloween party” on 29 October. Featuring a ghoulish DJ set, zombie-themed drinks and a heavy emphasis on fancy dress (you have been warned…), you’re in for a frightfully good time.

Macabre costumes and imitation blood not your thing? This October sees the return of London Cocktail Week, which gives Londoners the chance to explore the very best of the city’s cocktail scene (a wristband gives you £7 signature cocktails in 300 of the best bars in London). And in even better news, London City Island bar Soda & Friends is taking part – pick from its delectable Landmark, High Time or Terroir cocktails.

If you’re feeling nostalgic for days gone by, Fairgame is Canary Wharf’s brand new immersive fairground experience for grown-ups. Set in an impressive 20,000-square foot venue conjured up by interior designer Patrick McKinney, expect classic fairground and arcade games with a modern twist. Plus, some of London’s very best street food is stationed there too. From Burger & Beyond to Soho favourite Rudy’s Pizza Napoletana and Dos Mas Tacos, you won’t leave hungry. Don’t forget to pull up to Bumper Bar for London-brewed craft beer, artisanal spirits and delicious cocktails, finishing up with prosecco candyfloss and Hackney Gelato ice-cream from Candy Stand.


GET HERE: Canary Wharf is just a 30-minute walk from London City Island if you’re feeling sprightly. If not, hop on the Jubilee line westbound from Canning Town – it’s just a four-minute journey.

“Local haunt the Lockdown Room is hosting a LockDawn of the Dead Halloween party and you’re in for a frightfully good time.”

It just wouldn’t be winter in London without a trip to the ice rink and this year, Canary Wharf has its own, held in Canada Square Park and running from 22 October through to February. Magically lit up with more than 1,000 twinkling fairy lights, it’s all under cover so rain needn’t stop play (and there’s a handily-located Off Piste Bar rink-side for spectators, too).

Christmas at Kew at Kew Gardens is synonymous with the festive season and for good reason. Running from 16 November to 8 January, the spectacular botanical location is once again packed full of cheer for families, including mesmerising illuminations, tasty street food and even an appearance from Father Christmas himself.


GET HERE: For Kew Gardens, take the Jubilee line westbound from Canning Town, changing at Westminster for the District line to Kew Gardens (or take the Jubilee line to West Hampstead and get the overground from there). For Canary Wharf, the Jubilee line westbound from Canning Town is impressively quick, or enjoy a leisurely stroll if the weather’s nice.



Christmas at Kew 2021 ©RBG Kew