When the cold starts settling into the city, it is important to focus on all the incredible things happening in London to remind yourself what a great city it is no matter the season. Thankfully, that is pretty easy to do when you consider how many events there are to look forward to in November, which are only compounded when you book into Montcalm hotels and enjoy the luxury of 5 star hotels in London.
Alexandra Palace Firework Festival
Without delving into a full history lesson, Bonfire Night is the day that the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 was foiled and Guy Fawkes failed to assassinate King James. So, every year, usually around 5 November, the day Guy Fawkes was captured, the UK and other countries celebrate Guy Fawkes Night, or Bonfire Night. London takes it the extra mile, though, with some of the most fabulous celebrations happening throughout the open green spaces in the city.
The most noteworthy Bonfire Night event to attend this year is the Alexandra Palace Firework Festival. The event has paired up with The Luna Cinema to screen classic films in the stunning Victoria theatre, as well as a German Bier Festival, where, if you missed Oktoberfest this year, you can get a taste for Bavarian food, beer and dancing. There are family areas, awe-inspiring fireworks displays and a spectacular view of London’s city skyline.
ABA Chelsea Rare Book Fair
For the 29th year in a row, Chelsea Old Town Hall (not far from Montcalm hotels in Paddington) will play host to the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (ABA) Chelsea Rare Book Fair – a paradise for any book lovers visiting London this November. The fair is a culmination of more than 80 exhibitors who will display something for every fancy, from rare books and first editions to maps and manuscripts. On Friday, it takes place from 2pm – 7pm and on Saturday it takes place from 11am – 5pm. This is not just an event for seasoned collectors – though it may seem daunting at first, just a passion for books and reading is enough to visit, chat to some experts and explore the fair. For beginners hoping to hone in on their potential for collecting, though, there are guided tours available, as well as book signings and talks.
Everyone has heard of or even walked past an Oxfam on their local London high street. This music festival takes place every year to raise money for Oxfam charities. Taking place in a number of live music venues across Clapham, fighting poverty one sick beat and fist pump at a time. Locations include the much-loved gastropub, The Abbeville, as well as cocktail bar with street food menu, Aquum, and Infernos Nightclub, known for its 1980s ethos and playlist.
Though a holiday most commonly celebrated in the USA, London has several places to enjoy this seasonal event. Though the day centres around a handful of traditions and sentimentalities, a big part of the day is the meal, which is symbolic of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey’s Bread Street Kitchen in St Paul’s is serving up a set menu which includes modern approaches to American classics, like a confit turkey leg and pumpkin pie with cinnamon ice cream.
London’s well-loved Biscuiteers School of Icing in Notting Hill is hosting a Thanksgiving event in which attendees can learn the skill of icing whilst keeping to an Autumnal, Thanksgiving theme. So, you can expect to be icing your very own pumpkin or pecan nut.
Just off Oxford Street, you will find Nordic Bar, who are kicking off the Thanksgiving festivities with a kick-off. A big part of the Thanksgiving calendar is the Thanksgiving NFL match, which Nordic Bar will be screening for the occasion. The games will be screened at 5.30 and 9.30, but the party will go on far later.
Natural History Museum Ice Rink
19 October 2019 – 12 January 2020
In tribute to the festive season, an ice rink is erected annually outside the Natural History Museum, which runs throughout November and is walk-able from 5 star hotels in West London.
In fact, November is a pretty good time to make the most of this yuletide feature, as from December onwards, London is a very busy place to be. Surrounded by fairy lights, the smell of roasting nuts and the prospect of mulled wine when you are finished makes the start of the winter season one to relish rather than dread. If you would like to be nestled in the glittery snow globe, alongside the Natural History Museum’s Waterhouse building, but are more of a Bambi on the ice, then you can watch from the Café Bar and viewing platform and get the feel without the bruises.
Death of a Salesman
24 Oct 2019 4 Jan 2020
You can’t visit London without visiting the theatre district: The West End. Whether it is a West End restaurant or bar experience you are after, a musical or a dramatic production, it simply counts as unmissable and that’s all there is to it. While there are all the classics to see, with productions like Wicked and The Lion King always available to watch, a truly culturally enriching experience is to see sell-out dramatic theatre that is on a short run – meaning that it likely won’t be watchable the next time you visit, unlike a lot of the hit musicals on offer.
Death of a Salesman is an outstanding play by Arthur Williams that has been performed to doting audiences since February 1949. It was met by a sell-out audience throughout its time at The Old Vic in Lambeth and so has been transferred to Piccadilly’s Piccadilly Theatre from the end of October, throughout November and December, and finishing early January. Though a tale that has been told over and over again throughout theatre, the production promises a refreshed vigour through its characters and delivery, and emotions run high with every performance.
So, whatever you do, don’t let the drop in temperature bring you down. If anything, let it bring you up in esteem in the knowledge that the change in temperature means the start of an exciting season of festivity, events and entertainment.