The City of London is brimming with activities this February. From candlelight concerts at the Four Seasons and exploring London’s Roman Amphitheatre to half-term fun for the kids and so much more, this is just a taste of some of the most exciting things to see and do in the City of London this month.
1. Make your own mythical creature at the London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE
This half-term discover an exciting event where families are invited to make their own mythical creature! Inspired by the London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE’s new art installation DREAM-BRIDGE-OMNIGLYPH by artist Leo Robinson which re-imagines petroglyphs from the Caribbean island of St Vincent and Grenadines. Create your mythical creature using a rag-rag weaving technique, colourful recycled fabric and felt.
Free event, booking advised. Wednesday 14 February, 10.30am – 3pm.
2. Enjoy an unforgettable night bathed in candlelight at the Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square
This Valentine’s Day the Rotunda Bar and Lounge at the Four Seasons will host a mesmerizing candlelight concert featuring talented piano-vocalist Michael Amadi and a skilled violinist, who will serenade guests with classic love songs throughout the evening. The intimate setting will be illuminated by over 2000 LED candles, casting a warm and intimate glow throughout the space, while guests enjoy a delicious three-course menu of handmade raviolo, luxurious lobster wellington and delicate pavlova.
3. Celebrate Pancake Day
A day we all anticipate greatly every year is Pancake Day (or Shrove Tuesday) and in 2024, it will fall on Tuesday 13 February.
- If you’re looking for a different way to celebrate this year the Inter-Livery Pancake Race hosted by the Worshipful Company of Poulters is one of the most visually spectacular events of the year in the City. Teams wearing either fancy dress or full regalia, race around the Guildhall Yard tossing their pancakes and the victors receive, fittingly, frying pans as well as a trophy. Spectators welcome! Pancakes are also available on sale at the event and proceeds go to charitable causes.
- Another event that is not to be missed is the Leadenhall Market pancake race, returning to the City of London for its 15th year. Hosted by the world-renowned market’s 18th century pub – The Lamb Tavern – the annual tradition will see teams of four compete for glory during a 20m flipping relay on the Victorian covered Market’s ancient cobblestones. The race is free to enter - register in advance with your friends and colleagues - and there will also be delicious free pancakes!
If you’re not able to make it to the race, but still want your pancake fix, here are a few restaurants in the City serving delicious pancakes for breakfast; Rakés Cafe Bar at Andaz Hotel, Barbie Green and Malibu Kitchen in The Ned.
- Find more places to eat and drink in the City.
4. Celebrate Chinese New Year
Join the vibrant festivities in the City for Chinese New Year. Here are just some of the places where you can celebrate:
- Lunar New Year Afternoon Tea: Indulge in a Lunar New Year afternoon tea at Pan Pacific London, featuring Bun House's signature pork bun filled with barbecue pork belly and yam and the tea promises a visual and taste medley with flavours of white peach and milk Oolong, pineapple, and Szechuan pepper. For a touch of indulgence, raise a crisp glass of Chinese sparkling wine to the occasion.
- Treat yourself to some delicious pastries: Head down to SHIOK! and indulge in some of their delicious creations such as the Cream Bun with Pandan and Pineapple, Mille-feuille with Black Sesame and Yuzu, Koi (Fish) with Milk Oolong and White Peach, all available until February 29.
- Celebrate with a special menu at Straits Kitchen: Straits Kitchen invites you to usher in the Year of the Dragon with a special menu on Saturday, 10th February, priced at £138 per person. The menu includes a Welcome Chinese New Year Signature Cocktail or Mocktail, Braised Abalone with Morel, Baby Pak Choi, Steamed Turbot with Signature Herbs Soya Sauce, King Mushrooms and Australian Wagyu, and Chinese Black Bean Sauce. Conclude the meal with Tenderstem Broccoli served with Sticky Rice.
- Celebrate at The Royal Exchange: Treat yourself to a Lunar New Year hamper filled with delectable treats from Fortnum & Mason at The Royal Exchange or raise a glass to the Year of the Dragon at Oeno House with a glass of wine from Silver Heights, Oeno's exclusive Chinese wine produce.
- Indulge in a celebratory menu at Mei Ume: Mei Ume's celebratory menu and auspicious performances, featuring an authentic Lion Dance and a modern Chinese dance performance with vibrant costumes inspired by traditional Miao and red QiPao styles on February 10th and 17th, promise an unforgettable experience. Don't miss the multi-course feasting menu at Mei Ume from February 5th to 24th, celebrating the ‘reunion dinner’ tradition.
There's a wide range of international cuisines available in cafes, bars and restaurants across the City of London.
- Find more places to eat and drink in the City.
5. Catch a film at the Barbican Cinema
Every month, The Barbican Cinema showcases the latest new releases alongside a curated programme of international cinema, ScreenTalks, and family events, from celebrated filmmakers to ground-breaking and under-heard voices from past and present. This month you can see films such as Oscar nominated Poor Things, BAFTA nominated All of us Strangers as well as Romeo and Juliet.
If you’re looking for things to do during the half-term break with the kids, the Barbican Cinema has something for everyone including Family Film Club and Parents & Baby Screenings.
- Find out more about Barbican Cinemas
6. Celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month
LGBT+ History Month is celebrated every February across the UK. A plethora of events are taking place across the country, and here are just a few ways to celebrate in the City of London this Month.
- LGBTQ+ History Month at The Charterhouse: For hundreds of years and until relatively recently, the Charterhouse held an almost unique position in British society by caring for many gay men when they were no longer able to care for themselves. The LGBTQ+ History Month talk and tour aims to bring to light these stories including historic governors such as George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham.
- Archive Tour of the LGBTQIA+ Collections at Bishopsgate Institute: The Bishopsgate Institute is a treasure trove of LGBTQIA+ history with extensive archives holding cuttings, badges, and banners – and even a set of wizard’s robes. By the end of this tour, you’ll know all about them.
7. Learn about the man responsible for building the St Paul’s Cathedral we know and love today
Sir Christopher Wren, the revolutionary scientist, mathematician and architect who redesigned and rebuilt St Paul’s Cathedral adding it's iconic dome, was born in October 1632 and died in February 1723. What better way to celebrate his life this February than getting out and exploring Wren’s role in the City’s transformation from smouldering ruin to modern metropolis, after the 1666 Great Fire of London.
Look around the City and you'll see more of Wren's work including the impressive dome of St Stephen Walbrook, the unique Gothic spire of St Margaret Pattens, The Monument, as well as the Temple Bar Gateway (the only surviving gateway into the City of London - although now moved to a different spot!). Wren was also responsible for rebuilding many other city churches damaged by the Great Fire.
To commemorate his remarkable life, St Paul's Cathedral has an exhibition entitled Sir Christopher Wren: The Quest for Knowledge. This explores and reflects on the early life and career of Wren and charts his lesser-known achievements in mathematics, astronomy and physiology, as well as the design and building of his greatest monument, St Paul’s Cathedral.
8. See New Exhibitions in the City (and a last chance to see!)
Be the first to explore some of the new and exciting exhibitions in the City of London, and don't miss out on a long-running exhibition that's closing in February.
- Billingsgate Market at the City Heritage Gallery: A new free display about Billingsgate Market, one of the oldest of the markets owned by the City of London Corporation. Find it inside Guildhall Art Gallery.
- DREAM-BRIDGE-OMNIGLYPH at the London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE: Don't miss this new free installation inspired by the Roman Temple of Mithras discovered on the Bloomberg site during the 1950s.
- Slavery & the Bank at the Bank of England Museum: February is the last chance to see this free exhibition that explores the history of transatlantic slavery through its connections with the Bank of England and the wider City of London.
- From the Caribbean to Coventry at the Barbican Music Library: A free exhibition for the fans by the fans going some way to explain not just what 2Tone is but why and how they got there. Includes photographs, memorabilia and more.
- Unravel: The Power and Politics of Textiles in Art at the Barbican Art Gallery: This new exhibition opening in February, shines a light on artists from the 1960s to today who have explored the transformative and subversive potential of textiles.
- Surface Challenge - by the Printmakers Council in the Barbican Library Foyer. Free exhibition during library opening hours, that explores the versatility of mark making using all manner of printmaking techniques.
- Mudlarking Exhibition - by Hands On History at Waterman's Hall. A rare opportunity to see finds from the banks of the River Thames and hear first-hand the backstories from the mudlarks who found them. Free entry to this two day event.
For more things to see & do in the City of London check out our What's on page.
9. Partake in a whisky tasting experience at CORD on 29 February
Indulge in a one-of-a-kind culinary experience with CORD’s whisky tasting event. Hosted by an expert from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu culinary institute, this masterclass and dining event brings the opportunity to learn about and sample exclusive whiskies from several regions in Scotland, including the Caperdonich 18 year old from Peated Speyside Lost Distillery and the Clynleish 14 year old (Highland Whisky) all while enjoying a selection of canapés as well as a delectable 3-course dinner.
- Find out more about CORD.
10. Discover MimeLondon 2024 at The Barbican Centre
Be shocked and spooked at a mesmerising puppet show about the twists and turns of life, witness an animated film come to life on stage before your eyes, unravel the mysteries of the human body at a show featuring beautiful handmade objects, and watch shadow puppetry, animation, music and projection combine in a wonderful show about the universe.
11. Experience two of the best-preserved Roman sites in London with archaeologist Dr Andrew Lane
Explore the incredible remains of London’s Roman Amphitheatre and the Billingsgate Roman House and Baths with archaeologist Dr Andrew Lane on Saturday 17 February. On the tour you will learn how the Roman Amphitheatre was discovered, the role of the games in Roman society and the truth behind some of the myths and legends surrounding the gladiators. Walking across the ancient city, the tour will finish at Billingsgate Roman House and Baths, a rich piece of Roman history surviving 2,000 years of building, fires and bombings.
If you’re not able to join the tour, London’s Roman Amphitheatre is open year-round and entry is free and included in Guildhall Art Gallery's free general admission ticket.
- Details of the tour: Leisure in Roman London: Battling gladiators to sumptuous baths.
12. Take a tour of the Illuminated River
The Illuminated River is a long-term art installation that runs through the heart of London along the River Thames and is the longest public art commission in the world. Its subtly moving sequences of LED light symbolically unify the Thames bridges, drawing inspiration from the spirit and history of the river and from the architectural and engineering heritage of its bridges.
Guided walking tours of the eastern bridges with expert City of London Guides are the perfect way to hear about their history, design and stories as well as experiencing the magical light. These tours take place on Tuesdays at 6.30pm until 26 March 2024.
- Find out more - Illuminated River: Shining a Light on the Eastern Bridges.