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17 Cultured As Fuck Things To Do In London This Autumn

All things cosy in the big city.

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1. A bowl of £5 ramen at Shoryu.

Shoryu Ramen

Shoryu is one of the best joints for ramen in the city, and is currently doing not one, but TWO deals. For people on a budget, they're doing their classic ramen for £5 on Sundays and Mondays (it's usually £11.90). But if you're feeling a lil' more flush, you should definitely check out their new Sunday Bottomless Ramen Brunch.

It's £38, but you get 1. as many drinks as you want 2. starters 3. four small plates each and 5. BOTTOMLESS ramen. AND dessert. Pro tip: the plum wine with soda is A++, and you can't ever go wrong with Shoryu's classic Tonkotsu ramen IMO.

When: Sundays and Mondays for £5 ramen, Sundays only for bottomless brunch

Price: £5 for ramen, £38 for brunch

Where: Covent Garden branch for ramen, all branches for bottomless brunch

Book here

2. Nutella donuts at Doughnut Time.

Doughnut Time, Australia's cult donut shop, is launching in London at the end of this month. Think artisan doughnuts pumped full of both classic flavours and pop culture references. There's a "Melon DeGeneres" watermelon doughnut, two British-inspired flavours (kinder surprise doughnuts! JAMMY DODGER DOUGHNUTS!) and of course, the Instagram stalwart ‘Love at First Bite’, an oozing nutella-filled doughnut.

When: from 27th October

Price: premium doughnuts start at £4 each

Where: Shaftsbury Avenue

3. Harry Potter: A History of Magic at The British Library.

British Museum

It's the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter! And the British Library, promised land of all book nerds, is unveiling a magnificent wizarding world-themed exhibition this month. Rare books! Magical objects! Manuscripts! HANDWRITTEN DOCUMENTS FROM OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR J.K ROWLING. You can even, "gaze at Sirius in the night sky as imagined by medieval astronomers", which is perfect for Harry Potter fans who feel they don't weep softly in a foetal position about the death of Sirius enough.

When: 20th Oct - 28th Feb

Price: £16

Where: Kings Cross

Book here


4. Noodle soup at Lahpet.

If there was ever a time to eat Mohinga or Ohn No Khauk Swe, it would be autumn and winter. The former is a rice noodle and fish stew ubiquitous to Myanmar, and the latter is noodles in a curried coconut and chicken soup. Both are hearty, warming and so, so delicious – and Lahpet does both dishes wonderfully. I went on a rainy evening last month sufferting from a terrible cold, and came out two hours later feeling ALIVE.

When: open from 6pm Tues - Fri, from 12pm on weekends

Price: Mohinga is £12, Ohn No Khauk Swe is £11

Where: London Fields

Book here

5. Cheeseburger Harumaki at Ichibuns.

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Please enjoy this PSA video about why cheeseburger spring rolls are a thing you need in your life. You can get them at Ichibuns, a new Soho restaurant inspired by both retro American diners and the food culture of Hokkaido. It's from the man behind Nobu, and is all about luxury fast food: steaming bowls of ramen, wagyu beef burgers and cocktails, all available to eat in or takeaway. Plus, cheeseburger spring rolls.

When: open from 12pm every day

Price: £5 for the harumaki, ramen from £9 and burgers from £10

Where: Chinatown

Book here

6. Blossoming hot chocolate at Dominique Ansel.

Hot chocolate season is here. And as we move into this most sacred of times, I am here to tell you there's hot chocolate and then there is hot chocolate. There's sad, flabby hot chocolate with that weird brown tea scum on the top. Then there's molten, thick, rich chocolate topped with a marshmallow that has a white chocolate base and unfolds into a beautiful flower. We both know which one you deserve.

When: until stock lasts

Price: £5.40 for the hot chocolate, eat-in only

Where: Belgravia

7. Watch Origami with Dance Umbrella.

Dance Umbrella

A spectacular open air dance inspired by origami (the Japanese art of paper folding) to enjoy while the weather is still just chilly, rather than freezing. It's part of Dance Umbrella's international dance festival this month – if you're skint, then go and enjoy the free culture, but if you're not, please do take a look at some of the other events they have on too, that show case some hugely talented individuals that are well worth supporting.

When: 11th - 15th October

Price: free

Where: Battersea, Greenwich, Croyden, Tower Hamlets and Woolwich


8. The "Cuban Delight" experience at City Social.

City Social

City Social is a very swish rooftop bar with glorious views across the city, which has just launched a Cuban-inspired experience with Havana Club rum. A dessert twist on an afternoon tea, you get a glass of seven-year-aged rum, espresso and a trio of desserts. Sipping sweet dark rum and even darker espresso while looking out onto the London skyline is a hell of a way to spend a cold evening.

And at a tenner, it's not bad at all, especially when you take into consideration the location. Rooftop bars are always expensive, you just need to decide whether you want to pay through the nose for bad drinks and food (*cough* £1.50-a-bottle-wine being sold at £6 a glass), or for good drinks and food.

When: until the end of winter

Price: £10.50

Where: Broadgate Circle (near bank)

Book here

9. A restaurant tour with London Restaurant Festival.

Here's the deal: you pay £45, and for that you get five dishes and five alcoholic drinks at five different restaurants. I went on the St James tour the other night and it was brilliant value – our evening included Venetian goat ragu, Japanese mentaiko (fish roe spaghetti), pork belly, Tom Collins, sushi, G&Ts and more. Even if you were to price the drinks extremely generously at £6 a pop (but let's face it – you know they'll be more like £8 or £9), that still comes to £35, meaning you're getting five dishes for £10. If you want to try a ton of different London restaurants in one evening friends, this is what you need to do.

FYI, three of the tours are now sold out, but there's slots left on the Broadgate Circle (Jose Pizarro, Shoryu, Claw..etc) tour and the Devonshire Square (Pitt Cue, Mac & Wild and Cinnamon Kitchen..etc) tour. Essentially: if you want to go, book asap.

When: various dates throughout October

Price: £45 per tour

Where: Various locations across London

Book here

10. Ink the Play at Duke of York Theatre.

Ink the Play

This play following the rise of Rupert Murdoch, Larry Lamb and the Sun newspaper was recently on at the Almeida, and was so successful it's been transferred to the Duke of York Theatre for a longer run. I saw it in the cheap seats at the Almedia, and even at the back of the room, it was fucking incredible. Easily one of the best shows I've seen this year – it's hard to describe the show without spouting cliches, but "powerful", "moving" and "electrifying" are all bold print poster words that can be applied to Ink with ease.

When: until January 6th 2018

Price: tickets from £18

Where: Covent Garden

Book here

11. Vegan food at Essence Cuisine.

It's an unpleasant truth, but we should all try to eat more vegan food. I'm as much of a fiend for steak as the next person, but I would also like to live in a world that doesn't look like a flaming tennis ball...etc. So, to that effect, even if you're a non-vegan like me, definitely go and check out Essence Cuisine this autumn. It's just launched in London, and does things like vegan "pad thai", vegan "lasagne" and vegan pancakes among other things that are all surprisingly delicious.

When: open from 8am Mon - Fri, from 9am weekends

Price: main dishes from £5.90 to £9.50, desserts £5.50

Where: Old Street

Book here


12. A Greek feast at Suvlaki.


Suvlaki recently launched a second branch on Brick Lane, and if you haven't visited them yet, it's the perfect excuse to go. The restaurant is cosy, the small plates are tasty, and the atmosphere lovely. For an autumn feast, order the soft, smoky octopus, the mussels covered in giant cous cous and crumbled feta and at least a fair few suvlaki skewers.

When: Open from 12pm, Monday to Friday

Price: small plates from £4.50, mains from £7.20 and suvlaki from £3.90

Where: Shoreditch

Book here

13. A New York steak dinner at Joe Allen.

Instagram: @thesmartfashionistas

There's something about the autumn that makes me want to go to New York brasseries. I've never even been to New York, and yet I have an unwavering certainty that autumn in New York is marvellous. Everyone wears berets and goes to Broadway shows every week and drenches themselves in sweet Manhattans. Obviously, I can't ever go to New York as all my autumnal dreams will probably be crushed, but I can live out my fantasies at Joe Allen, a lovely New York-style bistro in London. They've just had a very nice refurb job, and are a solid choice for gossip over steaks and aperitifs.

When: open from 8am weekdays, 9am weekends

Price: £5 aperitifs, set menu from £15.95 for two courses, steaks from £14.95

Where: Covent Garden

Book here

14. The £31 Autumn Menu du Jour at Galvin at Windows.

Now, before you scream bloody murder at me, hear me out. I think this menu is great value. Galvin at Windows is a Michelin starred menu, in London, in a FANCY hotel. Those three things usually add up to a meal that costs over £100 a head. Which is why I think their £31 daytime menu is a far more sensible proposition, if you want a fine dining London experience but can't extend yourself to fine dining prices. You can even add on two glasses of excellent wine for £5 a glass, which is brilliant.

The food itself is similarly brilliant – the beetroot cured salmon is melt in the mouth, but the gnocchi with oozing Camembert and a flavour sensation of mushrooms, onions and sweetcorn is my favourite dish. The cocktails are very good too, though at about £16 a pop, I'd say save your pennies for the food and only indulge if you're feeling flush.

When: daytimes, everyday

Price: two courses at £31, three courses at £37 and an extra £10 to add two glasses of wine

Where: Green Park

Book here

15. London Literature Festival at Southbank Centre.

Southbank Centre

The Southbank Centre's literature festival is unmissable if you are in any way shape or form a fan of books. They've got talks with authors (I went and saw Margaret Atwood, one of my literary heroes, in conversation and confirmed all my suspicions that she's an absolute firecracker of a lady), workshops, exhibitions, all at price points to suit every budget.

When: 13th October to 1st November

Price: there's a number of free events and talks, and then paid-for events can range anywhere from £5 to £45 in price. You can also get day passes and weekend passes from £15 - £25, and £80 event bundles

Where: Southbank

Book events here

16. An Iberico Pork Board at Brindisa.

From now until April, we're all going to be swaddled in more layers than Shrek, and the one silver lining to this is that eating your own body weight in food is now FINE because it's ADDED WARMTH, ALRIGHT. And Brindisa has committed to helping you do this with its new, utterly decadent meat board.

It's loaded with Iberico de Bellota, aka, the finest jamón you can get, in all its best forms. A kilo of Iberico de Bellota will set you back about £25 to £35 from a shop so this works out at quite good value too. Go if you love Iberico, or if you just really love meat, and don't make the rookie mistake I did and order side plates – you won't need them.

When: on the menu indefinitely

Price: meat board is £55 (so £27.50 each), and other Iberico dishes start from £10

Where: Soho, at the Rupert Street branch

Contact or +44 (0)207 478 8758 to book

17. A Sunday Roast at the Victoria Inn.

Instagram: @petite

It's autumn, and I fear it would be sacrilege to not include a roast in this list. The ones at the Victoria Inn in Peckham are on the pricier side, but are possibly some of the best roasts I've ever had outside of my mum's kitchen, which I know is a bold statement.

Also, in an attempt to find some cheaper roast options for you, I googled it and depressingly the first results were, " cheap roasts under £15!" and two restaurants that charge £20 for their roasts, so I guess that's where we're at now in London. Pls send help. But seriously, if anyone knows of a good roast that exists in the city for under ten quid, lemme know.

When: every Sunday

Price: roasts from £13

Where: Peckham

Book here