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Things to do this September

Updated: Sep 16, 2019

This month is packed with events and exhibitions to see around London. We've put together a little list of what we recommend to see and do. The exhibition Food Bigger than the Plate is still going on until 20th October so if you haven't had a chance to see it yet you still have time! They also have a few very interesting events and talks lined up like the Friday Forum: Edible Futures - How will food look, taste and reach your plate in the future? (We just booked a ticket for this!) There are also exhibitions on the psychology of magic, an IKEA x Sonos event exploring the effects of music on the mind, as well as the Barbican investigating the senses and the gut in relationship to the brain. So much to do!

Bompas & Parr Butterfly Biosphere: Pleasures of the Nectar Dome

5-15th September 2019

"Londoners are invited to step inside Butterfly Biosphere: Pleasures of the Nectar Dome, the world’s first Lepidopterarium, combining butterfly ecology, nectar tasting and an abundance of photo opportunities with the butterflies. Not least because it will be lit with pink lighting and feature shimmering, iridescent décor to match the butterflies’ vibrant colour scheme.

The experience will also highlight the fact that London’s butterfly population is in trouble - having declined by 76% over the last four decades - and help capital dwellers learn how to help their winged friends. Guests will be greeted by a “wildlife guardian”, be able to donate to butterfly conservation initiatives, watch them hatch and develop a newfound appreciation of their essential role in nature and how to take a crucial role in ensuring their future survival."

Grosvenor Square in Mayfair, 5-15 September 2019, 10am-7pm. Entry is free. More info here.

Bompas & Parr Temple of Halotherapy

6 sept - 6 oct 2019

“Trust no one unless you have eaten much salt with him.” Cicero (106–43 BC)

"Bompas & Parr Studio present The Temple of Halotherapy, a gastronomic tasting and art installation dedicated to the vast historic significance of salt throughout the world; political, commercial, scientific, religious and culinary.

Salt has profoundly shaped history. Wars have been fought over salt, trade routes formed by it, vocabulary and tradition developed by it. In various contexts, it is used metaphorically to signify permanence, loyalty, durability, fidelity, usefulness, value and purification.

The healing temple installation affords guests the opportunity to savour the glory of common and rare salts which will be revealed in a choreographed tasting experience consumed with pieces of chocolate."

This salty installation is part of 'Welcome Home: A Speculation on Living Spaces at Elephant West Gallery.  Runs 6 September – 6 October 2019 in partnership with the Worshipful Company of Salters. More info here.

Victoria & Albert Museum Food Bigger Than The Plate

Until 20th October 2019

"From gastronomic experiments to urban farming, this exhibition brings together the politics and pleasure of food to ask how the collective choices we make can lead to a more sustainable, just and delicious food future."

V&A Museum, London. £17.00 (£10 tickets are available every Friday)

Events at the V&A for this exhibition:

Bompas & Parr and Fantastic Food - Hear how Bompas & Parr exemplify artistry and creativity with food in this evening talk


"From inhalable gin clouds to multi-sensory fireworks, architectural jelly to DNA-based dinners, Bompas & Parr is a studio that has helped shaped the world of multi-sensory experience design as we know it. Join co-founder Sam Bompas for a look at how the studio continues to share the founders’ passion for the future of food in all its many forms."

Wednesday, 18 September 2019, 19.00 – 20.45 @ The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre

Tickets cost £15.00 - £18.00 Includes wine reception.

Introduction to Beekeeping - An introduction to the ancient craft of beekeeping plus a visit to the V&A Hives

"Prepare yourself for the beekeeping season with the London Honey Company in this session covering all things honeybee and beehive matters. You will be given an overview of key honeybee behaviours from basic honeybee biology and lifecycles to the honeybee waggle dance and keeping your bees healthy. You will also be given practical advice on how a beehive works, what to consider when choosing a hive, the type of protective clothing and equipment needed as well as considerations when setting up a hive and sources for the supply of equipment, bees and queens. Following the session there will be a visit to the V&A Hives (weather permitting)."

Saturday, 28 September 2019, 10.30 – 13.30 @ Creative Studio

Tickets cost £50.00

Friday Forum: Edible Futures - How will food look, taste and reach your plate in the future?

"This Friday Forum explores current research, new technologies and innovative design projects that are shaping and reimagining the food industry and the food we eat. Through a series of inspiring talks, you will meet scientists, designers, artists and chefs anticipating challenges and leading projects for change. From genetic modification to experimental cooking, you will discover how the future of food is a place where art and science meet."

Friday, 11 October 2019, 10.30 – 17.30 @ Hochhauser Auditorium

Tickets cost £22.00 - £45.00

Food: Bigger than the Page - A creative writing workshop on food, memory, and the senses

"This workshop explores new ways of thinking about food as inspiration for our writing. We’ll investigate how food activates all the senses, and we’ll also consider its symbolic powers and collective energies. We’ll talk about food writing as a literary genre, and look at the wider uses of food in fiction and poetry. And most of all we’ll write: cooking up memories, recycling recipes as poems, and harvesting stories from the compost of our desires."

Sunday, 13 October 2019, 14.00 – 17.00 @ Creative Studio

Tickets cost £50.00 Suitable for all levels.


Wellcome Collection Smoke and Mirrors: The Psychology of Magic

11 April 2019—15 September 2019

What can magic and conjuring tell us about the human mind? Our exhibition brings together the worlds of psychology and entertainment in search of the truth about deception.

Explore how our biases affect our perception and whether our senses can be hacked. Discover spirit photography, magic props and psychology experiments to see how magic works on – and in – the mind of the spectator. Artefacts on display from the world of magic include the head of the gorilla costume worn by Derren Brown, Harry Houdini’s ‘Bell Box’, Tommy Cooper’s fez, and Paul Daniels’s sawing-in-half box.

Six times per week you can enjoy performances in the gallery explaining the psychology behind the magic. The gallery will be busy during these performances.

@ Wellcome Collection, Free admission. Galleries open Tuesday–Sunday, Opening times.

IKEA x SONOS present The Sound Affect

"An immersive theatre experience exploring the effects of music on the mind.

Created in collaboration with award winning theatre company Les Enfants Terribles, the experience promises willing participants to enter a surreal and fantastical world delving deep into the mind.

Powered by IKEA and Sonos SYMFONISK speakers, the one of a kind walk-through experience will allow participants to discover how sound transforms their surroundings as they lose themselves in a multi-sensory narrative led by sound."

Phonica Records in London from 27th - 30th September between 12:00 - 21:00

Kerb Seven Dials Market Launch Week

Friday 13th September

Time Out says: " Street food aficionados Kerb are opening their first permanent indoor market in an ex-banana warehouse on Earlham Street. Get a first look at the space at the week-long launch party where you can sample dishes from Franco Manca co-founder Bridget Hugo's new pasta venture Strozzapreti, the world's first 40m cheese conveyor belt by the brains of The Cheese Bar and salt beef delights from Monty’s Deli. There’ll also be a Kerb Bar packed with independent craft breweries from around London like The Gipsy Hill Brewing Co and East London Liquor Company and it’ll all be soundtracked by a music stage curated by the Roundhouse. Top banana! "

@ Seven Dials Market , Seven Dials

Colourscape Music Festival

14-22nd September 2019

Time Out says: " Colourscape’s colourful tunnels are taking over Clapham Common for the thirtieth year. Celebrate by wrapping yourself in a coloured cape and venturing into the enormous labyrinth of kaleidoscopic tunnels - there’s nearly an acre of space to explore while daylight casts a rainbow glow through its walls. At weekends unusual musical performances will join the mix,  really tipping the experience into magical territory."

Opening times: Weekdays 12noon to 1pm (£5 Mon-Thu, £6 Fri), weekends 12noon to 5pm (£11). 

@ Clapham Common , Clapham

Secret Cinema Presents: ‘Casino Royale’

Until 22nd September 2019

Time Out says: " Immersive film aficionados Secret Cinema have pulled out the big guns for their summer season and it’s 007-flavoured extravaganza. While the location is, of course, hush hush, you can be sure to expect all the experiential cinema mastery that has made Secret Cinema one of London's most sought after experiences. 

The film, ‘Casino Royale’, is, of course, the best of the Daniel Craig-era Bonds and will offer some fantastic fancy-dress opportunities for Secret Cinema-ees. You can slip into some super-tight swimming trunks – gym work may be required for that one – dry-clean your chicest tux, or just turn up as a giant ‘M’. "

Prices start at £49 and go all the way up to (gulp) £175, excluding booking fees. Head to the official site for all the info.

Pavilion Supper Clubs

Until 30th September 2019

Time Out says: "Dulwich Picture Gallery’s summer pavilion, The Colour Palace, is becoming an alfresco supper club space for the summer. Tuck into dishes cooked up by the likes of Stories on Our Plate - an organisation that works with chefs from refugee and migrant backgrounds, The Gathered Table, who'll be cooking up barbequed treats inspired be Neil Ranking, Fat Macy’s - a social enterprise, training and supporting young Londoners living in temporary accommodation."

Gingerline presents: Chambers, a multi-dimensional dining experience

Until 31st October 2019

The Experience: "Trust us when we say that Chambers, our brand new multi-dimensional dining experience, is a little strange. But who wants normal. Not for the meek or cautious of palate, Chambers is designed for the brave and the bold. You have been warned.

Expect 5 flavoursome courses served within incredible sets from the absurd reaches of the imagination, populated by a host of mischievous characters."

How it works: "Multi‑dimensional dining is the process of traversing through different rooms, or parallel realities, enjoying a course of food in each. It is designed for the brave & the hungry, not for the meek or cautious of palate. 

By 4pm on the day of your adventure (or the day before for matinee guests) you will receive specific directions to our hidden HQ in Hoxton. This is perhaps the most normal part of your evening. All our experiences rely on an element of surprise, it’s better that way. With that in mind we will respectfully ask that you keep the secrets of Chambers_ safe so that others can experience it as you have. You trust us, we trust you. "

Tickets from £55.

Black Food Festival

Sunday 22 September

Time Out says: " You’ll find burgers, doughnuts, tacos and all the usual food fest fare here, but there‘s a twist. Everything served up from the squid linguini to the charcoal ice cream is 100 percent black. Get ready to unleash your inner emo and stain your teeth on black macarons, black lollipops and black beer. "

@ Oval Space , Bethnal Green

Flavour Feast – Eat Yourself Better

28-29th September 2019

"Can you always trust your gut? Step into the Flavour Feast booth and be astounded by colourful interactive experiments as you sample edible delights in our pop-up party for the senses.

Watch or join in with the menu of delectable demonstrations that have been designed to trick your sensations of taste, touch, smell and sight. As you try what the apron-clad hosts have concocted, you’ll experience the multisensory nature of flavour perception and enjoy a playful insight into the complex relationship between the stomach microbiome and brain.

Flavour Feast share learning, facts and debate about eating habits, sustainability and the future of food. With scientists and researchers on hand to answer questions, you can engage with a topic that affects the health of us all and the planet. "

Drop-in installation. @ Barbican Centre, Level G.

Scent and Heritage: Exploring the potential of smell

"What does the past smell like? How can we use the sense of scent to unlock memories and enrich our experience of history? An interactive series of short talks and panel discussion with leading olfactory innovators. Lizzie Ostrom aka Odette Toilette (author of Perfume: A Century of Scent, Tasha Marks (AVM Curiosities artist/scent historian) and Cecilia Bembibre (UCL researcher) will share their insights into using scent in reminiscence, heritage interpretation and galleries. Whether you’re an artist, gallery and museums professional, creative educator or simply interested in the power of smell, join us for a scented discussion."

Sat 14 Sep, 11am-1pm. Suitable for ages 14+ (under 18s must be accompanied by an adult)

@ Quayside Room, Museum of London Docklands, West India Quay, Hertsmere Road, E14 4AL

Nearest Pier is Canary Wharf Pier

More events by AVM Curiosities over here.

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