London Cultural Calendar: December 2021

There’s a palpable buzz in the air as London strides into December. Sure, there’s a bit of a chill brewing as well – but it’s easy to find a sense of cheer as we bundle up for it. With a month of festive and cultural delights ahead, there’s a lot to look forward to this winter. If you’re not yet convinced, read on to find out what’s piqued our interest…


LUX: New Wave of Contemporary Art at 180 The Strand

Set in the subterranean spaces of 180 The Strand, LUX is a powerful, full-immersion experience. The show brings together twelve of the most important artists of the moment, who make use of cutting-edge technology to eschew the boundaries between the physical and digital. With contributors like Es Devlin and Hito Steyerl, this one has got all the ingredients of a contemporary tour de force.

Running October 13th – December 18th, 2021


Noguchi at the Barbican Centre

Isamu Noguchi requires little introduction. His Light Sculptures are celebrated the world over; his furniture is iconic; and his philosophy on sculpture and design stands as a lesson to us all. Stop in at the Barbican Centre to find out more about this maestro of modern design and get lost in his creations.

Running September 30th, 2021 – January 23rd, 2022


Christmas at Kew

Christmas in London is a feast for all the senses – though, all the tumult does call for a bit of reprieve at times. If you’re in the market for an escape to greener and greater environs, we’d recommend a trip to Kew Gardens. There’s a quiet village feel to the area, with expansive parkland on its doorstep – and the world-renowned garden comes alive in a whole new way during the winter months, with spectacular lighting displays and every manner of festive delight.

Running November 17th, 2021 – January 9th, 2022


Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink

Not far from Kew, you’ll find the wonderous Hampton Court Palace. This Tudor-style pile dates to the early sixteenth century and was once home to none other than Henry VIII. Today you’ll find a staggering art collection, an astoundingly atmospheric ice rink, and purportedly, even a few ghosts. Let’s hope Henry’s since taken his leave in favour of the less grisly Scrooge spectres…

Running November 13th, 2021 – January 9th, 2022


The Nutcracker at London Coliseum

Sure, you may have seen it before but it’s hard to over-do this one. The Nutcracker is an absolute classic, and in the hands of the English National Ballet, it’s just as dazzling the first time.

Running December 16th, 2021 – January 8th, 2022


Lubaina Himid at the Tate Modern

Many of us know Lubaina Himid as a Turner Prize-winning painter and cultural activist – and for good reason. Though, her background actually lies in theatre design. In her latest exhibition at the Tate Modern, she fuses these artistic realms to deliver a stunning commentary on the performative theatricality of modern-day life.

Running November 25th, 2021 – July 3rd, 2022


Selfridges Christmas Market on the Mews

The Selfridges Christmas Market on the Mews is back for its second year with stand-out food stalls, sustainably grown Christmas trees, and a wealth of festive gifts. It’s the perfect place to get to work on your Christmas list while you soak up the lights of Oxford Street.

Running November 5th – December 24th, 2021


David Shrigley: Mayfair Tennis Ball Exchange at Stephen Friedman Gallery

David Shrigley, true to form, has come up with yet another delightfully direct creative initiative. The show is exactly what it sounds like: a room full of fresh tennis balls that patrons are encouraged to take in return for one of their own. Effectively, it’s a good old-fashioned take-a-penny, leave-a-penny for tennis afficionados. Hey, why not?

Running November 19th, 2021 – January 8th, 2022




Text by Annabel Colterjohn