Guide to January in The City of London

It’s a new year and there’s plenty of fresh things to get your teeth into in The City of London. Gone are the trappings of Christmas, with The City gearing up to 2016 and an eventful calendar. Those staying in the Square Mile will be perfectly placed for events surrounding the 400thanniversary of the bard’s death, the last vestiges of winter at The Shard and afternoon tea in an exotic location.

Shakespeare and London – City of London Heritage Gallery – from January 9th

Throughout 2016, The City of London will be marking 400 years since William Shakespeare died with events kicking off in January. There’ll be lots going on, but among the first to be launched is an exhibition at the City of London Heritage Gallery. Here, you’ll be able to see the deed for the house the man himself purchased in Blackfriars in 1613; Guildhall Library’s First Folio; and various other documents relating to London’s playhouses.

Open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sundays 12 noon to 4pm. Entry is free.

A Very Brief History of Computing, 1948-2015 – Gresham College – January 12th

A new programme of lectures begins at the historic Gresham College in January, with a whole host of topics featured, meaning there is something for everyone. This particular one is being conducted by Professor Martyn Thomas CBE, who is an expert in software engineering and cybersecurity. It may perhaps be something of a niche subject, but for those whose interest in piqued, it is sure to be a fascinating evening, looking at a series of software crises since the first modern computer was invented in 1948.

The lecture starts at 6pm, but since it is a first come first served event, it is worth arriving early to ensure a spot. Free admission.

No Colour Bar: Black British Art in Action 1960-1990 – Guildhall Gallery – until January 24th

This is the last opportunity to catch this innovative exhibition into black British cultural identities, which has been running since the summer. The struggle for artists to get their voices heard over the decades is portrayed through the life works of Eric and Jessica Huntley and the Bogle L’Ouverture Press. Founded in 1969, the publishing house and pioneering bookshop became a hub for black culture throughout the years. The bookshop has been recreated in the gallery to bring the story to life, as notable works by the likes of Eddie Chambers, Errol Lloyd, Denzil Forrester, Sonia Boyce, Keith Piper, and Sokari Douglas-Camp are displayed.

Available to view Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sundays 12 noon to 4pm. Entry is free.

Afternoon Tea in the Conservatory – Barbican Centre – selected Sundays

The City may not be known especially for its gardens, but the Barbican Centre has a collection of more than 2,000 exotic plants. They are housed within the second largest conservatory in the whole of London, which is a great place to pretend you’re in a far flung place. A new addition to the arts and culture centre is offering afternoon tea in this incredible setting on selected Sundays. Tea, scones and even Champagne under the glass roof sounds like the perfect way to chase away those January blues to us!

Afternoon tea can be booked for January 10th, 17th or 24th. The Cream Tea is priced at £15; Champagne Tea at £25; and the Grand Garden Tea is £35.

Winter at The View from The Shard – until January 31st

Enjoy a sensory journey above The City with this special experience at The Shard. It has been created by Bompas & Parr, who are responsible for flavour-based immersive events and this wintry one does not disappoint. Complete with snow drifts and ice crystals, The View from The Shard is the place to be, with its skydeck no less than 800 metres above the ground. An extra special addition of edible snowy treats can also be purchased if you want to really push the boat out.

Open daily between 10am and 10pm, with the last admission at 8.30pm. Tickets cost £25.95.

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