From Chinese New Year to Shrove Tuesday, Valentine’s Day and half term, February is a month full of occasions worth celebrating. There’s no better place to be for such events and others in the coming month than London, so book your serviced apartment now and start planning your stay.
Ocean Liners: Speed and Style – V&A Museum – from February 3rd
A major new exhibition is set to open at the V&A Museum in Kensington, which will showcase the glamour associated with travelling by sea. Ocean Liners: Speed and Style will include items from ships as diverse as the Titanic, Lusitania and Queen Mary. As well as vintage travel posters, luggage carried on board and even a piece of wood panelling from the doomed Titanic, much emphasis will be put on the fashions worn aboard ships throughout the ages. The most glittering exhibit in the display is sure to be the Cartier diamond and pearl tiara once worn by Lady Marguerite Allan and saved from the Lusitania, which sank in 1915.
Full price tickets cost £18.
Long Day’s Journey Into Night – Wyndham’s Theatre – from February 6th
Of all the openings in the West End this month, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, starring Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville, is probably the most exciting. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Eugene O’Neill, audiences will follow the Tyrone family over the course of a single night in a coastal town in Connecticut. Manville has worked with director Richard Eyre before on a highly-successful production of Ibsen’s Ghosts, ramping up expectations for the O’Neill play.
Tickets start at £16.
Orchids Festival – Kew Gardens – from February 10th
By February, most people are fed up with the dreariness of the winter months and looking forward to the colours of spring. You can cheat and enjoy the bright floral displays at Kew Gardens that make up its annual Orchids Festival. The installations reflect the abundant culture of Thailand and will include rare orchids, as well as intricate tunnels and handcrafted umbrellas. The smell alone will transport you to sunnier locations and the insights into edible orchids and how the blooms can be used in medicine are also fascinating.
Adult tickets cost between £9 and £12.75, with reduced rates for children and concessions available.
Parliamentary Pancake Race – Victoria Tower Gardens – February 13th
If you thought that Shrove Tuesday was just about enjoying stacks of pancakes laden with toppings, then you’d be wrong. There’s much more fun to be had, as London is home to a number of pancake races. Among the best is the one held in Westminster, where you’ll spot plenty of famous faces. As well as politicians, there will be members of the press putting their competitive spirits to the test. The likes of ITV correspondent Romilly Weeks and Channel 4’s Michael Crick will be trying to complete the course while flipping a pancake continuously. Things get going at 10am and it’s always fun to watch.
Spectate for free.
Chinese New Year Parade – Charing Cross Road to Chinatown – February 18th
The highlight of the festivities to see in the Year of the Dog will be the Chinese New Year Parade. It is scheduled for the Sunday straight after the official occasion and will start off at Charing Cross Road, before making its way to Chinatown. As well as the traditional lion and dragon dances, there will be around 30 decorated floats and energetic performers accompanying the parade. It’s due to get started at 10am and will be followed by events in Chinatown and Trafalgar Square.
Free to attend.