A thing to do in London that is special, unusual and fun
June 8, 2017 2:07 AM   Subscribe

I want to take a friend out for a treat, budget £30-50, in London. What thing that I haven't thought of or don't know about would be a magical evening?

We do this every year and have done plays, ballet and contemporary dance, musicals, and alt-circus. I would consider one of the same if there was something really different, but what I'd really like is something else weird and wonderful.

I've looked at previous questions and should mention to rule out anything animal-related (zoo, aquarium). I've thought of an escape room but I'm not sure it's quite right.

I've lived here for nearly a decade so I need deep secrets. London-dwellers past and present, what awesome thing can I take my friend to do, see or eat?
posted by greenish to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Alice's Adventures Underground (immersive theatre) is back at the Vaults

Royal Academy Lates are a great experience - installations, live performances, sculptures, stalls, bars. Opportunity to dress up. There are two RA Lates (~£45 per ticket) over the summer:

The Electric Forest
The Other Paradise.
posted by moiraine at 2:24 AM on June 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Turkish baths?
posted by caoimhe at 3:51 AM on June 8, 2017

Plonk does indoor themed mini golf; All Star Lanes do fancy bowling & cocktails for grownups.

I did Walk Eat Talk Eat's East London food tour a few years ago and it was great fun - lots of small bites, interesting places and notes about the history of the area as well as the food.
posted by terretu at 4:08 AM on June 8, 2017

Dans le Noir

I did the Enigma Escape Killer room and it was great.

Alice in Wonderland afternoon tea
posted by katrielalex at 4:53 AM on June 8, 2017

London has some of the best cocktail bars in the world. I'm a big fan of this top 50 list, which is updated every year based on an international panel of bartenders. It looks like the American Bar at the Savoy is back at the top for London now - it's been serving cocktails for over 100 years including keeping the American cocktail tradition alive during prohibition. Sure, it's expensive but your budget should cover a couple of drinks each (which for me is absolutely enough for an evening). Or you could hit a couple of the bars on that list and have a drink at each one

Pro tip: the Savoy is within walking distance of most of London's west end theaters, and in my experience if you head there after a show there's normally no line to get seated at the bar. Great for after-show drinks.
posted by simonw at 6:02 AM on June 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

If you haven't already been, the Dennis Severs' House candlelight visit is magical and weird. Sort of like being simultaneously inside Hogarth, Dickens, and the brain of a twentieth-century eccentric.
posted by The Giant Rat of Sumatra at 6:04 AM on June 8, 2017 [4 favorites]

Wilton's Music Hall is memorable for the building and location alone. I've only been to one performance there so far, which was a production of a Beckett radio play for which we all had to wear blindfolds throughout. Extraordinary.

A couple of years ago a friend went to a Sabrage event in London, in which she was taught the art of opening a champagne bottle with a sabre. It sounded great fun, and this account should give you some idea of how it works. I haven't been able to find an event calendar, though, so there might not be something in the timescale you're looking for this year.
posted by kelper at 6:12 AM on June 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

A Door in a Wall run fun immersive games in different parts of London, where you run around finding clues and solving puzzles. The latest one is only running for another week or so, but they might have others later in the summer (and they might be a better fit as the current one is themed around horse-racing murders).
posted by penguinliz at 6:41 AM on June 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Ghost tours and Jack the Ripper tours are fun.
posted by PJMoore at 8:44 AM on June 8, 2017

Circus is a rather special night out if you're looking for a unique dining experience. Try to book the stage table if you go.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 12:20 PM on June 8, 2017

Cheese making in Tottenham?
posted by Lotto at 1:47 PM on June 8, 2017

The behind-the-scenes Spirit Collection Tour at the Natural History Museum.
posted by oclipa at 6:57 AM on June 9, 2017

A visit to the Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities with drinks after?
posted by drapatz at 1:48 PM on June 9, 2017

« Older Artist ID   |   Which IRA should I roll into? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.