January is finally about to come to an end, after seeming to go on forever.
It might be payday for some of you today, but that’s no reason to turn down one of the great free events going on in London this weekend. Here’s a selection of what’s in store.
1.2017 in Focus exhibition
The Getty Images Gallery is a hidden gem which many Londoners have never ventured inside, so why not change that this weekend. Entry to the gallery is free, and their current exhibition looks back at some of the best photographs taken last year, spanning the biggest news events from across the globe over the last 12 months.
http://www.gettyimagesgallery.com/exhibitions/archive/2017-in-focus.aspx – All weekend, Eastcastle Street W1W
2.Brick Brewery open day
South-east London brewery Brick opened a second location in Deptford last year, to go along with its Peckham base, and now you can head down to check it out. You can get a free tour at 1pm, 3pm or 5pm, and free tasting sessions at the same time. That’s not the only free beer about, either – the first 50 people through the door can help themselves to a half-pint, completely gratis.
https://www.facebook.com/events/189455648464309/ - Saturday, 12pm, Blenheim Grove SE15
3.Brixton Vegan Market
If you’re doing Veganuary, or if you’re just vegan (or fancy a vegan day), this popular Brixton haunt is reopening its doors (can you reopen doors if you’re outside?). Just show up on the day, enter for free and fumble around in your pockets for enough change to bag yourself some meat and dairy-free goodies.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1311845952253048/ - Sunday, 9.30am, Brixton Station Road SW9
4.Free doughnuts from Doughnut Time
Another week, another rush for free baked goods. Doughnut Time are opening their new Notting Hill branch this weekend, and that’s good news if you’re in search of a sugar rush. Once the free doughnuts are gone, they’re gone, but you can still check out the house from the film Notting Hill, which is *checks notes* just next door.
https://www.facebook.com/doughnuttimeuk/videos/265366483997187/ - Saturday, 12pm, Blenheim Crescent W11
5.Hayward Gallery reopening
After a lengthy refurbishment, the Hayward Gallery reopens to the public this week. It’s kicking things off with a retrospective of the work of Andreas Gursky, a German photographer, and the event is free for members. Even if you’re not a member it’s probably worth swinging by if you’re anywhere near the South Bank this weekend, just to see what has been a long time coming.
https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/venues/hayward-gallery - All weekend, Belvedere Road SE1
6.Pizza Union pizza party
We’re coming up to the end of January, which means you can probably afford to ease off on the New Year health kick and let your hair down a little. Consider it a reward for your hard work. Head on down to Pizza Union’s new-ish restaurant in Dalston, and if you’re early enough you can bag a free ‘za all for yourself, along with a shot of limoncello. And once you’re inside, there’ll be 50 dolce pizza rings (basically pizza desserts) doing the rounds. Buon appetito.
https://www.pizzaunion.com – Saturday, 6pm, Kingsland High Street E8
7.Rhythm & Reaction
Interested in checking out free art exhibits inside a literal Victorian mansion? Of course you are, so get yourself down to Two Temple Place for Rhythm & Reaction. Opening this Saturday and launched in partnership with the Arts Society, the exhibit marks 100 years of jazz in the UK through moving and still images and instruments.
https://twotempleplace.org/exhibitions/rhythm-and-reaction/ - Saturday 10am-4.30pm, Sunday 11am-4.30pm, Temple Place WC2R
8.Royal Rumble screening
Wrestling is back in a big way, so much so that you’ve probably seen your friends and colleagues booking random Mondays off work and only recently figured out it’s so they can watch the graps on a Sunday night. The Royal Rumble is a big one, and they’re showing it at Four Quarters South. It’s a arcade games bar, which means there will be N64s, PlayStations and the like around for you to dick around on Mario Kart while you wait.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1958823201034725/ - Sunday, 9pm, Rye Lane SE15
9.Street Feast reopening
Night-time street food market Street Feast is back at Hawker House, where you may or may not have been for National Burger Day last year, and it has had a bit of a revamp. It’s reopening this weekend, and celebrating by offering free entry throughout Friday and Saturday nights. You’ll have to pay for your food once you’re in, however (a) it’s worth it, with a menu including steak, pizza, bao and more and (b) if you’re already on their mailing list, they may well have been in touch to offer you a free alcoholic drink upon entry. Not bad.
https://www.facebook.com/streetfeasthawkerhouse/posts/935863559915571 - Friday and Saturday, 5pm, Canada Street SE16
10.Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen farewell party
One of Brixton’s most popular haunts, Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen is moving on from Pop Brixton and going out with a bang. The first 20 people to show up to this big farewell bash will get their hands on a goodie bag full of tasty treats, while there will be canapes based on regular menu items as well as free-flowing drinks – all on a first-come, first-served basis.
https://www.zoesghanakitchen.co.uk/ - Sunday, 12pm, Brixton Station Road SW9
(Images: Jamie Street/Rex/iStock)