What To Do This November: A 1980's Mixtape

Written by: Sophie Taylor

Make this month a mixtape of activities and create the ultimate soundtrack to November. This could be an eventful 30 days with fireworks on the 5th preempting the inevitable demise of the Western civilisation on the 8th. Can 2016 take any more drama and surrealism? Good job it’s finally time to get back on the sauce. Stoptober has come to a close and we’re going to need our music and our vices to get through now.

ROCK OUT, 1st November

Rock n Roll Tour, Camden

Starting outside the Electric Ballroom, let notorious DJ Alison Wise (anglophilic American expat) take you on a walking tour of the famous and infamous sights of Camden’s Rock n Roll history. Always wanted to know where the Clash lived and rehearsed? Ever wondered where Madness liked to sink a pint or four? How about why Prince loved Camden so much? Prance about the performance venues frequented by The Doors, Amy Winehouse and Sid Vicious and the exact location where Britpop was birthed in the nineties. I imagine it’s a boozy rock crawl so line those tummies in one of Camden’s many notorious street food eateries. Tickets available here. Questions? Email the host herself at djalicat@gmail.com

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SPARKLE, 5th November

Bonfire Night, Clissold Park and Alexandra Palace

The time has come to celebrate a gunpowder fetishist, burn his effigy on a pile of open flames, eat burnt gelatine on a stick and stand dangerously close to exploding missiles of fire. Remember, remember we are all eccentric tossers clinging to outmoded tradition and American sugar on sticks. So excited for Guy Fawkes Night! Clissold Park and Alexandra Palace are both holding their annual spectacles in the sky this November 5th, so dust off your thickest gloves and choose one Bonfire to stand around. *Spoiler alert* you could probably do both.

Clissold Park has a theme and this year its animals. You are encouraged to dress up as your favourite non-human mammal and let your face paint melt next to the bonfire and prance to the sights/sounds of the Clissold 2016 pyro musical. Yes, the fireworks are synchronised to music. There will be kids fun fair rides, street performers and food/drink stalls open from 5:30pm. The display is suitable for all ages, beginning at 7pm and lasting approximately 20 minutes. Book tickets here.

Ally Pally FireworksTechnically you could go to both displays. Ally Pally are hosting two fireworks shows on Friday 4th at 9pm and Saturday 5th at 8pm. On both days you can expect over forty of London’s finest street food vendors to rock up and even more onsite bars than last year boasting the finest ales, ciders, mulled wines, winter cocktails and more. But what about the beer? 

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Don’t forget they have the annual and mighty German Bier Festival too, kicking off at 4pm on Friday and 3pm on Saturday. An army of Bavarian waitresses will be serving the finest German Bier accompanied by live bands and DJs as well as music from their traditional Oompah band and DJs from the legendary Club de Fromage. Tickets run out fast, so quickly go and book yourself merry.

ELECTION DAY, 8th November

Make Your Own Neon Light, Drink Shop Do

If you want to take your mind off the US elections but don’t want to stay in twiddling your thumbs, put those idle hands to use and make your own neon light! London Craft Club are throwing a workshop at Drink, Shop, Do on Tuesday 8th November where you’ll be positively encouraged to shine bright like the star that you are. Beginner friendly, this workshop uses electro-luminescent wire which is a safer alternative to the traditional glass and gas neon lights. You’ll have complete creative control from design to shape to glow style. You can choose to run your sign from the mains or a battery pack (all included) and whether you want it mounted to canvas, hung from the wall or dangling from the ceiling. Expert Becci Mai Ford will be ready to help throughout and answer all of your questions, however inane. A perfect antidote to impending election night darkness and horror. The future’s bright, the future’s neon.

Get your tickets here!

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TATTOO YOU, 9th November

Temporary Tattoo WorkshopDrink, Shop, Do

Seven years ago, school friends Kirstie Bishop and Coralie Sleap decided to open a pop-up shop in a bath house in Kings Cross, December 2009. By the following August, cafe/bar/activities venue, Drink Shop Do was official. From bottomless brunches to dance classes to more quirky workshops involving lego robots and Jenga dating, Kirstie and Coralie are continuously coming up with new ideas to keep you busy and entertained.

This November, amongst an exciting list of experiences and workshops, there is a free temporary tattoo designing and creating event. So after a cocktail or two, you can finally pretend you’ve inked yourself with your bezzie’s face and post photos of it all over their Facebook like a true overbearing stalker chum.

Want to really show your love for your besty-friendy-wendy? Got the feeling they’re probably sick of you buying them tickets for stuff? Get them a Drink, Shop, Do gift voucher to use in the shop, food, drink and gift experiences. That way they can really spoil themselves and don’t feel obliged to hang out with you. When you love someone, let them go. 

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BEATBOX, 19th November

UK Championships, Scala Kings Cross

Does anyone remember when Piers Morgan did a beatboxing competition? Go on, have a watch here, then have a long shower and a strong cup of tea. We’ll recover from this together.

Scala are entertaining a slightly different calibre of beatbox hopefuls this November, with Too Many T’s and Natty Speaks hosting a night of beatbox competitions. 28 talented finalists are currently warming up their lips to become the new star of the UK beatbox scene. 

Last year, all-female team BURD (Bellatrix x Grace Savage) wiped the floor with the male-dominated field to be crowned UK Team Champions. ‘Whether you are a beatbox newbie or a seasoned veteran, this is an audience experience like no other. A true celebration of the human voice and underground live music culture.’

From 6pm til 3am, expect live performances amongst the battles from the likes of The Beatbox Collective, international sensation Tom Thum as well as last year’s Looping winner and groundbreaking drum n bass producer, Alix Perez. Now cleanse your Piers Morgan riddled browser history and click on Tom Thum’s TED talk here.

Tickets available here.

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ROLLER DISCO, 26th November 

Fromage on Ice, Alexandra Palace

What’s more awkward than slipping about like a newly born deer on ice in front of people you barely know? Doing so to naughties cheese, of course. Alexandra Palace has teamed up with Club de Fromage to bring you the ripest of 00’s tracks under their beautiful canopy. Shuffle along the perimeter of the rink to top pop, disco, rock, indie and old skool hip-hop giggling nervously. Try to remain upbeat when you realise your arse has started to resemble that mushed up peach dying at the bottom of your bag.

If that doesn’t sound like enough musical brie for you, prise your skates off, grab a joint discount ticket and continue the pop train down to Club de Fromage, Islington. The cheese doesn’t end that easily I’m afraid. These fermented tunes are made of stronger stuff.

Book tickets here.

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Theatre of Changing Spaces: Kings Cross in the '80s

“Only last night I found myself lost / by the station called King's Cross. / Dead and wounded on either side / you know it's only a matter of time.” [Pet Shop Boys - Kings Cross] It’s the night after the play and I’m standing at the bar of ‘The Big Chill House’ on Pentonville Road in Kings Cross. It’s ‘Throwback Thursday’ (#TBT) and happy hour is definitely over.

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Local Creatives: Laura Bird Ceramics

Ceramics with charisma. Local pottery genius, Laura Bird has of course graced the digital pages of It’s Nice That, sold out in Anthropologie* and taken her seat at many a London ceramics stall since just recently starting her career in ceramics. It’s no surprise she is well loved: her unique and gentle humour exudes from every jar, planter and candlestick holder, adorned with cheeky expressions and impish grins.

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Eat & Drink

Fresh Comfort Food: Walnut Cafe and Dining

Having worked in hospitality with a keen artist’s eye, the Arts Building knew Emma was perfect to take over the space. They were after a morning to night eatery for the neighbourhood, one for local residents and workers alike. Knowing the street’s reputation as a bit of a foodie strip, the menu had to be up to scratch for it’s discerning super-taster of a community. Yes, we’re a hungry bunch in Stroud Green.

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Twin Peaks Supper Club, North London

At the time of writing this the menu has just been released for Food by Feast’s new supper club. I imagine, however, that by the time you read this every dining space will be swiftly filled. If you aren’t acquainted with the duo yet (tsk), they’re the genius collaboration of Cordon Bleu chef and food writer Olivia Potts and Guardian food writer and cook, Kate Young. Having successfully completed the likes of a Gilmore Girls supper club to rapturous applause and smacking lips recently, the latest menu experience is Twin Peaks inspired and looks equally witty and delectable.

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Get Your Shaman On: Gong Bath in Stokey

Sound healing in Stoke Newington. This Thursday 18th May, The Mystery School of Sound are running a de-stress gong bath experience in Stoke Newington Ramadan Mosque. Alongside guided meditation, healing process and gong performace, you’ll get a mini intro to healing traditions of the druids and hermetic teaching.

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Pop Up Cinema: Celebrate Cannes in Kentish Town

Patron Cave a Manger’s pop up cinema are shacking up at The Rose and Crown in Kentish Town to screen The Artist. Soak up the atmoshpere of the Festival du Cannes with swanky popcorn and elegant cocktails. Get red carpet ready for this special screening of The Artist - the ridiculously popular award winning silent French film that everyone fell in love with.

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Stokey Food Market: Fundraising for the Community

Unfortunately rising rents are affecting community spaces in Stoke Newington and their availability. St Mary’s Centre currently provides a space for projects including the Foodbank, Hackney Migrants centre and the Night Shelter but they're at risk of losing their space. To help raise funds to redevelop the space and increase awareness, they are organising a weekend food market in Stokey. The pop-up food market is a launch event for their huge fundraising drive to rebuild the community rooms attached to St Mary's Church in Stoke Newington.

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Eat & Drink

Eating North London: Healthy Chocolate Breakfast with Kate Oates

Healthy chocolate mousse and sexing up your smoothie with Kate Oates. We have found ourselves a yoga guru in Kate Oates, a healthtastic yogi based in Crouch End. When we met her last year she hinted at a few of her own culinary creations and boy were we intrigued. Asking for an exclusive recipe for you health conscious readers, we received a taste sensation of an idea for chocolate breakfast.

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Alternative Speed Dating with Single Cylinders

“All My Single Cylinders, All My Single Cylinders”. Two girls, sick to the back teeth of Tindering and Bumbling about the bars of London, decided to create their own speed dating night. Involved in the biker community of East London they have created a special series of nights combining live music, motorbikes and speed dates. Bolt Motorbike Shop of Stoke Newington is their latest venue, providing a more intriguing backdrop for your date night and quashing the usual awkwardness of sparse, brightly lit speed dating scenarios. You can admire the motors, enjoy your free drinks and listen to some live music with some top notch handpicked company.

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Eat & Drink

Pop Up Proper Piirakka in Finsbury Park

In case you’ve never had a piirakka, (also known as Karelian pasties, pies or pirogs) they’re a delicious Finnish treat that you need to try immediately. Whether savoury or sweet, they’re basically a light pastie made with rye flour and a pretty unique variety of filling options. Meet Aapo Nieminen, a native Finnish local who grew up with piirakka. After getting tired of asking friends and family to bring him these naughty little pasties whenever they visited he came up with a plan. “They are an important part of everyday finish life. One day I thought why not just make them yourself?”


North London Bike Tour: Giro d'North Four

The lycra is optional. Coffee however, isn't. On Friday 197 cyclists descended on Sardinia to compete in the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia. For those of you that don't have wardrobes filled with lycra you might never of heard of it but Think Tour d'France but in Italy. Still drawing a blank?

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Eat & Drink

Millenial Munchers Heaven: Cookie Dough Cafe

Naked Dough have appeared like a pair of beautiful fairy godmothers to lead me to an actual edible cookie dough dance party. Plus they didn’t even tell me what I should wear, they genuinely don’t care. Naked Dough is a new restaurant serving edible cookie dough from tubs, cones and even carry home pots. The ingredients are raw egg free and the flour is heat-treated so you need not worry-like-Edwina-Currie about salmonella and stomach bloat (unless you’re gluten free of course. In which case I’m sorry you’ve stumbled upon this torture page of an article).

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MINT Vintage, The Denim Edition

Ten years ago MINT Vintage first opened in Covent Garden before moving on to the more creative surrounds of Stoke Newington, pioneering fashion forward vintage. Every piece is hand selected and sourced from all over the world, ensuring every garment is trend driven but timeless and always unique. This May they’ve decided to transform their world in to an “oops we were trying to make corduroy and came up with denim” dreamland*.

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Carry On Up the Canal with Secret Adventures

Finding myself wandering around Limehouse Basin craving a pint and perhaps even a slice of pizza, I needed to get home to my local Crate Brewery sharpish (they do the freshest craft beers and have award winning pizzas). But how to get there? Stumbling in to Limehouse Station and towards a huge sign saying CLOSED, I consider walking there instead. A short meander riverwards, I reach the canal and begin to notice a group of people donning chunky waistcoats stretching their arms around. I pause for a second, swaying slightly on the spot, watching this mesmerising circle of humans yielding huge double ended spoons.

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‘Not another psych night’ at Nambucca

"Ooh they’re doing a psych night at Moth Club Tina!” "What, again?” It’s a familiar sentence. Fast becoming a buzzword for young musos and Beyond Retro dwellers alike, psych music is no longer just for the suede fringed waistcoat wearing Acid Jazz lovers who curse their parents they weren’t born in 1966. No no. The psych music spectrum has spread it’s bendy wings and shaken off it’s lava lamp skin to embrace a whole host of musical genres. From William Burroughs to Pet Sounds to Thee Oh Sees, the genre’s had a birth, decline and resurgence. Nambucca in Finsbury Park are totally capitalising on this revival with their new monthly night, SIKE! This Thursday 11th May, they’re bringing four different acts who are all covering different elements of the psych scene.

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Beer and Bagels at The Good Egg, Stokey

Back in 2014 The Good Egg was hatched, mixing Californian sunshine with Tel Aviv traditions to bring one heck of a menu to Stoke Newington. Food critics, instagrammers and swathes of Stokey baby holders flocked to it’s doors to get stuck in to the Jerusalem breakfast, merguez sausage and indeed eggs washed down with spicy brunch cocktails.