Chinese New Year
One of London’s most colourful celebrations ushers in the Year of the Rabbit, with traditional Chinese high jinks (fireworks, music, mime, street art) in Trafalgar Square, Shaftesbury Avenue and nearby Chinatown. Watch out for the famous lion dancers and visiting artists from China. Find stalls selling Chinese crafts, food and drinks.
Various locations; londonchinatown.org
Home improvements day
Enjoy free half-hour consultations with interior designers and architects, plus talks on home extensions, cost-cutting, green living/building, energy saving and more. Plus an exhibition of 50 of the capital’s best home extensions, along with demonstrations; special promotions at local furniture stores, and product giveaways.
For full details, and to book consultations/talks, visit newlondonarchitecture.org/dmi; The Building Centre, 26 Store Street, WC1; 020 7692 4000
One of London’s favourite buildings is going Michelin-mad this month, as the colourful Michelin House with its glorious tiled facade (and home to the Conran Shop since 1985) celebrates its 100th birthday. There are three vintage cars (and those famous tyres) in the window, plus a chance inside to browse archives, advertising posters, and quirky Michelin memorabilia – not least those rotund and ever-cheerful Michelin men. On 13 February - “lazy Sunday” – there are free refreshments and the first 20 readers to bring a print-out of this page can claim a free Michelin/Conran Shop 100th anniversary poster, worth £8.
The Conran Shop Chelsea, Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road, London, SW3; 0207 589 7401; conranshop.co.uk
Craft Central: Creative Hearts
The “Creative Hearts” gallery shop is showcasing pieces handcrafted from paper, ceramics, textiles, metal and wood, with a donation of all sales going to fund-raising to celebrate the British Heart Foundation’s 50th anniversary. There will also be jewellery and fashion workshops throughout the month. And on February 15, is a one day sale of jewellery, accessories and fashion from over 40 designer-makers in this popular studio complex. Enjoy discounted prices and preview the latest trends.
33-35 St John’s Square, London EC1; craftcentral.org.uk
Fulfil holiday dreams with the help of 450 leading independent travel companies. Ideas range from jungle treks and city breaks to honeymoons and gourmet retreats. Enjoy food demos and tasting sessions, and join in art, craft and dance workshops.
Tickets cost £10 in advance, £12 on the door; Earl’s Court, SW10; destinationsshow.com
A Unique Proposal
Open now until 19 February
What could be more loving that a one-off piece of craftwork made carefully by hand? This month, one of London’s top galleries is transformed into an elaborate wedding reception to show off romantic textiles, glass, ceramics, wood and metalware. Paula Pryke is doing the flowers, and chocolates and wedding favours come from Sir Hans Sloane. A “head table” has been lavished with Rupert Spira ceramics, and turned wood bowls by Peter Archer. Other tables feature one-off ceramics and glass by artists such as Sue Paraskeva, Michael Ruh, Lindean Mill and Phil Atrill.
CAA Gallery, 2 Percy Street, W1; 020 7436 2344; caa.org.uk
The Stitch and Creative Crafts Show
Get happy with your hands at a new venue for this popular show. Join in workshops with well-known craft experts, including silk painting, knitting, crochet and felting. Also see demos on patchwork; quilting; scrapbooking; ribbon- and paper-crafts; stamping; beading and much more. Stock up on traditional materials and find out about new ones.
Tickets are £7.50 adults, £6.50 concessions, accompanied children under 16 are free; Towerlands Park, Braintree, Essex; 01822 617744; www.sccshows.co.uk
Explore new textiles ideas from RCA students Catherine Aitken and Eva Malschaert with MA degree “work in progress”.
Space fiftyfour, 54 Rivington Street, London EC2; 020 7729 7818; studio54architecture.co.uk
Something for the Weekend?
Choose a possibly risqué love token from an RCA student. Designers on the goldsmith, silversmith, metalwork and jewellery courses have made limited editions of jewellery and precious objects small enough to fit into a condom box, sold appropriately through vending machines...prices from £50.
Space fiftyfour (details as above)
Grays and Alfies Antique Markets
Special display of Valentine treasures, plus personal shoppers on hand as romantic gift guides. Book your expert on 020 7629 7034, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Grays, 58 Davies Street & 1-7 Davies Mews W1; graysantiques.com
Alfies Antiques, 13-25 Church Street, Marylebone, NW8; alfiesantiques.com
The Listed Property Show
Living in a listed property is both a blessing and, if not a curse, at least difficult at times, due to restrictions on building works and so on. Now all listed property owners can enjoy, free of charge, the fifth edition of this popular annual show, with advice, tips and information for people who want to restore or refurbish their properties. Taking part are over 200 specialist suppliers showing off their products and services. There’ll also be demos and seminars, all organised by the Listed Property Owners Club (LPOC).
Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14; register on the day or apply for tickets in advance from email@example.com; listedpropertyshow.co.uk
Royal College of Art: three shows
Get ahead of the trends at the RCA’s “students’ work-in-progress” show - animation, architecture, design interactions, innovation design engineering and vehicle design. Students are, it seems, building a sauna outside the college, and there will be talks and events to which all are welcome.
Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7; department21.net
20/21 International Art Fair
Find modern and contemporary art at this popular selling show at the RCA, from dealers from all over the world (including China, India, Japan, Russia, Poland and the Ukraine). Artists include Matisse, Miró, Picasso and Chagall (all works on paper), plus urban art from the States, and British 20th-century favourites such as Henry Moore, David Hockney, Mary Fedden. And, of course, you can spot tomorrow’s stars.
RCA (details as above); 20-21intartfair.com
Ceramic Art London
Start a collection, buy a gift or spoil yourself with a special piece. This popular annual event (also at the RCA) mixes old talent with new blood, with everything for sale from a modest £12 to a bank-busting £4,000.
RCA (details as above); 020 3137 0750; ceramics.org.uk
(And for the first time, a preview by eight ceramic artists is at Contemporary Ceramics Centre, 63 Great Russell Street, WC1; 020 7242 9644; 17-26 February)
Until 19 February
In this light bright space in one of London’s best stores for modern furniture, explore new projects under development from India Carpenter, Peter Marigold and Ella Robinson, all of whom “favour hand over machine”.
The Aram Gallery, 110 Drury Lane, London; WC2; thearamgallery.org
Sewing and craft workshops
One day winter workshops at Lewis & Wood fabric headquarters are just one hour and 20 minutes from Paddington. 5 February: curtain making; 12 February: lampshade making; 19 February: upholstery; 5 March: block-printing; 19 March: Roman blinds; 26 March: book-binding; £85 to include a sandwich lunch.
Woodchester Mill, North Woodchester, Stroud, Gloucestershire; 01453 878517; lewisandwood.co.uk
"How much does your building weigh, Mr Foster?"
2-6, 9-12, 17 and 20 February
This film, to be shown through February at the ICA, traces the rise of one of the world’s most famous architects. Then Foster offers some striking solutions to a chilling prediction: that in the very near future, mankind will abandon the countryside and live entirely in cities. Find out more on mrfostermovie.com
Tickets cost £9, £8 concessions; 12 Carlton House Terrace, SW1; 020 7930 3647; ica.org.uk
Two-day flower workshop
Pick up top tips for flower design at the internationally-renowned Judith Blacklock Flower School. Price of £470 covers all materials and refreshments. Subjects include flower arranging; hand-tied bouquets; table arrangements; large-scale design; how to buy flowers, including a visit to the flower market; growing your own foliage.
Judith Blacklock Flower School, 4/5 Kinnerton Place South; SW1; 020 7235 6235; judithblacklock.com
8, 15 and 22 February
Special tours include the public rooms, and the Harold Samuel Collection of 17th-century Dutch and Flemish paintings by masters like Frans Hals, Nicoleas Maes, and Jacob Ruisdael. See also the Lord Mayor's Sword and Mace, Fire Cup and Pearl Sword, which was used by Elizabeth I to open the Royal Exchange in 1571.
Mansion House Place, EC4; londondrum.com