March diary

The days are lengthening and it's time to get out and about. Happily, March is jam-packed with design, art, fairs and festivals, including London Design Week and the 100th Ideal Home Exhibition.
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French Louis XVI period chairs at the BADA Antiques Fair, Sloane Square, 5-11 March
French Louis XVI period chairs at the BADA Antiques Fair, Sloane Square, 5-11 March
Spring starts officially on 20 March, with Easter immediately following. And to cap it all, the clocks go forward on 30 March.

5-11 March: the BADA Antiques and Fine Art Fair is at Duke of York Square, off Sloane Square, SW3, featuring about 100 top dealers. Special attraction is a mens's fashion exhibition called Bespoke & Bejewelled: The Art of Gentlemen's Tailoring, which boasts a glittering collection of 225 tie pins from a private collector, plus shirts, suits, ledgers and pattern books. Tickets cost £10 for a single, and £15 for a double, to include a BADA handbook and re-entry pass. A cheese-and-wine tasting is on 5 March at 6.30pm (£25); an Introduction to Gillows Furniture is on 6 March at 11am (£15); and The Art of Drinking is on 7 March at 11am (£15). Tickets for special events include entry: book in advance on 020 7589 6108; (

6-9 March: the third annual King's Road Antiques Fair is at Chelsea Old Town Hall, King's Road, SW3, featuring 35 carefully vetted exhibitors selling art, fine silver, carpets, furniture and furnishings, jewellery, ceramics and silver. Prices range from less than £100 to more than £10,000. A licensed bar will offer drinks and light meals. Tickets cost £5. See, or call 0870 350 2442.

18th century cow creamers from Roger de Ville, King's Road Antiques Fair, 6-9 March
18th century cow creamers from Roger de Ville, King's Road Antiques Fair, 6-9 March
6-11 March: East is London's newest cultural festival, with a programme of more than 400 events that cover fashion, film, food, art, history and performance (

7-8 March: Taste East is a colourful food event in fully covered Crispin Place, off Brushfield Street, E1. Sample produce from more than 40 quality food stalls, many of them local, set out amid straw bales, and catch cooking demos, plus spinning and felt-making. Enjoy spit roasts and live entertainment, including stilt-walkers and acoustic music. Spitalfields City Farm is giving talks, and showing off its animals in adjacent Bishops Square (; 020 7739 6643).

7-14 March: Printmaking, and Sculpture Work in Progress Shows are at the Royal College of Art at Kensington Gore, SW7 (020 7590 4444;

11 March: RCA's Double Take Architecture Talk has rector Sir Christopher Frayling talking with Sir Ken Adam, "the world's greatest living production designer". Kensington Gore, SW7 (020 7590 4444;

12-14 March: public open days at London Design Week at the Design Centre at Chelsea Harbour, SW10, showing this season's spring decor trends. Admission is free, as are courtesy buses from Sloane Square via the King's Road to the harbour, and back again (020 7225 9101;

12-16 March: the Country Living Fair is at the Business Design Centre, Islington, N1. Highlights include info on climate-change gardening and cooking with wild food. You can also browse the stands of designers, craftspeople and small producers selling British crafts, home furnishings, jewellery, beauty products, fashion, food and drink. Tickets cost £11 in advance, or £14.50 on the door; five- to 16-year-olds, £6.50 (£8); concessions, £11. Call 0870 126 1800, or see

Enjoy arts, crafts, gardening and food at the Country Living Fair, Islington, 12-16 March
Enjoy arts, crafts, gardening and food at the Country Living Fair, Islington, 12-16 March
13-16 March: the Affordable Art Fair has 120 galleries selling art for less than £3,000, with lots for £100 or less. Added attractions are a free print-making workshop (suitable for all ages), a creche and a café. Venue is Battersea Park, SW11. A free bus shuttle runs to and from Sloane Square. Tickets cost £9 in advance, £10 on the door; concessions £7 (£8). See, or call 020 8246 4848 (information) or 0870 777 2255 (booking).

13-16 March: La Dolce Vita, the Italian property event, is at Olympia, Hammersmith Road, W14. Sample Italian food and enjoy wine tastings at the Italian Wine Academy. Or pick up tips for Italian cooking at home from celebrity-chef demos. You can also see fashion and design shows and shop at markets for authentic food and craft. Tickets costs £12 in advance, £16 on the door; children, £8. See

14 March-6 April: The 100th Ideal Home Show is at Earls Court, Warwick Road, SW5. Tickets cost £11 in advance (£14 on the door) on weekdays, and £16 (£13) at weekends. Concessions cost £8 (£7); under-16s get in free. See (, or call 0844 415 4155.

16 March: St Patrick's Day in Trafalgar Square offers traditional Irish music and dance on specially installed platforms. A free children's area will fill one whole side of Leicester Square, with free activities including face-painting and hair-braiding, "challenges and skill tests", and "fun tumbles" for the under-fives. Quality Irish crafts will be for sale, including glass, wood, metal, ceramics and linens. See

16 March: Lambeth's Living Waters is an event for National Science Week at Roots and Shoots wildlife centre, Fitzalan Street, SE11. Learn about the borough's rivers and ponds, and (on dry land) visit producers' and makers' stalls selling organic fruit and veg, locally made bread and cakes, and crafts. Admission is £1 for adults; under-12s get in free. Refreshments are available. Call 020 7587 1131, or see

17-18 March: Irish food market in Covent Garden, WC2.

* The National Trust is organising family Easter egg trails at Fenton House, Hampstead, NW3; at Sutton House, Hackney, E9; and at Morden Hall Park, Morden; and Osterley Park and House, Osterley. There are also Easter events at country properties within easy reach of London. For full details of times and dates, go to

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