25 Great Things to Do at Home During Lockdown
Stuck at home with nowhere to go? Let the good times come to you via the magic of the internet…
Lead image: Drake & Morgan At Home’s Brunch Box (photo courtesy Drake & Morgan)
1 F45 Training’s Fundraising Workout
F45 Training is hosting its first global fundraising workout of the year, Heroes Hollywood, on Saturday 30 January, to raise money for Mental Health Foundation. Heroes Hollywood is a global initiative that brings together F45 studios around the world, and the 2020 fundraising event raised over $550,000 for the Australian bushfires. This year, to show support for the struggles people have faced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the first Heroes Hollywood workout of 2021 will be dedicated to raising funds for mental health-related organisations. The 60-minute hybrid workout will feature 18-stations, combining the best of strength, cardio, agility, speed and power. Participants are asked to donate via the GoFundMe page and workouts will be held at a selection of UK studios over Zoom (timings vary depending on the studio).
2 The Year Ahead with Thompson’s Gallery London & London Art Fair 2021
Until 6 February
With London Art Fair, the annual art fair held at the Business Design Centre in Islington, unable to go ahead this year, Thompson’s Gallery London presents The Year Ahead, an online group exhibition in partnership with London Art Fair 2021. London Art Fair usually displays modern British and contemporary art, from the early 20th century onwards, so Thompson’s in Marylebone has partnered with the fair online to present an exciting range of new paintings and sculpture. A promotion and preview of the exciting 2021 calendar, this exhibition introduces featured artists for year’s exhibition schedule along with artists whose shows were affected by the 2020 lockdowns. Featured artists include figurative painter Paul Wright, Canadian abstract painter Michael Adamson, sculptor Chris Buck and Goldsmiths alumna Angela A’Court.
3 THEWHODUNNIT? Presents Murder on The Underground Express
29 January-28 February
THEWHODUNNIT?’s Murder on The Underground Express is a virtual murder mystery that revolves around the killing of self-made millionaire Langdon Park during the inaugural outing of his new underground train, the Express Line. Only guests of the victim were present at this private opening ceremony – so whodunnit? As a guest aboard the Underground Express, you are cordially invited to attend an evening of investigation and revelations with world-famous detective, Reynard Gull. Tickets £10pp, offering access to the interactive virtual murder mystery experience via Zoom. Private experiences available for groups of 15-20. Running Fridays and Sundays till the end of Feb.
To book see designmynight.com
4 The Poltergeist Play Online
25 January-28 February
Following the 5-star critical success of live streams of Philip Ridley’s brand new play, The Poltergeist, during November’s lockdown, Tramp theatre company is making the ground-breaking work available to view online for a limited season only. Ridley’s darkly comic new play, available via the Southwark Playhouse website in partnership with streaming service Stream Theatre, is about art, family, memory and being haunted by the life we never lived. Sasha was destined to take the art world by storm. At the age of 15 pop stars wanted his paintings, and a new exhibition was going to make him a rich. But now he serves in a stationer’s and no one’s even heard of him. What went wrong? Widely considered to be one of the greatest living British writers, Ridley’s previous plays include The Fastest Clock in the Universe, Radiant Vermin, The Pitchfork Disney, Tender Napalm, Dark Vanilla Jungle and Mercury Fur, as well as the screenplay for the 1990 ﬁlm The Krays. Tickets £15.
5 The Online Immersive Sherlock Holmes Adventure
27 January-10 March
For three weeks only, the Olivier-nominated creators of Alice’s Adventures Underground, Les Enfant Terribles, have teamed up with virtual reality company LIVR to present an immersive online adventure that blurs the lines between theatre, gaming, escape room and board game. The online Sherlock adventure, called The Case of the Hung Parliament, will run from 27 January until 10 March. Suitable for ages 12+, the online ‘whodunnit’ invites audiences alongside live actors to follow in the footsteps of the great detective himself in an immersive experience incorporating 360°, multi-sensory technology. The Home Secretary, The Foreign Secretary and the Lord Chamberlain, have all been found hanging in their own chambers. Each victim died on their birthday, and on that day had received a card with a mysterious quote written in it. Can you solve the case before the murderer strikes again? Public shows £15pp, private shows £90 for up to six players.
6 The Chesterfield Mayfair’s Virtual Gin Tastings
The Chesterfield Mayfair is hosting its Gin & Tonic tasting experiences online, live streaming a pro’ mixing tutorial right into your home. The hotel’s resident mixologist will guide you through an innovative gin and tonic tour via video call, and will deliver a special G&T kit ahead of the experience so that you can make three bar-quality cocktails at home. The sessions cost £40 per person for an hour of live mixology, including a G&T kit with three gins, three tonics, a complementary garnish, a gin balloon glass and a mixing spoon. Delivery is £10 per person to any UK postcode and 10 days’ notice is required (collection from the hotel is also available). Availability 12pm-9pm daily (minimum of 10 people per session).
7 BFH Virtual MyCycle Challenge
Stay active throughout the winter months with the British Heart Foundation’s 30-day virtual cycling challenge. Completing an exercise challenge, like MyCycle, can not only improve your heart health, it can also have a positive effect on your mental health as it helps increase your level of endorphins, which are a natural mood booster. The coronavirus crisis has hit charities especially hard. The BHF anticipates they will have to cut funding for new research by £50 million this year, which will put potential life saving discoveries at risk. So join the likes of British Olympic Snowboarder and cycling enthusiast Aimee Fuller to start pedalling and get sponsored to help raise vital funds for life saving research into heart and circulatory diseases. You can start any time, so long as you complete the challenge in 30 days.
8 The Architecture for Dogs Virtual Tour
The virtual tour of Japan House London’s playful Architecture for Dogs exhibition features a collection of architectural designs for dogs by world-class architects and designers such as Ban Shigeru, Kuma Kengo, Itō Toyō and Sou Fujimoto. Architecture for Dogs was devised by Hara Kenya, President of the Nippon Design Center and Japan House Creative Advisor to explore architecture and design that can be joyful for both dogs and their human companions. Discover the designs, their intended dog breed clients and their designers by clicking on the information icons beside each exhibit, and see the designs in action via the television screens along the walls. You can also design your own contribution and have it reviewed by a selection of esteemed guest judges – visit the virtual design bench to download a submission form. Plus, if you like Japanese drinks like sake and shōchū, you can join in a series of online events including a live tour of a sake brewery, masterclass sessions and a cocktail-making demonstration.
9 Digital Murder Mystery Co
The Digital Murder Mystery Co is offering a great way to great friends together online and liven up lockdown, with off-the-peg, download-ready murder mysteries, or bespoke immersive experiences available. Choose from themes such as Studio 54, 1920’s Paris, 1930’s Nile Cruise, Vintage Circus, Alice in Wonderland, the Grand Horror Hotel and more. One thing remains constant throughout the themes – somebody won’t make it through the night, and it’s your job to find out whodunnit! Each mystery is set up for 12 players, with the option to buy more characters for £5 each. All characters are non-gender specific and you receive party-planning tips from resident expert Charlotte Ricard-Quesada of La Fête, character profiles, mini-scripts, clues for the action and custom playlists to help get everyone in the mood. From £69.
10 The Original Sweetshop Afternoon Tea Takeaway
The Chesterfield Mayfair, which offered festive afternoon tea takeaways throughout Christmas, is now offering its Original Sweetshop Afternoon Tea – complete with the irresistible Drumstick lolly macaroon – for delivery of collection. Inspired by Hardys Original Sweetshop, the afternoon tea celebrates the joy of rediscovering old favourites and the thrill of finding something new and scrumptious. Savour freshly made finger sandwiches, homemade scones and a selection of delicious cakes and pastries including a Coca-Cola slice, Reece’s peanut butter cup and raspberry cheesecake liquorice allsort. A delivery charge of £10 applies postcodes in W1, SW1 and SW3. Delivery can be organised across London’s Zones 1-4 with respective delivery charges applied. Collection is also available from The Chesterfield Mayfair free of charge. Two hours’ notice required.
British Olympic Snowboarder and cycling enthusiast Aimee Fuller taking part in the BFH Virtual MyCycle Challenge (photo: Ollie Holder for BHF)
11 METAXA and Oliveology’s Greek Night In – Virtual Tasting
29 January & 14 February
Greece’s most loved amber spirit, METAXA, is teaming up with Oliveology, London’s purveyor of specialty Greek artisan products, to launch a series of virtual tasting workshops. The online events make the perfect household or date night activity for two. Each virtual event will offer a guided cocktail tasting and making masterclass led by METAXA’s brand ambassador Harry Gerakis, and Oliveology’s food anthropologist Nafsika Papacharalampous. Sip on METAXA in a variety of ways including neat, in homemade cocktails or as a pairing with a variety of foods. Attendees will receive a bespoke box for two complete with four miniature bottles of METAXA 12 Stars, alongside Oliveology’s paired Greek deli delights such as dried figs, roasted and lightly salted almonds, orange blossom honey, kalamata olives with orange and herbs, and olive oil with lemons, oranges and thyme. 7pm. Tickets £55.
12 SLG Skills: Online Introduction to Block Printing
2 February-9 March
Learn how to block print in South London Gallery’s series of online creative workshops led by artist Louisa Loakes. You will receive a Block Printing Box by post containing all you need to take part in the online course and carry on with block printing in the future so that you can create your own designs and print beautiful patterned fabric at home. The course will take place on Tuesdays from 2 February to 9 March, 5.30pm-7pm, covering an introduction to the process of block printing, potato printing, exploring pattern and scale using household items and your own designs, lino printing, cutting blocks and materials, learning how to use ink with the block to create variations in pattern, and how to print on clothing. General tickets £165, member tickets £140.
13 Drake & Morgan At Home’s Brunch Box & Cocktail Kits
Drake & Morgan has come to the rescue of dull weekends in lockdown 3.0 with their brand-new at-home boxes. First up, the Vegan Brunch kit, made in collaboration with Symplicity Foods’ chef Neil Rankin, feeds two and contains smashed avocado on toast with Symplicity vegan n’duja, feta and pesto, accompanied with a Breakfast Martini and an Elderflower Gin Fizz cocktail (£40 for two). Other brucnh boxes are also available. To up your Zoom celebrations, order one of Drake & Morgan’s cocktail boxes, created in collaboration with The London Essence Company. There’s Tales of Tequila, Captain Hook’s Ransacked Rums, Alice in Wonderland’s Gin Cocktails and The Three Wishes of Whiskey. Choose from a six-serve box for £35, or a four-serve kit for £25. Both boxes come with free delivery to London and the home counties. Order online by 11.59pm Wednesday for Friday delivery.
14 Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers – The Virtual Tour
Until 14 February
The Design Museum has put its 2020 blockbuster exhibition, Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers, online. Experience a specially-curated tour of the five-star exhibition from the comfort of your home with Design Museum curators Gemma Curtin and Maria McLintock. Meet the inventors and trailblazers of electronic music from early 20th century pioneers to Daphne Oram, Jeff Mills and more. Explore the birth of house and techno in Chicago and Detroit, New York’s historic dance culture and the UK’s Second Summer of Love. Immerse yourself in mind-altering audio-visuals and live performances from the likes of Weirdcore for Aphex Twin, Smith & Lyall for The Chemical Brothers and Max Cooper. Listen to exclusive interviews from internationally acclaimed artists, ground-breaking designers and visual artists. And discover how electronic music continues to provide a space for creative expression and freedom for marginalised groups. £7 or free for members. You can also experience the Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition online (£5, members free, until 28 March), and join in a number of one-off talks, events and workshops.
15 Lockdown Learning with Leiths
London-based Leiths School of Food and Wine has introduced two new online courses to be enjoyed from the comfort of your own kitchen at home, one exploring an exciting range of enticing plant-based dishes, suitably timed for the arrival of Veganuary, and the other designed for ambitious novice cooks. On the heels of the success of Leiths’ professional online course offering, the school has expanded to offer courses for home cooks, kitchen enthusiasts and would-be professionals looking for a way to expand their knowledge and skill set. The courses deliver accessible and flexible elite culinary training through a series of easy-to-follow video tutorials, alongside written resources, round-the-clock mentorship, and an interactive messaging feed to connect with your like-minded fellow students. There are even courses for teenagers. Find the full collection of online courses, prices and start dates online.
16 606 Virtual Jazz Club
Fulham’s 606 Club is keeping audiences entertained during lockdown with 606 Online Live, a series of pay-to-view live music streams. Upcoming streams include Dave O’Higgins’ sax-led modern jazz quartet on Saturday 30 January, Fini Bearman’s vocal-led contemporary jazz on Sunday 31 January, Gareth Lockrane’s flute-led modern jazz on Saturday 6 February, Lizzie Deane’s vocal-led soul/groove band on Sunday 7 February, and Jo Harrop’s vocal-led mainstream jazz quartet on Sunday 14 February, otherwise known as Valentine’s Day! All from 8pm priced £5.95 (registration required to view).
17 The Best in Stand Up with The Comedy Store Live
The Comedy Store is delivering its unique comedy club experience online and on demand. Pick and choose from a selection of shows available to stream live from the archives, granting you an hour of world-class stand-up comedy, complete with all the heckles, put-downs and infamous electric Comedy Store atmosphere, for just £5.50 a ticket. Comedians include Paul Merton, Josie Lawrence, Dane Baptiste, Marcus Brigstocke, Lou Conran, Paul Sinha, Rory O’Hanlon and tonnes more. There’s even a kids comedy show. The shows were originally filmed at The Comedy Store London in Soho and profits will be split between the performers and the upkeep of The Comedy Store’s London and Manchester venues until they are able to reopen.
18 Hackney Herbal’s Online Workshops
Hackney Herbal, a social enterprise that teaches you how to incorporate herbs into their lives in the form of recipes, skincare and natural remedies, has moved its workshops online during lockdown. Upcoming workshops include Winter Herbal Remedy Making and Fermenting Vegetables, both on Saturday 6 February, as well as regular sessions on Growing Herbs because, apparently, winter is the perfect time to start planning a new herb-growing project (next up on 13 & 20 Feb). Workshops are all priced £20 and all profits reinvested into free community activities in Hackney.
19 The Sofa Singers
The Sofa Singers is a free, twice-weekly online singing event that aims to bring people together from around the world. Set up by vocal leader James Sills as a response to the coronavirus lockdown, The Sofa Singers offers 45 minutes of simultaneous singing for hundreds of people in real time. You’ll learn a classic song with some optional harmonies and backing parts, and then just sing as if no-one is listening… because they won’t be! Due to to latency (delay), it’s not possible to hear all of the singers the same time – but you will be able to see each other, so sing with a smile! Afterwards, there’s a virtual tea break followed by some ‘open mic’ slots where you can say hello and share a song, a poem or a story. Tuesday evenings at 7.30pm and Friday mornings at 11am. Book a single session for free or become a paid-up member for access to all sessions for £10 a month.
20 Royal Albert Home
The Royal Albert Hall has streamed loads of live sessions from artists’ homes to yours throughout lockdown, and now they’re all available on demand and for free. Catch sets from the likes of Cliff Richard, Alfie Boe, Kaiser Chiefs, Katherine Jenkins, KT Tunstall, Guy Chambers, The Kingdom Choir, beatboxer SK Shlomo, singer-songwriter and cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson, Norwegian electro-artist Emilie Nicolas, Rufus Wainwright, Scouting for Girls, Sea Shambles and tonnes more. The streams are free but a donation to The Royal Albert Hall to support this magnificent, historical venue through the crisis is welcome.
21 Pure Sport CBD’s Free Virtual Run Club
Pure Sport has been going above and beyond for its community during the Covid-19 crisis, and the wellness product brand’s most recent endeavour was to start a virtual Run Club. Led by elite runners Will Goodge and Lloyd Kempson via Strava, the Run Club, which had over 300 sign ups in the first week, offers Pure Sport’s community the chance to connect with other athletes and get the motivation needed to stay active by sharing workouts and competing in challenges. To get involved, join the Pure Sport Run Club on Strava and follow @puresportcbd on Instagram. You can even compete in challenges to win running stash.
22 Stanfords Travel Writers Festival
28 January-4 February
Travel the world through a series of talks from authors at the online Stanfords Travel Writers Festival. Travel may not be an option right now but we can still see the world through travel writing, and the world-famous independent map and travel bookshop has an amazing line-up of authors to guide you around the world. You can watch 23 talks for free on the Stanfords website from 28 January until 4 February – and online thereafter – with all the books discussed available to buy from stanfords.co.uk. Part of the Stanfords Travel Writers Festival will also feature in the Destinations presents Travel 2021 online event on 30 January 2021.
23 Le Tour de France French Wine Tasting
Winfield Wines usually runs fun group wine tastings in London, but that we’re all stuck in our isolation stations, it’s time to get to know your grapes online. The virtual tutored wine tastings offer a wine education from a WSET qualified instructor conducted via Zoom. Hop online beforehand and book your ticket, which includes six sample bottles of wine that will be mailed out to your address. Tickets are £60 per household. Taking place on the following Saturdays: 30 Jan, 13 Feb, 27 Feb, 13 Mar, 27 Mar, 10 Apr & 24 Apr.
To book see designmynight.com
24 HSDY’s Friday Night Boogie
Every Other Friday
Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet! (HSDY) is continuing its virtual disco dance classes to soothe the soul with, well soul classics. The classes are hosted by HSDY founder Nikki Spencer with DJ Lord Anthony spinning the feelgood 70s and 80s tunes, and dancer Andrea Rose leading the way so that you can strut your funky stuff while raising money for charity. Classes kick off with a free-style warm up, before you go on to learn an HSDY routine step by step. Feel free to dress up in 70s or 80s gear, but it’s not compulsory. Classes last 45 minutes and cost £5 with 10% of ticket sales going to Cancer Research UK. The next events take place on 5 & 19 Feb.
25 The Crystal Maze Dome from Home
The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience has re-launched its popular virtual game, Dome From Home, to help alleviate the lockdown boredom. The online version of the live experience offers you the chance to seamlessly enjoy all of the mental and physical challenges of The Maze from the safety of your own home via a video call. Tour the four famous zones and play eight brand-new Crystal Maze-style games of varying difficulty and skill, before finishing your journey with a visit to the iconic Crystal Dome. £20pp. You can also opt to have an official Maze Master run the experience for you.