London is constantly placed at the top of travellers’ opinion polls probably because it has so much diversity to offer all visitors. Sure, there’s the usual world-class shopping facilities, architectural wonders and great sporting events (91 days and counting to the London Olympics) but there’s also a quirky side to London. For something new and fresh in your life, try one of London’s slightly more unusual offerings;
Sci Fi London Film Festival – 29 April-7 May 2012
Now in its eleventh year the international event showcases the very best of science fiction and fantastic film. All film genres are included and there are exclusive world premieres of films including Memory Lane and Ghosts With Sh*t Jobs. There is also a Boris Karloff tribute, a girl geek dinner club and all-nighter movie sessions for the sci-fi diehards.
London Burlesque Week – 7-13 May 2012
The burlesque scene has become hugely popular in the UK and has brought glamour and tease more into the mainstream, thanks largely to the most famous burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese. The alternative entertainment has a dedicated annual event with Burlesque Week showcasing cabaret performances, sexy circus acts and the art of tease. Billed as the biggest and best burlesque event in the world, the audience attracts both regular cabaret goers and also those newcomers keen to see the talent for themselves.
Brick Lane Curry Festival – 8-15 May 2012
Do you know your dansaak from your dupiaza? If curry is your thing, head to the annual Brick Lane Curry Festival with delicious cuisine from around India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. We Brits love our curry and certainly don’t need an excuse to eat curry for a week non-stop! Brick Lane is in the heart of the Olympic area and has been designated as an official Olympic Curry Village. Head down there on the first day which coincides with a Baishaki Mela (Bangladeshi New Year Festival) street party
London Moonwalk –Saturday 12th May 2012
Setting off from Hyde Park in May will be 15,000 women aiming to complete either a full or half marathon whilst wearing a bra (no t-shirts underneath allowed). Now in its fifteenth year, the moonwalk takes place over the Saturday night and strictly forbids running the course; only power walking is allowed. The charity event raises vital funds for breast cancer and all participants are sent a bra to wear.
Drag Queen Olympics – Sunday 15th May 2012
With the real Olympic Games now less than 100 days away, the transvestite community will host their own spoof version, the Drag Queen Olympics! Contestants will need to complete an obstacle course that represents a day in the life a drag queen; run through a set of six tyres in stilettoes, meet and greet fans and of course, mime authentically to a song picked by the judges. Don your best bodycon dress, strap on your glittery stilettos and practice miming to that Gloria Gaynor track!
Mind, Body and Spirit Festival – 30 May – 4 June 2012
Rebalance your life, body and mind with a little help from the experts at this festival, held at the Royal Horticultural Halls at Earls Court, SW5. There is a massive selection of alternative living advice, workshops and products to choose from. The packed atmosphere probably won’t induce much calm, but stock up on scented candles and a Buddha statue to recreate a tranquil atmosphere back home.
By Julie Bowman