Sometimes, the Hotels-London blog lets you know about special days in London, in order that you can make the most of them with some fantastic events. Tomorrow is March 1st, and we’re helping you out again, only this time we’re looking at not one but two great events happening in London tomorrow.
The first is World Book Day, a worldwide event with the aim of encouraging children to enjoy reading. There are plenty of events for all ages , from talks to hands-on workshops.
The second is St David’s Day, a celebration of the patron saint of Wales. While not quite as well-travelled as its more raucous Irish counterpart, St David’s Day is still celebrated in London, with plenty of events centred around Welsh music and cuisine.
World Book Day
The hub of World Book Day activity in London is undoubtedly the Discover Children’s Story Centre in Stratford, which hosts The Big Write from March 1st-9th. During the day, you and your children can enjoy a packed programme of events featuring some of the most popular children’s authors around, including the creators of Rastamouse and How To Train Your Dragon.
Then, the evening sessions provide budding writers and illustrators the chance to listen and learn from those already established in the business, as well as participating in enlightening Q&A sessions. So, whether you’re looking for a family day out or a stepping stone to a new career, Stratford is the place to be. Tickets cost £7 for adults and £6.50 for children, with day sessions running from 11am-5pm.
Plenty of venues are hosting well-established authors, with signings and talks taking place all across the city. Of these, a discussion in Deptford of a book with an unusual topic is potentially a highlight. Taking place at Deptford Lounge near Greenwich, comedian Mark Thomas discusses his work Extreme Rambling, in which he charts his attempt to walk along the Israeli Separation Barrier.
The talk, which includes tales of encounters with Israeli border guards and a tragicomic look the tribulations of those living near the barrier, begins at 7:30pm and is free to attend, but booking is required.
Of course, you can’t talk about books in London without mentioning the British Library. Whilst there are no specific World Book Day events planned there, considering they have a copy of every book published in Britain, there almost doesn’t need to be.
Housing 625km of shelves, visitors will find everything from today’s newspapers to the Magna Carta, all just a short walk from Kings Cross and St Pancras rail stations.
St David’s Day
The posters advertising parties for upcoming St Patrick’s Day are already adorning walls across the country, and under such circumstances it would be easy for poor old St David to be overlooked. However, with a sizeable Welsh population calling London their home, there will in fact be plenty to see in the capital.
Many of these are centred around Welsh food, with culinary treats on offer in Oxford Street, King’s Road and the South Bank.
Oxford Street’s John Lewis branch is hosting Welsh cheese making classes with cheese specialist Dave Edwards. There will be classes at 5pm, 6pm and 7pm, although the highlight will of course be sampling the finished products.
As well as cheese, throughout the day visitors can also try Welsh whisky, paté and chocolate, accompanied by enjoyable live music with a Celtic theme.
The stylish Partridges store on Sloane Square in Belgravia is also getting in on the act, with plenty of Welsh food to enjoy in store, including more cheese and organic meats. Their cafe will also provide a special Welsh menu, featuring traditional Welsh rarebit and Welsh cakes accompanied by delicious Welsh ale.
If you miss those, then from March 2nd-4th the Southbank Centre will provide a similarly excellent food market featuring another fine selection of Welsh fare.
The London Welsh Centre at Grays Inn, just down the road from St Pancras, is a charity whose sole objective is to promote Welsh culture in London.
Naturally, St David’s Day is one of their most important dates of the year, and they will host an open day that includes the chance to listen to Welsh music, eat Welsh food and learn a little about Wales. At 7:30 you can also join in a singalong with a Welsh choir.
Further opportunities for musical mirth are available in the East End, with Brick Lane Music Hall hosting an enjoyable evening of entertainment that pays homage to some of the most famous Welsh voices, including Sir Tom Jones and Dame Shirley Bassey.
Tickets for the matinee performance at 2pm cost £22.50 and include a pleasant afternoon tea, while the evening show includes a full dinner. This is served at 7:30pm, with the show itself starting at 9pm.
So if you’re lucky enough to find yourself in London tomorrow, you certainly have plenty to keep you occupied.