11 November, 2022
High above Westminster Abbey, in 13th-century roof spaces that were hidden for 700 years, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries bring together 300 of the Abbey's greatest treasures, including astonishingly lifelike funeral effigies of English monarchs from the 14th to 17th centuries, the death mask of Henry VII and (more recently) the hand-inscribed marriage certificate of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The sleekly designed galleries also offer unforgettable high-level views down into the body of the church.
Choreographer Matthew Bourne's enchanting version of Sleeping Beauty returns to Sadler's Wells, marking ten years since its premiere there. Since then it has delighted audiences and won awards around the world, with its sumptuous sets and costumes, kindly fairies and dastardly vampires, all set to Tchaikovsky's glorious music. Turning the timeless tale of goodness and evil upside down, this rollicking gothic romance brings Sleeping Beauty to a new generation, while losing none of its original magic. Runs until 15 January.
Newly reopened after a three-year, £8 million restoration, Leighton House in Holland Park was built for one of the most successful artists of the 19th century, and has opulently exotic interiors, as well as a rather fine new café. Just a short walk away, off Kensington High Street, Sambourne House has also recently reopened after refurbishment, and boasts the best-preserved late-Victorian interiors in London, which have to be seen to be believed. Normally open Wednesday to Sunday.
Londoners love their Christmas carol concerts, which are one of the highlights of the festive season. The grandest takes place under the great dome of St Paul's Cathedral (this year on 15 December), but there are plenty of alternatives. Perhaps the most atmospheric are the candlelit concerts at the churches of St Martin's-in-the-Fields (from 3 December) and St Giles-in-the-Fields, while perhaps the smartest features the Royal Philharmonic at Chelsea's Cadogan Hall (1 December). Hark, the herald angels sing!