What's on in London this October 2016 near Kensington
October puts us well into Autumn and as London has nearly as many trees as people this is a lovely time of year to admire the wonderful changing colours of the falling leaves.
Opening on 12 October, Beyond Caravaggio is the first major exhibition in the UK to explore the work of Italian painter Caravaggio and his influence on the art of his contemporaries and followers.
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610) is one of the most revolutionary figures in art. He died aged just 39 yet his influence was widespread and astonishingly diverse. From 1600, artists from across Europe flocked to Rome to see his work, and many went on to imitate his naturalism and dramatic lighting effects. While paintings by Caravaggio and his followers were highly sought after in the decades following his death they fell out of favour by the middle of the 17th century. Now we have the opportunity to fully recognise his artistic accomplishments.
The Science Museum has always been an enjoyable day out for families. From 12 October, Launchpad – the children's play and discovery gallery – changes into a new interactive gallery called Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery.
Wonderlab is 60% bigger and has over 50 interactive exhibits across seven zones. Amongst the gallery's many highlights, visitors can discover the solar system through a giant rotating model, explore the effects of different materials on a large friction slide, and take part in live science shows igniting curiosity in the wonders of explosions, rockets, space and more. Do note, while entrance to the museum is still free, this exciting new gallery does have an entrance charge.
HAMPTON COURT PALACE
Hampton Court Palace is worth visiting all year round. The Royal Kitchens are a real insight into Tudor dining and the Great Hall is England's last medieval hall.
There are some interesting evening talks on this month so you can extend your visit. On 17 October there's A Tudor Family Portrait where you can meet a paintings curator for a talk and exclusive after dark tour of Henry VIII's richly appointed apartments to unlock the secrets of Tudor art and what it can tell us about the infamous monarch and his family.
And on 26 October it's The Making of a Monarch. Historian Lauren Johnson will discuss how Henry VIII became the man we remember today. In his formative years he was cossetted 'like a girl', first brought up with his sisters and grandmother and then kept on a tight leash at his father's side. Yet that hopeful shy prince became a confident and unrestrained king.
PETER PAN GOES WRONG
Peter Pan Goes Wrong is from the same team that created Olivier Award-winning comedy The Play That Goes Wrong. Opening on 21 October at the Apollo Theatre, Peter Pan Goes Wrong has the original accident prone cast in this comedy West End show. Once again the members of the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society battle against technical hitches, flying mishaps and cast disputes. Will they ever make it to Neverland?
The V&A has a major medieval embroidery exhibition, with treasures returning to England for the first time since the Middle Ages. Opus Anglicanum: Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery opens on 1 October and displays over 100 exquisite hand-made objects associated with some of the most notable figures of the Middle Ages, from Edward I and his Queen Eleanor of Castile to Edward the Black Prince and the sainted martyr Thomas Becket.
Latin for 'English work', the phrase 'opus anglicanum' was first coined in the 13th century to describe the highly-prized and luxurious embroideries made in England of silk with gold and silver thread, teeming with elaborate imagery. The V&A holds the largest collection of these works in the world and the exhibition sheds significant new light on the tools, materials and makers behind these sumptuous embroideries, many of whom were women based in the City of London – medieval England's creative hub.
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM LATES
There are two opportunities to visit the Natural History Museum at night this month.
On 14 October it's the Natural History Museum After Hours Club for Grown-ups which offers an evening of retro fun including a torch-lit trail, lots of arts and crafts and a silent disco next to Dippy the Diplodocus.
And as part of the annual Museums at Night (27-29 October 2016), which takes place across the UK, there's a Discovery Lates at the Natural History Museum on 28 October. You can meet scientists and experts while touring the museum's collections.
LONDON RESTAURANT FESTIVAL
Throughout the whole of October, it's the London Restaurant Festival. There are interesting 'Restaurant Experiences' such as Restaurant-Hopping Tours, as well as lots of Festival Menus across London. It can be a great opportunity to go to Michelin-starred restaurants at a fixed price.
LONDON MONTH OF THE DEAD
As this month does end with Halloween, this is the London Month of the Dead investigating the capital's relationship with its deceased residents.
There are lots of event planned including a special visit to the bone collection at the Museum of London on 1 October, a Magic Lantern Show at Brompton Cemetery Chapel on 8 October and a Tour of Brompton Cemetery on 29 October with a London historian, folklorist and gravestone expert.
By choosing to stay at Fraser Suites Queens Gate, you will be in the heart of Kensington, and a short ride away from some of these great events happening in October. Check out our Special Offers and we hope to welcome you soon!
You can also explore what is happening near Canary Wharf by clicking here
Laura Porter writes AboutLondonLaura.com and contributes to many other publications while maintaining an impressive afternoon tea addiction. You can find Laura on Twitter as @AboutLondon and on Facebook as @AboutLondonLaura.
Image Credits: Beyond Caravaggio: Lot and his Daughters leaving Sodom, Guido Reni, About 1615-16 © National Gallery, London | Wonderlab: © Science Museum, London| The Syon Cope (1310-1320) © Victoria and Albert Museum, London