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London Design Festival: highlights

This year’s London Design Festival comes to SW1 with the creation of the Victoria Connections Design District. Working with the theme of ‘Connections: people and places’, local business will host a number of events and activities that showcase the role design has played in creating modern Victoria. Here are our top five must-sees…

Victoria Then & Now with Landsec

Wednesday 19 September, 4:30-5:30

Victoria has seen a dramatic transformation over the past decade. This fun, informal
– and free! – tour shows just how much SW1 has changed, starting with an archive photography viewing at 80 Victoria St. The one-hour tour will continue down Victoria Street with viewings of new architectural gems including The Zig Zag Building and 123 Victoria Street. The tour finishes in Nova North, where all that walking will be rewarded with a complimentary drink.


The Spellbinding Costumes of Wicked, the Hit Musical

17-18 September & 20-21 September, 12-4pm  

Wicked has a lot going for it: catchy tunes, a great story and utterly spellbinding costumes. London Design Festival is your chance to see costume designer Susan Hilferty’s Tony Award-winning creations up close, alongside props from the magical world of Oz.

Apollo Victoria Theatre, 17 Wilton Road, SW1V 1LG

A Union of Taj’s Indian Heritage and timeless British pedigree

Wednesday 19 & Sunday 23 September, 2pm

Everyone loves snooping around hotels, and this September the five-star Taj Hotel is offering you the chance to go behind-the-scenes without being cautioned by security. Discover the hotel’s fascinating blend of classic and contemporary architecture in the sprawling courtyard and sumptuous suites. Afterwards you can sample a selection of award-winning afternoon teas and each guest will leave with a bespoke goodie bag.

Tickets £20, Taj Hotel & St James’s Court, 45-54 Buckingham Gate, SW1E 6AF

Discover M

Monday 17 September, 7-8pm

This exclusive tour of M Victoria St is a must for wine lovers under the pretense of architectural appreciation. Joking aside, the interior design of this award-winning restaurant/bar/private members’ club is seriously impressive. After a nose around the establishment, you and your friends will be treated to a wine-tasting session and presentation of M’s special wine engraving machines, with each guest leaving with a personalised bottle to take home. ​

The event is for up to 25 people and advance bookings are required through Pre-booking is essential. M Victoria St, 74 Victoria St, SW1E 6SQ

Make a book at Shepherds London

Saturday 22 September, 10:30am-4:40pm

Kindles are great for taking on holiday but nothing can replicate the enduring appeal of a hardback book. This one-day workshop from venerable bookbinders Shepherds will teach you the basic techniques of traditional bookmaking using a choice of materials, papers and colour combinations.

Tickets cost £90 and can be booked through Shepherds London, 30 Gillingham Street, SW1V 1HU           

For more information on all events, see

London Design Festival runs from 15-23 September 2018;