Vegan street food, charity concerts and chicken shop pop-ups: what to do to beat the January blues

Hackney flee market. Pic: Hackney Flea Market

After a week that begun with ‘Blue Monday’, the nation’s least favourite day of the year, the Eastlondonlines boroughs are ready for some new year cheer.

With only one week left of what has been a very long month, it’s time to stop wishing winter away, wrap up warm and start exploring exhibitions, markets, and film festivals.

Whether you’re having a dry, damp, or vegan January, events across the ELL boroughs have you covered.


Calling all ‘Veganuary’ lovers, pop-up Indonesian restaurant Enak is now trading at BoxPark. Get down and check out the plant-based restaurant serving traditional dishes alongside new Veganuary options from BoxPark staples Big Mike’s Calypso Kitchen and MEATliquor.

When: Closes January 31.

Where: Enak, BoxPark Croydon, CR0 1LD.

Cost: Dishes from £4.95 – £8.95.


Visit the Croydon Art Space gallery to explore new contemporary artworks created by artists during and after the Covid-19 lockdown periods. Three rooms exhibit concepts of ‘Colour in Splendour’, ‘Continuance’ and ‘Bread or Fresh Air’. Find out more here.

When: Saturday 22 January, 10am – 2pm.

Where: The Croydon Art Space Gallery, 41 Lower Addiscombe Road, CR0 6PQ.

Cost: Free!


For an evening full of laughter, Matthews Yard will be bringing fan favourites Darran Griffiths, Jenny Lockyer and Vern Griffiths back for an intimate comedy performance hosted by Matt Burden. Book tickets and find out more here.

When: February 5, 7.30 – 10.30pm.

Where: Matthews Yard, 166 N End, Croydon CR0 1UF.

Cost: £12 per ticket.


Head down to Randy’s Wing Bar this weekend to celebrate the release of Miles Kane’s new album ‘Change The Show’ (and his particular love of chicken wings) with acoustic performances of the new album and old favourites. More information on how to secure tickets can be found here.

When: Friday, January 21 from 6pm.

Where: Randys Wing Bar, 28 East Bay Lane, E15 2GW

Cost: £15 per ticket including entry, food, and entertainment.


At Rich Mix Studio on Saturday, an afternoon of documentary films and panels will act as a symposium of music, visuals, and discussion around underground Black British music of the 80s and 90s. There will also be a stall selling books and DVDs. For tickets and more information click here.

When: Saturday, January 22 from 2pm.

Where: Rich Mix Studio, 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, E1 6LA.

Cost: £11.50 per ticket.


Get out and rummage through a selection of salvaged treasures from over 30 handpicked vintage traders in Hackney this weekend during the monthly vintage market. Register to go here.

When: Saturday, January 22 & Sunday, January 23, 11am – 5pm.

Where: Abney Public Hall, 73A Stoke Newington Church St, N16 0AS.

Cost: Free!


Unwind in Deptford by making the most of the wonderful Little Nan’s bar before it downsizes on March 31st. As the bar moves from operating in ‘four arches of dreams’ to just two, get out and enjoy the last two months of the newly restyled ‘Lounge Arch’. More information on the changes here.

When: Open Monday – Sunday. Friday and Saturday 11.30am – 11pm.

Where: Little Nan’s Bar, Deptford Market Yard, SE8 4BZ.

Cost: Free entry!


Get ready to listen to groovy bands, sing along with soloists and dance till morning with the DJs in the name of charity this Thursday. The Amersham Arms are raising money for The British Sjögren’s Syndrome Association, a small charity very close to doing amazing work raising awareness for the disease and supporting research into possible treatments. More information on the cause and tickets here.

When: Thursday January 20, 8pm – 3am.

Where: Amersham Arms, 388 New Cross Rd, SE14 6TY.

Cost: £4.90 per ticket.


Join Creekside Discovery Centre on the hunt for wildlife in the wilderhood of Creekside. Explore urban environments like streets, footways, walls, and the small fragments of habitat adjacent to them where wildlife makes a living. For more information see here.

When: Saturday January 22, 10.30am – 12.30pm.

Where: Creekside, meet at the main entrance to Deptford Bridge DLR Station, Deptford Bridge, SE8 4HP.

Cost: Free!


For only two more weeks Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives will showcase photographs from the 1970s and the 1980s by acclaimed photographers. The Vanished East End highlights the huge social and economic changes in the area, including the now vanished industrial landscape and the deregulation of the financial markets. Find out more here.

When: Exhibiting Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm until February 4.

Where: Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives, 277 Bancroft Rd, E1 4DQ.

Cost: Free!


For a unique cinematographic experience this weekend, venture to Genesis Cinema. Experimental artist films weave together tales, collage images and soundscapes. Featuring artist filmmakers Ronan Mckenzie and Joy Yamusangie (WATA) and animator Martinus Klemet (Face Recognition). Book tickets here.

When: Saturday January 22 @ 4pm.

Where: Genesis Cinema, 93-95 Mile End Rd, E1 4UJ.

Cost: Adult tickets £12.50.


Come to Rough Trade East this Friday afternoon for a second live in-store performance and signing from band Yard Act. This unique event celebrates the release of the band’s long-awaited debut album ‘The Overload’, released on January 21. For tickets and more information see here.

When: Friday January 21, 12pm – 3pm.

Where: Rough Trade East, Old Truman Brewery 150 Brick Ln, E1 6QL.

Cost: Tickets from £14.50.

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