February, the shortest month of the year, possibly the coldest, nevertheless full of things to do. Events in February include Valentine's Day, Pancake Day and Chinese New Year. Below our selection of suggestions, including booking ahead for the Chelsea Flower Show in May. Enjoy!
theatre: The Girl On The Train
Based on the best-selling novel by Paul Hawkins the Richmond theatre presents the gripping new play 'The Girl On The Train' with Samantha Womack and Oliver Farnworth. Rachel Watson, the main character of the play is obsessed with the perfect couple she watches through the train window every day. Their life, as she sees it, is perfect. But then Rachel witnesses a shocking event, finds herself as a witness and even a suspect in a thrilling mystery. You will keep guessing until the final moment.
music: Anna Calvi
Anna Calvi, a talented English singer-songwriter and guitarist, announces a new show at the Roundhouse, an art and concert venue situated at the Grade II listed former railway engine shed in Chalk Farm. Her new live show will see her perform songs from her new record 'Hunter'. Anna Calvi’s powerful, wide ranging operatic voice is characteristic for her blend of dark atmospheric romantic pop. Doors open at 7pm
children: It’s Hot, It’s Not
2 February - 10 March
The Unicorn Theatre for children is showing a surreal, funny and carefully crafted physical performance exploring the weather in all its forms. Why is it that sometimes I’m hot but you’re cold? Why are there puddles and sometimes not? How can it be sunny and rainy all at once and also not at all? The Unicorn Production in association with Reckless Sleepers is somewhere between visual art, dance and theatre. Enjoy a relaxed 50 minutes daytime performance with your little once. Age guide 2-5
art: Elisabethen Treasures: Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver
21 February - 19 May
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, miniature painting was regarded as an art form at which the English excelled above all others, and Nicholas Hilliard and Isaac Oliver gained international fame and admiration. The National Portrait Gallery houses the first major exhibition on Tudor and Jacobean portrait miniatures in the UK for over 35 years. In the 16th and 17th centuries, miniatures were worn around the neck or pinned to the clothing as part of friendship, love, patronage or diplomacy. Explore what these exquisite images reveal about identity, society and visual culture.
not to be missed: Orchid festival Kew Gardens
9 February - 10 March
With 4.270 species of orchids, Colombia is the perfect inspiration for this year's vibrant festival at Kew Gardens. The celebration returns for its 24th year. The Orchidaceae are a diverse and widespread family of flowering plants, with blooms that are often colourful and fragrant. Grab your friends and family and enjoy the classic Colombian street food, move to the beat of tango and salsa, get crafty and make your own mask or join one of the talks and hear from Kew experts how the orchid festival was built. Escape the dreary winter with Kew’s festival of orchids.
hidden gems: Westminster Abbey's Hidden Gallery
Westminster Abbey is opening its hidden gallery for the first time in 700 years. The gallery contains a large part of human history, with a full replica set of the crown jewels, wood effigies of dead monarchs and much more. Entry will be the usual £20 that is needed to gain access to Westminster Abbey and another £5 in order to gain access to the galleries. With little knowledge of how long these are going to remain open, it is a great opportunity to gain access to some important history from the UK and have a fun look around.
book in advance: Chelsea Flower Show
Planning on going to the Chelsea Flower Show? You must book tickets in advance for the world’s most prestigious and famous garden highlight of the year. The flower show runs from Tuesday 21st until Saturday 25th of May on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London.