Whistles Weekend: October culture picks


From a film boasting Carey Mulligan and Mary J. Blige as the female leads, to a live reading from actor turned writer Tom Hanks, we round up the cultural highlights you shouldn’t miss this October.

1. Affordable Art Fair

Thinking of becoming the next prominent art collector? Look no further as the Affordable Art Fair returns to leafy Battersea this October. The four-day event will see a diverse range of work from emerging talent alongside graduates fresh out of art school. From little as £100, visitors can expect to snap up candid portraits of the late David Bowie to much larger works like graduate Romily Alice’s neon life-size installations. The celebrated team from Central Saint Martins will be on hand all weekend, hosting workshops and insightful talks; from demystifying the art world to a handy how-to workshop on sourcing budding photographers via Instagram. We wouldn’t miss this opportunity to view and purchase the work of future household names, and neither should you.

The Affordable Art Fair runs from 18th to 22nd October at Battersea Evolution. Find out more here.

2. BFI London Film Festival

In its 61st year, the BFI London Film Festival celebrates more than 200 films representing over 60 countries as part of the official programme. From the high-profile premiers by established directors to under-the-radar independent screenings, this London Film Festival may be the most exciting year to date. Oscar-buzz already surrounds the directorial debut of actor Andy Serkis’ Breathe, in which Andrew Garfield plays activist Robin Cavendish, who refused to let disability limit his life. Already making waves at Sundance Festival, Carey Mulligan and Mary J. Blige star in Mudbound, which weaves together the stories of two Mississippi families in the years following World War Two. And on the lighter end of the spectrum, we recommend the sports biopic Battle of the Sexes. Directed by the endearingly offbeat Little Miss Sunshine duo, Emma Stone and Steve Carell replay the legendary 70s’ showdown between women’s tennis champion Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, with amusing results.

The BFI London Film Festival takes place at various cinemas across the city until October 15th. Find out more here.

3. Broadway Vegan Market

Aiming to be the go-to destination for vegan food, London welcomes the opening of Broadway Vegan Market. With more than 30 traders, the market boasts an impressive and seemingly endless selection of things to eat. Club Mexicana offers far from your average burrito by avoiding the typical “vegan-friendly” fare of chickpeas and chia seeds, while Little Leaf Food have a crowd-pleasing,sold by the slice, dairy-free pizza. For the health-conscious, we suggest the tandoori cauliflower steak and coriander chutney from plant-powered SpiceBox. If you only try one thing, let it be the one of the many brioche donuts on offer from Dough Society, proving vegan diets need be far from ordinary.

Broadway Vegan Market is open every Saturday from 10am to 4pm at London Fields Primary School. Find out more here.

4. Stranger Things Season Two

It seems the whole world will be waiting in anticipation for the return of Netflix’s Stranger Things on October 27th, and at Whistles we’re no exception. Excitement was even felt at the spring collections in Paris, with Louis Vuitton sending a printed t-shirt of the cast from the ‘80s nostalgia-fueled sci-fi horror down the catwalk. Staying true to the show’s ultra-cool retro stylings, Netflix have been releasing reimagined cult-classic film posters using the Stranger Things cast in the vein of Alien, A Nightmare on Elm Street and The Goonies. And with a spine-chilling synth version of Thriller for the new series trailer, we expect Stranger Things to be the only thing to watch this Halloween.

Stranger Things season two returns to Netflix on October 27th. Watch the trailer here.

5. London Literature Festival

This October, London Literature Festival returns for its eleventh year, filling up London’s Southbank Centre with an extensive programme of critically acclaimed authors, poets, speakers and collaborators. Portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz will present a selection of defining works from her newly published book Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005 – 2016, while Tom Hanks will be doing a live reading from his first collection of short stories, Uncommon Type. We anticipate the highlight of the festival will be Hillary Clinton discussing her most personal memoir to date, What Happened, which depicts her tumultuous election story that caught the world’s attention. Gripping stuff.

London Literature Festival takes place at the Southbank Centre from October 13th to November 1st. Find out more here.