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Virtual things to do throughout lockdown 2.0

Immerse yourself in art from the comfort of your armchair

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From online art galleries, virtual game-shows, and extra special dining delivery services, uncover a treasure-trove of fun things to do at home during the UK’s second nationwide lockdown.

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Contemporary art, things to do at home during lockdown, food, culture from the comfort of your home, London's best restaurants

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If there's anything 2020 has taught us, it's how to have fun at home.

For those who are art addicts, would-be showgoers, or looking for the perfect accompaniment to your virtual cultural caper, we’ve pulled together our top picks so you can continue to immerse yourself in art in every form from the heart of London.

From online art galleries, virtual game-shows, and extra special dining delivery services, there's a treasure-trove of fun things to do at home during the UK’s second nationwide lockdown.

Here’s our quick guide to creative ways to keep ourselves entertained and keep in touch with loved ones throughout November.

Explore art online with the National Gallery

Step inside the National Gallery and explore one of the world’s greatest collections of paintings for free, from the comfort of your home.

Offering three armchair tours to choose from, experience the Gallery in virtual reality through your desktop, phone or VR headset.

The Google Virtual Tour created in 2016 in collaboration with Google Street View, allows you to explore a 360° tour of Rooms 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15 and Central Hall. Immerse yourself in Renaissance masterpieces from Northern Italy, the Netherlands and Germany, including works by Titian, Veronese, and Holbein.

Try the 2011 Virtual Tour to explore all 18 rooms at the National Gallery and get a closer look at over 300 paintings. Best experienced from your desktop using Adobe Flash technology, this virtual tour is integrated with the Galleries collection information pages, so you can dive deeper into the paintings on show and learn more about the artists that painted them.

Or, enjoy the 3D immersive VR tour of the Gallery’s Sainsbury Wing to explore over 270 Early Renaissance paintings. Created in collaboration with Oculus using Matterport’s 3D camera technology, this tour is best viewed with a VR headset. But, you can still browse a 360° tour using your desktop or mobile devices too.

Learn more about these here.

New English Art Club Annual Exhibition at Mall Galleries

Escape from the everyday to the Mall Galleries virtual exhibition.

Now live online, the New English Art Club Annual Exhibition features works from established and emerging artists focussing on the theme of reflections.

The must-see show is a chance to experience the very best in figurative, observational and painterly work in the UK. Showcasing paintings, drawings and prints from its elected members alongside work by emerging artists whose ethos reflects its own, the art is informed by the visual world and personal interpretation; and underpinned by drawing.

Viewers explore each piece through their mobile, handheld or desktop device and works can be purchased online too.

Learn more about this exhibition here.

Virtual tour of the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts

Experience the Summer Exhibition like never before with this free interactive tour.

Offering a 1-hour video tour, explore the curation coordinated by artist duo Jane and Louise Wilson RA that seeks to challenge the definition of what community us and what form collective communities can begin to take. Themes this year reflect upon identity, immigration, contested borders, ecological threat, climate change, pro-democracy protest and landscape, in the form of installation, painting, film, photography and sculpture.

Suitable for mobile, handheld or desktop devices, viewers can use the buttons on screen to move to the next gallery, or to view and shop the works in the room on the Summer Explorer.

Whatever you decide, don't miss the megalithic mother of all art shows at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Learn more about the virtual tour here.

Dome From Home with the Crystal Maze LIVE London Experience

Excite your senses to theatrical thrills of the Crystal Maze LIVE London experience from the comfort of your home.

Offering a new companion game to the live action experience, it’s perfect for a fun (and most importantly remote) team building activity. Plus, it’s a great prelude to a future visit in person once London’s lockdown restrictions ease.

From just £15 per person, teams of eight or more can take part in a 90-minute virtual Crystal Maze experience. You and your team will be joined via video conference by one of the Maze’s own Maze Masters - your own gregarious guide - as you travel through a virtual tour of The Crystal Maze’s four zones.

Along the way, you will tackle 16 new puzzles and challenges created especially for this game, screaming ‘helpful advice’ at each other through tiny (albeit digital) windows as the time ticks away just like on the show.

The game will take place over Microsoft Teams, and each player will need a webcam, microphone and a decent internet connection in order to play.

Simply book your teams virtual adventure online. Once you are all booked in, you will receive an email from The Maze with your Microsoft Teams meeting link along with your date and time for your game.

Learn more about the virtual game here.

CIRCA’s public art livestream from Piccadilly Circus

A new art platform called CIRCA is giving the iconic advertising space on the Piccadilly Lights in Piccadilly Circus over to a different artist every month.

Throughout November, one of America’s leading artists Cauleen Smith will present her COVID MANIFESTO, before the space is handed over to another artist at the end of the month.

If you can safely walk to Piccadilly Circus to see the free public art display, it’ll be showing at precisely 20:20 GMT every evening. But, we know that’s not possible for everyone right now. So, tune-in to the online livestream via www.circa.art so you don’t miss a thing.

On-lookers or virtual viewers can connect their headphones to the digital screen, while the artist uploads additional content, for the ultimate full audio-visual sensation.

Plus, to celebrate the momentous occasion, Smith has created a print which you can buy online for £100. It’s strictly limited edition and will only be available to buy throughout November 2020. Funds raised go directly to a range of charities supporting the UK cultural sector during the Covid-19 pandemic. Go to online shop.

Go to the online livestream. Or, learn more about Cauleen Smith’s work here.

Exclusive discount and Gaucho Wine delivery service

Looking for the perfect accompaniment to your virtual activities?

Make the most of Gaucho’s door-to-door wine delivery service via the fully stocked online Gaucho Wine Shop, with single bottle and by the case purchases available.

Offering Art of London friends 15% off at the wine shop, use code: HEART15 at the checkout to redeem. Only available from 1st – 30th November 2020. *Terms apply.

The range includes red, white, rosé and champagne, with prices starting at £9 per bottle. You’ll find all your favourite in-restaurant wines, that include exclusive wines from Gaucho’s own vineyard, such as Vina Patricia, with a strong focus on Argentine wine as well as the recent introduction of the Gaucho world wines range.

For those who are unsure of what to purchase, get in touch with their wine experts who are on hand to offer you some words of wine wisdom. Email the team using: wineshop@gauchorestaurants.com

Plus, not forgetting Gaucho is also available online for food delivery via the Deliveroo service.

Explore the wine shop here.

*Terms and conditions apply: 15% discount valid until 2nd December and can be used multiple times off wines from the online Gaucho Wine Store only. Discount is not valid on sale items, events or gift cards. Discount is valid on delivery. Delivery is free for orders over £150. Discount not valid in store or for collection. Must be +18 to redeem.

Corbin & King’s Home Dining and cocktail delivery service

Fill-up on delightful dishes made by The Wolseley’s world-class chefs from the comfort of your own home with Corbin & King’s Home Dining delivery service.

Featuring dishes prepared by world-class chefs using exquisite restaurant recipes, tuck-in to the likes of The Wolseley’s Wiener Schnitzel, to Soutine’s Coq au Riesling, or Zédel’s Mousse au Chocolat. Offering door-to-door delivery of refrigerated meals, each dish can be stored for three days and are mostly all able to be oven heated or microwaved.

Plus, for larger families enjoy the Home Entertaining menu with a range of celebratory dishes made for dinner party dinning. All dishes come with accompanying sides and are ideal for groups of 5-8 people.

What’s more, sip and savour a range of hand-bottled cocktails as part of the Home Dining delivery service with The Wolseley Collection Take Home Cocktails. Cocktails are created by the expert bar team and include Margarita, Hemingway Daiquiri, English Rose, Negroni and a Manhattan. Each bottle contains two servings and make the perfect pairing to your chosen meals.

Learn more about the Home Dining delivery service here.

Festive afternoon tea at home from Firmdale hotel group

Back by popular demand, Firmdale’s Afternoon Tea at Home is returning for the holiday season with a festive twist.

Kick start the festive season and enjoy the Veuve Clicquot Festive Tea, delivered straight to your door. The perfect at home accompaniment for those celebrating a special occasion, this Champagne Afternoon Tea for four includes a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, a selection of savoury and sweet treats from finger sandwiches and truffle and mushroom arincini to cinnamon and honey macarons and freshly baked scones, as well as a RIKRAK scented candle.

Available for delivery on selected dates including 28th November, 5th December, 12th December and 19th December 2020. Delivery is available to most central London post codes. If you live outside of the delivery range, email shop@firmdale.com who will keep you up-to-date should the delivery range be extended in the coming weeks.

Whatever you decide, refuel on scrumptious festive treats at home from the exceptional Ham Yard Hotel.

Learn more about the festive afternoon tea here.

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