23 things to do in January | St James's London

Health and Wellness

23 things to do in January

Free activities, budget ideas and more.

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Start 2024 with guaranteed good times…

From free activities to budget day out ideas and ways to banish the January Blues, we’ve put together a list of things to do this month in St James’s to help start your year with a smile.

Explore free things to do

We’re all likely in recovery mode at the start of the year after the previous season of indulgence. So, we’ve made things easy with this selection of ideas for things to do in London this month for free and no need to book:

1. At just over 2km, a walk or run around St James’s Park will help clear those new year’s cobwebs. Make the most of crisp winter days with spectacular views of the London Eye and Buckingham Palace.

2. Or why not plan a walk with purpose and take yourself on a self-guided tour of the more than 70 galleries in our neighbourhood. From blockbuster exhibitions at The Royal Academy to ancient art at Tomasso, Old Masters at Trafalgar Galleries and more, there’s plenty to see this month.

3. Bring your latest book or pick up a page-turner at Waterstones or Hatchard’s before relaxing in one of St James’s hidden cafes.

4. Visit before 14th January for your last chance to experience the scent-sational Glossier pop-up at 173 Regent Street.

5. Consider yourself something of a fragrance connoisseur? Browse Floris’ mini in-store museum which showcases some of its famous former customers’ favourite scents and the history of this 18th century family-owned business.

Fight the January Blues

Blue Monday, falling on 15th January this year, is said to be the most depressing day of the year. Combat seasonal sadness with our recommendations:

6. The only blues we want in our lives are from the extraordinary singers at Quaglino’s. It’s sharing a little extra magic with a free bottle of Lanson Champagne when you spend £100 there this month – just mention ‘January Moments’ when booking.

7. Don’t miss Thursdays at Brumus inside the Haymarket Hotel for a new weekly jazz night.

8. Or if you want to switch off, dive into the tranquil blues of its pool. Now open to non-guests, book a 45-minute swim at The Haymarket Hotel with a two-course brunch or lunch for just £35.

9. Laughter can sometimes be the best medicine. Book your ticket to see local and international comedians as part of The Comedy Carnival at Wonderville every Thursday (£16) and Saturday (£20) in January.

10. Try and change of scenery and work remotely at some of our favourite London hotspots this month.

11. Don’t punish yourself with restrictive new year’s resolutions. Instead set more positive and realistic goals with the help of our 2024 guide.

Spend more time on hobbies

Whether you want to learn a new skill or simply focus more on an existing passion, supercharge your efforts with our neighbourhood’s experts:

12. Learn the basics or improve your form at an online life drawing class with the Royal Academy’s Saturday Sketch Club (£10).

13. Get a flying start to the new year with a 360 Running Analysis session at Nordic Balance (£87.50). Learn more about your running style and help prevent injuries for stress-free strides in 2024.

14. Create your personalised Earl of East candle with a candle making workshop in its nearby Quadrant Arcade store (£55).

15. Feel safe on two wheels and find the perfect bike for you with a specialist fitting at Pinarello. Its Precise Performance experts use 3D camera analysis to review your movement and positioning on your bike, coupled with a review of your cycling history to tailor you bike to you.

Sample set lunch menus

St James’s has some of the best restaurants in London. An easy and budget friendly way to get a taste of new cuisines or plan a special meal is to try set menus. Here are a few of our favourites:

16. Tuck into authentic Indonesian fare at Toba in St James’s Market. Choose from two courses for £22 or a leisurely three-course meal for £26 between 12-2:30pm, Tuesday to Friday.

17. As it’s known for its exquisite seafood, it would be a shame not to eat your fill at Milos, with three courses for £45 from 11:30am to 2:30pm on weekdays. Think grilled octopus with Santorini fava, lobster pasta and more.

18. Experience fine French cuisine with British heart at Seven Park Place by William Drabble. Enjoy a two-course lunch for £35 or opt for 3 courses for £45.

19. Foodie-favourite, Fallow, serves up a fantastic three-course set lunch menu on weekdays for £42 per person. From 11:30am to 3:30pm, savour its menu filled with some of its most-famous dishes. We recommend the homegrown mushroom parfait to start, and its delicious Chelsea tart to finish.

20. A great spot for a lunch meeting or relaxed meal for two, Ginza’s weekday set lunch menu includes salmon carpaccio, deep fried aubergine, and other Japanese delicacies for £32 per person.

Raise a toast to Burns Night in London

A dedicated Scot or just enjoy an excuse for a wee dram, here’s how to celebrate Scotland’s beloved son and poet on 25th January in St James’s:

21. Book your ticket for an evening of canapés and whiskies with Berry Bros and Rudd to celebrate Burns Night (£65). The tastings include a special 1990 bottling from a secret Speyside distillery – a real must-try. You ticket also includes a £25 voucher to spend in-store.

22. Choose from two Burns Night special events at Fortnum & Mason. Work your way through five delicious Neal’s Yard cheeses paired with five whiskies in its 3rd Floor Studio (£45). Or reserve your place at FIELD’s exceptional Burns Night Super, complete with bagpipes and a four-course meal (£95).

23. Prefer to celebrate at home? Stock up on Scottish fare with its Burns Night collection.

Discover even more inspiration for things to do on our Instagram, @stjameslondon. Follow for ideas, behind-the-scenes and more.