The Handbook
The Handbook

We’ve been waiting for a month for this weekend, when we can finally leave the house, go to restaurants, shop and head to the pub as long as we buy a scotch egg.

How you spend it is up to you, personally I think I’ve developed Stockholm syndrome and may remain sat at my kitchen table pretending to work and making incessant cups of tea, but hopefully you’ll be getting out and about. Here’s some inspiration…

Mansion House Igloo Dining!

Igloo dining is all the rage, and sure you can find a pub garden with some Perspex tents in them, buy why not do it in true style: in the grounds of a London landmark?

This weekend both Syon House and Somerset House are welcoming the first guests in a month’s pop-up for The Eventist Group, hard-hit caterers bouncing back thanks to one of London’s most COVID-secure dining experiences.

Go Shopping Again!

Partnership Feature

The West End Village’s Seven Dials has just become way more than a shopping destination. For December, the streets will be paved with festivities and decked with a dazzling light display which winds its way around every cobbled corner. The famous Dial will be hypnotising in its own right, too, all dressed in a halo of branch lights and colourful baubles.

With big-name brands, independents, concept stores and a thriving bar and restaurant community, where better to make a start on those gift lists?! If that’s not enough to entice you, then The Seven Dials market will, where vendors will be on hand to keep you fuelled on cheese fondue and mulled wine while you browse – all to a backdrop of nostalgic Christmas carols.

If you’re looking to fuel little imaginations, Father Christmas and his elves will be taking residency at 19 Earlham Street from December 5, every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday until Christmas. Plus, you can take a snap and tag @7dialsLondon to be in with a chance of winning a £50 voucher for brands in the area.

And finally, you can give back while you shop. Seven Dials is partnering with local charity, Dragon Hall Trust. All activities will have a tap and donate point where passers-by can contribute.

*As with all these things, social distancing will be in place.

Follow Seven Dials on Instagram – @7DialsLondon – to keep up-to-date.

Celebrate English Breakfast Day…

Is December 2nd marked in your diary as English Breakfast Day? If not then you need to send that thing back, English Breakfast Day is up there with St George’s Day and the Queen’s Birthday as a bone fide national day (don’t worry I hadn’t heard of it either, I’m starting to suspect that it might be some kind of marketing event).

Which is why you need to head to breakfast-ographers Eggslut where *unneccessary drum-roll* they are launching their first ever hot side dish in any eggslut restaurant worldwide. Grab an £11 English Breakfast sandwich and then pay a further £1.50 for  potato rostis on the side.

Where: 185 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, W11 2ED

Get Back Into The Swing Of Things…

Of course you’ve been working on your swing over lockdown especially for this very moment, to pick up your club (singular) and get back on the course. And by course, we mean mini golf course.

Epic mini-golfers Swingers is back open for business and they’re offering seasonal packages which include unlimited drinks. Food’s courtesy of Patty & Bun, Made of Dough, Pizza Pilgrim and Breddos so you can gorge and drink and, y’know, maybe play some mini golf on the side. It’s how Tiger Woods would’ve wanted it.

Where: 15 John Prince’s Street, West End, W1G 0A (there’s one East by the Gherkin too)

Stocking Fillers & A Country Pub…

With the ban on unnecessary travel lifted and our insatiable appetite for both stocking bric-a-brac and country pub roasts at an all-time high The Handbook’s Elaine has come up with the perfect combos, all a short-ish drive out of London with country pubs and Christmas shopping a go-go.

Why not mix in a muddy walk with a roaring back bar fire at the end?

Read Elaine’s feature here…

Order A Cardboard Cut Out Of A Loved One (Say What?)

Supermarket wine makers Campo Viejo are offering a curveball this weekend. Dubbed ‘Buy one get Juan free’, the deal comes from who are giving punters a free cardboard cut out of a friend or family member along with every order of Campo Viejo.

Just make an order of Campo Viejo Rioja Tempranillo or Campo Viejo Viura-Tempranillo Blanco and with 48 hours you’ll be wondering why on earth your drunk two days ago self decided to order a life sized cut out of Great Aunt Doris.

Experience real snow!

We hear from an impeccable news source that it’s meant to be an arctic winter, but as yet we’ve not experienced any snow. But in Covent Garden they have.

On the hour, every hour (just like in nature), real snow will fall on shoppers in a magical flurry of fantasticalness.

You could even walk up from Covent Garden to Seven Dials (scroll up)…

Visit A Christmas Market (Round The Back Of Selfridges)

Popped up until mid January, Selfridges have launched a Christmas market replete with helter skelter, stalls and no doubt plenty of mulled stuff.

The open air market throws open its gates this weekend and will be a cacophony of socially distanced food, drink and Christmassy bits.

Where: Edwards Mews, at the rear of Selfridges

Sneak A Peek At Claridge’s Christmas Tree

If you’re heading to the West End then be sure to take a detour to Claridge’s to check out the Christmas tree. This year’s, unveiled yesterday, is by McQueens founder, Kally Ellis.

You can just slip in and have a gawp...

You can just slip in and have a gawp, no need to book an afternoon tea or a visit to hit restaurant Davies & Brook, but you might want to…

Where: Brook Street, Mayfair, W1K 4HR

Enjoy Marylebone Once Again!

The chances are, if you’re headed into Central London then you’re probably going to be around Soho and Mayfair. In which case, why not stroll north of Oxford Street and enjoy Portman Marylebone? Escape the bustle of the capital’s main shopping district and instead enjoy the quiet foodie destination that is Portman Marylebone.

From an array of brilliant restaurants to shops and things to do, there’s an added bonus if you head down this week in the form of free coffee!

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