Ah, December, the month where you can eat enough for a small family and not feel guilty. As the city transforms into a winter wonderland, we bring you the best pop ups, from dumplings to film clubs, December has everything you could want.
What: December Dumplings
Why: The street food shack from Broadway Market is travelling westward this December to host a pop-up at Leicester House, Leicester Square for 8 days only. The menu takes inspiration from various regions of China with dishes like pork and prawn shengjianbao and Sichuan crispy potatoes. Take a break from Christmas food and get some of those dumplings in you instead.
Where: Leicester House, 1 Leicester Street, Leicester Square, WC2H 7BL
What: A Nordic Wonderland
Why: If you want to celebrate the festive season Scandinavian style, this is where you want to be. It’s adorned with taxidermy and antlers and there are sheepskins laid all around. There’s Scandinavian inspired entertainment and a chance to try Scandinavian delicacies, including the infamous Surströmming. Cocktails and gluehwein will be free flowing but perhaps what you really want to catch is the blizzard – made from alcoholic snow. Need we say more?!
30th November-18th December
Where: 347 Old Street, Old Street, EC1V 9LP
What: Films For Everyone - Scrooges and Elves Alike
Why: Brought to you by Rooftop Film Club, the winter edition is set to get them even more fans. Taking place in Peckham’s Electric Theatre – a beautiful setting in itself with it’s Edwardian architecture and decaying walls – there’ll be a whole array of film screenings. Expect Christmas classics like Home Alone and Elf, as well as cult classics like Pulp Fiction and My Scientology. Something to satisfy everyone.
Where: 133 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST
What: Beer + Food + Beer + Food
Why: You’ll often hear of food and wine pairings, indeed, many build a career out of this… but how often do you hear of food and beer pairings? This December, Frontier Lager have teamed up with The Common to give you a supper club where the beer will be chosen to compliment the food. You can expect common beer braised beef with bubble and squeak served with beetroot and mustard relish and a puff pastry soldier paired with a Sierra Nevada pale ale and salted caramel fondant with porter infused ice cream, paired with a bottle of porter. Sounds pretty good to us.
Where: Old Oak Lane, Willesden Green, NW10 6EJ
What: Lights Lights Lights
Why: Back for the third consecutive year, Gods Own Junkyard are taking over Lights of Soho. Showcasing innovative and inspiring works of neon art, it gives you an alternative to all the other Christmas lights. This year’s art show “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” reflects a positive end to what has been, as most people would agree, a tumultuous year. It also lends as a perfect place to find the perfect gift.
1st December-21st January
Where: 35 Brewer Street, Soho, W1F 0RX
What: Cheap Chicken
Why: London Cheap Eats, the site that gives you the best eats in London, are hosting their first ever pop-up at (free range) Clutch Chicken. They’ll be bringing 50% off the menu for one night only, where you can choose your main of chicken with any choice of flavouring and a side for just £8. This event is the first of an upcoming series, so keep your eyes peeled!
Where: 4 Ravenscroft Street, Hoxton, E2 7QG
What: Après in London
Why: The London EDITION’s basement has been transformed into a ski lodge, complete with throws, lanterns and antlers. The space is usually reserved for exclusive nights but this month, the hotel have decided to open it up to the public for three nights only, so get your tickets quick. With it, you’ll get a complimentary alcoholic chocolate or santaria slushie plus a cheese and charcuterie board from Berners Tavern.
3rd and 17th December
Where: 10 Berners Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 3NP
What: Dining Amongst Toys
Why: Once Upon a Time bring to you a multi-sensory immersive dining experience. The magic of Christmas will be felt as diners sit beside a cast of toy characters; guests will be stimulated visually and there’s also an interactive element too. Sound intriguing? Once Upon a Time are not giving anything about what’s in store away so if you want to get involved, you know what to do.
Until 22nd December
Where: 40-41 Conduit Street, Mayfair, W1S 2YQ
What: Whisky Wonderland
Why: Whisky fans, gather round, this one’s for you. For two weeks, Islington will see a whisky boutique hosted by one of Scotland’s last remaining independent family owned whisky distillers. There’ll be one off whisky events including a tea and whisky pairing session as well as bottle engravings, expert advice and tastings. Whether you can distinguish your single malt from your blended Scotch, or if you just want to have an enjoyable Christmas tipple, it will prove a spirited occasion.
Where: 53 Barnsbury Street, Islington, N1 1TP
What: Paying Homage to Ferrero Rocher
Why: Everyone loves a Ferrero Rocher or two but this December sees the pop up of a whole dessert bar dedicated to the little chocolate hazelnut ball. Guests will be taken on a journey, rediscovering the unique combination of the tastes and textures of the chocolate – and eat alot of it along the way. Curated by Chef Paul Hannagen of Cuisson, guests will enjoy a five-course tasting menu of different desserts with each celebrating one particular aspect of the chocolate. The experience ends with a Ferrero Rocher, with guests perhaps having a greater appreciation of all the different elements.
Where: 21 Slingsby Place, Covent Garden, WC2E 9AB
What: A Fantastical Cocktail Grotto
Why: Foodie experimenters Bompas and Parr are transforming part of Westfield this month to bring you an immersive cocktail experience. Inspired by fairy tales, adventures and science fiction, guests will be taken on a journey that will evoke the emotions and joy of the festive season – it’s one of their most ambitious projects to date. Float across a 20m lagoon (in real boats), past the waterfall and emerge at a cocktail bar for drinks served by mermen. Never mind Santa’s, this is the grotto you want to visit.
Where: Ariel Way, Shepherds Bush, W12 7GF
What: A Supperclub Project Making a Difference
Why: Fat Macy’s is a great project engaging young Londoners living in temporary accomodation in a cooking scheme. Those taking party are paid £10/hour that can only be used for a rental deposit on a house, as well as training them for qualifications needed in the industry. They’re taking over the Printworks kitchen in Clerkenwell and you can be sure they’ll be cooking up a menu to remember. Give something back this Christmas and support these young Londoners!
Where: 26 Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell, EC1R 4SX
What: A Celebration of Cider and Balls
Why: For the first time, London will be partaking in a celebration of some of Scandinavia’s biggest and best exports: cider and meatballs. Enjoy three styles of Scandinavian meatball dishes with two sides, all accompanied with a flight of four ciders from across Sweden and Norway. Get those meatball and cider combos in you because from each sold, Oslo will donate £1 to male cancer charity Orchid.
Where: 1A Amhurst Road, Hackney, E8 1LL
What: A Multi-dimensional Dining Experience
Why: While this event is not until February, tickets sell out in seconds and go on sale today (Wednesday) so we’d advise getting on the website ASAP. Gingerline are known for combining food and drink with theatre, but the whole thing is shrouded with mystery as the location is revealed last minute and diners are not permitted to check in, share pictures or send tweets. It may well be London’s best kept secret. Book now!
Where: Secret Location
For more pop ups to visit during the festive season, click here.
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