However deep in the sand you’ve been burying your head this last few weeks, as soon as it turns December there’s going to be no escaping Christmas. So let’s embrace it instead this weekend. Here’s a selection of what’s going on, and be warned: there’s a lot of Christmas stuff…
So the premise here is 90s TV classic Blankety Blank, hosted by Ginger Spice in drag, in Shoreditch. Natch.
Just May (a.k.a.’d as Gerri Halliwell) will be hosting a hilarious evening at of individual challenges and competitions involving the entire audience with prizes to be won from ‘Poundland to Pints and even a bottle of Prosexxy’.
Sunday 2nd December
Where: 100-106 Leonard Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 4RH
Santa Claus is running to town… This year marks the 10th annual Santa Run, an event that sees Santas by the sleigh load run five or ten kilometres round the park. It’s a real spectacle to behold, though might make explaining the whole Father Christmas thing tricky to kids of the wrong age. Or rather than watch, you could always partake! There are still spaces left for runners if you can raise £100 for various charities. And what’s more, you can keep the costume!
Sunday 2nd December
Where: Victoria Park, Victoria Park Road, Hackney, E3 5SN
Chelsea is the place to go shopping, it’s a fact, dah-ling. And if you’re going to grab a pashmina and head down the shops then this weekend is the time; it’s the Chelsea Christmas Shopping Event. As well as the usual set of incredible shops for all/most/some budgets, the shopping experience will be augmented with a special gourmet edition of the Duke of York Square market, Father Christmas is rumoured (via press release) to be visiting the area as well, plus there’ll be entertainment, from Pavilion Road, to Duke of York Square and Sloane Street with ‘activations’ suitable for the whole family. Enjoy complimentary horse and carriage rides, wreath-making classes, chestnut roasting and much more.
Saturday 1st December
Where: Chelesa, the shopping bits (King's Road, Duke of York Square, Sloane Street and so on)
It seems like yesterday Ally Pally was all about the fireworks and Guy Fawkes, so how fickle of them to now be all about Christmas. The way things are going, they’ll be throwing a massive NYE party. Oh wait. Anyway, this weekend sees the opening of their Christmas market, a massive great funfair, Panto on Ice, a Santa’s Grotto and lots and lots of street food. Perfect for a family day out.
Saturday 1st to Sunday 16th November
Where: Alexandra Palace Way, Muswell Hill, N22 7AY
The Bloomsbury Club Bar has a new, festive, cocktail menu that’s well worth checking out. Created by Head Bartender Charlotte Charett the bar teams up with Irish distillery Dingle Distillery. Menu items include drinks like ‘All I Want For Christmas’, a hot cocktail featuring coffee, Dingle whisky and nutmeg, or ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’, a warming gin-based drink blended with the flavour of spiced pear and ‘The Dinge Jingle’, a mixture of gin, grapefruit and complemented by the aroma of pine.
Launches Saturday 1st December
Where: The Bloomsbury Hotel, 16-22 Great Russell Street, Fitzrovia, WC1B 3NN
ELLE, the magazine, is running a whole weekend of hands-on fashion, beauty experiences and inspiring talks. Bringing to bear all the expertise of ELLE, there will be sessions with their editors, a complimentary beauty bar courtesy of Feelunique, exclusive shopping pop-ups and workout sessions in the Lululemon wellness studio the lot. As if that wasn’t enough, look forward to an interactive playroom (whatever this is), palm readings (yes, really), a pop-up ELLE café, crystal healing sessions (nuff said), plus performances and DJ sets to keep guests entertained. You can also feature in your own style shoot with SorelAND become an ELLE cover star with Harvey Nichols.
Friday 30th November to Sunday 2nd December
Where: Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York's HQ, King's Road, Chelsea, SW3 4RY
Jazz-ist Jalen N’Gonda will be bringing his soulful jazz to The Savoy this Friday in a one-off performance. Winner of the Fairmont European Tour Award and Montreux Jazz Award, he’s on a four-day tour and will be wowing the hotel’s iconic Thames Foyer with his soulful sounds and heart-stirring music while enjoying The Savoy’s famously fabulous cocktails, wine and food.
Where: The Savoy, Strand, London, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Holborn (0.3 miles)
Gin Yin Yoga
Combining two of the best things, yoga and gin, Gin Yin brings high-quality gin to the art of relaxation. Yin Yoga gives guests ‘deeper access to the body targeting connective tissue, fascia and ligaments with the aim of lubricating and protecting the joints’b(full disclosure, I copy and pasted that bit). But the theory here apparently goes deeper than ‘and let’s get sloshed while doing it’ – in order to reach those ‘Yin’ tissues relaxation is vital, and what better way to relax than with gin. Keeping on the gin theme, after the class you’ll head to local micro-gin distillery Half Hitch, to see the gin making techniques and learn the history of Camden’s long love affair with gin. Whether it’s just an excuse for a great pun, a reason to down gin or an actual medicinal function we don’t care, it sounds great!
Sunday 2nd December
Where: More Yoga Camden, 2 Bayham Street, Kings Cross, Camden, NW1 0ES
Fancy free Maitre Choux? Of course you do, partly because they’re delicious and partly because they’re normally bloody expensive. But they’ve just opened a new store on The King’s Road and to celebrate they’re doling out 100 free freshly baked eclairs to those first 100 lucky visitors. The French pastries will be available twice and flavours include Spanish raspberry pink eclair and salted butter with homemade caramel eclair on offer, hurry on down to Maître Choux to receive a free eclair on the house!
Friday 30th November and Saturday 1st December, starting at 11am
Where: 59 Kings Road, Chelsea, SW3 4ND