This is it! The last weekend before Christmas, also known somewhat officially as ‘Super Saturday’ – basically, one big manic rush to Oxford Street. If you want to avoid the lingering tourists and prove that you are indeed a local you’ll want to take part in supper clubs, pop-ups and booze-free fitness crawls but because it’s Christmas there is also the chance to meet Santa, take part in an all singing all dancing karaoke carol concert and drink your way through an immersive gin den. Have fun!
Supper Club Sunday
Boutique hotel Artist Residence are hosting a supper club in celebration of Ollie Moore, the new head chef of the hotel group’s new venture: Artist Residence in Oxfordshire. Diners will be welcomed with a cocktail following which will be a three course meal, featuring seared scallop with torched sprout leaves and chocolate mousse with honey ice-cream and frozen cookie dough. If that doesn’t get your tummies rumbling, we don’t know what will.
Where: 52 Cambridge Street, Pimlico, SW1V 4QQ
Immersive Gin Advent Calendar
We all love an advent calendar, even if the chocolate is pathetically small. But what if sitting behind each door was a 30ml bottle of gin? It would make things even better that’s for sure. The geniuses at Gin Foundry are bringing their Ginvent gin-filled advent calendar to life with a pop-up gin bar in Soho. This weekend only, thirsty shoppers can participate in speed tastings to find your perfect match, masterclasses with a gin expert and plenty of boozy cocktails.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Where: The Vinyl Factory, 51 Poland Street, Soho, W1F 7LZ
An Alternative Carol Concert
Are your vocal chords more suited to the shower than the church pews? If so, this is one for you. Organoke is revolutionising the Christmas carol service as we know it and bringing in a good old dose of karaoke. Belt out Christmas karaoke classics (Mariah, we’re looking at you) whilst donning your best (worst) Christmas jumper and dancing in the aisles. Tickets will go fast.
Friday 17th December, 7pm
Where: St Giles Church, Camberwell, SE5 8RB
Scott Hallsworth’s Pop-Up
Last weekend a great thing happened. Scott Hallsworth opened up the basement of his restaurant Kurobuta on King’s Road and titled it Mr Pig. We went along to the pop-up and indulged on ridiculously innovative plates of foie gras croissants, BBQ octopus and beer and pretzel soft serve ice cream with fudge sauce. If you want to do the same you only have one more chance – this weekend is the last weekend (as it stands) to visit Mr Pig but rumour has it the swine may live on.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Where: 312 King's Road, London SW3 5UH, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Imperial Wharf (0.8 miles)
Booze-Free Christmas Crawl
Pioneers of community fitness and wellness classes, lululemon are hosting two event this weekend at both their Spitalfields and Marylebone stores. Saturday will see wellness coach Ashley Hunt guide you through a 30-minute meditation session in Shoreditch, getting you reset for the chaos of the next couple of weeks. Sunday over in Marylebone will give a new meaning to the term ‘crawl’ with complimentary HIIT, barre and yoga classes led by store ambassadors taking place in Regents Park, in store and at Xtend Barre London. Post-workout treats promised… Well, it is Christmas.
Saturday 17th December 10.30am, 2.30pm and 6.30pm (at lululemon Spitalfields)
Sunday 18th December, 5.30-7.30pm (at lululemon Marylebone)
Where: Spitalfields and Marylebone
Santa and Carols
J Sheekey has transformed its outdoor area into a snug winter terrace. Every Sunday in December has seen a different festive event take place – everyone from real life reindeers to a polar bear have made an appearance and this Sunday Santa Claus himself will be wrapping things up in style. The Big Man will be present from 12-4pm whilst carols are sung and mulled wine and whiskey is consumed. Shopping bags down…
Sunday 18th December
Where: 33-35 St Martin’s Court, WC2N 4AL
Mulled Wine and Shopping
Have you left your shopping until the last minute? Or you’re after something a little different and you don’t want to just sell out and go for something generic? Yes? So how about Christmas shopping at the recently opened Modern Folk gallery? In association with Bermondsey Tonic Water, Jensen’s Gin and Fourpure Brewing Co they’ll be open until 8pm and will be serving mulled wine and locally produced artisanal drinks to help you shop, because if there is one thing that is drink inducing it’s last minute Christmas shopping. Gifts include Polish Bambosze slippers, Scandi jumpers (so you can embrace hygge), vintage sleds, traditional toys and gingerbread houses.
Thursday 15th – Sunday 18th December
Where: 98 Tower Bridge Road, Bermondsey, SE1 4TP
CRATE and Rough Trade at Micks Garage
What do Stifler, Baby Spice and Rough Trade have in common? Any guesses? Probably a little more mundane than you were hoping for, but they all turned 40 this year. This Friday will be the Rough Trade’s birthday party at Micks Garage – they’re bringing in DJs including Sid Newman, Ben Monaghan and Phil Adams and serving up a birthday brew – a loud and punchy Pale Ale created by CRATE.
Friday 16th December
Where: Unit 7, Queens Yard, Hackney Wick, E9 5EN
Festive Afternoon Tea
There is an abundance of festive afternoon teas across the smartest hotels in the city but we at The Handbook are very particular about what actually qualifies a tea as being ‘festive’. Mini panettone, spiced macaroons, a pear and chestnut yule log and coconut and lime cake? Yep, that certainly qualifies. The Bulgari Hotel’s festive afternoon tea is available throughout December, until New Year’s Eve.
Until 31st December
Where: Bulgari Hotel London, 171 Knightsbridge, London SW7 1DW, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Knightsbridge (0.2 miles)
Christmassy Fun in Tooting
You may remember us telling you about Tootopia back in the summer, and Tootsmas last year; this weekend it’s back. Everything you’d hope a Christmas market to have is here; a bar dedicated to mulled drinks (not just wine!), a boozy hot chocolate station, street food, Santa’s grotto, pop-up theatre, DJs and even a dog show. Food will come courtesy of street food favourite like Dip & Flip, Gyoza Guys and Sticky Beaks in Graveney & Meadow’s street food takeover and heaps of other local venues will also be getting involved.
Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th December
Where: Across Tooting
Festive Free Flow Prosecco Menu
Your budget is tight, you’re felling stressed by the Christmas shoppers and you still have a pretty long back log of emails to get through before Christmas. You could sort it all out on Saturday or you could forget it all for a couple of hours and head to Galvin La Chapelle for three courses of Michelin-starred French food and unlimited prosecco. It is Christmas after all. The Festive Free Flow Prosecco menu includes the likes of warm pumpkin velouté, braised chestnut and aged Comté and Confit of Dingley Dell pork belly, pomme purée with a date and Madeira jus. The emails can wait.
Saturday 17th December
Where: 35 Spital Square, E1 6DY