December is here which means, after weeks of delaying the inevitable, London will go into a Christmas shopping frenzy. With 3 weeks until the big day you still have plenty of time to get your shopping done, but what’s a weekend with all work (shopping…) and no play? Exactly, which is why as well as wreath making workshops and ideas for handmade gifts from independent sellers we are also telling you about new brunches, cheese fondues and warming winter terraces for when you need some well-earned time out.
When it gets cold all we really want to do is stab chunks of bread and dunk them in cheese – good news then that Bluebird Chelsea has launched Fondue Fridays. Pretty self-explanatory, rock up to the cafe and festive courtyard with a partner in crime and get stuck in to the cheesey fondue for two to share. As if we thought Friday couldn’t get any better…
From midday on Friday
Where: 350 Kings Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 5UU, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Imperial Wharf (0.8 miles)
Warming Winter Terrace
Winter terraces are in their abundance in London this winter, unlike the Angler Terrace, not all of them are Michelin starred. Feast on roast orkney scallops with pine butter; roasted chesnut houmous; grilled bratwurst with honey, mustard and clementine; and duck spring rolls with cranberry and orange ketchup. Sip on a selection of warming Sipsmith sloe gin cocktails and you’ve got yourself a festive, warming evening!
Bottomless Brunch and Burlesque
St Germain, the elderflower liqueur, is hosting a bottomless burlesque brunch at 100 Wardour Street on Saturday. Sip an aperitif on arrival, try and decide between gluten free pancakes with pancetta and maple syrup or sweet potato and shiitake hash and enjoy the burlesque performances on stage as you eat. A specially created St Germain cocktail menu has been created for the day, and diners can choose between 2 or 3 courses, with the option to go bottomless if you want to really make a day of it.
Saturday 3rd December
Where: 100 Wardour Street, Soho, London, W1F 0TN, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road (0.4 miles)
Christmas All Wrapped Up
December in London and you fall into one of two camps: the ‘never-going-to-go-to-Regent-Street-again’ camp and the ‘let’s-go-and-see-the-Christmas-lights’ camp. If you are the latter (and even if you’re not) then you’ll want to be there on Thursday and Friday because the Quadrant Arcade is opening up as a ‘personalisation grotto’ for Christmas shopping – get your presents expertly wrapped, your tags artistically written and join in on bauble decorating workshops. Every day in December a real life advent calendar will come to life with giant numbers appearing on a different shop door each day – prizes include a meal at Heddon Street Kitchen and a £1,000 personal shopping experience at Reiss. You can pretend you’re shopping for others but we know what you’re really doing…
Thursday and Friday
A Sharing Breakfast, Turkish Style
Want your baked eggs to be authentic? Stylish Turkish restaurant Yosma in Marylebone has just started serving breakfast at the weekend from 10am-2pm (that’s brunch to you and I) complete with tomato baked eggs with spicy beef sausage; scrambled eggs with slow-cooked tomato and peppers; and a sweet bread made of mulberry molasses and sesame, served with honeycomb and kaymak – Turkish clotted cream. Can’t make it along this weekend? A weekday breakfast will be launching soon.
Rosewood Mini Wishes
Rosewood Hotel have teamed up with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity to launch their Mini Wishes campaign. Every day from now until the 12th December, Father Christmas will be riding around London in a special red mini (the sleigh is having it’s M.O.T before the 24th obviously) and collecting your wishes and giving you a chance to have them granted in time for Christmas. They also have lots of prizes for the best selfie with Father Christmas, all you have to do is upload your photo with #RosewoodMiniWishes and you could win the likes of a two-night stay for two in a top suite at the Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel in Paris, including Eurostar travel – pretty nice. Follow them on Instagram and Twitter to find out exactly where he’ll be each day!
Thursday 1st -12th December
Where: Rosewood London, High Holborn, London, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Holborn (0.2 miles)
Christmas Wreath Making
If you haven’t made it over to Boxpark Croydon yet then this weekend is as good a time as any. Floral experts Columbia Creative are hosting Christmas wreath-making workshops on Sunday so you can get crafty choosing from pinecones, delicate florals and wild foliage, for a rustic look. Book a spot online and make a day of it – Mamalan, MeatLiquor and Mud (the Antipodean brunches from Tooting) all make an appearance.
Thoughtful Christmas Gifts
This Saturday – yes it’s the first Saturday of December, yes that means 3 weeks till the big day – but it’s also Small Business Saturday. We like to think we do our bit anyway by frequent visits to independent coffee shops, cafes and restaurants, but Pop Brixton are getting involved pretty much just because it champions small businesses from the very start. Their 18ft tree is lit, the lights are up and Sunday will see a Christmas market bursting with homeware, accessories, stocking fillers and crafty gifts begging to be wrapped up.
A Good Old Christmas Market
Belgravia Christmas Sunday answers all your Christmas shopping and entertainment needs. With boutique sellers selling handcrafted wares, to brass bands, it’s got everything you’d want. Plus, the team at Thomas Cubitt will be serving rich spiced hot chocolates, mulled wines and venison burgers to fill those hungry bellies of yours. And don’t worry about leaving the kids at home, because with Father Christmas and reindeer in attendance, they are sure to be entertained.
Christmas Market Camden Style
The pop up Christmas market in Camden will abide by a different theme each week. Peruse the unique gifts the market will have on offer while you get stuck into mulled wine. Themes for the market include ‘stocking fillers’, where you’ll find sweets, baking kits and boutique presents for your pet and ‘deck the halls’, where you’ll find the best gifts in arts and design. If the Christmas shopping is getting too much, settle into the heated North Star Bar, and let the gospel choirs and brass brands grace your ears.
Thursday (and then every Thursday in December)
Après in London
Après Ski London have teamed up with Bodo’s Schloss to bring you the alps to your doorstop. There’ll be snow cannons, reindeer, an hour of Moët Chandon cocktails and a two hour Austrian inspired brunch buffet. For the competitive amongst us, there’ll be a ski simulator with a live leader board, don’t worry if you’re not the best skier in the world, you are still welcome to traverse the slopes. The party will go on, with DJs taking you through the night.
Where: 2a Kensington High Street, London, W8 4PT, United Kingdom
Nearest station: High Street Kensington (0.4 miles)
Want more festive ideas? You’ll find our Christmas page useful