The Handbook
The Handbook

It’s been a whirlwind of a year. With London now securely locked into Tier 3, this last weekend before Christmas has never looked, to put it frank, so miserable. But there are a few special ways you can eek out the last of the Christmas joy, from festive afternoon tea deliveries to Christmas baking workshops.

Get a festive afternoon tea delivered to your door

With restaurants now closed for the season, we’re looking to the best deliveries we can get our hands on to both indulge in and help support our favourite restaurants who have been hit incredibly hard. Keeping in line with the festive season, why not order a winter-themed afternoon tea from Chesterfield Mayfair? 

Enjoy the Christmas tea blend, made with the finest seasonal spices including apple pieces, cinnamon and cloves, before tucking into cakes and pastries with an added Christmassy twist. Think chocolate yule log, gingerbread man cupcake and clementine macaron. 

For those wanting to indulge in their pjs, delivery costs £10 for postcodes W1, SW1 and SW3, delivery to other addresses is available on request across the Capital.

Head out to explore Chelsea’s festive offerings

Chelsea has been given a sparkling seasonal makeover and you’re invited to explore all of the offerings and more this weekend. From festive installations, including a twinkling forest of Silver Birch and pure white magnolia in the Arcade entrance of Duke of York Square, to free-to-view entertainment, from local choirs to performers and musicians, there’s something for all to get involved with. Plus, there’s a 45ft curling rink that’s popped up by the Christmas lights on Sloane Square, accompanied by an alpine-inspired cabin with a takeaway menu. 

Head down and do your last bits of Christmas shopping in style.

Do your last minute shopping at Burlington Arcade

Forgot to pick up a gift for your Great-Aunt Greta? Or, looking for last minute stocking fillers for the kids? Fear not because Burlington Arcade has the answers to all of your gifting prayers. Head down to the luxury Mayfair retail landscape and explore the exciting boutiques, from stunning jewellery courtesy of Azza Fahmy and Annoushka, to sweet treats from Ladurée, perfect for a delicious treat on Christmas morning. 

This Christmas Burlington Arcade has partnered with Moët Hennessy to launch its exceptional 2020 festive installation. While you’re out Christmas shopping at the royal arcade, stop by the one-of-a-kind Moët & Chandon Swing and enjoy a glass of bubbly from the elegant Moët & Chandon Champagne Cart.

51 PICCADILLY, MAYFAIR W1J 0QJ

www.burlingtonarcade.com

Cosy up with a Christmas movie 

With your last minute friendsmas dinner now cancelled and all of your Christmas shopping complete, grab a blanket and cosy up with a Christmas movie this weekend. From Disney+ to Netflix’s epic originals, we’ve rounded up the best twenty Christmas movies that are guaranteed to get you in the festive spirit.

Get festive baking with Bread Ahead 

It isn’t Christmas without copious amounts of mince pies, yule logs and Christmas celebratory bakes, and here to help make your lives a little easier is Bread Ahead and their e-learning workshops. 

Book in for one of their Zoom masterclasses this weekend and become a whizz at making mince pies, yule logs and even their legendary doughnuts, festive style. It’s a great one to let the little ones get involved with too, even if it is just eating the evidence.

Various classes in the lead up to Christmas

www.breadahead.com

Jeff Wall. Courtesy of White Cube

Catch the Alfred Hitchcock-inspired online exhibition, ‘Rear Window’ 

Fascinated by Alfred Hitchcock’s popular 1954 film devoted to the lure of voyeurism, ‘Rear Window’ allows you to step inside the minds of artists, exploring how they use different mediums to construct scenes and suggest narratives. The online exhibition delves deep into the cinematic devices used to create voyeurism and challenge the idea of ‘the gaze’, which was so greatly adored by Hitchcock. 

Artists include Ellen Altfest, Jeff Wall, Gillian Carnegie and Judish Eisler. 

All you need to do is type your email address into the email bar and you’ll be able to explore the different works.

Running until Tuesday, 19th January 

Explore Rear Window here

Catch one of St Paul’s Cathedral’s online or in person carol concerts 

Christmas might not be the same this year but there are ways you can eek out every last ounce of the festive season, including watching an online carol concert. This weekend tune into St Paul’s Cathedral’s online carolling concerts, running on Thursday. Or, head down on Sunday and experience a lovely afternoon of music, meditation and laughter in person.

Thursday, 17th December, 7-8:30pm | Sunday, 20th December, 3-4pm | Wednesday, 23rd & Thursday, 24th December, 4-5:10pm

www.stpauls.co.uk

Catch the August Wilson play adaptation, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom 

In a powerful final performance, the late Chadwick Boseman stars alongside Viola Davis in a monumental adaptation of August Wilson’s play, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. 

Written by Ruben Santiago-Hudson and directed by George C. Wolfe, the film follows Ma, the trailblazing performer as she records her music in a Chicago studio and fights against her white manager and producer over the control of her artistry. Levee, played by Boseman, is the trumpeter for Ma’s band and riffles to overcome his own hardships in the music industry. Watch as the story unravels and explores the manipulation faced by black musicians.  

David Lee/Netflix
David Lee/Netflix

Release Date: Friday, 18th December
Stream here

Listen to our album of the week, ‘Notes from the Archive: Recordings 2011-2016’ by Maggie Rogers 

American singer-songwriter Maggie Rogers has been labelled an ‘overnight star’ since her 2016 hit single, ‘Alaska’ went viral, but her musical story stems way back further. 

Before becoming the musical sensation, adored for her 2019 album, Heard It In A Past Life, Rogers wrote, recorded and conceived various albums and songs that never were given their time to shine. In an attempt to give them the praise they deserve, Rogers is releasing an album entitled, Notes from the Archive: Recording 2011-2016 this Friday. The album is set to behold remastered versions of her previous favourites, as well as never heard before lyrics too. We certainly cannot wait to dive into her folky, pre-pop sounds.

Release Date: Friday, 18th December

Stream here


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