Pop Up London
YOUR DECEMBER AGENDA | Pop Up London 2016
Mariah Carey Was Lying.
She Also Wants The December Agenda.
And when you see the sheer number of festive events, parties and, well, festivals the capital has planned over the next month, you won't blame her. You'll just feel deeply sorry for her, given that she lives thousands of miles away. But you don't. So dive on in...
In case you don't get visited by a passive-aggressive, guilt-tripping ghost this festive season, you can always go and check out the wonders of Christmas Past at the Geffrye Museum, where they've transformed their period-era rooms with authentic decorations, lighting, music and greenery to help immerse you into Christmas as it was celebrated in middle-class English homes over the past 400 years.
Plus there's a gift shop - so you can check out the Christmas present, too.
Details: Now until 8th January 2017 | The Geffrye Museum, 136 Kingsland Road, E2 8EA
The London Illustration Fair is looking pretty good. By which we mean that it's going to involve over 65 of the world’s hottest emerging illustrators, designers, print makers, and publishers, whose wares will be looking very good. And the fact that there'll be workshops, exclusive installations, performances, DJs and a fully stocked winter-warming bar too doesn't hurt either.
Details: 1-4 December | Various London Locations | £6-15
'Tis the season to visit Christmas markets, fairs, and ice rinks. Fa la la la. So we put together a roundup of the very best in the city...HERE.
Details: Throughout December | All across London
First, the bad news: you probably won't be able to cross the Thames on a zip wire.
Now, the good news: The 20 people that are have all pledged £50k or more to do so, in order to raise money to build a dedicated Clinical Research Facility at Evelina Children's Hospital. And, you can watch them do it, cruising at 40mph, over 50 meters above the river, and landing on the roof of Parliament. Plus, there'll be a Christmas market, carol singers, and live music.
Details: 2nd December | St Thomas' Hospital, Lambeth Palace Road, South Bank, SE1 7EH
If the person in charge of naming the 'walkie talkie' was also somehow in charge of naming the gun, they would have called it the shooty shooty bang bang. So, it's a good thing that didn't happen.
But the people at Hunted pounced upon the opportunity to make use of the name for their own all-new experience: you and nine friends will be let lose in the Hunted warehouse armed with "state-of-the-art" Kyrgyz rubber band guns and a serious blood lust. There's a bar, a shooting range, and some training video-games to boot.
Details: 3rd, 10th, 16th &17th December | A Secret Waterloo Location | £10
We know what you're thinking.
And yes, the people at Oslo Hackey, who named the Cider and Balls mini-festival are thinking it too. Because when you drop into the Scandinavian restaurant to sample some of their cider (including some voted Sweden's best, a prosecco-like variety, one made with ice-wine in Quebec, etc.) paired with some of their meatballs (with gravy, lingonberry sauce, and more.) they'll donate all of the profits to Orchid, a male testicular cancer charity.
Details: 5th - 11th December | Oslo Hackney, 1A Amhurst Road, E8 1LL
Bingo is generally pretty B9.
But Grotto Outré are making it just a teeny bit racier.
Known for their alternative and ever so slightly kinky Christmas pop ups, this year they're bringing the Fire Caves to Shoreditch. And in an apparent bid to prove they can make literally anything sexy, they're inviting you to enjoy events like their naughty or nice Christmas Quiz and Bingo & Burlesque.
Hopefully, only one of which involves two fat ladies.
Ok, so the 'Ball of the Dead Rat' might not immediately sound like the most enticing invitation, but when you hear it’s based on a legendary Parisian night out that was recreated every year afterwards by a group of 19th century Belgian artists, and therefore involves a curiosity shop, an immersive bourgeois salon, life drawing based on the deadly sins, cocktails and a live band to whisk you away in the faded glamour of a Parisian ball - we think you might just be interested.
Details: 7-11.45pm, 10th December | Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD | Tickets cost £35 and can be booked HERE.
If you've never heard of Ultimate Power, allow us to fill you in: it's basically a huge, hundred-plus-person karaoke session with a euphoric crowd singing along to the most classic power ballads of all time while playing air instruments, and rocking out like their lives depended on it.
And they're doing a Christmas Special.
Details: 9th December | The Clapham Grand, 21-25 St John's Hill, SW11 1TT | £14
This December, The Skip Garden has an event you might not want to skip. It's called the fire feast, and it will involve fire (candles, open firepits for warmth, and a wood-burning oven), and feasting (pizzas, stews, and soups coming out of that oven, s'mores on those open fires, and spiced Rum Chai and winter cocktails warmed up behind the bar).
Details: 9th December | The Skip Garden, Tapper Walk, N1C 4AQ | £18
There are three stages to every man's life:
1. He believes in Santa.
2. He doesn't believe in Santa.
3. He is Santa.
And at Santacon, you'll skip straight to phase three by donning a red suit, singing carols, and hiking around London with a few hundred other like-minded souls, giving out gifts to kids in need of such comforts, with hundreds of other charitable buddies - and like Mr. Claus's original operation, it's all "non-profit, non-political, non-religious, and non-sensical".
Details: 10th December | Various Routes Across London | Free
Despite the fact that - for some inexplicable reason - the people at the Vaults decided to call this event The Dance Before Christmas rather than The Snow Ball, it still sounds pretty amazing. The entire multi-room underground space will be decked out in absurdly cool eye-popping Christmas decor, then filled with acrobats, illusionists, stilitists, music, and free mulled toffee apples (for the first hour).
Details: 10th & 17th December | The Waterloo Vaults, SE1 7NN | £6-18
“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear” – Buddy the Elf
Well, in that case the people at Some Voices will make Santa Clause himself look like some kind of holiday-loathing bum, because they're assembling a 400-strong choir to sing songs from your favourite Christmas films. It's all happening at the Coronet Theatre, and there'll be a live band, dancing, and candy cane cocktails.
Details: 13th & 14th December | The Coronet, 28 New Kent Rd, SE1 6TJ | £17
The last time the Thames froze over was in 1814.
Now, almost exactly two centuries later, you can have a chance to do it again thanks to The Frost Fair, in which you will cruise down the river in a boat with it's own 20m ice rink on the upper deck. And if that wasn't enough, you'll also get live music, canapés, and unlimited beer & wine.
Details: 15th December | Boarding at Embankment Pier | £125
Yes, this is the world we live in. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is playing music from the Pokemon games. There'll be all-new orchestral arrangements and carefully timed visuals to accompany. And no, there won't be a solo by Jigglypuff.
Details: 19th & 20th December | Hammersmith Apollo, 45 Queen Caroline Street, W6 9QH | £41-57
You may already be aware that the literal translation of ‘karaoke’ is ‘empty orchestra’. And largely, it’s been a pretty accurate moniker.
Because you’re about to test out your pipes live on stage with a 15-strong gospel band. That’s right. Karaoke. With a gospel choir. And you.
Details: 21st December | Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, 2-4 Hoxton Square, N1 6NU | £13
They weren’t exactly Loki.
And The Queen of Hoxton are out to prove it, by transforming their rooftop bar and Winter WigWam into a Viking stronghold complete with long boat, feasting hall and crackling fire pits. Read more RIGHT HERE.
Details: Mon-Sat, 4-10pm until March 2017 | Queen of Hoxton, 1-5 Curtain Road, EC2A 3JX
Dining alfresco in the colder months isn't easy. Other, lesser, restaurants have heat lamps. The Coppa Club has igloos. And over the winter, you can cosily dine in one of eight they've erected on their Tower Bridge-adjacent terrace.
Details: Now-January 2017 | Coppa Club Tower Bridge, 3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street, EC3R 6AH
The Big Apple is a wonderful town. So the team behind this summer’s Brixton Beach Boulevard have taken its core, added back in some deliciously seedy bits (to help recreate the buzzing, gritty chaos that was late 70s New York), and planted it on a South London rooftop. Read more RIGHT HERE.
Details: Runs until end of 2016 | The Brixton Rooftop, Pope's Road, SW9 8JH | £1-£12
The circus has grown up.
La Soiree has fired the human cannonball. They've let the trapeze artist go. They've gone for the juggler.
Because their version of a circus is an Olivier award-winning, all-adult, all-risque, burlesque, cabaret, and sideshow cocktail. And it's back in London for the winter. Head to the huge Spiegeltent in Leicester Square on any given evening this festive season. Read more, and check out the lineup RIGHT HERE.
Details: Until January 8 2017 | Spiegeltent, Leicester Square, WC2H 0AP | £15 and up
Ice skating. Now that it's cool again, it's cool again. And we've got a list of every rink you should be carving into this winter season. Check it out HERE.
Details: Throughout December | Across London
They say you learn something new everyday.
And today, the thing you are learning is that there is a curling & karaoke venue on an East London rooftop, and you desperately want to go there. Read more RIGHT HERE.
Details: Until the end of 2016 | Roof East, Stratford Shopping Centre, Level 8, E15 1XE | £10-12.50pp
Now in its second year of excellent popups, LF's latest winter iteration will see them transform Shepherds Bush Market into a "quirky English winter garden" (with Christmas trees, fairy lights, mulled wine, and blankets, etc.), complete with the customary popup restaurants from CLAW, Cheeky Burger, Nanny Bills, La Bao, and more.
Details: Until December 23rd | Shepherd’s Bush Yard, Goldhawk Road, London, W12 8HA
Accordion to a recent study, you can replace the first word of a sentence with the name of a classic French instrument used by clichéd pastiches of WW2 resistance fighters, and no-one will notice.
And it's that kind of subtlety that you'll need to demonstrate at Maman Le Mot. Find out more about it right HERE.
Details: Ends 17th Dec | A Secret London Bridge Bunker | £17.50 for entry only / £42.50 incl. dinner
If you're, ahem, feeling peckish, then the Peckham Feastival is for you. It's an all-new heated indoor street food market with trucks including Forza Win, The Cheese Truck, Popdogs, and Rainbo, annnnndd a popup crazy golf course from Birdies.
Details: Thurs & Fri, 5pm-late, Sat & Sun 12pm-late, throughout Dec | Unit 8, 133 Copeland Road, SE15 3SN
Kew Gardens literally has the world's largest collection of living plants... but apparently that's not quite impressive enough for some people, so they're adding a mile of insanely pretty lights, plus lasers, installations, a fire garden, vintage rides, and more. Hopefully, that should do it.
Details: Until January 2nd | Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, W9 3AB | £7-18
Every decent Italian market has to have at the very least some cured meats, cheeses, and an illuminated winter garden pop up cinema with warming cocktails, beanbag seating, and a slate loaded with classic festive films. So it's lucky that Mercato Metropolitano has one, then.
Details: Until 8th Jan | Mercato Metropolitano, 42 Newington Causeway, SE1 6DR | £16.50
Behold a brief history of shuffleboard: It was invented in England in the early 1500s. Henry VIII played it, and its popularity spread. It became so wildly addictive that people stopped working, and so in 1542 the government had to ban it.
And now it's back.
And the people brazenly risking our economy by unleashing this illicit pastime on an unwitting public for the next three months are none other than The London Shuffle Club. Find out more right HERE.
Details: Now - end of December | Brick Lane, E1 6QL | £40 for a one hour (with up to 8 people)
Our in-house Italian translator has told us that in English this means "(wild hand gestures) Metropolitan (wild hand gestures) Market".
It's the first international branch of a Turin-based enterprise of the same name, taking on Borough Market on its own turf by planting itself squarely in Southwark - in a vast, disused paper factory, no less. Find out more right HERE.
Details: Throughout December | 42 Newington Causeway, SE1 6DR | Free
No, this is not a list of people Donald Trump blames for his polling numbers.
It is, in fact, a mere smattering of topics that the Crick Crack Club will be tackling for their Epic Sunday storytelling sessions at the British Museum. Find out more HERE.
Details: 3-5pm, 11th December | The British Museum, Great Russell Street, WC1B 3DG | £6-8, book HERE.
Last month, KERB launched their biggest street food lineup to date in Camden Market, with 35 traders (Mother Clucker, Kimchinary, Oli Baba’s, etc.) running 7 days a week, and taking only one single day off each year.
It must be Christmas.
Details: Throughout December | Camden Market West Yard, Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AF
Immersive comedy. Yes, that's what living in the UK frequently feels like, but in the case of Thom Foole's House party, that's literally what it is. Expect cabaret, DJs, impromptu games, booze, and a cast of absurdly funny comedians. THis month is a Christmas fundraiser, with the money going to charity Clowns Without Borders.
Details: 12th December | 44 Essex Road, N1 8LN | £7 HERE.
That's the spell that creates dedicated Harry Potter popup shops in Soho's House of MinaLima, with four floors of limited edition prints, replica notebooks, and Hogwarts Acceptance Letters, along with a an exhibition of graphic art and authentic film props.
And apparently, someone just said it.
Details: Now-2017 | House of MinaLima, 26 Greek Street, W1D 5DE | Free entry
Behold Farmopolis, aka Greenwich Peninsula transformed into a verdant, plant filled, activity-laden, permanent cultural hub hovering on stilts above the Thames. And if it sounds nuts... that’s because it is.
Details: Throughout December | The Jetty, Greenwich Peninsula, London, SE10 0FL | Free
Fun Fact. In Japanese, Karaoke means "empty orchestra".
Much Funner Fact. Karaoke Rumble and Rockeoke are temaing up at back at the Star of Kings, where members of the public get on stage and attempt to sing at least two minutes of their song of choice without being booed off stage by the rabid crowd, all in the hopes of making it to a final battle showdown with another singer.
ANd this time, they'll be doing it with a live band for their NYE bash.
Details: 31st December | The Star of Kings, 126 York Way, N1 OAX | Free
Welcome to Kinema and Kocktails: a series of klassic films shown by Kellar Door in their small, intimate bar. Decmber films are all themed "The Greatest Xmas Movies Ever" (which, by the way, are apparently Elf, Bad Santa, and It's a Wondeful Life). You can expect inclusive themed kocktails, free popcorn, and a silent short accompanied by a live piano performance with each screening.
Details: Every Sunday | Cellar Door, Aldwych, WC2E 7DN | £15
Want to go to the theatre, but don't have a list of every single theatre show currently on in London - divided into musical, comedy, drama, and immersive categories - in which every show has been attributed a Rotten Tomatoes-style average score out of ten based on the reviews of London's most preeminent theatre critics? Well, now you have no excuse.
Details: Various dates | All across London
Technically not a popup.
Technically a brand new London produce and street food market in Bermondsey with ice cream sandwiches and floats by Blu Top; left field toasties courtesy of FAT by Freddie; and jerk chicken & fish fingers from Only Jerkin'; as well as a host of other stuff.
Mmm, other stuff.
Details: Saturdays, 9am - 4pm | Druid St, SE1 2HH
Good tidings we bring, to you and anyone else who fancies a communal feast night over the next few months, because Forza Winter is back, with glazed ribs, hand-made pasta and hot cocktails a-plenty in their Peckham warehouse.
Details: 7.30-11.30pm, Thurs-Sat until 28th Jan | Unit 4.1, 133 Copeland Road, SE15 3SN | £35
Sometimes it can be hard to jazz up the old Christmas party format… although adding live jazz to a three course festive Mediterranean meal in a fairylit Victorian warehouse filled with vintage photography props is a pretty good place to start.
Details: 2nd and 16th December | The Old Joinery, Ravensbourne Wharf, Norman Road, Greenwich, SE10 9QF | £55
During the dipping temperatures of the winter months, the 'Street' part of Street Feast becomes less and less inviting ...which is why they've moved everything indoors. At Dinerama, that means you’ll find an alpine lodge, wine garden and fire pit to huddle round with boozy hot chocolate, while Hawker House moves into the warehouse with a new food line-up including White Men Can’t Jerk, as well as a whiskey bar and Milk & Honey cocktail lounge.
Details: Dinerama is open Thurs-Sat from 5pm | 19 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A 3EJ
Hawker House is open Fri & Sat from 5pm | Canada St, London SE16 7PJ
Both free before 7pm, £3 thereafter
Presenting the one place where shouting “Gimme some skin!” results in the delivery not of a slamming high five, but instead a deliciously crispy potato skin served with fillings like 24h beef brisket and smoky mac ‘n’ cheese.
...After which, you’ll probably wanna high five anyway.
Details: Tues-Fri, 6-11pm and weekends from 3pm until 24th December | Haunt, 182 Stoke Newington Road, N16 7UY
Having worked with some of Paris’ best chefs, become executive chef at Skylon and being entrusted with launching D&D’s next venture, Aster, next year - it’s safe to say Helena Puolakka knows her onions. And luckily for you, those are just one of the many things she’ll be chopping up for this one-off supperclub on a floating greenhouse with views of the Thames and literally thousands of plants.
Details: Friday 9th December, 6.30-10pm | Farmopolis on The Jetty, Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 0FL | £45, book HERE.
In a bid to prove there’s more to Scottish cuisine than putting chocolate bars in deep-fat fryers (not that that's a badthing), Mac & Wild are popping up in the City with a late night whiskey bar and restaurant serving up everything from their award-winning Venimoo burger to Highland fried pheasant. And whether you’re taking a whisky masterclass, shooting virtual game in a virtual shooting game, or delving into a bowl of haggis pops, it’s all completely authentic... except the fact that the terrace is heated.
Details: Until Feb 2017 | 9a Devonshire Square, EC2M 4YN
Cannon & Cannon are flagrantly disregarding the rule that you’re not allowed to open anything before Christmas by letting us take a sneaky peek at their cured meat bar before it fully launches next February. They’ll be offering up platters of British charcuterie and small dishes like ‘nduja and honey toast, as well as craft beers and natural wines to wash it all down. Your meat cravings = cured.
Details: From 8th-24th December | 21 Camberwell Church Street, SE5 8TR
It’s around this time of year that you might take to having a wee dram in the evening to keep out the winter chill. And this year you can do one better by heading to Dram & Smoke, where alongside whiskey cocktails and Scottish gin, you’ll be treated to food worthy of a laird’s banquet and live festive musical merriment.
Details: 7pm till late, 10th-23rd December | 2 - 3 Black Swan Yard, SE1 3XW | £45, book HERE.
It’s a little known fact that cocktails gained popularity during prohibition because they masked the er, uniquely stomach-churning taste of home-brewed alcohol.
Luckily it’s just the glamorous theme that the Manhattan Club are importing for their festive shenanigans, and not the moonshine recipes - instead, there’ll be plenty of expertly mixed cocktails, a menu devised by Adam Rawson, and plenty illicit entertainment including magic, live music, and gambling.
Details: Various dates until 23rd Dec | Brunswick Studios, 26 Macroom Road, W9 3HY | £45 for lunch, £75 for dinner - book HERE.
Having been a market stall stalwart down at Broadway Market for two years, Dumpling Shack is now shacking up with Leicester House for a week, filling you with specialities from all over China, including their signature hand-made, pan-fried soup dumplings which themselves are filled with pork and prawn, crab and truffle or seasonal veg.
Making you a bit like a Russian doll. With dumplings.
Details: 2nd-10th Dec | Leicester House, 1 Leicester Street, WC2H 7BL | £35
Well, if it isn’t the Bloody Brunch Club again. You’d think they were incredibly popular, the way they keep popping up every month. And it turns out they actually are...which is good, because it means you’ve now got somewhere to go for Christmas brunch, cocktails and festive films.
Details: 17th Dec, 11am-7pm | Haunt, 182 Stoke Newington Road, N16 7UY | from £19.50
Ambassador, with this pop up serving 5 hand-crafted mini desserts designed by Cuisson’s Paul Hannagen, you are truly spoiling us…
Details: 1st-11th Dec (except Mon) | 21 Slingsby Place, WC2E 9AB | £10 walk in, £15 pre-booked (includes a welcome glass of prosecco)
Finally. A brunch that’ll cure both your Sunday morning hangover and Saturday night fever: Bethnal Green’s Paradise Garage (from the team behind The Dairy) have teamed up with The Gentlemen’s Academy to create Disco Brunch. Accompanying the bangers on your plate will be bangers of the audible variety, spun by up and coming DJs, while you tuck into welcome Bloody Marys, BBQ beef short ribs and more shakshuka than you can shak a stick at.
Details: Music and cocktails 1.30-10pm, brunch served 2-4pm, 11th December | Paradise Garage, 254 Paradise Row, E2 9LE | Tickets £30 HERE.
If you’ve been reeeeally good this year, and head down to SYP's New Orleans-inspired supperclub, you’ll have access to 12 dishes, copious gin and tonics and live music aplenty. And if you’ve been bad...you’ll get the same thing, but probably with more gin.
Details: 4th and 11th of December | The Vaults, Leake St, SE1 7NN | £40
It's the time of year when most people’s jobs start to wind down, the exceptions to the rule seemingly being elves, vicars and Adam Rawson. Because when he’s not busy recreating a 92-year-old menu for Christmas in Harlem, he’s running his long-term residency at a Fitzrovia pub, designing monthly specials and creating a menu of globally-inspired burgers, two of which have won the last two years of the Slider Decider competition. Now all you have to decide is which one to try first.
Details: 12-10pm Mon-Fri throughout December | The George & Dragon, 151 Cleveland Street, W1T 6QN
We're not sure if this is a very elaborate prank or not, but the people at Mac & Wild want to serve you brunch, but only after you hunt down your own ingredients. To explain: they'll take you for a walk around one of London's woods accompanied by a professional forager, then serve you up pine-cured salmon with scrambled eggs, Scottish Breakfast with white pudding and home-cured bacon, and more, and then give you a gin masterclass with cocktails like the foraged martini (gin, gorse flowers, sweet cicilly).
Details: 3rd December and other Saturdays throughout the year | Mac & Wild, 65 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 7PS | £40
Generally speaking, if your Christmas dinner comes out the oven completely black, you’ve probably ruined Christmas.
But at this feast night, they’ll be using characteristically dark food and natural colourings like squid ink, to create a completely black Christmas feast, where the potatoes look like that intentionally. Naturally, this will all be served alongside exclusive (black) Kraken cocktails and mulled (black) cider with activated charcoal...
Details: 5th-7th December | Beagle, 397-400 Geffrye Street, E2 8HZ | £25 for meal, free entry for bar only. Book HERE.
After sell-out events in Brick Lane and Finsbury Park, Fat Macy’s is moving into a more permanent home at the Printworks Kitchen. Not entirely unlike the young people cooking the food, who enter the scheme as a way to save up a rental deposit that will allow them to move out of temporary and insecure accommodation.
Details: 7-11pm, 1st - 22nd Dec | Printworks Kitchen, 26 Rosebery Avenue, EC1R 4SX | £30, book HERE.
After a year of successful pop up events, Hungarian-Italian team Plot Twist are settling down for the month for a collaboration with the Neapolitan chefs behind The Cuoppo. Dishes include goulash served in a bowl made of bread, and pasta whisked in ‘a flaming wheel of Parmesan cheese’, while every Saturday evening will be accompanied by live entertainment - but in a surprising plot twist, they sadly won’t be playing Johnny Cash’s rarely heard original, Burning Ring of Cheese.
Details: Mon-Sat until 21st December | Fairly Square, 51 Red Lion Street, WC1R 4PF
Jesus wants us all to celebrate his birthday.
But given how awesome Christmas is, that's no bad thing - and thanks to the alpine-style, dimly lit, tree-laden, mulled cider-filled ski chalet that is The Lodge, you can now get into the festive spirit a few weeks early. It comes courtesy of relentless popper-upper Jimmy Garcia, who’ll be serving up crispy oysters, hot cocktails and bottomless bubbly Sunday roasts to ensure your heart’s cockles are thoroughly warmed.
Details: Open until end of February | 409 Clapham Road, Clapham North, SW9 9BT
Despite having a name that usually refers to horrible things coming out of our mouth rather than delicious things going into it, the folks at FM are here to upend your prejudices and serve you expertly made Japanese comfort food. Taking over the kitchen at Honor Oak’s Hopscotch Café, dishes on offer will include slow-cooked ginger & sake pork belly, miso mushroom hirata buns and their celebrated kara-age chicken. It’s gonna be ******* amazing.
Details: 6pm - 10pm, Thursday & Friday evenings until 16th December | 72 Honor Oak Park, SE23 1DY
Le Bun are back with another pop-up at Birthdays in Dalston. The bunsters will be serving up classics like the Duck Frites and Le Bourguignon Bun as well as their crowd-pleasing Le Mac, with black truffle burger sauce and a veal jus. They’ll also be featuring the world’s most offensively festive burger, with Christmas tree-smoked deer.
Details: Until end of Jan 2017, Mon - Fri. 5.30pm to 10pm, Sat. 12 - 10pm and Sun. 12 - 8pm | Birthdays, 33-35 Stoke Newington Road, N16 8BJ
You're better off getting them before a night out than after.
And there’s plenty to be found at the CLAW residency this month, where the sustainable street food sellers will be cooking up their melty Devon crab in a smoky pancetta broth, a fried kimchi dish and their IPA mac ‘n’ cheese, to name but a few.
Details: Open now until January 31st | The Sun & 13 Cantons, 21 Great Pulteney Street, W1F 9NG
It’s no shiok (unlike that pun!) to hear that Sambal Shiok are settling into another residency, following sell-out runs at Salvation in Noodles and The Sun & 13 Cantons. They’ll be serving up their Malaysian miracle food - including their signature laksas, beef rendang and banana leaf fishcakes - at Blend Café in Harringay for the next six months.
Details: 5.30-9.30pm, Tues-Sun until end of April 2017 | Blend Café, 587 Green Lanes, N8 0RG
When it comes to charity, you want to know your donations are in honest hands. So it’s a good job those hands will belong to the chefs at Honest Burgers, who are joining this line up of fundraising foodie events. You’ll have the chance to try their kebabs ahead of the Honest Kebabs pop-up launch later this year, along with other small plates, a welcome cocktail and craft beer - with your entire ticket price donated to charities providing humanitarian relief in Syria. And there are plenty more events in the running, including The Good Egg’s symmetry breakfast, and a SHALOM Middle Eastern supperclub.
Details: Various events throughout December
When you hear that the new site of The Design Museum in Kensington also hosts a new restaurant, you probably won’t be surprised to find that it’s run by designers Prescott and Conran, and the chef calling the shots is Graham Blower (who helped to open Tramshed and Pharmacy 2). What you might not be expecting is that the restaurant has also scheduled a series of guest chefs taking over in the evening, kicking off with Rowley Leigh from Le Café Anglais.
Bit of a curve ball.
Details: Leigh is guest chef-ing until the end of January 2017 | Parabola, The Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High Street, W8 6AG
Jeans. They’re usually the reason you go on a diet. And now in a gloriously favourable twist of fate, they will be responsible for you eating a multi-course fine dining feast at Pedro Passinhas's newly revived pop-up restaurant, Denim 'N' Dine. The setting is a handmade denim atelier, at which you'll get a six course meal from a former Fat Duck chef.
Details: Thurs/Fri/Sat nights throughout December | 114b Blackhorse Lane, E17 6AA | £50pp
Rolling the dice on a curry frequently results in pained, whimpering pleas for milk.
However at Tiger Dram - the new whiskey & curry popup hidden behind Battersea’s Cornish Tiger - it can result in a free meal. Find out more right HERE.
Details: Now-Dec 31st | 3/4 Battersea Rise, SW11 1EH
In between their day job of catering Michelin-level private dining experiences, the chefs at Cuisson like to run the occasional Michelin-level public dining experience, too... upon which praise is generally lavished so aggressively that they've now decided the best course of action is, naturally, to open another one.
And this time, there are interactive tasting menus.
Details: Throughout December | 1 Cathedral Street, SE1 9DE | £45
Popping up for an entire year, S&S aims to provide "modern dining via ancient techniques". What that means on the menu is dishes like grilled spring lamb, with green garlic, and sunchoke pickled okra.
Details: Now-2017 | 29 Penton Street, N1 9PX
Christabel's parties are always pretty inventive - and at her Rocktail making sessions, you'll get to construct festive cocktails & canapes (called "cockapes") under her tutelage.
Ho ho ho.
Details: Decmber 14th & 21st | A Secret N1 Location | £30 - £40
One part hip. One part hop. One part delicious brunch in the form of a 3-course ‘Dirty South’ meal served up alongside an hour of bottomless cocktails which will fuel another (few) hours of glorious hip hop karaoke.
Details: Dates throughout December | A Secret Location | £35
How to Get Blind Drunk in 2 Simple Steps:
Step 1: Go to Pitch Black
Step 2: Enjoy a set tasting menu of 2 cocktails, an amuse-bouche and 2 glasses of wine. In complete darkness.
Details: Open until 23rd December | Side Entrance, Loves Company, 104-122 City Road, EC1V 2NR | Tickets cost £48 HERE.
The 100ft-high Pergola is back in an altogether more wintry incarnation: to be precise, a haven of wooden benches and tables under boughs of holly, ivy and other winter florals less frequently celebrated in song form. Expect atmospheric low lighting, plenty of heaters and a giant protective DOME over the pergola to keep any winter weather at bay. And as always, there’ll be plenty of drinks available as well as street food from Snaps + Rye, Le Bab, Patty & Bun, and Gunpowder.
Ain’t nobody gonna burst this giant weatherproof bubble.
Details: Weds - Sun until 23rd December | Pergola on the Roof, Multi Storey Car Park, Television Centre, Wood Lane, W12 7RJ
immerse /ɪˈmɜːs/ verb
1 To become completely involved in something
2 To put something or someone completely under the surface of a liquid
Hopefully, it’s only the former you’ll be experiencing at Bombas & Parr’s latest immersive drinks adventure. Though considering it involves you boating across a lagoon, through an actual waterfall and sipping on a cocktail list with marine botanical extracts served by mermen mixologists...the latter is looking increasingly likely.
Details: 4-9pm, 9th - 23rd December (except 12th, 13th & 19th) | Westfield London, Ariel Way, W12 7GF | Tickets £15 HERE.
If you drink a bottle of whiskey, you get drunk... and so does the bottle. Deep. And that’s only a mere snifter of the type of mind-broadening conversations you’ll be having at this popup expert whiskey boutique and masterclass venue.
By day, you’ll be able to sample and buy Scottish whiskeys from one of the last remaining independent family distillers, William Grant & Sons, which you can even have engraved there and then. In the evening, however, it becomes a venue for tasting events, including a tea and whisky pairing and a “whiskey sensory exploration” - where, by our logic, drinking lots of whiskey literally makes sense.
Details: 12th - 23rd Dec, open 12-7.30pm, events 8-10pm | 53 Barnsbury Street, N1 1TP | Free during the day, evening events £15 - £20
Gin & Tonic. While undeniably one of the more delicious alcoholic combos, it just isn’t quite festive enough come this time of year. Here to fix this problem is Gin Journey, who are hosting a masterclass mash up at the East London Liquor Co distillery. In plain terms, that means you’ll get to sample 6 Christmas editions of top-notch gins (including exclusive access to the Sipsmiths Mince Pie gin), which you’ll then experience in 6 different cocktails, like the Sacred Gin Christmas Pudding Cosmo - all alongside a fancy buffet, tasting masterclass and all-access distillery tour.
Details: Various dates throughout December, 6.30-10pm | East London Liquor Company, 221 Grove Road, E3 5SN | Tickets cost £90 HERE.
Presenting the perfect place to get Piste this winter: Archer Street. Mainly because they're opening an underground, Alpine-style popup bar with that name, which will have an open fire, fur-lined loungers, festive cocktails, and more.
Details: Until May 2017 | Archer Street, W1D 7AP
After ABQ - the Breaking Bad-inspired cocktail-making RV - left town for a brief jaunt across the Channel, London began to get the shakes and go through some pretty heavy withdrawal.
Well, thankfully, it has returned.
And as of this month, they'll be back serving up their classic brand of mind-blowing cool, science-y cocktails "cooked" by you while dressed in the classic yellow overalls. Phew.
Details: Weds-Sun throughout December | An RV, 455 Hackney Road, E29DY | £30
It makes booze go to your head.
Which is what makes the Spirited Sessions so perfect: they're a new series of interactive drinks tasting sessions held Roof East. For the debut, you'll get 90 minutes of rare and exclusive gins alongside some delicious locally crafted gin, plus a deep dive into the history of the stuff, and a martini making masterclass to finish.
Details: Every Saturday | Roof East, Stratford Centre Broadway, E15 1XE | £20
How to create a great popup bar - secret location? Check. Completely lit by candles? Check. 20s theme? Check. Live jazz bands? Check. Burlesque acts? Check. Bar bites like langoustine cocktail and raised game pie? Check.
Details: Various dates throughout December | A Secret Location | £20-£130
Little Nan is beginning to look immortal.
The grandma-themed popup bar has gone from strength to strength, and has now reappeared in the secret vaults of the Dalston's Rio cinema, with a '90s party vibe, teapot cocktails, and free pic 'n' mix & popcorn.
Long may she live.
Details: Throughout December, Weds-Sat 5pm-12am (2am on Fri/Sat) | The Rio Cinema, 107 Kingsland High Street, E8 2PB | £39
This one however, has the distinction of actually having bats, balls… and ten table tennis tables to go with them.
(And if that wasn't enough, it's also got pizzas from the Well St. Pizza Co, a large bar, and a banquet seating area. And they have 40+ craft beers. And it's popping up for an entire year in Stratford.)
Fancy a game?
Details: Now-2017 | Unit 1110/1111, Westfield Stratford, E20 1EJ
Please welcome, courtesy of the grandchildren who brought you Little Nan’s Bar and Little Nan’s House Party, after years of planning and preparation, the one, the only, Little Nan’s Cocktail Den.
It regards Friday and Saturday nights from 6pm-12am in a space that looks just like an exaggerated version of an exaggerated version of a stereotypical nan’s living room.
If she lived in the Caribbean.
Details: Various dates throughout December | A Secret Peckham Location
Main image: Bompas & Parr
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