The average person makes love 89 times per year.
So, speaking for ourselves, this December is looking like it’s going to be prettttty wild.
And by that we obviously mean because of the excellent lineup of events that the month is packing – including a screening of a cult classic music-filled movie with a live orchestra; an entire city made out of gingerbread, a silent disco in a not-so-silent crypt, a chance to see an elephant walk on the Thames, a highly original immersive classical music show, an evening of cheese at an iconic market, an intimate gig with an open whisky bar, and a chance to drink bottomless espresso martinis…
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POP UP EVENTS
The Frost Fair
So, between the years of 1605 & 1814, the surface of the River Thames froze over 24 times. And each time, people jumped straight out onto the ice, and put on a ‘Frost Fair’, right on the river. Obviously we’re unlikely to see that again, so the people at Bankside are putting on a kind of digital Frost Fair, with all manner of augmented reality installations, street art trails, themed food & drink and workshops. You’ll even get to see a digital elephant walk on the Thames, if you can get there by 6:14 on the opening day.
Details: 1st December – 31st January 2023 | Bankside
Kansas Smitty’s Big Band presents Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker
If you’ve never heard Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite, count yourself lucky. Because you still get to hear it for the first time. It’s a truly timeless classic that takes Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, and reworks it with Ellington’s own rhapsodic genius to create something totally unforgettable. Spotify it and see. And there isn’t really a better band in London to play their own version of it than Kansas Smitty’s – and as luck would have it, that’s exactly what they’re doing…
Details: 2nd December | The Fireworks Factory, 11 No 1 St, Royal Arsenal, SE18 6HD | £26.50
Silent Disco in a Crypt
Crypts are usually silent as the grave – a fact that will remain unimpeached when the people over at St Martin-in-the-Fields host their silent discos there this December as part of their season of Crypt Lates. So strap on a pair of headphones, get ready to party until the early hours…
Details: 2nd December | St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, WC2N 4JJ | £19
The Gingerbread City
Building an entire city out of gingerbread may sound like a half-baked idea… but when it’s constructed by architects & engineers gathered together by the Museum of Architecture, and housed within a beautiful – but frustratingly inedible – townhouse in Belgravia, it’s actually pretty impressive. This will be the sixth year that the Gingerbread City has been constructed, and to celebrate they’re not just building one city this year – they’re actually building six.
Details: 3rd December 2022 – 3rd January 2023 | 6-7 Motcomb Street, Belgravia, SW1X 8JU | £15
Camp As Christmas
Camp As Christmas is a one-off live show on the South Bank hosted by the Guilty Feminist herself, Deborah Frances-White, along with comedian Tom Allen (you’ll recognise him from 8 out of 10 Cats & Mock the Week). So what’s it all about? Well, it takes place in Queen Elizabeth Hall, the world-class performance space within the Southbank Centre, and you’ll get to see a veritable parade of LGBTQ+ celebs cross the stage and performing a wonderful medley of comedy, music, and delightfully witty conversation, and more…
Details: 3rd December | Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX | £20
See LaLa Land With a Live Orchestra
For a film that’s most famous for not winning the Best Picture Oscar, La La Land sure has aged well. And for movie all about jazz, it works extremely well with a live orchestra, too. So if you feel like feeling both joyously uplifted, and then bawling your eyes out in an unfettered, communal outpouring of cathartic grief, then get yourself a ticket, and quick.
Details: 3rd December | Events Apollo, 45 Queen Caroline Street, W6 9QH | £63.50
The Multi-Story Orchestra are orchestrating something quite unique this month: they’ll start their self-written performance in the the foyer of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and you’ll be free to wander amongst them as they play. Then, they’ll gradually move onto the main stage in the hall itself, where you can take your seat and see the finale.
Details: 3rd December | Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX | £8
Last Chance To Visit The Museum of London
Everybody panic! The Museum of London is closing, and this is going to be your last chance to visit it… until then re-open in a newer, bigger, better location. So, cancel the panicking. But definitely make plans to hit the closing party, which will involve “DJ sets, London’s biggest table football competition, immersive theatre, late-night cinema and more…”
Details: 3rd & 4th December | 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN | Free
Christmas Floating Film Festival
An outdoor Christmas film festival might not sound that enticing at first – but this one’s equipped with cosy sofas, blankets, mulled wine and hot chocolates. Oh, and it’s floating on the marina of a historic dock.
Details: 5th-11th December | St. Katharine Docks, London E1W 1LA | £16.76
Handel’s Messiah: The Live Experience
There are two types of people in this world: those who think Handel is one of the greatest musicians to ever live, and those who think he is a kind of doorknob. For those in the former category, this one’s for you.
It’s called Handel’s Messiah: The Live Experience, and it comes to us from the team at Immersive Everywhere (The Great Gatsby, Peaky Blinders: The Rise, etc). This is their first tentative toe dipped into the warm waters of classical music, which they’re hoping to intensify & elevate by borrowing a few tricks from the worlds of theatre, rock, and immersive spectacle. That means highly creative lighting, some bombastic visual effects, and a showcase of imaginative choreography…
Details: 6th December | Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, WC2B 5JF | £25+
What is massaoke, you ask? Or, at least, we think you did, because we can’t hear you over the joyous crowds simultaneously singing along to some of the best songs ever written, played live on stage alongside projections of the lyrics and full-on pyrotechnics, creating one of the most euphoric mass-bonding experiences of your life. Maybe you just said ‘stop knocking my beer’.
Details: 9th December | Electric Ballroom 184 Camden High Street, NW1 8QP | £15
Candlelight Club Christmas Party
Ordinarily, the Candlelight Club is a decadent, 1920’s-styled soirée, in a secret, candle-lit London location with live music from the Bubbly Boys, cabaret with your host Champagne Charlie, Charleston dancing with the Gatsby Girls, tarot readers, absinthe and gramophone DJs. Only this time, it’ll be all of those things, only with tinsel and Christmas trees and whatnot.
Details: 9th & 10th December | A Secret Location | £27.50
Christmas Pyjama Party at the Prince Charles
Yes, the Prince Charles cinema is still called the Prince Charles cinema. It’s the West End’s only independent cinema, so you have to expect them to be independent about stuff like this. And they’re flexing their self-sovereignty this month with an all-night pyjama party featuring The Muppet’s Christmas Carol, Elf, Home Alone, Die Hard, and Gremlins, all playing until the dawn breaks.
Details: 10th & 17th December | 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BY | £25
A Wee Pop-up Ceilidh At Small Beer
It’s ceilidh dancing, in a brewery. Yes, the very thing you need in order to develop instant proficiency in the energetic art of ceilidh dancing will be available to you in its purest, freshest form right in front of you. And no, we’re not talking about the guidance from the band leader.
Details: 16th December | Small Beer, 70-72, Verney Rd, SE16 3DH | £16.50
The World Cup Final
This is it. The big one. If you enjoy football, it’s the one you’ve been waiting for. If you don’t enjoy football, it’s the one you’ve been waiting for to finish. Whatever the case, you’ll be happy it’s finally here. And it’s worth bearing in mind that it’s a match that cost 229 billion dollars to put on. Yep, this World Cup final will have cost the host nation more than all the other World Cups in history all put together. Times four. So, basically, it better be good. You can see it pretty much anywhere, including TOCA Social, Arcade Food Hall, Flat Iron Square, Vinegar Yard, Skylight, Bar Kick, and many more…
Details: 18th December | Qatar
Christmas at the Movies by Candlelight
Listen to iconic music from mostly Christmas movies, lit mostly by candles, in a space that mostly doesn’t have strobes, flashing lights, confetti, and the occasional ball drop going off all the time. Because on this evening it will indeed have all of those things. And you’ll hear a live orchestra on stage playing from the likes of Elf, Home Alone, Frozen, and more…
Details: 19th December | The Clapham Grand, 21-25 St.John’s Hill, SW11 1TT | £25
A Christmas Carol by Antic Disposition
Antic Disposition’s production of A Christmas Carol is probably the most authentically Dickensian in the world. Why? Well, for one it takes place in Middle Temple Hall. Built back in 1572, it’s one of the four ‘Inns of Court’ that gets to call its members barristers. Dickens himself was a member when he studied law, and even to him it would have been ancient. And Dickens wrote the story just a few yards away…
Details: 20th – 29th December | Middle Temple Hall, Middle Temple Lane, Temple, EC4Y 9AT | £45
Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol
Dolly Parton’s production of A Christmas Carol is probably the least authentically Dickensian in the world. Because it transports the timeless tale to the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee in the 1930s, and adds a whole lot of specially written music by the Queen of Country herself to tell the story…
Details: 8th December – 8th January | Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX | £18.50-120
Rivoli Christmas Cinema
London’s last remaining ’50s ballroom doesn’t play host to a lot of ballroom dancing these days. It does, however, screen a lot of films – and for the winter season they’re loading the slate with Love Actually, Elf, Home Alone, and Die Hard. There’s a full bar, too, and snack stands serving hot dogs, popcorn and ice cream.
Details: 22nd & 23rd December | Rivoli Ballroom, 350 Brockley Road, Crofton Park, SE4 2BY | £10
The Ever After Garden
The Ever After Garden is a charity initiative by designer Anya Hindmarch and writer Camilla Morton – it’s a sprawling display of over 25,000 illuminated white roses, representing loved ones who have passed away, making for a beautifully moving installation. It’s even possible to dedicate one of the roses in someone’s honour for a £10 donation, which will go towards supporting The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. But to see it is completely free.
Details: Until 20th December | Grosvenor Square, London W1K 6LD | Free
Watch A Christmas Ballet
Glittering costumes; blizzards of snow and functioning hot air balloons: these Christmas shows are tutu good to miss. This year you can catch classics like The Nutcracker alongside a gothic take on Sleeping Beauty by one of the country’s best contemporary choreographers; a twinkling performance of Swan Lake; and a balletic version of The Snowman featuring dancers riding motorbikes in giant fluffy onesies.
Musicals By Candlelight
Musicals by Candlelight? It’s guaranteed that something will be wick-ed. And it’s a guarantee you’ll probably have a rousing, entertaining, and occasionally moving time, too – at least if the idea of a string quartet playing iconic compositions from some of the most legendary songwriters in the game (Sondheim, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Lloyd Webber, etc) in a 400 yer old church, all while bathed in the warm, yellow light of hundreds of flickering candles sounds good to you…
Details: Until 23rd December | The Actor’s Church, Bedford St, WC2E 9ED | £15
New Year’s Eve
Going to a party, drinking champagne, and having an incredible time? That’s the last thing you’ll want to do this year. And to help make sure that’s exactly what happens, we’ve lined up a comprehensive list of the most raucous, fun, mind-blowing, and bubbly-loaded NYE throwdowns taking place in the capital, and organised them into a bunch of handy categories…
Details: 31st December | Across London
The Curling Club
If you’re looking for date-night ideas this winter, then wrap up warm and get ready to slide (very accurately, with the aid of some brooms) into your intended’s DMs – because The Curling Club is back in London. That’s right, mesmeric Winter Olympics favourite curling – we’re talking ‘slidey rock’, we’re talking ‘target at the end of a long narrow sheet of ice’, and we’re absolutely talking ‘some people with brooms sweeping frantically’ – is very much a playable attraction at the Southbank Centre, seven days a week, as of the start of this month…
Details: Until 3rd January 2023 | Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX | £24+
Silent Night at Denis Severs’ House
Denis Severs’ House, for those who don’t know it, is basically a small rip in the space-time continuum. It’s a perfectly preserved piece of history, with each room restored to the state it would have been hundreds of years ago, complete with ticking clocks, crackling fires, crumb-filled plates, and the smell of oranges & wood smoke. And on the ‘Silent Night’ tours, it’ll be completely silent, with no talking allowed as people wander from room to candlelit room, feeling the past wash over them in an almost transcendental wave.
Details: Until 6th January 2023 | Dennis Severs’ House, 18 Folgate St, E16BX | £21
The Great Christmas Feast
The Lost Estate is back this month, and in a new, permanent home. They’re putting on a new production of their hugely popular Dickensian immersive event The Great Christmas Feast – in which, in a very un-Scrooge-like twist, they’re going to lavish you with fine Victorian food, excellent cocktails, and a spellbinding retelling of Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’…
Details: Until 15th January 2023 | The Lost Estate, 9 Beaumont Ave, W14 9LP | £49.50
Epping Ongar Light Fantastic
This is miles apart from your typical London light show. Partly because it will literally take you through a fair few miles of countryside on a festive, light-bedecked steam train, but also because it steps things up on that journey with a Christmassy soundtrack, line-side light displays set in magical forests, and a mystical Scandinavian gnome.
Details: Until 15th January 2023 | £20, or £120 for a private compartment | Ongar station, CM5 9AB
If you’re still a bit rusty on the old curling, you can brush up here: Coal Drops Yard in King’s Cross is hosting six pop up curling lanes for the festive period. You’ll get an hour on the (fake) ice, and there’s a pop up bar serving signature hot cocktails, too.
Details: Until 26th February, daily 12-8pm | Coal Drops Yard, London N1C 4DQ | £7 – pre-book or just turn up
Backyard Cinema have launched their latest gorgeously seasonal immersive set-dressing for their latest extraordinary pop up.
This year? You’ll begin your journey, appropriately, on a train platform, ready to take a mystical journey towards the top of the world inside the carriages of a ’20s-style steam train before arriving at your destination: an enchanted forest of towering, snow-topped trees lit up by twinkling stars, and the green glow of The Northern Lights. That is, the cinema. And this is all before the film starts. And yes, the journey continues after it finishes too.
Details: Throughout December | 2-4 Armoury Way, Wandsworth Town, SW18 1SH
If Stranger Sings sounds like a parody musical of Stranger Things then …that’s because it’s precisely what it is. And sure, it’s not some lah-di-dah ‘official’ production, but it’s not just some slip-shod novelty project either – it’s already debuted in New York and has swept up over half a dozen awards (inducing Best New Musical) at the Off Broadway Awards. The reviews of the show say that while it’s not perfect, it is extremely funny, heartfelt, and clearly enamoured with the show…
Details: Until 15th January 2023 | The Vaults, Leake Street, Waterloo SE1 7NN | £30-£39, or Pay What You Can (Weds & Sun)
Fancy seeing some Hidden Figures in a crypt? Not in a creepy way – it’s the return of 2018’s hit immersive show celebrating the unsung heroes of WW2. For its second run, it’s made its home in a brand new dedicated immersive space based in the crypt of an 18th century church in Bethnal Green, which the creators have converted into a Blitz-era bar and wartime bunker where you’ll solve puzzles, interact with performers and uncover your character’s true story as the night unfolds. Combining entertainment with real history, it’s unlike anything else you’ll have encountered…
Details: Until the end of 2022 | St. Peter’s Church Crypt, St Peter’s Close, Bethnal Green, E2 7AE | £30
Go Ice Skating
Nobody likes skating on thin ice, so here’s a list of solid suggestions for places to go ice skating in London over the festive season.
We’re talking indoor rinks. We’re talking open-air rinks. And we’re talking about the real reason you want to go ice skating in the first place:
soaking up the crisp night air with your closest friends and loved ones boozy hot chocolate and fondue.
Behold, the best pop-up rinks in London…
Details: Throughout December | Across London
Hit Up A Christmas Market
We’ve rustled up a list of the best Christmas markets in London for 2022: pop up villages of traditional Bavarian huts; makers’ markets showcasing hand-made wares; boozy knees-ups (where you might manage to save a bottle or two for someone else) and night markets teeming with mulled wine and wintry street food. In fact, there are so many markets in this list, you could quite easily spend every day between now and Christmas at a different one…
Details: Throughout December | Across London
Curl Up In A Pub With An Open Fire
Alongside alcohol, a fireplace is easily the best way to warm your cockles – making a pub with a roaring hearth pretty much the cosiest place the laws of physics will allow. So, as the mercury makes its merry way to the bottom of the thermometer, we’ve pulled together a list of what we’d consider to be the cosiest pubs in London. Which means all you need to do is sit back, crack the spine on a good book, and order a hot toddy.
Details: Throughout December | Across London
Check Out A Christmas Light Show
Looking for the best winter lights in London this season, all of which are available to book right now, and many of which involve a spectrums-worth of LEDs, lasers, strobes, floodlights, holograms, interactive displays, and other such modern wizardry? Allow us to illuminate you…
Details: Throughout December | Across London
It’s a vast, slightly overwhelming classic for a reason. Every year it seems to come back even bigger, and this year there’s London’s biggest outdoor ice rink; rollercoasters and rides; a magical kingdom crafted from over 500 tonnes of ice; circus acts; street food; mulled wine; firepits and tipis; and giant ice slides.
Details: Open daily, 18th November – 2nd January (except Christmas Day) | Hyde Park, W2 2UH | £5-7.50, must book ahead
Go To The Theatre
You may laugh. You may cry. You may throw up, or potentially do all three. This month at the theatre, you can catch telegenic televangelist, anarchic standup, and giant Japanese puppets… See The Best Shows On At The Theatre Now
Straker’s x Casamigos
Thomas Straker’s new restaurant is kicking off the month by teaming up with Casamigos tequila to put on a four-course, cocktail-paired dinner. And at only £75 a pop for all the drinks, plus all the food, that’s not too shabby.
Details: 1st December | 91 Golborne Rd, W10 5PR | £75
New Kids on The Stove With Sophie Wyburd
Every now and again the Hoxton Hotel (the one in Southwark, not in, er, Hoxton) decides to hand over the kitchen keys to a talented up & coming chef, and let them run their own pop up. They’re generally excellent, and this month they’ve press-ganged Sophie Wyburd into service, who’ll be using her experience running MOB Kitchen to put together a menu involving pig cheek & porcini lasagne, mussel croquettes with guindilla chilli mayo, and salted chocolate crème brûlée – and they’re all paired up with Camden beers.
Details: 7th December | The Hoxton, 40 Blackfriars Rd, SE1 8NY | £45
Food, wine, and music. That’s the vibe at Kin, a new pop up hitting Bank & Bo this month. And all three elements are looking pretty strong – the food will be coming as a five-course feast from Chef Sophie Taverner (formerly of Michelin Starred Lyles); the wines paired up with it are all low-intervention bottles chosen by Sarah Jones (formerly of Dynamic Vines); and the music is being wrangled together by DJ & Broadcaster Erica McKoy (Worldwide FM). Triple threat, baby.
Details: 15th December | Benk&Bo 4-6 Gravel Lane, E1 7AW | £76
Borough Market’s Evening of Cheese
Borough Market’s Evening of Cheese. Frankly, there are a lot of good words in that sentence. And in case any of them need a little explanation, in the middle of the month, London’s most iconic food market is going to give itself over to its community of cheesemongers for three hours of tastings, cheeseboards, and booze…
Details: 15th December, 6pm-9pm | Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL
Feast-ive at Brunswick East
Brunswick East is a beautiful little slice of the Melbourne brunch scene, only located in Dalston. And to cap off a year of delightful supperclubs, they’re holding a festive, four-course feast with welcome drinks, optional cheese courses, and an optional natural wine pairing, too. Naturally.
Details: 15th December | | Unit 3D Stamford Works, Gillett Street, N16 8JH | £40+
Firebird Christmas Eve Feast
Sure, the name Firebird could be what you get if you put the phrase ‘roast turkey’ through several languages on Google Translate. But Soho’s latest & greatest Mediterranean restaurant won’t be cooking anything quite so traditional for their own Christmas Eve feast – you can expect five courses of foie gras-filled choux buns, scallops with ‘nduja butter, venison loin with quince & chocolate sauce, charred halibut fillet with seafood bisque, clementine trifles, and spicy gingerbread ice-cream.
Details: 24th December | 29 Poland Street, W1F 8QR | £85 (plus optional £39 wine pairing)
Disappearing Dining Club’s NYE Dinner Dance
The dinner: a five-course extravaganza of indulgence featuring smoked duck breast; truffle brie de meaux; and Champagne & elderflower granita. The dance: a late-night jam with sound selectors Itchysoul, Neil Thornton and Dave Rose spinning until 3am. The Disappearing Dining Club: only the crème-de-la-crème of supperclub and party hosts, who have now made their home in this ridiculously cosy North London pub.
Details: The Dartmouth Arms, 35 York Rise, NW5 1SP | Free-£95
All My Friends
“Alexa, play All My Friends by LCD Soundsystem…”
…because that’s the song that this pop up is named after, and frankly listing to it gives you a pretty decent sense of the place’s vibes too. It’s got a strong musical element with DJs & a record store, and the food’s being put together by both Japanese street food outfit Sho Foo Doh (who’re slinging tuna tacos, sesame-panko-crusted cauliflower, and banana spring rolls with miso caramel) and True Craft, a sourdough pizza spot from Seven Sisters.
Details: Throughout December | Unit 1, Hamlet Estate, 96 White Post Ln, E9 5EN
When other restaurants hold supperclubs, they do it in a room at the back. When Kudu hold a supperclub they do it in their own beautiful private gallery, right next door to the restaurant. And this month, 14 diners will gather around the long table, and feast off five courses of their signature South African dishes paired with excellent wines. Expect the likes of braai-scorched broodje agnolotti with smoked tomato, stone bass with rooibos & jalapeño, and a warm chocolate & praline tart with bay leaf ice cream.
Details: 14th December | Curious Kudu, 117 Queens Road, SE15 2EZ | £60pp (£89pp w/ wine pairing)
Fire & Fromage
Everyone’s favourite pop up maestro, Jimmy Garcia, is back on the South Bank with his famed igloos. And this year, he’s bringing some first class fondue game to the table. Fire & Fromage will involve tables with built-in fire pits and unlimited raclette for an hour followed by s’mores toasted over the flames.
Details: Until 7th January 2023 | Fire & Fromage, Queens Walk, Waterloo Bridge, SE1 8xx | £35pp
Darjeeling Express at The Pembroke
Asma Khan is a legend. She became a household name after appearing on Chef’s Table, and ever since, her Kolkatan restaurant (run by a crack team of ‘housewives’) has drawn queues round the block and visitors from around the world (including one Paul Rudd). Her success has been so vast, in fact, that she’s actually had to close the restaurant while she looks for bigger premises – but in the meantime, thankfully, you can get a taste of her cooking at this Chelsea pub…
Details: Until 24th December | The Pembroke, 261 Old Brompton Rd, SW5 9JA | Book here
Tired of pounding the pavements? Hit the KERB. Specifically, the one that’s outside the National Theatre, because starting this weekend the street food market is taking on a decidedly festive flavour, with stalls hawking raclette, Christmas crumbles and mulled wine…
Details: Until 8th January 2023 | Outside the National Theatre, Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PX
Argentinian chef Fernando Trocca knocked it out the park when he opened Sucre last year, and now he’s hoping to score another homer with his pop up Mostrador. And the fact that he’s already opened Mostrador pop ups in the US & Uruguay, and already scored such, er home runs… you know what, the analogy breaks down here, but the fact is that it’s a very successful concept. It’s go excellent salads, phenomenal pastries (courtesy of seven pastry chefs), and delicious light suppers. It’ll be at the Hart Shoreditch hotel for the next six months.
Details: Throughout December | 61-67 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3HU
Tendril just keeps on climbing. It’s the somewhat coincidentally vegan dining concept from ex-Chiltern Firehouse, Fat Duck and The Dairy chef Rishim Sachdeva, who came up with the idea after trying Veganuary as a self-professed ‘hardcore carnivore’. The result is an ever-evolving menu that’s deeply satisfying, brilliantly creative, and just so happens to be mostly vegan. Since 2019 Tendril’s been popping up around the capital, including a breakout residency at Soho’s Sun & 13 Cantons which really drew crowds. No surprise, then, that Sachdeva’s already raised way beyond his crowdfunding target to find a permanent spot. Until it beds in permanently, though, Tendril’s popping up just off Regent Street until start of next year (late January 2023), in the space formerly occupied by Mark Jarvis’ Stem…
Details: Throughout December | 5 Princes Street, W1B 2LQ
Dragon Cat Cafe
The folks who run Chinatown have decided to give the area a permanent pop up space, in order to help out those young restaurateurs who can’t afford their own Soho restaurant (ie all of them). First on the pass is Dragon Cat Cafe who specialise in Taiwanese-style wheelcakes. And if you’ve never had a wheelcake before, suffice to say that they’re wheely, wheely good.
Details: Until March 2023 | 15a Little Newport St, WC2H 7JJ
Retan at Louie Louie
Retan is a shared project between chef Josh Dallaway and somm Cameron Dewar, who collectively have created a roving Parisian bistro that’s been making its way around London’s finest kitchens (The Laughing Heart, Crispin, Legare, etc.). Now, they’re settling into Louie Louie for a three month stretch filled with aged beef tartar & seaweed relish, salted pollack with kohlrabi, and chocolate crèmeux with sherry caramel & smoked cream for dessert. And the kicker? It’s just £45 for four courses.
Details: Until the end of 2022 | 347 Walworth Rd, SE17 2AL | £45
Another rising star hits the Sun & 13 Cantons pub in Soho this month: Rajiv’s Kitchen has been drawing punters from far and wide over the last five years of pop ups and supperclubs, and now he’s settling in for a long-term residency. Expect mouthwatering Nepalese fare, from thaali to his signature chilli momos (dumplings), alongside the pub’s lengthy line-up of beers on tap.
Details: Throughout December | Sun & 13 Cantons, 21 Great Pulteney Street, London, W1F 9NG
Mondo Sandwiches at The White Horse
Just when we were thinking that Peckham needed more sandwich shops, the absolute king sarnie slingers Mondo Sandwiches announced that they were popping up at The White Horse in Peckham. Not just that, but head chef Jack Macrae has knocked up some shiny newbies for the occasion. We’re talking char-grilled chicken tikka thigh and a punchy Thai vegan number, not to mention the most intense rosy rare beef sandwich we’ve ever seen, served with its own gravy dipping sauce. And it’s not just ’wiches you’ll find either…. Also on the menu are their legendary smash-patty burgers and one hell of a Sunday roast.
Details: Available daily | The White Horse, 20-22 Peckham Rye, London, SE15 4JR
The Rhythm And Booze Project
Presenting the three most beautiful words in the English language:
I love you open whisky bar. The Rhythm And Booze Project will be hosting a night of live music mixed with a kind of guided tasting from a totally open whisky bar, in which promises to be something of a unique show.
Details: 1st & 2nd December | Crol & Co, 77 Dunton Road, SE1 5TW | £65
Christmas Midnight Apothecary
Everyone’s favourite bar-on-a-museum-rooftop, The Midnight Apothecary, are back for a festive pop up this month. There’ll be Christmas campfires, s’mores, hot rum & whisky toddies, Vietnamese street food, and a tour of Brunel’s Thames Tunnel, an absolute marvel of Victorian engineering.
Details: 9th & 10th, 16th & 17th December | Brunel Museum Rooftop Garden, Railway Avenue, SE16 4LF | £8
The Bottomless Espresso Martini Christmas
The Bottomless Espresso Martini Society thankfully don’t deviate a huge amount from the promise made by their extremely alluring name – so despite the fact that they’re not yet sure where they’ll be putting on their Christmas pop up, you can be sure that there’ll be bottomless espresso martinis there, wherever it is.
Details: 9th & 10th, 16th & 17th December | Location TBC | £29
London Christmas Beer Festival
“The best way to spread Christmas beer is singing loud for all to hear” – Buddy The Elf.
We’re 90% sure that’s the quote. In either case, he’s wrong, the best way to spread Christmas beer, cheer, or both is to put on a festival at Tobacco Dock and invite 50 of the UK’s finest craft breweries along to showcase their festive wares alongside street food, cocktails, ciders, DJs, and more. Which is exactly what the people at the London Christmas Beer Festival have done.
Details: 16th & 17th December | Tobacco Dock, Wapping Lane, E1W 2SF | £17.50
God’s Garden is quite a punchy name for any place located outside of Eden, but this particular pop up paradise is set in the grounds of One Marylebone, one of the most strikingly impressive and grandiose churches in the city. Add to that the large stretch tents to shelter you from the elements, the opulent Persian rugs, the live music, the wine trolleys and the food… and they’re well on their way to earning that name.
Details: Open Wed-Sun from 4th November | 1 Marylebone Road, Marylebone, NW1 4AQ
Queen of The Slopes
Reasserting her regal supremacy over the East London rooftop bar scene, the Queen of Hoxton has crowned itself with an all-new theme. Expect an Alpine-style ski chalet with roaring fire pits, moreish bratwursts, and hot cocktails served up by Apres-Ski Guides.
Details: Opens 9th November | 1 Curtain Road Hoxton, EC2A 3JX
Imagine if someone threw a retro-flavoured Christmas hand grenade into a bar and it went off, spraying tinsel, coloured lights, stockings, holly, mistletoe, and candy canes all over the place. Well, that’s pretty much what happened at Miracle. It leans very heavily into the theme, and serves up a menu of eggnog-laced, snow-speckled, richly mulled cocktails to a ridiculously nostalgic soundtrack.
Details: 14th November – 23rd December | 14-15 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8QH
Hackney Bridge X Two Tribes
Festival season might be over but boozy fairy-lit campfires are not. Or so say Hackney Bridge who, thanks to a partnership with the good folk over at Two Tribe’s brewery, are offering you a place to cosy up with friends and – whilst soaking up the glossy, canal-side views – sip on all sorts of exciting, innovative TT creations, before tucking into a BBQ feast. Think flame grilled bavette steak with chimichurri and BBQ potatoes; grilled plantain and bell pepper skewers; and oyster mushroom tacos. And all to the soundtrack of emerging London DJs from Voices Radio.
Details: Thursday – Sunday | Units 1-28, Echo Building, E Bay Lane, E15 2SJ
So far, Dalston café Snackbar has been great on the snacks, and a little lighter on the bar. But that’s changing this month when Adam Caddy (ex-Quo Vadis and Brasserie Zedel) takes over on Thursday-Saturday evenings with his new pop-up bar, Adam’s. Created in response to the loss of LGBTQ+ spaces in the city, it’ll be an inclusive bar serving up classic cocktails, Two Tribes brews and a short-but-sweet wine list across the minimalist café spaces and the leafy, fairy-lit garden.
Details: Thursday – Saturday evenings throughout November | Snackbar, 20 Dalston Lane, E8 3AZ
Amie Wine Studio
Eccleston Yards is a lovely place at any time of year, even in the colder months, when rosé wine pop ups don’t seem like the first port of call. We only mention it because it happens to be home to the first ever pop up from Aime Wine Studio, who’re going all-out on their debut with something that’s part bar, part wine shop, and part gallery…
Details: Throughout November | Eccleston Yards, SW1W
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