Your December Agenda 2019 | The Best Pop Ups In London This Month
Things To Do

Your December Agenda

Your December Agenda

YOUR DECEMBER AGENDA | Pop Up London 2019

Mariah Carey was lying.

She also wants The December Agenda.

And honestly we don’t blame her, because this month’s lineup includes two hyper-chic pop up indoor train carriage bars, a gingerbread city (designed by actual architects), a hunting lodge with virtual shooting & a whisky wall, a stunning light installation with 27,000 illuminated white silk roses, a life-size recreation of an iconic 1920s jazz bar, and a lot more…

Main image: Christmas at Kew

POP UP EVENTS (December 2019)

Pop Up London - things to do in London this month

Quality Streets at Poppie’s

Turns out your colleagues aren’t the only ones getting battered in Soho this month. Retro fish ‘n’ chips spot Poppie’s is taking a leaf out of a Scottish recipe book and deep-frying Quality Streets. £2.50 will net you a lucky dip of five crispy, melting chocolates – and don’t worry: what they lack in looks, they more than make up for with taste.

Details: 1st-25th December | Poppie’s Soho, 55-59 Old Compton Street, W1D 6HW

The Grand Gelinaz! Shuffle Stay In Tour

If the – completely insane – website is anything to go by, this dining event is going to be quite something. 148 chefs from across the globe, including Noma’s René Redzepi, Sean Gray at Momofuku, and Paulo Airaudo & Rafael Cagali at Da Terra, will swap signature recipes for the night. You book a seat at one of the restaurants (there are eight in London, including a preview of Santiago Lastra’s Kol), the chefs receive their recipes at the start of the night, and chaos ensues.

Details: 3rd December Across London Around £100pp

Pitch Black Playback

pitch black playback date ideas

If you’re in the dark about PBP, well… that’s only to be expected. They’re an underground listening party collective who stage album listening nights in the dark, in beautiful, unusual venues around the city. And to cap off what was already a pretty excellent year, they’re staging four more events, featuring albums by Erykah Badu, Jamie Woon, Sigur Rós and a cinematic screening of Beyoncé’s Lemonade. READ MORE

Details: 3rd, 4th & 11th December Various locations £8-10

Champagne & Oysters at The Mulwray

‘Tis the season to be jolly. And if going to a Ruinart Champagne tasting with freshly shucked oysters, St. John sourdough and carol singing in the beautifully decked out pub from the Palomar team isn’t jolly, then frankly, we don’t know what is.

Details: 4th December The Mulwray at The Blue Posts, 28 Rupert Street, London, W1D 6DJ £54.49

Kneehigh’s Ubu!

Critically acclaimed theatre company Kneehigh are bringing their bizarre and jubilant take on the anarchic play King Ubu to Shoreditch Town Hall this month. They describe it as an “unhinged improvised promenade musical”, and it’ll see actors and musicians whizzing amongst the audience, leading you on rousing crowd karaoke renditions of everything from Britney to the Sex Pistols, while you throw ping pong balls at the people opposite and limber up for Ubu’s Olympic Games.

Details: 4th-21st December Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, EC1V 9LT £18-25

L’Aubette Live

Barbican

For their exhibition on 20th century cabaret culture, the Barbican have installed a life-size recreation of the iconic 1920s bar L’Aubette. And for one late-night opening this month, they’re taking that recreation a step further by staging a performance by jazz saxophonist Ruben Fox. After the gig, you’ll be free to walk around the rest of the exhibition after-hours, and sip a cocktail in another recreated bar, Vienna’s Cabaret Fledermaus.

Details: 5th December Art Gallery, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS | Free with £15 exhibition ticket

Enchanted Eltham Palace

Eltham Enchanted

South London’s stunning medieval-meets-art-deco palace gets some additional deco this month, as they illuminate their sprawling grounds with a twinkling array of fairy-lights, mirrorballs, coloured fountains and interactive artworks. There’ll be mulled wine and hot chocolates to sip as you go round the trail, as well as traditional fairground stalls and rides. READ MORE

Details: 5th – 22nd December Court Yard, Eltham, Greenwich, London, SE9 5QE £12-14

Maltby Street Night Markets

Maltby Street - food market London

You never want to be left in the dark when it comes to night markets – so here’s a heads up that Maltby Street will be open late every Friday in the run up to Christmas. You’ll find all their usual street food traders, plus mulled wine, mince pies, and live carolling while you stuff your piehole.

Details: 6th, 13th & 20th December Maltby Street, SE1 3PA Free Entry

The Little Orchestra

Little Orchestra - things to do in London this month

Beethoven never heard his own 9th symphony.

But trust us, it’s still good.

It sounds even better, though, when it’s played in a spine-tinglingly intimate and special setting by an orchestra who specialise in taking the pomp and stuffiness out of classical concerts… READ MORE

Details: 6th & 7th December Royal Horticultural Halls, Elverton St, London SW1P 2PB | £30/£45pp for a sofa

Ever After Garden

Grosvenor Square in Mayfair is slowly being transformed into a field of over 27,000 illuminated white silk roses, inspired by an installation that took place in Seoul back in 2015. It’s all in aid of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, and visitors can plant a rose in memory of a loved one in exchange for a donation.

Details: Until 22nd December Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, W1K 2HP Free Entry/recommended donation of £10 to plant a rose

The Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread City

Gingerbread City

Building an entire city out of gingerbread may sound like a half-baked idea…

…but when it’s constructed by the architects & engineers at the Museum of Architecture, it’s actually pretty impressive, with over 100 artists and architects constructing their own sugar-dusted, fairylit gingerbread edifices… READ MORE

Details: 7th December – 5th January Somerset House, Strand, Covent Garden, WC2R 1LA £9

Stardust

Making its debut this year, Stardust is an enormous winter music festival landing at Tobacco Docks this month. There’ll be three stages (occupied by the likes of the Artful Dodger, The Streets’ Mike Skinner, and Shift K3Y); a time-travelling roller disco; roaming jewel make-up artists; festive screenings from the Luna Cinema; and street food – including ice cream made by hurling ingredients at a super-cold plate… READ MORE

Details: 7th December Tobacco Docks, 50 Porters Walk, E1W 2SF £65-250

Other Spaces

Laser art – it’s pretty cutting edge. And now a huge, free exhibition of the stuff is popping up in London. It showcases three works by the United Visual Artists collective, each of which are vast, walk-in installations… READ MORE

Details: Until 8th December The Store x 180 The Strand, London WC2R 1EA | Free Entry

Dock The Halls

You must have been good this year, because the Docklands are giving you a free film festival for Christmas. They’re screening a dozen festive classics, alongside free activities and live music – from Die Hard with a brass band to Elf with a wreath-making workshop.

Details: Throughout December The Royal Docks Free, but register ahead

Hidden Jazz Club

Hidden Jazz Club

The team behind HJC take jazz so seriously, they even improvise their venues. They pop up in undisclosed locations around the capital with a rotating roster of talented musicians, ready to soothe your eardrums with ever-changing set lists in intimate and atmospherically-lit settings. READ MORE

Details: 9th, 16th & 19th December Secret Locations £18

The Nutcracker

It’s the perfect ballet for the snowflake generation. A festive classic, The English National Ballet’s glittering production involves over 100 dancers, a hot air balloon and cascades of snowy blizzards, set in one of the most beautiful, grandiose theatres in London.

Details: 11th December – 5th January London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4ES £14-80

Nine Lessons and Carols for Curious People

Comedian, writer and broadcaster Robin Ince reprises his sell-out festive cracker; which is basically like the Royal Institution’s Christmas lectures for adults. He’ll be joined by singers, statisticians, comedians and chemists for an eclectic festival of ideas and entertainment – plus it’s all in aid of The Trussell Trust Food Bank.

Details: 12th, 13th, 19th & 21st December Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG | £27

The Candlelight Club

Candlelight Club

The Candlelight Club – the roving 1920s party lit almost entirely by candles – is decking the halls of their secret ballroom space for a special festive edition this month. There’ll be live music from the Swing’It Dixieband, vintage DJ’ing by The Bees Knees, and MC’ing from the compère without compare, the inimitable Champagne Charlie. READ MORE

Details: 13th December A Secret Location From £25

Turning Earth Christmas Market

Turning Earth

As the Earth completes another turn about the sun, Hoxton’s pottery studio Turning Earth hosts another of their insanely popular Christmas markets. As usual, you’ll be able to peruse handmade wares from 75+ different potters, watch demonstrations and have a go at throwing something yourself – or just chow down on the Vietnamese street food, mince pies and mulled wine as you soak up the live gypsy jazz.

Details: 14th & 15th December Turning Earth Hoxton, Railway Arch 361, Whiston Road E2 8BW Free Entry

The Luna Winter Cinema

Luna Winter Cinema

Few places do pop up film like the Luna Cinema, who use the night sky (and a fair few stunning buildings) as their backdrop. Of course, that doesn’t work quite so well in the middle of December – so they’re retreating indoors for a series of festive film screenings inside a pavilion in the grounds of Kensington Palace, accompanied by crepes and mulled wine.

Details: 15th-23rd December Kensington Palace, Orme Square Gate, Bayswater Road, London W8 4PX £13

The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas

If you’re not familiar with the Krampus, he’s basically an anti-Santa that goes around punishing children who have been naughty (as opposed to St. Nick, who treats kids who have been nice). Described as half-goat, half-demon, the old European folk character represents a darker side to the festive season – and you can hear all about it from the world’s preeminent Krampus expert at the suitably spooky Last Tuesday Society, featuring a possible visit from Krampus himself.

Details: 17th December 11 Mare Street, London E8 4RP | £15

Circus 1903

Circus 1903 is all about old-school spectacle. Settling into the Southbank’s Royal Festival Hall, they’ll be showcasing the kinds of feats that health and safety did away with years ago: acts like knife-throwers; trapeze artists and acrobats without safety nets; and an all-new act called the ‘Brazilian wheel of death’. Thankfully, the one tradition they haven’t revived is the use of live animals – instead, they’ve collaborated with the War Horse designers to create jaw-dropping, life-sized puppets instead… READ MORE

Details: 19th December – 5th January Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX £29.50-125

Smoky Barrels

Smoky Barrels festive pop up

Still hunting for a Christmas party venue? Mac & Wild have got you covered. They’ve set up a fully fledged hunting pop up by their City restaurant, where you can kick back in your own personal hunting lodge, sip mulled wines, dine on festive Scottish fare and toast whisky marshmallows on an open fire. They’ve also installed a ‘whisky wall’ – where you can sample dozens of drams – and their famous state-of-the-art virtual hunting ranges, so you can go deer stalking in Liverpool Street.

Details: Until 21st December 1 Devonshire Square, EC2M 4YP From £15pp

La La Land: The Soundtrack

If you were a particular fan of the ‘la la’ part of La La Land, you can hear a full orchestral rendition of the film’s music at The Jazz Café this month, courtesy of the 16-piece Rogue Orchestra. They’ll be playing through the whole soundtrack, as well as other classic show tunes from the golden era of Hollywood.

Details: 23rd December Jazz Café, 5 Parkway,Camden, NW1 7PG | £20

Christmas in London

Jeff Eden © RBG Kew

Want a totally comprehensive guide of all the festive stuff going on in the capital this year? Then write to Santa. Or peruse this giant guide to the best Christmas markets, ice rinks, carol singing, winter pop ups and more… IT’S CHRIIIISTMAAAAS

The Peter Pan Cup

On Christmas Day, it’s always important to remember those less fortunate – like the people who have signed up to swim a 100-yard race along the freezing cold Serpentine. The shock of the water is so potentially heart attack-inducing that the race is only open to seasoned wild swimmers, but it makes for a great spectator sport (followed by a walk around the park) on Christmas morning.

Details: 25th December Serpentine Lido, Hyde Park Free

Midnight Swims

Hampton Pool London date ideas

Fancy a dip somewhere more temperate? Hampton Pool’s opening its doors for a midnight dip in their heated outdoor lido. Understandably, these events tend to sell out almost instantly – which makes it good news that they’ve just released an extra date for you to get in the water beneath their Christmas lights and snack on a minced pie or two. READ MORE

Details: 29th December Hampton Pool, High Street, Hampton, TW12 2ST £8.50

Music of Zimmer vs Williams

In the blue corner: Hans Zimmer’s Dark Knight, Inception, Pirates of the Caribbean. In the red corner: John Williams’ Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Harry Potter. Finally settling the question of which two venerated film composers would win in a fight are the London Concert Orchestra, who’ll be playing through some of the pair’s smash hits on the Barbican stage.

Details: 30th December Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS £16.50-42.50

New Year’s Eve

Rooftop fireworks, masked balls, ball pits and boat parties – it’s all in your dedicated New Year’s Eve Agenda.

Leo Villareal

Joining the avalanche of light-based art installations popping up across the capital this month, Leo Villareal’s latest exhibition comes up top for three key reasons: 1) He’s the artist who’s recently illuminated 14 bridges across the Thames; 2) It’ll feature an array of eye-dazzling artworks, including a 10m wide screen of cosmically undulating lights; and 3) It’s indoors.

Details: Until 18th January Pace Gallery, 6 Burlington Gardens, W1S 3ET | Free Entry

The Travelling Circus

The Travelling Circus is going to be staying put for the near future at Elephant & Castle’s sprawling street food marketplace, Mercato Metropolitano, which is putting on a very different kind of festive shindig this year. It’s all being curated by Josie and Rob da Bank, the co-founders of Bestival, who are essentially staging a fully-fledged festival inside the market every weekend until the end of January.

Details: Until end of January 2020 | Mercato Metropolitano, 42 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6DR | £30

Christmas Workshops at Coal Drops Yard

All month, Coal Drops will be home to workshops – from candle dripping and wreath making, to festive wrapping and bauble marbling at Tom Dixon. Plus, any money you donate as your ticket fee will go towards Shelter, who’ll be working to support the homeless over the colder months.

Details: Throughout December Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross Donations (£10 recommended)

Go Ice Skating

Ice Skating - Natural History Museum things to do in London this month

Just be warned, it can be a slippery slope. Check out the best rinks in London.

Go Carolling

Whether you’re a ‘herald angel’ or ‘cattle a-lowing’ kind of singer, there’s somewhere for you to get festively musical. We promise. See where to sing carols or hear Christmassy music in London.

La Clique

Describing itself as “an inspired melange of cabaret, new burlesque, circus and contemporary vaudeville”, La Clique’s a raucous, risqué and fun-filled night featuring, amongst others, a debonaire juggler; a tattooed, sword-swallowing fire-eater; and a lady who swings around the famous spiegeltent while hanging by her hair… READ MORE

Details: Until 4th January The Spiegeltent, Leicester Square,WC2H 7LU  | From £26

Electric Shuffle

Electric Shuffle

The Flight Club team have just unveiled their latest wheeze: a high-tech tabletop shuffleboard bar, where you’ll slide pucks across super-smart lanes in an attempt to ‘capture territory’, compete in a boules-shuffleboard hybrid, or, you know, just play the traditional game. But with automatic score-keeping. And yes, it’s insanely fun… READ MORE

Details: Throughout December 10 Cabot Square, North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, E14 4EY £20-40

Winterland

Winterland has all the things you’d usually expect of a cosy, alpine pop up – like fur-lined private chalets, heated igloos, a private hunting lodge full of hot cocktails and hot cheese – as well as a few things you wouldn’t expect, too.

Like a hot tub. With a mulled wine waiter. READ MORE

DetailsOpen Wed-Sun until early 2020 | Albert Wharf, Wandsworth Bridge Road, SW6 2TY | £5 entry

Winterfest

winterfest

If you don’t know what Winterfest is, that’s understandable, because this will be the first year it’s happened. It’s basically a huge outdoor light & sound show up in Wembley Park, and it’s set to hit town for six weeks. It’s completely free, and it involves a 100ft installation from a pair of former Pixar animators…READ MORE

Details: Until 3rd January 2020 | Wembley Park, Wembley, HA9 | Free

The Great Christmas Feast

Great Christmas Feast

What the Dickens is the best immersive Christmas feast taking place in London this festive season?

Funny you should ask.

Because it’s unquestionably The Great Christmas Feast; a ravishing retelling of Dickens’ Christmas Carol set in a Victorian yuletide dining room, with a four course banquet woven into the story itself… READ MORE

Details: Until 4th January | 47-49 Tanner Street, London, SE1 3PL£34-109

The Berkeley | Knightsbridge

Berkeley Winter Rooftop Cinema

One to file under ‘H’ for ‘Holy crap that’s an expensive cinema ticket’, The Berkeley will be housing a teeny tiny, six-person popup cinema on their roof for the cold season, showing Home Alone and The Holiday each night. Warming you up, they’ll have the likes of truffle mac ‘n’ cheese, confit duck croquettes, fondue and mulled wine. All for a mere £95 a pop.

Details: Until early 2020 The Berkeley, Wilton Place, London SW1X 7RL £95

Christmas at Kew

Christmas at Kew

Let’s be honest. The last thing you want to do at Christmas is spend it in a queue.

You do, however, want to spend it in a Kew – or at least you will, once you’ve heard how they’ve transformed an entire 2.6km stretch of the grounds into an almost unfeasibly magical, after-hours, mulled-wine toting festive woodland light trail… READ MORE

Details: Until January 5th | Royal Botanic Gardens, TW9 3AE | £18

Wave

Wave

Set in Eccleston Yards, Wave is an experiment in chromotherapy, which we’re told is “the science of using the powers of light and colour to balance energy in the body and mind.”

So basically, it looks cool as f*ck.

It’s been set up by the people at SquidSoup, and it’ll have 500 individual lights that you can wander through while evolving harmonies play.

Details: Until 11th January, 4pm-10pm | Eccleston Yards, SW1W 9AZ

Southbank Centre Winter Festival

Southbank Centre

If you’re looking for an excuse to drink mulled cider and wine around crackling firepits; eat festive street food from raclette to bratwurst; and buy festive wares from twinkling fairylit chalets, then look no further than the Southbank Centre.

Details: Until 5th January | Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX | Free Entry

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland - winter pop ups London

It’s a classic for a reason. Every year it seems to come back even bigger, and this year there’s London’s largest outdoor ice rink (with live music from the central bandstand); rollercoasters and rides; circus acts; street food; mulled wine; firepits and tipis; karaoke huts; and… a 70m observation wheel. 

Details: Until 5th January, daily from 10am-10pm | Hyde Park, W2 2UH | £9.50-£15.50

London’s Best Winter Rooftops

Rooftop drinking. It’s the height of sophistication. Especially when you do it at one of the city’s finest high-altitude spots, which have all been decked out with suitably wintry decor, hot cocktails, and fondue menus… READ MORE

Flight 338

Flight 338

It’s an escape room, set on a plane. As in an actual plane, not just a narrow room with a drinks trolley. It’s a decommission jet they’ve parked in Greenwich, you’ll play a jailbird in a criminal gang aboard a prisoner transport, and you’ve got to find the tools smuggled abroad to help escape. The company behind the entire enterprise, The Riddle Within, haven’t done any escape rooms before, so yes – this is their pilot show. Hopefully it takes off.

Details: Throughout December | 338 Boord Street, Greenwich Peninsula SE10 0PF | £20-£87pp

Red Palace

Head to the labyrinthine tunnels beneath Waterloo station this month, and you’ll happen upon a night of theatrical revelry full of dark, beguiling characters ripped out of a gothic fairy story. On your interactive journey through the palace, you’ll eat dishes by a Masterchef finalist, sip unusual cocktails, and watch performances by ballerinas, contortionists, and a very talented ghost orchestra… READ MORE

Details: Until 12th January The Vaults, Leake Street, SE1 7NN £15-70

Secret Cinema Presents: Stranger Things

We never thought we’d see the day that Secret Cinema adapted a TV show. But Stranger Things have happened. Yes, the immersive experience pioneers are back, and after a staggering 70 productions they’re taking on a whole new branch of entertainment… READ MORE

DetailsUntil February 2020 | A Secret Location | From £49

Moving to Mars

You can now see what it would be like to live on Mars, thanks to the new exhibition from the Design Museum –  because they’ve got a full-scale, completely liveable Mars home inside it… READ MORE

Details: Until 23rd February 2020 | The Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High Street, W8 6AG | £16-£18

WOW at Japan House

WOW

When you call your visual design studio an all-caps, back-patting, rakishly confident name like WOW you had better deliver. And WOW certainly does. They’re a Japanese firm whose work has been stunning audiences in the Far East, and is now making its way to the UK for the first time. It’s at Japan House, and you’ll find digital installations including Tokyo Lights Odyssey, a 360-degree immersive look at Tokyo at night, and Poppo, a chance to carve a traditional wooden doll and project your own face onto it.

Details: Until 22nd March 2020 | Japan Centre, 101-111 Kensington High Street, W8 5SA | Free

Tutankhamun

This vast exhibition is apparently the last chance you’ll have to see the riches of Tutankhamun’s tomb before they return to Egypt forever. Hopefully, it’s not just some kind of pyramid scheme. The largest exhibition ever staged outside of the country, it promises to feature over 150 of the awe-inspiring objects the boy king was buried with, from precious gold artefacts and statuettes to a pair of 3000 year-old gloves.

Details: Until 3rd May 2020 | Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, SW3 4RY | £24.50-28.50

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019

There’s only one acceptable context for shooting wild animals, and it’s the one practiced by the world’s wildlife photographers.

And now in its 55th year, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year is back to show off the very best amongst them. This year, they trawled through some 48k entries from 100+ countries before landing on the winning images, which are displayed on special lightboxes (alongside dozens of runner-up shots) throughout the Natural History Museum’s gallery. READ MORE

Details: Until 31 May 2020 | The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD | £14

& Juliet

& Juliet

One of the most anticipated musicals of the year has finally arrived. & Juliet gives Shakespeare’s tale of star-crossed lovers a new ending – one where Juliet discovers life after love, and decides not to kill herself. And the Cher reference is entirely appropriate – because it’s all told through the medium of pop songs over the last 30 years, from Baby One More Time to Can’t Feel My Face.

Details: Until May 2020 Shaftesbury Theatre, 210 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2H 8DP From £22.50

Go To The Best Restaurants In London

If we simply wanted to round up the 39 best restaurants in London… we’d just say 40. But we’re not. We’re rounding up the single best restaurant in every London neighbourhood.

Or, at least, 39 of them. Selected on the basis of a strict set of criteria, namely 1) supreme deliciousness, 2) a superlative atmosphere and 3) being located somewhere; we’ve picked out each area’s classic, must-visit eatery. It’s the most delicious tour of London you’ve ever been on.

Check out the best restaurants in London.


 

POP UP RESTAURANTS (December 2019)

Pop Up Restaurants

Wild Game Night with The Grand Duchess & 10 Greek Street

Apparently, this game requires two players: it’s a collaboration wild game dinner between chef Cameron Emirali (of 10 Greek Street fame) and the guys at The Grand Duchess, whose floating restaurant it’ll all take place on. There’ll be a 5-course tasting menu including Middle Eastern spiced hare, some pheasant & duck parfait, and a Welsh grouse with tarragon bread pudding.

Details: 10th December | The Grand Duchess, W2 6EP | £50 (wine pairing +£60)

Table and Candle On A Routemaster

Table & Candle

The folks at Table & Candle – who aim to bring the fine dining scene outside of W1 – are going to put a pop up feast on a Routemaster Bus this month. You’ll board the vehicle at Stoke Newington, then take a three hour riverside jaunt while you eat a seven-course Italian Pugliese tasting menu before finally returning to Stokey.

Details: 20th & 21st December | Boarding outside Ryan’s N16 | £79pp

Chubby Buddies

Chubby Buddies describe their cooking style as “American mess touched by Asian fluffiness”. And that comes across as being startling accurate when you see the dishes they produce: BAOgers (that’s a burger in bao buns) and BAOdogs (you can guess) and other such cross-Pacific fusion.

Details: Until the end of January | The Rose & Crown, 71-73 Torriano Ave, NW5 2SG

Bar Under The Bridge

Bar under the Bridge

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. The bar: a sprawling lodge with cosy heated chalet booths, fleece rugs, and board games, serving up food from Baggio Burger as well as mulled booze. The Bridge: Hungerford, next to the Southbank Centre.

Details: Until January 5th | Under Hungerford Bridge, Southbank Centre, SE1 8XX

Gingerline’s TV Dinners

Gingerline

Gingerline – the immersive dining pioneers who have sold out countless mysterious multi-dimensional dining experiences in secret locations around London, taking you variously through anthropomorphic flavour machines; animated clouds; giant ball pits and time itself – are finally taking on the ultimate bastion of culinary achievement.

TV Dinners… READ MORE

Details: Until 29th December | A Secret Location | £50pp

The Gun’s Winter Wonderland

The Gun

The Gun in Spitalfields have pulled the trigger on their new festive pop up restaurant: a life-sized gingerbread chalet with edible walls. It’s got all manner of sparkling fairy lights, cozy throws, festive decorations, and bricks that look good enough to eat (and literally are). Thankfully, your hunger should be taken care of by their new menu, which includes braised beef short ribs and whole, deep-fried bries.

Details: Until the end of Februrary | The Gun, 54 Brushfield St, Spitalfields, E1 6AG

Pacific

What covers two thirds of the earth and can be found in Mayfair?

Pacific.

It’s taking up the space in Mayfair’s rotating residency 10 Heddon Street, and it’ll be headed up by Aussie chef Shaun Presland, who’se spent the last 25 years training under the best Japanese chefs on the planet… READ MORE

Details: Until March 2020 | 10 Heddon Street, Mayfair, W1B 4BX

Pampushka at the Sun & 13 Cantons

October events London

We feel cockily confident in asserting that you’ve probably never had Ukrainian food before, which is a pity, because if it’s all as good as the stuff they’re serving at Pampushka – wild mushroom & tarragon dumplings; clay pot chicken with root vegetables; layered chocolate & cream cake – then we’ve all been missing out. Luckily, you can find out for yourself at the Sun & 13 Cantons for the next six months.

Details: Until March 2020 | 21 Great Pulteney Street, Soho, W1F 9NG

Filthy Buns

Filthy Buns (aka John & Debs) are settling into the kitchen at Dalston’s 3 Compasses, and cooking up their ludicrously large, jaw-dislocating burgers. They’re all made with aged beef, and they’re serving something gloriously called a ‘Sunday Roast Bun’ at the end of the week.

Details: Until April 2020 | The Three Compasses, 99 Dalston Lane, E8 1NH

Fodder

Fodder

Fodder’s watchword is sustainability. And they’re going to be sustaining themselves in Brixton’s Shrub & Shutter for the next six months, serving an environmentally aware menu filled with foraged ingredients. Expect confit ray tail, wood pigeon yakitori, and beech leaf sorbet, all cooked up by a former Cub chef.

Details: Until April 2020 | Shrub & Shutter, 336 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8QH

Emile

Emile

It was a sad day when Swedish restaurant Rök was officially beaten by paper. Specifically money. And the lack thereof.
But the good news is that something just as delicious is settling into the Scandi-chic space, at least for the next few months. Emile will be run by chef Damian Clisby (formerly of Petersham Nurseries) and wine man Nick Gibson (landlord at The Drapers Arms), and they’ll be putting together a wine-driven menu of Modern European dishes.

Details: Until mid-2020 | 26 Curtain Road, EC2A 3NY

Seb Meyers at P Franco

Celebrated wine bar P Franco regularly give up their kitchen space for a new chef residency – And currently, that chef is Seb Myers, whose London cheffing career started alongside Nuno Mendes at the iconic Viajante, and has since taken in Chiltern Firehouse and Sager + Wilde Paradise Row. His menu here changes daily, but you can expect a line-up of around seven or eight elegant dishes – which so far have included the likes of red mullet tartines; pork rillettes and cuttlefish rice.

Details: Throughout December | 107 Lower Clapton Rd, E5 0NP

Mei Mei’s Street Cart’s Residency at LP Bar in New Cross

Mei Mei

Mei Mei’s have already followed the traditional plan of opening pop up, then following it with a permanent restaurant: their north London pop up was followed by a brick-and-mortar joint… in Liverpool. Now they’re back, slinging excellent Chinese fusion dishes (the tacos are particularly popular) at LP Bar in New Cross.

Details: Throughout December | LP Bar, 401 New Cross Rd, SE14 6LA

Hello Kitty Matcha Bar at Tombo

Sure, Hello Kitty doesn’t have a mouth, but that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t start a pop up restaurant, which she has: it’s in Fitzrovia for four months. It involves all manner of poke, branch, ramen, and doughnuts. And it’s exactly as charmingly twee as you’d imagine.

Details: Throughout December | 4 Windmill St, W1T 2HZ

Le Bun

Le Bun pop up restaurants London

French-American burger outfit Le Bun are taking over the kitchens at Fitzrovia’s Smugglers Tavern, serving up truffle honey bacon cheeseburgers; bone marrow loaded fries, and buffalo cauliflower wings. Oh, and a cheeseburger Scotch egg.

Details: Throughout December | 28 Warren St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 5ND

Hideaway by Dabbous

Set in the culinary gardens of the ultra-luxe Chelsea Barracks development, Hideaway comes to us from Ollie “I collect Michelin Stars” Dabbous. He dipped his toes into the pop up scene here briefly during the Flower Show in spring, and now he’s back for something longer-term. You can expect light, cafe-style fare including black truffle Croque Monsieurs; Ibaiama sauscisson; and buckwheat pain au chocolats.

Details: Throughout December | Chelsea Barracks, Garrison Square, SW1W 8BG

Jimmy’s Lodge

October events London

The igloos are back. Jimmy Garcia, prince of pop ups, tycoon of temporary restaurants, has put his domes back on the banks of the Thames, and is serving up fondues, sharing steaks, and mulled wine in them. READ MORE

Details: Throughout December | Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX

Prairie Fire at London Fields Brewery

Having been at the vanguard of the craft beer renaissance, London Fields Brewery are unveiling a renovated taproom overlooking their brand new railway arch brewery. And they’re not only filling it with dozens of brews fresh out of the tanks, they’ve drafted in Midwestern BBQ specialists Prairie Fire to take care of the grub. You’ll find Kansas City classics like applewood-smoked pork buns; brisket and pulled pork platters; hickory smoked chicken wings… and veggie options.

Details: Throughout December London Fields Brewery, 365-366 Warburton Street, E8 3RR

Luardos at The Gipsy Queen

Mexican street food afficionados Luardos have taken over the pans at Kentish Town’s Gipsy Queen, a cosy 1920s pub with a suntrap of a back garden. They’re serving burritos, burrito bowls, quesadillas and sides like cassava chips, fried plantain and elotes – and on Tuesdays their tacos (baja fish, chicken thigh and carne asada) are £2 a pop.

Details: Mon-Sat throughout December The Gipsy Queen, 166 Malden Road, London NW5 4BS

Flank OG at The Print House

Flank pop up restaurant

Chef Tom Griffiths is bringing his mouthwatering BBQ grub to the Print House bar in Stratford for a whole year. You might have spotted him at Market Hall Victoria and Spitalfields Market, but now that he’s got a bigger kitchen to play with, the results are, frankly, outrageous. Expect huge Sunday lunches; confit potatoes with bone marrow butter; pig’s head and trotter buns; aged beef burgers; slow-cooked cider vinegar short ribs and beef fat-brushed naans served with burnt ends.

Details: Until Summer 2020 133 High Street, Stratford, E15 2RB

The Allotment at Counter Culture

Counter Culture, the little sister to The Dairy in Clapham, has launched “The Allotment”: a residency by chef Sam Ashton-Booth, who’s created a menu from the food he’s pulling out of the ground at his buddy’s, well, allotment. The menus will entirely be shaped by the harvest, and will be thus very vegetable-driven.

Details: Throughout December | 16 The Pavement, Clapham Old Town, SW4 0HY

Studio Olafur Eliasson Kitchen

Studio Olafur Eliasson Kitchen

To pair with his mind-bending new show, Olafur Eliasson has opened a pop up restaurant in the Tate Modern’s Terrace Bar, which has been transformed with Eliasson’s artworks & light fittings. There, the chefs are cooking up organic, vegetarian meals served family style, exactly as they are at Eliasson’s studio in Berlin, where the restaurant originated.

Details: Until 5th January 2020 | The Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG

Flat Earth Pizzas

Flat Earth have probably had to deal with a lot of non-believers in their time. But if you head to The Hive in Cambridge Heath, you can see for yourself how good their pizzas are. Their ethos is built around low-waste cooking and using local and foraged ingredients – which translates into toppings like house kimchi, egg and five cheeses; foraged plum compote with sesame and soy aubergine; samphire and seaweed salt; and courgette ribbons with toasted walnuts.

Details: Thurs-Sat evenings until the end of the year The Hive, 288 Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9DA

Chambers_

Gingerline are back with another experience so secret, we’ll have to ask that you kindly read this paragraph in a whispered internal monologue. It’s got a secret menu, it’s at a secret location, and the experience is a secret, too. It’s called Chambers_, and it’s a culmination of their various Chambers of Flavour immersive supperclubs, which has gone through three ever-more-impressive iterations over the past couple of years.

This fourth time around, you’ll get “a palate twisting interactive multi-dimensional dining adventure”, which includes “5 flavoursome courses, a palate cleanser, a welcome drink plus 120 minutes of playful explorations through 5 dining dimensions”. Precisely what all of that means isn’t entirely clear, but then, that’s the point.

Now don’t go blabbing about it.

Details: Until 21st Decmber | Somewhere Secret | £55-£75

Chinese Laundry @ 10 Coulgate St

Chinese Laundry Coulgate St

After their restaurant almost burned down and its charred husk was then occupied by squatters, the seemingly irrepressible ladies behind The Chinese Laundry are back at last with a long term residency in Brockley’s 10 Coulgate Street. And unseated of a fixed menu, there’ll be a table of dishes to choose freely from, all inspired by their recent trip across China… READ MORE

Details: Weds-Sun until Feb 2020 | No.10 Coulgate Street, SE4 2RS | £35 (including corkage, if you want to BYOB)

Liu Xiaomian at The Jackalope

Liu Xiaomian things to do in London this month

It takes a seasoned chef to get the level of spices right in a dish. Luckily, Liu Xiaomian has two. The duo behind the noodle outfit have won themselves queues round the block for their ‘spicy, numbing, addictive’ Chongqing cooking. And they’re settled into the kitchens at Marylebone pub The Jackalope for the near future, serving delicious, freshly made wonton, spicy noodles and slow-cooked pork with Chinese vegetables.

Details: Tues-Fri, 12-2.30pm & 6-9pm The Jackalope, 43 Weymouth Mews, W1G 7EQ

Supa Ya Ramen

Ramen is getting souped up.

Because ex-Nopi, Patty & Bun and Hand & Flowers chef Luke Findlay is running his own underground ramen restaurant. It only takes place on Saturday nights, with four sittings and six people at a time. To make sure you’re one of them, DM him on instagram and he’ll reply with a booking and directions to find it…

Details: Saturday nights Secret N16 Location

Donnelly’s

Donnelly's things to do in London this month

James Donnelly may have climbed the culinary ladder the old-fashioned way (with a CV listing The River Café, The Palmerston and Tom Aikens)… but his food’s anything but. After winning critical acclaim for a series of pop ups, he’s landed in Bermondsey for a long-term residency serving up his Modern British ‘tapas’ – which here means the likes of salted chocolate tart with port-poached blackberries and roasted plaice with pickled mushrooms. READ MORE

Details: Throughout December The Bermondsey Bar & Kitchen, 40 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3UD


POP UP BARS (December 2019)

Pop Up Bars - things to do in London this month

 

Origin Lates

Coffee roasters Origin will be keeping you up late once again this month – but this time, it’ll be thanks to their after hours coffee cocktails, craft beer, natural wine, and small plates. And, you know, all the caffeine too.

Details: 5th & 19th December | Origin Coffee Roasters, 84 Scoresby Street, SE1 0XN

Tipple & Taste

Tipple and Taste

Chef George Dyer (who trained under Raymond Blanc) has a soft spot for cocktails – he wanted to create a bar revolving around them in a more meaningful way, so he started Tipple & Taste. You pick a couple of his small plates, and the barkeeps tailor your cocktail choice based around the food that you order.

Details: 6th, 13th & 20th (all Fridays) December | Pilango Cider, Arch 10 Munster Rd, Fulham, SW6 4RY

The Espresso Martini Society

the espresso martini society

After a trio of pop ups vending the world’s longest espresso martini menu, all of which went down extremely well (apparently, all told they served some twenty thousand cocktails), the Espresso Martini Society are returning this festive season with an all-new concept: bottomless espresso martinis.

Details: Until 14th December | Ko Coffee, 258, Pentonville Road, N1 9JY | £25

The Loubi Express

The Loubi Express

Hyper-chic designer Christian Louboutin (it’s pronounced ‘le boot, uh’) has decided to explore the hyper-chic world of trains for his pop up in Claridges Hotel. It’s a gigantic, life-size, lush, Louboutin red Orient Express-esque affair serving champagne, cocktails, and lobster Wellingtons. All seats are first-come, first served.

Details: Until 21st December | Brook Street, Mayfair, W1K 4HR

Sin Gusano at Milk Bar

Sin Gusanto is a roaming, nomadic mezcal bar, this month making its home in Soho coffeeshop Milkbar. It’ll act as both a pop up mezcal tasting experience (flights and cocktails), and a Christmas bottle shop if you know anyone whose booze cabinet could do with some stocking.

Details: Until 21st December | Milk Bar, 3 Bateman Street, W1D 4AG

Bar Doña

Doña is a female-led, female-operated mezcal bar in Stoke Newington with hot pink walls, and live music every night. The talent behind it – Thea Cumming & Lucie Massey – are responsible for launching London Mezcal Week, and Dangerous Don mezcal, so they know the area relatively well…

Details: Until December 21st | 92 Stoke Newington High St, N16 7NY

Miracle

Miracle - winter pop ups london

If you took all of Christmas, compressed it into an extremely festive hand-grenade, and detonated it inside a bar …you’d get something like Miracle. It’s a pop up cocktail joint that started in New York, then spread across the US, and then the world. Now it’s in London. At the Henrietta Hotel, specifically. Expect over-the-top decor, unique Christmas cocktails, and bespoke glassware.

Details: Until 23rd December | Henrietta Hotel, 14-15 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8QH

Alpine Whisky Lodge

Alpine Whisky Lodge

Flat Iron Square just got a little less flat, and a little less square thanks to its pop up whisky lodge – you’ll find a stellar lineup of malts, some live acoustic music, and even a cozy acres ski lodge.

Details: Until December 31st | Flat Iron Square, 53b Southwark St, SE1 1RU

The Ski Lodge

The Ski Lodge

Pine trees. Falling snow. Reindeer. Snowmen. Ski racks. Piste maps. Palm trees. The Montague’s pop up ski lodge is only really missing a slope – but after a steaming hot spiced cider, you won’t really care.

Details: Until 5th January | 15 Montague Street, WC1B 5BJ

Le Tram Champagne Bar

Le Tram

The people at Veuve Clicquot have opened a ‘concept store’ at Selfridges, and one of the concepts they came up with is bar in the shape of a double-height, life-size tram. Aboard, you’ll find cocktails, champagne, and unlike on most trams – flights.

Details: Throughout December | Selfridges Ground Floor, 400 Oxford St, W1A 1AB

Bar Aspen

In English folklore, the leaves of an aspen tree are said to grant the wearer the ability to visit the underworld and – importantly – return safely. Which in fairly literal way is what you can do at Bar Aspen. Because it’s a subterranean natural wine speakeasy, popping up for just one day a week (Fridays) in a hidden Camden cellar. And it’s got live music.  READ MORE

Details: Fridays throughout December | The Cellars at Music & Beans, 82 Camden High St., NW1 0LT

The Emerald City at Queen of Hoxton

Emerald City

The Queen of Hoxton’s rooftop is once again switching its theme for the season, and this time it’s taking a whirlwind to the Emerald City (Oz, not Dublin). You can expect green beers, hot buttered rums, a light dusting of Wiccan magic workshops and storytelling in their cosy wigwam.

Details: Throughout December Queen of Hoxton, 1-5 Curtain Road, EC2A 3JX

The Midnight Apothecary

Why go to the Midnight Apothecary?
1) It’s in the rooftop garden of the Brunel Museum;
2) You get street food and award-winning botanical cocktails, with ingredients grown in the garden itself by ‘The Cocktail Gardener’, Lottie Muir;
3) You’ll get a tour of The Grand Entrance Hall to Brunel’s Thames Tunnel, which is an underground chamber half the size of Shakespeare’s Globe;
4) There are unlimited toasting marshmallows;
5) Tickets are a fiver. A fiver.

Details: Throughout December Brunel Museum, Railway Avenue SE16 4LF | £5

The Mind Palace

A Sherlock Holmes-themed cocktail bar has just opened next to the pop up immersive experience The Game Is Now. It’s called The Mind Palace, and it’s a pretty good place to sharpen up by destroying any of the weaker brain cells that may have been holding you back. They even have immersive cocktail games, like “The Case of the Poisoned Chalice” to help you do it.

Details: Weds-Sat throughout December | Doyle’s Opticians, W12 Shopping Centre, W12 8PP

Gosnell’s Upstairs at Coal Rooms

London’s only meadery has opened its doors.

And it’s created quite a buzz.

Perched above Peckham’s Coal Rooms in the old, Grade II listed station ticket office, the space has been taken over by mead-makers Gosnells for the foreseeable future. They’ll be serving up their original and vintage brews, as well as more adventurous numbers from salted to barrel-aged and pink hibiscus-infused meads, and iced mead cocktails for the warmer days.

Details: Wed-Sat throughout December 11a Station Way, Peckham, SE15 4RX

Drams in the Dark

In the dark about whisky? Then try literally drinking it in the dark. It’ll help to heighten your senses of taste and smell, and give you a much deeper appreciation for the spirit. And if the whole thing is hosted by a whisky author like Blair Bowman, at a Scottish restaurant & whisky bar like Mac & Wild, all the better.

Details: Fridays throughout December | Mac & Wild City, 9a Devonshire Square, EC2M 4YN | £40

The Grid

The Grid pop up bar

Black Mirror’s bleakly cynical outlook of the future is enough to drive you to drink. Which makes this new pop up bar rather convenient. It’s called The Grid, and it’s coming to us from the people behind the fantastic ABQ London. Inspired by Charlie Brooker’s show, it’s an immersive experience set in a future dominated by artificial intelligence. You’ll play a member of The Grid; a secret society of individuals working to safeguard humanity’s future against machines. Your job will be to infiltrate Neosight, the company responsible for the AI …and crush the system by drinking a buttload of cocktails. READ MORE

Details: Tues-Sat until end of December | Bankside Arches, 2 Robinson Road, SE1 8BU | £30-35

Main image: Christmas at Kew


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