Wreath-making masterclasses, enticing menus and more raclette than you can shake a stick at - here's where to find London's best festive happenings in the run-up to Christmas.
1 Get into the festive spirit with Treehouse Hotel London
Enjoy a tree-riffic Christmas with Treehouse Hotel London, who are treating guests to an exciting programme of feast-fuelled happenings and celebrations galore.
First up, the ultimate location for a very special Christmas Day celebration this year, Madera at Treehouse London will offer guests the choice between traditional Christmas fare, or Madera’s signature dishes. Both options are £140 a head and will include a welcome drink of sparkling wine, spiced mince pies and Mexican hot chocolate.
For pizza worshippers, head to Pizzeria Mozza London for a Festive Feasting Menu. The ideal way to enjoy an enticing selection of Italian twists on classic holiday dishes, the Feasting Menu is available throughout December for a minimum of four people. Highlights include porchetta, whole roasted seabass, sweet potato, long cooked rainbow chard. For those partial to a sprinkling of truffle or two, celebrate with pizza and sample Pizzeria Mozza’s decadent truffle inspired menu. Featuring pizzas such as Koffmann Potato with Tropea Onions, Sottocenere, and Crackle Bean Egg and Bianca with Fennel Sausage, Sottocenere, Fontina, and Fior di Latte, diners can also add truffle to any pizza on Pizzeria Mozza’s menu.
Where: 14-15 Langham Place, London W1B 2QS
How: Find out more and make a booking via treehousehotels.com
2 Get your Crimbo carb fix with Spaghetti House
London’s iconic Italian restaurant Spaghetti House will be welcoming in the season with delicious tidings of seasonal cocktails and speciality festive dishes. The carefully chosen Christmas menu and private dining space will ensure every gathering - be it of friends, family or colleagues - is filled with delicious festivity and cheer.
The Christmas cocktail menu is sure to get the party started, featuring delicious concoctions inspired by the very finest of Italian ingredients and liqueurs. No Italian festive gathering would be complete without a hearty spread, and this year Spaghetti House will be offering a special Pizza Natale, made on their signature home-made dough base and topped with tomato, mozzarella, Italian sausage, goat cheese, roast turkey, watercress & cranberry sauce (£15.75).
Also on offer will be a Christmas feast menu, featuring three mouth-watering courses of traditional Italian festive fare with highlights including an Antipasto Misto of Parma ham, spicy salami, mortadella, buffalo mozzarella, olives & grilled vegetables; Tacchino farcito (Roast turkey and sage stuffing wrapped in pancetta, roast vegetables & gravy); Tortelloni radicchio rosso, robiola & castagne (Red radicchio & robiola cheese filled tortelloni, butter, sage & roasted chestnuts); and to finish, Tronchetto natalizio (Traditional Italian panettone cake with brandy custard) and Tartufo affogato al pistacchio (Pistacchio ‘semifreddo’ with a shot of espresso).
Wallet: The 3-course festive menu is priced at £28.95 per person
Where: Various locations
3 Enjoy a variety of festive action with room2 Chiswick
With mince pies on arrival, a mulled wine hour, its own rented Christmas tree and green pledges for the new year, the world’s first fully net zero hometel in Chiswick is the perfect spot for an eco-Christmas trip.
This season, room2 Chiswick, a characterful green retreat hotel in the heart of Chiswick, is offering guests and visitors alike the opportunity to up their skills when it comes to Christmas with a series of events in November and December. As well as a Christmas Card workshop featuring watercolour-based design, there’s also Christmas wreath workshops where the group can create their very own, unique door wreath to try. The full assortment includes:
room2 Chiswick's events include:
Christmas Card Workshop, 21st November, 6:30pm to 8:30pm - Kicking off with a Christmas card workshop, guests will learn how to paint in watercolour and design their own Christmas cards.
Tickets are £20 per person.
Christmas Wreath Workshop, 2nd December, 6pm to 7:30pm – To really get into the Christmas spirit, room2 Chiswick is hosting Christmas wreath workshops where the group can create their very own, unique Christmas door wreath.
Made with ingredients including fresh blue pine, aromatic blue eucalyptus, irresistible cinnamon sticks and dried oranges guests will learn how to make a wreath from scratch from mossing up the base to greening up with fresh foliage. During the workshop, mulled wine and mince pies will be served to really get into the Christmas spirit.
Tickets are £65 per person.
Chiswick Christmas Market, Terrarium Workshop 4th December, 1-2pm
In partnership with the local Chiswick Flower market, visitors will learn how to create their own Christmas terrarium.
Tickets are £49 per person and include jars, tools and going home with an original Tinyjohn Terrarium.
Christmas Calligraphy Workshop, 11th December, 6pm to 7:30pm
Local calligraphy artist Laura Edralin will guide the group through the essentials to create a beautiful modern brush script to personalise any gift, create unique gift tags and wrapping paper, as well as decorating Christmas ornaments.
Tickets are £65 per person and include session worksheets, brush pen and project materials.
Nightly rates at room2 Chiswick start from £189 for a snug room. For more information, please visit www.room2.com/chiswick/.
4 Sip sky high with Duck & Waffle
If you’re a fan of impressive venues, pay a visit to Duck & Waffle for their new seasonal cocktail menu. Entitled Homegrown, the collection takes guests on a journey through nostalgic seasonal flavours via British classics, but with a twist. Crafted in collaboration with Cameron Fielding of Smartblend, each cocktail and mocktail delivers a balance of comfort and surprise, by way of playful presentation and the carefully chosen combinations of ingredients in each tipple.
The drinkable decadence provides the perfect excuse to visit Duck & Waffle's 40th floor this winter, where guests can bed in to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views, away from the hustle and bustle of the City.
Tipples include the likes of Tough to beet, where round and earthy meets sweet and tropical with beetroot as the hero ingredient as well as The yolk's on you - a tongue and cheek cocktail inspired by both old and new Britain, and Duck & Waffle’s whimsical DNA, and features vanilla vodka, oat milk, green Chartreuse, agave and orange blossom.
What’s more, Duck & Waffle’s new cocktail menu also features three expertly crafted, non-alcoholic creations – each with its own exciting flavour & flair.
Where: 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
How: Find out more and make a booking via duckandwaffle.com
5 Pay a visit to KERB’s covered winter market and fill your boots
Nothing says Christmas is coming quite like a winter market. KERB has announced its latest covered festive market, Season's Eatings at The National Theatre, in time for the winter months. The market will be popping up on the South Bank from Thursday 24th November to 8th January, serving up festive dishes from KERB’s top traders and delectable hot cocktails to keep visitors warm throughout the winter.
The market will open its metaphorical doors on 24th November, with live music throughout the evening from Mr Wilson's - New Orleans big band vibes meet 90s bangers. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, KERB DJs will be playing, to ensure party vibes at this covered Christmas market.
Filled with delectable comfort food opportunities, Lily Lettuce of STAKEhaus fame is turning her expert hand to cheese for the launch of CHEESEhaus, a stand dedicated to molten raclette atop crisp and fluffy chips, with specials such as the Oh Canada, hand-cut chips topped with raclette cheese, red wine gravy, caramelised onions and crispy onions priced at £8.
The new inKERBator noodle specialists Sen Noods are serving up steaming hot dishes such as Dan Dan Noodles with minced pork in a rich peanut sauce priced at £11, and a Vegan Ramen made with teriyaki aubergine & mushroom, sweetcorn and beansprouts, costing £10.
For the sweet toothed among us, the festive staple of a fresh waffle is on offer from Utter Waffle, specials include the Christmas Crumble waffle, consisting of spiced apple compote, salted caramel and shortbread crumble, and the Jaffa All the Way, a waffle topped with orange marmalade, dark chocolate and a gingerbread crumb; both priced at £8.
Inside The Understudy at The National Theatre, some fresh new additions joined the line-up last month. Traders Bad Boy Pizza Society bringing fluffy square Sicilian pizzas, and Mumbai Mix, serving flavour-filled veggie Indian eats, took their place alongside Lucky's Hot Chicken, with his famous six-spice level Nashville hot chicken.
Where: National Theatre, London SE1 9PX
How: Find out more via kerbfood.com
6 Join The Carlton Jumeirah for a new festive afternoon tea
Dainty and delicate, The Carlton Jumeirah in Knightsbridge will be launching its Festive Afternoon tea in collaboration with the former world's best pastry chef, Jessica Prealpato.
Ideal for something special, the space will be adorned with a beautiful festive floral display, and will provide the perfect sanctuary from Christmas shopping, or a great spot to while away the hours with friends and family.
True to Jessica’s signature style, Desseralité, a mixture of the words desert and naturalité, Jessica will preserve and enhance the entirety of the whole fruits and ingredients by adding a carefully selected layer of flavours, without compromising the key ingredient and its natural taste.
Akin to Jessica’s classic Afternoon Tea menu, ‘A Tribute To Nature’, the festive iteration will continue to be inspired by the flora and botanics of the gardens of England. Starting with a palette cleanser of Mandarin sorbet, verbena oil and salted mandarin, this will be followed by the ‘Scone Experience’, a quartet of specially created scones, imbued with the flavours of Christmas.
These scones include a classic Nature version with clotted cream, a Dried Grapes scone with a Christmas condiment, a Chocolate scone with a truffle cremeux and a Chamomile scone with emulsified honeycomb. Diners will then move on to the individual patisserie, where guests will be treated to Jessica’s take on a classic Kouglof as well as a Christmas pain perdu with a beer steamed meringue and créme Anglaise.
To complete this culinary tea journey diners will finish with the dessert course of a centrepiece Christmas Log, an Orange and Mandarin tart with hot wine jelly, Roasted apple with chestnut mousse and a classic King Galette - the traditional French dessert with a ‘favour’ to be found in every slice.
When: This festive tea will be available from the 17th of November and will run until January.
How: Priced at £75 per person, find out more via jumeirah.com
7 Find a festive frock at the Rites Festive Fashion Rental Pop-Up at ME London
A pioneer in circular fashion and luxury rental, Rites will be showcasing a collection of seriously stylish high-end garments for upcoming Christmas parties, festive girls-nights-out or romantic date nights. With sequinned dresses, velvet coats and glitzy accessories, there is something for everyone this festive season!
The exclusive fashion pop-up will be taking place in ME London's Marconi Lounge, located just off The Strand, where visitors will be able to browse the rails to find the perfect rented outfit.
With a long list of high-end designers, including Prada, Balenciaga, Aje, Ganni and Self Portrait, and sequins, feathers and prints aplenty, visitors to the ME London X Rites pop-up will be able to refresh their party wardrobe in a wonderfully sustainable way.
When:1st-5th December in ME London’s Marconi Lounge and will be open between 11am-8pm.
Where: Strand, London WC2R 1HA
How: Find out more via melondonhotel.com
8 Try a wreath-making masterclass with McQueens Flowers
The ultimate yuletide activity of the highest luxury, try your hand at a wreath-making masterclasses throughout November and December with McQueens Flowers.
Join McQueens Flower School for one of our most popular classes of the year - mastering the skill of wreath making with the experts in luxury festive decor. Hosted at their original flower school home, in Bethnal Green, step in from the cold and into our yuletide classroom - and share the creative, Christmas fun with loved ones. Guided by tutors, discover the McQueens' artisanal methods behind making a show-stopping wreath - whilst customising with an array of seasonal ingredients at your fingertips. Ideal for crafting home decor or a handmade gift, don’t miss out on these expert sessions.
When: Various dates
How: Find out more and make a booking via mcqueensflowers.com
Where: 229 Cambridge Heath Rd, London E2 0EL
9 Celebrate in Scandi style with Aquavit London
Tis’ the season to visit Scandi hotspot Aquavit London in St James’s Market: from sharing feasts to creative Christmas cocktails and gifting hampers to private dining parties, Aquavit London’s festive-filled schedule is ready to be enjoyed by one and all.
Taking the form of a Julbord – a traditional Scandinavian sharing feast - head chef Jonas Karlsson has created a set spread of Nordic-inspired delights. Available for a minimum of two guests and priced at £90 per person, enjoy starters of traditionally breaded ham and homemade mustard; a trio of pickled herrings; and gravlax with dill and a punchy mustard sauce.
For mains, classic Swedish meatballs, Prinskorv sausage and braised short ribs will be served with pickled cucumbers and lingonberry jam alongside sublime sides of Jansson’s temptation, sweet slow cooked red cabbage, creamed kale and green beans. For a suitably sweet finish, tuck into treats of Ris a la Malta with sour cherry sauce, Swedish petit fours and a selection of cheeses with cloudberry crackers.
Ideal for a cocktail after work (or post-shopping) guests can also indulge in a festive tipple or two - it is Christmas after all.
For a limited time, enjoy a glass of God Jul! – a sweet mix of Kinahans Kasc Project Whiskey, passionfruit and cinnamon syrup and bitters with accents of seasonal spice and zesty lemon swirling throughout. For a bitter blend with herbal hints, The Tomten combines Cynar aperitif with gin and Aperol and a peel of citrusy orange. Skål!
Where: 1 St James's Market, St. James's, London SW1Y 4QQ
When: Available 14th November – 24th December
How: Find out more and make a booking via aquavitrestaurants.com
10 Neck at Number One Park Lane Alpine Chalet, in partnership with Moët & Chandon
Ideal for something romantic this festive season, The Alpine Chalet, in partnership with Moët & Chandon, will launch at Number One Park Lane. This festive pop-up will see the terrace restaurant at InterContinental London Park Lane transformed into a Swiss-inspired winter chalet, perfect for cosy al fresco dinner and drinks in Mayfair this festive season.
Perfect for date night, the beautifully crafted Alpine Chalet, complete with heaters and cosy blankets, will provide the perfect sanctuary from the chilly, bustling London streets, all whilst overlooking the Royal Parks and Wellington Arch.
Cocktails from Moët & Chandon incorporate the luxury Champagne brand’s limited-edition holiday collection, whilst alpine-inspired dishes are ideal for sharing, including Raclette, new potatoes, and pickled gherkins; Tartiflette with potato, bacon and Reblochon; Alpine truffled macaroni cheese with Gruyère, caramelised onion, apple sauce and shaved truffle; and Champagne fondue with Comté, Beaufort, Reblochon, sourdough and new potatoes.
When: Open from 17 November 2022 onwards
Where: One Hamilton Place, Park Ln, London W1J 7QY
How: Find out more and make a booking via parklane.intercontinental.com
11 Sip something special with AllBright Mayfair's winter terrace
The members’ club founded by women for women, AllBright Mayfair, have partnered with BACARDÍ Rum to create El Coco Club: an art deco inspired seasonal Winter Terrace with a tropical twist. A celebration of the pair’s passion for bringing people together, the terrace promises a warming winter world of elegance with a selection of delicious BACARDÍ winter cocktails, right in the heart of London.
A refined vision of winter sun, the terrace will transport guests to the Caribbean, on a journey though BACARDÍ’s early beginnings. Becoming a haven of ornate gold tinted opulence, El Coco Club at AllBright will summon the chicest features of BACARDÍ’s rich cultural heritage, hero-ing the brand’s premium rums to celebrate the festive season in Mayfair.
Fully adorned with potted palm trees and exotic plants, pay a visit for gorgeous surroundings and an enticing selection of winter cocktails - plus a special rum flight of the Caribbean spirit.
Where: 24-26 Maddox St, London W1S 1PP
How: Find out more and make a booking via allbrightcollective.com/club/mayfair
12 Master the art of wreath making with uncommon
Uncommon flexible workspaces have teamed up with floral expert Fiona Fleur for a festive floristry masterclass with eco-conscious credentials. Putting a sustainable spin on the traditional Christmas wreath, the masterclass will guide guests through using Fiona’s signature dried flowers to craft their own wreath, in turn creating a Christmas time decoration that can be displayed year upon year.
Taking place on the 6th December at Uncommon’s Fulham space, guests will be invited to step in from the cold and enter the stunning workspace, which, for one evening, will be transformed into a world of conscious Christmas magic.
Using a beautiful bounty of dried seasonal blooms such as dried clementines, limes and chillies, pinecones, natural berries and foliage, to weave a handmade wreath of their desired design, guests will then be able to take home their creations to keep far beyond the merriment of Christmas 2022.
When: 6 December 2022, 6.30 - 8.30pm
Cost: Tickets are £90 per person. For more information and to buy a ticket, please visit eventbrite.co.uk
Where: Uncommon Fulham (126 New King’s Road, London, SW6 4LZ
13 Keep it sweet with HIVES at Selfridges
Rule number one, keep it sweet. HIVE at Selfridges in London has launched a new festive menu in partnership with Parisian beauty house GUERLAIN, consisting of honey-based gourmet dishes and cocktails made in part with honey produced by the 100,000 in-house bees that are visible from the windows.
Highlights include the Royal Lobster – half or a whole lobster perfectly cooked with garlic butter, spinach, samphire and a brioche toast – and the showstopping Bee-autiful Christmas pudding, which is a feast for the senses. Not only bee-utiful, this new menu is utterly delicious too.
When: The menu is available until 2nd January
Where: 400 Oxford St, London W1A 1AB
How: Find out more and make a booking via hiverestaurant.uk
14 Opt for afternoon tea with 116 Pall Mall
For those that like to keep it classic, enjoy a British bonanza in the opulent surrounds of 116 Pall Mall for a Christmas afternoon tea and carol experience. Take a break from shopping on nearby Regent’s Street and spoil yourself with a Confectioner’s afternoon tea, complete with Christmas-themed sweets and savouries.
Hosted in the stunning Carlton room, enjoy some added sparkle with a glass of Searcys Selected Cuvée Champagne, while Christmas carollers will be spreading the festive cheer throughout the afternoon.
When: Saturday 10th & 17th December at 2pm.
Cost: Priced from £40.
How: Find out more and make a booking via 116pallmall.com
15 Try something tree-riffic with Aqua Shard
Aqua Shard has unveiled its 2022 Christmas tree, supporting Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity’s (GOSH Charity) Christmas Appeal. The show-stopping tree, designed by McQueens Flowers and standing at 7 metres tall, features an abundance of adornments that pay homage to the world-renowned children’s hospital.
GOSH Charity’s Christmas Appeal will raise money to give seriously ill children from across the UK the best chance of being home with their families this Christmas. For the children whose treatment needs to continue over the festive season, the hospital creates a home away from home by bringing a touch of Christmas magic to the wards.
What’s more, as per tradition, the talented team at Aqua Shard have created Christmas specials for guests to enjoy throughout the festive period. The Christmas Bauble dessert features spiced cream mousse, pear compote, gingerbread biscuit, pear gel, chocolate crumble and chocolate animals. For each special sold, Aqua Shard will make a donation to GOSH Charity’s Christmas Appeal, which is dedicated to giving seriously ill children the best chance of being home with their families.
Where: Level 31 The Shard 31 St. Thomas Street London SE1 9RY
How: Please phone 020 3011 1256 or visit aquashard.co.uk/experience