Shed a Tier for 2020 and make the most of what’s left of this year. From festive brunches and adorable Christmas markets to cool fashion pop-ups and designer digs, here’s where to find London’s must-try happenings this month
1 Discover dreamy interiors at Dalloway Terrace
The sleek venue has returned full of festive cheer with an enchanting new outfit, transporting guests from their homes to a white winter wonderland. #WinterAtDalloway will provide some much needed escapism as the terrace has been transformed by McQueens Flowers into a natural winter forest filled with white birch trees, spruce blue pine, dried Amaranthus ‘icicles’, thistles, sprays of silver bracken and snow dusted foliage.
Seasonally inspired additions to the menu include a Christmas classic of Le Gruyere Premier Cru Fondue (£16 per person) using cheese from London’s finest cheesemonger Paxton & Whitfield, served with toasted rosemary focaccia, pickles and potatoes, transporting guests from the streets of London to the slopes.
Whilst the menu also features festive favourites such as Roast Loin of Venison (£28) with braised red cabbage, celeriac mash and madeira jus, Chateaubriand Fillet (£60 for two) with king oyster mushrooms and black truffle jus and a White Russian Tiramisu with Belvedere Vodka (£8) for dessert. Afternoon Tea (£35 per person) will also be served with some new twists, including a Belvedere Vodka and Lemon cake with Vanilla Scones and a selection of seasonal sandwiches. Lunch has never sounded quite so luscious.
Where: 16-22 Great Russell St, Fitzrovia, London WC1B 3NN
How: Visit dallowayterrace.com to find out more and make a booking.
2 Devour Mariage Frères’ Christmas Afternoon Tea
Luxury French tea emporium Mariage Frères has introduced its all-new Christmas Afternoon Tea, featuring a towering array festive delights almost too pretty to eat. Ensuring you get into the Christmas spirit; the proceedings start in the stunning Salon de Thé with a glass of Mariage Frères’ mulled wine infused with the brand’s signature Christmas tea blend.
Next up, champagne, mais oui, and a generous afternoon tea featuring a selection of five savoury canapés including a salmon tartare and cheesecake dome with delicate notes of Esprit de Noël tea, and a Croque Mariage: smoked salmon nestled in-between a slice of matcha bread and a turmeric slice.
Next it’s scones, served with Mariage Frères tea jellies, followed by the prettiest patisserie in town including a gianduja macaron infused with Christmas Pudding Tea, a vibrant blue mini Bûche de Noël and, the pièce de résistance, the Mariage Frères mince pie – an uber chic Christmas tree-shaped mince pie, infused with Christmas Cake Tea and topped with torched citrus meringue.
As one would expect from Mariage Frères, the finest quality blends accompany your afternoon tea – with an enticingly aromatic Christmas collection to try.
Cost: The Christmas Afternoon Tea is priced from £39 per person, £44 with a glass of mulled wine and £50 with a glass of champagne. Book directly with the restaurant.
Where: 38 King Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8JS
How: Phone 020 7836 1854, email email@example.com or visit mariagefreres.com to make a booking.
3 Visit the Moët & Chandon x James St Collective brunch pop-up
One for the fine dining fans. The James St Collective – a new collaboration between chef Mark Greenaway, industry professionals Haven, and coffee stalwarts, The Gentlemen Baristas – are celebrating their launch with a Winter Wonderland Brunch pop-up at their James street site, supported by Moët & Chandon.
In a spectacular secret Winter Wonderland situated in the heart of London’s Covent Garden, guests will be swept away by stunning festive décor and serenaded by live music from some of the most talented musicians across the country, from DJ sets to live saxophone.
The food offering will include a bespoke brunch menu from 1pm-5pm alongside a sensational ‘Supper Club’ from 6pm-11pm. The menu will be cooked by none other than the Edinburgh based, award winning celebrity chef Mark Greenaway, who will be treating festive brunch-goers to unmissable favourites such as Buckwheat Waffles with Oatmeal Crumble and Maple Syrup; Confit Chicken with Harissa Rub; and Fluffy Pancake Stacks with Whipped Ricotta and Crispy Bacon.
Cost: Tickets from £54.49 per person.
How: Make a booking via wonderlandbrunch.com. Tickets for brunch and supper include 3 courses and an hour of bottomless Moët & Chandon, and must be sold in household bubble groups only.
When: The event dates are brunch and supper on December 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th , 19th, 20th & 26th.
4 Let Loose with COYA Mayfair’s Winter Wonderland Brunch
COYA Mayfair have announced the launch of their brand new Winter Wonderland Brunch, which will return every Saturday and Sunday throughout the month of December, including a special Boxing Day event.
Join them for a magnificent feast and plenty of much needed Christmas cheer at their fabulous, festive brunch, complete with free-flowing Peruvian-style mulled cocktails, Champagne and a vast, indulgent banquet, filled with new dishes and COYA favourites.
There will be entertainment aplenty to help guests get into the party spirit, with a live festive set from COYA Mayfair’s resident DJ, seasonal hits with a Latin-American twist played by the in-house band, plus Christmas crackers and festive decorations galore. Rumour has it Father Christmas will be stopping by too…
Don’t miss out on plenty of new treats, including the warming Mulled Murada cocktail, made with pisco, vermouth, purple corn, spices, citrus, orange and apple. Finally, as an early Christmas treat from the COYA team, there will be a small festive gift for each guest to take away too.
When: 12pm – 4pm, 5th, 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th, 26th and 27th December
Cost: £190 per person which includes Veuve Clicquot Champagne until 3pm, unlimited signature cocktails, wines, beers, house spirits, Three course brunch menu and festive dessert platter
Where: 118 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7NW
How: Visit coyarestaurant.com/london-mayfair/, phone +44 (0)20 7042 7118 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
5 Snuggle up at The Montagu Winter Terrace
If you can’t make it to the Alps, bring the Alps to you instead. Launching on 7th December, the Montagu Winter Terrace is an outdoor Alpine hideaway serving up platters of fondues, indulgent toasties and mulled wine in a cosy & wintry setting. Grab your favourite snood – the (metaphorical) mountains are calling.
Offering a corner of escapism in the heart of Marylebone at the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill hotel, the space is outdoors (but heated!) and its location just a couple of minutes walk from Bond Street, Oxford Street & Marylebone Village. The ideal post-shopping pitstop, warm up in the Après Ski style surroundings after running riot in London’s famous stores.
When: Launching December 7 2020
How: For more information or to book, visit themontagurestaurant.co.uk/offers-events/the-montagu-winter-terrace, call 020 7299 2037 or email email@example.com.
Where: 30 Portman Square, London, W1H 7BH
6 Sip in the clouds at Skylight Christmas at Tobacco Dock
Skylight, one of London’s favourite rooftop venues, known for its panoramic views across the city’s skyline, is expanding its famous offering this festive season and creating one of the city’s biggest winter destinations, Skylight Christmas at Tobacco Dock.
Explore a collection of exciting outdoor and socially distanced festive eating and drinking experiences situated on the rooftop venue and at ground level across the Grade-1 listed warehouses and cobbled lanes of Tobacco Dock.
The iconic venue and event space will play host to a rooftop igloo village, spacious Après Ski Lodge bar, Off-Piste Speakeasy bar and Christmas Cocktail Cinema Experience. A delicious bavarian-inspired menu serving indulgent food will be available throughout the venue, the perfect accompaniment for a warming tipple – and an important feature under the current Tier 2 restrictions.
Need to know: Igloos and indoor spaces will be bookable for households and support bubbles under the current tier 2 restrictions, however Skylight has expansive bookable and heated outdoor seating for mixed groups.
How: Visit skylightlondon.com to make a booking.
Where: Tobacco Dock, Pennington St entrance, St Katharine’s & Wapping, London E1W 2SF
7 Enjoy outdoor delights at Arenella
Arenella is a new outdoor restaurant located on The Chapel Bar’s terrace – and it’s perfect for an Instagrammable festive experience. This December, stunning seasonal foliage and Christmas décor will adorn the heated, covered terrace, which has undergone a beautiful transformation for the winter months ahead.
From Wednesday to Sunday, lunch through to dinner, guests will be able to enjoy a delectable Christmas 3 course set menu priced at £40pp, including half a bottle of wine per person. Indulgent Italian options such as Wild Mushroom & Black Truffle Tortelloni, Butter sauce, Parmesan, Wild Rocket as well as Pancetta Roast Turkey, Italian Sausage & Sage Stuffing, Winter Root Vegetables & Cavolo Nero will appear on the menu.
For those seeking some additional accoutrements, a Christmas package for £59pp includes the Christmas set menu alongside a selection of appetizing canapés and 2 glasses of effervescent prosecco on arrival.
How: Visit thechapelbar.co.uk to make a booking.
Where: 29 Penton St, The Angel, London N1 9PX
8 Make a wish at The Savoy
After something classical? The Savoy has announced an array of exciting activations to get Londoners into the festive spirit. Firstly, it’s showcasing its world famous Christmas decorations and also seeing the launch of its charity initiative, Festive Wishes from The Savoy.
The stunning Thames-side hotel is asking everyone to nominate a friend or family member who has been particularly kind of helpful in 2020 for the chance to gift them a unique Savoy experience of their choice. Making a wish requires a minimum £5 donation with proceeds being shared equally between two very important charities, Hospitality Action and The Connection.
Wishes can be made either virtually or in the hotel’s wishing well in person – gift ideas range from a classic afternoon tea in the Thames Foyer to a cocktail masterclass in the Beaufort Bar. 25 Savoy wishes will be randomly selected, one a day from 1st December 2020 through to Christmas Day and highlighted via Social Media.
Where: Strand, London WC2R 0EZ
How: Visit thesavoylondon.com to find out more and make a booking.
9 Order festive Greek cuisine with The Athenian
Take us to the Greek. The Athenian has firmly become a lockdown favourite, offering traditional Greek street food deliveries throughout this year. The Athenian is widely available on Deliveroo and has venues across London that offer dine in and takeaway including Canary Wharf, London Bridge, White City and Victoria.
This festive season the street food legends will be serving up a hearty winter souvlaki with a festive twist. The special edition souvlaki will combine wild boar sausage, from a small farm in northern Greece, dressed in aromatic herbs, wrapped in warm and fluffy handmade pitas and for the ultimate festive finish served with a dollop of cranberry sauce.
Never forgetting their vegan fans, this year, The Athenian has created a plant-based winter special with Moving Mountains vegan sausages.
The festive menu will be served throughout November until the New Year. Imagery here.
How: Order via www.theathenian.co.uk
10 Shop for streetwear at the Wavey Garms XXXmas Pop Up in Soho
Get your streetwear fix at this cool pop-up. Just in time to rescue what has been a difficult year for everyone, notorious London streetwear collective Wavey Garms is to host an all encompassing XXXmas Pop Up experience in Walker’s Court, Soho, from December 9th – 24th. It will be a rich and bustling hub of classic designer streetwear, leading independent designers, DJs, club nights, record labels and immersive artist exhibits aimed at supporting the UK’s rich array of counter cultures in challenging times.
The event will also raise funds for Centerpoint, the UK’s leading charity for homeless young people. Founded by Andres Branco in 2013, Wavey Garms started as a Facebook group for friends to trade designer clothes but had been brewing amongst the working class subcultures of South London since the turn of the millennium.
Fast forward to 2020 and the brand has spawned its own physical shop in Peckham, boasts a 100,000 person strong online customer base and soon publishes a new book focussed on South London youth culture, all in addition to hosting numerous fundraising raves.
When: XXXmas Pop Up will be open 11am-10pm daily at Walkers Court, Soho from Wednesday 9th December.
How: Head over to waveygarms.com for more information.
Where: Walker’s Court, Soho, W1F 0BT
11 Dig into comfort food at The Botanist Winter pop-up in Battersea
Gin lovers, this way please. The Botanist Gin has once again teamed up with Battersea neighbourhood restaurant, Nutbourne, by the Gladwin Brothers, to host a winter The Botanist & Tonic pop-up Terrace featuring foraged Christmas cocktails, warming Christmas tipples all paired with a daily-changing hearty menu inspired by the Sussex countryside.
The terrace will be heated and ready to welcome groups of 6 looking for some celebratory drinks to bid farewell to Lockdown 2.0 and see in the festive season. The collaboration is inspired by a shared philosophy of ‘what grows together, goes together’.
Nutbourne bartenders and The Botanist Gin have worked together to develop a menu of bespoke cocktails which reflect the shared dedication to local and wild ingredients whilst encompassing the flavours of Christmastime.
The menu features the Sloe 75, made with sloe berry infused The Botanist Gin, sugar, and sparkling wine and The Botanist Flip, with The Botanist gin, egg, sugar, and winter spices. Those looking for a tipple to help with the dropping December temperatures, the Gin and Tea is a hot cocktail sure to keep everyone warm throughout the coming weeks of outdoor socialising. And to really warm the cockles, Mulled wine or cider will be available with a shot of either The Botanist Gin, Cointreau Liqueur, Rémy Martin Cognac or Mount Gay Rum.
Wednesday & Thursday 3pm – 10pmFriday, Saturday & Sunday 12pm – 10pm
Where: Nutbourne 29 Ransomes Dock35-37 Parkgate Rd,London SW11 4NP
How: Visit https://www.thebotanist.com to find out more and make a booking.
12 Believe in a Christmas Miracle at Henrietta Hotel
I believe in Miracles – especially ones that offer delectable cocktails. Experimental Group, the innovative hospitality entrepreneurs, have brought the festively famous Miracle pop-up bar phenomenon from the U.S. to London for the third time, at Henrietta Hotel – the first and only UK Miracle partner.
What’s more, Henrietta Hotel is launching The Extended Christmas Story by Miracle. The 2020 Christmas season has been somewhat disrupted with lockdown, so the hip hoteliers have decided to extend the festivities. After New Year’s Day, Miracle at Henrietta will reopen until 20 January under its new name.
Located next to the Covent Garden piazza, amongst the shops and boutiques, Miracle at Henrietta (and January’s The Extended Christmas Story by Miracle) will provide the perfect pitstop for a cocktail. Hidden away on the mezzanine, guests are transported back in time to Christmas past, with a nostalgic take on festive décor, designed by experiential company Marble London.
Perfectly paired with Miracle’s cocktail styling, the space is inspired by a ‘70’s Christmas home’ with retro decorations and coloured lights, as well as an oversized fireplace.
Miracle at Henrietta will offer the renowned roster of Christmas concoctions, with favourites such as the Bad Santa ( served hot: Mulled Red Wine, Tawny Port, Orange Liqueur, Christmas Spices) a nd SanTaRex (Tequila, Herbal Mint Liqueur, Cacao Blanc, Mezcal, Serrano, Coconut, Acid-Adjusted Pineapple), alongside new creations such as Fruitcake Flip (Brandy, Jamaican Overproof Rum, Amaretto, Fruitcake, Cherry Bitters, Whole Egg) and Jolly Koala (Gin, Vermouth, Pine-Cardamom-Sage Cordial), all served in famously fun and festive glassware.
Guests can also choose from a selection of delicious snacks, from Farinata and Parmesan, Gnocco fritto and Calabrian guanciale, to Sardine and lemon skewers, courtesy of the highly-acclaimed Italian Supper Club and all unique to Miracle at Henrietta.
When: Miracle at Henrietta will be closed on 24, 25, 31 December and 1 January then reopens until 20 January as The Extended Christmas Story by Miracle.
Where: Henrietta Hotel, 14-15 Henrietta Street London WC2E 8QH
How: Visit www.henriettahotel.com to make a booking.
13 Enjoy a fairytale Christmas market at Selfridges
Calling all fairytale lovers, Selfridges is redesigning the mews market that was first opened back in the summer – this time, with a well-timed Christmas revamp.
The adorable market will feature gourmet street food, as well as retail stalls and even fairground rides. Among the list of businesses trading there will be Fundi Pizza serving Neopolitan style pizzas and Only Jerkin with their fried chicken and jerk gravy. Selfridges will also be selling their own selection from their food range for those hungry for Christmas pudding, gingerbread and more.
Other food stalls will include the likes of Pabellon – Venezuelan traders serving dishes such as Arepa filled corn bread ,Tramshed Project – run by chefs Andrew Clarke and Daniel Watkins, who will be serving burgers and BBQ as well as Ask Mummy Daddy – Traditional and vegan pick and mix sweets. There will also be fresh pasta, chocolate-drizzled fruit and plenty of currywurst to break a diet vow for.
When: Open daily throughout December, between 4–9pm on weekdays and 12–9pm at weekends.
Where: 400 Oxford St, Marylebone, London W1A 1AB
14 Take a wander through the Tracey Emin / Edvard Munch exhibition
Looking for exciting exhibitions? This one is bound to impress. Tracey Emin has long had a fascination with the Norwegian expressionist and painter of The Scream, Edvard Munch: in her words, “I’ve been in love with this man since I was eighteen”. In 1998 she even created a haunting video piece filmed at the same Oslo jetty that was the location of many of his well-known works. It is just one example of how, like Munch, she embraces even the most painful experiences to create art.
The exhibition features more than 25 of Emin’s works including paintings, some of which will be on display for the first time, as well neons and sculpture. These works, which explore the loneliness of the soul, have been chosen by Emin to sit alongside a carefully considered selection of 19 oils and watercolours drawn from MUNCH’s rich collection and archives in Oslo, Norway.
This is an opportunity to see Emin’s work in a highly personal show. The selection reveals not only how Munch has been a constant inspiration – particularly through his profound portrayals of women – but also showcases Emin’s wide-ranging skills as an artist, which often interweave painting, drawing and writing.
When: Until 28 February 2021
Where: Burlington House, Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 0BD
How: Visit royalacademy.org.uk to book.
15 Embrace your inner child at the Oliver Jeffers x Harrods exploration
Whilst there’s no Harrods grotto this year, the famed shopping emporium is creating festive moments through the magic of storytelling instead. In collaboration with children’s author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers, they’ve created an immersive exploration where you’ll be transported into Oliver’s wonderful world.
Oliver invites adults and children alike to adventure into their imagination this holiday season with their in-store event – the Wonder of Stories. Follow an exciting trail across land, sea, and stars – accomplishing activities along the way – and arrive at a whimsical destination, where you’ll hear from the very author who created the universe you’re standing in. Plus, for those staying in, there’s plenty of online and virtual activities to discover too.
Even better, there’s also a truly scrumptious matching afternoon tea to try too, inspired by Oliver Jeffers’ friendly characters. Devour crunchy popcorn, miniature sandwiches and sticky jammy morsels… do we hear a tummy rumbling?
Where: 87-135 Brompton Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL
How: Visit harrods.com for more.
16 Pitstop at Jimmy Garcia’s Alpine Lodge
Get into the festive spirit with this cozy Southbank hotspot. Jimmy’s Lodge is situated at the bustling Southbank, featuring a snug, two-storey cabin built with wooden cladding and a fully enclosed rooftop dining space – gifted with the best views south of the river. Ideal for a chilly night, they’ll be serving up a fantastic selection of mulled wine, espresso martinis and craft beer in the heated riverside alpine bar.
Upstairs, the reservation-only Alpine dining experience in The Refuge Restaurant allows you to choose between delicious individual starters: Classic French mountain onion soup, Lodge home cured salmon, pickled beets, and a horseradish yogurt or ‘Double Duck’ our smoked duck breast, confit leg, endive, pickled walnuts, with a SW London honey & clementine dressing.
If there’s still room, choose from a legendary alpine fondue, which is served with a selection of delicious accompaniments, or an exciting steak-stone concept, cooked on sizzling stones in front of your eyes at your table.
For something extra extravagant, returning again this year are the utterly Instagramable Igloos; four gorgeous private dining domes available to book for up to 10 people per dome. Serving a group menu version of the Lodge menu, the snow globes will be available to buy with drinks packages to complete your magical evening.
Where: The Queen’s Walk, Bishop’s, London SE1 8XX
How: Visit jimmyspopup.com/jimmys-lodge-1 to make a booking.
17 Cozy up at a Drake & Morgan terrace
Looking for fairytale terraces? Head to The Happenstance on Paternoster Square and cosy up on its all-weather Japanese Winter Garden terrace created with premium
Or, venture east to an enchanted woodland forest at The Sipping Room’s Essence of Winter Waterside Terrace, West India Quay. Escape from the concrete jungle and pull up at pew inside one of the cosy igloos, adorned with twinkling fairy lights, lanterns and frosted winter foliage.
If that doesn’t float your boat, there’s also The Allegory, Refinery Bankside, Refinery New Street Square, King’s Cross, Devonshire Terrace, little Fable, The Moniker and The Parlour to try.
How: Visit drakeandmorgan.co.uk to find out more and make a booking.