ENJOY SOME FESTIVE TREATS: Bun House’s Christmas Tree Buns
Bun House in Chinatown has created limited-edition Christmas tree buns, which are available to order and collect from the Cantonese restaurant this week. Whether you’re after something a bit different for a Christmas Day dessert, or want to surprise someone with some festive treats, each layer of the tree is filled with a different festive cream, including gingerbread caramel, dark chocolate orange, and white chocolate chestnut cream. Available to collect from the store today and tomorrow, each tree costs £8. We suggest ordering a few savoury buns, too – you can’t go wrong with sticky BBQ pork belly, or the mushroom and chestnut combo.
FEEL FESTIVE: Covent Garden Christmas Sandwich & Mulled Wine Festival
All the way up to Christmas Eve, Covent Garden is hosting London’s first Christmas sandwich and mulled wine festival. Some of our favourite best bars, restaurants and shops are involved, so there’s plenty to see and do. Paul Smith and Arket will be serving festive tipples in store, while visitors to Vashi can enjoy festive Seedlip mocktails and free Townhouse manicures while shopping. There are also over 100 varieties of mulled wine or hot toddies available from Ladurée, Darjeeling Express, Frenchie, Mariage Freres, Mrs Riot and more, as well as Christmas cocktails like ‘Eggnog & Cardamom Hot Toddies’ and ‘Pineapple Spiced Rum Spitzes’ from Honest Folk (15th-20th December only). In terms of food, Feast It has three pop-ups around the Piazza offering festive sandwiches filled with turkey and all the trimmings. Don’t miss the Dirty Martini x Johnnie Walker pop-up bar (which will stay open until Monday 3rd January) for hot spiced gin punch and Baileys hot chocolate.
The Piazza, Covent Garden, WC2E 8RF
MEET THE GIRLS: Jurema At The Mandrake
The Mandrake hotel has turned its Jurema terrace into a magical winter grotto. With an impressive Christmas tree, fairy lights, and festive foliage and garlands, it’s the perfect place for drinks with the girls. Guests can enjoy a festive food and drink menu, featuring dishes like grilled fish of the day with girolles and brussels sprouts, duck empanada with sweet potato, and roasted apple with calvados and white chocolate, plus mulled wine, hot toddies and champagne. Inside, look out for cool artwork and an interactive light show by the Mandrake’s artist in residence this month, Paolo Montiel-Coppa.
20-21 Newman Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 1PG
Visit The Mandrake.com
SUPPORT A WORTHY CAUSE: With Nature And A Camera Exhibition
Until Monday 20th December, The Royal Geographical Society is hosting an exhibition dedicated to the life and work of wildlife documentary pioneer Cherry Kearton. Often cited as Sir David Attenborough’s inspiration, Kearton travelled the world during the early 20th century, becoming one of Britain’s first animal photographers – taking the first ever photograph of a bird's nest with eggs and later the first pictures of lions in their natural habitat. Featuring rare photos from the early 1900s which have been developed from the original glass film slides, visitors can also buy limited-edition prints from the exhibition – all profits will be donated to conservation charity Fauna & Flora International.
1 Kensington Gore, South Kensington, SW7 2AR
HOST A CHRISTMAS PARTY: Yhangry
Hosting a festive dinner party this year? Yhangry promises to take the stress out of at-home entertaining with its private chef service. Simply choose your number of guests, select the menu, and add a few fun extras like party games, murder mystery experiences or festive tablescapes. Ahead of the day, Yhangry delivers the food straight to your door, before a private chef cooks everything in the kitchen and tidies up afterwards. Choose from traditional Christmas dinners, special NYE party menus or canapés and drinks, or select a set theme like ‘Taste of Italy’ or ‘Magical Middle East.’ Menus start from £15pp.
WATCH A SPECIAL PERFORMANCE: The Wife Of Willesden
This new play opened at Kiln Theatre on Monday. Inspired by Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath and adapted by Zadie Smith, The Wife of Willesden is set in present-day northwest London. The theatre has been transformed into the infamous Sir Colin Campbell pub, home to local legend Alvita. Married five times, the lover, friend, aunt and mother has the gift of the gab – she can rewrite mistakes into triumphs, turn pain into parables, and make her love life sound like an epic poem. Venture into the pub to hear her wild, hilarious and tragic stories.
269 Kilburn High Road, Kilburn, NW6 7JR
FIND YOUR NYE OUTFIT: Endless Wardrobe Pop-Up
Still searching for the perfect NYE outfit? Rental platform Endless Wardrobe has opened a pop-up store in Mayfair where you can browse outfits and accessories perfect for the festive season. New and pre-loved items are available to rent or buy from brands like Free People, Whistles, Alexa Chung, Never Fully Dressed and House of Sunny. Expect to find velvet tops and jumpsuits, sequin trousers, sparkly dresses and more.
Until Friday 24th December; 51 South Molton Street, Mayfair, W1K 5SD
VISIT THIS NEW STORE: Glossier
After a successful pop-up a couple of years ago, Glossier is finally opening its first permanent store in London. Regular SL readers will know how much we rate Glossier’s skincare and beauty range, so we were excited to see the new space in Covent Garden. Inside the Insta-worthy pink townhouse, shoppers can browse everything from skincare sets and new make-up tools, to Glossier’s signature pink hoodies and bestselling fragrance. Ideal for stocking up on Christmas presents – or a few treats for yourself – you can collect your goodies at the end of the cool Glossier conveyer belt.
43 King Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 8JY
HEAD TO THE THEATRE: The Book Of Dust: La Belle Sauvage
Philip Pullman’s La Belle Sauvage has opened at Bridge Theatre. Set 12 years before the His Dark Materials trilogy, the first instalment of The Book Of Dust series is about two young people and their dæmons. With everything at stake, they find themselves at the centre of a terrifying manhunt. In their care is a tiny child called Lyra Belacqua, and in that child lies the fate of the future. When a flood hits, powerful forces around them conspire for the ‘mastery of Dust’ – salvation to some, the source of infinite corruption to others. Tickets start from £18pp.
Until February 2022; 3 Potters Fields Park, Tower Bridge, SE1 2SG
TRY NEW FLAVOURS: Skye Gyngell Scratch Menu At Spring
On Saturday 18th December from 3pm to 9.30pm, chef Skye Gyngell is hosting a special three-course supper at her restaurant Spring in Somerset House. Emptying the fridge and pantry to make use of the restaurant’s leftover produce, Skye’s anti-food waste menu ‘Scratch’ has been kept strictly under wraps – diners will find out what’s on offer only on the day itself. Previous dishes from her waste-free menu have included starters such as roasted Jerusalem artichoke soup with brown butter chestnuts and shredded cauliflower leaves; pasta off-cuts reinvented into tortellini with girolles and sage; and yesterday’s bread transformed into warm bread pudding served with gooseberry jam. Tickets cost £25pp for three courses.
Somerset House, New Wing, Lancaster Place, Strand, WC2R 1LA
*DISCLAIMER: Please check the latest government advice, social distancing rules, and entry requirements to each venue before you book anything. Visit Gov.uk for more information