Created in partnership with London Essence
THE BALLET PERFORMANCE:
The Nutcracker, Royal Opera House
Tickets for this Christmas classic at London’s Royal Opera House are now on sale. Join Clara at a Christmas Eve party that turns into a magical adventure once everyone else is in bed. Marvel at the brilliance of Tchaikovsky’s score, as Clara and her enchanted Nutcracker fight the Mouse King and visit the Sugar Plum Fairy in the glittering Kingdom of Sweets. Those booking evening tickets should make a point of stopping by the Royal Opera House terrace where London Essence's Festive Collection menu will be available from 20th November. Options include the Wonderland Spritz (served with London Essence Pink Grapefruit Crafted Soda) and the non-alcoholic Tangy Winter Spritz (served with London Essence White Peach & Jasmine Crafted Soda).
Bow Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 9DD
A Christmas Carol
It's a cold Christmas Eve and mean-spirited miser Ebenezer Scrooge has an unexpected visit from the spirit of his former business partner Jacob Marley. Bound in chains as punishment for a lifetime of greed, the unearthly figure explains it isn't too late for Scrooge to change his miserly ways to escape the same fate, but first he'll have to face three more eerie encounters. Mark Gatiss's acclaimed retelling of Dickens' winter ghost story returns to Alexandra Palace with a brilliant new cast this season. Star of stage and screen Keith Allen (Shallow Grave, Robin Hood, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, The Pembrokeshire Murders, The Homecoming) will play the role of Scrooge with Peter Forbes (Follies) as Marley. Filled with Dickensian, spine-tingling special effects, prepare to be frightened as you enter this supernatural Victorian world.
Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY
THE AFTERNOON TEA:
The Langham x Liberty
This Christmas, The Langham is partnering with Liberty London to create a festive wonderland that reflects the spirit of togetherness, feasting and celebration. From early November, the hotel will be decked out in Liberty decorations, and a range of festive packages will also be available, including dining, spa experiences, in-room Liberty Christmas tree and decorations, and Liberty shopping experiences. Those who book a table will also receive a 15% discount card to redeem in store. Plus, the two have created a special afternoon tea menu with a selection of show-stopping treats, including the Liberty Jewelled Egg Bauble with turkey, potato, bacon and cranberries; and sweet treats such as Shine Like a Bauble with vanilla cream, blackcurrant compote and almond sable. Finally, guests should check out the Artesian Bar, which serves an array of cocktails using London Essence. Our recommendation? Try the Nopales made with Roku gin, mancino sakura, cactus leaves, prickly pear and London Essence Original Indian Tonic Water.
Available daily, 12:30pm-5pm; £95pp or £110pp with a glass of Taittinger Champagne; £50pp for children aged 3-12.
1C Portland Place, Marylebone, W1B 1JA
THE FAMILY DAY OUT:
Alexandra Palace Festive Spectacular
Alexandra Palace is all set for a festive spectacular from 24th November, with activities on offer including ice skating, theatre and pantomime. In the East Court, you’ll find Santa’s Grotto where children can meet, receive a gift from and have their photos taken with the big man himself, as local school choirs perform on 11th, 12th and 13th December at 4.30pm. Alternatively, this year’s ice rink has been decked out with a Christmas tree, lights, festive music, and snow – and kids can book into a Festive Skate session or Christmas Ice Disco while adults enjoy mince pies, mulled wine or Baileys hot chocolate in the East Court Café. Finally, this year Ally Pally Amateur Productions is taking its audience to Neverland, featuring all your favourite characters from the much-loved tale Peter Pan, performed by a cast of home-grown talent of all ages and Disney on Ice professionals.
Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY
The Savoy x Laurent-Perrier
The Savoy is teaming up with champagne house Laurent-Perrier to celebrate the festive season this year. From 19th November, the hotel will offer a range of quintessentially festive experiences at its property on the Strand, including an impressive steam train installation in the Front Hall. Having been greeted by a large Christmas tree crowned with falling snow, guests will be able to step inside one of the carriages to enjoy a glass of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé before moving into a magical setting for The Savoy’s Festive Champagne Afternoon Tea. Equally, the Beaufort Bar is well worth a visit. Order a Good Fortune made with Ki no Bi gin, mandarin, grapefruit, St-Germain elderflower, savoia, violette, Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée Brut and London Essence White Peach & Jasmine Crafted Soda.
Strand, WC2R 0EZ
Aladdin, Hackney Empire
Aladdin dreams of finding love and making his fortune. When he discovers an enchanted lamp and meets a mysterious genie, it looks like all his wishes will come true. But are they? Or will forces of evil stand in the way? Running from 18th November to31st December, Hackney Empire’s 2023 panto Aladdin sees acclaimed British theatre actor Clive Rowe return to direct and star in this year’s show. In what will be his 16th pantomime at the venue, Olivier award-winning Rowe will star as Dame Widow Twankey, with a full cast and creative team still to be announced. Tickets are on sale now.
291 Mare Street, Hackney, E8 1EJ
THE CHRISTMAS TREE:
Claridge’s x Louis Vuitton
Legendary Mayfair hotel Claridge’s is gearing up to reveal its iconic Christmas tree – which, this year, has been designed by Louis Vuitton. Officially unveiled on 23rd November, the tree and the hotel’s façade will be decorated to welcome guests for the festive season. Plus, there’s a special three-night offer not to be missed. In true Claridge’s style, guests will be welcomed with a bottle of champagne, yuletide treats and their very own Christmas tree. As Father Christmas paces Claridge’s corridors, carrots and mince pies will be carefully placed on mantelpieces and stockings will dot the fireplaces throughout the hotel. Meanwhile, Christmas Day morning will see a visit from Father Christmas himself with his trusted elf, a choir singing carols, and a festive feast. Guests will also be invited to ride in horse-drawn carriages around Mayfair while sipping hot chocolates.
Brook Street, Mayfair, W1K 4HR
David Hockney: Drawing From Life
Back for a second time, the National Portrait Gallery's David Hockney: Drawing from Life exhibit first opened just 20 days before the Gallery’s closure due to Covid in March 2020. The exhibition explores the artist’s work over the last six decades through his intimate portraits of five sitters: his mother, Celia Birtwell, Gregory Evans, Maurice Payne and the artist himself. His familiarity with the sitters enables him to work with a range of mediums and styles, from pencil, pen and ink and crayon, to photographic collage and the iPad. The 2023 exhibition will also debut a selection of over 30 new portraits, including one of Harry Styles. Afterwards, grab a bite and a London Essence cocktail at Ochre Bar downstairs. We like the Ambassadors made with Broken Clock vodka, Aperol, grapefruit sherbet and London Essence Pomelo & Pink Pepper Tonic Water.
St Martin's Place, WC2H 0HE
THE MUSICAL EVENT:
Royal Albert Hall
This year’s Films in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall include the UK premiere of Elf in Concert with the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the return of Home Alone in Concert – performed by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and the Crouch End Festival Chorus. Dates for Home Alone in Concert include Saturday 2nd Dec at 7:30pm & Sunday 3rd December at 10:30am; tickets start from £25.50. Meanwhile, Elf in Concert will take place twice on 9th December at 2:30pm and 7:30pm; tickets start from £25.50. Beforehand, treat yourself to a pre- or post-show festive cocktail at the glamorous K Bar inside the nearby Kensington Hotel. We recommend the Festive Mule, made with Clean & Co Golden Spiced, elderflower, London Essence Delicate Ginger Ale, and ginger foam.
Kensington Gore, South Kensington, SW7 2AP
THE COCKTAIL EXPERIENCE:
Selfridges Kit Kat Club
There’s plenty of festive fun taking place at London’s iconic department store this Christmas. First, the windows on Oxford Street have been created in collaboration with costume designer Max Allen, hairstylist Sam McKnight, scenic painter Queenie Ingrams and prop maker Matilda Greenwood – plus, Selfridge’s has also joined forces with Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop, one of the oldest toyshops in London, to create a series of dioramas on Orchard Street. If you’re planning to do some Christmas shopping there this year, make sure to book a table at The Kit Kat Club takeover of The Selfridges Lounge, until 29th November. Enjoy champagne, wine, cocktails and small plates as you’re transported to Germany by the West End’s production’s Prologue performers at select moments throughout the day.
400 Oxford Street, Mayfair, W1A 1AB
THE CHARITY CONCERT:
Dorchester Christmas Concert
For the first time ever, The Dorchester will host a special Christmas concert with esteemed composer, pianist and producer Chloe Flower, with proceeds donated to charity partner, Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice. The festive concert will take place in Artists’ Bar and The Promenade on 22nd November, where Chloe will play seasonal songs on the Liberace piano. Chloe will also headline a series of special performances throughout the evening. Tables are ticketed and will include a set menu designed by culinary director, Martyn Nail. Additionally, Chloe has designed a special festive welcome cocktail, Sugar Plum, named after the lead song from her new Christmas album. Tickets are priced at £165pp, including a three-course dinner and welcome cocktail, with tables available for up to six guests.
53 Park Lane, Mayfair, W1K 1QA
Book tickets here.
THE SHOPPING DESTINATION:
If you're looking for unique Christmas gifts this year, head to Maison Assouline where you can browse its selection of coffee table books spanning all subject from fashion to food and interiors. Once you've found something for everyone on your list, reward yourself with a Spritz Noir at Swans Bar inside the store. Made from Sipsmith gin, Everleaf Mountain, winter spiced cranberry bitters, samson and London Essence Pomelo & Pink Pepper Tonic Water, it's the perfect way to relax after a bit of retail therapy.
196A Piccadilly, W1J 9EY