What To Book In London This December

What To Book In London This December

Want to book in for some fun this December? Here’s our guide for what to do in the capital. From socially distanced concerts to a selection of festive cookery classes, this is what’s still due to go ahead, and what to book now.


Four real gigs are happening in December as part of the Red Velvet Sessions Winter Festival. Taking place in an intimate setting – a chapel in east London – the festival has been curated by Fiona Bevan, co-writer for Kylie Minogue’s number one album Disco, friend of Ed Sheeran’s and writer of chart-topping songs for One Direction, Lewis Capaldi and Backstreet Boys. The first gig will feature Bevan – with subsequent shows from Gabriel Moreno, Samantha Whates and Adam Beattie – over four evenings between 9th-12th December. In-person tickets are available, where all social distancing measures will be in place, and the gigs will also be live-streamed through a high-definition, multi-camera setup that promises an experience almost as good as being the church yourself.

2 Butcher Row, Limehouse, E14 8DS; 9th-12th December

Visit Eventbrite.co.uk

GET COOKING HERE: Borough Market Kitchen Sessions

Borough Market is hosting a three-week digital pop-up, Borough Market’s Festive Kitchen, to inspire food shoppers across the UK in the run-up to Christmas. Starting on 2nd December and running Wednesdays to Fridays throughout the month, the schedule of live-streamed activities and events is designed to bring to life some of the market traders’ ingredients and provide inspiration for home cooks’ festive recipes. Food writer Angela Clutton, Bettina’s Kitchen’s Bettina Campolucci Bordi and first Bake Off winner Edd Kimber will each spend a week curating and compering the programme, which will consist of masterclasses from market traders, cook-alongs from the market restaurants Mei Mei, Shuk and Juma, plus interviews with Gizzi Erskine, Calum Franklin, Anna Jones and more. All events are free of charge.

Visit Christmas.BoroughMarket.org.uk

GET SINGING HERE: Macmillan Carol Concert

A host of A-list celebrities including Joanna Lumley, Stephen Fry and Alexander Armstrong are joining forces with famous musicians for this year’s Macmillan carol concert. Household names including Jeremy Irons, Greg Wise and Benjamin Zephaniah are all taking part in the event, delivering seasonal readings and poetry, plus there’ll be musical performances from Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. The concert will be streamed online on Friday 11th December at 8pm and will be available to view until 31st December. All funds raised will be used by Macmillan to provide vital support to people living with cancer.

Visit Macmillan.org.uk

Red Velvet Sessions
Red Velvet Sessions
McQueen’s Flower School
McQueen’s Flower School
Waitrose Cookery School
Waitrose Cookery School

SEE A CLASSIC HERE: Old Vic: In Camera

Now in its fourth year, Jack Thorne’s A Christmas Carol will return to The Old Vic digitally from 12th-24th December. It will be streamed live and presented as a full-scale show complete with musicians, theatrical lighting, costumes and a cast of 18 performers, including Andrew Lincoln as Ebenezer Scrooge. Eighty-thousand tickets will be available for the run, with prices from £10-£65, plus an £80 souvenir ticket including a limited-edition poster also available, with proceeds going towards the upkeep of the famous theatre. Audiences only need to buy one ticket if they plan on watching together on the same screen.

Visit OldVicTheatre.com

GET HANDS-ON HERE: McQueen’s Flower School

McQueens Flowers is teaming up with Perrier Jouet for a socially distanced series of Christmas wreath-making workshops, which will be running throughout the month. Perrier-Jouët’s champagne ambassador, Jonathan ‘JonnyFizz’ Simms, will kick things off at McQueen’s Mayfair studio with a 30-minute tasting session. Following the tasting, the flower school team will demonstrate how to make a festive wreath, which can them be taken home to jazz up your front door or as a centrepiece on your fireplace or dining table. The events will take place on 3rd, 10th and 17th December from 6-9pm.

45-47 Brook Street, Mayfair, W1K 4HR; 3rd, 10th and 17th December

Visit McQueens.co.uk

LEARN A NEW SKILL HERE: Waitrose Cookery School

The Waitrose Cookery School is giving home cooks a helping hand ahead of the festive season. Whether you’re a seasoned cook who is looking for inspiration for hosting a smaller gathering than normal, or someone who’ll be taking charge of the kitchen for the first time, the cookery school has a wide selection of virtual courses available. We like the sound of the 'Prepare Ahead' Christmas course (£5); the Christmas baking masterclass (£25), where you’ll bake sticky maple buns flavoured with cinnamon and a classic gingerbread loaf; and the ‘Spiced Orange Yule Log’ class (£25). 

Visit Experiences.Waitrose.com


Skylight London’s ‘Christmas Cocktail Cinema’ will be showing back-to-back classic Christmas movies throughout the month, from Love Actually to Die Hard. The cinema will be an adults-only experience and will serve themed cocktails and gourmet snacks alongside the films. There will be an interval during each film, allowing guests to top-up their popcorn and grab another cocktail for the second half. The list of films being shown includes Bridget Jones Diary, Bad Santa, Home Alone, The Holiday and Elf. As well as the cinema, the venue will also host an igloo village, ‘Feast In The Forest’ dining experience, a spacious après ski lodge bar, a speakeasy and a Christmas market – all in a socially distanced capacity.

Tobacco Dock, Wapping, E1W 2SF; 3rd December-3rd January 

Visit SkylightLondon.com

River Cottage Christmas
River Cottage Christmas
Borough Market Kitchen Sessions
Borough Market Kitchen Sessions
Japan Centre
Japan Centre

GET PREPPED FOR DINNER HERE: River Cottage Christmas

Learn how to cook the ultimate Christmas dinner by taking ‘How to Have a River Cottage Christmas’ course. All hosted online, home cooks will be guided by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and the River Cottage team and will receive personalised feedback on their cooking skills throughout. During the course, you’ll see how the River Cottage values of seasonal, local, organic and wild are woven through everything they do and can be upheld during the festive period. The four-lesson course will cover everything you need to know ahead of the big day and include ‘Hugh’s Fabulous Festive Veg’; ‘Gelf Alderson’s Festive Meat and Poultry’; ‘Andy Tyrell’s Festive Baking and Puddings’; and ‘Lucy Brazier’s Edibles Gifts’.

Visit LearningWithExperts.com


Japan Centre has launched a grocery delivery service. Giving customers a whistle-stop tour of Japan, over 600 of the best products from the country will be delivered direct to London homes, from fresh organic fruit and vegetables and Japanese noodles and sushi to sauces and seasonings, frozen fish, meats, buns and gyoza. Customers can also shop make-at-home sushi and ramen kits, freshly made bento, poke and ramen, as well as store cupboard essentials and fresh slices of meat and fish, including tuna, salmon and beef. Other highlights include its huge range of confectionary, plus plum wine, whisky and gin – all great for stocking fillers. 

Visit Shop.IchibaLondon.com

FEEL FESTIVE HERE: The Ivy Chelsea Garden

This year, The Ivy Chelsea Garden will be transformed into ‘Santa’s Workshop’ to celebrate the festive season. Although Christmas looks a little different this year, the restaurant is transforming its façade, this time with a homage to Santa’s mailroom, complete with reindeer stables, a giant Christmas tree and Santa’s sleigh. Throughout December, diners can also enjoy Christmas cocktails in partnership with Veuve Clicquot, including the Poinsettia – a combination of Cointreau, cranberry juice, Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label and garnished with an orange twist. Those with a sweet tooth can also try its Rudolph-inspired dessert, a spin on The Ivy’s classic chocolate bombe featuring vanilla ice-cream with a honeycomb centre, hot salted caramel sauce and an edible ruby red nose and biscuit antlers.

King's Road, Chelsea, SW3 5EQ; from 2nd December

Visit TheIvyChelseaGarden.com

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