SEE OFF SUNDAY IN STYLE HERE: Bibendum
Celebrated restaurant Bibendum now hosts a live jazz band every Sunday as part of its new live music series. Taking place in the Bibendum Oyster Bar every Sunday evening from 5pm-8pm, guests are able to experience the smooth sounds of jazz from a variety of musicians, alongside a complimentary Rémy Martin ‘Winter 1738’. Located in the iconic Michelin building in South Kensington, renowned chef Claude Bosi and his team of chefs serve a menu of beautifully served seafood-oriented dishes and French classics in the downstairs Oyster Bar, including Bibendum's celebrated seafood platters and fillet steak au poivre – to be enjoyed alongside the music. The Rémy Martin cocktail bar snack menu is also available throughout the evening, carefully matched to the cocktails by Claude. Classy.
Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road, South Kensington, SW3 6RD; 9th December
SING CAROLS FOR A CAUSE HERE: Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
Do your bit for charity – with your furry friends in tow – as Battersea Dogs and Cats Home takes over St Luke’s Church in Chelsea for its annual carol service fundraiser. As well as carols, mulled wine, mince pies and goodie bags from sponsors Pet Pavilion, guests will be treated to a very special guard of honour by some of the shelter’s beloved dogs. You can also pick up some last-minute Christmas gifts from the Battersea retail stand, where every purchase helps a dog or cat. Tickets cost £20 for a seat upstairs, or £30 for a seat downstairs.
St Luke's Church, Sydney Street, Chelsea, SW3 6NH; 7th December
GET PAMPERED HERE: Topshop
Topshop is getting the party started by offering customers personalised makeovers (with 40% off) at its Oxford Circus store this weekend. We like the sound of the ‘Mini Makeover’ for £50 (worth £85), which includes a blow dry with Hershesons, CND manicure with House of Lady Muck and brow shape with Blink Brow Bar or the ‘Total Makeover’ for £70 (worth £118) which encompasses a haircut with Blue Tit, shellac manicure with House of Lady Muck and brow shape with Blink Brow Bar. There will also be complimentary makeovers with Topshop Beauty on the ground floor over the weekend.
Topshop, 214 Oxford Street, Marylebone, W1C 1DA; 6th-9th December
GET YOUR LAST-MINUTE XMAS PRESENTS HERE: Deptford Bites At Christmas
This Saturday, Deptford Market Yard’s weekly market Deptford Bites will be hosting a Christmas special, Deptford Bites at Christmas. The event will feature a festive Maker’s Market with interactive craft workshops, an expanded line-up of street food (think Crepe Kings’ Smores crepes with toasted marshmallows and caramel; and The Toasty Badger’s ultimate cheese toasties) and produce market traders, as well as Christmas menu specials and discounts from the Market Yard’s eclectic range of independent shops and restaurants. Expect live music and carol performances from local choirs and plenty of mulled wine and hot chocolate.
Deptford Market Yard, Deptford, SE8 4BX; 8th December
HAVE A FESTIVE AFTERNOON TEA HERE: Kimpton Fitzroy London
Formerly The Principal hotel, this beautiful Bloomsbury newcomer has a new name – and a fresh, festive afternoon tea to celebrate. Held in the Kimpton Fitzroy London’s Palm Court, the afternoon tea features new sandwiches, scones including candied orange cinnamon and spiced fruit, and a new selection of cakes and pastries, such as chocolate and gingerbread yule log; tea and citrus Christmas tree; and snowflake mince pie. The tea will be served until Christmas, Thursdays to Sundays inclusive, and costs £38pp, or £46 with a glass of Taittinger.
1-8 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, WC1B 5EB; until 23rd December
GET CRAFTY HERE: Regent Street Winter Retreat
The Regent Street Winter Retreat is a cosy bolt hole aimed at giving shoppers somewhere to prepare for the festive season and enjoy some well-deserved ‘me’ time. After spending the day selecting presents for family and friends, drop your gifts off to be wrapped by the retreat’s resident wrappers and take advantage of the free wellbeing classes on offer. A rolling programme of workshops includes yoga sessions, gong baths and grooming treatments. In the spirit of giving this festive season, all of these activations are being offered complimentary for shoppers and visitors to Regent Street.
Quadrant Arcade, Regent Street, W1B 5RP; 7th-8th December
WATCH SWAN LAKE HERE: Sadler’s Wells
Swan Lake returns at Sadler’s Wells with a fresh look for the 21st century. Retaining the iconic elements of the original, Matthew Bourne has created an exciting re-imagining of the classic production. Thrilling, audacious and emotive, this Swan Lake is perhaps best known for replacing the female corps-de-ballet with a menacing male ensemble, shattering convention and taking the dance world by storm. Collecting over 30 international accolades including an Olivier and three Tony Awards, Bourne’s powerful interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece is a passionate and contemporary Swan Lake for our times.
Sadler's Wells, Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell, EC1R 4TN; until 27th January
GO ALL GAME OF THRONES HERE: Texture
Take an Icelandic approach to the festive season with the pop-up Eldur & Ís (Fire and Ice) Reyka Vodka Bar at Texture – the Michelin-starred restaurant from chef patron Aggi Sverrisson. This winter, the Marylebone restaurant’s champagne bar has been transformed into a traditional Icelandic setting: copper trees, a live moss-covered bar, sheepskin throws, and original Icelandic lava rocks create a striking Nordic scene where vodka, champagne and Aggi’s signature dishes will transport guests across the Atlantic to the island of fire and ice. Head sommelier Alan Bednarski has crafted three Reyka vodka cocktails (£13.50 each), sure to take the edge off the bitter weather. We’re keen to try an ‘Espresso Mosi’ with liquorice/fennel seeds, Mr Black Coffee liqueur and espresso served with Icelandic moss and dry ice.
34 Portman Street, Marylebone, W1H 7BY
BE A VIP HERE: Blush & Blow
Blush and Blow is offering SheerLuxe VIPs an exclusive 50% off individual lash extensions – perfect for the Christmas party season. Treatments take place at their new blow-dry and beauty bar, located in Parsons Green. It's a relaxed, luxurious and fun environment where you’ll be looked after from the moment you walk in. Plus, if you're a busy mum, there’s a safe and friendly place for your children to play, free of charge, while you’re being treated. To redeem, quote ‘SL VIP 50% OFF’ when booking.
197 New Kings Road, Fulham, SW6 4SR; until 31st December
WATCH THIS: Shoplifters
After one of their shoplifting sessions, Osamu and his son come across a little girl in the freezing cold. At first reluctant to shelter the girl, Osamu’s wife agrees to take care of her after learning of the hardships she faces. Although the family is poor and barely makes enough money through petty crime to survive, they seem to live happily together – until an unforeseen incident reveals hidden secrets and shakes the bonds that unite them. Full of emotion and characters of unassuming depth, this superb family drama from Hirokazu Kore-eda (Nobody Knows) won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2018.
In cinemas now