GET PRESENTS & A PIERCING HERE: Astrid & Miyu
This year Astrid & Miyu has gone from selling covetable jewellery to launching four piercing studios in London. The team’s latest is a pop-up at Selfridges, which will be open until 21st December – perfect for buying last-minute Christmas presents (the team sells rings and necklaces too). Within the store, you can get your ears pierced and styled by A&M’s piercers and stylists, who’ll help you work out the best places to add a new hole and which pieces will complement your look. It’s best to book in advance, but walk-in slots will also be available.
400 Oxford Street, Marylebone, W1A 1AB; until 21st December
ATTEND A FESTIVE WORKSHOP HERE: Berry Bros & Rudd
Whether you’re counting down the days or looking for ways to get into the festive spirit, Berry Bros & Rudd is ready to get you in the mood with a Christmas craft and wine tasting workshop this weekend. The two-hour workshop will be led by stylist Hannah Bullivant of Seeds & Stitches and be held in Berry Bros & Rudd’s historic Pickering Cellar. Perfect for guests hosting their own Christmas dinners this year, Hannah will share her styling tips on how to create a beautiful festive dining table, before guiding you through the creation of an eye-catching table centrepiece. The experience also includes a tasting of three Berry Bros & Rudd sparkling wines and champagnes alongside seasonal canapés and mince pies.
63 Pall Mall, St James's, SW1Y 5HZ; 15th December
SIP YOUR WAY THROUGH A FESTIVE WINE TASTING HERE: Bottles Wine Bar
This Sunday, Spitalfields newcomer Bottles Wine Bar is inviting guests to join them in getting into the Christmas spirit with a guided festive wine tasting. The evening will take guests on a journey through carefully selected wines that are perfect for not just for 25th December but also for enjoyment throughout the crisper months, from refreshing whites and deep reds to a selection of sweets – perfect for the Christmas pud. Nibbles, cheese and charcuterie will be provided throughout.
107a Commercial Street, Spitalifields, E1 6BG; 16th December
DO SOME XMAS SHOPPING HERE: Desmond & Dempsey
Luxury nightwear brand Desmond & Dempsey has launched The Sunday Edit, a new bricks-and-mortar pop-up home. This new space is not only a place to shop its beautiful collections in person but also an invitation to get to know the brand better, as the store is currently filled with nearly the entire personal contents of co-founders Molly and Joel’s flat, including special keepsakes, books that have inspired them and their most treasured items. The pop-up (which will be running into the new year) is a great spot for last-minute Christmas shopping, offering personalisation and wrapping services.
South Molton Street, Mayfair, W1K 5QP; until 31st December
HAVE A MUMBAI-INSPIRED XMAS FEAST HERE: Hoppers Soho
Aunty Miriam – a friend of Karan Gokani (director of Hoppers) – is coming to London for a one-off ‘Sunday Session’ inspired by her open-house Christmas day feast in Mumbai, where she cooks for over 150 guests. Miriam does all the cooking herself and has over 20 dishes including meat curries, beef and chicken fries, cakes and puddings. For Karan, there is nothing that feels more like Christmas than a meal cooked by Miriam. For this standalone Sunday, Miriam will be serving up some of her mother and grandma’s recipes, all with a festive spin. Tickets cost £50.
49 Frith Street, Soho, W1D 4SG; 16th December
GET YOUR SKATES ON HERE: John Lewis & Partners
Following on from its lively Summer of Sound on the Roof, John Lewis & Partners has launched the ultimate winter hideaway in collaboration with Sipsmith Gin. The winter rooftop draws inspiration from the hedonistic frost fairs that took place on the frozen River Thames during the cold months of the 17th century, when shop owners would set up stalls selling hot gin. Along with a complete makeover, for the first time ever the venue will host its own skating rink allowing visitors to practice their pirouettes right on the roof. Background Bars will be on hand, serving a variety of winter-themed tipples such as mulled apple punch and chamomile fizz.
300 Oxford Street, Marylebone, W1C 1DX
WATCH THIS: Lizzie
Chloë Sevigny's latest passion project, this psychological thriller is based on the infamous 1892 murders of the Borden family. Lizzie follows the notorious would-be axe murderess Lizzie Borden (Sevigny), who was accused and acquitted of killing her father and stepmother, including her intense, secret relationship with Bridget Sullivan (Kristen Stewart): an Irish maid who comes to live with the Borden family.
In cinemas 14th December
FEEL FRENCH HERE: Monsieur Le Duck
Monsieur Le Duck is east London’s newest French-focused restaurant – with a difference. Inspired by the food and wine of south-west France and the douceur de vivre of Gascony, the restaurant offers a simple but tasty menu, focusing on duck, chips, salad and wine. Located in glass-fronted premises between Liverpool Street Station and Spitalfields Market, the 55-cover, six-month pop-up restaurant offers a small menu centred on duck cooked three ways: there’s a choice of confit duck leg; duck magret breast; or duck burger (a surprise must-try) all served with chips and a mixed leaf salad. Classic French desserts, such as crème brûlée, complete the menu.
4 Brushfield Street, Spitalfields, E1 6AN
GET SWINGING HERE: Puttshack
For Christmas, hi-tech mini golf experience Puttshack has three different festive rum cocktails on offer, all from the venue’s 100-strong rum bar. Throughout December, you can sip on a festive ‘Ice Spice Baby’ cocktail, made with Myer’s Rum with a hint of pineapple and apricot topped with a dash of cinnamon; a ‘North Pole Negroni’, made with Plantation pineapple rum and Campari; and most intriguingly the ‘Mince Pie Martini’ – a combination of Sailor Jerry, Tanqueray, Fernet-Branca, lime juice and mince pie syrup. The perfect way to end a round of mini golf.
Westfield White City, Shepherd’s Bush, W12 7HB; until 31st December
MAKE YOUR OWN WREATH HERE: The Mandrake Hotel
This Christmas, The Mandrake has partnered with renowned florist McQueens for a festive wreath-making masterclass. McQueens’s school principal will host the workshops at the award-winning hotel, offering participants the opportunity to design their own festively floral masterpiece to take home for the holidays. Guests can select the likes of red roses or blooming orchid heads, festooned with crisp foliage and festive adornments. Following the workshop, guests will enjoy a champagne and wine-pairing three-course lunch in the hotel’s SERGE restaurant. The menu will feature Isle of Portland crab tart; Elwy Valley lamb loin; and a concoction of clementine, sorrel yogurt sorbet, white chocolate ganache and meringue to finish.
20-21 Newman Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 1PG; 14th December
FEEL FESTIVE HERE: The Savoy
This festive season, The Savoy is celebrating ‘All the Fun of the Fair’, with decorations inspired by the spectacle, experience and illusion of traditional British fairgrounds. A talented bunch across the florist, carpentry and engineering teams have been working hard over the past three months to transform the entire hotel. Highlights include an interactive helterskelter standing 15ft tall in place of a more traditional tree. Above the famous Savoy sign is a striking display featuring an illuminated skyline scene of iconic London landmarks, reimagined as popular fairground attractions; St Paul’s has become a carousel, the Gherkin reinvented as a helter skelter, and the London Eye transformed into a Ferris Wheel. Taking centre stage in the Thames Foyer is a beautiful carousel with a red and gold circus top, horses and twinkly lighting. In the day, afternoon tea will be served; come evening, the setting will transform for live evening entertainment.
Strand, Covent Garden, WC2R 0EZ
GET CRAFTY HERE: West India Quay
Burger & Lobster has teamed up with Craft Work London to welcome festive creatives to make their own Christmas baubles. Guests will begin by learning the basics of hand-lettering, initially practising on paper and then transferring their newly-learnt skill to their very own bauble with lots of tips and tricks to help along the way. Christmas crafters can pick from a colourful selection of bauble decorations and bows. There's no limit to how many baubles you – perfect for anyone looking to craft extra-special and small gifts.
West India Quay, Canary Wharf, E14 4AY; 15th-16th December
FEEL VIRTUOUS HERE: AnotherSpace
Boutique fitness studio AnotherSpace has announced that it’ll be hosting a series of ‘Christmas Cycle’ classes throughout December to get everyone in the Christmas mood. Classes will take place across its Covent Garden and Bank studios, where instructors will be festively-dressed and classes will be soundtracked to contemporary Christmas classics. Post class, there will be well-deserved treats including mulled wine and vegan mince pies.
4-10 Tower Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9NP; 15th, 18th, 20th and 23rd December and 40 Coleman Street, EC2R 5EH; 18th-20th December