Yey! December Hot List! I love writing this one because it's basically me encouraging you to drink all the mulled booze you can find when outside and to party hard and stuff yourself silly when inside.
Eat everything. Drink everything. And, of course, be merry.
Lovely wintry things in charming surroundings at Le Chalet.
What's better than Christmas shopping at Selfridges? Heading upstairs afterwards to eat buttermilk chicken schnitzel with blue cheese fondue, that's what. Or of course you may be tempted by the ribs with caramelised parsnip mash or the spit roasted suckling pig with apple & black pudding fritters? There is an egg nog pudding as well by the way. AN EGG NOG PUDDING. Booking is recommended. More info here.
For one night only, sample a true collaborASIAN (geddit?) as Busan BBQ and France & Noonan host a night of 'Korean meets Indian' street food.
Taking place in Earlsfield, there are two sittings on Thursday 11th December and tickets cost £30 for an impressive feast. Check out the mouth watering menu here and be warned that tickets are limited. Book asap!
OD on mince pies and other festive fare at the Real Food Christmas Market.
Obvs Christmas markets are one of the best things about the festive season, be it to buy foodie gifts and home-made stock cupboard supplies or just an ideal venue to wander around with a crepe in one hand and mulled wine in the other. Head on down to Kings Cross between midday and 7pm from the 17th to the 23rd of December or go to the sister site on the Southbank between midday and 8pm from the 19th to the 23rd of December. More info here.
Forget the red cups and order yourself an Espresso and Gingerbread martini instead.
Combining the fresh taste of Absolut Vanilla and Kahlua with the scrummy goodness of gingerbread syrup and espresso, this cocktail is exactly what I want for Christmas. And no, the gingerbread man floating on top in the above pic isn't just for illustrative purposes, YOU WILL ACTUALLY GET ONE. Available at lots of Late Night London venues including Grace Bar, The Gallery, Abbey Bar, The Last, The Sterling, The Gable and The Warwick. Book a table and sign up for 2-for-1 here.
Let It Goooooooo with a Snowflake.
Let go of your office dramaz and lack of Christmas shopping progress with this delightful concoction which sees Malibu, Coco Lopez, pistachio syrup and milk lovingly come together before being adorned with coconut shavings.This cocktail is snow joke. Available at lots of Late Night London venues including Grace Bar, The Gallery, Abbey Bar, The Last, The Sterling, The Gable and The Warwick. Book a table and sign up for 2-for-1 here.
Make cheap gin taste fancy.
Hosting a party at home this Christmas? You need the Gin Infusion Kit from Firebox (£19.99) to create your very own posh tasting liquor wonderment. I am tempted to try cucumber AND raspberry, but pretty certain it's safer to follow the included recipes. Buy here.
Get your New Year's Eve plans sorted and BOOKED.
I don't want to go into naggy mum mode but you know what happens when you don't plan NYE properly, right? It's shit. We're hosting TONNES of parties and there's something for everyone - from zoo animals to Back To The Future shaped celebrations to Gatsby themes to twisted circus acts. And with 50% off some tickets at the moment it's in your interest to book quickly. Cheaper AND you can be the smug one who takes the credit for *actually* organising something decent to do for once. More info on all our parties here.
Head east for Winterville.
If Winter Wonderland is all just "a bit much" then you need to head to Victoria Park for Winterville. There's an ice rink, roller disco, horse drawn carriages, market stalls and even a WALL OF DEATH, which sounds suitably festive. It's free to enter and then attractions are ticketed separately. Open now from 10am til late until January 1st. Obviously not open Christmas Day and Boxing Day, because that's for turkey and telly. More info here.
Do some present shopping at the Tate Modern Christmas Market.
You'll find lots of lovely handmade treats and interesting gifts among the 70 or so stalls that have appeared outside Tate Modern. Have a bratwurst for me, eh?
The NYE fireworks.
Yeah, yeah you have to pay this year, but if it's safer, more organised and you get a decent view for once then we can see why BoJo has decided to charge us a tenner for the pleasure of 'looking up'. You need to book your ticket ASAP if you want to go and be warned that there's a limit of four per person, so if going in a big group you need to divvy up the ordering. Book here.
Edward Scissorhands at Sadler's Wells Theatre.
Maaaaan, I could cry for dear Edward just looking at a pic of him and his poor bladey fingers. Why were they so mean to him? Waaaaaaaah. The Danny Elfman soundtrack remains so don't fear this very special production being massively different from the entirely perfect movie. Open til January 11th. Book tickets here.
Hogwarts in the snow.
I have done the Warner Bros Studio Tour not once, not twice but THREE times and each visit has been magical. My fave trip though was when I visited this time last year and Hogwarts was blanketed in snow and the Great Hall dressed for Christmas dinner. Trust me when I say it's a must-see attraction for Potter fans. There's very limited availability left for December but there are tours still available and there's loads of slots for January. The Christmassy scenes remain til Feb 1st but you MUST book in advance. You can't just rock up. More info and booking here.