This year’s Christmas pop-ups, events and shows are destined to impress. Our team has picked their favourites from a whole host of exciting happenings across the capital, including hot cocktails, a winter village in Victoria Park and the unique yet totally brilliant Black Forest Grotto, where you can get that squid-ink dyed tree you’ve always wanted.
The Ivy’s bar team has reinvented a classic cocktail for Christmas to exemplify this true melange of past, present and future – the “Christmas Carol Old Fashioned”. Mirroring Dickens’s exploration of Christmas traditions from the past to the future, the cocktail incorporates the Spirit of Christmas Past – a 1970s vintage bottle of Chivas Regal 12 year old; the spirit of Christmas Present – a current Chivas Regal 12 year old; and the spirit of Christmas Future – a Strathisla single malt, which will be the base for a future Chivas Regal blend. Scottish heather honey, bitters and a flamed orange twist are then added to the three whiskies to create the “Christmas Carol Old Fashioned”. Served in a Flower of Scotland crystal “old fashioned” glass, the cocktail is poured over a piece of pure carved ice.
Jay: Hot Booze Hoxton
Hot Booze is an independent pop-up bar offering hand-made hot cocktails, mulled wine and spiced cider. The team have been on a mission to make hot drinks more fun, and have been spotted popping up since winter 2014. Feast your eyes on these magical creations, Jay’s a big fan!
Emma: Ice-Skating at Somerset House
An old classic, ice-skating at Somerset House is a must, every winter! The ice rink is set against the dramatic backdrop of this historic London landmark, and creates the perfect setting for Christmas outings. Aprés-skate, Emma recommends heading to the adjacent Fortnum’s lodge for a hot chocolate.
Bin the tinsel and get yourself down to the Think Ink Pines shop to pick up the ultimate seasonal Scrooge accessory: a black Christmas tree. A real black Christmas tree. They take real trees and dye them with squid ink to give the natural green needles a dramatic gothic makeover.
London’s own summit, The Shard, has been transformed by Bompas and Parr into an enchanting winter experience – and it’s open until 31 January 2016. The sensory installation evokes the playfulness and romance of the season. Expect super-scaled crystals, gem-studded snow dunes, glowing crystal benches, a touch-responsive iridescent grotto and carolling plants.
Get ready for another pantomime adventure of GIGANTIC proportions at Hackney Empire! Abi never misses the chance to see a Christmas panto. This year it’s Jack and the Beanstalk – The Olivier-Award winning Grand Dame of panto Clive Rowe is back and he’ll be joined by fellow Olivier nominee, The Bodyguard’s Debbie Kurup.
The Berkeley Health Club & Spa has transformed its roof-top terrace into a cinema once again this December. Hotel guests and Londoners can book to watch ‘Miracle on 34th street’ or ‘Polar Express’ on the big screen, whilst nestling between warm down feather Moncler blankets and hot water bottles.
Sally: Wonder.Land at the Vaults
Winterville returns to Victoria Park this yuletide and it’s bigger, better and warmer! Andy recommends going hungry – the street food stalls are impressive! In the Downtown Food Hub heated by fire pits you’ll find Higgidy Pies, Airstream Diner, Le Bao Truck and Pop Dogs. Or, go to the Uptown Food Hub – also heated by those fire pits – and feast on Holy Cow burgers, Poptata chips and Pho Sho.