london-events

Fun things to do in London: Great Christmas Pudding Race, Secret Santa pop-up, Les Mis screening and more

How to keep busy this weekend

Nichola Murphy

London is one of the most magical places at Christmas, and whether you want to perfect your party beauty look or join in with a charity fun run, there are plenty of ways to get in the festive spirit this weekend. Keep scrolling to see our picks of things to do in London this weekend...

Hache Burger

hache-vegan-burger

What a time it is to be vegan! The burger gods over at Hache have just released a plant-based Christmas burger for the festive season and it couldn't get more Christmassy if it tried. The vegan version of 'Christmas in a bun' comes with a Beyond meat vegan patty, panko-crusted portobello mushroom, brussels sprouts slaw - mind-blown - and crispy sage, served on a bed of rocket with cranberry ketchup on a toasted Ciabatta bun. Even if you're not vegan, this is a burger to try this weekend! Of course, there is also a turkey burger filled with pigs in blankets and fried Brussel sprouts too, so if you can't pass on your meat fix this Christmas Hache has you covered! All Hache's Christmas specials, along with the rest of it's 2 and 3 course set festive menus, is available now at all Haché restaurants.

WHEN: Throughout December 

WHERE: All Hache restaurants 

For more information visit www.hacheburgers.com

Bottomless Candy Brunch at W London

candy-brunch

Sweet tooths, unite! Head to one of Soho's coolest hotels at the weekend for a candy-themed brunch featuring delicious dishes, lots of sweet treats and even a live s'more station. Brunch-goers will be treated to one-and-a-half hours of bottomless Cookie Cream Cocktails and Prosecco, alongside a choice of one main dish and unlimited candy, cookies and s’mores. After that, live DJs will take over so you can dance off the extra calories. Pure childlike joy!

WHEN: Saturday afternoons, 1-4pm

WHERE: W Hotel, London

For more information visit theperceptionbar.com

See Les Misérables – The Staged Concert

les-mis

If you're a big Les Misérables fan but didn't manage to get your hands on tickets to Cameron Mackintosh’s staged concert version, then head to one of 400 UK cinemas this weekend to see a live broadcast. Starring Michael Ball as Javert, Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean, Carrie Hope Fletcher as Fantine and Matt Lucas as Thénardier, the production will be recorded live from the Gielgud Theatre in London. It is not one to be missed!

WHEN: 7 - 8 December 2019

WHERE: Across the UK

For more information visit lesmisconcert.com   

Christmas Lunch at Bank House

bank-chislehurst

If you are looking for a delightful place to eat - particularly for a top-notch roast - you need to check out Bank House, which is situated in Chislehurst, just outside of London. Designed by British architect William Campbell-Jones in 1907, it's been restored and is now even more stylish than ever. The restaurant's dishes are made from produce that's sourced from local farms, as well as artisan suppliers. Known for their extensive wine selection as well as their classic meals; we can't recommend their Christmas Set Menu enough. The daily festive menu features succulent turkey with all the trimmings for £25. 

WHEN: Throughout December

WHERE: Bank House, Chislehurst

Forn more information, visit bankhousechislehurst.com

Take part in a festive charity fun run 

christmas-pudding-race

Even if you're not a huge runner, the Great Christmas Pudding Race is the perfect excuse to get your running shoes on, rock your best fancy dress costume and help raise money for Cancer Research UK. The festive charity fun run includes navigating a giant inflatable slide and a foam slalom whilst balancing a Christmas Pudding on a tray. Whether you're running or watching, what's not to love?

WHEN: Saturday 7 December 2019 from 11am

WHERE: Covent Garden’s West Piazza

For more information visit xmaspuddingrace.org.uk

Visit the Instagram/Selfridges pop up

instagram-selfridges

Selfridges in Oxford Street will be home to pop-up The Instagram Edit @TheOfficialSelfridges this December, offering shoppers a curated edit of fashion, jewellery, beauty and homeware brands built on Instagram. Labels such as The Frankie Shop, Kim Shui, Ammé London and Tandem Skincare will be available, so it's the perfect place to get some Christmas gift inspiration.

WHEN:  5 - 15 December 2019

WHERE: The Designer Studio on 3, Selfridges Oxford Street, London 

For more information visit selfridges.com

Step into a Tanqueray gin palace

tanqueray-townhouse

Now this is one for the gin-lovers! Tanqueray No. TEN is taking over London's Bloomsbury House and transforming it into the Tanqueray Townhouse. For £12 a ticket, which includes two gin cocktails, guests are invited to step into the residence and explore all areas. There'll be Magic Circle magicians on hand to entertain you with their illusions, plus, meet an aura photographer who will use state-of-the-art facial recognition technology to find the perfect Tanqueray cocktail for you based on your aura. In the library, you'll be able to hear the Tanqueray story while sipping on a classic Tom Collins, and make sure you keep an eye out for the venue's secret bar.

WHEN: 6 to 15 December

WHERE: Bloomsbury House, 2-3 Bloomsbury Way, Holborn, London WC1A 2RL

To book a ticket visit tanqueraytownhouse.com

Taste the freshest sushi and sashimi at Pacific

pacific

Japanese pop-up Pacific has opened its doors on Heddon Street, and now there really is no need to travel thousands of miles away to try the freshest sushi and sashimi. Led by award-winning Australian chef Shaun Presland, Pacific invites guests to dine on Japanese fare with a playful twist of Australian flavours until February. The menu is designed to share, whether you order the small or large plates, or the sashimi platters. Fish and seafood are king at this restaurant and it's worth keeping an eye out on the specials board; the Chirashi salad is very uniquely presented in a small rectangular vase and made up of assorted sashimi slices with soba noodles and crunchy tempura. The seabass nigiri and the Bluefin tuna nigiri are absolutely exquisite; pro tip – eat them upside down as they do in Japan, so the fish hits your tastebuds before the rice. The monkfish katsu sando is also a welcome surprise – crispy thin slices of monkfish packed into doorstopper white bread sandwiches and flavoured with white shredded cabbage, mustard mayo and bulldog sauce. It's one for those who don't love overpowering flavours of fish. For the non-seafood lovers, the wagyu steak is an absolute must and comes medium-rare, smoking on a robata grill. And just because it's Christmas, you have to order the kimchi Brussel sprouts, which are sure to turn any sprout naysayers into ardent fans. Itadakimasu, as they say in Japan!

WHEN: Open until February

WHERE: 10 Heddon Street, Mayfair, W1B 4BX

To book a table visit pacificlondon.co.uk

See Enchanted Eltham Palace 

After the sun sets, Eltham Palace, located in Greenwich, will offer an enchanting Christmas experience, complete with dancing fairies and talking trees. Wander through tunnels and pathways of twinkling lights and watch as the fountains of the ancient moat move in time to the music before trying your luck at the fairground rides and tasting a festive traybake.

WHEN: 5 - 22 December

WHERE: Eltham Palace

For more information visit english-heritage.org.uk

Share a wealth of British tapas

cutting-room

The Cutting Room is all about sharing plates and we promise you, a visit to the Fitzrovia-located bar and restaurant won't disappoint. The venue prides itself on seasonal and well-sourced products, so expect the freshest products and varied dishes. The free range chicken wings doused in a sticky bourbon glaze are a must, as are the braised lamb croquettes and the beef and truffle sliders. You'll smell the delicious truffle before it hits your table, while the croquettes are a welcome take to the more traditional Spanish croquetas. You can never go wrong with silky burrata, which oozes in your mouth and is served with tangy sundried tomatoes. The tapas are divided into meat, sea, land and cheese and there's plenty on offer for the non-carnivorous. Dessert is a slightly smaller selection, but we recommend the buttery shortbread topped with Chantilly cream and fresh strawberries. Sometimes simplicity is best.

WHEN: Open now

WHERE: 95 Charlotte St, Bloomsbury, London W1T 4PZ

To book a table visit cuttingrm.com

See dogs in Christmas jumpers

dog-jumper

There's nothing cuter than a dog in a Christmas jumper! So we're in for a treat this Sunday when BorrowMyDoggy will attempt to hold the biggest gathering of dogs and people in Christmas jumpers to raise money for Save The Children's Christmas Jumper Day. As well as getting a photo of the adorable fluffy friends in their festive gear, you can also get involved in hay bale racing, a tombola and carol singing.

WHEN: Sunday 8 December 2019 10am - 2pm

WHERE: Peartree Cafe, Battersea Park, London SW11 4NJ

For more information visit treats.borrowmydoggy.com

Nail your beauty look at Browhaus

browhaus

Looking to perfect your beauty look for the upcoming party season? Head to Browhaus for a grooming session, where you can get 3D lifelike brows and test out the new lash menu. Choose the Classic- MELLOWLASHES for an enhanced appearance, or go for a bold statement with Russian Volume-LUSCIOUS LASHES which uses handmade fans. And if a good pampering session isn't enough to excite you, then you can also enjoy the themed decore in several unique London locations, including Holborn's Grand Budapest Hotel feel and Chelsea's Wild West theme.

WHEN: Book an appointment

WHERE: 330 King’s Road, London SW3 5UR

For more information visit browhaus.com

Help vulnerable children at a Secret Santa pop up

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Action for Children (@actionforchildrenuk) on

Give a meaningful gift this festive season by heading down to Covent Garden to Action for Children's Secret Santa pop-up store. You can buy a vulnerable child a hot meal, a pair of warm winter shoes, a trip to a pantomime and a safe place to sleep. If you're not sure what to choose, Elf.ai. by Capgemini presents you with several festive photos and uses AI to understand your emotional response. 

WHEN: 5 - 18 December 2019

WHERE: Covent Garden

For more information visit secretsanta.actionforchildren.org.uk

Treat yourself to Christmas éclairs

christmas-eclairs

It's the weekend, treat yourself! Maître Choux has just launched their festive pastries and they're almost too good to eat… almost. Pick from Merry Christmas éclairs, colourful Christmas chouquettes and gorgeous Christmas tree-shaped pièces montées. When bought in a pair, the éclairs – which come in Tahitian vanilla, pink Spanish raspberry or salted butter and caramel flavours – can be personalised with a complimentary Merry Christmas chocolate topping. They're available to buy online or in store between 7 and 24 December. Of course, if chouquettes are more your thing, delight in the little round treats which are smothered in roasted nuts and chocolate. For a real showstopper, the Christmas tree-shaped pièces montée are mini eclairs stacked up in the shape of a tree.

WHEN: Between 7 and 24 December

WHERE: Maître Choux has stores in South Kensington, Soho, King's Road and Canary Wharf

To buy online visit maitrechoux.com

Treat yourself to a pre-Christmas pamper at Mathew Alexander Hairdressing & Makeup

mathew-alexander-salon

Enjoy some pampering at the gorgeous and picturesque Mathew Alexander Hairdressing and Makeup salon, located in trendy Marylebone. With twenty years in the business and an eviable client list that boasts some of the most stylish names from the fashion and film industry (Gilian Anderson is a fan!) Mathew is the number one choice.

Whether you're after a fresh cut and bouncy blow dry, or a glam makeup look that'll make you the envy of the christmas party, Mathew has you covered. 

WHEN: Book an appointment online or call 02074951122

WHERE: 21 New Quebec St, Marylebone, London W1H 7SA

For more information visit mathewalexander.co.uk

Go to dog-friendly restaurant M

m-restaurants-guide-dogs

M Restaurants is an award-winning restaurant branch with three restaurants, bars and private members areas situated in London, each with inspired menus from six continents around the world. In 2018, Dave Kent and his guide dog Chad were refused entry into a popular chain restaurant and the founder of M Restaurants, Martin Williams, was so disappointed in hearing this information, he invited Dave and his dog to dine at his restaurants on behalf of the restaurant industry. Now the pair are friends, so if you’re inspired by their heartwarming story, give M restaurants a visit!

WHEN: Ongoing

WHERE: Various locations in London

Visit a Scotland-inspired winter terrace in Selfridges

johnnie-walker-selfridges-terrace

This winter, premium whisky brand Johnnie Walker has partnered with Selfridges to create the ultimate winter terrace; ‘The Rare Side of Scotland Bothy Experience’. Located on the terrace of Selfridges rooftop restaurant, Alto by San Carlo, this experience is the perfect setting for drinks and dinner this Christmas. You can book a bothy full of soft furnishings (erm, adorable much?!) and enjoy whisky cocktails such as the 1962 fizz, Maid of the Sea, or Old Fashion Date Night. Why not try them all…?

WHEN: Open until January. Masterclasses on Monday 9th December

WHERE: Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB

To book a masterclass (£30 a ticket), visit eventbrite.co.uk

Instagram your cocktail at Brasserie of Light

brasserie-of-light-cocktail

Need a break from your shopping? Head to Brasserie of Light in Selfridges and have a cocktail (or two!) in the stunning setting. Featuring London’s largest-scale artwork by Damien Hirst, this contemporary, artistic and elegant brasserie offers all-day dining in a chic Art-Deco setting. The menu is a treasure trove of British and internationally-inspired dishes, from brunch classics given a decadent twist to instagram-worthy desserts, cocktails inspired by Selfridges' heritage and an extraordinary afternoon tea. Chin chin!

WHEN: Open now

WHERE: Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB

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