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38 magical things to do in London in December 2023: Festive markets, Christmas shows, winter warmers, more

From beautiful light displays to seasonal festive menus, discover what to do in the city this Christmas

Christmas lights in London
Georgia Brown
Georgia BrownSenior Lifestyle & Fashion Writer
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London has officially turned into a festive wonderland this December. As Christmas lights illuminate the streets, ice rinks pop up around the city and the best restaurants and bars delight with their winter-warming menus, we've never been more excited to embrace the winter chill.

There's no place like London at Christmas time, from atmospheric outdoor markets filled with alpine chalets to Santa's grottos and festive walks under the city's glittering lights. Our HELLO! writers have put together the ultimate guide of things to do in the city in December - so get ready to fill your social calendar.

Scroll on to discover the very best things to do in the city this December…

Best festive things to do in London in December

As the twinkling lights illuminate the city, streets of Christmas wrapped storefronts and festive window displays turn London into a real-life toy town in December. If you're looking to lean into the festive spirit, these are the activities the HELLO! team have been loving this month. 

Indulge in festive delights with the Sanderson London Afternoon Tea

Sanderson afternoon tea

As an avid lover of Afternoon Tea, I recently had the pleasure of stepping into the whimsical world of Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea. Nestled in the heart of central London, this charming experience promised an escape from the ordinary, and it certainly delivered.

More than 150 years since Lewis Carroll's iconic masterpiece was written, Sanderson London invites guests to take a tumble down the rabbit hole, into the land of Alice in Wonderland - to celebrate the festive offering of its delicious Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea this winter.  

The tea selection was an adventure in itself, presented in an eclectic array of teapots and cups that looked like they had been plucked straight from the pages of a storybook. From classic blends of Darjeeling tea to inventive herbal infusions, the menu catered to everyone. I opted for a delightful fusion of black tea and ginger, served in a beautiful teapot.

The tiered tray of treats arrived with a flourish, and I couldn't help but notice the attention to detail that went into each sweet treat. The sandwiches were elegantly crafted – marinated cucumber with lemon & sour cream, salmon gravlax with a hint of sweet mustard and dill as well as egg mayonnaise with fine herbs and truffle in a brioche bun. The scones were warm, crumbly, and served with clotted cream and strawberry jam.

New additions include a christmas pudding crème patisserie, the mulled tea 'Drink Me' potion, a snowman lemon pavlova and gingerbread cookie. I really did savor every magical moment at the Mad Hatter's table.

Reviewed by Sharnaz Shahid, Deputy Online Editor

Cinderella at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre

Cinderella can be seen at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre

Vikki Stone's Cinderella is currently showing at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre and it is the perfect entertainment for families this Christmas. Beautifully directed by Tonderai Munyevu, this production is laugh out loud funny for all ages and just perfect for HELLO! readers as this modern day adaption features a Prince named Henry, "who dreams of a life less spare", a cheeky mention of Soho House, paparazzi and love in the grand city of London.

For tickets and more information, visit: lyric.co.uk/shows/cinderella2023/

Reviewed by Andrea Caamano, Website Editor

Glide across the ice at Battersea Power Station

Glide at Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station has turned into a festive riverside neighbourhood this Christmas, illuminated by the stunning Battersea chimneys and a Jo Malone London 30ft Christmas tree. 

The family-friendly ice skating experience, Glide, sees three inter-connecting ice rinks set against the backdrop of the towering Power Station. And for after your skating session? Visitors can ‘hurry up a chimney’ at the Lift 109 experience where awe-inspiring 360 degree views of London’s Christmas lights from the sky await.

Bookings are available for all sessions throughout the day and evening and can be booked via the official ticket website. 

Customise a festive fieldtray at Farmer J

Farmer J field tray

Farmer J is a new lunchtime favourite amongst team HELLO!. The farm-to-fork restaurant - a rarity in London - brings seasonal produce, freshly made speedy meals and deliciously unique flavours to the capital. I can't get enough of the hearty, wholesome meals that make a much-needed change to the ultra-processed 'meal deal' options that have become my office go-to.

In a bid to throw the cat amongst the festive sandwich pigeons, Farmer J has released a limited festive edition of its iconic fieldtray. Foodies can either opt for the The Christmas Dinner Fieldtray, or can fully customisable their own from dishes including Chermoula Chicken, Truffle and Mushroom Mac & Cheese, Miso Sprouts & Hispi Cabbage, Winter Dukkah Slaw and more.

Sip, Savour, and Sleigh: Join Langan's for all your Christmas needs

Christmas dinner at the Langan's with father Christmas on the stairs

HELLO!'s Editors are big fans of Langan's for its sophisticated cuisine, stellar service and lavish parties. And this festive season, the iconic Mayfair destination is transforming into a Gstaad wonderland, in partnership with Nyetimber, the world-renowned English sparkling wine. 1st to 30th December guests can enjoy bespoke dishes, Nyetimber vintages and immersive entertainment in preparation for Christmas.  

Until December 30th dine on Langan’s crafted festive menus, offering signature dishes such as Pumpkin Agnolotti, Lobster Thermidor Gratin and Norfolk Bronze free-range and enjoy a curated programme of events. From Bajan artist Kevan Sahai kicking off the celebrations on the 10th December, to Santa Grotto Upstairs at Langan’s, joined by a St Bernard’s dog and a pop-up Sunday Cinema for children and adult screenings on the 17th - Langan’s welcomes friends and family to join in the festivities. 

Langan's will also be open on Christmas day for lunch and dinner, to book your table visit langansbrasserie.com

Celebrate the Christmas season with a festive afternoon tea

Celebrate the Christmas season with a festive afternoon tea

For a truly traditional afternoon tea you have to visit Wellington Lounge at the InterContinental London Park Lane. Nothing's more christmassy than a warm welcome to a hotel lobby adorned with Christmas trees and guests in festive cheer. 

Afternoon tea is set in the sophisticated Wellington lounge, overlooking London's landmarks where you can enjoy a classic menu with contemporary twists. After all, it's not afternoon tea without dainty sandwiches and warm scones! 

The vast menu also includes scrumptious Christmas pudding scones and a ho ho ho gift box with white chocolate, cranberry and coconut dacquoise. Providing the perfect treat to indulge in this Christmas with friends or family. Festive afternoon tea is available from Wednesday - Sunday between 1pm-5pm.

To book, visit parklane.intercontinental.com

Reviewed by Lauren Connolly Senior Digital Designer

Get your nails Christmas ready at Beauty Club London

Two ladies have a pedicure and cheers Champagne

Beauty Club London is a one stop shop for all your pampering needs this Christmas. From hair extensions, lashes to nails and brows, they do the lot. Situated a stone throw’s away from Oxford Circus, this airy, calm space is the ideal portal for getting Xmas party ready.

I had a gel pedicure, which was top notch. Sinking back into a palm print armchair, I was offered a choice of cocktails whilst my therapist got to work transforming my toes. And what a great job she did! Can’t wait to return.

Reviewed by Laura Sutcliffe, Fashion & Beuaty Editor

Rooftops are magical at the best of times, but add a cosy alpine igloo and stunning views? Winning

Rooftops are magical at the best of times, but add a cosy alpine igloo and stunning views? Winning

Wagtail is a great place to head to if you want to see the iconic London skyline whilst you sip a cocktail or two. A stone throws walk from London Bridge station, I headed there on a beautiful sunny afternoon for a day date with my husband and it was nothing short of epic. 

We devoured a gorgeous three-course meal in a spacious igloo which included lots of sumptuous throws and cushions. We had a selection of cocktails, a burrata, an exquisitely cooked lamb shoulder and sticky toffee pudding for dessert. During the festive period, the igloos are available to book, in collaboration with Grey Goose vodka who have dreamed up the best selection of drinks to go with. We went in daylight, but the evening would prove even more special I imagine, with twinkling fairy lights and London lit up like a Christmas tree. Also, it’s great content for your Instagram feed.

To book, visit wagtaillondon.com

Reviewed by Laura Sutcliffe Fashion and Beauty News Editor

Dine in the clouds at Shangri-La The Shard

Dine in the clouds at Shangri-La The Shard

A trip to the Shangri-La The Shard is for the most special of occasions, and I was very lucky to dine here this month. I enjoyed a beautifully curated menu at TĪNG Restaurant & Lounge, housed on the 35th floor of London's highest hotel, The Shard, which is situated in the heart of London Bridge. The views here are unparalleled, and I felt like I had the best seats in the house, with the Tower Bridge right in front of me. Those opting to come here can pick from their enchanting Festive Skyline Afternoon Tea in the clouds or head here for a delicious Christmas Day menu and New Year's Eve celebration. From this month's special menu, I tried the five-spiced duck with sour plums and a brioche roll before tucking into a hearty steamed pollock with Scottish mussels, lemongrass, ginger and coconut broth. To end, I completely polished off the incredible festive strudel pastry with apples and walnuts. Overall, I found the service at Shangri-La The Shard impeccable. The staff were friendly, warm and genuine, giving me and my guest a truly unique experience of the capital.

Reviewed by Sharnaz Shahid, Deputy Online Editor  

Soak up the festive magic at one of London's Christmas markets

winter wonderland christmas

Luckily, London isn't short of Christmas markets to get a post-work mulled wine with friends or meader along the twinkling river with your family on Sunday.   

Every year the city comes alive with the magic of Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, with thrilling rides and treats on every corner. 

There's also the Southbank Christmas market alongside the River Thames, Selfridges Christmas market provides fairground rides and goodies and Covent Garden Christmas market where you can walk through a forest of Christmas trees! 

Don't forget to check out Leicester Square's, Borough Markets, London Bridge's, Greenwich's, Kingston's and Kings Cross' Christmas markets as well.

Feel festive in the most vibrant shopping district in London

Carnaby universe

Carnaby's Christmas lights never dissappoint, and this year's futuristic 'Carnaby Universe' installation is every inch a magical must-see in the capital this month. 

Aside from the illuminated streets and festive neon displays, Carnaby is home to some of London's favourite brands, such as Nobody's Child, M.A.C. Cosmetics, Annie's Ibiza,  Levi's and more, making it an ideal shopping destination to pick up Christmas gifts.

Despite being moments from the notoriously chaotic Oxford Street, I always find Carnaby to be an oasis amongst the city's fast-paced hoards. My favourite dining spot is Ugly Dumpling, which serves up deliciously imaginative dumplings ideal for a lunch time treat. Don't miss Kingly Court either, a three-storey alfresco dining destication that has an electric atmosphere post 6pm and at weekends. 

Have a camp Christmas with The Otherist's West End Drag Brunch

A drag queen performing inside a building

The West End Drag Brunch has been a staple of the brunch scene for years, treating audiences to incredible drag queens as well as West End performers. With bottomless drinks, a menu that will have you salivating and iconic performances from the likes of Paige Three, Mercedes Bends and Ruby Murray, what more could you need for Christmas?

On 17 December, the brunch will be holding a special Christmas-themed event, so expect plenty that might see performers on the Naughty List! Held at  The Otherist by Drake & Morgan on 111 Broad Street, just a ten-minute walk from Bank, it's nice and easy to get to.

To find more more and book tickets, visit drakeandmorgan.co.uk

Reviewed by: Matthew Moore, Online News Writer

Festive Tipples at The Discount Suit Company

Cocktails and nibbles in a bar

If, like me, you are hoping for some thermals in your stocking this year and are finding the wintery streets to be a touch too icy, it could be time to warm up inside The Discount Suit Company.

Deck the halls with a festive tipple, as this award winning cocktail bar has on offer a punchy yet velvety Terry’s Chocolate Orange Negroni and a Gingerbread Irish Old Fashioned on top of their usual outstanding menu, with plenty of cocktail gift boxes to take away too.

Reviewed by Elliot Newlands, Creative Video Lead

Pick Up Something Sweet at KAYU Bakehouse

Row of pastries

After a brisk winter walk through Green Park, I found myself wandering through Mayfair. The sweet aroma coming from KAYU Bakehouse reeled me in for a peek which I couldn’t resist. My eyes were treated to a galaxy of row after row of glowy pastries just waiting to be picked up, each one a little slice of art.

My friends needed no convincing to go splits on a selection, but after biting into the vanilla hazelnut praline eclair, I kind of wished I’d suggested we each get our own. It felt almost a shame to bite through the carefully sculpted pastry, but after taking a few snaps it had to be done.

KAYU currently has a festive selection of flavours available, and they were all sweet, bold and inventive. The pistachio brioche was absolutely to die for, and went down like a treat with a coffee.

Reviewed by Elliot Newlands, Creative Video Lead

Indulge in Haagen-Dazs ice cream

Hagen Dasz ice cream Christmas pop-up

If you’re doing some last-minute Christmas shopping or find yourself on Oxford Street ready for the sales, John Lewis’ Haagen-Dazs pop-up is a fun pit stop for a little bit of self-care amid the festive madness. Located on the third floor, there’s a great array of flavour choices and some fun sauces and toppings for little kids (and big kids too!). We tasted strawberry cheesecake ice cream with raspberry pearl topping and tried out a scoop of coffee ice cream too - which is unique to this winter pop-up. And is simply delish! The cosy pop-up is open until the end of the month. 

Reviewed by Sophie Vokes-Dudgeon, Chief Content Officer

Best activities to do in London in December

It doesn't have to be Christmas-themed for it to be noteworthy this December. From exhibitions to fitness classes, pop ups to theatre, take inspiration for your next weekend with this list of activities loved by HELLO! writers. 

Sing your heart out at Lucky Voice

Hand holding a microphone with a discoball

Who doesn't love a bit of karaoke? Lucky Voice is easily the best place to go when you want to gather your nearest and dearest, soak up some fizz and belt out some bangers. The best bit about Lucky Voice? You get your own room to hire. So, if you get a little stage fright, the private room means other people won't hear you giving it your all to Taylor Swift.

 I've been to Lucky Voice a few times now and compared to other karaoke bars, it really does have the upper hand. The collection of songs is extensive. Even if your music taste is niche, there are so many artists, playlists and songs to choose from that everyone will want to grab the mic at some point throughout the evening.

The staff are great, too. Too busy singing I Will Survive to head to the bar? No problem. Just push the button in your room and a server will come and take your order.

 So, whether it's a big birthday, a Christmas work party, or simply a wild Saturday night with your besties, Lucky Voice will always provide a brilliant night out.

 Reviewed by Francesca Shillcock, Senior Writer

Be dazzled at Underbelly Boulevard Theatre

Two performers dancing

London, listen up - there’s a hot new theatre on the scene! The Underbelly Boulevard Theatre nestled in the heart of Soho has been hailed an exciting new addition to London's theatre scene. A sexy new venue that "channels the edge and vibrancy of old Soho" and features its own cocktail bar, state of the art 200-seater theatre and restaurant Café Kitty, it’s the perfect location for a night out for any occasion. 

The intimate, versatile theatre allows for a diverse mix of programming including shows such as the raunchy and jaw-dropping Bernie Dieter’s Club Kabarett and Batsu!, a hilarious improv show straight from New York and Chicago.

Its art deco bar space and the Café Kitty restaurant (run by the owners of Kitty Fisher’s in Mayfair) is the perfect spot for a vibrant meeting backdrop, or a post-theatre cocktail. Guests can dine pre or post show, soaking up the plush, art deco space that can seat up to 100 covers. Menu Dishes include everything from Glenarm Estate Lamb Cutlets to Crown Prince Squash and Blue Monday Risotto and even a Boozy Plum Knickerbocker Glory. Big flavours, delicious cocktails and intimate theatre. What more could you want for the perfect night out in Soho?

Get a FREE pre-Christmas hair styling session

Get a FREE pre-Christmas hair styling session

Exciting news! Dyson’s Styling Tour is returning to London – just in time for the Christmas party season. Beauty lovers can now receive FREE hair styling sessions, Airwrap masterclasses and meet the entire Dyson haircare portfolio at London's Westfield (White City) Dyson store.It's so easy. You can pre-book a complimentary 30-minute dry styling session online in the salon with one of Dyson’s expert stylists, including a private styling station for those who want a more in-depth experience. 

Guests can also get hands-on trial of the tools themselves at the designated self-styling stations. What's more, if you get tempted to self-gift, Dyson offer a gift-wrapping service, too. Go on, you've been good this year.

Book online at Dyson.co.uk/stylingtour.

Dates: 2 - 16 December.

Look ahead to 2024

sound bath with burning sage

From healing crystals to full immersion retreat experiences, The Wellness Foundry has something for everyone worth seeing. As someone who is already quite superstitious, I was really excited when this opportunity presented itself. I opted for the 2024 Forecast Reading, which helped me discover what the next 12 months could look like while my tarot reader helped me understand what themes and guidance awaits. This was not about prediction, but rather ensuring I get the most out of the next 12 months.

My medium, called Rosie, greeted me with a warm smile, immediately putting me at ease. The atmosphere was calm and charged as the cards were shuffled and laid out. Each card seemed to hold a story, a narrative waiting to be unveiled. Rosie skillfully guided me through the cards and what they could mean, painting a vivid picture of my potential future.

What struck me most about the experience was the reader's intuitive ability to connect the cards to my personal journey. The interpretations were not only insightful but also somewhat accurate. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and cannot wait to see what 2024 will bring.  

The  Wellness Foundry offers four different healing modalities: Crystal Healing, Reiki Healing, Spiritual Energy Healing and Sound Baths along with Tarot reading and angel reading.

Reviewed by Sharnaz Shahid, Deputy Online Editor

Eat, drink and be merry at Swingers West End

swingers crazy golf r© Joe Josland Photography

Every Sunday this month, London's popular crazy golf venue, Swingers West End, is offering a fabulous Festive Set for revellers to enjoy. The package, which costs £60, includes a lively round of golf, street food from a selection of places including Patty & Bun and Pizza Pilgrims, and bottomless drinks for an hour and a half!

In the bottomless package, I discovered that there's a huge selection of drinks available, including fizz, wine, beer spirits and a special festive cocktail menu. My personal favourite? I have quite a sweet tooth, so I'd have to say the Chocolate Orange cocktail, which was a concoction of rum, Frangelico and chocolate and orange liqueur. 

As for the venue itself, it's of course decorated with twinkling lights and snow covered Christmas trees, making it feel very festive and ideal for a group outing with friends or family.

To book, visit swingers.club/uk

Reviewed by Arianna Chatzidakis, Creative Content Director

Best restaurants to visit in London in December

From seasonal menus to winter warmers, London's unrivalled food scene fully embraces the festive season. From dreamy Italian cuisine to imaginative street food, discover where the HELLO! team have been dining out this season. 

Toast to the New Year at Sussex Bar & Restaurant

Restaurant Sussex

We made a flying visit to Sussex Bar and Restaurant in Soho ahead of seeing a show, but tucking into every beautifully thought out and completely delicious course, we wished that we would be able to stay for longer and make a long evening of it in this cosy, candle lit restaurant with a brilliant cocktail list and an even better menu. 

With attentive and knowledgable staff and a New Year’s menu making sure that you are full on scrumptious dishes all the way to 2024, their specially designed choices include mushroom marmite eclairs, scallops with truffle, carpaccio and beef wellington. My particular favourite has to be the eclairs - so unusual, but incredibly tasty. Happy New Year indeed! - Emmy Griffiths, Digital TV and Film Editor 

To book, visit sussex-restaurant.com

Have a festive fizz at Bar du Champagne

Bar du Champagne

This newly opened venue on Henrietta Street in Covent Garden is perfectly placed to be heaving with diners - and it deserves to be! The fabulous venue prides itself on its impeccable champagne and wine list, and we were treated to a little bit of everything with a lot of knowledge about glass - so if you have a penchant for wine or champagne tasting, this is the place for you. 

Complimenting the beverages is a lovely, tapas-style menu laden with plenty of delights. Some of my favourites included Croque Monsieur, steak tartare on toast and ox cheek croquettes - and don’t forget the truffle fries. Cheers!  - Emmy Griffiths, Digital TV and Film Editor

To book, visit barduchampagne.co.uk 

Feast on the Christmas menu at La Gamba

Christmas at La Gamba

Southbank really comes alive at Christmastime, which is why I love walking along the river and taking in the twinkling lights and market stalls. And in December, I had even more reason to visit as La Gamba is offering a special festive menu that showcases the best of the Spanish restaurant's menu.

Firstly, the menu is priced at £42pp, which is actually quite reasonable these days for London, especially given the amount of food you get. The normal a la carte menu is very extensive, so my friend and I were happy to just go for the Christmas deal as it took the thinking away for us and is designed for two people to share. It showcases the best of the Galician-inspired restaurant and dishes come out as and when they're ready.

Tapas are the order of the day and a highlight for me was definitely the croqueta platter which had jamon, crab and mushroom croquetas. If you're a sucker for croquetas, you'll love this. The succulent rib-eye with chimichurri sauce was also another stand-out dish, as were the mussels with chorizo. There was actually too much food that we couldn't finish it all, so it was just as well that the dessert was a small portion. We opted for the burnt Basque cheesecake which was served as one slice and was divine, but you could also go for the torija, which is a Spanish-style French toast.

All in all, a great-value meal and the setting is just totally buzzy and lively. A perfect way to spend a December evening.

To book, visit lagambalondon.com

Reviewed by Ainhoa Barcelona, Content Managing Editor

Finding a decent brunch spot in London has never been hard, but some are extra special, and 14 Hills is up there with the best.

14 hills restaurant filled with plants and flowers© Thomas Alexander

Situated high up in Fenchurch Street, the views are epic. The decor is very Amazonian, full of botanical plants, with a sprinkling of fairy lights. I loved the menu, which was actually pretty reasonable. Two courses for £34, three for £39, so of course, I went for the lot; after all, it is Christmas, right? 

I started with a bacon doughnut (sounds mad but it was perfection) a delicious lobster roll and finished with a Black Forest Choux bun, all washed down with the smoothest glass of white wine. Just exquisite! A great spot to sample with your girls, my bestie and I will definitely be booking again.

To book, visit 14hills.co.uk

Reviewed by Laura Sutcliffe Fashion and Beauty News Editor


Indulge in italian classics at Daroco Soho

Restaurant with green sofa and yellow decor

From date night to catching up with friends this chic new Italian is the perfect spot for a cosy dinner this winter. After a wealth of success in Paris, Daroco - the Franco-Italian dining destination - recently launched in Soho, bringing renowned offbeat Parisian and sunny Italian generosity to London.

Everything on the menu is home-made, from pasta to pizza; bread to ice-cream, with ingredients lovingly sourced from the depths of Calabria to the heights of Emilia-Romagna, and has been designed with a sharing experience at its heart. If you're not afraid of a little spice I recommend ordering the Mezze Maniche ‘Nduja pasta, and make sure you have room for dessert as the Daroco tiramisu is hands down the best I've had in a long time.

With an iconic grand mirrored ceiling and the blend of textures, volumes and colours with marble tabletops I'm sure this will be the next hot spot all over instagram.

To book, visit www.daroco.com

Reviewed by Lauren Connolly, Senior Digital Designer

Ring in the new year at Sabine

Sabine is hosting a NYE eve party overlooking St Paul's Cathedral

Start the 2024 with a bang by partying at Sabine Rooftop Bar's New Year's Eve event: the "Space Cowboy Disco".

It's no doubt a magical way to say goodbye to 2023, with Sabine offering panoramic views overlooking the iconic St Paul's Cathedral. 

And don't forget to embrace the theme with your most dazzling cosmic wild west attire - think glitter, western and futuristic flair. Don't fret if you don't have a cowboy hat, as guests are given a complimentary one to truly make it a night to remember.

More information can be found here.

Skyline fine dining at Coq D’Argent

Cocktail with christmas tree and present© Thomas Alexander

Stepping out onto a certain rooftop in Bank, Coq D’Argent feels like a big secret garden on the skyline just waiting to be discovered. Although the secret is out - and it is Fabulous French cuisine in a sleek mid-century dining area. The whitest table cloths hold dish after dish packed full of thought and flavour.

Each plate looked innocent and classic, yet each bite brought along a new flavour for each of my tastebuds. The chefs here have been very careful in stacking ingredients which will play well with each other. The snails to start were an absolute delight, and I couldn’t resist ordering some more bread to mop up the sauce.

The risotto was also an absolute star, combining a fair few fresh fish on a boujee bed of lovingly paired creamy and herby rice. Remy Martin is also partnering with the restaurant to provide a host of devilishly delightful cocktails, perfect for sipping outside on the terrace before or after your meal: Outside by the patio heaters with fairy lights and a blanket backed chair, I did not want to leave.

Reviewed by Elliot Newlands, Creative Video Lead

Indulge in pizza at Rudy's

Four pizzas

Rudy's has been a favourite pizza place of many of my co-workers, and for good reason. When I headed to the new Shoreditch venue, which only opened on 4 December, I was blown away by the amount on offer and how flexible staff could be with changes to dishes. My friend, a vegetarian, ordered a Agnello Vegana, and staff happily changed the vegan cheese to one that featured dairy. Meanwhile, my Carni was a highlight for me, with each of the meats providing a different taste, all of which paired with the traditional stonebaked pizza.

The desserts there proved not to be too sweet, meaning you don't end up feeling too sick if you order one after having a whole pizza. With a central location on Shoreditch, just a five-minute walk from the Overground station, there's no excuse not to pay them a visit.

To book, visit rudyspizza.co.uk

Reviewed by Matthew Moore, Online News Writer

Keep it sleek at Sartoria

Seafood fish fine dining crab

After a day of Christmas shopping on Oxford Street, having checked off your list of who’s been naughty and nice, step a couple of streets away from the hustle and bustle of Piccadilly Circus and onto sleek Savile Row for serene, quiet luxury Italian dining.

Sartoria is every inch palatial, the décor reflecting the taste to come - Marble countertops, moody but cosy lighting, and the faint aroma of the leather backed chairs. Absolutely timeless.

Even the humble breadstick basket appetiser was an orchestra of flavour - An assortment of crunch - With an olive infusion here, or a soft square of focaccia to keep you on your toes. Sufficiently appetised, we ordered two courses straight from the sea and were recommended a bottle of wine that would pair well with our dishes.

The scallops to start, followed by the crab tagliolini paired with the white for a match made in heaven - The seafood was bold and fresh, and absolutely sung from their accompanying sauces: The chilli lemon basil sauce from the Amalfi Coast really made the crab sing.

Of course to top things off, tiramisu is the go-to at any Italian restaurant. Sartoria saved no decadence from theirs, and in a haze of cocoa and silverware I felt whole.

Reviewed by Elliot Newlands, Creative Video Lead

Spot Santa from the top of The Shard at Oblix

Skyline with cocktail

At the top of the iconic Shard building is Oblix. After zooming up in the lift to the 32nd floor, walking in through the separate food counters was a charming touch - a hint of luxury market feel, and it was great to see all the grill and rotisserie style food being cooked up fresh.

But my eyes soon turned to the view and my jaw hit the floor as I saw London’s twinkling lights like never before. What a backdrop for a date night.

I had to order the Born A Star cocktail  which was a dreamy Shard shaped glass tower (when in Rome…) complete with smoke and lights (one for the ‘gram) and tasted divine.

The menu is full of decadent flavours and as a truffle lover, the truffle fries were a must as a cheeky starter followed by the steak & lobster for an absolute end of year blowout. Peeking out of the window and trying not to look down too much, I could almost hear sleigh bells ringing.

Reviewed by Elliot Newlands, Creative Video Lead

Dine with a difference at INCA

Inca

Looking to try something different to your usual London dining experience? INCA will shake things up. The South American immersive restaurant located in the heart of Soho has 360 views of a central stage, which comes to life with performers every evening at 8pm. 

I wasn't sure what to expect from the show, but it's so much fun with a mix of dancing and singing from high energy to slower theatrical numbers - all in incredible costumes. If you're hoping to catch up with friends over dinner, this probably isn't the place for you, but it's definitely a good time.

Despite the distracting entertainment, there's no compromise on the menu. We tried a selection of amazing small plates, from Tea Smoked Lamb Chops to Blue Fin Tuna & Caviar Tacos, and Miso Black Cod to Chicken Anticucho. If you're going for cocktails they do the perfect Paloma Picante.

Reviewed by Hollie Brotherton, Lifestyle & Commerce Senior Writer

Fall in love with dreamy Dalloway Terrace

Dalloway Terrace

Dalloway Terrace is an iconic name in London's dining scene, transforming it's decor to delight its guest every season - and it's never more stunning than at Christmas time. Think sparkling lights, cosy faux fur and festive seasonal foliage.

The food was perfection, with an indulgent three-course menu featuring Devon hand-picked crab to start, followed by a Rib of beef with chargrilled hispi cabbage, caramelized shallot purée and potato terrine, all finished with an apple tart tatin.

There's currently a selection of Perrier-Jouët Champagne cocktails on the drinks menu and we were obsessed with the Adele - refreshing and delicious.

Reviewed by Hollie Brotherton, Lifestyle & Commerce Senior Writer


Get festive in Chinatown

Get festive in Chinatown

You cannot walk through Chinatown without trying one of their many offerings. A favourite amongst dumpling enthusiasts is Dumplings' Legend, which has an extensive menu of these delicious options. With an impressive 47 variations to be exact, including the ever-popular Xiao long bao (soup dumplings). An incredible 8,000 dumplings are handmade fresh daily! I was lucky to go there recently, and could not believe how incredibly busy the place was - a clear good sign! I loved trying the signature duck, soy king prawns, spicy aubergine, and sizzling beef and black bean as well as their main mix of dumplings. But not only here, there's plenty to discover with many other places offering exclusive festive food and drinks throughout the season, but grab them quick! Back again with a festive special, the team at Bun House have created a bundle of bao to tuck into while for the first time ever, Speedboat Bar has introduced a 'celebration menu' in time for the festivities. And Candy Cafe will be serving a range of seasonal desserts and hot drinks throughout December, perfect for those with a serious sweet tooth.

Reviewed by Sharnaz Shahid, Deputy Online Editor

Enjoy a pre-show meal at Cafe Kitty

The interior of Cafe Kitty

Many of us have made the mistake of not eating before a trip to the theatre and then getting properly hungry midway through the interval in a way that a tub of ice cream won't solve, but Cafe Kitty can remove this from happening. The menu has been designed specficially as light bites to satisfy you ahead of your trip out, while its central location in the Underbelly Boulevard make it the perfect place.

Food can also be enjoyed at a longer pace, and when I went I was able to enjoy a full Sunday roast with salivating trimmings and beef cooked perfectly in just the way I wanted it and my friend was likewise impressed when he combined several of the smaller dishes to create his meal. The venue is the latest from the team behind Kitty Fisher's in Mayfair and it certainly rivals it in terms of cocktails, with the Bad Kitty being a must-try for anyone.

To book a table, visit cafekitty.co.uk

Reviewed by: Matthew Moore, Online News Writer

Skyscraping sushi at SUSHISAMBA

Festive food on table

For sashimi heads, SUSHISAMBA is a name that is instantly recognisable. Fusing together Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine along with vibes to boot, this is the place to come for a classy date or special occasion during the festive period, especially as the halls have been suitably decked with colour and lights, as well as 600 metallic balloons to hail Christmas in style.

On the menu are Christmassy cocktails including the Snowplow Espresso Martini to complement the season’s specials. From lobster to caviar, the limited edition Festive Taste of Samba menu is the pinnacle of festive decadence, and with course after course of delights, you’ll feel that Christmas has come early.

Reviewed by Elliot Newlands, Creative Video Lead

Bring in the new year at Tattu

Christmas food spread with sushi

Legendary Chinese and Asian fusion restaurant Tattu are opening their doors for a NYE like none other this year.

With a vibrant interior and mouth watering dishes waiting, as well as traditional lion dancers, this is a day long celebration with something for everyone.

The famous a la carte menu has hits like the wok fired angry bird and the seven spiced seared tuna, topped off with winter warmer cocktails specially prepared to keep you glowing. 

From 9pm onwards, Tattu are offering a curated set sharing menu and cocktails, which is wave after wave of platters made up from their finest, including lobster, wagyu and more.   Grab a pal and get your plans sorted at tattu.co.uk

Reviewed by Elliot Newlands, Creative Video Lead

Hit New Heights at Duck & Waffle

Restaurant interior with Christmas decorations

Zipping up to Duck & Waffle, I couldn’t take my eyes off the view of the London skyline, and seeing The Gherkin from a new angle, not to mention the classy vibes floating all around the interior of the restaurant. Feeling like I was somewhere between an American diner and a business lunch, this place was unique and buzzing.

It wasn't just the décor of course - which indulged in fusion. As the name suggests, this is a spot where sweet and savoury come to clash. Is it brunch, lunch, or dinner? I’m not too sure but the flavours just work together.

Of course I had to go for the signature dish (surprise, the ‘Duck & Waffle’ itself) which was mind blowing and creative. For a cute date spot, or for anyone with a bit of a sweet tooth I highly recommend checking out Duck & Waffle.

Reviewed by Elliot Newlands, Creative Video Lead

Dine and Dance at Sumosan Twiga

sumosan twiga

One of London's most exclusive dining spots, Sumosan Twiga, is great to visit all year round, but especially so at Christmas time when it's adorned with festive decorations. Having recently renovated the interiors of the restaurant and bar, with features like geometric black and white tiled floor made from Italian marble, and plush velvet furnishings throughout, the Knightsbridge venue is a hotspot you don't want to miss. 

Fusing delicious Japanese and Italian cuisine together under one roof, the menu offers a wide selection of dishes, from sushi and sashimi to traditional a la carte options. We particularly liked the angus tenderloin, kobe sliders and wasabi prawns which were bursting with flavour. The ambiance whilst we dined was also top-notch; the venue has a weekly programme of entertainment including live bands and DJs, and on the Friday night that we visited, the restaurant was full of music and buzz.

One floor above the restaurant is Sumosan Twiga's bar, which is perfect for drinks and light nibbles, whilst downstairs you'll find a club where you can dance the night away. So whatever is on your agenda, you're guaranteed to have a good time!

To book, visit twigaworld.com

Reviewed by Arianna Chatzidakis, Creative Content Director

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