This year something very special is happening at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London. The Watford-based studio has been given its traditional festive makeover, with a very exciting addition - the Yule Ball! For the first time ever, Harry Potter fans will be able to see the exquisite model standing in all its glory in the Great Hall, as well as must-see areas, including Dumbledore's Office, the Forbidden Forest, Platform 9¾ and the snow-covered Hogwarts replica. Guests are also invited to try their hand at flying on a broomstick, take control of their wands and face dementors as they ride the Hogwarts Express.
FOOD AND DRINK
Beer & Buns
Beer & Buns is London's answer to a Japanese izakaya, in other words, a casual gastropub. Tucked away near Liverpool Street station, the restaurant is a hidden treasure stocked full of Japanese craft beer and utterly delicious bites to eat. Crispy Korean style jumbo chicken wings are on the menu, as are a range of Hirata buns - soft, pillow-like steamed buns stuffed with chicken, pork belly and other mouthwatering fillings. To celebrate the festive season, Beer & Buns has just launched a mulled sake, which you have to try!
FOOD AND DRINK
Are you a fan of Pergola on the Roof and Pergola Paddington Central? Then you'll love The Prince, brought to you by the same guys. The former Prince of Wales pub building in west London has been converted into four restaurants (Patty & Bun, The Begging Bowl, Rabbit and MAM), two bars and a massive secret garden, all of which are interconnected! The whimsical woodland space is heated and enclosed - perfect for beating the chill.
FOOD AND DRINK
Yo! Sushi Christmas Afternoon Tea
The festive season is pretty much here, and we all know what that means; that's right, copious amounts of mulled wine, mince pies and cheese. If you fancy a little break from the above this winter, YO! Sushi are hosting a Christmas afternoon tea at London's Selfridges, and if you love Japanese food, you've got to go. Ditching cakes, scones and sandwiches for traditional Omakase, expect tiers of festive onigiri sushi balls, a tantalising selection of aburi seared sushi, Christmassy sashimi, tempura nori nachos, and delectable desserts. Drinks? Take your pick of Champagne, sparkly sake or pair the lot with a jasmine silver needle tea. Prices start at just £25.
Ready to get stuck into some DIY this Christmas? Airbnb are hosting a range of experiences, including a wreath-making class in Dalston. Organised by the Botanical Boys - Ben and Daz - the workshop teaches guests how to build a beautiful wreath using a variety of seasonal colours and decorative materials, including moss, fresh cuttings, and dried fruits. You'll be able to take home your very own wreath, which will last around two weeks, in time for Christmas. Hot and cold drinks with mince pies, cheese and biscuits will be served, while Christmas music will fill the room.
Christmas by the River
On Thursday 30 November, the London Bridge Christmas market returns, boasting no fewer than 68 stalls. Stock up on your Christmas shopping early at the artisan boutiques, which sell everything from jewellery to cosy clothing. Food and drink is available from Doughnut Time, Jim & Tonic, The Lambassadors, Georgie Porgies Puddings, New England Seafood and other wooden, chalet-style huts. The wintery dreamland is open until 3rd January.
FOOD AND DRINK
Masion Assouline's COVA pop up
Fancy something a little luxurious? This winter, Maison Assouline has launched a delectable new food and drinks offering, transforming Swans Bar in to a 'foodie haven' with an exciting new food menu and a pop-up afternoon tea experience from Cova, in celebration of their new book and 200th Anniversary, and wine list takeover curated by prominent wine expert Tom Harrow. The pop-up will take place from 12th November - 31st December, presenting guests with an exclusive opportunity to purchase some of their most celebrated products – including their Panettone, Gianduiotto, chocolates and pralines – for the first time in the capital. For more information, visit assouline.com/london-piccadilly
This year OpenTable, the world's leading restaurant booking platform, is taking the stress out of November 24th with the UK's most relaxing Black Friday experience. Shoppers who feel overwhelmed by the chaos of the high street are invited to escape the crowds by visiting OpenTable's Black Friday shopping pop-up at Scoff & Banter Tea Rooms. Located just minutes from Oxford Circus, every dining table will have a designated iPad installed for shoppers to browse at their leisure and take full advantage of the Black Friday deals.
For more information, visit opentable.co.uk/r/scoff-and-banter-tea-rooms-oxford-street-london
Battersea Power Station
Battersea Power Station is officially open for Christmas on Thursday 30 November. The Christmas lights switch on will take place at 7pm, marking the start of a month-long series of fun and festive activities taking place at Circus West Village. Shoppers can pick up gifts at the boutique pop-ups, or take part in workshops, from wreath-making to gift wrap printing to gingerbread Power Station making.
The Luna Winter Cinema will be screening classics like Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street and Elf, while children can get involved with games every Saturday morning, hosted by Sharky & George. And last but not least, make sure you snap a selfie in Santa's sleigh, or at Grosvenor Arch, where a snowy Power Station backdrop has been installed.
Felicity Jones, Adrian Lester, Ben Miller, Brian Blessed, Shaun Escoffery and soprano Carly Paoli are the headline names taking part in a magical evening of festive readings and music at the Children & the Arts annual carol concert on Monday 4 December at Holy Trinity Church in London's Sloane Square.
West End star and Olivier award nominee, Shaun Escoffery, who plays the Lion King's Mufasa, visited students at St Paul's & All Hallow's Church of England School in Tottenham to rehearse his number, Donny Hathaway's Christmas Time, which he'll be performing with the school's gospel choir at the concert.
The charity, founded 11 years ago by Prince Charles, tackles inequality across the UK with programmes giving children who are at risk of being left behind a more fulfilled, creative and exciting education, while raising their confidence, educational attainment and aspiration.
Tickets are priced £25 – £70 (with half price discounts for children) and are available online at www.cadoganhall.com, by phone on 020 7730 4500 or in person at the Cadogan Hall Box Office.
FOOD AND DRINK
We've just found another reason to visit SUSHISAMBA, and it's all for a good cause! Dame Vivienne Westwood and head chef Claudio Cardoso have teamed up to create a limited-edition dish to raise money for charity Cool Earth, a charity that works alongside indigenous villages to halt rainforest destruction. The Rain Forest Revolution dish, inspired by one of Vivienne's Climate Revolution Playing Cards, replicates Vivienne's card in edible form. A portion of the dish's profits go straight to Cool Earth.
Christmas Craft Week
Next week, Mondrian London is celebrating Christmas Craft Week with a series of exciting workshops in their Southbank-based hotel. Tickets are still available for a couple of classes, including the Earl of East London candle making workshop on Tuesday 5 December and the Soveral blend your own: rescue oil workshop, headed by founder Alexandra Soveral, on Monday 4 December. Unlock your creativity and create something truly personal and special just in time for Christmas. It'll be more relaxing than Christmas shopping, that's for sure.
Don't miss out on the experience of the year. Delve into the layers and rediscover the unique tastes and textures of Ferrero Rocher, as one of the most delicious pop-up experiences returns this December. Just in time for Christmas, the luxurious Ferrero Rocher: Behind the Layers experience is the perfect gift to treat a loved one, or ideal excuse to meet with friends this festive season.
The exclusive pop-up will immerse guests in a multi-sensory tasting adventure through delicious mini-desserts inspired by the five layers of Ferrero Rocher. This year's tasting experience will happen in a spectacular setting, where powerful light projections, music, motion and more will enrich every exquisite mouthful. Tickets are selling fast so book yours online today!