What to do in London in December 2016
Seasonal cheer floods the British capital this December, particularly with a host of festive new pop-ups, restaurants and Christmas events. Take a look at the best things to see and do in London in December 2016
The Savoy Ice and Diamonds afternoon tea
The Savoy has been partnered by luxury jeweller Boodles this Christmas for a frozen fantasia extravaganza. The landmark hotel has created a winter wonderland complete with an indoor ice rink and a 15-foot Christmas tree adorned with Boodles-inspired decorations. The hotel is also offering Ice and Diamonds afternoon tea which features a special array of Boodles-style festive pasties such as the Boodles Winter Éclair, as well as candied fruit brioche and apple and cinnamon cake.
The Savoy, Strand, London WC2R 0EU, +44 (0)20 7836 4343
Mae Deli festive pop-up
Just in time for the holiday season, Ella Woodward, founder of the popular Deliciously Ella blog, has launched another of her Mae Delis. Located in picturesque Neal’s Yard, the new festive pop-up is a cosy place to visit for nutritious vegetarian food and treats. The changing menu features warming and healthy dishes such as apricot and cauliflower dhal, five-bean chilli and hearty soups. Be sure to try treats like gingerbread cookies, fudge brownies and mince pies.
Mae Deli, 16A Neal’s Yard, London WC2H 9DP
York & Albany
York & Albany has created a gingerbread cabin pop-up in its townhouse courtyard. In this festive hideout you can enjoy gingerbread-inspired canapés, afternoon tea and cocktails. It is the perfect place in which to warm up after a day’s shopping in London. Indulge in gingerbread men and winter fruit crumble or go all out and order tea accompanied by sweet and savoury goodies. The cabin is adorned with lanterns, candles, throws and cushions for a true winter escape, and it can be privately hired.
York & Albany, 127-129 Parkway, London NW1 7PS, + 44 (0)20 7592 1227
Smith & Sinclair sensory cocktail pop-up
Smith & Sinclair is bringing its extraordinary edible cocktails to the world-famous Purple Bar at the Sanderson hotel this winter. The new pop-up offers guests an array of alcoholic edibles and brings a theatrical element to the bar. You are invited to ‘eat your drink’ and can also enjoy drinks that change colour, scented lollipops with alcoholic dips and festive-smelling vapours. With a sherbet wall and cocktail pastilles also on offer, this is a truly fun way to get into the spirit of the festive season.
Smith & Sinclair at The Sanderson, 50 Berners Street, London W1T 3NG, +44 (0)20 7300 5588
Nutella pop-up at Harvey Nichols
The fifth floor of Harvey Nichols has been transformed in to an Italian alpine lodge this winter. This has been created in partnership with Nutella and is the ultimate place in which to indulge in a luxurious breakfast ‒ which comes with a nutty chocolate twist. Choose from handmade crêpes with Nutella, ‘Porridgella’ or yogurt parfait with berries and Nutella. There is even a Nutella personalisation service on hand for those wishing to customise their own jar with a name or message ‒ for as little as £5.
Harvey Nichols, 109-125 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RJ, +44 (0)20 7235 5000
Camino Bankside winter lodge
After an afternoon exploring the Tate Modern gallery head over to Camino Bankside to indulge in some festive offerings. The restaurant has just completed a special new winter lodge and outdoor bar, with a wonderland of festive lanterns, garlands and Christmas trees. There’s an enticing selection of seasonal treats here, from warming winter drinks like spiced sangria and mulled wine to a range of Christmas dishes.
Camino Bankside, 5 Canvey Street, London SE1 9AN, +44 (0)20 3617 3169
Doisy & Dam pop-up
Doisy & Dam is brightening up commutes this month with its pop-up at Old Street station, which runs until 9 December. The organic chocolate brand is inviting customers to try its superfood chocolate along with new, limited-edition collaborations with other health food brands. Week two will see Doisy & Dam team with Good & Proper Tea to serve delicious treats while in the final week it will be offering warming winter hot chocolate with Rude Health’s Ultimate Almond Milk. While you’re there, stock up with Doisy & Dam’s prettily packaged products, which are ideal stocking fillers.
Doisy & Dam, Old Street station, London EC1Y 1BE
US-based brand Reformation has garnered a lot of attention thanks to its beautifully fitting clothes and celebrity clientele. The coveted label has now opened an exclusive pop-up in London where customers can try on clothing before ordering items on in-store touch screens. The purchases will be free of shipping and import tax; in the unlikely event that any customer is unhappy with their buys, they can return purchases to the pop-up without incurring charges for despatching the goods back to the US.
Reformation, 63 Monmouth Street, London WC2H 9DG
For pre-party pampering head to newly opened Wah Soho nail bar and emporium. Wah’s vibrant new flagship salon is the place to go for all things nail related, including manicures, pedicures and nail art. The space features a virtual-reality nail designer, allowing customers to digitally design and trial nail looks before having them realised by the Wah team. With a cocktail bar and Wah’s covetable independent beauty labels available in store, this is a top place for festive indulgence.
Wah Soho, 4 Peter Street, London W1F 0DN, +44 (0)7983 26172
Duke & Dexter
Those looking for gift inspiration for the dapper gentleman should head over to the new Duke & Dexter store on Earlham Street. Specialising in pieces handmade in England, the brand offers beautifully crafted premium loafers as well as elegant tweed and linen designs. You can also order custom-made gifts through the store’s bespoke service.
Duke & Dexter, 16 Earlham Street, London WC2H 9LN, +44 (0)20 7836 3063
Olivia von Halle Harrods pop-up
Those in need of Christmas present ideas will be pleased to hear that luxury nightwear brand Olivia von Halle has opened a new pop-up in Harrods. The large concession features the brand’s new Marrakech collection, inspired by the geometric prints and rich tones of the Moroccan city. The 47-piece collection comprises a selection of home and travel wear, with lounge suits and gowns that are ideal as both covetable day and evening attire.
Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, London SW1X 7XL, +44 (0)20 7730 1234
1 December: Ferrero Rocher pop-up dessert destination
The classic milk chocolate and hazelnut croquante of Ferrero Rocher is a much-loved creation and a popular Christmas treat. This December the brand has opened its first-ever pop-up dessert destination, which is set in St Martin’s Courtyard. Customers can enjoy a tasting plate of five mini hand-crafted desserts showcasing the different elements of the Ferrero Rocher croquante: whole hazelnut, smooth chocolate, crisp wafer and roasted hazelnut pieces. Customers will also have the opportunity to purchase special Ferrero Rocher gift bags, which make ideal Christmas presents.
Ferrero Rocher pop-up, St Martin’s Courtyard, 21 Slingsby Place, London WC2E 9AB
2 December: Merchant Square
It is six years since there was a widespread white Christmas in the UK, so this December Merchant Square is taking things in its own hands to secure real snow by making its own. From 2 to 4 December 15 cubic metres of snow will fall on this square in the Paddington district. There will be plenty of fun, too, with a snowman building competition as well as snowball targets. After a snow-filled afternoon guests can warm up at canalside restaurants. The event starts at 10am on 2 December and ends at 6pm on 4 December.
Merchant Square, London W2
8 December: Queens Ice and Bowl
London gets a new social venue this winter. Opening on 8 December, Queens Ice and Bowl is a retro-inspired destination dedicated to ice skating and bowling. The all-year ice rink features a DJ booth and rink-side seating; the bowling alley offers 17 lanes. Pop-up restaurateur Jimmy Garcia has joined forces with the venue to create a tempting eatery offering dishes such as pulled pork and sticky bangers as well as indulgent platters that can be served to you at your lane.
Queens Ice and Bowl, 17 Queensway, London W2 4QP, +44 (0)20 7229 0172