From a festive baking workshop to a festive afternoon tea, here are the best Christmas activities in London
By Orlando Whitehead
Set in the newly converted TV studios, Backyard Cinema will be open to all throughout the festive period offering food, drinks, and of course movies to get you into the Christmas spirit. The cosy winter hangout features hit food companies Mother Clucker and Honest Burgers and Gipsy Hill Brewing Co will be behind the taps bringing you the best of craft beer. For Baileys lovers, indulge in the ultimate chocolate liqueur experience with the limited edition Baileys chocolate reindeer – exclusive to Backyard Cinema.
Maître Choux Éclair Decorating Workshop
Purveyors of the finest patisserie, Maître Choux proposes an activity to entertain parents and kids alike. With specialist pastry chefs on hand to guide you through the creative process, choose from a range of classic éclair flavours and build a delectable desert tower that will be the centrepiece of any Christmas dinner table. Flavours include Tahitian vanilla and salted butter caramel that children can adorn with sugar snowflakes, marshmallows, and edible glitter.
Tickets available via eventbrite.co.uk
Christmas at Swingers
Take a break from the crowds of Christmas shoppers and slip into Swingers, the central London crazy golf phenomenon that guarantees festive fun. Buck those tired festive traditions and grab a golf club instead. Sprinkled with snowflakes and offering seasonal food and drinks menus, both the Oxford Circus and City venues have a variety of street food vendors catering to all tastes and specially concocted cocktails to get you into the festive swing.
Winter Ice Cream at Gelupo
Thought ice cream is only for summer? Think again. This winter the celebrated Soho gelateria has spiced up its menu with a new selection of seasonal gelato and sorbet. Vin brulé (mulled wine) has warm aromatic notes whilst gingerbread and caramel is a rich Christmas blend. Taking inspiration from A. B. Marshall’s 1893 recipe ‘Book of Ices’, other flavours to look out for are black forest, sloe gin, and roasted red plum. Available in store or to take away, there’s no excuse to miss out.
Christmas Shopping Lates at Old Spitalfields Market
Wednesday 4th December sees the launch of Christmas Shopping Lates at Spitalfields. Kicking off at 5pm, there will be brilliant live music from festive steel pans and a gospel choir, and the central market will be open until 8pm giving shoppers more flexibility – crucial during the busy festive period. For eco-conscious consumers, there will also be sustainable pop-up from Zero Waste Goods selling plastic free, sustainably sourced gifts. Guests can eat, drink and be merry too, as a pop-up bar will be serving mulled wine and Irish coffees. The Christmas Shopping Lates are also taking place on 11th and 18th December.
Baking Workshops at Bread Ahead
This festive period, Bread Ahead bakery school will be running workshops across the city, offering a range of courses suited to all tastes and all abilities. Classes are in Soho, Borough Market, Chelsea, and Wembley and courses cover everything from mince pies to panettone. Choose from courses lasting between two and six hours and hone your skills to impress friends and family this Christmas.
London has some beautiful places to ice skate, from the Natural History Museum’s magical rink to Alexandra Palace’s indoor offering, meaning that come rain or shine there’s always somewhere to have a glide. Check out Absolutely London’s 7 favourite ice rinks here.
Festive Afternoon Tea at The Savoy
Long established as the pinnacle of London luxury, The Savoy have partnered with JING tea to take the afternoon tea experience to the next level. In collaboration with The Savoy, JING tea has created the ‘Savoy Christmas Blend’ that is the perfect accompaniment to this sumptuous spread. Sandwiches include Morecambe Bay shrimp on charcoal bread and coronation turkey on cranberry bread and are followed by a spectacular range of pastries and pies to make this a teatime like no other. Click here for Absolutely’s favourite festive afternoon teas.
Dine in a Dome at London Secret Garden
London Secret Garden in the heart of Kensington has opened its winter garden where guests can sample a sumptuous five course tasting menu in the comfort of a cosy exclusive dining pod. The Asian-inspired dishes include crispy aromatic duck, Thai green chicken curry and salt and pepper squid. They also serve afternoon tea featuring traditional sandwiches, scones and sweet treats.
Christmas Under the Canopy
For the quintessential Christmas shopping experience, look no further than Canopy Market, located at the heart of Kings Cross. Set beneath the restored Victorian canopy, independent artisans offer a tantalising variety of fantastic Christmas gifts, whilst carol singers and jazz performances provide a seasonal soundtrack. Enjoy activities for all the family, mince pies and mulled wine, even reindeer!
An absolute must for all gin lovers, join Tanqueray No. Ten for its Christmas residency in Bloomsbury House. Known for its award-winning gin, a series of tests will be carried out to create the perfect gin-based cocktail tailored to your palate. Themed bars throughout the chic townhouse showcase different flavour combinations and magicians mingle with guests, performing incredible illusions. Limited edition and customised Tanqueray gifts will also be available for those wishing to share the festive spirit with friends and family.
Tickets available via eventbrite.com
Beat Stressmas at triyoga
Triyoga are offering stress-busting workshops at three of its studios in December for those who are feeling overwhelmed by the busiest month of the year. On 13 December, triyoga in Chelsea is hosting a ‘Calm at Christmas’ workshop with yoga teacher and relationship therapist Carolyn Cowan. On 20 December at triyoga Ealing, yoga practitioner and musician Charlie Merton will be leading a yin yoga session with gong vibrations. Finally, on 21 December in Camden, Carolyn Cowan will be leading a full-day workshop entitled ‘The great anxiety hack’.
Tickets from £25; triyoga.co.uk
Christmas Party with Bumble
On 18 December, dating app Bumble are hosting the ultimate Christmas party at OMEARA called Slay Bells. Expect dancing, festive cocktails and performances from The Rabbit Hole, Sink the Pink and DJ sets from Bossy London in what’s set to be the Christmas party of the month. Guests can apply for a free spot for them and their best friend by downloading the Bumble app from the App Store or Google Play Store.
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