There are foodie ventures popping-up all over the Capital. Alongside festive theatre and Christmas carols, here’s the best of this weekend in London

Words Helen Brown

Som Saa’s Hot Pot at Shuang Shuang

Shuang Shuang, Shaftesbury Avenue’s specialist hot pot restaurant, are continuing their collaboration series this month with som saa. Head over this weekend where Co-head Chefs Andy Oliver and Mark Dobbie are joining Chinese tradition and the lesser known flavours of regional Thailand with their ‘Kuai Tiao Ruea’ noodle soup; a delicious umami broth of pork bones, aromatic vegetables, pandan leaves and toasted Thai spices. Past collaborations have seen Shuang Shuang team up with some of London’s most exciting chefs. They now turn to som saa to bring their unique take on this ancient Chinese tradition, before Sandia Chang makes her mark on hot pot history with a vegetarian roasted corn broth in the New Year.

Shuang Shuang, 64 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D;
Open daily 12pm – 11:00pm, booking by email only at [email protected]

Gizzi Erskine and Des McDonald’s festive feasting at Forest Restaurant & Bar

Forest Restaurant & Bar is celebrating the festive season with a touch of nostalgia this year, joining forces with chef and food writer Gizzi Erskine on a series of decadent feasting menus to kick start the Christmas party season.  Available throughout December, the feasting menus are the perfect way to indulge and celebrate with family and friends this Christmas, and include a delicious Asian spiced Goose with prune stuffing, roast grapes and gingerbread sauce, a salted caramel yuletide log and an epic cheese board from Selfridges’ cheese counter.

Selfridges Roof Top, 400 Oxford Street, W1A
Book here.

Dulwich Winterlights

It’s your final chance to see Dulwich Picture Gallery illuminated beautifully for the Dulwich Winter Lights festival. Spend time cavorting around the grounds, admire the trees and buildings lit up in different colours, and be serenaded by roaming choirs. Warm up with a hot drink at the food stalls at the entrance as you enjoy the multicoloured orbs underneath the tree on the main lawn, amongst other incredible scenery.

Until 18 December
More information and link to book tickets here.  


The Tootopia team are returning to bring Tootsmas back to London for the festive season. This year’s festival welcomes street food vendors such as Saffa Hut, The Gravy Train and Gyoza Guys who will be pleasing crowds with warming Christmas treats. Head along to the Tootmas Wonderland and the winter markets to pick up the last of your shopping from one of the incredible 20 designer-makers peddling their wares. The fun doesn’t stop there; burlesque shows, festive cinema, pop-up theatre and chocolate workshops make up the entertainment offering of the weekend.

17 – 18 December, various locations around London
More information here.

Ginvent Pop-Up

Ginvent began one cold, dark winter night when the clever team behind the brand realised that no one made a gin-filled Advent calendar. To resolve the deplorable absence of this most-loved spirit during the season of festivities, Ginvent installed a 2 x 2 metre calendar in a central London bar and each day opened a new door.  A resounding hit, each year they now select 24 Gins that provide a snapshot of the category’s depth, diversity and global reach. This weekend they are popping-up at the Vinyl Factory, Soho. For one weekend only they will be decking the halls with boughs of holly and serving all 24 Ginvent gins alongside masterclasses and tasting sessions.

16 – 18 December
The Vinyl Factory Ltd. 18 Marshall St, Soho, W1F
Book tickets here.

Choral Evensong at St Paul’s

If you’re not feeling incredibly Christmassy already, head to St Paul’s this weekend to watch the Cathedral choir sing. This iconic landmark puts on a series of carol concerts each winter, ranging from family friendly services to classic Evensong. This weekend is perfect for the little ones, with an appearance from puppeteer Simon Buckley, the Blessing of the Crib and the lighting up of the Abbey’s Christmas tree.

17 December
St Paul’s Cathedral, EC4M
More information here.

Artist Residence Supper Club

This Sunday, award-winning hotel group, Artist Residence, are hosting a pop up dinner on the to celebrate their newly appointed Head Chef Ollie Moore for their next venture: Artist Residence in Oxfordshire. Enter the quirky and characteristically cool space where you will be served an array of some of the finest, wildest and most forgotten produce. Start with homemade sourdough bread with smoked butter before moving onto scrambled duck egg with Peking-style duck, a seared scallop and torched sprout leaves. The main event will see beef paired with cep parmentier and a mushroom puree. If you’ve still room for more, chocolate mousse, honey ice-cream and frozen cookie dough will round off the evening perfectly.

18 December
Artist Residence London, 52 Cambridge St, Pimlico, SW1V
Book tickets here.

The Little Match Girl

On an icy cold Christmas Eve The Little Match Girl paces the streets with nothing but just one final match flame to keep her warm. Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic story, this touching tale of an impoverished young girl’s hopes and dreams is beautifully told through dance, song, snowy stage sets and original music.

Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, EC1R;
Book tickets here.

Lodge d’Argent Winter Pop-Up 

Following the success of last year’s pop up, Coq d’Argent are once again creating a magical winter wonderland on its rooftop this festive season. Lodge d’Argent is this year inspired by the story of Little Red Riding Hood, evoking the French fairy tale with rustic wooden walls, fur blankets and cushions. Beautiful mason-style jars with miniature Little Red Riding Hood scenes will be displayed throughout the terrace, and rafts of wintry ferns will adorn the space. Snuggle up surrounded by the chic white, red and gold scheme and enjoy indulgent dishes and cocktails against the festive backdrop.

Coq d’Argent, No.1 Poultry, EC2R
More information here.