Christmas Carol concerts in London often come with free-flowing prosecco and delicious canapes, making for a fabulously festive night out. The Resident picks out some of the capital’s best
1 Organoke at St Gile’s Church, Camberwell
This Christmas, Organoke is back for an alternative carol service in the atmospheric surrounds of St Giles Church in Camberwell on 17 December. Instead of Silent Night, why not don that Christmas jumper, grab a craft beer, and belt out the traditional festive classics like Slade’s Merry Christmas Everyone or George Michael’s Last Christmas, perhaps? The inimitable Ida Barr is back in all her faded Edwardian grandeur to host the evening.
Camberwell Church Street, Camberwell SE5 8RB; organoke.com
2 Alternative Christmas Carols
We all know you love a bit of Mariah Carey for Christmas. Join the School of Life for some irreverent renditions of Mariah’s festive classics as well as all your other favourite Christmas tunes from Wham to Bublé on 13 December. Relax at Granary Square in King’s Cross with a cup of steaming mulled wine while you let ‘All I Want For Christmas’ wash over you. If this doesn’t get you in the Christmas spirit, nothing will.
1 Granary Square, Kings Cross N1C 4AA; kingscross.co.uk
3 Southwark Cathedral’s Christmas Carol Concerts
The stunning Southwark Cahtedral will be playing host to four separate Christmas carol events throughgout December. On Friday 2 December, the GKT Music Society will be holding their Christmas concert including Tchaikovsky’s breathtaking overture to Romeo & Juliet and Concerto in D Major. Tuesday 6 December sees Carols in the City: The Marie Curie Christmas Concert come to the cathedral with merry songs, poetry and readings with a drinks reception with all the trimmings taking place beforehand. The Feed the Minds’ Candelit Carol Concert will be calling guests to sing-a-long to all their classic favourites with two stunning choirs. And lastly, on Friday 23 December, the annual Christmas Baroque by Candelight event will bring the London Concertante to the forefront of the festivities. They will be playing Corelli’s Christmas Concerto, Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto and many other traditional tunes throughout the evening. All tickets and further information can be found on their site.
London Bridge, London SE1 9DA; cathedral.southwark.anglican.org
4 Battersea Dogs and Cats Home’s Christmas Carol Concert
This winter, the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home are throwing another Christmas Carol Concert on Monday 5 December with all their furry friends in attendance. Be welcomed by their festive doggy Guard of Honour and sing-a-long to some of your favourite Christmas carols within the beautiful surroundings of St Luke’s Church. There will be plenty of mulled wine and mince pies for everyone as well as enough time to cuddle up to some of your favourite puppy pals. Tickets are already selling fast at £20 for adults and £10 for kids so book yours as soon as you can.
St Luke’s Crypt, Sydney Street, Chelsea SW3 6NH; battersea.org.uk
5 Barnardo’s 150th Christmas Carol Concert
Britain’s leading children’s charity is inviting the public to spread some Christmas cheer and help mark its 150th anniversary at a special carol concert at Westminster Cathedral on 1 December. Everyone is welcome to take part in the ticketed evening event and enjoy an array of musical performances from a diverse range of talented Londoners. Family favourites including Hark the Herald and Once in Royal David’s City will be among the carols sung, along with Christmas readings by Barnardo’s supporter and actor Robert Daws. Tickets are from £5.90.
Westminster Cathedral, 42 Francis Street, Westminster SW1P 1QW; barnardos.org.uk
6 Petersham Nurseries’ Christmas Carol and Shopping Evening
On Thursday 1 December, Petersham Nurseries is staying up late from 6pm-9pm for their annual festive, candelit Christmas Carol and Shopping Evening. The braziers will be lit, the fairy lights will be glistening and mulled wine and mince pies will be offered for a small donation to the nursery’s chosen charity. If you are looking for inspiration with gift ideas, decorating your home or creating a stunning seasonal table then you must attend this fun night out shopping. Carollers will be singing throughout the evening so you can sit down in the cafe and admire the classic festive songs or simply let them be the perfect background music for late-night shopping.
Church Lane, Petersham Road, Richmond TW10 7AB; petershamnurseries.com
7 Christmas Film Carols
London’s 400 strong choir will be singing out their unique take on Christmas film classics and cult favourites at the Coronet in Elephant and Castle on 13 December. There’ll be tracks from Love Actually, the Oasis song from the John Lewis ad – and,of course, there will be some Mariah Carey classics. A DJing santa and candy cane cocktails will add to the festive spirit of this carols night.
28 New Kent Road, Elephant And Castle SE1 6TJ; coronettheatre.co.uk
8 Classic Carols at the Royal Albert Hall
Timothy Henty will be conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and London Philharmonic Choirto as they perform an assortment of traditional Christmas songs alongside the special guest presenter, Alan Titchmarsh at The Royal Albert hall. From ‘The First Noel’ to ‘It Came Upon a Midnight Clear’, you’ll hear some of the most traditional Christmas carols within one of London’s finest venues. There will aslo be a sing-a-long performace during the day for the kids.
Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP; royalalberthall.com
9 The Place2Be Carols Service
The Place2Be, a charity that works inside schools to improve the emotional well-being of children and their families, is throwing a carol service on 29 November at Saint Luke’s Church. Celebrity readers include Jenna Coleman, Hermione Norris, Sophie Dahl and Nigel Lindsay, with music from soprano Margaret Keys and singer-songwriter Joe Stilgoe. Booking is essential with tickets going for £35 each.
Sydney Street, Chelsea SW3 6NH; place2be.org.uk
10 A Celebration of Christmas
The Brain Tumour Research Campaign’s (BRTC) annual ‘A Celebration of Christmas’ is taking place at All Saints Church, Fulham on Thursday 15 December from 7.30pm to 9pm. The service includes Christmas readings and carols, followed by prosecco and canapes – celebrating the joyful season of hope and goodwill, dedicated to raising awareness of the plight of brain tumour patients and funding research. Make your way over to the concert to help the team reach their £25,000 Christmas Appeal target.
All Saints Fulham, Bishops Park SW6 3LJ; cvent.com
11 Cliveden Christmas Carol Concert
The all-male group, Queens Six, will be performing a very special Christmas carol concert in the beautiful surroundings of the Great Hall of Cliveden House on Sunday 18 December and Monday 19 December. A number of different carols will be performed from ‘O come all ye faithful’ to ‘Jingle bells’ but do try to get there by 6:30pm to enjoy a glamorous Champagne reception in the house before heading to the carol service and three-course festive dinner with wines, coffee and bonbons. Carols, champagne and plentiful amounts of delicious food – What more could you ask for?
Bourne End Rd, Taplow SL6 0JF; clivedenhouse.co.uk
12 Boppin’ Bunnies ‘Christmas Carol-a-thon
Local music company, Boppin’ Bunnies, is staging a giant Christmas carol marathon on Monday 12 December and is calling on members of the public to join them at three separate London locations. The Family Choir will be leading their ‘Carol-a-thon’ alongside a number of Boppin’ Bunnies Families. A number of school choirs will also being joining in on the festivities.
10.30am-11.45am: Eltham High Street, SE9
1pm-2.15pm: Woolwich Town Centre, SE18
3:30pm-4.30pm: Blackheath Standard, SE3
13 Carols by Candlelight at St Bartholomew the Great Church
Following a sell-out event last year, tickets are now available for charity Action on Hearing Loss’ annual candlelit carol concert, Carols by Candlelight. The event will take place on Friday 9 December from 6:30pm in the enchanting surroundings of St Bartholomew the Great. This exclusive carol concert will include poems, inspirational festive readings and many favourite carols. Celebrities Helen Lederer and Martyn Lewis will recite readings and add to the line-up of the North London Military Wives choir and Blackheath Prep School chamber choir. Individual tickets are now available for £20 and are guaranteed to sell out fast.
Farringdon, West Smithfield EC1A 9DS; actiononhearingloss.org.uk
14 Carols by Candlelight in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support
Now in its 26th year, the Carols by Candlelight concert will be held in the glorious, Grade II-listed St Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge on Thursday 15 December. Alastair Bruce OBE, Sky News’ Royal, Religious and Constitutional Affairs Commentator will present the traditional service, which will feature well known carols for all to sing along to, as well as readings from a number of guests including theatre, television and film actress Richenda Carey. Carols will be performed by award-winning choir Vox Cordis. After the concert, drinks and delicious mini mince pies will be served outside the church. The event hopes to raise £20,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support – enough to fund a vital Macmillan nurse for four months. Reserved tickets are available at £30 and unreserved seating at £25.
32a Wilton Place, Knightsbridge SW1X 8SH; macmillan.org.uk
15 VSO’s Christmas Carol Concert, Westminster
Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) is hosting its 21st annual Christmas Carol Concert at Methodist Central Hall in Westminster on Thursday 8 December at 7.30pm. Entertainment will come from the prestigious City of London Choir as well as Goodrich Community School Choir and guest solo artists including Cameroonian drummer Jo N’Gala and star of X Factor China, singer Mary-Jess Leaverland. Celebrity readers include poet Benjamin Zephaniah, Game of Thrones star Indira Varma and Oliver Award-winning actor Alex Jennings. All the proceeds raised on the night go towards programmes to end poverty in Africa and Asia. Tickets are £10-£75.
Storey’s Gate, Westminster SW1H 9NH; vsointernational.org
16 A Not So Silent Night
This November the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation are putting on their first Christmas Carol Concert at St Andrew Church Holborn with a number of celebrities getting involved to support the good cause. Taking place on Tuesday 29 November, the event will include carols performed by Walton Voices and readings from a host of special guests including Jeffrey Archer and Countdown’s Helen Fospero. Carols will be followed by a canapé and drinks reception provided by the fantastic culinary stylings of Baxter Storey’s executive chef Matt Hay. All of the proceeds from this evening of glitz and glamour will go towards NSIF and their dedication to funding a cure for paralysis through spinal cord injury.
5 St Andrew Street, London EC4A 3AB; nsif.org.uk
17 Carols by Candlelight in aid of the Children’s Air Ambulance
The inaugural Children’s Air Ambulance Carols by Candlelight service is coming to the Holy Trinity Sloane Square on 5 December, with readings from Anton du Beke, Lesley Joseph, Kara Tointon and Jane Garvey. Joining them will be 15-year-old rising star of the classical music world Katie Marshall as well as pupils from London’s Garden House School and Francis Holland School. Tickets are priced at £25 for adults and include complimentary mulled wine and minced pies after the concert while kids’ tickets are being sold for £15.
Holy Trinity Sloane Square, Sloane Street SW1X 9BZ; childrensairambulance.org.uk