Lead image: A Christmas Cabaret at The London Cabaret Club
1 The Winter Night Market at The Old Truman Brewery
Following the success of the Vegan Nights events that brought together over 6,000 vegan revellers, Truman Markets returns with an exclusive showcase of its seven markets at The Old Truman Brewery. The Winter Night Market on Thursday 14 December will take over Ely’s Yard for one night only with an abundance of street food traders including Mother Clucker and The Orange Buffalo, late-night artisan and vintage shopping, plus Junkyard Golf Club and Shuttle Club providing entertainment with a twist. Keep the chill at bay with mulled wine and winter cocktails, accompanied by Christmas carols from the London City Voices Choir. 4.30pm-9.30pm. Free Entry.
Ely’s Yard, The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane E1 6QL; trumanbrewery.com
2 Dalston Fonduta
The Dalston Fonduta has been putting East Londoners into blissful cheese comas this winter with its Italian-style cheese fondue feasts. Each of the dinners is hosted by a local London producer, and the final event, hosted by Black Hand Food takes place this Thursday at Acqua7, a stylish new wine bar in Dalston. Kicking off with a Winter Spritz from the Asterley Bros (London-based vermouth producers), a selection of choice charcuterie from Black Hand Food, burrata from La Latteria and freshly baked focaccia, the main event is the Fonduta to share, with new potatoes and crudités, followed by vermouth granita and almond biscuits. 6.30pm-10pm. Tickets £32.90.
7 Balls Pond Road, Dalston N1 4AX. To book see designmynight.com
3 A Christmas Cabaret at The London Cabaret Club
From 1 December
The London Cabaret Club’s interactive Christmas Winter Wonderland features a candy cane forest with real candy canes and an adult Milk & Cookies pop-up bar serving freshly baked cookies and innovative nut milk cocktails like Almond Milk Eggnog. There’s also, of course, A Christmas Cabaret, which combines exquisite festive-themed performances and decadent dining. Expect all the favourite jingles, speciality acts, iconic scenes from much-loved Christmas shows like The Nutcracker and classic carols like Silent Night.
The Ballroom, Victoria House Bloomsbury WC1B 4DA; thelondoncabaretclub.com
4 Ferrero Rocher: Behind the Layers
Until 17 December
Ferrero Rocher’s delicious pop-up experience returns this December, following its debut in Covent Garden last year. Ferrero Rocher: Behind the Layers, this year heading for Westfield London in Shepherd’s Bush, will immerse you in a multi-sensory tasting adventure through delicious mini-desserts. On entry to the golden bar and lounge, you’ll enjoy a drinks menu created by mixology maestros, Liquid Chefs, before being invited to take your seats for the multi-sensory experience with light projections, music, motion and more. Five mini-desserts, developed by celebrated chef Paul Hannagen, will be hand-made in front of your eyes, each one inspired by the iconic layers of whole hazelnut, smooth chocolate, crispy wafer, hazelnut pieces and glittering gold. The bar will be open to all.
Tickets £25 (including a glass of prosecco) from behindthelayers.co.uk
5 Peckham Levels
From 8 December
Peckham Levels, which opened last weekend, is London’s latest foodie hangout and cultural hub showcasing the grassroots talent and unique creative spirit that the area has become known for. Peckham’s famous multi-story car park, already home to Frank’s Cafe and arts organisation Bold Tendencies, has been transformed to offer affordable workspace for artists and entrepreneurs from jewellery and fashion designers to painters, musicians and embroiders, much like its sister site, Pop Brixton, managed by Make Shift. The top two floors will host an expansive food and drink offering including all-day vegetarian cafe, Wildflower, vegan pizzeria Pickywops, delectable cocktails at Near and Far (by the team behind The Magic Roundabout) and Californian-style poke bowls from Lords of Poké.
Peckham Town Centre Carpark, 95A Rye Lane SE15 4TG; peckhamlevels.org
6 Callisto: A Queer Epic, Dalston
Until 23 December
Callisto: A Queer Epic is a collection of remarkable queer stories. Telling the tales of brave and remarkable people in UK history, including opera star Arabella Hunt, who secretly entered into the first recorded gay marriage in UK history, and Alan Turing, as well as Lorn, a futuristic character who is building a paradise to sleep in on the Moon in 2223, but his AI companion Cal is determined to keep him awake. This wildly popular show sold out last year, so get your tickets quick! Tickets start at £12.
24 Ashwin Street, Dalston E8 3DL; arcolatheatre.com
7 Le Petit Chef at TT Liquor, Shoreditch
Due to popular demand, Le Petit Chef, the fantastic 3D-animated dinner show that has been getting rave reviews for its fun, original format and fabulous food, has added Saturday evening shows to the line-up throughout December. Le Petit Chef – In The Footsteps Of Marco Polo is Dinner Time Story’s latest pop-up dining experience, taking guests on a journey from Marseilles to Arabia, India, the Himalayas and China, using cutting edge 3D visual technology to tell the story of Le Petit Chef’s travels along the Silk Road through flavours, ingredients, sights, sounds and tastes. The six-course tasting menu is accompanied by a bespoke wine and cocktail pairing by the TT Liquor bar team. Design My Night is currently offering £15 off Wednesday bookings.
17B Kingsland Road E2 8AA; ttliquor.co.uk
8 South East Christmas Feast
The South East Christmas Feast is the perfect December event as the holiday season is all about eating every decadent treat you can get your hands on. Head over to Camberwell and be welcomed by a Special Christmas drink, followed by a three course sharing feast while enjoying entertainment and music. Their event was sold out in years past and is only available on two days this December so get your tickets early. £39.
50 Knatchbull Road, Camberwell SE5 9QY; mikeandollie.co.uk
9 White Fang at Park Theatre
13 December to 13 January
Inspired by Jack London’s classic novel, White Fang tells an incredible story paired with vivid puppetry and original music. The story is of a young girl who is rescued by an old huntsman after her tribe is killed, struggling to find a sense of family, she soon discovers hope in the friendship of an abandoned wolf. White Fang will feature Mariska Ariya, Robert G. Slade, Bebe Sanders, Paul Albertson, Jonathan Mathews and Danny Mahoney in the cast. Tickets are £18.
Park Theatre Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park N4 3JP; parktheatre.co.uk
10 The Shard’s Annual Festive Display
Until 31 December
The Shard will illuminate the skyline from dusk until early morning from 4 December with its fifth annual festive light show. With a very special theme that will be unveiled on the first night, The Shard lights are a sparkling reminder to take a moment out of our busy days and look up to enjoy Western Europe’s highest art installation. Varying gradients, sparkles and patterns will differ each night, building to a crescendo at midnight and featuring a special one-off display on the first night and on New Year’s Eve.
32 London Bridge Street SE1 9SG; the-shard.com
11 Greenwich Winter Time Festival
Until 31 December
The inaugural Greenwich Winter Time Festival will take over the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College for a very Instagrammable month-long festive residency opening on 1 December 2017. Moving beyond the typical mulled wine and bratwurst winter market, the event will mirror the vibrancy of the capital’s plethora of summertime festivals, with live performances from the likes of The Puppini Sisters, screenings of film classic The Snowman accompanied by East London Brass and the first ice rink at the ORNC in 10 years. As well as an innovative Father Christmas Experience, there’ll also be a winter market curated by the Instagram phenomenon Cissy Wears. Tickets start from £15 for adults and £8 for children.
12 Magical Lantern Festival, Chiswick
Until 1 January
Experience Christmas spirit as you never have before, the Magical Lantern Festival at the Chiswick House & Gardens is combining art and entertainment to make it a night you’ll never forget. The Christmas themed lantern festival is back and better than ever with sculptures, gardens and the beauty of the vibrant coloured lanterns, the Magical Lantern Festival is sure to get you in the holiday spirit. From ‘Santa and his Reindeers’ to a magnificent giant recreation of an ‘Ancient city from the Song Dynasty’, the artistic lanterns are a Christmas event and a show all in one. In addition to the spectacular views of the lanterns, there will be food and entertainment at Santa’s Grotto, making this the perfect event for families. Tickets from £5.
Chiswick House & Gardens; magicallantern.uk
13 Christmas by the River, London Bridge
Until 3 January
With an impressive sprinkling of chalet-style stalls packed with everything from pretty trinkets and tree decorations to cockle-warming drinks and comfort food, Christmas by the River is not to be missed. Head to Doughnut Time for mouth-watering sweet treats and stock up on thoughtfully designed cashmere scarves at The Little Tibet. Where better to make a start on your Christmas shopping?
London Bridge SE1 2DB; londonbridgecity.co.uk
14 John Brookes: The Man who Made the Modern Garden
Until 24 February
John Brookes is the landscape designer who introduced Modernism to British garden design. The author of over 25 books (including The Room Outside, one of the most influential garden books of modern times), John Brookes MBE has inspired generations of garden and landscape designers in Britain and around the world, designing gardens, both public and private in North America, South America, Japan, South Africa and Europe. An early pioneer of Modernism in the design of private gardens, typified by his ‘Grid’, Brookes has introduced structure and geometry, from the iconic courtyard of Penguin Books to the ‘sexy curves’ of spaces inspired by his Brazilian hero, Burle Marx. Tickets £10.
Lambeth Palace Road SE1 7LB; gardenmuseum.org.uk
15 Barnum at Menier Chocolate Factory, Southwark
Until 3 March
Barnum tells the story of P.T. Barnum, the Greatest Showman on Earth. The joyful and moving musical portrait of the nineteenth century’s greatest show-biz legend, Barnum is sure to entertain all types of guests this December. Director Gordon Greenberg and musical director Alex parker have a beautiful and dynamic show taking you on the P.T. Barnum’s journey. Gordon Greenberg’s production opens on 5 December and runs until 3 March 2018. Tickets start at £39.50.
53 Southwark Street SE1 1RU; menierchocolatefactory.com