What to See, Eat and Drink between Christmas and New Year

Tue 12 2017  |  admin

The period between Christmas and New Year offers a rare opportunity.

Most offices have closed down and many Londoners have fled — temporarily. Suddenly the city is all yours: the decorations are up, pubs and bars are in week-long party-mode and the streets are rid of the usual stream of lifeless commuters. Merry Twixtmas.

The entertainment

If the mayhem of the Boxing Day sales doesn’t appeal, escape from Oxford Street to Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland nearby for your festive fill (hydeparkwinterwonderland.com). It’s open every day from 10am until 10pm until January 1 (except Christmas Day), which gives you lots of time to explore (twice over). And there’s plenty to keep both adults and children entertained.

Get your skates on under the stars at the UK’s biggest ice rink or put your feet up to watch the experts put on a performance of Cinderella on Ice. If you’d rather keep your feet on dry ground, check out the daring stunts by Cirque Berserk or take in a daytime performance of the marvellous Zippos Christmas Circus.

Take a trip through a frozen icescape at the spectacular Magical Ice Kingdom. Or sip on a glass of mulled wine as you browse the giant Christmas markets, and unwind afterwards with a cocktail at Bar Ice or a wurst and glühwein in the Bavarian Village. After fuelling up on stone-baked pizzas and chocolate calzone at Bar Hutte, huddle up in your own private après-ski lodge: order cocktails while playing “carol-oke”.

For those with a head for heights, see the Christmas lights from the top of the giant observation wheel. The traditional fairground also features a helter skelter and a carousel, and you can complete your Twixtmas day out by wandering over to Kensington Palace for Victorian carols from The Prince Regent’s Band (from £15.50, between December 27 and New Year’s Day, hrp.org.uk).

Incurable romantics can meet by Green Park Tube station on the 27th for a Love Actually walking tour (from £9, eventbrite.co.uk), or for something more leisurely, book yourself in for a horse-drawn carriage ride through Richmond Park — sloe gin and mince pies included (£125, royalparks.org.uk).

The feasts 

That Christmas roast may have diminished into a pile of leftovers but the diet doesn’t start until January. And festive feasts must be accompanied by music: the Boxing Day banquet at Quaglino’s brasserie in St James’s has live music from Alanna & The Qs (£42, quaglinos-restaurant.co.uk). On the 27th, a two-course booze-up at Soho’s 100 Wardour St will be accompanied by soul, funk and hip-hop troupe The Fellas (£30, 100wardourst.com) and on the 29th, swing by the Madison for sets from DJ Vivyan and DJ and art collector Henry Relph with your dinner (£35, madisonlondon.net).

f three courses isn’t enough, there’s an eight-course thali feast at Cinnamon Bazaar (throughout December, £30, cinnamon-bazaar.com) and Le Petit Chef will host a 3D animated dinner show at TT Liquor in Hackney on the 30th (£95, dinnertimestory.com).

For a truly magical dinner, dress up for Beauty and the Feast at The Vaults in Waterloo, where you’ll be treated to a delicious banquet, regal French fashion and dancing on the tables under giant chandeliers (from December 27, £35, thevaults.london).

If you’d rather start at lunchtime, sign up for a bottomless brunch at Rascals in Shoreditch and indulge in truffle linguine, meatballs, jelly and ice cream alongside unlimited espresso martinis and buck’s fizz (£40, londonrascals.com).

The Drink

They don’t call it dry December. Revel in the last days of guilt-free boozing while London’s winter lodges are still in full flow: have a Mistletoe Spritz inside the Sipping Room’s pop-up capsules in West India Quay (drakeandmorgan.co.uk) or warm up with a hot chocolate rum in the Aviary’s igloos in the City (aviarylondon.com).

If that’s not cool enough, check out the Eis Haus’s urban alpine resort near London Bridge for artisan drinks in frozen glasses (eishaus.co.uk), and continue the ski vibe with a mulled wine at Flat Iron Square’s pop-up ski chalet Après London (flatironsquare.co.uk).

For spirits, get yourself a Pogues whisky cocktail in the Fairytale of New York courtyard at Hush Mayfair (hush.co.uk), or warm up with a hot gin Montry Strudel cocktail with home-made apple pie at Rosewood London’s Monkey 47 Winter Lodge in Holborn (holborndiningroom.com).

Swing by Mews of Mayfair’s underground lounge bar for a King’s Negroni or a champagne cocktail when you’re tired of the Boxing Day sales (£14, mewsofmayfair.com). It’s open every day from Boxing Day in the build-up to a New Year’s Eve blowout: indulge in a sumptuous four-course menu in the first-floor brasserie or book one of the three private dining rooms, then head to the lounge downstairs to party until the early hours.

If you’re sick of the festivities, pop into BATCH Bar in Peckham for an anti-Christmas boozy pop-up with cocktails themed around monsters (batch.bar).

The Culture

Weekdays outside the office mean you can see art without queueing. Keep culture fixes festive with the Christmas Past exhibition at the Geffrye Museum (free, geffrye-museum.org.uk). The museum closes for two years from January 7, so Twixtmas is the perfect time to catch a last glimpse.

For ABBA fans, there’s a Super Trouper exhibition at the Southbank Centre (southbankcentre.co.uk) and don’t miss the Dali and Duchamp exhibition at the Royal Academy (£15, royalacademy.org.uk).

There are daytime performances of A Christmas Carol at the Museum of London on the 27th and 28th (museumoflondon.org.uk), and you can watch The Nutcracker at The Royal Albert Hall (from £80, royalalberthall.com). There’s a Batman screening at Prince Charles Cinema on the 29th (from £5.50, princecharlescinema.com) and The Barbican is putting on an orchestral performance of Star Wars on the 27th (from £16.50, barbican.org.uk).

In Leicester Square, The Black Cat Cabaret will be back on the 28th with high-kicking showgirls, acrobats and comic singers (from £24, theblackcat.info).

The Parties

Dalston Winter Roof Park

Cramming all the joy into one night on New Year’s Eve seems risky when you can spread revelry over a week. Start with a Boxing Day rave at Egg in King’s Cross (from £11.30, residentadvisor.net) or head south where Brixton Jamm (from £6, brixtonjamm.org) is throwing a post-Christmas DJ extravaganza and Rum Kitchen is hosting a carnival knockout with cocktails, 150 rums and free entry from 6pm (brixton.therumkitchen.com).

If you’re not all sung out from carolling, head to the Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch for Hip Hop Karaoke on the 28th. There’ll also be a live nine-piece Riot Jazz brass band at Brixton Rooftop’s South Pole Saloon (from £5, brixtonrooftop.com) and Cecil Sharp House is hosting a Great Gatsby party (from £13, cecilsharphouse.org).

​Livin Proof is creating a backlash against the stress and expense of New Year’s Eve this year with its Anti NYE party on the 29th: head to Oval Space for sets from Narx and Complexion until 4am (£16.90, residentadvisor.net). Party in a railway arch in Clapham at Fu Manchu (from £6, fumanchu.co.uk), see DJ Yoda at the Jazz Café in Camden (£11.30, thejazzcafelondon.com) or take yourself back to the swinging Sixties at Brixton Rooftop’s Winter of Love Festival on the heated party terrace at the Prince of Wales (from £6, residentadvisor.net). Expect all the energy of San Francisco with a barbecue food shack, winter cocktail bar and a punchy line up of live music and DJs.

At Dalston Roof Park it’s a two-day affair: free entry on the 29th for its Winter Series Closing Party, and on the 30th head down for the New Year’s Eve (Eve) extravaganza (from £5, bootstrapcompany.co.uk).

Make New Year’s Eve Eve a thing at Rumpus’ Plasticine v Pleistocine blowout at Islington Metal Works (from £12.50, rumpusparty.co.uk), a silent disco at Clapham Grand (from £10, claphamgrand.com) or a masked ball at Soho’s exclusive Century Club (from £12, centuryclub.co.uk).

When New Year comes around, you’ll welcome the detox.

via TheStandard