It’s officially winter now but don’t be too tempted to stay indoors all month. Wrap up warm and head out to the many festive parties, cosy winter pop-ups and Christmas events happening across the country. Christmas is a wonderful time to reflect on who and what we love, but it’s also an opportunity to see how we can enjoy the festive season mindfully by shopping ethically and organically. Merry Christmas everyone!
There’s something really special about browsing Christmas markets. Sipping mulled wine, listening to carols and buying locally-made trinkets is a winter’s treat. We will be taking part in Pexmas again this year so come along to say hello and see our pieces at first hand. That’s your pressie shopping sorted!
Pexmas, Warwick Gardens, Peckham 9th December. 11- 5pm
Get hygge with it
If you love all things Scandi, and let’s face it, who doesn’t, then you’ll love this Nordic pop up bar in Regent’s Place, Fitzrovia. Sip on hot cider in a wooden hut and if you close your eyes you can almost hear Santa’s sleigh bells ringing.
Thor’s Nordic Winter Wonderland, Regent’s Place, Fitzrovia
Donate words to a Christmas tree created out of songs by human and machine voices in this bizarre and beautiful installation at the V&A. It’s a digital production of sound including a swirl of written words to create the image of a tree. You can add your own festive words when you visit. The installation was conceived by Es Devlin who has designed light shows and sculptures for the live shows of Beyonce, Kanye and Adele.
V&A, until 6 January 2018
Take the kids along to the Museum of Architecture to see an impressive array of building models all made out of gingerbread. The imaginary city is made by architecture firms who were invited to pick a plot on a masterplan and respond to a brief. The exhibition takes up two floors, and smells and looks delicious.
Museum of Architecture, Brompton, 6 – 22 Dec
Dine in an ingloo
The Sipping Room in West India Quay has six quaint little pop-up PVC igloos. Each one seats eight and contains electric heaters, sheepskin throws, hot water bottles and jumpers so you can snuggle up while you enjoy a cocktail or two and take in the sparkly view of Canary Wharf.
The Sipping Room, West India Quay, until 31 December
Get your skates on
It just isn’t Christmas if you don’t have a soggy bottom from falling over in a pop-ice rink at a beautiful venue. The Natural History Museum has one of the best locations with its gorgeous backdrop of Alfred Waterhouse’s buildings, a huge Christmas tree smack bang in the middle of the rink and Hotel Chocolat providing the hot chocolate. We like the little bears the kids use to skate with at Somerset House and wish they made grown-up sized ones for us. We also like the look of Skylight, a rooftop ice rink in Tobacco Docks, Wapping.
Greenwich Winter Time Festival
If the crowds at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park put you off, why not head to pretty Greenwich instead? The space in front of the Old Royal Naval College will have a covered ice rink and a market filled with modern craft and design. The beautiful old buildings of Greenwich overlooking the river look all Christmassy at the best of times. Fingers crossed for snow.
Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, 1 – 31 Dec
Don’t forget to buy your Christmas tree from one of the ten Tree Aid forests around the capital including Dulwich, Stoke Newington and Highbury. Every tree sold will mean another tree planted in the driest parts of Africa, helping to re-green the environments and improve the lives of families living in Ethiopia, Burkino Faso and Mali.
www.christmasforest.co.uk, until 24 December
Take the kids along to see the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s production of the classic Christmas ballet The Nutcracker. It’s danced to Tchaikovsky’s wonderful score and boasts beautiful, romantic backdrops - a festive treat.
Royal Albert Hall, Knightsbridge, 28 December – 31 December.
What to eat
Brussel sprouts – in season now - have a terrible reputation but cooked in the right way they can be delicious. Try them in a gratin with cream and almonds. Chestnuts, delicious roasted and eaten as is, are also yummy when accompanied with mushrooms in a winter warming pie. Sweet, juicy in-season clementines are a staple at the bottom of any Christmas stocking.
What to Wear
December is party month. And we love nothing more than getting dressed up for a party. With that in mind we will be reaching for Kemp Gadegaard's gorgeous silks and August's luxurious organic cotton velours for a grown up take on partywear. Perfect for all your Christmas parties and for the big day itself, it is all about dressing for the occasion. And when the party's over? Well we'll be wrapping up in the cosiest knitwear for lazy days in front of the fire. Get your Christmas wadrobe sorted now!