Christmas 2021: Festive events and excursions in London this week

The disc

A snow-covered Hogwarts trip – what could be more Christmas? (Image:

It feels like a lot of our Christmas fun is going to take place up on the roof this year, what with Sabine winter wonderlanding shizzle out of St Paul’s and Skylight getting into the high ice rink action.

But it all does not go up in smoke. Oh no.

We will also keep our feet on the ground – to begin with at least – with a tour of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts mansion, Club de Fromage’s 15th birthday party, Bando Belly’s sparkling bingo in Peckham and the opening of Hackney’s largest taproom to date. .

Be still our beating liver!

Too much chicken to play with?

Bando Belly Bingo

You can Bando it! (Photo: Yaneva Santana)

Just the name of it rolls off your tongue in such a way that you feel compelled to check it out: Bando Belly boozy bingo. It feels good to say, right?

And that’s just the beginning. Bando Belly is South London’s hottest soul fusion venue, bringing fried chicken burgers and tatertos to the good people of Peckham, and as if that’s not a big enough attraction, they’re adding now – you got it! – bingo with cash prizes, courtesy of Wray & Nephew rum and the bubbly ice cream vendors, Wavey Ice – all with a bit of a boogie.

Oh, and entertainment from Manga Saint Hilare and comedian Daman Bamrah. Realize it, it’s a pretty complete night on the town!

Friday, Unit 606, Floor 5, Peckham Levels, SE15

You would cheddar believe it!

Wimbledon beer and cheese tasting

Enjoy cheesy moments (Photo: Wimbledon Brewery)

If you think a cheese and wine night is a little fancy for you (we can make it fancy, no problem), what about a beer and cheese tasting? We are with. Well, we usually have cheese on toast after a beer anyway, so we’m halfway there.

The evening is hosted by a cheese expert from Local Cheese Cave and a Wimbledon Brewery brewery, and you get six unique cheeses served with six beer and ale tasters – and maybe a bit of chutney and a biscuit, but it’s just us who use our imagination – plus a walk around their taproom.

A good night on the town, an imaginative early Christmas present, and you might even get some ideas for a seasonal pantry!

Tomorrow, Wimbledon Tap, 19 Prince George’s Road, Unit 8, SW19

Slant down a festive place


It’s basically like super posh Après (Photo: Sabine)

Take a lift up to the winter landscape at Sabine – you know, the rooftop bar with the best views of St. Paul’s Cathedral – because they have done everything to celebrate the first proper Christmas in two years in total style.

Fairytale lights, frosted greenery and Christmas trees everywhere, even at the bar – and if you sit outside, heaters and blankets and even a full-scale alpine ski lodge for all your Instagram needs.

Plus to keep you warm from the inside out, their resident mixologist Davide Valvano will whip up mouth-watering wonders with rum, ginger, homemade syrups and more – all to enjoy along with a spectacular winter menu of light dishes and sharing plates.

Oh, and then there’s their New Year’s Eve …

7th floor, Leonardo Royal Hotel, 10 Godliman Street, EC4

Let the Gouda time roll!

Cheese Club

You better brie there! (Photo: Club de Fromage)

Tell us it’s not like that! Club de Fromage is 15 years old? How old does that make us? Early 20s, right?

Conceived – according to its founders – as the club forgot at the time, with father-dancing artists, mistimed balloon drops and generally the kind of thing that usually shuts a club down, it was an instant smash and has been smashed (and had other people smashed) ever since.

And to mark the passage of time – and a success that has seen them do Glasto and Ally Pally, just to name two – they lie on cake, cheap soda, balloons and a stage show (god help us!).

The only thing missing is you to outfit. You know the one.

Saturday, O2 Academy Islington, 16 Parkfield St, N1

Put on your skates

Skylight window

See you on the ice (Photo: Haydon Perrior)

Eating, drinking and skating? What? All at the same time? We do not have enough hands – especially since we need to grab the edge / a more attractive … sorry, we mean more competent skater at all times!

But we reckon we can falter, especially since it means we get a seasonal visit to the beautiful rooftop wonderland, which is Skylight and get to check out the igloo village … and the après-ski lodge … and the off-piste-speakeasy … and treat yourself to the Skylight Christmas Cocktail Cinema Experience for some Love Actually / Die Hard-action.

Pyha! If we are not going to skate actually, then so be it. Imagine the Dickensian warehouse with its cobblestones at Christmas …

Tobacco Dock, E1

No butterfinger barkeeps here

Hotbox and The Clumsies

(Image: The Clumsies)

Now, Hotbox always seemed like a perfect Christmas spot for us anyway. Not just because it has the word “hot” in the title, but because its legendary barbecue is a bit of what you fancy on a cold winter night.

And now, as if we needed another reason to reserve a table, they’ve teamed up with The Clumsies – the Athens-based bar you know from the list of 50 best cocktail bars you’ve stored on your phone – for a two-night residence.

By combining unusual ingredients – think buttered rum, fermented milky oolong tea, beetroot kvass – with their undisputed talent, you can expect a recherché sidecar for your smokehouse treats.

December 8-9, 46-48 Commercial Street, E1

You will love this!

Hogwarts in the snow

It’s Real Magic (Image: Marc Sethi)

Could there be a more magical way to celebrate Christmas than at Hogwarts? And this year, it’s more magical than ever with a snow – covered forest, cobbled streets with Christmas shops and a large hall decorated – and it’s not often you get to use the word “covered”! – with wreaths and ‘flaming’ Christmas puddings and snow-covered trees and far up there little witches on small broomsticks.

And that’s before you lose it over the fact that you’re walking on the holy ground where Harry and the gang once set foot. Treat yourself … even if you’re on the naughty list!

Until 16 January, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Leavesden, WD25

A beer-illiant new splash

Five points

Get a pint…. or five (Image: Five points)

They already have a huge headquarters in London Fields, and now Five Points, Hackney’s largest independent brewery, is taking it a step further and opening a giant new brewery and taproom – the largest in all of Hackers, in Mare Street, which is basically London Fields anyway !

They will do anything to make it easy for themselves, the one who has five points. Fill your boots with iconic Five Points ale, including some seasonal specials and draft beers – a beer connoisseur’s dream! – with New York-style pizzas from Ace to help counteract the effects of all that beer.

Do not expect it to do much for your waistline, but your happiness level should increase just thinking about it!

Thursdays-Saturdays, 61 Mare Street, E8

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