She Road Trips

Festive London Treats: 2014 Advent Calendar

November 30, 2014 | Comment

If you’re looking for ways to enjoy this festive season in London then you’re sure to find something that interests you here. Each day until Christmas Eve a new London gem will be revealed, it might be an attraction, an event, an activity or a pub but whatever it is it will be a jolly seasonal treat; all info, dates, prices and location will be provided.

Nearest tube and train stations will be given but if you need help planning your route then visit the TFL journey planner. Driving and parking can be tricky in and around London but Parkopedia will help you plan ahead and find the best deal for you.

 All images sourced from respective websites.

Name Address Description
Winterville Victoria Park
London E3 5TB, UK

Winterville

What is it? A Christmas theme park that with its independent, intimate and creative attractions promises to be the antithesis of corporate parks. Events and attractions include comedy and cabaret nights, roller discos, horse-drawn carriages and a motordrome; plus plenty of high quality street food.

When?  2nd Dec 2014 – 1st Jan 2015 10am – Late

            Closed 25th/26th Dec

Price/Fee? Free entry but some events require tickets.

Where? Victoria Park, E3 5TB

Nearest train station: Cambridge Heath or Hackney Wick

Nearest tube station: Mile End (District, Hammersmith & City and Central lines), Bethnal Green (Central Line), Bow Road (District Line), Bow Church (DLR)

Visit the Winterville website for more info. 

Get Directions

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    Hot Tub Cinema London E1 5ER, UK

    What is it? There are few occasions in the middle of an English winter when you’ll want to put on a swimsuit and venture into the open air but this might just be one of them. Hot Tub Cinema will be showing a host of festive films throughout the holiday season and they encourage you to sing, dance and enjoy your favourites from the comfort of a steamy tub, which will include its own waiter.

    When? Festive films begin with Elf on 2nd Dec 6:30-10:30pm

    Prices & Fees? Individual tickets (for a shared tub) are £35 (20% off for early bird bookings)

                            Private tub (6 person max) £190 (20% off for early bird bookings)

    Where? As a pop-up event this moves around but December showings are mainly on the platform of the Former Shoreditch Underground Station.

    Nearest station: Liverpool Street Station or Bethnall Green

    Nearest Overground station: Shoreditch High Street or Whitechapel

    Nearest tube station: Liverpool Street (Central, Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan underground lines) or Whitechapel (Circle, District, Hammersmith & City)

    For more info visit the Hot Tub Cinema website        

    Get Directions

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      A Merry Christmas Cabaret London W1D 6AS, UK

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      What is it? A charity cabaret in aid of Stand up to Cancer; Musical Theatre performers from across the West End will join together for a night of festive favourites. It’s a great way to get into the spirit of the season and see some of the best musical talent currently on London’s stages all in one place, not to mention while raising money for a good cause.

      When? 4th Dec 10:45pm

      Price/Fee? £27.25 seated/tables

                              £17.25 general admission

                              £77.25 champagne package

      Where? Delfont Room, Prince of Wales Theatre, Coventry Street, W1D 6AS

      Nearest train station: is Charing Cross

      Nearest tube station: Piccadilly Circus (Piccadilly and Bakerloo underground lines) or Charing Cross (Northern and Bakerloo underground lines)

      For more info visit the website  

      Get Directions

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        The Portrait Choir Trafalgar Square
        London, UK

        What is it? A special after-hours performance of Handel’s Messiah to take place in the stunning Victorian Galleries of the National Portrait Gallery. “With its well-known choruses, thrilling drama and stunning solos” this performance will certainly be a very special event.

        When? 6 & 7th Dec 2014 7pm-9:15pm

        Price/Fee? Premium Seating £30,concessions available

                                General seating £24

        Where? The National Portrait Gallery, Trafalgar Square.

        Nearest train station: Charing Cross

        Nearest tube station: Charing Cross (Bakerloo and Northern underground lines) and Piccadilly Circus (Piccadilly and Bakerloo underground lines)

        For more info visit the National Portrait Gallery website 

        Get Directions

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          The Empress 130 Lauriston Road
          London E9 7LH, UK

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          What is it? A pub/restaurant that offers delicious winter fare but not necessarily a typical Christmas dinner. The Christmas menu includes Cauliflower soup, beetroot cured salmon and breast of guinea fowl perhaps followed by cinnamon crème brulee.

          When? Lunch | Tuesday to Saturday 12pm to 3.30pm
                          Dinner | Monday to Saturday 6pm to 10.15pm

          Price/Fee? Lunch £19.50 for two courses or £24.5 for three
          Dinner & Sat lunch £22 for two courses or £27 for three
          For pre-ordered parties of 5 or more 1st to 23rd December

          To book a table call 0208 533 5123

          Where? 130 Lauriston Rd, Victoria Park

          Nearest train Station: Cambridge Heath or Hackney Wick overground

          Nearest tube station: Bethnall Green (Central) or Mile End (Central, Circle, District, Hammersmith & City)

          For more info visit The Empress website

          Get Directions

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            Crafty Fox Market 389 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton
            London SW9 8LQ, UK

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            What is it? A craft market that boasts unique, design-led, hand-made products sold by the makers themselves this will be the perfect place to pick up something one of kind this Christmas.

            When? 6th & 7th Dec 11am-5pm at Brixton

                           13th & 14th Dec 12-6pm at Peckham

            Price/Fee? Free

            Where? Two locations over two weekends...

                              6th & 7th Dec The Dogstar 389 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LQ

            Nearest train station: Brixton

            Nearest tube station: Brixton (Victoria line)

                        13th & 14th Dec The CLF Art Café, Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST

            Nearest train station: Peckham Rye (Overground)

            For more info visit the Crafty Fox Market website

            Get Directions

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              Crafty Fox Market 133 Rye Lane, City of London, London
              Greater London SE15 4ST, UK

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              What is it? A craft market that boasts unique, design-led, hand-made products sold by the makers themselves this will be the perfect place to pick up something one of kind this Christmas.

              When? 6th & 7th Dec 11am-5pm at Brixton

                             13th & 14th Dec 12-6pm at Peckham

              Price/Fee? Free

              Where? Two locations over two weekends...

                                6th & 7th Dec The Dogstar 389 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LQ

              Nearest train station: Brixton

              Nearest tube station: Brixton (Victoria line)

                          13th & 14th Dec The CLF Art Café, Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST

              Nearest train station: Peckham Rye (Overground)

              For more info visit the Crafty Fox Market website

              Get Directions

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                Somerset House Ice Rink Somerset House
                London WC2R, UK

                Somerset House

                What is it? There are a few rinks around London but none in a grander setting than the beautiful 18th Century courtyard of Somerset House. This stunning location in the heart of London means that tickets are in high demand but with controlled time-slots it will never feel too over-crowed. Beverages are available from the covered and heated bar so you can warm up with a mulled wine and watch the skaters while you wait.

                When is it? 11th Nov – 11th Jan 8:45am – 10:30pm (11:30pm on selected days)

                24th Dec 10am – 6:30pm (last session starts at 5:30pm)
                Thursday 25th Dec, CLOSED
                Friday 26th Dec, 12pm – 10:15pm (last session starts at 9:15pm)
                Wednesday 31st December, 10am – 6:30pm (last session starts at 5:30pm)
                Thursday 1st January, 12.30pm - 10.15pm (last session starts at 9.15pm)

                Prices & Fees? Tickets are from £7.50 (not including booking/transaction fees) but prices vary depending on peak times. Limited tickets go on sale from the box office daily (4 max pp) but must be purchased in person so to be sure of a slot call 0844 847 1520 or go to Ticketmaster

                Where? Somerset House, The Strand

                Nearest train stations: Charing Cross, Blackfriars and Waterloo.

                Nearest tube stations: Temple, Embankment (District and Circle underground lines), Covent Garden (Piccadilly underground line) and Charing Cross (Northern and Bakerloo underground line)

                Buses to the Strand include 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 77a, 91 and 176

                More info? Visit the Somerset House website 

                Get Directions

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                  Carol Singing in Trafalgar Square Trafalgar Square
                  London WC2N 5DN, UK

                  What is it? Beneath Trafalgar Square’s famous Christmas tree gifted to London from Norway each year there will be more than 50 choirs singing a host of carols over the course of 16 days. Wrap up and enjoy an evening in the glow of the impressive National Gallery and there are plenty of cafes around to purchase warm beverages that’ll keep you going.

                  When? 8th Dec to 23rd Dec 2014

                                  4pm-8pm weekdays

                                  2pm-6pm weekends

                  Price/Fee? Free (Donations welcome)

                  Where? Trafalgar Square

                  Nearest train station: Charing Cross

                  Nearest tube station: Charing Cross (Bakerloo and Northern underground lines) and Piccadilly Circus (Piccadilly and Bakerloo underground lines)

                  For more info visit the website

                  Get Directions

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                    Matthew Bourne's Edward Scissor Hands London EC1R 4TN, UK

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                    What is it? It may be traditional to head to the ballet at this time of year but if you fancy something a little different then this revival of Bourne’s Edward Scissorhands is the perfect festive treat. As an internationally acclaimed and multi-award winning choreographer Bourne’s adaptation of the Tim Burton classic is unlikely to disappoint.

                    When? 2nd Dec 2014 – 11th Jan 2015

                    Tue - Sat at 7.30pm
                    Sun at 7pm
                    Tue Mats at 2.30pm on 23 & 30 Dec
                    Wed Mats at 2.30pm on 24 & 31 Dec
                    Fri Mats at 2.30pm on 26 Dec & 2 Jan
                    Sat Mats at 2.30pm
                    Sun Mats at 2pm
                    No performance: 24 (7.30pm), 25, 31 (7.30pm) Dec, 1 Jan

                    Price/Fee? Seats range £12, £24, £32, £45, £55

                    Where? Sadler’s Wells Theatre EC1R 4TN

                    Nearest Train station: King’s Cross St Pancras or Euston

                    Nearest tube station: Angel (Northern line) or King’s Cross St Pancras (Hammersmith & City, Northern, Metropolitan, Circle, Victoria and Piccadilly underground lines)

                    For more info visit the Sadler's Wells website

                    Get Directions

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                      Christmas Wreath Making Course Isleworth, Isleworth
                      Greater London TW7 6NJ, UK

                      What is it? A fun and crafty way to spend your time with a beautiful wreath to take home at the end; at the School of Floristry you can spend two hours learning to choose, prepare and condition flowers and foliage for making the perfect Christmas wreath. You’ll also discover how to make the perfect bow and to wire accessories; you’ll learn all the design techniques for a well balanced wreath. There also courses in Christmas table decorations.

                      When? Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th Dec 2014 starting 11am

                                  Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st Dec 2014 starting at 11am

                                  More classes to be scheduled (check the website below)

                      Price/Fee? £35 pp

                      Where? 10 the Metro Centre, St Johns Rd, Rennells Way, TW7 6NJ

                      Nearest train station: Isleworth

                      Nearest tube station: Hounslow East (Piccadilly underground line)

                      For more info visit the School of Floristry website

                      Get Directions

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                        Danny Elfman's Music from the Films of Tim Burton Royal Albert Hall, Kensington
                        London SW7 2AP, UK

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                        What is it? A concert in the world famous Royal Albert Hall that celebrates one of the most successful film collaborations to date; the scores are brought to life by the London Concert Orchestra and the Maida Vale Singers, with a guest appearance from Elfman himself. Sure to be an unforgettable night of glorious music this is the perfect way to enjoy the season when you’re tired of the more traditional offerings.

                        When?  Friday 12th Dec 5pm & 9:30pm

                        Price/Fee? Tickets from £17.80 (standing) £22.90 (sitting)

                        Where? The Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore SW7 2AP

                        Nearest train station: London Victoria

                        Nearest tube station: South Kensington (District, Circle and Piccadilly lines) or High Street Kensington (District & Circle lines)

                        For more info visit the Royal Albert Hall Website

                        Get Directions

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                          Chocolate Festival London N1 0QH, UK

                          What is it? A joyous, indulgent celebration of all things chocolate. There’s a hot chocolate trail, a cocoa spa and a tasting lounge. Plus a special Christmas market for chocolate gifts and a Christmas tree decorated entirely in chocolate. What would Christmas be without chocolate? At this festival you’ll never have to find out.

                          When? 12th Dec 1-8pm

                                      13th Dec 10am-7pm

                                      14th Dec 10am-3pm

                          Price/Fee?  Adult £8 on the door £7 pre-book

                                                  Child (5-16 years) £5 on the door £4 pre-book

                                                  Under 5’s free

                          Where? Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, N1 0QH

                          Nearest train station: King’s Cross St Pancras or Essex Rd

                          Nearest tube station: Angel (Northern line) or King’s Cross St Pancras (Northern, Circle, Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City, Piccadilly, Victoria lines)

                          For more info visit the Chocolate Festival website

                          Get Directions

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                            Wigwambam: 'Woodlandia' London EC2A 3JX, UK

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                            What is it? A rooftop bar and BBQ to be enjoyed beneath the stars or in the comfort of the candle-lit Wigwam; this cosy spot in the East End is inspired by wintry British woodlands. There are events on throughout the season including ‘drink & do’ nights where you might learn origami or cocktail making. Arrive early to guarantee seating.

                            When? Now until Jan 2015 open from 4pm Mon-Sat

                            Price/Fee? Hot Cocktails from £6

                                                    Food from £5.50-£7.50 (including sides)

                            Where? Queen of Hoxton, 1-5 Curtain Rd, EC2A 3JX

                            Nearest Train Station: Shoreditch High Street (Overground)

                            Nearest Tube Station: Liverpool Street (Central, Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan underground lines)

                            For more info visit the Queen of Hoxton website

                            Get Directions

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                              Light Up the Palace Hampton Court Palace, Molesey, East Molesey, East Molesey
                              Surrey KT8 9AU, UK

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                              What is it? This stunning project of Henry VIII’s is worth a visit at any time of year but Hampton Court Palace is opening the palace garden gates at night this December and your own footsteps bring the garden to life with colourful illuminations. Wrap up warm as the experience lasts around an hour  - so long as you don’t get lost in the maze. Food and drink will be available to purchase.

                              When? Now -  23rd Dec 2014 5pm -8pm (timed ticket slots)

                              Prices & Fees £10 adult

                                                      £5 child

                                                      £5 HRP member

                                                      Entry at 4:30pm is free with a valid palace ticket for that day

                              Where? Trains run every ½ hour from Waterloo Station (Hampton Court is Zone 6) No tube station nearby but the London Overground stops in Richmond

                              Bus routes from Kingston: 111, 216, 411, 461, 513. From Richmond R68

                              For more info visit the Hampton Court Palace website

                              Get Directions

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                                Le Garrick Garrick Street
                                London, UK

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                                What is it? A tiny French gem in the heart of London. This lovely little restaurant is so warm and cosy that it feels like Christmas all year round. Most of the seating is downstairs so don’t bother trying to get signal on your phone just escape from the world and enjoy the great food and atmosphere. The menu is packed with heart-warming French dishes like Confit de Carnard, Cassoulet de Toulouse and Moules frites, but don’t panic if that all is too overwhelming because their burgers are some of the best in London. It gets busy so I recommend booking.

                                When? Mon – Sat 12pm – 10:30pm

                                Price/Fee? Main course from £11.95 - £24.95 (steak)

                                Where? 10-12 Garrick Street

                                Nearest train station: Blackfriars

                                Nearest tube station: Leicester Square (Northern & Piccadilly underground lines)

                                For more info visit the Le Garrick website

                                Get Directions

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                                  I Saw This & Thought of You The British Museum, Great Russell Street
                                  London WC1B 3DG, UK

                                  What is it? The British Museum have a whole host of events, including some hands on craft workshops; I Saw This & Thought of You is a short talk by Education Manager Katharine Hoare on the history of gift giving in ancient Britain. Sure to be a great way to discover some fascinating facts about this season of giving. No booking required, just drop in.

                                  When? Wed 17th Dec 1:15-2pm

                                  Price/Fee? Free

                                  Where? The British Museum, Great Russell Street, WC1B 3DG

                                  Nearest train station: Euston, King’s Cross St Pancras

                                  Nearest tube station: Holborn (Central and Piccadilly), Tottenham Court Road (Central and Northern lines) and Goodge Street (Northen line)

                                  For more info visit the British Museum website

                                  Get Directions

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                                    Southbank's Winter Festival Lambeth
                                    London SE1 8XX, UK

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                                    What is it? A celebration of Christmas stuffed full with festive shows (including La Soiree and Slava’s Snow Show), a large Christmas market, a Christmas tree maze plus a programme of seasonal pop-up treats. Perfectly situated on the Thames to give fantastic views of some iconic London landmarks simply wrap up and spend the evening supping mulled wine, munching mince pies and soaking up the festive joy.

                                    When? 5th November 2014 – 11th January 2015

                                                10am-10pm daily (market closes 9pm on Thurs & Sun

                                                10am – 6pm Christmas Eve

                                                Noon -10pm Boxing Day (Dec 26th)

                                                1pm-9pm New Year’s Day

                                                Outdoor activities closed on New Year’s Eve

                                                Closed on Christmas Day

                                    Prices & Fees Free entry to the markets & themed cafes

                                                            Southbank Centre Express & Christmas Tree Maze cost £4 pp

                                                            Tickets prices for shows can be found here 

                                    Where? Nearest tube and train station is Waterloo (Jubille, Northern, Waterloo & City, Bakerloo underground lines). I would recommend arriving or departing via Waterloo bridge, which offers one of the best views of London in either direction.

                                    For more info visit the Southbank website

                                    Get Directions

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                                      Christmas Dickens Walks Bank Underground Station (Entrance 3)
                                      London EC4N, UK

                                      What is it? Author and broadcaster Richard Jones offers many Dickens themed walking tours of London but his Christmas Carol tour celebrates Christmas Victorian style and looks at those traditions that were the innovation of Dickens himself. Wrap up warm and follow Richard through the lanes and alleys that Dickens and his characters walked; plus Richard promises to do it all in Victorian costume.

                                      When? Christmas tours still available at time of publication:

                                                                              Sunday 28th Dec 2:30pm

                                                                              Wednesday 31st Dec 11am

                                      Price/Fee? £10 pp

                                      Where? Meeting at Exit 3 of Bank underground station

                                      Nearest train station: London Cannon Street or Liverpool Street

                                      Nearest tube station: Bank (Northern and Central underground lines plus DLR) and Monument (Circle and District Underground lines)

                                      For more info visit the website

                                      Get Directions

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                                        The Hide Bar London SE1 3XF, UK

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                                        What is it? A cocktail bar with award winning bartenders and consistently positive reviews. There will be a selection of hot cocktails to warm you up throughout the festive season. Plus with an off-sales licence until 10pm there’s even a take away menu. Bar snacks available.

                                        When? Tuesday to Saturday 5pm – “late”

                                        Price/Fee? Signature cocktails £9

                                        Where? 35-49 Bermondsey Street

                                        Nearest train station: London Bridge

                                        Nearest tube station: London Bridge (Northern and Jubilee underground lines) or Borough (Northern underground line)

                                        For more info visit The Hide Bar website

                                        Get Directions

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                                          Panto - Cinderella London SW19 1QG, UK

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                                          What is it? A British tradition during the festive period is to see a pantomime and Wimbledon Theatre usually put on one of the best in town; this year it’s Cinderella starring Linda Gray, Tim Vine & Wayne Sleep. It’s always a spectacle with grand sets, elaborate costumes and this year they promise real Shetland ponies; warm up those vocal chords because there’ll be heaps of audience participation.

                                          When? Now until Jan 11th 2015 Matinee and evening shows daily but times vary see here for details. 

                                          Price/Fee? General tickets are £10-£39.50 (plus a booking fee)

                                          Where? 93 the Broadway, SW19 1QG

                                          Nearest Train station: Wimbledon

                                          Nearest tube station: Wimbledon (District underground line)

                                          For more info visit the ATG website

                                          Get Directions

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                                            Hogwarts in the Snow Warner Bros. Studio Tour, Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Watford
                                            Hertfordshire WD25 7LR, UK

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                                            What is it? The Harry Potter Studio tour of the sets from the block-busting film series gets a magical and festive makeover. The Great Hall will be decorated for Christmas with the dining tables dressed for the great feast. The tour is also packed with original props and costumes from the film series.

                                            When? Now until the 1st Feb 2015

                                            Opening times vary – see here 

                                            Price/Fee?  2014 Adult £31 Child £23.50 (4 and under free)

                                                                    2015 Adult £33 Child £25.50

                                            Where? Leavesden, WD25 7LR. Nearest train station is Watford Junction Overground (from Euston station) the studio provides a shuttle bus from here to the studio every 20mins at £2 pp return.

                                            For more info visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour website

                                            Get Directions

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                                              The Pie Room Fitzrovia
                                              London W1T 1NG, UK

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                                              What is it? There’s nothing more heart warming in the bitter winter weather than sitting by a fire with a delicious, steaming pie. This tiny room above the Newman Arms has charm, warmth and some of the most traditional British pies and puddings you’ll see on any London menu. The Christmas menu includes game pie, mutton pie and Christmas pudding with brandy custard. This place is seriously teeny tiny so book in advance by calling 02076361127

                                              When? Mon-Fri only

                                                          Pie room open 13pm-3pm

                                                                                     6pm-10pm

                                                          Bar open           12pm-11:20pm

                                              Price/Fee? Christmas menu £30 pp

                                              Where? 23 Rathbone Street

                                              Nearest train station: Euston

                                              Nearest tube station: Goodge Street (Northern underground line) or Tottenham Court rd (Northern or Central underground line)

                                              For more info visit the Pie Room website

                                              Get Directions

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                                                Philip Pullman's Grimm Tales London SE1 9PH, UK

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                                                What is it? An immersive theatre experience that brings to life the delightfully twisted world of the Brothers Grimm; this is the way to delve into the darker side of winter. Although aimed at both children and adults it seems that Philip Wilson’s adaptation of Pullman’s book will not be holding back as he promises to plunge the audience into a parallel universe. You’ll be walking around for a few hours so wear warm clothing and comfortable footwear (a cloakroom is provided for bags).

                                                When? Now to 15th February Tues-Sun 7pm & 7:15pm start times

                                                                       Some matinees 2pm & 2:15pm start times

                                                                       No shows on 24th, 25th, 26th Dec or 31st Jan

                                                Price/Fee? Adult £45

                                                                        Child (under 16) £20

                                                Where? Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, SE1 9PH

                                                Nearest train station: London Waterloo or Blackfriars (over the river)

                                                Nearest tube station; Southwark (Jubilee line) or Blackfriars (Circle and District lines)

                                                For more info visit the Grimm Tales website

                                                Get Directions

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                                                  Carnaby Christmas Lights Carnaby
                                                  London, UK

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                                                  What is it? Carnaby Street is a hub of British talent in fashion and lifestyle design; always fresh, quirky and innovative this iconic spot puts the same effort into its Christmas lights. There’ll be plenty of lights all over London but Carnaby Street is sure to provide something a little different.

                                                  When? Now – Jan 2014

                                                  Price/Fee? Free

                                                  Where? Carnaby Street, W1F 7FD

                                                  Nearest train station: Charing Cross

                                                  Nearest tube station: Oxford Circus (Bakerloo, Central, Victoria)

                                                  For more info visit the Carnaby website

                                                  Get Directions

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