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London is at its busiest in the run-up to Christmas, with a myriad of festive events popping up all over the capital. But once December 25th is over, the winter fun doesn’t stop, with new bars, restaurants, shows and trends emerging constantly.
Here’s our pick of six new experiences to try in London over the winter season.
1. Feel festive with pop-up cinema
There are few things in life more heartwarming than a Christmas film. Whether your favourite is Elf, Love Actually, The Grinch, Miracle on 34th Street or It’s a Wonderful Life, you’ll be able to see all of the best-loved festive film moments at the pop-up Hackney Screening Room this December.
Not-just-your-ordinary-cinema, this quirky venue allows you to enjoy a mulled wine while watching the movie and immersing yourself in winter wonderland that the cinema screen sits in the middle of – the perfect way to get in the Christmas spirit during your trip to London.
2. Eat at The Holy Birds
Rarely a week goes by without a new restaurant opening in the capital, with The Holy Birds one of the newest additions. Situated just a few minutes’ walk from Aldgate East Tube station, this restaurant is themed around poultry, taking the chicken dedication a few steps further than old-time favourite Nando’s. With a 1960s-themed interior, The Holy Birds also serves duck, grouse, wood pigeon, pheasant and quail, alongside a superb cocktail menu to make your winters festive and delicious.
3. Watch The Snowman live on stage
We didn’t want this article to be just about Christmas attractions, but we couldn’t leave this item off the list. The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre in Holborn is a beautiful adaptation of the much-loved Raymond Briggs classic that will put a smile on the faces of little ones and big kids alike. Performed by the Birmingham Repertory Theatre company, the production has been called “genius”, and features a whole host of festive favourites alongside the Snowman, including Jack Frost and Father Christmas himself.
4. Laugh out loud with rising comic Tom Allen
January and February are often regarded as bleak months, meaning an evening spent in the warm and dry, with the chance to laugh until your sides hurt is just what you need during a new year visit to the capital. Comedians are on at various locations across the city every single night, but we particularly recommend going to see rising star Tom Allen, who you might have seen on TV during his recent appearances on 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown of The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice. Allen will be bringing his hilarious show ‘Both Worlds’ to the Soho Theatre soon. So book now and warm-up the winters with your laughter.
5. Indulge in hygge at Aquavit
Hygge – a Scandinavian concept all about celebrating warmth, cosiness and well-being – is one of this winter’s biggest trends. Aquavit on Carlton Street is another of London’s new hottest restaurants and, having started life in the Nordics, it is the perfect place to indulge in some Scandinavian-inspired fare and practice the art of hygge. The trend encourages diners to eat warming, comforting, indulgent food, with menu options including seared duck breast served with pickled quince and buckwheat porridge, as well as Nordic classics like Toast Skagen – sauteed bread topped with prawns and other delicacies.
6. Drink at The Wondering Wine Kitchen
After all of that fine food, you’ll need something to wash it down with, so why not check out one of London’s latest pop-up bar offerings, The Wondering Wine Kitchen at Old Street. Opened in October and is set to be in residence until February, this bar has a wide selection of the finest wines on offer, with something to suit all palates. And with a casual bar menu comprising a variety of salads, toasties and other light snacks, this is an ideal spot to warm up and unwind after a busy day exploring the capital during your stay with Montcalm.