Enjoy Yuletide favourites such as It’s a Wonderful Life, Elf, Love Actually and The Holiday on the big screen (with a glass or two of mulled wine). The al fresco film specialist, Luna Cinema, has come indoors for December, with pop up cinemas in Kensington Gardens, the Art Deco ‘Earth’ centre (Evolutionary Arts Hackney) and the newly-restored Victorian Theatre at Alexandra Palace.
Is it really 23 years since Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake glided onto the stage at Sadler’s Wells, ruffling feathers with its bare-chested all-male ensemble of swans replacing the traditional female corps de ballet?. Over the years, the Olivier and Tony award-winning mid-90s production has been constantly tweaked and updated and the latest version has returned to the renowned Clerkenwell dance venue, with the Royal Ballet’s Matthew Ball playing the iconic swan. 4 December to 27 January.
Dumplings are taking over London…Europe’s largest Asian dumpling restaurant from the Taiwanese chain Din Tai Fung, opens this month in Covent Garden’s Henrietta Street, with 250 covers over two floors. The first UK and indeed European outpost will offer Din Tia Fung’s signature xiao long bao steamed pork dumplings, as well as variants crab roe and pork and truffle and port.
The Brasserie of Light switches on…
If you really must do your Christmas shopping in Oxford Street, you can take a breather at Selfridges’ latest offering, the Brasserie of Light. This latest venture by Richard Caring, the man behind The Ivy collection and Sexy Fish, offers all-day dining, including the signature dish of spaghetti with lobster, and drinking, staying open ‘til Midnight, making it the perfect destination for an after-work shopping spree recovery. Art Deco themed, the Brasserie’s focal point is a 24-ft crystal statue of the mythical stallion Pegasus, designed by Damian Hirst, his largest London sculpture to date.
Jimmy’s Lodge on the River
Be transported to the Alps (albeit on the South Bank) at Jimmy’s Lodge, located on the Queen’s Walk opposite the BFI and Royal Festival Hall. The lodge is offering winter warmer drinks such as hot apple mojito and the Alpine favourites raclette and fondue in its ‘Refuge Restaurant’, which pays homage to the ‘huts’ of Courcheval, outdoor hot cocktail bar and private dining glass igloos. Booking until 6th January.
Skylon Winter Wonderland
Stay South of the river for more festive fun. The Skylon Bar at the Royal Festival Hall has been transformed into a winter wonderland pop-up fit for a Snow Queen, offering a host of winter warmer cocktails including the intriguing sounding ‘figgy pudding’ and ‘holiday romance’ until 31st January.
A slightly adult variation on the Pantomime theme of men dressing as Widow Twanky, Ugly Sisters etc, Briefs is the self-proclaimed ‘world’s hottest all-male boylesque group’ bringing drag, burlesque, comedy and circus to the Speigeltent in Leicester Square until January 3rd. Expect a glitter-bomb of lamé, feathers and outrageous wigs.
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