Christmas 2021: Festive events and outings in London this week

A snowy Hogwarts tour – what else could be Christmassy? (Photo:

It feels like much of our Christmas fun this year will be on the rooftop, with Sabine winter wonderlanding, the buzz from St Paul’s and Skylight coming in on the lofty ice rink action.

But it doesn’t all go up. Oh no.

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

Be still our throbbing livers!

Too chicken to play?

Bando Belly Bingo

You can do it Bando! (Photo: Yaneva Santana)

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

And that’s just the beginning. Bando Belly is South London’s hottest soul fusion spot, bringing fried chicken burgers and tater tots to the good folks at Peckham and if that wasn’t enough, they’re adding now – you get the idea! – cash prize bingo, courtesy of Wray & Nephew rum and those boozy ice pop purveyors Wavey Ice – all with a bit of a boogie thrown in.

Oh, and entertainment from Manga Saint Hilare and comedian Daman Bamrah. Face it, that’s a pretty complete night out!

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

You would believe it!

Wimbledon Beer and Cheese Tasting

Enjoy cheap moments (Picture: Wimbledon Brewery)

If you think a cheese and wine evening might be for you (we can do that too, no problem), how about a beer and cheese tasting? We’re in. Well, we tend to have cheese on toast after a beer anyway, so we’re halfway there.

The evening is hosted by a cheese expert from Local Cheese Cave and a brewer from Wimbledon Brewery, and you’ll be served six unique cheeses with six beer and ale tasters – and maybe a little chutney and a biscuit, but that’s just us using imagination – plus a tour of their taproom.

A great night out, an imaginative early Christmas present and maybe you’ll get some ideas for a seasonal pantry!

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

Slope somewhere festive


It’s basically like super chic Apres (Picture: Sabine)

Take a lift to the winter wonderland at Sabine – you know, the rooftop bar with the best view of St Paul’s Cathedral – because they’ve pulled out all the stops to celebrate the first proper Christmas in two years in total style .

Fairy lights, frosted greenery and Christmas trees everywhere, including on the bar – and if you sit outside, heating and blankets and even a large wooden alpine ski hut for all your Instagram needs.

And to keep you warm from the inside out, their resident mixologist Davide Valvano will create mouth-watering wonders with rum, ginger, homemade syrups and more — all for you to enjoy alongside a spectacular winter menu of light bites and shared plates.

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

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

Let the Gouda times roll!

cheese club

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

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

Conceived – according to the founders – the way the club forgot that time, with daddy dancing performers, mistimed balloon drops, and generally the sort of thing a club usually closes, it was an instant smash and broke (and left other people destroyed) ) since then.

And to mark the passage of time—and a success she’s seen Glasto and Ally Pally do, just to name two—they lay out pie, cheap fizz, balloons, and a stage show (god help us!).

The only thing missing is you in Which clothing. You know it.

Saturday, O2 Academy Islington, 16 Parkfield St, N1

Put on your skates


See you on the ice (Photo: Haydon Perrior)

Eating, drinking and skating? What? Everything at the same time? We don’t have enough hands — mainly because we need to grab the edge/a more attractive… sorry, we always mean a more skilled skater!

But we think we can falter, mostly because it means we get a seasonal visit to the beautiful rooftop wonderland that is Skylight and head to the igloo village… and the après ski lodge… and the off-piste speakeasy… and enjoy the Skylight Christmas Cocktail Cinema Experience for some Love Actually/Die Hard action.

Relief! If we don’t get around to actually skating, then so be it. Imagine that Dickensian warehouse with its cobblestones at Christmas…

Tobacco dock, E1

No butterfinger bartenders here

Hotbox and the awkwardness

(Photo: The Clumsies)

Now Hotbox always seemed like a perfect Christmas location to us. Not only because the word “hot” is in the title, but also because the legendary barbecue fare is kind of what you want on a cold winter evening.

And now, as if we needed one more reason to book a table, they’ve joined forces with The Clumsies — the Athens-based bar you know from that list of the 50 best cocktail bars you’ve saved on your phone — for a two-night residence.

Combining unusual ingredients — think buttered aged rum, fermented milky oolong tea, beetroot kvass — with their undisputed talent, expect a recherché sidecar for your smokehouse treats.

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

You will love this!

Hogwarts in the snow

It’s really magical (Picture: Marc Sethi)

Is there a more magical way to spend Christmas than at Hogwarts? And this year it’s more magical than ever with a snow-covered forest, cobbled streets lined with Christmas shops and a decorated Great Hall – and the word ‘covered’ is rare! — with wreaths and “flaming” Christmas puddings and snowy trees and, way up there, little witches on little broomsticks.

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

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

A beer-illant new boozer

five points

Have a pint…. or five (Photo: Five Points)

They already have a massive flagship HQ in London Fields and now Five Points, Hackney’s largest independent brewer, is taking it one step further and opening a massive new brewery and taproom – the largest in all of Hackers, on Mare Street, which is actually London Fields. every case!

They’ll do anything to make it easy on themselves, that Five Points lot. Fill your boots with iconic Five Points ales, including some special seasonal editions and kegs – a beer connoisseur’s dream! — with Ace’s New York-style pizza to counteract the effects of all that beer.

Don’t expect it to do much for your waistline, but your happiness levels should go up if you think about it!

Thursday-Saturday, 61 Mare Street, E8

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