A Christmas Corral | Savour the Season
Our round-up of suggestions for savouring the season
If you need somewhere local to crash, post-party, consider the Malmaison hotel on Charterhouse Square. It’s recently had a refurb and officially relaunches this November – expect stripped wooden floors, exposed concrete and murals by street artist Xenz. There’s also a new, Las Vegas-inspired restaurant, Strip Bar & Steak.
You may be surprised to learn that super chef Anna Hansen has put turkey on her Christmas menu at The Modern Pantry. But it’s slow roasted, rolled and fi lled with umeshu-soaked prunes (umeshu is a Japanese liqueur made from ume fruits). For pudding, there’s mincemeat ice-cream aff ogato. “Fusion” and “festive” certainly do go together.
We’re so lucky to have such a historic and world-renowned venue as Sadler’s Wells on our doorstep. This year’s Christmas shows are the Matthew Bourne ballet Edward Scissorhands (2 Dec- 11 Jan) and the Hans Christian Andersen tale The Little Match Girl (13 Dec-4 Jan).
With its warm, luxuriant décor, The Zetter Townhouse was practically made for Christmas; and it is, indeed, festive all year round… Cosy up in the dimly lit lounge bar for a quaint-sounding cocktail and some fun by the open fire.
You need to arrive early for the hugely popular main carol service at St Bartholomew the Great in Smithfield. It’s hardly surprising, given the beautiful, ancient surroundings and the quality of the music. This year’s Service of Nine Lessons & Carols is at 6.30pm on Sunday 21 December.
The Exmouth Market gift shop Family Tree is celebrating its 10th birthday this year. As the name suggests, it originally started by selling quirky items that its Japanese owner, Takako Copeland, came across, via family and friends. The wares are stylish, craft -led and quirky. You can now also shop online – in case you run out of time to go present-hunting in person.
The Clerkenwell Collection on Farringdon Road is our swishest store, and a nod to EC1’s ever increasing hipness. The one stop luxury shop-cum-gallery (opened a year and a half ago by David Brown, the founder of the locally based tech company Ve Interactive) sells all sorts: art, accessories, wine, cigars, furniture, bespoke suits… Just make sure you take your credit card.
…it up. Clerkenwell has plenty of Dickensian history, and plenty of Dickensian atmosphere to match – just the ticket for this time of year. For a traditionally festive pint, try The Coach & Horses on Ray Street. It boasts a couple of ghosts, too.
If you’re after some festive people-watching, whatever the time of day, hang out at Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings in Northampton Road. It’s all about retro lounging – as well as B&H’s inventive cocktails. Bourne & Hollingsworth are the people behind such events as the Grand Anarcho-Dandyist Ball and the Chap Olympiad; they know how to party.
If you’re feeling a bit bah humbug, you can always stay at work while everyone else heads off down the pub. EC1-based service Deskbeers (deskbeers. com) will deliver the cra beers of your choice to your office. Alternatively, zone out with some massage or meditation at the Clerkenwellbeing holistic centre on Goswell Road.