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43 wonderfully warming things to do in London this week

David Bank

[Photo: David Bank]

Get crafty this week with knitting extravaganzas and wreath-making workshops, brush up on your baking skills in time for Christmas with a class at Le Pain Quotidien, or try some of south London’s finest beers at a tasting session in Greenwich. Here are all the coolest things coming up in the next four days…

Fun things to do 

Wreath-making Workshops, Boxpark, TONIGHT, £25. Wear your festive heart on your sleeve with a beautiful Christmas wreath you’ve made yourself in one of these hour-long workshops.

Pierre Hermé book signing, Monmouth Street, TODAY, free. Pierre Hermé lands in London to celebrate his latest book, ‘Macaron’ at his Covent Garden store. Book signings will take place 4-5pm.

Twilight Tours, 18 Stafford Terrace, Tuesday, £25. An evening of Victorian intrigue and drama, during which you’ll be treated to a tour of the atmospheric house, along with mulled wine and mince pies.

Santa Dash, Spitalfields, Tuesday, £20. People in Santa fancy-dress will be running the 5km route in red and white threads in aid of children’s charity Brainwave, while hopefully spreading a little Christmas cheer through the Square Mile, too.

The Knit Before Christmas, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Wednesday, £2. Bring your needles and wool along to ‘The Knit Before Christmas’ to help create cosy donations for the charity in the company of some of the cattery’s homeless moggies. Knitters will be rewarded with mince pies, mulled wine and handmade Christmas decorations.

London Dance Orchestra, Doodle Bar Battersea, Tuesday, £4 adv, £5 on the door. Head back to the golden era with this night celebrating the sensational sounds of the ’20s and ’30s.

The Jermyn Street Experience, Paxton & Whitfield, Tuesday, £10. Discover the stories behind the traditional shops and specialists on Jermyn Street in St James on this two-hour tour.

London’s Air Ambulance Christmas Carol Concert, St Stephen Walbrook, Wednesday, £25. The seventeenth-century St Stephen’s Walbrook church is host to an evening of traditional carols, performances by local choirs and readings from familiar names and faces.

Westminster Ghost Trail, Embankment tube, Wednesday, £8, £6 concs. Follow your Trails of the City guide along the banks of the Thames and through the narrow streets of Covent Garden on this spooky Westminster walk.

LCF College Shop, Marshall Street, Thursday, free. Fancy grabbing a one-off piece from the next big thing? London College of Fashion’s pop-up College Shop is back for its fourth year, in a new location at the heart of Carnaby.

The Giant Rocking Reindeer, Surrey Quays Shopping Centre, Thursday, free. This five-metre-tall festive friend can host six guests at a time and rocks back and forth as the riders get their photo taken.

Natural History Museum’s Science Lecture, South Kensington, Thursday, £15. This year’s Annual Science Lecture will be delivered by Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society on the revolutionary nature of science.

JW3 On Ice, Jewish Community Centre, all week, prices vary. West Hampstead’s Jewish arts, culture and community centre gains a 70-capacity ice rink in its piazza for winter, with hot chocolate, mulled wine and seasonal food available to warm up with either side of your 50-minute session.

…or check out more events happening in London this week.

Le Pain Quotidien Baking Classes

Eating and drinking

Le Pain Quotidien Baking Classes, Borough, Wednesday, £27. Every branch of the Le Pain Quotidien chain has a dedicated pastry chef, and this month you have the chance to meet them with a series of hands-on baking workshops at their Borough branch.

Talking Beer with Big Al, Greenwich Union, Wednesday, £12. Find out just what makes beer taste so damn good at this weekly tasting night hosted by Meantime Brewing Company’s cheerful cockney tour guide Big Al.

Cereal Killer Cafe, Shoreditch, opens Wednesday. The Brick Lane café will sell over 100 international cereals, 20 toppings, 18 flavours of Pop Tarts as well as toast and coffee from Allpress. They will also be kitting it out in vintage cereal boxes and memorabilia.

Bloomsbury Cooks Christmas Signings With Tom Kerridge, Heston Blumenthal and Paul Hollywood, Bloomsbury Publishing, Wednesday, £5 signing only; £20 for Kerridge and Hollywood, £30 for Blumenthal including books. If there’s someone on your Christmas list whose dinner table is always laden with whatever was on last week’s cookery shows it’d be almost cruel not to take advantage of these signings to make their book-shaped gift that bit more special. Guests will be served a hot drink and mince pie while they wait.

…or see Time Out’s recommended restaurants.

 Karl and Joz's Over the Top Christmas Love In

Comedy

Karl and Joz’s Over the Top Christmas Love In, Bloomsbury Theatre, TONIGHT, £15, £10 concs. If you’re in need of some proper festive cheer, look no further than this top notch charity gig hosted by Karl Schultz and Joz Norris.

An Evening with Noel Fielding, O2 Brixton Academy, Mon-Tue, £25. Boosh fans, it’s time to dig out those lightning bolt t-shirts you bought on the 2006 tour. Noel Fielding is hitting the road with ‘An Evening with Noel Fielding’, which he’s bringing to Hammersmith and Brixton.

James Acaster – Recognise, Soho Theatre, Tue-Thu, £10-£17.50. James Acaster is a true Time Out fave. His blissfully funny understated stand-up sucks you into his minute, quizzical world where he picks apart seemingly insignificant details.

Nick Helm – Merry Christmas Motherf**kers!, Soho Theatre, all week, £10-£15. London, prepare to be kicked hard in the baubles, as the thrillingly unpredictable Nick Helm hits the capital with a festive treat.

Mark Thomas – Cuckooed, Tricycle, all week, £19-£23. Following his mischievous ‘100 Acts of Minor Dissent’ show, superb campaigning comic Mark Thomas goes a little more theatrical for his latest show, ‘Cuckooed’.

…or check out all the critics’ choice comedy shows.

Foxes

Live music

Foxes, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Tuesday, £14. Foxes’ sound is a gorgeous collision of yearning harmonies and glitch-fangled indie which should find favour with fans of Florence And The Machine and Marina And The Diamonds.

John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’, Union Chapel, Tuesday, £25. A troupe of contemporary jazz and world music heavyweights ‘re-envision’ Trane’s transcendental masterpiece, commemorating 50 years to the day since the sax saint’s original was recorded in a single session.

Basement Jaxx, The O2, Thursday, £30. Do you know where your head’s at? If so, south London’s finest are back to help you lose it all over again, dropping classic ’90s and noughties bangers alongside fresh stuff from their long-awaited new album ‘Junto’.

…or take a look at all 55 live music events in London this week.

Palace of the Snow Queen

Nightlife

Palace of the Snow Queen, secret location, Thursday, £25. This full-on festive pop-up combines cabaret, circus, fine dining and even a bit of late night/early morning partying – all of which sounds exactly what we want for Christmas.

Winterville Spiegeltent: Gideon Reeling’s Christmas Starty, Victoria Park, Tuesday, £10 with exclusive Time Out half-price reader offer. Billed as an ‘interactive theatrical spectacular’, this irreverent festive cabaret party combines music, comedy, games, dancing, prizes and crafting.

Grotto Outré, Red Gallery, all week, £10. This festive winter-pop, taking place at Shoreditch event space Red Gallery, features a different kind of fun on every night of the week.

…or see all 21 parties planned this week.

The Godfather Live

Film

The Godfather Live at the Albert Hall, South Kensington, TONIGHT, £17.80-£58.60. Francis Ford Coppola’s three times Academy Award-winning masterpiece, starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino, will be shown on the big screen whilst conductor Justin Freer leads a live orchestra performing Nino Rota’s immortal score.

Irma la Douce, Dulwich Picture Gallery, TONIGHT, £9. ‘Some Like It Hot’ director Billy Wilder’s two-and-a-half-hour comedy set in the prostitute milieu of Paris looks more than anything like a gaudy musical (which it once was) without the songs (which Wilder removed).

Scrooge, Greenwich Picturehouse, TONIGHT, £9. Alastair Sim is splendidly aloof as the title character in this ‘Christmas Carol’ adaptation, feasting on Dickens’ best lines (‘I expect you want the whole day off tomorrow?’), greeting each new ghost with a weary shiver and handling his giddy rebirth with aplomb.

The One Reeler Film Club, Cinema Museum, Tuesday, £5. Just over a century ago cinema flickered into life in ‘one reelers’, short films that were screened in the late nineteenth-century. This series of four events is a chance to watch early examples of the form, as well as some contemporary short films.

Or at the cinema…

Black Sea ★★★★☆ ‘Last King of Scotland’ helmer Kevin MacDonald directs Jude Law and a ragtag gaggle of beloved character actors including Michael Smiley, Ben Mendelsohn and Scoot McNairy in this treasure-seeking submarine drama.

Bonobo ★★★☆☆ ‘Bonobo’ is well shot, breezily scripted and superbly performed by a cast of TV stalwarts

Penguins of Madagascar ★★★☆☆ A SWAT team of penguins – Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, and Private – take on an octopus called Dave. He’s concocted a mwah-ha-ha plan to steal all the penguins in the world.

St. Vincent ★★★☆☆ Theodore Melfi’s crowd-pleasing yet dangerously sentimental wacky-neighbor dramedy.

…or see all of the latest releases.

Sirens

Theatre

Sirens, Soho Theatre, Tue-Thu, £12.50-£20, £10-£17.50. The beginning of ‘Sirens’ sets the tone for the rest of notoriously provocative theatre company Ontroerend Goed’s most recent show: it’s uncomfortable, but riveting.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Rose Theatre Kingston, Tue-Wed, £11-£28. Ciaran McConville’s production of ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’ is a whirlwind through CS Lewis’s classic, remaining true to the tale but focussing on the book’s highlights to keep the kids interested.

Antarctica, Battersea Arts Centre, Tue-Thu, £14, £9 concs. In this production for children, follow brave explorer Sir Peregrine Falcon as he embarks on a trip to the South Pole. He is trying to take photographs of penguins, seagulls, seals and the lesser spotted Owlarbear, which has the head of an owl and the body of a bear.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices here.

Julie Verhoeven

This week’s best new art

Julie Verhoeven: Whiskers Between My Legs, ICA, Tue-Thu, free. The ICA’s Fox Reading Room is transformed into a kaleidoscopic installation by the artist and designer. Demonstrating her diverse practice that incorporates illustration, design, film and textiles, Verhoeven creates an extravagant immersive grotto to explore female identity.

Post Pop: East Meets West, Saatchi Gallery, all week, free. Who would’ve thought a borderline sociopath and devoutly homosexual voyeur like Andy Warhol would wind up siring so many children? Even though his work doesn’t feature, Warhol’s DNA is all over this exhibition of art made from the 1970s up to today, and it’s a potent stream of influence that takes you from New York to Moscow to Beijing.

Robert Filliou, Richard Saltoun, all week, free. The first London show of the late radical French artist who required audience participation to complete the work.

Jean Jullien: US, Kemistry, all week, free. For the last show in the gallery’s current location, the London-based French graphic designer presents a new drawing series that takes inspiration from city living in London and New York.

…or see all London art reviews.

And more:

Book… tickets to a whisky tasting at Icetank’s Whisky Warmer pop-up on Dec 12-14.

Win… tickets to one of seven fab New Year’s Eve parties.

Enter… our mega 12 days of Christmas giveaway.

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