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The biggest and best things happening in London this week



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Winter has officially arrived and, what with the dark mornings and cold nights, we're just about ready to build a fortress out of blankets and hibernate until April. But if anything can lure us out of our duvet den, it's London's selection of fine festive events. Check out a handful of great happenings in the city just this week below, and find 19 unmissable events this season here.

Got a tip for something hot happening next week? Tweet us your suggestion and it might just make our top ten!

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The ten hottest things to do this week


1,000 Mistletoe Kisses Light Up Borough Market

Is the power of love even stronger during the festive season? Let’s hope so because Borough Market hopes to switch on its Christmas display with the help of a thousand kisses under a thousand bunches of mistletoe. Unfortunately harnessing the energy of affection is still the stuff of fairytales, but one couple will magically trigger the illuminations when their smacker completes the electrical circuit that powers the lights. And if enough people share the love, the gathering will break the world record for the most simultaneous kisses in one single venue. You don’t need a romantic attachment to get involved – family members and friends deserve your smackers too. Merry kissmas!

See more unmissable events in London this winter

  1. Borough Market Southwark Street, SE1 1TL
  2. Until Tue Dec 16
More info

Hackney Flea-Mas Market

  • Free

Find everything you need to make your home look a little more like it fell out of an interior design magazine at this Stoke Newington vintage market. This weekend's festive version of the regular event is set to include all the usual one-of-a-kind and handmade items on sale (all perfect for stocking fillers) but with the added extras of carol singing, Christmassy music and a café serving warming mulled wine and homemade cakes.

See more Christmas markets in the capital

  1. Abney Hall 73A Church Street, Stoke Newington, N16 OAS
  2. Sat Dec 20 - Sun Dec 21
More info

Sheeps Festive Bash

Innovative and hilarious sketch troupe Sheeps – made up of Liam Williams, Daran Johnson and Alistair Roberts – are back with their annual Festive Bash. Well, bashes, plural, as they're playing a five-night stint at the Invisible Dot this week. Expect plenty of merry amusement and special guests too.

Looking for more LOLs in London this season?

  1. The Invisible Dot Ltd Northdown St, N1 9BG
  2. Wed Dec 17 - Sun Dec 21
More info

Carols by Candlelight for Alzheimer's Society

This evening of carols by candlelight is hosted by Sir Michael Parkinson and features the angelic voices of the New London Children's Choir, as well as readings from celebrity supporters including Ruth Jones. The Alzheimer's Society Singing for the Brain group will showcase a special performance, with delicious festive treats being served afterwards. A heart-warming escape from the cold winter evening, this event is for a very worthy cause.

See more carol concerts in the capital this Christmas

  1. St Paul's Church, Knightsbridge Wilton Place, SW1X 8SH
  2. Until Tue Dec 16
More info

Real Food Christmas Market

  • Free

Set in the courtyard directly behind the Royal Festival Hall, the Real Food Market serves up its regular selection of sustainably and ethically produced fine foods but with extra added seasonal goodies for this five-day Christmas version. Pick up gifts such as charcuterie, cheese, traditional sweets and craft beer to wrap up for your food-loving family members, and tuck into ready-to-eat treats such as mulled wine and mince pies while you shop.

See more festive markets in London this winter

  1. Southbank Centre Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX
  2. Fri Dec 19 - Tue Dec 23
More info

XFM's Winter Wonderland

This probably isn't the kind of winter wonderland Felix Bernard had in mind when he penned the traditional Christmas song of the same name back in 1934. But hey, he's not around anymore, meaning that London radio station XFM can jolly well go ahead with their festive indie love-in once again. Headlining this year is Frank Turner, playing his politicised, slightly punky, Billy Bragg-influenced folk with backing band The Sleeping Souls. Psychedelic-leaning indie experimentalists The Horrors, big-riffing Welsh rocker outfit Catfish And The Bottlemen and sunny folk-pop band To Kill A King will also take to the stage.

Looking for more live music in London this December?

  1. O2 Academy Brixton Stockwell Rd, SW9 9SL
  2. Wed Dec 17
Buy tickets

Underground Film Club

The Rooftop Film Club have perfected the art of outdoor cinema atop buildings in all corners of the capital. Now they're bringing comfy theatre chairs and wireless headphones to the eerily atmospheric Vaults, located underneath Waterloo station, for a cockle-warming winter pop-up. Festive favourites being screened include Elf, Home Alone and Love Actually, and cinema classics such as Breakfast at Tiffany's, Amelie and The Shawshank Redemption take Underground Film Club right into the new year.

See more film events in London this month

  1. The Vaults, Launcelot Street, SE1 7AD
  2. Thu Dec 11 – Sat Jan 17
More info

Man vs Santa

Santa's clearly the reigning champ when it comes to eating mince pies, but for those who think they can come in a close second, 'Man vs Santa' is just the ticket. This charity challenge sees participants chow down on as many mince pies as they can manage in just three minutes. As well as a place on the pub's wall of fame and eternal gorging glory, obviously, the winning gobbler will be given 60 seconds behind the bar to pour as much draught as they can and a local brewery tour for them plus five friends. All money raised on the night will go to Merton Mencap.

Check out our Christmas events calendar for more festive fun

  1. The Hand in Hand Crooked Billet, Wimbledon Common, SW19 4RQ
  2. Mon Dec 15
More info

Barbican Christmas Market

This Christmas, one of our favourite arts institutions is hosting ten days of seasonal shopping, with 35 independent designers, makers and artisans setting up shop in its foyers. With vintage and designer clothes, arts and crafts, jewellery, books and toys all available, the Barbican is a cracking spot for some cultural Christmas shopping this December. As is requisite for a festive market, there’ll be plenty of mulled wine and mince pies to fill up on, too.

See more Christmas markets in the capital this season

  1. Barbican Centre Silk St, EC2Y 8DS
  2. Until Mon Dec 22
More info

Stevie Wonderland Christmas Rollerboogie

Funk-flinging roller disco-loving crew Stevie Wonderland have had a glorious 2014 so far, and they're rounding things off with a festive party at their much-loved Hackney Wick haunt Shapes. Get your skates on and shake your butt off to eclectic selector Damiano von Eckert and ace acid-disco-funk master DMX Krew, plus Alexander Nut, The Mighty Raf and many more. Skate away on the full-size roller rink or just kick back on the heated terrace, where there's table football, festive street food, mulled wine and cocktails - the choice is yours.

Check out more Christmas clubbing in the capital

  1. Shapes Wallis Rd, E9 5LN
  2. Sat Dec 20 - Sun Dec 21
More info

Looking for more fun in the capital?

And our readers recommend...

Aqua Shard

  • Price band: 3/4

"London on a sunny summer's day from up high is just so magical, the crowds and traffic seemed far away, and after we felt as if we had been on a trip out of London for the day, not just a lunch." Lyn Cecil

  1. London Bridge
More info

Sager and Wilde

"Rare wines that are perfectly served, great staff and ambience - if you have an interest in wine or want to impress someone who does, this is the place." Pete Smith

  1. Haggerston
More info

Pitt Cue Co

  • Price band: 2/4

"If you have not been before, make sure you get the bone marrow mash, it is (according to my girlfriend) like eating a hug. So comforting." Rory McNully

  1. Soho
More info

Tapas Brindisa

  • Price band: 2/4

"Had gazpacho, lovely goats yoghurt, and yummy chorizo in a roll from their stall in Borough Market." Filiz Taylan Yüzak

  1. Borough Market
More info

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