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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!

  1. Flick through this week's hot list
  2. The list at a glance

The ten hottest things to do this week

  • 1,000 Mistletoe Kisses Light Up Borough Market

    Tuesday

    Tue Dec 16. Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL

    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!

    Read more about 1,000 Mistletoe Kisses Light Up Borough Market

    See more unmissable events in London this winter

  • Hackney Flea-Mas Market

    Saturday and Sunday

    Sat Dec 20 and Sun Dec 21. Abney Hall, 73A Church Street, Stoke Newington, N16 OAS

    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.

    Read more about Hackney Flea-mas Market

    See more Christmas markets in the capital

  • Sheeps Festive Bash

    Wednesday to Sunday

    Wed Dec 17 – Sun Dec 21. The Invisible Dot Ltd, 2 Northdown St, N1 9BG

    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.

    Read more about Sheeps Festive Bash

    Looking for more LOLs in London this season?

  • Carols by Candlelight for Alzheimer's Society

    Tuesday

    Tue Dec 16. St Paul's Church, Knightsbridge, Wilton Place, SW1X 8SH

    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.

    Read more about Carols by Candlelight for Alzheimer's Society

    See more carol concerts in the capital this Christmas

  • Real Food Christmas Market

    From Friday

    Fri Dec 19 - Tue Dec 23. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX

    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.

    Read more about Real Food Christmas Market

    See more festive markets in London this winter

  • XFM's Winter Wonderland

    Wednesday

    Wed Dec 17. O2 Academy Brixton, 211 Stockwell Rd, SW9 9SL

    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.

    Read more about XFM's Winter Wonderland

    Looking for more live music in London this December?

  • Underground Film Club

    Until January

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

    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.

    Read more about Underground Film Club

    See more film events in London this month

  • Man vs Santa

    Monday

    Mon Dec 15. The Hand in Hand, Crooked Billet, Wimbledon Common, SW19 4RQ

    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.

    Read more about Man vs Santa

    Check out our Christmas events calendar for more festive fun

  • Barbican Christmas Market

    Until Monday December 22

    Sat Dec 13 – Mon Dec 22. Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2Y 8DS

    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.

    Read more about Barbican Christmas Market

    See more Christmas markets in the capital this season

  • Stevie Wonderland Christmas Rollerboogie

    Saturday

    Sat Dec 20. Shapes, 117 Wallis Rd, E9 5LN

    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.

    Read more about Stevie Wonderland Christmas Rollerboogie

    Check out more Christmas clubbing in the capital

1,000 Mistletoe Kisses Light Up Borough Market

Tuesday

Tue Dec 16. Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL

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!

Read more about 1,000 Mistletoe Kisses Light Up Borough Market

See more unmissable events in London this winter

Looking for more fun in London?



  1. Flick through this week's hot list
  2. The list at a glance

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The address is wrong for Hackney Wicked festival

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