Pop-ups in London
'Spend your money and take your chance' is the rather mysterious advice given to the 1,500-odd Londoners expected to turn up to Smithfield meat market for what must be London's most boisterous Christmas traditions. Harts of Smithfield run an auction just before Christmas each year, flogging great hunks of every kind of meat at bargain prices. If you're hoping to go home with a bagful of leg, belly, shoulder or rump then bring cash to wave and your loudest voice, but don't be intimidated; it's nowhere near as cut-throat as a butcher's auction ought to be. Organiser Greg Lawrence likes to see everyone walk away with something, and a few of the crowd will get particularly lucky, thanks to the traditional coin toss – call it wrong and you pay the agreed price, call it right and you get the meat for free. Apparently the produce is second to none and there are plenty of Norfolk turkeys to go around, so the Christmas dinner tables of those who attend will be extra tasty this year. One last piece of advice, though – it's BYOB (bring your own bag). Ashleigh Arnott
The Deptford food scene has bubbled over in the past year. The arrival of Marcella – sister restaurant to Peckham’s acclaimed Artusi – and Winemakers Deptford (reopening September, yay!) brought a new touch of refinement with their elegant small plates and banging wine lists. The area’s railway arches also got in on the act with craft breweries and bars filling up Resolution Way. Then there’s the swish, newly redeveloped Deptford Market Yard, whose arches pack in all sorts of traders selling everything from cocktails to tandoori fried chicken. Now a new weekly food and craft market Deptford Bites, curated by the events collective Eat Me Drink Me, is about to call the Yard’s cobbles home. Every Saturday between 10am and 4pm, the courtyard will be filled with fresh farm produce, piping hot street food and crafts. Be sure to head to the launch day, where the Guardian’s restaurant critic Grace Dent will lead a series of talks tackling topics including regeneration and food porn for Deptford Bites Live. With live music and workshops also in the mix, it’ll be a debut worth crossing the river for. And if you’re lucky enough to live there, then stay put and order a dosa.
Nothing says Christmas quite like a glass of Baileys. Lucky for you, the delicious Irish cream liqueur pop-up returns to the Capital with its festive Alpine-themed Treat Bar. You’ll be able to sample and create your own Baileys drinks with fun and playful toppings like gingerbread men, edible glitter and honeycomb - get creative! Vegans needn’t miss out either as there’ll be plenty of dairy-free options to choose from. Bottoms up!
Christmas is a time where we feast and stuff ourselves silly, but this year why not opt for food that tastes good and does good? Social enterprise catering company Fat Macy’s is back for another series of festive get-togethers with a difference. The socially conscious supper club recruits and trains aspiring young chefs to take part in cooking schemes where they can earn money to help them make the journey from hostel to home. Tickets include three course meal and a cocktail. Book in advance via the event page. They also need your help to fund a permanent cafe and restaurant in Peckham that’ll help ever more young people. Check out their crowdfunder here.
The ever-changing line-up restaurant Carousel unwraps a whole host of festivities this year. They'll be cooking up an exclusive 4-course Christmas feasting menu with festive dishes including open duck ragu and parmesan ravioli, grilled Dexter beef sirloin braised in carrot juice and Christmas spices with blistered sprout tops. Besides the abundance of delicious treats, there'll be festive wild life drawing class with rescue animals on Monday December 3 and a Christmas wreath making workshop including lunch on Saturday December 8 too. Book your tickets http://www.carousel-london.com/christmas_by_carousel
An absolute must for London foodies, this supper club has thrown together an incredible six stage evening of delicious food, including 5 culinary courses, a palette cleanser and a welcome cocktail. Locations and specific details about the courses are being kept secret, but we do know that guests also get full night access to a top secret hidden bar. Mysterious. A new release of tickets are available now. Get them here quick.
Winterland London is returning to Fulham for the festive season, and will be turning back the clocks with a theme that channels the Alps of the '80s and '90s. Food will be on hand from Jimmy's Lodge, while Moose will be serving up some winter warmer cocktails and the seasonal staple – mulled wine. Go for the apres ski, stay for the party.
Jimmy Garcia is bringing his Lodge on the River back to the Southbank for the festive period this year, and it's set to be his most luxurious pop-up yet. The highlight is the return of the snow globe igloos, which offer groups of up-to 10 diners the chance to enjoy the winter set menu against the backdrop of London's sparkling skyline.
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