Doing some (very) last-minute Christmas shopping? You’ve probably headed for Oxford Street. And you’re probably minutes away from crumpling into a sobbing ball of stress outside the big Marks & Spencer. Don’t despair: here are five happy distractions nearby.
1. Refuel at Market Hall West End
London’s third Market Hall is the biggest and (we reckon, anyway) best yet. It’s a slick multi-storey enterprise, with four bars and 11 different food vendors, including pasta specialists Pastaio, roti legends Gopal’s Corner and dim sum from Baozi Inn. Don’t miss Yatai’s katsu sandos.
2. Admire some photography
Lower your blood pressure by soaking up some culture. A hidden gem just steps away from Oxford Street, The Photographers’ Gallery plays host to world-class exhibitions – at the moment you can view ‘Shot In Soho’, which celebrates the area’s diverse culture as snapped by the likes of William Klein, Anders Petersen and Corinne Day.
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Hi, this is @paul_yule for #TPGTakeovers sharing some images that I made in Soho during the 1970s and ’80s, to coincide with the “Shot in Soho” exhibition that runs at @thephotographersgallery from 18 Oct - 9 Feb 2020. From 1978-85 I had a photographic studio and darkroom in the Basement of 32 Berwick Street. Clubbing in D’Arblay street was the thing in 1982, and the incipient sounds of HipHop. . . . . #streetphotography #documentaryphotography #paulyule #clubbing #dance #soho #bnw_demand #dance #hiphop #photooftheday #instadaily
3. Watch ‘Die Hard’ (really)
The Prince Charles Cinema is a Soho legend – and right now it’s showing the Christmas classic to end all Christmas classics, ‘Die Hard’, plus ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’.
4. Laugh it off
Before the BBC came calling, the Soho Theatre on Dean Street is where ‘Fleabag’ started gaining fans. It’s still the place to catch some of the capital’s best up-and-coming comedy and fringe talent. Nice bar, too.
5. Swap mulled wine for Mexican rum punch
Soho taqueria Corazón (one of London's best Mexican restaurants) is open all day throughout December, and it serves a cockle-warming rum punch, made with demerara rum, Aluna coconut rum, pineapple, mango and peach bitters, alongside their tacos and tostadas. Mulled wine who?
Out of ideas? Try the best Christmas shops in London
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