'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 on Christmas Eve 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