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Monster Chetwynd © Tate (Matt Greenwood & Seraphina Neville)

London for Grinches

Had it up to here with festive cheer? Follow our tips for the Christmas-averse

By Things To Do Editors

Do you secretly despise mince pies and get heat from your colleagues for refusing to take part in Christmas Jumper Day? Can’t listen to the intro of ‘Last Christmas’ without feeling a little queasy? You are not alone. Not everyone loves Christmas in London. There are hundreds of Scrooges out there just like you, and there are plenty of ways to shelter from the tinsel storm. Throw on your Victorian cap and nightshirt, and let us take you on an Ebenezer’s tour of the city.

RECOMMENDED: Alternative things to do in London this Christmas.  

Ways to escape the festive onslaught

Winter Commission 2018: Monster Chetwynd © Tate (Matt Greenwood & Seraphina Neville)

See this

News Art

Nothing cuts through festive schmaltz better than a giant slug, and the two merry molluscs adorning Tate Britain are there to slime all over Christmas conventions. They even leave glowing LED trails. The sculptures are the work of artist Monster Chetwynd, who got the idea after seeing footage of slugs having sex. The holiday belongs to our gastropod overlords now. Tate Britain Millbank. Tube: Pimlico. Until Feb 28 2019.

The Last Tuesday Society
The Last Tuesday Society

Drink here

Sick of having to share your pub snug with the overgrown branches of a Christmas tree? Visit phantasmagoric cocktail bar The Last Tuesday Society where you can drink inside a wunderkabinett of mummified cats and crocodile skulls. You’re more likely to be offered a shot of absinthe than a drop of sherry here. 11 Mare St. Cambridge Heath Overground. Tue-Sun. Prices vary.

Bored of Buck’s fizz? Pay a visit to Guinness’s Open Gate Brewery Experimental Taproom where they’ll be pouring out rare IPAs and pilsners along with the black stuff. Okay, there will be a ‘festive beer’, but you can go for a chilli-flavoured stout instead. Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane. Shoreditch High St Overground. Until Dec 22. Free entry.



Do this

End-of-year deadlines and slow pavement walkers making it all feel a little… too much? Confine your Christmas rage to the Wreck Room, a space where you can choose your weapon, pick some accompanying songs and smash shit up. Locations vary. From £35. Book at

Avoid the creepy stalker psychology of ‘Love Actually’ for the anti-Christmas film season at Deptford Cinema. Book in for a screening of ‘Gremlins’ (Saturday December 15) or suburban horror ‘Better Watch Out’ (December 21). Alternatively take a crowd of glum chums to ‘Lost in Translation’ karaoke (Friday December 14). 39 Deptford Broadway. Deptford Bridge DLR. From £6.

Book this

Spend a night in the crypt of theme restaurant Lost Boys Pizza for a vampire yoga class where you can practise an energising vinyasa flow followed by spooky guided meditation and finish with some ‘bloody tasty’ charcoal-base pizza. 141 Junction Rd. Tube Tufnell Park. Sun Dec 16. £35.

Skip all the pantos for a December show that’s more ‘Sweeney Todd’ than ‘Snow White’. Sink The Pink’s deeply twisted and dysfunctional How to Catch a Krampus is absolutely not for the faint-hearted. Pleasance Theatre, Carpenters Mews, North Rd. Tube: Caledonian Rd. Until Dec 23. £22-£25.


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