Culture Fix: Three ways to get into the festive spirit this weekend

Struggling to get into the Christmas spirit? These events will do the trick

Advent calendars at the ready: the festive season is finally upon us. Correct me if I’m wrong but, despite this year’s somewhat premature assembly of Christmas lights (Oxford Circus’s went up mid-October, the horror), it has yet to feel officially festive yet. And now, with less than a month to go till the day itself descends, it’s time to don that Santa hat, take that obligatory mince pie and write your Christmas list. Still not feeling it? To get you more into the yuletide spirit, here’s three events guaranteed to chase away the Grinch in all of us.

St James’s Market Christmas wine car boot

This weekend, St James’s Market will be taken over by a special one-off festive edition of the Wine Car Boot, showcasing the best of London’s independent wine retailers. Visitors can sample, shop and plan their Christmas drinks menu with help from wine experts and producers alike. The festive cheer will be completed with free corkage on the first bottle purchased from the car boot, and £5 corkage on the second, in all of the St James’s Market restaurants. Norris’s will also be serving food and drink from their terrace and Aquavit will have a stall serving their famous Scandi meatballs. Cheers to that.

1 December 18,

The French Winter Village at The Langham

The Langham’s courtyard is something of an insider’s secret. Tucked away on the side of Regent Street, it plays host to a rotating carousel of cool pop ups – we especially enjoyed the Plymouth Gin Garden over the summer. This Christmas, it’s the turn of Grey Goose, which has transformed the courtyard into a French winter wonderland, with fairy lights, a wood fire and a splendid Christmas tree. The Alpine setting is completed with an enticing menu of hot and cold Grey Goose vodka cocktails, like ‘Chocolat Chaud’ à L’Orange, or the ‘La Vanille’ espresso martini, and food straight from the woodfire, including a festive take on The Langham’s cult cheese toastie, with cranberry and Stilton, and a hot dog with a ‘Boudin blanc’ sausage, apple choucroute and savora mustard. ‘Yule’ be feeling festive in no time.

Until February 19,

Hideaway at Burlington Arcade

Ollie Dabbous opened Hide in 2018 to instant acclaim. This Christmas, the celebrated chef is collaborating with Hedonism Wines on a yuletide pop-up in Burlington Arcade – ideal for grabbing a bite and a snifter of something refreshing after you’ve tackled the Christmas shopping. The Parisian-inspired bistrot offers everything from coffee and croissants to oysters and champagne, all served with a dollop of Dabbous’ Michelin-starred culinary flair. Dishes like home-cured goose with fenugreek will get you in the festive spirit, while Hedonism’s selection of fine wines and champagnes will serve you Christmas cheer aplenty.

Until February 19,