Pre Christmas Dinners: The Best Festive Food Events
From winter retreats to Scandi eats, the best in Christmas feasting.
MARKET: Real Food Christmas Market, Southbank Centre, 19th – 23rd December, 11am-8pm
The Southbank Centre's Real Food market is adopting its usual festive garb this November. They've specially extended the opening hours and will be purveying a huge selection of Christmas goods, in what we hope will be a mouth-watering affair. From hand-packaged chutneys and pickles to stocking-fillers and sweet-treats for enjoying on the spot, the occasion will suit those who want to do their christmas shopping in a relaxed atmosphere. The gastronomical treats on offer include wild game, charcuterie and organic cheeses, along with traditional mince pies and mulled wine. The market is always a favourite for noses and tastebuds; the CW team recommends popping down to Southbank in the run-up to December and indulging in some Christmas nibbles.
WINTER RETREAT: Liberty at Mr Fogg's, Mayfair, 1st – 31st December
Since its opening last year, Mr Fogg's has been making waves as one of Mayfair's coolest new spots, in no small part thanks to its décor, which is by turns elaborate, curious and intriguing, based on the drawing room of Jules Verne's legendary adventurer (whose story, Around the World in 80 Days, was published only a year before Liberty's first opening).The venue is already littered with artefacts, curios, birdcages and penny-farthings, but their Christmas collaboration with Liberty has pushed the boat out even further, leaving the bar awash with garlands, trees and burnishes decorations. Throughout the season Flowers of Liberty will be hosting afternoon tea every Friday and Saturday, with bone china tiered platters laden with delicate cakes, pastries and petit-fours. They're also enjoying weird and wonderful festivities throughout the christmas season from carol singers to can-can dancers to evenings around the piano. Eccentricity meets style at Mr Fogg's unique winter retreat.
Caiger & Co.'s weekly changing menu takes its ingredients from Borough Market's excellent food stalls.
SUPPER CLUB: Christmas with Caiger & Co, 3rd – 21st December 2014, 7–10.30pm, £35
This festive season, Borough Market will open one of the most exciting new places to eat in London, with a new pop-up space in the heart of Borough Market brings sumptuous meals and supper clubs hosted by boutique caterer, Caiger & Co. The suppers, held downstairs, will comprise three courses and are BYOB, with the main dishes changing daily, and serving up seasonal specialties such as roast partridge and chestnuts, and sirloin of beef served with spiced parsnip purée. Tried, tested and loved.
SUPPER CLUB: My Home from Umbria's Christmas Supperclub, Church of Our Most Holy Redeemer, Clerkenwell, 19th December, £33.
My Home From Umbria prides itself on bringing fresh ingredients directly from the Umbrian region and using them to create authentic, seasonal spreads. The next club will be taking place on friday, when Umbrian gastronomer Assia will be bringing her unique Italian flair to the atmospheric surrounds of a Heritage-listed church in Exmouth Market. For a reasonable price of £33 guests will be treated to crostini with guanciale and timballo with porcini and mozzarella before suckling pig and desserts of filled pandoro, served with DOC wines from Abruzzo, as well as local Italian liqueurs. For an intimate dinner with friends before the masses depart in pursuit of Christmas festivity.
SCANDI-FEAST: Nordic Yulefest, Old Shoreditch Station, 6th-21st December
Throughout December the enchanted Nordic Yulefest is cooking up a Scandinavian storm. Guest are led up a candlelit staircase into a Christmas wonderland, filled with silver birch trees, antlers and edible stars. Leading the festivities is Tomte - Scandinavia’s Father Christmas - and head chef of Fika, Daniel Cohan. Each meal comprises four courses, with apple-stuffed hams and home cured gravlax alongside red beetroot and roasted vegetables. To wash it all down there are specially created cocktails and Gluehwein served from traditional glasses, followed by alcoholic hot chocolate concoctions to finish: this will be a truly indulgent and immersive Nordic feast.
Venison steak at the Wild Game Co.
FOR CHRISTMAS DINNER; Wild Game Co, 65 Charlotte Street
After four incredibly successful years promoting the best in Scottish game around central London, The Wild Game Co. is bringing its superb menu to Charlotte Street in Soho this winter. Having taken home the ‘Street Food of the Year’ gong from the British Foodies Awards, they’re going to be in hot demand for the Christmas season with their wild venison roasts, burgers and stews. Christmas party bookings and menu are available upon request.
EXPERIENCE: Christmas at Kew Gardens, 26th November – 3rd January, £7
Kew Gardens is hosting an eclectic Christmas trail, with a Christmas grotto, carousel and family rides, as well as plenty of boutique food stalls to feast upon. Try traditional mulled wine, spiced cider, or hot chocolate, as the aroma of roasting chestnuts and toasting marshmallows fills the air. There are also plenty of gifts on offer at their shops and stalls.
CHRISTMAS AT BOROUGH: Special Borough Market Opening Hours, 14th December – 1st January
Borough Market will be opening its stalls for longer this year with special hours so you can enjoy the treats they’ve got in store. We recommend Scotchtails, where Culture Whisper members can use their membership cards to get an exclusive discount on their tasty artisan scotch eggs.
Photo courtesy of HMT for Skandilicious
SCANDI-FEAST: Skandilicious, Old Guardian Media House, Farringdon, 14th November-21st December
Former theatre turned events space, the charming candlelit environs of the Theatre Delicatessen host Skandilicious. Kickstart the evening by joining in the snapsvisa (a festive drinking song involving a small shot of snaps) before proceeding to dinner, where, after sampling a cup of Glögg, you are invited to help yourself to a selection of over 35 dishes from the Julbord, - everything from meatballs to smoked salmon to herring – with a few surprises along the way. The dessert selection offers more than 8 traditional alternatives to the humble Christmas pudding, as well as a selection of cheeses, handmade chutneys, crispbreads and sourdoughs. After dinner, retire to the loft bar for dancing and festive-themed cocktails (prepared by the award-winning Fredrik Olsson). The perfect alternative to a conventional Christmas dinner.
For more Nordic Christmas treats look to our Scandinavian Christmas round-up
FOR CHRISTMAS DINNER: The Bull and Last, Highgate
A new favourite of Culture Whisper's, Highgate's historic pub, housed in a 19th century coaching house, is the perfect host for a traditional christmas dinner. Just a stone's throw from Hampstead Heath, their menu is one of North London's finest, with locally sourced dishes and a selection of craft ales. Guests can hire out the cosy décor of the Stag Room for intimate Christmas dinners, or eat in the grandeur of their upstairs dining room.