A masterclass in gift wrapping, a cosy winter lodge and the coolest place to shop for eyewear; here’s what’s on this weekend
Words Helen Brown
What not to miss this weekend in London
BAKE FOR SYRIA
Following the success of the inaugural edition, #BakeForSyria is back for a second time, bringing together a selection of the country’s very best bakers and bakeries for a Syrian-inspired bake sale. The event will showcase all manner of baked goods with all proceeds going to the #CookForSyria campaign. Cult bakeries participating include Bread Ahead, Dominique Ansel, Fatties and Violet as well as baking personalities Frances Quinn (winner of 2013’s Great British Bake Off), pastry chef Henrietta Inman and Ottolenghi’s Go-to baker, Helen Goh.
THAT’S A WRAP
Those ahead of the curve with their Christmas shopping will want to head over to Covent Garden for an exclusive wrapping service like no other. From British Fashion Council comes six limited edition designs that are guaranteed to prettify the present pile under the tree. The bespoke wrapping paper, cards and tags will be on sale at artisan Christmas pop-up Noël, where there is also a wrapping service and festive events including wreath-making and gift-wrapping masterclasses.
Pioneering eye-wear brand, KITE have revolutionised the optical industry with the world’s first eyebar. Every customer is treated to a complimentary state-of-the-art eye exam, followed by a one-on-one consultation to find the perfect frames to suit their style, face-shape and personality. With its uber-cool interiors, stylish selection of specs and bespoke drinks from beverage creatives, Bompas & Parr, it’s definitely worth a visit this weekend.
NOT QUITE JAZZ
With London Jazz Festival on the horizon, Pop Brixton is doing things a little differently with their own celebration of genre-fusing and forward-thinking acts. Not Quite Jazz offers an alternative jazz experience over a two-day event delivering a mixture of hip-hop, afrobeat, soul and jazz. Jazz aficionados and newbies alike are welcome at this winter warming weekend event of music and merriment.
THE SIPSMITH FROST FAIR
This month, the National Theatre is playing host to The Sipsmith Frost Fair, a wintery haven guaranteed to get even the grumpiest Scrooge feeling festive. With the hot gin trend rapidly snowballing, guests can sip on six specially curated hot gin cocktails including the Hot Negroni and the Mulled Sloe Gin.
In what’s never been done before and launching this weekend, The Prince has transformed an entire street into an epicurean avenue, packed with London’s most exciting food, drink and social experiences. By joining the former Prince of Wales pub with four disused buildings on West Brompton Crossing, the Pergola team are bringing you an all-encompassing venue, ideal for your every going-out need. Dine from the likes of Patty & Bun, The Begging Bowl, MAM and Rabbit, drink from two bars and end the night in the whimsical woodland garden. There is much to be discovered.
THE SIPPING ROOM AT WEST INDIA QUAY
Not only does The Sipping Room boast an exemplary brunch offering, their winter terrace has been decked out in full festive force with six impressive, Insta-worthy igloos. Book for brunch, before heading out to the terrace where you can enjoy festive canapes, cocktails and winter warmers.
WINTER LODGE AT THE HAMPSHIRE BAR
Forget jetting off to St Moritz this festive season, The Hampshire Lounge Bar at Radisson Blu Edwardian has been transformed into a hidden mountain retreat, complete with oak barrels, faux fur seating and an abundance of yuletide fun and frivolity. Raclette cheese, brandy glazed ribs and more will be served from a three-window bar looking out onto the bright lights of Leicester Square. Hot toddies and warm white fudge cocoa with crushed Oreo cookies will also help keep out the winter chills, revive weary shoppers and get everyone in the festive mood.