London from the inside Monday 13th - Sunday 19th November 2017
Perhaps you’ve just been given last minute responsibility to book the office Christmas party, or your family/friends annual end of year get together? How to please everyone while not doing the same old boring thing? This blog is chock-full of ideas across London to suit all tastes, size groups and budgets. And there’s a bonus recipe for Christmas Glögg (what do you mean you haven’t heard of Glögg?!)
THE BEST CHRISTMAS PARTY AND GET TOGETHERS FOR…
… CHRISTMAS DINNERS
Smith of Smithfields have a choice of four floors for you to dine across, depending on what mood you’re in. Dine with their usual meat focused à la carte menu or a set menu for larger parties, and they have a good selection of cocktails too. For something a little less traditional try Salvador and Amanda in Covent Garden for tapas and Sangria. They’re open really late and some nights have live flamenco. Ole!
… SUPER SPECIAL CELEBRATIONS
If you’ve had a big year that deserves celebrating in style, book a private capsule on the Coca-Cola London Eye. For £550 you’ll get priority boarding on to your personal capsule, access to the 4-D movie, a 30-minute rotation and entry to the Eye Lounge. They can accommodate 3-25 guests and you can choose to pre-book a glass of Champagne each for a toast at the top!
… SPORTY FOLK
Have a classic Christmas evening ice skating at Somerset House. Or if you think you might be in risk of going head over heels, be bowled over instead at All Star Lanes or head to the home of ping pong - Bounce.
Once only found in a few basements of restaurants in Chinatown and dodgy pubs on a Sunday night, karaoke in posh private room form took the UK by storm a few years ago and refused to leave. We like Karaoke Box and Lucky Voice (various locations) the best.
Fulham’s summer beach ‘Neverland’ has now become ‘Winterland’ complete with igloos, curling and fondue. On Saturdays the bar is fully functioning, but on Thursday, Fridays and Sundays it’s BYOB so you can save some more pennies for Christmas present shopping.
… A BIG PARTY
The Nudge London are hosting what sounds like the ultimate Christmas party in an abandoned church complete with DJs in The Crypts, Champagne, canapés and an option of a 3-course banqueting feast.
It’s still all about gin and Half Hitch Micro-Distillery in Camden are offering bespoke classes to make your own. If gin isn’t your thing, then head to Drink, Shop, Do and choose activities that range from Beyonce’s dance classes to knitting - accompanied by party food and drinks.
GLÖGGING AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE
First we had good old mulled wine and then the Germans brought us gluhwein, but this year - if the Danes have their way (and as the UK continues to go Scandi-mad) - you might see a different drink on your Christmas Market menus - Glögg. Glögg is traditionally stronger than mulled wine and has a few other little twists. Here’s how to make it…
- Add 750ml of cheap red wine, 750ml of brandy/rum and 750ml of port to a large saucepan.
- Add 50g of light brown sugar (or to taste) and warm up to just below the simmer point.
- Next add your spices. You can choose to put your spices directly into the liquid or make a spice pouch with muslin and twine. We suggest 12 cloves, 3 cinnamon sticks, 6 cardamom pods and a long strip of orange peel. Gently heat for 10 minutes and then serve straight away.
- To serve add a handful of flaked almonds, raisins and other favourite dried fruit (figs, cherries, currants). If you wish you can pre-soak these in brandy or rum for a month first.