Christmas in London: The Foodie GuideBy Angelica Malin
Whether you love mulled wine or mince pie ice cream, we’ve got just the ticket for you. From one jew to another, here’s some Christmas Ideas to get you in the spirit:
What: Gelupo are serving a selection of festive-inspired ice creams such as Christmas Pudding, Panettone, Clementine, Caramel Liquorice and Maple Pecan. They’ve also got a brand new dedicated hot chocolate menu; think praline-like Gianduja milk chocolate and hazelnut topped with whipped cream, and gelato ‘floats’ with hot chocolate poured over hazelnut gelato. Don’t miss Bicerin, a traditional Italian hot drink, made with espresso, chocolate and a dash of rum. Dangerous.
What: Mayfair Pizza Company have created the Christmas Pudding Pizza (£7) made with Christmas pudding, custard brandy and redcurrant compote. If sweet’s not your thing, try the Christmas Dinner Pizza (£13) laden with pulled turkey, pigs-in–blankets, chestnut stuffing, roast potatoes, root vegetables, redcurrant compote and bread sauce.
What: The Royal Opera House are serving a limited edition Alice in Wonderland tea to coincide with the short run of Christopher Wheeldon and The Royal Ballet’s production of Alice’s Wonderland Adventures. The ‘Alice tea’ will have typically fun and inventive flavour combinations – cakes will include an ‘Eat Me’ elderflower and gooseberry Victoria sandwich and a ‘Mad Hatter’s teapot’ lemon and thyme cake with white chocolate. Perfect for a festive day out.
What: Protégé of Alain Ducasse, Head Chef Damien Leroux, has created festive menus of small plates reflecting Rivea’s culinary philosophy that showcase the best refined seasonal produce. For £85 per person, think langoustine caviar, hand-dived sea scallops with spiny artichokes and tartufi di Alba, baked John Dory with fruit and vegetables cooked in a cocotte, farm veal fillet, spinach and wild mushroom.
What: Gaucho Restaurants recently launched their Winter Terrace, in association with Chandon, at Broadgate. The terrace is hidden away at the centre of the Square Mile, and has an exclusive drinks list that includes some delicious hot Chandon cocktails – Hot Toddy, Hot Smoked Apple, and Hennessy Hot Chocolate.
What: Ron Zacapa and Rococo Chocolates have devised one-off rum-infused festive chocolates (£120). The gift set features six delicious Rococo chocolate baubles filled with a smooth mixture of chocolate and Zacapa rum cream, decorated with special cocoa butter ribbon. The set includes a bottle of Ron Zacapa 23, which has been aged 2,300m above sea level in the ‘House Above the Clouds’ in Guatemala, along with a pair of Ron Zacapa perfect serve glasses. Note: they taste amazing.
What: The amazing Alain Ducasse has created a special hot chocolate pop-up bar within The Spirit Room at the Bulgari Hotel & Residences. The bar serves individual cups of freshly grated dark chocolate (75% cocoa) and milk chocolate – which guests can mix with warm milk to their desired strength. A percentage of each hot chocolate sale will be donated to Save The Children; calories never tasted so good.
What: The Leather Bottle have transformed their outside space into one of the best slopes in town, with a snow simulator and complete with chalets where guests can snuggle up and enjoy a sweet fondue or a festive cocktail. Just close your eyes and you’re in Verbier.
What: The Edible Cinema team are back with another sensory cinematic adventure: Terry Gilliam’s blackly comic Brazil (1985). Set at Christmas time in a dystopian future, Brazil is one of the most visually imaginative, breathtakingly eccentric films ever created. If you don’t know, at Edible Cinema, each guest receives a selection of numbered boxes at the start of the film, which they will be instructed to open and enjoy at certain points throughout. The contents of the boxes will correspond to the action on screen, offering a multi-sensory cinema experience like no other.
13 and 14 December at the Electric Cinema
What: 125 Church Street, a brand new cafe open in Stoke Newington, is offering an extra special Christmas sandwich: pigs in blankets with apricot and chestnut stuffing and cranberry sauce. To celebrate the launch the bar will be offering 50% off all sandwiches Monday – Wednesday throughout December.
What: Jenius Social, an innovative new food and drink concept in Islington, has created an ‘alternative office party’ with a 2 hour team building session learning how to cook the perfect Christmas dinner, followed by a sit-down meal to enjoy the dishes.
What: Andaz Liverpool Street has unveiled Festive Folly, designed by FranklinTill – a beautiful, oversized Christmas present completely turning the average Christmas tree exhibition on its head. The Festive Folly at Andaz will be host to a number of jolly, seasonal events with cutting-edge collaborators like Odette Toilette, Petalon and the East London Chorus. Expect wreath making and perfume smelling.
13. For Last Minute Presents: The Christmas Hampers
What: Abasto will be offering a traditional Argentine Christmas hamper, filled with iconic products from South America, an ideal alternative to a conventional British selection. It costs $85 and is a real treat.
What: Consumer research by D&D Wine has found that there is a special relationship between wine and music. The D&D Music Lover’s Wine Collection (£85) contains six specially chosen bottles along with bespoke play lists for each one. What’s more, each recommended song is available to download from danddwine.com.
What: Vinoa, the new wine tasting subscription service, offers drinkers the chance to experience some of the world’s most iconic wines at home. Each month subscribers will receive four 50ml samples from one of the world’s classic wine regions – and learn with the interactive guided tasting.
And one for luck…
14. The Ila Skin Saviour
What: After all that feasting, boozing and indulging, you’re going to be in desperate need of some post-Christmas pampering. We can’t get enough of Ila‘s seasonal skincare gift sets; containing everything you need to give you a lovely glow (and not just one from too many glasses of port) during the festive season. Our favourite is the Seasonal Skin Radiant Glow gift set, which contains cleansing milk, hydrating toner, face oil for glowing radiance and even its own little rose quartz heart. The set costs £150 and can be purchased here – happy festive season one and all!