Noel Four: Begrudgingly Merry in North London
Written by: Violet Myers
Christmas; A Christian celebration marking the anniversary of the birth of little known lord, saviour and general good guy Jesus Christ, occurs on the 25th of December. For one day only.
However, the grand old tradition of overeating, public drunkenness, polyester novelty jumpers and irresponsible spending is at least a two month long ordeal, that we must all endure in own manner. Ways of avoiding this tinsel covered death march into debt and week long indigestion are limited. Other than travelling to a largely Hindu country and kicking it with Ganesh for a couple of months, we fear that escape is futile and we might as well try to begrudgingly be merry this Christmas.
Luckily for us, North London have some Yule-tide treats to add a rosy glow to even the sourest scrooge.
Ice Skate at Alexander Palace, Muswell Hill
Unlike those limited edition ice rinks that spring up all over London as soon as it gets a bit chilly, Ally Pally’s rink is open year round. With professional coaching sessions, ice-bound pantos and club nights – Club de Fromage hosts a frozen cheese session (which we hear is a delicacy in France) on the 27th of November.
Make Christmas Craft at Drink Shop & Do, King’s Cross
Lovely King’s Cross based cafe/bar Drink Shop & Do presents a day of Christmas craft. Materials are supplied and £9 gets you a whole day of fun and a Christmas cocktail – like you need an excuse you old drunks! 20th of December all day.
Watch Rapunzel at Park Theatre, Finsbury Park
No need to bluff your way through that Pinter, or waste energy pretending you know what’s going on in ‘Waiting for Godot’, no one really does… Here’s a story line even you lot will understand!
Take the pressure off and enjoy something that will leave you feeling fluffy, with no past Hollyoaks cast members guaranteed!
3 Dec 2015 – 2 Jan 2016
Have a Christmas sing-a-long at The Union Chapel, Islington
Prepare for plenty of static shocks – the energy and sparks from cheesy Yule-tide songs and cheap Christmas jumpers will be electric! Grab a partner and do the Rudolph, or relax with a mug of something mulled in one of London’s most beautiful venues.
17th December, Union Chapel is also open on Christmas day for a Christmas service
Shop at Islington Christmas Market
Part of begrudgingly being merry at Christmas is begrudgingly buying gifts for people you see but once a year. Fortunately Islington market has you covered.
With some kitschy wonders to blow that Argos water-bottle cover out of the water, take that Uncle Barry!
4th – 20th December
Get bendy for festive fitness, Yoga Flow, Finsbury Park
Before you entirely destroy the only body you’ll ever have with literal bucket loads of delicious trans fats, treat it to a special Christmas yoga session where all proceeds will go to charity. Ommmmm – my god that’s good karma!
20th December, 10.30 – 12pm
Buy a tree at The Christmas Forest, Finsbury Park
Honour one of the Western World’s strangest traditions by hauling a tree into your front room, decorating it with bits of glass and slowly watching it die. Hunting for an extra special tree to fill your home with pine needles and your cat to use as a climbing post? Look no further than Finsbury Park’s Christmas Forest.
26th November until Christmas Eve, 8am-10pm
Photographs by: Michael Barry
By gum there are a lot of winter markets this year. Fueled by sickly sweet mulled wine and overpriced pulled pork sliders, we’ve managed to wade our way through the murky waters of winter markets and find some decent looking ones round this here part of town. Don’t let our Grinch-esq vibes put you off (I’m more of a Pancake Day person myself) because, if you’re into markets, you’ll probably like these. Read on, if you’re merrier than us.
Take a short walk along Finsbury Park’s own sunset strip and you’ll find MoseyHome, an interiors retailer and styling consultancy who have invited us to collaborate with them on an exciting new series titled 'Style My Shop', in which they invite some of London's most talented interiors experts to quite literally style their shop. Interiors porn at it's finest.
Why was the snowman sad? Because he had a meltdown. Much like us, every year, when winter comes. It’s cold, it’s dark, and we know Christmas is on its way. But hey, it’s not all bad – the events round this time of year can be pretty swell. So don your scarf-shawl-blanket and get your frolic on, it’s time for fairy lights, scarfing mulled wine and stuffing your face!
Touch, taste, smell, hear and create art. Smith & Sinclair, purveyors of the Edible Cocktail, presents The Flavour Gallery: a multi-sensory adventure that’ll seduce your senses and tickle your taste buds beyond all imagination. Ooh matron!
Brush the cobwebs off your sexy banana costume; it’s that time of year to make a tit of yourself in fancy dress again. We’ve rounded up the most spine-chilling Halloween happenings in North London and, trust us, they sound horrendous. Be afraid, be very afraid.
God bless the Queen... of Hoxton. Or, more specifically, their rooftop - which happens to be one of our favourites in this here city of London. These guys are well known for creating beautiful, seasonal pop-ups which have included the Nordic Viking themed 'Skye Halla' and the Neverland inspired 'Bangarang'. This winter make way for 'The Moroccan Medina', a sky high hideaway inspired by the romanticism of the beguiling ancient city of Marrakesh.
Next time you need a caffeine hit why not take it from a cup brewed from Jamaican beans grown under a canopy of rainforest-preserving trees, whilst eating a home made vegan banana bread as you sit among an array of sweetly scented blooms. Welcome to Mento, Finsbury Park.
Pilgrim, the newest kid to Hackney's pop-up scene, is a unique dining experience inspired by the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. This six course tasting menu includes regional dishes with a contemporary twist not yet seen before in London.
Recent times have seen an unnerving surge in right-wing politics. President Trump’s campaign to ‘make America great again’ saw him make the audacious promise to ‘build a wall’. France saw the uneasy ascent of Marine Le Pen’s National Front in its general elections and Germany’s AfD, (the first openly nationalist party in almost six decades) celebrated an unprecedented third place victory in its recent elections.
Summer is officially over. We're not sure it ever began in the first place. I guess that's one of the few downsides of living in London (other than crippling debt, tube strikes and Boris Johnson), but I digress... Magic Roundabout Old Street is raising the bar for winter, transforming the site into a tented, heated, 'Decades' inspired wonderland.
Guess who’s back, back again. Fat Macy’s back, tell a friend. No, really. Tell everyone about it. Fat Macy's supper club came back into our lives and this time around they had their Middle Eastern Feast on at the cute as a button Luminary Bakery in Stoke Newington, with a menu inspired by Ottolenghi and the #CookForSyria campaign.
Getting shouted at by a burly prison guard with a buzz cut and an offensively loud American accent isn't usually the way one wishes to begin one's night. Nevertheless, as I clamber into a very large (cheers guys) orange jumpsuit, the guard shoves a bottle of Conkers Gin wrapped in a thin towel (no fluffy Egyptian cotton here lads), into my now somewhat clammy hands. Whispering hastily at me to not get caught by the warden I'm ushered off in single file into the depths of Alcotraz.
If you haven’t heard the news yet, the world’s first black bookshop is back. Yes, after months of campaigning for funding and volunteers, New Beacon Books has reopened after threat of closure with a brand new refurb to boot. Established in 1966 by John La Rose and Sarah White, New Beacon Books is the UKs longest running independent bookshop specialising in African-Caribbean literature, cards and artwork.
London cocktail week is upon us. To be honest I can think of nothing worse than strapping on a wristband, carrying around a guidebook and queuing up for something that just needs to be brought to my sorry, tired old lips immediately. Apparently this year however, Drink Up London have released an app that eliminates all of the above nonsense. Get your ticket, download the app and get enjoying your £6 cocktails all week long. Just remember to flash your digital pass to the bartender first.