Top Four Divine Acts For A Guilt Free December

Written by: Sophie Taylor

Guilt Free December: a month is for 30 days, not just for Christmas.

It’s time to cleanse your soul and pretoxify yourself. Why not have a saintly first half of December so you can really let your hair down in the debauched second half?

Prepare your liver and cleanse your soul with gift buying, charity parties and culture: it’s guilt free December. Here’s our top four divine acts to keep the demons at bay til the work Christmas do at least. 

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Divine Act no.1: Take in some culture

👼 Tel Aviv-based artist Johnathan Reiner will be showing his new exhibition, Femme Fatale at leading contemporary art gallery Hang-Up. Currently training as a neurologist, Dr. Reiner’s work addresses concepts that aren’t hard-wired into our brains, but imposed on us by the culture we live in. The self-taught print-maker has created a vibrant body of screen prints and previously unseen originals for Hang-Up’s Femme Fatale exhibition.

The Private View launch is on the evening of the 1 Dec, from 6 – 9 pm where the artist/doctor himself will be there. Behave yourselves. 

Hang-Up Gallery, 81 Stoke Newington Road, London N16 8AD

Femme Fatale exhibition open from 2 Dec 2016 – 29 Jan 2017, Private View 1st December 6-9pm.

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👼 After an entertaining few weeks following the new Atom Gallery refit on their instagram, they are ready for their close up. The official reopening party kicks off on Friday 2nd December with their debut show, ‘Excited State’: what happens when an Atom moves from one place to another and then puts on a smashing print show.

You know where it’s at. Ah ha ah at. 

Atom Gallery, 127 Green Lanes, Newington Green, N16 9DA Private View from 6-9pm (just in case you didn’t know where it’s at). 

👼 On the 6th December, the Somewhereto Network are hosting an exhibition at arts space, Green Rooms. Get ready for a night of spoken word, music and live art, all from emerging creative talent from the Somewhereto_ network. For more info on all those exhibiting and performing, get thee to the Eventbrite page

Green Rooms, 13-27 Station Road, N22 6UW.

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Divine Act no.2: Support local businesses

👼 On the 2nd December, the creme de la creme of Crouch End will be opening up late for an evening of late night shopping with tasty food, retro, vintage and kitsch. Yes, it’s Barboot time again!

Amongst the racks of vintage clothes, you’ll find homeware, hair styling and a whole host of junk to fit in your trunk.

You might just spot the event creator, Amelia and her beautiful dog Rose down at Painted Black Vintage, a clothes shop bursting with affordable women’s and men’s clothing from the 1920s to the 1970s.

Crouch End Barboot, Late Night Shopping

2nd December, 7pm – 10:30pm

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👼 Keep it local, keep it safe. This Christmas, why not polish your halo by getting the shopping done early (like this weekend) and hella local. Less effort, better gifts, great karmic retribution.

As part of Small Business Saturday, Stroud Green N4 are hosting a trail of goodliness from their very own shops and pubs. Pick up a Stroud Green Christmas Trail card (lovingly created by wondrous design agency, The Barefaced Movement) from any shop bearing the Christmas Trail poster. Collect stickers from participating venues and receive free drinkies for your support.

Go forth, get stickered, be merry!

Small Business Saturday Stroud Green Trail

3rd – 4th December

Divine act no.3: Buy gifts for others

👼 For all your Christmas shopping needs head to Alexandra Palace on the 4th. From fabulous fashion, menswear, jewellery and accessories to quirky items for the home, plus antiques and collectables. Download the 2-4-1 entry voucher and pay just £3 on the door. Stalls will include vintage ladies & menswear, jewellery & accessories, homeware, posters, collectables & curiosities.

Pop up Vintage at Alexandra Palace, stalls open from 9.30 to 4.30pm.

👼 Every Monday, the Islington Christmas Market is opening again. Luckily it has relocated this year to the Angel Shopping Centre, where you’ll be met with a very warm reception in the form of market stalls in festive chalets selling Christmas décor and gifts. Expect speciality chocco, wooden laser cut jewellery, candles and the world’s smallest champagne bottle. 

Angel Shopping Centre Islington, Monday – Fri 11am – 7pm, Sat 10-6pm, Sun 12-5pm

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Divine act no.4: Host a charity party

👼 Host a Crisis Christmas Party from 5th – 11th December. Crisis is the national charity for single homeless people, dedicated to ending homelessness by delivering life-changing services and campaigning for change. Help make a difference to people facing homelessness this Christmas with a Crisis Christmas party. Your Crisis Christmas Party can be whatever you fancy. Turn your existing event into a Crisis fundraiser, have fun and raise funds for a good cause. Tis the season for overindulging whilst thinking of others after all. If you can’t make that week, don’t you get your knickers in a twist! Relax and do it when you can within the month. The main priority here is making sweet sweet money for an incredibly worthy cause. More deets and reading material here.

Of course there are hundreds of other ways to appease your dark soul and repent for past grievances before 2016 is through. Have a look at some more conscience busting suggestions in our article, 7 Ways To Save Your Soul.

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Eat & Drink

Kerb’s Guiltiest Pleasures, All Weekend

“He said, I know It’s only arctic roll but I like it like it yes I dooooo” Those are the lyrics right? Well this weekend they certainly are, at Kerb’s Guiltiest Pleasure in Kings Cross featuring an arctic roll of pure indulgence. Over Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd July, the street food collective from your wildest dreams are hosting the most indulgent hits from all their pop ups at Granary Square.

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Theatre of Choice: Stick and Twisted by Hivemind

Hivemind are coming to the Hen and Chickens Theatre this Summer with a cracker of an innovative show. Three directors try to win over the audience with improvised stories acted out by the rest of the Hivemind cast on the spur of the moment. As each scene ends you decide whether to “stick” and see where the story goes or “twist” and let the next director take over. The director who ends up with the least scenes acted out has to pay a ‘terrible forfeit’. Told you it was harsh.

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Eat & Drink

Hidden Culinary Gem: The Lacy Nook

We have been wondering whether or not to share this secret gem with you for a while now. Having walked past Cazenove Road on many a drunken occasion, we’d spotted The Lacy Nook A Board luring us inwards with a siren’s call of cocktails and beer garden. But unfortunately we’d get the timing all wrong and they’d rarely be open. “Closed at 4am! How ludicrous?” we’d holler, slurring and swaying up the road. Until now. Opening last year, The Lacy Nook is a collaboration between two friends who turned to Kickstarter to help them achieve this culinary dream . Think small and large plates of fusion Balkan BBQ, salads and carpaccio alongside

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Playing Up: New NYT Show, Three

This year, Playing Up have commissioned a new play by Sophie Ellerby (HighTide First Commissions Writer and NYT REP Company 2013), Three, which will be staged at the Arcola Theatre from 20th to 22nd July. The urban and domestic drama, directed by NYT Associate Director Anna Niland follows three sisters who fight to keep track of reality as their world is turned upside down.

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Laughable Acts at Backyard Comedy Club

Tonight, on this dull yet sweaty Monday, what you may well need is to show your confectionary based fillings to the ceiling and let it all out with a huge bellowing guffaw about nothing in particular. Let the likes of quick witted Josie Long, surreal twosome Max and Ivan and the downright uproarious Tom Parry help you escape the chocolate lacking reality of 2017.

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Fur Dates: Lottie is Looking for Love

Registered charity, All Dogs Matter are a dog rehoming centre based in Archway. They use a mixture of foster homes and kennel spaces to house their dogs, who are each looking to be fostered or adopted. Occasionally we look through their profiles of beautiful singletons looking for love and feature one at random. We interviewed one newly single lady in particular called Lottie. A fun spirited character with smooth hair and a huge grin, Lottie was a right laugh.

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Get Involved: Cally Road Jumble Trail

Next Sunday it’s the Cally Road Jumble Trail, run by the community. Think a car boot sale but on the street with vintage clothing, accessories, toys, original creations and cakes if you’re lucky. The whole of the trail is set up online over at where visitors get a colour coded map to explore and discover all the hidden treasures on offer from your neighbourhood.

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Lifestyle List

Top Four ‘What the Deuce!’ Wimbledon Screening Spots

You’ve got your socks pulled up but no Cliff Richard in sight. You’re all white shorted up with nowhere to go. It’s time to find out where your white headbanded self will fit in. Here's our top four Wimbledon screening hang outs to try this Summer.

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Eat & Drink Events

Midsummer Fizz Masterclass at Yield N16

Until five minutes ago I would’ve believed Pet Nat was a holistic dog food brand / veterinary business in Wood Green. I’m half right actually*, but in the boozios world it’s a fizzy wine. Pétillant Naturel is light and fizzy, usually pretty low on the alcohol scale and rather sweet. Think the opposite of a dry red wine.

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Eat & Drink

World Foods Market, Abney Hall

Abney Public Hall is hosting a market of world food delicacies next weekend, having gathered together the creme de la creme of planet Earth’s cuisine. Prepare for a mass fusion of cultures, great food, drink and music just off Stoke Newington Church Street.

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Quiz: How Gentrified Are You?

Otherwise known as the shoredification of London, there are four stages of denial when it comes to dealing with the inevitability of gentrification. Are you a dilapidated ol’ boozer clinging on to the same threads since 1989, or more of a craft beer-swilling/moustache-bearing pop up type propping up the bar at a cookie dough cafe? Let’s find out before your bedroom’s transformed in to a pop up belfie gallery.

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Eat & Drink Events

Poop poop! Supper Club Banquet at Toad Hall

Poop poop! Get your driving gloves on and tweed jackets ready, for Toady has invited us down to Toad Hall for a banquet on the riverbank. Join The Literary Hour for their all new immersive supper club experience this Summer. It’s the eighth in their series of book themed events with multi-sensory five course meals featuring additional surprises… Ooh ratty!

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Comedians, Rappers, Actors: Open Mic Night in Stokey

Every last Thursday of the month a motley crew of performing acts shuffle off to the skinny little Moustache Bar on Stoke Newington Road for a night of microphone hogging. It’s Open Mic night and the stage isn’t just available to acoustic guitar yielding crooners. The floor is open for all you comedians, rappers, poets, hell even actors are welcome to come tread the boards at Moustache Bar this Thursday 27th July.

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Events Lifestyle

Walking Tour of Stokey's Rebel History

Ah Stokey. You chilled out little rebel of North London. The seemingly easy breezy, laissez-faire attitude that appears to exude from every award winning eatery and baby clothes shop of Church Street is all but an organic hessian veil over it’s anarchic and rebellious history. Nonconformists, anti fascists and dissenters built the area as we know it.

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Eat & Drink

Eating North London: Punjabi Supperclub Recipe

Trying our luck, we decided to ask the wonderful Raina and Saira of Joginder Supper Club to give us some unseen insight in to their centuries old Punjabi recipes. Amazingly they agreed to shed some light on one of their most tasty dishes: the Bhoolghobi Tamatar (cauliflower with tomato and potato). Over to the experts...

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Culture Eat & Drink Lifestyle

North London Bike Tour: Tour De North Four

So this July 198 cyclists head over to Germany to start the Tour de France. If you think that is weird, wait till I tell you it started in Yorkshire a few years ago. Anyway after the three days of the Grand Depart the spectacle of the world's biggest sporting event heads back to France and the action really begins.