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.

North Four, North London magazine, kings cross remix, good times, london clubbing, theatre, play, review, night life

Theatre of Changing Spaces: Kings Cross in the '80s

“Only last night I found myself lost / by the station called King's Cross. / Dead and wounded on either side / you know it's only a matter of time.” [Pet Shop Boys - Kings Cross] It’s the night after the play and I’m standing at the bar of ‘The Big Chill House’ on Pentonville Road in Kings Cross. It’s ‘Throwback Thursday’ (#TBT) and happy hour is definitely over.

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Local Creatives: Laura Bird Ceramics

Ceramics with charisma. Local pottery genius, Laura Bird has of course graced the digital pages of It’s Nice That, sold out in Anthropologie* and taken her seat at many a London ceramics stall since just recently starting her career in ceramics. It’s no surprise she is well loved: her unique and gentle humour exudes from every jar, planter and candlestick holder, adorned with cheeky expressions and impish grins.

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Eat & Drink

Fresh Comfort Food: Walnut Cafe and Dining

Having worked in hospitality with a keen artist’s eye, the Arts Building knew Emma was perfect to take over the space. They were after a morning to night eatery for the neighbourhood, one for local residents and workers alike. Knowing the street’s reputation as a bit of a foodie strip, the menu had to be up to scratch for it’s discerning super-taster of a community. Yes, we’re a hungry bunch in Stroud Green.

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Twin Peaks Supper Club, North London

At the time of writing this the menu has just been released for Food by Feast’s new supper club. I imagine, however, that by the time you read this every dining space will be swiftly filled. If you aren’t acquainted with the duo yet (tsk), they’re the genius collaboration of Cordon Bleu chef and food writer Olivia Potts and Guardian food writer and cook, Kate Young. Having successfully completed the likes of a Gilmore Girls supper club to rapturous applause and smacking lips recently, the latest menu experience is Twin Peaks inspired and looks equally witty and delectable.

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Get Your Shaman On: Gong Bath in Stokey

Sound healing in Stoke Newington. This Thursday 18th May, The Mystery School of Sound are running a de-stress gong bath experience in Stoke Newington Ramadan Mosque. Alongside guided meditation, healing process and gong performace, you’ll get a mini intro to healing traditions of the druids and hermetic teaching.

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Pop Up Cinema: Celebrate Cannes in Kentish Town

Patron Cave a Manger’s pop up cinema are shacking up at The Rose and Crown in Kentish Town to screen The Artist. Soak up the atmoshpere of the Festival du Cannes with swanky popcorn and elegant cocktails. Get red carpet ready for this special screening of The Artist - the ridiculously popular award winning silent French film that everyone fell in love with.

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Stokey Food Market: Fundraising for the Community

Unfortunately rising rents are affecting community spaces in Stoke Newington and their availability. St Mary’s Centre currently provides a space for projects including the Foodbank, Hackney Migrants centre and the Night Shelter but they're at risk of losing their space. To help raise funds to redevelop the space and increase awareness, they are organising a weekend food market in Stokey. The pop-up food market is a launch event for their huge fundraising drive to rebuild the community rooms attached to St Mary's Church in Stoke Newington.

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Eat & Drink

Eating North London: Healthy Chocolate Breakfast with Kate Oates

Healthy chocolate mousse and sexing up your smoothie with Kate Oates. We have found ourselves a yoga guru in Kate Oates, a healthtastic yogi based in Crouch End. When we met her last year she hinted at a few of her own culinary creations and boy were we intrigued. Asking for an exclusive recipe for you health conscious readers, we received a taste sensation of an idea for chocolate breakfast.

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Alternative Speed Dating with Single Cylinders

“All My Single Cylinders, All My Single Cylinders”. Two girls, sick to the back teeth of Tindering and Bumbling about the bars of London, decided to create their own speed dating night. Involved in the biker community of East London they have created a special series of nights combining live music, motorbikes and speed dates. Bolt Motorbike Shop of Stoke Newington is their latest venue, providing a more intriguing backdrop for your date night and quashing the usual awkwardness of sparse, brightly lit speed dating scenarios. You can admire the motors, enjoy your free drinks and listen to some live music with some top notch handpicked company.

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Eat & Drink

Pop Up Proper Piirakka in Finsbury Park

In case you’ve never had a piirakka, (also known as Karelian pasties, pies or pirogs) they’re a delicious Finnish treat that you need to try immediately. Whether savoury or sweet, they’re basically a light pastie made with rye flour and a pretty unique variety of filling options. Meet Aapo Nieminen, a native Finnish local who grew up with piirakka. After getting tired of asking friends and family to bring him these naughty little pasties whenever they visited he came up with a plan. “They are an important part of everyday finish life. One day I thought why not just make them yourself?”


North London Bike Tour: Giro d'North Four

The lycra is optional. Coffee however, isn't. On Friday 197 cyclists descended on Sardinia to compete in the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia. For those of you that don't have wardrobes filled with lycra you might never of heard of it but Think Tour d'France but in Italy. Still drawing a blank?

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Eat & Drink

Millenial Munchers Heaven: Cookie Dough Cafe

Naked Dough have appeared like a pair of beautiful fairy godmothers to lead me to an actual edible cookie dough dance party. Plus they didn’t even tell me what I should wear, they genuinely don’t care. Naked Dough is a new restaurant serving edible cookie dough from tubs, cones and even carry home pots. The ingredients are raw egg free and the flour is heat-treated so you need not worry-like-Edwina-Currie about salmonella and stomach bloat (unless you’re gluten free of course. In which case I’m sorry you’ve stumbled upon this torture page of an article).

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MINT Vintage, The Denim Edition

Ten years ago MINT Vintage first opened in Covent Garden before moving on to the more creative surrounds of Stoke Newington, pioneering fashion forward vintage. Every piece is hand selected and sourced from all over the world, ensuring every garment is trend driven but timeless and always unique. This May they’ve decided to transform their world in to an “oops we were trying to make corduroy and came up with denim” dreamland*.

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Carry On Up the Canal with Secret Adventures

Finding myself wandering around Limehouse Basin craving a pint and perhaps even a slice of pizza, I needed to get home to my local Crate Brewery sharpish (they do the freshest craft beers and have award winning pizzas). But how to get there? Stumbling in to Limehouse Station and towards a huge sign saying CLOSED, I consider walking there instead. A short meander riverwards, I reach the canal and begin to notice a group of people donning chunky waistcoats stretching their arms around. I pause for a second, swaying slightly on the spot, watching this mesmerising circle of humans yielding huge double ended spoons.

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‘Not another psych night’ at Nambucca

"Ooh they’re doing a psych night at Moth Club Tina!” "What, again?” It’s a familiar sentence. Fast becoming a buzzword for young musos and Beyond Retro dwellers alike, psych music is no longer just for the suede fringed waistcoat wearing Acid Jazz lovers who curse their parents they weren’t born in 1966. No no. The psych music spectrum has spread it’s bendy wings and shaken off it’s lava lamp skin to embrace a whole host of musical genres. From William Burroughs to Pet Sounds to Thee Oh Sees, the genre’s had a birth, decline and resurgence. Nambucca in Finsbury Park are totally capitalising on this revival with their new monthly night, SIKE! This Thursday 11th May, they’re bringing four different acts who are all covering different elements of the psych scene.

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Beer and Bagels at The Good Egg, Stokey

Back in 2014 The Good Egg was hatched, mixing Californian sunshine with Tel Aviv traditions to bring one heck of a menu to Stoke Newington. Food critics, instagrammers and swathes of Stokey baby holders flocked to it’s doors to get stuck in to the Jerusalem breakfast, merguez sausage and indeed eggs washed down with spicy brunch cocktails.