This Week in London: 18th – 24th December 2023

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The week before Christmas is a strange one—lots of people leave the capital to visit family, and yet, those who remain are still yearning for something festive to do. Luckily, we’ve found an array of activities that are sure to keep the Christmas cheer alive until the big day.

Go for drinks at:


Ely’s Yard, 15 Hanbury St, London E1 6QR

When: 21st December 2023

Entry: free

Juju’s, just off Brick Lane, is hosting an Out of Office party on what is, in all likelihood, your last day in the office before Christmas. We expect that everyone there will have that last-day-of-school excitement, and that’ll be buoyed by the games on offer. There are board games, interactive numbers, and beer pong to be played, and we always find that people are much happier to mingle between groups in the run up to Christmas.

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Bag a Bargain at:

Smithfield Market’s Christmas Meat Auction

Grand Ave, London EC1A 9PS

When: 23rd December 2023 at 10am

The Smithfield Market Christmas meat auction isn’t for the squeamish, but it is an interesting opportunity to watch this historic market in action, all while bagging bargain rates on the centrepiece for your Christmas dinner. While the auction starts at 10am, most visitors get down there earlier to be sure to bag a spot. All of the meats you’ll need for a traditional Christmas dinner will be up for auction, but being flexible on what you want to take home is the best way to bag a bargain here.

The market is soon to be relocated so this might be the last time that this event is held in this iconic structure.

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A Christmas sandwich from the The Dusty Knuckle

Abbot St, London E8 3DP

All of our wallets are looking a little bare this side of Christmas, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t want (and deserve) to eat delicious food. That’s where the Christmas sandwich steps in—yes all the chain stores do them too, but none do it better than London’s bakeries. The Dusty Knuckle, tucked away in an unassuming Dalston car park does one of the very best. Their 2023 version is packed with fennel and garlic-stuffed porchetta, quince aioli and crackling and served up on a deliciously oily focaccia. They also do a vegetarian version, which features a Brussels sprout salad, cranberry and pomegranate molasses and a whole load of crunchy veg.

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Carols at the Royal Albert Hall

Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, South Kensington, London SW7 2AP

When: 21st – 24th December 2023

Social media made famous and then ultimately finished carols on Columbia Road, and we’re all left with a carol-filled void in our festive period. Never fear though, the Royal Albert Hall, is arguably, a much better replacement. The carols will be accompanied by members of the Royal Choral Society and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra but this event really is all about crowd participation.

There are three performances a day, meaning that there will be a time suitable for even the littlest of family members.

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A Christmas film at the Prince Charles Cinema

7 Leicester Pl, London WC2H 7BY

All week, the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square is showing all your absolute favourite festive films. You could enjoy a back-to-back screening of Home Alone and Home Alone 2, tell your friends that Die Hard really is a Christmas film after watching that, or even attend a sing-a-long version of The Muppet Christmas Carol. It’s a cinema that takes the festive season seriously, and with prices starting at £10.50, won’t break the bank either.

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Winter by the River

London Bridge City, SE1 2DB

London has an array of Christmas markets, but no others offer views of the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and The Gherkin all at once. This market has a prime location in the heart of the city, but somehow manages to not be totally overrun with people. We visited one lunchtime and found a lovely, cheerful atmosphere, lots of food stalls serving up hearty grub and plenty of stalls that would be great for a spot of last minute gift-buying.

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