What events are coming up this December?

Here’s our pick of great stuff to do across the country for the month of December. Get into the festive spirit listening to Christmas concerts (with a mince pie in hand), explore the Christmas of times gone by at events at Hampton Court Palace and living museum Beamish in County Durham, or sit down to a charitable afternoon tea with a spectacular view…

See what’s coming up and use the links to tap through, find out more, and book your place.

What events are coming up this December?

Events across the country

Festive feasts with a Tudor twist
Hampton Court Palace, the Thames-side former seat of Henry VIII in southwest London, will once again hold its Festive Fayre, when the grounds and courtyards are transformed into a sparkling food lover’s delight. This year the event has grown to take place over two weekends, with 100 artisan producers selling everything from Christmas puddings to churros, plus festive cocktail masterclasses and all the homebaked, handcrafted favourites you can manage to carry home. 1-3 & 8-10 Dec, adults from £26.30.

Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace lit up at night


Manchester’s parmo mania
Christmas shopping in Manchester? Then you have the perfect excuse to swing by trendy shipping-container street-food space Hatch for sustenance. There’s plenty to tempt, but our money’s on Middlesbrough’s finest, the parmo (breaded chicken topped with bechamel and cheese) at Parmogeddon. For a limited period it’s given a festive twist with pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce and stuffing. Grab it while you can.

Parmo mania
Enjoy a festive parmo at Hatch in Manchester


Step back in Tyne
At Christmas, the Beamish Museum, south of Newcastle, comes to life with bygone traditions, authentic costumes and engaging stories for all ages – as well as some nostalgic foodie treats. A fascinating glimpse of everyday life in the northeast from the 1820s to the 1950s, the living museum also has a fish & chip shop and proper pubs. Or try Edwardian bakes and cinder toffee from Jubilee Confectioners. Unlimited family pass from £54.50, closed Christmas Day & Boxing Day.

Old-fashioned fun at Beamish Museum near Newcastle


The Lost Estate’s Christmas Feast
What could be finer than an evening of food and theatre? Until 14 Jan, director Simon Pittman’s immersive production of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol returns to West Kensington, London, put on by The Lost Estate theatre company. Tickets include a Dickensian feast, alluringly entitled ‘A love letter to Victorian Christmas’. From £149.50.

Lost Estate
Experience a Victorian Christmas with The Lost Estate theatre co


The Giving Tree at Aqua Shard
Visiting the capital this season? Treat yourself at Aqua Shard, the restaurant on the 31st floor of The Shard, which is supporting Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) Children’s Charity this Christmas. A portion of proceeds from its Peter Pan afternoon tea and 50 per cent of sales of special dessert ‘The Christmas Gift’ will be donated, with diners given the option to add £1 to their bill too. Funds raised will support getting children home to their families for 25 December, and bringing cheer to those whose treatment has to continue through Christmas. Aqua Shard is marking the partnership with a seven-metre Christmas tree for guests to marvel at; adorned with teddy bears and wooden toys, it represents the magic of childhood – and Aqua Shard will donate presents in kind to children under GOSH’s care this Christmas.

Aqua Shard’s ‘The Christmas Present’ dessert


Festive menus at London restaurants

At BRIX in Borough, a restaurant set in a 8,500 square foot warehouse a few minutes walk from The Tate Modern, you’ll find a Christmas roast with the most. The £65 set menu includes a starter, main, and dessert with options of wild mushroom and artichoke stuffed squash, turkey with chestnut and sage stuffing, charred cod with saffron aioli or a maple-glazed venison haunch.


At Arcade Food Hall – at both the glamorous Tottenham Court Road and Battersea locations – a festive menu at £35 per person comprises of a guacamole, prawn toast or samosa starter, followed by Nepalese turkey momo, the indescribably good butter chicken tikka or mini festive shawarma and falafel wraps from Shatta and Toum. Desserts of mince pies and Christmas puddings are included and the festive White Christmas margarita is a gorgeous, nutmeg and coconut-laden take on the classically refreshing drink.


It’s carols time

Snape Maltings, Suffolk
There’s something for everyone at the renowned musical venue this December, including a festive brunch with live jazz, The Snowman (live), Christmas carols and even Santa arriving by boat! Free to £40, from 6 Dec.

The Piece Hall, Halifax, Yorkshire
This magnificent building’s festive extravaganza spans more than 50 shows and events. Highlights include gigs from Julian Lloyd Webber and Chris Difford, plus DJ sets from Kimberley Wyatt and Craig Charles. From £10, 11 Nov to 31 Dec.

Aldeburgh Voices, the choir in residence at Snape Maltings. Credit: Britten Pears Arts


St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh
Give the sofa a night off and head out to enjoy a sparkling evening of live music from favourite films such as Elf, Love Actually and The Nightmare Before Christmas. From £49.75, 1 Dec, 7.30pm.

Carols with the Bach Choir, London
Historic Cadogan Hall in Chelsea is the intimate setting for this Christmas special conducted by David Hill, with a guest appearance by London City Brass. From £19, 19 Dec, 7.30pm.

The restaurant to try

Jack ‘O’ Bryan’s, Dunfermline
This Scottish restaurant is a gem. Jack ‘O’ Bryan’s sits in the quiet city of Dunfermline (Fife), around 30 minutes by train from Edinburgh. Diners might be surprised to stumble upon such a culinary hotspot in a relatively understated area, but this place is certainly worth a visit. Oozing with atmosphere, this family-run kitchen-cum-bar marries the finest Scottish produce with flavours from all over the world to create elevated dishes.

Father and son
Chef-proprietors (and father and son) Bryan and Jack


Seafood takes centre stage on the menu, with locally caught crab, lobster and prawns from Fife’s cold waters as well as bream, cod, haddock and more from the North Sea. Make sure to try their house speciality: Iberian black pig served with red onion salsa and sautéed potatoes.

Service isn’t limited to dinnertime: the restaurant’s tapas Sunday sharing lunch and £18 Chef’s Lunch menu have local foodies booking themselves in regularly. Make note: saving room for dessert is a must. Chef Jack’s patisserie skills will have your jaw dropping; his handmade desserts and luxury chocolates (which you can take away with you, if you’re a little too full) are worth coming back for.

More events will be added throughout the month – check back soon… Looking for ideas for cooking with December’s seasonal vegetables? We have all the seasonal recipe inspiration you need.

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