Christmassy places to eat, drink and party in London this week

Just because it’s Christmas, doesn’t mean it needs to be traditional, right?

How about a party in an Electric Gamebox? Or a Christmas tree-shaped Chinese bun filled with sweet treats? Or a tropical Christmas with rum cocktails?

Not that there aren’t plenty of old-school wintery-wonderland-style things to get up to as well, from wreath-making to feasting on a sparkly terrace under a faux-fur rug.

We’ll take it all!

Sky(lon) full of stars

For this year’s Christmas party for exceptionally brilliant gay men (everyone welcome, but you’ve got to have a target market, right?), the people at roving gay members’ club Jake have excelled themselves and secured Skylon, the beautiful space at the Royal Festival Hall overlooking the Thames and the Southbank Christmas business.

A glass of Butler’s Bouquet sparkling (from Hackney!) as you arrive, cool disco and Christmas tunes and some of the most eligible men in all of London to flirt with in Skylon’s Starry Night installation with golden arches and hanging stars.

And it doesn’t come much more Christmassy than that!

Sunday from 5pm, Skylon, Royal Festival Hall, SE1

O, Christmas Tree, how lovely are thy filling

Tired of ye olde mince pies? Well, we’re not but it’s still nice to have an alternative, which is where these Christmas Tree Buns from Bun House come in. And they are lavish!

Quite apart from how they look – big, green, Christmas tree-shaped – you then get to tuck into four different layers: first spiced gingerbread caramel, then white chocolate, then chestnut cream and finally dark chocolate and orange.

We’ve put on half a stone just thinking about them. But it’s Christmas, so what the heck. Just pre-order and pick up from, where else? Chinatown.

From December 15-17, Bun House, 26-27 Lisle Street, WC2

You’ll barge people out of the way for this 

We get it. You want to get out there and do Christmas properly but you don’t necessarily want to be crammed in somewhere, what with new strains floating around and all.

Well, we have the perfect solution: London’s largest al fresco terrace Barge East has gone all seasonal on us with Winter Gardens – covered, toasty – joining the floating bar and restaurant to keep you fed, watered and amused in the run-up to the big day.

Enjoy a bottomless brunch (we always do!) warm as a crumpet under faux fur throws with mini hot water bottles clutched to you in a winter cabin or a ski gondola or on the fairy-lit terrace overlooking the River Lee.

Winter wonderlands don’t come more wonderful. Or wintery.

Sweetwater Mooring, White Post Lane, E9

The best Whiskey Bar none

If you can’t treat yourself at Christmas, when can you push the boat out on a luxury night out?

We certainly don’t know the answer to that question but we will think about it as we tuck into £150-worth (for two people!) of arancini, scallops, aged Herefordshire chateaubriand with triple-cooked chips and sticky toffee pudding all served with lashings of Redbreast Whiskey down at the Festive Winter Retreat at New Street Grill and Old Bengal Bar.

It’s a partnership thing with a full Redbreast Whiskey cocktail menu served up on the magical winter terrace with blankets and heaters and bells a-jinglin’.

And this being New Street Warehouse, you just know that the quality of those cuts is going to be sky high.

Until January 28, New Street Warehouse, 16 New Street, EC2

Prize burgers up for grabs

A Patty & Bun scratchcard? We’ve not been this excited since we found out Greggs did gift cards (oh, have we spoiled the surprise of what you’re getting? Soz).

With a whopping 20,000 prizes up for grabs including £100 Patty & Bun meals, the burger joint with a difference has outdone itself.

Just treat yourself to a Patty & Bun throughout December (like you wouldn’t anyway, right?) and you’ll get a scratchcard and – in all probability – one of those 20,000 prizes.

And you can claim your prize anytime up until the end of February. And you know how joyless those first two months of the year can be.

Various locations 

Blooming brilliant crafts

Christmas is a crafty time of the year. We don’t mean it’s a time to be sneaky. We’re just saying it’s the time people whop out their creative skills and there’s no better place to do it than at Bluebird Chelsea with a glass of Nyetimber English sparkling wine in your hand.

Down there at the very swish restaurant, they are putting on hour-long wreath-making classes with Blooming Haus.

So not only do you end up with something fancy for your front door, you get to check out the Blue Starry Night theme down at the Bluebird with winter huts on the terrace, trees, gold ferns, frosted pines…

Sunday, 350 Kings Road, SW3

Think out of the Box

It’s beginning to look a lot like Boxpark Christmas, which could mean anything knowing the range of events this lot put on in their various locations.

At Wembley there’s WinterFeast on Saturday 18th, so games, jugs of beer, live music, mulled wine. Then there’s the return of Massaoke Christmas Special for you karaoke fans who don’t like to sing alone at Croydon on December 23rd and Wembley on 22nd (remember to wear your Christmas jumpers for a prize).

Oh and Whole Box O’Laughs stand-up-comedian-athon at Wembley this Sunday, and the Festive Film Club and the Festive Jazz Club and DJs and drinks and food and shopping and… well, pretty much anything.

Various locations

Cuban Clubs galore!

Have Christmas your way this year. If you’re over the whole snowy cold thing already?

Sort yourself out a table at Bluebird Café in White City where they are going tropical with Havana Club, which means warming cocktails and Cuban-inspired palms.

Or you could head up to Madison’s Winter Rooftop Retreat for another special cocktail menu courtesy of Bulleit Bourbon (we like the sound of the Bad Santa) as you get on up to get on down to nightly DJs in the shadow of St. Paul’s.

Or maybe you fancy the Lodge d’Argent at Coq d’Argent, where they’re promising the best après-ski in all of London thanks to a partnership with Hennessy and a menu of Alpine bites. We might just do all of the above.

Various locations

Get your game face on

It’s the Christmas party gamers have been dreaming of ever since they first got sticky hands on games consoles… thanks to immersive group gaming platform Electric Gamebox.

Grab your gaming – or just game! – mates, and step into a private Gamebox for your hyper-immersive digital adventure.

With ten games to choose from and a Gamebox that comes alive with projection mapping, motion tracking, surround sound, the works, it’s 60 minutes of high intensity fun in the world of spying or aliens or ghosts or whatever floats your boat when it comes to gaming.

With room for up to 24 people at a time, you could be about to organise the works Christmas do of a lifetime!

 London, Arch 3, 83 Scoresby Street, SE1

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