8 festive things to do in London this weekend (22-24 November 2019)

Natasha Afxentiou

18 November 2019

Embrace Christmas festivities in London this weekend, as light displays, food markets and shopping events pop up across the capital, plus the anticipated opening of the Glossier pop-up shop

18 November 2019 | Natasha Afxentiou

Christmas at Kew, Richmond (all weekend)

Usher in the festive season at Kew, as London's world-famous gardens are lit up with oodles of sparkling lights. A new route debuts fresh installations, alongside popular perennials including singing Holly Bushes and a canopy of glittering trees. To capture a picture-perfect Instagram moment, stroll through the iridescent Tunnel of Light, elevated by unique laser projections that dance over the Temperate House. Warm up with spiced cider and street food, spanning sourdough pizza and toasted marshmallows, and finish with a whirl on the helter-skelter or Victorian carousel. 

Cathedral of Light. Christmas at Kew. Courtesy of Jeff Eden RBG Kew

Date: until 5 January 2020 Time: 5pm-10pm Price: Adults: from £18; Family from £52; Children: from £11 (Peak and off-peak prices apply, see website for ticket details) Location: Kew Gardens (entrance via Victoria Gate), Richmond, London, TW9 3JR Closest Station: Kew Gardens Station 


Glossier Pop-up Shop, Covent Garden 

The long-awaited Glossier pop-up shop opens in London this weekend on Covent Garden's Floral Street. The interior is aptly inspired by traditional British social clubs, complete with a Glossier Rooftop dedicated to the iconic London skyline. Shop cult beauty products while exploring the immersive space, which includes secret doorways and hidden surprises. 

Glossier Pop-up Shop London 

Date: from 20 November 2019 Time: Monday-Saturday: 10am-7pm; Sundays: 11am-6pm Location: 13 Floral Street, Covent Garden, London Closest Station: Covent Garden 

Website: glossier.com

Veuve Clicquot and St. Vincent Pop-up Champagne Bar, Covent Garden (from Friday) 

Toast the festive season with a glass of Veuve Clicquot this weekend at a new experiential Champagne bar in Covent Garden, open for just two days. Veuve Clicquot has partnered with musician St. Vincent to create the space, which is billed as 'part speakeasy, part sensory experience'. Further collaborators include fashion designer Matty Bovan, who has created a bespoke look for St. Vincent and plant-based creative studio Plates London, who will be cooking up a storm throughout the weekend. 

Date: 22-23 November 2019 Time: 4pm-Midnight on Friday and Saturday Price: Free admission Location: The Souvenir Bar, 6a Langley St, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9JA Closest Station: Covent Garden 

Website: veuveclicquot.com

Jo Malone Christmas Cracker Workshop, Chelsea (Friday and Saturday)

Hone your Christmas crafting skills this weekend at a Cracker Workshop at Jo Malone on Slone Street. In the most fragrant of festive activities, spend an hour creating a personalised Christmas cracker filled with a classic cracker joke, a piece of chocolate and a 9ml Jo Malone cologne of your choosing. Workshops are available between 10am and 6pm this Friday and Saturday. 

Date: 22-23 November 2019 Time: Between 10am and 6pm Price: Free - Places can be reserved by visiting the Sloane Street boutique or calling 0370 192 5121 Location: Jo Malone London, 150 Sloane Street, London, SW1X 9BX Closest Station: Sloane Square 


Cars: Accelerating the Modern World at the V&A (from Saturday) 

A new exhibition is revving into the V&A this week. Cars: Accelerating Modern World is the first exhibition in the museum's 167-year history to focus on the automobile, paying tribute to the car as a revolutionary design object. A curation of 15 vehicles includes the first production automobile ever made, Karl Benz’s 1886 Patent-Motorwagen No 3, and an entirely electric, fully automatic car of the future by by Italdesign. 

Pop Up next © Italdesign

Date: from 23 November 2019 Time: See website for available times to book Price: £18, free for V&A Members Location: Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL Closest Station: South Kensington 

Website: vam.ac.uk/exhibitions

Christmas at The Yards, Covent Garden (Friday) 

Start your Christmas shopping this Friday evening at The Yards, a collection of courtyards and streets in Covent Garden. Alongside exclusive discounts, shoppers can enjoy complimentary bites and warming drinks while listening to carol singing and a live band. Participating shops include Pretty Ballerinas, Yogarise, Blow Ltd, Stanfords, Eileen Fisher, and Pineapple, while The Covent Garden Academy of Flowers is hosting a wreath-making workshop.

Christmas at The Yards, Covent Garden

Date: 22 November 2019 Time: 5-8pm Price: Free tickets available via the website Location: The Yards, Covent Garden Closest Station: Covent Garden 

Website: theyardscoventgarden.co.uk/events/christmas 

Taste of London, Tobacco Dock (all weekend)

This weekend, Taste of London is transforming Tobacco Dock with more than 120 artisanal food stalls and 50 restaurants. Feast on plant-based burgers by Neat Burger; sizzling barbecue fare from Smoking Goat and modern Taiwanese dishes from XU, while enjoying festive live music and a special snow-filled winter forest. There will be live chef demonstrations, workshops, wine pairings and champagne in the Laurent-Perrier Ski Chalet Clubhouse. Hands-on masterclasses hosted by Tanqueray No. TEN Gin and Johnnie Walker Whisky will also be held throughout the weekend. 

Taste of London, Winter 2018

Date: 21-24 November 2019 Time: Times vary according to date, see website for details Price: Tickets from £17, see website for further options Location: Tobacco Quay, Wapping Lane, London, E1W 2SF Closest Station: Shadwell 

Website: london.tastefestivals.com/tickets

Eco-Visionaries at the Royal Academy of Arts (from Saturday)

The Royal Academy of Arts unveils a new Eco-Visionaries exhibition this Saturday, which draws attention to resource decline, food shortages, species extinction and climate change. Created by Delvendahl Martin Architects and Daly & Lyonis graphic design studio, the exhibit showcases a collection of works by 21 international practitioners, who use art and architecture to respond to environmental issues. Highlights include a new project by Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, The Substitute (2019), which brings visitors face-to-face with a breathtaking, life-size digital northern white rhinoceros and a collection of photographs from The Ice Melting Series (2002) by Olafur Eliasson. Nerea Calvillo presents Madrid In The Air (2019), a study of the Madrid skyline over 24 hours, which exposes the blanket of pollutants which lie in the air we breathe. The exhibition is free from single-use plastic and has been entirely made using reclaimed materials.

Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, The Substitute, 2019 (video still). Visualisation by The Mill. Courtesy of the artist Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg.

Date: from 23 November 2019 Time: 10am-6pm daily; 10am-10pm on Fridays Price: £12 (£10 without Gift Aid donation), under 16s go free with a paying adult, admission is also free for friends of the RA Location: 6 Burlington Gardens, Mayfair, London W1J 0PE Closest Station: Green Park 

Website: royalacademy.org.uk