Winter is coming ... and he's bringing food! Here are the best places to eat, drink and be merry from Friday 27 November
Today may be Black Friday, but we'd rather put our money where we can eat it.
From pre-Christmas pop-ups to planning your New Year's eating now, here are all the foodie events bringing cheer to the capital this week. Bon appétit.
Learn the secrets of great taste with Bruno Loubet
Want to make sure your flavour-matching skills cut the mustard before the festive season? Head to the Maille boutique in Mayfair this Monday night, for an evening with pioneering chef Bruno Loubet – he of The Grain Store and Zetter Townhouse fame.
Hosted by the 260-year-old French mustard and vinegar brand, the night will involve live recipe demos from Bruno, lessons on using vinegar to season food the way chefs do, wine tasting, mustard sampling and a goodie bag to make any condiment-lover swoon. You'll be keen as the proverbial.
7:30-9:30pm, Monday 30 November. Tickets £30. Book here.
Find some new traditions at the Hyper Japan Christmas Market
Sick of high street Christmas food already? Swap turkey and stuffing for sushi and sake with a trip to the Hyper Japan Christmas market at Tobacco Dock this weekend.
The technicolour fun fest will feature a food hall of Japanese treats, snacks and edible gifts, interactive cookery demos and incredible street food. Roll up for the Sushi Awards 2015, stay for the performance by 'Kawaiicore' pop group Lady Baby.
Friday 27 to Sunday 29 November. Tickets from £13. Book here.
Cosy up at Winterville
Anything west London can do, east London can do better ... and the proof is in Winterville, a magical blizzard of artisan food shacks, bars, stalls, pop-ups and cosy, woolly-hatted activities that set up camp in Victoria Park yesterday.
There'll be food from Mother Clucker, Bad Brownie, Crabbie Shack, Holy Cow and Smokestak to provide serious internal insulation, hot toddies and colossal chicken sandwiches at the Southern Comfort Home Comforts bar, and an ice rink to take a festive spin around. Actually maybe do the ice skating first.
Until 23 December. Free entry. Buy tickets for activities and events here.
Get high on romance at The Shard
Just in case ice skating, Christmas markets and strolling hand-in-hand in snowy parks aren't enough urban festive romance for you, food experience wizards Bompas and Parr have casually created 'the most romantic place in the world' at The View from the Shard.
Based on five scientific principles of romance and developed in partnership with the University of Edinburgh, The Height of Winter is a multi-sensory installation designed to trigger all your romantic instincts through scent, light and touch-responsive crystalline grotto surroundings. We don't know exactly what any of that means, but we do know there'll be Snow White hot chocolate, mulled champagne and Christmas candy floss. So we're already in love.
Until 31 January. Tickets £25.95. Book here.
Pick up Christmas dinner tips at the Foodies Festival
Christmas markets are all well and lovely, but if you're in need of proper culinary expertise for your Christmas feast, you'll want to pay a visit to the Foodies Festival – rocking around the Christmas tree on Brick Lane all weekend.
As well as 150 stalls of yuletide fuel, there'll be demos and appearances from top chefs and TV comp winners Dhruv Baker, Adam Simmonds and (scream!) Bake Off's Nadiya Hussain. Who needs sugar when you're already this excited?
Friday 27 to Sunday 29 November. Tickets from £12. Book here.
Wine and dine at Noble Rot
It's time retro wine bars had a renaissance, and flying the flag for dark wood, buttery fish and a few good glasses of something not 'house' is Noble Rot, one of the year's most feverishly-anticipated new openings. In a Bloomsbury building dating back to 1700, the guys behind Noble Rot magazine have teamed up with chefs Paul Weaver and Stephen Harris (from The Sportsman) to serve a small but perfectly formed menu of timeless British fare.
Dishes like slipsole and smoked butter, pork, pigeon and pistachio terrine and turbot braised in oxidised 1998 Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru have been all over Instagram this week, so get yourself a reservation quick-sharp. They're the hottest rotters in town.
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