What we’re reading
- Until now, few have seen, the fabled Spitalfields Bowl.
- Have you got what it takes to create an 'iconic' Old Street gateway? Don't copy this lot.
- Croydon Airport to stage Purley wreath-laying on the 93rd anniversary of Britain's first air disaster.
- China has its own knockoff version of Fabric.
- London's future nightlife: Can London can keep partying through the 21st century?
Things to do
DIGGING HIS HEELS IN: Christian Louboutin is better known for creating the spiky heel with red lacquered soles – not the foliage in his garden. But it's the flowers from Louboutin's own 13th-century chateau French garden, which are the focus of this exhibition, plus get a whiff of floral installations created by London's leading florists. 13 Floral Street (Covent Garden), free, just turn up, 11am-7pm
VEGAN DELI POP-UP: Wondering how you're going to get through the turkey season meat-free? Don't fret, just head to Camden market's new deli to find everything you need to have a merry vegan Christmas. Plus the market will be bustling with music and carols to launch its first late night opening. North Yard (Camden Market), free, just turn up, noon-9pm, until 21 December
FIRST THURSDAYS: The cafe that trains up former offenders as barristers is throwing a 1950s, rock 'n' roll themed bash with hot dogs from the kitchen, washed down with a local pale ale and whisky cocktails. Cafe from Crisis, free, just turn up, 5pm-10pm
TRAFALGAR SQUARE TREE: It's the 70th anniversary of this majestic 25-metre tree, which had its roots in Norway before it was propped up in Trafalgar Square, (as a thank you for Britain's support during the second world war.) Wrap up warm and see it lit up tonight alongside carol singing, poetry and speeches. Trafalgar Square, free, just turn up, 6pm
GOOD & PROPER TEA: A Christmas market in a tea house sounds like our kind of retail therapy. Bag yourself gifts from local businesses such as Nota Bene Wares and Hoxton Mini Press, plus baked goods to keep you going. Good & Proper Tea, free, book ahead, 7pm-9pm
CRAFT CRASH: Grab cocktails (two for £7.50) from 5pm and get stuck into wreath, garland and headdress making, using baubles, tinsel and all things shiny. Tis the season to be crafty after all. The Star by Hackney Downs, free, just turn up, 7pm-10pm
SACRED HARP SHAPE-NOTE SINGING: Flex those vocal chords at this singing class dedicated to folk hymns from the American South — no experience in 'nineteenth-century heavy metal' necessary. St Catherine's Church (Brockley), £3, just turn up, 7.30pm-9.30pm
PASSENGER FILMS: Have you been following the campaigns to get fairer rights for Uber and Deliveroo workers? Then you'll feel an affinity with these films exploring worker struggles, followed by a panel discussion with union organisers, striking workers and more. St. John on Bethnal Green, free, book ahead, 7.30pm-10.30pm
OUTSPOKEN: This stanza-filled slam brings all the poets to the yard. Share your own witterings during the open mic slot or just lend a willing ear. Winter fur (of the faux variety, we're assuming) is encouraged. Cafe del Marsh (Waterloo), £6.86, book ahead, 7.30pm-11pm
PARAMOUNT SESSIONS: If you just want a chilled one tonight, head to this intimate Edwardian pub for an evening of live music and spoken word. In among the new stuff will be interpretations of songs you know. The Cats Back (Putney), free, just turn up, 8pm, every first Thursday
Good cause of the day: Join the Lambs Conduit Street Christmas Festival in support of Coram's Fields
Coram's Fields is a children's charity which was close to Dicken's heart and it's also the charity of choice for this winter festival. Buy raffle tickets to support the cause, listen to A Christmas Carol performed in its entirety and have a jolly good time weaving in and out of the local independent shops. Lambs Conduit Street, free, just turn up, noon-8pm
Fun things to do with our friends and sponsor Funzing...
Learn about London's debauched, drunken and disorderly history on this tour of the sordid side of the West End. Have you heard the story of the 15ft high tsunami of beer which rushed through the streets of London? Or about London's unluckiest theatre and most morbidly-located church? This tour will take you from the Covent Garden to Somerset House, entertaining you with tales of hangmen and criminals, prostitutes and paupers and the eccentric characters of Georgian London along the way. Get tickets
Camden's known for its street art, but how much do you really know about it? Explore the street art of Camden, and learn about the people who make it from an insider. You''ll visit pieces of street art that are off the beaten track, and get an insight into their possible meaning and inspiration. This two-hour tour will enable you to see Camden in a new light. Get tickets
Visit old pubs, even older churches, hidden rivers, mysterious tunnels and more on this tour of hidden Londo. You'll hear tales of the myths and legends which made the City of London what it is today, and find out the area's links to nursery rhymes and literary figures. Get tickets
Get sorted into one of the four magical houses of Hogwarts, and go in exploration of the city’s famous filming locations on this 2-hour walking tour. You’ll meet your guide outside the Palace Theatre, where Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is showing, and set off on your journey across town - following in the footsteps of Deatheaters, visiting the inspiration for Knocturn Alley, and marvelling at the Ministry of Magic. And you better brush up on your Potter knowledge, because you can earn points for your house along the way, by taking part in trivia quizzes. The winners? You’ll find out when the tour ends at Platform 9 3/4… Get tickets