Things To Do In London This Week: 17-23 December 2018

All week

Three words: Baileys Treat Bar

CHRISTMAS IN LONDON: Don't know if you've noticed, but this little thing called Christmas is imminent. Take a look at our guide to spending Christmas in London for the lowdown on ice skating, Christmas festivals, Santa's Grottos, festive foods, Christmas lights and plenty more..

CHRISTMAS FILMS: We're not here to get into a debate as to whether Die Hard is a Christmas film (deffo is), but there are plenty of festive film screenings going on around London (including a very impressive line-up at the Prince Charles). Here's our full guide to Christmas films in London.

HORSE SHOW: If you love all things equine, you'll be pleased to hear that the Olympia Horse Show is back. Watch showjumping, dressage and international displays, and browse stalls selling all things horse-related. Olympia London, £17-£22, book ahead, 17-23 December

PUB CRAWL: Toast the festive season on our 12 Days Of Christmas pub crawl, with a pub dedicated to each element of the song. Kudos to you if you can still manage to sing the song by the end.

BAILEYS BAR: Last chance to visit this pop-up bar dedicated to all things Baileys, where bar staff serve up Baileys-spiked lattes and hot chocolates, plus cocktails including the salted caramel espresso martini. Our tip? Get the reindeer cocktail and sup Baileys out of an actual chocolate reindeer — a drink and a snack in one is something we're definitely on board with. Shorts Gardens (Seven Dials), free entry (drinks from about £6), just turn up, until 22 December

Read our guide to Christmas in London

Monday 17 December

GOSPEL CAROLS: Yep, more carol concerts — at this one a gospel choir serenades the audience with gospel songs and traditional carols. The venue is candlelit, and mulled wine and minced pies are served on arrival. St Paul's (Covent Garden), £18, book ahead, 7.30pm. Two further carol concerts take place today at the Royal Albert Hall and St Paul's Knightsbridge.

MAUREEN LIPMAN: Actress and comedian Maureen Lipman brings her one-woman show to London, telling her life story through monologues, songs, sketches and jokes. Southbank Centre, £29.50, book ahead, 7.30pm (until 6 January)

Tuesday 18 December

Love, Simon screening in Deptford

LOVE, SIMON: Catch a bargain-price screening of Love, Simon, a film released earlier this year about a teenage boy who's not quite ready to reveal that he's gay... until one of his classmates makes a similar revelation. Deptford Cinema £6/£4.50, book ahead, 7.30pm

CAROLS: A mix of sing-along congregation carols and musical performances, plus seasonal readings from Stephen Mangan, Lady Hale and Gyles Brandreth are all on the bill at this carol concert, raising money for two access-to-justice charities, Advocate and LawWorks. Temple Church, £45, book ahead, 6pm

Wednesday 19 December

Circus 1903 begins at Southbank Centre

CIRCUS 1903: Southbank Centre's seasonal show launches today, celebrating circus in all its glory. Circus 1903 comes to London fresh our of the Paris Theatre in Las Vegas, with life-sized puppet elephants, plus acrobats, contortionists, jugglers and more. Southbank Centre, £25-£99.50, book ahead, 19 December-5 January

A HOLLYWOOD CHRISTMAS: Great scores from much-loved Christmas films are performed live by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, led by American conductor John Mauceri. Music from Harry Potter, A Christmas Carol and The Nightmare Before Christmas all features. Royal Albert Hall, £35-£65, book ahead, 2pm/7.30pm

A CHRISTMAS CAROL: Celebrate the 175th anniversary of the publication of A Christmas Carol at the Dickens Museum. The author's great great great grandaughter, Lucinda Hawksley hosts an evening of mulled wine, mince pies and Christmases past, plus readings from Dickens' work, all in his former home. £25, book ahead, from 6.30pm

DINNER WITH STRANGERS: The Joker pub in Croydon celebrates the launch of its new private dining room by hosting Dinner With Strangers — an evening of food and drink, and a chance to get to know new people. A few ice breaker activities are planned for the evening, but nothing too terrifying. The Joker (Croydon), £35, book ahead, 7.30pm-10.30pm

Thursday 20 December

A tour of Art Deco Shoreditch

ART DECO ARCHITECTURE: Take a walking tour of the jazz age and art deco architecture of Shoreditch, particularly around the Old Street Roundabout, where many buildings were torn down and rebuilt during the 1930s. Finsbury Square, £12/£9, book ahead, 11am-12.30pm

THE SNOWMAN: Our inner child is very excited about this one: both Paddington and The Snowman are brought to life in a concert of the film scores. Special guest narrator Stephen Mangan (yes, his second appearance of the week: see Tuesday) brings the Paddington story to life, followed by a screening of The Snowman with live orchestral accompaniment. Pack a few marmalade sandwiches to keep you going. Royal Albert Hall, £15-£48, book ahead, 2.15pm/5.30pm

VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS: Find out how Christmas would have been celebrated in Islington during the Victorian period on this guided walk. Expect to hear both funny and sad stories as you visit former shops, bakeries and Assembly Rooms where the festivities would have played out. Angel station, £12/£9, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

Friday 21 December

It's A Wonderful Life — a Christmas classic

PIRATE CHRISTMAS CAROL: Oh-ar me hearties. Life on the seven seas meets Christmas festivities at A Pirate's Christmas Carol, a light-hearted, family-friendly retelling of A Christmas Carol, involving parrots and pirates. Sounds legit to us. The Golden Hinde (Bankside), £10, book ahead, 21-22 December

GLORY OF CHRISTMAS: Attend a concert of traditional seasonal music, including works by Handel, Bach and Franck, all performed by the London Concert Orchestra. Barbican, £16.50-£39.50, book ahead, 7.30pm

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: If you've not yet had your dose of It's A Wonderful Life yet this Christmas, get yourself to this screening of the classic 1946 film, with mince pies and mulled wine. Harris Academy South Norwood, £8.50/£7/£5, book ahead, 7.45pm

Saturday 22 December

Kids + paint. What could possibly go wrong?

WINTER WASSAIL: A traditional wassail involved taking a bowl of hot cider from door to door. The Globe has held onto the mulled booze bit for the adults, but brought the rest of the celebration into the theatre for a family-friendly show of stories, song and dance, all with a festive theme. Shakespeare's Globe, £5-£35, book ahead, 22-23 December

PAINT JAM: Let the kids run riot with paint — without putting your furniture/carpet/walls at home at risk, thanks to Paint Jam. In theory, the theme of this family event is Cubism, inspired by the likes of Picasso, but children will be children so who knows what the end result on the canvas will be? Battersea Power Station, £20, book ahead, 11am-12pm

DICKENS OF A CITY: Get to know the streets and buildings of Dickens' London on this walking tour, visiting places that he would have been familiar with, and which inspired his books, interspersed with readings of his works. St George The Martyr (Borough), £12/£9, book ahead, 2.30pm-4.30pm

Sunday 23 December

The Cuban Brothers perform at Jazz Cafe

CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT: If you're not all caroll-ed out yet, head to this candlelit concert for traditional Christmas music interspersed with readings from the work of Charles Dickens, with performers in 18th century costume. Eclectic? Of course. Festive? Absolutely. Barbican, £29.50-£42.50, book ahead, 2.30pm

BOOZE AND THE BOROUGH: Learn of the longstanding links between Borough and booze on this guided tour, which covers the history of hop factories and warehouses in the area, when regular deliveries arrived from Kent and Sussex. Hear tales of London's largest brewery, and a very dangerous umbrella. The Shard, £12/£9, book ahead, 2.30pm-4.30pm

CUBAN BROTHERS: It's less Havana-ooh-na-na, more sexy, soulful funk music at this Cuban Brothers gig. Hailing from seventies Havana, they intersperse their smooth sounds with riotous comedy. Jazz Cafe (Camden), £15-£25, book ahead, 7pm-11pm


If you're planning ahead to next week, these might be handy: