Things to do
FESTIVE FAYRE: Stock up your kitchen for Christmas at Hampton Court Palace's Festive Fayre. The food festival features live cookery demos from Michel Roux Jr, Alex Hollywood, Chris Bavin, Barney Desmazery and Marcus Bean, plus producers selling everything from booze to cheese to coffee to sweets. Tuck into street food to power you through the day, and enjoy live festive music on the bandstand. Hampton Court Palace, included in palace admission, book ahead, 6-8 December
ENCHANTED ELTHAM: Light festival Enchanted Eltham is back, illuminating the gardens of the English Heritage property. Wander through light tunnels, past talking trees and around the moat, before toasting marshmallows over the fire pit or enjoying the Victorian fairground rides. Eltham Palace, £7.50-£14, book ahead, selected dates until 22 December
RECIPE FOR SUCCESS: Find out about the British Army's approach to learning and innovation during the first world war, in a free talk by Defence Studies lecturer Dr Aimée Fox. She talks about how the British Army was always striving to keep one step ahead of its enemy in developing and using the latest innovations. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, book ahead, 11.30am
MEXICAN CHRISTMAS MARKET: Mexican restaurants Casa and Plaza Pastor team up to host a Mexican Christmas Market. Browse Mexican clothing, accessories, ornaments, and craftworks from independent artists and designers. Enjoy traditional Mexican sweet bread and hot chocolate while listening Mexican duo Las Guadalupes playing lively mariachi songs. Coal Drops Yard (King's Cross), free entry, just turn up, 12pm-6pm
FRIDAY NIGHT SKETCH: Design Museum hosts a free evening of drawing. It takes place throughout the museum, with a sketching task set by a professional illustrator. Use the museum's exhibits as inspiration to complete the task, before everyone shares their work at the end of the evening. Design Museum (Kensington), free, book ahead, 6pm-8pm
THE CAVE: Watch new documentary The Cave, about paediatrician Dr Amani Ballour, who manages a hospital, treating a constant flow of bomb victims on the outskirts of Damascus in Syria. It's the latest work by Syrian filmmaker Feras Fayyad, who was also responsible for the Oscar-nominated Last Men in Aleppo. Bertha DocHouse (Bloomsbury), £9/£7/£5, book ahead, 6.30pm
SWING DANCING: Start your weekend off with an evening of dancing. Swing Den is aimed at beginners (although everyone's welcome), and starts with a taster class for you to learn some of the steps, followed by a social dance. Bishopsgate Institute (Liverpool Street), £8/£5, book ahead, 7pm
CANDLELIT TOURS: Costumed tour guides lead seasonal candlelit tours around the Grade-I listed Eastbury Manor House. Learn about the people who've lived in the building over the past 500 years, and hear tales of disinheritance, destruction and decay. Eastbury Manor House (Barking), £10/£8, book ahead, 7pm-9pm
ARGENTINE THEATRE: Enjoy an evening of readings from six Argentinian plays from the newly released Oberon Anthology of Contemporary Argentine Plays. Readings are followed by a Q&A discussion with the translators and the director of the National Theatre Institute of Argentina on the challenges of representation of plays outside their country of origin. Roundhouse (Camden), £5, book ahead, 7.30pm
COMEDY: Come Mek We Larf brings some of London's best African Caribbean comedians to the stage for an evening of stand-up, games, music and characters. Mr Cee hosts, with Quincy and Uncle Errol also on the line-up. Dugdale Centre (Enfield), £15, book ahead, 7.45pm
Tube ponderings with Barry Heck
Our resident tube fancier dishes out daily thoughts on the London Underground.
As you may have seen, the latest edition of the Tube Map has just been published. The big headline being that Reading is now on the map, as part of the TfL Rail extension to the west (a precursor of the much-delayed Crossrail). All well and good, but am I the only one who checked every new station name just to confirm that all of them contain at least one of the letters of MACKEREL? Meanwhile, Diamond Geezer takes a detailed look at the new (well, rebranded) line, as well his usual critical remarks about changes elsewhere on the map.
Follow Barry on Twitter @HeckTube.
Good cause of the day
Head to Covent Garden tomorrow (Saturday) for the Great Christmas Pudding Race, a chaotic festive event raising money for Cancer Research UK. Gather a team and sign up to go head to head against other teams in a festive obstacle course around Covent Garden, while balancing a Christmas pudding on a tray. Find out more and sign up — or just turn up and offer your support to the teams.
What we're reading
- IanVisits on plans for 55 Broadway.
- The dress Princess Diana wore to dance with John Travolta is being auctioned in London.
- Optimus Prime spotted in Wood Green.