Dick Whittington | Epping Ongar Light Fantastic | Nordic Spirit Experience | Hiden | Shelter...
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! So this week, The Week in Colour has a somewhat festive twist. From hilarious pantos to Nordic inspired wonderlands and illuminated festive train rides, our cultural guide is full of merry activities and experiences to enjoy across the capital.
WATCH Dick Whittington by Jude Christian and Cariad Lloyd at The National Theatre. Well, at the end of 2020 we all need a laugh more than ever. Oh yes we do! Panto season is a little different this year, with many theatres unable to hold their usual full blown festive productions, but the irrepressible, raucous and fun-loving tradition has been given a gloriously updated new form at the National Theatre with Jude Christian and Cariad Lloyd’s Dick Whittington. This imaginative reworking of the panto classic is packed with chatty animals and the funniest songs, all available in real life, in the newly transformed and socially distanced Olivier Theatre, and online on the NT YouTube channel with streamed performances. So, follow the Lord Mayor of London in his new trials and celebrate the glories of unbridled silliness.
For further information, tickets, performance times and streaming information, visit https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/dick-whittington. Follow @NationalTheatre and #DickWhittington on Twitter for updates.
EXPERIENCE the Epping Ongar Light Fantastic, the ultimate Christmas express train taking you on a magical ride from Epping to Ongar, the longest heritage railway in Essex and the only line that still runs on a former part of the tube network. The heritage steam and diesel hauled trains (you select your preferred one – obviously we’d recommend steam), have been adorned in a stunning festive display of lights and music that will quite literally spread some much-needed festive cheer along the railway tracks. Along the one-hour route through the picturesque countryside, beautiful forests and historic towns, you’ll be able to enjoy specially illuminated line-side displays from the comfort of your carriage, designed to highlight the stations, rural settings and woodlands along the route. All the Secret Santa trains (he actually pays you a visit on board) are already sold out – the guy is in high demand - but there are still a limited number of tickets available for the standard trips. If Santa had a train departing from Lapland, and Coca Cola was his sponsor, we are pretty sure his train would look just like this. Tickets are around £20 and you must book in groups of two, four or six.
DRINK at the Nordic Spirit Experience, Vauxhall Food and Beer Garden. 2020 hasn’t exactly been one for memorable nights out on the town with friends, so why not get festive, don your finest Christmas jumper and squeeze in one last socially distanced outdoor soiree with up to five others at South London’s very own winter wonderland. With two newly extended bars serving up an array of craft beers, delicious cocktails and a huge selection of wines and spirits, you can kick back and enjoy a stunning Northern Lights projection with the tipple of your choice, while toasting a marshmallow or two on one of the open fire pits. There are also plenty of food options available - from tasty Café Pacifico burritos and Get the Greek wraps to delicious noodle dishes from Win & Lily and meat feasts from Wagyu Burger – and all food and drink can be ordered from the comfort of your table via the garden’s very own app. There are screens galore for sport lovers and a range of special ticketed events taking place at the venue throughout the week which are certainly worth checking out, including Drag Bingo (Wednesday 16 December) and the lively Banana Brunch (Sunday 21 December).
DINE at Hiden Japanese Curry Lab, the newly opened ‘hole-in-the-wall’ style restaurant in Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross - if you fancy an alternative to Christmas menus. The chef, Hideaki Yoshiyama, specialises in making traditional ‘curry rice’, and with a super simple menu offering only two options for either beef or vegan, his signature dishes made from scratch every-time are mastered to perfection. Hiden is primarily a takeaway shop designed to reflect similar style eateries in Japan, offering a handful of places to sit if you wish to dine in. Inconspicuous, authentic, simple, and delicious, this little gourmet gem is a great option for some heart-warming winter curry.
GIVE a charity Christmas donation to Shelter. Christmas traditions are having a bit of a shake-up this year. A great, simple and ethical alternative to traditional gift-giving is just a few clicks away, with a charity donation alternative to physical presents. Shelter campaigns to end homelessness in the UK, offers vital advice for those facing it and commissions important research and campaigning to understand and tackle the problem. With thousands of people struggling with homelessness this Christmas, a gift donation is a great way to help change lives and make a difference to vulnerable families and individuals. You can make a donation on behalf of a friend or relative for Christmas or on behalf of yourself.
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