Where to find London’s best Christmas Jumper

Allie Abgarian

This Friday, it’s time for one of the season’s biggest fashion events. No, London Fashion Week hasn’t changed dates…we’re talking about Christmas Jumper Day!

The annual campaign is organised by Save the Children, and will see people across London donating money and donning their finest festive ensembles in support of the charity.

Struggling for inspiration? You’re in luck, as shops have stocked up on magical jumpers of all shapes, sizes and themes. Here are our favourites, and where to buy them!

You could be Santa's Little Helper this year

1. Santa’s Little Helper
It’s the one day a year when you can skip your usual smart trouser suit and embrace the life of an elf. Santa can’t do all that good on his own, and neither can Save the Children. Pop into H&M at One New Change shopping centre during lunch tomorrow and buy this fabulous hoodie Christmas jumper with pride. £17.99

Quite possibly the worst Christmas jumper in the City

2. #YuleDo
Quite possibly the worst – in other words, the best – Christmas Jumper this season. Do you have a colleague who considers himself equal parts historian / social media whiz? Next, which conveniently has three stores surrounding the City, has designed this novelty outfit just for him. Remember, it’s for a good cause. £24.00

Everyone loves candy canes

3. Candy Canes
Traditionally, a Christmas jumper should be over-the-top, the (f)uglier, the better. Break the norm in 2017, with Topshop’s snow white jumper, decorated with sweet candy canes. It’s almost sold out online, which is proof of its popularity. Don’t be surprised if you meet a fellow candy caner at after work drinks on Friday. £39.00

Have you got the balls to wear it?

4. Blue Snowballs
Don’t have time to hit the shops this week but still want to impress with your choice of dress? If you have the…ehrm…courage to wear Burton’s blue snowballs, get it online now. It’s on sale and there are only a few left! £19.60

Santa's little helper, at the ready!

5. Couple’s costume
We’re not sure if there is such a thing as a Christmas jumper couple’s costume, but if you liked the look of Santa’s little helper, get your significant other a similar knitted style from Next. It’s slightly pricier than the female version but then again, it’ll be priceless when people see you together. Plus, you might win a prize or something. £28.00

A mix between Little Red Riding Hood & Mrs. Claus?

6. Mrs. Claus
Because behind every hard-working Santa, there’s an equally hard-working and supportive Mrs. Claus. H&M also presents this short, wide top in sweatshirt fabric. £17.99

Who doesn't love Christmas puddings?

7. What a pudding
They’re probably not your one-stop-shop to fashion, but good ole Marks & Spencer has an abundance of Christmas jumpers for both men, women and children. Our favourite is the red novelty jumper embellished with glittery Christmas puddings. It’s cute and cosy, perfect for any seasonal shindig. £25.00

Oh, be still my heart.

8. It’s a dawgy-dawg Christmas
Is there anything better than an office dog? Research proves that the little rascals contribute to keeping stress levels low in the workplace. Show your gratitude to the office pooch with this fantastically festive outfit. He’ll win any jumper competition, guaranteed. £15.00

Why not make it an office experience by signing up the whole team, here. It only costs £2 / person and it’s for a fantastic cause.

Five City Venues for your Last-minute Christmas Party

Allie Abgarian

It’s the nightmare scenario; the boss put you in charge of organising this year’s Christmas party and you’ve left it to the last minute. Worse still, you can’t find any London venues that fit the bill. You’re starting to build up a cold sweat and you’re dreading the inevitable email that will soon land in your inbox titled: “Christmas party, where are we going?!”

Take a deep breath, we’re here to save your sanity (and quite possibly, your job). These are the City’s best bars for seasonal celebrations.

Cocktail-making is an art form at the Alchemist

1. The Alchemist – A mere five-minute walk from Liverpool Street tube station, hidden away at the borders of the City, is the Alchemist. The cocktail bar and restaurant is less about food, and all about showmanship. If an entertaining evening with London’s best bartenders is what you’re after, then welcome. Tipples are served on fire, in steaming kettles filled with dry ice and in miniature chemistry bottles. It’s a bold choice for a Christmas party, but it might just get you a promotion at work.

The perfect place for Christmas mischief

2. The Catch Bar & Lounge – Has your boss decided to splash the cash this year? This elegant bar, located below the five star Andaz hotel in Liverpool Street, will provide you and the team with a luxurious space where you can be self-indulgent (at the company’s expense, of course). The venue is offering seasonal packages with bottomless bubbly. And, should you find yourself in a romantic situation with that special colleague, there’s always the option of getting a room …

A taste of the Christmas menu at Forge in Bank

3. Forge – If the enticing #foodporn-worthy images on the website are anything to go by, you’re in for a festive treat in the heart of Bank. Start your Christmas party upstairs in the light. After the no-nonsense dinner, make your way into the dark basement that is the Forge club, where devious behaviour is encouraged. The interior has been chosen with care; exposed brick walls, brown leather booths, stylish turquoise bar stools and an art-deco-inspired bar. The cocktail list isn’t to be played with either, featuring classics and signature drinks aplenty.

4. London Cocktail Club – Want to be the cool kid who knows all the best places in the City? Technically, that’d be us – but we won’t tell if you don’t. London Cocktail Club recently added a new bar to its impressive roster, located in Liverpool Street. Described as a fair-ground themed “lock-in at the freak show”, this bar is where the circus comes to meet you after a long day at work. Book one of the ouija-board tables and watch out for Zoltar, the fortune-telling robot ghost who haunts the basement space. As everyone knows, entertainment (and an obscene amount of liquor) is the key to a fantastic Christmas party.

Screaming with joy, at SINK's ping pong bar

5. SINK – Is your office a modern, open plan, flexible-working space? Is your employer Google? Then you probably already have several ping pong tables in the lounge, alongside a well-stocked #Friyay beer fridge. Thus, please ignore this suggestion. For the rest of you (us), we present this: the opportunity to beat your boss at beer pong in UV-painted rooms at SINK in Paul Street. It’s Christmas time, get a round of shots in and let the games begin.

Coming Soon: Marchland at Bridewell Theatre

Eva Menger

We know you’re probably not thinking about the New Year just yet, but we’re here to tell you that some exciting things are waiting for you on the other side. The City will be hosting plenty of events to get you through those otherwise very bleak first two months of the year, so get out your diaries and start planning!

The first date to block is Monday 5 February 2018 (!), as that’s when Bridewell Theatre will be welcoming a new season of performance by the ever brilliant Théâtre Volière. What to expect? 27 days of cultural events that, each in its own way, respond to the rises of identity currently sweeping Europe.

 

Marchland: Bringing together Europe’s border regions

In a series of plays, music performances, interdisciplinary events and talks Marchland will be uniting artists from various borderlands such as the Balkans, Hungary, Spain, Sweden and Denmark. With all the political and cultural tension around today, what does it really mean to be European? More particularly, even, what does it mean to be European when you’re right at the very border?


Press image of ‘Arnika’, a new play by Théâtre Volière

Kicking off with Théâtre Volière’s Arnika, a play set on the border of post-war France, in which the tragic choices forced on a border community at wartime are explored, Marchland seeks to highlight what it’s like to live in a community that’s constantly balancing between two different nations and cultures. There are so many different stories to tell, and each one can help us understand the real meaning of marchland a little bit better.

Find the full programme here, and make sure to book your tickets in advance!

 

About Bridewell

Bridewell Theatre is a real (quite literally) hidden gem in the heart of the City of London. Tucked away near Blackfriars tube, this cosy little theatre can be hard to find but once you’re in, its fascinating history will warmly welcome you. Indeed, it was once an original Victorian bathhouse, and its origins are still present throughout the venue (the swimming pool still exists underneath the floor). They have various performances on every week, including daily lunch gigs. Find their full listings here.

Embrace your Inner Child at Ballie Ballerson

Allie Abgarian

Tension in the office? Skip the usual Christmas party at your local pub and instead, have at it in the depths of the ball pin. We are of course talking about Ballie Ballerson, every adult’s childhood dream come true with multiple ball pins and a cocktail bar under one roof. One City recently visited London’s latest ball pit bar located in Shoreditch – because where else would you find such a hipster activity – and all-out (mostly friendly) war broke out, with balls flying in every direction.

Ballie Ballerson

So, how does it work?

It’s quite simple: there are two ball pins available (plus one extra for VIP pass holders), each containing a whopping one million balls. For the main pin, the white one, it’s a free-for-all but guests are limited to two hours of fun. Trust us, you won’t need more. If you’re looking for something fun to replace your weekly trips to the gym, you’ve found it. Being a baller is quite the workout; in fact, we only lasted around 15 minutes before we abandoned the fun and ventured back to the bar. Which, by the way, glows in the dark with UV murals painted across it.

Skittle Sours and Shrimp Daiquiri’s

Fun is definitely a big element at Ballie and the cocktail bar reflects it, too. The venue has recently employed a new bar manager from Down Under, who is in charge of creating drinkable, delectable treats that will remind visitors of retro childhood sweets. A few examples include the Skittle Sour with a description that includes the words “Taste That Rainbow Bitches”, the Pink Shrimp Daiquiri served with a helium balloon, the Black Forest Gateau doused with liquid nitrogen and the Bounty Colada, guaranteed to become a house favourite. Those looking for a less playful option – managers who are trying to maintain some form of decorum perhaps – can sample the grown-up’s selection.

Ballie Ballerson 2

A friendly competition

Ballie Ballerson is one of several London venues responding to the millennial customer’s demand for experience outings, and quite frankly, we’re thrilled. Although we felt slightly uneasy about throwing balls at strangers, this is a friendly place and our fears were soon replaced by intense competitiveness. Getting pushed into a sea of balls will do that do a person. The novelty of the ball pin wears off after a while, but the venue itself is jam-packed with atmosphere and people. Besides, imagine how much mischief takes place in the pin once the cocktails start to kick in…don’t worry, they sanitise the balls regularly with the help of a ball cleaner called the Gobble Muffin.

Tickets start from as little as £5 but you need to book in advance. You can also pop in for a casual cocktail if you fancy, bar entry is free. Open Tuesday to Friday from 6pm and 4pm on Saturdays, and closes at 2am on the weekends. The only thing that could possibly make Ballie a better place to spend a few hours is the Saturday session of Bottomless Balls. Unlimited prosecco, pizza and balls for two hours and at £40 / person. #BottomlessBaller

Films Set in London: Our 5 Favourite City Appearances

Max Horberry

From Sherlock to Harry Potter, the City of London has found its way on to the silver and small screen many times. The architecture and famous landmarks are perfect settings for blossoming romances, dramatic showdowns or revelatory twist endings. Here are our five favourite choices for series and films set in London’s Square Mile.

Films set in London: Sherlock

1. St. Bart’s Hospital in Sherlock (2010–)
Our favourite London detective is no stranger to the City. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson have investigated cases that have taken them all across London, and the City has made a number of memorable appearances. In The Blind Banker they make their way up Tower 42, the third tallest skyscraper in London. The Old Bailey makes an appearance in The Reichenbach Fall. But no Sherlock list of London locations could be complete without St. Bart’s Hospital. It appears in the very first episode, A Study in Pink, as the research lab where Watson and Sherlock first meet. It then plays a starring role in The Reichenbach Fall when Sherlock seemingly jumps to his death. The wall starring in that very scene now has a series of tributes scrawled over it, all for that beloved and misanthropic detective.

Films set in London: Closer

2. Postman’s Park in Closer (2004)
The gated park makes a brief but significant appearance in Closer, the film based on the Patrick Marber play featuring Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen and Julia Roberts. After their dramatic meeting, Jude Law and Natalie Portman stroll through the park and look at the Memorial of Heroic Sacrifice. What is seemingly a brief scene at the beginning of a relationship turns into a major plot point in the film’s final moments.

3. Millennium Bridge in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
The boy who lived has made many appearances in the City. St Paul’s Cathedral was used for shots of the staircase leading to Divination class, the Leaky Cauldron is actually on Charing Cross Road and Leadenhall Market played the role of Diagon Alley. Most memorable, however, is the by Death Eaters’ total destruction of the iconic Millenium Bridge in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It’s enough to make you feel a little uneasy every time you’re crossing over to the Tate.

Films set in London: Davinci Code

4. Temple Church in The Da Vinci Code (2006)
The late 12th-century church makes an appearance in the movie adaptation of Dan Brown’s bestseller when Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou search for clues in the English headquarters of the Knights Templar.

Films set in London: Paddington

5. St. Paul’s Cathedral in Paddington 2 (2017)
St Paul’s is a veritable star of the silver and small screen. It has made appearances in Lawrence of Arabia, Thor: The Dark World, Sherlock Holmes and Star Trek: Into Darkness. Yet none are quite as delightful and charming as its most recent appearance in Paddington 2. The film is still out in cinemas so no plot points will be given away but all that will be said is that it involves Hugh Grant, a sneaky nun and a charming little bear.