East London is the place to be this weekend. It’s all about getting into the Christmas spirit by way of The Grinch, gastronomic delights and burlesque rock’n’roll.
Children’s Picture Club Christmas Party, Rio Cinema, E8, 17 December
Get the last weekend before Santa slips down the chimney off to a suitably festive start by popping along to the Rio’s Saturday morning Picture Club Christmas Party. Naturally you need to accompany a child to watch The Grinch, but for those sans child offer to babysit for a friend’s nipper. Everyone is a winner.
Broadway Market’s Saturday Market, Broadway Market, E8, 17 December
Escape the madding crowds ‘up West’ by taking shelter on one of east London’s gems – Broadway Market. Not only can you stock up on pressies for Aunt Betty, there’s grub galore to chow down on – we heartily advise Lucky Chip’s burgers or the gorgeous curries at Gujarati Rasoi.
The Secret Emporium Pop-up Christmas Market, Village Underground, EC2A, 18 December
There’s a week to go until your present choices are unveiled. Feeling confident? If not, this jamboree, curated by the offbeat types behind the Secret Garden Party, should put you back on track. Creative independence is the name of the game – from designers and illustrators to ceramicists and jewellers.
Dr Clive’s Circus Presents… Santa’s Sweaty Sack, Arcola Theatre Tent, E8, 17 December
Fans of burlesque and alternative comedy should make a beeline for this rambunctious and ever-so risqué shindig. Featuring EastEnd Cabaret (pictured), The Folly Mixtures and the ‘Filipina Sarah Silverman’ Ria Lina, this is serious leftfield seasonal fare and most definitely not for the easily offended.
Cream Revue, Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, E2, 17 December
It’s the end of an era as retro 50s institution, Cream Revue, dusts itself down for one last jive. The usual rock’n’roll, cabaret and lindyhop lessons will feature. Quiffs at the ready, folks.