This week has seen our team send the last issue of the year off to the printers ready to reach our readers' eyes, and so naturally we're in the mood for a celebration here at Tempus HQ. So what better way to mark the occasion than by bringing you the most exciting events in London's calendar – from ice skating launches in amazing locations to speakeasy style cabarets that will get you dancefloor ready. Wind down by combining your Christmas book shopping with a pop-up afternoon tea at Assouline's, and take in unmissable drama in the form of The Secret Theatre and our film of the week, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool. Read on to find out more. >>
Critics couldn't get enough of Annette Bening and Jamie Bell's charming love affair in Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool when it premiered at the London Film Festival earlier this year, and now fans can finally see it themselves. Based on the real life romance between fading Hollywood star Gloria Grahame (Bening) and 20-something Liverpudlian Peter Turner (Bell), the film sparkles with wit and warmth as the pair meet and fall in love over disco dancing. But when Grahame becomes terminally ill and moves into Turner's family home (with a classically lovely performance by Julie Walters as his mother), they must face the possibility of her light fading forever.
In cinemas now
Milanese pastry shop Pasticceria Cova and Maison Assouline have created a pop-up Cova Afternoon Tea experience at the luxury book shop's Piccadilly store. The pop up in the venue's Swans Bar features a fresh new food menu and wine list curated by sommelier Tom Harrow of Honest Grapes. The pop up is to celebrate Cova's new book launch and 200th anniversary, and includes a chance to buy their most celebrated delicacies for the first time in London. It will run until 31 December.
For a new style of wild weekend revelries, what could be better than London's newest speakeasy-style caberet bar, Hester's Hideout? Secreted away beneath Exmouth Market is this warm and vibrant new bar and club, accessible via a 'Trader's Entrance' sign near 106b Farringdon Road. Expect a riot of Jazz musicians, burlesque performers, circus style performances, dance act and, always, the finest mixologists bringing vintage cocktails to the fore.
The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe brings another fascinating new play to the theatre's repertoire. Starring Tara Fitzgerald as Elizabeth I and Aidan McArdle as the Queen's spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham, this tense spy thriller explores the vast surveillance network that sprang about her court during civil unrest and tension in Europe – and the incredible tactics Walsingham employed for information. Beware of scenes of torture and violence in this incredible play, running until 16 December.
London's festive season wouldn't be the same without a chance to ice skate in some of the capital's most stunning monuments. From Somerset House to the Natural History Museum, there are plenty to choose from, but for us there's not much that can beat the thrill of skating beneath the walls of the historic Tower of London. An 18ft Christmas tree and twinkling lights decorate the venue, while first time skaters there's even helfpul penguin shaped stabilisers, while bigger kids can indulge in some mince pies, prosecco and mulled wine in the bar area.