December 6-13: Dance, design and disco

Pic: East London Design Show

Festive food and arty bus tours are high on our to-do list this week. Photography and poetry nights provide plenty to keep you snug indoors, while art tours of Tower Hamlets are available for those willing to brave the icy weather. Our party frocks and dancing shoes will certainly be getting good use – let us know what you are doing and don’t forget to tweet us @ell_events if there is anything you think we’ve missed!

Check out our visual tour of highlights from First Thursdays to whet your appetite for this month’s artistic happenings.



Eat Me Up three-day food fair in Shoreditch
December 6-8
288 Old Street, EC2A 3DT

Eat Me Up is a three-day festival in Old Street offering the best in street food and local craft. Expect design stalls (mainly on Friday and Saturday), a street art workshop, lots to eat and live bands.

The event will also serve as a launch for new foodie app HMU, and will be open late each day.

Pop up gallery launch in Shoreditch
December 4-24 (launch party on December 6, 6pm-9pm)
68 Sclater St, Shoreditch, London E1 6HR 

Atomica Gallery is celebrating its launch and everyone’s invited. The gallery specialises in new contemporary art, including pop surrealism, illustration and tattoo artistry. As well as lots of amazing art for sale, there will be drinks aplenty and music to bop to. RSVP to

East London Design Show in Shoreditch
December 6-9
Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, London

The East London Design Show is an annual event that brings together the best of the UK’s independent product, interior and jewellery designers all under one roof. The event is the ideal place to discover tomorrow’s talent today with over 38 brand new designers showing this year, so why not join them and take advantage of special show offers?

£5 per person. Concessions £3. Accompanied children under 16 get in free.

Tower Hamlets:

First Thursdays – Walking and Bus tours by the Whitechapel Gallery
December 6, 7-9pm

On the first Thursday of every month over 170 galleries and museums in east London are open until 9pm with free events, talks, exhibitions and private views.

Explore east London’s galleries, artist-run spaces and studios on the interactive map or pocket map available at each participating gallery. You can also download the map as a PDF here.

Each month you can check out the top five exhibitions, join the free art bus or follow one of the recommended walking tours from leading curators and writers.

Spitalfields Winter Music Festival
December 7-18 
Locations around Tower Hamlets

London’s big summer may be fading, but Spitalfields’ end-of-year musical celebration returns to warm up the winter nights. Explore more of the area’s hidden corners with musical tours, opera and free events for everyone to enjoy.

Raw Talent Show at the Brady Arts and Community Centre
December 8, 7pm
Brady Arts and Community Centre, 192-196 Hanbury Street, London, E1 5HU

‘A’ Team Arts and Arts Without Borders are gearing up for a fantastic evening showcasing Tower Hamlets’ young talent. This year’s theme is ‘Campaigning Arts’, and young people will be given a platform to articulate local and global issues through performance.

Candyfloss by Faisal Abdu’Allah
December 6 – February 22
The Royal London Hospital Gallery,
Whitechapel Road, London, E1 1BB

Candyfloss is an exhibition of new photographs by Faisal Abdu’Allah and is the result of a recent residency by the artist at The Royal London Children’s Hospital. Over the course of six weeks, Faisal worked creatively with young patients to explore complex ideas around identity, helping them to develop a series of alter egos using Hasselblad, Polaroid and HD digital cameras. The result is a series of intriguing diptychs that explore physical and psychological transformation.

Bad Reputation
December 8-9, 10pm – 2:30am
Resistance Gallery, Poyser Street, E2 9RF

Bad Reputation has brought monthly fun to queers, riot grrrls, punks and geeks for the last 18 months, but this weekend is its last hurrah. Come party with the Bad Reppers and get involved in the mosh pits, group hugs and walls of cuddles to music as varied as Beastie Boys, Marilyn Manson, Salt ‘n’ Pepa and Gravy Train.


Indie Disco at New Cross Inn
December 7, 8pm – 2am
New Cross Inn, Lewisham, SE14 6AS

A brand new indie night with all the best tracks from the nineties and noughties. There will be old-school indie dancing to Primal Scream, Nirvana, Happy Mondays, Chemical Brothers and more. DJs will also dredge up loads of obscure indie bands from the mists of time.

Email for free guest list entry or pay a mere £3 on the door. 

The Grand Ball at the Rivoli Ballroom
December 12, 8pm-12am
350 Brockley Road, London, SE4 2BY

Head to the beautiful Rivoli ballroom for the Grand Ball – a night of dancing and vintage Christmas revelry. There will be big band tunes, 50’s rock and roll and timeless classics, so you can dance the night away in style underneath the roof of one of London’s best kept secrets.

Tickets are £12 and include half price entry to Club Sandwich so the party can carry on until dawn.


On the 8th Day of Christmas at Matthews Yard
December 8, 7-11pm
1 Matthews Yard, Croydon, CR0 1FF

Matthews Yard is hosting a night of jazz, poetry and soul to kick off the season of goodwill. The night will be compered by Abigail Foga, tickets are £5 on the door and all proceeds go to charity.

The Night Before Christmas at Fairfield Halls
December 2 – 24
Park Lane, Croydon, Surrey CR9 1DG

Looking for the perfect treat for the family this festive season? Then come along to Fairfield Halls and experience the magic and excitement of The Night Before Christmas. The production is full of fun and excitement, with catchy songs and plenty of audience participation, perfect for families and young children. Tickets include a visit to Santa’s Grotto and a gift for every child.

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