Seasonal Pick of the Line: Hobbits and icicles


Ian McKellen as Gandalf. Pic: Ian McKellen

From racing Mexican jumping beans to a Q&A session with Sir Ian McKellen, we have some delightfully amusing events for you this winter season. You’ll be hard-pressed not to find something that tickles your fancy, so there is no need to let these frosty nights get you down. Check out the rooftop Italian-style fondue dinners, wine and cheese nights in a former bank vault, the Instagram photography exhibition, and a disappearing dining club. Don’t forget to tweet us @ell_events!

Mexican Jumping Bean Championship

December 13. 5pm-2am

Barrio East, 141-143 Shoreditch High Street, Hackney, E1 6JE

Barrio East has scoured all of Mexico for the best jumping beans so all your team needs to bring is a keen talent spotter and plenty of encouragement to get those little critters into the safe zone. There will be a live Mariachi band, tequila, margaritas, sangritas, piñatas and prizes and giveaways a-plenty.


Sweet Smell of Success at the Arcola Theatre

Running until December 22. Showings at 2:30pm and 7:30pm

Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London, E8 3DL

Nominated for seven Tony Awards including Best Musical, Sweet Smell of Success is about the power of the poison pen and double-dealings in the world of journalism. Olivier Award-winning actor David Bamber (My Night with Reg, Rome) makes his Arcola Theatre debut in this first major production since Broadway.


Sager and Wilde’s Wine Thursdays

Every Thursday until Christmas.  6pm-11pm.

Bird & Ballard, 84-86 Great Eastern Street, EC2A 3JL

Sager and Wilde are hosting wine nights in a former bank vault in Shoreditch every Thursday night until Christmas. Expect fine wines, cheese from Androuet Spitalfields, meat from Luca at Picco Salumi, and bread from E5 Bakehouse. They’re also removing the premium mark-ups by rocking wine out for under £10 a glass.


Hoxton Ukelele Hootenanny

December 17. 7:30pm-12am

Queen of Hoxton, 1-5 Curtain Road, Hackney, EC2A 3JX

Hoxton Ukulele Hootenanny will be stripping Christmas back to the days of carols around the fire. They’ll be decking the halls with boughs of holly (well, tinsel) and learning Christmas songs, both classic and contemporary on the humble ukulele (think Mariah’s All I Want For Christmas all the way through to F**k You by Cee Lo Green).


Forza Win: Rooftop Fonduta Supperclub

Dates throughout December, January, and February

Secret location off Hackney Road, details given on booking.

Forza Win (ter) is a rooftop Fonduta supperclub for the winter. They covered their rooftop and got a whole bunch of beautiful rugs, hot cocktails, and heaters to ensure warmth. They’ll be serving Fonduta - a Northern Italian Fondue style dish - that’s perfect for sharing. Alongside big hot stringy bowls of cheese, they will be serving lashings of delicious seasonal, organic and British grown vegetables, meats from the Ginger Pig, Bread from E5 Bakehouse and Gelato.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Q&A with Sir Ian McKellen

Friday, December 21. 6:30pm.

Genesis Cinema, 93-95 Mile End Road, London, E1 4UJ

Genesis Cinema will be welcoming Sir Ian McKellen for two Q&A sessions preceding screenings of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Reprising his role as Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s new Tolkien adaptation, Sir Ian will discuss his Middle Earth adventures with the audience – all in aid of his local charity Step Forward.


Iconic London 2012: Exhibition Event by Instagramers

December 15-16. 12-6pm

Shop 14, 15 Hanbury Street, London, E1 6QR

Iconic London 2012 is an exhibition by the London Instagram community, showcasing the work of 30 leading London mobile photographers. The work on display will highlight their unique perspectives of London during 2012 and celebrate a momentous year in the country’s capital city.


Back in 5 Minutes: Disappearing Dining Club

Open Wednesdays, Friday-Saturday, and Sunday Lunch

Back in 5 Minutes is the new restaurant and private dining room from Disappearing Dining Club. Hidden away behind a clothes shop on Brick Lane and seating up to 30 guests, the restaurant offers great food, superb drinks and weekly dining experiences. The menu is constantly changing but with dishes like wild mushroom tartiflette or confit duck legs with orange braised lentils, it’s not one to miss.


Nick Edward Harris Album Launch

December 15. 7:30pm

The Gallery Café, 21 Old Ford Road, London, E2 9PL

Nick Edward Harris is a progressive acoustic guitar player, singer and songwriter. Inspired by musicians such as Andy McKee, John Smith, Jack Rose and Tommy Emmanuel, he combines delicate finger-picking and percussive guitar playing with distinctive lyrical storytelling. This Saturday, he officially releases ‘Chimera’ and celebrates at The Gallery Café with support from Emma Gatrill and Hannah Miller (of the Moulettes).


Ren Rox & Jerk & Popcorn Night

December 16. 2pm-12am

The Big Chill Bar, Old Truman Brewery,  91 Brick Lane, City of London, London, Greater London E1 6QL

Ren Rox plays vintage soul, funk and latin gems to drink and dance to. Then it’s time for Jerk & Popcorn night: dusty vinyls will turn under the needles and the rhythm will make your legs move, spinning hot 45’s! Rhythm and blues, rock’n’roll, Jamaican ska, rock steady, early reggae, soul, northern soul and 2tone.

‘The Ghost Train’ by Arnold Ridley

December 12 - January 5. 7:45pm (December 30 show at 3:30pm).

Brockley Jack Studio Theatre, 410 Brockley Road, London, SE4 2DH

A ghostly comedy thriller by Arnold Ridley is set in the shadowy world of the 1940s. When the emergency cord is pulled, six travellers become stranded overnight in the waiting room of a lonely railway junction. The stationmaster regales them with tales of a mystery ghost train that haunts the line and brings death to those that look upon it. Unable to leave, the passengers must confront their fears while they await the arrival of the phantom midnight express.

Ice Queen Indulgence

Continuing throughout December. 6pm and 8pm.

Canvas and Cream, 18 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3HF.

An arts and dining experience fit for an indulgent Ice Queen or lion of aristocracy. The gallery space will be transformed into a wondrous plethora of icicles, snow topped mountains, magical wishing trees, and revolving tables that will take you on a twilight journey while live goldfish watch over you from above. You will be treated to a delectable and sumptuous three-course dinner from their in-house chef.

All My Cult Boyfriends Part 1

December 19. Doors at 7pm

Scream Lounge, 20 South End, Croydon, Surrey CR0 1DN

Over-18s event: 20 minute throwdowns by some of the best bands the south east has to offer. Featuring live music from Sick Interest, The Horny Skulls, DogGone, The Trees, Makeout Tactics, and Dexy.


Concrete Market at Matthews Yard

December 15. 11am-6pm

Matthews Yard, 1 Matthews Yard, Croydon, London, CR0 1FF

Discover beautifully handmade items made by some amazingly talented designers, artists, illustrators and artisans. You will also be treated to some wonderful live music from a selection of unplugged acoustic acts in 'Busking by the Window', plus writing workshops with Sarah Milne.

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