MUST DO: 5 festive pubs & markets

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Things to look out for this month at Aces & Eights, The Grafton, the Rose & Crown and more


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REVUE: ACES & EIGHTS

Mixing up a mint Julep at Aces. Photo: Stephen Emms / London Belongs To Me
Mixing up a mint Julep at Aces. Photo: Stephen Emms / London Belongs To Me
This new event at the excellent Tufnell Park venue (and last month’s cover star) is bi-monthly, and features musicians and comedians plus cocktails and mulled drinks from the 1920s bar. For this first one entrance is free and there’s music from Sadie Hawkins, Cheeseburger Cabaret and Life Models, with comedy from The Karmic Sisters and Sweet Nelson. The event also includes a DJ set from Martyn Bonanza. Dec 9th from 7pm. More info. Aces Revue, 156-158 Fortess Road NW5

MARKET: Cosy at The Grafton

The Grafton's upstairs dining room and bar is where the markets take place. Photo: Grafton
The Grafton’s upstairs dining room and bar is where the markets take place. Photo: Grafton
As usual, the pub, which owners Joel and Susie Czopor have just sold (with no immediate changes), does the festive season pretty well: shenanigans start on 10th Dec with an affordable Christmas Market (1pm-4pm) with stalls ranging from seasonal food items, crafts and homemade gifts, all under the price of £30. Then on 18th Dec there’s a sing-a-long (6pm onwards) with live piano, carols and classics. And on NYE it’s the ever-popular 90s House Party right through till 2am. More info. 20 Prince Of Wales Road NW5

LIVE: Rose & Crown

 Co-owners Ben Caudell, Chris Hurd, Theo Caudell. Photo: Dan Hall
Co-owners Ben Caudell, Chris Hurd, Theo Caudell. Photo: Dan Hall
The top NW5 backstreet watering hole currently has a Christmas hamper competition featuring lots of lovely goodies to be won, donated from the likes of Patron, Fourpure and more (details on how to enter will be on the Facebook page). And there’s a live music night on 16th Dec with Trashville and the Trailer Trash Orchestra – expect anything from jazz-pop to acoustic punk. Meanwhile NYE is a ticketed event with DJs and Lion City Kitchen. More info. 71-73 Torriano Avenue NW5

FOOD: kitchen pop-up @ Duke’s Head

She's a beaut: Highgate's best boozer. Photo: SE
She’s a beaut: Highgate’s best boozer. Photo: SE
Ahandy kitchen pop-up is running in December at what is undoubtedly Highgate’s hippest hangout. An offshoot of the acclaimed Season restaurant in Stroud Green will be delivering a set Christmas menu to punters. Meanwhile, on New Year’s Eve expect the “usual busy, boozy knees up,” ticketed purely so they can manage numbers. Kitchen 12noon-10pm. New Year’s Eve until 3am. More info. 16 Highgate High Street N6

OUTDOORS: A festive Camden Market

It's looking festive down in NW1. Photo: Camden Market
It’s looking festive down in NW1. Photo: Camden Market
It’s been a big year for new food openings down at NW1’s revitalised tourist draw – and to celebrate they’re launching a weekly pop-up alternative Christmas Market. Each week there’s a different line-up of stalls from food and drink to art and design, and you can expect live music and a bar for all your mulled wine (and craft beer) needs. Open from midday up until 9pm to cater for the after-work shoppers, too. Every Thurs until 22nd Dec. More info. Chalk Farm Rd NW1


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