Never miss out on our pick of the best things things to see and places to go. From new restaurant and bar reviews to must-visit culture in the UK and beyond.
Festive events that don’t cost a thing
If you’re anything like us, you’re probably already experiencing a bit of how-will-my-money-last-all-December anxiety. So take your mind off your bank balance at one of these jolly free events
The market

Christmas markets in central London are cheerful, but they can also be a bit… much. Too loud, too heaving with tourists, too full of wooden ‘chalets’ selling stuff you don’t actually want. The free Hackney Christmas Market is an excellent compromise: there’ll be a Santa’s grotto, mince pies and Christmas trees, plus ethical shopping, eco-friendly workshops and genuinely tasty street food. 11am-6pm, 14-15 Dec; Bohemia Place, E8

The spectacle

Winter makes people do all kinds of eccentric things for fun (yes, people who swim in the sea in December, we mean you). On Sunday, over 30 panto horses will canter through Greenwich as part of an annual charity race. This year’s theme is Star Wars – so you’ll be watching adults racing each other, dressed as horses, dressed as Darth Vader. Delightfully silly stuff. 1pm, 15 Dec; Devonport House, King William Walk, SE10

The craft session

Shop-bought wrapping paper isn’t always great for the environment. Find beautiful eco alternatives here – or head to a festive workshop with illustrator Laurie Avon. He’ll show you how to design and make a rubber stamp before you use it to print your own wrapping paper. The workshops are free and materials are provided, but be sure to sign up in advance. 7-8pm, tonight and 19 Dec; The Workshop, Islington Square, 116 Upper St, N1

The shopping event

The Yards, Covent Garden is home to some of our favourite shops, restaurants and salons, from Cos to Dishoom and Blow Ltd. Turn up at St Martin’s Courtyard this Saturday and you can catch free Christmas choir performances, nibble on complimentary roasted chestnuts and sip on-the-house mulled wine and boozy hot chocolate, courtesy of Dalla Terra and Bill’sFrom 12pm, 14 Dec; St Martin’s Courtyard, Long Acre, WC2E

The party

Got time for a big pre-Christmas night out? Get thee to Omeara in London Bridge, where Bumble is hosting a spectacular women-focused rave next week. There’ll be performances from legendary club collectives Sink The Pink and The Rabbit Hole (of Glasto fame), plus a set by super-cool DJ duo Bossy LDN. For free tickets for you and a friend, simply download the Bumble app and swipe to find the invite. 9.30pm-3am, 18 Dec; 6 O’Meara St, SE1

There’s a chic new fish restaurant up north (London). Stylist’s editor-in-chief Lisa checks out Lyon’s Seafood & Wine Bar

Cod cheeks and fish collars might not be your idea of a usual fish supper, but Lyon’s Seafood & Wine Bar in Crouch End is not your usual fish restaurant. Their mission? To use every part of a fish when possible to avoid waste. The result? An ever-changing menu of fascinating dishes. The cured salmon with fennel, ponzu and truffle was a dazzling, melt-in-the-mouth combination of freshness and richness. Stonebass tartare with yuzukosho and tobiko was similarly good; tender fish, fruity and salty. As for the miso fish collar, it’s a curious looking (OK, I’ll say it, ugly) thing. But once we dug in and discovered the miso-infused meaty fish, we were converted.

Despite the temptation to fill up on small plates (or the sourdough with seaweed butter – heaven), save room for dessert. The thyme ice cream sundae sandwich with roasted clementine was one of the most interesting and flavour-packed puddings I’ve eaten in years. 1 Park Rd, N8

However you feel about politics right now, today’s the time to make your voice heard

We might be talking about festive markets and fish restaurants, but we couldn’t send out today’s email without acknowledging the election. You may be feeling exhausted by politics – and trust us, we know the feeling – but it’s more important than ever that women get out there and help shape the future of the country. Team Stylist hit up our local polling stations this morning; we hope you’ll join us in voting today. 

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