I thought that Christmas needed its own blog posting as can see already that in the next 4-5 weeks there is so much going on for the festive period that wanted to collate the information/dates and pass it on. I will apologise now as there will certainly be some events I have missed off but I feel fairly confident that it is a good representation of happenings in the area.
As ever the area I concentrate on is Crofton Park/Honor Oak/Brockley as this is officially the area that the community website covers but I always try and include information on our neighbouring borders ie Forest Hill, Ladywell, Catford, New Cross, Telegraph Hill and Deptford.
I should add here my own personal feelings about Xmas – I UNASHAMEDLY LOVE IT!! – Okay I get very annoyed when I see Christmas things beginning to appear in shops as early as August but from the beginning of November I think the ‘C’ word can legitimately be mentioned and from now onwards I get very excited. Despite my children being 24 and nearly 18 years old they equally look forward to it. I love that it is an opportunity/excuse to meet up with friends and family and have lots of gatherings both at home and in our lovely local cafes,bars and restaurants, Generally it puts everyone in a good mood with most people having an extended break from work. Anyway I will stop rambling and try and present the information in as coherent a format as possible.
LOCAL FESTIVALS/FAIRS ( IN DATE ORDER)
BLACKHEATH CHRISTMAS FAIR – If you are reading this on the Saturday then this is tomorrow (Sunday 23rd November) 10.30-4.30pm at the wonderful Blackheath Halls. It is a very big event with 48 designer, makers, artisan foodies & independent traders selling gorgeous gifts and gourmet food for Christmas. Sounds like a great fair to begin your early festive shopping.
HOPMAS –This is the first main event I am aware of in our immediate area and is happening along the Honor Oak parade (HOP) on Saturday 29th. It kicks off at 10am and continues until 4.30pm with lots of stalls at the end of Ballina St, including Santa Claus. This is building on the great success of the event in September, linked, with Croftfest. Excellent local established food traders Maya Bakery, Capo Caccia Fine Food, Pastificio Mansi and Mean Green Foods will all be there to provide your culinary needs whilst Funky Pug, Entoptika and Silver Blossom are just some of the stallholders to tempt you with gift ideas. Many of the fab businesses along the parade will be doing extra things for the day including DONDE, Neroli and Hills & Parkes. Watch out for further details. This is certainly one to put in the diary. See you there.
ACKROYD CENTRE CHRISTMAS FAIR – Sunday 30th November is our local community centre’s fair from 1.30-4pm and they will have a good few treats to occupy the children including a Father Christmas grotto, drawing competition and craft area. Mulled wine will also be available.
CROFTMAS – Once again Crofton Park is celebrating the festive season along the main road and St. Hilda’s. This is on Saturday 6th December from mid-day. There will be lots of stalls in the under-croft of the church with a spectacular grotto experience for the kiddies above. Our fab LND Beer Dispensary will be supplying and hosting the beer tent in the church grounds. Meanwhile along the street there will be lots happening with Budgen’s serving up their vegetarian delights, face painting at Bryan & Keegan, biscuit decorating at Pat-a-Cakes and Jam Circus providing their soft play area for the kids, vintage stalls and mulled wine served on the front area. There will be a free children’s treasure hunt along the main road plus lots more happening at Arlo & Moe, First Glance, the library and Paraphernalia etc.
LADYWELL CHRISTMAS MARKET – This is also taking place on Saturday 6th December 11-4pm but as the two areas are only a mile apart then why not pop along to both! There will be 19 stalls on both sides of the road in the village with crafts and foods but all the shops will have offers and bargains to tempt you in. It certainly was a wonderful event last year and Jason at Slater & King who has worked very hard organising it again promises it will be even better. It should also be mentioned that the 6th December is ‘Small Business’ day and so is a great opportunity to go along and support our local independent shops, traders and businesses.
HILL STATION WINTER FAIR, SE14 – A large range of hand made items from local artists will be on offer with mulled wine, mince pies and nibbles for sale. This is on Saturday 6th December from 6-9pm.
HORNIMANS CHRISTMAS FAIR – The weekend of the 6th and 7th December is when our wonderful local museum and gardens host their annual fair. There will be an extended farmers market on the Saturday, along with many craft stalls. Expect family festive fun, trail and parades. From 11am on the Sunday there will be community carol concerts performing in the band-stand , culminating at 5pm with the fab Lewisham and Greenwich NHS choir. You should certainly try and pop into this fair sometime over the weekend.
HAVELOCK WALK CHRISTMAS OPEN STUDIOS –Also in Forest Hill these lovely studios will be showing paintings/prints/collage/photography and more over the weekend of the 6th & 7th from 12-6pm. A great opportunity to treat yourself or buy an original artwork as a gift.
DISCOFEST XMAS EXTRAVAGANZA – This is a family disco event and looks great fun. It is on Saturday 6th December 3-4.30pm at the All Saints Community centre in New Cross. There is a small ticket charge and more details are available http://bit.ly/1FdmIbu
COULGATE ST MARKET (BROCKLEY) – The street in front of the station will once again be shut to cars on Saturday 13th December to host this popular festive market. There are few details at the moment but expect good quality stalls, food , mulled wine and entertainment.
LEWISHAM ARTHOUSE WINTER FAIR, SE13 – Free entry to this great building, Lewisham Way on Saturday 13th December from 11-6pm where there will be gallery & yard stalls, art, good sounds and great foods and drink.
ST SAVIOURS CHURCH CHRISTMAS FAIR,SE23 – This is Saturday 13th December . I am not sure of the timing as yet.
PEXMAS –The other main event I know of in our area on the 13th December is over in Holly Grove Park, SE15. From 11-7pm there will be stalls, street food, mulled wine and choirs.
LOCAL SCHOOLS CHRISTMAS FAIRS –Always great fun and well worth a visit!
MYATT GARDEN SCHOOL – Friday 28th November 3.30-5.30pm
STILLNESS INFANT /PRIMARY SCHOOL – Friday 5th December 4-6.30pm
BEECROFT GARDEN SCHOOL – Friday 5th December 3.15-5.30pm
DALMAIN PRIMARY SCHOOL – Friday 5th December 4.30-7pm
TURNHAM PRIMARY SCHOOL –Saturday 6th December 1-3pm
PRENDERGAST SECONDARY SCHOOL (HILLYFIELDS) Saturday 6th December 11-1pm
FAIRLAWN PRIMARY SCHOOL – Saturday 6th December 12-3pm
KILMORIE PRIMARY SCHOOL – Saturday 6th December 2-5pm
CHRISTMAS SHOPPING IN THE AREA
I know that our two lovely clothes shops in the area are hosting shopping evenings on Thursday 27th November. Paraphernalia are opening their doors from 5-9pm and providing mulled wine and mince pies to enhance your shopping experience whilst offering 15% off on many items. Meanwhile the White Room are inviting you to join them for drinks and celebrate everything the shop has to offer from 7pm. Lots of beautiful designer clothes made by Nicky will be for sale with also gorgeous necklaces by the unique ‘Twisted Vintage’ jewellers, Brigitte and Caroline. Pop into both shops on the one night as they are virtually opposite each other.
We are very lucky to have some wonderful gift shops in the area. So why not pop into Slater & King in Ladywell, Magi gifts in Brockley or Jumping Bean in Honor Oak to buy that unique present . Also the new kid on the block Zenubian in Ladywell is well worth a visit and has some unusual items. Emporia at the end of my road is very sadly closing down but their last shopping day is Saturday 29th November and they would love customers to join them for drinks to say goodbye.
We also now have three fantastic local delicatessens, all very strategically placed a few miles apart from each other. The Larder in Ladywell, Brockley Deli in Brockley Cross and Hills & Parkes in Honor Oak. They all stock amazing deli items and are creating Xmas hampers. I personally think food or drink goodies make great presents for friends and family.
If you need Christmas trees then look no further than the front forecourt of the Crofton Park library. Also our wonderful local garden centre, Shannon’s in SE23 have just received their first trees along with lots of other goodies for Christmas, including lots of indoor and outdoor Christmas lights.
Our fantastic local butchers ‘ Proud Sow’ of Crofton Park on Ewhurst Rd, are now taking bookings for all your festive meat. If you haven’t popped in yet why not say hello and order your turkey for Christmas day.
Two of our more unique local businesses in the Brockley area are ‘Brockley Brewery, on Harcourt Rd where you can buy lots of beer goodies and then the innovative Patchwork Present which has an office on Harefield Rd but is an online company. Check out their website to create that very special Christmas gift https://www.patchworkpresent.com/
CHRISTMAS CONCERTS /SHOWS/PANTOS
BROCKLEY JACK THEATRE – Visiting the Christmas show at the Brockley Jack is always an annual event in our house and this year’s show ‘Shipwrecked’ looks another great family festive fun show/caper. It opens on the 9th December and finishes on the 4th January. I can only stress if you haven’t yet visited our amazing local theatre, right on our doorstep, you really should and this is a great one to start with. Booking ahead is essential as it is always very popular.
THE ALBANY THEATRE (DEPTFORD) This lovely theatre, in the round, is showing Micheal Rosen’s classic children’s novel ‘We are going on a bear hunt’ from the 10th December to the 4th January. For details and booking see http://bit.ly/1umOM41
GREENWICH THEATRE – Always a great local favourite the panto this year is ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ and due to popular demand it has already opened and continues right through to the 4th January.
BROADWAY THEATRE, CATFORD – Our local theatre in Catford always puts on a great classic family panto and this year is no exception with the ‘Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs’. It opens on the 12th December and closes on the 30th December.
ST AUGUSTINES CHURCH, ONE TREE HILL – Handel’s Messiah is being performed on Saturday 6th December at 7.30pm with great soloists, the London Dockland Singers and Marcel Sinfonia. It sounds like a fantastic concert with tickets only £10 and £5.
BLACKHEATH HALLS –The wonderful ‘Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet’ team are putting on a Xmas disco extravaganza at the very beautiful Blackheath Halls. It is on Saturday 13th December and expect 70s/80s classics to boogie the night away, plus I’m sure a few cheesy festive numbers . To book tickets and more information http://www.haventstoppeddancingyet.co.uk/
CHRISTMAS DAY OPENINGS – I have not researched this extensively but restaurants/pubs I’m aware of locally that are opening on Xmas day and serving meals are the Honor Oak pub, Babur restaurant, Railway Telegraph pub and the Brockley Jack. If you have not booked already you will need to do so very soon as it is becoming a very popular option to have someone else cater for you on the big day.
EATING AND DRINKING OUT IN THE AREA
Lots of our great pubs, cafes and restaurants are putting on special nights and menus for Christmas so why not pop in and say hello.
The ‘Time out’ award winning café ‘Birdie Num Nums, SE14 in collaboration with the award winning ‘Little Nans bar’ are certainly offering a unique Christmas experience. Meanwhile The Orchard in upper Brockley will give you a warm welcome and on the 14th & 21st December carol singers will be popping in to perform whilst you eat and drink.
Jam Circus (another Time Out award winner) have lots of fun festive evenings planned whilst Mr Lawrence wine bar and the LND Beer Dispensary next door to each other are certainly worth popping in for a pint or glass of wine.
Along Honor Oak Parade there is the fab Sodo Pizza Café, DONDE tapas bar and Hopscotch café/bar to have a drink/meal. Whilst just 5mins down the road on Brockley Rise are our two special occasion restaurants Le Querce and the Babur.
Meanwhile towards the south circular we have the newly refurbished ‘Honor Oak’ pub and then a few minutes further along the A205 there is the Railway Telegraph which has had a great transformation.
SUMMARY OF DATES
SUNDAY 23rd NOVEMBER – Blackheath Halls Xmas fair
FRIDAY 28th NOVEMBER –Myatt Garden school fair
SATURDAY 29TH NOVEMBER – HOPMAS
SUNDAY 30TH NOVEMBER – Ackroyd Christmas fair
FRIDAY 5TH DECEMBER – Stillness school fair, Beecroft Garden school fair, Dalmain school fair
SATURDAY 6TH DECEMBER – CROFTMAS, Ladywell Christmas market, Horniman Christmas fair, Havelock Walk Open studios, Discofest, Handel’s Messiah-St Augustines, Hill Station winter fair, Cockpit Arts Open Studios, Fairlawn school fair, Prendergast school fair, Kilmorie school fair, Turnham school fair.
SUNDAY 7TH DECEMBER – Horniman Christmas Fair, Havelock Walk Open studios.
SATURDAY 13TH DECEMBER – Coulgate St Christmas market, Lewisham Art House Winter fair, PEXMAS, St Saviours Christmas fair, HSDY Christmas disco.
I should add here that certainly the wonderful independent shops and businesses in Dartmouth Rd, Forest Hill are planning lots for the festive season but as I am going to press the details are not finalised so I am not able to include them but Pauline at the very tempting Sugar Mountain sweet shop will have all your up to date information.
As mentioned at the beginning there will be lots that I have missed out as I continually discover new events but there is a point that I have to stop adding items else this blog will go on forever!
I hope all the above information has helped you plan the next month’s festive fairs and activities in the local area. If you really don’t like Christmas and choose to avoid seasonal events then I am assuming you will not have read this far! I hope you will support our local events/stallholders and businesses as many rely on this time of the year to boost their sales and so continue trading throughout the rest of the year.
If you also want to know what is going on up in central London during the Christmas period then there is always Time Out to check online but I also find the Londonist very useful for up to date information.
HOPE YOU ALL HAVE A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR
SHOP, EAT, DRINK AND USE LOCAL
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