With the super mild November weather we've been having recently, a certain "festive holiday" probably couldn't be further from all our minds. So please, don't blame us for introducing the concept in mid-November - it's everywhere all of a sudden! Indeed, a spate of local business and associations are already planning their yuletide activity, and in the spirit of 'prompt and timely' journalism, and to give you all plenty of forewarning, we thought it was only right to let you know about all the Christmas fun there is upcoming in the borough!
To get you into the festive spirit, the Christmas lights at Fulham Broadway are being switched on by none-other by Sami Brookes from this year's X Factor (come on, I know you've been watching...), on Friday 25th November from 3:30pm to 6:30pm. The event will feature a live performance from Sami as well as the Nostalgia Steel Band, and vocalist Shelle Luscombe; carols from Fulham Cross Girl's School & the London Oratory School; plus children’s entertainment, balloon modelling, and a Santa’s Grotto.
For fans of vintage style bling (that's most of the ladies then) Butler and Wilson are kicking the season off early with a special Christmas shopping evening, with a 10% discount on all purchases and a bit of bubbly to help prise away the credit card.
Meanwhile, our friends at the Fulham Palace Garden Centre (also an excellent place for gift shopping, by the way, as they have a range of quirky home accessories as well as a plethora of plants and flowers) are holding two Christmas events over the coming month. The weekend of the 3rd/4th December is their yearly Christmas Activity Weekend. The centre will put on a number of refreshments (we've had their mince pies before - divine!) to help keep you going whilst you select your Christmas Tree, decorations or gifts, as well as providing activities for the children to keep them occupied whilst the grown ups do some Christmas shopping. Activities include face painting, Christmas balloons and a lucky dip whilst adults can show down on mince pies, mulled wines and roasted chesnuts.
For the arty and crafty amongst you on Tuesday 6th December from 11am - 12.30pm Fulham Palace Garden Centre are hosting a Christmas Wreath Making Demonstration with Belinda Shepperd, who will make wreaths using a variety of materials, ranging from traditional greenery with fruits & nuts to the more exotic. Tickets are £25, and this includes tea, coffee and biscuits as well as £10 voucher to spend at the Garden Centre on the day. As we've said, there is a really lovely range of candles, vases and bits and pieces for the home and all profits of the Centre go to the Fairbridge Programme, which is part of the Princes Trust. Spaces are limited so book in advance to avoid disappointment either by calling into the garden centre, emailing email@example.com or by phoning 020 7736 2640.
We're big fans of all the local markets Fulham has to offer, and now it seems we're also to get a festive dose of Scandinavia this December. From 15-23 December, Eel Brook Common will play host to a traditional Scandinavian Market (11am - 8pm each day) with food, drink, confectionary, crafts, gifts & entertainment. Stalls will serve up a range of delicious Scandinavian style treats including roast duck, skewered wild boar and venison, plus hot dogs served from a polsevogn (" a sausage wagon"), a Swedish bakery, Danish beer, mulled wine, Swedish forest berries, Marabou milk chocolate and more. I know where I'll be getting two week's worth of dinners then...
Both the Fulham Road and the Wandsworth Bridge Road will each be holding an "Odd Man Out" window shopping competition between the 1st and 21st of December. The big prize is a seasonal hamper full of goodies from participating shops, (one for each road), and all you have to do is locate small household objects found in participating competition shop windows that you wouldn't find there normally. e.g. a teabag in a DIY shop, a cotton reel in a butchers. Pick up a competition form from participating Fulham Road businesses or the Durell Arms at 704 Fulham Road or download at http://www.lbhf.gov.uk/. For the Wandsworth Bridge Road competition pick up a competition form from participating WBR businesses or Circus Circus at 176 Wandsworth Bridge Road or Harringtons 154 Wandsworth Bridge Road or download at http://www.lbhf.gov.uk/.
The Wandsworth Bridge Road businesses are also going head to head in a "Best Dressed Window" competition so be sure to note down your favourites on your "Odd Man Out" entry form.
If you struggle to get your Christmas shopping done due to work commitments, the Wandsworth Bridge Road is also offering festive late night shopping with shops staying open until 7:30pm during the week of 1st to 8th of December, with extra late nights added on the 15th and 22nd too for those of you who leave it all a bit more last minute! There will be mince pies and mulled wine, special offers (for example, Circus Circus is offering 10% off all costumes until Dec 21st) and free gift wrapping, as well as a healthy dose of Christmas Carols. Just the thing you need to get into the festive spirit.
We love enterprising local businesses, but we love enterprising local people even more. South Fulham resident Alice Bamford, who runs her own catering company and supper club, LoveaLocavore, has come up with a genius idea for a pop-up Christmas market that she will be hosting in her own home on December 5th. Customers will be greeted with a glass of bubbly on arrival as well as a selection of canapes, and will be able to shop and be primped and preened all at once. The stalls for you to browse will include photographic prints, boutique jewellery, homewares and house plants, hand-made cards and gift tags, chutneys, cheeses and luxury aloe vera products. Meanwhile there will be spray tanning and manicures and pedicures for those who fancy sprucing themselves up a little for the festive season. Entry is free and the venue is 79 Stephendale Road.
If your business or organisation is putting on a special event this Christmas time, be sure to drop us a line with the details, and we can update this post as we go along. You'll find a link to our email near the top right hand corner of the blog, or in the 'About us' section.