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Mix your own concotion at the Schweppes Alchemy Bar this London Cocktail Week

© Schweppes

Explore mixology at the Schweppes Alchemy Bar pop-up

With London Cocktail Week having kicked off, what better way than to celebrate than making your own concotions. Drink supremos Schweppes are hosting a secret bar experience in central London. Located in the quiet enclaves of St Martin’s Courtyard, guests will have the chance to learn the art of cocktail making with some of the best mixologists in the business.

For nine days, the pop-up bar will invite cocktail fans to explore the work of original alchemist, Jacob Schweppes and over 200 years of bubble-making. Guests can take part in the Schweppes Laboratory Experience, where they will be able to create their own sparkling drink. London’s experimental mixologists Smith & Sinclair will be sharing some of their secrets with the chance to see colour-changing gin and tonics to inhalable gin clouds. After mixing up a storm, participants will then head into the Schweppes secret study to relax with a new drink from the brand.

The pop-up is taking place during London Cocktail Week, which sees hundreds of the capital’s bars and restaurants taking part, offering masterclasses, workshops, tastings and £6 cocktails.

  • Schweppes Alchemy Bar is open at 21 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard, WC2E 9AB. Nearest stations: Covent Garden or Leicester Square. Open from 2-11 October 2017. Over 18s only. Tickets: £10 (includes three gin and tonic cocktails, plus immersive cocktail-making class. For booking, visit Eventbrite.

For a guide to what else is on in London in October, click here.

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You’re really spoiling us! A Ferrero Rocher pop-up dessert restaurant is opening in London

dolce by ferrero rocher

Indulge yourself at the Dolce by Ferrero Rocher pop-up experience

Christmas is one of the best times of the year to be a chocoholic. So fans of the sweet stuff may be a tad excited to hear about a special pop-up coming to London this festive season.

Italian chocolatier Ferrero Rocher are launching a pop-up dessert destination at St Martin’s Courtyard in Covent Garden. Opening on 1 December 2016 for just 10 days, guests will be able to explore the after-dinner chocolate in a multi-layered dining experience at Dolce.

Customers will savour a tasting plate of five mini hand-crafted desserts curated by Cuisson head chef and director Paul Hannagen. Then to finish will be a classic Ferrero Rocher with its smooth combination of chocolate and hazelnut.

  • Dolce by Ferrero Rocher, 21 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard, Covent Garden, WC2E 9AB. Nearest station: Leicester Square or Covent Garden. Open from 1-11pm. Sessions last 45 minutes: £10 for walk-ins and £15 for pre-booked slots (includes a glass of Prosecco). For more information, visit the Dolce by Ferrero Rocher website.

For a guide to what’s on in London this December, click here.

For a guide to London’s Christmas markets and fairs, click here.

For listings of London’s pop-up ice rinks this festive season, click here.

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Discounts, freebies, music and more @ St Martin’s Courtyard festive shopping evening

St Martins Courtyard

Head to St Martin’s Courtyard for a Christmas shopping event with entertainment, freebies, discounts and more

It’s six weeks until Christmas so it’s probably time to start preparing if you haven’t already. When joining the throngs on Oxford Street or Westfield sounds rather unappetising, one of London’s less obvious shopping destinations is creating a more relaxing retail experience.

On Thursday 17 November, St Martin’s Courtyard in Covent Garden will be hosting a festive shopping party, featuring Christmas lights switch-on, entertainment, discounts, offers and complimentary drinks. The dark winter nights will be lit up by a bronze and gold festive light installation inspired by holly leaves designed by James Glancy.

Kicking things off at 5pm, gospel choir Urban Voices Collection will be performing in the courtyard. Shoppers will be able to snack on free warm mince pies and brandy butter while they soak up the festive atmosphere. Also providing the entertainment is jazz/soul vocalist, Simone Kaye, who has performed with Emeli Sande, Joss Stone and Craig David.

Meanwhile, the shops and boutiques of the area will be offering exclusive discounts between 10-30%, free gifts, competitions and activities. Visitors will also be treated to a complimentary glass of Prosecco (register for free ticket on the website) to help fuel your inspiration for gift buying.

Among the stores and restaurants taking part are Arc’teryx, Banana Republic, Barbour, Bill’s, Blow Ltd, Cycle Surgery, Cos, Dalla Terra, Eileen Fisher, Jack Wills, Jack Wolfskin, LK Bennett, Lorna Jane, Massimo Dutti, Pretty Ballerinas, Relax, Suda Thai, The Covent Garden Academy Of Flowers, The East India Company, The White Company and Yotopia.

  • The Festive Shopping Evening takes place on Thursday 17 November 2016 from 5-9pm. At St Martin’s Courtyard, Covent Garden, WC2E 9AB. Nearest station: Leicester Square or Covent Garden. For more information and to register for your free ticket to obtain discounts and offers, visit the St Martin’s Courtyard website.

For a guide to what else is on in London in November, click here.

Or for listings of London’s Christmas markets and fairs, read this.

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Comedy In The Courtyard: Alfresco laughs in St Martin’s Courtyard

St Martin's Comedy Festival

Aisling Bea and Joel Dommett are on the bill of the St Martin’s Comedy Festival

If you can’t get up to the Edinburgh Fringe this year, why not let the a taste of fringe come to you? St Martin’s Courtyard in Covent Garden is holding a one-day, free comedy mini-festival later this month. Situated in a courtyard off Long Acre, guests will be able to pull up a seat at an open-air pop-up comedy club.

On the bill at Comedy In The Courtyard are top British and Irish comedians, including Aisling Bea, Justin Moorhouse and Joel Dommett. Ireland’s funny woman Bea, known for her TV appearances on Russell Howard’s Good News, McIntyre’s Roadshow, Live at the Apollo and Cardinal Burns, will be headlining. Phoenix Nights fans will recognise radio DJ and comedian Moorhouse, while Dommett is one of the fastest rising stars on the comedy circuit. Chris Gilbert, who has hosted events for Ricky Gervais, Michael McIntyre and Tim Vine, will be overseeing the evening as compere.

The event will take place on Thursday 30 July 2015 at 7.30pm. Tickets are free, but you need to register your place online through a ballot. Winners will be contacted one week before the event, giving a ticket and a plus one to seats in the courtyard. There will also be a small allocation on the door from 6.30pm on a first come, first served basis. Meanwhile, Italian wine bar Dalla Terra will be serving wine and bubbles from their pop-up bar during the show.

There’s also a competition to win pair of VIP tickets for those who follow St Martin’s Courtyard on Twitter @SMCCoventGarden and keep checking the website.

  • Comedy In The Courtyard takes place on 30 July 2015 at 7.30pm. St Martin’s Courtyard, WC2E 9AB. Nearest station: Leicester Square or Covent Garden. For more information and to register for your free ticket, visit the St Martin’s Courtyard website.

For a guide to what else is on in London this month, click here.

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Watch your favourite heart-throb on the big screen at Silent Swoon film festival

© St Martin's Courtyard

Silent Swoon at St Martin’s Courtyard runs from 14-16 October 2014
© St Martin’s Courtyard

With most of the summer cinema pop-ups having closed up shop for the year, many film fans may be pining for an alfresco cinematic experience. Fortunately, the team at St Martin’s Courtyard in the heart of the West End are hosting a three day pop-up cinema this October.

Silent Swoon, a three day film festival, brings an open air cinema to central London. However, what makes this event different from many other similar pop-ups, is the audio is transmitted via wireless headphones. This year’s Silent Cinema festival is a celebration of Hollywood heart-throbs past and present. Starting with The Talented Mr Ripley on Tuesday 14 October with Jude Law and Matt Damon; Crazy, Stupid, Love with Ryan Gosling on Wednesday 15 October and Rebel Without A Cause starring the late, great James Dean on Thursday 16 October.

While watching your choice of film, there will be gourmet popcorn and posh sweets to nibble on, washed down with a bottle of fizz. Being October, there will also be blankets available should you start to feel the chill.

There will 120 free tickets available per screening, which are allocated through an online prize draw. Visit St Martin’s Courtyard website to enter. Winners will be contacted one week prior to the screening.

Alternatively, you can add a dinner to the experience and book a table in advance at one of the restaurants in the courtyard (Suda, Bill’s, Dalla Terra and Jamie’s Italian), which will have wireless headsets available for diners.

  • Silent Swoon takes place from 14-16 October 2014 in St Martin’s Courtyard, off Long Acre, WC2. Nearest tube: Leicester Square or Covent Garden. For a chance to get hold of a pair of tickets, visit the St Martin’s Courtyard website and enter your details. There will also be a small amount of tickets available on the night. For live updates and further ticket giveaways, follow St Martin’s Courtyard on Twitter @smccoventgarden.

For a guide to what else is on in London, click here.

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