WHAT... British light artist Bruce Munro’s exhibition Time & Place.
WHERE... In the rambling grounds of Messums Wiltshire.
WHY... Exploring the medium of illumination within art, the gallery’s winter show will fill its 13th-century tithe barn and the surrounding landscape with pioneering artist Munro’s enchanting light installations. The twinkling LEDs and unspoilt countryside make for brilliant Instagram fodder but, better than that, you might just find a moment of quiet, peaceful reflection.
WHAT... Gold, an eclecticnew Mediterranean restaurant serving generous sharing plates.
WHERE... Amid the buzzy vibe of Notting Hill’s Portobello Road.
WHY... It may sound cliché, but seated among the washed-out walls, terracotta floors and array of potted plants at this new neighbourhood eatery, you really could be in the Med. Ex-River Café chef Theo Hill dishes up wood- fired delights such as burratawith charred white peaches and chicken baked in nduja over two floors of beautifully designed dining space; a third is available for soigné private suppers.
WHAT... A cocktail or two atThe Berkeley’s new bar.
WHERE... Round the corner from Harrods on Wilton Place.
WHY... Joining David Collins’ Blue Bar, the notorious Noughties boozer once favoured by the likes of Naomi and Madonna, is new kid on the block The Berkeley Bar & Terrace. Designed by Bryan O’Sullivan, the man behind Cambridge’s The Tamburlaine Hotel, this chic buff-and-bronze toned hideaway serves up vintage champagne, rare wines, and a light-bites menu of oysters, crab beignets and the curiously named chicken tulips. Try the Penicillin cocktail for a post-shopping pick-me-up – it’ll have you back on your dancing feet in no time.
WHAT... A Christmas wreath, of course! T’is the season to be jolly after all.
WHERE... Pop-up events across London and the Cotswolds.
WHY... Running from late November until the 20th December, Daylesford’s ever- popular wreath courses are back. Priced from £125, they include a tour of the cutting garden and all the foliage and blooms for a ravishing festive garland. If Gloucestershire is a bit out of your way, try similar courses at Worm Studio in Clapton on the 3rd and 5th of December, or at Shepherd’s Bush’s Aesme on the 7th and 14th.
WHAT... A festive chocolate treat.
WHERE... One of London’s gourmet cookery schools.WHY... Who doesn’t like a little sugar and spice come Yuletide? Get to grips with chocolate truffles or Christmas logs at Waitrose Cookery Schools on select dates throughout December, or join the gurus at Le Cordon Bleu’s Chocolate Workshop on the 7th December and discover the secrets of tempering, moulding and piping. For something more lighthearted, pop along with the kids to one of The Chocolate Museum’s drop-in classes. No need to book, just turn up from Wednesdayto Sunday and get sticky with fudge, ganache and lashings of melted cocoa.
WHAT... Something craftyfor under the Christmas tree.
WHERE... At Cockpit Artsor Print Club London.
WHY... Try your hand at an arty workshop where skilled makers guide budding amateurs through step-by-step craft courses. At Cockpit Arts, Candice Lau teaches leatherworking in a series ofbag and purse-making classes, or learn the art of stitchcraft with artists Richard McVetis (pictured above) and Ekta Kaul. Overat Print Club London, the Xmas Beginners Workshop will have you screen-printing your own festive artwork, ready toframe up and take home.
WHAT... A career retrospective of British sculptor Antony Gormley.
WHERE... Opened at the Royal Academy of Arts on 21 September until 3Dec.
WHY... Best known for his colossal public art installations, such as the Angel of the North, Antony Gormley’s abstracted human figures are amongst the most celebrated works of contemporary British art. This major new exhibition examines 45 years of the artist’s career, from his rough pocket sketchbooks to his major installations.
WHAT... The Francis Gallery, an unbelievably chic new art and design space.
WHERE... The corner building of a Georgian terrace in Bath.
WHY... Rosa Park, a co-founder of Cereal magazine, has launched this new salon selling a curated selection of objets d’art by a roster of international artists and craftspeople. The aesthetic follows Korean design principles, so expect alabaster products with an airy, considered vibe.
WHAT... New kid onChelsea’s block, theBelmond Cadogan Hotel.
WHERE... Five minutes from Knightsbridge and Harrods.
WHY... after a five-year refurbishment on the previous property that stood here, Belmond has reimagined the Cadogan as an elegant, contemporary townhouse boutique hotel. Adam Handlingis overseeing the new restaurant space, most exciting of which is the pretty bar finished in shades of gold, mauve and lavender.
WHAT... Star Trek meets your local greengrocer at new fruit and veg shop Natoora.
WHERE... Branches have popped up across London at Maltby Street Market, Sloane Square, Chiswick and on the Fulham Road.
WHY... The words ‘seasonal’ and ‘sustainably sourced’ have been thrown around like confetti in recent years, but this is the real deal. Whether it’s apricots or avocados, at Natoora you’re guaranteed produce that’s perfectly ripeand kind to the planet.
WHAT... Country lifestyle mecca Thyme and its new home storeThe Piggery.
WHERE... The picture-perfect Cotswolds village of Southrop.
WHY... Thyme comprises just about everything your dream rural escape would have. A cosy boutique hotel, kitchen garden, village pub, endless gardens and, now, a boutique crammed with covetable handcrafted products. Think printed table linens, stylish ceramics, blankets, basket bags anda soon-to-launch clothing line – all inspired by Thyme’s land-loving ethos.
WHAT... Double Standard, a buzzy bar just opened in King’s Cross.
WHERE... The Standard hotel, a New York native imported to London.
WHY... The bars at the various Standards in the US are known for being cool and the formula ought to work in London, too.The Shawn Hausman-designed spacewill offer classic cocktails and, unusually for a luxury hotel, draft beers. The adjacent British-inspired restaurant Isla features an impressive wine list and outdoor terrace for dinner alfresco (if the early Autumn weather stays good).
WHAT... The second branch of art and homeware gallery 8 Holland Street.
WHERE... 8 Margaret’s Buildings in the beautiful city of Bath.
WHY... Since opening their Kensington store a year and a half ago, Tobias Vernon and Rowena Morgan-Cox’s antique, vintage, and mid-century interiors emporium has been the go-to address for a curated collection of design treasure. Their gorgeous new space brings this expertly sourced selection, including textiles by Catarina Riccabona and the eclectic ceramics of Georgia Loizou, to a wider audience.
Fancy heading off to warmer climes?
Check out these design destinations.