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Foodies Xmas Festival

Food Fans, this one is for you. The Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane is hosting a holiday themed Food Festival. Foodies Xmas Festival Live cooking demonstrations, drinks master classes, giant gingerbread houses galore! On from Friday, 28 November until Sunday, 30 November, from 11am onwards. Student concession tickets are available, though the cost of tickets increase on Sunday. Click here for more festival information. There will be an international Cheese Village, vintage style Tea Rooms with live music, former Great British Bake Off winners. There will also be vegetarian and vegan demonstrations which include meat-free, but still delicious holiday foods.


The Enchanted Woodland

Syon Park (located in Brentford) is a bit of a trek, but the Enchanted Woodlands are well worth it.

Check out footage from last year’s installation below:

Enchanted Woodland, photo courtesy of Enchanted Woodland.

Enchanted Woodland, photo courtesy of Enchanted Woodland.

Gardens illuminate trails in the 600 year old park. Click here for tickets.Filled with maple trees, it is one of the earliest botanical gardens in the UK. The park is also connected to Syon House, one of London’s last remaining great houses. The house has been owned by the same family for 400 years and holds a wealth of artistic and cultural treasures.

Click here for information on Syon House.

Night Tales

Pop up party, Night Tales is back. With a 10,000 Square foot space in Shoreditch and a seven week run, the very affordable admission fee of £3 has something for everyone.

Night Tales, Shoreditch; photo courtesy of Dalstonist

Night Tales, Shoreditch; photo courtesy of Dalstonist

Gardens, log fires, chalets, excellent food and drink options – all under a white canopy to warm you from the winter night. Click here for more venue information.

Disobedient Objects @ the V&A

A selection of objects used to protest from suffragette tea services to protest robots, this collection looks at the power of objects in movements for change. Disobedient Objects primarily focuses on the late 1970s to the present. Defaced currency, political video games, textiles present at political assassinations, even police barricades that have changed over time.

Part of the V&A’s collection until February of next year, it is free to all.

Disobedient Objects @ the Victoria & Albert Museum

Disobedient Objects @ the Victoria & Albert Museum

Click here for more information, please click here.

Club De Fromage

London’s biggest fancy dress (that is to say, costume) and tribute to cheesy pop returns to the O2 Academy in Islington. Pay tribute to the pop greats of the 1990s – Bon Jovi, the Spice Girls, and the King of Pop himself.

Tickets are £8.60, Click here for more information and tickets.

Club de Fromage. Photo courtesy of O2 Islington

Club de Fromage. Photo courtesy of O2 Academy Islington

Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park

The Annual Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park opens this Friday. Open from 10am to 10pm daily this carnival of holiday fun is free to enter. With rides, activities, and plenty of festive holiday food (think German style Christmas market), this London tradition is not to be missed.

Winter Wonderland; photo courtesy of Visit London

Winter Wonderland; photo courtesy of Visit London

Entrance is at Hyde Park Corner. Click here for official website and details. Check out footage from last year’s festivities:

Thanksgiving Recipes from the Staff

As promised, here are a few recipes from the staff. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato and Marshmallows

This recipe comes courtesy of History Lecturer, Kathryn Lamontagne:

 4 big sweet potatoes

½ stick unsalted butter – in England this would be ¼ of the blockish.

¼ cup orange juice – English equivalent of ¼ of a pint glass or a bit less

1 shake cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice (optional, but nice if you have some)

3 shakes salt and pepper

½ a bag baby marshmallows – Partridge’s, Tesco, or Ocado should carry them- if not cut up big marshmallows.

Bake 4 sweet potatoes until soft. Make sure to bake in oven with foil under them as the juices caramelize and make a big mess. Remove from oven and peel (be careful they’ll be wicked hot). Mash. Add butter, OJ, etc. Stir. Stick in a casserole dish and bake at 350 until piping hot in center – about 10-15 minutes depending on how fast you mashed. Cover with baby marshmallows. Put back in oven. When marshmallows are browned and puffy (which could be a matter of minutes if your oven is little and hot), remove and glaze top with a little OJ to make it shiny. But back in oven to keep warm until serving.

Sweet Potato & Marshmallow; photo courtesy of Nigella Lawson

Sweet Potato & Marshmallow; photo courtesy of Nigella Lawson

Thanksgiving Sprouts 

Courtesy of our Office Coordinator, Katy Segrove

2 bags of sprouts

½ bag of shallots

1 box of peeled, roasted chestnuts

500g chopped pancetta (omit if vegetarian)

Fresh thyme

  • Peel sprouts and slice in half
  • Finely chop the shallots
  • Roughly chop the chestnuts
  • Fry pancetta (in its own fat) till crispy. Drain off some of the excess fat (keep for later).
  • Add the shallots, cook till translucent.
  • Add the thyme
  • Add the chestnuts and cook for about 1 min.
  • Add sherry (if you have some)
  • Blanch the sprouts in boiling water for approx 1 min.
  • Drain.
  • Add the fat that was drained off earlier (or additional butter if necessary), add the sprouts to the frying pan. Turn down the heat, and cook for 5-10 mins.
  • When cooked, keep warm in the oven till everything else is ready to serve.
    Sprouts, chestnuts, bacon; photo courtesy of BBC Good Food

    Sprouts, chestnuts, bacon; photo courtesy of BBC Good Food

    No-bake Pumpkin Cheesecake 

    Student Life Coordinator, Christine Trieu’s contribution is unsurprisingly, a dessert!
    8 oz of cream cheese, softened
    1 cup  canned pumpkin
    1/2 cup  sugar
    1/2 tsp.  cinnamon
    1 tub  (8 oz.) whipped cream
    1 ready-to-use graham cracker crumb crust. You can make your own from digestive biscuits really easily, click here for an easy to follow recipe. 
    Mix the cream cheese, pumpkin and sugar. Gently stir in the whipped cream.
    Spoon the mixture into the pie crust
    Refrigerate to set the pie (best done over night)
    No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake; photo courtesy of Candiquick Blog

    No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake; photo courtesy of Candiquick Blog

    Holiday Scones

    Assistant Librarian, Morgan Bailas-Ferry’s holiday scones are a festive take on the traditional recipe. Try these out for Thanksgiving and beyond this holiday season.

    225g/8oz self raising flour

    pinch of salt

    55g/2oz butter

    25g/1oz caster sugar

    150ml/5fl oz milk

    1 free-range egg, beaten, to glaze (alternatively use a little milk)

    -Dried Cranberries (to taste)

    -Zest of ½ orange

    Yields 8 scones

    -Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar in a bowl, then rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.

    -If you are adding dried cranberries and orange zest stir them into the mixture.

    -Bit by bit, add 150ml milk until you have a firm dough. Turn out onto a floured work surface.

    -Pat the dough into a circle about 1 1/2 cm thick and cut out the scones

    -Put onto a non-stick baking sheet and brush the tops with milk. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Serve with butter, or jam and cream.

    Cranberry Orange Scones; photo courtesy of Sweet Pea’s Kitchen

    Please let your Flat Captain/RA/Housekeeper know if you need additional cooking equipment.

    Click here for easy instructions from Simply Recipes on how to cooking a turkey (including timing and portion guidelines!)