With winter’s arrival, home comforts become ever more important. But as warm lights illuminate city streets and cosy pubs beckon from behind frosted windows, there is no better time to brave the cold than the festive season. In between gift wrapping and gatherings with loved ones, celebrate with candlelit feasts, uplifting art exhibitions and sing-along carol services. Here, we bring you five merry events to carve out some time for this month.
Festive Supper Club at Husk
Husk, a farmstead and eco-retreat in the Suffolk countryside, runs regular supper clubs in its intimate dining barn. On six dates in early December, the team invites you to enjoy their festive menu, incorporating seasonal ingredients cultivated on the surrounding land; expect local game, foraged, fermented and pickled fruits, eggs from the flock, as well as seasonal herbs and vegetables grown in the kitchen garden. Organic red and white wine, local ale, homemade cordials and non-alcoholic beers are served alongside the creative Christmas dishes. Post-feast, spend a restful night in one of Husk’s rooms, situated in the old cow barns which have been sustainably renovated using reclaimed Suffolk materials.
Join Husk for its Festive Supper Club in Thorington, Suffolk, between December 1 and 13.
Bring Your Light at Bow Arts
Displaying the work of 26 artists across a range of mediums and subjects, Bring Your Light champions strength in the face of everyday challenges through playful and subversive creations. The collection has been curated by Chila Burman, an artist and activist known for examining themes of representation, gender and alternative perspectives of Britishness. Included in the exhibition is former TOAST Creative Resident Liaqat Rasul, a Welsh-Pakistani fibre and collage artist whose textured works draw in seemingly mundane ephemera; ticket stubs, invoices and paper scraps, folded and manipulated into colourful components of large-scale and mobile collages.
Bring Your Light is on at Bow Arts until December 17.
Christmas Carols at Burgh House
Built at the turn of the 18th century, Burgh House was established as a self-funding charity in the 1970s, today acting as a cultural and historical focal point for the local Hamstead Village community. In addition to holding TOAST repair workshops in December, the grand red brick building will also host the St Genesius Choir for a performance of old and new Christmas carols. Experience the melodies in its beautiful surroundings – the wood-panelled room, complete with a 1925 baby grand Bluthner piano, overlooks the verdant courtyard.
Christmas Carols at Burgh House is on December 3.
Making New Worlds: Li Yuan-chia & Friends
Between 1972–81, the Chinese artist, poet and curator Li Yuan-chia ran a pioneering art space, LYC Museum & Art Gallery, in a remote village in Cumbria, situated beside Hadrian’s Wall. This exhibition at Kettle's Yard is the first to celebrate the impact Li had on British art. It retraces his multidisciplinary work and features a selection of his sculptures, installations and photographs, alongside works by his artistic community, including Winifred Nicholson, who was an important presence at both the LYC and Kettle’s Yard.
Making New Worlds: Li Yuan-chia & Friends is on at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge until February 18.
Winter Flowers Week at the Garden Museum
This December, the Garden Museum will launch its Winter Flowers Week, the first event of its kind in the horticultural exhibition space. The curation of festive installations will celebrate seasonal foliage, each created using only British-grown flowers and environmentally-friendly materials and methods. Five floral designers known for promoting sustainability in the industry, including Shane Connolly and Hazel Gardiner, will transform the museum into a botanical winter wonderland with an aim to inspire a more thoughtful approach to Christmas decoration.
Winter Flowers Week is on at the Garden Museum between December 7 and 11.
Image 1 and 3: Bring Your Light at Bow Arts, photography by Jonathan Bassett.
Image 2. Husk, photography by Richard Allenby-Pratt.
Image 4: Li Yuan-chia in his studio 1969, courtesy of Kettle's Yard..
Image 5: Burgh House, photography by Yulia Tsezar.
Image 6: Installation by Hazel Gardiner, courtesy of the Garden Museum.
Image 7: Floribunda Rosa at work, photography by Gyan Gurung.