November diary

Get into the seasonal swing with Christmas fairs across London this month.
Alison Milner Formica tables (set of 3, £345)
Find unusual gifts and homeware at the Christmas fairs across London this month
This month lights up the sky. When the fireworks come down the Christmas lights go up and are turned on all over town.

London’s famous shopping streets begin their fairs and late-night celebrations.

There will be street entertainers, carol concerts, mulled wine and mince pies - and (of course) plenty of special shopping opportunities.

Get ahead with gifts for Christmas at one of November’s great crafts sales, where you can buy handmade wares at bargain prices.

There could even be time to commission something very special.

Wimbledon Art Studios Open Fair

Riverside Yard, Riverside Road, Earlsfield, SW17; 27 to 30 November
Europe’s largest art studios on a single site will show and sell work by established and emerging artists, photographers, ceramicists and sculptors.
Call 020 8947 1183, or visit

Silver, gilded perfume brazier
This magnificent silver, gilded perfume brazier will be at Byzantium 330-1453


Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, W1; until 22 March 2009
The Royal Academy's dazzling new exhibition, Byzantium 330-1453, looks at the amazing artefacts produced from Venice to Istanbul all done before the reign of Henry VIII. Gasp at the intricacy of this silver, gilded perfume brazier (left) formed as a building, made at the end of the 12th century.

We could all do with a bit of sumptuous richness and glorious workmanship to cheer us up as the snow settles. For full information, visit


Olivier Foyer, National Theatre, South Bank, SE1; 17 November to 10 January
Design for sale in precious metals, including jewellery, tableware and clocks. Visit

Made in Clerkenwell

Craft Central, 33-35 St John’s Square, EC1; 27 to 30 November
More than 70 designers open their studios. Also on parade, six designers who have won Bright Ideas Awards. Call 020 7251 0276, or visit

Carnaby Christmas Shopping Evening

Carnaby Street, W1; 27 November, 5pm to 9pm
Enjoy live music, free drinks and nibbles. Register free by visiting for a 20 per cent discount at more than 100 shops, restaurants and bars.

Taika Red Plate & Mug by Klaus Haapaniemi for Iittala
Taika Red Plate (£16.50) & Mug (£15) by Klaus Haapaniemi for Iittala (, at the Brompton Quarter Shopping Evening, 26 November

Brompton Quarter Shopping Evening

South Kensington, 26 November, 6pm to 9pm
A splendid late-night shopping evening in the Brompton Quarter around South Kensington Tube station. Giant Moomins will turn on the lights of a 30ft-high tree outside Holy Trinity Church in Brompton Road and a choir will sing carols.

Most of the exclusive shops in the area will be taking part - including all of Walton Street and many shops in Brompton Road. Many have laid on entertainment and there will be free festive refreshments in several shops, such as Few & Far, Paul Smith and Margaret Howell.

The star attraction will be the Iittala “pop-up” shop at 1-5 Exhibition Road (open until 31 December), filled with Christmas design from Finland’s leading glass brand. The Nordic Bakery will also be there with Scandinavian breads, biscuits, cookies and cakes. Various shops are giving special discounts to Evening Standard readers - print this page to qualify. For more information, visit

Christmas West End

28 November
Some West End stores will open specially for early birds from 7am, including Liberty, Hamleys and Apple. Enjoy breakfast treats and crowd-free shopping. Visit

British Crafts Autumn

Chiswick Town Hall, Heathfield Terrace, W4; 28 to 30 November
Buy work directly from carefully vetted designer-makers in a beautiful Edwardian listed building. Entrance costs £3; concessions, £1; children under 16, free. Call 020 8742 1697, or visit

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