St-Martins-In-The-Fields' new Christmas Pop-Up Winter-Bar

Christmas at St Martin’s is a truly special time, and we are really excited to welcome families and friends to celebrate the Christmas season with us. We are proud to present a magical season of prestigious ensembles and concerts featuring some of the world’s leading classical and choral artists. We also welcome young children to St Martin’s this year to enjoy gingerbread decorating workshops and family carol concerts, and we look forward to inviting both regular audiences and those discovering St Martin’s for the first time to visit our festive Winter Bar.’ Chris Denton, Chief Executive of St Martin-in-the-Fields.

Situated in the heart of London, St Martin-in-the-Fields is one of the capital’s leading venues for Christmas festivities, offering 22 Christmas carol concerts throughout the festive period ranging from Carols by Candlelight to Family Friendly Carols as well as 12 classical Christmas concerts including Handel’s Messiah and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by candlelight.

Alongside offering some of the capital’s leading choral, Baroque and carol concerts this Christmas, St Martin-in-the-Fields’ 2023 Christmas offering includes family-friendly gingerbread decorating workshops and a cosy pop-up courtyard bar serving warming winter cocktails. With a well-stocked Christmas shop, and a Christmas-themed menu in the popular Crypt Café, St Martin’s welcomes visitors to celebrate the festive season this winter.    

St Martin’s is famous for its progressive work with homeless and vulnerable people, providing a place of opportunity, sanctuary and support for everyone, no matter who. The church’s concerts, commercial and cultural activities are all an important way for St Martin’s to reflect its values and ethos. In addition, they all help, through the income they generate, to support the important work of the church.

Looking for the best place to enjoy a frosty evening in London this Christmas? A festive haven in the heart of central London, St Martin-in-the-Fields’ delightful Winter Bar returns for 2023 serving up mulled wine and Christmas cocktails to lure you in from the cheek-tingling cold and warm your socks off.

From Saturday 25 November winter revellers can enjoy warming festive cocktails with friends under the glow of festive fairy lights and cosy heaters. It’s the perfect stop to put your feet up after some Christmas shopping or to celebrate with colleagues after a day at the office. Alongside mulled wine, cocktails, beer, wine, soft drinks and spirits, children can enjoy delicious warming hot chocolate with marshmallows, and adults can enjoy their hot chocolate with something a little stronger!

Festive cocktails being served at the Winter Bar include:

Christmas Spritz

Aperol, sparkling wine, bitters, ginger, rosemary.

Blood orange negroni

Gin, Campari, Vermouth, Blood Orange.

Spiced Margarita

Tequila, Triple Sec, Lime, Chilli, Hot Sauce.

Situated behind the Church under the East Window, the Winter Bar will be serving drinks and pizza until late from Wednesday to Saturday until 18 December, and then daily until 31 December (excluding Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day). The bar is also available for private hire and office Christmas parties.

More info here: https://www.stmartin-in-the-fields.org/winter-bar/

New for 2023, St Martin’s is hosting gingerbread decorating workshops for children in the stunning St Martin’s Gallery, next to the Crypt Café.  

Children will have the chance to decorate gingerbread biscuits, baked by hand by St Martin’s Head Chef and shaped into an array of festive shapes including stars, Christmas trees and gingerbread people. Santa’s Elves will tell tales full of festive cheer of Santa's love of gingerbread and lead a sing-along finale of Christmas songs with the children.

This 45-minute session is an ideal way to get creative this festive season! Warming glasses of mulled wine will be available for adults to purchase while the little ones decorate their biscuits, or you can pop to the café for special hot chocolate. At the end of the session, children can take their festive creations with them as gingerbread treats to enjoy and share at home, and Gingerbread decorating kits are able to buy in the shop as a perfect souvenir of your visit.

Suitable for children aged 4+, the Gingerbread Decorating Workshops are available on Saturdays and Sundays from Saturday 25 November, and daily from Monday 18 December until Sunday 23 December. Workshops run on the hour from 10am. Tickets are £20 for one child and up to two accompanying adults. Every child requires a separate ticket, and children must be accompanied by an adult.

More information here: https://www.stmartin-in-the-fields.org/calendar/christmas-gingerbread-decorating-workshop/

Carol concerts celebrated with friends and relatives are a hallmark of the festive season for many families, and this year St Martin’s presents a series of Christmas carol concerts suitable for family groups of all ages, from very young children to octogenarians.

FAMILY CAROL CONCERTS

Carols for Kids [2-23 Dec] are short, 45-minute family concerts designed for very young children on Saturday mornings, where singing and Christmas jumpers are strongly encouraged! St Martin’s Voices will sing much loved classics including Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bells and Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, alongside audience carols for all to join in with including Away in a Manger, Little Donkey and Once in Royal David’s City.

Festive Family Carols concerts on Saturday afternoons throughout December are designed for children and adults of all ages to come together in a one-hour programme of popular carols and music. St Martin’s Voices will sing Christmas classics including Carol of the Bells, Jingle Bells, The Twelve Days of Christmas, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas alongside audience carols for all to join in with including Good King Wenceslas, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and Silent Night.

Family Christmas with the Academy sees St Martin’s Voices and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields join forces for an afternoon of Christmas music for all the family, including Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride, Away in a Manger and Silent Night, in an hour-long programme promising festive cheer for all ages. Audience carols will include Once in Royal David’s City and Ding Dong! Merrily on High.

TRADITIONAL CAROL CONCERTS

Carols for Christmas offers captivating performances of festive music in an hour-long afternoon concert from St Martin’s Voices, including much-loved classics such as In dulci jubilo, O Holy Night and The Holly and the Ivy, alongside audience carols for all to join in with including O Little Town of Bethlehem, Silent Night and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.

The Joys of Christmas by Candlelight is a special two-hour evening concert from Choir of St Martin-in-the-Fields and St Martin’s Brass, featuring seasonal readings, choir carols including Willcocks Sussex Carol, Pärt Bogoróditse Dyévo and Leontovych Carol of the Bells, and carols for all to sing include Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, O Little Town of Bethlehem, and Joy to the World.

A Christmas Celebration by Candlelight features St Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Choir and St Martin’s Brass in a beautiful two-hour evening concert of carols and seasonal readings. Carols for all to sing include Hark! The Herald Angels’ Sing, Once in Royal David’s City, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and In the Bleak Midwinter, alongside beautiful choir carols including Rutter Nativity Carol, Warlock Bethlehem Down, Will Todd My Lord Has Come and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Christmas with St Martin’s Voices by Candlelight marks the beginning of the Christmas season with a one-hour evening concert of choir and audience carols led by St Martin’s Voices, with Andrew Earis (conductor), where they will perform carols from their new album, A Winter Breviary, including works by Cecilia McDowall, Lucy Walker, and Reena Esmail. Carols for all to sing include It Came Upon The Midnight Clear, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing and In The Bleak Midwinter.

A Trafalgar Square Christmas by Candlelight celebrates the lighting of the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square on 7 December, with St Martin’s Voices and Strings offering a wonderful hour-long concert of festive music by candlelight. Carols for all to sing include It Came Upon The Midnight Clear, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing and In The Bleak Midwinter, alongside works for choir and strings by John Rutter, Lucy Walker, and Ola Gjeilo.

CHRISTMAS CLASSICS - INTERNATIONAL ENSEMBLES IN STUNNING SETTING

With its warm and spacious acoustic, St Martin’s is the perfect setting for choral music, and once again they welcome world-leading ensembles to perform Baroque classics perfect for the Christmas season.

The Sixteen are one of the world's finest chamber choirs, and this season they return to St Martin’s with a performance of Handel’s Messiah, [5 Dec]. Their landmark 2009 recording was acclaimed by The Daily Telegraph as “the most popular oratorio ever written, sung by…the most richly sonorous of the early music choirs”, but The Sixteen always have something new to offer.

Chamber Choir Ex Cathedra with Jeffrey Skidmore (conductor) present their annual Christmas Music by Candlelight, an evening of readings and song specially devised for the last days of the year [12 Dec]. Christmas Baroque by Candlelight sees St Martin’s Voices Emerging Artists, Choral Scholars of St Martin-in-the-Fields and St Martin’s Chamber Ensemble perform Baroque favourites in a two-hour evening concert [14 Dec] and St Martin’s Chamber Orchestra and St Martin’s Voices also perform Handel’s much loved oratorio Messiah [18 Dec].

Tenebrae, the award-winning choir conducted by Nigel Short, return to St Martin-in-the-Fields with A Christmas Conversation - a specially created evening of words and music for the festive season, taking the audience on a winter’s journey with memories of Christmases past [15 Dec]. The spoken word is echoed and enhanced by a rich mix of music for Advent and Christmas, including favourites such as Once in Royal David’s City and In The Bleak Midwinter.

Soul Sanctuary are committed to creating contemporary gospel of the highest standard and performing it as widely as possible, and their return to St Martin’s with writer and TV presenter Mel Giedroyc for A Gospel Christmas [20 Dec] promises to raise the roof at St Martin with contemporary re-imaginings of Christmas classics by the gospel geniuses of our age.

Leading vocal ensemble The King’s Singers offer a seasonal celebration spanning continents and centuries as they journey around the whole world of Christmas music from their spiritual home of King’s College Chapel to seasonal masterpieces old and new, in a two-hour evening concert that puts William Byrd alongside Disney classics [21 Dec].

St Martin’s rings in the New Year with two concerts, starting with A Viennese New Year by Candlelight, with St Martin’s Chamber Orchestra performing a traditional New Year feast of waltzes and polkas composed by the Strauss family and their contemporaries, including the Blue Danube and Radetzky March, alongside works by Mozart and Tchaikovsky [30 Dec]. The New Year’s Extravaganza by Candlelight sees the Festive Orchestra of London and violin virtuoso Catherine Manson for their traditional new year celebration features many of music’s most popular masterpieces such as Handel’s Arrival of the Queen of Sheba and Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik, concluding with Vivaldi’s spectacular Four Seasons [1 Jan 2024].

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