5th Dec 2012 - Party Ingredients Advent Calendar: London Brewed Beer and Breathtaking Views

Today we want to spread the word of two fabulous places to visit. Read on even if you would rather escape the Christmas lights, markets and festive themes. These two are not exactly seasonal but something we definitely want to get involved with and jot in our diaries. 

Pig's Ear Beer & Cider Festival

Ale has become hugely trendy in the past few years. Several breweries have popped up in and around London, Hackney alone has seen five start within the last year. Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) organises various beer festivals and events up and down the country. This week it takes over Round Chapel in Hackney showcasing over 200 beers (and a few ciders!) from 110 breweries – a lot of which are based in London but some also from further afield. The festival is called Pig's Ear (that's rhyming slang for Beer) and it takes place between 4th and 8th December. You can get tickets on the door for £2/£4. 

Round Chapel, Powerscroft Road, Hackney E5 0PU,

The View from the Shard

No one living in London can escape it, you can practically see it wherever you are. Being the tallest building in the EU, The Shard is the most prominent new feature in the London skyline. The build finished in July this year, however the tower will not open to the public until early 2013 and the bookings are now being taken. 

Warning: Don’t book if you’re scared of heights! The ultramodern viewing platform sits at the top of this 95-storey building and the views should be spectacular. You can book your slot online, available dates start in February 2013. 

(ps. this picture makes us really excited!)