LDN Experiences

Published on December 5th, 2014 | by Gavin


Grotto Outré, Shoreditch

When I was a child there was nothing better than going to The Whitgift shopping centre in Croydon at Christmas and paying Father Christmas a visit, and although I knew the present was going to be utter trash, I couldn’t help but get excited each and every time.  20 years later: the presents have dried up, over indulging means an extra 3 hours in the gym, and Christmas songs make me wretch.  Bah humbug you cry. Well after visiting Shoreditch’s latest pop up, Grotto Outré, I’m in love with Christmas again.

Grotto Outré is marketed as ‘a very different type of Christmas’ and walking through the black door on Rivington Street into a laboratory, it certainly didn’t feel like any Grotto I’ve visited.  Within the lab we were greeted by mince pie martinis, pea and cranberry kisses, and brussel sprout vodka shots to get in the festive spirit.  Speaking to fellow revellers, we’re not too sure what to expect- is this small space the grotto? What is Christmassy about a laboratory?  The organisers are all keeping very hush hush, which worries me slightly, but soon forget as I continue sipping my mince pie. Then a mystery door opens and we are invited into the insane world of Grotto Outré.

Grotto Outre

We first enter the top floor where we are greeted by pumping tunes and the Ice Prince all within an ice cave.  We then head down below where we encouraged by a fairy and a bare chested snowman/Mr Tumnus hybrid character to take a seat and wait for the show.   This makes me even more nervous.

Ice Cave Grotto Outre

We are then greeted by The Elf King, a far more conservatively dressed character, who then introduces tonight’s first act, a scantily clad burlesque dancer.  A smile immediately beams across my face- why on earth was I nervous again?

This begins a night of high energy entertainment that includes fire eating, pop quizzes, even more scantily clad ladies, and a smile on my face so large that my cheeks hurt.  Every day Grotto Outré will host different, but equally bizarre entertainment in the lead up to Christmas; highlights include festive bingo on Tuesday, Celebrity DJs on Friday until 4:30am including Mrs Claws aka Caroline Banx, and Bloody Mary Xmas Sundays to recover from a big Saturday.

Grotto Outre Shoreditch

If a visit to Santa’s grotto in Croydon was all I wanted for Christmas as a child, Grotto Outré is all I want as an adult.

Open until 21st December.  Tickets priced £10 plus booking fee.


Grotto Outré, Red Gallery, 1-3 Rivington St, EC2A 3DT

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About the Author

Born and raised in Croydon, South London, Gavin is a lover of cocktails, a passionate foodie, and a self-proclaimed ‘dancing god’. A (relatively) normal guy that decided to start blogging about his experiences around the city he loves.

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