There are only five weekends left until Christmas! It’s time to get present shopping, cocktail sipping and soaking up the best of the festivities taking place this winter.
From the opening of Hyde Park Winter Wonderland to perusing art at the Wimbledon Art Fair, tucking into afternoon tea to watching Leadenhall Market’s light display turn on, here’s what to do.
In partnership with Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
London’s most magical Christmas experience opens up this weekend, bringing with it more than 200 attractions, rides and endless food and drink offerings.
Open from 19th November until 3rd January, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland will once again light up the capital’s biggest central park, returning with all of their popular attractions, from the largest open-air ice rink in the UK to the tallest transportable Wheel in the world! Plus, a few new welcomed additions, including a restaurant pop-up by Jimmy Garcia, to really make it the ultimate festive day out.
This year they’ll be working a little differently. All visitors need to book in advance before they head down. All you need to do is head over to their website and follow the simple steps to ensure you’ve got your spot as tickets are selling out fast!
Explore everything from the Magical Ice Kingdom, a space to transport yourself into a mythical world created from over 500 tonnes of sculpted ice and snow, to the Giant Wheel where you can take in the capital’s skyline from above. Zippos Christmas Circus will also be on hand to wow the kiddies with clowns, tricks and general circus fun. And don’t miss your chance to make a fool of yourself as you whizz around (or, hopelessly fall over) on the ice rink.
When: 19TH NOVEMBER 2021 – 3RD JANUARY 2022
Where: Hyde Park, London
In partnership with Wimbledon Art Fair
Art lovers, listen in… The doors for the Wimbledon Art Fair are finally open! From Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st, Londoners are invited to explore this exciting open studios’ art event to browse, discover and buy original works from the most exciting artists in London.
Over 150 artists, designers and makers will be taking over Wimbledon Art Studios, exhibiting their work for all to enjoy. And the best part? The event is free!
Perfect for perusing solo or exploring with the whole family, this art fair is diverse, unique and affordable. Previous visitors have described it as ‘one of the most inspiring places’. This year there’s even the chance to win £200 to spend at Wimbledon Art Fair when pre-booking the free tickets at wimbledonartfair.com
When: Thursday 18th – Sunday 21st November
Where: Wimbledon Art Studios,10 Riverside Yard, SW17 0BB
Rediscover one of the greatest artists of all time through Hotel Café Royal’s enticing afternoon tea. Earlier this year, the Soho hotel announced an exciting new exclusive partnership with Van Gogh: The Immersive Exhibition, an immersive series bringing the famed artist’s work to life through two-story projections. And the tea is still available!
The hotel’s Head Pastry Chef, Michael Kwan, has meticulously crafted each item to draw inspiration from Van Gogh’s iconic paintings, from his Sunflowers through to Two Crabs, following a private viewing of the show. Guests are invited to start with sumptuous sandwiches of crab and dill planted onto lemon bread, nodding to Van Gogh’s 1887 painting, Two Crabs, before munching through light-as-air scones.
For sweet treats, there’s the Vase with Twelve Sunflowers, a sunflower seed praline and salted caramel; The Starry Night, a pink grapefruit compost with orange marmalade; and a pecan crunchy, coffee mousse with taro sponge, drawing on the Van Gogh Self-Portrait, that’s served on its very own easel. Vegan, gluten free and halal options are all available too, so there’s something for every Van Gogh fan. Paint up the night and opt for the Champagne option to really level up the experience.
When: Until 31st January 2022
Where: HOTEL CAFÉ ROYAL, 68 REGENT STREET, SOHO, W1B 4DY
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Leadenhall Market is rich in history, dating back to the 14th century, originally a meat, poultry and game market. Fast forward to now and it’s filled with some of the best boutiques, dining spots and luxury lifestyle stores on offer in the city.
Its beloved annual light ceremony will take place on Friday 19th November, which will see the Lord Mayor of London take on the honour of switching the lights on.
Festivities will kick off at 5:15 with a festive sing-a-long and live music from Super Tenants, before the light switch-on takes place at 6pm. Following the display, there’ll be the chance to listen to more live music and browse the boutique stores nuzzled inside the market.
When: Friday 19TH NOVEMBER
Where: Leadenhall Market, Gracechurch Street, EC3V 1LT
Landing in the capital earlier this week, The Savoy raised their festivities to a whole new level thanks to the arrival of Reverie, a multi-sensory experience that’s hoping to unite fizz and Christmas lovers.
The immersive concept is the brainchild of leading experiential architect, Meredith O’Shaughnessy, who has been inspired by the wonderful works of Art Deco illustrator Kay Nielsen – the mastermind behind the drawings created for Han Christian Andersen’s fairy tales. And this magical element and influence is definitely noticeable from the moment you step inside The Savoy’s Reverie. Immediately you’ll feel as though you’ve wandered into a wonderland, from the forest glade with books become nature and pages become fairies, to the hand-crafted shimmering moon boat.
For the Champagne element, a rose-tinted world has been created to reflect Laurent-Perrier’s Cuvée Rose in the front hall and immersive forest, while the intense deep blue shining from the starlit night sky in the Thames Foyer will shine a light on English sparkling wine Nyetimber’s 1086 Prestige Cuvée.
A specially created menu of cocktails will be available, from the Cassiopeia, built with Laurent-Perrier Champagne and edible gold dust, to the Orion, a twist on the Christmas classic eggnog served with stencilled cinnamon stars.
When: From 15th November
Where: The Savoy, The Strand, WC2R 0EZ
If you’re a craft beer lover or are just looking for somewhere to head for some festive drinks, you’ll want to book tickets for the London Christmas Beer Market. The two-day event, taking place this Saturday and Sunday, will be stacked with over 100 bars and stalls bursting with all of your favourite festive treats.
Scour the range of beer from over 50 of the UK’s indie breweries, including Tiny Rebel, Siren and Gipsy Hill, as well as searching through the natural wine, craft spirits and cocktail offerings. For food, there’ll be a whole lot of festive cheese, chocolate and Christmas puds to explore too.
Keeping you entertained will be the sound of Christmas classics ringing in the background and expect performances from a live gospel choir and east London drag act Kate Butch who will be hosting a naughty advent calendar countdown on the main stage.
When: Saturday 19th – Sunday 20th November
Where: Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QR
We’re all on a mission to do our bit for the environment, whether it’s cutting back on plastic or not over consuming fast-fashion. Design Museum’s latest exhibition, Waste Age: What Can Design Do?, looks at what designers can do to rethink our relationship with everyday things.
The new exhibition sees a new generation of designers set up to imagine a future world where design uses clean materials in the everyday. See exhibits from Stella McCartney, Fernando Laposse, Formafantasma and Lacaton & Vassal.
Who said outdoor dining was just for the summer? Here to prove this myth wrong is the winter terrace, and London is bursting with heaps of cosy options that you’ll want to explore.
From The Corinthia’s Winter Garden that’s bursting with seasonal planting, festive lights, hot water bottles and fireplaces to Dalloway Terrace’s wintry installation that’s decked out with blooms from floral designers Early Hours, here are our favourites…
Henrietta Hotel’s annual Miracle pop-up returns to bring us Londoners the chance to enjoy the overly festive and kitsch atmosphere for another winter season. Get transported to Christmas past with their over-the-top, nostalgic decor, designed by experiential company Marble London.
They’ll be bringing a whole host of festive cocktails too, including the Bad Santa and SanTaRex favourites, plus new creations like the Jingle Bells Nog, made with cognac, cream sherry, almond milk, cream, egg, vanilla and nutmeg, and the Christmas Carol Barrel, with Reposado Tequila, coffee liqueur, dry curacao, spiced chocolate, aromatic bitters and orange bitters. All served in their festive glassware.
Delicious bites to eat will also be served up, from lamb and cumin skewers; chickpea fritters with pickled radish; and wild mushroom and comte cheese croquettes.
When: 16th November – 23rd December
Where: 14-15 HENRIETTA STREET, COVENT GARDEN, WC2E 8QG
For a Christmas event that’ll leave you feeling as cheery as Buddy the Elf, it’s gotta be Kew’s magical light display. Their annual affair opens up this week, bringing with it tunnels of light, dancing waterside reflections and ribbons of light lining the trees.
The two-kilometre trail will see a section of the installations transform the gardens of Kew, from the Treetop Walkway to the Tunnel of Light. Festive food will be on offer, including boozy hot chocolates, slow roast baps, toasted chestnuts and lashings of mulled wine.
There’s even a Victorian carousel, helter skelter and other family-friendly rides to whizz around on too.
When: 17th November – 9th January 2022
Where: Kew Gardens, Entrances at Victoria Gate, Brentford Gate and Lion Gate.
The ultimate festive drinks experience has arrived in London, as the lastminute.com London Eye announces its new Christmas Pub Pod. Created in partnership with Absolut Vodka, the immersive experience will offer guests tasty tipples on tap while soaring 135m above the London skyline.
The Christmas Pub Pod will see one of the iconic South Bank attraction’s 32 pods given a glittering makeover, transforming it into a fully functioning pub complete with cocktail bar, Christmas cracker decorations and a festive frosting of snow.
Absolut has specially created two signature vodka cocktails – the Gingerbread Espresso Martini and Cinnamon Passion Fruit Martini – exclusively for the London Eye experience. Both cocktails are inspired by original recipes created in London’s Soho, visible from the wheel.
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Park Chinois, Mayfair’s most opulent Asian restaurant, will be hosting a very special evening of food and entertainment next Wednesday, and you’re invited.
They’ve partnered with fashion rental platform My Wardrobe to bring London’s a night to remember. Guests will be able to choose their party dress of dreams from My Wardrobe’s show stopping selection of garments, including options from Burberry and Bottega, before they enjoy an evening of cocktails, canapés and a three-course dinner. Expect dishes such as dim sum and Duck de Chine with pancakes, and a front-row seat to the Club Chinois cabaret show.
When: Wednesday 24th November