Yule never believe what’s propping up in and around the city this Christmas. From gallons of mulled brews dotted on every corner to mistletoe being pinned to every doorway, Christmas is in full swing and we’re more excited than Buddy the Elf on Christmas Eve. To help you soak up the Christmas spirit, we’ve rounded up the biggest and best Christmassy pop-ups. So, throw on your party dress, kitten heels and mittens (it’s freezing outside remember), and let’s get rocking around the Christmas tree.
It’s all in the name at Broadgate Circle’s latest pop-up. The ever so enchanting Winter Forest features a dazzling amount of snow-covered pine trees, twinkling lights and live music performances that’ll be sure to get you rock, rock, rocking around the pine trees. ‘Tis the season so expect mulled wine in its bucket loads, fondue covered everything and be sure not to miss the Fever-Tree Winter Lodge. Get yourself along to Broadgate Circle, or let social media heighten your FOMO.
Open now, and running until the 20th of December
Another pop-up that’s become a festive staple is Christmas at Kew. Now in its seventh year, Kew will be lit up over the Christmassy season. And, if you’re lucky enough to nab yourself tickets then make your way through the iconic London landmark’s winter trail – think glittering fairytale trees, tunnels of light, singing holly bushes (yep, really) and a cascade of lasers lighting up the famous Temperate House.
Running Wednesday 20th November – Sunday 5th January
Radio Rooftop’s festive hashtags always blow up any Londoners ‘gram this time of year, and 2019 is no different. Enter #RADIOWINTERISCOMING. Tucked away on the 10th floor of ME London, with glorious views over the River Thames and London’s skyline, the rooftop will be host to faux-fur throws, cosy blankets and flickering lanterns filling the lodges. Working in partnership with Grey Goose Vodka, you can be sure to find glorious cocktails on hand, alongside spectacular food.
Check out our favourite winter rooftops here
We’re walking in the air…
By the time December 25th rolls around yule have wandered around the Snowman Trail one too many times but when they’re this cute, you’ll be forgiven. Uncover the twelve festive Raymond Briggs’ characters that have popped up over night at London Bridge City. Created by Wild in Art and in collaboration with Penguin Random House, each have been designed to the festive tune The Twelve Days of Christmas.
Make a Christmassy day out of it and stroll around the Christmas by the River market, scattered with glittering lights, pop-up stalls and Christmas spirit.
Running 26th November – 5th January
Think sugar, spice and all things pink this Christmas and you’ve got Fentimans Pink Gingerbread House nuzzled atop Skylight. Channel your inner Hansel and Gretel and embark on your own sugar-filled adventure scattered with candy canes, cocktails and, of course, gingerbread. It’s the perfect spot to cosy up after a glide along their iconic ice rink. If you go anywhere this Christmas make it Fentimans Pink Gingerbread House at Skylight.
It’s beginning to look more like a Christmassy jungle over in the land of elephants and castles this year with their 12 days of Christmas trail. Expect giant elephants popping up around the shopping centre, carol singing, Christmas crafts and a festive five-room selfie station to snap up a quick ‘gram.
Opening 18th November
You’ll fir sure want to make your way over to Eltham Palace & Gardens for their magical festive charm. Light, colour and sound will be making its way to the Enchanted Eltham Palace to bring us a glistening experience you won’t forget. The palace will play host to mulled brews, mince pies and perfect gifts for any last minute pressies you’re yet to buy.
Returns 5th – 22nd December
If you’re brave enough to brace the cold, venture on out to one of London’s Christmas markets and indulge in buckets of mulled brews, cinnamon embellished churros and heaps of trinkets perfect for stocking fillers. To help to decide which way to head, we’ve rounded up our favourites for you.
Website: Festivities This Way...
Instead of hopping on a two hour plane journey to Austria this Christmas, whizz on up to Savage Garden’s rooftop and explore their very Austrian inspired sky lodge. Take a walk on the wild side and expect to be dancing to cheesy tunes at their Savage Sessions and drinking one too many glasses of glühwein.
Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal.
On your Christmassy adventures this year make a whistle-stop at Kensington Palace for their festive film offerings. This year, The Luna Winter Cinema will be throwing out all of the wintry stops so expect to be watching Home Alone, Love Actually, The Greatest Showman and Elf. Or, reserve your spot at a real classic – It’s A Wonderful Life.
Running 15th – 22nd December
Montague Ski Lodge is London’s original ski lodge and winter party venue, and is the perfect place to celebrate the festive season with falling snow, mulled wine, spiced cider, Christmas flavoured vodkas and cocktails. The Wood Deck will be transformed into a magical ski lodge with big woolly rugs, or, alternatively, the Log Cabin is an atmospheric space to enjoy a drink in front of a decorative fire, Christmas tree and cosy armchairs and sofas complete with blankets.
From the 14th of November until the 5th of January
Gather round for a storytelling experience like no other. Darling and Edge and Patchlarks have teamed up for December to take you on a journey throughout the labyrinth of Hello Darling. This magical building is already filled with quirks but throw in a mysterious storytelling adventure and it’s one to bring the Christmas spirit to life.
Every Saturday and Sunday in the run up to Christmas
There’s nothing quite as Christmassy as draping your house from head to toe in a whole lotta holly, mistletoe and festive foliage. If you’re looking to deck your halls, walls and doors with festive wreaths this Christmas, you could run off to your local supermarket but why not go the extra mile and head to one of London’s ever expanding wreath making workshops.
Grab your sparkling gardening gloves, pop on your cheesy Christmas jumper and channel your inner countryside gal, and head to one of London’s wreath workshops. Here’s six of our favourites…
Website: Wreath Making This Way...
Have 34 Mayfair gone one step too far? Maybe, but it won’t stop you hurrying on down to take a peak inside their bauble covered dining room. Every single inch of the Mayfair establishment will be covered from head to toe with 8,400 baubles. It’s one to nosy at even if you are a bit of a Humbug.
Where: 34, Grosvenor Square, London, W1K 2HD, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Bond Street (0.5 miles)
Hop, skip and jump over to Harvey Nichols this Christmas for their new Secret Forest pop-up. Propped on the fifth floor of their Knightsbridge store, you’ll be treated to naughty but nice ice cream cocktails, Nordic nibbles and festive film screenings.
One thing we miss now that we’re older is getting to sit with Santa for a quick photo and opening presents atop his lap, but this year why not channel your inner child at Sharky & George’s festive grotto? Nestled in the heart of Chelsea, you and your little ones will be whisked off to the Winter Wonderland for an hour worth of festive fun, games and crafts. Mr C will also be doing a Christmassy reading too.
The experience runs on various dates from Saturday 23rd November – Tuesday 24th December
Can you even call yourself a Londoner if you haven’t glided along the ice (or fallen flat on your face) at the Somerset House ice rink? It’s a tradition as old as time (nearly) and this year Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason is celebrating its 20th year, so if that’s not enough of an excuse to whizz around the ice, we don’t know what is. Get your Torvill on beneath the impressive 40ft tree, book in for a late-night DJ set on ice or, for the first time, London’s insomniacs can skate all night long in a 24/7 skate fest on the 7th and 8th December.
Wednesday 13th November – Sunday 12th January
Swan Lake comes to Chelsea this Christmas in the form of Bluebird’s wintry courtyard. In partnership with Ciroc White Grape, you can guarantee you’ll be feasting every day of the week, all the while sipping on winter warmers. If you can’t bare the thought of bracing the cold, snuggle up with your loved ones in one of their heated winter chalets, cosied up with blankets and fluffy cushions.
From the 5th of November until the 31st of January
Where: 350 Kings Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 5UU, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Imperial Wharf (0.8 miles)
Wondering where the most over-the-top, sickly Christmassy pop-up lives? Right on Henrietta Street at the Henrietta Hotel. The miracle phenomenon is jumping across the pond to arrive in London for the second time and will be rocking up in the hotel until the 23rd of December. You’ll be sipping on cocktails garnished with sides of kitsch for one and all, alongside Miracle favourites and a whole host of Christmas cheer.
Running until 12th November – 23rd December
Grab yourself a merry little tipple courtesy of Sky Garden’s winter ski chalet bar. Working in partnership with Moët & Chandon, the festive bar will be pulling out all of the stops with each Champagne ticket paired with Moët & Chandon pretzel match sticks. Pull up a pew and enjoy.
Where: Sky Garden, 20 Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 8AF, UK
Nearest station: Monument (0.2 miles)
Ice, ice, baby…
Channeling the notorious lyrics from the famous vanilla ice song, Ice Ice Baby, the festive spirit is in full force atop the South Place Hotel wintry terrace. Stock up on your fave vodka Cîroc, snuggle down beneath a fluffy blanket and enjoy off of the festive offerings, from sparkly discos to Christmas carnivals. Brrr…
We’ve rounded up our favourite winter terraces here
The igloos have returned and this year they’re better than ever! Aviary have teamed up with Talisker Whiskey under the tagline ‘Skye-line igloos’ to bring us a season of spiced cocktails and festive fun.
Venture 10 storeys up to the Aviary’s expansive terrace for an evening under the stars and gaze over London’s iconic skyline as you step inside your personal igloo. A favourite of the Talisker cocktails has to be the Scotch Mist, a blend of spice and citrus.
Running until 29th February
Harry up and look at this! Hogwarts has had a festive makeover and we may just love it more than Ron does Hermione. The spellbinding occurrence is taking place at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter and features a festive gathering of glittering Christmas trees, flaming Christmas puddings set upon tables in a Great Hall replica and special effects galore. Instagram has already played host to thousands of #hogwartsinthesnow and we can vouch for it looking totes spectacular after having a scroll (and getting distracted from everything else we were meant to be doing!) The top section of the hall has been transformed into a Yule Ball; essentially one of the most magical places you’ve ever seen with icicles, magical instruments and more adorning the space.
You’ll be able to wander into Gryffindor common room and take in sights of Christmas treats. And there’ll also be a huge display of props from the films… whether or not you’ll wander into one of the stars themselves well, that would be Sirius-ly cool. Topping off the fun, you’ll drift past a Hogwarts castle model under a blanket of snow, making this an idyllic day-out and perfect spot to grab some snaps for the old Insta feed. For those who can’t get enough, and after the exhaustion of having so much fun, you’ll want to reload by diving into a meal amongst the magical surroundings. So, if you’re ready to have a Potter around in this enchanting space then jump on your Nimbus 3000 and visit up until 26th January.
Treat the love of your life to a gift she really wants this Christmas from Christian Louboutin’s seasonal pop-up in Burlington Arcade. To celebrate the arcades 200th anniversary, the collection will feature a curated selection of Women’s and Men’s shoes and accessories, alongside an exclusive monogramming service.
Running until 31st December
Is London the food capital of the world? Or is it Paris? Or maybe somewhere in the far east, Tokyo perhaps? No, the food capital of the world is, in fact, inside the V&A. Because there’s an entire city made of actual food.
If you’ve ever spent an afternoon making Gingerbread houses, hours spent arduously trying to get the icing to stick that pitched roof together without collapsing the entire property, then spare a thought for the guys who came up with this; The Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread City. The annual exhibition brings together architects, designers and engineers to create an entire metropolis constructed entirely of gingerbread. The RSJ-free zone is meant to connect the public with architecture, and the best way to do that is appealing to our innate love of gingerbread. The result is intricate designs, gingerbread houses, businesses and civic buildings, and in fact everything that the gingerbread men and women who will presumably populate this city will need.
Catch it until 5th January
Light up your life at Eccleston Yards’ multi sensory light installation this Christmas. 500 individually suspended orbs, each with their own unique voice (bare with us), will light up Eccleston Yards and help visitors feel calm and balanced. Even if you don’t end up feeling calm, it makes for a super cute Insta!
28th November – 11 January 2020
Watch London’s largest ‘Christmas tree’ come to life this Christmas. This year, The Shard has had a makeover and will be featuring three, nine minute sequences from 4pm to 1am every evening throughout the month. There’ll even be a special New Year’s Eve light display too so you can forget the fireworks, it’s all about the lights!
Launching 2nd December
Watch Grosvenor Square light up this Christmas as 27,000 illuminated white flowers will take centre stage across Mayfair’s iconic square. If you fancy lighting your own flower in memory of a loved one, you can donate £10 to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and plant your very own white rose.
Catch the flowers Saturday 30th November – Sunday 22nd December
It’s beginning to look a whole lot like Christmas at Wembley Park thanks to the arrival of Winterfest. Artists and curators from across the globe have come together to transform Wembley Park into a festive haven brimming with twinkling lights, sound and touch sensory installations and London’s tallest-ever LED light Christmas tree.
Running until 3rd January
This year our Willy Wonka dreams have come true with Sheraton Grand Park Lane’s winter chocolate box terrace. Prepare to immerse yourself in a chocolate wonderland and feast on some bespoke chocolate bars made by French pâtissier and celebrity chef Eric Lanlard, all washed down with some decadent festive cocktails…yum.
Running until 4th January
Where: Sheraton Grand London Park Lane, Piccadilly, London, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Green Park (0.4 miles)