I’ve visited several European cities in the winter months, yet I have to say London trumps them all for me. As much as we love to moan about the hustle and bustle of the streets, and shudder when we hear stories of people being crushed by a half price TV in Asda, just imagine if the streets were bare and there wasn’t a soul to be seen in your local Starbucks slurping on their red cup?
As you may know I am the antithesis of a Christmas humbug, my house looks like Santa threw up on it and I was begging the office to play Christmas songs in October. One of my favourite things about Christmas is the build-up, the festive get togethers and the fact that a lot of events are only temporary, so you really have to get your skates on, literally!
I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy several festive days in London already this year as well as having a to do list as long as my arm however, here’s my recommendations on some of the best festive things to do in the big smoke, in no particular order:
1.Ice skating at Somerset House
An iconic location with fabulous history, this year Somerset House has teamed with Fortnum & Mason to offer tasty treats and champers, all served in the beautiful Fortnum Lodge. Definitely worth a trip, even if you’re no Torvill or Dean, being Bambi on ice will be comedy gold for the spectators.
2.Night Tales, Shoreditch
This pop-up venue is a must this winter and if you’re planning on a visit then you better be quick as it closes its doors for the year on Saturday 20th December. The combination of some of the best food vendors in London, cocktails, good music and Christmas chalets creates a wonderful vibe. If you’re going please find out ‘what’s in the wardrobe’, I promise it won’t disappoint! Top tip: ensure to arrive bang on opening to avoid queues.
3.Southbank’s Rekorderling Cider Lodge
A taste of après ski on Thames! This pop-up two floor lodge is a great hub to meet friends and sip on some mulled cider. Surrounded by street food vendors and a Christmas tree maze this venue is a great escape from city life.
4.Grab a show and a slice in Covent Garden
Although Pantomimes are generally the viewing choice over the Christmas period, I love going to the theatre regardless of what I’m seeing. A trip to Theatreland will leave you spoilt for choice and Covent Garden really shines at this time of year. If you’re hungry then look no further than the 20inch pizza serving, Homeslice. Arguably the best pizza I’ve had in a long time (maybe ever), this hip-hop playing pizza joint has Prosecco on tap and will leave you wanting more!
5.A spot of winter shopping with a taste of the Caribbean, W1
Oxford Street and its surrounding areas are some of the best shopping destinations in country. Whether you’re high-street fan or searching for that “Gucci, Fendi, Prada” you most certainly won’t be leaving with nada. Once you’re shopped out and in need of cocktail, head to Carnaby Street’s Kingly Court where you’ll find the vibrant and delicious flavours of The Rum Kitchen.
6.Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park
Kids everywhere, slow walkers, ginormous queues, overpriced rides and food never looked so good. As gruesome as Winter Wonderland can be it still makes for great fun.
Where have you been this season? I’d love to know, find me on Twitter @OliviaSealy