Open daily until 29th February, from 4pm.
There are plenty of things to do in the capital this month to ignite that magical, festive feeling. Whether it’s ice skating on a rooftop or sipping on a G&T 800 feet above London (yes, really), these extra special activities are guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit.
Oh, and the best part? Most of them are free.
Christmas in London wouldn’t be complete without booking in for an ice skating session at Somerset House. Once you’ve skated until your heart’s content, amble over to Fortnum’s alpine-inspired Lodge (in partnership with the iconic Fortnum & Mason) for mince pies, raclette and a smorgasbord of festive favourites. There’s also a fully-stocked gift shop, should you need to pick up some prezzies.
Tickets from £11/£8.50 children. 14 November 2019 – 13 Jan 2020.
Experience a snowy Nordic winter wonderland at Rosewood London’s festive pop-up The Elyx Chalet, in partnership with Absolut Elyx. Sip on hot or cold cocktails and munch on seasonal fare in the cosy surrounds of a wooden chalet, lined with fir trees and copper decorations. It’s totally over-the-top -you’ll find velvet cushions, fur throws, sparkly fairy lights and cocktails to make your Instagram pop – and we’re here for it.
Open daily until 29th February, from 4pm.
Tobacco dock is back for another year in East London with Winter at Skylight. Not sure what that means? It involves a rooftop ice rink, cosy igloos, aprés skate bars and plenty of seasonal food and cocktails (think spiced margaritas, hot toddys and apple crumble-inspired tipples) to eat, drink and be merry with.
Free entry. Thursday/Friday 17:00-23:00pm. Saturday/Sunday 12:00-23:00pm.
A gin masterclass like no other (you’re 800 feet above the ground for starters), discover the history behind the nation’s favourite tipple while sipping on an array of City of London Dry Gin’s fantastic flavours. Once you’ve sipped and sampled your way through an array of gin-based drinks, head up to Level 72 to view the incredible views from The View from The Shard. If that doesn’t sound magical, we don’t know what does.
£99 for two people. Available most Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Visit a Christmas Market (along the river)
There are so many to choose from but you can find some of the best ones by simply taking a stroll along the River Thames. Start at Southbanks’s winter festival where you’ll find the usual German-style chalets, igloos, stalls and a new pop-up circus bar. Keep walking east (towards Borough Market) and you’ll end up at Christmas by the River, London Bridge City’s annual market. Begin at Hay’s Gallery where you can pick up a couple of stocking fillers or last-minute gifts, before making your way towards Tower Bridge for a late night snack (think bratwurst hot dogs) and seasonal sweet treats.
Brought to you by the people behind Flat Iron Square, London Bridge’s Vinegar Yard has been transformed into a cosy, covered space for the winter season. Get involved with daily wreath-making classes, browse over 40 festival stalls and enjoy the (new) sound of Christmas with a live choir who will be performing alternative versions of Christmas classics. While you’re there, make sure to pay a visit to recently-opened Abigail’s, a retro-style bar with cosy interiors, 70 tunes and a brilliant cocktail list.
The Lego group have taken over The Savoy on the strand with a unique installation featuring 12 creations made entirely from Lego. Each build re-imagines classic Christmas cues (discover a giant dragon Christmas tree and Santa’s motorbike) with the aim to encourage creativity by looking at Christmas through the eyes of children. It’s pretty impressive.
The German Gymnasium is one of those restaurants in London with serious feel-good factor. Inside the ginormous venue that sits iconically outside St Pancras station, beautiful florals cascade from the ceiling and an electric atmosphere fills the room. This Christmas, head over to their brand new gingerbread outdoor installation, in partnership with Maker’s Mark, which boasts a specially designed cocktail list, a cluster of wooden huts and an atmosphere that will leave you feeling 10/10 festive.
Sheraton Grand London Park Lane – Chocolate Box Winter Terrace
Five-star London hotel Sheraton Grand has teamed up with French pâtissier Eric Lanlard to create a sparkling new menu of bespoke chocolate bars paired with oh-so-opulent cocktails. Sip (and munch) on sweet delights in the surrounds of The Sheraton’s ‘Chocolate Box’ terrace, which has been transformed into a snowy winter hideout decked with cosy mini chalets, twinkling lights and fur throws. It’s the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of West London (aka the festive district of London) and is too stunning not to share on the ‘gram’.
Now, discover the best UK Christmas markets worth a special trip.
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