’Tis the season to get immersive, so be sure to try one of these Christmas-themed dining experience in London.
Whether it’s boarding a vintage train carriage set for the North Pole, solving a murder mystery at Downton Abbey’s Christmas soiree, or partying among baubles and tinsel like it’s 1920, there’s loads of immersive Christmas-themed events and experiences in London to make the end of your year truly special.
With that in mind, check out our round-up of the best immersive events to go to this Christmas and have yourself a very, merry December.
The Downton Abbey Christmas Experience at Highclere Castle
When: 15 December
Where: Highclere Castle with pick up at Victoria Coach Station
What: This Christmas ball gives you an authentic dining experience of life at Downton Abbey. Don your best finery, sip Champagne and tuck into canapés in the Saloon as you discover some of the lavish reception rooms and hear all about Highclere’s history from the official guides. Finish with a succulent three course dinner with wine, and a magical performance of carols around the tree. Heavenly.
How much: £490
Cinderella: A Wicked Mother of a Night Out immersive panto
When: 10 to 15 December
Where: Location depends on the date, but either Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club or King’s Cross Welsh Centre
What: Have you ever been to an immersive Christmas panto? Well it’s time to start. Cinderella is an outrageous site specific show inspired by the traditional British panto, with live music, a degree of audience participation, lots of opportunities for merriment (of the alcohol-fueled variety) and even some karaoke. Those behind the show describe it as “think Tarantino meets Shameless, meets ELF” – so it’s bound to be interesting at the least.
How much: £16 to £22
The Dance Before Christmas at The Vaults
When: 8 and 15 December, 8pm to 2am
Where: The Vaults, Leake Street, SE1 7NN
What: The Vaults is known for being, shall we say, a uniquely theatrical venue. The dark, cave-like surroundings play host to eccentric immersive performances and glittering late-night raves, so if an alternative Christmas experience is what you want, this is the place to get it. Set across seven rooms it’s essentially a huge Christmas party, with eight performers plus two big bands and DJ sets to ensure you’re at your merriest.
How much: £18
The Greatest Snowman at Pedley Street Station
When: 21 November to 23 December, Wednesday to Friday: 6:30pm and 8:30pm. Saturday to Sunday: 1:00pm, 3:30pm, 6:30pm and 8:30pm.
Where: Pedley Street Station, Arch 63 Pedley Street, E1 5BW
What: Immersive theatre and dining experts Funicular are inviting Londoners to board their special festive express train, which will make its way to Christmas town in time for the 25 December. Guests will enjoy a four-course meal rustled up by BBC MasterChef: The Professionals finalist Louisa Ellis (complete with all the trimmings) while enjoying the live action story of a boy who doesn’t believe in Christmas.
How much: Tickets start from £57
A Gatsby Christmas at The London Cabaret Club
When: From the 29 November to 29 December on various dates: 6.30pm to 3am
Where: The London Cabaret Club, Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, WC1B 4DA
What: If to you, Christmas means sparkle, glitter and whole load of razzmatazz, this cabaret lead, 1920s style, Christmas-themed extravaganza is perfection. The venue will be transformed into a golden winter wonderland, where as well as a fine dining experience, guests can enjoy an appearance from Father Christmas and watch a story of aerial artists, gangsters, molls and flappers play out in front of their eyes.
How much: Tickets start from £55
The Downton Abbey experience: Murder in the village
When: 8 December: 9am to 6pm
Where: Victoria Embankment, WC2N 6PB
What: This Christmas, the Grantham family of Downton Abbey have requested your presence at their festive soiree. You can enjoy an entire day of feasting and drinking to get you in the Christmas spirit, but there’s something sinister going on beneath the tinsel-decorated surface. A strange curse has taken hold of the grounds, and it’s bloodthirsty. It’ll be your job to try and solve the mystery that has left the doorman dead, before it’s too late.
How much: £72
Mariah & Friendz at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club
When: 1 December: 9pm to 2am
Where: Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, 42-44 Pollard Row, E2 6NB
What: Watch everyone’s favourite Christmas tune, All I Want For Christmas Is You, performed like you’ve never, ever seen it before by London’s premier queer-drag-circus-clubnight inspired by Mariah Carey. This festive frolic promises to showcase the finest drag, cabaret and circus talent in town. Dressing up is hugely encouraged.
How much: £8-12
The Dinnerstry of Magic Yule Ball
When: 2, 8, 9, 16, 22, 23, 29 and 30 of December
Where: Secret venue
What: This unofficially Harry Potter-themed ball takes inspiration from the festive feast Hermione and pals enjoyed at Hogwarts come Christmas time. Celebrating the most magical time of the year, this Yule Ball series will treat guests to enchanting bottomless cocktails, immersive entertainment and delicious food before tables are cleared and the ball begins to sounds of the house band, Brothers Bizzaro.
How much: from £49.99
Images: Courtesy of venues