The festive season is upon is. From wreath making to sustainable Christmas fairs, we’ve handpicked 10 of the most magical days out this Christmas.
The evenings might be getting shorter and darker, but on the bright side, there are twinkling lights to see, delicious hot chocolates to drink and wooly coats to bundle up in. The air is thick with the smell of pine and spiced mulled wine, and you can feel the festive spirit.
Fancy getting crafty this festive season? Take a few hours to make your own Christmas wreath at London’s famous garden centre, Petersham Nurseries. With wild flowers, foliage and woodland materials, not only is it a fun afternoon but you’re guaranteed to have the best door on the block.
Sustainable Christmas fairs
With all that excess packaging and wrapping, Christmas can be wasteful – but it doesn’t have to be. Thanks to a number of thrifty fairs popping up around London, green-gifting has never been easier. For minimal-waste workshops and sustainable shopping, head to London’s Sustainable Christmas Market (1 December) or London’s Annual Zero Waste Christmas Market (7 December) for some of the UK’s biggest sustainable brands and eco-trailblazers, with wreath-making, soap-making and upcycling workshops.
Winter bars and terraces
London is packed to the brim with enchanting winter rooftops and terrace bars this Christmas. Just swap your summer dress for a cashmere scarf and while away the hours under a cosy winter throw or next to a roaring fire, sipping hot festive cocktails. Here is our round-up of the best winter terrace bars in London.
Order a hot gin and some gingerbread to warm up the vocal cords before a seasonal sing-along and authentic “après-ski” experience. Book a booth at a “hutte” with a karaoke machine to belt our your favourite carols. With pigs in blankets, oven-flamed pizza and a “shot-ski”, aka four shot glasses on an actual ski, Bar Hütte brings the Austrian ski village to you.
Sherry might just be the most festive of British tipples and well, you’re never far from a good glass in London. Bar Pepito in King Cross has a menu dedicated to the beverage and serves taste flights. Alternatively, you can download this Sherry Trail of London and work your way around the Andalusia’s wine treasures in the capital.
Nothing marks the beginning of the festive season like a lap around one of London’s spectacular ice rinks – and there’s a lot to choose from, whether it’s Somerset House, with its beautiful surroundings, mince pies and mulled wine, or Pennington Street’s rooftop rink atop a car park. We’ve done the leg work for you, kind of, and hunted down the 8 best outdoor rinks in London.
Christmas afternoon teas
Brits love an afternoon tea and come this time of year, the tradition gets a festive twist. We love The Ritz, which has been turned into an Edwardian winter wonderland this year. Enjoy the lavish decorations and in-house carollers while picking at a a festive finger sandwich, mince pies, festive cakes and a glass of celebratory festive champagne (‘tis the season, after all).
Christmas at Hogwarts
Harry Potter fans, why not ditch the muggles and experience a magical Christmas in the wizarding world? The popular Warner Bros. Studio Tour has undergone a festive transformation with the Great Hall lined with Christmas trees and a seasonal feast with Christmas puddings and real flames. You can also learn how the filmmakers recreated the iconic Christmas scenes in the movies. Absolute magic.
A Christmas classic
There’s a reason the Dickensian-style winter spectacle is returning to The Old Vic for the third year running – blow away the bah humbugs with Jack Throne’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol. You’ll be treated to a night of cheery carol singers and mince pies, but get in quick as tickets sell out fast.
Broadgate Winter Forest
Take part in a craft class, sing-along to carols or head to one of the nearby restaurants at the wonderfully wintry Broadgate Winter Forest. With its 200 snow-covered pine trees, wood cabins and twinkly lights, you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve woken up in Lapland when you arrive at Liverpool Street.