I know, it’s only just turned November and here comes Marcella with the Christmas blogs. But there is a method to my madness. And I just love Christmas, let’s be honest.
Lots of the things I’ve mentioned in this post are taking bookings and some are already nearly booked up. So, if you want to get in there quick and plan some festive fun, keep reading to find out my top picks of things to do, places to go, and of course where you to eat (because you all know this girl likes to dine out).
I’m going to be doing a lot more London guides on my blog from now on. I already have a few in the new London section including How to get the most out of London on a budget.
1 Eat in an igloo at Coppa Club, Tower Bridge
After the popularity of the riverside “igloos” last year, they’re back this winter. They have been redesigned with timber this year, and the chairs inside the heated pods are covered with fluffy blankets making them a cosy place to enjoy food and drink which is brought to you from the main restaurant. Each igloo seats 8 people, so groups of less than 6 people share.
It is pretty much entirely booked for December, (apart from the odd early breakfast spot, maybe to watch the sun rise?!) but they have walk ups available. I managed to grab a breakfast booking in late November and they are now booking up to February, so do not feel disheartened if you miss out before Christmas.
2 Snuggle down in a Snow Kingdom to watch a festive film with Backyard Cinema
Can you think of a more perfect winter date night/girls night than watching one of your favourite Christmas movies in either an enchanted woodland or a fairytale snow kingdom? Tickets to these magical cinemas vary in price, dependant on ticket type, but can include bean bags, mulled wine and mice pies… need I say more?
Winter Night Garden is in Winterville, in Clapham Common, and the ticket also gives you entry to their Christmas markets, food stalls, skating and live events. Snow Kingdom is in Borough as part of the Italian market, Mercato Metropolitano. Get booking so you can make sure you can get tickets to your fav festive film whether that’s Elf, Love Actually or Die Hard.
3 Dine in the most Instagram worthy venue, Dalloway Terrace
Think snow covered tree branches, twinkling fairy lights, faux fur throws and cosy blankets as you tuck into a delicious meal. This year, this winter wonderland restaurant is being reimagined for the festive season. Located at the Bloomsbury Hotel, this isn’t the cheapest of restaurants, but hey, it’s Christmas so why not treat yourself or a loved one? They are taking bookings for their winter season from November 6th.
4 Have a karaoke competition in a ski hut at Winter Wonderland
I know this is a bit of a standard one, but it wouldn’t be Christmas in London without a visit to Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. If you haven’t been before, think German inspired Christmas markets with rides as well as bars, an ice-rink and ticketed performances.
This year’s ice-skating performance is Cinderella and after watching The Nutcracker, last year, I really recommend getting tickets. The talent is insane, and a ticket works out cheaper than going to the cinema in central London (off-peak tickets are £16.95).
They also have new things 2017 including Bar Hütt. Private Après Ski inspired huts where you can order stone baked pizzas, drinks and even have your own karaoke machine. Can you imagine the noise coming from those huts after Barbara from the office has had one too many mulled wines and wants to sing Living on a Prayer…
5 Watch your fav Christmas film on stage with Nativity! The Musical at the Eventim Apollo
One of my favourite Christmas films has been turned into a musical and is touring all over the country this winter. It is in London for one week only (13th-17th December) at the Eventim Apollo. So if you want to go and see a show over Christmas but you’re bored of shouting “he’s behind you”, this is a great alternative for all the family to enjoy.
(If you haven’t seen the film, it’s on Netflix at the moment and features Martin Freeman, so go have a watch.)
6 Have an alternative Christmas at Portobello Winter Festival
Everyone has their own Christmas traditions embracing different cultures. Mine mainly consists of British traditions, but we also eat panettone on Christmas morning as I’m part Italian. I love hearing how people spend Christmas in different cultures.
Or maybe you’re bored of hearing Michael Bublé and eating mince pies. (I could personally listen to his Christmas album all year round, but I get that it’s not for everyone. The same way mince pies aren’t for me.) Then why not experience Christmas with a “Portobello Twist” at their free market. Think steel pans, stalls where you can pick up unique presents, Santa’s grotto and a rum shack.
7 Drink in a Christmas tree covered pub at The Churchill Arms, Kensington
This pub is known for being one of the most beautiful in London with the exterior covered in hanging baskets of flowers. But at Christmas, they take it to a whole other level. The hanging baskets are replaced with ACTUAL CHRISTMAS TREES. Last year, the pub beat their own record with 90 conifers decorating the roof, outside and inside the pub as well as 21,000 lights. Nothing says Merry Christmas like a Christmas tree, and this pub has plenty of them.
What are you most looking forward to doing in London this winter?