I love Christmas time, especially in London; the whole city is decorated beautifully and there are so many amazing things to see and do. While there are lots of classic shows and shopping destinations to enjoy, I like to do things a little bit differently, seeking out the capital’s more alternative festive gems:
Christmas at Covent Garden
Covent Garden is the perfect alternative to the buzzing hoards of shoppers on Oxford Street, with beautiful decorations centred around the piazza, including a huge Christmas tree and thousands of pretty fairy lights.
There are lots of interesting things going on until 22nd December, including reindeer petting (every Saturday) and a really enjoyable Christmas pantomime by the Look Left Look Right theatre company. The Mulled Wine Hut, designed like a huge Christmas present, has hot apple juice, minced pies and traditionally roasted chestnuts on offer too.
I love to combine a trip to Covent Garden with some shopping; there are lots of boutique craft shops and Apple Market is great for artwork, antiques and jewellery.
The Couture Christmas Ball
The Fashion and Textile Museum opens its doors for a 1950s themed Christmas ball on December 12th, allowing you to take a step back in time for an authentic night of ball gowns, gin and tonics, slicked back hair and doo-wop hits.
Give yourself a true 50s makeover using as much creative flair as you can; it’s best enjoyed with a group of friends before heading out for Christmas drinks or dinner afterwards. This night promises to be something really special!
The Couture Christmas Ball takes place on Thursday 12th December, 6.30-9.00pm; tickets are £40 including drinks and nibbles.
Christmas Past 2013
Geffrye Museum is a really interesting little gem of East London, nestled behind beautifully-lit trees in a converted alms-house building. It traces middle-class interior design from the present day back to the 1600s, using mock bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens.
At Christmas the Geffrye’s period rooms come alive with festive touches, decorated with baubles, trees and tinsel, providing a really enjoyable insight into how Christmas was enjoyed in middle-class homes over the past 400 years.
You can discover the origins behind traditions like kissing under the mistletoe or the hanging of Christmas stockings: it’s like going back in time and reliving all your childhood Christmases at once, but better!
Christmas Past will take place from Tuesday 26th November 2013 – Sunday 5 January 2014.
American Psycho - Musical
With a wealth of Christmas shows this December, the opening of American Psycho might be overlooked had it not been for such a high billing.
For those that haven’t seen the film, it is a shocking yet satirical tale of a Wall Street banker turned sadistic serial killer who takes pleasure in expensive suits, naked rampages and chainsaws.
Largely a critique of the shallow and viscous aspects of capitalism, it’s the perfect antithesis to Christmas spirit, allowing you to appreciate what you do have that little bit more.
This highly awaited musical will open on Tuesday 3rd December at Almeida Theatre, starring former Doctor Who’ s Matt Smith as the infamous Patrick Bateman.
E17 Designers Christmas Market
This East London Christmas market is amazing for handmade silver jewellery, beautiful stones, designer ceramics, pots and plates. I love their artwork collections from local designers and homemade leather key rings; they make really nice presents.
Added festive cheer is provided with Christmas music, mulled wine, cakes, chutneys and festive smells; this is a really nice way to browse and buy without the usual last minute stressing!
E17 Designers Christmas Market can be found on Forest Road, Walthamstow on 28th November 7-10pm.
If you fancy an alternative trip to London this Christmas, why not have a look at our extensive range of fully-serviced apartments at Refresh Accommodation!