For more than a month now, I’ve spent most of my time thinking about Christmas
(but then, it comes early to London, where I first spotted mince pies at my local Sainsbury’s in September!)
Counting days, making lists (of presents, of food ideas, of things to do… the list (of lists!) is basically endless), drinking mulled wine, eating mince pies…
And now that all the Fah-la-la-la-ing has become socially acceptable, I thought it was about time for a little list of the best things to do in London for Christmas!
1. Tour the city to see the lights
This is probably my favourite thing about the festive season in London.
With all its lights twikling bright, the city looks so different and even more beautiful than the rest of the year!
Make sure your ‘light tour’ include Covent Garden (more on that below) and Regent Street as they’re my absolute faves this year!
2. Eat your weight in mince pies
Did you know that Christmas food has absolutely no calorie whatsoever? #TrueFact
(that I may or may not have just invented as I heard rumours that Crosstown Doughnuts created a Mince Pie doughnut for the festive season!!)
3. Drink hot cocktails
Mulled wine is a Christmas staple, so a few cups of it is highly recommended to get the party started!
But I’d also recommend you give Cinnamon Soho’s Rum Hot Toddy a try!
Strong, yet fragrant with notes of cinnamon, orange and all things Christmas-ey, it’s an absolute winner in my book!
4. Kiss under the mistletoe
Covent Garden‘s giant mistletoe decorations, that is.
So romantic (especially if you get a few macarons from Ladurée while you’re at it… #JustSaying).
(Please note that there are also giant disco balls, if you’re more in the mood for party!)
5. Witness (or take part in) a Santa Run!
One Santa is good, but dozens and dozens of them is better. Obviously.
6. Go to a Christmas Carol Service
Let’s be honest. You’ll have to queue in the cold. For a while.
But I promise it’ll all be worth it.
I have great memories of an Advent service at Westminster Abbey a few years ago; such beautiful voices in such a beautiful place!!
7. Taste as many Christmas specials as you can!
There’s more to Christmas food than mince pies and candy cane!
From Pret‘s Christmas Menu (I’m eye-ing the Beef Wellington baguette…) to Cranberry-and-turkey filled burgers (the beast above’s from Hache) and all sorts of cinnamon-y desserts, restaurants really are working hard at pushing that festive food thing to its limits.
Trying it all is going to be quite a challenge, but I’m not one to give up in the face of adversity.
8. Join into a Christmas street party
Christmas lights, loads of food, discounts in stores and loads of fun activities…
Basically all of the best things about Christmas packed into one night!
Carnaby Street‘s and Seven Dial’s are especially popular destinations, and other favourites of mine include Columbia Road‘s and Exmouth Market‘s.
9. Go present shopping (& window viewing!)
Departments stores are well worth touring both in search of the perfect present for everyone on your list and to see their amazing window displays.
Fortnum & Mason is always a must (I could stay hours marvelling at the details!)!
But then it seems every store has outdone itself this year (above: Paperchase, Cath Kindston & Accessorize)!
10. Getting ready for all the festive craziness to come
Christmas is probably the most tiring time of the year, so taking time for oneself ahead of it is always a good idea.
Be nice to yourself. Have nice food (and maybe throw some extra veggies inthere?). Sleep loads. Take a nice walk. Don’t stress too much about your never-ending lists. Enjoy.
Now, can I get a Fah-la-la-la-la over here?