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Wishing readers of Memoirs Of A Metro Girl a Happy Christmas

Wishing all MOAMG readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Wishing my readers a Merry Christmas

We’re approaching the end of 2016 and it’s been quite a year. Politically the country and the world is in turmoil right now.

It’s that time of year when London becomes somewhat of a ghost town for a few days when many of the capital’s residents flee to their hometowns across the country and overseas to spend the festive period with family… or perhaps in the sunshine.

As for me, I’ll be spending another Christmas here in London, as I always do, with my family. Yet again, my lifetime hope for a white Christmas is unlikely to be realised this year.

For those who are staying in the capital over the festive period, here’s a few ideas of things to do:

– If you fancy a spot of ice-skating at one of London’s many pop-up rinks, check out where to go here.

– Sip on a festive cocktail from one of these London bars.

– For a what’s on guide to what’s on in London this Christmas, click here.

– Or if you need some ideas of how to see in the New Year, click here.

See you in 2017 for more London fun and frolics!

Metro Girl

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Beyond The Waterfall review: Travel to another world in a surreal cocktail experience

© Marcus Peel

Beyond The Waterfall is a surreal experience, combining entertainment, cocktails and fantasy
© Marcus Peel

Many of you have probably heard of Bompas & Parr, the food and drink wizards who have created a series of sensory, taste experiences. I visited their Alcoholic Architecture – a room full of inhalable alcohol in Borough Market earlier this year and was looking forward to visiting subsequent projects. When I heard about their special Christmas experience – Beyond The Waterfall – I knew it was right up my street. It combines an immersive theatrical experience and cocktails so I was eager to take part.

This week, I was fortunate enough to be invited to their special preview night. Beyond The Waterfall is located in the plush The Village area of Westfield London – surrounded by designer shops. The fact they have managed to turn what I presume was a standard retail unit into a magical land is pretty impressive. Standing outside the front door, we were treated to a glimpse of what to expect as we peered through the windows to see the gloomy and misty lagoon. Upon entering, we were greeted by who I would describe as glamorous nautical advisers, giving us warnings of what to expect and tokens to exchange later for fantastical concoctions.

The first part of the journey was across a 20 metre lagoon – yes, they have actually created a huge water feature in a shopping centre. We boarded small, individual boats and made our way up the lagoon – with varying degrees of success in terms of speed and direction, depending on your paddling skills! Fortunately, there are strategically placed seafarers along the way to guide or push you in the right direction – which is ultimately ‘beyond the waterfall’. Don’t worry, you won’t get wet (unless you want to!), as waterproof ponchos and a large umbrella for the actual waterfall part are provided.

Beyond The Waterfall © Marcus Peel

Journey through a lagoon and Beyond The Waterfall
© Marcus Peel

A quick pit stop with a wise man gives you an insight into the faraway world you have travelled to and the chance to show off your drinking skills as you down your first cocktail – an interesting brown liquid in a bottle. Finally, we ended up in the hidden cavern – a mythical cocktail bar staffed by mermen and the very fabulous host Ruby. After being greeted with some welcome punch, we settled down to peruse the menu and mingle with the mermen, who entertained us with their various talents. The cocktail menu has been inspired by the sea and features unusual ingredients such as undersea botanicals, real gunpowder and rare ambergris. I ended up enjoying a Shipwreck Sour (Shipwreck cider brandy, Coral Calvados, Creme de Peche, lemon juice, shipwreck bitters and egg white), which was frothy and sweet.

Overall, we had a really fun experience. My friend and I embraced the spirit of the event and enjoyed the various flavours of alcohol we tried. The staff and entertainers we encountered along the way certainly brought a sense of adventure and theatrics so we felt a world away from the bustling shops of Westfield outside. The event has been so popular, further dates are likely to get added, so I really recommend keeping an eye out for more tickets.

  • Beyond The Waterfall runs from 9 – 23 December 2016. At The Village, Westfield London, Ariel Way, White City, W12 7GF. Nearest station: Shepherd’s Bush, White City or Shepherd’s Bush Market. Open 4-10pm. Tickets are time-slotted and last 60 minutes. Tickets: £15 (includes 2 drink tokens). For tickets, visit Westfield London website.

For a guide to what else is on in London in December, click here.

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Guide to New Year’s Eve parties in London 2016/2017

© Bourne & Hollingsworth

Run away to the Dark Circus Party this New Year’s Eve
© Bourne & Hollingsworth

After Brexit, Trump and a string of entertainment icons dying, it’s safe to say many of us are looking forward to seeing the back of 2016. Fortunately, there’s a host of celebrations to help you welcome in 2017, from clubbing, to meals and fancy dress or fireworks, depending on your taste and budget. With all the listings below, I would highly recommend booking in advance to take advantage of some early bird prices and to avoid disappointment as many will sell out. Many events won’t be taking walk-ups. The festivities have divided into the best events in Central, North, South, East and West London to help you plan your last night of 2016.

Don’t forget, TFL will be providing free public transport from 11.45pm on New Year’s Eve until 4.30am on New Year’s Day.

Central London

  • New Year’s Eve firework display over the River Thames

Thousands expected to take to the north and south of the River to watch the fireworks display near the London Eye. Since 2014, City Hall has introduced a fee to cover costs. Tickets went on sale in November. There will be a lot of congestion or potential closures of some tube stations around the Embankments so check with TFL before you travel. For more information of where you can and can’t access without a ticket, visit the London.gov.uk website.

  • New Year’s Eve Stand Up Show – Comedy Store

Start your night off with some comedy from MC Charlie Baker, Jo Caulfield, Markus Birdman, Larry Dean, Phil Nichol. After you’ve laughed yourself silly, there will a DJ spinning tracks after for some dancing. Doors open at 5pm, 2 shows at 6pm and 9.30pm. Tickets £26-£52. The Comedy Store, 1a Oxendon Street, SW1Y 4EE. Nearest stations: Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Comedy Store website.

  • New Year at the White Mansion

Flamboyant party spread over two floors, including 1 art room, 1 VIP area and 2 lounges. Featuring DJs Joffrey Bogart, Fabrizia, Amin Sane, musicians Aaron Liddard and Sam, live performers and entertainers. Dress code: White. 9pm-4am. Tickets start at £24. Address to be sent to guests 48 hours beforehand. For tickets, visit The Mansion London website.

  • Prohibition 1920s New Year’s Eve party

Say hello to 2017 in 1920s style at this prohibition-themed party, includes live music, gramophone DJs, gambling, dancers and cocktails. Dress code: 1920s. 9pm-3am. Tickets: £55 or £65 with a dance class. In a secret London location to be revealed two weeks before. For more information, visit the Bourne And Hollingsworth website. Read the rest of this entry

Cheers to Christmas! Where to sip London’s sweetest cocktails this festive season

An 'Apres-Ski Sharer' cocktail at Piste pop-up at Archer Street

An ‘Apres-Ski Sharer’ cocktail at Piste pop-up at Archer Street

In the run up to Christmas, it’s the busiest time in most Londoners’ social calendars. No doubt many friends will be meeting for a cocktail (or three) in one of the capital’s various bars. With so many venues, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to places to drink. However, if you’re looking for something extra festive, why not sip on a Christmas-themed cocktail?

Here’s Metro Girl’s round-up of the top Christmas cocktails on offer in London this 2016 season:

  • Aquum

Clapham’s late night destination has recently had a more food-focused makeover. For December, they’ve given the beloved Espresso Martini a Christmas twist – the ‘Vanilla Espression’ (£9) including Cariel Vanilla Vodka, Tia Maria, Espresso and Sugar Syrup).

Aquum, 68-70 Clapham High Street, Clapham, SW4 7UL. Nearest stations: Clapham North, Clapham High Street or Clapham Common. For Metro Girl’s review of Aquum, click here. 

  • Cahoots

For a night out with a difference, head to Soho’s secret drinking den Cahoots, which recreates post-WW2 London in a ‘tube station’. The drinks menu is heavily influenced by wartime tipples. Their festive offering is ‘The Stocking Stuffer’ (Christmas spiced Bombay sapphire, signature almond mince pie sweet mix, sultana grapes infused with Martini Rosso, pink grapefruit, topped up with Bulmers pressed red grapes cider).

Cahoots, 13 Kingly Court, Soho, W1B 5PW. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For Metro Girl’s review of Cahoots, click here.

© Cahoots

‘The Stocking Stuffer’ at 1940s-themed basement bar Cahoots

  • Dirty Bones

American diner Dirty Bones have created a sweet festive concoction – ‘Mince Pie Bramble’ (Bombay Sapphire gin, lemon juice, brandy and port-infused mince pie reduction (£8).

Dirty Bones – branches in Kensington Church Street, Carnaby Street and Club Row, Shoreditch. Nearest stations: High Street Kensington, Oxford Circus or Shoreditch High Street. For Metro Girl’s review of Dirty Bones, click here. Read the rest of this entry

When’s the Coca-Cola Christmas Truck visiting London?

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Find out when the Coca-Cola Christmas truck is rolling into London

Yes, it’s shamelessly commercial… but so much of Christmas is these days whether you like to admit it or not! However, there are many who delight in hearing that familiar theme song and the sight of the big red truck as the Coca-Cola lorry journeys around the UK spreading Christmas cheer. Last year, I spotted the truck in Leicester Square, complete with fake snow, which admittedly made me feel very festive indeed.

The Coca-Cola Christmas truck will be giving the public the chance to explore a ‘special winter wonderland’ and receive a free 150ml can of Coca-Cola Classic, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar or Diet Coke. There is also a chance to win a Santa’s sack full of goodies worth £5,000.

Here’s when the Coca-Cola truck will be making pit-stops in London:

  • 1 December : Watford High Street, Watford, WD17 2BD. Nearest station: Watford High Street. 1-9pm.
  • 3 – 4 December : The O2, Peninsula Square, North Greenwich, SE10 0DX. Nearest station: North Greenwich. 12-8pm.
  • 14 December : Asda Leyton Mills, Marshall Road, Leyton, E10 5NH. Nearest station: Leyton. 1-9pm.
  • 18 December : London Eye, South Bank, SE1 7PB. Nearest station: Waterloo. 1-9pm.
  • 20 December : Leicester Square, WC2H. Nearest station: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. 12-8pm.

For a guide to what else is on in London in December, click here.

To find out about London’s Christmas markets and fairs, click here or for the capital’s open-air ice rinks, click here.

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Guide to what’s on in London in December 2016

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Santa’s on his way!

A festive bomb has been dropped on London turning everything sequinned, red and green. As you would expect, a host of Christmas themed activities and events are on around the capital. However, if you’re feeling seasonally jaded, there’s some regular events like film and arts festivals on around town. Here’s Metro Girl’s guide to what’s on in the capital this December.

For ideas on where to spend New Year’s Eve in London, click here.

Fancy a festive cocktail? Here’s where to find London’s Christmas tipples.

  • 1 December : Christmas In The Queen’s House

Late night opening of the Queen’s House in Greenwich with the 17th century building turned into a giant advent calendar with surprises behind every door. 6.30-9pm. Tickets: £25 (£20 conc). Queen’s House, Romney Road, Greenwich, SE10 9NF. Nearest station: Cutty Sark (DLR) or Greenwich. For booking, visit the Royal Museums Greenwich website.

  • 1 – 4 December : London Illustration Fair

Four day event celebrating illustration, featuring artist-led stands, talks, workshops, music, DJs, live signings. Open Thur 6-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 11am-6pm. Entry: £6 advance, £8 on the door, Under 12s free. Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bankside, SE1 9PH. Nearest station: Blackfriars or Waterloo . For more information, visit the London Illustration Fair website.

  • 1, 8, 15 and 22 December : Live Music Sessions @ St Martin’s Courtyard

Festive gospel choir Get Gospel will be entertaining shoppers on Thursday evenings throughout December. 5,30-8.30pm. Free. Martin’s Courtyard, Covent Garden, WC2E 9AB. Nearest station: Leicester Square or Covent Garden. For more information, visit the St Martin’s Courtyard website.

  • 1 – 10 December : Dolce by Ferrero Rocher pop-up

Italian chocolatier Ferrero Rocher are hosting a pop-up dessert experience. Open from 1-11pm. Sessions last 45 minutes: £10 for walk-ins and £15 for pre-booked slots (includes a glass of Prosecco). Dolce, 21 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard, Covent Garden, WC2E 9AB. Nearest station: Leicester Square or Covent Garden. For booking, visit the Dolce by Ferrero Rocher website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post on Dolce, click here.

  • 1 – 22 December : Art For Love Christmas Festival

Three weeks of festive entertainment at Devonshire Square in the City of London. Line-up includes Get Gospel choir, Michael Jackson tribute dance show, penguin visit, acrobatic arts show in the Winter Globe, live music from Zalon, Girls On Sax and Sammie Jay. Show times vary between lunchtime and evenings. Free. Devonshire Square, City of London, EC2M. Nearest stations: Liverpool Street or Aldgate. For more information, visit the Devonshire Square website.

  • 1 – 23 December : Christmas at Trafalgar Square

After the lighting of the Christmas Tree on 1 December (a gift from Norway), there is daily carol singing in the Square between 5 – 23 December and the Blessing of the Crib on 4 December. Carol singing between 4-8pm weekdays and 2-6pm weekends. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC1. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square or Embankment. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.

  • Now until 2 December : London Lift-Off Film Festival

The London branch of the international Lift-Off Film Festival, which gives a platform to independent filmmakers. Screenings taking place nightly. Charlotte Street Hotel, Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 1RJ. Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road or Goodge Street. For more information, visit the Lift-Off Film Festival website.

  • 2 – 4 December : Portobello Winter Festival

The iconic west London market gets a festive makeover featuring vintage and pop-up stalls, Christmas rum shack, steel pan band, live music and dancers and Grotto wonderland for the kids. 10am-8pm. Free entry. Portobello Road, Notting Hill, W10 5QZ. Nearest station: Notting Hill Gate. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

  • 2 – 11 DecemberLondon International Animation Festival

Showcase of animation from around the world featuring gala premieres, retrospectives, filmmakers Q&As, workshops, audience voting and screenings. Tickets start from £11.50 (Barbican session tickets) to £95 for full pass. At the Barbican, The Horse Hospital, Close-Up Cinema and The Whitechapel Gallery. For more information and tickets, visit the LIAF website.

  • Now until 3 December : Pigs Ear Beer And Cider Festival

Annual beer festival in conjunction with CAMRA, featuring over 230 real ales plus ciders, perries and bottled beers, food stalls and unique festival brews. Opening hours TBC. Entry: £3 (members), £5 (non-members). Round Chapel, Powerscroft Road, Hackney, E5 0PU. Nearest station: Hackney Downs or Hackney Central. For more information, visit the Pig’s Ear website.

  • 3 December : The Great Christmas Pudding Race

Watch or take part in the annual Great Christmas Pudding Race in Covent Garden, which sees participants dressing up and raising money for Cancer Research UK. Entertainment starts at 11am, first race at 12.10pm. Covent Garden Piazza, WC1. Nearest station: Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information and details on entering, visit the Xmas Pudding Race website.

  • 3 December : Beautycon

Social media influencers and celebrities will come together to talk beauty, fashion and style. Featuring Justine Skye, Estee Lalonde, Fleur DeForce, Dulce Candy and Sam and Nic of Pixiwoo. 12-6pm. Tickets start from £30. Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Beautycon website.

  • 3 – 4 December :  Santa and his huskies come to the London Wetland Centre

Special Christmas weekend event at the London Wetland Centre, where families can visit Santa’s Grotto, enjoy a sleigh ride with the huskies or a donkey ride or make decorations in the elves’ workshop. Normal admission prices to LWC apply: Adults £13.10, Children £7.20. Santa visit £6 per child (includes gift). London Wetland Centre, Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, SW13 9WT. Nearest station: Barnes. For more information, visit the WWT London Wetland Centre website.

  • 3 – 4 December : Frost Fair

Festive family event at the Museum Of London Docklands, featuring performances, interactive games and crafts. 12-4pm. Free entry. Museum Of London, No.1 Warehouse, West India Dock Road, Docklands, E14 4AL. Nearest station: West India Quay (DLR). For more information, visit the Museum Of London website.

  • 3 – 22 December : A Peninsula Christmas

Christmas extravaganza by The O2 in Greenwich Peninsula. Featuring designer-maker Christmas market, Tepee Snug Bar, Santa’s Grotto of Wonderment, Enchanted Forest, Arcola Theatre, Storybrook, Theatre Bugs Panto, Craft London Tasting Menu and many more. 12pm-late. Free entry. Greenwich Peninsula, North Greenwich, SE10. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the Greenwich Peninsula website.

  • Now until 4 December : Enchanted Woodland

Syon Park in South West London is open after hours, with an illuminated trail through the gardens and arboretum. Exciting lighting effects will transform the trees, plants and lake into a magical place. Hot food and drinks also available. Open Fri-Sun 5-9pm, last entry 8pm. Tickets: Adults £9, Children £3. Syon Park, London Road, Brentford, TW8 8JF. Nearest station: Syon Lane. For more information, visit the Enchanted Woodland website. Read the rest of this entry

You’re really spoiling us! A Ferrero Rocher pop-up dessert restaurant is opening in London

dolce by ferrero rocher

Indulge yourself at the Dolce by Ferrero Rocher pop-up experience

Christmas is one of the best times of the year to be a chocoholic. So fans of the sweet stuff may be a tad excited to hear about a special pop-up coming to London this festive season.

Italian chocolatier Ferrero Rocher are launching a pop-up dessert destination at St Martin’s Courtyard in Covent Garden. Opening on 1 December 2016 for just 10 days, guests will be able to explore the after-dinner chocolate in a multi-layered dining experience at Dolce.

Customers will savour a tasting plate of five mini hand-crafted desserts curated by Cuisson head chef and director Paul Hannagen. Then to finish will be a classic Ferrero Rocher with its smooth combination of chocolate and hazelnut.

  • Dolce by Ferrero Rocher, 21 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard, Covent Garden, WC2E 9AB. Nearest station: Leicester Square or Covent Garden. Open from 1-11pm. Sessions last 45 minutes: £10 for walk-ins and £15 for pre-booked slots (includes a glass of Prosecco). For more information, visit the Dolce by Ferrero Rocher website.

For a guide to what’s on in London this December, click here.

For a guide to London’s Christmas markets and fairs, click here.

For listings of London’s pop-up ice rinks this festive season, click here.

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Beyond The Waterfall: Take a boat trip to a magical cocktail bar at Westfield London this Christmas

Beyond The Waterfall Bompas Parr Westfield by Addie Chinn
At shopping malls across the country, it can feel like the kids are getting all the fun with their visits to Santa’s Grotto. However, this December, food and drink wizards Bompas & Parr are creating a festive experience for grown-ups.

Beyond The Waterfall is an immersive and multi-sensory Christmas adventure at The Village in Westfield London. Shoppers will be taken whisked across an undersea lagoon to a mysterious island, with mythical creatures staffing a cocktail bar.

The journey will start with guests riding across a 20m lagoon on small boats and passing through a waterfall. After disembarking on the shore, they will explore an Aladdin’s Cave full of gemstones before arriving at the secret cocktail tavern. At the bar, mermen mixologists will whip up boozy delights from the marine-inspired cocktail list. Ingredients include undersea botanicals and minerals, promising psychological, emotional and physiological reactions.

This is the latest experience from Bompas & Parr, who have been responsible for Alcoholic Architecture, the Museum of Food and Dinners With The Twits, among others. Beyond The Waterfall is one of B&P’s most ambitious projects yet, with structural engineers, mining consultants and theatrical prop-makers taking part.

Harry Parr, partner of Bompas & Parr, said: ‘Christmas is obviously a magical time of year but many people find it hugely predictable so we’ve designed a radical new form of escapism that still evokes the emotions and nostalgia of the season – the group activity draws people together, with a real sense of discovery and emotion associated with gift-giving and an indulgent treat at its heart.’

  • Beyond The Waterfall runs from 9 – 23 December 2016. At The Village, Westfield London, Ariel Way, White City, W12 7GF. Nearest station: Shepherd’s Bush, White City or Shepherd’s Bush Market. Open 4-10pm. Tickets are time-slotted and last 60 minutes. Tickets: £15 (includes 2 drink tokens). For tickets, visit Westfield London website.

For Metro Girl’s review of Beyond The Waterfall, click here.


For a guide to what’s on in London this December, click here.

For a guide to London’s Christmas markets and fairs, click here.

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Guide to open air ice rinks in London this winter 2016/2017

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Take to the ice at the Natural History Museum rink

It’s that time of year again. With the temperatures dropping and the lights a twinkling, it’s no surprise many people want to take to the ice. As usual, there are a host of pop-up, open air rinks on around town. Many are accompanied by other wintry activities and festive food and drink offerings. Here’s a guide to open-air and pop-up ice skating in London this winter season.

  • 27 October – 8 January 2017 : Natural History Museum Ice Rink

A 1,000 square metre rink in the gardens of the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. Opening hours vary. Session times last 1 hour. Adults from £12.65, Children 12 and under from £8.80. Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 5BD. Nearest station: South Kensington. To book, visit the Natural History Museum website.

  • 4 November – 25 February 2017 : Luminocity – Ice Rink Canary Wharf

Skate over ice filled with 8km of LED lights in the middle of the soaring skyscrapers of Canary Wharf. Non-skaters can watch the action from the bar or street food stalls. Session times last 1 hour. Opening times vary. Adults £9.95-£16.95, Children £9.95-£10.95. Canada Square Park, E14 5AB. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. To book, visit the Ice Rink Canary Wharf website.

  • 14 November – 2 February 2017 : Broadgate Ice

Temporary ice rink at Broadgate Circle in the City of London is open for over three months. There is also a rinkside bar and street food stalls. Open 10am-10pm. Session times last 1 hour. Adults £13.50, Children £9.50. Broadgate Ice Rink, Exchange Square, Broadgate, EC2A 2BQ. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit Broadgate’s website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Whole lotta history: Skate in the dry moat of the Tower Of London

  • 16 November – 3 January 2017 : Tower Of London Ice Rink

Skate on a rink in the moat of the Tower of London. After a skate, visit the Eis Haus Ice Experience, an immersive ice bar where you can drink out of glasses made of ice. 11am-10pm. Tickets: Adults £13.50, Children under 12: £9.50. Tower Of London (off Lower Thames Street or Tower Hill), EC3N 4AB. Nearest station: Tower Hill. To book, visit the Tower Of London Ice Rink website.

  • 17 November – 15 January 2017 : Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason

One of the original pop-up ice rinks located in the courtyard of Somerset House. As well as general skating, they also host club nights on ice and skate lessons. Session times last 1 hour and are from 10am until 10.30pm (later for club nights and New Year’s Eve). Adults from £14.65 (inc booking fee) and Children from £8.90. Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. To book, visit the Somerset House website.  Read the rest of this entry

Guide to Christmas markets and fairs in London 2016

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Head to one of the capital’s Christmas markets for festive treats

When it comes to looking for Christmas presents, many of us are tired of the same old stuff flogged at the high street chains and want to find something a bit more original or unique. Well, fortunately Christmas markets are more popular than ever with long-term and one-off and weekend ones popping up all over the capital. As well as giving you the opportunity to browse dozens of stalls, many also have plenty of festive fun and entertainment to really get you in the mood.

For a guide to London’s festive ice rinks, click here.

Fancy a festive cocktail? Here’s where to find London’s Christmas tipples.

Long-term markets

  • 11 November – 8 January 2017 : South Bank Winter Market

Wooden chalets selling festive food, drink, gifts and treats alongside the riverbank on the South Bank. Open Sun-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm. Free. Queen’s Walk, South Bank. SE1. Nearest station: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For more information, visit the South Bank London website.

  • 11 November – 8 January 2017 : Christmas in Leicester Square

The West End’s famous square will feature a Christmas market and Santa’s Grotto. A Spiegeltent will play host to La Soiree‘s variety show. Free entry to Leicester Square, but tickets required for Spiegeltent. Leicester Square, WC2H. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square.

  • 18 November – 2 January 2017 : Winter Wonderland Market

Winter Wonderland features a fun fair, food, drink, circus and an ice rink in Hyde Park over the festive period and includes a German market selling gifts too. 10am-10pm. Free entry. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch or Knightsbridge. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website. For a blog post on Metro Girl’s visit to Winter Wonderland, click here.

  • 21 November – 24 December : Islington Christmas Market

Over 60 exhibitors selling gifts and crafts, food stalls and a Santa’s Grotto. Free. The Angel Central Shopping Centre, 21 Parkfield Street, Islington, N1 0PS. Nearest station: Angel or Highbury & Islington. For more information, visit the Islington Christmas Market website.

  • 26 November – 18 December : Sutton House Christmas

Festive event and market will be taking place weekends only in the run up to Christmas in the grounds of the 16th century Sutton House. Featuring live action pantomime characters, artisans, artists, fashion and jewellery designers, ceramicists, card makers and Santa’s Grotto. 12-5pm. Free admission to market, but normal entry fees apply. Sutton House, 2 and 4 Homerton High Street, Homerton, E9 6JQ. Nearest stations: Homerton or Hackney Central. For more information, visit the National Trust website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on Sutton House Christmas.

  • 30 November – 3 January 2017 : London Bridge Presents Christmas By The River

A market featuring food, drink, craft and gift stalls across The Scoop More London, Hay’s Galleria and London Bridge City Pier. 11am-7pm. Free entry. Queen’s Walk and Hay’s Galleria, SE1 2DB. Nearest station: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information, visit the Tudor Markets website.

One-off or short-term Christmas fairs

  • 9 – 13 November : Country Living Christmas

Handmade gifts from hundreds of artisan designers and makers. There will also be a lifestyle theatre with experts giving talks and demonstrations, tea room and Cava bar. Opening times vary. Tickets: Adults £14, Children £8, Under 5s free. Business Design Centre, Islington, N1 0QH. Nearest station: Angel. For more information and tickets, visit the Country Living Fair website.

  • 10 November : Carnaby Christmas

Head to Carnaby Street as they turn on their Christmas lights and host a shopping party. The Sixties-themed event will feature 20% discount at over 120 brands, exclusive offers and entertainment including DJs, confetti shower and inflatable props. 5-9pm. Register for a free ticket on the website. Carnaby Street, Soho, W1F. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Carnaby London website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

Shop till you drop with a thoroughly festive atmosphere

  • 12 November : Christmas Bazaar @ Dulwich Picture Gallery

Over 40 local artisans will be selling crafts, pottery, jewellery, toiletries and more in bazaar organised by Dulwich Picture Gallery. 10am-5pm. Free entry. St Barnabas Parish Hall, Dulwich Village, SE21 7BT. Nearest station: North Dulwich or West Dulwich. For more information, visit the Dulwich Picture Gallery website.

  • 16 – 20 November : Finnish Church Christmas Fair

Christmas market featuring live music, Finnish treats and gifts, food and drink from the cafeteria. Opening hours vary. Free entry. Finnish Church, 33 Albion Street, Rotherhithe, SE16 7JG. Nearest station: Rotherhithe. For more information, visit the Finnish Church website.

  • 17 November : Festive Shopping Event @ Seven Dials

Get into the festive spirit with an evening of fashion, food and more as Seven Dials is closed off to traffic. Featuring live music from Old Dirty Brasstards, free wreath making and S’mores, pop-up alfresco winter bar, outdoor winter BBQ, gelato demos, free Prosecco and switching on the Christmas lights. The boutiques and eateries will be offering 20% discount. Register for a free ticket on the website for discounts and freebies. Seven Dials, Covent Garden, WC2H 9HD. Nearest station: Covent Garden or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Seven Dials website. Read the rest of this entry