THE temperature is dropping. Your fluffy slippers are out instead of your thongs and you have your trench coat on instead of your bikini. It’s winter time in London and it’s time for a different, more traditional and far chillier festive season.
If you are planning on staying in London town over the festive season get ready to say “goodbye” to seafood, backyard cricket and fresh mango and say a big “hello” to mulled wine, delicious roasts, log fires, ice skating and *fingers crossed* snow.
As London lights up with dazzling Christmas lights and incredible Christmas displays, get involved in the huge array of Yuletide treats that will fill you with Christmas cheer (scrooges included). Here are our top ten of the off-the-beaten track London Christmas offerings:
Meow Meow at Southbank Centre
She is Australian, she perfectly combines humour and sex appeal and she is doing her own deliciously dark twist on a Christmas Classic. She is Meow Meow. Check out the UK premiere of Meow Meow’s Little Match Girl at Southbank Centre.
Dates: 13 – 30 December.
Christmas panto with a twist
Love a Christmas panto but want to enjoy a (few) mulled wines whilst watching it?
Check out Comatose Beauty at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. The now legendary RVT Panto is back this December with a unique (and very adult) reworking of a British Panto Classic, starring Mz Kimberley, Myra DuBois, Lorraine Bowen, Alp Haydar, Holestar and Sharia Law.
Date: 5 December
Christmas themed pop-up cinema
Sing along with Jack Skellington, swoon over Johnny ‘Scissorhands’ Depp and scream “Santa… I know him!!” at the top of your lungs as you enjoy all the best Christmas films at this year’s Christmas pop-up Cinema in Brick Lane.
Date: 18 December
Kick an elf out of the workshop, and make your own presents
Don’t get your best friend socks this Christmas. Learn how to make Christmas presents fit for the Queen, such as Christmas themed cookies or homemade jam – just like Kate Middleton did for the royal family last Christmas.
Share the love this Christmas
Spend Christmas under the mistletoe. Meet someone new at the annual Speed Dater singles Christmas party. With match up games and over 200 singles, you may end up having “All I want for Christmas is you” stuck in your head all Christmas.
Date: 8 December
Mulled wine magic
Stuff your face with delicious bratwurst, warm yourself up with a glass (or ten) of mulled wine, stroll through the traditional German-style wooden huts along the river and catch up on any last minute Christmas shopping for friends gifts (and maybe a little something for yourself) at the South Bank markets.
Dates: Until 23 December
Skate the winter blues away
Big fan of Blades of Glory? Get your skates on (and lycra if you are so inclined) and carve up some ice at the Somerset House ice skating rink. Not much of a skater? Never mind! Ice skating is also a really good spectator sport! Enjoy a glass of mulled wine and check out the skating talent.
Dates: 16 November to 6 January
Collectables and celebrities
Fancy a festive season rummage and perhaps a little star spotting? Actors from popular TV shows including Doctors, Emmerdale and Coronation Street preside over this year’s annual Curtain Up Christmas market. Get your friends pressies that no one else will have and pick up a bargain for yourself. Choose from collectables, crafts, jewellery, bunting, handbags, cakes and more.
Date: 9 December
Run, pudding, run
Have you ever seen a pudding run?? The Great Christmas Pudding Race is back on this year. Yippy! Watch as teams navigate themselves around a complex obstacle course whilst trying to keep a tasty Christmas pudding on a plate. Hilarious! A fun day out is guaranteed with entertainment and guest celebrities, all in the name of supporting Cancer research.
Date: 1 December
Cost: Free to watch
On Dasher and Dancer, Donner and Blitzen. They might not be able to fly or deliver presents all over the world in one night, but they definitely are real deer. Head to Richmond park to see beautiful deer frolic freely in the park.
Dates: Any time
So go on, warm up those carolling vocal cords, bulk-up those shopping bag carrying arm muscles and stretch those stomachs to make room for all the feasting. It’s Christmas time: let the eating, drinking, shopping, film watching and ice skating fun begin.
Vote now in our poll of the best Aussie Christmas songs for 2012.