By Karen de Villiers
People dream of being in London at Christmas. Few places in the world can capture the spirit of Christmas quite like London. And the weather is exactly what is required; part of the theme in fact. The John Lewis Christmas advertisement has me going all goosebumpy and I defy anyone who is not going to turn a little Peter Panish in the next few weeks (they even have a 24 hour Christmas channel here!),
London is a Christmas ‘candy store’. There is so much to do, it is more a case of choosing a few special treats than try to taste a little of each one. Here are a few of my favourite things to do in London for Christmas.
The Red Cup Mood Enhancer
Ok, we have all done this one before. There is nothing quite like walking in from the cold to a warm, toasty coffee store. In London, the barristas will welcome you with Christmas Hats, flashing reindeers on their heads and a smile to make you melt into the Eggnog special. Costa and Starbucks do Christmas right!
The Big Christmas Issue
The English are a nation of givers. Charity is manifest. And no matter how poor or down and out you are, seeing a seller of the issue magazine on the corner in the cold reminds me of ‘The little Matchstick Girl’. It feels good to help. You may end up with a number of Issues, it matters not.
The Ice-Skating Dream Team Contender
You have to try it. A number of venues around the city, some in the most picturesque of venues such as Somerset House or Hampton Court. You will be nervous, the shoes will numb your toes and you will look like every other ice-skater — a total idiot but it may just be the best hour of fun you have all Christmas. Now go, all in own direction, turn, in the other direction my little lemmings. Take pictures. Fall over. Enjoy.
Buying Christmas markets trinkets you will never use
Ah Christmas markets! I once ended up with a wooden, Swiss house that not even a cuckoo would nest in. Christmas markets are addictive and you will find the best of the season here:
Greenwich Market — from the 30 November until the 24 December.
Cologne Christmas Market on the Southbank — from the 18 December to the 24 December.
Horniman Christmas Market — only on the 11 December
Spitalfields Christmas Market — 10 December although the market is open daily.
Contemporary Applied Arts Xmas — from the 18 November to the 7 January.
To the fair, to the fair — Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland
Hyde Park Central. Rides, food, fun and overload on Christmas. No words really, just do it.
This is the stuff of movie sets, right here on your own doorstep. If these sights do not sweep you off your feet, if you are still griping about the tube, stuffy places and the cold, may be a bit of the Scrooge blood in them veins.
Also view the top 5 Australian Christmas songs and play the Advent Calendar to win Christmas presents