Admire the Regent Street Christmas Lights
The Regent Street Christmas lights are undoubtedly always one of the most elaborate and popular Christmas light displays in the city, with last years beautiful ‘Spirit of Christmas’ themed installation seeing floating angels line the street all the way from Oxford Circus at one end to Waterloo Place at the other.
The date of the Regent Street Christmas lights switch on is yet to be announced, other than the fact it will be at some point in November.
Hit the Regent Street Shops
Regent Street is one of London’s most prestigious shopping areas, with many big clothing brands such as Ted Baker, Michael Kors, LEVI’s, GANT, French Connection, Calvin Klein, Barbour, Hollister, Superdry and Uniqlo (to name just a few).
If you’re looking for the best Regent Street shops for Christmas gifts I’d recommend Liberty London, where you can pick up a variety of gorgeous cosmetics and perfumes, elegant jewellery and clothing, beautiful smelling candles and fancy chocolates, or of course the famous Hamleys Toy Shop, with 7 stories of fun straight from a child’s imagination.
Whether you’re looking to pick up the perfect gift, or just wanting to treat yourself to a little luxury this winter, the Regent Street shops will have everything you need.
Take a detour to Carnaby London
Just off of Regent Street you will find the group of 13 pedestrian streets which make up Carnaby London. Carnaby is filled with major clothing and cosmetic brands as well as independent fashion boutiques, plenty of restaurants and cafes, and a few small English pubs perfect for an afternoon pint.
Carnaby is always another beautiful place to visit at Christmas, with last years unique Carnaby Christmas lights theme tying in with the V&A museums exhibition ‘You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970’.
Grab some dinner
Regent Street itself has some beautiful restaurants and cafes such as Hawksmore, which specialises in steak and seafood, and the luxurious Caffe Concerto serving cakes, afternoon tea and high-quality Italian dishes.
If you’re looking for something a little less crowded and quite a bit cheaper, try heading down one of the side streets instead. One of my personal favourites is Japanese Izakaya Sakagura, nestled within Heddon Street Courtyard.
Within nearby Carnaby, you’ll find Kingly Court with its cosy central courtyard. Here you have restaurants such as Pizza Pilgrims, the Rum Kitchen and Dirty Bones.
On Beak Street there’s Flat Iron steakhouse, whilst on Ganton Street you’ll find The Diner, serving American comfort food, and Mother Mash, with delicious British classic Pie and Mash.
Go for drinks at the Icebar
Icebar London is located on Heddon Street, just off of Reget Street, and is a unique drinking experience where the walls, bar, tables and even cups are all made of crystal clear ice from Northern Sweden.
Each year the bar is completely transformed by a team of highly skilled ice designers and sculptors. Last years theme was Wild in the City, with animal sculptures, such as this beautiful gorilla below, sprinkled in with carvings of London landmarks such as the London Eye, St Pauls and even a classic red telephone box.
Drinks are served in square ice glasses which you’ll definitely need your gloves on to hold (don’t worry these are supplied along with a thermal poncho).
There is a selection of themed cocktails such as ‘Born to be Wild’ (vodka, passoa, passion fruit, lychee and lemon), Go Hippo or Go Home (gin, raspberry, pineapple, lemon and vanilla) or King of the Jungle (champagne, vodka and strawberry).
Your first cocktail comes free with entry, however, after this you pay £6.90 per refill.
You are given a 45 minutes slot in which to enjoy the bar – trust me you don’t need any longer in -5 degrees c!
After your slot in the Icebar is over you can thaw off in the warm bar with some more drinks. The warm bar’s menu is different from the Icebar, serving wine and beer as well as plenty more cocktails.
My favourite was definitely the Crumble (Vanilla Vodka, Vanilla Syrup, Apple Juice, Blackberry, Cinnamon Powder). A good choice for those with a sweet tooth as it tastes just like the desert!
There is also a warm cocktail option called the Rum Blazer (Rum, Crème de Framboise Liqueur, Grenadine Syrup, Strawberry, Blackberry, Raspberry, Cinnamon Powder) for those still struggling warm themselves up.