It’s not long left until Christmas, which means London is in full festive swing. Elaborate light installations and beautiful decorations hang on every street, there’s a Christmas tree in every shop and a special festive sandwich, burger or drink in every restaurant and bar.
People are flocking to the Christmas markets and ice-rinks to feast on German sausages, guzzle mulled-wine by the gallon and skate in the shadow of iconic landmarks.
London has so much going on over the festive period that it can sometimes get a little overwhelming, and this is where us bloggers come in. We spend all of our time, and money, exploring the city and writing about it to help others see what London has to offer. This is why I decided to ask some of the London blogging community and find out what their favourite things to do in London in winter were.
Hope you enjoy, and make sure to check out these guy’s awesome blogs and social pages too!
The best things to do in London in Winter:
London best winter events, pop-ups, venues, activities and more…
A cosy dinner at Dalloway Terrace
By Louise from Louise Loves London
Dalloway Terrace is a beautiful alfresco restaurant and bar at The Bloomsbury Hotel. I love this place because the surroundings are amazing. It always gets me in a festive mood, and you actually feel like being part of a winter fairytale. Dalloway Terrace has something for everybody. The dinner dishes are amazing – and I would love to try their Afternoon Tea as well.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
By Louise from Louise Loves London
I actually thought that this place was mostly for children, but boy oh boy how I was wrong. First of all, Winter Wonderland is incredibly beautiful and cosy in spite of the size! I simply love the Bavarian Village, which is the place to go for yummy German hot-dogs, corny music and mulled wine/beer.
Secondly, Winter Wonderland is really quite romantic! My boyfriend and I fell completely in love again and he even got me a reindeer teddy! (as cheesy as it sounds, I was in heaven), so if you haven’t visited Winter Wonderland yet, you simply need to go!
The delicious hot chocolate
By Charlotte from Not So Basic London
Christmas is THE best excuse in the world to drink and eat as much as you want. When it’s freezing cold outside and the cafes have made themselves look all Christmasy, to sit there with a cup of chocolate is the best thing to do ever!
London has some AMAZING hot chocolates to drink and I’m not talking brown, watery liquid vaguely tasting of chocolate. I mean thick luxurious, quirky hot chocolates that are like a dessert in a cup.
SAID Dal 1923 in Soho is probably the most indulgent. They cover the cup in molten white, milk and dark chocolate first before pouring in the drinking chocolate.
If that’s a bit too messy and you’re a fan of marshmallow, Chin Chin Labs in Camden Market top it with toasted marshmallow. A LOT of toasted marshmallows. Definitely two places you need to visit at Christmas!
The quiet green spaces
By Charlotte from A Peace of London
My favourite thing to do over Christmas would have to be to pull on my walking boots and explore one of London’s massive green spaces such as Epping Forest or Richmond Park, or somewhere less well-known such as Waterlow Park or Valentine’s Park.
Christmas in London can be a bit overwhelming with the crowds, cinnamon-spiced-anything and constant consumerism merriment (just call me the Grinch) but our green spaces don’t change from day to day and they are one the MAJOR perks of living in London. There’s something very comforting about exploring and just enjoying the moment — no jingle bells required…
Christmas movies in a festive setting
By Joanne from Love Pop-Ups London
Recently I went to the latest London Pop Up Screen. Pop Up Screens returns this winter with a Christmas themed cinema showing various Christmas movies across December.
There is a bar area to grab a mulled wine, or hot chocolate, and popcorn before entering an old style fashioned living room where you can hear stories and poetry being read. I could have easily sat down and listened to the gentlemen all night but the film was going to start soon so I had to move on otherwise I would have been left in the living room “home alone”.
So on I adventured through the magical wardrobe leading me into Narnia (well similar). There was snow everywhere and even snow falling from above. There was even an old-fashioned lamp post plus a few fake snow covered pine trees.
The screening room was still very much themed with snow everywhere and the screen being framed with cutouts of snow-covered trees made it feel very festive.
There was plenty of seating to choose from and all seats were like chairs you would get at a school assembly but the back row had higher seating so I chose those as this way I could then see over everyone and not have someone’s head in my way. The sound and picture of the screen are sharp which made it a joy to watch.
So if you are looking for something festive to do and love movies then ‘Pop Up Screens’ is a must.
The Christmas decorations
By Amanda from The Boutique Adventurer
In the last couple of years, there has been a step-change in how London decorates itself for Christmas. Prior to that, Christmas was mostly about the Oxford Street lights and the Selfridges windows. Now creativity has exploded across the city with everyone becoming part of making London more festive and Instagram friendly!
The Ivy in Chelsea has become known for its seasonal themed displays and it has outdone itself this Christmas. For something quite different, check out Central St Martin’s design school in Granary Square for a modern colourful take on Christmas. And finally, Covent Garden now takes Christmas to a whole new level with mini markets and decorations and lights galore.
Can’t wait to see how London outdoes itself next year!
The quirky winter pop-ups
By Emily from London City Calling (me!)
My favourite thing to do in London in winter has to be visiting all the fun and festive pop-ups!
Each year there seem to be more and more winter pop-ups appearing all over London. From the giants such as Winter Wonderland and Winterville to the smaller newbies such as Winterland and the Riverside Igloos, there’s more than enough to keep you occupied throughout winter in London.
First appearing in London in 2016, Coppa Club’s igloos were immediately a huge hit and have become a winter staple in London. Over the last couple of years, Coppa Club has even have upgraded the igloos to more permanent structures.
Located on the bank of the River Thames, the igloos are available to privately hire for drinks or dinner for groups of up to 8 people. The inside of the igloos are heated and lined with sheepskin blankets and rugs, creating a cosy atmosphere to enjoy a festive dinner with friends.
What’s your favourite thing to do in London in the winter?
Let me know in the comments below or drop me an email at emily[at]londoncitycalling[dot]com to be featured on the list…