Winterland, Winter Wonderland, Winterville… There are so many festive events hitting London each December it’s hard to know what’s what anymore. That is why I’ve decided to make it my mission to try them all this year. So last week I hit the launch night of Winterville along with a few fellow bloggers; Romy (the Dutchess of London), Annabelle (Absolutely Annabelle) and Natalie (The Floral Republic).
Winterville Clapham Common
Sitting cosily in its new home on Clapham Common, Winterville is branded as the ‘alternative’ Christmas village, and with the likes of a roller disco, UV mini-golf, a secret cinema, yoga on ice and drag cabaret, it certainly lives up to the name.
Attracting Londoners wanting to avoid the crowds at Winter Wonderland, Winterville in Clapham Common is one of the best London Christmas markets for a festive night out with friends or colleagues, without being drowned in a sea of tourists and small children.
The Winterville Fairground
You can whizz around on the Mousetrap, get some cheap thrills in the haunted house or take out your friends on the dodgems. As well as the alternative attractions, Winterville still has many of the classic fairground rides. Check out my video below where we try to cover as many of them as possible in one evening!
The Big Wheel
My favourite activity of the evening had to be sitting on the big wheel with a glass of mulled wine, looking down over Winterville, Clapham Common and out across at the rest of London. If you look at the top right-hand side of the photo below you can even see Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland in the distance.
A compulsory winter activity, regardless of whether you’re gliding around the ice like a professional figure skater or clinging to the side for dear life! Winterville Clapham Common has a small ice-rink with a beautiful view across to the central Christmas tree and big wheel. The perfect photo spot, even if you’re not a fan of the skating itself.
Street Feast Winterville
For me, the key thing that makes Winterville stand out from other London Christmas markets is its fantastic food choice. Rather than simply the classic German hot dogs, pretzels and crepes that you’ll find at most festive events, Winterville has its very own Street Feast. A whole 2 story area dedicated to some of London’s best street food. Here you’ll find an assortment of amazing dishes, from jerk chicken from White Men Can’t Jerk, to crispy squid rings from INK.
Make sure to check out my personal favourite – lamb kofta, chicken and halloumi kababs from Babek Brothers. Extremely tasty, very filling and a little bit messy!
There are also some fantastic dessert options at Winterville, such as Chin Chin Labs iconic ice-creams and hot-chocolates and chunks of Nutella and Oreo brownie from SE Bakery.
Cabaret, live bands, musical bingo, Mexican wrestling and DJs can be found each night in Winterville’s Spiegeltent. Or if you’d rather be drinking you can head to the ‘town pub’ inside a large heated wooden lodge, where a party will be in full swing until closing time. There are also bars located all over the venue so that you’re never too far away from your next mulled-wine.
Tackle Backyard Cinema’s Christmas Labyrinth, a magical maze of festive surprises, to reach their enchanted woodland forest where they will be showing a selection of classic Christmas films including Elf, Love Actually, Cool Runnings and Bad Santa.
Visit Winterville 2018
This year Winterville Clapham Common runs from 15th November to 23rd December and is open from Tuesday to Sunday. Entry for Winterville 2018 costs just £2 (which is payable on the door), except Friday and Saturday after 6pm when entry is £5.