London is the prettiest of the cities during the festive winter period, and it’s definitely one of the best places in the world to spend the winter holidays as it has so many things to offer!
Some things were different from the older times as the Natural History Museum ice rink closed down a year ago and the Harrods didn’t get a magnificent glow up as it did with Dior last year.
Disclaimer: this post contains the mentions of some sponsored/gifted experiences.
1. Visit the best festive locations
I gathered all the best locations for Christmas season 2023 for you!
Bond street is usually my favourite go-to place to enjoy the decorations, and this year it was as magnificent as ever! Crowns and precious jewellery items decorate the street for the second winter, and high-end boutiques always have a battle of the best decorations: Cartier, Dior, and Ralph Lauren were absolute winners this season and Hermes has the cutest snow installation as well.
Mayfair jewels: Burlington arcade and Annabel’s
Burlington arcade (as well as the Royal arcade by the way) is obviously worth a visit too: now it has classic wreath decorations paired with some Christmas shop displays. And don’t forget to treat yourself to some Laduree festive macarons! Mayfair with its restaurants and hotels is another go-to place, and don’t you dare miss the giant hot air balloon decoration from Annabel’s.
Fortnum and Mason
Fortnum and Mason is another indisputable star of the show with their enormous advent calendar lighting up the date every day with the Piccadilly street all lit up with beautiful lights.
Knightsbridge is all glowing with Christmas lights this season – this year Harrods has a Valentino Christmas tree, and their Christmas shop is as nice (and crowded) as usual. Harvey Nichols has a bright shimmering displays too.
Christmas Champagne bar at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park hotel was also a nice addition to the area.
Belgravia has always been a nice destination for me however this year it’s a bit disappointing: if not for the Neill facade, L’Eto desserts and Pantechnicon, I’d probably skipped it at all.
Covent garden feels special during every season but even more so in winter. This year we finally said farewell to the white baubles and mistletoes and welcomed giant bells which look very festive and vibrant! Clos Maggiore restaurant was as pretty as usual.
No Christmas is Christmas in London without seeing the Angels of Regent’s Street – don’t worry, they are there this year too, and the shops displays starting the early sale season – HM home, Ted Baker, Kate Spade and many more – and Cakes and Bubbles cafe are awaiting for the visitors. However as the gossips go, the next year the Angel installations are to be removed. Adjacent streets are dressed up nicely as well.
City of London
City of London might not be the most obvious destination however it is dressed up for Christmas as well: apart from the Bank area, head to Sky garden and their Sky pods for a glass of bubbles and have a look at the Leadenhall market!
St Pancras station and King’s Cross station
St Pancras station and King’s Cross station had the most unusual and magical Christmas trees this year: first was produced in the form of a large pile of books and the second, given that Hogwarts express parts from King’s Cross, was dedicated to the platform 9 3/4!
Oxford street with Selfridges has always been one of my go to places around Christmas is another Christmassy location in London however I must note that it’s never been the same after the pandemic with major shopping mall destinations closed forever and many cheap unimpressive souvenir and lollipop shops opened – maybe it’ll return to its full glory in the future?
Chelsea and Trafalgar Square must be among other places you might want to visit.
2. Visit Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland remains one of the places-to-go during winter for me, and although it gets more and more crowded each year, it is still a nice place to visit. Book tickets in advance as well as ride tokens, game coins and food vouchers.
Food stalls include the Bavarian village, Christmas markets, games and so many more – have you been? This year we’re also visiting the Fondue experience, stay tuned for my coverage!
3. Have a festive eating experience
London has a wide variety of gastronomic experiences, and I’d highly recommend you to have a Christmas feast in London during the winter season.
You might go for the special festive menu like the Polar Bear one in the Ivy with a fantastic selection of cocktails and food for every taste. Another not-to-miss option is a Christmas afternoon tea – usually hotels are the best destination for that.
4. Christmas in the Zoo
Again, London Zoo got very well prepared for the Christmas holidays: it had many Christmas trees, food stalls with marshmallows for toasting, Santa meeting points, advent calendar dedicated to different animals and super pretty decorations!
5. Christmas at Kew
I wanted to visit Christmas at Kew for ages but never managed to book tickets. This year the dream came true, and I must sincerely tell you that this is a fantastic experience.
This is a three km long trail with different musical installations, a small food market, merry go round, Santa house and with the main shop open till late. Beehive looks absolutely extraterrestrial and some alleys have Hogwards vibes.
But my absolute favourite were Singing fountains, all lit with different lights and moving according to the world famous tunes!
You might also like:
Dublin at Christmas
London: festive food
British rustic Christmas
Furoshiki: Japanese Christmas
Merry Christmas, and I hope you liked my blog!