This year, I’ve taken some rather alternate routes to celebrating the holiday season. It’s not really been a conscious choice, but I’ve had some of the best Christmas parties, drinks, and experiences doing them! If you’re in London and looking for something different to do (or if you’re sick of the traditional Christmas already) why not give these a go?
The Kitty Hawk, 11, 13 & 14 South Place, EC2M 7EB | Moorgate or Liverpool Street Stations
Forget roasting chestnuts by the fire – it’s time to drink, chat and be merry round the fire instead! I really enjoyed visiting The Kitty Hawk a few weeks ago to try their Christmas menu and drinks too – they do delicious mocktails alongside their cocktails, great vegetarian options, and more. But the real highlight is their high table with live fire… So cosy!
Not-So Christmassy Cuisine
I walked past a sign outside a restaurant in Soho last weekend, and it said “‘Tis the season for a Thai Curry”. It made my laugh, and then realise that all I’ve done since December started was eat Asian cuisine! It makes quite a nice change though – with so many meet-ups and gatherings around the holiday season, alternative eateries make a welcome change to the usual roast dinner. My favourites so far have been Ping Pong’s dim sum and Dishoom’s Bombay-meets-Gatsby curries!
Last year I really enjoyed getting crafty, making my own wreath and even trying a little macramé! This year, I’m planning on doing something similar using Airbnb’s Festive Experiences. They’ve curated a series of workshops in and around London including ceramic painting, woodcut printing, and gingerbread house making!
South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX | Waterloo or Embankment Stations
I love South Bank Centre’s take on Christmas. In fact, I love South Bank Centre’s take on most things – down to the lobster and lips decorations on their Christmas trees! However, it’s their Finnish Rooftop Sauna that has caught my eye. I love a good spa session, so to do so outside in chilly London air has me intrigued! Definitely on my wishlist this year.
Carnaby Street, Soho, W1F | Piccadilly Circus or Oxford Circus Stations
If the huge fir trees, mistletoe and lights at Covent Garden seem a bit too cliché, try heading to Carnaby Street’s carnival-themed lights! Carnaby Street has probably been called alternative far too many times, but their giant parrots, party poppers and palm trees are the antithesis to all that fake snow. One of my favourite displays this year!
Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park | Marble Arch or Hyde Park Corner Stations
The final one on my list is the terribly cheesy but delightful Winter Wonderland. I went a few weeks ago with friends and was surprised at just how large the place is! When I think of Christmas I don’t usually think of rollercoasters but I almost died of laughter on the Wild Mouse rollercoaster – it’s worth going just for the fun of it!