13 Places To Feel Festive In London

From German markets and alpine terraces to winter workshops and Christmas trees aplenty, the capital is at its finest this time of year. With just three weeks to go until the big day, here are 13 magical spots to keep that festive feeling flowing all the way until the 25th.

German Gymnasium

Taking inspiration from the Christmas markets of its namesake, the terrace at King’s Cross restaurant and bar German Gymnasium is decked with cosy wooden huts and adorned with winter foliage, twinkling fairy lights, warming throws and vintage toys. The Toymaker’s Workshop will be complete with warming cocktails by German gin brand Monkey 47, German fare and a festive ambience. The themed al fresco terrace runs until the end of January 2019.

King's Boulevard, King’s Cross, N1C 4BU; until 31st January

Visit GermanGymnasium.com

The Greatest Snowman

This month, immersive theatre and dining experts Funicular are inviting Londoners to board a luxury train carriage for an evening of good tidings. But all is not as it seems, as mysterious forces are at play to bring non-believers back to the land of make-believe. Guests will be treated along the way to a delicious four-course meal curated by MasterChef: The Professionals finalist Louisa Ellis. Expect sophisticated takes on caramelised cauliflower velouté, a three-bird roast and poached pear with salted caramel ice cream.

Arch 63, Pedley Street, Bethnal Green, E1 5BW; until 23rd December

Visit FunicularProductions.com 

Henrietta Hotel

New York’s famous ‘Miracle on 9th Street’ pop-up bar has crossed The Pond for the first time. The Christmas-themed bar, renowned across America for its creative cocktails garnished with a side of kitsch, is hidden away on the Henrietta Hotel’s mezzanine, where guests are transported back in time to a nostalgic Christmas. Reminiscent of a chalet living room on Christmas Eve, stockings are hung, fairy lights strung, and the Christmas tree takes centre stage. Expect a roster of Christmas concoctions, designed by Experimental Cocktail Club alumni Nico de Soto. We like the sound of the ‘Snowball Old Fashioned’ (butterscotch rye, spiced demerara, wormwood bitters and orange zest) and ‘Christmapolitan’ (vodka, elderflower, dry vermouth, spiced cranberry sauce, rosemary, lime, and absinthe mist).

14-15 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 8QG; until 23rd December

Visit HenriettaHotel.com


Hideaway – a yuletide pop-up from Ollie Dabbous’s Hide restaurant and Hedonism Wines – has opened up at Burlington Arcade. This festive pop-up is a small but perfectly formed retail emporium and cafe, offering coffee, croissants, oysters and Champagne, alongside dishes from Hide’s Michelin-starred menu: think favourites such as chicken liver parfait, fig and hibiscus chutney, and toasted brioche; melting croque monsieurs; and seasonal home-cured goose with fenugreek. More than just a place to eat, drink and socialise, a selection of jams and chutneys from Hide will be available to purchase alongside competitively priced bottles of wines and spirits, carefully curated by Hedonism’s experts. The most civilised way to do your Christmas shopping.

85 Piccadilly, Mayfair, W1J 7NB

Visit HIDE.co.uk

Hotel Café Royal

Hotel Café Royal has partnered with Diptyque to create the luxury perfumer’s first ever UK hotel Christmas trees. The scent of Diptyque’s Sapin de Lumière and Cyprès fragrances will greet guests via two high-concept trees located in the hotel’s lobby and outside the Oscar Wilde Lounge. Bespoke ornaments created for the tree have been inspired by Parisian designer Pierre Marie’s ornate embellishments and Baroque-style illustrations. Guests can complete the experience with the Diptyque afternoon tea – served in the Oscar Wilde Lounge, the menu features notes of Christmas orange, cloves, cinnamon, almond and tonka bean to create a feast for the senses. 

10 Air Street, Soho, W1B 4DY

Visit HotelCafeRoyal.com

Pear Tree Café

Take a walk through Battersea Park and visit the Christmas market on Pear Tree Café’s terrace, where 50 vendors will be selling artisan food and drink products and luxury gifts – think Paxton & Whitfield, Rococo Chocolate and Zanula cashmere blankets. Throughout the weekend of 8th-9th December, Pear Tree Café will be serving a festive menu alongside Christmas-themed crepes and mince pies. There will also be a raclette stand and a marshmallow fire pit rolling out s’mores. Spiced mulled wines, warming cocktails and hot chocolate will be served from the hatch to get guests in the yuletide mood and stay toasty whilst wandering the market. A personalised hamper service will run throughout the weekend – market goers can build the perfect gift by picking up a basket and filling it with treats and trinkets.

The Pear Tree Café, Battersea Park, SW11 4NJ; 8th-9th December

Visit PearTreeCafe.co.uk

P.F. Chang’s Asian Table

P.F. Chang’s Asian Table is celebrating the party season with the launch of an exclusive Christmas menu packed with bold, aromatic flavours. Fusing Japanese, Chinese and Korean cuisine, the three-course set menu is ideal for those who want a taste of something a bit more exotic this Christmas. We like the sound of the dessert menu: ‘Christmas Meltdown’ – a white chocolate snowman filled with honeycomb, cocoa nibs, popping candy, chocolate soil, hazelnuts and meringue; and the ‘White Chocolate Igloo’ – a white chocolate mousse igloo made with redcurrant jelly, pistachio sponge and shortbread. Get into the party spirit with tipples including the ‘Christmas Cocktail’, a twist on eggnog, made with Appleton rum, apricot liqueur and tonka syrup.

10 Great Newport Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 7JA; until 6th January

Visit PFChangs.co.uk


Renowned for its revolving arts programme and bold interiors, Sketch has not one but six immersive installations this year: each a classic Christmas scene with a twist. The iconic toilet pods are wrapped like Christmas presents, each decorated with ribbons and bows, inspired by the gift of giving. Underneath, the East Bar has been transformed into the Cîroc Vodka Bar especially for the festive period. The club’s façade and entrance hall – designed by Tony Marklew – is inspired by The Nutcracker ballet. Alongside the installations, a festive twist on afternoon tea will be served in the pink-hued gallery. Music will add to the sensory journey, with live choirs or carollers performing every afternoon throughout the exhibition period.

9 Conduit Street, Mayfair, W1S 2XG

Visit Sketch.London

Sky Garden

Sky Garden has partnered with Moët & Chandon to launch a frozen landscape in the sky. Sky Pod Bar has undergone a Christmas makeover and been transformed into a frozen garden: picture white and gold snow scenes with ice-covered sledges and penguins, where guests can enjoy a glass of Moët Imperial Brut paired with truffle popcorn. From 4th December, Sky Garden’s yuletide live music nights will begin, bringing a festive medley of Christmas hits and live gospel choir performances. Tickets start at £15 and include a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie on arrival.

20 Fenchurch Street, City, EC3M 8AF; until early 2019

Visit SkyGarden.London


Skye Gyngell’s Somerset House restaurant has announced it will serve a festive ‘Scratch’ menu on the restaurant’s final day of service before Christmas. On 22nd December, Spring will serve an anti-food waste menu, making use of any remaining produce in the kitchens before the festive break. This one-off menu will offer guests two options for each course with vegetarian alternatives for starter and mains. Scratch dishes in the past have included pasta off-cuts reinvented into pappardelle with bottarga; and burrata, beetroot and their tops, demonstrating root-to-stem use of the restaurant’s vegetables from biodynamic Hereford farm, Fern Verrow. The menu will also include a glass of seasonal bellini or seasonal fresh juice for guests to toast the start of Christmas.

Somerset House, Lancaster Place, Strand, WC2R 1LA; 22nd December

Visit SpringRestaurant.co.uk

St James’s Market

St James's Market is celebrating the festive season with a series of Christmas craft workshops. Get hands on and craft beautiful Christmas collages and wool wreaths to decorate the home, lino-print seasonal cards to share with loved ones (book into Aspinal’s calligraphy classes for the best way to write them) or design festive gingerbread buildings for a tasty treat. At each workshop guests will enjoy a drink on arrival and a St James's goodie bag. Your creations are yours to keep and better yet all the classes are free to attend.

Regent Street, St James's, SW1Y 4UF; various dates until 16th December

Visit StJamesLondon.co.uk

The Langham

Luxury hotel The Langham has teamed up with Grey Goose vodka to create ‘The French Winter Village’. Open until February, guests can enjoy warming Grey Goose cocktails and French dishes as the collaboration brings a taste of Alpine style to the capital. Choose to sip on hot and cold Grey Goose tipples underneath a Christmas tree adorned with lights or get cosy under blankets in the chic rustic hideaways. Menu highlights include a warming chocolat chaud à l’orange, a festive ‘Grey Goose Le Poire’ mulled wine and a 'Grey Goose La Vanille’ espresso martini. There’s a selection of festive food straight from the woodfire, including warmed Vacherin Mont d’Or cheese – perfect for sharing with friends.

1c Portland Place, Marylebone, W1B 1JA; until 31st January

Visit LanghamHotels.com

Wild By Tart Christmas Fair

On 8th-9th December, Tart London will launch its inaugural Wild by Tart Christmas Fair at its new space in Eccleston Yards, Victoria. Created by Jemima Jones and Lucy Carr-Ellison, the fair will bring together seasonal shopping, eating and drinking. A beautiful selection of Christmas gifts will be available from homeware to fashion, pantry fillers to pet presents, beauty to handbags and beyond. Top vendors include Poplin, Madeline Thompson, Cloe Cassandro, Andy Harris Vinegar Shed, Godminster, The Lost Tea Company and Candy Kittens. Florist Wild at Heart will host wreath-making masterclasses over both days, and there will be a dedicated section for children, with festive face-painting and braiding. Food will come from the Wild by Tart kitchen, with street food bowls and grilled cheese sandwiches. At the bar, Christmas cocktails will be on hand alongside mulled wine and cider, plus warm-spiced apple juice.

3-4 Eccleston Yards, Belgravia, SW1W 9NF; 8th-9th December

Visit Tart-London.com

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