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10 festive things to see and do in London this Christmas

Selfridges Christmas Market on the Mews
For those in need of some festive cheer, head to Edwards Mews at the rear of Selfridges where the iconic Oxford Street store will be holding its Christmas Market for the second year running. Created in collaboration with the founder of Street Feast, needless to say food is very much at the heart of this venture, with vendors offering everything from Indian street food to savoury and sweet waffles. You can also pick up a sustainably grown Christmas tree, the perfect festive gift and see Santa perform on the impressive helter skelter.

Somerset House Ice Rink
Now in its 22-year, it's hard to remember a Christmas when there hasn't been an ice rink at Somerset House, courtesy of Skate. Indeed, for many a spin around the neoclassical courtyard with its giant Christmas tree has become a festive tradition. Choose from a daytime skating session or make the most of a late-night skate when a DJ plays 'cool' tunes under the stars. Warm up afterwards with an indulgent hot chocolate from Hotel Chocolate or head to the Moet & Chandon Lounge for a cheeky cocktail or three!

Fortnum & Mason
No Seasonal shopping excursion in London is complete without paying a visit to Fortnum & Mason, the Queen's grocer. Known as The Christmas Shop, this emporium has been the home of all things festive for more than 300 years, whether that be its food hall heaving with Christmas puddings, mince pies, chocolates and Christmas hampers, or the stunning range of decorations and gifts. If all that shopping leaves you weary, repair to The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon for one of the finest afternoon teas around.

A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story
As a huge Mark Gatiss fan (Dr Who, The League of Gentleman and a lot more beside), we don't need much persuading to head over the Ally Pally this festive season to catch him performing in his own retelling of the Dickins' classic. Playing the ghost of Jacob Marley, Gatiss brings a spine-tingling new edge to this much-loved winter ghost story, while staying true to the heart and spirit of the original. Not recommended for children under eight, prepare to be frightened and delighted in equal measure.

Open-top Bus Christmas Light Tour
All aboard for a ride that's sure to crank up the seasonal spirit a notch or two, with the journey providing an opportunity to see London in all its glowing, twinkly-lit Christmas glory. You'll catch a festive glimpse of many of the city's most famous landmarks including Regent Street, Trafalgar Square, Hyde Park and Big Ben. Sit back on the top deck and take it all in, while also learning plenty about our capital's rich history from a knowledgeable guide. Tickets are available for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day too.

Coq d'Argent

You might be on a rooftop overlooking The Shard, but you could be mistaken for thinking you're somewhere in the Alps thanks to the apres-ski themed Lodge d'Argent, the restaurant's much-lauded seasonal pop up. Comprised of intimate chalets that are available for private hire, they come complete with everything you need for a luxurious but cosy celebration with friends, family and colleagues. The festive menu is also a thing of beauty, and trust us, the food here, never, ever disappoints.

So much more than just a toy shop, this Regent Street stalwart always excels itself at Christmas, helping to truly make it the most magical time of the year! The window displays are always nothing short of spectacular, with elves, toy soldiers, fairies and teddy bears just some of the characters who might greet you at the door. Across its seven floors you'll not only find a huge array of toys, but also demonstrations and games, making it an immersive and fun experience. If you really want to make it a festive visit to remember, however, pop in to Santa's Grotto where the big, bearded fellow awaits.

Winter Wonderland
It almost goes without saying that a visit to Hyde Park for this fun family event is one of the best things to do in London at Christmas. Featuring a massive selection of festive entertainment and activities, from circus shows and ice skating to a Christmas market and live music, there's enough to keep you occupied not just for a whole day but the evening too. Whatever you end up doing, be sure to book a ride on the Giant Observation Wheel and see one of the best views of London, all lit up below.


Jack and the Beanstalk
Who doesn't love a good panto to mark the festive season, and you'll find one of London's finest over at the Hackney Empire, the fabulous Victorian music hall located on Mare Street. This year's outing sees the return of Clive Rowe, hailed 'the doyen of dames' by The Times, no less, playing Jack's larger-than-life mum. Expect cows, magic beans and an adventure of 'giant' proportions, plus plenty of gags to get you giggling in the aisles.

Circus 1903 at Southbank Centre
Roll up, roll up for what promises to be one of the greatest shows in London, the spectacular Circus 1903 at the Royal Festival Hall. Experience the golden age of the circus with thrilling adaptations of classic acts designed to entertain young and old alike. Marvel at amazing acrobats and death-defying stunts, guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat, while the magnificent life-size elephant puppets (created by the people behind war horse) are so realistic, they'll have you doing a double take.

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