The days are short and the nights are long (more partying and general festivities!) and it’s bloody freezing. Yup, it must be winter in England! I love winter, especially the run-up to Christmas, because it’s the time of year that the heels get dusted off for the festive season and the snuggly winter coats come out. I’m compiled something of a list of what you can do around East London, and the general London area, during winter so you can make the most of my favourite season in my favourite city J
Now of course I will start off with Brick Lane on a Sunday. This is something you can do any time of year of course, but winter time sees an abundance of super cute and quirky winter jumpers, mulled wine instead of ice cold coconuts, and the rising steam off of the street food really makes a great atmosphere on a cold winter’s day. You can also bet your bottom dollar that you’ll pick up some great Christmas prezzies that you won’t get anywhere else!
While you’re out and about doing your Christmas shop in Brick Lane or in Spitalfields (there’s a really amazing stall there that sells pop-up greetings cards that are like a little magical gift in themselves – defo check it out), you should do something really cosy and really painfully English – a pub lunch. There are loads of proper pubs around, and a little chalk board outside will display what delicious dishes they’ve got. A Sunday roast – mmmmmm! The Pride of Spitalfields is quite a firm favourite with a lot of locals, or there’s the Ten Bells right outside Spitalfields Market where the Jack the Ripper victims used to go for a drink (don’t worry, it’s more classy now and has lush food). There are loads of pubs around, and a good hearty plateful of old English fare is a right treat every now and then.
Or here are some other things going on in London for winter…
-Ice skating! There are rinks everywhere, but the most popular are at Canary Wharf, Somerset House, the Tower of London and Hampton Court. Make a day of it, have a romantic date or lark about with friends. Just don’t end up in A&E thank you.
-Pantomime! The non-British among you will probably have no idea what this is, or think it’s downright bizarre, but it’s loads of fun! A kind of interactive Christmas theatre experience with lots of singing and ‘he’s behind you!’ There’s one on every year at the Hackney Empire, this year it’s Puss In Boots.
-Winter Wonderland is most definitely one of my favourite winter time activities. It’s in Hyde Park and is a big fun fair with an ice rink, a carousel bar that actually turns (good luck getting out of there once you’ve had a few too many), fun games and a cute German style market. Buy some German gingerbread. Just do it.
Lights and markets are the main attractions in London at Christmas really. I don’t do ice rinks, I don’t seem to have a great sense of balance and would cause a mass catastrophe as soon as I stepped foot on the ice. But when it’s dark (which is about 4 o’clock now) head on out to see the lights in the West End. And the Christmas windows! Selfridges windows this year are sweet. And I can’t wait to see Harrods’ windows, they’re always amazing. While you’re out and about gawping at the lights you’ll no doubt fall into a Christmas market, or trip over a roasted chestnut seller.
So just be cheesy! Be Christmas kitsch! Get on those tacky woollies and embrace winter. It is darn cold, but it’s the most wonderful time of the year! J
(I did try to find a photo of Ryan Gosling or Joseph Gordon-Levitt in their Christmas jumpers, but no such luck! You’ll just have to gawp at Colin Firth a bit instead).
Bubble Post by Laura C. Phillips for Les2coquettes