Even though the goose isn’t quite fat enough yet, now’s the time to start thinking about planning those pre-Christmas excursions along with shopping trips to the capital; and where better to stay than here with us at The Cavendish London.
Everyone loves a bit of Christmas magic to lift the spirits as the nights begin to draw in and the temperature drops, so get organised and enjoy some of the wonders that only London can offer in the run up to Christmas through November and into the festive month itself.
By choosing experiences and shopping in person rather than online, you’ll support the high street and ensure you create memories for years to come. At The Cavendish London, we’re delighted to play our part in helping you create unforgettable moments by ensuring your stay with us is as relaxing and enjoyable as possible.
Merry Markets Galore
Whilst the crowds head for the shopping mecca of Oxford Street and Regent Street, London has numerous Christmas markets which begin in early November. Packed with artisan gifts and food, they offer an alternative to the high street giants.
Head over to Covent Garden, home to three daily markets showcasing hand-made gifts and, throughout November, enjoy the annual mulled wine festival. It’s the perfect place to find a one-of-a-kind ornament whilst enjoying the free street performances. This year sees brand new street decorations featuring Christmas bells plus the daily sprinkling of ‘snow’ on visitors. The lights go on from 7th November and don’t forget to ‘Insta’ yourself on Santa’s sleigh that will be in situ. You may even decide to take in a visit to the Royal Opera House or the London Transport Museum, both of which call Covent Garden home.
If you are visiting the capital via train, King’s Cross holds its canopy market every Friday-Sunday with artisan traders, street food and drink and a regular Vegan market too. Just a short stroll from the main station, Kings Cross Coal Drops Yard hosts events, restaurants and activities. From 9th November until February, you can even try club curling! If you’ve never tried this fun activity, it’s suitable for all the family with teams of up to 6 battling it out. Open between midday and 8pm every day, pre-booking is advisable with a45-minute session from £8 per person – and children under 12 go free with a fee-paying adult. Visit www.kingscross.co.uk/event/club-curling to find out more and book tickets.
Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is where you can try skating on the UK’s biggest outdoor ice rink or take a look at what 500 tonnes of carved ice looks like in the Ice Kingdom. Combined with fairground rides and traders, treat yourself to some seasonal treats at this huge event which takes over the park between 17th November to 1st January.
Can you see the wood for the Trees?
Well, the festive season wouldn’t seem the same without the celebratory tree in all its forms. London always has a plethora of these Christmas staples and it’s well worth taking in some of the most iconic ones whilst on a visit to the capital. Here are our favourites …and it costs nothing to visit!
Covent Garden – hard to miss in the main piazza, especially if you pop down to visit the market as the tree is one of London’s largest and is decorated to perfection, as you would expect.
Kings Cross Coal Drop Yard – aside from the market, this area is home to over 50 independent shops and cafes as well as some high street names. It remains to be seen what will happen this year but last year the tree’s pine needles were reduced into candles and sold – recycling at its very best!
St Pancras Station – easy to take in both Kings Cross and this tree, which typically takes the form of an art installation rather than the traditional pine tree so definitely worth a visit especially if you’re passing through.
Trafalgar Square – the iconic tree which has been a gift from the people of Norway each year since 1947 as a thank you for Britain’s support during WWII. This has to be the epitome of Christmas in the capital as it stands at over 20 metres high, making it 50 -60 years old when it is cut in November. Installed in early December, it is always decorated in the traditional Norwegian fashion with vertical strings of lights. One definitely not to be missed.
Shop ‘till you drop
In the run up to Christmas, the shops are crammed as full with goodies as Santa’s sleigh, with wonderful window displays adding that all important festive atmosphere and ‘wow’ factor.
If you’re heading to the main shopping streets, just off Oxford Street, you’ll find the hidden gem that is Connaught Village shopping district. Offering one of a kind, exclusive gifts including vintage books, antique jewellery and exclusive pieces of artwork, it’s the place to find a special gift for a special someone. You can even rummage through pre-owned designer items at The Dresser. This boutique is renowned amongst savvy stylists for its high-end designer fashions at discounted, pre-loved prices -just the place to pick up some Prada or grab yourself a bit of Gucci!
Closer to home
Right on the doorstep of The Cavendish, you will find Fortnum & Mason. No Christmas shopping trip would be complete without a visit to the food hall. Their hampers are truly fit for royalty and if your purse doesn’t quite stretch to a full hamper, there are plenty of tasty titbits from biscuits to chocolate to add a little unusual treat to someone special’s Christmas stocking.
When you’re all shopped out, with tired feet and a slim-line purse, come back to The Cavendish. Finish your shopping off with a sumptuous afternoon tea treat of delightful sandwiches and cake or enjoy a glass of something in the bar before returning to the sanctuary of your room.
After recharging your batteries, a delicious meal in our Mayfair Lounge & Grill is just the ticket to end a busy shopping day. Tomorrow, revitalised and refreshed, you can begin all over again making more memories to enjoy for Christmases to come with your stay at The Cavendish gift wrapping the experience from end to end.