What to do this Festive Season? A tough one. Because in London you are truly spoilt for choice, especially this time of the year. Here are my ten suggestions for what to do during the coming Festive Season.
Be warned though, my suggestions do not revolve around the Biggest Christmas Tree, or the most interesting Christmas carols. They are just common sense suggestion that most may not get around to doing during the year. And some of them are ‘children friendly’. My list also includes events voted for by the public in a recent poll conducted by Time-Out.
Number one was:
The Natural History Museum
You’d imagine this is a favourite among fuddy-duddies. Not so. The museum, housing fabulous creatures such as dinosaurs and other prehistoric monsters, is a big hit with kids! And it’s not expensive either. It is a must. No wonder it’s been rated so highly.
Where: On Exhibition Road, South Kensington,
The Science Museum
I don’t know if this is your bag, but maybe it should be. See the science museum and die, forget about Venice. They also have a sense of humour: on the fourth floor the Psychology section is advertised as: – Mind Your Head. This museum is one of London’s Big Three museums and, as it happens, it’s also a hit with kids. It was runner up in the Time-Out poll.
Where: On Exhibition Road, South Kensington
Vinopolis: London’s Wine Tasting Destination
If you love discovering and tasting new wines, then you will be spoilt for choice at Vinopolis, with their extensive range of wine tasting tours Set under the soaring arches of a former railway Viaduct, Vinopolis offers wine and spirit enthusiasts just about everything. You can also buy a last-minute Christmas gift here. Or just simply quaff a huge number of glasses with the excuse that you simply cannot take the stress of Christmas any longer.
Where: Vinopolis is located at Bankside, to the east of Southwark Bridge and close to London Bridge on the south side of the River Thames. There is an attached restaurant, Cantina Vinopolis,
The Lion King
Tim Rice and Elton John’s magical musical The Lion King won six Tony Awards on Broadway, received the Evening Standard Award for Theatrical Event of the Year and has also been nominated for eight Olivier Awards. A smash hit and a truly magical experience, Julie Taymor combines Eastern traditions with haunting African chants presenting animals as shadows, on sticks, on stilts, on bicycles.
Where: At the Lyceum Theatre, West End in the City of Westminster, on Wellington Street, just off the Strand.
An Ideal Husband
London is surely the traditional home of theatre in the West, and Oscar Wilde the master of acerbic wit. It’s a brilliant story of morality, blackmail and political corruption infused with sparkling humour.
Where: At the Vaudeville Theatre West End on the Strand in the City of Westminster
The legend lives on, moonwalking its way into the hearts of audiences. Don’t miss this high-octane show. Amazing choreography …You will never be the same. A five-star performance featuring the songs of music legend, Michael Jackson.
Where: The Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue in the City of Westminster.
Beauty and the Beast
In the achingly beautiful landscape of a snowbound rural France, a tale is told of dancing ghosts and talking clocks, magical roses and mystical mirrors, beguiling beauties and beastly jokes. And a talking French Poodle.
One of the world’s most enchanting fairytales is brought to life in the country’s most loved pantomime venue…
With non-stop giggles from beginning to end, stunning costumes, rip-roaring songs.
Where: The Broadway Theatre, Catford Broadway, Catford, Greater London
Koffmann is the chef of chefs, the chef all other chefs look up to. For many years, his restaurant, La Tante Claire, London’s only restaurant with three Michelin stars, was a place of gastronomic pilgrimage.
Koffmann’s brasserie food is stunning but unfussy. It has also received rave reviews from food critics.
Where: In The Berkeley, Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London
This is the show described by The Daily Telegraph as a ‘World-wide Smash hit. It certainly must be the ultimate feel good show. And it has stunned over 45 million people all around the world. A great show to make you forget about snow! Need I mention that it is based on the fabulous, timeless songs of Abba?
Where: Prince of Wales Theatre, Coventry Street, London
Greenwich Market, London
Always known for antiques and crafts, Greenwich Market is open seven days a week in the run up to Christmas. More than 150 stalls will sell fashion, handmade jewellery and stocking treats. Perfect for a twist on tradition.
Where: King William Walk, London
Although shows are usually booked out months in advance, it is more often than not possible to get last minute tickets because of cancellations. Going on-line just makes it easier.