What to do This Weekend
Back for a seventh year, Kew will be filling the grounds of the Gardens with festive light installations. The Victorian Temperate House will be lit up by projections, while the garden’s trees will be covered in colour-changing strings of lights. After a stroll through the flickering Tunnel of Lights, watch the show over the water, set to a playlist of classic Christmas songs, with a mulled wine or hot chocolate.
Address: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond TW9 3AB
When: Wednesday 20 November 2019–Sunday 5 January 2020
Price: From £18
Trip to Tokyo?
Won’t make it all the way to Tokyo. We know London can show you it all, even Tokyo. With this digital light display from design studio WOW at Japan House, you’ll get a great first glance. The first part of the exhibition is a panoramic installation that emulates Japan’s capital by night, with train stations and 24-7 stores. The second part, titled POPPO, focuses instead on the countryside, with digital reimaginings of carved wooden figures prevalent in rural Japan.
Address: WOW: City Lights and Woodland Shade, Japan House, 101-111 Kensington High Street, Kensington, London W8 5SA
When: Thursday 21 November 2019–Sunday 22 March 2020
Price: Free entry
Make Your Own Christmas
St James’s will be getting into the spirit with a line-up of Christmas workshops. Ranging from mulled-wine making at Smeg to designing your own bone-china bauble, personalised with just-learned calligraphy, at The Beau Brummell. Make a beautiful wreath at the area’s Jigsaw, or create a wintry terrarium at Snow Peak. Festive, free and a great way to nail down some early presents.
Address: Across St James’s
Champagne and Music?
Musician St Vincent will be bringing her own vision to a pop-up Champagne bar in collaboration with Veuve Clicquot. Following in the footsteps of FKA Twigs and Tom Dixon, who have previously partnered with the brand, St Vincent will design the bar’s soundscape, aiming to trigger a feeling of nostalgia at the speakeasy-style Covent Garden pop-up – with plenty of champagne.
Address: Souvenir, 6A Langley Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9JA
When: Friday 22 and Saturday 23 November 2019
Price: Free entrance
Somerset House Ice Skating
It’s opened again!! Somerset House’s open-air ice rink just off the Strand is framed by the 19th-century buildings that make up the neoclassical complex, which sparkles with Christmas lights during winter. Arrive early, warm up with mulled wine, or get tickets for the electric Skate Lates, with live DJs and a party atmosphere.
Address: Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA
Telephone: +44 20 7845 4600
Open: 13 November 2019 - 12 January 2020
WINTER WONDERLAND, HYDE PARK
And its open!
The doors open on the 21st November with the glowing lights, gingerbread house markets and classic Christmas jingles seen and heard from Marble Arch and Hyde Park Corner. The ice rink circles the Victorian bandstand, which is strung with rows and rows of fairy lights, where you can also find candy floss stalls, glühwein, a giant observation wheel and fairground rides.