hamburger close
Home NewsWhat’s On in London – December 2015

What’s On in London – December 2015

One of London’s most endearing features is that it invariably escapes extreme weather conditions which means that visitors can get about all year round. If cycling and jogging in the park is your thing, then the winter months shouldn’t spoil your fun, but if you need inspiration, check out the exhibition at the Design museum in Shad Thames. Elsewhere, Christmas festivities are almost in full swing and there’ll be plenty of outdoor and indoor attractions for the whole family to enjoy.

Christmas Market at Tate Modern

Christmas Market photo
If you’re looking to avoid commercialised tat while shopping for presents this Christmas, then this collection of attractive wooden stalls may appeal. Situated on the Thames path that runs in front of the giant Tate Modern museum, these retail outlets specialise in traditional gifts. Toys, tree decorations and jewelry are all handmade and reasonably priced and are a refreshing alternative to all those gaudy, battery-hungry items that shipped in from halfway around the world.To keep the Christmas cheer going there are stalls selling roast chestnuts, crepes and gluhwein – a warming drink that’s essential for anyone considering outdoor shopping in December. A pretty carousel will keep the children happy and there will be carol singing by various groups. The fair can be easily accessed on foot by crossing the Millennium Bridge from the City.

www.xmas-markets.com

Elf: The Musical at the Dominion Theatre

Elf The Musical Dec 15
Being raised by Father Christmas has its pros and cons. On the plus side, you get to live in a massive toy factory and have jolly snow fights every ten minutes. On the other hand you’ll never really fit in as all your friends remain toddler sized as you continue growing. Such is the dilemma of Buddy the adopted human who still thinks he’s an elf even though he’s just under six feet tall. This charming musical tells the story of his quest to find his biological dad among the mean streets of New York City.Ben Forster plays Buddy with plenty of clumsy innocence and genuine warmth as he finds his Dad (Joe McGann) who turns out to be as anti-Christmas as it is possible to be without turning into The Grinch. With the help of his new found love (Kimberly Walsh), Buddy sets about the task of introducing his father to the real meaning of Christmas with a mix of catchy tunes and hilarious slapstick.

www.elfthemusical.co.uk

Christmas at Kew

Kew-Gardens_Kit-FanneImage courtesy of RGB Kew
The lush landscape of The Royal Botanicals at Kew Gardens creates a strange and fascinating backdrop when the sun goes down. The creators of this December’s exhibition have used a combination of imaginative lighting, ethereal projections and thrilling attractions to create an experience that is quite different to the jamboree of tinsel and piped music that usually goes with festive outings.Atmospheric without being spooky, the Kew Gardens event is brilliant fun for all the family. Some of the light installations are able to be manipulated by visitors and kids will have lots of fun matching light displays to the musical accompaniments. Kew have taken the brave step of taking Santa out of his grotto and making him part of a choreographed attraction featuring elves and reindeers. This may disappoint some but it’s intended to cut out long lines of stressed parents and frustrated kids and will probably make the visit more enjoyable.

www.kew.org

The German Gymnasium

The German Gymnasium
Big concept restaurants are well and truly back in the capital. After a period when the emphasis was on small and cozy eateries, there is now a new wave of grand spaces with dining on multiple levels. The German Gymnasium, owned by the restaurant group D&D (formerly Conran), is the latest big name making big news. Housed in a listed building between Kings Cross and St Pancras stations, the German Gymnasium specialises in Northern European cuisine and therefore has a menu that ranges from smoked salmon and blinis to whole roast goose. Split into main restaurant, cafe and bar area, this is an immaculate venue that is as suitable for business brunches as it is for pre-theatre drinks.Although the German Gymnasium does not actually promote itself as a German restaurant, its Grand Cafe section is where German influences are most prominent. The menu here features a wide selection of hams, wurst and Berliner doughnuts. Glamour fans will enjoy the Meister Bar where oysters and champagne are served with plenty of dash and élan.

www.germangymnasium.com

Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason

Skate at Somerset House Dec 14
Somerset House is by far the most elegant skating location that the capital has to offer and every year they seem to surpass themselves. Centrally located with the most beautiful architectural back-drop and handy for a spot of pre-theatre exercise, Skate provides a hassle-free ice experience and additional amenities that will attract even the least adventurous of visitors. As the name suggests, the West wing of the building will house a pop-up version of the famous London shop that will enable skaters to also indulge in their taste for luxury goods.An après-skate restaurant and bar will once more be a popular meeting point and chill out zone and the Polar Bear Club will provide training for youngsters that are new to the ice. The musical aspect of Skate is, as always, very much part of its all-round appeal. Club nights are immensely popular, with sets by renowned DJs and extended opening hours. Ministry of Sound and Island Records are both scheduled to feature.

www.somersethouse.org.uk/Skate

Brick 2015 – Excel

Brick at The Excel Dec 15
Who would have thought that a box of plastic bricks could become as distinctively a part of modern culture as the iPhone? Lego has been delighting and inspiring kids of all ages since before the Second World War and despite the rise of all sorts of hi tech movie based concepts, it continues to rely on its core aim of getting children to build. Brick 2015 celebrates all things Lego and is so much more than a geek gathering or an extended toy demo.Like Apple, Lego want to influence and set thought trends. When a conceptual artists dumped three million Lego bricks in a crumbling East European town square, even the Danish toy giants were surprised what passers-bye came up with and that’s one of the main reasons events like this are promoted. Lego want to tap into what people think while they are in the process of creating.

www.excel.london

Share
avatar

About the Author

Established in 1958, Benham and Reeves is one of London’s oldest, independently owned property lettings and sales agents.  With specialism in residential sales, corporate lettings and property management in prime areas of London, the company operates from 19 prominently located branches and 8 international offices.

by