We’re now in mid-November and the countdown for Christmas has begun. Our schedules will soon be filled with festive events that will last until the beginning of January. Many activities are available, especially for those who live in big cities. In London, the tricky bit seems to be choosing where to start: Christmas markets, ice rinks in emblematic places of the capital, cinema sessions in frozen islands, the corporate Christmas parties, the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, Christmas Carols’ shows… there are events for all tastes!
In these 5 years that I’ve been living in London, I haven’t cared much is going to this kind of Christmassy places. Either because I wanted to save money, or because I’m not very keen in being within a crowd – and there are always lots of people in these places, London has more than 8 million people at the moment! – I’ve kinda missed all the Christmas activities from the previous years.
But this year for some reason I feel more interested and more willing to go out, face the cold London evenings and join the seasonal festivities. At least for the mulled wine which I love!
This week, my boyfriend and I went ice skating in Oxford Street. It’s not that we manage skating a lot, for us was more walking on the ice with the skates on, but it was fun anyway!
The rink we went to is on the rooftop of John Lewis & Partners in Oxford Street and it’s a pop-up space by Sipsmith, a London gin distillery. The concept is inspired by London’s Thames Frost Fairs from the 17th – 19th centuries, when the winters in London were much colder and the River Thames used to freeze, giving space to an ice entertainment spot. Warm gin would help people facing the cold.
At the Skyline Skating, there isn’t only the ice rink – which you’ll need to buy tickets in advance for 30 min sessions – but also a bar/restaurant and an outside area to sit down while enjoying a cup of warm gin and have fun with the hilarious falls of the people trying to skate. For those interested in learning more about gin, on specific days there are masterclasses on how to prepare this spirit drink.
For those looking for a place to dine in a cosier and family atmosphere, it is also possible to book one of the two available winter cabins: Hideaway One for groups of up to 6 people, and Hideaway Two for groups up to 12 people.
So let’s start the 2018 festivities!