Christmas Magic, London Style

Advisor - Bijoy Shah
Curated By

Bijoy Shah

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  • Arts & Culture

  • Luxury Travel

  • Active Travel

  • London

  • Shopping

  • Entertainment

  • Holidays

the clock in Tower City of London
Curator’s statement

Spending Christmas in London is a magical experience that offers a blend of traditional festivities and modern celebrations. The city comes alive with dazzling Christmas lights, enchanting markets and iconic attractions adorned with festive decorations. From ice skating at picturesque locations to enjoying themed afternoon teas and Christmas shows, London offers an array of activities for all ages.

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Where to stay in London

Brown's Hotel

An iconic London hotel where history and contemporary sophistication come together within the inviting rooms and luxurious suites.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Hotel Café Royal

Glamorous hotel bordering sophisticated Mayfair and buzzing Soho with a history of star-studded British guests.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

The Savoy Hotel

Beloved London institution, just a stone’s throw from the River Thames, known for its exacting service, sumptuous interiors and rare treat indoor swimming pool.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Things to do in London

buildings station of Canary Wharf
  • Marvel at the Christmas lights throughout the city, including the elaborate displays at famous landmarks like the Natural History Museum, Canary Wharf, Somerset House and Hampton. If you're more of a walker, walk down and through Oxford Street, Carnaby and Piccadilly for some wonderful displays.

  • Visit Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park for a full day of shopping, rides and festive fun, especially if you're visiting London with kids.

  • Explore the diverse Christmas markets across the city, including Trafalgar Square, Southbank Centre, Leicester Square and London Bridge City.

  • Go ice skating at iconic locations such as the Natural History Museum, Canary Wharf and Somerset House, offering a unique experience with a historical backdrop. For those that love a great picture "for the gram," ice skating at Somerset House will provide you with something beautiful!

  • If you stick around through NYE, view the spectacular New Year's Eve fireworks from Primrose Hill for an unforgettable experience.

  • Discover the Christmas traditions in the UK by visiting the Charles Dickens Museum. Really, it's as magical as A Christmas Carol at this time of year.

  • Experience a magical Christmas show in London for a memorable evening with family and friends.

  • Enjoy themed afternoon tea and festive dining experiences at various locations throughout the city. Personally, Christmas Afternoon Tea at The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason is my go-to suggestion for a gorgeous experience!

Places to eat & drink in London

seafood in a restaurant in London

Dining in London at Christmastime offers some amazing experiences. Here are a few of my favorite spots:

  • Whitcombs at The Londoner, Leicester Square: French Mediterranean cuisine, for every culinary enthusiast.

  • The Spaniards Inn, Hampstead: They have a beautiful Christmas menu. Five courses of magic, last time I checked.

  • The Flask, Highgate: Classic London, no frills.

  • Riding House Café, Fitzrovia: Retro, elegant, delicious.

  • La Dame de Pic, Tower Hill (City of London): Just go and enjoy. They often have a Christmas day menu that shouldn't be missed.

Enjoying a nice cocktail at Christmas is always quite nice. Here are some places I suggest:

  • Dishoom: With many locations and an interesting bar menu, give them a shot. If you have dinner, you won't be at a loss. It's wonderful.

  • Happiness Forgets: An elegant dive bar for the discerning cocktail lover.

  • Trailer Happiness: This Notting Hill tiki bar has a most incredible rum selection that will not disappoint.

  • Upstairs at Rules: An old-school Covent Garden spot above London's oldest restaurant. Definitely worth every moment of your visit

  • Savoy American Bar: A real legend, worthy of the stop. Cocktails of legend were first crafted here, and you can still have the most expertly-crafted cocktails here.

Advisor - Bijoy Shah

Travel Advisor

Bijoy Shah

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on Travel to London. For more travel tips, check out my guide, 5 "Can't Miss" Meals in London.