An Aussie Christmas in London
So you’ve booked your Christmas vacation rental, now you need to get out into the city to enjoy the best of festive London.
There is something truly special about Christmas time in London. Don’t get me wrong, I love a barbequed roast turkey for Christmas lunch and a (not always so) friendly game of backyard cricket. But there is something about those daggy (kitsch) Christmas sweaters and a cup of soul-warming mulled wine, that makes a frost-bitten London Christmas truly magical.
Countless holidaymakers from Australia brave the cold and sacrifice the sun to spend their Christmas in London each year, renting a holiday apartment or house from Ivy Lettings. Some are on a short holiday, others visiting loved ones for a longer (and hopefully white) Christmas in London.
From this Aussie abroad to you, here are some top tips for experiencing London’s Christmas kingdom this year.
Starting off in the festive spirit
[Photo credit: londonpass.com]
There is nothing quite like Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park. The spectacular festive atmosphere is best at night when live music and twinkling lights illuminate almost half of the famous park. With rides for the family and Christmas treats aplenty it really does begin to feel a lot like Christmas.
Closest station: Hyde Park Corner and Marble Arch, however if the mercury doesn’t drop too low and you don’t fancy an overcrowded tube I would suggest taking a stroll from Victoria station.
Visit the markets
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Take a stroll along the Southbank and outside the home of modern art, The Tate Museum, see beautiful traditionally decorated wooden chalets covered in glittering lights and offering handmade wooden gifts, decorations and accessories. There is festive food and to help you stay warm, caldrons of mulled wine and cider.
Closest station: Southwark & London Bridge Stations
See the lights on Carnaby Street
[Photo credit: aladyinlondon.com]
And while you’re at it, Oxford’s glowing orbs are back for a 4th year and Regent Street’s festive lights are a throwback to the first lights that went up in 1954 and are certainty worth a look too.
Closest station: Oxford Street & Piccadilly Circus
[Photo credit: telegraph.co.uk]
This is the perfect time and place to proudly display your Christmas jumper. With over a dozen ice rinks around London during Christmas time you are sure find one close by. I would recommend venturing out of your way and getting your skates on at Somerset House’s glorious 18th- century courtyard ice rink or glide around the Christmas tree at the National History Museum’s magical ice rink.
Closest station: Temple (Somerset House), South Kensington (National History Museum)
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Fill your vacation home with decadent decorations that you will want to bring home. This 100-year-old building welcomes you with its 12,000 light bulbs illuminating the extravagant Brompton Road. Let two 6ft stuffed bears welcome you to the festive store, bear in mind taking one home will set you back £1,200. If that’s a bit over budget then the classic Christmas 12” bear will seem a bargain for £24.95.
Closest station: Knightsbridge
Get in the spirit with a festive feats
[Photo credit: dailymail.co.uk]
It’s no secret the Sunday roast is one of England’s greatest contributions to eating culture. To be honest, blood pudding and fish pie aren’t tough to beat. But a proper Sunday roast brings Christmas to your taste buds and that Christmas night feeling of fullness. Visit the local markets for some fresh vegetables and try cooking up the feast yourself in your holiday rental.
Drink mulled wine
No doubt unfamiliar to some, in Australia our glorious collection of red wines makes it a sin to sour the taste with spices, citrus and pepper. However once you’ve tried your first cup (not glass) it’s hard not to go for a second – and third. Cosy up in a local pub, sit by their fire and warm your soul with a homemade mug of this hot delight. For a slightly more summery feel for the homesick, some even serve mulled cider.
[Photo credit: newsmax.com]
It might sound obvious, but winter in London is a little more crisp than most parts of Aus. You may want to bring that extra jumper and throw on those woollen bed socks, and if you want to look like a true Londoner – ugg boots which are acceptable outside your holiday home! Win! For a truly festive touch I suggest picking up a Christmas sweater, perfect for lounging around your vacation rental and if you’re brave enough to wear it outside you won’t be alone.
Do get in touch with our Enquiries team if you would like us to recommend the perfect vacation rental for your upcoming trip to London.
Please email [email protected] or call us on +44 20 7349 7016.
View our full portfolio of London Vacation Rentals here.
We can’t wait to hear from you!