London for the Ho Ho Holidays

As Thanksgiving is not a holiday here in the UK, London is already in full Christmas swing (yes, they call it Christmas here, no PC “holiday season” for the Brits). The lights, the shopping, the shows … it’s all so very fun and festive! Here’s a roundup of some fab holiday happenings for this year to share with your clients.

Best festive lights are along Regent and Oxford streets. Don’t miss the displays at Liberty (www.liberty.co.uk) and Selfridges (www.selfridges.com), then head to Knightsbridge for the incredible windows and shopping at Harvey Nichols (www.harveynichols.com/christmas/) and Harrods (www.harrods.com). Fantastic shopping in all those stores, with Selfridges winning my favorite new gift for the season: personalized mini Moet & Chandon from the world’s first champagne photo booth (www.selfridges.com). 

Pantomimes are the thing to see here over the holidays, a hilarious traditional musical based on a classic children’s fairy tale that is required to have a cross-dressed lead, risqué double entendres and audience participation (“He’s behind you!”). There is nothing more English or festive, and the pantos getting good buzz this year: Peter Pan at New Wimbledon Theatre (www.atgtickets.com) Jack and the Beanstalk at the Hackney Empire (www.hackneyempire.co.uk) and Cinderella at the Lyric Hammersmith (www.lyric.co.uk). Besides the pantos, they’ve made the movie Elf (www.elfthemusical.co.uk) into a musical, which is getting mixed reviews -- better choices would be wonder.land, an edgy new take on Alice in Wonderland at the National Theatre (www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/wonder.land) or the first live adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax at the Old Vic, which is meant to be amazing (I’ve booked these last two for my family). 

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Skate at Somerset
Photo by James Bryant 

For outdoor holiday fun, London has epic ice skating in stunning historical settings at Somerset House, with posh food and drinks by Fortnum & Mason (this will sell out, so book asap) www.somersethouse.org.uk/ice-rink, on the 1000 year old moat alongside the Tower of London, or in Henry VII’s garden. Hyde Park turns into a winter fun fair, with rides, market and yes, an ice rink (www.hydeparkwinterwonderland.com/). 

Happy holidays! From London with love, xx

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