Christmas in London

Get the best out of London this Festive Season!

It looks like itís that time of year again; Christmas has rolled around faster than you ever thought possible!

Well, we understand that not everyone has a great deal of time off for Christmas (this is the point where we envy students) so we have put together a great article for you, just to make sure that you get the best out of your Christmas break in London whether youíre a visitor or a London resident.

Winter Wonderland

London has a vast history and is one of the most picturesque cities in the world, the only problem is that for most of us time is a commodity which is unfortunately in short supply.

The solution is to change that this Christmas, why not book yourself into one of the many tours available to take you around this great city and open air busses are not just for the summer.

Nothing beats the brisk cool air as you ride an open top bus through Central London with a flask of hot mulled wine and a basket of mince pies. This ultimately will give you the best possible chance to check out all the city has to offer. An added bonus is the chance to take in this years Christmas lights where you will find that Regent Street's are ultimately the most dazzling.

Cruise the Thames

There are various river cruises available down the Thames which offer a variety of services from the simple River Bus which offers passengers a chance to view the scenery at minimal cost, to the most ostentatious luxury cruises costing well into the six figures.

The Bateaux Christmas Dinner Cruise however this year offers a myriad of delights along with a full traditional Christmas dinner, in a very elegant setting for those with a more refined taste. Whilst you enjoy your Christmas dinner there will be a wide range of live entertainment and after dinner dancing available into the night.

Although this option is great for couples and mature families, if you do have children you may want to look into the Westminster City Cruise, which Launches from Westminster Pier with a sunnier disposition towards children on board. There is a great and comfortable Christmas atmosphere, perfect for any family looking to dine-out this holiday without leaving the kids behind.Eating out this Christmas

On the point of Christmas dinners you donít need to leave shore to get in a good meal as London has a wonderful choice of restaurants offering many gastronomic masterpieces and culinary indulgences whether you choose to dine at Gordon Ramseyís Mayfair restaurant Claridge's or you choose to toy with finger foods at the world food court at Selfridges.

The Savoy Grill in The Strand has to be this years largest Christmas dinner, in fact it would be better described as a behemoth of a Christmas meal with 5 courses served, a tempting selection of fine wines and a menu which masters everything from its traditional turkey to the seafood assortment.

Best pick for families this year is at The Lanesborough where you will find a traditional turkey Christmas dinner with party hats and oversized deluxe crackers as well as probably one of Londonís best vegetarian Christmas menus. Also for the kids Santa and his helpers visit each night!

Home Christmas Gourmet

With family and friends gathering at your table this holiday you will need to be at your best, particularly when it comes to what you choose to serve them with. So, why not visit Londonís Borough Market, renowned as one of the best food markets in the country where many chefs will visit to find those mouth watering ingredients.

See more London Markets here.

Or if you prefer something a little more traditional drop into Fortnum & Masons one of Londonís longest running stores their claim to fame has been supplying the royal family with some of their most luscious and scrumptious foodstuffs and the finest wines from its cellars.

They also offer a marvellous set of hampers where you may choose to fill them with indulgences, mince pies, wines or even some of their world teas.Carol Singers

This year carol singers from all over the country will be gathering every day until Christmas Eve on Trafalgar Square from 5-9pm, so after a long hard day of shopping in the West End drop past Trafalgar Square to enjoy a wonderful rendition of silent night.

Unique Shopping

One of the major complaints heard over and over again is that Christmas is too commercial, too materialistic and too repetitive. Well this holiday why not shop for a gift or stocking filler that will stand above the rest and will be something to remember for years to come.

Camden Market has always been a great place to shop, recently being the backdrop for a popular Credit Card advert featuring Kate Moss, this piece of marketing signifies what Camden is all about.

One of a kind items can be found throughout the market places in Camden whether itís a distinctive cultural piece you seek from the Stables Market or some hand made fashions and jewellery at the two other street markets, there is plenty to see and shop for in the open air.

Plus there is an abundance of quirky shops that you will never find anywhere else like the personalised T-shirts at the Lock Side Market or the Gadget Shop and Cyber Dog at the Stables Market or even get a free juggling demo at what can only be described as a circus shop better known as Oddballs.

What ever you choose to purchase youíre sure to leave an impression on Christmas day whoever you are buying for.

For the trendier, more fashion conscious, younger shopper the Carnaby Street Market quite possibly is the capitals best finds. On offer is selection of clothes and trinkets all very chic, stylish and ahead of the trends. With an open market and live music the Carnaby street market will be the place to visit this Thursday 22nd December.

Visitors will be able to enjoy live music, great food and a chance to try out next seasonís accessories from 3-8pm. Plus when the night is over if you have booked in advance Carnaby Street market is also home to Umbaba one of Londonís hottest most exclusive nightclubs where more recently various footballers as well as Javine have been spotted at.

Author: Paterno Odong

Useful Links:
- What's On in London
- Shopping & London Markets
- Hidden Clothes Shopping Gems in London - an article on the best off-the-beaten-track clothes shops in the capital
- London Restaurants
- London Clubs & Bars