Travel: London

See the cap­i­tal at its most bling! From lights to car­ols, come and en­joy what the city has to of­fer…

Best - - CONTENTS - EX­EC­U­TIVE ED­I­TOR SIOB­HAN WYKES

TRAVEL SNAP­SHOT

‘ Maybe it’s be­cause I’m a Lon­doner, that I love London town’ – or so the song goes. And maybe that is why I love it. From the daz­zling shop win­dow dis­plays at Sel­fridges to the buskers in Covent Gar­den and the funky lights of Carn­aby Street, there is – for me – no place like home, es­pe­cially at Christ­mas.

IN­SIDER’S GUIDE

Af­ter­noon tea is a must while you’re here. There are so many places where you can sit back and re­lax, but if you choose to stay at St Er­min’s (see right), we highly rec­om­mended spoil­ing your­self with its un­lim­ited Prosecco deal at £35 a head. Go on, it’s Christ­mas! Else­where, Le­ices­ter Square will fea­ture star-shaped lights, a Euro­pean-style Christ­mas mar­ket and a line-up of shows from com­edy to cabaret. Check out Lib­erty, off Carn­aby Street, for fes­tive dec­o­ra­tions, and Fort­num & Ma­son in Pic­cadilly for old­fash­ioned sweet treats. If the kids are with you, don’t miss Hyde Park’s Win­ter Wonderland, which runs from 17 Nov to early Jan. And don’t for­get a visit to the iconic Ham­leys on Re­gent Street!

DON’T MISS

A carol con­cert is a sure-fire way to lift your spir­its. From grand af­fairs in ma­jes­tic venues like West­min­ster Abbey* to sing-a-longs at the Royal Al­bert Hall**, or the free open-air con­certs in Trafal­gar Square, London’s carol ser­vices are likely to leave you with a warm glow.

FOOD AND DRINK

Cock­tails are a must! Try the Roof Deck at Sel­fridges, and The Ice­bar – kept at -5ºC all year round – that op­er­ates 40-minute time slots where you get a ther­mal cape, gloves and an ice-cold glass of Cham­pagne. Visit ice­bar­lon­don.com.

Marvel at the starry night St Er­min’s Ho­tel

Ice skate at Hamp­ton Court Palace, once the home of Henry VIII Win­ter Wonderland in Hyde Park

The lights of Ox­ford Street

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