Visit London anytime across the festive season and you will notice that the city has a little extra sparkle. Not just from the thousands of twinkling Christmas lights that are decking all of the main shopping streets and malls, but also from the good feeling that the season seems to spread through everyone in the city. The city comes to life at this time of year with markets and special Christmas fairs that aim to spread a little bit of festive joy.
Christmas Open Studio – Made in Clerkenwell
This open studio setting gives you the opportunity to not only purchase the very best in hand crafted gifts, but also to meet and speak with the artists that made them. For those who don’t know, Clerkenwell is one of the most creative areas of the city, but for the majority of the year all of the crafting and production happens behind the closed doors of the artist’s studios. This open studio festival gives visitors the chance to see what goes on behind those doors and get to grips with the processes that go into creating the wonderful items that they sell.
A Taste of Christmas – ExCel London Exhibition Centre
Good food and lots of it has to be one of the mainstays of the Christmas festivities. The taste of Christmas brings together the city’s top Michelin starred chefs to share their tips and tricks for the perfect Christmas menu. There will be a number of live cookery demonstrations to watch and stalls where you will be able to but some of the ingredients the chefs are using, so that when you return home you will be able to turn your Christmas from traditional to gourmet.
The East London Design Show
At this design show you will be able to get your hands on some incredible merchandise from the city’s independent retailers, everything will be available from bespoke interior design items to incredible and unique jewellery. The event is based in Shoreditch Town Hall and offers something a little different to the other markets that are taking place. If you can imagine it you will probably find it here as there will be everything from children’s toys to wacky gadgets. You may even be purchasing something now that could be a design classic of the future. There is a café available too and a number of Christmas themed workshops that you can get involved in.
The Real Food Christmas Market
Based in the Southbank Centre Square this is your chance to stock up on some incredible Christmas treats. You will find a broad range of regional and seasonal produce here from wild game through to handmade chocolates, as well as the obligatory mulled wine and mince pies, just to remind you that it really is Christmas. All of the food here is of exceptional quality but also very affordable, and even better there is a fabulous ‘taste before you buy’ policy in place right around the market. This is Christmas food shopping at its most relaxed!