Forget skiing in the Alps and ice-skating at Rockefeller Center: there’s no place more festive to spend Christmas this year than London. Whether it’s late-night shopping at Selfridge’s, family-friendly visits from Santa and his reindeer, or the traditional carol service at St. Paul’s Cathedral, the city is full of Yuletide offerings. Guests staying at The Milestone Hotel in Kensington will enjoy all these highlights and more right on their doorstep. Here’s our guide to the perfect Christmas in London.
Ice-skating at the Natural History Museum
Bypass the queues at Somerset House and get into the festive spirit with a spot of ice-skating at the Natural History Museum. Located beneath the ornate terracotta façade of this majestic 19th-century building, the sparkling atmosphere makes for perfect skating conditions. Don’t forget to warm up afterwards in the rink-side café bar and balcony, where you can enjoy a steaming cup of hot chocolate or mulled wine.
Until 5th January
Christmas at Selfridges
Not quite finished your Christmas shopping? The Selfridges Christmas Emporium is a one-stop shop for everything you might need, from twinkly baubles and luxury food items to custom-made jewellery, unique art, and bespoke gingerbread houses. In-store you will be greeted by roller-skating fairies and Selfridges’ very own “Elfridges” whose mission is to find you that perfect last-minute gift. Don’t miss out on the personalised gift-wrapping service also, which lets you choose from a selection of wrappings and luxury gift boxes for the perfect finishing touch.
Meet Santa at ZSL London Zoo
Not the typical department store meet-and-greet with the man in red, this year kids can visit Santa and his reindeer at Meet Santa at ZSL London. Visitors can purchase an exclusive Meet Santa ticket that allows children to lend a hand at the daily Keeper’s Little Helpers sessions, and get involved in festive activities such as gingerbread decorating and preparing treats and presents for the Zoo’s many animals.
Weekends through 24th December
The Christmas Arcade at Somerset House
For shoppers looking to avoid the annual Oxford Street rush, stop by The Christmas Arcade at Somerset House instead, where you’ll discover a Narnia of boutique shopping options. Participating retailers, which comprise British brands and independent artisans, include the exclusive Scottish cashmere company Brora, florists Pinstripes and Peonies, and traditional hat makers Christys’. The Arcade also includes a Champagne & Chocolate Bar, serving up Piper-Heidsieck bubbles and William Curley cacao creations, so you can polish off the last of your Christmas shopping in style.
Until Sunday 5th January
Christmas Carol Service at St Paul’s Cathedral
Once you’ve finished the shopping and had your fill of festive food and drink, make sure to visit Christmas Carol Service at St Paul’s Cathedral for an annual tradition not-to-be-missed. The carol services sung by the Cathedral Choir just before Christmas are incredibly popular, and broadcast on large screens outside in Paternoster Square for those who can’t get in. Religious or not, everyone is welcome at this heart-warming, spiritual occasion.
Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th December from 4pm