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Festive events in London to visit with colleagues this Christmas

22nd November 2018

When you work in an in house legal job in London, it’s essential to let your hair down with colleagues every once in a while, especially with all the Christmas festivities on offer.

From getting togged up and heading out for some festive fun to wandering through some of London’s most magical Christmas markets, there’s plenty to see and do to get you and your colleagues in the Christmas spirit.

Winterville, Clapham Common

15th November 2018 - 23rd December 2018

Image credit: Winterville, Facebook

After it was a raging success last year, Winterville in Clapham Common will be making a big return this year and is considered an ‘alternative’ festive night out. As well as boasting a range of local DJs and musicians, entertainment also includes an ice rink, backyard cinema, mini golf, roller disco and of course a fantastic range of street food to tuck into too.

“Kicking off festivities in true style, Winterville will play host to the wildest opening weekend the pop-up town has ever seen,” Winterville said in a press release. “The one and only Melanie C AKA the iconic Sporty Spice will start the party by taking to the Spiegeltent decks for a trip down memory lane with an extra special 90s Mixtape DJ set.

“Winterville’s already huge programme of entertainment also includes big screen favourites Backyard Cinema, who will open their Christmas Labrinth each and every week for special festive screenings, and Plonk Golf - the perfect destination if you fancy some neon-lit pitch and putt. The ever-popular Ice Rink will be back in full force this year, while Twisted Wheels Roller Disco is the only place in London to boogie on wheels this Christmas, and finish any last minute Christmas shopping at the expansive Solo Craft Fair.”

Christmas at Kew Gardens, Kew

22nd November 2018 - 5th January 2019

Image credit: Kew Gardens, Facebook

If you’re looking for something a little more relaxed, a stroll around Kew Gardens is just what the doctor ordered. So wrap up warm, enjoy a mulled wine or hot chocolate and go exploring through Kew Gardens, marvelling at the unforgettable light displays and trails.

“This will be the sixth Christmas at Kew and it will be a truly remarkable affair,” said Arabella, a spokesperson for Kew Gardens. “If you’ve not been, it’s a trail through the gardens lit by over one million twinkling lights and an array incredible installations from a roster of international artists. The immersive experience will feature 300 illuminated origami boats on Kew’s glistening lake, trees positively dripping with lights, a flickering fire garden, a mesmerising cathedral of light and much more.”

Southbank Centre Winter Market, Southbank

9th November 2018 - 6th January 2019

Image credit: Southbank Centre

Wanting to grab a few last-minute gifts? Peruse the variety of market stalls at Southbank’s much-anticipated Christmas market. While you’re there, you can also grab a bite to eat at a selection of traditionally festive food and drink pop-up bars and eateries. Bratwurst, anyone?

“Southbank Centre’s Winter Market pop-ups returns down by the river Thames with food, drink and shopping for all,” the organisation said in a press release. “29 traders from around the globe will be presenting the latest seasonal gifts and delicious street food with stalls offering Asian, Indian and Greek cuisines, traditional winter favourites like raclette and bratwurst, and sweet treats including waffles and pancakes. Two new food and drink pop-up bars and eateries also pop up on site, Bar Under the Bridge will be a warm hideaway serving cheese-themed food - charcuterie and cheese boards, croque monsieur and baked camembert and delicious cocktails such as Blood Orange Paloma, Red Snapper and Prosecco Fred.

“Pitching up in front of the Royal Festival Hall will be The Circus Bar. Home to sizzling fire-pits where friends and family can pop in and enjoy delicious snacks, baguettes, sharing dishes and snacks with mulled cider and wine in this cosy space.

“The regular food market is also open Friday–Sunday in Southbank Centre Square, Belvedere Road. Jimmy’s Lodge will also be reappearing by Waterloo Bridge - an alpine festive haven where visitors can enjoy the views and lights Christmas parties under a private igloo.”

Skate at Somerset House, Covent Garden

14th November 2018 - 13th January 2019

Image credit: @somersethouse, Instagram

Looking for a true winter outing with your colleagues? SKATE at Somerset House have opened up their courtyard once again for the festive season, welcoming in anyone who wants to get out on the ice and show off their skating skills.

“Our stunning Edmond J. Safra Fountain courtyard is the backdrop to London’s most beautiful ice rink, where you can skate day or night with family and friends,” says the Somerset House website. “Skate Lates features an extra special series of music nights throughout the season - the perfect start to your weekend. Après-skate, treat yourself at Fortnum’s Lodge with one of our Skate Extras – all designed for two to share; relax and take in the spectacle rink-side with a drink or warming snack in the Skate Lounge.”

And if you need to do a last-minute spot of shopping? Somerset House has partnered with Fortnum & Mason to bring you a great shopping experience. “Fortnum’s Christmas Arcade returns, transforming the West Wing into a one-stop, essential festive shopping destination.”

Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread City, South Kensington

8th December 2018 - 6th January 2019

Image credit: Gingerbread City

If you’re interested in marvelling at some slightly different Christmas decorations, the Museum of Architecture (MoA) is hosting their third annual Gingerbread City exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A). As the name suggests, the exhibition is a miniature city composed entirely of gingerbread, expertly created by architects, designers and engineers.

“The aim of the exhibition is to connect the public with architecture through an innovative display designed for the holiday season,” says the Gingerbread City website. “Each year, key UK-based architecture practices respond to the masterplan by designing buildings, parks and public spaces as well as baking them out of gingerbread.”

This year’s theme is ‘Imagining the Future City’, with each yearly exhibition being a fundraising project to support the MoA’s year-long programming and activities.