London is alive and agog throughout the year although the weather does play spoilsport most of the time with dark clouds and a gloomy environment dampening the spirit of fun and frolic. However, the residents of this vast and cosmopolitan metropolis as well as the large number of tourists, who are omnipresent at any time of the year, brave all odds and give the capital city of England a dynamic and throbbing feel that few cities of the world can match. This dynamism is at its apex during the festive season of Christmas and New Year when everyone just wants to move away from the stresses of everyday life, relax and celebrate with full aplomb.
Although the air in the city starts getting saturated with the festive feel right from November in anticipation of the gala time during the Christmas holidays with streets and large department stores being decorated and illuminated, the climax takes place from December 22 and it tapers down on December 26 as if the lull has come after the storm. However, it picks up again for the New Years Day celebrations although to a slightly lesser degree. If you wish to enjoy London to the full, this is the time when you should be there.
The best option for tourists is to book a room in a comfortable hotel that is located close to central London such as the M by Montcalm Shoreditch. It would also be convenient and economical to avail of a Christmas celebration package or get the hotel’s special offers so that you get a discount on the room rate. Moreover, since there are not many business travellers in the city during that period, you can find it easy to get a good deal from the hotel of your choice. If you choose to stay in a hotel in central London, you will find it easy to take a relaxed river walk from Big Ben or London Eye to Tower of London or the other way around. You will also be able to enjoy the acts performed by street entertainers who turn up by 3pm. You will find a lot of tourists all around you. It will also not be a bad idea to rent a cycle and use it for 30 minutes at a rent of only £2. If you want to do more cycling, you can hire it again after about 5 minutes. If you wish to see some of the best products of the world and mingle with celebrities, you can cycle to Harrods in Knightsbridge which is quite close and enjoy the fantastic windows display. If you wish to relax after you have feasted your eyes on all the wonderful products on display in the store, you can just relax with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and some patisserie at Café Concertto which is just opposite Harrods.
Wandering around the streets of central London on the days before Christmas, you can admire the Christmas Window at Selfridges or at Liberty. Most of the attractions of the city such as the museums, art galleries, theatres, historic monuments and other places of interest such as the royal parks will be open at least up to December 23 and you can utilise your time in visiting the various attractions that you have always wanted to see. Seeing the Change of Guard at Buckingham Palace, visiting Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, going for a spin at London Eye or just relaxing at Trafalgar Square and having a coffee at Pret-A-Manger are some of the activities that will give you a lot of pleasure.
The weather may not be too conducive at this time to move around in Hyde Park or Kensington Gardens, but if you are lucky and the sun does not disappoint you, it would be worth your while to see the various attractions such as Speakers’ Corner or the Serpentine Gallery or even take a tour of Kensington Palace.
Christmas Eve dinner could be something that you can plan out well in advance because many hotels or restaurants are fully booked for such an occasion. The important restaurants, clubs and hotels have their own programmes for this night and as such if you are not able to gain entry in any of them, you can try to stay at your hotel and attend the various celebrations that they would have organised. Special Christmas lunches are also offered by most of these hotels.
Staying at a hotel like the Montcalm London Marble Arch, you can get affordable luxurious accommodation along with many festive season treats. The special offerings on Christmas Day include Christmas Afternoon tea on the afternoon of Christmas Day when you will be offered some utterly tasty and fabulous finger sandwiches with scones, clotted cream with tea or a glass of mulled wine. You can also enjoy a traditional six course menu exclusively prepared by an expert chef on Christmas Day. A gala dinner will also await you on New Year’s Eve.
If you wish to throw your own party to celebrate Christmas, you can do so at the hotel which will help you in all ways especially by providing excellent food and drinks and other infrastructure facilities. While staying at a luxury hotel in London, you can also avail of their spa offers so that you can get rid of your stresses and get rejuvenated.
On 26 December, most large departmental stores offer heavily discounted products for which people start to queue up from early morning as there is always a heavy rush to take advantage of the low prices of most items. If you are in London or in any other city of England, you might as well avail of such high discounts.