Is it time for some wintery London tips? It’s December tomorrow, apparently. And this week it’s felt properly cold, almost Christmassy. And just look at the difference two weeks can make in Spring Gardens..
Two weeks ago:
Not a leaf in sight! We were on our way home from the Tea House Theatre, which has become one of our regular haunts. I may have mentioned it a couple of posts back. Roo likes it because one of the guys there knows all the words to the “Spiderman” theme tune. Which brings me onto my first Advent tip – Christmas kids movies! The Tea House is showing a kids’ Christmas film every Monday afternoon for the next three weeks. They start at 4PM, so fit nicely after nursery for us and the first one is “When the Grinch stole Christmas” next Monday (3rd Dec). Reuben loves a bit of Dr Seuss and I like a bit of cake.
Talking of Seuss, here’s the next thing I’m looking forward to: “Seussical the Musical!” I impulse bought tickets cause it was on Groupon the other day, and it’ll be Roo’s first theatre trip. It’ll be Eva’s as well, but she’s unlikely to know what’s going on. It’ not strictly Christmassy, nor are we seeing it in Advent (going for a New Year’s treat) but I wanted to share my excitement about it. It’s been a long time since I impulse bought theatre tickets. I think the last time was for “Dracula:the Musical” at the White Bear Theatre Pub in Kennington. That was when I was just pregnant with Roo and feeling the early stirrings of morning sickness, so being sung at by vampires in a small space was an obvious remedy.
You may notice a musicals theme here. I do love musicals. One advent tradition of ours is to watch “White Christmas” with our friend Ems and Baileys (except when I’ve been pregnant). Sadly, I’m not putting the details of that out there on the interweb for any festive-munchkin to find it. Our lounge isn’t big enough and we don’t have enough Baileys.
So, for something completely different: tomorrow, we’re going to watch the Christmas Pudding Race in Covent Garden. I know very little about it, except that it involves people carrying Christmas puddings over an obstacle course. That sounds fun, right? There is also reindeer petting in Covent Garden, but that sounds kinda cruel to the reindeer (the Plaza not being quite the tundra they’re used to) so we may give that a miss. There is also something kinda special on in Leicester Square at the moment, but I’ll report back tomorrow…
So, what else is cool to do? People often ask me about Winter Wonderland, but it is realllly overcrowded…or was last year, anyway. The Southbank Christmas market is a mellower alternative, if you really feel the need to buy mulled wine and ginger-y biscuits. If you’re free tomorrow and have the kind of children that can be babysat (ie not a 7-month-old velcro baby), I would heartily recommend the Buttoned Down Disco Christmas party. It’s ridiculous amounts of fun and we used to go all the time pre-kids. Look, here we are at the first BDD Christmas party back in 2003! Third photo in or just here:
*Sob* I was so young and skinny then….if , like me, you are too old for clubbing but still want to dress up in Christmas-themed costumes you can always come to the City Gates nativity service on 16th Dec at the University of Westminster. Everyone dresses up, it gets very silly and is fairly light on that religion stuff. Reuben traditionally wears a star costume to it, but refused to last year so it may be passed onto Eva this year. He can be a Christmas dinosaur.
Talking of carol services, we went to the most bizarre one in Covent Garden around 2007. I was keen to sing some carols, so we picked one out of the paper and went. It featured a poem about a rotten banana and a man singing a song of thanks to a charity called “the Food Chain” to the tune of “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”. We tried so hard not to laugh but sadly failed…Then we went to Los Locos and sampled their special Christmas menu, where everything that normally contained chicken was replaced with turkey and two quid added to the price. Good times.
So, that’s a few things to do at Christmas that you may not have considered. Oh yeah, and go skating. But everyone tells you that, right?!