If the thought of having a date at Winter Wonderland sends shivers down your spine, your ice skating skills are too shoddy for public and you find mistletoe far too cliché, we have a few festive date ideas that will jingle your bells (or at least result in some bells being jingled).
1. Petersham Nurseries
As expected from the evergreen and ever-gorgeous garden centre, Petersham Nurseries, the team go to town on the decor when it comes to Christmas. After wandering the nurseries, grab a table in either their Tea House for some lunch (or cake) or their conservatory restaurant, which is adorned with fairy lights, long, winding branches, trees and baubles. There are also festive workshops and events running throughout of December, which you can find out more about here.
Church Lane, Petersham Road, Richmond TW10 7AB
2. The Reindeer
This two-day pop-up dining experience brought to you by the Lee Alexander McQueen Foundation in collaboration with Bistrotheque, is definitely one for an extravagant gesture. Running on 2nd and 3rd December only, for seatings at both lunch and dinner, treat your date to a 5-course meal. The menu includes canapés, starters, deliciously pink beef for mains, desserts and a pre-dessert (yes, that is a thing). Each course is also served with a Ketel One cocktail pairing. Some of the times have already sold out, but there are still places available here. It doesn’t make for a cheap date – lunch is £110 and dinner is £130, however, the money made is being raised in aid of the Sarabande Foundation to help continue its support of creatives. Plus, its Alexander McQueen, darling, so you know it will be fabulous
Sarabande Foundation, 22 Hertford Road , N1 5SH London
(However, if this is a little out of your date-budget, check out these wintry pop-ups that look as wonderful.)
3. Sketch presents The Night Before Christmas
For t’was the night before Christmas and snow fell upon on Conduit Street. Sketch has decked the halls out for the festive season, complete with indoor trees and arrangements put together by Carly Rogers Flowers for their #nightmarebeforechristmas campaign. Alongside the decor, they are running a Christmas afternoon tea experience, complete with performances from London Choralists to please your ears as you munch on your delectable seasonal treats and sip on champagne. The tea will run throughout December, when you’ll also be able to explore sketch’s snowy interiors. You can find out more info here.
9 Conduit Street, London W1S 2XG
4. Camden Christmas Market
If you and your other half love nothing more than taking couple selfies (and then bombarding everyone’s social media feeds with love and gooey-ness), then you’ll be thrilled to know that there’s a selfie Christmas tree at Camden Xmas Market. Snap a kissy pic in its mirrored sides and enjoy the festivities in the North Yard every Thursday until 22nd December. And nestled right next to the themed gift market – selling everything from kids pressies to Christmas decorations – there’s a heated outdoor festive bar with live music, mulled wine, mince pies and fizz, all set under twinkling lights and open until 9pm. Plus, every Friday and Saturday on Camden Lock Place, the snuggly Winter’s Place bar will be popping up with a DJ, cocktails served in baubles (yes, really) and cosy faux fur blankets to get your Christmas party started. Find the full line-up of happenings here.
5. Candlelight Concerts
If you opened the guide-book to romancing, you’d be sure to find both music and candlelight on the first page. This December, woo your way into festive luuuurve with a bit of classical music. Whether or not you know your Brahms from your Bach, an evening of candlelit orchestral music is sure to pull on some heart-strings and impress. Check out a couple of dates this December below.
Christmas By Candlelight – £26 – 9th December – Pinner Parish Church, Church Ln, Pinner, HA5 3AA
Moonlight Sonata by Candlelight – for £16 – St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, WC2N 4JJ
6. Some Voices presents Christmas Movies
If you thought watching Love Actually snuggled up under blanket was romantic, imagine being serenaded by a choir of 400 gorgeous voices. The awesome London choir, Some Voices, are putting on two nights of Christmas movie magic, performing some of the much-loved songs of the festive season. So you can ditch ITV2, who’ve been showing a fortnightly screening of Love Actually since it was released on DVD and get your fix of its soundtrack in a far more immersive setting. It’s sure to stir you and get you in the mooood for love (and, quite possibly, a mince pie).
Shows are on 13th and 14th December, doors open at 7.00pm. Tickets are £17
The Coronet, Elephant and Castle
Another one we’ve been yapping on about (but for bloody good reason), is Kew Garden’s Christmas light trail. Check out this to find out why.
And if all else fails, go on a good old walk with a pub.
Feature image: The Reindeer