If you’re out of festive cheer, we have plenty to go round!
London has officially entered Tier 4 Covid-19 restrictions. I don’t know about you but tears are definitely falling from my eyes… No bars, restaurants, gyms or non-essential shops can open, nor can we enjoy the big day with those outside of our household or support bubbles. It may not feel like the most wonderful time of the year but we’re still determined to make this a December to remember. Christmas is a mere few days away and if you’re fresh out of festive cheer, here are 8 ways you can get in on the festive fun without breaking any rules (or ending up on the naughty list).
1. Make your own mulled wine
There are very few things in life more satisfying than a cup of mulled wine. The spices, the aroma, the warmth – it’s simply heaven in a cup. And it’s super easy to make, too. All you need is a pan and a hob, and the ingredients which can be picked up from any local supermarket. Most recipes just require you to warm up red wine, oranges, cinnamon, cloves, star anise and a touch of sugar or honey to taste. It’s as easy as popping it all in a saucepan and simmering on low (with a pan cover) for just 15 minutes!
2. Look out for the rare ‘Christmas Star’ tonight
Making a special appearance for Christmas 2020, Jupiter and Saturn are set to wave their magic wand this year – creating the first ‘Christmas Star’ in 800 long years. The cosmic event, which will mark the first “Great Conjunction” that is visible to the naked eye in eight centuries, will involve both planets appearing to collide, creating a large bright spot in the skies tonight (December 21). Head outside this evening, look up and with any luck, you’ll see the two planets become one!
3. Go on a winter walk
Many things are off limits under Tier 4 restrictions, but exercise isn’t one of them. So grab your scarf (and your face mask, of course), whack on your favourite playlist or podcast and work your way through these 10 stunning London walks. Better yet, catch up with your support bubble or one person from outside your household with one of London’s beautiful parks, trails or paths as your backdrop. It’ll be a walk in the park…
4. Throw on a festive film or watch a Christmas special
If there’s one thing we’ve found solace in this year, it’s the telly. And luckily there are a number of Christmas TV specials including the Great British Bake Off, Doctor Who and First Dates, set to grace our screens this month. Alternatively, Netflix has an enviable range of festive films in their library! Whether you fancy a Christmas classic like The Christmas Chronicles 2 or a newer festive favourite like Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, you’ll be spoilt for choice. So grab your festive tipple of choice, turn on the Christmas tree lights and let the TV work its Christmas magic.
5. Take a trip to Borough Market
Borough Market is considered an essential retailer and will remain open during Tier 4 – it’s a Christmas miracle. An adult in Borough Market is much like a kid in a candy store: ecstatic and completely spoilt for choice! And thankfully, no pandemic will stop us from enjoying their incredible food stalls and artisanal bites from all over the world. The market has also launched a range of festive hampers if you need a last minute gift or simply want to treat yourself.
6. Bake yourself a Christmas treat
Now it wouldn’t be a lockdown without banana bread, so here are 12 delicious banana bread recipes to work your way through. However, if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, why not bake something completely new over the festive period? Gingerbread houses, Christmas puddings, yule logs – the options are endless. Alternatively, order your very own home baking subscription box from the Great British Bake Off and learn from the professionals instead!
7. Check out London’s Christmas lights
If you’re lucky enough to live within walking distance of any of London’s dazzling lights displays, take a short walk and feast your eyes on these masterpieces. A sparkling array of Christmas lights are twinkling all over town and they are simply breathtaking. From the bottom of Oxford Street, to the middle of Trafalgar Square, and all the way to the top of The Shard – here are some of the best Christmas lights in the world! Read more here.
8. Visit London’s treemendous Christmas trees
Similarly, if you happen to be a stone’s throw away from any of London’s gorgeous Christmas trees, go and bask in their beauty! It’s nearly Christmas which means that Michael Bublé has fully defrosted and London’s remarkable Christmas trees are up and ready to be admired. In the spirit of 2020, many of these festive trees are far from predictable, but we can guarantee that you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Read all about them here.