Most people should know by now that I am an insane Christmas lover. There is no better time of year than christmas time- the smells, the happiness and kindness, the love, trees indoors-you can’t go wrong. So when I came to London one of the number one things to do on my list was hit as many christmas markets as possible. Here on this blog, you will probably hear about every single one I attend, including this first one!
Southbank is one of my favourite places in the world. Why? Because the globe theatre is there of course! (seriously, one of the most magical places there is.) My best friend and I headed down to busy Southbank on a bright and sunny day to stop through the christmas markets and see if we could get tickets for a show at the globe(we didn’t) and it was a truly a wonderful experience!
We started first at Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival with a drink and some eye candy. Check out the event listing in the link above to see if theres anything that may tickle your fancy this December- theres concerts, carnivals, kids days and, my favourite, 10 days of kindness-people sharing stories of acts of kindness.The day we adventured to the winter festival it was strictly yummy food and drink! It was incredibly busy- Southbank is quite touristy- so if you are going, be ready to wait in some lines for your food or drink. When you walk into the festival, the cider house is ready and waiting- its where we hit first, of course! Alisa had a plum cider which was DELICIOUS and I had a hot chocolate with all the works!
The festival sits in front of the London Eye making it a beautiful scene with lights strung up overhead. We got there around 3 o’clock on the afternoon when the sky was just starting to turn a purple-y pink- making it even more cozy and wonderful.
The street food section was so busy that it was hard to take pictures in, however the food was mesmerizing. We didn’t order anything simply because it was so busy- but Hank’s Mac Shack seemed like the place to be! There were also shop stands under the bridge- done up like little wooden cabins.
As you leave the festival, there a wonderful photo opportunity with some lit up trees and a red wall- great if you’re looking for some quick holiday themed pics with your kiddos (or best friend)!
We walked on from this Winter festival chatting and making our way to the Globe. Along the way we ran into my parents (small world) who told us there was another market just up the way at the Tate Modern. So, off we were.
This market was much less chaotic and MUCH more Christmas-y! The little chalet houses were all decked out in garland and ‘baubles’ (christmas ball ornaments). There was an ease about this market for some reason. One of the coolest things about the market is that it overlooks the beautiful St.Paul’s cathedral- making the skyline absolutely wonderful while you stand amongst all the best of Christmas (can you say heaven?).
All of the cabins were done up to look sort of old-time Christmasy. There was a classic feeling to each one- even the food cabins.
The market was surrounded by birch trees with twinkle lights all strung up between them. As the sun was setting, the lights got twinklier, making everything feel that much more cozy. Not to mention, the smell of roasting chestnuts, which is quite possible the warmest, homiest smell on the earth.
My favourite thing from both the markets however, was Santa. And what is a Christmas market without him really? In the middle of the market on top of a sausage booth, he looks down on all the fun below.
This day involved a lot of walking and we didn’t end up getting tickets to the show we had wanted to see at the Globe but the sky turned the most beautiful shade just as we were arriving. It was the perfect end to a Christmasy day- to be in my favourite place where stories were put on play for millions of people to relate to…. it was an absolutely wonderful day.
I recommend anyone in London hit these spots. Don’t be detoured by how busy it seems- its most certainly worth seeing!