Christmas in London international student bloggers

Yes, I know, it’s only November, but there are only 4 weeks until Christmas and it’s always good to start planning early! I’ve got the best things to look forward to in London to get you into the festive spirit. I always love being in London for Christmas, and the closer to Santa’s arrival it gets, the more you think you’re living in Lapland. Mark your calendars because I’ve got the best of the best Of Christmas in London.

1. The arrival of Red Cups and Christmas Drinks!

Christmas in London international student bloggers

The red cups have already made their debut in worldwide Starbucks stores. The difference between them and any other years, is that the red cups have been designed by customers and picked. They look beautifully creative and I can’t wait to start drinking from them. The festive drinks have also started. The old favourites are back like Toffee Nut Latte, Gingerbread Latte, and Eggnog Latte, as well as a new drink – Fudge Hot Chocolate. And Costa have got theirs back too, featuring Gingerbread Latte, Lindt Hot Chocolate, Black Forest Hot Chocolate, Honeycomb Latte, Mint Hot Chocolate, Salted Caramel Cappuccino, and Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate. With such an extensive list  I’m not sure where to start, but you’ve got enough time to get through them all before they leave stores.

2. Christmas Light Switch On

Christmas in London international student bloggers

Sunday saw Oxford Street’s NSPCA star themed lights switched on by Craig David, and Carnaby Street’s V&A themed Christmas lights are also on. On the 11th November, the lights on the Strand lit up the theatrical area. Then on the 12th November, Bond Street and Duke of York Square, on 15th November Covent Garden, and on the 17th Regent Street’s and the Seven Dials Christmas spirit will come alive. Finally, a month before Christmas, on the 24th November, St Katherine’s docks lit up with a Christmas tree. I urge everyone to go and see at least one switch on, the vibe is incredible and instantly puts you in the festive mood. For more info check out the Time Out.

3. Ice Skating!

Christmas in London international student bloggers

Ice skating is the best way to get into that snowy spirit and there are so many great places in London with pop up rinks. I always love the Natural History Museum’s rink, last year they had a Swarovski tree. Canary Wharf’s rink this year will be lit up with 8000 LED lights. Somerset House host the coolest club skate night with the Ministry Of Sound. If you like the sights, you can skate under the London Eye or in the Tower of London. Or stay indoors at the Westfield White City. There’s something for everyone, and make sure to book student tickets and book in advance!

4. Christmas Markets

Christmas in London international student bloggers

One of the best things about the festive period are the Christmas Markets. Keep hitting Borough Market for the best foodie things (think cheese, festive bakes, etc). Winter Wonderland is the best free thing you can hit. Set in Hyde Park, it’s got an ice rink, fun rides, an ice bar, and stalls on stalls of Christmas treats and gifts. Watch out for the Coca Cola truck, which may mean a few freebies. And always keep your eyes peeled for any cluster of stands. Here in Ealing there are always stalls selling gifts like chocolate, soap decorations, as well as food, and Santa’s grotto.

5. Gift Offers

Christmas in London international student bloggers

In the run up to Christmas, it may be hard to keep focus on your spending. But the closer we get, the better the deals. I picked up these Baylis and Harding treats during a 2 for 3 offer at Debenhams. They make great gifts for friends or family members. You can also pick up great gifts by planning early and looking through the sales now. You can always find great ideas for him and her.

6. All the Chocolate!

Christmas in London international student bloggers

If Christmas doesn’t mean endless amounts of chocolate, you’re doing it wrong! The festive period means Christmas themed chocolates, like this Maltese’s reindeer. It also means giant tubs of Heroes, Quality Street, Celebrations, and Roses. And don’t forget the Cadbury Milk Tray and Terry’s Chocolate Orange. This list can go on forever, I can’t wait to start making my way through it…

7. Christmassy Windows

Christmas in London international student bloggers

One of the best things about Christmas shopping is looking at the magical windows on display. They’re normally used to advertise all the gifts they have, like Liberty’s windows usually do. But, this year they’ve opted for a minimal window scene in collaboration with the Royal Ballet. Burberry are designing Harrods’ window and I’m looking forward to seeing what beauty is produced. And look out for the stores that decorate, Regents Street is lined with tree decor, while Oxford Street is all about the glitzy lights. Happy shopping!

Are any of these events on your Christmas in London bucket list? What else are you looking forward to?

Read this post and other stories on Nicole’s personal blog

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