It was hard to know how to feel when the news arrived that Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland had been cancelled. On the one hand – there was no chance your friends could drag you there to endure the queues, crowds and eye-wateringly expensive rounds of steins. On the other – it was an early and upsetting signafier that the staples of London Christmas were being toppled. Now we’d gladly stand in those queues, and pay for nine of those steins. We’d even throw in some little cartons of bratwurst, if it meant we could be safely squished into the corner of an alpine lodge with our closest friends, talking about how we’re ‘starting to feel pretty Christmassy now’.
The BIG Winter Wonderland is still on pause for 2020, but there are other versions of the ‘Christmas experience’ making a scaled-down appearance in London for December. London Bridge rooftop bar Winter Heights will be serving up hot cocktails and fondue, Covent Garden Market is already festooned with 115,000 festive lights and a 60ft Christmas tree, and this Wednesday, a new ‘Nordic Spirit Wonderland’ is set to open in Vauxhall Food and Beer Garden.
This South London Winter Wonderland won’t have a ferris wheel and waltzers, but it will have pine trees, open fire pits for marshmallow roasting and ‘winter themed street food’ (which usually translates to ‘fried stuff covered in cheese’). What makes it ‘nordic’? Apparently it’ll have wooden cabins made from real Scandinavian materials, and there are plans for a green light projection to mimic the experience of sitting beneath the Northern Lights.
The most important thing to note, though, is that the Vauxhall Food and Beer Garden is both an indoor and outdoor venue, which means, if you manage to book a beer garden table, you’ll be able to hang out with five other people who you don’t actually live with. If you impulse-bought a roll neck cable knit in lockdown – now is its time to shine.
Nordic Spirit Wonderland x Vauxhall Food and Beer Garden starts Wednesday December 2 and will run throughout the month. Find out more here.
Not quite the Christmassy feeling you’re after? Have a look at London’s most festive pub.
… Or take a look at Selfridges’ new outdoor Christmas market.