Covent Garden remains London’s favourite Christmas destination as its magical programme of festivities continues throughout December. The much loved 55ft Christmas tree and the iconic Market Building decorations are now on, with a number of exciting events and activities taking place throughout December. Covent Garden’s Christmas Village has transformed the East Piazza with a festive banqueting experience and a festive food market, while the Winter Warmer Festival will return from 10th December now including Christmas sandwiches, mulled wine and more. Charity auction ‘Gift For Good’ supporting homelessness in London will return with over £14,000 worth of auction lots from some of London’s hottest shops, hotels and restaurants, and the American Express Winter World Shopping Lounge will open throughout December for shoppers. With a programme of events for every member of the family, Covent Garden is the ultimate destination for the festive season.
The entire neighbourhood sparkles with over 115,000 twinkling lights across the historic streets and Piazza, daily snowfall takes place in front of the British grown Christmas tree which is adorned with 50,000 lights. New this year, a Frozen Forest decorates the front of the Market Building in partnership with Disney and Frozen the Musical. The forest is decorated with daily flurries of snow hourly from midday until 7pm, accompanied by an instrumental version of the ‘Let it go’ classic, and a one-off flurry at 9.30pm is a must see for visitors departing the theatre. The Insta-famous Infinity Chamber has also had an icy makeover to appear frozen. Throughout December, choirs from a number of Disney shows including Frozen, Mary Poppins and The Lion King will be making surprise visits to the Piazza to perform show classics and festive songs.
The area will also offer visitors traditional Christmas market magic at the Covent Garden Christmas Village, with eight luxury bauble themed igloos for a bookable banquet experience in partnership with Ramsbury Single Estate Gin, offering a sharing style menu including the signature roast chicken, served with pigs in blankets and all the trimmings. It also features a traditional winter town with festive food huts, a winter forest archway, Santa’s sleigh and a Christmas tree forest. Highlights include a mulled wine bar, and food offerings from Peloton Pizza, delicious seafood from Son of a Sailor and festive churros. Elsewhere, the iconic Apple Market is decorated with a show-stopping archway by luxury florists Maison de Fleurs and sells traditional British gifts and high-quality crafts.
Following last year's successful auction raising £15,000, the Gift for Good online charity auction will run from 25th-28th November, with proceeds going to the charity Only A Pavement Away, which works alongside Crisis on its mission to end homelessness. Lots will be auctioned from retailers and restaurants across the estate with items and experiences worth a total of over £14,000. Highlights include an 8-course tasting menu from newly opened Pivot, a 5-course tasting menu from Frenchie; limited edition Nike Air Jordan’s from Kick Game; one night stays at The Nomad, The Rosewood Hotel, Tower Suites by Blue Orchid and One Aldwych; a bespoke shopping experience at Paul Smith; dining vouchers for Sticks & Sushi and Din Tai Fung; a handbag and shopping experience at Mulberry; luxury gifts from Guerlain, Tiffany & Co. Olivia Burton and Strathberry; afternoon tea Petersham Nurseries; meals at Darjeeling Express, SUSHISAMBA, Ladurée, Chez Antoinette, El Ta’koy, Lillys, Floral by Lima; jewellery from Alex Monroe, Bucherer and VASHI and tickets for the Royal Opera House, London Transport Museum and the Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition.
From 9th-12th December visitors will be able to enjoy the Covent Garden ‘Gifts Back’ shopping weekend which will see shoppers receive something extra from over 20 stores, with one-offs offers and gifts with purchases. All visitors can enjoy discounts and offers at a variety of stores including Agnes B, GANNI, KICK GAME, NARS, Moleskin and Lulu Guinness as well as free gifts from Chanel, Penhaligon’s and Strathberry amongst others.
From 10th - 24th December, Covent Garden will bring back The Winter Warmer Festival, offering unique takes on mulled wine for Londoners to enjoy some winter-al-fresco fun. Over 100 varieties of festive mulled wine or hot toddies will be served across the estate from some of Covent Garden’s most-loved bars and restaurants including Ladurée, Darjeeling Express, Frenchie, Mariage Freres, Mrs Riot and more. Paul Smith and ARKET will serve festive tipples in-store, while visitors to VASHI can enjoy festive Seedlip mocktails and free TOWNHOUSE manicures in-store while shopping. For a take-away treat, visitors can head to the West Piazza for Dirty Martini and Johnnie Walker’s pop up bar, where they can enjoy hot spiced-gin punch, Baileys hot chocolate, G&T prosecco, mulled wine and more. New to the festival for 2021, the Christmas Sandwich will rival the headline act, as head chefs at the likes of Vyta, Avobar, Frenchie and Chez Antoinette, have been challenged to create new takes on the classic sarnie. As part of the festival, Covent Garden has also partnered with Feast It who will bring new pop up vendors each offering novelty Christmas sandwiches with fillings such as classic turkey and cranberry, truffle and inventive brussel sprout stuffing.
From 3rd December, an American Express Winter World will open at 20 Floral Street offering shoppers the chance to take a break from shopping and immerse themselves in a Christmas haven with complimentary drinks, gift wrapping, festive experiences including wreath making and an enchanting Christmas light experience, open each weekend in December. During December, American Express cardholders will also receive £10 cashback when they spend a minimum of £50, across Covent Garden’s participating brands including the likes of Apple, Charlotte Tilbury, SUSHISAMBA, The Ivy Market Grill and many more.
An immersive LEGO® adventure will return to the Piazza for the second year running from 1st December until 3rd January, accompanied by a LEGO® Christmas shop. Inspired by the 2021 LEGO® Holiday TV advert, the creative installation encourages families to unleash their imagination with the LEGO® Carousel of Creativity, inviting families to explore a playful and colourful brick-built world and visit LEGO®’s Christmas shop selling a bespoke range of LEGO® gifts. This not-to-be-missed free experience will include a rocket race car, firefighting dragon, princess racing driver and a cactus Xmas tree all made out of LEGO® bricks.
The estate will continue to be the home of culture with The Royal Opera House offering a range of festive activities for the whole family. It will offer Nutcracker biscuit decorating, tasty winter tipples on the Piazza Winter Terrace Bar as well as must-see shows including The Royal Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker on stage from 23rd November until 8th January, and Wolf Witch Giant Fairy, a collaboration between The Royal Opera and innovative theatre company Little Bulb, opening on 17th December.
For Christmas shopping, Covent Garden is the destination to find exclusive gifts from the best British and global fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands. Stores offering perfect Christmas treats, exclusive presents, gift wrapping and personalisation include Paul Smith, Bucherer, Radley London, Polo Ralph Lauren, Mulberry, Vashi, Arc'teryx, Lacoste, Sandro, Strathberry, Tiffany & Co., ba&sh, A.P.C, Free People and more, plus a number of beauty brands including Dior, Chanel, Jo Malone, Tom Ford, Charlotte Tilbury and Aesop. New stores opening in time for Christmas include luxury accessories brand Strathberry, as well as jewellery brand e&e. A number of pop-ups will also be opening including heritage fragrance house Guerlain and premium CBD oil OTO. Guerlain will open a beauty boutique in Covent Garden on 20th November until March to celebrate the launch of the brand’s exclusive new high perfumery collection L’Art & La Matiere. Whilst OTO will bring London’s first immersive CBD pop up to town with a schedule of events across five weeks, from 23rd November -16th December, where guests can enjoy the likes of yoga, restorative sound baths and wreath making workshops. Plus, every Friday in December, a Fujifilm expert from the Fujifilm House of Photography will be in the area with their Instax camera to capture instant snaps of visitors and their loved ones that they can take away.
Covent Garden restaurants and bars will also continue to offer weatherproof drinking and dining for visitors, with over 1000 outdoor dining seats across 55 restaurants, with heaters, umbrellas and windbreak screens. Global and independent restaurants offering outdoor dining as well as space for festive meetups include Sushisamba, The Oystermen, La Goccia, Frenchie, Cora Pearl, Mariage Frères, La Goccia, The Petersham, Da Henrietta and more. New openings include the four-storey townhouse 3 Henrietta Street; Big Mamma group’s latest sensation Ave Mario or Asma Khan’s Darjeeling Express. Visitors looking for a treat for the whole family can choose from The Ivy Market Grill, Flat Iron, Buns & Buns, Din Tai Fung, Shake Shack or Sticks ‘n’ Sushi.
The London Transport Museum will kick off its winter festivities from 4th December, with an array of family fun on offer, including a brand-new 3D interactive sleigh, the chance to meet Santa and his “Tf-Elves” in a magical winter garden, a festive trail around the Museum galleries with weekly prizes up for grabs, plus After Dark at the Museum events.
Alongside all the festive celebrations, gather your closest friends and get ready to step into Carrie Bradshaw’s closet at ‘The Sex and the City Apartment’ immersive pop-up taking place between 11th and 12th December in Carriage Hall, Floral Street. The pop-up will be a chance for hopeless romantics and fashionistas to sip on cocktails, type pensively at their favourite columnist’s laptop, explore all corners of her apartment before posing for a photo in Carrie’s iconic closet.
For festive celebrations, and a wide selection of experiences, shopping and dining visit Coventgarden.london