The Devonshire London is one of the greatest boutique hotels near Paddington Station in London.
Between the overall aesthetic of this luxurious hotel and the proximity to gems like restaurants near Paddington, Oxford Street and Hyde Park, you are never stuck for something to do. During the festive season, London is especially well-known for sparkling pop-ups that transform the whole city into one big celebration.
Better still, a number of these are in walking distance of The Devonshire. Ready to explore the city during the festive season? We sure are! Here’s what you should look out for:
1. Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland is an annual pop-up event in Hyde Park, London – definitely the biggest pop-up the city welcomes into its walls and certainly an international competitor, too. The royal park is transformed into a paradisal-pop-up, covered in fairy lights and smelling constantly of the faint combination of mulled wine and roasted nuts. You would hardly believe that the park is anything but this little slice of yuletide magic when visiting, as the structures are built so soundly that they become a part of the furniture. After the season is over, and the cabin-style apres-ski bars replaced with the expansive green space again, it is as if the whole pop-up appeared by magic. There are craft and boutique stores to peruse, festive foods to enjoy and fairground equipment to use. It is all minutes away from you, so you are essentially a part of the festivities before you even start your short stroll down the road.
The name often throws people, because Oktoberfest is seldom held exclusively in October itself – or at least that is the case for the original Bavarian festival in South Germany and a series of replicas across the country. The dates change here and there, and they have progressively started getting pushed later into the year to suit times of the harvest. This is why there will be pop-up Oktoberfest celebrations still happening in November this year in London. The final “Luxury Edition” of this seasonal, Autumnal festival will be taking place 15 November at 4:00 pm to 16 November at 11:00 pm in London City Center. Though this festive experience is not quite walking distance like the previous suggestions, it is such a fun and exciting event in London that you just can’t pass it up – but not to worry, as the tube ride to Liverpool Street, where it takes place, is just an easy tube ride along the Central Line from your local stop, Queensway.
3. Natural History Museum Ice Rink
Another annual festive beacon of London is the ice rink that is erected at the Natural History Museum, just on the other side of Hyde Park from The Devonshire in Paddington. This sparkly Winter activity, in front of the Waterhouse building, is around for a relatively short time, from 19 October 2019 to 12 January 2020, and is a festive activity for all ages to enjoy throughout the day. The Natural History Museum is in South Kensington, an often-visited hub for cultural, historical and scientific enrichment due to the row of museums on Exhibition Road. If you walk from the hotel through the middle of Hyde Park – enjoying the market stalls and festive cheer of Winter Wonderland as you go – it should take you a quick half an hour to get to the museums. You are basically directly across the way from it, with Hyde Park through the middle.
4. Coppa Igloos
Coppa Club by Tower Bridge, a quick tube ride from The Devonshire London Paddington (Queensway to Bank), is a no pop-up to London – in fact, it is arguably one of its key gastronomical, riverside features. They are best known for their pods: glass private dining areas on the terrace, in which you can enjoy views of Tower Bridge and feel as if you are sheltered inside a tropical glass dome. However – and this is where the pop-up comes in – during the season of glistening trees and spiced red wine, these pods are converted into igloos to ensure you enjoy the season in authentic festive style.
5. Roast dinner
It is a rite of passage when visiting London to partake in a hearty roast dinner, finished with pigs in blankets, a bucket of gravy and some Yorkshire puddings. Christmas time is the best time to be enjoying these, so venture to most pubs and restaurants near Paddington and you can expect to find somewhere with a glorious festive spread on, usually for a reasonable, inclusive per-head price with a specific Christmas theme – so it is not just your average Sunday roast! There really is nothing quite like enjoying a big glass of red wine or seasonal eggnog while your turkey and roast potatoes soak up the gravy on your plate, while you start going rosy-cheeked from the open fire and celebrating the year gone by with a “CHEERS!” and a laugh with loved ones.
6. Christmas film pop-ups
Pop-up cinemas are not just for the outdoors in the Summer months, but also for cosying up with a hot chocolate to enjoy your best seasonal films like Home Alone and The Grinch. Take these two incredible things, pop-up cinemas and Christmas films, add a fairy-light-lit backdrop, and you find yourself with one of the top events to visit this festive season. Winter Night Garden has partnered with the Christmas festival Winterville to bring you all your favourite Christmas films in an enchanted forest filled with beanbags and the constant smell of fresh popcorn. The event takes place at Victoria Park, so although slightly further than Hyde Park or the Natural History Museum, the Central Line will take you to the doorstep of this pop-up cinematic experience.
If making the most of London hotel offers and visiting London this festive season, then make sure you make the most of the pop-ups that are sprinkled across the city. These are the top events that are happening, but most areas will have smaller Christmas markets going on – and they will all be getting in the zone with their light displays and decor. Enjoy all the season has to offer, from store discounts to themed Sunday roasts that include the occasional Christmas cracker!