With the days now dark and the nights getting chilly, ignite the festive flame in your heart and soul with our Indytute feelgood faves: Amazing experiences in London all about the comfort and joy.
Sip hot chocolate (or something stronger) under the stars
Cozy up with a cocktail in a candlelit igloo at the heart of the city. Let all thoughts of life below slip away as you cuddle up amongst the evergreens and gaze out on the river. With the breathtaking view bathed in twinkly lights, wrap yourself in a soft snuggly blanket and look down over a London landscape that’s lovelier than ever.
Photo credit: coppaclub.co.uk
Sing your heart out with someone you love
Backed by the rousing chorus of a live gospel choir, taking to the stage in your very own robes and belting out a tune or two is bound to bring out your inner diva. Let the music stir your soul and the roar of a cheering crowd lift your spirit. Think Sister Act meets Top of the Pops: karaoke has never been so much fun. Or felt so damn good.
Photo credit: thenudge.com
Spark a fire in all your senses
Escape the harsh city light and wind your way into the wilderness, as once again the sprawling grounds of Syon Park are bathed in colour for the season. Follow a fairy-lit trail through its historic grounds to the imposing spectacle of an imposing glass conservatory illuminated beneath the night sky. As the forest-lined lake sparkles barely nine miles from London, find yourself transported. And glowing from the inside out.
Sign up for something silly (in aid of a good cause)
The puddings are back on the loose and this roly-poly relay guarantees to raise more than a smile. Find four mates and gear up to guide that figgy down a giant slide and crazy foam slalom before completing a host of challenges that’ll truly test your tray game. In fancy dress, of course. And with all the trimmings going to Cancer Research UK, this holiday hilarity helps a hugely important cause. Get your team together quick - there’s still time to grab an ‘Early Pud’ discount. Note to self: don’t drop dessert.
No team? No problem. Those not taking part can still enjoy the fun and every contribution makes a difference. Wrap up warm and cheer on the contestants as they charge around Covent Garden.
Photo credit: allinlondon.co.uk
Spend a night away from it all
Escape the rush of street life and settle in for a night on London’s peaceful waterways. Aboard a beautiful boutique boat, grab a good book and bottle of wine and breathe a sigh of relief as chaos off floats down the canal. Whether for rest or romance, the sound of swallows and soft sparkle of light on the water takes some beating. Leave your troubles on the tide and wake up to (and on) a Velvet Morning that’s as blissful as it sounds.
Step into a world of sugar and spice
The Museum of Architecture’s annual exhibition is coming to Somerset House and its teeny tiny gingerbread city is too cute (not to mention delicious) to resist. ‘Expect the unconventional and mesmerising’ as you explore a mouthwatering metropolis created by a mammoth team of architects, engineers, and designers. Embrace your big kid as you peek under candy cane coving and let your imagination run wild along lollipop-lined lanes, then create your own scrumptious semi-detached in one of the daily gingerbread house-making workshops. A cinnamon-smelling celebration of all things nice that tastes just as good as it looks.
Photo credit: Somerset House
Show someone you care
Every year, thousands of people spend Christmas in crisis. Without shelter. Without company. Without hope. And every year thousands more give their time, their money, and their company to ensure they don’t have to. Volunteer, fund a place or raise some funds to put a smile on someone’s face at a time kindness means more than ever. Open your eyes, open your mind, open your heart. Because the little things can make all the difference.
Photo credit: shop.thtc.co.uk
Leave your worries at the door as you slip into the stillness of a floatation tank. Let warm saltwater soothe your aching bones, soak up the silence and clear your mind. Relax your muscles and drift away for an hour of zen, or stay a little while longer to enjoy the solitude. Sipping on a herbal tea in this secret Shoreditch sanctuary you’ll feel a world away from London. Disconnect, reconnect, find peace. Sometimes all it takes is to stop.
Seek out some soul food
Hotfoot it to a four-day feast! The ultimate foodie festival is back in seasonal style as Taste returns to Tobacco Dock, and this wintery wonderland of delectable discovery has all the feelgood fare you could wish for. Quaff a cocktail, check out the cheese and watch culinary masters cook up a storm. Dine in, stock up, take out. Shop, sample, savour. Nose, nibble, nourish...it’s nothing short of yuletide yumminess. All together now: NOM…
Subscribe for some time out
In a season that should be so full of joy, for many of us, winter months are the hardest. Stressful days and sleepless nights are overwhelming, and sadness can lead to despair. But you’re not alone, there are things to make it easier, and Calm’s wellness app offers mindful meditations to ease and inspire, sleep stories to promote better rest and breathing tools to alleviate anxiety. With the Premium service unlocking a year of unlimited masterclasses to bring peace and boost clarity, gift yourself some calm. In a happier and healthier mindset, things look and feel different*. Don’t forget yourself this Christmas.
Photo credit: calm.com
*But if they don’t, and you’re still struggling, try and talk to someone. Call a friend. Tell your GP. Seek help. There are people ready to listen. You matter.
Settle in for snowfall
The panoramic river view of Petersham Nursery is always beguiling, but it really is the most wonderful time of year to book a table at their stunning restaurant. With a sublime seasonal menu of fresh, festive fare, diners gazing out over the icy water this December will watch snowflakes skim the surface. Let the warmth of the team’s charming service draw you in from the cold: this one-of-a-kind outside inside experience is nothing short of a Christmas miracle.
Send some good out into the world
GET OUT’s environmental education aims to strengthen the connection between the borough’s young people and the natural world. Based in Tower Hamlets, this incredible London charity builds self-confidence and life skills through a free programme of activities and youth projects that enhance and shape futures. Donate your time, trade, tools or just a tenner to support a cause that contributes to both the community and the planet. Because in the season of goodwill, what better feeling than knowing you've given back.
Photo credit: getoutuk.org
This Cyber Weekend (Nov 29th- 2nd Dec) We'll be giving £5 of every order to Get Out so they can get more London children out into nature.