Last week, we banished all Scrooge-worthy cries of ‘but it’s only NOVEMBER!’ from the office as we embraced the massive Christmas-shaped bang taking place over London‘s Hyde Park. We donned our bobble hats, slipped on our mittens and skipped along to the bright lights of Winter Wonderland to try out the 20-acre festive playground…
With a promise of sparkly Christmas trees, an ice-skating rink, a whole Bavarian village, a circus, dancing elves, Santa, a Christmas Coaster™ and a seasonal soundtrack of jingly tunes thrown together in one park, we had high hopes.
A half-metre bratwurst, a glass or two of mulled wine and some vigorous upside-down shakes on a few rides later, we were overflowing with the joy of Christmas, filling our pockets with sweeties and trinkets from the stalls (after paying for them) and gorging on the edible delights (crêpes, gingerbread, caramel-coated nuts, weird potato cakes…).
There’s also a Palace of Illusion (where you can look skinny, look plump, and run along on Gladiators-style conveyor belts), a Giant Wheel (easily mistaken for the London Eye) and the largest ice-skating rink in central London.
Winter Wonderland will be filling Hyde Park until the market packs up and returns to Germany on 3 January. So, if you’ve got a stay at the Metropolitan, the Gore or Knightsbridge Hotel booked in before then, be sure to wander down.
And, if you’re in Edinburgh instead, look out for a Scottish version (with more rides, Christmas markets and ice skating).