We’ve teamed up with St Pancras International to create a guide to this year’s festive season in London
Where better to start your festive day out in the capital than at St Pancras International, where you can eat, drink and be merry? As the gateway to London’s best shops, restaurants and bars, and with enhanced cleaning measures and even a 10m tall Christmas tree, it makes for a safe and exciting start to your visit, too…
Where to eat and drink in London at Christmas
Once London is out of tier three, these places make for a perfect spot to stop for a refreshment.
Searcys’ Champagne Bar
Get into the Christmas spirit by heading to Searcys’ Champagne Bar in St Pancras International.
Take a seat at the longest Champagne bar in Europe and toast yourself for making it through 2020.
The Champagne Democracy menu has four types of bubbles, from Lanson to Perrier-Jouet, for £9.75.
Forget about scotch egg-gate. All drinks must be served with food and Betjeman Arms has a menu filled with British classics, from fish and chips to a Sunday roast.
If you can’t wait for the big day, feast on the Christmas menu – orders must be placed one week in advance.
Unleash your inner influencer at St Pancras International’s recently opened EL&N Café.
Brimming with flowers, it blushes with pink hues and wears its candy love hearts on its walls.
Enjoy salads, sandwiches and queue-worthy desserts. Few menus have a section called Instagrammable Lattes, so cameras at the ready and order the Lucky Charms latte.
EL&N Café is open for takeaways while London is in tier three.
Where to see London’s Christmas lights
Most trees have presents under them, but the 2020 Tree of Hope has a carousel – for pictures, of course.
St Pancras International’s 10m tall Christmas tree, which looks like candyfloss with a helping of marshmallow, has been wrapped with love as the ribbons around it are adorned with quotes from NHS staff, key workers and carers.
Create a wish-you-were-here moment in the selfie station, which is open daily from 4-6pm. Visit nearby EL&N café for an edible version of the tree and 10 per cent of the proceeds go to the food charity FareShare.
Jingle your way to Charing Cross Station for the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree, which is a gift from Norway to Britain as a token of gratitude for its support during World War II.
Not even a pandemic can stop this 73-year-old tradition, but the lighting ceremony had a digital upgrade: it took place virtually.
From Oxford Circus Station, walk to Carnaby Street and you’ll have more than a twinkle in your eye.
Always on trend, Carnaby Street has lit up the sky with neon lights beaming “thank you”, “hope” and “hero”. It has partnered with the charity Choose Love and launched the world’s first shop selling items you can buy for refugees, from blankets to tents.
Where to shop in London at Christmas
St Pancras International is more than just a station – it’s home to big brands and boutique shops.
Buy legendary labels in a quieter location: choose toys from Hamleys or a hamper at Fortnum & Mason. Neuhaus Chocolates, which invented the Belgian praline, is open for click and collect.
If you’re travelling via the station, slot in some retail therapy, so you don’t have to carry your shopping across town.
If you want to feel like you’re in a Richard Curtis movie, go to Notting Hill Station for Portobello Market.
The largest antique market in the world is open every weekend, but on each Sunday in the run up to Christmas it is given a festive twist. Pick up one-of-a-kind items, from vintage clothes to rare jewellery.
Hackney Christmas Market
Fit for a hipster, East London’s Hackney Christmas Market (19-20 Dec) offers artisanal gifts from ethical businesses. For the ultimate stocking filler, visit YenZ’s sock stall – the Brick Lane-based group’s designs include the city’s skyline and Pop Art.
St Pancras International connections
St Pancras International boasts more Underground connections than any other station in London, as well as train links to the rest of the UK and Europe.
Destinations across the country include Brighton, Cambridge and Gatwick Airport.
The four main services include East Midlands Train, Southeastern, ThamesLink and the Eurostar. A gateway to Europe, the Eurostar travels to cities including Paris in two hours 16 minutes and Brussels in one hour and 53 minutes.
Masks are mandatory on public transport.