When the winter holidays come round, some people eagerly search online for a sun-seeker’s paradise package, daydreaming of sand and hot climate frolics; others revel in snow-covered possibilities in Scandinavia and like icy lands, almost tasting the pine on the air as they scroll through images worthy of National Geographic; and then some clever folk think, hold on a minute: few places surpass London and travel during the holidays is a bit of a hassle; why not makeover the City in quintessentially wintry ways? Why leave the capital at all this Christmas? And so it is that Broadgate’s Winter Forest was born.
If you think you know Broadgate Circle, then think again, as until 24th December a fine layer of festive cheer has been overlaid in the form of “300 snow-covered pine trees, twinkling lights and wood cabins”. If you’ve secretly been eyeing travel magazines for years, drooling over eye-wateringly expensive Lapland luxury stays, then why not reconfigure your thoughts more locally – you’ll still be able to enjoy hot butter rum cocktails under the warmth of a cosy blanket (particularly if you head to Mrs Fogg’s Winter Terrace).
Usually known for its “craft beer, botanical cocktails, cutting-edge workout spaces, sharing plates and street food”, Broadgate Circle is an ideal place to visit during December for that special blend of shopping (Links of London anyone?) and self-care (in all respects). And if you really feel you missed out on that winter sun escape you’d already been enjoying in your head at your work desk, and indeed find yourself a bit peckish to boot, then there’s always the Aussie-inspired Beany Green to try out for some tucker in the arvo this month.
Open seven days a week from 12 noon to 11pm (barring Sundays, when festivally minded action ends at 7pm), another winning feature of the Winter Forest is the wide breadth of live music it has on offer during December (up until 22nd). Further, each Wednesday will have carolling at – you guessed it – Mrs Fogg’s Winter Terrace, and Sundays will be offering seasonally apt craft classes (think wreaths; think even candles!). You might even be able to blend the two if you can carry a humming tune…
Speaking of Mrs Fogg’s Winter Terrace, until 10th December there is a chance to win a £200 bar tab thereat, together with a blow-dry or trim at Barber & Blow, with the further added goodie of a 45-minute treatment at The Body Balance Clinic. If you miss out on the grand prize, there are always festive quiz nights each Monday instead (and for all the glitz and glamour of wintry decorations, who doesn’t like a nice pub quiz?).
Do note also that there will, of course, be special visits from Father Christmas himself until 12th December, as well. Better be good, girls and boys…
Donations to Winter Forest go towards Centrepoint for the second year running, the charity which provides housing and support to young people, essential at this time of year.