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Christmas planning is officially underway. Have yourself a quirky little Christmas this year and discover some real winter gems with our list of 10 alternative festive events.
Don’t miss this glamorous pop-up ice rink in the heart of Chelsea. Away from the more mainstream rinks, this little gem is nestled in the wonderful Courtyard at Bluebird Chelsea. Take to the ice for Christmas parties, festive drinks with friends or fun dates. 11 November to 5 January
Explore this classic one-day Christmas market in the prestigious London district of Belgravia. See Elizabeth Street glowing with festive lights and packed with traditional Christmas stalls before taking a stroll down to Pimlico Road where you’ll find jugglers, trumpeters and stalls selling roast chestnuts and toffee apples. 1 December
A real winter wonder! Based inside the city’s oldest surviving warehouse built by the East India Company, D&D’s Fish Market offers a taste of the freshest fish and shellfish sourced from the British Isles. Cosy up with a blanket and a mug of hot spiced cider in the heated terrace, complete with a wall of twinkling fairy lights and snow globes. Don’t leave without trying an alcoholic snow cone! 1 November to 24 December
The one-day event attracts visitors from all over the globe and is regarded as the world’s finest gathering of craftsmen who work in miniature. Many celebrities including Helena Bonham-Carter, Tim Burton and Jonathan Ross have been spotted perusing the festival. 30 November
This unique two-day Christmas fair is held at London’s oldest Botanic Garden. Shop exclusively selected seasonal gifts before taking a guided tour of one of the most important centres of botany and plant exchange in the world. 30 November to 1 December
Take a romantic stroll through the illuminated woodland, soaking up the magical atmosphere of the 18th century lake. The trail finishes at the Great Conservatory on the site of an old medieval abbey. This charming event is the perfect way to experience the striking London home of the Duke of Northumberland. 16 November to 2 December
Explore the heart and hidden charms of Covent Garden’s iconic Piazza as the area is transformed into a panto playground for adults. In this immersive theatre event, audience members are sent to the hidden corners of Covent Garden in order to save Christmas. Adults-only. 18 November to 15 December
One for the kids. Snuggle up with huskies and let them take you on a sleigh ride before visiting Santa in his cosy Christmas grotto in the northern pine forest. There’s plenty of mulled cider, hot chocolate and mince pies to go round. 7 to 8 December
Rediscover the rich and vibrant traditions of Christmas gone-by at this free event at the Geffrye Museum. Authentic festive decorations transform the Geffrye Museum’s period rooms so that you can take a glimpse into how Christmas has been celebrated in English middle-class homes over the past 400 years. 26 November to 5 January
Style gurus will want to feast on this new Autumn/ Winter 2013 Collection. See designer items turned into cakes, mousses and biscuits. Prêt-à-Portea at The Berkeley Hotel sees all the classic elements of the traditional English afternoon tea except that the pastries resemble the latest catwalk designs.