Visit London Blog » oxford street Enjoy the very best of London Mon, 23 Feb 2015 16:10:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Family Festive Day Out in London Tue, 16 Dec 2014 11:35:04 +0000 Father Christmas at Winter Wonderland

Father Christmas at Winter Wonderland

The twinkling lights are up, the mince pies out… London’s getting festive! Enjoy the magic of Christmas with the whole family on a festive day out in London.

Morning: Natural History Museum and Ice Rink

Natural History Museum ice skating

Natural History Museum ice skating

The Natural History Museum is always popular with children, who love the huge dinosaur skeletons, earthquake simulator and hands-on activities. Spend an hour or two exploring the museum’s amazing collections, then let off some steam with a skate around the outdoor ice rink – admiring the outside of the museum as you go for a spin.

There’s a large rink and a smaller one for beginners and children – plus a café/bar for those who prefer enjoying the antics from the sidelines with a tasty hot chocolate.

Lunch: Winter Wonderland

Jump on the 74 bus (towards Baker Street) and get off at Marble Arch, a stone’s throw from Winter Wonderland, just inside Hyde Park. Here you’ll find rides, a magical ice kingdom, a bustling Christmas market and much more.

You’ll also find lots of food stalls and pop-up cafes, where you can enjoy a lunch of piping hot bratwurst sausage in the Bavarian Village, or whatever else takes your fancy. Note: Winter Wonderland is free to enter but some rides and attractions are ticketed and need to be booked in advance.

Afternoon: Oxford Street Christmas lights and Hamleys

Oxford Street Christmas Lights

Oxford Street Christmas Lights

Stroll from Marble Arch along Oxford Street, admiring the beautiful white orb Christmas decorations above. It should just be getting dark by now – the perfect time to see the lights in all their glory.

Turn right onto Regent Street at Oxford Circus and head for Hamleys, better known as every child’s dream shop. Inside they’ll find all their favourite toys, see expert demonstrations and (if you get there for 5pm) you can watch it snow!

Dinner: Spaghetti House

Continue down Regent Street, through Leicester Square and onto St Martin’s Lane. Take a well-earned rest and refuel over dinner at Spaghetti House at number 30. A two-course dinner of Italian favourites is £10.50 for adults and £5 for kids.

Evening: Paddington Bear Trail and Carol Singing in Trafalgar Square

The Bear of London

The Bear of London

After you’ve eaten your fill of pasta, pizza and profiteroles, make your way to London’s iconic Trafalgar Square – just a few minutes away. Look out for The Bear of London, one of 50 unique statues of Paddington Bear dotted around the city. You can even do a whole Paddington Trail, to see all of the statues on one walk. But maybe save that for another day…

Then what better way to end the day than with some uplifting carol singing around the giant Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square? Performances take place from 4-8pm on weekdays, and from 2-6pm at the weekend. It’s enough to make even Scrooge feel festive.

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What’s On This Weekend: 21-22 December Mon, 16 Dec 2013 10:00:55 +0000

This weekend is your last chance to finish that all important Christmas shopping and make sure you don’t miss Santa in his grotto before he takes off on those Christmas Day present rounds.

Last Minute Christmas Shopping

Smug people that finished their Christmas shopping weeks ago can skip ahead here, and crazy people that leave it for Christmas Eve may also want to jump ahead. For the rest of us, this weekend is the last chance to really hit the high street before the 25th. See our guide to the best shopping in London and our Christmas Shopping Pit Stops blog post, for those all-important mid-spree refuel stops.

Farm-tastic Santa at Lee Valley Park Farms

This weekend is your last chance to catch Santa before Christmas Day and we recommend heading  to Farm-tastic Santa at Lee Valley Park Farms, where he is accompanied by husky dogs and his all-important reindeer. There are also arts and crafts and each child will receive a gift from Santa. Be sure to book though. Ends 22 Dec

Slava’s Snowshow at the Royal Festival Hall

The magical Slava’s Snowshow is back at London’s Royal Festival Hall this Christmas after a sell-out success in 2013. An exceptional combination of clowns and grand wintery visual effects make this a spectacle for all the family. 17 Dec-6 Jan

Boing! at Sadler’s Wells

Another piece of family-friendly theatre opens this week with Boing! at Sadler’s Wells. Set on Christmas Eve, Boing! looks to tap in to that childlike feeling of excitement. The show itself is a tightly choreographed spectacle, incorporating acrobatics, comedy and breakdance, as Joel and Wilkie attempt to pass the night as quickly as possible. 20 Dec-5 Jan

International Horse Show at Olympia

The pick of the equestrian calendar has arrived at London’s Olympia for a week of driving, dressage and jumping, all at world cup level. The headline act comes from The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, who will be putting their stunning bay and grey stallions through their paces twice a day. 16-22 Dec

Lexi Christmas Special at St John’s

The Lexi Cinema is decamping across the road to St John’s Church for the day on Saturday to show two festive favourites. At 4.15pm you can catch Macaulay Culkin in the festive caper Home Alone, and at 7.30pm the classic It’s a Wonderful Life. The Victorian church setting, sweet treats, wine and live music make for a unique cinema experience. And last but not least, proceeds will benefit children in Lynedoch Village in South Africa. 21 Dec

More London events

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Christmas Shopping Pit Stops Tue, 10 Dec 2013 13:55:18 +0000 Full Stop's tomato and sundried tomato sandwich

As the festive season draws closer and Christmas shopping in London becomes more frenetic, the team at Twenty Something London share their favourite places for mid-spending spree stop-offs.


For upmarket vintage and flea market discoveries, Angel’s Camden Passage is the place to head. Stop off at The Breakfast Club, where the cheerful playlists are an instant energy boost and pancakes are a must-try. Once you’ve ticked some stocking-fillers off your list, head to retro-chic Public House and sample the eclectic menu – everything we’ve tried has been delicious. Tucked behind the Tube station is Candid Café, where an inconspicuous doorway conceals a quirky café serving food and tasty smoothies (cucumber, mint and melon is a firm TSL favourite).


Paramount's views

For those mingling with the mass shoppers in Central London during the run up to Christmas, Carnaby Street boasts great boutiques and high street staples. Try Mozzino, just off the beaten track. With Union Coffee and Italian-inspired sandwiches, it’s the ultimate in laid-back style.

Head underground to Spanish drinking den Sevilla Mia, which dishes up great small plates alongside traditional cocktails to keep you going. While high above, Paramount at the top of Centre Point is worth a visit just for the far-reaching views – it’s the perfect treat after a day exploring the bustling Oxford Street shops.

For those who adore pre-loved items, the vintage haven of East London is the place to take your shopping list. On Brick Lane is Full Stop, the quickest place for a pick-me-up – try its scrumptious avocado and sundried tomato sandwich. Once you arrive in trendy Shoreditch, check out Paper & Cup. As well as serving delicious locally baked cakes, this charity café trains former homeless people in barista skills. For something more substantial, head to Jaguar Shoes. With its themed cocktails and tasty pizza (from Due Sardi next door), you’ll soon wish you were local.


Mama Lan in Brixton Village

Brixton Village Market has grown a cult following among those on the look out for vintage gems and interesting boutiques. Head to Rosie’s for a coffee first. Watching her greet everyone by name will make you feel part of the community, and her brilliant coffee will get you ready for a day’s shopping. Once lunchtime comes around, delve into Mama Lan. Serving recipes from the market stalls of Beijing that have been passed down for over 40 years, it’s perfect for a rapid refuel. At the end of the day, TSL recommends the best burger we’ve maybe ever had, served with triple-cooked chips, all for under a tenner at Honest Burgers.


Speakeasy-style Montgomery Place

For upmarket gifts, Notting Hill and Portobello Market are the places to go. Kill two birds with one stone by checking out 202 – a café inside a boutique shop. The classical décor, tantalising menu and lovely items on sale are all so tempting. Negozio Classica is a slice of Italy in Notting Hill – it’s a fantastic place to stop for lunch and a glass of wine when shopping here. Once you’ve ticked off all the gift items on your list, head to Montgomery Place, a cocktail bar that pairs quality spirits and double-frozen “diamond” ice cubes with speakeasy style – it elevates an ordinary day out Christmas shopping to a new level.

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What’s On This Weekend: 30 August – 1 September 2013 Tue, 27 Aug 2013 09:00:49 +0000

Not only is it another fantastic weekend for London events, including the ever-excellent London Mela on Sunday, but it’s also the start of Shop London – an unmissable month of shopping activities in England’s capital. Why not prepare for London Fashion Week by indulging in some retail therapy?

London Mela 2013

Don’t miss the 11th London Mela, a free festival of Asian culture in Gunnersbury Park. This colourful event is designed to imitate traditional South Asian festivals and features live performances, a funfair, craft market, sporting activities, outdoor arts and lots of wonderful Asian food. Performance highlights include Falak, Bally Sagoo and AS Kang on the Main Stage, as well as the spectacular finale on the Classical Stage, which merges puppetry, theatre and pyrotechnics to tell the love story of Rama and Sita. 1 Sep

The Great London Swim, Royal Victoria Dock

Get your bathing suits at the ready, because the Great London Swim returns this Saturday for a fourth year of fun and water-based adventure. A one mile open water swimming challenge through London’s Docklands, this huge event is not only a challenge but also an excuse to party, and you’ll see spectators and competitors enjoying the waterside music, food and markets during and after the race! Competitor tickets are £39. 31 Aug

The Oxford Street Fashion Showcase

The Oxford Street Fashion Showcase is a great way to celebrate London Fashion Week, and pick up some bargains at the same time! Retailers up and down the famous road will be offering exclusive opportunities that include makeovers, workshops, DJ sessions and fashion career advice, alongside their usual great selection of wares. Don’t forget to check out the gorgeous 12ft high fashion flags, designed by five of the biggest names in London Fashion week, which will be decorating the length of Oxford Street. 1-17 Sep

Land Army Week at the RAF Museum

Families who are curious about how Britain fed itself during WWII shouldn’t miss Land Army Week at the Royal Air Force Museum. The museum will be hosting farm animals that the wartime public were encouraged to keep on its helipad, allowing families to explore both which livestock were kept for food, and how people used animals to solve problems like the lack of transportation. Animals on display include miniature Shetland ponies, goats, chickens, sheep, rabbits and ferrets, and you can see them for free between 10am and 5pm. Until 1 Sep

Ham House Uncovered

Head to the beautiful Ham House on the river Thames for a fascinating trip back into the building’s rich history. During this weekend you can learn about the role the house played in politics and high society during a series of talks, including a speech by David Taylor on the grand river pageants of Catherine of Braganza, the wife of Charles II. Visitors can also play with a camera obscura, go boating or picnic in the picturesque grounds of the house. Entry is £4.50. 31 Aug – 1 Sep

More London events

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London Shopping News: H&M Oxford Street, Regent Street, Phase Eight, BuyMyWardrobe Thu, 21 Mar 2013 09:01:40 +0000

High-street favourite H&M has re-launched its Oxford Street store. Boasting 3,750sqm of fashion spread across six floors, shoppers can expect a flashy shoe lounge, a chill-out area with swanky seats and a whopping 80 fitting rooms. Does that mean no more queueing for the changing room? We hope so! Super stylish and international blogger Susie Lau of Style Bubble has styled the windows of the store, selecting her favourite pieces from the collection.

Also open this month is Phase Eight‘s new concept store in boutique shopping hub St Christopher’s Place, off Oxford Street. Famous for their fabulous occasion-wear, the store is beautifully decked out with vintage-inspired furnishings. As well as being chock-full of clothes, shoes and accessories, there’s also a bridal space offering bespoke stylist advice to brides-to-be.

Shoppers can now connect with shops, restaurants, cafes and bars on London’s iconic Regent Street thanks to its new online community. The social media hub – named 24/7 – can be accessed through the website More than 100 Regent Street brands are connected to the hub, including Liberty London, Whole Foods Market, Superdry and Ted Baker. Any mentions of the area on social networking sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, will appear on the hub.

Finally, here’s a date for the diary for any label lovers out there. Designer fashion recycling event BuyMyWardrobe is taking over the Kensington Roof Gardens with bargains aplenty on Saturday 27 April. Shoppers will get the opportunity to raid the wardrobes of more than 30 stylish women with designer goodies including the likes of Stella McCartney, Mulberry and Christian Louboutin. You can enjoy a sneaky peak into the wardrobes of some of the UK’s top fashion bloggers, including Ella Catliffe of La Petite Anglaise and Monica Welburn of The Elgin Avenue. Fashionistas can also expect complimentary eyebrow threading, express makeovers, a live DJ, designer goodie bags, indulgent treats and lashings of champagne. Cheers!

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London Video of the Week: Carmen Allan-Petale’s Guide to London Fri, 01 Mar 2013 15:40:25 +0000

This insider’s guide to London by Carmen Allan-Petale is one of the entries for My Destination’s Biggest, Baddest Bucketlist competition.

For a chance of winning an all-expenses-paid trip around the world lasting for six months, all you have to do is create a short video about one of your favourite destinations.

The competition closes at the end of March 2013. You can see all of the London entries so far here and find out more at

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London Shopping news: : Urban Outfitters, Oscar de la Renta, Affordable Art Fair, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Selfridges Fri, 25 Jan 2013 16:01:57 +0000 Calling all hipsters! American retailer Urban Outfitters is opening a new store in Marble Arch on 1 February. Sited at 469 Oxford Street, this two-floor store will stand out from the crowd thanks to its transparent internal walls which mean that shoppers can enjoy a sneaky peak into the stock rooms and visual display area. But worry not – the changing rooms aren’t see-through!

As well as stocking its hip, own brand merchandise, the store will feature designers such as APC, House of Hackney and Obey. The shop is currently promoting the store with a YouTube video which you can watch below. Look out for top London sights in the video, including Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus and Tower Bridge.

If you fancy dressing your walls with an original artwork, swing by the Affordable Art Fair Battersea. Taking place from 7 to 10 March in Battersea Park, the fair will present work by established artists and emerging talents, all priced from £40 to £4,000. Every piece is available to buy and take home the very same day.

If you’ve got cash to splash, American fashion house Oscar de la Renta opened its first-ever flagship UK store in London last week, on the corner of Berkeley Street and Mount Street in Mayfair. The cavernous 3,000sqft store spans three floors and stocks accessories, fragrances, homewear, bridal lines and children’s clothes.

Bookworms who love Lewis Carroll novels can find Alice-themed goodies aplenty at new boutique Alice Through the Looking Glass. The shop’s star attraction is a £3,500 chessboard, handcrafted by Alice novels illustrator Sir John Tenniel. Victoria top hats and first edition Alice books are among the other curiosities on sale. Shoppers can also enjoy a cuddle with the shop’s resident white rabbit who lives in the window.

Shush! Silence is golden at department store Selfridges‘ recently-opened The Silence Room. Part of the store’s No Noise campaign, the ground-floor space offers a peaceful sanctuary for shoppers who are in need of some quiet time. The notion of having a quiet space in the store was originally mooted by founder Gordon Selfridge in 1909, but it was never put into practice – until now. Store insiders say shoppers have been using the space to pray, sleep and meditate.

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What’s On At The Weekend In London. 23-25 November 2012 Mon, 19 Nov 2012 10:20:39 +0000 This weekend presents fantastic opportunities for getting your Christmas shopping out of the way: check out the great stalls at Winter Wonderland and the Scandinavian Christmas Market, or enjoy a traffic free day in the West End. Families will also love the Mickey and Oswald exhibition at Westfield Stratford, as well as the fascinating astrology festival at UCL.

Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park

One of London’s most popular festive attractions returns, with even more rides, stalls and entertainment. Take a spin on the giant observation wheel, buy a tasty snack from the Bavarian Village or show off your moves on the UK’s largest ice rink. A new feature for this year’s Winter Wonderland is the Magical Ice Kingdom, a captivating maze of ice sculptures that will spark your imagination. Entry is free, although some attractions require pre-booking. 23 Nov – 6 Jan

Mickey & Oswald’s Epic Tales, Westfield Stratford

The Getty Images Gallery at Westfield Stratford hosts this fun temporary exhibition, which celebrates the launch of the video game Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. Featuring important artefacts and cartoons, it charts the history of early Disney character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and his more famous successor Mickey Mouse, both of whom feature in the game. After enjoying the exhibits, some of which date back to the 1920s, visitors can try Disney Epic Mickey 2 for themselves. Entry is free. 23-25 Nov

West End VIP Day, Oxford Street and Regent Street

Regent Street and Oxford Street are pedestrianised for the day, allowing visitors to roam freely around this excellent shopping destination. Not only will you be able to stroll beneath the Christmas lights between Selfridges and Hamleys without seeing a single car, but there will be lots of special promotions, festive performances and surprises. 24 Nov

The Scandinavian Christmas Market, Rotherhithe

Find unique Christmas gifts at this festive market, which contains a range of great Scandinavian products. Better still, after you’ve shopped for everything from jewellery to furniture you can unwind with traditional food and a glass of mulled wine. See the website for opening times. 23-25 Nov

London: Your Universe, at University College London

Now in its seventh year, UCL’s popular astronomy festival is a great way for families to explore the wonders of the universe. All of its fascinating events, exhibitions and activities are free: highlights include special telescopes that let you peer at the stars, a lecture on the Large Hadron Collider and the amazing Magic Planet projection. See the website for full programme details. 23-24 Nov

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London Video of the Week: LONDON – By Natural Light by FramE FramFilm Fri, 03 Aug 2012 11:45:51 +0000

Each Friday, we like to highlight a particularly great London video we’ve found online.

This week top video is by  on Vimeo, and shows London looking gorgeous in natural light. Look out for some top London attractions including Piccadilly Circus, Big Ben, The Shard, Oxford Street, Tower Bridge, the London Eye and St Paul’s Cathedral.

Check out more London videos on our YouTube channel

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London’s Best Diamond Jubilee Decorations Thu, 31 May 2012 09:00:53 +0000 You may have noticed that London is becoming slightly more red, white and blue than normal. With only two days to go until the first London-based event of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend, London is putting on its finery in preparation for the spectacular celebrations.

You’ll see bunting, flags and special displays everywhere, and by the weekend London will be festooned with colour and buzzing with a festive atmosphere that will be remembered for generations. The capital has a long tradition of making a magnificent effort for Jubilee celebrations – check out this photograph of Selfridges preparing for George V’s Silver Jubilee in 1935.

We’ve put together a gallery of some of our favourite Diamond Jubilee decorations so far, but if you’ve spotted other great displays around town please let us know in the comments. Don’t forget to stock up on Jubilee merchandise if you’re planning your own celebration!

Covent Garden's Apple Market Carnaby Street decorations The giant plug in Carnaby Street gets a Jubilee makeover Harrods Harrods celebrates the Diamond Jubilee A Jubilee Carriage on the London Underground Jubilee line A large portrait of the Royal family on Sea Containers House Oxford Street - Jasmine Guiness and corgis at the launch of the decorations A Jubilee window at Fortnum and Mason - one of the 10 heraldic beasts ]]> 0