‘Twas the night before Christmas, and the reason ‘not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse’ was probably because they were all out celebrating. The run-up to Christmas can be a tiring race, and if you’re hosting on Christmas day, you may be in for a long day of cooking and looking after guests. If this sounds like you, believe us, Christmas Eve is the perfect time for you to blow off some steam and really celebrate the festive season. There are many ways to celebrate across the capital; here are our recommendations of the best ways to spend the night before Christmas.
What To Do On Christmas Eve in London 2022
Sip on Christmas Cocktails
If you’re planning on being in town on Christmas Eve doing some very last-minute present buying, take a load off and toast to good health and a happy new year at Cahoots in Soho. The 1940’s themed cocktail bar is the perfect place to enjoy a cosy tipple. cahoots-london.com
Enjoy a Wintry Walk
The RHS Hyde Hall in Essex will be open on Christmas Eve for those who fancy a brisk walk amongst beautiful nature. Hyde Hall’s winter garden is a sight for sore eyes with beds of flowers in riotous colours, eye-catching berries and stunning leaves. rhs.org.uk
Attend a Carol Concert
Is there anything more festive than singing carols by candlelight? These special services are sure to make you feel warm and festive: head to the Royal Albert Hall, Westminster Abbey or Midnight Mass at St Paul’s.
Indulge in a Festive Supper
The Cadogan Arms‘ Christmas Eve dinner must be booked by those preparing to serve others on Christmas Day. Let the impeccable staff look after you whilst you enjoy sumptuous smoked salmon and rye bread to begin, followed by Beef Wellington with all the trimmings – duck-fat roasties, honey glazed parsnips and pigs in blankets – ahead of a classic Christmas pudding with brandy butter sauce. Or, if you’re after something a bit different, why not head to 28-50 By Night? Tuck into delectable dishes in this softly lit New York style basement bar, while enjoying live jazz reminiscent of Ella Fitzgerald. We’d recommend the Graxlax to start and the Fillet Steak for main.
Delight in Champagne Afternoon Tea
One of London’s most iconic hotels, The Savoy knows how to do afternoon tea. Its festive offering begins with a mix of traditional finger and open sandwiches, with fillings including smoked scallop and oyster leaf, and Burford Brown eggs with truffle. Sweet treats, meanwhile, include the ‘Snowflake’: white chocolate ganache with spiced cherry compote, traditional Christmas cake and freshly baked scones with clotted cream and jam. Pair with the one of the hotel’s selection of 30 Jing teas or treat yourself to a glass of champagne while soaking up the elegant surroundings of Thames Foyer. savoychristmas.com
Complete your Christmas Shopping
From Fortnums to Selfridges, Harrods and Harvey Nichols, there are plenty of luxury department stores in London to find the perfect last-minute gift for a loved one this Christmas Eve. If you’d prefer to find something a little more niche, head to one of the capital’s Christmas markets for all the festive feels, or check out our ‘insider’s guide’ to Christmas shopping in London to find something beautiful and bespoke.
Go Ice Skating
Whether it’s with a group of friends or a family trip out, ice skating on Christmas Eve has got to be one of the jolliest festive activities. Lace up for London’s outdoor ice rinks, which include this year’s newest addition, Glide at Battersea Power Station.