Winter is creeping up on us. Just a few autumnal golden leaves remain; clinging to the trees, in the same way that I am trying my hardest to hold onto the fall season for as long as possible.
However, I can’t help but love how the streets of London are already decked out in lights and Christmas trees, and the shop windows are decorated in fake snow and Christmas gifts.
Its easy to see winter as an excuse to get cosy in bed and do nothing but watch hours of Netflix. But how about doing something new with your winter days?
Here are my top 8 things to do this winter:
1: Look out for winter-themed events on in your town or city.
London has some amazing events this year. I have so many places I want to go see, you could almost say that Winter is not long enough to squeeze them all in… (Lets be honest though, I’m British – Winter is always long enough). Be sure to check out Somerset House, The Ice Bar, The Lodge, Le Chalet, and Once Upon a Wigwam – I plan to blog about some of these pretty amazing London winter events pretty soon so watch this space. Canary Wharf also has an ice skating rink (my wish-list this year). If you aren’t in London, think Cathedral events, Church events, local pub events, bars, galleries; even the local theatre might be putting on a winter show.
My MUST visit of all visits this Crimbo… The Queen of Hoxton.
2. Mulled drinks
This is a small but mighty way to make a dull, winter day brighter. It is the one time of year you can make mulled wine, cider and hot toddys. You can’t exactly sit and drink mulled wine throughout the entire year. Christmas though? Perfect. The recipe I made last year is here. Except I used a slow cooker. Or cheat and buy some ready-made here, or here.
3. Nights in with besties.
Sometimes, there is nothing more than I love than a night in. But don’t let winter turn you into a lone recluse. Get your girls over for a wine night (mmm, glass of that mulled wine anyone?) and get merry together. Maybe throw in some wintery food too, or attempt to roast some marshmallows.
4. Explore the amazing winter markets.
My absolute favourite thing in the winter are the Christmas markets. Pretty much everyone has a Christmas market within an hours drive nowadays. Google it – you’ll be surprised! Aside from the amazing Hyde Park Winter Wonderland in London (I went THREE times last year. Don’t judge me… I’ve also been once this year already), there is also an East London version with a big wheel and all sorts. Outside of the city there are plenty of cute themed winter markets! Back in the South East: Canterbury, Rochester and many more hold markets.
I have also been to the Edinburgh Markets over a year or so ago, which were small but charming. I’m sure everywhere in Britain have some – search your nearest town/city for Christmas markets – there is bound to be something nearby!
5. Get decorating.
Christmas decs, I mean. Of course I couldn’t miss this one out. I get so (pathetically) excited about Christmas decorating every year. All I want to ever do is take over complete the interior design of the house, or wherever I am and cover it with a Christmas colour theme. I’ve already been looking at what I want to use this year for décor (I’m such a grandma it hurts). DIY decs, anyone? I’m already planning on heading home to my parents next month and turning it into a winter wonderland…
6. View the Christmas lights.
Sometimes, one of the simplest ways of enjoying Christmas and winter is the best way. Visit your nearest city and shop, eat and stroll under the fairy lights that deck out the streets. Or, if you’re really eager – visit your local lights switch on. For my fellow Londoners, there are hundreds of must-sees. Harrods is always a must!
7. Wrap up in a cosy coat and go for a long walk.
Country walks are actually amazing in the winter – bring a hot flask of coffee, tea or hot chocolate and head out into the fresh air. I think the countryside looks amazing when everything begins to ice over and you can feel the crunch of the icy grass underneath your feet. Britain is supposed to get snow already this year – so all of you snow-lovers might get lucky!
This might sound pretty dull but I love baking Christmas cakes; probably because I basically just love cake. But there are so many winter pies and cakes I want to bake and taste that it is a must do! (They go perfectly with the mulled wine, too…) Christmas cake and mulled wine is a classier way to get ‘merry’ in my opinion… That is, before my parents bring out the iced baileys ‘shots’ after too much of the foresaid-wine…