Coming to London to Christmas shop? 3 festive places you have to go

13th Dec 17 | Lifestyle

Don't miss these winter wonders.

Christmas lights 2016 in Mayfair, London

With fairy lights and swirling decorations strung from every lamppost and building facade, the streets of London are magical in the lead-up to Christmas.

But if you’re planning to come to the capital on a shopping expedition, make sure you leave time to enjoy some of the other festive goodies on offer…

1. Say pah to pantomimes and catch a proper show

Every year Matthew Bourne brings one of his fanciful, modern ballet productions to Sadler’s Wells theatre, and seeing a performance has become a Christmas treat. The latest show is Cinderella, re-imagined as a love story set in the Second World War. The show runs until January 27, with tickets starting from £12. Book here.

2. Stuff yourself silly with quality meats

‘Tis the season to eat and make merry, so booking a Christmas meal is essential. A short walk from Covent Garden and the West End, STK London (part of the ME hotel) is ideally located for a pit-stop between shopping missions. The meats here are exceptional – the beef is USDA grade – and wine selection superb. But it’s the buzzy, young atmosphere that will really put you in a festive mood. A three-course Christmas lunch, featuring options of pastrami cured salmon fillet and slow roasted turkey, is available until December 23 and costs £55 a head. Book here.

3. Warm up with a Scandi sauna

Wow. #finnishsauna #southbank #sky. What a treat!

A post shared by Clare Collier (@collierclare) on

Strolling along the Thames with a steaming mulled wine is one of the best ways to enjoy winter in London. This year the Southbank Centre promises its biggest ever Christmas celebration, and one of the highlights is a pop-up Finnish sauna in the Queen Elizabeth Roof Gardens (£15-£25 per person for 70 minutes). Sweat out all those party toxins and relax aching shopping bag-carrying muscles while admiring views of the city skyline.

© Press Association 2017