IN THE DIARYMEN'SWOMEN'S
It’s appropriately early to get in the holiday spirit, so beat the Christmas crowds with our guide to this year’s best markets. Each of the destinations on our list promises food, drink and other Yuletide delights which are sure to get you festive. Plus, they’re the perfect place to pick up last minute gifts for those who are less than perfectly prepared.
1st DEC - DALSTON CHRISTMAS MARKET
Yes, when we think of Christmas markets, our first thoughts are of spiced mulled wine and gingerbread. However, those who are looking for a slightly novel Christmas Market would do well to visit the Dalston Christmas Market which runs for one day only on the 1st of December.
Designed to encourage young creative talent, the Dalston Christmas Market will offer local designer, artisan goods from vendors who have been selected specially for their artistic merit. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Christmas market without live music, edible delights and festive beverages. There are also live choirs and comedy for good measure.
Dalston Square, Hackney, E8. Closest Tube: Dalston Junction
6th – 8th DEC – VINTAGE CHRISTMAS MARKET
For Christmas festivities that hark back to the bygone days of yesteryear, take a trip to the Vintage Christmas Market which takes place at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. You’ll be able to peruse a selection of seasonal gifts, food and drink (there’s an on site real ale festival happening simultaneously) set to the soundtrack of an eleven piece big band. You’ll also find a Victorian funfair, vintage dodgems and a roller disco (which isn’t strictly vintage, but nevertheless a welcome addition).
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London E20 2ST. Closest Tube: Stratford
28th NOV – 22nd DEC – BOXPARK CHRISTMAS MARKET
For a festive market which offers plenty of variation, visit Boxpark’s Christmas Market at Shoreditch’s stationary pop-up shipping containers. At various different times the area will play host to a jewellery adorned Christmas tree, macaron making classes, handmade Christmas cards and confectionery, Christmas carols and temporary seasonal tattoos.
2-4 Bethnal Green Rd London E1 6GY, UK. Closest tube: Shoreditch High Street.
27th NOV – 1st DEC – THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF ART CHRISTMAS FÊTE
Hosted by the Royal College of Art, the RCA Christmas Fête offers affordable art pieces by students and graduates of the college with prices starting at just £2. The ideal place to source a uniquely crafty gift, the RCA Fête’s vendors will be selling all manner of festive art including; decorative ceramic mugs, handmade scarves,screen-printed cards, and delectable Christmas cupcakes.
The Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, SW7 2EU. Closest Tube: Gloucester Road.
28th NOV – 4th JAN – CHRISTMAS AT KEW GARDENS
Set in sprawling woodland, Christmas at Kew Gardens is perhaps the most picturesque Christmas venue on our list this year. The destination’s boutique Christmas market boasts live Christmas music and edible goodies, but venture further and you’ll find a Victorian carousel, vintage rides, a Santa’s grotto and a series of lighting installations created by artists from around the UK, all on site.
Kew Gardens, Kew Road, TW9 3AB. Closest Tube: Kew Gardens