Tuesday 25 October 2016


My Favourite Festive Fairs in London

With only one week to go until November it's safe to say I've gone into full Christmas mood. Yes, I am one of those people but who doesn't love the season of fluffy socks and cosy jumpers, the crispy sound and smell of open fires, the beautiful twinkling lights, and seasonal film rewatches (I'm looking at you The Muppet Christmas Carol and Curly Sue)? It's also the time of year I am reunited with my family so that homely feeling is definitely a big part of it for me too. However, before I leave for the Netherlands I always like to make the most from Christmas in London. One of the things I especially love about the city is the abundance of fairs, which are perfect to buy unique gifts from independent British brands and to gather inspiration for festive crafts and decorations.

Spirit of Christmas

The first one this year is the Spirit of Christmas Fair, starting this month (31 October) and running until 6 November. This event takes place in Olympia London (the nearest overground station is Kensington Olympia and the nearest tube is Baron's Court) and so it's a big one. Highlights this year include Christmas biscuit decorating with Biscuiteers (I love those guys, check them out), Mosimann's Winter Restaurant, champagne tasting masterclasses with Louis Roederer, and making merry mischief with Jo Malone London. And, bonus, if you attend you can also pop into the Luxury Travel Fair next door for free. I call that a win! An adult ticket to the Spirit of Christmas Fair is £19.75 for one day or £23 for unlimited entry. You can buy tickets here.

Country Living Christmas Fair

The next festive event on the calendar is the Country Living Christmas Fair, running from 9 to 13 November. Not as big as its competitors, as it's being held at the Business Design Centre in Islington (nearest tube station: Angel), it's still packed to the brim with amazing gifty exhibitors, food stalls and workshops. I've been going to this one for years and it's one of my absolute favourites. They definitely get the Country Living brand feel across with their choice of small business exhibitors who really get that cosy atmosphere the brand evokes. This year I'm particularly looking forward to learning how to make Lebkuchen (a delicious German Christmas treat) with international chocolatier Fiona Sciolti, creating Christmas wreaths with Sara Ward from Hen Corner, needle felting a robin bauble with Steffi Stern, and Green & Black's chocolate tasting experience – yum! Adult tickets start from £12.50 for members (£14 for non-members) and can be bought here.

Ideal Home Show at Christmas

Last but certainly not least is arguable the biggest fair of them all this season: the festively themed Ideal Home Show one. It also sets up shop in Olympia London but this time around from 23 until 27 November, so cutting it quite close to Christmas. This is kind of perfect though, as it is absolutely packed with not only gifty exhibitors but also lots and lots of foodie related ones (even more so than the other two) and so is perfect to pick up some last-minute essentials for your own seasonal spread. Highlights here include workshops and presentations from the likes of Katie Piper and Ed Baines, a Christmas band stand where various bands and choirs will provide seasonal tunes, as well as workshops on edible Christmas gifts, nature inspired festive florals and much more. Tickets start at £13 for adults and can be bought from the official website here.

And that's it for my favourite festive fairs in London. Are there any Christmas shows or events you love going to? Do leave your recommendations in the comments below!

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