The Tate Modern
This iconic London landmark sees the return of its increasingly popular (and somewhat more contemporary than your average) Christmas Market for 2014, with nearly 100 wooden chalets offering festive cheer and fantastic shopping opportunities. A charming array of unique toys, hand crafted jewellery, stunning themed tree and home decorations and food stalls churning out all manner of delicious delicacies. We recommend the authentic Bratwurst, and the Christmas Crêpes (the Xmas Pud Fruit & Brandy Butter was our favourite – what a surprise), while the freshly roasted chestnuts go down particularly well with a steaming mug of proper German glühwein. Dinner was not needed after a visit to this thriving market, and you can spend hours wondering around the varied, attractive and often irresistibly fragrant stalls in the shadow of this famous gallery. Don’t forget to check out this year’s Turner Prize exhibition while you’re there…
Until 24th December from 10am daily
The Tate Modern, South Bank
This annual London Christmas Market offers a brilliant combination of homemade gifts and traditional festive food. This is the market of choice for those looking to buy arts & crafts gifts, and the stalls have particular focus on unique pottery, toys for all ages (including some rather fabulous grown-up gadgets like remote controlled accurate models of helicopters and military vehicles, plus a great range of fancy Scalextrics), and top quality pashminas and scarves. On the food side of things, you’ll also be spoilt for choice when it comes to cheeses, luxury chocolates, home grown wines and various condiments from around the globe. Local choirs are performing a classical soundtrack, and the views of Tower Bridge all lit up for the festive season provide a marvellous backdrop. If you work from the north of the market (by the Bridge) to the south exit on Tooley Street, you can also have a wonder around the sunken amphitheatre, quirky independent shops, and the open-air sculptures and water features, all lit up in bright colours. It’s really quite romantic!
Until 21st December, from 11am daily
More London Riverside, immediately south-west of Tower Bridge
The Real Food Christmas Market
Nestled in the outdoor courtyard behind the Royal Festival Hall, this market is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for the more discerning foodies among us. Offering only sustainable, fair trade, organic and ethically produced foods, you’ll be taken on a journey to Christmas in every corner of the globe – with plenty of produce coming from right here in the UK, too. Charcuterie, a frankly mind-boggling array of cheeses, nostalgic traditional sweets, mulled wine with mince pies and a huge selection of craft beers will undoubtedly tickle your fancy, and we can almost promise that you won’t be leaving this market empty-handed. You won’t find any arts and craft here, however, apart from crockery, cutlery and cookware – making it a perfect shopping destination for culinary enthusiasts and those with gastronomic gusto, but perhaps not the best choice of market if you’re looking to get your shopping for the whole family done in one go.
The Southbank Centre
December 19th to December 23rd
11am on Saturday 20th and Monday 22nd, Noon on all other days.
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