In one sentence:
Christmas is a really big deal over here, so be prepared for the Silly Season!
From the middle of October decorations go up, mulled wine is served and slowly the Christmas fun parks (or festivals as they like to call them) start trying to strip you of all of your money.
The best of these fleecing machines is Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, a huge monstrosity that seems to just go on forever. I wandered through an infinite number of spinning rides, drinking holes and Santa’s Grotto (there’s actually only one but without a map you can keep stumbling on it by accident). I tried my first ever roasted chestnuts there for a grand £3.50, and I can say they were worth it. They’re floury in texture, similar to a potato but with that strong taste of a roasted nut.
I also gave mulled wine a go and am a convert. I have since discovered that it’s not actually very high in alcohol content, so I feel slightly conned, but it definitely staved off hypothermia while I spent two hours wandering around the fun ride monstrosity.
Oxford & Regent St Lights
To talk about Christmas and to not mention Oxford & Regent St lights is like mentioning Easter and not the Easter bunny.