Once again this December, excited shoppers look set to flock to London from far and wide in the run up to Christmas. Whilst many prefer to tread the well-known paths of Oxford Street and Regent Street, with their big-name brands and predictability to match, more and more city-goers are falling for the unique charm of Soho. Though bordered by these two festive big-hitters, Soho represents a break with the conventional – we take a look at the best of what London’s most vibrant area has to offer this December.
Alternative Christmas shopping
Soho’s vast array of quirky, independent stores make for the perfect break with the high street and shopping centre this December. Though not always cheap, the niche retailers who call Soho home cater for the most obscure and varied tastes. With its specialist focus on rare and out-of-print books, The Society Club is a particular favourite of ours. Spend time getting lost in the dazzling culture of a by-gone era, or pick up the perfect gift for those with a love all things literary.
Festive cuisine and winter warmers
A day spent browsing even the most enriching shops can take its toll on a busy December weekend. What better way to refuel than in one of Soho’s artisanal bars, cafes or restaurants? From a romantic brunch in Muriel’s Soho Kitchen – one of their three across London – to a plethora of meat chops – and of course cocktails – to choose from in the atmospheric Blacklock, you’re rarely short of options for sumptuous cuisine in Soho. If cocktails do indeed tickle your fancy, then keep a keen eye out for Urban Tea Rooms and Soho Grind, both cafes which double up as enticing cocktail bars once the sun goes down. Soho Grind’s basement cocktail bar is a particular treat on a fresh, snappy evening.
Death by chocolate
For those with a sweet tooth the Mayfair and Soho Chocolate Ecstasy Tours are always a winter hit, with more and more visitors taking in the sights of Soho’s diverse streets through an increasingly chocolatey lens. Bracing walking tours choc-full of history (see what we did there! 😋), are interspersed with hot chocolate breaks and tastings of the finest variety, and why stop there? Chocolate cocktails are available for those seeking to roll on into the night.
Christmas on the big screen
For the coldest of December days, there are a number of unique cinemas situated throughout Soho, with plenty of festive hits to fill the time between filling yourselves full of food. A step just briefly into Soho’s bordering Leicester Square takes you to Prince Charles Cinema, who are screening an Elf-y dose of festive family blockbusters throughout December... making for a truly Wonderful Life. (sorry, we did it again! 😜)
Culture at Christmas
If classic cinema has whet your appetite for cultural exploration, Soho’s wide range of galleries and exhibitions presents the perfect opportunity to indulge your creative edge. The Photographer’s Gallery have a number of exhibitions throughout December, as well as professional workshops for those with a work-oriented visit to London’s most vibrant area, whilst The Riflemaker showcases ambitious projects by emerging artists across London, with a lively Soho gallery on Beak Street – be sure to stop by this December.
So whatever it is that brings you to London this December, even if it is just for a business trip, from unique shops and encapsulating culture, to the finest eating and drinking, Soho has it all to offer and more.
Be sure to stop by across the festive period – why should we have all the fun?