When: Wednesday 5 November 2014 – Sunday 11 January 2015
Winter Festival at the Southbank Centre is one of our favourite annual treats. Last year, we experienced the ultimate inner-city winter wonderland at this famous and imposing landmark, and 2014 is set to be bigger, better, and even more varied.
You’ll be welcomed into the building by stunning works of contemporary art by Australian artist Amanda Parer. Towering white rabbits and classic Crimbo characters are illuminated for extra effect, and the installations are certain to get you in the mood for some festive fun!
Intrude by Amanda Parer CREDIT_Rodney Campbell
A brand new Christmas Market will give you the opportunity to buy gifts to suit all tastes – from the ultra-modern to the nostalgically traditional. All the items on offer are of top quality craftsmanship, as the Centre insists on only the best food, gift sets and other produce being displayed and traded on its premises.
2013’s most popular attraction at this festival was the Rekorderlig Cider Lodge (surprise surprise), and it’s set to return in its full glory this festive season at Hungerford Car Park, running from 10am – 10pm daily. Cups of warm, limited edition, themed cider can be enjoyed on the Viewing Deck, and the bar itself has been built to look like a quintessential, 2-floor Scandinavian house, where you can also sample tasty treats, meats and sweets from this oh-so-Christmassy part of the world.
The Cabaret show, La Soiree, is also always a big hit. The performers combine acrobatics, burlesque, contemporary dance and incredible pyrotechnics/lightshows to create a unique and totally mesmerising production. You don’t need to book tickets, and the show will be performed twice daily for the duration of the festival. Currently, the venue is being rather secretive about what times the shows will be put on – but either way, you’ll have tons of activities to keep you amused for the odd hour here and there before the curtain goes up!
Meow Meow will also be performing at the Festival, and if you’ve never heard of them before, you certainly won’t forget them after this. An incredible band made up of expert musicians and performers, Meow Meow will be playing sets of anti-tradition Christmas groove – all songs of their own creation, always funny and never depressing, with bags of energy and a quirky yet fluid style. They’re providing the soundtrack to the main events space, and to be honest, its worth making your way to the Southbank Centre just to enjoy a cup of mulled something, and see what the band have come up with for Christmas 2014! If you’d prefer something a little more familiar, however, there will be choirs from all over the UK singing all our old favourites at regular intervals, as well as jaw-dropping performances from youth orchestras from around the world.
For the more somber and cultured visitor, the Hayward Gallery will be hosting a fantastic exhibition named MirrorCity: London artists on fiction and reality. A lot less Christmassy but still well worth a look, this is an exhibition by both famous and up-and-coming artists about the struggles of living in the digital age. Definitely an art-lover’s pastime and not designed for casual browsing, this is a fantastic opportunity to see videos, paintings, sculptures and installations by some truly inspiring professionals. We three kings of beautiful art, bearing gifts we bought from the mart…
We’re really looking forward to seeing the Southbank transformed to host this exciting and varied event, and we’d love to hear about your past experiences. Do please leave a comment below, or if you’d like to know more about where to eat, drink and stay in London this Christmas you can give us a call free of charge!