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Our little black book of enchanting places


Er... Christmas is coming

Posted in DESTINATIONS By Maggie O' Sullivan

Rooftop cinema, The Berkeley, LondonWe know the Big Day is still two months away but if you’re planning to visit London in December and hoping to get in the Christmas spirit, you need to get planning now.

Showing winter classics such as Miracle on 34th Street and Santa Clause: The Movie, The Berkeley hotel’s roof-top cinema will be very exclusive, operating for the month of December only and seating just eight guests per viewing in four chalet-style cabins for two. Cabins will be furnished with Moncler blankets and hot water bottles with plenty of hot chocolate, mulled wine, mince pies and festive biscuits to keep blood sugar levels up. Screenings take place at 5pm and 7pm, 1-26 December, and cost from £65 per person. Cinderella, The PalladiumIf you’ve never seen a Christmas panto before, this is the year to do it as, for the first time in nearly 30 years, this uniquely British art form returns to the London Palladium with an all-star cast in Cinderella (oh yes it does). It’s only on for five weeks and is bound to be a sell-out. 10 December-15 January 2017.Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, OxfordshireBelmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, just over an hour from London, is hosting a series of candle-lit Christmas Carol Concerts in the church next door. Laurent-Perrier champagne will be served on arrival at the hotel, followed by a torch-lit stroll to St Mary’s, after which it's back to the hotel for a five-course dinner. Trains run from London Marylebone to Haddenham & Thame Parkway station, 10 minutes' drive from Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons. From £255 per person.The Nutcracker, English National BalletPhoto: Shiori Kase © Jason Bell

What could be more Christmassy than Tchaikovsky’s gorgeously festive ballet, The Nutcracker? It’s being performed by the English National Ballet at the London Coliseum throughout December this year but you’ll have to move quickly to stand any chance of getting tickets. 14 Dec-7 Jan 2017. The capital’s most famous Christmas tree is the giant spruce which Norway sends to London every year in recognition of Britain’s support during the Second World War. But its most stylish tree is surely the one at The Connaught in Mayfair which, for the last seven years, has been interpreted by some of the world’s leading designers and artists (above, 2015’s tree by Damian Hirst). This year the tree will be a collaboration between Jony Ive, Apple’s Chief Design Officer (his team was responsible for the iMac, PowerBook, MacBook, iBook, iPod, iPhone, iPad and AppleWatch) and Marc Newson, CBE, one of the most influential designers of his generation. The tree will be unveiled in Claridge’s lobby next month and is the perfect excuse to book a much-in-demand festive lunch or dinner at Hélène Darroze's two Michelin-starred restaurant at The Connaught. 


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