London is glowing. From decadent displays in Harrods, glittering lights along Oxford Street to mulled-wine-induced red cheeks, Christmas is coming.
One of the new spots to enjoy a festive frolic is Winterville, a magical pop-up winter village that has opened its doors for a second season in Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets.
What sets Winterville apart from Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is its commitment to incorporating the best local produce and talent from east London. All the delectable delights in the food hall courtesy of companies from local boroughs, with servings from Orange Buffalo, Smokestak and Mother Clucker.
There is a Bizarre Bazaar, filled with antiques and vintage clothes, transporting visitors back in time to a chic Victorian bar. Londoners are sure to rejoice in the authentic feel, sadly absent at many other similar Christmas events.
Children will be entertained by shows from The Moscow State Circus and a special appearance from Father Christmas, while for grown ups looking for heat on a winter’s night, there are no thrills spared at Cirque du Cabaret, a cabaret show provided by a touring company which has had sold out events at London’s Southbank Centre.
The variety of acts are cleverly held together by the hostess, whose wit and humour captivates the audience, seductively teasing the audience before introducing a showcase of talented artists.
For a cosier night, visitors can disappear through a “wardrobe” and find themselves lost in an enchanted woodland-turned-cinema. Here they can curl up on sofas and beanbags for a selection of Christmas films, with a bar on hand thanks to Backyard Cinema.
Organisers have made sure Winterville retains a laid-back mood with a selection of traditional fairground rides, an ice rink, quaint markets complete with local cheese and chocolate. And, nothing leaves a trace of false pretence or “Bah Humbug” – unless, of course, you head to the BarHumbug for a ski-resort drink.
Watch our video of the Winterville opening night, featuring an interview with co-founders Daz Guerin and Marcus Weedon.
Winterville is now open in Victoria Park until December 23.
By Alex Jackson, Marianna Manson and Naomi Joseph
Follow Alex Jackson on Twitter @ajacko26
Follow Marianna Manson on Twitter @mmanson1992
Follow Naomi Joseph on Twitter @Njos3ph