For one weekend only in November each year, homesick Swedes and blonde Londoners of Viking heritage gather at the Church of Sweden in Marylebone, turning its entire premises into a haven of traditional Swedish Christmas food and music.
This year, between November 19th and 22nd, visitors can expect a beautifully-decorated Parish Church with a smorgasbord of pickled herring of all sorts, home-made glogg – the Swedish version of mulled wine, which Swedes tend to insist is a hundred times better than its English equivalent – and a temporary café serving filter coffee, meatball sandwiches, ginger biscuits, and cinnamon buns.
This event is one of the few London-Swedish events which always manages to really bring together London's community of Swedes, a group which is otherwise known as relatively unpatriotic and rather likely to pick up accents like chameleons. That the Church would be the venue for annual celebrations of this pretty secular community may seem ironic, but the Swedish Christmas Fair offers market stalls and music for both religious and non-religious advocates.
With traditional Christmas and Saint Lucia music in the background, a market hall covered in tinsel and colourful baubles, and staff dressed in conventional aprons and hairdos, the Swedish Christmas Fair in Marylebone's Harcourt Street is a contender for London's best Christmas market. And at £1 per head to enter this magical world, it is a bargain if we ever saw one. Come along to see if the glogg is really that amazing, and don't miss the food market, which is full of delicacies flown in from Sweden especially for this event.