Food and travel journalist, media producer, cooking teacher, pastry chef and photographer. Write for Taste & Travel Magazine and www.fourseasonsoffood.com
East London's new, quirky, exciting Christmas destination
Calling all Christmas lovers! Those fond of snow, mulled wine, ice skating, roller skating and laughter!
I live in Victoria Park Village, a little horseshoe indentation of Victoria Park, East London's crowning glory. The posters have gone up - our lovely Viccy Park will be home to a Christmas village for the month of December.
Complete with a Fairground, Horse Carriage rides around the whole of the park, and a food market, the quirkier East side vibe will have its place too. A dedicated Speigeltent (travelling mirror house dance halls, originating from Holland) will house club nights, gigs, bingo, pantomimes, karaoke and dance parties that won't cost a dime. Yes, most Speigeltent shows will be free!
In fact, entry to Winterville as a whole will be free. There will be free entertainment once you are inside - just pay for food, rides and special shows.
For the kids, there is a chance to meet Santa in Santa's Grotto, melt marshmallows in a campsite built around a bell tent, or make a visit to the House of Fairy Tales.
The Wall of Death will be the only place in London to watch a motordrome: vintage motorcycles and their stuntmen riders perform stunts throughout the month. For adults, they are building a wooden ski lodge for Bar Humbug, for a festive drink or to watch a performance. Otherwise, there is a Craft Beer Area filled with local breweries and 'Meet the Brewer' events (there will even be a special Winterville beer, brewed just for the festival) and a Hot Cider Bar to warm you up.
With rides that have never before visited the UK, and the largest Ferris Wheel to hit East London, you will likely need to visit more than once to fit everything in.
The Roller Disco and outdoor Ice Rink will be buzzing every night, and food options are massive: visit the heated Food Hall where London's best street food traders, chefs, farmers and artisan producers will be selling their wares, and outside there will be Street Food vendors scattered throughout the site.
So head over East this Christmas - we have the best, quirkiest and newest celebration of Winter this year. Make sure to come early and visit the lovely shops of Victoria Park Village, home to some of London's best independent shops - from vintage delis, butchers, bookstores and other lovely places where you can pick up some christmas presents for your loved ones.
Open every day December 2nd - 31st from 10am - 10:30pm (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day), head on over on the Tube (closest station is Mile End) and then head up to Victoria Park, Londons best new Winter destination!