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TIL Dec 2017

6 CHRISTMAS FUN IN THE

6 CHRISTMAS FUN IN THE ROYAL PARKS What could be more magical than a horse-drawn carriage ride in stunning Richmond Park? This winter, The Royal Parks has teamed up with Operation Centaur to offer a six-person carriage ride through Richmond Park, drawn by majestic Shire Horses. Enjoy the sounds of hoofs and bells, revel in the crisp air and watch the wildlife up close while you snuggle under a blanket and have some sloe gin and a mince pie to truly get into the festive spirit! The 90-minute experience begins at Holly Lodge, Richmond Park, where you'll be met with refreshments. You will take your place in the carriage, embarking on a 60-minute ride through the park in all its winter beauty. Visitors will also be treated to a unique behind-the-scenes tour of the working stables. The rides are on selected dates until 30 December (at 12.00 and 13.00). As the year’s shortest day approaches, take a stroll in Kensington Gardens on Saturday 9 December (10.30-12.00) to discover how Queen Victoria and her consort Prince Albert introduced many of the traditions we recognise today. Discover why the robin features on Christmas cards and see first-hand where the geese were traditionally fattened for Christmas dinner. Some traditions stretch right back to pagan beliefs and were developed to sustain us through winter’s darkest days – the expert guide will tell you more. Families can book to Meet Santa at ZSL London Zoo as a wintery treat on 9, 10 and 16-24 December. Children can meet some of their favourite Christmas characters as well as visit animals. Join in arts and crafts with Mrs Claus and chat with cheeky elves before heading into Santa’s grotto to meet the main man himself and receive an early Christmas gift. Packed with pine trees and decked out for the season, visitors can wander the Christmas Village before exploring the rest of the Zoo. Lovers of The Royal Parks can give something back when they choose their Christmas tree this year. Visitors to Bushy Park, Greenwich Park and Richmond Park can buy a quality Christmas tree that not only looks fantastic, but is grown in a sustainable manner, in balance with nature. Since 1864, swimmers have been taking to the water in Hyde Park to compete in an icy 100 yard race before heading home to tuck into their Christmas dinner on 25 December. Only members of the Serpentine Swimming Club can take part but the public can watch from the sidelines. The Royal Parks is a charity created in March 2017 to manage 5,000 acres of historic Royal parkland across London. For further details, visit the website www.royalparks.org.uk THE HUNT FOR THE CHESHIRE CAT HiddenCity has a brand new adventure in London starting at the National Portrait Gallery on 6 December where teams of 2-5 players will be able to embark on The Hunt for the Cheshire Cat. This latest experience is inspired by characters and scenarios from the muchloved classic novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Players embark on a quest to find the perpetually mischievous Cheshire Cat who has escaped from Wonderland and is hiding somewhere in the capital. Teams will find themselves weaving through galleries, descending into cellar vaults, scouring literary archives and choosing who to trust, as they solves clues sent to their phone. The Cheshire Cat has come to London to test whether you, like Alice, can make sense of absurdity in the world around you. Your challenge is to find him on an adventure into the strange, surreal and absurd. Uncover a darker side to Wonderland and, perhaps, yourself too... One hundred and fifty-two years ago, Alice fell down the rabbit hole into Wonderland, a world of nonsense, riddles and contradiction. Before returning home, Alice showed the creatures of Wonderland how to find the rabbit hole, should they ever wish to visit our world. Years later, one mischievous creature has chosen to do just that. t h i s i s l o n d o n m a g a z i n e • t h i s i s l o n d o n o n l i n e

ART FOR LOVE CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL IN DEVONSHIRE SQUARE From 1 to 19 December, Devonshire Square will host the 3rd Edition of its ‘Art for Love’ Christmas Festival, a programme of free world-class artistic performances, organised to support The Connection, London’s busiest homeless charity. Opening of the Festival on 1 December at 12.30 will be a mesmerizing ballet show, ‘Christmas Wonderland’, choreographed by Royal Ballet trained dancer Jenna Lee. The Festival’s line-up also includes an artistic ice-skating performance ‘Magic on Ice’ (8 December, 12.30), a Christmas carols concert by the Capital Arts Children’s Choir (11 December at 18.00), an open air piano recital by award winning pianist Alberto Ferro and ‘Violins and Butterflies (15 December 17.00)’, an enthralling ballet take on the famous Swan Lake story. Zalon, the talented vocalist who performed as Amy Winehouse’s leading singer for many years, will perform on 16 December at 18.30. The festival’s final show (19 December, 17.00), will be an exciting fusion of jazz, bossa nova, funk, alt-rock, gospel, drum ‘n’ bass and mysterious free improvisation, delivered by Aaron and the Argonauts, an international collective of musicians lead by Aaron Liddard, the acclaimed saxophonist and composer who has played with Prince, Sir Bob Geldof, Stevie Wonder’s band and Amy Winehouse. All performances will take place in the historical surroundings of Devonshire Square’s Western Courtyard, which will be decorated for the duration of the festival with a Giving Tree, dedicated to The Connection Charity, as well as an artistic installation of golden twilight trees, created by British artist Susie Reid Thomas. The Giving Tree is a unique Christmas tree entirely adorned with red paper hearts on which wishes of those in need have been carefully transcribed, in order to give them a chance to be read and honoured by visitors. The Devonshire Square’s community will be fundraising in aid of The Connection from 1 to 21 December. All gifts and donations will be delivered to The Charity on Christmas Eve. For more information, telephone 020 7645 0800. HARD ROCK CAFE LONDON WINTER TERRACE The festive season is in full swing at Hard Rock Cafe London with the first ever launch of their Hard Rock Winter Terrace. Winter revellers are encouraged to pop in and enjoy a festive tipple and settle in to the heated outdoor terrace currently taken over by Jack Daniels and Stella Artois. Festive decorations, two bespoke pop up bars, cosy seating with special Jack Daniels cocktails and Stella Artois drinks can all be found on the terrace which is open from now until 1 January. No reservation for the terrace is needed. Des Addis, Hard Rock Cafe London General Manager; ‘We are delighted to partner with Jack Daniels and Stella Artois to launch our first ever themed terrace. With Winter Wonderland just around the corner, our Winter Terrace will be a great place for pre and post drinks. Although we suspect that with the amazing cocktails on offer, some may never even make it to the fair!’ Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world's greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock London is in Old Park Lane, near Hyde Park Corner station on the Piccadilly Line. t h i s i s l o n d o n m a g a z i n e • t h i s i s l o n d o n o n l i n e 7

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