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This_Is_London_7 December 2018

6 THE POSTAL MUSEUM

6 THE POSTAL MUSEUM BRINGS FESTIVE SPIRIT The Postal Museum is set to spread the Christmas cheer far and wide this December with Mail Rail featuring a festive twist on its Mail Rail Ride and a whole host of activities for both kids and adults to make this yuletide extra jolly. For a short time only, Mail Rail’s subterranean ride, taking visitors back in time to the heyday of the postal railway, will get a Christmas makeover. From wartime wives wishing husbands Merry Christmas from afar, to the broadcast of the first King’s Speech on the BBC, the new projection is set to get visitors into the Christmas spirit in a very unique way. As well as the Ride, underground adventure-seekers will be able to see Mail Rail’s 100-year-old-tunnels like never before as part of the network hidden under our feet is opened to the general public for guided walks for the very first time. And there’s plenty going on above ground too. Whether it’s wreath-making (pictured), floral centre pieces, seasonal stationery or personalised present sacks, visitors will have the chance to get crafty in artist-led workshops and join engaging storytelling sessions across the Christmas period. To top it all off, The Postal Museum will be extending its opening hours on Saturday 15 December, so that visitors can enjoy everything the museum has to offer for longer (from 10.00 until 21.00, last Mail Rail ride leaves 19.20). All activities are limited capacity, so book online to guarantee your place and get a dose of that fuzzy Christmas feeling. Activities take place every weekend from 1 December to 23 December with most included with ticket entry on a first come, first served basis with the exception of the wreath and floral centrepiece workshops and the Mail Rail tunnel walk, which all require advanced booking and have an additional fee. The Postal Museum reveals five centuries of British social and communications history as seen through the eyes of its iconic postal service. Alongside permanent exhibition galleries and a temporary exhibition space, Mail Rail, London’s secret Post Office Underground Railway, has been opened to the public for the first time in its 100 year history, including a subterranean ride through some of the original tunnels. For further information, visit the website at www.postalmuseum.org CHRISTMAS AT PHOENIX GARDEN A festival of entertainment spanning the worlds of musical theatre, comedy, drag, cabaret and more, called 'Christmas at the Phoenix Garden’ will take place during December in the beautiful Phoenix Garden Building. This multi-purpose, newly built, wheelchair accessible space features just sixty seats, underfloor heating, mood lighting and glass wall overlooking the garden. This is the first time the venue has been used for an arts festival. The Phoenix Garden acts as a much needed escape from the busy streets of London’s West End. The festival’s founders and co-creators of Phoenix Theatricals, Peter Dunbar and Colin Savage, are best known as the creative team behind the multi-award winning theatrical venue The Phoenix Arts Club which is celebrating its 30th year of business. In a joint statement they said ‘The Phoenix Garden has been an asset to the local community for over three decades, and an escape from the hustle and bustle of the West End’s busy streets. There’s nowhere else like it.’ Christmas at The Phoenix Garden will feature a fully operational bar which will open 30 minutes prior to showtime, and close straight after each performance. Attendees will receive 24 hour access to the Phoenix Arts Club, located moments from the Phoenix Garden. www.thephoenixgarden.org 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

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS TOUR To fully enjoy one of the oldest Christmas Lights displays in the world, The Original Tour have designed two excellent Christmas Lights Tours to see London’s world famous landmarks. As a visitor to the Capital, what better way to get in the festive spirit than to join one of the experienced guides who will take you on the magical journey through the streets of London? Whether you prefer a relaxing ride on an open top bus with a blanket to keep warm or want to explore on foot through pedestrianised streets tucked away behind the main thoroughfares, the two options suit every taste. These tours combine not just a view of the superb Christmas windows in many stores, but will also take visitors through the beautiful architecture of central London with the knowledgeable Original Tour guides recounting Christmassy history and fascinating facts of the areas as you pass through. If you opt for the London’s Magical Christmas Lights Tour, sit back and relax as the bus passes under the lights of Regent Street and admire the majestic Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree gifted to London from Norway each year. The stunning windows of Harrods and Harvey Nichols are not to be missed as these upmarket department stores reveal windows that have likely been months in the planning. On the Christmas Lights Winter Walk, the group weaves through the pedestrianised back streets around Oxford Circus such as the Sixties mecca of Carnaby Street and on to Covent Garden, not missing the striking Oxford Street and Regent Street Lights as the guide takes in some of the less well known but equally beautiful and entertaining spaces in London. The Walking Tour operates daily and does not need to be booked in advance. As a seasonal treat, anyone travelling between 1 November and 28 February will receive a free Christmas Lights Tour with 48 hour and 72 hour tickets. The Original Tour is the perfect way to see London at this time of year. For tickets, visit www.theoriginaltour.com Sara Macann THE LONDON ARTISAN The London Artisan is a curated marketplace in the heart of East London. Taking place on a quarterly basis throughout the year, it showcases over 50 contemporary designer makers in Old Truman Brewery for a two-day design event. The next market, on 15 & 16 December, offers a diverse, quality, shopping experience that celebrates independent producers and makers. The London Artisan presents a unique selection of jewellery, ceramics, glassware, textiles, homewares, graphic design and children’s products from designers based in the UK. The two day selling event is consumer oriented and offers visitors the opportunity to meet the designers and view, buy or commission products. The London Artisan is a must for those passionate about handmade, organic and sustainable goods. Founded in 2010, Designers / Makers has grown from a local design market in London into an agency supporting freelance designers – an essential resource to help create a strong and supportive design community across the UK. The Old Truman Brewery, East London's revolutionary arts and media quarter, is home to a hive of creative businesses as well as exclusive, independent shops, galleries, markets, bars and restaurants. www.designersmakers.com 7 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

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