It is a traditional story of a magical Christmas Eve, when young Clare finds that all her Christmas toys, from the toy soldiers to the Christmas tree, have come to life. Featuring the stunning dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Waltz of the Flowers, this tale of magic and fantasy will be portrayed through the ballet performances of the world’s most extraordinary troupes at one of the world’s grandest stages, London Coliseum from December 12 to January 5. So, do not miss out on this magical, memorable and monumental Christmas treat this year!
Anyone interested in a truly luxurious Christmas experience has landed on the right page, for my countdown recommendation today is exactly that! Celebrations at the MAY FAIR HOTEL come highly recommended for a luxurious and memorable Christmas experience.
Whether you wish to host a private party or opt for private dining, the May Fair Hotel caters to all your needs. With packages ranging from £90 to £130, May Fair Hotel offers range from three-course Christmas menus, drinks, and novelty Christmas items to fancy table embellishments, and DJ and dance floor. This year on Christmas, celebrate the finer things in life with the May Fair Hotel, for it is guaranteed to be well worth a fine Christmas experience!
This particular listing on our Christmas Countdown is for those who foster love for the classics in literature. Inspired by the treasured novels of literary genius, Charles Dickens, Tatton Park Manchester has put together the DICKENSIAN CHRISTMAS MANSION as a special Christmas treat this year!
Each of the staterooms has been adorned individually to portray his most popular works and characters. Foliage, garlands, flowers, baubles and mistletoe embellish the mansion, which reminisces of familiar scenes, traditional Victorian fashion and references from favourite Dickens tales including A Christmas Carol, The Christmas Tea and Great Expectations. With the exception of Mondays, the Dickensian Christmas Mansion will be open every day starting today until 23rd December for those who wish to celebrate a ‘classic’ Christmas!
You might not have the budget for haute couture but that doesn’t mean you can’t afford to get up close and personal to some of the finest dresses made in the last 60 years by one of the world’s most celebrated designers, Valentino courtesy of a retrospective exhibition now open at Somerset House.
Widely regarded as one of the most visionary and technically brilliant designers of our time, Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani was born in 1932 and in a career spanning decades has dressed numerous stars of stage and screen.
Valentino Master of Couture showcases some of the designer’s most celebrated dresses including gowns worn by Julia Roberts at the 2001 Oscars ceremony, Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Sophia Loren as well as the grande finale, the wedding dress worn by Princess Marie Chantal of Greece for her marriage to Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece in 1995.
Visitors are guided through the exhibition which has been divided into three sections. The first showcases artefacts and trinkets from Valentino’s personal collection including sample invitations to his shows, photographs, sketches, cards and notes from notable fans and clients such as Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Margaret and Princess Diana. You then walk through to the main showcase structured as a catwalk with clothes displayed on mannequins either side so you are the star of your own Valentino show. If only….
Finally you are guided through to view the wedding dress worn by Princess Marie Chantal of Greece and a workshop themed display educating visitors on some of the more technical tricks of the trade showcasing how Valentino and his team build dresses that truly are works of art in their own right.
The exhibition is a thoughtful and inspirational display that presents not only an engaging insight into the catalogue of one of the world’s leading designers but charts the history and evolution of fashion through recent years – some fashions have changed but as this exhibition shows, others thankfully have stayed. Highly recommended!
Valentino: Master of Couture is open until 3 March 2013 at the Embankment Galleries, Somerset House.
For further information check out: http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/visual-arts/valentino
One of the Christmas-themed events that I am most excited about this year is the return of the production WHITE CHRISTMAS to The Lowry, Manchester, after a record-breaking sell-out run three years ago.
A stage musical, adapted from Bing Crosby’s classic 1954 movie, the production revolves around a song-and-dance team that becomes romantically involved. Brimming with some of the greatest songs ever written, tap dancing, lavish sets, beautiful costumes and lots of laughter and life, this production exuberates sheer fun. It starts from November 30 and runs for five weeks, so make sure to mark your calendars for this feel-good Christmas production for a very ‘merry’ theatrical experience at The Lowry!
To add to the excitement and rush of the upcoming festive season, The Lowry Outlet Shopping Centre is bringing the spirit of a traditional Victorian Christmas to Salford Quays this winter with its very first Victorian Market ever!
The highlight of the shopping season, this magical market erected in anticipation of Christmas and the holiday season, is THE place to start crossing off your gift lists. Boasting an array of over 50 uniquely decorated stalls selling artisan food, handmade items, special gifts, and fashion that you won’t find on the high street, the Victorian Christmas Market is the perfect set for a magical, family day out.
Not only will there be festive fare and shopping to get you into the Christmas spirit, but there will also be a host of merry entertainment to kick-start the seasonal celebrations. I am tempted just thinking of the warming mulled wine while enjoying live music from the finest regional brass bands and choirs, at the Victorian Bandstand. Amongst other treats for kids, is an enchanting ride on the beautiful, traditional carousel.
The entertainment and the atmosphere will be nothing short of a very authentic and exciting glimpse into the Victorian era! Dickensian street performers will bring the market to life, from fine Victorian ladies in beautiful vintage dresses, gracing the aisles of the market stalls and mingling with the crowds, and street urchins and their Fagin-like masters, to wanted criminals and travelling salesmen, all of whom will be watched over by Her Majesty’s finest Peelers – the very firm but fair policemen of the Victorian age!
Situated on the plaza of the Lowry Outlet Shopping Centre, the Victorian Christmas Market will open on Thursday 6th December until Sunday 9th December 2012. So let’s head to the unique Lowry Victorian Market and prepare for a retro-style kickoff to the holiday season!
Today’s Christmas treat is considered to be amongst the best of its kind in not only the UK but also in Europe! I’m referring to the bustling EUROPEAN CHRISTMAS MARKET at Albert Square, the central hub of Christmas markets at Manchester.
Since the onset of the Market last week, the giant, illuminated Father Christmas has looked over the entire Alpine village that was constructed to house the markets during the holiday season. With countless market rows and stalls selling everything from cheeses and crepes to handmade chocolates, handcrafted decorations to Christmas trees, quirky gifts for kids to hot mulled wine for the adults, this market is the perfect place to do all your Christmas shopping in one convenient place. So, head over now towards the twinkling stalls and bustling atmosphere of the European Christmas Market for a jolly good Christmas experience!
The next Christmas festivity that I want to bring to your attention is this year’s ZIPPO CHRISTMAS CIRCUS, a family circus entertainment at the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, London. Packed with skill and fun, the circus will put up a range of entertaining acts including bouncing-ball juggling, comedy trampoline, unicyclying and swinging trapeze. Performers will include world-class jugglers, clowns and acrobats. The evening crowd will be entertained by the daredevil ‘Zippos Cirque Berserk’, which is filled with thrilling acts including tumbling numbers, acrobats, limbo dancing under a flaming rod, and more. Starting today, and running until 6th January 2013, the circus will have several shows everyday.
A brilliant mix of color, comedy and thrills, the Zippo Christmas Circus is a promising treat for families during the festive season!
Last night, after my craving for a good, juicy steak got out of hand, my friends finally gave in to my constant nagging, and took me to the recently launched ‘Steak & Lobster at Alto Restaurant and Bar’ at the multi-award winning Radisson Blu Edwardian, Free Trade Hall Manchester. And what a divine dining experience it was!
This convivial city centre restaurant offered a whole new kind of dining experience. Its name literally says it all – the place offered… Steak and Lobster! There was no menu to confuse me while my stomach was already yearning for a merciful steak – just a simple choice between the eponymous mains. The meaty yet juicy steak, a 10oz Ribeye, was served with garlic and chive butter. One of my friends ordered the Lobster, which was served whole. Both came with a bowl of fries and a dressed salad, and each one of us felt like we’d been served pure bliss on a platter!
The freshest seasonal produce was priced very reasonably at £15 only – an extremely unexpected yet pleasant surprise! The 80-seater restaurant was filled with soft ambient lighting, dark rich woods and plush seating, providing an informal and relaxed setting. Apparently, during summers, the tables will spill out on to the spacious al fresco dining area.
I am certain that the simple, quick and quality dining will make for a hot ticket for those looking to hold impromptu business lunches or for those dining with friends. And as far as I am concerned, I can’t wait till the upcoming weekend, when my friends are planning on rekindling the heavenly experience at ‘Steak & Lobster at Alto’!
As you count down the days to a ‘merrier’ Christmas, I bring to you the first of the ten promised Christmas must-dos this year…
Kick-start the celebrations and get your skates on for the time-honoured Christmas tradition of taking to the ice. Surrounded by London’s fabulous architecture, Somerset House is by far the ‘coolest’ rink for the season. Among the many others to attend the opening for the ice-rink on November 16 was singer, Ellie Goulding, skating around the Tiffany-decorated 40 foot Christmas tree, with War House star Jeremy Irvine.
Additional attractions include certain set days for special penguin club sessions for children under 8 and open-air clubbing experiences for the adults. This year, for the first time ever, the Christmas Arcade, a pop-up luxury shopping mall, has been added to the list of attractions. So, come along to experience the festivity and the seasonal chills at the grandest ice rink in the capital!