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How To Get Best Out of Christmas In UK Being A Non British

Christmas in London
When living in a foreign country, it can be tricky to know what to celebrate and where around Christmas. Christmas is the most beautiful time of year. But there is something truly magical about Christmas in England; whether you plan to celebrate with family or friends or on your own, plan your celebrations with our extensive Christmas guide.

Everyone knows Christmas is the most beautiful time of year. But there is something truly magical about Christmas in England.

Each year, the best Christmas events and experiences in the UK tempt us with promises of sparkling lights, mystical music, and memorable family moments to enjoy throughout November and December to kickstart the festive season in style.

Best events to celebrate Christmas in the UK

Whether you plan to celebrate with family or friends or on your own, you can stay close to home, take a trip just down the road, or travel across the country; numerous locations throughout the UK come alive at Christmas.

So without further ado, here is our comprehensive list of ideas for where and how to spend Christmas in the UK.

Silent Nights

Silent Light, a silent party on George Street, is Edinburgh's major new Christmas attraction. It takes place up to five times a day under the Street of Light, an installation of 60,000 lights synchronised to music that can only be heard through headphones.

Edinburgh has so many opens, for example, an Ice rink in St Andrew Square; a fairground, market, and whisky bothy bar in East Princes Street Gardens; a Christmas tree maze with an elves' workshop in the middle; and a Spiegeltent in Festival Square with adult circus shows and baby discos.

Try Auld Reekie, which comes alive with Christmas celebrations beginning in late November and continuing through December and into January.

Winter Wonderland

Numerous UK cities now have winter wonderlands, including Cardiff, where this year there is a 90-metre tower for city views and a Sur La Piste bar modelled on a ski lodge next to the rink (until 6 Jan, cardiffswinterwonderland.com).

Santa's Enchanted Ice Castle, a 3D grotto trip to the North Pole, is the new attraction at Bristol's Winter Wonderland; there is also an ice rink, helter-skelter, and a vintage carousel (until 6 Jan). Londoners are spoilt for choice, with the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park (until 6 Jan).

Cosy Rooftops London

Rooftops are the new hangout location in London. We’ve heard they've become cosy for the winter. 17th-century frost fairs inspire the new wintry rooftop at John Lewis on Oxford Street, including a mini ice rink, hot gin cocktails, and pies (until 6 Jan).

Moreover, you can find igloos and huts on Tobacco Dock Skylight with a giant ice rink (until 27 Jan). You’ll start loving the new concept of “winter chalet” at Fest Camden’s roof garden, where you’ll be taken care of with blankets, hot-water bottles, and firepits; a snow machine; film screenings and buskers; and winter cocktails such as sloe negronis (until March).

Ice Village, Manchester

A new Ice Village at Manchester in Cathedral Gardens can be a perfect place for your Christmas selfie. Centred around an ice cavern with more than 100 ice sculptures of polar bears, huskies, a yeti and even a frozen Rovers Return sign, this village has some promising sights to live and see. Visitors can take a selfie while "trapped" in an ice block by sitting in Santa's ice armchair. There is an Arctic Bar that serves frozen cocktails, as well as an ice rink and games like hook an iceberg (free entry, some ticketed attractions, until 5 Jan).

Full Blown Christmas Light Displays

Christmas light displays are no longer limited to fairy lights; these days, they are full-fledged lit spectacles. This year's additions include one-mile light pathways through the gardens of Beaulieu House in Hampshire, Bedgebury Pinetum in Kent, and London Zoo. Lightwaves, a free digital light festival in Salford Quays, the Festival of Light at Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire, and garden attractions such as the Eden Project in Cornwall, Wakehurst in West Sussex, and Kew Gardens in London are also returning.

Popular Christmas food to try

People all around the UK like Christmas delicacies. Distinct families have different customs surrounding them, but no matter where you celebrate or who you celebrate with, all celebrations usually include food. Christmas cuisine has a comforting quality to it. Everyone is looking forward to the excellent and slightly oversized Christmas feast. Of course, sweets, snacks, and beverages will be available throughout the holiday season.

Here are some of the best and most popular Christmas foods and snacks loved by many people in the United Kingdom:

A traditional British Christmas dinner often includes one of two types of meat, depending on the number of people sharing the meal and a range of side dishes.

The highlight at Christmas is usually a turkey complemented by a ham. Both are frequently purchased readymade, with hams already glazed and turkeys ready to bake. If you want to add flavours, you can easily make stuffing to cook inside your bird. Also, create a bacon-wrapped topping to keep the turkey moist and succulent. Along with traditional meats, families frequently make and serve their side dishes, which include a variety of sauces and vegetables. A Christmas dinner in the UK is nearly like a deluxe version of a Sunday roast.

Sides could include:

  • Roast potatoes and mashed potatoes
  • Pigs wrapped in blankets (small sausages wrapped in bacon)
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots and parsnips baked in honey
  • Pancetta-wrapped peas
  • A vegetable mixture, such as cauliflower or broccoli
  • Cranberry relish
  • Yorkshire puddings stuffed with gravy.

Individual families have their own tastes, and some even include side dishes like cauliflower cheese. These sides, however, are traditional for a British Christmas meal.

The wonderful desserts and sweet snacks associated with the festive season come second to a typical British Christmas meal. These Christmas dishes will have your mouth watering and your stomach full of a warm-fuzzy sensation after devouring these delectable treats that are usually only available (unless handcrafted) during the holiday season. For example, Mince Pies, Peppermint Creams, Gingerbread, Sugar Cookies, Panettone, Christmas Pudding, Stollen and Christmas Cake.

Let's take a look at some of the best traditional Christmas drinks.

Posset, or eggnog, is a classic holiday drink made with eggs, milk, cream, spices, and alcohol. Baileys is such a famous Christmas drink that almost 29 litres of Baileys were sold every minute in November and December of the previous year. Baileys is a whiskey, milk, and cocoa-based Irish cream liqueur. It is frequently served in small liquor glasses and can be consumed independently. Mulled wine is an alcoholic beverage that is served everywhere throughout the Christmas season. Mulled wine, unlike conventional wine, is heated with spices, giving you that warm glow that is frequently associated with the holiday season. This holiday drink comprises red or white wine and festive additions, including oranges, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and maple syrup.

Another way to get the most out of the Christmas season is to attend a Christmas party at work. For non-Britishers, it is more of an opportunity to learn more about your British colleagues and build rapport with your colleagues in a non-formal setting.

Yes, a Christmas party with your coworkers is a chance to let your hair down, but you also want to ensure that your professional image and reputation are intact the following day. To keep you on track, we've compiled a list of the fundamental etiquette standards for the business Christmas party.

Christmas Party Etiquette in UK Workplaces

The Christmas party, whether in or out of the office, should be treated as an extension of the workplace, with both employers and employees conducting themselves appropriately.

Not in the mood to party? Not attending because you simply don't feel like it sends a message that you're not fully engaged. If you do attend, it can be an excellent opportunity to mix with colleagues you never get a chance to talk to. It's also a perfect time for people to network and increase their visibility within a company. This is especially helpful for those looking to advance or integrate within the company.

Even though your Christmas do might be out of office hours, you still represent your company, which means all your company's policies and procedures will remain in place.

Do: Dress Appropriately

If you need help picking what to wear to your company's Christmas party, check in with your coworkers beforehand to find out the dress code. The HR department will most likely send you an email with the dress code. If the theme is more professional and business attire is expected, you will dress accordingly. You may always add a little sparkle to your attire; just be sure to follow the dress code. If you do not, your coworkers will believe you are not a team player.

Don't: Eat or Drink Excessively

We strongly advise you not to overindulge in the complimentary open bar, hors d'oeuvres, and buffet at your corporate Christmas party. Too much alcohol might drop your guard and lead to undesirable behaviour, such as dancing on tables or saying something indecent that you can never take back. Also, a light meal before the gathering is always smart because you don't want to be seen devouring the pigs in a blanket like it's your last dinner. Instead of eating everything in sight, concentrate on socialising.

Do: Work the Room and Network

Your Christmas office party is a wonderful opportunity to meet people you might not see in the office usually, so make the most of it. You should be able to introduce yourself to the CEO without "self-promoting" if you find yourself standing next to him at the bar.

Even though it may appear frightening, consider networking with people from other departments rather than spending the entire evening with your regular office mates. It's an excellent approach to expand your network; after all, a new link could lead to a future promotion. Remember to keep talks light, make meaningful small talk, and show interest in others at all times.

Don't: Talk About Sensitive or Inappropriate Subjects

When networking at your Christmas office party, certain topics should be avoided at all costs. First, avoid contentious themes such as religion, politics, and vulgar jokes. These discussions have a horrible reputation for ending in disaster. Second, don't whine or complain about anything. Save any complaints about your job or compensation, or how much you despise your employer, for a private talk with Human Resources.

Do: Time Your Entrance and Exit

Arriving 15 to 30 minutes after the event begins is quite okay. If you're planning on arriving "fashionably late" half an hour before the party finishes, reconsider. You've had a fantastic night if you're having so much fun schmoozing and networking that you don't even notice how late it is! However, don't be the last one to leave, and avoid partying till the wee hours if you don't want to be known as the workplace party animal.

Don't: Post Photos or Videos Without Permission.

What is posted on social media remains on social media. You don't want to wake up the next day to find out you've been tagged in images and videos of yourself striking bizarre poses next to the enormous gnome ice sculpture. Respect others' preferences and only share something online after agreeing on ground rules with your coworkers.

Do: Say Your Goodbyes

It may appear suspicious if you slip out of your Christmas workplace party without saying goodbye to your coworkers and new connections. You are not required to participate in an entire chat. A basic example, "It was great to see (or meet) you again. I had a fantastic experience. We'll talk again soon ", will be sufficient.

Do: Thank the Organizers

A heartfelt "thank you" goes a long way, so take some time to show your appreciation to the organisers. A holiday work event takes a lot of planning, whether big or small, so find out who was involved and acknowledge their efforts with a quick thank you before you leave the party. You can even go the extra mile and send a thank-you email the next day to express your gratitude.

Did you hear the good news?

London is officially named one of the best places to spend Christmas in the world by Travel Magazine. The gorgeous city of London attracts around 21 million visitors yearly (pre-covid figures), and plenty flock to witness the capital in festive decoration.

With so many unique and delicious Christmas offerings, spending Christmas in London is one of the most memorable things you can do in the city. From the humming of Christmas carols to the grandeur of midnight mass celebrations, Christmas in London is worth the experience. Catering to the whims and fancies of all people across all ages, Christmas celebrations in London have tons of surprises, entertainment and learning experiences for everyone alike.