Our top picks of exhibitions together with cultural spaces and places, both online and in the real world.


All, Art, Auctions, Exhibitions, Travel & Hospitality, Initiatives

Viewing Skate at Somerset House

Get ready to don your blades and twizzle and turn at Somerset House Skate, London’s favourite festive destination. Transforming the spectacular courtyard into a dazzling winter wonderland, Skate features a bigger ice rink than ever before as well as a dazzling 40ft Christmas tree and a chill out space, serving winter warmers, bubbles and chocolaty treats.

For those looking for hearty feasting, book into Chalet Suisse, a cosy Alpine-inspired dining experience by Jimmy Garcia. Expect winter classics like cheese fondue, roasted pork belly and a Swiss take on macaroni cheese. As for cocktails, opt for the Moët & Chandon French 125 or a Salted Caramel Espresso Martini.

There are also plenty of festive experiences to enjoy, from a new series of rink-side deck takeovers at Skate Lates to the Chilled Out skate sessions which run at a reduced capacity — ideal for first-time skaters or those looking to brush up their skills with an instructor. There will also be special Kids Club sessions and those dedicated to wheelchair users.

While you’re at Somerset House, be sure to whizz round the Horror Show, a major exhibition examining how ideas rooted in horror have informed the last 50 years of creative rebellion in Britain. Enjoy!

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Dates
16 November 2022 — 15 January 2023

Viewing Claridge’s Christmas Tree & The Connaught Christmas Tree

Hotfoot it to Mayfair to marvel at two of the most magnificent Christmas trees in London. First, head to The Connaught hotel on Carlos Place, where you’ll see a wonderous Nordmann fir designed by East London artist and sculptor Suzy Murphy. It is decorated with soft white neon dogs based on a series of sketches inspired by Murphy’s childhood pet Toby. At the base of the tree, Toby is surrounded by neon titles of sculptural works that were made for a series called A Girls Progress.

‘My vision was to create a tree that symbolises my childhood experience and is closely related to a series of works I have created over the years,’ Murphy says. ‘Toby travelled with me artistically, in symbolic form, through various landscapes. Sometimes beautiful, sometimes dark…but here she is arriving now, triumphantly, on the Connaught Christmas tree. It is truly magical.’

Then, scoot over to Claridge’s to see The Diamond, a magnificent sculptural creation standing over five metres tall designed by Sandra Choi for Jimmy Choo in partnership with set designer Simon Costin.

Installed in the hotel’s iconic lobby, the dazzling tree is crafted from 69 shining, reflective mirrors, and embellished with 250 individual aluminium panels and 60 meters of sparkling lights which pulse, undulate and reflect off the multifaceted surface. Topping the tree is a giant, glittering bow — a nod to one of the key motifs of Jimmy Choo’s winter collection.

‘I have always said I would love to know what it is like to step inside a diamond, and now I can,’ said Choi. ‘Claridge’s is a London jewel, it’s multifaceted, like the diamond that inspired our tree, like Jimmy Choo.’ What better way to slide into the festive season?

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Dates
23 November 2022 — 05 January 2023

Viewing Christmas at Blenheim Palace

For the ultimate festive experience with kids, hop on a train to Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, where the great rooms have been transformed into a fantastical winter wonderland. Explore the glistening land of Snowflakes before venturing into the sparkling Kingdom of Ice filled with larger-than-life crystals. But is it really happy-ever-after? Or will the Snow Queen seek her revenge?

Afterwards, make tracks for the Orangery to try the Ice Kingdom afternoon tea. Enjoy devil on horseback and mini raisin scones before indulging in a selection of sweet treats including Gateaux opera and mint and chocolate macaroons. Next up the Christmas Market in the Great Court, where you’ll find a wide range of artisan products and gifts.

For those keen to extend the Blenheim experience, book tickets to the celebrated after-dark illuminated trail. As you meander around the picture-perfect grounds, you’ll encounter glittering tunnels, flickering flames and trees drenched in jewel-like colours. Enhance your walk under the stars with a spiced winter warmer or hot chocolate from one of the participating street food vendors.

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Dates
18 November 2022 — 02 January 2023
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