Fairmont Maldives Unwraps Star Chef Line-up and EuropeanMichelin-Cuisine this Festive Season

Offering a tantalising tropical escape this festive season, Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi will play host to three celebrated and Michelin-awarded chefs – Alexandre Demand, Mickael Viljanen and Alfredo Russo – each creating a bespoke degustation menu to be enjoyed exclusively by island guests throughout December and January.

Chef Alexandra Demard

Alexandre Demard
Dates: 23rd – 28th December (Azure) / 31st December (Kata)

One of France’s most sought-after chefs, Alexandre Demand is best known for spearheading menus at various Michelin-starred restaurants across the country. A graduate of the Paul Augier Hotel School in Nice, most recently Alexandre has been quietly pushing the boundaries of gastronomy atOxygen Dining Room in the Cross Chiang Mai Riverside Hotel in Thailand. Taking diners on a culinary journey with a twist, Demard creates a modern exploration of Thai food through a French perspective. For Demard, food is a “combination of creativity, respect for the produce, and a passion of flavours.”, a mantra that has won him numerous accolades, including a Michelin Plate.

Inviting guests to savour his Thai-inspired dishes, Demard will be serving up a six-course set menu at Fairmont’s Azure over Christmas and taking over Kata for a New Year’s Eve feast.

• £113 food supplement per person
• £75 wine pairing per person

Chef Mikael Viljanen

Mikael Viljanen
Dates: 29th December – 3rd January (Azure)

Joining Fairmont Maldives over New Year’s, Mickael Viljanen is one of only four chefs in Ireland to be awarded two Michelin stars. Celebrated for his sublime craft, technical precision, and masterful manipulation of flavours, Viljanen is the Chef-Patron of the multi-award-winning restaurant Chapter One in Dublin. Working in kitchens since he was 14, Mickael moved to Ireland in 2000 from Finland, where he grew up via France and the United Kingdom. Viljanen’s sophisticated cooking features stimulating flavour combinations and a nod to traditional Finnish dishes whilst placing seasonal Irish produce centre stage.

Guests of Fairmont Maldives can reign in the New Year and enjoy Mickael Viljanen’s elegant and complex creations with a six-course menu paired with fine wines from around the world, set in the Azure restaurant.

• £113 food supplement per person
• £75 wine pairing per person

Chef Alfredo Russo

Alfredo Russo
Dates: 10th – 15th January (Azure)

Bringing his culinary skillset to the Maldives in January, Alfredo Russo is one of Italy’s leading chefs. Utilising modern techniques, Russo’s cooking is strongly influenced by classic cuisine, local ingredients, and culinary trends, gaining him numerous accolades. Further to opening his first restaurant Dolce Stil Novo in 1990, he was recognised as the Best Young Italian Chef by the Espresso Guide in 2004 and has since earned a total of 27 Michelin Stars. His acclaimed kitchen and unique style have led to collaborations with celebrated restaurants, including Gran Hotel et de Milan, where he led the hotel in a new culinary direction and the publication of several cookery books. With five restaurants in his international portfolio, Russo has gained a global reputation, and his dishes are treasured by many.

Russo will take over the resort’s Azure restaurant in the New Year, creating a Michelin Star menu for guests to enjoy, alongside a selection of fine wines.

• £150 food supplement per person
• £113 wine pairing per person

Home to three epicurean restaurants, from ocean-fresh seafood at Azure and traditional Maldivian dishes at Raha to Japanese inspired cuisine at overwater dining destination Kata, Fairmont Maldives is a culinary destination in its own right. Set in the heart of the resort, laid-back cocktail bar Onu Onu is the perfect destination to sip on colourful concoctions as the sun sets over the azure water and, for a truly intimate experience, guests can enjoy a private dinner on the beach at starlight, accompanied by a soundtrack of lapping waves.


A Picture Perfect Christmas at Hotel Crillon Le Brave, Provence

Open for the First Time Over Christmas

Image: Hotel Crillon Le Brave © Mr. Tripper

Maisons Pariente has announced that it will be welcoming guests to Crillon Le Brave  this season, the property will open for Christmas and New Year for the first time providing a cosy Provencal getaway.

Located in the heart of Provence, Crillon Le Brave is the splendid 5-star hideaway reserved for guests who are disconnecting from city lights and fast paced life. The hotel is open to guests over Christmas and New Year to celebrate in pure luxury with loved ones without having a worry in the world.

Guests can enjoy a festive and New Year dinner at La Table du Ventoux, alongside a magic show for an evening of great surprises in the idyllic setting of Crillon le Brave. Surrounded by vineyards and breath-taking views, Hotel Crillon Le Brave offers a luxury, slow paced setting for a stay with the scents of Provence.

Nightly rates at Crillon Le Brave start from 350 Euros on a bed & breakfast basis.


Burger & Lobster x Tony Singh MBE

Tis the sea-son to indulge, and as we head into colder climes, a winter warming feast fit for a king wouldn’t go amiss – that’s where Burger & Lobster comes in. The surf & turf specialists have teamed up with legendary Scottish chef and restaurateur Tony Singh MBE on a limited-edition sharing Punjabi Spiced Lobster dish, available up to the 31st December, at all nine Burger & Lobster London restaurants.

Tony Singh’s fishing trip with Burger & Lobster chef Ken Tyrrell

As one of the UK’s most celebrated TV chefs, Tony will showcase his culinary prowess coupled with provenance, fusing two whole pot-roasted native lobsters sourced from the UK’s shores, dressed with bold Indian flavours and aromatic spices. Generously serving two people with a side of fluffy steamed rice, elevate your client lunches and evening plans with this ultimate Christmas cracker.

Tony Singh MBE comments: “It’s been a pleasure to work alongside the chefs at Burger & Lobster to develop this winter warming dish. Burger & Lobster’s ethos of sourcing the best lobster, treating them with respect and having fun along the way rings true with traditional Punjabi cultural values as a means of bringing people closer together. It’s a recipe we’re really proud of, and we can’t wait for people to experience it – bring on the good times!”

Burger & Lobster’s Punjabi Lobster Curry is priced at £75 (based on two people sharing), and £1 from each dish will be donated to StreetSmart, a London-based charity working with the hospitality industry to tackle homelessness on our city streets.

With turkey shortages hitting our headlines, this is the perfect year to throw out the turkey, scrap the stuffing and raise a toast to a festive lobster centrepiece!

Looking to get your festive fix at home this year? Burger & Lobster have a range of DIY kits for nationwide delivery.


Play the Christmas Hits at Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife

Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife’s festive month starts from 6th December 2021 – 1st January 2022

With more than 300 days of sunshine a year, the idyllic island of Tenerife is the perfect place to escape those winter blues and get away for an island retreat this Christmas. The festive season at Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife officially begins on 6 December (Saint Nicholas Day) when kids at Hard Rock’s Roxity Kids Club make stockings to hang on their doors to celebrate the feast of St Nicholas.

Image courtesy of Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife

In true Spanish style, Christmas Eve will be an unforgettable day for rockers of all ages. Kids can enjoy their special celebration by creating their own Christmas guitars and microphones before heading into a rock tattoo workshop to look the part for a rocking Christmas. Teen aficionados and families alike can also enrol for a special walk through musical history with the Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife Memorabilia tour – featuring the musical treasures from the ages. Followed by a Christmas show and a karaoke night for guests to prove who the real rockstar of the family is!

Guests can also enjoy a special Christmas Eve gala dinner with a spectacular Christmas buffet. However, the real treat is on Christmas Day with a very special visit from Father Christmas and his elves loaded with gifts and treats.

In the evening, families can enjoy a grand Christmas buffet at Sessions restaurant (included for half board or all-inclusive guests), or a special Christmas dinner in one of the hotel’s a la carte restaurants.

Image courtesy of Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife

The fun continues through to Boxing Day, with more exciting craft workshops and cinema sessions running. A special TikTok experience has also been lined up where young rockers can transform into their favourite and most influential rock and pop stars of the moment.

New Year’s Eve at Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife will be celebrated in true Hard Rock style. The little ones will head to the tailoring workshop to make their tie and gala hat ahead of the evening’s celebrations. For those at Teen Spirit, an onsite DJ will keep up the New Year’s vibe, VR experiences, and cinema sessions, ensuring plenty of entertaining activities.

Image courtesy of Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife

For those looking to add an extra touch of magic to their New Year’s Eve celebrations, the Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife’s New Year’s Stravaganza Dinner strike the right chords. A one-of-a-kind gastronomic evening inspired by the Venetian carnival reliving an era full of glamour and fun accompanied by live musical performances. The five-course menu will feature Lobster, Angus Ribs, Pina Coladas and sweet chocolate mango and pistachio.

After dinner, the New Year’s Eve party continues at the Lagoon area. The arrival of a new year will have guests celebrating all night with musical shows, an open bar, live performances, fireworks, a cotillion, and a DJ until close – nights like this are what it’s like to be a rockstar!


The Grill at the Dorchester

A classic Christmas with a modern twist  

The festive season will be in full swing at The Grill at The Dorchester, with seasonal menus and live music throughout Christmas and New Year. Head chef, Tom Booton, proudly presents a modern twist on traditional British dishes in this warm and welcoming space at the heart of the hotel. As well as festive menus starting from November 16th, The Grill at The Dorchester will be serving beautifully crafted menus for Christmas Day Lunch (£350 per adult).

Contact The Dorchester’s Restaurant Reservations Team at restaurants.TDL@dorchestercollection.com  | 020 7629 8888 | dorchestercollection.com

Images courtesy of The Grill at the Dorchester

Café Biltmore welcomes guests to their hidden Christmas terrace

Café Biltmore Restaurant & Terrace at The Biltmore Mayfair are celebrating Christmas Day with an extra-special 5-course menu designed by Jason Atherton. The menu costs £120 per person, with a dedicated children’s rate at £60 per person. The terrace will be transformed into a magical winter wonderland, surrounded by foliage covered walls, festive lighting, cushioned seating and heaters during the cosy period. 

Guests will be greeted with Mulled Wine on arrival, closely followed by Jerusalem artichoke and Périgord truffle soup and Severn and wye smoked salmon with cream cheese, dill, sourdough and lemon. The main will be a Laurel Farm bronzed turkey with roasted seasonal vegetables with the classic Christmas pudding with a generous amount of brandy sauce and vanilla ice cream to finish. On Christmas day there is always room for cheese - a selection of British & European cheese, served with spiced apple chutney, crackers, Mince pies, Cognac truffles alongside a tea and coffee selection will keep guests extra warm (£15 supplement).  


The Grove will unveil a brand new sustainability theme for this Christmas, courtesy of McQueens Flowers

The Grove, Hertfordshire, will be unveiling a brand new festive look this year, based on the extensive grounds and gardens of the estate. A collaborative effort between the in-house gardens team and McQueens Flowers, the first florist in the world to be awarded a Positive Luxury Butterfly Award for its commitment to improving sustainability, the hotel’s aim is to champion a more sustainable and nature-based Christmas and show guests that they can still create a thoroughly festive look while minimising waste and prioritising natural materials.

This Christmas, the interiors at The Grove – London’s inspiring country escape – will transform into a place of natural beauty, with rustic decorations crafted by McQueens Flowers using botanicals, reused materials and soft textiles, echoing the surrounding flora and fauna. Decorations will be presented alongside seasonal flowers that have been carefully selected from the grounds, whilst lengths of dried Amaranthus flower stems will hang from the windows, with their rich earthy scent. The natural theme will be cohesive throughout, though some rooms will display a punchy pop of colour.

Images by Jessica Marsh courtesy of The Grove, Hertfordshire

Guests are welcome to explore the lush woodland on a brisk walk, seeing for themselves how the Christmas concept has been inspired by the estate. Holly, pinecones, twigs and red berries all provide the perfect starting point for sustainable Christmas decorations, which guests can take inspiration from for their own homes.

Head Gardener Tash Geldenhuys explains how guests can forage their own gardens for fallen materials to create a natural festive display; Christmas wreaths, tablescapes and wall hangings can be easily arranged by using seed heads, dried flowers, and seasonal foliage. Items can be coloured by using food colourings or spare paints to enhance interior décor. Remember to use biodegradable glitter if you want to add magical sparkle and hang from natural twine or ribbons.

The dedicated team at The Grove have created an array of activities during the festive period for children and adults alike, including arts and crafts sessions that will spark creativity. After enjoying these activities, families will be able to capture the perfect family photos in the hotel’s lobby by hopping aboard Santa’s sleigh, adorned with warm fluffy sheepskins.


Dishpatch Announces Christmas Feasts and Welcomes New Names Chishuru and Parsons

Feast-box delivery specialists Dishpatch have launched three very special, complete Christmas menus. On sale now, for delivery on Wednesday 23rd December in time for the big day, they are: 

  • The Turkey Feast by Andrew Edmunds, a classic turkey roast with all the trimmings, starters of Irish smoked salmon and beetroot & walnut pesto with chickpea pancake, sticky toffee pudding for dessert, and petits fours.
  • The Beef Banquet by 10 Greek Street, an indulgent feast of Christmas classics from Welsh ribeye to truffle gratin, with date & treacle pudding, Tunworth cheese and chocolate florentines to finish.
  • The Christmas Twist from Bubala, an entirely vegetarian festive feast inspired by the Middle-East. Ideal for those looking for something less traditional but still celebratory, it includes beetroot carpaccio, cauliflower Wellington, sprouts with Ras-el-Hanout walnuts and dates, and Bubala’s Christmas trifle. 

Dishpatch has also revealed menus from two new restaurant partners: a West African Feast from Chishuru, Joké Bakare’s acclaimed Brixton restaurant, featuring ekuru, beef ayamase, attasi rice, plantain and chocolate cake; and a Classic Fish Supper from Parsons, the elegant Covent Garden seafood restaurant, which includes flatbreads with seaweed butter, marinated octopus, fish pie, and chocolate mousse with toasted pistachios.

These new menus can be ordered for delivery on Friday 27th November and 4th, 11th or 18th December.

For every box ordered, Dishpatch will donate £1 to homelessness charity StreetSmart, whose annual fundraising campaign in restaurants in November and December, whereby a voluntary donation is added to diners’ bills, has been made impossible by lockdown. Kimberley Coke of StreetSmart says, “We are delighted with this partnership; Dishpatch have stepped up to help StreetSmart at a time when it’s needed most, as the pandemic has left many homeless and unemployed.”


Enjoy a Luxury Christmas in a Scottish Castle

Why not escape to your own luxury Scottish Castle this Christmas? The five star East Wing of the Castle on Blair Estate in Ayrshire is available for both Christmas and Hogmanay 2020, offering a high-end retreat at the end of a tough year.

As a luxury self-catering experience and packed full of castle comfort, the East Wing has five bedrooms each with their own bathrooms, plenty of sumptuous sofas, a state of the art kitchen, plus over 220 acres of gorgeous estate including 30 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens for crisp morning walks in the Scottish air.

Comfort comes first at Blair, with handmade beds piled with luxurious bed linen, goose-down duvets and pillows, fluffy towels, cashmere throws and Noble Isle bathroom treats. Set over four floors, the East Wing includes large and spacious shared spaces and a large entrance hall for wet gear. A luxury coffee machine, the all-important jigsaw puzzles and board games, a drinks fridge and festive decorations including tree make this the perfect location for a Scottish family Christmas.

Visitors can reach Blair Estate in as little as 25 minutes from Glasgow Airport, and it’s close to the Scottish Border with fast motorway access, making it easy to reach from all over the UK and internationally.

Prices for the East Wing start from £995 a night for a three-night minimum stay on a self-catering basis.

For a more cosy retreat, the Estate has a hideaway Garden Cottage, with two en-suite bedrooms and its own garden starting from £295 also on a three-night minimum stay on a self-catering basis.

The main Castle on the Blair Estate which must be booked on an exclusive use basis is a much-loved family home and is perfect for staycations, family reunions, private house parties, celebrations, corporate meetings and events. With 16 bedrooms, butler and house staff including an in-house executive chef, and the best in service, the Castle can be booked in advance for small and larger groups. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of activities from foraging to mini highland games, gin and whisky tastings and falconry. The estate has been awarded the ‘We’re good to go’ COVID-19 industry-standard, signifying compliance to Government and public health guidance.


Wreath Making Delivered launches three new designs to celebrate their fifth year of Christmas crafting experiences

Connecting through nature has always been at the heart of Wreath Making Delivered’s beautifully packaged Christmas craft boxes. Their expertly selected foliages are sourced directly from farms local to their south-coast HQs and delivered straight to front doors across the UK. Their natural, foliage led designs tap into a creative, festive flare whilst giving wreath makers a real appreciation for the beauty that nature brings to our lives – something that many of us have come to treasure through periods of isolation and lockdown.

We caught up with Jo, the founder of both Wreath Making Delivered and it’s sister company Columbia Creative (established 2013) to find out what to expect from WMD this Christmas; “we’ve all missed socialising with our friends, family and colleagues this year and here at Wreath Making Delivered, we have the complete package to help you spend a couple of hours of shared festive fun with each other. We deliver all the materials required for each of your party to make their own luxury Christmas wreath at home while you follow our pre-recorded online video tutorial together”.

This year Jo’s been busy developing three inspiring new designs that will be delivered across their portfolio of festive wreath making products. Taking pride of place on Wreath Making Delivered HQ’s front door, the earthy textures and frosty tones of their new Nordic Wreath invites the spirit of Christmas in the mountains. The Rose Gold wreath glistens with an explosion of fun through contemporary metallics and pinks. For those looking for something more classic, the dried fruit and spice-laden Traditional Wreath oozes Christmas through bold colours and warm tones.

The three new designs, which are available for pre-order now, will be delivered from Friday 27th November onwards, just in time to bring some festive cheer to the last weekend of lockdown.
The workshop is packed floor to ceiling with pinecones, eucalyptus, foliage, ribbon, and everything else that’s placed into each and every box by Jo’s family team as Wreath Making Delivered prepares for their busiest season yet. There are up to 10 different types of foliage included in each of the six luxury wreaths designs. Jo is working behind the scenes on all the preparation and planning that goes on before customers receive their wreath crafting boxes – from sourcing, sorting, packing and delivering, this is an impressive logistical operation!

For those looking for more of an interactive experience, sister company Columbia Creative’s workshops will be moving from their usual London venues and instead, delivered online as live-virtual workshops. Their florists will be facilitating workshops in much the same format as they have done at their in-person events for the past eight years, just with a virtual twist! These workshops will last 1.5 hours and are available at various dates & times throughout December.

Ticket details & information >> columbiacreative.co.uk

Experience the ‘SPECTACULAR’ this festive season with Emaar Hospitality Group

  • Explore a world of scintillating celebrations at www.myfestivedubai.com
  • Over 100 exceptional experiences tailored in three categories – Stays, Festive Season, New Year’s Eve, Corporate Events and Festive Treats
  • Experiences available at Emaar Hospitality Group’s three hotel brands – Address Hotels + Resorts, Vida Hotels and Resorts and Rove Hotels as well as its restaurants and leisure attractions

Emaar Hospitality Group is all set to mark the festive season and welcome the New Year with an unparalleled array of extraordinary festive experiences and sensational year-end events in the heart of Dubai.

Embodying the true festive spirit, the incredible host of celebrations showcased at http://www.myfestivedubai.com include over 100 offerings at more than 15 destinations across the city, to offer residents and visitors a truly delightful holiday season.

For visitors looking for a memorable winter break or residents wanting to indulge in the celebratory spirit with friends and family or corporates planning to leave a great impression on colleagues and business associates, there’s something for everyone to enjoy, in the lead up to the magnificent fireworks at Burj Khalifa that will welcome in 2019. Offering the best of Dubai, visitors and residents can explore diverse offers under the five easy-to-navigate categories – Festive Season, New Year’s Eve, Corporate Events, Festive Treats and Stays at http://www.myfestivedubai.com.

Olivier Harnisch, CEO of Emaar Hospitality Group, said: “With the festive season set to welcome visitors from across the world in Dubai, and UAE residents exploring staycations and lifestyle experiences to make the most of the season’s spirit, Emaar Hospitality Group is offering truly exceptional offers for all. Our hotels, restaurants and leisure attractions will serve as the first choice for visitors, with their central location and superb service standards.”

The remarkable range of glamorous festivities, culinary experiences, and staycations spans Emaar Hospitality Group’s three brands – Address Hotels + Resorts, the premium luxury hotel and serviced residences; Vida Hotels and Resorts, the upscale lifestyle hotel and serviced residences, and Rove Hotels, the contemporary midscale hotel brand. The choices also extend to leisure attractions such as Arabian Ranches Golf Club and Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club.

Moreover, guests can choose to indulge in world-class culinary delights and magnificent New Year soirées at two of Dubai’s most sought-after venues – At.mosphere, Burj Khalifa and Sean Connolly at Dubai Opera for a truly unforgettable evening of celebrations.

There are more than 70 offers to celebrate the ‘Festive Season’ with a selection of award-winning dining and entertainment options across various restaurants in Address Downtown, Address Boulevard, Address Dubai Marina, Address Montgomerie, Address Dubai Mall, Palace Downtown, Vida Downtown, Manzil Downtown, Rove Downtown, Rove City Centre, Rove Healthcare City, Rove Trade Centre and Rove Dubai Marina – all the operational hotels under Emaar Hospitality Group in Dubai.

A collection of more than 40 immersive dining experiences are on offer to make ‘New Year’s Eve’ an utterly magnificent evening for the guests as they usher in 2019 with the iconic fireworks and spectacular New Year’s Eve Gala.

Guests can stay at Dubai’s most popular lifestyle destinations and in the heart of the action all through the season with rewarding ‘Stays’ at luxurious Address Hotels + Resorts or urban and sophisticated surroundings of Vida Hotels and Resorts.

Promising an elevated and glamourous experience, there are more than 25 ‘Corporate Event’ packages to host festive celebrations and corporate end of the year events. From luxurious ballrooms and picturesque outdoor venues to exquisite food and tailor-made menus, the possibilities to make these events memorable are endless with Emaar Hospitality Group.

Fantastic ‘Festive Treats’ including traditional turkey with all the delicious trimmings can be booked from different restaurants across Dubai to enjoy the merriment of the season in the comfort of their home with loved ones.

Further complementing these experiences, U By Emaar, the rewards programme by Emaar, enables guests to gain additional value when they sign up for it. U By Emaar is open for individuals over 18 years from anywhere in the world. Users earn Upoints, the currency of U By Emaar, with 1 Upoint for every AED 2 spent. Members are rewarded with Upoints when they stay, dine or enjoy any entertainment experience offered by Emaar’s diverse participating portfolio of choices.

For more information or reservations on festive experiences, please visit www.myfestivedubai.com or call +9714 888 3444.

Experience the Magic of Europe’s Festive Markets

Park Plaza provides some Festive Christmas magic

Some of us may be really looking forward to the Christmas period this year and others reluctant participants in the festivities but the Christmas markets in Europe are a sure win for Christmas fans and avoiders!

Since its first appearance in Germany in 1434, this charming tradition has been embraced by nearly every European city! With more choice and visitors than ever, the decision of which Christmas fair to visit can be overwhelming. To help you decide, Park Plaza Hotels® & Resorts shares its all-time favourite Christmas markets, giving you one less thing to organise yourself this festive season.

Nuremberg – Steeped in over 500 years of tradition, Nuremberg’s famous ‘Christkindlesmarkt’ is one of Germany’s oldest Christmas fairs, dating all the way back to the mid-16th Century. Set in the heart of the Old Town in the main market square, ‘the little town of wood and cloth’ tempts visitors with the wintertime smells of mulled wine and Nürnberger Bratwurst. 180 market stalls, aglow with twinkling lights, sell locally-made ornaments and toys. Kids will love the Nuremberg Children’s Christmas, just a short stroll around the corner. What’s more, traditional craft stalls invite children to get creative with workshops and activities, including festive baking and candle making – the perfect souvenir to take home.

Visit: Friday 30th November 2018 – 24th December 2018.

Stay: Ideal for guests who want to explore Old Town, Park Plaza Nuremberg boasts a prime location across from Nuremberg Central Railway Station. The hotel is also just minutes away from Nuremberg Airport and the A3, A6 and A9 highways, making getting to your winter mini-break super simple! PRICE: From €164 per person for two nights’ accommodation. Valid for arrival on 20th December 2018. Prices are based on double occupancy and subject to change. To book, visit www.parkplaza.com/nuremberg.


For something a little different this year, why not visit Amsterdam? Every year, a 20-metre Christmas tree takes pride of place on the Dam Square in front of the Royal Palace, and together with the luminated luxury department store Bijenkorf, they symbolise the start of festivities in the city. Families will love the Museumplein Ice*Village; a fabulous place to enjoy ice-skating with a view of the beautiful Rijksmuseum. To follow, there are plenty of stalls serving local winter warmers, which you can enjoy with live festive music.

The Amsterdam Light Festival is also not to be missed. Returning this year on 29th November until 20th January, the streets and canals alike are adorned with twinkling lights creating a magical display throughout the city.

Visit: Late November – early January. The Christmas tree is put in place on 8th December and the Amsterdam Light Festival runs from 29th November 2018 until 20th January 2019.

Stay: Located in the centre of the city’s buzzing shopping district and a two-minute walk from Centraal Station, Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam makes a fantastic destination for short breaks. PRICE: From €189 per person for two nights’ accommodation in a Superior Room with Iconic View. Valid for arrival on 10th December 2018. Prices are based on double occupancy and subject to change. To book, visit www.parkplaza.com/amsterdam.


Berlin is another fantastic German city-break for the festive season. Boasting around 80 Christmas markets dotted around the city, you certainly won’t be short of choices! One of the oldest, most delightful Christmas markets in all of Berlin is Berliner Weihnachtszeit at Rotes Rathaus. Located close to Alexanderplatz, this market offers unique stalls with a design dating back to the early 1900s, creating a traditional feel. You can spot this market from some distance away thanks to its impressively high Ferris wheel providing magnificent views of the city. Other festive gems include is its 600 square metre ice-rink – the largest in the city. It’s only a small fee to rent ice-skates otherwise you can enter the ice for free.

Visit: Berliner Weihnachtszeit at Roten Rathaus is open from 26th November – 30th December 2018.

Stay: Park Plaza Wallstreet Berlin Mitte is a quirky hotel in the heart of Berlin. Just a short stroll from top attractions including Alexanderplatz, the hotel is also close to Märkisches Museum underground station for easy access to the city’s Christmassy sites. PRICE: From €99 per person for two nights’ accommodation in a Double Room. Valid for arrival on 16th December 2018. Prices are based on double occupancy and subject to change. To book, visit www.parkplaza.com/berlin


Last but not least, London offers a joyful experience for everyone with its magnificent Christmas markets and local handicraft fairs. For unique Christmas gifts and stocking fillers, head to Winter Wonderland for an overwhelming choice of 200 stalls brimming with wonderful handmade gifts. The wonderous lightshow at Kew never fails to put a smile on its visitors’ faces. This magnificent trail through the beautiful gardens will lead you past singing Christmas trees, fairy-lit tunnels and a show-stopping grand finale in front of the stunning Palm House. Don’t forget to get your skates on at Somerset House for the prettiest ice-rink in London, before popping to one of the cosy cafes to warm up with chocolate and marshmallows.

Visit: Winter Wonderland is open from 22nd November 2018 – 6th January 2018. The South Bank Winter Market runs from 9th November – 27th December 2018.

Stay: Conveniently situated on the South Bank of the Thames, Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London provides the perfect base from which to visit London’s festive attractions. PRICE: From £279 per person for two nights’ accommodation in a Studio Room, including breakfast and tax. Valid for arrival on 21st December 2018. Prices are based on double occupancy and subject to change. Room can sleep 2 adults and 2 children with additional sofabed. To book, visit www.parkplaza.com/london.