It’s a common thing of mine to meet a mate on the Southbank, I bloody love the Southbank! A main reason probably being that it’s easy to be cheap there, it’s perfectly acceptable to just be there, shelter in the warmth of the Royal Festival Hall or the National Theatre without buying a drink, or in fact, bringing your own along! There’s almost always free stuff to see, free wifi, and what a great view from the 4th floor balcony, that yes, you can usually access no problem. I hadn’t actually managed to get down there this Christmas until yesterday, and although I think it was the coldest winter night we’ve had, it was still nice to be outside!
Ok, it’s similar to what you get around these winter markets, the huts with present goods that you shouldn’t really buy, but, the Christmas Tree Maze looks magical with all it’s twinkling lights!! and the Cider Lodge is knocking out likable cheesy tracks, and very importantly, keeping people warm – it was really quite toasty. There’s some outside tables with heaters too, some good nosh on offer at the huts (I’m a big fan of Indian veggie street food Horn OK), and mulled wine where you actually get to feel the benefit of it, it’s almost essential! The hot chocolate is also the real deal in the corner away from the river. There’s also performances going on and some other parts of it I didn’t get to see.
VERDICT: Definitely worth a look for getting into the festive spirit, a must for tourists in town