POPCORN AND GLITTER

A film, food & lifestyle blog by Sophie Elizabeth

16 December 2019

Lifestyle Review: Christmas in Leicester Square

Last weekend, I was invited by DiscoverLSQ to sample the many delights that London's iconic Leicester Square has to offer over the Christmas and New Year period. As the home of film events, premieres and with the Christmas festivities in full swing, it seemed the perfect excuse to head home for a seasonal visit.

My return to Leicester Square was unexpectedly nostalgic this time around. Having lived in London my whole life, worked in Leicester Square for years and battled the busy commute daily, it was often difficult to appreciate my surroundings. But upon arriving to Piccadilly tube station, I really took a moment to take it all in and it felt so good to be back in the Capital since we moved to Stamford earlier this year.

To kick start the seasonal celebrations, myself and some fellow bloggers started our day at the Leicester Square Christmas Market to check out the stalls offering selling seasonal treats, food and delicious drinks. For families also, you can even take your little ones to meet Santa and collect a Christmas present. I actually took my nieces to meet the same Santa last year and he was absolutely brilliant - very funny and his highlighter was on point.

So having grabbed ourselves a delicious hot chocolate (seriously - one of the best I've ever had) and perused the shops, it was time to head over to one of my most loved cinemas in London. Just a short walk round the corner to where the Trocadero once lived is Picturehouse Central. Not only is it a treat for the eyes with it's classic design, but it also has a cafe and serves some amazing food. It also has an exclusive Members' Bar and Roof Terrace which I was super excited to make use of before our screening of Miracle on 34th Street (1947).

I have always loved Picturehouse and any excuse to visit there is a treat. It's been a regular spot for film premieres and press screenings or even just a nice place to grab a bite to eat or a drink after work. I just love the decor which is a mix of high-end art deco with a modern twist. Of course, around this time of year, Picturehouse Central is an excellent spot to enjoy films of the past, present and future as they're showing a whole array of wonderful Christmas classics, as well as new releases.

After viewing a classic Christmas film, it was time to grab something to eat at the Leicester Square Kitchen.  I had been to Leicester Square Kitchen a few times to pick up press passes for film events but was so pleased to finally have a chance to eat there. And the food did not disappoint.

Located right in the heart of Leicester Square, this restaurant combines shared dining with fine dining. Serving contemporary Mexican and Peruvian small plates and signature cocktails, there is certainly plenty of choice for everyone - whether you're hoping for a casual lunch or a gut bash. Their tapas menu may seem like small bites but upon arrival, it is quite the feast for the eyes and the belly. Again, the decor here is just beautiful and whilst it feels very high-end, it also has a lovely relaxed vibe. The service is a little bit slow and it took quite a while for our drinks to arrive but I'll put that down to the busy Christmas service and the time of the evening.

To finish up our packed day of fun, film and food, we wrapped up the day with a few final cocktails at The Lost Alhambra - arguably, London's most Instagramable bar. Located through a small pink next door-but-one to ODEON Luxe Leicester Square, this bar is a must-see of LSQ.

The bar originally opened in 1854 as one of the few bars to accept women without the escort of a man. Once described as the “greatest place of infamy in all London”. Having closed in 1882, it has been reopened and re-imagined to be the ultimate neon-lit location for an evening of music and delicious cocktails - ideal for those Christmas and NYE nights out.

Well, after a great day it was finally time to make my way home. I had a fantastic day exploring new bars and food places in Leicester Square - as well as revisiting some of my favourites. A huge thanks to DiscoverLSQ for a wonderful, festive treat. You can learn more about what to do and see this Christmas in Leicester Square and Piccadilly via their website here.

I also couldn't resist stopping by The Prince Charles Cinema to snap a shot of their annual Christmas signage. It's another of my favourite cinemas to visit in London so be sure to stop in for their festive film program too, if you get a chance. But tell me, what are you most looking forward to seeing in London this Christmas? Have you got any Christmas traditions? As always, I love reading your comments so please do share your thoughts with me below. If you're new here, you can also check out more of my London adventures here.

Until next time - have a wonderful Christmas!

Disclaimer - This was a paid event with DiscoverLSQ. As always, all opinions are my own and are not influenced by the brand.








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