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Published on December 3rd, 2015 | by Clarissa Waldron

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Winterville 2015, Victoria Park

Winterville has returned to London’s East End for a second year, giving Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland a run for its money while doing so. For this reason alone, Victoria Park’s Christmas festival is sure to be a hit – relieving East Londoners of having to endure the transport connections and brave the myriad of tourists and Christmas shoppers that throng the West End at this time of year.

But not only that, for its second outing, the Christmas-themed town comes back bigger and better than before.

The talking point with Winterville is that it throws in its own secret ingredient to the pot that rustles up a memorable night out in the midst of the festive season. At Winterville the best in alternative entertainment is blended with traditional amusement park elements and classic Christmas festival offerings.

So on entry you’ll encounter the classics: the outdoor, sparkling Ice Rink – 600 square meters for you to get your skates on. Surrounding it is the Southern Comfort Home Comfort lounge, where you can gorge on southern style Christmas grub, as well as an abundance of theme park rides including a pendulum ride, a Matterhorn, a Ferris wheel and a Rotor ride. And this year organisers have enlisted the very best of local and international talent in the form of theatre, cabaret and comedy.

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Roll up to the Circus, where you can munch popcorn, sip beer and marvel at the performers from the Moscow State Circus, or kick back and watch Christmas and non-Christmas films at the The Winter Night Garden cinema,  decorated to look like you’re in a forest.

Plus, what makes Winterville a hot destination is the fact that each day is rarely the same. Events organisers have curated a constantly rotating calendar and jam packed schedule that means you can keep coming back for more.

The Cirque Du Cabaret, Snow White Pantomime, comedy and live music will all take place in the Spiegeltent at alternating times over the next few weeks. And look out for 10-piece brass band, the Old Dirty Brasstards, and their dirty jazz beats on December 19th, while folk musician James Yorkson will take up a spot again following a sold out performance last year.

 

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And one thing is for sure – you won’t go hungry while you’re here! Not only is the main food hall decked out with an array of street-food trucks, including Moony’s Halloumi and Mother Clucker, a lá KERB, the whole site is littered with enough tempting food and drinks stalls to make you put that pre-Christmas dinner diet on the backburner.

Makatcha blew us away with their friendliness and Chicken Rendang: an Indonesian rice and pulled chicken dish dressed in peanut sauce with fresh veg pickle. Elsewhere Holy Cow’s Mexican Hot burger with Jalapenos and Chili Salsa was on the money.

With a jam-packed schedule running until 23rd December, that also includes a Kids Quarter, alternative Christmas Markets, Crazy Golf, Santa’s grotto and mulled wine and craft beer in the local town pub, ‘Bar Humbug’, Winterville offers all you could want to keep the whole family happy without having to go West of the City.

Winterville runs until December 23rd and entry is free. Tickets for attractions and events are available to buy in advance from £5

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www.winterville.com.

Winterville, Victoria Park, E9

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