Ah, Winter Wonderland. It’s just pure Christmassy joy tucked into a little corner of Hyde Park, isn’t it? Ice skating, the circus, fairground rides and mulled wine – what’s not to love?
Actually, quite a lot. I had the absolute pleasure of managing an on-site restaurant a few years ago. I went to Winter Wonderland almost every day for almost seven weeks. Seven. Weeks.
Whilst some parts were pretty good to be fair, i.e. leaving the site at the end of the evening – most of it was an absolute DRAG. Some of this won’t apply to you if you go once a year for a couple of hours, but seven weeks working 10am-10pm, 6 days a week, earns this place a special place in hell for me. Here’s why.
Buggies galore and far too fuckin’ busy, can’t move, also why aren’t the children in bed?
It’s 9:30pm on a Tuesday, surely your spawn won’t be able to wake up in the morning after ingesting all that sugar? Why is your pram the size of France? Why have you stood in the middle of the concourse? WALK ON THE LEFT.
£8 for a pint? £6.50 for 125ml of wine? Standard, give me 4. Prepare your wallets, the extortion is coming.
No toilets after 9:30pm so you have to go in a bush in Hyde Park when everyone has left
Yeah, probably not one that would apply to you, but might as well when you see some of the queues for those godawful portaloos. Good luck!
The same music over and over and over
Stalls / sellers aren’t really allowed their own music so most of it comes from a live band who sing the same songs, in the same order, night after night after night. It became a game to shout which song would be next. That version of ‘Valerie’ will forever haunt my dreams.
Cold as fuck
And WINDY. I have never been so cold in my life, I swear.
It closes at 10pm and people don’t like that at ALL
I know it’s fun, especially in the Bavarian tent with the live band – but it closes at 10pm. End of. Security starts coming round and will fine sellers should they sell anything after that point. The amount of people screaming at me as I wouldn’t fill up their dumb plastic steins at 10:15am was enough to last a lifetime, ta.
Food is shit
All mass-produced, rubbish – and I’ve seen where it’s stored. Grim!
Drinks are shit
Ditto. That mulled wine you just paid £6.50 for cost €20 to import the barrel. And imagine the mark-up on the powdered hot chocolate!
CASH ONLY – sorry is this 2017 or not?
Littttterrrrally, what? Lines upon lines of people trying to get £10 out of those shite ATMs that charge you £2.50 a transaction. Bring cash or you won’t be able to do anything.
If you don’t go, you’re missing out. So you have to.
And I am. This weekend. I will hate it but the Instas will be sick.