Last Year we went to the Seven Dials Winter Festival and we were pleasantly surprised at what there was on offer, so eagerly we returned this year, in anticipation of the promise of new and exciting things, here’s what we found…
Last Year the Seven Dials Winter Festival was something hadn’t heard of and it popped up on the Time Out Things to Do listing and so we thought we would take a look. We turned up not really expecting a lot and found a well organised street party, good music, new street decorations, goodie bags and most importantly free booze!
So when this years festival newsletter appeared in our email we were eager to return. We left it till later so that we could fully appreciate the ‘New Lights and Decoration’ promised for 2021 to their fullest. There was also talk of more live music and more goodies to be collected.
We got there around 5pm as the lights started to glow out of the dark and we looked skywards and immediately asked; ‘Aren’t these the same lights as last year?’ Not just those in Monmouth Street, but the Mirror Arch in Neal’s Yard and all the other roads leading to the Monument at the centre of the roundabout that gives its name to the area. Indeed all the decor overhead was simply the same, even the ‘SEVEN DIALS’ 3D Sign was the same.
Oh well! So what was on offer, well first off the free ‘Tipple’ of Proseco that was a big notification on the flyer apparently ran out around 1pm (the festival started at 12pm), so that clearly wasn’t judged well enough, so no to the free booze, what about those great goodie bags then? Well they were free as long as you spent £100 or more in a shop, so no, no freebies. Well there is always the live entertainment, that last year was fun and had everyone singing and dancing. Hmm, well the stage was down the St James’ St and the bloke singing sounded al ittle tipsy (not from the free proseco we can assure you, probably from spending all afternoon in the pub opposite awaiting his turn on the pokey little stage, then when he started a rendition of American Boy – you know that great Christmas classic! He was soarly out of tune and we abandoned the stage area in favour of the back streets and some comfortable quiet instead.
We quickly scouted about the seven lanes and discovered – well nothing – so we headed up to Covent Garden’s Piazza to see their ‘New Decorations’, which I think you can guess weren’t new, they were in fact the same giant baubles and mistletoe that has been there for over 10 years.
The only new addition, aside from this year’s giant Pine Tree sent from the lovely Norwegians (we like the Norges!) was the restaurant at the side of the piazza has installed a snow machine that pumped a squirt of fake snow every half an hour. There must have been a thousand people stood in the piazza waiting the little squirt and when it happened they cheered like it was Freebies from Harrods – some people are easily entertained (seemingly most people), just not us, we expect more and are often sorely disappointed. Once again it was another Reality Vs Expectation like our post last month.
Well that was a let down, hopefully the other Christmas events we seek out are more entertaining, but either way we will tell you what we think, so stay tuned and come back for more real soon.