20 Londoners reveal their favourite memories of Christmas in the city

1. From ice skating at Somerset House to wandering around London’s eerily empty streets on Christmas Day, Time Out Tastemakers share their favourite festive memories.

2. ‘A very boozy Christmas Eve afternoon in my student halls, followed by queuing to enter Westminster Abbey for Christmas Eve mass with my fellow international students.

3. We went ice skating at Somerset House wearing Xmas jumpers and Santa hats.

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Queen has 20ft Christmas Tree erected at Windsor Castle

1. While the Queen is expected spend time at Windsor Castle throughout December the royal does not traditionally spend Christmas at her Berkshire home.

2. Decorations this year took a gold theme with glittery pine cones and stars adorning the branches of the fir branches and an traditional angel topping the tree.

3. As usual the centre piece is an enormous 20 foot Nordmann Fir tree taking pride of place in St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle.

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The Manchester Bee is going to be on Christmas cards – and it’s for a very good cause

1. David Regan, Director of Population Health and Wellbeing at Manchester Health and Care Commissioning – a partnership agreement between Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group said: “The connection between looking after one another and wellbeing cannot be underestimated – and this Manchester card is a poignant token of this spirit not just for Christmas, but for the new year too.

2. And, the Manchester bee cards say it all with words of peace and health – and action around contributing to the city’s work to stop homelessness.

3. The design of the cards is taken from the council’s short animation showing Santa, who is not very sure-footed, gingerly taking to the ice at the city centre rink surrounded by Manchester landmarks.

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Turn off tracking functions in Christmas presents, parents told

1. Wood issued advice for parents who might buy smart toys for their children this Christmas, urging adults to check if their internet router is secure, consider setting up electronic devices with strong privacy options before their child unwraps their gift and turn off Bluetooth connections.

2. Smart toys and wearable devices are among the most desirable children’s toys this Christmas, but the regulator has warned their internet connectivity presents safety risks from hackers.

3. Parents should consider turning off cameras and geolocation settings in Christmas presents to protect their children from hackers, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has warned.

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Queen has 20ft Christmas Tree erected at Windsor Castle

1. While the Queen is expected spend time at Windsor Castle throughout December the royal does not traditionally spend Christmas at her Berkshire home.

2. Decorations this year took a gold theme with glittery pine cones and stars adorning the branches of the fir branches and an traditional angel topping the tree.

3. As usual the centre piece is an enormous 20 foot Nordmann Fir tree taking pride of place in St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle.

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Christmas at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is fittingly magical

1. Press got an early sneak peek at the Wizarding World’s makeover last week, complete with a preview of the whimsical light projection that will be superimposed on Hogwarts Castle multiple times a night, pairing the iconic music from the Harry Potter films with images of caroling ghosts, broomstick-riding students, glittering trees and maybe even a firework or two.

2. Christmas at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter debuts at Universal Studios Hollywood on Nov. 24 – here’s a sneak peek of the magic.

3. Visitors will also be treated (if that’s the right word, depending on your tolerance for singing amphibians) to a performance from Hogwarts’ a capella Frog Choir — first seen in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban — as they perform a variety of Harry Potter-themed Christmas carols.

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10 of the best Christmas shopping cities in Europe

1. Less packed with Christmas market crowds than Bruges, less posh and fashiony than Antwerp, Ghent offers a charming Belgian city experience, with all the cosy craft-ale bars, medieval and neo-gothic architecture and creative design a winter break needs.

2. Buy wine for the Christmas table from Les Chais du Savour (Square du Ramponneau), and thin waffles filled with vanilla cream from Méert (27 rue Esquermoise) for someone you love so much you can resist scoffing them on the way home.

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Cost of Christmas dinner rises 5% – but there’s good news from Brussels … sprouts

1. Compared to 2016, mysupermarket found that this year’s basket of Christmas essentials was 5% more expensive in Asda and Tesco.

2. Sprouts, however, were 30% cheaper in Asda and 21% cheaper in Morrisons, but 25% more expensive in Tesco.

3. 1% rise in average wages in 2017.

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The weirdest Christmas dinners people around the world eat

1. Alongside this dish are various desserts such as the Bolo Rei (fruit cake), Pão de Ló (sponge cake), cheeses and sausages, Rabanadas (similar to French toast), and Bilharacos (pumpkin dumplings).

2. Saana, of Tampere, said: ‘Our Christmas table, or joulupöytä, also features rosolli salad (which is a colorful dish made from diced beetroot, carrots, apple and potato mixed with cream), gravlax (dill-cured salmon) and a leafy green salad.

3. Milos, of Pozarevac, said: ‘The homemade bread is the most traditional part because we bake it with a coin inside and the older people in the family break the bread into pieces while no one is watching.

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Are pop-up igloos the new Christmas markets?

1. The dome used by many of the bars is the Turkish-designed, German-made Garden Igloo, launched in 2013.

2. The Coppa Club bar and restaurant chain started it in London last year, and their domes – a ready-made version last winter, but designed specially for the bar this year – have made a comeback outside their riverside Tower Bridge branch.

3. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Kakslauttanen igloos in Finland where visitors can view the northern lights in bed.

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