Review: Winterville, Victoria Park

View from the ferris wheel at Winterville

View from the ferris wheel at Winterville - Credit: Archant

Like most people, I’m a big kid when it comes to Christmas. Festive markets, light displays and ice skating – you name it, I’ll be there.

Winterville 'town square'

Winterville 'town square' - Credit: Archant

But I can’t stand crowds, and fighting through the masses that descend on Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is enough to put a dent in that Christmas spirit, for me anyway.

So it was exciting to see the launch of a festive town this year – Winterville in Victoria Park, which is a smaller but, in my opinion, far better formed.

This is more like a Winter Wonderland for adults, with festive ski-lodge style bars to hop between with a mulled wine or cider in hand. Meanwhile the Spiegeltent has a jam packed line up of alternative entertainment on show throughout the festive season, from pantomimes, musical Christmas bingo and bands. The Dimmocks on the night of my visit were superb, and had everyone up dancing the night away to festive folk renditions of anything from the Baywatch theme tune to the Backstreet Boys and classic Christmas tracks.

The endless market and food stalls and the subsequent congestion of people around them are replaced by a small but impressive selection of meal vans – including Kingsland Road’s very own Voodoo Rays Pizza – and various tents boasting a selection of vintage wares while DJs blast some tunes.

There’s still rides, too – scary and tame. Being rather wimpy on this front, we scooted past the ‘mousetrap’ rollercoaster and waltzer, instead opting for the penguin bumper cars and classical Ferris wheel which afforded some brilliant views over the site and city beyond.

Ice skating is also on offer, but if you’re more comfortable on four wheels instead then there’s always the roller disco to whizz around.

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And while the main drag is more geared up for adults, there’s plenty for children in the dedicated fairground for small people.

Winterville is sure to get you into the festive spirit, but in a less cheesy way to other attractions, with a cool, east London vibe.

Aimee Brannen

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