Last Christmas my amazing man bought tickets for the Carols by Candlelight show at the Royal Albert Hall as a surprise date. We got dressed up in our best and caught a cab from our hotel (The Garden View Hotel, review here: Garden View Hotel Review). We did a walkabout of the building trying to figure out where to go in (we weren’t the only ones confused!). It’s architecture is stunning.
Before the show we went to one of the ground floor bars (located at doors 3 and 9). It was quite busy; mostly standing room only. We each had one drink; they didn’t have anything sweet enough for my tastes as I’m not a wine drinker, but it would be fine for someone with more dry tastes. I had a drink anyway to feel like a grown-up. We got our first glimpse of the theatre on the tv screens in the bar.
Complete list of dining facilities inside: Dining at the Royal Albert
Complete list of bars: Drinking at the Royal Albert
The best part of the evening was getting dressed up and exploring the beautiful building, feeling awfully classy :p. There are a variety of restaurants and bars on each floor, beautiful grand staircases, art and because of the season, no shortage of Christmas trees!
The auditorium is spectacular; it makes you feel like you’ve gone back in time in that way old theatres often do. It also tends to draw an older crowd; we felt quite young! The act itself wasn’t our taste; we were hoping for more of a show, more humor, but it felt more like singing in a church service despite the few jokes that were added in. I did like the conductors elaborate 18th century costume but I felt like they could have done so much more with the spectacle.
All in all I’m glad we got to explore this grand old theatre, but next time we’d choose a different show. We still had a really enjoyable night out :).
Carols by Candlelight at the Royal Albert Hall: 2.5/5