Christmas in London is always magical, and the Christmas just gone was no different. My Mum and sister joined me in London for a few days to make the most of the sparkling lights, festive shopping and stunning exhibitions. Zoe arrived in London the day before my mum and we headed to the British museum before slipping on our glittering heels and joining fellow cocktail enthusiasts in Piccadilly. The next day feeling slightly worse for wear we wrapped up in scarves, heavy coats and comfy footwear to brave the cold and explore the city. First stop was South Banks German Christmas festival to really get into the festive mood. Bright colours, cheery gingerbread men and the smell of roasted chestnuts instantly warmed us, but it was the chocolate fountains that stole our heart. Okay, so not very christmassy but we are a family of chocolate lovers! As expected, they were scrumptious!
The next stop was Covent Garden which really is the christmas wonderland of London. Giant rudolph-red ball balls hung from the ceiling above bustling shoppers buying beautiful trinkets. Outside a topiary reindeer stands dressed in dancing lights overlooking carol singers and magicians entertaining tourists. When the dancing glitterballs emblazon the walls with spiralling spotlights there is a magical atmosphere at Covent garden that wouldn’t look out of place in Diagon Alley. Unsurprisingly it was very busy and finding a place for a quick snack before exploring more of London proved a challenge.
Through the crowds and camera flashes shone a charming familiarity; Laduree. My sister and I bought some macaroons to take on our Christmas shopping quest and stopped to admire the lustrous golden macaroon trees. Wouldn’t this be the most gloriously, impressive centre piece at a Christmas dinner party? One day please! 🙂
As we strolled underneath giant topiary candy canes we finally found somewhere to have a quick bite to eat and something warm to drink. Le Pain Quotidien was still extremely busy but we found a table and ordered our refreshments. We lunched on freshly baked scones with cream and jam and fresh warm bread with a selection of preserves and belgian hazelnut praline spread which was divine. Our hot chocolates arrived in true belgian style with a bowl of warm frothy milk and a separate jug of the most delectable, luscious, silky smooth melted chocolate I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. You can pour in your own chocolate, I suppose to customise your drink to how chocolaty you want it. Well…I went all in and even scraped out the jug. It was far to good to feel even a little bit guilty!
After refueling I decided a tour around central London was in order to take in some sights and enjoy the fresh winter weather. My faithful companions followed me patiently (and rather naively) as I led them through leicester square, Piccadilly circus and Trafalgar square. However it soon became apparent that Jenna’s guided tour of London was in fact Jenna’s very miss-guided tour of London. But nobody can say they weren’t shown a variety of sights, with a few surprise extras thrown in too.
After an unplanned 360% tour of Trafalgar square (have you seen how many roads there are to choose from?) we headed to South Kensington to visit my favourite haunt, the Victoria and Albert museum. This year’s tree was a sumptuous explosion of colour; vibrant red velvet antler branches adorned in delicate hearts.
The V&A are currently hosting the ‘Pearls’ exhibition in association with Qatar museum authorities celebrating the coveted pearl. As soon as I found out about the exhibition I was ecstatic, I adore pearls and wear them nearly everyday to add that little bit of class to whatever outfit I am wearing. To me pearls are natures droplets of understated elegance; pure, delicate and radiant. The exhibition was a pearlescent dream exploring the history, process and transformation of the pearl and the jewellery it adorns so exquisitely. The exhibition provides a rare and unique look at some of the worlds most precious pearls worn by royalty and celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor. Its a must see for anyone who’s ever felt that little bit more special after simply putting on some pearl earrings. The exhibition is open until the 19th of January.
Our last stop was Knightsbridge to see Harrods stunning christmas windows. This year passers by were invited on the Harrods express with each window acting as a luxurious train carriage. No expense was spared with this visual feast of decadence and glamour as tables held champagne and Laduree creations. Each enchanting window showcased this seasons glitziest garments with superb attention to detail. An £80,000 Ralph & Russo gown was a particular highlight!
My mum, sister and I had a brilliant time and it will be sad returning to a much less sparkly London in a few days time. But thank you London for being fabulous and thoroughly indulgent this christmas! I cannot wait for the next!