I used to think London was best in the summertime but this year I changed my mind. During my two weeks at home this December I spent five days in the capital seeing the Christmas lights, visiting galleries and generally enjoying the availability of restaurants serving anything other than jamón (living in Southern Spain takes it’s toll…)
At Christmastime there’s so much going on in the city. The winter festival on the Southbank involved a Christmas market, a festive train ride, and more mulled wine vendors than ever before. I also visited Somerset house, where the annual ice-skating rink was set up in the courtyard alongside the added delight of the Fortnum and Mason Christmas arcade. This new addition can only be described as a corridor of middle class ladies browsing lose-leaf tea and luxury biscuits to the accompaniment of gentle jazz. It was very festive and very British.
Unsurprisingly, Covent Garden was also beautifully decorated, it had a giant reindeer, giant candy canes and (yes, you guessed it) giant baubles.
The Christmas lights were fantastic as always. This year Carnaby street’s were in a funky head-phone formation, whilst Regent Street’s were promoting Night at the Museum 3 and involved large pictures of Ben Stiller’s face. I also enjoyed the noticeable difference in the friendliness of shop assistants, railway station staff and Londoners in general – Christmas spirit really exists! To top it all off, at the end of each of my visits I got to experience this view of the Thames on my walk back to Waterloo.
Until Christmas 2015, London.