I never think of posting when I visit London because it’s my own capital city. How crazy is that!? Every time I visit I find it so full on inspiration and I’m never ever going to run out of new things to do and see.
With this in mind I’ve made a promise to myself, a pledge if you like, to share my big smoke adventures. Here’s the first – a festive frolic around Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland followed by Kew Gardens by night. A double whammy of Christmas culture in the capital.
Mr Mc and I toddled off to get ourselves some Christmas spirit during a short break after a crazy time at work. It was just the job and we came back ready for a hectic December and in the mood for everything that comes at the end of it #ChristmasInspo as they say.
We booked a stay at the Urban Villa, Brentford -a contemporary self contained apartments a short walk from South Ealing tube station.
We pre booked tickets for Kew Gardens (a must) for the evening we arrived so unloaded, freshened up, layered up and headed off! Within 30 minutes we were at the gates ready to follow a huge gathering of people all excited to see the show.
First thing that struck me was the amazing atmosphere (and the delicious smell of roasting chestnuts obvs) Lots of excited families steadily making their way to the start of the walk, the shops or one of the many street food outlet areas. It was very well organised.
I’m going to share the journey in images and video for obvious reasons -the spectacular was indeed spectacular! Me wittering in about millions of twinkles and sparkles isn’t going to cut the mustard when I can just show you!
There you go. It was utterly beautiful from start to finish. A well laid out path with lots of viewing areas and stop offs for food and toilet breaks as well as seating. An immersive and interactive exhibition with music and a total feast for the eyes. The walk takes a couple of hours to really see everything with breaks. Wrap up as it’s all in the open -luckily we had dry weather but it was very cold. Take a torch and good boots too.
From here we headed to China Town via tube from Kew station. This itself is worth a look -so pretty and full of lights, flowers and greenery.
There’s an old faithful family run restaurant we are always drawn to if we decide on Chinese – Lido on Gerrard Street. Not the prettiest decor but full of locals eating the most fabulous food. If you know, you know, you know?
The next morning we went in search of more Christmassing. Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park. This just gets better and better. There’s winter markets, street food wooden grottos, alpine bars with live bands, ice skating, the biggest fairground, circus, immersive cinema, ice sculptures and Gluhwein (and Jäger for that matter) on tap in every direction!
Again, a visual feast that’s sure to put even the most Grinchiest grump in the mood for Christmas.
If you like to walk -a lot (lots of bobbing about between tube stations, although you can of course grab cabs if you must. I quite like the bustle) and like to jam pack your breaks with memory making then you can get to both of these events within your 24 hours with a spare few for a spot of Christmas shopping. Grab yourself a day pass for the tube too -it works out much cheaper than cabs and ticket per journey travelling if you’re a bit of an explorer.
I’d absolutely recommend both Kew and Hyde Park at this time of year as they both put on an awesome show!