A Magical Winter in London
Coming from Australia, no matter how many times I enter the northern hemisphere in winter, the cold is always a snub to my memory, as it really is colder than I remembered. Each and every time. However, I come well equipped with layers. So long as my feet, hands, ears and head are well covered, I am well prepared to embrace the cold without the rain.
London is a city for walking and black cabs. I am not a fan of the famous underground as I was previously robbed on the tube. I am afraid of fires, and I hate being so close to strangers that I can smell them. So, I am happy to spend a small fortune in the comfort of an impossibly clean black cab with a driver who has actually studied for a minimum of two years, who knows where each and every street, road, avenue, lane and any other thoroughfare of London lies. I feel safe and can see the London from the back of a chugging engined black cab.
CHRISTMAS IN LONDON:
London at this time of the year is simply magical with the Christmas lights and Christmas decorations adorning almost every street that I walked in. Oxford Street, for sheer scale of lights suspended between the buildings across the street, combined with each major outlet with their own lights on the façade of each building…. Well, it is enough to give you a neck strain from looking upwards in the sky after dark, which by that time of the year is by 4pm. Regent Street was stylish with a netting of blue lights across the street. New Bond Street was impossibly elegant with the famous retail houses with their own breathtaking decorations on the inside and outside of each outlet. Aspery’s had their own giant white tree within the store, and combine with all those diamonds, transported the store into a instant winter wonderland, all white and sparkly.
Away from the marvel of the shops, the residential streets all had their own Christmas charm. Most doors had their own Christmas wreaths --- Real pine leaves, with red berries, dried glazed oranges, with the scent of cloves. Fairy lights amongst the topiaries in planter boxes and a glimpse of real Christmas trees in front windows of homes. I was fortunate enough to be in London when there was light sprinkle of snow, adding to the storybook look of the decorations and feel of London at Christmas.
EATING IN LONDON:
Eating out in London is an expensive pleasure. If you are going to visit London with the thought of not spending that much …. Well, don’t go. This is one of the most expensive cities in the world, and once you get your head around this fact, you can actually sit back and enjoy it.
4 Bathurst Street, W2
tel: 020 74020083
Although in the heart of London, it is impossible to bypass a French bistro… in any capital city. Angelus offers flavors which are mouth watering, and each dish leaves you with the feeling of wanting a little more, but at the same time, feeling wonderfully satisfied with what has been consumed, including the wine which comes from an impressive wine list. Located not far from Hyde Park, this makes a great location to go and stretch legs after dining.
1 Kensington High Street, Kensington.
Indian with a Michelin star. Need I say more? For an experience of Indian cuisine, this is the restaurant that will take your idea of Indian food into another stratosphere. Located in Kensington, and housed in a former bank building, this exceptional restaurant is a delight to the senses of taste, smell, sight and equilibrium. Make sure you book for an evening table. Don’t do the conversion to Aussie dollars when the bill arrives.
Don’t miss: Worth a visit to the Britain Tate to see the Francis Bacon exhibition. If not a little sobering, it is worth to see the works of this famous artist, and while at Britain Tate, see the latest exhibits from the Turner Prize collection.
Also the Dali Museum is worth a visit to see Dali’s incredible sculptures.
Felicity Kennedy is a freelance writer from Perth, wife, devoted mother of two beautiful girls, and was born with the travel bug. She thinks quickly on her feet (needed when traveling!), and always has a plan B up her sleeve as plan A can always go astray. She is a big believer in creating her own luck.