Third time lucky this year to spend the festive season in the well-decorated, always fabulously sparkly UK capital. The streets slowly dress up in festive lights whilst the fast spaced life gets even faster – and even more discounted. Yes, this time of the year is all about £££ in London which can be truly frustrating at times, although shopping is a significant part of the famous London lifestyle. But hey, if you’re already here, this London guide to my favourite Christmas stroll will surely get you into the festive mood. From Covent Garden to Kensington the entire inner city turns into a fairy-tale town. My favourite festive stroll this year leads us to the always classy (and incredibly busy) Knightsbridge where we first visit my all time favourite place: the Harrods Food Hall.
Where else would the festive journey start than great food and an even greater assortment of wine. The Harrods Food Hall is everything you want from pastries to an incredible variety of fresh bread, cured meet and cheese. The most vibrant and bustling of the Harrods Food Halls, the Fresh Market Hall is a showcase of the very best fresh produce, with the offer changing seasonally to ensure it’s always at its peak. Fruit and vegetables, carefully assorted and sourced fish and shellfish, quality-assured meat, artisan cheese and charcuterie, as well as a tantalising array of pre-prepared food created by 150 in-house chefs – it’s the ultimate foodie destination.
From Harrods the journey down to Natural History Museum is an easy 10 minutes walk. Set against the backdrop of the stunning building of Natural History Museum this ice rink is one of the most fabulous places to be during the Festive Season. Open until 20th January, from 10 am to 10 pm daily, the ice rink caters for everyone from total beginners to speed skaters, from toddlers to adults. Book your skate session online to guarantee your place. After your session you can warm up in the cafe which has a bird’s eye view of the rink, the fairy lights and the frost-covered trees.
Visiting Harrods and Natural History Museum, both the ice rink and the museum itself guarantees a lovely Saturday or Sunday afternoon. All you need now is a cosy place and a bite to eat. Not to spoil your dinner, a piece of cake with a hot cup of tea sounds just the ticket. The charming French cafe, Aux Marvellieux De Fred was an accidental find whilst searching for a place to warm up around Kensington High Street Station. This lovely patisserie is about 10 mins walk away from NHM and serves the most amazing, soft and delicious brioche (Kramick in Flemish – a brioche bun filled with raisins) I’ve ever tasted. However, the place is most famous for a traditional recipe from Northern France: meringues coated in whipped cream. All sounds too delisssh to be true! They make the meringue base into little bites, bigger bites or even entire cakes.
Walking around the area to explore the little hidden streets of Kensington and Chelsea is always a lovely way to spend the afternoon. With the festive lights sparkling up the buildings it is even nicer to be around, pop into little cafes and museums, check out how the rich and fabulous lives in the most expensive borough of London.With Christmas just around the corner the capital is showing a charming side of itself full of love and lights, food and wine, happiness and that forever promise to be merry this Christmas.