It's the most wonderful time of the year... There'll be much mistletoeing... And hearts will be glowing. How I just love this season where it's all about dinner parties, spending time together and enjoying all the magical decorations and little lights. To get totally in the mood, London is one of the best places to go. But what are the must-sees to see the best Christmas decoration?
1. Covent Garden
This is the absolute must-see if you plan on visiting London in this magical season. Normally I tend not to go to this very crowded place but if you go on a weekday, early in the morning or in the evening, it's perfectly fine with the crowds.
This year the inside of the former market hall is decorated with gigantic mistletoe, making people share kisses everywhere. At the north side of the market you can find an old car decorated with many gifts. There are big Christmas trees everywhere and at the east side there is a massive reindeer surrounded by flowers.
2. Carnaby street
Is this real life... Is this just fantasy...The Christmas decorations at Carnaby street are always among the most distinctive of London, but this year they are themed with the new biographical film about Queen: Bohemian rhapsody. It is by far the most colourful Christmas street I have ever seen. King or queen if you get out of this street without hearing yourself singing this famous song...
3. Regent street
I'm loving angels instead... Regent street is sending you angels and some guidance from above. How beautiful are these amazingly big angels flying over the people doing their Christmas shopping. They must give you the spirit to buy the most perfect presents.
4. Ralphs - Ralp Lauren
As my youngest son is called Ralph I just love this window. Next to Polo Ralph Lauren's flagship store you can find their first dining location in the UK. You can drink a cup of coffee here, enjoy a cocktail or share some snacks or plates together.
173, Regent Street
Ralph's Coffee & Bar
5. Somerset House
As of 14 November until 13 January you can let your inner Plushenko run free and skate at the iceskating arena of Somerset House. The impressive court yard of the museum is the backdrop for your perfect day of skating. There are several events around the arena and you can even enjoy a mulled wine or a cheese fondue in the Fortnum & Mason lodge. And while you are there, do not forget to visit the Charlie Brown expo about Snoopy.
6. Annabel’s & Mayfair
This private club since the 60's is worth visiting at every time of the year as the building is always beautifully decorated since they moved in to their new location. From big spiders against the wall for Halloween to flowers all over the facade for the Chelsea Flower show. If you ever get the possibility to get invited in to this private club, do so! As the inside promises to be beautiful too.
And while you are in Mayfair now anyway, do also visit Mount street. Here you will find Restaurant Scott's who has asked the designer Christoper Kane to design their Christmas decorations. There is another private club, called George who have gingerbread men outside and their ceiling is one big Christmas tree.
46, Berkely square
7. Natural History Museum Ice Rink
With a gigantic Christmas tree, people ice skating and the beautiful background of the Natural History Museum, this Ice Rink just makes an ideal nostalgic setting. From 25 October until 20 January you can enjoy the ice rink or watch the people enjoy it (like we did). And if you need a hot coco afterwards, you can warm yourself in the Cafe Bar. Do not forget to visit the South Kensington neighbourhoud while you are there.
Natural History Museum
8. Petersham Nurseries & 7 Dials
The Petersham Nurseries are located in Richmond, west of London. At their Covent Garden location they offer a florist, a shop where they sell homeware, furniture and gifts, a Delicatessen where you can buy the best seasonal fruits and vegetables and two restaurants: La Gocia and The Petersham. In the midst you can find the floral court which is in this season totally packed with real Christmas trees. Especially during the evening this place is magical with all the small lights and the amazing scent of the trees.
While you are here, do not forget to visit the neighbourhood 7 dials with it's nice little small streets, original shops and the famous Neal's Yard. From Petersham you walk via the Conduit Court passage. This tunnel of lights is the must-stop for a Kodak moment.
2 Floral Court
Petersham Nurseries Covent Garden
9. Leadenhall Market
In the midst of The City, between all the business men and women, you can find Leadenhall Market. This covered market is one of the oldest of London, dating from the 14th century. Especially during weekdays this place is packed during lunch time when all the business people come out to get lunch. There are many good restaurants in this former market and during this time of the year, when the Christmas lights are on, it's a great place to eat your lunch.
10. Liberty London
This iconic department store is known for its luxury products and fabrics from distant lands which were brought back to London by Liberty's founder. The artistic collection was well approved by the Art Nouveau society back in the days and the foundation of the department store was laid and the so called 'Liberty Style' was born. The Tudor style building is beautiful and is created out of the timbers of two ships. There are three atrium's which are always magnificently decorated. I believe this store is a must-visit when you are in London as you will find products you won't be able to buy anywhere else. And if you want to find an original Christmas gift or Christmas tree decoration, this is THE store to be.
Great Marlborough street