Holidays in London
This was the first year for both Pat and I to spend Christmas and New Year’s abroad. My sister is currently living in London, so my parents decided to come over to Europe for Christmas! We all met in London where my sister showed us around for five days, then we all flew to Munich together where we celebrated Christmas. My parents flew back to the States right after Christmas, and then Pat, my sister and I flew back to London for New Year’s! It was so nice having family in Munich for Christmas (which is a GREAT place to spend Christmas with all of the Christmas markets). I’ll write a full post on that, but this post is all about our time in London!
We spent most of the days at the typical touristy London spots, but we also took a day trip out to Stonehenge and Bath. It was so nice to have a local tour guide aka my sister to show us around. We took the double-decker buses everywhere and didn’t have to worry about getting lost because she knew what she was doing!
One of the best things about a Londoner showing us around was that we experienced a mix of popular attractions with a taste of life as a local, along with some fantastic food and beautiful architecture. We packed a ton into our few days there, but it was worth it because I felt like we really saw a lot of different areas of London.
Here’s a summary of what we did in London at Christmastime:
STROLL THROUGH THE CITY & ENJOY CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS.
We walked along Oxford Street and the surrounding area and couldn’t believe all of the beautiful, twinkling lights hanging overhead. Carnaby has a different theme every year and this year it was carnival themed with a tropical vibe. Covent Garden had a huge tree and sparkling silver ornament decorations. We also strolled around Bond Street and Harrods to see all of the over the top store fronts and window displays.
London goes ALL OUT with its Christmas decorations. The Christmas season is magical no matter where you are, but if you enjoy Christmas decorations then you HAVE to visit this city at Christmas at some point in your life.
One of the stores with the cutest Christmas decorations was Peggy Porschen cakes, so of course we had to stop and try some!
We saw allll of the major sights and did quite a bit of walking. We actually didn’t experience much of the typical London rainy weather – it was cloudy and cool most days we were there.
Apparently Big Ben is getting a facelift for the next four years. You can still see a little glimpse of him!
My sister is the best and made us a reservation for afternoon tea at the Ivy Chelsea Garden. We knew we wanted to have a proper English afternoon tea on this trip, and the tea at Ivy Chelsea Garden did not disappoint! Plus they had the CUTEST decorations on their storefront!
Sweater on sale here.
London has been said to now have more Indian restaurants than Mumbai or Delhi, and all of us love Indian food so Indian was a must. My sister made a reservation at Dishoom, which was voted Britain’s favorite eatery, and it was amazing! We also stopped at several other hole in the wall Indian places during our time in London that were also great.
Of course we had to try traditional meals such as minced pie and Sunday Roast. Sunday Roast is basically a traditional British meal that is typically served on Sunday (hence the name), and consists of roasted meat, roast potato, and accompaniments such as Yorkshire pudding, sausages, stuffing, vegetables and gravy. Pat’s favorite meal in London was Sunday Roast at the Admiral Codrington.
We went to the Natural History Museum (which had it’s own ice skating rink!) and the British History museum. All museums in London are free!
Natural History Museum
The British Museum
DAY TRIP TO STONEHENGE AND BATH
My sister organized us all to take a bus trip the day after my parents got to London. This was the perfect way to start their trip because they could relax on the bus while they were jet lagged. We actually had beautiful, sunny weather while we were there!
After we all spent Christmas together in Germany, Pat and I flew back with my sister to London. This time, we spent much more time just relaxing and walking around the city. We spent a lot of time in our favorite neighborhoods, and of course sight saw a bit and ate lots of delicious food! We also had fun checking out some of the local pubs with my sister 😉
One of our favorite days was the day we spent in Notting Hill. We visited Portobello Road Market and checked out lots of antiques, walked all around the colorful streets, and ate one of my favorite meals we had while in London at Farm Girl Cafe.
For New Year’s, my sister recommended we all check out Aqua Shard. I am so glad she recommended this because we had so much fun! Aqua Shard is a restaurant with breath-taking views from the 31st floor of The Shard. We managed to get a table pretty close to the windows with a view of the London Bridge.
Cheers to 2018! It’s already off to a great start!
Shop all London outfits here: