I havent been to London in years, but since I am making it my mission to make the most of my free time, just one night in my lovely capital seemed like a good way to spend the weekend.
First stop was the Natural History museum, my favourite museum ever, not just for its contents, but its architecture is amazing. It really is the most beautifully grand building made even better by the huge grinning dinosaur that greet you at the door. After wondering around the museum in awe, we refuelled at a (veggie) burger place and headed to Winter Wonderland!
I was a bit overly excited about the idea of Winter Wonderland and after hearing mixed reviews I had to see it for myself. We decided to get off the tube a few stops early and walk through Hyde Park (another London highlight that I had never experienced.) For the first time all day it had actually stop raining, and as the sun set it finally started to feel a bit christmassy. The bright neon lights and sickeningly high rides can be seen for miles, so despite not really knowing where I was going I crossed my fingers and headed in the direction of the huge tower dropping screaming people from 200ft.
Winter Wonderland itself is slightly overwhelming to say the least. Its a vast sprawl of walk ways lined with little shops selling trinkets and decorations, and bars are dotted everywhere selling mulled wine and boozy hot chocolate! That actually makes it sound much more quaint than it actually was, its more like alpine village meets a tacky fun fair, but its great just for the evening.
From the bright lights of Winter Wonderland to the bright lights of the Oxford Street shops. I dragged poor Zach all the way to the Lush store, which by the way was so worth it, even he admitted it was impressive! Its like a deliciously scented magical grotto of bath bombs and I loved it. Just in case we hadn’t seen enough christmas lights we walked to Carnaby Street to see what festivities it had to offer. The lights of course were beautiful, but the massive Brandy Melville there was also a bonus. After being completely christmassed out, we found a (painfully expensive) pub and spent my months earnings on a few rounds of drinks.
Despite being desperate for a lie in, I can’t resist a cold crisp winter morning so after a large coffee I was up and out the next morning. Like true tourists we started the day at Buckingham Palace, then strolled along the Thames before heading to find food, obviously. We spent the best part of an hour walking round Covent Garden trying to decide on where to eat, before settling on Le Pain Quotidien. I had been a while back but their chocolate spread on homemade bread is something I have never forgotten.
Before I caught my train I was desperate the have a look quick inside the St Pancras Hotel. With it Hogwarts style steeples and gargoyles, its very impressive from the outside and it doesn’t disappoint when you step through the huge revolving doors. The station was redone in 2011, after being left to go to wreck and ruin for decades , used only occasionally for film sets (the Spice Girls filmed their video for Wannabe on the crumbling steps of the hallway!) Now it’s been restored to its former glory, everything has been kept as close to the original as possible, even the bar serves traditionally victorian drinks. I could resist a coffee in the beautiful surroundings of the old ticket office before I left with an empty purse to catch my train.