It’s a bold claim to make, but I truly believe there isn’t another city on this planet that looks more beautiful than London during the festive season. I’ve been to New York for Christmas and YES they have the Rockefeller Centre Ice Rink and tree, I’ll give them that, I’ve been to Japan for Christmas, and they love all things American and decorative, I’ve been to Paris for Christmas, and I’ve been to a bunch of other cities during the silly season. But not one of them comes close to the magic of Christmas in London.
I a have list in Notes on my iPhone (best app ever!, I think I’ve forgotten how to use a pen and paper), that’s a reminder to me of all the festive events happening in London, and means I don’t miss a single thing during this time of year. I want to see it all!
I had a meeting in Mayfair last week, and I remembered seeing a photo of the Cartier store on Bond Street, all wrapped up in a red Christmas bow, so I needed to see for myself if this was actually what the store looked like this year. I started my walk up Bond Street, and found myself stopping every few paces to gasp and fall in love with all the window displays and decorations. It was like stepping onto a Christmas movie set.
A few minutes down the street I glanced up and I caught sight of a big red bow.
The Cartier Store!
This has to be the highlight of Christmas in London this year for me, I mean, look at that building! And that bow! I’m in love.
Further up the street, I found myself stopping again, staring wide eyed at Tiffany & Co. with all its wreaths.
It was so beautiful, I could have spent hours walking up and down Bond Street, snapping away at garlands, wreaths, and window displays, but I continued on, confident I’d find more Christmas decorations to admire.
I swung by Burlington Arcade, peering through the Laduree window at the rainbow of macaron’s, stopping for a quick photo and continuing on to my final destination.
There is no way I can ever let Christmas pass by without visiting Fortnum and Mason. I adore this store anytime of year, but particularly at Christmas!
The ground floor was heaving with tourists buying tea and biscuits for friends and family, so I made my way up the stairs, (my favourite staircase EVER), where it was a little less crowded.
Checking out the hamper department, my favourite of all the various department store Christmas Hampers available, I decided this one looked good, and it’s only around £220! I’m totally worth it. ;o)
Making my way further up the stairs to the Christmas decorations department, it was at that very moment I looked up and spotted Camilla. You know, as in Prince Charles bird? Yup. I played it totally cool, looking away, and pretended to be interested in some board games on display, for about ooh 20 seconds before I decided to get a closer look at her, literally bumping into someone along the way. Yep, as I said, I totally played it cool.
After the Camilla episode, I pulled myself together and carried on looking at the decorations. I wanted one of everything!
I glanced out the window, down at Piccadilly, and I wanted to twirl around on the spot like Buddy the Elf shouting ‘I’m in love! I’m in love! And I don’t care who knows it!’. I was totally OD’ing on Christmas joy.
I stumbled upon the Christmas cracker section, and could not believe these fabric crackers existed. They’re the poshest thing I’ve ever seen! £1000 for a box of six. For that price you’d be wanting to make sure you got more than a hat, a joke and a plastic comb.
There were other more sensibly priced crackers of course, and when I say sensible, what I mean is sensible in the eyes of really rich folks, starting at around £30 per box of six, and going upwards from there. Gulp.
One last glance at the decorations, advent calendars and crackers and I decided to leave empty handed, and go in search of a much more sensibly priced treat, a coffee. (Side note: that is NOT Camilla in the photo, that is just how some British people like to dress. Even on casual Friday).
Taking one last peek over the balcony, down towards the iconic twirly staircase, I ticked another thing off my Christmas list, well virtually ticked, using an Emoji symbol, on my iPhone Notes app.
If you’re in London and you’re yet to walk down Bond Street during the silly season, and you haven’t elbowed your way through the crowds in Fortnum and Mason, then you MUST clear your diary and get there pronto!