29 November, 2014

Christmas in the city

We had a very productive Saturday in London last week. We decided to combine seeing the Christmas lights with progressing our Christmas shopping.

First off we visited Oxford Street and saw the lights there—globes strung high up in the sky. I imagine that they would have looked really impressive at night, as if they were free floating in the darkness. We spent a lot of time in good old John Lewis and managed to buy quite a few presents there. The Christmas foodie gift section just has so much lovely stuff—beautifully presented chocolates, sweets, biscuits, preserves...the list goes on. And the range and choice in the Oxford Street branch is amazing—such a revelation for those of us from the provinces! We also spent some time in New Look on Oxford Street—our daughter needed some new clothes and our local branch of this shop doesn't have the teenage range in store. We collapsed on a chair while she hummed and hawed about what she might buy. I hate clothes shopping and try to get in and out of clothes shops as quickly as possible. But not so my daughter.

Then it was off to Covent Garden. The festive trappings were pretty impressive there too—a huge silver reindeer dominated. We were aiming to see the real reindeer there as well, but didn't make it in time. I'm not sure we would have got a look in anyway—I imagine that a single reindeer in Covent Garden in the run up to Christmas would be besieged. We browsed the stalls in the market—lots of pretty things on offer—and spent a few minutes watching the opera singer who was busking in front of diners at one of the open-air restaurants. She was quite unusual—a fantastic classical singer, yet dressed in ripped jeans and T-shirt with brightly dyed hair. Not a combination that you see often.

We finished off the day by wandering around the boutique shops in Seven Dials, then had an early dinner at Prezzo on St Martin’s Lane before heading back home.

I love that we live close enough to the capital to visit for the day, but I am also very glad that we don’t reside there. It’s just too busy and polluted to tackle on an everyday basis.

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