Thursday, 25 December 2014

Day 25: Merry Christmas!!!

Hello lovelies!  It's Day 25!!

I just want to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!  I can't believe this will be the last of my advent posts but I've really enjoyed writing them and hope that you've enjoyed reading them!!  During a hectic month at work, it was a challenge to post some days but I'm so proud of myself for making it to the end and I hope it's been worthwhile for you lot reading them.  I hope by now you're all tearing open presents, or listening to Christmas songs in your pyjamas whilst awaiting your Christmas dinner!!  Whatever you're doing having a really amazing time and I'll be back in a few days to post some more but for now I'm signing off to enjoy my birthday, champagne and macaroons!!

Merry Christmas from me and my lovely little Jay-Jay!!


Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Day 24: A birthday trip to London...

Hello lovelies!

It's Day 24, Christmas Eve, and today I'm going to talk about a little trip to London I had this week with my lovely Mister.  Chris has to go to London for work quite a lot but has never really seen it or done anything touristy there.  I on the other hand go quite frequently to shop, but I really fell in love with London last Christmas when I visited with my VBF (here).  I love the city at Christmas.  The Christmas windows are amazing, the lights are always so pretty and Covent Garden is always so beautiful, I just had to share it with Chris this year.

We got an early train down from Durham to London and arrived at 10am.  Our train back wasn't until 8pm which meant I had a full day to take Chris on an adventure.  There was nothing in particular that he really wanted to see and as it was my birthday treat, he let me plan the day.

We started off by hopping on the tube at King's Cross and heading to Hyde Park for Winter Wonderland.  We didn't go on any of the rides or see the attractions because they were heaving and I saw a lot of what I wanted to see when I visited last year.  I think Winter Wonderland is one of those places that has to be seen to be believed though, so it was definitely worth a visit.  Actually I'm telling lies, we only really went for the world's most amazing Turkey, Cranberry and Stuffing sandwich and for the second year running it didn't disappoint!

 That amazing sandwich...

Winter Wonderland is completely free if you just want to browse the markets and see it for yourself.  I think it's such a fun idea and it really makes you feel festive when you visit, from the smells from the stalls alone!

From Hyde Park, we walked to Knightsbridge as I'd heard that Harrods' Christmas window was spectacular this year, and again Chris had never been there.  I tried my best to photograph the window for you, but the light and reflection on the windows caused a bit of a glare.  The theme was almost like an enchanted Christmas (many of the department stores seemed to have a woodland theme going on this year, Harrod's included!).  I loved the little mice and the Santa sleigh pulled by the reindeer was amazing (even though Chris thought it was a bit tacky, trust me it's amazing)!!

After a browse around a very busy Harrods (and spending about half an hour trying to get out of the building!!) we headed back up towards Hyde Park Corner and towards Oxford Street.  Chris was super impressed with all the gorgeous cars in the showrooms we passed along the way, but I was thinking about one thing and one thing only...Selfridges!!!  I loved Selfridges' Christmas window last year, and although I thought this years wasn't quite as good, it was still lovely to be there and see it!  My favorite this year was the giant Gingerbread house!!  It was definitely my favourite out of all of the department stores this year.

 A lovely shot of the Dorchester looking festive...
 Selfridges in all of it's glory...

I went in Selfridges but had surprising restraint! I did have a look around Chanel though, which is always a treat.  I also visited the beautiful Christmas shop but as it was three days before Christmas it was slightly insane!!

After a quick refill of water, our next stop was New Bond Street, for obviously the mother of all underwear shops, Victoria's Secret.  I love VS so much and as there isn't one near me, I always stock up on pants when I go to London.  Again the store was craaaazy, which meant I didn't really get chance to take any photos of their beautiful decorations, but as always it was stunningly decorated.  It was also very hot, and after waiting in a queue for about forty-five minutes to buy my pants I was glad to be out of there!!

 New Bond Street's lights...

From there, we strolled around to Regent Street to visit Liberty.  We've been watching the series on television again this year, so I was keen to show Chris was it looked like inside (and how beautiful it is outside for that matter!).  We scurried through to the chocolate shop so I could get Chris a fancy bar of chocolate, then had a look at the vintage bags before finishing at the haberdashery and the Christmas shop.  I was so glad we got to visit to see the mast that has been erected in the middle of the store to make it look like a ship (Liberty's interior is built from the wood of two warships); it was absolutely stunning!

We came out of the Carnaby Street exit, and then headed to Oxford Circus to jump on the tube to Covent Garden.  Last year the theme on Carnaby Street was canaries but I loved this year's giant earphones; not really festive but funky and modern nevertheless!!

Once at Covent Garden, we needed a refuel so found ourselves a little Costa before we explored some's tiring work shopping in London!!

Typically British in every way!

Covent Garden is one of my favourite areas of London.  I love the street artists, I love the shops and I love that even when it's busy it still doesn't feel as hectic as Oxford Street would be.  I also think it's super pretty!  If I'm ever rich enough to complete my designer wishlist I'll do it here (probably in Burberry Brit...even my Mister loved it in there!!).  The main place I wanted to visit at Covent Garden was Laduree!  I've loved macaroons ever since I visited Paris and tried them for the first time.  Laduree's may be expensive, but they're the best I've ever tasted, so as a birthday present to myself, I've bought a box of six to have with champagne on Christmas Day!  I also bought two for my VBF because when I bought her one in Paris it had squashed before I got it home and I think Jay-Jay ended up eating it!!

I also couldn't wait to see the huuuuge Christmas tree!  It was very similar to last year but so, so pretty!

I also visited a very familiar place...

...but purely for research purposes this year!!

By this point we we starting to tire and had a meal booked for 530pm, so my Mister decided we should go for a nice cocktail on him as another little birthday treat.  We opted for All Bar One, which was buzzing with workers and there was a Christmas excitement in the air!  I got my usual Cosmopolitan whereas Chris chose a Mojito...delicious and a great place to rest your feet!

And from there it was straight to 'Fire and Stone', a lovely little pizza and pasta restaurant for tea...followed by a delicious dessert!!

Mine was the yummy chicken pesto pasta followed by vanilla cheesecake topped with honeycomb and washed down with a glass of Merlot.  Chris got a Texan pizza, and after spilling half of it onto his lap (you can't take him anywhere!!) ate every last bit followed by a massive chocolate sundae!  We both really enjoyed our meals, so I'd definitely recommend 'Fire and Stone' for lunch or an early dinner.  The cheesecake was so creamy too!

Pretty soon we were heading back to the tube and to King's Cross to make the long journey home, but I had an amazing early birthday and will probably want to do it all again next year!!

Here's what I bought...

 No photos on my knickers haha, just the bag...

 I saw a girl reading this on the train...a great beginners book to taking amazing photographs!

 Thanks to my Mister for paying for lunch dinner and cocktails and being perfect company!
 I had a wonderful early birthday :)
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