Christmas - A Festive Stay at The Soho Hotel, London

November 25, 2014

Every year since we've been together, Ben and I have loved going up to London in December to see the Christmas lights, have dinner in one of our favourite restaurants, window shop and start feeling festive. Back in 2010, four years ago already?!, we were madly in love with London before we moved there in 2011 and decided to book a night in the Soho Hotel, somewhere I'd always dreamed of going. It's part of the Firmdale luxury boutique group, and I lust over their style. I have them to thank for the idea of our framed Penguin Postcards in our lounge before they became super popular. This post is going back in time a little and I can't work out if we look a lot younger or not in the photos? But I thought it was too festive not to share at this time of year and The Soho Hotel will always be a classic...

Located in trendy Soho {there's a clue in the name}, the hotel is a converted industrial warehouse. It's a perfect location to access most of London, especially all the key Christmassy bits. 

We stayed on a Sunday night, a few days before Christmas and the hotel was suitably geared up for the festive season. It snowed really heavily the day and night before, do you remember that when we had loads of snow around Christmas? Hope it happens again this year. So festive. 

I love a stylish, small boutique hotel and the Soho Hotel didn't disappoint with fun lounges to order drinks or cake, all the magazines you could ever wish for, candles, a library and even a cinema where they host film afternoons and nights. 

We arrived before check-in and relaxed in the lounges for a while before going out for the rest of the afternoon in London. It was freezing so we wrapped up and braved the cold. December should be like that anyway.

Have we aged a lot in four years?? I didn't have an engagement ring back then! We had a burrito in Wahaca and Christmas cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery on Wardour Street just outside the hotel.

Then headed first to Covent Garden, it was the year that they had the amazing kissing tree. To light up the tree you had to kiss under the mistletoe, you'd both hold a conductor hanging off the mistletoe and then when your lips touched you would complete the circuit to light up the tree. Being an old romantic, I loved the idea. It said Merry Kissmas <3 Why don't they have this every year?! Bring back the kissing tree I say.

There was a kiss count at the bottom of the tree and it was covered in red and white sparkly lights.

We wandered around Covent Garden before heading to Piccadilly, up Regents Street...

Detouring to Bond Street via the Burlington Arcade. There really are some beautiful displays. I'll post a lot more photos of London in more recent years in another post as part of the Christmas takeover. 

Then we stopped at Anthropologie and Liberty's as it was getting dark before a sushi supper and a {free} glass of champers in the hotel bar. 

Then it was time to check in to our room. 

It was beautiful and much bigger than I expected. I think you'd struggle to find a 'bad' room in a Firmdale Hotel, they have all been individually designed with unique fabrics and quirky details.

The bed was heavenly, we had such a good night's sleep. I always love hotel bedding and then we woke up to bright sunshine the next morning through the big warehouse windows.

These photos are pre-iPhone days and I didn't take a camera so some are a little blurry sorry.

In the morning we had a yummy breakfast before walking around in the snow. It was nice to have a relaxing stroll just before Christmas when everyone else was rushing around for work or last minute shopping. We had a look around Fortnum and Mason and their magical displays before packing up and going back home to snowy Hertfordshire. Snow always melts much quicker in London but our garden was still mostly untouched so we got ready for the next few Christmassy days and had fun in the snow.

Such lovely memories, The Crosby Street Hotel, The Soho's sister hotel, is next on my list in NYC at some stage. For a city hotel, where most are bland and impersonal, you've got to love The Soho Hotel.

Have you got any hotel recommendations? I'm always on the lookout for new places to stay, it's so lovely to get away even just for one night. And if you're in the mood of hotel browsing, Mr & Mrs Smith is my usual go to boutique guide.

R <3 xx

{29 days to go, Christmas video of the day: this year's John Lewis Advert, the best.}

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