A Christmassy Day Out in London

December 09, 2015

If you avoid the crowds, London really is magical at Christmas. I don't know where you're based but if you're used to usually rushing around London for work like me then when you take time to just stroll around with no agenda, it feels like a completely different city. Last Thursday Ben and I were up in town for a festive afternoon tea at The Shard for SYGM {post here}, afterwards we walked and walked across the city taking in all the lights, ice rinks and shop windows. When we couldn't walk anymore, we took a black cab {in full London style but for free, info at end of the post} and it felt like Christmas had truly begun.

Our afternoon started with a rather special tea at The Shangri-La on the 35th floor of The Shard, high above looking down on a toy-town like London. I've written about it here, so I'll save myself - and you - from repeating myself but it was definitely something to remember.

Stuffed silly we set about walking it off. The sun had just set, behind the clouds - it was such a grey day - but then London was illuminated. We walked along the Thames path from the Shard, past Borough Market, The Tate, a Christmas Market and The Oxo Tower and onto the South Bank. 

It always amazes me how quiet London can be, even at commuter home time. If you know the right places you can have the city to yourself. {just avoid Oxford street!}

We crossed the river and headed over to Somerset House, probably my all time favourite place in London at Christmas.

The tree is sponsored by Fortnum & Mason again this year. I love the mini hampers hanging off of it. We don't ice skate ourselves {I'll spare you the horror story} but I still love to watch the skaters.

There's also Fortnums Lodge there again and a pop-up shopping arcade which we visited on Sunday morning. The hot chocolates lived up to last year's.

 From there it's a short walk to Covent Garden with all it's splendour. A sparkly rudolf, a ceiling full of mistletoe and the big red tree adorned with lights.

Regent's Street though I think had one of the best displays this year, the best I've seen for ages there. It's normally some naff movie theme. This year is all glitter and gold.

We tried to avoid as much of Oxford Street as possible with a cut across pretty New Bond Street past Claridge's with it's giant nutcrackers and then up to Selfridges.

... which actually has such disappointing windows this year. All Star-Wars themed and futuristic. Not at all Christmassy. But Oxford Street is pretty nonetheless, I just hate crowds so we disappeared pretty quickly after this.

Instead of getting the tube that are so hot and crowded at this time of year we prefer to catch a taxi for a more relaxed ride across town. And it actually works out cheaper than us both getting the tube too! There are so many discount codes out there for apps like Uber and Gett Taxi. I've used both a lot and ultimately prefer Uber for quicker pick-ups and a slightly more luxurious car but Gett Taxi gives you the option for a fixed price which saves a fortune compared to going on the meter with traffic. The app finds your location and you put in your destination, the price is calculated in advance. All the apps have rated drivers with their number plates and a moving map of the car so you feel safer than just hailing one from the street too. 

If you want to try it and receive £10 off you can use this code for Uber: WHVP3. Just download the app and choose your car service - UberX is the cheapest and then the tiers go up depending on car type, add in your code in the promotion box area for credit on your account. 
And this code for Gett Taxi - GTNNMXZ
Again just download the app and request a car, these are traditional black taxis. Make sure you add your destination and calculate the price beforehand just to double check. You don't need any cash, it's all done via the app and your account. 

Are you up in London before Christmas? 

R <3 xx 

- p.s. not a sponsored post! xx 

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