Despite the lack of "proper" winter weather, I have been doing my best to enjoy the festive season with lots of Christmas-themed Nice Days Out...
The absolute highlight so far has been Christmas at Kew: a one mile illuminated trail through the gardens. I have to admit that (with an eye on my budget which, like most peoples, is a bit squeezed at this time of year) I ummed and aahed about buying a ticket to this as it looked a bit pricey and I wasn't sure if it would be worth the money but oh my goodness you guys it was so wonderful.
Look how amazing the Palm House looked all lit up!
There was so much loveliness to see along the trail...
... including a garden of fire...
... and fun installations like a choir of singing holly bushes (you can see a short video of them here, make sure you have your sound on!) and a fabulous colour-changing curtain of lights to walk through:
I had a huge grin on my face the whole way round, nearly cried with joy a couple of times and positively skipped home (where I proceeded to talk loudly about how awesome the evening was to anyone who would listen).
This year's Christmas at Kew trail runs until 2nd January, you'll find all the info here. In case you hadn't already guessed, I highly recommend it!
I've also visited a few of the big London Department stores Christmas departments, and took an after-dark walk down Oxford Street to enjoy all the bright and cheerful window displays.
Selfridges have a Zodiac theme this year:
I also rather enjoyed the woodland-themed windows at Accessorize (those owls!)...
... and the explosion of stars at Debenhams:
My fave windows so far this year though are probably those at Liberty (just off Regent Street) - they're absolutely jam-packed with beautifully arranged, lovely things.
Other festive outings have included a trip to the cinema to see Die Hard on the big screen (not exactly a traditional Christmas movie, but a very fun one all the same!) and a visit to the Geffrye Museum in East London.
The Geffrye is a fab (and free to visit) museum with 11 period rooms showing how the English have lived, from the 1600s to the present day. For their annual Christmas Past exhibition they decorate the rooms, showing how we've celebrated Christmas through the centuries. This was quite delightful! I also learned a lot about how our seasonal traditions have changed and evolved over time, which was rather fascinating. The Christmas displays at the Geffrye run to Jan 3rd, click here for all the info.
Finally, I'm planning a visit to Windsor Castle, which is currently decorated with a Regency-themed display to show "how the Prince Regent (the future George IV) celebrated Christmas at Windsor Castle in the early 19th century". Windsor is always worth a visit but it was especially wonderful to see it decorated for Christmas last year - I'm really looking forward to seeing this year's decorations!
You can enjoy a Regency Christmas at Windsor until Jan 5th, click here for all the info & a short video.
I'm taking a short break from blogging to spend time with family, etc, over Christmas but I'll be back soon! Best winter-y wishes to you all xxx