A reflection of Christmas

London puts on quite a bit of glitz and glam for Christmas. From the Christmas Lights of Regent Street, Oxford Street and Carnaby Street to the details in places like the Ritz.

With my Aunt visiting from New Zealand over the recent Christmas break, we made an effort to check out as much of the Christmassy side of London as possible.

Christmas Eve Afternoon Tea at the Ritz

the Ritz

Ngaire by Ritz Christmas Tree

Me by the Ritz Christmas Tree

Something I’ve wanted to do for a long time was have afternoon tea at the Ritz. I’ve had the pleasure of tea at Claridges and the Langham, but the Ritz was always ‘the place’ I wanted to try. It did mean booking months in advance for Christmas, but we managed to get a special Christmas Afternoon Tea with music and all the Christmassy decorations around the tea room. Unfortunately the Ritz teddy bears were only given to children (much to my disappointment – I’m someone’s child, even if I am in my 20s)!

To be honest I’d give the Ritz about 3 or 4 stars out of five, not just because of the lack of teddy bears either. The food was comparable to the other places I’d been to – nothing super amazing, but the decorations were definitely stunning. One aspect that was disappointing was when we changed from fruit tea to black tea we didn’t get the choice of new cups or even a new strainer. This resulted in a mix of fruit and black tea in my cup! I’m not normally that picky, but the Ritz wasn’t the cheapest place for afternoon tea, so I just expected a wee bit more than other places. But still, it was a very pretty place to enjoy a relaxing Christmas Eve.

Christmas Lights galore

Every year London lights up many of its main shopping streets with Christmas Lights and because it gets dark so early over here, you are able to enjoy the lights late afternoon/early evening!

Christmas Lights on Regent Street

Christmas Lights 2013, on Regent Street

Carnaby Street Christmas Lights

Carnaby Street Christmas Lights

London Christmas Lights

Then there’s the beautiful decorations in Covent Garden…

Convent Garden - Central Avenue

Covent Garden – Central Avenue

Apple Market Christmas Baubles in Covent Garden

Apple Market Christmas Baubles in Covent Garden

Christmas Day in London… first time in years!

I’ve lived in London almost 4 years now and this was the first Christmas I properly hosted ever. I had my Aunt helping me to chop and cook all day and then we had another three Kiwi’s come join us for a Kiwi Christmas. I even had Kiwi Dip for chips (or crisps if you want to call them that)!

While it was a lovely day with lovely people, I can say I am over cooking for Christmas – I’d rather spend it relaxing.

P.S. Yes I know I’m a tad late with this post, but I was pretty busy over Christmas/New Year, so this got delayed in its preparation!

Watch out for an upcoming post about Expat Living and another about the beautiful Lake District, where I spent a wet week over the Christmas/New Year period!