I have always heard that London has a magical character during the winter months, so I finally decided I should take my wife there for a quick wintry Christmas-time trip. Decent flights to UK are easy with Momondo.com, while the Radisson Blu Edwardian Grafton Hotel is at the heart of the city on Tottenham Court Road.
We touched down in the early morning at Heathrow and began our trip into Central London, which couldn’t have been easier. After a quick bite to eat in Heathrow’s snazzy Terminal 5, we took the Tube (the underground train that runs all the way from the airport in) to Tottenham Court Road station. The Piccadilly Line is an especially deep one, where escalators take you deep down into labyrinthine tunnels, then up again into the bustle of the Big City. Emerging we found ourselves at the intersection of Tottenham Ct. Rd. and Oxford Street, the famous shopping boulevard. Our hotel was a short walk, and by the time we reached it we knew what all the fuss was about.
All of the cafes and big department stores had their decorations up and ready to entice you in for a warming spiced latte or seasonal retail therapy. We walked through a sea of bobble hats and scarves, breath frosting and a hint of snow in the air. After leaving our bags at the hotel, we decided to get out straight away and pay a visit to what we had both come to see – Harrods. A quick Tube ride to Knightsbridge and we were there, amid stacks of luxurious gifts and foods. Nowhere else offers such a variety of opulence and outstanding customer service. Every toy imaginable can be bought there, for big kids and small, plus a collection of prestigious bags, clothes and jewellery to rival any.
Next stop was the (slightly) less extravagant Harvey Nicholls just next door. In here we found anything you could need for an elegant British Christmas, be it hand crafted wreaths of holly or a set of fancy crackers. After browsing their impressive designer clothes selection, we needed some sustenance. This we found at Byron, a chic restaurant offering classic gourmet burgers in a trendy setting. Our last stop was at the ever-popular Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, and as it began to snow in the fading light we sipped mulled wine and wandered through a maze of enchanting German market stalls and fairground attractions. The perfect end to a Yuletide day in the capital. Another day would have seen us on the London Eye, the iconic ferris wheel, and east to Tower Bridge, but we left merry and satisfied.