I'm posting this on Christmas Eve because growing up it was a Jones family tradition to spend each Christmas Eve in London taking in the amazing Christmas light displays, doing some last minute shopping and generally just topping up our Christmas spirit.
It has been harder to maintain since we moved away from Harpenden and are now all in different parts of the country (sometimes even in other countries like Mel and Arne who are currently in Belgium). This year Mara and I did our best to carry on the tradition on behalf of everyone else...and a few days before Christmas Eve but it was just as fun all the same.
Our first stop was a Jones family favourite - the Kings Road!
and Partridges, one of our favourite stores! well loved for the amount of American goodies they stock - I was able to get most of the ingredients needed for my peanut butter and chocolate brownie trifle I will be baking up for our Christmas Day dessert tomorrow.
We also stumbled upon this whole shop devoted to Christmas crackers - my mom would have been loving it!
Of course no Gem and Mara trip is ever complete without eating ridunculous amounts of treats. So we stopped off at the new Bea's of Bloomsbury.
There were festively decorated cupcakes a plenty...
and their infamous enormous meringues!
We went with a duffin - that's a doughnut crossed with a muffin. It was a pretty delish start to the day...
but the highlight had to be this amazing vanilla cupcake with passion fruit frosting, it was the softest, lightest, creamiest, fruitiest frosting I have ever tasted. I was a big fan...
and was loving this Christmas pud cushion too!
Next stop had to be Covent Garden, check out the size of those baubles!
and the size of that tree! You'll have to forgive me for the picture overload...you have to remember I have been stuck in North Wales where they don't really seem to be in to decorating for the season so my camera was going in to overdrive as I beheld all these festive sights...
and delights like this candy cane alley - aren't they just the cutest!
Covent Garden isn't complete at Christmas without that good ol' giant reindeer either!
and a pit stop at Cyber Candy brought us this very original Christmas tree made entirely from Moutain Dew soft drink cans!
Carnaby Streets decorations always impress. Mara took me for a surprise Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson Hotel after this. It was a completely amazing Mad Hatters themed tea and you can read all about it here.
The Southbank was a sight to behold with little Christmas market huts lining the Thames with a canopy of twinkling lights overhead...how I have missed London!
I was excited to make it over to Trafalgar Square to check out this super tall 25m tree that Norway have been gifting to us in an annual tradition for over 60 years to thank Britain for the assistance they gave them during World War II. Not only is it a pretty tree, but for the whole of December there has been carol singing happening underneath it's twinkling lights each evening. We were surprised when half the crowd ran to the front in the middle of a song change to join it - it seemed like everyone was welcome to contribute to the choir which was extra fun! including the guy playing keyboard complete with backpack...he looked like he had just been strolling by and decided to play a few tunes for everyone!
The lights of Picadilly were some of my favourites, such simple white lights but really effective...
and I would have expected no less from Bond street - their lights were the classiest of all.
Cartier had a particularly impressive display of lit up red trees adorning every window!
and it was hard to get a shot of the whole of Selfridge's because it's obviously such a HUGE shop but I liked this one I snapped as you can see the bustling crowds too!
Selfridge's also had some really snazzy window displays, that were not only great to look at but interactive too! If you swiped your finger in an anti clockwise movement along all those circles in the picture above, the window pane would play music!! How cool is that!
After we walked the whole of London flat, there was no other option but to fill up on some pulled pork, Bodean's style...
complete with Root Beer too.
I finished off my day of festive fun in London by stopping by the giant Lego tree at St.Pancras station. Yes, you heard me right, that 10m tree is made from lego! In fact, it is made from 600,000 pieces of lego and took over two months to build but I'm sure you'll agree it was worth the effort!
Even those little baubles are made from lego!
It was the perfect ending to a perfect day!
I'll leave you with this window display I happened upon from Byron burger...and with a little editing it is a Christmas message from the both of us!
Here's wishing all our families and friends wherever you are in the world (including South Africa, Belgium, Spain, America, Denmark and Turks and Caicos!) a very Happy Christmas, here's hoping everyone has a truly magical Christmas day tomorrow filled with lots of fun, love, and of course tasty food! as we remember and celebrate the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.