Burlington Arcade

Christmas lights brighten up London

It’s been a tough few months so I was keen to head to the West End of London to see the Christmas lights 2020 and taken on some Christmas spirit.  They did not disappoint and I’d like you to join me on my first tour around these famous illuminations.

Burlington Arcade is a top end passage of shops and said to be the world’s first shopping arcade.  Its simple colour scheme and tasteful decorations are a delight and Moet & Chandon have set up a tempting photo opportunity which I could not resist!

Burlington Arcade

Burlington Arcade

Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly is a beautiful shop inside and out  Famous for its teas it loves to mark Christmas with its customary style and flair.  This year the exterior is one huge advent calendar with a section for each leading up to the 25th and a massive 2020 down the side of the building.  Their shop windows are commemorating 8 famous displays from the past from 1930 through to 2020. Inside it is a masterclass in Christmas decorations and symmetrical design.

Fortnum & Mason

Fortnum & Mason

Fortnum & Mason

Fortnum & Mason

Fortnum & Mason

Fortnum & Mason

Fortnum & Mason

Carnaby Street is usually my favourite decoration with its off the wall and over the top approach but this year they seem rather subdued although the message is strong.

Carnaby Street

Seven Dials just near Covent Garden have excelled themselves this year with a stunning  halo of lights with coloured baubles and sliver birch sprays around their famous centre.  The overall them is Festive Woodland.

Seven Dials

Oxford Street have gone for big banners with lights and text which changes rapidly so you have to be patient to see any full messages.

Christmas lights in London Oxford Street

Regent Street has returned with its beautiful angels which have been on display for many Christmases but still delight

Christmas lights in London Regent Street

The Mayfair shops always push the boat out and Cartier take the prize this year with their jaguar themed bright red shop front.

Christmas lights in London Mayfair

I hope you enjoyed this tour around some of London’s Christmas lights. There are plenty more so watch out for another blog post to come featuring South Molton Street, Tate Britain, Trafalgar Square and many more

Merry Christmas.


Fortnum & Mason Christmas

London’s Wonderful Christmas Lights and Trees

London looks brilliant any time of the year but in the build-up to Christmas London dresses up in its very best festive lights and trees pop up all over the city.

I’d love to show you a few of the fabulous sights to enjoy right now in London.   Covent Garden is a good place to start as they have the best tree, in my view, and fabulous lights. This year’s theme is mistletoe – ahhh.  You can shop for gifts and enjoy some refreshment as you explore. Continue reading

Winter Wonderland and festive lights

Winter Wonderland is the annual huge outdoor festival which has a funfair, ice rink and German market all rolled into one with a mini railway, hundreds of food stalls and a giant snowman thrown in. It’s great and was absolutely full of families having a wonderful time. We couldn’t face the fast, swirly and vertically dropping fair rides but were deafened by the screams to know just what a lucky escape we’d had! London looks beautiful at this time of year will all the Christmas lights in the streets and shop windows. I’ve posted in a few photos which show you the classic approach of Fortnum and Mason’s where they have recreated some of the old masters. Carnaby Street is up to its usual high standard and the capture a great sense of fun which some other areas miss and this year they have a space man and planet theme – no idea why but it looks great! So here’s a whole bunch of photos so you can feel you are here…..








A good week for lovely lunches with a long session at Bar Boulud (from Daniel Boulud) in the Mandarin Oriental, Knightsbridge where the star was the pot of freshly cooked mini Madeleines, ah, simple pleasures…. Another recommendation is Seven Park Place by William Drabble, part of the St James Hotel where the star was the lobster tortellini.
We have more snow on the way but I hope to have plenty to report next week.


Bye for now,

A whole lot of lunching going on…

It’s been a week of lunches and a tea, a theatre trip, the Van Gogh big show, a photo exhibition and a singer. So here goes….

After a bit of lull recently, it was a good week for lunches. It started on Monday with a trip to Raymond Blanc’s new brasserie in the City. This was week one so we got a 50% discount which

really helped the wallet. It’s a good looking place (see these interior and exterior shots) and the food was good but not as special as I hoped from Raymond. The following day saw a trip to Hereford Road, Notting Hill where the menu is very gamey and shellfishy and we loved the potted shrimp and venison pie.


Hibiscus in the West End has 2 Michelin stars and thanks to another special offer *(3 courses and a glass of champagne for £29.50- what a winner) we could relax and enjoy the extra special cuisine. And finally, we took a lovely pot of afternoon tea at the home of fine teas, Fortnum and Mason, in their new Parlour cafe. The stairway is amazing with the butler in this photo and just being there makes you feel posh.

There was culture to be had at the Van Gogh exhibition at the Royal Academy which features many of his beautiful painting alongside letters between Vincent and his brother Theo. They chart his early days as a self taught painter and how he honed his craft to the wonderful later work and the support his brother gave him all through. He did most of his great work in about 6 years which is a mind boggling achievement.

At the Lichfield Studios in Notting Hill a marvellous exhibition of photographs by Malick Sidibe. He took photos in his studio of people who popped in to have shots taken in Bamako at the time that Mali was gaining Independence. He also went to night clubs to capture the exuberance of the time. 2 photos on this one – one of the Lichfield Studios and one of a wonderful photo of a woman from the brochure


This week’s theatre trip was to see ‘Polar Bears’ at the Donmar theatre. Great acting and a plot full of questions but few answers which was confirmed when we bumped into Celia Imrie at the bus stop on the way home. She was one of the stars – yes, she agreed it wasn’t very glamorous going home on the 390 to Notting Hill! She asked us whether we thought the lead man had committed the murder – I thought so and Celia said she wasn’t sure. Lovely lady to stop and chat with us.
One final bit of fun in London to report on was the chance to see Rebecca Poole singing at The Commander restaurant in Notting Hill. She does a great smokey jazz show and is certainly one to watch out for in the future.


Can’t wait for next week. Bye for now,