Saturday, December 15, 2012

London's Cozy Winter: A Christmas Market & Somerset House

Friday was a guilty pleasure-a break from work, (which I probably shouldn't have taken) and a break from the diet (which I definitely shouldn't have taken). Chocolate cinnamon snicker doodles just looked too good, and sometimes you just feel like enjoying life in a big city!

London's Southbank Christmas market was a first for me - we don't really have Christmas markets in Canada (at least not that I know of. Maybe Montreal does? I've heard they celebrate winter well). It was really beautiful...-1 degrees Celsius by the flowing river, a pitch black sky, blue and white Christmas lights and a street lined on both sides with cute wooden houses selling everything from friendship bracelets to oil paintings. The mixed aromas of bratwurst, mulled wine, cider, roasted cinnamon almonds, and various  random other cakes, like cinnamon and caramel "chimney cakes" (pastries), filled the air. Families, couples, and single wanderers like me meandered through the winter festival. 

For anyone planning to visit the market, don't forget to check out the
"real food market" near Waterloo station...smaller than the main market, it's affordable and sells fresh veggies, bread and baking. On the weekends, it's also open year-round.

London has a winter warmth about it - wear gloves and a coat and you are so cozy and warm,  even if you're wearing a skirt. No piles of snow, windy snowstorms, frozen hair, black ice, or melted, muddied,  dirtied and then re-frozen snow mush. Just decorative snow on the rooftops and frost on the windows.  Such a romantic feeling in the air! It almost feels as though you could fall in love with someone standing the very least, in love with the city. 

After Southbank centre, I took a quick visit across Waterloo bridge to Somerset house, where a small skating rink stands elegantly amid historic buildings. I think my cousin Sonia and I may come here xmas week (so I can teach her to skate!)

The Christmas arcade, like the market, was ridiculously overpriced...I saw a very large, warm knitted grey snowflake and reindeer blanket that would be perfect for cuddling with Kiara on the sofa and watching laptop tv...but it was £60! That's like $95! The designer is called Theo. Their website doesn't have the Christmas design up on their site, unfortunately, but they have similar products, here.  Who knows, perhaps it will be a Christmas splurge (or I'll buy a lookalike on boxing day). Ironically, the only semi-look-alike picture I could find online to show you is a throw from John Lewis, and three times the price of the one I want!

Here's a slideshow of my evening! I came home to cuddle with my puppy (sans ridiculously expensive blanket), and watch one of my favourite Christmas movies, Love Actually.

Stayed tuned for a post about puppies and Christmas cheer tomorrow, and then hang tight as I pause blogging to write essays until Christmas. To the cozy, warm, romantic London winter...Happy Christmas!

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