These last few weeks that I was in London were spent wrapping up my semester, battling a horrendous week-long cold, and doing quintessential London things before I returned to the New World.
These things included…
For those unfamiliar, Winter Wonderland is essentially a Christmas carnival on steroids. I was entirely mentally unprepared the first time I went for just how large it is. It takes place in Hyde Park and it’s HUGE. There’s over 100 rides, German-style Christmas markets scattered throughout the park, and so many little booths to get food. Honestly, I loved it so much I went twice in one week. It definitely gets packed on the weekends, so if you can squeeze in a trip on a weeknight you’ll face less than half the crowds! But it’s all so beautiful and the energy is amazing. I’m bummed I only went twice!
See a Musical!
I have been a Carole King fan since WAY before I found out she sung the Gilmore Girls theme song. I listen to “It’s Too Late” in the shower every night, complete with my most melancholic dance moves. I AM A TRUE FAN, OKAY. I was very intrigued when I saw there was a Carole King musical, Beautiful, in London and knew I had to go. I bought our tickets at TKTS, a theatre discount ticket booth in Leicester Square, and we got amazing 6th row seats for half off! We were the youngest in the crowd by forty years and it was so cute to bond with the adorable older audience over such a great musical. IT WAS AMAZING. Carole King has a fascinating story, and I’d go watch it again in a heartbeat!
Afternoon tea always makes me feel fancy af and soooo London. A great place to find afternoon teas on a budget is Groupon! I did a fantastic one last year at The Balcon, and most recently did one at Minsky’s Restaurant. What I love about Groupon is that they have teas for every budget, and you can get really great deals on not only tea but any other London activities! The Balcon’s tea is definitely fancier and a great treat, while Minsky’s Restaurant is great for a casual catch-up with friends. Afternoon tea is definitely one of my favorite things to do, and I am SO on the hunt to find a good one in Texas.
Bonus: Christmas in London is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. London knows how to do Christmas, and does it well. There’s countless ice-skating rinks around town, Christmas markets, mulled wine hotspots, and more! Not to mention, fantastic light displays around town, including on Regent Street, Oxford Street, and Carnaby Street. I loved stopping by these streets, grabbing a cozy gingerbread latte from Caffè Nero, (or a honeycombe latte from Costa!) and just relishing in the explosive Christmas vibes. If you can get over the billion tourists pushing and shoving, and the occasional tube station closure, it’s honestly one of the most magical experiences ever!
Can’t wait to see what spring holds!