Snapshots of the city ~ December festivities

HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE!! It’s the last day of 2013 and it’s time to congratulate ourselves on reaching the end of another year in the city. Pat yourself on the back for all of the things you’ve achieved and whilst the batteries are charged after a (hopefully) restful Christmas put your thoughts to the year ahead. “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”

Before I delve into thoughts about what I want to achieve in 2014, I’m taking the chance to look back at the busiest month of the year – December.

I reached my fourth anniversary of being a Londoner this November and what I love about having been here a few years is how there are so many things I still haven’t done or seen, but at the same time there are so many things I’ve grown to love. At the beginning of December I took a whirlwind tour of The O2 for the first time, then towards the end I saw a view of the City I’ve never seen before. (Don’t you just love the contrast of old and new in this picture on the right!? The cars and houses look tiny in comparison to the grand Gherkin!)

Snapshots-of-the-city---December-iconic-London

As much as I love modern London, I also like discovering hints of its history like this old-fashioned sign in Tooting and the traditional lights that line Green Park. Did you know that there are still thousands of gas-lit lights in London?

But the buildings alongside the Thames continue to prove the city lights can look equally pretty.

Then Christmas got in the way and normal life went on hold for a while. It took me longer than usual to feel festive this year, but once I’d done my favourite bits of last year’s Christmas lights tour I was good to go for the rest of the month. Helped along by the appearance of reindeers outside the office one lunchtime and a weekend detour via a decked out Leadenhall Market.

Snapshots-of-the-city---Christmas

As the holidays got closer, festivities picked up the pace. I had a great Christmas dinner with friends at the Balham Bowls Club, got a little silly with elf hats in the office, and had a mad dash down Oxford Street for last-minute presents.

I was impressed that amongst all the madness I managed to try new places and enjoy a few cocktails. Dean Street Townhouse for a Christmas catch up and Tom’s Kitchen for breakfast were great new discoveries to end the year on!

Snapshots-of-the-city---December-cocktails-and-food

But I equally enjoyed trying the new Soho branch of The Rum Kitchen (more on that in 2014!) and finding an evening at home to enjoy my own [Merry] Hot Apple Jerry.

Merriness aside, to me December feels like the true start of winter. Whilst it can be miserable at times, the darker mornings allow opportunities for stunning sunsets…

Snapshots-of-the-city---December-winter

And you can’t beat the sight of blue skies on a crisp cold day.

It’s also the perfect time of year to discover new cafes and enjoy plenty of coffee. Keeping your hands warm, then getting you buzzing through the day.

Snapshots-of-the-city---December-coffee

Whether you’re out in the city or cozy on the sofa, I hope you all have a brilliant evening tonight and a very happy new year!! A BIG thank you to you all for supporting and continuing to read this year!

As always you can follow my daily snapshots of the city @ThisCityLifeLdn on Instagram. If you want to see the year’s snapshots of the city you can find them all here 🙂