A festive-filled Sunday in London

‘Twas the weekend before Christmas and everything felt strangely calm. For the first time ever I had done all my present shopping and even wrapped most of them too, leaving a whole Sunday to find more of that festive feeling. I’d organised a last-minute catch up with Vanessa after realising we were both free to snap our way around London, which when added to the evening tickets I had for Carols by Candlelight at the Royal Albert Hall, made for a festive-filled day.

Columbia Road Flower Market was our destination of choice. I could go at any time of of year but I was particularly excited to see plenty of seasonal blooms.

The first thing we smelt was a forest of fresh Christmas trees waiting to be picked and given a warm home.

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We don’t have a real Christmas tree in our house as we’re not at home long enough to really justify getting one, so I made sure I took a few deep breaths of that sweet grassy scent.

We wandered into the busy flow of people looking for perfect centre pieces or, like me, imaging what I’d buy if I was hosting a lovely big meal. Of course the Flower Market has all of your festive flower needs covered.

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There’s something about the beauty of wreaths that I’m totally hooked on. I guess they make houses look so much more warm and welcoming at this time of year.

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And mistle toe is just so delicate, with that added bit of romance 😉

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As it approached midday the market got busier and busier so we wandered the quieter streets nearby.

This part of town is full of colourful doors, but the wreaths at Christmas add that extra bit of charm.

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We passed a curious looking piano on wheels and then realised it was a sort of mobile carolling group.

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Sadly they weren’t ready to sing at the time.

But luckily, there was plenty of other music drawing in the crowds (and I knew I had some carolling to enjoy later on…)

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We grabbed some hot drinks and enjoyed watching everyone getting into the spirit.

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Since we’d got up so early we realised we still had some daylight to spare so we made our way west to Belgravia.

It’s always interesting to experience the contrast of east versus west in London. All of a sudden it feels just a little bit less relaxed and a little bit more luxe.

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Wild at Heart is one of those stores I will happily window shop.

Peggy Porschen meets all my perfect pink needs and sweet tooth desires.

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I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the Christmas lights on Elizabeth Street but I loved how chic and minimal there were.

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We found just enough time to find a few more lovely wreaths.

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And I went home feeling festive enough to enjoy the evening ahead.

Christmas carols at the Royal Albert Hall has been on my to do list for a couple of years, maybe even since Anita mentioned it in about 2013. But I always forget about tickets until it’s too late. This year I just about managed to get them before they sold out. As I made my way there I realised I was so excited to add another festive activity to my annual to do list but also to finally see inside such an iconic building.

Not so excited to miss seeing the Natural History Museum at night though.

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After a short walk I turned a corner and there it was.

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The hall was opened by Queen Victoria in 1871 and was dedicated to Prince Albert, who had died 10 years earlier.

I’d just finished Victoria and loved the tv series earlier this year so it felt easy to picture it as it was back in the day.

Not surprisingly it’s just as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside, especially when decorated for Christmas.

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The lights dimmed and the carols begun.

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Carols by Candlelight is a mixture of performances with and without audience participation. It took me right back to school days, especially singing 12 days of Christmas and everyone hollering “FIVE GOLD RINGS”.

We drank mulled wine, ate mince pies and enjoyed a festive-filled evening.

It was such a lovely weekend (James and I had managed Winter Wonderland the day before!) I can’t wait to enjoy the final festivities with our families.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! xxx

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4 Comments

  1. December 24, 2016 / 5:41 pm

    We’re not really in London long enough either to justify a Christmas tree – but I can’t really help myself from getting a small one each year as it makes our flat so Christmassy!

    • ThisCityLifeLondon
      December 24, 2016 / 6:10 pm

      To be honest I am probably giving my boyfriend’s sensible excuse for not having a real tree (I’ve been promised one when we eventually own a house!) I agree the smell is just so Christmassy!

  2. January 19, 2017 / 10:08 am

    A bit belatedly (I missed this when you posted it) but I’m so glad you enjoyed the carols- I went a few days after you and as always, it makes me feel soooo Christmassy!
    Your photos are lovely- I’ve only ever been to Columbia Road Market in the summer (always too much of a wuss to spend too long outdoors in the cold!) but I’ll have to reconsider it before next Christmas!

    • ThisCityLifeLondon
      March 30, 2017 / 9:13 am

      I certainly have you to thank for the carols recommendation! It’s certainly going to be a new tradition of mine from now on. Columbia Road is particularly lovely in summer (so many blooms) but I think you’d enjoy it just before Christmas too!