City Guides: London

Tripoto
17th Dec 2012

Magic happens here

Photo of City Guides: London by Prashi

The oh-my gosh moment at the Somerset.

Photo of City Guides: London by Prashi

Apostrphe

Photo of City Guides: London by Prashi
Photo of City Guides: London by Prashi

The English capital is more than a capable host for those who want to immerse themselves in the seasonal whirlwind. Yuletide proceedings launched by switching the most specially designed lights in Oxford Circus last month will have groups of carol singers filling the air by Thames Embankment. Fight the biting cold with arms flailing the magical ice rink at arts and culture hub Somerset House (somersethouse.org.uk). Overlooking the rink, you’ll also find a new luxury pop-up mall, featuring British boutique brands and feeding your ravenous end-of-year shopping appetite. Fight the biting cold with arms flailing the magical ice rink at arts and culture hub Somerset House (somersethouse.org.uk). Overlooking the rink, you’ll also find a new luxury pop-up mall, featuring British boutique brands and feeding your ravenous end-of-year shopping appetite. We made our Christmas reservation in good time so eating out wasn’t really a hassle. Bistrotheque End, is a jovially glamorous spot: there’s also The Albemarle at Brown’s, London’s oldest hotel (Brownshotel.com), and The Zetter (thezettertownhouse.com) if you don’t want to go too traditional. Homesick travellers should park themselves at Indian reservation The Cinnamon Club (cinnamonclub.com) , manned by celebrity chef Vivek Singh.  Fragrant face oils by Aesop and books from Peresphone Books (peresphonebooks.com). Antique jewels are found to be at the family ruin J Mc Cathy and a huge Christmas collection from Fortnum and mason (fornumandmason.com) is always a safe bet-filled with delights like lemon biscuits and strawberry conserve, each basket is sweet perfection.

Last December I made a discovery, and to say that it’s a good one is an understatement. It concerns the city of London and some of the finest Ice Creams I have ever tasted. Well, obviously, despite being the drizzly, cold December day that it was, this Choc Ice that rocked my world. So hard did it rock, by the end Magnums started to seem like bars of frozen ditchwater in comparison.Seriously, this Choc Ice had it all: the softest and creamiest centre, a thick coat of luxurious, crisp Milk Chocolate, and a flavour that pretty much blew my mind.
Photo of La Grotta Ices by Prashi
Photo of La Grotta Ices by Prashi
Photo of La Grotta Ices by Prashi
Photo of La Grotta Ices by Prashi
Photo of La Grotta Ices by Prashi
Meet the beekeepers at The London Honey Company to discover one of the finest honey in the UK. Support the bees by tasting the finest honey in town. The Shropshire honey , handy little tin of London beeswax blended to a balm with shea, cocoa and lavender from the suburbs and the Heather honey have been my favorite buys. Don't miss out this appointment to the queen bee.
Photo of The London Honey Company by Prashi
Just located minutes from London Bridge, Maltby Street is being coined the new Borough Market and is at the forefront of underground events.For freshly baked mince pies and spicy mulled wines , try to the discreet Maltby Street market (Maltbystreet.com) in Bermondsey.
Photo of Maltby Street, London, United Kingdom by Prashi
The pleasure doesn't come in a finer form than food: in particular, a plump, warm custard doughnut from the St John bakery in Bermondsey is a must. I'd call this patch around the Malty Street the food mecca of the new Borough Market. The tantalizing sign of pig seems promising and is worth your money. Under the bridge arches near Tower Hill - St Johns serves the best sourdough, mince pies, and, more than anything, those heavenly Eccles Cakes with caramel-burnt bottoms, a filling generous enough even by New Russians’ standard, drunk with soaked raisins – seemed to be waiting there for me. You will love the atmosphere of this warehouse like place.
Photo of St John Bakery, Druid Street, London, United Kingdom by Prashi
This time of the year is all good old-fashioned english tradition. and it doesn't get much better than the superbly evocative Hazlett's hotel(hazlettshotel.com). Named after prolific essayist Willian Hazlitt, who lived here in the 18th century , it occupies three historic house just off Soho Square.
Photo of Hazlitt's, Frith Street, London, United Kingdom by Prashi
Photo of Hazlitt's, Frith Street, London, United Kingdom by Prashi
Photo of Hazlitt's, Frith Street, London, United Kingdom by Prashi
Photo of Hazlitt's, Frith Street, London, United Kingdom by Prashi
Grab the best toys in town with an expansive collection of cars , animals , toys and beautiful souvenirs. Enter the magical fantasy of R.S. Currie and shop till you drop !
Photo of R. S. Currie & Co., 105 Westbourne Grove, London, United Kingdom by Prashi
For some breathing space head to the ever-so-chic Holland Park, which hold a Japanese garden, an opera house and even peacocks.
Photo of Holland Park, Holland Park, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London W8, UK by Prashi
Plan a trip to Vauxhall City Farm (vausxhallcityfarm.org) for a horse ride –at this time of the year, you might even score a Shetland pony.
Photo of Vauxhall, United Kingdom by Prashi
But Christmas doesn’t really ring true until you’ve heard soaring carols, so take in the concert at the elegant Wigmore Hall (Wigmore-hall.org.uk), which thankfully provides a programme of singers and chamber ensembles.
Photo of Wigmore Hall, Wigmore Street, London, United Kingdom by Prashi
After the long walk at the grandiose and the luxurious St Paul - A cup of the thick belgium hot chocolate will just help you re-create an experience. The best hot chocolate in town at the Apostrophe which overlooks the St Pauls shall surely blow your mind. The steaming cup of Hot Chocolate is outrageously thick and intense.
Photo of Apostrophe, Saint Paul's Churchyard, London, United Kingdom by Prashi
This traditional pancake place shall take you back to how pancakes were made back in 1958. Known for it's savory pancakes but steals the thunder even in the sweet one's. Save an appetite for Monday as all pancakes are at a quick bargain £5. The apple cinnamon with ice cream and the Italian herb are my personal favorites.
Photo of My Old Dutch, High Holborn, London, United Kingdom by Prashi
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