Hello! Apologies for the lack of posts over the weekend but I have been away for a girls’ weekend with my Mum in London to soak up a little bit of everything the city had to offer!
My trip began rather disastrously on Friday night with a drive to the train station, which should have taken 30 minutes, taking closer to an hour and a half – I hate Bath traffic! Cue me having to run (anyone who knows me will know that is very unlike me! Haha) in the rain to catch my train with seconds to spare! I also managed to leave my purse behind and my car unlocked all weekend in my haste but luckily I had my bank card in my pocket so wasn’t completely lost!
After the bad start, I decided to skip the tube and treat myself to a taxi to The Royal Opera House where I met my Mum, her friend and her friend’s daughter for a performance of the ballet The Nutcracker.
I have never been to the ballet before but have always fancied it and The Nutcracker is Christmas-themed so this seemed the perfect time of year to give it a go!
We had the cheap seats at the back but got quite lucky when our seats were upgraded before the performance started, although we still needed our binoculars to see the detail on stage.
The show itself was absolutely stunning with beautiful backdrops, wonderful costumes and lovely music. At times, the dancers on stage looked like they belonged on a Christmas card and I was surprised to recognise several of the pieces of music too.
I wish I hadn’t been in such a rush getting to the show because it was a rather glamorous affair and I would have loved to have dressed up for it. The Royal Opera House building was also stunning – I managed to get a few pictures at the champagne bar during the interval.
The next morning we were up early and headed out to breakfast as the sun was rising over London.
We had breakfast at one of my Mum’s favourite places to eat, Café in the Crypt, just off Trafalgar Square and recently named Les Routiers Café of the Year 2012.
The café is housed downstairs and is a lovely building with a real sense of history, echoed in the tombstones lining the floor. It is very reasonably priced for central London and we indulged in some delicious pastries for breakfast.
After that, we jumped on the tube and headed to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. We arrived quite early so missed the crowds and it was a lovely, crisp morning meaning we could wander around without getting too cold!
For me, the highlight was all the different food and drink stalls available and I just loved the Bavarian wooden huts and stalls. I imagine the atmosphere in the beer hall would be great in the evening too!
We indulged in a Bailey’s hot chocolate (at about 10am!)
This attraction would be great to visit with children but I imagine you would spend a fortune on all the fairground rides and ice skating rinks dotted around!
I managed to persuade my Mum to have a go on the ghost train with me and I think she hated every minute of it! As a thank you, I treated us to a portion of one of my favourite Spanish foods; Churros.
These lovely sweet fried doughnuts are indulgent but delicious!
When it started to get busy, Mum and I headed off to hit the shops. We began with the Harrods’ Christmas window displays. They had a Disney Princess theme this year and even had my favourite, Mulan! Each mannequin was dressed by a different designer including Missoni, Marchesa and Versace. Unfortunately, the sun was shining so brightly that a lot of photos came out really badly but I managed to capture a few pictures that show how beautiful the windows looked.
After that, I had several foodie places I wanted to tick off starting with La Durée, the masters of le macaron! These little Parisian delicacies are notoriously difficult to make but La Durée are renowned for the quality and variety they offer. We bought a rose flavoured and a salted caramel version, both absolutely beautiful and scrumptious.
Next, it was onto another foodie landmark, Fortnum and Masons. Rather pricey but beautifully packaged, I loved having a wander through here and treated myself to a few items including some biscuits and jam. I can’t say much more as the other things were all Christmas presents!
I also loved their wedding cakes, a snip at about £800 each!
One of my favourite designers, Emma Bridgewater, has collaborated with the store on a Christmas dinnerware range and I fell in love with the print although it was so expensive I will just have to admire from afar!
Our next stop that afternoon involved more cake at The Hummingbird Bakery! I have been wanting to visit one of their stores ever since I bought their first baking book years ago and it was lovely to go and enjoy one of their cupcakes. Having made several items from their books, it was almost strange to see them all on trays having seen them in my own kitchen. Obviously, their versions were how the products were meant to look too!
I couldn’t resist the classic red velvet cupcake.
That evening, we got dressed up and headed to the Savoy theatre to watch Cabaret. Will Young was playing the role of the master of ceremonies and did it in such a wonderfully camp way. The show itself was fantastic; great songs and dancing and lots of bare bums (including Will’s) for us to giggle at!
Afterwards, my body finally rebelled against a day of cake and I just had to have something healthy. Cue an M&S mini picnic back in our hotel room!
I finished off the weekend with a wonderful lunch with one of my best friends at Peruvian restaurant, Ceviche, however the food was so good that it really deserves a post of its own!
Today has been quite a struggle at work as I feel shattered after such a packed weekend but it was a perfect time to go in the run up to Christmas and I loved the two shows we saw. As a food blogger, I was in heaven eating my way around different places but I do feel like I have overindulged slightly…totally worth it though!!!