Saturday, December 22, 2012

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

'Tis the season to be jolly, and the hubs and I got into the spirit of the season and went along to a Christmas jumper party, thrown by some friends last weekend.

Whilst the hosts themselves were not exactly wearing the mandatory Christmas jumpers, they looked very festive, and put on a great party!

Aaron wore his Christmas pudding jumper (complete with pompoms!) and I wore my reindeer cardigan.  After his initial purchase of the jumper, loverboy wasn't sure what the picture on the front was - at first he thought it was a decorative bauble, and then he settled on the idea that it was a chocolate chip cookie, covered in cream!  I suppose this is down to the fact that they don't have Christmas puds in the USofA, but still this amused me to no end!


We carried on the festive fun earlier this week, and headed to Hyde Park to take a look around the Winter Wonderland. 

I haven't been to this Christmas market since the first one a few years ago, and in that space of time, it has really grown in's huge!

Along with all the Bavarian bratwursts and beers, there are stalls selling arts and crafts, mulled drinks, various food (including Hungarian!  Yum!) and Christmas ornaments.  There are also lots of fairground rides, an ice skating rink, an ice sculpture garden and a circus.

It takes quite a while to wander around the Winter Wonderland, and we spent a good couple of hours goofing around and taking photos... 

Aaron had a tussle with a penguin...

....and a polar bear...

We stumbled upon a tone-deaf singing reindeer, a rotating carousel bar and rockabilly band - so we had a dance!

We sampled mulled wine, mulled honey apple juice (well, Aaron sampled that, as I don't like honey), a cheesy pretzel, a spicy bratwurst, a käsekrainer (German sausage stuffed with cheese!) and hot chocolate (with a cheeky shot of brandy for moi...).

These funny looking little guys made me giggle...

We bought this for my mamma...

We picked a perfect night to go, as it wasn't too crowded, and the weather was dry and mild - I can imagine it will be really busy this weekend though.  It's free to get in (obviously once in there, you have to pay for the rides, food etc) so it's worth going along to have a look around and get into the Christmas spirit!


When we got home, I saw that there were some presents under the tree.... I need to go and wrap mine!  Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Strictly bubbles on a chilly night...

Last week, loverboy and I were taken out for dinner and drinks on a chilly London evening.

We started out at the champagne bar in St Pancras station, which I have been keen to visit ever since it opened.  Right in the middle of the top level of the station, this open plan bar is amidst the hustle and bustle of the arriving and departing Eurostar trains.  The station itself is so grand and beautiful, that it a pleasure to sip a glass of bubbly, as you people-watch in such a magnificent setting.

One thing though - on an evening that saw the thermometer drop into the minus figures, it was not the warmest place to sit!

After a bottle of bubbly, we headed to Caravan - the sister restaurant to the one in Exmouth Market, with modern interiors and a full house of customers.  The walk to the restaurant was pretty, with lots of twinkling snowflake lights in the trees along the way.

The food was delicious.  If you are a fan of small plates, where you can try a little bit of everything and share with everyone at your table (which I most definitely am) then this is an ideal place to visit.  We sampled dishes such as jalapeno corn bread, sea bass ceviche, tofu tempura (omg amazing), pork in hoisin sauce, wagyu beef with wasabi peas (omg amazing)...and the list continues.

Alas we did not take many photos, because we were too busy eating!  This was the best meal I have eaten at a restaurant in a long time.  I plan to go back for the brunch, as one of the items on the menu is chicken and waffles, which you don't tend to see much, outside of the USA.

With our tummies full, we headed back to Kings Cross St Pancras station, and as we were walking along, Aaron spotted Louis Smith!

For my overseas readers that may not know, Louis Smith is a British gymnast, and Olympian who won medals at this year's London Games, as well as the Beijing Olympics.  He is also a contestant on this year's Strictly Come Dancing - of which I am an avid fan.  So, of course, I had to go and say hi....

He was very gracious, and indulged us in taking a couple of photos, despite the fact that he was probably knackered what with all that Strictly training.  We all had a little natter with him and it really made a great end to a great night!