Things I’ve missed about Christmas in London

After three months travelling Eastern and Southern Africa, BC and I are in Cape Town and this will be our home for Christmas.

While in Eastern Africa, the signs of Christmas were few and far between, the festive season is definitely upon us in Cape Town.

We can’t wait to celebrate Christmas in a new city. But being so far from home has made me reflect a lot on our lives in London (travelling does that to you, doesn’t it?). And when I look at what our friends are up to and the many Christmas posts that I scroll through on Bloglovin’, twitter, and Instagram, it makes me realise I’ve missed many things about Christmas in London.

Here are the top things that have me missing the Big Smoke at Christmas.

But don’t worry, we’re not too home sick!

Things I’ve missed about Christmas in London

Christmas in London
credit: Rick Ligthelm via Flickr

Christmas Markets

Of course there are some truly amazing markets in Cape Town but you really can’t beat the many Christmas markets in London. Generally, I find Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland a bit crazy, but the markets you find in areas like South Bank, St Pancras and Chelsea just can’t be beaten. Twinkly lights, the smell of toffee apples and gluehwein are what makes its truly Christmas in London for me.

Christmas in London

credit: Chris Palmer via Flickr

The Amazing Lights

The West End can have me dashing for the nearest tube back to South London at the best of times, but Oxford Street, Regents Street and Covent Garden really do look stunning at this time of year. Remember the year that Regent Street was bedecked in Marmite decorations? (weird). And don’t you just love the spangly decorations that usually come to Carnaby Street? Waiting to see what London’s most frequented streets do to honour Christmas is all part of the fun. I do love how pretty our city looks when it’s all lit up at night.

Christmas in London

The stunning window displays

Hands up who can’t wait to see the Christmas window displays in Liberty, Selfridges, Harrods and Harvey Nichols as soon as the festive season arrives? I rarely step foot in Harrods, but for some reason, I love this place over the festive period – especially its Christmas shop! Liberty also becomes one my favourite stores during Christmas in London.

Christmas in London

credit: James Petts via Flickr

Being the best city for Christmas indulgence…

Why is it that during December, we can always come up with a reason to indulge in another night out, drink with a friend or glass of mulled wine at home – it’s Christmas of course! And while I may be a bit biased, in my opinion, there’s no better city to indulge! From amazing Christmas markets and Christmas pop-ups, to grottos, Christmas cocktails and festive takes on your favourite restaurant menus, Christmas is an exciting time for foodies in London.

Christmas in London

Real Christmas trees!

You just don’t get them outside of Europe! However, we are very impressed with the absolutely HUGE artificial pines we’ve been stumbling upon in South Africa.

Christmas in London
credit: Ruth Johnston

People not being their usual grumpy London selves

Londoners have a bit of a reputation for being a little, let’s say, on the cooler side. It’s survival of the fittest on Oxford Street, elbows are well-needed at rush hour on the tube and if you make eye contact in the street, people may well cross the road. At Christmas though, people smile at you more, they make more small talk and the ‘season of good will’ actually becomes a reality, don’t you think? That’s a reason for anyone to love Christmas in London if you ask me.

What do you love about Christmas in London? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Thanks to Flickr and Pexel - two very valuable tools when one is travelling and doesn't have access to her own stock photos. Highly recommend these sites - all photographers are credited beneath each image where possible.