Festive Favourites 2015

It’s that most wonderful time of the year… Christmas lights are twinkling; mulled wine, cider & cocoa are the order of the day; Crosstown has introduced mince pie doughnuts; ice rinks are popping up all over the city from Hyde Park to Tower Bridge; and of course, Winter Wonderland is back – bigger and grander than ever before!

Yes, this is definitely my most favourite time of the year in London and as you can tell from my Instagram feed, I’ve been quite enthusiastic about getting into the festive spirit of things this past week… Here’s what I’ve been up to and what I’m hoping to do before I soon head off to Bombay for the holidays.

So while Oxford Street’s Christmas Lights might have been switched on a couple of weeks ago, for me – it’s always the neighbourhood Mount Street Christmas Lights party that spells the start of the festive season.

This year was an especially extravagant affair with a crêpes stand courtesy Christian Louboutin, hot chocolate from Mount Street Deli, mulled wine & apple cider from the Connaught, mince pies and copious amounts of champagne making their rounds at various retailers, and an organ grinder outside Roksanda to really get the party going…




In keeping up with other annual traditions, I also made my way to Winter Wonderland with my college mates on its opening weekend.

But first, we indulged in a tipple or two at home – breaking out the classic Negroni set that I had won earlier this month from Craved, the fine curators of craft British food & drinks. We loved the bittersweet, fruity flavours of the cocktails, made by mixing the botanical gin with a Hibiscus Cordial and Amaro London bitters!


It was then on to WW, which has returned in all its glory to Hyde Park, complete with an ice-skating rink, ice kingdom, Bavarian village and a cosy retreat in the form of Mr. Fogg’s winter pop-up.


Dear Phileas is always such a gracious and charming host, whether at his Mayfair residence or his recently opened Victorian tavern & gin parlour in Covent Garden – so I’m keen to plan a dedicated visit back for both his Victorian-style afternoon tea (with a delicious boozy twist) as well as the cocktail making master-classes held by his team of experienced mixologists!

The main highlights at WW for me, also include the gorgeous poffertjes – fluffy little Dutch pancakes smothered with powdered sugar and lashings of Nutella… it’s definitely worth a visit just for these.

Winter Wonderland poffertjes.jpg

On the subject of winter pop-ups, Fortnum’s Lodge is also back at Somerset House – perfect for a spot of aprés-skate. The fam and I enjoyed a snug Sunday afternoon ensconced in the warm interiors, as we tucked into Fortnum classics – Welsh Rarebit, sticky toffee pudding and of course, hot chocolate with salted caramel marshmallows joyously dunked in…



And of course, there’s the Forest Restaurant & Bar at Selfridges – a fast favourite for its wintry cocktails (read: boozy pumpkin-spiced flat white martinis) and foraged foods, best enjoyed from the comfort of the terrace if you’re lucky to snag a spot in the warm cabin bar outside.


Other memorable #ChristmasisComing moments include mince pie doughnuts for breakfast at Selfridges’ Brass Rail restaurant and test-driving seasonal specials with a Thai twist at Busaba Eathai



Even the Kitchen Inspiration series on the blog is getting festive – do watch this space, as we reveal Truc Vert‘s luscious recipe for a sticky cranberry pudding…

There’s still a lot on my merry list of things to do of course, including a visit to St Moritz Ski Bar at the Goring and the Narnia-themed Churchill Bar and Terrace

And while an outdoors cinema seems a bit overly-keen in this chill, the luxury arctic cinematic series on the rooftop of Harvey Nicks London in collaboration with Canada Goose parkas, definitely seems worth braving the cold for!

So what about you guys? Are you feeling festive yet and how are you celebrating the season? Do spill, in the comments below!

This feature is part of the monthly travel link-up. To share your festive favourites, all you have to do is head over to Kelly‘s, Rebecca’sEmma’s, or guest host Ayla’s blog at Mrs Ayla’s Adventures, to link up your post on a festive season theme before the 7th December.

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    1. The Foodie Diaries

      Aah Andrea, you’re going to be MILES ahead of us all by the weekend – the Cologne Christmas markets will be just heavenly I’m sure… and we really must make sure to go somewhere festive for our drinks next week 🙂 xxx

    1. The Foodie Diaries

      London is simply beautiful this time of year… as is Switzerland! I see from your blog that you are based there? My family is very attached to the country, and we visit Interlaken (amongst other places) whenever we can. Some of my fondest Christmas memories actually stem from there 🙂 xx

      1. Noemí

        Aw, I’m so glad to hear that! I used to go to school in Interlaken! Next time you’re in the area let me know so I can take you out for cake! 🙂

  1. Erin

    Great post! I want to try it all! I always enjoyed the Christmas market on Marylebone High Street. Very festive and lovely with the twinkling lights, mince pies and mulled wine.

  2. Ayla

    Oh look at all that festive food! And Christmas is the perfect excuse to indulge 🙂 I will definitely be heading to Mr Fogg’s at Winter Wonderland and those Dutch pancakes are just drool worthy!

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