Christmas vibes in London
‘What? Christmas?’ – I know. I’m shamefully late with this blog post but this trip to London was quite unexpected as well. Beginning of December and one week before heading of to New Zealand, I was there for work, so why not make a trip out of it? It was my first time in London in December, so Christmas was all over the place. Lovely! And if there’s one thing you want to look back to in winter, it’s Christmas vibes in London right?
First business trip
Exciting, my very first business trip! And London must be the coolest place to go to for work, right? We arrived on Wednesday night, November 30 and stayed in The Alexander Pope Hotel in Twickenham for two nights. This lovely hotel with pub has views on the Thames and Radnor Gardens. Upon arrival, the fireplace was lit and we drank a red wine to close the day. The room was pretty fancy as well and I slept as a baby!
The next two days we visited the Artexis Easyfairs offices in Twickenham, west of London and close to Richmond Park. I met up with colleagues from all over Europe and talked digital marketing for two days. Real fun!
Time went by really fast and before I even knew it, it was Friday night: weekend!
Staying the weekend in London
So, a quite unexpected but nice extra trip before I left for New Zealand. After saying goodbye to my colleagues, I went straight to the city center. It was the first time I saw London doused in Christmas lights. And it was lovely. First stop: Somerset House.
Highlight 1: Somerset House ice skating
This 18th century arts centre is home to one of the biggest creative communities in London and hosts exhibitions, events, tours, films,… almost constantly. Besides that, it is just a nice place to visit because of the big courtyard and architecture.
If you’re looking for Christmas vibes in London ànd a place to skate from mid-November to mid-January, this is the place to be. On Somerset’s website I found this cool video that gives you an idea of the nice atmosphere.
Highlight 2: Design Museum London
Another highlight was our visit to the brand new Design Museum in Kensington, that opened in November last year. The former 1960’s building is transformed into a contemporary, state-of-the-art museum that breaths space and natural light. Design Museum collaborated with OMA, John Pawson and Allies and Morrison for the overall master plan, interior and exterior. And the result is impressive: this building begs you to get out your camera and take a photo of its every angle.
We went to see the permanent display ‘Designer Maker User’. The exhibition starts with a big, yellow, hexagon patterned wall that shows you all the milestones in design. After that, it walks you through almost 1000 design items of the twentieth and twenty-first century, as seen from the point of view of the designer, the maker and the user. Obviously 😉
Anyways, definitely worth a visit! Take your time to visit their museum shop as well and if you have some spare time, enjoy a walk in their garden: the Kyoto Garden.
Highlight 3: Clerkenwell Grind
Grind opened a new branch in Old Street in November last year. I followed the preparations and opening of Clerkenwell Grind and it looked promising, so I had to go and visit it. The building is a restored Grade II heritage-listed warehouse (particularly important buildings of more than special interest, determined by Historic England) from the 1870’s. Clerkenwell Grind is the chain’s eight venture.
Grind collaborated with Biasol for the interior and I fell head over heels in love with it: navy blue, chevron patterned walls, dusky pink velvet chairs and marble-topped tables. Neon artwork and an intimate, retro bar downstairs in the same delicate but feminine style. Another distinctive identity for the brand and definitely the kind of bar and restaurant I would visit with some friends for a night out.
And although the chain is known for their coffee, Clerkenwell Grind is also a restaurant. The food was delicious! I had some cod croquettes as a starter, followed by a cheeseburger served with sweet potato fries and truffle mayo. Talking about a sinful lunch 😮
Oh London, you never disappoint.