Christmas is a magical (if somewhat manic) time of the year in London, and if you’re heading to the city for shopping or visiting family & friends, here’s a guide for you. With the launch of our Luxury Winter collection, we took the outfits for a road test: spending a day treating ourselves (it’s nearly Christmas after all!) to our favourite bits of ‘posh London’. Belt up your Cycling Trenchcoat (or Mac), throw on a Silk Scarf and pedal into town for a very luxurious Vulpine day out in London.
Start the day in South Kensington, the poshest of all of posh London. We love Fernandez & Wells‘ delicious breakfast – the various egg options are cracking (heheh) and there’s also tasty pastries, cakes (it’s never too early) and the coffee’s good too. The Orangery and the cafe in Kensington Palace are also lovely options – we headed to the cafe for pastries, cake and coffee (& hot chocolate!). Start the day early and head for the one of the museums before the crowds get there if that’s your kind of thing – or check out the Natural History Museum’s ice rink which is open now until the 8th Jan. There cannot be many things more festive than open air skating in the city around a huge Christmas tree – it will coax even the stubbornest scrooge into feeling the Christmas spirit, we’re sure.
One of the best ways to get about a city is using the city bike hire scheme – it gives you ultimate flexibility for exploring. So, grab a Boris Bike and ride up from South Ken to the Albert Memorial, where you can join the cycle path that crosses exhibition road, and then will take you along the southern edge of Hyde Park. There are several cycle routes through the park, so go for a wiggle around the Serpentine, or follow the perimeter path around when you get to Hyde Park Corner, and carry on pedalling until you get to the northwest corner of the park. Yes, it’s touristy, but it is also beautiful and green, and you can enjoy the city at a less frenetic pace. Watch the pedalo-ers, grab another coffee at one of the Serpentine cafes, or check out some art at the Serpentine galleries.
Once you have explored the park, head for the northwest corner and cross Park Lane on the bike crossing at the top of Upper Brook Street. Follow this road until it pops you out right onto Regents Street, and then dive into Soho via Great Marlborough Street. You’re spoilt for choice for food here – we’re fans of Antidote, Tapas Brindisa, and Dehesa – but on this occasion we decided to try somewhere a little different and plumped for Duck & Rice on Berwick street. Opened last year, it’s an intriguing combination of a Chinese restaurant & gastropub. Once an incredibly ugly building, the conversion has left the restaurant with a stunning geometric glass facade and a cosily glam interior featuring blue & white ceramic tiled walls, copper beer vats in the entrance, brass details and a spiral staircase to the upper restaurant level. Lovely.
After a bit of a wait for our table (which we’ll forgive them for because lunchtime in Soho is crazy and everything else was so good), we were taken upstairs & made a selection of items from the weekend dim sum brunch menu – with an accompaniment of prosecco, of course. Spring rolls, crispy shredded beef with orange, prawn toast, dumplings and the duck and rice. All delicious, light, and some of the best versions of each dish we’ve tried. The gorgeous interiors, flowing prosecco and buzzing atmosphere topped it off.
Once you’ve eaten your fill of dim sum, tapas, or whatever other tasting offering takes your fancy, head back towards Great Marlborough Street. On the way, take in the charming boutiques on the side streets of Carnaby Street, and marvel at Carnaby’s always garish, bright, & OTT Christmas lights (last year featuring several pairs of oversized purple and silver glitter headphones…), before you head into historic department store Liberty for some posh present shopping (or window shopping!). On the top floor their Christmas grotto is in full swing, bursting at the seams with every kind of Christmas decoration you never realised that you needed.
Fortnum & Mason is another department store icon that must be visited at Christmas time – if only to just marvel at the world famous window display. Grab another Boris bike, load on your iconic purple shopping bags, and ride there down the side streets to the west of Regent’s Street to Piccadilly. Shopped out? For a final dose of extravagant luxury, we then wandered up Piccadilly to The Wolseley for cocktails and art deco glamour. Tucked into a cosy little room with our custom created cocktails, we marvelled at the joy of being able to walk into glam places like the Wolseley in cycling kit, looking totally IN place. Cheers to that!