Holiday, Living with Style, Seasonal, Travel Notes


A Taste of London at Christmas

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Of course I know Newport at Christmas, and New York, for sure, but I’m not as familiar with London — so off I went, right after Thanksgiving had been celebrated, the turkey soup made and with my Christmas gift list in hand.

London was, in a word, glorious, starting with the food halls of Harrod’s (wouldn’t it be a hoot to walk through with an unlimited gift card in one hand and a picnic hamper in the other, filling it with all their intriguing and innumerable culinary delights)?

From the elegant hotels, their lobbies bedecked with visual extravaganzas,

to the Evensong service at St. Paul’s Cathedral to the stalls at Portobello Market in Notting Hill, we caught London in its most festive mood. Here’s a sampling to share. How appropriate that this post is going out on a most English of holidays, Boxing Day.

The diversity of restaurant options is one of the most memorable of London’s assets, and they do love to drsss them up imaginatively (as here at 34 Mayfair).

Not to be outdone, one of the city’s more buzzy private clubs makes a four story statement for all to see.

And we were fascinated at the mildness of the December weather…dining outside?

But one of our most memorable spots we chanced upon by accident, Ottolenghi…tiny but a foodie’s treasure anytime of the day!

This great metropolis seems to have a particular interest in raising its decorations to new heights.

Shopping…no surprise…was high on our list, whether indoors (the Burlington Arcade)…

Or outside, with windows that drew you in.

Of course I couldn’t resist the oh!, so clever Louboutin full window dressed as the “Loubi Express.”

While Chanel added a festive seasonal note to one of London’s beloved black cabs (I even had a long discussion with a driver who gave me his self-published book, “Black Cab Wisdom”).

Hope you had a delicious and joy-filled holiday.

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Bettie Bearden Pardee

About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

8 thoughts on “A Taste of London at Christmas

  1. I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I was to see this post. I have always wanted to go to England but a chronic pain illness has prevented me from making that work. Your pictures and choice of places is spot in.
    Thank you Bettie and a Happy Christmas to you!

    1. Oh Marianne, your kind words make my Blog “all nighters” worthwhile! Stay tuned next Thursday for another London post.
      I’ll keep you in mind as I’m writing it and hope that some day soon you may make it to England…it is so glorious.
      Happy New Year to you, xB

    1. Hello fellow gardener lover, thank you for keeping up with Private Newport. I, in turn, admire your posts, too!
      Keep up your travels…what would we do without them? Here’s wishing you many more in the New Year. xB

    1. Happy Boxing Day, and thank you for those kind words; be on the lookout next Thursday for another London post! xB

  2. Well, just move over Mick Hales and Miguel Flores- here comes BBPardee clicking away with some truly amazing products floating from that camera of hers. Bettie, your photos are magnificent!
    Why, I feel as though I was right there with you!🎄

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