Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Christmas at the London Ritz

From The Telegraph:
This was my five-year-old son’s overriding impression of London at Christmas, seen from a taxi, a crowded pavement, a rooftop hotel suite – even King’s Cross station. An awe-inspired, open-mouthed impression of unadulterated wonder, and salient reminder to self that there is more to a city Christmas than a busy commute, longer-than-usual queues and an overload of piped Christmas music.

So hear ye, countryphiles and city phobes: from the mulled wine-scented markets of Leeds, Bath and Nottingham, to the shimmering ice rinks of Edinburgh and Bristol, it can be easy to forget that the UK has a good track record of city Christmases. Never mind the serene calm of your garden centre wonderlands and your home-made wreath workshops, what you really want, whether you’re pushing eight or 80, is the festive hustle and bustle, the “look-up-now!” lights, the window displays, the chestnuts roasting on a street vendor’s fire, and the in-store Father Christmas grottos of one of our fine festive cities. Which is why I decided to pluck my entire family from our countryside idyll into London ON A WEEKEND.

And I can report that city Christmases from the eyes of the children are indeed spellbinding. A recurring theme, when your base for this festive overload is one of its most iconic buildings: The Ritz. Yes, the place where 500 mince pies are baked fresh every day, that serves 60 turkeys at The Ritz Restaurant and makes 5,000 finger sandwiches a day throughout the festive season, is (not surprisingly) known for its charmingly traditional, but nevertheless super-sized Christmas. And this year, we were there to witness its transformation from iconic Louis XVI splendour to, well, festive Louis XVI splendour. (Read more.)


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