I was going to call this post ‘Christmas in London’, but I remembered that there were a couple of other pretty cool things I have done in London this term which I wanted to include….so ‘Autumn and Winter in London’ it is. This post will still heavily feature Christmas (of course).
Since moving to London and into halls at the end of September, I have found that London is the busiest city I have ever experienced, and there is always something new to do or try. In this post there are just a few of the new or unexpected things which I have found to do this term.
Halloween in London
In the week before Halloween, a girl on my basketball team was telling us about a display of pumpkins near where she lives in King’s Cross. Intrigued I googled it, and on the night of Halloween itself, dragged my friends (who were a little hesitant!) along to see it. They were very glad they came. The display consisted of hundreds of pumpkins carved by members of the public, lit up on the steps of Regents’ Canal.
Some of the designs were incredible. We stood there for about 20 mins just admiring the carving skills!
It was a great thing to see on Halloween, definitely something a bit different and unexpected to find only 10 mins from my hall. We walked back very inspired for our own pumpkin carving competition in hall that evening. Other highlights of our little trip included the incredibly cute costumes being worn by some kids at the pumpkin display, and the frozen custard stand which we stopped at on the way back.
Thanksgiving in London
Having made friends with an American general course student we convinced her to take me and another friend from my hall (who is from Malaysia) out for a truly international thanksgiving. I was so excited to celebrate thanksgiving with an American (and also to eat lots of amazing food!) We went to an American restaurant in Kensington called Honky Tonk which was serving a special thanksgiving menu. I had an amazing Turkey burger with roast potatoes and stuffing, followed by a chocolate brownie with ice-cream.
It was a lovely evening, and it was so lovely to celebrate an adopted tradition with my new friends. We even had the traditional thanksgiving overeating, as we collapsed in a heap on the bus back to halls!
Christmas in London
At the end of November, London is transformed into a twinkly and glittery Christmas paradise. The decorations in the squares and shopping streets of the capital make it a wonderful place to be in winter. I particularly like this outdoor Christmas tree, in More, on the southern bank of the river.
My sister came to visit one afternoon in early December, and I took her to Covent Garden to grab a coffee and cake. We walked around admiring the Christmas lights, until we found this amazing sleigh, made entirely of LEGO. According to the sign it took 30 days to build, which is amazing considering the size and attention to detail.
My halls committee did a fantastic job this Christmas of organising events for everyone to make the most of festive London. A highlight was ice skating. We went to Somerset House ice rink, which is one of the most beautiful I have seen, and offered an excellent student price to skate! It was amazing fun, and despite the wide range of abilities in our group (I was pretty hopeless at the start!) everyone had a great time together.
The last night of term brought the hall Christmas dinner. Thanks to the wonderful chefs, dinner was brilliant, and a lovely way to say goodbye to everyone before a long Christmas break.