Happy New Year! I just returned this past Monday from a family vacation to London for Christmas and Paris for New Years. This trip has been on my bucket list. I will be breaking up the trip into two posts based on the cities telling you about the trip details and my recommendation for each.
We started our family trip flying into London. I have always wanted to see London at Christmas time as the city decks out the streets with Christmas lights and goes all out for the holidays.
After taking a quick nap and freshening up from the flight we set out to see all of London’s major attractions. We landed on Christmas morning, so the tours offered were limited. This was my families first time to London so it was important that we hit all the major sights.
We decided to book the Big Bus hop on hop off tour. This was not only affordable but it allowed us to see the city attractions at our leisure. The best part is your tickets are good for 24 hrs and the tour comes with a free boat cruise down the Thames river. We took advantage of the tickets and got full use out of them touring the city for two days. We were able to see all the major sights such as Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, the London Eye, Big Ben as well as exploring the neighborhoods of London. Unfortunately, we did not have any Royal family sightings!
Our third day we spent the day seeing the final sights followed by a traditional high tea. My sister is a huge Harry Potter fan so we woke up and immediately went to Kings Cross station to visit the 9 3/4 platform to Hogwarts. There is also a Harry Potter shop that sells all the gear from wands, scarfs to sweaters. I have to admit it was a fun experience and we had our photos taken as well.
After leaving the train station we had hoped to tour the British Museum, however, the line was down the block and around the corner. I recommend you get here early!
I’ve always wanted to attend a traditional high tea and this wish was finally fulfilled at one of London’s finest hotels, the Lanesborough. We noshed on tea sandwiches, sweet treats while listening to the piano. I must admit I had the best jasmine tea EVER!
One of my favorite hotels to stop into for a drink each time I’m in London is Claridges. This hotel has a unique Christmas trees as it is hanging upside down.
Lastly, a trip to London is not complete for me without stopping in for dinner at the famous Mr.Chow, Chinese fine dining.
The view of Big Ben from our hotel Park Plaza Westminster Bridge