Our first night in London, it snowed. There were still snowy patches lingering at Victoria Embankment Gardens. After dusting off our Krispy Kremes, we stumbled upon Covent Garden.
A shopping and entertainment hub in London’s West End, Covent Garden [is] home to fashion stores, craft stalls at the Apple Market, and the Royal Opera House. Street entertainers perform by 17th-century St. Paul’s Church, and the London Transport Museum houses vintage vehicles.
We wandered through the square, fully decked out for the holidays. In the middle was a giant Christmas tree, powdered gently by fake snow.
Spotting the gates to St. Paul’s church, we slipped into the garden. A snowball fight commenced. A mysterious Youtuber captured the fight and silently walked away. (If anyone sees a video of that, pls forward.) Later, I asked le beau to take a video of me hurtling a final shot by the Christmas tree, where, to a very public audience, the snowball landed you-know-where. Suffice to say, I think I won the snowball fight. -insert winky face-
At the markets, we tried on vintage hats and sipped tea samples. The chai and mulled wine were excellent. There were treehouse-style stores, a chocolate statue of the Big Ben, and antique flea markets.
We were treated to several street performances. Unbeknownst to us, England is a hub for the theatre arts. This became abundantly clear when Sebastian the street performer began juggling three axes, on-fire, while riding a unicycle in the Square. Then, before exiting Covent Garden, a man burst out into opera. His voice was deep and resonant – the tenor reminiscent of 1700’s opera.
For lunch, we grabbed Nando’s, a popularly memefied chain, although we couldn’t understand why – the chicken was great. (I s’pose that’s the joke.)
In the evening, we submerged ourselves in London’s Christmas culture, a complex network of Santa’s beaming face, pine trees, shopping, fairy lights, hot cocoa, ornaments, Nutcrackers, reindeer hats, mittens, mulled wine, gingerbread houses, and, of course, Mariah Carey blasting on the speakers. The lights were endles, the Christmas spirit infectious.
We walked through Leicester Street Christmas Market, Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, Liberty London, Oxford Street, all of which dazzled in holiday spirit. Like two strands of DNA, London and Christmas had wound themselves so tightly, I couldn’t imagine one without the other.