[All images via Pinterest]
When the nights get darker, the days get chillier and the Christmas countdown kicks in, London truly starts to feel magical. This is my second Christmas in the city and while I will head home to the Suffolk countryside for Christmas itself, I love getting to be a part of the city countdown.
Waking up in the morning on a crisp, cold Saturday, there is nothing I love more than putting on some layers and heading out for a wander. Coming back to bed for brunch is a bonus of course but there's so much to do at this time of year and its so much fun to explore.
I keep turning corners and they'll be a Christmas market, or people selling trees on the side of the road, wreaths adorning the pavement. Every central pocket of the city has a stand selling toasted nuts and mulled wine and the smells catch you long before you spot the seller.
Sparkly decorations, copious amounts of lights and festive windows, front doors and house facades can be noted on every street. As we know, a little glitter makes everything better.
Shops are burning sandalwood and vanilla, cinnamon and pine and the contrast of crisp winer air outside, and winter candles inside is sublime, and truly one of my favourites.
When you wander to Southbank you're struck by the German market treats and excited tourists. At any other time of year it frustrates me but at Christmas its different; other peoples happiness is infectious as long as you're away from the crazy shoppers. Its a nice environment to spend time in and the cider lodge that has popped up on the river only serves to add to the atmosphere.
And then you get to come home again, or stop at a pub along the way, with chilly fingers, having to peel off the layers, before quickly putting on thick socks and another cosy jumper while the house warms up. You light some candles of your own and snuggle up.
My countdown always includes includes the same things. A day of wrapping filled with ribbons, a good glass of wine and lots of the aforementioned glitter. Time with friends and time to chill out a little, chat, catch up and make plans for the new year. Some good food, warming winter recipes and indulgent desserts. Shopping for my favourite people and spending days picking out the right presents. A christmas soundtrack whilst hosting and an afternoon to watch my favourite Christmas films. Dark winter nails, and a new cable knit jumper, always paired with over the knee boots and an oversized scarf, or some faux fur. A new candle, and a crisp winter walk.
And knowing, that after the days of fitting in everyone I want to see, place I want to visit, and presents I want to buy, I can head home to the countryside for a few days of total relaxation. Here's to the festive season in the city.
11 sleeps until Christmas!