London Xmas – Shopping Plans 2

If you are unaccompanied or on a business trip and can’t get home for Christmas or are a family who doesn’t know anyone in town, then here are some suggestions for making your Christmas in London count more as quality time.

If you are in a hotel which has concierge service, then make good use of their expertise, and mention that you will be “alone” for Xmas. They may have some local suggestions which are already in place.

Certainly, if yours is a huge, downtown hotel (as mine was, the first time this happened to me), you will still have access to most of what you need for Xmas Day in London. You must make dining reservations for Christmas, and if they are outside the hotel (not necessarily a good idea on Xmas Day, unless you are prepared to walk), ask about the status and number of taxis likely working that day. The concierge should know which good restaurants will be open and can spend time finding you a reservation, but you will likely have “guest priority” in your own hotel, so it may be the best bet, at this late hour.

I was just invited out to dinner last night, and I was pleasantly surprised that the large rooms of the well-regarded chain restaurant we dined at were only decorated with discrete poinsettias for the Season. Thankfully, I think Americans are becoming more aware and respectful of the fact that most of the world does NOT celebrate Christmas.

But, if you want some decorative Christmas “cheer” in your own hotel room, you can decide the degree of sophistication. I am sure the concierge has info about that, but my suggestion is very simple. Ask them (or go yourself) to get the art supplies for this project. It will carry well and lightly, wherever you go. Making a Xmas Tree. Or, see the best place to buy a small tree. London – Live Xmas trees for Charity.

While the stores are still open, if you want to be able to see and hear your family at home, consider shopping “jointly” with them today to buy the SAME webcam unit. Then spend time reading the instructions (sooner than later), so you can “connect” anytime during your trip. Make sure each of you understand how to set this up before you leave the computer store (if you have lap-tops, take them with you — maybe someone there will help you install it).

Also, while you have the chance, get some traditional English foods (or make them, if you are in a residential B&B or apartment). This is where traditional British Food really shines, so ask your concierge where you might sample the cuisine in a nearby restaurant. Items to buy from Fortnum & Mason’s Food Hall or Harrod’s Food Hall or nearby markets are things like great English cheeses, mead, plum pudding or figgy pudding among other things you might see offered.

While you are shopping, consider a good book. There are Waterstones Books in several locations (there’s a big one on Oxford Street) and of course, there are the fabulous used and rare book stores of Charing Cross Road. Being curled up with a good book means you are never alone!

Above all, if you are by yourself, make the time count. Hopefully, we’ve helped.

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©2009 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

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