Gloria Finds London's West End As Enchanting As Ever!
Returning to my beloved London, I was dismayed to find the weather damp, cold and generally miserable. However, the West End shopping district still had plenty to uplift my spirits and as always the festive spirit was palpable. Dazzling lights, Christmas decorations and beautiful shop front windows had yet again transformed the capital into a shopper’s wonderland.
My journey began in the iconic Regent Street which was aglow with a canopy of sparkling angels. Their wings stretched over the bustling streets and cast a warm glow over the faces of excited passersby. Then from Regent Street, I cut through Air Street and along Piccadilly to the charming Burlington Arcade, a Victorian-era shopping haven adorned with twinkling lights and festive wreaths. The arcade’s elegant architecture is timeless and away from the drizzling sky, it provided me with a charming, dry walkway from which to peer into its fascinating shops.
From there I was close to my mission and the true highlight of my festive exploration, the fabulous Fortnum & Mason. This renowned department store has for my money the most inventive and truly enchanting take on Christmas both inside and outside the store. Although it had been a few years since I had seen this unique store I am pleased to report that it didn’t disappoint. The façade transformed into a giant advent calendar, each window had been given its own number. Absolutely breathtaking when viewed from near or far. Whilst Inside, the glorious circular staircase, introduced 16 years ago (not long in the history of a store built in 1707) made a perfect setting for a lovely Christmas tree and bustling staff in their red frock coats.
Then continuing my exploration up to amazing jewellers and designers’ stores in Bond Street, I was struck by the sheer scale and variety of the Christmas lights adorning the shops and buildings. The blend of both traditional and contemporary lighting techniques gave a truly captivating spectacle. You’d have to be a bit of a Scrooge not to feel just the beginnings of a surge of Christmas spirit when walking through this area