The good thing is that Christmas lights are on display from 4:30 in the afternoon.
Last weekend, we decided it was time to brave the holiday shopping madness up in central London. We didn't have much of a plan other than knowing we wanted to test out a new "Mexican" restaurant and get to this place in Hyde Park called the "Winter Wonderland." We didn't know much about either - just that the restaurant was cheap and the wonderland had an ice ring.
Wahaca is apparently owned and operated by a woman that won Masterchef on the BBC. Their blog is here (their website is some crappy Flash animation business that's not worth your time...in fact the blog may not be either). I was tired and hungry by the time we got into the city (early Saturday morning disc golf usually leaves me getting home at 1pm, ready for lunch asap - this was out of the ordinary and I'm a creature of habit). I
But we were seated on time, and it wasn't long before some food started making its way to our table. Turns out I was just being a bratty, hungry, hypoglycemic little complainer. As soon as I started to eat, everything changed.
The menu has about three different categories of dishes - what we would call appetizers and mains are on there, but there's a middle group as well - something between appetizers and mains. The suggest ordering 2-3 dishes from the middle ground per person. We took them at their word. The dishes came out as they were ready, so there was a steady stream of food coming to our table...
|bottom to top: pork tacos (with onion and cilantro and some hot sauce), beans, guac, and kenz's Mexican fondue dish (which had cactus in it)|
|Tostadas: beans, corn, crema, feta, lettuce|
|My quesadilla: chorizo and potato|
|Salted caramel ice cream with a bit of chocolate, cappuccino with a spicy dark chocolate square|
For the next two hours, we strolled through the crowded streets shopping for some affordable Christmas gifts. I've never seen so many people roaming the streets in the dark. Everyone was out doing the same thing we were doing and it wasn't that bad, either. We didn't have anywhere we were in a rush to get to - just strolling along, going into whatever store seemed inviting. That's the best way to shop for gifts, in my opinion.
As it turns out, the big shopping street in London - Oxford Street - was shut down for pedestrians:
|This went on for almost a mile|
|Lots of the stores go all out for Xmas decorations|
|Like these guys on the left. The star above me is one of 50 in the middle of the street.|
|These pictures won't do the enormity of the "Wonderland" justice.|
|Imagine the state fair, only without livestock but with a holiday theme...|
|We rode that. It went upside down and spun. I was terrified.|
|Kenz: "Santa looks like he's farting."|
|behind some pub|
|Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Literally.|
|Kenz getting festive with some mulled wine.|
|This was the carousel pub. The bar was in the middle and it was spinning. You get the idea.|
|We finally made it to the ice rink.|
|No, we didn't skate. But it was fun to look at.|
|The Winter Wonderland Market, where you can get all your holiday themed knick knacks in one spot.|
|My favorite of the marketplace stalls - the German meat and cheese makers. I'm not sure they spoke English.|
|Stop looking at me, Swan!|
|They're the Queen's, right?|
|One happy swan watcher. She made that scarf, BTW.|
I assume that those who read this blog care about the London stuff, so I'm not planning on posting while we're in America. We will be back to London on January 9th. Lemme know if you care one way or the other - if I get enough emails telling me/us to update while we're in America, I/we may do so. Whatevs.
Much love to you and your family these next few weeks! Enjoy the company and the giving!
P.S. I figured I'd upload a few pictures of disc golf just because...
|The regular Saturday morning crew...|
|Trying to warm my hands. That's Sam, my Hyzer Cup partner.|
|Just some dudes throwin' plastic.|
And, for those of you who made it THIS far, I give you yet another treat:
Kenz made another pumpkin pie last weekend. It lasted three days, and she said she was pacing herself. I love it. Hilarious. She ate it for breakfast each morning...