Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I can’t believe that just last week we were in London! Time certainly has flown by!

Since this was only my second trip to London and it’s Christmas time, I wanted to make sure I saw some of the Christmas markets. Sadly, I only had time for one market as our flight from Warsaw first was delayed by 2 hours, then canceled and finally rescheduled for 5 hours later in the day. We finally arrived in London around 6 p.m. with just enough time to enjoy a fantastic dinner at NOPI Restaurant (from the creators behind the Jerusalem and Plenty cookbooks.)

One day while my husband was working, I strolled over to Hyde Park to explore the Christmas Market as part of the Winter Wonderland. I was envisioning rustic Christmas stalls filled with handmade goodies not a park full of glitzy carnival rides for children.
Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park in London. 
I finally found the Angel’s Market which is home to about 100 wooden stalls selling everything from Christmas decorations to homemade candies to leather wallets and Turkish lamps. (I seem to find a Turkish store wherever I go!) The market is open daily, except Christmas Day, through January 5.
The Winter Wonderland entrance near the Hyde Park Corner tube station.
And you can't leave a Christmas market without buying a Turkish lamp! 
Lots of food and drink options at least!
Of course, you'll find several stalls selling mulled wine and hot chocolate too!
You can avoid the carnival ride section by taking the London tube to the Hyde Park Corner exit and following the signs to Winter Wonderland. I discovered that little tidbit after I walked through everything. Oh well!

The market is a little over the top, and I didn’t find as many authentic-looking, handmade Christmas decorations as I had hoped. I did buy two wooden decorations made from Black Forest wood in Germany. Guess next year, we need to visit one of the real Christmas markets in Germany!

I concluded my market visit in London by eating a grilled German bratwurst and drinking a pint of Weiss beer. A Christmas market doesn’t get any more authentic that, right?
Mmm...grilled German brats!
Some tasty looking candies!
There's even an ice skating rink at Hyde Park.
And if you wander off to the side of the market, you'll find a pond with these white geese in Hyde Park.

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Julia said...

Well if you've been to London twice, you know it better than we do. Neither of us have been since we were 15! :) Christmas markets look good. :)

Joy said...

@Julia, well I've connected through Heathrow a dozen times and first visit was just 2011. London is a geeat city, but unfortunately, very, very expensive! !

Unknown said...

Apparently in Germany there is a movement against all the extra fair-type of entertainment - but I suppose these exist because the regular Christmas type stalls just don't bring in enough money. But lucky you! I have never been to a London Christmas market!!!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i would love to go to that market and eat some currywurst!

BacktoBodrum said...

You've spent more time in London that I have in the past couple of years. The last time I went Christmas shopping in the Capital, there was the wrong kind of snow on the line and I spent most of my time shivering on a station platform.

kasia said...

Hi I lived in London for quite few years and never could find hand made xmas decorations. Maybe outside of London countryside perhaps. Now i live in Turkey :) and I am originally from Poland haha. Hand made decorations you could probably find in Zakopane near the mountains . X

Alyson said...

Joy - next time check out the Christmas stalls at Southbank! Much more like a traditional Christmas market than Winter Wonderland, plus your right next to the Thames :)

Plus, you got to enjoy the unseasonably nice weather we seemed to be having in London last week. This week, back to the rain!

Ozlem's Turkish Table said...

How sorry I am to miss you in London :( next time we will be more organised, photos look great! We were in that market last year, very Christmassy: ) Wishing you a lovely Christmas and happy new year - mutlu yillar :) xxx Ozlem

Joy said...

@joyce, there definitely was currywurst!

@Annie, well the market was alright, but I cannot imagine shopping for too much in London because the city is sooo expensive!

Joy said...

@Kasia, how ironic! I just moved from Istanbul to Warsaw in April. Thanks for the Zakopane tip! We plan to visit Krakow next weekend!

@Alyson, Yes, very lucky with the weather - nearly 10C every day! Perfect! I should have looked you up. I forgot you were in London. Next time, hopefully! :-)

@Ozlem, I know. Sorry to miss you as well! Hope your kids did well in their school play! I'm sure hubby will have some more work in London in 2014 so hopefully we'll meet up then! xoxo

Unknown said...

I miss it,I miss it, I miss it!! London that is...My first home up west was just off Kensington High Street, by the tube station - Hyde Park was one of my Sunday places. Was a fabulous place to live in your twenties :-)

Sounds like you had a great day out!!

Joy said...

@Kym, I imagine you feel the same way about London as I do about NYC! Both cities also seem to share high costs in common too, but London definitely wins in that category. Fun to visit though! :-)

kasia said...

Hahah it is very ironical . Joy if u didn't you have to try cheese from zakopane or mountain villages called OSCYPEK ;). Have a good Christmas. I live in Bandırma but family from istanbul is coming next weekend :)

Joy said...

@Kasia, We haven't been to Zakopane yet, but I'll see if I can find that cheese anywhere in Warsaw. Hope you enjoy the holidays with your family in Turkey! Looks like you have some warmer weather there than here. I'm jealous! ;-)

William said...

Exploring winter in Europe is incredibly romantic; the beautiful cities and majestic architecture are truly inspiring in the season of good will. Taking a river cruise in winter is ideal for celebrating the festive period and here are just a few of the cruise options you have during that time.