Winter Wonderland

A couple of weeks ago, we went on a family outing to Winter Wonderland in London to celebrate Neil’s birthday.

20130121-123326.jpg

On arriving at London Victoria from Bristol, we went in search of a good coffee. There was the usual plethora of chain cafes but they were all crammed and we decided to wander further afield. Less than a 10 minute walk away from the station, we stumbled across the Nightingale, a café and tearoom at 39 Grosvenor Gardens.

20130121-123303.jpg

The café is located in an old pharmacy. I cannot express how gorgeous the building is and wish I’d taken more pictures. However, I didn’t want to disturb the other customers by getting too snap happy!

20130121-123309.jpg

As you can see, the old serving counter and display units have been retained. In my picture, you can just about see the side of the kitchen to the left, which is a small corner separated from the main café by frosted glass. Delightfully, the kitchen used to be the pharmacist’s consultancy room.

In keeping with the theme, the opposite wall contains a bank of apothecary drawers.

20130121-123315.jpg

I fell in love with the Nightingale and could have stayed all day. However, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park was calling!

20130121-123414.jpg

We started our day by browsing the vast array of German market stalls and food stands. You could buy everything from giant pretzels to hot smoked salmon!

20130121-123409.jpg   20130121-123344.jpg

We feasted on hot dogs, hot chocolates and mulled wine to keep us warm.

20130121-123338.jpg  20130121-123334.jpg

Of course, Winter Wonderland is all about the rides. As well as the usual modern attractions, they also had some beautiful old fashioned rides like the helter skelter and a carousel.

20130121-123440.jpg  20130121-123444.jpg

Not forgetting the ice rink!

20130121-123431.jpg

Being a big child, I went on lots of fun rides with my little brother Jacob. We went into a pirate world, which was similar to a ghost house with the added element of water! We also on some amazing German fun houses which were far superior to anything we usually get at the local fair!

20130121-123520.jpg

Jacob also had a go on a bucking reindeer!!

20130121-123448.jpg

The whole family went into the Magical Ice Kingdom, which was a land full of ice sculptures.

20130121-123456.jpg

It was absolutely gorgeous but ever so cold.

20130121-123511.jpg20130121-123527.jpg

I have never been more jealous of my sister’s Ugg boots, it felt like my toes were going to drop off!

20130121-123500.jpg20130121-123504.jpg

The Kingdom’s crowning glory was a giant ice castle complete with an ice slide, which of course they boys had to try out!

20130121-123508.jpg

After the ice kingdom, we need a warm drink and went in search of a mulled wine.  There were so many fun bars that you could visit, from the traditional style bars in the Bavarian village…

20130121-123452.jpg

… to my favourite, a carousel bar!

20130121-123515.jpg

The carousel’s horses had been turned into tables and the bar slowly rotated – brilliant!

There were a number of stage areas around Winter Wonderland where bands played in the evening.  Armed with mulled wine, we settled down to watch the Houndogs who were a brilliant rockabilly band comprised of three brothers. They were highly entertaining, setting symbols on fire and doing all sorts of tricks with their instruments! One minute the guitarist would be balanced on top of the drums and the next, he would be climbing the side of the bass! They had everyone singing and dancing and it was a great end to a wonderful day.

20130121-123427.jpg

Advertisements

One thought on “Winter Wonderland

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s