A couple of weeks ago, we went on a family outing to Winter Wonderland in London to celebrate Neil’s birthday.
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.
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!
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.
I fell in love with the Nightingale and could have stayed all day. However, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park was calling!
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!
We feasted on hot dogs, hot chocolates and mulled wine to keep us warm.
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.
Not forgetting the ice rink!
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!
Jacob also had a go on a bucking reindeer!!
The whole family went into the Magical Ice Kingdom, which was a land full of ice sculptures.
It was absolutely gorgeous but ever so cold.
I have never been more jealous of my sister’s Ugg boots, it felt like my toes were going to drop off!
The Kingdom’s crowning glory was a giant ice castle complete with an ice slide, which of course they boys had to try out!
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…
… to my favourite, a carousel bar!
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.