‘Christmas Time, Mistletoe and Wine …’
And oh dear, all intentions are lost, but not entirely lost. There is a perfectly positive reason for the lapse in the new, weekly story. And that is the point, it’s ok to sometimes not be on target. The truth is, I have been lost in the very Christmassy life around me – absolutely, stunningly beautiful London at Christmas. Officially feeling ‘Christmassy’.
The past two weeks rolled into one with me working everyday of the week. Either at Coutours or St. Clements. I am blessed to have diverse and engaging occupations, meeting new people, ideal ‘office’ environment and the best co-workers one could ask for. My barista skills are coming on and my knowledge of Christmas icons hidden in London has grown. Let me not reveal all, but if you do wonder by, head down, down Piccadilly – look up at the marvellous Advent Calendar that are the windows of #fortnum and mason. The Art that is Window Shopping has me at thinking, it’s going to be difficult not to gush and repeat the word ‘wow’, over and over and over again. Each detail, minute detail, designed and executed to present a scene of ‘wow.’! The story of the Christmas windows at Fortnum and Mason is a great read.
Another highlight of the Festive season was attending an evening with Madame Genever and Gent. The occasion ‘Ghosts and Spirits’, the venue – 38th Floor of the Gherkin Building. The experience, priceless. I have never been up the Gherkin building, though she has been a landmark in London for many years (and the location for many films). The view of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, that high up, at night, is etched forever. Emma and Will entertained us with stories of Gin, ghost stories, stories of eerie co-incidence and how to make a Dark and Stormy. Only with Black Seal Rum of course. Thank Goodness the night was perhaps dark, but not stormy being up so high in the sky.
Not only did I finally get to go up the Gherkin, conquer my fear of heights – very creepy – as one walks all around the pinnacle, but had the proper canapés and gin experience with the wise and witty Emma and Will. Great idea for corporate and special events.
Leaves have fallen now, a few really fisherman’s coat coloured yellow one’s still clutching to feint branches, so natural has been replaced with oceans of fake for Christmas. It’s all lights, candy stripes and metallics now. Not being an online shopper (the amount of plastic wrapping is heinous), I prefer every little nook and cranny, alley way and big Department store to do my shopping. Been holding out with the ‘it’s not cold’ but brrrr, it is starting to bite now. Yesterday, my lovely guests on our Icons of London; Christmas Special, were being extra brave outdoors – it is so worth it when the lights really begin to perform, but I think the Hot Mulled Wine (or Bishop) was most welcome in The Clarence, on Dover Street.
The gorgeous staircase at Fortnum and Mason.
It’s all about finding the time, now that the year is running at a pace towards the Great 2020. Office parties galore, lists of presents, and that not so good for you but must have party food – just because it’s all in miniature. Why do I succumb to these little pastries, the silly crackers, the party hats – because we celebrate our families, spoil our children (and George) and also, ourselves in return. It is the festive season, it is the spiritual season.
It is the coming together in peace and goodwill. The story of the Mistletoe originated as a Pagan custom, where warring opposites, finding themselves beneath Mistletoe in the woods, would lay down their arms until the next day. From there, the idea of hanging mistletoe, and should on find oneself beneath it, a kiss could mean friendship, true love and perhaps, the one to marry.
A good sign. A good sign. One more week to go.
Image: Fortnum and Mason