So as I mentioned in my latest The Weekend post I spent last Saturday exploring a side of London that I had pretty much no clue about on a Christmas Shopping tour of the city arranged by Joes Bloggers. Thanks to the good guys at Curry’s we were all gifted a wearable piece of Smart Tech to help us see just how many calories Christmas shopping burns! Any excuse for an extra chocolate or two at this time of year eh? ;)
Christmas Shopping in London is one of the most stressful things a person can endure and with Christmas only one week away I thought I’d share with you some of the hidden gems we were taken to on thanks to Best Ldn Walks where you can get some very special gifts for your loved ones without having to resort to high street stores or supermarkets!
After synching our devices and splitting into two groups we set out from Green Park to get some nibbles at the Queen’s favourite chocolate shop Charbonelle et Walker. The original shop opened at 173 New Bond Street in Mayfair and has remained in Bond Street ever since. It is housed in one of London’s most elegant arcades, the Royal Arcade on Old Bond Street. Apparently the queen and I share something in common, our favourite chocolate is a violet creme!
Next it was off to somewhere that is literally my idea of heaven; the oldest book store in London! Hatchard’s is five floors full of every kind of books imaginable. Although sadly it has gone through a full refurbishment and doesn’t seem quite as old as it actually is which is a shame.
We then took a peek inside Churchill’s cigar haunt; James J Fox. The only establishment in the UK to get around the smoking ban by claiming that their lounge was for patrons wishing to taste the cigars before buying them! I really wasn’t keen on the overpowering smell in here so I didn’t stay too long.
We stopped off for a short break (and some mulled wine) before heading to our next stop Berry bros. & Rudd where we tried some Kings Ginger that would put hairs on your chest. The flooring in here is still the original and thus completely wonky. It wouldn’t take much liquor to make you feel a bit tipsy in there!
We tried on fancy (but wildly expensive) hats in Lock and Co Hatters before heading to Germyn Street where our final two stops awaited us. On the way we bumped into many, many, many people dressed as Santa for the annual Santacon – and one very cheerful guy Hanukkah man! We unanimously decided that there needs to be a blogger contingent at Santacon next year so watch this space.
Floris supplied some of the most famous people with their signature scents including the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Ian Flemming and Winston Churchill. Some were more delightful than others with Marilyn’s surprisingly smelling a little bit like lemon disinfectant!
Our final stop was Paxton and Whitfield – which along with Hatchard’s is tied for first place as my favourite. If you’re not a fan of cheese do not even go near this shop as it whiffs considerably but that was just the smell of deliciousness in my opinion! It was super busy with people picking up their cheeses for the Christmas cheeseboard (one of my favourite parts of Christmas lunch!).
The walk was a lot of fun, you should all know by now that I LOVE a walking tour – in fact I have a post about another coming up for you very soon! – and I was pleased to see I walked a total of 4917 steps in the few hours we were wandering almost half of the recommended daily amount for general good health. Curry’s have produced a great infographic about the number of calories in different parts of your Christmas dinner and how you can burn it off here.
I’ve been wearing my VivoFit pretty much religiously since I was gifted it (part of the reason it’s taken me so long to put up this post was the fact I wanted to give it a proper test run!) and while I was a bit frustrated with it when I first got it (it would not sync with my phone for love nor money but I think that was because there were so many of us trying to do the same thing at the same time) I’m a little bit in love with it.
Not only does it track your steps and the total number of calories that you burn throughout the day but it records your sleep and integrates with MyFitnessPal to allow you to track your caloric intake as well as outtake. All in all it’s a rather nifty piece of kit and I’m hoping it will help me on the way to being that little bit fitter in the new year!
*Disclaimer: I attended this event for free and was gifted a
Garmin VivoFit Fitness Band in exchange for blogging about the event.
The above opinions are still my own and not influenced by this in any way.