Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Walking in a Winter Wonderland
I'll let you all in on a secret. I'm absolutely OBSESSED with Christmas. As soon as Halloween is over, there's no more excuses and no holding back and my festive preparations are in full swing. I've turned the living room into Santa's little grotto, bought some ridiculous looking Christmas jumpers and there's tinsel EVERYWHERE. So imagine my excited little face when me and my boyfriend decided to pay Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park a visit yesterday.
We started off by browsing the stalls which had lots of cute hand made Christmas decorations. I found them all to be rather pricy, but then they were all hand made goods, so I suppose that justifies the higher price tags.
Lots of pretty snow globes...
... and some happy Santas!
Look at the gorgeous boxes that these hand made chocolates came in!
There was a stall selling Swedish Moose burgers, but as tempting as that sounded, we opted for something slightly more German and shared a Currywurst.
... which turned out to be the worst spent £5 of the night. Look at that measly little portion, it didn't even come with a bun!
I wish we'd had some of this awesome looking salmon instead, which was just slowly roasting/smoking by the fire pit!
These mountains of marzipan also looked very appetising... shame I don't like marzipan!
The cute little market stalls eventually morphed into loud, flashy and buzzy funfair rides with a sort of festive theme. I found myself entirely mesmerised by the huge, glowing white ferris wheel and had to be dragged off my staring spot after a good five minutes.
And yes, that's Santa in his sleigh right at the bottom.
Moving on, we decided to make friends with the locals, such as this friendly snowman.
I also tried to high five this polar bear, but failed miserably.
It's a lot easier when you're 6'5"!
Thankfully the penguins were a lot more height appropriate for me.
If there's one thing you want to spend extra money on while at Winter Wonderland, make sure you get some tickets for the Magical Ice Kingdom. At £7 per person at off-peak times, or £9 each during peak hours, it's money well spent. Prepare to freeze your tits off as soon as you enter, but for that slight inconvenience your greeted with sights like this one.
You basically enter a carefully crafted fairytale of ice and snow - beautifully lighted and enhanced by sound effects all around you. Not all creatures were particularly friendly. Look at this guy...
I don't even want to know what he was brewing.
Some creatures were very majestic...
... others not so much.
The minute we stepped back outside it felt as if we'd entered a nice warm room lit with a log fire. All that exploring definitely warranted some refuelling. We were still slightly gutted that we hadn't tried that moose burger, so jumped at the chance when we found a stall selling buffalo, ostrich, springbok, wildebeest and wild boar. We opted for springbok, which albeit a little firm, was actually rather tasty!
We then ventured on to a huge Oktoberfest-style beer tent, where we drank some horrendously overpriced mulled wine and quite possibly the worst beer we've ever had in our lives. In the mean time, this dude was tearing up the stage with his performance. Imagine your awkward, embarrassing uncle (everyone's got one of those!) singing Black Eyed Peas in front of lots of people.... Having said that, the crowd there seemed to love it, so fair play to him!
It was almost at the exit that we finally found a worthy opponent in the sausage department. Look at this beast!!! (I mean the sausage, not my boyfriend)
Compared to actual German Christmas markets that I'm used to, Winter Wonderland turned out to be a little too loud, a little too try-hard, and way too overpriced, but that doesn't mean that it wasn't quite magical anyway. It's definitely worth a visit if you're in the area, even if it's just to have a wander round and to inhale all the delicious Christmas smells while listening to cheesy Christmas music!