It’s my favourite time of year in London: Christmas.
Lights dangle between buildings, along stone-built streets and around shop windows, framing intricate displays of brilliant colours and gifts. The crowds of people, flowing between the architecture like a rapid river, are filled with excitement and wonder. That’s what I love most. The energy is contagious. No matter how crowded, and how annoying that may be, you are filled with a glistening Christmas spirit: ice rinks, luminous winter lights and garlands, pine trees, spiced mulled wine, carols, gingerbreads, ornaments and hot chocolate.
London is a city of contrasts. Narrow streets and majestic buildings emphasize that you are in a Kingdom, a Kingdom that is both ancient and current; intricate buildings tower over hackney carriages ricocheting along avenues of cobble. Move East, into the City of London, and glass structures fill the spaces between the web of streets, lanes and squares. The architecture isn’t ornamented here, the largest sheets of glass you have ever seen create uniform patchwork facades. Between these shiny silver buildings, less wondering tourists and more fast paced Londoners. Tailored suits and business attire. Still, the elegance of the historic cathedrals, castles, bridges and more is reflected in these modern constructions.