Showing posts from December, 2016

The Weekend Before Christmas

It's New Year's Eve and we've survived that weird time between Christmas and New Year where nobody knows quite what day it is anymore, TV programmes are all Christmas specials and one offs and you're still eating Christmas leftovers and tonnes of chocolate on a daily basis. With extra bank (public) holidays too this year as Christmas fell on a Sunday and more to come with New Year's Day also on a Sunday plus living in Scotland so benefitting from another day's holiday it really has been a slightly surreal time.

The weekend before Christmas though we went down to London to meet up with friends from Singapore who were home in the UK for Christmas with their families. Our visit did coincide with a delayed flight down plus an ongoing train strike so it was a bit chaotic getting there but once we did arrive we were able to enjoy a visit to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park on the Saturday, a wander around the lights of Regent and Oxford Streets that evening, a touristy …

Cathedrals, Champagne and a Touch of Christmas

A couple of weekends back I went over to Reims in France with my Mum and some other members of my family for a weekend break to take the chance to see the Christmas markets and see a little of this part of France too. Being back in the UK means it's much easier to arrange things like this with family (the last time I went to a market was just before we moved out to Singapore) so I was really looking forward to it and to spending some time with them.
We set off early on Friday (I'd gone down to Kent from Edinburgh the day before), travelling via the Channel Tunnel, and arrived late afternoon. Our first afternoon/evening was spent exploring a little of the Christmas market, apparently one of the biggest in France, and then enjoying a delicious meal at a local restaurant. In fact we enjoyed the hospitality of that restaurant so much we returned for the next two nights as well culminating in them being really lovely and giving us some complimentary drinks on our final evening.


Little-Known Places - The Scott Monument, Edinburgh

Like everyone is at this time of year we've been super busy lately, particularly as we've had two sets of visitors, two weekends in a row. The festive season means we have had extra options for our guests to enjoy, namely the Street of Light in George Street and the Christmas Market, but this weekend after our last set of guests had left we took the chance to view Edinburgh and the Christmas hustle and bustle from a different angle. We decided to climb the Scott Monument in Princes Street Gardens, something I have to say I never knew you could even do until recently.

In case you didn't know the monument was built to honour the Scottish author Sir Walter Scott, it was built in the Victorian Gothic style and really stands out as an imposing sight on Princes Street. It's apparently the largest monument to a writer in the world. When Scott died in 1832 a competition was held to design a memorial to him. The winning design was that of George Meikle Kemp, who on his death, sa…