Indulge in a festive experience in and around Bond Street this Christmas.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The bright lights and magical window displays of Bond Street never cease to amaze the shoppers who flock from far and wide. Stepping into one of the many luxury emporiums is enough to put even the most reluctant Christmas shopper in a merry mood. But why stop there? From brunch to cocktail hour, Mayfair’s Michelin-starred restaurants, luxury hotels and fashionable watering holes, are the perfect place to soak up the festive atmosphere of a Bond Street Christmas. Whether shopping solo as the last-minute shopper prefers to do, or meeting up with friends for a delectable festive tea, let our guide to the best festive experiences ensure you get the most from your visit.
The Champagne Afternoon Tea Experience
This one is for the girls. For our fashionable ladies meeting up with friends for a spot of Christmas shopping is a sure-fire way to kick-start the festive season. And what better way to end a busy day shopping on Bond Street, than with a glass of fizz and some freshly baked scones?
Trust Claridge’s clever pastry chefs to pull out all this stops this Christmas with a festive take on the traditional tea. The yuletide tea will be served from November 12-January 1 to the heart-warming sound of Christmas carols from The Southend children’s choir. Meanwhile, celebrated shoe designer Christian Louboutin is charged with decorating this year’s tree in the hotel’s art-deco lobby. All will be revealed on November 21.
Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HR
Running from November 12 – January 5, Sketch’s Gallery Christmas afternoon tea (£99 per person) ties in nicely with its Christmas ‘Here, There and Everywhere,’ exhibition. Pommery Brut Royal poured from the ideal format of magnum tastes even better with a string ensemble playing in the background. Award-winning florist and creative director Carly Rogers has brought together a team of prop makers to transform the Sketch entrance into a fairy tale street-like succession of Christmas scenes that blend the past with the present.
Sketch, 9 Conduit Street, Mayfair, London W1S 2XG
This Christmas, The Langham London has partnered up with luxury travel brand Globe Trotter to celebrate the theme of journeys over the holiday season. This idea will be reflected in The Festive Afternoon Tea (£70 per person) and Champagne Afternoon Tea (£84) where the menu pays homage to the chefs who have travelled from all over the world to join The Langham. For example, hailing from Portugal and inspired by her family’s fig orchard, Joana Melo has created a delicious fig conserve to serve with the hotel’s signature scones. Oh, and don’t forget to add your wish to the Christmas tree on your way out.
The Langham, 1C Portland Place, Marylebone, London W1B 1JA
The Best Brunch Experience
Once again, the last-minute shopper has got off to a slow start and has a long list of gifts to purchase. As a result, brunch with plenty of strong coffee is the first port of call before a frenzied shopping spree along Bond Street can begin.
When it comes to a breakfast fit for a king, all-day brasserie, The Wolseley, never disappoints. A favourite with the fashion and art crowd, its menu includes classic dishes such as boiled eggs with soldiers, eggs Benedict and Eggs Arlington. French toast and pancakes call for lashings of maple syrup. And if you are lucky, you might spot a famous face sitting at a table beside you in this opulent Viennese-style dining room.
The Wolseley, 160 Piccadilly, St. James's, London W1J 9EB
Since launching its brunch menu in July, Hide on Piccadilly has fast become a leading weekend breakfast/lunch destination. On arrival, guests are treated to a ripe peach and lime leaf mimosa, created by renowned bar manager, Oskar Kinberg. Known for its inventive cuisine, Hide’s brunch menu includes grilled sourdough with crushed avocado and soft poached Cacklebean eggs. Alternatively, its signature Croque Monsieur can be jazzed-up with black truffle for an additional cost.
Hide, 85 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7NB
45 Jermyn St.
Good news for truffle aficionados. Destination restaurant, 45 Jermyn St., will now be featuring truffle dishes throughout the day, with an entire section of the menu devoted to this rare woodland ingredient. The truffle season celebrations begin at breakfast time, with a decadent dish of scrambled eggs and truffle shavings. Then there is the delicious truffle toasted cheese sandwich. Oozing with raclette cheese and truffle shavings, it is best enjoyed with a glass of light champagne.
45 Jermyn Street, St. James's, London SW1Y 6JD
The Cocktail Hour Experience
For the luxury shopaholic, a satisfying day spent ticking off the gift list merits a celebratory cocktail. Usually perched at the bar, this cool customer likes to swoon over his or her purchases before ordering a second Vodka Martini.
Along with delectable Northern Italian cuisine, Cecconi’s fabled Mayfair restaurant boasts one of the most celebrated bars in London. With its proximity to Bond Street, it is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a post-shopping cocktail. Might we suggest La Dolce Vita – vodka, orange bitter Campari, passion fruit liqueur, grapefruit juice and Collet brut rose? Salute!
Cecconi’s, 5A Burlington Gardens, Mayfair, London W1S 3EP
The Dragon Room is the discreet bar under the main restaurant at Isabel. Usually reserved for private events, it will now be open until late for guests on selected dates over the festive season. The specially devised festive menu includes the Cinnamon Sour. Made with a sweet and sour vodka base and topped with citrus, egg white and cinnamon syrup, then garnished with cinnamon sticks and a twist of orange peel, it will have you all aglow!
Isabel, 26 Albemarle St, Mayfair, London W1S 4HY
The Unique Dining Experience
For the discerning luxury shopper, shopping for Christmas gifts is a strictly solo affair, followed by a get together with friends and loved ones in one of Mayfair’s world-class restaurants.
Emilia at Bonhams
A lover of aesthetic beauty, the luxury shopper has an eye for art, in which case they might like to book a table at the recently opened Emilia, housed inside Bonhams’ Bond Street headquarters. Boasting a courtyard wine bar and bright mezzanine dining space. Head chef Stuart Andrew takes inspiration from Italy’s hearty Emilia-Romagna cuisine and puts a modern spin on classic dishes such as Scottish langoustine, cauliflower & green mandarin and crispy pig’s trotter with lentils.
Emilia, 7 Haunch of Venison Yard, W1K 5ES
With its elegant cosy booths, antique panelling and bright botanical wallpaper, newly-opened Charlie’s at Brown’s is a unique dining experience featuring menus developed by Michelin-starred chef, and Chef Director of Brown’s, Adam Byatt. Meanwhile, the hotel’s novel tropical fantasia interior scheme, Christmas tree and unique decorations specially designed for Brown’s by legendary Brit designer, Sir Paul Smith, will be unveiled later this month.
Brown’s Hotel, Albemarle Street, Mayfair, London W1S 4BP