We went to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park last weekend. It’s the third year in a row that we’ve gone and I have a feeling we’ll go back again this holiday season. I just love this time of year!
TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order.
Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance.
She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast (lesbianswhowrite.com) with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (iheartlesfic.com), a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
I’ve never been, shame on me, would it be good for the boys? 4 and 2
I think the boys would love it. According to their website they even have rides for two-year olds. We go for the atmosphere, sausage, and beer. But I imagine your little ones would get a kick out of it. On some rides, you won’t need a ticket for the youngest if he sits on your lap. And I think it’s free for them to sit on Santa’s lap. I have a feeling Luke would love a chance to shine there.
Beer and Sausages, I’m sold, maybe we could do your portraits around the Albert Hall / Albert memorial and go there after.
Sure. The last time I was near the Albert Memorial (summer) it blocked off for cleaning or something. Not sure if that’s still the case. However, beer and sausage are so good. And mulled wine. I love mulled wine on a cold day.
So do I and I won’t have to cash in chips with the boss for babysitting half the day as we can bring her along. There are plenty of awesome backdrops in the area of us even if the memorial is blocked off.
Great. I’ll talk to the better half and we’ll make arrangements. I love that part of town. Too bad the flower walk won’t be blooming.
That is a pity, but winter will make you look more windswept, interesting and exotic. Think images of Peter Pan and Mary Poppins
There is the Peter Pan statue.
You could be the next JM Barrie, you’ve already got the enigmatic name going on 😉
Ha! I hadn’t thought of that. I wish I owned his house that’s right across the street from Kensington. Miles would love it!
I’ve been in this city for nearly 15 years and you’ve seen so much more of it than me. I’d sell the house and move to a sprawling country estate with tumbledown outbuildings though.
I love to get out and wander and have been missing that lately. In the new year maybe that will be a resolution: get back to my London wanders.
An estate in the country sounds divine as well.
Lots of space to grow the menagerie you see. Being part of a camera club has definitely made me get out and see more. Are you on meetup.com? There are some fantastic groups including our very own lenses of Croydon but I’d bet there are plenty of writing groups etc.
I’m not on meetup, but maybe I should look into it. Might force me out of my warm cozy hole and explore some more. I wonder if they have pub groups.
I bet they do, I was gobsmacked at the variety out there.
Gobsmacked. I like that word.
I’m sure that you have noticed, my vocabulary is full of wonderfully colourful expressions and phrases that I bandy about for my own amusement. It’s a combination of an expensive schooling a Northern grandmother (who was also an English teacher) and an evil sense of humour. I also like to pretend I’m better than the proletariat so use terms that may go over their heads, it’s nonsense of course but it keeps me busy.
As long as it keeps you busy and amuses you 🙂
I know I know small things amuse small minds
LOL. Are you picking a fight with yourself?
It’s entirely possible. I’m keeping myself amused whilst playing the peacekeeper between two highly strung women who’re doing their level best to get each others backs up. They’re honestly bickering like teenagers over who loves the boy and more. Suck is my lot in life.
Where are you? Never get in the middle of a girl fight. You can’t win.
I’m at home and don’t want to be involved but saying as much (via email) got me in even more trouble. I’ve suggested they sit down and discuss whatever the issue is over a nice glass of wine. As far as I can tell they’re both imagining the supposed slight and are now bickering about bickering.
Gotta love it. Hopefully the wine will mellow them out or kick in soon.
Or at least persuade them to leave me out of it. You girls are complicated beings.
Yes we are. I wish I could explain it, but I can’t. We love to argue.
If you could explain it, you’d be a very rich woman
well that’s incentive to figure it out. But sounds too hard.
That’s why science progresses, it’s easier than trying to figure out the fairer sex.
Not touching that one 🙂
Probably safest not to, thank you for reading my frustration and being sympathetic.
Any time. I hope the wine is helping or at least you aren’t in the middle anymore.
They’re both still at work but I’ve had my say and am now staying well away. Hey that rhymes, maybe I should take up poetry and write dirthful ditties about the perils of fatherhood.
I’m rather fond of haiku. They’re fun to write after a couple of beers.
Did I just make dirthful up, I thought it meant dank and depressing but now Google is letting me down, looks like I’ll have to break out the dictionary.
Lol you two are hilarious!
What fun- perfect to get you in the holiday mood! All the hanging santas lit up are funny 🙂
I love the guys looking so serious in front of the Santas. Oh we really count down the days for it to open each year. We stumbled upon it our first year here and it’s become a tradition.
Looks so festive and cozy. I love the twinkle lights. Hope you get to go again this year.
I’m pretty sure I will. And I need to get some shots of Harrod’s. They have cool displays for the holidays.
I think I’d enjoy this as well.
I’d love to g to the Christmas market in Colmar this yer, It’s beautiful. It’s just half an hour from where I live.
I loved the Christmas markets in Prague last year. I hope you visit the one in Colmar. It’s such a festive thing to do and really gets one in the Christmas spirit. Thanks for sharing the link. I wish I could go.
Looks like fun. Seems like a lot of people like to check it out. I miss the Christmas Markets I grew up with in Germany. They were always so much fun!!! 🙂
I would love to visit the ones in Germany. I bet the sausage is better there 😉
Ooh I want to go and beer and sausages sounds good. I may skip sitting on Santa’s lap – poor old guy, it would’t be fair to him!
Every time we’ve gone, I haven’t seen Santa, but I have visited his pub.
Ah, an entrepreneur as well as a kindly old gent who gives us all presents!
You have to admire the man.
That looks a lot of fun…
I think I went twice…it was OK. I so hate Christmas, though 😉 Although there’s some nice food to be had, I must admit.
You hate Chrismas … who are you, Scrooge?
Yeah… I fear I might be going that way…
Goodness, that’s not good. What’s the source? Bad Santa experience?
Oh, I’ve had plenty of those…! The reason is simply that I’m not a gregarious socialiser, and at Christmas time it’s either that nor nothing.
I used to hate the work parties I had to attend. I spent most of my awake hours with my coworkers. I wanted to be with friends and family instead. I hope you survive the season. Spring is coming.
Spring is coming?! it’s not even officially winter yet!
I’m an optimist.
I like that about you. On a cosmic scale, it counteracts my grinchiness.
I admire your grinchiness, well at least, it makes me smile. Probably not the effect you were going for 🙂
I’ll try and be extra grinchy this Grinchmas. Just for you.
Great. I need documentation so I can really get the full effect.
Hmmmm… I may have to attach a grinchometer at the bottom of every new post…
Oh I like that. Just make sure no elves, reindeer, or sugar cookies are harmed. That reminds me, I need to bake sugar cookies. Oh and pick up some candy canes and hot chocolate. I love them together.
Oh my, you are in the swing of it now…!
It looks really nice! Funny to see leaves in the trees a month before Christmas. This is such a nice time of the year, Christmas brings lights and warmth to the otherwise dark season. This weekend, I’ll be off to Berlin and will hopefully see a Christmas market there. I’ll also be happy to go back to Finland for Christmas, it’s a real winter wonderland! 🙂
We were talking the other day that we haven’t been to Finland yet. Not sure if we’ll go soon, but it’s been mentioned more than once. That’s usually a sign. I bet you do find some markets in Germany. Enjoy and take lots of photos. I loved the ones in Prague!
Great to hear, Finland has a lot to offer. If you ever start planning I’ll be happy to help! Winter and Autumn are perfect times to see Lapland (northern lights, husky rides, reindeer, snow, nature etc.) and Helsinki is at its best during summer when the city is more lively. And thanks, will try and take lots of pictures!
I would love to go in the winter and I think I missed autumn this year 🙂 We almost went a few years ago, but couldn’t fit it in when we were in Sweden and Norway. But it’s pretty close to London so I knew it wouldn’t be hard to arrange a trip back that direction.
I loved Berlin. Such a great city: the beer, food, the people, and history. Love it.
Nice to hear that you liked Berlin, I am really looking forward to finally going there. And yes, visiting Finland during winter would be very special – especially in the North it’s bound to be magical. This year and the following one are supposed to be a good time to spot Aurora Borealis too! 😀 You’ve almost seen all the countries of Scandinavia, nice! Most travelers don’t even look into that direction 🙂
That’s the beauty of my challenge. I have to go everywhere–no excuses. We were in Iceland in August, but way too early to see the lights. Magical. That’s always the word I associate with Finland. And Santa, but I know he doesn’t live there.
Make sure you see the Brandenburger Tor at light. It’s beautiful when lit up. Not sure how long you have, but the museums near the Berliner Dom are amazing.
The Brandenburgen Tor is on the to-do list! I’ve only got a weekend, but my boyfriend lives in Berlin so we will get around from one place to another quite quickly!
Santa does live in Finland, at least according to Finnish traditions! 🙂 Iceland is on my list too, would be lovely to do some hiking there. I also hope to see as many countries as possible, it’s a fantastic challenge to have! This way you can make sure life will never be boring!
How neat that you have a local showing you around. I bet you won’t get lost as much as we did!
I didn’t know that was a Finnish tradition. I believe! Iceland is wonderful. We did the golden circle tour and loved it. Wish I had more time to hike–next time. It’s hard to get bored when traveling. So much to take in and experience. And trying new beer helps. And good Finnish beers?
I can only imagine how much you enjoyed Iceland, everyone seems to love it! Finnish beer is quite bad, we actually joke that our local beer is called “Koff” (pronounced cough) for a reason! We drink spirits to keep us warm in the winter, haha! People also drink long-drinks and ciders. But Lapin Kulta is an OK beer and of course everything new is worth trying.
Now I’m really curious about how bad the beer is. Might have to do a taste test when I’m there and see if I can uncover the Lapin Kulta.
Not that I am opposed to quaffing a brew on two in Santa’s Pub, but is Christmas as commercialized across the pond as it is here in the US when the department store decorations spring up on the Tuesday after Labor Day? I am waiting for the store that keeps them up 365 days a year reasoning with this skewed logic: “When you shop here every day is Christmas!”
Christmas decorations go up here early. As soon as summer ends, they are preparing for Christmas. Halloween isn’t big and they don’t have Thanksgiving, so it’s straight to Christmas.
Such a great place, I do hope you get back there again during the season. I think I would be tempted to live there, lol!
When we lived closer we could walk there on the weekends and we took advantage of that quite a bit.
Such lovely pictures!
Looks fun and fabulous! Hope you get to go back this year!
How fun! This brings back wonderful memories of the Christmas markets in Germany.
I need to go one year.
Christmassy feeling abounds 🙂
Have you got your Advent Calendar on standby TBM ….
I just mark the days on my wall. I’m sure my landlord won’t mind.
I hope you get to go again, too. Looks like fun. I imagine London is fabulous this time of year.
Hugs from Ecuador,
London is so festive right now. I love it. Have a great Thanksgiving in Ecuador.
Great pictures! This event looks like so much fun, not to mention perfect for the holidays. No wonder you enjoy going!
It’s a new holiday tradition for us.
Santa’s Pub – I am there–see you next year
See you in 2014 with a massive hangover.
I cannot get a hangover as I am only allowed half a glass of wine–see my blog post from yesterday and you will understand–but enjoy yours–ha ha
You are much smarter than me.
I suffered from enough hangovers in my youth that were more than memorable–I am only smarter now because the memories are still quite vivid
I have a horrible memory and I’m not that smart, so I still haven’t learned my lesson.
I have a few decades on you!
I don’t believe that!
I am very immature for my age!
Now, I wasn’t saying that. Hinting maybe, but I didn’t say it outright 🙂
ha ha ha
I love that comments like that don’t upset you.
not at all–we are friends and I am immature–no use denying it!
I do enjoy our banter.
me too 🙂
That looks like a lot more fun than the winter wonderland I have going on right now!
This is London’s version of winter. We don’t get much snow here so they just call it winter wonderland.
Ooh, ooh, ooh you can visit Santa there!! You have to go back and get your picture taken with Santa. Actually, you should get a photo of you and Santa enjoying a beer in the pub with you sitting on Santa’s lap. Then of course you have to have a picture of Miles and Att with Santa too. Go back this weekend ok?
Miles might be up for that. Att, no way. He won’t even take a picture with me.
LOL!! You should totally do it. Get Miles a little Santa hat too. He would look so adorable :).
Miles has a Santa coat! But it might be in storage.
A coat and a hat – perfect 🙂
I won’t be able to keep a hat on him. He’s so wiggly.
These are stunning photos!
Thanks. I had fun snapping them.
It seems there’s a bit of nip in the air, but that’s wonderful for the season. Happy Thanksgiving … and a musical treat for you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYi9Vr8bHJY
Yo Yo Ma and Alison Krauss–I love it!
Eat some wonderful food for me today!
Will do … well, as long as you go to a pub for a draught for me.
Never fear, I got you covered on this side of the pond.
Beautiful pictures, TBM! So glad that you had a wonderful time!
I do enjoy this time of year, Vishy. So cheerful and reminds me of wonderful Christmas memories from childhood.
Looks fun! I’m just back from my first Christmas meal out, and feeling sleepy 🙂
Hope you have a nice rest.
Looks like fun! Reminds me of our Octoberfest in St. Louis only with Santa.. 🙂
You have Octoberfest in St. Louis. Gosh I wish I knew that when I still lived in the States!
Lovely photos! I can see that you had a great time:)
It’s hard not to have a fun time at an event like this. And I love this time of year.
I love this time of year too- we can turn our AC off for a few days and open the windows.
In London, we don’t need AC. We’ve had the heat on for a few weeks, though. Enjoy the cooler weather.
Oh wow… loved your photos. It looks so good… feeling a bit envious:)
Come on over. I’ll buy you a beer!
Winter just doesn’t have the same feeling here…I miss that time of year most from living in Holland.
I know how you feel. Growing up in California, I often felt sad that it wasn’t “winter” on Christmas.
I never thought about it before living in Holland…but it was so different to experience it in the cold.
I would watch all the movies and wonder what I was missing. Now I know. I actually like the cold and summer is my least favorite season. It’s not so bad now that I live in London. In Boston it got so hot and humid. Humidity is very difficult for my body.
I am not so hot on humidity either.
Sydney gets really humid…luckily the heat never gets quite so intense here.
That’s good for you! So I shouldn’t visit Sydney during the summer. Got it!
Dude this looks awesome. I love these pics Santa’s Pub looks cool as does the photo of the stall with the stuffed Santa prizes. This would totally get me in the mood. I need some WinterWonderland over here. Something within a five mile radius, not something I have to sit in hour-traffic to get to, that would just kill the spirit and replace it with road rage. Ho Ho Ho.
We tried going back to Winter Wonderland this past Saturday and there was a long line to get in. I’ve been there so many times and never had to wait in line. Never. We ended up skipping it since the line was so long and not moving. Not an inch. Hopefully that was just a one time thing and I can go back in the future without having the spirit killed.
Oh I remember California traffic. Remember it well even though it was over 20 years ago.
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