Brussels sprout trees
In the UK, Brussels sprout trees are a ‘thing’. Essentially the stalk of the plant with the sprouts still attached; shops here are selling them for around $5 a tree. Now, I’m not sure where you stand on the sprout debate, but personally I am a fan. For the vast majority who aren’t, I’m not sure how this makes sprouts more appealing, and for those of us who like sprouts, it makes them about 3 times the price. Give me more sprouts for my money I say! Whilst Googling ‘sprout trees’ its also become apparent to me, that some people even adorn their sprout tree with a golden star and use it as a Christmas tree. And I thought I had scaled back this year with a $12 potted fir tree sprinkled with glitter.
The decorations are out!
Speaking of Christmas, it is certainly getting Chrismassy in the UK. Decorations are up and shopping is in full swing. This weekend I visited Rochester in Kent on a day trip to witness their Dickensian Festival. The town was beautifully decorated with baubles, lights (and since it is unseasonably warm at around 13 degrees) and fake snow. There were carols in the cathedral, a parade, a Christmas market a parade, and street artists performing. It was very quaint and very British and for me the stirrings of getting excited about having a ‘cold climate’ Christmas.
Ice skating in London
Now I’m not sure we will have a white Christmas, and after our blizzard-induced escapades in Iceland earlier this year, I am not sure that we will want it to be either! The cold climate however does mean a multitude of pop-up outdoor skating rinks dotted around the county and of course London. Last weekend we were lucky enough to try out the rink at the Natural History Museum. It featured a large tree in the middle and whilst bumpy, was a lot of fun. Pete was a trooper and endured hire skates (thumbs down compared to the Canary Wharf rink skates apparently) in order to do a few laps with me. He still refuses to go backwards. Perhaps he still has some issues after I flung him on his backside last time we went skating earlier in the year.
Celebrating in style
Mulled wine is certainly in order when celebrating the Christmas lead up in ‘UK style’. After chatting to a lady on the train on the way into London, we thought we’d take the tip and visit the open rooftop bar at Selfridges, which had been decked out in woodland style. Cozied up by the heater, under nice warm blankets, we sipped our wine and enjoyed our surrounds. Its been a long time since I’ve been to a funky little place like that, so it was a treat amongst the chaos that is Oxford Street in December (imagine NYE post fireworks crowds….)
Whilst we are unable to head overseas for Christmas as the UK Home office is still twiddling their thumbs with my passport (that’s 3 months and counting), we decided to make the most of it and visit Wales. We are going to focus on Northern Wales before heading to Cardiff for New Years Eve and then home via Bath. We have booked a barge trip over the Pontcysyllte aqueduct (i.e. a bridge with a canal in it to go over a river…cool huh) which is something on my ‘to do’ list. Its about a 4.5 journey from where we live and 2 hours from where we are spending Christmas, so it doesn’t feel like a big trip, even though it is another country.
On that note I’ll leave you with another alarming discovery. You can buy brussel sprout juice in the UK. Well, it is mixed in with some fruit, but still. Even I’m not nutty enough for that one!
Laura & Pete
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