Christmas time in London -Joulunaikaa Lontoossa

Christmas is almost here, crazy. I think despite all the decorations I have not realised it is Christmas, I have been so busy. Typical me though, always so many things to do. Sometimes I laugh at myself thinking, I could live life a lot easier, I could not try to do everything!

Anyway, I love German.Swiss, French and Austrian Christmas Market culture. The atmosphere is just enchanting. We have Christmas markets here in the UK but I have to say they are not as authentic with all the wooden toys and gluhwein as the Central European ones.

I went to the one in South Bank, no snow so I really had to use all my imagination to get the Christmas feeling. Here are some pictures I took. I apologise the quality, I took them with my Lumia phone instead of our good camera but I think they’ll do and you get a picture of the type of markets we have here.

ImageI bought amazing pearl earrings from these markets I love them!

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ImageThis fake snow that everyone wanted to touch made me really laugh as a Finn who has lived with the snow for over 20 years. I tried it and it was nothing like real snow 🙂

ImageThis BFI (British Film Institute) Riverfront Restaurant is awesome! I went there with my friend, in fact she had her birthday there. It is in the South Bank. Really good value for money. Nothing fancy but really cosy and casual. For hamburger lovers it offers a great selection including pulled pork burgers!

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More pictures about the restaurant. I warmly recommend it. It is also very family friendly during the daytime.

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I had to take this photo. One day we can show our little baby girl where she spent her days. Crossing Thames on the pedestrian bridge from impressive St. Paul’s Cathedral in the City to South Bank. In the background you can see the Shard (over 72 floors) the new skyscraper that will be the tallest building in Europe!Great views aren’t they! My tiny Londoner in the pram. I will miss London when one day we may not life here. Until now I do feel that I have a privilege to enjoy this fantastic city and all it can offer!

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Sunday in Highgate Village -Sunnuntai Highgaten kylässä

As my dad was in town we wanted to take him to one of our favourite pubs The Red Lion and the Sun that I mentioned in my blog post a few weeks ago. This pub is located in Highgate. As the weather was wonderful we thought we would have a lovely walk there. First we crossed our beautiful local park and then showed my dad the high street in Highgate Village.

Koska isäni oli Lontoossa viikonloppuna ajattelimme viedä hänet lempipubiimme The Red Lion and the Sun, josta olenkin jo aiemmin kirjoitellyt blogispostauksessani. Tämä pubi sijaitsee Highgatessa Lontoossa. Ensin kävelimme halki kauniin läheisen puistomme ja sitten suuntasimme kohti Highgatea.

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The Highgate Pantry.

I have probably said this multiple times before but I love these small pockets of London that are like villages with all the independent shops, bakeries, butchers, fishmongers, green grocers and cute boutiques. The Highgate Pantry bakery had a mouthwatering window!

Olenkin jo aiemmin sanonut useaan kertaan, että rakastan Lontoon pieniä itsenäisiä kylämäisiä yhteisöjä. Etenkin pohjois Lontoo on täynnä näitä pieniä kaupunginosia kuten Highgate, Hampsted, Highbury, Stoke Newington, Primrose Hill, Winchmore Hill, Muswell Hill, Crouch End. Ne kaikki seuraavat samaa kaavaa. Kylämäisen osan läpi vie high street, joka on täynnä mitä ihanaisimpia kahviloita ja puoteja lihakauppa, kalakauppa ja vihanneskauppa mukaan lukien. The Highgate Pantry leipomolla oli upea ikkuna.

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Some amazing looking lolly cupcakes in The Highgate Pantry.

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I usually try not to support the chains, but Le Pain de Quotidien has quality food and all organic too!

Yritän useimmiten välttää ketjuja, mutta Le Pain de Quotidien on loistava. Ruoan laatu on hyvää ja kaikki luomua.

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A lovely fruiterers in Highgate. — Ihana hedelmäkauppa Highgatessa.

The place called Limone in Highgate has a great selection of dairy and gluten free cakes. So all of you who are looking for finding some special diet coffee places in North London, this is one for you! Yesterday Limone had a tasty selection of special diet treats and one particularly interesting cake -lemon rosemary cake that was dairy free! Inspired by this, I will definitely bake some lemon drizzle cake next week when our cooker will be finally fixed. British Gas promised it to be ready next Monday -finally! Fingers crossed.

Jos etsit erityisruokavalioon sopivaa kahvipaikkaa Pohjois-Lontoossa Limone Highgatessa on mahtava. Se tarjoaa kotitekoisia maidottomia ja gluteiinittomia kakkuja. Yksi mielenkiintoisemmista oli sitruuna-rosmariini kuivakakku. Kuulosti tosi herkulliselta! Sen innoittamana aion ehdottomasti leipoa sitruunakakkua ensi viikolla, kun uunimme vihdoin pitäisi olla kunnossa. British Gas lupasi tänään, että maanantaina 14.10 uuni on korjattu. Toivottavasti, sillä rakkaan aussimieheni syntymäivät lähenevät kovaa vauhtia ja haluan kokata ihanaista illallista syntymäpäiväiltana!

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Waterlow Park in Highgate is super beautiful! I recommend a walk in there! I had a lovely Sunday, hopefully you had a relaxing weekend too!

Waterlow puisto Highgatessa on todella kaunis. Suosittelen kävelyä siellä! MInulla oli upea sunnuntaipäivä. Oli niin ihanaa nähdä isää! Toivottavasti teilläkin oli rentouttava viikonloppu!

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Waterlow Park.

Our typical Sunday in North London – Sunnuntaimme Pohjois-Lontoossa

Yesterday when the morning was sunny we thought we would have a family walk from Muswell Hill to Highgate. We hadn’t done that walk before so we were curious to see what the are between was like. We have our eyes constantly open for new places and potential areas to buy house in. Muswell Hill is one of my favourite places in North London. If you have not been there, go! It is like a small pocket of London and cute own world. It has great shops and cafes and it is super baby friendly too. There is this awesome place called Crocodile Antiques . It has a fantastic shop attached to a love coffee shop. They have play corner for kids and in general lovely atmosphere. Muswell Hill has lots of non-mainstream shops which I prefer.  There is a shop called COOK.  I love the concept of this place. It sells gourmet style pre-made meals, lots of Indian food and wonderful cakes and desserts! Every meal has a signature of a chef who cooked it! I think this must be the dream of any busy housewife at Muswell Hill if surprise dinner guests arrive!

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These days Planet Organic is my favourite store to do our family grocery shopping  in! There is one in Muswell Hill and the other one on Essex Road, both North London. The store has a great selection of organic food, and goodies! They do home deliveries too!

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From Muswell Hill we chose a nice road to walk to Highgate. We passed beautiful houses and walked across Highgate Wood, a wonderful forest like park! The air smelled so fresh that it felt almost like being at the countryside.

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After arriving to Highgate village we went to this fantastic and cosy pub called Red Lion and the Sun. The food was excellent, service really good and pub so popular and crowded that we go the last table they had, so next time we need to book a table well advance! This pub is the place to be on Sundays. I warmly recommend it. It was a find!

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We had a lovely Sunday.

I also have to mention that my baby is so good. During the whole long (3h) lunch in the pub she was happily sitting in her highchair and being social and charming all the people around her. The group of people in the next table to us was admiring her and her huge blue icy eyes. I definitely feel so thankful for having such a lovely daughter, but it has been a long journey and the allergy problems messed up our happiness for a long time so I feel like as a family we deserve this. I am glad to get the happiness back and say I finally fully enjoy my motherhood.

Last night I realised I have been adding very few posts about our travels and I think in addition to the recipes I will be adding lots of traveling tips and accommodation recommendations as we have found so many lovely places to stay and visit whilst traveling around Europe. I hope you find them useful for your travels!

Have  a wonderful Monday!