Last Saturday I was lucky enough to be invited along to a Christmas walk by Joe Blogs. The idea was to take a look around some posh shops in the West End whilst wearing a piece of Fit Tech, provided by Currys, giving us all the chance to see how good for the health (though maybe not the bank balance) Christmas shopping is! Sadly, with my phone being as old as time itself, I couldn’t get my Jawbone to work, so I couldn’t chart how many steps I had done or how many calories I had burnt. I am still trying to get it working now, and I still have plenty of shopping to do, so as soon as it’s working, I’ll be able to let you know how well I do!
The walking tour of the shops was led by Best LDN Walks; we were split into two groups, and set off from Green Park. We visited a load of shops that have royal warrants, meaning that they officially supply the royal family with their goods. Our tour guide (whose name I have completely forgotten) really knew her stuff, and told us all about the different shops that we were visiting. She kept hold of a balloon the entire time so we didn’t lose her – as you can imagine, London three weeks before Christmas can get a bit busy, so the balloon is a really good idea!
Our first stop was Charbonnel et Walker, which is found on New Bond Street, and has been there since 1875. It is apparently a favourite of the Queen, and we tried her favourite chocolates, violet cremes. Sadly my cold was still raging and I could barely taste anything, but I could tell they were expensive!
We headed onto Hatchards, which was obviously my favourite stop on the tour, because it’s a bookshop! Not only that, it’s the oldest bookshop in the UK. I just love being around books, so even though I didn’t buy anything, and even though once you’re inside, it doesn’t necessarily feel that old, it’s just lovely being around a lot of books. Bookshops and libraries will always be my favourite places. I was slightly devastated put out to discover that the group that had headed off fifteen minutes earlier had met none other than Bill Nighy in the shop, and one of the bloggers had a photo with him. That could have been me!
Now obviously cigar merchants don’t hold the same allure for me as bookshops, but James J Fox is a bit special, because it is where the likes of Oscar Wilde and Winston Churchill bought their cigars. They even have a chair that was used by Winston Churchill when he visited. Needless to say I didn’t buy anything here!
Another of my favourite shops on the tour was Berry Brothers and Rudd, a wine merchant. Now, I’m not really a drinker, save for special occasions, but this is a lovely shop. It’s been around for 315, and is almost unchanged in that time. It has the same floor and walls, and has just been expanded slightly. It supplied the Titanic, and has a letter on the wall from the White Star Line explaining that the ship had ‘foundered’. Fascinating stuff! I declined the offer to partake in a sample of the booze though!
We also visited Floris, which is a perfumers, and we got to smell the fragrances that Marilyn Monroe, Ian Fleming and Winston Churchill preferred. Again, my cold prevented me from really smelling much, but I wasn’t keen on what I could smell of Marilyn’s! It smelt a bit like a disinfectant! Just down the road from Floris was Paxton and Whitfield Cheese, but I didn’t really take a good look in there. I’m not really a cheese eater, and it was very busy in a tiny shop!
While we were walking, we also found ourselves caught up in SantaCon! So many Santas, all moving along the street, and all in various states of inebriation! I snapped the above photo quickly, and even though it turned out blurry, I quite liked it!
As I said, I couldn’t get my piece of FitTech working, but based on what everyone else said about theirs, and the fact that my legs hurt quite a lot by the time I got home, I think it’s safe to say that I burned quite a few calories on this particular Christmas shopping trip! There’s an infographic on the Currys website that tells you exactly what you need to do to burn off those extra Christmas calories. 4 roast potatoes just needs you to bust some moves at the office Christmas party! And you can burn off the calories from two Yorkshire puddings by doing some washing up. Sounds like a fair deal to me!
Thanks to Joe Blogs and Currys for inviting me along, and to Best LDN Walks for a great tour. I’ve been taking a look at their website and they have some seriously amazing looking tours, so I’m planning on going on some more!
* I was invited along to the Currys Christmas Walk by Joe Blogs, and provided with a piece of FitTech for review.