No matter how much mulled wine you drink, there’s no denying that Christmas can be a bit stressful. In between frantic online shopping on your lunch break, nearly getting trampled to death on Oxford St and enough festive family feuds to put you off your turkey, it’s not always the candle-lit day of joy that the John Lewis ads paint it as. But what if you could wake up on Christmas morning with the same enthusiasm as you did as a child? Look after yourself this December and be reignited with all the energy needed to see 2015 off with a smile…
1. Have a chef come to your house to cook you a private slap-up dinner
We know, that line nearly made us choke on our humble porridge too but apparently you no longer have to be a multi-millionaire/a resident of Zone 1 to have your own personal chef for the evening. La Belle Assiette is giving tired Londoners the chance to take a night off from slaving over the stove (or heating up a pot of soup), to enjoy a gourmet meal, without having to leave the comfort of their own homes. All you have to do is browse through the list of menus, specially curated by top London chefs; pick one that suits you and your gaggle of hungry friends, and the chefs take it away from there. It’s basically like throwing the easiest dinner party of your life – and it doesn’t cost a bomb either. Menus start at £39 per guest and with over 200 different chefs on board, you’re sure to find one that suits you. When we tried it out, we went for a ‘Simple Supper‘ – and the four course banquet we received was probably the least simple meal our kitchen has ever seen. The chefs also clean up after themselves, making it an all-round stress-free evening. Let’s just say Fynn Hughes is welcome at our place any time….
2. Kick start your exercise regime early
Don’t wait until January to get all guilty about those post-xmas pounds, start your exercise regime a month before the crowds and imagine how great you’ll be feeling come New Years! Getting outdoors for a brisk walk with the family is the perfect cure for high running tension levels in the house and with ice skating rinks now all open across the capital, there’s no excuse to not get those legs moving. If you’re after something a bit more intense, our latest fitness craze is Edge Cycle, which has you spinning, shaking and downward-dogging, in a high intensity mix-up of all our favourite work outs.
3. Pump yourself happy with extra vitamins
You know that Berocca tagline, “You but on a really good day?” It’s a load of rubbish. All those effervescent tablets do to us is add a bit of vibrancy to our breakfast and turn our pee pee radioactive. But how about pumping all that energy boosting goodness straight into your bloodstream? It may sound like a strange concept but the Drip and Chill ® Lounge at EF MEDISPA are here to do just that, with their medical professionals prescribing a bespoke blend of vitamins, minerals and nutrients tailored exactly to your needs. Whether you’re wanting to boost a low immune system, improve athletic performance, re-hydrate or even enhance your libido ?, they’ll find the perfect mix for you and then all you’ve got to do is sit in a nice comfy chair and wait to feel the effects. The concept may make you feel a little queasy but we can vouch personally for it: a mood-enhancing drip on a Monday night had us bouncing off the walls and writing blog posts right through to the early hours… A favourite with London celebs like Cara Delevingne and Rita Ora, it’s certainly got a bit of a splash-out price tag but if you’re in need of a boost after a long, cold winter day, it’s just what the Doctor ordered.
Multiple locations – see their website for more details.
4. Order all your Christmas food via FarmDrop
We’re a big fan of keeping things local here at Secret London and we’re even bigger fans of goodies arriving at our door with a few simple clicks on our laptops. Farmdrop is an online marketplace that lets Londoners buy the most delicious food, fresh from local farms and producers. It removes the need for unnecessary middlemen (and prevents you having to stand in horrendous queues at Tesco), allowing consumers to deal direct with local producers and to buy healthier, fresher food while giving the farmers and producers a fairer financial deal. In other words, happy farmers = happy cows = VERY happy Londoners. All you’ve got to do is go to their website, choose a bundle of goods from their gorgeous array of locally sourced food and select a date that you’re ready for the food to be delivered. They’ve got a very handy section devoted entirely to Christmas too, meaning you can get your turkey and all the trimmings delivered straight to your door. Dare we say it, we think this might just be the recipe for a stress-free December. And that Christmas cake, man oh man that Christmas cake…
5. See the lights at Kew Gardens
Forget the Christmas lights on Regent Street, we’ve found a much less stressful spot to see some twinkling beauties. Until January 2nd, Kew Gardens will be lit up by an illuminated trail: a mile-long sparkling path that winds its way through the world-famous botanical gardens. This magical after-dark experience is not one to be missed, with illuminated fountains, a scented garden of blazing fires and a tunnel of light: it’s a breathtakingly beautiful walk that will have you feeling festive without faffing around with the tourists in Zone 1.
6. Get out of London…
We know, we know, as Secret London, we aren’t supposed to be encouraging you to give up on the city. But sometimes a weekend away can be just the ticket (especially if you book said ticket in advance – damn you, National Rail prices)… We’ve already compiled a list of some pretty dazzling weekend escapes that are easily accessible from London, including Hever Castle (pictured above), which is a mere 45 minute train ride from London Bridge. There’s no better way to de-stress when London is choc-a-block with Christmas shoppers than a still lake and some fresh air. So breathe deeply.