Welcome to Day Two of our Xmas Adventures In London! If you missed out on Day One, you can catch up here.
Day Two (Sunday 4th Dec) was our second full day in London. After breakfast, we decided we’d spend the first half of the day doing some shopping. Of course, because me and my boyfriend are both huge geeks, you can probably guess where we headed first…
That’s right, Forbidden Planet on Shaftesbury Avenue! This is the biggest Forbidden Planet store in the UK, and to say we were both in heaven is a huge understatement. We spent over a good hour looking around at all the wonderful pop culture merch and flicking through all the comics. If it weren’t for Rupert’s help restraining me, I could’ve easily spent £300 right there and then. However, I was a good girl and left with only 4 graphic novels (Adventures Of Supergirl, Harley Quinn: Power Outage, Wonder Woman: Guts, Batman: Mad Love) and a Joker/Harley Quinn Mad Love figurine set. At least I can always buy more on the website, right?
Next we went for a wander off down Oxford Street. A lot of the stores are just bigger versions of what we have back home, so we actually didn’t visit many of them. But of course, we just had to visit Oxford Street Disney Store!
Oxford Street Disney Store is, like Shaftesbury Avenue Forbidden Planet, one of the biggest of its kind in the UK. However, I found that the merchandise didn’t actually differ too much from that we have in the Norwich store, so I didn’t buy anything this time around. I did enjoy my ride in Cinderella’s beautiful carriage though!
Next stop, Regent Street. When you’re a couple of big kids in London, how can you possibly avoid visiting Hamley’s, the HUGE toy store?!
It’s been years since I last visited Hamley’s, and I was an actual child back then. But I love visiting these places as an adult as you can take in all the sights much better. Plus, Hamley’s just happen to have some amazing collector items too, such as Sylvanian Families, LEGO and Steiff bears. And yes, it was an eternal struggle to leave the store without any of the adorable plush animals (I just wanted to give them all homes!!!)
After spending what seemed like a couple of hours enjoying exploring Hamley’s, it was now dark outside, so we made our way over to Hyde Park Winter Wonderland!
Because we had pre-booked attractions, we skipped the long entry queue. The two attractions we had pre-booked were The Magical Ice Kingdom at 7pm, and Cirque Berserk at 9pm, and we had time to kill in between the two.
To be completely honest; Winter Wonderland was not everything it’s hyped up to be. There was stalls, and as I expected it’s mostly payment on a cash only basis, but there wasn’t much that was worth buying. There was food, but I wouldn’t say it was worth the price tag. Worst of all, there was literally nowhere to sit down – the limited seats that were there had all been taken, and we were lucky to have grabbed a couple of bar stalls when we did. You have to buy tokens to go on rides, which seems a bit ridiculous even for a free-to-enter theme park, especially as most of the rides are aimed at children and there’s only a couple of open-air thrill-coasters that would be worth going on… If it wasn’t so cold!
The one stall I did purchase goodies from was kawaii-themed with dozens of alpacas and other Japan favourites in many shapes and sizes! I bought a mystery Kawaii goody bag which contained £50 worth of pretties for £25. I got 3 alpacas, a mini alpaca, a bunny, an alpaca coin purse, a Coca Cola desk clock, strawberry panda biscuits, and a pair of fluffy earmuffs, which came in very handy!
The Magical Ice Kingdom was advertised on the website as taking 20 minutes to walk through… Turned out it only took 5 minutes, and that’s without rushing! However, the ice sculptures were very beautiful and it was interesting to see just how much work and detail goes into making these magical pieces of art… I just wished there was more as advertised.
After a few mulled wines, burgers, cheesy chips and pancakes later, it was time for Cirque Berserk… Which was what turned the evening around for us. In a sentence… CIRQUE BERSERK IS CRAZY AMAZING. I wish I got some photos, but my phone had died at this point, oops! Without giving too much away, Cirque Berserk‘s show has a great vintage “freak show” vibe as it showcases the most daredevil of deadly stunts, tricks and acrobatics. It was honestly like nothing I’ve ever seen performed live before. One wrong move and these talented performers would be done for… But that’s just how talented these performers are. They’re truly at the top of their game, and to think that they not only risk their lives once per evening, but THREE SHOWS A NIGHT… I have the utmost respect. This show literally just wanted to make me run away and join the circus! Cirque Berserk alone was worth the visit to Winter Wonderland that evening. Make sure you check it out if you’re in the area!
That concludes Day Two of our London adventures! Stay tuned for our final day, Day Three, coming soon…