To continue this holiday theme, lets talk shopping. And since we are in London lets talk about where the Queen does her shopping. You know, because I’m posh like that. I went on a Christmas shopping tour hosted by Best LDN Walks; it was all about cheese, gin and fitness…yes fitness. Currys gave each member of the tour a new bit of wearable tech to track the energy we expended while on this decadent tour. I’m pretty sure that meant it was technically exercise?
I was given the Jawbone which is a fitness tracker you wear on your wrist, it is meant to track how many steps you take, when you are most active and your sleep. First thought was that it was not the most comfortable thing to wear , not sure if that was because I had about five layers on top of it (this is London in December y’all) or because it is a relatively bulky bit of plastic wrapped around your wrist. But as soon as we got going there was a serious amount of treats to distract me.
Each of the shops we were going to is the current holder of a royal warrant, that means that the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh or the Prince of Wales shops there. First stop was to Charbonnel et Walker the chocolate shop that feeds the Queens craving for Violet Creams. Sampling the Queen’s favorite chocolate was an experience in itself, it was like eating chocolate buttons after having used perfume as a mouthwash…maybe its an acquired taste. I do know however that Charbonnel et Walker’s hot chocolate is flipping fantastic and well worth picking up as a stocking filler.
After hitting a couple more shops (that I can’t mention because I may or may not have purchased Christmas presents there) we made our way to Hatchards the oldest bookshop in the UK. It is heaven for bibliophiles and a lot of the books on the tables are signed copies. I wonder if the Royals have ever read a non signed book? At this point I may have got a little distracted because I spotted the real Bill Nighy shopping for a book or two, it seemed fitting to see one of the Love Actually cast members on a Christmas shopping tour!
After a brief stop in the pub for mulled wine, not feeling guilty about the indulgence at all because one look at my Jawbone told me that I had so far walked 2,339 steps. With that sort of extreme level of exercise under our belts it was onto my personal highlight of the tour, the gin shop. Well to be more specific Berry Bros. and Rudd are a wine and spirit merchant, but I was all about the sloe gin sample that was needed to battle the winter cold. Sloe Gin is is combination of ripe, wild sloe berries and is then infused in London Dry Gin, it tastes (dangerously) like juice. I may or may not have had more than one sample…but if the Queen drinks it it must be good, and with a Jawbone on my wrist everything I did was to be considered healthy.
After a few more Royal worthy stops: Fox of St James’s where Winston Churchill purchased his cigars, John Lobb where a custom made pair of boots can take 9 months, Floris of London and to smell the perfume of Marilyn Monroe. We fought our way through upward of a thousand drunk Santas (it was the day of the infamous SantaCon) to the Christmas lights of Piccadilly where we said our goodbyes.
That night I was off to #SinterThanksgiving (more on this in the next post), and on my way there I checked out my Jawbone stats. I had walked up a whopping 4,085 steps which was 40% of my recommend 10,000 steps a day. Not bad for a decadent two hour shopping trip. I was sold on the Jawbone up until the dessert course of SinterThanksgiving where I checked again and it said I had taken over 1,000 steps over the course of the meal. Vastly concerning since I had been sitting in a chair the entire time and my only ‘activity’ had been lifting my wine glass…oops.