Stuck for what to buy a few people this Christmas? Don’t worry – I feel you. There are so many people close to me that are really un-materialistic. And although this is a brilliant trait to have, I’m actually finding it a negative at Christmas whilst I’m scratching around trying to work out what to buy them.
Although, I think I now how the perfect idea. I was recently given a couple of vouchers through Buy A Gift to use on a trip away to London, and they actually made my trip that bit more special and complete.
I’ve never thought to look on Buy A Gift for experience type vouchers for gifts before, but if you know someone who is looking to go away somewhere, or has a keen interest in something (be it food, fitness, sport activities), they are actually perfect.
The experience gift voucher I had from Buy A Gift was a trip up The Shard for 2, to experience ‘The View From The Shard’. Along with this was a meal for two at Marco Pierre White’s New York Italian restaurant, which I picked out myself because it’s a restaurant very close to the foot of The Shard.
So, upon my recent trip to London (which I shared on my Instagram stories and you all seemed to love the little clips!) myself and my boyfriend decided to head to The Shard first, and kick start our day off with some stunning views of the city…
As you can see, the Christmas decorations had just gone up, turning the two top viewing floors of The Shard into a Christmas haven. It was truly magical, with a gorgeous Christmas tree and a Moet bar all adorned with stars and sparkles.
The experience voucher itself should have cost £89, which includes 2 people to visit The View From The Shard, and then onto a 3 course dinner with a glass of fizz at Marco Pierre White. If you think about it, it costs £32 per person to go up the see The View From The Shard normally, so this is an incredible voucher deal!
You can view the deal over on Buy A Gift here.
The day we turned up was rather a murky, misty day, so sadly we didn’t get those clear sky views of the city on London.
But, we did have full visibility of everything we wanted to see: the skyscrapers, miles and miles of the River Thames, Tower Bridge, the railways, and miles of London boroughs sprawled out wide.
Plus, going here around Christmas time was truly beautiful. Everyone is sipping champers at the top floor bar, enjoying the views and relaxing in the stunning, iconic building.
It’s a true tourist activity, so if you know anyone who is going to London soon, or somewhere who wants to visit, I can’t recommend this voucher from Buy A Gift enough. The trip up The Shard is a fantastic way to spend a couple of hours on a weekend day, or even during the evening hours. I can only imagine how pretty the views are all lit up at night!
Plus, the bar with it’s champagne and cocktail menu will be even more appealing!
The beauty of the Marco Pierre White New York Italian restaurant is that it’s a short 5 minute walk away from The Shard, meaning you get the lovely views of Tower Bridge and the River Thames as you walk on over.
So, what else did we do whilst in London after we had made use of our voucher?
1. Borough Market
By far the best place to go for street food, if it’s not too cold to stand outside! Be warned, the markets get extremely busy on a Saturday, and we were there at the prime time of 1pm on a Saturday afternoon. I went for a delicious vegetarian Indian street food dish, made up of potatoes and chickpeas.
Martin went for something a little more adventurous – an Ethiopian beef dish with veggies sides! It was absolutely delicious and so unusual (for me anyway, I’ve never had Ethiopian cuisine before but this place clearly has the biggest queues, hence the most popular).
2. Covent Garden
After The Shard and Borough Market, we headed to Covent Garden so that we could walk around the indoor markets, browse the stunning Christmas displays, and then walk into Leciester Square and through to China Town. It was so Christmassy and bustling, it was literally magical all lit up!
I’d highly recommend Covent Garden for a spot of shopping if you want to avoid Oxford Street.
3. Walked around Bermondsey, near London Bridge
Our hotel was the Bermondsey Square Hotel, so we headed out around this area after dinner and popped to some local bars. It’s a lovely little high street, very clean and modern which I wasn’t expecting. It’s lined with quirky coffee shops, little bars that offer the best Espresso Martini’s in town (YES!), and stylish pubs.
Honestly, if you’re a little stuck for gift ideas this December, I can’t rave about Buy A Gift enough!