Travel: Enjoy a private Christmas shopping break in London
PUBLISHED: 11:45 21 October 2020 | UPDATED: 12:29 21 October 2020
Discover a different kind of festive shopping trip at The Churchill in Marylebone
While the festive season might not look quite the same this year, there are some traditions that can be kept alive and that includes Christmas shopping in London. There’s nothing quite like browsing the cheerful window displays and taking in the impressive lights during this time of year.
But if you’re a little concerned about social distancing among the crowds then Hyatt Regency London The Churchill has come up with a solution, their Discover Marylebone package.
It may well be just a few streets away from busy Oxford Street but Marylebone has a completely different village vibe with an abundance of independent shops dotted between elegant Georgian squares and redbrick Victorian houses. And The Churchill has partnered with many of these eclectic establishments to provide exclusive experiences for guests, away from the mainstream hustle and bustle.
Guests are treated as VIPs from their arrival with a free pick up from Paddington or Marylebone stations or free parking at the hotel – situated just off pretty Portman Square.
The hotel, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, spent the time it was closed over lockdown giving the lobby and outside terrace a bit of a refresh. Big birthday celebrations were planned but for now a fresh lick of paint will have to do.
The Churchill is renowned for the stacks of memorabilia dedicated to its namesake that adorn the interior – from original photographs, love letters to and from Sir Winston’s wife, Clementine, and bookshelves featuring a range of literature that reflect the interests of the couple. There’s even a cocktail served in The Churchill Bar called Hush-Hush, which pays homage to Churchill’s penchant for pink silk boxers!
Much of he artwork you’ll find around the hotel also pays homage to the former Prime Minister and sits beside a carefully curated selection of pieces from local family gallery Thompson’s, a private tour of which can be organised as part of your stay. Look out for the striking Paul Wright portrait of Sir Winston and Clementine above the hotel lobby fireplace, as well as quirky human sculptures by Carole Peace, which form part of the gallery’s autumn exhibition.
As well as admiring the works of celebrated artists, you can have a go at getting creative yourself in-between visits to the shops. Included in the Discover Marylebone package is a private cooking masterclass with the hotel’s Head Chef Roger Olsson or, if the weather is dry, you could wrap up and head for a Champagne picnic in the private gardens of Portman Square with your very own private waiter.
Marylebone village has a plethora of foodie finds from Patricia and the late Danny Michelson’s famed cheese shop, La Fromagerie, and The Ginger Pig, where in more usual times you could have a go at a butchery class (vouchers for when courses resume next year are available) to Rococo chocolate shop, where you’re bound to find a stocking filler or two.
Candles also make a great gift and also included in the Discover Marylebone package is a private fragrant masterclass with the world’s oldest candle maker, Cire Trudon. Discover the history of the brand and stories that inspired each candle creation, before choosing a complimentary scented cameo to scent your handbag, luggage or clothes drawers.
There’s no need to worry if you over do it with the shopping either as the hotel concierge offers free pick up in Marylebone for shoppers and their latest purchases. But before you head back to the hotel, perhaps make a pit stop at House of ELEMIS, where hotel guests receive an exclusive 20% off treatments and products (that’s another Christmas gift sorted!).
There isn’t much better way to round off a day’s shopping in the city than a cocktail so sidle up next to the man himself (well a Lawrence Holofcener bronze statue of him) and enjoy a complimentary alfresco Mary-Le-Bone Gin & Tonic cocktail on the newly re-designed terrace at The Churchill Bar and some light bites (the saffron arrancini with truffle mayo are a must). Once you see some of the other show-stopping cocktails and nibbles on offer mind you, you may find it difficult not to order a few more!
The ‘Discover Marylebone’ package is available until January 31, 2021 and is priced from £315. For guests travelling with children a ‘Mini Marylebone’ package is also available. Find out more at Hyatt.com.