50 days to Christmas: treat yourself to a weekend of Christmas shopping

A view of Carnaby Street, London at ChristmasIt’s official – there are now just 50 days to go until the most magical time of the year. With it seeming like only days ago that our courtyard was full of guests enjoying a morning coffee in the warm summer sun and a drop of cognac and a cigar in the late evening warmth, we can hardly believe we’ll soon be celebrating the Christmas festivities.

And whilst there are some truly fantastic places to soak up the festive atmosphere, for us, it’s difficult to beat London. There’s something truly magical about our capital city whenever you visit, but the entire city comes alive for Christmas.

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The Vogue Festival 2014 is at the Southbank Centre this March!

A cover of Vogue Magazine from 1957One of the most eagerly anticipated events of the year for fashionistas, The Vogue Festival will this year be held at the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre. The festival offers a chance to see the glossy pages of Vogue up close and personal, and to experience the whirlwind world of fashion first hand.

This year’s event is sponsored by fashion powerhouse Harrods, and will include everything from interviews to panel discussions, makeovers to careers masterclasses, and an opportunity to see and hear from the most influential figures of the fashion industry to date.

Amongst the highlights of the festival are 10 talks which you can book to see, including titles such as: ‘Valentino: King of Glamour’ and ‘Fashion Legends’ with Naomi Campbell. Guests confirmed for this year’s event include Manolo Blahnik, Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton, Victoria Secret angel Karlie Kloss and Vogue Italia’s editor-in-chief, Franca Sozzani.

The Vogue Festival takes place on the 29th and the 30th March and tickets are available from the Southbank Centre website.

After spending the day mingling with fashion’s elite, why not call in to DUKES London for dinner in our fabulous restaurant? You can book online quickly and easily here.

Image courtesy of Classic Film

A guide to Christmas shopping in London

Oxford Street in London at ChristmasIf you’re planning a Christmas shopping spree in London over the next few weeks, then we have the perfect guide for you.

With no better time to visit than during the Christmas period, you’ll be sure to come away feeling full of festive cheer as you experience the city in all of its illuminated grandeur.

To ensure you get your loved one that perfect Christmas gift (and perhaps even a special something for yourself…), we’ve collated our favourite Christmas stores – most of which are within 10 minutes’ walk of DUKES London – in which you’re guaranteed to find everything you need.

Harrods

If there’s one store that is guaranteed to put you in the festive mood it has to be Harrods.

Famous for its annual Christmas window display, Harrods pulls out all the stops and this year’s theme is no exception, taking inspiration from the iconic British steam train.

The lavish window display showcases the store’s most luxurious fashions and you’ll soon feel like you’ve stepped into a scene from the Great Gatsby.

For those of you visiting London this Christmas, make Harrods your first stop!

Fortnum and Mason

Nowhere spreads Christmas cheer like the 307-year-old Fortnum and Mason, as the store is transformed into a magical winter wonderland adorned with the most beautiful Christmas decorations.

The store is renowned for creating the most decadent Christmas hampers full of tasty treats, making Fortnum and Mason a must for all food lovers.

Liberty

Located on the fourth floor, the Liberty Christmas shop is definitely worth a visit. With a beautiful range of vintage-looking Christmas wreaths and other intricate decorations, Liberty has something to suit everyone.

And for those of you with a sweet tooth, stop by Liberty’s chocolate shop on your way out for some sumptuously tasty goodness.

Hamley’s Toy Store

For anyone with young children this Christmas, you can’t visit London without taking a trip to the famous Hamley’s Toy Store.

With more toys than you could imagine, this certainly is toy heaven – and at Christmas time, could be mistaken for Santa’s grotto.

So if there’s something left on Santa’s list, Hamley’s is sure to have it!

Selfridges

Last but not least on the list, the famous Selfridges of Oxford Street. If you’re yet to get a gift for that special someone, Selfridges is the answer.

With a wide selection of stylish and quirky gifts for him and her, a trip to Selfridges is sure to put a smile on your better-half’s face this festive season.

After a busy day of Christmas shopping, what better way to unwind than with a festive glass of fizz in our famed DUKES Bar?

We at DUKES London hope you have a sparkling Christmas!

Image courtesy of Kyle Taylor

‘Tis the season to be jolly at Harrods’ wine world

An external shot of Harrods in London during the dayChristmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without a festive tipple. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or simply just an enthusiast then Harrods store in Knightsbridge is offering you a chance to discover and enjoy a number of wines at the newly launched ‘Wine World.’

With on hand expert advice, you are bound to find the perfect white to accompany your Christmas turkey or a sparkling vino to bring in the New Year.

Harrods Wine World is also offering exclusive wine tasting events complete with canapés and on hand advice to help you become an expert taster, giving you the extra confidence when purchasing wine.

The experts will give you and your friends “an introduction to production techniques, wine styles, wine regions and food and wine pairing.” However, if you prefer a glass with a little more fizz the team will also offer Champagne tasting, where you can indulge in some of the world’s finest Champagnes.

Once you have selected your perfect accompaniment for the festivities, the experts will advise you on the ‘Perfect Glass’ to enhance your drinking experience to the maximum, from the ‘Vinum Pinot Noir Glass to the Eve Decanter,’ there will be the perfect match for your perfect grape.

With it being Christmas, you can take advantage of the full package and explore the range of sweet sensations Harrods has to combine with your wine. It has the Perfect Port, Charming Chocolate and Splendid Sweets – each are seductive in taste and are the perfect pairings for the ultimate Christmas treat.

Amplify your taste buds, set the mood and enjoy the ‘most wonderful time of year’ with London’s finest department store, set to provide everything you need to make the season jolly and bright.

For more information on Harrods Wine World, visit the website or for the ultimate experience in sophisticated drinking head to our very own DUKES Bar to try one of our world famous Martinis before heading back to one of our suites to discover what luxury really is.