December well and truly kicked off to a Christmassy start when I went to a carol concert at Westminster Cathedral on the 3rd. Create Victoria invited me to the service, and to the Christmas fair over the road in the Cardinal Place shopping centre, and the lure of both shopping and carolling was too much, it had to be done. If you haven't seen Westminster Cathedral Google Image it immediately, it's truly one of London's most stunning buildings. The inside is none too shabby either, and it was totally packed out (below). My shoddy photo doesn't do it justice, but the building it beautiful, and the ceiling is so high and dark it gave the illusion that we were in the open air. The concert was just one hour, and flew by because it was packed with performances from the Cathedral's own choir (so, so stunning) and a choir put together for the event singing the Twelve Days Of Christmas, with lyrics changed to be about the local area of Victoria. We all sang four carols, and there were readings from celebrities including someone I don't know from Downton Abbey, and Loyd Grossman who brought the house down with a poem about drunkenly making a Christmas cake. Hands down my favourite moments were the church choir, their singing is just mesmerising, and you can see (or hear) them on YouTube.
Before the service we had nipped over to the fair to check out the artisan stalls, which were 90% food. Air punch! There was so much choice, but of course I had to try a metallic gold salted caramel brownie from Bad Brownie. Cardinal Place looks so lovely and Christmassy at the moment, all lit up and with so many great shops, it's definitely worth a visit for some festive shopping (and drinking).
We ran into these sparkly stilt walking ladies (above) in Cardinal Place, and then saw them again outside the Cathedral. They are amazing on so many levels, not least because they balanced disco balls on their heads whilst tottering around on six foot poles.
After the carol concert everyone was invited to a drinks reception on the roof garden at Cardinal Place. Sponsored by Iberica, we were all given complimentary ice cold sherry and mince pies, and were entertained by The Diamond Boys playing rockabilly versions of Christmas songs, and these amazing lit-up birds and their Snow Queen ruler who bossed them about. There was a really great atmosphere up on the roof, and everyone forgot the cold and just got in the Christmas spirit.
This was such a brilliantly festive night, and put everyone in a yuletide mood. If that wasn't enough, this fab event also raised money for two homelessness charities in Victoria – The Passage and the Cardinal Hume Centre.