My top 5 fantasy Christmas destinations

Harrods at Christmas Image credit: Michael Caven

Bob Dylan might tempt me with his “how’d ya like to spend Christmas on Christmas Island?”, but when it comes to the festive season, going home is a holiday in itself. As cheesy as it might be – and my French father always lays on an epic cheese board on Christmas Eve – my preferred Christmas is wherever loved-ones are.  All that is expected of me is that I rock up on Christmas Eve with presents for the family, a new toy for the kitten, and a bottle of port.  No one will mind if I do nothing but be merry, lay the table and make gravy all Christmas.

And don't we all dream about a lockdown in the retail establishment of one’s choice?  Imagine being able to quell your borborygmus (this is my word of the day, the technical term for a rumbling stomach – let’s crack it out more often!) with an unlimited supply of edible luxury goodies... My personal favourite would be Harrods in London. For me, the prospect of starting with a tipple in the Food Hall and a £50 luxury mince-pie, followed by a Jimmy Choo shopping spree, topped off by a roof party overlooking SW3 (all on the tab, of course), sounds like superficial heaven.

Yet, if I were given a Secret Santa golden ticket abroad this festive season, I can’t say I’d mind. Travelling outside of the UK affords the chance to embrace the quintessential traditions of your location of choice. For me, that’s St. Petersburg.  Ever since I read Anna Karenina and was given my first set of Matryoshka dolls, I’ve held onto my idealist fantasy of a Christmas snow-scape, artisan markets, ice-skating along the Neva River, and sleigh rides, decked out in glamorous Russian winter-wear and complete with sheepskin hat.

Christmas destinations for me must be wintry, with the magical yet sadly elusive snow lying deep, crisp and even; why not make the most of it and go skiing in the French Alps.  Typically the domain of pre- or post-Christmas holidays, the prospect of fresh snow, a bright view of the resort town, and church-bells signalling the first of many Christmas-day toasts, strikes me as a magical December 25th.  I wouldn’t even mind forgoing the ubiquitous over-cooked sprouts if it meant I could tuck into a delicious, unctuous cheese fondue.  #Mountainside. 

Staying closer to home, I regularly fantasise about a seaside bolt-hole in Devon.  My love of the du Mauriers knows no bounds, and this influences my idyll of a cliff-top cottage, warmed by a permanent fire, whilst buffeted by offshore winds.  In future years, I imagine starting a new Christmas tradition with a mass exodus to such a place. In reality, it would probably to be ruined by the reality of wet logs, fractious babies and forgotten matches; still, a girl can dream?

blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Stories

In this section

Across the site

Best of the Rest