This Sunday evening was well spent at Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland. An outing definitely worth making a trip into town for, Winter Wonderland runs from mid-November through to early January. It's the perfect way to experience a Christmas market London style, and get into the Christmas cheer. Combining stalls of Christmas trinkets, bratwurst sausage, and traditional German beers, with as many rides and carnival games as a theme park, Winter Wonderland offers something for everyone.
A word of warning...don't show up to Winter Wonderland with a bottle of wine, as we did. Not that we were at all expecting to drink the wine inside (we were both in fact very much excited by the thought of good beer), but it was a gift which was going to be given later in the evening. Low and behold, our bags got checked, and there we were, looking like idiots with our Morrison's 5p plastic bag packed with a bottle of Merlot, a quarter of a bag of Doritos, and some gluten-free bread...
"Is there somewhere you can put it, until we come out? It's a gift!" I asked in hope.
"No." the security lady answered, looking at me suspiciously.
Just as we were turning away, disappointed and slightly broken, we heard the lady call out to us...
"...but, I guess you could hide it."
Turning back around, we gave her a wink, and casually walked across the muddied grass to a line of trees, bare and exposed from winter. We found a winner, one in the middle, off the path and not exposed to the world walking by. Now me, being short, was crafting up a plan on how to dig some kind of hole to hide the wine in, and was quietly losing confidence quickly. Luke on the other hand, being well over 6 foot tall, was scouring the high branches for a suitable place to rest the bottle safely. With the bottle perfectly balanced between two branches, but camouflaged into the trunk on the tree, we casually walked away, like we'd seen or done nothing. Whilst we were pretty proud of ourselves, we also agreed that if the wine were to go walkabouts, we wouldn't let it dampen the night.
Arriving back at the entrance gate, we proceeded to have our bags checked again, gave the lady the thumbs up to hint that the bottle had been hidden, and headed inside the enjoy the markets with our bag of gluten-free bread, and almost finished Doritos.
Amazingly, the wine survived to meet it's intended receiver, and we went home, full of German beer, currywurst, and feeling pretty clever.
A peek into the life of me