I'm never one for sentimentally, but none the less it does feel good to be getting 2019 done and dusted, and welcoming in 2020. I've spent the past few weeks living out of London after selling my flat of almost 9 years (I felt nothing closing that door for the last time, is that just me?) only to find the buying of my new place is taking a little bit longer than expected.
So come the new year I'll be commuting into London 6 days a week which already fills me with dread. But something to lift my spirits is the thought of all the really cool things going on, and although exams for the Blue Badge tourist guide training loom ever closer, I'm sure I'll manage to find some free time between studying...
Welcome in the New Year the classic way with the New Years Day Parade starting off at 12 o clock at Piccadily Circus and making its way through to Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square, down Whitehall and towards Parliament Square. Claiming to be the biggest street party in the world, it's always a great way to welcome in the New Year. But if you're after something a little different, on Sunday the 5th get down to Bankside by Shakespeare's Globe to celebrate Twelfth Night. Organised by the Lion part, the procession ends up at the George Inn celebrating the New Year with rather strange ancient traditions.
I managed to tick off a few exhibitions from the list before Christmas, but there's still a few more I am yet to pay a visit too. William Blake at the Tate is on until February the 2nd, George IV: Art and Spectacle at the Queens Galleries is on until May, and I can't recommend the new Troy exhibition at the British Museum more highly, I'll definitely be going a second time!
Don't worry, London definitely won't descend into darkness as soon as the Christmas decorations are taken down. Canary Wharf Winter Lights return this January, as well as Lightopia at Chiswick House and Gardens.
I've never really been big on celebrating the New Year, but something which I always make sure I attend is the Chinese New Year festivities in China Town. There doesn't seem to be much info on it online just yet. But I'm assuming it will be much like the previous years, so expect a colourful and musical parade, lots of street food and kids throwing those terrifying fire crackers on the floor!
And as always I'd like to check out a few new places to eat I've been meaning to try for a while. The Borough Market Kitchen has now opened round the back of food market, which means loads more seating but also a few new market stalls too! I can already recommend Joli's laksa, but top of my list to try this month are Mei Mei by Elizabeth Haigh (everything on the menu looks absolutely amazing), the new dishes at Horn Ok Please (I've been obsessed with these guys for many years now), pintxos from Batera by Mimo, Thai dishes from Khanom Krok and those very tasty looking wild mushroom kubbe from Juma Kitchen.
Heard in London