Wednesday, 23 December 2015


Credit: Stockholm Our Way
Its the festive time, but what to do? How about a weekend getaway to boost your festive mood?

There is no better city in the world to choose for a festive getaway than Stockholm in Sweden.

At this time of year its covered in a healthy blanket of white sparkling snow. The city which dates back to the 12th Century is simply beautiful. Known affectionally as the 'Venice of the North,' it’s the jewel in the crown of the Nordic lands.

Famous for its museums, universities and art galleries, Stockholm is the most populated city in the region attracting a whooping 11 million visitors in 2013 alone. Picture perfect with the back drop of it's imposing 12th and 13th century architecture, Stockholm is the ideal destination for romantic couples, festive shopping, cultural escapes or just fun with the family.

Stockholm at this time of the year is especially special because the snow-globe setting is sure to warm the coldest of moods.

From visiting a Christmas market to enjoying some glogg and ginger bread, bathing under the glow of the beautiful festive decorations, to shopping in its narrow shopping streets, to enjoying a well deserved drink and meal at a bar or restaurant, Stockholm ticks all the boxes and will bring a smile to any face.

Stockholm is easily accessible on foot, bus, train and boat. Taking a reasonable two hours twenty minutes to get there by plane from the UK, and at the equally reasonable price of about £195 there and back, there really is no excuse not to visit Stockholm, even if you have or haven’t been already.

With over 1000 restaurants, 100 museums, a vibrant art scene and distinguished theatres, Stockholm is a truly wonderful city to visit. Spread across 14 islands, Stockholm's most popular region, it's old town is accessible by bridge, walking over the often frozen Lake Mälaren which meets the Baltic Sea in the South East region of the country.

Located just south of the 60th latitude, the number of daylight hours at this time of year is only about six hours. So expect darkness to fall about 3pm. Contrasting with it's summer nights which are short, it brings an element of magic, suspense and romance unlike any other city in the world.

With temperatures at Christmas well below freezing and snowing falling on any given day, it'll bring a smile to your face when you walk along their commercial shopping areas free from snow due to their under pavement heating, while walking further afield wading knee deep in crisp sparkling snow freshly fallen.

Night-clubs, restaurants, cinemas, cafes, casinos, you name it, you'll find it in Stockholm. Watching men fish salmon from the river, to marvelling at the royal architecture, Christmas lights, smells and sounds; Stockholm holds a certain endearment which will surely bring you festive cheer.

Famous for hosting the Nobel Peace prize, Stockholm boasts a wealth of history going back as far as the 6th millennium. Its people are warm and friendly. The streets are well kept, clean and tidy.
The spirit is jovial, romantic and inviting. A beautiful city full of beautiful people living beautiful lives and having a beautiful time.

If you are feeling in the mood for something more this festive season! In need of a quick get-away to lift your spirits; Stockholm is your perfect destination.

Don't be shy give Stockholm a try and remember to wrap up warm!


Saturday, 19 December 2015

12 Good Things About Christmas.

1. Christmas Presents.
We all love opening Christmas presents passed to us from under the Christmas tree. With over £74 Billion being spent in the six weeks before Christmas Day on presents this year, the prospect of a special gift is sure to bring some festive cheer. From friends, colleagues and family, receiving presents is one of the best thing about Christmas.
2. A White Christmas.
The last time mainland Britain enjoyed a white Christmas was in 2010. Defined by the Met Office as “a single snow flake falling during the 24 hours of Christmas Day”, a white Christmas is a dream come true for all Christmas enthusiasts. With bets of £200,000 placed every year on whether it snows or not, a white Christmas is still a major talking point. Building snowmen, making snow angels and throwing snow-balls, nothing completes Christmas more than a picturesque covering of snow.
3. Christmas Dinner.
The main event of Christmas Day is the coming together around the table, cracking open the Christmas crackers before feasting on the Christmas meal. Traditionally turkey, roast potatoes, Brussels sprouts and all the trimmings; Christmas pudding and mince pies, no Christmas would be Christmas without collapsing back onto the sofa after the meal, feeling as if your stomach is about to explode. “Watch the calories at Christmas,” is often a warning which falls on deaf ears!
4. Christmas Shopping.
While some may detest the Christmas rush to buy presents no one really appreciates, Christmas shopping can be an adventure all in itself. With your Christmas list in hand there is nothing better than buying your loved one’s presents to be opened on Christmas morning. Wrapping paper, labels and bows, neatly wrapped and placed under the Christmas tree, you can sit back with satisfaction with a mulled wine in hand; Christmas is sorted, well done.
5. Jesus Christ’s Birthday.
Not far from anyone’s mind is the real reason we celebrate Christmas. With a nativity play performed in primary schools across the country, to mangers set up on mantle-pieces, the story of a special boy being born into abstract poverty is on the top of many a mind. Religious or not, Christmas Day is ultimately a huge birthday party enjoyed by all. Are you going to midnight Mass this Christmas? If not, why not? Why don’t you give it a try!
6. Santa Claus.
Ho, ho, ho. Saint Nick, Mr Crinkle or Father Christmas, Christmas is the only day of the year conscientious parents are happy for an old man to be creeping around their homes at the dead of night. A firm legend for all kids, the story of a merry and kind spirited man delivering presents under the Christmas tree is still enjoyed today as it has been for kids for centuries.
7. Christmas Decorations.
With a whopping fortune spent on Christmas decorations every year, decorating our front rooms, Christmas trees, homes and gardens has become a national pastime. Raising the spirits of any mean spirited individual, Christmas decorations light up the festive season like no other way. Doing our Christmas shopping under the twinkling Christmas lights of city centres and shopping malls, to passing elaborately decorated homes on the way home, to walking into our own front room covered in colour and twinkling lights. Everyone loves to hang a piece of tinsel and kiss under the mistletoe!
8. Christmas Carols.
The fight for the Christmas number one should be kicking off about now. Will it be Simon Cowell’s X-Factor winner, a heart-warming charity single or someone out of the blue? The music we share at Christmas adds to the cheer and nothing is more soothing and heart-warming than a Christmas carol that we can all sing along. ‘Away in the Manger,’ to ‘Jingle Bells’ to the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’, Christmas carols have been imprinted into our memories in a good and wholesome way.
9. Christmas Parties.
“It’s Christmas!” Noddy Holder once famously shouted at the top of his voice. It’s also the time for Christmas parties, the one and only time you can kiss your boss and behave outrageously without getting the sack. Work colleagues across the nation are coming together around the Christmas table this year to enjoy their annual Christmas parties. Have you brought their presents for Secret Santa? And remember, drink in moderation, it’s back to work on Monday morning.
10. Christmas TV.
Other than settling down as a family to watch the Queen give her Christmas speech, there is nothing better than making yourself comfortable in the sofa, with a mince pie in hand, readying yourself for a Christmas movie treat. There is something for every taste at Christmas time. From the classic black and white movies which bring a tear to Granny’s eye, to the most recent block-busters which make the kids shake with excitement. Christmas TV boasts the spirits and banishes the boredom, the only downside of which is deciding which movie to watch.
11. Friends And Family.
Other than weddings, baptisms and funerals, Christmas time is the best time to meet up with friends and family. A festive season to give and receive there are no better people to share it with than your most dearest and nearest. Smile, laugh, cheer, eat and drink, friends and family make it complete. Remember to send out your Christmas cards. Everyone likes to receive them through their doors. Also, remember that without your friends and family, Christmas would be a bore!
12. Goodwill To All Men And Women.
“Humbug,” Scrooge once groaned; but just remember how the story ends. The good will to all men and women this Christmas season is sure to warm the coldest of hearts. Think about the lonely this Christmas, those without families and friends to enjoy it with. Extend your good will to the people you have nodded to throughout the year but never quite managed to speak to. If ever there is a season to be jolly, a season to be fair and generous, it’s Christmas time. Smile, laugh and be happy. Christmas time is upon us and we have plenty to be happy about. We are alive and kicking. The Sun is shining and our planet is spinning. Christmas time is about remembering the past and looking forward to the future. It’s about remembering dear friends and family and showing consideration to those worse of and in need.
Happy Christmas everyone and a Happy New Year!