Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Midsummer Christmas Madness

What is red and white striped, has a white beard and can be found in Knightsbridge on the 5th August? Father Christmas!
Confused? It’s hardly surprising with 4 ½ months til Christmas but, yes, Father Christmas made his 2008 debut at Harrods today! Dressed in a Victorian-style bathing suit and posing in front of an eight tonne sand sculpture of his sleigh and reindeer, Father Christmas officially opened Christmas World at Harrods! The World’s most famous and glamorous department store has waved goodbye to summer and is looking ahead to the festive season with not a hint of embarrassment or shame! Personally, I find it all rather disturbing!

However, Father Christmas is not hanging around just yet – according to official reports, he interrupted his summer holiday in Blackpool today to launch the Christmas display – but will return to Harrods on Saturday 1st November where he will be resident in his Grotto until Christmas Eve. The exceedingly popular Christmas Grotto Experience is free of charge but must be booked in advance. Tickets are available on-line from the 21st August and are subject to availability. This year Harrods are celebrating a century of Father Christmas at the store (1908-2008) with an extra special Christmas Parade entitled “Once Upon A Time Parade” on November 1st. I am, of course, giving you super-advance warning here but it seems that planning Christmas can never come early enough at Harrods!!! The event starts at 8am outside the store and arrives in Basil Street at around 8.30am with characters from Cinderella, Mrs Christmas and the main man who will then take up residence in his grotto on the 4th floor.

Enough about Christmas now!!!

Harrods is the ultimate shopping experience and also a must-see for tourists and London visitors alike. I guess it is as much a sightseeing attraction as it is a luxury department store. So if you are combining some shopping with your sightseeing then don’t forget to take advantage of the special offers you receive with the London Pass. If you spend £25 or more in Harrods lower ground floor then you will receive an exclusive free gift when you present your London Pass. If you fancy a bite to eat in the opulent surroundings of the Harrods 4th floor Georgian Restaurant then you will be offered a free glass of wine or fresh juice with your lunch if you have a London Pass.

With other London Pass attractions nearby including Kensington Palace and the Royal Albert Hall, it is a great place to visit and indulge in some luxury retail therapy! But, with 141 days left to buy your Christmas goodies there isn't an immediate rush to get to Christmas World - there are more than 300 other departments to explore at Harrods first!

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