Posts Tagged ‘kempton’

London — By Andrea Kirkby on December 25, 2009 at 7:11 am
Filed under: best of the week, boxing day, featuredarticle, horse racing, kempton, sales, Shopping

Boxing Day in London

As far as I’m concerned there are two ways to do Boxing Day in London. Both are traditional. One is to do the Sales. The other is to head off to the races. Both are great fun!


Some shops, like John Lewis, will start their sales later. But the best shop of all (yes, I’m biased) is Harvey Nichols[map], and it starts its sale Boxing Day.  From there you can run down the road, just a few yards, to the Harrods sale.

Selfridges in Oxford Street [map] also begins its sale Boxing Day, and my personal favourite Liberty’s [map] will also be open. Yes, Harvey Nicks has the best stuff, but Liberty’s is just so much fun – I hardly ever buy clothes there but there’s always some little thing that I like, whether it’s a pair of embroidered silk slippers or a tiny gilt pencil box.

Some people queue up for the sales and make definite plans to buy particular things – shaving hundreds off a major purchase. Me, I regard the sales as entertainment as much as a chance to save money – I like the atmosphere, the bustle, even the fact that the rails are covered in hundreds of different, clashing outfits, so different from the colour-coordinated, disciplined clothes racks you see the rest of the year. And of course the Christmas lights are still on in the street, and the stores are still beautifully decorated for Christmas.

If on the other hand you fancy a day in the fresh air after a Christmas  Day spent in front of the telly, head for the races at Kempton Park [map]. You don’t have to be that well-heeled to spend the day there – admission prices start at £12 – and it will be an exciting day’s racing over jumps, with three of the races on the card at the top level (Grade 1). The gates open at 1030 with the first race at 1250 – for aficionados this will be a particularly great day as the previously invincible Kauto Star goes for an unprecedented fourth-in-a-row win in the King George VI Chase. Will his record hold?

I love racing – I don’t do it that often these days, but it’s a great day out, with plenty of bars and food stands, the chance to see the horses and their grooms in the paddock, the racing, and all the excitement of the bookmakers’ ‘ring’ – definitely something for American visitors to experience, as it’s a whole load more exciting than the rather utilitarian Tote.  Do check before you head out there though, as meetings are occasionally cancelled (this particular one has only been cancelled four times since 1970, though, so your chances of seeing a race are pretty good!)

Photo by  Gordon Joly  on flickr

4 places are mentioned in this post!
  1. Recently revamped, the top floor bar at the famous Knightsbridge depertment
Click on the place name to learn more

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