Anyone looking to rekindle the awe, magic and merriness of an early childhood Christmas should visit the Winter Wonderland I saw in a village pub the other day.
Until then, I would have suggested Claridge’s or Hamley’s as the perfect festive destination (depending on your budget), but they've since been usurped. I now know you'd be better off heading for Bedfordshire than for the bright lights of Regent Street. Look at that beautiful woodland scene; just a few minutes at that table would lift the mood of the most mean-spirited Grinch.
What more could anyone want than a couple of chairs, a pamphlet holder and a hastily thumb-tacked wipe-clean landscape? Who cares that the sign is about to come free from its Sellotape, ready to fall to the ground like that banner in Jurassic Park? Stotfold’s Winter Wonderland has all the mod-cons; it's got two coasters. Two.
Speaking of Claridge’s, I did a gig there once, playing keys for a Fifties rock n’ roll band at an affluent couple’s wedding reception. The bride & groom had requested Shake Your Tail Feather as part of our setlist, which I kicked off with the keyboard accidentally set to harpsichord. The resulting intro was less Ray Charles, more Charles I (which would work if he'd been king two hundred years earlier when the instrument was invented).