Christmas Capital City: London v New York

London v New York Christmas

Now before you get any ideas we aim to make this post as unbiased as possible even though in our heart of hearts we know that no city can compare to the grand old city of London. But if any city is going to give us a run for our money then New York is the one that’s nipping at our heels. We’ve had a bit of a think about it here at the office, and we’re not sure if it’s all those Hollywood Christmases we’ve been exposed to over the years. But there’s just something magical about the big apple during the holidays.

London v New York Christmas


London – Well Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the last minute dash through the shops would it? In good old London we have those British stalwarts, Harrods and Hamleys. Now, we’re just talking imaginary land here so bear with us. Harrods has become not only a great place to pick up those expensive baubles, but also a must visit for the Christmas Grotto and parade that signals the start of the festive season. Likewise, Hamleys, which holds the honour of being the world’s oldest toy shop, holds a certain magic at this time of year.

New York – Now Bloomingdales in New York is held in the same regard as Harrods is in London. They pull out all the stops for Christmas and put on a great show in their festive window displays which have become a tourist attraction in their own right. As for toys well the only place that can hold a candle to Hamleys is FAO Schwarz. It’s not only the oldest toy shop in the US, but claims to be the oldest shop of any kind. It’s a child’s paradise in there but then, what toy store isn’t?

Winner – We have to give this one to London. Great old shops and a real nostalgic feeling walking down the old streets under all those traditional decorations.

London v New York Christmas

Ice Skating

London – We have to say that we were surprised at just how many outdoor skating rinks there are in London. Canary Wharf, Hampton Court Palace, Broadgate and Eyeskate are all pretty amazing spots with some stunning backdrops. Time to get your coats on lads, these are great date destinations for the holiday season.

New York – This is where that Hollywood factor kicks in with countless Christmas movies showing us how wonderfully quaint and festive Central park is during the holidays. The thing is though, while there are quite a few other rinks around the city, none of them are as festively scenic as the park.

Winner – Surprisingly it’s London again. The old architecture and historical sites of London provide wonderfully romantic and festive backdrops for falling on your backside on some ice.

Christmas Lunch

London – If you’ve £400 (£195 per child) burning a hole in your pocket then it has to be the Ritz for the Christmas Day Luncheon. The price includes a 6 course meal, live entertainment, a magician, a caricaturist for some silly pictures and a visit from the man in red himself. But be warned iron your shirts and leave the casual wear in the wardrobe for this lunch date.

New York – Breakfast with Santa? At the Rockefeller Centre, you say? Why the hell not? Now we didn’t mention this spot for ice skating earlier because we were saving it for this. Christmas lunch is not a big tradition in NYC, and there are quite literally tonnes of restaurants open for business but the Rock Centre Café wins hands down for the big Christmas experience. Ice skating outside by a massive Christmas tree then breakfast with Santa. Where would you get it?

Winner – Yep, that’s right New York hands down. There’s not much choice for the traditional fare but what you can get is pretty magical.

London v New York Christmas

The Weather

London – You’d think with our lovely (read terrible) weather here in old Blighty that we’d be blessed with a white Christmas year after year. Well, more often than not it’s just plain cold and miserable weather. If the rain and dull weather float your Christmas boat then London is the place for you this yuletide.

New York – It’s the same story across the pond with regards to a white Christmas but New York gets snow quite often whereas London might not get any for a few years. The cold temperatures and plenty of ice do a good enough job of keeping the festive spirit alive.

Winner – New York just for the slightly higher chance of that ever elusive white Christmas.

London v New York Christmas

That Christmas Feeling

London – When the country is planning on coming to a standstill for a full 24 hours you get that feeling of urgency with people running about on madcap last minute missions. On top of that there is an old and distinctive charm about Christmas in London that’s hard to put into words. Maybe it’s the people, or maybe it’s the surroundings, either way practically everyone in London gets into the swing of things by Christmas Eve.

New York – Even though there isn’t the complete shutdown of business that we see in London, you have to love our American cousins for their penchant for overdoing things. Reality shows, jumbo size soft drinks, Halloween and of course Christmas. They really know how to put on a show and with all those decorations and lights and music and Santas…. You just have to see it to believe it.

Winner – Though it pains our nostalgic heart to say it, this one is a tie. Old charm and Christmas spirit in London or lights and excitement in New York, we just can’t decide.

So if you are relatively good at maths you’ll have figured out that our final result is a draw. We simply can’t choose one over the other. London has it all for us, but New York holds the promise of something new and exciting. So if you’re in the fortunate position of being able to choose one or the other this year then let us know how it goes. Oh and if you’re making the trip don’t forget to wrap up with our range of men’s coats and men’s casual wear.

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