Christmas has 100% crept up on me again this year, so much so I have no idea how I managed to get all of my Christmas shopping done with minimal stress.
For many though, Christmas shopping can be a bit of a chore – traipsing round the bustling high street is often a bit frantic. The high street stresses are a far cry from the festive spirit we traditionally associate with this time of year, so when Joe Bloggers got in touch to invite me on the CurrysChristmasWalk with them a few weeks ago, I was keen to see the alternative shopping experience they had in mind for us.
They’d teamed up with Best LDN Walks to take us on a tour of some of the oldest shopping haunts in the city – away from the crowds and the fury of the shoppers on Oxford Street. Not only that, but Currys wanted to make us all feel better about the number of mince pies we were certain to eat over the coming weeks, so they gave us a piece of wearable tech to prove just how many calories you can burn while marching around the bustling streets, laden with gifts for your loved ones. I got to test out a Garmin Vivofit – more on that in a minute.
On our stroll around Piccadilly, we visited chocolate shop Charbonnel & Walker, longstanding bookstore Hatchards, Berry Bros liqueur shop, Lock and Co hatters and Paxton and Whitfield cheese shop. I’m not hugely familiar with this part of the city and I would never have thought to do my Christmas shopping here, but there was certainly something for all of the people on my festive list. And Hatchards has fast become my favourite new haunt in London. A bookshop with a spiral staircase? Hello! Anyway, I snapped several photos before my phone gave way – so here they are:
Our guide Charlotte was incredibly knowledgeable about the stores we were frequenting and the surrounding area. This is the only Best LDN Walk I’ve done, but I’m certainly keen to do more in the future. They have a whole host over on their website (linked above) so be sure to check them out.
I was initially given a Jawbone to test on our festive stroll but couldn’t get it to pair with my phone, so at the end of the walk, I had it replaced with the Garmin. As a result of that I don’t have the final stats for the walk, but I can guarantee you’ll be surprised how many of your recommended 10,000 steps per day you get done walking around for a couple of hours.
For me, wearable tech is more useful when I’m running (which I’m doing more of these days) than for everyday but the Garmin Vivofit is still really cool. The display shows you how many calories you’ve burned, the miles you’ve travelled, the steps you’ve walked and how far off your daily target you are as well as the time. It feeds all of this information back to an app on your smart phone, allowing you to track all of these things, as well as using GPS to track your routes. I think you can also use it to track your heart rate but I haven’t figured out quite how yet.
*I was invited along on the Curry’s Christmas Walk and was gifted the Garmin Vivofit but this hasn’t affected my views on either the walk itself, the wearable tech or the excellent tour provided by Best LDN Walks.