Wow. It’s been almost a week since the party, and still…all I can say is wow. Coming from Belize, it’s amazing to see what you can do with resources and a bigger budget.

But let me first start off with the house. I am in love with Winfield House. For one thing, it’s inside Regent’s Park. And before you start worrying about how much the American taxpayers are paying for it, let me sooth your nerves and tell you that the original owner, American socialite Barbara Hutton, sold it to the American gov’t after WWII for one dollar.

But before that she spent about £10 million building and decorating it. And the interior is just breath taking. From the Reception Hall with fluted Doric columns, the Green Room with hand-painted Chinese wallpaper, to the 18th century French and English panelling and reliefs, the house is a work of art. Plus Cary Grant visited there during his short marriage to Barbara in 1942, which seriously increases the classy factor in my book.

The party was pretty impressive too! I have no idea how many children were there, but every room seemed animated and busy…in that special way that kids have of livening up a formal space. The State Dining Room table was covered in mince pies, gingerbread and Christmas cookies; there were two chocolate fountains in the room next door; the Reception Hall had a huge tree covered in Teddy bears; and there was a second tree with blue lights in the Yellow Room where our son spent some time licking his reflection in the mirrored wall panelling. But at least he wasn’t responsible for the broken leg on the antique silk couch.

And for entertainment highlights, there were three. One was the arrival of Santa Claus, of course. Every child got to sit on his lap, and miraculously, our son didn’t even cry this year! I guess he’s growing up. Second, the Ambassador read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” encircled by children on the floor, which was lovely.

But the pièce de résistance for me was the ballerina. I’ve never been obsessed with The Nutcracker around the holidays, and I’m not sure if I’ve ever even seen it all the way through…so it might have been Babes in Toyland for all I know. But to see this beautiful girl dressed up as a doll spinning in front of a Christmas tree before so many mesmerized children, including my own, was one of those unforgettable moments.

And that’s how I will always think of our first Christmas in London…unforgettable.

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