When traveling, it is often the little indulgences that pleasurably boost the biggest smiles. Hats off to luxurious, award-winning, family-owned-and-run Red Carnation Hotels for reminding us, especially during the busy holiday season’s hoopla, to stop and, well, smell the flowers. Whether you are planning to celebrate in London (near a cozy fireplace) this winter or are inspired to put these delicious diversions on your wish list for a future visit, here are sweet ways to be good to yourself:

WINTER WONDERLAND AFTERNOON TEA

Lobby of The Chesterfield Mayfair.© Red Carnation Hotels

Begin at The Chesterfield Mayfair, where an invigorating eye-candy stroll can transport you along elegant, festively lit shops on Bond Street, through Piccadilly and the Royal Parks. Return to this historical hotel hideaway where traditional afternoon tea will warm your heart as much as your tummy. Mulled wine, savory finger sandwiches (smoked salmon and cream cheese on beetroot bread, egg and watercress on basil bread, roast turkey and cranberries on white bread), chocolate scones, plus desserts (Chocolate yule log, coconut Christmas balls, Christmas tree chocolate, eggnog profiteroles and gingerbread cupcakes) are served with your choice of loose teas, herb-flower teas, coffee. No matter where we tread, don’t we all need more uplifting downtime and soothing sustenance?

POP-UP SKI LODGE  ALLURE

Antique furnishings and artwork dress the inside of The Montague on the Gardens. Outside, during the holiday season, its aprés ski festivities are more casual.© Red Carnation Hotels

The fantastical Ski Lodge, a winter party venue at The Montague on the Gardens in Bloomsbury neighborhood, joyfully returns this season. The hotel’s wooden deck is outfitted in an alpine theme replete with gently falling snow, glittering lights, lanterns, pine trees, snowmen, ski racks and woolly blankets. If you can’t actually be on the slopes, this is a dreamy escape. Sip creatively flavored schnapps and vodkas (butterscotch, candy cane, toffee), spiced ciders and hot choctails — the ideal combo of chocolate and alcohol. There are hearty eats, too: bratwurst, deep-fried Camembert, candied pecans and turkey schnitzel. Or head to Montague’s nearby Log Cabin to snuggle.

SPICE SO NICE 

Across from Buckingham Palace, The Rubens at the Palace hotel showcases the best of Indian and African cuisine in its relaunched Curry Room, where, this December, the crowd-pleasing Gajar Ka Halwa Mince Pie — a favorite British pastry with an Indian twist — is dished up. At Rubens’ New York Bar, a complimentary, flaky mince pie accompanies an eggnog cocktail order. Cheers!

Stylish, sophisticated Red Carnation Hotels are not just places, but also conveyers of feelings — warmth, welcome, wonder. It can be inviting to replicate many of these properties’ seasonal and culinary ideas in your home, so here is a recipe for the Leopard Toddy from Angelo Gobbi, the manager of The Leopard Bar in The Rubens at the Palace:

3 cinnamon sticks (2 for syrup, 1 for garnish)

1 cup honey

.5 ounce lemon juice

1 2/3 ounces Scotch whisky (Gobbi suggests Kilchoman Machir Bay)

fresh cut orange peel

5 cloves

First, make the syrup, best prepared the day before. In a small pot, bring 1 cup of water to a boil with 2 cinnamon sticks. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup honey and refrigerate overnight. When ready to mix the toddy drink, measure out .5 ounce of the honey-and-cinnamon syrup into an approximately 12-ounce mug. (Reserve rest of syrup for additional toddies.) Add lemon juice to mug. Cut a slice of orange peel. Pierce it with 5 cloves. Add the whisky, remaining 1 cinnamon stick and orange peel to mug. Then top up the mug with boiling hot water to create a fragrant and warming winter cocktail.

For more travel ideas and tips, go to Visit London and Visit Britain.

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When traveling, it is often the little indulgences that pleasurably boost the biggest smiles. Hats off to luxurious, award-winning, family-owned-and-run Red Carnation Hotels for reminding us, especially during the busy holiday season’s hoopla, to stop and, well, smell the flowers. Whether you are planning to celebrate in London (near a cozy fireplace) this winter or are inspired to put these delicious diversions on your wish list for a future visit, here are sweet ways to be good to yourself:

WINTER WONDERLAND AFTERNOON TEA

Lobby of The Chesterfield Mayfair.© Red Carnation Hotels

Begin at The Chesterfield Mayfair, where an invigorating eye-candy stroll can transport you along elegant, festively lit shops on Bond Street, through Piccadilly and the Royal Parks. Return to this historical hotel hideaway where traditional afternoon tea will warm your heart as much as your tummy. Mulled wine, savory finger sandwiches (smoked salmon and cream cheese on beetroot bread, egg and watercress on basil bread, roast turkey and cranberries on white bread), chocolate scones, plus desserts (Chocolate yule log, coconut Christmas balls, Christmas tree chocolate, eggnog profiteroles and gingerbread cupcakes) are served with your choice of loose teas, herb-flower teas, coffee. No matter where we tread, don’t we all need more uplifting downtime and soothing sustenance?

POP-UP SKI LODGE  ALLURE

Antique furnishings and artwork dress the inside of The Montague on the Gardens. Outside, during the holiday season, its aprés ski festivities are more casual.© Red Carnation Hotels

The fantastical Ski Lodge, a winter party venue at The Montague on the Gardens in Bloomsbury neighborhood, joyfully returns this season. The hotel’s wooden deck is outfitted in an alpine theme replete with gently falling snow, glittering lights, lanterns, pine trees, snowmen, ski racks and woolly blankets. If you can’t actually be on the slopes, this is a dreamy escape. Sip creatively flavored schnapps and vodkas (butterscotch, candy cane, toffee), spiced ciders and hot choctails — the ideal combo of chocolate and alcohol. There are hearty eats, too: bratwurst, deep-fried Camembert, candied pecans and turkey schnitzel. Or head to Montague’s nearby Log Cabin to snuggle.

SPICE SO NICE 

Across from Buckingham Palace, The Rubens at the Palace hotel showcases the best of Indian and African cuisine in its relaunched Curry Room, where, this December, the crowd-pleasing Gajar Ka Halwa Mince Pie — a favorite British pastry with an Indian twist — is dished up. At Rubens’ New York Bar, a complimentary, flaky mince pie accompanies an eggnog cocktail order. Cheers!

Stylish, sophisticated Red Carnation Hotels are not just places, but also conveyers of feelings — warmth, welcome, wonder. It can be inviting to replicate many of these properties’ seasonal and culinary ideas in your home, so here is a recipe for the Leopard Toddy from Angelo Gobbi, the manager of The Leopard Bar in The Rubens at the Palace:

3 cinnamon sticks (2 for syrup, 1 for garnish)

1 cup honey

.5 ounce lemon juice

1 2/3 ounces Scotch whisky (Gobbi suggests Kilchoman Machir Bay)

fresh cut orange peel

5 cloves

First, make the syrup, best prepared the day before. In a small pot, bring 1 cup of water to a boil with 2 cinnamon sticks. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup honey and refrigerate overnight. When ready to mix the toddy drink, measure out .5 ounce of the honey-and-cinnamon syrup into an approximately 12-ounce mug. (Reserve rest of syrup for additional toddies.) Add lemon juice to mug. Cut a slice of orange peel. Pierce it with 5 cloves. Add the whisky, remaining 1 cinnamon stick and orange peel to mug. Then top up the mug with boiling hot water to create a fragrant and warming winter cocktail.

For more travel ideas and tips, go to Visit London and Visit Britain.

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