London comes alive at night. The city breathes slower, the streets are veins that light up from inside, the people a heart that beats collectively through happiness, pain, alcohol and life.
I look at the lights and feel a wave of goosebumps travel from the back of my neck to the end of my limbs. It is profoundly beautiful, an experience that is as breathtaking as it is life -ffirming.
Of course being 135ms above the ground helps take it all in. I am on the London Eye for the Winter Frostival and I am trying the Winter Cocktails created by award-winning The Cocktail Trading Co with equal parts informed curiosity and naughty delight. First, I take a sip from my Merry Stockings Cocktail, a blend of dark rum, elf-made winter cola and rose mixed with aromatic bitters served in a Christmas stocking. I nibble from the selection of snacks as I try (and fail) to use my navigational skills to understand where are the most famous landmarks and thank the screens that show the skyline and point me to the right direction.
The first rotation ends and the second cocktail comes along: the Candy Cobbler Cocktail, a mix of candy cane cordial, sherry, clove, cardamom & winter berry liqueur served in a crystal flute. The streets below stop for no one, but for some reason I feel that time has slowed down and I cannot help but feel reflective of this year. I take a sip of my drink, look far into this big, endless landscape of lights and feel this calmness washing over me.
We come out and I welcome the cold air in my lungs. I walk down Southbank and become one with the lights, one with the streets, a heartbeat of the of the city that shines.