I love Christmas, you may have heard me say on numerous occasions, and one of my favourite traditions is doing my Christmas tour of London, seeing the lights, the festive displays and the over-the-top Christmas trees, I just love it all. I get asked a lot on my Instagram to share my favourite spots, so I thought I’d give you a little mini-tour covering the major holiday spots in the city this year.
Claridge’s – From Paris With Love
Claridge’s is always top of my list when I’m doing my Christmas tour of London, as each year they collaborate with a different designer, always so innovative and beautiful and this year they asked Christian Louboutin to showcase his spin on Christmas.
Of course, red plays a part in homage to his famous soles, but the tree itself is actually quite traditional with a red and gold theme, dressed with fairy lights and gingerbread stilettos – and topped with a gold-leaf crown.
The luxury footwear designer has also installed a red train carriage, The ‘Loubi Express’, in the lobby next to the tree – where you can board for champagne, cocktails, and the hotels’ signature Lobster Wellington in the red velvet dining carriage.
New Bond Street
Round the corner from Claridge’s is New Bond Street, always a fun street to walk down, as most of the luxury shops dress up their windows and add lights. My favourites are always Cartier, I’m a sucker for that giant red bow, as well as Tiffany’s, Ralph Lauren and Stella McCartney’s tacky light display. This year Chanel also joined in, adding its iconic designs onto its facade.
The Ritz London
The iconic Ritz London is stunning all year round, but at Christmas time it really comes into its own, because who doesn’t like a bit of tradition during the holidays. This year the hotel has gone with an Edwardian winter wonderland theme and its grand tree in the foyer is so magnificent it actually left me speechless.
Not only is this tree huge, it was a tough job getting it all in the shot, you can’t even see the star in the first picture, but the way it has been decorated it is just so beautiful. I love all the red and gold accents, the quirky touches with the oversized bows and stars, alongside owls, yep very Harry Potter, as well as flowers, presents and baubles.
For a fun treat, just off Regent Street, you have the Maddox Gallery, which always does elaborate floral displays has gone all festive with a giant, very tasteful blue and silver Christmas tree, and at night it glows so magically.
Christmas In London 2019
If you can only do one area of London to see some Christmas cheer this holiday season, make it Covent Garden, as you get lots of treats in one place. First up, the Piazza here you will find Covent Garden’s iconic 55-foot Christmas tree, decorated with over 30,000 lights, as well as a Wonder Wood with mini trees dressed by some of the retailers, and this year there is even a Tiffany & Co. winter wonderland, complete with an ice rink, oversized Tiffany Blue Boxes and sparkling snow. Seriously magical.
Snapped all of the installations around the Piazza on to the restaurants, there is the traditional Clos Maggiore on King Street that always does a beautiful display, and The Ivy Market Grill on Henrietta Street always does something fun and colourful, this year it is nutcrackers.
A highlight from the restaurants for me though has to be Balthazar London on Russell Street, which this year has dressed itself up as a gingerbread house, complete with sweets, candy canes and lollipops – seriously cute.
Granary Square near King’s Cross
A new addition to my Christmas tour has to be the King’s Cross area and the Coal Drops Yard and Granary Square area, less than a 5-minute walk from the station.
This year, Granary Square has gone for a modern take on the Christmas tree with curator David Batchelor has created a bold tree made of scaffolding and LED lights, while next door, Coal Drops Yard has been inspired by the Northern lights with its display of colourful trees and neon lights.
London Bridge Area
As a fan of The Shard, I had to add the London Bridge area add to my Christmas tour, and I’m glad I did, as not only does the Aqua Shard always have a great Christmas tree, but neighbour the Shangri-La Hotel also went for something pretty spectacular this year – a wonderful pink metal tree.
Standing almost five metres tall, this year’s Shangri-La Hotel Christmas tree was designed by students of the MA Interior and Spatial Design course at Chelsea College of Arts. Inspired by novelist James Hilton’s book ‘The Lost Horizon’ and the hotel’s Glass Christmas theme it’s made from over 300 glass bottles recycled from the hotel and certainly has a wow factor about it.
Do also, go upstairs to Aqua Shard and check out their Art Deco paper dolls sipping champagne designed by Scottish fashion designer Holly Fulton, as not only is the tree special and different, the views are incredible, plus I can vouch for the festive afternoon tea.
Next up, Hay’s Galleria, an impressive Grade II listed building on the Thames with cute independent stalls and the most magnificent Christmas tree that just twinkles so perfectly.