I’m not quite ready to leave behind Christmas, the [self-proclaimed] most wonderful time of the year. So I’ve decided I’m not going to, and share my favourite 12 Christmas trees in London instead. Most of these will be up until the New Year, if not the 12th Day of Christmas, which is technically Sunday the 5th January. Disclaimer: For some reason every single one of my photos seems to be blurry. I don’t know why. I blame the mince pies indulgence…
Liberty London | Award for most worthy of a talking caterpillar
The Liberty Tree was almost my favourite of the festive season – with a distinct Alice in Wonderland
Trafalgar Square | Best Outdoor Giant / Excuse for being late
My first visit to see the Trafalgar Square tree lit up took nearly a decade, getting through a royal procession of cars in rush hour traffic (making me late for a dinner date) and facing the bitter wind of London in December to be drafted. Is that commitment or what!?
The Savoy: 12 Rebuilds of Christmas | Award for pushing the creative brief
This collaboration between the Savoy and Lego was epic – and the team there couldn’t have been more welcoming. From Finley the Dragon Christmas Tree to the great oak tree which has carrots chasing rabbits and a family of trees who have moved in for the festive season…
Just too cute for words.
The Lanesborough | Best Cat Toy in a Luxury Hotel
Gorgeous, unusual and the perfect toy for the mischevious resident cat, Lilbet, to play with…
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The Connaught | Award for Tradition with a Twist
“Christmas arrives in abstract, ethereal form at The Connaught this year, as our annual Christmas Tree is revealed as the work of the enigmatic and era-defining artist, Sean Scully. Standing proud beside the world-famous Tadao Ando fountain, this nine-metre Norway Spruce transforms Carlos Place into a mesmerising gallery. A towering, conical palette of four block colours, the tree blends influences from Suprematism and abstract art in a striking reflection of Sean Scully’s characteristic style. To complete the dramatic vision, 25,000 light bulbs illuminate the artwork against the night sky.”
Claridges Hotel | Award for ‘Where the wild things are’ crown
“And now,” cried Max, “let the wild rumpus start!” Pretty sure that was the phrase that inspired this gorgeous tree – then Mr Louboutin himself got involved by rolling the Louboutin Express in (a carriage of cocktail tables) and a flutter of gingerbread shoes festooned from the branches.
The Ritz Hotel – Award for sheer old fashioned enchantment
Beribboned with velvet bows, twinkling lights and silver baubles that wouldn’t be out of place in a royal drawing-room, the Ritz Christmas tree is stunning. (So was the Baileys Hot Chocolate I enjoyed there, out of the winter wind but that’s a story for another time.)
Taj Hotel Victoria | Award for most Santas
This tree was quite the surprise, and cuter all the more for it.
Aqua Shard | Award for being better than the one I designed
Every year Aqua Shard unveil an amazing tree, and this year… I decided to jokingly design a couple of suggestions. Thankfully, Aqua Shard collaborated with Holly Fulton, a renowned Scottish designer, who took inspiration from the glamour of the 1920s and created something very, very unique and festive. (It also potentially gets the award for the highest of the Christmas trees in London.)
St Pancras Station | Award for Advert masquerading as a Christmas Tree
The magnifique 36-foot installation embodies the elegance and cheerful spirit of the world’s largest French beauty brand, brightening up the station with Lancôme’s signature pink Pantone. The breathtaking creation is adorned with over 1,500 bottles of the brand’s signature fragrance, La Vie Est Belle; a scent that captures free-spirited and fulfilled femininity, perfectly embodied by the Lancôme’s Global Ambassador and face of the fragrance, Julia Roberts. All 1,500 fragrance bottles used for the installation will be donated to the international cancer support charity, Look Good Feel Better, a charity which helps boost the physical and emotional well-being of women, men and young adults undergoing cancer treatment.
Granary Square | Award for clever thinking
Artist David Batchelor is behind this year’s tree – King’s Xmas. The tree is a celebration of Batchelor’s love of colour, industrial materials and geometry. Using scaffolding and LED lights, the tree transforms from day to night. By day, the scaffold structure is at home in its environment and the surrounding construction sites. By night the outline of a tree is revealed, floating like a child’s drawing.
Chez London Kiwi – Award For Simply Being Ours to enjoy
I couldn’t resist adding our own to the list. A little bit wonky – sorry, full of character – it was decorated by my own in-house Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, and charts our travel through the years. Every December we unbox the baubles that we’ve collected and been given over the years, and the memories rush back all over again. From Vancouver to Ireland, Grimsby to Dubai they’re all moments in our timeline.
Remember, most of these will still be up until the New Year if you want to pop in and feel a little festive still…
What is your favourite out of the Christmas trees in London this year?