Tis the season to be jolly, so here are our picks of where to be and what to see this Christmas…
Let There be Lights...
Channel your inner flâneur on a walk around London to see the sparkling displays - our city is shining bright overhead, and to paraphrase the closing line of Dante's Inferno, ‘you look up and see the stars’. In the West End, Oxford Street does indeed have stars, Regent Street magnificent angels that glisten, and Bond Street its feathers, while Carnaby plays host to huge psychedelic neon butterflies this year. Near to our Sloane Street store, golden blue orbs shine bright, and we also love the stained-glass feel of Harvey Nichols’ window display, as well as Harrods’ more subtle rich deep tones of traditional tree baubles as the accent in their windows.
Christmas at Kew
Kew Gardens’ annual Christmas spectacle sees its grounds - and glasshouses - illuminated in bright and beautiful colours from dusk onwards. The experience is truly dazzling, with sparkling tunnels and dramatic displays of light, as well as an Alpine-themed bar for when you start to feel a nip in the air... For more details, see here.
Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree
Norway’s gift to the people of Britain since 1947, the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree is an icon of the season and a real sight to behold. Although exact details for 2021 are still to be confirmed, the tree’s lighting ceremony is about as festive an occasion as it’s possible to find in the Capital, with thousands of jolly souls gathering to watch the spectacle whilst being serenaded by a choir. Usually billed for the first Thursday in December, although exact dates for this year are TBC at time of writing.
A truly magical setting, ice skating at Somerset House is the must-visit of this season’s skating destinations. Find us gliding around the ice and/or in the Skate Lounge toasting our skating skills and prowess with a glass or two of champagne… While you’re there, bring the child out in you with a visit to see Beano: The Art of Breaking the Rules, a fabulous exhibition perfect for mayhem makers and rule breakers (yes, we’re looking at you…), and make time to take in the newly reopened Courtauld Gallery in the North Wing, with its astonishing collection of artworks from 1300 to the mid-20thcentury . For full details, Click Here.
Christmas is the last chance to go and see the Royal Academy’s delayed Summer Exhibition, so if you haven’t made it yet, do go along before 2nd Jan to see a selection of over 1,300 works. We’d also recommend Late Constable, which explores the much-loved artist’s work from 1825 until his death in 1837. Click here for more information on both.
Sir John Soane’s Museum
For anyone reading this who hasn’t ever visited neo-classical architect Sir John Soane’s former home at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, make the Christmas break your excuse to do so, and thank us later…
Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Choral Society at the Royal Albert Hall has the perfect festive programme - well, they have been singing carols since 1827. Expect the likes of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing and Silent Night, with singers accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. This Christmas spectacular will make you ding dong on Monday 13th December. Book Here.
Place2Be’s Christmas Carol Concert
Taking place at Holy Trinity Sloane Square, this service features readings from the likes of Sir Tony Robinson and Alistair Petrie, as well as plenty of festive fun, all in aid of children’s mental health charity, Place2Be. Wednesday 1st December. Click here for more details.
St Bartholomew the Great
It doesn’t get much more atmospheric than London’s oldest parish church, situated in the heart of Smithfield. The annual carol service takes place on 28th November at 5pm and features a combination of reading and choral singing. For information, click here.
St Paul’s Cathedral
There’s a varied programme of carol services and concerts taking place at St Paul’s this year, so do try and make it along to at least one… For those staying in town for the 25th, Christmas carol services take place on the 23rd and 24th December, and are un-ticketed (we’d recommend getting there in plenty of time to ensure you get in). See the full line-up here.
Have you started to decorate your home yet? Will you be keeping it simple with a touch of sparkle or taking things over the top with opulent ornaments? Trevor's choice is a cluster of silver birch saplings, a wonderful alternative to the traditional tree. "It looks fabulous with a heap of presents underneath!" T. Pickett