Up in Lights, London's Christmas Trees 2016
London's trees are ablaze with light this winter, with designers ranging from Anthony Gormley to Sir Jonny Ive.
Contemporary Christmas: London's Christmas trees 2016
Claridge’s, Mayfair: Sir Jony Ive and Marc Newson
A seasonal landmark occasion, Claridge's Christmas tree is well known for being both avant-garde and unconventional in design. This year's designers are Sir Jony Ive, Chief Design Officer at Apple, and Marc Newson, industrial designer extraordinaire. This year's design is, well, minimalist, with no decorations or lights to be precise, however the foyer has been turned into a glowing wonderland, where a plethora of lights illuminate the hall turning it into a winter wonderland of its own.
The Ritz: St James Nordic Pine
Unveiled on Friday 25th November 2016 at The Ritz, Piccadilly
Once again this year, Puttin' on the Ritz is taken seriously in St James. The Louis XVI interior will be transformed into a Nordic wonderland with its 25 feet tall tree. The deluxe hotel will stay true to form with its traditional red and gold decorations which guests can marvel at through the rotunda and first floor. The Long Gallery will similarly be decked out with smaller versions of the Nordic Pine and festive wreaths.
The Connaught, Mayfair: Anthony Gormley
Last year's tree was designed by Damien Hirst with a medical theme in line with his Pharmacy restaurants. This year, acclaimed sculptor Anthony Gormley has been handed the baton. The Western Red Cedar has had its trunk illuminated by a central pillar of light and, like the Clardige's tree, is remarkably minimalist in design. Gormley has said of his tree that "at this, the darkest time of the year and at a moment of global dysfunction, I hope this magnificent tree conveys a feeling of continuance and vitality.”
Brown's, Mayfair: Smythson
This year Browns is collaborating with Smythson, luxury heritage brand and purveyor of stationary and fine leather goods, to create a Christmas tree with a literary twist. The front hall will play host to a Christmas tree designed with the celebration of the written word in mind. There will be miniature Smythson notebooks in place of baubles, and an inspiring gifting display as part of the festivities.
The Savoy, Covent Garden: Dreaming of a Pink Christmas with Boodles
This year, the Savoy will be turned into a frozen fantasia in time for Christmas. Not only will there be an indoor ice rink, there will also be a 15ft Nordmannina tree adorned with bespoke decorations inspired by Boodles. cut mirror, deco squares and rectangles will glisten on the branches of the tree in 'Boodles pink' and ombre, designed at the hands of the floral design team.
The V&A, Kensington: Victorian Christmas
Unveiled on 3rd December
This year's V&A offering will be a little different. Unlike previous years where a designer has created a special tree for the museum, 2016 will see StudioXAG design the look of the museum from top to bottom, taking Victoria and Albert's Christmas as inspiration. Unique trees and hanging garlands will be installed across the museums, inspired by the V&A’s collections. The V&A has also collaborated with Carnaby Streets for their lights display inspired by the So You Say You Want A Revolution? exhibition.
Covent Garden is well known for its Christmas display. This year there are 45 mistletoe chandeliers alongside 80,000 pea lights to sprinkle the market with Christmassy cheer, designed specially by production designer Michael Howells (Nanny McPhee, Victoria). There is also be the city's biggest hand-picked Christmas tree to brighten up the winter nights.
Let it glow: Christmas Light Switch-Ons
Trafalgar Square, Norwegian Spruce
Trafalgar Square has been the proud host of a giant 25-metre Norwegian spruce each year since 1947, when it was first received as a gift from the people of Norway in recognition of the Second World War. Decorations will be in the tradition of the country, and there will be a charming carol service, which you can find out more about here. This year, Princess Astrid of Norway will be there to usher in the Christmas countdown.