Christmas in London is one of the best places to be, as the festivities begin. Ice skating, outings to the theatre, Christmas markets, Christmas shopping, Christmas pop-ups, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
My Christmas for the last few years begins at dawn at the unveiling of the Claridge’s Christmas tree. It began after lockdown, and has since become a new tradition as I meet up with a wonderful team to create some Christmas magic around the ‘designer tree’. This year mildly interrupted by the Anya Hindmarch x Uniglo launch, which produced a flurry of panic and some very quick online shopping!
Claridge’s this Christmas | Art of Travel with Louis Vuitton
This year for the first time, it was the brand of Louis Vuitton. Both hotel and brand were founded in 1854, and Monsieur Louis Vuitton was appointed the personal layetier to the Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III.
In layman terms, he was her professional suitcase packer. Claridge’s was her winter residence, and it is safe to believe he packed her bags/trunks for travel. As Queen Victoria would visit the Empress here, Claridge’s Hotel subsequently became known at the annex to Buckingham Palace.
What would Christmas be without shopping? This year Bond Street looks magical. There are flying penguins, to the jewels of Chanel, be dazzled by Dior, and fly with Cartier. Off the side streets you will find Christmas mini’s, scissors in Saville Row, and Burlington Arcade awash with green foliage. Pop along to Sketch and you will find a nod to Magritte or Dali and a winter tempest in The Glade. It’s all so wonderfully imaginative.
Donate a rose at The Ever After Garden
Since it’s inauguration I have supported the stunning Ever After Garden in Grosvenor Square. A garden of illuminated white roses dedicated to those we’ve lost, designed and conceived by Camilla Morton and Anya Hindmarch. For the last two years I have volunteered, and it’s honestly the most rewarding thing that I do over the holidays.
Donations for the roses go towards to Royal Marsden. They looked after me when I was unwell, but this garden is more than that for me, it is truly special and actually full of life. I ‘buy’ my roses each year for those friends we’ve lost too soon, and those we want to remember. I didn’t realise until last year that from above, it is actually in the shape of an angel.
The Ever After Garden for me feels like it is a place of singing souls and angels, and we are their humble audience.
Shop Small at Christmas
Skye McAlpine returns with her Tavola Christmas pop up in Belgravia. I love how she curates this magical Christmas shop, tablescapes, fruit candles, gorgeous plates and divine stationary by the stylish Memo Press. Open until Sunday 17 December.
On a slightly bigger scale, but still shopping small head to King’s Cross. It has some creative Christmas markets beginning with a Mexican one 2nd/3rd December, but will run lots of different stalls up until Christmas weekend.
Hey ho or heave ho for a Christmas tree
Christmas isn’t complete either without my annual run to Columbia Road Flower Market for a tree. I live the other side of town to the market, but with my trusted little Fiat convertible I manage to get a tree or three in the back for myself and friends. The key is to get there early so you can park. Choose your tree, pick some flowers and head back for some coffee & breakfast on the way home.
If you are visiting London this Christmas, I hope you can enjoy it all as much as I do. I shall be visiting my favourite festive bars with my friends, as guided last year by Gourmet Guy 7 Festive bars, and he really didn’t get it wrong. Cheers to you all.
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