‘O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how lovely are your branches’, particularly if you’re made of platinum and draped in Swarovski crystals and admiring you involved heading through the lobby on the way to a three course dinner.
London is awash with incredible trees as every restaurant, hotel and public space puts up a 2020 defying tree that reminds us all of what Christmas in the capital is normally like. It’s well worth sight seeing your way about town ticking them off as you go, so as you arrange your festive treasure hunt, here are some of the hits to be sure to see…
Aqua Shard have reached out to the one profession who’ve had a worse 2020 than hospitality and brought in theatre set designers to create their tree this year.
The restaurant has unveiled ‘A Brush with Backstage’, a collaboration with British Set Designer Soutra Gilmour, a cast and crew of celebrated theatre creatives and supported by Champagne house Veuve Cliquot.
The tree is made from a a cloud of intricately painted golden paintbrushes, suspended from above and interspersed with twinkling pendant lights.
As ever Aqua Shard have produced an accompanying dessert and cocktail for guests to enjoy as they take in the tree. The mulled gin and Champagne cocktail, coined Centre Stage, joins an edible Christmas bauble pudding.
Where: Level 31 The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, Borough, SE1 9RY
St Pancras International
The chances are that you’re not taking a mini break in Paris any time soon, but don’t let that stop you visiting St Pancras International.
Not only is the stunning station full of shopping opportunities, but they have teamed up with one of our favourites, Elan Cafe, to create a whimsical tree that we just can’t stop looking at.
The interactive tree, Tree of Hope, is inspired by NHS workers and looks great.
Where: Euston Road, Kings Cross, N1C 4QP
Never ones for hiding their talents beneath a bushel, Annabel’s has once again produced a festive installation (a tree would be too simple) that’s measured in storeys.
Never ones for hiding their talents beneath a bushel...
The world famous Berkeley Square club has spared no expense and produced a Nutcracking scene on an epic scale.
Where: 46 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, W1J 5AT
In a world where Christmas trees often as not aren’t trees at all (looking at you, Annabel’s) it’s nice to see a tree that really is ‘fir real’, and The Ned’s tree delivers in wholesome Christmassy goodness.
The 22-foot Premier Nordman is British grown conifer is festooned with 6,000 fairy lights and over 1,000 gold, ivory and champagne baubles.
It’s the ultimate traditional tree, and of course is best enjoyed from one of The Ned’s many restaurants!
Where: 27 Poultry, The City, EC2R 8AJ
116 Pall Mall
If you’re holding an event in these uncertain times you want to know you’re in safe hands. Literally. Which is why 116 Pall Mall are ideally placed to for work events up to 30 guests per the current COVID-safe guidelines.
And they’ve not scrimped on the Christmassy-ness either, with a stunner of a tree, a 12 foot styled by their favourite floral designer Miriam Faith.
Or if you’re not planning a symposium, a round table or a work Christmas do then just take a household member out to dinner there.
Where: 116 Pall Mall, St James’s, SW1Y 5ED
As much a part of Christmas as over-eating and having a drunken argument with your sister, the Claridge’s Christmas tree is an institution and 2020 is no exception.
Created by florist and founder of McQueen’s Kally Ellis, the tree is a tribute to the roaring 20s, harking back to the golden age of Art Deco that defines Claridge’s and also speaks to a similar moment of international uncertainty.
But mainly it’s just incredibly beautiful, laden with over 10,000 crystal garlands and pendants.
Where: Brook Street. Mayfair, W1K 4HR
It’s likely you’ll be doing most of your Christmas shopping this year online, but if you are venturing into town then chances are you’ll land up in Covent Garden.
And ready to greet you is one of London’s biggest and most impressive trees. Planted in a pot bigger than an SUV, the tree is a symbol of a city carrying on and not panicking. Plus, there’s snow.
On the hour every hour (or, at least, during shopping times) snow cannon placed on the parapets surrounding the tree blast out ‘snow’ on passing shoppers. The result is magical.
This year The Connaught have kept things simple with their annual tree.
Carlos Place is twinkling thanks to the Norwegian Spruce that’s gone back to tradition after the last two years bathed in block colour. And the muted beauty reminding us of heritage is a perfect reflection of both The Connaught itself and this moment at the end of a bizarre year.
Once you’ve ticked off the tree, head inside to experience Michelin superstar Hélène Darroze’s eponymous restaurant.
Where: Carlos Place, Mayfair, W1K 2AL
Harry Potter film location, Victorian icon and where bankers go to for a coffee between deals, Leadenhall Market is back open and looking as pretty as ever.
The cobbled indoor market is completed this year by a 30 foot tree. Normally the lights are switched on to great fanfare by the Lord Mayor, but the pandemic meant that the giant tree just ‘appeared’, which is almost more magical.
Plus, the market’s ideal for getting some Christmas shopping done while you’re at it.
Where: Gracechurch Street, Langbourn, EC3V 1LT
Gifted every year since 1947 by the people of Oslo, the famous Trafalgar Square Christmas tree recognises Britain’s support for occupied Norway during the war.
The very first tree arrived in London in 1942, chopped by Mons Urangsvåg and brought back to London where the Norwegian King was in exile. Post war, the tradition continued and the 60 foot monster tree, around 50 years old, is London’s most famous and iconic tree (sorry Claridge’s). And probably its biggest too.
Where: Um, Trafalgar Square…