It’s fair to say that we didn’t really get our fill of Christmas lights this time around. Despite some incredible light displays (looking at you Tate Britain) along with some wonderful trees, hardly had the spruces been unveiled and the lever pulled to switch on the fairy lights when Boris shut them down. So when we heard that Valentine’s lights and trees were a thing, you bet we were curious.
Connaught Village, just north of Hyde Park and filled with boutique shops, beautiful buildings and Tony Blair, has unveiled a novel but rather charming idea: Valentine’s lights. And they’re actually pretty neat.
Created by lighting designer Shiu-Kay Kan, the outdoor neon LED lighting display is an uplifting reminder that there’s a world beyond coronavirus, and it’s full of art, creativity and, at least in the hopes of the Church Commissioners who own the Hyde Park Estate, shopping in Connaught Village.
An uplifting reminder that there's a world beyond coronavirus, and it's full of art, creativity and, at least in the hopes of the Church Commissioners who own the Hyde Park Estate, shopping in Connaught Village...
And, to be fair, there’s plenty of reason to head down there, from cheesemonger Buchanans, florist PM Flowers or takeaway hot drinks from Markus Coffee. But mainly we’re in it for the art trail.
The Tree of Love, Joy and Hope is decked with LEDs in dazzling pink and red hearts and can be enjoyed at the corner of Connaught Street and Kendal Street, a short diversion if you’re headed to Hyde Park.
And if you liked that, why not follow the art and historic trail around the village? Just because we’re locked down doesn’t mean we can’t still be a little high-brow when the mood suits us (says the man who spent lockdown 1.0 re-reading every Jilly Cooper…)
Valentine’s trees. They’re a thing now…