Every festive season, London’s finest hotels and cultural landmarks pull out all the stops when it comes to their Christmas trees, vying with each other to see who can create the most beautiful displays. From Covent Garden’s traditionally elegant pine to Dior’s contemporary marvel at Claridge’s and Ed Curtis’s colour-filled art installation at the London Edition, this year’s offerings are some of the most exciting yet. Here, we’ve rounded-up the best Christmas trees in London to visit this season.
The Most Stylish Christmas Trees in London
For their festive offering this year, the London Edition has partnered with South London-based artist Ed Curtis and charity Choose Love on a tree unlike any other. Hot on the heels of his recent collaboration with Stella McCartney, Curtis has brought his signature hand-painted, doodle-like artworks to the 18-foot-tall fir, which features baubles made up of smiley faces, giant presents and stockings, as well as wrapping paper-esque tinsel. As part of their festive celebrations the hotel will also be serving their limited edition Choose Love cocktail in the lobby bar up until the new year, with a portion of the proceeds going directly to the charity to help those most in need this Christmas.
Following on from the success of their Matilda Goad-designed tree last year, the Television Centre have tapped one of London’s other most stylish creatives for their latest festive offering, asking sought-after event designer Fiona Leahy to bring her whimsically romantic aesthetic to their Christmas display. Known for her lavish events for luxury brands like Dior and Smythson, Leahy has brought her trademark nostalgic glamour to the 10-metre-tall tree, which is bedecked in giant red illuminated bows – designed as symbols of victory, support and courage – and diamond-shaped Old Hollywood lighting.
Nobody does Christmas quite like the Ritz, and its gloriously traditional tree has long been a highlight of the festive season in London. Towering 25-feet-high in the hotel’s lobby and grown specifically for the hotel in the Scottish Highlands, the tree always follows a chic red and gold theme and is decorated every year by Paul Thomas Flowers. Strewn with 75 sets of lights, it’s bedecked with enormous gold bows, shiny wrapped presents and sparkling reindeer, but on closer inspection you’ll find delicate teacups and miniature crowns nestled in amongst the fir fronds.
You know the festive season is well and truly underway when plans for the Claridge’s Christmas tree are unveiled. This year they’ve partnered up with Kim Jones, artistic director of the Dior men’s collections, on a spellbinding festive creation. Named ‘The Celestial Snow Globe’, the tree is a modern take on the classic winter decoration, mixing holographic projections with a white Toile (inspired by the signature fabric used by Dior’s haute couture ateliers) for a play on the notion of transparency. Christmas baubles featuring the French Maison’s emblems seem to float around the tree, while Jones’ beloved dog, Cookie, is perched at the top, hugging Monsieur Dior’s lucky star.
In a bid to fill Londoners with seasonal hope and cheer, the Lanesborough has given its festive display the theme of ‘Be Bright & Sparkle’, creating an effervescent tree that lights up the entire lobby. Created by renowned event imagineer Tony Marklew, the tree is made up of thousands of faceted crystals and wrapped around with oversized reflective silver orbs, inspired by the sparkling qualities of precious stones. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a giant disco ball and fairy-lit crystal curtain, designed for the ultimate festive photo opportunity.
Standing proudly on Carlos Place in the heart of Mayfair, The Connaught’s Christmas tree has taken on a playful guise this year, doing away with traditional baubles in favour of something more contemporary. Designed by London-based artist duo Annie Morris and Idris Khan OBE, the nine-metre British-sourced Nordmann Fir is surrounded by three interpretations of Morris’s Stack sculptures, her most recognisable body of work. Made up of brightly-coloured spheres painted onto wood and individually lit, the precariously perched towers represent the idea of uncertainty that has come to define our lives in the wake of the pandemic. Alongside these, the tree is dressed with 1,600 glittering lights and one of Morris’s shining ‘Flower Women’ sitting at the very top.
This year, the piazza in Covent Garden has been transformed into a Christmas Village, complete with a festive food market and eight luxury bauble-themed dining igloos. At the heart of all this festive magic sits the 55-foot British-grown Christmas tree, adorned with 50,000 sparkling fairy lights, thousands of traditional red and silver baubles and topped off with an enormous bow. And if that wasn’t enough to get you in the holiday spirit, they’re even hosting daily snowfalls every hour in front of the tree.
Skate at Somerset House has become a regular staple on the Christmas calendar over recent years, turning the spectacular neoclassical courtyard into a winter wonderland complete with festive foodie pop-ups and DJ sets. This year Skate has partnered up with Moët & Chandon for a fizz-filled takeover that includes indulgent post-skate cocktails. The French champagne house has even left its mark on the eye-catching 40-foot Christmas tree, which is topped with shimmering decorations in the shape of champagne corks nestled in amongst the gold baubles.