The capital's hotels, restaurants and member's clubs are really branching out big time on the decs this Christmas. Here's our pick of the trees lighting up our world.
HEART OF GLASS
Claridge’s Christmas Tree is always something special and this year is no exception. Designed by legendary fashion designer and friend of the hotel, Diane von Furstenberg, it’s entitled ‘The Tree of Love’ – a theme that came about from Diane’s passion and belief in the power of love for symbolising life and nature.
The six metre blue iridescent sculpture is decorated with over 8,000 hand painted silver-leafed leaves, glass spheres and 150 hand-blown glass hearts. Perched around the tree are six silver-leafed abstract animals, including an owl representing knowledge and wisdom, a dove for peace and a horse symbolising strength and endurance. Highlighting the importance of nature is a sculptural deer, a peacock and a sleeping silver-leafed mouse. The tree winds its way upwards towards the heavens from its roots with a celestial backdrop and zodiac signs surrounding it. Diane has also included symbolic words that have long been her mantra, including Peace, Harmony, Knowledge, Truth, Freedom, Enlightenment and Wisdom.
Christopher Kane, powerhouse of British fashion, has brought his rebellious spirit to the Christmas tree at Scott’s restaurant this year. The colour palette combines more traditional Christmas colours with signature Christopher Kane neons.
Known for working with unexpected and everyday materials, Kane takes mundane objects and elevates them into more desirable and luxurious forms. Outside of Scott’s is an unconventional installation made up of coloured transparent tubes suspended from above. During the day the luminescent Perspex reflects natural light, casting a colourful backdrop over Mayfair. At night, LED lights within the tubes glow, lighting up the terrace.
LET IT SNOW
This year, The London EDITION has collaborated with pioneering paper artist Zoe Bradley, for its 2018 festive decorations. With a 14ft Nordmann fir tree as her canvas, Bradley’s work, which features in the hotel’s Lobby Bar, takes its influence from Disney’s theatrical Fantasia. The tree is festooned with over 160 hand-sculpted snowflakes meticulously crafted with over 20,000 folds, taking 100 hours in total to create.
The crowning glory is a majestic white peacock, perched on the top of the tree with a plume of feathers cascading down the side. With paper as her only medium, Bradley says it’s the perfect material to capture the delicate crystal formation of snowflakes. The tree’s icy fantastical theme flows through into the hotel’s destination restaurant, Berners Tavern, with a sculptural ‘snowdrift’ along its central table. Twelve tiny white hand cut birds, taking flight perch within the snowflakes forming a spectacular snowy winter scene to dine beside.
There’s a touch of Willy Wonka magic at Annabel’s. Candy canes form a spectacular entrance beneath an enormous Christmas tree laden with ruby red baubles and gifts, welcoming members to the club’s recently relocated Grade I-listed Georgian home.
With the door tied with a huge gold ribbon, what better treat than a night of revelry to follow?
Not content with a visual feast, Hotel Cafe Royal has invited Diptyque to get involved with its tree decor this year and the French perfumier’s whimsical winter legend, created for its holiday collection, forms the foundation of the design. Dreamed up with Parisian designer and illustrator Pierre Marie – known for his Hermès scarf designs – the legend draws upon nature and folklore.
Bespoke ornaments inspired by Pierre Marie’s baroque-style illustrations and the recognisable Diptyque typeface, sparkle in crystal, silver, gold and white. In true Diptyque fashion, the highlight of the trees is their scent. The Sapin de Lumière fragrance evokes a snow-covered forest and the scent of fir trees. For added atmosphere, this signature fragrance is enhanced with warm notes of honey and resin from the Cyprès collection.
The Lanesborough has chosen a festive collaboration with the world’s longest serving jeweller, the House of Garrard. The Garrard Christmas tree design reflects the brand’s earliest years, when London’s theatre district was its home, opera masquerades were the height of fashion and The Lanesborough was the country mansion of the 2nd Viscount Lanesborough.
The tree decorations give a hint of the gilded interiors and occasions during this period, from the rise of the curtain at the theatre to the flicker of candlelight, as well as regal red and blush pink fans hinting at those carried by the ladies of the time. Decorative masks that would have been worn at elaborate masquerade balls, and delicate crystal ornaments that reflect the magnificent chandeliers are present too resulting in a dramatic display.
Multi-sensory design studio, Bompass & Parr, have been brought in for the festive tree at Aqua Shard. Taking inspiration from an ornamental snow globe and The Shard’s angular shape, the designers have created a traditional snow globe on a monolithic scale complete with swirling snow inside. Adorned with wild, frosty branches reaching up through the atrium, and surrounded with a base of natural forest foliage it’s a sight to behold. There’s a chance to win a Snowscape cocktail too, for those bold enough to reach inside the snowstorm and catch a golden snowflake (for two ‘Golden Hours’ from 11.30am-12.30pm and 5pm-6pm Monday to Friday).
It’s a chic affair at Nobu Hotel, Shoreditch. Its 7.2ft tall LED Christmas tree has been created by London-based designer, Moritz Waldemeyer, known across the world for his innovative and playful use of light.
Sitting proud in the hotel lobby, the tree is made completely from advanced LED light ‘flames’ which even flicker. This simple twist on tradition fitting perfectly in its East London home.