If you are anything like us, every year you will find yourself at the centre of fierce debates between your colleagues, family or friends about when is the right and proper time for people to put up their Christmas tree. Is the day after Bonfire Night too early? (Yes) Shouldn’t you postpone putting it up until you actually have presents to put under the damn thing? (Maybe) And will the whole operation take two hours longer than you had originally anticipated? (Absolutely).
The bad news is that stressing out about when to put up your tree is only the half of it, as you also have to worry about how to decorate it. Perhaps you want to keep things traditional by opting for a classic red and gold theme with lots of ribbon and wooden ornaments, or maybe you are looking for something with a little more bling – we’re thinking frosted branches and glittering silver baubles.
If you want to take a break from planning the debut of your 2019 Christmas tree and wondering just how much a pack of those John Lewis baubles will cost you, why not take some inspiration from the various trees that you can visit for free across London’s hotels, bustling festive markets and other locations. There are several showstoppers out there this year, including the tree at Claridge’s which is the work of legendary shoe designer Christian Louboutin, and The Dorchester’s oh-so-traditional creation which stands several feet tall.
If you’re on the hunt for some tree inspo, check out our pick of the best Christmas trees in London for 2019. Now that the festive season is well and truly upon us, it’s time to embrace these Instagrammable firs for the beauties that they are – just remember to caption your post #TreeGoals.
Aqua Shard, London Bridge
What: Aqua Shard already has a reputation as a restaurant that offers up stunning views of London’s skyline, but for December, the visual spectacle won’t be restricted to the outdoors. The restaurant’s Christmas tree this year has been designed by Scottish fashion designer Holly Fulton, who has created a ‘DecoDance’ concept. The unconventional ‘tree’ boasts a red, white and black colour scheme, depicting a group of partygoers getting into the swing of things while sipping on glasses of Champagne and standing on top of wrapped presents. The tree is supposed to represent the essence of party season and we think it does a great job.
Where: 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY
The Lanesborough, Knightsbridge
What: One of several London hotels to leave their Christmas trees in the hand of established fashion designers, The Lanesborough’s festive installation is a Ralph & Russo creation, imagined by designer Tony Marklew. Bringing a touch of couture to the hotel’s festive decorations, the installation features a canopy of chandelier-like crystals and ornate leaf embellishment, adorned with silk petal flowers in bold hues of raspberry and ruby red. It’s a striking visual spectacle, which celebrates British luxury and craftsmanship…it also helps that it’s perfect Instagram fodder.
Where: Hyde Park Corner, SW1X 7TA
The London Edition, Fitzrovia
What: If we had to describe the Christmas tree at The London Edition in one word, it would be ‘extra’. As camp as Christmas (just the way it should be), British designer Luke Edward Hall’s creation is called ‘A Christmas Dream’. It’s a playful take on the traditional trees you’ll spy in living room windows up and down the country, featuring an assortment of colourful lights, vintage baubles and oversized decorations, as well as a bundle of colourfully wrapped presents at its feet. Standing almost 20 feet tall, this is the kind of tree that will dwarf grown up guests and take them right back to childhood.
Where: 10 Berners Street, W1T 3NP
What: Fashion designer Christian Louboutin may be most famous for his red-soled high heels, but he can now add Christmas tree designer to his list of achievements. This is the 10th year that Claridge’s has collaborated with a designer on its tree, with Louboutin designing a glittering red train which is stationed in the hotel lobby; christened The Loubi Express, the carriage is able to host four tables for drinks and canapés. Alongside it stands The Claridge’s Christmas Tree, adorned with gold and red baubles, shoe-shaped gingerbread biscuits and the finishing touch of a gold leaf crown.
Where: 55 Brook Street, W1K 4HR
The Ned, City
What: Anyone who has visited the ground floor of The Ned will know that it’s a buzzy, frenetic space, so the Christmas tree here needs to stand out. Making sure its tree won’t be missed by the heaving crowds, The Ned has imported an 18-foot beast into its lobby. The tree is decorated with 4,000 fairy lights, velvet bows and more than 1,000 gold and burgundy baubles. You’ll also find a huge twinkling wreath hanging above The Nickel Stage, where live music is performed every day from midday. Can you expect a few renditions of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas over the festive season? We wouldn’t bet against it.
Where: 27 Poultry, EC2R 8AJ
The Dorchester, Mayfair
What: If you prefer sticking to tradition at Christmastime, check out the majestic tree in the lobby of legendary London hotel The Dorchester. The huge tree is lined with ribbons, gold and red baubles and reams of twinkling lights, but it’s what’s next door to the tree that will excite the little ones in your life. Children are invited to write a letter to Father Christmas in a mock sitting room, which is then popped in the post box by reception and shot up through a funnel which sends it to the North Pole. What’s more, each week of December, The Dorchester will work in partnership with Father Christmas to make one of its little guest’s dreams come true.
Where: 53 Park Lane, W1K 1QA
What: Upmarket department store Liberty has held nothing back with its 2019 Christmas tree. The majestic floating tree hangs from the ceiling and is decked out in shades of blue and fuschia, with the branches wrapped in mounds of electric pink moss. The striking tree is adorned with gifts wrapped in polka dot printed paper, glittering baubles and a range of exotic ‘stuffed’ animals which include a crystal encrusted chameleon and a brightly coloured peacock. The Christmas tree has been named ‘The Tree of Liberty’ and is said to be inspired by a vision of an all-seeing owl – we're not exactly sure what that means, but the tree sure looks good.
Where: Regent Street, W1B 5AH
What: Super exclusive members’ club Annabel’s may not be the easiest place to get into (membership fees will set you back more than £2,000 a year), but anyone who can’t get through the doors can still marvel at the venue’s festive installation. To mark the yuletide season, Annabel’s has unveiled a ginormous Christmas tree which stands above its front door. The white-frosted tree is adorned with a mixture of regular and oversized gold baubles, while at the top, you’ll spy a traditional golden star. You’ll also find Annabel’s name emblazoned across the tree, just in case any regulars don’t recognise it.
Where: 46 Berkeley Square, W1J 5AT
Granary Square Christmas tree, King’s Cross
What: Artist David Batchelor is the man behind the modernist Christmas tree found in Granary Square, King’s Cross. The area is known for unveiling a quirky take on the traditional tree year after year, and this time around you’ll find a 13.5-metre-high scaffold structure which lights up after dark to depict a floating Christmas tree. The minimalist tree pays homage to the industrial history of King’s Cross, as well as being a subtle nod to the area’s continued regeneration, which has seen the area welcome a raft of new shopping and dining facilities, including the much-hyped Coal Drops Yard.
Where: Granary Square, N1C 4AA
Now that you’ve got your fill of Christmas tree inspiration, plan your festive tablescape with 35 of the best Christmas crackers you can find.