Christmas lights in London 2015

It’s that time of year again when London comes to life with festive lights in all the major shopping areas. I’ve been out and about checking them out for you and my view on 2015 is that some new ones are great, some areas have kept with old favourites which is no bad thing  but some of the major shops have not made much effort this year and one major street is just not up to our high standards.
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London’s festive lights! (Part 1)

When does Christmas start in London? If you believe some of the shops it’s September or even August but for me, it’s when the famous Christmas tree is lit in Trafalgar Square on 4th December. The tree has been sent from the people of Norway every year from 1947 to thank the people of Great Britain for their support during the Second World War. I was in the square to see the lights go on as the carols are sung and suddenly felt all Christmassy! The reflection in the fountain was a bonus.
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Christmassy London in lights

Only 15 days to go! I’m rushing around trying to make sure I have bought everyone’s presents, posted all the cards and, most importantly, enjoyed London’s Christmas lights! 

One of the wonderful traditions in London at this time of year is the lighting of the tress in Trafalgar Square. Every year since 1947 the people of Norway have sent us a magnificent Christmas tree as a gesture of thanks for British support during the dark days of the Second World War. The switching on of the lights attracts huge crowds and this year was no exception with the square and every viewing point crammed with excited Londoners and tourists.  The 70 foot tree looked fabulous with its 600 bright lights hanging vertically, as is the Norwegian style.  Here are some photos to show you the scenes in the square including the  fine voiced choristers who braved the cold to entertain us!

 


To top off the evening, we went into the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields for the annual VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) charity Christmas Carol Concert where we had great fun belting out all the old favourites, listened to a wonderful choir doing it properly and heard some fun and inspiring readings and talks about the work of VSO.  A festive glass of hot  mulled wine was also happily consumed!

Inside St Martin-in- the-Fields

The British Museum has a special open evening for members so we could shop in private and enjoy the Egyptian Galleries by night, which was a bit spooky and put me in mind of the film A Night at the Museum. The famous inner courtyard and Reading Room looked festive with their snowflake design.

The museum by night – watched by a Pharaoh!


South Molton Street, just off Oxford Street has very striking lights and they have done the sensible thing and used last years’ again – good to see the recycling and the dramatic blue arches would be hard to beat.
  


Another example of recycling is Oxford Street where they have kept most of the lights used last year but added several sections sponsored by Marmite. The advertising for this quintessentially British spread is ‘you’ll love it or hate it’ and that seems to apply to the lights too!  I think most of them are ok but the section where people’s faces appear is rather creepy. Have a look at the good bits:

 

 

 

 Selfridges, one of London’s top department stores on Oxford Street, is famous for its Christmas windows and although they are not all as good as usual this year, I particularly like these two. 

 


I’ll be back soon with some more sights of London at Christmas time for you.

Bye for now
Sue
www.itsyourlondon.co.uk
@itsyourlondon
 

The Christmas lights in London are brilliant!

The Christmas lights seem to go up earlier each year but by December we are all getting into the swing of the festive season. Huge numbers of people come to visit to big shopping areas in London like Oxford Street, Regent Street and Covent Garden to buy presents but also to enjoy the wonderful Christmas lights.
This will be a 2 part blog as there are so many to show you. Here’s part 1 and I hope you enjoy a trip around London with me!

One of the loveliest and yet very simple Christmas lights are the blue arches in South Molton Street:

I’m not usually a great fan of Oxford Street as it’s so busy and has mostly chain stores but their lights are great this year and really lift the mood in the crowds:

St Pancras Station have cornered the market in lego and have this massive tree made completely of lego! I’ve put a close up so you can see some of the pieces – it must have taken ages to put together!

 

Carnaby Street is often the best of the lot and this year they have gone all loved up with their mistletoe and holly branches and Kingly Court looks magical with its fairy lights:

 

 

Just one more for today! The tree in Trafalgar Square is very special as it is sent to us each year from the people of Norway to thank us for our help during the Second World War. It’s a huge and beautiful tree and each evening you can listen to the carol singers gathered underneath it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed a short trip round the London Christmas lights. I’ll try to squeeze a few more in very soon.

Bye for now,
Sue
www.itsyourlondon.co.uk
@itsyourlondon

Merry Christmas….everyone!

Last week’s theatrical theme carried on into this week with 2 more stage based evenings. One was high octane A list as we got much sought after tickets for the Misanthrope starring Keira Knightley and Damian Lewis. An excellent expose of shallow lives in rhyming couplets. The second visit was the local pantomine (oh no it wasn’t!!) which was performed with gusto and enthusiasm and the chaos on stage only added to the fun. We had the chance to sing along Slade’s ‘Merry Christmas ..everyone’ which really put us in the festive mood. It was directed by Alfie Allen, brother of Lily Allen who I went to see in concert at the Brixton 02 Academy a few days after so it was a family week and their Dad was at Lily’s show. It was a snowy night but worth the effort to see her perform what she said will be her last show but let’s hope not.

Yes we had snow in London! It didn’t lay in the centre of town but caused huge excitement for a few hours.

Lots of lovely London Christmas lights to show you in these photos. The most beautiful were the delicate cut out fairytale images at Tiffany’s in Bond Street but the most fun were in Carnaby Street – see previous posting. The most comic was the penguin with the pink wig in Ted Baker South Molton Street, a pedestrianised shopping street which also gave us this original blue arch look. Also worth a mention is St Christopher’s Place, another pedestrian shopping area with lovely hanging lights.

London is full of ice rinks during December and they all fight to be considered the best location which is a tough competition between Tower of London, Natural History Museum and my winner, Somerset House. This weekend they also had a Christmas fair where a few more unusual presents were purchased but I can’t tell you what just in case the recipients are reading this!

 

Festive eating and drinking saw our annual visit to Julie’s in Holland Park which is a most beautiful restaurant full of tiny side rooms and alcoves. We dined in a room which was just big enough for our table of 5 and all our presents. Festive mulled wine drinking took place at the Ground Floor – First Floor. They’ve made a festive effort so deserve a photo and are well placed right at the heart of Portobello Road so you can see a few stalls outside even tho’ it was quite late in the day. which is the bar below a restaurant which is called – you’ve guessed already, First Floor! Wishing you all a very merry Christmas. I’ve one more blog for 2010 so catch me next Monday.

Bye for now.