It’s finally December which means that Michael Bublé has nearly defrosted, Mariah’s ready to get her warble on and London’s remarkable Christmas trees are up and ready to be admired. In the spirit of 2021, many of these festive trees are far from predictable, but we can guarantee that you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Here are thirteen Christmas trees that Santa himself would approve of:
Covent Garden is home to the largest hand-picked Christmas tree in the city at a whopping 55-feet-tall! This show-stopping tree is from the same farm that the Royal Family get their tree from and it’s draped in twinkling lights, festive decorations and is sealed with a perfect red bow. This is just one part of their festive display, which features over 115,000 lights. Covent Garden has also decided to grant us the white Christmas we truly deserve by dusting the area with flurries of snow every day this month. Read all about it here.
Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 8RF. Nearest station is Covent Garden.
The tree in St. Pancras has finally been unveiled, and this year it has been designed in partnership with ZSL London Zoo. The concept behind it is to create a story book installation to bring the entire family together throughout the festive period. The idea for it stemmed from the zoo’s “Tails from the Zoo” bedtime story, which was released during the pandemic, helping animal enthusiasts who couldn’t visit London Zoo keep it in their minds. Once any new animal pop-ups are spotted around the station, visitors are invited to capture and share the moment through the #MyLondonZoo hashtag. Moreover, having been closed for many months during the pandemic, it’s also a tribute to all those who continued to support the London landmark. Find out more about the new tree here.
Euston Rd, King’s Cross, N1C 4QP. Nearest station is King’s Cross St Pancras.
3. Claridge’s Hotel
No stranger to striking Christmas trees, Claridge’s 2021 effort is another sparkling contender. Each year the famous luxury hotel enlists one of fashion’s biggest names, and this year it comes courtesy of Dior menswear’s artistic director Kim Jones. Billed as the ‘Celestial Snow Globe’, the six-and-a-half-metre tree is designed to be an enchanting object of desire, illuminated with gleaming sparkles, reflecting snowflakes and state-of-the-art holographic projections. In another nod to Dior’s heritage, the Christmas baubles, that seem to float in orbit around the tree, reflect the house’s iconic motifs. There’s even one of Kim Jones’ own dog, Cookie.
Brook Street, Mayfair, W1K 4HR. Nearest station is Bond Street.
This magical market represented Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, however we can assure you that it’s equally as fantastical during the festive season. Leadenhall Market’s extraordinary tree illuminates the entire market with its dazzling lights and striking decorations.There are also Christmas workshops – including whisky tasting and wreath-making – on offer throughout the month of December. So, why not dial the festivities all the way up to a hundred?
Gracechurch Street, Langbourn, EC3V 1LT. Nearest station is Monument.
5. Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross
This lovely central London spot is always decked out with some kind of impressive artwork, but this Christmas really takes the biscuit. Designed by creative light and structural specialists This is Loop, the spectacular Prism is a 28-metre-tall beacon right in the centre of the square. Covered in angled lights and mirrors, it’s certainly impressive and practically begs for you to walk through it and take a picture for the old Instagram. It was designed to be immersive so as to signify unity – particularly relevant after the past year we’ve all had!
Coal Drops Yard, Stable Street, King’s Cross, N1C 4DQ. Nearest station is King’s Cross St Pancras.
6. Wembley Park
Wembley’s Winterfest is back with a bang this year, and this year’s theme is ‘Reunited in Light’, which will feature returning favourites as well as brand-new commissions and new art installations. The centrepiece is – of course – the 25-metre-tall tree which is made up of 100,000 twinkling LED lights. This year, it’s been designed to be a walk-through version, dressed with the brand-new digital artwork ‘City Lights’, commissioned by Brent artist Yoni Alter. Cameras at the ready!
Wembley Park, Wembley, HA9 0RJ. Nearest station is Wembley Park.
7. The Connaught Hotel
The Connaught Hotel is not only home to the world’s best cocktail bar, but you’ll also find a pretty spectacular Christmas tree waiting outside to greet you. This year’s addition has been designed by friends of the hotel – influential London-based artist duo Annie Morris and Idris Khan OBE. The magnificent British-sourced Nordmann Fir tree, stands nine metres tall on Carlos Place and is surrounded by three interpretations of Morris’s beautiful Stack sculptures.
Carlos Place, Mayfair, W1K 2AL. Nearest station is Bond Street.
8. Aqua Shard
Last year’s collaboration between Veuve Clicquot and British set designer, Soutra Gilmour, led to the creation of Aqua Shard’s show-stopping tree – and I use the term tree loosely here. Hundreds of golden paint brushes were dipped in glitter and illuminated as an ode to London’s theatre industry and backstage production crews during a difficult time. For 2021, Aqua Shard have restored, reused and relit the unconventional tree after giving the paint brushes a slightly new look, now delicately dipped in gold and green. The glittering masterpiece intends to celebrate the moment that lights all over the country are turned back on for the festive season.
Level 31, The Shard, St Thomas Street, SE1 9RY. Nearest station is London Bridge.
9. Sofitel St James
Clearly ‘the bigger the better’ is Sofitel St James’ motto and I don’t blame them. This towering tree is hard to miss and it’ll have you feeling merry and bright in no time. Everything from the dazzling decorations to the elegant star atop the tree, is fabulously festive!
10. Trafalgar Square
There aren’t many things you can guarantee in life, but Trafalgar Square’s festive tree making a return over Christmas is definitely one of them. Every year since 1947, Norway donates an eye-catching tree to the Big Smoke as a thank you for helping them out in WW2. After a virtual lighting ceremony in 2020, this year’s spectacle will once again happen on-site, so make sure to head over there on December 2! Find out more here.
Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2N 5DX. Nearest station is Charing Cross.
Also published on Medium.