To London with Love, the 2020 Christmas Lights

This week we are in lockdown so no-one can visit London but the lights will be here again next Christmas. You can see from my photos how empty the streets are. It is very sad but we will get through this. Oxford Street and Carnaby Street lights are emphasising the love and kindness people have shown each-other this year.

London has had festive lights in the West End since the 1950’s. Regent Street had angels for it’s first light up in 1954 and to commemorate this the lights today, called The Spirit of Christmas, feature angels whose wings light up making them look like they are flying.

In Mayfair I noticed a black Lamborghini parked outside the Connaught hotel and looking very chic. Nearby is the Italian bakery, Marchesi with a display of iced cakes in its window. It reminded me that before the twentieth century the only shops to bother to have some kind of display at Christmas were bakers. In Victorian times people would gather outside to admire the intricately designed cakes in their windows. I am doing the twenty first century equivalent by posting photos of Marchesi’s cakes on my blog. Annabel’s nightclub has music and dancing from the Nutcracker on the whole facade of the building. It is magical.

Decorating shops is a relatively new idea, it started with the opening of Selfridges in 1909. Since I was a small child I have loved the iconic bronze and enamel sculptures around the clock, known as the The Queen of Time. They are by Gilbert Bayes and were unveiled in 1931. Selfridges is where my mother brought me to see Father Christmas and for haircuts when I was a little girl. They had a rocking horse you could ride if you had been good at the hairdresser’s. Look at the photos of Burlington Arcade, it always looks lovely but especially so at Christmas.

About the author: Gail Jones