I don't know if it's age or life, but it's taken me a long time to feel Christmassy this year. Nevertheless, I'm there now, and loving it.
Yesterday took me on my annual Christmas Tree Crawl, and this year I was joined by friends, so hopefully looked a little less odd.
Armed with a list almost literally as long as my arm, we began the day at the Southbank, admiring (again) the Tatty Devine trees lining the terrace outside the Southbank Centre. Gorgeously garish, my favourite has to be the one adorned with their Gin bottle design. Cable ties preventing the dawn of a new tradition (no of course I wouldn't dream of stealing), we moved on to the next item on our list.
The Fortnum's tree at Somerset House is always a firm favourite, so we took a detour through the courtyard, and into the Fortnum's Arcade, before heading on to the Savoy. This year's tree was more traditional than the last, but I did like the addition of stylish reindeer outside as we approached.
Having made my list so long ago, I couldn't quite remember the draw of several new locations, so the tree at One Aldwych was a very pleasant surprise. A theatre theme, the tree itself was a deep pink tutu-esque netting, and it was hung with musical notes, treble clefs, instruments, and lots of clockwork. Set in the middle of the hotel bar, we were fortunate that those enjoying a drink didn't mind our stopping to ogle.
A lunch stop called, and we opted for festive pizza at Pizza Express, our second of the season.
Just before lunch, we had attempted a visit to the London Coliseum to see their pointe shoe tree, but, like last year, we were met with hoards of matinée-goers, and didn't feel that 'we'd like to see your tree' would go down very well as a means of getting in. Upon leaving Pizza Express, however, the hoards were inside enjoying their afternoon performance of The Nutcracker, so we tried again, and although met with some suspicion, were eventually allowed in if we promised not to be too long.
In search of Claridges, we walked along many a light-lined street, and were glad to be further from the growing crowds. This year, we were treated to an upside down tree, and lots of little ones of the same design hung about, too.
The final two trees were conveniently on our route back to Underground stations. I'm not really sure I understood the tree outside of the Connaught this year, but it was pretty all the same. I especially liked the angel on the top (although, I decided, less so if it said 'Mum' like I suddenly noticed it might). Annabel's as always had a brightly coloured display, and the lights at Stella McCartney were fun, too.
Now on my way home to one of the best Christmas trees of all (I might be slightly biased, it's true)..