We’re year-round fans of Carnaby (the 13 streets that make up the villagey Soho shopping enclave behind Liberty), but we have a particularly soft spot for it as Christmas approaches.The area’s festive finery isn’t exactly traditional, but it’s always fun as well as decorative.
One year there were stars, Sputniks and astro Father Christmases; another, holly leaf and berry garlands and oversized mistletoe chandeliers. For 2013 there’s a flock of giant robins on its way. They’re set to arrive on the evening of Thursday November 14, when the lights on the arches spanning Carnaby Street will be switched on and the whole area will be in party mood.
A huge LED screen will display your tweets and Instagram snaps of the event, while you enjoy live entertainment including
gigs from breaking bands. There will be free drinks, goodie bags and a talk in Kingly Court on current trends from Grazia’s editor-at-large Angela Buttolph.
Many of Carnaby’s shops, restaurants and bars will offer a discount of 20 percent all day. Among the 100-odd brands signed up to lead us into temptation are Paul Smith Soho, Cheap Monday, Monki, Ben Sherman, Albam and uber-cool Kingly Street boutique Other.
David & Goliath, purveyors of humorous T-shirts, will provide crucial calories for energetic shoppers, dispensing free candyfloss and popcorn. If you’re browsing the rails of Swedish chic clothing at Cheap Monday, you’ll be invited to share the important cultural intuition of fika (it’s hard to translate precisely but it comes down to a convivial snack, in this instance coffee and cinnamon buns).
At Camper, as well good-looking footwear, there will be free beer on offer and an in-store DJ.
Footsore? Spend £50 in shoe shop F-Troupe and you’ll get free bath salts and a foot salve for a reviving soak and sooth when you’ve staggered home. If you don’t think you’ll make it that far, pre-book a treatment at Spa London in the Marshall Street Baths, where the 20 percent discount also applies.
Gift shopping can become a bit of chore if you leave it to the last minute. Tackled early on, it’s a different story entirely. So join the party – register for free tickets at www.carnaby.co.uk.and shop like there’s no discount tomorrow.
Find more Christmas lights in London