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London’s Christmas trees: ranked

Time Out’s writers and designers get their teeth into this year’s selection of festive firs

Andy Parsons
By Time Out editors |
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It’s the most wonderful time of the year… which means the city goes into a festive frenzy of ice rinks, cosy pop-ups and Christmas trees springing up all over London. From trad firs to quirkier creations (some of them play pretty fast and loose with the definition of a ‘tree’ tbh), we rank this season’s offerings.

RECOMMENDED: Christmas events in London

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13
Lancôme Christmas Tree
John Phillips

St Pancras

We say

‘Who doesn’t love a traditional Christmas tower?’

‘Not really fulfilled the “tree” brief, has it?’

12
Christmas Tree by David Batchelor, Granary Square, King's Cross
John Sturrock

Granary Square

We say

‘It’s just five snooker triangles stacked up.’

‘Unironic bit of hipster scaffolding. Vertical lines are not festive.’

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11
Winterfest 2019
Chris Winter

Winterfest at Wembley Park

We say

‘What actually happens inside? Gladiator fights? Orgies?Sacrifices? It’s like “The Wicker Man” updated for Instagram.’

‘You may as well put a star on a traffic cone.’

10
Natural History Museum
Carolina Faruolo

Natural History Museum Ice Rink

We say

‘Looks like it’s on a mini roundabout. In Telford.’

‘I thought that logo on it was a watermark.’

‘Wait till you see the Shutterstock tree for 2019.’

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9
Photograph: Adam Duke

The Royal Exchange

We say

‘Feel like they’ve been smart, taking this like a dick pic, working that angle.’

8
Claridges
Jamie McGregor Smith

Claridge’s

We say

‘Looks like a baby wearing a paper hat from a cracker, but MUCH LESS CUTE.’

‘The hat is too big.’

 

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7
St James's
Nick Howe

St James’s

We say 

‘Too bushy, too much tree.’

‘The Christmas tree equivalent of a plum-coloured Hackett gilet.’

6
R7RHHA
Malcolm Park / Alamy Stock Photo

Trafalgar Square

We say

‘It’s always #gifted from Norway, so that’s nice. Even if it is sometimes a bit wonky.’

‘The ghost of refused planning permission.’

‘Too long.’

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5
Zandra Rhodes 'Rainbow Rag Tree' Launch
David M. Benett

Ace Hotel

We say

‘She’s so messy – I love her!’

‘Mr Susan from “The Mighty Boosh”.’

4
Somerset House
Hoda Davaine

Skate at Somerset House

We say

‘This is the Colin Firth of Christmas trees: unassuming, classic, very pleasing.’

‘I feel sorry for him. He’s standing there and this photographer appears, so the tree feels all special, then the photographer asks him to “just move to your left a bit”, and he takes a photo of the flipping SKATE sign.’

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3
Covent Garden Christmas Switch-on 2019
Brendan Bell

Covent Garden

We say

‘You can’t go wrong with that tree. Nice big bucket. Man next to it for scale. I like it.’

‘Could be more colourful.’

2
Liberty Christmas Tree
Liberty

Liberty

We say

‘It’s serving Studio Ghibli realness.’

‘Looks like a very expensive dress.’

‘Like they yanked it out of the future.’

‘It’s pink, which I like. I think this is my winner.’

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1
LEGO Christmas at the Savoy
Photograph: Andy Parsons

The Savoy

We say

‘He’s made of Lego and he’s honestly spectacular IRL. When you’re in his presence you feel a certain charm emanating from him. What troubles me, though, is how he moves about. Or does he? His body is a tree!’

‘This one is my favourite because LOOK AT THAT GUY.’

‘I want to be in a Christmas movie where he comes to life and befriends me.’

Find more festive things to do in London

Photograph: Sarah Bray/Shutterstock.com
Things to do

Christmas in London

Almost as soon as the temperature drops and the clocks go back, London is transformed into a wintery wonderland. Ice rinks appear in squares, on rooftops and outside London icons while the city glitters with Christmas lights and creatively decorated trees.

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