Claridge’s Christmas Tree 2019

Every year, I am curious to see who is designing the iconic Christmas tree at Claridge’s Hotel in London. Capturing the glamour, romance and timeless traditions of the festive season, this year’s  tree is the work of legendary designer – and long-time friend and guest of the hotel – Christian Louboutinicon.

This immersive installation invites guests on a journey, transforming the lobby into a frosted forest. At its heart is a traditional tree in gold and red, dressed with fairy lights and gingerbread stilettos – and topped with a gold-leaf crown.

Alongside the tree, The Loubi Express is stationed in the lobby. Passengers are invited to step aboard this enchanting red carriage and take a seat in restful red velvet interiors, where just four tables create an intimate setting. Enjoy a glass – or share a bottle – of Laurent-Perrier, or try one of an exclusive collection of cocktails specially created with Christian Louboutin. Accompanying the drinks are canapés and a selection of Claridge’s Bar sharing dishes – all served to your lamplit table by our Cocktail Conductor.

«I wanted to bring a little bit of Paris to London, and for this year’s design to capture the excitement of journeys, whether to new destinations or homecomings
Christian Louboutin

The unveiling of the 2019 tree heralds the beginning of Christmas in the British capital. Christian Louboutin’s unique installation also marks the 10th year of this creative collaboration between a visionary designer and Claridge’s. In 2018, it was Diane von Furstenberg who designed the Tree of Love. For past installations, click here please.

I will be in London next weekend and cannot wait to see the tree with my own eyes…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Claridge’s Hotel and Christian Louboutin

The Tree of Love – Merry Christmas 2018

My dear readers, with all my heart I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas 2018 with the iconic Claridge’s Christmas Tree, that is designed this year by fashion icon and long-time friend of the hotel, Diane von Furstenberg.

«Claridge’s is my favourite hotel in the world and my home in London. I was so excited to be invited to create its legendary annual Christmas Tree. My tree is «The Tree of Love», celebrating all aspects of love and life.»
Diane von Furstenberg

This is the ninth time that Claridge’s has invited a distinguished guest to reinterpret the tree in their own distinctive style. For the previous collaborations, click here please.

«The Tree of Love» is inspired by Diane’s passion and strong belief in the power of love, symbolising life and nature, and drawing particularly from the creative influences of the astrological world. This six-metre sculptural tree is coloured with a blue iridescent lustre and shimmer, and is decorated with over 8,000 hand painted silver-leafed leaves, glass spheres and 150 hand-blown glass hearts.

It plays host to six different silver-leafed abstract designed animals – an owl represents knowledge and wisdom, a dove symbolises peace, a horse conveys strength and endurance. Highlighting the importance of nature within «The Tree of Love», a sculptural deer representing gentleness sits at the base, a peacock representing beauty, and nestled gently sleeping, is a silver-leafed mouse to symbolise curiosity.

The idea of the tree is that all is derived from the universe and the tree winds its way upwards towards the heavens from its roots. Diane has also included important, symbolic words that have long been her mantra including Peace, Harmony, Knowledge, Truth, Freedom, Enlightenment and Wisdom. In order to make this a fully immersive experience, the iconic London hotel’s lobby has been reimagined under her creative vision with a magical midnight blue skylight covered in dazzling stars and astrological star signs from the constellation.

To a magical Christmas time filled with love and laughter!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Claridge’s London

Merry Christmas 2017

«Christmas trees are the strongest ‘souvenir’ of my happy childhood.» – Karl Lagerfeld

I love Christmas trees and my favorite one (besides my own) can be found at London’s Claridge’s Hotel where in the eighth consecutive year a creative visionary has been invited to reinterpret the tree in their own distinctive style. This December, it is Karl Lagerfeld, one of the fashion world’s most influential creative forces, who created the stunning festive installation, a sixteen foot high inverted tree with silver gilded roots topped with a multi-faceted mirrored star which reflects rays of magical light across the art deco lobby. Reminiscent of a silver stalactite, the tree is hung with traditional silver lametta decorations, silver butter leather feathers and snowflakes handmade by craftsmen in Germany with tree candles giving a warm, inviting glow. Under the centerpiece sit hand sewn white Icelandic sheepskin rugs to reflect a recent snowfall.The famous designer was inspired by his own childhood memories of Christmas.

The Claridge’s Christmas Tree has long been a festive Mayfair landmark, drawing visitors and Londoners alike to marvel at its magnificent and ever-changing design. Scroll down to explore Claridge’s Christmas Tree designs through the years.

2016: SIR JONY IVE AND MARC NEWSON

2015: CHRISTOPHER BAILEY FOR BURBERRY

2014: DOLCE & GABBANA

2013: DOLCE & GABBANA

2012: KALLY ELLIS OF MCQUEENS

2011: ALBER ELBAZ FOR LANVIN

2010: JOHN GALLIANO FOR DIOR

2009: JOHN GALLIANO FOR DIOR

Merry Christmas to all of you – may you all sparkle as these beautiful trees with joy, love and laughter.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Claridge’s

Alessandra Rich: London

Alessandra Rich London

My avid readers know how much I adore Alessandra Rich‘s designs. Her gowns are feminine and sophisticated with an edgy and ironic slant, for me my favorites on the red carpet.

After the Italian born designer had officially launched her eponymous label with her S/S 2010 collection, she has fast become a name synonymous with defined glamour loved by celebrities around the globe. She works from a showroom in London’s Mount Street, where I visited her to get her insider scoop on the British metropole, and an atelier close to Venice. In everyone of her collections, she shows her unique skill for making the elaborate fabrics of lace, ruffles and this S/S 2015 season fringes appear modern and extremely special.

Sandra Bauknecht and Alessandra Rich 2

Your favourite city?
LONDON. It’s where I spend my best time.

4-claridges-luxury-london-hotel-mayfair

Your favourite hotel?
CLARIDGE’S, because it’s a classic.
49 Brook Street, London W1K 4HR, +44 20 7629 8860

jpg_1341574157

Your favourite restaurant?
SCOTT’S, I love their oysters.
20 Mount Street, London W1K 2HE, +44 20 7495 7309

CON_ConnaughtBar_10

Your favourite bar or nightclub?
CONNAUGHT BAR. Perfect for a drink with friends.
The Connaught, Carlos Place, London, W1K 2AL, +44 20 7499 7070

P1020101

Your favourite sightseeing spot?
THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE. It‘s an intense experience.
Bow St, London WC2E 9DD, +44 20 7240 1200

002170192c4e11661c6d02

Your favourite park?
HYDE PARK. It’s just around the corner from my office.
+44 300 061 2000

Virginia antiques

Your favourite shop?
VIRGINIA ANTIQUES on Portland Road. This vintage and second hand clothing shop is a Pandora’s vase.
98 Portland Road, Holland Park, London W11 4LQ, +44 20 7727 9908

lollipop

Your must-have accessory?
RED NAILS. I always wear Lollipop by Essie.

led-zeppelin-blac-and-white-large-wallpaper

The best soundtrack for this destination?
Anything from LED ZEPPELIN or PINK FLOYD.

Guide London

The best book to read while being on vacation there?
WALLPAPER CITY GUIDE LONDON To have smart tips about the city.

Thank you, Alessandra, for sharing your insider scoop on London with us!

TO SHOP ALESSANDRA RICH, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
icon

LoL, Sandra

olivia_palermoOlivia Palermo in a fringed lace gownicon from Alessandra Rich‘s S/S 2015 collection.

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht, © AP Images

Merry Christmas 2013

christmas-tree-2013-by-dolce-gabbana-for-claridges-london

Today, I would like to wish you with all my heart a wonderful Christmas Eve. Despite all different traditions, some of you might not be celebrating this Christian celebration, others might unwrap their gifts tomorrow, some of us, like me, tonight. Nevertheless, what we all have in common is love and this is what I am wishing you, a night surrounded by the ones you love.

As I adore the magic of this time of the year, I attached some photos of different designer installations to get you in the right mood. Enjoy!

Dolce Gabbana Christmas Tree_claridges

London’s famous hotel Claridge’s annual Christmas tree has been designed by long time guests and friends, designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana.
(Do you remember the trees in 2009 and 2010 by John Galliano?!)

This amazing installation depicts iconic elements from a traditional Christmas tree reinterpreted with Sicilian elements that draw on the Italian heritage of the designers: hand-crafted Sicilian puppets known as ‘pupi’, hand-painted Italian festive glass baubles and a bespoke multi-coloured ‘luminarie’ framework created in southern Italy.

Tiffany Weihnachtskutsche

This Christmas in London, on the streets of Old Bond Street and Sloane Square, Tiffany & Co. has been going back in time with horse-drawn carriages, loaded with small blue Tiffany boxes, which reiterates its message that The Perfect Christmas Comes Wrapped in Blue.”

Tiffany Holiday Window

And of course, this message is spread around the world with the house’s global shopping window displays.

Printemps-Prada-WindowPrintemps-Prada

In Paris, Prada gave French department store Printemps holiday windows with a high-fashion touch. The display, entitled A Joyful Obsession,” is a colorful creation that is classically Christmas with visual elements inspired by the Italian brand. As part of the collaboration, Prada designed an exclusive collection with apparel, handbags, accessories and footwear.

Budapest-Christmas-Tree-1

Here comes my favorite tree installation that can be found in front of the Palace of Arts in Budapest. Made out of 365 wooden sleighs, the 11-meter-tall tree is a sustainable design endeavor which channels the true spirit of Christmas.

Budapest-Christmas-Tree-2013

After the end of the holiday season, it will be dismantled and the sleighs will be donated to kids living in the SOS Children’s Village homes in Hungary.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of the Brands, Claridge’s, Inhabitant

Stephen Webster: London

Stephen's London

STEPHEN WEBSTER

The famous jeweler lived in many different countries, among them Canada and the United States. Till this day, he enjoys travelling very much, but always comes back happily to his hometown: London. Below you will find his tips for the best places to visit in Great Britain’s capital.

Your favourite city in the world: 
LONDON

Your favourite restaurants: I am actually in this business as well and own three restaurants. 

HIX, 66-70 Brewer Street  City of Westminster, W1F 9UP,
+44 20 7292 3518
(Favourite dish: Webster’s fish fingers, fish & chips)
HIX BELGRAVIA, Pont Street, London SW1X 9EJ, +44 20 3189 4850
TRAMSHED, 32 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3LX, +44 20 7749 0478
It’s just opened in Shoreditch, which is the real trendy place for London. The menu primarily focuses on steak and chicken items. Greeting guests and reminding them of this fact is the spectacularly placed Cock and Bull piece from Damian Hirst created specifically for us.

Your favourite hotel: 
CLARIDGE’S, 49 Brook Street, Mayfair, London, +44 20 7629 8860.

Your favourite shop: SELFRIDGES
I especially love the food department.

Your favourite nightclub: 
THE WELLINGTON, 116A Knightsbridge  London SW1X 7PL, 
+ 44 20 7823 8211
I don’t hardly ever go to nightclubs anymore. If I do go to a nightclub, I go to the Wellington, which it’s the place where I know everybody, I know the DJ, and that’s probably what I’m looking for right now.

Your favourite art gallery: TATE MODERN, Bankside London SE1 9TG, +44 20 78878752

Your favourite park: HYDE PARK
I live right next to it and walk across it nearly every morning.

Your favourite transportation in London: THE TUBE
I use the tube, because if you don’t you’re going to get very frustrated. My motorbike, I keep at the country.

Thank you, Stephen, for sharing your insider scoop on London with us!

LoL, Sandra

Roja Dove: London

London by Roja Dove

ROJA DOVE

The famous haute perfumer shares his tips for the best places to visit in Great Britain’s capital. He commutes between London and Brighton.

Your favourite city in the world: 
LONDON
There is no better place on earth.

Your favourite restaurant: 
THE WOLSELEY, 160 Piccadilly London, +44 20 7499 6996.

Your favourite hotel: 
CLARIDGE’S, 49 Brook Street, Mayfair, London,  +44 20 7629 8860.

Your favourite shop: HARRODSicon
Be sure to visit the Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie on the fifth floor.

Your favourite bar or nightclub: 
THE COBURG BAR @ The Connaught Hotel in Mayfair Carlos Place, London, +44 20  74997070.
I am not so into nightclubs, because I love to be able to talk to my friends. A good drink at a bar is much better. A destination for genuine bar aficionados.

Your favourite sightseeing spot: THE RIVER RESTAURANT @ The Savoy Hotel Strand, London, +44 20 7836 4343
From there you have a fantastic view of the river themse, the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament.

Your favourite park: ST. JAMES PARK

The scent of London: WOOD and LEATHER.
I actually did a scent once inspired by the city of London. It is a male city, not like Paris which is female. The gentlemen’s clubs rule the city. The architecture is clean and straight. So you see dark woods and lots of leather.

Thank you, Roja, for sharing your insider scoop on London with us!

LoL, Sandra

John Galliano Has Done It Again

John-Galliano-Under-the-Sea-Christmas-Tree

John Galliano has done it again and designed for the second year running the Christmas tree for London’s famous hotel Claridge’s. This time, he drew inspirations from the ocean.
„I wanted to create an underwater fantasy and have mixed pink corals, seahorses, anemones and jellyfish, all glinting like gem stones, swimming amidst the silver leaves,“ said Galliano, Christian Dior’s creative director.
As for me, I preferred last year’s installation, as the frozen theme looked more wintery.
The tree is on display in the lobby until January 5th, 2011.

LoL, Sandra

ChristmasTree2010

John Galliano’s Christmas Tree

Diortree

Last weekend I went to London and had a fab time. I stayed at the Claridge`s in Mayfair which turned out to be a fantastic choice.

After having entered the lobby, I was completely in love with their Christmas tree installation by John Galliano for Christian Dior. The innovative design gives the impression of being frozen and is a twist on tradition due to its tropical elements like dragon flies, parrots and leopards. Well done, John!

LoL, Sandra

 

Diortree2

Diortree-Text