Christmas in London
LONDON - London is the UK’s leading destination at Christmas for gift shopping, enjoying festive entertainment, and admiring Christmas lights. Here is a selection of the best places to visit this December, without ever having to leave the capital.
This Christmas, Regent Street continues to build on its reputation as one of the ultimate shopping and lifestyle destinations in the world. On 13 November, Team GB and ParalympicGB athletes switched on the Regent Street Christmas lights. A new design for 2012 now lights the night sky for the ultimate magical Christmas shopping experience.
This year has seen the launch of new shopping initiatives on Regent Street including the Regent Street Gift Card, accepted in over 130 stores, hotels and restaurants, the Regent Street Shopping App to help navigate the area, and the recently launched ’hands-free shopping’ which allows customers to shop and have their bags delivered home for a flat fee of £30. These exclusive opportunities ensure the shopping experience on Regent Street is unlike anywhere else in the world.
St James’s London, whose brand new Christmas lighting scheme was switched on by classical opera star Katherine Jenkins, offers exclusive and limited edition gifts unlike anywhere else in the world, for those looking for something really special this Christmas. The sparkling, snowflake panels are new for 2012, the first year that Christmas lights will be displayed along the entire length of Jermyn Street.
St James’s is world renowned for high quality menswear and accessories, with stylish bars, cafés and restaurants. Shops in the area specialise in producing bespoke collections, products and gift ideas - perfect when seeking a unique and exclusive Christmas present.
World famous heritage retailers in St James’s include Turnbull & Asser, shirt makers by Royal Appointment; London’s leading cheesemongers, Paxton & Whitfield; Floris, perfumers since 1730; and the "Queen’s Grocer" Fortnum & Mason, all holders of royal warrants. 2012 has brought a variety of new brands to the area including Smart Turnout and Cicchetti- the first London location for the San Carlo group.
Carnaby is world famous for its music heritage as well as its fashion history. This year the Carnaby Christmas decorations have been designed by The Rolling Stones, the greatest rock band in the world.
The Christmas decorations consist of huge 3D spheres suspended throughout Carnaby Street containing oversized gold and silver vinyl records emblazoned with the bands iconic artwork and album covers.
The Carnaby arches are also dressed with The Stones iconic tongue logo. The outdoor installations tell a visual story from the band’s creation in the 1960s to the present day.
Carnaby is one of London’s most exciting destinations for shopping and leisure with a unique mix of global fashion brands, independent stores, unusual boutiques and award winning restaurants. No other area in London can boast such a distinctive heritage for fashion, music and youth culture.
St Martin’s Courtyard
When seeking entertainment throughout the festive season, head down to St Martin’s Courtyard in Covent Garden where shoppers will be treated to a fabulous feast of events, taking place below the sparkling Christmas decorations.
Shoppers can enjoy culture shots from around the world including Bollywood dancing, traditional Christmas carols, the English National Opera, a Mexican mariachi band and the award-winning London Community Gospel Choir.
Bitesize performances of quality entertainment will take place in the courtyard on Saturdays and Thursdays to enhance the Christmas shopping experience.