Ask anyone when the holidays well and truly begin for them and they will most likely have an exact date in mind. They’ll say it’s ok to start celebrating the Christmas period on the 1st of December, or the day after Thanksgiving, for example. Many have a date associated with a family tradition or a moment in time. For me, my official festive spirit kicks in every year with the unveiling of London’s most talked about Christmas Tree at Claridge’s. Weeks in advance of the big reveal, the name of their design collaborator is announced and we all sit on the edge of our seats awaiting the creative direction the Christmas Tree will take. For 2019, no one quite knew what to expect, but we knew the colour red would be involved somehow, for the design collaborator this season was Christian Louboutin, the man responsible for a global love affair with red soled shoes.
At exactly 8:30am this morning, as my red soled shoe stepped from the revolving door of the chilly London morning onto the plush and posh carpet of Claridge’s foyer, I was confronted with a winter wonderland with a most unexpected twist. The tree before me was dressed like a king, for indeed it did have the most spectacular crown resting upon its head. But below, decorated from base to tip, hung hundreds of baubles, nestled around gingerbread shoes with trademark Louboutin details. It wasn’t until I stepped up into the main reception of Claridge’s, however, that I spotted the real gem of this year’s Christmas tree. Alongside the rather famous and grand staircase, a train had appeared. The Loubi Express, a large red and life sized train carriage, complete with seating, for those wishing to drink their champagne in celebratory style, fills the lobby. As champagne, mince pies and truffle eggs on crumpets were passed around to the press, a man in a red suit, with a blue hat, descended from the floor above. Yes, the man of the hour, Mr. Christian Louboutin himself, was there to greet us all. He hopped onto the train, grabbed a glass of champagne and posed for his festive adoring fans in front of the dream tree.
We swooned, we took pictures, we swore our allegiance to the red sole and promised to come back to visit the tree several times over the coming weeks. But, more than anything, we all left feeling as if the holiday season had truly begun. All day I left meetings and meals by wishing my guests a Merry Christmas. It has started! The Christmas season is here and this year it’s been brought in by the man that has always been the best supplier of Christmas gifts under my tree!
Congrats to Claridge’s and Christian Louboutin on such a beautiful showcase of creative genius! This is a must see. So, if you’re in London, make a point of getting down there ASAP!