London’s luxury hotels get festive

16 Dec 2016 by BusinessTraveller
Claridges Christmas 2016

This year has seen some of London’s luxury hotels form partnerships with artists, designers and luxury brands for their festive displays. Their dining venues have also put together special menus to mark the season. Here’s what a selection of properties are offering.


The Mayfair hotel has paired with Apple’s chief design officer, Sir Jony Ive, and designer Marc Newson to present an immersive winter experience for guests. The installation (pictured above and below) includes silver birch trees, a green fir canopy, cast Scots pines, and four-metre-high light boxes projecting woodland images, creating a snow-covered forest in the building’s lobby.

As well as offering Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve menus in its Michelin-starred restaurant, Fera, Claridge’s has created a festive afternoon tea that includes a glass of Laurent-Perrier champagne, turkey, cranberry, chestnut and pork stuffing sandwiches, and a serving of Claridge’s Christmas pudding (£85 per person).

St James’s Hotel and Club

The five-star boutique property has joined forces with shoe designer Lucy Choi (, niece of Jimmy Choo, for its decorations. Cascading five floors through the building’s winding staircase is an installation of oversized baubles, each containing one of Choi’s glamorous “affordable luxury” heels.

The hotel’s Michelin-starred chef, William Drabble, has put together a special five-course tasting menu for New Year’s Eve, including carpaccio of hand dived scallops with Jerusalem artichokes and truffle dressing; fillet of dry aged-beef, salt-baked celeriac, seared foie gras and Madeira jus; and passion fruit soufflé with dark chocolate sauce (£295 with wine pairings).

Lucy Choi at St James Hotel and Club

The Savoy

The Savoy has collaborated with Boodles and Louis Roederer on its “frozen fantasia” display. In the lobby is a 15-foot-tall tree hung with cut-mirror decorations inspired by Boodles’ jewellery designs. Under the champagne bauble-clad gazebo in the Thames Foyer is an ice rink installation created in association with Louis Roederer, which features a life-size pirouetting ice skater by sculptor Gareth Knowles.

The “Ice and Diamonds” afternoon tea includes Boodles-inspired patisserie and Louis Roederer vintage rose cuvée (£82 per person), while the Savoy Grill, Simpson’s-in-the-Strand and Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill will be serving up special menus to mark Christmas and New Year. A New Year’s Eve party including a seven-course dinner is being held in the Lancaster ballroom (£400 per head).

The Savoy at Christmas

The Connaught

The five-star luxury hotel commissioned British sculptor Antony Gormley to design this year’s Christmas tree, which is located outside the property on Carlos Place. The trunk of the 17.5-metre-high Shropshire Western Red Cedar has been transformed into a tapering column of light.

Both Espelette restaurant and the two-Michelin starred Hélène Darroze are offering festive menus, while the hotel’s special afternoon tea includes roasted turkey and cranberry sauce sandwiches, Christmas cake, plain and cranberry scones with Christmas jam and Cornish clotted cream, and mulled spice macarons (£65 with a glass of Laurent-Perrier champagne).

Brown’s hotel

This year Brown’s has partnered with Smythson on its display. The Rocco Forte hotel’s Christmas tree and decorations feature the luxury brand’s signature leather Featherweight notebooks complete with seasonal sayings.

The property is also offering a promotional stay at the hotel in collaboration with Smythson. The package includes a night in a Junior suite, a bottle of Ruinart champagne, breakfast and a Smythson gift for each guest (from £950). Hix Mayfair is serving a Christmas Day lunch and New Year’s Eve dinner.

Browns Smythson Christmas display

Michelle Harbi and Hannah Evans

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