04 December 2012

London Christmas Lights: 2012 Edition

The Christmas lights have been up in London for ages, but I couldn't face photographing them or blogging about them until it was actually December. I tend to agree with the Americans in that we shouldn't start thinking about Christmas until after Thanksgiving is out of the way. This year I am a little more excited than usual, however, as I will be going to New York in just under three weeks, with my family and The Bro's in-laws. Christmas in Cannes is lovely, but hardly very Christmassy. A Manhattan Christmas, on the other hand... In the meantime, here are some of my favourite Christmas lights and decorations from around London.

First, here are the Regent Street lights. I didn't think they were particularly special or beautiful this year, but I did like the way they looked in the rain through the front of the bus window on the way home one evening, with the red lights of the cars and golden lights from the shops contrasting nicely with the silvery blue of the Christmas lights.

Regent Street Christmas lights

Then there is Carnaby Street, which always manages to be that bit cooler and more playful than most of its more traditional rivals. This year, their motto is, "it's only rock and roll," and so they've made their decorations out of giant golden LPs, embellished with the Rolling Stones lips and tongue logo. They look pretty cool, although those of a more minimalist bent will probably balk at all the bling.

Rockin' out at Carnaby Street

Seven Dials can always be counted on for a colourful but stylish set of lights and I love their stars and stripes in red, yellow, green and all of the colours in between.

Seven Dials Christmas lights

Finally, I've included a few of the other lights and decorations I spotted, which were all noteworthy for one reason or another. The pretty, swirly Christmas tree is outside the Saatchi Gallery, just off the King's Road. The arty looking lights are round the back of the Oxo Tower, on the huge brick wall with the names of the Muses. And the Marmite-branded lights are on Oxford Street. I don't think the latter are very stylish, but I do like the concept: because not everyone [hearts] Christmas, and it's nice that us Scrooges are finally getting some attention!

Christmas on the King's Road, at the Oxo Tower and on Oxford Street

Edit: On my way home from work, I noticed how pretty the lights on Kings Boulevard, home to the KERB street food market, were. The trees that line the little path that connects the Regent's Canal to King's Cross station are filled with little snowflakes. If you look closely at the snowflakes, you may notice they are made up of letters that spell out King's Cross. Very cute.

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