London's 2023 Christmas Lights Bitchily Reviewed

Tis the season for goodwill to all males. However tis additionally the season to be somewhat bit bitchy about Christmas lights. If this text is simply too foolish on your tastes, our straighter round-up of Christmas lights might be discovered right here.

Bond Road Christmas lights

London Christmas lights 2023: a glowing golden crown suspended above Bond Street at night

Regal Christmas lights on Bond Road. Picture: Will Noble/Londonist.

Designed to have fun the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee yr in 2022, by the point Bond Road’s bling crowns had been switched on that December, they’d inadvertently turn out to be a glitzy memorial to the late monarch. They have been hoisted again into the heavens in 2023, working their decidedly Nineteen Fifties stylish above the rich people swinging their luggage of Jimmy Choos beneath — this time, we suppose, as a doff of the crown to Charlie’s coronation. Fairly as they’re, we might do with a yr off from Royal Household dramas in 2024, and we kinda hope they return to being these peacock feathers once more. TL;DR: Like The Crown on Netflix, it is time to name it a day. Score: ★★★☆☆

Belgravia Christmas lights

A woman having a photo taken with multicoloured angel wings

Picture credit score: Jeff Spicer/PA Wire.

Glow-up angel wings you possibly can selfie with to your coronary heart’s content material are a fascinating — if not precisely unique — contact, however Belgravia’s different illuminations are a blended Santa’s sack. The chandeliers present Downton-esque razzle-dazzle, however skinny on the bottom within the air stars above Motcomb Road appear to be half have been pinched by an intergalactic thief. Possibly it is a touch upon the Tories or one thing. TL;DR: It is starting to look a lot little like Christmas. Score: ★★★☆☆

Covent Backyard Christmas lights

Huge bells and red baubles hang from the ceiling of Covent Garden Market

Picture: Laura Reynolds/Londonist.

For years, Covent Backyard Market was a primary smooching spot come yuletide, due to its gargantuan bunches of glowing mistletoe trailing from the ceiling. It was a stroke of genius; an overblown festive gesture with a wry nudge of the elbow. Possibly having a number of tonnes of ‘kissing berries’ dangling overhead was now not deemed politically appropriate, or maybe the market administration merely stumbled throughout a job lot of f**k-off large chintzy bells and outsized crimson medication balls they could not say no to. Both manner, 2023’s show looks like a step backwards for what was one in all London’s most iconic glow ups. TL;DR: Mistle-no. Score: ★★★☆☆

Harrods Christmas lights

Thousands of light bulbs illuminating Harrods

Picture: Justin through artistic commons.

Though Harrods’ official motto is Omnia Omnibus Ubique, possibly If it ain’t broke do not repair it can be extra applicable. In any case, since 1959, the poshest store on the town has slathered itself in heat white bulbs, giving off an aesthetic Christmas vibe that is much less Lad Child, extra Dean Martin. Like every respectable festive show, Harrods’ has grown exponentially; within the early days there have been simply 1,100 bulbs — now there are some 12,000 (apparently 300 want altering every day, and we wish to suppose that when alive, Mohamed Al-Fayed personally climbed out to vary each one, though he undoubtedly did not). Information in 2017 {that a} disgruntled worker had reconfigured the lights to spell out ‘Fuck Off’ had been alas significantly exaggerated i.e. not true. TL;DR: A dream come true for E.ON, or whoever their supplier is. Score: ★★★★☆

Savile Row Christmas lights

London Christmas lights 2023 guide: a mock-up of the new Savile Row lights, of shears cutting a ribbon of 'fabric' light

Picture: Savile Row.

Truthful play to new child on the block Savile Row for throwing its (bespoke) hat into the Christmas illuminations ring this yr. With a none-too-subtle play on its tailoring heritage, large pairs of glowing scissors hover ominously above your head, immediately calling to thoughts a mayor reducing the ribbon on the opening of a brand new grocery store. Every other time of the yr, these illuminations would carry a sparkle to the beholder’s eye, however Christmas requires one thing correctly particular, and regardless of brandishing the phrase ‘Christmas’ they’re distinctly, nicely, un-Christmassy. TL;DR: A minimize beneath the remaining. Score: ★★☆☆☆

Oxford Road Christmas lights

Stars strung over Oxford Street - a red bus drives underneath

Picture: Laura Reynolds/Londonist

Essential sufficient to have their very own title, we had been about to snidely recommend that ‘A Sky Stuffed with Stars’ is the kind of sickly title these Coldplay dweebs would christen one in all their songs, till we realised it IS one of many sickly names these Coldplay dweebs have christened one in all their songs. Happily, this show of over 5,000 stars strung up alongside the much-haunted thoroughfare are much more enchanting than their namesake; there is a positively charming ‘faculty nativity’ play vibe to those dangling celestial our bodies — and we imply that in the very best manner. They don’t seem to be new for 2023, however they’re the most effective factor Oxford Road’s performed light-wise shortly. Do not go altering. TL;DR: Stars of surprise. Score: ★★★★☆

Regent Road Christmas lights

Angel-shaped Christmas decorations over Regent Street

Picture: Tabish Khan

Regent Road had the primary official Christmas lights in central London again in 1954 — formed like trumpet-parping angels. And although the curvy road’s dabbled with every little thing from chandeliers to sizzling air balloons since, they neatly realised they bought it proper the primary time, returning to the angelic theme, with these majestic 45 spirits hovering overhead, spewing out blankets of sparkly stuff from their angelic backsides. They appear to be Anthony Gormley figures that’ve been mowed down by a double-decker, died, and at the moment are tripping the sunshine implausible as they ascend into the ether (or possibly as much as a close-by rooftop bar). They’re actually the pigs in blankets of the Christmas illumination world. Chic. TL;DR: Hark! The Herald Angels Win? Score: ★★★★★

Carnaby Road Christmas lights

London Christmas lights 2023 guide: colourful and glittery lights over Carnaby Street, seen from above

Issues get sparkly in Carnaby. Picture: Matt Crossick/PA

Carnaby Road is the black sheep/rebellious teen of central London’s illuminations — swerving stars and baubles for issues like track lyrics and planets. This yr, it is an incandescent, swirling ‘vortex’ of lights — the Photo voltaic System as if revamped by Ru Paul. Sounds attempt laborious, and possibly it’s — but as soon as once more, Carnaby’s dared to be totally different, and as soon as once more, it is dreamt up one thing that even Ebenezer Scrooge must whip out his cellphone to take a snap of. These Regent Road angels had higher watch their backs. TL;DR: The vortex with the more-tex. Score: ★★★★★

The Shard Christmas lights

A glowing Shard top with snowman

Picture: The Shard

If Raymond Briggs had created The Snowman as a pc recreation within the early Eighties, that is what it could have regarded like. Though to be fairly trustworthy, once we had been trying up at The Shard’s new gentle show the opposite evening, we would not have had the foggiest what we had been purported to be taking a look at, had it not been for the press launch they despatched over. However everybody loves a snowman, and the very fact this one melts (at the very least we suppose it was melting) makes it even, nicely, cooler. TL;DR: An ever-so-slightly much less naff model of that naff Christmas tree that is all the time on Tower 42. Score: ★★★☆☆

Northbank Christmas lights

Some uninspiring looking Xmas lights

Picture: Londonist

You may image the boardroom assembly: “Nobody’s going for the entire ‘Northbank’ title factor, possibly we must always simply drop it?” “Have we tried Christmas lights?” “What do you imply Christmas lights?” “Christmas lights, man! EVERYONE loves taking a look at Christmas lights! We write ‘Northbank’ throughout some Christmas lights, and all of a sudden… everybody loves ‘Northbank’! It will probably’t fail!” [Spoiler alert: it’s failed]. TL;DR: Ho ho no. Score: ★☆☆☆☆

Churchill Arms Christmas lights

A pub smothered in fairy lights

Picture: Matt Brown/Londonist

What beats a stunning show of Christmas lights? Why, one you possibly can drink a pint of beer inside, after all. Londoners differ on their favorite show of festive lights, till you point out Kensington’s Churchill Arms and its annual OTT smothering of fairy lights/miniature timber, at which level they go “Oh yeah, that is the most effective!” If this pub was as much as these tips throughout the Blitz, Churchill would’ve personally thrown them within the slammer and chucked the important thing. TL;DR: By no means within the discipline of Christmas was a lot spent on leccy payments for therefore many lights protecting such a small area. Score: ★★★★★

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