Today, London West End and Heart of London Business Alliance switched-on a spectacular Christmas lights display across the West End, illuminating entertainment hotspot Leicester Square, and tomorrow, St Martin’s Lane and Piccadilly with a countdown on the Piccadilly Lights, in partnership with The Crown Estate.Lining the skies with festive sparkle, the lights will bring joy and cheer to members of the public visiting the bustling cultural district for a theatre show, delicious meal or winter tipple. Twinkling and dazzling as the perfect whimsical backdrop for a Christmas selfie, the Christmas lights will be on display until January 2024. The new lights mark the start of festivity across London’s legendary theatre district. The finest dancers and musicians from the English National Ballet bring the magical The Nutcracker to life at the London Coliseum. Families will discover a magical Christmas adventure in the West End, including The Gruffalo’s Child at the Garrick Theatre and Stick Man at Leicester Square Theatre.
The city is hosting some of the finest theatrical talent this winter as Kristin Scott Thomas and Lily James star in Lyonesse at the Harold Pinter Theatre and Penelope Wilton shines in Backstairs Billy at Duke of York’s Theatre. Whilst strolling in Piccadilly, stock up on gifts for loved ones by visiting Fortnum’s newly opened Christmas Shop, brimming with magical treats, from mince pies and tall tins of Merrilossus to advent calendars and bespoke hampers. More luxury awaits at the Burlington Arcade, home to the finest boutiques from prestigious jewellers to the world’s most celebrated perfumers, there is a variety of special gifts to choose from. Families can even journey into Santa’s Christmas Grotto and meet Father Christmas and the Hamley’s elves at The Ritz, in an exclusive collaboration between two of the world’s most iconic family brands. For those desiring a tipple prior to the theatre or after the Christmas shop, The Alchemist offers an appetising menu of festive cocktails, including the Mulled Bellini and delectable Bakewell Bauble. Additionally, visitors to Mr Fogg’s Tavern will enjoy its specially crafted Christmas drinks, or for those wanting a more substantial meal, the fabulous 5-star St Martin’s Lane Hotel and its hidden Blind Spot Bar, has a wide array of festive menus available for both Christmas and New Year. West End visitors can even combine cabaret and dinner at Lío London, open until the early hours as it transforms into a 700-capacity superclub.
In a drive to be more sustainable, the eight thousand twinkling lights decorating St Martin’s Lane are made of energy-efficient LED light bulbs and 100% recyclable PMMA coloured inserts. The lights will only be lit during times of high-footfall from 3.30pm – 11pm each day.
Culture seekers can also discover a raft of spectacular arts destinations, including specially crafted Christmas itineraries, using Art of London’s handy online guides, filled with world-class art galleries, theatres, museums, institutions and pop-ups to explore in the West End.