Design & Décor, Living with Style, Travel Notes


The Bright Lights of London

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Just home, and I’m happy to say…London ’22 was bright, bright bright…the weather, a perfect seasonal temp averaging 40° (and no rain), the crowds cheery and festive. I’ve sorely missed this post-Thanksgiving treat (which I had declared in 2019 would become an annual event, but, alas covid came along).

I’ll let the images speak for themselves…whether it was the facade of famous Harrod’s, (above and below,) where the red London buses and car tail lights add as much to the scene as the architecture.

Or Sloane Street, one of many in London that are jubilant in their use of white lights to dress trees and extend across the streets like fireworks.

In Mayfair, the site of the recently redecorated Annabel’s club (where we popped in for a glass, or two, of champagne), their fully covered front is as awe inspiring as any shop in London.

The shops are a tasteful riot of sparkling lights dressing their facades, adding much to the offerings in the windows!

In London, the interior products are often intriguingly represented in large scale on the exterior fronts…

And lest we forget the emporiums, wrapped as large packages…or an Advent calendar!

Tall and grand…

delicate and lacey (the elegant Lanesborough’s lobby)…

or suspended over streets like Regents or New Bond….

London during the holidays is all about bright lights!

We stayed at the Kightsbridge Hotel, in private Beaufort Garden, a part of the Firmdale collection of boutique architectural treasures spiffed up with the design talents of Kit Kemp (and in the world of Kit and Kim Kemp, the Knightsbridge Hotel is considered their homiest and coziest — just what I wanted)!!

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Bettie Bearden Pardee

About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

28 thoughts on “The Bright Lights of London

  1. Oh how wonderful to see London for the holidays. Your photos captured the festive decor in all their splendor. Almost as good as being there in person.

    Thank you for sharing the fun.

    1. Thank you, Elen, the fun is in the sharing (but you must get over one day)! Happy Holidays, B

    1. Hi Marcia, so glad you had a sec to see them…how was the move? Merry, Merry, xB

  2. This was brilliant…thank you so very much for including us, etc!! Now, for a cuppa…franki

    1. Yes, Franki, brilliant is another word for these treasures that informed the holidays in dear ole LOndon! xB

  3. Thanks for sharing…beautiful… I’ve experienced London at Christmas also… and it is full of wonderment… also stayed at 2 different Firmdale hotels there many years ago… they are the best… I have 2 of Kemps books on decor and they great to look at

    1. Oh Teresa, what a wonderful coincidence about your visits to the other Firmdale hotels. IF you have a sec, I’d love your take on those you visited.
      Kim is quite the talent, and I adore her books! Merry, Merry xB

    1. Thank you for your inspiring sentiment, Tom. Have a Merry, Merry and a Happy, Happy! xB

  4. I can just see Peter Pan, Wendy, and the rest flying over London to view all the exciting “sparkles and twinkles.” What a delightful, cheerful, inspiring gift you have given us for Christmas!

    1. Oh Tall R, I thought so many times of you (and Wendy and Peter). I wanted this blog to make you feel as though you’d been there with me…
      Talk to you soon, xB

  5. SO beautiful, albeit I pray within all of this light and glitter that people are remembering the reason for the season. Lovely!

    1. I’m thinking they are remembering the reason for this season…the crowds were polite, neat and clean, and happy. Merry, Merry, xB

    1. NYC used to be top of the list, but London has caughtht up and exceeded them!! Worth a flight over…Merry, Merry, xB

  6. These photos are fabulous, Bettie! Thank you so much for sharing. So happy you were able to enjoy London and the Holiday Spirit in one of our most favorite cities in the world. You’ve helped make our holiday celebrations special this year!

    Merry Christmas !

    Tom Hockaday and Bill Martin

    1. Singing to the choir! You’ll want to move it to the top of yourlist for next December, for sure ! Merry, Merry, B

    1. Loved sharing it…and felt so blessed to make it over this year! Merry, Merry, xB

    1. We ran out of time (and dining took up more time than in the past, too). But definitely Liberty next year!! Have a MERRY ONE, xB

  7. Seeing your stunning photographs had the same effect as Proust’s madeleines, having been fortunate to experience London at Christmas! They made me want to jump on a plane right now! Wonderful- thank you!

    1. I was hoping everyone would feel that way…and then make plans for next year!! Merry, Merry, xB

  8. Oh how homesick am I? My flat in Lennox Gardens was just behind Harrods (in the 60’s)!!!. It was amazing how quiet it would be and then walking past Harrods in the mornings to the bustle of getting to my office in Claridge’s Hotel. This display is the best ever I do believe. What wonderful photos. Thank you soooo much Betty….what a treasure.
    P.S. Cary Grant had a flat there too and he and one of his wives would sit on a bench in the gardens – my flatmates and I would take turns looking for them and then would run down and saunter past them. Cheeky us!

    1. Oh Pamela, what a fun memory to share, thank you. I spent a month in London in the very late 60’s and thus began my love affair with this marvelous city.
      And it’s now difficult to believe that Quen Elizabeth was Queen even way back then…bless her heart! Have a glorious holiday, xB

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