London Life Places

the magic of christmas lights

November 26, 2012

Happy new week everyone. Did you have a good weekend?

Can anyone tell me how autumn turns so quickly into winter and before we know it it’s christmas? Every year i notice that after september i kind of try to adjust to autumn/winter and before i know it, christmas is just round the corner.

Christmas lights adorning london’s major shopping streets is a tradition. Normally i don’t get very excited but this year it’s different. After all it’s London2012.

In line with the jubilee and the olympics this year’s lights seem extraordinarily spectacular. Here I’ve selected a few for you. I don’t believe that any photography can do it justice so if you can, go and see for yourselves.

Some 40 team gb and paralympics gb athletes switched on this year’s regent street christmas lights. The seasonal display is a mile-long array of lights decorated with gold holly and red berry garlands together with plaques recounting the story of the 12 days of christmas. The new design (a much needed change from the boring nets of light that have been wheeled out for the past few years) also features celebratory tributes to our brilliant olympic and paralympic teams. The lights will remain until twelfth night.

The majority of the christmas lights on oxford street have been sponsored by marmite. These rather jolly twinkling illuminations must have cost them a fair amount and the mind boggles as to how they got this gig. Having said this, their recent love or hate campaign was pure marketing genius!

Now before we go any further, I belong to the ‘hate it’ camp and yet it finds itself on my blog. Told ya, pure genius!

Out of sheer curiosity, do you love or hate marmite?

My absolute favourite though has to be the john lewis christmas lights on oxford street. It is the most spectacular sight and this photo does it no justice!

For more christmas lights all around london, see here

Well, as we’re approaching christmas, my thoughts turn to the yearly christmas cards i like to hand-make. I’m looking for inspiration and so the quest has started. For now, i’m inspired by the regents street christmas lights and have quickly put this together for you.

Happy week my friends. See you thursday.


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  • Reply leah of sang the bird November 26, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Tina, absolutely stunning!! The lights are spectacular. London is totally rocking 2012! I would love a cold, magical Christmas!
    I’m not a lover of marmite, but as a kid i LOVED vegemite 🙂
    Happy new week to you too lovely xx

    • Reply tina December 3, 2012 at 12:03 am

      Thanks love… I know London2012 has been spectacular and also a great year on a personal level… in a way I don’t want it to stop!!!

      Vegemite, I wonder how it differs from Marmite xx

  • Reply Catherine Bedson November 26, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Absolutely stunning pics…you’ve outdone yourself this time! I wish we went to this kind of effort decorating our cities for Christmas. I’m really excited about Christmas this year as we’re hosting my whole family. Love the Marmite decoration..”you either love it or hate it”…alot of international visitors say that about our Vegemite. Like Leah I LOVED it as a kid and still do. If I ever moved to the UK I’d have to bring a case of it with me! Have a great week Tina. Catherine xx

    • Reply tina December 3, 2012 at 12:08 am

      Thank you Catherine!

      Wow, you are hosting your whole family. Bet you are excited BUT lots of work ahead:)) but then you like cooking.

      Like with Leah, I don’t know Vegemite. Would love to know the difference but have the feeling I wouldn’t like it. x

  • Reply Lindsey November 26, 2012 at 11:19 am

    wow, quite the marketing campaign indeed! That kind of approach wouldn’t fly in Paris but hey, it gets your attention!

    • Reply tina December 3, 2012 at 12:08 am

      Interesting this wouldn’t pass in Paris… I think Genius marketing but a lot of people doen’t like this aspect:)
      Thanks for your comment.

  • Reply Holly November 26, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Thoroughly enjoyed this post Tina!!! Photos are fantastic and it comes at a perfect time because the Xmas markets start today in Berlin (I’m so going to the one at Gendarmenmarkt after work tonight) and perfectly adds to the festive spirit I’m starting to feel.

    Would also like to hand make some cards this year … we’ll see if I actually get around to it.

    Never had Marmite before. Sounds horrible. As for the marketing (love it, or hate it), it reminds me of the slogan for Buckley’s cough syrup (It tastes awful. And it works.)

    Happy new week to you Tina!


    • Reply tina December 3, 2012 at 12:12 am

      Thanks Holly. It’s so cold here now and I’m sure it’s even colder in Berlin. How I love the Xmas markets there….

      Oh, thanks for the reminder, have to sort out my Xmas cards… on the list now!!

      Ha. Marmite IS awful but hey, lots of people love it…

  • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar November 26, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    London is totally at it’s best when it’s decorated for Christmas, it makes the city feel so magical!

    I love Marmite but I’m not a big fan of the Oxford Street lights (still, clever campaign by the head honchos!). My kinda lights are more subtle. For me, simply strung lights across a street bring the perfect amount of festive cheer! Lovely snaps, as always! x

    • Reply tina December 3, 2012 at 12:13 am

      Yes, London is feeling magical!!!

      Ha. Somehow guessed you would love Marmite!
      I know what you mean by simple lights. When done well, it’s stunning but must admit, LOVE the Regent Street ones.
      Thanks xx

  • Reply annie November 26, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Ah they’re so pretty aren’t they? I love Regent Street this year.

    As nice as I think the Marmite ones are I don’t like branding on xmas decorations, I think it’s a bit off.

    Have you been down Bond Street? We walked down there at 1am on Saturday and it was obviously deserted and looking perfectly festive.

    What I HATE is the Carnaby Street Rolling Stones decorations.

    • Reply tina December 3, 2012 at 12:15 am

      Agree, Regent Street rocks this year.

      The Carnaby Street deco is a bit off….

  • Reply Sam Lennie November 26, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Awww, decorations are the best part of Christmas. Although these are a bit OTT for me. I subscribe to the less is more approach, or rather simple is more approach.


    • Reply tina December 3, 2012 at 12:16 am

      Ha. Love how some of us LOVE or HATE Marmite. You certainly made your position clear xx

  • Reply geraldine November 26, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Stunning photos Tina. I actually like the Marmite lights – very British humour. Have a lovely week 🙂 x

    • Reply tina December 3, 2012 at 12:18 am

      Thanks Geraldine x

  • Reply Igor November 26, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Christmas lights are such a wonderful treat during the cold and dark season. I love the festive feel and the happiness they exude! Munich is all festive and today the Christmas markets have opened their gates…

    • Reply tina December 3, 2012 at 12:18 am

      Bet Munich is all festive and snowy by now!!!
      LOVE german Christmas markets..

  • Reply Doris November 27, 2012 at 12:01 am

    The lights are just beautiful Tina, and I hate marmite but I do like the lighting display. I am also a big fan of the John Lewis window, I can imagine it would have looked amazing! Time to get into the Christmas spirit me thinks 😉

    • Reply tina December 3, 2012 at 12:19 am

      The lights are incredible… so worth going to see.
      Another Marmite hater:))
      Thanks Doris.

  • Reply Chi@106 November 27, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Brilliant photos, Tina!

    They do remind me that I haven’t been out after dark for ages so this is actually my first Christmas light sighting, if I’m not mistaken.

    As for Marmite, I loathe the stuff. The Hubster on the other hand, adores it. Perhaps they should use us in their next ad campaign! 😀 x

    • Reply tina December 3, 2012 at 12:22 am

      Thanks Chi.

      You are so funny…… ” my first Christmas light sighting “.. you need to get out more.

      Ha. I thought you would hate Marmite…. you’re right, a campaign with couples, where one loves and the other hates Marmite would be super cool. xx

  • Reply Kelly November 27, 2012 at 9:24 am

    I was off work last week, but it was lovely to come back to all the Christmas lights, feels like Christmas has arrived.

    I hate Marmite and branded Christmas decorations, a couple of years ago they had awful slug ones to promote some film or another, the twelve days of Christmas are much classier.

    Beautiful photos x

    • Reply tina December 3, 2012 at 12:26 am

      I think we have more Marmite haters here than lovers….

      Yes, I remember the awful slug ones… I agree… much prefer the twelve days of Christmas!

      Thanks love x

  • Reply Alex November 27, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Hi Tina, glad to have have found your blog.

    I love those John Lewis lights, I imagine they are even more stunning in the flesh.

    Whilst I love Marmite…I don’t like the sponsored decorations, it takes some of the magic away. Having said that your post has made me fancy Marmite on toast for lunch. Genius.

    • Reply tina December 3, 2012 at 12:28 am

      Hi Alex,

      Thank you for stopping here.
      Ha. Not only do you love Marmite but my post inspired you to have it on toast for lunch. Incredible:))

  • Reply Anya Jensen November 27, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Hi Tina, I lurve the Regent st. lights – and yes I hate marmite indeed. YUK ha ha – not fond of the marmite decorations either.
    Brilliantly shot though sweets,

    • Reply tina December 3, 2012 at 12:38 am

      Another Marmite hater. Yay!

      Am sure Denmark is amazing at this time of year, albeit cold!
      Hope you are well x

  • Reply Theresa November 28, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Great photos, Tina! Since I won’t be able to see these in person, your photos will have to do, and I think they’re a fantastic representation. I’ve never had Marmite. I have a feeling I’m not missing out on anything. 🙂

    • Reply tina December 3, 2012 at 12:53 am

      Believe me you’ve missed NOTHING by never having had Marmite:)) The Marmite lovers will kill me for this!!!
      So glad you’re on the mend:)

  • Reply We Heart Home November 28, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Hi Tina,

    Such a lovely post – am loving all the festive cheer! Makes me miss London… and Marmite and cheese toasties.


    • Reply tina December 3, 2012 at 12:59 am

      Thank you Trisha and Congratulations for the Launch of We Heart Home!!!
      Aww, sorry to hear you miss London BUT you do live in cool Berlin..

  • Reply Toni @ Skandivis November 29, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Striking photos Tina! I LOVE the bright lights and have a weakness for Marmite too!

    • Reply tina December 3, 2012 at 1:02 am

      Thanks Toni… knew you would love with Marmite!

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