We've not always loved the festive installations at fancy Mayfair hotel Claridge's, but this year's is our favourite so far — mainly because it involves a lifesize sparkly train carriage which doubles up as a restaurant.
The hotel lobby — famous for its chequerboard floor — has been transformed into a snowy forest clearing, Alongside the 5m-high, traditionally decorated tree sits the Loubi Express, named after its designer, Christian Louboutin. He's a regular at Claridge's, apparently, so was given the honour of sorting this year's Christmas decs (look out for the shoe-shaped gingerbread biscuits on the tree, a nod to Louboutin's work).
The train carriage's red livery matches the shoe designer's iconic soles, but the inside is even more exciting. It's an intimate dining carriage, home to just four tables. A Cocktail Conductor is on hand to serve champagne, cocktails and canapes to those lucky enough to get inside, while a nostalgic Christmas soundtrack plays.
Christian Louboutin said:
It is such an honour to be invited to design the Claridge’s Christmas Tree, the hotel is my second home when in London and I am glad to bring a little piece of Paris to such an iconic London landmark. The idea of travel has always been a key source of inspiration in my work and I wanted to capture the excitement and romance of it. There is something nostalgic about travelling by train, it reminds me of grand adventures and journeys home.
The Loubi Express bar is open 22 November-31 December 2019, Tuesdays to Saturdays from 5pm to midnight (closed Sundays and Mondays). Tables are allocated on a first come first served basis, no reservations.