With just days to go until festivities really get underway, I’m delighted to feature images of florist McQueens’ breath-taking Christmas installation at Claridge’s in London!
Scroll down to see not only the decorations outside the hotel, but inside too. Plus, there’s also an exclusive interview with the founder of McQueens, Kally Ellis.
What was your inspiration behind the Claridge’s Christmas 2015 Installation?
Claridge’s is such an iconic hotel and we’re very proud our of the floral installations, which we provide there all year. But Christmas is very special at Claridge’s and the hotel takes on an art deco magic of its own.
This year’s Nutcracker motif is a classic festive statement: it’s colourful and nostalgic, and appeals to the child in all of us which is what Christmas is all about. It also makes a strong visual theme to run throughout the hotel. I sourced an army of nutcracker soldiers at varying heights. But even I was taken back at the scale when they arrived boxed a month or so before the installation day! The Nutcracker king standing proudly above the canopy is 12ft tall. The canopy trumpeters are eight feet high and the kings positioned at the entrance are well over six feet tall!
Inside, we worked to a slightly smaller scale – the interior is dressed with six foot high soldiers, the mini trumpeters are four feet tall and the small table top ones are three feet in height. In addition, there are the cutest miniature Nutcracker soldiers to discover through the hotel. Some have been placed in terraria in the shape of a pear (we call them peararia!). Classic Christmas trees and a golden arch of willow to provide a dazzling seasonal welcome complete the look.
Could you tell us the details of how and when the install took place?
The interior and exterior of the hotel are dressed on the same night and Claridges’s was our first main Christmas installation this year. The whole job is carefully planned and timed, and a team of McQueens florists (with help from our friends at Pollencrew) complete the job overnight to minimalise any disruption to the smooth running of the hotel. We designate teams to work both inside and outside the hotel. It’s a long night and extremely hard work, but well worth the effort to see the transformation at the end.
How long will it be in situ?
The installation remains in place for the whole of the Christmas and New Year celebrations. The main Christmas trees are replaced half way through the Christmas period as the heating plays havoc with pine trees and it’s vital that the hotel looks perfect at all times. The bells of New Year’s Eve are still ringing in our ears when we start the task of removing the decorations and then set about dressing the hotel with a completely fresh theme to celebrate the start of a new year.
Thank you so much to Kally and Duncan from McQueens for the help in compiling today’s blog post. If you’re in Mayfair, London over the Christmas period, why not pay a visit to the hotel for a drink or meal? And then you’ll be able to see the decorations in their fully glory.
(Images : Duncan McCabe | McQueens)