Londoners will get some much-needed cheer when the Christmas lights at The Churchill Arms on Kensington Church Street are switched on at 5pm on Wednesday 2 December. There may be fewer trees – but the display is as illuminating, enchanting and impressive as ever – and it will be streamed live on Facebook Live (https://www.facebook.com/events/4067640869912920).
General Manager, James Keogh, said: “I think 2020 has been a year that has really needed a Churchillian effort from all of us – but I’m delighted that it hasn’t stopped the Christmas lights and festive decorations that we are famous for. I think that, apart from Santa’s workshop, The Churchill is the busiest hive of Christmas activity on the planet.
“Things have had to be a little different this year – but despite having less than a third of the usual number of trees, reflecting the financial impact of 2020, the display is as impressive as ever. Ray Diaz and the team from City Plant Displays Limited did our first Christmas display 32 years ago, with just 12 Christmas trees. Last year we had a record number of 100. This year, to compensate for the lower number of trees, Ray suggested a new set of lights – featuring 68,000 individual bulbs, which looks absolutely stunning.
“The display this year is in honour of the amazing people of the NHS who have worked so hard during the coronavirus pandemic and that is reflected in the display inside the pub too. In addition, we will be raising money for the NHS across the Christmas period – so I hope that anyone who comes along to have a look will make a donation. It’s been an incredibly hard year for us all – but none more than those who look after the most affected by this horrible virus.
“I do hope that we light up the lives of locals and visitors as much as we light up the pub – and Pauw and the team at the Thai restaurant are ready and waiting with a substantial meal to go with a delicious pint of London Pride for anyone coming to see the illuminations in person.
“We had to cancel our usual Churchill Night celebrations this year due to lockdown – but it couldn’t stop Christmas. And next year, we’re going to celebrate every occasion twice as hard to make up for 2020.”