It's a magic place, Claridge's. Not only has the Mayfair hotel achieved a marriage between its illustrious -though never stuffy - heritage and a contemporary sense of creativity. It has also managed to maintain its long-standing place at the cutting edge of London's social scene (no small task in a city which was recently voted the world's best by the Parisians).
Officially unveiled next Wednesday, British uber-designer John Galliano has - for the second year running - designed the forward-thinking hotel's new Christmas tree. And we've got an exclusive first look.
Last year saw Galliano fill the hotel's entranceway with a bonsai-esque Far Eastern inspired creation - complete with snow leopard, dragon flies and parrots - but this year Galliano's looked beneath the waves for inspiration, and the resulting tree is no less outlandish. Essentially a giant pink coral, the tree features sea horses, fish, anemones, starfish and jelly fish. Well of course, it wouldn't be christmas without them.
Claridge's, Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HR, 020 7629 8860, www.claridges.co.uk