The Spitalfields area of London is full of Christmas spirit during the festive season and I enjoy walking around the streets so I can have a peek at the Christmas wreaths that adorn many of the front doors. This year I spotted wreaths made out of moss, eucalyptus, spruce, rosemary, fir cones, dried oranges, berries, baubles, cinnamon sticks and pretty ribbons. Not only are the wreaths attractive to look at some of them have a beautiful aroma.
I am fascinated by the vintage door knockers, many of which make me think of Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol”. I can imagine some of the faces on the knockers coming to life and warning visitors to repent their wicked ways!
During the festive season I find the area exceedingly charming as I feel like I could be walking down a street from a bygone era. The area appeals to me so much I painted a small collection of pictures that I call “A Spitalfields Christmas” depicting Christmas scenes from around the area and I have ideas for many more paintings.
A highlight of the area at this time of year would be a visit to Dennis Severs’ House (18 Folgate Street, E1) which is a Grade II listed Georgian terraced house. It is a “historical imagination” of what life would have been like for a family living in the house during the 18th and 19th century London. The Christmas decorations are divine and the front door always has a Christmas tree either side with a garland decorated with red ribbons connecting each tree. A beautiful gas lit lantern gives the entrance to the house a cozy welcoming amber glow.
Town House is a gallery and antique shop housed in an early 18th century building at number 5 Fournier Street, E1. They are currently selling giant gingerbread men made from a mould depicting one of St Nicholas’ helpers. You can also buy my Spitalfields Christmas cards here!
Spitalfields market has some gorgeous decorations displayed and has been hosting Christmas activities such as carol singing, festive film screenings and a giant snow globe for visitors to have photos taken in.
Hawksmoor’s Christ Church opened on 5th July 1729 and is still at the heart of Spitalfields today. A restoration was completed in 2004 and the redeveloped crypt opened in 2015. There will be a Christmas carol service on 24th December starting at 17:00hrs and a Christmas Day celebration service starts at 10.00am and everyone is welcome.
Merry Christmas to you all and as Dickens' Tiny Tim would say, "God bless us, every one!".