The Churchill Arms is officially the UK’s most festive pub
Each year The Churchill Arms in Kensington transforms into a Christmas spectacle and this year is no different. In fact, the London pub is more Christmassy than ever…
The Churchill Arms has added more lights and Christmas trees than ever before with a whopping 97 trees and 21,500 lights, earning it the title of the “most festive pub” in the United Kingdom, according to ABC News.
The Fuller’s pub in west London has become famous for its extravagant Christmas decorations each year. This year took a small team of the pub’s dedicated decorators almost three weeks to complete.
Manager of The Churchill Arms, James Keogh, said the festive tradition started 26 years ago with 10 Christmas trees.
“It looked so beautiful and magical, so we decided to increase it each year. In 2004 we already were up to 30 trees, and after 10-15 years we were getting a bit carried away and before we knew it we had about 80 trees and we were running out of space,” he said.
“We started putting the trees further up the building, and right around the outside of it, and then we went right onto the footpath. What we’re finding now is that we can only manage to fit a few extra trees each year. This year we have 93 trees outside and four inside, which is a new record.”
The Churchill Arms team is already planning for next year, with an ambitious target of 100 trees.
“I can’t give away too much, but we’re already planning something really special for next year,” James said.
“We like doing it as a challenge. It’s taken 26 years to get to this point and it’s become a tradition – we’re not stopping now!”
London’s most photographed pub
Built in 1750, The Churchill Arms is one of London’s most recognisable and famous watering holes, largely due to being covered in flowers outside of the festive period and crammed with Churchill memorabilia.
The pub was frequented by Churchill’s grandparents back in the day, and today it’s known for serving real ales, authentic Thai cuisine, and for being London’s most ‘instagrammable’ pub.
The Churchill Arms has become world famous for its creative and beautiful flower displays which first went on the pub's exterior in 1986. Christmas time sees the pub exchanging the flowers for Christmas trees and twinkling lights – creating a Christmassy spectacle worth making a special trip to see. When you walk past, it’s hard to resist stopping to take a photograph.
The decorations don’t stop at the trees and lights, either. New Christmas decorations are added inside and out each year, including the addition of a mail box to Santa, which the pub checks daily and passes the children’s letters onto the local post office.
James said the time and money spent on the exterior of The Churchill Arms is all worthwhile.
“The joy it brings people makes it all worth it. We’ve been in all the newspapers, ABC News, and on ITV London recently. Social media has gone through the roof – particularly Instagram. People stop to take photos of the place – it’s so magical and beautiful.
“It’s amazing what it does for business. It brings people to the pub and not just for Christmas – it’s all year round, we’ve become a tourist destination. People from all over the world come to visit our pub after seeing us on television or online.”
“The joy it brings people makes it all worth it," - James Keogh, Manager of The Churchill Arms.
Visit the UK’s most festive pub
Make sure you visit The Churchill Arms before Christmas to see London’s most Christmassy pub for yourself. The Christmas display will be up until the middle of January.
The official switch-on takes place outside The Churchill Arms pub at 6pm on the first Thursday of December each year.
This year, the official Christmas light switch-on is on Thursday 6 December at 6pm.
There will be carol singing, free mulled wine and mince pies and a very special guest.
Located at 119 Kensington Church Street, London, The Churchill Arms is open every day from lunch time until about 11pm, except for Sundays, when it is open from 12pm to 10.30pm.
Visit The Churchill Arms’ website to find out more: The Churchill Arms, Kensington.