Meet the magician of make-overs
In The Nutcracker, Herr Drosselmeyer is part-toymaker, part-magician. And at One Aldwych, our in-house florist, Mark Siredzuk, is cut from the same cloth. Throughout the year, he creates displays that are never predictable and always have the gasp-factor, especially at Christmas. So when Mark got cracking on The Nutcracker theme, he collaborated with stylist and artistic director Aurélien Farjon, who has previously worked on costume design for the English National Opera.
Plans started way back in August, with an ordinary tree never on the creative cards. Tulle, tulle and more tulle for a spectacular tutu effect was the order of the day, perfect for the towering centrepiece. Mark duly gathered and sewed the diaphanous fabric, setting it on a frame. It was then put up at midnight while hotel guests were asleep, decorated with glittering ornaments and garlands and the addition of natural branches. A tree to top all trees and lit from within, it is adorned with festive characters and over 150 wrapped gifts
The journey doesn’t end there. All around the hotel, you will find installations, such as the Sugar Plum Fairy looking down on the festivities from the Indigo restaurant, the character of Clara, cosy in the Library, and the toymaker Drosselmeyer overseeing all meetings and greetings at reception – central to his toy workshop is Betsy, a hand-painted rocking horse, honouring the late Queen Elizabeth II’s favourite horse. At Christmas, One Aldwych is not so much a hotel as a palace of imagination