Lumiere – The Ultimate Cinnamon Stroll

Back in Autumn, when the nights began to draw in and the temperatures began to dip, I thought to myself about a way of thinking that would make the most chillier months of the year. In Denmark they have Hygge, which is easily my favourite untranslatable word – yes I do have a list of these, but that’s a muse for another time. Hygge is basically of way of thinking and approach to life that allows people to stay warm, cosy and most importantly happy during the long Scandinavian Winters. See the wonderful Hello Hygge for a far better exploration of Hygge life.

I thought to myself  about Autumn and Winter – the crispness to the air, the fireworks, festivities and comfort food; and thought how best to bring all these comforts into something as simple and day to day as a stroll. This led to the cinnamon stroll – using things like splendid outdoor events, cosy music playlists and steaming flasks of spiced tea to add a little warming spice to my strolls through the cold.

While November and December proved to be rather mild, I still enjoyed a number of cinnamon strolls around Hampstead Heath and Regent’s Park while armed with a hot flask of Chai and music from the likes of First Aid Kit, Sufjan Stevens and The Lumineers. Now that Winter has truly arrived in the UK, it is time to ramp up the cinnamon levels from a light dusting to a whole stick. This past weekend has seen London lit up by the spectacular Lumiere Festival, making for what is perhaps the ultimate cinnamon stroll.

Armed with some serious scarves and even more serious chocolate cookies, a friend and I ventured out into the Winter night to see as many of the incredible art installations as we could. Beginning in Leicester Square, the first stop on our cinnamon stroll was the “Garden of Light” by TILT, which featured an amazing neon jungle of light.

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Lumiere – Garden of Light

Our next stop was “Les Luminéoles” by Porté par le vent. These giant illuminated kites were among my favourite Lumiere installations; peacefully gliding above the streets of Piccadilly.

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Les Lumineoles

One of the more subtle pieces was “I Haven’t Changed my Mind in a Thousand Years” by Beth T. Ross; carrying an important message on remaining patient, even in a world which can sometimes make this difficult.

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I Haven’t Changed My Mind in a Thousand Years

Janet Echelman’s “1.8 London” was a beautiful web of colour and light hovering above Oxford Circus, as if spun by a most creative spider.

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1.8 London

Continuing our cinnamon stroll, we headed over to Mayfair. “Sanctuary”by Sarah Blood took inspiration from the shelter we offer to birds, while “Brothers and Sisters” by Ron Haselden was full of detail and character.

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King’s Cross, often at the start of so many wonderful journeys, was this time our final stop. Here was one of the showiest installations, with “Circus of Light” by Ocubo presenting a regular sight and sound spectacular with a circus theme – projecting fireworks, trapeze artists and more onto the side of the Granary Building.

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Circus of Light

“binaryWaves” by LAB[au] was a haunting, futuristic piece on the banks of Regent’s Canal.

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The final piece we saw was “IFO” by Jacques Rival. A giant birdcage of neon lights housed a play swing, allowing people to become part of the artwork.

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Lumiere was a stunning showcase of art and illumination, and the perfect setting for a cinnamon stroll. Here’s hoping for its return next year; and looking forward to many more cinnamon strolls.