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Windows to the world at Christmastime

By GREAT HQ


Christmas 2020 is looking a little different to what we’re used to but that’s not stopping some of our best-loved British heritage brands from finding innovative ways to share the magic of the festive season with people all over the world. Join us on a virtual tour of the dazzling Christmas window displays from a selection of high-street favourites who are sharing a very British tradition in digital form this Christmastime.


1) Bettys, Yorkshire

The iconic storefront at the Bettys tea rooms and shop in the North Yorkshire town of Harrogate – first opened by Swiss confectioner and chocolatier Fritz Bützer in 1919 – has been transformed into a mouth-watering winter wonderland, capturing the company’s unique blend of the Swiss Alps and the Yorkshire Dales in a Swiss art deco-themed Christmas window.


This year, the magical moment of the unveiling has been captured on film for fans of Bettys Christmas teatime treats all around the globe to enjoy. There’s even a cheeky little Santa holding one of Bettys iconic Fat Rascal scones, complete with miniature glacé cherry and almond face – a firm favourite among Bettys patrons both in the UK and further afield, first introduced all the way back in 1983.

2) Fenwick, Newcastle

Since 1971, Fenwick’s flagship department store on Newcastle’s Northumberland Street has delighted visitors with the unveiling of its magical Christmas window, telling tales from Gulliver’s Travels right through to The Snowman and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This year’s display showcases a festive reimagining of classic children’s story The Wind in the Willows by beloved British author Kenneth Grahame.

In more normal times, around 2,000 people would gather in anticipation outside the Newcastle store to witness the unveiling. However, 2020’s virtual edition has opened up the opportunity for even more people to share in the Christmas magic. Over a quarter of a million viewers tuned in to the Facebook live stream for the display, joining from countries as far-flung as Malaysia, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UAE and the USA. Since the launch, the reveal video has been viewed over 860,000 times – helping to spread a little Christmas joy all around the world.


3) Fortnum & Mason, London

London’s very own Fortnum & Mason department store has long been associated with the magic of Christmas. Even Charles Dickens himself was charmed by its beauty and dazzling festive offerings all the way back in 1845! The iconic destination has celebrated no fewer than 313 Christmases since the shop opened in 1707, with highlights including a 6-foot cracker, visits from the Queen Mother (who insisted on wrapping her own presents in store!), and, of course, the famous Fortnum & Mason Christmas hamper, first introduced in the 1730s.

This year, the Piccadilly display leans into the nostalgia of Christmases past, bringing eight key moments from the store’s rich festive history back to life. Featuring hand sculpting, painting, lighting and bespoke engineering, each window displays the original cover of Fortnum & Mason’s Christmas brochures from across the years, including a particularly exceptional 2020, alongside a larger-than-life, moving recreation.

The Duke Street display features a selection of some of our favourite tasty Christmastime treats, while the legendary store façade has been transformed into one giant advent calendar, complete with numbered windows and a festive clock playing a selection of festive tunes every hour. It doesn’t get much more Christmassy than that!

All views expressed in this blog are the views of the guest blogger and do not represent the views of the GREAT campaign.