Royal Opera House

 Christmas is just around the corner!


Now December is here all the lovely Christmassy events that we love so much are suddenly upon us!  Here at Lily Ella we don’t allow ourselves to start feeling Christmassy until December, as November is just too far ahead for us, and we say ‘Bah Humbug’ to early decorations and all that stuff!


Something that’s always high up on the Lily Ella list of unmissable Christmas events is the Nutcracker performed by the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden. 

Live Cinema Season

Many people say that for them, seeing the Nutcracker is when Christmas begins.  However… we’re up here in Newcastle upon Tyne and it’s such a busy time of year for us, getting the new catalogue ready for printing and of course, checking our stocks and deciding what we’re putting into our end of year Sale, so we never manage to get down to see The Nutcracker!


We’ve found out that the Royal Opera House are running live screenings this year, so last night a group of us went to our local cinema to see the live opening performance.  It was such a great evening, Darcey Bussell gave a great commentary beforehand and during the interval (did you know, for example, that the Royal Ballet goes through 6,000 pairs of pointes a year?).  Tchaikovsky’s score was wonderful, so many well-known pieces!  It was a truly delightful performance all round and best of all, we really felt like we were there.


Photo by Alastair Muir

The story revolves around Clara, who receives an enchanted Nutcracker toy for Christmas from her godfather Drosselmeyer.  Unbeknownst to her, Drosselmeyer’s nephew Hans-Peter is trapped within the toy and he needs the love of a girl to be set free.  You can guess the rest!   Yes, Hans-Peter is freed and by way of celebration they take a magical trip on a sleigh through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets in the Second Act.  For us, the Second Act was breath-taking and full of magical set pieces.  The costumes were every little girl’s ballet dreams come true, but it has to be said the Sugar Plum Fairy stole all the scenes! 

nutcracker 2

Photo by Alastair Muir

Although Drosselmeyer certainly makes a velvet cloak go a long way, with his dramatic swooshing and glitter scattering!


Photo copyright Royal Opera House

So, we can heartily recommend a visit. Even though the tickets are rather more than your average Cinema visit (around £18) they are a snip compared to the real thing where a ticket will cost nearly £200 in the stalls at the Royal Opera House!

nutcracker 3

Photo: Mouse King, copyright Royal Opera House

This Sunday 9th December at 2pm there are further live screenings, this time of The Nutcracker Encore at various cinemas around the country, so do try and catch it!  You can search here:

nutcracker 4

Photo: Tristram Kenton

We hope you have some lovely Christmassy treats lined up near where you live.  If you do, we still have stocks of our gorgeous party and occasion wear and there’s still time to order in time for Christmas!  


And for outings to all those delightful Christmas markets which have sprung up around the country in the last few years, we have lots of cosy knitwear and jacket choices to layer up in.


If you can’t face going out in the cold to shop for Christmas presents, or can’t face getting bogged down with endless internet searches for that elusive something, may we suggest an easy present option which we know will be much appreciated?   We now offer Lily Ella gift vouchers.  We can get these to you in plenty of time for Christmas, they are a lovely gift or stocking filler for your loved ones and can be used at their leisure. 

gift vouchers

Order your Lily Ella gift vouchers here 

Just so you know, the last posting dates for Christmas with Lily Ella are Tuesday 18th December for 2nd class parcels, Thursday 20th December for 1st class parcels and Special Delivery orders can be sent until Friday 21st December – but you do need to get your order to us during the morning of each of those deadlines in order for us to have your parcel all wrapped up and ready for Royal Mail to collect in time! Royal Mail’s Hero People are here to help us wing your parcels to you! 

RM Hero People



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