Spring is definitely here in London, and it’s wonderful to be out walking in the parks, which are already looking beautiful, with leaves again on the trees and gardens full of flowers. As well as the improving weather, there are many other reasons for coming to this wonderful city, including sports events, theatre, museums, art galleries, shopping and, of course, a great selection of dining options, inspired by world cuisine. There’s even more reason to travel this year, and this spring in particular, as the country celebrates the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee from 2nd-5th June.Below, we recommend a variety of indoor and outdoor events, many tried and tested over the years, including some we are hoping to personally enjoy ourselves this summer!
Outdoor EventsTheatre/OperaOpera Holland Park, 31st May – 13th August 2022Amid the manicured gardens and wild woodlands of Holland Park, you’ll find Opera Holland Park’s canopied open-air auditorium, which offers an amazing selection of productions this summer season. From the classic 19th century tragedies of Eugene Onegin and Carmen to the UK premiere of Mark Adamo’s Little Women, Puccini’s Gothic fantasy Le Villi and a co-production of HMS Pinafore with Charles Court Opera, there is plenty to please every opera fan.Regent’s Park open-air theatre, 13th May – 24th September 2022A lovely experience for all ages on a warm, sunny evening (or afternoon), the open-air theatre in Regent’s Park offers a wonderful range of productions every year. Fans of showtunes will be glad to hear that the three shows this season are all musicals: Legally Blonde (opening on 13th May), 101 Dalmations(opening on 12th July), and a modern adaptation of Antigone (opening on 3rd September).
GardensChelsea Flower Show, 24-28th May 2022Taking place in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, this year’s Chelsea Flower Show showcases 27 gardens, ranging from Show Gardens to Sanctuary Gardens, Balcony Gardens and Container Gardens, so there’s plenty of inspiration for keen gardeners. The imaginative Show Gardens will include designs like the ecological A Rewilding Britain Landscape, and A Textile Garden for Fashion Revolution, which explains the role of plants as dyes for textiles in fashion, as well as many more ideas for visitors. London Square Open Gardens Weekend, 11th u0026amp; 12th June 2022Over a June weekend, at least 100 of London’s private gardens open their doors to the public. The gardens range from hidden squares, roof terraces, community allotments, and green spaces belonging to historic buildings, museums and churches. A wide range of events, including family activities, health and wellbeing events, local produce markets and craft stalls will also be held throughout the weekend.
SportWimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships,27 June-10 July 2022One of four annual Grand Slam tennis tournaments held around the world, Wimbledon is a popular summer outing for sports fans. Synonymous with sweet treats like strawberries and cream, tickets sell out quickly but you can arrive early each day to try and get your hands on a ground pass, or pick up a resale ticket. This year vaccinations are not required for players, as specified last year, so the current world number one Novak Djokovic is able to play.Lords Cricket,June-SeptemberThere’s no shortage of cricket matches to enjoy in London this summer, with popular matches at Lords including England vs New Zealand (2nd – 6th June), England vs India (14th July) and England vs South Africa (17th – 20th August). If you can’t get tickets to Lords, why not catch a match at Kennington Oval? England play India here on 12th July and South Africa from 8th – 12th September.
London WalksLondon is such a wonderful city for long walks, with its large and beautiful parks, the pathways along the river Thames, and pretty village-style districts (including Hampstead, Portobello Road and Barnes). For those wanting to join an organised tour, Time Out London Walking Tours offer some interesting ideas – from foodie walks to strolls tailored to Harry Potter fans. For a more casual and personal approach, where you can plan your own walks, we recommend checking out A Lady in London,who offers some good inspiration for exploring the city on foot.
Indoor ActivitiesArt Exhibitions Walter Sickert, Tate Britain, 28 April – 18 Sep 2022Walter Sickert helped shape modern British art as we know it and this captivating exhibition is the first major retrospective of his work at the Tate in over 60 years. The gallery is also offering a special ticket which includes entry to the exhibition, as well as a light lunch and a drink in their Djanogly Café.Edvard Munch: Masterpieces from Bergen, Courtauld Gallery, 27 May – 5 Sep 2022 In the beautiful setting of Somerset House, the Courtauld Gallery is known for interesting smaller exhibitions, including this showcase of 18 paintings by Edvard Munch. Being the first time a comprehensive group of Munch’s works from the collection has been seen outside Norway, this is certainly a must-visit.Picasso Ingres: Face to Face, National Gallery, 3 June – 9 October 2022 For the first time, Picasso’s Woman with a Book (1932) from the Norton Simon Museum, California, will be brought together with the painting that inspired it, Madame Moitessier by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.
Beatrix Potter: Born to Nature, Vu0026amp;A Museum, until January 2023The family friendly exhibition explores the places and animals that inspired Beatrix Potter’s favourite characters.Football: Designing the Beautiful Game, Design Museum, until 29th August 2022This exhibition covers films and interviews on sporting performance, kit development and stadium design, as well as the stories of club legends such as Messi, Pelé, George Best and Diego Maradona.Surrealism Beyond Borders, Tate Modern, until 29th August 2022This exhibition, co-produced by Tate Modern and the Metropolitan Museum in New York, centres on surrealist art from the 1920s to the 1970s. Artists represented at this exhibition include Dali, Leonora Carrington, Magritte and many more.
TheatreThere is plenty to see across London’s theatres this summer, below are some of our top choices.To Kill a Mockingbird, Gielgud Theatre, until 13th AugustBased on the book by Harper Lee, this production by Aaron Sorkin sees Rafe Spall playing Atticus Finch.The Glass Menagerie, Duke of York Theatre, 23rd May until 28th AugustSee six-time Oscar nominated actress Amy Adams in this modern retelling of Tennessee Williams’ celebrated memory play.The Seagull, Harold Pinter Theatre, 29th June – 10th September.Anya Reiss’ 21st century modernisation of this Anton Chekhov classic stars Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke.My Fair Lady, London Coliseum, May 7 to Aug 27 The first major revival of Lerner u0026amp; Loewe’s much-loved musical for 21 years,this classic musical stars stage legend Dame Vanessa Redgrave.
Recommended Foodie ExperiencesBrigit’s BakeryWhat better way to tour London than on a traditional red double decker bus, with afternoon tea included? We have tried the Classic Afternoon Bus Tour which takes around an hour, but there are several other options which take 90 minutes, including the Peppa Pig Afternoon Tea Bus Tour for ages 2 and up (complete with a fully decorated bus, sing-a-long songs and activities), the adults-only Slingsby Gin Afternoon Tea and the Pride London Bus Tour with rainbow flags and delicious treats. Brigit’s Bakery also offers a delicious afternoon tea in its Covent Garden bakery.
Mercato MayfairFor another interesting foodie experience during your stay, we recommend visiting Mercato Mayfair in North Audley Street, just a few minutes’ walk south of Oxford Street. This sustainable community market offers imaginative food and wine experiences in the historic deconsecrated church of St Mark’s, which dates back to the 1820’s. Retaining its original features, the beautifully renovated interiors are spread over four floors, which can be accessed by stairs or a lift. The ground and first floors are dedicated to food and wine, while on the rooftop there is a lovely furnished terrace. Down in the crypt of the church, is a beautiful cellar with vaulted ceilings, and a good selection of wines, cheeses and charcuterie. On all floors, the food is fresh and sustainably sourced and there is a great atmosphere all day and into the evening.
Recommended London ApartmentsBrick Street, W1 (2 bedrooms, 4 guests)Situated right at the heart of Mayfair, just off Park Lane, these two-bedroom apartments are conveniently located between the quaint historic streets of Shepherd’s Market, with its cafés and restaurants, and the expansive greenery of Hyde Park. They are also within an easy walk of Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly, the Royal Academy, Bond Street, and other places of interest in central London. The building also has access to an outdoor terrace on the ground floor, perfect for relaxing with a morning coffee in the sunshine, or an evening drink.Recommended Local Restaurant: Visit Al-Sultan in Shepherds Market for authentic Lebanese cuisine
Hyde Park Gate 1X, SW7 (3 bedrooms, 5 guests)Facing Kensington Gardens in central London, the Hyde Park Gate apartments are also within walking distance of London landmarks – in this case, the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Palace, and the shops and restaurants of both Kensington High Street and Knightsbridge. Situated on the second floor of the building, the apartment has its own private terrace, where guests can sit and relax while enjoying the views of the park. At Hyde Park Gate, we have 10 apartments to rent, offering between one and four bedrooms and accommodating groups of all sizes.Recommended Local Restaurant: Dishoomis a small chain of excellent Indian restaurants and its Kensington High Street branch will transport you to Bombay in the 1940s.
Bentinck Street Apartments, W1 (1-2 bedrooms, 2-4 guests)Located in the fashionable Marylebone village district, these apartments (which range from a studio to one- and two-bedroom properties) are also within walking distance of both Hyde Park and Regent’s Park. Guests here will be directly surrounded by tempting cafés, restaurants and shops, as well as being very close to Oxford Street and Bond Street. The beautiful Wallace Collection Museum is also just a few minutes’ walk away. A welcome basket is included at the apartments, as well as a complimentary Gym Membership at Third Space Marylebone, where guests can enjoy the swimming pool, sauna and steam room.Recommended Local Restaurant: Delamina is an excellent Eastern Mediterranean restaurant on Marylebone Lane.
Little Venice Penthouse, W9 (4 bedrooms, 8 guests)This beautiful Penthouse is situated in the very desirable area of Little Venice, just a short walk from the Regent’s Canal, and one tube stop from Paddington station. Situated on the top floor of a Regency townhouse and directly accessible by lift, the large, open plan living and dining area opens onto a quiet furnished terrace, which is perfect for relaxing outdoors. The terrace also offers beautiful views over a large garden below, with a play area for young children, which can also be accessed by guests at the apartment.Recommended Local Restaurant: Almost like dining on a boat, The Summer House restaurant sits right on the edge of Regent’s Canal and is perfect for a light meal on a summer’s day.
Henry’s Townhouse, W1 (7 bedrooms, 14 guests) Situated within an easy walk of London’s West End shopping and Hyde Park, Henry’s Townhouse offers the perfect home from home for a group of family and friends, celebrating a special occasion, planning a long stay, or for larger corporate events and meetings. The former home of Jane Austen’s brother, Henry, the interiors have been renovated throughout, and the townhouse is decorated and furnished in a period style with beautiful fabrics, artwork and antique furniture, combined with modern amenities. The minimum stay is two nights and rental price includes breakfast and the help of a house manager.Recommended Local Restaurant: Brasserie of Light in Selfridges. The food is also excellent at this busy restaurant, and we also loved the huge crystal-encrusted statue of a galloping Pegasus created by Damian Hirst, which is suspended high on the ceiling facing the triple-height windows.