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Guides & Itineraries
Currently showing Ragtime and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, this is a truly magical evening’s experience in one of London’s most ancient parks.openairtheatre.org
A riot of strawberries, cream, Pimm's and very good tennis (with rain a possibility) in this leafy enclave of south west London. Late June to early July.
The world’s leading horticultural event since 1913. Thousands of exhibits and wonderfully creative garden settings. 18th-25th May 2013.
The Royal Academy clears gallery space every summer for emerging and established artists. More than 10,000 pieces are entered for consideration.
Pomp, ceremony, and the best-behaved horses in the Commonwealth all gathered to celebrate the Queen’s official birthday. June 2013. Date to be confirmed.
A five-day celebration of the turf that has long been regarded as the centerpiece of the social season, and includes the Ascot Derby. 18th-22nd June 2013.
Somewhat removed from the idea of ‘messing about in boats’, there are over 200 races during the five days of this glorious event. 3rd -7th July 2013.
Three miles long, 800 years old, and with 6,000 participants this is an annual must-see for Londoners and visitors alike. 10th November 2012.
Live performances, kids' choirs, carnival and street theatre groups and a stunning fireworks finale on Sunday evening. 8th-9th September 2012.
See and buy work by leading artists from over 170 galleries in the green and pleasant avenues of Regent’s Park. 11th-14th October 2012.
The styles and approaches may differ from street to street, but there’s no denying that London’s Christmas lights bring a sparkle to last-minute present shopping.
The banks of the Thames swell with revellers not only wanting to hear the midnight chimes of Big Ben – but to gaze in awe at the now legendary firework display.
Stunning new collections mean LFW is now one of the ‘big four’ catwalk influencers, and one of the highest profile events in fashion. 14th-18th September 2012.
Seven floors of toys and games. Puppet shows every day at
11am, 1,3 and 5pm. Hamley and Hattie bears visit at 11am, 2 and 4pm. Also
enjoyed by big kids. hamleys.com
The Hyde Park Stables can organise group and private rides
from 7.15am onwards, from age five upwards, with plenty of riding wear
available to hire. hydeparkstables.com
Brasserie-style dining at the Connaught, you’ll enjoy stunning food at breakfast, lunch, dinner or afternoon tea – and have sweeping views of Mayfair village. the-connaught.co.uk/espelette.aspx
A colossal animated T-Rex turns this fascinating museum into a real-life ‘Night at the Museum’. And there’s skating outside in the winter months. nhm.ac.uk
See 750 species of animal, and the new Play Penguin Beach.
You can also attend an introduction to Zoo Keeping for 11-15 year olds. zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo
There is a good supply of rowing and pedal boats available at
the boathouse on the Serpentine for this popular summer pursuit in Hyde Park.
You’ll need a day, and lots of energy for the awesome rides at Thorpe Park, and with names like ‘Stealth’ and ‘Colossus’, you’ll need a little Dutch courage too!
Barely a yard of this connoisseur’s paradise is free of a luxury brand. Visit Mulberry, Prada, Miu Miu, Hermes, Church’s, YSL and many, many more.bondstreet.co.uk
Along with valuations, and private sales, Sotheby’s is also a fascinating place to visit, with a varied and always changing schedule of public sales. sothebys.com
Late morning at Marc Jacobs, coffee, then a light lunch at Scott’s, then a stroll in a pair of Louboutins, finishing at Balenciaga, before taking tea at Espelette. Perfect. mountstreetmayfair.co.uk
Who says men can’t be pampered? Alfred Dunhill’s London Home sells bespoke leather and menswear, and has a barbershop, spa and screening room. dunhill.com/the-homes/london/
An emporium in the very best sense since 1875. Rich heritage combines with cutting-edge designers in this stunning store where you can get ‘lost in luxury’. liberty.co.uk
Daunt Books, Divertimenti, The Conran Shop, Diptyque and
Skandium are just some of the stores in this revitalised area just moments from
Oxford Street. marylebonevillage.com
Antiques, collectibles, 20th century pieces and much more
make this Marylebone institution and its dealers well worth a visit. Open
Tuesday to Saturday. alfiesantiques.com
Arguably the most famous street and antiques market in the
world (and the most filmed). Open every day but Sunday, and especially crowded
on Saturdays. portobelloroad.co.uk
Saved from demolition, the market is a source of exceptional
British and international produce (as far back as 1014), and open from Thursday
to Saturday. boroughmarket.org.uk
Open from 8 until 3ish on a Sunday, Columbia Road is an ‘oasis’ of foliage and flowers, small galleries, cake shops and vintage clothing stores. columbiaroad.info
Down a quiet mews, expect French, Mediterranean and Niçoise classics from the London offshoot of this respected Nice restaurant. lpmlondon.co.uk
Claridge’s sumptuous Fumoir, tucked away behind an original 1930’s Lalique panel, serves equally sumptuous 1930s inspired cocktails.claridges.co.uk/mayfair-bars/the-fumoir.aspx
As well as terrific people-watching, Scott’s serves up some of the finest oysters, fish, crustacean, seasonal game and vegetarian dishes in London. Best to book.scotts-restaurant.com
A relative of Scott’s, the Deli offers dining on its terrace overlooking Mount Street, and year-round events that showcase interesting food and drink to try and buy. themountstreetdeli.co.uk
Marcus Wareing is one of our most talented chefs, known for
his light, modern, flavoursome food. His restaurant at The Berkeley holds two
Michelin stars. the-berkeley.co.uk/marcus_wareing.aspx
A modern interpretation of the old Chinese teahouse, this restaurant offers ‘all day grazing’, with authentic dim sum, wok-friendly dishes and ‘small-eats’. yuatcha.com
‘A relaxed venue in which to eat the finest British produce’ was the plan behind this almost rural pub in far from rural Fulham. ‘Diners’ Choice’ Winner 2012. hardwoodarms.com
There are more than a dozen art galleries on Cork Street, showing and selling an ever-changing selection of contemporary and original works.
Founded to promote the arts and design, The Royal Academy has
both permanent collections and a series of major shows throughout the year.
Practically our next door neighbours, the gallery represents 25 established and emerging artists, and there’s a year-round programme of exhibitions.
One of the city’s most stunning buildings, this ancient parliament is a piece of living history. Visitors can attend debates or watch laws being made. parliament.uk/visiting
Lovers of English literature can pay homage to Austen, Barry, Betjeman, Blake, Bronte, Burns, Byron, and Coleridge. And that’s only up to the C’s. westminster-abbey.org
In the 1530s, Henry VIII spent the equivalent of £18 million rebuilding the Palace. The result is, arguably, one of the most magnificent royal palaces in the world. A busy half day, or wonderful full day out. hrp.org.uk/HamptonCourtPalace/
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The Connaught, Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL +44 (0)20 7499 7070
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