While London is synonymous with a stalwart traditionalism and royal heritage, the city simultaneously breeds a cutting-edge, contemporary scene. In the wave of recent terror attacks, Londoners are keeping calm and focusing on exciting new offerings – from fascinating art exhibits to a chic boutique hotel. Indagare contributors Elena Bowes and Anna Hart and Indagare staffer Emily Pariseau report on five reasons to visit the British capital now.
Indagare Escape: For those who want to make a last-minute trip, we have sourced some amazing deals for business class tickets combined with a four-night stay at one of the city’s top properties, starting from $8,800 for two travelers. Contact Indagare to book this package and to plan a customized trip to London.
The Creative Scene Is Flourishing
Several fantastic exhibits are gracing museums and galleries this summer. First, The Victoria and Albert Museum hosts a fabulous, 50-year retrospective of the legendary rock band Pink Floyd. This ground-breaking blockbuster of an art show, entitled ‘Their Mortal Remains,’ is a psychedelic, audio-visual journey through time that highlights the highly creative (and extremely private) British band. The exhibit features the group’s iconic imagery from their surreal album covers to their theatrical stage sets and displays over 350 artifacts including letters, video footage, costumes and instruments. Fans and newbies alike will love the show’s enlightening back story, which explains many of Pink Floyd’s iconic concepts and divulges secrets in their lyrics. And while the 17,000-square-foot exhibition can be daunting, the headphones help visitors navigate and the accompanying music changes as you move through the show. Ends October 1.
Also at the Victoria and Albert Museum is an exhibit that fashion mavens won’t want to miss. ‘Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion’ examines the craftsmanship and legacy of renowned couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga, with more than 100 eye-catching pieces on display. Ends February 2018.
Arthur Elgort, a famed Brooklyn fashion photographer who has worked with Vogue, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent, will show his first solo UK exhibition at the Atlas Gallery (49 Dorset St.). His presentation of high fashion in everyday scenes – one of his most famous shoots is Kate Moss in a colorful swimsuit inside a local LA diner – has defined him as one of the most pioneering photographers in the fashion world. Ends September 2.
At the Tate Modern, the kaleidoscopic abstracts of Turkish artist Fahrelnissa Zeid are on display in the first major retrospective of the international creative powerhouse. Ends October 8.
Related: The Latest in London’s Mayfair
Dining Is Better Than Ever
No other city in Europe may have witnessed such a culinary transformation in the past two decades as London. Now, its food scene rivals that of its more lauded European cousins, and innovative restaurants serving modern takes on global cuisines are popping up throughout the city. East London, one of the city’s coolest neighborhoods, is brimming with new openings this year. The biggest restaurant news is the reopening of Bibendum, the iconic Art Deco restaurant that helped refine the British dining scene in the ’80s. Michelin-starred chef Claude Bosi has taken the helm and has kept the traditional French flavors but added his own signature flair. Another Michelin-starred chef, New Zealander Monica Galletti, formerly of La Gavroche, has launched her first solo venture, Mere, serving sea-inspired dishes in a sleek dining room. The British love of Italian food is on display with the new L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, now considered the city’s best pizza, and Luca, a glamorous hot spot that fuses Italian dishes with hearty English staples. While the city’s culinary scene increasingly globalizes, some restaurants are returning to their British roots with reimagined classic fare. Newly opened Temper, a stylish take on a smokehouse, serves thick cuts of fire-roasted beefs, and Blacklock City, the wildly popular, but tiny, chophouse has expanded to a new location. The Connaught welcomes a new restaurant from acclaimed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, serving all meals and afternoon tea in a farm-to-table style (Carlos Pl, Mayfair). The neighborhood will also see a summer addition from across the Atlantic: Eclectic New York bar The Dead Rabbit will host a pop-up location at Claridge’s Bar from August 15 through 24, serving up signature cocktails and dishes.
Related: Top Tables London
Notting Hill Has A Cool New Concept Store
London’s cool shopping scene is becoming ever more dynamic with the debut of new Boho-chic womenswear brand Talitha’s eponymous lifestyle concept store in Notting Hill (22 Powis Terrace) that is styled like a curated one-bedroom apartment with an exotic treasure trove of oriental rugs, vintage art, eclectic homewares and plush furnishings. All of the apartment’s elegant home design pieces on display are for sale, along with a rack of Talitha’s Moroccan-inspired apparel. Other new storefronts include Deciem, the cult beauty brand’s first brick-and-mortar shop and OTHER/shop‘s new Soho space which showcases the apparel of independent designers as well as their eponymous brand.
Related: London: Neighborhoods to Know Now
Downtown Debuts A Hot Spot Hotel
London’s hottest new hotel is The Ned, housed inside a former bank building, which ushers an old-world, glamorous atmosphere into the city’s financial district and is affiliated with the Soho House group (thened.com). Designed to evoke a mid-century ocean liner or luxury train, the boutique property-cum-members club is bedecked in elegant velvets, vintage floral drapes, brass hardware accents and mahogany furniture, without forgoing all of the high-tech, modern comforts. The property boasts 252 rooms and suites, nine restaurants and bars, a sprawling spa and is crowned by a rooftop terrace and sleek infinity pool overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral and the Shard.
Related: First Look: The Ned
New Additions To Pavilion Road Enhance Chelsea’s Offerings
Two years ago, Pavilion Road’s landlord conducted an in-depth survey asking local residents what they wanted in the neighborhood. Their response? Independently owned shops selling quality products. Now, a slew of old-school shops have moved in, including artisan food shops Bread Ahead (249 Pavilion Rd.), Provenance Butcher (247 Pavilion Rd.), Pavilion Wine (255 Pavilion Rd.), London Cheesemongers (251 Pavilion Rd.) and fruit and vegetable specialist Natoora (245 Pavilion Rd.). These recent additions have already become institutions on Pavilion Road, with foodies and organic enthusiasts flocking to this popular street.
Contact Indagare to book our special London packages that include two business class round trip tickets and a four-night stay at one of the city’s luxury properties.