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What’s New in London: Summer 2018

In the weeks following the Royal Wedding, a quick getaway to London is more tempting than ever. A fresh group of design hotels have joined the leagues of last year’s biggest opening, The Ned, while new restaurants like Beck at Brown’s and Yotam Ottolenghi’s Rovi make a trip across the pond worth it for the food alone. In between meals, exhibitions, Art Deco cocktail bars, rooftop croquet and stylish shops offer plenty of entertainment off the beaten Buckingham path.

Contact Indagare  for assistance planning a summer trip to London. Our travel specialists can book you at the best hotel for you and arrange great meals and activities, including the ones listed below.

New Design Hotels in London

A few blocks away, another historic property has reopened, following a nearly $115 million refurbishment. Most famous for sharing its original architect with the Titanic, the Principal combines historic English elegance with modern opulence. This is visible in the prevalence of rich fabrics, sultry lighting, a disco ball bar and a hot new restaurant, Neptune, which nods to the hotel’s seafaring history.

To the West, Soho House has greatly expanded its presence in the city with two new properties: Kettner’s Townhouse (in Soho) and White City House (in West London). While White City can only be accessed by Soho House members, Kettner’s welcomes outside guests. With an all-day Champagne bar and small but chic bedrooms, Kettner’s has preserved the original atmosphere of the historic space it occupies for those who wish to add a dash of risqué flair to their visit.

Boutique hotel L’oscar will open in the Holborn neighborhood in June, bringing London’s fixation with opulent aesthetics to a former Baroque church. The design—which includes massive headboards in black, gold and crimson, fringed velvet settees and extravagant moldings—is courtesy of Jacques Garcia, who has also worked on sexy properties like Paris’ Hôtel Costes, Marrakech’s La Mamounia and New York City’s NoMad.

Related: First Look: The Ned

New Restaurants in London

This spring, the London mainstay once frequented by the likes of Winston Churchill, Rudyard Kipling and Agatha Christie—Brown’s Hotel—got a major culinary upgrade. The hotel replaced its formerly traditional restaurant, Hix, with a bright new creation from the Michelin-starred chef Heinz Beck. The refreshed menu of Beck at Brown’s features Italian cuisine with standout dishes, including cacio e pepe with lime-marinated shrimp, seared Scottish scallops with green and white asparagus, pan-fried Dover sole with wild mushrooms and grilled Ibérico pork tenderloin with mashed potatoes.

Brown’s historic Donovan Bar also reopened in April following an extensive renovation and expansion. With its speakeasy vibe, the bar features Art Deco-style furnishings that include teal velvet couches and brass lamps. In addition to Salvatore Calabrese’s brand-new list of concoctions on the menu, the largest privately-owned collection of Sir Terence Donovan’s photographs is on display.

Other game-changing summer openings include: Rovi, the latest restaurant from author and chef Yotam Ottolenghi (debuting in Fitzrovia in June); Hide by Ollie Dabbous, a just-opened seasonal restaurant with one of the largest wine lists in the world, as well as separate floors for the tasting menu, all-day à la carte and cocktails; Cora Pearl, the much-anticipated second restaurant from the Kitty Fisher’s team, set to open soon in Covent Garden; and Bob Bob Cité, the sister restaurant to the splendidly lavish Bob Bob Ricard (best known for having a “Press For Champagne” button at tables).

For more interactive dining, try the new Curtain hotel’s Red Rooster (the London installation of Marcus Samuelsson’s Harlem hot spot) for live jazz with a side of fried chicken at, or head to the Skylight pop-up for rooftop croquet and street food.

Related: Top Tables London

New Exhibitions in London

This summer, classic art lovers are excited about Picasso 1932: Love, Fame, Tragedy at the Tate Modern (through September 9) and Monet & Architecture at the National Gallery (through July 29). While Picasso 1932 showcases iconic work that the Spanish master created during his affair with Marie-Thérèse Walter, Monet & Architecture exposes a side of the French Impressionist that is less well known: his scenes of urban life, city skylines and farm estates.

For the style-obsessed, Proud Galleries is displaying a collection of rare photographs of Marilyn Monroe snapped by the celebrated photographer Milton H. Green (through June 24), and the Design Museum is showing the first solo exhibition of Azzedine Alaïa’s work in the UK, which traces the couturier’s life and inspirations through his collections from the 1980s to present day (through October 7). Also of note at the Design Museum is Hope to Nope: Graphics and Politics 2008-18, which explores the role of modern design and technology in public engagement with politics in the past decade (through August 12).

In the West End, Tina: the Musical opened in April to great acclaim, while Ferryman continues to draw crowds. Looking ahead, Company will open on September 26th and star Patti LuPone in a gender-reversed production of Stephen Sondheim’s 1970 musical.

Related: Best Afternoon Teas in London

New Shopping in London

In Covent Garden, the concept store The Shop at Bluebird has opened a new flagship that feels like a shopper’s paradise: amidst three floors well-lit by an airy glass ceiling and bedecked in leafy plants, there is an impressive curation of women’s clothing, accessories, jewelry and home goods. For a more focused shopping experience, style mavens should head to the Hot Futures pop-up on Brick Lane for vintage clothing and sunglasses. Lastly, do not miss the Alex Eagle studio in the heart of Soho, a curated treasure trove of clothes, accessories, beauty products, furniture, ceramics, rare books and more.

Related: Indagare Picks: 7 Top Shopping Cities

Contact Indagare  for assistance planning a summer trip to London. Our travel specialists can book you at the best hotel for you and arrange great meals and activities, including the ones listed below.

– Elizabeth Harvey on May 29, 2018

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In between meals, a host of summer exhibitions, Art Deco cocktail bars, rooftop croquet and stylish shops offer plenty of entertainment off the beaten Buckingham path.

Related Hotels

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