What’s New in London: Hotel Openings, New Best Restaurants and the Platinum Jubilee

In London, “Everything is hopping,” says Indagare Trip Designer Lionel Brown. He has been living in the city on and off since July of 2021—a pleasant return after growing up there as a child. “The tube is packed, and everyone is buzzing as the city prepares to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee.” The first ever Platinum Jubilee. And as the world gears up for what should be one of the most exciting (and thankfully, more normal) summer seasons in a while, we’re diving into what’s new and noteworthy in the U.K.’s bustling capital, from hit restaurants to exciting hotel openings coming to Mayfair and Hyde Park, plus the cultural events you won’t want to miss.

Contact your Indagare Trip Designer or Indagare, if you are not yet a member, to start planning a trip to London. Our team can match you with the accommodations, reservations and activities that are right for you.

History in the Making: The Platinum Jubilee

There have been seven Jubilee’s since 1809, the first celebrated in honor of King George III. Four of the others have been for Queen Elizabeth II. So, it comes as little surprise that this first Platinum Jubilee in the history of the British Monarchy has London going all out—both for the event itself, and for the numerous themed dinner and cocktail menus on order for the summer.

The Jubilee Weekend

For those planning to be in London from Thursday, June 2 to Sunday, June 5, you won’t be disappointed. The celebrations will begin with “Trooping of the Colour,” the Queen’s annual birthday parade of 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians marching from Buckingham Palace to the Mall. The rest of the weekend will be a blur of celebration, with the Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral (June 3) the Derby at Epsom Downs and the Platinum Party and live concert at Buckingham Palace (June 4). Perhaps the most inviting event will be The Big Jubilee Lunch on Sunday June 5—people and organizations around the country register to host, opening their yards, homes or establishments to anyone for celebrations that range from street parties and barbecues to tea and cake. Notable entries include The Connaught, which will be hosting a street party complete with a brass band and artisan ice cream, along with Rosewood London and The Stafford, hosting ticketed street parties set in the hotels’ courtyards. The final event is the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, where artists are commissioned to interpret different chapters of the Queen’s 70-year reign and London’s society in a four-part play.

A Jubilee Summer

The Goring_Afternoon Tea_Purple_v1_Gold
Courtesy The Goring
Claridge's Pret-A-Portea-JustinDeSouza-9
Photo by Justin DeSouza, courtesy Claridge's
Claridge's Pret-A-Portea-JustinDeSouza-7
Photo by Justin DeSouza, courtesy Claridge's

Luckily, you don’t have to be in London over the Jubilee weekend to enjoy the celebration. The spirit of the Jubilee is expected to be alive all summer long—The Goring is recreating the menu served at the Queens’ Coronation with dishes like glazed veal sweetbread and chicken consommé to be served throughout the season; Arch Bar at InterContinental London Park Lane will be serving their Royal Cocktail Collection inspired by the art displayed in the Royal Collection, which will bring back tastes hundreds of years old; Conrad London St. James is now serving the award-winning chef Sally Abé’s debut afternoon tea menu, paying tribute to the Queen ahead of the Jubilee. And for the first time, Claridge’s will be putting on a special exhibition of their never before seen footage of the Queen’s coronation, Claridge’s coronation day menu, cocktail cards and more, available through the month of June. Plus, from May 30 to June 12, The Berkeley will be serving a Prêt-à-Portea with three delicious creations inspired by the Queen’s signature fashion (notably one of her summery hats, interpreted as a lime cheesecake with lemon compote, almond sponge and a flowery garnish). And from June 1 to June 13, The Dorchester presents a Jubilee Afternoon Tea where guests can munch on delicious pastries amidst the queen’s favorite flowers and take a special Jubilee cake home to enjoy later.

Where to Eat: Sketch is Yellow! And Other Restaurant News

“Indagare favorites like Daphne’s, J. Sheekey and Sexy Fish are still regular crowd pleasers,” says Lionel. But London’s restaurant scene has also seen a wave of new additions and alterations.

Caravel Poppy Barge_002
Courtesy Caravel
Caravel Poppy Barge
Courtesy Carvel

This March, the sons of one of Sessions Art Club’s co-owners debuted Caravel, a narrow, candlelit dining room on a Dutch barge serving cheekily crafted British cuisine (like duck croquettes shaped like ducks) on Regent’s Canal in Islington. And if you haven’t been yet, don’t miss the gorgeous Sessions Art Club, either. The relatively new Clerkenwell restaurant, wine bar and gallery opened last summer inside a renovated 18th-century courthouse and recently earned a spot on Condé Nast Traveler’s Best New Restaurants list.

Courtesy Lisboeta
Photo by Marcus Cobden, courtesy BiBi
Lisboeta 1779 07a R2
Photo by Mark Scott, courtesy BiBi

Another March 2022 opening was Fitzrovia’s Lisboeta, helmed by Portuguese-born chef Nuno Mendes, who has created a menu divided into snacks, small plates and sharing pots. And earlier this year a brand new iteration of Rita’s has opened in Soho after its unfortunate closure during Covid. Get ready for more of Rita’s classic Americana cooking and cocktails in a slightly more toned-down setting. In Mayfair, don’t miss BiBi, set inside an unassuming red-brick Georgian and from the same group behind Gymkhana. This new Indian restaurant, done up in chic red tones, dark leather, greenery and abstract art is at once glamorous and authentic, with cuisine created out of familial influence and Indian traditions.

Photo by Joe Okpako, courtesy Carousel
Kudu Grill
Claire Menary, courtesy Kudu Grill

Meanwhile, in Peckham, Kudu Grill opened as the fourth neighborhood restaurant South African Kudu Collective. The grill emphasizes braai cooking (meaning over coals), resulting in dishes like crispy black sea bream and pork chops with melt-in-your-mouth sauces like sweet treacle bordelaise. Plus, Carousel moved from Marylebone to Fitzrovia, taking over three converted Georgian townhouses and resuming its tradition of regular guest chefs and an ever-changing worldly menu, but with a new bonus: an all-day wine bar that makes for a great hangout spot.

Another notable update: this year we said goodbye to the pastel pink walls and seating of the ultra-Instagrammable restaurant Sketch, which has been redone in a sleek yellow.

In Case You Missed It: Summer 2021 saw the opening of Sachi in Belgravia’s new Japanese-Nordic emporium Pantechnicon. Like the store, the restaurant serves up an intriguing fusion: Japanese-style sushi and sashimi made from fish caught in British waters. You’ll find no salmon on this menu, but rather trout, tuna and sea bass, ideally paired with a fabulous sake list. For more drinks, a den and bar area inspired by Tokyo’s speakeasy scene serves Japanese cocktails.

Where to Stay: Hotel News

– Abby Sandman on May 26, 2022

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