London Destination Guide

A vibrant hub of cutting-edge arts, culture and cuisine that consistently blazes an international trail, London pulses with a thrilling itinerary of prime entertainment. Discover the English capital’s wealth of theatre, ballet, opera and art alongside its sporting highlights with our round-up of the most unmissable activities.

Summer, 2019

Victoria 200 at Kensington Palace

May 24, 2019 marks the second centenary of Queen Victoria’s birth at Kensington Palace. To honour the occasion, the rooms in which the young monarch grew up with her mother are reassembled to look as they did when she inhabited them. Elsewhere, a new display exploring Victoria’s life after she became Queen is unveiled at the palace’s Pigott Gallery.

Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens, London, W8 4PX
1.7 miles – 30 minutes’ walk from The Dorchester/45 Park Lane via Hyde Park

hrp.org.uk/kensington-palace
+44 (0)20 3166 6000

Image © Historic Royal Palaces

Summer, 2019

Sushisamba

Rooftop bars don’t come any higher than this. Spanning the 38th and 39th floors of the Heron Tower, this Japanese-Brazilian fusion restaurant serves cocktails with dramatic views of the city skyline and beyond.

110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
4.1 miles – 31 minutes’  drive from The Dorchester/45 Park Lane
sushisamba.com
+44 020 3640 7330Image © Historic Royal Palaces

Select Fridays, JULY - September, 2019

Park Nights

The Serpentine Galleries hosts a series of live summertime events within its semi-enclosed Pavilion, a charismatic structure that’s redesigned each year by a leading international architect. Found in the leafy environs of Hyde Park, visitors are treated to a diverse and engaging blend of dance, comedy, and theatre.

Serpentine Galleries, Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, London, W2 3XA
1.2 miles – 23 minutes’ walk from The Dorchester/45 Park Lane
serpentinegalleries.org
+44 (0)20 7402 6075
Image © The Serpentine Galleries

london destination guide park nights at the serptentine gallery
UNTIL AUGUST 11, 2019

Sea Star: Sean Scully

Sean Scully’s arresting canvases comprise bold blocks of colour that appear to bear little resemblance to the works of 19th-century master JMW Turner. Nonetheless, the contemporary British artist draws on his forebear’s masterpieces to produce the epic paintings on display in Sea Star: Sean Scully. Thought-provoking and poetic, it gauges a beautifully subtle dialogue between the two painters.

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN
1.2 miles – 24 minutes’ walk from The Dorchester/45 Park Lane

nationalgallery.org.uk
+44 020 7747 2885
Image © Liliane Tomasko

UNTIL AUGUST 11, 2019

Van Gogh and Britain

Residing in England as a young man, Vincent Van Gogh was inspired by novelists such as Dickens and Eliot and its forward-thinking artists such as Constable and Millais. Van Gogh and Britain shows works from these two famous painters together with rarely loaned others by Van Gogh—including Sunflowers from London’s National Gallery and Shoes, Starry Night on the Rhône and L’Arlésienne from further afield.

Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG
2.0 miles – 11 minutes’ drive from The Dorchester/45 Park Lane

tate.org.uk
+44 020 7887 8888
Image © Tate

UNTIL August 12, 2019

Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition

A highlight of London’s cultural calendar, the Summer Exhibition rolls out a multitextured array of art in all its mediums. From film and photography to sculptures, paintings and illustrations, works by established artists (think Grayson Perry and Tracey Emin) are hung alongside pieces from fresh new talent, with most exhibits for sale.

Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD
Less than 1 mile – 15 minutes’ walk from The Dorchester/45 Park Lane

royalacademy.org.uk
+44 (0)20 7300 8090
Image © David Parry

UNTIL SEPTEMBER 1, 2019

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

Iconic haute couture, evocative pencil sketches and signature perfume bottles are the stars of Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams. The inimitable French designer had a passion for all things English—the historic traditions, grand architecture, over-arching politeness, and even its food. This show pays tribute to Dior’s relationship with Britain as well as his enduring stamp on the fashion world.

V&A, Cromwell Road, Knightsbridge, London, SW7 2RL
1.3 miles – 25 minutes’ walk from The Dorchester/45 Park Lane
vam.ac.uk
+44 0207 942 2271
Image © Popperfoto Getty Images

UNTIL September 14, 2019

BBC Proms

The world’s greatest classical music festival brings to London its usual dazzling array of international talent. From big-name performers to the extraordinary rising stars of the Young Musician prom, the Proms culminate in the patriotic, flag-waving Last Night that celebrates all things British.

Royal Albert Hall and various locations around London
RAH: 1.4 miles – 28 minutes’ walk from The Dorchester/45 Park Lane

bbc.co.uk/proms
Image ©  Chris Christodoulou

UNTIL September 29, 2019

Félix Vallotton

Félix Vallotton was a master painter and printmaker who captured the transformation of Paris and its inhabitants at the turn of the 20th century, with wry observations of both political and domestic life. Showing 80 paintings and prints, this is the first large exhibition of Vallotton’s work in Britain.

Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD
Less than 1 mile – 15 minutes’ walk from The Dorchester/45 Park Lane
royalacademy.org.uk
+44 (0)20 7300 8000
Image © Kunsthaus Zürich, Gottfried Keller Foundation, Federal Office of Culture, Berne, 1965

UNTIL September 29, 2019

Buckingham Palace Summer Opening

Buckingham Palace, the official residence of Her Majesty the Queen, is only open to visitors for 10 weeks over the summer. Explore the 19 State Rooms, including the majestic Throne Room, take in some of the Royal Collection’s most eye-catching treasures, from Sèvres porcelain to paintings by Canaletto, and take a leisurely stroll through the gardens.

Buckingham Palace, Westminster, London, SW1A 1AA
Less than 1 mile – 15 minutes’ walk from The Dorchester/45 Park Lane

rct.uk
+44 03031 237 300
Image © Royal Collection Trust Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018

September 2 - 6, 2019

Tim Walker

A major exhibition focusing on photographer Tim Walker launches at the V&A in September. Dedicated to the awe-inspiring British visionary’s abstract works, the show leads visitors backstage into the fantastical worlds with which Walker is synonymous. Stills, films, sets, and special installations make this an immersive must-see for photography enthusiasts.

V&A, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL
1.3 miles – 25 minutes’ walk from The Dorchester/45 Park Lane
vam.ac.uk
+44 (0)20 7942 2000
Image © Tim Walker

london destination guide london fashion week
September 13 - 17, 2019

London Fashion Week

London is a fashion capital year-round, but flocks of style-makers come from around the globe for a week-long look at the next season’s fashions during the city’s bi-annual Fashion Week. LFW’s more accessible sister event, the London Fashion Week Festival offers exclusive shopping as well as talks, workshops, live demos and discussions with seasoned runway veterans.

Various locations around London
londonfashionweek.co.uk
+44 (0)20 7759 1999
Image © iStock SaaneBerg

September 14 - 22, 2019

London Design Festival

A showcase for established and up-and-coming talent in the world of design, the London Design Festival has been a fixture of the British capital’s creative scene since its initial incarnation in 2003. A broad scope of exhibitions, installations and workshops sprawl the festival’s eight-day span, focusing on every aspect of design.

33 John Street, London WC1N 2AT
2.3 miles – 23 minutes’ drive from The Dorchester/45 Park Lane
londondesignfestival.com
+44 (0)20 7242 6022
Image © iStock asbe

london destination guide london design week
london destination guide mark leckey
September 24, 2019 - January 5, 2020

Mark Leckey

Awarded the Turner Prize in 2008 for Industrial Light and Magic, Mark Leckey is known the world over. The British artist focuses on how technology impacts popular culture; one of his previous works incorporates footage from British nightclubs to trace dance subcultures. This exhibition invites visitors to explore his unique perspective.

Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG
3 miles – 30 minutes’ drive from The Dorchester/45 Park Lane
tate.org.uk
+44 (0)20 7887 8888
Image © Mark Leckey

From October 2019

The Antipodes

Following her recent hit ‘John’, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Annie Baker returns to the National Theatre with the European premiere of ‘The Antipodes’. A play about people telling stories and those who tell them, Lila Neugebauer directs the anticipated production, which features designs by Chloe Lamford.

National Theatre, Upper Ground, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX
2.4 miles – 20 minutes’ drive from The Dorchester/45 Park Lane
+44 (0)20 7452 3000
nationaltheatre.org.uk
Image © National Theatre

london destination guide the antiopdes at the national theatre
london destination guide BFI London Film Festival
October 2 - 13, 2019

BFI London Film Festival 2019

The BFI London Film Festival marks its 63rd incarnation in 2019, confirming that some things really do continue to get better with age. More than 200,000 people attended last year’s extravaganza, which screened everything from world premieres to independent shorts. This October, locations around the British capital will once again play host to the film industry’s leading talents.

Various locations around London
bfi.org.uk
Image © Getty Images

October 3 - 6, 2019

Frieze London

More than 1,000 pieces produced by leading contemporary artists from around the world will be on display in Regent’s Park for Frieze London. An essential, highly anticipated event for art enthusiasts, the fair features more than 160 galleries displaying and selling a wide variety of works. Taking place alongside the captivating installations, look out for book signings and talks with esteemed artists and visionaries.

Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4NR
1.5 miles – 28 minutes’ walk from The Dorchester/45 Park Lane
+44 (0)203 372 6111
frieze.com
Image © Mark Blower/Frieze

london destination guide frieze london
October 7, 2019 - January 26, 2020

The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Gauguin Portraits

The portraits of Paul Gauguin are the focal point of this National Gallery exhibition, which charts the French artist’s shift away from Impressionism and towards Symbolism. Visit to view works on paper, paintings and three-dimensional objects, brought together from public and private collections around the world.

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN
1.2 miles – 24 minutes’ walk from The Dorchester/45 Park Lane
+44 (0)20 7747 2885
nationalgallery.org.uk
Image © RMN-Grand Palais/Musée d’Orsay/René-Gabriel Ojéda

October 16, 2019 - March 1, 2020

Mars

Mars has enthralled astronomers for centuries, but this exhibition at the Design Museum explores a slightly different theme: why the Red Planet presents one of the biggest challenges of our time. Centred on what the evolution of a Mars colony could look like, the show displays commissions and collaborations from new-wave designers.

Design Museum, 224 – 238 Kensington High Street, London, W8 6AG
2.5 miles – 16 minutes’ drive from The Dorchester/45 Park Lane
+44 (0)20 3862 5900
designmuseum.org
Image © NASA/JPL

london destination guide mars
london destination guide lucia freud self portrait at royal academy of arts
October 27, 2019 - January 26, 2020

Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits

This compelling exhibition at the Royal Academy draws together Lucian Freud’s self-portraits in the form of more than 50 paintings, prints and sketches. Spanning almost seven decades, from his first self-portrait in 1939 to his last 64 years later, the artist’s fascinating works capture his unique story.

Royal Academy, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD
0.7 miles – 15 minutes’ walk from The Dorchester/45 Park Lane
+44 (0)20 7300 8000
royalacademy.org.uk
Image © Royal Academy of Arts

November 10 – 17, 2019

NITTO ATP Finals

The world’s largest indoor tennis tournament, the NITTO ATP Finals draws an exciting season to a close at The O2. Keen sports enthusiasts flock to the iconic arena to watch as leading male tennis players compete for an epic prize of $8.5 million, and to cheer in this year’s reigning champion.

The O2, Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10 0DX
10 miles – 57 minutes’ drive from The Dorchester/45 Park Lane
+44 (0)20 8463 3359
nittoatpfinals.com
Image © Red Photography

london destination guide atp tennis finals at o2 arena
london destination guide london jazz festival
November 15 – 24, 2019

EFG London Jazz Festival

One of the world’s leading celebrations of jazz, the EFG London Jazz Festival returns in November, bringing with it rising stars in addition to the biggest names in the business. Expect a diverse ensemble of concerts and club nights at myriad venues across the city throughout its ten-day run.

Various locations across London
+44 (0)20 7324 1880
efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk
Image © London Jazz Festival/Emile Holba

November 20, 2019 – March 15, 2020

Dora Maar

She had an eye for the unusual and her stirring photomontages were hailed as icons of surrealism during the 1930s. From November, the largest survey of Dora Maar’s complete portfolio displays at the Tate Modern, showcasing not only Maar’s captivating documentary projects, prints and portraiture, but also compelling works by her contemporaries.

Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG
3 miles – 30 minutes’ drive from The Dorchester/45 Park Lane
+44 (0)20 7887 8888
tate.org.uk
Image © Centre Pompidou/MNAM-CCI-Dist

london destination guide dora maar
london destination guide eco visionaries at the royal academy
November 24, 2019 – February 23, 2020

Eco-Visionaries

Climate change and diminishing natural resources are the pressing issues addressed by the Royal Academy of Arts’ latest show. Via photography and film, miniature models and digital media, Eco-Visionaries examines the current state of our planet and introduces the artists and architects of today who are proposing innovative steps forward.

Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 0BD
Less than 1 mile – 15 minutes’ walk from The Dorchester/45 Park Lane
+44 (0)20 7300 8000
royalacademy.org.uk
Image © Architectural Association/courtesy of the artist

November 26, 2019

The World Of Hans Zimmer – A Symphonic Celebration

A show to celebrate the man behind the musical scores of blockbusters such as The Lion King and Gladiator, The World Of Hans Zimmer – A Symphonic Celebration evokes more than a few all-time favourites. The concert’s tour started last year in Germany, with the London performance added in response to phenomenal demand for Zimmer’s electric renditions.

The O2, Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10 0DX
10 miles – 57 minutes’ drive from The Dorchester/45 Park Lane
+44 (0)20 8463 3359
worldofhanszimmer.com
Image © Semmel Concerts

london destination guide the world of hans zimmer concert