august pond-hopping

May 28th, 2010

hyde park

While Londoners flock down to the Mediterranean, August is the time for a Yankee invasion. Restaurants aren’t as crowded, it’s easier to get tickets to coveted West End shows, and Buckingham Palace opens its doors to visitors (see our full round-up below). Two of the city’s hottest hotels, the Metropolitan and The Halkin, are also offering discounted rates, making it easy to hop across the Atlantic for a British mini-break. The hotels sit in a prime locale, sandwiched by Hyde Park and the Buckingham Palace Gardens, perfect for summer strolls and picnics.


At The Met, book ahead with the “Ultimate Savings” offer to get a City Room from £179, roughly $257 (compared to the standard rate of £390, a savings of 55% and roughly $305) with a minimum of two nights. (Must be booked at least seven nights in advance, valid through December 31, 2010.) Over at The Halkin, “Extend that Weekend Feeling” is discounting weekend rates by 20% when guests stay three nights. A double room starts at £450 a night, roughly $650. Three nights at that rate would £1350, or roughly $1950, but with the discount it’s only £1080 ($1560), making it a savings of about $390. Use that little bonus to load up on Top Shop must-haves or to procure tickets to a West End show. After a day of finding quirky antique treasures on Portobello Road or numerous crossings of the Thames, relax and take in the green views from one of the 51 rooms overlooking Hyde Park at the Metropolitan. At The Halkin, fill up on Thai fare at Chef David Thompson’s nahm, the first Thai restaurant in Europe to be awarded a Michelin star.


Herewith, our round-up of August’s key events…

Music Festivals

V Festival

What: a two-day festival featuring artists Kings of Leon, Passion Pit, Imogen Heap, and many more

When: August 21-22

Where: Hylands Park and Weston Park


80s Rewind Festival

What: celebration of 80s music, dressing up encouraged

When: August 20

Where: Remenham, Oxon (about an hour from London)


LED Festival

What: David Guetta, Audio Bully, and more pump out dance music in the last summer festival at Victoria Park

When: August 27

Where: Victoria Park


Get Loaded in the Park

What: The last concert in August promises to be one of the best parties of the summer.

When: August 29

Where: Clapham Common



Hyde Park in the summer


Art Exhibits

Henry Moore

What: An exhibition celebrating the artist’s influence in 20th century sculpture

When: Through August 15

Where: The Tate Britain


Victoria & Albert: Art & Love in London

What: An exhibition featuring over 400 works from the Royal Collection gathered during the lives of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

When: Through October 31

Where: The Queen’s Gallery


Newspeak: British Art Now

What:  An exhibition focused on the new and exciting artists coming out of the UK in the past few years

When: June 2-October 17

Where: The Saatchi Gallery


West End Shows

La Bête

What: David Hirson’s fun 1991 play tells the story of a dramatist leading an acting company in the 17th-century court of Prince Conti, starring Joanna Lumley, aka Patsy from Ab Fab.

When: June 28-August 28


The Merry Wives of Windsor at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

What: Enjoy this comedy in Shakespeare’s own Globe Theatre.

When: August 14-October 2


Into The Woods at London’s Open Air Theatre

What: Watch the celebrated Sondheim play outdoors in Regent’s Park

When: August 5-September 11


New Restaurants

Bar Boulud – Knightsbridge

This New York gem opened a British outpost in May with two bright rooms, a charcuterie counter, and a lounge.


Petrus – Belgravia

Gordon Ramsey’s French restaurant opened in March and boasts a glass wine case with 2,000 bottles.


Viajante – Bethnal Green

Opened in April, this eclectic new spot is in the former Bethnal Green Town Hall.


The Milroy – Mayfair

Just opened in May to the public, the restaurant serves up modern European fare and occupies the space that once housed Henry VIII’s hunting lodge.



Notting Hill Carnival

What: A huge street fair set up by London’s West Indian population, full of food carts, steel drum bands, and crazy costumes.

When: August 29-30


Outdoor Opera in Holland Park

What: Operas in the open air, set in beautiful Holland Park.

When:   La Forza del Destino, August 4, 6, 10, 12, 14 at 7:30pm

                Francesca da Rimini, August 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 at 7:30pm

                Fantastic Mr. Fox, August 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14 at 7:30pm


Dover Street Market

What: Take advantage of summer sales at this fashion forward hot spot. The chic flock here for the latest from Lanvin, YSL, and Rodarte.

Leave a Reply



« »