Travel guide: What's new in London this summer

The British capital shines bright with swanky new stays, gourmet delights, and festivals to make the most of those endless summer nights…

Stylish new stays

Raffles London at The OWO, Westminster

Debuting this summer is Raffles London at The OWO, a grand new hotel in the landmark Grade II* listed former Old War Office on Whitehall. Laced with more than 100 years of history, the storied address has undergone a complete transformation, opening to the public for the first time as a decadent emporium of gourmet dining and elegant stays. A handpicked curation of collaborations includes a destination spa in partnership with Guerlain and a trio of signature restaurants from one of the world’s finest culinary masters, chef Mauro Colagreco.


Art O’tel Battersea, Battersea Power Station

Another London landmark that’s undergone a complete reinvention is Battersea Power Station. While much of its industrial past remains present in the aesthetic, this Thames-side destination is now home to an array of more than 100 restaurants and shops. To check it out, base yourself at Art O’tel Battersea, located opposite the power station, a playful address with immersive interiors brought to life by Spanish artist and designer, Jamie Hayon. Iberian cuisine is celebrated at skyline view Joia Restaurant, while one floor above, a heated pool and bubbling jacuzzi offer unbeatable views of the power station.


One Hundred Shoreditch

When Ace Hotel closed its doors during the early days of the pandemic, it left a hole in oh-so-cool Shoreditch for a design-centric lifestyle hotel. We’re happy to report that One Hundred Shoreditch, which opened last year, has more than filled that void. While the location may be the initial draw: the delights of the East End and thriving city centre are both within easy reach, there’s much more to this stay. Generously sized guest rooms are minimalistic and bathed in natural light, and the lobby doubles up as a co-working space.


Where to eat

The Promenade at The Dorchester

The vibrant and versatile dining scene in London has cemented it as one of the world’s finest culinary capitals. So, choosing where to dine is no easy feat for global gourmands. And those decisions will only get tricker with a slew of new openings to tuck into this summer. At the swanky Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, Yannick Alleno, one of the world’s best chefs, will bring his refined neighbourhood dining to Mayfair with the opening of Pavyllon (pavyllon_london). Offering a British expression of his signature modern French dishes, guests can expect diverse menus in a welcoming setting.

A little further up the road, as part of a complete renovation of a London icon, The Dorchester’s (@thedorchester) signature restaurant, The Promenade, reopened earlier this year. In a dazzling setting befitting of a theatrical menu, guests dine on modern British dishes, like roast salmon, chicken & langoustine pie and Tournedos Aberdeen angus.

Tattu London

Looking for something a little more flash? Tattu (@tattulondon), a contemporary Chinese fun-dining restaurant that’s already popular in cities including Manchester and Leeds, made its London debut earlier this year. On the rooftop of Soho’s The Now building, Tattu serves up dishes like delicious dim sum, sizzling Wagyu steaks and more against the backdrop of live DJ sets and entertainment.

Foodies familiar with Big Mamma (@bigmamma.uk), the team behind eye-popping Italian eateries including Gloria and Ave Mario, can now dine at the next instalment of oh-so-Instagrammable Italian dining at Carlotta, the brand’s newest venture. An intimate Italian trattoria on Marylebone High Street, it’s home to a menu of Neapolitan and Sicilian classics that have been given an Americano twist. Oh, and a ten-tiered chocolate fudge cake.

Things to do

Soak up some culture at the National Portrait Gallery

Three years after closing for the biggest renovation in its 127-year history, the National Portrait Gallery is back from June 22, 2023. Alongside the creation of new public spaces, the National Portrait Gallery 2.0 presents a comprehensive re-display of the Gallery’s Collection from the Tudors until now.


Sing along as We Will Rock You returns


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To celebrate 21 years since its West End debut, We Will Rock You returns to London, taking over the city’s biggest theatre, Coliseum, for a 12-week stint of nothing but belting Queen hits. It runs from June to to August 27.


Make the most of summer nights with a film alfresco

As the warm weather bathes London in some pretty blissful temperatures, The Luna Cinema returns to venues across the city with a line-up of big-hitting blockbusters. From June to September, venues including Clapham Common, Kensington Palace and Kew Gardens will put on screenings of crowd pleasers like The Greatest Showman, Dirty Dancing and Pretty Woman.


Fabulous festivals to plan your summer around

June 24 to July 9: BST Hyde Park


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For three weekends in a row, some of the biggest names in the music business descend on London’s iconic Hyde Park for a series of unforgettable concerts. On the roster this year, artists include Pink, Lana Del Rey, Take That and Bruce Springsteen.


July 7 to 9: Wireless


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This mashup of the world’s finest urban artists descends on Finsbury Park for three days of non-stop hip-hop, rap and grime sounds. Travis Scott, 50 Cent, Lil Uzi Vert and FLO are among the headliners.


August 18 to 19, 25 to 28: All Points East


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Across two (hopefully) sun-soaked London weekends, All Points East returns to Hackney’s Victoria Park with an eclectic line-up that includes London legend Stormzy, alongside The Strokes, Haim and some more top talent.


Images: Supplied and Getty