This May King Charles III was crowned at Westminster Abbey, marking the reign of a new King and era in royal British history. With a festival-like fever in the air in light of the coronation, we couldn’t think of a better time to explore all that the capital has to offer and visit one of its many royal attractions on offer. With plenty of coronation-themed attractions going on throughout the year (not just in May), there’s plenty of sights to see and special events to tick off your bucket list. So, without further ado, whether you’re planning a day trip or a long weekend away, here are our top picks of the best royal attractions to see and do in London this summer.2023 May 15
Kensington Palace's largest exhibition to date, Crown to Couture, showcases the similarities between the Royal Court in the eighteenth century and red carpet fashion today. Drawing parallels between how royalty, politicians and courtiers have for centuries used fashion, jewellery and elaborate hair and makeup to elevate their status, the exhibition reveals how the same pageantry is applied to haute couture outfits worn by celebrities, such as Lizzo, Lady Gaga and Beyonce to award ceremonies like The Met Gala today.
The palace rooms have been transformed into a catwalk by Alexander McQueen’s production designer Joseph Bennett, with more than 200 historic and contemporary dress items in show. Highlights include a court dress from Historic Royal Palaces’ Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection, the Silver Tissue Gown worn at Charles II’s court, and gowns worn by the likes of Lizzo and Kendall Jenner to the Met Gala. Open until October 29, 2023, choose to go on a sunny day so that you can make the most of exploring the palace gardens too.
So you didn't get an invite to the coronation, but that doesn't mean you have to miss out on exploring the historical Westminster Abbey. The coronation site for all British monarchs since 1066, it is home to the ancient Coronation Chair, which can be found in St George’s Chapel. For history buffs, it is also home to 30 kings and queens with memorials to Edward the Confessor, Richard II, Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots and more royal tombs found within the abbey. Open Monday to Saturday's, the gothic architecture of the abbey is worth a trip alone. One of most notable religious building in the United Kingdom, it has been shaped by many architects over the years, explaining its blend of both Gothic and traces of Romanesque styles.
In special celebration of the coronation, this summer you can also visit the coronation exhibition at the Chapter House. Available to see until September 30, 2023, entry to the exhibition is included in the entry price to the Abbey, and you can see historic illustrations and photographs that showcase the pomp and ceremony behind the coronation traditions.
If there's one things London does well, it’s a park. St Jame's Park, Green Park and Hyde Park are three great options within central London and are perfect locations to lay out a picnic blanket and soak up the sun and atmosphere. Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens are also great alternatives and offer more space if there is a group of you. Pack your own picnic or, for a treat, dine as the royals would and reserve a picnic hamper from Fortnum and Mason.
A trip to Madame Tussauds Museum should be at the top of every tourist’s bucket list and did you know that a visit also allows you step into the royal palace. A recreation of the palace, you can meet both the King and Queen Consort in wax form and snap as many selfies as you want, before waving at the cheering crowds on the Royal Balcony. Don’t leave without sitting down for a spot of afternoon tea and to celebrate the coronation, visitors will also be cordially invited to make their mark on history by signing the venue’s special Coronation Book.
London has no shortage of afternoon teas on offer, but The Goring hotel stands out among the crowd. Just a short stroll from Buckingham Palace and a favourite with royals, the hotel will be serving a coronation-themed version of its classic afternoon tea. Available until the end of May, the included in the menu are coronation chicken sandwiches, scones decorated with the King’s profile, and royal-themed sweets and pastries. If you can't make a trip throughout the month of May, as an alternative, try The Rubens At The Palace which, as the name suggests is right opposite Buckingham Palace. Its afternoon tea is always royal-themed however, in celebration of the newly anointed King until August 1, 2023 it has curated two special afternoon tea menus featuring multiple courses that include British classics.
If you want to up your step count and brush up on your royal history all in one go, then book a slot on the King Charles III’s Coronation Walking Tour. Available until December 31 2023 this guided two-hour Coronation walking tour, you can amble past St James’ Palace, famous shops, clubs and churches which all have a royal history (including the barbers who used to cut Prince Philip’s hair). Other highlights include learning about the history of cream teas at Fortnum and Mason, watching the Changing of the Guard ceremony and seeing integral parts of the Crown Estate and learning more about Royal Warrants. Starting and ending at Buckingham Palace, why not complete your royal day out with tickets to the palace, where you can wander through the 19 State Rooms available to the public, including the Throne Room and the Grand Ballroom.
There is no better way to celebrate the newly anointed royal than with a slice of coronation quiche, King Charles’ chosen recipe for his big day. Rather than the sprinkling of sweetness, colour and spice in Queen Elizabeth’s coronation chicken back in 1953, the open-baked savoury tart includes spinach, broad beans, tarragon, cheese, as well as eggs. The king apparently chose it as a personal favourite and because it could be shared, served hot or cold, and wouldn’t break the bank to bake. Eat it, as recommended by the royals themselves either “hot or cold with a green salad and boiled new potatoes.”
Whether you’re planning just a day out or a long weekend stay, get out and explore all that the capital has to offer this summer by staying at one of our easyHotel London locations.
In the past, Notting Hill was known as a multicultural melting pot with a free-spirited attitude for people who couldn't afford Kensington or Chelsea. Fast forward 30 years or so and Notting Hill is now better known for its high-end boutiques, designer stores and award-winning restaurants. But despite the bankers having moved in and the sea of tourists searching for Mr Grant’s blue door, the old spirit of Notting Hill can still be found – you just need to know where to look. In the runup to its most famous export – Notting Hill Carnival, we asked West London's locals about the best spots that go beyond what you see on social media.
If your trip has been cancelled or delayed, or you’re simply looking for an easy place to stay to catch some Zs before your early morning flight, we’ve rounded up three of our most convenient easyHotels near Gatwick Airport.
If you are looking for things to do in East London, than make eating be at the top of your list. There's never been a shortage of places to eat in East London. In fact, some of London’s most infamous eats – think the curry houses of Brick Lane, salt beef bagels and of course, your pie and jellied eel, all hail from London’s cockney roots. And in recent years the area has made room for ventures from chefs and restaurateurs with some real clout in the culinary world. From Tomos Parry of BRAT fame and Margot Henderson, co-founder of Rochelle Canteen, the neighbourhood has come a long way from its small but mighty culinary beginnings. Below, we point you in the direction of some of our favourite restaurants in East London to add to your Google Maps now.