Ready for summer? Us too. And this June promises to be one to remember as the capital kickstarts a new season. From exquisite new afternoon teas and the opening of a renowned private member’s club, to an international polo festival and design exhibitions, here are the coolest things to do in London in June 2023.
The afternoon teas: Oblix at The Shard and Dalloway Terrace x Neal’s Yard
For sky-high fine-dining, there’s no better destination than The Shard – the tallest building in the UK. There is an array of dining options on offer, but we recommend Oblix at The Shard on the 32nd floor for a decadent afternoon tea. While gazing across the endless London skyline, enjoy a selection of traditional delights with a modern twist that use ingredients sourced from favourite local purveyors found throughout London’s eclectic boroughs. Start with a selection of savouries – including mini prawn and lobster roll; coronation chicken, mango chutney and coriander sandwiches; and avocado, tomato and buffalo mozzarella tart – before moving onto the sweet pastries. Our favourites are the praline and pear oblix rocher and the passion fruit, mango and pistachio bar, both perfectly paired with a wide range of teas and herbal infusions.
In collaboration with beauty brand Neal’s Yard Remedies and premium mixer company The London Essence Co, the Dalloway Terrace at The Bloomsbury Hotel has transformed its charming street-side space into a vibrant garden oasis, where a new floral installation is taking inspiration from natural herbs and botanical ingredients. The floral display coincides with the launch of a limited-edition afternoon tea which makes use of fresh British produce and sustainably-sourced ingredients. It features a pollinator-friendly code for delights made with bee-friendly ingredients, such as a wild English strawberry and elderflower tartlette and scones using Scottish raspberry jam that was pollinated by the supplier’s bees. Dalloway Terrace will also be serving an exclusive Neal’s Yard herbal tea blend – lemon balm and elderflower ‘biodiversitea’ – as well as a rose and jasmine non-alcoholic cocktail that will incorporate its very own organic rose buds. Plus, £1 from every afternoon tea will be donated to The Bumblebee Conservation Trust.
The restaurants: Sam’s Kitchen, Counter 71 and Aulis
In addition to his other two popular eateries – Anglo-French brasserie Sam’s Riverside and artisanal deli Sam’s Larder – Sam Harrison is expanding his Hammersmith empire with an all-day dining destination, Sam’s Cafe. Open from 1 June, an all-day breakfast mixes traditional favourites (think Goldstein smoked salmon and scrambled eggs and the popular Sam’s Larder granola) with new dishes such as Brixham crab on homemade crumpets with lobster mayonnaise, jalapeño baked eggs and cornbread. Lunch is available until 4pm and features dishes such as kimchi grilled cheese toastie and Nashville hot chicken, alongside a selection of daily specials. Accompany with barista-style coffees, juices, three well-chosen beers or brunch-style cocktails, such as Sam’s Bloody Maria, Strawberry Bellini and Aperol Spritz.
Simon Rogan, of three Michelin-starred L’Enclume fame, has just reopened his Soho restaurant with a new look. Now doubled in size from the original space, the restaurant in St Anne’s Court now seats 12 guests per night (an increase from its original eight) whilst the adjoining lounge provides diners with a relaxed and convivial space to enjoy drinks before or after dinner. Designed by Blacksheep, Aulis’ reimagined interiors bring a newfound homely feel to the central London chef’s table, whilst still reflecting Rogan’s ethos, which stems from the Lake District landscape – the home of his renowned L’Enclume. Headed up by executive chef Oli Marlow, menu highlights include raw sea bream in coal oil; apple and preserved gooseberry tart; braised Launceston lamb belly with miso black garlic; and pig and eel doughnut with caviar and cured pork fat.
Opening later this month and set to be one of Shoreditch’s most intimate restaurants, Counter 71 is the debut opening from chef Joe Laker (formerly of London’s Fenn and Anglo). With just 16 covers per night served on raised marble countertops, Laker’s tasting menus are a culinary ode to the British Isles, and adhere to a ‘fewer-ingredient’ philosophy. The dishes will also make use of the restaurant’s lesser-known British larder, presenting produce not typically tied to the UK but which has been thriving in recent years due to soaring temperatures, such as citrus fruits and chillies. Expect fresh plates such as langoustine broth and pickled carrot, brown crab donut and scallop roe, as well as eel tart, fried seaweed and caviar. Fancy a tipple too? Head downstairs to the sister bar, Lowcountry, which will pay homage to the culture of the American South – best enjoyed in the earthy-green drinking lounge featuring Japanese tiled footrests and boucle upholstery.
The bars: Theo’s on the Terrace, Pan Pacific London’s Terrace on the Plaza and Loah Taproom
Summer is traditionally the season that pop-ups and new cocktail collaborations set up shop in the capital. The latest drinking hole to join the roster is Theo’s on the Terrace, located at the InterContinental Park Lane and launched by acclaimed chef Theo Randall in collaboration with Campari. Be transported to the island of Sicily at the intimate 26-cover terrace, which is set underneath lemon trees and furnished with blue, white and red cushioned seating, marble-topped tables and splashes of foliage – all inspired by the Italian Riviera. Enjoy aperitivo like a true Italian with a selection of antipasti, including bites of arancini, bruschetta, pasta frollo and focaccia, alongside classic Italian cocktails such as Aperol Spritz, Campari Spritz, Americano and Negroni. Those with a sweet tooth should finish with a classic affogato and a shot of chilled espresso or velvety chocolate and hazelnut gelato – buonissimo!
Another new bar to sample this summer is the Terrace on the Plaza by Pan Pacific London, which has collaborated with St-Germain to create a new al fresco dining destination in the heart of The City. From 7 June, the hotel’s expansive outdoor plaza will be transformed into the perfect sipping spot with delicious seafood, refreshing cocktails and verdant foliage. Pick from a selection of St-Germain cocktails, including the signature Spritz – a mix of St-Germain elderflower, prosecco, soda and lemon – as well as the Espresso Martini and Patron Grapefruit Soda, all available on tap to enjoy as the sun sets over the skyscrapers. Feeling peckish? The new food menu features the freshest seafood with Asian accents, including tuna ceviche and a flavourful prawn rojak salad, topped with spicy prawns, pineapple, mooli, cucumber and toasted peanuts.
Set to become London’s first non-alcoholic taproom, Loah – located near Hackney Downs – opens on 7 June with three new core beers on draught for locals and tourists to enjoy. Not only will the Loah taproom be an exciting and stylish space to drink alcohol-free beer, but it will also support emerging artists and illustrators. The taproom’s in-store record shop, run by BCM Radio, will feature an extensive music collection, where visitors can play records on turntables or buy them to take home. There will also be a rotating gallery and exhibition space, curated movie nights, discos, art classes and supper clubs. Watch this space…
Theo’s on the Terrace is open at One Hamilton Place, Park Lane, W1J 7QY, theorandall.com; Terrace on the Plaza opens on 7 June at 80 Houndsditch, EC3A 7AB, panpacific.com; Loah opens on 7 June at Arch D, Hackney Downs Studios, 17 Amhurst Terrace, E8 2BT, loah.beer
The private member’s club: George, Mayfair
Reopening on 1 June after an impressive refurbishment, George, a heritage private members’ club celebrating creativity and culture, is set to be Mayfair’s go-to destination this summer. Designed by Richard and Patricia Caring, George will be home to Mayfair’s largest terrace for dining al fresco, where members can enjoy a Mediterranean-inspired menu from executive chef Marcus Eaves, which will also be served across two thoughtfully-decorated dining rooms. Highlights include courgette flower stuffed with Sicilian prawns and red pepper sauce; slow-cooked shoulder of lamb on a bed of soft polenta with marjoram and black olive; and potato and parmesan gnocchi with spring greens — all best enjoyed in the navy-blue surroundings adorned with art by David Hockney.
Descending the spiral stairs, guests will be welcomed by the antique brass bar and rich mahogany stools of the Hound Bar. The menu, like the decor, will be a departure from upstairs and will focus on tapas-style dishes served alongside Mediterranean-inspired cocktails, crafted from a unique selection of homemade syrups and infusions. Head Mixologist Santo Borzi and his team will be embodying a zero-waste ethos where excess citrus and peels will be used to create house liquors, sherbet and citrus tincture. These, inturn, will used to create cocktails such as The Royal Hound and A Bigger Splash as the bar transforms into a live music hub.
George opens on 1 June at 88-89 Mount Street, W1K 2SR, georgeclub.com
The events: Alain Ducasse x Wolfgang Puck at 45 Park Lane, Mejuri x Chin Chin Dessert Club and Chestertons Polo in the Park
For one night only, the 20-starred Michelin chef Alain Ducasse will cook with the internationally-renowned Wolfgang Puck for an evening of culinary delights at Cut, 45 Park Lane. The pair will be teaming up to create a gastronomic fusion of excellence, with each chef presenting alternate dishes to complete a tasting menu which will be served on 7 June. Both chefs will be accompanied by their award-winning teams – Puck’s headed by Elliot Grover and Ducasse’s by Jean-Philippe Blondet, executive chef at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester. But be quick, this is sure to be booked up fast…
Kicking off London’s social calendar at Hurlingham Park, Fulham, Chestertons Polo in the Park will be returning from 9-11 June. The three-day international polo event – the largest of its kind in the world with six city teams competing from across the globe, from Sydney and Buenos Aires to New York and London – will feature an impressive food market, shopping village, VIP hospitality, and fun for all the family on Sunday. Friday is set to be an action-packed day with England v Ireland as the headline match, before Ladies Day on Saturday, where guests are invited to enjoy the live music, the luxury shopping village and fabulous gardens. Lastly, the Sunday provides a fitting finale to the three-day polo festival, beginning with a pitch invasion which hosts London’s largest kids party, presented by children’s party entertainers Sharky and George. The afternoon sees the culmination of three days of polo, as the champions of the festival are crowned, followed by the Chestertons Polo in the Park ultimate London garden party to finish the weekend off in style.
To celebrate the launch of the limited-edition collection Gelato Charlotte, fine jewellery brand Mejuri will be taking over London’s popular ice-cream parlour Chin Chin Dessert Club from 16-18 June for gem-lovers to peruse the new line. Including rings and earrings, the collection has been created using a cold enamelling technique that is incredibly durable, and is designed in summer tones such as pistachio green, lavender purple and cream. Could there be a more perfect excuse to add to your jewellery collection?
The Alain Ducasse x Wolfgang Puck dinner on 7 June at 45 Park Lane, W1K 1PN, dorchestercollection.com; Chestertons Polo in the Park, from 9-11 June at Hurlingham Park, Fulham, SW6 3RH, polointheparklondon.com; Mejuri x Chin Chin Dessert Club, from 16-18 June at 54 Greek Street, W1D 3DS, mejuri.com
The exhibitions: London Design Biennale
London Design Biennale returns to the capital this month for a three-week art festival at Somerset House. From 1-25 June, the Biennale will take visitors on a sensory journey around Somerset House with over 40 installations. The fourth edition continues the Biennale’s mission to demonstrate how design can better the world we inhabit; exhibitors will share perspectives and solutions to some of the global issues that we all face, from environmental sustainability to the humanitarian response to conflict. There is truly something for everyone: watch Ai-Da Robot showcasing her unique ability to design objects with AI technology, before wandering through a traditional Korean garden via virtual reality as South Korea bridges the gap between past and future. Finally, enjoy Malta’s adaptation of a ‘village square’ in its large-scale installation composed of fabrics using traditional Phoenician-Maltese dyes.
London Design Biennale, from 1-25 June at Strand, WC2R 1LA, londondesignbiennale.com
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