The London summer season

The London social season: Where to see and be seen this summer

07 May 2024 | |By Luxury London

From Royal Ascot to Wimbledon, join the crème of the capital at this year's finest summer happenings in and around London

You can plan a pretty picnic but you can’t predict the weather. For the organisers of the capital’s major summer events, however, it is more than a pretty picnic that’s in the works this season. Whatever the weather, 2024 promises the return of London’s social season with a bang. Whether you favour fashion and flowers or concerts and classic cars, here’s what you need to know about what’s happening in the capital this summer.

Chelsea Flower Show, Chelsea

chelsea flower show

Expect show-stopping displays and horticultural masterpieces at the Royal Hospital Chelsea this May. As ever, the main attraction will be the cutting-edge show gardens, displaying the very best in outdoor design and innovation, while the on-site house plant studio returns this year with a plant clinic poised to help you revive any flagging fauna. Elsewhere, the Discovery Zone will demonstrate the latest developments in horticulture science, the Houseplant Studios in leafy Ranelagh Gardens will provide plant-filled home inspiration, and there will be plenty of opportunities for shopping and fine dining along the way.

From 21-25 May 2024; London Gate, Royal Hospital Chelsea, SW3 4SR. Visit

Glyndebourne Festival, Sussex

glyndebourne festival

Located in the heart of Sussex (and thus close enough to the capital to be a firm fixture in the social set’s calendar), Glyndebourne’s annual operatic festival series returns with its most ambitious line-up yet. Highlights include the timeless opera Tristan und Isolde, an original retelling of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar’s love affair in Handel’s Giulio Cesare, and award-winning Broadway director Diane Paulus’s powerful reinvention of Bizet’s Carmen. Of course, the famous Glyndebourne picnic will also be on offer, complete with luxurious treats from local suppliers.

From 16 May-25 August 2024; New Road, Lewes, BN8 5UU. Visit

Chestertons Polo in the Park, Fulham

chestertons polo in the park

Chestertons Polo in the Park promises three days of high-octane international polo at the spiritual home of the sport. Six teams from cities across the world, including Dubai, New York and Buenos Aires, will compete throughout the tournament – and on the International Friday this year, the English will take on the Irish to compete for the Olympic Trophy. Libations abound courtesy of Mahiki, Champagne Lanson, Pimm’s and Fever Tree, while the inaugural Fulham Food Festival is tipped to be a big attraction, featuring pop-up stalls from the capital’s culinary hotspots including Other Side Fried, Calamari Canteen and more. Wedges at the ready then, those divots won’t stomp themselves.

From 7-9 June 2024; Hurlingham Park, SW6 3RH. Visit

Royal Ascot, Ascot

Royal Ascot 2024

The UK’s most stylish horse racing event will be back in earnest this year, opening up its gates for five days of world-class flat racing, fine dining and pageantry. And when we say stylish, we mean it: Royal Ascot has some of the most exacting standards of dress of the whole season. A top hat and tails are mandatory for men in the Royal Enclosure while women should be covered from knee to shoulder and finish their look with some exceptional millinery. Rules for the Queen Anne Enclosure are slightly more relaxed but suits and ties are still expected, along with fascinators and formal dresses for women. In short, wave goodbye to your loungewear.

From 18-22 June 2024; High Street, Ascot, SL5 7JX. Visit

Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, Piccadilly

royal academy of arts
Image: RCA/David Perry

Perhaps the capital’s most hotly anticipated annual art fair, the RA’s Summer Exhibition offers collectors and connoisseurs alike the opportunity to see and buy works by both established and rising talents across a range of disciplinary practices in the world’s oldest open submission exhibition. Featuring works on display by Royal Academicians, Honorary Academicians and well-known artists – previous years have included work by Tracey Emin, David Hockney and Wolfgang Tillmans – with up to £50,000 worth of prizes up for grabs, the exhibition presents an eclectic collection of contemporary work that reflects the many facets of the art world as we know it today.

From 18 June-18 August 2024; Burlington House, W1J 0BD. Visit



Britain’s favourite tennis event will be back at the All England Lawn Tennis Club this summer, promising to be bigger and better than ever. Traditional ticketing has also made a return this year, as the public ballot tickets reopened for lucky winners – though you are still welcome to queue up or try your luck with resale. The event will, as ever, be televised, so if you aren’t lucky enough to get tickets you can still catch the likes of Kyrgios, Nadal and Djokovic on the BBC. Time to crack out the strawberries and cream.

From 1-14 July 2024; The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Church Road, SW19 5AE. Visit

London Concours, The City

london concours

The capital’s most exclusive classic car show returns to the serene gardens of the Honourable Artillery Company Headquarters in the City of London this June. The event will be staged across three themed days: celebrating six decades of McLaren, then the Jaguar E-Type day and finally, the Supercar Day. Day one will chart the evolution from McLaren's F1 and MP4-12C to rarities like the coachbuilt Elva, while day two will take the form of an upscale garden party held among some of the most enduring icons of automotive design courtesy of Jaguar. The final day will be a celebration of all things supercharged, with Ferraris, Lamborghinis and the like joining the line-up for a special set of supercar awards.

From 4-6 June 2024; The Honourable Artillery Company, City Road, EC1Y 2BQ. Visit

Henley Royal Regatta, Henley-on-Thames

henley regatta london social

London’s premier rowing event will return to the banks of the Thames for the first week of July and, as ever, the options for visitors will be many and varied. While VIPs head straight for the members’ only Stewards’ Enclosure and serious rowing fans take a seat in the Regatta Enclosure, those more interested in donning their finery for a fabulous day by the river are to be found taking advantage of the many official and private hospitality offerings. Looking for a seriously exclusive day out? Rent a boat and get up close to the action as you drift lazily downstream, champagne in hand.

From 2-7 July 2024; Regatta Headquarters, RG9 2LY. Visit

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