Will 21 June herald the return to life as we used to know it? With the recently renamed Delta variant leaving plans for further easing hanging in the balance, no-one really knows. What we do know, however, is that whatever happens, there are still plenty of ways to mark the start of summer in the capital this month.
From private parties and sumptuous new spas to sophisticated staycation packages, London’s top five-star hotels are really pulling out all the stops to lure back customers this month, while there are plenty of pop-ups and special events to keep the capital's locals entertained as well. Here are the coolest things to do in London in June 2021.
The spas: 45 Park Lane and Sea Containers London
We could all do with a little TLC right now and, thankfully, elegant spas at two of London’s best loved hotels are offering up refreshed spaces for some serious pampering this month. First up is 45 Park Lane, which is part of The Dorchester Collection and has launched a 10,000 square foot wellness space designed by Jouin Manku. Alongside a state-of-the-art gym, 20m swimming pool, hydrotherapy pool, sauna and steam room, a full menu of facials, massages and beauty treatments by Valmont and Aromatherapy Associates is available.
Elsewhere, the Agua spa at Sea Containers London will celebrate the launch of Hedgerow, a new product line of house-made herbal salves, butters and blended oils this month. Inspired by British hedgerows and foregrounding botanical ingredients grown in urban environments, including peppermint, lemon balm, rosemary and marigold, the new range has been put to work refreshing the spa’s signature treatment menu, which features massages, manicures and pedicures.
The shopping: Christopher Kane More Joy pop-up
London-based designer Christopher Kane will be celebrating the latest in its hugely popular More Joy collection with a pop-up at Selfridges this month. Open for four weeks from 7 June, the pop-up will showcase the full More Joy collection which, as the name suggests, is designed to be accessible, aspirational and banish negative thoughts with its messages of daily affirmation. Among the summer specific designs, including sliders, swimwear, Breton pieces, will be classics from previous collections and a new collaboration with Le Specs, comprising two of the brand's signature unisex sunglass designs refreshed in More Joy's bold black, white and red colour palette.
The al fresco entertainment: Between The Bridges
You may have vowed never to drink outside again when you were sat shivering in a pub garden in mid-April, but the time has finally arrived to intentionally organise al fresco nights out. Thank the hospitality powers that be, then, for Between The Bridges, London’s biggest beer garden which has just set up shop in Southbank. Boasting an extensive menu of beers, wines and ciders, alongside street food from the likes of El Pollote, Rice Guys, Burger & Beyond and The Cheese Wheel, live DJ sets, crazy golf and tejo (a Colombian throwing game) make this the perfect destination for sunny weekends. There will also be regular bottomless drag brunches and weekend markets themed around art, sustainability, jewellery and homewares.
The fitness class: Nobu Pilates
If you’re still trying to shift those banana bread pounds but are a looking for a workout that’s a little chicer than your local gym can offer, Mayfair’s Nobu Hotel is here to help. Held in the Portman Square venue’s light-filled Reformer Pilates studio, the brand’s unique spin on classic Pilates sees it blended with high-intensity training for an effective, sculpting workout. Three classes are available – Power, Precision and Pure – with each designed to be rewarding yet challenging while building endurance, strength and helping you master classic Pilates techniques.
The party: B.Entertained at The Bulgari Hotel
We all have a big birthday, anniversary or milestone we weren't able to celebrate over the past year and, if you’re looking to make up for missed opportunities now restrictions are easing, Knightsbridge’s Bulgari Hotel is on hand to help. To celebrate its reopening, the hotel has launched a new B.Entertained in-suite entertainment offering. Every package includes a one-night stay at the hotel, as well as a range of experiences designed to be tailored to create your perfect party. Think custom menus designed by executive chef Adriano Cavagnini, tablescaping from Maison Margaux, a DJ set by Ana Her or the Collyer Twins, close-up magic by Christopher Howell or Martin Sanderson or an intimate concert by Nolita Social’s resident artist Abbie Adi.
Those looking to really impress can also call on the likes of Skye Gyngell, Phil Howard and Simon Rogan for a private culinary experience or book the hotel’s cinema for an exclusive screening, while a range of talks, masterclasses and demonstrations from the hotel’s resident experts are also available. Ten per cent of the proceeds from each stay will also be donated to the Bulgari Virus Free Fund to support Oxford University’s research into manufacturing and testing vaccines.
The afternoon teas: It's A Little Bit Mad at The Lanesborough
You may think there’s only so much you can do with the time-honoured combination of sandwiches, scones and cakes that makes up a classic afternoon tea but, ever the innovators, London’s top pastry chefs are finding inspiration in unusual sources this month. Take, for example, The Lanesborough, whose Michelin-starred Céleste restaurant will be serving It’s A Little Bit Mad, an afternoon tea inspired by new Disney film Cruella, this month. Taking its cues from the iconic villain's monochrome and red colour palette, standout pastries include Fashion Makes Art Makes Fashion (a black and red chocolate and raspberry Battenberg with cranberry jam) and Totally Unexpected (a red choux bun with caramelised bananas and pecan nut crema). We highly recommend adding the Scene Stealer cocktail to your order: Bombay Bramble gin mixed with lemon juice, cherry juice and simple syrup, topped with white apricot air foam.
The hotel stay: The Suite Dining Experience at The Savoy
If you’re looking to get a little glamour back into your life there are few more luxurious staycations than The Savoy’s new Suite Dining Experience. Designed in collaboration with the Louis Roederer champagne house, the package includes a one-night stay in an elegant suite overlooking the Thames within which to enjoy an exclusive private dinner created by the hotel’s in-house team. Dishes, including Carlingford oysters with yuzu and black pearls and seared Welsh lamb fillet with sweet potato fondant and citrus sauce, have each been paired with some of Louis Roederer’s finest champagnes, including its much lauded Cristal 2013 vintage.
The nightlife: The Windmill
Fresh from a £10 million refurbishment, iconic Soho nightlife spot The Windmill (of Mrs Henderson Presents fame) will reopen its doors this month, offering guests an immersive theatre and dining experience worthy of its storied history. Set across three storeys, the space has been divided into distinct spaces, each offering a slightly different style of hospitality. The Theatre will act as the venue’s main restaurant, where a menu by Michelin-starred chef Andrew McLeish, featuring treats including fresh ceviche, tuna and black sesame tacos and truffle parmesan taglioni, is accompanied by a modern take on cabaret overseen by Elizabeth West and Camilla Bishti. Elsewhere drinks can be taken in the opulent upstairs Palais de Luxe bar or in the basement speakeasy named after Laura Henderson, while the Royal Box has been repurposed as a private dining room.
The restaurant: Galvin at Windows
The Galvin brothers’ much loved Park Lane restaurant celebrates 15 years of residence on the 28th floor of the Hilton this summer and, to celebrate, is offering a special five-course anniversary menu. A nostalgic journey through the restaurant’s history, each course has been created by one of the five head chefs that have shaped the kitchen over the last 15 years: Jeff Galvin (crab lasagne), Joo Won (kimchi risotto), André Garrett (confit salmon), Marc Hardiman (beef fillet and short rib tartlet) and Chris Galvin (apple tarte tatin). Created in partnership with Perrier-Jouët, the first course will be served with a glass of Perrier-Jouët Blanc de Blancs while head sommelier Rudina Arapi has paired each subsequent course with wines designed to highlight the restaurant’s signature French and Asian flavours.
The foodie staycation: Rick Stein x The Goring
Royal warranted luxury hotel The Goring has teamed up with Cornwall’s king of seafood, Rick Stein, to create the ultimate foodie staycation package in the capital. Available from 14-20 June, to coincide with Rick and Jack Stein’s pop-up at the hotel, the one-night stay includes a guaranteed room upgrade, three-course lunch or dinner for two from the Rick Stein à la carte menu at The Goring’s Veranda restaurant and a full English breakfast the next day. Cornish-inspired seafood dishes from the pop-up menu include sea bass ceviche with red chilli, Dover sole meunière and crispy smoked mackerel with green mango salad, while those treating themselves to the staycation package will also be sent home with a signed copy of Stein’s latest book.