We’re having a spell of fine weather which, now the pandemic has abated a little, makes people even more cheerful than ever. The sun’s out, the skies are blue and London has never looked lovelier. (It’s also never looked busier - be prepared for crowds, wherever you go, although aren’t lots of other people part of the fun?!)
Here are a few of our ideas for what you can do in the capital this July, whether it’s music, art, strolling or a little theatre… Whatever you choose, enjoy it!
1. Kew the Music
Running from 5th to 10th July down near Richmond, ‘Kew the Music’ has a great line up this year, including ‘Van the Man’ (the legendary Van Morrison) and Bananarama (all hail Girl Power!) This is an outdoor event so, even better, you can bring picnic blankets, a hamper and some refreshments (lemonade, Pimms, gin and tonics - it’s up to you!). But if you don’t want to lug the basket, don’t despair because there’s plenty of high-quality hot food on sale, and a well-stocked bar! Kew Botanical Gardens is so beautiful and the opportunity to sit in its grounds and enjoy live entertainment - well, what more can we say?
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, TW9 Tel: 020 8332 5655 Tube: Kew (District line and Overground)
2. Somerset House Summer Series
Returning to the capital on July 7th, this series offers 11 unforgettable nights of great gigs. Slap bang in the heart of London, overlooking the River Thames, fans can enjoy world-class acts (either established or emerging) in a number of genes. It’s a lovely setting too - and if you arrive in the capital’s centre early, you can take a walk in nearby Covent Garden or step across the River and enjoy views of the Houses of Parliament from atop the London Eye!
Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA Tel: 020 7845 4600 Tube: Covent Garden (Piccadilly line)
3. The Line
This public art walk stretches all the way from the O2 Centre to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park out in East London. Following the city’s extensive waterways, not only is it a lovely place to stroll but you can also see sculptures and installations by local artists all along the route! The Line generally follows the line of the Greenwich Meridian with a route of 4.5 kms (as the crow flies). But because of all the waterways, allow for about 3 hours if you want to complete the entire stretch.
The Line, 0AX, Olympian Way, London https://the-line.org/visitor-info/ Tube: Stratford or North Greenwich (Jubilee)
4. Hampstead Art Fair
Organised by the Hampstead School of Art, this north London exhibition of sculptures and paintings will be taking place on Sunday 3rd July between 2-5pm. Open to the public, and free too, it offers craft stalls, home-made food stands, ice cream and prizes. It’s truly a great opportunity to pop in and support up-and-coming artists and enjoy yourself too Oh, and it’s a stone’s throw from La Gaffe, so why not pop in on us for a cappuccino afterwards, or even have dinner in our restaurant?
Keats House, 10 Keats Grove, London NW3 (Hampstead tube - northern line) Tel: 020 7332 3868
5. Regents Park Open Air Theatre
A firm favourite every summer, this open air theatre production is a veritable London landmark, not just because of its award-winning performances but the beautiful surroundings in which it is set. The line-up this year is even more eclectic than ever. Legally Blonde (which is already running) ends on 2nd July. Then on 12th July begins the fabled (and much-loved) ‘101 Dalmatians', a musical adaption with lots of puppetry too! The season culminates with something rather dramatic - the Greek Tragedy ‘Antigone’ running from 3rd to 24th September. There’s plenty of food and drink on offer and guaranteed to be busy, because who doesn’t love Regent’s Park in the summer, so don’t delay if you want to purchase a ticket!
Regents Park Open Air Theatre, Inner Circle, Regents Park, NW1 Tel: 0333 400 3562 Tube: Baker Street (Bakerloo, Jubilee, Metropolitan and Circle & Hammersmith lines).
6. Soho Photo.graphy Quarter
London’s West End (which incorporates Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street, Soho, Chinatown and Covent Garden) is a fabulous place to spend time in the summer. Indeed, you could walk here for days and never run out of things to do and see. But something that’s little known, but gaining traction, is the Soho Photography Quarter. This open air area in Ramillies Place, just off Oxford Street, is amazing - it’s entirely pedestrianised and as you walk along it you can gaze at all kinds of interactive art works. Aimed at offering the very best in contemporary art and photography, this summer there are two artists being showcased - Christian Thompson with his ‘Being Human Beings Being’) and ‘Omoiyari’ by Keikan and Gabriel Massan. Brand new to London (it only opened in June 2022) this space really is a welcome addition to the city’s cultural scene, offering a vibrant way to introduce photography to the public. And it’s free!
Soho Photography Quarter, 16-18 Ramillies Place, London WC2 https://thephotographersgallery.org.uk Tube: Oxford Street (Central, Bakerloo and Victoria lines).
If you are heading up to the Capital from out of town, we have a few rooms still available in our hotel in Hampstead - or instead, join us for a bite to eat in our award-winning, family-run Italian restaurant.