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Summer Pop-Ups in London

Whether you want to dine while suspended 100 feet in the air above Canary Wharf, drink cocktails in a garden setting in Kings Cross or feast on a King Crab with a glass of Krug Champagne, read on for our guide to the best summer pop-ups.

London in The Sky

London in the Sky is an open-air pop-up restaurant suspended 100 feet from the ground featuring five chefs from some of London’s best restaurants.

London in the sky

Enjoy breakfasts from Anna Hansen’s The Modern Pantry, and lunch and dinner services from some of the capital’s best Michelin-starred Chefs and restaurants including Atul Kochhar from Benares; Club Gasgon’s Pascal Aussignac; Angler’s Tony Fleming; L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon’s Xavier Boyer; and Alyn Williams from Alyn Williams at The Westbury.

Each of these restaurants will serve guests a Champagne Taittinger reception followed by a selection of signature dishes (three courses at lunch, five at dinner) matched with wine.

London in the Sky will take place at Canary Wharf from 12th to the 21st September 2014, accommodating 22 guests per sitting.

Krug and Krustacean

Champagne house, Maison Krug, is launching its Krug & Krustacean pop-up in September in collaboration with the newly opened Beast restaurant in London. Krug & Krustacean will be open on London’s South Bank from 3 - 7 September 2014.

Krug and Krustacean

Glasses of Krug Grande Cuvée will be served with fresh Norwegian king-crab claws or king-crab club sandwiches for the ultimate luxurious food experience.

Dine at The Top of The Gherkin for 6 Weeks only!

If you like your restaurants to have a view, now is your chance to have one of the best views London has to offer from the 39th floor of The Gherkin.

Searcys Club at The Gherkin

Normally reserved exclusively for the private members of Searcys Club or those who work in the building, from today until 4 September, the restaurant will be open to the public for lunch and dinner.

Make sure to go for a drink in the glass-domed bar at the very top of The Gherkin to experience 360 degree views of London.

The Summer Terrace at The Gilbert Scott

The Gilbert Scott restaurant in King’s Cross next to the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel has unveiled its summer terrace in collaboration with Champagne house Moet & Chandon.

The Summer garden at The Gilbert Scott

The Gilbert Scott’s Moët Ice Impérial Garden will be open for the duration of summer offering a light menu, afternoon tea and a range of cocktails.

Summer Cocktails at The Corinthia

Ok, so not strictly a pop-up, but an interesting menu of summer cocktails at the gorgeous Bassoon Bar at The Corinthia hotel, all elaborately garnished for a dramatic effect.

The Ginger Rogers Fizz at the Bassoon Bar

Try ‘The Ginger Roger Fizz’ with Bombay Sapphire gin, fresh pink grapefruit and Luxardo Marashino liqueur served on ice with lemonade (very refreshing) or  ‘That’s Amore’ with Italian cherry wine blended with strawberry liqueur and Aperol served with prosecco and fresh berries. The Bassoon Bar is one of my favourite hotel bars in London.

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Note: Nobody has paid or offered anything for free to be featured here – it’s a listing based on what we think our readers would like to know about – read our editorial policy here.

MODE: Restaurant, Bar and Club in Notting Hill

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that Notting Hill must be in want of a decent place to go out that’s open later than 1am and that’s more spacious than the Notting Hill Arts Club.

A venue under the Westway just off the top end of Portobello in Acklam Road has always been a promising place that has never (or at least during my decade of living in or around Notting Hill) quite delivered.

First it was called the Subterranea, then Neighbourhood, then the Supper Club… Now MODE – a restaurant, bar and club – that opened in April and promises a new ‘chapter’ every six months.

MODE Collective in Notting Hill

Mode’s Chapter One’s setting is inspired by the industrial revolution – a small plane is hanging in the main room and there’s a flame-throwing pipe organ saved from a disused church behind the stage.

When we visit one Friday night, the hostess is wearing a uniform that I can’t really attribute to any particular character – something between a dominatrix and KGB spy.

The evening is called ‘No Glasto No Cry’ – Glastonbury is on, so various bands are up on the stage to cheer those who didn’t get (or didn’t want to get) tickets to the famous mud & rock festival at Worthy Farm.

MODE Collective in Notting Hill

The space at Mode feels much cosier and interesting than when Supper Club or Neighbourhood were here. It’s full of Notting Hill’s fashionable and beautiful wining and dining and listening to music.

My guest Melanie and I share Native Lobster, Avocado & Pink Grapefruit Salad (£7.50) and Panko Breadcrumb Calamari with Chorizo (£8) from the small plates selection.

I go for Grilled Sea Bass Fillet With Baby Zucchini, Butternut Squash & Fennel Vinaigrette (£16.50) for my main course and my guest orders Roast Free-Range Chicken Breast with Grilled Courgettes (£15.50).

The chicken and the calamari are the definite winners here; at first I think the sea bass is a bit bland, but then I discover the fennel vinaigrette underneath and it transforms the dish.

I’m also totally in love with the Negroni Corleone cocktail – the usual gin, vermouth and Campari is accompanied with Solerno blood orange liqueur (£9).

MODE collective in Notting Hill

The Mode Margarita (Olmeca Altos Blanco tequila shaken with rosemary infused agave syrup and a hint of Limoncello, served straight up with a citrus salt rim, (£10)) is fabulous as well.

We enjoy a dessert of Balsamic Strawberries with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (£6.50) and the selection of sorbets, well… is a selection of sorbets (£6.50).

As we walk out of MODE, we admire Andrew Crosse’s installation at the entrance – LED letters forming its name and framing the entrance.

We conclude that the drinks here are amazing, the food is good and decently priced, the toilets could be nicer, but the venue is arty and interesting and the atmosphere friendly and fun.

Just to make sure I have experienced everything MODE has to offer, I go back the next night and dance until 3am.

If you like eating, drinking and dancing under the one roof, you will also like Paradise by Way of Kensal Green. Sign up to the blog at the link below:

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Disclaimer: we dined as guests of MODE Collective but this wouldn’t affect what we write.

Mele e Pere – Italian Restaurant in Soho

From the enchanting coloured glass window display to the prosecco on tap, Mele e Pere is well worth a visit.

Food is labelled modern, regional Italian cooking, and it’s very reasonable too, with wines starting at just £3.50 per glass. If you’re there just to prop up the bar, the homemade vermouth is a must-try.

Mele e Pere in Soho

A spacious basement floor happily marries more casual bar dining alongside the restaurant proper where the lighting and acoustics make Mele e Pere a space where you can be loud, stay an hour longer and order a bottle too many.

Mele e Pere, an Italian restaurant on Brewer Street in Soho

We ate from the extensive à la carte menu and opted for sharing dishes to start. Starters were big and a little on the dense and heavy side but main courses were better, consisting of steak and a green parmesan-laced salad and a delightful ragu tortelleni.

The light-as-a-feather rum baba (to share) was more than enough to round off a good dinner.

The wine list is, as you’d expect, mainly Italian and is very easy to navigate and really well priced – staff had a good understanding of food and wine matching, guiding us very well towards a great Tuscan Chiante (£32.50).

Mele e Pere, an Italian restaurant on Brewer Street in Soho

This 100 cover restaurant really does cater for its neighbourhood crowd and welcomes the ad agencies, PRs, corporates, tourists and date crowd in equal measure.

Mele e Pere, an Italian restaurant on Brewer Street in Soho

With excellent prosecco on tap, great pastas and open 7 days a week, Mele e Pere really is worth a visit.

If you liked this review of Mele e Pere, read our other recent restaurant reviews including Paradise Kensal Green and Club Gascon.

Disclaimer: we were invited to review Mele e Pere, but this doesn’t affect what we would say – read our editorial policy here.

Barnyard Restaurant Review

Barnyard is the second outing from Ollie Dabbous, of the eponymous restaurant fame. The concept is totally different to that of its slightly older sister (Dabbous only opened in 2012) and Barnyard sits comfortably in the fancy fast food bracket that is de rigueur on the scene.

That’s not to say that Barnyard isn’t unique – it offers something contemporary and certainly refreshes an otherwise drab stretch of restaurants on Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia.

Barnyard, Ollie Dabbous's new London restaurant So, first things first, the no reservations concept proved a little tricky for the gruff staff considering our review had been booked in, but finally we found a spare table near the windows and looked out over the lengthy bar and larger restaurant area at the rear.

The interiors are sweet, rustic and with clever design touches keeping it the right side of twee: staff in checked shirts offering just the right amount of Barnyard-chic.

First up was corn bread, and I admit, my first foray into the substantial treat. As such I have absolutely no comparison to offer, but as far as I can gather it was excellent.

Next up was the famous sausage roll that restaurant critics have been tumbling head over heels about – it was excellent quality and clearly expertly put together, but it was just too meaty for our tastes.

The proportions of pastry to filling just didn’t work for me, but I’m prepared to bow down to the greater knowledge of the aforementioned critics and recommend you give it a whirl.

The food at Barnyard on Charlotte Street

The chicken wings in paprika, garlic and lemon were outlandishly good though, and completely topped the meal for us.

Sides were great (a hearty cabbage dish was hefty and moreish) although lighter additions would have been welcomed to accompany the substantial and meaty mains.

Cocktails, also known as Shandies at Barnyard, were also very good with refreshing combinations that kept a good balance between bitter and fruity (I had the Hedgerow Shandy).

The bar area at Barnyard in Fitzrovia

The unusual Shakes and Meads on offer set the drinks menu apart and clearly outline this as a serious bar offering in its own right too, and in fact the kitchen shuts every afternoon but the bar remains open all day.

Barnyard is one to use when you need a quick fix of serious food in a playful setting, and it manages to bridge the gap between formal and informal dining via Ollie’s excellent cooking, serious ingredient choices, and the relentless pursuit of something just off the beaten track.

Read some of our recent restaurant reviews such as Paradise (By Way of Kensal Green) or Club Gascon in Clerkenwell.

Disclaimer: we were invited to review Barnyard, but this does not affect what we write – we only ever write what we think – view our editorial policy here.

Paradise (By Way of Kensal Green)

If I had to pick one word to sum-up Paradise (By Way of Kensal Green), it would be eclectic. Offering a pub, a restaurant, private dining, a club and various terraces, you could spend your whole weekend here under the same roof.

It’s a vast space that’s nicely separated into various sections, so if you’re dining in the restaurant, you don’t need to worry about the club upstairs and vice versa. Paradise is as popular for a drink in the bar as it is for late night weekend revelry and evening dining.

The Bar at Paradise in kensal Green

The ground floor pub (which has a lovely private dining room on the right as you walk in) leads on to the restaurant, which could be described as both opulent and casual.

Chandeliers and dramatic antiques feature alongside mismatched wooden chairs and tables, with the low lighting creating an intimate, sexy atmosphere.

The main dining room at Paradise (By Way of Kensal green)

The menu focuses on British food and ingredients – starters include a lovely beetroot, goats’ curd and honey salad and crab on toast with fennel and wild rocket.

Mains feel firmly in gastropub territory with dishes such as beer-battered halloumi, crushed peas and matchstick chips; lamb chops with spring greens and new potatoes;and cod with mussels, spinach and samphire.

The private dining room at Paradise Kensal Green

My sirloin steak with Béarnaise sauce and Chips, however, was disappointing – a bad steak can often ruin an evening, but we were having such a good time that it strangely didn’t matter.

The music got louder, we ordered our sixth bottle of wine (I won’t tell you how many of us there were…) and we continued having a very enjoyable night out.

Whether you want your evening to include drinks, dinner or late night partying, my advice would be to take a trip to Paradise via Kensal Green and do all three under the same roof.

Read about London’s latest restaurant openings or read some of our other restaurant reviews such as Alain Ducasse’s Rivea at The Bulgari Hotel or French classic Club Gascon.

Disclaimer: on this occasion I dined as a guest of Paradise’s, but have eaten there before and paid in full, so, as ever, we only ever write what we really think whether we were invited by the restaurant or otherwise. View our editorial policy here.

The Month Ahead – New Openings and Events – July 2014

Welcome to our summary of the new openings and events to have on your radar for the month ahead.

From a new steakhouse in Knightsbridge from Hawksmoor to a fabulous dining, drinking and dancing Club Room from Bob Bob Ricard to a new Peruvian restaurant from Lima, read on for your July agenda.

Searcys Club at The Gherkin

If you like your restaurants to have a view, now is your chance to have one of the best views London has to offer from the 39th floor of The Gherkin.

Searcys Club at The Gherkin

Normally reserved exclusively for the private members of Searcys Club or those who work in the building, from today until 4 September, the restaurant will be open to the public for lunch and dinner.

Make sure to go for a drink in the glass domed bar at the very top of The Gherkin to experience 360 degree views of London.

Hawksmoor, Knightsbridge

The fifth site from the popular Hawksmoor group will open on 3 July in Knightsbridge. In keeping with the Hawksmoor tradition the menu will feature sumptuous steaks from ethically reared British cows and a range of new dishes and cocktails.

Inspired by their recent travels to Japan, Hong Kong, China and Singapore, the founders are introducing an oriental twist to their seafood and shellfish offering. Except the classic Hawksmoor formula, which always delivers.

Bob Bob Ricard’s Club Room, Soho

The Club Room at Bob Bob Ricard combines dining, drinking and dancing in a gorgeous setting in the basement of the restaurant in Soho.

The Club Room at Bob Bob Ricard

Expect the famous Bob Bob Ricard tiered booths around a small atrium, mahogany inlaid backgammon dance floor, decadent red and gold banquettes and burgundy marble tables, without forgetting the “Press for champagne” buttons.

The space is gorgeous and you will have an absolute blast! (I’m talking from experience!)

LIMA Floral, Covent Garden

The team behind LIMA are opening a second site on Garrick Street this month that will showcase an interesting new concept.

Alongside traditional cooking techniques, LIMA Floral will utilise unique and edible plants from the Amazon basin and The Andes. In addition to the main restaurant there will be a Piqueos Bar serving traditional Peruvian tapas dishes.

Toro Gordo, Hammersmith

Miguel Caffareno, formerly of La Bodegra Negra in Soho, is opening a Spanish tapas restaurant and bar in West London, a stone’s throw from Hammersmith.

On 15 July Toro Gordo will open its doors, serving simple and authentic flavours, Spanish wines and fiery Latino and Asian-flavoured infusion cocktails.

Open for lunch and dinner and brunch on weekends, Toro Gordo will keep you guessing with an eclectic mix of music from morning until late.

Pizza Pilgrims, Kingly Court

Pizza Pilgrims will open a new branch this month in Kingly Court, Soho, offering a simple and tasty range of pizzas and something new in the form of a Frigittoria, serving delicious fried specialities.

Expect Arancini, Pizza Fritta – fried calzones – and deep-fried courgette flowers. Round the evening off with indulgent puddings: gelati from Bocca di Lupo’s Gelupo or their signature Nutella pizza ring.

Barrafina, Covent Garden

Opening on 7 July, Barrafina on Adelaide Street will be serving classic and contemporary tapas alongside several new dishes such as carpaccio of Mediterranean prawns with bonito and char grilled milk fed lamb’s kidneys.

There will be a walk-in only policy, apart from the lower ground floor space with a private kitchen and bar that can be privately hired.

Feast, Tobacco Dock, Wapping

Join Hutong, Aqua Shard, Chop Shop, Dirty Bones and more at Tobacco Dock, Wapping, from 31 July until 3 August in celebration of London’s restaurants, street food and bars.

At this London street food festival you can take part in masterclasses, enjoy a fragrance vs wine sensory experience, tea ceremonies and absinthe tastings.

The Bombay Sapphire Ultimate Gin & Tonic Terrace, Rosewood London, Holborn

From 22 July until 29 August the Bombay Sapphire Ultimate Gin & Tonic Terrace is pitching up in the grand courtyard of the Rosewood London.

Enjoy a varied menu of cocktail twists based on the ultimate G&T or partake in a masterclass where you will learn about the intricacies of the spirit and its exotic botanicals. This alfresco pop-up is open daily from 12pm until late.

The New Zealand Cellar

The New Zealand Cellar is an online supplier of premium New Zealand wine to the United Kingdom.

New Zealand Wine Cellar

With over 150 wines from 50 vineyards, all distinguished by price, region, grape variety and availability and guaranteed delivery between 1-5 days, this is the place to get your fix of exciting and rare New World wines.

The Bar at Bellamy’s, Mayfair

The Bar at Bellamy’s opened last month adjacent to the existing restaurant, offering classic cocktails, an extensive wine list, oysters and shellfish cocktails. The Bar at Bellamy’s exudes ageless elegance with its vintage posters, wooden panelled booths and leather banquettes.

Silk & Grain, The City

Silk & Grain is a new destination cocktail bar and restaurant that will open this month in the City. Savour signature cocktails at the ground floor bar, conditioned in metal, glass and leather for extra complexity and depth, while snacking on bar bite such as black pudding “scotched” quails eggs and crispy pigs ears.

The first floor restaurant will have a British steak focussed menu cooked on a Josper grill with homemade sauces and infused butters.

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The Bingham Hotel and Restaurant Review

Situated on the banks of the River Thames, The Bingham is a beautiful boutique hotel located in Richmond-upon-Thames.

With good train links to central London and Kew Gardens and Richmond Park close by, The Bingham makes for a romantic countryside getaway within the city (well, Zone 4).

The view from The Bingham Hotel in Richmond

Set in a Georgian townhouse overlooking the river, The Bingham is a boutique hotel with 15 contemporary and individually designed bedrooms and a modern British restaurant.

On arrival we were shown directly to our river view double, where the early evening sun glinted pleasantly off the river.

The contemporary room was bright and airy with bespoke art deco furniture and a beautiful view of the hotel garden, terrace, The Thames and leafy surroundings.

The rooms at The Bingham Hotel in Richmond

The restaurant has a lovely view of the river with French doors opening on to a terrace, where diners were already enjoying an al fresco aperitif thanks to the balmy late-May evening.

Davide Durante, the restaurant manager, was very attentive and enthusiastic when we opted for the Mystery Menu, a concept that he has been working closely with head chef, Mark Jarvis, to establish.

The duo want guests to eat food in the absence of preconceived ideas about what they are about to eat and comparisons with previous experiences; an initiative that really puts the food in the spotlight.

The blank white menu page piqued our curiosity, along with many others apparently – Davide informed us that on the Mystery Menu inauguration 16 out of the 34 covers opted to try it.

The Restaurant at The Bingham Hotel in Richmond

To start we enjoyed a tomato and celery gazpacho with croutons that was paired with a small shot of gin. While the gazpacho was light and refreshing neither of us could finish the gin, a strange accompaniment to the start of a meal.

Our next course was sea bream with pea purée and horseradish foam, a lovely combination of fresh flavours, paired with a well-balanced dry Alsatian Riesling.

Next up was wood pigeon and cabbage in a sugary and tangy cherry sauce; the pigeon was tender, complimented by the moreish cherry sauce.

This was followed by a goats’ cheese parfait wrapped in red pepper jelly, which was very nice, although I have to admit we were unsure as to what it was until the big reveal at the end of the dinner.

Dessert consisted of caramel mousse and milk ice cream, a generous portion to round off a memorable dinner.

I would highly recommend the Mystery Menu; it was both intriguing and exciting not knowing what we would be presented with, although we felt that each dish should be explained either when they present you with it or immediately after you finish that particular dish.

After dinner we enjoyed a couple of cocktails in the cocktail lounge bar, a glamorous affair with a high ceiling, low lighting and plush armchairs with a cocktail list that sets the classics alongside several Bingham specialities.

Breakfast is served in the main dining room with a generous selection of pastries, fruit salads, yoghurt, berries, cereal, and breads, and the cooked breakfast has all of the British classics, from a full English to kippers or porridge.

For the more active of you, borrow a Bingham Pashley bike and explore the local area – the staff will provide maps and recommended cycling routes.

The Bingham is a true British gem with attentive and friendly staff making for an intimate atmosphere, perfect for a romantic weekend break.

Be sure to ask for a river view room where you can watch on as kayaks and barges float past.

To plan your next trip to London with a stay at The Bingham, contact Bon Vivant Travel now or read our guide to the best boutique hotels in London.

Disclaimer: We stayed at The Bingham as guests of the hotel, but we only write what we really think and only feature if we think it is good enough to recommend – view our editorial policy here.

Diciannove (19) – Instinctively Italian

Those who know me will tell you I’m something of an Italophile. When I was 19 I went to live in Florence.

It was my first flirtation with the city, and indeed the country as an adult, and my time spent there has since formed the basis of a love affair with the whole of the peninsula that hasn’t ceased to grow.

Fittingly, it was with this moment in time in my head that I headed to Diciannove – Italian for 19 – last week. ‘Instinctively Italian’ this restaurant forms part of the culinary offerings at the Crowne Plaza, London City hotel, just a short stroll over from newly-revamped Blackfriars station.

Dicannove Italian restaurant near Blackfriars

Youthful and contemporary in feel and design, Diciannove offers a window onto Italian cuisine perhaps synonymous with the attitude of a 19 year old – eager, interested, curious and wanting to be grown up; perhaps it already is?

On a Thursday evening the bright and airy space, lined with literature at one end with which to feed your mind if the food doesn’t sate you enough, is filled with large groups of friends getting together in a convivial atmosphere – such is the Italian way.

It is also equally home to one or two couples, those here for a quick aperol spritz, and some lone diners here on business.

Diciannove Bar and Restaurant

If you don’t have enough to talk about already at the table then the antipasti at Diciannove will add a kick to your conversation – watch as plates full of mortadella di bologna, prosciutto toscano, the ubiquitous Italian carciofi (artichokes), burrata mozzarella with a texture from the gods and deliciously salty parmeggiano reggiano arrive.

The salads come drenched with more sunshine than the London skies outside, prompting evenings that will radiate just as much brightness from inside out.

The pasta here is the star of the show at Diciannove – moreish parcels of meat-filled ravioli or home-made gnocchi come soaked in rich sauces whilst the risottos also sound tantalising.

Ricotta & Spinach Gnocchi at Diciannove

Mains offer the classics. The monkfish comes well recommended, chosen over and above the pork belly and roast veal – another Italian staple, and something my 19 year-old self dined on for the first time back then in David’s city.

The wine list too offers Italy on a journey through the regions: dolcetto d’alba, arneis, cortese and nebbiolo from northern piedmont, Pinot Bianco from the Alto Adige, through to Greciano and Nero d’Avola from Sicily.

This is a happy, colourful place for a mid-week meal if you happen to be in the area and need an easy Italian fill.

If you liked this review of Diciannove, read one of our other recent restaurant reviews including Rivea London, Alain Ducasse’s new London restaurant at The Bulgari Hotel?

The Best Parks in London – Open Spaces To Enjoy The Summer

The longer evenings, warmer temperatures and higher pollen count can only mean one thing…summer is on its way! From some of the greats to hidden gems, here is our pick of the best open spaces, gardens, and best parks in London.

The view from Inn The Park

When it comes to exploring London’s outdoor offerings you can’t forget the prestigious Royal Parks, a collection of Parks that are hereditary possessions of the Crown.

Regent’s Park

Regent’s Park in North West London, a former hunting ground of Henry VIII, has plenty of alfresco attractions: from London Zoo to the Open Air Theatre, boating lake and a timber tree house.

If you are in need of some peace and quiet, head to St John’s Lodge Gardens, beautifully maintained and away from the crowds.

Regent's Park

Hyde Park

The great expanse of Hyde Park boasts a range of recreational activities, from swimming and boating on the Serpentine to browsing the Serpentine Galleries and visiting landmarks such as the Speaker’s Corner, Diana Princess of Wales Memorial and The Joy of Life fountains.

Hyde Park

Green Park

Green Park, the smallest of the Royal Parks, provides a great picnic spot in Central London just beyond the Ritz and next to Buckingham Palace; set up camp in one of the stripy deck chairs and marvel at the beauty of one of London’s best parks.

Green Park

Richmond Park

The highest point in Richmond Park affords uninterrupted views of the London skyline. This is the largest of the Royal Parks where you will be able to observe wild deer running freely. Be sure to visit the Isabella Plantation, an ornamental woodland garden full of exotic plants.

Richmond Park Isabella Plantation

Hampstead Heath

Escape to the country without leaving the city with a trip to Hampstead Heath, just a few kilometres from Central London. This wild and undulating expanse of green space spans nearly 800 acres, with woodland, playing fields, swimming ponds and meadows.

Hike up Parliament Hill for unbeatable views or take a dip in the Hampstead ponds on a hot summer’s day.

Hampstead Heath

Clapham Common

Clapham Common in South West London is a hub of recreational activity, buzzing with all manner of outdoor activities. It is also home to the largest bandstand in London where you can catch open-air concerts in the summer.

Victoria Park

Situated in London’s Tower Hamlets, Victoria Park is a good place to take restless children. Kids can choose from the large natural V&A playground or the Pool playground with fun water features.

Holland Park

Discover the country’s first dahlias in Holland Park, introduced by the wife of the late Earl of Holland, whose gardens are named after the Jacobean mansion, Holland House, which they surround.

The Japanese-style Kyoto Gardens with their koi carp and cascading waterfall are not to be missed.

Holland Park Kyoto Gardens

Inner Temple Gardens

Located in the Temple area of Central London lie the peaceful Inner Temple Gardens, within the precincts of Inner Temple, one of the four Inns of the Court in London.

A place of tranquillity in the hustle and bustle, you will find a 3-acre garden with wide lawns, rare trees and herbaceous borders.

Mount Street Gardens

If in need of a break while exploring the luxury boutiques of Mount Street in Mayfair, or the surrounding gourmet offerings, Mount Street Gardens are beautifully maintained and almost hidden. Perch on one of the many benches and admire the trees of this exotic hideaway.

Mount Street Gardens

Victoria Embankment Gardens

Between Waterloo and Hungerford bridges you can retreat to the landscaped Victoria Embankment Gardens, where you will find an unmatched tranquillity in this tourist area. In the summer recline on deckchairs and take in a bandstand performance.

Primrose Hill

Best approached via the picturesque Regent’s canal, Primrose Hill is one of North London’s most popular open spaces. After hiking up its steep slopes you will be rewarded with panoramic views across the city from one of the best parks and open spaces in London.

Lincoln’s Inn Fields

Lincoln’s Inn Fields is the largest public square in London, a grassy expanse that is flanked by several historical buildings. After strolling around the square, playing a spot of tennis or picnicking on the lawn why not pay a visit to the Sir John Soane’s Museum?

If you enjoyed this guide to the best parks in London, sign up to our blog at the link below. You may also enjoy some of our other articles like where to go for brunch or where to go on a first date or our guide to the city’s best boutique hotels.

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Photos courtesy of Kevan Davis, Paul White, damo1977, London looksEllen Munro, Robert Moore, Eugene Regis.

La Sultana, Marrakech

Within the bustling, walled Medina of Marrakech is the magical La Sultana spa hotel, which has recently been renovated into what feels like a palace.

La Sultana Marrakech

In the historical heart of Marrakech, La Sultana is a hotel which, despite its central location, eludes tranquillity and a sense of calm. Part of The Great Hotels Of The World, this is the perfect destination for those needing to relax and recuperate.

Accommodation consists of 28 individually designed, charmingly decorated rooms and suites, all located around exquisite riads. We stayed in one of their Prestige Rooms, offering a luxurious atmosphere and elegance.

La Sultana Marrakech

There is plenty to entertain you too: relax poolside or on the sun-swept roof garden; try out their gym; play snooker; or simply visit Marrakech old town which is only a stone’s throw away.

We spent most of our time on the roof garden, a wonderful space to recharge, offering a bird’s eye view of the busy streets below.

La Sultana Marrakech

 

In the evening, this garden is transformed into a romantic, candlelit restaurant offering traditional cuisine to reflect the flavours of the Orient and Morocco.

We had dinner here twice and can highly recommend the Traditional Lamb Couscous and the Braised Beef shank slowly cooked in a clay pot – all produce is fresh, seasonal and packed with flavour. For the ultimate epicurean delight, La Sultana offers popular Moroccan cooking master classes with the Head Chef.

Spa lovers will similarly delight at La Sultana; a timeless, elegant retreat, it offers not one but two traditional hammams, a Jacuzzi, sauna and much more.

La Sultana Marrakech

If you are looking to unwind after a long day haggling at the souk, then one of their traditional treatments will have you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated in no time.

Staff are extremely friendly, attentive but never over the top. This hotel is a real find that ticks all the boxes.

Concierge’s tip: Make sure to also check out La Sultana Oualidia, 2 hours’ drive from Marrakech, famous for oyster farms and flocks of pink flamingos and owned by the same people who are behind La Sultana Marrakech.

If you would like Bon Vivant Travel to book your next trip to Marrakech with access to perks and benefits like free upgrades, complimentary breakfast, late check-out and VIP amenities, get in touch now!

If you liked our review of La Sultana Marrakech, read some of our other hotel reviews including Royal Mansour, Four Seasons Marrakech and Palais Namaskar.

La Sultana Marrakech is a member of Great Hotels of the World Luxury Collection. For more information or to book, please visit http://www.ghotw.com/hotel/home/la-sultana.htm or call 020 7380 3658.

Note: we stayed at the hotel on a complimentary basis, although what is written here is true, fair and accurate. You can view our editorial policy here.