Insider guide: How to enjoy a socially distant London staycation
Put the Berlin trip on ice, say ciao to Rome for now and indulge in some of the capital’s best bits with our guide to safely making the most of London in this new era.
2nd June 2016
Forget Glastonbury. The British Summer Time concerts in Hyde Park attract some of music’s biggest names to perform in the very heart of London. Now in its fourth year, 2016’s BST line-up includes the likes of Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams, Florence + The Machine, Take That and Carole King on the weekends, as well as a midweek programme of comedy, food and entertainment. And the best thing about it? No camping required.
Tickets from £59.50; bst-hydepark.com
In 1769, at Burlington House, the Royal Academy held its first ever Summer Exhibition, showcasing the very best artists of the day. Fast-forward 247 years and this annual exhibition is still going strong, providing a snapshot into the contemporary art scene today through 1,000 original works. This year’s exhibition is curated by renowned sculptor Richard Wilson, so expect plenty of playful, thought-provoking installations that echo his own signature style.
£13.50; Burlington House, Piccadilly W1; royalacademy.org.uk
Set in several of Mayfair’s secret garden squares, the Grosvenor Film Festival screens 20 different films over three-plus months, from cinematic classics such as A Streetcar Named Desire to modern hits like The Notebook, all accompanied by gourmet picnics from luxury French traiteur Madame Gautier. Don’t despair if the weather doesn’t hold out – for the first time ever, St Mark’s, a Grade I-listed building on North Audley Street, will also be hosting screenings, giving you a good excuse to head indoors.
Tickets from £16.50; grosvenorlondon.com
Classically trained ink painter Li Huasheng might not be a household name, but his reputation as one of China’s leading painters is certainly well known. Over the past few years his works have been snapped up by institutions such as the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the National Art Museum of China. In this exhibition of his most recent works, on display at the Mayor Gallery, one of Mayfair’s oldest, Li presents a series of abstract interpretations of traditional calligraphy, all of which were painted over the last decade in almost complete seclusion.
The Mayor Gallery, 21 Cork Street, W1; mayorgallery.com
It’s a whole new world for Aladdin as the musical production hops on its magic carpet to transfer from its record-breaking run on Broadway (where it has been seen by more than one million people) to the West End. Based on Disney’s Academy-award-winning film, this colourful musical will feature all the unforgettable songs from the original score that won Sir Tim Rice an Oscar in 1993. Stock up on your Strepsils – we defy you not to sing along…
Tickets from £27.25; Prince Edward Theatre, 28 Old Compton St, W1; aladdinthemusical.co.uk
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