With extended bank holidays on the horizon plus a half-term holiday, London’s event scene is positively running over with a packed programme of activities at some of the capital’s top attractions this month.
Staying with us here at The Cavendish London - perfectly situated in the heart of the city – you and your family can experience the delights that summer in the city holds.
Did you know that the intensely fragrant Lily of the Valley is the official flower of May? This delicate little flower has packed a punch with perfumers for years and forms a firm favourite with London family perfume house Floris, one of The Cavendish’s neighbours on Jermyn Street. Take a stroll into Floris’ shop at 89 Jermyn Street to try a snifter for yourself. And it’s not only Floris which has produced Lily of the Valley fragrances but Penhaligon’s London and, probably most famously, Yardley also utilise this delightful scent within their ranges. A popular choice for all it would seem!
If you’d prefer to see the real thing rather than just experience the fragrance, RHS Chelsea Flower show once again welcomes visitors to its world-famous site between 24-28 May. Taking place in the grounds of Royal hospital, Chelsea, the show is the place to see cutting edge garden design, new plants and ideas for you to take home. There really is no horticultural show quite like Chelsea and since 1913 it has grown to become the most prestigious in the RHS’ calendar.
Complementing Chelsea is ‘Chelsea in Bloom’, London’s largest free flower festival which sees the streets of the borough burst with colour and scent. This floral art show is a competition between Chelsea’s best retailers, restaurants and hotels which adorn themselves with breath-taking displays of flowers and plants to win one of the coveted awards. This year’s theme is ‘British Icons’ taking inspiration from emblems, characters and people in time to bring everything together for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at the beginning of June. Taking place between 23-28 May, visit www.chelseainbloom.co.uk to see who is participating and how to vote for your favourite.
A walk in one of the many nearby parks to The Cavendish London such as St James’, will also supply a vista of spring blooms to delight the senses and revitalise the spirit. Take in the free view of the lake, fountain and flowers on a sunny spring day from a deck chair near the café and you might even spot one of the resident pelicans!
Due to the extended Spring bank holiday falling in June this year in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, for once, only one bank holiday falls early in May – the traditional May Day, but having just one long weekend in the month instead of the traditional two, doesn’t stop you planning your visit to either coincide with the Jubilee or for later on in the summer.
To get you in the mood for the royal celebrations, get in early by booking tickets to visit Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s official London residence. Open during the summer, visitors can tour the 19 state rooms in the heart of the palace; view some of the treasures of the Royal collection that line the walls, including a number of portraits of the Queen, and personal possessions to mark her remarkable 70-year reign. The Royal Mews and The Queen’s Gallery are part of the site but have their own entrances and can be viewed separately to the main palace or as part of a combined ticket. Tickets for July are already on sale – simply visit www.buckinghampalace.co.uk
for full details. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
This year also sees the return of the popular Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. Get in early to grab yourself a good viewing spot for this free spectacle which takes place on certain days (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sundays) from 10.45am with the actual handover taking place at 11am. All- in- all, it lasts around 45 minutes with the guards putting on their very own precise event.
Nearby Kensington Palace, home to many of the younger Royals and Queen Victoria’s childhood home, is already open to visitors and offers a wonderful way to while away a few hours in another royal setting. The gardens too offer a fabulous show at this time of the year including Platinum Jubilee blooms specially planted to provide a vibrant display to celebrate the occasion.
A picnic pick- me- up
Taking advantage of a beautiful spring, or early summer day has to include a picnic! Rolling out the rug, tucking into some delicious bite-sized treats and sipping something - whether hot or cold - has to be one of the best feel-good provoking activities you can get.
Whether you make your own or purchase your sarnies, sitting in the sunshine watching the world go by really can’t be beaten. With so many beautiful free open spaces close to The Cavendish London, don’t pass up on this simple opportunity.
If the great outdoors doesn’t quite appeal, there is always the option to partake in a wonderful Afternoon Tea here with us at The Cavendish London. Delicate sandwiches and freshly made pastries accompanied by a hand-picked selection of teas, coffee or bubbles, all in the wonderfully relaxing surroundings of the Mayfair Lounge and Gril
l. In celebration of her Majesty’s long reign, our Platinum Afternoon Tea
, developed by our executive chef Julian Ward and his team, offers a menu inspired by countries of the Commonwealth. From just £55 per person, it is served every day between 2pm – 5pm. Book your table now!
Whatever your plans this month, don’t miss out on a visit or stay with us here at The Cavendish London hotel in Mayfair. We look forward to celebrating the start of summer with you soon.