Hutong at the Shard
Set on the 33rd floor of London’s newest landmark, the Shard skyscraper, Hutong offers a diverse range of northern Chinese cuisine, to be enjoyed while feasting on extraordinary panoramic views of the city. Those with a head for heights and a taste for the best in cuisine will delight in a menu which is rich in spiced dishes; choices range from mixed fried pork with string beans and chilli to crispy, de-boned lambs’ ribs with pancakes. Don’t miss out on dessert – the mango cheesecake and sesame dumplings, accompanied by a passion fruit sauce, are as delicious as they sound.
Hutong at the Shard, Level 33, The Shard, 31 Saint Thomas Street, London SE1 9RY, +44 (0)20 7478 0540
Capitalising on the gourmet burger trend currently sweeping across London, Shake Shack is the first US import to bring its own brand of luxury fast food across the Atlantic. Set in the historic Covent Garden Market Building, the restaurant has given its American menu a British twist, incorporating many locally sourced ingredients in specially devised dishes. Every burger is made from high-quality Aberdeen Angus beef, while speciality hot dogs are made from rare breed Cumbrian pork. Cool down on a sunny day with The Union Shack, a frozen custard drink with chocolate brownie bites and a sprinkling of sea salt.
Shake Shack, 24 Market Building, The Piazza, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8RD, +44 (0)2 0359 81360
Marking the return of acclaimed chef Bruno Loubet to one of London’s most up-and-coming areas, King’s Cross and Saint Pancras, Grain Store offers an eclectic menu that refuses to be restrained by geography. The menu is unique as it pays equal, if not more, attention to the vegetables in a dish than the meat or fish component. Fresh, seasonal ingredients are complemented by fermented, pickled and smoked vegetables in dishes such as sticky rice with kimchi cabbage and stuffed chicken wings, baked in lotus leaf and a chilled lobster Bloody Mary. The interior is as distinctive as the menu, blurring the line between kitchen and dining room with its fluid, modern design.
Grain Store, Granary Square, 1-3 Stable Street, London N1C 4AB, +44 (0)20 7324 4466
If the banks of the River Thames are the closest you’ll get to a beach this summer, head to north London to relax at Camden’s very own seaside-inspired paradise. The beach stretches across 900 square metres and is made up of 150 tonnes of high-quality sand as well as deckchairs, beach huts, ping pong tables and live music. Every Friday, a range of bands and solo artists take to the stage, encompassing every genre, from acoustic indie and urban soul to reggae, all performing for free. Dine on fish and chips at the Fishy Business pop-up restaurant, or treat yourself to a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. The beach closes on 24 August.
Camden Beach, Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8EH, +44 (0)20 7424 9991
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition
A highlight in the British arts calendar, the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition is now in its 245ths year. A prestigious panel of experts select the 1,000 works on display from the world’s largest open submission, and the final selection includes pieces of every style and discipline imaginable, from painting and photography to printmaking and sculpture. Highlights of this summer’s exhibition include six tapestries by Grayson Perry, portraits by Alex Katz and Tom Phillips and a large wall hanging by El Anatsui covering the façade of Burlington House, the Academy’s home. Until 18 August.
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD, +44 (0)20 7300 8000
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory afternoon tea at One Aldwych
To celebrate the opening of the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical in London’s West End, visitors to the five-star One Aldwych hotel will feel like they’ve won a golden ticket with its delightful Roald Dahl-inspired afternoon tea. Executive chef Dominic Teague has combined fresh seasonal ingredients with his unbridled imagination to create a menu inspired by the novel’s most famous creations; think rhubarb and custard candy floss, a coconut cream and mango golden egg and blueberry brioche, accompanied by a selection of award-winning teas.
One Aldwych, London WC2B 4BZ, +44 (0)20 7300 1070
45 Park Lane
Boasting enviable views across Hyde Park and a surprisingly intimate feel for such a luxurious hotel, 45 Park Lane has quickly become one of London’s most popular addresses. The hotel was designed to feel like a home from home, albeit one with a suitably chic interior, by designer Thierry Despont. Its rooms have a sophisticated appearance, with intensely dark colours contrasting with light textures. End your stay with dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s exquisite steak restaurant Cut or treat yourself to an indulgent in-room massage.
45 Park Lane, 45 Park Lane, London W1K 1PN, +44 (0)20 7493 4545
Combining an illustrious heritage with contemporary design, Café Royal hotel strikes the perfect balance between honouring tradition and embracing modernity. The hotel’s shared areas have been sympathetically restored to their former glory, with opulent décor and impressive proportions. These generous dimensions are also evident in the large guestrooms, but these offer a more modern appearance with warm wood, Bang & Olufsen sound systems and Floris toiletries in the marble bathrooms.
Café Royal, 68 Regent Street, London W1B 4DY, +44 (0)20 7406 3333