Year in and year out summer slips by in the blink of an eye, and despite making plans to make plans – we never fit everything in. Here, we do all the prep for your trip to London, rounding up the city's best things to do, from the newest film fests and museum exhibits to pop-up bars and more.
ArcelorMittal Orbit Slide
Thrill-seeking art fans should head to east London's Queen Elizabeth Park to descend the world's tallest and longest slide, which wraps around Anish Kapoor's striking Orbit sculpture. Built for the 2012 Olympics, the stainless steel tube is dotted with windows so you can catch a glimpse of the Olympic Stadium as you whoosh down at 15 mph. Opens June 24.
Grosvenor Film Festival
Come July, you can catch an open-air movie in one of London's prettiest garden squares throughout Mayfair and Belgravia including Wilson Crescent and Belgrave Square, usually off limits to non-residents. Settle down on a patch of grass with a pair of state-of-the-art headphones or upgrade your ticket to include a deckchair.
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Romeo and Juliet
This year marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death and his literary genius is being celebrated across the city. In the West End, Sir Kenneth Branagh directs Lily James (Downton Abbey's Lady Rose) and Richard Madden (Game of Thrones' Robb Stark) as star-crossed lovers in a modern rework of Romeo and Juliet. Tickets for performances at The Garrick are available until August 13.
Tate Modern's New Wing
Tate Modern's gallery space will expand by sixty percent with the opening of its new wing on June 17. Designed by Herzog & De Meuron, the 10-story pyramid-like shape will house the world's first museum space dedicated to live performance art, a 10th-floor viewing platform and a restaurant, bar and shop.
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Dalston Roof Park
‘Tis the season for rooftop drinking (weather permitting, of course) and you'll find the best place to partake in east London. Dalston Roof Park sits on top of a converted factory and is an urban take on an English country garden, complete with grass and white picket fencing. Summer events include supper clubs, yoga classes, comedy gigs, film screenings and all-day parties hosted by Old Street club, XOYO.
The Goring Gin Garden
We can’t think of a better place to spend a sultry summer evening than the pop up garden gin bar at the Goring Hotel. The leafy back yard will be awash with gin botanicals including English juniper, lovage and blackcurrant. Order a cocktail mixed with Hepple gin from the bar, where a sustainable living wall makes you feel like you're worlds away from the city.
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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Harry Potter fans have been eagerly anticipating this theatrical event since JK Rowling almost broke the internet when she tweeted that the eighth Harry Potter novel would be made into a two-part West End stage play. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is set 19 years after the last installment and follows Harry as an employee of the Ministry of Magic and a father of three.
Dominique Ansel Bakery London
Cronut king Dominique Ansel is crossing the pond to open a London outpost of his eponymous bakery this summer. He'll be setting up shop on Elizabeth Street, in posh Belgravia. Expect signature sweet creations including cookie shots, frozen s'mores, cronuts and a few London-exclusive pastries.
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Eneko at One Aldwych
London's culinary scene is brimming with Michelin-starred restaurants and we’re betting Spanish chef Eneko Atxa will add another this summer with the opening of Eneko at One Aldwych. The menu, inspired by Atxa's Azumendi restaurant outside Bilbao, will focus on updated takes on rustic Basque dishes.
Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch
East London now rivals the West End in the luxury hotel stakes and one of this summer's biggest openings is the Courthouse Shoreditch. This heritage hotel is set in an Edwardian court house and police station where the former prison cells have been turned into VIP bar booths and the court room has been converted into a restaurant.
By Appointment Only
Cool off from the summer heat with a cocktail at By Appointment Only, a subterranean drinking den in a converted Victorian bath house behind Liverpool Street station. The seductive interiors are done in Arabic tiles, marble floors and stained glass and the drink list features a range of gins infused with innovative plum, lavender and even blue cheese.