4 Historical Occasions That Shaped London

tubeNow we all know that London is one of the greatest places on Earth, with some of the most incredible attractions and hotels, including us here at DUKES Hotel and DUKES Bar, of course.

But London isn’t famous only for the here and now – the long legacy of historical events plays a huge role in why the city is loved so much and is such a huge attraction for visitors. Continue reading “4 Historical Occasions That Shaped London”

3 Reasons To Visit London This Summer

wimbledonWith summer officially due to begin on the 21st June, it is just around the corner – whether the sunshine plays by the rules is another question all together.

If you want to enjoy the summer months, then London is the place to be – there is so much going on, nearly every day. Continue reading “3 Reasons To Visit London This Summer”

Vodafone’s London Fashion Weekend

Somerset House is preparing itself for one of Britain’s biggest consumer fashion showcases: Vodafone’s London Fashion Weekend.  Designers such as Welsh favourite Julien Macdonald will be showcasing their latest collections ahead of next season. Amongst masses of designer shopping and expert fashion talks, the catwalks will take centre stage.

Designs from more than 100 of the top UK and universal designers will be showcased in four trend sections, each highlighting 40 minutes of fabulous fashion. Vodafone’s London Fashion Weekend offers a unique opportunity to see the best upcoming trends and exclusive first-class fashion advice from the experts. London’s Somerset House, located in The Strand at the heart of the city, will be host to the fashion extravaganza.

The show is running for a long weekend from 20th- 24th February 2014 and tickets range from £20 – £130 depending on your chosen package. A variety of extras will be offered, including tote bags with “luxe” treats to provide that VIP edge, including samples from fashion favourites Kurt Geiger and St Tropez.

After enjoying the show with the girls, why not continue your experience with our Ultimate girl’s night in package at DUKES London. Our exclusive offer includes relaxing beauty treatments and a complete goody hamper to share. For more information, or to book, visit our website or call +44 (0)207 491 4840.

A Guide to Christmas Shopping in London

If you’re planning a Christmas shopping spree in London over the next few weeks, then we have the perfect guide for you. With no better time to visit than during the Christmas period, you’ll be sure to come away feeling full of festive cheer as you experience the city in all of its illuminated grandeur. To ensure you get your loved one that perfect Christmas gift and perhaps even a special something for yourself, we’ve collated our favourite Christmas stores, most of which are within 10 minutes’ walk of DUKES London, in which you’re guaranteed to find everything you need.

Harrods

If there’s one store that is guaranteed to put you in the festive mood it has to be Harrods. Famous for its annual Christmas window display, Harrods pulls out all the stops and this year’s theme is no exception, taking inspiration from the iconic British steam train. The lavish window display showcases the stores most luxurious fashions and you’ll soon feel like you’ve stepped into a scene of the Great Gatsby. For those of you visiting London this Christmas, make this your first stop!

Fortnum and Mason

Nowhere spreads Christmas cheer like the 307-year-old Fortnum and Mason as the store is transformed into a magical winter wonderland adorned with the most beautiful Christmas decorations. The store is renowned for creating the most decadent Christmas hampers full of tasty treats, making Fortnum and Mason a must for all food lovers.

Liberty

Located on the fourth floor, the Liberty Christmas shop is definitely worth a visit. With a beautiful range of vintage-looking Christmas wreaths and other intricate decorations, Liberty has something to suit everyone. For those of you with a sweet tooth, stop by Liberty’s chocolate shop on your way out for some sumptuously tasty goodness.

Hamley’s Toy Store

For anyone with young children this Christmas, you can’t visit London without taking a trip to the famous Hamley’s Toy Store. With more toys than you could imagine, this certainly is toy heaven and at Christmas time, could be mistaken for Santa’s grotto. So if there’s something left on Santa’s list, Hamley’s is sure to have it!

Selfridges

Last but not least on the list, the famous Selfridges of Oxford Street. If you’re yet to get a gift for that special someone, Selfridges is the answer. With a wide selection of stylish and quirky gifts for him and her, a trip to Selfridges is sure to put a smile on your better-half’s face this festive season.

After a busy day of Christmas shopping, what better way to unwind than with a festive glass of fizz in our Perrier-Jouet Champagne lounge, Festive Afternoon Tea in the Drawing Room or some Champagne & Canapes? We at DUKES London hope you have a sparkling Christmas!

 

 

Christmas at Kew Gardens

This year, Kew Gardens’ annual seasonal makeover is not one to be missed. Take a stroll through the illuminated gardens as they are transformed with a series of lighting installations created by prestigious artists from all across the UK. As twilight falls and the magic begins, take in the enchanted gardens and beautiful winter landscape as you explore all that Kew has to offer. An enjoyable stroll through the gardens should take around one hour and 15 minutes.

Once you’ve explored the enchanted gardens, it’s time to get into the Christmas spirit and enjoy one of the many festive family attractions. Take a ride on the charming Victorian carousel and other vintage fairground rides, or visit the boutique Christmas market which promises foodie treats and festive music for all. There’s something for old and young alike and you can even visit Santa’s Grotto and meet the man himself. Kew Gardens promises to be a magical visit this Christmas and offers fun for all of the family.

The winter trails at Kew Gardens will take place from 4.30-10.00pm on a range of different dates between 28th November – 4th January. Visit http://www.kew.org/ for more details. Why not make the day really special and treat a loved one to festive afternoon tea at Dukes Hotel before whizzing on to Kew Gardens for the winter trails? Accompanied by a glass of champagne, it’s the perfect toast to the happiest season of all!

Nour Festival of Arts

The Nour Festival of Arts reflects on the best contemporary art, film, literature, music and performances from the Middle East and North Africa. Running for four consecutive years, the Nour Festival challenges preconceptions, sparks debate and provides insight into culture from across the MENA region.

Taking place from the 1st October – 30th November, this year’s Nour Festival is offering a remarkable range of attractions, including art exhibitions, film screenings and thought-provoking talks. Highlights of this year’s festival include performances across the areas of dance, drama and music.

Nour, which means ‘light’ or ‘illumination’ in various Middle Eastern languages is rapidly becoming one of Europe’s most significant annual showcases of contemporary arts and culture.  Taking place at more than 20 venues across Kensington and Chelsea, Nour has welcomed new partners such as the Royal Albert Hall, Chelsea Theatre, Kensington and Chelsea College, the Gate Theatre and the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha to its venue list.

After an unforgettable journey into the MENA region, why not visit DUKES London to expand your experience with Champagne and Canapés for just £19 per person.

London Jazz Festival

Marked ‘one of the best jazz festivals in the world’ according to the Guardian, London’s Jazz Festival returns to mark its 21st birthday from 15th to 24th November.  Consisting of more than 250 shows over a ten-day period, the festival takes place in a variety of beautiful venues across the city, including London’s hub of cultural arts, the hip Southbank Centre.

The festival offers a perfect mix of classic artists who have helped to write the history of jazz, and new, exciting talent shaping the future of the genre.  The London Jazz Festival will be showcasing amazing artists from all over the world, including some of the very best talent the UK has to offer.  The event does much to showcase the city’s network of different cultures and communities, all of which are united by the electric atmosphere.

This event is not to be missed by all ardent jazz fans.  Highlights of this year’s programme include the opening night gala, Stan Sulzmann’s Neon Orchestra, and Madeleine Peyroux.  For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit: www.londonjazzfestival.org.uk .

Why not extend the experience by dropping into DUKES London after a show, to relax and recharge with 20% off all Classic and Superior rooms on weekends in November. Or to really get into the swing visit DUKES Bar beforehand for one of our famous Martinis!

 

London’s Frieze Art Fair

This October, London welcomes the return of the Frieze Art Fair.  The event is a contemporary art fair held in London’s Regents Park, which draws in over 60,000 visitors; some looking to buy, others just to spectate: “A must-see event” as described by The Guardian.

Originally staged for the purpose of selling works of art, the fair has become much more of a culturally stimulating entertainment event; including 152 of the world’s leading contemporary art galleries, specially commissioned artists’ projects, and an artist-led education schedule.

This year will be the 11th edition of Frieze London and the event aims to be better than ever with a complete redesign of its layout.  This change in design will introduce more sizable public areas and wider aisles along with a new and innovative layout of galleries. This year’s gallery list includes establishments from international territories such as: Brazil, China and Columbia.

Those looking to buy or simply browse should not miss out on the Frieze Art Fair. Tickets can be purchased from http://frieze.seetickets.com/event/frieze-london/regent-s-park/724064.  If visiting at the weekend, why not drop into DUKES London for our delicious Sunday Brunch, priced at just £35.

Romeo and Juliet at The Royal Opera House

Mid-October marks the debut of the Royal Ballet’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s timeless romantic tragedy; Romeo and Juliet at the beautiful London Royal Opera House.

The classic play combines the themes of power within society and the inevitability of fate in this ultimate tale of forbidden love.  The Royal Ballet’s performance highlights the plight of the two star-crossed lovers as they embark on their love affair in the form of a stunning ballet.

Choreographed by the esteemed Kenneth MacMillan, this version of Romeo and Juliet focuses on the ‘emotional and psychological intensity at the heart of the tale’.  Widely known as his masterpiece, MacMillan’s interpretation of Romeo and Juliet first arrived at Covent Garden in 1965, and has been performed worldwide over 400 times.

The much-loved play begins its seven week-long programme on Saturday 19th October, and tickets are already selling out. Why not continue your civilised afternoon with DUKES champagne and canapés from just £19 per person, in our beautiful Perrier Jouet Lounge.  To book or for further information, call 0207 318 6585 or email [email protected]

London Design Festival 2013

This year London will be hosting the 11th London Design Festival, due to take place in September. First staged in 2003, the Festival line-up is made up of over 300 events and shows staged from around the world. With more than 300 exciting events and exhibitions, London Design Festival 2013 promises to showcase the best of global design.

This annual event sets to promote the city’s creativity and excellence, by drawing in some of the country’s greatest educators and practitioners to help deliver what has been described as an ‘unmissable’ event.

From established businesses to entrepreneurs, London design festival has partnered up with businesses all over the nation to bring the best of the capitals culture. For that reason, individuals will not have to worry about finding something to do as there will be plenty of programmes, seminars and workshops for everyone to get involved in. There is a broad range of activities on offer, and the best part is, the majority of exhibitions are free to enter!

One of many spectacular displays at the festival has to be the Endless Stair, “a visually and architecturally astonishing” piece and one of the highlights of the event this year. You can take a closer look at this magnificent creation on your visit to the renowned Tate Modern.

As the day draws to an end you can take pleasure in relaxing in our PJ Lounge, with a contemporary twist, it’s all yours to enjoy on your next visit to DUKES London.