Mayor Thames Festival 2013 Returns to London

If you’re stopping by London this September, why not take a trip to the iconic Mayor Thames Festival, a free celebration of the history of the famous river and the city that sits on its banks. With a whole host of activities taking place across the ten-day spectacular, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Displays of river-related art, music and educational activities make it a gala of cultural diversity. 2013 marks the first year the festival has been extended to ten days, so you don’t want to miss out on the jam-packed line up of festivities and fun.

The highly anticipated annual Great River Race is due to take place on the 7th of September. 300 crews from across the globe gather to compete in this river-based marathon of speed and endurance, spanning a 21 mile distance that passes many of London’s most popular tourist attractions. Stand by the finish line at Ham House and cheer in the winning competitors.

As night descends upon the river on the 15th, stand witness to a maritime opera performance like no other. The main performers of the symposium are described as “an armada of historic vessels from the age of sail, steam and diesel”, gathering and exploding in a collective concerto of booming ship horns and blasting cannons. The river becomes the stage with the stunning O2 Academy lighting the performance against the darkness. The heady musical elements and outstanding display of historic vessels of long ago will culminate in a truly unique performance.

After all this cultural enrichment you’re going to need a place to relax, ready for what the rest of the festival has in store. Why not take time to enjoy a traditional Afternoon Tea in our stylish Drawing Room and Conservatory? Delicate finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and a choice of patisserie are served with a choice of tea. Please visit our website for more information.

DUKES ST JAMES LONDON Reveals Makeover For 2013

Major refurbishment of both bedrooms and walkways has helped to give our hotel a subtle new design for 2013.

Refurbished bedrooms designed by Sandy Deane Interiors, and walkway interiors specially created by Shaun Clarkson, have given DUKES a luxurious makeover whilst keeping the hotel’s well-loved five star charm and elegance intact.

A snapshot of our refurbished suitesFollowing a four-month refurbishment programme by our longstanding design team, Sandy Deane Interiors, 50 of the hotel bedrooms now contain the latest range of FR-One designs; The Prism Collection.

Each of our newly refurbished bedrooms have been designed using a different colour scheme, featuring rich textures. The new bedrooms all feature matt satin with vintage décor, and help to make the bedrooms more elegant than ever before.

Other sophisticated colour schemes in the new bedrooms cater for all tastes. The colour schemes include: zinc and grape, quail and plum, and for a more masculine tone, marine and port.

Shaun Clarkson, a world renowned designer who has previously worked in some of the best hotels in the world, also refurbished the Perrier-Jouët Lounge at DUKES in 2011. You can see some of his other projects here.

The finishing touches will soon be added to the hotel’s walkways and lift interiors, completing the renovations.

The features help to convey the highest luxury at affordable prices and a relaxing place to spend the night after taking in the sights of London.

With rates for suites starting at just £480, why not come and experience them for yourself?

The Dog in the Night hits the Apollo

Mark Haddon’s debut publication, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time,’ has become one of the most celebrated mystery novels since its’ release in 2003, winning multiple awards including the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Best First Book. This March, it is coming to life on the Apollo Theatre stage.

The story is that of a fifteen year old boy called Christopher who is stood beside Mr Shear’s dead dog. The dog appears to have been speared by a garden fork. The time is seven minutes past midnight and Christopher is under suspicion.

Christopher Boone is a bright teenager, whose symptoms and behaviour suggest a mild form of autism; however his extraordinary brain and exceptional maths skill will equip him to solve and interpret the mystery of who killed Mr Wellington. Christopher has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, hates being touched and distrusts all strangers. Yet with his detective work, his investigation unravels the unexpected discovery of his family’s real history, something that his father was determined to keep concealed.

Upon its’ release a decade ago, Haddon’s novel was an immediate success, earning critical acclaim from international media such as the New York Times, and noted authors including Ian McEwan.

To date, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time has been published in more than 35 countries and is an international bestseller. In the UK, it has sold more than 2.6 million copies, making it the 3rd best-selling book of the past decade.

Olivier Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens has adapted Mark Haddon’s novel for the stage and Marianne Elliot, who has worked with the National Theatre since 2005, will be directing the production.

This engaging and highly acclaimed production will run from the 1st March to 31st August at the historic Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue.

After shadowing Christopher through his strange and mysterious journey, why not enjoy a wonderful night in one of our exclusive suites, which currently have an amazing 50% off the usual price?

 

BOING! Brings you a magical Christmas

BOING! made it as one of London’s debut performances at the Lilian Baylis Studio last year and returns this year promising a bigger and better performance at the Sadler’s Wells. BOING! is a children’s dance theatre production based on the magical moments in which two brothers experience leading up to one of the most special days of the year. Sadler Wells Boing

The play is cleverly set out on a huge bed in the centre of the stage which miraculously turns into a giant trampoline helping engage the younger audience throughout the show. However, do not be fooled to think this is child’s play as adults are also expected to be astonished with the performances. Offering a variety of comedy, break dancing and acrobatics it will keep both younger and older generations enticed till the very end. The play is directed by one of the best in children’s theatre Sally Cookson, and performed by the award winning Wilkie Branson and Joel Daniel so you are guaranteed to experience one of the best acts in British theatre to date.

This fast paced play is fun, festive and an all round exciting show making it the perfect entertainment for the kids and the family. It is one theatre production not to miss! So if you are interested do not miss out on a chance to witness a wonderfully animated Christmas show tickets are on sale now.

After building up an appetite watching an exhilarating theatre performance, why not head over to our THIRTY SIX by Nigel Mendham restaurant to try the capital’s finest cuisine? You can try our Dinner menu from just £42 for two courses or only £60 for three. Your dining experience will start at the Perrier Jouet Champagne lounge where you can sit back and relax with an exquisite glass of champagne and try some of our complementary canapés.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

DUKES

DUKES Wins World’s Leading Classic Boutique Hotel 2012

Last night DUKES LONDON picked up the award for the World’s Leading Classic Boutique Hotel with Outstanding Service 2012, in front of
hundreds of guests at a packed out World Travel Awards in Delhi, India.

Debrah Dhugga, our General Manager said “Wow, what a team I have! I am the proudest lady in hospitality. DUKES is very special and it is really an honour to be recognised and awarded both personally and for our team; they are the most important people without whom I am no one”

 

 

Celebrate Bonfire Night with a Bang at Battersea Firework Display

November 5th is drawing closer, and if you’re wondering where the best firework displays are this year, look no further. Once again, London takes centre stage if you really want to celebrate Bonfire Night with a bang!

There’s a huge variety of firework displays for you to see in London this year, but our recommendation lies with the display at Battersea Park, which is only a 15 minute journey from DUKES London.

The display at Battersea Park is taking place on Saturday 3rd November and is said to be one of the most popular annual events in London. This year, the fireworks have been designed by Pains Fireworks, who have in the past created displays for some of the best known events and institutions, such as the Disney Concert Orchestra in Dubai and just as impressively, the recent Olympic Torch Relay.

This is guaranteed to be a night to remember for visitors of all ages! Watch the sky light up in a dazzling show featuring some of the most impressive fireworks, starting at 8pm. Make sure you stay warm throughout the night with the likes of hot roasted chestnuts and warm mulled wine, which will all be on sale at the event.

The ritual of celebrating Bonfire Night dates back 407 years. Back in 1605, Guido ‘Guy’ Fawkes failed in his plot to destroy parliament and all within it by gunpowder. Now a British tradition, every 5th November (or a date close by), the skies of the UK come to life with flashes of lights and loud crackles and bangs.

Entry is through advanced tickets only, which are currently £8.00 up until the day of the event, from when they will be priced at £10.00. Tickets are available online or alternatively you can buy them at a number of different local venues.

After what will be a memorable night, why not head back to DUKES and top off the night with one of the famous Martini’s at the DUKES bar before resting your head in one of the DUKES suites.

Find your Festive Cheer Early at the Spirit of Christmas Fair

Some complain that Christmas is starting earlier and earlier every year. Others love it. Whether you love it or not there is no excuse for not visiting the Spirit of Christmas Fair at the Olympia Exhibition Centre.

There is no longer an excuse not to visit London or to leave your Christmas shopping until the last minute. The Spirit of Christmas Fair hosts a range of exhibitors meaning you should be able to find the perfect gift for everyone. Whether it’s a special bottle of fine whiskey for your dad or a toy that your little sister will treasure forever, you should be able to find it here.

Just a District Line tube ride away from DUKES Hotel, the Olympia is a grand exhibition hall and will be packed with stunning independent retailers as well as a number of fantastic food and drinks stalls, meaning you can wine and dine in luxury to your heart’s content.

Not only will the Fair provide you with some brilliant ideas for your Christmas presents, but it will also feature the team from House and Garden magazine who will be offering some their best tips on how to make the most from your home.

Even if you’ve been a good shopper and bought all your presents early there is still plenty for you to see. Fashion, art, health & beauty and furniture are just some of the offerings that will be on show.

Running from the 30th October until the 4th November, there really is no excuse for not taking in the Fair and rediscovering your Christmas spirit early.

Entry for one day is £17.50 if you book in advance but if that’s not enough you can always buy an unlimited entry ticket for just £27, giving you up to six days of shopping heaven.

Whilst you’re in London, why not take in a show, or even one of our famous Martinis? You could make it an extra special weekend by staying in one of our Deluxe Suites. Whatever you do, please do try and make sure you enjoy the festive spirit which is slowly building in the capital at the moment.