How can you treat your mum this Mother’s Day? Let us help!

A mother and daughter enjoying afternoon tea at DUKES LondonOur mums have spent years upon years caring for us. From the very first moment they hold us in their arms, there’s a love that is so strong it’s impenetrable. A mother’s love for her children is unconditional.

As we grow older, we try to show our mums how much they mean to us. We draw them pictures as children, start buying them gifts when we’re teenagers, and it gets to the point where we realise the best thing we can do to show our mum we appreciate her is to spend time together.

It’s for this exact reason why we’ve pulled together a package to help you treat your mum to a wonderful night or two in London as a gift this Mother’s Day.

So what should your mum expect as her treat when staying with us this Mother’s Day?

A West End Show

What better way to spend a night in London than by having tickets to the theatre? It’s the traditionally perfect way to enjoy your evening, and one that is so perfectly representative of a trip to London.

In our package, you have two tickets for one of the three shows: Mamma Mia, Kinky Boots, or 42nd Street. With both evening and matinee shows available, the choice of which to see and when to do so completely up to you (and it’s a hard one – all three of them are widely regarded as some of the best shows in London, and we’ve all got our preferences between afternoon or evening performances!).

Champagne afternoon tea

One of the most quintessentially British things you can do, afternoon tea is such a brilliant way to while away your afternoon – and it’s made only more appealing with a glass of champagne!

Available to enjoy in either our GBR restaurant or our Drawing Rooms, you’ll be tasting everything from quaint finger sandwiches filled with the highest quality ingredients through to warm scones with delicious accompaniments. The afternoon tea is an iconic tradition and so we don’t try to revolutionise it at DUKES London – we simply make sure you leave feeling you’ve had the best afternoon tea experience you could possibly have.

Floris Hyacinth & Bluebell candle

If you feel afternoon tea followed by a West End show just needs a little something to finish the present off, a Floris Hyacinth & Bluebell candle should do just that perfectly.

One of the world’s most respected fragrance brands, Floris was founded in 1730 and the company is still owned and run by the same family today, nine generations on. A truly remarkable story, and one that shows the love and attention for the brand the family has, this is something that is clear in every candle produced.

Discounted rooms

We know everyone has different needs when staying in a hotel, so rather than stipulating you have to stay in a certain room with our Mother’s Day package, we’re instead letting you choose – and providing a 10% discount on whichever room you decide on.

What’s more, we appreciate not everyone can make it to London on Mother’s Day itself, so this is all available between 9th and 25th March 2018.

Mother’s Day is a wonderful time to visit London as there’s so much to see and do that every mum should find something perfect for them. But with afternoon tea, a West End show, a fantastic room and a beautiful candle, we think most mums would be over the moon at spending time with their beloved children in such fantastic settings.

We’re always proud that our Mother’s Day packages are extremely popular. See the offer for 2018 in full and book now.

5 West End theatre productions you really shouldn’t miss

A nighttime shot of the Royal Albert Hall, LondonThere are many reasons why people fancy visiting London, and seeing a West End show or theatre performance is one of the biggest.

There is such a wide variety of them that sometimes it can be hard to make a decision on which one would be best for you and your companions. Continue reading “5 West End theatre productions you really shouldn’t miss”

The National Theatre’s ‘Light Princess’ is here!

An external shot of The National Theatre in LondonKnown by many as the most anticipated production of the year, the National Theatre’s Light Princess is the ultimate modern fairy-tale with a twist.  The Daily Express has declared ‘The Light Princess’ an “entrancing, dreamlike show” and many others have been astounded by its stunning visual effects.

The story contains both traditional fairytale components, as well as some much more sinister undertones.  The premise of the story is a prince and princess are living in conflicting kingdoms and are both suffering from losing their mothers.  Althea, played by the enchanting Rosalie Craig, is unable to cry so floats with grief and is imprisoned as a result.  Meanwhile, Digby (Nick Hendrix) is trained as a warrior and one day, declares war on Althea’s kingdom. Althea is forced out of hiding, but later escapes and meets the prince beside a lake, where they begin an affair. But for Althea to find real love, she must confront the world’s darkness and face her own deepest fears.

Whether young or old, this visual extravaganza is, without a doubt, a must-see for all theatre-goers and play-lovers. Performances are showing now until February 2nd and for more information or to book tickets, visit the National Theatre’s website.

DUKES London is the perfect retreat to unwind and recharge after your day at the theatre – especially with your favourite drink in DUKES Bar!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory arrives in London!

An external shot of the Royal Drury Lane Theatre, London, with the 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' signRoald Dahl’s delicious and mysterious tale of the young Charlie Bucket and the extraordinary confectioner Willy Wonka is coming to life as a musical at the Royal Drury Lane Theatre.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the plot, the story takes place in an unknown city where Mr Willy Wonka is the owner of the greatest chocolate factory in the world. He decides to open up the doors of his factory to five privileged children. In order to choose who should be so lucky, Willy Wonka hides five golden tickets in his famous chocolate bars. These tickets are VIP access to the chocolate factory. Amongst the winners is the unsuspecting hero of the book, Charlie Bucket, who has grown up with stories about the factory. Nothing could prepare the winners for what was beyond the gates.

The story continues with incredible and astonishing sugary delights, however not everything is a sweet as it seems – unlike the theatre which is offering a sweet £10 off all prices for the preview performances taking place from 18th May to 24th June 2013.

And after a sugar-filled day, you and your family can take some time out to unwind in one of our luxurious suites here at DUKES. Enjoy!

Image courtesy of Elliott Brown

The Dog in the Night hits the Apollo Theatre

An external shot of the Apollo Theatre, LondonMark 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 Nighttime 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? They’re the perfect way to end a wonderful day!

Image courtesy of KF

BOING! is here to bring you a magical Christmas

An external shot of the Sadler's Wells theatre in LondonBOING! 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 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 restaurant to try the capital’s finest cuisine? You can try our dinner menu after first having one of our famous martinis in DUKES Bar – have a very Merry Christmas!

Image courtesy of Sadler’s Wells Theatre

Sleeping Beauty becomes a ballet masterpiece

A painting depicting 'Sleeping Beauty' by Edward Coley Burne-JonesA world premiere of the timeless classic Sleeping Beauty has been reformed into a captivating ballet masterwork by the award-winning choreographer Matthew Bourne. His troubling new production has been described as “a gothic romance; a supernatural love story that even the passage of time can not hinder”.

In 1980 the enduring classic tale of a girl cursed to sleep for one hundred years was first revolutionised into ballet. Now, Bourne’s story commences at heroine Aurora’s christening where fairies and vampires feed on gothic imaginations. Bourne’s adaptation rebels against the idea of love at first sight. He claims once Sleeping Beauty goes to sleep nothing more happens after that. His haunting production is a Gothic romance for all ages, and especially for those who feast on dark, twisted love.

Bourne is widely known to be one of the UK’S best choreographers, receiving multiple nominations and awards including the Laurence Olivier and Tony award. He started training in dance at the age of 22 and went on to dance professionally for 14 years. Sadler’s Wells have decided to host talks throughout the year to look at aspects of his work and his background to celebrate the 25 years of Matthew’s Company New Adventures. The talk features Alistair Spalding talking to him about his newest piece, Sleeping Beauty, and his prospects and ideas for New Adventures.

Bourne’s enchanting Sleeping Beauty will feature designs from Olivier award winners Lez Brotherston (set and costumes), Paul Constable (lighting) and sound design by Paul Groothuis, and brings the audience into the core of his work, leaving them dazzled by the alluring movement.

Bourne is renowned for his radical, entertaining updates of classic work and his new version of Sleeping Beauty promises to be fantastic, like his previous versions of Swan Lake and the Nutcracker.

The running time of Sleeping Beauty is approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes, with ticket prices ranging from £12 to £60. Family tickets cost £140. This enticing classic is running from Tuesday 4th December to Wednesday 26th January 2013 at Sadler’s Wells, Roseberry Avenue.

After one of the finest nights of ballet to remember, why not unwind properly with one of Alessandro’s world-famous classic Martinis over in our DUKES Bar?