Top Ten Things To Love About London

August 23, 2022

London: its theatres are the tops, its galleries and museums entertain and inform. But did you know that you can also eat your way around the world in 8 days, thanks to the capital’s multi–national restaurants? Or swim in London Royal Docks and the Serpentine? Here are ten things we think you’ll love about the place this Summer, from free festivals to glorious parks. 


London Arts and Crafts


Art of London Season 2022: Brighter Future

From August

Outdoor venues across the West End

Artwork from comedian Harry Hill and three contemporary artists on display across Central London. Digital art from Zara Hussain, immersive environments from Sam Williams and interactive installations from Fiona Quadri. 


Disney on Stage: Magical Covent Garden pop-ups

Until Sept 4

Frozen in Covent Garden’s Infinity Chamber, a Beauty and the Beast swing seat, Disney costumes and a Lion King sunrise. 


Greenwich + Docklands International Festival

August 26 to September 11

London’s free, annual outdoor performing arts festival. Family activities and Borealis light show. 


Ice Cream Festival 

August 20 to 30

Covent Garden Piazza and surrounding streets

35 vendors reinvent the ice cream. Iced macarons from Laduree. Vegan hibiscus sorbet from Bears Ice Cream.


Notting Hill Carnival

August 27 to 29

One heck of a street party in West London: 50,000 performers and 30 sound systems. Look out for top London hotel deals.


Oxford Street Clean Power Aerial Art 

From August 10

Oxford Street’s flags are going green. Curator/artist Morag Myerscough’s bold installation promotes a low carbon future for businesses and individuals, and the 105 colourful, recycled banners will raise funds for zero carbon initiatives. Made of recycled plastic from marine environments, the installation will span from Marble Arch to Tottenham Court Road, before it moves around the globe. Spectators can get involved by purchasing digital artwork by Morag for £3, and through this, the campaign will fund new community rooftop solar energy in Central London, as well as planting woodland in Greater London. Clean Power, was founded by #TOGETHERBAND to support the UN Sustainable Development Goal 7.

Oxford Street, W1.


Picnic in the Park

Russell Square Gardens

From August 2

Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 12pm–3pm

Live music, deck chairs and free picnic blankets for your takeaway. Around the corner from the British Museum, Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road. Or Charing Cross Road for Theatreland, Soho and Covent Garden. 


Somerset House Courtyard: This Bright Land Festival 

August 1 to 29 

This Bright Land Festival: rolling programme of free day and night activities (treasure hunts, outdoor games) and performances, workshops. 35m observation wheel.  


Summer in Aldgate: Aldgate Sounds

Throughout August

Aldgate Square, Aldgate High Street, EC3

Musical lunch breaks. Have yourself a mindful musical midday every Tuesday in August, from 12pm–2pm.



From acres of Royal Parks across Kensington and Westminster to the pocket gardens of the City of London, there are uninterrupted walks and hidden green spaces. London has 3,000 parks of all sizes, including Kew Gardens’ botanical treasures. Green London: 


Natural History Museum

South Kensington 

Ambitious Urban Nature project that will see NHM Wildlife Garden double in size. 


St James’s Park and Buckingham Palace

St James’s Park alone boasts 57 acres of parkland, plus cafe, food kiosks, a lake with birdlife and Horse Guards Parade. And Buckingham Palace. Blue Orchid’s Rochester hotel borders nearby Vincent Square, itself one of the largest green squares in London.


Superbloom at the Tower

Until mid September

Wander through a new eco–haven of wildflowers. Year after year the cornflowers and toadflax will reappear.  One recent comment sums it up: “The happiest place in London.” 

Tower Suites Hotel by Blue Orchid has some excellent staycation and afternoon tea deals: 

Afternoon Tea and Superbloom. Overnight Stay and Superbloom


St Dustan in the East

St Dunstan's Hill, EC3

Picturesque church ruin. Now a fine public garden.


The Garden at 120

Fen Court Building (15th Floor), 120 Fenchurch Street, EC3

One of London’s prettiest rooftop spaces. Italian Wisteria, fruit trees and a 200ft long water feature. Entry is free. Good picnic spot and 360º views of the City. 3 minutes from Leadenhall Market. 




Cento Alla Torre

100 Minories, EC3N 1JY 

Artisan pasta and fine Italian cuisine. Kids eat for free this August when you book a Tower Suites’ Family Time offer



Gerrard St, W1

Great food, a central location and magnificent selfie territory.


Gaucho Tower Bridge

2 More London Riverside, SE1 

Argentine food and wine. 3 minutes from floating museum, HMS Belfast. 



Tower Bridge

Indian cuisine, sharing plates, traditional and contemporary menu. 


Heddon Yokocho

8 Heddon Street, W1B

A retro ramen bar designed to take you back to the 1970s Yokocho alleyways of Japan.  


High Timber Restaurant 

Broken Wharf House. 8 High Timber Street, EC4

South African cuisine, featuring Stellenbosch’s most awarded wine estate, and chef Bartek Wegzryn.


Seven Dials Market 

Excellent London food hall and DJ’s every weekend.



Heron Tower (38th and 39th floors), 110 Bishopsgate, EC2 

Japanese–Peruvian–Brazilian fusion rooftop restaurant plus 360º views of the city. 



British Museum

Until Sept 25

Feminine Power

More deep history from the museum’s archives. Sekhmet was the Egyptian goddess of annihilation whose amulets were also a source of protection! Rooms 62–63 for the famous mummies galleries.   


Royal Academy of Arts 

Summer Exhibition

Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1

Until October 16

Milton Avery: American Colourist at Royal Academy 

Luminous paintings by one of America’s most important and influential 20th century artists.


National Gallery

Trafalgar Square

Until October 9

Picasso Ingres. 'Lesser artists borrow; great artists steal.' Pablo Picasso


The Photographers Gallery

Ramillies Pace, W1  


The Photography Quarter. Free art display, covering the streets of Soho. 


Tate Britain

Pimlico, SW1

Cornelia Parker

Until October 16

First–rate British artist Cornelia Parker. Show stealer from the immersive War Room installation.

Walter Sickert

Until September 18

From impressionism to dark modernism. 


Yayoi Kusami’s Infinity Mirror Rooms

Until June 2023

Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1

Extended to public demand. Mirror magic.



Kids’ Week 

Theatre Offer

For every adult ticket purchased, one child goes free. To take full advantage of this offer, combine this with a Kids Week package at Blue Orchid Hotels. A stay in this central London hotel gives you access to some excellent offers and packages


101 Dalmatians

Until August 28

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, NW1

Innovative puppetry and Kate Fleetwood as Cruella. 


Frozen the Musical 

Until October 2022

Theatre Royal Drury Lane

“Frozen is one hot hit” (Daily Mail)


Lion King the Musical

Lyceum Theatre, 21 Wellington Street, WC2

Spectacular design and ensemble cast. 


My Neighbour Totoro

September to January 2023

Barbican, EC2

RSC production of Studio Ghibli’s much loved My Neighbour Totoro. Live action, animation and puppets. Joe Hisaishi score. Book a room in a hotel near Tower Bridge London UK.


Much Ado About Nothing

National Theatre, South Bank

Shakespeare set in the 1930s: slap–stick fun and Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd). A hit. 


Summer Season at Shakespeare’s Globe

21 New Globe Walk, Bankside 

Tours, workshops and performances from this faithful recreation of Shakespeare’s Globe. Best value tickets in London (standing room with the groundlings). 



Apollo Victoria Theatre, 17 Wilton Road, SW1

One of London’s longest–running shows. Seen by over 10 million people. 



From the 1,000 year old Tower of London, to Georgian Buckingham Palace, London’s history thrives and mixes with everyday life. 


Leadenhall Market

Gracechurch Street, EC3

Picturesque, historic covered market made famous by the Harry Potter films. Near The Monument (and London Bridge for Southwark/Tate Modern). Famous for its shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes, with contemporary Tower Suites Hotel by Blue Orchid nearby.


Roman Wall by the Museum of London

150 London Wall, EC2

Picnic spot next to the Museum of London with access to Roman fort ruins. The museum is free and documents the history of the capital.


Victoria and Albert Museum 

One of many great institutions the Victorians gave London. Three spectacular cafes in the Gamble, Poynter and Morris Rooms, 2,000 years of jewellery, fashion from the 1500s and up. Current show: Africa Fashion. 


The National Gallery and Trafalgar Square

From the steps of this fabulous (free) gallery, you can look past Nelson’s Column to Whitehall and Westminster. Piccadilly to the right; Strand, Covent Garden and Soho to the left.



Hampstead Heath Swimming Ponds

Famous Men’s, Ladies’ and Mixed Ponds. Open all year round. Bracing. Online booking system.


London Fields Lido

Hackney, E8

Heated, open all year. Popular.


London Royal Docks

Swimmers are tagged for safety, qualified coaches available. 


Parliament Hill Lido

Parliament Fields, Gordon House Road, NW5 

Great views of London. Unheated. 


Serpentine Lido

June to September

Open water swimming. Unheated; swim with the ducks.



Where to stay in London? As close to your centre of interest as possible is the answer. Blue Orchid Suites is steps away from UNESCO World Heritage site, The Tower of London. To the West of town, close to Buckingham Palace and St James’s Park, are The Rochester and The Wellington, Blue Orchid’s two Westminster hotels. East or West, London offers abundant entertainment in a compact space that’s easily navigated by public transport. 



The Elizabeth Line

One of the earliest and biggest mass transit systems in the world, London Underground just got bigger and slicker with its newly opened Elizabeth Line. It links West to East, including Heathrow, Paddington, Tottenham Court Road, and Liverpool Street. Only hours after it first opened, 130,000 enthusiastic Londoners had taken a ride. Chic metal surfaces, futuristic escalators, and a significant chunk of permanent public art.

Each station has worked with one artist. The effects are often subtly visible on platforms or ticket hall. 



Canary Wharf Summer Lights Festival

Until August 20

Canary Wharf, E14 

Eleven new installations and six permanent works dotted around Canary Wharf. Free downloadable map available.


City of London Visitor Trail 


90 minute self–guided tour of world famous attractions and hidden gems. Also a shopping, eating and drinking guide. Free City Trail map.


Sculpture in the City

Until April 2023


Across the City

Popular outdoor public art show – contemporary sculpture.


City of London Children’s Visitor Trail

Ongoing. Free. 

Three children’s trails across the Square Mile: City stories, Towers on the Thames, or Skyscrapers. Free map with stickers and activities from City Information Centre opposite St Paul’s Cathedral. 


Sustainable Sari returns to Blue Orchid Tower Suites


100 Minories, EC3

Climate change awareness fostered by arts organisation Nutkhut and Blue Orchid Hotels, as the world’s first sustainable sari comes home to London in time for Indian Independence weekend. This follows a world tour, including New York, San Francisco and Fiji, when the ground breaking Jubilee sari was photographed in iconic locations. Asian creative talent is setting new world standards “whilst drawing positive attention to the global sustainable cause” says Tony Matharu, Chairman of Blue Orchid Hotels. 


The World Reimagined

From August 13

City of London

Free street art trail via Bank, St Paul’s Guildhall and Aldgate. Featuring 10 large globes, each designed by an individual artist. Visionary response to the transatlantic slave trade. Digital platform, too.