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It has already been a year of highs and lows for Britain’s longest reigning monarch. In February, Queen Elizabeth quietly ushered in her Platinum Jubilee—70 years on the throne—by releasing a statement on the eve reaffirming her commitment to lifelong service. But while her actual accession anniversary was reserved for reflection and private time at Sandringham, the real celebrations for this historic milestone will be taking place this summer.
Over four days in June, London will be transformed into a festive playground for royals and their most enthusiastic fans (non-monarchists can at least delight in not having to go to work). There will be a Trooping the Colour spectacle at Buckingham Palace in honor of the queen’s birthday, a Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Derby at Epsom Downs, a live concert (with BBC broadcast) from the palace, a Jubilee lunch, and a pageant featuring 5,000 people from across the U.K. and Commonwealth that will combine street arts, theater, music, circus, carnival, and costume. And these are just the official Windsor events.
There will be scores of unofficial celebrations taking place throughout the kingdom, too. Sotheby’s, for example, is mounting a Jubilee Arts Festival that will feature a series of exhibitions, one which will display 50 rarely-seen aristocratic tiaras and another that will showcase portraits of Britain’s queens (including Andy Warhol’s rendition of Queen Elizabeth). The auction house is also hosting a special sale of British art. Which is all to say, June will be an exuberant time to be in the U.K. In that spirit, we’ve rounded up the 10 best hotels across the pond to celebrate the queen.
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Fresh off a renovation by Thierry Despont, this Grade II-listed property in Mayfair has retained its original Art Deco charms while welcoming a few new touches, like a terrace that overlooks Brown Hart Gardens. This June it will be the perfect spot from which to enjoy refreshments from the Beaumont‘s Le Magritte Bar, so named thanks to the surrealist artist’s Le Maître d’Ecole painting that hangs behind the bar. An addition to the the menu for June: a Jubilee cocktail that highlights English ingredients such as Keepr’s raspberry and honey gin, the King’s Ginger liqueur, English sparkling wine, and rhubarb.
Read Reviews The Beaumont
Want to be close enough to the action but still in the safe confines of your own regal paradise? The answer is Heckfield Place, a divine Georgian manor turned luxury property located in Hampshire (just an hour from London and not far from where Jane Austen lived) that has come up with its own Jubilee-themed programming to keep you plenty entertained—and pampered like a queen. On the itinerary: a flower crown workshop in the garden, a cake decorating competition, forest bathing on the hotel’s palatial 438-acre grounds, birding excursions, pastoral picnics, a five-course Jubilee dinner with live music, and a Sunday Roast to close out the festivities.
Read Reviews Heckfield Place
British Pullman, a Belmond Train
Last year, Wes Anderson, the Hollywood auteur famed for his whimsical spin on the glamour of bygone eras, turned his singular eye towards one of the most nostalgic forms of travel, redesigning the Cygnus carriage of the British Pullman, a Belmond Train. Exquisite wood marquetry and sumptuous emerald-hued furnishings now lend a cinematic charm to day trips throughout the English countryside (itineraries include trips to historic Bath, Oxford, and Blenheim Palace)—so do the elegant onboard champagne lunches and dinners that are part of the journey.
Read Reviews British Pullman, a Belmond Train
Claridge’s plays host to the Windsors so often that it’s often referred to as the annex of Buckingham Palace. In 1986, for example, Queen Elizabeth celebrated her 60th birthday here at a fete given by her late cousin Lady Elizabeth Anson, a legendary party planner to the royals. Now, in honor of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, the hotel is opening its archives to unearth treasures from 1953, her coronation year. Among them, rare footage of the queen attending a coronation gowns fashion show and Coronation Day menus and memorabilia will be on display. Also, be sure to dip in to the bar for a Windsor Rose, the cocktail that was served to mark the occasion 70 years ago.
Read Reviews Claridge’s
Located in the posh neighborhood it’s named for, the Kensington is just a mile away from Kensington Palace, the official residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (along with other members of the royal family). The hotel, which is built into four Victorian townhouses and recently underwent a renovation that added new suites to its offerings, is the perfect home base to explore the area. For a deeper dive into the Royal Borough’s history, book a bespoke walking tour with the property’s resident Blue Badge guide, one of the best ways to take in the legacy of five centuries of monarchy.
Read Reviews The Kensington
Located on High Holborn, a historic street with illustrious former residents such as Francis Bacon, John Milton, and Charles Dickens, who used the area as the setting for Pip and Herbert Pocket’s home in Great Expectations, the Rosewood London occupies a Grade II-listed Edwardian building that dates back to 1912. It’s a grand setting for royal-themed celebrations, especially the courtyard fete the hotel has planned for June 5. Taking cues from the U.K. tradition of street parties, it will be a thoroughly British affair, complete with “royal guards” to welcome guests, live music, and an alfresco afternoon tea with specialties like blue lobster and Marie rose brioche, Clarence Court egg mayonnaise rolls, and scones with Cornish clotted cream, homemade lemon curd, and English strawberry jam.
Read Reviews Rosewood London
It will be a true town and country holiday thanks to Beaverbrook’s two properties. First, there is the bucolic Victorian estate in Surrey, just an hour from London. The Grade II-listed property was once owned by Lord Beaverbrook, a well-connected newspaper magnate and minister to Churchill who often had famous friends—Liz Taylor, Rudyard Kipling, Ian Fleming—stay over. There is much to fill your days on the sprawling 400-acre grounds, from petanque and croquet, to leisurely strolls through verdant trails, to luxe R&R at the spa and pools. Then skip back over to London for a few days at the new Beaverbrook Town House, which has taken over two Georgian mansions on Sloane Street in chic Chelsea.
Read Reviews Beaverbrook Estate
Read Reviews Beaverbrook Town House
Royal Scotsman, a Belmond Train
Life aboard Scotland’s only luxury sleeper train just might offer a tiny glimpse into what it must be like to travel on the Royal Train. Think: velvet and mahogany details throughout, cabins furnished with Scottish tartans and wools, even a dedicated spa carriage. Then layer in the bespoke experiences “in the wild”—from stargazing with an astrologer in Cairngorns National Park, one of the darkest skies in Europe, to tours of Glamis Castle, childhood home of the Queen Mother—and it won’t be hard to see why Queen Elizabeth so treasures her summer holidays in Scotland.
Read Reviews Royal Scotsman, a Belmond Train
Yes, that is a Picasso hanging in the drawing room of the Fife Arms and it’s one of more than 14,000 pieces of art (mostly blue-chip, by the likes of Mark Bradford, Louise Bourgeois, and Lucian Freud) that fill this gem of a hotel, located a stone’s throw from Queen Elizabeth’s beloved Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands. Originally a Victorian coaching inn, the crumbling property was bought and transformed by art world power couple Iwan and Manuela Wirth (hence all the museum-quality furnishings). Charles and Camilla were present for the grand opening in 2019 but that’s not all—paintings of the royal castles done by the Prince of Wales himself also make up part of the Fife Arms’ collection.
More: Does the Fife Arms, Scotland’s Hottest Hotel, Live Up to the Instagram Hype?
Read Reviews The Fife Arms
As befits a hotel situated in the heart of London’s West End, the Londoner has dreamt up a theatrical program to celebrate the Jubilee: the Green Room will host a performance of the Queer Queen’s Cabaret, complete with a burlesque performance by Kitty Bang Bang, comedy by Jen Ives, and acts by drag queens Marmalade, Paige Three, and Drag King Don One. And no need to worry about overindulging. Simply head down to the spa for a 75-minute Omorovizca’s Queen’s Jubilee Facial.
Read Reviews The Londoner
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