What’s On

Have a whale of a time at Natural History Museum’s new central hall

The Hintze Hall

Displaced Dippy the Diplodocus — the prehistoric creature whose cast skeleton was long the symbol of the Natural History Museum — is readying for a tour of the U.K., while his breath-taking replacement will get a big reveal on 14 July as the museum unveils its brand new Hintze Hall. A massive blue whale skeleton (yet to be nicknamed) will be suspended from the ceiling where Dippy once lurked, and visitors will be able to get eye-popping views of the 25.2-metre creature, as the whale appears to be diving through the hall. Museum officials say the blue whale is a... View Article

Centuries of achievement to be celebrated at the first-ever London History Day

London History Day

You would imagine with the city’s rich past, someone would have thought of it before — but the 31st of May will mark the inaugural London History Day on a vast scale. Exhibits at 40 venues will include explorations of cultures, art, architecture, design and important figures, religion and politics. Museums, galleries, churches, parks, centres, libraries, and government buildings will host the events. A sampling of the offerings: a guided walk in the footsteps of Charles Dickens, a study of the Brutalist architecture of the Barbican Centre, and the celebration of 1,000 years of parliamentary history and of Big Ben... View Article

Get swept up in ‘Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave’ at British Museum

Great Wave Katsushika Hokusai

As recognizable as the Mona Lisa, The Scream, or Van Gogh’s Starry Night, the “Great Wave” of Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai is but a droplet in the sea of work of this Japanese legend, who worked until his death in 1849 at the age of 90. An unprecedented retrospective, which opened this week at the British Museum, focuses on the last 30 years of Hokusai’s career and is already drawing unanimous acclaim. Its more than 100 works — woodblock prints, paintings, and drawings — will be on display through 13 August. Because of light sensitivity, some will be traded out... View Article

Experience five decades of Pink Floyd at V&A

pink floyd

Pink Floyd — one of rock’s most innovative and influential groups — are being celebrated through 1 October in a multimedia, immersive exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum, a short hop from Nell Gwynn Chelsea Accommodation. The exhibit, featuring more than 350 artefacts spanning the band’s 50 years and curated with the participation of its three surviving members, includes instruments, hand-written lyrics, graphics, artwork, music technology, original designs and architectural drawings. This is the first international retrospective for the band, which had its origins in London’s underground music scene in 1965. Pink Floyd’s musicians developed beyond their early psychedelic... View Article

Get to know museums in a different way — after dark

museums at night

Museums throughout the U.K will come to life after hours from 17-20 May 2017 for the semi-annual Museums at Night campaign. Organizers from Culture24 ask museums, galleries and heritage sites to offer special programmes after their regular schedules to showcase their programming in unique ways and to attract people who might be otherwise occupied during their daytime hours. Oftentimes, social events are part of the evening. Venues range from academic offerings in Cambridge and Oxford, to a wide array of lectures, performances and exhibits at specialty museums in cities massive and small. One London example: “Late at the Gate: Ye... View Article

Starlight, a good movie — and some dazzling venues — make Luna Cinema a summer must

Luna Cinema

You haven’t experienced film-going until you’ve seen Casablanca under the stars at Westminster Abbey, Bridget Jones’ Baby at Kensington Palace, Notting Hill at the Ascot Racecourse, or Four Weddings & a Funeral (we joke not!) on the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. Those are just a few of the summer offerings running from June through October, announced by The Luna Cinema, which rightfully claims “classic films under the stars in the country’s most incredible settings.” They’re not all “classics,” but a fanciful mix of vintage treasures and more contemporary box office hits, such as La La Land and Fantastic Beasts... View Article

Be part of the world’s largest flower show at Hampton Court Palace

hampton court flower show

Tickets are on sale for the world’s largest annual floral spectacle — the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show — running 4-9 July on the sumptuous grounds of King Henry VIII’s historic residence. More than 130,000 are expected to attend the event, brimming with flower and garden displays which compete for awards, demonstrations, and a flower and supply marketplace. Enlightening tips on gardening in a changing climate and demonstrations by chefs and celebrity gardeners will be spread around the show grounds. Children will be captivated by the Butterfly Dome with thousands of colorful butterflies taking wing, and by cookery classes,... View Article

Dive into the BBC Proms planner — the 2017 schedule has been released

BBC Proms

The 123rd season of the BBC Proms will run from 14 July-9 September 2017, with a rich musical series at Royal Albert Hall and off-site performances at locales such as the Tanks at the Tate Modern, Southwark Cathedral, Cadogan Hall, Wilton’s Music Hall — and even a car park in Peckham. This splendid tradition features some of the world’s most formidable conductors, soloists and composers in largely classical programmes. The 2017 lineup, though, also offers explorations into pop, jazz, soul, ethnic, swing and experimental music. One highlight will be on 20 July, an 85th birthday tribute, “Lights! Camera! Music!” honoring... View Article

Merlin’s beard! More Harry Potter and the Cursed Child tickets go on sale Tuesday

Harry Potter and the cursed child

It’s been the hottest ticket in London theatre for nearly a year now, just notching a record nine Olivier Awards — and now the public has another chance to score tickets next year for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Beginning at 11 a.m. British Standard Time Tuesday 25 April, 300 tickets for every performance at the Palace Theatre between 2 May-22 July 2018 will be released online through a random queue system. Tickets cost 20 pounds or less for each of the play’s two parts and are limited to six per person. Those interested in buying may begin visiting... View Article

The ‘world’s greatest marathon’ takes to London streets April 23

London Marathon

The ‘world’s greatest marathon’ takes to London streets April 23 More than 35,000 runners will pound 26.2 miles (42.165k) on 23 April in a display of world-class speed, endurance and generosity in the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon. Launched in 1981, the run along some of London’s most historic thoroughfares and sites is considered the world’s greatest marathon for its size, location and for its charitable core — the undisputed largest annual fundraiser in the world. Starting line is in Greenwich Park, winding past Cutty Sark, Canary Wharf, the Tower of London, with a long stretch along the Thames, through... View Article

A half-century later, revisit the Summer of Love at Royal Albert Hall

Summer of Love at The Albert Hall

A half-century later, revisit the Summer of Love at the Royal Albert Hall It has been 50 years since the world celebrated (and in some corners, reviled) the counterculture Summer of Love, defined by its music, clothing and spirit of free love and peace. London was at the epicenter of this phenomenon, and the Royal Albert Hall (“now we know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall,” sang the Beatles on Sgt. Pepper) played a significant role. From 18-21 May, the landmark will host Sixties at the Hall Tours, with guides exploring epic performances by The Beatles... View Article

Recall the elegance of the Titanic with the first-class passengers’ ‘last supper’

Titanic last supper

Recall the elegance of the Titanic with the first-class passengers’ ‘last supper’ More than a century after it set sail, both the tragedy and the luxury of the RMS Titanic voyager ship are legendary. Hoxley and Porter — a noted London cocktail bar and eatery in Islington with period décor that recalls the Titanic — is serving a three-course menu on Thursday, 13 April, inspired by the last supper consumed by first-class passengers on that date in 1912, the day before the ship struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank. Oysters and punch will be offered upon arrival,... View Article

Tall ships offer a towering experience over Easter weekend

Tall ships festival

Tall ships offer a towering experience over Easter weekend Elegant and graceful, more than 30 tall ships will cruise the River Thames over the four-day Easter weekend, from 13-16 April, before they set sail on a 7,000-nautical mile race across the Atlantic to Canada on the final day. Opportunities abound to view, tour — and even sail aboard — the ships at the Maritime Greenwich and Royal Arsenal Woolwich Riverfronts. On the shore, there will be plenty to do and see, as well, with a full array of live entertainment, food and fireworks. Cruises include a two-hour basic sail, watching... View Article

Hampton Court’s family-friendly Easter is all about chocolate, chocolate, chocolate

Hampton Court’s family-friendly Easter weekend

Hampton Court’s family-friendly Easter weekend — running through April 17 —adds holiday chocolate lovers’ treats to the usual historic royal activities. A Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt around Henry VIII’s home and gardens will result in receiving a chocolate treat, once all the bunnies are found. There will also be the opportunity to decorate one’s own chocolate cup to be enjoyed at home, and a session on how the Georgians drank their chocolate. Strolling the palace grounds will be Henry and a pregnant Anne Boleyn awaiting the birth of their first child. The Magic Garden interactive family play area has reopened,... View Article

The time is now to plan for Wimbledon Tennis. You will love-love it.

Wimbledon Tennis

The time is now to plan for Wimbledon Tennis. You will love-love it. It is equal parts eye-popping celebrity/royal watching and ahhh-inspiring world class tennis — and although Wimbledon doesn’t take to the grassy courts until July, time is tight to make your plans to catch this legendary sporting event. Using #MyChelseaFlat at Nell Gwynn Chelsea Accommodation as your base, you can catch the District Line at either Sloane Square or South Kensington London Underground stations for a direct trip lasting less than an hour — avoiding the madness of taking a car to the hallowed site of the world’s... View Article

Iconic images making rare visit to London at Tate Giacometti exhibit

Alberto Giacometti

Iconic images making rare visit to London at Tate Giacometti exhibit Five decades — 250 works — will be represented in the first major exhibit of the sculpture and paintings of Alberto Giacometti in the U.K. in two decades. Tickets are now on sale for the 10 May-10 September showing at the Tate Modern. Features will include iconic images such as the Walking Man bronze sculpture and plaster Flora Mayo sculpture of an early love, as well as rarely seen plasters and never-seen drawings. In its breadth, the Tate exhibit offers an unparalleled opportunity to view the evolution of one... View Article

Take a journey back to the age of the dinosaurs at Jurassic Kingdom

Jurassic kingdom

Take a journey back to the age of the dinosaurs at Jurassic Kingdom A short jaunt to Osterley Park from #MyChelseaFlat at Nell Gwynn Chelsea Accommodation will take visitors back to prehistoric times to become immersed in Jurassic Kingdom 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 1-17 April. The interactive pop-up theme park, which is beginning its tour of the U.K., will feature more than 30 animatronic dinosaurs in jaw-dropping scale, with life-like motion and sound effects. Snarling and lurching creatures such as Tyrannosaurus Rex, Diplodocus and airborne pterosaurs will offer a vivid experience of the Jurassic Age far beyond what can be conveyed... View Article

Hurry! Tickets are selling fast for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Chelsea Flower Show

Hurry! Tickets are selling fast for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show One of London’s most stunning events — right in our neighbourhood — is the annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, running from 23-27 May this year, and ticket availability is limited. From gorgeous garden designs to wildly imaginative floral art and cultural pavilions, to a marketplace, lectures, sensory gardens, and historic displays, the show is considered one of the world’s premier gardening spectacles. The show itself began in 1862, but it was in 1913 that it first landed in Chelsea. Three of... View Article

Wave your wand today to be part of Harry Potter magic at the British Library this fall

Harry Potter

Wave your wand today to be part of Harry Potter magic at the British Library this fall Lumos maxima! Tickets go on sale at noon today (3 April) for the highly anticipated “Harry Potter: A History of Magic” exhibit that will run from 20 October 2017 through 28 February 2018 at the British Library. The exhibit, done in collaboration with Bloomsbury to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, will feature original material from J.K. Rowling’s personal archives. Inspired by the subject matter of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the Library will... View Article

Rivalry on the river: Oxford, Cambridge lift their oars to help with cancer research

Oxford and Cambridge Boat race

Since 1829, the centuries-old rivalry between Oxford and Cambridge— England’s two most prestigious universities— is played out annually on the Thames. Now known as the Cancer Research UK Boat Races, this year’s version will take place on 2 April before an estimated quarter-million spectators — making these rowing races one of London’s largest free sporting events. Eight-oared women’s and men’s teams compete in separate events on the championship course spanning 4.2 miles (6.8km) from Putney to Mortlake beginning at 4:35 p.m. Prime viewing sites are Putney Bridge and Embankment and Bishop’s Park at the starting line; Craven Cottage, home of... View Article