London is great all year round because no matter the weather, there is always something luxurious to be doing in and around the hotel.
Of course, It is also an obvious win in the summer because of its proximity to Hyde Park, which is overflowing with exciting, outdoorsy activities to knock your socks off (which is ideal, because you do not want to wear anything but sandals!)
Hyde Park is London’s major Grade I-listed park in Central London, spanning a whopping 142 hectares. The perfect Summer’s day in Hyde Park all revolves around its major lake, Serpentine Lake, which was created by Queen Caroline in 1730 and takes up 40 acres of the park and is 1.2km in length. So it should come as no surprise that it is brimful of incredible activities that will remind you just how lovely British summer time can be – and just how refreshing and natural a Summer city break in London can be, too.
For a relaxing, lazy morning, you could have breakfast at The Marble Arch by Montcalm London either in bed or downstairs at the in-house restaurant.
Or, if you want to get-up-and-go as soon as you open your eyes, you could head to Serpentine Bar & Kitchen for breakfast. Not only does this place have a fantastic pastry selection and the kind of coffee that will give you the energy you need for a day of exploring, but it is also glass-walled to ensure that if it is a bit too breezy to be out on the terrace overlooking the lake and the birds swimming about, you can enjoy the bright Summer day from inside too. If you’re after a breakfast slightly heartier than a crisp pain au chocolat, you are in the right place. All breakfasts make use of fresh British free-range eggs, and have a range of veggie and vegan options too. The baked eggs, spiced red pepper, tomato sauce, Greek feta and toasted brioche Shakshuka breakfast is a crowd-pleaser of note – this alone will keep you coming back for more.
You will probably see the lido festivities kicking off in the distance from your perch at Serpentine Bar & Kitchen. A 100m strip of the Serpentine has been allocated for unrivalled fun, swimming and Summer excitement for adults and supervised children. There is also a children’s play area. There is a grass embankment as well as deck chair facilities to lounge on, taking in the sun’s rays and getting a bit of a tan before you head home after your London Summer getaway. It is open every day of the week for the rest of the Summer, from now until early September.
Open: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm (last entry 5:30pm)
Price: Adult: £4.80 (£4.10 after 4pm)
Concessions: £3.80 (£3.10 after 4pm)
Child: £1.80 (£1.10 after 4pm)
Family ticket (2 adults and 1 or 2 children): £12.00 (£9 after 4pm)
Under 16s must have adult supervision. 2 adults to every 1 under 16 if customers are swimming.
If you would like to be on the water rather than in it, that is not a need too difficult for the multi-faceted Serpentine Lake to meet. On the other side of the lake from the Lido is Bluebird Boats Ltd, which can be accessed either by walking back from the Lido towards Serpentine Bar & Kitchen and around, or over the Serpentine Bridge. This is a boat rental service that has a boat for every mood. Whether you are looking more to cruise down the lake on the multi-seated SolarShuttle, or to just hire a little paddle or pedal boat, the options are there.
Don’t fancy a swim? Head back to The Marble Arch by Montcalm, one of the best spa hotels in London, for a treatment. You can catch up with the rest of your group later!
Open: 10am – 8pm
Small boat price: Adult: £10 (30 minutes), £12 (hour)
Child (under 15): £4 (30 minutes), £5 (hour)
Family (2 adults and 2 children): £24 (30 minutes), £29 (hour)
SolarShuttle price: Adults: £2.50 (one-way), £4.50 (return)
Children: £1 (one-way), £1.50 (return
Family: £6 (one-way), £10 (return)
The café at the lido, Lido Café and Bar, is not just the closest lunch spot, although that makes it particularly convenient, but also one of the best spots to get the British Summer classic: fish and chips. If you are after something lighter, like a salad or a bagel, these are also delicious, but their fish and chips is a show-stopper of note. It is licensed to sell alcohol, so you can enjoy a G&T whilst overlooking the spectacular view of the lake and swimmers. It also has toilets, baby-changing and outdoor seating facilities so is the perfect spot for post-swimming shenanigans.
Open: 8am-9pm (Summer hours)
Rotten Row is unfairly named, as it is one of London’s loveliest park walks. This track is 1384 metres long, running from Serpentine Road to Hyde Park Corner. You can do as much or as little of the walk as you like, but rest assured it provides a wholesome scope of the wonderous, luscious contours of Hyde Park. Established by William III nearing the end of the 17th century, people have been walking this route for hundreds of years – but it doesn’t get old! Why not do a little sculpture spotting en route? Keep your eyes peeled for the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.
Alternatively, head to your dinner spot early. On the other side of the Serpentine Bridge from where Serpentine Bar & Kitchen sits is Chucs Café, in The Serpentine Sackler Gallery. These contemporary art galleries are life-affirming and wildly impressive displays of modern art. There are two of them, located in close proximity to one another, so you could spend hours exploring them as well as walking in the lovely Kensington Gardens.
This contemporary European restaurant is slick, modern, and arty. You feel as if you are part of the artwork under the futuristic canopy structure which is Zaha Hadid’s renowned ‘Magazine’ extension to the gallery. Once the gallery closes at 6pm, you can head straight to the restaurant for your reservation, as they only serve early dinners. The sun will probably still be bouncing light onto you at that stage, making the whole day feel like one glorious endless Summer. Their Chicken Milanese is a guaranteed win every time, as is their Limoncello flavoured lemon sorbet.
Or, if you’re ready to call it a night, head back to The Marble Arch by Montcalm London and grab some room service.