THE ROYAL TREAT­MENT

Lon­don reigns as the cap­i­tal of cool

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Escape - - DESTINATION | UNITED KINGDOM - KERRY PAR­NELL

It’s a mix of old and new in the UK next year, from his­tor­i­cal cel­e­bra­tions around the bi­cen­te­nary of Queen Vic­to­ria’s birth and the 75th an­niver­sary of D-Day, to yet an­other wave of hip ho­tels open­ing in Lon­don. The cap­i­tal will also host its largest ex­hi­bi­tion of van Gogh’s works in a decade as well as a Chris­tian Dior ret­ro­spec­tive. If all that leaves you ex­hausted, there are lux­ury re­treats launch­ing all over the na­tion – from Mon­key Is­land in Berk­shire to a float­ing ho­tel in Ed­in­burgh.

GET READY TO ROCK

One of Lon­don’s loud­est launches next year has to be the Hard Rock Ho­tel. It’s on the site of the for­mer Cum­ber­land Ho­tel, whose pre­vi­ous guests in­cluded Bob Dy­lan, Jimi Hen­drix, Diana Ross, Ste­vie Won­der and Madonna. Open­ing in March, it will have 1000 rooms, two bars and a Hard Rock Cafe. Guests can up­grade to Rock Roy­alty, where rooms come with a concierge and room rider, and you can spec­ify a choice of pil­lows, scents, food, drink and toi­letries. HRHLONDON.COM

RE­MEM­BER D-DAY

June 6 marks the 75th an­niver­sary of the D-Day land­ings, and cel­e­bra­tions are planned in the UK and North­ern France. The Im­pe­rial War Mu­se­ums’ Churchill War Rooms and HMS Belfast in Lon­don and IWM Dux­ford in Cam­bridgeshire are host­ing events from June 1-9. In Portsmouth, the new D-Day Story mu­seum has mov­ing ex­hi­bi­tions and mem­o­ra­bilia.

The nearby vil­lage of South­wick, which was the cen­tre for Op­er­a­tion Over­lord, is host­ing a re­vival on June 8-9. It was at South­wick House that Gen­eral Dwight D. Eisen­hower led the COAL DROPS YARD Al­lied com­mand for D -Day. Im­pe­rial War Mu­seum tick­ets vary ac­cord­ing to the venue. The D -Day Story tick­ets are £10 adult (about $18), £5 child. IWM.ORG.UK, THEDDAYSTORY.COM, SOUTHWICKREVIVAL.CO.UK

REVEL IN THE ROY­ALS

The Palace of Holy­rood­house in Ed­in­burgh is host­ing the ex­hi­bi­tion A Royal Wed­ding: The Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex from June to Oc­to­ber, which in­cludes Meghan’s Givenchy wed­ding dress.

It is also 200 years since the birth of Queen Vic­to­ria at Kens­ing­ton Palace and it’s host­ing a new ex­hi­bi­tion in her for­mer rooms, from May. On the Isle of Wight, English Her­itage prop­erty Os­borne is also cel­e­brat­ing. The house was a much-loved re­treat for Vic­to­ria and Prince Al­bert and the start of a golden age for the is­land, as writ­ers, poets and artists such as Al­fred, Lord Ten­nyson flocked there.

Royal fans will also love the new sea­son of The Crown which airs on Net­flix early next year, star­ring Olivia Col­man and To­bias Men­zies as a now older Queen Eliz­a­beth II and Prince Philip. For those want­ing the real thing, Buck­ing­ham Palace is open to visi­tors from July to Septem­ber.

Tick­ets to Palace of Holy­rood­house and The Queen’s Gallery, £19.10 adult, £10.80 child; Buck­ing­ham Palace’s State Rooms, Royal Mews and The Queen’s Gallery, £42.30 adult, £23.30 child; Kens­ing­ton Palace, £19.50 adult, £9.70 child; Os­borne House £17.20 adult, £10.30 child.

Book a 26-night, “The Royal Treat­ment” Mediter­ranean cruise pack­age on Emer­ald Princess de­part­ing Septem­ber 17 and a pre­cruise stay in Lon­don will in­clude a gala din­ner at Kens­ing­ton Palace. RCT.UK, HRP.ORG.UK, ENGLISHHERITAGE.ORG.UK, VISITISLEOFWIGHT.CO.UK, IMAGINETHIS.COM.AU

NOSE AROUND LON­DON’S NEW NEIGH­BOUR­HOOD

Just when you think you’ve sussed out ev­ery­where to see in Lon­don comes a new neigh­bour­hood, Coal Drops Yard near King’s Cross. This arty shop­ping precinct has been de­vel­oped from Vic­to­rian coal­yards and the cob­bled streets and arches re­vi­talised, hous­ing bars, cafes and shops in­clud­ing Paul Smith and Tom Dixon. KINGSCROSS.CO.UK

GO FOR VAN GOGH

Tate Bri­tain has an­nounced the largest ex­hi­bi­tion of Vin­cent van Gogh’s work in the UK for nearly a decade. Run­ning March to Au­gust, The EY Ex­hi­bi­tion: van Gogh and Bri­tain show­cases 40 of the artist’s most fa­mous works and looks at van Gogh’s re­la­tion­ship with Bri­tain – he lived in Lon­don in his youth – and the Bri­tish art, lit­er­a­ture and cul­ture he was in­spired by, from Con­sta­ble to Dick­ens. Tick­ets £22 adult, £5 child. TATE.ORG.UK

RE­TURN TO DOWN­TON ABBEY

Down­ton Abbey ad­dicts will be de­lighted to dis­cover film­ing for the movie is un­der way, with the re­lease sched­uled for late 2019. The real Down­ton Abbey is the mag­nif­i­cent High­clere Cas­tle in Berk­shire. Home to the Earl and Count­ess of Carnar­von, the cas­tle and grounds are open to the pub­lic on spe­cific dates through the year. Tick­ets, £16 adult, £11 child. HIGHCLERECASTLE.CO.UK

CATCH THE CRICKET

Bri­tain will be on the itin­er­ar­ies of sports fans next year with two ma­jor com­pe­ti­tions, the Cricket World Cup be­tween May and July, fol­lowed by the Ashes in Au­gust and Septem­ber. Those look­ing for a Lon­don ho­tel should check out The Rubens at The Palace (rooms from £152) which has just been awarded five stars fol­low­ing a mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar re­fur­bish­ment. Pre­vi­ously one of Lon­don’s best-kept se­crets, the grand old ho­tel over­looks Buck­ing­ham Palace.

ICC-CRICKET.COM, RUBENSHOTEL.COM

DUBBED LON­DON’S SEX­I­EST SKYSCRAPER, THE 42-STOREY BUILD­ING WILL HAVE VER­TI­CAL GAR­DENS

RE­TREAT FROM THE AC­TION

For some­thing more se­date, head out of Lon­don to The Lan­g­ley, a beau­ti­ful new coun­try house ho­tel in 200ha of man­i­cured es­tate in Buck­ing­hamshire, just west of Heathrow. The Grade IIlisted ho­tel which opens in Fe­bru­ary was the for­mer home of the Duke of HIGH­CLERE CAS­TLE

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