On the Street

63 ideas for a royal day out in London

This coronation year, give your plans a royal makeover...

If you're looking for things to do in London, or want to give someone special the royal treatment, there's nowhere better than Regent Street and St James's. On one hand, there's the vast open spaces of the Royal Parks, bookmarked by palaces and sites of cultural importance close by, and then there's shopping with Royal Warrant Holders, numerous Michelin-starred restaurants, and brilliant, bustling hotels. There's something for everyone, whether that’s a timeless afternoon tea or the opening ceremonies of the world’s most famous toy shop — it's all happening in London’s West End.

Plus, to coincide with King Charles III’s coronation in May 2023 there’s a wealth of extra special activities this spring and beyond. We'll see you there!

Must-visit Royal attractions

1. Gaze at the Union Jack Flags – wander down Regent Street and through St James’s from late April to enjoy over 150 flags decorating our neighbourhood. Quintessentially British bunting will also adorn the intricate ceilings of Princes Arcade and al fresco dining hub, Heddon Street.

2. Observe Changing the Guard – A regal day out isn’t complete without witnessing the pomp and ceremony of the daily Changing the Guard, a British tradition since 1660. Watch from nearby Horse Guards Parade and take a peek behind-the-scenes inside the stables at the Household Cavalry Museum.

3. Check if the King is at home – A building that needs little introduction, King Charles III’s official London residence is just a short walk away – it’s open to visitors from 14 July until 24 September this year. Fun fact: if the Royal Standard flag is flying above Buckingham Palace, the King is in residence.

4. Take a look inside Clarence House – The current home of the King and Queen Camilla is actually Clarence House, which is next to St James’s Palace and is usually open to visitors each August.

5. Snap a photo at St James’s Palace – A spectacular example of Tudor architecture, St James’s Palace was built under the instruction of Henry VIII in the 1530s. Today, it remains an important location for the Royals and contains the London residences of The Princess Royal and Princess Alexandra.

6. Visit London’s Royal Warrant Holders – Get a glimpse into everyday life as a Royal by visiting the many Royal Warrant Holders in the neighbourhood. These chosen suppliers to the Royal Family include the likes of foodie hotspot Fortnum & Mason, high-end perfumery Floris and jewellers Mappin & Webb, among others.

7. Spot our royal tribute – St James’s Market will shine brightly with an all-new must-see public art installation created by James Glancy Design and inspired by the official coronation emblem. The striking symbol features the flora of the four nations in the shape of St Edward’s Crown to represent unification and The King’s appreciation of the natural world.

8. Be part of history – watch King Charles III’s coronation on the big screen in St James’s Market.

Explore London's Royal parks

9. Stroll through St James’s Park – London's oldest park, St James’s Park is flanked by three palaces: Westminster (now the Houses of Parliament), St James's Palace and Buckingham Palace. With 23 hectares to explore, you can easily lose an afternoon enjoying the sunshine in such serene surrounds.

10. Capture the picture-perfect view from the Blue Bridge – Step into your own fairytale and snap a photo on the Blue Bridge across St James’s Park lake. See Buckingham Palace to the west and Big Ben and the London Eye to the east.

11. Visit Hyde Park's scent-sational Rose Garden – Nearby Hyde Park is full of things to do, but we love the serene Rose Garden, filled with bountiful blooms and herbaceous plants.

Treat your Royal family to the perfect day out

12. Picnic in a Royal Park – Make the most of sunny days in the city by visiting British institution Fortnum & Mason and curating the perfect hamper of savouries and sweets. Our favourite picnic spot is at the north end of St James’s Park.

13. Count the pelicans in St James’s Park – Pay a visit to the lake in St James’s Park and spot the six pelicans in residence. Every day between two and three in the afternoon, they’re served a fish lunch which makes for a fun observation.

14. Catch an opening ceremony the world's oldest and largest toyshop – Hamleys is a must-see (and play) destination for families. Get here early to watch the daily opening ceremonies and meet Hamley and Hattie bears and Toy Soldier – don’t forget to seek out royal-themed toys, from guards to princesses.

15. Inspire modern masters at the Royal Academy of Art – Founded in 1755, this creative institution continues to be one of the capital's most exciting art galleries, and with children under 16 going free, it’s the perfect opportunity to inspire their creativity. 

16. Enjoy a family meal at Heddon Street Kitchen – for a delicious feast at Gordon Ramsay’s Heddon Street Kitchen, where children under eight can enjoy a main meal for free when an adult dines from the à la carte menu.

17. Share a quintessential British tradition – Introduce little ones to a time-honoured tradition with the bespoke children’s afternoon tea at The Langham. We love its cute jigsaw sandwiches served with hot chocolate - although kids can take tea if they prefer.

Sample London's best afternoon tea

From the quirky to the classic, London’s full of exceptional afternoon tea experiences. Reportedly served afternoon tea daily, this is one royal habit we’d happily adopt. Get started with some of our favourites:

18. The afternoon tea for everyone: The Langham – Cited as the birthplace of afternoon tea, there’s no better place to take part in this tradition than at The Langham, located at the northernmost point of Regent Street. With vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free delicacies available, guests are guaranteed to leave with a smile.

19. The traditional one: The Ritz – Taking afternoon tea at The Ritz is a must for anyone looking for an afternoon of unbridled luxury and hospitality. Sit in its Palm Court and choose your tea with the help of its tea sommelier, Giandomenico Scanu, the only person with this role at a UK hotel, as live music soundtracks your experience.

20. The Royal-approved one: Fortnum & Mason – A Royal Warrant Holder, Fortnum & Mason has been serving tea since 1926 — the year of Queen Elizabeth II’s birth. Step inside this bastion of Britishness to experience afternoon tea that prizes heritage and flavour at the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon, which was named to mark the historic occasion of Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th year on the throne.

Create your trademark style

As with his mother before him, His Majesty has long held a reputation as a style icon with impeccably tailored suits, neat shirts and stylish accessories. Wander down the Mile of Style, browsing the Queen’s preferred purveyors to create your very own sartorial homage. 

21. Pick up seasonal staples at Burberry – Luxury British heritage fashion brand Burberry holds a unique position as Royal Warrant Holder, major fashion power player, household name and cultural icon. Visit Burberry’s Regent Street flagship to see these titles and achievements come together with signature flair. 

22. Prepare for all seasons at Barbour – Make like His Majesty and add a classic wax jacket to your wardrobe from Barbour at 73-77 Regent Street. 

23. Discover your signature scent at Penhaligon’s – Nothing rekindles memories or evokes emotion quite like a sensory experience. A favourite of the King, Penhaligon’s Regent Street boutique is full of beautiful fragrances

24. Uncover vintage treasures at Beyond Retro – Follow King Charles III’s sustainable ethos by browsing for handpicked items from the 60s to the 00s and take home future heirloom pieces from Beyond Retro

25. Add some sparkle at Mappin & Webb – The magpies amongst us should not miss a trip to Mappin & Webb at 132 Regent Street. Not only does it hold the Royal Warrant as jeweller, goldsmith and silversmith to His Majesty, but its master craftsman, Mark Appleby, is also currently the crown jeweller of the United Kingdom.

26. Find your fit at Turnbull & Asser – The King’s go-to place for bespoke shirts, Turnbull & Asser has a shirt for every occasion – whether you’re welcoming heads of state (well, you never know), to luxurious linen for summer parties.

27. Visit Lock & Co. the King’s hatmaker – The world’s oldest hat shop and creators of the original Bowler hat, Lock & Co. has a Royal Warrant for supplying all manner of headwear – find classic trilbies, modern pillboxes, perfectly crafted panamas and more.

28. Walk the streets wearing Crockett & Jones shoes – Looking for classic lace-ups, laid-back loafers or contemporary boots? Crockett & Jones has long made the King’s shoes – and he has even visited its factory to give the final Royal seal of approval.

Journey through historic and modern London

29. Tour central London’s blue plaques – Countless notable figures have paraded Regent Street and St James’s, so you can expect to find numerous blue plaques highlighting places of significance. From scientific trailblazers to political heavyweights, how many can you spot in the area?

30. Catch a screening at Regent Street Cinema – At the top end of Regent Street, you’ll find an important location in the history of film in Britain. In 1896, Regent Street Cinema was the first place that the Lumière brothers’ Cinématographe machine was shown to a paying audience. Step back in time today.

Tour the commonwealth from your table

His Majesty is not only the Head of State for the United Kingdom, but for countries across the world that make up the Commonwealth, too. Play homage to this by dining at the wealth of restaurants that find their flavours from global influences.

31. Visit Aussie brunch favourite – Heddon Street’s Ziggy Green is the perfect place to tuck into an exemplary Australian-style brunch. Think avo toast, exceptional coffee as well as sweet options like buttermilk pancakes and lamingtons.

32. Delight in fine Indian food – Near Piccadilly Circus, find Veeraswamy, London’s oldest Indian restaurant. Marvel at the charming views and fine flavours - it serves both.

33. Feast on African fusion cuisine at Papa L’s Kitchen – Lawrence Gomez, aka Papa L, puts African flavours on the map in London at Papa L’s Kitchen with his curation of marinades and spices that sing of his native Gambia and the African continent.

Find a moment of calm...

We all need to build moments of rest and relaxation into our busy schedules. That being said, finding retreat doesn’t have to mean heading to Balmoral. Instead, discover calm and sanctuary at these hidden Regent Street gems:

34. Akasha Holistic Wellbeing – The ultimate destination for peace and tranquillity in the West End, a visit to this spa at Hotel Café Royal will rejuvenate the senses and prove the ultimate central London oasis. 

35. Chuan Spa – Underground at The Langham, book in at Chuan Spa, where signature treatments and the elegant surrounds soothe away the stresses of the day. 

36. DryBy London – Brush shoulders with London’s best beauty editors who trust no one other than the DryBy experts with their immaculate manicures. Book in for a blow dry too for the full DryBy experience.

37. Murdock – Leave looking as good as you feel after a barber appointment at Murdock.

Make a reservation at one of London's top restaurants

Whether you’re looking for classic British cuisine or something a little more experimental, when you make a reservation on Regent Street or in nearby St James’s, expect unrivalled service and world-class ingredients. Book now at our favourite London restaurants:

38. Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill – For over 100 years, this seafood establishment has delighted diners. Located just off Regent Street on Swallow Street, expect a pre-theatre crowd enjoying a dozen of its renowned oysters with a flute of fizz.

39. Brasserie Zédel – A touch of Paris in London, Brasserie Zédel is a classic example of elegant Art Deco settings serving up the best of le délice de France. 

40. The Araki – In London, sushi doesn’t come more revered than that served at Japanese restaurant, The Araki on New Burlington Street.

41. Hawksmoor – British produce takes centre stage at Hawksmoor with meats and supplies sourced from across the isles. Look out for seafood from Brixham Fish Market in Devon and meats sourced from Yorkshire and reared by the team at The Ginger Pig. 

42. Ristorante Frescobaldi – Allow authentic Italian flavours and hospitality to host your celebration at this West End stalwart. Here, wine is sourced from the oldest, most respected vineyards of Italy to enhance the Tuscan flavours. 

43. Sabor – Get a taste of Spain at Sabor on Heddon Street. Whether you want to split a few plates of tapas, or sit down to its extravagant Michelin Star El Asador Feast Menu, every mouthful is an experience. 

44. Piccolino – Just a stone’s throw from the heart of Regent Street, Piccolino offers a quiet space to take a moment of respite, whether with a glass of wine or a hearty meal.

45. St James’s Market – Still hungry for ideas? Between Piccadilly and Haymarket at the south of Regent Street lies St James’s Market, the new home of some of London’s most exciting eateries.

Pick up the perfect momento

46. Browse the shelves at London's oldest bookshop – Visit Hatchards on Piccadilly, which has been in situ since the Georgian era and has been a long-time supplier to the Royal households of Britain and Europe.

47. Stock up on chocolate from a Royal chocolatier – Indulge your sweet tooth with a treat at Prestat, which was given a Royal Warrant by both Queen Elizabeth II and her mother Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. Its delectable morsels come packaged as prettily as they are morish.

48. Stop off at Hotel Chocolat – There’s always room for more chocolate. While King Charles III reportedly doesn’t like chocolate, Queen Elizabeth II was often described as a “chocoholic”, so it would only be fitting to follow her example and explore what Hotel Chocolat has to offer. Our pick? The Salted Caramel Selectors. 

49. Practice self-care with Molton Brown – Made in England since 1971, Molton Brown has a Royal Warrant. Shop here to mark the coronation in fitting — and fragrant — style. 

50. Make a statement with Liberty – Explore the collection of pocket squares at Liberty, a perfect nod to His Majesty’s flawless style.

Raise a toast to his majesty

Whether you’re a whisky-lover like the King, or a self-confessed oenophile, raise a glass to celebrate this historic event at one of London’s best bars:

51. The Nest in Treehouse – Head to the skies and perch on the terrace overlooking Regent Street’s flags at The Nest in Treehouse.

52. Dukes London Bar – James Bond creator Ian Fleming was a regular at Dukes Bar, a short walk from Piccadilly. It's thought that it was here that he coined the phrase “shaken not stirred” for his most famous character. Martinis — however you might prefer them — remain a fixture at this renowned watering hole. 

53. The American Bar at The Stafford – King Charles would be right at home given at secluded The American Bar, given the vast whisky selection on offer – this includes Laphroaig, which has been given a Royal Warrant by the King.

54. The George – Located on Great Portland Street, The George pub has been an important space for political, cultural and social movements since the 18th century, moving to a literary and creative hotspot in the last century. Discover it for yourself.

55. The Wigmore – Visit The Wigmore for an elevated British menu overseen by Michel Roux Jr. Sip signature cocktails, choose from its extensive wine list or perhaps try its craft beer, The Wigmore Saison. Teetotal? Work your way through its selection of zingy Tavern Lemonades. 

56. Artesian at The Langham – Regularly voted among The World’s Best Bars, expect drinks with a difference at Artesian. Here, cocktails become a sensory experience and come served hot, cold, fizzy and smooth.

57. Bar Américain – Immerse yourself in the glitz and glamour of prohibition America with sublime cocktails at Art Deco Bar Américain

58. The Green Bar – Rediscover the classic gin and tonic at Hotel Café Royal’s iconic Green Bar, which prizes itself on its plethora of gins, botanicals and the finest tonics.  

Where to stay for a weekend in London

And with your royal exploration coming to a close, a cosy bed in a West End hotel is calling. Luckily, we’re in close proximity to a slew of the capital’s finest establishments who will ensure you’ve never felt more at home.

59. The Stafford – St James’s reputation for detail and prestige extends into its hotels. The Stafford London, adjacent to Green Park, is no exception. Its three separate buildings come with their own unique characteristics to make for a truly memorable stay in the heart of the capital. 

60. The Ritz – For a memorable getaway, why not extend your celebration to include a stay at world-renowned Royal Warrant Holder, The Ritz

61. St James’s Hotel – If you’re looking for 5* service, look no further than St James’s Hotel & Club. When you stay at this intimate, boutique hotel, expect the sort of refined service that the area’s membership clubs are renowned for. Try its Royal British Package, including a tour of London in Mini Coopers and champagne afternoon tea.

62. Hotel Cafe Royal – Book the one-night King Charles III Experience at Hotel Café Royal for some right royal treatment. Available until 1 October, the package even includes a chauffeur-driven tour of royal sights in the late Queen Mother’s Daimler.

63. The Langham – Once a regular hangout for Princess Diana, The Langham’s elegant rooms, spa and sumptuous afternoon tea are sure to make you feel like royalty. If you’re keen to stay around the coronation, the Coronation Celebration (available 1-14 May) includes coronation cake, breakfast in bed and champagne.

Discover more ideas for all the family with these free things to do on Regent Street or take King Charles III’s lead in helping to create a better future with these.


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