London opens again like the cork of a bottle


In this travel report, John Scott Lewinski recounts a week in London exploring places and attractions that have opened or reopened new and improved ones after the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Coronavirus tried to shut down London. It failed. Three times the closures have brought silence and restricted activity to Europe’s largest city, and three times the British capital has rallied.

Today the city is wide open again with a wide range of newly opened or recently renovated hotels, bars and restaurants planning special events for the fall.

Fall attractions

Upside down festival: Running through the end of October, the Inside Out festival fills Westminster with collaborations between artists, theaters, museums and other London venues to celebrate London’s reopening and put locals and tourists back into the spirit of collaboration.

Carnaby: Greater London and Westminster have countless neighborhoods and boroughs with their own personalities. Carnaby Street and the surrounding area are home to some of the city’s newest and most unique dining and shopping venues. Carnaby is a place where tourists can mingle with locals in places they deem the hottest in town.

Connaught Village: This quaint but sophisticated neighborhood is often overlooked by travelers in favor of Hyde Park and nearby Kensington. Still, the plethora of locally owned shops, cafes, restaurants, and art galleries give this upscale collection of streets an upscale, but unpretentious feel.

Reine store: There are two queens that matter in London, and this store celebrates the one who doesn’t live in Windsor Castle. The Queen Store celebrates the legendary rock band in a pop-up fashion, combining a comprehensive collection of merchandise with real museum items documenting the band’s history.

London frieze: Based in Regent’s Park, Westminster, Frieze London is the most important event on the London calendar for contemporary artists, collectors and galleries. The fair focuses on living artists and innovators, with over 160 galleries. The event will run from October 13 to 17.

Lakwena at Temple Station: Popular London artist Lakwena recently transformed the roof of Temple Station in the London Underground into a geometric art installation. The colorful display will be in place until April.

New and renovated hotels

Soho Shrine: A trendy boutique hotel in the heart of central London, the Sanctum Soho offers rock n ‘roll decor with a matching soundtrack. Still, it limits noise at its rooftop bar and outside comfortable rooms. The staff are small, but attentive – and the downstairs restaurant varies its offerings between breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Saint-Ermine: Known the world over as London’s ‘spy hotel’, the posh establishment’s proximity to Whitehall, 10 Downing Street, and Houses of Parliament has long made it a popular hangout for powerful people. Today it is a friendly base with comfortable food and drink options and a roof full of bees that produce the hotel’s honey.

The Londoner: This new venue opened less than a month ago as we move into printing. Calling himself a “boutique,” ​​it feels a lot bigger than that and handles a special feat of engineering. It’s right on Leicester Square – one of the busiest, loudest and (on Friday and Saturday evenings) craziest gathering places in central London. Even in the midst of this weekend hustle and bustle, walking through the gates of the Londoner closes it all completely and immerses the client in an environment of peace, hospitality and sophistication. You won’t find better, more personalized service in any London hotel.

New and reopened restaurants and stores

Crispy bar: Calling itself a natural wine bar open all day, Bar Crispin is a small, friendly place in Carnaby offering small plates to share, like tapas, to accompany an accessible wine list. In fact, the small plates are really an excuse to make your way through these wine collections. A reservation is a good idea, considering the popularity and intimate size of the joint.

Korean dinner: One of the funniest little restaurants in the Carnaby area, the Korean Dinner Party offers a fusion menu with an Asian twist. We recommend the fried chicken by all means. Meanwhile, the upbeat and helpful service could be the highlight of your visit.

Aquavit: If you’ve come to the city of rain and fog from the land of ice and snow – and miss Norwegian cuisine – you’re in luck at Aquavit. To prove that you can find any type of international food in the UK capital, Aquavit specializes in Norwegian cuisine with a seafood focus. The plate and presentation are sophisticated and the service friendly enough to explain the duck. occasional on the menu.

Burger and Lobster: While its name sounds a bit like a food-centric law firm or a bizarre ’70s crime show, Burger and Lobster operates with a simple plan – to deliver a kind of friendly surf and turf with manageable prices. Live lobsters are waiting to be devoured in the tank when you enter, unless you go for the lean burger offerings. We recommend the deep friend lobster burger to cover your bets.

Plaquemine lock: You might not think of Louisiana bayou cuisine as you explore London, but Plaquemine Lock offers true Cajun flavor with a New Orleans-centric menu and friendly, friendly service to complement that southern vibe. . We believe tourists and locals alike should make this place a priority for comfort food.

28-50: Offering different menus throughout the day, the 28-50 focuses on its award-winning wine list. Still, it’s a friendly fair that will satisfy the impatient diner, even if they don’t dig the wine. While this is a favorite spot for scheduled wine tastings, we recommend its alfresco breakfast, weather permitting.

brothers wedding: Already a well-established premium teahouse franchise, the new Mariage Frères has a massive presence in Covent Garden. Offering hundreds of teas from around the world, visitors can enjoy an infusion on site or take it home. We recommend the full afternoon tea with the selection of sandwiches and cakes so pretty you won’t want to eat them (but you will).

Floris: Running at full speed out of Jermyn Street just in time for No time to die, Floris is home to his iconic # 89 – Ian Fleming’s favorite cologne. The crunchy, traditional and subtle # 89 is just one of many scents worn by the rich and famous (including Oscar Wilde and Marilyn Monroe). Floris will soon have new fragrances for the holiday season.

New art galleries and exhibitions

While there is an ever-changing collection of art galleries across Westminster, you can sample a nice variety of London galleries and get a glimpse of what is in and around this area of ​​Connaught Village.

The Dellasposa The gallery specializes in contemporary art and currently offers an eclectic collection of painting and sculpture including works by Damien Hirst and Misha Milanovich. Nearby, the Dorothy Circus Gallery combines today’s emerging artists with the ambiance of a bohemian tearoom. Ultimately, Kaleidoscope: a celebration of color is a celebration of the late London artist and gallery owner Halima Nalecz. Organized by Robin dutt, the show makes you wonder if artists want to enter the post-pandemic world with more joy and a brighter palette.

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