Where to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III in London

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May 2023 will be one for the history books as the United Kingdom crowns its 40th monarch, King Charles III, in a celebration featuring all the British pomp, pageantry and splendour we have come to associate with the Royal Family. Golden carriages and jewelled crowns at the ready, as invited guests from across the world pour into London on 6 May, the capital’s celebrations for us lesser mortals, albeit taking place away from Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey, will also be fit for a king. 

Whether you’re an out-of-towner looking to partake in all the fervent fanfare which will immerse the capital, or a patriotic Londoner in need of staycation, we’ve found the best coronation offerings from five-star hotels, as well as delectable menus, unique cocktails and street parties. So, without further ado, here’s how to celebrate the coronation in London. 

Covent Garden

From a traditional British pub garden in the heart of the piazza to a bespoke art installation, special menus and celebratory street dressing, Covent Garden is hosting an array of royal celebrations leading up to the coronation. 

First up, the Crown Jewels Garden will pop up in the piazza from 21 April until 14 May and will feature a variety of entertainment celebrating the once-in-a-lifetime occasion. A screening of the Coronation ceremony on 6 May will be accompanied by live music and entertainment, including piano sing-alongs and a bar serving British beer, cider, gin and pub classics, including a Royal Trifle, sausage rolls, ploughman’s boards and more. 

For celebratory photo moments from mid-April onwards, the historic Market Building and streets throughout Seven Dials will be adorned with over 4,000 Union Jack flags. A new installation will be created by graffiti artist Jimmy C, who previously designed Brixton’s iconic David Bowie memorial mural. On 25 April, Jimmy will also be live painting a special themed mural made from over 700 cans in partnership with recycling initiative Every Can Counts. 

Restaurants across Covent Garden will also be getting involved in the coronation by serving new takes on traditional British dishes. Cora Pearl will be offering takeaway coronation chicken brioche rolls, alongside a canned cocktail — Bad Kitty — made with gin, elderflower, lemon juice and cava to toast the celebrations. Diners will also be able to enjoy Covent Garden’s al fresco delights with over 55 dining terraces to choose from, including Petersham Nurseries, Ladurée, Ave Mario and more. 

Visit coventgarden.london

Claridge’s, Mayfair

Often referred to as the ‘annexe of Buckingham Palace’, it’s no wonder five-star hotel Claridge’s is pulling out all the stops for the coronation next month. To celebrate the hotel’s long-standing relationship with the Royals — which first started when Queen Victoria visited in 1860, later becoming a refuge for the Kings of Greece, Norway and Yugoslavia during the Second World War and, more recently, a bolthole for heads of state across the world and a favourite among Queen Elizabeth II and the Queen Mother — Claridge’s archivist Kate Hudson has created the Coronation Archive Windows to showcase some of the hotel’s most memorable royal moments. 

Presented for all to see on the ground floor of the hotel, the display will have a particular focus on coronations throughout the 200-year life of the hotel, featuring celebratory fans created by the hotel in 1911 for the Coronation of King George V and Queen Mary, and Claridge’s menus and cocktail cards created for the Coronations of King George VI in 1937 and Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Make sure you visit the hotel’s Talking Head Gallery too, where Claridge’s Artist in Residence David Downton will unveil a new colour portrait of King Charles III.

For those with a sweet tooth, sample the signature Claridge’s Crest Cake which will be flourished with gold leaf, before heading to The Painter’s Room, which has created a special drinks menu, nodding to the fact that King Charles himself is a celebrated painter. The cocktail list will reflect the King’s love of his garden at Highgrove and all things floral, botanical and sustainable. 

Brook Street, W1K 4HR, visit claridges.co.uk

Aire Ancient Baths, Embankment

If the coronation — and all the excitement and crowds that come with it — is proving too hectic for you, head to Aire Ancient Baths for the ultimate de-stress detox. The Royal Indulgence experience is inspired by the most iconic British ritual of all: a cup of tea. Enjoy the myriad benefits of tea, discover an ancient wellness technique that can be traced back to Ancient Greece and savour the most delicious and unique teas and herbal infusions with an exclusive tea-tasting journey in an 18th-century townhouse, just a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace (so really, you’re not missing out on the fun…).

Kick off the experience by exfoliating with a traditional Greek bath house tool that will gently remove impurities and dead skin as well as stimulating lymphatic drainage for a smoother appearance, before a 45-minute full body massage with aromatic tea oil helps reduce muscle tension and relax the mind before entering the private bath for an Earl Grey tea soak. Stimulate senses further with a guided tasting of teas and herbal infusions — including Damask Rose and Modern Kykeon, with notes of wild mountain mint and oat grains — all accompanied with bespoke chocolates for an extra sweet touch. 

Finally, no Aire experience is complete without a dip in the ancient thermal baths, where you can take a gentle tour through baths of different temperatures, from the jets bath to the steamy Vaporium with aromatherapy oils and the Flotarium salt water bath, which has its own salt exfoliation area.

2-3 Robert Street, WC2N 6BH. From £400 per person, visit beaire.com

The Londoner, Leicester Square

Heading to the capital for the coronation? Leicester Square’s super-boutique hotel, The Londoner, is welcoming both locals and out-of-towners with open arms from 20 April to 18 May with its two royal packages. 

In honour of the new King’s favourite tipple, The Londoner will be transforming The Stage into a pop-up martini bar, offering three iterations including His Majesty, the classic martini; Le Français, inspired by the French Martini; and, as a tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II, a creative blend of her favourite drink Gin and Dubonnet, and a Martinez, widely believed to be the precursor of the martini. All are best served alongside a plate of two Fine de Claire oysters with lemon crème fraiche and green tabasco dill oil.  

Need somewhere to rest your weary head? Book The Londoner’s Royal Coronation Experience package, and take a day to follow in the footsteps of royalty with the Royal Coronation Tour. Trace the route of the coronation procession from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace and enjoy all the iconic landmarks the capital is known for. After an afternoon of sightseeing, remember your room key grants you access to The Residence — three beautifully-designed spaces just for hotel residents including The Drawing Room, The Y Bar and The Whisky Room — and The Retreat, where you can enjoy some well-deserved downtime at the pool, gym and superfood clinic before sinking into a heavenly king-sized bed. 

38 Leicester Square, WC2H 7DX. From £808 for a two-night minimum stay, visit thelondoner.com

Hotel Café Royal, Piccadilly

Once a bohemian bolthole for the likes of Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw and Virginia Woolf, a 2013 refurbishment saw Hotel Café Royal equipped with extra-special regal touches. Living up to its royal name for such an occasion, the coronation weekend will see the five-star hotel introduce two packages, available until 1 October, that are perfect for those wishing to delve into the life and history of King Charles III and his family. 

The Crown Jewels Experience begins with a stay in the opulent two-bedroom Royal Suite — featuring floor-to-ceiling windows boasting views across Regent Street, golden-hued walls and Siena marble furnishings — before a chauffeur whisks you to the Tower of London for an exclusive after-hours visit. A personal tour of the grounds led by one of the King’s Beefeaters is followed by a champagne reception and private viewing of the breathtaking Crown Jewels and Royal Collection at the Jewel House. Treasures on display include the largest diamond in the world, the 17th-century solid gold St Edward’s Crown and Sovereign’s Orb, used during coronations, and the 20th century Imperial State Crown, which is set with 2,868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, 269 pearls and four rubies. You will be returned to the hotel entrance by your chauffeur before breakfast, fit for a king, will be served by a personal butler the following morning.

Alternatively, opt for the King Charles III Experience, where all guests of Hotel Café Royal can enjoy a day visiting iconic London landmarks associated with the new monarch. From Mayfair to St James, explore the capital guided by a royal expert with stops at Clarence House, St James’ Palace and Buckingham Palace. A luxurious Daimler car — once belonging to the Queen Mother — will then transport you past St Paul’s Cathedral to the Guildhall Gallery to view a 1969 bust of the young King Charles III, before being chauffeur-driven back to Hotel Café Royal for an award-winning champagne afternoon tea in the historic Grill Room’s Est 1865, with stunningly ornate Louis XVI detailing.

10 Air Street, W1B 5AB. The Crown Jewels Experience is priced at £12,995 per night; The King Charles III Experience is priced from £2,625 per night and requires a two-night stay. Visit hotelcaferoyal.com

The Goring, Belgravia

The closest luxury hotel to Buckingham Palace, The Goring has been a firm royal favourite for many years and is the only hotel with a Royal Warrant for hospitality services. Since 1910, every reigning monarch has walked through the hotel’s doors and its association with King Charles reaches as far back as 1948, when The Goring’s pastry chefs supplied a cake for Prince Charles’ christening. More recently, in 2008 the crowned heads of Europe enjoyed a lunch at The Goring for Prince Charles’ birthday celebrations.

Moving onto coronation celebrations, The Goring’s head chef Graham Squire has crafted an exquisite menu, available as both an a la carte and six-course tasting menu served in the Michelin-starred Dining Room from 1-7 May. Focusing on Welsh specialities and foraged ingredients that nod to the environmental philosophy held by the new king, a highlight is the coddled Clarence Court egg with fine herb garden salad and truffle vinaigrette — The Goring’s take on one of His Majesty’s favourite dishes. Other decadent offerings include buttered morel and wild mushroom vol au vent with smoked pancetta, and white chocolate and lemon cream, honey and chamomile — all perfectly complemented with champagne or The Goring’s new Coronation Gin.

15 Beeston Place, SW1W 0JW. The Coronation Tasting Menu is priced at £140 per person, visit thegoring.com

Mondrian Shoreditch

For a more relaxed royal experience in typical east London style, book the Royal Night Out package at Mondrian Shoreditch from 5-8 May. Including a two-night stay, trust you will be well fed as the offering includes brunch at the hotel’s acclaimed Spanish restaurant, BiBo Shoreditch (think chorizo brioche, gambas fritas, eggs benedict, pan con tomate) before dining at Laurel’s on the Roof. While sitting under the shining lights of The City, tuck into the restaurant’s signature 10-item Californian-inspired feast, complete with favourites including shakshuka, avocado on toast, pancake stacks and French toast, all served alongside the King’s favourite tipple: a gin martini. 

45 Curtain Road, EC2A 3PT. From £499 for two nights, visit book.ennismore.com

The Standard London, King’s Cross

On 3 May, The Standard is offering an alternative to the capital’s lavish events with a celebration of the UK’s other line of royalty: drag kings. For a one-night-only, LGBTQ+ event series TheirStories will host King Culture: an exploration of the burgeoning drag king scene, as seen through the eyes of four of the UK’s top drag kings: Beau Jangles, Wesley Dykes, King Frank Sinatra, and host, Prinx Silver. The evening is set to feature rich conversations and powerful performances that investigate, celebrate and uplift the diverse narratives of London’s vibrant LGBTIQA+ community set in the surroundings of the hotel’s Library Lounge.

10 Argyle Street, WC1H 8EG, visit standardhotels.com

The Stafford, St James

The Stafford is inviting Londoners and tourists alike to celebrate the coronation with a street party in The American Bar’s courtyard on 6 May. Adorned with Union Jacks from every corner, there will be music, outdoor games and a selection of the best British party food including oysters, The Stafford burger, fish goujons and chips, traditional hog roast and homemade doughnuts, all washed down with a glass of Hundred Hills English sparkling wine on arrival. The St James’s hotel is just a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace and the coronation procession will pass close by, while you will be able to spot the RAF flypast right over the courtyard, making it the perfect location to celebrate this grand occasion.  

16-18 St James’s Place, SW1A 1NJ. From £135 per person, visit thestaffordlondon.com

The Dorchester, Park Lane

Another Grand Dame which has a special, enduring relationship with the Royal Family is The Dorchester on Park Lane. King Charles first acquainted himself with the famous hotel in 1970, before going on to host countless charitable dinners and state banquets in its halls. The King’s parents were also very familiar with the hotel; his father, HRH Prince Philip, held his bachelor party at The Dorchester on the eve of his wedding and HM The Queen visited throughout her reign. 

Come 6 May, The Dorchester will have celebrated three royal coronations: the first in 1937 for King George VI and then for Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, when an elaborate façade was draped across the front of the hotel. To celebrate the new monarch, the five-star hotel will recreate these decorations which were, at the time, said to be the best in the city. The unveiling of the decorations will mark the start of the hotel’s celebrations honouring His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort, which also include an afternoon tea, special menus and a unique cocktail. 

At The Dorchester’s newly-opened Vesper Bar, the talented team will be serving a Sovereign Martini inspired by The King’s favourite tipple. The serve will see Wessex gin, Royal Garden mead, dry vermouth, lavender bitter and orange scent presented in a delicate, bespoke martini glass. 

Also be sure to visit the new Cake and Flowers boutique, which has its own entrance on the Deanery Street corner of the hotel, where in-house florist Philip Hammond will create a spectacular display in the window. Shelves and cases will be filled with signature cakes, uniquely presented gift hampers, floral bouquets and a selection of champagnes and artisan chocolates. As tribute to The Coronation Emblem, Hammond will also create magnificent floral arrangements throughout the hotel unifying the flora of the four nations of the United Kingdom: the rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, the daffodil of Wales and the shamrock of Northern Ireland. 

53 Park Lane, W1K 1QA. Visit dorchestercollection.com

Carnaby Street, Soho

carnaby street soho

An iconic tourist hotspot, Carnaby Street won’t disappoint those flocking to the capital for the coronation with its series of shimmering red and silver decorations, crowned by the Coronation in Carnaby arch and an oversized crown that will be suspended above the street. On 6 May, the giant light bulb art installation on Ganton Street will be turned red, white and blue for the duration while, back on the ground, you’ll find live music performances on every street corner. 

It would be wrong to pass up the opportunity to dine in the aptly-named Kingly Court on coronation weekend, with 28 food and beverage options including the newly-opened Darjeeling Express and vibrant independent favourites such as Korean Dinner Party and Imad’s Syrian Kitchen. Visitors can dine on one of the three floors, soak up the sun (hopefully) or stay after hours at Nightjar, a late-night live jazz bar, and the 1940s-themed cocktail bar Cahoots.

Visit carnaby.co.uk

Regent Street and St James’s

regent street coronation

Home to the largest cluster of Royal Warrant holders in the country, Regent Street and St James’s will no doubt be a hotspot come the coronation. A sea of 175 red, white and blue flags will soar above Regent Street and St James’s from 25 April, spanning from the very north of Regent Street down the curve, beyond to Waterloo Place and along historic Jermyn Street. Also, free for public enjoyment in St James’s Market, a vast screen will be installed to broadcast televised coronation content. Deck chairs will provide a moment of respite for those making the most of the once-in-a-lifetime event. 

For those looking for the perfect coronation spread, 280-year-old institution Wilton’s has created a seven-course feast specifically for the coronation. Just across Piccadilly, Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill will also be serving coronation specials, including Bentley’s smoked salmon, crispy egg and caviar to start and a Royal Fish Pie exclusively available over the coronation weekend. For something more casual, St James’s Market’s pub The Beau will serve its very own Coronation Chicken Burger and a Bonnie Prince Charlie Scotch Egg. 

Visit regentstreetonline.com and stjameslondon.co.uk

Dukes London, St James’s 

Last, but definitely not least, Dukes London is hosting its Royal Connoisseur Experience to ensure guests are pampered in regal style with finely-designed indulgences, including private access to some of the most prestigious brands in St James’s. Book a luxurious stay at one of Dukes sophisticated rooms and suites to enjoy a Moyses Stevens seasonal floral arrangement and traditional cream tea on arrival, before a four-course dinner at the hotel’s Great British Restaurant and a Royal Breakfast with Exmoor salted caviar and a glass of champagne during the course of your stay. 

You’ll also find lush slippers with monogrammed crowns and a DR Harris Travel Set in your room, as well as a map of St James’s pointing you in the direction of viewing points and information about the coronation events. A key element of this unique package is the private access that Dukes can arrange to an array of Royal Warrant holders adjacent to the five-star hotel, including the oldest hat shop in the world Lock & Co, the world’s oldest barbershop Truefitt & Hill, British tailoring house Anderson & Sheppard, and the UK’s oldest wine and spirit merchant, Berry Bros and Rudd. Nothing quite like a shopping spree to get you in the celebratory mood… 

35 St James’s Place, SW1A 1NY. From £1,173 per night, visit dukeshotel.com

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