Celebrate the summer season in our capital's cultural village
PUBLISHED: 09:51 04 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:18 05 April 2018
JAMIE MCGREGOR SMITH
Coffee and croissants in a buzzing local deli on a lazy Saturday morning give way to the sights and sounds of the weekend street market. A stroll through a secluded square leads to a chance find in a neighbourhood art gallery. A long lunch follows in an old, wooden-timbered pub before a wander through a centuries-old churchyard and a scour of the blue badges showcasing famous former residents. Finally, a spot of retail therapy across a clutch of smart boutiques then it's back to unload and unwind in the sanctuary of your chic hotel…. bliss.
But all this in London? Well yes, for this is London with a difference.
Meandering around Marylebone – without a map, without time constraints – is all the itinerary you need for a life-affirming stay in this most characterful, unique part of the capital. As well as its rich seam of independent bars, restaurants and boutiques, there are a wealth of cultural attractions waiting to be discovered in W1’s bijou ‘village’ – from the contemporary artworks of the Rebecca Hossack gallery to the classical splendour of the Wallace Collection; the Instagrammable dishes and immaculately dressed A-listers of the Chiltern Firehouse to the intimate confines and intricate sounds of the Wigmore Hall. And all just five minutes in a black cab from the bright lights of the West End.
For those who do prefer an itinerary, cultural options abound in and around this eclectic neighbourhood. And where better to kickstart a weekend of discovery than the glories of the Royal Academy, just the other side of Mayfair. This year the aristocratic museum celebrates the 250th year of its annual show. But this is no fusty collection of artefacts. Curated by maverick contemporary artist Grayson Perry, expect to encounter a wealth of emerging talent. This summer also welcomes a new show from artist Chris Orr, via his quirky, colourful depictions of some of the greatest artists in history, from Pollock to Picasso: ‘The Miserable Lives of Fabulous Artists.’
Then there’s the Photographers Gallery in Soho, where the annual Deutsche Borse Foundation Prize acts as a showcase for the hottest new talent. Or, to make the most of the spring and summer months, enjoy theatre under the stars. Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre stages critically acclaimed productions of both contemporary and classic plays in gloriously verdant surroundings – a spellbinding reinvention of Peter Pan, packed with puppetry and theatrical magic, opens the summer season.
And where to base yourself to ensure you’re at the heart of Marylebone?
The vibrant, compelling spirit of Marylebone is reflected in the hotel that shares its name. There is an energy that is tangible at every turn in The Marylebone – not least in the chic, continental-feel of 108 Brasserie, set at the back of the hotel on a cobbled lane, with outside tables, greenery and elegant lantern lighting recalling a Parisian café which blends seamlessly into Marylebone village. Meanwhile, at the front of the property, the new and very stylish cocktail bar is less a bar, more a series of inviting nooks and crannies that winds its way around the open-plan ground floor in a botanical-inspired haven. Then there’s 108 Pantry and home to one of the most instagrammable Afternoon Tea’s in London, celebrating the charm, colour, scents and tastes of an English country garden. Combined with the service of a luxury hotel, these enclaves are only the tip of what is in store at this stunning hotel. With an on-site gym and spa and its own swimming pool (rare in London), the rooms are well-appointed and the suites are some of the most spacious and stylish in town, with the Terrace Suites offering private outdoor space high above the chimney pots. All in all, perfectly placed for a weekend break, The Marylebone is a place to play, not work. Much like the neighbourhood itself.
Have a look at how you can enjoy a stylish weekend in London at The Marylebone here
Or call the hotel team at 020 7486 6600