May is a great month to get out an about, with temperatures heating up and the nights being longer. We’ve rounded up some of our top May travel tips and best London restaurant recommendations, hope you enjoy reading!
This month, the hotly anticipated Alberto Giacometti exhibition comes to Tate Modern. It’s the first major retrospective of the artist in the UK for 20 years. From 10 May to 10 September, visitors can admire over 250 of Giacometti’s unique artworks.
I recently went to the launch of the new quarterly magazine for the drinks industry, KANPAI!. It’s a stylish publication that celebrates bar-tending and takes its name from the Japanese word for “cheers”. The first edition is all about the art of the cocktail, and is available online or from selected drinks retailers.
If you’re into photography or food, you’re sure to enjoy the entries for the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Mall Galleries. The exhibition itself is now closed but you can see all the inspirational entries online. Do encourage any friends or family who take great food photos to enter next year, it’s open to amateurs and professionals and there’s a children’s category too.
MAY TRAVEL TIPS
Lugano is one of the most picturesque places in Switzerland, thanks to its beautiful lake, luxurious shops and delightful restaurants. Now is the perfect time to visit, as the cable cars transporting visitors to the top of the mountains are open and it’s also possible to take a cruise on the lake. We recently stayed at Villa Castagnola, a gorgeous lakeside hotel that also has the only Michelin starred restaurant in Lugano.
London is stunning in Springtime and one of the best ways to see it is on a private walking tour. You’ll gain an understanding of how the City works and see many fascinating sights along the way. Our GoBe guide really knew his stuff!
Italy is always a good idea, and if you haven’t yet visited Verona, then you really should! We travelled there with luxury tour operator, Classic Collection Holidays and stayed in Palazzo Victoria, right in the heart of town. It’s definitely worth staying a few nights as there are so many things to see in Verona. Opera season hasn’t yet started so it’s less busy and if you arrive early enough then you’ll get Juliet’s balcony to yourself.
One of our favourite May travel tips is to visit Venice. It’s beautiful in any season but during Winter you’re more likely to experience high water and flooding. From mid April onwards, the likelihood of “acqua alta” diminishes, yet it won’t be as crowded as at the height of Summer. Palazzo Venart is the perfect pied à terre and we’ll be publishing a full review soon. One of the very few palaces with a garden on the Grand Canal, it’s decorated with stunning antiques.
If you like Peruvian food then you’ll love the new bottomless brunch at LIMA Fitzrovia.
Fans of Italian cooking will enjoy Margot in Covent Garden – we recently tried out their Italian brunch and will be sharing lots more photos like this one with you…just beware that viewing them might make you rather hungry 😉
Did you know that the famous gourmet grocer Dean & DeLuca is coming to London? Their first UK store will be located on the former site of the butchers, Allens of Mayfair. I recently headed to Dean & DeLuca’s office to find out more about their upcoming launch, and was delighted to hear that several former staff of Allens will be working for them.
Isn’t this dish pretty as a picture? Tokimeite is one of the best Japanese restaurants in London and they’ve recently launched their new Evening Lounge – set to be a Mayfair hotspot – our full review is coming soon.
Located in scenic Bray in Berkshire, Heston Blumenthal’s Michelin starred Hinds Head recently reopened to the public after a major redesign. The historic building was originally a coaching inn and hunting lodge and the new upstairs lounge has a very clubby feel. It’s a great spot in which to enjoy a cocktail, and has been designed by Fabled Studio. There’s a charming private dining room, The Vicars Room, wich has a gigantic dining table carved from a single oak trunk, and the silhouettes of Queens Mary I and Elizabeth I of England above it. Heading downstairs, you’ll find a cosy dining area with Grade II listed oak panels, open fireplaces and leather banquettes. We tucked into a tasty 4 course menu including ham hock, pork tenderloin and leek terrine, followed by scallop waldorf with a pickeled shallot and walnut dressing. The main course of roast duck breast, asparagus wild garlic and celeriac really hit the spot, as did the white chocolate and lemon cheesecake dessert.
Restaurants come and go in London but Theo Randall at the InterContinental has stood the test of time and it’s not hard to see why. His authentic Italian dishes are as pleasing for the eye as they are for the palate! We tasted a wonderful selection of antipasti including fresh burrata and cured meats, followed by some delicious main courses and an array of Italian desserts – definitely worth a visit for the food and great service.
Afternoon tea is one of my favourite British traditions, and at Aster in Victoria it has an unusual Nordic twist. Executive Chef Helena Puolakka has created a delicious selection of savouries including open rye sandwiches with Atlantic prawns, blackcurrant herring and egg and a pork roll with aquavit mustard. We enjoyed a delicate glass of NV Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial champagne before sampling the fresh mint tea and desserts – blueberry pie with rye croute, cinnamon knots and mouthwatering lingonberry macaroons. At £20 without champagne but including a tea or coffee, it’s very reasonable indeed.
We hope that you’ve found these May travel tips and restaurant recommendations helpful. What have you got planned for May? Do you have any suggestions for must-see exhibitions or hot new restaurants?