Travel guide for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee
Posted on Wednesday 16 May 2012
in England, London
By Dylan Thomas
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee is set to be a spectacular prologue to the most exciting year for London, and with celebrations just around the corner, hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions are preparing for the weekend with jaw-dropping festivals. No one throws a party quite like Queen Elizabeth, who has been the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom for 60 years, and from June 2-5, London will come alive with posh pageants, concerts and all-around merriment.
Start the weekend off with the Epsom Derby
After getting off one of the many flights to London landing during the Diamond Jubilee, visitors should head to Surrey for the Epsom Derby. The original site of the first Derby in the 1700s, the Epsom track will host the greatest thoroughbreds in the world. Similar to the Kentucky Derby, most attendees don their classiest attire and extravagant hats. Instead of mint juleps, celebratory glasses of champagne are the drink of choice for the Queen, who will be attending the races on June 2.
Don't miss the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant
The River Thames will be glowing with nearly 1,000 boats on June 3, when the Royal Court takes to the water for a grand procession. The Royal Barge will be decorated with red and gold as it carries Queen Elizabeth and her court for seven miles down the river. Taking place for the duration of the day, visitors who grow hungry for more stimulating entertainment can pay a few dollars for the Battersea Park Festival and listen to live music while watching the flotilla on large viewing screens.
Eat like the Queen at London's top restaurants
Visitors should make their reservations now if they plan on eating like royalty during the Diamond Jubilee, as many eateries are expected to be extremely busy over the weekend - The Ledbury restaurant in Notting Hill is already fully booked for the entire month of June. A number of restaurants are offering Jubilee-themed menus and cocktails, and visitors hoping to get a taste for traditional British fare might want to start with some afternoon tea.
The Dorchester Hotel has had to increase their tea-time offerings for the Jubilee, and executive chef Henry Brosi told The Telegraph that only a few tables are open.
"Tea is so popular at The Dorchester that we have already increased from two sittings to five," he told the news source. "For the Diamond Jubilee, we will be serving diamond sugar and the front of the hotel will be decorated...with the Queen's favourite flowers in an array of red, white and blue."
Where to stay during the Diamond Jubilee
London hotels are already seeing a rise in bookings for the weekend of June 2-5, including the Savoy, which is located on the banks of the River Thames. When the Royal flotilla sails down the river on Sunday, June 3, guests with a river-side suite will have front row seats to the royal family's watery procession.
"Our river view suites and rooms have been booked for a while, as have the majority of the tables in our River Restaurant," Kiaran MacDonald, Savoy's managing director, told The Telegraph. "It will be a historic occasion and from talking to guests, many of them have chosen the Savoy as it's such a wonderfully British place to celebrate."
The historic Landmark and Goring hotels are also expecting a late surge in bookings in the weeks leading up to the celebrations and are offering a number of deals for travellers who reserve early. Along with package deals, each hotel is creating special Jubilee-themed cocktails, such as Landmark's Kir Royale cocktails (champagne and creme de cassis) and Goring's "1952" (a gin martini served with a silver leaf), which will be served in a special souvenir crystal Swarovski glass.
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