Autumn arguably makes for the best time to visit London. By September’s end, the humidity that’s held the city in a chokehold over the summer months has loosened, making the days cooler and fresher. Whether you’re visiting for the first time or you’re a London Underground connoisseur, it’s a place best explored by foot because there’s always something unexpected to stumble upon.
London offers endless scenic backdrops to marvel at fall foliage, but for truly beautiful scenes, head to one of the royal parks. Richmond Park is a quintessential autumn spot. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot antlered stags roaming through the crunchy leaves amid the park’s 2,500 acres. Make sure to prioritize a visit to the Isabella Plantation, a 40-acre Victorian woodland garden. Or opt to spend a brisk day at Primrose Hill, across the road from Regent’s Park. It’s far more petite than its neighbor, but from the top of the hill, you get a postcard-worthy view of the skyline, from the London Eye to the Shard. There are plenty of cozy pubs in the area, too, to help you warm up.
Parks aside, there are myriad exciting ways to enjoy the best this season has to offer at some of London’s most noteworthy hotels.
Rosewood London, Covent Garden
As part of Rosewood’s PlaceMakers program, the hotel has tapped the discerning eye of Marine Tanguy, founder of MTArt Agency, to present guests with authentic, expertly curated cultural experiences this season. Coinciding with Frieze London (a contemporary art fair that takes place October 12-16 in Regent’s Park), Tanguy has developed unique programming, digital journeys of discovery and a destination guide.
The collaboration also includes a sculptural installation by world-renowned artist Lorenzo Quinn (he created the giant hands emerging from Venice’s Grand Canal during the 2017 Biennale). Guests can also enjoy a special Art Afternoon Tea in the stunning Mirror Room, where chef Mark Perkins re-creates Quinn’s sculpture into edible art.
Hotel Café Royal, Piccadilly
As if you needed another reason to stay at Hotel Café Royal besides The Oscar Wilde Bar, this September, London-born chef Alex Dilling unveils his first standalone restaurant at the hotel. Perched on the first floor overlooking the iconic Regent Street, the elegant restaurant showcases Dilling’s flair for classic French cuisine and unique cooking techniques.
If his previous creations for the heralded The Greenhouse restaurant offer any indication, this will be an unmissable debut.
45 Park Lane, Mayfair
In one of London’s most well-heeled areas lies art deco beauty 45 Park Lane. The hotel sits face-to-face with Hyde Park, meaning come fall, you can take in the resplendent vistas without even leaving your room. When you do, head to The CUT Terrace, the Five-Star hotel’s super-stylish outdoor dining spot, now a permanent fixture of the hotel after the fanfare it received during the summer.
Serving breakfast through to dinner, the American-inspired menu features London’s most extensive selection of wagyu beef, so come hungry. Tucked away on Curzon Street, it’s a lantern-lit, foliage-filled escape from the buzz of the city.
One Aldwych, Covent Garden
Just around the corner from the cobbled pavements of Covent Garden, art-filled One Aldwych enjoys a reputation as one of London’s most cultured hotels. Collaborating with nearby cultural institutions, the Four-Star hotel gives you unique opportunities to soak up some of the arts that imbue the destination with spirit and soul.
One Aldwych guests get exclusive access to performances, director’s forums and cast and crew Q&As at Donmar Warehouse, a local independent theater. ABBA enthusiasts can pair their stay with a visit to the Novello Theatre to watch the feel-good musical Mamma Mia! as well as pre- or post-show cocktails inspired by the Swedish supergroup.