It really doesn’t matter what kind of entertainment you love, London seems to have it all. From family days out to adult retail therapy, and from seriously historical experiences to contemporary art adventures, you can find all kinds of everything in the capital today. The sheer diversity of the cultural, fashion and heritage offerings of the city is amazing. Add to this the newer, more eclectic attractions and you have a genuine cornucopia of entertainment options. Here are a few of the best:
Dress it up
A quick glance at the A–Z of designers represented during London Fashion Week (LFW) gives a real flavour of what the city has to offer in terms of style. English brands that have been enduringly popular in London and indeed worldwide include Vivienne Westwood, Jasper Conran, Zandra Rhodes and Burberry, with designers who specialise in accessories seeing a real uplift in their profile recently, resulting in increased publicity for and appreciation of their creations.
Shopping for haute couture in London is essential for all aspiring (and existing) fashionistas.
Discover the magic
Family days out at theme parks are becoming a little “old hat”; however, there is one excellent contemporary London experience that offers superb magical moments – none other than Harry Potter world. Here you can visit many of the film locations, including the set for Privet Drive, where Harry Potter lived in a cupboard under the stairs, the steam train Hogwarts Express, and the place from which to catch it – Platform 9¾.
In the shop, you can choose your very own sportswear for playing quidditch, such as a jersey or T-shirt, available for adults as well as children, embellished with the logo belonging to the house of your choice – Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff or Gryffindor. Alternatively, add a touch of magic to your charm bracelet by choosing a Golden Snitch, Nimbus Wand or the Knight Bus.
Beef it up
When it comes to historical fancy dress, the Beefeaters of London have it all sewn up, so to speak. These are the Yeoman Warders of Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London – and they are also Members of the Sovereign’s Body Guard of the Yeoman Guard Extraordinary. Beefeaters, however, is simpler to recall and to pronounce and these days they act chiefly as tour guides and raconteurs.
One of the tasks of the Yeoman Warder Ravenmaster is to maintain the presence and the welfare of the ravens at the tower of London (otherwise, the myth is that the Tower and the monarchy would disintegrate and disappear).
In addition to all the well-known classical collections in established London museums, you can find wonderful contemporary artworks that continue to excite the imagination and stimulate discussion. The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) delights successive generations with collections and installations that are fresh and often challenging.
Perhaps this is what sets London apart when it comes to entertainment – it is a city that never stands still, with a rich history and heritage, and a bright, adventurous future.