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Local Attractions

Concierge

Our concierge is delighted to provide you with advice and information on things to see and do in London during your stay. They can assist you with any arrangements including restaurant reservations, car rental or airport transfers, or organising tickets to the theatre, opera or ballet.

Visit some of England’s finest heritage with a private guided tour. Our Concierge would be delighted to arrange bespoke tours to historic towns, country houses and castles and the stunning English countryside.

An up to date list of everything that’s happening in the city can be found at Time Out London.

Feel free to call or visit the Concierge desk at any time during or prior to your arrival at DUKES.

Please contact our Head Concierge:

Iain Haigh
Tel: +44 (0)207 491 4840
Email: [email protected]

Or our Assistant Head Concierge:

Ruel Malijan
Email: [email protected]

Museums and Galleries

V&A Museum - The V&A houses one of the world's greatest collections of decorative arts, in such varied fields as ceramics, sculpture, portrait miniatures and photography. Among the highlights are the British Galleries 1500-1900, which are arranged chronologically to trace the history of British design from the reign of Henry VIII to that of Queen Victoria.

British Museum - One of the world's oldest museums, the British Museum is vast and its collections, only a fraction of which can be on public display at any time, comprise millions of objects. First-time visitors generally head for the mummies, the Rosetta Stone, Lindow Man, the Lewis Chessmen and the Sutton Hoo Ship Burial.

Natural History Museum - The handsome Alfred Waterhouse building houses a collection that contains some 70 million plant, animal, fossil, rock and mineral specimens. The Natural History Museum’s Life Galleries are devoted to displays on animal life, from creepy crawlies to the plaster cast of a Diplodocus that lords it over the Central Hall.

Science Museum - The Science Museum features seven floors of educational and entertaining exhibits, including the Apollo 10 command module and a flight simulator. The Welcome Wing showcases developments in contemporary science, medicine and technology. The Medical History Gallery in the museum's attic contains a substantial collection of medical history treasures.

Wallace Collection – Established in 1897, with a world-famous range of fine and decorative arts from the 15th to the 19th centuries with large holdings of French 18th-century paintings, furniture, arms and armour, porcelain and Old Master paintings arranged into 25 galleries.

National Gallery - Founded in 1824 to display a collection of just 36 paintings, today the National Gallery is home to more than 2,000 works. There are masterpieces from virtually every European school of art. You can’t see everything in one visit to the National Gallery, but the free guided tours and audio guides will help you make the most of your time. There’s also a wonderfully atmospheric café stocked with Oliver Peyton goodies, and a fine-dining restaurant, the National Dining Rooms.

Royal Academy of Arts - Walk through the gates off Piccadilly to the Annenberg Courtyard and into the Royal Academy of Arts. Founded in 1768, it is home to an ever-changing programme of exciting, blockbuster exhibitions. Highlights include Queen Victoria's paintbox and the only Michelangelo sculpture in the country.

Saatchi Gallery - Chelsea's Saatchi Gallery is all about contemporary art. It will be renamed the Museum of Contemporary Art, London upon the retirement of owner Charles Saatchi, who has donated the gallery's collection to the nation. It hosts work by young artists or international artists whose works are rarely exhibited in the UK.

Tate Modern - This powerhouse of modern art is awe-inspiring even before you enter, thanks to its industrial architecture. Inside, the original cavernous turbine hall is used to jaw-dropping effect as the home of large-scale, temporary installations. The permanent collection features heavy-hitters such as Matisse, Rothko, Bacon, Twombly and Beuys.

National Maritime Museum - On this Greenwich Park site you'll find the National Maritime Museum, the Queen's House and the Royal Observatory, founded in 1675 by Charles II. The museum's Maritime London gallery is a permanent exhibition exploring the importance of London's maritime heritage and its impact on world trade. Exhibits include wreckage from a Zeppelin shot down over the Thames estuary in 1916 and the original model for Nelson's Column.

Imperial War Museum - Located in the stately 1815 building that once housed the Bethlem Royal Hospital for the insane (aka Bedlam), IWM London holds an important collection of twentieth-century art, much of it officially commissioned during WWI and WWII, examples of the machinery of war, official communications, manuscripts of war literature and other, more personal artefacts from the conflicts of the twentieth century.

London Transport Museum - Among the vehicles on display at the London Transport Museum is the first underground electric train, which had no windows because there was nothing to see underground. The trouble was that no one could tell which stop they were at, a glitch resolved by employing an athletic announcer who ran to each carriage at every station, shouting out the stops.

Royal and Historic Attractions

Tower of London - The Tower spans over 900 years of British history. One of the best preserved fortified buildings in the world. It houses the priceless Crown Jewels, Royal Armouries, Yeoman Wardens and the ravens.

Kensington Palace - Kensington Palace has been a royal residence for over 300 years, and it was here that Queen Victoria was born and spent her childhood and, recently, the palace was home to Diana, Princess of Wales. Set within the tranquillity of Kensington Gardens, this is the most intimate of royal palaces, not simply an impressive stage for the ceremonies of court life but a charming and much-loved home.

Banqueting House - After the fire that destroyed Whitehall Palace in 1698, it was used as a chapel until 1890. From 1896 until 1962 the Banqueting House was occupied by the Royal United Services Institute and used as a museum.

Kew Gardens and Kew Palace - Explore the beautiful Kew Palace and uncover its intriguing stories, from its origins as rich merchant's house to royal home of George III and members of his family. The 17th-century gardens behind Kew Palace are guaranteed to restore flagging spirits, as the plants you'll find here were mainly cultivated for their medicinal properties. Take a stroll around and discover many herbal varieties that we still use to this day.

Apsley House - Be amazed by the glittering interiors of the grandest address in the capital, once known as 'Number 1 London'. This beautiful Georgian building was the London home of the first Duke of Wellington and has changed very little since his great victory at Waterloo in 1815. Revel in one of the finest art collections in London, with paintings by Velazquez and Rubens, as well as a wonderful collection of silver and porcelain.

Spencer House - From its conception, Spencer House was recognised as one of the most ambitious aristocratic town houses ever built in London and is the city’s only great eighteenth-century private palace to survive intact. This magnificent aristocratic palace has regained the full splendour of its late eighteenth-century appearance after a painstaking ten-year restoration undertaken by RIT Capital Partners plc, under the Chairmanship of Lord Rothschild. Eight State Rooms are open to the public for viewing on Sundays throughout the year.

Shopping

Harrods - From its humble beginnings as a grocer and tea merchant in 1834, to the Terracotta Palace filled with luxury merchandise, Harrods continues to go from strength to strength, guided by its philosophy ‘anything is possible’. From haute couture to pet accessories, the finest luxury merchandise is showcased in the lavish setting of the Knightsbridge store, stretching across seven floors and 330 departments. There are over 27 eateries to satisfy every taste, and a selection of premier services from By Appointment Personal Shopping to Harrods Bank and Gold Bullion. The Brompton Road store truly has it all.

Bond Street - London’s famous Bond Street is revered throughout the world for its wealth of elegant stores, exclusive brands, designer fashion, luxury goods, fine jewels, art and antiques. Set in the heart of historic Mayfair, in London’s popular West End, Bond Street has become a haven for gracious living.

Regent Street - Regent Street is the best shopping and lifestyle destination in the West End. Added attractions include listed architecture, interiors, art galleries, hotels and spas. There are more than 100 global brands, including Liberty, Apple and Hamleys. Oxford Street - Oxford Street offers an unrivalled shopping experience thanks to its exciting mix of high-street fashion and international brands, accessories, childrenswear, technology and homewear.

Markets

Portobello Road Market - Portobello Road has been a market since the 1800s but became particularly famous for its antiques in the 1950s. Now there are numerous stalls offering everything from fruit and bread to posters, vintage and designer clothes, bric-a-brac, music and, of course, loads of antiques! The market is in full swing on Saturdays.

Borough Market - Discover this gourmet's paradise in London. With a range of fresh produce including fruit, veg and all kinds of meat, as well as condiments, bakery treats and delicious street food, Borough Market is great for lunch or grocery shopping. There's also a wide selection of specialist ingredients and indulgent treats.

Alfies Antique Market - This is the place to come for antique and vintage clothes, collectables and 20th-century design pieces. It's the largest indoor market of its kind in London. Vintage lovers will spend hours browsing through the market's 600 stalls crammed with everything from rare vintage finds to colourful baubles. Alfies Antique Market also has a rooftop cafe boasting panoramic views over London.

Old Spitalfields Market - Old Spitalfields Market is a popular covered market selling everything from clothes to food to artwork. Nearby you'll also find specialist shops, hairdressers and restaurants. Once you've finished shopping, you won't be stuck for entertainment options; the cool bars and clubs of Shoreditch are just up the road.

Camden Market - Camden Lock is the central hub of Camden's huge market, which is home to more than 100 shops and stalls. Here you'll find an extensive range of goods from designer clothes and accessories, to one-off pieces of art, food and furnishings. There's also designer workshops, studios, stalls, shops, cafes, restaurants and bars.

Theatre

Below are just a few of London’s long running musicals and plays:

Les Misérables - Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption - a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit.

Phantom of the Opera - Far beneath the majesty and splendour of the Paris Opera House, hides the Phantom in a shadowy existence. Shamed by his physical appearance and feared by all, the love he holds for his beautiful protégée Christine Daaé is so strong that even her heart cannot resist.

The Lion King - Set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains to the evocative rhythms of Africa, this spectacular production explodes with glorious colours, stunning effects and enchanting music to tell the timeless story of Simba and his epic journey to fulfil his destiny as King of the Pride lands.

Wicked - Based on the acclaimed novel by Gregory Maguire which ingeniously re-imagined the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz', Wicked tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two sorcery students. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West.

Tina - From humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tennessee, to her transformation into the global Queen of Rock 'n' Roll, Tina Turner didn't just break the rules, she rewrote them. This new stage musical, presented in association with Tina Turner herself, reveals the untold story of a woman who dared to defy the bounds of her age, gender and race. One of the world's best-selling artists of all time, Tina Turner has won 11 Grammy Awards and her live shows have been seen by millions, with more concert tickets sold than any other solo performer in music history. Featuring her much-loved songs, TINA, The Tina Turner Musical is written by Olivier Award-winning playwright Katori Hall and directed by the internationally acclaimed Phyllida Lloyd.

The Book of Mormon - The Book of Mormon gleefully skewers a truckload of sacred cows including organized religion, consumerism and the musical genre itself. Despite this or, perhaps because of this, the show is endearing, thoughtful and outrageously funny. The show is the brainchild of South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, as well as Avenue Q writer Robert Lopez. As a result, the show frequently crosses the line with its sharp satire and on-the-nose humour with outrageous religious and social commentary. But, combining the three writers together makes for a hilarious production which still has a good heart at the core.

Mary Poppins - Get your spoonful of sugar at the ready, as Mary Poppins returns to the West End. Flying back into the Prince Edward Theatre, step in time to musical theatre classics such as “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “Let’s Go Fly a Kite”. Telling the story of magical nanny Mary Poppins and cockney charmer Bert, it’s a family-friendly show that’s practically perfect in every way.

Matilda - Winner of 7 Olivier Awards, and 4 Tony Awards for its Broadway transfer, Matilda the Musical is nearly in its 7th year in the West End! Produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company and under the direction of Matthew Warchus, the show is based on the beloved children’s novel by Roald Dahl and features a score by comedian Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly’s Tony award winning book. This tale of an extraordinary little girl who dares to take a stand and change her own destiny comes to life in a highly visual and imaginative way that will unleash your inner child and leave you enchanted.

Mamma Mia - Opening in the West End in 1999, the musical MAMMA MIA! has been enthralling audiences for 19 years and shows no sign of stopping! Featuring the hit songs of Swedish pop sensation ABBA, this ultimate feel-good show has been seen by over 60 million people around the world, having played in over 40 countries and has firmly established itself as one of the most successful musicals in history.

Witness for the Prosecution - Jury service beckons and it’s time for you to take your seat in the magnificent London County Hall, for the court case of the century. Leonard Vole takes to the stand to protest his innocence in the murder of a wealthy widow. Can his presence and his plea persuade you and the jury that he did not commit the crime – will he escape the hangman’s noose?

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