The best places to celebrate the royal wedding
by DON'T USE Abigail Spooner
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s much-anticipated royal wedding on May 19 gives us the perfect excuse to live like royalty in celebration of the big day. If you’re not fortunate enough to be seated with wedding guests beneath the vaults of St George’s chapel at Windsor Castle, where the nuptials take place, read our regal round-up of the best food and drink offers, hotel stays and events in honour of the happy couple.
A royal wedding seems a fitting time to embrace British tradition, so why not treat yourself to a special afternoon tea overlooking the greenery of Hyde Park? Going beyond your average scone with jam and clotted cream, here it’s all about attention to detail, along with a botanical influence from English gardens. Pair your floral tea of choice with a dainty finger sandwich of fennel-cured salmon, beetroot crema and pineapple sage, or savour the array of sweet treats, including a boozy elderflower, gin and lime marshmallow. Opt for free-flowing Champagne for the full celebratory experience.
Served daily from midday-5pm on May 19, priced at £22.50 per person, or with free-flowing rosé Champagne for £42.50.
For an unforgettable evening of fun, laughter and jaw-dropping performances, head to one of London’s oldest and most iconic entertainment venues for a riotous royal extravaganza. Inspired by Harry and Meghan’s international love story, prepare to be dazzled by cabaret, circus and burlesque in the opulent 1920s ballroom. During the show, toast the newlyweds with a glass of bubbles along with a traditional three-course wedding breakfast and limited edition Tanqueray cocktails.
The Royal Wedding show takes places on Saturday, May 19, from 6pm until 10pm. The traditional wedding breakfast costs £80. Alternatively, £30 for views of the show from the mezzanine level with waiter service and your own bar.
Where better to get into the royal spirit than in a magnificent medieval castle? The 630-year-old Lumley Castle is lowering its drawbridge to couples for a Royal Retreat in its most sumptuous suite, complete with a bottle of Prosecco, private sitting room and ancient parkland views. Enjoy a dinner fit for a king in the hotel’s decadent Black Knight restaurant and, if you can bear to leave your four-poster bed the following morning, a full English breakfast awaits…
The Royal Retreat package costs £329 per night from Monday to Thursday and £399 per night Friday, Saturday and Sunday until July 31, based on two persons sharing the King James Suite, subject to availability.
For a touch of quintessential English indulgence, enjoy the televised wedding ceremony at this characterful 15th century hotel over a celebratory gala lunch. The set three courses include Eggs Drumkilbo, said to be the late Queen Mother’s favourite, and a majestic Venison Wellington. Continue the celebrations afterwards, 1940s style, with vintage events in and around historic Lavenham throughout the weekend to mark the 75th anniversary of the building of RAF Lavenham.
Places at the lunch on May 19 are £32.95 per person and must be booked in advance. Arrive at 11.30am to take your table in the Suffolk Room; the event will finish by 2.30pm.
Swing by the Southbank Centre on May 19 for a royal wedding-themed tea dance party to remember. Entelechy Arts is putting a 21st-century spin on this vintage tradition and, as well as a screening of the wedding, you can expect live music, dance, theatre and a right royal bash! It’s free to attend, so don your dancing shoes for a fun-filled afternoon.
11am, May 19, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre
Delight in a Royal Wedding party to remember in this Michelin-starred restaurant on the 28th floor of the London Hilton, Park Lane. With sweeping views of the city skyline, proceedings begin at 11.45am with an English sparkling wine reception. Don’t miss the wedding action (aired throughout the day in the bar), before indulging in a delectable three-course lunch. Menu options include a starter of Loch Duart salmon, shellfish cake and tartar sauce and a main course of rump and braised breast of spring lamb, peas and light rosemary gravy. For the happy ending… a triple milk chocolate crémeux, amaretto jelly and chantilly.
Priced at £50 per person, available on May 19.
Take a seat in the magnificent Tylney Suite of this mansion house hotel for a delightfully decadent Champagne afternoon tea with equally impressive surroundings. Especially themed for the royal wedding, which will be shown simultaneously, regal highlights include coronation chicken and Royal Warrant-holding Buccleuch beef finger sandwiches. A chocolate engagement ring, scones and a praline macaroon are among the irresistible sweet treats.
Tickets are £42 per person, including a glass of celebratory fizz. Live screening of the royal wedding from 11am.
Raise a glass to the bride and groom with a limited-edition cocktail, aptly named the ‘Markle Sparkle’, inspired by the chosen wedding cake flavours. Sip on a royal concoction of pear vodka with lemon juice, elderflower cordial, blue curaçao and Prosecco while admiring spectacular panoramic views of Cambridge. If you coincidentally share your name with either Harry or Meghan and are staying in the hotel on the special day, you can enjoy a complimentary cocktail on arrival.
Priced at £6.99, available on May 19 in the hotel’s SIX Brasserie and the River Bar Steakhouse & Grill.
For a taste of the high life, indulge in the ultimate British pastime of afternoon tea at this splendid Edwardian mansion, set in 1,000 acres of scenic Northumbrian countryside. Watch the wedding ceremony over your tiered cake stand of delights and honour the newlyweds with an elegant Kir Royale cocktail. The beautifully presented afternoon tea will include delicate finger sandwiches, freshly home-baked scones with red berry preserves and Cornish clotted cream, not forgetting an enticing assortment of dainty desserts to finish.
Celebrations start at 11.30am and finish at 2pm. Priced at £27.50 per person.