Itineraries

Hattie Lloyd 12/07/22


Boating, Swimming & Ice Skating

Itinerary Location: Knightsbridge & Bayswater | Duration: 6 Hours


Turns out Knightsbridge is pretty cool…

…because in the middle of a heatwave, it’s one of the few places in London you can cool off by dipping into an outdoor lido, before chilling out in a subterranean ice-rink bathed in neon. And this Itinerary walks you through all that, alongside a picnic with live music, a tour round Hyde Park, an internationally renowned art gallery, and more.

From Knightsbridge tube station, head south along Sloane Street, peel off onto Harriet Street, round the square and onto Lowndes Street in search of…

➊ CAFÉ KITSUNÉ | 2pm

Motcomb Street is a picturesque pedestrianised street lined with independent cafés and shops, whose crowning glory is the Pantechnicon. Once a storage warehouse for Belgravia’s well-heeled residents, it’s recently been revived as a five-storey love letter to Nordic and Japanese culture. You could easily spend a day here checking out the rooftop restaurant, tiny four-seater whisky & sake bar and the sushi restaurant in the basement, but for now, satisfy yourself with the ground floor.

cafe kitsune

Greeting you as you walk in is Café Kitsuné, a spin-off by the fashion & music label serving quintessentially Japanese treats. Pick up an iced strawberry matcha latte, a chicken katsu sando and a pistachio & yuzu Paris Brest pastry to go; have a mooch round the Pantechnicon shop (and start writing your Christmas list); then retrace your steps past Knightsbridge to…

➋ HYDE PARK | 2:30pm

hyde park rose garden

Head right as you enter to stroll through the beautifully-scented Hyde Park rose garden (no, we didn’t promise you one, but here it is anyway). Walking north, you’ll soon arrive at the Bandstand, a relic from the Victorian era that comes alive in the summer for free al fresco concerts (you can check upcoming dates here). Take your lunch with a little live jazz as your soundtrack, then take the crusts along to the swans on the Serpentine Lake, a stone’s throw to the west. Keep walking and you’ll reach —

➌ HYDE PARK BOATING |  3pm

boating serpentine

It’s a classic for a reason, and today that reason is that it’s meltingly hot — and being just marginally closer to a large body of water seems to help. Boats cost around a tenner to hire for half an hour or an hour, and pedalos can be conveniently operated entirely hands-free, should you be seized by the desire to eat an ice cream at the same time.

Want to get even closer to that water? When you finish in your boat, turn left and walk along to the Serpentine Bridge – cross over it and to your left again (just beyond the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain) you’ll spot…

➍ THE SERPENTINE LIDO | 3:45pm

One of London’s most iconic open water swimming spots, The Serpentine Lido’s now open again to the public. There are currently no online bookings available, however you can book in on arrival (check out their website for full details). Afternoon entry costs just over a fiver, and there are sunbeds for hire too – to help you warm up after taking a bracing plunge.

After that you’ll be ready for a little culture, so head straight into…

THE SERPENTINE GALLERIES | 4:30pm

alienarium 5

Credit: Hugo Glendinning

Continuing round the edge of the lake after your aquatic sortie, you’ll reach the Serpentine Galleries – a pair of free-to-visit art spaces in grandiose, historic buildings. We’ll level with you: the North Gallery’s current exhibition isn’t a major winner in our books, so head across the bridge to the South Gallery to see Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s Alienarium 5 (until 4th September). Filled with brand-new, site-specific commissions, it’s a surreal foray into the world of sci-fi designed to “transport viewers into alternative narrative, temporal and psychological dimensions.” What does that all mean? Essentially: a VR journey through the cosmos, a 360° collage, and alien smells.

➏ QUEENS: SKATE, DINE, BOWL | 6pm

activity bars london skating

Heading back over the bridge and north-west through the park, follow the long leafy stretch through Kensington Gardens towards Bayswater station. A few doors down you’ll find Queens: Skate, Dine, Bowl, a multifaceted venue that – if anything – is being too modest, because it actually also offers karaoke, arcade games and curling. Cool down with a spin on the ice, play pool with a couple of cocktails, go head to head on Mario Kart and get some prints in the old-school photo booth.

It’s what we like to call a photo finish.

 


The Itinerary:

Café Kitsuné | Pantechnicon, 19 Motcomb Street, Belgravia, SW1X 8LB

Rose Garden & Bandstand | Hyde Park

Serpentine Boating | The Serpentine, Hyde Park

➍ The Serpentine Galleries | Kensington Gardens, London W2 3XA

Serpentine Lido | Kensington Gardens, London W2 3XA

Queens: Skate, Dine, Bowl | 17 Queensway, W2 4QP


Not ready to call it a night? Check out these great restaurants in Notting Hill


Itinerary: Hyde Park


Starts at Knightsbridge Station, Sloane Street, Knightsbridge, SW1
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