Europe Travel GuidesTravel News

Best new things to do in London 2022

Near to the end of the last UK lockdown, I took a walk through central London, experiencing the normally-vibrant city like the survivor of an apocalypse. I crossed a strangely-empty Trafalgar Square, nodding to another solo traveller forging their way through the silent pandemic space, as its four mighty bronze lions gazed down at us with curiosity.

I passed the closed-up The National Gallery, shuttered cafes, my favourite hotel, the Haymarket, its pretty Kit Kemp interiors barred to travellers. I passed theatres with billboards of performances past, cinemas with posters of movies long-ended. And I window-shopped along a deserted Bond Street, picking out designer bags and shoes I’d never buy.

How things change. Recently, I re-trod the same route – walking across London is my favourite way to get about the capital – and I marvelled at the city come to life – it is not only back, but better. I visited stylish new hotels; the cool NoMad London, in Covent Garden, the exquisite Henry’s Townhouse, in the former home of Jane Austen’s brother in Marylebone and glitzy The Londoner – the show-stopping new hotel in Leicester Square.

NoMad London is one of the city’s most celebrated hotel openings of 2021.

After so long at home, everything feels like a celebration – I took afternoon tea in The Goring Hotel and watched Frozen the Musical in the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, which has undergone an incredible £60 million makeover as a multi-purpose venue.

Everywhere I went, people were out, enjoying the city. The Selfridges’ doorman greeted me and my daughters with joy, diners packed the now-prolific pavement dining areas, picnickers were even in Buckingham Palace Garden this summer and people once more sprawled on deckchairs in Green Park.

I shouldn’t have been surprised: London has been through a lot in its long history and has always emerged like a phoenix from the flames, regenerated. Here’s what’s new:

The Londoner

The Londoner at Leicester Square – the world’s first super-boutique hotel.


Even lockdown couldn’t stop London’s hotel boom, with exciting new hotels opening in 2021. The highest-profile is The Londoner, in Leicester Square, dubbed the world’s first super-boutique hotel. It goes over 16 floors, has 350 rooms, a rooftop lounge and health retreat. It was also the venue for September’s London Fashion Week.

New York’s NoMad group also opened its first hotel in London, in the former Bow Street Magistrates’ Court and Police Station, opposite the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. The uber-cool NoMad London feels like checking into a private member’s club, with its 91 rooms and Instagram-perfect restaurant, in a giant glass atrium cascading with greenery.

Another international name to arrive is Pan Pacific London in Bishopsgate Plaza – the first European hotel for the Singapore group. Housed in a dramatic bronze tower, it has 237 rooms, 160 private residences, a wellbeing floor with infinity pool, mindfulness studio and treatment rooms.

NoMad London

NoMad Restaurant features a show-stopping atrium.


The hospitality industry was hit hard by the pandemic, but London was not to be defeated and pivoted instead to more outside spaces and innovative rooftop bars.

And it didn’t slow down the restaurant launches. French-owned Italian restaurant group Big Mamma opened three venues to great acclaim – 1970s-style Italian eatery Gloria in Shoreditch, Sicilian trattoria Circolo Popolare in Fitzrovia and enormous, eclectic Ave Mario in Covent Garden.

NoMad Restaurant and its show-stopping atrium became an instant favourite with Londoners, as did Louie, the glitzy French-Creole eatery that opened mid-pandemic, a few doors down from The Ivy in Covent Garden. Top chef Tom Kerridge also opened outpost Kerridge’s Fish and Chips in Harrods dining hall, and sustainable cooking kings Native moved to Browns new flagship fashion store in Mayfair.

London’s rooftop bars also came into their own in summer, such as the Selfridge’s Dior pop-up at Alto, popular igloos with a view at Aviary Rooftop Restaurant and Bar and the Dorchester’s first ever rooftop venue.

Dior Alto

Dior’s takeover of Alto rooftop restaurant at Selfridges takes its inspiration from the French Riviera.


Shopping is synonymous with London and happily, the pandemic hasn’t finished off the city’s fashion stores just yet. It feels almost religious to actually enter a shop and buy something in person, so you can make the most of the experience by doing it in style at Hermes’ first ready-to-wear boutique in Harrods. Over in Selfridges, Jaden Smith opened his first London store and at the other end of the budget, Monsoon opened its first-ever concept store on Marylebone High Street. Camden unveiled its huge new retail centre Hawley Wharf and Battersea Power Station’s incredible luxury shopping centre Turbine Halls is taking shape, with the new underground station in the gleaming waterfront district now running.

Hawley Wharf

Markets with a twist: The Spread at Camden’s new Hawley Wharf.


The one unexpected benefit of lockdown is that West End theatre tickets are for the first and probably only time, in abundance. So anyone planning a trip next year is advised to book now, as you’ll be able to see more than ever before. All the favourites reopened and 2022 is filling up already with new blockbuster productions including Cabaret with Eddie Redmayne, Moulin Rouge! The Musical and The Glass Menagerie starring Amy Adams.

Likewise, there’s lots to look forward to at London’s museums and galleries, including Surrealism Beyond Borders and The EY Exhibition: Cezanne at Tate Modern and the long-awaited Raphael exhibition at The National Gallery.

The V&A has everything from K-Pop extravaganza Hallyu! The Korean Wave to a Beatrix Potter collection, which is in my family’s calendar already. And visitors to Kensington Palace will be able to see Life Through A Royal Lens – an exhibition of images taken by members of the Royal Family.

Abba fans can catch the concert that’s been 40 years in the making, with ABBA Voyage – where the stars virtually perform at the custom-built arena at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Plus, with outdoor special events like the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee four-day event in May and a second four-day event in June, 2022 in London is shaping up to be one big party. At last.


ABBA Voyage is set to rock London in 2022.

Travel Guides

Travel Guides Buzz has breaking travel news, travel hotels, America travel guides, travel photos, latest travel news, Asia travel guides, Europe travel guides, Australia travel guides and all the trending buzz you’ll want to share with your friends. Copyright Travel Guides Buzz.

Related Articles

Back to top button