The Queen's Platinum Jubilee - London Celebrates

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee - London Celebrates

by Nick Hendry

A Cuban cigar is often smoked to mark a momentous achievement, and there are few achievements as remarkable as that about to be celebrated by Queen Elizabeth II.  Her 70 years on the British throne make her the longest-reigning UK monarch, and her reign is the 3rd longest of any monarch in history.  At 96 years of age the Queen still carries out her duties with energy and good humour, and is a source of inspiration for many.  Her Platinum Jubilee will be celebrated with a long holiday weekend  beginning on Thursday 2nd June, and events will take place across the nations of which she is Head of State.

As well as the official celebrations set up by the UK government, including the Party at the Palace concert being held in the ground of Buckingham Palace, there will be many street parties, gatherings and other events around London to mark this rare anniversary.  Here are a few that may have escaped your attention, most in cigar-friendly venues.

The Churchill Residence Suite

The Churchill Residence at Hyatt Regency London

Churchill and The Crown exhibition, Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill

First up is an exhibition at one of the best smoking spots in London, the Hyatt Regency on Portman Square.  Their lobby will be host to a specially-curated display of photography from the early part of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign documenting her close relationship with her first Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.  The images displayed have been curated by the National Trust team at Chartwell, Churchill’s former home, and shows the closeness of the bond between the two.  Having first met Churchill when she was just 2 years old, the Queen developed a lasting friendship with him when she acceded the throne.  Guests can view the exhibition for free for a limited time, before enjoying champagne afternoon tea in honour of the pair, or even a cigar on the terrace.  A Jubilee brunch will be held on the 5th of June, and those wishing to be in the centre of London for the celebrations can even pitch up for the weekend in The Churchill Residential Suite.

The BFC Pop-up at Bicester Village

The Richard Quinn-designed pop-up at Bicester Village

The Creative Spot x British Fashion Council Pop-Up

This space at the renowned Bicester Village is presented by the British Fashion Council and designed by Richard Quinn.  Quinn was the inaugural winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Prize for British Design, so it is fitting he has been chosen to style an area intended to showcase young British designers to celebrate the Jubilee.  Exclusive silk scarves by Ivana Nohel – a personal favourite of the Queen, and usually only for sale at Buckingham Palace – are among the highlights, but there will be a host of exciting new names for the local and international shoppers who frequent the Village to discover.  Names to look out for include Phoebe English, known for her ultra-sustainable approach to garment manufacture, but there is sure to be something at this event to suit all tastes.

Oscar Wilde Lounge at Hotel Cafe Royal

Afternoon Tea in the Oscar Wilde Lounge at Hotel Café Royal

Jubilee Packages at Hotel Café Royal

Hotel Café Royal is one of the most spectacular places in London to visit at the best of times, and they have pushed the boat out for the Platinum Jubilee.  Their position at the bottom of Regent Street has been decorated for weeks already ahead of the national celebrations, and the hotel has created a range of packages for guests to join in the fun.  The Royal Jewels package allows guests to tour a Mayfair jeweller which holds a Royal Warrant to view their collection of royal tiaras before being driven back to the hotel to enjoy an afternoon tea experience fit for the palace.  The Jubilee Weekend Crown Jewels and Royal Coronation Regaila package takes this experience to the next level: guests will stay in the Royal Suite of the hotel across the Jubilee weekend, being whisked away to the Tower of London on the evening of 4th June in a Daimler once owned by the Queen Mother.  There they will be met by a Yeoman Guard (more often known as Beefeaters) for a champagne reception and private viewing of the Crown Jewels.  Once the tour of the jewel house and grounds is complete, the option of dinner in a private dining room in the Tower will be presented.  A truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The Courtyard at The Stafford

The gorgeous courtyard at The Stafford

Street Party at The Stafford Courtyard

St James’s is the heart of the cigar scene in London, and The Stafford Courtyard is one of its most popular spots in the summer.  Sunday the 5th of June will see them host a street party serving food in the true British style: Coronation Chicken – invented to celebrate the Queen taking her throne in 1952 – local lamb cutlets from the barbeque, traditional Eton mess, and many more.  Thanks to a collaboration with Nyetimber, even the sparkling wine for the toast will be British.  Their fabulous humidor means the cigars will most definitely be Cuban though, so head down there and light one up in honour of 70 years of Elizabeth II.

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