King Charles' Coronation: It’s Not Too Late to Take Part in the Pageantry

If you’re feeling the pull of pageantry, there is still time and availability to be a part of the royal festivities taking place May 6–8. As the world anticipates the coronation of King Charles, England is abuzz with a host of exciting events and activities—from carriage rides and unique tours to special afternoon tea and exquisite rooftop luncheons. Here are some of our favorites that at press time are still bookable:

For a Royal Sleep

Overlooking Green Park and with views stretching to Buckingham Palace from the tenth-floor lounge, The Athenaeum is an ideal home base to soak up the atmosphere for the Coronation weekend; General Manager Joanne Taylor-Stagg tells us there are still a very limited number of rooms and suites available. During the weekend, the hotel will also prepare you a picnic fit for a king complete with wicker basket, tartan blanket, sandwiches, and cakes to enjoy in the neighboring Royal Parks.

In honor of the coronation, Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square has created a “Live Like a Royal” package to celebrate the next chapter in British history. Stay in one of the hotel’s most stately residences and experience the royal treatment with a special Coronation Afternoon Tea in Rotunda, the Rose Crown Ritual in the Spa and daily breakfast for two. Limited availability remains according to Director of Sales and Marketing Claudia Scrase.

At press time, the NoMad London’s elegant Royal Opera Suite, which overlooks the Royal Opera House is still available for the Coronation weekend. The sumptuous one-bedroom suite offers separate living and entertaining spaces with a super king bed and clawfoot bathtub in the marble bathroom, which also has a walk-in shower, double vanity and Côté Bastide bath amenities. Nearby, Covent Garden has been adorned with more than 4,000 Union Jack flags and there are still tickets available for the “red carpet” Coronation tours on May 6 across the street from the hotel at the Royal Opera House.

Rooftop Lunch, Afternoon Tea and More

The Dorchester's Royal decorations
The Dorchester's grand coronation decorations (Photo by The Dorchester)

On coronation day, The Dorchester will open its rooftop to serve an open-air lunch to watch the Red Arrows fly past. Available for lunch only on Saturday, May 6, 2023, The Dorchester Rooftop will serve a three-course menu by culinary director Martyn Nail, including a welcome glass of Champagne and canapés on arrival. The celebratory décor and a roaming live band will be accompanied by a screen to watch the coronation, with The Dorchester sunglasses, in partnership with Sestini, available to purchase. Fun fact: The King made his first public appearance at The Dorchester in 1970, and has since been to the hotel many times for charitable dinners and state banquets.

A London institution, having been around since 1916, Bentley’s Oyster Bar is serving up a selection of specials fit for royalty to celebrate the Coronation. Enjoy Bentley’s Smoked Salmon with crispy egg and caviar—a dish that proprietor Richard Corrigan cooked for Queen Elizabeth on her 80th birthday—as well as the iconic Royal Fish Pie, returning to the menu for a limited time only. There are bookings available for dinners on May 6 and 7.

Nearly every luxury hotel has created a special Afternoon Tea for the Coronation weekend. Some favorites, surprisingly, still have a few slots over the weekend: Brown’s Hotel, Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, Hotel Cafe Royal, The Langham, The Lanesborough, The Dorchester and, for the amazing views, Shangri-La The Shard. 

For a different, interactive option is cookie-maker Biscuiteers, which has shops and tea rooms in Notting Hill and Belgravia. They are serving up a special Coronation Afternoon Tea, with their delicate and beautiful hand-iced cookies (biscuits, as they call them here) in royal-inspired shapes with gold leaf, plus patisseries, finger sandwiches and scones. The fun part is that you can pair your afternoon tea with a DIY icing experience, an hour-long workshop where you can hand-ice your own cookies with edible decorations and colored icings.

The Langham London's horse-drawn carriage
The Langham London's horse-drawn carriage takes guests through Regent’s Park (Photo by The Langham London)

On May 6, The Langham London is offering special horse-drawn carriage rides through Regent’s Park. From The Langham, you will have the opportunity to marvel at a colorful display of 175 Union Jack flags, which have taken over the length of Regent Street. Flying proudly above, from the north of the iconic street, along the iconic curve and down to Waterloo Place, this sea of red, white and blue has become a lasting image of the coronation celebrations in London.

Royal Rundown and Events Outside of London

The official events on Saturday, May 6, are in London, while those on Sunday, May 7, take place in Windsor.  A great resource for happenings outside of London over the weekend is the Coronation Concierge from Pride of Britain (PoB) Hotels. Some available options include the Royal Coronation Garden Party at Ellenborough Park in the Cotswolds, a Royal Tour of the Bovey Castle Estate in Dartmoor by Land Rover (with champagne, of course!), and a Royal Weekend at The Relais Henley, formerly a private residence where King Charles I visited on his way from London to Oxford in 1600s, which is now a waterside luxury hotel.

Bottom line: There’s not been a coronation since 1953 and the celebrations for King Charles are going to be spectacular. It’s not too late to pack your bags, book your tickets and join in!

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