An evening at The Marylebone and the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre:
Marylebone has a unique charm that has for many years been the destination of discerning Londoners and tourists who are for looking for certain urbanity in the heart of London’s West End. It has been an incredibly fashionable area since at least the seventeenth century – as the catalogue of famous residents (past and present) attests.
Marylebone Village is a stone throw from London’s busy Oxford Street, and is flanked by two of London’s most beautiful and celebrated Royal parks. The elegant streets are lined with regal white stone and red brick buildings and it hosts an array of fashionable shops, patisseries, restaurants, intimate bookstores, bars and old style London pubs, but what really sets its apart from other areas in the West End is its distinct cosy village feel.
I was invited to spend the perfect summers evening in Marylebone to experience a Slice of the City with The Doyle Group Collection Hotels, which has a group of luxury, cosmopolitan hotels around London. My visit began at the 108 Pantry, one of the stylish bars and eateries in their fabulous hotel, The Marylebone.
The Marylebone is renowned for its contemporary and understated luxury; it is an ideal base for those wishing to sample the delights of Marylebone Village. It offers guests 257 bedrooms and suites, with access to health and leisure club the Third Space, with an 18 metre pool, and a spa offering an extensive range of treatments.
The 108 Pantry is tucked away behind Marylebone High Street, its elegant interior provides the perfect escape after a long day at work or an afternoons shopping or sightseeing.
We were made to feel very welcome and even during the early evening the atmosphere was buzzing. We were served chilled champagne and a delicious array of canapés; my favourite mini burgers with a choice of French fries or chunky chips, a fine selection of cured meats, perfectly crisp courgette fritters, and succulent steak sandwiches.
Regents Park is just a short walk from Marylebone village, it is probably my best-loved London Park and during the early evening there is no better place to stroll. Its extensive rose garden is quite magnificent, plus its beautiful lake and gardens, with its graceful grandstand make a wonderful setting for families, couples or groups of friends to relax, or picnic in the summer sun. We were lucky enough to have the most glorious weather, which I know is not always a given is this fair country.
I have, since I was a child visited the Open Air Theatre in Regents Park during the summer months, and it was perhaps the production of The Tempest, so many years ago that first inspired my love of the theatre. Picnicking in the grounds and sitting out in the open air, seeing a show, and watching the sunset over the stage is a truly magical experience, and it has to be one of my highlights of the summer as It somehow manages the capture the heart of theatre and London all in one very beautiful place.
The joy is that you can bring your own picnic, eat either from their delicious salad bar or enjoy burgers and fries served fresh off the grill, plus you are able to buy champagne, wines, cocktails, beers, soft drinks and hot drinks at the theatre bar.
I was lucky enough to be coming to see On The Town, a revival of the classic Broadway musical with music by Leonard Bernstein, which famously starred Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Betty Garrett in its musical film version in 1949.
This wonderful show is about three sailors Gabey, Chip and Ozzie, who arrive in New York City during wartime in 1944, for the first time. With just an out of date guidebook on hand, they prepare to have the best day of their lives, intent on finding fun and romance before their twenty-four hours are up. They all meet and connect with three very different girls providing them with every bit of the adventure and excitement they are searching for.
This is an entertaining and enchanting musical extravaganza which features the hit songs “New York, New York”, “You Got Me”, “I Can Cook Too”, “Carried Away” and “Lonely Town”.
Strictly Come Dancing star Danny Mac leads the cast alongside Jacob Maynard and Jeremy Taylor as the three sailors Gabey, Chip and Ozzie. They are joined by Siena Kelly, Lizzy Connolly and Miriam-Teak Lee as Ivy, Hildy and Claire. Magnificently directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie, whose previous work at the Open Air includes Jesus Christ Superstar, which is also returning this summer after its huge success last year.
So if you are looking for the perfect quintessential summer London experience, why not visit The Marylebone, either for an overnight stay or perhaps try their afternoon tea, cocktails or dinner in one of their fine eateries or bars, shop to your hearts content, take in the sights and sophistication of the local area and then head to the Open Air Theatre in Regents Park for a truly enthralling theatrical night out under the stars.
47 Welbeck Street,
London, United Kingdom W1G 8DN
Phone: +44 20 7486 6600
Open Air Theatre
On The Town runs from 19 May to 1 July 2017
Tickets are non-refundable in the event of cancellation because of the weather but may be exchanged in accordance with the Weather Policy.