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London-on-Sea: how the capital’s best hotels are bringing the Great British Summer to you

Cornwall all booked up? Take a London mini-break instead, says Suzannah Ramsdale

<p>Beach huts at The Berkeley</p>

Beach huts at The Berkeley

/ The Berkley
O

verseas jaunts are looking increasingly uncertain and the failsafe spot you love in Cornwall is booked up.

In short, your summer holiday plans are in tatters and the panic is rising. But consider this: a staycation on your own doorstep… in London.

From bouji beach huts to IRL pony rides, the capital’s top hotels are doing all the heavy lifting and bringing the great British summer vibes to you.

Here’s our pick of the best...

The Berkeley, Knightsbridge

Enjoy all the best of the great British seaside minus all the awful things about the great British seaside, namely: sand, wind, probably rain and definitely all the other people. This summer, The Berkeley is bringing the iconic seafronts of Whitstable and Southwold to the heart of Knightsbridge with its rainbow coloured beach huts. They’ll be serving up grilled lobster, freshly shucked oysters, scampi and octopus, all washed down with ice cold champagne. It turns out we do like to be beside the seaside. From April 12; the-berkeley.co.uk

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The Macallan Manor House at The Rosewood

/ The Rosewood

Rosewood London, Holborn

Head to the Highlands by way of Holborn at The Macallan Manor House at The Rosewood. Inspired by the mossy hills of Speyside and the new Macallan distillery, the cosy covered terrace will play host to an exclusive menu featuring dishes created by the Roca brothers - think Scottish scallops with shaved fennel, roasted artichoke puree and turnip - paired with (extremely) limited edition small-batch single cask whiskey picked by The Macallan’s head whiskey-maker. Tartan blankets will keep you warm on those particularly British summer days. From April 12; rosewoodhotels.com

The Mitre

/ The Mitre

The Mitre, Hampton Court

A sun trap on the banks of the Thames, The Mitre (which opened last summer) feels a world away from the sometimes stifling city. This summer, hire out the hotel’s boat for a champagne cruise down the river, or perhaps opt for one of their new bike picnics, before settling down on the terrace for an open fire BBQ, live jazz and free-flowing rose from the Whispering Angel Boathouse. From April 12; mitrehamptoncourt.com

The Goring

/ The Goring

The Goring, Belgravia

For two weeks only, The Goring, where the Duchess of Cambridge famously spent the night before her wedding, is offering a Teddy the Shetland afternoon tea. The cute pony (he’s got his own instagram account @teddytheshetland with more followers than most of us could ever dream of) will hang out in the exquisite Goring Garden while guests chill on posh picnic blankets and tuck into horseshoe cakes, polo mint infused scones and mini apple tarts. If you miss that - slots are booking fast - throughout the summer, the hotel is bringing a taste of the Cornish coast to Beeston Place with a Lobster and Fizz menu. Seafood comes fresh from family-run crab and lobster shop Just Shellfish in the heart of Port Isaac. Teddy the Shetland Afternoon Tea, from £50, August 16 - 31; thegoring.com

Head to Hastings on a British Pullman

/ Shutterstock

Belmond’s Great British Seaside train journeys, Victoria

Think back to family seaside trips of your childhood. The hours spent sitting in traffic, the struggles to set up the windbreak before tucking into soggy sarnies. Forget that. This summer, Belmond is launching four luxurious seaside train journeys. Departing from Victoria, the restored British Pullman will head to either Margate, Whitstable, Broadstairs or Hastings. Enjoy a three-course lunch on the way down, free time to explore the coast, before tucking into a three-course dinner on the way back. From May 18; from £360; belmond.com

Beach retreat at the Shangri-La

/ Noel Yeo, Nudge Photography

Shangri-La, London Bridge

This towering five-star hotel may be up in the clouds, but beach bums can get a taste of that ocean fresh feeling with the Shangri-La’s ‘Sun Sation’ package. The endlessly creative team will recreate all the fun of the British seaside with a highly Instagrammable chic beachy set-up in your room, complete with sand, a summer playlist and diffusers pumping out a bespoke seaside scent. Snack on Cornish charcuterie, Kentish oysters, fish & chips, ice cream sundaes and champagne jelly. The Sun Sation package starts at £840; shangri-la.com/

The Hoxton Southwark

/ Hoxton

The Hoxton, across London

To help you recover from the year from hell, The Hoxton has created a mega-relaxing Summer Daze package. Book into any of its London hotels - Shoreditch, Southwark, Holborn - and get a free Hendrick’s gin hamper for two, a copy of Daisy Jones and The Six for reading in the sun, plus £50 credit to use in the bar and restaurant. Long weekend a deux, anyone? From May 17; thehoxton.com

The Hari

/ The Hari

The Hari, Belgravia

Over at The Hari, it’s less of a Mr Whippy and fish & chips affair, and more about the gelato and house-made limoncello. From April 12, the hotel’s garden terrace will be transformed into an oasis of la dolce vita. Sip Aperol Spritz under the sweeping bougainvillea and snack on Amalfi lemon ceviche and Neapolitan sausage as the sun goes down. From April 12; thehari.com