What's New in London Right Now — From Gorgeous Hotels to Chic Cocktail Bars

Whether you're visiting to honor the Queen's memory or are just raring to return to London, these are the top new spots to check out.

The Red Room at Connaught London
Photo: Courtesy of Connaught

London is ready for its time in the limelight once again.

While we're looking forward to getting reacquainted with The Big Smoke's time-tested classics, it's also high time to ogle the latest and greatest new offerings the capital has to offer, from game-changing drinking dens hiding minutes from Oxford Street to shiny new five-star stays in still-vibrant Shoreditch. Ready to dust off your trench coats? Whether you're visiting in honor of the late Queen Elizabeth, taking your first international holiday since the pandemic, or simply for a fun-filled long weekend, here's what's new in Londontown in 2022.

Luxury Hotel Openings

From royal residences to historic landmarks, London has legendary luxury hotels in spades. The city has emerged from the challenges of the pandemic with a dazzling display of new five-star properties. A few stays which opened to rave reviews amid (or just before) the pandemic include Covent Garden's NoMad London, east London's Mondrian Shoreditch, Westminster's The Guardsman, Marylebone's Nobu, and effortlessly posh LXR-stay, Biltmore Mayfair.

Grand staircase at The OWO in London
Grain London

Since London's full reopening in spring 2022, the hospitality scene has been buzzing. One of London's trendiest neighborhoods got another splashy luxury hotel in the form of One Hundred Shoreditch.

Taking over the modernist building where the buzzy Ace Hotel once stood, this property is all about tranquility and features an underground cocktail lounge from renowned mixologist Ryan 'Mr. Lyan' Chetiyawardana, an ethical seafood restaurant inspired by England's fishing villages, and a pink-tiled rooftop bar with panoramic views of the city. In Mayfair, The Twenty Two opened inside a grade II-listed Edwardian manor complete with a mews house and penthouse inspired by Christian Dior's private living space. And in early 2023, expect to see one of the most-anticipated openings: The OWO Raffles. It'll be the first time the famous Old War Office on Whitehall, which stopped being used by the Ministry of Defense in the 1960s, will open to the public in more than a century.

New Bars in London

For two straight years, Mayfair's Connaught Bar was crowned the world's best. And if master mixologist Ago Perrone's world-leading table-side dry martinis aren't enough of a pull, the beloved 200-year-old luxury hotel recently opened an art-and-wine enclave known as The Red Room. Discerning drinkers will find more than 30,000 bottles of vino to sip from here. The city doesn't rest on its drinking laurels though, and other new cocktail bars of note include Sweeties, a 1970s Hollywood-style bar on the 10th floor of The Standard, the NoMad's Side Hustle set in a former Covent Garden police station, and east London speakeasy Nightjar's new Soho outpost.

Following both fire and flooding, Camden's 19th-century theater Koko is set to show off a $92-million transformation. Its most dazzling new update might be its new members' club, House of Koko, which is set to take over four floors. Look out for the new roof terrace and conservatory, a cocktail bar in the restored copper dome, a recording studio, and a hidden speakeasy.

New Restaurants in London

Sketch at The Ledbury in London is now in mellow yellow hues
Ed Dabney/Courtesy of Sketch

Take dessert very, very seriously? Join the line at The Berkeley in Knightsbridge, where world-renowned pastry chef Cedric Grolet opened his first pâtisserie outside of France, complete with a unique counter-side tasting menu of "trompe-l'œil" fruits and elaborate tarts. Other new restaurants making a splash around Londontown include Clerkenwell's Sessions Arts Club set in an 18th-century courthouse, 1920s Shanghai-inspired MiMi Mei Fair, The Lanesborough Grill (at its namesake hotel by Oetker Collection) led by acclaimed chef Shay Cooper, and Mexican-Spanish Decimo perched on the 10th floor of The Standard.

The revivals this year are equally exciting. The Ledbury reopened in Notting Hill with a new look and new chef. Michelin-starred Sketch has redesigned its iconic millennial pink Gallery and turned it mellow yellow to mark the Mayfair institution's 20th anniversary. The fresh look comes courtesy of British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare and architect India Mahdavi, who originally turned the Gallery pink back in 2014. Another London revamp comes in the form of Carousel, with an ever-rotating lineup of incredible guest chefs continues, but this time in a sprawling new site made up of three converted Georgian townhouses in the heart of Fitzrovia.

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