Meander through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, stopping to check out the latest in contemporary British art at the Serpentine Gallery, which tapped Zaha Hadid to turn a 19th-century gunpowder store across the lake into its sibling Serpentine Sackler Gallery. Have something to eat in its undulating, glass-walled extension—The Magazine restaurant, serving a seasonal menu for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea—and if you’re in town between June and October, don’t miss the annual Pavilion commission, which sees a leading foreign architect create a temporary structure on the lawn. Move on to the nearby Kensington Roof Gardens, a 1.5-acre gem owned by Sir Richard Branson, with Spanish and Tudor gardens as well as an English woodland that is home to live flamingos, all above a members’ club. While the space is open to the public, it’s a popular venue for private events, so call before you go.
Get off at Queensway, Bayswater or Lancaster Gate and go for a walk through the Kensington Gardens. Make the Kensington Roof Gardens the peak of your trip. They’re located above London’s skyline and just on the edge of Kensington Gardens.
SERPENTINE GALLERY: Kensington Gardens; 44-(0)20-7402-6075; serpentinegalleries.org
SERPENTINE SACKLER GALLERY: West Carriage Dr.; 44-(0)20-7402-6075; serpentinegalleries.org
THE MAGAZINE: West Carriage Dr.; 44 (0)207 298 7552; magazine-restaurant.co.uk
KENSINGTON ROOF GARDENS: 99 Kensington High St.; 44-(0)20-7937-7994; virginlimitededition.com/en/the-roof-gardens