Today, the destination partners representing the West End of London [New West End Company, Shaftesbury PLC, Heart of London Business Alliance and Grosvenor] reveal how their iconic destinations will be celebrating Her Majesty's landmark 90th birthday this year. From 2nd June, a new guide entitled ‘90 West End Ways to Celebrate HM The Queen's 90th' will be available to help visitors from the UK and overseas take in the sights, shopping, culture and special experiences across the West End throughout Queen Elizabeth II 90th year.
One of the most globally recognized visitor destinations, with £1bn set to be spent over the summer, the West End of London is home to the most iconic and quintessentially British destinations fit for a queen. From Her Majesty's birthplace on Bruton Street, to favorite royal British department store Fortnum and Mason and iconic hotel The Ritz London, the West End is leading London's celebrations.
Combining the very best, hand-picked content from the West End of London, the guide will countdown the top evergreen and one-off happenings across the West End in the Queen's 90th year - from the Union Flags, selfie spots, pop-ups, store displays and food and drink offers, to stalls, installations, events, ceremonies and famous landmarks, all paying homage to the Queen.
To coincide with the guide's launch, the UK's best known shopping destinations will see hundreds of Union Flags fluttering across the West End. In Mayfair flags can already be seen on Mount Street, Duke Street and North Audley Street as well as Oxford Street, Regent Street and Conduit Street. Festive decorations will also be displayed across Carnaby Street, Seven Dials and The Newburgh Quarter, some flying high and proud until October.
New West End Company CEO Jace Tyrrell commented, "The West End's prime positioning puts us in a unique position to celebrate 90 years of Her Majesty The Queen. Whether championing specially designed products from our best British retailers, experiencing one-off exhibitions in honor of HM Queen Elizabeth II or exploring the West End's cultural landmarks from streets Her Majesty herself has trodden, we are all setup for visitors to join the celebrations commemorating this landmark 90th birthday from June and beyond."
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "Over Her Majesty's lifetime, the area in which she was born has evolved into one of the most exciting places to be on the planet. London's vibrant West End is a vital contributor to the capital's economy, creating jobs and attracting tourists from around the world. I'm confident this historic occasion will see even more people visit London and enjoy everything this great city has to offer."
Editor and Time Out contributor Andy Hill commented, "Despite owning a pretty sweet central London property portfolio, Her Majesty The Queen rarely has the chance to get out and enjoy the wonders of the West End. I guess it must be hard to remain inconspicuous when your other car is a golden carriage. This guide I've helped put together is bursting with 90 awesome things to do - from film screenings to cultural festivals, special afternoon teas to one-off regal offers - so get out there, make the most of London's West End and raise a glass on Ma'am'."
As a snapshot from the guide, Editor Andy Hill here reveals his Top 10 listings from the guide
1. Fortnum & Mason: Everything the 300+ year old Piccadilly stalwart does is regal and classy anyway. And as it's the Queen's actual grocer you know you'll get the royal treatment.
"A royal grocer for more than 150 years, Fortnum & Mason is pulling out all the stops for Her Majesty's 90th, with window displays, special afternoon teas and an array of regal products including fine bone china crockery, beautiful commemorative tea towels and special loose tea blends.
Prices vary. 181 Piccadilly, W1A 1ER. www.fortnumandmason.com
Throughout June 2016"
2. John Lewis
The Oxford Street store was awarded the Royal Warrant by Her Majesty the Queen in 2008 as a ‘Supplier of Haberdashery and Household Goods'. As well as hosting a season of pop-up events on its rooftop garden from acclaimed food and drink providers, the store is releasing a range of products including souvenir tea towels and commemorative mugs to celebrate Elizabeth II's 90th. And if this wasn't enough celebratory cheer, their entire shopfront will be wrapped in a giant Union Flag! Prices vary.
300 Oxford Street, London, W1A 1EX.
3. Puma: The Queen supports Arsenal, it turns out. And the Gunners are about to drop a new shirt.
"Did you know the Queen supports Arsenal? Well, she does. As a North Londoner who's used to enduring slow public occasions, she's uniquely well suited to Gunner fandom. Grab an Arsenal shirt at Puma's flagship store and show you're right behind the red Queen.
£60. 52-55 Carnaby St, W1F 9QE. www.uk.puma.com
4. We Built This City: The trendy souvenir-floggers are turning their Beak Street store into Beakington Palace, with bunting and cakes and pet portraiture (corgis go free, obvs).
"We Built This City, on the corner of Beak Street (a genuinely cool souvenir shop, if you can imagine such a thing), will be transformed into ‘Beakington Palace' to celebrate Her Majesty's big day. Expect Queen-themed products, royal tea tasting and pet portraits (corgis go free, naturally).
Prices vary. 56 Carnaby St, W1F 9QF. www.webuilt-thiscity.com
Throughout June 2016"
5. Mural of the Queen at St. Christopher's Place: In other countries, great looming portraits of the head of state are a wee bit creepy and Orwellian. Not in this case. It's like turning a corner and seeing a lovely picture of your gran splashed across the brickwork.
Grab a snap of yourself with the birthday girl at St Christopher's Place, the quintessentially British retail and dining destination. Renowned artist and interior designer Frederick Wimsett spent 150 hours painting a striking chinoiserie-inspired mural of the Queen, which will remain in place until the 23rd October before being auctioned to raise proceeds for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Share your best shot using the #QueenofSCP on Instagram or Twitter and be automatically entered into a competition to win a night at a St. Christopher's Place apartment, a £200 personal styling experience at Jigsaw, a pamper treatment at Groom Beauty Townhouse and dinner at Côte Brasserie. It may as well be your birthday...
Free. Barrett St, W1. www.stchristophersplace.com
6. The Audience: The Picturehouse screening of the Helen Mirren play invites us to ponder the wisdom, the subtlety and the tantalisingly opaque (yet surely undeniable) influence Her Majesty has had on politics through her weekly meetings with Prime Ministers going as far back as Winston Churchill.
"An encore screening of the multi award-winning play starring Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II at her weekly meeting with various Prime Ministers throughout her reign. The screening will be followed by a special recorded Q&A with Helen Mirren and director Stephen Daldry.
£20 for adults, £8 for children. Corner of Windmill St and Shaftesbury Ave, W1D 7DH. www.picturehouses.com
9th June 2016, 7.30pm"
7. De Beers It's hard to separate the Queen from her royal bling. The Piccadilly diamond specialist is again bringing out the Talisman Crown, commissioned for the 2012 Olympics, for us mortals to gawp at and wonder.
"The high-end jeweller is bringing back its magnificent Talisman Crown, a sumptuous one-of-a-kind piece created in 2012 for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. A magnificent combination of luxury materials and sublime craftsmanship, it has to be seen to be believed.
Prices vary. 46-50 Old Bond Street, W1S 4QT. www.debeers.co.uk
8. Bleach, Berwick St: Nothing says ‘happy birthday Ma'am!' like a Union Jack dye-job
"Freshen up your ‘do' in the most patriotic way imaginable: a red, white and blue Union Jack dye job. If protocol allowed, Her Majesty might even get one herself.
Prices vary. 2 Berwick St, W1F 0DR. www.bleachlondon.co.uk
9. Cahoots: The subterranean watering hole win ‘best pun' for their ‘Windsor is Coming' cocktail. Even better: it's served in a Coronation mug
"This retro Underground-themed bar is holding a Right Royal Squiffy Picnic to celebrate, with a menu of British classics like Eton Mess and teacakes, live entertainment and (amazingly) a bespoke cocktail called 'Windsor is Coming': Bombay Sapphire, raspberry and apple shrub, pumpkin, ginger and lemongrass, served in a coronation mug. Don't forget to raise your pinkie!
From £46 pp. 13 Kingly Court, W1B 5PW. www.cahoots-london.com
11th June 2016. Two sittings, 12pm and 2pm"
10. Planet Hollywood: Will give you a free meal if it's also your 90th on the big day.
"Over the big birthday weekend enjoy a Queen Elizabeth cocktail for 90p with every main meal purchased. Better yet, if it's your 90th, your main meal is free! You never know who might swing by...
Prices vary. 57-60 Haymarket, SW1Y 4QX. www.planethollywoodlondon.com
11th and 12th June, 2016"
See the full the guid here
Notes to Editors
More Information on New West End Company:
New West End Company is the management and promotional company for London's retail heartland. The Company promotes, manages and enhances the world's top shopping destination.
Its aims are to build the West End's global reputation, create a world renowned visitor experience and to attract investment and spend to an area which drives London's economy.
New West End Company is Europe's largest Business Improvement District (BID). A not-for-profit company funded by 600 businesses across Bond Street, Oxford Street, Regent Street and 22 connecting streets. The area turns over £8bn annually with a property value of £4bn and our businesses employ over 150,000 people.
For more information contact:
VisitBritain Media Teampressandpr@visitbritain.com