RA Summer 41

Royal Academy of Arts Summer (Not Summer) Exhibition

For the first time in its 252 year history, don't miss the winter edition of the Summer Exhibition

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Explore exceptional contemporary art at London's most joyous festival of art, paired with the perfect accompaniment to your journey for a must-have cultural caper in the heart of London - when London can safely reopen again.

Itinerary Info

Good for

Contemporary art, fashion, food, culture, London's best restaurants and hotels, things to do in London

Getting around

Close to Green Park, Piccadilly Circus, Bond Street, Oxford Street, St James's Park tube stations. Nearby bus routes include 6, 9, 14, 19, 22, 38, N9, N19, N22, N38, N94. Nearby Santander bicycles and bicycle parking available.

Of all the cultural institutions nearby Piccadilly Circus, the Royal Academy of Arts is undeniably one of the best.

Its rich record of devotion to the arts throughout its 252 year history is unparalleled. Supporting and nurturing both emerging artists and household names, the Royal Academy continues to serve as a place where art is made, exhibited and debated, making it a must-visit for those with a penchant for paintings.

This year, the institutions annual Summer Exhibition, like most things, has been delayed due to covid and will, for the first time ever, display throughout winter.

Running from 6th October 2020 - 3rd January 2021, the exhibition offers a unique window into what is happening in the contemporary art world right now. Showcasing works from the world’s megastars hanging out alongside talented upcoming names, the Royal Academy’s Summer (Not Summer) Exhibition is a must-see.

Exploring themes such as identity, immigration, contested borders, climate change, pro-democracy protest and landscape in the form of installation, painting, film, photography and sculpture, tickets start from just £18 per adult and are free for under 16s.

So, why not make the most of your visit to the megalithic mother of all art shows?

Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself with a dazzling art deco experience, tuck-in to afternoon tea inspired by famous female creatives, or refuel with a bite to eat at London's most historic restaurant, there’s something to compliment everyone’s cultural caper while London’s streets are a little quieter.

Here’s our top picks so you can plan the perfect accompaniment to your journey.

The Ritz London, The Rivoli Bar

Looking for an exquisite cocktail experience?

Offering a dazzling oasis only a short walk-away from the Royal Academy of Arts, The Rivoli Bar inside The Ritz London reflects the luxury and decadence of the art deco movement, and marries this exuberant tradition with modernity and invention. Here, tradition is not traded for innovation but rather the two intertwine in every part of each experience. This idealism shapes and inspires their collection of food and drink; combing a rich past with the creative flair of London’s modern bar scene.

The intimate cocktail lounge, where trainers are not permitted, invites guests to sample an exquisite selection of cocktails from the Rivoli Bar Menu. Mixed-up by their friendly bar staff, enjoy a cocktail of your choice or try one of our own delicious creations.

Plus, don’t miss the impressive selection of wines and Champagnes to sample as well as a remarkable menu with meal options ranging from club sandwiches to caviar.

Opening from Monday to Saturday, 11.30am – 10.0pm and Sunday, 12.00pm – 10:00pm, prepared to be dazzled by this unrivalled dining experience.

Make a reservation online here. Or, call or email using the following details:

T: +44 (0)20 7493 8181

E: enquire@theritzlondon.com


Looking for a hidden gem to refuel at along your cultural caper?

Richer in history than the Royal Academy of Arts and only seconds away on Jermyn Street, Wiltons was first established in 1742, making it the oldest institution in the capital.

Created by George William Wilton as a shellfish monger originally located on London's Haymarket, the restaurant was almost destroyed during the Second World War. It was during the war that the restaurant was bought by the Hambro family and later moved to London’s most fashionable district, Jermyn Street, in 1984.

Wiltons today, has the same timeless elegance, passion and dedication to excellence it has always had, throughout the centuries of serving London’s finest communities. Still serving its signature Oysters, only available from September to April, it’s the perfect pit-stop to for a bite to eat before or after a visit to the Royal Academy’s Summer (Not Summer) Exhibition.

Plus, alongside an extensive caviar and sea food selection, enjoy meats and grills, chef specials and delicious desserts, paired perfectly with a variety of wine and champagne, all available by the glass or bottle.

Make a reservation online here. Or, call or email using the following details:

T: +44 (0)20 7629 9955

E: reserve@wiltons.co.uk

The Ham Yard Hotel

Looking to explore incredible interior design and striking sculptures?

The Ham Yard Hotel is a must-visit for those with an inkling for art and fashion. Set on a three-quarter acre site tucked behind the Piccadilly Lights, its only moments’ walk-away from the Royal Academy of Arts.

Its centrepiece is a specially commissioned large scale bronze sculpture by Sir Tony Cragg, located in the hotel’s courtyard. Often cited as the ultimate spot in London for alfresco dining, the tree lined heated courtyard at Ham Yard Restaurant is perfect for a long lunch or evening cocktail.

Cosy up with blankets and heaters under the leafy 30-foot oak trees, as you sample dishes from their special seasonal set menu, serving two-courses for £35 or three-courses for £40 with a glass of Champagne. Featuring dry aged beef tartare with mustard, tarragon and egg yolk mayonnaise, wild line caught seabass with girolles, portobello and crispy nori and a signature Dorset crab, cherry tomato and parsley linguine, it’s a must-have menu to delight your taste buds to.

Plus, for those wintery evenings, try the hot Ham Yard Tonic cocktail for the ultimate winter warmer.

Further to the new tier three restrictions in London, Ham Yard Restaurant will continue to serve parties of up to 6 guests from the same household in the courtyard.

Make a reservation online here. Or, call or email using the following details:

T: +44 (0)20 3642 1007

E: restaurant@hamyardhotel.com

The Dilly

Looking for something that’s perfect for little ones or adults alike?

Discover a treasure-trove of treats at The Dilly hotel inspired by the classic Beatrix Potter tales, sitting seconds away from the Royal Academy of Arts.

The award-winning Peter Rabbit™ Afternoon Tea is a must-have menu to tuck-in to. For only £39 per adult and £29 for the children's version, available Monday to Sunday, from 12:30pm to 5pm.

Offering a magical wonderland of Peter's favourite treats inspired by the classic Potter novels, fill-up on tasty bites from the likes of the Caught In A Twist sandwich and the Every Bunny's Favourite carrot cake. Or, Mr McGregor's Garden, a delectable baguettini filled with fresh vegetables and hummus, to the Flower-Pot Hideout, an edible chocolate pot filled with chamomile mousse and blackberries, harking back to Peter's adventurous day. Not forgetting warm fluffy scones, served with jam and clotted cream in adorable edible plant pots.

Served in the Victorian glass atrium with floor to ceiling windows and balcony overlooking Piccadilly, only moments away from Piccadilly Circus, and decked out with an array of foliage, the setting perfectly matches Peter's tale.

Make a reservation online here. Or, call or email using the following details:

T: +44 (0)20 7734 8000

E: info@thedillylondon.com

The Petrichor Restaurant, The Cavendish Hotel

Want to continue your journey of inspiring female figures?

Don't miss Rosa's afternoon tea experience at the Petrichor restaurant inside The Cavendish hotel, situated a short stroll-away from the Royal Academy of Arts and overlooking London’s iconic Jermyn Street.

Serving fluffy sandwiches, sweet or savoury scones, cakes and pastries, all paired with an extensive selection of artisan tea and Champagne, the afternoon tea experience is a must-have inspired by The Queen of Cooks herself, Rosa Lewis.

Rosa Lewis was a remarkable English cook who owned The Cavendish Hotel in the early 20th Century. It was under Rosa’s ownership that The Cavendish Hotel became one of the most fashionable addresses in London.

Starting from £45 per person, or top-up for £15 more to add a glass of NV Brut Baron De Marck Gobillard Champagne, the inspirational menu is available Monday to Sunday from 2-5pm.

Make a reservation online here. Or call or email using the following details:

T: +44 (0)20 7930 2111

E: enquiry.cavendish@the-ascott.com

Featured Venues

Royal Academy HERO IMAGE

Royal Academy of Arts


The Royal Academy of Arts is a world-renowned art institution based in Burlington House on Piccadilly, London. For over 250 years, the RA has existed to champion art and artists and offers a place where art is made, exhibited and debated. Enjoy their expanded campus with free displays, new spots to eat, drink and shop, and much more.

Read more about Royal Academy of Arts



Wiltons was first established in 1742 by George William Wilton as a shellfish monger in London's Haymarket. In 1840 having moved to Ryder Street, Wiltons became a fully licensed restaurant. During the Second World War the restaurant was bought by the Hambro family and moved to Jermyn Street in 1984. Wiltons today has the same timeless elegance, passion and dedication to excellence it has always had, throughout the centuries!

Read more about Wiltons
The Ritz Green Park View HERO SHOT

The Ritz London


Located in the heart of London's cultural district, The Ritz London hotel boasts original, ornate Louis XVI interiors, 136 bedrooms and suites overlooking the Royal Green Park and Piccadilly. Serving afternoon tea in the spectacular Palm Court, cocktails in the Rivoli Bar, luxury hotel stays, The Ritz Casino and a cigar shop and sampling lounge.

Read more about The Ritz London
THE DILLY Hotel Exterior HERO image

The Dilly


Set in the heart of London's West End, The Dilly complements the hotel's vibrant cultural and architectural surroundings. Seconds away from St James's, Piccadilly Circus, and Leicester Square, this luxury 5-star hotel boasts a stunning indoor swimming pool and spacious, elegant rooms for hotel guests. Plus, open to both guests and visitors, enjoy a superb meal in The Terrace restaurant overlooking Piccadilly, or a mouth-watering cocktail concoction in the Maskelyn & Cook bar.

Read more about The Dilly
Ham Yard Hotel Drawing Room

Ham Yard Hotel


In the midst of Soho and moments from Mayfair, Ham Yard has an urban village feel. The hotel revolves around a leafy courtyard with a bronze sculpture centrepiece by Tony Cragg. Interiors are designed by Kit Kemp in her award-winning modern British style. Alongside the hotel's 91 individually designed bedrooms and suites are 24 apartments, 13 boutiques and a restaurant and bar, there is a drawing room and library, rooftop terrace, spa and gym, theatre, private event rooms and bowling alley.

Read more about Ham Yard Hotel