Traditionally, the London Season was the time of year when society families left their country estates and headed to London to stay in grand houses and squares in Mayfair. Of course, the unspoken purpose for the Season was to bring together the right sort of people in an endless whirlwind of festivities and pleasure – the largest marriage market in the world
For two hundred years, it has been the heartbeat of upper-class British society and, although the core events have remained the same, today a looser series of high-profile events attracting the great and good can lay claim to being an essential part of the social life of the elite over the summer months.
Serpentine Summer Party, Serpentine Gallery, London, June
Nestled in Kensington Garden, the Serpentine Galleries are among London’s most popular art venues and its summer party is one of the season’s hottest tickets bringing out all the movers and shakers. The fundraising party marks the official opens its Summer Pavilion and has become a ritual that heralds the start of summer.
Wimbledon Championships, London, July
As well as the world’s finest tennis, Wimbledon is the place to spot big names off the court (the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are regular attendees), as are stars of stage and screen. Tickets are tough to come by but grabbing at spot on Henman Hill is a great way to cheer along and soak up the atmosphere.
The BBC Proms, London and various locations, July, August, September
The Proms, more formally known as The BBC Proms, or The Henry Wood Promenade Concerts presented by the BBC, is an eight-week summer season of daily orchestral classical music concerts and other events. A trip to the Royal Albert Hall over the summer is great way to see and be seen by the great and good.
Frieze Art Fair, London, October
Unlike most of the Season’s other events, it’s quite common to see middle-aged men in the most casual of dress at London’s leading art fair. However these people tend to be oligarchs and billionaire businessmen eyeing up their latest purchase from one of the leading galleries, all of whom come armed with the crème de la crème of their sizeable collections.