With the first signs of spring well on their way, March is a marvellous month to visit London, and there are wonderful things to see both indoors and out, from an exhibition about a royal reprobate at Buckingham Palace to a fabulous flower festival featuring some the oldest and loveliest camellias in the country.
The concierge team at The Beaumont know London inside out, and they are here to help guests look beyond the obvious tourist clichés.
Extravagant, selfish and gluttonous, George IV may have been a pretty terrible king, but he was a major patron of the arts, and many of his acquisitions remain in the Royal Collection today. On the 200th anniversary of his accession, a new exhibition at the Queen's Gallery in Buckingham Palace offers the chance to see some of the treasures he amassed, which range from Rembrandts to bejewelled rings and French porcelain to satirical prints. The exhibition runs until 3 May.
In Noel Coward's classic comedy, Blithe Spirit, an eccentric spirit-medium accidentally conjures up Elvira, the first wife of novelist Charles Condomine, who goes on to try and wreck his second marriage - helped by the fact that he is the only person who can see her. In this new production at the Duke of York's Theatre by director Richard Eyre, Jennifer Saunders (of Absolutely Fabulous fame) plays the medium Madame Arcati, in a strictly limited six-week run that opens on 5 March.
Camellias are one of the earliest and most beautiful flowers of spring, and when they were first imported from China to Britain in the mid-18th century they were so rare that rich collectors spent enormous sums on glasshouses in which to display them. The grandest surviving example, created by the 6th Duke of Devonshire at Chiswick House in London, was superbly restored in 2010 and hosts an annual camellia festival; this year's show runs from 12 March to 5 April.
Visitors to the Royal Academy rarely give a glance at the buildings on either side of its entrance courtyard, but they are home to some of Britain's most august scientific bodies. Among them is the Linnean Society, which was founded in 1788 and is the world's oldest institution devoted to the study of biology. Its grand interiors house superb scientific collections, which are open for public tours one day each month: this month's tour takes place on 4 March from 1.30-3pm.