London is one of the world’s most dynamic and cosmopolitan cities. It is not only a place of pageantry and tradition, but also a fashion capital and a global center for contemporary art. The quality and variety of the city’s restaurants are astonishing, with recent years having seen a robust revival of authentic British cuisine. Our favorite time to visit is between mid-April, when the parks and squares burst into bloom, until mid-July and the conclusion of the Wimbledon tennis tournament. Midsummer also has its appeal, however, since this is the season when it is possible to visit certain royal residences, such as Buckingham Palace, while their occupants are elsewhere. The Queen’s Gallery there displays rotating exhibitions of works from the immense Royal Collection, which includes masterpieces by Vermeer, Rembrandt, van Dyck, Rubens, Titian and Canaletto.