Monthly Archives

September 2013

London, Things to do in london

Luxury guide to Sloane Square

September 25, 2013

Located on the boundaries of the central London districts of Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Chelsea, Sloane Square is known it for its distinctive style of living, grand architecture and affluent residents. Range rovers litter the streets, yahs and rahs can be heard everywhere; cosy coffee shops line sleepy side streets and “sloane rangers” saunter down the fashionable Kings Road.

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Sloane Square is the destination of choice for high end shops, unique luxury boutiques and designer flagship stores filled with glittering delights and gorgeous garments. Move away from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Circus, take the district line to Sloane Square and get pull on those purse strings. Littered with an array of shops to satisfy even the biggest shopaholic, chose from Tiffanys& Co., Links of London and Hugo Boss to name a few. Sloane Square is also home to the iconic Peter Jones department store filled with tantalising treats so you can shop until your hearts content. Whatever you do, don’t forget the credit card.


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After a day of hitting the shops hard, you need a place to rest your weary head. Located just off Sloane Square at 26 Cadogan Gardens, The Draycott Hotel is one of the top hotels in Chelsea offering unprecedented service. The Draycott’s location could not be better for the myriad of luxury boutiques and quality restaurants that Sloane Square has to offer. Take lunch at one of the many eateries or take a wander to the West End, one of London’s most famous quarters and only a stone’s throw away from the Draycott Hotel.

Feeling hungry? Try The Botanist which takes pride of place on the corner of Sloane Square, offering a deliciously decadent menu of treats for any time of the day with an extensive menu of drinks and cocktails including the infamous signature Tahitian cocktail, filled with Pinky vodka, hibiscus syrup and Joseph Perrier Brut Champagne. Start your day well with The Botanist Breakfast, or indulge with the grilled lobster with garlic and tarragon butter and hand cut chips when hunger strikes.

Soak up some culture and stroll down the Kings Road to the famous Saatchi Gallery. Recognised for its modern art and often controversial exhibitions, this gallery is one to be explored, letting the public admire Charles Saatchi’s own personal art collection. Take some time out and saunter around the picture clad walls, musing over the artists meanings and debate the reasons behind the art work. Finish off your cultural session with a coffee at the Gallery Mess in the Saatchi Gallery which has attracted enthusiastic reviews for its beautiful setting, charming atmosphere and excellent food and drink.

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If you’re looking for a chic, individual, and undeniably cool bar to wind down (or wind up!) in the evenings then look no further than Tonteria, Guy Pelly’s Mexican themed high society club. Pelly’s latest addition to the Chelsea nightlife scene is wonderfully unique and offers an array of Tequila based cocktails and Mexican beers and lagers. Order a special Tonteria drink and receive your purchases on a motorised toy train that makes its way around the ceiling train track to your table, being presented to you and the cheering crowds in a Day of the Dead skull with sparklers – we say, all aboard the Tonteria train!

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Cadogan Hall, located just off Sloane Square, is the home to the musical ensemble of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The first London orchestra to have a permanent home, the RPO gave its first concert as a resident ensemble of Cadogan Hall in November 2004. Since then, Cadogan Hall has been home to The Proms’ chamber music concerts and Saturday matinees, being noted for its distinctive stained glass windows and becoming an iconic London building. Book tickets for a matinee session and enjoy a part of musical history.

 

Things to do in london

Look for Longer is back – Play The Tube Game!

September 20, 2013

look-for-longerLook for Longer is back! You may remember last year that London Underground inspired viral game Look for Longer which challenged the public’s knowledge of the Tube network last year. It is re-launched yesterday but with a crowd sourcing twist. Members of the public are invited to take part in Look for Longer 2 by submitting their own ideas for station clues by either drawing them or uploading them via the Look for Longer site.

Players are being presented with a dilapidated street and the sign ‘Vacant-to-Let’ and submit their ideas for station clues by simply sketching or describing and uploading them via the website: www. lookforlonger.com.

 Posters started appearing at major London Underground stations yesterday (19th September). People now have until 6th October to suggest their visual metaphor before of the game officially launches on October 31st.

Things to do in london

London’s First Ever ‘Pop-up Forest’ Arrives in Seven Dials -Sat 21st Sept

September 13, 2013

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There are lots of interesting pop-ups happening in London this month and one that caught my attention is a  ‘pop-up forest’  arriving in Seven Dials this Saturday 21st September.

For one day only, the streets of Seven Dials will become traffic-free and will see a spectacle of 60 trees plotted around the monument as part of International Car Free Day. Amongst the urban forest, there will also be a host of activities and events taking place around the area including an Orchard Juice Bar, complimentary cycle maintenance courtesy of Dr Bike, live music plus complimentary food and drink, including pizza slices from Rossopomodoro’s pop-up trailer and homemade lemonade at Patagonia.

It should be a fun day out – as long as it doesn’t rain.

 

 

For more information please visit: http://www.sevendials.co.uk/events/855-pop-up-forest-arrives-in-seven-dials-for-international-car-free-day

London, Things to do in london

It’s Festival galore! – Things to do in London this September 2013

September 11, 2013

I’ve arrived back to London and brrr…it is suddenly feeling very chilly  time to start bring out the Autumn wardrobe. However a little bit of rain shouldn’t stop us getting out and exploring all the city has to offer and this September London is bursting with fun and interesting things to do. 

Deloitte Ignite – Friday 6 September – Sunday 29 September 2013

Deloitte Ignite is an annual month long contemporary arts festival and a collaboration of Deloitte and the Royal Opera House. this year it is going to be curated by Stephen Fry the festival will celebrate the joint bicentenary of musical maestros Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner. Most of the events are FREE and will include dance, music, films and workshops.

For more information please visit http://www.roh.org.uk/about/deloitte-ignite

Thames Festival – Friday 6 -15 September

The Thames Festival is already in full swing and is an inspiring 10-day celebration of London’s iconic river through art, music, and educational events both on the water and along its banks and bridges. Foodies should check out Butler’s Wharf Blackout butlers wharf will be ‘blacking out’ electricity from 8.30pm throughout the 10 days of Thames Festival. Diners will have the unique opportunity to experience the unspoilt beauty of the river by darkness.

For more information please visit  http://thamesfestival.org/

Kings Place Festival | Kings Place | 13-15 September

Music lovers should head to Kings place to discover new and independent musicians – covering everything from pop to jazz.

For more information please visit http://www.kingsplace.co.uk/festival

British Art Fair  September 11 to 15

Calling all art lovers, for all things British I highly recommend visiting the British Art fair at the Royal College of Art. Every year fine examples by artists from Henry Moore to Patrick Heron are being sold and there is no doubt that there is something for everyone.

For more information please visit http://www.britishartfair.co.uk

London Design Festival | Across London | 14-22 September

This week long festival is jam packed with interesting things to see, do and buy!

For more information please visit: http://www.londondesignfestival.com/

Open House London | 21-22 September | FREE

London’s most interesting buildings will once again be throwing  their doors open to the public. If you love architecture I thoroughly recommend you get involved. Last year I visited the Lloyds of London building.

For more information please visit http://www.londonopenhouse.org/

Soho Literary Festival | Soho Theatre | 25-29 September 

Love books? then this is the festival for you. Running at the Soho theatre this September you can hear writers such David Hare and Ian Hislop talk about their work.

For more information visit: http://www.soholitfest.com

Food, Travel

A trip to Florence – Day 3 – Visiting the Boboli Gardens

September 10, 2013

On our third day in Florence we moved to another apartment on the other side of the river to the area of Santo Spirito. The other side of the river is know as the Oltrarno and the name means beyond the Arno. The Santo Spirito area is home to many of Florence’s artists, musicians and antique sellers. It is also where most of the Florentines live. It reminded me a little bit of Shoreditch (before it got too commercial).  Our lovely apartment was owned by a photographer and furnished by a mixture of reclaimed and  modern furniture.

Our Street in Santo Spirito

Our Street in Santo Spirito

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https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/1272618

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https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/1272618

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After we had settled into the apartment we made our way to the Pitti Palace to visit the Boboli Gardens. The Gardens are situated behind the Pitti Palace, the main seat of the Medici grand dukes of Tuscany.  If you get the chance to visit Florence I recommend you visit the Boboli Gardens but make sure you bring your trainers and be sure to visit later in the day when it is cooler. We made the mistake of going at midday and the heat made it hard work to climb the steep ascent to the top. The view of Florence and gardens was definitely worth the sweat though.

Boboli Gardens

Boboli Gardens

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View of the Florentine hills

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Neptunes Lake – boboli Gardens

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Pitti Palace

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The steep descent

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A mini maze

In the evening we went for dinner at one of Florence’s most popular and cheapest restaurants Trattoria La Casalinga. It is family run and the food was simple but delicious. I opted for the grilled chicken and mixed salad. It is popular with tourists and locals so if you visit be prepared to wait.

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Trattoria Casalinga

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My grilled chicken

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Mixed salad



Things to do in london

St Martin’s Courtyard Presents Fashion Film Festival for London Fashion Week, 15-17 September

September 9, 2013

St Martin’s Courtyard will be transformed into an open air movie theatre to showcase a Fashion Film Festival. A full sized cinema screen will pop-up for three nights during London Fashion Week in September showing iconic fashion films for free. The British Fashion Council will bring the catwalk to St Martin’s Courtyard, screening footage of the shows before the films, a rare opportunity for the public to enjoy a Fashion Week event.

The St Martin’s Courtyard Fashion Film Festival will open on Sunday 15 September and will run until Tuesday 17 September. Choose between tongue-in-cheek fashion comedy Zoolander (Sunday 15 September), fashion industry favourite Grey Gardens (Monday 16 September), or catch a glimpse behind the scenes of American Vogue in The September Issue (Tuesday 17 September).

Silent Cinema is beautifully simple: you wear wireless headphones to watch great films on a full size cinema screen. 120 free tickets are available for each screening through a prize draw. If you’re not one of the lucky ones to win a pair of tickets, be one of the first to arrive on the night and there will be a number of tickets available for each screening on a first come first served basis.

For a chance to get hold of a pair of tickets, visit stmartinscourtyard.co.uk/fashionfilmfestival

music, Things to do in london

Date for your diary – You Need To Hear This Pop-up – 14th/15th Sept 2013

September 9, 2013

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Music collides with art in East London when eight conceptual art installations undergo an audio injection. 

 Talking benches…thinking mannequins…musical cash machines…just plug your headphones into over 40 audio jacks to experience a unique acoustic scenario or musical accompaniment. 

 The store is the brainchild of the creative team behind the music hub YouNeedToHearThis.com and will feature DJ sets from Toyboy & Robin, Cooly G and Ossie over the weekend.

The You Need To Hear This pop-up store will be at Shop 13, Dray Walk, Old Truman Brewery, on the 14th and 15th September from11am-7pm.

 

Things to do in london

Date for your diary – Great British Craft Beer Challenge – 7 & 8 Sept

September 4, 2013

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The  Festival heads back to Hackney this weekend for it’s grand finale; a two day head to head celebration of the world’s best boutique beers, this time showcasing the best of craft beer.

GREAT BRITAIN VS THE REST OF THE WORLD CRAFT BEER

The challenge brings brews from around the world together for a two day tasting showcase with delicious street food stalls, live music and childrens entertainment in London Fields in the heart of culturally vibrant Hackney.

THIS SATURDAY & SUNDAY – 7TH & 8TH SEPTEMBER – 12PM – MIDNIGHT

THE BREWHOUSE –  LONDON
FIELDS TICKETS:

Earlybird beer & food £7 // on the door £9 // beer challenge entry £3

For more information please visit: 
http://britishcraftbeerchallenge.co.uk

Travel

A trip to Florence Day 2

September 4, 2013

We had a very cultured day in Florence yesterday by visiting the Uffizi Gallery which is packed with paintings by  renaissance artists like Michaelangelo and Leonardo Da vinci.

As the gallery is so huge if you do visit it yourself one day make sure you are tactical in your visit about what you want to see and also purchase skip the line tickets to cut down on queueing.

We were able to see works by Michaelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Botticelli and Carravagio.

It was amazing to get up and close to see Botticelli’s ‘The Birth of Venus’ and Carravagio’s Medusa head painting on a shield.

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Unfortunately there is no photography in the gallery but the Uffizi does offer some fantastic views of Florence.

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After visiting the gallery we stopped for lunch at a restaurant on Via Faenza where I had a nice meal of chicken in mushroom sauce. The food so far in Florence has been hit and miss. Although my food was ok my friend’s fettuccini was pretty dire.

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After we went to the Accademia gallery to see the David sculpture but the line to get in was ridiculously long so we decided to go to the San Lorenzo Market.

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It’s a great place to a little souvenir or  present. I ended buying this lovely coral hat.

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Tired out, we headed back to the apartment for a rest. In the evening we out for dinner at restaurant l’Parione. The food was amazing! We opted for the pici pasta with smoked bacon, ravioli with ricotta and spinach, white chocolate moose and tiramisu for dessert. They served us the best food we have tasted in Florence so far.

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Travel

A trip to Florence Day 1 with Lanky Girl

September 2, 2013

This is what we got up to yesterday…

We started the day enjoying breakfast the Florentine way  standing at the bar with a coffee and a pastry. After that we went for a wander to see what we could discover. The great thing about Florence is its small size which means you can easily get around on foot.

The first place we discovered was Via Tornabuoni which is Florence’s answer to Bond street. Bvlgari, Ferragamo and Roberto Cavailli are just one of the many designers who have shop on this street.

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Via tournabuoni

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After tearing ourselves away from the fashionable wares we walked towards Palazzo Strazzi. Apart from being a museum its a great place to spot trendy Florentines enjoying a coffee.

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Next we headed to the Piazza de Republica which is historically the centre of Florence where the Romans first decided to build the city.

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Piazza de republicca

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Finding ourselves a bit lost we accidentally came across the Signoria Square which being situated in the historical centre I later learnt has always been the political center and the heart of the civil life in Florence. It is also home to a replica statue of David and the Uffizi gallery which we will visit tomorrow.

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The river Arno runs all the way through Florence and is just beautiful to look at.

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It seems lovers also come to the Arno to attach padlocks showing their love for one another. Very romantic!

After this we headed to Santa Maria Novella Square for lunch.

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I went for an artichoke pizza – unfortunately it looked better than it tasted. Probably not wise to expect great food from restaurants in tourist haunts.

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After lunch we took a cycle tour with Florencetown Tour company visiting many of the main sights including the Duomo, Santo Croce Square, Santo Spirito and the Pitti Palace.

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I also had my first gelato of the day (so delicious I had to have two) from Gelateria Pitti near Santo Spirito Square.

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Pitti Palace


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Santa Croce Church


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Palazzo Veccio

Taking a cycle tour is great way to get orientated with the city and we learned a lot about the history of a Florence.

In the evening after a bit of a rest we headed out to try some Apertivio which is like happy hour but with lots of food included. Kitsch American bar is popular with Florentine students and we enjoyed a lovely buffet of tasty pasta and pizza with a cocktail for just 9 euros.

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Apertivio at Kitsch


A jam packed fun filled first day!