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Home News Lifestyle & Renting What’s on in London – April 2017

What’s on in London – April 2017

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Racing takes place in many guises and with all kinds of drama. As the F1 season gets under way in Australia, London plays host to a few more sedate contests in the form of two boat races and a 26 mile mass stagger…sorry, run around parts of the Thames Path. The university boat race involves precision, power and timing while the Tall Ships event relies on the wind, which shouldn’t be a problem in April. The London Marathon, apart from the professionals, is largely a blood and guts affair, where determination and pride push protesting bodies round the Docklands Peninsula for five hours – then it’s back to chocolate biscuits in front of the telly for the rest of the year. At least those calories have been earned the hard way.

The Cancer Research UK Boat Races: Oxford v Cambridge – Hammersmith

This venerable sporting event has continued to be supported and is part and parcel of life along the West London section of the River Thames. The top two universities in the country are the only participants and the age old rivalry is as fierce as ever. Weather will play an important part in the contest as the evenly match crews race from Putney to Mortlake. The women’s race promises to be as intriguing as that of their male counterparts as Oxford attempt to overturn Cambridge’s slight statistical superiority.

Game Changers: Another Way to Play – Somerset House

Digital technology may have been expected to replace the humble board game with its endless supply of platform shoot ’em ups, but activities like chess have proved to be surprisingly resilient. What has happened is that consoles are engaged in enhancing and sometimes improving board games that require something a bit more than the attention span of a sugar crazed goldfish. This exhibition spotlights amazing innovations like the Orthogonal/Diagonal set which uses shape and texture as a learning tool. In Really Bad Chess, the pieces randomly morph, forcing players to constantly rethink their tactics. Home Turf is a billiards game that uses unusually shaped balls to add spice and variety. The aim, in short, is to make the players think rather than zone out which we all invariably do when staring at a screen.

Tall Ships Festivals 2017 – Greenwich

It was from Greenwich that immortal vessels like the Cutty Sark embarked on record breaking trips to India and Australia. Rival merchants relied on the speed of the ships and the skill of the crews as they established a tea and wool trade that brought riches to Britain and fame to its ships. The Tall Ships Festival recreates those heady Victorian times with replica ships that form a regatta along the Canary Wharf section of the Thames. Other activities include live music, a mini beer festival and plenty of artisan food stalls.

The London Coffee Festival – Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane

There’s no doubt that artisan coffee has become a huge industry in London and events like this on the City fringes, ensure that connoisseurs of flavour and aroma have somewhere to compare and contrast notes. The festival focuses on roasting techniques, food pairing and barista workshops amongst other things and the Old Truman Brewery is an inspired hipster backdrop for all this cutting edge taste exploration. Over 250 independent producers will be displaying their craft and with over 35,000 visitors expected, it is sure to be a busy weekend. The Milk and Sugar zone is a special area dedicated to music, art and all other things that hipsters get into when not savouring good coffee.

Country Living Magazine Spring Fair – Alexandra Palace

With the changing of the seasons we are seeing a boom in homegrown produce and while this is exciting, some of us will be needing tips in how to take advantage of all this goodness. The Spring Fair at Ally Pally, therefore, comes just in time. Set against the imposing backdrop of this enormous hilltop palace, the event will focus on produce competitions, cooking methods and craft techniques. Workshops, panel discussions and hands on exhibits form the backbone of the event, but there’ll also be plenty of time and space for relaxation. A pop up champagne bar, pub and restaurant will be offering top quality food and drink and there is also a mini farm where kids can feed lambs. Further stress busting activities include taking a walk in the beautiful Country Living garden.

Romeo and Juliet – Shakespeare’s Globe

Kicking off the summer season at the Globe is Shakespeare’s immortal tribute to undying love. Romeo and Juliet has influenced popular culture to an extent that we can’t imagine any tragedy, history or romance that isn’t touched by its genius. The play’s central tale of a bright young love that pierces through a dark backdrop of family hate is at once familiar, yet fresh and hopeful. The more hopeless things seem, the more Juliet and her lover seem to be inspired to new heights of expression. The tragedy at the end is inevitable but such is the strength of the narrative and acting that audiences still seem taken by surprise. An unmissable opportunity to experience one of the pillars of Western culture.

Revolution: Russian Art 1917 to 1932 – Royal Academy

An immediate result of the Russian Revolution was a massive realignment of the arts scene with all schools of expression being considered and experimented with. The Stalinist clampdown was still a dot on the horizon and the newly liberated artists were busy enjoying their new freedoms. Of course, the Communist cause still informed all the works of Kandinsky and Rodchenko but it was more aimed at the personal politics of the proletariat as it strove to throw off the yoke of the czars. Artists like Malevich and Chagall were keen to challenge Western opinions and may not have been aware of the looming shadow of suppression on their own doorstep. These political considerations form an intriguing backdrop to a vibrant and strangely emotional collection of forgotten works.

Futuro House Tours – Kings Cross

A charming and quirky look at how the past interpreted the future, Futuro House is also a triumph of perseverance and dedication to a dream. Designed by Finnish architect Matt Suuronen in the late 60s, this fibreglass pod was a look at how people might live at the turn of the millennium and the fact that most people still live in conventional buildings doesn’t detract from its charm. This particular example at Kings Cross was unearthed by Craig Barnes in South Africa four years ago, shipped back in pieces and painstakingly restored in Hertfordshire. As a portable time capsule, Futuro House has proved amazingly popular: so much so that it has had to stay put in N1 while people visit.

Virgin Money London Marathon – East and South London

Credit: Virgin Money London Marathon

The London Marathon has become one of the Capital’s gold standard sports events due to its sheer size, diversity and scope of involvement. At the professional end, the race attracts the cream of the world’s running talent with big names from Kenya and Ethiopia vying for top honours and a large cash prize. However, the heart and soul of the event is the massive amount of fun runners out to raise money and awareness for everything from breast cancer to cystic fibrosis. These idealistic participants may not get around the 26 mile course that includes Greenwich, Docklands and the West End, but their bravery and silly costumes make us all thankful for our freedom, families and good health.

Kiru – Sloane Square

How to eat heartily yet avoid the stodge? Head to Kiru, an elegant addition to the Chelsea restaurant scene. With a bookable two hour time limit, diners can tuck into an seemingly endless supply of small plates and delicious bites. There’s also Prosecco on tap which, while not being a Japanese staple, is sure to be a hit with the glamorous mums who fill the school hours with serious lunching and shopping. Ceviche of scallop, pork bun and teriyaki chicken all come well-seasoned and expertly cooked. As with all quality Japanese eateries, the presentation is faultless and the service quick, helpful and polite. Extra care is taken to preserve the delicate texture of the fish dishes so don’t try to manage the menu sequence; just trust the staff and enjoy.

About the Author

Established in 1958, Benham and Reeves is one of London’s oldest, independently owned property lettings and sales agents.  With specialism in residential sales, corporate lettings and property management in prime areas of London, the company operates from 21 prominently located branches and 14 international offices.