Getting out and about in London is made so much easier by the super-connectivity of its various transport systems. Underground networks are seamlessly integrated with mainline routes, River taxis and even cable cars that span the width of the Thames. So there’s no excuse for not enjoying the many open air activities that are taking place in the Capital – even watching a movie can be an experience shared under acanopy of stars.
Cruise along the River Thames until sunset. Enjoy some wine and nibbles, then drop anchor and switch on the projector. Sometimes, it’s just the simplest combination of pleasures that make for a memorable night and Movies on the River have got the balance just right.
Singalong favourites like “Grease”, “Mama Mia” and “The Greatest Showman” are all scheduled, with the cruise starting out from the Tower of London and making its way upriver to iconic landmarks like the London Eye and Big Ben. Watching romantic movies under the stars is guaranteed to be one of this summer’s highlights.
As a living symbol of times past, the garden square serves as a memoir of gentler times. In London, it has featured heavily in the literature of Dickens, Austen and Pepys and continues to play an important part in people’s lives. There are plenty of exquisite examples in Chelsea, Knightsbridge and Kensington, that feature immaculate lawns, shady trees and comfortable seating. Usually closed off to the public, they will throw open their gates to the public this June.
Visitors can enjoy the genteel charms of the William Morris Gardens, next to Shakespeare’s Globe. The intriguing plants found in the Royal College of Physicians’ Medicinal Gardens are also worth a visit. Other unusual locations include Tube Station platforms, recycling plants and City rooftops as modern preoccupation with sustainability and ecology continues to prevail. Selected gardens will feature guided tours and cycling paths.
With 50,000 people descending on Regent’s Park in late June, the organisers of this summer’s Taste event are ready to give their best showing yet. Star attraction will be Yotam Ottolenghi, a chef who has revamped the humble salad and sparked the nation’s imagination in the process. Indian cuisine is undergoing a quiet revolution in the Capital and this is reflected in some of the new participants like Brigadier’s and Kutir.
The event has become well known for its immersive approach to food. Special stages will be constructed for talks, demonstrations and tastings as the public get to experience what actually goes on behind the scenes in a modern, professional kitchen. The Tanqueray stand is bound to be particularly popular with its long list of speciality cocktails and a crew of resident mixologists.
As an event that celebrates an eclectic approach to art collecting and presentation, Masterpiece specialises in putting different genres and contexts together in the same space without creating confusion. Over 150 galleries, collectors and organisations will gather together under one roof, in order to show some of their finest paintings, sculpture and jewellery. It’s an exhibition that aims to show how even the most contemporary trends share certain values and aims with ancient disciplines.
Billed as “The Unmissable Art Fair”, Masterpiece is dedicated to ensuring that the visitor experience is as relaxed as it is memorable. Informal talks, champagne and an exquisite fine dining space are all seamlessly programmed and managed. The exhibition takes place in the beautiful surroundings of Chelsea’s Royal Hospital – home of the famous Chelsea Pensioners.
A flavoursome curry will always go down well with dads, so why not kick it up a notch this Father’s Day by taking him to Brigadier’s or Dishoom. These establishments are several rungs up the ladder from your local curry house, so it will feel quite special and their central location will enable the family to check out some sights.
A good craft beer pub should be high on your list and The Draft in Old Street is an excellent example of the genre. After that, it’s down to Tower Bridge for an exploratory visit to HMS Belfast – Britain’s last major battleship. To wind up the day’s activities, have a game of darts in the cool and funky setting of Flight Club, Shoreditch.
It’s a concept that has gone from strength to strength as more venues have been added to the rooftop cinema experience and a wider selection of movies has been made available. From modern epics like Captain Marvel, to cult classics such as Leon, all the showings benefit from superior sound (no distorted boom like you sometimes get in the multiplexes).
The food on offer is a step up from the calorie-laden junk that most venues offer and there is artisan ice-cream, a funky playlist and those now famous deckchairs that are guaranteed to make your cinematic experience a memorable one. The venues are in some of the hippest parts of London – Hoxton, Stratford and Peckham, which definitely adds a sense of cool to the evening’s proceedings.
Adventurous artistes are always looking for places where natural light and space come together to provide the perfect mood and setting. Greenwich and Docklands are separated by the River Thames but they both have space in abundance and have come together to host a unique series of events.
Dramatic light installations, dance performances and a daring high-wire act are just some of the thrilling events that will take place and the waterside locatios will make them just that extra bit special. This year’s event consists of over 130 performances and is aimed at celebrating major themes of life, love and loss that have impacted the inhabitants of this great city.
Many of the rules that still hold sway over the world of fashion were created by Christian Dior. His flair, style and unswerving dedication to beauty set a template for others to follow and by the time of his passing in the late fifties, his legacy was secure. Successors like Yves Saint Laurent continued to push the envelope and this V&A exhibition follows the thread of innovation and glamour all the way to present times.
Dior has always been about the extravagant and the dramatic. The evening gown collection focuses on how this ethos was interpreted by various designers. As the new millennium dawned, movie star glitz gave way to bold experiments as Galliano took the helm and Dior remained triumphantly at the cutting edge. Those who wish to explore further can view some of the preliminary sketches that show how design ideas and inspiration gradually took shape. The exhibition also features talks, films and design demonstrations.
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