Posts Tagged ‘free’

A postcard from London: clouds in St Pancras

Funny how a station can come alive. St Pancras switched from just being a passing place – commute, drink a coffee, jump on a train or a tube – to being a place to experience too. There are two pianos in the hall, available for anyone to use and it is such a delight to hear amateur or “real” musicians playing a few notes on it, stopping you in your tracks, putting a smile back on your face. Until May 09, a free music festival gives a new vibe to the station too.

On the art side… Look up. Dream. Fly away. The famous olympic rings were recently replaced by a suspended work by Studio Orta, fluffy clouds reminding you there is more to life than work. A sort of flying carpet, a harmony between the outside world glimpsed through the glass roof or through the train windows and the dream ones, allowing you to escape a little while… St Pancras being now part of the London art trail, you can expect more of those in the coming years!

Look up -  terrace wires

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Lego Olympics – Discover the Danish Spirit, St Katherine Docks

Don’t you love St Katherine Docks? Such a peaceful haven in the city, a quiet urban harbour. Take a stroll there this week-end -  until Sunday, Denmark has settled there, presenting fashion, design, music, gorgeous food (with samplings and free delicious hotdogs!). There is of course, a giant screen to watch the Games too. It really does feel like quite a treat. Do have a look at the Olympic Park miniature versionin Legos too, such a level of detail in the architecture!

Discover the Danish Spirit, St Katherine Docks, until August 12, 2012

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A postcard from London

Today begin the Olympic Games in London. At 08.12 will ring thousands of bells across the country. The Guardian even has a fun interactive game, would you wish to join in. I wonder how many did take the day off, just to be there, in the city where it is happening, just to share the atmosphere? The opening ceremony is very much waited for -it should be quite a hit. In the stadium, in some of the big London parks, in pubs, at home -  Britain will bewatching. There is a fantastic patriotic vibe waking up the country. May the best teams win!

Fancy a souvenir photo? Wenlock, one of the two mascots, is right at the entrance of Embankment Park. Children and tourists prove very creative posing with it.

Wenlock mascot olympic games london enbankment park photo

A week-end in London: June 28-25, 2012

Revisiting Kensington Palace recently, I fell under its charm all over again. Forget dusty old houses, no matter how royal. Here, historical anecnotes appear in old-style newspapers, irresistible. Drawers can be opened, books opened, secret messages found. Room after room art installation bring you to a dream world, waking up the whispers of the house, making emotions so much more vibrant. Magical indeed. Now, what about you? What have you planned for the week-end?

That’s art, baby:
* Can art. Yes. Using can-struction.

* Destructure architecture at the late evening of the V&A on Friday.

* Rediscover Munch’s paintings at the Tate.

Yummy time ahead:
* What a delicious idea: a cooking workshop dedicated to the afternoon tea.

* On Saturday, the Fifteen celebrates its tenth birthday with a fabulous street party.

Out of the ordinary:
* It’s party time on Charing Cross road this Saturday.

* Caudalie brings Bordeaux to London with a divine pop-up spa in Harrods.

* On Saturday, go vintage crazy with this kilo-sale.

* Play ping-pong in the streets of London. A fantastic (and free) idea.

* Feel like dancing with Havana rumba.

* On Sunday, celebrate Canada day on Trafalgar Square.

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for more ideas day after day…

A week-end in London: June 21-24, 2012

Behind stern buildings can often be found luxurious, soothing, green havens. At the Chiltern Street Studios, the tiny courtyard offers a transition between two worlds, details of another era, keys opening invisible doors, ivy like necklaces around vintage glass bottles. A welcoming chair, a bird singing cheerfully. Funny how a few square meters can be such an escape from the wild wide world outside. Do you have a secret garden in London too?

That’s art baby:
* After the elephants, the eggs… 75 phone booths have been redecorated and scattered around town. Happy hnting, until July 18!
* It is spring on the new facade of the Whitechapel Gallery – worth seeing.
* Yoko Ono opens her show at the Serpentine.

Take the little ones along:
* An architecture festival dedicated to kids? What a fabulous ideas. Look at the program for great workshops.
* Are you hunting the BT Artbox phonebooths around town? Now this one, with a knitted monster should really wow them.
* Cupcakes bloom in sweet bouquets at Mulberry Teacup – deliciously beautiful!

Music, Maestro!
* Musicals fan? Come sing and dance on Trafalgar Square this week-end.
* Exhibition Road has a fabulous musical day planned on Saturday -  check it out!
* Spitafields too celebrates music, with a street party on Saturday.
* Walk through Camden in the most musical way.

Out of the ordinary:
* On Thursday, watch Royal Ascot on the big screens at Canary Wharf.
* Kensington Palace will be open late next Friday for the most enchanting evening.
* Watch the sumos race.
* Fancy walking on the roofs of the O2?
* The Old Vic Tunnels turn into a holiday camp for adults this week-end – give it a try!

A week-end in London: June 08-10, 2012

Bye-bye Jubilee, hello Olympic Games. What a year for the Union Jack, flags flying in the breeze from Oxford Street to Covent Garden, decoarting everything from pubs to bikes… This week-end, our ideas for London include a few green ones, just in case you cannot take any more blue, white and red.

Take the little ones along:
* How about a kids special open air movie? It’s free!

* Make a detour via the Science Museum to introduce them to classical music.

A little touch of green:
* Go green and visit places usually closed to the public during the Open Garden Square week-end.

* Loved the ceramic flowers at the Somerset House? Go and see these new artistic blooms.

* Be green at this eco-friendly fair in Regent’s Park.

* Marvel at David Nash’s natural sculptures at Kew Gardens. Amazing.

Out of the ordinary:
* Try a biscuit-astic festival.

* On Thursday,  join the Puma creative factory exhibition at Boxpark. 12 artists have imagined a design for the new First round sneakers.

It does not come cheap but if you ever dreamt of sleeping with the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum (without the kids), here is your chance.

* Do you love to ride your bike through London? Ever thought of  joining the World Naked Bike Ride?

* Rainy week-end? Go and see the best anime movies at the BFI.

* Did you know Joseph Grimaldi’s grave is musical?

Universe of Sound: The Planets

Do you remember your very first experience of classical music? The one that made you listen to cartoons differently? I do – it was Peter and the wolf. I recall precisely how fascinated that a not could so echo a step, a feeling, the clarity of it all. I am older now – the feeling has faded slightly or maybe I am not taking the time to stop and sit, always trying to do several things at once. But if you want to be amazed by a philharmonia orchestra once again, be completely wowed by it, make a detour for the Universe of Sound: The Planets at the Science Museum. 132 instruments have been filmed, each section presented on giant screens. Room after room, you get the chance to focus on details, on techniques – the grace of a movement on the harp, the position of the flute right under the lip and not against as I always thought it was, the dreamy and appreciative gaze of a musician. You can choose to move your seat wherever you wish in the room – I like to be at the very center, feeling at the heart of the concert, shivers on my spine, wrapped in the intensity. One setting is inspired by planetariums, the scenes all above and around you -  very impressive. Further, you can try and direct the orchestra via an interactive screen showing you the movement and reflecting yours – not as easy as you thought it would be and this will renew your respect for those skills. You could also try and play drums, xylophones thanks to real instruments and guiding – yet fun -  videos.  A wonderful (re)discovery of classical music as well for adults than for kids.

Universe of Sound: The Planets, free, until July 08, 2012
The Science Museum
Exhibition Rd
South Kensington
SW7 2DD

A week-end in London: June 01-05, 2012

Last Sunday, St Pancras travelled back in time. ITV was filming a program taking place in the 1950ies and actors were buzzing around – tweed, hats, old-style umbrellas and suitcases, fur coats… Tourists were utterly mesmerized by the vintage cabs. In the nearby cafés, characters in beautiful clothes from the past were mixing with normal the everyday lunchers… This sums pretty well the magic of London, the freedom of it, the many currents of fashion. Now, what about you? Are you going to a Jubilee party this week-end? We have plenty of ideas to help you celebrate this 4 days treat in London!

Yummy time ahead:

* Celebrate street food form all around the world on Southbank.

* Love it or hate it? Will you go for the Marmite afternoon tea?

* Better than BBQ – try the clam bake.

* Dine in a secret garden.

Royal London parties:

June 02:

* Near Carnaby, in Newburgh street, enjoy the party and have a slice of the most excentric cakes.

Gordon Ramsay too adds his touch to Jubilee festivities – live music and rooftop party at York & Albany.

* The festivities will really be royal at Hampton Court.

June 03:

* On June 03rd, The Book Club take over the whole street -  big screens and music included.

* Download this clever app to know the best places to see the pageant procession.

* On Bedford Square, there will be a 1950ies nostalgic touch. Oh, and even a spot of croquet.

June 04:

The Water Poet proposes a delicious extravagance, BBQ, music, a vintage market in a Routemaster…

* Rock & Rule – the perfect rebel touch for the Jubilee!

Out of the ordinary:

* A cup of tea and a golf party on the roofs of Selfridges, anyone?

* Keats house opens their song and verse festival.

* Discover the Serpentine’s new pavillion -  Al Wei Wei worked on the design.

* Go shopping in an African themed market.

* How about helping create a giant corgi along the Thames?

A week-end in London: May 25-28, 2012

A little love at the heart of the urban jungle. See, street art can be so easy, a little sticker and you can bring a smile to a total stranger. Now what will you do of this sunny week-end? Nothing planned yet? Scroll down, we have a few ideas for London.

That’s art baby:

* Love Damien Hirst but do not want to pay the Tate Modern fee to see his retrospective? See his latest paintings at the White Cube for free instead.

* Christopher Boffoli’s miniature world is sure to leave you with a smile on.

* Photography gets out of focus at the Saatchi.

* Wow. At the Science Museum you can lead a digital 132 pieces Philharmonia Orchestra

Yummy time ahead:

* A delicious walk for gourmet Londoners this way.

* Too hot? Stop at Chin Chin Labs to try ice creams made with liquid nitrogen. Amazing to see et ever so delicious.

Out of the ordinary:

* Geocaching fan? There is quite a hunt on Thursday in Greenwich.

* On Friday, dinner is served at the V&A for their late evening theme.

* Not to be missed -  the world famous Chelsea Flower Show of course. Don’t forget to walk around the neighbourhood, the shops make a special effort to bloom with creativity.

* Find a bargain at Soho’s flea market on Sunday.

* Can’t find a good book to read? Bibliotherapy will find the dream one for you…

Wild garden, Quai Branly museum, Paris

Seeing exhibitions at the Quai Branly museum  has a price but did you know you can access the wild garden free?  On a sunny day, it it so enjoyable to rest there, oberve the birds and butterflies dancing from one branch to another, sit under the roses, see the metallic lace of the Eiffel Tower in the distance… Pause. Breathe in. Smile.

Quai Branly museum
37, quai Branly
75007 Paris

London

This Week End in London

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