Posts Tagged ‘markets’

A week-end in London: June 17-19, 2011

Know what I like best in London? The cheerful touch of crazyness, the freedom to be creative, different.
Example -  this guy who decided one day to commute by canoe-kayak. Fabulous. I have been searching for an equivalent since (as there is no canal on my way to the office).
Meanwhile, here is a cocktail of plans to enjoy the so British city this week-end:

* David Lynch fan? Twin Peaks is back, just for one night this Thursday.

* Free ice-cream at Dri Dri on Friday. Come on, you can’t say no to this.

* Stop at the Scoop – free theatre on Friday and this week-end.

* Calling all chocaholics – check out those yummy walks!

* Wake up the sumo in you -  it is all for a good cause.

* Get your ticket for Taste of London – quite expensive but you will not be able to resist the menus for long.

* Pretend you’re in Tokyo and have a karaoke party. This hotel dedicates rooms with cocktails and outfits.

* Musicals take over Trafalgar.

* Black Peper? Lavander? Marmite? Paul A Young just opened his new Soho shop.

* Smile with this dog show. Lookalike competition: which 4-pawed-cutie will look the closest to Queen Victorias’ dog? Which other will be the best Victorian fashioned?

* Find happiness (and/or a good bargain) at Wimbledon’s car boot sale, the best around according to Time Out.

* Tea in a park? Yes, call it med-tea-tation.

* 10 ideas for Southbank.

* Party time on Marylebone: farmers’ market, foodie stalls, animations, salsa, concerts… Café Luc will be there too, serving mussels in a saffron sauce. Oh, and their fab cocktails too, of course.

* Ignore cinema chains. Independant ones have so much more charm.

* What if it rains? Have a virtual walk.

* On June 20th, sing a little opera.
* On June 21, meet Tracey Emin at Selfridges: she will be opening a pop-up concept store there.

Southbank: Festival of Britain

1951. A very austere time. So many fathers, brothers, sons, friends , fiancés did not come back from the war. It takes time for the wounds to heal., for the country to rebuild what was lost. To redefine itself too. After fighting for their values, the question is left unanswered: what does “Being British” mean? Think about it – many are under two flags: Ireland/Scotland/Wales/Commonwealth and England. Great melting pot of traditions.

That year is launched the Festival of Britain, meant to help turn a page. By celebrating Great Britain and its inhabitants, it will bring optimism and creativity back. Southbank builds up, the efforts are comparable toth – ththose of a universal exhibition – look at this video to get an idea! The most famous was the skylon a rocket/cigar kind of tower. The telekinema was partocularly successful – at that time TV was still very young… Of all this only one thing remains: the Royal Festival Hall. This concrete building makes so much more sense when you think of it as an exhibition space: many entrances for maximum access to the public, many glass windows to make a visual link with everything happening outside.

Southbank opens this Friday a new version of this festival. Smaller, the space around is of course more limited, less grand too but the idea remains: bring forward meeting spaces, bring friends and family together, give them a chance to learn, discover something new on their way. The list of happenings is long and will last until September 04, 2011.

A few ideas we particularly loved:

- The museum of 1951: many people loaned their memorabilia of the event. Programs, posters, merchandising… Quite fascinating. The film projections give you a better understanding of it too – this is so different from the views we know it felt like seeing an old sci-fi movie to me!

- The festive feeling along the Thames: the longest bunting, 14 beach huts decorated by artists, an appearing-disappearing fountain, 70m of beach for the kids and deckchairs for the parents, retro vans selling ice-creams, fish and chips, pop-corn… Dishoom, London’s Bombay café will even have a pop-up there soon. On the program too: a mini fun fair and the Udderbelly, this concert and show space in the shape of an overturned lilac cow.

- Here and there, photographies, art, sculptures… that take you to floors you usually ignore.

- A Market will also be there every week-end behing the Royal Festival Hall. A modern bandstand is in place and will be welcoming musical groups for everyone pleasure.

- Many British artists will join in. Our favourite will be 0n May 09th, Heston Blumenthal will tell us all about afternoon teas and the 1950ies sherry parties. he ticket is a bit expensive but will include a sherry tasting.

- We loved the Queen Elisabeth hall garden roof – open to the public for the first time. The Eden project team has just finished adding lawn, vegetable patches, flower sets near the mini-bar. Very relaxing and a nice view too. Believe me, it is lovely to sit there in the sun with an ice-cream.

- Each week-end will be themes differently. Guitar, litterature, traditional music… We are quite looking forward to the vintage one which will cover fashion, films, danc, music from the 20th century (July 29-31)

And so many other things! Summer will definitely be under the Festival of Britain sign.

Post-it for the week-end: April 08-11, 2011

Find your sunglasses! The week-end should see temperatures of 20 degrees AND a bright sunhine!
Yes, in London.

Head for your nearest park, walk along the Thames, find a rooftop or a beergarden!

- On Thursday, free cocooning and £4 cocktails – girls only.

- Revamp your wardrobe with Paul Smith without breaking the bank…

- Celebrate the Thai new year -  zen and exotic. A great opportunity to discover the Buddhist temple in Wimbledon.

- Southbank chocolate festival is back…

- Rediscover circus…  hip-hop version!

- Remember The Adventurists? Come and see movies of their trips and experiences. Of course, there will be the ever-so-perfect cocktails by Hendrick’s…

- Fill-up with caffeine

- Love Italian cinema? This way for spaghettis-movies

- Be curious about Tower Bridge

- Walk to your nearest market

- Stroll along the canal

- Time Out just updated their list of cheap eats – ideal, we will need to test/taste them all!

- Get inspired by the elegance of Chinese arts

- Get the kites out!

- Feel like a kid again with The Muppets

- Prepare your summer agenda: Tom Jones, the Gipsy Kings and James Blunt will be in concert @ Kenwood House

- Pssst: free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream on April 12 and 27

- Planning a ride on the London Eye with the kids? The Easter Bunny has lost his favourite tea set – try and look for it in the landscape around the wheel and tweet the pics to @thelondoneye referencing #easterlondoneye. Who knows, you might win a family ticket!

Post-it for the week-end: Jan 21-23, 2011

I dedicate this week to chatting. Quick, let’s go to the pub and cheer the fast approaching week-end!

- Have you smiled in the tube this week? Let us know!

- Hey, the Naked Cowboy (yes, the famous new-York one!) is @ St Pancras today!

- Be zen

- Discover a secret wine cellar

- Add a few music notes to the day…

- Listen to Anne’s Boleyn love letter to Henry VIII

- Have a starry dinner! Or go for a touch of exotism at the Westfield Malaysian market

- Get yourself a nice piece of art

- Book a Wizard of Oz afternoon tea

- Tag your way through the City…

- How fashion are you?

- Listen a classic album in a pub

Pssst, next week is rum party time @ Selfridge’s!

Post-it for the week-end Dec 24-26, 2010

Almost time to put the presents under the tree… Have you thought of getting one to yourself? And if you still have a little energy left after the turkey, chestnuts, Xmas pudding and mince pies… here are a few ideas to relax and make London your own again:

- No time for a big lunch? Get yourself a lobster sandwich to keep it festive…

- Explore the climate @ the Science Museum

- Don’t cook for Xmas

- Pose on Piccadilly Circus (or tweet your best wishes there)

- Would you splash in a lake on the 25th of December? They will!

- From Dec 24 to 26th, the Dickens Museum gets pretty festive with carols, treats, Victorian customs…

- Murder and hanted theatres? Well worth a guided walk on the 26th!

- Plan a Winston Churchill afternoon tea with British classics… (or go and see this clock special Churchill)

- A little dream of London

- What a treat: 100 drawings by Quentin Blake

- Get your dancing shoe for this tea dance special Agatha Christie on the 27th – it’s free!

- There is a medieval market @ the Tower of London on the 27th…

-And if it snows….

- Love London, final point!

Post-it for the week-end Dec 17-19, 2010

It’s Xmas party time! You know, work ones, drinking and cheering a littl too much with colleagues, sitting all together with a paper crown on your head… So kitsch. So Xmas. We had ours, an indian dinner one, just wanted to rebel against the whole system. Definitely was a first, probably was the last too… How about yours? Anyway, let’s keep on patying this week-end, it will give us an excuse to, hum, forget to do those best wishes cards…

- Why not go for a free Xmas walk on Friday?

- THE address all whisky fans should visit…

- Put a smile on your face with this Norman Rockwell exhibition!

- Santa’s on the roll

- Who said you could not play with your food?

- Take the kids to a free panto @ the Scoop… or at the O2 funfair!

- Go and burn all the mince pies calories @ a Xmas disco

- Another Xmas market, on the Docks, this time…

- A quince perfumed tea (and other sweet treats) this way…

- It’s all in the detail with Ben Johnson @ the National Gallery

- Mulled wine and BBQ this Sunday @ the Phoenix Garden!

- Discover strange historical jewels

Psssst: £1 menus @ the amazing Café Luc in January – keep an eye on them to know when to book!

Post-it for the week-end Dec 10-12, 2010

Xmas tree? Check. Cards, wrapping, ribbons? Check or postponed to the very last minute. Party time? Let’s go!

- There’s a touch of magic @ Kew Gardens…

- Visit a historical house decorated for Xmas

- Play hide and seek @ the Pyrus Art Gallery

- Xmas afternoon tea, anyone? Or maybe one with a zest of madness?

- Street art stuck behind bars

- Hop, another Xmas fair, very much into design, that one… and another one there

- Even the Somerset House has its own…

- In search of vintage gifts? Try this pop-up shop

- Choccie time on Southbank!

- (Or cookie time for guys – cool gift!)

- Boris Bikes for everyone!

- Hate December? Have a reindeer pie.

- Grab a coffee and listen to carols under the Trafalgar Norvegian Xmas tree…

- Be generous

Post-it for the week-end Nov 26-28, 2010

Night falling from 16.00 onwards… First frosts and there are talks of snow… Say no to the winter blues and put fireworks in your life!

- Did you know it’s Thanksgiving tomorrow? We may not be in the US, any reason is good to party! Have a look here and there for ideas…

- It’s also party time in Seven Dials – get 20% off your shopping!

- Don’t forget the V&A late opening on Friday – free workshops to create your xmas presents and a DJ…

- Wander on a rooftop terrasse with a gorgeous view on St Paul. Free public access!

- The adorable Chelsea Physics Garden opens its doors for a sweet Xmas market -  we found so many ideas last year to fill our Xmas stockings!

- Feel like ice-skating? Try an early session @ the Somerset House: for £18.50, and adult and a child can skate for an hour then have a hot chocolate, a glass of champagne and a cupcake. Or try a historical background such as Hampton Court or the Tower

- Fall for nougat and chesnuts @ the Paddington Xmas Market

- Escape with these beautiful landscapes

- But what can girls pack in their handbags? The answer is at Selfridge’s

- Want a brand new collection of clothes without spending a penny? Learn to swish!

- Be a child again with those illustrations

- Step in artists’ studios

- The road is yours! On Saturday, both Oxford and Regent St will be closed to traffic for a better shopping experience. Plus music and entertainement!

- Looking for an original gift? Why not an artwork in this pop-up shop? They even have a landscape made of neons…

- Rediscover Camden

- Last but not leat… a cocktail served with a chocolate truffle… Cheers!

Have a chocolate lunch @ Rabot Estate

I recently went to Chocolat Unwrapped, the chocolat festival of the year. Each stall was more than happy to let you taste their creations (Oh, the joy of FREE Charbonnel truffles!) but the innovation side left me hungry for more.

I stepped out a little disappointed and was welcomed with a sudden rush of icy rain. If course, my umbrella had stayed home that day.

Thankfully, the Borough Market was just a sprint away. Hop, splash, hop, this place looks like a nice shelter. Little did I know I had stepped in chocolate heaven!

Rabot Estate does not ring a bell? If you are a chocaholic, you do know the name – this is Hotel Chocolat cacao plantation in St Lucia. The brand has chosen to widen their range with this café/shop to touch the heart (or the stomack) of Londoners.

Rustic notes for the decoration, on one side the Hotel Chocolat products, on the other the café, a few tables in between. We are far from the glossy side of the usual shops – the idea is to remind us of the natural side, a return to sources. Have a glimpse at the menu and your mouth already waters: everything is cacao-based! Chilli chocolate chicken with rocket… Salmon with chocolate creme fraiche… Duck confit salad with chocolate dressing and orange marmelade… Chicken salad with cheddar and white chocolate dressing… Before making a face, forget profiteroles and their oversugared sauce. Focus on real cacao and its fruity, almost bittter aroma. Focus on taste!

I chose the goats cheese -  honey- bitter cacao. They ran out of cheese but went to a local stall in the market to get some more -  fresh products guaranteed. Ah, my friends, if you just knew how gorgeous that was, the different textures, the tastes mixing subtly, what an alliance! If you are more of a purist, try their crumpet with chocolate spread and hazelnuts or their banana, salted caramel and cacao in  toasted brioche. They also do a real macchiato.

Rabit Estate also has a spice range that can only tease your culinary skills…

Still raining? Great news! Now, what haven’t I tried yet…?

Rabot Estate
2 Stoney Street
Borough Market

Count £3.75-4 for a toastie, £4.75 for a salad. The place is well known, do prefer a take-away!
Have you tried Rococo‘s gorgeous treats yet?

Post-it for the week-end Oct 15-17, 2010

What a strange week, which celebrates chocolate, cocktails and… wool! So, what’s on this week-end?

- Play the arty card. I have tried quite a few opening this week! The Shadow Catchers @ the V&A on photograms -  some really great works there. Barbican presents Japanese fashion (and don’t forget their late evening!). You’ll find more fashion @ the Somerset House… Do your gym @ the Hayward with Move! Balance, rings, hula-hoop… Very interactive and playful. If you’re into something more classic, try Canaletto -  great paintings of the Venice scene.

- On the street art line, try and get one of the last spaces for Hell’s Half Acre. Right in the Waterloo tunnels and extraordinarily good. The best show I have seen for a while! You will also find Eine and Polly Morgan @ the Moniker Art Fair that opens tomorrow…

- Get ready for Halloween with this themed afternoon tea… (or get yourself this book on monstruously cute cupcakes!)

- Have a free gin and tonic in a Victorian carriage of curiosities. And on the 16th, there is a croquet competition for barmen!

- Alternatively, say cheers in the pop-up Courvoisier

- Or do you prefer wine? You can also try the Real Food Market

- Taste some (free) chocolate @ Harrods! Or even better, have a chocolate orgy @ Chocolate Unwrapped

- Be zen in the British Museum

- Hop, go and see art in a park for once with the Frieze Art Fair

- Rediscover St Paul

- Have a pint in a fab pub…

- Lost your jacket? It may be here….

- Take the kids to cut and pastes paper templates

- Contribute to this strange harvest @ the Wellcome Collection…

- Sci-fi fans, head that way!

- Go, on, have a very French dinner… you know it is soooo worth it…

- And last, order yourself the cutest cupcake in a jar. Just out of curiousity…


This Week End in London

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