Arts by day, sciences by night

It was an exciting week at the Natural History Museum as they treated us to a late opening on Friday night so we could meet their scientists. It was mobbed with people and we could hardly get through the crowds at each desk waiting to ask about dinosaurs, plants, rocks and mammals. This event was happening in 200 cities across Europe in other science institutions. It was a fun evening as the bars were open and everyone was wondering around with drinks enjoying the atmosphere and the special tours of the key areas. Hopefully they will do this again as everyone was having a good time in this most wonderful of buildings. Have a look at these 2 photos, one of the outside wonderfully lit and the other putting you face on to the dinosaur you see as you enter this home of natural science, an enormous diplodocus.

Art was on all around London as these weeks in September are the peak time for art exhibitions and shows. There was London Fashion Week, Decorex, 100% Design, Origins and Tent to name just some of them and this week I went to visit the last two. Origins was in Spitalfields Market where the central hall was given over to this year’s show entitled Made not Manufactured. There were hundreds of stalls selling a wide range of original pieces from small traders from glass, pottery and jewellery through to leather goods and hats and scarves. We stopped for lunch at Spitalfields as this area is really good for restaurants and we visited John Torode’s Luxe. They were busy but the wait for the food was worth it as it was very high quality. From there we went on to Tent in the Truman Brewery on Brick Lane where newer designers and more experimental work was on sale/being exhibited. Photos here are the posters at Origins, the outside of the Luxe cafe and the landmark chimney at the Truman Brewery, now an exhibition space.

More art on Wednesday as I visited three galleries that show glass items with a friend of mine who is a glass artist and we are working on how best to market her lovely creations. We went to Flow and Vessel Galleries in Notting Hill and Zest in Earl’s Court and all the folk were really friendly and helpful. They have great stuff too so do poke your nose in their doors.

I had a treat on Wednesday night as I went to a party at the Hospital private members club which was thrown by Wolf and Badger. Lots of champagne is always fun and we had a great night. We’d had lunch at Taqueria in Notting Hill where you can taste more original and authentic Mexican snacks than you find at most places. They serve one of my favourites which is hot black beans with crumbled cheese.

Bye for now,
Sue
http://www.itsyourlondon.co.uk/

Good fun with visitors..

I had 2 sets of visitors in town last week so there was lots of good sightseeing and enjoying London through others’ eyes which is always good fun.

The first visitor was an old friend from America who was here on a flying visit for less than a day, en route to elsewhere, so we needed to pack in as much as we could. The first stop was Spitalfields market which is one of the best in London tho’ I have to love Portobello more as it is my local market and Camden is pretty good too! Spitalfields has great one off clothing, inventive jewellery, yummy food, a covered hall, side shops, and loads more. And just as we were arriving we saw a dance company called La Troupe Delicieux doing trailers for their forthcoming acrobatic show called Deja Vu. The power and grace was amazing to see and all to a thumping Shirley Bassey track. We shopped amidst the crowds and then took a glass of wine at Galvin cafe next to the lovely Galvin La Chapelle – worth checking out their Sunday lunch deal but we were in a rush so went for the curry in a hurry!


Here you can see the Galvin La Chapelle exterior, the Deja Vu pose and the crowds in the market.

After this burst of retail delight we went to Waterloo Station to see the Railway Children which was staged on the platform of the old Eurostar terminal (which moved to St Pancras). It was very close in storyline to the film of the same title and was so imaginatively staged it even treated the audience to a real steam train coming into the middle of the stage! We loved it and so did all the kids there, young and old ! Sadly no photos allowed and the sneaky ones on the phone didn’t work (but don’t tell them I tried….)

Following this we went for a marvellous dinner at the Wolseley restaurant on Picadilly. It’s a grand room, great menu and lots of celeb spotting and our treat was the beautiful Joanna Lumley who joined us in taking the prize for ‘last to leave the restaurant’!

My second visitor was a client of my tour company It’s Your London. A businesswoman on a first trip to London she wanted a couple of half days as an introduction to London seeing the big sights and some Harry Potter! I have to admit to not know much about Harry Potter so did some research and arranged us a visit to Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross, Diagon Alley and the entrance to Leaky Cauldron., both in Leadenhall Market. My favourite is the platform which surprisingly is hidden away in station and has no signs to it so you have to know… We also visited the British Museum, Tower of London and Trafalgar Square with a trip down the Thames thrown in. They even raised Tower Bridge while we were there – how amazing! Here’s a few shots of what we saw:


A second trip to the theatre was a completely different show to the Railway Children as we saw La Bete which was costume piece in rhyming couplets with an amazing cast starring Mark Rylance, David Hyde Pierce and Joanna Lumely (yes her again – twice in one week!). I must say I didn’t warm to it although some of my fellow theatre goers really liked it. But had much more of a laugh at Stewart Francis’s DVD recording on Friday with a show full of one liners and comic timing. Watch out for the release of the DVD later this year and I might even be on it!
That’s enough for this week and I’m packing in loads of stuff to tell you about next Monday.
Bye for now
Sue