What’s On in London Summer 2016

IT’S YOUR LONDON NEWSLETTER FOR SUMMER 2016.

Here’s your Summer 2016 newsletter giving you a taster of the exciting events coming up in the next 3 months in our capital. If you want to hear more about anything listed (or other things you’ve heard about) send me an email (sue@itsyourlondon.co.uk) and I’ll get right back to you.
Have a look a Sue’s blog on the website (www.itsyourlondon.co.uk) to read about what I’ve been up to lately – a peek into life in London. I’m also on Twitter at @itsyourlondon so do join my 3900 followers for the latest news!
Hope you enjoy your newsletter; let me know what you think!
Best wishes,
Sue Hillman

SPECIAL EVENTS

·       July The Proms season begins for the 122nd time and there are over 90 varied and magnificent concerts over 8 weeks making this the world’s greatest classical music festival. Held in the Royal Albert Hall, big names and old favourite pieces feature alongside new commissions and lesser known work. Highlights include a Strictly Come Dancing Prom, Bryn Terfel in Boris Godunov, a night of gospel singing, a celebration of Latin American music for the Rio Olympics and Quincy Jones reviewing his career including collaborations with Miles Davis and Michael Jackson.
·       August. The Notting Hill Carnival is a huge event, the largest street party in Europe. There is a massive parade of music and costumes, sounds stages blasting out everything from reggae to rock and roll, all kinds of great street food, dancing in the streets and tons of fun to be had over the 2 days when millions of people come to Notting Hill for a great time.
·       September The Mayor’s Thames Festival, Totally Thames, brings the river alive for the whole month, we are expecting the river to be buzzing again this year and the riverside restaurants will be joining in with special menus and events.  London Fashion Week takes over the fashion and shopping world across London and the Weekend is open to the public.
  

THEATRE

  • July   Breakfast at Tiffany’s opens at the Theatre Royal Haymarket with Pixie Lott in the role of Holly Golightly made so famous by Audrey Hepburn.  After a long preview period, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 & 2 opens for real at the Palace Theatre, although tickets are impossible to find. Into The Woods and the Menier Chocolate Factory is not the usual version with ’10 actors, one piano and boundless imagination’! The Trial of Jane Fonda at the Park Theatre imagines what happened when Jane met US soldiers who served in the Vietnam War confronting her about her visits to North Vietnam when she was named ‘Hanoi Jane. Staring Anne Archer as Jane. Through The Mill at the Southwark Playhouse looks at the life of Judy Garland through the filming of the Judy Garland show in 1963. Jesus Christ Superstar comes to the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre 45 years since it first opened.
  • August Yerma comes to the Young Vic starring Billie Piper in this emotional role.  By contrast the Old Vic brings us Groundhog Day, the musical by Tim Minchin based on the famous much loved film.  Kenneth Branagh’s season at the Garrick Theatre when he takes on the role so famously associated with Laurence Olivier in The Entertainer.
  • September Much excitement about the opening of  Pinter’s No Man’s Land at the Wyndham starring Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart, set in a Hampstead pub where 2 older writers compare stories. The Royal Court’s A Father Comes Home from the War parts 1, 2 & 3 looks interesting, set in the American Civil War it is the story of a slave’s dilemmas. The Libertine starring Dominic Cooper has had a long build up at the Theatre Royal Haymarket due to its star and its racy tale based on a true story.  As the evenings get cooler the indoor option of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at the Globe is attractive with its offering of the Two Gentlemen of Verona. For hardier fold Pride and Prejudice is on at the Regent’s Park Open Air theatre.
 ART GALLERIES

  • July The buzz in the art world is still the new Tate Modern extension which opened mid June and their new show is Georgia O’Keeffe, the largest retrospective shown outside the USA with over 100 works by this pioneer of 20th century art. At the National Portrait Gallery a new show of work by William Eggleston, an influential American photographer whose exhibition in 1976 led to photography being recognised as a contemporary art form! David Hockney’s 82 Portraits and 1 Still Life opens at the Royal Academy, each work features someone from his life, in the same chair, is the same size and has the same background colour. A new public art installation at St Pancras station by Ron Arad is a monumental blade of shiny aluminium which slowly rotates – a must see!
  • August  Not many openings this month so don’t miss the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition closing this month – the world’s greatest open entry art show!  A film poster exhibition Summer Screen Prints at Somerset House looks fun, running alongside their outdoor film screenings in their magnificent courtyard, with each poster an original interpretation each of the films showing. Also at Somerset House are the World Illustration Awards, in their 40th year and rather under publicised I must say!
  • September Abstract Expressionism at the Royal Academy brings together some of the most celebrated arts from this period of American art including Pollock, Rothko and de Kooning alongside less well known figures including women who struggled to be seen at the time. The Tate Britain hosts the contenders for the annual Turner Prize, always stirring up some controversy in the art world.
·        
SHOPPING, FASHION & MARKETS.

  • July Don’t miss the bargains in London’s famous July sales where everyone from the High Street to Harrods slash their prices. Spitalfields Market has regular events including an Independent Label Market in July.
  • August Summer is the best time to visit London’s numerous street markets: Portobello, Columbia Road, Camden, Greenwich and many more. Any day of the week one of these great markets will be just the place to while away the summer and grab some unique purchases.
  • September  London Fashion Week is a chance to get ahead of the fashion curve with catwalk shows and splash out on some new clothes too, with collections  looking ahead to spring/summer 2016. This year it stays at the Saatchi Gallery on the Kings Road after a successful move last year.

MUSEUMS & EXHIBITIONS

  • July  A much awaiting exhibition at the Museum of London marks the anniversary of the Great Fire of London in 1666 with an interactive, immersive experience called Fire! Fire! Great for all ages but I guess particularly good for the school holidays. The Museum of London is also organising visits to Billingsgate Roman House and Baths, which are rarely open and this is a great chance to tour these remains under the buildings of London.
  • August  Few new openings in August but there is time to catch Exhibitionism at the Saatchi Gallery, the popular Rolling Stones show. Also worth a look are: Above and Beyond at the National Maritime Museum, a chance to explore space travel through fun interactive exhibits, At the British Museum the Sunken Cities is a fascinating exploration of ancient underwater cities, brought up to the surface for us to enjoy with films of how they were found on the sea bed.
  • September The Victoria and Albert Museum’s exhibition is called You Say You Want a Revolution: Records and Rebels 1966-70. The title say it all really, looking at the turbulent times of the late 60s, its revolutions, records, performances, activism alongside fashion, film and design.  Also at the V&A is the Opus Anglicanum: Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery, showcasing an art which England excelled at from the 12th to the 15th centuries. These ancient elaborate, luxury embroideries, with their exquisite craftsmanship, will be displayed alongside contemporary works to give them historical context.

FOODIE THINGS

  • July The Soho Food Festival returns with an array of top restaurants putting their wares out into the streets to create a great buzz and endless temptation and all in a good cause as it raises cash for a local primary school.   Lots of talk about Berber and Q Shawarma Bar in Exmouth Market – reinventing the kebab – looks worth a visit. Samarkand in Charlotte Street brings us Uzbeki cuisine with a lounge bar offering caviar and vodka. Calcutta Street, bringing Bengali home cooking and communal dining, sets up its first permanent residence in Fitzrovia. After 18 years in Barcelona, Sagardi set foots in London for the first time (and in the UK for the first time) with Basque cooking.
  •  August.  The BBC Good Food Festival returns to Hampton Court with top chefs doing demos, stalls, tastings and demonstrations all in the beautiful grounds of the Palace. Chicama on the Kings Road will bring us Peruvian style seafood. Butifarra is also Peruvian, serving street food – sandwiches, ceviches and watch out for some sweet afters!  Blanchette East is the new opening of the successful Soho place offering small French plates to the Shoreditch crowd. One Aldwych are getting excited about opening a new restaurant headed by Eneko Atxa, chef at 3 Michelin starred Azurmendi Bilbao, bringing rustic Basque cuisine (yes, Basque seems popular right now)
  •  September  Elystan Street is a new venue from the former chef of 2 Michelin starred The Square, Phil Howard. Anzu in St James Market is the new upmarket offering from the Tonkotsu folk. A favourite restaurant is Casse- Croute in Bermondsey and they are branching out just around the corner with Pique-Nique offering breakfast, lunch and rotisseries. Shaun Rankin moves into the Mayfair hotel Flemings with his Jersey heritage bringing modern British booking to a new restaurant called, you’ve guessed, Shaun Rankin at Flemings.  One more to look forward to is Margot from the former Maitre d’ at Bar Boulud, Paulo de Tarso, offering rustic Italian food.

PARKS & GARDENS, ROYAL PALACES

  •  July The famous Flower Show takes over the grounds of Hampton Court for a wonderful weekend in a more relaxed atmosphere than the Chelsea equivalent and it’s much easier to get tickets too. Buckingham Palace starts its summer opening when the Queen goes on her holidays and she lets us look around her London home and be amazed by the huge room, amazing decorations, fabulous furniture and great paintings.   Hyde Park is home to great music as it Kew Gardens.
  • August  Clarence House, the official residence of Charles, the Prince of Wales and Camilla is also open to the public, but just for August as he has shorter holidays than the Queen! The BBC Good Food Festival comes to Hampton Court’s grounds to tempt you with all kinds of goodies and top chefs from Michel Roux to John Torode and Mr Bake Off Paul Hollywood and
  • September  The Last Night of the Proms is streamed live into Hyde Park so thousands can wave flags and sing their hearts out. Buckingham Palace is open to visitors for another month as the Queen is still on her holidays!  Kew Gardens host Write On Kew literary festival with interviews, readings and signings by top names such as Tracey Chevalier, Fay Weldon, Marian Keyes, Robert Harris and Alan Johnson and so many more.

SPORT

  • July Wimbledon has moved on a week this year so July now has the second week of this great tournament and the hopes of the nations rest on Andy Murray.  In the cricket, England play one of the test series against Pakistan at Lords and there is plenty of county cricket matches at the Oval and Lords.  The annual Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium brings big names as usual in what will be a Rio Games warm up – Usain Bolt, Jess Ennis-Hill and David Weir are big draws but loads more stars will be there. Ride London is a massive cycling event for the public and elite competitors. 
  • August. All eyes will be on Rio for the Olympics this month. The 4th test match between England and Pakistan will be played at the Oval, County cricket will be in full flow at all the London grounds. The Premiership start in August, which always feels too early for the football season.
  • September  Eyes return to Rio for the Paralympic Games where Team GB will be looking for a good medal haul. The Tour of Britain wheels into London and we may see some of the Tour de France stars in town. The cricket season is ending as the Rugby Union Premiership gears up. For something beyond the usual sports, the WWE Wrestling takes over the 02 giving you a chance to see the ‘Superstars and Divas in action’!             

MUSIC 

  • July  The festival season is in full flow with British Summer Time – full of the biggest names from legends such as Carole King to Stevie Wonder, Mumfords and Take That. Kew The Music which has one of the best settings for Gipsy Kings, Simply Red, and of course Jools Holland. Somerset House rivals Kew for setting and brings us a wide range of styles including Jack Savoretti, James Morrison and St Germain. Lovebox in Victoria Park brings us Major Lazer, George Clinton and Norman Jay MBE. Let’s not forget the nightly Proms season which kicks off in July and stretches through to September.
  • August  The festival South West Four on Clapham Common brings us the biggest names in dance music including Rudimental, Dizzee Rascal, Chemical Brothers and Armand van Helden. Prepare yourself for the Notting Hill Carnival – 2 days of very loud music to get us all up and dancing in the streets. Look out for Gaz’s Rocking Crew and the nearby dub reggae truck which are my favourites or get your ears blown off on All Saints Road!
  • September  The festivals are still with us as On Blackheath returns with a wide range of acts from Neneh Cherry, Roachford to Hot Chip and James or Squeeze or Edwyn Collins.  The wonderful Proms come to an end with a simulcast in Hyde Park but before then you can see a line up of Rick Astley, Frankie Valli, All Saints and the multi-talented Tim Minchin.  It’s retro time around London with concerts by Billy Joel at Wembley, Dave Gilmour from Pink Floyd at the Royal Albert Hall and Ronan Keating at the Apollo. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds headline at the Brixton Academy.
Enjoy!
.
www.itsyourlondon.co.uk
@itsyourlondon

*All listings correct to the best of my knowledge but exact details should be checked with each venue. 

What’s on in London this Spring

I send out a seasonal newsletter to subscribers but I wanted to share with with my blog readers too so here’s the It’s Your London Newsletter for Spring 2016. It’s full of great listings for April, May and June so I hope you’ll find some stuff you will enjoy: 
  
SPECIAL EVENTS
April Over 35,000 runners in the London Marathon take over the streets and the nation’s hearts as they struggle past the sights of London to raise incredible amounts for charity, keeping going long after the elite runners have reached the end on the Mall. The crowds are huge and it’s great fun to join in to cheer them on to the finish.
May The magnificent Chelsea Flower Show is the greatest flower show in the world and it gets us in the mood for gardening with all that fabulous colour and design. Let’s hope we get some London sunshine too.  Don’t miss the very British Canal Cavalcade when scores of brightly decorated canal boats gather in Little Venice for two days of fun.
June Our Queen has 2 birthdays, her real one in April and her official one in June and this year it’s her 90th so there will be all kinds of celebrations as well as the usual royal event called Trooping the Colour. You can see the royals ride past if you get to The Mall well ahead of the start and don’t forget to take your flag to wave at them. The end of June sees the start of Wimbledon when we all go tennis mad for 2 weeks and SW19 is the place to be.
THEATRE
April Lots of excitement about Sunset Boulevard coming to the Coliseum starring Glen Close and I have a ticket so let’s hope it lives up to the hype. Transferring to the West End at the Savoy is Funny Girl starring the excellent Sheridan Smith – I also have tickets for this so April is looking good.  Doctor Faustus at the Duke of York’s is also getting a lot of attention due to its star Kit Harington from Game of Thrones.  More musical fun from Show Boat from the great Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein at the New London Theatre.
May I was surprised to see that the version of Jekyll and Hyde opening at the Old Vic is a dance production, an intriguing option. At Shakespeare’s Globe you can catch Midsummer Night’s Dream and hopefully it will keep dry for those standing in the uncovered section, which is a lot of fun.  More Shakespeare at the Garrick where Romeo and Juliet has stars turns from Derek Jacobi and Lily James. The Print Room is staging Beckett’s novels in their festival Beckett in London bringing his prose to the stage.
June There is always a lot of Shakespeare on the London stage but this year it’s the 400thanniversary of his death so even more plays are being staged. The Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park brings us Henry V with a female actor in the role of Henry, a nice twist from when the bard wrote his plays and all roles were played by men.  On a lighter note, Breakfast at Tiffany’s at the Haymarket Theatre Royal stars Pixie Lott. Michael Crawford returns to the stage for the first time since 2011 to star in a musical version of The Go Between at the Apollo.  
 
ART GALLERIES
April To celebrate the arrival of spring, a free exhibition at the National Gallery brings us Dutch Flowers, exploring Dutch painting from its beginnings in the early 17thcentury to its peak in the late 18th.  The Tate Britain has Conceptual Art in Britain 1964-1979, exploring this pivotal period in British art and its legacy. The Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition, the world’s largest photography exhibition, showcases over 500 of the winners and shortlisted photos across all categories from photojournalism through to fine art landscape.  Let’s not forget to mention the Saatchi Gallery’s blockbuster Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones sure to be the most visited in London this month.
May Painting with Light at the Tate Britain looks at art and photography, and the interplay between these forms, from the Pre-Raphaelites to the modern age, a wide sweep indeed. More photography at Somerset House when Photo London opens, bringing together 80 of the world’s leading galleries and offers specific exhibitions such as the war photographer Don McCullin.  Damien Hirst’s gallery Newport Street hosts a Jeff Koons exhibition called Now.
June At the Courtauld Gallery you can see paintings by Georgiana Houghton, a spiritualist medium whose abstract watercolours were ‘guided’ by artists including Renaissance masters – intriguing!  The National Portrait Gallery hosts the annual BP Portrait Award, the most prestigious international exhibition of contemporary portrait painting.  The National Gallery’s Painters Paintings has work from the collections of artists such as Matisse, Reynolds and Van Dyck, exploring the motivations for collecting and the influence of these works. 
SHOPPING, FASHION, MARKETS
April This year’s St George’s Day has a special Shakespeare theme to celebrate his 400th so look out for events across London offering food, fun and market stalls. Borough Market is one to head for as they will be going all out to celebrate.
May Carnaby Street’s Shopping Party promises to be the ‘ultimate shopping experience’ with restaurants and bars joining the array of cool boutiques and live music for their evening of retail therapy.
June  The Spirit of Summer Fair at Olympia exhibition centre has everything you never knew you needed for your home and garden and yourself. The Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane hosts the 25thAnnual Graduate Fashion Week so check out what the latest trends will be and spot some up and coming names.
MUSEUMS AND EXHIBITIONS
April The British Museum’s new major exhibition is Sicily: Culture and Conquest, telling the fascinating stories of how the waves of invaders have shaped the cultural identity of this Mediterranean island.  The Victoria and Albert Museum will be expecting a lot of interest in their new exhibition Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear tracing developments from the 18thcentury to the present day.  
May Another big show from the British Museum is Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds with wonderful artefacts from two recently rediscovered sunken cities at the mouth of the Nile.  May sees the enjoyable Museums by Night event where a wide range of museums in London and across the country offer late specials over a 4 day period. This is a great opportunity to see some of the smaller museums out of hours.
June There is an Engineering Season at the Victoria and Albert Museum, highlighting the contribution and importance of engineering in our everyday lives. There will be a special garden installation in the courtyard, an exhibition looking at the life and work of Ove Arup and a gallery looking at London’s role as an engineering centre.  One museum to catch up with is the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising which has moved to new larger premises to give their displays more room to breathe.  It’s a nostalgia fest and fascinating to see how packaging has changed and yet stayed the same since Victorian times.
FOODIE THINGS
April Let’s hope it’s a warm spring as Four Winters opens in Gloucester Road offering liquid nitrogen ice cream with its roots in Jordan.  Ex Nahm chef Andy Oliver opens a new Thai restaurant Som Saa in Spitalfields after successful temporary versions. Also moving on from temporary to permanent basis is Walter and Monty in the City, billed as ‘street food with Michelin expertise’ they offer charcoal grilled meat and fish with eastern flavours. A first London site for Mexican Cielo Blanco, inspired by the barbacoa markets of Oaxaca.
May Foleys in Fitzrovia, run by ex Palomar chef Mitz Vora, will be “experimenting with food from around the world with trade route twists and influences”. Also branching out on his own is ex Bar Boulud maitre’d Paulo de Tarso, opening a rustic Italian restaurant in Covent Garden. A new Galvin opens at the revamped Athenaeum on Piccadilly.  New city wine bar called Humble Grape offers wine and small plates off Fleet Street.
June Listed for ‘late spring’ or ‘early summer’ are several new restaurants which are not committing themselves to an exact date, often the way….  Samarkand will be a new place in Charlotte Street offering Uzbeki cuisine in the old Fino location. Tandoor Chop House planned for Covent Garden from the team behind Hoxton Hotel and Egg Break looks interesting – and English chop house with a touch of Indian spices. Farang in Borough is part of the new development in Flat Iron Square where Seb Holmes will be offering Thai food at its best.
PARKS AND GARDENS, ROYAL PALACES
April The London Marathon starts and ends in royal parks – Greenwich and St James’s – so if you are watching the race, enjoy the parks as well. April sees the reopening of The Banqueting House after several months of restauration work so now’s a good time to admire its amazing painted ceiling by Rubens and hear of the role this room has played in dramatic historic events. Hampton Court Palace is celebrating 300 years of Capability Brown, the palace gardener (!) with a special exhibition of his drawings.
May  Richmond Park is a wonder and is home to a large herd of deer, in May you can take a guided walk to learn more about it. Kensington Gardens is hosting the Vogue Festival with shows and talks from leading international designers including Tom Ford and Donatella Versace.
June Regent’s Park is home to the annual foodie extravangza that is Taste London.  St James’s Park is where you will find the Trooping of the Colour, an extra special event this year as it marks the Queen’s 90th birthday.  A week before the main event they hold the rehearsal which offers a great chance to catch the pomp and circumstance with a closer view – no royals tho’.
SPORT
April The big event in April is the London marathon with over 35,000 runners and thousands more lining the streets throughout the course to cheer on the brave souls who battle on to raise millions for charities. County Cricket is starting its season and the Harlem Globetrotters come to the 02 Arena to show off the basketball skills. Also at the 02 Arena is the mad world of American WWE Wrestling, although I’m not sure it really is a sport is it?
May It’s a big summer for football with the Euros next month but we have the small matter of the FA Cup at Wembley to round off the English season and the Football League play-offs.  Twickenham hosts the Rugby Union Premiership finals and the World Rugby Sevens Series is also in London .Golf’s PGA is at Wentworth, just outside London 
June England take on Sri Lanka at cricket at Lords in the 3rd Test, Men’s and women’s Hockey Champions Trophy take place in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. However, June is all about tennis as we are treated to 2 major events in London, Queens which is the warm up on grass for the main event, Wimbledon starting at the end of June.
MUSIC
April  Good to see Tinie Tempah is back with a new album and shows at the Brixton 02 Academy. The Vaccines are on a the Royal Albert Hall as part of the big annual Teenage Cancer Trust bash as are New Order, Everything Everything and Simply Red and Dave Gilmour. Bryan Ferry brings elegance to the London Palladium.  Adele brings her major to London’s 02 Arena as part of her major UK tour – tickets like gold! Brit award winner James Bay plays the Apollo and Muse’s well reviewed tour comes to the 02 Arena.
May Donovan Turns 70 tells you want you need to know about his show at the Palladium. Not quite as old but still been around a while is Bryan Adams playing at the 02 with his oddly named ‘Get Up Tour’! Talking of strange tour names, Iggy Pop has this nailed with his ‘Post Pop Depression Tour’ at the Royal Albert Hall. May is quite the month for older performers with Ralph McTell, Elvis Costello, OMD, Yes, Rita Coolidge to name but a few.
June.  The oldies theme continues as the festival season kicks into gear. One of my favourites is back: Bonnie Raitt at the Apollo where I saw her many years ago.  Check out this list of big names in town this month: Coldplay, Bruce Springsteen, AC-DC, Tom Jones, Foreigner, Adam Ant, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Barry Manilow on his ‘Last Time’ tour and Art Garfunkel. 
Enjoy London!
Sue
@itsyourlondon
www.itsyourlondon.co.uk

What’s on in London this winter 2016



Here’s my seasonal newsletter for January, February and March 2016 with highlights and a range of events, shows, exhibitions that might brighten up your winter!
SPECIAL EVENTS
JANUARY A big tradition of the festive season is the January sales with massive bargains at all stores from the small to the very grand, from a local shop to Harrods. Watch out for Burns Night on 25th when you’ll find Scottish traditions breaking out all over London so why not try some haggis this year!
FEBRUARY Love is in the air with arrival of Valentine’s Day so watch out for special lovvie events.  Ready yourselves for Pancake Day races around London, one of the best being at the Guildhall in the City where the livery companies race and toss pancakes while wearing their very special traditional costumes! February also brings us the Chinese New Year, a big event in London, as we welcome the year of the Monkey. 
MARCH St Patrick’s Day is big all round the world and London is no exception as the Guinness flows and we have a huge parade and dancing and bands so get out that green outfit and join in the fun in Trafalgar Square. The 162nd annual Boat Race will see the river Thames and the local pubs full of cheers as the 2 crews zip past.
THEATRE
January Shakespeare’s Globe kicks off 2016 with The Winter’s Tale. Eddie Izzard, perhaps one day Mayor of London, brings his Force Majeure Reloaded show to The Palace Theatre for an evening of surreal brilliant comedy. Acclaimed writer Caryl Churchill’s new play Escaped Alone opens at the Royal Court. Ralph Fiennes stars in Ibsen’s The Master Builder brought to the stage by David Hare at the Old Vic.
February Hopefully not reflecting the weather, The Tempest opens at The Globe in their beautiful indoor Sam Wannamaker Playhouse. Former Friends star Matthew Perry brings his own play The End of Longing to the Playhouse theatre and also stars in it. The Dominion theatre stages War of the Worlds by H G Wells with a score by Jeff Wayne who will conduct a live orchestra – I wonder how they will portray the Martians! The National Theatre brings us Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, charting this blues singer’s struggles for recognition. Battlefield at the Young Vic is based on the Mahabharata, a dramatic tale of a family torn apart by a great war.
March  Charting the story of the famous record label, Motown the Musical at the Shaftesbury theatre will have you singing along. I’ve got tickets already for Les Blancs at the National, a powerful African story. One of last year’s most impressive, if disturbing, plays and performances returns to the stage at the Wyndham’s so don’t miss Denise Gough in People, Places and Things. The Old Vic continues to showcase key British talent with Timothy Spall in the Caretaker.
 
ART GALLERIES
January One of my favourite painters is featured in a new show at the Royal Academy called Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse. Outside of the galleries the London Art Fair 2016 at the Business Design Centre Islington is a major event in the art calendar with over 100 galleries represented with modern and contemporary work. There are few other new openings this month so it’s time to catch a number which close soon, including The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize show at the National Portrait Gallery, The World Goes Pop at the Tate Modern and Liotard at the Royal Academy.
February Delacroix and The Rise of Modern Art opens at the National Gallery. Vogue 100: A Century of Style can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery with beautiful photographs commissioned by the magazine since 1916. The Courtauld Gallery has 2 openings this month – Botticelli and the Treasures from the Hamilton Collection, including his drawings for Dante’s Divine Comedy. Their 2ndshow is Bruegel in Black and White: Three Grisailles Reunited, a rare chance to see these 3 paintings together.
March A display of Tracey Emin’s work, including My Bed alongside 2 of Francis Bacon’s work chosen by Emin can be seen at the Tate Britain. The National Portrait Gallery is showing Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky, a selection of great works on loan from Moscow.  The new exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery is Scottish Artists: from Caledonia to the Continent with works from the Royal Collection from 1750 through to 1900.
  
SHOPPING, FASHION, MARKETS
January The January sales are a big event and massive bargains are to be found in the grand department stores, designer boutiques and the reliable chain stores.
February The big news for February is the winter London Fashion Week which will showcase the spring/summer collections followed by London Fashion Weekend when they let the likes of us in to peruse what’s new.  It’s a good month for fashion as Somerset House are hosting The International Fashion Showcase for emerging fashion designers on the theme of Imaging Utopia, spread over 15 galleries.
March As the days get longer and the temperatures warm up, make the most of London’s street markets:  Portobello on Saturdays; Camden market any day; Spitalfields most days but best on Sundays; Borough food market Wednesday to Saturday; and, Columbia Road flower market on Sundays.
MUSEUMS AND EXHIBITIONS
January  An exhibition from last year which slipped through the net is at the Museum of London Docklands where The Caribbean’s Great War looks really interesting in their impressive gallery called London, Sugar and Slavery. There are some key closures this month:  The Victoria and Albert Museum’s Fabric of India exhibition and their Shoes: Pleasure and Pain; and, Celts: Art and Identity at the British Museum.
February  The Science Museum’s new show Leonardo Da Vinci: The Mechanics of a Genius explores his incredible inventions with models, drawing and interactive games as you would expect at this creative museum.
March At the Victoria and Albert Museum a major show called Botticelli Reimagined will explore his enduring influence, looking across the centuries his impact on art, =fashion, design and film through 500 of his work and examples of those who have been touched by his art from William Morris to Andy Warhol.
FOODIE THINGS
January The Swan at the Globe with its great views of the Thames and St Pauls reopens after refurbishment. A new restaurant on a familiar site sees 100 Wardour Street, a new D&D venture, take on the old Floridita site, carrying on their tradition of music in the lower floor. London favourites the Galvins are turning their Spitalfields venue into a pub called Hop tho’ not your average pub as the food and drink will be posh and they will be serving de luxe hot dogs!  January sees Burns Night so seek out some Scottish food to celebrate and bravely try some haggis!
February Duende from the Bravas Tapas folk of St Katherine’s Dock opens in Covent – I really like this place so hope the new opening lives up to their original restaurant. Tom Sellers of the massively successful Restaurant Story opens a new place called Restaurant Ours in Kensington and promises to have a dramatic design with 3 enormous interior trees!  Close to me will be a new Italian restaurant with a menswear upstairs when Chucs opens with a garden terrace and coffee bar. Oliver Maki, big in Kuwait and Bahrain, opens in Soho with his contemporary sushi. Good news for those who like to plan, Pitt Cue Co are opening a new venue in the City as we hear they will take bookings!
March  Sourced Market is a new deli/café/wine and beer shop in Marylebone stocking 100 small artisan food and drink suppliers fine goods.  Some of the February openings say ‘late Feb’ which usually means March so check the February listing just in case……
PARKS AND GARDENS, ROYAL PALACES
January Twilight Tours of the Tower of London will open your eyes to the spooky and gruesome history of this historic site but please don’t have nightmares.
February  A Charity Gala at the Tower of London brings the stars of the West End stage into the Tower for 2 nights of variety acts including some with the famous Beefeaters.  The Tower is busy in the evenings this month as Nightwatchers returns, an after-hours immersive experience of a shadowy world of surveillance in modern and Tudor times – sounds scary but fun.
March Sporty times at Hampton Court Palace where their half marathon takes in the palace grounds and the Thames paths.  More sedate fare but still needing some endurance is their Dusk til Dawn Sleepover with entertainment, tours of the palace, a meal and a chance to sleep inside the palace. Kew Palace reopens at the end of March after its winter hibernation.
SPORT
January The World Snooker – The Masters comes to Alexandra Palace, snooker’s biggest invitation event. Also at Alexandra Palace are the World Championships of Ping Pong where unsung hero Englishman Andrew Baggaley is defending his title. The football season pushes through the 2 cups with key rounds being played in the League Cup and FA Cup with plenty of London teams on show. NBA Basketball can be cheers on at the 02 Arena where Orlando Magic face the Toronto Raptors.
February The Six Nations starts with matches at Twickenham where we will be looking to England to offer more than they managed in last year’s World Cup. The football League Cup will be played at Wembley.
March  The Six Nations continues. The annual University Boat Race sees Oxford v Cambridge for the 162nd time with Oxford leading Cambridge 81 wins to 79 (for those of you good at maths, there was one dead heat in 1877 which makes the numbers right). The Velodrome in the Olympic Park is the venue for the UCI Track Cycling Championships, full of the top names – mostly British hopefully!
MUSIC
January Trevor Nelson’s Soul Nation comes to the Jazz Café. The reformed (ie back together, I can’t speak for anything else being reformed!) Libertines play at the O2 Arena. Also coming back are the Corrs, also at the 02 Arena. Hozier are at the 02 Brixton as are the Maccabees. Ron Pope and the Nighthawks take on Koko
February Jess Glynne plays the 02 Brixton as do Twenty One Pilots, and Jo Harman plays the Jazz Café. Jason Derulo comes to the 02 Arena and Gabrielle Aplin is at the 02 Empire Shepherds Bush. Old favourites Fun Lovin Criminals can be seen at the 02 Empire Shepherds Bush and Massive Attack take on 02 Academy Brixton supported by Young Fathers. (Check the 02 Shepherds Bush as they have roof problems so some shows may be moved)
March Rudimental come to the 02 Arena with ’We are the Generation’ and Ellie Goulding plays there too. Leona Lewis comes to the stage of the London Palladium. Wolf Alice is at the Forum and Lianne La Havas is at the Royal Albert Hall.  C2C – Country to Country music festival rolls into the 02 Arena and old favourite The Stranglers take to the stage at the 02 Brixton Academy. 
Enjoy London!
Sue
@itsyourlondon

www.itsyourlondon.co.uk

Top events in London for the next 3 months

It’s Your London sends out a seasonal newsletter to our Friends who subscribe and I wanted to share all this good info with my blog readers too. 



IT’S YOUR LONDON NEWSLETTER FOR AUTUMN/WINTER 2015.
Here’s your autumn to winter 2015 newsletter giving you a taster of the exciting events coming up in the next 3 months in our capital. If you want to hear more about anything listed, or any other things you may have heard about, do send me an email (sue@itsyourlondon.co.uk) and I’ll get right back to you.
A warm welcome to new subscribers!
Have a look a Sue’s blog on the website (www.itsyourlondon.co.uk) to read about what I’ve been up to lately – a peek into life in London. I’m also on Twitter at @itsyourlondon so do join my 3750 followers for all the latest news!
Hope you enjoy your newsletter, let me know what you think.
Best wishes,
Sue Hillman
SPECIAL EVENTS
OCTOBER  This is a big month for film and art with major evens for both creative industries. The 59th London Film Festival is a showcase for Hollywood stars and block buster films and yet still finds space for first time directors and documentaries.  Frieze Art Fair brings the art world to London and takes up residence in Regents Park and there is a whole range of other shows offering some pieces at more affordable prices.
NOVEMBER The week of the 5th sees firework displays all over town as we mark Guy Fawkes Night when a group tried, but failed luckily, to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605.  It’s a great month for jazz fans when the London Jazz Festival brings top names to London’s famous night spots like Ronnie Scott. As winter is chilling the temperatures, you’ll see ice rinks opening all over town at great venues such as the Tower of London and the Natural History Museum.
DECEMBER The build up to Christmas is in full flow with all the famous lights decorating the streets of London with their best festive look. Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park offers a fun fair and Christmas market offering something for all the family. Look out for the famous, tall Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square, an annual present from the people of Norway in memory of Britain’s help during the 2ndWorld War where carols are sung each evening – a magical sound to put you in a festive mood.
THEATRE
October   DH Lawrence’s Husbands and Sons comes to the National starting Anne Marie Duff. The Young Vic bring us their take on ‘Measure for Measure’ starring Romola Garai and there’s more Shakespeare with a Comedy of Errors at the National. We have a show at the Lyric Theatre celebrating One Direction’s success with music from ‘all 4’ of their albums! More music but this time it’s Close to you: Bacharach Reimagined at the Criterion where his songs are brought to us in a blend of nostalgia and innovation.  Michael Flatley is back, as choreographer now, with those speedy Irish dance moves in Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games at the Playhouse.
November Dawn French’s 30 Million Minutes can be seen at the Vaudeville, which is the length of her life, so far. The Trafalgar Studios hosts Pinter’s The Homecoming with John Simm, Gary Kemp and Keith Allen.  The big show in town is the Kenneth Branagh season at the Garrick where we will be treated to the chance to see him starring with the wonderful Judi Dench in The Winter’s Tale.
December Tickets have been going quickly for A Christmas Carol at the Noel Coward theatre starring Jim Broadbent as Scrooge.  The Donmar Warehouse brings us Les Liaisons Dangereuses starring Dominic West so that’ll be worth a ticket! Goodnight Mister Tom is on at the Duke of York starring David Troughton . A musical based on Alice in Wonderland, called just Wonderland comes to us at the National from Damon Albarn so we know Christmas is coming but to slow that festive cheer down a play called Hangman transfers to the Wyndham about Britain’s last hangman when the death sentence is abolished, starring David Morrissey.  But standby – the pantomimes are coming soon!
 
ART GALLERIES
October This is a busy month for art lovers with Frieze being the main show on in a number of huge tents in Regents Park alongside Frieze Masters for a more traditional approach.  Several other galleries join in and Berkeley Square hosts the Pavilion of Art and Design Fair in another large tent (or marquee I should say as it sounds posher!).The Other Art Fair at the Old Truman Brewery offers a more affordable level of work. Frank Auerbach has a show at the Tate Britain and Goya: The Portraits opens at the National Gallery.  The Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern unveils their new piece by Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas.
November The Queen’s Gallery has Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer and also John Rowlandson’s comic art entitled High Spirits. Alexander Calder’s Performing Sculpture opens at the Tate Modern and the Tate Britain brings us Artist and Empire looking at art associated with the British Empire from the 16thcentury onwards.
December Time to catch your breath and see some of the great shows continuing while the pace of openings slows down. Ai Wei Wei at the Royal Academy has been creating a lot of discussion, as has The World goes Pop at the Tate Modern.
SHOPPING, FASHION, MARKETS
October London Chocolate Week has events all over town from a chocoholic show at Olympia to themed cocktails at the best bars. Real Food Markets continue even tho the summer has gone, each weekend at the South Bank and the Slow food market at the Rosewood Hotel every Sunday. Don’t forget London’s regular markets: Portobello on Saturdays, Spitalfields biggest on Sundays and Camden all the time!
November Christmas markets are popping up all over town from the South Bank to Kew Gardens and the huge Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is full of chalet style stalls. The Spirit of Christmas Fair at Olympia is packed full of present ideas, and some for yourself of course! 
December The Christmas lights will all be on now and London’s shopping street look at their festive twinkly best. Don’t miss Regent Street, Oxford Street, South Molton Street, Covent Garden, Carnaby Street and the beautifully decorated shop windows including John Lewis, Liberty’s, Selfridges, Harrods and Bond Street’s top end shops.
MUSEUMS AND EXHIBITIONS
October The Victoria and Albert Museum has the Fabric of India exhibition which will be a beautiful riot of colour with handmade fabrics dating from the 3rd century to the present day. The Museum of London looks at the grittier side of life with their Museum of Crime Uncovered a strange collection of criminal evidence and tales that dates back to 1875 but has not before been open to the public. Museums at Night is an annual treat which several London museums joining in with and throwing open their doors for after hours fun and games. Check out the Days of the Dead listed in November as they span these 2 months
November The British Museum is celebrating the Day of the Dead, a major event in Mexico when deceased relatives are remembered and honoured through festivities. Expect artworks and late evenings with music and food. The National Maritime Museum is marking Samuel Pepys with an exhibition looking at the period from 1649 to 1688, a period of momentous change in British history, so we can get to know the man, his interest and his gossiping! The show is called Plague, Fire and Revolution which gives you some idea of the topics explored.  The V&A opens Bejewelled Treasures, part of their India season.  The Geffryre Museum gets festive with 400 Years of Christmas Past.
December There are rarely any new openings in December as there is so much else to do so perhaps use the time to catch the great shows that are still on. Perhaps The Celts at the British Museum and the Geffrye’s seasonal special.   A candlelit lit evening tour of Sir John Soane’s museum is magical at this time of year and you can catch this on the first Tuesday of each month.
FOODIE THINGS
October The group behind the Ivy bring us Sexy Fish in Berkeley Square with upmarket seafood although we are not yet sure what is ‘sexy’ about it.  Carrying on the theme of strange naming is Les Couilles du Chien (yes it is!) a new bar with food from the Arbutus gang so let’s hope it lives up to its name in the non literal sense….   More odd names with a new pan Asian bar and small plates called Beyond London yet it’s in Kensington. The opening I’m most excited about is Les 110 de Taillevent in Cavendish Square when its very famous Parisian parent opens this spin off.  Coming a close second is 45 Jermyn Street in Fortnum and Masons which aims to bring back glamour!  Last but by no means least in this bumper month is the Chocolate Show in the vast halls of Olympia.
November/December The Ivy continue their roll out of smaller venues with the Café Marylebone Lane. It’s been a long wait for the German Gymnasium in Kings Cross which is slated for late autumn so any time now…   M Restaurants will open in Victoria as the major renovations and upheaval there begin to settle down, they will be offering high end grills and raw dishes.  Corbin and King continue to grow, adding Bellanger in Islington to their group, with a neighbourhood feel and Alsace cooking.  If you need to escape from the eating fest that is the build up to Christmas, try Grain and Green in Fitzrovia offering healthy salads from the Detox Kitchen.
PARKS AND GARDENS, ROYAL PALACES
October The Royal Horticultural Society has a good looking event –  The Shades of Autumn Show giving inspirational planting ideas and advice on choosing autumn plants.  Regent’s Park host the enormous marquees of Frieze Art Fair and Frieze Masters so expect lots of very fashionable arty looking folk in the park. The Tower of London is marking the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt with a special exhibition in the White Tower where the Duke of Orleans was imprisoned after his capture in the battle.
November  A new event from the Royal Horticultural Society this month is The London Frost Fair looking at over winter planting and workshops, and of course as we are in the build up to Christmas there will be a reindeer family to enjoy.  Kew Gardens go big at Christmas with their Illuminations Trail, a one mile sparkling path around the gardens including dancing illuminated fountains.
December Hyde Park hosts the huge Winter Wonderland event which has stalls selling food and gifts, a seasonal fun fair and even its own ice rink and ferris wheel.  The ice rinks will be open at Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London.  The annual Peter Pan swimming will take place on the Serpentine in Hyde Park, an annual event for the very hardy since 1864! The Royal Palaces all have festive events and fairs and don’t miss the BBC Good Food Festival Christmas Fayre at Hampton Court Palace and Kensington Palace will be showing us how Queen Victoria celebrated Christmas.
SPORT
October The Rugby World Cup games will be played across England and in Cardiff to battle for this honour, sadly without the hosts. The final will be on 31st October at Twickenham. Hopefully there will be more joy for England fans in the last of home qualifier for Euro 2016 against Estonia. Equally competitive are the International Ballroom Dancing Championships at the Royal Albert Hall. There will be 3 NFL games played at Wembley this year with associated fan zones in the centre of London.  
November The end of season ATP tennis tournament sees the top 8 players in the world fight for the top place to finish off their season so hopefully our Andy Murray will be starring at the 02 Arena. Rugby League has a big game at the Olympic Stadium where England take on New Zealand.
December The London International Horse Show makes its annual appearance at Olympia, in fact its 108th appearance! Big names in the show jumping world gather to compete alongside the Household Cavalry and the Shetland Pony Grand National.  Billed as the world’s greatest darts tournament, you can see the stars of the game at Alexandra Palace. Christmas Day sees the traditional early morning swimming race in the Serpentine Lake, Hyde Park, a race that has been getting people out of bed since 1864.
MUSIC
October Squeeze come to the 02 with Dr John Cooper Clarke, The Editors play at the Apollo Hammersmith and as does Gabriel Iglesias. Bob Dylan is playing his new album, and hopefully some old tracks too, for 5 nights at the Royal Albert Hall.  As part of the build up to the new Bond film’s release, Mica Paris is on at the Royal Festival Hall bringing us James Bond soundtracks. U2 roll into the 02 and Dappy from NDubz plays at the 02 Islington.  
November The London Jazz Festival sparkles across town taking on several of London’s top venues including of course Ronnie Scott’s. Don’t miss big names like Andy Sheppard, Courtney Pine, Jamie Cullum and Joshua Redman.  Suede take on the Roundhouse and New Order are at the 02 Brixton.  Disco classics from Chic ft Nile Rodgers are at the Olympic Park and Brandon Flowers at the 02 Shepherds Bush. Ya Lo Tengo play the 02 Shepherds Bush.
December The Prodigy take the Wembley Arena by storm while the Charlatans with Echo & the Bunnymen are at the 02 Brixton.  Lots of retro at this time of year so check out Kim Wilde at the 02 Shepherds Bush and Grandmaster Flash at the Brooklyn Bowl 02. Madonna hits the 02 as do Deep Purple. Dave Davies of the Kinks (the other brother!) plays at the Assembly Rooms Islington. The Bonzo Dog Doo-dah Band is at the 02 in a smaller hall and Simply Red reform to play at the larger 02 hall. More contemporary, The Disclosure take on Alexandra Palace. The Kooks are at the Forum and Trevor Nelson’s Soul Nation is at the Jazz Café.
Enjoy London!
Sue
@itsyourlondon
www.itsyourlondon.co.uk


What’s on in London this summer?

The answer is that there’s so much good stuff that you’ll want to be out and about every day! Here’s my London seasonal newsletter which I send out to subscribers but I wanted to share with you all so you don’t miss out.


IT’S YOUR LONDON NEWSLETTER FOR SUMMER 2015.

 

 SPECIAL EVENTS
  • July The Proms season begins for the 120thyear and there are over 100 varied and magnificent concerts making this the world’s greatest classical music festival, held in the Royal Albert Hall.  Big names and old favourite pieces feature alongside new commissions and lesser known work and this year there is a focus on the piano with Prokofiev, Beethoven and Mozart featuring. David Attenborough fronts a Life Story Proms and another celebrates 20 years of Radio 1 in Ibiza
  • August. The Notting Hill Carnival is a huge event, the largest street party in Europe. There is a massive parade of music and costumes, sounds stages blasting out everything from reggae to rock and roll, all kinds of great street food, dancing in the streets and tons of fun to be had over the 2 days when millions of people come to Notting Hill for a great time.
  • September The Proms season concludes with the famous Last Night of the Proms which takes place in the Royal Albert Hall but also live streamed into Hyde Park. The Mayor’s Thames Festival, Totally Thames, brings the river alive for the whole month, we are expecting the river to be buzzing again this year and the riverside restaurants will be joining in with special menus and events. 

THEATRE
 

  • July   Another great season at Shakespeare’s Globe, called Justice and Mercy, sees Richard ll and, rather more unexpectedly, Richard lll in Mandarin!  As the school holidays are upon us there’s a show for family audiences at the Garrick Theatre as Horrible Histories – Barmy Britain Part 3, puts the fun back into history. A new musical, American Idiot, opens at the Lyric with music by Green Day from their Grammy award winning album called, of course, American Idiot. If you are looking for more serious fare, a Caryl Churchill play will do the trick so catch A Number at the Young Vic.  Be amazed by tricksters, magicians and mind readers in Impossible at the Noel Coward Theatre.
  • August Two more new shows for the schools holidays: Aliens Love Underpants – from the popular book – at the Dominion:  and, Michael Morpurgo’s  I Believe in Unicorns. The Donmar Warehouse hosts great plays and Abi Morgan’s Splendour looks worth a ticket. The Barbican’s run of the sell out Hamlet starts, starring the wonderful Benedict Cumberbatch.  The National Theatre’s Our Country’s Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker which was winning awards back in 1988.
  • September One of the big openings this month is Photograph 51 starring Nicole Kidman looking at the work of a much overlooked female scientist in the race to unlock DNA. Kinky Boots has been heavily trailed as it has music and lyrics by Cindi Lauper.  Moving into the West End after a break, Farinelli and the King stars Mark Rylance which is enough to persuade any theatre lover to buy a ticket!  Often seen on TV and film but less so on stage is Jane Eyre, opening at the National.
 
 ART GALLERIES
  • July A must see for fans of Hollywood glamour, Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon is on at the National Portrait Gallery. The National Gallery branches out with Soundscapes, new musical works in response to paintings from the collection.  The Cartoon Museum has a show called Alice in Cartoonland – 150 Years of Alice will show how she has been depicted over time.
  • August  Not many openings this month so don’t miss the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition closing this month – the world’s greatest open entry art show! Also, Sonia Delaunay at the Tate Modern closes this month so do catch her wonderful colourful pieces in a show which I really enjoyed.
  • September The Royal Academy hosts an Ai Wei Wei exhibition showcasing two decades of his work which is curated in collaboration with him but he is working from his studio in China as leaving the country against the rules – although there may be some loosening of this control of his movements so keep an eye on this. The Tate Modern hosts The World Goes Pop, taking a world view of pop art beyond western consumer culture.
SHOPPING, FASHION & MARKETS
  • July Don’t miss the bargains in London’s famous July sales where everyone from the High Street to Harrods slash their prices. Spitalfields Market has regular events including an Independent Label Market in July.
  • August Summer is the best time to visit London’s numerous street markets: Portobello, Columbia Road, Camden, Greenwich and many more. Any day of the week one of these great markets will be just the place to while away the summer and grab some unique purchases.
  • September  London Fashion Week is a chance to get ahead of the fashion curve with catwalk shows and splash out on some new clothes too, with collections  looking ahead to spring/summer 2016. This year it moves to the Saatchi Gallery on the Kings Road so expect a whole new vibe compared with Somerset House.

MUSEUMS & EXHIBITIONS 

  • July  The Billingsgate Roman House and Baths are open for a rare viewing.  Also open for a rare visit is the Bank of England for a tour – you can see the museum anytime but the bank itself is unsurprisingly most often closed to us!
  • August  The Dickens museum branches out this month with a gin tasting session in the original Victorian kitchen and a book binding workshop – hopefully in the other order….  The mind blowing Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition closes at the Natural History museum this month so don’t miss it.  Also due to close so don’t miss the block busting Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at the V&A for its extraordinary staging and out of this world clothes.
  • September The Science Museum will be hosting a great sounding exhibition called Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age, an in depth look at the Russian space programme with many items never seen outside Russia before.  The British Museum brings us a show exploring our Celtic ancestors called Celts: Art and Identity. It’s the first major exhibition to explore the influence of the Celts stretching back 2500 years and still current today. The V&A has a new Indian exhibition called the Fabric of India, a highlight of their India season.

FOODIE THINGS

  • July One opening that’s had all the punsters out and about is Egg Break from the Soho House team which comes to Notting Hill – yes it’s egg-celent as everything is egg based.  On the single ingredient theme is Crab Tavern opening in Broadgate Circle, the City’s new foodie destination. A further single ingredient opening is Balls and Company in Soho, promoting the humble meat ball and the not so humble version made from wagyu beef. Arriving from USA, the first European opening of the very popular Chicago sandwich shop, Pot Belly comes to Westfield Stratford.
  • August Masterchef winner Tim Anderson opens in Nanban in Brixton offering ramen and izakaya.  Much awaited arrival of the multi Michelin starred Spanish chef David Munoz street inspired food from Madrid to Mayfair in StreetXo.  The inexhaustible Jason Atherton turns his hand to Japanese food at Sosharu in the east of the City.  The BBC Good Food Festival returns to Hampton Court.
  • September  I can’t wait for Les 100 de Taillevent from the people behind the very famous Parisian restaurant Taillevent.  Coin Market in Exmouth Market will be a retro diner with 70s styling and even serving Chicken Kiev. A new rooftop bar will always be popular so Galadari atop the Crowne Plaza near St Paul’s offering Japanese cuisine should be worth a visit.
 PARKS & GARDENS, ROYAL PALACES
  • July The famous Flower Show takes over the grounds of Hampton Court for a wonderful day out in a more relaxed atmosphere than the Chelsea equivalent.
  • August  Buckingham Palace starts its summer opening when the Queen goes on her holidays and lets us look around her London home.  Clarence House is also open – the London home of Prince Charles and Camilla. The BBC Good Food Festival comes to Hampton Court’s grounds to tempt you with all kinds of goodies.
  • September  The Last Night of the Proms is streamed live into Hyde Park so thousands can wave flags and sing their hearts out. Buckingham Palace is still open to visitors but closes at the end of the month as the Queen returns to London.

SPORT

  • July Wimbledon has moved on a week this year so July now has the second week of this great tournament and the hopes of the nations rest on Andy Murray. The Ashes cricket between England and Australia come to London for the 2nd test at Lords, the home of cricket.
  • August. Ride London is a massive cycling event for the public and elite competitors.  The 5th and final Ashes test match will be played at the Oval, let’s hope there is still something to play for….. The warm up matches for the Rugby World Cup will be taking place with England playing France at Twickenham.  County cricket will be in full flow at all the London grounds.
  • September Qualifiers for football’s European Championships see England take on Switzerland at Wembley. However, the big game in town is the Rugby World Cup with matches at Twickenham, Wembley and the Olympic Stadium. This is a massive event and takes places all across England with some matches in Scotland and Wales as well.

MUSIC  
 

  • July  The festival season is in full flow with Wireless Weekend in Finsbury Park with David Guetta and Nicki Minaj. Calling on Clapham Common headlines with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. Kew The Music has one of the best settings for Paloma Faith, UB40 , The Specials and of course Jools Holland. Somerset House rivals Kew for setting and brings us a wide range of styles including George Ezra, Jessie J and James Bay. Lovebox in Victoria Park headlines with Snoop Dogg and Rudimental. With Hot Chip and Jessie Ware. Let’s not forget the nightly Proms season which kicks off in July and stretches through to September.
  • August  The festival South West Four on Clapham Common brings us the biggest names in electronic music. Reggae star Jimmy Cliff at the 02 gets us revved up for the Notting Hill Carnival – 2 days of very loud music to get us all up and dancing in the streets. Look out for Gaz’s Rocking Crew and the nearby dub reggae truck which are my favourites or get your ears blown off on All Saints Road!
  • September  The festivals are still with us as On Blackheath returns with Elbow, Manic Street Preachers, Madness, Laura Mvula and Kelis.  The wonderful Proms come to an end with a simulcast in Hyde Park where the Jacksons are the warm up band. The Proms are not all classical and before they end Jarvis Cocker has an evening.  It’s retro time around London with concerts by Crosby, Still and Nash, Art Garfunkel (on his own!), Level 42 and Dave Gilmour (without the rest of Pink Floyd). To balance this One Direction have 6  nights at the 02!.
Enjoy!
.
www.itsyourlondon.co.uk
@itsyourlondon
*All listings correct to the best of my knowledge but exact details should be checked with each venue.

There’s some great stuff happening in London, April to June 2015!


IT’S YOUR LONDON NEWSLETTER, SPRING 2015.

 It’s Your London has been away for a few months volunteering in Swaziland (see my last blog post)  but I’m back and catching up with all things London. Newsletters come with each new season full of great info but not too often clutter in your inbox!

Here’s your Spring 2015 newsletter giving you a taster of the exciting events coming up in the next 3 months in our capital. If you want to hear more about anything listed (or other things you’ve heard about) send me an email (sue@itsyourlondon.co.uk) and I’ll get right back to you.

Have a look a Sue’s blog on the website (www.itsyourlondon.co.uk) to read about what I’ve been up to lately – a peek into life in London. I’m also on Twitter at @itsyourlondon so do join my 3600 followers for the latest news!

Hope you enjoy your newsletter; let me know what you think!

Best wishes,

Sue

 SPECIAL EVENTS    

  •  April The  massive London Marathon takes over the streets and the nation’s hearts as  thousands struggle past the sights of London to raise incredible amounts for charity long after the elite runners have reached the end on the Mall. The crowds are huge and it’s great fun to join in.
  • May The magnificent Chelsea Flower Show is the greatest flower show in the world and it gets us in the mood for gardening with all that fabulous colour and design. Let’s hope we get some London sunshine too.
  • June We have a royal event called Trooping the Colour which marks the Queen’s official birthday, she has 2 birthdays (of course) but this is the public one. You can see the royals if you get there early and don’t forget to take your flag.  The end of June sees the start of Wimbledon when we all go tennis mad for 2 weeks and SW19 is the place to be.

THEATRE

  • April If you are looking for big names on the stage, look no further than American Buffalo at the Wyndham theatre starring Damien Lewis, John Goodman and Tom Sturridge. Bang up to date is The Vote at the Donmar Warehouse tracking the political events of the moment and will be playing in real time on May 7th when the election takes place, with a great cast including Timothy West. Golem at the Trafalgar Studios faces the issues of man and machine and who controls who in an innovative production.
  • May One of May’s big openings is The Elephant Man at the Theatre Royal Haymarket starring Bradley Cooper in the lead role.  I’m not sure if this comes under the ‘theatre’ heading but Al Pacino is on stage at the Apollo Hammersmith, in an ‘Audience with…’.   A lesser known Shakespeare play – King John –  has its first outing at The Globe. Noel Coward’s ever popular Hay Fever opens at the Duke of York starring Felicity Kendal.  At the London Palladium, Beyond Bollywood looks great fun, promising to be a dance extravaganza around a theatrical storyline!
  • June.  Another play or film turned into a musical hits the Phoenix. Theatre with Bend it Like Beckham the Musical, keep your fingers crossed that Beckham himself might turn up!  In a strange football co-incidence, the National Theatre is showing The Red Lion, about the passion that football inspires and stars Daniel Mays.  In the hope of fine evenings, the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park brings us Chekhov’s The Seagull.

  ART GALLERIES

  • April A Sonia Delaunay exhibition arrives at the Tate Modern, her first UK retrospective of 60 years of work. The Royal Academy hosts the London Original Print Fair where work is for sale as well as viewing. The Deutsche Borse Prize shows its entrants at the Photographers Gallery
  • May Photo London at Somerset House is London’s first international photography fair, looks like being a major event. Not many new openings this month but shows to catch which close in May are: Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden at the Tate Modern: John Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends at the National Portrait Gallery; and, Inventing Impressionism at the National Gallery. .
  • June A key art event happening in June is the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition, the world’s largest open submission contemporary art show, is open for anyone to submit their work, few however are chosen to hang alongside some top names. The Tate Britain’s Fighting History explores conflict in history painting from the 18th century to the present day. Somerset House has an exhibition of The Jam: About the Young Idea examining their influence on music, style, politics and culture. This year’s Serpentine Pavilion will open for inspection from Spanish due SelgasCano, I hear it’s plastic!  Last but absolutely not least is a new Barbara Hepworth show at the Tate Britain.

 

SHOPPING & MARKETS.

  • April Borough Market, the ultimate foodie destination is holding a special St George’s day event which sounds English but we share our patron saint with many places including Catalonia so look out for a great mix of stalls and events from Spain and Britain. Just opened in March but worth a mention is the world’s first Google shop on Tottenham Court Road!
  • May.  Carnaby Street will host a Shopping Party with 20% off in many shops alongside music and generally good fun.  This area is now buzzing again so worth a visit any time.
  • June The Spirit of Summer Fair at Olympia exhibition centre has everything you never knew you needed for your home and garden and yourself London Jewellery Week sounds dangerous, showcasing big names and bright new talent at exhibitions, shows, and launches. Graduate Fashion Week at The Truman Brewery could offer insight into the next big thing in fashion.

 MUSEUMS & EXHIBITIONS

  • April  The British Museum’s spring blockbuster exhibition is Defining Beauty: the body in Ancient Greek Art, but opening in April is Indigenous Australia: Enduring Civilisation. This is the first major exhibition in the UK to present the history of this 60,000 year old civilisation, one of the world’s oldest continuing cultures. Apsley House, the former home of the Duke of Wellington, reopens this month so you can enjoy these fine historic surroundings again as the anniversary of Waterloo is marked.

  • May Museums by Night is a special event countrywide but London museums are joining in with fun events such as a nightime safari at the Natural History Museum, an event called Put that Light Out at the Royal Artillery Museum, simulating the blitz experience, a sleepover at the William Morris, Late Mad Men at the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising and the rather scary The Night of the Bodysnatcher at the Old Operating Theatre! The Design Museum opens a new exhibition about shoewear –  Life on Foot: Camper at the Design Museum, looking at the impact of creative design and new technologies on shoe making.
  • June. Continuing the late theme from May, Sir John Soane’s museum can be visited for one night a month on a candlelit tour – it really is fabulous.  And continuing the shoe theme, the Victoria and Albert Museum brings us Pleasure and Pain – an exhibition about shoes! The Museum of London at the Docklands hosts Soldiers and Suffragettes, early press photography by Christina Bloom.

FOODIE THINGS

  • April  The foodie world is excited by the arrival of Le Chabanais from the people behind the famous Parisien restaurant Chateaubriand. More from Gordon Ramsay as Maze Grill opens in Chelsea where Aubergine was located and where he made his name. Tonic and Remedy claims apothecary inspired food with strong pedigree from the Great British menu chef Paul Welburn from Rhodes W1. Talking of strong pedigrees, Berber and Q is brought to us by Josh Katz and Mattia Bianchi whose priors include Ottolenghi and Galvin Bistro de Luxe.
  • May Wahleeah in Fulham will have a strong emphasis on cooking with beer. 2015 sees the 100th year of the Ivy so they closed in January to have a facelift and will reopen with a new menu mixing classics with a nod to southern European and Asian cuisines. They have also refreshed their art work so expect a whole new look focussing on British art, especially emerging talent.
  • June The Taste London festival comes to Regents Park with an enormous  annual gathering in Regent’s Park where ordinary food lovers get to sample small dishes from great restaurants at manageable prices. Jason Atherton’s new tapas wine bar opens in Marylebone called Social Wine – I do like the sound of this one. The famous Chutney Mary Indian restaurant which has been on the Kings Road is upping sticks and moving to St James. Focussing on sustainable seafood in the City, Bouillabaisse is brought to us by Kurt Dzesar from Chotto Matte.

PARKS & GARDENS, ROYAL PALACES

  • April Chelsea Physic Garden opens a brand new area, the World Woodland Garden, and you can enjoy displays of medicinal plants from all around the world and be amazed that it was founded way back in 1673! Hampton Court Palace is celebrating its 500 years so they are putting on events to mark this milestone. 
  • May. Regents Park Open Air Theatre season starts, running throughout the spring and the summer including Peter Pan in the repertoire this year. The ultimate in gardening is the Chelsea Flower Show where you will be inspired for the rest of the year! St James’s Park is having Victory in Europe Day (VE) celebrations with a big party where performers will include Katherine Jenkins, Pixie Lott, Alfie Boe, Ian Lavender, Status Quo and Strictly Come Dancing – quite a line up.
  • June Taste Festival comes to Regent’s Park with the chance to taste small dishes from many of London’s top restaurants in the lovely surroundings of this famous park. The Hampton Court Festival hosts favourites such as Jules Holland, Burt Bacharach and Paloma Faith in the grounds of the Palace along with comedy shows and fireworks.

 SPORT

  • April The big deal is the London Marathon which is a huge event for elite and ‘fun’ runners alike. It takes over London and the television and we admire and weep with them. We also have County cricket at the Oval and the FA Cup semi finals at Wembley.
  • May The BBL (British Basketball League) playoff finals come to the 02.  20/20 cricket gets a new set of fans at the Oval followed by a more conventional test series against New Zealand with a game at Lords. It’s a big month for football with the FA Cup Final at Wembley and the Championship play offs which are always exciting.
  • June It’s tennis time with the warm up men’s’ events at Queens and then headlong into the start of Wimbledon when everything stops for 2 weeks especially when Murray is playing. Wimbledon is a wonderful event and although it’s almost impossible to get a seated ticket, you can join the famous queue for general entry and soak up the atmosphere.

 MUSIC 
  • April Somehow, and wonderfully, still alive, Wilko Johnson plays at the 02 Shepherds Bush. Popular classical pianist Lang Lang plays at the Royal Albert Hall and in a complete contrast the same venue hosts Status Quo as part of their current tour! Catch Lynyrd Skynrd at the Apollo Hammersmith. The Blow Monkeys are Under the Bridge, Chelsea and Ben Howard is playing in Alexandra Palace.
  • May Boyz 11 Men bring soul to the 02 and Olly Murs also plays there but in the larger Arena, as are S Club 7 on their revival tour – their first for 10 years – and the great Mark Knopfler and Band. However, the big name at the 02 is Paul McCartney. Cult folk singer Rodriguez is on at the Royal Albert Hall and then Eric Clapton takes up his annual residence there and then the summer starts properly with the Beach Boys!  Also in the world of contrasts The Forum hosts Fabio and Grooverider in the same month as Billy Ocean.
  • June It’s a busy time at the 02 following May’s list with Fleetwood Mac, Take That, John Legend and Goldie Looking Chain. Head to the 02 Shepherds Bush for wonderful Hozier and to catch Holly Johnson too. Brian Ferry celebrates his new album at the Royal Albert Hall, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga team up for a charity event at the same venue. British Summer Time Festival returns to Hyde Park with The Strokes, Blur, Kylie, The Who and Taylor Swift over 2 weekends, with great support acts like Paul Weller, Kaiser Chefs, Ellie Goulding and Grace Jones.

Enjoy!

.

www.itsyourlondon.co.uk

@itsyourlondon

*All listings correct to the best of my knowledge but exact details should be checked with each venue.

What’s on in London January – March 2015?

My London Living blog will be taking its annual winter break as I go to Africa so here’s my London newsletter which features a choice of listings for the next 3 months of happenings in London, to keep you all busy. It normally just goes out to subscribers but I thought I’d share it on my blog this year. 



 SPECIAL EVENTS

·         January 2015  A big tradition of the festive season is the January sales with massive bargains at all stores from the small to the very grand, from a local shop to Harrods. Watch out for Burns Night on 25th when you’ll find Scottish traditions breaking out all over London so why not try some haggis this year!

·         February Love is in the air with arrival of Valentine’s Day so watch out for special lovvie events.  Ready yourselves for Pancake Day races around London, one of the best being at the Guildhall in the City where the livery companies race and toss pancakes while wearing their very special traditional costumes! February also brings us the Chinese New Year, a big event in London, as we welcome the year of the Goat. 

·         March St Patrick’s Day is big all round the world and London is no exception as the Guinness flows and we have a huge parade and dancing and bands so get out that green outfit and join in the fun in Trafalgar Square.

THEATRE 

  • January 2015 James McEvoy takes the lead role in The Ruling Class at the Trafalgar Studios. A new Tom Stoppard play, the first for 9 years, called The Hard Problem opens at the National Theatre. My Night with Reg opens at the Apollo theatre with Julian Ovenden from Downton Abbey.
  • February Beautiful – the Carole King Musical opens at the Aldwych theatre so it’s bound to have great songs.   There is an unusual semi opera but anything starring Mark Rylance is worth booking – Farinelli and the King at the Sam Wannamaker Playhouse.  The highly praised Arthur Miller View from the Bridge transfers to the West End starring Mark Strong.  Ralph Fiennes stars in Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman at the National Theatre.
  • March Juliette Binoche stars in Antigone at the Barbican.  For a very short run the Coliseum has Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson in the English National Opera’s staging of Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber. Family drama comes to the National with Rules for Living starring comedians Stephen Mangan and Miles Jupp.
 ART GALLERIES
  • January 2015 There’s a block buster at the Royal Academy – Rubens and His Legacy: Van Dyck to Cezanne so expect work from a whole range of big names as well as his own. The London Art Fair, the largest in the UK is a great chance to see a whole range of work across many media from the early 20th century to the present day at the Business Design Centre.
  • February The National Portrait Gallery is staging Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends. At the Photographers’ Gallery an exhibition of over 200 press photos on the theme of Human Rights and Human Wrongs document key world events from 1945 to the 1990s. The Hayward Gallery has a topical show ahead of the election called History is Now: Seven Artists take on Britain.
  • March A good looking show opens at the National Gallery this month, Inventing Impressionism, a touring show looking at the period 1865-1905. Richard Diebenkorn’s paintings have a rare showing at the Royal Academy. Christina Mackie is taking over the Duveen Galleries at the Tate Britain with her complex tableaux which seem to defy categorisation! 
SHOPPING & MARKETS.
  • January 2015 January is the big time for sales and massive bargains to be picked up all around town. Keep an eye open for Alexander Wang’s first London shop sometime ‘early 2015’
  • February It’s London Fashion Week so Somerset House will be    swarming with amazingly well dressed and strangely dressed people and there are many other venues across London too.  Feels odd that they will be showing autumn/winter 2015 already!
  • March It’s a great time of year to be visiting London’s many outdoor markets, from Portobello for antiques and knick knacks, food and fashion, to Borough for food, to Columbia Road for flowers and Spitalfields/Brick Lane for anything you might want.

  MUSEUMS & EXHIBITIONS 

  • January 2015 The Wildlife Photographer of the Year is a feast for the eyes at the Natural History Museum and you’ll wonder how they got those shots. The Science Museum has a new exhibition called Churchill’s Scientists which sounds fascinating.
  • February Don’t miss some of the great shows in town such as Grayson Perry: Who are You? at the National Portrait Gallery, looking at British identity. The endless fascination with Sherlock Holmes is explored at the London Museum and the British Museum’s  Ancient Lives, New Discoveries explores another great fascination – mummies and the hidden secrets of 8 of the museum’s collection.
  • March The Natural History Museum’s new exhibition is Coral Reefs: Secret Cities of the Sea includes coral collected by Charles Darwin on the HMS Beagle expedition.  The Victoria and Albert Museum hosts Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, an overview of his career which is transferring from New York. The British Museum delves into Greek sculpture with Defining Beauty: The Body in Ancient Greek Art showing their own work but with many pieces loaned from museums around the world.  The British Library has a Magna Carta exhibition to mark its 800 years.
 FOODIE THINGS·       

  • January 2015   Burns Night sees London’s restaurants break out the traditional Scottish dishes so look out for haggis, neeps, tatties with some whiskey to wash it all down. The end of the month seems to be the new date for AlanYau’s Soho opening of Duck & Rice, a Chinese gastropub!  January also sees the return of the pop up Redemption serving up mocktails and vegan food so coming to the aide of those giving up booze for the month. The Sky Garden is due to open at the top of the Walkie Talkie where the views will be excellent. 
  •  February/March  There are a number of restaurants listed as opening in early 2015 but without exact dates – often the way.  So here are some of them: W36 a sister restaurant to Beach Blanket Babylon heads just north to Golbourne Road; The Chiswick Smokehouse speaks for itself; the Pulia in Borough Market will be an eat-in deli specialising in Italian food from Puglia; Smith and Wollensky opens their first New York steakhouse in the UK just off The Strand; Milos, Greek fine dining comes to Regent Street; and, finally the huge 200 seater Percy and Founders opens in Fitzrovia with 3 bars. Or you can catch a Real Food Market along the Southbank any weekend for a healthier start to this year’s spring.

PARKS, GARDENS AND ROYAL PALACES

·         January 2015 The 30th January is the anniversary of the shocking royal event in 1649 when King Charles 1 was beheaded, so this seems like the right time visit the Banqueting House, the site where it happened,  as they hold a service on that day.
·         February The Fashion Rules exhibition continues at Kensington Palace with outfits from the Queen, Princesses Margaret and Diana from the 50s to the 90s. Blow the cobwebs away with a guided walk around royal Richmond Park.
·         March.  March is a fabulous time to wander round London’s large and varied parks – Regents Park, Hyde Park, Richmond Park, Holland Park to name just a few. The flowers will be in bloom and the leaves coming out on the trees and, as London is one of the greenest cities in the world, there is a lot to enjoy. Or visit Hampton Court Palace to watch one of their live Tudor cookery demonstrations.
 SPORT
  • January 2015  Basketball fans can enjoy the NBA Global Games as the New York Knicks take on the Milwaukee Bucks at the 02 Arena. Not for me but the UK Cold Water Swimming Championships take place at Tooting Bec Lido. Masters Snookers is at Alexandra Palace with the best 16 players around and TNA Impact Wrestling at Wembley Arena.
  • February The biggest sporting event in February is Rugby Union’s 6 Nations tournament played across all these nations’ capital cities with key matches at London’s Twickenham Stadium. It’ll be a warm up for the Rugby World Cup here in the autumn.  Elite Cycling takes places at the former Olympic Velodrome as part of the Revolution event if you want to experience the famous roar and see cycling’s top names.
  • March As the football season races on the Capital One (used to e called League) Cup final will be held at Wembley and England will play Lithuania in a Euro 2106 qualifier. The Head of the River Race takes place on the Thames and is world’s largest continuous rowing event with 420 boats covering 4.25 miles. 

MUSIC

  • January 2015 Queen featuring Brian May appear at the 02 with Adam Lambert as part of their European tour.  Top jazz-funk man Roy Ayers will be playing at the Jazz Cafe. London based Jessie Ware is at the 02 Academy Brixton. Paolo Nutini wows the 02 and Nils Lofgren is at the Union Chapel. Jessie J takes on the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith
  • February  Catch Elbow at the Eventim  Hammersmith and in the same venue, D’Angelo and Sam Bailey. The Kaiser Chefs come to 02 and Ruby Turner is playing at Ronnie Scotts. The Christians play at the Jazz Cafe for a trip back to the 80s. Katherine Jenkins sings at the Royal Festival Hall and Bonnie Tyler belts it out at the 02.
  • March Catch Sam Smith’s lovely tones at the 02 Academy Brixton. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds come to the 02 Arena featuring their new second album  Chasing Yesterday. The 02 also hosts the Country to Country Festival with Lady Antebellum headlining. Tobacco Dock stages the London Electronic Arts Festival with performances, screenings, interviews and installations.  In complete contrast Mariza, the queen of Fado comes to the Barbican and I’m looking forward to this one.  Jazz star Dr John is playing his tribute to Louis Armstrong at Ronnie Scotts and Lionel Ritchie appears at the 02.
Enjoy!
Sue Hillman
www.itsyourlondon.co.uk
@itsyourlondon