1. New Post: What we’ve been up to… Eat Your Way Around Brixton

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/eat-drink/what-weve-been-up-to-eat-your-way-around-brixton/

    What we’ve been up to… Eat Your Way Around Brixton

    Hate it or love it, but the gentrification (or regeneration?) of Brixton has meant that the area in recent years has seen a splatter of high street fashion chains, coffee shops and a wave of “have-you-been-to” hit list restaurants awkwardly exist within the “old Brixton”, attracting the sort of yuppies who might have been too reluctant to eat in SW2 a few years ago.  But big business aside, scratch the surface and you’ll discover that what’s going down in Brixton a’int all doom and gloom – and this enjoyable foodie jaunt with cultural guided walks company Fox and Squirrel was our opportunity to discover  that and more.

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    Led by Lindsay Faller, an American expat who writes about food for the Brixton Blog and Bugle and who’s lived in Brixton for 12 years, the walk included a potted history of the area and visits to a range of vendors, all introducing a unique cultural aspect of Brixton.    First stop was an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony on Brixton Station Road performed in a small tent filled thick with the aroma frankincense and coffee beans which were roasted right in front of us by Elsa – the co-owner of our next stop the Shawl café, where we tucked into a tear-and-share platter of Ethiopian dishes served on the tart and spongy injera bread.  I’ve never been the biggest fan of Ethiopian food, but this platter of lentils and stews was tasty and I’d recommend it to anyone who’s curious about this cuisine.

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    The next stop – and my personal highlight of the day – was a visit to Las Cafeteria around the corner on Pope’s Road, a bustling Columbia canteen, butchers and money-changing shop, rolled into the one.  We managed to grab a few seats in the back before trying the mouth-watering Lechona – a popular dish of a roast pig stuffed with rice, peas, onions and spices and cooked for roughly 10 hours.  And you could tell – it was so flavoursome, made even better with the homemade salsa that was placed on the table.

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    Our third stop on the walk was Brixton Brewery (Arch 547, Brixton Station Road), a creative company that is definitely one of trendier additions to the area.  I’m more of a wine drinker myself, but it was fascinating to hear about the beer-making process (even if I didn’t take too well to the sample of pale ale I tried!).  This stop was followed up by a sit-down at Fish, Wings and Tings in the revitalised Brixton Village, a Caribbean hotspot which was heaving with customers when we arrived.  And it’s no wonder – the salt fish fritters and goat roti we sampled were simply delicious (especially with a bit of the signature house sauce).

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    As time was fast spent,  we had a quick walk through one of the local shops serving all types of exotic ingredients before the walk was wrapped up with a final visit to Kaff bar on Atlantic Road, an eclectic, laidback café where artwork from local artists adorn the wall. Homemade ginger beers were eagerly washed down a platter of US Southern-inspired dishes – like the delectable soft shell crab – and it was definitely a perfect conclusion to a day of culinary, cultural delights.

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    The original itinerary featured gelato-making (which was unfortunately missed out), but that was only a minor blip for a day I’d highly recommend.  Admittedly, it is on the pricier side for an urban adventure (£70 for 3 hours), but if you’re new to the capital, it’s also a fantastic way to get to know this evolving area a whole lot better.  For more information, visit: www.foxandsquirrel.com/product/food-walk-london

    To see more of our pics, visit: www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/galleries/eat-your-way-around-brixton-food-walk

    Thank you to Fox and Squirrel for accommodating us!

     

  2. New Post: What we’ve been up to… Dub Jam

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/eat-drink/what-weve-been-up-to-dub-jam/

    What we’ve been up to… Dub Jam

    Last night TCé was invited to the press launch of Dub Jam – a jerk BBQ and rum shack in Covent Garden that’s one of the most creative food spots we’ve seen in that part of town for a while.  The obvious risk is that lovers of West Indian food might be tempted to weigh up DJ against the more established restaurants in the capital (i.e Cottons)  - but the good news is,  this novelty bar doesn’t pretend to be anything more than a casual drop-in with good tunes (provided by the legendary Trojan Records), decent grub (the jerk skewers here are tame at best, but the plantain chips, sweet potato fries and beach beef burger we tried were delish), nice prices, loud and proud interiors and an incredible signature rum punch which was so good we had it twice.  We imagine it’ll be a hit in the summer as the obvious vibe here is “reggae in the sunshine” so pass through when it opens on Saturday if you’re curious – we’ll be back for more rum!  Check out our pics from last night below, but for more info visit: www.dubjam.co.uk

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  3. New Post: Somewhere you should go… Future Cinema’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/recommendations/somewhere-you-should-go/somewhere-you-should-go-future-cinemas-who-framed-roger-rabbit/

    Somewhere you should go… Future Cinema’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

    Future Cinema has pulled off some serious classics in their time (Ghostbusters, Casablanca, Saturday Night Fever), but I have to take my hats off to the team for coming up with this one.  If you don’t already know, Future Cinema is Secret Cinema without the surprise, immersing you into the world of the film in all sorts of clever ways; and the production values  are so high-end that  good times are generally guaranteed (unless that film is Shawshank Redemption which  sadly, is an experience that still makes us shudder).  Who Framed Roger Rabbit? was of my favourite films as a kid, so we can only imagine that the real life version of the 1988 animated/live action who-dun-it will be a hilarious romp we’ll be laughing about days later.

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    It all kicks off from Valentine’s Day onwards so  for more info, visitwww.troxy.co.uk/event/future-cinema-presents-who-framed-roger-rabbit-3

    Have you been to a Future Cinema event? Let us know in the comments…

     

  4. New Post: Somewhere you should go… Princess Victoria’s Burns Night

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/eat-drink/somewhere-you-should-go-princess-victorias-burns-night/

    Somewhere you should go… Princess Victoria’s Burns Night

    Trust the Scots to find a way to make you look forward to the end of the month. Every 25th January, the whole of the UK celebrates the life of famous Scottish poet Robert Burns—often in the most Scottish of ways, with a wee (or slightly larger) dram of whisky and a bit of haggis. If you fancy starting the celebrations early, head over to the Princess Victoria pub in Shepherd’s Bush tomorrow. They will feature a three-course early Burns Night supper club menu cooked up by Head Chef Matt Reuther (formerly of No 1 Lombard St and Marco Pierre White’s three Michelin-starred Oak Room).

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    Reuther will be playing up the smoky flavours of Scotland’s famed peated whiskys with a menu that starts with a cassoulet made of whisky-barrel-smoked langoustine and home-cured bacon. The next course is a Scottish mutton haggis  served along with ash wood-roasted shoulder and a serving of neeps and tatties (swedes), a popular accompaniment to haggis.  Finally, dessert will be Applewood-roasted quince and the traditional Scottish dessert of cranachan, made of cream, whisky, raspberries and toasted oatmeal. And no smoky meal would be complete with a nip of Laphroaig whisky! The three-course supper is £30 and will offer the chance to buy wines and whiskeys while enjoying the beautiful historic pub. For more info, visit: www.facebook.com/events/602210763168004

     
  5. The pornstar martini with a shot of Prosecco! #naughty #passionfruit #ping #fridaynightout

     
  6. Friday nightin’ at Ping, Earls Court Road. So far, good! Ping Pong in 30mins (and kudos to chef on the food front - freshly baked focaccia?! YESSIR!)

     

  7. New Post: Something you should see… Confiscation Cabinets at V&A Museum of Childhood

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/recommendations/something-you-should-see/something-you-should-see-confiscation-cabinets-at-va-museum-of-childhood/

    Something you should see… Confiscation Cabinets at V&A Museum of Childhood

    I was one of the lucky ones who avoided the horror of having my stuff confiscated when I was at school.   We all knew that if  a teacher took your beloved property with the promise of giving it back at the end of the day,  there was a slim chance of that happening – and judging from the 250 plus items that feature in this new exhibition at the V&M Museum of Childhood, we weren’t wrong.

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    Teacher and artist Guy Tarrant recovered forgotten knick-knacks from over 150 state schools in the capital and they make up this intriguing retrospective.  Many of the items – like the Gameboy, treasure troll  and friendship bracelets – might just bring back heartwarming memories, while the homemade bomb and air pistol are more of a chilling reminder of why teachers need to lay down the law. Still, it all makes quite a fascinating statement about pupil deviant behaviour over the last 30 years (and who knows, you might just recognise something of your own!)

    On from 9 November to 1 June 2014.  For more info, visit: www.museumofchildhood.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions-and-displays/confiscation-cabinets

     

  8. New Post: Somewhere you should go… Verbier at W Hotel, Leicester Square

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/eat-drink/somewhere-you-should-go-verbier-at-w-hotel-leicester-square/

    Somewhere you should go… Verbier at W Hotel, Leicester Square

    Switzerland has invaded England. Right in the heart of London, Verbier has set up a remote colony in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Leicester Square at the W Hotel. Until November 9, the hotel is celebrating the launch of a new sister property in Verbier. With winter just around the corner, many people are starting to shift their fantasy landscapes from beaches to ski slopes, so there’s no better time to stop by the W to experience a little taste of Swiss hospitality.

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    Pic: Jane Stockdale

    Step inside and you’re greeted by a ski gondola that’s found a new life as an interactive photo booth. After smiling for the cameras, you’re whisked up to the W Lounge and Library where you’ll find warming fires and cozy furs draped everywhere. Skip the skiing, and go straight to the bar for some après-ski drinks crafted especially for the Verbier experience. Among the ten new cocktails are  unique cocktail ingredients from Verbier’s three alpine neighbours, Germany, France and Italy. A menu curated by the W Verbier’s Culinary Director, the two-star Michelin chef Sergi Arola is available to accompany the drinks.
    After you’ve warmed up inside and out, head over to the W London’s screening room and catch one of the  ski-themed movies showing, ranging from the Bond flick On Her Majesty’s Secret Service to a young Robert Redford doing all of his own skiing in Downhill Racer. And if you’re there during the last four nights of the takeover, head over to Wyld for W Verbier’s Search of a Resident DJ competition. Six DJ’s will be spinning and competing to land the gig as the W Verbier’s resident DJ. Events continue until November 9th  and are free to the public. (Words: Barbara Cole)

    For more info, visit: www.wlondon.co.uk/en/wverbier

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  9. New Post: Something you should see… Go Hard or Go Home at the Rag Factory

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/arts-culture/something-you-should-see-go-hard-or-go-home-at-the-rag-factory/

    Something you should see… Go Hard or Go Home at the Rag Factory

    For the past few weeks, Banksy has attempted to woo the good people of New York by unveiling exclusive works  around the city. Tourists and fans have been loving the residency (dubbed Better Out than In) – but the NYPD and Major Michael Bloomberg? Not so much. They shut  him down on Wednesday, reminding us that for all his fame and fortune, Banksy – along with his many successors – could easily be arrested for continuing to take the law into their own hands.  But that’s precisely why we have such an affection for these rebels with a cause: by choosing the streets as their gallery, those unsanctioned works (as divisive as they might be) have made a significant contribution to the cultural conversation  over the last 50s years, redefining the concept of fine art and the audiences who now pursue it. But what’s even more impressive  is that they’ve gone beyond their own borders to make a statement on an international scale, and it’s this fact that’s celebrated in the forthcoming Go Hard or Go Home exhibition at the Rag Factory.

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    Featuring a mix of established and new players, this show pays homage to this genre of contemporary art as well as the people who’ve proudly eschewed traditional art routes, coming from backgrounds such as rave, film, design,  fashion and of course, graffiti. The 11 artists involved were picked by J Patrick Boyle, a Bristolian artist and curator  - and he’s included infamous names such as Pure EvilSick Boy and Sweet Toof while you’ll get to see some of the exciting work  from our favourite picks Coby Walsh, an illustrator from London and South Africa’s Nicci van P.    There’s no question that these new works will be bold, innovative and further evidence of the appeal of urban art –  so like a good Banksy, catch them if you can.

    Go Hard or Go Home runs from October 31st to November 4th.  For more info, visit: www.gohardorgohome.info

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  10. New Post: TCé picks: A selection of things to do and places to go – October 2013

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/featured/tce-picks-a-selection-of-things-to-do-and-places-to-go-october-2013/

    TCé picks: A selection of things to do and places to go – October 2013 

    October, October, October – the month where we’re not only reminded of how close we are to the end of the year, but which also offers the last of the worthy happenings around town before everything starts to take a certain red and green tinge (with a whiff mixed spice). So here’s your chance to join forces with fellow bike enthusiasts, catch a flick at the LFF or salute Nelson Mandela, amongst other top things we’ve picked out. Enjoy!

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    London Bicycle Film Festival at Barbican, October 3-6th – It’s officially a decade since the Bicycle Film Festival was created to celebrate urban cycling around the world, so this year’s events are quite the milestone. The London leg kicks off with a party at Hackney Downs Studio followed by a symposium and a selection of  insightful short film screenings at the Barbican – all worth checking out, especially if you’re a lover of bike culture.

    Arts & Culture

    Mandela and De Klerk 2011 by Richard Chauke

    We Love Mandela: Art Inspired by Madiba exhibition, October 3rd – 16th – The touring exhibition of paintings, photographs, sculptures and  artefacts were created to celebrate the milestone birthdays of the South African leader and comes to London following a stint at Johannesburg’s Peacemakers museum.  It makes a brief visit, so catch it if you can.

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    BFI London Film Festival, October 9-20th  - After a run-of-the-mill summer movie season, autumn really needs to start with a bang. Thankfully, the 57th BFI London Film Festival is more than up to the task. The LFF has assembled its strongest line-up in years and  there is something for every film lover in this twelve days celebration of the magic of cinema.

    Music

    Bilal at Islington Assembly Hall, October 24th – This Philly soul singer has collaborated with some of the best in the biz (Jay-Z, Erykah Badu, Q-Tip, Robert Glasper), but has always put on a heck of a show when rolling solo.  We’re looking forward to seeing him in action when he hits North London at the end of the month.

    Eat & Drink

    PipsDish, 15 Exeter Street Covent Garden - The Islington pop-up makes a permanent home on Exeter Street in Covent Garden this month,  promising to bring something new to the table. They’ll be serving brekkie for starters, and will continue their “no-menu” tradition of offering a variety of seasonal dishes made with quality, locally-sourced ingredients.

    Best bits from last month

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