1. New Post: What we’ve been up to… Shake Shack

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

    What we’ve been up to… Shake Shack

    For all the fanfare that surrounded the launch of this US import last month, we wanted the dust to settle before we got a whiff of the burgers, dogs and fries at Shake Shack, which has seen endless queues since opening on July 5th. So what’s the fuss?

    Well, it’s legendary status in New York has understandably peaked the interest of ex-pats and burger lovers, despite coming into an arena already heaving with every kind of burger outlet you can think of. So if you’re after a meal that will trump some of the finest in town and absolutely blow your mind, you won’t quite get that here. However, what you will get is pretty darn good meal that prides itself on freshness, in fanciful surroundings (gotta love Covent Garden!) and presented with a neatness that adds to the novelty of a fast food-cum-bougie burger bar.

    Shake Shack Covent Garden

    The Shack Burger is a simple, compact sandwich that can come as a double and is served with the softest bun we’ve ever tasted – so a definite  thumbs up for that. But we preferred the super tasty Shack-cago dog, and it’s lavish dressing of relish, onion, cucumber, pickle, tomato, sport pepper, celery salt and mustard.

    Shake Shack Covent Garden

    Add to that a side of awesome crinkle fries washed down with a shake-made lemonade and you can see why Shake Shack’s quite a fun visit as they do what they do well. But If the mains don’t woo you, the frozen custards probably will, coming plain and simple or in a range of creative flavours that change every month.

     

    Shake Shack Covent Garden

    Much has been said about the pricing at Shake Shack (which is a tad steepish for what you get), but the trade-off is a uniquely American experience with a pretty cool menu that’ll save you the plane ticket abroad.

    For more info, visit: www.shakeshack.co.uk

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

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

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

    Hands down – July is our absolute favourite month of the year because not only does the weather start to behave, but we’re  in the thick of festival season – so from foodie fests to pop extravaganzas at the Olympic Park, get ready for a fantastic four-weeks ahead…

    Arts & Culture

    Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait at the Jewish Museum, July 3-September 15th – This rare and intimate exhibition offers a unique insight into the music, style and Jewish roots of the late Camden singer, curated by her brother and sister-in-law.

    Eat & Drink

    Patty & Bun

    FEAST, July 4-7th – One of the most exciting foodie fests this capital has ever seen returns with new vendors (Flat Iron, Patty and Bun), picnics and hot air balloon flights (!). Unmissable.

    Arts & Culture

    elBulli: Ferran Adrià and The Art of Food, July 5- September 29th – This is the world’s first major retrospective based on a world-renowned chef and his ground-breaking restaurant, so expect plenty of mouth-watering images, archive footage and behind-the-scenes snaps of Ferran Adrià’s former kitchen in Cala Montjoi.

    Music

    wireless-2013

    Wireless Festival, July 12-14th – This year, Wireless heads east to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where revellers will be treated to performances from some of the best pop, hip-hop, R&B and alternative artists in the world. We can’t wait for Sunday’s line-up featuring A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z!

    Alternative

    Imago Dei Market, Spitalfields, July 20th - Local start-ups, social-enterprises and not-for-profits will be offering everything from fashion to furniture (and plenty of food!) at this unique, conscientious market.

    Arts & Culture

    Open East Festival, July 27 and 28th – To mark 12 months since the Olympics, this anniversary celebration will present an incredible line-up of entertainment, art and activities to help you re-live the spirit of the Games!

    Best bits from last month

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  3. New Post: Somewhere you should eat… Shutterbug, Rivington Place

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/eat-drink/somewhere-you-should-go-shutterbug-rivington-place/

    Somewhere you should eat… Shutterbug, Rivington Place

    Within a year, this hip and cosy creperie has made such an indelible mark in the area, you wonder how Shoreditch managed before without it. But one things for certain – they (and we) can’t get enough of it.   Shutterbug is the bar-slash-pancake house that doesn’t just offer your standard crepe with the fillings to match.  Here, we’re talking savoury buckwheat varieties with the finest ingredients (asparagus, truffle oil and fig relish just to name a few), while their red velvet crepe will no doubt be award-winning one day.  Prices are fab too (starting from £4 for a lemon and sugar) so head over this weekend for a pre or post party bite.  Check out our pics from our recent visit just below, but for more info, visit http://www.shutterbug-london.com 

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  4. New Post: Wha we’ve been up to… The Rookery, Clapham

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/eat-drink/wha-weve-been-up-to-the-rookery-clapham/

    Wha we’ve been up to… The Rookery, Clapham

    Now that the summer is on the horizon and the days are longer, life seems to be for living again. So, a trip to south London for a north London girl sounded like an exciting opportunity, rather than a daunting task. On the Southside of Clapham Common (whose size never ceases to amaze me) stands The Rookery: a relaxed spot,  exuding a kind of New York style (exposed brick, hanging cables and lightbulbs, dim lighting… you know the formula), that could be the injection of independent cool that Claphamites are looking for.

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    We started with delicious, seasonal cocktails of Rubarb and ginger prosecco cocktail, a harmonious balance of spice and tang and our helpful waiter advised on his favourites. We sampled the coronation chicken, rare beef salad and pea and mint arancini. The starters are reasonably priced at between £5-£7, and their size makes them almost suitable as a main. The rare beef salad is fresh and echoes the start of spring with its shaved raw asparagus. But it misses a kick of flavour to lift it further. The retro serving of Coronation Chicken was huge, large pieces of chicken in delicious homemade curry spiced mayonnaise; we devoured it whole-heartedly. The arancini wouldn’t fool an Italian but the mini size was fun for sharing.

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    Our mains were a Pork belly with BBQ sauce and macaroni cheese with wild garlic and Jerusalem artichokes. Both again are large dishes and slightly overwhelming. The pork belly is well-cooked, and the fat crunchy and rich. It is drenched in BBQ sauce, which isn’t for all tastes, but comes with sweet potato fries and homemade slaw. The mains range from £13.50 – £23.50, which sounds steep but the size won’t leave you feeling short-changed. The wild garlic, which is always a pleasure to spy on a menu, lifted the macaroni cheese to the next level.
    My only gripe with the experience was the slow service. The restaurant was surprisingly busy for a weekday and this seems to have taken the staff by surprise too. I was left wondering if they had enough manpower to support the obvious demand from the hungry locals. We finished on a plate of chocolate desserts, which was a great sharing option. And, considering the size of the portions, that’s all you will be able to squeeze in! The menu is eclectic and includes French, Mediterranean, Modern British and a bit of New York eatery. The dishes change by season, which should keep their regulars interested too. There is also a large seating area out front, which will no doubt be a hit when that summer does finally arrive. (Words: Laura Thornley)

    For more info, visit: www.therookeryclapham.co.uk

     

  5. New Post: Somewhere you should go… Breakin Convention 2013

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/arts-culture/somewhere-you-should-go-breakin-convention-2013/

    Somewhere you should go… Breakin Convention 2013

    10 years in existence,  Breakin Convention continues to be a celebration of Hip Hop dance – and where else could this be hosted other than Sadlers Wells? Okay, so maybe a few other places before that, but this festival is a good opportunity to see Wells become a more accessible dance establishment, open to all walk of life and ages and alive with a hip-hop inspired youth culture.

    The groups showing this year will be from around the globe including, Korea, France, Spain, and USA. For the first time the festival will have a UK only night, showcasing the latest in UK urban dance style. UK groups including Blue Boy Entertainment, ZooNation (yes! the ones from the M&S Christmas advert) and the influential Plague, who move in near flawless formation.

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    Big names such as the Electric Boogaloos from the USA will be performing, and will present the opportunity to see those moves you thought Michael Jackson invented, performed by the actual creators.

    Others to look out for include the Next Level Squad from Brooklyn, whose moves defy natural science and bring a new meaning to the saying ‘twist my rubber arm! There will also be a whole host of all-girl groups performing including Zamounda, an ultra stylish French group who have more than a few championship titles under their arm.  The festival is set to be roaring success so get your tickets fast. The festival will no doubt be a great opportunity to see how urban dance and hip-hop style has become one of the most captivating dance forms today. (Words: Laura Thornley)

    Breakin’ Convention is on May 4-6. For more info, visit: www.breakinconvention.com/events/festival 

     

  6. New Post: Somewhere you should go… The London Coffee Festival

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/arts-culture/somewhere-you-should-go-the-london-coffee-festival/

    Somewhere you should go… The London Coffee Festival

    If you have noticed some odd behaviour from your fellow citizens of late, sweating, agitation or sudden bursts of nervous energy, you may have encountered yet another victim to a growing trend consuming our nation: the love of a coffee. Gone are the days when a ceramic pot and home knitted cosy were the staple home brewing kit; a metaphorical peace offering, outstretched friendly arms, a potion to unleash your worries over- no, today we have chrome, grinding machines, switches, machinery, strong spellbinding caramel aromas… Okay, so coffee has been around and loved for a while, since 1652 to be exact, but its latest fashionable heights are growing as exponentially as its caffeine-filled legs can carry it.

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    Cue The London Coffee Festival, which will welcome 15,000 visitors over four days at the Old Truman Brewery and showcase just how refined and sophisticated coffee has become (so leave your granules at the door). Divided into ‘zones’, the latest in artisan, coffee science, roasteries, food-to-be-enjoyed-with-coffee and music-to-release-your-coffee-energy-to, gets explored. While there are a few suspect coffee chains on the attendees list (that is not in the spirit of the coffee following, methinks) there are many keen and enthusiastic artisans around as well. Look out for Ozone Coffee Roasters (NZ owned East London café) and Caravan in the True Artisan Café area (don’t miss their brunch either) and Rapha Cycle Club representing an unlikely union of bike and brew. And for a slightly different twist, The Shoreditch Grind will be serving Alfagato treats (the drunken coffee and ice-cream Italian desert) and there will no doubt be a few coffee martinis doing the rounds.

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    For us creative types, the festival will also host a Twin Peaks pop-up art exhibition – a celebration of the cult shows 20th anniversary – so don’t be surprised if you spot a pareidolia in the milk foam.

    Judging by the past years success, the festival will be an exciting look at the latest movers and shakers in the business, including the opportunity to see the UK barista championship in action. So if you are partial to the mighty coffee bean, wild caffeine-charged horses shouldn’t keep you away. (Words: Laura Thornley)

    The London Coffee Festival takes place from April 25-28th. For more info, visit: www.londoncoffeefestival.com

     

  7. New Post: What we’ve been up to… cheering at the London Marathon 2013

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/special-features/reviews/what-weve-been-up-to-cheering-at-the-london-marathon-2013/

    What we’ve been up to… cheering at the London Marathon 2013

    In light of last week’s Boston bombings, this year’s London Marathon took on a whole new meaning, giving runners  in the capital an opportunity to  show solidarity to remember those affected.  A 30 second silence was held at the start of the race, before  36,000 runners began the 26.2 mile challenge, watched by a reported 700,000 spectators (a record!) who lined the streets at various points along the course.  As a member of Run Dem Crew, I made  a beeline for Mile 21 – between Westferry and Limehouse –  where “cheerdemcrew” members set up camp to support everyone who hit this milestone.  With great weather and plenty of amusing costumes to spot, it was a joyous occasion, so check out some of the pics from the day, just below:

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  8. New Post: What we’ve been up to… Lazybones

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

    What we’ve been up to… Lazybones

    They’ve been open for just over a month, but from our recent visit it’s easy to see how Lazybones could soon become the hottest spot for American food in the City. From the trendy decor to the quirky ambience – and that DIY popcorn seasoning bar (you gotta see it to believe it), this American cocktail bar and diner hasn’t missed a trick in impressing the locals – and unlike those outlets that go for style first, menu second, the food on offer is exceptionally good and slow cooked to perfection.

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    As they’re all about slow cooked meats and messy eats, we went for the sweet and spicy chicken wings (massive and juicy), the New York hot dog (as awesome as the real deal) and the extremely flavoursome brisket chilli and crushed guacamole, which just about left us room to tuck into the homemade brownie which comes with cornish ice cream.  And the pricing for everything averaged at a more than comfortable £30 for two people (not including drinks).

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    It was a shame we didn’t manage to try the craft beers and pulled pork which we’ve heard amazing things about – but from our first impression, this is just two more reasons to give Lazybones another visit (hopefully sooner than later).

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    For more info, visit: www.lazybones.uk.com

     

  9. New Post: Enjoy Priceless Theatre with Mastercard

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/sponsored/enjoy-priceless-theatre-with-mastercard/

    Enjoy Priceless Theatre with Mastercard

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    You know, we know it: London’s Theatre scene ROCKS – and from the forthcoming shows we’ve got our sights on such as To Kill A Mockingbird  and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to the long runners we haven’t seen yet  ( *cough*The Lion King, Billy Elliot, The Woman In Black, Chicago *cough*), we know that the West End always delivers, making us even more proud of this good city.   It’s also why we’re liking the latest we’re hearing from Priceless London – the programme which has been hooking up Mastercard customers with Priceless Moments in the capital in the most remarkable ways.  They’re now offering theatre fans the chance join the casts of three of the biggest musicals in the world on stage: so if the idea of participating in a backstage tour and photoshoot with the Wicked cast or joining the dress rehearsals of Les Miserables and We Will Rock You sounds good, read on.

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    This once in a lifetime opportunity also includes pre and post dinner,  and as they’re all Olivier Award winners, you’ll then get the chance to live it up at the 37th Olivier Awards.  As the headline sponsors of this year’s ceremony, MasterCard will give two winners the chance to walk the red carpet, rub shoulders with the biggest stars in theatre including hosts Sheridan Smith and Hugh Bonneville, enjoy the ceremony itself, dine at a Michelin starred restaurant, head to the afterparty and  stay in  luxury digs. Four friends and/or family will get a look in too, letting you share the experience with loved ones.  Fabulous, right?  Well you only have until April 22nd to get involved, so visit  www.pricelesslondon.co.uk for more unforgettable experiences.  Mastercard Customers can register by visiting  www.pricelesstheatre.co.uk.

    Sponsored Post 

     

  10. New Post: Something you should see… Claire Aho: Studio Works at The Photographers’ Gallery

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/arts-culture/something-you-should-see-claire-aho-studio-works-at-the-photographers-gallery/

    Something you should see… Claire Aho: Studio Works at The Photographers’ Gallery

    Artist Claire Aho began her career as a photographer during a time when men dominated the industry. A cultural icon in her native Finland, British audiences now have the chance to see the images that made Aho’s name at London’s Photographers’ Gallery. The exhibition concentrates on Aho’s career from 1950 to 1970 – a period where her use of colour and inventive style made her a leading name in the world of advertising, editorial and fashion photography. Studio Works is the first solo exhibition of Aho’s work in the UK and will include the original Finnish lifestyle magazines featuring Aho’s cover pictures, as well as images from her archive.

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    Considered a pioneer of Finnish colour photography, Aho started her career in film before establishing her own commercial studio in the 1950s. Aho’s photographs from this era depicted domestic life around Finland and many of these images will be on view. Aho’s pictures are saturated with colour and contrasting palettes usually appear side by side. It was the quality of Aho’s colour photography that created a commercial demand for her services across a range of industries. If colour is thematic in the work of Aho, so is humour and audiences will definitely get a sense of that at the show. Photographs such as Compressor Refrigerator, which depicts a children’s tea party wouldn’t feel out of place in a current ad run for Ikea. The fun and playful quality that underscores much of Aho’s images at the show should connect with audiences.

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    Claire Aho says she never saw her work as pioneering during the 1950s, she ‘just worked hard’. But you need only watch the travails of Peggy Olson from the fictional show Mad Men to realise just how hard that must have been. (Words: Eri Otite)

    Claire Aho: Studio Works is on at The Photographers’ Gallery, from 19 April -21 July. For more info, visit www.thephotographersgallery.org.uk