1. New Post: What we’ve been up to… Butler’s Wharf Blackout


    What we’ve been up to… Butler’s Wharf Blackout

    If you ever wanted to experience a candelit dinner with stunning views of the Thames – with a twist, of course – then Butler’s Wharf Blackout could be the answer until September 15th. As a new addition to the capital’s annual hoorah (the Thames Festival), BWB is a collaboration with riverside restaurants Le Pont de La Tour, Cantina del Ponte, Blueprint Café and Butler’s Wharf Chophouse where they’ve all agreed to cut the lights after 8:30pm in honour of the history of the Thames (which is said to take its name from an ancient word meaning “dark water” ). But that’s not the twist; the pop-up 40-metre, 140-seat banqueting table is where we could be found on Saturday night, enjoying “swim & tonics” (G&T’s in a fishbowl bag), a delicious Crayfish & cherry tomato with basil starter from Cantina del Ponte, blackened pork with baby radish and black potato from the Blueprint Café (see what they did there?), and a kentish bramble syllabub with shortbread we could have eaten twice over from the Butler’s Wharf Chophouse. After the meal, we headed over to the pop-up bar Neon Noir to dance in the dark at the silent disco and get a load of more creative cocktails. It was the loveliest of evenings and a clever way to celebrate the river – so check out our pics below!








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  2. New Post: Win a pair of tickets to Cutty Cargo!


    Win a pair of tickets to Cutty Cargo!

    We’re so fortunate to live in one of the most innovative cities in the world – but in case you needed to be reminded of that fact, talents from music, design, art, photography and food will be brought together for one night on September 12th to celebrate the London’s blistering creativity. In homage to the way Cutty Sark whisky was smuggled into the US 90 years ago, performances will take place inside a giant reproduction of a wooden cargo crate (ah-mazing?) with the soulful Jessie Ware headlining the unique proceedings.

    jessie ware 2

    Other guests on board include DJ and producer Duke Dumont, Burlesque star Miss Polly Rae and music photographer Tom Oxley, who’ll be presenting an exhibition of “video portraits” where he captured the likes of Liam Gallagher, Jake Bugg and Azealia Banks. Then there’s the food and booze, which will come courtesy of Meat Liquor’s Yianni Papoutsis, while 1920s inspired cocktails will be served at a secret speakeasy in the crate, run by 69 Colebrooke Row.
    Finally, further artsy displays will come from The Shanty Theatre Company, It’s Nice That and design studio Flat-e, making all this sound like one heck of an amazing night out – so for your chance to win a pair a tickets, enter by doing one of the following:

    Simply ‘like’ us on Facebook, and post this on our wall:  I really, really  wanna go to Cutty Cargo! 

    Or tweet: I really, really  wanna go to Cutty Cargo! to @culturalexpose 

    The competition closes on Tuesday, September 10th  at midnight and a winner will be chosen at random. Good luck! 

    For more info about Cutty Cargo, visit www.cutty-sark.com/cutty-cargo

    Click here to read our Competition T&Cs…

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  3. New Post: Somewhere you should go… Homage to Hitchcock


    Somewhere you should go… Homage to Hitchcock

    As many already know, Alfred Hitchcock was an English film director and producer who pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. His distinctive and recognisable style gained him much success – he mastered the framing of shots that maximised anxiety, fear and empathy, which allowed audiences to be captured in his twist endings and depictions of violence, murder and crime.


    Hitchcock’s psychoanalytical themes and strong sexual overtones made him a cultural icon, along with his cameo appearances in his own films, interviews, film trailers and his television program Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

    The Portobello Film Festival will be hosting a Homage to Hitchcock day where  up and coming filmmakers celebrate the influence Hitchcock has had on the film industry with 5-15 minute short thrillers of their own. The line-up will also includes two feature length films – one called Sacrifice by Ryan Claffey, which is about a group of thieves who steal a car with 30 kilos of cocaine. The other is called Communion by Portobello favourite and past two-time prizewinner, Greg Hall about a lapsed priest and a punk girl on a deadly mission. The director will introduce the film.

    The programme will run from 6pm-10:30pm at Portobello Pop Up Cinema, 3 Acklam Road W10 5TY. For more info, visit:  www.portobellofilmfestival.com

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  4. New Post: Somewhere you should go… I Have a Dream: Architects of Our Republic at Southbank Centre


    Somewhere you should go… I Have a Dream: Architects of Our Republic at Southbank Centre

    It was on August, 28th 1963 that civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr  shared his vision for the future while marching to Washington DC to demand equality for all. 50 years on, his I Have A Dream speech remains one of the most stirring, historical moments in modern history,  especially as it would come a year before the Civil Rights Act was passed, outlawing all types of discrimination in the US.  Since then, King’s address has continued to inspire around the globe and a number of events will be held on Wednesday, August 28th to celebrate its impact on its 50th anniversary.


    The likes of Charlie Dark, Zena Edwards and Malika Booker will be part of an incredible line-up of contemporary artists who will descend on The Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall to honour the speech through spoken word, music and film.  There will also be a chance to learn protest and freedom songs at Voicelab’s Sing Freedom! workshop and sing them during a march from Jubilee Gardens to Queen’s Walk  – but the main highlight of the event will be a rare yet welcome appearance from the legendary Last Poets,  who rose to prominence during the civil rights movement.

    It’s set to be an inspiring day and evening where art celebrates history, so for more info, visit: www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/i-have-a-dream-architects-of-our-republic-78235

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  5. New Post: Somewhere you should go… the Cave of Sounds at Hack the Barbican Festival


    Somewhere you should go… the Cave of Sounds at Hack the Barbican Festival

    Instruments and me go waaaaaaaaaaaay back.  From learning to play the piano aged 7, to practicing flute scales for the bulk of my teens (and flirting with the saxaphone and guitar along to the way), I can honestly say I miss those days – not  just because I got to develop  modest musical talents, but also the camaraderie that came with playing in the school orchestra (because no matter how bad we were, we  always had a whale of a time doing it).


    So I’m loving the idea of the Cave of Sounds  - an installation where visitors will get to play bespoke instruments that have  been invented before coming together in one accord for  what could be quite the jam session – especially as it will encompass body movements and new technology.  Players will be connected through interactive floor visualisations with the aim of exploring self expression and understanding how music can be used to communicate with one another.

    The project courtesy of London artist Tim Murray-Browne and it  kicks off at the Barbican from 19-26 August.  For more info, visit: www.caveofsounds.com.

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  6. New Post: Somewhere you should go… Jazz Re:fest


    Somewhere you should go… Jazz Re:fest

    It was 10 years ago that a cool crew of jazz aficionados from West London decided to honour their beloved genre with a weekly live residency, offering a forum for likeminded fans to enjoy incredible music plus have a great night out – the ultimate win-win, really. Since then, Jazz Re:freshed has seen all sorts of jazz-inspired acts (established, homegrown, international, et. al.) bless their stage in a way that’s belied the stoic nature of the genre in the mainstream – and it’s this philosophy that has put JR in good stead over the last decade. So you can imagine they’ve got plenty to celebrate, which is why they’re marking their anniversary with a festival featuring some of those amazing bands and acts that have shown Jazz Re:freshed love at some point or other.

    Adam and Justin_sm

    For those in the know, that includes Daz-i-kue (Bugz in the Attic), Eric Lau, Nathan Haines, Vanessa Freeman (Kyoto Jazz Massive, Reel People) and the indomitable singer Vula – and if you don’t know, you’ll get your chance to on Saturday, August 24th, when they’ll be holding court at The Flyover after hours from 9pm. So come with an open mind (and your dancing shoes!) for this pre-carnival warm-up.

    For more info, visit:  www.jazzrefreshed.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/jazz-refest

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  7. New Post: What we’ve 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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  8. New Post: TCé 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.



    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!


    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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  9. New Post: Somewhere you should eat… 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 






  10. New Post: Wha we’ve 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.

    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.


    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