1. New Post: Something you should see… Confiscation Cabinets at V&A 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.


    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


  2. New Post: 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.


    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


  3. New Post: 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.

    Pure Evil

    Pure Evil

    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




  4. New Post: TCé 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!


    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.

    Arts & Culture 

    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.


    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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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