1. New Post: Somewhere you should go… Manhattan Grill

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/eat-drink/somewhere-you-should-go-manhattan-grill/

    Somewhere you should go… Manhattan Grill

    You wouldn’t expect anything less than high-end when it comes to restaurants around Canary Wharf – and Manhattan Grill is the latest restaurant to live up to that philosophy.  It’s a steakhouse but unlike those chains you get every block around the West End, MG offers a decadent experience that runs through the interiors right down to the prime cuts of meat which is their source of pride.

    There’s a choice of Black Angus from Kansas if you want to keep things American or aged Scottish cuts that can also be matched with your pick of fabulous wines.  As for sides, these are typical but tasty US fare such as delightful  mac’n’cheese with lobster or the creamed spinach.  For dessert, the apple crumble is as lovely as can be, although you might go for their  take on a New York cheesecake.  It’s a densely rich guilt trip that tastes better with each bite and serves as the worthy encore for a lovely night out.  Expect to pay just over £100 for a 3-course meal for two with wine, so consider filing Manhattan Grill under “special occasions” –  but it  certainly won’t disappoint.

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    For more info, visit: www.manhattangrill.co.uk. Check out  more pics from our recent visit below: 

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  2. 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!)

     

  3. 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

     

  4. 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

     

  5. New Post: What we’ve been up to.. La Forchetta, CocoBamboo and Dante Fried Chicken

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/eat-drink/what-weve-been-up-to-la-forchetta-cocobamboo-and-dante-fried-chicken/

    What we’ve been up to.. La Forchetta, CocoBamboo and Dante Fried Chicken

    For all our food-filled escapades, it’s rare we’d be indulging three nights in a row – but that’s exactly what happened on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as we went Italian, Carribean/Brazilian and finally Soul Food American at a variety of spots in town you might just want to book:

    First stop, Friday : La Forchetta, Bethnal Green

    They’re not your typical Italian outlet and favour authenticity over bougie branding – so eating here on Friday night was a real treat. Portions are extremely generous too, considering the friendly pricing (desserts under £4 are a rarity nowadays) and the ambiance was cosy enough to make a good option for a date.

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    Info: www.laforchettabethnalgreenroad.co.uk

    2nd stop, Saturday: Coco Bamboo

    It’s hard to find a quality Caribbean restaurant in London that ticks all the boxes (top service, great food, decent location), but it seems this eclectic spot up North (which fuses Caribbean and Brazilian) wants to earn that title.  As our party exceeded six people Saturday night, our only option was the party menu, which gives you the choice of 2 or 3 courses featuring crab cakes, fritters, jerk chicken,  curry goat and traditional Brazilian dishes. Service was super attentive, and the dishes were beautifully presented but were a bit comme ci, comme ca for the charge (£23.50 got 3 courses) – but definitely worth considering for a night out with friends.

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    Info: www.cocobamboo.co.uk

    3rd stop, Sunday: Dante Fried Chicken at Death by Burrito

    Surprisingly, this was the first time we’ve been to DBB, but we weren’t here for the Mexican – we’d been invited to get a sneak preview of the brunch LA’s Dante Fried Chicken will be throwing this weekend, and we weren’t disappointed. Breakfast tacos, biscuits, grits-styled polenta and of course, the fried chicken were delicious – and topped off with a sweet potato pie, made this the perfect finale to a weekend of good eatin’.

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    Info: www.billetto.co.uk/en/events/dfctakeover

     

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

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

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

    The fourth month of 2013 promises aplenty in the way of festivals, parties, exhibitions and food glorious food – so forgive us if we’re feeling a little giddy about what we’ll be getting up to this April…

    Cinema

    Bird’s Eye View Film Festival: Celebrating Arab Women Filmmakers, April 3-10th – This year’s BEV will be honouring the work of women in the Arab world, offering insightful docs, film shorts, Q&As, live music and a special Fashion Loves Films programme, offering a host of parties and galas.

    Art & Culture

    Gaia: A Show of Hands at Nelly Duff, April 11th – One of the most thought-provoking street artists of our time will be presenting his first UK exhibition for one week only. The New York-born, Baltimore-based artist has built an international rep for his street murals, and this show will demonstrate his continuous fascination with hands through his unique style.

    Eat & Drink

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    Dante Fried Chicken at Death by Burrito April 11-14th – We happily chowed down at Mr Dante’s finger-lickin’ pop-up last year so pleased to hear he’s back on our shores, this time with a cookbook and an exhibition. He’ll also be joining forces with Death by Burrito for a guest chef residency, where he’ll be serving up an exclusive dinner menu and all day brunch on April 14th, to mark the final day of the show.

    Nightlife

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    The Doctor’s Orders Presents
The Doctor’s Orders 250 Featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff, The Nextmen And Rich Medina At Scala, April 13th – To mark their 250th event, the Doctor’s Orders guys are going all out to bring together some of the most celebrated DJs in hip-hop – and this is one party that won’t stop until the sun comes up.

    Art & Culture

    Pick Me Up 2013: Graphic Arts Festival at Somerset House, April 18-28th – Feast your eyes on an incredible array of illustrations and designs at this 11-day celebration of all things graphic. Highlights include workshops, creative forums and lively events every evening.

    Eat & Drink

    The Lab at Tobacco Docks, April 25-27th – The creators of the Taste of London fest are debuting a new experimental foodie weekend, featuring some of the most innovative chefs from around the world and masterclasses in experiencing food like never before.

    Best bits from last month

     

  7. New Post: Something you should see… Yinka Shonibare: POP! at the Stephen Friedman Gallery

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/arts-culture/something-you-should-see-yinka-shonibare-pop-at-the-stephen-friedman-gallery/

    Something you should see… Yinka Shonibare: POP! at the Stephen Friedman Gallery

    Yinka Shonibare is having a bit of a moment. Fresh on the heels of a major retrospective at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the Stephen Friedman Gallery is hosting a show of new works by the British-Nigerian artist. Inspired by the financial crisis, the exhibition explores the subjects of corruption, excess and debauchery. With his characteristic humour, Shonibare critiques society’s obsession with luxury goods and the behaviour of the banking industry.

    Shonibare’s lavish re-working of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper,  described as his ‘largest and most complex sculptural tableaux’,  is one of the main pieces of the exhibition. In Shonibare’s fantasy, Christ is replaced by Dionysus – the mythological God of fertility and wine – surrounded by twelve over-indulged disciples in various states of sexual abandonment. The celebration of mindless excess continues in Banker (2013), which depicts a sharply dressed mannequin simulating a lewd act with a champagne bottle.

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    Headless figures and the use of Dutch waxed fabric are common motifs in Shonibare’s work. Throughout the exhibition, the colorful Batik print is used in the tailored costumes of the figures and the cloth also appears in the installationToy Paintings. Manufactured by the Dutch, and initially for sale in Indonesia, it was only after the textile failed to take-off that it eventually made its way to West Africa. A signature of his practice for nearly two decades, Shonibare’s use of ‘African’ material  - that is actually European in origin – plays on its rather complex colonial history. The beheaded figures are an attempt by Shonibare to discourage associations with race on the part of the viewer.

    Large-scale self-portraits based on Andy Warhol’s Camouflage series of 1986, which represent new lines of enquiry for Shonibare, also deserve a mention amidst all the decadence and depravity on show. Yinka Shonibare is of course the man behind the widely acclaimed Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, commissioned for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square – and now on permanent display at the National Maritime Museum. Shonibare’s new work should resonate with audiences, losing none of its theatre, colour and style  in its witty and damning take on contemporary life. (Words: Eri Otite)

    Yinka Shonibare: POP! is on at the Stephen Friedman Gallery, from 16 March – 20 April. For more info, visit www.stephenfriedman.com

     

  8. New Post: Something you should see… Poster Art 150: London Underground’s Greatest Designs at the London Transport Museum

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/arts-culture/something-you-should-see-poster-art-150-london-undergrounds-greatest-designs-at-the-london-transport-museum/

    Something you should see… Poster Art 150: London Underground’s Greatest Designs at the London Transport Museum

    Whether you love or loathe the tube, it’s impossible to deny that the London Underground has commissioned some memorable artwork that has featured on its tunnel walls. So, as part of LU’s 150th anniversary celebrations, a new exhibition showcasing the best poster designs from the late 19th century ’til today is  on view at the London Transport Museum. The 150 posters (naturally) were selected from the Museum’s archive of over 3,000 designs by an independent panel and chosen to reflect the range of work created to advertise the Underground. However, like most things, I suspect there are some rather contentious inclusions! Visitors to the exhibition will have the opportunity to vote for the best poster on display, with the most popular one being revealed this Autumn.

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    © TfL from the London Transport Museum collection

    The show is arranged around themes that include famous London landmarks and events, to days out in the city and the countryside. Navigation of the Underground and “encouraging good behaviour on the network” are also exhibition topics. As for the posters themselves, well-known designs such as Man Ray’s Keeps London Going (1938) will feature alongside lesser-known works. Artwork from one of the most prolific and influential graphic designers of the 20th century, Edward McKnight Kauffer, is also being included. The American-born artist, whose designs referenced Cubism, Futurism and Surrealism, produced 140 posters in total for London Transport during the 20s and 30s. The last major London Underground poster retrospective was in 1963, so this is a rare chance to see the very best (arguably) of poster art produced for the world’s oldest subterranean railway. (Words: Eri Otite)

    Poster Art 150 is on at the London Transport Museum until October 1st. For more info, visit www.ltmuseum.co.uk

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    © TfL from the London Transport Museum collection

     

  9. New Post: Something you should see… Becoming Picasso: Paris 1901 at The Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/arts-culture/something-you-should-see-becoming-picasso-paris-1901-at-the-courtauld-gallery/

    Something you should see… Becoming Picasso: Paris 1901 at The Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House

    Most successful artists have a breakthrough moment in their career, when they make that leap from relative anonymity to being well-known. Pablo Picasso was no different. Becoming Picasso at the Courtauld Gallery focuses on the story of the young Spanish upstart’s breakthrough year in Paris in 1901, in which he took the French capital by storm. This exhibition brings together major paintings from his debut summer show at a gallery on rue Lafitte and explores his development as an artist during that seminal year.

    In the work produced for his Paris show, Picasso reconceived the styles and subjects of other modern painters, including Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh, to wide acclaim. This synthesis of styles can be appreciated in works such as Dwarf-Dancer and At the Moulin Rouge, both on display. Despite the success of his first solo show, in the latter part of 1901, Picasso’s artistic development took a new turn.

    3. Picasso Child with a Dove

    The iconic Child with a Dove appears as a transitional work at the Courtauld show, signaling the radical change in Picasso’s style. The painting, which expresses the fragility of childhood innocence, heralded the beginning of Picasso’s Blue period. Previous works of bright café scenes painted in brilliant colours gave way to works characterised by a monochromatic use of blue and blue-green tones. The themes during Picasso’s Blue period also became much darker and were partly influenced by the suicide of his best friend, Carlos Casagemas. Visitors to the Courtauld can view a death portrait of Casagemas and the funeral scene Evocation (The Burial of Casagemas) – in which the artist depicts the ascension of his friend’s soul. Much has been said about the barely dressed women in this painting, so I’ll leave you to your own interpretations. It’s worth pointing out that Child with a Dove could be lost to the UK, if attempts to keep it in the country fail. The painting was sold to a foreign buyer last year, so another good reason to get over to Somerset House to see it!

    Becoming Picasso is an opportunity to experience artworks that are now considered to be the earliest masterpieces from a giant of the 20th century. With capacity limited at the Courtauld, queuing may well be the order of the day – but this is a show worth standing in line for. (Words: Eri Otite)

    Becoming Picasso: Paris 1901 is on at The Courtauld Gallery until May 26. For more info, visit www.courtauld.ac.uk

     

  10. New Post: Something You Should See… Light Show, Hayward Gallery

    http://www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/arts-culture/something-you-should-see-light-show-hayward-gallery/

    Something You Should See… Light Show, Hayward Gallery

    Light. We have built pyramids to worship it, sundials to utilise it and, more recently in our relatively short homo sapien history, solar panels to harness and regenerate it. This month at Hayward Gallery, 23 artists heralding from Venezuela to Wales have been brought together for their work with this most essential of natural phenomena. Light Show showcases pivotal works from the past fifty years which investigate light, its properties and its effects.

    The artists selected for Hayward’s Light Show are those who are considered significant and progressive in their use of the medium. Some shape light, some shape space with light, some shape our perception of space with light. Alongside some of the more established and readily recognisable works (Dan Flavin’s monuments to Minimalism and James Turrell’s dazzling ganzfeld to name but two examples) the exhibition features the products of a whole range of experiments with this most intangible of media. François Morellet’s astoundingly elegant neon tubes rear northwards from the same concrete floor that is blemished with a humorous ‘splat’ shape beamed by Ceal Floyer’s bowed spotlight nearby. Carlos Cruz-Diez has created a glowing pastel paradise, Katie Paterson presents a room filled with moonlight and Olafur Eliasson presents a strobe-lighted water garden which is the pièce de résistance of the show, and really has to be seen to be believed.

    Here’s a question: what is light if not our perception of it? As Hayward director Ralph Rugoff proclaimed at the opening of the show, ‘in the world of art it takes two to tango’ – these works are about personal encounters and direct experience. Light Show is an exhibition of verbs: you can explore light, feel light, touch it, stand and bathe in it. You can even almost smell light in the heat coming off the crackling filaments in Cerith Wyn Evan’s towers and from the scorching lamps that fill Ann Veronica Janssens’ misty room with rose-coloured sunshine. Our pupils expand and contract as we move in and out of the darkened exhibition spaces, and our ears hum with the sound of projectors and mist generators.

    Move your body to Hayward and treat your eyes to this wonderland of visual stimuli as soon as possible: when word gets out about this spectacular show, the crowds will come like moths to a flame. Many of the works are interactive, and there may be queues, but let me tell you – without exception, each is worth the wait. (Words: Florence Ritter)

    Light Show at the Hayward Gallery is on until April 28th.  For more info, visit: http://ticketing.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/light-show-69759