1. New Post: Somewhere you should go… Princess Victoria’s 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).


    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


  2. New Post: TCé 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…


    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


    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.



    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


  3. New Post: Somewhere You Should Go…Vista Bar


    Somewhere You Should Go…Vista Bar

    It’s easy to think of Trafalgar Square as an area reserved for tourists and pigeons but near the museums and art galleries is The Trafalgar Hotel  which hides the beautiful Vista Bar, a stunning open air rooftop bar with views of the Square, Big Ben, London Eye and the Thames.

    As central London’s largest rooftop bar, if you’re for looking for somewhere a bit special  - perhaps for a date or celebration –  just take the lift up to the sixth floor and stop by for a drink. Fitting in with the impressive surroundings is a drinks menu which of course features champagne and cocktails (though the usual bar drinks are all available). My favourite was the Gin Mary, a Bloody Mary given an update with bacon (!) infused gin.  It gives it an extra kick that somehow works and makes you wonder why more drinks don’t have bacon added to them.

    It’s certainly not the cheapest bar in the capital but considering the location it is the perfect place if you’re looking for something special and areas can be hired making it great for a birthday celebration. As for  food, the menu is a relaxed mix of nibbly bits, salads and snacks perfect for picking and even includes caviar if you really want to go all out.

    Despite  the chilly winter months ahead,  Vista plans to cover the roof and put on extra heating for comfort, so it’ll be worth the visit – just note  it gets busy and is often used for private events – plus there’s a £5 entry charge after 4pm, though they do donate a £1 to charity.  (Words: Lucy Palmer) 


  4. New Post: Something You Should See…Heiner Goebbels’ Stifter’s Dinge, Ambika P3


    Something You Should See…Heiner Goebbels’ Stifter’s Dinge, Ambika P3

    If ever there was an organisation that had its proverbial finger firmly on the pulse of cutting edge contemporary art forms, it is commissioning body Artangel. This month, the team that brought us Roger Hiorns’ sparkling azure ex-council flat grotto and Rachel Whiteread’s full-size casting of her own House have orchestrated the delivery of another extraordinary project to the heart of subterranean London: Heiner Goebbels’ Stifter’s Dinge.

    Having travelled across the world, this remarkable ‘performative installation’ returns to its original home at Ambika P3, Marylebone Road. The massive monolithic interior of the former concrete testing facility has once again been transformed to become Goebbels’ cavernous laboratory of sound and light. Stifter’s Dinge defies definition: it is at once a theatrical performance, a visual spectacle, a musical sculpture – and yet it is none of these things exclusively.

    A towering structure blinking with LEDs supports five pianos which appear to play themselves, singing out short melodies which combine and blend with the clanking and clunking of other components in the installation. Bodies of water bubble and ripple with the reverberations of sound; a thin mist hovers across the scene. Lights flash and dance across the space, casting abstract patterns on vast gauze screens that lower themselves from the ceiling at various intervals. Phantom-like voices hauntingly play out over projected images of idealised landscape paintings. At times meditative, at times unsettling, the experience is totally mesmerizing.

    The title of the work translates as ‘Stifter’s Things’, after nineteenth-century writer Adalbert Stifter who was (in)famous for his fastidious, vividly detailed descriptions of nature: part of his attempt to close the gap between the ambiguity of language and the reality of experience. Goebbels uses similar tactics of immersion in his ‘no-man show’. The contemporary composer created this piece for instruments, not their players; and as the only human presence in the room, the audience is made to focus on the objects themselves which appear to perform autonomously.

    This is a project to experience, not one to read about. Stifter was right – sometimes language just doesn’t have the capacity to adequately describe nature (or a multi-faceted, sensory-immersive installation). Artangel never fail to deliver the cutting-edge of cool – the newest addition to their list of weird and wonderful projects is no exception and should not be missed. (Words: Florence Ritter) 

    Heiner Goebbels: Stifter’s Dinge, in its new drop-in 4 hour long format The Unguided Tour, runs until 18th November. For more info, click HERE.  A series of the original performances run between 13th-18th November.


  5. TCé picks: A selection of things to do and places to go - September 2012

    Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like the quality of interesting happenings and stuff to do in London goes up a notch come September, so if you ever wanted to check out Rent, enjoy a free fest on behalf of Bo-Jo, try  fried chicken that aint KFC or play games all weekend around the Southbank, this month might just be for you…


    Rent at Greenwich Theatre, September 5th-16th - The outstanding Tony-nominated musical (and the longest running production on Broadway) comes to the capital for a limited run. Based on Puccini’s La Bohème, it’s tells the story of creatives living in New York’s Lower East Side struggling with life, love and HIV/AIDS.

    London School of Samba

    Special Event

    The Mayor’s Thames Festival, September 8 and 9th- Boris Johnson throws his annual end-of-summer fête for Londoners which features shows, music, a carnival (and costs us absolutely nada!)

    Arts & Culture

    Everything Was Moving: Photography from the 60s and 70s at the Barbican Art Gallery, September 13th to January 13th 2013  - Have a look at over 400 rarely seen photos taken during a revolutionary era, which also coincided with the golden age of photography.  Featured photographers include Bruce Davidson, Malick Sidibé  and Li Zhensheng.


    The Hide & Seek Weekender 2012 at Southbank Centre, September 14th-16th - If you love games as much as we do, you’ll enjoy this unique weekend of playtime and performances.

    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy


    More London Free Film Festival at The Scoop, September 14th-30th - This year’s bill features Great Expectations, Senna  and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy so weather-permitting, this should be a brilliant opportunity to see some top films outdoors.

    Eat & Drink

    Wishbone fried chicken and beer at Brixton Mark, opens in September - Our mouths are watering at the idea of  this new opening, being brought to us by those guys behind the popular MeatLiquour. (Wonder if the Ludacris LP will be on rotation? Ha!)

     Best bits from last month


  6. Somewhere you should go… Poetry Slam at The Roundhouse

    If you think that poetry belongs in the days of Wordsworth, then prepare for a re-education. The Roundhouse's  event returns to air the UK's hottest contemporary talent in spoken word. There is a cash prize up for grabs, as well as the accolade of being crowned poetry slam champion - and stars of the art will be present to judge the young newcomers, including Inua Ellams, Kat Francois and the mighty grammar-man, Polarbear (pictured below). 


    Originating in the US back in the 80s, the poetry slam event draws on a variety of influences and styles. It may have all begun in a Jazz club in Chicago but performances range from Hip-Hip rap deliveries to dub poetry and unrhyming narrative formulas. The content of the performances can be anything from politicised verse to current events (could there be some olympic references in there too?). Last year Zia Ahmed took the prize and it’s not hard to see why. Since the performers will be aged between 16 and 25 the subject are likely to be more politicised than ever, just like the days of Alan Ginsberg and the beat poets. So it’s sure to be a great event at the Roundhouse - a place that always concerns itself with pushing the boundaries - and we just can’t resist that! (Words: Laura Thornley) 

    The Poetry Slam kicks off on August 15th. For more info, visit http://www.roundhouse.org.uk/whats-on/productions/roundhouse-poetry-slam-2012


    Words: Laura Thornley


  7. TCé picks: A selection of things to do and places to go - August 2012

    Oh August - how did you get here so soon? Here’s to the last of the holiday months in the capital, which promises some very cool new nights  and that massive event that goes down in West London over the bank holiday weekend that always has the best jerk chicken…


    The Love Below at Trailer Happiness, August 5th - There’s a new monthly Sunday lounge coming to Notting Hill for those cool Londoners who like their music hip, chilled and classic. It’s called The Love Below (and if you remember anything about its namesake album by Andre 3000, you’ll know you want to be here).


    No Long Ting at The Brick Box, 354 Coldharbour Lane, August 10th - Illustrious London MC Ty curates a night of music, artwork, films, DJs, food (and cheap drinks) in Brixton - and whether this is the one-off or the start of something regular, it sounds BRILLIANT.


    Street Photography Workshop, August 12th - Our sister site The Culture Club Photography Workshops wants to take you on a journey around Shoreditch where your photography skills will go up a few notches making you the envy of all your mates. One to book.

     Arts & Culture

    Bush Bazaar, Bush Theatre, until August 18th - Described as a “90 minute fantastical adventure” this pop-up theatre event brings together some of the capital’s most daring performers to perform a collection of shows that sound pretty intriguing…


    Midnight Run, August 18th - Poet Inua Ellams leads a creative, after-hours expedition around London to experience the capital in a unique way.  There’s food, games and “experiments” - and no running required - so  just try to hold out until 6am!


    Guilty Pleasures Cinema Party, August 24th and 25th -  This one’s for all the Madonna lovers out there, as the Troxy Cinema hosts a par-tay to top all partays, featuring a screening of Desperately Seeking Susan.  It’ll be a crazy, colourful  throwback to the 80s with DJs, dancers and bands (and we LOVE that).

    Eat & Drink

    Flat Iron pop-up steak and cocktail restaurant - this new foodie spot actually launched a few weeks back, but runs for six weeks only until August 28th (so thought it’d be worth a visit this month).  These guys are serving up some serious slabs of meat, so those with carnivorous tendencies should head to The Owl and Pussycat pub, pronto (Tuesday - Saturday, 6pm-10pm)

    Special Event

    Notting Hill Carnival, August 26th and 27th - there’s dozens of floats, good food and tunes, happy people (although a little overpacked - but meh); it’s Europe’s largest street festival and a brilliant way to spend the bank holiday weekend. See you there?

     Best bits from last month


  8. TCé picks: Where to watch the Olympics in London

    After years of planning, the Olympics have finally made it to London!!! We’re getting ready to party in the name of the Games,  so if you haven’t got tickets you’ll be pleased to know you can still check  out all the action at some of our favourite picks, just below:

    Outdoors options (if the weather’s still lovely!)

    London Live Victoria Park

    BT London Live: Hyde Park, Victoria Park and Trafalgar Square (from August 29th for the Paralympics Games)

    These are likely to be THE destinations of the fortnight as you can check out live coverage of the Olympic games on gigantic screens, as well as live music, Have-A-Go sports sessions and cultural attractions absolutely FREE - simply turn up and get involved (subject to capacity) or click here  to register for guaranteed entry tickets. Hyde Park will also be hosting a ticketed Opening and Closing Ceremony concert featuring Snow Patrol, Stereophonics and Blur. www.btlondonlive.com/home

    Camden beach

    Camden Beach at Roundhouse

    We’re miles away from the nearest coast, so Camden Beach at the Roundhouse is this year’s thoughtful alternative, giving you the chance to chill out with a margarita and kick back in a deckchair while casually watch the games. It’s free too ;-) www.roundhouse.org.uk/camden-beach#.UA66rI7ajOY

    London Pleasure Gardens

    Last Mile Festival at London Pleasure Gardens

    LMF are giving us live music, food, theatre, sideshows and cabaret alongside screenings of the Olympics and Paralympics. The event marks the first time the full Gardens site is open to the public, so it’s a fab option - especially for those nearish the Docklands. www.londonpleasuregardens.com

    Indoor options (in case it starts to pour)

    Kona Kai

    Kona Kai bar, Chelsea

    We checked out these guys some months ago and are loving the nod to all things Polynesian - so along with screenings of the events, look forward to hula-hooping, limbo-ing and Hawaiian dancing contests (with prizes!), and a cocktail in honour of the games. Spirit of Olympia Iced tea anyone? www.konakai.co.uk

    Carom Interior

    Carom, Soho

    This vibrant Indian bar has got an indoor summer garden and a menu of yummy cocktails to choose from as an alternative way to enjoy the games - they’ve also got four screens with the option to make a private booking if you want to watch the Olympics with just a few pals - nice! www.meza-soho.co.uk

    Yager Bar

    Yager Bar, St Pauls

    If you work around the city, you might want to head to this popular locale to check out the summer games - they’ve got Bronze, Silver and Gold packages starting from £25 which offers a viewing area, sharing platters and a round of drinks or wine.www.yager-bar.com/summer-sports.php

    The Water Poet

    Waterpoet, Spitalfields

    This East-end watering hole is not only screening the Olympics on nine screens but are hosting a massive Opening Ceremony Party with fancy dress and plenty of fun and games such as “olym-ping pong” and “olympic sized pool” (which sounds like good ole’ ping pong and pool to us, but meh). It all goes down from 6pm. www.waterpoet.co.uk

    Where are you watching the games? Let us know in the comments section


  9. Something you should do… attend a circus school

    As far as entertainment goes, there’s few things more mind-boggling to see than the circus arts - and if you’ve had to chance to check out legendary companies  like Cirque do Soleil, you’ll know why.  Death-defying stunts, dramatic tricks, fearless athleticism - it’s an incredible craft of physical endurance, and one which never fails to leave crowds both  mesmerised and inspired.

    So given the chance to learn how the pros do it best, I recently visited Aircraft Circus in Southeast London as part of the Acer U-Experience  to get a taster of basic skills. Along with Circus Space in Hoxton and Gorilla Circus in Regent’s Park,  they’re one of a few organisations in the capital enabling the general public to experience the circus world by trying it out themselves.

    Aircraft Circus

    Technical director Nick Ditton, who’s been with the company  since it started five years ago, says it’s a sport that’s becoming increasingly accessible thanks to centres like Aircraft - and what’s more, it takes the monotony out of everyday exercise, engaging the mind and body. “You can’t do these things in your average sports centre,” he adds.

    Our session starts off with a lesson in the  three ball juggling cascade - a technique which Nick says is a great  warm-up for the more physical skills we’d be learning later. We start by practicing how to catch two balls, throwing them in the direction of the “infinity” symbol (∞).

    Juggling at Air Circus

    The challenge was getting that extra ball in the mix - and confidently throwing it  to catch it with the alternative hand. My left hand just didn’t want to let that third ball go!

    We then went on to learn flying trapeze on a petit volant - a smaller version of the grand set-ups you’d find at a circus show.  We were taught the beats of a normal swing, which involved knowing when to kick your legs back to build up momentum, not hit the platform and fly higher which each swing.

    My few attempts  were tragic.  I couldn’t quite get a rhythm going, plus I nearly buckled mid-swing because I lacked the upper-body strength needed to hold myself up for long period of time - but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t fun!

    Trapezing at Air Circus

    Trapezing at Air Circus

    Finally, my favourite skill of the day was acro-balance (and maybe because I was the one being lifted, rather than doing all the lifting). That said, you still need to be coordinated and trusting of your fellow acro-balancers to pull off something like the thigh-stand pyramid (see below) - but it makes for a triumphant finish!

    Acrobalance at Air Circus

    If you’d like to give circus skills a go, sunday taster classes take place at Aircraft Circus, starting  from £35 for Adult Trapeze.  They also offer private classes, intensive courses and classes for kids.  For more info, visit http://aircraftcircus.myshopify.com.

    This experience comes courtesy of Acer UK. Check out the Acer Intel U-Experience team on our journey and discover more about the challenges at: https://www.facebook.com/AcerUK/app_329103610497351


  10. Something you should do… Rollerski

    If you ever thought about hitting the slopes in Europe one day, but might have a slight aversion to the cold (raises hands), you might want to get your head around the idea of skiing - on wheels. Rollersking is the cross-country equivalent of the sport minus the snow, and goes back as far as the 1950’s, when competitors needed an alternative way to train in the summer. Nowadays, you’ll find plenty of urbanites in Hyde Park skating pole to pole,  having fun with one of the most unique hobbies worth taking up his summer. Rollerskiing The Cultural Exposé I joined the Rollerski company on a Thursday evening for a beginners lesson - and soon found out it’s a lot harder than it looks. Once I was fitted with boots, a helmet, elbow and knee pads (which would later be my saving grace), and given a pair of poles and skis, our instructor led the small group through a series of drills and exercises - like the forward-leaning “zombie run” - just to understand how we would need to move when we put on the skis. The rollerskis themselves felt a bit awkward and on the tarmac, it was a little tricky moving along, as well as learning how to stop and turn (unsurprisingly, I fell down five times). Also, it was important that we took our time with the entire process, as it was tempting to just take to the skis and dash off, with little concept of different techniques like double poling, which would later be my favourite. Rollerskiing The Cultural Exposé Yet after two hours of skating along in different ways - one skate on, no poles, both poles, skating around in a circle, three strides and a roll - the entire group was starting to get it. Of course, we’d need a few more lessons to really get the hang of rollersking, but we definitely proved you can have with with skiing - right on our doorstep.  (Words: Matilda Egere-Cooper) For more info, visit www.rollerski.co.uk