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Monthly Archives: June 2018

Great London Shopping Streets : Marylebone High Street

Although close to the West End shopping delights of Oxford and Regent Street, Marylebone High Street is a very different shopping experience.

For centuries, Marylebone High Street was the main road in the village of Marylebone and despite being subsumed by London a long time ago still maintains an urban village atmosphere. Although parts of the street have a long history, the majority of the buildings in the street today date from 1900 and have in recent times become popular with retailers who offer a more personal approach.

Marylebone High Street is largely populated by small, independent shops which cater for locals and visitors, therefore there is a Waitrose supermarket, specialist food retailers, newsagents and chemists. Dominating the top of the high street coming from Baker Street is the large Conran Shop. Originally a stable building at the north end of Marylebone High Street, The Conran Shop in Marylebone offers three floors of contemporary furnishings and designs, Sir Terence Conran was the one of the first to spot the potential of Marylebone High Street as a desirable shopping area in the late 20th century.

The district around Marylebone High Street has a large French population and the street has a number of shops that will appeal directly to this clientele including Kusmi Tea and Claudie Pierlot. Old London favourites with a French twist including Pret A Manger, Le Pain Quotidien and Patisserie Valerie all have a presence on the high street.

One of the best known shops on the street is Daunt Books which was founded by James Daunt. It traditionally specialised in travel books and in 2010 began to publish its own books. Daunt Books is relatively modern being formed in 1990 however its Marylebone High Street branch is housed in a very attractive former Edwardian bookshop with long oak galleries, generous skylights and antique prints. Part of the Daunt’s success is their friendly and knowledgeable staff and events which include talks by authors.

Other unusual shops are Fabriano Boutique Stationers, Cath Kidson Fabric shop, Cologne & Cotton Linen Shop and the fascinating Paul Rothe & Son Delicatessen in the nearby Marylebone Lane.

The nearby Harley Street is famous for its medical and dental offices, you can also visit the Wallace Collection and Wigmore Hall for a cultural fix. The area is full of cafes, restaurants, old pubs and hotels for food and drink options.

Marylebone High Street which is managed by the Howard de Walden Estate provides a distinctive shopping experience away from the crowds of the West End, its relative tranquillity allows time to explore many of the delights of Marylebone ‘Village’.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide.com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Exhibition Review – Michael Jackson: On the Wall at the National Portrait Gallery – 28 June to 21 October 2018


The National Portrait Gallery presents a new exhibition entitled Michael Jackson: On the Wall which explores how Michael Jackson has inspired some of the leading names in contemporary art. This major exhibition spanning several generations of artists across all media coincides with what would have been Michael Jackson’s 60th birthday (on August 29, 2018).

While Jackson is considered one of the most iconic cultural figures of the 20th century for his music, videos, dance, choreography and fashion, his impact on contemporary art is less well-known and is the focus for this exhibition.

The Michael Jackson: On the Wall exhibition brings together the works of over 40 artists, drawn from public and private collections around the world, some of the artists featured include : Maggi Hambling, David LaChapelle, Catherine Opie, Yan Pei Ming, Grayson Perry, Donald Urquhart, Kehinde Wiley, Andy Warhol and many more

As you enter the exhibition, visitors can see a Michael Jackson representation by Keith Waring before Kehinde Wiley’s Equestrian portrait of King Phillip ( Michael Jackson) perhaps making a statement that the ways that Kings of history and Kings of Pop are projected have some similarity.

David LaChappelle takes this worship further with Jackson featured in a number of religious poses.

A series of videos show Michael Jackson in performance which provides evidence of his innovative live shows and music. However this is only one part of why Jackson fascinates artists and the exhibition asks why so many contemporary artists have been drawn to Jackson as a subject.

One of first artists drawn to Jackson’s iconic status was Andy Warhol who created images in his famous pop art style. A room in this exhibition explores this relationship between Warhol and Jackson.

A large cut out of Mark Ryden’s Dangerous from 1991 takes visitors from one part of the exhibition to another section which includes Michael Jackson’s remarkable ‘dinner jacket’ by Michael Lee Bush and Sex and Drugs and Earthenware by Grayson Perry.

With so many portraits of Jackson, we can see how he changed his appearance dramatically over the years and how his ‘persona’ became more complex as he grew older.

Many iconic figures of the 20th century had a self-destructive streak like Marilyn Monroe and James Dean, Michael Jackson’s story was not quite so simple with a number of issues that tarnished and challenged his reputation.

It is this ‘fallen idol’ stage that often attracts artists like Maggie Hambling who captures Jackson when he was facing charges about ‘child abuse’.

This exhibition is like its subject matter, entertaining but a little bizarre, the reality of a child star who became one of the most famous musical artists in the world has often been subsumed by myth and legend. Therefore it may not be a surprise that artists often portray Jackson as a mythical figure in mythical settings.

This exhibition may be a celebration of Michael Jackson artistic endeavours but provides some evidence of the dark underbelly of fame. It is this light and dark that seems to fascinate contemporary artists and the wider public, this exhibition is likely to be very popular and it may be worth booking in advance.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information, visit the National Portrait Gallery website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide.com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Bluecoats in the City: 350 Years of Christ’s Hospital at the Museum of London – 12 July to 7 October 2018


The Museum of London presents a new display, Bluecoats in the City, which explores the story behind The City of London’s first orphanage and school, Christ’s Hospital.

In 1546, the former buildings and church of Greyfriars monastery in Newgate Street were given to the City of London for the benefit of the poor, elderly and sick. The buildings were used to establish Christ’s Hospital; founded in 1552 for the education of poor children. The School became known as the ‘Bluecoat School’ because of its distinctive uniform of navy coats and yellow stockings.

Since opening, Christ’s Hospital has now educated, lodged, fed and clothed more than 45,000 children, thanks to donations from the City of London and charitable benefactors. In 1902 the School moved from the City to the market town of Horsham. However its strong bonds to The City of London remain.

The Museum of London’s new free display, Bluecoats in the City, allows visitors a chance to discover more about the school and delves into the history behind the School’s creation, its iconic uniform, historic practices, charitable benefactors, and some of its famous pupils including Charles Lamb and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

If you would like further information, visit the Museum of London website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here

 

The Idler Festival at Fenton House in Hampstead – 13th to 15th July 2018


Photo – National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

London has many festivals, however the new Idler Festival will be promoting the concept of useless pleasure with a carefully-curated line-up of artists, wits, performers and characters.

The event with take place at Fenton House with discussions, classes, debates and performances  filling all corners of the 17th century mansion in the heart of Hampstead village, as well as its lawns, sunken rose garden and 300-year-old orchard.

Photo – National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

Some of the highlights include:

Michael Palin will be in conversation with The Idler editor, Tom Hodgkinson, on the myth of idleness.

Investigative journalists Carole Cadwalladr and Peter Jukes will discuss their remarkable partnership which broke the Cambridge Analytica story and everything that has happened since the scandal hit the headlines.

Hassan Akkad fled the conflict in Syria and filmed his escape and subsequent journey across Europe to the UK for the BBC documentary Exodus: Our Journey to Europe, becoming a BAFTA award winner in the process He will come to the festival to give a first-hand description of escaping from Syria.

Sally Phillips leads a discussion on how utilitarianism took over the world and why it should be stopped.

Could magic mushrooms be used to treat depression and are psychedelics getting respectable again? Dr Robin Carhart-Harris is the Founder and Head of the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London, where he leads brain imaging studies into the brain effects of LSD, psilocybin, MDMA and DMT. He’ll invite the festival audience into his current programme of research into magic mushrooms.

Historian Matthew Green will explore the history of the coffeehouses of 18th century London.

Murray Lachlan-Young will perform his narrative poem, The Raddlesham Mumps, the rhyming saga of a very unlucky aristocratic family and how they all came to sticky ends.

Laura Freeman will discuss The Reading Cure, the story of how she was coaxed back to health by the plum puddings, greengages, bread, blackberries and biscuits described in the books of Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf and Robert Graves, among others, after succumbing to anorexia at the age of fourteen.

Ben Moor will present Pronoun Trouble, an extremely silly and surreally brilliant lecture about lectures, which starts out by analysing the great Hunting Trilogy of Looney Tunes cartoons featuring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd in far too much detail, using Warner Bros cartoon stills throughout.

Anarchist professor, David Graeber of the LSE, discusses ‘Bullshit Jobs’, his new broadside against the work ethic.

Harry Mount will take festivalgoers on a tour of Hampstead, the best-preserved Georgian village in London, strolling its winding streets and exploring its architecture: 18th-century cottages, terraced house and villas.

Elsewhere, philosopher Edith Hall will speak on Aristotle and his praise of leisure; Fenton House’s harpsichords will be used for recitals of Chopin and Handel; and Mary Shelley’s biographer, Fiona Sampson, will tell all about the creation of Frankenstein.

The Idler magazine was founded by Tom Hodgkinson 25 years ago and the Idler Festival marks the start of celebrations of its anniversary.

The festival takes place over three days and offers numerous diversions to enjoy in a wonderful setting.

Festival Information

Times: Friday 13th – 6-9pm; Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th – 12 noon-7pm.

Venue: Fenton House and Garden, Hampstead Grove, London NW3 6SP

Travel: Fenton House is a 4-minute walk from Hampstead tube.

For more information , visit the Idler website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Sandown Park Racecourse Ladies’ Day and Summer Festival – 6th and 7th July 2018

Photo – racingfotos.com

Royal Ascot may be over for another year, however style and glamour with top class racing carries on with the Summer Festival at Sandown Park Racecourse on the 6th and 7th July 2018.

Photo – racingfotos.com

Sandown Park Racecourse invites women of all ages to dress their best for Ladies’ Day, the first day of the Summer Festival at the racecourse to win some fantastic prizes which include return flights to New York, a year’s supply of Chi Chi London dresses and £150 voucher for FeelUnique.com.

Internationally-renowned DJ Charlie Hedges will be taking to the decks for the official After Party once racing has finished to allow racegoers  to enjoy the outside bars and dance the evening away.

Photo – racingfotos.com

The second day of the Summer Festival (Saturday 7th July) sees the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse race, that attracts some of the best flat racehorses over a mile and two furlongs. It is the first opportunity for younger ‘Classic’ hopeful horses to battle it out against the older horses at the highest level.

After racing, Reggie Yates will take to the decks for the official After Party in the Parade Ring.

Sandown Park racecourse, Esher, is only 30 minutes on the train from central London and is one London’s most popular racecourses.

For more information , visit the Sandown Park website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

London Gelato Festival in Covent Garden – 23rd and 24th June 2018

The warm weather in London is good for ice cream sales and if you would like to taste some top quality ice cream then make your way to the Gelato Festival in Covent Garden’s East Piazza over the Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th June weekend.

Now in its 9th year, the Gelato Festival is the year’s most important event dedicated to the world of Italian gelato; a European competition that recognises the best Italian and international gelato​. The Gelato Festival is a festival “on the road” that from April to September which travels through Italy and the rest of Europe.

Visitors can taste a whole range of authentic flavours created by more than 16 artisanal gelato chefs and then vote for their favourites, to send the winner on to the Gelato Festival World Masters in 2021.

Visitors can also discover the secrets of gelato making in a series of educational masterclasses, demos and experiences and visit the ‘Buontalenti’, the largest mobile gelato production laboratory in the world!

The festival includes award-winning chefs, gelato masters, important and prestigious firms in the business who promote the wonderful world of Italian gelato.

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

 

Exhibition Review – Vanessa Winship: And Time Folds at the Barbican Art Gallery from 22nd June to 2nd September 2018

The Barbican Art Gallery present the first major UK solo exhibition of British contemporary photographer Vanessa Winship. The acclaimed photographer was the recipient of the prestigious Henri Cartier-Bresson Award in 2011 and this exhibition features over 150 photographs by Winship, many of which have never been seen before in the UK, as well as a collection of unseen archival material.

Vanessa Winship lived and worked in the region of the Balkans, Turkey and the Caucasus for more than a decade exploring  ideas around concepts of borders, land, memory, identity and history.

Her two major series Imagined States and Desires: A Balkan Journey (1999–2003) and Black Sea: Between Chronicle and Fiction (2002–2006) explored some of her concepts on the frontiers of Eastern Europe. Many of these areas were coming to terms with the fall of the communist states and conflicts alongside ethnic and political lines. Winship often shows that these major transitions have a considerable impact on individual’s identity and their relationship with the local landscapes.  

Another series, Sweet Nothings (2007) show portraits of school girls from Turkey, Winship’s formal portraits draws the attention to the the affectionate messages or ‘sweet nothings’ which are embroidered on their lace collar or bodice of their uniforms.

Winship’s award of Henri Cartier-Bresson Award in 2011 which enabled her to undertake a new photographic series in the United States. She dances on Jackson (2011–2012) is a series photographs made at the time of economic recession and decline of many  American industries. In similar ways to the Balkan series, these pictures show how individuals come with economic and political decline.

A similar theme is illustrated in the series Humber (2010) in which the photographer explores the area close to where she was born.

Winship goes back to Eastern Europe with her series Georgia: Seeds Carried by the Wind (2008–2010), Winship finds a country where the people are struggling to come to terms with the post-Soviet economic collapse.

To coincide with the exhibition, Winship has conceived a new photographic series, And Time Folds (2014-ongoing) which includes a number of objects and represent something of a departure from previous series.

This interesting and thought provoking exhibition explores the often the fragile nature of individual’s relationships with their landscape and wider society. Winship illustrates how much we are tied to our collective and individual histories and how conflict and ideological changes can lead to severe strains on our identities.

Vanessa Winship: And Time Folds runs at the same time as the Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing exhibition.  

A ticket gains entry to both exhibitions.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information , visit the Barbican website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here