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Monthly Archives: July 2018

Buckingham Palace Family Festival Weekend – 4th to 5th August 2018

On Saturday, 4 and Sunday, 5 August, a two-day Family Festival at Buckingham Palace, the Royal Mews and The Queen’s Gallery will be packed with drop-in activities for children, from arts and crafts activities and dance workshops to storytelling sessions and dressing up opportunities.

For the first time, visitors to the Family Festival will have the chance to join special Garden Storytelling Adventure tours and discover the fascinating stories hidden around every corner of the famous Buckingham Palace garden.

In the Palace’s Family Pavilion, activities are inspired by Turquoise Mountain, one of the three charities founded by HRH The Prince of Wales.  Turquoise Mountain is based in Afghanistan, where kite flying is a famous children’s pastime, and children will have the opportunity to create and decorate their own colourful kites to take home and fly.

The Family Pavilion is also full of activities exploring the working life of Buckingham Palace, including a quiet area with books, colouring sheets and listening stations, and a soft-play area for under-fives.  Children of all ages can try on the uniform of The Queen’s Guards or dress up as princes and princesses and pose on a recreation of the Palace’s famous balcony.

Families visiting the Royal Mews will see the Ascot Landau carriage that transported TRH The Duke and Duchess of Sussex through the streets of Windsor after their wedding ceremony in May 2018, which is on display for the summer period.  Children will also be able to meet some of the royal horses that live at the Mews.  Drop-in activities throughout the weekend will include storytelling and arts and crafts sessions, and opportunities for children to dress up as a footman in specially created livery, learn how to harness a horse, and find out what it really feels like to ride in a royal carriage.

Activities at The Queen’s Gallery are inspired by the exhibition Splendours of the Subcontinent, which will form a glittering backdrop for Indian dance workshops with the South Asian dance company Akademi.  Families can try on sparkling pieces of replica Indian jewellery, before creating their own decorative motifs using sticky gems, sequins and gold ribbon.

Families visiting all three venues with a combined Royal Day Out ticket will have the chance to enter a competition to win a cuddly corgi.

The Buckingham Palace Family Festival is at Buckingham Palace, the Royal Mews and The Queen’s Gallery on Saturday, 4 and Sunday, 5 August, 11:00 – 15:00.

For more information or book tickets, visit the Royal Collection website here

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Since our launch in  2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
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Review: Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle in London – 28th July 2018

This weekend, cyclists take over the streets of London with the sixth edition of Prudential RideLondon which is considered the world’s greatest festival of cycling. Over the weekend of 28-29 July 2018, there will be a large number of events all over the capital.

Like the London Marathon, there is the excitement of watching the world’s best professional cyclists race in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic and Prudential RideLondon Classique. However, amateur cyclists can participate in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 – a 100-mile challenge on the same closed roads as the professionals or they can ride the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46 – a 46-mile sportive created specifically for newer and also younger cyclists.

The weekend started off more sedately with Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle which offers riders a wonderful opportunity to experience the fun and freedom of cycling on traffic-free roads in central London.

The event showcases the capital as part of a festival of cycling with the route open from 09:00-16:00 and takes in the Strand and Lincoln’s Inn Fields and returns to the Victoria Embankment, taking in a section of the newly opened East-West Cycle Superhighway (CS3).

The eight-mile circuit passes iconic London landmarks including Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Bank of England and again goes south of the river with a loop over Waterloo Bridge, offering views of London.

More than 70,000 cyclists enjoyed the traffic-free roads of central London in 2017 and it is expected this year will see even more cyclists along the route.

If riders want to take a break from the cycling, there is plenty of entertainment at the Festival Zones in Southbank, Guildhall Yard, Leadenhall Market, St Paul’s Churchyard, Aldwych, Lincoln’s Inn Fields and Green Park. At the zones there are a wide range of bike-based entertainment and activities throughout the day.

In Green Park, top stunt rider Andrei Burton and his world class team of male and female champions take on the world championship standard course which includes a series of replica iconic buildings as obstacles.

Interest in cycling has grown and grown in the last decade and the Prudential RideLondon is a great festival of cycling with a large number of events and attractions. Like the London Marathon there is something for everyone and is a wonderful day out for everyone especially families.

For more information , visit the Event 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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GO! Organic Festival at Battersea Park – 8th and 9th September 2018

GO! Organic will become one of London’s new summer festivals celebrating the very best in organic, sustainability and healthy lifestyles. Over the few years, there has been great interest in organic, natural and healthy food and beauty products with consumers becoming more aware and interested in what goes into their meals, drinks and other products.

The GO! Organic Festival will provide an ideal opportunity to find out about the organic movement with over 100 natural product traders offering products to sample and buy. Visitors to the festival will be able to speak directly with producers and traders and hear first-hand exactly where all of the ingredients in their products have come from.

The festival will bring together a star studded line up in the Organic Kitchen including celebrity chefs like Theo Randall, Jay Morjaria, Arthur Potts Dawson, Emily Watkins, Melissa Hemsley, Gelf Alderson, Rosie Birkett and Christine Bailey.

The Natural Talks Theatre will include talks from Jonathan Dimbleby, Natalie Fee, Simon King, Janey Lee Grace, Chris Collins, Helen Browning, Marion Mackonochie and Katie Pande.

There are a number bands lined up the festival and the kids will be entertained by CBeebies legends Andy Day and Mr Bloom.

Other highlights include Go Organic Beer festival, children’s entertainers; feature areas like Meet The Farmer and the Clearspring Japanese Garden; Abel & Cole’s picnic area; circus acts; free fair rides; a children’s farm; hands-on workshops; bug hunts and much more.

Discounted advance tickets can be purchased via the website, with tickets for adults priced at £26.

For more information , visit the Event 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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Videogames: Design/ Play/ Disrupt at the Victoria and Albert Museum – 8th September 2018 to 24th February 2019


Arcade Backpack, UCLA Games Lab (Photo by Robin Baumgarten)

The V&A explores the world of videogames with an exhibition entitled Videogames: Design/ Play/ Disrupt. In one of the first exhibitions of its kind,  it will consider how contemporary designers, players and critics are pushing boundaries in playful and radical new ways. The exhibition will take visitors into the creative process of developing games such as The Last of Us to Kentucky Route Zero, including original prototypes, early character designs and notebooks, will be shown alongside cultural inspiration from a Magritte painting to a viral cat video.

Winterfell, Westeroscraft. © Minecraft

From blockbuster titles produced by leading studios such as Splatoon from Nintendo, to independents such as Journey by thatgamecompany, the exhibition will show the craft and skill of creating ground-breaking videogame design. These examples will be presented alongside large-scale immersive multimedia and interactive installations from Minecraft to League of Legends and investigations of the social and political issues in the field, offering an insight into the design process, community and culture of videogames.

League of Legends, Worlds 2017. Riot Games.

The exhibition will explore videogame design since the mid-2000s, when major technological advancements, such as increased access to broadband, social media and newly available means of making, transformed the way games are designed, discussed and played. With at least 2.2 billion players worldwide, the reach and range of gaming will be examined within creative online player communities who modify games and create fan art; spectators and competitive performers at large scale esports stadium events and surprising spaces of the niche DIY arcade scene.

No Man’s Sky – ™/© 2016 Hello Games Ltd. Developed by Hello Games Ltd. All rights reserved

The exhibition celebrates the imagination and collaborative creativity shown by videogames players in real and virtual communities, transcending the role of the designer to democratise design on a vast scale. The double-height exhibition space in this section will feature a dramatic and immersive installation that explores the role of the player as co-creator. This will show the astonishing feats of engineering and construction undertaken in Minecraft from the recreation of the continent of Westeros in Game of Thrones to the mass spectacle of esports tournaments such as League of Legends World Championships. There will be examples of fan art and cosplay created by enthusiasts who interpret the medium in their own style and create costumes and accessories to represent themselves, or even their pets as characters.

The V&A actively collects digital design and is expanding its collection and explores how videogames as digital objects can be preserved and exhibited.

Videogames: Design/ Play/ Disrupt will run from 8 September 2018 – 24 February 2019 at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

For more information , visit the V & A 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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Display Review: Prince and Patron at the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace – 21st July to 30th September 2018


Each year, Buckingham Palace opens its doors to visitors to explore The State Rooms at the palace. This year there is a special display of over 100 works of art personally selected by The Prince of Wales to mark His Royal Highness’s 70th birthday year.

The display entitled Prince & Patron presents a wide range of paintings, decorative arts, works on paper, furniture and textiles from the Royal Collection and the work of artists supported by three of The Prince’s charities – The Royal Drawing School, The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts and Turquoise Mountain.

The display reflects the Prince of Wales life-long passion for art and his passion for promoting the creation and understanding of art. The Prince’s interest in art developed while growing up surrounded by the Royal Collection and for this display he has selected a number of works from the collection including 16th-century portrait drawings by Hans Holbein the Younger; Georges de la Tour’s painting Saint Jerome, c.1621–23; and a tiger’s head in gold and rock crystal (1785–93) from the throne of Tipu Sultan, ruler of Mysore in India.

Other highlights of the display include Napoleon’s cloak, Landseer’s portrait of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, an early 18th century Italian Bureau cabinet, Bassano’s The Adoration of the Shepherds and Zoffany’s The Tribuna of the Uffizi.

On a more personal level, the display includes two oil sketches of The Prince and The Duchess of Cornwall by Eileen Hogan, sketches of Prince William and Prince Harry, a triple portrait of the Prince of Wales by Susan Crawford, paintings of the Queen and Queen Mother by Michael Noakes and two watercolours of Balmoral painted by the Prince of Wales.

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain in 2010, The Prince commissioned a series of drawings of veterans by alumni and faculty members of The Royal Drawing School. Four drawings from The Last of the Few series are included in the display.

The Prince of Wales is a strong advocate for the promotion of artistry and craftsmanship and selected recently visited the final degree show of The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts and selected Hannah Rose Thomas’s three portraits of Yezidi women for the Prince & Patron exhibition.

The display celebrates the Prince’s interest in  Eastern and Arabic art with a number of works in various media, the most spectacular is located in the centre of the Palace’s Ball Supper Room, it is a striking 2.3-metre-high cedar wood pavilion created by classical carver Naseer Yasna (Mansouri) and the woodwork team at Turquoise Mountain. The pavilion’s intricate carvings draw on the rich heritage of Afghan design and demonstrate how the charity is reviving traditional skills in historic communities.

This fascinating and eclectic display provides some insight into the personality of the Prince of Wales in his 70th birthday year, a constant theme is his admiration for high quality workmanship both in this country and around the world. The display is a strange mix of public and private which perhaps illustrates the pleasures and difficulties of trying to maintain some normality being surrounded by artistic treasures and public attention. Many of the works have been commissioned by the Prince or produced by artists supported by three of The Prince’s charities, this role of patron is a lesser known aspect of the Prince’s work which perhaps deserves wider recognition.

Prince & Patron is part of a visit to the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, 21 July – 30 September 2018.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information or book tickets, visit the Royal Collection 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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Mantegna and Bellini at the National Gallery – 1st October 2018 to 27th January 2019

In autumn 2018, the National Gallery will present a tale of two artists, their families and their cities; an interlinked story of art, family, rivalry, marriage, pragmatism, and personality – Mantegna and Bellini.

This exhibition is the first ever devoted to the relationship between two of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance: Giovanni Bellini (active about 1459–1516) and Andrea Mantegna (1430/1–1506). Through exceptionally rare loans of paintings, drawings, and sculpture, travelling to London from across the world, Mantegna and Bellini offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compare the work of these two important artists who also happened to be brothers-in-law.

Neither’s career or artistic development would have existed without the other, and without these works imbued with their creativity and innovation, Renaissance art, by the likes of Titian, Correggio, and Veronese, would not exist as it does today.

The son of a carpenter, Andrea Mantegna was a self-made man. In 1453 the prodigiously talented young painter from Padua, married into the greatest artistic family of nearby Venice – the Bellini. Mantegna’s new brother-in-law, Giovanni Bellini, was also a gifted artist who was bringing new innovations to the Venetian use of colour, observed light, atmosphere, and landscape to create an entirely new form of art. Their admiration and respect were mutual.

For seven years Mantegna and Bellini worked in close creative dialogue – something visitors to the exhibition will be able to observe at first hand through key groupings of subjects both artists portrayed. Inspired by each other’s example, they both experimented and worked in ways they were not entirely comfortable with in order to hone their artistic skills and identities. While Mantegna exemplified the intellectual artist, Bellini was the archetypal landscape painter, the first to use the natural world to convey emotion.

In 1460, Mantegna decided to pursue his own artistic path and moved to Mantua, where he occupied the post of court painter to the ruling Gonzaga family until his death in 1506. Bellini, who died 10 years after Mantegna, spent his entire career in Republican Venice.  Despite the distance between them, their creative exchange continued throughout their long lives. Each artist continued to scale new heights in skill and ingenuity but remained forever shaped by their time together and by the knowledge of the other’s work and achievements.

At the core of the exhibition are two historic juxtapositions of Mantegna and Bellini’s work: depictions of The Agony in the Garden, (Mantegna’s about 1458-60, Bellini’s’ about 1465) which have hung side by side in the National Gallery since the late 19th century, as well as two paintings of The Presentation of Christ to the Temple (Mantegna’s version of which is in the Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin) and Bellini’s in the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice).

For more information, visit the National 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 attract 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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Smithfield 150 on 25th and 26th August 2018


Culture Mile will celebrate August Bank Holiday with two day festival thanks to St Bartholomew. Smithfield 150 will revive the spirit of medieval festival, a forerunner for the annual public holiday

The free festival will be curated by the Museum of London and inspired by the medieval extravaganza Bartholomew’s Fair, the festival will take over the markets and surrounding Smithfield streets to celebrate the market’s 150th anniversary. The original fair, which took place over three days and celebrated St Bartholomew’s Feast Day on 24th August each year, became one of London’s most famous holidays, and is considered a forerunner for the August Bank Holiday we know today.

Smithfield 150 invites the whole of London to celebrate the history and people that make Smithfield such a special area with a jam-packed programme of music, food, performance and entertainment for all the family. On Saturday 25 August, visitors will enjoy London’s Biggest Birthday Party which will include a special area for families with under 5s, massive party games, party food galore, fun fairs and lots of surprises along the way.

Sunday 26 August will celebrate the great tradition of the Sunday Lunch, with the best of the surrounding market’s produce sharing food from around the world. Take part in a giant communal feast, listen to live music, bring the kids to a pop-up roller skating disco, or join in with the choir for a mass sing-a-long.

One hundred and fifty years ago the newly redesigned Smithfield meat market, which is owned and managed by the City of London Corporation, was officially opened after years of redevelopment. Designed by acclaimed architect Sir Horace Jones, the new market was the talk of London, and restored the market’s position in the heart of the bustling City.

 Culture Mile, which was launched last July, is an ambitious and transformational initiative that will create a vibrant cultural area in the north-west corner of the City over the next 10 to 15 years. Stretching just under a mile from Farringdon to Moorgate, Culture Mile will have creative exchange, cultural collaboration and learning at its core in an area where 2,000 years of history collide with the world’s best in culture.

For more information, visit the Smithfield 150 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