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Book Review : Good Things to Drink with Mr Lyan and Friends by Ryan Chetiyawardana ( Frances Lincoln Limited )

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Over the last decade, London has undergone a ‘cocktail’ revolution. The cocktail bar scene has shed off its image of being mostly the domain of five-star hotel bars to an incredible diversity of bars and drinks. Although the upmarket hotel bars still exist, modern interpretations of the speakeasy and other types of cocktail bars have proliferated all over the capital. It is not just bars that have changed, the creation and experimentation with the drinks themselves have led to London to be considered one of the best cocktail cities in the world.

One of the people behind this transformation is Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr Lyan, the man behind award-winning London bars White Lyan and Dandelyan) who has written a book entitled Good Things to Drink with Mr Lyan & Friends which seeks to take the ‘cocktail’ beyond the bars and into the home. After winning a series of awards around the world for his inventive cocktail menus, Mr Lyan uses his considerable talents to create a book that will enable us all to find our inner ‘mixologist’.

The author states Good Things to Drink with Mr Lyan & Friends is about the times when we get together friends and family and believes cocktails can make these times even more memorable. It is the social aspect that features throughout the book with sections with recommendations for different moods and occasions including Morning Buzz, Market Fresh, Summer Social Sips, Alfresco Days, Pre – Dinner, Friday Nights, Rambles, Fireside Serves, Winter Feasting and a recipe for The Perfect G & T.

However before we begin to reach for our cocktails shakers, the book offers some valuable advice on Equipment, Ingredients, Techniques and Syrups & Bitters. Mr Lyan suggests that you do not need expensive equipment but you do need practical pieces to make amazing drinks. An all metal two piece shaker is invaluable for mixing drinks but you can use a normal glass jug for a mixing glass. Equivalents for other pieces of equipment can be found around most kitchens, great expense spent on fancy glasses is also considered unnecessary. One area it is not advisable to scrimp is ingredients, the author suggests that you should always use the best ingredients you can afford.

Once you have your equipment and ingredients it is time to learn some techniques such as shaking, stirring, straining, muddling and building. To give your cocktail, a unique homemade taste, mix your own syrups and bitters for a freshness you can’t buy in the shops.

If you have followed the book so far, it is now time to create impressive drinks for any social gathering. Over 60 cocktails recipes are provided ranging from reimagined classics like Buck’s Fizz, Bellini and Mint Julep to modern creations like Deadly Nightshade, British 45 and Bloody Earnest. Each recipe is presented in a easy to understand format with a few options for variations to suit your particular taste.

This entertaining and informative book with a large number of attractive illustrations and photographs seeks to demystify the process of cocktail making indicating we do not have to be modern alchemists to make great cocktails. In many ways the book succeeds in bringing cocktails into the 21st century with ideas to incorporate the drinking of cocktails into modern lifestyles both in and outside the home.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

If you would like further information or buy a copy of the book, visit the Publishers 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

 

 

Cecilia Bartoli and Rolando Villazón at the Barbican – 18th December 2015

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Arias, duets and opera scenes by Mozart, Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti.

Cecilia Bartoli and Rolando Villazón are undoubtedly two of the finest singers of their generation. Few vocalists can boast a career as glittering as Bartoli, the mezzo whose career-long relationship with the music of Mozart has made her one of his finest interpreters, while the Mexican tenor’s own journey with the Enlightenment masters has drawn widespread critical acclaim. This evening is a rare opportunity to hear the two voices dovetail in a glorious programme of operatic duets.

Programme

Mozart Overture from Così fan tutte
Mozart ‘Si mostra la sorte’ KV 209
Mozart ‘Chi sà, chi sà, qual sia’ KV 582
Mozart ‘Fra gli amplessi in pochi’ from Così fan tutte
Rossini Overture from La cenerentola
Donizetti ‘Inosservato’; ‘Angelo casto el bel’ from Duca d’Alba
Rossini ‘Nacqui all’affanno… Non più mesta’ from La cenerentola
Donizetti ‘Una parola, o Adina’; ‘Chiedi all’aura lusinghiera’ from L’elisir d’amore
Bellini Concerto for Oboe in E flat major
Bellini ‘Torna, vezzosa Fillide’
Rossini Overture from La scala di seta
Rossini excerpts from Otello Act III;
‘Assisa a’ piè d’un salice’
‘Deh calma, o Ciel nel sonno’
‘Eccomi giunto inosservato’
‘Non arrestare il colpo’
‘Notte per me funesta’

Performers

Cecilia Bartoli Mezzo-soprano
Rolando Villazón tenor
Pier Luigi Fabretti oboe
Orchestra La Scintilla of the Zurich Opera

If you would like further information or book tickets, 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 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

A Short Guide to the National Gallery

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In April 1824 the House of Commons agreed to pay £57,000 for the picture collection of the banker John Julius Angerstein. His 38 pictures were intended to form the core of a new national collection which would be housed in a new building.
In 1831, Parliament agreed to construct the building for the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square which finally opened in 1838. The National Gallery had free admission and wished to appeal all sections of society. However its success led to calls to expand the building and subsequent wings were added in 1876, 1907, 1975 and 1991.

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Although the collections of John Julius Angerstein and Sir George Beaumont provided the bulk of the National Gallery, in 1855 the new director Sir Charles Eastlake travelled throughout Europe to purchase pictures for the collection. Within 10 years  the Gallery’s collection of Italian painting was considered  one of the best in the world.

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When the artist Joseph Mallord William Turner bequeathed over 1000 paintings, drawings and watercolours to the collection in 1856, it was  decided to exhibit British works in a separate premises. Eventually a site was found at Millbank and the Gallery opened in 1897. The new gallery was officially known the National Gallery of British Art, changing its name to the National Gallery, Millbank in 1917. The wealthy industrialist, Henry Tate, offered his collection to the nation and funded the gallery which led to the gallery later becoming known as the Tate Gallery. Therefore ironically the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square only possessed a small selection of British pictures as the majority were transferred to the Tate which up to 1955 was under the administration of the National Gallery.

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The National Gallery Collection contains over 2,300 works, including many famous works, such as van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait, Velázquez’s Rokeby Venus, Turner’s Fighting Temeraire and Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.

All major traditions of Western European painting are represented from the artists of late medieval and Renaissance Italy to the French Impressionists.
13th- to 15th-century paintings
Duccio, Uccello, van Eyck, Lippi, Mantegna, Botticelli, Dürer, Memling, Bellini
16th-century paintings
Leonardo, Cranach, Michelangelo, Raphael, Holbein, Bruegel, Bronzino, Titian, Veronese
17th-century paintings
Caravaggio, Rubens, Poussin, Van Dyck, Velázquez, Claude, Rembrandt, Cuyp, Vermeer
18th- to early 20th-century paintings
Canaletto, Goya, Turner, Constable, Ingres, Degas, Cézanne, Monet, Van Gogh

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Highlights

A Young Woman standing at a Virginal -Johannes Vermeer about 1670-2

Bacchus and Ariadne – Titian  1520-3

Bathers at Asnières – Georges Seurat  1884

Doge Leonardo Loredan – Giovanni Bellini  1501-2

Equestrian Portrait of Charles I – Anthony van Dyck  about 1637-8

Mr and Mrs Andrews – Thomas Gainsborough about 1750

Samson and Delilah – Peter Paul Rubens about 1609-10

Seaport with the Embarkation of Saint Ursula – Claude 1641

Self Portrait at the Age of 34 – Rembrandt 1640

Sunflowers – Vincent van Gogh 1888

The Ambassadors – Hans Holbein the Younger 1533

The Arnolfini Portrait – Jan van Eyck 1434

The Battle of San Romano – Paolo Uccello probably about 1438-40

The Entombment – Michelangelo about 1500-1

The Fighting Temeraire –Joseph Mallord William Turner 1839

The Hay Wain – John Constable 1821

The Madonna of the Pinks (‘La Madonna dei Garofani’) – Raphael about 1506-7

The Toilet of Venus (‘The Rokeby Venus’) – Diego Velázquez 1647-51

The Virgin of the Rocks from Panels from the S. Francesco Altarpiece, Milan

Leonardo da Vinci about 1491/2-9 and 1506-8

The Wilton Diptych – English or French (?)about 1395-9

Venus and Mars – Sandro Botticelli about 1485

Admission Free
Opening hours: Daily 10am – 6pm
Friday 10am – 9pm
The National Gallery
Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN

 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 January, 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.
To find out more visit the website
here