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The Jones Family Affair Restaurant opens in Covent Garden

If you are visiting a London theatre this month, why not treat yourself with a visit to an brand new modern steak restaurant and cocktail bar, situated in the heart of theatreland, just off Trafalgar Square. The Jones family have just opened their latest restaurant, The Jones Family Affair, sister to The Jones Family Kitchen in Belgravia.

Get away from the hustle and bustle of the London streets and experience great food, great drinks in a relaxed, fun atmosphere. The Jones Family Affair restaurant has 150 covers which are spread over two floors. The centre of the restaurant has a huge atrium style skylight, allowing natural light to flood in. A variety of tables and banquette seating fills the floor space surrounded by eye-catching art work and furniture.

The care and attention to the surroundings is matched by the attention to good food, The Jones Family Affair collaborates with England’s premier farmer and butcher, The Ginger Pig and Fish arrives daily from day boats in Cornwall and the South Coast through Flying Fish, who pride themselves on the highest quality and sustainability.

Photo by River Thompson

Starter dishes include Jones’ House Smoked Bacon Salad, Jones Fillet Tartare with truffle and beef dripping toast or Pan-Fried Scallops with Black Pudding.

Fish dishes include Fried Cod, with Fennel Spinach and Orange or Turbot with Leeks, Grilled Cauliflower and Mushrooms. Additional signature dishes include: Jones Chuck Burger served with slow cooked oxtail, iceberg, tomato, sesame pickle & fries, add Ginger Pig bacon & mature cheddar and Tamworth Pork Chop served with Chorizo, new potatoes, spinach, confit garlic and paprika butter, black pudding. Vegetarian options include Roasted Pumpkin with parmesan flan, lentil stuffed cabbage and cauliflower tempura.

The lunch menu also includes lighter dishes such as a Superfood Salad or ‘Everything on Toast’ including avocado, spinach and poached egg.

The Desserts menu includes Chocolate & Peanut Cream Cake, Pear Tatin, or a selection of British cheeses.

The Cocktail bar at The Jones Family Affair offers a range of modern and old classics. The innovative cocktail menu includes the strong (The Almost Old Fashioned blends both whiskey and rum), the sour (including a fluffy Saffron Sour), the bitter (the Lost Negroni has a house-blend of vermouths and bitters) and the bubbly (the Apple Bellini throws Prosecco together with apple liqueur). An extensive wine list (divided by both style and country) featuring over 30 accessible wines offered.

With so many theatres on their doorstep, The Jones Family Affair offers a pre and post theatre menu to those attending the delights of the London opera, ballet and theatre. The menu offers 2 courses £19.50 and 3 for £23.50.

The restaurant also offers a number of spaces perfect for a variety of different events from 4 to 30 people. From a business lunch or birthday party in the private dining area, which also has its own bar and street views, to small cosy living room style space for 6-8.

The Jones Family Affair Restaurant is an option if you are looking for a variety of dining experiences in a wonderful location in the heart of London’s theatreland.

Open from 12 – 12 Monday – Saturday

Jones Family Affair
40-42 William IV Street, London WC2N 4DD
020 3750 2121
reservations@jonesfamilyaffair.co.uk

Jones Family Kitchen
7-8 Eccleston Yards, Belgravia, London SW1W 9AZ
020 3929 6000
bookbelgravia@jonesfamilykitchen.co.uk

For more information, visit the Jones Family 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.
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La traviata at the Royal Opera House – 14th to 31st January 2019

La traviata,© ROH, 2016. Photograph by Tristram Kenton.

The Royal Opera presents Richard Eyre’s stunning production of Verdi’s La traviata, returning to Covent Garden for its 16th revival. First seen on the Royal Opera House main stage in 1994, the acclaimed English director’s classic production lavishly re-creates the glamour of Paris in the mid-19th century and contrasts the superficial splendour of Parisian high society with an intimate examination of the opera’s central characters.

Verdi’s La traviata is currently the most performed opera in the world and its sublime score contains some of the Italian composer’s most inspired arias, choruses and duets. Based on Alexandre Dumas fils’s successful novel and play La Dame aux camélias, the opera’s heart-breaking story traces the complex and ultimately tragic love affair between the courtesan Violetta Valéry and Alfredo Germont.

Star sopranos Ermonela Jaho and Angel Blue (in her Royal Opera debut) sing the role of Violetta, with American tenor Charles Castronovo and French tenor Benjamin Bernheim as Alfredo.

World-renowned singer Plácido Domingo performs the role of Giorgio Germont for three performances, including on 30 January 2019, when La traviata will be broadcast live in cinemas as part of the ROH Live Cinema Season.

La traviata opens at the Royal Opera House on 14 January 2019, with subsequent performances on 17, 21, 23, 24, 26, 29, 30 and 31 January 2019. On 26 January 2019 The Royal Opera presents a matinee Welcome Performance of La traviata for families who have never been to a ballet or opera at the Royal Opera House before, and tickets in the Amphitheatre for the performance on 14 January 2019 are only available to Young ROH members.

Performances

14, 17, 21, 23, 24, 26, 29, 30, 31 January 2019 at 7pm
26 January 2019 at 12 noon (Welcome Performance)

Sung in Italian with English surtitles

The Royal Opera’s La traviata will be shown in UK cinemas on 30 January 2019 with an encore screening on 3 February 2019. La traviata will also be broadcast to cinemas around the world.

For more information and tickets , visit the Royal Opera House 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

 

 

Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival 2015 – 10th May 2015

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Location : St Paul’s Church Garden, Bedford Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 9ED

The annual Covent Garden May Fayre & Puppet Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2015 and brings together Punch and Judy enthusiasts from around the country. The grand procession begins at 11am which features the Superior brass band, and ends with a birthday toast to Mr Punch next to the commemorative plaque on the church wall in the Piazza.

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The 40th Annual Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival will be celebrating Mr Punch’s 353rd birthday near the very spot that Samuel Pepys first saw Mr Punch in England in May 1662.

Mr Punch also provides mayhem in the pulpit  with a special church service at noon, and the afternoon (12.30pm-5.30pm) will be full of fun with Punch and Judy puppet shows and workshops, folk music, clowns and much more.

Admission is free.

Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival
Date: Sunday 10th May 2015
Time: 10.30am until 5.30pm

For more information, visit the Punch and Judy 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 , 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

La bohème at the Royal Opera House – 23rd May to 16th July 2015

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La bohème introduces one of the great romances of all opera, When Rodolfo, a penniless poet, meets Mimì, a seamstress, they fall passionately in love. But their happiness is threatened when Rodolfo learns that Mimì is gravely ill.

La bohème had a lukewarm reception at its premiere in 1896, but its fortunes almost immediately changed. Giacomo Puccini’s romantic depiction of bohemian Paris, with memorable music and a love story drawn from everyday life, has captivated audiences round the world, making La bohème one of the best-loved of all operas. It was first performed in Covent Garden in 1897 and has had more than 500 performances here since.

John Copley’s  1974 production, with wonderfully detailed designs by Julia Trevelyan Oman, brings Paris of the 1830s to life – everything from the lively Latin Quarter, where hawkers and traders ply their wares, to a drafty attic where impoverished artists live hand-to-mouth. Rodolfo and Mimì’s love story is given moving expression through Puccini’s score, from their first meeting in Act I (a scene which contains some of the composer’s most exquisite arias and duets) to their poignant reunion in Act IV. These moments of emotional intensity are contrasted with the colourful spectacle of the Café Momus and surrounding streets in Act II, where Puccini presents a cross-section of Parisian society in all its noise and vibrancy.

Running time

About 2 hours 55 minutes ( Including two intervals)

Language

Sung in Italian with English surtitles

For more information or to buy tickets , visit the Royal Opera House 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 , 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 Search for Quiet London – The Books of Siobhan Wall (Frances Lincoln Publishers)

qiuet london postcards

Finding a peaceful haven in a stressful city is the dream of many city dwellers, one such city dweller Siobhan Wall  turned the search for peaceful havens into a series of books. Starting with Quiet Amsterdam, then Quiet London which was followed by Quiet Paris and Quiet New York. Each book seemed to strike a chord  with her readers who may like the hustle and bustle of city life but crave a quiet corner to unwind and reflect.

Following on from the success of her early Quiet London book, recently Siobhan has written three Quiet London books that expand on the theme but look at distinct areas. Quiet London (Quiet Corners), Quiet London (Food and Drink) and Quiet London (Culture) all represent ways of finding peaceful places that often provide a sanctuary away from the stress and strains of modern city living . One misconception of the ‘Quiet ethos’ the author is quick to point out is that it is more about a determination to find a space in which values peace and quiet rather than finding empty and unused locations.

This is an important distinction because it is possible to be social in a quiet way without excessive noise, in fact it is often easier to have conversations if you are not shouting above loud music. The book suggests a surprisingly wide range of peaceful and tranquil places in London that will allow you to enjoy your surroundings. London is fortunate to have a number of parks, gardens and opens spaces, however there is also a number of alternative locations such as places of worship, churchyards and cemeteries.
Cultural institutions can offer many areas of peace and quiet, on the surface it may seem a rather strange idea that you seek peace and quiet in places whose prior aim is to attract people to their institutions but there are peaceful havens if you know where to look.

it is this last point that makes the Quiet books so useful, many people who live in London will have their favourite quiet haven which they frequent, however the books offers a wide range of quiet havens all over London.

The author stresses the importance of finding these Quiet Corners and places to breathe are not just a pleasure but a necessity for our mental health, this is especially important for children whose use of parks and woodland presents a natural balance to an increasingly digital world.
With people are finding it increasingly difficult to ‘switch off’ and increased stress levels are driving more people to mental health problems like anxiety attacks and depression, the ‘Quiet Revolution’ represents a partial antidote to this modern phenomenon.

In the book on Food and Drink,the author explores peaceful places to eat and drink which forego the modern trend of having a constant background of music. She also author recognises that the past decade has seen the principles of the ‘Slow’ Revolution especially regarding food gaining footholds in many of London’s neighbourhoods.
The Restaurant section offers quite an eclectic selection ranging from Hazuki , a small Japanese restaurant to the historic Rules restaurant in Covent Garden. But regardless of size and expense, the main criteria for inclusion they all offer the opportunity to enjoy your own company or the company of friends without the distraction of loud music or excessive noise. Finding a quiet pub or bar can represent more of a challenge but there are an increasing number who ban music and even sometimes the use of mobile phones.

Each book offers something quite different in London, an escape from the fast-moving environment and find places that allow to you can enjoy your surroundings. What the author realised sometime ago is that peace and quiet is a valuable commodity in the hustle and bustle of city life, to find places to sit and enjoy is one of the pleasures of city life. Each of these books succeeds by taking away the sometimes onerous task of finding these peaceful havens by ourselves, instead we are provided with a large number of locations and establishments for us to explore.

If you would like to buy copies of the books or even an attractive Quiet London postcard book that features photographs of many of the best sites, visit the publishers site here.

If you would like to read the our reviews of the individual books  press the appropriate link.

Quiet London (Quiet Corners)

Quiet London (Food and Drink)

Quiet London (Culture)

 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

 

 

 

 

A Short Guide to the Royal Opera House – Covent Garden

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Royal Opera House main entrance

Location – Bow St, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD

The Royal Opera House is one of the premier venues for Ballet and Opera in the UK, it is home to the Royal Opera, the Royal Ballet and the Royal Opera House Orchestra.

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Opera House and Floral Hall

It is the third theatre on the site, the previous two being destroyed by fires in 1808 and 1857. The original theatre on the site was called the Theatre Royal which was financed by John Rich who used the theatre to put on plays, it was not until 1734 that the first ballet was performed and it was a year later that Handel began to perform his opera’s in the theatre.

When the second theatre was built-in 1808 it became famous for the variety of acts that was put on, the famous clown Joseph Grimaldi headlined a number of shows and famous actors of the day played at the theatre, these included William Charles Macready and Edmund Kean.

(c) Theatre Collection; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

‘Macbeth’ at Covent Garden ,Victoria and Albert Museum, 1760s Unknown

In 1847 the theatre was renamed the Royal Italian Opera until it burnt down in 1857 and remained the name of the new theatre until 1892 when it became the Royal Opera House. During the 20th century many of the stars of Opera and Ballet appeared on the stage, although it was used for other purposes during the First and Second World War.

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Inside the Opera House

In the 1960s, the old theatre was showing its age and plans were put in place to refurbish the entire site. These improvements began in the 1980s but it was not until the 1990s that a full 215 million pound refurbishment was undertaken. Part of these changes as the acquisition of other buildings such as the Floral Hall which became part of the complex. When these changes were finished, the Royal Opera House was considered one of the finest in the world but received criticism that it was elitist and the seats were too expensive for ordinary people.

(c) Museum of London; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Covent Garden Opera House,  Raymond Wylie, 1961,Museum of London

In response to this criticism the Royal Opera House have made changes to seat pricing to allow a certain amount of cheaper tickets available. Visitors to London who wish to visit the Royal Opera House for a Ballet or Opera will find that the more popular events still have expensive seats but the less popular are more reasonable and a wider range of choices. It is also possible to have a tour of the Opera House or see rehearsals although there is generally some charge.

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Covent Garden Piazza side entrance

To look for events or buy tickets visit the Royal Opera House website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the 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

Review – Covent Garden Market

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Covent Garden

Location – Covent Garden Piazza,WC2E 8RF

Covent Garden’s name has its origins in the large kitchen garden for the Convent or Abbey of St Peter at Westminster. The size of the site meant that the Monk’s garden was a major provider of fruit and vegetables for London.

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Covent Garden Piazza and Market, London by John Collet 1771–1780 (Museum of London)

 The first record of an actual market was 1654 when traders began to operate in the new Piazza designed by Inigo Jones for the Earl of Bedford. The original market was haphazard and disorganised and in the 18th century was the centre of a disreputable area known for its vice and criminal activity. In the 19th century plans were made to clean up the area and in 1830 Charles Fowler was asked to design a building that would cover and organise the Market. Other buildings were added as the market became famous for its flowers, fruit and vegetables.

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Covent Garden Market, London by Phoebus Levin 1864 (Museum of London)

However in the 1960s, the increasing traffic was causing concern and with redevelopment out of the question a decision was made to relocate the Market on the south side of the river. The central market was then reopened as a shopping area with crafts being sold in the Apple Market, further shopping areas have been developed over the years.

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Another attraction for visitors has been the street entertainment that keeps people entertained in the market and in the Piazza outside. There is a long history of street entertainment in this area, Samuel Pepys in his diary recorded watched a Punch and Judy show here in 1662. Covent Garden has featured in a number of Films, Television and books but probably is most famous as the workplace of Eliza Doolittle in Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion which was adapted into the film My Fair Lady.

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The street entertainers have to be licensed to work in this area and are usually very entertaining, although the tradition of passing the hat around for donations gets a bit tiresome as you wander around. It can get exceptionally busy in the summer months and is the centre of an area of many theatres, pubs and restaurants. There is a range of small quirky shops and stalls but the surrounding colonnades have been taken over by large commercial enterprises including Apple, Dior and Disney shops.

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For more information visit the Covent Garden Market Website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the 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