Category: LONDON

Why you’re due a visit to Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle

If wedding dresses and renowned designers are in your wheelhouse, then news of Princess Beatrice’s wedding dress available at Windsor Castle is just what you need. The dress is well-and-truly steeped in history and tradition, having been designed by the renowned British fashion designer Sir Norman Hartnell, the dress was loaned to Her Royal Highness by Her Majesty The Queen for her wedding to Mr Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi on 17 July 2020. It is made of ivory peau de soie taffeta, and the skirt is trimmed with a band of ivory duchesse satin. The dress is an example of Hartnell’s signature crinoline silhouette and love of embellishment, as seen in the geometric hand embroidery in crystals and diamantés over the bodice, waist and hips. And that’s not even the half of it; with an entire life story all its own, the dress is only one of the most exciting things to see at the famed palace, open all year. Book tickets and make your plans to visit at the Windsor Castle website.

National Gallery London: Artemisia Gentileschi is back with more

Artemisia Gentileschi

The National Gallery London first announced the display of some work by the famed Italian female artist, Artemisia back in 2019 and now, she’s back again. At a time when female artists were not easily accepted, Artemisia Gentileschi was exceptional. Her career spanned more than 40 years and she gained fame and admiration across Europe, counting leading rulers among her patrons. She was the first woman to gain membership to the artists’ academy in Florence.  Although Artemisia was greatly admired during her lifetime, she was essentially rediscovered in the 20th century. Certain elements of her biography – particularly her rape as a young woman and the torture she endured during the trial that followed – have sometimes overshadowed discussions about her artistic achievements, but today she is recognised as one of the most gifted painters of the Italian Baroque period. Her art and life continue to inspire novels, films, documentaries, musical and theatrical productions. The earliest work in the exhibition will be her first signed and dated work, Susannah and the Elders (1610, Kunstsammlungen Graf von Schönborn, Pommersfelden) painted when she was just 17. Artemisia returned to this subject throughout her career, approaching its story afresh with each retelling, and her last-known painting, of the same subject, dating from 42 years later, will also be included in the exhibition (Susannah and the Elders, 1652, Polo Museale dell’Emilia Romagna, Collezioni della Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna). Arranged chronologically and complete with supporting texts, documents and other gathered works, the exhibition is not one to miss. Book in advance at the… Read More

Queen Elizabeth opens her doors again: Visit the official royal residences

Buckingham Palace Royal Collection

If Monarchy is your thing and taking a peek behind the walls of how they live is on your list of UK ‘must dos’, then get excited, because the Royal Collection Trust has some good news. The official residences of Her Majesty The Queen will reopen to the public from Thursday 23 July! After the good news about the UKs reversing of lockdown was released, the RCT has been ready to go with throwing open the doors to some prized locations, like: Windsor Castle the Palace of Holyroodhouse the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, and The Queen’s Galleries in London and Edinburgh You’ll need to wear masks and adhere to the Covid-19 rules as you peruse collections, peek behind doors and enjoy exhibitions, like: George IV: Art & Spectacle, which explores the life and collecting of arguably the most magnificent, and certainly the most flamboyant of British monarchs. Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace, 11 December 2020 – February 2022, which brings together some of the most important paintings in the Royal Collection from the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace. As well as Japan: Courts and Culture, originally due to open in June 2020, is now expected to open in Spring 2022 For more of what’s on and to buy tickets to the spaces, visit the RCT website here from 8 July.

The best of British summer: London’s Kew Gardens are open again

Princess of Wales Consevatory

From Saturday 4 July, Kew Gardens’ world-famous glasshouses will open their doors once more and welcome visitors to step inside and explore the botanical treasures hidden within. Highlights include the Palm House, Temperate House, Waterlily House and the Princess of Wales Conservatory. Even The Hive will open; the one famous for its recreation of life inside a beehive. Limited routes and one-way systems will be in operation, of course, but you’ll still enjoy woodland walks and spectacular meadows at their best this time of year. For more, head to the Kew Gardens’ website. Images courtesy, RBG Kew.

National Gallery London is one of the first reopening after Coronavirus after 4 July

National Gallery London Titian

The National Gallery of London is one of the first galleries opening its doors again after the Covid-19 pandemic from 8 July. Most establishments won’t reopen, except the Royal Academy’s plans on Tuesday, reopening from 9 July, with face masks compulsory. The Barbican gallery will open on 13 July while the Tate’s four venues won’t reopen their doors until 27 July. All this comes with the new need to register for tickets prior to a visit – yes, to free exhibits, as well – in addition to an enforced one-way direction and face masks recommended. Either way you look at it, it’s a blessing the galleries will reopen, especially the National Gallery, whose Titian exhibition will be available for guests to see after it was cut short by government lock down rules. Head to the National Gallery’s website to book a slot.

London’s Barbican is reopening after Coronavirus!


From 13 July, you’ll be able to return to London’s most central arts and entertainment precinct, the Barbican! From then, its Art Gallery and Conservatory will be open, followed by The Curve on Tuesday 11 August 2020. In line with government guidelines, new safety measures will be in place including operating at reduced capacity, timed entry slots to ensure a safe flow of visitors through the space, and tickets needing to be booked online at in advance of a visit.  The reopening programme includes critically acclaimed exhibition Masculinities: Liberation through Photography; epic new installation A Countervailing Theory by artist Toyin Ojih Odutola; and the chance to explore the Barbican Conservatory.  See more at the Barbican website and plan your visit! Usual safety measures are in place when the Barbican reopens will include social distancing, limited visitor capacity, one-way routes through the building, sanitisation points and regular cleaning.

London: Get your drinks and cocktails delivered during lockdown

Drinks drinking cheers

There’s not much to do during Covid-19 lockdown than eat, sleep, drink, repeat. So, why not do it in style? Here are four top options in London when it comes to ordering your favourites right to you, making your proclivities a lot more enjoyable. Read on… Double Dutch Producer of award-winning premium tonics and mixers, they’re pumping out Summer Spritz Packs, Isolation packs, Family Fun and Virtual Party packs, perfect for quarantine. They include everything from hand sanitiser and games to spirits and Double Dutch mixers for making the perfect G&T at home! Learn more about it here Moore House Cocktail Company  Bringing the bar to you, Moore House Cocktail Company is serving-up single 100ml bottle servings from £8.50 or 250ml bottles, easily providing three cocktails, from £16. All you need is your favourite glass, ice, shaker, and garnish. See more at their website Hattingley Valley Get your hands on the latest Hattingley 2019 Vintage Rosé, the brand’s first premium still wine. Furthermore, for a special drinks delivery and to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Hattingley Valley, the winey has launched a special mixed case of wines for £127.80, including a 40% birthday discount. Find more at the Hattingley website Mariage Frères teas No one said drinks have to always be alcoholic. The iconic French tea emporium located in the heart of Covent Garden is ensuring customers can still get their favourite teas via the online shop while its doors are closed. See more on their website

The spice tailor butter chicken: an Indian classic

The spice tailor butter chicken

The Spice Tailor of London is a magician with spices and delicious dishes. The king of Indian (restaurant) curries, butter chicken is a velvety, tomato-based curry with little nuggets of lightly charred tandoori chicken hiding in its creamy depths. I have so many memories of eating this dish that i think we must have ordered it every time we went to an Indian restaurant! My two Delhi favourites were served at Moti Mahal and The Embassy and, later, the restaurant at The Park Royal where I spent some time learning in the kitchen. The recipe does have a few steps, and you can cheat by buying ready-made tandoori chicken or pastes, but it won’t be as good or as satisfying. This sauce has a lot of tomatoes, so the end product will depend on how sweet or sour the tomatoes are. You will need to taste and adjust the final dish as necessary, adding more or less sugar depending on how tart or sweet the sauce is. Serve with Naan or Paratha for a delicious and satisfying meal.  Ingredients For the tandoori-style chicken pieces: For the chicken: 6 skinned, bone-in chicken joints, cooked as for Tandoori-style Chicken, but cook for 18 minutes(for original Tandoori-style Chicken when not cooking for butter chicken, cook for 20 – 22 minutes, until cooked through.) A slice of unsalted butter, melted  A little paprika or Kashmiri chilli powder For the marinade: 2½ tbsp lemon juice 1 rounded tsp salt  120g full-fat plain yoghurt  4 large garlic cloves   1 Indian green… Read More

Tour the National Gallery in London from your living room


Taking a curated look at the collection of one of the world’s greatest galleries is now free and easier than ever – because, you can do it from your living room. In a major new digital program, the Gallery is publishing videos here whereby art curators, professionals and experts take fans and would-be visitors through some of the world’s most beloved works. Now, you can join Dr. Francesca Whitlum-Cooper, the Gallery’s Associate Curator of Paintings 1600-1800, who talks about paintings from the Gallery’s collection that celebrate domestic activities such as playing music and card games. Among the works Dr Whitlum-Cooper discusses are Chardin’s The House of Cards, Manet’s Eva Gonzalès, Degas’s Combing the Hair (‘La Coiffure’) and Vermeer’s Young Woman Standing at a Virginal.   But that’s not where it ends. As many people under lockdown are finding comfort in nature around their homes and in their gardens, another upcoming episode in the series looks at three expansive rural landscapes in the collection that take us from morning to night. As well as Rubens’s A View of Het Steen in the Early Morning and Corot’s The Four Times of Day; Night this talk includes that most treasured evocation of the British countryside, Constable’s The Hay Wain.  A series of online tutorials on ‘slow looking’ develops the Gallery’s mindfulness programme by showing online visitors how to look at pictures in depth and explore hidden details. The first of these asks us to take a closer, slower look at Turner’s Rain Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway. It’s a great new digital age that means our favourite… Read More

Book of Man Festival London: What it is and what you need to see

Cock art

Without men, we’d be nowhere. Primarily without penises we’d be nowhere. So, the Book of Man Festival exists in a way, to showcase man and engage them in a changing world. It’s about opening eyes, learning skills, understanding things and communicating about vulnerabilities and fears with friends, family and each other. Topic of one of the festival’s most outstanding events? Dicks, of course. Scroll down for more. For the festival; a series of events in London this March will be providing a chance to develop and enjoy new perspectives. 10TH MARCH – THE PENIS GALLERY X VAGINA MUSEUM Location: The Book Club, 7-9pm The Penis Gallery is returning after a highly successful night last year which showed penises in their (strictly flaccid) glory and featured a panel discussion about taboos and anxieties around the fellas. This will be with panelist Dr Chris Morriss-Roberts, who has studied and written about the role of penises in the locker room, and male body perceptions in general.  We also have a further coup in welcoming artist Jamie McCartney, the man behind The Great Wall of Vagina, as well as his Penis Flags, is a man very much au fait with all genitalia matters. Buy tickets 16TH MARCH – HOW TO HAVE MORE AND BETTER SEX! Location: Rotate, 7-9pm In this interactive session we will tackle the new world of sex and dating. With the format of audience Q&A a top panel will discuss people’s bedroom issues, dating worries and generally give advice for better sex and happier relationships. For couples, singles,… Read More