Category: LONDON

What to look forward to in an evening with Mary Beard at London’s Barbican

Mary Beard classics professor

Prepare yourselves, culture and history enthusiasts, for an enchanting evening at the Barbican in London with none other than the eminent scholar, Mary Beard. Known for her engaging storytelling and profound insights, Beard will guide us on an unparalleled intellectual adventure. This night is set to be a celebration of the rich tapestry of past civilisations, and the resonance of their narratives in our present times. Here’s more about what to look forward to After the very recent release of her new book, Emperor of Rome, a riveting exploration of Roman history, from its humble beginnings to the pinnacle of its power. We will hear from Beard, with her characteristic wit and profound knowledge, as she paints a vivid picture of life in Rome during the reign of its most famous emperor. This gripping narrative, rich in detail and brimming with insights, is a testament to Beard’s storytelling prowess and her deep understanding of the past. It’s more than just a history book; it’s an immersive journey into an era long gone. Readers will find themselves right at the heart of Rome, amidst the grandeur, power struggles, and everyday life of its people. Emperor of Rome is not only an essential read for history enthusiasts but also a captivating tale that will enthrall any reader. Don’t miss this chance to experience Rome like never before, through the eyes of a master storyteller. Set within the architectural marvel that is the Barbican, this enriching evening promises to be anything but ordinary. Not only will you have… Read More

See Pesellino’s work at the National Gallery, London

Pesellino renaissance art

The art world is abuzz with anticipation as the National Gallery prepares to host the first-ever career-spanning exhibition dedicated to Renaissance painter Francesco Pesellino, set to open in December 2023. Active in Florence during the mid-15th century, Pesellino’s early demise at just 35 years of age and the subsequent misattribution of his surviving works have resulted in him being somewhat of an unsung hero of the Renaissance period. Born Francesco di Stefano in 1422, Pesellino was raised by his grandfather Pesello, a proficient painter in his own right, who likely sparked the young artist’s passion for the craft. Despite Pesellino’s untimely death, his legacy in the art world is undeniable, with chroniclers and historians noting his exceptional talent, especially in painting ‘cose picole’ or small things, and his propensity for collaboration. His commissions from the ruling Medici family of Florence solidified his standing within the artistic community. The National Gallery is in a unique position to present Pesellino’s work to a wider audience, with two of his undisputed masterpieces forming part of their collection. The Story of David cassone panels and the Pistoia Santa Trinità Altarpiece provide a showcase of the breadth and depth of Pesellino’s talents, from complex narratives and ceremonial splendour to meticulous detail and a keen observation of animals. Recent conservation efforts have further highlighted the intricacies of Pesellino’s work, allowing viewers to appreciate these incredible art pieces as they were intended. Dr Laura Llewellyn, Curator of Italian Paintings before 1500, opines, “Works by Pesellino are rare indeed, but at the National… Read More

London Fashion Week: stay at House of Sunny

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This autumn, the wardrobe of your dreams takes on a new dimension as House of Sunny, a favourite label on TikTok, offers a unique Airbnb stay at their Hackney showroom. Timed perfectly with fashion week in London, founder and designer Sunny Williams invites guests to step into the whimsical, colourful world of House of Sunny, literally bringing celebrity-adored designs from the runway to real life, starting from 13 September 2023. Dubbed “Sunny’s House”, the showroom has been converted into an immersive fashion experience, with each room’s decor echoing iconic pieces from House of Sunny’s latest collection. Sunny Williams, expressing his excitement about the venture, stated, “House of Sunny’s design and ethos has always been inspired by the intersection of culture, architecture, interior and our community’s love for travel, home, and aesthetics. Welcome to my house; this immersive Airbnb is unique, crafted and eye-catching, the perfect partnership of fashion and special stays.” Amanda Cupples, General Manager of UK & Northern Europe at Airbnb, commended the innovative move: “Airbnb is the home of aesthetically beautiful yet surprising stays. Sunny Williams’ beloved styles coming to life in such an eye-catching, one-of-a-kind stay on Airbnb is truly an unforgettable experience, especially for any fashion fan.” The stylish sleepover for two guests will take place on 22nd September 2023 and can be booked, free of charge, on 20th September at 3am AEST at Guests can look forward to a 1:1 design session with Sunny, an entrance through a green oasis reminiscent of Sunny’s famous Hockney Dress, and a chance… Read More

Conservation meets craftsmanship: Rhino Orphanage co-founder acquires the White Rhino Gin Company

White Rhino gin

In a remarkable union of conservation and craftsmanship, Pete Richardson, co-founder of the world’s first baby rhino orphanage, has made an exciting acquisition. Pete has acquired The White Rhino Gin Company Ltd and the Urban Rhino gin brand, marking a significant milestone in his journey while introducing a limited-edition legacy batch that is set to captivate gin enthusiasts worldwide. Pete Richardson, a dedicated conservationist, was working in The Waterberg area of Limpopo in South Africa when the devastating rhino poaching crisis hit the headlines back in 2012. Alongside fellow conservationist Arrie van Deventer, Pete took action to save the orphaned babies and together, they established the world’s first purpose-built facility – The Rhino Orphanage. Despite now residing in the UK, Pete remains an active director of the orphanage, tirelessly working towards protecting and rehabilitating these magnificent creatures. Through his connection with the orphanage, Pete crossed paths with Belinda Chaffer, the driving force behind Waterberg Rhino UK, who introduced him to the owners of The White Rhino Gin Company. Enthralled by the shared vision, Pete expressed his excitement about this unique opportunity, stating, “When I met Belinda and the owners of the company, it felt like destiny. We quickly realized the incredible potential to build a global brand with Urban Rhino gin while supporting the remarkable conservation efforts of both Waterberg Rhino UK and The Rhino Orphanage. I’m thrilled about the possibilities that lie ahead.” Crafted with meticulous care, Urban Rhino is an exceptional London dry gin that has garnered high praise from customers and businesses… Read More

Love Spanish dance? Try the Flamenco Festival at Sadler’s Wells

Flamenco dancer

vibrant and passionate art of flamenco is currently taking centre stage at the iconic Sadler’s Wells theatre in London. The Flamenco Festival 2023, running from 15 July to 29 July, brings together a showcase of the world’s greatest flamenco talent in an electrifying celebration of this timeless Spanish tradition. The festival features an impressive line-up of international artists, including renowned dancer and choreographer, Maria Pages, who presents her latest work, “An Ode to Time”. This captivating performance is a reflection on the human experience of time and the inevitable passage of life, with flamenco music and dance expertly woven into the fabric of this deeply moving piece. Other highlights of the festival include the Gala Flamenca, featuring an all-male cast of contemporary flamenco mavericks, Manuel Linan and Alfonso Losa, whose high-energy performances showcase the evolution of this dynamic art form. But flamenco isn’t just about the performers – it’s an immersive cultural experience that embraces the soul of Spain and its people. From the ringing sound of guitar strings to the raw, impassioned wail of the cantaor (singer), the spirit of flamenco is infectious and impossible to resist. As well as the performances, the festival offers a range of workshops where participants can learn and explore the choreographic style of flamenco in greater depth. These sessions provide a unique opportunity to experience the passion and energy of the dance first-hand, under the guidance of experienced instructors. With its thrilling rhythms, intricate footwork, and emotive storytelling, flamenco is an art form that captivates and enchants audiences… Read More

Penderyn Distillery is opening third £2.75 million distillery in the Old Copperworks in Swansea 

Pendryn whiskey

Welsh whisky producer, Penderyn Distillery, is gearing up to launch its third distillery in Swansea on July 14th. This exciting new venture is housed within the historic walls of an old Copperworks, beautifully blending tradition with innovation to create a unique space for crafting their exquisite Welsh whiskies. The spotlight of this launch is on the Penderyn Gold Range, a collection that is set to redefine the standards of Welsh whisky. This new distillery marks a significant milestone for Penderyn. It seamlessly merges the rich heritage of the old Copperworks with the distillery’s pursuit of excellence, creating a haven for producing high-quality Welsh single malt whiskies. This commitment to quality shines brightly in the Gold Range. Each bottle from this range is a treasure trove of pure Welsh liquid gold, meticulously crafted to perfection. The process behind creating the Gold Range is as fascinating as the whisky itself. Each single malt from this range is distilled with precision and passion at Penderyn’s state-of-the-art facility. The whiskies then undergo a careful maturing process in selected casks, culminating in a finish in exquisite Madeira wine casks. The result is a tantalizing blend of flavors that harmonize the sweetness of tropical fruits and raisins with the delicate undertones of vanilla. Penderyn’s dedication to crafting premium Welsh whisky has not gone unnoticed. The distillery was honored with Double Golds and Golds at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Awards in 2022. This recognition further validates Penderyn’s relentless pursuit of creating whiskies that captivate the senses. The launch of Penderyn’s… Read More

Pride Month: unveiling a new chapter, Pride Action North

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In alignment with the closing of Pride Month, we are excited to announce a major rebranding of Northumberland Pride, a leading LGBTQIA+ charity. To better reflect our expanded services and broader geographical reach, we are now Pride Action North. Founded in 2017, Northumberland Pride started as a volunteer-driven initiative to organize an annual celebration for the local community. Since then, it has grown exponentially, now employing eight dedicated staff members to cater to the increased demand for specialized support and advocacy. Our services extend to various critical areas such as youth work, domestic violence, hate crime, and mental health and wellbeing. The transformation to Pride Action North is not just a name change, but a comprehensive brand makeover that includes a new mission statement, values, and soon, a revamped website. Darren Irvine-Duffy, the charity’s chair, shared, “From our humble beginnings as a local pride event organizer, we’ve evolved into an organization that provides holistic support and meaningful services. Our aim is to ensure every member of our growing community feels accepted and safe.” The rebranding represents a significant milestone in our history. Under the banner of Pride Action North, we are enthusiastic about expanding our presence and support throughout the North. As our name suggests, we are committed to action, striving to make the region a safer, more inclusive, and accepting place for everyone, particularly members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Our rebranding process involved extensive engagement with service users, stakeholders, and staff through focus groups. The outcome is a reflection of their valuable insights and… Read More

Live music at Sotheby’s London for Pride Month

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Experience the Symphony of Diversity with Sotheby’s and The Barbican. This summer, immerse yourself in a unique celebration of diversity and classical music. Join us as we pay tribute to the influential queer composers who have shaped our musical history. On 30th June 2023, Sotheby’s galleries on New Bond Street will be transformed into a stage for the award-winning conductor, Oliver Zeffman. Witness the London-born maestro leading a programme that highlights the radical contributions of queer classical composers such as Handel, Caroline Shaw, and Henriette Bosman. This event is more than a concert; it’s an homage to the LGBTQ+ narrative within the musical canon. But the melody doesn’t stop there. The Sotheby’s concert sets the tempo for an expanded performance at The Barbican Centre on 7th July. Nick Grimshaw presents this landmark event, where Zeffman will conduct the renowned Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. This occasion marks the first classical Pride concert by a major orchestra anywhere in Europe. Experience the world premiere of Julian Anderson’s Echoes, along with masterpieces by Tchaikovsky, Poulenc, and Bernstein. Here are the details for the Sotheby’s event: The performance will take place amidst major Old Masters, creating a harmonious fusion of visual and auditory arts. These masterpieces will be up for auction during the week of 3rd July. This event is free and open to the public, but RSVP is essential. Reserve your spot today and get ready to sway to the rhythm of equality and pride. Grab your tickets through Sotheby’s website here. Don’t miss out on this extraordinary opportunity… Read More

What to see at Kew Gardens before summer ends


Don’t let the summer slip away without experiencing the breathtaking beauty of Kew Gardens after hours with a new series of unique events. From classical music concerts to guided wine tastings, these evening events offer a rare opportunity to explore this UNESCO World Heritage site at sunset, when the gardens take on an entirely different kind of magic. On Thursday 21 September, The Nash Sessions kick off the musical side of things with a special performance by The Morassi Quartet. This talented group, who have wowed audiences across the UK and beyond, will perform a selection of classical favourites from Mozart and Debussy, as well as popular hits from Adele and The Beatles, all by candlelight in the beautiful surroundings of Kew’s oldest glasshouse. For those more interested in wine, the Kew Series in partnership with Laithwaites Wine presents Wine Walks on Wednesday 6 September. This multi-sensory guided tour of the gardens includes tastings of sparkling rosé in the Rose Garden, Italian wines in the Mediterranean Garden, and tropical New World wines inside the magnificent Temperate House. The evening ends on a high note at the Pavilion Bar & Grill with a classic Bordeaux vintage, offering a chance to soak up the late summer ambience of Kew Gardens while sipping on delicious, lesser-known grape varieties. And for those wanting to take home a piece of the experience, visitors can purchase bottles from the newly launched Kew Series by Laithwaites range of wines, which showcases lesser-known yet deeply delicious grape varieties from around the world. 10%… Read More

National Portrait Gallery unveils posthumous commission of Terry Higgins

National portrait Gallery

Don miss the unveiling of a powerful new portrait by artist Curtis Holder, in support of the Terrence Higgins Trust’s 40th anniversary. Terry Higgins – Three Ages of Terry is a posthumous work that honors the life of one of the UK’s first AIDS-related illness victims. The piece depicts Terry as a teenager, a young man, and in his final weeks before his death, with a multilayered and delicately sketched style that captures his humanity, physicality, and sexuality. The portrait is set to be displayed at the National Portrait Gallery’s Making the Modern World gallery when it reopens on June 22nd, and it will be the first portrait of Terry Higgins and the first work by Curtis Holder to enter the gallery’s collection. The portrait is a testament to Terrence Higgins Trust’s ongoing fight for change in the face of HIV and AIDS, raising awareness and helping to destigmatize the virus. By showcasing the stages of Higgins’ life, the portrait offers a snapshot into the impact he made during his time and pays tribute to his passions and vulnerabilities. The palette is limited to hues of mostly red, a reference to the now-familiar symbol of the red ribbon, a universal symbol of awareness and support for people living with HIV. This incredible portrait is not only a celebration of Terry Higgins but also a testament to the power of art to capture the essence of a person’s life and legacy. So make sure to head to the National Portrait Gallery when it reopens on June… Read More