Monday, 28 February 2011

London Fashion Week

I have come across so many articles about fashion this last week, obviously, that I am now totally indoctrinated and have to add my own. You can hardly call me an expert, so do not expect any wise words (it is a bit like commenting on wine if you only know how to drink it but  hardly have a clue where or how this specific wine came about). Inspiring it can be even without so many words:
found here

I happened upon Charlotte Taylor's Spring11 collection only recently and love her choice of colours.
The British designer studied at Central St Martin's, London, and set up on her own in 2009, launching her label at London Fashion Week in February 2010.
For the autumn season she focuses on prints and - a limited wallpaper edition!
found here

Penguins on your bathroom wall? I really enjoy this hint of eccentricity in all her designs.

Friday, 25 February 2011

It's Friday

Sunshine yesterday! What a nice reminder that there might be more to come. We will probably have a quiet weekend after last week's holiday, sorting out things and hoping for the odd hop on the trampoline if the weather allows.

Although, there is this exhibition at the Michael Hoppen Gallery that sounds intriguing and fits perfectly within the theme of this blog:
Japanese photographer Sohei Nishino develops photographic dioramas, mapping out the artist's personal impression of major cities.

"When photographing London, Nishino walked the entire city on foot for a month, wandering the streets and recording from every possible angle, from building tops to get an overview of the Gherkin, to shooting in step with the Queen’s Guard marching on the Mall. In total he used over 300 rolls of black and white film and took over 10,000 pictures.
In the following three months Nishino selected some 4,000 of these photographs, hand printed in his own dark room, which he then meticulously pieced together with scissors and glue in his Tokyo studio. The result was an aerial view of London, which was then reshot as a completed collage to produce a final image in photographic form. This lengthy and painstaking process, all done by hand, only allows for the creation of three maps per year. Nishino’s re-imagination of a city presents a convincing record despite its geographical inaccuracies, a map embodying the  intricacies of a city through the eyes and recollection of an outsider."

Sohei Nishino
found here

The exhibition started yesterday and lasts till the 02.04.11

Have a lovely weekend!

Update: The exhibition is mind-blowing. There are Dioramas of London, Paris, Hongkong, Tokyo and more. Beautiful, amazing and mesmerising.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Tea for two and more

Since most of us with kids are enjoying one or two weeks of Half-Term holidays I thought I share with you a tip from my friend Morag.
Her "latest hidden gem is Afternoon Tea at the Tate Britain Restaurant - wonderful Whistler murals and quite elegant setting. Fabulous value, £7.45 for two tiers of mini goodies plus an amazing range of tea".

Seems to be one of the better options for afternoon tea with kids in London as the quantities are reasonable and the price definitely preferable compared to Claridges, Ritz or Brown's. (I should know since we nearly went bankrupt once when we invited the family.)

Afternoon Tea is available from 15.15-17.00.

Which leaves ample time to enjoy the museum. I have not seen the Watercolour exhibition yet, but this review sounds promising, some are slightly controversial. Should make for an interesting visit.

And by the way, the Tate also offers an Art Trolley with paper -based activities to use in the galleries this Half-Term on Thursday, 24.2. and Friday, 25.3. from 10.00-15.00 for budding artists.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

On the Street


Visual Note

Der Duft der Frauen
Inkjet on 310 g Bütten Paper

We need some colour today!

Monday, 21 February 2011

So much on offer, so little time

London is such a phantastic city with a wealth of art and culture on offer. There is something for everybody, every day of the week and even on a grey Monday evening you can enjoy a superb program e.g. at the Barbican Centre.
Today it is Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker performing Mahler's Symphony No 4 and Strawinskys Ballet Music Apollon Musagete, the soloist is Christine Schaefer!

And now I have to apologise, because this concert went on sale in December and sold out! Probably the following day! As are all the other concerts of Simon Rattles week long London residency with the Berliner Philharmoniker.
One has to be terribly organised, re-schedule business trips and/or have a babysitter in place months in advance, because tickets are sold fast here.
There are also a lot of 'friends' and 'patrons' schemes at these venues that let members pre-book before the rest of us (this also goes for a lot of the summer festivals, make a note). Time and time again I am too late and annoyed about not being more organised.

But this time, there is a But: the Orchestra played the same program last week in Berlin. Now you can either try to follow these guys around Europe (which I am sure some do) or check out their Digital Concert Hall, where you can listen to the Berliner live or browse the video archive for past concerts. Tonights concert is just being edited and soon available here.

Thank you so much, Daniel, for the tip. It is probably the next best thing to being there. Let me know what you think.  

Friday, 18 February 2011

Visual Note


Wednesday, 16 February 2011


I am, kind of, and Nigel Slater is one of our favourite chefs we turn to for straight forward, not too complicated, often very comforting recipes (which we need in this neither here nor there part of the season).
Being German and missing my bread, I tried out his Soda Bread recipe which one makes in a large casserole dish (I used the Creuset). And it works and it's really easy, Nigel's lazy loaf.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Happy Valentine

Friday, 11 February 2011

It's Friday

found here

It's Friday, our Halfterm Holiday is just around the corner and we will be chasing the sun for a week but keep visiting, there will be the odd cheerful post!

If you are staying in London over Halfterm check out the Southbank, they have a lovely programme on for kids called the Imagine Children's Festival or go all Vintage and spend an evening at London's oldest Electric Cinema on the Portobello Road. Oh, and there are two-seater available as far as I know!
Have a lovely time!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Turning the World Upside Down

I am very optimistic and hope for some fine early spring weather in February and March, so we can enjoy a stroll through Kensington Garden to have another look at Anish Kapoor's sculptures. Well, it is, after all, called 'Turning the World Upside Down'. (till 13. March !)

You will see four large pieces never before shown together in London. On a monumental scale they reflect, distort and question our view of the world.
found here
"I want to occupy the territory, but the territory is an idea and a way of thinking as much as a context that generates objects." (Anish Kapoor)

find it here 

Here you can find the Sky Mirror 2006 (A), the C-Curve (B), the Sky Mirror 2009 (C) and the Spire (D).

Wednesday, 9 February 2011


How is this for a Valentine's message?

This is just subtle enough for me when it comes to Valentine, since I am not one for big gestures. Check out Kathleen's DIY Valentine at twig and thistle. Judging by all the re-posts around the web, I am not the only one who likes it, a lot. On her website you can find a download for all her fruitstickers, like these

So, pack a healthy, loving snack! 


by A. Rasmussen
found here

What about a bit more than the thought of Spring this weekend? 
It is Snowdrop Day at the Chelsea Physics Garden, between 10am and 4pm.
This Garden is quite a secret one in London and England's second oldest botanical garden, founded in 1673. It officially opens on the 1st of April, so here is your chance to check out the 75 different species or just enjoy this little oasis so close to the buzz of Sloane Square. Walking along the high walls looking for the entrance I love the idea of this garden already.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Visual Notes

by Blanca Gomez
found here via retro to go

Monday, 7 February 2011

Lion Dance

I promise this will be my last post about Chinese New Year in London for the time being! But here are just a few more tips about how to enjoy the festivities, especially with kids. (And, yes, I realise that you will have to keep this information till next year, which obviously I hope you will.)
China Town can be very crowded during the main celebrations, which normally take place on the first Sunday following the Beginning of the New Year. If you have small kids, they won't be able to see much and might get overwhelmed by the crowd.
This year we went to China Town on Saturday when you will see quite a few lions dancing from shop to restaurants and private houses, accompanied by drums. It is a lovely sight and the kids can get quite close on occasion. The dancers perform the traditional custom of 'cai ching', meaning 'plucking the greens', which the owners have hung quite high up outside their entrances. The lion has to pluck the green together with a red envelope, spitting out the green but keeping the envelope, of course!  And the higher the lion has to stretch, the bigger the reward should be in the red envelope. The dance is believed to bring good luck and fortune.

Another good idea is to ask your favourite Chinese Restaurant if they are expecting a visit from the Lion. On Sunday we went to Royal China in Fulham and saw a lovely Lion there, dancing from table to table.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Happy Weekend

Just in case you are like me and just as organised - you will really appreciate the list of Major Art Exhibitions in London Museums in 2011 by art blog 'Making a Mark' . Far too often have I missed something, found out about it too late and kicked myself. Already in the diary are now the Leonardo Da Vinci Exhibition at the National Gallery and the Modern British Sculpture Show at the Royal Academy of Arts. And I hope we can make it to some more - Thank you so much!

Definitely brightens this grey and windy day.  Have a very happy weekend!

New Year's Rabbits

I could not resist. Chinese New Year Celebrations are after all a lot about food! And they go on for quite some days.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

A nice thought

The left character means 'Girl', the right one means 'Boy'. Together they become 'good' or even 'the best'. Now that is a nice thought!

Kung Hei Fat Choi

The Chinese New Year of the Rabbit is being celebrated from today!  The Rabbit signifies "a year of sophistication and sensitivity, a year of calm reflection, of good taste and refinement". 
I am sure I need some of everything.
London Chinatown will be very busy this weekend with life performances around Trafalgar Square, Chinatown and Shaftesbury Avenue from 12 - 6 pm  on Sunday and events in various museums and art galleries.

Check out for example the Victoria & Albert Museum and its magnificent Imperial Chinese Robes Exhibition. The pieces are on loan from the Palace Museum in Beijing and were worn by Emperors and Empresses of the last ruling dynasty of China.
Empress' Informal Robe with Crane Design,
picture via trendboutique 
The museum also offers Chinese themed family activities this month. We have been to a few with our kids, they have always been very engaging and fun - and they are free!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011


Since we were talking maps yesterday, I might also mention these rather useful crumpled city maps I found via Jo's blog. Having spent hours trying to fold a map back together and giving up, normally in pouring rain, these definitely come in handy. They are waterproof and meant to be creased and stuffed back into your bag or buggy.

city maps
And the kids can spill their juice right over it without starting a family crisis. Excellent idea!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Under Ground

I found this very well done Tube/Underground/Subway/Metro App for IPhone and IPad some time ago. Really helpful not only for New-comers and Tourists.
London Tube Delux
You can plan your journey by tapping your start and destination on the map or by typing them in, locate your nearest station, departures and last trains. The only drawback: one hardly ever has a signal Underground.
Also very good is this TubeMap App, and it's free.