Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Lunch break


Love the look of this 'Sandwich Shop' on Lexington Street in Soho with no triangular toast wrapped in plastic in side, but mountains of ciabatta and lots of meat (and wine - so continental!!). Fernandez & Wells call it their 'version of an European Market Stall'. It is a bit more fancy than that, so let's say it is Soho's interpretation ... 

Monday, 30 January 2012

Leighton House

.. on a miserable early January afternoon


.. on a lovely late January morning


Leighton House (close to Holland Park) is a lovely example of 19th century (well-off) artist's home. Victorian artist Frederic Lord Leighton (the only British artist to have become ennobled) sold his first major painting to Queen Victoria and became President of the Royal Academy of Arts. Leighton is associated with the Aesthetic Movement. Wanting to reintroduce beauty to Victorian Britain the aesthetes often blended art from different cultures. You find this e.g. in the main hall or of course the amazing Arab Hall with its beautiful tiles and fountain in the middle. I also love his studio, immense and lit by a huge north facing window, once filled with paint, books and canvases. For me, it is one of these places where you feel you can breath and get inspired, away from High Street Ken and modern day London, by a personality, a style or just one room.

And if you are in need of a strong coffee or a bite to eat after your tour, try Cafe Phillies, which is just 5 min down the road. It has good coffee, a nice atmosphere and does not look like a chain (since I would not recommend going from 19th century Aestheticism to 21 century coffee chain - not healthy)


Friday, 27 January 2012

At any given moment

Pinned Image
found here via here

Whether it should read 'power' or rather 'possibility', is something I am not quite sure about, though. Discuss :-)

And coming back to last nights play: it was certainly a mixture of possibilities and (lack in ) power. Very intense 70 min, a 2 person play with simple yet compelling effects to highlight the different choices and possibilities in this relationship. 

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Oh, the possibilities

We will go to the Royal Court Theatre tonight to see 'Constellations' by Nick Payne which is all about "One relationship. Infinite possibilities". I will let you know if this is either totally uplifting or utterly depressing .... (And find out more about the theatre here and here)

found here

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Brighten up this rainy day

Need something to brighten up this rainy day, a light at the end of it? Go and listen to young Cellist Philip Higham. The program includes Hindemith's Concert Music for String and Brass, Brahms' Variation on a Theme by Haydn and Dvorak's epic Cello Concerto at the Cadogan Hall tonight!
Philip is rapidly emerging as one of the most prominent young cellists from the UK, so catch him whilst you can!

Photo © William Knight
found here

Monday, 23 January 2012

Tree, Line

Zander :: Tree, Line.
found here via

"... constructed photographs, rooted in the forest (of) Surrey, Hampshire and Wales ... wrapping the trees with white materials to construct a visual relationship ..." 

Photo Series by Zander Olsen - very taken by their visual impact. Check it out here.

One New Change

The City's shopping mall One New Change (by Jean Nouvel) might not be everybody's cup of tea, but the view of St Paul's Cathedral when you reach the rooftop is impressive:

City Sleepover
found here

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Some Colour

Needed some colour today - a pale wintery mood and a slight hint of things to come.

found here

Friday, 20 January 2012

Visual Note - Screen Print

Pinned Image
found here

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Upside Down

found here via

I just stumbled upon these delicious looking upside down cranberry cakes or muffins. This recipe uses only almond flour, so gluten free. Caitlin from Roost has a gluten/grain/sugar/starch free approach due to illness in the family, but if her food is only half as good as her photos .... well, let's try them!

P.S. You will find the recipe here.

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee

Our local high street is rapidly turning into a haven for hair and coffee addicts. There are hardly any other shops to be found but coffee and salon chains

How refreshing therefor to stumble across a good old fashioned deli, which has been at the same spot since 1900 and still in the same family. They do a latte these days, but their filter coffee for breakfast is really good and the staff is very welcoming and make you feel like one of the regulars.

You will find Rothe&Son on 35 Marylebone Lane and - as it happens - a lot of nice  and independent shops around the area north of Oxford Street.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Olympia - London prepares?

I'd like to share just a few of my own experiences and observations, totally not objective, but nevertheless telling, I think.

There is no lack of enthusiasm e.g.:
We live opposite some tennis courts and whilst all outdoor tennis normally stops on the continent, here they play whatever the weather (nearly). Last winter I got an email from the Club Manager asking for volunteers to help with the snow shovelling  in order for playing to commence!! Amazing!

There is a lack of funding and support e.g.:
Our kids started with gymnastics some time ago. I believe that this sport offers good all-round athleticism and a great basis for any other sport. To my surprise I have found out that it is normal for a lot of clubs to do only vault and floor. They simply cannot afford the other apparatus. 

Then there is swimming, which is considered not only by me as a basic skill to have. I was surprised to learn that no university has a Olympic standard pool (50mx25m with 10 lanes), and that there was apparently non in London till they started building the Aquatics Centre for the Olympics and only three 50m length poolsas far as I can make out. 

(And the list could go on ...)

Sport is a big part of life, but since it can be expensive, you find that it is very much privately supported and enjoyed not so much by everybody but by families who can afford it.

found here

As Ed Smith puts it:
"Only seven per cent of the population are privately educated. But that seven per cent contributes a huge proportion of England's major national teams (football being the significant exception). The number of British Olympic medallists who are privately educated has grown over the past three Olympics to 45 per cent. The trend is the same in rugby and cricket: more private-school England players, fewer state-school ones." 

Only recently the government has withdrawn funding for the programme of schools sports partnership. State School sport in general has gone into decline, especially in deprived areas where it could do so much good.

I am sure the Olympics will inspire a lot of kids to join in - they just need to get the support they deserve!

Monday, 16 January 2012

Chinese New Year

The year of the Dragon is approaching fast with the Chinese New Year beginning on the 23. January. London's Chinatown will celebrate the weekend after and there are more festivities to be found around town the following weekend. You can find more information here and here. And read about it in my posts from last February e.g. here. It's always quite a tumultuous and noisy occasion but great atmosphere and lovely food to be found.

found here

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Fish and Chips

Kerbisher & Malt- the recently opened fish and chip shop got very good reviews so far, but sadly the opening hours don't collide with our school pick up. Will have to treat myself at a parent/teacher evening. Should brighten things up!

found here

But there is always the Fishmonger's Kitchen across the street. Not cheap but very friendly guys who can suggest new recipes to you or you can just take their ready made fish curry home! (but beware of the marinated squid, only for someone who really loves garlic, I mean REALLY.)

And to keep the fishy theme going - check out Odeons Lounge cinema at Whiteley's and their new menue.
You will find fish and chips, fried squid and tuna sushi on it - rather sophisticated and a far cry from our usual salty popcorn ....  Food and film, always a good combination in my books.

But do wait till Tuesday :-)

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Quentin Blake

You cannot remember a book by Roald Dahl without thinking of the fantastic illustrations by Quentin Blake. Even watching the Musical 'Mathilda' last weekend, I unconsciously compared the pictures from his book with the real life characters on stage - pretty close!

If you love this illustrator as much as our family, than you will be happy to learn, that today sees the opening of "As large as life" - an exhibition of resent work created for four hospitals in the UK and France. Also shown are works by William Hogarth and contemporaries who donated their art to the Foundling Hospital in the 1740.

The exhibition takes place at  Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, WC1, from today till 15. April 2012

found here

And if you want to make it a literary outing - the Charles Dickens Museum is just around the corner. It will shut in April for a major renovation project, so get there fast. (why in the year of Dicken's 200th birthday is anyones guess).

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Norfolk House Music Room

The Norfolk House Music Room at the V&A contains the panelling from the former Music Room and the doorways from the Great Room of Norfolk House. The House itself, which used to be at London's St James's Square, was demolished in 1938.

Nevertheless you can go back in time and enjoy free concerts every Friday till 23. March 2012, performed by musicians of the Royal College of Music. Sounds like a lovely idea to start the weekend!

the colour of music
can you guess what it is?
found here

P.S. As mentioned before, the V&A is open late every last Friday of the month celebrating art and design. On the 27th they will try to warm you up with HOT BRASIL, installations, contemporary music and more.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Sweet Mathilda

We went to see Mathilda (by Roald Dahl) with the kids this weekend - really well done adaptation from the book.  The kids were fantastic and we were amazed not only by their great dancing and singing but also by their stamina. They are after all only between 8 and 12 to 14 years old. The music is refreshingly less 'modern musical' and more a touch old fashioned which is rather nice. All in all the birthday boy (who turned 50) as well as the kids enjoyed it immensely.


On the way, on Long Acre, we passed this enticing shop - Sugar Sin - and got some treats for the interval - lovely smell in there.


Thursday, 5 January 2012

New Year Resolution

Talking about New Year Resolutions, I found the perfect motto for 2012:

Stay committed in your decisions,
but stay flexible in your approach.
Tony Robbins 
found here

found here

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

London Skyline

Skyline London A
found here

Happy New Year

One of my many New Year resolutions will be not to miss out on exhibitions, events, plays, concerts .... in other words: be organised!
Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
found here

If you feel the same, want to feed your brain (I certainly need it after an indulgent Christmas)

see all the talks, films, exhibitions etc. around Charles Dickens 200th birthday here

check out the weekly Wednesday lectures at the Idler Academy (I wrote a post about them here),

go to the Wigmore Hall and listen to upcoming Soprano Anna Prohaska,

the AA - Architectural Association - has public lectures and events nearly every day

and update your style at London Fashion Week - starts 17. February 2012

Pinned Image

Can't wait!