Woo

There is a bizarre – free – exhibition currently on at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) on The Mall.

It’s a photography exhibition by Juergen Teller who is “considered one of the most important photographers of his generation”.

There are a lot of warnings about full-on nudity. And you are not disappointed.

At first, there are a lot of photos that you could just walk by thinking “I’ve seen better on FB”. And there are a few that stick out, (excuse the pun):

  • There’s Victoria Beckham legs akimbo in a Marc Jacobs shopping bag… I have NO idea how she was talked into that
  • Lily Cole appears naked (again)…
  • And most disturbing and yet most interesting, three MASSIVE portraits of quirky Dame Vivienne Westwood leaving nothing to the imagination. NOTHING. She is older than my mum

I felt really naughty trying to get a quick snap on my iphone and ended up giggling more about the fact an innocent bystander protected Viv’s modesty – google Vivienne Westwood Naked and you will get the full glory!

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And there is an equally enormous image of a kitten. For not obvious reason.

An exhbition that asks more questions than it answers.

Worth a visit if you have a spare half hour… and you are not of a delicate nature

However, if you can’t get there before 17th March – you can pretty much see everything on the Guardian website.

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Woo

A Burns Night to Remember

It was standing room only at the Searcy’s Grand Brasserie on Friday (25th January 2013) where the pre-booked diners were treated to the now infamous Burns Night Dinner.

Tartan-sporting diners young and old happily enjoyed the wonderful Scottish-themed three-course meal before they were treated to some rather special entertainment.

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A familiar roar heralded the grand entrance of a kilted bagpipe player, heading up the small troup “Piping in the haggis”. 

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Chef Chris proudly showcased the aforementioned dish and was closely follwed by a kilted dancer weilding two swords.

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After a musical circuit of the restaurant we were treated to familar tunes and a verse of happy birthday on the pipes to the delight of a party of ladies.

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The Piper “addressed the haggis” and cut it up with some rather sharp implements and recited some magical words no doubt penned by Robert Burns himself.

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Then we were treated to our Gaelic dancer leaping around the corners of the room, before the incredible dexterity of dancing around the swords.

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What a treat for the evening – and wonderfully finished off by a wee dram of whiskey. 

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Slainte Searcys!!

More photos here.

A Burns Night to Remember

Burger 2 – Giraffe Burgers & Cocktails

Burger number two…Giraffe Burgers & Cocktails – 35 James St  London, Greater London W1U 1EA

BTW You can see the scoring criteria here.

The venue – 17/20

I admit I was heading to another place which had queues out into the street, and I was hungry, so a nice-looking place with seating just over the road was attractive. And it was not disappointing – It’s light and airy and had something of an American Diner about it. 

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The service – 18/20

Greeted at entrance, waitresses friendly and attentive. Choice of places to sit. I liked that our lady crouched down to table height to take our order. Efficient. Liked this a lot. Service was neither fast nor slow – just right.

The burger – 24/30

Well-presented on plate with salad on the side. The bun was unusual “with ants on it” and the bacon a little over cooked, but the burger was good and I ate it all, again. Good price too.

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Quirkies – 7/10

  • All the condiments were presented consistenly on each table with the brand name turned in, why?!
  • Milkshakes to die for. Very nice.

Will I come back factor? – 18/20

Yep. And bring or recommend friends and family – especially with little ones. Definitely.

GRAND TOTAL SCORE: 84

Burger 2 – Giraffe Burgers & Cocktails

Are you sitting comfortably..?

…then I will begin.

A fabulous treat is now in store for weary commuters, shopping-bag-carrying tourists and passers-by at St Pancras Station: Greeting you at the top of the escalators by platforms 11-13 there are now some most unusual seats.

From left to right you have a blue bench, then a yellow one, followed by a black one, a green and finally a shiny red bench.

Is this ringing any bells yet? (‘Ringing’ was a clue by the way).

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These fabulous ‘designer’ seats are the brainchild of High Speed 1, the owners of the station and the original commissioners of the majestic Olympic Rings that adorned the station from their royal unveiling in May 2011 until their sad dismantling in August 2012.

See ‘before’…

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Then ‘after’…

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An inspired idea to turn the sections of the rings into seats for travellers in the home city of the London 2012 Olympics, placed at the iconic start of the Javelin shuttle service for the Olympic Park as well as key routes to the other International stations at Stratford, Ebbsfleet and Ashford.

Well done HS1! For the commissioning the original rings enjoyed by MILLIONS over the months; as well as the quirky plan to create benches that will last for years. A real Olympic legacy.

PS If you have a spare one, I’d love a red one in my flat ;0)

 

Are you sitting comfortably..?

Fash Mob at St P – with brits, beauty and bubbles

It’s not unusual to have random events happening at the wonderful St Pancras International Station and Wednesday evening (23rd January 2013) was no exception!

A little after 6.30pm on the lower concourse there was something stirring. A crowd was gathering, a few cameras were out, no-one quite knew why, not even the Police.

Then it starts to unravel to blasts of “Ooh la la” from Goldfrapp. Despite the chilly evening a lone blonde commuter strips off her coat, discards her newspaper and struts towards the stairs in a skimpy, but beautiful little black dress.

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St P’s lower concourse becomes a cat walk – a Fashion Flash Mob! As the song builds she tracks back and is gradually joined by four equally stunning ‘commuters’ as they gradually head upstairs to the glamour of The Grand Terrace:

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Why, you may ask? Well, they are showcasing British-designed fashion as part of the official launch of the re-branded and re-vamped Natwest UK Fashion and Textiles Awards (being held at One Mayfair on 23rd May)

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See the fab video created by Lisa Berwin via their twitter-posted video. Spot me if you can ;0)

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As the models gathered to a growing crowd of guests and VIPs at the iconic Betjeman statue they sip as some wonderful English wines from the evening’s sponsor – newly established business Wine Pantry run by bubbly owner Julia Stafford.

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A fun, glamorous and exciting evening – par for the course on a week night at St P!

Check out these cool people to follow:

@UKFTorg and @UKFTRise (http://www.ukft.org / #ukftawards) – The UK Fashion & Textile Association is the most inclusive British network for fashion and textile companies.

@StPancrasInt (www.stpancras.com) – always some interesting news, pics and offers on this magnificent International Destination Station and cultural hub.

@WinePantry (www.winepantry.co.uk and situated on The Grand Terrace). Why not come and check out the fantastic range of wines, beers and even teas! All Made in England (and Wales)!

@LisaBerwin (lisaberwin.co.uk) specialist retail and fashion PR agency.

The event featured young designers Charlotte Taylor, The House of Nines, Orla Kiely, Tatty Devine and Ariella.

And more pics from me here.

Fash Mob at St P – with brits, beauty and bubbles

My Burger Barometer

For the last few Sundays I have visited and dined at some of London’s finest burger joints as recommended by various means (Metro, Twitter, News Feeds and the like). Without even pretending to be a food critic of any standing whatsoever I have decided to rate these eateries and provide details on key areas:

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1 The Venue – marks out of 20 based on:

  • Atmosphere
  • Decor
  • Music
  • Age appropriateness
  • Busy or quiet
  • Facilities

2 The Service – marks out of 20 for areas such as:

  • How long was the wait for a table?
  • How polite were the staff?
  • How quickly did they take the order?
  • How quickly did the order arrive?

3 Come again factor – marks out of 20 based on:

  • Would I come back?
  • Would I recommend a friend?

4 Wow-ness eg Any extra bits that make it stand out for marks out of 10.

5 And last but definitely not least – the Burger itself will get marks out of 30 for

  • Presentation
  • Taste
  • Price

I’ll point out key highlights (from my perspective) and some of the less postive points and then give it an overall score which will, amazingly, be out of 100.

Then you can decide whether to ignore or follow my tips…

Just for the record, burgers to beat (so far) are: the amazing burger you get at The Betjeman Arms in St Pancras; the world-record breaking burger I once had at Burger King (yes, really); and the totally bizarre burger at Selfridges for a random PR event hosted by Mercedes – it involved a doughnut as the bun…

My Burger Barometer

Burger 1 – Tommi’s Burger Joint

Burger number one…Tommi’s Burger Joint – 58 Marylebone Lane, London, W1U 2NX

BTW You can see the scoring criteria here.

The venue – 15/20

Not far off Oxford Street behind Selfridges it’s a small shop-front that you’d possibly pass by without taking much of a look. It is just one wooden-decored room with a few chairs and bar stools. It looks a bit lashed together and student-like, paper-lined baskets and cheap napkins, and basic. More of a take-away feel than a dine-in space.

The service – 15/20

Not much to it really – you go to the bar, they cook it and then bring it over after a few minutes. It’s basic and functional.

The burger – 24/30

Nice, tasty and quality. Cooked well and served hot, good fillings (we’d gone for the burger of the month) it was £8.50 and worth every penny.

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Quirkies – 7/10

Very basic (have I said that enough yet?) You clear your own table and get your own drink. At least thery are not pretending to justify a service charge!

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Will I come back factor? – 18/20

Hmmm, probably yes. What you see is what you get. It is unpretentious and good value for money.

GRAND TOTAL SCORE: 79

Burger 1 – Tommi’s Burger Joint