Travel through time in thrilling new immersive theatre meets live quest Time Run

© Time Run

Enter the world of Edwardian adventurer and inventor Luna as you take part in Time Run
© Time Run

Have you ever wished you could travel through time? While the science world is yet to give us that opportunity, wannabe Marty McFlys or Bill & Teds can get a taste of what it could be like with the new experience Time Run.

Coming to East London this spring and summer, Time Run is a live quest meets immersive theatre in a new twist on the ‘escape  the room’ games. Groups of three to five people will be taken on a 1 hour journey across history, where they will take on puzzles, challenges and solve mysteries. With just 60 minutes to complete the mission, the team-members will need to work together to escape a series of three rooms.

Joining them on their quest will be Edwardian adventurer, inventor and scientist Luna Fox and her eccentric, robotic sidekick Babbage, who will guide the new recruits along the way. The experience will bring 21st century gamers into strange new environments, where they will meet various characters and interactive with their unusual surroundings.

Time Run is a new concept from Josh Ford, the Director of boutique events company and festival Winterwell and co-founder of crazy golf club Swingers. Ford has teamed up with the Disappear Here collective to develop and produce this innovative new project.

  • Time Run is taking place at 9-15 Helmsley Place, London Fields, E8 3SB from 23 April – 2 August 2015. Nearest station: London Fields. Tickets: £24 (off-peak), £29 (peak). For more information and booking, visit the Time Run website.

For a guide to what else is on in London this month, click here.

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Soho Revue: Bringing creativity back into W1 with a contemporary new gallery

© Soho Revue

Jennifer Abessira’s surreal light boxes are part of the inaugural exhibition at the new Soho Revue gallery

Many Londoners (including me) have been feeling the unique spirit of Soho is under threat following the recent closure of iconic venues such as Madame JoJo’s and the 12 Bar Club and the destruction of many buildings for the Crossrail project. So it’s refreshing to see a new opening in Soho that isn’t a new branch of Starbucks or Nando’s.

© Soho Revue

The Soho Revue will be a showcase for contemporary art from emerging young artists

This week, I went along to the launch of Soho Revue, a new art gallery in Greek Street. Bringing some much needed creativity and culture into Soho’s dwindling stock of both, the space is a contemporary gallery which will aim to put the spotlight on young, emerging artists. The gallery is owned by India Rose James – the grand-daughter of Soho legend Paul Raymond.

The gallery has maintained the original neo-classical façade with the ‘St James’s & Soho Club – Estd 1864′ engraving back from when the building was a working men’s club. Despite the traditional exterior, the gallery’s interior is a total contrast with two white rooms, a perfect blank canvas for showcasing. The back room spans the equivalent of two storeys, with skylights adding light to the airy space and room for bigger installations. Currently the back room is displaying Wendy Bevan’s Slow Light on large sheets of silk suspended from the ceiling.

Currently running at the Soho Revue is the inaugural show ‘Nothing Perishes’, curated by Victoria Williams and Marine Tanguy. On display is a range of mediums, from young artists Bignon, Jennifer Abessira, Scarlett Bowman, Wendy Bevan, Maximilian Herbert, Walter Hugo & Zoniel. I particularly liked the pastel hues of Jennifer Abessira’s light boxes. As part of the exhibition, there will also be a three-screen cinematic installation Eleanor, by Alex Warren and Tobias Ross-Southall. Eleanor, which stars acclaimed actress Ruth Wilson, tells the story of three lonely women in London and is on show until May 12.

  • Soho Revue, 14 Greek Street, Soho, W1D 4DP. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus, Tottenham Court Road or Oxford Circus. For more information, visit the Soho Revue website.

For a guide to what else is on in London this month, click here.

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Turning circus on its head (and then some): Scotch & Soda headlines London Wonderground

© Matilda Temperly

Scotch & Soda headlines London Wonderground this summer
© Matilda Temperly

It’s nearly that time of year again – when the Southbank becomes a hotbed of international entertainment at pop-up venue London Wonderground. The festival will be returning to Jubilee Gardens for the fourth year in a row with its heady mix of circus, cabaret, booze, food and fairground rides.

Headlining this year’s entertainment is the critically-acclaimed production of Scotch & Soda. Imagine a group of friends get together and after a few drinks, decide to show off their party tricks. Jazz fusion group Ben Walsh’s Crusty Suitcase Band has teamed up with some of Australia’s top acrobats to create a boozy mix of cabaret and circus. With talented stars from previous productions such as Cantina, La Clique, Cirque and Tom Tom Crew, there will be gravity-defying tricks and beatnik soul galore.

Following hit runs in Sydney and Edinburgh, Wonderground marks the first time Scotch & Soda are coming to the capital. The production will run six nights a week from 14 May until early August, with Sunday matinees.

  • Scotch & Soda is on at London Wonderground in Jubilee Gardens from 14 May – 2 August 2015. Nearest station: Waterloo. Tuesday to Sunday 7.30pm, Sunday matinees 4pm, No performances on Monday or 2 June, 14 June, 15 June, 16 June, 17 June, 14 July and 28 July. Tickets: £12.50. Suitable for ages 12+. To book phone: 0844 545 8282 or visit www.londonwonderground.co.uk or www.southbankcentre.co.uk.
  • London Wonderground runs at Jubilee Gardens from 7 May until 27 September 2015.

For a guide to what else is on in London this month, click here.

For Metro Girl’s post on a previous London Wonderground, click here.

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Kazan review: Delicious Ottoman cuisine in a contemporary Victoria restaurant

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

Seafood Mezze Platter for two: Smoked Salmon, Crispy Baby Calamari, Fish Kofte,
Deep Fried Prawn, Baba Ganoush, Tabbouleh and Tarama

Although I’m a big fan of Turkish food, I don’t eat it as often as I would like. Despite passing through Victoria station daily on my commute, I must confess I haven’t really explored many eating establishments in the area. However, with Victoria station getting redeveloped at the moment and hot new venues such Kouzu opening, Belgravia and Pimlico are rising spots to watch on London’s culinary scene.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

Nice touch: Our napkins were wrapped in ribbon in our cosy and luxurious dining booth

Located on Wilton Road, Kazan is a large double-fronted restaurant offering Ottoman cuisine. We were a table of seven ladies celebrating a friend’s birthday and were fortunate enough to be given a plush booth with silk cushions – a very enticing prospect which would be hard to leave. The interiors featured a mix of Turkish-influence and contemporary, leaving a modern and romantic atmosphere. One of our party was quite late and fortunately the staff were patient and obliging as we delayed ordering and occupied ourselves with the cocktail list. Usually I don’t associate Turkish restaurants with cocktails, however, Kazan has an extensive list of concoctions (including virgin cocktails) at reasonable prices. I ordered a Dusty Emerald (Belvedere vodka, apple juice, brown sugar and fresh lime, served with a light cinnamon dusting), which was refreshing and fruity and at £6.50 a good price.

A frequent problem I have when eating out is ordering too big starters, which often leave me too stuffed for dessert (a damn shame, as I love desserts!) so I was pleased to see Kazan offered various sharing platters. My friend was of similar mind so we split a Seafood Mezze Platter (£18.95), which included Smoked Salmon, Crispy Baby Calamari, Fish Kofte, Deep Fried Prawn, Baba Ganoush, Tabbouleh and Tarama. The ganoush, tabbouleh and tarama balanced out the dish so it wasn’t too fishy, with the cold salmon a nice contrast to the hot calamari and prawn.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

Cooked to perfection: The Hellimi Kebab wasn’t too chewy or salty

The mains menu offered an appetising choice of grilled meats and fish dishes, but I was drawn to the vegetarian menu due to the Hellimi kebab – a Hellimi and mixed vegetable skewer, chargrilled served with bulgar (£12.95). The chefs had cooked the Halloumi cheese just right – not too chewy or salty and the chargrill really brought our the flavour. It was a perfect sized portion for me and I really enjoyed the whole dish. Despite having room, I opted for a Turkish apple tea to finish as I was continuing the evening in a bar and didn’t want to feel stuffed.

Overall, our party really enjoyed the evening. Our booth was incredibly comfortable and gave us a good view of the restaurant. I really liked the mix of modern and Turkish influence to the interiors. The food was delicious, the drinks were lovely and the bill came to a reasonable price. I’ll definitely be back again.

  • Kazan, 93-94 Wilton Road, Victoria, SW1V 1DW. Nearest station: Victoria. For more information and booking, visit the Kazan website.

To read more of Metro Girl’s bar and restaurant reviews, click here.

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Celebrate World Malbec Day with the best of Argentina at M Restaurants

Malbec M Restaurants

Crush grapes beneath your feet at the Malbec M Restaurants’ outdoor terrace

With Malbec World Day coming up on April 17, the City’s hot new culinary destination M Restaurants will be celebrating the event in style. The complex, which includes two restaurants and a cocktail bar, is launching its new outdoor terrace featuring a Malbec vineyard and grape-crushing pool. With the weather warming up, the outdoor area is expected to become a big draw over the spring and summer, with views of the Bank of England.

From the 13 April, M will be hosting Malbec Week featuring a special Argentine menu and wine tastings from the Enomatic machines with head sommelier Zack Charilaou. There will also be screenings of Argentine movies. Diners will be able to sample top Argentine produce and visit the Malbec vineyard and crush some grapes barefoot.

As seasoned red wine connoisseurs may know, Malbec has become one of the popular grapes in recent years. Although the grape originated in France, it has particularly thrived in Argentina and become an ingredient in many of the country’s red wines.

M, from former Gaucho MD Martin Williams, opened in November 2014 and has made waves as the first restaurant in Europe to serve Kobe Beef. The complex comprises the M Grill steak restaurant, M Raw eaterie (which serves raw food), cocktail bar and wine-tasting room. M recently hosted the world’s first drinkable art and is set to host an election-themed cocktails in the run up to the General Election.

  • M, 2-3 Threadneedle Walk, 60 Threadneedle Street, City of London, EC2 8HP. Nearest station: Bank or Liverpool Street. Malbec Week at M runs from 13-18 April 2015. For more information and booking, visit the M restaurants website.

For a guide to what else is on in London this month, click here.

For Metro Girl’s bar and restaurant reviews, click here.

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Flesh & Buns review: Sushi, sashimi and cocktails in a bustling basement

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

Raw: Mixed Sashimi platter with 2 pieces each of tuna, salmon & yellowtail

Upon first entering Flesh & Buns, I remembered this used to be a basement bar I spent a birthday in about 10 years ago. It had definitely changed a lot since. Flesh & Buns is a Japanese Izakaya bar and restaurant from the same team behind Bone Daddies Ramen. The interior is quite basic, with long high tails and stools dominating the central dining area. My party of two turned up on a Saturday night without a reservation – admittedly rather naïve given this restaurant in a big hit with young London foodies right now. There was quite a party atmosphere with the clientele predominantly in their 20s and 30s. Loud music and the risqué bathrooms which have been decorated in Japanese anime porn so perhaps not a place to bring the in-laws.

With no table available, my date and I found a spot at the very busy bar with a server estimating it would be a 45 minute wait. However it appeared the existing groups dining weren’t in a rush to move on so after two rounds of drinks, we were given the option to eat at the bar so we took it.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

A bit of a kick: Softshell crab with jalapeno mayo

The restaurant’s title flesh and buns refers to the choice of meat – steaks, duck and chicken – and the small soft buns. However, on this visit, I ended up ordering neither – opting for a tapas-style meal from the Small Bites menu for us to share. We ordered the Mixed Sashimi set, which included two pieces each of tuna, salmon & yellowtail (£12) served on a bed of ice. Despite the casual feel of the venue, the presentation of food was very good, adding to F&B’s reputation as a foodie destination. We also ordered the Salmon Avocado Roll, which was well complemented  One of my favourite dishes was the Softshell Crab, with fried squid, grilled broccoli with miso and sesame (£9.50), with jalapeno mayo adding a kick. We added some greens with Grillied Broccoli with miso and sesame (£5.50).

Overall, I enjoyed the food and drink. The high-energy venue wouldn’t always be a suitable choice for a meal out depending on the company (eg. your mother), however I would definitely suggest it as a good place to eat on a big night out with friends. The service was friendly and I applaud our attentive waitress for keeping track of us amidst all the hustle and bustle. The toilets were definitely a good taking point!

  • Flesh & Buns, 41 Earlham Street, Seven Dials, WC2H 9LX. Nearest tube: Covent Garden or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Flesh & Buns website.

For more of Metro Girl’s bar and restaurant reviews, click here.

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High tea in historic surroundings: Cuisson launch pop-up Afternoon Tea parlour in Burlington Arcade

Cuisson © peter miranda

Afternoon Tea delights created by pastry chef Hideko Kawa will be on offer at the Cuisson pop-up in the Burlington Arcade
© Peter Miranda

When it comes to a treat like Afternoon Tea, shouldn’t you drink it in an equally glamorous postcode? Well, from this April for 11 weeks, a pop-up tea parlour is coming to Mayfair in the iconic Burlington Arcade.

Bespoke dining company Cuisson is teaming up with Laurent-Perrier for a special, modern interpretation on Afternoon Tea. With the menu overseen by talented pastry chef Hideko Kawa, guests will have the chance to eat her stunning creations in a former jewellery store in the 19th century shopping haven. Kawa trained at Le Cordon Bleu, before starting her career at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and moving on to perfect her pastry skills under Helene Darroze at The Connaught, eventually becoming Head Pastry Chef at The Fat Duck. Meanwhile, Cuisson have been bringing chefs from Michelin-starred kitchens together since 2012 to create pop-ups and special events.

The tea will be served in quintessentially English Wedgwood bone china, while some of the food will be presented in the jewellery boxes. For those who want something a bit stronger, the tea will be paired with Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé. Among the many delectable food served will include coronation chicken terrine, smoked salmon cornet caviar, Laurent-Perrier Champagne trifle and Cuisson choux pastry with caramel and candied herbs.

  • Cuisson Pop-Up Afternoon Tea will take place at 66-67 Burlington Arcade, Mayfair, W1J 0QJ. Tickets: £65 for Afternoon Tea for one including two glasses of champagne. From 8 April until 26 June 2015. Nearest tube: Green Park. To book, visit the Time Out London website.

For a guide to what else is on in London this month, click here.

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Guide to what’s on in London in April 2015

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

Spring is here!

Spring is (hopefully) in full swing and with Easter Holidays kicking off at the beginning of the month, there’s plenty going on both during and after the school holidays. With the hope of warmer weather, some events and festivals are starting to venture outside. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for some balmier weather.

  • 30 March – 12 April : Chorus Festival

Festival celebrating singing as a group, featuring concerts, warm-ups and workshops. Tickets range from free to £38. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information and booking, visit the Southbank Centre website.

  • 2 – 5 April : London International Ska Festival

Four day festival of ska music featuring Lee Scratch Perry, Steel Pulse, Derrick Harriot, Gentleman’s Dub Club, Rico Rodriguez, Freddie Notes and Sir Horace Upton Collective (from The Specials) among others, at venues across the capital, including the Jazz Café and the Forum. Wristbands for the whole festival £141, individual gigs range from £5 to £25. For more information and tickets, visit the London International Ska Festival website.

  • 2 – 5 April : Le Beat Bespoke Festival

Indoor music festival returns celebrating 21st Century Modernist and Sixties inspired underground music culture. Featuring live bands, DJs, record fair, market, guest clubs, all-nighters and Go Go dancers. Tickets: Individual gig tickets vary, or 3 day pass £53, 4 day pass £61. 229 The Venue, 229 Great Portland Street, W1W 5PN. Nearest station: Great Portland Street or Oxford Circus. For more information, visit Le Beat Bespoke website.

  • Now until 6 April : Ideal Home Show

A place of inspiration for homeowners including interiors, fittings and gardens. Includes plenty of opportunities to buy things both big and small for the house and food. Celebrity ambassadors in attendance include Alan Titchmarsh. Gregg Wallace, Laurence Llewelyn Bowen, George Clarke, Katie Piper, Martin Lewis, and Suzi Perry. Tickets: Adults £12 (weekday) or £14 (weekend). Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, W14 8UX. Nearest tube/overland: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Ideal Home Show website.

  • 9 April – 19 July : Udderbelly Festival
© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

The Udderbelly cow returns to the Southbank

Udderbelly returns to the Southbank for a seventh year, featuring three months of comedy, circus, cabaret and family shows at affordable prices in an inflatable upside down cow venue. Jubilee Gardens, off Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information and tickets, visit the Udderbelly website.

  • 10 April : Spicy Friday – Friday Late @ Museum Of Brands

Late night adults-only opening of the Museum Of Brands, with spicy being the theme this month. Discover sauces, test your chili tolerance. Entrance includes free drink on arrival, themed cocktails, drinks and snacks, live entertainment and a spicy Time Tunnel trail. Tickets; £10. Museum Of Brands, 2 Colville Mews, off Lonsdale Road, Notting Hill, W11 2AR. Nearest tube: Notting Hill Gate. For more information and booking, visit the Museum Of Brands website.

  • 10 April : Historic Punch gets Medieval

Late night event at the British Library, featuring Historic Punch, the salon of conversation, expert talks, and gin-laced concoctions as guests explore the quirkier aspects of Medieval life. 6.30-9.30pm. Tickets: £25. The British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB. Nearest station: Euston, St Pancras or King’s Cross. For more information and booking, visit the British Library website.

  • 11 April : Oxbridge Boat Race

Watch the historic annual boat race between the Cambridge and Oxford University crews. Thousands will line the banks between Putney Bridge and Mortlake to watch the action. Starts at 5.55pm. Free. Nearest stations: Putney Bridge, Hammersmith, Ravenscourt Park, Stamford Brook, East Putney, Barnes Bridge or Chiswick. For more information, visit the Boat Race website.

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Nice to see ewe: Follow the Shaun In The City trails around London

Easter fun for children AND parents at The Royal Horseguards Hotel and Hotel Chocolat’s Terrace Chapters

© Hotel Chocolat

Hotel Chocolat will providing chocolatey treats for the Easter Egg hunt

Many Easter activities see the parents standing back and watching while their kids have all the fun. However, The Royal Horseguards Hotel will be offering a good time for both adults and children as part of their new Terrace Chapters.

The historic five-star hotel has teamed up with chocolate connoisseurs Hotel Chocolat to open ‘Chapter One’ on their terrace this Easter Sunday (5 April). Hosted by Beau Bunny, children will spend the afternoon Easter egg hunting for Hotel Chocolat treats, which can be taken home.

Meanwhile, their parents can sip their complimentary arrival glass of champagne while enjoying the stunning view of the River Thames and the London Eye from the outdoor terrace.

The action takes place from 12pm on Easter Sunday with just 30 places, so email ASAP for your chance to take part (details below).

After Easter, guests will have the opportunity to enjoy a chocolate picnic on the terrace, where you can sample Hotel Chocolat goodies or warm up with a cocoa gin cocktail.

  • The Terrace, The Royal Horseguards Hotel, 2 Whitehall Court, SW1A 2EJ. Nearest station: Charing Cross or Embankment. To take part, email your name, address, phone number and number of tickets you would like with the subject ‘FAMILY EASTER HUNT’ to: invite.rhg@guoman.co.uk. (T&Cs are available on The Royal Horseguards Hotel Facebook page. Don’t forget to tell The Royal Horseguards Hotel if you would rather not receive emails about special offers and promotions. For more information, visit the Guoman Hotels’ website.
© The Royal Horseguards Hotel

Parents can relax in the terrace and sip champagne while their children are occupied
© The Royal Horseguards Hotel


For a guide to what else is on in London this Easter for families and adults, click here.

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