How often have you eaten at one of London’s fabulous restaurants and thought, ‘I wish I could make this dish at home?’ Coming to the capital this spring is a new cookery school, with some top chefs sharing some kitchen secrets both novices and experienced foodies will appreciate.
B&H Kitchen, situated at the top of Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings near Exmouth Market, will be playing host to thrice weekly classes for up to 12 participants from 1 March 2016. Run by Bourne & Hollingsworth’s new executive chef Adam Gray (Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Rhodes Twenty Four, Skylon) and Head Chef Anthony Horn, they will guide aspiring cooks through expert techniques, seasonal recipes and ingredient knowledge. The kitchen is fully kitted out with the latest kitchenware and technology across six catering stations, demonstration bench and communal dining table.
The courses will range from knife skills and butchery to sausage making and seasonal vegetables, featuring a mix of classic and specialised techniques. Students will have the opportunity to master B&H’s modern British style as they make basic or more complicated dishes.
The courses on offer will include:
• Knife Skills (Short Course)
Participants will learn about each knife’s uses as well as being taught how to sharpen a knife properly. At the end of the class, they will cut and chop like a trained chef.
• Fish-Filleting and Cooking
While learning the healthy properties of and the difference between white and oily fish, participants will be taught how to scale, skin, fillet and marinade round and flat fish.
• Bread No.1
Participants will learn the basic making of white and brown bread dough and progress to creating a fruit loaf.
• Specialty Bread No.2
An advanced course focusing on enriched dough, specialty flavoured breads and cutting and shaping various artisan bread rolls.
• Sausage Making
A course on the construction of the perfect sausage that focuses on the ingredients that go into a high quality sausage meat of various flavours and styles.
• Butchery - Meat and Poultry
Participants will be trained how to bone out various joints of meat and how to prepare poultry efficiently.
This course will cover an education on the game season and offer the opportunity to prepare and cook various classic and modern game dishes
• Vegetables - Seasonal and British (Short Course)
An introduction to buying and using seasonal vegetables, specifically from BH’s supplier at New Covent Garden Market. Additionally, partakers will be shown how to produce vegetable dishes that stand-alone from meat or fish heavy meals.
• How to cook the perfect steak
Participants will be taught the various cuts and what to look out for when purchasing quality beef before learning to cook steak perfectly.
In addition to the courses, B&H Kitchen will also offer pairing sessions of food, wine and the famous B&H cocktails.
- B&H Kitchen, Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings, 42 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, EC1R 0HU. Nearest station: Farringdon or Angel. Tel: 0203 174 1156. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit the B&H group website. Prices available on application.
For a review of brunch at the Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings, click here.
For a guide to what else is on in London this month, click here.
Without a doubt, Wardour Street is one of the busiest roads in the West End. Stretching the length of Soho and bordered by Chinatown, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street, it means the street attracts a lot of traffic – both vehicle and pedestrian. Most Londoners and tourists will have passed down Wardour Street at some point in their commute to work, sightsee or socialise. However, with the road so busy, how often do you have time to stop and look up at the buildings around you?
Wardour Street is home to a wide range of architecture from the 1700s to present day – such as the W Hotel. The road itself has been named various things over the centuries and has been visible on maps since the Elizabethan times. In the late 16th century, it was named Colmanhedge Lane, which was then a popular route across the fields of the Burton Saint Lazar lands. The lane linked the Charing Cross area to the main road we now know as Oxford Street, which was simply described as ‘the Way from Vxbridge to London’. Old maps of what is now known as Soho shows the lane follows the current Wardour Street nearly exactly, including the slight bends at Old Compton Street and Brewer Street.
Following the Restoration in 1660, the land at the southern end of Wardour Street was leased by Queen Henrietta Maria (1609-1699) to Henry Jermyn, Earl of St. Albans (1605-1684). By 1676, her son King Charles II (1630-1685) granted the freehold of the three and half acre plot to the Earl, who swiftly disposed of the land to builders, who erected buildings by 1681-2. On a 1682 map, what we now know as Wardour Street were actually three different roads – So Ho in the north, Whitcomb Street in the middle and the abbreviated Hedge Lane had remained for the southern end. However, within three years, the portion of the road between Coventry Street and Brewer Street was renamed again as Princes Street after Prince Rupert (1619-1682), while the upper part near Oxford Street was renamed Wardour Street after the landowner at the time Sir Edward Wardour (d.1694). It was during the 17th century that Soho was really transformed from fields into a residential and business district. By 1687, the properties on Princes St were owned by Sir Anthony Deane, who sold them to Richard Bourne. By the 1720s and 1730s, many of the buildings on Princes Street were of poor quality and were torn down and rebuilt by Bourne’s family.
This is where we come to the history of one particular building which caught my eye when visiting the W Hotel bar. Directly across the road is No.9 Wardour Street, a three-storey Georgian terrace with distinctive period signage on the façade. On 10 November 1725, George Bourne of Enfield (some relation to Richard Bourne we can assume) leased the site of No. 59-61 Princes Street (now No.7-11 Wardour Street) to watchmaker Henry Parsons for 42 1/2 years. In 1726, the two houses on the site were demolished and were replaced with three new ones in 1727. No.7 and 9 are identical terraces made of brown and red brick with slate dormered mansard roofs and sash windows. No.9 features a stone panel between the 1st and 2nd floor with ‘Exchange and Bullion Office’ in raised letters. Situated between the windows on the 1st and 2nd floor respectively are ‘1798’ and ‘No.9’ in white lettering. However, as the building was known as No.60 Prince Street until the late 19th century, it isn’t clear how old the No.9 lettering is.
Taking place at the climax of London Beer Week, CBR London 2016 is a new and improved version of the Craft Beer Rising festival. A two-day extravaganza at the Old Truman Brewery will feature 150 brewers showcasing over 600 different beer and ciders to sample. As well as plenty of drinking, there will be street food, live music and DJs.
This year’s festival will be CBR’s largest ever and include a diverse mix of breweries from the UK and abroad. Featuring UK brands such as Beavertown, Thornbridge, and Harviestoun, to international talent from Little Bichos, Lagunitas, Mikkheller, and Bronx Brewery. They’ll be ample opportunity to try your favourite craft beers as well as new product launches and recipes.
New at this year’s festival will be ‘Lost in Cyder Space’, a dedicated cider zone from Sheppy’s cider, who will be launching a new drink. Also taking part are Caple Road, Hogan’s And Italian producer Angioletti with their new blueberry rose infused cider. For those who want to mix things up, Auchentoshan and Don Papa will be serving their special whisky and rum-infused beers respectively. And for friends who prefer alternative tipples, there’ll be a wine bar, Hawkes ginger beer and Harry Brompton’s Ice Tea.
Bringing the sounds to CBR London will be headliners James Lavelle and Rob Da Bank on Friday and Saturday night respectively. Other acts performing over the weekend include Coldcut’s Jon Moore, Portishead sample digger Andy Smith, Boca 45, DJ Ross Allen, BBC6 Music’s Don Letts, music journo Pete Paphides and the Showhawk Duo. Meanwhile, The Vintage Mobile Disco, aka Donna Somerset, will be providing the grooves in the ‘Lost In Cyder Space’ zone.
At this year’s CBR London, the token system has been abolished so you can pay with cash and enjoy beers to take away. The Old Truman Brewery will also be the epicentre of London Beer Week (22-28 February 2016) so will play host to pop-up beer bars and immersive beer experiences for guests with a LBW wristband.
- CBR London takes place on 26-27 February 2016. Tickets: £15 (includes branded glass and programme). Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6QL. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street, Liverpool Street or Aldgate East. For more information and booking, visit the Craft Beer Rising website.
Winter is in full swing with chilly temperatures. But with spring only a few weeks away (here’s hoping!), London is really starting to come alive again with the onset of February. Of course, bang in the middle of the month is Valentine’s Day to inject some love and romance into Londoners’ hearts.
For a guide to what’s on in London this Valentine’s Weekend, click here.
- Now until 3 February : Found & Lost
A new promenade opera will move from room to room after the five-star Corinthia Hotel London. Tickets: £27.50, Under 26 and Concessions: £20, Premium tickets: £35. Corinthia Hotel London, Whitehall Place, Whitehall, SW1A 2BD. Nearest station: Embankment or Charing Cross. For booking, visit the Corinthia-Air website. For more information, read Metro Girl’s post on Found & Lost.
- 3 – 9 February : Carnival 2016 @ Guanabara
If you can’t afford to fly to Brazil for the real thing, let the spirit of Rio come to London as Guanabara hosts a week of celebrations. Including performances from Samba, percussion and capoeira artists, parade, Brazilian street food and the best rum cocktails in town. Open hours vary. Entry ranges from free to £10. Guanabara, Parker Street, Covent Garden, WC2B 5PW. Nearest station: Holborn or Covent Garden. For more information, visit the Guanabara website.
- 3 February – 6 March : Magical Lantern Festival
Celebrate the Chinese New Year with an immersive journey through a sea of lights. Over 50 life-sized sculpted lanterns will be dotted through the gardens with light depictions of animals and nature. Open Tuesday-Sunday 5-10.30pm. Tickets: Adults £16 (online), £18 (on the door). Child £10 (advance), £12 (on the door). Chiswick House Gardens, Chiswick, W4 2QN. Nearest stations: Turnham Green and Gunnersbury. For booking and more information, visit the Magical Lantern UK website. For Metro Girl’s blog post on the festival, click here.
- 3 February – 10 April : Hard Rock Couture @ Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!
To celebrate the original Hard Rock Café in London’s 45th birthday, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not will be hosting a collection of Hard Rock’s pop and rock fashion memorabilia. Free entry to exhibition with all Ripley’s tickets. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, 1 Piccadilly Circus, Soho, W1J 0DA. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus. To book tickets in advance and save up to 25%, visit Ripleys London website. For more information on the exhibition, read Metro Girl’s blog piece.
- 4 – 7 February : Destinations – The Holiday & Travel Show
Presented by The Times, the Holiday and Travel show is full of inspiration for your next adventure or holiday. As well as lots of travel companies, there is photography masterclasses, health advice and meet the experts. Open 10am-5.30pm. Tickets: £11 in advance, £13 on the door. Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Destinations – Holiday & Travel Show website.
- 5 – 6 February : London Remixed Festival
A two day celebration of emerging talents from the worlds of ghetto funk, drum and bass, reggae, anarchic hoedown, Latin breaks, brass band hip hop, electro-Afro music, Balkan beats, blues remix, electro swing, tropical bass, Ethiopian dub, DMC scratch masters +and more. Fri 5 8pm-1am, Sat 8pm-4am. Tickets: £10-£15. Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, E1 6LA. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street or Old Street. For more information, visit the London Remixed Festival website.
Quadrophenia is widely regarded one of the classic cult films of the 1970s and is still captivating audiences over 36 years later. Loosely based on The Who’s 1973 rock opera, the movie told the story of a young mod Jimmy Cooper (Phil Daniels) and his adventures in 1964 London and Brighton.
This February, a one-off event is reuniting the cast and director of the iconic film for an immersive cinematic experience. As well as a screening of the 1979 film, there will also be an exclusive Q&A, live re-enactments, original Vespas, memorabilia and live music from The Who’s Who tribute band. Guests will be encouraged to dress the part with prizes for those in the ‘best threads’.
Reuniting for the evening for the Q&A will be director Franc Roddam and castmembers Phil Daniels (Jimmy Cooper), Toyah Wilcox (‘Monkey’), Trevor Laird (‘Ferdy’), Garry Cooper (Peter Fenton), Daniel Peacock (Danny), Mark Winget (Dave), Phil Davis (Chalky), John Altman (Johnny ‘John The Mod’ Fagin) and Jeremy Child (Agency Man).
- The Quadrophenia event takes place at Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, 45 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith, W6 9QH. Nearest station: Hammersmith. Event starts at 6pm on 11 February 2016. Standard tickets range from £30-£43 and VIP at £69.50. For tickets, visit EventimApollo.com and AXS.com.
While London today spreads across 40 square miles, it’s easy to forget many parts of the capital were countryside until the past few centuries. Today, many palatial ‘country’ estates and palaces exist within the London borders, such as Strawberry Hill House and Eltham Palace. One such place is Charlton House in south-east London, widely considered as the best preserved Jacobean building in the capital.
Charlton House was built from 1607-12 for Sir Adam Newton, Dean of Durham (d.1630), who was tutor to Henry, Princes Of Wales (1594-1612) – son of King James I (1566-1625). It is believed Charlton House was designed by the architect John Thorpe (1560-1620) on the site of an older building. The site was conveniently located about 2 miles away from the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich so it would have been easy for the prince to travel between for lessons. However, the prince ended up dying of typhoid fever when he was just 18 just as the house was completed, leaving his younger brother, the future King Charles I (1600-1649) as the heir to the throne. Following the prince’s death, Newton continued to work for the royal court and resided in the house. He and his wife Kathleen are commemorated with marble monuments in St Luke’s Church just outside the grounds, which was built the same year as his death. Today, the house’s royal connection can be seen with the Prince of Wales feather above the east door to the hall and in further details in the Grand Salon.
Following Newton’s death, the house was passed on to his son Sir Henry Puckering Newton, before it was sold to Sir William Ducie in the mid 17th century, who made substantial improvements to the building. In 1680, the estate was bought by East India merchant Sir William Langhorne. He died without an heir in 1715 so the estate was passed to his nephew Sir John Conyers. The Maryon-Wilson family went on to own the house from 1767 to 1923. Under their ownership, the southern extension was built by Richard Norman Shaw (1831-1912) in 1877. The original chimneys were replaced by mock Tudor ones in the late 19th century.
During World War I, the house was used as a hospital. A few years after, the house ceased to be used as a residential home when it was given to Greenwich Borough Council by the Maryon-Wilsons in 1925. Under the council’s management, a public library was established in the Victorian wing before it was closed in 1991 due to cost-cutting measures. In January 1945, the north-eastern wing of the building was destroyed by a V-2 bomb. Due to a shortage of building materials, the wrong colour bricks were used in the rebuilding, which can be clearly seen today.
Today the building is Grade-I listed. Made of red brick and white stone dressings, the house is set out in an E-plan layout. The original gateway to the estate is today marooned in the middle of the front lawn after the village green was enclosed by Charlton House’s owners, the Maryon-Wilson family in 1829. Meanwhile, in the back, the paved courtyard looks out over the Gardens, with some of the original estate forming Charlton Park behind. A part of a 19th century Ha-Ha remains today, while an ancient Mulberry tree in the front grounds is believed to date back to 1608. In the north-west corner of the grounds, overlooking the road, is a summer house or orangery, which was amazingly converted into public toilets in the 1930s. There is hope that the building will be restored in the future.
Charlton House is open today as a community centre, featuring a tea room, library, language school and a function venue for weddings, conferences and meetings. Although the whole of the building is not normally open to the public, I joined a tour of the building during Open House London. As well as learning about the history of the building, I got to see the stunning fireplaces, plasterwork ceilings and original oak staircase. The Grand Salon is particularly impressive with its marble fireplace flanked by sculptures of Venus and Vulcan, with the Stuart coat of arms and the initials JR (King James) in the west bay and the motto ‘Ich Dien’ (German for ‘I serve’) in the east bay.
- Charlton House, Charlton Road, Charlton, SE7 8RE. Nearest station: Charlton (trains from Charing Cross and Cannon Street). For more information, visit the Charlton House website.
For Metro Girl’s other history posts, click here.
This February, the spirit of New Orleans is coming to London with a Mardi Gras carnival and party. As part of the six-week Vault Festival in the tunnels below Waterloo station, there will be a two-day celebration of Fat Tuesday on 5 and 6 February 2016.
Kansas Smitty’s and Shotgun Carousel are teaming up to host a late night party, featuring live music, costume parade, dancing and lots of liquor. The Kansas Smitty’s House Band will be trekking over from their East London home to bring the carnival spirit to the South Bank as they lead a parade fronted by the performers of Shotgun Carousel. Smitty’s House Band will bring the New Orleans’ 9th Ward to The Vaults with their ‘swamp rock’ blend of funk, soul, zydeco and brass band classics.
Guests will be encouraged to wear their most elaborate, imaginative and outlandish costumes with prizes for the best, with The King and Queen of Mardi Gras being crowned during the festivities.
Fat Tuesday – Mardi Gras takes place during the six-week Vault Festival, an art festival featuring live music, dance, drama, comedy and late-night parties across eight venues, three bars and a restaurant.
- Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras takes place on 5 and 6 February 2016 from 10pm-3am. At The Vaults, Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 7NN. Nearest station: Waterloo or Lambeth North. Tickets: £12. For tickets, visit MardiGrasLdn.com. For more information about The Vault Festival, click here.
For a guide to what’s on in London in February, click here.
Coming to London this Chinese New Year will be the capital’s first Magical Lantern Festival. Chiswick House Gardens will be transformed for a 29-day festival of lights to celebrate the Year of the Monkey. Over 50 giant hand-sculpted lanterns will be dotted through the gardens with guests passing through Corridors of Light into colourful themed zones.
The centrepiece of the festival will be a striking 66-metre dragon spanning the lake with its scales glistening on the water. Visitors will be in awe as they look up at a 10-metre recreation of Beijing’s Temple of Heaven and a 8-metre porcelain Imperial Palace featuring a lantern Terracotta Army. In the Animal Kingdom zone, there will be life-sized flamingos, zebras, kangaroos and elephants amongst the trees. These light installations are a nod to a former owner of Chiswick House, the Sixth Duke Of Devonshire (1790-1858), who kept exotic animals in the gardens in the 19th century. Along in the Enchanted Forest will feature a stunning Tree of Life, with illuminated oversized mushrooms, plants and flowers exploding around it, while giant lotus flowers will open and close on the water features. Meanwhile, an illuminated waterfall will be the setting for a lantern recreation of the Chinese fable The Monkey King.
The festival channels China’s 2000 year heritage and is the brainchild of Weli Creative Director, David Lee and Creative Director, Ian Xiang, who explained: ‘London was chosen as the first city to host this amazing, 29-day festival of light, due to its status as the multicultural centre of the Western World. We selected an iconic venue for this iconic event, providing a unique, cultural experience and marking the 15th day of the Lunisolar year’s first month and the last day of the Lunar New Year celebration.’
During the 75 minute experience, visitors can also sample a range of international food and hot drinks in the undercover heated seating area, with unique gifts on offer to take home from the market.
- The Magical Lantern Festival runs from 3 February to 6 March 2016 at Chiswick House Gardens, Chiswick, W4 2QN. Nearest stations: Turnham Green and Gunnersbury. Open Tuesday-Sunday 5-10.30pm (closed on Mondays, except 8 February for Chinese New Year opening). Tickets (ticketed entry every 15 mins from 5-8.45pm): Adults £16 (online), £18 (on the door). Child £10 (advance), £12 (on the door). Family £56. For booking and more information, visit the Magical Lantern UK website.
Hard Rock Cafe are internationally renowned for their all-American cuisine… and their stunning collection of pop and rock memorabilia. With the original Hard Rock Cafe in London celebrating their 45th birthday this year, what better way to mark it than to bring some of the chain’s best rock couture to the city where it all began.
Starting this winter, Hard Rock Cafe are bringing their unique fashion collection to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! for a special exhibition. ‘Hard Rock Couture’ will feature striking items worn by pop legends from past and present, including Elvis Presley, Madonna, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney and more. Among the items on show includes a feathered Dior jacket worn by The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers, a yellow coat worn by Madonna in Dick Tracy and McCartney’s suit made by The Beatles’ tailor.
Narissa O’Moore, Hard Rock’s European Marketing Manager said: ‘This is the first of many exciting activities we have planned to celebrate 45 years of Hard Rock. We scoured our 78,000 piece collection to pull together a collection that will truly wow our guests. The collection showcases a unique part of music and indeed fashion history and gives fans an opportunity to see that history first-hand.’
- Hard Rock Couture will be on display at the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not from 3 February – 10 April 2016. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, 1 Piccadilly Circus, Soho, W1J 0DA. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus. Free entry to exhibition with all Ripley’s tickets. To book tickets in advance and save up to 25%, visit Ripleys London website.
For a guide to what else is on in London this month, click here.