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Tales of Silk and Music: A festival of Indian dance at Devonshire Square

© Patrizia Ilaria Sechi

The Tales Of Silk And Music festival takes place this summer at Devonshire Square
© Patrizia Ilaria Sechi

With 2017 being the UK-India Year of Culture, there has already been a host of events across the country celebrating our cultural exchange with India. This July and August, London is honouring that special relationship with a six-week long Indian Dance Festival. The Tales Of Silk And Music festival will take place in the historic 18th century surrounds of Devonshire Square on the fringes of the City.

Over the summer, London’s leading performers will take audiences on a retrospective journey through a range of Indian dance styles, from traditional to contemporary. With Devonshire Square’s origins as the former warehouse complex of the East India Company, the setting could not be more apt. The entertainment programme has been jointly curated by Akademi South Asian Dance and the Bollywood Co. a team of professionals based at the renowned Pineapple Dance Studio.

Patrizia Sechi, Events Manager at Devonshire Square: ‘We have scoured London to find the very best artists and the programme features dancers who have performed at high-profile events such as the launch of the UK-India Year of Culture itself, at Buckingham Palace, film and TV performances, as well as Bollywood Film Festivals. In staging Tales of Silk and Music, we hope to create an opportunity for new audiences to enjoy this beautiful and vibrant art form as part of London’s diverse cultural scene.’

Among the highlights of the festival include:

  • 6 July : Rainbows in Motion – a spectacular and uplifting fusion of modern and classical Indian dance by Bollywood Co.
  • 13 July : Odissi (ancient Indian classical dance from East India) performance by professional dancers Maryam Shakiba and Katrina Rute.
  • 27 JulyDancenbeats perform Dandiya Raas – the traditional folk dance form of Gujarat and Rajasthan, in Western India.
  • 3 August : Debanjali Biswas performs Manipuri dance, one of the major Indian classical dance styles.

During the festival, Cinnamon Kitchen will be hosting a Summer Pavilion and Bombay Sapphire Gin Garden, featuring a bespoke gin bar, luxury gazebos and an inventive Indian-inspired menu.

  • Tales Of Silk And Music performances take place every Thursday at 12.30pm from now until 17 August 2017. Free to watch. Devonshire Square (Western Courtyard), City of London, EC2M. Nearest stations: Liverpool Street or Aldgate. For more information, visit the Devonshire Square website.

For a guide to what else is on in July, click here.

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Guide to what’s on in London in July 2017

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Live music at the Lambeth Country Show in Brockwell Park

Summer is in full swing with the capital bursting to life with indoor and outdoor events as every turn. Of course, Wimbledon dominates a big chunk of July (3-16th) with tennis, Pimm’s and strawberries the order of the day. The end of the month, the school holidays kick off so there will be plenty of harassed parents looking for ways to entertain their children. So find some inspiration whatever your age or budget in Metro Girl’s guide to what’s on this July.

To find out where London’s urban beaches are this summer, click here.

  • 1 July : Art Night

A free contemporary arts festival takes over spaces, venues and landmarks in the capital for one night only, featuring art, architecture, dance and music. Every year, a cultural institution is invited to focus on a different part of London. This year, the event will take place in the East End with the Whitechapel Gallery and independent curator Fatos Ustek. 6pm-4am. Free. For more information, visit the Art Night website.

  • 1 – 2 July : Eat Drink Ealing

Food and drink festival returns for a second year, featuring gourmet food stalls, artisan beverages, wine tasting, live music, cookery courses, children’s activities and more. Tickets: £3 (children under 12 go free). Ealing Common, W5. Nearest station: Ealing Broadway or Ealing Common. For more information, visit the Ealing Summer Festival website.

  • 1 – 2 July : Chorus Festival

Annual festival celebrating the power of the voice, featuring choirs from the Nordic regions. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest stations: Waterloo, Embankment or Westminster. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.

  • 1 – 31 July : Rum Festival @ The Jam Tree

Both branches of The Jam Tree will be hosting a month-long celebration of the mighty rum. Featuring Bottomless Brunches with live steel bands, cocktail masterclasses, salsa lessons, Caribbean supperclubs, BBQ and more. The Jam Tree, 541 King’s Road, Chelsea, SW6 2EB. Nearest station: Fulham Broadway or Imperial Wharf or The Jam Tree, 13-19 Old Town, Clapham, SW4 0JT. Nearest station: Clapham Common. For more information, visit The Jam Tree website.

  • 2 July : Eid Festival

Festival to celebrate Eid and mark the end of Ramadan. Including a food festival, live music, performances, shopping and children’s activities. 12-6pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.

  • Now until 2 July : Hampstead Summer Festival

The festival takes place in and around Hampstead, including the Big Fair on Heath Street (2 July), open art competitions, poetry, art and literacy events, pub quizzes and more. Many activities are free. For more information, visit the Hampstead Summer Festival website.

  • Now until 2 July : Carters Steam Fair @ Hornsey

The vintage travelling funfair sets up camp in Hornsey, featuring rides from the late 19th century to the 1960s. Open 11am-9pm. Free admission. Priory Park, Hornsey, N8 8QR. Nearest station: Hornsey. For more information, visit the Carters Steam Fair website.

  • Now until 2 July : East End Film Festival

For its 16th year, the East End Film Festival has been spread out to five weekends. Featuring screenings, Q&As, a Twin Peaks-themed ball and more. At venues across East London, including a Masonic temple. For more information, visit the East End Film Festival website.

  • 4 July : La Traviata – Royal Opera House BP Big Screen

Watch the Royal Opera House’s production of La Traviata live on the big screen. 7pm. Free. At Lyric Square (Hammersmith), Trafalgar Square or General Gordon Square (Woolwich). For more information, visit the Royal Opera House website.

  • 4 – 9 July : Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Flower show in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. Celebrity and expert speakers include Chris Packham, Charlie Dimmock, Michaela Stracham, Pippa Greenwood, Christine Walkden, Helen Bostock, Martin Hughes-Games, David Domoney, Justin Fletcher, Hemsley & Hemsley, among others. Open Tues-Sat 10am-7.30pm, Sun 10am-5.30pm. Advance tickets range from £19 to £36.50 depending on full/half-day and RHS membership. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (from Waterloo). For more information and tickets, visit the RHS website.

  • Now until 5 July : Masterpiece London

An imaginative art and antiques fair for traditional and contemporary. Featuring a week of cultural, culinary and social experiences. Tickets from £28. Royal Hospital, Chelsea, SW3 4SL. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For more information, visit the Masterpiece London website.

  • 5 July – 8 October : Frieze Sculpture

Free outdoor sculpture exhibition in Regents Park, featuring 23 new and significant creations by 20th-century masters and leading contemporary artists, including Rasheed Araeen, John Chamberlain, Urs Fischer, Gary Hume, KAWS, Alicja Kwade, Michael Craig-Martin, Eduardo Paolozzi, Jaume Plensa, Thomas J Price, Ugo Rondinone and Hank Willis Thomas. Regents Park, Marylebone, NW1. Nearest station: Regents Park, Great Portland Street or Camden Town. For more information, visit the Frieze website.

  • 6 July – 17 August : Tales Of Silk & Music Festival

Historic Devonshire Square in the City of London is celebrating UK-India Year Of Culture with an Indian dance festival. Featuring performances from world class dancers. During the festival, Cinnamon Kitchen will be hosting a Summer Pavilion and Bombay Sapphire Gin Garden. Performances every Thursday at 12.30pm. Free to watch. Devonshire Square, City of London, EC2M. Nearest stations: Liverpool Street or Aldgate. For more information, visit the Devonshire Square website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post on the festival.

  • 7 – 9 July : Just V Show

Lifestyle festival for vegans, vegetarians or those who want to live a more plant-based diet. Open 10am-5pm. Tickets: £10 (includes entrance to Love Natural Love You and The Allergy & Free From Show, also on in the same venue). Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For tickets, visit the Just V Show website.

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Where to watch Wimbledon on the big screen in London this summer 2017

Watch the tennis on a floating pontoon in St Katharine’s Docks

It’s that time of year again. When London goes tennis mad for a fortnight and it feels like you hear the words ‘Murray’ and ‘Djokovic’ on a hourly basis. With the fight for tickets set to be as tough as usual, many tennis fans will have to settle for watching the action on TV rather than in the flesh. So if you can’t reach the heady heights of Centre Court, why not see the likes of Murray in action with some atmosphere. A host of parks, spaces and bars are hosting Wimbledon screenings on the big screen – many alfresco – so you can enjoy the match while sipping Pimm’s and nibbling strawberries and cream.

  • 3 – 15 July : Andy Murray Fan Zone @ Mac & Wild

Mac & Wild restaurant are transforming their terrace into an Andy Murray fan zone during Wimbledon with tennis on the big screen, grass courts and balls galore. A special Wimbledon Murray menu will be served, featuring Highland Summer Cup (whisky Pimm’s), Scottish Strawberries and Cream, Venison Scotch Egg and the ‘Murray Mound’ Burger. The bar will be offering 2-4-1 on glasses of Prosecco and Brewgooder beer during the tournament. Terrace open 1pm-10.30pm Mon-Sat. Mac & Wild, 9A Devonshire Square, City of London, EC2M 4YM. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. To book, visit the Mac & Wild website.

  • 3 – 16 July : St Kats Big Screen presents Wimbledon

Sit back and relax on a deckchair or beanbag on a floating pontoon as you check out the latest action from SW19. Pimm’s and strawberries will be served during the semi-finals and finals (13-16 July), but otherwise you’re welcome to bring your own drinks and snacks. Times vary. Free. St Katharine Docks, 50 St Katharine’s Way, E1W 1LA. Nearest station: Tower Hill or Tower Gateway. For more information, visit the St Kats website.

  • 3 – 16 July : Wimbledon @ Merchant Square

Watch the action while chilling on deckchairs in the city oasis of the Paddington Basin. Open daily until 10pm. Free. The Lawn, Paddington Basin, W2 1JS. Nearest station: Paddington. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website.

  • 3 – 16 July : Wimbledon @ London Bridge City Summer Festival

Check out the latest games on the big screen just metres from the River Thames and City Hall. The London Riviera will also be open serving food and cocktails. Times vary. Free. The Scoop, Queen’s Walk, SE1 2DB. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the London Bridge City website. Read the rest of this entry

Celebrate sporting ineptitude at the Chap Olympiad

© Bourne & Hollingsworth

A day of good old-fashioned fun at The Chap Olympiad

We’re not all the athletic types so winning may not be a frequent word in our vocabulary. However, if that sounds like you, then the Chap Olympiad could be right up your street. Returning for the 13th year is a day of old-fashioned fun taking place in one of Bloomsbury’s leafy Georgian squares.

On Saturday 15 July 2017, Britain’s most eccentric sporting event takes over Bedford Square Gardens with live music, food, cocktails and frolics. The Chap Olympiad ‘rewards panache rather than sporting prowess’ with the focus on effort and enthusiasm rather than talent.

The games for the 2017 tournament are:

Not Playing Tennis: Players seated in armchairs, play a game of tennis without getting up.  The tennis ball is suspended on a wire strung between two hat stands.
Tea Pursuit: Contestants in pairs chase each other on bicycles, one with a teacup, and one with a teapot. The tea must be poured into the cup and the fullest cup of tea wins overall.
Well Dressage: Two contestants, each mounted on a hobbyhorse, make a display of elegance and panache around the track in a freestyle manner. They are awarded points by lady judges with number cards.
Umbrella Jousting: Two contestants, armed only with brollies and briefcases, must go at one another on bicycles and attempt to knock each other off.

Guests are invited to dress in their finest dapper, vintage style. For those who don’t fancy taking part in the games, you’re welcome to grab a deckchair and sip a G’n’T while being entertained by the sporting ineptitude. The Chap Olympiad is produced by bars and events group Bourne & Hollingsworth (The Blitz Party, Dark Circus and Cocktails In The City), with the games organised by The Chap Magazine.

  • The Chap Olympiad takes place on Saturday 15 July 2017 from 12pm until dusk. At Bedford Square Gardens, Bloomsbury, WC1B. Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road or Goodge Street. Tickets: £25. Visit the Bourne and Hollingsworth website or call 0203 174 1156.

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

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Pavilion Lates review: After hours fun at the Dulwich Picture Gallery

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

The Dulwich Picture Gallery are hosting late night events every Friday at their Pavilion throughout June and July

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the opening of Dulwich Picture Gallery, the oldest public art gallery in the UK. To mark the occasion, the Gallery hosted a competition to rising architects to design a temporary summer pavilion for the grounds. If_Do won the competition with their airy wood and mesh creation, which will remain outside the Gallery all summer. Throughout June and July, the gallery are hosting late night openings every Friday, featuring special themed events both in and outside the gallery.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

The alternative tour of the gallery gives you interesting stories behind some of the art

Earlier this month, I visited the Gallery for their late night opening, entitled ‘Baroque Mash Up’. The DPG is renowned for its collection of French, Spanish and Italian Baroque paintings, so the night took inspiration from this particular genre of art. Entering the gallery grounds, our eyes were immediately drawn to the main attraction – the Pavilion. Within the structure was a pop-up bar from the Camberwell Arms serving cocktails, wine and snacks, so our first priority was to order a drink and soak up the atmosphere. There was plenty of seating both around the Pavilion and the manicured lawns so a lovely space to relax on a warm summer evening. The gallery’s café is also open late serving food if you’re in the mood for something more substantial. While sipping our cocktails, we were entertained by musicians Benjamin Tassie and Liam Byrne playing their original, experimental music, which really complemented the history of the gallery and the social setting. Also in the Pavilion were guests taking part in a cross-stitch workshop, using patterns from some of the Gallery’s works.

During Pavilion Lates, there is free access to the Gallery, which normally costs to enter. We joined one of the hourly tours of the gallery, billed as an ‘alternative tour’. Our guide showed us some popular paintings in the gallery and gave us a list of facts about the subject or the painter – but added an untrue ‘fact’ which we had to guess. As well as injecting a bit of fun into a typically straight-laced activity, it also showcased some surprising facts about artists and the art world I had never heard before. Following the tour, you were free to explore the collection or take part in the collage making workshop.

Overall, it was a lovely, interesting evening – particularly when the weather is good so you can really make the most of the Pavilion and its setting. I’ll definitely be returning to another Pavilion Lates this summer.

  • Pavilion Lates take place every Friday in June and July (except 7 July) 2017 from 6-10pm. In the grounds of Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, Dulwich Village, SE21 7AD. Nearest station: West Dulwich or North Dulwich. Tickets: Free, but you must register for a ticket on the Dulwich Picture Gallery website.

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

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Guide to London’s music festivals this summer 2017

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2014

Festival season kicks off again for the summer

This summer sees some of the biggest music acts and DJs in the world converging  on London – and the Home Counties – for the festival season. Here’s a one-stop guide to what’s on and where to get tickets. However, be aware that most will sell out in advance so I would recommend getting your tickets asap.

  • 3 June : Camden Rocks

Hard rock and metal festival featuring over 250 bands (big names and underground talent) at 25 venues around NW1. This year’s line-up includes Feeder, The Coral, The Damned, The Rifles, Milburn, Reverend And The Makers, The Professionals, Royal Republic and many more. Tickets: £39.50. For tickets, visit the Camden Rocks website.

  • 3 June : Field Day

Popular festival returns to East London, featuring performances from Aphex Twin, Dr John Cooper Clarke, Lady Leshurr, Flamingods, Omar Suleyman and many more. 11.30am-11pm. Tickets: £64.50 (online). Victoria Park, Victoria Park Road, Hackney, E3 5SN. Nearest stations: Bethnal Green or Mile End. For more information, visit the Field Day website.

  • 4 June : Mighty Hoopla

A pure pop extravaganza comes to north-east London, featuring live music, DJs, bingo, fun fair rides, giant ball pit, karaoke, cooking talks, bars, food and more. Acts include Years & Years, All Saints, Will Young, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Fleur East, Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon, Snap!, Alison Limerick, Jodie Harsh and more. Tickets from £30. Finsbury Park, Harringay, N4. Nearest station: Finsbury Park. For more information, visit the Mighty Hoopla website.

  • 7 – 24 June : Hampton Court Palace Festival

Big names perform against the backdrop of the historic palace. Acts include Bryan Ferry, James Morrison, Amy McDonald, Will Young’s Jazz Sessions, Van Morrison, Jools Holland, Bjorn Again, Corinne Bailey Rae, Ricky Astley and Michael Ball with Alfie Boe. Tickets range from £39.50-£95 depending on act. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (trains from Waterloo). For more information and tickets, visit the Hampton Court Palace Festival website.

  • 9 – 18 June : Meltdown

This year’s Meltdown Festival is curated by M.I.A. Acts include Young M.A., Tommy Genesis, Young Fathers, Soulwax, Afrikan Boy, Block Party with Rinse FM, Giggs, Yung Lean, Princess Nokia, Hip-Hop Karaoke, Crystal Castles and more. Ticket prices vary. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.

  • 10 June : Bushstock Festival

One day music festival across Shepherd’s Bush. Acts include The Staves, Áine Cahill, Basia Bulat, Benjamin Francis, Leftwich, Bruno Major, Colouring, Cortes, Gordi, Isaac Gracie, Jade Bird, John Joseph Brill, Jordan Mackampa, Krusoe, Liv Dawson, Methyl Ethel, Noctürn, Outlya, Rhys Lewis, Spring King, Ten Tonnes, Tender Central and The Wandering Hearts. Tickets: Tickets from £30. At multiple venues across W12. For more information, visit the festival’s website.

  • 10 June : Southport Weekender Festival

Long-running music weekender comes to London for one-day only. Featuring Kerri Chandler, Roger Sanchez, David Morales, Tony Humphries, Julie McKnight, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Jazzie B, LTJ Bukem, Fabio & Grooverider, Detroit Swindle, Osunlade, Delano Smith, Derrick Carter, Joey Negro, Grant Nelson, Paul ‘Trouble’ Anderson, CJ Mackintosh, Booker T and many more. 12pm-10pm. Tickets from £45. Finsbury Park, N4. Nearest station: Finsbury Park. For booking, visit the Southport Weekender Festival website.

  • 15 – 18 June : Live At Chelsea

Long weekend of open air concerts at historic home of the Chelsea Pensioners. Featuring Ludovico Einaudi, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Belle & Sebastian. Tickets from £38.50. Royal Hospital Chelsea, Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, SW3 4SR. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For tickets, visit the Live At Chelsea website.

  • 30 June – 2 July : Love Supreme

Jazz festival in leafy Sussex, featuring The Jacksons, George Benson, Gregory Porter, Herbie Hancock, Laura Mvula, Corinne Bailey Rae, the Robert Glasper Experiment and many more. Tickets: Day £59.50, Weekend camping £165. Glynde Place, Lewes, Sussex, BN8 6SX. Nearest station: Glynde (trains from Victoria or London Bridge). For more inforation, visit the festival’s website. Read the rest of this entry

Brixton Beach: The spirit of Cuba comes to South London with cocktails, food, music and more

© Brixton Beach

The spirit of Cuba comes to South London at the Brixton Beach this summer

As the weather gets warmer and the nights get brighter, there’s not much better places to be in London than a rooftop bar. This summer, city slickers will be able to enjoy a slice of Cuba at Brixton Beach. The open-air hotspot comes from the award-winning team behind South Pole Saloon, Big Apple Brixton and last year’s popular Brixton Beach Boulevard. Londoners can step away from city life for a few hours as they are transported to a tropical paradise with plenty of food, drink and entertainment.

Revellers will be entertained by a series of events and experiences, including day or night parties, DJs, film and beach barbeques. As you would expect, the bar will be serving up a plethora of tropical concotions with a Cuban-inspired menu. Expect to sip on classics including Rum Daiquiris, Piña Coladas, Cubanitos and Mojitos from Bacardi while you inhale the scents of mint and other hanging, fresh and fruity foliage. While fans of Jamaican beer will be able to visit the dedicated Red Stripe bar, others can quaff Argentine sparkling wine from Moët Hennessy at their exclusive beach side lounge bar. As the nights draw in, guests can dance the night away at The Clubhouse – a covered area inspired by iconic venues such as La Floridita and La Bodeguita del Medio, which will play host to live music, dancers and cabaret performers.

When revellers are feeling peckish, there will be a choice of street food stalls, including Mac and Cheese experts, Mac to the Future, Nanban’s Japanese soul food, Del 74’s Mexican tacos and STAKEhaus. There will also be weekly BBQ pop-up residencies from some of the capital’s most smoking venues every Thursday, such as Mama’s Jerk and Negril.

Every weekend there will be a beach party with entertainment from a range of genres by live DJs, traditional Latin American brass bands and exciting cabaret performances. This summer’s line-up includes Ben Pearce, Norman Jay MBE, Late Nite Tuff Guy, Maxxi Soundsystem, Paul Woolford and PBR Streetgang. Meanwhile, Sunday Sessions will be hosted by the likes of SolidGrooves, Metalheadz, Midnight Riot and Supa Dupa Fly. In July, the Brixton Beach will be hosting Cuba’s biggest holiday, Carnival de Cuba, with their Beach Carnival, featuring Cuban dancers and afro-Cuban drum music.

  • Brixton Beach, Pope’s Road, Brixton, SW9 8JH. Nearest station: Brixton. Brixton Beach Havana opens for the summer from 26 May to 1 October 2017. Open Thu: 6pm-11pm, Fri: 6pm-12am, Sat 2pm-12am, Sun 2pm-11pm. For more information, visit the Brixton Rooftop website.

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

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