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Step into Picasso’s studio with an immersive art experience at BASTIAN gallery

A new London exhibition features Pablo Picasso’s furniture, sculpture, ceramics, drawings and prints.

Picasso’s studio in La Californie à Cannes, © André Villers

Femme assise (Dora Maar) by Pablo Picasso, 1955

An exciting new exhibition is bringing Pablo Picasso’s (1881-1973) Cannes studio to London for an immersive art experience. The Bastian gallery in Mayfair has delved into the Spanish artist’s huge collection of objects, including furniture, sculpture, ceramics, drawings and prints, to recreate his creative space.

Picasso moved to the south of France in 1946 and filled the surfaces and floors of his studio with source material and original works. This new exhibition, ‘Atelier Picasso’, will feature photographs of the artist in his studio by close friend André Villers.

Among the Picasso pieces on show will be the ‘Complete Set of 20 Visage plates’ from 1963, which features different sizes of plates depicting a smiling face motif. His ceramic ‘Wood Owl’ (1969) and his ceramics of female and male faces will also be displayed, including the beautiful Carreau Visage d’Homme (1965). Among his ink drawings include ‘Deux nus et têtes d’hommes’ and ‘Le Voyeur’. The artworks will be displayed alongside furniture from his famous Villa La Californie, making the visitor feel like they are stepping into the artist’s studio.

  • Atelier Picasso runs from 3 September – 31 October 2020. At BASTIAN, 8 Davies Street, Mayfair, W1K 3DW. Nearest stations: Green Park or Bond Street. Tel: 020 3940 5009. Open: Tues-Sat 10am-6pm. For more information, visit the Bastian Gallery website.

For a guide to what’s on in London in October 2020, click here.

For more of Metro Girl’s art posts, click here.

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Be inspired and amazed by real-life tales of adventure at Mr Fogg’s Explorer Series

Lucy Shepherd is one of the explorers taking part in Mr Fogg’s Explorer Series

This spring, be entertained and amazed by the stories of three inspirational adventurers. As part of Mr Fogg’s Explorer Series, travellers will be sharing their epic tales of adventure from across the globe. Each evening features a talk, followed by Q&A for guests to ask questions, as well as opportunities to try Mr Fogg’s Tanqueray No.Ten gin cocktails, inspired by the world.

  • Monday 24 February 2020 : Ollie Phillips

First up is former England Rugby 7’s captain and Guinness World Record holder Ollie Phillips, who will share his inspirational story of resilience and overcoming the odds. After sustaining a serious calf injury, Ollie’s professional rugby career was halted, so he decided to take part in the Clipper Round the World yacht race, coming 2nd with his GB teammates despite no sailing experience. He has gone on to complete a 100-mile trek across the Arctic, hiked Kilimanharo, cycled across America, driven a rickshaw across India and gained several Guinness World Records along the way.

– For tickets and more information on an Evening with Ollie Phillips, click here.

  • Monday 23 March 2020 : Lucy Shepherd

Mountaineer, arctic and jungle explorer Lucy Shepherd has travelled to some of the world’s most remote spots. Having led solo and team expeditions, Lucy was made a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society at just 23 years old. She has solo skied across the Norwegian-Russian border, mountaineered across the High Sierra Range and climbed Tajikistan’s terrifying peaks. She’s currently planning an expedition to cross Guyana’s mountain range – which has never been achieved before. During her adventures, Lucy also films her discoveries as she aims to highlight the climate crisis and how it impacts the places she visits.

– For tickets and more information on an Evening with Lucy Shepherd, click here.

  • Monday 20 April 2020 : Stephen Fabes

Adventurer Stephen Fabes recalls his amazing six-year expedition across six countries and 75 countries by bike. Having trained as a doctor before his journey began, he was able to use his medical training along the way, visiting remote clinics and helping to raise money to fight tropical diseases.

– For tickets and more information on an Evening with Stephen Fabes, click here.

During each talk, mixologists can whip up some travel-inspired gin concoctions, including ‘To the Ends of the Earth’ (Tanqueray No. TEN Gin, Fermented Banana Shrub, Coffee Liqueur and Lime), ‘Eastern Horizons’ (Tanqueray No. TEN Gin, Belsazar Rosé Wine Aperitif, Sake and Pollen) and ‘Pole to Pole’ (Tanqueray No. TEN Gin, Passion Fruit Juice, Toasted Rice Mirin, Vanilla and Fresh Lemon).

  • Mr Fogg’s Residence, 15 Bruton Lane, Mayfair, W1J 6JD. Nearest station: Green Park or Bond Street. All events have a 6pm arrival for a 7pm start time. Free entry. For more information, visit Mr Fogg’s website.

For a guide to what’s on in London in March, click here.

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Celebrate women artists and support womens’ charities with Mount Street Editions by Frieze London

© Helen Cammock

There’s a Hole in the Sky Part I 2016, by Helen Cammock, one of the artists taking part in Mount Street Editions by Frieze

Returning to the capital this October is Frieze London, a contemporary, international art fair. As part of this year’s event, Frieze London is collaborating with Mount Street to commission four leading female artists to produce limited edition prints. Throughout Frieze Week (4-7 October 2018), a pop-up customised vehicle on Mount Street will be selling 100 prints daily. The collaboration is inspired by the Frieze’s new Social Work section, which celebrates female artists who fought to be recognised in the male-dominated art market during the 1980s.

The artists taking part are:

Helen Cammock, winner of 2018 MaxMara Prize for Women’s Art.
France-Lise McGurn, whose wall painting was a highlight of the recent Virginia Woolf exhibition at Tate St Ives.
Renee So, knitting and ceramic artist.
Zadie Xa, whose work is on view at MoMA PS1 and is also presenting at Frieze London 2018.

Money raised from the sales will go towards two UK charities, Dress For Success and the Young Women’s Trust. Dress For Success economically empowers women by providing them with a support network, while the Young Women’s Trust assists young women aged 16-30 struggling to live on the poverty line in England and Wales.

Each unique commission will be revealed before the pop-up launch, with the location and timings of the vehicle being listed on the Frieze London’s social media channels. An edition of a different artist’s print will be revealed every day throughout the fair, priced at £50 per print.

Meanwhile, Mount Street’s fashion and lifestyle boutiques and stores will be supporting women in art during the fair.

  • Frieze London takes place at Regents’ Park from 4-7 October 2018. The Mount Street Editions by Frieze London will be sold in a moving pop-up on Mount Street, Mayfair, W1. Nearest station: Marble Arch or Bond Street. For more information, visit the Frieze London website.

For the latest guide to what’s on in London, click here.

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Afternoon Tea at Sketch Gallery review: A fun and eclectic approach to a traditional favourite

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

Quail egg with soldiers and caviar to start

Sketch is a unique London restaurant offering a diverse selection of bars and dining rooms. I first visited Sketch about 10 years ago and enjoyed the tasting menu at the Lecture Room. More recently, my boyfriend surprised me with Afternoon Tea at Sketch’s famous Gallery, of which I’d heard many great things.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

Cheers! A glass of Pommery Brut Rose

The Gallery is a modern European gastro-brasserie at the back of Sketch. The dining room is a square windowless room with a domed roof and pinky bronze panelling at the bar. The room is painted in pale pink with matching, plush velvet furniture – a sort of mix between a princess bedroom and a Mad Men 1960s vibe. The walls are covered with drawings by British artist David Shrigley (famous for the recently departed ‘Really Good’ sculpture on the Fourth Plinth). Since my visit, Shrigley’s 239 black and white drawings have been replaced by 91 of his newer pieces so in terms of décor, there has been a slight change.

Admittedly, the Sketch Classic Afternoon Tea is more expensive than others, but in hindsight the overall experience surpasses its cheaper rivals so you can see the difference. The Sketch Classic Afternoon Tea starts at £59pp, with the option to add-on Champagne. As we were celebrating a special occasion, we pushed the boat out and added Pommery Brut Rose. I’m normally one for traditional Champagne or Prosecco, but being in such a pink room, I felt inclined to follow the theme and opt for rose. The bubbly was served in a huge martini-style glass with long stem – which kind of reminded me of the stretched out dimensions in the Shrigley artwork surrounding me. There is a huge selection of tea in the menu and it took a while for us to commit to one type, before I finally decided on an old favourite, Earl Grey. I particularly liked the china, designed by Shrigley and available to buy. The crockery features quirky slogans such as ‘it’s not OK’ on the sugar bowl or ‘forget about it’ at the bottom of the tea cup.  Read the rest of this entry

Shopping in style – Part 3 | Retail therapy Victorian-style at the Royal Arcade

The history of Mayfair’s striking Victorian shopping arcade.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

The Royal Arcade is the oldest surviving Victorian shopping arcade

Decades before the likes of Westfield and Brent Cross came to London, those who wanted to shop in comfort headed to one of the capital’s arcades. Like the mega malls of today, these arcades featured numerous shops under one roof, providing a sheltered retail experience whatever the weather. However, as well laid out as these modern fashion meccas are, they just can’t compare to the historic and upmarket designs of the late Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian periods. As part of Metro Girl’s series on the six historic arcades of Mayfair and St James, Part 3 will be focusing on the only surviving Victorian one – the Royal Arcade.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

The Albemarle Street entrance to the Victorian arcade

London’s first ever shopping arcade – the Royal Opera Arcade in St James opened in 1818, with the Burlington Arcade in Mayfair following a year later. The Lowther Arcade was established in The Strand in 1830, but unlike its contemporaries, it didn’t survive far into the 20th century when it was demolished in 1904. After the Lowther opened, it was a 49 years before another arcade joined the capital’s retail industry.

The Royal Arcade was originally known as simply The Arcade and was first envisioned in 1864 as a link between Old Bond Street and Regent Street. However, these proposals were rejected due to the required volume of demolition of existing buildings. However, the plans were revised into its current design by Victorian architects Thomas Archer and Arthur Green (1847-1904). Archer & Green shared a practice for over 15 years before going their separate ways in 1889, during which they designed Whitehall Court, No.1 Cambridge Gate and the Hyde Park Hotel (now the Mandarin Oriental). Green was the father of Leslie Green (1875-1908), who designed many of London’s tube stations, including Oxford Circus, Camden Town, Covent Garden, Holborn and South Kensington. His stations are recognisable due to their ox blood red tiling on the buildings’ exteriors.

The Clarendon Hotel on Albemarle Street was demolished in 1870, freeing up the space for construction of The Arcade, which opened in 1879. In contrast to the older shopping arcades of the capital, The Royal Arcade is a lot more ornate in design. The two-storey arcade features curved bay windows on the ground floor with Ionic columns separating the 16 shops. The first floor features cast iron balconies overlooking the walkway. Looking up, the aisle is covered by a saddled glazed roof and arches with stucco detailing. Meanwhile, the orange and white façade of the building features reliefs symbolising abundance and commerce, caryatids (sculpted female figures taking the place of a column) and a portrait of Queen Victoria.

Read the rest of this entry

Shopping in style – Part 1 | The history of the Burlington Arcade

Delve into the history of London’s longest shopping arcade on Piccadilly.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

Burlington Arcade has been standing in Mayfair since 1819

Decades before the likes of Westfield came to London, those who wanted to shop in comfort headed to one of the capital’s arcades. Like the mega malls of today, these arcades featured numerous shops under one roof, providing a sheltered retail experience whatever the weather. However, as well laid out as these modern fashion meccas are, they just can’t compare to the historic and upmarket designs of the late Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian period. As part of Metro Girl’s series on the six historic arcades of Mayfair and St James, we will be starting with the Burlington Arcade – the longest and the 2nd oldest of the arcades.

In the early 19th century, the site of the arcade was owned by the wealthy aristocratic Cavendish family. The family had inherited neighbouring Burlington House through marriage when Richard, 3rd Earl of Burlington’s (1694-1753) daughter Lady Charlotte Elizabeth Boyle (1731-1754) wed William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire (1720-1764), who briefly served as Prime Minister. The couple’s son Lord George Cavendish, 1st Earl of Devonshire, (1754-1834) inherited Burlington House in 1815 and ended up using some of the side garden to erect the arcade. His apparent reasoning for building the mini mall was to prevent the passing public from lobbing oyster shells – a common and affordable food at the time – over the wall into his home. As well as give him more privacy, it would also be a tidy earner for the estate.

Lord George enlisted architect Samuel Ware (1781-1860) to design the arcade with building starting in February 1818. While it was being constructed, the world’s oldest existing shopping arcade, the Royal Opera Arcade opened on Pall Mall in 1818. While the Royal Opera only had shops on one side, the Burlington was a double-sided arcade. Opening on 20 March 1819, the Regency-style building featured a 196 yard long walkway lined by 72 two-storey shop units. The high ceiling covered the walkway featured windows letting in lots of light, with Palladian-style, Ionic columns bringing in some style from the classical world. The arcade cost £29,329, with all shops being occupied by the end of the year. Originally, there were 47 leaseholders, including some females, with tenants and their families residing in the cramped living quarters above their shops.

Wikimedia Commons

Burlington Arcade in 1828 by Thomas H Shepherd from ‘Metropolitan Improvements; or London in the Nineteenth Century’.
Image via Wikimedia Commons

By 1828, it appeared the arcade was certainly prospering, with milliners, hosiers, linen shops, shoemakers, hairdressers, jewellers, watchmakers, tobacconists, umbrella sellers and florists among the many businesses on site. In 1830, Burlington retailer James Drew was the first in the arcade to receive the Royal Warrant. He made the famous high collars for Prime Minister William Gladstone (1809-1898) and invented the soft collar. Read the rest of this entry

Celebrate St George’s Day 2016 with the best of English at Hard Rock Cafe

© Hard Rock Cafe

Celebrate St George’s Day with a week-long menu of the finest English food at Hard Rock Cafe

Compared to the rest of the British Isles, England’s patron saint doesn’t seem to get as much attention as his contemporaries across the borders. However, with St George’s Day coming up this Saturday, Hard Rock Café London are celebrating the best of English with a special menu for one week only so you can indulge your inner patriot… and your appetite.

From 20 until 26 April, there will be an exclusive St George’s Day menu featuring an English twist on the Hard Rock’s classic burger and drink. The dish will be made from the finest English ingredients with locally sourced produce. The St George’s Day Burger comprises of the classic HR Patty with creamed horseradish, Lancashire cheese, and rare roast beef (from the oldest butcher in the capital) served on toasted bun with fresh watercress. On the side will be Gunpowder mustard (from the Houses of Parliament shop) fries with cider vinegar and Bovril gravy.

When it comes to drinks, what could be more English than a Gin and Tonic? The Afternoon G ‘n’ Tea Cocktail will feature Hendrick’s Gin infused with Earl Grey tea mixed with sweet and sour, served with a refreshing twist of basil and lime.

  • The St George’s Day menu is only on from 20-26 April 2016. Hard Rock Cafe London, 148 Old Park Lane, Mayfair, W1K 1QY. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner. For more information, visit the Hard Rock Cafe 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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Photo Friday | Tribute to our ‘special relationship’ with Allies on Bond Street

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

‘Allies’, a bronze sculpture by Lawrence Holofcener

Sat at the junction where Old and New Bond Street meet is a sculpture of a more recent piece of history compared to the many 18th and 19th century monuments dotted around Westminster. In contrast to the equestrian or military poses of many depictions of famous British leaders, royals and soldiers, this particular tribute is rather more informal.

Seated on a bench outside 16 New Bond Street is ‘Allies’, two bronzes statues of former US President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874-1965) talking. The piece, created by sculptor Lawrence Holofcener, was a gift to the City of Westminster from the shops and businesses of the Bond Street Association. It was unveiled by the late Princess Margaret in May 1995 to commemorate 50 years of peace.

  • The ‘Allies’ sculpture is situated outside 16 New Bond Street, Mayfair, W1S 3SU. Nearest station: Green Park or Oxford Circus.

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Cocktails In The City 2016: Let London’s best bars come to you at a festival of mixology

Cocktails in the City

Too hot to handle? Explore different flavours at Cocktails In The City at One Mayfair this March

A must for all cocktail lovers this spring is the return of Cocktails In The City 2016. This celebration of cocktails sets up shop in cities across the UK throughout the year, with the London sojourn taking place over three days this March.

From 10-12 March 2016, Cocktails In The City will be taking place at the capital’s stunning Grade II-listed, Georgian venue One Mayfair. Twenty of London’s most exciting bars, as well as top establishments from Europe will be coming together in one space, essentially bringing the bars to you.

Produced by the Bourne & Hollingsworth Group (famous for their bars and restaurants, The Blitz Party and the Prohibition Party), the extravaganza is like a bar crawl without the hassle of moving from venue to venue. Cocktail aficionados will be able to try anything from classics like Bellinis and Mojitos to unique mixes using rare ingredients created by mixologists.

Entering One Mayfair, the grand hall will feature a combination of your favourite cocktail bars, while down in the atmospheric crypt will be London’s coolest new openings. Among the capital’s venues taking part include Cahoots, Coq D’Argent, Powder Keg Diplomacy, Reverend JW Simpson, Dishoom, Looking Glass Cocktail Club, Hush and The Whip.

Meanwhile, you’ll be able to drink your way around the world on the new ‘International Bars Floor’ on the mezzanine level, with Paris’s Little Red Door, Amsterdam’s Door 74 and Copenhagen’s Ruby represented.

And for those who like to line their stomach while drinking, you can enjoy food and drink with a view at the rooftop BBQ and bar or experience creative dining with a cocktail-inspired menu at the long feasting table in the Great Hall.

  • Cocktails In The City 2016 will take place on 10-12 March from 6-11pm at One Mayfair, 13A North Audley Street, Mayfair, W1K 6ZA. Nearest station: Bond Street or Marble Arch. Ticket: £15 includes 1 cocktail, multiple complimentary experiences and cocktail booklet. For more information and booking, visit the Cocktails In The City website.

For a guide to what’s on in London in March, click here.

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Heddon Street Kitchen review: Ramsay cuisine at affordable prices in a modern, buzzy eaterie

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

Crab tempura at Heddon Street Kitchen

For all the years I’ve been dining out in London, I can’t believe I haven’t been to a Gordon Ramsay restaurant until now. In fact, Heddon Street Kitchen is one of the newest additions to the chef’s expanding empire, having opened in November 2014. Similar to Bread Street Kitchen in the city, the establishment is more relaxed and affordable than Ramsay’s other ventures.

The restaurant is spread across two floors with an outdoor terrace in the buzzy pedestrianised Heddon Street. We were shown to a booth in the 1st floor dining room, with its wooden bar, tiling and exposed ceiling pipes giving the venue a New York-loft feel. The menu offers European dishes with an Asian influence, with plenty of familiar favourites peppering the choices. We booked our table for the good value set menu deal, which came with a carafe of wine each.

For starters, I opted for the Tempura soft shell crab, served with coriander, sesame, yoghurt and watercress. It tasted pretty amazing – the mix of flavours and light batter really complemented the freshness of the crab. The presentation was good too, as I often find tempura can look a bit of a mess in other restaurants. My friend went for the Salmon Rilette with Avocado Mousse, which I had a taste of and was impressed. There was a generous helping of salmon for a starter so fans of the fish will be pleased.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

Generous portion: Salmon Rilette with Avocado Mousse

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

Rigatoni with roasted pepper, ricotta and rocket

When it came to ordering my mains, I decided on the Rigatoni with roasted pepper, ricotta and rocket. It was quite nice, but the pasta was too al dente for my tastes. My companion fared better with the Roasted Hanger Steak with Spring Onion Mash and Peppercorn Sauce, which she said was succulent and tasty.

Finally, the reason I went off the set menu was the allure of the Chocolate fondant with salted caramel and amaretto ice cream. Fortunately it did not disappoint. As much as I love chocolate desserts, I often find them too rich and end up sharing them or leaving them unfinished. This time, it wasn’t an issue and I must confess I wanted to say ‘no’ when my friend asked for a bite! The fondant oozed gorgeous chocolate sauce and the ice cream served on a bed of salted caramel was sweet and more-ish. I have actually been back to Heddon Street Kitchen a second time since my visit and have again eaten the fondant. I actually sent my compliments to the chef via the waiter over the dessert which is very out of character for me, but that’s how much I enjoyed it.

Overall, we had a good experience. The starters and dessert were what made my meal for me. The service was friendly and attentive and the booths incredibly comfortable for us girls to have a catch-up over dinner and wine. I’ve already returned once and I expect I will do so again, if not only for the fondant!

  • Heddon Street Kitchen, 3-9 Heddon Street, Mayfair, W1B 4BE. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus or Oxford Circus. For more information and booking, visit the Heddon Street Kitchen website.
© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

Indulgent: Chocolate fondant with salted caramel and amaretto ice cream


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

 Heddon Street Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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