Alfresco drinking is one of the best things about London in the summer (in my opinion!). When the weather is good, there’s nothing better than relaxing with a cocktail in the fresh (fresh-ish – we are in London after all!) air. This summer, the urban scenic surrounds of the Grand Union Canal is playing host to a new drinking destination.
Setting up camp on Paddington’s Floating Pocket Park is a new pop-up venue from the team behind Lockhouse. The Botanical Bar will serve a range of gins and gin cocktails, with workshops and tastings on offer for dedicated gin lovers. Some of the signature concoctions on offer include ‘We’ve Got The Whole World Gin Our Hands’ (Beefeater 24, fresh lavender and lemon balm), ‘Dr Greenthumb’, ‘Monkey Business’ and ‘Island In The Sun’. Among the many gin brands will be Beefeater London Dry Gin & Beefeater 24, Plymouth and Monkey 47, while the mixers come from the London Essence Company. Non gin drinkers are also catered for with mocktails, Perrier Jouet Champagne, soft drinks and Cornish ice cream.
Gin-tastic events @ the Botanical Bar
- Gin Tasting (Thursday 20 July and Thursday 10 August)
Find out your perfect G&T as you’re guided through ‘beautifully balanced botanicals, tantalising tonics and gorgeous fresh garnishes’ so you can make one at home. Learn tasting techniques so you can detect the best quality gin. Tickets: £25pp.
- Cocktail Masterclass (Thursday 3 August)
Learn how to mix up classic cocktails or Botanical Bar originals with talented mixologists. Event includes a welcome drink, before you take part in a fun, interactive masterclass. After you’ve learned your skills, there will be a farewell shot to finish. You can also enjoy 15% discount of a meal at Lockhouse. Masterclass lasts 90 minutes and costs £25pp (inc 5 drinks).
- Botanical Bar @ Floating Pocket Park, Paddington Basin, W2 1JS. Nearest station: Paddington or Edgware Road. Open Thursday and Friday until 18 August 2017 from 12pm-9pm. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website or Lockhouse website.
For a guide to what else is on in London in August, click here.
Mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing (1912-1954) was one the most important figures in the 20th century. He played a pivotal role breaking the Nazi enigma code at Bletchley Park during World War II, which is widely believed shortened the war by several years.
To celebrate his outstanding contribution to the country and computer science, a new artistic tribute has been unveiled in Paddington, where Turing was born. Entitled ‘Message from the Unseen World’, the piece spans the width of Bishop’s Bridge Road at Paddington Central.
The installation features aluminium panels featuring holes and LEDs displaying extracts of Turing’s book Computing Machinery and Intelligence and verses by East London poet Nick Drake, imagining Turing speaking about his life from a posthumous view. The piece is presented by British Land, was curated by Futurecity and devised by United Visual Artists.
Matt Clark from United Visual Artists said: ‘The artwork itself is a continuously evolving machine; an “engine” that uses basic principles of artificial intelligence to endlessly interpret Drake’s work. The result is a literal in memoriam for Turing, a dynamic artwork that reminds us of the complementary relationship between people and technology, how it has changed from the 20th to early 21st Century, and how this relationship will continue to develop.’
Nick Drake said: ‘To take poetry and make it a collaborative project has been hugely exciting. We are not simply presenting the poem, rather we are exploring the idea of a machine thinking poetically – or perhaps more accurately – appearing to write like a poet while thinking like a machine, which goes to the very heart of Turing’s explorations on artificial intelligence. I hope the piece makes people more aware of Turing’s remarkable life and ground-breaking work.’
- ‘Message from the Unseen World’ is near the canalside entrance to Paddington Underground Station under Bishops Bridge Road, at the entrance to the Paddington Central campus, W2. Nearest station: Paddington.