February 5, 2013
They say the best things come in twos. That rule doesn’t apply, however, when ordinarily respectable restaurants transform their dining rooms to seas of two-tops decorated with token red flowers in honor of Valentine’s Day. How boring!
Below you’ll find the two newest, most buzzed about brasseries to open in London, along with new retrospectives of two boundary pushing, innovative photographers’ work, and two rarely performed works by dance provocateur Pina Bausch presented at Sadler’s Wells.
December 6, 2012
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland in London (flatworldsedge)
In the run up to Christmas there are sample sales, holiday markets and pop-up shopping events all around town. London is literally glowing at the moment. It seems as if there are twice as many Christmas lights as usual; so a walk around Mayfair to Hyde Park or the Southbank and Somerset House can’t fail to put you in the Christmas spirit. It helps that, at most events, people will want to ply you with mulled wine and roasted chestnuts. To round out your winter itinerary, make a trip to a restored landmark grand café, admire a curated selection of haute couture by Valentino, and don’t forget to pack your dancing shoes.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland: Through January 6, 2013
At this time of year, Hyde Park is transformed into a winter wonderland and festooned with Christmas lights. The giant observation wheel could be mistaken for the London Eye, and the ice skating rink is the largest in the UK. There are two circuses, as well as a Magical Ice Kingdom where you can be pulled through an ice forest by a unicorn. Specific events are ticketed (unicorns don’t come cheap), but if you just want to wander the grounds and browse the Christmas market, entry is free.
October 10, 2012
Skate at Somerset House (slimmer_jimmer)
As autumn draws in, the cultural goings-on of London start to head inside and ratchet the pressure up a few notches: bigger, heavier hitting fairs and events are scattered throughout the season. October brings out the big guns of Frieze Art Fair and the BFI London Film Festival. There are major, in-depth art shows, classic ballets and of course, fireworks lighting up the sky on Bonfire Night.
Bonfire Night (*_barbd_*)
Royal Academy: Bronze 15 Sept – 9 Dec
The Royal Academy calls it “a celebration of bronze on a scale never attempted before.” This means works in bronze spanning the last 5000 years from every continent. Arranged thematically in groups, the exhibition includes Ancient Greek, Roman and Etruscan bronzes, rare Medieval examples, the Renaissance (Ghiberti, Donatello, Cellini), all the way through to the present day via works by Rodin, Boccioni, Picasso, Jasper Johns, Moore, Beuys and Bourgeois.
September 26, 2012
At Colorova in Paris (Lost in Cheeseland)
I was born in London, and have lived here all my life apart from extended sojourns to other parts of Europe that are more conducive to joie de vivre, and, well, Paris. I can’t help but compare the two lifestyles and poor London always comes limping in at second place, looking all harassed with its suit creased and carrying a can of lager and a half-eaten burger.
Left: Paris, right: Wright Brothers Oyster & Porter House in London (Andrew Griffith & Laurabot_wrigh)
The aspect of quotidian life that gives me the most pleasure in Paris and that has the potential to have me hopping on the Eurostar to Paris from London on a whim is… lunch.
At Le Comptoir in Paris (pussnboots)
In Paris: At 1pm lock up the office, switch your phone off and go for a two and a half hour lunch with your colleagues at a charming local restaurant, dining from the three-course prix fixe menu. After a leisurely coffee and some more chitchat, pay the reasonably priced bill (probably with luncheon vouchers), and it’s back to the office well rested and energized for the rest of the day’s work. (Note: I did say stereotypical.)
August 16, 2012
The Notting Hill Market in London (The Wolf)
Paris isn’t the only city with extraordinary food markets. One of our favorite things about traveling to a new or familiar destination is immersing ourselves in the food — hunting for delicious treasures, local recipes, and putting it all together from the comfort of our rented kitchens. Today, Julie Falconer of A Lady in London brings us her top 5 London food markets. Do you have any to add? Let us know in the comments! -Geneviève
Borough Market (Garryknight & Pixel Nix)
1. Borough Market
Borough Market is London’s most famous farmers’ market. Located under the train overpass by London Bridge station, the market is packed from Thursday to Saturday with locals and visitors alike. Vendors sell everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to bread, baked goods, cheese, olives, and prepared foods.
August 7, 2012
Jeremy Deller: Sacrilege (hellojenuine.)
August is a funny old month in London, and even more so when we’re hosting The Olympics. I’ve decided it’s impossible to escape the O word, even though I said last month I wasn’t going to mention “The Games” as we’re supposed to call them.
Annex East and the Meltdown festival (meltdown.southbankcentre.co.uk & annexeast.co.uk)
Where cultural events are concerned, a lot of those that would normally be scheduled to take place during “The Games” had to be scaled down or were cancelled because all the funding went to Olympic events.
July 5, 2012
Believe it or not, Paris is not the center of the universe (not all the time, anyway). There are actually a decent amount of things to do in another nearby metropolis, one with slightly worse weather and significantly more polite locals. This month, we bring you our first edition of our London events guide, courtesy of our friend Claire from the fantastic blog, Lola is beauty. -Geneviève
At the Chap Olympiad (Sadmafioso)
During the summer, London plays host to a jam-packed schedule of festivals, exhibitions and pop-ups, and this summer is no exception. With flagrant disregard for the realities of British summertime weather, many of these July events are actually scheduled to take place in the open air!
At Frank’s (Tim Bradshaw)
It’ll be fine as long as you check the weather forecast five minutes before you go out and layer up for all eventualities. Apparently during July there’s also something called Wimbledon and some other kind of major sporting event taking place, but we’re not talking about that here. There’s so much more going on in London, whatever you’re into (except sport.)
June 15, 2012
It’s still pretty chilly in Paris, and even more so in London. Navigating the channel crossing in style is an art, which HiP Paris fave Badaude has captured so well here (click the image to view it full size) – Geneviève
January 26, 2012
Pssst… Don’t tell anyone, but we’re making a move.
A move to London, our other favorite European city, just as full of great shopping, architecture, art, history, and (almost as much) great food. Francophiles need not fret, though — we’ll still cover Paris’ best hidden secrets, but with a little British flair thrown into the mix.
If you’re planning a trip to London, take a peek at our brand new Chelsea vacation rental flat, Brompton. With its private garden, two bedrooms and plenty of space to lounge and cook, it’s the perfect home base for exploring all that London has to offer.
December 9, 2011
Amy Thomas loves London, and so do we. In fact, we adore it so much we just launched our very first London vacation apartment, a gorgeous 2-bedroom rental in the heart of Chelsea. If you’d like to do London in more than a day, and enjoy afternoon tea or cocktails in your very own central London flat, let us help you plan your trip. Thanks Amy for this wonderfully ambitious London itinerary.
The daily menu at Lantana
From Gare du Nord to St Pancras in just over two hours? Do you really need another reason to hop on the 8:13 Eurostar and spend the day in London? Vite, mes amis! Allez à Londres!
Where the delicious flat whites at Lantana are made
The key to tackling the jolly old British capital in just a day is to focus on a select few neighborhoods—and fuel up on caffeine immediately after arriving. Both can be accomplished at Lantana in Fitzrovia, a relatively quick walk west of the San Pancras train station. The toasted banana bread with blueberry butter is divine and a “flat white,” more delicious than the best café crème, will put a spring in your step all day.
Gorgeous furniture by Designer’s Guild
Once caf’ed up, head to nearby Marylebone, where the shopping is as spectacular as the architecture. A stroll down Marylebone High Street will reveal everything from colorful home accessories at Designers Guild and Emma Bridgewater to beauty supplies at Space NK and Boots.