#365DaysofLondonBaby – Day 17- The Doodle Man Exhibition

This year’s art season is in full swing, with many great exhibitions around town. If you are in the mood for something different, you have until Wednesday 24th of February to head down to Old Street for a fine, little and fun exhibition.

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During a recent stroll through Shoreditch, I saw a street artist in Great Eastern Street taking on the Herculean task of covering (at least) one massive wall in tiny doodles. He was so focussed on the task at hand, that I didn’t dare to interrupt him.

Today, I saw him back quite unexpectedly – in his very own art Exhibition at the Hoxton Gallery in Old Street.

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Here, The Doodle Man, as he is known, presents his very own version of the last supper.  Continue reading

Free Walks This Weekend – That’s London Baby’s recommendations!

If you are still wondering what to do this weekend, or if you finally wanted to go on a guided walk and you have put it off for whatever reason, this weekend offers a great opportunity to get walking!

Walk London is having their annual winter weekend of free walks (there are further weekends in Spring and Fall). That’s more than 40 guided walks through all areas of London, all funded and paid for by TfL. Many of those are normally paid walks. They come in all sizes and interests – short walks, touristy walks, special topics (e.g. literary or spy walks), central location, outside, long walks….there is even one section of the Capital Ring covered!

They even created a map, showing the starting points of all walks:

Continue reading

#365DaysofLondonBaby-Day 15 – Georgian Dining Academy

After a small break in the 365 days, I would like to continue this journey of blogging, but more importantly London and its adventure with a very special event – a Georgian Dining Academy on this December 10th . During a recent event with the fantastic guides of Footprints of London, I met the lovely Miss B – she is a very knowledgeable Tour Guide (qualified as a City guide in 2012), runs a wonderful blog, is an expert of Architecture (stay tuned for a potential guest blog from her), history, ceremonies in the city and about any- and everything. She bustles with energy and finds many ways to share all of this passion and knowledge of London. It was a great honour and joy to meet her.

FullSizeRenderOne of the exciting things she organises is a unique Dining Experience, called “Georgian Dining Academy”. The purpose of the Academy is to create a Georgian, performance style, dining experience in the heart of the City. With the encouragement of Miss Kitty Pridden (also a City Guide of 2012) this novel idea was put into action in 2014. It has proved a successful event which takes place quarterly. In true hipster style, I wrongly classified it as a “Pop-Up” dining event but want to correct that it is an established series of events and its not popping up and leaving but here to stay :). But I let Miss B explain in her own words. Continue reading

#365DaysofLondonBaby – Day 13 – Poppies at the Tower (TBT)

Poppies at the TowerIt’s TBT (Throw-Back- Thursday) on London Baby!  If you are in London, you have undoubtedly met the Fundraisers of the British Legion selling poppies at Tube Stations and other places to raise money for the Poppy Appeal to support the Armed Forces Community and specifically the Veterans of Past and Current Conflicts.

Poppies at the tower of londonLast year, Europe remembered the outbreak of the First World War and the most impressive and touching tribute was installed at the Tower of London. Starting in July 2014 until November, 888,246 handmade Ceramic Poppies were planted by volunteers in the moat of the Tower. Each one standing for a British / Commonwealth Serviceman who lost their lives in World War I. The installation was by artist Paul Cummins and its official title was “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red”.

Pictures hardly describe the scale of this artwork and for almost 3 weeks, it was super busy, as people flocked to see the poppies. I have been lucky to cycle by the site weekly during the installation and seeing it grow slowly was very impressive.

After the removal, all poppies were sold to raise further funds for the poppy appeal. Unfortunatly, all that remains are the memories, but  remember to get your poppies soon if feel like supporting the appeal.

Poppies at the tower

#365DaysofLondonBaby – Day 11 – Christmas Shopping on Carnaby Street

Carnaby StreetChristmas is coming in big steps and at least for London’s high street, the season is in full swing. Oxford street has officially done its major “Switching on the Lights Ceremony” on Sunday – with no less than Kylie Minogue pushing the button. Others will follow with their own ceremonies during November, but my favourite Christmas lighting – and “Christmas Shopping Event” (while I generally avoid those) last year took place in Carnaby Street (see picture above).

As you can see above, there is a bit of a funky twist in this shopping area just around the corner of the big Oxford and Regent’s streets. Carnaby Street consists of the famous street itself, as well as the Kingley Court Shopping Centre and the streets surrounding. In total more than 100 shops, from famous lifestyle brands (Puma, DocMartin etc.) to small and hip shops. Not your Shoreditch “too cool for school” hipstery, but just a bit edgier than the main shopping streets. Next to that a few bars / restaurants in and around Kingley Court make it a great destination for an afternoon / evening of shopping.

Bargain Hunters mark your agenda – Carnaby Street will switch on their lights in a great event with “DJs, live music, complimentary food & drinks, a pop-up bar and loads of on-street and in-store activities” – and 20% off in most stores. Last year, it was great fun and the 20% were quite genuine discounts (so few of the usual exclusions)! The event is on Thursday 12th November from 5-9pm. To get the discount and a free drink, you need to register to get a free ticket.

#365DaysofLondonBaby – Day 10 – Making Plans for Bonfire Night

Good Monday Morning! If you start the working week dreaming about the weekend, its a good moment to make plans for the upcoming Bonfire Night on Saturday (7th November). The good news is that there are dozens of Bonfire Celebrations all over London, the bad news is that most of them have now (paid or unpaid) ticketing so planning is essential.

Image taken from TTIschool.com

Among the many, I would like to highlight two of the largest events – Blackheath Fireworks (organised by Lewisham Council) and Alexandra Palace Fireworks Display.

Blackheath is one of the few major free fireworks. There is a fun fair from Noon and food starting from Noon 5pm with the Fireworks taking place at 8pm. All information can be found here.

Alexandra Fireworks Festival is a large scale event, also offering a German Beer Festival and the Ice Skating Rink. The Fireworks (starting at 8pm)  are said to be some of the best in London because of the great view. All of the events are ticketed separately though, with the fireworks alone setting you back £9 for adults and £6.50 for children. All info on the Festival and tickets can be found here.

For all other fireworks, Londonist has compiled this very helpful overview here.

#365DaysofLondonBaby – Day 8 – Ai WeiWei Exhibition

Fall is coming with big steps and often that means your weekend explorations have to slowly shift to inside activities. No problem, as there are many museums, exhibitions and galleries to explore.

wpid-wp-1445889204408.jpgThis fall’s “must-see” exhibition is definitely Ai WeiWei’s first large UK show in the Royal Academy. It has received rave reviews Continue reading

#365DaysofLondonBaby- Day 3- Paul Currie Comedy Show

Good Morning Monday. The Best Day of the week…or so…If you need some cheering up, book some tickets right now – one of London Baby’s Favourite Comedians is playing a show at Soho Theatre tomorrow. As a disclaimer, humour is always a question of taste, but Paul Currie’s show “Release the Bamboos” (which he will play in Soho Theatre” was the best show we have seen at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year.

He is doing stand up comedy with a twist, a very physical show, completely absurd (see second picture below) at times and definitely not for the weak hearted.But one of the best laughs you’ll have in a loooong time.

Tickets are only 10£ and can be booked here.

#litfest launch -A walk through Shakespeare’s London

Imagine you walk on the Southbank, just passing the Globe Theatre- you blink with your eyes and as you open, the scenery has changed. Out of the Globe Theatre sounds a massive noise – a crowd yelling and commenting on the latest play, some firecrackers exploding. Next thing you see is a bear being paraded through the field, cheered on like a modern day celebrity. Welcome to 1603!

#litfest launchThis is the walk that Dr. Matthew Green took us on by presenting one chapter of his book “London- A Travel Guide Through Time” during the launch event of the Literary Walks Festival (#litfest) on Monday night (my first blogger’s invite, yeah :)) Who knew that Bear fighting was one of the most popular past times of the Londoner’s back then, only to be rivalled by a visit to one of thousands (!) “Tobacco Houses” where the “Tobacconists” indulged in consuming the “holy herb” in an almost meditative fashion…

It was a great “walk” we took and I am looking forward to “walk” through different time periods in the book. However, I hope that I will make it to at least one of more than 50 walks of the #litfest! In case you need some more inspiration, read Rob’s Sneak preview post on the festival here.

Happy walking (or reading)!

London Baby On Tour – Your last chance to visit Dismaland!

London Baby has been out and about quite a lot recently and so I invite you to read about one of my day trips – to Weston-super-Mare (near Bristol!). Dismaland has been the talk of the town in London, certainly for art lovers, hipsters, and people who usually don’t care about culture. When I was there, it seemed that every second person came visiting from London! So I thought that this definitely warrants the first “London Baby Day Trip” post on this blog – certainly if you have been doubting whether to go, you have less than a week left before it closes its doors forever on September 27th. 

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So what is Dismaland?

“Dismaland” – a “Bemusement Park”  is the brainchild of Banksy, one of the world’s most famous street artists. Continue reading