Autumn Diary: sliding into party season

Impermanence: The Art of Microbiology

Killing two cultural birds with one stone, this unique exhibition at Elena Shchukina’s slick and discreet gallery in Mayfair is well worth the visit this autumn. It focuses on the concept of impermanence, that all matter eventually collapses, and this can be seen through the work of Luke Jerram and Seung-Hwan oh. Jerram’s scultures and prints and Seung-Hwan’s photographic portraits marry science and art, two traditions which are too often considered to be mutually exclusive. When they join though, it makes for great contemplation and more excitingly, it’s rich and mesmerising to gaze at. There is no cost but dress well to fit into your surroundings and maybe visit Mount Street Deli or the Beaumont for an après.

4 November 2015 – 8 January 2016


art of imp


Duck & Waffle

Breakfasts in London seem to have become a Scandi affair: sipping frothy cappuccinos on Ikea iron chairs below hung lamps and a sea of laptops. Sometimes it’s fun to jazz up the minimalism… all the way up to the 40th Floor of the Heron Tower, if you want. Having visited as a late night/early morning customer, it was a completely new experience to go at sunrise for a Trojan breakfast before work. The lift is not for the faint hearted, especially before your first coffee, but the view is truly worth it. It is breathtaking. Slowly but surely, the sun hits the roofs of the city’s finest and the eggs and gruyere bake arrives on your table, still sizzling in a small pan – like something you’d order in the mountains after a morning ski. The table next to us opted for the Duck and Waffle, which looked delicious but intimidating at 7am. Especially after the mixed fruit starter and delicious coffee. I couldn’t recommend an early breakfast at the restaurant enough.



The Music Room Sample Sales. Alice Temperley Sample Sale

Labelled by the Daily Telegraph as the ‘English Ralph Lauren’, the Temperley sample sale at The Music Rooms was not something I was going to miss…for anything or anyone. Getting your head around the colour coordinated pricing isn’t easy, but no pressure no diamonds, right. I immersed myself in 70% viscose V-neck jumpers, loose French lace midi-dresses and wide angled skirts. With oodles of colour and futuristic prints, she had maintained hints of summer, using thicker fabrics for the cooling temperatures. Temperley’s obsession with black leather was far more exciting though. Embellished with faux-fur and gothic silver studs, her work reminded me more of Chanel’s summer 2015 campaign that saw a collaboration between Karl Lagerfeld and Kristin Stewart than Ralph Lauren, no understated style here. It adhered to the new ‘maximalism’ age that governed the catwalk and magazine columns this season. While I bought nothing on this occasion (overwhelmed), it is well worth visiting the Music Room’s site and finding out when you’re favourite designers have their next gig there. NB: if you have issues getting nude in front of other fashion–bingers then bring a friend to serve as a door or hedge your bets on it fitting…in a few months.

Check out upcoming Sample Sales at the Music Room, Mayfair:


Sushi Samba, Heron Tower, London

Have you ever tried hot sushi? Warm, not spicy. No? You need a Sushi Samba soiree! Its fusion of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine confused and thrilled us. Having an  EL TOPO® Samba Roll (a combination of salmon, jalapeño, shiso leaf, topped with fresh melted mozzarella and crispy onions) placed in front of you makes life that little bit better. Wow. It was mind blowing. If you want a taste, reserve a table in advance (to be precise, three-weeks in advance). Sushi Samba, as well as being known for its 360 panoramic views, is bespoke in that it’s almost always fully booked, so only the organised select few get to go. I’d recommend a time when day slowly turns to dusk, 6PM best as the evenings get shorter. This way you get to see London in its full beauty, spot the landmarks in the light and watch it ignite as it gets dark.


sushi samba

1 Lombard Street Brasserie

City Dinner for under £20. Yes, it exists… 1 Lombard Street Brasserie. This energetic Modern European Brasserie serves up a three-course meal with an appetizer for an equally appetising £19.50. I shared the experience with two girlfriends of mine. The espresso-sized cup of hot and spicy beetroot soup practically gave us an electric shock, not sure we’d go for that one again. Nonetheless, our palettes were cleansed and ready. Deciding to try each dish on the menu, our table was soon garnished with grilled crispy octopus, pan fried halloumi and smoked duck breast. The octopus was a little chewy, but the duck was succulent and the accompanying sweetcorn pancake was innovative and utterly delicious.  For main we changed tactics; to avoid suffering a second round of food envy, we ordered three plates of marinated red mullet on a mascarpone and spring onion risotto. Although I was initially tempted to go for the roasted lamb neck with oyster mushrooms, caramelised shallots and mange tout, the mullet was sheer fishy perfection. Our evening was topped with an indulgent chocolate and peanut butter mouse that poems could be written about. All in all, an affordable, graduate wallet friendly, classy meal in a glamorous location – totally recommend it.

Special Offer sold through Open Table:


The Return of Crocker’s Folly

 Restored to its former glory, I visited St John’s Wood most glorious edifice. From the outside the place resembles a stylish pub, inside, however, it comes close to palatial Victoriana. The interior is lavished in 50 different types of marble. There are large marble Corinthian columns, a marble fireplace, a topped marble bar; even the chimney is faced with marble. From the ornate ceiling hangs a large cut glass chandelier, the windows are draped with heavy mulled wine curtains and the walls are embellished in gold. As I sat transfixed, enjoying my pan-fried stone bass, the waiter unfolded the tale behind this grand establishment.

It is a story of Frank Crocker, who built the Crown Hotel (as it was then known) with a dream of making a fortune. The lavish residence was to serve the new terminus of the Great Central Railway. But, it was never built. In fact, it was eventually erected over half a mile away, at Marylebone. Crocker’s dream went up in smoke, so the pub was renamed ‘Crocker’s Folly’, to pay homage to Frank’s misfortune.

Fortunately for you, Frank’s construction has provided a lux dining experience for all. I highly recommend a visit. The place is oozing with history and the food, luckily for Frank, is far from folly – it’s scrumptious.



Aeschylus’ ‘Oresteia’ at The Shakespeare’s Globe

Containing brief moments of nudity, smoke, haze, incense and bloody violence, the Globe’s trilling three-act adaptation of Aeschylus’ classic Greek tragedy is unmissable! Rory Mullarkey’s vibrant translation slithers from the poetic to the colloquial, such that you find yourself laughing one moment and shuddering the next. The venue is ideal for Greek tragedy; you could be in the Athenian Dionysiac Theatre for all you know. Katy Stephens, makes a magnificently powerful and vengeful Clytaemnestra. My only critique is the costumes!  As a Classicist, to see a Greek warrior armed in a Roman breastplate verged on painful and the mix between the 1940s retro and the 21st century office uniforms was confusing not ‘arty’. If you’re in it for the cheap then £5 gets you a standing ticket in the yard, but bring a trendy mac to brave the rain. If you’re in the booth seats, you are sheltered, but the British weather can be brutal so bring a rug and a cushion for the three hour stint. Otherwise, book a cultural evening and discuss it over a few glasses in the quaint bars nearby afterwards.

Dates and Tickets (NB: last performance 16th October 2015) –

Tickets £5 standing, £17 – £43 seats



Cocktails on the London Eye for Halloween with Coca Cola

Coca Cola are offering a spin on the old London Wheel this Halloween, luckily not too quickly as it involves decadent cocktails from The Cocktail Trading Co., nibbles and entry to the 4D experience. If the London Eye is on your bucket list then this is the way to do it: sipping a ‘Trick’ cocktail from your ‘vial of poison’ while watching London’s spooky sky-line light up after dark.

The Halloween Cocktail Experience is available on 24th, 29-31st October 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm and 26th – 28th October at 6:30pm.

Visit for more details and to make a booking. Or contact the London Eye Team on: / 0207 907 7130


Vixen & Blush Salon

The words ‘hair extentions’ usually conjure images of the TOWIE gang or nightclub smoking areas. But, when done properly, hair extensions are used to increase volume rather than just length – they’re discreet and boosting. As with anything, you need to trust the experts and invest slightly more than most. Vixen & Blush is the place to go, and while I have no hair extensions, they do styling and blow-dries for all – ones that give you a kick of confidence you need before you swan into a drinks party. The exciting news is that only the city ladies had the privilege of using them near work but a new salon has just opened up on Great Titchfield Street, a few steps from Oxford Circus. It is the ultimate investment before a smart do, something that will turn heads and make you feel like you haven’t just run straight from work!



Liberty Exhibition

We’re salivating over this exhibition, as much as we previously have over the window displays and endless rails of wonders inside Liberty on Regents Street. The exhibition, held at The Fashion & Textiles Museum, celebrates the 140th anniversary of the company and explores Liberty’s impact on British fashion. It looks at the relationships built between key designers since 1875 and charts its journey in keeping with its reputation as the most fashionable place to shop and originator or key trends. It’s open some nights later than others and is the perfect stop after Borough market, to walk off those cream cheese croissants and bring some meaning to your Saturday mornings!

Exhibition Dates: 9 October 2015 – 28 February 2016


£9 adults / £7 concessions / £6 students


liberty exhibition

Words by Polina Barnard & Rosalyn Wikeley




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