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Archive for August, 2013

Focus On: Last Night of the Proms 2013

So it’s that time of year again to get the bunting out, wave your flag in the air and sing along to sweet sounds of Rule Britannia! Yes ladies and gent’s it’s Prom time as the Royal Albert Hall plays host to yet another Last Night of the Proms.

 

Taking place on September the 7th, you will have the chance to enjoy a musical feast as Marin Alsop takes to the stand. But what’s so special about this?

 

Well it turns out that Miss Alsop (not to be confused with property magnate Kirsty and her Channel 4 programme Location Location Location) is set to become the first female to conduct this prestigious event.

 

marin_firstloves_sq

(c) npr.org

 

In addition to this, you will have the opportunity to take advantage of some of the leading starlets in the classical industry. After all the stars are not just up in the sky next week!

 

Featured artists appearing at the iconic Royal Albert Hall in leafy Kensington includes the likes of Nigel Kennedy as well as Joyce DiDonato who will the main soloists as part of this prestigious lineup that’s more impressive than Arsene Wenger’s transfer spending spree.

 

nigel-kennedy-21

(c) blog.meranolife.com

 

Furthermore,you can catch a number of different nautical related songs not to mention themes thanks to Bantock and George Lloyd who will certainly bring a sparkling array of songs from across the pond.

 

With more than one hundred different types of concerts already taken place over the last few months, the Last Night of the Proms is considered to be the biggest event of its kind with a host of international stars and composers.

 

Last night of the Proms

(c) newarktwinning.com

 

It all began more than a century ago in 1895 and since then has gone on from strength to strength whilst improving its impressive roster of acts and unique concerts for all classical music lovers.

 

Yet it is the rousing renditions coming from Last Night that sets it above any other concert. You will be able to sing along to more popular songs not to mention a wealth of classics that you won’t help tapping your feet along to.

 

In the bottom section which is an all standing affair reminiscent of a gung ho mosh pit for the sophisticated and not so charming, you will hear the cry and roar of the crowd to Jerusalem and many more.

 

Last night

(c) cdn.ltstatic.com

 

Tickets for this particular event are of course in high demand but if you cannot get close to the action you can always sing live from the comfort of your own sofa. This is because the BBC will be airing the whole show live and exclusive as well as across the globe.

 

Plus at the same time,  there is the annual Proms in the Park party taking place in Hyde Park presented by Sir Terry Wogan. Fingers crossed the sun shines down on those attending.

 

Prom1 (2)

(c) markeyhomez.blogspot.com

 

For more information, why not visit www.royalalberthall.com for the complete BBC Proms 2013 programme.

 

 

Simon Lazarus is an experienced PR/Business Consultant and copywriter with a number of clients across different territories including the US, Europe, Asia, China and the Middle East. His vast portfolio includes writing content for a variety of sites on food and drink, travel, personal finance, news, showbiz, sport, technology and much more. He also advises businesses on strategies and marketing across different sectors.

Top 10 questions about visiting London – where is safe?

Question:  Safety in London – where to stay?

 

 

 

Safety in London

Safety in London

 

Where to stay in a safe area is the most common question asked by visitors from North America.

 

Lets face it, except for strict countries like the UAE, the safety factor is someone we all like to research before booking a hotel.

 

London is generally quite safe in all the accepted tourist areas. These cover virtually all areas within the Zone 1 tube system: Bayswater, Kensington, Chelsea, the West End, the City and Westminster. We should also include Hampstead and Wimbledon.
If staying south of the river then you need to do your homework in more depth. There are good and bad.

 

As a rule of thumb, the higher the property prices and hotel prices then the better the area. From Battersea heading east along the river towards Tower Bridge is a good area and has many interesting things to do and see. There are some highly rated hotels in this area but if you intend using the tube system check the distance of the closest station to your hotel.

 

If safety is paramount then we would suggest looking at Kensington which is very safe even at night and very central.

 

 

pickpocket in london

pickpocket in london

 

 

The biggest danger is the very centre of London, Oxford street and Charing Cross where pick pockets are most concentrated but that’s the same for any city where there a large concentrations of tourists.

 

The police in London are very vigalente so don’t worry just be on your guard and take sensible precautions when on public transport or using ATM machines.

 

Also especially in the West End check your change when making a purchase!
If you are a little timid then areas to avoid at night include Camden, the northern parts of Kings Cross and Euston, and areas west of Kensington and Earls Court.

 

On the south bank it can get a little foreboding in areas south of Borough. Also avoid the stretch of London between Tower Hill and ExCel and City Airport.
Please be aware that these comments are our own observations so do your research.

 

Articles in this series about London:

Where to find a London hotel with a jacuzzi in the bedroom

Which areas of London are safe to stay in

Where to stay in London

Where to park in London

Restaurant Spy: Madame Gautier Bistro

If you are looking for some va va voom in the capital then head to Kensal Rise for the opening of  Madame Gautier. This cute bistro, wine bar and all in one dining fest comes from the stable of chef and entrepreneur Mark Gautier. Teaming up with his wife Corinne, this double act is fast becoming as popular as Little and Large!

 

Now Kensal Rise may prick up your ears for all the wrong reasons but this chic venue is set to get Londoner’s tongues wagging for all the right reasons.

 

When it comes to the menu Gauthier will be reponsible for the overall direction using nothing but the finest French techniques as well as methods. Seasonal produce is of course the order of the day as this Gallic maestro waves his culinary wand to add a bit of sparkle to the NW10 area.

 

markets-5

(c) madamegautier.co.uk

 

The focus is on creating simple French classics not to mention regional fayre that looks and tastes great. Classically trained, Monsieur Gautier takes his inspiration from his father who was a Chef in the glamorous Cote D’Azur region.

 

Since 11 years of age, he has gone on to work in a number of different kitchens not only in the UK but across La Manche, not forgetting his stints in a host of 3 star Michelin venues.  This has included the likes of Georges V in Paris and The iconic Savoy.

 

Resturant-at-George-V

(c) dialaflight.com

 

In addition to this, he has instructed at some of the most popular catering schools in the capital and was even responsible for training some of the chefs at “15″, belonging to none other than Jamie Oliver.

 

So what’s cooking dear friends? You can have the chance to tuck into many quintessential classics that would make Asterix proud. This features lemon chicken with dijon mustard and a minty sauce finished with pilau rice, otherwise known as poulet au citron.

 

asterix-characters

(c) filmbuffonline.com

 

Other gastronomic highlights include Salade Madame Gautier providing chicken livers, parsley, a touch of garlic and mixed leaves finished with a delicate raspberry dressing.

 

There is of course confit de canard involving traditional dug leg whilst the fig tart will have you shouting zut alors in no time! This is all served with honey, ginger ice cream and spanking fresh figs.

 

As far as the interiors at Madame Gautier are concerned, check out the wooden fixtures, plenty of exposed brickwork which is coupled with a wealth of Victorian influences such as the tiling.

 

The vibrant bar a vin is separate from the main restaurant section and is the place to sample a choice of beers on tap, spirits and wines by the glass or bottle.

 

La Technique

(c) riseguide.co.uk

 

With all of us constantly on the go they also have a counter offering plenty of tasty prepared meals  ready for you to enjoy.

 

If you want to become the next Raymond Blanc or Alain Ducasse then experience their cookery school, La Technique, where you can be taught all there is to know about la cuisine Francaise.

 

Vive la France!

 

 

 

Simon Lazarus is an experienced PR/Business Consultant and copywriter with a number of clients across different territories including the US, Europe, Asia, China and the Middle East. His vast portfolio includes writing content for a variety of sites on food and drink, travel, personal finance, news, showbiz, sport, technology and much more. He also advises businesses on strategies and marketing across different sectors.

Focus On: INK, London

East meets West next month thanks to the launch of the brand new INK nightclub in London’s Leicester Square. Surrounded by the thespian callings of the capital’s greatest theatrical spots, this venue has taken the very best of the West End alongside a host of urban cool elements from Hoxton Square.

 

So who is behind INK’s creation? Professor Green aka Stephen Manderson is the brains behind this particular site which comes just before the launch of his third album in October.

 

The Professor is most famous for his notorious rap lyrics as well as songwriting which saw him signed to the Beats. In addition to this, Green has undertaken a number of different collaborations including the likes of Lily Allen as part of her official tour.

 

Pro Green

(c) sophieeagleton.blogspot

 

He has already had massive success with a couple of top three albums not to mention eight hit singles such as ‘Read All About It’ whilst he has even appeared stomping around the main stage at Glastonbury. With yet another musical string added to his extensive bow, Green has achieved lots in his burgeonic musical career.

 

One of his most popular hits features the hit single “I Need You Tonight”. This took shape thanks to a sample from the iconic song of the same title composed by the legendary band INXS.

 

Gerry-Calabrese

(c) wantoday.com

 

Manderson has now team up with Gerry Calabrese, owner of the Hoxton Pony in order to deliver  a unique experience to revellers. Know for his cocktail expertise, he will also introduce a monster party event on a daily basis.

 

Calabreses’s curriculum vitae provides interesting reading as he has been responsible for a range of venues from Lab to Dust ending up at his current venture. He has even spawned his own brand of alchohol with the aptly titled Hoxton Gin.

 

Hoxton-Gin-Bottle

(c) thecocktailgeek.com

 

This initiative is built on a passion of tattos and cocktails where you will have the chance to enjoy a wealth of cutting edge tattoo art on the wall. This includes Nikole Lowe and Neil Ahern whose array of artwork will be adorning the freshly painted walls at INK.

 

nikole_lowe_02

(c) blog.ptthead.com

 

Other artistic influences that you can see at this fifth floor joint offer large graffiti style murals and a plethora of neon works that will soon brighten up your evening.

 

If that’s not enough to give INK a glowing review then why not check out their impressive cocktail list. Taking inspiration from the Hoxton Pony using the freshest ingredients you will be sure to find something to whet the whistle.

 

The-Hoxton-Pony-Logo-600x343

(c) thecrossedcow.com

 

Music will be in the form of a melange of both rock and roll and urban tunes whilst £500 gives you access along with two guests to drink and dance at any time

 

If you need a quieter place to recover, then look at some of the fabulous hotels in Leicester Square on offer.

 

Thirsty work indeed!

 

 

Simon Lazarus is an experienced PR/Business Consultant and copywriter with a number of clients across different territories including the US, Europe, Asia, China and the Middle East. His vast portfolio includes writing content for a variety of sites on food and drink, travel, personal finance, news, showbiz, sport, technology and much more. He also advises businesses on strategies and marketing across different sectors.

Top 10 questions about visiting London – room with a jacuzzi?

Question:  Jacuzzi in the bedroom?

 

jacuzzi-couple
It’s amazing how many enquiries we receive about finding a London hotel which offers big jacuzzi baths in the bedroom. Of course, requests peak on the build up to Valentines Day.


Jacuzzi room at the Comfort Inn Vauxhall in London

Jacuzzi room at the Comfort Inn Vauxhall

To our knowledge, only one London hotel at a reasonable price offers this facility in many guestrooms and that is the Comfort  Inn Vauxhall. At this hotel the Executive Rooms have a two person jacuzzi in the bathroom.
The Comfort Inn Vauxhall is not exactly central, it’s just south of the river, but if the jacuzzi is the prime deciding factor then it’s a great choice.
On arrival at the hotels reception, you can also request a romantic package of rose petals and champagne!


 

Jacuzzi bathroom at the Troy Hotel

Jacuzzi bathroom at the Troy Hotel London

We know of one other reasonably priced London hotel with two person jacuzzis in the bedroom and thats the Troy Hotel. This is a tourist class accommodation in Bayswater, so very central.

There are other hotels which offer jacuzzi baths but they tend to be single size like at the Britannia International Hotel in Canary Wharf.  This is a lovely modern four star hotel with views over the river.

Of course several deluxe hotels have jacuzzi baths in the suites but you will pay serious money even by London standards.

Here are some others to tempt your cash!

 

The Rafayel Hotel, London
Hotel Rafayel across the river in Battersea.  The Nile Suite offers a single jacuzzi bath.  This is a knock out 5 star hotel with a health spa.

The Nile Suite at the Rafayel Hotel London

 

 

The Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel, London
Some of the Junior Suites offer 4 poster beds and a jacuzzi bath (single). The Chesterfield Mayfair is in an enviable location in Mayfair itself. It has won numerous travel industry awards.

 

Articles:

Where to find a London hotel with a jacuzzi in the bedroom

Which areas of London are safe to stay in

 

Restaurant Spy: Ruski’s Caviar & Vodka Tavern

Time to practice your kossack dancing and wave your furry hat in the air as Kensington goes all Russian next month. Why might this be dear friends? Well it’s all part of a brand new opening, adjacent to Kensington Palace.

 

From next month, Ruski’s Caviar & Vodka Tavern opens with its delightful tribute to the very best of Russian folklore. But it’s not quite time to pull up a pew just yet. Diners will have the chance to step back in time whilst being transported to a time when vodka dens were all the rage back in the USSR!

 

But as the Beatles sang their hearts out in 1968, you may just feel you have been flown back to the 60′s with its hedonistic array of delights. Considered to be de rigeur in the 1700s in both Moscow as well as St. Petersburg, this brand new concept is the brainchild of  Diego Bivero-Volpe and Antoin Commane.

 

Dance  Logo small

(c) Antoin Commane

 

With their impressive reputations in the nightlife scenes, you can be assured of a lively and entertaining venue. In addition to this, the former Executive Chef at Nobu, Scott Hallsworth will be working his culinary magic in the kitchen.

 

So what delights can you expect to find on the menu? Tasty treats set to work their own magic on your bellies include the likes of traditional caviar and the finest smoked salmon to club sandwiches filled with caviar.

 

If you want the perfect hangover cure then why not sample their steak tartare sandwich at the end of the evening laced with caviar – a true Russian delight.

 

cossack

(c) nickdoeshockey.com

 

Ruski’s will also boast one of the finest vodka collections in the capital. In fact it is believed to be the largest of its kind! This will feature a number of different varieties from home made infusions to worldwide blends that’s sure to pack a punch as hard as Vitali Klitschko.

 

Vitali

(c) befan.it

 

One to be sampled is their signature caviar and vodka flights encompassing five separate shots of premium vodka not to mention five spoons of caviar – a marriage made in heaven.

 

Specialist vodka will be delivered direct to the table either frozen or at the optimum level which is at 8 degrees. There will also be a wide variety of signature Russian influences that will have you dancing in the streets of Red Square.

 

This includes specially fashioned drinking glasses in the shape of classic Matryoshka dolls and large tea style urns called samovars. These will be specifically used for bigger cocktail sharing experiences whilst creative delights will have slurping down a Rasputin or a Tolstoy, presented in a flask that’s concealed inside an old War and Peace book.

 

samovar_soviet_union1

(c) Russianshop.com

 

If you want to sample the Russian high life then the aptly named Tsar’s Table is available for hire with private butler and bell service with as much caviar and champagne as you can glug.

 

Sit back as London awaits its very own Russian Revolution…Na zdorovye

 

 

Simon Lazarus is an experienced PR/Business Consultant and copywriter with a number of clients across different territories including the US, Europe, Asia, China and the Middle East. His vast portfolio includes writing content for a variety of sites on food and drink, travel, personal finance, news, showbiz, sport, technology and much more. He also advises businesses on strategies and marketing across different sectors.

London hotel with jacuzzi in the room

Find that illusive double Jacuzzi in your hotel bedroom

jacuzzi-couple

 

 

Ok so you have spent ages on Google trying to find a big Jacuzzi in a hotel bedroom in London.  Well let us tell you that there is only one hotel in London that can offer this facility at anywhere near to a sensible price. Yes there are other hotels but the Jacuzzi tends to be in a suite and is cost prohibitive.

 

 

Where do I find one?

The Comfort Inn Vauxhall Hotel has several Executive Double Jacuzzi Guestrooms which offer a 2 person unit in the bathroom.

For a few pounds extra you can order a rose petal and champers upgrade on arrival.

Obviously, these are always booked out well in advance for Valentines Day (Feb 14) but generally you can book quite close to your arrival date.

comfort-inn-vauxhall-london-executive-jacuzzi-bath

The Comfort Inn Vauxhall is at 87 South Lambeth Road, London, London, SW8 1RN and the closest tube station is Vauxhall which is about 500m walk.

Facilities

Air Conditioning
Jacuzzi Bath
Telephone
Microwave
Fridge
Heating crockery
Safe
IPod deck
32 inch LCD TV with free view channels
Radio
Enhanced Tea/Coffee
Hair Dryer
Business Desk
Ironing Facilities
Wake Up Service/Alarm Clock & Wi-Fi (Surcharge)

 

Where and how can I book the Double Jacuzzi Bedroom?

You can locate the cheapest price for a room with a double jacuzzi here at the

Comfort Inn Vauxhall price comparison page

Restaurant Spy: Chotto Matte, Soho

A little slice of Japan in the heart of W1

 

It’s time to say “konnichiwa” to one of the hottest upcoming openings in Old London Town. Chotto Matte is not set to open until next month but we as usual have the latest capital scoop.

 

Our spies tell us that it is to coincide with London Fashion Week where the starlets of the catwalk congregate like busy bees. So what’s on the menu? A melange of both Peruvian as well as Japanese cultures will collide resulting in culinary adventure.

 

This will feature a host of inspirational cuisine not to mention a wealth of vibrant cocktails. In addition, you can have the chance to enjoy scintilatting live music before your very eyes.

 

choco

(c) barchick.com

 

The brainchild for this concept is none other than Kurt Zdesar, originally the creator of the successful Ping Pong. His other claims to fame include being behind the notorious Nobu London.

 

It’s literal transalation is wait a minute but unlike Nicholas Cage you won’t be Gone In 60 Seconds as this venue is about to cause a stir. Situated adjacent to Frith Street, the focus is very much on high end and quality ingredients.

 

Kurt

(c) kurtzdesar.com

 

It stretches across three different floors and will feature an spacious cocktail lounge ready to welcome you with open arms (or should that be a  courteous bow of the head!).

 

The curved bar is produced entirely from lava stone whilst experienced mixologists are ready to shake things up. Check out such concoctions as Sochu, Pisco based drinks not to mention a range of intricate Sake cocktails to make your palette dance.

 

The dining area close by will be home to a raw bar and a dining area under the helm of Hiroki Takemura. Not to be outdone by the founder some of his impressive credentials include a previous stint at Zuma and Nobu.

 

sake_casks_heianjingu_may08_2-0

(c) letsjapan.wordpress.com

 

With plenty of cedar and unique materials being used, they have put together an impressive restaurant. Other culinary highlights to tempt you inside feature an open Robata grill serving a number of different classic Japanese dishes.

 

If their Wagyu beef has not got you on tenterhooks then how about their sublime a la carte offerings?

 

Wagyu

(c) jelahjah-explorer.com

 

A regular changing selection provides BBQ Pork Belly, baby grilled chicken with a spicy pomegranate salsa and numerous barbecued pecialties from the Grill. Spanking and carefully sourced sushi comes as standard.

 

Watch out also for graffiti prints by Houxo Que.  The Japanese version of Banksy is in town to create a range of special etchings to adorn the walls.

 

If you want to paint the town red or black for that matter then there are several hotels in Soho to experience after a night out on the tiles.

 

Que Houxho

(c) quehouxo.com

 

Chotto Matte

11-13 Frith Street,

Soho,

London W1D 4RB

W: www.chotto-matte.com

 

 

Simon Lazarus is an experienced PR/Business Consultant and copywriter with a number of clients across different territories including the US, Europe, Asia, China and the Middle East. His vast portfolio includes writing content for a variety of sites on food and drink, travel, personal finance, news, showbiz, sport, technology and much more. He also advises businesses on strategies and marketing across different sectors.