Visit London Blog » Angie Greaves http://blog.visitlondon.com Enjoy the very best of London Mon, 23 Feb 2015 16:10:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Summer Holiday Ideas for Families in London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2010/08/summer-holiday-ideas-for-families-in-london/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2010/08/summer-holiday-ideas-for-families-in-london/#comments Fri, 13 Aug 2010 15:52:55 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=13335
I’m in the process of getting not my but my daughters’ social diaries up to scratch for the “wonderful” six to seven week school summer holiday.

So far, we’ve done a little swimming and are going to see both Shrek 4 and Toy Story 3. My daughters are assisting me in my training for the Palace to Palace bike ride even though that isn’t until 26 September.

I’ve always loved London for the parks and theatres but not everyone wants to venture into the City for entertainment, so after appealing on air to my Magic 105.4 listeners for a number for suggestions, the following came through:

  • Science Museum: “A fantastic free day out for children of all ages – so much to do and it’s educational!” Pete, Kingston
  • In the Night Garden at The 02: “It looks fantastic so I’ve booked tickets to take my two year old. A real holiday treat for fans of Igglepiggle or Upsy Daisy”. Anna, Walthamstow
  • Westfield London: “Lots of activities for kids over the summer – we’ll be going to the face painting and storytelling. And a cinema, loads of restaurants and a chance to do some shopping”. Zoe, Cricklewood.
  • London Zoo: “You really can’t go wrong with a day out at the zoo. It’s the perfect outing for my five and eight year olds who love seeing all the different animals. There are also loads of daily activities – penguin feeding time is a big hit”.  Nicola, Clapham
  • Ceramics Cafés: “There are many in and around the outskirts of London where you can paint your own pots, plaits and cups”. Sam, Hackney.

I’ll definitely be updating the list as the weeks of the holiday go by, so do remember to check in regularly with www.magic.co.uk

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Half-Term In London Ideas http://blog.visitlondon.com/2010/06/half-term-in-london-ideas/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2010/06/half-term-in-london-ideas/#comments Thu, 03 Jun 2010 09:35:14 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=9806 Have you been wondering what to do with the kids over this half term? I’m normally full of ideas and raring to go, but I just drew a complete blank this time around. As I am covering Magic’s More Music Breakfast, I thought I would ask the listeners what their ideas were, and some very interesting suggestions came back.

Here are just a few ideas for half-term activities with kids:

  • Bake cakes together
  • Go swimming or hire a boat in one of London’s lovely parks
  • Help your kids plan and cook a meal, and let them invite a few friends over for dinner
  • Look at local sports centres they often have half-term events you can get involved with
  • Arm the kids with digital camera and go for the Elephant Hunt around London! It’s especially cost-effective if you bring a packed lunch
  • The National Theatre is running backstage workshops for families all week

I’m pretty sure my girls will want to do a bit of 10-pin bowling followed by the cinema. Whip It, Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut (as opposed to what I thought was Whippet – about a dog), is on their list.

Half-term in London is as adventurous as you can make it, and by the look of all the suggestions above that came in from Magic listeners, I think I’m going to have a busy one!!

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Happy Easter from Magic FM! http://blog.visitlondon.com/2010/04/happy-easter-from-magic-fm/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2010/04/happy-easter-from-magic-fm/#comments Fri, 02 Apr 2010 14:00:46 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=7845 Easter’s come around once again, and it’ll no doubt be a time to spend, spend, spend – hopefully not as much spending as at Christmas!

Many London schools have already broken up for the Easter break. My plan is to spend a relaxing Easter with the family, but the week of 12 April, which is the second week of the school Easter Break, I’m hoping to see Billy Elliot: The Musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre.

The musical recently celebrated its 5th anniversary and on my show on Magic 105.4, I gave listeners the opportunity to see the musical in New York on Broadway.  Unfortunately, I don’t have time to go to New York during the Easter break, but I’m sure seeing it at the Victoria Palace will be just as exhilarating! 
 
I’ve also put two other events in my diary, both post-Easter; firstly Welsh superstar soprano, Katherine Jenkins will be performing at a Magic Indulgence event on 6 April, and lucky winners of tickets will be able to meet her!

Later in the month – 20 April – I’ve got tickets booked at the Cadogan Hall in Chelsea to hear some gospel singing and entertainment from the London Community Gospel Choir, who I’m sure will bring the Easter spirit to the venue.

Whatever you have planned over the Easter period, I wish you a happy and peaceful time.
 
Until next time…

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Cat On A Hot Tin Roof at the Novello Theatre http://blog.visitlondon.com/2010/03/cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof-at-novello-theatre/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2010/03/cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof-at-novello-theatre/#comments Wed, 24 Mar 2010 12:36:56 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=7549

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof won Best Revival at last week’s Laurence Olivier Awards. We sent guest blogger and Magic FM DJ Angie down to see the show, and meet the cast.

The film adaptation of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof in 1958 with Paul Newman as Brick and Elizabeth Taylor as Maggie was an Oscar-winning performance. The play, written by Tennessee Williams in 1955, will always live on in the hearts of many generations. 

So just what is it about The Cat On A Hot Tin Roof? Messages of alcoholism, marital neglect, family inheritance, sibling rivalry and hints of same sex feelings… The list goes on. There’s something that touches everyone, whether on the surface or deep down, in this play.

If your memory is as good as mine – or maybe you’re as old as me – perhaps the themes are reminiscent of those in the hit TV series Fame! Indeed, dancer and entertainer from that show Debbie Allen has brought her own adaptation of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof from the USA the UK – and she has brought a stellar cast (including her sister) with her:  

  • James Earl Jones – the voice of Mufasa, CNN, and Darth Vader
  • Phylicia Rashaad – she will always be Clair Huxtable to me
  • Sonaa Lathan – Nip Tuck, The Best Man, Love and Basketball
  • Adrian Lester - Mickey Bricks in TV’s Hustle

James plays Big Daddy, and boy does his presence take over that stage.

Phylicia is Big Mamma, and no matter how much this woman tries to look old, sound old and act old, she will always ooze what I call “the beauty spirit.” Sonaa Lathan as Maggie is everything that Elizabeth Taylor was but just packaged in a beautiful African American body.

And let’s not forget Adrian Lester, who I first had a major crush on in the American series Girlfriends, but he blew my mind in the BBC TV series Hustle. Adrian plays an amazing Brick and the chemistry (or sometimes lack of, due to the story line) is spot on.

So does this story warrant an African American cast, and have they brought the essence of Tennessee’s initial vision to life? In my opinion, there is a richer depth than the film, and some scenes touch you more than the film can because you’re sitting in a theatre, watching these characters, live! (You can almost reach out and touch them!) Phylicia’s delivery of hurt and pain when it is announced that Big Daddy is ill is an incredible piece of theatre.

Cat on A Hot Tin Roof will have its final curtain call on 10 April. My suggestion is that if you haven’t treated yourself to a performance yet, you may want to do so.

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Have a Happy Mother’s Day in London with Magic FM http://blog.visitlondon.com/2010/03/have-a-happy-mothers-day-in-london-with-magic-fm/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2010/03/have-a-happy-mothers-day-in-london-with-magic-fm/#comments Fri, 12 Mar 2010 17:30:56 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=7278 I’d like to believe every kitchen in the land is going to either be closed this Sunday, or there’ll be family members cooking WITHOUT mum’s help! I know my kitchen is going to be well and truly missing my culinary contribution. 

I can just imagine the Mother’s Day late shoppers on Friday and Saturday going crazy buying up supplies of flowers, chocolates, cards and perfume to present to mum on her special day.  

I shall be relaxing on the day itself, and will probably have my own mother over to come and relax with me and her grandchildren.  My mother, being the character she is, will definitely take up the invitation. But I KNOW she’ll do one of two things; she’ll either cook at her house before she comes over to mine, OR she’ll just take over my kitchen – because it would feel totally strange for her not to be in the kitchen!  The long and short is, she’ll be happy, and that’s what matters.

So what will make your mum happy this Sunday??  

  • Having the family over?
  • A house full of noisy children?  
  • Chocolates?  
  • Flowers?  
  • Perfume?  

If  cooking at home doesn’t take your fancy, and you want to get out and about in London this Mother’s Day, I can highly recommend booking a Red Letter Day experience where you can choose fabulous days out such as a fancy afternoon tea at Kensington Palace.

Ronan Keating will also be doing a special Mother’s Day show on Magic 105.4 in the afternoon on Sunday, perfect to relax to if you’re driving around town or putting your feet up after a wonderful home cooked meal (like me).

For your chance to win £100 gift cards with Red Letter Days, visit www.magic.co.uk/win.

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Celebrate Chinese New Year in London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2010/02/celebrate-chinese-new-year-in-london/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2010/02/celebrate-chinese-new-year-in-london/#comments Fri, 12 Feb 2010 18:00:41 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=6468

Noodles, rice, sweet and sour, fireworks, and… tigers?!

What a combination! Strange I know, BUT it’s Chinese New Year: the Year of the Tiger, and it falls on Valentine’s Day, 14 February. Now, I know I’ve already mentioned you should take part in Magic 105.4’s charity Gala Performance of Dirty Dancing on Saturday… so why not go for it this weekend, and join in the Chinese New Year Celebrations on Sunday as well?

If staring into your loved-one’s eyes in the privacy of your own home or over dinner at a romantic London restaurant is top of your list, you can still join in the China Town Association’s celebration on Sunday 21 February. There’ll be an amazing display in Trafalgar Square celebrating the New Year. It’ll be so much fun for the kids. My two daughters are doing a project on Chinese New Year at school, so you know where I’m going to be next Sunday! 

Firecrackers, dragons, lions… the one thing I’m really looking forward to are the Chinese acrobats. They always put on such a spectacular show, full of colour, vibrancy and energy; I can just imagine children wanting to join in the fun.

The great thing about Chinese New Year is that there’s so much for the whole family to do. The two events I’ll be taking my girls to over half term are workshops at the following :

  • National Maritime Museum – arts and crafts workshops making Chinese head dresses, good luck flags and watching performances from the Greenwich Chinese Community School

And

  • Straight after my show on 20 February, I’ll be making my way down to Westfield’s Shopping Centre where the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, having officially opened the Spring Festival, will be putting on a display of Chinese dance, acrobats, and plays performed by children of Chinese origin

Now, the one thing I haven’t mentioned is food. You can’t celebrate Chinese New Year without having a good Chinese meal! So it’s prawn crackers, chicken in black bean sauce and special fried rice for me, in the heart of Chinatown!

Happy Chinese New Year (and happy half-term) to you all, and let me know what you get up to!

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Dirty Dancing Valentine’s Day Charity Gala Performance with Magic 105.4fm http://blog.visitlondon.com/2010/01/dirty-dancing-gala-performance-with-magic-105-4fm/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2010/01/dirty-dancing-gala-performance-with-magic-105-4fm/#comments Tue, 26 Jan 2010 16:06:47 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=5866 I don’t know anyone who’s seen the film Dirty Dancing and doesn’t like either the whole movie OR at least one scene, song, or line of the script – agreed?

What about the scene when Baby first sees Johnny Castle walking into Kellerman’s Holiday Camp to start the summer season?

OR

The two classic lines of the film:
“I carried a watermelon” and “Nobody puts baby in a corner.”

My two favourite songs in the film are Cry To Me by Solomon Burke (when they do THAT dance!), and Hey Baby by Bruce Chanel – do you remember Baby and Johnny dancing over the river on the log??  

It’s such a lovely film and will go down in history for so many reasons.

Well, Dirty Dancing is now a musical in its sixth successful year in London’s West End. London’s No 1 radio station Magic 105.4 is hosting a gala performance in time for Valentine’s Day. In fact, it’s on Saturday 13 February at the Aldwych Theatre and all proceeds will go to Cash for Kids – Magic’s chosen charity. 

One of the scenes I’m really looking forward to seeing again when Johnny (Martin Harvey) and Baby (Hannah Vassallo) dance to Solomon Burke’s Cry To Me. The audience generally go wild as the actors and actresses on stage re-produce the scenes from the film verbatim. It’s just like watching a live version of the film!

The character of Penny, played by Nadia Coote is so faithful to the film: with those legs that seem to go on for eternity!

And the soundtrack always has everyone singing along – need I say more? Dirty Dancing is just one of those productions which you find yourself talking about all the way home, and then telling your friends about when you go to school, college or work the following day.

Why not experience it for yourself? Get some friends together and join us for the Gala Performance.

I would also say bring your husband or boyfriend along… For some reason, men are normally in short supply in the audience for this production(!), so twist your hubby’s arm – I’m sure he’ll end up enjoying it too.

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Hamleys at Christmas with Magic FM http://blog.visitlondon.com/2009/12/hamleys-at-christmas-with-magic-fm/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2009/12/hamleys-at-christmas-with-magic-fm/#comments Tue, 22 Dec 2009 16:00:33 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=5087 Angie's two daughters and nephew enjoying the Christmas party at Hamleys

Hi, I’m Angie Greaves from Magic FM’s Drivetime, and I’m a brand-new guest blogger on blog.visitlondon.com.  

What I’m hoping to do is bring some suggestions of things to do in London, whether it’s eating out, seeing a good play at the theatre, enjoying outdoor London, or, if you’re a parent, finding interesting and stimulating things to do with your children.   

Every Christmas, Magic hosts a Christmas party at Hamleys toy store in Central London. Now, I have to be honest, the thought of braving Hamleys doesn’t immediately fill me with much joy, (human traffic isn’t one of my favourite pastimes). However, the faces of the children when they come out with their gifts and toys does!  
 
The main concern I hear when I mention Hamleys is price, but it really isn’t as astronomical as you’d think. As well having concessions like Build-A-Bear and Hello Kitty, Hamleys do their own range of toys, games and gifts which suits every budget.

In Hamleys, you can find anything from a tiny fluffy cat, to a talking-and-walking dog; perhaps you’re looking for a magician’s box of tricks or remote-control car. If you want to be a little more adventurous, you could even go for moving farm animals, to a life-sized giraffe.  The choice really is yours. 

If you stick within your budget, there’s no reason why an afternoon at Hamleys couldn’t be considered as part of your Christmas shop, and it’s got a great atmosphere for kids.  
 
Each floor is themed: 

  • Girls
  • Boys
  • Soft Toys
  • Computer Games
  • Toddlers

There are staff are on every floor conducting demonstrations and the children are the priority.  
 
Hamleys’ cloakroom facilities are brilliant, and the baby changing room has everything you need if you have very little ones who need changing and/or nursing. Then there is a café with hot drinks and snacks keeping everything you need for your day under one roof.

This is also the special time of year when your children can go to Santa’s Grotto. Pose for a photo with the big man as a reminder of the fantastic day you had at “London’s Favourite Toy Store”.
 
Set your budget, be realistic and make your way to Hamleys, it’ll be fun for the kids and you too!

It’s Hamleys’ 250th birthday in February so keep an eye on magic.co.uk in the New Year for news on special birthday events that we can all enjoy!

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