Visit London Blog » Shopping http://blog.visitlondon.com Enjoy the very best of London Mon, 20 Apr 2015 15:31:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.4 Pets in London Pubs, Cafes and Shops http://blog.visitlondon.com/2015/03/pets-in-pubs-and-other-places/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2015/03/pets-in-pubs-and-other-places/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 10:00:36 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=39351 Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium

One of the residents of Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium

 

Londoners love animals, so it’s no surprise some people can’t resist taking their pets to work. Here are just some of London’s much-loved resident animals at some of the capital’s friendliest spots.

The cats at Lady Dinah’s
London’s first cat café, Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium combines two of the best things in life: a cup of tea and a purring feline. It’s actually a home for rescued cats, so your £6 entrance fee goes towards their welfare and care. And best of all, while you watch the 12 resident moggies enjoying their new home, you can tuck into a cake, light snack or Afternoon Tea. Purr-fect. Booking recommended.

Pearl at Rosewood London
As a pet-friendly hotel (cats and dogs of a certain size are warmly welcomed), it’s no surprise that Rosewood London in Holborn has its own resident hound. Golden Retriever Pearl was named after Pearl Assurance Company, who moved into the building when it was built in 1914. There are plenty of excuses to pay her a visit, from the sparkling Mirror Room restaurant to the cosy, book-lined Scarfes Bar, where you’ll find more than 200 single malts – and delicious Indian bar food.

Pearl the dog at Rosewood London

Pearl the dog at Rosewood London

Barney at the Bell & Crown
Barney the dog is a regular fixture at the Bell & Crown pub, perched perfectly along the river in picturesque Chiswick. It’s a great spot for a pint of real ale, spot of grub or cosy boardgame after a roam around the beautiful Kew Gardens just over the river. And you’re sure to meet Barney as he does his ’rounds’.

Lenny at the Pride of Spitalfield
A friendly locals pub, the Pride of Spitalfields is made even more welcoming by the addition of feline friends Patch and Lenny. These two cats are well-known and have something of their own fan club at the pub, which they make the most of by nabbing the comfiest seats and making themselves at home. Our suggestion? Grab a pint of Bold As Brass made by the local Truman’s Brewery and do the same.

Alice Through The Looking Glass

Alice Through The Looking Glass

 

Harley at Alice Through The Looking Glass
Walk along Cecil Court, just minutes from Trafalgar Square, and you may do a double take when you spot Alice Through The Looking Glass. For in the window of this delightful shop, selling first editions of Lewis Carol’s ‘Alice’ books and more, you may spy a large white rabbit. This is Harley. He’s only in once or twice a week but when he is you can usually find him in the window or in his hutch inside.

Bob at ScooterCaffè

As if it wasn’t already cosy enough with its delicious hot chocolates, quirky decor and soft lighting, ScooterCaffè on Lower Marsh (behind Waterloo Station) has its own resident cat, Bob. Pop in for a stroke and a spot of cake during the day; or a glass of something cold at the bar when the evening crowds flock in.

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The Year of the Sheep: Woolly good attractions in London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2015/02/the-year-of-the-sheep-woolly-good-attractions-in-london/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2015/02/the-year-of-the-sheep-woolly-good-attractions-in-london/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 12:10:52 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=39321 One of the eight sheep at Hackney City Farm

One of the eight sheep at Hackney City Farm

This Chinese New Year marks the start of the Year of the Sheep. But celebrating by pulling on a woolly jumper isn’t going to cut it. We pick out seven sheep-ish attractions to shepherd your friends and family to. ‘Ewe’ won’t believe how much fun you can have!

Meet real sheep at Hackney City Farm

London has a number of City Farms where you can see all sorts of farmyard animals – including, of course, sheep. At Hackney City Farm there are eight resident sheep: Speckledy, Tiffany, Sherry, Tess, Baby, Lola, Delan and, last but certainly not least, 11-year-old Littlesheep. Save time for a rummage around the shop and a delicious lunch or snack at the on-site café, Frizzante.

Yauatcha in Soho

Yauatcha in Soho

Enjoy a sweet sheep treat at Yauatcha

To mark the Year of the Sheep, renowned dim-sum teahouse Yauatcha in Soho has gone sheep crazy, with a themed pop-art window display, pop-up art gallery and “wool makeover” created in collaboration with the Campaign for Wool. Even the dessert has been given a sheep twist, with macaroons made with caramelized sheep’s milk and a sheep’s yogurt lemon dessert. Until 28 Feb.

See Dolly the Sheep’s jumper at the Science Museum

Do you remember Dolly the sheep, the first cloned animal? Her birth was hailed as a scientific breakthrough and kickstarted huge debate – and controversy. While Dolly’s final resting place is at the National Museum of Scotland, a little bit of the world’s most famous sheep remains at London’s Science Museum in the form of a jumper knitted from Dolly’s first fleece.

Liberty

Liberty

Buy designer woollens at Liberty

If a chunky wool knit isn’t your style, check out Marc Jacobs’ new range of soft wool scarves at London’s iconic Liberty store – with suitably out-of-this-world names like ‘Blue Jupiter’ and ‘Turquoise Stargazer’. If that’s out of your price range, head to the third floor and pick up some yarn to make your own!

Spot Shaun the Sheep in London

To coincide with the recent launch of Shaun the Sheep: The Movie, its creators have organised a special art trail, Shaun in the City, featuring more than 100 giant sculptures of the little sheep who came to fame in the much-loved animation film Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave. Look out for the sculptures from March 28.

The Cheeseboard in Greenwich

The Cheeseboard in Greenwich

Shop for sheep’s milk cheese at The Cheeseboard

Tucked away in the World Heritage Site of Greenwich is The Cheeseboard, a tiny artisan cheese shop selling (among other things) delicious sheep’s milk cheese. There’s Ossau Iraty from France’s western Pyrénées regions, Tuscan Pecorino Nero, Terschelling from the Netherlands… but there are some UK favourites too, including Wigmoreand Devon-made Beenleigh Blue (pictured above).

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Seven Things To Do On New Year’s Day in London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/12/seven-things-to-do-on-new-years-day-in-london/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/12/seven-things-to-do-on-new-years-day-in-london/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:40:31 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=39274 Don’t waste the first day of 2015 buried under your duvet. There’s plenty to do and see in London on 1 January. Here are just seven ideas:

1. Experience London’s New Year’s Day Parade

The New Year’s Day Parade is a spectacular procession that takes place every year in London. More than 10,000 performers fill the parade route, from dancers and acrobats to musicians and local groups. Watch the highlights of last year’s parade for an idea of what treats lay in store:

2. Hear the classics at the Barbican’s New Year’s Day Gala

The Barbican Centre presents wonderful programme of classical music in its New Year’s Day Gala. The London Concert Orchestras, with Anthony Inglis as conductor, will perform a range of classics and favourites, from Tchaikovsky’s Finale from Swan Lake and Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers Duet, to Nessun Dorma, Land Of Hope And Glory and Rule, Britannia!

3. Take a spin on a festive ice rink

Burn off some of those Christmas calories and have a blast at one of London’s ice rinks. Many are open on New Year’s Day, including Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, Somerset House and Westfield London. Don’t forget to book your skating session in advance. More London ice rinks.

Somerset House Ice Rink

Somerset House Ice Rink

4. Grab a bargain at the Sales

London’s famous ‘January Sales’ actually often begin on Boxing Day, with many retailers cutting prices as soon as Christmas is over. But the sales usually continue well into the New Year, so there are still plenty of bargains to be had. Check our January Sales listings to find out when the sales begin at London’s top shopping destinations, including Selfridges, Harrods and John Lewis.

5. Blow away the cobwebs on a winter walk

Wrap up warm and enjoy the beautiful wildlife and nature of London on a crisp winter walk. There are plenty of walks to choose from. If you want a short stroll in Central London, walk around the beautiful lake in St James’s Park and watch the ducks dipping in and out of the water. For a longer ramble, why not explore the ancient woodland of Highgate Wood or spot red foxes, stoats, kingfishers and other winter wildlife at Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve. And on New Year’s Day, London Wetland Centre is also running a ‘Tick And Twitch’ guided walk for keen birders.

Rainham Marshes

Rainham Marshes

6. Have a laugh at The Comedy Store’s New Year show

Laughter is the best form of medicine, so if you’re feeling a bit delicate come 1 January, dose yourself up at The Comedy Store’s special New Year’s Day Best In Stand Up show. The line-up includes MC Sean Meo, Canadian comic Phil Nichol, Josh Howie and the aptly-named Jarred Christmas.

7. Carry on the party at XOYO’s New Year’s Day club night

If you’re still in the celebratory spirit after New Year’s Eve, mark the first day of 2015 at top Shoreditch club XOYO’s New Year’s Day bash, featuring acclaimed deep house act Âme – aka German duo Kristian Beyer and Frank Wiedemann – known for their track Rej and remixes of Radio Slave and The xx. Plus special guests including Marcus Worgull.

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Family Festive Day Out in London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/12/family-festive-day-out-in-london/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/12/family-festive-day-out-in-london/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 11:35:04 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=39257 Father Christmas at Winter Wonderland

Father Christmas at Winter Wonderland

The twinkling lights are up, the mince pies out… London’s getting festive! Enjoy the magic of Christmas with the whole family on a festive day out in London.

Morning: Natural History Museum and Ice Rink

Natural History Museum ice skating

Natural History Museum ice skating

The Natural History Museum is always popular with children, who love the huge dinosaur skeletons, earthquake simulator and hands-on activities. Spend an hour or two exploring the museum’s amazing collections, then let off some steam with a skate around the outdoor ice rink – admiring the outside of the museum as you go for a spin.

There’s a large rink and a smaller one for beginners and children – plus a café/bar for those who prefer enjoying the antics from the sidelines with a tasty hot chocolate.

Lunch: Winter Wonderland

Jump on the 74 bus (towards Baker Street) and get off at Marble Arch, a stone’s throw from Winter Wonderland, just inside Hyde Park. Here you’ll find rides, a magical ice kingdom, a bustling Christmas market and much more.

You’ll also find lots of food stalls and pop-up cafes, where you can enjoy a lunch of piping hot bratwurst sausage in the Bavarian Village, or whatever else takes your fancy. Note: Winter Wonderland is free to enter but some rides and attractions are ticketed and need to be booked in advance.

Afternoon: Oxford Street Christmas lights and Hamleys

Oxford Street Christmas Lights

Oxford Street Christmas Lights

Stroll from Marble Arch along Oxford Street, admiring the beautiful white orb Christmas decorations above. It should just be getting dark by now – the perfect time to see the lights in all their glory.

Turn right onto Regent Street at Oxford Circus and head for Hamleys, better known as every child’s dream shop. Inside they’ll find all their favourite toys, see expert demonstrations and (if you get there for 5pm) you can watch it snow!

Dinner: Spaghetti House

Continue down Regent Street, through Leicester Square and onto St Martin’s Lane. Take a well-earned rest and refuel over dinner at Spaghetti House at number 30. A two-course dinner of Italian favourites is £10.50 for adults and £5 for kids.

Evening: Paddington Bear Trail and Carol Singing in Trafalgar Square

The Bear of London

The Bear of London

After you’ve eaten your fill of pasta, pizza and profiteroles, make your way to London’s iconic Trafalgar Square – just a few minutes away. Look out for The Bear of London, one of 50 unique statues of Paddington Bear dotted around the city. You can even do a whole Paddington Trail, to see all of the statues on one walk. But maybe save that for another day…

Then what better way to end the day than with some uplifting carol singing around the giant Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square? Performances take place from 4-8pm on weekdays, and from 2-6pm at the weekend. It’s enough to make even Scrooge feel festive.

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Frozen Experience For Kids at Harrods’ Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/12/frozen-experience-for-kids-at-harrods-bibbidi-bobbidi-boutique/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/12/frozen-experience-for-kids-at-harrods-bibbidi-bobbidi-boutique/#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 15:37:24 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=39254 bibbidi

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Harrod’s

Looking for Christmas present ideas for wannabe princesses?

Young fans of the smash-hit animated movie Frozen can be transformed into Anna or Elsa in a brand-new magical fairy tale experience at Disney and Harrods’ Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

Geared towards three- to 12-year-olds, I took my Frozen-mad three-year-old daughter along to the salon to be made-up like Let It Go-crooner and ice-wielding princess Elsa.

Set within an enchanting fairy tale castle in plush department store Harrods, the boutique is a frothy mix of dazzling dresses, chandeliers, hot pink chairs and shimmering accessories.

Assigned her very own fairy godmother-in-training, my tot was transformed into an Elsa-a-like with tonged hair, sparkling face-paint, nail varnish, a pretty puffy dress, silver party shoes and a crown, while being photographed by the boutique’s resident photographer.

Doing everything she could to make our daughter feel like a mini-princess, our friendly godmother-in-training stayed in character throughout the experience, which lasted around 30 minutes.

And there was an amazing goodie bag to take home which contained a photograph of the experience, must-have Anna and Elsa dolls, a cuddly toy of Olaf the snowman, a makeup bag, along with the shoes and dress.

Frozen experiences cost from £300. Other costume choices on offer include Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Tiana and Snow White.

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Where to Get Glammed Up in London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/10/where-to-get-glammed-up-in-london/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/10/where-to-get-glammed-up-in-london/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:00:56 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38867 Whether you seek lush lashes, a beautiful blow dry, crazy nails, the perfect fake bake or a beard trim, there’s plenty of options in London.

Some of the places listed here require you to book in advance, others will do walk-in appointments – please check in advance with the individual stores.

Topshop
The basement of Topshop’s flagship store in Oxford Street offers a fab range of beauty concessions. Here you’ll find an outpost of nail-art pioneer WAH Nails, Hershesons Blow Dry Bar, Blink Brow Bar, Strip Wax Bar and more. Plus, you can shop for a new party outfit onsite… Bonus!

Lyttle Minx

Vintage Makeovers
London has a huge number of vintage-style hairdressers, beauty parlours and traditional men’s barber shops (see “men” below), which are to be found in most areas. We suggest:

Lash Perfect Lash Bar, Carnaby

Carnaby
Get glammed up in the historic heart of swinging London! The Carnaby area  is home to It’s Something Hell’s, comprising Miss Betty’s 1050s beauty parlour and Mister Ducktail’s rockabilly barber (for the gents there’s also Pankhurst and Barbers Point). For facials, treatments and massages check out The Beauty Lounge, Cowshed Soho or the Marshall Street Leisure Centre and Spa. And for the final touch, head to The Lash Perfect Lash Bar in the Newburgh Quarter.

Geo F Trumper

Men
As well as vintage salons for the ladies, London has seen a rise in the popularity of traditional and old-fashioned style barber shops. For a haircut, wet shave, beard trim or general tidy-up, try Geo F. Trumper in Mayfair and St James’s, Murdock in Shoreditch, F Flittner at Moorgate or Notting Hill’s Carter and Bond.

Where’s your favourite spot to get glammed up in London? Let us know in the comments below.

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Things To Do During London Fashion Week http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/09/london-fashion-week-events-you-can-go-to-2/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/09/london-fashion-week-events-you-can-go-to-2/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 09:00:37 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=39197 Guest post by Fashion City Insider

Muriel Maxwell, American Vogue Cover, 1 July 1939. Copyright: Conde Nast/ Horst Estate.

Muriel Maxwell, American Vogue Cover, 1 July 1939. Copyright: Conde Nast/ Horst Estate. Part of the Horst: Photographer of Style exhibition.

London Fashion Week, the biggest event in London’s annual fashion calendar, is taking place from 12 to 16 September. For those without access to the much-coveted affair, here’s a round-up of the top fashion-related happenings that you can enjoy:

Sleeveless, side buttoned heather grey knitted ensemble, US Vogue Feb 1947 by Horst P. Horst. Copyright: Conde Nast Archive/ Corbis

Sleeveless, side buttoned heather grey knitted ensemble, US Vogue Feb 1947 by Horst P. Horst. Copyright: Conde Nast Archive/ Corbis

Knitwear Chanel to Westwood Exhibition 

Make amends for missing out on the front row by strutting your stuff at the major fashion exhibitions currently on in the city. The Fashion and Textile Museum’s Knitwear Chanel to Westwood exhibition (19 Sep-18 Jan 2015), features knitwear pieces from some of the fashion world’s finest designers and explores the effects of punk and deconstruction on 20th century fashion design. If charting fashion evolution tickles your fancy, Wedding Dresses 1775–2014 is also running until March 2015 at the V&A. Here you’ll see more of Westwood’s work, as well as showstopping creations from the likes of Vera Wang and John Galliano.

Impossible Catwalk Shows

For a unique take on the Fashion Week phenomena, visit the Fashion Space Gallery at the London College of Fashion and see Simon Costin’s Impossible Catwalk Shows. Opening on the first day of London Fashion Week, exchange the real catwalk experience for Costin’s own bizarre interpretations where the possibilities are endless. Until 13 Dec

When Art Meets Fashion

From 6 September visit the V&A’s latest blockbuster exhibition Horst: Photographer of Style with prints, drawings and notebooks from the legendary fashion photographer. Gallery 8 is also exploring fashion in a different medium with their Drawing On Style exhibition. Here you can view fashion illustrations commissioned for the likes of Vogue and L’Oreal – and you will even get the chance to buy original designs from Dior and Biba! 11-16 Sep

Drawing On Style

Drawing On Style

Inside Coco Chanel’s Apartment

Take a unique chance to explore Coco Chanel’s apartment in Sam Taylor-Johnson’s photographic exhibition for the Saatchi Gallery, that allows visitors to see inside the home of one of fashion’s most iconic figures for the first time. 12-22 Sep

"Second floor" The Private Apartment of Mademoiselle Chanel. Image: Sam Taylor-Johnson

“Second floor” The Private Apartment of Mademoiselle Chanel. Image: Sam Taylor-Johnson

Vintage Fashion Fairs

Over the weekend, take a break from the catwalk and galleries, and shop some iconic vintage wear, proving that it’s not all about new designs, but historic staples too! Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair returns on 14 September from 11am to 5pm. Alexandra Palace also has a Pop Up Vintage Fair happening on the same date from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

Designer Cocktails

After a packed day of activities, an evening during London Fashion Week wouldn’t be complete without a cocktail or two. The Metropolitan Hotel on Old Park Lane is serving up an array of designer inspired cocktails at their Met bar from 16–20 September, with muses including Tom Ford, Paul Smith and Matthew Williamson.

Fashion City Insider is a fashion travel guide. Visit its London pages for more inspiration and tweet them @fashion_cities

 

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A Quick Guide to London Beards http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/06/a-quick-guide-to-london-beards/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/06/a-quick-guide-to-london-beards/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 09:00:20 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38797 Sham, winner of the beard contest at the 2014 Great British Tattoo Show at Alexandra Palace. Photograph by: Jonathan Daniel Pryce

Once the favoured accessory of weathered fishermen and chin-stroking academics, the beard has had a revival in fortunes of late – and no more so than in London.

New research warns we may have reached ‘peak beard’ – but you just try telling that to East London, where the ‘hipster’ beard reigns supreme. London’s finest fuzz was even captured by photographer Jonathan Daniel Pryce in his blog-turned-book 100Beards.

We look back at some of the beard’s most famous moments in London history and culture…

The UK’s most beard friendly pub

The Cock Tavern in Hackney was recently crowned the most beard-friendly UK pub 2014. It was selected in an online poll organised by The Beard Liberation Front. It’s also where the British Beard Club hold their meetings – although that might be more to do with the pub’s great range beers from different micro-breweries – including its own.

Henry VIII. Image credit: Lucas Horenbout/ Web Gallery of Art

Henry VIII’s Beard Tax

Everyone’s favourite head-chopping king, Henry VIII, is said to have introduced a ‘beard tax’ in 1535 – despite having one himself. Walk in the king’s footsteps at his stunning former home, Hampton Court Palace.

Tower Green and the Queen's House at the Tower of London

A bearded escape at the Tower of London

On the eve of his execution in 1716, Lord Nithsdale staged a daring escape from the Tower of London. His wife and two of her friends smuggled in a set of women’s clothes and managed to sneak out the prisoner disguised as one of them – even though he hadn’t had time to shave his long beard. Visit the Tower of London for a glimpse of the site where the Lieutenant’s Lodgings (where the Lord was held) once stood – next to what is now the Queen’s House.

Weird Beard Brewery

West London brewers Weird Beard Brew Co (“all beard, no sandals”) concoct fantastically named beers like American IPA Five O’Clock Shadow, K*ntish Town Beard and Black Perle. Give them a taste for yourself at the Craft Beer Co in Covent Garden or The Harp near Charing Cross, which regularly stock Weird Beard Brews – just two of many other pubs and bars across London to do so.

Margaret Thatcher with Ronald Regan outside Number 10 Downing Street. Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library.

Margaret Thatcher’s fear of beards

Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had a thing against facial hair and famously declared “I wouldn’t tolerate any minister of mine wearing a beard”. See where the Iron Lady once lived by peering through the imposing gates of Downing Street.

The Beard of the Great Sphinx at the British Museum

The Great Sphinx is one of the most iconic sights of ancient Egypt – and the British Museum has a piece of this massive sculpture: specifically a fragment of its beard. It dates back to about 1500-1295 BC – possibly even further back – and was excavated at Giza in 1817. See it for yourself in Room 4 at the British Museum.

To Beard or Not To Beard window display at Selfridges London. Photograph by Gareth Davies/Snap Media Productions

To Beard or Not to Beard at Selfridges

The latest window display at Selfridges cheekily picks up on the beard/no beard debate. Titled To Beard Or Not To Beard, it features a recreated barber’s shop – with all the trimmings. Step inside and you’ll find an actual barber’s shop – a collaboration between the people behind Return of the Rudeboy (an upcoming exhibition at Somerset House), top hairdresser Johnnie Sapong and Soho salon We Are Cuts – snipping beards into shape until 12 June.

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Things To Do in London During Menswear Fashion Week http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/06/celebrate-menswear-in-london/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/06/celebrate-menswear-in-london/#comments Thu, 12 Jun 2014 09:00:37 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38934 Guest post by Fashion City Insider 

London is the home of men’s fashion. As well as enjoying over 400 years of expert tailoring on Savile Row , a glut of emerging designers will be showing their wares at this month’s London Collections: Men (LC:M), the London fashion week for menswear.

As the world’s sharpest dressed men descend on the capital for LC:M next week, we’ve threaded together a few fashion-related events to enjoy.

Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition

Paul Smith and Jean Paul Gaultier exhibitions

For art and design lovers, immerse yourself in the world of iconic designer Paul Smith at the Design Museum on London’s South Bank. Hello, My Name Is Paul Smith (until 22 Jun) shows Smith’s roots in menswear. The Barbican’s The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk (until 17 Aug) celebrates Gaultier’s mastery of couture and ready-to-wear fashion, as well as film and music costume collaborations, with as much for guys as for girls.

John Deakin’s street style photography

The Photographer’s Gallery steps back into London of the 1950s and 1960s through the work of one of the best British photographers – John Deakin. Delve into the history of street style photography at Under The Influence: John Deakin And The Lure Of Soho displaying Deakin’s exploration of the hidden corners and colourful characters of London’s Soho. Until 13 Jul

Dapper gents on screen

The Institute of Contemporary Arts is celebrating the art of sharp tailoring and style with a special 35mm screening of The Million Pound Note (1954) staring Gregory Peck, hosted by Anthony Peck, son of the Hollywood legend and style icon. 17 Jun

Bowler Hat at The City of London Festival

And a giant Bowler hat!

The party continues in London even after the fashion media circus has left town at the The City of London Festival with a huge inflatable 10m-high bowler hat pop-up venue near St Paul’s Cathedral which will be hosting more than 100 events from drama, music , comedy to debates. 22 Jun-17 Jul

Fashion City Insider is a London fashion travel guide.

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Spotlight On: Greenwich http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/04/top-5-things-to-do-in-the-london-borough-of-greenwich/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/04/top-5-things-to-do-in-the-london-borough-of-greenwich/#comments Wed, 30 Apr 2014 09:00:11 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38541 Mercedes tall ship. Photo credit: Royal Borough of Greenwich

You’ve probably heard of Greenwich for its rich maritime history, World Heritage status and great time-keeping (this is the home of Greenwich Mean Time, no less). But there’s plenty more to discover across this Royal Borough, from sky-high cable cars to an Art Deco mansion. Here are just five things to do while you’re staying in the area:

1. See Tall Ships and Nelson’s Uniform

Nelson's Trafalgar Uniform. © National Maritime Museum

If you’re visiting London this September, don’t miss the Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta. Over five days (from 5 to 9 September), some 50 majestic tall ships will be arriving from the coast of Cornwall. But don’t worry if you miss out, one ship that’s not going anywhere is Cutty Sark – the last surviving tea clipper and the fastest and greatest of its time – now permanently docked in Greenwich. Don’t forget to pop into the nearby National Maritime Museum too to hear more fantastic sea tales – and see the coat Admiral Nelson wore at the Battle of Trafalgar (complete with bullet hole).
While you’re there… Eat lunch at The Trafalgar Tavern, a historic 19th century pub overlooking the River Thames.

2. See Time and Space at the Royal Observatory and Planetarium

Royal Observatory. Courtesy of Visit Greenwich

Sitting high above Greenwich town centre is the Royal Observatory, home of not only Greenwich Mean Time, but also the Prime Meridian of the world (the zero point of longitude), London’s only planetarium and the UK’s largest refracting telescope. Take in a show at the planetarium, marvel at Harrison’s timekeepers and stand astride the Prime Meridian line – with one foot in the east, the other in the west. Look out for new exhibitions too, such as Longitude Punk’d – featuring modern-day versions of the weird, wonderful and somewhat wacky inventions submitted during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
While you’re there… Go on a ramble around Greenwich Park. This rolling green space is popular with locals and tourists alike for picnics, team games, strolls, boating-lake rides and squirrel spotting.

3. Soak up the view from a cable car or on top of The O2

Emirates Air Line

Get a bird’s eye view of Greenwich and across London from on top of The O2. How do you get up there? You climb of course. It’s all part of the Up At The O2 experience, a 90-minute journey to a 360-degree viewing platform atop the famous domed venue. Alternatively head to the nearby south terminal of the Emirates Air Line and take a cable car across the river to the north stop, Emirates Royal Docks. Or if you prefer to have your head in the clouds but your feet firmly on the ground, don’t miss the new Emirates Aviation Experience, where you can get a feel for life in the skies with the help of flight simulators and interactive aviation displays.
While you’re there… Experience another unusual form of London transport and travel back to Central London by boat with City Cruises or Thames Clippers.

4. Visit A Royal Residence

Queen's House. Courtesy of Visit Greenwich

Picturesquely located along the river, Queen’s House has ironically not housed many queens. Queen Anne (wife of James I) died before the building she commissioned was completed, and Henrietta Maria (wife of Charles I) spent little time there before the Civil War forced her to exile to France. It’s since fared better as an orphanage and then fine-art gallery – which it remains today. For something more off the beaten track, jump on the train to Eltham and visit the childhood home of Henry VIII, Eltham Palace – and the 1930s Art Deco mansion built next to the remains of this medieval royal palace.
While you’re there… Sample one of the homegrown, limited-edition beers at The Old Brewery, a working brewery with a restaurant/cafe and bar on the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College.

5.  Browse Greenwich Market

Greenwich Market stall

You don’t need to leave Greenwich to find great treasures, like maritime explorers of past, there are plenty of gems to uncover at Greenwich Market. Here, artists and craftspeople from the local area and beyond gather to sell their creations – from fashion to gifts, homemade candles and jewellery. There’s also a food section that’s always packed full of stalls selling street snacks from around the world. Head down on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays for antiques and collectibles, and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and weekends for arts and crafts.

While you’re there… If it’s the weekend (or a bank holiday) don’t forget to pay a visit to Greenwich’s other market, the Greenwich Clocktower Market, where you’ll find quirky antique and vintage pieces.

See the Visit Greenwich website for more things to do in Greenwich.

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