Visit London Blog » elephant parade Enjoy the very best of London Tue, 16 Sep 2014 10:29:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Our Best Bits: The VL Team’s Highlights of 2010 Fri, 31 Dec 2010 15:00:34 +0000 What a year it’s been! Here we share our highlights of 2010 in London:

Two West End shows that really stood out for me this year were Jerusalem and All My Sons, both at the Apollo Theatre. There were moments of pure theatrical magic in both that’ll stay with me for a long time. I feel privileged to have seen such talented actors as Mark Rylance, Zoe Wanamaker and David Suchet live on the London stage. I feel similarly lucky to have seen both Henry IVs at the Globe, back-to-back. Yes, I had a sore bum, but for me, it was another unmissable production. For musicals, Legally Blonde was the best of 2010. But the highlight of my year was the day I went on stage in the West End as an extra in An Inspector Calls. I certainly won’t forget that in a long time!

The fabulous Grace Kelly exhibition at the V&A was a real treat and a definite highlight for me in 2010 as it celebrated the life and style of an actress, princess and icon through her film costumes and royal outfits.  I also enjoyed the gorgeous Sex & The City Afternoon Tea at the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill as the stiletto shaped chocolates and flirtinis were delicious and so cute.  Finally, learning yoga at triyoga in Soho has been a wonderful challenge and extremely rewarding this year.

Circus-themed events have been big this year. I think my favourite was Psy by The 7 Fingers at Peacock Theatre. It combined amazing acrobatics with energetic music and choreography to create a modern, exciting feel. It made me want to run away and join the circus!

London seems to get more exciting and adventurous every year. I will remember the wonderfully diverse musical experiences I was lucky enough to have: Carmen at The Royal Opera House, remembering Michael Jackson at Thriller Live and the talented Jetson at The 100 Club – an epic music venue that sadly may be closing. I look forward to what 2011 has to offer!

I had fabulous fancy dress nights out at White Mischief, The Chap Olympiad and SS Atlantica.  I was also a big fan of the colourful Elephant Parade over the summer. My most recent highlight was ice-skating at Hampton Court Palace – magical!

2010 has been an excellent year for stylish textile exhibitions. The Very Sanderson and the Horrockses Fashions exhibitions at the Fashion and Textile Museum were both highlights. The winner was, of course, the magnificent Quilts 1700 – 2010 exhibition at the V&A which contained so many tiny scraps of fabric, all crafted into beautiful quilts. I spotted top quilter and textile designer Kaffe Fasset looking round the exhibition during my visit, which added to the fun!

Being lucky enough to watch the World Cup from the top of BT Tower, although I have to say although it was good game the views were more inspiring.  Watching a dance performance as part of Electric Hotel in the middle of Kings Cross and touring top London restaurants as part of the Gourmet Odyssey at the London Restaurant Festival.

I thoroughly enjoyed Design for Living at the Old Vic – it was my first time at the theatre and seeing a Noel Coward play and I will seek out both again. My favourite gig was Alice Cooper at the Roundhouse – what a showman! I saw the The 39 Steps twice, which speaks for itself, and I attended three different outdoor cinemas in London – I’m hoping this trend continues in 2011. Finally, my favourite history lesson and a bit of a hidden gem is the Brunel Museum & Thames Tunnel Tour in Rotherhithe.

What are your 2010 highlights?

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Video of the Week: London Elephant Parade (You and Me) Fri, 02 Jul 2010 15:00:10 +0000

Here’s a video of the London Elephant Parade, ahead of tomorrow’s auction.

Do you fancy buying one of these babies? Tickets to the Elephant Parade Grand Auction & Champagne Brunch on 3rd July are still on sale for a meaty, but manageable £75.

You can also bid online: find out more here.

If the prices are still a bit steep for you, why not pop down to Carnaby Street or Selfridges, where you can buy miniature elephants (from about £27) and the official book until the end of July. Or take a look at the elephant parade online shop.

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The Elephant Parade Takes Flight on The London Eye Wed, 12 May 2010 13:21:28 +0000

Over the last couple of weeks, you’ll no doubt have spotted colourful elephant statues popping up all over the city. And if you were in the south bank area this morning, you might have seen that the elephants have even got as far as The London Eye!

Cloudia the elephant made the most of her first visit to London with a champagne flight on The London Eye today, getting a panoramic view of the city she’ll soon be travelling around.

Here she is boarding The London Eye:

Although she had a glamorous morning, Cloudia has lots of hard work ahead of her. She’ll be travelling all over London in the next few weeks to promote an online petition calling for the protection of the Asian elephant. She’s also hoping to stop off at No 10 to see the new Prime Minister David Cameron.

If you happen to run into Cloudia, make sure you get a picture of yourself with her and upload it to the Elephant Family Facebook page. A winner will be selected at random each day to win a Find Cloudia goodie bag, complete with a miniature statue of the campaigning elephant.

Here’s Cloudia as she heads off to Carnaby Street:

Mark Shand, founder of the Elephant Family charity accompanied Cloudia on her London Eye flight this morning, along with actress Rula Lenska (currently starring in Coronation Street) and Woodson Martin of who are sponsoring Elephant Parade.

The Elephant Parade is raising awareness of the Asian elephant, whose population has shrunk by more than 90% in the last 100 years due to the loss of its natural habitat. The Elephant Family charity is raising awareness and funds to secure the habitat of the Asian elephant.

See more of Cloudia’s exciting morning on Flickr.

Sign the Elephant Parade petition at

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Video of the Week: The Lion King Joins London’s Elephant Parade Fri, 07 May 2010 11:30:14 +0000

We’re really enjoying having a taste of the jungle in various spots around London at the moment. The London Elephant Parade is bringing smiles to people’s faces all over the capital.

And here’s a great interview with Sacha Jafri, the painter behind the Lion King-inspired elephant statue for the parade. We’re big fans of that particular London musical, and we love this homage to the show.

Have you spotted this particular painted pachyderm on the streets of London? Let us know where he is in the comments below!

And don’t forget to share your London Elephant Parade pics in the Visit London flickrpool.

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Question of the Week: Where’s Your Favourite London Elephant? Tue, 04 May 2010 09:56:26 +0000 This morning, my usual route to VL Towers across London Bridge was brightened by the presence of several colourfully decorated elephants! They’re all part of the London Elephant Parade 2010.

So far my favourite is the one outside Regis House (opposite Monument Station on the north bank of London Bridge), which is decorated with peacock feathers. There are also silver ones, floral ones and a red bumpy one with tiny elephants inside it (check out the video) dotted around More London.

Which elephants have you seen and where’s your favourite? Don’t forget to add your photos to the Visit London flickrpool and we’ll show them off in a blog post at a later date…

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Things To Do This Bank Holiday Weekend in London Fri, 30 Apr 2010 15:06:00 +0000

We’re just hours away from the Bank Holiday (it starts when you leave the office, right?) but have you made any plans yet? Come rain (as forecast) or shine (hopefully) there’s plenty going on in the capital this weekend:

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London’s Elephant Parade: The Elephants Are Coming to Town! Tue, 23 Mar 2010 19:52:35 +0000 This Elephant is covered in beautiful tulips Lulu Guinness poses for the photographers in front of her Elephant design A very bright elephant from Isaac Mizrahi A bright blue and red elephant at the Elephant Parade launch We can't wait til these gorgeous creatures are all over London! Three of London's Elephant Parade show off for the photographers!

If you love street art, good causes and animals, you’re in for a treat this summer.

From May to June, London will see an innovative fundraising campaign take to the streets in the form of an Elephant Parade.

Two hundred and fifty life-sized baby elephants will take to the streets of our capital, all hand-painted by an assortment of artists and designers.

Artists taking part include:

  • Marc Quinn
  • Diane Von Furstenberg
  • Alice Temperley
  • Lulu Guinness
  • Julien Macdonald
  • John Rocha
  • Jack Vettriano

After being displayed in all their finery at various London attractions, the elephants will then head to one of London’s great green spaces together as an exhibition. They’ll then be auctioned off to (very careful!) new owners at Sotheby’s in July. The auction aims to raise more than £1m: the money goes to 15 UK conservation charities working in Asia.

I chatted to a very cheery Lulu Guinness at the launch this morning. She’s very passionate about the cause, and seemed to have had a ball creating the design for her elephant.

“At first, I’d her in these kisses, but it ended up looking like it had chicken pox or something,” she told me. “So it was back to carefully placing the blots; it needed to be kept simple. I hope people walk all the way around it, to get the full effect of the sculpture. I want people to think she’s been smothered in kisses, like a form of adoration.”

I asked Lulu if she minded which part of London her elephant went to. “Not at all. I’m not that complex! I’ve recently had a pop-up shop in Carnaby, and I think the people there have requested my elephant for Carnaby Street, which is lovely. I think she’ll be great there.”

Look out for Lulu’s elephant, plus 249 others dotted around London come May! Check out more Elephant Parade launch photos on flickr.

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