Visit London Blog » islington Enjoy the very best of London Mon, 13 Apr 2015 14:17:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Visiting Czech House at the Business Design Centre Fri, 03 Aug 2012 13:00:29 +0000

This morning I was given a tour of Czech House – one of the many London 2012 national hospitality houses that have taken up residence in the city during the games.

Taking their location in Islington’s Business Design Centre as inspiration, the Czechs have created a fantastic space with loads of designer touches. As well as showcasing the best of Czech design – there’s displays of furniture, products including trainers and bags, classy tables and chairs (the TON wave was a fave) and tables and some truly funky glassware – you can sample Czech food in the cafe or order a pint of Pilsner Urquell at the bar. Plus there’s an Olympic and Paralympic shop where you can purchase all your Team Czech merch and outfits.

Czech house is free to enter (although you’ll probably have to queue) and has big screens showing all the Olympic Games action with Czech commentary. Particularly for any Czechs in London right now, it’s well worth “Czecking” out!

Have you visited any of the hospitality houses in London during the games? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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What’s on in London this Halloween Weekend? Fri, 29 Oct 2010 15:15:48 +0000 With Halloween activities going on all weekend, we thought we’d bring you a Friday round-up to whet your appetite

Read about more Halloween in London ideas here. What are your Halloween plans?

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Luxembourg in London: Award-Winning Photographer Marianne Majerus Tue, 21 Sep 2010 09:00:28 +0000

At Visit London, we always thought Luxembourg might be among the more difficult World in London countries to cover. Luckily, London’s incredibly eclectic art collections came to the rescue.

As well as work by Luxembourgers Pierre-Joseph Redouté and Edward Steichen among the collection at the V&A, we found award-winning photographer Marianne Majerus – whose work is in the online collection at the National Portrait Gallery – also comes from Luxembourg.

Majerus is a portrait and garden photographer who regularly contributes to a number of UK national newspapers and magazines. Her portfolio of work includes more than 180,000 images, and she was awarded this year’s International Garden Photographer of the Year for her stunning image Layered Landscape: A Moment Captured (above).

I caught up with Marianne – who has lived in London for 25 years – and asked her about her life in the capital.

Majerus lives in Islington and has an obvious love for the area: “Islington is a vibrant area with cafes, restaurants, theatres and cinemas,” she said. “And it is close to some great museums.”

The 54 year-old moved to London “for the professional opportunities,” but she admits she does miss the beautiful countryside of her homeland.

While Luxembourgish home comforts are limited in London, (Majerus cites the Luxembourg Embassy as the part of London that most resembles her country), she has taken the city to her heart.

As well as recommending Sir John Soane’s Museum, she notes the view from Island Gardens across the River Thames to Greenwich as a “breathtaking but rarely seen” hidden gem.

Majerus’ work can be found in the online collection of the National Portrait Gallery. Most of London’s major museums and galleries have an online collection on their websites so why not have a look; you may uncover some seldom seen masterpieces yourself!

For more information on Marianne Majerus’ work, visit her website

Do you know of any Luxembourgish events, places or famous Luxembourgers in London?

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Tanguera at Sadler’s Wells Fri, 20 Aug 2010 17:30:04 +0000

Argentinian dance show, Tanguera is showing in London for a limited run, after selling out all over the world. Sadler’s Wells in Islington is one of London’s most prestigious dance venues and sure enough on Tuesday night the auditorium was packed to the brim and the audience around me were enthralled, with several people on their feet joining in.

The storyline of Tanguera is a bit lacklustre, but there is no doubt that this cast is very talented. Leticia Fallacara is enchanting Giselle, dancing with speed and precision but also creating a seductive lead character. There are some impressive routines from the men and soulful vocal accompaniment is provided by Marianella, who has triumphed in many productions including her critically acclaimed Grizabella in Cats.

The music is beautiful throughout Tanguera, I could have listened to it alone all night. The show begins with a short interlude from the six piece band, which is charming and illustrates the musicians’ natural understanding of the music they are interpreting. The musical ensemble is made up of two bandoneons (a type of concertina instrument similar to an accordion), piano, double bass, guitar and violin, all parts interweaving to create a full and dramatic sound.

Read more about Tanguera on my blog:

Tanguera continues at Sadler’s Wells until 22 August. Buy Tanguera tickets here.

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Australia In London: 10 Aussies On Why They Love The London Life Fri, 30 Jul 2010 09:00:52 +0000

When someone says “Australians in London” to me, it tends to conjure images of backpackers in their early 20s who enjoy nothing more than drinking beers at the Walkabout, listening to pub rock at The Church and dossing on their mate’s couches.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I’m not that way and nor are a lot of other Australians I know who live here.

I arrived in London during the freezing fog of Christmas 2006. I’d always wanted to live overseas and this was my second – thankfully successful – attempt to establish myself here. Like most of the people quoted below, for me London turned out to be more complex and challenging but also more exciting and rewarding than I ever could have expected. I really love it here now and feel incredibly lucky to live in London.

I asked around to see what drew some of my fellow countrypeople to London. Here’s what they said:

For many visitors travelling from Australia, London provides a fantastic base from which to explore Europe. Like many, I came for this reason, but found myself falling in love with the city itself. Constantly changing and always exciting, I find myself increasingly addicted to London’s lifestyle. While my European travels have slowed down, my love affair with London continues, and six years later I feel lucky to call it my home.
Rebecca, PR Manager, Uxbridge (ex-Sydney)

I moved to London since it’s an exciting city and, cause of cheap airlines, a great hub for the rest of Europe. I stay because the things I want to do seem easier to do here and more things happen all the time. Also the fried chicken. <– not really.
Jan, Graphic Novellist, Holloway (ex-Melbourne)

I moved to London because I was bored stiff of living somewhere where I’d not met anyone new in years and years, that never got any big bands or interesting theatre, and that was too damned hot (Perth). I’ve been here 10 years now and I love London for the culture, the huge number of things that are happening every evening, every weekend.  The variety of restaurants and bars.  But most of all, the sense that anything can happen, the possibilities, the buzz.
Julia, Web Developer, Walthamstow (ex-Perth)

I came to have a change from Sydney, to get some overseas experience and to travel Europe as much as I can. I stayed for the weather.
Ari, IT Contractor, Kentish Town (ex-Sydney)

I moved to London in 2002 in search of brighter horizons and new experiences. My choice to leave Australia was a good one; I fell in love, not only with the close proximity of the world, but also with a beautiful English boy with gentle ways. Not to mention a beautiful city where each season greets you in turn with typically English ways — Pimm’s and bikinis in the park at the merest hint of sun in summer; turning, falling leaves of magnificent plane trees in the autumn; if you’re very lucky, snow and work-free days in the winter; and daffodils and tulips in the spring.
Robyn, Office Manager, Earslfield (Ex-Brisbane)

I didn’t give much thought to why when I decided to pack up and go – it was simply a new frontier, and something to do that could offer a great launch pad for more travel. Since I’ve been here I have realised that London offers so much opportunity, from work to entertainment and everything else that is on the cards with a big city full of a vibrant mix of people. Having been here for 3-and-a-half years, I still have no plans to return.
Penny, Journalist, Dalston (ex-Sydney/Brisbane)

There are so many people in London, and that means that there is a wide range of art, music, architecture, sport, dining, hobbies and activities… It gives London an exciting urgency and cultural awareness that no other city in the world can match.
John, Project Manager, Holloway Road, (ex-Hobart)

Moved to London for work, didn’t want to come. Felt at home from day one. I love how there is always something new to discover or a new place to visit in London; unfamiliar parts of London make you think you’re in a completely different city. And the English’s amazing appreciation of good weather.
Georgie, Banker, Islington, (ex-Sydney)

I moved to London by accident. Leaving Sydney four years ago in search of adventure, the last thing I thought I wanted was to end up in London, which seemed the safe and drab option. I’ve surprised myself by the extent to which I’ve fallen for this city – I’ve even bought a house here! All of life is here, as they say, and I’m proud to be part of it.
Iain, Editor, Tottenham (ex-Perth/Sydney)

Are you an Australian in London? Tell us about it!

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Loop’s New London Knitting Shop Tue, 22 Jun 2010 15:28:57 +0000

Loop, London’s lovely luxury yarn boutique had an opening party at the weekend to celebrate moving to a shiny new shop in Islington‘s Camden Passage. Nearly 150 customers queued up outside on Saturday morning to be the first through the door!

The new Loop looks right at home nestled between antique shops and exclusive boutiques. Loop now offers a larger selection of stock and a lovely light upstairs space for classes and gatherings.

Head to Islington and check out Loop’s new shop for yourself. You’ll find everything a knitter needs at Loop – wool, needles, books, comfy chairs and a very friendly welcome!

Loop, 15 Camden Passage, Islington, N1 8EA
Check out for a full list of classes

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Bank Holiday Weekend Roundup Fri, 28 May 2010 16:21:55 +0000

Another bank holiday weekend is upon us. The weather is forecast to be warm but not too blistering hot (fingers crossed it won’t rain too much!). So it should be a lovely chance to get out and about in London. Here’s a few suggestions for things to do:

All weekend

Saturday 29 May

Sunday 30 May

  • Laugh along to stand up comedians Terry Alderton, Otiz Canneloni, Jarred Christmas and Carl Donnelly at theThe Rose Theatre on 30 May
  • Catch a special Sunday cabaret show at the Bathhouse’s Boom Boom club on 30 May

Monday 31 May

Cheer on the runners in Hyde Park at the BUPA London 10,000 marathon 31 May
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Photo(s) of the Week: Islington Assembly Hall Wed, 17 Feb 2010 15:54:08 +0000 A contemplative man in the Assembly Hall in 1958 Assembly Hall during refurbishment The newly refurbished Assembly Hall, ready for its first audiences.

The Assembly Hall in Islington has just been refurbished and is opening to the public for the first time in 20 years. To celebrate, the Assembly Hall is hosting a dancing, singing, super spectacular week of events in March. You can find out more at

When the Assembly hall first opened in the 1930s it hosted evenings with George Formby, jazz bands and dances.

The photos show the hall in 1958, during and after the refurb. As you can see it looks pretty snazzy. (And yes, technically this is three photos, and a bit nerdy, but I think it’s fascinating!)

Share your photos of London with the Visit London Flickr pool and you could be featured next week!

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Pearly Kings and Queens Add Some Traditional London Magic To Heathrow Wed, 03 Feb 2010 09:30:53 +0000

Did you arrive at Heathrow’s Terminal 1 on Sunday?

Then chances are, you were given a proper London welcome by a group of Pearly Kings and Queens, for a traditional cockney knees-up!

The Pearlies greeted passengers with the spoons and a good ol’ rabbit.

We’re told even the terminal announcements (normally broadcast in the best Queen’s English) were read in traditional rhyming slang:

  • Take care on the apples and pears
  • Saucepan lids are not permitted to ride on the baggage trolleys

Mike Brown, Chief Operating Officer at Heathrow, said, “We’re trying to bring some of London’s unique characteristics to Heathrow, to entertain passengers but also to show off some of the city’s history and its culture.”

William McCarthy arriving from Auckland said, “I have never seen anything quite like this; what a welcome to the UK!”

Pearly Queen of Islington, Phyllis Broadbent said, “We’ve never been to Heathrow before, it’s rather exciting! The Pearlies are a London tradition and this is London’s airport; now people arriving from all over the world have seen us!”

Did you see them? Let us know what you think of the Pearly party!

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Puppets for Grown-Ups at the Suspense Festival Wed, 21 Oct 2009 09:00:26 +0000 Rust by Green Ginger

Puppets aren’t just for kids: there are companies all over the world producing puppet shows with grown-up themes.

Now some of the world’s top puppeteers are coming to London to perform at the adults-only Suspense London Puppetry Festival.

The programme encompasses everything from a raunchy puppet cabaret to a show about the life of Albert Einstein.

Don’t miss the brilliant Rust by Green Ginger, about two rival pirate radio stations.

The festival is organised by the Little Angel Theatre in Islington.

Creative Director Peter Glanville says, “People are engaging with puppetry in a way which is really quite exciting. War Horse, Avenue Q and Madame Butterfly are all part of that movement.”

The organisers hope the festival will introduce puppetry to new grown-up audiences. If you haven’t seen an adult puppet show before, book your tickets now!

Suspense is at venues across London from 30 October to 8 November.

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