Visit London Blog » lion king Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 18 Apr 2014 09:00:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 South Africa in London: Nelson Mandela, The Lion King and Cape Town Fish Market Fri, 09 Sep 2011 09:00:12 +0000

Ntokozo Kunene came to London to study Fashion Design, and is currently interning at an African publication. Ntokozo tells us her South African highlights in London.

Statues of Nelson Mandela

You can’t talk about South Africa without mentioning Nelson Mandela – our symbol of reconciliation, and what it means to be South African. London has two statues dedicated to him.

The first, a bust¬†outside Royal Festival Hall, was unveiled in 1985 by Oliver Tambo – another stalwart of the fight against apartheid. In Parliament Square, you’ll find a life-size statue of Mr Mandela, which he unveiled himself in 2007.

The Lion King in London

Several South Africans star in the award-winning musical The Lion King.

Brown Lindiwe Mkhize plays Rafiki, Andile Gumbi plays Simba, and Sello Maaka Ka Ncube once starred as Mufasa. South African musician and Grammy award-winning artist Lebo M contributed to the soundtrack of both the original animated film and the London theatre production at the Lyceum Theatre.

South African Food: Cape Town Fish Market and Nandos

When I arrived in London I was happy to find that one of my favourite South African restaurants from back home, Cape Town Fish Market, also has a branch here.

The walls are decorated with pictures, commissioned from various Capetonian museums, depicting the fishing community of Cape Town.

The menu is a mix between South African and Japanese cuisine and caters to both meat and fish lovers. I thoroughly enjoy sitting around the Teppenyaki grill table and watching as my meal is prepared.

South Africa is a diverse country of people of various origins and this is reflected in our food. Few people know that the highly popular Nandos (Portuguese flamed grilled peri peri chicken) found all over London, is actually a South African chain.

South African Shopping at Savannah

There are times when we miss the comforts of home, and when this happens we head to the many Savannah stores, which stock South African food and drink.

This is a good place to purchase genuine biltong, a kind of dried/cured meat that most South Africans cannot live without. You can also find maize meal – corn that is ground to a fine powder and used to cook our one of our staple starches called pap/meilipap. From South African cider and wine to our local sweets and crisps, Savannah is like taking a trip to the country itself.

Where else can you find South African culture in London? Tell us in the comments below.

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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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Visit London Asks: What’s Your Favourite London Musical? Mon, 19 Oct 2009 11:46:43 +0000 That famous lift in Dirty Dancing The MusicalLast week we set stomachs rumbling and mouths watering with our question about your best London restaurants, in celebration of the London Restaurant Festival. Thanks to everyone who took part.

This week, our attention turns to theatre: namley musicals.

Today is Dirty Dancing The Musical’s birthday! It was three years ago today that the new musical opened at the Aldwych Theatre in London and broke all box office records with advance ticket sales of ¬£11m.

And how is this brilliantly cheesy musical celebrating its 3rd birthday? With even more tickets going on sale! You can now book tickets to see Dirty Dancing right up until October 2010, taking the show up to its fourth birthday.

But Dirty Dancing is actually just like the Baby in the show in West End musical terms: yesterday The Lion King celebrated its 10th birthday. Celebrity guests arrived on a “yellow” carpet at the special 10th anniversary performance at the Lyceum Theatre. You can watch video footage of last night’s 10th anniversary show at the Official London Theatre website.

With both these wonderful shows celebrating success stories, we’d like to open up a debate, often heard in the VL office, to the world outside: what’s your favourite London musical? And why?!

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