Visit London Blog » tate modern http://blog.visitlondon.com Enjoy the very best of London Tue, 09 Sep 2014 10:11:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Free Day Out For Families in London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/07/free-day-out-for-families/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/07/free-day-out-for-families/#comments Mon, 07 Jul 2014 09:00:34 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=39045 Family outside Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Guest post by Laura Porter

The South Bank is always a great destination for families. It’s traffic-free, has wide pavements, fantastic views of iconic London landmarks, and there’s always lots going on that costs nothing. Here’s a plan for a free day out with your family.

Start by the EDF Energy London Eye where you can look across to the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. The nearest tube station is Waterloo.

Once you’ve taken some snaps let the kids play in Jubilee Gardens. As well as the green open space to run around safely there is also a playground for under 11s. (Be aware that bikes and scooters are not permitted at Jubilee Gardens.)

 Jubilee Gardens

Between The London Eye and Southbank Centre you’ll find lots of street performers vying for your attention. My daughter likes to take some coins to give to her favourites.

I know there’s a carousel here but we normally finds something more interesting at Southbank Centre, whether it’s a free event in the Royal Festival Hall (where there’s also a cafe and toilets), the summer garden on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall or a free festival alongside the river. There’s also the singing elevator (JCB Glass Lift) in the Royal Festival Hall and the skateboarders under the building to watch so you’ll always find something to entertain.

Carry on walking along the South Bank and you’ll soon reach Gabriel’s Wharf where there are often sand sculptures on the beach to admire. Head into Gabriel’s Wharf and there are some well-priced cafes (and more toilets).

Ten minutes further along the riverside walk and you’ll reach Tate Modern. There are many floors of modern artworks to admire and you only need to buy a ticket for special exhibitions. The river level cafe is incredibly family-friendly with a buggy park at the back, plenty of high chairs and a kid’s menu (and kids eat free when an adult buys a meal). Paper placemats and crayons are brought to the table for families too.

If you’d prefer a view from higher up go to Level 3 and from the balcony you can look across to St. Paul’s Cathedral and The City. There’s another small cafe on this level too, and, of course, more toilets. (Hey, anyone who’s travelled with children will appreciate this advice!).

Many people choose to continue along the South Bank past Shakespeare’s Globe and, maybe, onwards to Borough Market but my best tip is to cross over the Millennium Bridge (pedestrian only) and go into The City. You can walk from Tate Modern to St Paul’s in just ten minutes so it really is closer than you think.

Tip for kids: As you cross the bridge see if you can spot any love locks (small padlocks) attached to the sides.

If you check the tide tables in advance, under The City of London side of the Millennium Bridge is a great spot for mudlarking. There are steps to reach the river foreshore and it’s rarely muddy on this side so you can check the surface for old clay pipes and bits of pottery.

Afterwards, walk towards St Paul’s and on your left you’ll find the City Information Centre where you can pick up free trails, including one specifically for children which includes stickers. It has a few routes to try so let the kids choose the one that interests them.

Or, if it raining and you don’t want to wander far, the Museum of London is five minutes away from the other side of St Paul’s. This free museum is great for families and has two floors of exhibits to explore.

Museum of London

Laura Porter writes the About.com London Travel site and contributes to many other publications while sustaining an afternoon tea addiction to rival that of our Queen. You can find Laura on twitter as @AboutLondon and on Facebook as AboutLondonLaura.

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London Video of the Week: Top 10 London Attractions http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/06/london-video-of-the-week-top-10-london-attractions/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/06/london-video-of-the-week-top-10-london-attractions/#comments Fri, 20 Jun 2014 09:44:02 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38983

From the British Museum to the EDF Energy London Eye, Tate Modern to the Natural History Museum, watch this video to discover London’s top 10 most popular tourist attractions, based on visitor numbers.

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5 Reasons to see Matisse at Tate Modern http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/04/5-reasons-to-see-matisse-at-tate-modern/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/04/5-reasons-to-see-matisse-at-tate-modern/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:00:50 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=38402 Matisse Cut-Outs

Tomorrow’s big art opening is Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs at London’s Tate Modern. The timing is apt as 2014 marks 60 years since the French modern master’s death. Here’s 5 more reasons to see Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs.

1. Tate is putting on the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to Matisse’s paper cut-outs, which were made towards the end of the great artist’s life – between 1943 and 1954 – after ill health prevented the him from being able to paint.

2. You’ll get to see around 120 of these colourful and innovative cut-out works that Matisse made using scissors and coloured paper. Many works are displayed together for first time.

3. It’s the first time the artist’s classic Jazz maquettes have been shown outside of France alongside faithful copies of the 20 plates and hand-written notes by Matisse for the book they appeared in, Jazz, published in 1947.

4. Back together for the first time! See Tate’s The Snail (1953), with its two companion works Memory of Oceania (MoMa, New York) and Large Composition with Masks 1953 (National Gallery of Art, Washington). A photograph of Matisse’s studio reveals that these the three pieces were initially conceived as a unified whole, but it’s the first time they’ve been exhibited together since they were made.

5. Catch the largest number of Matisse’s Blue Nudes ever shown together. The exhibition includes the most famous and recognisable of the group Blue Nude I 1952 (Beyeler Foundation, Basel).

Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs opens this Thursday 17 Apr – 7 Sep. Buy Matisse tickets here

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Top 10 Free London Attractions http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/01/top-10-free-london-attractions/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2014/01/top-10-free-london-attractions/#comments Tue, 14 Jan 2014 12:28:54 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=37177 Old Royal Naval College

Every visit to London should include these top London attractions. Not only are they fascinating and unique, but they’re also all free!

And we’re not the only ones to think they’re pretty good. These world-class venues were the top 10 free attractions in 2012 across London – and England too (source: VisitEngland Annual Survey of Visits to Visitor Attractions).

British Museum

British Museum

Home of the Rosetta Stone, Parthenon sculptures and mummies of Ancient Egypt, the British Museum is a treasure trove of world history and culture. The collection is free to explore, though some special exhibitions are ticketed. Free temporary displays currently include Perfect Timing: The Mostyn Tompion Clock and Wise Men From The East: Zoroastrian Traditions In Persia And Beyond.

Tate Modern. Image visitlondonimages/ britainonview/ Pawel Libera

Tate Modern

Located along the River Thames in Bankside, Tate Modern is the bright, spacious and throbbing hub of modern and contemporary art in London. There are free guided tours of this former power station every day, or you can explore the collections yourself – from Russian Revolutionary Posters to Cubist works by Picasso, Duchamp and Diego Rivera.

National Gallery

National Gallery

Where the Tate Modern showcases the new, the National Gallery celebrates the old – specifically Western European paintings from the 13th to the 19th centuries. Look out for Vermeer’s A Young Woman standing at a Virginal, Seurat’s Bathers at Asnières, van Gogh’s Sunflowers, da Vinci’s The Virgin of the Rocks and many other unmissable classics from the masters.

Spend time with the kids at the Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

There’s plenty to discover and delight at the Natural History Museum, from the renowned Dinosaurs gallery to Treasures in the Cadogan Gallery, a permanent exhibition of historic gems such as the rare first edition of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, a dodo skeleton and the first adult skull of a Neanderthal ever discovered. Entrance is also free to the Attenborough Studio, where you can see films, join talks and meet the experts.

The Great Bed of Ware, 1590-1760. Courtesy Victoria and Albert Museum, LondonVictoria and Albert Museum

Billed as the world’s greatest museum of art and design, the V&A (as it’s commonly known) is known for its world-class exhibitions on fashion, culture, art and style. As well as the huge central collection and (ticketed) special exhibitions, there are free temporary displays. Current highlights include Making it up: Photographic Fictions, Masterpieces of Chinese Painting: Digital Dragons and The Jameel Prize 3, featuring works inspired by Islamic traditions of art, craft and design.

Science Museum

Science Museum

Founded in 1857, the Science Museum explores the past, present and future of scientific discoveries through its amazing galleries, interactive displays and historic collections. Go hands on in the Launchpad interactive gallery, learn about yourself in Who Am I? and see iconic inventions such as Stephenson’s original Rocket locomotive, Babbage’s Difference Engine No. 1 and Crick and Watson’s DNA model.

National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery

Princess Diana, Ian McKellen, Emmeline Pankhurst, the Brontë sisters, Charles Dickens… beautiful captured moments of the great and good from throughout British history line the walls of the National Portrait Gallery. See how man familiar faces you can spot – and don’t miss the current star-studded special displays, such as Michael Peto Photographs: Mandela to McCartney, Starring Vivien Leigh: A Centenary Celebration and Bob Dylan: Face Value.

Old Royal Naval College

Old Royal Naval College

Built on the site of Greenwich Palace, along the River Thames, the Old Royal Naval College encompasses a series of fascinating historic and royal edifices. Must-sees include the magnificent Painted Hall and Chapel, located in the twin domes designed by Sir Christopher Wren, and the exhibitions and relics on display in the Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre.

British Library

British Library

Beyond its famous and hushed reading rooms, the British Library is a top visitors attraction – full of fascinating exhibitions relating to literature, culture, music and more. Check out the Picture This: Children’s Illustrated Classics display (open until 26 Jan) or explore the permanent galleries’ gems, including no less than the Magna Carta, Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks and Shakespeare’s First Folio.

National Maritime Museum

National Maritime Museum

Tales of adventure, discovery and daring deeds bring fresh life to the fascinating history of life on the high seas. The world’s largest maritime museum, the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich has something for everyone: a Children’s Gallery and Ship Simulator for the little ones, free exhibitions such as Maritime London: 1700 To Now and Nelson, Navy, Nation (featuring Nelson’s iconic uniform) and art from the likes of George Stubbs.

More free London attractions

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Top Art Exhibitions to See in London in 2014 http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/12/top-exhibitions-in-2014/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/12/top-exhibitions-in-2014/#comments Fri, 27 Dec 2013 10:00:35 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=36652 2014 is set to be an exciting year with plenty of blockbuster exhibitions planned across the capital. From art to architecture, collage to contemporary, don’t miss these fantastic exhibitions.

Henri Matisse Cut-Outs

Tate Modern, 17 Apr-7 Sep 2014

While Matisse became famous for his use of bright colours and simplified use of line, towards the end of his illustrious career he gradually became blind which left him unable to continue with these types of paintings. To remedy this he chose instead to work with cut-out shapes. These wonderful mature works live on in collage and will be available to view this summer at the Tate Modern.

Sensing Spaces: Architecture Re-imagined

Royal Academy of Arts, 25 Jan–6 Apr 2014

The unmissable opening 2014 exhibition at The Royal Academy of Arts will be entirely experiential. Involving unique commissions from seven internationally-renowned architecture firms, Sensing Spaces explores how visitors respond to environments, buildings and spaces. There will be six installations, each re-imagining the boundaries between art and architecture and how visitors might interpret what they see, feel, hear and smell.

Late Turner: Painting Set Free

Tate Britain, 10 Sep 2014 – 25 Jan 2015

This exhibition at the Tate Britain will pay tribute to the revolutionary work of Turner whose late landscapes depicted studies of light and atmosphere where the air becomes misty, the light ethereal, and where the land evaporates into the sky. This exhibition is dedicated to Turner’s later works – all produced after the artist turned 60 and covering

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the period 1835-50. A star of the show will be Turner’s masterpiece Rain, Steam, and Speed – The Great Western Railway from 1844 which depicts a hare seemingly in a race with a steam train as it puffs through a rain storm.

Martin Creed

Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, 29 Jan– 27 Apr 2014

Famous for his Turner Prize-winning piece (Work No. 227, the lights going on and off, 2001), Martin Creed is an artist that people tend to either love or hate. This new exhibition at the Hayward Gallery is your chance to make your mind up about his highly conceptual art. Throughout the duration of the show there will be a spattering of events at which that Creed plays live, which may even include a song counting from 1 to 100.

The Great War in Portraits

National Portrait Gallery, 27 Feb-15 Jun 2014

One of the first events in London commemorating the World War I centenary is the National Portrait Gallery’s The Great War in Portraits show. Rather than focus on war-torn landscape pictures, this exhibition will tell the story of the Great War in images of people. With artists including Ludwig Kirchner and William Orpen’s self-portraits from their time in the army, and more Expressionist works providing a window into the political and psychological turmoil experienced, this will be a revealing show.

Vikings: Life and Legend

British Museum, 6 March – 22 June 2014

How did the Vikings change the history of Britain? The British Museum sets out to explore exactly that with its major 2014 exhibition Vikings: Life and Legend. With important and delicate artefacts on loan from Denmark and Scandinavia, this show is set to redefine how we perceive the Vikings. Often portrayed as violent thugs, The Vikings were actually an enterprising, often-nomadic civilisation who commanded more communities via their trade routes than any other established people of the same era in the British Isles or Europe. Quite apart from an educational experience, there will be gold and jewels on display, as well as impressive fragments of an original Viking longboat, transported for the first time from Denmark.

Constable: The Making of a Master

Victoria & Albert Museum, 20 Sep 2014 – 11 Jan 2015

John Constable’s The Hay Wain, is one of the most famous paintings in London’s National Gallery and one that tourists flock to see. And though it won’t move far in 2014, it will form part of a revealing display at the V&A. This and a select group of masterpieces form the centrepiece of this show, while Constable’s early oil sketches tell us how he evolved to become such a reputable painter. Unequalled in his portrayal of the natural landscape, this is a rare chance to get behind Constable’s famous works and learn more about the man.

Colour

National Gallery, 18 Jun-7 Sep 2014

The perfect introduction to how painting evolved throughout the centuries. Using its vast collection to tell the story of colour, this ambitious show at the National Gallery spans 700 years; each room devoted to one colour. So, whether you’re interested in colour theory, the chemistry of pigments and their production, or how brush-strokes form a picture on the canvas, this exhibition will cover it all.

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London for Under 18s: Teenagers’ Day Out http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/12/london-for-under-18s-teenagers-day-out/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/12/london-for-under-18s-teenagers-day-out/#comments Sun, 15 Dec 2013 10:00:06 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=36541 Visitors at Trafalgar Square. London on View/VisitBritain

Going on a day out in London can be tricky when you’re a teenager. You want something interesting and cool but not too expensive – and where you don’t need ID or parental accompaniment (if you’re going with just friends).

So we’ve come up with an itinerary for how your day could look. There’s enough to fill a whole weekend, let alone one day, so pick and choose according to how much time and money you have to spare.

Camden Market

Morning: Shopping at Old Spitalfields Market or Camden Market

Markets are a great place to pick up a bargain or unique gift. Old Spitalfields Market is a cobbled, indoor market with stalls selling everything from vinyl records (on the first and third Friday of the month) to vintage (on Saturdays). If your style is more alternative, head for Camden Market where you’ll find goth fashion, handmade accessories and much more.

The Boiler House Food Hall

Lunch at Boiler House Food Hall or Honest Burgers

If you went for the Spitalfields option, pop into nearby Boiler House Food Hall for lunch. This indoor food market – located inside The Old Truman Brewery (look out for the giant chimney) – is packed with traders selling dishes from around the world: India, Japan, Poland, Morocco… it’s all there. Opted for Camden? Pick up some street food at the market or take a seat at Honest Burgers for a British beef burger (served with chips, from £8).

Roundhouse

Get involved at the British Music Experience or the Roundhouse

Hop on the Tube to North Greenwich and explore the British Music Experience (£6 for under 17s when booked in advance). See John Lennon’s specs and other music memorabilia, show off some moves in the ‘Dance the Decades’ booth, record a song in the Interactive Studio and much, much more. Alternatively, see what’s happening at Camden’s Roundhouse. This top music venue has a programme called Creative Projects, with drop-in sessions for 11-25 year olds in music, creative media and performing arts (from £2).

Namco Funscape

Go Gaming at Namco Funscape or Get Creative at Tate Modern

Take the Tube to Waterloo and then walk to Namco Funscape (next to the London Eye) – an amusement venue full of interactive games, plus a laser maze, bowling alley, bumper cars and karaoke rooms. Watching the pennies? Walk up river for a wander around free contemporary art gallery Tate Modern. Don’t miss the digital drawing bar on Level 3, where you can create a piece of digital art and see it displayed instantly on a giant screen. Then you can say you’ve exhibited at the Tate!

Dinner at Wahaca or the Gourmet Pizza Company

Refuel for the evening at the South Bank branch of Wahaca, where street food tapas starts at £3.70 for a black beans & cheese quesadilla. Or go Italian at the Gourmet Pizza Company (along the river near the OXO Tower), where you’ll find delicious pizzas and pastas starting at £7.75.

National Theatre

Take in a show at the National Theatre or Barbican Centre

Many London theatres offer cheap tickets to under 26s. The National Theatre has a free membership scheme, Entry Pass, offering a limited number of £5 tickets to 16-25 years for each of its performances (UK residents only). The Barbican offers free (yes, free!) tickets for film, music, art, dance and theatre shows to 16-25 year olds through its freeB membership scheme. Younger teens should check out Unicorn Theatre near London Bridge, which groups shows by age (i.e. 17-12, 13+, adult) to make it easier to choose the ideal show for your age group.

Party with Under The Radar or McCluskys

Given UK licensing laws, London’s clubs and bars are strictly reserved for over 18s – as Justin Bieber discovered on his birthday. However, a number of underage, alcohol-free nights do exist in the capital. Upcoming events include Winter Special at the Renaissance Rooms in Vauxhall, organised by youth music scene promoters Under The Radar. Also on the calendar for December is a live showcase by MOBO award Winners Krept & Konan at McClusky’s in Kingston.

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London Video of the Week: Celebrities Unlock Art for Tate http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/10/best-cake-shops/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/10/best-cake-shops/#comments Fri, 18 Oct 2013 12:00:31 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=35760

Comedian, writer and art-lover Frank Skinner whizzes through the history of performance art in this film for Tate.

Skinner is one of a number of celebrities, including Alan Cumming and Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi, who are fronting the films which Tate hopes will help “unlock art” and bring it to a wider audience. All of the films in the series deal with big topics in art in just five minutes.

Tate is a family of four art galleries, two of which are in London: Tate Modern and Tate Britain.

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Top Accessible Attractions in London by Srin Madipalli http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/08/top-accessible-attractions-in-london-by-srin-madipalli/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/08/top-accessible-attractions-in-london-by-srin-madipalli/#comments Thu, 15 Aug 2013 13:56:42 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=35166 London resident, wheelchair user and Disability Horizons co-founder Srin Madipalli, shares his thoughts on accessible attractions in London.

EDF Energy London Eye

The London Eye is one of my favourite tourist sites in London. On a clear day or evening, you get stunning views across the city of most of the major landmarks. There were no issues driving my wheelchair into the capsule, which was step-free.

Buckingham Palace

It’s been a long time since I went to Buckingham Palace (about 10 years ago!), but I remember being able to go everywhere. There was a small delay with one of the stair lifts, which struggled to lift my very heavy powered wheelchair.

The Natural History Museum, V&A Museum and Science Museum

All three museums are right by one another in South Kensington. They are big, fascinating and insightful places that have some fantastic exhibitions. Access is generally very good, but on busy days, or for special exhibitions, working through the crowds can be a bit difficult.

Tate Modern

For those of you who are like me, and know very little about the arts, or are generally unfamiliar with anything related to modern art, the Tate Modern is perfect. It’s accessible, spacious, easy to navigate and its exhibitions are well-presented. As it is free to enter, you can wander in and out as you wish.

Tate Modern is in a great location, on London’s South Bank, right by Shakespeare’s Globe and opposite St Paul’s Cathedral, so if you get bored of the art, there are other things in the vicinity to see. There is also a really good pub right by the Tate Modern called the Founder’s Arms which overlooks the Thames. Great place to have a beer on a warm summer’s day (it is wheelchair accessible and has an accessible toilet too).

The British Museum

Another one of the big mega museums of London that is free to enter. My law school was a two minute walk from the British Museum, so when I used to have periods of free time between lectures, I sometimes went for a wander around.

While it is fully accessible, it is also one of those museums that is difficult to fully see in just a day. If time is limited, I’d recommend going to one of the special exhibitions. Like with London’s other museums, they can get really crowded on certain busy days, which can make it difficult to fully appreciate what you are seeing.

Also, just be wary that is a big museum, so if have any difficulties with fatigue or tiredness, be sure to plan your visit and identify in advance any particular exhibitions or galleries that you would prefer to visit.

Kew Gardens

One of London’s real gems, the vast expanse of Kew Gardens can be a great day out, and it is accessible. As it is more towards the edge of the city, you will need to consider transport more carefully.

I recall Kew Gardens Station being step-free, but as there would be a big step to get onto the train, I had to arrange assisted travel with South West Trains, who organised a ramp. I found the most interesting bit of Kew Gardens to be the special greenhouses, where the controlled conditions enable plant-life that usually can’t grow in a British climate. Like with the museums, Kew Gardens is pretty big – more than 300 acres in fact – so if this is likely to cause any difficulties, plan your day.

London Dungeon

I really like the London Dungeon. It is a bit cheesy, but it is a good laugh and a good way to spend a couple of hours. While accessible, some parts of the London Dungeon can be quite dark, which could make it difficult for some. I recall people in costumes and waxwork exhibits jumping out from nowhere trying to “scare” you, which I found utterly hilarious, but imagine that some people wouldn’t!

St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral is a tranquil and peaceful place that sits within the hustle and bustle of the busy financial district of central London known as the “Square Mile”. Once a upon a time, I used to go through the grounds of St Paul’s as short-cut on my way home. Most parts are accessible, but there are some areas that aren’t, such as the Whispering, Golden and Stone galleries, due to its age.

National Gallery and Trafalgar Square

The National Gallery is one of the smaller of London’s premier galleries, but it is still very impressive. I recently visited the National Gallery for a special collection of the works of Leonardo Da Vinci.

Again, they are both free to visit and accessible but, like all museums in London, can be a pain to make the most of when busy. Trafalgar Square, with Nelson’s Column, is one of the those must-see public squares and is within walking distance of Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards Parade, the Houses of Parliament, Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus. Trafalgar Square is step-free with an accessible route to the National Gallery which sits right behind it.

Shakespeare's Globe TheatreShakespeare’s Globe

I went to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on a kind of date many years ago. I strongly recommend watching a performance there. I loved the fact that I could choose to be in the wheelchair platform in the covered stands or in the open standing area near the stage. I chose to position my wheelchair in the standing area by the stage, which was exposed to the elements!

The atmosphere in the audience was a lot of fun – the pouring rain made it just that much more a novelty. The performances at The Globe are a world away from the boring and static way in which Shakespeare is taught in the classroom and watching a modernised play live with its characteristic audience participation is a really enjoyable experience.

More accessible attractions in London

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London Restaurant News: Albion, Fields Bar & Kitchen, Jones & Sons, Unity Kitchen Cafe, Flesh & Buns, Tommi’s Burger Joint http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/08/london-restaurant-news-albion-fields-bar-kitchen-jones-sons-unity-kitchen-cafe-flesh-buns-tommis-burger-joint/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/08/london-restaurant-news-albion-fields-bar-kitchen-jones-sons-unity-kitchen-cafe-flesh-buns-tommis-burger-joint/#comments Thu, 01 Aug 2013 12:09:15 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=35019 There’s no end to the diversity of London’s restaurants and these recent openings are no exception – you can enjoy everything from traditional British fish and chips to Taiwanese steamed buns at these exciting new eateries.

Albion Neo Bankside

Following the success of Albion in Shoreditch, Terence Conran has opened a new British cafe near Tate Modern. Albion Neo Bankside serves British comfort dishes such as sausage and mash, fish and chips, shepherd’s pie and Irish stew. There’s a choice of shared or individual tables overlooking the open-plan kitchen, plus a further 45 seats outside on the heated terrace. There’s also a small shop and food market selling British produce.

Jones & Sons

More British fare is on offer at Jones & Sons, a new cafe and restaurant in an old Victorian textile factory in Dalston, which used to be home to the Arcola Theatre. The new East London venue serves Monmouth coffee, meat from the local Well Street butchers and a selection of London beers. Pop in for breakfast from 9am, grab lunch from the deli counter or visit in the evening for dinner.

Fields Bar & Kitchen

Benugo, which runs the V&A Cafe, has teamed up with Sir John Soane’s Museum to launch a new restaurant, cafe

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and al fresco dining space at Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Fields Bar & Kitchen serves pizzas from a wood-fired oven as well as a range of other main courses, breakfasts, cakes and takeaway sandwiches and salads. Open during the park’s seasonal opening hours, the new restaurant has a 72-seat summer terrace.

Unity Kitchen Cafe

Unity Kitchen Cafe is the first cafe to open at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Based in the new Timber Lodge building, the cafe has one of the UK’s best new playgrounds on its doorstep, along with the beautiful trees, meadows and parklands that proved popular with visitors to the London 2012 Games. Run by the Camden Society charity, Unity Kitchen is a small chain of restaurants that offer training to people with learning disabilities.

Flesh & Buns

New from the team behind Bone Daddies, Flesh & Buns opens on 8 August in Seven Dials, Covent Garden. The restaurant will be the first in London to specialise in Taiwanese hirata buns (do-it-yourself filled, steamed buns). The name translates as “tiger eating pork” due to the appearance of the folded buns with pork inside. Other fillings include Korean lamb, chicken with yuzu koshu and sea bass with coriander miso.

Tommi’s Burger Joint

Icelandic burger joint Tommi’s will open its first permanent restaurant in the UK on 6 August. The chain, which has six American-style diners in Iceland, opened a pop-up restaurant in Marylebone Street in August 2012. The new restaurant, in nearby Thayer Street, will have an informal, vintage feel and serve burgers made from British meat, as well as veggie burgers, fries and milkshakes.

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A Guide to Baby-Friendly London http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/07/a-guide-to-baby-friendly-london/ http://blog.visitlondon.com/2013/07/a-guide-to-baby-friendly-london/#comments Mon, 01 Jul 2013 09:00:42 +0000 http://blog.visitlondon.com/?p=33802  

Exploring any big city with a baby in tow can be a challenge. Fortunately, London has bags of baby-friendly attractions, restaurants and shops to enable you to make the most of your trip.

If you’re itching to go shopping, fun for all the family can be found at the resolutely baby-friendly Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City. With plenty of lifts and baby changing facilities, the behemoth shopping malls welcome small children with open arms. If your child is over 12 months old, you can swap their buggy for a Kiddy Car, which can be hired from the concierge desk for £5. All shops are spacious so you’ll have plenty of room to push the Kiddy Car around while you browse the shopping rails. Both shopping centres have parent rooms where you’ll find baby-changing facilities, child-sized toilets and sinks, private areas for feeding and microwaves for heating up milk. There are also play areas for under 5s.

Spend a day strolling along the step-free paths of the South Bank of the River Thames from Westminster to Tower Bridge. Dotted with green spaces and pretty fountains, the riverside walkway is home to many of London’s finest cultural attractions, from the SEA LIFE London Aquarium to the Tate Modern, both of which are buggy-friendly and have baby-change facilities. The area is also full of restaurants that welcome small people and can provide high chairs, such as Wagamama, Giraffe and Ping Pong.

If your little ones are big enough to appreciate animals, visit one of London’s zoos. Buggy-friendly Battersea Park Children’s Zoo has baby changing facilities, and a heated mother and baby feeding room. London Zoo has baby-change facilities and most animal exhibits are accessible for bubattersea park zooggies.

Before visiting London with a baby, arm yourself with the following:

  • London Underground has 66 stations which are step-free from street to platform. Download accessible tube maps here 
  • Find your nearest baby-changing room by downloading NCT’s award-winning Babychange App
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