Summer Exhibition

World's longest display of contemporary art

There is still time to catch the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) Summer Exhibition which closes this Sunday, August 19th. Founded in 1768, the Summer Exhibition is the world's longest running annual display of contemporary art. The committee for the 250th anniversary display is chaired by Grayson Perry, English contemporary artist known for his ceramics and tapestries. 

Hung by RA artists, each room is as unique as the pieces within them.  The works range from monumental pieces by well-known artists such as Joana Vasconcelos' Royal Valkyrie to small-scale pieces by first-time exhibitors like Nicholas Allan's On.

Even the medium used to create the art invites visitors to take a closer look – from El Enatsui's Change of Fortune made of bottle tops sewn together with wire to Lee Cutter's Prison Culture made of etched bars of prison issue soap.

  
With over 1,300 pieces of art selected from 20,000 entries, some rooms are literally filled floor to ceiling with pieces of art. The casual, collage-like display draws an audience that is as diverse and interesting as the artwork itself.


Gallery III with its bright yellow walls even features a gin bar where traditional drinks like London Cup (similar to Pimm's) and snacks are available for purchase. With this addition, it is no surprise that there is truly something for everyone!
www.royalacademy.org.uk+44 2073 00800
Burlington House, Piccadilly London W1J 0BD


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War Horse Returns

UK Tour until April 2019

Winner of 5 Tony awards, War Horse, is famous for its larger than life puppeteering. Based on Michael Morpugo’s 1982 children’s novel by the same name, it is about an army horse named Joey and efforts by his original owner, Albert, to bring him home after World War I.

The book was adapted to the stage by National Theatre in 2007 and had a successful 8 year run on West End. Since then, War Horse has been performed in 11 countries to over 7 million people. The play has become an integral part of British history with Joey making appearances at the Olympics and Queen’s Jubilee celebration.

As part of its 10th anniversary year, War Horse is touring the UK. In Surrey, the play runs August 1-18 at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking. General tickets £22.40 - £59.40 (plus £2.85 transaction fee), Theatre Card members £19.50 - £55.50
www.atgtickets.com+44 8448 717627
Ambassadors,Peacocks Centre, Woking GU21 6GQ


War Horse returns to National Theatre on November 8th to mark 100th anniversary of Armistice Day and runs through January 5, 2019. All matinee performances £15 – £52, Friday and Saturday evenings £18 – £67 and Half-price tickets for under 18s

National Theatre will also host a number of special events and talks, including:
"Writer Michael Morpurgo on War Horse" Tuesday, November 20th at 5.45 pm
"Inside the Horse: Exploring the War Horse Puppets" Thursday, November 22nd at 5:45 pm
www.nationaltheatre.org.uk+44 2074 523000
Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PX


Don't miss your chance to see War Horse again or for the first time!

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V&A Museum

World’s largest museum of art and design

The Victoria & Albert Museum, commonly referred to as V&A, features 145 galleries covering over 12.5 acres in London. The permanent collection of over 2.3 million items includes jewelry, paintings, sculptures, textiles and everything in between.

Like other British museums, entry is free – with exception to temporary exhibitions. It’s these innovative exhibitions where the V&A truly shines. The curators bring a fresh take or creative twist on ancient crafts and materials, such as their Fabric of India and Pearls exhibitions; examine how artists of the past still influence us today Botticelli Reimagined; or create landmark exhibitions that challenge assumptions such as Alexander McQueen : Savage Beauty and Frida Kahlo : Making Her Self Up.


The McQueen exhibition was the first and largest retrospective on Alexander McQueen.  It became the most popular V&A exhibition with a record attendance of over 480,000 people. Whether you saw the exhibition, missed the exhibition or frankly don't even know who he is, the documentary McQueen is a colourful and fascinating account of one of Britain’s top fashion designer complete with family home movies, intimate interviews of those close to him and footage from fashion shows. Playing now in theatres
www.mcqueenfilm.co.uk


The Kahlo exhibition displays a collection of 200 items, including clothes, letters, makeup, medications and photos – the majority found in a bathroom of Kahlo’s Blue House unlocked 50 years after her death. This is the first time the items have been on display outside of Mexico. Not surprisingly, this much anticipated exhibition has been featured in numerous store windows. Tickets are free for members, £15 for non-members. On until November 8th

Annual membership to the V&A is £70, includes free entry to all exhibitions, previews and access to Members’ Room and priority booking for events. There are few memberships that pay for themselves with just a few visits!
www.vam.ac.uk+44 2079 422000
Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL


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Jo Downs Glass

Seas of inspiration

Based in Cornwall, Jo Downs is one of the world’s most well-known fused glass designers. She specializes in handmade, original coastal-themed wall panels and art frames. Her unique designs have earned her corporate commissions from churches to cruise liners to hotels – as well as private commissions. Opened in 2014, the Jo Downs Handmade Glass in Ripley is home to her only major gallery outside of Cornwall.

In addition to fused glass drop-in workshops using brass, copper and tin, they offer frit (broken glass) workshops. After a short demonstration, you will have time to design your piece. Using literally every color under the sun, draw inspiration from a beautiful array of gift and interior pieces around you or create something completely your own.

We each made a small ‘vase’ (perfectly sized tealight holder) for £25. It was remarkably easy and we were all pleased with the end result. Coasters, larger vases and square framed pieces are also available to make. Fusing with Frit workshops are now conveniently offered on Sundays twice a month.

Even if you decide you are not up to making something – there are countless number of custom coastal-inspired gifts available for purchase too!
www.jodowns.com+44 1483 225742
Teulon House, High Street, Ripley, Surrey GU23 6AY


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Beaverbrook

Quintessential English luxury country house hotel

Located less than 20 miles outside of London and set on 400 acres between Leatherhead and Dorking, Beaverbrook is the quintessential English luxury country house hotel complete with golf club. Prior home of Lord Beaverbrook, legendary newspaper publisher (Daily Express and Sunday Express)and one of Britain’s most influential 20th century leaders.

The Garden House features 11 bedrooms and a British-Italian inspired restaurant, while the Main House has 18 bedrooms and a Japanese restaurant headed up by Maruyama Taiji, former Nobu chef – not surprisingly some of the best sushi we have had. Fresh ingredients for dishes are sourced from the Kitchen Garden.

Enjoy pre-dinner drinks in the 1920s inspired Parrot Bar or on the terrace of the late-Victorian mansion that boasts stunning views of the Surrey Hills. Rooms are named after famous guests including Winston Churchill, Joe and Rose Kennedy, Rudyard Kipling, Wallis Simpson and Elizabeth Taylor and are creatively and tastefully decorated by Susie Atkinson, designer behind Soho House.

Amenities aside, the staff could not be friendlier and customer-service focused – a treat in and of itself. With onsite cinema, cookery school, private dining options and tennis courts – along with health club, pools and spa to come, you may find the most difficult choice you have to make is whether to go home or not!

www.beaverbrook.co.uk+44 1372 571300
Beaverbrook, Reigate Road, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 8QX

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Farnham Antiquing

As much as I try to save select Tuesday mornings for Sunbury Antiques Market at Kempton Park and Sandown Racecourses, there are times these dates don't work or it is simply too cold, wet or lately even hot to go. A visit to Farnham does the trick:

The Antiques Warehouse — Located on a farm, the two large Elizabethan barns are full of wall-to-wall (literally!) antique treasures.  Items include vintage furniture, garden items, household decor, jewelry, paintings and more.  If you have attention for detail, like the thrill of the hunt and/or have a good decorative eye, this is the place for you.  There are countless items  all with potential for the right buyer.  

The owners could not be friendlier or more helpful.  It is no wonder that episodes of the popular BBC Antiques Road Trip have been filmed there.  As a bonus, on weekend afternoons and bank holidays they also have live piano music and serve homemade cakes, coffee and tea.  
www.theantiqueswarehouse.com+44 2034 411688
Badshot Farm, St. George's Road, Runfold, Farnham, Surrey GU9 9HR

PackhouseIf The Antiques Warehouse is a bit reminiscent of your grandmother's attic, then Packhouse is like visiting your shabby chic aunt. Voted Surrey's Best Interiors 2018 and located in close proximity to The Antique Warehouse, Packhouse lives up to its motto of "lose yourself amongst beautiful things.

There are 60+ modern to vintage vendors that decorate various sections throughout the 400-year old Grade II-listed multi-level building.  Despite visiting multiple times, I find myself turned around — apparently others do too and they have a handy map you can pickup next to the till by the entry.  Conveniently located next door is a gastropub, Bears which is open for light bites, lunch and even dinner.

www.packhouse.com+44 1252 781010
Packhouse, Hewett's Kilns, Tongham Road Runfold, Farnham GU10 1PJ

The only downside (if any) is I rarely leave empty-handed!

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Kids Week - Kids Eat Free

Top picks of where to eat

The Kids Week promotion has expanded to 35+ theatre district restaurants. During the month of August, Kids Eat Free when accompanied by an adult. Can't beat that!

Bodean’s BBQ Smokehouse — If you’re in the mood for Kansas City barbeque ribs in London, here’s your place. Become a member and Kids Eat Free Saturdays and Sundays with purchase of main and drink.
www.bodeansbbq.com+44 2039 00444
25 Catherine Street, London WC2B 5JS

Duck & Waffle The £15 for Mighty Duck Deal includes a duck dish (choice of burger, satay, jam doughnut or their signature Duck & Waffle dish), fries and drink. www.duckandwafflelocal.com+44 2039 00444
52 Haymarket, St. James’s Market, London SW1Y 4RP


Inamo The £24 for 4 dishes from Pre-theatre Set Menu can be viewed through digital projections on you table surface. Change the tablecloth, order, watch chef and play retro games with a swipe of your finger. Kids enjoy either an Apple Gyoza & Caramel Ice Cream or a Candy Floss Garden with chocolate tree on crushed Oreo for dessert.
www.inamo-restaurant.com

Leicester Square Kitchen — The £20 for 3 dishes or £25 for 4 dishes Pre-theatre Set Menu is a mix of Mexican and Peruvian small plates. The dishes are perfectly portioned and flavorful.
www.leicestersquarekitchen.co.uk +44 2076 660902
31-36 Leicester Square, London WC2H 7LH


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