Open House London

World’s largest architecture festival

There is still time to plan where to visit during Open House London September 22nd and 23rd. This year’s 26th annual event provides free admission to 800 buildings and includes talks, tours and walks, covering 30 boroughs.

Some of the iconic buildings that usually charge, include:
  • The Banqueting House
  • Benjamin Franklin House
  • Dennis Severs House
  • Design Museum
  • Ham House & Garden
  • Leighton House Museum
  • Mansion House
  • Middle Temple Hall
  • Museum of London
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • Sir John Soane’s Museum
  • The View from the Shard
For those that are willing to brave the elements, the two-day event also includes special talks and walks, including:
  • Cycle Tour of Olympic Park
  • Walking Tour of David Bowie’s Beckenham
Best of all it is all free - so grab a family member or friend, download the app and be one of the 250,000 that participate!
www.openhouselondon.org.uk

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Zip Line Across London

Birds eye view of London

Last year's summer pop-up at Archbishop’s Park is back. Here’s your chance to catch Zip Now (formerly Zip World London), the world's longest and fastest city zip line before it closes September 9th.

You will begin by climbing up 115 feet (more than 9 double decker buses!) where you will enjoy unparalleled birds eye view of London’s skyline. Attractions include Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, London Eye and The Shard.

You will then travel 225 metres (738 feet) at speeds 50 kph (31 mph). This year, there are three ziplines located side by side so family and friends can ride together. Also, new this year is the Mega Drop. For £10 more, instead of walking down a flight of stairs, you can take a 15 metre (49 feet) freefall down.

Conveniently located within 10 minute walk from London Waterloo, this is a thrilling start or end to a day in London. Book on-line for discounts, including special prices 2:30 – 5:30 pm weekdays. No experience or previous training required – just a sense of adventure!
www.zip-now.co+44 3300 583477
Carlisle Lane, Lambeth, London SE1 7LE


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Pilot's Hub & Hanger

Brasserie and coffee house adjacent to historic 1930s hanger

With the temperatures cooling down, it is a perfect time to visit The Pilot's Hub. The brasserie and coffee house is located adjacent to the historic 1930s Redhill Aerodrome. Beginning in 1937, Redhill featured an Elementary Flying Training School that continued until the beginning of World War II. Through the course of the War, it served as a Royal Air Force Station for deployments of fighter squadrons and used by support units.

Today, Redhill offers a range of commercial aviation services, including aircraft maintenance, flight training, along with helicopter and charter services. Seating is first-come first served, with exception to holidays (we made the mistake of making a trip there on Father's Day without a booking*).  Only a runway separates guests seated on the deck from the planes.  Alternatively, bar height seating inside is a perfect for viewing planes taking off and landing. The food is homemade, including made-to-order burgers, sandwiches and cakes, with bread and pastries from Chalk Hills Bakery.

Be sure to take a walk to the loos*. The route passes through the hanger filled with plans, including a historic G-ABWP Spartan Arrow, the last one in existence from 1932. The Pilot's Hub is worth the drive for a leisurely bite!
www.pilotshub.co.uk+44 2086 529027
Hangar 9, Redhill Aerodrome, Redhill, Surrey RH1 5JY


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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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