Poppies are back

Display ends November 18th

One of the most viewed London public artworks, the Tower of London poppies are back. In July - November 2014, the Tower of London featured a public art installation, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Britain’s involvement in World War I. Each of the 888,246 ceramic red poppies represented serviceman killed during the War.


The majority of the poppies from the installation were sold benefiting six charities. The ceramic artist Paul Cummins and conceptual designer Tom Piper received the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in honor of this civil achievement in 2015.

Two segments of the installation, The Wave and Weeping Window, will be on tour until Remembrance Day November 18th to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the end of the War. These installations will then enter the permanent collection of the Imperial War Museum (IWM).

A visit to IWM London to see Weeping Window and/or IWM Manchester to see The Wave before they are removed is well worth it!


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Seasonal Shopping in Surrey

High Street alternatives

Now that Halloween is over, the true holiday shopping season has begun. Mark your diary for some of the best off the High Street shopping Surrey — all with onsite free parking:

Squires Garden Centre (Multiple) November 8thShopping Evening 5 - 8:30 pm : Free glass of welcome Prosecco, live music, curry dinner in cafe from 6 - 8 pm and 15% off everything in the store. Given how early this event is they have promised no Christmas music.
www.squiresgardencentres.co.uk

Garson's Farm (Multiple) November 14th and 28thLate Night Members Shopping Event 5:30 pm - 8 pm : Welcome bubbly, holiday activities, samples and 10% off all purchases.
www.garsons.co.uk

AWS Gift Fayre (Cobham) November 18thAWS 28th Gift Faye 10 am - 4 pm: One of Surrey’s longest running gift fayres featuring 120 stalls with all proceeds benefiting local charities takes places at ACS Cobham International School.
www.awsurrey.org
Portsmouth Road, Cobham, Surrey KT11 1BL


Priory Farm (Redhill) November 24th and 25thChristmas Food Festival 10 am - 4 pm, Saturday and 10:30 am - 4 pm Sunday : With free samples from all exhibitors - it is a chance to try before you buy (if you have recovered from Thanksgiving!).
www.prioryfarm.co.uk +44 1737 823304
Sandy Lane, South Nutfield, Redhill, Surrey RH1 4EJ


Best of all you’ll have the satisfaction of having holiday shopping completed before December 1st!

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Half-Term Haunted Happenings

Halloween family fun

Claremont Landscape Garden (Esher) — Covering nearly 50 acres, Claremont is one of the oldest English landscape gardens with an original 18th century layout. Once enjoyed by royalty, including Queen Victoria, the Garden is on the Register of Historic Parks and described as the "the noblest of any in Europe". Unlike formal gardens of the past, these 'pleasure grounds' were designed to be natural, but in essence were made up of a series of planned views and vistas. Features include a turf amphitheatre, serpentine lake, stone grotto and thatched cottage complete with a kids play area and updated cafe. On October 26th Claremont will offer Spooky Walks around their garden for an additional £1 / child from 5 - 7 pm.
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/claremont-landscape-garden+44 1372 467806
Portsmouth Road, Esher, Surrey, KT10 9JG

Edible Cinema (London) — Intrigued by the idea of seeing and tasting a film at the same time? When you get to your cinema seat, there will be a tray of small numbered boxes that are to be opened at specific times during the film. The menu is based on an interpretation of what is happening on the screen. The team behind the creative menu includes experimental chefs, food designers and mixologists. Past films include Grosse Point Blank, Trading Places, and When Harry Met Sally. This year's Halloween screening is Silence of the Lambs on October 31 at Curzon Cinema, Mayfair in London. Tickets are £37.50 and includes bite-sized canap├ęs and mini Conker Spirit and Fentimans cocktails.
www.curzoncinemas.com

The Ivy (Multiple) — The original location of The Ivy, West Street has been popular with celebrities and theatre* patrons for over 100 years. The Ivy Collection now features modern British dishes in upmarket brasseries and cafes in London and Surrey.  The Ivy in Cobham, Wimbledon and Marlow Garden in London will feature a special menu during Halloweek October 24-31 beginning at 4 pm.  Dishes include Tombstone Tartare Steak through the Heart' and 'Chocolate Skull' dessert along with Halloween-inspired cocktails and kid-friendly non-alcoholic juice. Halloween night will include some special Trick-or-Treats for the kids.
www.ivycollection.com

The Lightbox (Woking) — Located in Woking, The Lightbox is an award-winning museum designed by the same architects as the London Eye.  In addition to three permanent collections, The Lightbox hosts 20 temporary exhibitions a year, Past exhibitions include Gertrude Jekyll, Pablo Picasso, Auguste Renoir, William Turner and Andy Warhol. General admission is free and main and upper gallery exhibitions admission is £5 for a day or £7.50 for a year. A variety of Halloween-themed drop-in art and craft workshops will be offered for children ages 4-12 years old October 23-26.
www.thelightbox.org.uk +44 1483 737800
Chobham Road, Woking, Surrey GU21 4AA

Skywalk Adventure (Esher) — Located at Sandown Sports Club, Skywalk Adventure features two treetop adventure courses, including bridges, swinging logs, tightropes and zip wires landing into nets. The minimum age is 8 years and minimum height is 1.3 metres tall. There is an on-site cafe with hot pots, salads, sandwiches, snacks and wraps along with a fully stocked bar. They will be open extended hours October 25 - 31 as part of their SPOOKtacular Skywalk experience complete with supernatural sightings.  For a less Scary Skywalk adventure, they will be open as usual during the daytime. Admission is £15 for kids and £20 for adults for both courses (over 40% off regular prices). Booking by October 22 for discounted prices.
www.skywalkadventure.co.uk +44 1372 701107
Sandown Sports, More Lane, Esher, Surrey KT10 8AN

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Two Popular West End Shows Return

Blood Brothers & Curious Incident

Blood Brothers is a musical that tells the story of twin brothers separated by birth  one raised by a wealthy family and another a poor family.  They are reunited when pursuing the same woman only to be tragically separated again.

Blood Brothers premiered in London's West End in 1983 and won the Olivier Award that year for Best New Musical. Following a UK tour in 1984 and a revival in 1988, the show than ran for 24 consecutive years before closing in November 2012. With more than 10,000 performances, it is the fifth longest running musical in West End history.

As part of its 30th anniversary, Blood Brothers is touring the UK with a limited run in Surrey October 29-November 3 at the New Wimbledon Theatre
.  
General tickets £17.90 - £52.90 (plus £3.65 transaction fee)
Theatre Card members £15 - £49
www.atgtickets.com+44 8448 717627
New Wimbledon Theatre, 93 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1QG



The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a play based on Mark Haddon's mystery noel by the same name.  It is about Christopher, a 15-year old boy who is mathematically gifted but has behavioral differences.

The play debuted in 2012 and has won 7 Olivier Awards and 5 Tony Awards including Best Play. Following a successful UK and international tour, the National Theatre production returns to London for a three month run November 29-February 23 at the Piccadilly Theatre in London.
Tickets £18 - £92.50
www.nationaltheatre.org.uk+44 2074 523000
Piccadilly Theatre, 16 Denman Street, London W1D 7DY
 


Book now to avoid disappointment!


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Time Out for London Eye

London Eye rides with a twist

Time Out's Eye Openers are back! The summer barre and yoga classes in a London Eye capsule return for the fall — but now they have added drinking, music and storytime.

At 135 meters (443 feet) high, the London Eye is the worlds largest cantilevered observation wheel and on a clear day you can see up to 25 miles from the top. When it was erected in 2000, it was meant to be temporary installation. Now it is hard to envision the London skyline without it. The award-winning structure is the UK's most popular attraction with over 3.75 million visitors annually.

While each capsule can hold up to 25 people, these unique experiences offer a much more intimate size group (our barre class in June was a total of six people).

Fitness
Yoga (September 27, October 2-4) by The Refinery — £25
Barre (September 29, October 6) by The Refinery — £25

Kids
Baby Sensory under 3's (September 27, October 3, 4, 17 and 18) — £12.50
Baby Music under 3's (October 2) — £12.50
Storytime for under 3's (September 27, 29 October 2-4) — £12.50
Paddington Storytime for 4 - 7 year olds (September 27, 29 October 2-4) by London Dreamtime — £12.50 (includes Paddington Bear book to take home)

Drink
East London Liquor Company (September 29) — £25
Old Kent Road Brewery (September 29) — £25

There is also the added benefit of going through a dedicated entrance and skipping most of the queue (regular Fast Track tickets are £33). Book now for a fun, affordable way to ride the London Eye!
www.timeout.com
Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road SE1 7PB


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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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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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