London's Modern Architecture

30 buildings in 3-1/2 hours

London is made up of a stunning array of buildings — ranging from 17th century to present day and everything in between. Insider London’s comprehensive walking tour covers London’s hidden architectural wonders and its most iconic buildings.

The tour goes through three architectural hotspots and covers thirty buildings, skyscrapers and developments — all in 3½ hours. Learn how the city has been planned and built and get a glimpse of what is in store for London’s skyline.

Highlights include:
1) London’s tallest and most cutting edge skyscrapers
2) the latest addition to Tate Modern
3) the controversial eco-building loved by some but also named the “Worst New Building”
4) futuristic walkways intended to cover all of London
5) the influence of Roman London, St Paul’s Cathedral and WWII on London’s current layout, and St. Paul’s

Instead of looking down or straight ahead, you’ll quickly find it is worth looking up!
+44 2071 831055 3rd Floor, 207 Regent Street, London, W1B 3HH

For more: Download the London via Surrey Book App

Living Lush

Bigger and better than ever

From humble beginnings in 1995 with their first store located in the small seaside town of Poole, UK, Lush Cosmetics now boasts 900+ stores worldwide. The company is known for ‘fresh handmade cosmetics’ that are 100% vegetarian and cruelty-free.

Despite the growth and popularity of the brand, Lush has maintained their no frills packaging and try before you buy sales approach. It is probably not surprising that the company also endorses a Pay-It-Forward scheme that invites staff to give away products to customers at their discretion.

To keep ardent fans (also known as ‘Lushies’) wanting more, Lush offers a customizable bath bomb subscription service and incentivizes customers to recycle used black pots (for every five empty pots returned, customers can claim a free Fresh Face Mask). Not to mention, true to their ‘fresh’ slogan, all their products have a limited shelf life.

If trying out products in their oversized sinks and labs is not enough, you book in-store and after hour parties at their various store locations. Adult gatherings can include skincare consultation and massage, foot or arm treatment. While kids parties involve interactive activities, such as a scavenger hunt, trying a face mask and making your own bath bomb. Of course, there will be time and money (included in the cost / person) to spend on the shop floor at the end of the event. You’ll head home refreshed, revived and ready to replicate part of your experience at home.

Exactly 20 years to the day, the flagship Oxford Street store was opened in 2015. At the time, it was the biggest Lush store in the world, complete with hair lab, listening booths and dedicated party area. Not to be outdone, the Lush Liverpool store opened last month is now the largest and its expanded offerings include an in-store florist, perfume library, salon and spa — along with exclusive products not available in other stores or online.

If history is any indication of what the future will bring — my guess is Lush will only get bigger and better with time!

For more: Download the London via Surrey Book App

Sony World Photography Exhibition

800+ images from around the world

Somerset House will once again host the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition April 18 - May 6. The 12th annual display will include over 800 award winning, shortlisted and commended images selected by photographers in four categories (professional, open, youth and student).

The Awards are free to enter and drew a record-breaking 327,000 entries from around the globe. The images cover a diverse range of categories including architecture, culture, documentary, landscape, portraiture, sports, street photography, travel and wildlife. The judging is done by industry experts with the goal of recognizing the best in contemporary photography. 

Beyond the $30,000 total prize fund, photographers have had their works featured in major publications and gone on to be represented by major galleries and institutions.

Some of my favorite images from 2018 included the large scale, expressive Horsestyle by German photographer Wiebke Haas and the humorous Like Owner, Like Dog piece by Norway photographer Krister Soerboe. US photographer Wenjie Qiao managed to capture the 'once-in-a-lifetime' Solar Eclipse Sequence while Megan Johnson's poignant image Still earned her 'Youth Photographer of the Year' honors.

Advance booking is recommended since a limited number of day tickets will be available to purchase at the venue.

Ticket Prices:
Weekday ticket (Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays) £10
Weekend ticket (including bank holidays) £14
Concession ticket £8
Lunchtime weekday ticket offer (Monday to Friday, 12 to 2pm) £5

Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday 10am to 9pm (last admission 8pm)
Weekends 10am to 8pm (last admission 7pm)

After visiting the exhibition, if you think you have what it takes – submissions for the 2020 Sony World Photography Awards opens June 1, 2019.
+44 2073 060055 Strand, London WC2R 1LA

For more: Download the London via Surrey Book App