If you like art (and I do), or even if you just like saying ‘I could do that’, and you don’t have the time or the knowledge to hunt down and visit all the important contemporary art galleries of the world, then the Frieze Art Fair was made for you.
As quintessentially British as the Queen or the red double-decker bus, ordering a pint at one of London’s historic drinking dens is a right of passage for all visitors to the big smoke, so to get you started, here are 10 of the best pubs in the capital.
1. The Artillery Arms, the City
With its stately dark wood and stone interiors, this traditional British pub checks off all the boxes with a cozy, open-wood fire for the winter months, a menu packed with perfectly assembled pub fare and a prime location right on the edge of the city.
So the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix has reignited our flame for watching sports after a two week hiatus following the Olympics Closing Ceremony. Now the stage is set for the Paralympics which begin on August 29th and runs until September 9th.
The Paralympic Torch has been lighting up the country beginning on August 22nd with the lighting of four flames at Great Britain’s highest points: Scarfell Pike in England, Slieve Donard in Northern Ireland, Snowdon in Wales and Ben Nevis in Scotland.
The London skyline is continuously evolving and there is a gleaming new addition, The Shard. At 1,016-feet high, it is the tallest building in Western Europe. The 11,000 triple-glazed panels were erected by a team of specialist rappellers.
Prince Andrew, who was present at the official opening of the building this month, is going to rappel down the building on September 3rd to raise money for charity!
Only a couple more weeks of the official English summer before kids go back to school, the openair cinema screens come down and the deckchairs in the parks are packed away for another year.
It’s been a mixed bag of weather, but that hasn’t stopped the festivities and events from livening up the city of London, especially in this year of Olympics and Paralympics, and there’s still plenty more to come.
The city streets are no place to spend a sunny summer’s afternoon, so grab a Frisbee, a few mates and a picnic and join the locals at your nearest park – London has no end of green spaces, but here’s a rundown of the best.
1. Primrose Hill (Best for: celebrity spotting): With its epic views of the city and gently rolling grasslands, this North London haven earns its stripes not only for its impressive scenery, but for the abundance of celebrities resident in the area – Jude Law, Gwen Stefani and Kate Moss have all been spotted taking their kids for a stroll in these parts.
Those at the top of their sport have left London feeling rather weighed down by gold, silver, bronze or a combination of them clanking around their necks. One ex-Olympian admitted on TV that after one game (several years ago) he borrowed a medal from a friend who had won multiple so he could get an upgrade on his flight home – bravo!
If the Opening Ceremony was anything to judge by, the closing of London 2012 will be worth taking notice of, even if there has been a lot less publicity about it.
The dramatic site of the 2012 London Olympics, Olympic Park has been taking a break since the close of the games but plans are well under way to transform the space into the ‘Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’. Set to become East London’s biggest public park, equipped with event stages, children’s playgrounds and 35km of walkways and cycle routes, the idyllic parklands will be back on the tourist itinerary in July 2013, as the North Park reopens its gates. The remainder of the 560-acre (230-hectare) park, including hockey and tennis facilities, The South Plaza and stadium, the aquatic center and the Orbit, will be open by Easter of 2014.
Each August, on the final bank holiday weekend of the summer, the eyes of London shift west to take in one of the city’s most vibrant and voracious street carnivals. The Notting Hill Carnival is organized by the area’s vast Caribbean population and is a celebration of their roots and heritage through music, dance, food and general flamboyance. Running since 1964, the carnival is Europe’s biggest street festival, drawing in crowds of over a million spectators to gawp at the flashy costumes and join in the party.