Do Ho Suh’s magical fabric spaces

Do Ho Suh’s exhibition, Passages, at the Victoria Miro gallery focuses on the spaces we easily overlook; the spaces between spaces, the corridors, hallways and lobbies that link the significant places in our lives. He gets us to see them afresh in a novel way – by presenting them as sheer gauze walls in zinging colours. Continue reading

Kew Gardens Orchids 2017

Kew Gardens orchidsEvery year Kew Gardens cheers up the cold February days with a sumptuous display of orchids in the Princess of Wales Conservatory. I never miss it – it’s such a great contrast to the grey days at the fag end of winter, as the steamy warmth surrounds you and the riot of colour awakens your senses ready for another year. Continue reading

Frieze Sculpture in Regent’s Park

Neptune by Matthew MonahanHappy New Year! It’s 2017 and you need something to do on Bank Holiday Monday, so here’s a suggestion for you. A walk in Regent’s Park taking in the Frieze Sculpture Park in the English Garden. There are seventeen sculptures by some top names so you’re bound to find one that you like. Continue reading

Decorated cats on Heal’s Cat Design Trail

Heal's Cat trailCats – that’s a good start. Elegant elongated cats and a spiral staircase to boot – even better. Heal’s in Tottenham Court Road know this. They’ve had a cat guarding their Cecil Brewer staircase since 1916, a slim elegant feline perched on a window ledge surveying all that passes. Now, to celebrate the staircase’s centenary, they’ve commissioned ten designers to decorate replicas of their cat, and the results couldn’t be more different. Continue reading

God’s own Junkyard – where Neon never Dies

God's own JunkyardWalthamstow is full of secrets. Who’d have thought that this quiet suburb at the end of the Victoria Line would turn out to be home not only to the William Morris Gallery but possibly the most unusual arthouse you’ll ever visit – a cavernous shed lined with neon signs, gloriously jammed together in no particular order, all fully lit and fighting for your attention.  Continue reading

Flying fish and warring roses – what kind of bank is this?

Lloyds Bank Law courts BranchThe thing about London is, stuff gets reused. Buildings get reused. There used to be a restaurant at Aldwych called Bank because, you guessed it, the building used to be a bank. And the most fantastical bank in town used to be a restaurant.  Continue reading

Jazz Age Fashion and Art Deco in Bermondsey

Jazz Age fashionWho doesn’t love the Jazz Age, that decade of zinging fashion and wild behaviour that gave us the flapper, the drop-waist dress, silk pyjamas and Art Deco style? The Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey, just along from the Shard, knows we can’t resist it, so they’ve brought together a stunning display of haute couture and ready to wear fashion from 1919 to 1929 and teamed it with a fascinating series of talks about 1920’s life and style. Continue reading

Temple Gardens – Hidden Shade in the Heart of London

Middle Temple GardensAt last summer has arrived, and, like the ungrateful folk we are, we’ve started sighing for respite from the sun beating down on hot city pavements. But where can you find a cool garden when you want one when you’re in the middle of London? Come with me to a hidden enclave a few minutes walk from the Strand and I’ll show you. Continue reading

Lincoln’s Inn, where the seventeenth century comes to life

Lincoln's Inn Wildy & Sons LtdFirst things first: Lincoln’s Inn and Lincoln’s Inn Fields are not the same place, though they are next to each other. Lincoln’s Inn Fields is a public open space with tennis courts and a café; Lincoln’s Inn is one of the four Inns of Court and it’s private. But, despite the sign on the entrance saying you can’t go in, it’s okay to visit on weekdays. Just wander through one of its arched gates and you’re there. Continue reading

Five odd places to visit in London

Oldest phone box in LondonSo you’re on a trip to London and you’ve seen all the obvious places. Big Ben? Tick. Buckingham Palace? Tick. Tower of London? Tick. Now you want somewhere that’s different, not full of crowds of people doing the same thing you are. Somewhere your friends have never heard of. Welcome to my odd places to visit. Continue reading