Join me as I travel, play, eat, live and work in cities and places around the world.
Published March 26th 2013
London sheds its wintery cloak and steps out into April with a selection of top new shows, mega events, music and film festival, dining experiences and special tours. Whether you're a resident or visitor, put on your T-shirt, bring a raincoat and head out into the capital for 14 of the top things to do and see this April. For more information, visit the official London city guide.
BBC Broadcasting House's new multimedia broadcasting centre in Central London will be be open to public from April 2013. Visitors can join the 90 minutes tour to experience reading the news and weather like a real news anchor in the BBC's new state-of-the-art newsroom and have a go at producing a radio play complete with music and sound effects like a drama producer. For more information, check out the BBC tour website.
Jason Atherton, chef and restauranteur behind the ever popular Pollen Street Social is making his move in Soho on Poland Street. He will open his 2nd London restaurant in April, offering an informal and affordable dining experience priced from £6. Social Eating House pays homage to the best of British cooking with signature dishes like flamed cote de pork with beetroot, white polenta, spring onion and savory, ravioli of wild boar bolognaise with peppered hearts and kidney, and London honey sponge with goats curd ice cream. The kitchen will be headed up by Paul Hood, who has worked alongside Atherton for 6 years. To get your seat in the opening month, check out the restaurant website.
Whose wine is it anyway at Le Café Anglais: 8 April 2013
Le Café Anglais's head chef Rowleigh Leigh and 'Wine Chap' Tom Harrow join forces to bring some fun into wine nights with a wine taste off. For £30, wine novices and wannabe connoisseurs will be served a set of 5 wines with matched antipasti before a fun wine-themed quiz. A correct answer will allow contestants to proceed to the next round and the ultimate winner goes home with a bottle of Bollinger champagne. The fun starts at 6.45pm and a winner is expected by 8.15pm. An additional £20 gets you a 2-course set menu. For more information and tickets, visit the Le Café Anglais website.
Canary Wharf has one of the UK's largest collections of public art and provides year-round exhibitions by leading artists, all free to view. It's 2013 Public Art Programme has included critically-acclaimed Irish sculptor Eilis O'Connell among its impressive line-up to adorn the famous business and shopping district. Ellis' works can be viewed in many public locations across the UK and Ireland including as Docklands and Kensington Gate in London, the Gateway in Cardiff and St Augustine's Reach in Bristol. Ellis will unveil her latest solo exhibition in the lobby of One Canada Square and nearby Jubilee Park on 8 April, demonstrating her skillful use of materials including natural objects, plastics, steel and bronze. For more information, visit the Canary Wharf website.
The Natural History Museum will play host to the world premiere of Brazilian Sebastião Salgado's photographic exhibition entitled Genesis in April 2013. The culmination of 8 years' work in 32 countries, his exhibition explores landscapes, wildlife and people in peril around the world through some 250 photographs. For tickets to enjoy one of the longest photographic adventures of this award-winning photographer, visit the Natural History Museum website.
Europe's premier shopping thoroughfare is home to some of the most iconic architecture in London and showcase of original design and conceptual work in a street wide outdoor exhibition. This spring, Regent Street will again become the stage for some unique retail designs thanks to collaboration between the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the world's up-and-coming architects. To find out more about the inspiring architectural installations gracing the street, check out the Regent Street website or visit RIBA.
Romeo and Juliet - The National Ballet of Canada: April 17 – 21 2013
Canada's premier dance company, The National Ballet of Canada, returns to London for the first time in 26 years with a new production of Romeo and Juliet at Sadler's Wells Theatre. Created in 2011 to mark the company's 60th anniversary, the show is choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, former Bolshoi Ballet director and set to Sergei Prokofiev's famous score. Tony Award-winning designer Richard Hudson delivers Renaissance-inspired sets and costumes for the production. For more information on the performance at the world's leading venue dedicated to international dance of all forms, check out the Theatre's website.
The Estoricks - Lines of Poetry: Extended to 28 April 2013
The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art celebrates its 15th anniversary with a career-spanning exhibition of one of the gallery's most popular artists, Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964). Organised in collaboration with Bologna's Galleria d'Arte Maggiore, with loans from a number of private collections and from the Estorick Collection, the "Lines of Poetry" exhibition is one of the most comprehensive overviews of Morandi graphic art ever mounted outside Italy. It focuses on works on paper, including a large section devoted to the artist's etchings. Included in the exhibition are a number of works that are rarely seen in UK, making this exhibition a truly unmissable occasion for any admirer of Morandi. Visitors can enjoy some 80 meditative and intimate prints, paintings and drawings by the master of poetic understatement and somewhat reclusive figure whose works embody 'eternal' and 'timeless' artistic values, transcending the mercurial languages of modernism through their masterly compositional balance, subtle tonal range and exquisite luminosity.
Due to popularity, the exhibition has been extended till 28 April 2013. For information about the exhibition, visit the gallery's website.
Saloua Raouda Choucair Exhibition: 17 April – 20 October 2013
Britain's national gallery of international modern art, Tate Modern, is hosting a special exhibition of Lebanese artist Saloua Raouda Choucair. Born in Beirut in 1916, Choucair became famous for her sculptures that were composed of several individual pieces that could be either separated or assembled, just like the verses of an Arabic poem. Her work combines an experimental approach to materials with an elegant use of symmetry, line and curve. The London art gallery housing the UK's collection of modern and contemporary art from 1900 to the present day is the first to present such an exhibition in the UK. Visitors can enjoy over 100 works including paintings, sculptures and other objects made by Choucair over 50 years. For more information on the exhibition, visit the Tate Modern website.
The Park Lane Hotel's Afternoon Tea Dance: 21 April 2013
The much awaited Afternoon Tea Dance will once again debut at The Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly's 5-star Grand Art Deco-style property in April. The venue of choice for top socialites and aristocrats in the 1920s, the ballroom will revive the best of the old world by blending together traditional dance and afternoon tea. Guests are invited to spend their Sunday afternoon foxtrotting, tangoing and quickstepping to live music from a 5-piece ensemble and stopping to enjoy one of London's finest afternoon teas by the hotel's award winning pastry chefs. For more information on the event and tickets, visit the hotel website.
UK's biggest and best elite and mass participation race is back with some 45,000 runners from 150 countries. One of the most popular marathons in the world, the Virgin London Marathon puts runners on a 26 mile course that starts at Greenwich Park past some of London's most scenic sights and finishes at Buckingham Palace. Participants and spectators will be keeping their eyes peeled for marathon favourites like Olympic champion Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia, world champion Edna Kiplagat of Kenya and world and Olympic silver medallist Priscah Jeptoo. For more information, visit the Virgin London Marathon website.
Shakespeare's Globe, the faithful reconstruction of the open-air playhouse designed in 1599 where many of Shakespeare's plays were performed, will present a star-studded line up of 15 plays entitled "Season of Plenty". There will be 3 world premieres and the return of 3 productions from the ground-breaking Globe To Globe season in 2012 in addition to 5 touring productions which will play in London as part of UK and international tours. Shakespeare fans can also look forward to appearances from Olivier Award-winning actor Roger Allam and actress Michelle Terry. For more information on the line up of plays and dates, visit the Shakespeare's Globe website.
Sundance London Film and Music Festival: April 25 – 28 2013
The festival that takes its name from the Sundance Kid, one of Robert Redford's most iconic characters is back in UK at the O2 Arena. The2012 Sundance London featured 27 films including many European premieres and 17 musical performances. The Hollywood star and founder of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah himself will preside over a line-up that includes a documentary about killer whales, a comedy about voice-over artists and the directorial debut of Canadian singer Peaches. The line-up also include several British features and shorts premiered at Park City. The 4-day indie spectacular of films, live music performances and events hopes to provide audience with a lively, culturally relevant, fun and engaging experience with new voices and new points of view. For more information, visit the Festival website.
Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition: 26 April - 12 May 2013
Somerset House, a major arts and cultural centre with a year-round programme of large-scale contemporary exhibitions and events in the heart of London, will be the stage for the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition. Organised by the World Photography Organisation, the Awards is dedicated to finding the best international contemporary photography from across the world across 25 categories including fashion, travel, wildlife, landscape, portraiture and current affairs. The shortlist is a clear indication of the exciting photography available and the exhibition provides the ideal platform for presenting the collection of photographers to a global audience. 43 images from the best of over 120,000 submissions from 170 countries in the professional, open and youth categories have been curated. Visitors will be able to see the world through the eyes of award-winning photographers at the Exhibition. For more information about the Awards and Exhibition, visit the World Photography Organisation website.