Apr 272015
 

The sun is out in London and you should be out there enjoying it. There are plenty of reasons this month to get outside including the Shaun in the City trails I mentioned in April.

Shopping

London has some irresistible stores and there’s a great shopping event on Saturday 9 May with a street party too. London shopping destinations Seven Dials and St Martin’s Courtyard are on the edge of Covent Garden and from 12 midday to 5pm over 120 shops, bars, and restaurants will be offering a 20% discount. The area will be traffic free with live music, street food, alfresco games, and a pop-up lawn with deck chairs. Ladies can get complimentary up-do’s and for the men there’s complimentary beard and moustache trims. Register for a free ticket and you’ll get a complimentary cocktail too.

SevenDials

 

Floral Month

West London loves this month of the year as the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is here from 19 to 23 May. It’s a true pleasure to visit but do note you cannot buy tickets on the door and it does sell out in advance. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy floral delights as Chelsea in Bloom is a floral art on the streets of Chelsea. From 18 to 23 May the shops and restaurants transform their windows and menus so it’s worth exploring the area.

ChelseainBloom

 

Miniature World

You can see the world in miniature this month with the Kensington Dolls House Festival on 15 and 16 May at Kensington Town Hall. This is the festival’s 30th year and it has become the top international show for quality dolls’ houses, miniatures and models. The show is not just for collectors and makes a lovey day out.

© KDF

© KDF

 

Pint of Science

Have you ever had one of those conversations down the pub where you try to solve a scientific quandary? I guess we’ve all done it but did you have the answers?  Try an evening with a bunch of scientists and you might just get those solutions at Pint of Science. From 18 to 20 May you’ve got the choice of twenty pubs in London with topics such as climate change, the stars, radioactivity and many more.

Pint-of-Science

The Victoria & Albert Museum

At the V&A seven galleries have been transformed for the redisplay of the Museum’s unrivalled collection of 17th- and 18th century European art and design. Europe 1600-1800 opens from 2 May and is part of a major project in the V&A’s ongoing redevelopment programme. The displays have 1,100 spectacular examples of textiles and fashion, painting and sculpture, ceramics and glass, furniture and metalwork, prints and books, including a number of important new acquisitions. On show will be some of the most magnificent works held by the V&A, many made by Europe’s finest artists and craftsmen for the period’s most discerning leaders of taste such as Louis XIV, Marie Antoinette, Catherine the Great and Napoleon.

© Victoria & Albert Museum

© Victoria & Albert Museum

 

Walk London

On 30 & 31 May there’s a weekend of free led walks from Walk London. You could walk The Thames Path for 8 hours or take a 1.5 hour stroll around the West End. There’s a huge choice and you don’t even have to book in advance.

walklondon1

Even More

If you would like even more ideas for this month have a look at the May 2015 in London blog post from London Bridge Hotel, our sister hotel.

 

LOOKING AHEAD

In June, Shoes: Pleasure and Pain opens at the V&A looking at the extremes of footwear from around the globe.

Book ahead for Sunset Safari at London Zoo which is on every Friday from 5 June to 17 July.

And on 20 & 21 June it’s West End Live in Trafalgar Square to celebrate London’s West End theatre shows.

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Do check out the latest offers as Kensington House Hotel has some great weekend deals. You can sign up for special offer alerts here.

Laura Porter writes the About.com London Travel site and contributes to many other publications while sustaining an afternoon tea addiction to rival that of our Queen. You can find Laura on twitter as @AboutLondon and on Facebook as @AboutLondonLaura.

Apr 182015
 

8._Installation_view_of_Voss_Alexander_McQueen_Savage_Beauty_at_the_VA_c_Victoria_and_Albert_Museum_London (Large)

If you love seeing a true, original talent, then swiftly head for the Victoria and Albert Museum, London to see their blockbuster exhibition, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty.

9._Installation_view_of_Romantic_Naturalism_gallery_Alexander_McQueen_Savage_Beauty_at_the_VA_c_Victoria_and_Albert_Museum_London (Large)

What a revelation this was – entering into the world of a privileged few who knew him, reviewed this designer or wore his clothes. It’s only by seeing the physical products that he produced that you understood what a raw and innovative talent this young Scot had – and what we lost when he left us.

6._Installation_view_of__Cabinet_of_Curiosities_gallery_Alexander_McQueen_Savage_Beauty_at_the_VA_c_Victoria_and_Albert_Museum_London (Large)

The skilful way in which the exhibition has been curated tells his story alongside his clothes – his Savile Row apprenticeship, his association with marques like Givenchy and the establishment of his own eponymous label. It’s easy to see why he was often referred to as the enfant terrible of fashion for his irreverent style and celebration of the gothic and grotesque – yet even in the most outlandish of collections, a beauty and grace shone through together with a surprising depth and grasp of historic knowledge and tradition.

3._Installation_view_of_Romantic_Gothic_gallery_Alexander_McQueen_Savage_Beauty_at_the_VA_c_Victoria_and_Albert_Museum_London (Large)

By walking through his life through this carefully curated exhibit, I saw the skill and raw talent that he had and how his ideas have permeated every section of our society. The quote “You’ve got to know the rules to break them. That’s what I’m here for, to demolish the rules but to keep the tradition” really sums up this exhibition. You can still buy tickets for this exhibit and I urge you to do so. I came away both enlightened and informed.  Just wonderful.

2._Installation_view_of_Savage_Mind_gallery_Alexander_McQueen_Savage_Beauty_at_the_VA_c_Victoria_and_Albert_Museum_London (Large) (2)

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, in partnership with Swarovski, supported by American Express and made possible with the co-operation of Alexander McQueen, runs from 14th March – 2nd August 2015. There are still tickets available so snap one up soon – www.vam.ac.uk/savagebeauty. Follow Victoria and Albert Museum on twitter @V_and_A and on Facebook: Victoria and Albert Museum.

 

Contributor: Sue Lowry Via Magellan PR, a boutique travel PR company.

Photographs: Reproduced courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum, London.