Mastercard Priceless Night – Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton at the V&A

http://media.vam.ac.uk/media/website/versions/uploads/exhibition_images/Queen_Elizabeth_II_-_Cecil_Beaton/2006AL1129_qeii_cbeaton_290x290.jpg

I’ve have always been a fan of Cecil Beaton’s work after finding out he designed some of the gowns from my favourite films Gigi and My Fair Lady. However I was quite interested to learn that Cecil Beaton was equally as famous as a photographer. Last Thursday I was lucky enough to have been able to get tickets to Mastercard’s Priceless London Night at the V&A focusing on the Cecil Beaton’s photographs of  Queen Elizabeth II and The Royal Family.

If you haven’t been to a Mastercard Priceless London event then you should you check it out, they are free and offer little tasters of unique and exclusive things to do in London.

We started off the event with a lovely champagne reception which was held in the great lobby of the V&A I must say that it was very beautiful indeed! We then were introduced to the exhibition by the curator Susanna Brown who proceeded to welcome us to take a look. The exhibition itself was quite small and made up around 100 photographs. It was interesting to see pictures of the Queen and her sister Margaret from when she was young teenager right up until she was married and when she gave birth to each of her for children. The intimate nature of the photographs made it seem like you were looking at an old family album. It was also interesting to learn how Cecil Beaton’s style changed over the years and how he became the Queen’s  favorite photographer.  

After looking around the exhibition we were served small bowls of the loveliest food. We gorged on bowls of sausage and mash, root vegetables and fish and chips. A nice touch was the chance to have fun dressing up in vintage clothes and have to our photos taken. Ever the peacock I couldn’t resist and the results are on the left.

Lanky Girl would definitely recommend you go and visit the exhibition if you get the chance.

Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration will be running until to 22 April at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

For more information please visit http://www.vam.ac.uk/

Welcome to the Candyshop! Après Lounge and Cocktail Bar launches Five Spring Candy Cocktails

Apres Lounge and Cocktail Bar

“I’ll take you to the candy shop, Let the drink hit the spot…Woah!” Not quite 50 cent but you get my drift. Last week Lanky girl and Co found themselves in a cute little bar and lounge called Après which is situated around the back of Oxford Street. With the arrival of spring fast approaching, the mixologists at Après Lounge and Cocktail Bar have decided there’s no better way to welcome in such a refreshing time of year, than with a taste bud makeover.  Stirring things up they have branded the month of March ‘CandyShop’ and created Five Spring Candy Cocktails to celebrate.

On show were a ununsual mix of cocktails: Pear Drop, Parma Violet, Rum & Raisin, Rhubarb & Custard and Lemon & Liquorice.

On the night we got to taste the Parma Violet and Rhubarb and Custard Cocktails. I have to say that I wasn’t sure I would like any of it but the Rhubarb & Custard tasted delish! I wasn’t brave enough to try the Lemon and liquorice. I would go easy if you’re a bit of a lightweight as these cocktails are strong! Each cocktail was served with an array of sweets perfect for those of us who have a sweet tooth. The bar itself is intimate and cozy a perfect place to take a date or to go for a catch up with friends. I think I will be going back!

The CandyShop at Après Lounge and Cocktail Bar runs from 6th March – 31st March 2012

 Après Lounge and Cocktail Bar is open Monday – Saturday from 5.30pm –Late, Daily.

 Après Lounge and Cocktail Bar is located at 31 Duke street, London W1U 1LG.

 

The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt 2012 in London

London has gone eggs crazy! These beautiful creations have been popping up all over London as part The Fabergé Big Egg hunt this Easter. So what is all about? well The Big Egg Hunt was a plan hatched by Elephant Family and Action for Children for a record-breaking egg hunt across Central London to raise money.

Over 200 uniquely crafted eggs, created by leading artists, designers, architects and jewellers, are hidden around the city. Each egg has a keyword on it and If you text this to 8001 you are entered into a prize draw to win the grand prize the Jubilee egg. All eggs are being auctioned off with money going to the charities involved (so everyone has a chance to own one). Egg hunting can be fun and a great past time to keep the kids busy. I have found 12 so far in places you would least expect!

For more information and to join in visit  http://www.thebigegghunt.co.uk

Anima Mundi egg by Jill Berelowitz
Metropolis Egg by Rob & Nick Carter
The Embryo of Human Greed By Wooden Horse
Egg Cup By Studio Weave
Phoenix Egg by Johnny Rocket & Sunny Warrington
Rara Avis Egg By Rachel Freire with ECCO Leather
Sao Paulo Skyline Egg By MUMO for Wolf & Badger
L'ŒUF egg by Pochoir
Union Jack Egg By Mark Shand
Our Team Egg by Charlies Cartoons
Blooming Azure Egg By Blandine Martin
From little acorns, mighty oaks do grow Egg By Loz Atkinson

The grand prize is to own the Jubilee Egg which is apparently worth over 100,000 pounds!

The Jubilee Egg

Bistro Du Vin Clerkenwell and Soho – Review

http://www.spoonfed.co.uk/system/images/144164/default/Bistro.jpg

Firstly I have to as this post is slightly overdue. Bistro du vin or should I say Bistro “divine”  are two standalone restaurants that are part of the Hotel du Vin chain. Lanky Girl and Co were lucky enough to be invited to try both resaurants just before Christmas. Watch the video below to see what I got up to.

Bistro du Vin Clerkenwell

Situated very close to Smithfield market is Bistro du vin Clerkenwell. Each of the Bistros has a theme, and this one they place an emphasis on good old fashion meat, le francais style.
A unique selling point of the Bistro is its open kitchen. Here you can sit around watching the chefs prepare the dishes before you eat them. Its also a great chance for diners to interact with chefs and share tips. Business types  or private diners can choose to use the Whisky Snuggle meeting room,  a windowed wall of marbled slabs where they host whisky tastings or choose the meat cellar another private dinning room that seats up to 12 people. Here you can watch the meat being aged (for a minimum of 28 days). Also Bistro du Vin have “Meat to butcher” events where diners can watch the meat being cut and receive a bit of a background on where the different cuts of meat come from, before watching it being cooked in the open kitchen.

The atmosphere when we entered Bistro du Vin warm and intimate. Staff were very accommodating, quick to attend to us and we had a fantastic sommelier who was very good at recommending wines to suit each of our courses. I was lucky enough to get a seat right overlooking the kitchen and I had a nice discussion with the head chef. It was interesting to find out that their beef comes from Cumbria and the economics of buying produce locally.

Now for my verdict on the food. To start I had the twice baked Crottin de Chavignol cheese soufflé and my dining partner the Selsey crab with toasted sourdough. The cheese souffle melted like butter in my mouth and the flavour was intense and my friend said the crab was light in consistency and very tasty.

For mains we had Chateaubriand to share [Donald Russell] served with pommes frites, & green salad. Now, I have to admit that I’m one of these annoying people who usually insists that her meat is “well-done” however I’ve realised the errors of my ways. We had the beef medium and it tasted amazing, such flavour and the meat was succulent. Definitely comparable to the offerings of my other favourite steakhouse Hawksmoor.

For Dessert we enjoyed the crepe suzette. Delicious!

All in all we were really impressed on our visit Bistro Du vin Clerkenwell and would definitely recommend visiting them if you want Michelin star treatment without the stuffiness.

http://img.glam.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Bistro-Du-Vin-Soho-Bar.jpg

Bistro du Vin Soho

The next week we were invited to sample the culinary delights of their other restaurant, Bistro du Vin Soho. Being in the heart of media land this restaurant definitely has a cool vibe to it. Visitors can choose to recieve service in secluded little booths, sit at the bar or the open seating area. The unique selling point of Bistro du vin Soho has to be the variety of wines that are on offer. if you are a bit of  wine connoisseur you are going to be impressed as its one of the few restaurants where you can sample most wines by the glass. Private diners can choose to host their events in the wine cellar. I was pretty impressed by the chic cocktails that they had on offer and I got to sample their Dean Street Punch, very fruity!

Like the Clerkenwell branch staff were attentive and friendly and looking around everyone in the restaurant seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Now for my verdict on the food: For starters I had the soup of the day which was pea soup. I wasn’t overly impressed by the soup it did taste fresh but I think it could have had more flavour. For mains I had the beef Stroganoff  which I have to say was so lovely that I am definitely going back soon to have it. For dessert I floated up to heaven eating a Belgian waffle with ice cream.

Watch our interview with the group Sommelier below.

Overall I would recommend both restaurants. If you are looking for somewhere chic, good for a date or for dinner with your friends choose Soho. For something a bit more formal that will be sure to impress choose Bistro du Vin Clerkenwell.

For more information please visit http://www.bistroduvinandbar.com/

Street Artist Nick Walker Transforms Victoria Street, London

Globally renowned street artist Nick Walker recently added a touch of his unique street art to Victoria Street, London. Overnight he transformed the walls of Victoria Street into an amazing piece of  art created to celebrate The New Thinker’s Index – a unique, interactive digital experience which aims to challenge the way people think.

Born in Bristol the innovative graffiti artist, known for creations including Le CoranCan and The Morning After, created the final design by drawing on opinions shared with him by the general public via Facebook on what inspires them to think in new ways. He then worked through the night to create something that would inspire busy city workers on their journey into work, whilst complementing the surrounding landscape of skyscrapers, concrete, glass and some of London’s most iconic buildings that are found in the heart of the city.

The final masterpiece ‘Midnight Art’ depicts a 20ft mural of a man with a child on his back, pointing towards a selection of creatively painted representations of what the public communicated to him. The response that sparked Walker’s imagination and provided the foundation of the artwork stated ‘A man should have his feet firmly planted in his own country, but his eyes should survey the world’.

For more information about the New Thinkers Index – please visit www.newthinking.uk.msn.com