Contrary to the appalling reputation Britain has for being under a constant cloud of rain, London has a fairly mild and dry climate and is certainly not capable of sustaining an ice rink. One of the greatest things about London is that nothing stands in its way, not even the weather!
Thanks to modern technology and innovative thinkers, from approximately Halloween until March next year, London opens the doors of many great ice rinks. From young lovers gliding romantically across the ice under the cheery glare of the Christmas lights to a family enjoying a fun-filled day out, London’s ice rinks are popular with all ages, skating abilities and different groups of people.
Here’s some of the best places for ice skating in London:
The Natural History Museum
Set within the iconic surroundings of the Natural History Museum, skaters can swoop and glide under 76,000 fairy lights in this South Kensington location. There is also a Christmas market in the grounds where mulled wine and other delicacies can be bought. A traditional carousel is also erected for the children to enjoy. Skaters can take a breather up on the balcony where they will get a bird’s eye view of the rink.
The British Broadcasting Corporation is one of the most recognisable and trusted broadcasting outlets in the world. Since it was founded in 1922, the BBC has maintained its responsibility to provide impartial public service broadcasting.
As a consequence of its committal to quality, the BBC’s films, documentaries, plays, concerts and serials are shown throughout the world.
The thrust of BBC operations have always occurred in London. Its headquarters are in the Broadcasting House in Portland Place which underwent a lengthy renovation project emerging as state-of-the-art building earlier this year.
This summer the Queen officially opened the rebuilt Broadcasting House, which is home to approximately 6,000 London-based staff. The Queen visited the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge, the Today Studio and the newsroom where she appeared behind newsreaders on air.
If you want to follow in the Queen’s footsteps, BBC tours are held in Broadcasting House seven days a week. Visitors can watch a camera’s eye view of the big screen as live news broadcasts are beamed out to the nation.
Do you love the look, touch and exquisiteness of precious pearls? If so, you’ll be in for a treat if you take a trip to the Victoria & Albert Museum between now and January 19, 2014.
Pearls are the subject of a new exhibition at the V&A. From common cultured pearls to genuine rare natural ones, which are far more valuable, there will be a myriad of beautiful and lustrous pearls on display at this rather unique exhibition.
You may be a fan of pearls but do you actually know where they come from? Precious pearls are found inside certain shellfish and vary considerably in their delicacy, from regular to extremely exquisite. Pearls are made up inside the molluscs by many layers of calcium carbonate deposits in microscopic crystalline form.
The word ‘Pearl’ has become somewhat of a metaphor for something fine, rare, precious or admirable. These beautiful gemstones have been sought after and coveted for thousands of years. They are not easy to get, which inevitably adds to their appeal, and people have even lost their lives diving for these precious stones. So sought-after are they that pearls often end up in the collections of kings and queens and the fifthly rich.
For centuries natural pearls were the only pearls in existence until man inevitably had to interfere. By placing a small seed inside the mollusc shell, which promotes pearl growth, plastic and cultured pearls are produced. Natural pearl collectors in both fresh water and salt water have to open and kill many molluscs before they eventually find a pearl and even then the gem might not be that spectacular.
This particularly dazzling exhibition at the V&A includes the actual pearl earring that King Charles I was wearing when he had his head lopped off by Oliver Cromwell.
If you were anywhere close to being young in the 1970s the chances are that you have heard of Mott the Hoople. If you haven’t heard of them well let us enlighten you. Mott the Hoople was a much-loved British rock n roll band in the early to mid-1970s. The band was best known for their song “All the Young Dudes,” which was written for them by David Bowie.
This English rock n roll group with strong R&B roots released three albums but due to their third album diving were on the point of splitting up shortly after its release. David Bowie had long been a fan of Mott the Hoople and hearing of the band’s imminent split the Glam Rock megastar offered them his song “All the Young Dudes”. Mott the Hoople recorded and released the iconic track to great acclaim and success.
Following tours of America the popular band did eventually split in the mid-seventies when lead singer, Ian Hunter, decided to go solo, working alongside Bowie’s guitarist Mick Ronson for a while. Bowie, Ronson and Hunter played together on stage at the Queen Freddie Mercury tribute concert in 1992 and did a superb rendition of “All the Young Dudes”. Sadly Ian Ronson had been plainly ill during the tour with Bowie and Ronson and died the following year.
Mott the Hoople finally reunited in 2009 and played the Hammersmith Apollo in London as a celebratory back together gig. Demand for tickets to see this legendary band was so great that all five nights at the Hammersmith Apollo sold out – a feat that most modern bands would be hard pushed to achieve.
From November 1 this year one of the best surviving bodies of work from the great Baroque Italian artist Giovani Bendetto Castiglione, will be on view at the Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace.
Artist, painter, printmaker and draughtsman, this multi-talented Italian was also credited as the inventor of the printmaking technique, mono typing. Castiglione was tremendously inventive and pioneering and would often come up with new techniques such as the oil sketch. Many of his painting and etchings were of a religious theme as was common with all the great artists during his lifetime (1609-1664).
One of Castiglione’s pet themes was Noah and the Arc. The Italian artist loved to paint and sketch animals and landscapes and became extremely proficient in that field.
Eights works of this genius and masterful craftsman are hanging in the Louvre Gallery in Paris. Luckily for the residents of London and anyone visiting the capital sometime soon who has an inkling to peek at the seventeenth century artist’s exceptional work, much of Castiglione’s art will be on display until next springtime at Her Majesty’s own art gallery adjoining Buckingham Palace.
The Queen’s Gallery but was opened as the as Gallery in 1962. This public gallery exhibits works of art from the Royal Collection on a rotating basis. Approximately 450 pieces of art are on display in the gallery at any one time.