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Eating Out Restaurant Reviews
CINNAMON SOHO 5 Kingly Street, London W1B 5PF Telephone: 020 7437 1664 It always rankles with me when people say that the UK doesn’t have a traditional dish. The French have frogs legs, the Americans even have two – steak and Hamburgers, but what do the English have? Well, to me there is nothing more quintessentially British than a Curry! Indian restaurants have come a long way in the UK. Historically, those who, like me, frequent curry houses after a few drinks, will remember the heady days of dingy rooms covered by a multicoloured carpet and terrible wailing music blaring out, but over the years we have seen a new breed of quality Indian restaurants serving some of the best ‘honorary English food’, or curry to you and me. Cinnamon Soho is the third, and newest, 2
restaurant of Vivek Singh, following on from the Cinnamon Club in Westminster, and the Cinnamon Kitchen in the city, and is nestled just off Regents and Carnaby Street, deep in the heart of the West End. If you have visited the others you will see that at Cinnamon Soho, Vivek, and Head Chef Ramachandran Raju, have got more into the bohemian style of the area and their dishes and the atmosphere of their restaurant is more relaxed, with sharing plates and a totally different vibe. The restaurant is spread out over two floors with the ground floor bright and contemporary, and the basement more intimate with the dark walls interspersed with a strip of neon orange lighting giving, for me, a 70’s twist. We visited on a Thursday night and on entering were struck by a lovely hum of multiple conversations of groups and couples enjoying a good night out. Once settled at an intimate basement table we were given the menu which has dishes very different from the standard local Indian restaurants. Instead of the standard starters of onion bhaji’s, we were delighted to see dishes such as Bombay Keema Cotala (spiced Lamb mince with scrambled egg and crisp brain, £6.75), and Steamed Chickpea Cakes with coconut chutney (£3.80). I thought that choosing from the delicious dishes on offer would take some time, so I decided that instead of ordering my usual large Cobra beer, I would be different, like the menu, and pick up the creative cocktail list, which again challenges your adventurous side with delights such as ‘Bhangra Bubbles’ – a rum, chambourd, homemade spiced syrup and champagne or the ‘Orange Julep’ which is bourbon infused with toasted figs, Grand Marnier and gooseberry chutney. Everything about this place is different, and although I am a regular visitor to my local curry house, I suddenly realised I am really a creature of habit as I am normally a Lamb Sag with pilao rice man, but here my eyes were
opened to a whole new world of choice, and taste. When you go, and really you should go, I would recommend pushing the boat out, and that’s what we did with all of our choices. For our starters we choose the Ragda Patties-cumin potato cake, curried white peas (£5) which combined just the right amount of sweet and spice and took me back to my student days when, whilst hitchhiking across India, I bought many from the street stalls. These were ably supported by Indo-Chinese Style Chicken with burnt chillies (£5.80) which although had a “burn”, were not overpowering, and our third choice the Curry Leaf Crab from the ‘balls’ menu. The ‘balls’ dish has been voted as one of Time Outs 100 best dishes of 2012 and you can choose 4 pieces for £3.80 or £9 for a selection from Curry Leaf Crab, Lamb Shami Kebab, Bangla-Scotch Eggs (Quail egg wrapped with spiced Bengali beetroot and vegetable), Potato Bondas or Vegetable Shikampur. Our choice of mains was again difficult with so many items leaping out at us, but we eventually plumped for the Lucknow-style Free Range Chicken Biryani (£14) and the Vindaloo of Ox Cheek (£15.50). The chicken was moist and tender and the intense sauce blended nicely with the rice which, like a good biryani, was minimally moist and just undercooked, and the ox cheek was so tender it melted in the mouth. I don’t normally choose vindaloo curries as they are too spicy, but this again wasn’t too overpowering and was instead rich and intense. To accompany these we chose a Peshwari Naan (£4) and some Stir Fried Okra with dried mango (£3.50) both highly recommended. The dessert selection also didn’t disappoint, and I selected the Chocolate and Cumin Tart (£5.50) and my partner the Sticky Ginger Toffee Pudding with Banana Ice Cream (£4.75) as well as their Colis Chocolate-Chilli and White Chocolate Cardamom (4 pieces for £2) an Indian petit four!
Cinnamon Soho has not reserved its novel view for à la carte dining, but has also turned its attention to the pre and post theatre menu as well as Indian takeaways and Afternoon Tea. There are keenly priced 2 and 3 course menus (£15 - £18) for theatre goers and a ‘lunch to go’ for busy workers, starting from £4.80 where you call to order and then pick up later. This is a welcome new addition to the Cinnamon stable and brings high quality Indian food with a twist to the West End, and I for one will be visiting again as I loved the whole concept, especially those Ragada Patties as it took me back more years than I care to remember to my carefree student days eating from the food stalls on the streets of Bombay. CANVAS 69 Marylebone Lane, London, W1U 2PH Telephone: 020 7935 0858 As a child, and in fact to the current day, I love playing Monopoly, and despite the plethora of new versions, the original UK game is in my view by far the best. One of the Chance cards in that set states “Take a trip to Marylebone Station, if you pass Go collect £200”. Well, when it was devised in 1938 they certainly didn’t know that you may not pass Go, but Canvas
today you would pass Canvas (on Marylebone Lane) and that like the £200 in the game, is a welcome bonus! Canvas is the new venture of Michael Riemenschneider – ex-chef at The Abbey, Penzance, and brings fine dining to Marylebone Lane. It has an intimate atmosphere as the restaurant only caters for 20 covers. It is split in to two distinct areas, one on ground level and the other slightly down a level, and the décor is minimalistic – a blank Canvas perhaps! Canvas provides the quality of a larger restaurant with the warmth of a private dinner party in your home, although if you can produce the quality of food on offer here, I would like to declare that I am available most week nights and await your invitations! The restaurant name, I am reliably informed, does not refer to the décor, but rather the menu which is the canvas - initially blank, which the diners fill with their choices and the chefs fill with their expertise. The menu is divided into 3 separate sections, Sea & Coast, Land and Earth and Guilty Pleasures, each consisting of 5 choices available for the diner to choose from. The number of choices, and from which sections, are wholely dependent on the diner and their appetite, as you can select between 3 and 10 courses, but the entire table do have to choose the same courses. This is understandable, as even the largest restaurant would struggle to produce this level of quality with the possible permutations each table could generate, but it does lead to many interesting discussions over your aperitif! Mercifully the portion sizes are amended depending on the number of courses you choose, and the twist is that the diners on a table are able to choose anything from any
area, so if you so desired you could choose 5 desserts (although no-one has yet!). In effect you have total carte blanche to choose every aspect of your meal. My partner and I followed the true British tradition of compromise and rather than choosing 3, or the indulgent 10 courses, we went for 5 courses (£50), as that seemed sensible. To accompany our courses we let the expert Sommelier choose suitable wines (an additional £45), but if you were celebrating there is an iconic wine selection (£90) or alternatively there is an extensive wine list catering for every palate. As we sat trying to choose our 5 dishes, and with the horse-trading of what course we were prepared to agree to in exchange for our choice, we were treated to delightfully light and totally moreish homemade salt and lime popcorn. Actually choosing is difficult enough, and once we had selected and ordered our reward was a warm and rich Pea Soup with a Cheese Foam as the amuse bouche. Our first selection was the Sea Bass, Fondue - Caper Berries – Navet, which despite the description contained no cheese or even a passing resemblance to the expected dish! In fact, the ‘Fondue’ was a chicken consommé in which was perched (or should I say Sea Bassed!) a perfectly cooked piece of flaky Sea Bass with crispy skin. The Cod followed on a base of Lentils, Pancetta and Spatzle, which continued the trend of delightful contrasts mixed together to form something better than the sum of its parts. Here the earthiness of the lentils, the saltiness of the pancetta and the softness of the spatzle blended perfectly with the cod which was perfectly cooked. There are other mouthwatering dishes in the Sea & Coast section using Scallops, Octopus and Langoustine, which could tempt some to not venture further, so beware. Our third choice was from the Land and Earth section and was the Foie Gras with Rhubarb, Rye and Reisling which kept the standard set by the first two, but for me was the stand out dish and was my choice in the initial horse-trading. Our next course, was the Beef, Sirloin, Rib & Tail with Carrots and Pommes Puree! The sirloin and rib were as expected, tender and just on the right side of medium rare, but the true delight was the ‘Tail’. This was served in an opulent gravy, as an upmarket Shepards Pie under the creamy Pomme Puree and was so tender it literally fell apart on your fork. For dessert my partner chose the M’s Grandma’s Brioche ‘ Bread and Butter’ with Banana’s and Pistachio which signed our meal off in style, although I couldn’t help wishing that I had held out for the Chocolate “7”, Pineapple and Coconut. The quality of cooking at Canvas will ensure people come back again and again, and 3
if you are on your way to Marylebone Station, you almost certainly won’t get £200, but you will get a great meal! THE GRILL AT THE DORCHESTER 53 Park Lane, London W1K 1QA Telephone: 020 7629 8888 It had been a while, but we were very much looking forward to our return to The Dorchester on Park Lane. This hotel, and its various restaurants, remains a favourite of our London venues. It has always stood out as a unique and glamorous dining destination, and our expectations were high, as you would expect from a restaurant within this classic property. On this occasion we were there to sample some home grown British cuisine in The Grill at The Dorchester. The Grill at The Dorchester re-opened in 2005 after a complete refurbishment. As you walk into the restaurant, Thierry Despont’s distinctive design makes quite an impact. The design references the Scottish ancestry of The Dorchester’s original owners, and also the ‘Best of British’ menu. Bold murals adorn the walls and plush red banquettes and ornate gold detail on the ceiling and doors add to its sense of opulence. A dramatic display of 200 red roses stands in the centre. We loved this bold décor, although it may gather some varied opinion amongst diners. Soon after we had been seated, the champagne trolley arrived, and we chose a cold glass of Laurent-Perrier – the perfect way to commence any meal! After we had settled in, we were presented with the menus and began the arduous task of choosing our meal. The Festive Menu was extremely tempting, but as this review isn’t published until the spring, this would no longer be available. I understand that they do, however, offer seasonal Tasting Menus (£55 for four courses excluding wines, or £90 for four courses with wine pairing) over the year to suit the season or upcoming British occasions. One of the signature appetisers is the Home Smoked Loch Duart salmon and gravadlax (£22). I wanted to experience a dish that is so highly regarded with diners, and I was not disappointed. It was carved at the table into the finest slices; the taste was light and fresh with a unique smoked flavour that is the result of a lengthy process in the Dorchester’s very own smokehouse. It was perfectly matched with a glass of 2010 St. Clair, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, recommended by the Sommelier. My guest thoroughly enjoyed her Roast Scallop, cucumber and celeriac (£17). Cooked to perfection, the Scallops were succulent with a subtle sweetness; a result I never quite seem to be able to achieve at home, 4
The Grill at The Dorchester
in spite of many years trying! Appetisers range in price from £12 to £22, and other options include Glazed Pigeon or Duck and foie gras terrine. Studying the menu, it is evident to see The Grill's passion for sourcing quality, organic produce from around the British Isles. With Executive Chef, Henry Brosi at the helm, the modern British cuisine offers a contemporary menu, putting a fresh spin on traditional Grill dishes with timeless classics. The main courses on offer during this season include pork, duck, fish, veal, vegetable and beef dishes. Prices range from £20 to £49. For the main course I was tempted by another of their signature dishes – Black Angus Beef fillet, chervil root, chestnut and citrus (£36). Complemented with shallots and chive mash (£5) and garlic spinach (£5), this meal was superb. The cut was wonderfully tender; a true classic. My guest chose the Grilled day boat Dover Sole (£49). The delicate buttery tones combined with a melt in the mouth texture found favour with my partner. Once again, the Sommelier perfectly matched our menu choices with exemplary wines from the list. The wine list comes in it’s own leather bound book indicating the serious and passionate nature in which they consider their wines. Needless to say, this has to be one of the most extensive wine lists available in London, offering New and Old World Wines, and some celebrated, classic vintages. The Sommelier was extremely knowledgeable and if, like us, your own experience is limited, then why not place your wine choice in the hands of an expert? Throughout the meal we were treated to various delicious Amuse Bouches. Each of these gastronomic treats, whetted the palette and introduced us further to the exciting
delicious creations of Brosi and his team. Given the choice we probably wouldn’t have selected either of the desserts we were persuaded into ordering, but we were glad that we took the waiter’s recommendations on board. I enjoyed Hazelnut Moelleux, Marscapone Ice Cream (£13), and my guest devoured her White Chocolate Cream, pistachio, textured raspberry (£10). We did, of course, both sample each others desserts - it would have been rude not to! They brought the perfect conclusion to a wonderful meal. Dessert prices range from £10 to £14, and be sure to save some space – they were amazing. The Grill’s staff excel in their roles– being extremely knowledgeable and passionate, yet at the same time unobtrusive. With such excellent service, a comfortable atmosphere, and some of the best British cooking we have enjoyed in a long time, I defy the best ‘foodie’ not to enjoy this classic dining experience. We are already looking at the list of the other restaurants The Dorchester has to offer, and in the meantime would wholeheartedly recommend a visit to The Grill. ■ The Grill at The Dorchester
Hotel Review The Alexander House Hotel, Crawley, West Sussex
he Alexander House Hotel, is situated about 45 minutes by car south of London, near East Grinstead, West Sussex, and is a lovely five star, three AA Rosette hotel that offers modern accommodation and a large, modern spa. The original house is thought to date back to the 17th century (1608, which is also the name of the newly opened Champagne Bar) and is believed to have connections to luminary poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, which may be why I felt at home, as a long lost cousin contacted my family many years ago to say that I am actually related to Shelley, or, did I feel at home as our suite was extremely comfortable? Either way I felt very at ease as soon as we were greeted at the door of the hotel by a very friendly doorman and a very charming receptionist. The present owners, Peter and Deborah Hinchcliffe, bought the hotel in 2002, and after an extensive 18-month redecoration process transformed Alexander House into the elegant, stylish, luxury hotel it is today. 6
Four years later, in 2006, Alexander House Hotel proudly opened its flagship Utopia Spa, which doubled the size of the hotel, and is today recognised as one of England's finest destination spas. The hotel has 39 bedrooms and suites, 20 on the spa side that are named after trees, and 19 on the traditional side, named after places such as Goodwood and Edinburgh, as well as a new 2 bedroom luxury serviced lodge. It is also in the process of developing 19 new luxury suites which will be eco friendly and will have a grass roof. This development can be viewed as you drive into the hotel and should be completed towards the end of this year. The bedrooms are individually designed, perfectly balancing comfort and style. The beds are incredibly comfortable and you will definitely get a good night’s sleep in them! You can truly indulge your senses in their lavish spacious bathrooms,
tastefully decorated with Marble, Granite and Limestone. Many of their bathrooms feature traditional Victorian Baths and two person tubs and showers, which brings the spa luxury to your room. Alexander House is set in 120 acres, perfect for joggers and walkers alike, and has an outdoor tennis court and outdoor Jacuzzi that is built in a pretty courtyard. Although very much a leisure hotel, the hotel does have 5 dedicated Meeting Rooms that can accommodate meetings from 2 – 120 delegates. The hotel’s new 1608 Champagne Bar had an official opening in February 2014. The bar, which replaces the hotel’s famous Library, has been completely transformed from two rooms of moody oak into a stylish Champagne and cocktail bar. Despite its glamorous makeover, this modern space still captures plenty of the room’s original heritage and historic charm. The dramatic
fireplace and century old books keep their respected homes and blend perfectly with the new tones of delicious green and hues of pebble grey. While a choice of comfortable seating options beckon guests, the bar itself is an impressive masterpiece – in both looks and beverage variety. Radiant lighting and polished mirrors create a striking backdrop for the impressive selection of Champagne, spirits, blends and whisky’s lining the shelves; from the unexpected and unknown to the wildly original, this is no typical bar! The hotel has two restaurants – AG’s, the formal dining restaurant offering fine dining with locally sourced produce, and Reflections, which is brasserie style and is where breakfast is taken and overlooks an outdoor fire pit. During out stay we chose the tasting menu in AG’s, which started with a selection of canapés that included squirrel! I had to say that initially I thought the waiter was joking, but after several minutes of contemplation I decided to put my adventurous hat on and I was not disappointed. That is not to say the squirrels in my garden need to be worried, as I have tried it once, and it was a small amount, deep fried, but I was very proud of myself for trying, and enjoying it! The squirrel was sourced on the estate, so they definitely do source local produce! Our courses were paired with delicious wines chosen by the Sommelier, and each matched the courses perfectly, ensuring we had a thoroughly enjoyable dining experience. The Spa comprises an indoor pool, hydrotherapy pool, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzi and 35 treatment rooms. There is a wonderful selection of treatments to choose from. I had a massage and reflexology, which was so relaxing I almost fell asleep! There are comfortable loungers around the outdoor Jacuzzi and swimming pool and a steam room and sauna in the men’s changing rooms. Each of the three pools present you with their own unique therapeutic qualities. Here, water is key to your idyllic spa experience. There are Sauna and Steam rooms and a Monsoon Shower to wash away your cares, although I have to say any cares we may have had completely disappeared on arrival at the hotel! If you are looking for a relaxing spa experience, in modern comfort, then the Alexander House Hotel could be what you are looking for. ■ The Alexander House Hotel, East Street, Turner’s Hill, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 4QD Telephone: 01342 714914 Website: www.slh.com/AlexanderHouseHotel 7
Theatre Paul Kemp in Ghost Stories Photographer Dan Wooller
Some Reviews Of London's Theatre by Jackie Atkins & Lydia Parker GHOST STORIES Ghost Stories, first performed in London at the Lyric Hammersmith, before transferring to the Duke of York Theatre in 2010, has now returned to London’s Arts Theatre, a building that appears almost perfect for this production. Ghost Stories was originally written by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman, who also produce the show along with Sean Holmes. This trio are obviously lovers of ghost stories, which is clearly reflected in this production. From the very start there are sudden shocks, and a continuous feeling of tension throughout. The evening begins with a parapsychologist, superbly performed by Paul Kemp, lecturing on the plausibility of reported ghostly apparitions, and takes us through three stories which he has investigated but still puzzle him. The first story takes place during a Night Watchman’s shift, the second during a drive home through the woods at night, and the last 8
involving a poltergeist in a nursery. All three stories are enhanced by the excellent acting and set designs that keep the audience gripped. The growing agitation of the parapsychologist, as each story is performed, also keeps us intrigued. The ending, however, cannot be revealed, but be assured it is a brilliant final twist, making you rethink all you have seen before. Humour is expertly weaved throughout
the production, so whether it’s fear or fun you’re looking for, both are here, making this a truly entertaining experience. The production lasts for eighty minutes, with no interval, so as to keep the momentum going - you’ll leave either laughing or screaming – you have been warned! Ghost Stories, The Arts Theatre, Great Newport Street, London, WC2H 7JB Box Office: 020 7836 8463
Philip Whitchurch in Ghost Stories Photographer Dan Wooller
The Commitments - Centre shot, clockwise - Steph McKeon, Sarah O'Connor, Jessica Cervi, Killian Donnelly
RODDY DOYLE’S THE COMMITMENTS This new stage version of Roddy Doyle’s novel, set in 1986 Dublin is a joy from beginning to end. Fans of the 1991 film directed by Alan Parker may be disappointed only in that unlike the film, it has a happy ending. True to its gritty roots, the play takes place on a council estate in a rundown neighbourhood, beautifully conveyed by Soutra Gilmour’s versatile set where the world is limited to a café, a laundrette, a community hall and a garage (although a slaughterhouse is also brought in!). The Commitments tells the story of young Jimmy Rabitte who is in love with American soul music and wants to create and manage his own band. His supportive family put up with his friends and bandmates trooping in and out of the house, playing loud Stevie Wonder and Wilson Pickett on the record player. Piecing together a rag tag band of friends and auditionees, including Joey the Lips Fagin who claims to have played with Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye and James Brown, Jimmy soon has his group. The lead singer, Deco, is a pig, singing with a mouthful of chips and constantly picking his nose, but has the voice of a Motown star. The girls, brought in for the glamour, fare less well but with enough practice, and much attention from Joey the Lips, they soon improve to compete with Deco for the limelight. The grim reality of the working class of Dublin in 1986 is only touched upon- Billy is told off for smoking hash at a rehearsal as Derek’s brother had a drug problem. The band gets a gig at the bingo hall by saying it’s an anti-heroin campaign. Violent Mickah, who is hired as a sort of bouncer, looks and behaves like a skin head but is very loyal and really just wants to be part of the band, ending
up as their Animal- like drummer. The wonderful thing about this version of The Commitments is that it is a musical that feels like a play. In the first act a lot of the great soul hits are played scrappily, cut off in the middle or sung badly as the group learns to be a band in Joey’s mother’s garage. As their skills improve and they start to get actual gigs, the music comes pouring out, and the audience roots for them to succeed. By the finale, the audience could no longer contain themselves and were up on their feet dancing and absolutely loving the characters they had got to know during the course of the play. It wouldn’t be giving anything away to say that although the band does implode as in the original story, just when they are about to be offered a recording contract, the ending is less depressing and more like a party. Credit must go to director Jamie Lloyd, who gives the play a messy, natural feel even while delivering tight musical numbers. Roddy Doyle himself wrote the book, preserving his own unique dialogue. The performers were excellent, worked well together as a group and many of the cast managed to slip in and out of several ensemble roles with ease. Denis Grindell was bursting with excitement and energy as Jimmy Rabitte, Ben Fox shone as the newly religious but still randy Joey the Lips, Joe Woolmer managed to be both hilarious and dangerous as Mickah, and Killian Donnelly was a stand out in every way as the occasionally repellent Deco. The wiry, physical actor could not have been further from the famous Deco of The Commitments film, Andrew Strong, who was more confrontational and obnoxious. This Deco just has no interest in social conventions and lives his life how he wants to. He is odd and eccentric rather than dislikeable. Mr Donnelly has an exceptional voice and with the very talented Jessica Cervi,
Stephanie McKeon and Sarah O’Connor, gave the audience their money’s worth of searing Irish soul music. Audience members were happily singing and still dancing on the way out. The Commitments The Palace Theatre, 109-113 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 5AY Box Office: 0844 874 0790 THE WEIR Another wonderful yet completely different play about Ireland, The Weir, has been revived by the Donmar Warehouse and has now transferred to the West End. The 1997 award winning play was Conor McPherson’s first big hit, much lauded in both London and New York. This production is everything The Commitments isn’t: it revels in silences, long monologues and stories, and the quietness of life in rural County Leitrim in western Ireland. The play opens with gruff garage owner Jack, helping himself to a beer in the pub and carefully paying his money into the till. The larger than life Jack is soon joined by pub landlord, Brendan, a handsome and shy man who seems middle aged before his time. Their friend Jim arrives, taking time off from caring for his ill mother who has been at death’s door for years. The three gossip about Finbar who is showing round Valerie, an attractive newcomer from Dublin, a “blow in.” These three bachelors find it extremely unfair that married Finbar, a hotel owner who “got out” to Carrick, is allowed to lavish his inappropriate attentions on this beautiful woman. Finbar, almost a bigger character than Jack and one who often nearly comes to blows with him, fancies himself a man of the world, the only one sophisticated enough to talk to the lovely Valerie. The other men try desperately to impress her - when she asks for a glass of wine, Brendan digs out an old bottle from his house 9
and then proceeds to pour half of it into a pint glass which Valerie politely sips. This prompts Finbar to say “good girl!” a phrase he also uses to approve of her smoking, even though he doesn’t smoke himself. The play makes use of many every day, meaningless expressions that are used to fill silences. As the men try to find something to tell Valerie about the area, they end up talking about the Fairy Road, a road built over the domain of fairies which leads Jack into telling a long story about a the mother of a woman who used to drink in the pub who heard mysterious knocking in the middle of the night which only stopped when the priest came to bless the house. As the pint glasses are refilled and shots of whiskey drunk, “a small one”, the ghost stories get more spooky with Jim’s tale of an apparition at a graveyard and Finbar’s account of a strange woman on the stairs, which so shook him he left town. Instead of finding the men ridiculous, Valerie is drawn into their stories and relates her own traumatic tale, which so shakes the men that they are almost speechless, except for the hilarious Jim who suggests that a ghostly phone call may have been a wrong number. This is a beautifully written play which invites the audience into its world where little things matter, where everyone has known each other and every detail of each other’s lives
The Weir at the Wyndham's Theatre 2014. Photo by Tristram Kenton
forever. With the wind blowing emptiness and loneliness it becomes believable that all of these ghost stories are true. All of the actors deserve a special mention. Brian Cox is outstanding as Jack, a man who seems dedicated to drinking and spinning stories but actually hides a deep loneliness and a love for his friends. Ardal O’Hanlon, best known for TV series Father Ted, plays Jim as a man whom life has just passed by but manages to keep a wry sense of humour and quiet cheerfulness. Risteard Cooper is excellent as Finbar, who so wishes to be extraordinary but just ends up looking foolish. Peter McDonald hits the right note as the quiet Brendan, whom Jack keeps trying to match up with Valerie. He feels at a dead
end in his pub, where the only liveliness is the flood of German tourists each summer, but he hasn’t known any other life to which he can aspire. Dervla Kirwan is very moving as Valerie, a generous, non-judgemental woman who is trying to escape a very recent tragedy. The performances are held together by the sensitive direction of Josie Rourke, artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse. This is a play that requires patience, it is nearly two hours long with no interval, but offers singular rewards. It only has a twelve week run so rush to see it while you can. The Weir by Conor McPherson Wyndham’s Theatre, Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0DA Box Office: 0844 4825138 ■
Education The Connection Between Multiculturalism, Creativity And International Mindedness Linda LaPine, Head of School at ACS Hillingdon International School, examines the connection between multiculturalism and creativity, specifically looking at how this can benefit students both within higher education and future employment
he most recent census recorded over 100,000 expats from the United States living in the United Kingdom. Considered in conjunction with the latest ACS University Admissions Officers Report
2013, which showed that 79 per cent of American university admissions officers saw UK students as a key target audience for potential enrolment, the requirement for an educational bridge is clear to see. This exchange of students, however, is just part of a bigger global picture in which resources, knowledge, and workforces are shared throughout the world both physically and virtually. It is increasingly important to expose children to diverse environments that reflect the complexity of international mindedness. Improving studentsâ€™ cultural literacy, the ability to understand and participate fluently in any given culture, is an essential part of preparing them for later life. Bringing up a child in a multicultural environment, such as that found in the UK, fosters intercultural co-operation and aids in developing an ability to overcome cultural barriers, attributes key within international employment opportunities. International qualifications, such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) or the Advanced Placement (AP) Programme, promote the development of these attributes by offering a flexible approach to education that harnesses the multicultural diversity of the student body. The AP programme, for example, is a demanding and rewarding curriculum, recognised by universities in over sixty countries worldwide in their admission processes, including many in the UK and the US. Students who have studied the AP within an international environment graduate with skills such as working collaboratively and speaking publicly, highly sought after by international employers. Similarly, the International Baccalaureate programmes, Primary Years, Middle Years and the IB Diploma, are taught all over the world with a curriculum developed to reflect global diversity. For example, common themes such as war or poverty will be broadly
analysed within the context of many different nations, showing how they have impacted different cultures. Exposure to the differences in cultures from an early age helps embed international mindedness within students. The ability to synthesise cultural differences and opinions is a building block of creativity, as it encourages students to think independently and make new connections between different schools of thought. This quality is something that benefits students throughout their life, allowing them to be confident in their opinions and innovative in their actions. In fact, in last yearâ€™s University Admissions Officers Report, 72 per cent of university admissions officers said they actively looked for an ability to think independently amongst university applicants. Imbuing students with research skills, curiosity and independent thought, is inextricably linked to establishing a creative mindset. This combination of open mindedness, in conjunction with a strong emphasis on personal development and independent thought, lies at the heart of both the IB programme and ACS International Schools. In a marketplace in which individuals will inevitably be required to work with people of many different nationalities, it is essential that the skills required to navigate these often complex socio-cultural landscapes are learnt at an early age. Whilst cultural fluency is vitally important, the global citizenship that the IB and AP programmes cultivates is equally important for both personal development and in aid of furthering the students understanding of global issues and their ability to effect them.
Linda LaPine, Head of School at ACS Hillingdon International School www.acs-schools.com
American Women’s Clubs News AMERICAN WOMEN'S CLUB OF LONDON Spring, glorious spring! After the endless rain of this winter one looks forward to the longer days and soft breezes of spring. As the flowers and leaves open themselves to the increasing warmth of each day, spring is a wonderful time to open yourself up to new experiences and social interaction. The American Women’s Club of London offers numerous opportunities to try new things, meet new friends and get to know London and its surrounding areas in the fresh light of spring. One of the easiest ways to begin the week is to join in with the MMC, Monday Morning Coffee, meetings each Monday at 10:30am where an ever changing group of ladies meets for a cup of coffee at various venues throughout the city. 12
Stoke on Trent Day Trip
A quick check of the AWC website, www. awclondon.org, will let you know where to meet up. Spring is also the time for one of the most important events of the year for the AWC, our annual Founder’s Day celebration. This year will be a world class celebration at The Charing Cross Hotel on the Strand on Thursday, 10 April for an “Around the World Tea”. Founders Day is our largest fundraising event of the year but also a time to honour the traditions of the club, and the women who had the vision to start the club, and those who continue it’s mission. You don’t even need to be a member to join in the celebration so please contact the club to get your ticket and join us on 10 April! In the spirit of embracing new cultures and experiences the travel group has recently returned from an adventurous 10 day trip
exploring both the ancient and modern wonders of China. This spring we’ve got two additional trips planned. Our first, over the bank holiday weekend from 23 to 26 May, sees us heading to the exotic city of Istanbul. The second is a four day trip to the “Jewel of the Adriatic Sea”, Dubrovnik, Croatia, from Monday, 9 June - Friday, 13 June. Many of our events do occur during the day but we’re always adding evening and weekend events and are actively looking for members and potential members to organise new activities. The Business Women’s Group holds regular networking meetings and schedules speakers and workshops to help understand the transition into the British workplace. Our regular Afternoon Drinks event, every Thursday at 4:30pm at 11 Pimlico, often works for those who have a flexible schedule at work. Wine Tastings, Drinks and Nibbles, and
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Celebrating the Chinese New Year
Hikes are often scheduled on the weekends and partners are always welcomed. We have a very active closed Facebook group that is extremely helpful as a resource for vetting services, getting travel advice and finding out about many last minute get togethers, as well as just meeting other Americans living in and around London. We host our monthly new member coffee meetings the third Tuesday of each month at the AWC offices at 68 Old Brompton Road, SW7 3LQ at 10am. Join us on 15 April, 20 May, and 17 June. No RSVP necessary, just show up ready to meet fellow newcomers and more seasoned members to answer any questions you may have about settling and living as an expat. Call the office at 0207 5898292 on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday from 10-2 if you need directions or have any questions. Our March monthly meeting will feature Kate Nightingale, a style psychologist, who will discuss how to interpret the dress codes for upcoming events during the social “season”.
We will be meeting at the Lansdowne Club, 9 Fitzmaurice Place, W1J 5JD, at 10am for a coffee and browse through a few local vendor’s wares before our speaker’s presentation, followed by lunch in a nearby restaurant. The April meeting is our Annual General Meeting at the Royal Thames Yacht Club where officers are elected and club business is attended to, we celebrate a year well run with a toast of bubbly! Give the AWC a test drive, come in for a new members coffee, join us at a monthly Meeting and try out a couple of events, we’re confident you’ll join us to give yourself a comforting touchstone while you expand and explore during your expatriate experience. CHILTERNS AMERICAN WOMEN’S CLUB Chiltern American Women’s Club Donates over £13,200 to Local Charities The Buckinghamshire Golf Club, February 13, 2014 The Chilterns American Women’s Club opened
its doors to over 800 people this year to raise money for the Epilepsy Society and HESTIA. This year the CAWC had a very successful and profitable Charity Christmas Bazaar! With over 55 outstanding specialty vendors, crafters, and local artisans, we were able to raise over £13,200 towards our chosen charities. At our meeting on February 13, we presented a cheque to the Epilepsy Society for £6,630.70. The Epilepsy Society connects and supports people through a range of charitable services, including a confidential epilepsy helpline, online epilepsy forum, epilepsy campaigns and awareness raising, epilepsy information, website, magazines and e-newsletters, and epilepsy information clinics in hospitals. HESTIA also received a cheque for £6,630.70. HESTIA stands for Housing and Support for Women and Children Survivors of Domestic Violence, and provides a network of domestic violence refuges which offer a place of safety for over 600 women and children each year. The aim is to help them to recover from the trauma of domestic violence through participating in fun, healthy and educational group activities. The activities are devised and led by trained Children and Family workers, who have extensive experience of supporting traumatised children and their mothers. HESTIA can ensure that the children in the refuges have a valuable opportunity to socialise and reconnect with other children, helping to put them on the path to long-term recovery. The excitement and energy that comes each year with our CAWC Bazaar always rests on the shoulders of a few super individuals. Thank you to our Christmas Bazaar Co-Chairwomen, Maureen Rice and Pam Showalter. Their hard work and determination to make The Christmas Bazaar successful really paid off! Also, a big thank you to our CAWC President Robin Smirnov. The CAWC is an active group of over 120 expatriate individuals from all over the world. We provide assistance to newcomers in Britain. A very important part of the club is to give back to the community. We are proud to have raised over £230,000 for local charities over the past 20 years with our annual Christmas Bazaar and look to do much more in the future! Visit us at www. cawc.co.uk. AMERICAN EXPATS IN THE NW A small group of us got together again to invade Viet Nam, not really but 11 of us did go to the Viet Village in Bury Lancashire for a meal and a laugh. We are a group of mostly Americans; yes we do have an Australian couple and also a
lady that worked for the US Government in London. We come from all walks of life for a meal out about every 6 weeks and we try to change the venue. With the drinks flowing, we have a great time with lots of laughter. Our next event is scheduled for May 17th at a BBQ place in Manchester. For more info contact Jay Lieberman via email at American_expats_nw@talktalk.net and include your phone number if you would like a return call. Hope to see you there! A SPLENDID SPRING FOR THE JUNIOR LEAGUE OF LONDON! 2014 has been a busy and exciting year so far for the Junior League of London (JLL), with more exciting events and activities to come. Starting in January, we welcomed a fantastic group of women to our Spring New Member 2014 class. On 5 February, a group of JLL women and guests participated in the “bell ringing” ceremony at the London Stock Exchange. In February, we also launched a poverty awareness campaign called the Little Black Dress Initiative. During the week of 17-21
February, 29 Junior League women wore a black dress for five days to illustrate the effects poverty has on access to resources, confidence and employment opportunities. During the week, we also collected clothing donations for SmartWorks, one of our partner charities. SmartWorks provides professional clothing for low-income women. The outpouring of support for the JLL’s first-ever Little Black Dress Initiative was incredible. By the week’s end, more than £16,000 had been raised for the JLL. On 5 April, JLL volunteers will participate in our 3rd Annual All Service Day. Teaming up with our community partners, volunteers will take on projects across London focused on eliminating poverty and its effects. We are also looking forward to our Masquerade Charity Ball on 12 April. This exciting event will be held at Shakespeare’s Globe in their Underglobe event space. Guests will be treated to an evening of food, wine, music and a chance to win some incredible prizes. VIP tickets are available at £145 and standard tickets are £110. More details on our events and community programmes can be found by visiting www.jll.org.uk
FAWCO JOB OPPORTUNITIES TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING SURVIVORS On March 18, 2014, at the FAWCO Interim Conference in Brussels, Belgium, FAWCO announced Free The Girls as the chosen beneficiary organisation of the FAWCO Target Programme: Human Rights for Women. “Financial security provides one of the greatest means for reintegration into society. By offering safe employment opportunities, we can help restore dignity and bring hope to survivors of human trafficking,” commented Johanna Dishongh, FAWCO Target Programme Chair. Free The Girls, 501(c)(3) headquartered in Denver, CO, is currently working in Mozambique, Uganda and El Salvador assisting trafficking survivors to set up microenterprises in the second-hand clothing markets prevalent in developing countries. The women sell bras donated by women and industry partners in North America and Europe. The FAWCO Target Project will create the infrastructure necessary to support the recent move into Uganda and El Salvador, as well as planned future expansion of programmes to Lesotho and Mexico. The FAWCO Target Programme was initiated to unite the power of almost 12,000 individual members of the 64 FAWCO Member Clubs in 33 countries to make a significant and sustainable impact on critical issues that support the effort to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals. FAWCO, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) with consultative status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, is a network of independent American and international volunteer organisations. The FAWCO Foundation is a full partner in the Target Programme and serves as the fundraising body for the Target Project. Both FAWCO and The FAWCO Foundation are US 501(c)(3) registered charities. Fo r more information see www.FAWCO.org The artwork (pictured right) has been donated by the renowned French artist Christian de Laubadère, whose collection of works, “The Necks” depict the nape of the neck, as a powerful symbol of strength and femininity. This fundraising logo has been emblazed on Scarves, handbags, silver jewellery and other items and can be purchased with our lovely logo at www.FAWCO.Org, under Target Programme: Human Rights for Women. Actual size is 153 x 73 cm. ! www.christiandelaubadere. This is the fundraising logo for the year. Scarves, handbags and silver jewellery can be 16
purchased with this lovely logo at FAWCO. Org, under Target Programme. AMERICAN WOMEN OF SURREY & FREE THE GIRLS Since September 2013 AWS has been busy promoting a charitable programme called “Free the Girls”, which gives girls a chance out of sex trafficking/slave life. Once rescued from trafficking the girls need a way to support themselves and their family. Free the Girls, collects bras and sends them to their many suppliers and safe houses in several countries for the girls to sell. This teaches the girls how to run a business, manage their inventory. Eventually the girls have gained enough experience and self-respect that they find their way back into society. www.Freethegirls.org Catherine Marland, AWS FAWCO Rep, Cobham, Surrey initiated this American based programme in September which was soon adopted by the UK and regions; Surrey, Chilterns, Ireland, Scotland, London based clubs. Catherine reports, “Due to massive
shipping charges I have been storing the bras until my husband takes a trip to The US, at which point I give him a suitcase filled of the UK’s best to mail once stateside to the sorting state Indiana.” FAWCO was in the process of looking for a Target Program encompassing Human Rights for Women, that 64 clubs in 33 countries can to contribute financially, therefore improving the life of women. Catherine Marland submitted “Free the Girls” to FAWCO for consideration by the FAWCO Foundation Board, FAWCO Board and its’ 64 voting clubs. Free The Girls: Stop Human Trafficking was the overwhelming choice of the 53 (out of 64) FAWCO Member Clubs who cast a vote. This important FAWCO programme has intrigued a private donor who will match club contributions up to 10K, until June, with a separate benefactor matching individual donations up to 5K. If you would like to get involved, or make a donation, please contact Catherine at AWSFAWCOREP@AWSurrey.org. ■
Property Focus On Living in Ascot
here is so much more to Ascot than horse racing and hats. This relaxed and leafy Berkshire town is one of the most attractive locations in the UK, a rare example of a peaceful setting within easy reach of London. Of course, Ascot is most famous for its racing. The world tunes in every year to witness the decadence of Royal Week, which is the centrepiece of Ascot’s year. Royal Ascot is one of the most famous race meetings and dates back to 1711 when it was founded by Queen Anne. Arriving in horse-drawn carriages, HM Elizabeth II and various members of the British Royal Family such as The Prince of Wales lead the Royal procession at the start of each race day prior to the raising of the Queen's Royal Standard. The town comes alive in a flurry of ostrich feathers and top hats. It is a major event in the British social calendar, and press coverage of the attendees and what they are wearing can often exceed coverage of the actual racing! 18
Yet, away from the races, Ascot and the surrounding area is warm and lively, with plenty of shops and restaurants. There are an abundance of great venues offering everything from jazz bars to boutiques. It's the ideal place for a delicious meal on a summer's evening, or a quiet drink in a local pub. From health spas and nature trails, to live music and fine dining, there are endless attractions to discover in and around Ascot. Wentworth, one of the world's great golf courses, is just a short drive away, while the historic town of Windsor is Ascot's impressively regal neighbour. There is polo at Smiths Lawn and The Royal Berkshire, and extensive walking and riding in Windsor Great Park. Like neighbouring Virginia Water and Sunningdale, Ascot is noted for its magnificent displays of trees and flowering shrubs. It is easy to see why property in this area is some of the most sought after in the south of England. Lying just six miles from Windsor Castle, Ascot was originally called East Cote, meaning 'Eastern Cottage'. The town developed from its racing routes, with the railway opening in 1845 to serve the racecourse and the increasingly commercial town. Once here, many of the popular amenities are all within easy reach. Schooling in the area is excellent with a wide variety of exceptional schools such as Charters, Papplewick, Bishopsgate, St George’s, St John’s Beaumont and the two international schools; TASIS and ACS.
Ascot and the surrounding areas offer a great variety of apartments and houses to suit all budgets and tastes. Currently our available housing stock offers an impressive selection of property, from cute country cottages, modern detached family houses to palatial mansions and estates. There are many modern one and two bedroom apartments locally, from the landmark development; Grand Regency Heights overlooking Ascot Racecourse where apartments rent from £1000 to £2500 per month, to the luxurious development found at Charters where residents can enjoy the ultimate lifestyle with benefits such as the residents spa, swimming pool, gym, tennis courts and concierge. There is a choice of gated communities in the area, which are very popular with international families. They offer an instant social community to those arriving in the area for the first time, with their neighbours probably having undertaken the same move in the past. As an example, a four to five bedroom house will rent from between £4000 to £5000 per calendar month. With the onset of the spring-summer rental market, various agents are already experiencing the signs of what looks to be an active summer. Enquiries are being received from international families looking to make the area their home from the summer of 2014. Many are in the process of securing school
places for their children and in doing so, also need to ensure they are actively searching for a suitable rental property. Gordon Hood, Head of Lettings at Knight Frank Ascot, comments â€˜We have seen corporate activity increase by 56% over the previous year and signs are here for a good spring/summer market for 2014. There has always been a very diverse mix of renters attracted to the local area. In line with the new school year, we see an influx of international families relocating to the area, having secured places at one of the local schools. Families will start to secure their homes from March onwardsâ€™. If you are looking to move, it would be wise to start making enquiries to see what properties will be available and to register your search requirements early. Gordon comments further on Knight Frankâ€™s experience of the market; â€˜Also 25% of our tenancies since April 2013 have been to Tenants renting in the area (mostly from London) to try the area before they purchaseâ€™. GETTING HERE Roads t. + NJMFT t. + NJMFT t.NJMFT t"NJMF
Rail t"TDPUUP8BUFSMPPGSFRVFOUUSBJOTUBLJOH less than 1 hour t"TDPUUP3FBEJOHGSFRVFOUUSBJOTUBLJOHMFTT than 30 minutes Air t5FSNJOBM )FBUISPXBJSQPSUNJMFT t(BUXJDLBJSQPSUNJMFT *All times and distances are approximate
For further information, please contact: Gordon Hood DipSurvPract FNAEA MARLA, Department/Office Head, Residential Lettings, 01344 299399 firstname.lastname@example.org Knight Frank LLP is the leading independent global property consultancy. Headquartered in London, Knight Frank and its New York-based global partner, Newmark Knight Frank, operate from 242 offices, in 43 countries, across six continents. More than 7,067 professionals handle in excess of US$817 billion (ÂŁ498 billion) worth of commercial, agricultural and residential real estate annually, advising clients ranging from individual owners and buyers to major developers, investors and corporate tenants. For further information about the Company, please visit www.knightfrank.com.
Top Tens Small but Perfectly Formed: Top of the Shops by Judith Schrut
hen Napoleon famously called Britain a nation of shopkeepers it wasn’t meant to be a compliment. Nonetheless, Brits have embraced the phrase as their own and something to be proud of. Like the USA, Britain boasts a great tradition of ‘Ma and Pa’ stores, where ordinary folk earned an honest living and put the whole family to work, rising early and finishing late to ply their wares and better their lot. Small specialist stores have long been part of the British shop-scape, although nowadays you may have to look a little harder to find the gems. In this issue’s Top Tens we salute our pick of these small but perfectly formed treasures.
1. ART WITH HEART From prehistoric cave art to wood carving, we humans have followed our urge to paint, decorate, gouge, tattoo or self-bejewel for time immemorial. No doubt our ancient ancestors would have appreciated a branch cave of Cass Art in their neighbourhood. For the past 30 years this top specialist arts store, with its uplifting motto “Let’s fill this town with artists”, has been on an unabashed mission to furnish art, stationery and craft supplies to Britain’s creative masses. Founding father Mark Cass comes from a family with deep art connections, 20
Cass Art, Islington
going back generations to Great Uncle Paul, entrepreneurial art dealer and champion to the French Impressionists. More recently the Cass family founded Image Bank UK and the influential Cass Sculpture Foundation. With six London shops, a huge online warehouse and new stores planned across the UK, Cass Art prides itself on price, range, quality and, most importantly, fun. Whether you’re a honed hobbyist, budding Botticelli or just looking for something crafty for that rainy day, you’ll find whatever your arty heart desires here. The best place to start is the flagship Islington store where you’ll gaze in imaginative wonder at the smorgasbord of sketchbooks and spray paints, glitters and glues, pens, pastels, papers and art kits displayed over three vast floors, from a top floor crammed with frames, canvasses and mini-manikins to a basement devoted entirely to kids. You’ll also find a full calendar of talks, shows and creative activities for all ages and bulletin boards with competitions, courses and items for sale. Look out too for Cass Art’s famed 80%-off sales, special offers and price matching guarantee as well as its knowledgeable and passionate staff, all of whom are artists themselves. Further information: www.cassart.co.uk 2. BODACIOUS BROLLIES James Smith & Sons has been making and selling umbrellas, walking sticks and canes since Victorian times and is the oldest shop of
its kind in the world. This beautiful shop at the less fashionable end of London’s Oxford Street is an invitation to step back in time, with its original frontage and fittings unaltered since it opened almost 200 years ago. Smith & Sons has always been a family business where the rich, famous and wet of the day have shopped for their essential brollies and sticks. The original Mr Smith made all his goods in a workshop out back. A select bespoke few are handmade there still, although today’s stock is mostly factory produced. But what an incredible variety that is! There are umbrellas of all shapes, sizes and materials, from solid sticks, fit ups and handmade classics to tartan folders, Malacca cane crooks and several more intriguing items like a Knirps Pocketsized Fiber Automatic. There’s a tasty range of animal headed umbrellas cats, ducks, blue crystal parrots and an adorable ruffled owl for ladies; toucans, snakes and dinosaurs for gents. You’ll find a jolly nice line in carved
Umbrellas for all types of rain, photo courtesy James Smith & Sons
wooden Sherlock Holmes brollies complete with pipe and deerstalker hat, enjoying particularly brisk popularity of late thanks to BBC’s Sherlock. If you yearn for a bespoke brolly but come from a land of little rain, do not despair. Smith & Son’s staff will eagerly guide you through the shop’s lovely range of Sunbrellas, including a charming classic white frilly ruffled number embroidered with the elegant James Smith logo. If you prefer rambles to rain, the shop’s walking stick collection is full of delights: handmade sticks in every wood imaginable, with gizmos and gadgets and heights to order, sticks with corkscrews or secret dice compartments, drinking sticks complete with two glasses and tiny flask, and a tempting contraption known as a hillrest seatstick- a folding cane with a comfy padded seat ready to open out when you’ve reached that scenic mountaintop. There’s even a pipestick, whose handle unscrews to form a briar pipe- a perfect match for that Sherlock Holmes umbrella. Further information: www.james-smith.co.uk 3. GIVE THANKS FOR HANKS Longing for the rock guitar of your dreams? A Gibson Jimi Hendrix Psychedelic Flying V maybe? Lusting after that vintage Marshall amplifier or handbuilt Germanium fuzz pedal, or have a spare 1960’s Fender Stratocaster you need valued? Or just fancy a go on an Ibanez Joe Satriani Silver Surfer? Look no further than Hanks Guitar Shop. A guitar lover’s paradise, Hanks inhabits one of the oldest buildings on legendary Denmark Street, London’s Tin Pan Alley and home to many of Britain’s most famous songwriters, musicians and music publishers. Shane and his merry band at Hanks Guitars
The Sex Pistols lived and recorded above Number 6 and the Kinks, Rolling Stones and Donovan are amongst those who bought their first instrument or made historic recordings in studios along this street, most now long gone. The tiny shop’s four space-defying floors hum with hundreds of acoustic, electric, classical and vintage guitars from all over the world. They hang from every square inch of wall, ceiling, door or floor space, just waiting to be stroked, taken home and loved. You’ll also find amps, capos, strings, straps, mandolins and banjos, as well as some adorable ukuleles in a rainbow of colours. Even the shop’s wallpaper invites you to walk down British rock history memory lane. Hanks caters for all budgets and tastes. Its most popular seller is a very affordable Brian May, but many customers are looking for unique models like the acoustic Elvis Presley with its elegant rosewood body, leather scalloped braces and Elvis silhouette inlaid in pearl. Hanks prides itself on being a real shop for real people with human values, so whether you’re searching for your very first Stratocaster or something rather more special, manager Shane and his merry band of passionate, friendly staff promise to find it for you. Shane confessed that his biggest thrill is starting customers off on their journey into guitar playing (and lessons are available on site). Staff are always on the look out to purchase, display and sell interesting guitars. Unsurprisingly, plenty of celebrity customers visit Hanks every week. We understand Johnny Depp, Peter Frampton and Arcade Fire have all popped by recently for a serious strum or to pick up a plectrum. Further information: www.hanksguitarshop.com
Sensational scents from Angela Flanders Perfumers, Spitalfields
4. SENSATIONAL SCENTS A few years ago, archaeologists in Cyprus uncovered the world’s oldest perfumery, dating back 4000 years. Although not quite so ancient, the traditional art of perfumemaking in London’s East End is a long and strong one. Angela Flanders has been creating her unique handmade perfumes along traditional lines for over 25 years. You’ll sense Angela’s powerful personality and spirit the moment you walk into either of her two East End shops, lovingly restored to reflect their Victorian origins, or wear one of her perfumes. Customers are utterly spoilt for choice with over 40 original fragrances from which to choose, each the product of Angela’s imagination and energy, blended and made with her own hands. Many are born from her passion for history and inspired by historical events or old perfume recipes. Tuberose and jasmine-rich Precious One is a particular customer favourite and has won awards in the perfume world. For spring and summer, Angela’s citruses and florals are especially popular, scents like Mandarin and Mint, made from 100% natural essential oils and based on a medieval recipe, or Millefleur, a summer’s day in a bouquet of roses, violets and lavender. For winter there are deeper, sweeter orientals and woods such as Cashmere Noire or the extraordinary Aqua Alba, an innovative and intriguing blend which evokes heather, honey, cool forests and peat smoke. If you find it challenging to choose from this stunning collection, Angela’s sample service or a private consultation can help find your perfect scent. Angela has also created a luxurious home range including traditional French moth bags, a blend of spices and herb oils laced with a fragrant mist, gorgeous linen, room and pillow sprays and exceptional perfumed candles. Customers will find some alluring treats 21
from Angela in 2014, such as her latest perfume, Breath of Hope, its uplifting florals inspired by a friend’s poem. And we are thrilled Angela chose to share exclusively with American in Britain readers that, in dedication to a burgeoning male clientele, her focus this year will be on men, including a trilogy of new masculine fragrances “just for the boys”. Further information: www.angelaflanders-perfumer.com 5. ALL THE TRIMMINGS What could Captain James Cook, ex-US President Harry Truman, and Robinson Crusoe author Daniel Defoe possibly have in common? Give up? The answer is haberdashery. This impressive word is not heard much nowadays, but back in the Middle Ages haberdashers were one of the most important guilds in town. Haberdashers were everywhere, supplying the medieval world with needles and pins, ribbons and beads, purses, gloves and trim. The Worshipful Company of Haberdashers remains one of London’s top livery companies although its role is now mainly charitable. Fortunately for today’s haberdashery hounds there’s VV Rouleaux, an enchanting shop in London’s Marylebone Village. VVR, as it’s affectionately known, has the biggest selection of ribbons and trimming in Europe as well as being a treasure trove for feathers, flowers, tassels and textile bits and bobs from the four corners of the haberdashery world. Founder Annabel Lewis and her fabulous staff are clearly passionate about colour, and on the damp, dull winter’s day of our visit the shop was a joyous refuge of colour and light. Starting working life as a florist, Annabel got
Rejoicing with ribbons at VV Rouleaux, Marylebone
fed up waking at 3.30 every morning to go to the market to buy flowers, so decided to open a shop selling the best selection of ribbons in as many shades, textures and types as she could find. Ribbon lovers can choose from VVR’s top selling grosgrain (ribbed) ribbon in 45 colours and 6 widths to satin ribbon in 80 colours and 9 widths. You’ll also find velvets, suedes, organdies and wire edged trim. For weddings, VVR’s luxurious silk satin offerings in 20 colours and 7 widths are irresistible, and stylish hats, headdresses and masks can all be made to order. VVR has become shop of choice for ribbons and trimmings for theatre, TV and film productions especially period pieces. Its haberdashery recently featured in Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter and Anna Karenina. If you are inspired by a visit to VV Rouleaux and want to create a feathered Venetian mask, ribbon flowers or a beaded and bejewelled bridal veil of your own, you can sign up for one of its tempting day courses. Annabel is looking forward to opening a VVR School in the near future. Further information: www.vvrouleaux.com (also known as the Hip Haberdasher) 6. BROUGHT TO BOOK The Internet age has not been kind to the small bookshops of our world. Online shopping, big bookseller discounts and BOGOFs, Kindle and other e-books have all contributed to the demise of many small players. But independent bookshops are fighting back, evolving to survive and often in interesting and innovative ways. A Rosetta Stone’s throw from the British Museum you’ll find the London Review
Bookshop. A refuge for book lovers who also enjoy browsing, talking, daydreaming and eating cake, LRB sees itself as the modern answer to London’s lost tradition of literary coffee houses. Its passion for the written word includes a full calendar of customer events, top author debates, translation Masterclasses and some blissful baked treats. Those who prefer their bookshop experience in a rural setting sprinkled with stunning country views should head for Alfriston village, tucked into Sussex’s famed chalky white cliffs and home to Much Ado Books. In addition to all the new and secondhand volumes a bookish heart could desire-- with a distinct emphasis on the Bloomsbury Group who wrote and romped nearby - Much Ado runs loads of wonderful events and workshops, stocks a huge collection of greeting cards for every mood or occasion and offers a unique range of Recovered Notebooks, one-of-akinds made from recycled book jackets. Charleston House and its wondrous gardens are only a few miles away and worth a detour for Bloomsbury fans and garden lovers alike. Bookworms are also well-catered for in nearby Lewes and Brighton. For book shopping mixed with literary history, we heartily recommend P&G Wells in Winchester, the delightfully historic Hampshire town where Jane Austen lived, died, and is buried in the magnificent Cathedral. There are also rich literary connections worth exploring in the Cotswolds including TS Eliot, Shakespeare and Laurie Lee. Jaffé & Neale in Chipping Norton carries their works and many other gems in its lovely natural light-filled bookshop and café. When the sun is out, complement your browsing with an excellent cup of coffee on the shop’s Cotswold Stone front terrace. London’s ‘villages’ too have charming local bookshops, like Daunt Books in Marylebone, Village Books in Dulwich and the marvellous Muswell Hill Children’s Bookshop, this year celebrating its 40th birthday. Further information: http://muchadobooks.com www.lrb.co.uk 7. HANDMADE WITH LOVE Britain’s country towns and villages are fabulous places to find unique shops selling handcrafted clothes, toys, jewellery and household items. Sherborne (Dorset), Truro (Cornwall) and Hebden Bridge (Yorkshire), are just a few picturesque towns delightfully dotted with artisan shops. If you’re visiting the Cotswolds, don’t miss the wonderful Cirencester Craft Market. There are superb craft fairs taking place throughout the year, like Devon’s Contemporary Crafts Festival (June), Cornwall’s Design Fair (August), Made
Norfolk's Bluejacket Workshop
London (October), and Made by Hand, Wales (November). Bluejacket Workshop in North Norfolk, a couple hours’ drive from Cambridge, is one artisan stop worth a special mention. If any excuse is needed to visit and enjoy the beautiful local coastal scenery and wildlife we think you’ll find this a good one. The Workshop is run by the Hamond family, whose strong connections to the sea and region go back many generations. Ned’s a carpenter and antique restorer, making everything from children toys to chandeliers. Roberta, who’s originally from New York, is a handknitter. Son Nick is a furniture maker, creating beautiful pieces from all kinds of wood as well as Victorian cider barrels, driftwood and old railway carriages. Wendy Watt makes hats, Saffron Paffron restores furnishings and creates magical textile pieces and a host of quality local makers and artists showcase their work throughout the year, powered by a labour of love and endlessly inspired by the surrounding land and sea scapes. Bluejacket feels more like a cosy art gallery than a shop. As well as displaying original rugs, jewellery, furniture, toys, knitwear and ceramics, Bluejacket hosts an autumn Textile Fair featuring specialists in modern and vintage textile work and a Christmas Fair. All events come with free coffee, tea and homemade cakes except the Christmas Fair which focuses on mulled wine, hot chocolate, homemade sausages and mince pies. There’s even a cosy B&B and camp on site should you wish to extend your visit. Further information: Bluejacketworkshop.co.uk cotswoldcraftmarket.co.uk
Astonishingly, in our age of pile'em high, sell'em cheap DIY superstores, small family - run hardware shops, (traditionally called ironmongers in the UK) are thriving-- with over 14,000 in the US alone. These are not merely toyshops for the DIY-obsessed or a rare source of screws and glues, brushes and bulbs, knobs and knockers no longer available anywhere else, but the best place to get friendly advice from a human being on how to get those niggly household jobs done. Penton & Son in London’s Marylebone is a great example of this and a member of the GOSH (Good Old School) group of small hardware retailers. First opened in 1841 to a very different world, Pentons has survived through thick and thin due to traditional values like personal service and top quality products. It even has the evocative must and metal smell of an old fashioned hardware store, the kind you may remember visiting with your Dad when you were a child. Manager Cliff treated us to a top-to-bottom grand tour of this Aladdin’s cave of drawers, shelves, hooks and nooks, stocking hundreds
of home-helpful items from butlers’ gloves to the legendary box of fork handles. Bestsellers include more than 100 kinds of light bulb, cleaning products for every surface and orifice and over 50 kinds of brushes, brooms and dusters like a book brush, computer brush, goat’s hair wooden floor broom, a tin boxed set of shoe brushes and our personal favourite, the genuine ostrich feather duster. Did you know that naturally dust trapping, eco-friendly nonanimal harming ostrich feathers are best for dusting and may even change your life? Pentons’ regulars come from far and near and include the big department stores on nearby Oxford Street whose staff often drop by for duct tape, drip catching buckets or certain kind of screws. This being Marylebone, there are also plenty of celebrity clients. But Cliff was keen to point out that this isn’t just a ‘toys for the boys’ shop; in 15 years as manager he’s noticed a huge rise in female customers. We think that’s everything to do with Cliff and his lovely staff, who clearly make it their business to be as accessible and non-intimidating as possible. Further information: www.pentonshardware.co.uk 9. SAY IT WITH SILVER Beavering away, deep in the underground maze of London’s Silver Vaults, a unique arcade of 30 shops and the world’s largest centre for modern and antique silver, you’ll find the charming and knowledgeable Joel Langford of Langfords Silver. The Langfords have been in the silver trade for several generations and are founding members of the Vaults. Like most Silver Vault traders, Langfords is a family business, passing knowledge, expertise and passion from generation to generation.
8. HARDWARE HEAVEN If your New Year's resolution to replace those broken drawer and door handles or fix up that valuable antique lamp inherited from Great Aunt Selma have been thwarted because you can't find the right bits for the job, don't despair - we know a hardware store that sells just what you are looking for. Fork handles and all kinds of brushes, Pentons Hardware 23
Saying it with silver, Joel Langford & friend, London Silver Vaults
The shop attracts silver shoppers from across the globe although for many years the most popular customers by far were Americans. (Joelâ€™s mother is American and Joel was born in Los Angeles). During World War II, US military officers came looking for presents for their wives and girlfriends, and later came back to shop with them. Langfords counts royalty,
Hollywood legends and serious collectors amongst its customers but equally welcomes first time buyers and window shoppers. Joel believes the familyâ€™s key to success is down to the personal, friendly and expert service given to every client. As well as quality contemporary silver design and bespoke pieces created for customersâ€™ exact requirements, Langfords carries antique silver-somethings from all eras, from ornate Georgian candelabras to ivory and gilt chess sets, from coffee spoons, lobster picks and grape shears to Victorian silver galleons in full sail (a snip at ÂŁ68,000), each piece impressed with a hallmark to show maker, date and purity. Amongst the more extraordinary pieces sold over the years was a full-size suite of pure Indian silver antique furniture. Langfords also buys, restores, values and engraves. Further information: www.langfords.com 10. KITCHEN AND CABOODLE Divertimenti, with shops in Londonâ€™s Knightsbridge and Marylebone, has long been paradise for the serious cook, with bakeware, cookware and kitchenware for any meal, method or occasion. Hereâ€™s the place for strainers and stockpots, trolleys and tagines,
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DECORATE A CAKE ... em WITH ... â€˜SPRINKLESâ€™ FROM U.S.A. â€˜BETTY CROCKERâ€™ CUP CAKE ICING WRITING ICING â€˜TOLLHOUSEâ€™ BUTTERSCOTCH MORSELS, WHITE CHOCOLATE CHIPS â€˜HERSHEYâ€™Sâ€™ SEMI SWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS â€˜NESTLESâ€™ SEMI SWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS â€˜REESESâ€™ PEANUT BUTTER CHIPS â€˜BETTY CROCKERâ€™ CAKE MIXES & FROSTINGS â€˜DUNCAN HINESâ€™ CAKE MIXES & FROSTINGS â€˜CRISCOâ€™ â€˜GOLD MEDAL FLOURâ€™ KARO SYRUP EMAIL: SHOP@PANZERS.CO.UK TEL: 020 7722 8596
mezzalunas, moulis and multi-coloured muffin cases. Thereâ€™s eyecatching tableware in every conceivable colour, shape and style including that sauceboat or seafood bubble glass of your dreams and a range of knives that would make even Julia Child tremble. Youâ€™ll need several hours just to browse Divertimentiâ€™s cookbook collection. As well as all that splendid kitchenware, Divertimenti runs a celebrated Cookery School with an exceptional range of options, from multi-part courses covering all your cookâ€™n bake basics to hands-on Masterclasses and exclusive Chef â€™s Table events featuring Michelin starred chefs. There are also wine and beer tasting classes, joyful foodie walks known as Gastro Tours, Growing Gourmet cooking workshops for children plus many other imaginative learning events such as a Perfecting Pastry Weekend, Curing for the Modern Cook, Smashing Plates and One Wok Wonders. Further information: www.divertimenti.co.uk This is the latest in our featured series of Top Tens for Americans in Britain. If youâ€™ve got a hot Top Ten tip to share with our readers, weâ€™d love to hear from you. Contact Judith at email@example.com.
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Wealth Management Are You Ethically Certified?
he financial services industry needs to start operating permanently in an ethical manner – especially with the arrival of ‘B corporation’ certificates, says Henry Findlater, investment adviser at Maseco Private Wealth. Everyone is familiar with 20th century capitalism. It has been the heartbeat of economies for hundreds of years. The model was neatly summarised by economist Milton Friedman: “There is one, and only one, social responsibility of business – to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits.” This simple system has worked very well, but maximising value at all costs seems dated and unpalatable in today’s world. Friedman’s approach advocates the notion that if businesses operate with self-interest at heart, then this is how they will best serve society. But in the 21st century, society dictates businesses should not only prioritise shareholder value, but also aim for a simultaneous social
and environmental benefit. People are calling this approach ‘stakeholder capitalism’. The goal is people and planet, as well as profit, and it is being adopted worldwide. Companies are implementing measures at boardroom level to address these new consumer requirements. Household names like Ikea and Unilever are at the vanguard of serving the communities and resources which sustain them. Such companies are taking this seemingly altruistic route, not only because demand is there, but because they believe in the long-term benefits of incorporating this approach into their DNA. FORWARD THINKING The clients we serve are predominantly expat US citizens, and they have proven to be early adopters of the concept of matching their investments to their values. Americans are forward thinkers with their money, and inclined to be philanthropically and charitably minded. Rather than invest, get a return, and give; via a sustainable overlay, investors can express their message directly via their investments. In the United States, $3.7trn has been invested within a sustainable framework over the last 20 years and the run rate is accelerating. Around 60 million Americans say environmental and social impact is as important to them as cost and quality. As investors, how do we capture this trend which looks to be the new way? The framework is available, and people are taking advantage. Sustainable investing is now a big growth area. RESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOUR Essentially, sustainable investing uses markets to reallocate capital to companies which are integrating responsible corporate behaviour and outcomes, into their business and industries. There are various collective investment schemes which apply a sustainable filter over the underlying companies, meaning one can access a pre-screened fund to invest in a manner which matches ones’ values - the aim being capitalism can maximise long-term economic value creation by reforming markets to address real needs, while considering all costs. Inevitably, there are question marks and dangers when addressing a new growth market. To invest with the ‘good guys’, the question perhaps most often asked is ‘does return have to be sacrificed?’ The pushback often heard when broaching the subject of sustainable investing is, ‘Yes, in theory the idea is attractive, but I do not want to give up return’. Is this notion well founded? SUSTAINABLE OUTPERFORMANCE Sustainable companies have been categorised and measured as investments since 1995.
A Swiss investment company called Sustainable Asset Management (SAM) launched a joint venture some twenty years ago with Dow Jones to create the Dow Jones Sustainability index. After a few years of monitoring the constituents of the index, SAM’s initial proposition was true: sustainable companies were outperforming less sustainable companies. This is being called the ‘sustainability premium’, where a company with a high sustainability score may generate higher returns than its competitors because of better resource efficiency, less regulation, a greater ability to innovate, plus a better relationship with stakeholders and customers. This means a stronger brand and pricing. There is a danger companies and institutions, which recognise the sustainable trend may jump on the bandwagon, telling a good story but often not the whole story. This is commonly referred to as ‘greenwashing’. Greenwashing can be avoided by fund providers addressing sustainable investments by using independent third party providers to assess and evaluate all the elements of corporate environmental sustainability. On a company level, rather than fund level, one kitemark example to look out for is the ‘B Corporation’ certification. The ‘B’ stands for ‘benefit’, and companies are beginning to understand its value. B Corporations are companies that use the power of business to help solve social and environmental problems through their everyday modus operandi. There are 963 B Corps in 32 countries across 60 industries. It is a lot like a Fairtrade stamp on a jar of coffee or a bar of chocolate; it is a signal to customers and the wider world that a company strives to operate in an ethical and sustainable manner at all times. Our company is proud to be the first UK based wealth manager to become a certified B Corp. Government and non-profit organisations alone cannot solve the world’s recognised problems. We can make business sit up and listen to the future by vot¬ing with our pound or dollar and investing in a sustainable framework. ■ Article link: www.investmentweek.co.uk/ investment-week/feature/2330095/are-youethically-certified Risk Warning The value of an investment and the income from it could go down as well as up. The return at the end of the investment period is not guaranteed and you may get back less than you originally invested. MASECO LLP trading as MASECO Private Wealth is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Our registered office is at Buchanan House, 3 St. James’s Square, London, SW1Y 4JU, telephone: +44 (0)20 7043 0455, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. 25
Taxing Issues What Do You Mean I Need To Keep Filing US Tax Returns?
ith the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) dominating headlines, many Americans abroad have been less than subtly reminded of their obligation to continue filing US tax returns, no matter where they live and work. By all estimates, those who have not been filing are clearly the majority. Recent studies estimate the number of US citizens and residents living outside the country to be as high as 7.6 million. However, fewer than one million tax returns are filed from abroad each year. Let’s assume you are in the majority here and just learning of your US tax obligations.
Understandably, you want to know about the penalties you face and the options you have to get this mess straightened out. PENALTIES Your move to UK was unlikely designed to reduce your tax bill. Given the rate of UK tax and the ability to claim foreign tax credits, tax is generally not due. The typical tax return-related penalties that are figured as a percentage of the tax you owe would be inapplicable. The concern is not the tax due, unfortunately. Foreign bank account report (FBAR) penalties can arise if the combined value of your accounts exceeded $10,000 during the prior six year period. Your savings do not have to be substantial to trigger FBAR obligations. FBAR penalties are divided into two categories: wilful and non-wilful. For nonwilful violations, the penalty can be as great as $10,000 per year for each unreported foreign account. If the IRS can prove you have wilfully avoided your account reporting obligations, the penalty could be as high as 50% of the maximum value of the account or $100,000. FBAR penalties will not apply if the IRS determines you have acted reasonably. The factors they consider include: t8IFUIFSZPVSFMJFEPOBUBYBEWJTFS t8IFUIFSUIFGPSFJHOBDDPVOUXBTFTUBCMJTIFE for a legitimate purpose t 5IF BNPVOU PG UBY ZPV PXF GSPN UIF undisclosed foreign account t8IFUIFSZPVSCBDLHSPVOEBOEFEVDBUJPO would have alerted you to an FBAR requirement. IRS internal guidelines recommend restraint on the part of its agents in assessing FBAR penalties. But, the discretion they wield is quite frightening. It is important to note that in extreme cases, criminal FBAR penalties can apply. That said, this result would be highly unlikely in the context of an expat voluntarily disclosing legitimate foreign accounts. If you are potentially facing FBAR penalties, two options have been formally sanctioned by the IRS: 1. The Streamlined Compliance Program for Nonresident US Citizens 2. The Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) Every situation is unique and you should weigh the pros and cons of each option carefully. STREAMLINED COMPLIANCE PROGRAMME FOR NONRESIDENTS Unless you have been stashing your savings
in the Channel Islands, as an American in the UK, this programme is likely to be a perfect fit for you. The IRS explains that this programme is open to expats who: 1. Have not filed a tax return for 2009 or later; and 2. Have lived outside the United States since January 1, 2009. You will file the last three years of delinquent tax returns, the last six years of FBARs, and complete a questionnaire designed to establish your “compliance risk.” If you are deemed a “low compliance risk,” you pay only tax due plus interest. No FBAR penalties are assessed, no additional tax returns are required, and no audits will follow. Factors that the IRS takes into account in determining your compliance risk include the following: t8IFUIFSZPVPXFNPSFUIBO JOUBY in any year t8IFUIFSBOZPGUIFSFUVSOTDMBJNBSFGVOE t8IFUIFSUIFSFJTNBUFSJBMFDPOPNJDBDUJWJUZ in the US t8IFUIFSZPVIBWFOPUEFDMBSFEBMMPGZPVS income in the UK t8IFUIFSZPVBSFVOEFSBVEJUPSJOWFTUJHBUJPO by the IRS t8IFUIFSZPVIBWFQSJPS'#"3WJPMBUJPOT t8IFUIFSZPVNBJOUBJOGPSFJHOBDDPVOUTPS entities located outside the UK t8IFUIFSZPVIBWF64JODPNFPS t 8IFUIFS UIFSF BSF JOEJDBUJPOT PG sophisticated tax planning or avoidance. But be careful, because the “compliance risk” determination is not always clear. If you are not accepted, your tax returns would be examined, FBAR penalties could be assessed, and the IRS could even require that additional returns be filed. You’d also be prevented from taking advantage of the other formal disclosure option – the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program. OFFSHORE VOLUNTARY DISCLOSURE PROGRAM (OVDP) By design, this programme is best suited for willful actors, meaning those living in the United States utilising sophisticated offshore tax planning strategies to evade US tax. The past eight years of tax returns and FBARs are submitted along with volumes of supporting documentation. An OVDP submission would eliminate your exposure to potential criminal penalties, but at least some penalty is guaranteed. For US expats in the UK who do not quite fit the streamlined compliance mould and are understandably unwilling to accept the OVDP penalty structure, only one option remains – quiet disclosure. QUIET DISCLOSURE Quiet disclosures are highly controversial and
not formally sanctioned by the IRS. Tax returns and FBARs are just filed without formally alerting the IRS to your noncompliance. The IRS has publicly admonished quiet disclosures, which is concerning given the discretion wielded in the context of FBAR QFOBMUJFT8IJMFDMFBSMZUIFSJTLJFTUBQQSPBDI the growth in FBAR filings in recent years demonstrates that Americans abroad are actively considering this option. CONCLUSION 8JUI '"5$" SFQPSUJOH PO UIF IPSJ[PO Americans in the UK are quickly taking action to straighten out their tax affairs. At this point, the IRS has shown no appetite for making an example of the honest American expat utilising foreign accounts for their everyday activities. Nevertheless, the National Taxpayer Advocateâ€™s recent report to US Congress highlights some rough justice being BENJOJTUFSFEUISPVHI07%18IJMFOPUBY adviser is in a position to promise results, working with someone who understands all the options you have on the table is crucial. Living abroad and keeping up with US
tax filing obligations can be challenging. H&R Block Expat Tax Services specialises in working with expats who may have overlooked some of these filing requirements in the past. Contact H&R Block US Expat Tax Services at email@example.com or visit hrblock. com/expats today. Roland A. Sabates, J.D., MBA H&R Block Roland Sabates is a tax attorney specialising in tax compliance issues for expatriates and noncitizen taxpayers. He has worked for The Tax Institute at H&R Block since 2008 supporting the companyâ€™s global team of tax professionals with international issues encountered in serving H&R Block clients. His primary areas of focus are foreign information reporting, US tax treatment of foreign pension and investment arrangements, tax treaty interpretation, tax implications of international employment, and international social security coverage.
NOTE FOR YOUR DIARY The 2015 Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition will take place on Monday 2nd February 2015 For further information on attending or exhibiting, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone Helen Elliott +44 (0)208 661 0186
Genetic Testing And Breast Cancer Family History The Angelina Jolie Effect Dr James Mackay Consultant Genetic Oncologist in the London Breast Clinic 28
he recent publicity surrounding Angelina Jolie’s decision to talk about her family history, her decision to have genetic testing and the prophylactic surgery she has had, has raised awareness of the potential benefits of analysing the breast cancer genes to give more accurate information on an individual’s personal risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. However, several key clinical issues require clarification. Traditionally genetic testing has been offered to families in which there is a strong family history with several closely related individuals in a particular family having developed cancer. We know that different cancer types can occur in families; a well known pattern is breast cancer and ovarian cancer occurring in the same family; another well recognised pattern is bowel cancer and womb cancer. Testing for the breast and ovarian cancer genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2) follows a two stage clinical process. In the first stage we take a blood sample from a lady in the family who has developed either breast or ovarian cancer, and then analyse the complete sequence of her BRCA1 and BRCA 2 genes. These genes are made up of the letters C, G, A and T arranged in a long and unique sequence. The BRCA1 gene is made up of 100,000 letters arranged in sequence, and a faulty gene is caused by a very subtle change in the sequence, often consisting of a single spelling mistake, which can be found anywhere in the entire sequence. Only if we manage to identify a spelling mistake in the blood sample of the individual with breast or ovarian cancer can we then move on to the second stage of the process, and determine whether a well relative in that same family has inherited the same spelling mistake. If she has the same mistake then she has inherited the faulty copy of the gene and is at significantly increased risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer at some time in her life. If she does not have that specific spelling mistake then she has inherited the good copy of the gene, and has the same risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer as anyone else of her age in the general population. We follow a similar two stage process in families with a strong history of bowel cancer, but look at the sequence of a different set of genes; those we know are involved in inherited bowel cancer. However, we often see families with a strong history of breast and ovarian cancer, in which we cannot identify a fault in either BRCA1 or BRCA2. Recently a new test has been introduced into the UK private sector by Myriad Genetics Inc, which examines the sequence of 25 genes from a single blood sample, thus allowing a much wider range of genes to be examined in any family. The early results (from 40,000 samples tested) suggest that we are able to identify faulty genes in many more families, allowing
us to give a much more accurate estimate of an individual’s risk of developing different types of cancer, and therefore encouraging more targeted screening strategies. It is now even more important than before to ensure that everyone offered genetic testing is given accurate and understandable information about their own individual risk, and the clinical implications of the genetic test results for them. ■
For further information please contact James Mackay at The London Breast Clinic Tel 0207 563 1234 Email: email@example.com Website: www.108harleystreet.co.uk
You were born and raised in New York. What brought you to Britain? I’ve loved performing since I was little and always knew I wanted to work in this profession. After university and community theatre work in different cities and countries, I had returned to New York where between roles and auditions I did a variety of jobs– including working at a club for classic car enthusiasts, music TV producing and as a flight attendant for a business airline. Long story short, on one of the airline’s flight layovers in London, chance events and a lovely friend’s astute matchmaking led me to meet and fall in love with my now-husband Oliver, who is Scottish. We’ve made London our home. Who are the biggest inspirations in your life and your career? I know it’s a bit of a cliché to say one’s family has been inspirational, but my mother has always been extremely supportive with a great work ethic and tremendous determination
Judith Schrut speaks to American actress and producer Amy Anzel
his issue’s American Eye belongs to Amy Anzel, actress, performer and theatrical producer now living in London with her British husband, whom she met and married after a fairytale romance. Amy recently featured in Channel 4’s ‘The Sound of Musicals’ talking about her dreams, struggles and sheer determination to produce ‘Happy Days’, a musical based on the hit 1970’s American television show. Judith Schrut spoke with Amy over English tea and American oatmeal cookies ahead of the UK premiere and national tour of ‘Happy Days’.
Amy Anzel, photo courtesy of Channel 4 Picture Publicity
as well. My husband is inspirational as he is so hard working, clever and keeps everything in perspective. During difficult times and challenges, it’s especially important to surround yourself with such inspirational people. I’m also inspired by people in the entertainment business who are multihyphenates. People like George Clooney and Brad Pitt, who have risen above being pigeonholed in the industry and are producers, actors and writers. What is it about ‘Happy Days the Musical’ that you think audiences will find most enjoyable? I think audiences will love the nostalgic feel-good element. For many, these are difficult and complicated times to live in, so to forget your troubles and escape to a simpler time is really appealing. It’s a fun show full of fantastic music, incredible dancing and a lovely story about family and relationships that all of us can relate to. And then of course there’s that theme song – I guarantee after
and familiarise yourself with the city. It’s also terrific value as your ticket is good for 24 hours.
Happy Days, a New Musical, photo by Paul Coltas
seeing the show you won’t be able to get that song out of your head for a long time! What’s top of your favourite things to do in the UK when you’re not working? Seeing theatre! There is so much great theatre here. I could go to a show every night and be so happy, and see something new. What attraction would you advise Americans in Britain to be sure not to miss? Apart from all those great shows, Americans should not miss London’s Hop on, Hop off Bus Tour. It’s one of my favourites. As well as being really informative and giving you a bird’s eye view of all the major London sights and neighbourhoods, you can spend as little or as much time as you want at each place
What is your guiltiest pleasure? Definitely an expensive indulgence for special occasions is afternoon tea at Browns Hotel, with its beautiful and comfortable surroundings, lovely staff who never rush you and unlimited refills of everything! Are there any American comforts you really miss? I do miss American style customer service, pizza by the slice and conveniences like being able to order take-outs any time of the day or night.
Amy Anzel and Henry Winkler, the original Fonz in Happy Days, photo by Marika Player
Any thoughts about what you’d like to do next? I’d love to bring ‘Happy Days’ to the West End and then tour it internationally.
Sondheim, George Gershwin, Andrew Carnegie and (theatre producers) Nica Burns and Sir Cameron Mackintosh. I’d hire a great three piece band and serve a casual feast of Mediterranean food – which I’d have to order in as I don’t really cook so well!
Here at American in Britain we are always keen to promote British-American relations– whom would you like to join you at your fantasy cross-country dinner party? Along with my husband, my perfect dinner party would include Simon Cowell, Stephen
You can see “Happy Days the Musical’ at the Cambridge Corn Exchange, Birmingham Hippodrome, Orchard Theatre, Dartford and other leading theatres across the UK this spring and summer. For tickets and further information visit happydaysthemusical.com. ■
Reader’s Lives Betsy Cook Speer is interviewed about her life in the UK and about her newly published book 'Demolition Queen' Where did you move from and how long have you been in the UK? We’ve lived in the UK for 17 ½ years after moving from Charlotte, NC. Do you have family? Yes. Three sons Andrew 24, Michael 21 and Peter 17. Andrew & Michael were 7 & 4 when we moved and Peter was born here six weeks after we arrived. What brought you to the UK? My husband’s job. He came to open Origin Branding, a corporate identity and branding firm. Do you like it here? We love it. We lived in Cobham, Surrey for 15 32
years, and we have now lived for 2 ½ years just across the bridge from Hampton Court Palace. Why did you begin writing? I laugh when people ask that because I honestly can’t remember. Eight years ago, I began writing down things that I found interesting, funny, and adventuresome, and then began compiling them into a story, Demolition Queen. Luckily, writing fit perfectly as a mom so I could be available for my boys. Did you study writing or journalism? No I have a BS in Chemistry. My English teachers practically pulled their hair out trying to teach me sentence structure etc. But once I began writing this novel, I found there was nothing I’d rather be doing. That’s not to say it was easy. Far from it. In fact, I’ve never worked harder on a single project. I have been at it on and off for eight years. For a couple years, I couldn’t bear to look at it anymore. Thank goodness my mom, a huge thriller/mystery reader, loved the story and believed in me. She kept encouraging and cajoling me until I published. How did you publish? Again it was my mom who influenced me. She convinced me that self-publishing had gained popularity and respect, a great way to go. For 'Demolition Queen’s' professional editorial review and editing, I used a division of Amazon and then published on Amazon as well. DQ is available in paperback and on Kindle along with ipad. Can you tell us a bit about the book? Where does the action take place?
A lot takes place in Esher, Surrey. But plenty is in Europe and right in London. At the Victoria & Albert Museum, there’s an outrageous Pirate Party for London’s glittering upper-crust. Guests show up costumed to the max and find treachery, flooding, and nude, but chocolate-covered, performance art. The V&A’s grand foyer, gorgeous Chihuly Chandelier, and the topfloor ceramics room will never be the same! Where did you find inspiration for the characters in 'Demolition Queen'? I was working on an article on sword play in the cinema and tracked down Silverblade, or Bob Anderson, who trained Viggo Mortensen for 'Lord Of The Rings'. As a result Bob put me in touch with Viggo who contributed heavily to the article. What a charmer! Is it true that the royalties from sales go to charity? Yes, I send my royalty cheque for purchases to any charity that registers with me and shows me proof of purchase. I am currently supporting 'Shooting Stars Chase' and FAWCO's new target project 'Free the Girls'. The jacket blurb for the book reads as follows: Knocking down walls, fencing like a pro, and guzzling champagne is all in a day’s work on Sam’s demolition-action TV show so, life for this leggy, blond, American-inSurrey is pretty darn great. That is, until, the ‘love-of-her-life’ fatally crashes into a Swiss mountainside and she marries Conrad who loves three things: a glittering aristocratic lifestyle, his successful anti-fraud company, and jealously controlling his new wife, Sam. That’s not the worst of it. Someone hijacks the lifesaving biotechnology that her brilliant Mom developed, and when people start dying, Sam must set off on the most bizarre and perilous scavenger hunt of her life. Sam kidnaps, demolishes, and shoots her way through Europe, determined to save the day. That’s if she manages to stay alive… That blurb sounds very filmic. Funny you should say that. The screenplay is already in the works! ■
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UK Sports Our Quarterly Overview Of UK Sports
he battle for the Premiership soccer title is really hotting up and we are very pleased to report that England retained the Ashes in the cricket series in Australia. England also did well in the Six Nations Championship but, above all, the Winter Olympics and Paralympics brought much success for Team GB. WINTER OLYMPICS AND PARALYMPICS Our congratulations go to Lizzy Yarnold who won the Gold Medal in the Skeleton event, an event for which great bravery as well as
great technical skill is required, at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Our Men’s Curling team won Silver, the Women’s Curlers won Bronze and Jenny Jones won Bronze in the snowboard slope style. Team GB finished nineteenth in the final medal table but the four medals secured by the team equalled the record four medals that were won at the inaugural Winter Olympics in Chamonix in 1924. Our congratulations also go to our Team GB Winter Paralympians in Sochi. Kelly Gallagher won a skiing Gold Medal with her guide Charlotte Evans in the visually impaired Super G skiing event, whilst Jane Etherington won a staggering three Silvers and a Bronze with her guide Caroline Powell, also in visually impaired skiing events. Our wheelchair curling team also won a Bronze medal. Team GB had been set a target of two medals for the Winter Paralympics but this result surpassed the four silver and five bronze medals won in Innsbruck in 1984. Team GB finished tenth in the medal table and in addition to the medals won by Kelly Gallagher and Jane Etherington, our Paralympics Alpine team secured eight top-10 finishes. Fifteen year old Millie Knight, a schoolgirl from Canterbury, twice came fifth in the visually impaired skiing category. We should all be as proud of these Winter Olympians and Paralympians as we were of our Teams in the London 2012 Olympics. CRICKET Our congratulations go to our cricketing heroes who retained the coveted ‘Ashes’ in Australia. What a team they are. Led by 34 year old Edwards, the squad of Brindle, Greenaway, Shrubsole, Taylor, Brunt, Knight, Wyatt, Winfield, Elwiss, Gunn, Hazell, Cross, Farrant, and Jones were far too good for the Australian team. But hold on I hear you say; in the last issue you mentioned that England were really struggling against the Australians. Different team. You probably have not recognised the names in the England squad but we did not send the original team home to be replaced by the squad above. No, it is the ENGLAND LADIES CRICKET TEAM to which we refer. Unlike the men’s ‘Ashes’, the ladies play a combination of five day Test, One Day 50 Over and Twenty20 matches, with points awarded for each match and each format of the game. England proved to be the masters in all three formats. Well done ladies, you put the men’s team in Australia to shame. And the men’s team? How to describe their attempt to retain their ‘Ashes’? Well, dismal, pathetic, hopeless, and spineless get close. They lost every one of the five Test matches, every one of the Twenty20 matches and won just one of the One Day matches! End result was that the England coach, who had achieved
three consecutive ‘Ashes’ series victories against Australia, resigned and the England cricket authority eventually threw Kevin Pietersen out of the England set up. Pietersen had been a brilliant batsman at times, although prone to throw his wicket away too frequently with injudicious shots, but his contribution to the team has been, by all accounts, very disruptive. One well respected cricket commentator suggested on TV that Pietersen had disrupted the dressing room of every team he had played for in England with the possible exception of Surrey County Cricket Club for whom he had not played for very long!! So England must now look to build a new team under new manager Ashley Giles and captain Alistair Cook. With the sacking of Pietersen, the retirement of Graham Swann, the loss of Jonathon Trott to a stress related condition (although a comeback is a possibility) and the ageing of some of our other players, such as Andersen and Prior, new blood must be found. Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Barbadian born Chris Jordan could form the nucleus of the newcomers. Up next for the men’s team is the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in Bangladesh. From two qualifying Groups one team will be elevated to one of two ‘Super Groups’ of five teams each. The top two teams from the ‘Super Groups’ will qualify for the semi-finals. England have drawn Sri Lanka, South Africa and New Zealand, along with one qualifying team, in their Group. After the Australian Tour debacle and a 2-1 Twenty20 defeat to the West Indies in the Caribbean, England’s chances do not look great! The summer brings Sri Lanka and India to England for Test, One Day and Twenty20 matches between May and September. Two Test matches against Sri Lanka will be followed by a full five Test matches against India. At least we will not see those blessed Australians again this year!! RUGBY UNION Congratulations to the England team for winning the Triple Crown in the Six Nations Championship with victories over Wales, Ireland and Scotland, and commiserations for just missing out on the Championship itself which was taken by Ireland. Both England and Ireland had won four and lost one of their five Internationals giving them eight points each, but Ireland had a better difference between points scored and points conceded to pip England for the title. Had England not lost to France in their opening game in the very last minute of the match, and had France’s last minute winning try against Ireland not been ruled out for a forward pass of the ball, the title would have been theirs. Such is sport!! Stuart Lancaster, the England coach, has
put together a very good young England side and the team can look forward to a real chance of winning the World Cup next year on home territory. More of that in future issues. SOCCER The battle to be Premier League champions is really getting exciting. Recent results with Chelsea losing away to Aston Villa, Manchester City winning at Hull, Liverpool winning at Manchester United and Arsenal winning at North London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, have left four teams in contention. At the time of writing, Chelsea lead the pack with 66 points from 30 games, followed by Liverpool and Arsenal both with 62 points from 29 games, and Manchester City with 60 points but from only 27 games. Whilst it is not possible to rule out upsets in the remaining games, as Stoke City’s victory over Arsenal recently proves, it is probably the big matches between the current top six or so that will decide the championship. Chelsea play Arsenal at home and Liverpool away; Liverpool play Tottenham Hotspur (currently in fifth position), Manchester City and Chelsea at home; Arsenal play Chelsea and Everton (currently in sixth position) away and
Manchester City at home, and Manchester City have the hardest run-in with away games against Manchester United (always a big ‘derby’ game), Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton. What a finish it is going to be! At the wrong end of the table, six teams are currently in most danger of relegation. Only five points separate Fulham, Cardiff City, Sunderland, Crystal Palace, West Bromwich Albion and Norwich City. All these teams have matches against the current top six teams but you must feel sorry for Norwich. If they succeed in their next four games against Sunderland, Swansea, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham they finish with four games against Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal!! The European Champions League is proving to be a bit of a disaster for the four Premiership teams. At the time of writing, Arsenal and Manchester City have both been eliminated by Bayern Munich and Barcelona respectively. Manchester United will host Olympiacos of Greece suffering from a 2-0 deficit from the first leg, and Chelsea will host Galatasary of Turkey following a 1-1 draw from their first leg. Chelsea will be favourites to progress to the quarter finals but Manchester
United, after their heavy 3-0 defeat at home to Liverpool in the Premiership, might well find themselves out of the championship. We also look like losing our one remaining Premiership team in the Europa Cup, Tottenham Hotspur having lost the first leg of their ‘Round of 16’ match at home to Benfica 1-3. It should be remembered though that Benfica went out of the Group stage of the European Champions League with 10 points, normally enough to see any team through to the knock out stage; they are a very good team and Spurs do not look likely to proceed further. The FA Cup has produced its usual quota of shock results, the biggest probably being Wigan Athletic’s away defeat of Manchester City in the quarter finals, 2-1. Wigan are the current holders of the Cup having beaten Manchester City against all the odds in the final last season with a winning goal in the last minute of the game; the same season Wigan were relegated from the Premiership! In the semi-finals Wigan will now play Arsenal, whilst Hull City will play Sheffield United from League 1. On paper the Cup is now Arsenal’s to lose but you just cannot rule out more shock results to come! ■
Arts & Antiques Art For The Masses Or Painting By The Yard (Plus A Delightful Personal Discovery) by Abby Cronin
Looking Down into the Gallery exhibit - photo by Abby Cronin Abby's Lanz dress - personal photo from family album
who had no doubt that designs for textiles are a legitimate and important form of artistic expression. Among the many notable designers whose work is displayed are French artists Raoul Dufy and Sonia Delaunay. British painters Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell, major figures in the Omega Workshop and Bloomsbury painters group, are well represented. Their work is shown alongside the Russian women Constructivists Popova and Stepanova. In the United States Ruth Reeves was an early and major proponent of the importance of textile design, and her work on display reproduces indigenous patterns from extensive research into Guatemalan culture. Reeves sums up her view about the importance of textile design as follows: It is my personal opinion that fabric design rightfully belongs in the category of the Fine Arts,….as an art, it is just as important as good architecture and certainly is more closely associated with our everyday living than are paintings.
id you know that Picasso designed textiles which sold for a $1.50 per yard in the 1950s? Imagine owning a Picasso for $1.50! I learned this and so much more when I visited the Artist Textiles exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey - only a short walk around the corner from the Shard. Strictly, the exhibition is entitled Artist Textiles - Picasso to Warhol but the exhibit begins in the early years of the twentieth century. ‘Curtain Up’ sets the scene from 1910 - 1939 and includes unique and sophisticated pieces by modernist artists involved in the art movements and workshops of the day. Visitors are introduced to work by Fauvist, Futurist, and Constructivist designers
Ruth Reeves, 1946 *p.9.
artist textiles represent ‘art for the masses or painting by the yard...a democratisation of artists’ designs for mass production’. In their post-war effort to rebuild its devastated economy, Britain recognised the potential for marketing textiles abroad as a strategy for promoting economic growth. The government-sponsored Cotton Board encouraged prominent textile manufacturers such as Ascher Ltd, Cresta Silks and Horrockes Fashions to market fabrics for export. These companies, in turn, persuaded renowned painters and sculptors to design a couture collection of headscarves and fashion fabrics. Floral headscarves by Chagall, Matisse and Vertès are displayed prominently. Dalí’s compelling headscarf ‘Number, Please?’, featured on the museum’s exhibition poster, is a silk scarf for Wesley Simpson Fabrics circa 1947. It was derived from a sequence in Dalì’s 1946 Disney animation, Destino. You will see it hung at the end of the corridor as you enter the ground floor gallery. Dalí’s inexhaustible output includes ties such as ‘Endless – Where?’ printed on rayon and ‘Spring Rain’, a furnishing fabric, just two of his numerous 1940s surrealist designs. Matisse’s headscarf design ‘Escarpe No. 1’ for Ascher Ltd was
The exhibition can be read as a movement about democratising art in the form of textile design and manufacture in the twentieth century. Established artists designed textiles that were mass-produced, accessible and affordable for ordinary people. They revolutionised 20th century textile design and stimulated the production of fabrics that were sold in large quantities for clothing and interior furnishings. The 200 textiles, fabrics, dresses and publicity information on display come from the extensive private collection of curators Geoff Rayner and Richard Chamberlain. For Rayner and Chamberlain Dali's Tie - Courtesy Fashion & Textile Museum
exhibited at the Lefevre gallery in 1947. Fabric designs by Graham Sutherland and Eduardo Paolozzi were used by Horrockes in the dresses on display. Queen Elizabeth’s wardrobe included a selection of Horrockes dresses for her first tour of the Commonwealth in 1953-4. Horrockes Fashions ready-to-wear label was publicised as ‘off-the-peg’ style in the ‘40s and ‘50s and conveniently coincided with the end of cloth allocation in Britain. The American market in the 1940s and 50s was partial to modernist designs in the fabrics for clothes and home furnishings. Magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar were influential in promoting modern art and design as an integral aspect of contemporary lifestyle. Several American textile manufacturers worked with established artists who sold their designs to companies - a marriage of art with commerce. Publications such as Women’s Wear Daily helped to promote artist-designed textiles. An example is the advertisement in 1947 which featured Wesley Simpson’s Custom Fabrics Inc., ‘Artist Series’ with deigns by Dali. Costumes and fashions in Hollywood films were also highly influential in shaping what was fashionable to wear – much as the TV series Sex and the City and Mad Men are today. Perhaps the most prestigious collaboration between American textile companies with internationally renowned 20th-century artists occurred when Dan Fuller of Fuller Fabrics Inc gained Picasso’s cooperation in 1953. After a few years of painstaking collaboration between Picasso and the Fuller design team, Picasso’s designs were turned into roller- printed fabrics enabling production on a vast scale.* When the designs went into production you could buy a yard of mass-produced cotton fabric designed by Picasso for the modest sum of between $1.49 and $1.98. Orders came pouring in from garment manufacturers across the US, and one of the distinguished companies that placed orders was Lanz of California. They produced dresses aimed for the teenage market which retailed for the modest sum of $20 a dress.
Dali 'Number, Please?'. Courtesy Fashion & Textile Museum
Reeves' 'Manhattan'. Courtesy Fashion & Textile Museum
Matisse's 'Escarpe No1'. Courtesy Fashion & Textile Museum
There is a fabulous example of a Lanz dress in the exhibition. See it pictured on the previous page in red. Pictured next to it is my delightful personal discovery: Yes – that’s me wearing the same Lanz dress in the late 1950s. Oh how I loved that dress! Mine was blue. And Oh, how surprised I was when I came across it featured prominently together with other designs by Picasso. Little did the American public realise that several ‘off-the-peg’ 1950s fashions were made from fabrics designed by a galaxy of established artists such as Picasso. Picasso had little need of publicity or money. Maybe that is why his name was not associated with the Lanz dresses made from his designs for 37
Fuller Fabrics. However, much more publicity was associated with his famous â€˜Peace Scarf â€™, a simple, multiple-printed design on inexpensive cotton that is pictured here. Unusual and highly collectible, it was given away to youth at an international peace rally in Berlin in 1951 to commemorate the 3rd World Festival of Youth and Students in Berlin, East Germany. The festivalâ€™s motto was â€˜For Peace and FriendshipAgainst Nuclear Weapons,â€™ Inevitably it has appeared from time to time in art galleries over the years and one was sold for $7,980 in California in 2011. Among the seminal textile designers in the art world of the 1950s and 60s are Zandra Rhodes, Andy Warhol, and Saul Steinberg. We have Rhodes to thank not only for hosting this exhibition but also for establishing the Fashion and Textile Museum, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2013. A few examples of Rhodesâ€™ 1960s designs are featured on the mezzanine level. They reveal the Pop influences in her early work such as her â€˜Lipstickâ€™, a screen-printed silk crĂŞpe dress fabric, 1968. On the opposite wall is textile work by the famous Pop artist Andy Warhol. His involvement with textile design is fascinating, especially when understood in relation to his abundant and diverse output. Although Warhol may not be well known for his textiles, his contribution
Picasso's Peace Scarf - photo by Abby Cronin
is significant. His Pop classic textiles include delightful designs such as â€˜Bright Butterfliesâ€™, â€˜Happy Bug Dayâ€™ and â€˜Watermelonsâ€™. The iconic imagery of Saul Steinbergâ€™s art is also on display. While Steinberg is best known for his covers and cartoons for The New Yorker magazine, he is less well known for his collaboration with Piazza Prints in 1946. For Piazza Prints he produced superb, humorous designs for textiles and wallpapers. Itâ€™s a genuine treat to see Steinbergâ€™s â€˜Weddingâ€™, â€˜Trainsâ€™ and â€˜The Horn Holidayâ€™ border print on cotton, 1952, featured in the show. This is a brilliant exhibition. It explores the distinction between fine and applied textile art with a wealth of material examples which demonstrate that the distinction is false. Come along and experience the delights of artist textiles presented in this welcoming gallery. You will be accompanied by a music sound track of period jazz, a bit of Sinatra and a video
Steinberg's 'Trains'. Courtesy Fashion & Textile Museum
projection on the gallery wall showing Picasso painting on glass. If your feet need a rest, drop into the museum cafĂŠ for a break and then have another stroll around the exhibit. â– See *Textile Design, Artists' Textiles 19401976. Geoffrey Rayner, Richard Chamberlain & Annamarie Stapleton. Publisher: Antique Collectors' Club 2012. Available from the Fashion and Textile Museum shop & good bookstores ARTIST TEXTILES Picasso to Warhol. 31 January â€“ 17 May 2014 Fashion and Textile Museum www.ftmlondon.org Contact: Abby Cronin email@example.com Website: www.abbycronin.co.uk
Magazine 2013 Spring
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The spring issue of American in Britain magazine features theatre reviews of Ghost Stories, Roddy Doyle’s The Commitments, and The Weir; res...