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Eating Out Restaurant Reviews
Buddah-Bar 145 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7PA Telephone: 0203 667 5222 As I have mentioned a number of times before, London never ceases to amaze and delight me with an abundance of truly wonderful places to satisfy whatever mood you are in. There are fashionable bars to enjoy a romantic drink, bars to enjoy a drink with friends, and if you want food, restaurants of all sizes and persuasions to suit any mood, but it is unusual to find a bar and restaurant combination that without trying satisfies every mood and does so in such style. The new Buddah-Bar has risen like a phoenix from the ashes of the previous incarnation, which was a basement under Embankment bridge, and instead of being dark and dingy the new location is lighter and airier. The one 2
throw back is a statue of a Buddah, but rather than it being a 15ft golden Buddha, now, in keeping with the more classy and understated look, the diners are looked down on by a David Begbie Buddha delicately fashioned in a metal mesh which is lit to create a serene image on the screen behind the statue for those coming down the sweeping staircase behind. The Buddah-Bar is split into two distinct areas. The bar on the ground floor which has a more light and airy feel with stylish oriental fashioned furniture, and the more opulent restaurant area in the basement. The bar is a perfect place to enjoy a stylish cocktail at the start of the evening and as the evening draws in it turns more into a bustling socialising space which hosts a DJ and live music. There is even a bar booth for groups or a party which can be booked to secure your own little sanctuary in what, as the night draws in, is a social whirl. The cocktails are too numerous to mention, but there is something for everyone with many a tipple having a surprising oriental twist. Having sampled the delights of the bar we descended the imposing staircase flanked by two stunning Swarovski crystal dragons down to the restaurant. This has a very different vibe. This is more relaxed and includes a number of alcoves catering for diners wanting a romantic evening with food that doesn’t disappoint. The Buddah-Bar specialises in Pacific Rim cuisine and the Pan Asian dishes are fashioned blending Chinese, Japanese, Thai and eastern flavours with a number of Western influences to create many memorable dishes. The staff are knowledgeable, which is a blessing, as there is so much to choose from. The Maki and Sushi choices again will satisfy even the most demanding of diners providing exactly what you want with a wide choice including Salmon, Tuna and Wagyu Beef, as well as vegetarian options. Main courses create just as many difficulties with such quality and choice, but one that deserves special mention is the Roasted Black Cod (£27.50) which was flaky with just the right amount of sweetness to complement the perfectly cooked flesh. The other must have dish will surprise many as it resides on the salad section of the
menu and is the Buddha-Bar Chicken Salad which perfectly combines Chinese cabbage, sesame dressing and spiced chicken (£10.50). Sesame oil is not widely used but provides the distinctive nutty flavour of this dish and for me is one of the best dishes I have tasted this year. Other dishes include dishes specific to Buddha-Bar London such as Smoked Duck and Foie Gras Gyoza, Dragon Scallop and Pan Fried Sea Bass with Shiso Butter. Desserts are equally special with something for everyone that include Ginger Lime Cheesecake with pineapple salsa, Chocolate Sesame Bars with homemade vanilla ice cream, and Mango Pearls with coconut cream. The history of Buddhism is the story of one man's spiritual journey to enlightenment and for me this restaurant creates a journey of enlightenment of its own, but this time one of sensory and culinary enlightenment as they combine quality food and drink, a great location, stunning décor and an atmosphere unrivalled in London. To me this is a journey of enlightenment I am happy to experience again and again and again, and so will you. Automat 33 Dover Street, Mayfair, London W1S 4NF Telephone: 020 7499 3033 There is sometimes nothing better than a great steak or burger from a quality American brasserie. It is generally sure to satisfy a healthy appetite, and this was just what we needed after a long day at Hampton Court with the kids. Automat is halfway down Dover Street in the heart of Mayfair, sandwiched somewhere between The Ritz and Berkeley Square. From the outside, it looks small, but has a tardis-like feel once you have ventured through to the back of the restaurant. It has the ambience of a New York brasserie and is made up of three different seating areas. We sat in a banquette in the middle section, in a rounded wooded area resembling a train carriage. Through the ‘windows’ we enjoyed a rolling piece of art, which changes every so often. The back room with its whitetiled walls and black and white decor has an open
kitchen and an atmosphere and style resembling the meatpacking district of New York. The restaurant was busy, and got busier as the evening progressed. It was filled with families, work colleagues enjoying a meal together, groups of friends, and a few couples, all enjoying the lively atmosphere in the relaxed and stylish setting. Whilst perusing the menu, we enjoyed a glass of Anderson Valley sparkling Prosecco, whilst the kids filled up on the Milk Shakes (one chocolate, one strawberry)! To start our meal we enjoyed a sample of appetizers including Roasted Beetroot Salad (£9), Caesar Salad (£8) and the Crab Cake (£11). I have sampled the Beetroot Salad here before, so wanted my partner to try it – a delicious combination with the goats cheese and toasted hazelnuts. The kids loved it too. The Crab Cake was full of succulent, flavourful crab meat, and paired with delicious, creamy guacamole. There is an excellent wine list, offering a lot of choice, mostly comprising Californian and Italian wines from a mouth watering list that I am enjoying looking over as I write this review. With our starter we enjoyed a glass of Virginian Viognier, which at £50 a bottle is not the cheapest wine on the menu, but worth the price as it is one of the most delicious wines we have tasted in a long time. If Virginia produces wine like this, it would be great to try some more! The menu offers such a wide choice of American brasserie-style entrees including Beef, Chicken, Fish, Pasta and Salad options. I devoured a USDA Prime New York Strip Steak (10oz) (£32). Grilled to perfection, it was juicy, rosy red inside and complemented with a side of béarnaise sauce. My partner enjoyed Automat
Blackened Salmon with Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli & Chive Cream Cheese (£24). One of the kids chose an Automat Burger USDA Premium 10oz with fries (£14). He surprisingly ate the whole of his dinner and declared it ‘one of the best burgers ever’! His younger brother tucked into a smaller portion of his favourite dinner, Macaroni & Cheese with bacon (£9 for the smaller portion) and he struggled to finish it, (we won’t mention the Milk Shake) but he described it as “better than Nanny’s”. Praise indeed! Our main courses were complemented by some delicious side dishes – including Truffle Macaroni & Cheese (£14) (my favourite), French Fries (£4.50) and Mushrooms (£4.50). The portions are large, so ensure you visit with an empty stomach! The entrée was paired with a glass of Californian Zinfandel (£36 a bottle) – another great wine, and perfect to enjoy with my steak. After a short rest, we tackled our desserts. I couldn’t resist the New York Cheesecake, which met my sweet expectations. We also shared Mississippi Mud Pie, Strawberry Pavlova and White Chocolate & Coconut Panacotta (all deserts £6.50). Surprisingly, we managed to finish off the lot! Each dessert was delicious and it was just unfortunate we couldn’t squeeze in the Apple or Pecan Pies. We were very comfortable in our booth, and didn’t want to leave at the end of the evening. The service was very friendly, and the staff were attentive and knowledgeable. Automat seems to be a popular and therefore busy restaurant. Give it a go if you haven’t yet, to sample a classic American brasserie menu at a reasonable price. We have heard that the brunch here is excellent, so maybe that’s another excuse to return soon!
THE BRITISH PULLMAN Tel: 0845 077 2222 www.orient-express.com It had become a rare and unusual sight - the sun was shining! In fact, the day ahead was forecast to be the best of the year so far. We had deposited the children with the Grandparents. Things were looking good. We put our glad rags on and made our way to London Victoria, following signs to the ‘Venice Simplon Orient Express’. Checking in was a very civilised affair, with fresh coffee and tea served as we waited for the train to arrive. I am by no means a train spotter, but I do have an appreciation for old trains- especially ones of the steam variety that hail from a more romantic era. The sight of the Orient Express gliding majestically into the platform made me tingle with excitement. It really is an impressive train, albeit without the steam, with it’s distinctive cream and brown exterior, and beautifully detailed embellishments. We found our assigned carriage “Cygnus”, posed for a photo to capture the moment, and boarded the train. The train is made up of eleven British Pullman carriages; each one with its own name, unique personality and décor. Having been designed and built in the 1920s and 30s each carriage also has its own fascinating stories to tell. From being caught in a bombing raid in the blitz, to being part of Winston Churchill’s funeral train in 1965, to carrying presidents, royalty and heads of state including The Queen Mother, Prince Charles, the Russian leader Khrushchev and General De Gaulle; to name a few. Taking your own tour of the train is an absolute must, so you can appreciate the rich variety and splendour of each of these carriages. The quality of the craftsmanship is evident in every corner; the marquetry wall scenes, mosaic floor designs, custom-loomed fabrics and sold brass work have all been meticulously restored, and have earned these carriages the well deserved description ‘Palaces on Wheels’. There are a variety of ‘Best of British’ day trips available, including a journey to Sandringham House; the Queen’s country retreat in Norfolk, a trip to Cambridge and Ely, taking in the magnificent cathedral or the sights of Historic Salisbury including, of course, the ancient monument Stonehenge. Our destination for the day was the seaside town of Folkestone, a journey that would take us out through London and along the scenic Kent coast. There are, of course, other journeys available from London to other European destinations, including a classic trip to Venice which maybe we should cover in a future review! 3
Stovell’s 125 Windsor Road, Chobham, Surrey, GU24 8QS Tel: 01276 858 000 www.stovells.com
The British Pullman
From the moment we took our seats we were made to feel like guests of honour. The train edged out of the station amid a buzz of excitement and guests toasted the beginning of a special day with a delicious glass of Bellini (sparkling wine and peach juice). Fresh Fruit salad, served with yoghurt provided a refreshing first course. The dish to follow comprised Scrambled Eggs and Smoked Salmon served on a warm crumpet with pan-fried mushrooms, all beautifully presented and served from silver platters. Leisurely pauses between courses allowed us to take in the scenery and attempt to identify some of the stations we were rushing through. Brunch was concluded with a wedge of warm Banana and Walnut cake with whipped cream, and coffee. The last leg of the journey provides some beautiful scenery as the train passes along the coastline. Our arrival at Folkestone West brought a wonderful surprise; a Jazz band playing lively British classics from the platform. Again the air buzzed, as guests in high spirits, made their way to the next stage of their journey. We were taken by coach to the Leas, an Edwardian-era clifftop promenade, and left to enjoy the surroundings in whatever way we chose until it was time to return to the station. This really is a beautiful seaside setting, and one that we had never discovered before. We took some steep steps down to the beaches below and found a peaceful spot to take in some rays. Others chose a more cultural way to spend their time, following the Folkestone Art trail, that includes work by eminent British Artist Tracey Emin. A walk up the zig-zag path took us through landscaped gardens back up to the cliff top and we made our return to the station, where the Jazz band played to herald the start of our return journey. No trip on the Orient Express would be complete, it seems, without partaking in that quintessentially British pastime: Afternoon Tea. We enjoyed a selection of traditional finger sandwiches including my personal favourite; Ham and English mustard, along with freshly baked scones with jam and cream. This was accompanied by a glass of Balfour Rose; described on the menu as “England’s most 4
exclusive pink fizz” from the nearby Hush Heath estate in Kent. An impressive selection of cakes followed that threatened to strain our waistbands to breaking point! I would defy anyone to finish every morsel, but it would be criminal not to at least sample each of the dainty creations. A cup of classic tea is the only thing to conclude such a feast, but if this is not to your taste there is a wide selection of other brews to choose from. Finally we arrived back at our initial starting point, Victoria Station. It had certainly been a day to remember, and one that I could not recommend highly enough if you are looking to celebrate a special occasion, give someone a well deserved treat, or simply want to sample the ‘Best of British’. The British Pullman offers and extensive programme of luxury day excursions to Britain’s historic towns and stately homes as well as fine dining experiences. Aboard meticulously restored cream and umber 1920’s and 1930’s carriages, passengers enjoy fine foods, wine and champagne as Britain’s countryside unfolds at the window. Prices start from £205.00 per person. For further information call 0845 077 22 22 or visit www. orient-express.com Stovell's
When you look at demographics, which if I'm honest I do rarely, Surrey is always near the top for wealth and quality of life, so it comes as a big surprise that this county boasts so few top quality restaurants. Luckily for me, and now you, I can share one I have just found which is up there with the best. Stovells in Chobham has not been open long, and it is a rare delight to be present at what I think is the start of something wonderful. Fernando and Kirsty Stovell have taken their obvious expertise and love of good food out of London and settled in Chobham which is situated a stone's throw from Woking (15 mins to London) and is in the corridor between the M3 and the M25. It is a charming little rural village full of authentic wooden beamed houses, and Stovell's is one of these that has been tastefully converted into a restaurant. As we drove into the drive we knew we were in for something special. The exterior of the building is very pretty and there are a few tables outside where you can enjoy a drink before or after dinner, if summer ever decides to make an appearance! Inside the building is a cosy bar area where we enjoyed a couple of different and delicious cocktails, homemade popcorn and olives, whilst perusing the creative and mouth watering menu. The restaurant itself is very attractive, with a cream interior and a low beamed ceiling. It is light and airy and the tables are placed so that there is an atmosphere, but they are not too on
top of each other. There is an amazing private dining room upstairs which seats up to 14 and has its own bar area too, which would be perfect for special occasions. So to the food, which is creative, and beautifully presented, so much so, I wanted to photograph each dish! We were treated to a dish which is listed as Breakfast Radishes, and to be honest, as much as I would love to tell you about the experience, I also don't want to spoil it for you, but I would really like to recreate it for my own dinner parties. Sufice to say the taste, texture and visuals combined perfectly to make a truly exceptional dish. Having marvelled at this dish, we then tackled with gusto the delicious breads, butters, crisps and our Amuse Bouche of Lightly Spiced Sweet Corn & Yellow Split Lentil Soup complemented by the Coconut Foam, which caressed your throat and was divine. We chose the Lancashire Beef Carpaccio with Chobham Honey & Rosemary Dressing, Parmesan and Toasted Seeds, and the dish we both recommend as it literally melted in the mouth - Warm Aromatic Foie Gras, BBQ Silver Skin Onions, Toasted Cobnuts, Hay Dressing & Pennywort - definitely the best Foie Gras dish we have ever had. The secret to the texture is in the cooking using water bath and a
number of special ingredients. For our mains we had Crisp Pressed Suckling Pig, Prunes, Sherry Vinegar, Wild Chamomile & Cauliflower Cream, and Lamb Mixed Grill. Again both were fresh and tasty and beautifully presented. Desserts were equally amazing Mini Pineapple & Lime Sorbet - fresh, creamy and zingy without being tart - Apricot Tart Tain and Dark Chocolate Mousse, Sesame & Salted Caramel. We had the great pleasure of meeting Fernando who is charming and passionate
about his restaurant, and we are 100% sure he and his wife Kirsty will be awarded with their first Michelin star in the very near future, as it thoroughly deserves it. We can't recommend Stovell's highly enough, and hope you enjoy your time there as much as we did. A two course dinner is £30 and three courses are £38, which is excellent value for money. Tasting Menus are £60 but are bespoke depending on what you would like, and if it is anything like our one you will not be disappointed. n
Pets On The Go! A no-nonsense look at travelling internationally with man and woman’s best friend! by Lynne McAlister
oes Fifi want to go on holiday to France? Felipe to Spain? In my case Coco wants to go see her grandmothers in Nashville. In the past, the thought of carting our canine or feline friends overseas was overwhelming, but thanks to the modernisation of the laws two years ago, and with a little hoop jumping, Fifi can indeed see the sights and sounds of the City of Light and Coco can meet her family in the US! I’ve spent many hours researching the travelling options for Coco and myself and this is a cheat sheet of what I’ve learned. 6
First hoop - the legal stuff The Pet Scheme allows pets (dogs, cats and ferrets), with a passport, to travel in and out of UK borders with relative ease. To find out all the details go to www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad. For most of the places you would think of going on holiday, here’s a quick checklist: * First, your pet must be microchipped. A microchip is about the size of a rice kernel and is inserted into a dog or cats ear for identification * At least 21 days prior to travel, they must have a rabies vaccination * You’ll need a Pet Passport which you can obtain from your UK veterinarian. The cost of all this will be about £250. As you and your pet’s holiday is wrapping up, you have one more hoop. A Vet must perform a tapeworm treatment 1 to 5 days prior to re-entering the UK, and of course the details are to be recorded in the passport. Your hotel may help you find a Vet in the country you are visiting to perform this treatment. Okay, so that’s the fine print. Now for the fun part... Planning your trip, where to go and how to get there? THE CONTINENT If you fancy a stroll with Fifi around the French Riviera then: Option 1: Your fur kid can be checked and ride in the hold. It’s the only option for bringing them back into any UK airport. For your outbound options, some airlines allow dogs and cats in the cabin. There are weight restrictions: Air France, 6kg (13.2lbs), Lufthansa, 8kg (17.6lbs), KLM 6kg (13.2lbs). Prices vary but it’s about £100 for Fifi to fly. BA and Virgin do not allow dogs in the cabin on any flight.
Option 2: If you are not inclined to part with your furry friend during a flight, then you have the option of driving to Folkestone (about 1.5 hours from London), boarding the Eurotunnel in your car and driving out the other side in Calais in 35 minutes (approximately £75, book early, prices double closer to the time of departure). What if you don’t have a car? Or you do not want to drive your ‘right-drive’ car in a ‘left-drive’ world? Option 3: If you are partial to train travel and have a pet, then you already know that Eurostar does not allow animals. However, you and Fifi may take a train to Folkestone. In Folkestone, you will meet your pre-booked taxi, who will take you on the Eurotunnel to Calais in France, www.folkestonetaxi.com. The price for this option is about £36 for the train from London to Folkestone, £175 for the taxi-ride with the Eurotunnel fees and £128 for a TGV train from Calais to Nice (or £678 round trip). The entire journey would take approximately ten to twelve hours from London. So you and Fifi could wake in London and be strolling the waterfront in Cannes by sunset. Option 4: If time is not of the essence, you can take a leisurely ferry from the UK to Ireland, France or Spain. For example, you, your car and Fifi may cruise from Portsmouth to Bilbao in 24 hours with Brittany Ferries www.brittany-ferries.co.uk for around £775, round trip. On a select number of ferries, there are pet-friendly cabins for you to enjoy the journey. USA Perhaps you are considering taking your pet across the Atlantic for a long visit, or to move back permanently. If you are moving to the States, the good news is it’s much easier to go ‘home’ than it is to move to the UK. For long haul flights, most dogs and cats will go in the hold. Virgin Airlines, British Airways, US Air, and American allow pets in
the hold as checked bags - they are not allowed in the cabin. With dogs in the hold, consider these points: * Avoid summer flights, if you must fly in the summer, try night flights, this of course is nearly impossible from London * Opt for direct flights * Make sure your pet is fit to fly. Unfortunately, there are no US airline carriers that allow pets in the cabin from the UK to the US. So if you want to fly with your best friend in the cabin across the Atlantic,
you have two options. One, Air Canada, with a liberal 10kg maximum weight policy, allows for a pet to fly from the UK to Canada in the cabin. Visit www.inspection.gc.ca for requirements to enter Canada. Since Coco is not quite as svelte as she could be, this will be our choice for visiting the grandmothers. Two, you could find your way to Paris, then fly Air France to the US. Air France allows dogs in the cabin up to 6kg. So, okay, there are a few hoops, but Coco and I have decided it’s worth it. I’ll fill out
the forms, and Coco will endure the tapeworm treatments and we will travel together. “To a dog, motoring isn't just a way of getting from here to there, it's also a thrill and an adventure. The mere jingle of car keys is enough to send most any dog into a whimpering, tailwagging frenzy.” - Jon Winokur n Lynne is in Nashville introducing Coco to Country Music and cornbread. They may be reached at email@example.com
London CTS Ltd. 2 - 4 Circus Road, St. John’s Wood, London NW8 6PG Phone: 0207 483 1933 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Leisure Manager: Maria Dunn
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Days Out With Kids HAMPTON COURT Palace With school closed for half-term, a few days of rain under our belt, and two boys aged 10 and 7 firmly ensconced on the sofa with Xbox controls welded to their hands, it was time to head out! Our destination did not fill them with excitement, but they were perfectly happy when I explained there would be a café and a maze. Personally, I was itching to get back to Hampton Court Palace, having visited many years previously, yet still reminded of the captivating atmosphere it held. We arrived by train via Clapham Junction and made our way over the River Thames to the Palace beyond. Our first stop was the famous maze, free to Palace ticket holders. There was a suggestion to separate and meet in the middle, but as it was rather busy we opted instead to work as a team. A wise decision in hindsight as we, and many of our fellow mazegoers, were still searching for the middle a good twenty minutes later! Finally we made our way out of the maze (almost as difficult as finding the middle), and decided it was time for some refreshments. The Tiltyard café is a short walk from the maze and is built on the site of Henry’s jousting arena. Several sandwiches later we were 8
Henry VIII Crown Image © Historic Royal Palaces
ready to explore the Palace. We had been told on our entry to the Palace about some re-enactments that were taking place that day, and decided we would go and watch one. I had to manage the expectations of my youngest son who kept asking what time the ‘show’ started (his imaginings were of full scale musical numbers, fireworks etc!). However, I needn’t have worried. We met at the allotted time in the courtyard with other interested visitors and were immediately drawn in to the scenario by ‘Lady Exeter’, Anne Boleyn’s lady-in-waiting, in full Tudor costume. This scenario was Anne’s frustration at not being made Henry’s Queen after seven years of courtship. We then heard how Henry considered turning his back on Rome to allow him to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. We, the crowd, became members of the Royal Court, and took part in the role play to follow. We followed Lady Exeter through to Henry VIII’s apartments where we met Anne Boleyn. Henry himself entered, dressed just as he appears in so many portraits, and with a genuine presence about him that allows you to suspend belief and step back in time. An argument ensued, resulting in the disappearance of Anne, who we then had to ‘find’. The children were hooked, as was I. These re-enactments are a regular feature and happen at different times during the day. They really do bring the history to life, and make for a much more exciting way to find out the secrets of the Palace than reading the information boards. Having said this, most of the displays are interactive, with touch screens, video clips and other clever uses of technology
to keep everyone engaged and interested. We wandered through other parts of the Palace on our way to the gardens. In a rare reversal of roles, I was left dawdling at the back, being hurried along by my two boys. Mainly because every corridor you walk through reveals something amazing…a beautiful fresco on the ceiling, grand staircase, or famous portrait. Arguably the most impressive part of the Palace for me is the Chapel Royal, with its stunning ceiling decoration. This also holds great historical significance as the place where Jane Seymour (Henry’s third wife) lay in state for three weeks after her death, having previously been the place of her and Henry’s beloved son’s Baptism. The gardens are impressive in their size and variety. They offer an abundance of space and tranquillity, running alongside the River Thames. Visitors of all ages will enjoy the sight of the sparkling fountains, and the 18th century Privy Garden invites you to wander slowly down the paths admiring the floral displays. There is also the chance to see the oldest and largest grapevine in the world. If you are 7 or 10 then the main attraction here is the sheer space, and opportunity to run, hide and explore! It was time to head back to the station. We had seen so much, and yet so little of what Hampton Court has to offer. It is one of those places that you could return to time and again and always discover something new and fascinating. Needless to say I am thinking about that return visit already and have no intention of leaving it ten years this time! www.hrp.org.uk/hamptoncourtpalace
Brooklands Museum For those who live in the leafy Surrey suburbs you may be forgiven for not realising there is so much history on your doorstep. Maybe unbeknown to you, right next to the St. George's Hill Estate, is a fascinating piece of British engineering history - Brooklands Museum. Brooklands is a very special place as it is the birth place of British Motorsport and aviation and is now home to many generations of cars, planes and buses. Since its construction in 1907, it has been at the forefront of many significant developments and many land speed records were set on their tracks. It was so significant that it was targeted by the Germans during World War 2, and to this day there remains a gun placement that was built to protect it. Today, Brooklands Museum is a delightful celebration of all the successful advances in the world of transportation. Adults and children are catered for equally. Emily, age 11 said, "the guides were great, very knowledgeable, and happy to help you. The Concorde flight simulation was great, it gave you a real experience of what it would be like to fly on Concorde. There was a small airport bus where a guide will give you a bit of information about Concorde and the Concorde lounge. You have some time to look at the plane before you 'take off'. I really enjoyed it and so did my brother who is 14. We asked the guides all types of questions and they were happy to help and share their knowledge. The good thing about the guides is that they are volunteers so they are always happy to help." Brooklands Museum, Brooklands Rd Weybridge, Surrey KT13 0QN 01932 857381 www.brooklandsmuseum.com
'Ripley's Believe It Or Not’ ‘Ripley's, Believe It Or Not’, is situated in the heart of bustling Piccadilly Circus and is a treasure trove of the weird, the wild and the wonderful. On entering the ticket office you immediately encounter a two headed lamb, a two headed piglet and a five legged cow. In the same area, there is a picture of the Beatles made entirely out of stamps, which sums up the diversity of each of the rooms within this large museum. Your adventure starts in the lift that takes you straight up to the fifth floor where you start with the most pointless records, but also the funniest. Also on this floor is The Studio, which comprises several portraits made up from different artefacts i.e. bottle tops, cassette tapes, candy, pennies and computer keys (see if you can find the hidden phrases in the picture of Lincoln). If you want to know about the tallest, ugliest, shortest and fattest people it's all here (see if your party's combined weight adds up to the fattest man - luckily ours didn't!). The Dungeon area may not be suitable for the very young or faint hearted. Even for those with a macabre outlook, there are some torture implements that will make you wince. You are also able to flick the switch on Old Smokey (the electric chair). There is a cinema area showing clips of people pulling trucks with their eyelids, swallowing huge objects, and an awe-inspiring man with no arms who is still able to live a more than full life which is depicted by the film showing the many things he can do including using his toes for fishing and his neck for playing baseball. Once you have explored the top 3 floors, you then have the opportunity to find your way through the Mirror Maze and creep your
Ripley's Believe It Or Not
way through Laser Race (both of which incur an extra cost). The Laser Race is below the shop and for those who have seen 'Entrapment', let’s you climb your way over and under a maze of lasers, which was great fun. ‘Ripley's, Believe It Or Not’, certainly lives up to its name and we spent a fun afternoon marvelling at a number of things which leave you gasping with amazement, and believe it or not we are still talking about some of them a few weeks later! The London Pavillion, 1 Piccadilly Circus, London W1J 0DA Phone:020 3238 0022 www.ripleyslondon.com All Star Lanes For a genuine feel of retro-Americana in glorious ‘50s and ‘60s style, a visit to a branch of All Star Lanes is highly recommended. Even if you aren’t quite as passionate about bowling as its founding fathers, Mark and Adam, you can easily satisfy any food-from-home cravings, including burgers, hot dogs, ribs, wings and macaroni cheese. At the original and biggest, All Star Lanes in Holborn, Central London, you can ‘shake rattle and bowl’ every Saturday night 9
Fishers Adventure Farm Park
All Star Lanes
from 8 till 2, with free entry. There are four bowling lanes, and booking is recommended. The lanes take a maximum of 7 people and games on average take 10 minutes per person. There is also a private room that also has four lanes and can be hired for private parties and corporate functions. All Star Lane’s diner is a real treat to visit, kitted out with the old fashioned, ‘naughty naughahyde’ booths, checkered table napkins and fat glasses of iced water. The diner menu prides itself on offering classic coast to coast American dishes such as Chargrilled Steaks and Burgers, Ribs and Fries, Popcorn Squid and Chocolate Brownies. Finally, be sure not to miss All Star’s separate and equally gorgeous bar, with its fabulous choice of cocktails, American beers galore and the largest selection of bourbons in London. The current special offer is £30 for a game of bowling, a cocktail and a two course meal, and for children it’s £15 (although they don’t get the cocktail!). Off Peak £6.95 – Mon-Thurs (4-5pm) / Fri (12-5pm) / Sun (11am-5pm) Peak £8.95 – Mon-Fri (6pm- close) / Sat (all day) / Sun (6pm-close) Kids Bowling (12yrs and under) £5.95 everyday For further information please visit www. allstarlanes.co.uk Fishers Adventure Farm Park I often wish I was younger, but never more so than when I spent the afternoon at Fishers Adventure Farm Park with my 11 year old step-daughter and 6 year old Goddaughter. This award winning Farm is just full of fun activities that will entertain children up to about the age of 12 all day. Not only is there a petting area where you can stroke rabbits, goats and a few other farm animals, you can ride a pony and admire other farm animals in their pens. But I guess what most of the children enjoy, 10
are the various activities they can partake in, from swings, boat rides for the under 9’s, tractor rides, a climbing wall and a large inflatable that they can jump on until they are exhausted! The fantastic Cresta Fun Toboggan Run was a huge hit. The girls sat in inflatable doughnuts, were given a little push, and down they came, spinning and squealing with delight! If you are 4 - 12 years old, try to climb inside Summit Plummet, up through the giant elastic bands. Once at the top you can plummet down through the bands or slip down the side slide. There is also a skating rink (not ice) which in the winter allows children to try skating and in the summer months is used for spinning and wiggling around on roller racers. If after all this activity you need to sit down, you can enjoy one of the cafés or take a seat in The Barn Theatre where daily farm shows introduce you to the various animals. Fishers Adventure Farm Park is located in Wisborough Green on the edge of the South Downs National Park, in the heart of the West Sussex countryside and is open every day of the year from 10am – 5pm. All daily activities are included in the one admission price, making a day at Fishers superb value for money. Fishers Adventure Farm Park recently announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 per cent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award. This Farm is highly recommended to families with young children up to the age of about 12 or 13, but do wear trainers, as the floor is mainly shingle so will ruin heels of any type! www.fishersfarmpark.co.uk Telephone: 01403 700063 Wisborough Green, RH14 0EG n
Taxing Matters Tax Update
by Richard Watts-Joyce CTA, ATT Global Tax Network
he good news for anyone reading this article having recently arrived in the UK is that you have probably chosen a very good time to move. 2013 was always going to be a big year for expats with a number of key changes coming into force at the start of the tax year, not to mention a drop in the top tax rate from 50% to 45% (applicable to taxable income over £150,000). Changes to UK tax residency It is astounding to think that until this year, tax residency was not actually defined in legislation (other than the basis for being resident if you
spent 183 or more days in the UK during a tax year), but was based on a combination of case law going back some 200 years and HMRC practice. A claim that was perfectly valid in one tax year could be made invalid simply as a result of HMRC changing their interpretation of the rules or bringing a new case to court. Not so from 6 April 2013, with the introduction of the first statutory residence test which at last provides certainty on whether an individual is considered resident or non resident in the UK. As you would expect, the rules are fairly complex and based on a combination of “UK ties” and the number of days spent in the UK. For those that are interested in the detail, you are welcome to read the latest article on our website which covers the various rules in full. What is probably the most important change for overseas nationals working in the UK is the abolition of what was known as “not ordinarily residence status”, which broadly applied to those that intended to spend less than three years in the UK. The most important reason for seeking this status was the ability to claim a deduction in the UK in such a way that a taxpayer was liable to UK tax on UK workdays, but could claim exemption for earnings relating to business trips overseas. For US citizens, this provided an efficient way to reduce UK taxable income and utilise any excess foreign tax credits in the US where an employment required some degree of international business travel. Whilst this “temporary” residence status has now gone, “overseas workday relief ” has remained and been placed on a statutory footing, with some key advantages over the old basis. Overseas workday relief From 6 April 2013, an individual moving to the UK will be able to claim overseas workday relief for the year of arrival and the next two full tax years, regardless of how long they intend to stay in the UK. The conditions are that they have not been resident in the UK for the years prior to arrival, are non domiciled for tax purposes, and claim the remittance basis of taxation. This is far less restrictive than before, avoiding what was always a challenge to a somewhat subjective test of an individual’s intentions. However, there are some additional conditions which will require action before, or soon after UK arrival in order to take advantage of this tax exemption. Banking arrangements The most significant requirement will be the need to nominate a new overseas bank account as a “qualifying account” into which salary must be paid. The nomination does not need to be made in advance but must be declared
after the end of the tax year. Whilst the nominated account can be a joint account, it is not possible for that account to be nominated by more than one person. As such, it will only really be worthwhile where the second account holder does not actually contribute to the account. Once you have this account and your employer is depositing your salary to that account, care must be taken to ensure that the account is not mixed with investment income or gains and that at least some of the salary is kept outside of the UK (the exact amount will depend on the proportion of UK and non UK workdays and maximum overseas workday relief claim). If all this sounds complicated, the key point is that you will need to open a new “non UK” bank account on, or soon after arrival, and ensure salary is paid into that account if you want to be eligible for tax exemption on non UK workdays when you file your UK tax return for any qualifying years. Sadly, many new arrivals will not be aware of this and to some extent this could be seen as an attempt by HMRC to restrict the claims, as the deductions are only valid from the point that a qualifying account is established. If you arrived in the UK before 6 April 2013, then the old rules will still apply. The main difference being that you can only make a claim for relief if you can demonstrate that you intend to remain in the UK for less than 3 years - something that HMRC is keen to challenge as it is somewhat hard to prove. The UK banking side is, however, only one part of the equation as there is an additional requirement to declare overseas accounts in the US, albeit for a different purpose. Reporting of overseas accounts to the IRS Many US taxpayers are unaware that they need to report any non US bank accounts to the IRS if the aggregate value of all accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year. For US persons, the information is reported using the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (Form TD F 90-22.1), often referred to as the FBAR. As you might expect, a foreign bank account includes the typical accounts that may be held by a US citizen living abroad such as a savings or current account with a bank that is physically located outside the US. However, the definition is broader than this, and includes securities or brokerage accounts, whole life insurance, foreign retirement accounts (not held with a government), and annuities with a cash value maintained outside the US. Completing the form is fairly simple. The information that must be reported includes the maximum value of the account during the
year, account number, and institution name and address. The form must also be signed by the account owner with special rules applying if the account is jointly owned. It is often assumed that the foreign bank account reporting process is part of the US individual income tax return preparation, but it is a completely separate report. One reason for the confusion is that the FBAR has a different due date and different filing address than the Form 1040. Moreover, an extension to file your 1040 does not extend the due date for your FBAR - in fact, there is no extension of time to file your FBAR which must be filed by June 30 of the following year. Additionally, the FBAR must be received by the Treasury Department on or before June 30, rather than just be mailed on or before June 30. However, there is a connection to Form 1040, since earnings from foreign accounts must be reported and taxed on Form 1040. In addition, the taxpayer is required to disclose on Schedule B whether the taxpayer owns any foreign bank accounts.
Current penalties for noncompliance with the FBAR rules are severe. The non reporting penalties (not including any additional income tax related penalties) can include a civil penalty as high as the greater of $100,000 or 50% of the total balance of the foreign account per violation. Even non-wilful violations not due to reasonable cause are subject to a $10,000 penalty per violation. Not only that, but criminal charges related to tax evasion, filing a false return, and failure to file an income tax return can include prison and fines up to $250,000. The harsh penalty structure reflects the seriousness of the issue at stake and is a key component of US anti-money laundering laws that seek to fight financial crime, including terrorist financing and money laundering. For individuals, it has never been more imperative that they file FBAR forms as well as pay the tax associated with the income in the accounts. Catching up on arrears The good news is that the IRS has established an
amnesty programme to permit taxpayers with foreign bank accounts (and unpaid taxes) to voluntarily disclose unfiled FBARs from prior years. On January 9, 2012, the IRS introduced the third amnesty programme, and reflects the growing attention IRS is paying to tax evasion through the use of foreign accounts. However, the IRS has made it clear that taxpayers who reported and paid tax on all their taxable income for prior years, but did not file FBARs, should simply file the delinquent FBAR according to the form instructions, and attach a statement explaining why the reports are filed late. It is not intended that these taxpayers participate in the amnesty programme. n Global Tax Network is a specialist provider of UK and US tax services with offices in London and Guildford, staffed by UK Chartered Tax Advisers and US Certified Public Accountants specialising in cross border tax planning and compliance issue. For further information please contact Richard Watts-Joyce CTA or Wayne Bewick CPA on 0207 100 2126 or email@example.com
Foreign Exchange It Pays To Pay Attention When You Send Money To The UK
hen transferring funds to the UK, expatriates can face many hurdles. Not only do banks offer up poor rates of exchange and high fees, they also offer a limited range of services and lack the expertise you might expect from a bank given
that they hold your money most of the time! Despite what banks will tell you, they just aren’t set up to move money internationally. Although some US citizens have offshore bank accounts, a specialist money remitter will still be able to help save money on all types of transfers, but especially those for property purchases, salary transfers, pension payments, mortgage payments (at home and in the UK) and tuition fees. Exchange rate saving Below is an example of the sort of savings a client can make by just switching to Travelex International payments, It’s not just about saving on the exchange rate either. Clients will be saving on unnecessary bank fees, saving time with faster payments and spend less time booking transactions and chasing payments. Regular Payments and Fees Bank clients will often incur fees ranging from £15-£40 per transfer whereas leading currency providers will transfer their clients’ funds fee. This means that a client making 12 monthly payments per annum could easily be saving in excess of £250 purely on their transfer fees. Another key difference with a foreign exchange specialist is their ability to offer complete transparency and certainty with cross boarder regular payments. Currency companies allow you to set regular payments at an agreed rate for up to 12 months in advance. Once the regular payment rate has been fixed you need not worry about fluctuating rates as the currency provider can guarantee the Sterling or Euro amount debited or paid every month. These are also provided free of fees.
Fluctuations You may not think that the exchange rates move much, but it is the swings in the exchange rate markets that can often have the greatest effect on the overall wealth of an expat. The swings in the exchange rates are unpredictable but by using a specialist you can ensure you stay on top of what’s happening in the markets and make more informed decisions as to when you should bring funds over and when to send funds home. Aside from the difference in the rate on the day and the fees, it is these fluctuations that make the biggest difference and it is worth understanding these exchange rate movements to effectively manage your basket of currencies. In conclusion, not only will using a currency specialist save you time and money an account should just act as an extension to your internet banking allowing you to transfer funds from third parties overseas as well as between accounts at home and abroad by just logging on at home. Poor fees and lacklustre rates of exchange can soon add up to significant but easily avoidable costs, regardless of your current banking relationships. Foreign exchange is often the last thing that an expat will think to put in place but it could be the easiest money you have ever saved. n
For further information contact David Nicholls UKForex Limited - Commercial Foreign Exchange UK Local Call: 0845 686 1950 DD +4420 7614 4122 Intl: +44 207 614 4100 Or visit www.travelex.co.uk/aib 15
You are cordially invited to
Corporate Relocation Conference & Exhibition on
Monday 3rd February 2014 10.00am - 5.00pm at
Hotel Russell, 1-8 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 5BE
This event is FREE TO ATTEND
Come along and meet our exhibitors who have products and services that support expatriates and their families. There are also free seminars running throughout the day. You will need to pre-register for the seminars as places are limited so please email firstname.lastname@example.org For further information on this event please call Helen Elliott on 020 8661 0186
Investments Running Inside A Moving Bus Won’t Get You To Your Destination Any Quicker!
arlier this year, strategists at a global investment bank were becoming alarmed at political events in Europe, the sequestration “crisis” in the US Congress, and what they saw as an unseemly rush into equities. Apparently, word went out to their investors to put a tactical alert on stock investing for the next one to six months.
A month later, however, the same strategists1 decided to reverse course. The problems in Europe, they now discerned, were not systemic, and the likelihood was that continuing easy monetary policy would support investor sentiment globally. As a result, investors were advised to cautiously re-enter the market over a number of months. The move was not great for investors because – at the time of writing – the Global MSCI is up by 8.6% in US dollar terms this calendar year. The US S&P 500 is up 10.7% and the FTSE100 is up by 9.9%. The global investment bank concerned was not alone in changing its view. In December 2011, the veteran US newsletter writer Richard Russell, author of the Dow Theory Letters, told his clients in unequivocal terms to “get out of stocks.” “I believe we’re going to see a brutal stock market that will shock the Fed and the bulls and the public – and all who insist on remaining in this bear market,” he said.2 However,15 months on, Russell has seemingly changed his tune, advising investors to buy stocks after a rally that has taken the broad US market to more than double the levels prevailing at its bottom in March 2009. “Yes, I know that this market is uncorrected during its long rise from the 2009 low, and I know that there are risks in buying an uncorrected advance that is becoming uncomfortably long in the tooth, but my suggestion is that my subscribers should take a chance (after all, Columbus took a chance),” Russell said in March 2013.3 Other market pundits share Russell’s view, with Alan Kohler, a notable market guru, issuing an ominous warning to his subscribers in a regular note in December 2011: “The conditions are in place for a panic selloff,” he said. “It is not certain that it will happen … but the risk is now such that you must take action. I will be significantly reducing my already reduced exposure to equities, possibly to zero.”4 Explaining his mistake later, Kohler said he had not foreseen the extent to which central banks would continue to pump cheap money into the financial system. That’s all very well. But the fact is anyone who followed his advice and went to term deposits would have missed a rally in the local share market of more than 20%. Providing reliable investment advice based on macroeconomic, technical, and political news is a tough gig. There exist many dangers in splashing a front page story about markets that events subsequently overtake. Examples of where the media can get it wrong happen more frequently than you might expect. For example, after a bleak
Thursday session on Wall Street, Friday’s paper may carry a doom-laden headline, trusting that markets would stay down overnight. Unfortunately, if the markets bounce back overnight or early on Friday, recovering all of the previous day’s losses and more, these headlines look a trifle silly, if not plain wrong. For the everyday investor, the lesson is that the closer you are to media and market noise, the harder it is for you to pay attention to the bigger picture. Markets are moving constantly as news and information is built into prices. Sentiment is buffeted one way, then the other. Millions of participants make buy and sell decisions based on news or their individual requirements. The job of media and market analysts frequently boils down to creating plausible narratives around disconnected events so that it all appears seamless. The next day, you start all over again. As a broker or a journalist, whose horizons are in minutes, this approach to markets makes sense. But for investors with long-term horizons, second- and third-guessing money decisions based on the news of the day is unlikely to deliver sound results. A better approach is to work with a trusted advisor on building a diversified portfolio of assets tailored for your needs and risk appetite. The portfolio should be rebalanced regularly to match your requirements, not according to what is happening in the markets. Tactical asset allocation can sound tempting, but there is always a risk that the news will overtake you. Then you are left having to change everything all over again. As a wise man once said, running inside a moving bus won’t get you to your destination any quicker. 1 “Credit Suisse Reverses Cautious Stand on Equities,” Reuters, March 12, 2013 2 “Richard Russell: Get Out of Stocks,” Business Insider, December 15, 2011. 3 “Another Bear Bites the Dust,” Wall Street Journal, March 13, 2013. 4 Alan Kohler, “The Eureka Report,” December 19, 2011. With thanks to Jim Parker and DFA for their thought and input into this article.
James Sellon, CFA Managing Partner, Maseco Private Wealth Buchanan House 3 St James's Square London SW1Y 4JU T +44 (0) 20 7043 0455 E email@example.com W www.masecoprivatewealth.com 17
UK Sports Our Quarterly Overview Of UK Sports
fter a review of the 2012/13 soccer season we will look ahead to tennis, cricket and golf events this summer.
Soccer Our two predictions in our last issue both came about - Wigan Athletic won the FA Cup and Chelsea and Arsenal gained those vital third and fourth places in the Premiership to ensure another season in the European Champions League competition in 2013/14. After defeating Millwall in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, Wigan went on to record one of those classic fairytale victories in the final, beating hot favourites Manchester City 1-0 with a goal in the dying minutes of the match. Regrettably, Wigan were subsequently relegated from the Premiership to the Championship league.
In the style of Blofeld in the first James Bond movies, the owners of Manchester City, who did not win anything this season and came last in their European Champions League Group, demonstrated that they too did not tolerate failure and immediately sacked their manager and coach, Roberto Mancini, although he did live to fight another day somewhere else, unlike the failed bad guys of SPECTRE whose demise was very permanent!! Our congratulations go to Manchester United who won their thirteenth Premiership title with five games to spare. Sir Alex Ferguson, United’s manager for twenty seven years, duly retired and much pressure will be placed on the shoulders of his successor, David Moyes, another Glaswegian and previously the manager of Everton. During his time at the helm of United, Ferguson won 13 Premier League titles, 10 Community Shields, 5 FA Cups, 4 League Cups, 2 European Champions League Cups, 2 European Cup Winners Cups, 2 European Super Cups, 1 Club World Cup and 1 Intercontinental Cup. Moyes has some very large boots to fill - it will be an unenviable task! It is astonishing how quickly Premiership clubs, and others, sack their managers. After Ferguson, only Arsene Wenger at Arsenal has survived for any length of time - nearly 17 years. The next longest serving current Premiership manager is Alan Pardew who has knocked up an unbelievable 2 ½ years at Newcastle United, and his future is not guaranteed after a dismal season. Not one other current Premiership manager after that has served 2 years and ten have served less than 1 year - Tony Pulis having been sacked by Stoke City immediately after the end of the season and Roberto Martinez having resigned from Wigan Athletic. It is a merry-go-round!! With the Premiership title and the relegated teams decided before the end of the season, the final day’s matches had only the fight between Arsenal and their North London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, for that vital fourth place. Arsenal went into the last day one point ahead of Spurs and with a much better goal difference. In the dramatic final minutes of both games, Arsenal held on to a 1-0 win at Newcastle United just edging out Spurs who scored a very late winner at home to Sunderland, but for Spurs it was not enough and for the second season running they will enter the Europa Cup whilst Arsenal make their seventeenth consecutive appearance in next season’s European Champions League. Congratulations go to Chelsea who became the first team to hold both the European Champions League and Europa Cups at the same time - the former from last season and the latter in this season. It lasted only a few
days before Bayern Munich defeated Borussia Dortmund 2-1 at Wembley to take the Champions League crown. Congratulations also go to Cardiff City, Hull City and Crystal Palace who will join the Premiership next season at the expense of Queens Park Rangers, Reading and Wigan, who were all relegated to the Championship Division. There is much speculation that Jose Mourinho will return to manage Chelsea after leaving Real Madrid. If he does, and with the departure of Ferguson from Manchester United, Chelsea, who were Premiership champions twice under ‘the Special One’, could be a good bet for the Premiership in 2013/14. There are also strong rumours that Manuel Pellegrini, the successful coach of Malaga, will take over at Manchester City. Like United and Chelsea, will this management change increase or decrease the teams’ chances of success next season; and will Arsenal’s long serving manager extend his contract in 2014 or will all of this season’s top four clubs have new managers? Three months and it will start again! Cricket England’s tour of New Zealand ended with all three Test matches being drawn - two being affected by rain delays and the third by Matt Prior (110 not out) and Monty Panesar (2 not out) holding out with a last wicket stand to save the match. Not a great tour for England really. The New Zealanders then came to England for a two match series and England won both Tests convincingly. Matt Prior had an excellent year in 2012 with the bat and as wicketkeeper and was duly elected England’s Player of the Year - fatal. In his next Test match he was promptly dismissed for nought in both innings and dropped a simple catch behind the stumps! Next up is the Champions Trophy, a fifty over one day tournament involving England, Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Group A, and South Africa, India, West Indies and Pakistan in Group B. The top two teams in each Group will progress to the semi-finals which will be played at The Oval (19 June) and Cardiff (20 June). The final will be played at Edgbaston, Birmingham on 23 June. Then comes the ‘Ashes’ Test series against Australia. Five Test matches of intense competition to be played at Trent Bridge, Nottingham (10-14 July); Lord’s, London (18-22 July); Old Trafford, Manchester (1-5 August); Emirates Durham ICG (9-13 August) and The Oval, London (21-25 August). We featured the Australians’ build up to the ‘Ashes’ in our last issue and, as much as temptation lures me, the turmoil in their tour of India must not be restated. If, however, you go back to our Spring issue...! 19
For the first time, England then have to tour Australia for an immediate return series when we play the first Test at Brisbane (21-25 November); the second in Adelaide (5-9 December); the third in Perth (13-17 December); the fourth in Melbourne (26-30 December) and the fifth in Sydney (3-7 January 2014). All matches will be televised live from Australia for cricketing insomniacs! It does seem daft that these two Test series follow on to each other and the special nature of the ‘Ashes’ will be diminished by such a quick return series - let us all have more time to recover from the drama and excitement of the series in England before it all kicks off again in Australia. The England bowling attack looks well established with Andersen, Finn and Broad providing fast and swing bowling and Swann our spinner. Who will bat for England though? Joe Root, the young Yorkshire man, has made an immediate and stunning impact in his Test career, coming in at number five against New Zealand. Nick Compton has yet to cement his place as opening bat with captain Alastair Cook and young Root opens for his County side. If Kevin Pietersen returns from injury will he come back at number four with Ian Bell dropping to number five and Root opening with Cook? Bairstow will probably remain at number six and Matt Prior, our wicketkeeper, will stay at number seven. If Pietersen is not fit, Compton will probably stay at number two with Bell and Root at four and five. Trott will stay at number three but could also be a contender as an opener. These are all good , strong options. Australia have Michael Clarke! Golf This year’s Open Golf Championship will be played at Muirfield, East Lothian, Scotland between 18-20 July. Tiger Woods seems to be back to his formidable best and may well start as favourite. Rory McIlroy seems to have developed a large dose of inconsistency after signing his multi-million dollar sponsorship with Nike and using their clubs; probably not what Nike had in mind! The next Ryder Cup may be some fifteen months away but there is already some drama, although not involving the USA team. Who should be Europe’s next captain? Europe have won six of the last eight Ryder Cups and with the 2014 Cup being held at Gleneagles in Scotland there was much speculation that Colin Montgomery (“Mrs. Doubtfire” to the Americans, but also a Scot) would be appointed captain once again. The appointment of Tom Watson as the American team’s captain for a second time added to the speculation that Monty would be paired against him. But player power intervened. Top European 20
players such as Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Edoardo Molinari, Graeme McDowell and Justin Rose all came out in favour of Paul McGinley. McGinley has an impressive Ryder Cup record. He has played in three teams and nine matches, securing four and a half points. Europe won each time he played in 2002, 2004 and 2006. McGinley has also been a Vice-Captain in two Ryder Cups (2010 and 2012) both resulting in European victories. In addition to his Ryder Cup record of never being on the losing side, McGinley captained the GB& Ireland team to two victories over Continental Europe in 2009 and 2011. On this occasion, player power looks to have got the right man. Tennis ‘The Championships’ at Wimbledon will be held between 24 June and 7 July. Andy Murray, Britain’s only hope, is suffering from a back injury that forced his withdrawal from the French Open at Roland Garros. Will he be fit for the warm up
tournaments at Queen’s Club (10-16 June) and Eastbourne (16-22 June)? If not, it will be very difficult to go straight into Wimbledon. We previewed the Men’s and Ladies singles in our last issue and little has changed since then to alter our assessments of the likely challengers. For too long now the main contenders have not changed and the game needs some new talent to challenge the established favourites. Once again, it looks like my favourite, Serena Williams, together with Sharapova and Azarenka in the Ladies Singles and Nadal (back to his best), Djokovic, Federer and Murray (if he plays) in the Men’s Singles. It is all getting a bit boring we need some upsets and some new names on the trophies but it is not likely. So, if tennis is getting too repetitive, how about watching some croquet? The ‘Golf Croquet Open’ - whatever that is - takes place at Budleigh Salterton in Devon on 20-23 June; the British Open is at the Hurlingham Club, London on 13-21 July; and the Association Croquet World Championship is at Surbiton, the Hurlingham Club, Roehampton and Woking on 10-18 August. We presume it is not continuous play from one club to another along the A3 and adjoining roads! Horse Racing The ‘Sport of Kings’ has been rocked by the doping scandal at the Dubai owned Godolphin stables at Newmarket. In April, the British Horseracing Authority tested 45 horses at the stables and found that eleven horses had tested positive for steroids. Trainer Al Zarooni admitted giving steroids to 15 horses and was banned for eight years. Some days later the rest of Al Zarooni’s horses were tested which revealed that a further seven horses had been treated with steroids. Prior to the second tests, Al Zarooni had appealed against the length of the BHA ban but, after the second test results, he withdrew his appeal. It appears that horses at another stable have also tested positive for steroids apparently after the use of a medication for joints recommended by a veterinary practice and that a wider investigation is under way with stables that had also followed that recommended treatment. Other Upcoming Sporting Events Don’t forget: - The two NFL matches scheduled for Wembley on 29 September (Minnesota v Pittsburgh) and 27 October (Jacksonville v San Francisco). - The Great Britain Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone on 30 June - The Diamond League Paralympic Grand Prix at Crystal Palace from 20 to 29 July - British Athletics World Trials and UK Championships at Birmingham from 12 to 14 July n
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Hotel Review Stoke Park
f you have already heard of Stoke Park what do you think of? To me, prior to visiting this 5 star resort, after quoting in a very poor and stereotypical German accent the classic quote from Goldfinger “ What do I expect Mr Bond, I expect you to die”, I would have said Stoke Park is a golf course where in 1964, they filmed the golf game between Sean Connery’s James Bond and Goldfinger. An amazing golf course accepted, but just that. So it was a delightful surprise that not only was the golf course everything I could have dreamed of and more, but in addition there is a historic 5 star hotel with spa and sports facilities second to none. Stoke Park is located in the little hamlet of Stoke Poges which is handily located close to Heathrow (7 miles) and also only 35 minutes from London. Stoke Park offers 49 exquisite bedrooms and suites all of which are 5 star and boast the finest in interior design and comfort, a 27 hole Championship golf course designed by Harry Colt as already mentioned, 13 tennis courts including 3 indoor, 4 all weather and 6 grass courts and an award-winning spa with a heated indoor swimming pool, stateof-the-art gym, and treatment rooms. There are 14 acres of gardens and three restaurants including the 3 AA Rosette Humphry’s. With all that, and such history, there really
is something for everyone at Stoke Park, and that extends to all ages as children are also well looked after with a games room (with a pool table, table football, playstation and tv), and an outdoor playground with football nets etc. What makes this even more impressive is that family’s rub shoulders with couples as everyone is looked after. As you drive through the gates and up a road flanked either side by perfectly manicured fairways, you get a strong feeling that this is a place steeped in history and you wouldn’t be wrong as the main house dates back 900 years. The gardens are stunning and still show the quality of Capability Brown’s layout all those years ago. The house was used as a private residence until 1908 when it was purchased and converted into Britain’s first Country Club with Harry Colt designing the Golf course. Since then there have been a number of additions including the Pavilion Hotel, spa and gym complex, but the old and new blend
perfectly to provide a sumptuous home away from home. On arriving at the entrance to the Mansion, and as I looked around to see if I could see the headless statue designed by Oddjob, our bags were whisked seamlessly from the car and my car driven away, (I hoped never to be seen again as that would mean I would have to stay here forever), and we were checked in in a matter of minutes. The 21 rooms in the Mansion are all individually decorated and perfectly incorporate every mod con you would expect but with an old fashioned timeless feel. Our room at the back of the house also had a balcony which perfectly captured the setting sun whilst overlooking the immaculately manicured gardens and the hardy golfers putting out on the 18th green. Having just completed our round of golf (and yes it really did deserve to be in the top 100 golf courses), and before venturing down to the 3 AA Rosetted restaurant, Humphry’s, I decided on a long soak to revitalise my weary limbs, and was
delighted to find not only an enormous bath but large fluffy towels which I have been trying to find for my own house for ages. Rooms in the Pavilion Hotel are more contemporary but are equally luxurious and have all the mod cons, in fact, the Master suite boasts a 3D television. After the revitalising benefits of hot water and some excellent smelling bath salts we descended down the imposing winding staircase through the orangery restaurant which serves indulgent afternoon teas and breakfasts, through to Stoke Park’s 3 AA rosette restaurant Humphry’s. Having already experienced some of the best things Britain can offer, we wondered if Humphry’s could maintain the standard the golf course, facilities and room had set, and I am delighted to say it did so effortlessly. British cuisine is much maligned and is considered inferior to that of the French or Italian, but Humphry’s redresses that balance serving classic British cuisine with all of the ingredients locally sourced and of the highest quality. Service is attentive but not obtrusive and the wine list caters for every taste and price range with delights throughout.
Having struggled to get up from the welcoming king sized bed engulfed by a crisp cotton bedspread, and after a full English breakfast in the Orangery looking out over the picture postcard view of Stoke Poges church, we decided we really needed to try and work off some of this excess at the Spa and gym. My partner decided on a treatment at the spa and I decided on the gym (on reflection sometimes you wish you were able to have your time again so you make the right decision the next time) and whilst she was having a delightful massage in perfect tranquillity I was going through a personal purgatory in one of the best equipped gyms I remember for a hotel. Having attempted to try and work off at least part of my breakfast I then decided I needed some tranquillity of my own by swimming a few lengths in the pool, visiting the steam room and then relaxing on a sunlounger soaking up the little sun we have seen this year so far in England. Again friendly staff ask if there is anything you want, a drink or an additional towel without intruding on your space and I think this is what makes Stoke Park so special. Yes it has 5 star facilities, luxurious
rooms and quality food, but the real gem is its staff. Nothing is too much trouble and they do things seamlessly and unobtrusively so things get done with the minimum of fuss and always with a friendly smile. For tennis lovers, Stoke Park caters perfectly for you with 3 surfaces and indoor courts and the quality of the grass courts is such that a number of the top ten players in the world converge on Stoke Park just before Wimbledon for the Boodles Tournament where you can get up close and personal with your tennis heroes. Stoke Park is a true delight and upholds everything that I feel is special about Britain. That is to say understated quality, set in picturesque surroundings, with service second to none. I came here with the thought that this was just a golf course and left having been shown there is so much more and a burning desire to return very soon. n Stoke Park, Park Road, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire SL2 4PG Telephone: 01753 717171 www.stokepark.com
Property Focus On The Exbury Estate
here cannot be a more beautiful setting than the South Coast of England. Whether your interests are nautical, botanical or historical, there is something for everyone. To the South is the Solent and Isle of Wight. This is a major shipping route for passengers, freight and military vessels. It is also an important area for water sports and yachting. The internationally renowned Cowes Week is an annual event attracting sailors from around the globe. This regatta traditionally takes place after Glorious Goodwood and before the start of the grouse shooting season on the Glorious Twelfth. It was first held in 1826, with just seven yachts under the flag of the Royal Yacht Club, which later became the Royal Yacht Squadron in 1833. The following year, King George IV presented a cup indicating his approval for the event. From then on, the event became known as the Cowes Regatta. The early 1900s saw the Cowes Regatta grow with 23-, 19- and 15- meter boats, followed by J- class boats in the 1930s. Cowes Week has grown and today boasts over one thousand yachts in up to forty different handicap, onedesign and multihull classes. Around eight and a half thousand sailors now participate, ranging from Olympic and world class yachtsmen to weekend and recreational sailors. The event draws crowds of over a hundred thousand visitors during the event. To the North the New Forest encompasses thousands of acres of unspoilt woodland and
heathland, crisscrossed by many small streams. It is a playground for hikers and cyclists and bears host to a number of yearly events, such as the New Forest Sportive cycle ride and many walks held by the Forestry Commission. For the enthusiastic walker there are many circular and linear routes to explore, with dedicated picnic spots along the way where one can enjoy a magical break and take in the sounds and smells of the Forest. The Forest was originally created by William the Conqueror in 1079 as a royal hunting ground. Through the ages, the Forest has also provided wood for the building of ships. In 1707 the British Navy surveyed the Forest to identify trees fit for shipbuilding. In 1781, 2000 oaks were felled in the building of the 64 gun â€œAgamemonâ€? at Bucklers Hard. This ship saw service in the American War of Independence and was later captained by Lord Nelson. The South Coast is also steeped in history, with the region playing a vital role in both World Wars. During World War 1, the Forest was used as a staging post for troops destined for France. A grenade school and War Dog Training school were set up in the area and the airfield on Beaulieu Heath was acquired by the War Department. Charcoal burning
returned to the Forest to provide absorbers for gas masks with approximately 2000 acres of forest being felled. During the Second World War, the airfield at Beaulieu was used by both the Royal Air Force and United States Air Force 365th Fighter Group. This group consisted of the Republic P-47 and Thunderbolts. On D-Day, the 365th was used to attack gun emplacements and communication facilities. During this period Exbury House, one of the great Stately Buildings of England and the centrepiece of the famed Exbury Gardens was requisitioned by the Admiralty and called HMS Mastodon. The house was used for administration, victualing, arming and training of crews for the landing craft that were utilised in the amphibious assaults against occupied Europe. One incident brought the war to the front lawn of the house. On April 18th 1944, as the Allied invasion fleet were laid out in readiness in the Solent, a blackpainted Junker 188E pathfinder bomber was spotted circling over the Isle of Wight as if lost. The bomber continued at low altitude along the coast, before being targeted by two RAF Typhoons. This attack, in addition to the Bofors gun in Lower Exbury, crippled the
bomber bringing it down. Clearing Exbury House by only a few feet, the bomber bounced on it’s belly across the lawn, coming to its final resting place nose down in a bog. The remains of the plane were taken away, and it was a complete mystery as to why the plane had flown alone, and why there were seven bodies found in the wreckage, when the bomber had a crew of four. Subsequent research has shown that the additional three men on board were, in fact, their ground crew and that the plane was en-route to Bremen, but got lost in the fog, probably with a faulty compass. This event was fictionalised by author Neville Shute, who was billeted at Mastodon in his novel ‘Requiem For A Wren’. Set in this part of Exbury, his heroine shoots down the German bomber and suffers guilt after being told that the plane was filled with refugees trying to surrender. The Exbury Estate is most famous as the site of Exbury Gardens. Acquired by the de Rothschild family in 1919, Lionel de Rothschild set about creating the spectacular gardens. He was a keen collector of plants, particularly rhododendrons and azaleas, and also a successful hybridizer of many of these species, many of which can be seen in the gardens today. This tradition has been continued by his descendants, his sons Edmund and Leopold and grandsons Nicholas and Lionel. The garden itself is split into different sections, with a Winter Garden, Camellia Walk, Bog Garden and American Garden, where rhododendrons and azaleas, such as ‘Pink Walloper’ flower against a backdrop of
laburnum and wisteria. The American Garden was created after the Great Storm of 1987, when there was much devastation and the American Rhododendron Society were most generous in gifting many of their finest hybrids to help with the post storm reconstruction. Such is the popularity of the gardens, Nicholas de Rothschild filmed a documentary called ‘The Glory of the Garden’, named after Rudyard Kipling’s poem and narrated by James Mason. This film was co-produced by Minnie Cassatt Hickman, great grandniece to the impressionist artist Mary Cassatt and was entered into the New York Film and Television Festival where it won a gold medal for Best Documentary. Such was its appeal that the film was shown on PBS throughout the 1980s. Exbury also boasts a 12 ¼ inch gauge railway which was built by Leopold de Rothschild. Planning for the railway started in 1994, however it was not granted planning permission until 2000 as the New Forest District Council had a policy of not supporting any new tourist attractions. However consent was granted on the proviso that users of the railway were also visitors to the gardens. And so work began under the direction of Edinburgh-based architect Sir James DunbarNesmith. Sir James also designed Exbury Central Station, basing its architecture on Aviemore Station in Scotland. Work on the railway was completed by a topping-out ceremony by Leopold de Rothschild in August 2001. The Queen of England is an ardent fan of the railway, having made two visits to drive the engines, naming the newest locomotive
“Mariloo”, after Mr de Rothschild’s mother. Bringing the Exbury story to a close, the current owners have lavishly renovated the first floor of the House, creating a fabulous entertaining space centred around the Rotunda. It is thought that the Rotunda was originally part of a Summer Garden, created by Cubitts Builders for Alfred de Rothschild to match the Winter Garden that was already part of Halton House in Buckinghamshire. When Exbury House was being renovated, Lionel de Rothschild enlisted Cubitts to do the work. It was then they discovered the moulds for the Summer Garden in Cubitts’ yard. Lionel de Rothschild decided to incorporate this into Exbury House where it remains today as the centrepiece, flooding light into the very core of the house. The first floor was left unoccupied after the Navy moved out until the current owners, Nicholas and Caroline de Rothschild took over and restored the apartment to an exceptional finish. Starting from an empty shell with no wiring, plumbing or flooring, they have brought the apartment back to life using the abundant natural light brought in by the Rotunda on one side, and the large South facing windows on the other. n An all too rare opportunity has arisen to rent The Rotunda and enjoy an exceptional apartment with far reaching sea views and to become part of the history of Exbury House. For further information on living on the Exbury Estate and the New Forest, please contact Ian WoodhouseSmith on 01590 677233 or iwoodhouse@ johndwood.co.uk
Theatre Top Hat
Some Reviews Of London's Theatre by Lydia Parker Top Hat at the Aldwych Theatre If your taste for musicals veers instead towards gentle, carefree and light as a feather entertainment, then Top Hat, winner of the 2013 Olivier award for best musical, is just the ticket. Based on the 1935 film starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and featuring the gorgeous tunes of Irving Berlin, Top Hat is a feast for the eyes with sumptuous art deco sets and stunning gowns. Any fans of Strictly Come Dancing would be thrilled with the choreography which includes plenty of partnered dancing as well as fabulous tap dance numbers. Top Hat has a paper thin plot: Jerry Travers, a well-known Broadway performer, falls for the lovely Dale Tremont, an American socialite, in London. Dale is kept (in a chaste way) by an Italian designer, Alberto Beddini, so that she will model his clothes. Jerry pursues Dale relentlessly, temporarily disguising himself as a handsome cab driver, but never revealing his true identity, even 28
after a kiss in the park. Dale mistakenly thinks that he is Horace Hardwick, Jerry’s producer friend with whom he is staying. She flies off to Venice to see Horace’s wife Madge, a dear friend of hers, and tries to avoid Jerry, despite falling in love with him. What seems to be an open marriage is actually a big mix up as Horace tries to confess to Madge that he had an innocent kiss with a girl he met at the zoo. Dale feels so betrayed that she agrees to marry Beddini. Meanwhile Bates, Horace’s eccentric butler, tries to investigate Dale while dressed in a series of disguises. Of course we know boy will get girl in the end, but how they untie the tangle of confusion is half the fun. The strength of this production is not only in the classic tunes and the dancing, but also the excellent character performances. Alex Gaumond is a stand out as Alberto Beddini, consistently hilarious, especially in his only musical number “Latins Know How” as he does a sort of striptease down to his long underwear. Vivien Parry also shines as Madge, with perfect comic timing
and a lovely voice. In the performance we saw, Horace was beautifully played by understudy Paul Kemble, who seemed very comfortable in the role of the harried producer. The stars of the show, Gavin Lee and Kristen Beth Williams, however, lacked any real charm or chemistry. They seemed to be trying to capture a 1930’s style of acting rather than making the roles their own. Mr Lee has the lithe physique of Fred Astaire, but I found his voice quite thin. Miss Williams is a talented musical performer but lets little personality show through. Despite this, they delivered enjoyable performances and elegantly danced together cheek to cheek. The audience were quite literally dancing in their seats and everyone was humming the songs on the way out. For a happy, family friendly dip into nostalgia, you can’t beat Top Hat. Now booking to 27 April 2014 Aldwych Theatre, Aldwych, London WC2B 4DF Performances: Tuesday – Saturday at 7.30pm
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2:30pm Christmas 2013 performance schedule will be announced in due course Box Office: 0844 847 1712 Ticket prices: £20 - £65 concessions available Website: www.tophatonstage.com The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre The arrival of The Book of Mormon in the West End has been hotly anticipated after winning nine Tony awards for the Broadway production. Written by the creators of South Park, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, and one of the creators of Avenue Q, Robert Lopez, it does not disappoint. The Book of Mormon is intelligent, witty, extremely funny, offensive and an excellent musical. I was not quite sure what to expect as I am only familiar with South Park through my daughters who are fans. Whenever they describe a South Park episode to me it always sounds a bit shocking but with an underlying message about American society. The Book of Mormon is the same but with better songs and a lot of dancing. Elder Price and Elder Cunningham are two nineteen year old Mormons being sent from the safe world of Salt Lake City, Utah, the centre of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, on a mission to convert the people of the world. While their fellow Mormons are sent to nice places like France, Japan and Norway, our heroes are assigned to Uganda, a country of which they have never heard. They hope it will be something like ‘The Lion King’. Elder Price, who looks and acts like a teen idol, is not thrilled with his new companion, the short, fat, bespectacled Arnold Cunningham, who adores him and declares him his best friend: “This is so awesome because all my friends end up leaving me but you can’t!”. The ambitious Price is convinced this is an opportunity to make a difference in the world as he sings “You and Me (But Mostly Me)”.
The Book of Morman
The Book of Morman
Upon arriving in Northern Uganda, they are immediately relieved of all their possessions by the henchmen of the local warlord, General Butt F***-ing Naked. They are eventually brought to the other Mormons by a local leader, Mafala Hatimbi, but not before they’ve been introduced to the villagers with a happy song, "Hasa Diga Eebowai." “Is that like Hakuna Matata?” asks Elder Cunningham. It’s not. For a village wracked with poverty, AIDS, war and crime, their song is a middle finger up to God. The other Mormon missionaries, more squeaky clean nineteen year olds, confess they have not baptised anyone in the three months they have been there. They are too frightened of everything but have become very good at supressing all emotions, including bad memories and homosexual tendencies, as explained in the splashy musical number “Turn It Off.” After witnessing a cold blooded murder by the warlord, Elder Price decides to ask for a transfer to Orlando, Florida, the place of his dreams, despite breaking the rules on leaving his partner. Nabulungi, the beautiful daughter of Mafala, convinces Elder Cunningham to baptise her and convert the other villagers; she thinks that by becoming a Mormon she will get to move to Salt Lake City (“Sal Tlay Ka Siti”) and get away from the terrible living conditions of Uganda. Summoning all his courage, with the song “Man Up”, Cunningham, who never actually read 'The Book of Mormon', decides to educate the locals in his own way, retelling the stories with the help of Star Wars. In his concern for their health and unsavoury practices, like female mutilation, he creates tales which will change the way they live for the better. Meanwhile, after a “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream” involving giant cups of coffee as a temptation, Elder Price reconsiders and decides to go and convert the General himself, bringing him 'the Book of Mormon'. The result isn’t pretty.
Elder Cunningham ends up converting the entire village and becoming a hero amongst the white, blonde Mormons boys who sing a hilarious song “I am Africa” all dressed in white. This musical is bound to offend some people if taken on face value. Some British critics have dubbed it racist, but I feel that is missing the point that the play is purposely cartoon like and tongue in cheek, much like South Park apparently. The problems that it depicts, extreme poverty, illness etc., in Africa, are very real and sometimes the only way to get people to pay attention is to make them laugh. For me, The Book of Mormon is really about the innocence of Americans, especially those who are brought up in a cosy, protected world of faith. Mormonism is an American religion, founded in Rochester, New York, as the flamboyant musical tableaus depict. The musical could have been written about any religion but basically seems to be saying Mormons are a nice bunch of people, who believe they can convert anyone to their religion and a better way of life, a mission which carries with it a certain amount of arrogance along with good will. This is perhaps controversial, but I think the writers are trying to bring across a real message with terrific humour. The performers are uniformly excellent, very talented at both singing and dancing, and also extremely funny. American imports Gavin Creel, as the Donny Osmond like Elder Price and Jared Gertner as nerdy Elder Cunningham shine in their roles. Alexia Khadime is also exceptional as the lovely Nabulungi, whose name the smitten Cunningham can never get right, calling her Neutrogena or Nutella. The rest of the cast support them well, especially Giles Terera as Mafala and Stephen Ashfield as the repressed Elder McKinley, amongst other roles. The Book of Mormon is above all a first- rate musical with brilliant choreography and hilarious songs that leave you wanting more. n 29
American Women’s Clubs News AWC June is the official start of the summer “season”. Opportunities abound to participate in time honoured traditions and festivals, and there are so many excuses to dress up, but don’t forget your wellies! Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Stratford Upon Avon, Hay, Althorp, London and Cheltenham Literary Festivals, and Holland Park Opera are just a few of the possibilites! Ladies Day at Royal Ascot is one of the best reasons to buy a new hat & dress. Club sponsored events, or those you arrange on your own with a few new friends, can keep you busy all summer! At the very least summer is a grand time to pop into your local pub and have a pint or a Pimms and toast the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’a coronation! The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club Championships run June 24 - July 7 and is something you shouldn’t miss while you are here, 30
Trip to St. Petersburg
AWC at the Taj Majal
Trip to India
even if you are not much of a tennis fan. It is a unique experience and an excuse for strawberries & cream. Check out www.wimbledon. com for tickets and information. June 8 - 9 is London Open Garden Squares Weekend. More than 200 gardens that are normally closed to the public will be open all around London. Large and small, colorful, verdant and soothing - it is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy spaces usually reserved only for those lucky enough to live on the Squares. Visit www.opensquares.org for more information and to get tickets. The Taste of London Festival is a culinary extravagaza at Regent’s Park June 20 - 23. There is nary a taste in the world you won’t find represented here. After all, London is one of the most multi cultural cities in the world! Check out ticket options and the list of vendors at www.tastefestivals.com/london. If you weren’t able to get tickets to the Chelsea Flower show perhaps you can satisfy your gardening dreams at the Hampton Court Flower Show July 9 - 14. It is an easy train ride to Hampton Court and the crowds are a bit more managable. Visit www.rhs.org.uk/hamptoncourt for more information and tickets. The Henley Royal Regatta is the premier international rowing event with competitors from around the world. The race runs from July 3 -7. The Henley Regatta was first held in 1839 and has been annually ever since, except during WWI and WWII. Prince Albert became the first Royal Patron of the race and upon his death the reigning monarch has taken
on patronage of the race so it can be called a Royal Regatta. It is run by a private club with a long waiting list but tickets can be bought by the general public and there is a public viewing area as well. There is a special rail service during the race and it is a short walk from the station to the race (www.hrr.co.uk). Musical opportunites abound during the summer months in London and the surrounding area. The PROMS, Promenade Concerts at Royal Albert Hall, run from July 12 through September 14. You can watch it on BBC, in Hyde Park or at the Royal Albert Hall (www.bbc.co.uk/proms) for tickets and information. Concerts at Kenwood House, Somerset House and Hampton Court offer varied acts and types of music. Of course there are big name musicians at the O2 and Hyde Park; tickets are available on line. Keep on the lookout, the biggest names sell out fast! More unusual events with a more historic flair can fill an hour or an afternoon. The Open Golf Championship at Muirfield (July 18-21), the Vitners’ Procession (July 11), the Swan Upping on the Thames from Blackfriars to Abingdon when representatives of the Queen, the Dyers’ Company and the Vintners’ Company row up river, checking the swans (3rd week of July) or the Doggett’s Coat and Badge Race in late July when six young watermen, freemen of the Company of Watermen and Lightermen, line up for the start at London Bridge and race to the finish in the vicinity of Cadogan Pier. Wind down the summer at Cowes Week at
the Isle of Wight and the Solent from August 3rd to the 10th. Sailing at it’s finest! (www. cowes.co.uk). The Notting Hill Carnival is the largest Carnival in Europe and second largest in the world after Rio de Janeiro. The Carnival Bands will take to the roads from around 9 am on Sunday, August 26th and the same time on Monday, August 27th. Sunday is Children’s day and Monday is Adult’s day. The Carnival parade procession should be complete by 7 pm. It’s a little wild, but a lot of fun! Don’t let all these activities keep you from joining in AWC activities as well. We’ve got a little something for just about everyone. The Travel group is very active at the AWC. A partners/friends optional trip is being offered this autumn. Thursday, September 26 to Sunday, September 29 we will be headed to Normandy, France to retrace the steps of countless soldiers of WWII. Included will be tours of the western beaches of Omaha & Utah, US Cemetery at St. Laurent, Monastery of Mont St. Michel, and the British and Canadian landing beaches. More interested in something less active? Join the Day Book Group, Mah Jongg, Bridge, Stiching, or Spanish Conversation at the AWC offices. Let’s Do Lunch, Bumps to Jumps and Day Hikes all have offerings during the summer that you might find interesting. We meet every Thursday afternoon at the Serpentine Bar & Grill in Hyde Park at 4 pm for a nip, laugh and a friendly check-in over the summer months. Founders Day, Mad Hatters Tea Party
Check us out at www.awclondon.org If you’d like to give back to the community we will be preparing dinner at the Ronald McDonald House several afternoons in July and August. On the last Monday of every month we need two volunteers to help at the Soup Kitchen at the American Church and we support Cancer Research UK in various capacities. The Ronald McDonald House is also seeking volunteers to help with housekeeping and administrative duties or to research Trusts and Companies that might make donations to fund its work. The New Members Welcome Coffee is open to all members, but especially helpful if you are new to London or thinking about joining the club. Come by the AWC offices at 68 Old Brompton Road, SW7 3LQ at 10:30 am on Tuesday, June 18, July 16 or August 20. Nearest Tube is South Kensington Station. You don’t have to be a member to join us at the coffee or our monthly meetings which are the last Tuesday of the month. Please join us!!! Visit our website - www.awclondon.org American Women of Surrey: What’s in a Number? American Women of Surrey (AWS) love their numbers, and the numbers love us. In the 2012-2013 membership year, we • Raised 25,000 GBP for our charity slate, which includes Be@titudes, Momentum, Riding for the Disabled, Oakleaf, and FAWCO • Saw the success of our first year of online payments, which included over 1500 transactions for activities and social events • Enjoyed a membership of 438 women, consistent with the past three years. These numbers reflect that we are clearly strong enough to accomplish the two- prong, philanthropic and social objectives of our club. AWS has certainly left its indelible, generous mark on Surrey charities this membership year, just as in all of our past 30 years. We are confident that our committed group, powered by a collective mission to make a positive impact on our temporary corner of the world, will continue to give back to the communities that have given so much to us while living aboard. What the numbers don’t reveal is the number of life-long friendships that have been forged and fostered, the frequency of laughs, the magnitude of memories, or the strength of the bonds that emanate from our club membership. Yet, qualitatively speaking, they are most likely life-long. If you are linked with America, live in Surrey, and want to be counted in our philanthropic and social successes, we hope you will join online today at awsurrey.org.
kcwc – international women in London kcwc has 30+ Activity Groups catering to its membership with diverse nationalities and interests. Some of the activities are Open to the Public; however, you need to become a member to attend the Members Only activities. If you’d like to become a member, please send an email to email@example.com. MAY EVENING GENERAL MEETING Our May Evening General Meeting took place on Thursday the 9th at the Lansdowne Club. kcwc members and their guests enjoyed “A Night at the Opera…and then Some!” at this special evening of musical entertainment with food and wine. They listened to arias and songs from musicals as well as hearing behindthe-scenes anecdotes from two highly professional performers: Sally-Ann Shepherdson (a soprano who performed in dozens of roles in operas throughout the world) and Eugene Ginty (a tenor whose operatic repertoire covers over 70 roles), accompanied by a worldfamous pianist and conductor, Peter Robinson (who has conducted most of the major British orchestras). It was a wonderful evening, full of magic and fun.
kcwc members and their spouses at the May Evening General Meeting at Lansdowne Club
President Susan Lenora (middle) with members 31
Soprano Sally-Ann Shepherdson presenting a rose to a guest
Programmes Co-ordinator Kathleen Herman is proud of the evening she organized.
On 21 May, this group went to Houghton Hall to see the magnificent art collection of Great Britain’s first PM, Sir Robert Walpole, sold to Catherine the Great to adorn the Hermitage in St Petersburg and reassembled in its original setting for the first time in over 200 years. BALLROOM DANCING Ballroom Dancing group is designed to get the kcwc members physically and mentally active while enjoying their dancing skills in an informal setting with the instructions of a professional dance teacher. There are two groups: afternoon classes for members who don’t have a dance partner (professional partners are provided) and evening classes for couples. The evening group started in January and since then learnt the steps to Foxtrot, Cha Cha Cha, Tango, Salsa and Waltz. The couples were either first time dancers or dance enthusiasts who never had the opportunity to practise the steps. They are now confident dancers. Check them out!
The two groups at the museum
At the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
Theatre Activity Leader Claire Tremeer (L) with Activity Leader Liaison Jami Christen
ACTIVITY GROUPS IN ACTION ART HISTORY The Art History group explores art through the centuries by means of lectures, series of courses and museum/gallery visits in London and beyond.
CONTEMPORARY ART CLUB AND TRAVEL GROUPS The Contemporary Art Club organises visits to Modern Art galleries in London. The Travel Group organises all types of outings....from visiting country houses and gardens and well-known towns within easy reach of London, to taking longer trips (with overnights) farther afield. These two groups joined forces in May over 3 days to travel to Warsaw and visit the city’s Museum of Modern Art. And, they bumped into…..see the photos!
Mike Tyson was staying in the same hotel!
HOSPITALITY kcwc Hospitality helps introduce the new or potential members to the Club and its activity groups. The Co-ordinators organise events such as luncheons following the monthly General Meetings, New Members’ Welcome coffee mornings or Happy Hours, and neighbourhood coffees and lunches. In May, there were several neighbourhood gatherings.
The two groups in the garden of the hotel
SW3 coffee at Kay McKim’s (seated, in the middle)
Art History group at Houghton Hall
The two groups before visiting the museum
Hospitality lunch at Lamees Ibrahim’s (seated, first on R)
JUNE GENERAL MEETING – Lecture Open to the Public / Lunch Members Only Thursday 6 June 9:30 am - 12 noon (General Meeting) 12 noon - 2:30 pm (Luncheon) Royal Automobile Club 89 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HS Nearest tube: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus GUEST SPEAKER: Mme Ménéhould de Bazelaire du Chatelle; Director of Hermès Cultural Heritage on The Èmile Hermès Collection: The Secret Beyond the Door. The final General Meeting of the year promises to bring our milestone 30th anniversary to a stylish grand finale. Hermès, having graciously honoured kcwc by creating a bespoke anniversary scarf, will be giving our members a special glimpse behind the scenes of this world renowned house of luxury to discover the history of the Hermès style. Ménéhould de Bazelaire du Chatelle, Director of Hermès Cultural Heritage, will explore Hermès’s sporting spirit which remains very much alive within the walls of the Èmile Hermès Museum. Mme Ménéhould de Bazelaire studied Literature, Latin, Greek and History at the Sorbonne in Paris. She worked at the Drawing Department in the Musée du Louvre, and joined Hermès as a curator of the Èmile Hermès Collection in 1986. Following the speaker, members will stay for the annual June luncheon in the glorious Mountbatten Room. GENERAL MEETING SCHEDULE: 9:30 - 10:30 am Coffee and activity sign–ups 10:30 am - 12 noon Announcements followed by the Guest Speaker 12 noon – 2:30 pm Luncheon RAC policy reminder: Denims or trainers not permitted. Use of mobile phones and other communication devices is NOT allowed inside the RAC. Outside beverages and food are NOT permitted. Please Note: There is a £10 guest fee for non-members to attend the General Meetings, payable at the door, redeemable if joining on the day. OTHER kcwc JUNE EVENTS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC: 1. kcwc ART SHOW: (Artwork by kcwc Members, non-member visitors are welcome) Wednesday 12 June 6:30 - 9:30 pm Debut Contemporary Art Gallery 82 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, W2 5RT (Nearest tube: Notting Hill Gate or Bayswater) “It is a vital matter, a sine qua non, for an artist to exhibit his work... To exhibit is to find 34
Charles Spencer at home
friends and allies for the fight.” - Manet, 1867. kcwc is pleased to announce that we will be holding our second Art Show of members’ only artwork at Debut Contemporary Art Gallery. The Art Show is an opportunity for our members to share their talents with the entire kcwc community, and for all of us to observe and honour the quality and diversity of their work. The show will include paintings, prints, drawings, embroidery, quilting, knitting, photography, calligraphy, sewing, tapestry, collage, sculpture, textiles, jewellery and ceramics - all created by kcwc ladies, from all around the world! General entry tickets are £10 per person and include a glass of wine (or beverage) as well. Additional beverages will be sold at £5 per glass. For more information, contact Kathleen Herman at firstname.lastname@example.org. “Debut Contemporary is a contemporary art gallery with the mission to assist talented and ambitious artists to turn their creative practice into a viable business and to find ways for the artists to break into the London and international art markets through its extensive art industry networks of collectors, curators, gallerists, auctioneers andHerrold other art prophotos by critics, Lisa Browne and Jennifer fessionals. Debut has been labelled as a 'New
Husband and wife team of Debut Contemporary Art Gallery founders, Samir Ceric and Zoe Knight and Interior of Debut Contemporary
Art Angel' by Quintessentially Magazine and 'One of 8 Art Businesses in the World Reshaping Art Market Globally' by FAD Magazine. Debut's collectors include European and American art-lovers living and working in London as well as NY, Miami and LA.” EXCLUSIVE SPECIAL EVENT - Feel like a "Princess for a Day" The 10th Althorp Literary Festival Friday 14 June Organised for the third year, Earl Spencer is once again extending his personal invitation to kcwc members and friends to experience Althorp, home of the Spencer family for 5 centuries, on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of its annual Literary Festival. This exclusive event is now a highlight of the Club’s activity year. This whole-day package is at £115 and includes a round-trip transport by luxury coach, welcome tea hosted by Earl Spencer, three authors' talks with time in between to view some of the rooms, gardens and stables of the house as well as the resting place of Diana, the late Princess of Wales. A 3-course luncheon, served on the Spencer family china, with one glass of wine will be prepared by the Earl’s personal chef. For more information, contact Cindy Maceda: email@example.com. kcwc EVENTS IN JULY AND AUGUST CHARITY CONNECTION kcwc’s Knitting for Others group is taking part in Challenge 150 and challenged themselves to knit 150 metres of scarves which will be given out to the older people by Independent Age. Already, the group has knitted 39.81 metres. To see how they are getting on and to sponsor them, go to: www.justgiving.com/ KnittingforOthers GROUPS THAT ARE MEETING DURING SUMMER • Ballroom Dancing – Dancing throughout the month of July • Bridge – Meeting throughout the summer months, if they have enough players • Daytime Book Group – Meeting in July for their Summer Pot Luck Luncheon and
Used Book Exchange • Fabulous Single Ladies – Meeting in July for drinks, dinner and dancing at Home House • Flexible Identity – Meeting in July to have a discussion on maintaining a sense of self. • Get Fit in the Park – Running sessions until mid-July • Golf – Playing weekly throughout the summer months • Knitting for Others – Continuing to meet throughout the summer • Magic of the East - Having an Iraqi lunch in July. THE REST OF THE ACTIVITY GROUPS ARE TAKING A BREAK DURING JULY AND AUGUST. ALL ACTIVITY GROUPS WILL RESUME IN SEPTEMBER. HAPPY SUMMER TO ALL THE READERS! CAWC The Chilterns American Women’s Club (CAWC) is a group of approximately 140 North American and International women, including some British women. In the past, we have had a few men who were members as well! With many long-term residents in our midst, as well as newcomers, we provide a network of support and local information to those new to the area. Our club offers the opportunity to network with other transplants to the Chilterns through meetings, outings, social occasions and charitable events. We are a great resource to newcomers and our returning members have made lifelong friendships and connections. CAWC has a monthly General Meeting which takes place at the Buckinghamshire Golf Club and various other activities and outings throughout the month. At our general meetings, we visit with other members, share our latest experiences, and sign up for various activities. The general meetings offer practical information and feature a different speaker or activity each month. We also have vendors who sell unique British and American products. This year our outings and activities have taken us to Royal Ascot, Boodles Tennis at Stoke Park, the potteries at Stoke on Trent, private tours of Buckingham Palace, German Christmas Markets, antique markets and fairs, just to name a few! We are very proud that our hiking group was just featured on the BBC radio 4 programme, Ramblings, presented by Claire Balding. Our club is part of the Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas (FAWCO), a network of over 17,000 expatriate women around the world. For more information on FAWCO, visit the FAWCO-website, atwww.fawco.org CAWC is committed to supporting our adopted UK community by raising funds to support local charities. We hold an annual
Christmas Bazaar in November of each year with all funds raised donated to charities. This past club year our Bazaar raised £18,000 and we presented checks to FAWCO, Scanappeal the National Society for Epilepsy and William’s Fund, which is a cancer research charity. This year our Christmas Bazaar will be held on Sunday, November 17 at the Bellhouse Hotel in Beaconsfield. We will have over 60 vendors selling a dazzling variety of goods, our famous CAWC Christmas gift baskets and and American bake sale and café. To date, the annual CAWC Christmas Bazaar has raised in excess of £200k for the club’s designated charities, including over £120k alone for the Epilepsy Society. For details on becoming a member please email our Membership Chair: membership@ cawc.co.uk or go to our website www.cawc. co.uk FAWCO Celebrated International Women’s Day at its Biennial Conference in Bern (March 8, 2012 – Bern, Switzerland) Participants at FAWCO’s biennial conference celebrated International Women’s Day with a variety of empowering activities. The conference attendees began the day with workshops on topics such as active ageing, maternal health, climate change, and The FAWCO Foundation’s charity updates. The morning’s first conference session immediately followed and featured an inspirational address from US Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Betty E. King. Ambassador King then accompanied the FAWCO women in standing on the bridge over the Aare River on the Kornhausbrücke in support of Women For Women International’s Join Me on the Bridge campaign. This global act of solidarity was created to bring awareness to violence against women in war-torn countries. The Join Me on the Bridge campaign began in 2010 when the Country Directors of Women for Women's programmes in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo had an idea that became the impetus for this global campaign. These two countries have been torn apart by the worst atrocities of war that the world has seen in recent years, including the commonplace rape and torture of women as a weapon of war. In 2010, women from opposing sides of war in these communities came together on a bridge adjoining the two countries. These women met to say "No" to war and "Yes" to peace and to show that they could build bridges of hope for the future. In its first year over 20,000 people took part with 119 events in 19 countries. (www.womenforwomen.org). The International Women’s Day festivities continued with an afternoon panel discus-
sion entitled Moving Mountains – Women and Politics: Switzerland. The panel was comprised of four women, all of whom are national-level, Swiss politicians - Claudine Esseiva , General Secretary of the FDP Women Switzerland, and National Council Members Margret Kiener Nellen, Christa Markwalder, and Barbara Schmid-Federer. Fritz Reimann, TV-Journalist at SRF Swiss Radio and Television, who served as the moderator. More workshops followed in the late afternoon, covering local club strategies and repatriation to the United States. The grand finale was the evening’s The FAWCO Foundation’s Gala, Knights in White Satin, in which members raising money to support the foundation’s global charities throughout the year. (www.fawcofoundation.org). Over 150 members participated in FAWCO’s (Federation of Women’s Clubs Overseas) Biennial Conference in Bern, Switzerland on March 6-10, 2013. Local and international speakers covered a variety of global and club-level issues. Conference attendees spent the week being briefed on a variety of issues facing Americans living abroad, received updates on FAWCO’s global initiatives and participated in educational workshops. The 15,000 FAWCO members who did not attend the conference may view videos of sessions and speeches online via the FAWCO YouTube channel. Anyone can follow FAWCO on Twitter at @fawco, join the conference conversation using #fawco2013 or find FAWCO on Facebook. The full conference agenda as well as speaker biographies is available to view at www.fawco.org. FAWCO partnered with an outstanding group of sponsors at this year’s conference, including Emmi Group, Vontobel Swiss Wealth Advisors, Highmount, US Tax and Financial Services Group, Victorinox, Vonage, International Herald Tribune, Presence Switzerland, Gerda Spillmann Swiss Cosmetics, The Hess Collection and Clements Worldwide. Other conference sponsors included Crown Relocations, Swatch, Traser Watch, Loeb Department Store, Bern Tourism and ABC Art and Greeting Cards. Founded in 1931, FAWCO is a global network of independent volunteer clubs and associations. There are more than 75 member clubs in 40 countries, with a total membership in excess of 15,000. FAWCO serves as a resource and channel of information for its members, promotes the rights of US citizens living overseas and contributes to the global community through philanthropy and global issues task forces. A not-for-profit New Yorkbased corporation, we are also a UN-accredited NGO with Special Consultative Status to the UN Economic and Social Council. The philanthropic arm of FAWCO - The FAWCO 35
Betty E. King, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, holding the left corner of the FAWCO banner with a black-gloved hand. Next to her is FAWCO President My-Linh Kunst.
Foundation - is an independent entity, which has donated more than $1,000,000 in education awards and development grants since its inception in 1967. FAWCO Clubs from around the world will gather in Brussels, Belgium, March 13-15, for the FAWCO Interim Conference 2014. The event will be hosted by AWC Brussels with the theme 'A World of Possibilities'. Brussels is easy to reach from England and given the difference in hotel costs between a weeknight and a weekend night, the FAWCO Board has decided to shorten the conference to two and a half days starting on Thursday after lunch and going through Saturday evening. The conference will be compact, efficient but no less informative and inspiring. Mark your calendar, online registration opens October 1. See www.fawco.org for more information. Chilterns American Women's Club will host a FAWCO Region 1 Meeting October 11-13. The meeting will focus on getting member clubs to work more closely together, sharing club resources and "going digital" with social media. FAWCO member clubs from England, Scotland and Ireland are invited to attend. Visit the FAWCO Region 1 Facebook page for more information. The four-year FAWCO Target Programme for Water has come to an end after raising $168,000 and building over 650 field wells in Cambodia. That's over double FAWCO's original fundraising goal of $80,000! FAWCO appreciates all of the clubs who participated in this first Target Programme initiative and made it a huge success. At the Bern Conference, FAWCO President My-Linh Kunst announced the launch of the next Target Programme (2013-2016), Human Rights for Women. Member clubs and individuals have until the end of September 2013 to nominate a project for consideration. The selected Target Project will be announced at FAWCOĂs Interim Conference in Brussels and will be the recipient of fundraising efforts for two years starting in March 2014. The Target Evaluation Task Force recommended that the Target Programme support 36
FAWCO's over-arching goal of improving the lives of women and girls. It also suggested shortening the Target Programme timeline and cycle by launching new Target Programmes rotating through FAWCO's four areas of focus on women and girls: Education, Environment, Heath and Human Rights (refer to Resolution 1 of FAWCO's 2013-2015 Resolutions and Recommendations). Since the previous Malaria Project addressed Health and the Water Project was an Environmental effort, the two Boards (FAWCO and The Foundation) have voted that the next Target Programme will be Human Rights for Women. Please see more information on the FAWCO website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. A new programme was launched at the FAWCO conference in Bern this past March - the FAWCO Youth Programme - with the mission to promote cultural understanding and raise awareness of global issues to our youth and develop them into responsible and
One of over 650 FAWCO wells funded by the Target Program in partnership with Tabitha Cambodia - Wells for Clean Water.
caring global citizens. The programme will most likely include several modules...current ideas are a cultural volunteer module, a UN youth module, a language exchange module and promotion for partner programmes. A week-long pilot project for the Cultural Volunteer module, hosted by AWA Dubai, is open to FAWCO teens 15-17 years old (July 16-23, 2013). The teens will be hosted in AWA Dubai members' homes and will have the opportunity to volunteer in different local charities. Participants will receive a certificate and should receive community service credits (check with your school). The programme will include cultural learning about the UAE and Ramadan, as well as the chance to experience the sights and sounds of a new country. Costs will be travel to Dubai and spending money. Lodging and most meals will be provided by the host families. Go to the FAWCO website, www.fawco.org, under Global Issues/FAWCO Youth for more information or contact email@example.com. n
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pleaSe mention ‘american in Britain’
Top Tens Summer of Culture: Top Ten Seasonal Treats by Judith Schrut
ith the British climate so famously fickle, who can say if this summer's theme will be "Good Day Sunshine" or "Singin' in the Rain"? But whatever the weather, the coming months promise a bumper crop of music, theatre, festivals and other great cultural treats, so grab your sun hat, wellies and duffle coat and enjoy our pick of the season's best. Wonderful WOMAD photo by Suzie M. Blake
1. THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF WOMAD WOMAD stands for World of Music, Arts and Dance and is the biggest international music festival on the planet. This year's WOMAD, taking place at the end of July, will bring together hundreds of performing artists from dozens of countries and around 30,000 world music fans to a splendid open air site deep in the heart of rural Wiltshire. Hotly-anticipated headliners are Brazilian legend Gilberto Gil, stunning and soulful Rokia Traore from Mali, and Jamaican reggae royalty, Toots and the Maytalls. From the USA come Grammy-winners and kings of Cajun, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, and the joyful Mex-Americana fusion sounds of David Wax Museum. Look out too for vibrant Quebecois folk quartet Vent du Nord, Bollywood surf rockers Bombay Royale, Siberian throat singers Huun Huur Tu and the MongolianPolish partnership of Urna and Kroke. But WOMAD is much more than a place to binge on the best of world music in spacious, clean and chilled-out surroundings. Not far from WOMAD's multiple stages and beneath its hallmark art flags waving majestically in the breeze is the Global Market, where you literally can 'eat your way around the world' as well as browse the wide selection of clothing, crafts, instruments and worthy causes on display. WOMAD is also a famously family-friendly festival, with free entry for kids, children's workshops and activities from dawn to dusk, and a fantastic last day Children's Parade. One of our WOMAD favourites is the exceptional Taste the World cookery stage, where performing artists prepare a choice dish from their homeland whilst chatting about their lives, music and culture with charming Taste the World host, Roger de Wolf. It's all served up with a side order of
spontaneous music and the audience gets to taste the completed dish. And if you tire of chemical toilets and ground sheet camping, treat yourself to the La-Di-Da Loos, luxury camping in tipis, podpads and yurts or splash out on a weekend Spa ticket giving you unlimited access to pamper pavilions sumptuously filled with Persian rugs and saffron light, exclusive cocktail bar, gardens and gazebos, hammocks, outdoor jacuzzis and wood fired sauna, plus a choice of treatments. Further information: www.womad.org 2. PRIDE OF THE PROMS For classical music fans, there's nothing quite so magical and unmissable as the BBC's Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, better known as 'The Proms' and a beloved national treasure since 1895. Hailed as the world's greatest festival of classical music, the Proms roll gloriously into town mid-July, filling London's Royal Albert Hall with 92 concerts over eight starry weeks of musical feasting, culminating in the legendary Last Night of the Proms. Every single Prom is broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, with more concerts than ever also available on television and online. But the Proms are much more than a chance to savour the best classical orchestras, conductors and soloists. The Proms' breathtaking menu includes a 50th anniversary Dr Who Prom, an Urban Classic Prom, gospel, world music and family Proms, Hollywood film evenings and 18 world premieres of new music. Opera lovers can look forward to the charismatic Daniel Barenboim conducting the entire Wagner Ring cycle, and jazz fans will delight in a Charlie Parker-flavoured jazz late nighter. American musical talent is always well-represented: this Prom year welcomes the debut of the National Youth Orchestra of the USA and Marin Allsop makes history as the first woman to conduct the Last Night celebrations. The Last Night, with its traditional lashings of fancy dress, party poppers, balloons and flag-waving singalongs to national anthems like Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia, sells out way in advance. That's where
The nation's favourite, Last Night of the Proms, Hyde Park. Photo by Tim Anderson
Something's fishy at the Newlyn Fish Festival, photo copyright Gabriella Nonino
Proms in the Park come in, created so that the overwhelming numbers of Last Night fans can all join in the fun. In addition to the Royal Albert Hall finale, audiences can select from four jubilant alfresco events around the country â€“ Glasgow, Belfast, Caerphilly Castle in Wales and London's Hyde Park. This year's festivities, set for 7 September, will feature celebrity artists, choirs, orchestras, firework displays and a live big-screen link up to the Royal Albert Hall for the traditional singalong finale. Hyde Park's stellar lineup includes Bryan Ferry, Nigel Kennedy, Dame Edna Everage and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. If you can't make it to a Last Night event, you can also watch, wave your flags, pop your poppers and sing along via giant movie screens around the UK or enjoy the night live in the comfort of your own home courtesy of the BBC. Further information: www.bbc.co.uk/proms 3. LARK IN THE PARK Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, splendidly set amidst the lush undergrowth of London's most beautiful Royal Park, has been putting on award-winning alfresco entertainment for over 80 years. The Theatre can be notoriously hard to find - only adding to its charms - so if you're a first time visitor be sure to leave a little extra time for the search. You'll know it's worth the effort when you pass through those semi-hidden gates and enter a secret garden of delights, complete with rambling picnic lawn, BBQs and the longest bar in London, glittering with fairy lights. Equally glittering is this summer's programme, which opens with an inspirational staging of classic American tale To Kill a Mockingbird starring Robert Sean Leonard
(of House and Dead Poets' Society fame), continues with Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Sunday film, comedy and music nights and Dinosaur Zoo, a tyrannosauric treat for all the family. The 2013 season finishes in style with The Sound of Music, giving audiences a chance to discover their inner singing nun with timeless favourites like Edelweiss, Climb Every Mountain and Do-Re-Mi. Do come prepared for all weathers since the Theatre is completely uncovered. This writer recalls a memorable visit some years ago when a sudden thunderstorm blackened the sky and blew over stage sets. The company persevered to the end, in wind and pouring rain, and somehow we had the feeling the show was being directed from the heavens - it was A Midsummer Night's Dream after all. Further information: www.openairtheatre.org 4. FOOD FOR THOUGHT If food and cooking are your favourite art forms, you will be delighted to find a hefty harvest of foodie events this coming season. Cheese fiends should head for the Nantwich Cheese Show whilst barbecue buffs won't want to miss Grillstock. If condiments are your thing, taste your way to Sussex's Chilli Fest, Isle of Wight's Garlic Festival or East Anglia's Big Onion Food and Drink Festival. The whole family is sure to love the Big Feastival, Chef Jamie Oliver and Blur musician Alex James's unbeatable music and foodie weekender down on Alex's lovely Cotswold farm, raising money for food and education charities. St. Martin's Courtyard in Covent Garden celebrates London's cultural diversity with a free Global Food Festival on 14th July. This day-long feast of food, drink and culture will see all six Courtyard restaurants - Bill's, Cantina Laredo,
Dishoom, Dalla Terra, Jamie's Italian and Suda - host tastings, demonstrations, mini masterclasses and entertainments, transforming the Courtyard into a vibrant open air street food market. West Country seafood lovers are also well catered for. In late summer, Cornwall offers the UK's 'biggest, saltiest and fishiest' Newlyn Fish Festival, featuring celebrity cooking demos, fish auction, Fish Tales Tent and the lugger rowing World Championships. Just over the border in Devon, there's Fishstock Brixham, a seafood and music fest celebrating the area's rich fishing heritage and includes live theatre kitchens, stunning displays of locally caught fish, market stalls, and a show of heritage and modern fishing boats. Both festivals raise much-needed funds for the Fishermen's Mission. Further information: www.newlynfishfestival.org.uk www.fishstockbrixham.co.uk www.jamieoliver.com/thebigfeastival 5 SUMMER IN THE CITY The 51st City of London Festival takes centre stage in July for a month-long feast of all things cultural. Get ready for an extravaganza of music, art, film, street theatre and dance at indoor and outdoor venues across the historic and financial heart of the capital, with many events free and family friendly. This year's COLF celebrates cities, walls, trees and Benjamin Britten's 100th anniversary. Events range from classical concerts in the City's most beautiful churches, cathedrals and historic buildings to bellringing, tree trails, a mattress circus and blues, brass bands and ballet across a host of squares, green
Night Fall, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre. Photo by David Jensen Celebrate the City - City of London Festival, photo by Robert Piwko 39
spaces and underground stations. A mobile orchard will transform selected City spaces into extraordinary urban orchards complete with pickable fruit, landscaped seating areas and daily live performances amongst the leaf and blossom. Full details of this highly recommended Festival can be found online, or call in at the excellent City information centre, St Paul's Churchyard. Further information: www.colf.org 6. GOLDEN TICKETS Whether you're seeking shelter from the blazing sun or refuge from summer showers, you'll find a great West End show a tonic in all weathers. Topping this season's bill of treats is the world premiere of new musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. As the mysterious Willy Wonka opens his infamous Chocolate Factory at the Drury Lane Theatre, bringing Roald Dahlâ€™s much-loved classic to life, sweet toothed theatre-lovers will have a mouthwatering chance to feast their eyes on sugary stuff beyond their wildest imagination. Lovingly created by a dream team which includes Academy Award-winning director Sam Mendes (Skyfall, American Beauty), Tony and Grammy-winning musical marvels Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray) and choreographer Peter Darling (Matilda, Billy Elliot), it stars the delectable Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka plus a superb supporting cast of Charlies, Verucas, Augustus Gloops and Oompa-Loompas. As well as the triumphant Charlie, you'll find loads of other family-friendly treats in the West End and beyond this summer, including perennial favourites Billy Elliot, The Lion King and Jersey Boys, the incomparable Matilda and glittering new productions of West Side Story, A Chorus Line and Sound of Music. And you shouldn't need to re-mortgage your home to pay for those golden
The devilish Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka in new musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Photo Credit Helen Maybanks
tickets. You can find substantial discounts to many shows at Leicester Square's half-price ticket booth or on websites like Broadway Box. Many theatres also release excellent cheap day tickets, available from the box office only. Further information: www.charlieandthechocolatefactory.com www.timeout.com/london/theater/cheap-andlast-minute-theatre-tickets-in-london
A great summer night's jazz at the TW12 Jazz Festival
7. MOTHER OF ALL ROCK FESTIVALS Britain's wide-ranging summer rock and pop festivals cater for all tastes, ages and wallets. If you like urban and massive, look out for the Liverpool International Festival of Psychodelia, Glasgow's West End Festival and the gigantic 10-day British Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park. For family friendly festivals, check out Cornbury, Towersey or 2000 Trees; for small, rustic and boutique try End of the Road, Green Man or the Wilderness Festival. But we couldn't write about the UK festival scene without mentioning The Big One. Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, better known as Glastonbury or 'Glasto', and the mother of all rock festivals returns in full flow this year after its 2012 rest break. Set on festival founder Michael Eavis' dairy farm in the heart of Somerset, Glasto hosts a whopping 100 stages of music, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and other art forms over four packed days. The Rolling Stones, Arctic Monkeys and Mumford & Sons head up the superstarry line up, with the Vaccines, Elvis Costello and Ben Howard rocking close behind. Glasto's always sold out months in advanceâ€“ this year's 135,000 tickets went in a recordbreaking one hour and 40 minutes last October. If you haven't got your ticket by now, you can still nourish your rock and pop soul online or on telly. In addition to its usual superb radio and TV coverage, the BBC's streaming the entire festival online for the first time, enabling viewers to watch different stages as they happen. Festival Glasto is almost as famous for its torrential rain, thunderstorms and mudbaths as its music cornucopia, including the historic
2005 festival when large swathes of the site drowned under several feet of mud and water, many campsite tents were washed away and the main stage was hit by lightning. Nonetheless the Glasto spirit survived unscathed, as can be seen in vivid photos of Glasto-goers mud dancing and mud surfing. Scientific research has apparently proved that Glastonbury mud has healing properties. It's 'packed with highly unusual levels of vitamins, nutrients and vibes', and we understand that a range of health and beauty products such as Glastonbury mud bubble bath and mud soap on a rope will soon be available. Further information: www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk www.cornburyfestival.com www.towerseyfestival.com 8. JAZZ JEWELS The UK continues its vibrant rise to the top of the jazz League of Nations. With jazz happenings daily in pubs, clubs, art galleries, stately homes, canvas tents and other chilled out venues across the country, it's a brilliant time to be a jazz lover in Britain. Summer and jazz are great natural partners. This season welcomes a host of unmissable jazz gigs, from established events like Glasgow's International Jazz Festival and Brecon Jazz to local offerings like the Bude Jazz Festival, bringing a taste of New Orleans and traditional jazz to a picturesque Cornish seaside setting. More and more mainstream music festivals, including Glastonbury, Latitude and the BBC Proms are also offering jazz options. Smaller, one site jazz events are also popular. July sees the first TW12 Jazz Festival, a special all day music extravaganza playing out in Hampton Hill Playhouse near a lovely stretch of the River Thames. With pianist Jason Rebello headlining, the TW12 will have swigs of Swing, Latin, Funk, Fusion, Gypsy Jazz, Ska, Great American Songbook-- something for all jazz tastes. A green and gorgeous country house site between London and Brighton is the perfect backdrop for Jazz FM's original Love Supreme Festival, packing three full days in July with the very best of the genre, including men-ofthe-moment Bryan Ferry and Michael Kiwanuka, the mesmerising Melody Gardot and celebrated saxophonist Courtney Pine. You can find up-to-date jazz listings in Jazzwise Magazine, Time Out and Jazz in London. And if you'd prefer to share your jazz with likeminded company, we recommend joining the relaxed and welcoming London Jazz Meet Up Group, with its 1800 members and growing. Further information: www.tw12jazzfestival.co.uk www.meetup.com/london-jazz www.lovesupremefestival.com
9. THE GLORIOUS GLOBE Shakespeare's Globe, founded by late expat American actor Sam Wanamaker, is an internationally renowned theatre and education centre dedicated to all things William Shakespeare. A hugely popular must-see for Americans in London, whether serious Shakespeareans or virgin 'groundlings', the Globe's a faithful recreation of the 16th century open air playhouse which stood a hop, skip and bow away from the current River Thames-side location and where many of the Bard's plays were performed for the first time. The original Globe thrived until 1613, when a stage cannon misfired into its thatched roof midperformance. In less than two hours the theatre had burned to the ground. Today's Globe, the triumphant result of Wanamaker's decades of tireless fundraising, research and planning battles, is a story and drama in itself. Historically accurate materials were used in the Globe's painstaking rebuild, from Elizabethan-style oak beams and white lime-washed walls to the water reed roof, London's first permitted thatched roof since the Great Fire of London in 1666. This year's 'Season of Plenty' promises daily stagefuls of magic, enchantment and the fantastical, featuring Shakespeare's Macbeth, Taming of the Shrew, the Tempest and Midsummer Night's Dream, world premieres of three new plays, sonnet walks, midnight matinees and more. Sadly, Sam Wanamaker died just before the theatre opened, but his vibrant energy and spirit
lives on. Since its debut in 1997 the Globe has been a sell-out success story beyond all expectations. And next year marks an exciting milestone with the opening of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, a stunning indoor Jacobean-style theatre and vital second stage which will allow Globe productions to thrive year round. American in Britain loves the Globe so we'll be sure to keep you updated on the new Playhouse's mouthwatering first season of candlelit plays, opera, concerts and comedy. Although Globe seats sell out fast, there are always 700 'groundling' tickets available daily for an astonishing £5 each. This gives you a standing spot in front of the stage and the best and most authentic way to see a show. Audiences are forewarned that the Globe is virtually open to the elements and that whatever else happens, the show will go on. But come rain or shine – and we've seen many a season with sweltering heat, hail and heavy downpours – we guarantee your Globe show will be one to remember. Further information: www.shakespearesglobe.com 10. SING OUT LOUD Britain's great singing traditions are riding a new wave of popularity thanks to inspirations like choirmaster extraordinaire Gareth Malone, BBC's The Voice and fabulous choirs like The Sixteen. Whether you've a lifelong passion for singing or caught the singing bug only recently, we've got a few ideas to satisfy that vocal va-va voom.
Blue skies at Shakespeare's Globe, photo by John Tramper, courtesy of the Globe Press Office
This summer's SingFest is an opportunity to learn songs from world-reknowned tutors in fun and relaxed farm surroundings. With no need for past choir experience or an ability to read music, SingFest promises a long weekend of joyful and inspiring singing for the whole family plus a variety of workshops, BBQs, relaxing by the river with a pint of local brew and the best campfire singarounds you've ever heard. If your taste is more country house than camping, Farncombe Estate, set amid the rolling hills and picture postcard villages of the Cotswolds, offers a range of vocal options, from singing and songwriting retreats to weekend workshops like 'Sing Abba', 'Go Gospel' and 'Singing for the Terrified'. To satisfy more ongoing laryngeal longings and a chance to make like-minded new friends, why not seek out and join your local choir, singing group or amateur operatic society? British Choirs on the Net, a remarkable resource with all the information you could possibly desire on singing courses, festivals, competitions, accessories and details of more than 3000 choirs, sounds like the perfect place to start. Further information: www.communityvox.org.uk/singfest www.farncombecourses.co.uk www.choirs.org.uk This is the latest in our featured series of Top Tens for Americans in Britain. If you’ve got a hot Top Ten tip to share with our readers, we'd love to hear from you – email Judith at judith0777@ gmail.com.
'Little America' An American Family's Experiences In St John's Wood
t John’s Wood, home to world renowned Lord’s Cricket Ground, is a microcosm of all things British. With its elegant buildings, boutique coffee shops and vast expanses of pristine green grass, it provides visitors and residents with their very own piece of quintessential England without actually being in the midst of the hustle and bustle of London. Well connected by the Tube network to the West End and City, workers enjoy a short commute back home at the end of the day and emerge into a well-established friendly community reminiscent of a Home Counties village. St John’s Wood station itself a much loved Art Deco treasure. So it is no wonder that leafy St John’s Wood is increasingly appealing to American families as a place to call home, with the presence of the American School an undoubted draw. Originally founded in 1951, the American School in London has grown from strength to strength and now teaches students from more
than 50 different nationalities. Mrs Marchiony, a mother of three girls, moved to the area from Connecticut three years ago when her husband’s job relocated to the UK. Moving home, whatever the distance, can be a hugely emotional time for families so how did the family find life in London? “Following the initial period of adjustment we settled in very quickly,” says Mrs Marchiony. “During our time in St John’s Wood we have made many close friends, especially through the school, some which we would now consider ‘family’”. So why is it that this area feels like a “home away from home” for Americans? The Americans who choose to move to the area to be close to the school have formed a real community. Mrs Marchiony adds: “Living close to other people who are in a similar situation to you can be extremely comforting. We have a little family run deli round the corner which has helped our family when we were feeling particularly home-sick.” Panzers, located on Circus Road, stock an extensive range of American food including goldfish crackers. “St John’s Wood is located in such a beautiful part of London and there are plenty of idyllic spots within walking distance of our house. One of our favourite places to go at the weekends is Violet Hill playground – the girls love it!” St John’s Wood was once part of the Great Forest of Middlesex, and until the end of the eighteenth century it remained in agricultural use. Apart from a small portion around Barrow Hill, which was owned by the Portland Estate, most of St John’s Wood had been acquired by the Eyre family in 1732. A second, smaller estate, nestled alongside Edgware Road, was acquired by John Lyon in 1574; the estate was later given by him to his foundation, Harrow School, on trust to maintain the roads between London and Harrow in good repair. Hence, a number of local road names reflect these links. John Lyon's Charity is today one of London's leading endowed educational charities. When building began in this area at the
beginning of the nineteenth century, St John’s Wood became the first part of London to move away from the typical terraced houses and instead began to showcase the semidetached villa. This somewhat revolutionary move was later copied in other districts of London. Despite many of the original houses and gardens not surviving the Second World War bombing raids, the area has still managed to preserve its original character. As well as its history and the aforementioned famous cricket ground, there are many other attractions which draw both tourists and local residents to the area. Regent’s Park is just a stone’s throw away and is the largest open space for sports in Central London. The park not only hosts another world famous institution, London Zoo, but also the highly acclaimed open air theatre where Shakespeare’s plays are regularly performed. Cafés and restaurants add to the ambience. St John’s Wood itself is also home to the most famous recording studios in the world – Abbey Road – after British pop sensation 'The Beatles' brought the area into the public eye with the iconic album covering featuring an image of the group on a zebra crossing outside the studios. Today tourists from all over the world dodge the traffic in an attempt to recreate this iconic picture. St John’s Wood is an idyllic location for long-standing residents and American shortstay visitors alike. It features all of the best aspects of London with the occasional home comfort to hand, and has a very special place in the hearts of many. n The Eyre Estate and John Lyons Charity currently have properties available to rent in St John's Wood through, and managed by, Cluttons. Cluttons pride themselves not only on the service they provide to their clients, but also the way in which the tenants are looked after throughout their tenancy. For more information contact Cluttons on 020 7586 5863 or visit www.cluttons.com 43
Arts & Antiques The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths by Abby Cronin
hen you become acquainted with the history and varied activities of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths you can indulge your appreciation of jewellery and precious metal articles. The Goldsmiths’ Company preserves a unique heritage. It received its first royal charter in 1327 and is one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of the City of London. As a medieval guild for the goldsmith trade, the Company was established to support and regulate the hallmarking of precious metal articles. Over time it has become responsible for promoting excellence in craftsmanship, design and technical innovation within silversmithing, jewellery and allied crafts. The Company has flourished through seven centuries by adapting to the demands of an everchanging competitive market.
The Grand Staircase
While it is not a business as such, the core functions of the Goldsmiths’ Company include operating the Assay Office, supporting and encouraging the trade, funding numerous educational and charitable initiatives and promoting contemporary craftsmanship in precious metals through competitions, exhibitions and events. The Assay Office of the Goldsmiths’ Company has been recognised for quality hallmarking since 1478. Gold and silver in their pure form are not sufficiently durable so an alloy is essential to improve their wearing qualities. Traditionally the metals used for an alloy of gold have been silver and copper and copper is used for strengthening silver. The process of testing the metal’s quality guarantees a standard of purity. Once the purity of precious metals such as platinum, gold, palladium and silver is established a series of marks, the hallmarks, are then applied. There are strict legal requirements for hallmarking articles containing precious metals. The UK has been a signatory to the International Convention of Hallmarks since 1972 and UK Hallmarking Acts ensure that standards
Necessaire by Van Cleef & Arpels, 1930
are adhered to. These laws exist to ensure the purity of the metal and a hallmark consists of a minimum of three elements which the assay office stamps on the item: the maker/ manufacturer, the metal and fineness and the Assay Office mark. (1) Plan a visit to the Goldsmiths’ Hall, a magnificent hidden architectural treasure at the corner of Foster Lane and Gresham Street, north east of St Paul’s Cathedral. This has been the site of the Goldsmiths’ Company since a building was purchased in 1339. The original building was a merchant’s house near the goldsmithing area in Cheapside. The present Hall is the third building on the same site. Designed by the Company’s architect, Philip Hardwick, it opened in 1835. Restored to an exceptionally high standard after bomb damage in 1941, today the interior is an exquisite example of high Victorian grandeur with the charm of an urban palazzo. The stunning rooms are filled with high profile exhibitions several times a year. While there, be sure you take time to enjoy the sumptuous furnishings. Behold the extraordinary Grand Staircase! Wander slowly through the Livery Hall and Drawing Room. Take time to appreciate the fantastic chandeliers, marble statues, superb ceilings, mirrors and the gold gilt throughout. Several exhibitions are planned for the summer and autumn months in 2013. ‘Ultra Vanities – Bejewelled Make-Up Boxes from the Age of Glamour’ is currently open to the public and runs until 20th July in Goldsmiths’ Hall (free admission). This is a rare opportunity to see a unique private collection of remarkable objets d’art made by designercraftsmen from the world’s most distinguished jewellery houses. In the 1920s through to the
1970s make-up boxes were all the rage. More than 200 pieces will be displayed in a setting reminiscent of an elegant Parisian salon of the 1930s. Step back in time and enjoy the ingenious engineering artistry of these miniature works. These cases were regarded as an essential accessory, designed to be shown off. They were also a practical way of carrying powder, lipstick, a comb, mirrors and a cigarette holder, exactly what a woman would need on a night out. On the previous page is one superlative example by Van Cleef and Arpels circa 1930. Either by design or accident, the timing of this exhibit is perfect because it will run in step with the release of the blockbuster film The Great Gatsby. Throw the gloom of economic austerity aside while you enjoy the world of glamorous luxury from a bygone age. The Goldsmiths’ Company Pavilion at Somerset House offers the public an accessible summer venue from June 26th -29th. The Pavilion will be held in the West Wing Galleries. This is a superb opportunity to see work by top jewellery, silver and furniture designers working in the UK today. If your shopping list includes a gift for a special occasion, why not commission something unique and tailor-made in keeping with your budget from one of these innovative designers. The black bangle on the next page is just one example of jewellery available at the Pavilion. In keeping with its charitable commitment, the Company embarked on a £17.5 million project in 2005, the creation of the Goldsmiths’ Centre. This undertaking involved the restoration of an existing listed Victorian London Board School. Today the Centre is up and running in a purpose-built sustainable four-storey building designed to accommodate workshop space for established firms of silversmiths and jewellers. There are also subsidised workspaces for young people starting out in the business. (2) During the summer the Company will co-sponsor ‘British Silver Week -Festival of Silver’ in the Goldsmiths’ Centre. This selling Beakers by Fred Rich
Silver vase being hallmarked
exhibition from 8th July – 13th July is part of a programme to promote awareness of modern contemporary British silversmithing. Without a doubt the premier autumn destination for lovers of jewellery and silversmiths is the twice-yearly selling exhibition, Goldsmiths’ Fair -2013, held in the Goldsmiths’ Company Hall. Established in 1983, this superlative selling exhibition has grown in stature and allure and is regarded as the most prestigious event of its kind in Europe. The Fair takes place over two separate weeks in order to provide enough space for 180 selected designer-makers to display their work. This year the Fair opens on 23rd September and closes on 6th October. Exquisite original works by independent designer-makers fill the Hall. The works are presented in glistening vitrines that have a magnet attraction. If you want to see outstanding cutting edge works by dedicated contemporary silversmiths, this is it -- a chance to talk with the makers and learn more from them about their craft and techniques.
© Frederic Edwin Church. Falls 1867.of On the next page are Niagara a few examples Courtesy the Nationalexhibitors Gallery. innovative pieces from ofestablished whose work can be found in the Fair. Ornella Iannuzzi’s distinctive ‘wearable sculptures’ embody elegance and audacity. Her jewellery originates from her childhood love of stones, crystals and minerals. In her own words she says: 'I was born in the Alps and you are surrounded by nature all the time….from a very young age I collected stones, crystals and minerals… I wanted to show these beautiful things to the world….I thought that the best way to do this was to put them on a pendant, or on a ring, so I could take them around with me.' Another equally original and gifted jeweller is Andrew Lamb, whose approach is influenced by his interest in optical illusion. He comments: 'Optical illusion and visual effects...I create refined, delicately shaped pieces which appear to change in colour as the eye moves over the surface.' The silversmith Fred Rich is regarded as one of Britain’s most dynamic and exciting enamellers working in silver, jewellery and art metals. A set of his beakers are displayed here. For more details about the individual designers be sure to consult the Goldsmiths’ Company website. (3) By now you might be thinking – so much to learn, so much to see; too little time, and you would be right. Perhaps it’s best to step back from the dazzle and glitter of exhibitions and selling fairs and give some thought to the history of The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths itself. As one of the remaining twelve great livery companies of the City of London, it has skilfully mixed the work of a traditional trade guild with charitable works and provides an exceptionally important showcase for both established and young jewellery designers and silversmiths. n 45
Notes: (1) http://www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk/welcome-tothe-assay-office/hallmarking-services/our-hallmarking-services/available-hallmarks (2) http://www.goldsmiths-centre.org/about-thecentre/the-story/ (3) http://www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk/exhibitionspromotions/who's-who-in-gold-silver/ www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk www.assayofficelondon.co.uk www.goldsmiths-centre.org www.whoswhoingoldandsilver.com Dates: 1- Ultra Vanities – Bejewelled Make-Up Boxes from the Age of Glamour’ Free admission. Ends July 20th 2013 2- Goldsmiths’ Company Pavilion at Somerset House. June 26 -29th 2013 3- Goldsmiths’ Fair -2013. Week One: September 23rd – September 29th Week Two: October 1st – October 6th
Bangle by Jacqueline Cullen
Rings by Lilly Hastedt
Bangle by Andrew Lamb
Ring by Ornella Iannuzzi
Contact: Abby Cronin. Email: email@example.com Website: www.abbycronin.co.uk
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The US Embassy Wishes Everyone A Sunshine Summer Please double check the expiration dates of your US passports and apply as soon as possible if they need to be replaced. Summer is already busy with US passport renewals and lost/stolen passports. So appointments are at a premium. For more about Passport Services at the US Embassy, check out http://london.usembassy.gov/cons_new/acs/passports/index.html. Before you travel abroad, please take a few moments to sign up for the State Department’s free Smart Traveller Enrollment Program (STEP) at http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/tips/ registration/registration_4789. html. Remember in the past when you had to go in person to the US Embassy to “register” by filling out a 3X5 index card? Now STEP has put that process online, and it is easier than ever. By signing up, you will automatically receive travel updates about the regions in which you will be travelling, and you assist us in providing assistance in case of emergencies. Remember that our website has useful information ranging from security updates to travel and safety tips, so visit us at http://london.usembassy.gov/service.html. We also encourage you to “like” our facebook page http:// www.facebook.com/uk.usembassy
Warden Message – US Embassy London www.travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_1161.html To register your details with the US Embassy London so that we may be able to contact you in an emergency, please visit https://travelregistration.state.gov/ Looking for information? Check out our easy-to-navigate Blog for American Citizens: london.usembassy.gov/americanservices
Useful Numbers EDUCATION - SCHOOLS
ACS International Schools Heywood, Portsmouth Road, Cobham, Surrey, KT11 1BL Telephone: 01932 869721 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.acs-england.co.uk Contact: Fergus Rose Three superb locations close to London, ACS provides a stable environment, high educational standards and a happy social life for relocated youngsters. DWIGHT SCHOOL LONDON 6 Friern Barnet Lane, London, N11 3LX Contact: Alison Miley Email: email@example.com Telephone: + 44(0)20 8920 0600 Website: www.dwightlondon.org Twitter: @DwightSchoolUK Dwight School London, formerly known as The North London International School is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School and is one of the first schools in the UK to offer the full IB Programme. ISL Group of Schools ISL Surrey Old Woking Road, Woking, Surrey GU22 8HY Contact: Claudine Hakim Telephone: +44 (0)1483 750 409 ISL London 139 Gunnersbury Avenue, London W3 8LG Contact: Yoel Gordon Telephone: +44 (0)20 8992 5823 ISL Qatar PO Box 18511, North Duhail, Qatar Contact: Nivin El Aawar Telephone: +974 4433 8600 Website: www.islschools.org
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2012, the International School of London (ISL) Group has schools in London, Surrey, and Qatar. The internationally recognised primary and secondary curricula have embedded language programmes (mother tongue, English as an Additional Language, and second language) which continue throughout the student’s stay in the school. A team of experienced and qualified teachers and administrators provides every student with the opportunity to grow and learn in an environment that respects diversity and promotes identity, understanding, and a passion for learning. TASIS THE AMERICAN SCHOOL IN ENGLAND Coldharbour Lane, Thorpe, Surrey TW20 8TE Contact: Karen House Telephone: +44 (0)1932 582316 Email: email@example.com Website: www.tasisengland.org TASIS England offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma, an American college preparatory curriculum, and AP courses to its diverse community of coed day (3-18) and boarding (14-18) students from 50 nations. The excellent academic program, including ESL, is taught in small classes, allowing the individualised attention needed to encourage every student to reach their potential. Outstanding opportunities in art, drama, music, and athletics provide a balanced education. Extensive summer opportunities are also offered. Located close to London on a beautiful and historic 46-acre estate.
AMERICAN BARRISTER IN LONDON Stoke Newington Chambers 143 Stoke Newington Church Street London N16 0UH Contact: Kristin Heimark Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.stokenewingtonchambers.co.uk British law is different. Call me for legal advice or representation in court. I'm an American expat and a fully qualified Barrister in England & Wales.
TRAVELEX INTERNATIONAL PAYMENTS UKForex, 2nd Floor, 48-54 Moorgate, London. EC2R 6EL. Telephone: 0845 609 1356 Website: www.travelex.com/aib Contact: Chris Humphrey – Head of Private Clients Email: ChrisHumphrey@ukforex.co.uk Save money when you make international money transfers For a secure, safe and fast way to perform all
your overseas money transfers. We regularly check the rates of major banks and key competitors to ensure we give you the best overall quote on your money transfer – that’s the International Payments Price Promise. With international money transfers to over 50 countries and 24 hour customer service Monday to Friday, it’s easy to see why we are the preferred solution for your international money transfers.
DT MOVING 49 Wates Way, Mitcham, Greater London CR4 4HR Tel: 020 7622 4393 Email: email@example.com Web: www.dtmoving.com Contact: Tim Daniells DT Moving is a long established and awardwinning* international moving company. Founded in 1870, we have vast experience in moving Americans to and from the United States and to other worldwide destinations. With a customer satisfaction rating of 96% throughout 2012, we offer a quality service at competitive rates. First class storage facilities are available. *Awarded six global moving awards since 2010.
WESTLETON DRAKE LLP 9 Devonshire Square, London EC2M 4YF Telephone: +44 (0)20 3178 6041 Fax: +44 (0)20 3178 4083 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.westletondrake.com US and UK tax advisors who specialise in assisting Americans living in the UK, and corporations and partnerships doing business in the US and UK.
MASECO Private Wealth Buchanan House 3 St James’s Square London SW1Y 4JU Telephone: +44 (0)20 7043 0455 Email: email@example.com Website: www.masecoprivatewealth.com MASECO Private Wealth gives peace of mind by providing expert guidance to US families on how to simplify their cross-border wealth management needs. We serve and care for Americans living at home or abroad through the planning and implementation of rational, practical and tax efficient wealth management strategies.
If you would like to advertise your company or organisation on our Useful Numbers page please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries cost £175 per issue or £600 for the year.
Published on Jun 24, 2013
The summer 2013 issue of the quarterly magazine for American expatriates living in the UK, American in Britain. Articles in this issue incl...