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Insider Guide to London

Summer 2012


INSIDER LET THE GAMES BEGIN

Let The

Games I

n July 2005, Jacques Rogge stood in front of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) General Assembly in Singapore and announced: ‘the Games of the XXXth Olympiad in 2012 are awarded to the city of… London.’ That moment also awarded the capital the accolade of being the first city to host the Olympic Games for a record third time: 1908, 1948 and 2012.

the war, 59 nations competed in 136 different events between 29th July 1948 and 14th August 1948. Germany and Japan were not invited to the games due to security reasons.

The 1908 Olympic Games were scheduled to take place in Rome, but the eruption of Mount Vesuvius required the Italian government to redirect funds away from the Olympics. The events took place between 27th April 1908 and 31st October 1908, with 22 nations participating in 110 events.

If you didn’t have the chance to get tickets to see one of the games, you can join the celebrations at the London 2012 Festival, an exciting arts festival running alongside the Olympic Games and Paralympics. You can enjoy everything from free concerts and art exhibitions to Shakespeare plays and dance performances. Leading artists from all over the world are taking part, including Plan B, Toni Morrison, Mike Leigh, Leona Lewis, Damon Albarn and Tracey Emin.

The 1948 Summer Olympics were the first to be held after World War II, with the 1944 Summer Olympics having been cancelled due to the war. Showing a collective unity after

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begin!

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In the 2012 Olympics, athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) are expected to participate. There will be a total of 26 sporting disciplines, which break down into 39 different events and nearly 15,000 competing Olympians.

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Besides the buzz the Olympics brings to the City, it will also leave its benefits behind. After the Games the Olympic Park will be transformed into one of the largest urban parks created in Europe for more than 150 years. The canals and waterways of the River Lea will be cleaned and widened, and the natural floodplains of the area will be restored to provide a new wetland wildlife habitat for birdwatchers and ecologists to enjoy. The park will be planted with native species, including oak, ash, willow, birch, hazel, holly, blackthorn and hawthorn, providing a home for wildlife in the middle of the city.

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INSIDER HEROIC LEGACY

Heroic legacy D

enise Lewis OBE is a much-loved British icon who brought home the gold medal in the Heptathlon at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Since retiring from athletics she has become a regular sports pundit on the BBC and an International Inspiration Ambassador. We caught up with Denise to learn more about the passion behind her advocating London to win the 2012 Olympic Games and why it is a truly worthy selection.

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With a rich history, cutting-edge art scene, world-class cultural institutions and almost 3,000 parks and open spaces, London is an inspiring backdrop for the Games. However, one of the most impressive things about the London 2012 Olympics will be its legacy. “During the bid process we promised to extend the Olympic legacy to millions of children worldwide and connect them to the power of the Games so that they become inspired to choose sport. The International Inspiration programme is a realisation of this promise and will ensure it is fulfilled for years to come. “The chance to be involved in sport should be available to all children, a chance to enjoy the moment and, for a short time at least, forget about challenges they might face. Sport gives you

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confidence and self-esteem; it gives you leadership qualities and teaches you teamwork. They are lessons you take with you through your life. “Working in countries all over the world, International Inspiration aims to use sport as a positive force to enrich the lives of over 12 million young people. In the UK, over 200 schools are linked with partner schools in International Inspiration countries, allowing UK and international children to take part in life-changing exchanges.” It is with such drive and conviction that Denise became Olympic, Commonwealth and European champion and a British sporting heroine. If her legendary haul of medals is anything to go by, then the legacy left by London 2012 in the form of International Inspiration is in good hands.

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INSIDER Pimlico shopping experience

Pimlico Shopping experience With its village feel and abundance of eclectic shops, it’s easy to see why Pimlico Road has established itself as a unique shopping destination in the heart of the capital.

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ordering on the prestigious areas of Chelsea and Belgravia, just off Sloane Square, Pimlico Road sits proudly as a shopping village with a difference. Historically famed for its array of globally-recognised interior design and antiques shops, the area offers a wealth of other hidden gems from independently owned art galleries, cafes, restaurants, designer boutiques, a weekly farmers market and much more.

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Once home to celebrated English writer Vita Sackville-West and the location where Mozart wrote his first symphony, the area oozes creativity and history. Today, many of the celebrated businesses continue to create and manufacture their products in-house. Every Saturday, there is also a farmers market in Orange Square, featuring delicious produce from the Home Counties and beyond. Whether you’re a budding art enthusiast, in the mood for a little retail therapy or popping for lunch with friends, this intimate little pocket of London offers over forty shops and businesses that provide something for all tastes.

JOANNA WOOD

NICHOLAS HASLAM

MOLOH

The epitome of interior design stores; with an extensive range of contemporary and traditional accessories, homeware and gifts, it’s easy to see why this Pimlico Road favourite has earned its place on the map. Joanna actively sources products from small independent suppliers around the UK to more exotic countries around the world. The store strives to provide a friendly and welcoming shopping environment to inspire the imagination and offer something a little different.

Nicholas Haslam offers a unique selection of gifts and accessories for the home, including decorative antiques, furniture, fabrics, interior design services and an extensive lighting range. There are two stores located a stone’s throw from each other, one in Holbein Place and the other on 202 Ebury Street.

Moloh is a boutique British ladieswear label proudly designed and manufactured in Great Britain. The company is renowned for showcasing beautiful fabrics and tailoring with a quirky twist.

48A Pimlico Road, London, SW1W 8LP

12-14 Holbein Place, London, SW1W 8NL / 202 Ebury Street, London SW1W 8UN

24 Pimlico Road, London, SW1W 8LJ 020 7730 0430 www.moloh.com

020 7730 8623 / 020 7730 0445 www.nicholashaslam.com

020 7730 5064 www.joannawood.co.uk

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INSIDER CELEBRATING HERITAGE

CELEBRATING

HERITAGE

InterContinental Hotels are celebrating their heritage through culinary creations and gastronomic delicacies. InterContinental Boston is located on the site of the original Boston Tea Party. To commemorate the launch of the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, opening in June this year, the hotel is offering guests the opportunity to visit the new museum and complete the occasion with an overnight stay overlooking the historic harbour, with tea-infused cocktails and a special gift.

royal-tea

For more information, please visit www.intercontinentalboston.com

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The historic InterContinental Paris Le Grand has been proudly ‘living in the city since 1862,’ marking its esteemed 150th anniversary in 2012. The hotel and its legendary café-restaurant, Café de la Paix, were inaugurated by the Empress Eugenie to a regal orchestra conducted by Jacques Offenbach.

In honour of the momentous birthday the hotel has a series of festive events planned including a limited edition Anniversary Pastry at Café de la Paix created by Dominic Costa, Head Pastry Chef. There will also be special VIP offers and amenities throughout the year. For more information, please visit paris.intercontinental.com

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nterContinental London Park Lane is proudly launching its Royal-Tea paying homage to the hotel’s location on the site of 145 Piccadilly, Queen Elizabeth II’s former childhood residence, Royal-Tea honours its location with a selection of delicate long-time favourites fit for a Queen. Think of the perfect fare for an idyllic British summer day and you will have imagined Royal-Tea, the newest addition to our Afternoon Tea menu which was recently given the prestigious UK Tea Council ‘Award of Excellence’.

Royal-Tea begins with the Queen’s favourite aperitif, Gin & Dubonnet, and is followed by a selection of classic sandwiches including honey roasted ham with English mustard and Scottish lobster with shrimps and Sevruga caviar. Following these mouth-watering sandwiches are warm sultana and buttermilk scones with Devon clotted cream and home-made strawberry preserve. Tea is completed with a pretty palate of desserts such as marzipanwrapped Battenberg cake, coffee mousse and walnut torte (a personal favourite of

the Queen), Victoria sponge with vanilla cream and strawberry jam and a raspberry Eton mess shortbread. Executive Chef Paul Bates has created the extensive Wellington Lounge tea menu and worked with London emporium Tea Palace to develop blends that are exclusive to InterContinental London Park Lane. Royal-Tea costs £38 per person. To book, please call 020 7318 8509.

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Theo’s

picnic spots A

s one of the greenest cities in the world, the capital’s picnic options are bountiful, so we asked award-winning Chef Theo Randall to help navigate the best spots…

insider Theo’s picnic spots

Kyoto Gardens, Holland Park Kyoto Gardens in Holland Park is truly a hidden gem. The serene waterfall will make it hard to believe the pavements of Kensington are only minutes away. The garden was created in 1991 (and refurbished in 2001) by a team of Japanese gardeners from Kyoto. Well worth a visit!

Hyde Park, The Serpentine On the doorstep of the hotel, Hyde Park is the ideal place to sit back and enjoy the summer weather. Take your hamper and set up by the Serpentine Lake, where you can hire a deckchair or do it the old fashion way and get a picnic rug. Also, from May to September the Serpentine Lido is open if you fancy a quick dip.

Award-winning Chef Theo Randall offers Italian inspired picnic hampers available from Theo Randall at the InterContinental. Hampers start from £38 per person and must be ordered 24 hours in advance. Call 020 7318 8747 or email reservations@theorandall.com.

Bushy Park

Regent’s Park, Primrose Hill Arguably Primrose Hill offers the best view of London, and also overlooks London Zoo; so the kids will be happy. Open all day, it’s easy to see why it’s such a firm favourite on hot summer days.

Bushy Park is the second largest of London’s Royal Parks and is just north of Hampton Court Palace. If you’re looking for something a little interactive, the park offers fishing, model boating ponds and horse rides. Keep your eyes peeled for its most famous inhabitants; Red and Fallow deer.

Alexandra Park Alexandra Park is a great place for a Sunday afternoon picnic. You can pack your hamper with fresh produce from the Alexandra Palace Farmers’ Market and kids are kept occupied by watching the waterfowl and deer.

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INSIDER london’s pride

London’s

Pride If we had a pound for every time a guest asked us for a great pub recommendation, we’d be millionaires in a matter of months.

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e’re very lucky with our unique location to have so many establishments within a few steps of the InterContinental London Park Lane, but we would always say that it depends on what you’re looking for and sometimes going a little bit further for a particular experience can be as rewarding as popping to the local for a pint or two. We’ve put together some recommendations, some on our doorstep and others worth going the extra mile for that unique experience.

Within walking distance: The Guinea Widely considered to be London’s oldest surviving pub, the building has served as an inn since 1423. Over the next 500 years it established itself as a firm favourite with the local stable hands and servants employed by the rich and wealthy houses of Berkeley Square. Today, it continues to win numerous awards for its Steak and Kidney pies… what more could one ask for! 30 Bruton Place, Mayfair

The Nag’s Head Knightsbridge, with its multimillion pound apartments, cavalcade of Ferraris, worldrenowned department stores and fashion houses, is also home to one of London’s most eccentric original pubs. The Nag’s Head is over 300 years old and feels like it, with artefacts strewn all over the walls, shelves and

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ceilings. The contrast between the pub and the neighbourhood is worth experiencing alone, but be sure to keep your mobile phone in your pocket for fear of facing the landlord’s wrath. 53 Kinnerton Street, Knightsbridge

Ye Grapes or The Market Tavern Tucked between Piccadilly and Curzon Street is Shepherd Market, the true origins of Mayfair as we know it today. We carry a bigger story about Mayfair on page 24, but needless to say, a pint or two in this historical location is one of London’s most truly authentic experiences. Dating back to 1882, Ye Grapes can be a bit of a tourist trap, whilst local suits from surrounding offices tend to prefer the zeitgeist offering from the more modern Market Tavern, which has an excellent menu and speciality draught beers.

A little further afield:

Ye Olde Mitre

The Ship

Built in the mid-1500s, this quiet unassuming pub has an incredible history. Up until the 1970s, it actually fell under the jurisdiction of a town in Cambridge, over 60 miles away, as it was on land belonging to the Palace of the Bishops of Ely; even the local constabulary was not permitted to enter the premises. The shift in licensing to the City of London is about the only thing to have changed in centuries. Previous clientele ranges from Queen Elizabeth I to Brad Pitt, clearly attracted by the real ales and what Eaman the landlord refers to “English tapas at its best” – pork pies, scotch eggs and toasted sandwiches. Do note that the pub is only open Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays).

The Ship, formerly the Thameside Waterman’s Inn, has sat on the banks of the Thames since 1786. It’s as perfect on a sunny day to sit overlooking the river as it is to be cosy and warm on a cold and blustery day having a pint by the open fire. The dining options range from an al fresco, all day barbecue to a convivial à la carte restaurant. It can get extremely busy at the weekend, so be prepared for the occasional long wait for a pint, (with our tip being to head for the outdoor cabanastyle bar for shorter queues). 41 Jews Row, Wandsworth

The Bull When The Bull opened last year it promised to be “a great public house for the enjoyment of the local community”. Well, it might be slightly off the beaten track from our Mayfair address, but you will definitely be treated like a local when you step into this neighbourhood pub which is unique for the small microbrewery that they have installed, called The London Brewing Company. Brewing enthusiasts can even time their visit to coincide with one of the regular beer events, hosted by head brewer, Steve Grey. 13 North Hill, Highgate

1 Ely Court, Hatton Garden, Holborn

7 Shepherd Street & 16 Shepherd Market, Mayfair

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INSIDER male grooming

Male

Grooming There was a time when male grooming adverts would only feature the latest scents and hair regeneration products. Now, whole aisles are dedicated to face creams, body washes, and shampoos designed specifically for men. Beyond the store, spas are catering to men with increasing vigour but many are just an extension of the female menu and this is falling short of men’s grooming needs.

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pa InterContinental has teamed-up with Lee Kynaston, one of the UK’s best-known and most experienced male grooming experts to develop a menu of treatments designed exclusively for men. An award-winning journalist and former magazine editor with over 20 years of experience in the industry (eight of which were as Grooming Editor of Men’s Health), his work has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines and he regularly appears on radio and television and has sampled some of the best spas in search of the perfect treatment for men. And now he has teamed up with Spa InterContinental at InterContinental London Park Lane to create the perfect, performance-driven treatments for men. 14

Lee says, “Men’s desire to look after themselves has never been greater and in an increasingly competitive world looking good has never been more important. As a grooming writer I’ve been lucky enough to try some of the best treatments in the world but none have really delivered what I wanted as a man, which is why I’m so excited about helping create the Spa InterContinental new tailormade treatments for men. “Not only has each treatment been designed to meet the specific needs of men’s skin - which is thicker, oilier and ages differently from women’s - each has also been formulated to be fast, effective and fuss-free, with an emphasis at all times on results and attention to detail. “I was very keen that the treatments should fit into men’s increasingly hectic lifestyles and dovetail with their exacting demands, whether their stay is for business, for pleasure or for both.”

So whether you need to look your absolute best before that important business meeting, want to unwind after it, want to look hot before a romantic date or just want to combat jetlag after a long flight – these specially created treatments are for you. Spa InterContinental manager, Radhika Khandke, says “We are delighted to be working with Lee Kynaston, one of the UK’s leading male grooming advisors, on our new range of treatments at Spa InterContinental. We are finding that our male guests are looking for solutions which help to really invigorate and revitalise their skin, particularly whilst they are travelling. They are often on a tight schedule, so we have a wide range of ‘pit-stop’ treatments to suit any timeframe.” For more information please call 020 7318 8691 or email londonspa@ihg.com

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A

INSIDER A FISHY TALE

Fishy TALE

Richard Barfoot is a local fish supplier who has been working with our Executive Chef Paul Bates for over 15 years. On a recent wet and cold morning in London, the pair went to Billingsgate Market (the UK’s largest fish market) to select the finest local catch and chat about a shared passion…

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n spring 2012, Executive Chef Paul Bates launched the 50 Mile Menu at the award-winning Cookbook Cafe; a project of passion that sources ingredients just a stone’s throw from the hotel. Paul has championed local ingredients and suppliers throughout his 25 year culinary career and it is his solid relationships that have made sourcing an affordable 50 Mile Menu possible.

Paul: What do you like about

Paul: What are the other benefits?

Billingsgate Market?

Richard: It is all around more sustainable… It supports local family businesses who only fish what they can sell. Restaurants and hotels can buy what they need on a daily basis, which means there is less thrown away at the end of the day.

Richard: Billingsgate Market has a phenomenal selection of fish and a lot comes from small local family fishing boats that go out everyday. In Hastings, the fisherman literally pull their boats onto the pebble beaches after fishing, take their fish to the daily auction, go home and then go back to the beach the next day to do it all over again.

Paul: It is a very romantic idea to know exactly where the fish is coming from and that it has been caught that very morning.

Richard: When most of our days are just beginning, a fisherman’s day is coming to an end. After a locally caught fish is taken to auction, it is brought by the supplier, sold to the hotel or restaurant and served that same day. We can be as specific as naming the boat that the fish are caught from! Freshness and assured quality are just two of the benefits of sourcing locally.

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People have been fishing this way for hundreds of years and businesses have been passed from generation to generation. Most people are in this business because they love it. My father started our business and I have worked with him all my life. This commitment can be seen and tasted in the quality of the fish we source.

Paul: Why do you think people want to eat locally?

Richard: Consumers are demanding the highest quality and want to know exactly where their produce is sourced. This is an exciting time for local producers and I am glad that we are supporting them.

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Paul: What are the best local

About Richard

fish to look out for?

Richard Barfoot now runs the family business Barfoot Ltd and supplies 5-star hotels and casinos across London. He and his family also own Sweetings, one of the oldest fish restaurants in the capital, which specialises in English sustainable fish.

Richard: Halibut, Turbot, Lobster, Pollock, Dover Sole, Squid, Lemon Sole and Oysters are all great locally-soured fish. Consumers are more interested and educated because of recent high profile legislation changes in the fishing industry. They are sampling fish that they would not have considered a decade ago. This is a big development and great for the industry. You just need to look around Billingsgate and the astounding variety of local fish on offer! This used to be exclusively a trade market, but more and more consumers are coming to buy fish direct. It just underlines how interested people are in knowing where their food comes from.

About Billingsgate Market Each trading day at Billingsgate Market offers buyers an opportunity to see the largest selection of fish in the United Kingdom. Daily arrivals from the coast and overseas ensure a continuity of fresh supplies and with some 54 merchants trading in close proximity in the Market Hall, competition is keen.

Richard’s scallops feature in Cookbook Cafe’s signature 50 Mile Menu summer recipe, Hand Dived Scallops, Asparagus Mayonnaise and Pea Shoot Salad. To find out how you can recreate this delicious dish for yourself, check out the next page for the recipe.

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Insider 50 MILE MENU SIGNATURE SUMMER DISH

50 Mile Menu

Signature Summer Dish Hand dived scallops, Asparagus mayonnaise and pea shoot salad Ingredients 10 medium sized scallops 8 spears of asparagus 10 cherry tomatoes 20-30 pea shoots 3 dessertspoons of mayonnaise 2 dessertspoons of rape seed oil Salt and pepper

Ingredients for THE VINAIGRETTE 1 dessertspoons of white wine vinegar 3 dessertspoons of rape seed oil 1 teaspoon of chopped chervil Salt and pepper

Method • Take the scallops and cut 6 in half through the centre. Slice the other 4 into three thin pieces. Place all in the fridge. • Put half a litre of water in a pan and bring to simmer with a little salt. • Take the asparagus, cut the tips halfway down the stalk and cook in the salted water for 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and chill in cold water, slice the tips down the centre and refrigerate. • Finely chop the stalks, add to the mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper. • Mix together the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a jug. • Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and season, drizzle with the vinaigrette and leave for 10 minutes. • Warm a non stick frying pan and add the rape seed oil. Place the original halved scallops in the pan, season with salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute on each side. • While the scallops are cooking, place 3 teaspoonfuls of the mayonnaise on the plate. • Place a slice of the 4 raw scallops on each spoonful of mayonnaise, and then place the 5 halves of cherry tomato against the scallops. • Remove the cooked scallops from the pan and place next to the raw scallops. • Lean 2 pieces of asparagus against two of the cooked scallops. • Place 5 pea shoots on the asparagus and the scallops. • Drizzle with the chervil vinaigrette.

Hand dived scallops, asparagus mayonnaise and pea shoot salad

Serves 4

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INSIDER a memory in the making

a memory in the

Making On Thursday 28th June 2012 a memorial will be unveiled in our neighbouring Green Park to honour the 55,573 men of Bomber Command who lost their lives in World War II. The magnificent Bomber Command Memorial has been built this year in full view of the InterContinental London Park Lane. Insider speaks to Colin McGregor, former RAF Tornado pilot, and Arthur Spencer, one of the original Bomber Command, to find out what the memorial means to them.

C

olin McGregor is a former RAF Tornado pilot who recently learnt to fly the Lancaster World War Two Bomber as part of the BBC1 programme ‘Bomber Boys’ which he made with actor and brother, Ewan.

“The veterans of Bomber Command, many now in their nineties, have waited 67 years for a fitting memorial to be built in London to their lost colleagues, the airmen from countries around the globe who gave their lives in Bomber Command during World War Two. Of all the volunteer aircrew who joined Bomber Command between 1939-1945 nearly half lost their lives, and only one in four completed their tours

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of duty. Yet, the Bomber Boys never received the recognition they deserved, as the politicians of the time sought to distance themselves from the strategic bombing campaign of the War. After a mammoth fundraising effort, mainly by Bomber Command veterans themselves, a Memorial to Bomber Command is now being built in the North West Corner of Green Park.

to them. Despite overwhelming odds, Bomber Command crews continued to carry out the orders of their political and military leaders with unparalleled dedication and bravery. The surviving veterans lost many friends and compatriots during the campaign and they have worked tirelessly to get them recognised”.

“As a former RAF pilot, I know that the public understands the importance of supporting the men and women who risk their lives in the Armed Forces, regardless of the politics. This Memorial is a fine physical example of that important principle. Having met many of the veterans, I also know how important this memorial is

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INSIDER a memory MADE

A memory

MADE Arthur Spencer, a navigator in 97 Squadron during 1942/3 explains about his time in the Forces and the significance of the memorial.

“I

was born in Wiltshire in 1921 but my parents moved to Southampton in my infancy where I enjoyed a happy upbringing. I was lucky enough to enjoy school and stayed on in the Sixth Form, but during my first year came the Munich crisis – it was pretty clear that war was coming sooner or later. “After the school year came to an end, I applied to join the RAF as aircrew, but wasn’t called until November just before the big night raids on Southampton began. “After a year training in Florida, and more training in England, I was posted to 97 Squadron, one of the first in Bomber Command

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to be equipped with Lancasters. Our first real operation over Germany involved carrying a 4,000lb. bomb and over 1,000 small incendiary bombs to the Ruhr. I was absolutely horrified to be greeted by searchlights and flak all over the sky, and I just couldn’t comprehend how an aircraft could survive in such a maelstrom of fire. Eventually, I even got used to it and I went on to fly in 50 operations, more than half of them in Pathfinder Force. To this day getting caught in search lights remains the most frightening memory from my time in the Air Force. “Later, in Transport Command and BOAC, I travelled the world and I made some incredible friends, one of whom, a navigator that I trained with in Florida

in 1941, recently spoke at my 90th birthday. I also lost some wonderful friends including three of my crew who were killed over Berlin just two months after I left. Their names are on the Runnymede Memorial for those airmen with no known grave. My pilot was an eighteen year old Canadian; it was his 57th operation. “The opening of the RAF Bomber Command is an opportunity to remember those who gave their lives so that we can enjoy freedom. The generosity of the people who have donated means that those men have not been forgotten”. Arthur Spencer is now a retired comprehensive school headmaster, who lives with his

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wife Eva in Weston-super-Mare. They have two daughters, five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. The Bomber Command Memorial will be Dedicated and Unveiled on June 28th at a private ceremony attended by many relatives of the veterans of Bomber Command, and both Colin and Arthur will be present at the event. Colin says “As one of the few people lucky enough to have piloted both the modern day Tornado GR4 bomber and the WW2 Lancaster, I look forward to seeing those aircraft flying over as part of the ceremony and seeing poppies dropped from the Lancaster as it flies over Green Park”.

For more information on the Bomber Command Memorial please visit www.bombercommand.com.

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INSIDER FIFTEEN DAYS THAT SHAPED OUR WORLD

Fifteen days

that shaped our world

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stroll along any of Mayfair’s streets will usually involve gazing through windows adorned with displays of the finest tailoring, jewellery, yachts and real estate that money can buy. It’s been like this for over 200 years. However, the area we now refer to as Mayfair has not always been quite so glamorous, with a chequered past being the cause for concerted effort to gentrify the area. Back in the 1680s, James II launched a fifteen day fair mainly for the purpose of cattle trading. This would take place each May and would engulf Brookfield Market, the myriad streets and piazzas we now call Shepherd Market. As a result, the district became known as Mayfair. The fair quickly grew in popularity and size with both the rich and poor of London convening to trade and party throughout the fortnight.

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Simultaneously, London was in the grips of the so-called “Gin Craze” – an epidemic of extreme drunkenness, caused by the ready availability and low cost of gin which reportedly saw almost two pints of gin being consumed per week by every single Londoner! Over the years, the May Fair became rife with overexuberance and disorder. It was finally banned in 1764 and local architect Edward Shepherd was tasked with redeveloping the district with grand houses in the place of the iniquitous taverns. The centrepiece was a two-storey market topped with a theatre which attracted a much higher class of visitor, with which Shepherd Market is associated today. Very quickly, Mayfair became the most fashionable of addresses, its appeal being further elevated in the 19th and 20th centuries, with regular high society references in

the works of Oscar Wilde, P. G. Wodehouse, Virginia Woolf and Noel Coward. Such history on our doorstep is from where we have taken inspiration for our particular celebration of gin, the spirit of choice at The Arch Bar, here at InterContinental London Park Lane. Historical anecdotes compliment descriptions of each of our signature cocktails and our bar team, led by the ever-enthusiastic Stefano Filistad, has a million unprintable stories to tell from this foregone era. And if you want to be thrown back to a time that celebrates Mayfair and an age gone by, come along to one of our regular Gin & Jazz evenings, (ginandjazz.com), to experience what has been drawing those that enjoy the finer things in life to our doorstep for many centuries.

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Insider what’s on in london this sUMMER

What’s on in London this Summer With London firmly on the world’s radar this year with the Olympics and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee, we have put together a guide of what else this great City has to offer this summer. BT ArtBox The London telephone box is one of the capital’s most synonymous images. BT ArtBox comes to London this summer to mark the 25th anniversary of charity ChildLine. Telephone boxes decorated by leading artists and designers will appear across London. See how many you can spot this summer!

Yoko Ono – To the light The Serpentine Gallery will present a major exhibition of Yoko Ono’s work, her first show in a London public establishment for more than a decade. Consisting of new and existing works, including some that have rarely been shown in the UK, Ono will present a selection of installations and films. 19th June – 9th September 2012 Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens,

18th June – 16th July 2012 www.btartboxes.com

World Shakespeare Festival The World Shakespeare Festival (WSF) is a celebration of Shakespeare as the world’s most famous playwright, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Thousands of artists from around the world will take part in 70 productions, plus supporting events and exhibitions across the UK as part of the London 2012 Festival. See some of his most well-known works, such as the The Comedy of Errors, The Tempest or soak up the history at the Shakespeare: staging the world exhibition from 19th July - 25th November at the British Museum.

Our Head Concierge, Simon Rose, has picked his favourites taking place in the next few months.

Royal Ascot Royal Ascot is a true British institution and sits firmly within any socialite’s annual calendar. During the Royal Ascot week (which takes place in the third week of June annually), the daily highlight is The Royal Procession which makes its way from the Golden Gates along the racecourse and into the Parade Ring from 2.00pm each afternoon. 19th – 23rd June 2012 Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, Berkshire www.ascot.co.uk

Taste of London The annual Taste of London festival celebrates the very best in world class cuisine and features an impressive line-up of London’s finest restaurants and world renowned chefs. Over 50,000 visitors can expect to dine from 40 of the capital’s top restaurants and pick up the latest ingredients from 200 quality food and drink producers. Catch our very own Theo Randall at the event serving his award-winning seasonal, rustic cuisine. 21st – 24th June 2012 Regent’s Park www.tastefestivals.com/london

Until November 2012 www.worldshakespearefestival.org.uk

Coming Soon to London! InterContinental Hotels & Resorts opens its second London property in November 2012. InterContinental London Westminster brings the perfect blend of luxury and relaxed comfort to this most famous – and infamous – of London neighbourhoods. Westminster, the backdrop to political history and intrigue for more than a thousand years, is alive today with the buzz of politics, business and modern day living. This brand new hotel will be at its very heart. Follow the new hotel launch on Facebook at facebook.com/InterContinental. Westminster

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Insider Guide to London Summer 2012 - by InterContinental London Park Lane  

An extension of our Concierge team, The Insider Guide to London reflects our mission to provide unparalleled access to the lesser known attr...

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