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Spring 2013 Issue 19 of your FREE guide to everything that is anything in Covent Garden




Spring 2013


AN INVITATION TO AN INDIAN CULINARY FEAST Try traditional Indian foods prepared and cooked by our head chef Krishna Shankar and his team who are all highly experienced in Indian cuisine. All our dishes are freshly prepared with natural ingredients, ranging from street food, to the more extravagant and unusual, we guarantee this will be a food experience not to be missed.





Daawat at Johnstons, Just off the Strand. 2, Burleigh Street, London WC2R 0JJ | t: 020 7379 4737 | *receive a free starter of your choice from the “Streets of India” section, when ordering any main dish (from the “daawat-e-khaas” menu)

Spring 2013 Issue 19 of your FREE guide to everything that is anything in Covent Garden


02 04 30 40 50 54 EDITOR’S LETTER






04—The long haul Why Julie Deane of Cambridge Satchel Company stays motivated to succeed. 10—Roaring twenties A touch of the Great Gatsby. 16—Shock and awe Kikuo Ibe, the legendary inventor of the Casio G-Shock. 20—The koi and the uncoy A tale of big fish, nudity and a charismatic American at the Sanctuary Spa. 24—Expert eye How to choose the perfect flowers for a loved one. 25—Because you’re werth it Peter Werth. 26—Coming up roses Skincare consultations at Melvita. 28—Free verse Niall O’Sullivan of Poetry Unplugged.

30—Wok star Jean-Paul Aubin-Parvu learns the art of the stir fry under the tutelage of Jeremy Pang, founder of School of Wok. 34—Spice world A lesson on the vast world of Indian cuisine from Krishna Shankar. 36—Fishy business Darren Phillips of Poulters Fish. 37—Coffee catastrophe The many ways in which a roast can go horribly wrong. 38—Bright lights, big city The arrival of Balthazar.

40—Tunnel vision Tristan Sharps, the director of an enthralling collision of science, theatre and apocalyptic visions taking place each night in the tunnels and passageways beneath Covent Garden. 44—Graphic scenes Poster Art 150 at London Transport Museum. 46—Ghost ales The Weir at Donmar Warehouse. 47—From the crew room Heightened anxiety. 47—Digging deeper Sunken Garden at ENO. 48—Exhibit Forthcoming exhibitions.

50—Gunshot [offstage] Tom Hughes on a famous tragedy at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

54—Garden of earthly delights Sam Hodges and Sophie Vickers, authors of the book London for Lovers, bring you their list of Covent Garden’s most romantic destinations. 58—Special agents Chesteron Humberts. 59—Directory

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Useful websites

EDITOR’S LETTER /Mark Riddaway

There something both exciting and deeply seductive about reading the foundation stories of great successes built solely on a good idea and the will to see it realised. We’re used now to the hard reality that money tends to beget success more often than the other way around—you may have a talent or a good idea, but who you know, or who your parents know, or where you went to school, seems to matter just as much. That’s why, when we read the success stories of ordinary people without a single venture capitalist friend, trust fund account or pot of gold from a decade at Goldman Sachs, it makes the heart beat just a little bit faster. It makes you think, that could be me; that should be me. All I need to do is come up with that really obvious yet previously overlooked item with both mass appeal and a dash of cool, and I too can stick it to the Man by building a burgeoning commercial empire from my kitchen without having to so much as draw up a business plan. I mean, for crying out loud, somebody once came up with the Ugg boot. How hard can it really be? Stories like that told to us by Julie Deane—who started the phenomenally successful Cambridge Satchel Company with £600, a whole load of personal drive and a very helpful mother—may well gloss over just how rare such a gem of an idea actually is, and how much talent, resourcefulness, courage and sheer bloody-mindedness is needed to make it happen, but that won’t stop us dreaming. This time next year Rodney, we’ll be millionaires... 02 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

Editor Mark Riddaway 020 7401 7297 Deputy editor Viel Richardson 020 7401 7297 Assistant editor Clare Finney 020 7401 7297 Advertising sales Donna Earrey 020 7401 2772 Steve Charles 0844 800 4121 steve@lscpublish Publisher LSC Publishing Unit 11 La Gare 51 Surrey Row London SE1 0BZ Contributers Jean-Paul Aubin-Parvu Glyn Brown Holly Cox Shannon Denny Joseph Fox Angela Holder Tom Hughes Design and art direction Em-Project Limited 01892 614 346 Distribution Letterbox Printing Buxton NEXT ISSUE: JUNE 2013

Editor of the Year, Winner 2011 Writer of the Year, Winner 2011 (Viel Richardson) Designer of the Year, Winner 2010

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How Julie Deane founded her wildly successful satchel business with just £600, the help of her mum, and a driving urge to protect her daughter from bullies. And why, despite expectations that she’ll cash in and walk away, The Cambridge Satchel Company will remain central to her life for years to come

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LIFE The Cambridge Satchel Company 15 Shorts Gardens, Seven Dials 020 7240 7712

It is an uplifting story of success against the odds—a doting mother, despairing of her daughter’s continued suffering at the hands of bullies and desperate to find respite for her at an independent school, sets up a website selling colourful leather satchels in a hugely optimistic bid to raise the necessary funds.Within five years, a business that started with just a laptop, her own supportive mother and an immovable faith in solving problems through the power of Google searches has become one of the most successful business start-ups of recent times. This enterprising mum-of-two has become a posterlady for creating gold from a good idea and a limitless well of determination. Yet while, with her open smile and unchecked excitement at how things have turned out, Julie Deane may seem an unlikely scion of the fashion world, you’d be wrong to underestimate her. She is a serious businesswomen, and while those school fees have now been more than covered, Cambridge Satchel Company—which has recently opened its first standalone store in Seven Dials—is very much here to stay. CGJ: Did you really start Cambridge Satchel Company to pay school fees? Julie Deane: It was entirely to fund a school move. My daughter had gone from being a happy little girl who loved school to being introverted and hating it. I once saw her literally being kicked on the floor by bullies, and there comes a point where you say, “Okay I’ve tried working with the school, and they’re not having it. I’ll go elsewhere.” I looked around, and when we found this school, I remember thinking, if I can get her and her little brother there I would feel I had done such an amazing thing. I talked to my mum, who said, “I don’t have the money for fees, but I’m very healthy. I can work every day to make sure this happens.” So we sat down, had a cup of tea and thought, right, what shall we do?

Had you any experience in setting up a business? No, and my budget to start Cambridge Satchel Company was only £600, so we couldn’t employ market research companies or anything like that. We just sat down with a cup of tea, and thought, what will the logo look like? How do you set up a website? The logo we’ve got now mum and I designed. When it came to the website, I found a section in Microsoft that taught you how to set up your own site, and I did the course over two days. There was a Google AdWords voucher for £50 in a magazine that I had, so I used that to start the advertising off. It was about knocking things off really. We knew if we were to make enough for school fees we’d have to do as much as possible. What about actually making the bags —who did that? That was really, really difficult. I Googled everything—bag manufacturer, handbag manufacturer, satchel manufacturer—and I phoned loads of places, even people who made saddles for horses. I just couldn’t find anyone who would make them at a price where I thought they would be affordable for the mass market. The handmade ones were coming in at £200—how on earth was I going to sell enough to make a margin for school fees with that? But then I found a school in Scotland that had satchels on the outfitters list. I hounded that poor man for weeks, asking him where he got his satchels. He wouldn’t tell me, and that’s fair enough—I don’t say anything about my suppliers now, I’ve learnt not to—but I nagged him to the point of insanity. I would phone him every 20 minutes asking what colours, what sizes, what styles, until finally he broke and said: “Here’s the number for our manufacturer. Go and pester him.”

Had you ever worked in fashion before? No, but I’m very picky and I like improving on things. I’m always looking at things and thinking, this would be much better if I could What made you choose satchels? put the handle here, and so on. Even with my Well it was quite a clinical process really. Mum children’s toys, they had this game where and I had a list of 10 ideas, and we chose the you collected bits of shopping on cards— one we thought would make enough money shopping bingo I guess—and it really for school in the least possible time. Satchels irritated me that the bits fell off. I stuck bits were on the list because I’d tried to find them of Velcro on so they could stick them down, for Emily earlier that year, but when I bought and I wrote to the company recommending a few off eBay one wasn’t real leather, one they make them that way. It’s all about was plastic and fell apart, the one that was simple ideas. a real satchel had such rude things written on the inside flap I couldn’t give it to her. How did that translate into the satchels? She was only eight. This was something Well, our satchels are very traditional, but we’ve looked for and not found, and if we’ve there are ways we improved them. For looked for it chances are someone else has. example, if you only have a long strap, it’s 07 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013



Google put me in their advert! I’ve Googled everything: British stores, British expat stores, 10 best bloggers in the States, 10 best bloggers in Asia, vintage magazines in Germany—any thought I had went in that search box. Then I emailed photos to all these people—I couldn’t afford to send samples, but I had a digital camera that I could use to take photos of the kids out and about in Cambridge with their satchels, and I sent those off. The bloggers in particular have been amazing. I could never have done it without them. The lounge downstairs in the store is for them, to have tea and coffee and recharge their phones in. It’s my way of saying thanks. But why take the risk with the store in Seven Dials, if the internet has been such a success? You see these people that just take a business, get venture capital funding and have their exit strategy already planned, and that is just the antithesis of what we’re awkward moving them short distances about. I can’t imagine walking into my and you end up grabbing it by the scruff of factory in Leicester and saying to all the the neck. We put handles on. We made the people there, “I know you’re being made shoulder strap much longer, so people could redundant, but I’ve had this great offer so I’m do a cross-bodied thing, and then—well, moving on.” We’re a business with a heart. it was just adding colour really, choosing We’re here for the long haul, and I think the sort of colours people would really that’s why it is less scary for us to open a like. In the beginning we didn’t know about bricks and mortar place. If we were just in it Pantone numbers at all—we just chose the to make a killing, it wouldn’t make sense to colours from a B&Q paint chart—but when put down roots. we needed a purple, we got a bit stuck. One day my mum came rushing through What drew you to Covent Garden? the door and shouted, “I’ve got the purple!” Covent Garden means you can support And she brought out a WH Smith notebook. the high street without actually being on It was perfect. So we cut out a square and the high street. It’s the best of all worlds. sent it to the tannery to match. Covent Garden is an experience—you can sit outside and have a coffee and feel part of Has the speed and scale of its success a community here. I remember when I was surprised you? little and mum and I would come to London My mum and I have been in it right from the on the Intercity 125 from south Wales. start, and when you’re pedaling so hard to We’d always start in Covent Garden then keep up with everything you don’t have the walk through Leicester Square, up Regent benefit of taking a step back and seeing Street, stop at Hamley’s and then walk up how it’s all taking off. You don’t think, oh my to Selfridges. That was my London. It’s just goodness, I’m in Urban in the States, and amazing, to think we now sell in Selfridges, working with Comme des Garçons, because and Covent Garden too. you’re still in your kitchen trying to keep on top of stuff. It’s not been easy, however. At And does Emily like her new school? one point we had over 300 false Cambridge She absolutely loves it. She’s captain of the Satchel Company websites to contend netball team, she’s made the most of every with. To go from your kitchen table, your first opportunity, and she’s managed not to take business, to people plagiarising you and on that whole victim thing. I was a bit worried threatening to sell cheap spin-offs on their she would become the face of bullying site unless you pay them... that’s quite scary. when the story got out. Of course, she is very aware that the company was set up to How important has the internet been to help her—every school holiday she’s there Cambridge Satchel Company packing, doing FedEx labels and answering Oh, I was absolutely dependent on the customer service emails—but she’s such a internet. I mean, blimey Charlie, no wonder hard worker, and she just gets it. 08 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

Any chance of her joining you afterwards? Well, hopefully. If it’s attractive enough to her. That would be amazing. I mean, what parent doesn’t secretly want their children to come into business with them one day? That’s why I’m so astounded at the number of people who come and ask me about my ‘exit strategy’, like everyone should have an exit strategy when they start their business. I might have started for school fees, but I will want Cambridge Satchels even more after the children have left school because I will miss them so much. I don’t want to be stuck with just the cooking and cleaning. I would go mad. You’re about to open another factory in Leicestershire. Is the ‘Made in Britain’ aspect of the company important to you? I’m really proud of it. I love that I can see the whole process from start to finish. I love looking at the bags in the shop and thinking, Steve cut the leather for that, Margaret and Linda were on the flat-packing machine, and I just wouldn’t have the same feeling about the bags if I just ordered 5,000 from China and they arrived in a big shipping container. They could be anything. I wouldn’t know anyone who was involved. And you have to remember there is a direct link between where you spend your money and where it’s made. You can’t be surprised when factories shut down and people you know lose their jobs if you always go for the cheaper items and you don’t look where they come from. Similarly with the shop here, if you enjoy being in Covent Garden, and you love the vibrancy of the independent shops, and then you do that laser thing on your iPhone to see if you can get it cheaper at, then why would you think that it could continue to thrive? It doesn’t make sense. There is an effect to what you are doing. And I think that when people then go on holiday to France and say, “Isn’t this lovely, this market, this village centre,” they aren’t making that direct link.

Seven Dials, Covent Garden’s only village, brings you seven streets of independent boutiques, heritage brands, vintage stores and indulgent beauty & grooming salons, all carefully selected for shoppers of discerning taste.

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LIFE This page: Pleat dress —All Saints, £258 Goat hair jacket —Ted Baker, £499 Peal line necklace —Laura Lee, £195

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Opposite: Ombre pleated skirt — Ted Baker, £119 Cameo print sweater — Ted Baker, £99



With an Art Deco staircase and a touch of Daisy Buchanan, CGJ celebrates the Jazz Age with a selection of Gatsby-tinged womenswear from Covent Garden’s retailers

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LIFE This page: Floral printed dress —Ted Baker, £129

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Opposite: Silk gathered hem dress —Burberry Brit, £325 Goat hair jacket —Ted Baker, £499 Peal line necklace —Laura Lee, £195


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LIFE Opposite: Indigo wool blend leather trim cropped pea coat —Burberry Brit, £650 Classic drape shirt —Jigsaw, £89 Silk scarf —POP Boutique, £7 Styling and photography Holly Cox Model Loulou, Profile Models Hair Karine Jackson, Karine Jackson, 24 Litchfield Street, 020 7836 0300 Make Up Angelina Howard Locations Strand Palace Hotel 372 Strand

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This page: Dress —All Saints, £175 Nishio shirt —All Saints, £140 Faux fur tippet —Accessorize, £22



e f th on g o r n in to ven Shan throw n i ary lks to y and d n ge tch, ta enuit e l g he a e, t ock w vity, inws b I ra do uo Sh Kik sio G- bout gof win Ca nny a s out De tche wa Not long after finishing university, Kikuo Ibe found himself employed by a Tokyo company obsessed with innovation. Casio had got its start in 1946, when post-war austerity was a way of Japanese life. The company’s first hit was a ring that could hold a cigarette, allowing the wearer to smoke the luxury that was tobacco right down to the tip. The firm followed this up with more inventions, including the world’s first electric compact calculator in 1957. Fast-forward to 1981 and Mr Ibe was rushing to a meeting when a minor disaster occurred. “One day in the office, I dropped my mechanical jewellery watch my father had given to me on the floor and it broke,” he says. In fact the precious gift was completely smashed beyond repair. “I was very sad, and I realised a watch will break when it’s dropped. I then decided to create a new watch to resist any shock.” As a member of Casio’s research and development department, Mr Ibe was in 16 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

the perfect position to turn his dream of an indestructible timepiece into reality. He assembled a group of engineers and designers, code-named Project Team Tough, to create a watch that could withstand any trauma. The project took over his life, as he spent all of his waking moments (and many of his sleeping ones) obsessing about how to solve the puzzle. “We made and tested over 200 watches!” Mr Ibe remembers. He had no need for crash test dummies, instead relying on his old nemesis—gravity. “I would test each prototype by dropping it out of the office window. The first I tried was the men’s bathroom; this was on the ground floor. With each success I moved up a floor until I was on the 10th floor.” The breakthrough—so to speak—came in that most grounded of environments, the public park. “When I found a girl bouncing a rubber ball in the park, I came up with the idea to make a new module to absorb a

shock from outside.” With each boing, he imagined what would happen if a floating watch engine could be contained inside the bouncing ball. The answer was that the watch would remain unaffected while the ball would absorb each impact. Now that Mr Ibe had put two and two together, it was time to marry the concept with the explosion of ones and zeros that hallmarked the arrival of the digital era. Just as pinball machines made way for a little fellow called Pac-Man and electric guitars were sidelined in favour of synthesisers, there could be no room for second and minute hands in Casio’s new watch. Protected from “gravitational shock” the all-electronic G-Shock DW-5000 debuted on April Fools’ Day 1983. A television commercial popularised the groundbreaking invention by depicting the watch—which was attached to a hockey puck—being smacked again and again with a hockey stick as it scooted across the ice.


Further TV tests saw the model get run over by a lorry, dropped from a helicopter onto concrete and blown up in a mailbox. The watch always survived, and the public rushed out to strap Mr Ibe’s creation onto their own wrists. It’s been 30 years since then, but G-Shock has survived the test of time better than Donkey Kong, Culture Club and the Rubik’s Cube. Of course, none of these were built for toughness, whereas the watch is designed to withstand anything. Also, thanks to Mr Ibe’s obsessive inventiveness, the durable G-Shock has evolved to pack more and more functionality into every little case. One model unleashed in 1993 offered water resistance up to 200m, while another included a thermometer. The following year, the DW-6500 incorporated barometer and altimeter functions. Subsequent iterations saw titanium bodies and urethane-covered 17 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

buttons move designs forward even further, with solar-powered batteries making their first appearance in the range in 1997. Leap to the new millennium, and Mr Ibe’s merry band celebrated with a built-in antenna on the GW-200 so that it could receive time-calibration signals up to four times a day. Need a watch with a compass? Try the GW-9300. Meanwhile, more recent models are designed with in-built centrifugal gravity resistance. In case you’re wondering, the GW-4000 surpasses the requirements for aircraft cockpit instruments, holding firm in gravitational forces of over 15G. Speaking of forward propulsion, it is clear that at G-Shock HQ time does not stand still. The latest, greatest invention to make the jump from the drawing board to the wristwatch wish list is the GB-6900. Thanks to Bluetooth 4.0, the “Lost Link”



An avid traveller, he harbours a vision for a watch to suit his globetrotting ways. “I’d love to invent a G-Shock Translator,” he says, “a watch that comes with a small earpiece and microphone, so that when you’re in a foreign country it can receive somebody’s voice and then translate it into your own language for you.” So that’s his agenda for the next 30 years. But already to date over 70 million G-Shocks have been sold, and have been embraced in ways that Mr Ibe admits he could never have imagined. “We had a letter from a pilot who ejected from a plane at 30G,” he reveals by way of example. “Most watches struggle to withstand 5G. He wrote to us saying his watch was working perfectly after the ejection and how amazed he was.” G-Shocks are popular with mountaineers, firemen, paramedics, police officers, astronauts and soldiers. It’s reported that the US Delta Force even wear them on their missions. The brand is beloved by athletes in the world of extreme sport too, from BMX to parkour to surfing (the G-Lide model will hold tidal data for up to 149 of your favourite surf breaks). It’s not just sporty subcultures that have cottoned onto the chunky, often colourful look of Mr Ibe’s brainchild. If you saw LMFAO’s video I’m Sexy and I Know It then you no doubt have the image of lead singer Redfoo and his G-Shock strutting down an LA boardwalk etched in your feature of this smart watch notifies you if you brain. G-Shock’s street style misplace your phone or walk too far away chops are also from the device to maintain the Bluetooth exemplified in connection between phone and watch. A collaborations “Find Me” feature lets you push a button on your watch to trigger your phone’s alarm and with hiphop artist vibration functions, overriding the phone’s Redman, volume setting even if it’s set on silent. And brands Stussy because obviously all this is just not quite and Bathing space age enough, the watch can sync Ape and New with your mobile’s email and SMS inboxes York graffiti so that you get alerts about new incoming communication delivered straight to the LED artist Eric Haze. And the face of the watch. With all of this cleverness floating around collaborations are set to ramp up in the the R&D department, I wonder aloud if Mr 30th anniversary year. Ibe puts all of his energy into timekeeping, At the fashion end of or if he’s ever tempted to dabble in other inventions outside of the watch world. Could the spectrum, Maharishi is releasing a model that he turn his hand to coffee machines, for incorporates a rare First example, or skateboards? “My passion is watches,” he shrugs, “and more specifically World War era camouflage pattern. Over in the function the G-Shock. This is what truly excites me.” 18 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

Casio G-Shock 5B The Market Building 020 7836 3545

corner, snowboard giant Burton’s GDF-100 sets out “to answer any question posed by a mountain”. Former skate pro Stevie Williams and London Fashion Week regulars Antoni & Alison have pitched up their own signature models too. And then there’s the new G-Shock Premium MR-G. Just 50 of these exclusive watches have been created, only two of which will be available to buy in the UK (both at the CASIO Concept Store in Covent Garden). The watch features a titanium strap and case, sapphire anti-reflective glass face, gold circuit mount, doublehardening treatment on the bracelet and hand engraved detail. The MR-G dial is decorated with black lacquer processed using the Maki-e technique, where traditional Japanese lacquer is sprinkled with gold or silver powder using a kebo brush. A ruby-inlaid button ensures that this is the most collectable G-Shock on the market. Possibly sharing some DNA with sneakerheads who would happily trade younger siblings in order to get their hands on a mint pair of circa 1989 Nike Air Jordan IVs, G-Shock collectors wax lyrical about the early watches while snapping up these futureforward versions the minute they hit the stores. For watch junkies like these, Mr Ibe’s personal stash is no doubt the stuff of which dreams are made. How many are there in his wardrobe? “I have never counted them. I will go count them and come back to you,” he jokes. “It may take a while.” And what’s he got on at the moment? “DW-5000C—the first G-Shock. This is what I normally wear.” I suppose if you aren’t jumping out of a plane, performing stunts on the big screen or riding 70-foot waves, but rather just trying to rush to the next R&D meeting so you can create a vision that endures for another 30 years, then it’s probably the perfect fit.

Shopping and Dining Destination

– 25 Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Flagship Stores and Boutiques

– 6 Unique Restaurants – Day Spa – Flower Academy – Yoga and Pilates Studio •

Make space in your diary for the St Martin’S Courtyard and Seven dialS Shopping extravaganza 20% discount at over 120 shops, bars and restaurants thursday 30 May 5-9pm Find us just off Long Acre/Upper St Martin’s Lane




THE KOI AND THE UNCOY 20 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013


Glyn Brown uncovers the little-known origins of the Sanctuary Spa—a tale of large fish, nude swimming and a charismatic American

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As a teenager growing up in the late 1970s in a Sussex village, London fascinated me. And perhaps nowhere more so than Covent Garden’s Sanctuary spa. Avidly I read about it in Cosmopolitan and saw what seemed to be an edenic other-world, where parrots flew and hippy-looking women swam naked. I moved to London in my 20s but for reasons I can’t understand, it wasn’t until this year that I went to the place myself, having been given two day passes as a present. It can’t be the same, I thought cynically— it’ll be ratty and horrible, or like some rip-off theme park. But it wasn’t. As you’ll know if you’ve been, you enter through the door of the small Sanctuary shop at 12 Floral Street. You wander up a narrow wooden staircase—and at the top, another world really does appear, blossoming out in a space you feel can’t possibly exist in this narrow city street. Well, things change and develop, and The Sanctuary is a business like any other, but what commerce hasn’t done is destroy that sub-tropical fairyland vibe. Sorry to get evangelical—I’m just astonished that after ownership by several conglomerates, the place has kept so true to its original sensibility. Five levels linked by stairs, doors that open onto shimmering, low-lit pools, hidden steam rooms and jacuzzis,

the translucent atrium pool with its wide wooden swing and best of all the, ahem, Rivendell-like Koi Carp lounge. The Sanctuary has been up and it’s been down, but at the moment it’s booming. So whose brainchild was it? I started to investigate and reached a dead end. Staff at the Sanctuary know the history from when it opened in 1977, but nothing about its founder other than a wrongly-spelled name, to which they’ve endearingly put up a plaque. I was about to give up when I stumbled on a dance website which told me that charismatic American actor and choreographer Gary Cockrell opened the spa as an adjunct to his other groundbreaking establishment, the Dance Centre. Blimey—it’s long gone now, but the Dance Centre rocked. I trawled on. Result? Gary Cockrell now lives in St Lucia, where he rents out an idyllic villa called The Sanctuary. He’s 80, but cares like crazy about that place in Covent Garden, as he told me in our brief phone conversation. So I present to you a two-part tale: the astonishing background of The Sanctuary; and the way it is now, 35 years later. Gary Cockrell was born in 1932 in Missouri, and grew up in St Louis. A gymnast and athlete at school, he became obsessed by Powell and Pressburger’s ballet movie The Red Shoes and began to train as a dancer. Moving to New York City, he was taught by freestyle jazz dance legend Matt Mattox, who had just partnered Marilyn Monroe for the steamy Heat Wave number in There’s No Business Like Show Business. Tall and good-looking in a Paul Newman way, Cockrell danced in several Broadway productions before joining the cast of West Side Story, which transferred to Her Majesty’s Theatre in London in 1958. Liking London, he moved here, living in Baker Street and then Swiss Cottage. For the next few years, Cockrell acted on both sides of the Atlantic. On TV, he took roles in The Saint, Danger Man and The Persuaders. “I can’t tell you much about Tony Curtis,” he says, “except that I had to knock the guy out. Tony drove a blue Jensen, which impressed me, so later I got myself a white one.” He also had a supporting role in Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita, playing Sue Lyons’ young husband. But after 30 feature films and numerous starring or guest-starring TV



parts, Cockrell began thinking again about his first love—dance. At this time, no one was teaching modern or jazz dance in London. So in 1964, with his business partner, dancer Valerie Hyman, Cockrell set up the legendary Dance Centre in Floral Street. “The building had been a banana warehouse, then lay derelict for 50 years,” he explains. “We didn’t pay a thing for it, just a low rent. We got it on a 21-year lease and our landlord was Kenneth Monroe, chairman of Geoffrey Monroe Produce, who’d wanted to put an office block on the site but couldn’t get permission. He gave us an option to vacate the premises after seven years if it didn’t work out.” The Dance Centre changed everything, and made Covent Garden—until then a noisy, grubby place of fruit and vegetable warehouses—truly hip. The world’s biggest dance school, with 60 teachers giving over 200 classes a week, this was the Fame of its day. The flamboyant Lindsay Kemp taught there, Kate Bush dropping in to his Saturday morning open classes (two and a half hours for £1), David Bowie studying mime, burlesque and drag during his Ziggy Stardust phase (It’s rumoured Kemp and Bowie concurrently had a turbulent affair). Cockrell, then 32, taught jazz dance, and moved into a flat above the building—the same flat where his mentor Matt Mattox, who he’d poached to teach here, and Gene Kelly recorded a BBC interview about London’s hypnotic new dance scene. Where does the Sanctuary come in? The Dance Centre offered professional rehearsal space—Cats took its first feline steps there, and the Royal Ballet, Bolshoi and Kirov used the studios. Cockrell came up with the idea of an ancillary facility, a place for dancers to relax and unwind between rehearsal and performance. From the start he decided that, radically, it would be women-only: “The Dance Centre clientele was 85 per cent women, and I’d seen that men made the place small, and both sexes showed off to each other,” he says. “The Sanctuary could only be relaxing if it was all female.” Initially, the venue was called Pat’s Club after Cockrell’s second wife Pat Gibb, a Debbie Harry lookalike and Dance Centre receptionist who became his business partner when Hyman left. But that name wouldn’t do. It was 1977, and futuristic 22 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

Sanctuary Spa 12 Floral Street 0870 770 3350

I bought the koi carp as small fish, knowing they could live for 70 years. They grew up eating leftover caviar from the salad bar. I had to name one of the Sanctuary cats Jaws because she never tired of trying to catch them

the Sanctuary’s current director, and she’s intrigued by it all. I tell her Gary Cockrell based the interior on the movie Casablanca, with white walls, Moroccan arches, balconies and flickering lamps beside floor cushions. “That all fits perfectly. Ceilings in many of the areas are very low, just over the height of an average woman. He was a visionary to make the place women-only, and we’ve kept it that way. It makes a very positive difference to the atmosphere.” The parrots, macaws and cats are gone, though “some of our staff remember a beautiful resident parrot flying through the rooms”. The carp are treasured. Oh, and although I saw several lithe older women doing it, we don’t tend to swim naked. Ferma movie Logan’s Run had just been released, in which the exotic great outdoors was called chuckles. “We’re more buttoned up now, but one of our staff said that in the 70s and 80s, the Sanctuary. It was perfect. The interior design was Cockrell’s. Its it was unheard-of to wear a swimsuit in the centrepiece was the award-winning atrium pool.” It’s nice still to have the option. pool, a deep aquamarine with a wooden The celebrity affection continues. rope swing suspended from the vaulted Brook Shields, Kate Moss, Gwyneth ceiling. Parrots and macaws roosted on Paltrow, Helen Mirren... “We do offer private trellises and hanging ivy. Cats paced the hire, but usually it’s quite normal to get floor or curled up on laps. And in the dusky high-profile guests, who just enjoy mixing Koi Carp lounge, fish lazily negotiated a with everyone else.” winding brook. Cockrell laughs when I A range of surprisingly affordable mention the carp, still there and much products was introduced in 1998, available admired. “I bought them as small fish, at the spa or in Boots. In 2007, the Skin knowing they could live for 70 years. They Spa opened, offering a boggling range of grew up eating leftover caviar from the salad treatments on a drop-in basis. When PZ bar.” What? “Oh yeah. In fact I had to name Cussons took over in 2008, expansion one of the Sanctuary cats Jaws because she lead to three boutique spas in Cambridge, never tired of trying to catch them.” Richmond and Bristol and, at home, a gussied-up look all round, with more therapy And what of the fact that back then, rooms and an even more impressive women swam naked? It was a rule, I heard, restaurant. and those much more laid-back 70s girls embraced it. Cockrell is charmed and But to be honest, the lingering innocence amused. “I got an old plaque from some of the Covent Garden mothership is what place in Missouri that said, ‘Swimsuits it’s really all about, from the joyous lack of are discouraged’, and hung it at the Salad product placement to the request that you Bar. Much to my surprise, women started leave your mobile in your locker because swimming with nothing on! It was done as a people will be trying to sleep. And they joke, but they believed it, I guess.” Ah well. do—I’ve seen women curled up together And people loved it all. Cockrell tells me like kittens. In fact, I suggest to Ferma that Goldie Hawn, Barbra Streisand and Cary the most popular part of the whole shebang Grant’s ex-wife Dyan Cannon adored the is the swing. She laughs. “I think you’re place. A young Princess Caroline of Monaco right. Everyone’s a bit nervous of the swing, was a member. Dustin Hoffman, rehearsing which goes right out over the pool. But all nearby, begged to use it. Cockrell: “Well, it takes is one person to go on it and next I said that he couldn’t, though I took him minute there’s a queue, and all you can hear through once.” He doesn’t say if anyone was is splashing, and laughter ringing out across swimming naked at the time. the Koi Carp lounge.” So I’m speaking to Catherine Ferma, Thank you, Gary Cockrell esquire.


23 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013



Look sharp ‘Maintenance matters’ runs the byline of this latest addition to London’s growing bandwagon of high quality, traditional barbers. They’re not wrong. Since opening their first barbershop in Charlotte Street, Sharp’s relaxed and

straightforward manner has drawn in many a man wary of the term ‘grooming’, but anxious to conform to the pressure on modern men to look half-decent. This Sharp’s do, and they do it well. In fact, thanks to their top quality shaving and haircutting facilities, you’re likely to look

entirely decent after visiting—and what’s more, with such reasonable prices, your wallet will be in fine fettle too. Sharp’s is now coming to Covent Garden’s Opera Quarter, giving even more men the chance to look sharp, in every sense.

Academy of Flowers 020 7240 6359 9 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard


/How to choose flowers for a special person Ruth Davis, Academy of Flowers

Standing in a florist trying to select the perfect flowers for a loved one is much akin to being a kid in a sweetshop. The selection can be over-whelming; the myriad colours, fragrances, shapes and textures all just too much to choose from. Flowers speak a thousand words, but it’s choosing the one or two stems that say exactly the right words which can prove daunting. At the Academy of Flowers in St Martin’s Courtyard, we enjoy talking our customers through their choices to help make sure they leave with the perfect bouquet in hand. 1—Occasion The most important thing to ascertain is what the flowers are supposed to say and into what situation they are being thrown. Although we believe there are no inherently ‘sad’ or ‘happy’ flowers, there are certain blooms which, over time, have come to have certain cultural connotations, and these must be respected. Lilies may not be the most appropriate flower to send to a wedding celebration or a birthday, for example. It is important that your flowers send the right message. 2—The recipient While cultural connotations are important, personal preference always over-rides protocol—if lilies are the recipient’s favourite flower, they’ll be a perfectly suitable gift. We will always ask our customer about the person they are buying flowers for and try to match up their personality and style with the colours and meanings of specific flowers. If the person is bubbly and outgoing they will most likely appreciate being given bright, bold flowers like sunflowers or gerberas, which come in their many psychedelic colours. If they are of a softer, quieter disposition then maybe some muted, dusky roses in purples and pinks could be the best option. If you are buying flowers for your grandmother, perhaps a more traditional, scented bunch would be best, whereas you might go all out for your designer girlfriend who epitomises trendy with an artistic and 24 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

unusual selection of tropical orchids and seed pods. 3—The language of flowers It should be noted that there is also a language of flowers, that stretches far beyond the red rose denoting love. For example, alstromeria is the flower of friendship, the daisy symbolises innocence and the freesia radiates thoughtfulness, to name a few. While trying to translate word for word a message in flowers could be complicated, expensive and leave you with somewhat of an eclectic flower mix, we can often find a single flower which is befitting of the message, the recipient and the occasion and either mass that together as one bouquet or simply slot it into a mixed bunch as a token of your love. 4—Logistics Logistics and flowers are two things which aren’t often married together and yet in the heart of Covent Garden it is always something we have to think about. We are able to create the tallest, longeststemmed bouquets which are of course impressive and stunning, but they’re not all that great for the tube ride home. To solve this, we have what we call the ‘London

Bouquet’ which is a more compact style that easily fits into one of our specialist bouquet bags and can be carried home stress-free and still in one piece. Of course, there are more practical things like cost to consider, but it is important to remember that even the most humble bunch of daffodils can say ‘happy spring’ or ‘I love you’ or ‘get well’ and needn’t cost the earth. Big bunches are impressive, but so are a simple wrap of tulips when given with love.

LIFE New deal Diaries out ladies and gentleman—the Seven Dials & St Martin’s Courtyard Spring Shopping Night is returning on Thursday 30th May, with 20 per cent discounts at over 120 stores and venues. Albam, Banana Republic, Foxhall

London, Jaeger London, Joules, Kiehls, Melvita, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Poste Mistress, Sassoon Salon, Superdry, Tatty Devine, Belgo Centraal—the list is long and growing longer. To add delight to deals shoppers will also be treated to DJs, music, makeovers, gifts

and complimentary eats and drinks. To qualify for the discount, shoppers need a Shopping Ticket, which can be downloaded free from one month in advance of the event at the Seven Dials website. It would, frankly, be rude not to.

Peter Werth 1-3 Earlham Street, Seven Dials 020 7240 1922


With the likes of Albam, Cro’Jack, Private White VC and Foxhall all taking up residence in the past year or so, Seven Dials has gradually been transforming itself into something of a haven for the discerning gentleman —a place where a man out shopping for a well cut pair of trousers, a stylish jacket or a pair of classic brogues, sold in a cool little boutique playing tunes on an iBook, will have the same sense of overwhelming choice as a hungry lover of crispy aromatic duck wandering around Chinatown. This attractive little community of high quality but affordable tailoring has been joined by one of the pioneers of the genre, Peter Werth. The brand, which started life in Islington in 1975, selling stylish knitwear to mods, has been enjoying something of a renaissance in recent years—and its latest collection indicates why, featuring some classic tailoring brightened up with geometric prints and bright blocks of colour. Highlights include a Collins plum and stone checked bomber, which introduces a more casual touch to a very smart collection. As well as the full Peter Werth range, the store will also showcase a selection of exclusive, complementary brands such as Baxter of California and Czech & Speake grooming products.

25 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013



In with the new Out with the old and in with the new runs the saying, although in the case of heritage menswear brand Gibson London, which is arriving at 9 Shorts Gardens, Seven Dials, it’s not entirely clear how apt that is. Gibson London is a new arrival with a youthful energy, but it’s

the 1960s, and the mod movement in particular, which provides its inspiration. Combining a passion for the sixties music scene (the label itself shares its name with the cult guitar manufacturer) and an unwavering belief in good tailoring, the brand has a touch of the retro without being old-fashioned. The new S/S13

collection mixes contemporary style with a hint of sixties Riviera to produce boating blazers, cream and navy striped trousers and summer suits in shades of blues and plum.

Melvita 19 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard 020 7240 7092


I am, to be frank, not great at skin. Cursed with a nervous habit that finds my nails perpetually attacking my face, if I’m not causing new damage I’m dousing the whole thing in tea tree oil. Short of a laser, I’ve tried everything under and including the sun to break free. And yet I’ve never asked for advice. Wary of counters manned by girls mumbling “some help, madam?” through several layers of make-up, I have steered studiously clear of exposing my skin—and my dignity—to strangers. Melvita, the organic skincare brand in St Martin’s Courtyard, seems more approachable, but even then I hesitate. It proves, though, to be a revelatory experience. Though as a skincare junky I was sold on Melvita products moons ago, my experience of the store itself was confined to running in, buying the same three items and running out. I passed the time of day with the staff, but never asked for their help choosing my products. I thought I knew. I was wrong. “What do you use, and how do you use it?” Upon entering the store I’d been given a glass of (organic) prosecco and placed in a comfy white armchair. Now, readied and steadied by fizz, I am being grilled. I reel off my usual routine: cleanser then face cream in the morning, cleanser then rosehip oil in the evening— all Melvita products, and all, I presume, good. Yet while I am indeed praised for brand choice, my consultant is not so impressed with my methods of use. “The oil is good for scarring— but if you are going through a 26 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

time when break outs are likely, it will just make them worse.” More disappointing is the discovery that, despite this regular oil bath, my skin is still dry. Part of the consultation is to test my skin’s hydration levels, a process involving a small instrument that looks quite terrifyingly like a pregnancy test. “Everyone says that!” laughs Norie. “We don’t use it in quite the same way.” In fact the procedure proves both unembarrassing and totally painless. Taking the ‘pregnancy test’ in one hand, Norie places it variously on my cheeks, nose and forehead and tells me the reading. “Six is good, anything below is fab.” My scores are surprisingly sound —my only problem area, it turns out, is my forehead. “This is very dry. Do you moisturise up here?” Norie says worriedly. I squirm. I don’t want my hair to get greasy. “Well, you’re going to have to do something. You’ll need anti-aging cream otherwise. In fact you should start now anyway—you’re already showing signs of lines.” “WHAT?!” I exclaim fearfully. Being made aware of your lines is upsetting to a woman

at any age, but at just 24 years old I couldn’t help but feel it to be bitterly unfair. I use rosehip oil. Miranda Kerr uses rosehip oil, and her face has never seen a wrinkle. What have I done to warrant this? Norie loses no time explaining. “The rosehip oil is good—but it is also dense and difficult to absorb. That’s why it’s best to mix it with something water-based.” This means not only that the oil is absorbed more easily, but that it penetrates deeper into the skin, leaving your skin free of the sheen you get when you smother it with oily stuff. Rocket science it isn’t, but I’m impressed. “Do you drink a lot of coffee?” Norie asks. I smile. Now I will redeem myself. No, I’ve given up, I say. I just drink tea. “That’s still not that good. It’s not hydrating. Have you tried some of our herbal teas?” She gestures pleasantly towards the shelves. Oils, toners, creams and serums I’ll consider—but I draw a deep and wrinkled line at funny tea. Be that as it may, I still learn an enormous amount about skincare here, from the benefits of blemish water to the perils of using normal cream around your eyes. “I know it’s tempting, but it will just cause puffiness.” Happily my visit also happens to coincide with the release of an eye cream, as well as a new range called Nectar Bright. Containing active ingredients which help tackle pigmentation and dark spots, the range is not the first to jump aboard the ‘brightening’ bandwagon in skincare, but it is among the most natural. The ingredients come from flowers— narcissus, wintergreen, bellis, white lupin and white sea silly—that protect themselves against the sun’s UV rays by responding to cycles of day and night and hiding from the sun. I am intrigued. Perhaps, in a few months, I’ll introduce some bits into my regime. For now, though, I’m sticking to rose facial water, rosehip oil, rose day cream and rose cleanser. Oh, and keeping my hands off my face.


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6/5/09 12:24:1




/Niall O’Sullivan, freelance poet and host of Poetry Unplugged

CGJ: Do you come from a poetry background? Niall O’Sullivan: I’m not sure I know what a ‘poetry background’ is. It makes me think of décor—me standing near a fireplace wearing a frilly shirt. Without doing the old hackneyed working class background thing, I wouldn’t say that any of my childhood mates would go on to be poets. I did go to university to study art, but dropped out, and then spent 10 years working lots of blue collar jobs, mainly as a landscape gardener. My heroes around that time included Charles Bukowski, who worked a lot of blue collar jobs before becoming a full time poet in his fifties. Fred Voss is another poet I really like. Voss still works in a machine shop in Long Beach, California, and writes about the guys he works with, none of whom know he’s a poet. The poetry is very gritty, there’s nothing flowery about it at all. How long have you been writing poetry? Ever since I was a nipper. I was still writing when I dropped out of academia, but it was only when I started reading poets like Bukowski that I decided to go out and find audiences. I did my first floor spot at a Hammersmith open mic night, and my second reading was at Poetry Unplugged, back when it was hosted by John Citizen. I was regularly going to open mic nights and doing gigs here and there, but I was keeping that hidden from workmates. I tend to write quite ground level, gritty poems a lot of the time. The language is normally colloquial rather than any highfalutin’, archaic style, trying to sound like a 17th century aristocrat or something. Has any of your work been published? I’ve published two books and a pamphlet. The funny thing about publishing a book is you’re very proud of it at first, but then about two weeks later you start to see all the stuff you want to change. And I’m such a narcissist. I was just in the Poetry Library at the Royal Festival Hall, looking for something to borrow, and I still check to see if my books have been taken out— they hadn’t. But sometimes they have, and then I’m really happy, and I wonder what kind of person could be reading my stuff. I might be publishing another book later this year. Poetry books tend to grind along quite slowly. 28 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

Where has poetry taken you? I did a residency at the Wimbledon Championships in 2009. That was really interesting, though I can’t say I was the world’s biggest tennis fan when I went in there. There was serendipity involved, being in the right place at the right time, because somebody who was meant to be writing a blog dropped out, so they brought in me and two other poets instead. It was very last minute and the next thing I’m at Centre Court watching Roger Federer, going to the press conferences and spending a day at Henman Hill, surrounded by drunk, posh people—and just writing about that.

I remember one man who had a very intense vibe about him—everyone could sense it. He’d just got out of Broadmoor. I can’t really remember what the quality of his poetry was like, but I knew he was talking about things that I was never going to hear from any other poet

LIFE Niall O’Sullivan

sometimes cover for the host if he couldn’t do it. Actually, Pete Doherty was a regular back then and hosted it a couple of times. In his diaries he was plotting secretly to become full time host, but became a rock star instead, so, you know, bad luck to him. Tell me about London’s premier open mic poetry session. Poetry Unplugged happens every Tuesday at 7:30pm. The sign up is between 6pm and 7pm—I’m very strict about that—and each slot is five minutes. The audience is usually a little bit lubricated, though not excessively rowdy, but there’s definitely a sense of fun and informality about it. You get people from all walks of lives, who might not obviously hang together, suddenly reading poems together and appreciating each other’s poetry.

The following year I was resident poet of a housing estate, so a complete change. I’ve done festivals and have read at lots of places. I did the Roskilde Festival in Denmark and was a special guest at the first ever Poetry Slam in former East Germany. And I have just finished teaching a module in Poetry & Performance at London Metropolitan University, which has been really interesting. How long have been hosting Poetry Unplugged? I took over as host in 2005. I was performing there regularly before that and would 29 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

Poetry Unplugged The Poetry Café 22 Betterton Street 020 7420 9888

How does the audience show its appreciation? The audience tends to be very supportive. A lot of people expect it to be a bit rough and ready. Different open mics have different vibes. Unplugged has been all about new poets trying out their work and established poets trying something new, so there’s a real workshop-like approach to it, an almost implicit agreement that we can just let our hair down and try stuff out. And it might work, it might not.

So there isn’t much booing? There doesn’t tend to be. There can be heckling and banter, but most of the time it’s supportive, friendly and funny, and happens between poems, never in the middle—that’s sort of bad form. Booing doesn’t happen much at all and usually I would discourage it. But every now and Is there a wide range of poetry styles? again, if someone does a misogynistic Yes, everything from hip hop poetry to bawdy poem, for example, I don’t mind letting the comedy poetry to poems about cats. audience voice their displeasure. There’s a fine line. Sometimes people can do stuff like Are the poems ever dreadful? that and it can actually be quite entertaining Who’s to judge if a poem is dreadful or not? and funny and other times it can just be A kind of poem that a snob like me might really offensive. call doggerel, might have people crying their eyes out if read at a funeral, so there is a Are first time performers welcome? certain ‘in the eye of the beholder’ aspect to Definitely—we call them Poetry Unplugged it. I try to promote the night as an extended virgins. They could be a very established people-watching experience rather than poet reading at our open mic for the first necessarily an array of established poets time or it might be their very first time dazzling us with their brilliance. And you are ever. Either way I always encourage the literally seeing a little piece of them. If some audience to be supportive and to give may be lacking in a polished or seasoned them a great reception, because some quality, but this doesn’t mean there isn’t people feel really nervous. They might be something in it that you wouldn’t get from a musician or actor used to performing in either mainstream or academic poetry. front of much larger audiences, but when they’re suddenly reading their poetry it’s a For instance? completely different kettle of fish. It’s one I remember one man who had a very intense of the highlights of the evening and they vibe about him—everyone could sense it. usually get the biggest cheers of the night. He’d just got out of Broadmoor. I can’t really Some poetry nights can be cliquey, very remember what the quality of his poetry was much about the host sorting their mates like, but I knew he was talking about things out, putting them on first, and then giving that I was never going to hear from any strangers and newcomers one minute at the other poet. So if his poetry maybe wasn’t end. Unplugged isn’t like that. It’s a bit more the slickest, and he wasn’t some kind of Stalinist in its approach. Everyone gets their virtuoso, there were still things about his five minutes no matter how good they are. I experience and his subject matter—and don’t care if they’re a super award-winning just the things he knew and felt—that I poet or someone with a very low vocabulary wouldn’t get from a poem by an awardand a tin ear—it doesn’t matter, everyone winning poet. gets treated the same.



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WOK STAR Jean-Paul Aubin-Parvu learns the art of the stir fry under the expert eye of Jeremy Pang, founder of School of Wok Every great idea needs a kick start. Just ask Jeremy Pang, head chef and founder of School of Wok. “I lost my job in marketing,” he laughs. “I was working for Samsung as a project manager for strategic alliances, building bridges between Samsung and other big companies.” A family emergency then took Jeremy to Hong Kong for a few months. “My father passed away and I was made redundant on the day of dad’s burial. So I decided to do something I’d enjoy, and if I was going to start a business it was always going to be in food.” Although Jeremy was very much at home in the kitchen, he took a basic cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu to hone his skills, before returning briefly to marketing. “I needed to earn money and that was the easiest way to do it. But really I was just biding my time.” Jeremy reaches his chopsticks towards the crispy baby squid. We are sat at a large wooden table inside School of Wok, tucking into a Chinese feast. Jeremy and I are also enjoying the charming company of Isobel, Jane and Carola. And what makes this delicious lunch extra special is that we have just cooked it ourselves in one of Jeremy’s Quick Fire Wok classes. I shall return to that later, because right now we’re all keen to know more about the origins of Jeremy’s business. “In May 2009, 31 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013



I was on holiday in Italy with my wife, who was my girlfriend at the time,” he says. “She said to me: ‘Why don’t you teach people how to cook?’” “All the best ideas come from wives and girlfriends,” chuckles Isobel. “Yes,” agrees Jeremy, before admitting that he initially dismissed his future wife’s suggestion. “Then two weeks later I suddenly thought: ‘Do you know what? That’s a great idea.’ Teaching someone in their own home doesn’t cost anything apart from travel, time and food.” But persuading strangers to let you enter their homes isn’t easy, particularly if you happen to be carrying an assortment of knives. A great name for your business can’t hurt. “We sat around a mate’s house over dinner and a few glasses of wine,” remembers Jeremy. “I said: ‘Guys, I want to start this thing. I need a name.’ And many glasses later we got School of Wok.” He was up and running, visiting people in their homes and teaching them how to cook their three favourite Chinese dishes. The success of this venture would lead to the school on Chandos Place, which Jeremy and business partner Nev Leaning opened in May 2012. The school doesn’t focus solely on Chinese cuisine—its one-hour quick fire sessions, three-hour masterclasses and full-day intensive courses run the gamut of Asian cuisine. The school also runs gourmet walking tours of nearby Chinatown as well as hosting birthdays, hen parties and corporate events. To do all this requires a dedicated team of chefs, including Stefan Lind, who assisted Jeremy in our session earlier. So who comes here for classes? “Male to female, it’s about 50-50,” says Jeremy. “We get the city slickers, so a lot of bankers and lawyers, and we’re starting to attract more people from outside London, who want to do something different when they’re up in town, rather than just walk around and go shopping.” Today Jane has journeyed from Tunbridge Wells, while Isobel came from Faversham. But the cigar goes to Carola, an economist specialising in China, who lives and works in Buenos Aires. Most of the school’s clients come simply to improve their home cooking and to have fun, but an increasing number want to develop their skills further. The School of Wok now caters for this, for example, by introducing a five-day intensive dim sum course. Dim sum is an incredibly difficult skill to master and the next five-day intensive currently has four professional chefs booked onto it, but Jeremy stresses that this course has been carefully designed to suit 32 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

School of Wok 61 Chandos Place 020 7240 8818

all skill sets. “We take pride in saying that. I don’t mind if someone has no knife skills whatsoever, because the whole point is that we’ve given that course enough time to allow people to make mistakes and then learn from them. By the end of the week, yes, you may not be as good as those chefs, but you will have learnt a hell of a lot about dim sum.” Our own session begins with Jeremy taking us through the ingredients. “Chinese food is 90 per cent preparation and 10 per cent cooking,” he says. But we only have one hour, so most of the ingredients have already been prepped. These will become crispy baby squid, egg fried rice and blanched greens in roasted garlic and goji berry broth. Except that Jane has opted to make crispy smoked chicken rather than squid. Jane is a maverick, but she always gets results. The squid and chicken still need preparing. Jeremy demonstrates how to prep a baby squid, expertly removing innards, skeleton, beak and skin membrane to leave the tentacles and body. My early attempts results in an inky mess, but with Jeremy’s patient tuition my confidence grows and I soon stand back to admire my much improved handiwork. The squid needs no marinade, but Jane’s chicken gets the classic treatment of light soy sauce, sesame oil and pinch of sugar.

“If you use those three things in the right quantities you are guaranteed to make your food taste Chinese,” reveals chef, before adding a couple of drops from a bottle of hickory smoke. I then massage a dry batter of corn flour seasoned with salt and pepper into my squid. “You are looking for what I call a dry, dusty white consistency,” explains Jeremy. “Each piece must be dry, separate and dusty white, so when it goes into the fryer you get a really thin, crisp finish. And it’s going to be dry crispy not greasy, whereas using a wet batter you’d be much more likely to get a greasy, thick batter.” We leave Stefan to deep fry the squid and chicken, because there is urgent wok work to be done using traditional round-bottomed woks. The curvature is what creates the circulation of heat, with stirring, folding and flicking the three ways to cool your ingredients without having to actually turn down the heat under the wok. Our egg fried rice starts with a small amount of oil. I add a cracked egg once the oil begins to smoke, using a spoon to prevent the white from sticking to the wok and burning, before bursting the yolk and pulling the spoon back and forth through the egg until scrambled. “If you hear a sizzle in your wok you are stir frying—that’s good,” says


If you love eating then you’re going to want to know more about the food and how it’s cooked. And that’s my family. When we spend time together all we do is talk about food. It’s very much built into the Chinese culture anyway, but we’re pretty obsessed as it goes

Jeremy. “But if you see a lot of dry smoke in your wok you are burning, so then you give it a flick.” A bowl of pre-cooked rice goes into the wok, closely followed by peas, a splash of light soy sauce and a dash of sesame oil. I continue to stir, fold and flick with the best of them. My confidence is entirely due to Jeremy’s hands-on, have-a-go style of teaching. This chap was born to be in a kitchen. He wouldn’t be a Pang otherwise. “We all know how to eat,” says Jeremy. “If you love eating then you’re going to want to know more about the food and how it’s cooked. And that’s my family. When we spend time together all we do is talk about food. It’s very much built into the Chinese culture anyway, but we’re pretty obsessed as it goes.” Various family members have worked in the Chinese food industry. For example, Jeremy’s paternal grandmother owned restaurants and takeaways, while his maternal grandfather owned Chinatown’s Kowloon restaurant and bakery. Isobel demands to know how such a food obsessed chap has managed to stay so slim. “A very high metabolism,” grins Jeremy. “Honestly, Pang men are renowned for being skinny until we’re 40, and then suddenly we 33 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

have a belly we can lift onto a table. I have started exercising once a week.” My egg fried rice is ready and needs to go into a bowl. The next task is to make the blanched pak choi in roasted garlic and goji berry broth. After slowly roasting pieces of garlic in oil, I introduce a liquid stock made from yellow beans, mushrooms, onion, ginger and a few capfuls of rice wine. I raise the heat to burn off the alcohol and season with a pinch of pepper and half that amount of salt. When this aromatic brew comes to the boil I reduce the heat and add the pak choi, which takes three minutes to cook. The goji berries go in right at the end and I transfer the broth into a bowl. Jeremy puts the finishing touches to the baby squid and smoked chicken. First up is the squid. With the oil sizzling, chef adds finely chopped garlic and chilli to the wok. Jane and I launch into a chilli-induced coughing fit. Jeremy adds the squid, seasons with salt and pepper, and after a few expert stirs, folds and flicks it straight onto a plate. The crispy smoked chicken gets similar treatment and we’re done. Forward wind, and we are back at the table finishing our right royal feast. It may be the wine talking, but I’m ever so chuffed with my culinary efforts. I wonder if Jeremy has inspired anyone to take up this Chinese

cooking lark professionally. “Well, it’s funny you say that,” he grins. “But it’s amazing how many people want to open a noodle bar.” Such as a 55-year-old ex banker, who having lost his job now plans to open a noodle bar in Rome. “The first day he came we did a five hour private session. “I taught him different types of noodle dishes and now I’m helping him to create his sauces.” And then there’s Evelyn from Nigeria. “She’s a great lady, who now cooks Chinese food for thousands of people,” says Jeremy. “She did a seven day course here with me and is coming back over for the dim sum classes.” Jeremy’s talents now extend to television work. He was a recent guest on the BBC series Nigel Slater’s Simple Cooking. “That was my first experience and a very interesting thing to do, especially with someone like Nigel, because he really knows what he’s doing and how to keep everyone else calm. Since then I’ve done so much filming in here—it’s been brilliant— and he’s given me the confidence to do it.” For anyone who missed Jeremy’s television debut, trust me, he looked anything but a man in need of calming down.” “Oh no,” laughs Jeremy. “I was very nervous.”



Daawat at Johnstons 2 Burleigh Street 020 7497 4185


/Clare Finney receives a lesson on the vast world of Indian cuisine from Krishna Shankar When approaching a restaurant that prides itself on serving authentic Indian cuisine there are a few things you should be wise to. The first is that India is a pretty big place. Comprising almost 1.3 million square miles and 1.2 billion people, it is the seventh largest and second most populous country in the world. To put it another way, the landmasses of Germany, France and Italy would fit in there and still have breathing space. Thus the idea that your average curry house menu is somehow representative of Indian food is as mad as saying Parma ham and bratwurst aren’t far removed. The second, and perhaps the biggest myth, is that Indian food is always hot. “In India, we go to a Mexican restaurant or one serving a particular regional cuisine if we want spicy food,” says Krishna Shankar. The head chef of Daawat at Johnstons, Krishna is slowly but surely introducing a version of Indian cuisine which involves dishes from across the country’s cultures and climes—“not just lamb biriyani”—and it is under his tutelage that I am learning to recognise the various misconceptions about Indian food. “There wasn’t even any chilli available in India until the 16th or 17th century,” Krishna explains. “People were used to black pepper in some areas—that’s quite spicy—but even now if you go to the far east of India the food is mild, because it took a while for chilli to be picked up inland.” It’s good news for those who unfailingly ask for ‘extra-mild korma’, but it’s not always easy to convince those who associate curry with tonguestripping, eye-watering thrills. “In the beginning some people commented that we did not have enough hot dishes on our menu, so we changed it slightly. We introduced a dish that’s extraordinarily hot, from a particular region where very hot chilli is used.” Unlike some Indian chefs, Krishna is passionate about staying true to his roots. If a dish is hot, it’s because it was intended to be so; if mild, because it wasn’t. “Indian food is spicy by virtue of the fact it contains many spices—but that does not necessarily make it hot.” There are more myths besides. Cobra beer is not Indian. Kormas are not sweet. Tikka masala, that most iconic of curry house dishes, was invented “when an 34 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

English viceroy asked his chef to make his chicken tikka more mild”. To an extent this was what started Daawat. “Those of us who grew up with Indian food, who knew it and knew what it was thought there was a gap in the market for offering proper authentic Indian food at reasonable prices.” It would take a bit more awareness, Krishna admitted, but “once people knew what it was about they would come in”. Though hampered initially by the double obscurity of an unfamiliar menu and the obstructive scaffolding outside it, Daawat is now bubbling over with the scent of spices and the sounds of happy clientele. He’s aided by the Strand Palace Hotel, naturally—it’s one of the largest in London, and even on traditionally quiet nights the chances of filling seats is high. But he’s also aided by the quality of the food he serves. “No one has tasted something from here and gone away disappointed,” he beams. “They’ve gone away saying they got something different, it was good and they will be coming back.” Though names like ‘baghara baingan’ can look daunting, the combination of clear menu descriptions and smiling staff makes bad choosing almost impossible—the only real risk being that of overestimating the amount one can eat. This is not an unpleasant problem. Indeed, over-ordering is one of the finer rites of the British curry tradition and one which even Krishna seems unwilling to dispense with, for all his gripes. “It has to be a slow process,” he says. “People get scared enough by the strange names, and if you had to include detail about when a dish is eaten, or where it comes from on the menu, it would take too long to read.” Krishna is just happy to be providing the chance for people in the UK to sample the dishes he and his fellow countrymen know and love—papdi chat, a sort of Bombay mix with chickpeas and potatoes, lamb biriyani cooked “in the traditional way, whereby the last 20 minutes of cooking is done in the pot sealed with sticky dough so the aroma is spread into the rice”, and dhosa, a rice pancake you pair with curry or chutney. Dhosa, it turns out, is still in the pipeline. “It must be the second biggest selling item in India but people here don’t known about

it,” says Krishna. He’d have introduced it sooner, but it takes a lot of time and preparation to create. “Once we have regular customers who are a bit more open to new things we will be able to justify selling it.” Krishna has never quite recovered from the surprise of stepping foot in the British Isles (in Newport, south Wales) 20 years ago and seeing the first example of what we call an Indian restaurant. “I would look at these curry houses, and say to my companions, ‘Do you actually go there to eat?’” Even the décor surprised him—the lush, velvety sofas, and vivid colours which many Brits associate with India, but which to someone who grew up there is about as reminiscent of the country as four-poster beds and grandfather clocks would be to us, “It’s medieval India,” he laughs disbelievingly. “It is India, but it is the India of the Taj Mahal, of the Mughal dynasty.” Anxious as ever to break free from clichéd representations of his country, when it came to designing Daawat, Krishna set out to reflect his 21st century version—a modern, urban India with style and neutrality, if not of culture, then at least of tone. Avoiding religious connotations proved tricky—“we did try to reference both Hindu and Muslim populations, but there was nothing we could find that would assimilate them”—yet with judicious use of paintings and photos they created a setting that, while diplomatic, stops short of bland. Walking into a warm aroma and an atmosphere undimmed by the absence of purple velvet cushions, I sense another Indian restaurant myth being quietly, but firmly debunked. Thus Krishna and his team still have some way to travel—“just in terms of knowledge, because the British palate is used to dishes that have evolved into something far removed from Indian food” —but they’re headed in the right direction, even if many can’t accept that vindaloo as they know it bears no relation to what it should be. “I have been asked why we don’t serve a vindaloo,” says Krishna, “but to be honest with you, I don’t know how to do it. It’s like asking me to make a stroganoff.” The proof of the pudding is, they say, in the eating—and as a witness to the creamy carrot halwa, I have to say it’s solid. Goodbye prawn korma, hello khozi varutha curry.


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Party like it’s 1862 Cinco de Mayo—5th May—marks the anniversary of the shock defeat of a large invading French army by horribly outnumbered and out-gunned Mexican troops in the battle of Puebla in 1862. It has since become a major celebration,

especially among Mexicans living in the United States. To join with the festivities, St Martin’s Courtyard’s own little slice of Mexico, Cantina Laredo, is throwing a three day party, starting on Friday 3rd May, complete with a mariachi band, a limited edition Margarita de Mayo

cocktail, a tequila tasting masterclass on the Saturday afternoon, and a free shot of tequila for anyone turning up to dine in a sombrero.


/Darren Phillips of Poulters Fish CGJ: How long has your family been handling fish? Darren Phillips: I’m the fourth generation. My great-granddad started in the fish business just after the Second World War. There was a butchers shop for sale in Luton, where my family originate, namely RJ Poulters. My great-granddad purchased the shop, but realising that fish was slightly more profitable than meat, turned the shop into a fishmongers. He decided to keep the name, RJ Poulters, because it was so well known in the area. Didn’t your great-granddad quickly expand his empire? Yes, he soon had a pie and mash shop. Pie and mash was very traditional and highly sought after in those days. He had another shop specialising in shellfish—cockles and whelks and stuff like that. My mum spent her formative years with dad actually picking whelks out of a shell, which she always says weren’t her fondest memories from her courting days. The shops were eventually sold off. A Chinese family bought the original fishmongers and turned it into Luton’s first Chinese takeaway. So Poulters Fish began to focus on food markets. That’s right. My granddad took on a unit at Luton Market, inside the Arndale Centre, while my dad worked at Watford Market, which back then was an outdoor market. My dad was there for what must have been 30, 35 years, until he retired in 2001. When did you enter the family business? I can remember going with my dad up to the old Billingsgate Market on Lower Thames Street. That must have been 1981, so I’d have been nine-years-old. The old Billingsgate was a fantastic building and had a great atmosphere. I started working with my dad as a Saturday boy from about the age of 13 or 14. How long have you been at St Albans Market? Just coming up to 20 years. My dad had been on the waiting list for some 15 years before the opportunity finally arose. The market takes place on the high street every Saturday. St Albans is an absolutely 36 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

fantastic town, beautiful, with the stunning cathedral—an upmarket town, I would say. Trade on the market is very brisk. I also have a fishmongers at Garsons Farm, which is a garden centre, farm shop and pick your own site in Esher, Surrey. We’ve been there for five years. So markets are very much in your blood. Oh, absolutely. Markets have a different kind of retail atmosphere from shops. They allow you to build up more of a one to one relationship with customers. You really get to know people after serving them for years. I still have customers from my very first day at St Albans and we have regulars who come back week in week out. They get to know you and your family. Poulters Fish has just started at the Real Food Market. What can we look forward to? Everything we bring to Covent Garden will be day-boat caught, sustainable fish and shellfish. Depending on the season the range will include sea bass, mackerel, turbot, brill, sardines, clams, lobsters, crab and farm assured Scottish salmon from the Orkney Isles. It will all be sourced by me, either from Billingsgate Market or from day-boat fishermen who my dad and I have dealt with for 20, 30 years, mainly from

down in Portsmouth and the West Country. For example, we buy a lot of oysters, lobsters and crabs from a Portsmouth company called Viviers, who have their own fishing boats, and we buy scallops from day-boat scallop divers fishing out of Lulworth. The West Country sardines come from FalFish, a company based down in Falmouth. And will you be cooking up a storm on the griddle? Yes. To start off we’ll be doing garlic prawns in a fajita wrap. We’re then planning to do Thai-style salmon on skewers, again in fajita wraps. As the summer progresses we’ll probably look at doing scallops served with a black bean and spring onion sauce, and then sardines with some crusty bread and a lovely bit of salad—whatever happens to be in season. How important is seasonality? We’ve always followed seasonality, because once things are in season they are so much better. For instance, when plaice are in season they are fatter, so then you are selling a better product. And in the last few years we’ve found that customers have become more focussed on looking for what’s in season, which just suits our method of selling fish.

TASTE Perfect tempo It is in the nature of Covent Garden these days to attract firsts. Il Tempo, being the first Italian Aperitivo bar of its kind to open in London, is no exception. Serving Italian coffee and specialities (Turin- style thick hot chocolate) by day and wine, cocktails

and nibbles by night, it is a perfect pit stop for thirsty workers and theatre goers.Wine is sourced seasonally and from small Italian producers. Food, too, is seasonal and exceptionally prepared. Italian canapés, cheeses, salads, premium cured salumi, little tarts and

more jostle for space on the open table. Rather like Pix, the Spanish pintos bar on Neal Street, you can choose what you desire from the selection, which changes daily. Even the Italians would struggle to deny the quality and authenticity of this cuisine.

Poulters Fish The Real Food Market Every Thursday (11am-7pm) East Piazza

Are you looking forward to life at the Real Food Market? Absolutely. As a market trader you do get to hear about other great, buzzing markets. So I had heard of this market in Covent Garden and actually applied to have a stall here last year, but the birth of my little baby boy was imminent and so I decided to put that on hold. Does Covent Garden itself hold much appeal? Covent Garden is just such an amazing place. The area is always buzzing, with so much going on, the street acts and all the fantastic restaurants and shops. I have very fond memories of Covent Garden. When my wife and I first met, we often used to come up here and spend the evening at the Punch and Judy, having a few drinks and chatting. Having a stall here brings back fond memories of those times. Do you think your son will carry on the family business one day? He may, but only if it’s something that he fancies doing. My dad used to say to me: “When you grow up, son, this will all be yours. You can carry on this business.” And I’m very happy that I did. I absolutely love my work, getting into London, speaking to the fishermen on the phone, finding out what they’ve landed, what’s coming in, stuff like that. It really does give you a buzz. I would like my son to go into the business, and still feel there’s a future in this industry, but I’ll still be happy if he decides to do something else. But you clearly love it. I really do. It’s weird, but when I have a few days off I start itching to get back to work. Can I get this, can I get that? Anchovies, for instance, they land them in the West Country for three weeks of the year. And I need to buy them, because I’ve got loads of Italian customers in St Albans who love them. So you follow trends. It’s really exciting.

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/Coffee column


/Angela Holder on the many ways in which a roast can go horribly wrong

Coffee roasting is not a spectator sport. In fact, in terms of interest to the nonparticipant, I’d put it right up there with watching grass grow. Most of the action is hidden inside both the roasting machine and the operator’s head. The one moment of excitement is when the cooked beans are released and start cooling, and that’s not exactly dramatic. Except when a fire occurs, which is something that I can live without... After the initial “oh?” reaction that I get when people find out what I do for a living, their second thought is about the romance of it all—the alchemy of taking green beans and transforming them into that magical elixir! The reality is that it involves a lot of heavy lifting to get beans into and out of the roaster, a lot of repetition as each batch essentially goes through the same process, and a dash of machine maintenance. Glamour quotient: low. That said, it has its rewards. Although each roast passes through the same stages, no two batches are exactly the same. The operator needs to observe and control the minutiae of each roast as it progresses in order to guide the beans towards their full potential. To this end, the temperature gradient of the roasting beans is controlled though the heat that is applied and the airflow through the machine. The beans are closely observed, especially at the end of the roast, in order to stop the cooking at exactly the right point. Since things move quickly at the end, dropping the roast out a few seconds early or late can make a big difference in the cup. Get it right, and you have the satisfaction of knowing that others are going to experience that

coffee at its best. Get it wrong and several hundred quid of the company’s money may just have gone up the swanny. No pressure then! Here are a few ways that a roast can go horribly wrong: 1—Baking: this is where the beans cook for too long at too low a temperature from the start. It produces a coffee that is drinkable, but dull or flat tasting. 2—Scorching: due to cooking the beans too quickly at too high a temperature. This results in beans that are very dark and oily on the outside but raw on the inside and tastes both burnt and under-done. Good for steak, bad for coffee! 3—Over-roasting: where the roast has gone well, but has been left cooking for too long at the end and so has lost a lot of the fruit notes that would have made it interesting. The sugars also get overcaramelised or even burnt which produces very bitter and burnt flavours, like rubber. 4—Under-roasting: again, where the roast has gone well, but the roaster has jumped the gun and let it out too early. This means the fruit notes will be undeveloped producing grassy, sour, mouth-puckering acidity. 5—It can catch fire. Enough said.



Home sweet home After wandering London like the Littlest Hobo, selling its pizzas from pop-ups and street markets, Homeslice Pizza is settling down in Seven Dials, with a permanent restaurant in Neal’s Yard. Run by Kiwi chef Ry Jessup and his business partner Mark

Wogan, Homeslice bases its success upon a combination of perfectly worked dough and simple combinations of high quality ingredients on a short, but ever changing menu whose only constant will be the ubiquitous—and peerless—margarita. Drinks are just as fuss-free—British beer


and prosecco on tap, and self-service double magnums of house wine. And this emphasis on simplicity continues into the pricing structure, with all pizza slices and all drinks costing £4 each and whole 20 inch pizzas costing £20.

Balthazar 4-6 Russell Street


the hype, there is no reason to think that this latest venture—the sister restaurant of the famous Manhattan brasserie that shares its name— will be any different. The closest that East End docker’s son Keith came to a restaurant in his youth was when he got a job as a bell boy at the Park Lane Hilton at the age of 16. It was here that, thanks to his somewhat urchin-like appearance, he was spotted by American film producers and cast in a TV film about Charles Dickens, starring Michael Redgrave. What followed was a short and fairly undistinguished career on stage and screen, with the high point being a part in Alan Bennett’s 40 Years On at the Apollo (the playwright took him to his first restaurant) and the low point being a stint as stage manager It isn’t often that a restaurant opens in a Soho strip club. In 1975 Keith arrived in London with a drum roll as loud and in New York intending to make his fortune extended as that which has accompanied in show business but—as with so many the opening of Balthazar. But then if there’s others—found himself scraping a living in one thing that restaurateur Keith McNally the restaurant business instead, working has learnt on his journey from the London without immigration papers first as a bus stage to downtown New York and back to boy, then a waiter, then a maître d’, and London again, it is how to open with the eventually as a manager. biggest possible bang. And it works. In an industry where spectacular failures far In 1980 he teamed up with his brother outstrip lucrative successes and where Brian and his future wife Lynn to open a reputations can be broken as easily as a new restaurant, Odeon, in TriBeCa. The cheap breadstick—Keith has built one wildly ingredients for the restaurateur’s future popular venue after another, with barely an success were in place from the start— empty table between them. Regardless of unfussy food, a buzzing atmosphere, 38 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

impeccable timing and the knack of attracting celebrity without shamelessly courting it. The Odeon became the somewhat riotous hang out of New York’s edgier stars, from John Belushi to Andy Warhol, and featured on the front cover of Jay McInerney’s novel of eighties excess Bright Lights, Big City. Over the following decade Keith opened a whole slew of equally hip and successful destinations—Café Luxembourg, Lucky Strike and a nightclub called Nell’s which at one point had future River Café owner Rose Gray behind its stove—before the breakdown in his marriage saw the burgeoning empire passed to his ex-wife in a divorce settlement. After a sojourn as a pig farmer on Martha’s Vineyard, Keith returned to New York in the 1990s for a second wave of stunningly successful openings including, in 1997, Balthazar—a Parisian brasserie marinated in a certain Big Apple brashness. A big, bustling behemoth of the New York restaurant scene, it has managed to shatter the usual flare and fade pattern of fashionable dining hotspots by remaining resolutely popular ever since, attracting film stars, magazine editors and Beckhams by the bucketload and selling millions of bowls of rich onion soup and billions of perfectly crispy frites. Now Keith has returned to his London roots by opening a branch of Balthazar in Covent Garden’s Flower Cellars—a spectacular building that was once at the heart of the market—with backing from Richard Caring, owner of The Ivy and a man who knows all about selling comfort food to starry London clientele. It has been a while coming—Keith is admirably meticulous about every last detail of the operation, especially the design, and refused to open in a rush. The result has many of the tropes of its New York sibling—red banquettes, dark wood, antique fittings—and with a similar Parisian flavour. He suggests though that there will be more emphasis on the food which, in London’s chef-obsessed restaurant culture, is of far greater importance than in New York where atmosphere is all. Robert Reid, who made his name at the Michelinstarred The Oak Room, is the executive chef with the daunting task of living up to a great deal of hype. The drum roll has finished—let the show commence.

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We mayand not share Da Vinci’s The Subways (previous spread) Charlie Simpson: Two of the end of the world fears, but acts whose careers have been rejuvinated by PledgeMusic we certainly have our own concerns about climate change, and the sustainability of the planet

“It’s monstrous. It really is. This square is so amazing when there’s nothing in it,” says Tristan Sharps, as we circumvent the bustling courtyard and head to a café. An architectural aficionado and the founding director of a company committed to sitespecific theatre, he is more hostile to London Fashion Week’s bi-annual blanketing of the Somerset House courtyard with catwalks than most—and his production, In the Beginning was the End, could not be further removed from its dizzying, fizz-fueled whirl. Inspired by a sketch by Leonardo da Vinci of a man “drowning in the mass-made objects of his day” the production’s aim is to probe and question our growing materialism and its implications. Does scientific development—something Da Vinci himself prized highly—come at the expense of our spiritual growth? Will we be the undoing of ourselves? “We may not share Da Vinci’s end of the world fears,” Tristan pondered when he stumbled across this image in 42 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

a book of the great Renaissance man’s drawings 10 years ago, “but we certainly have our own concerns about climate change, and the sustainability of the planet. The more I thought about it, the more I realised how contemporary a drawing it was about the end of the world.” For over a decade this was as far as Tristan got. Having established the theatre company dreamthinkspeak productions in 1999, the years following his discovery of Da Vinci’s A Cloudburst of Material Possessions doodle were almost entirely taken up with new work. The company became extremely successful, its methods of interweaving live performance, film and installations within unusual buildings (a paper factory in Moscow, a hotel in Kuala Lumper) setting a precedent for what we today call ‘site-specific theatre’, but which pre-dreamthinkspeak was barely heard of, let alone named. “Of course theatre has been going on outside theatres since before

theatres were born, but the way I work—with art and architecture, creating plays within a building you wouldn’t normally work with— that I hadn’t seen,” Tristan recalls. Performing in abandoned office blocks and railway tunnels might be the mode du jour these days, but without critically acclaimed shows like Don’t Look Back and The Rest is Silence it seems unlikely this expensive and labourintensive style would have gathered pace. Tristan’s apocalypse lay dormant— interesting in itself, but without the natural habitat necessary to bring it to fruition. “Normally I have an idea, then when I discover the building, that becomes the catalyst for it to develop. That’s how it works,” Tristan explains. Though he’d seen Somerset House, he’d remained uninspired: he approved of the neo-classical architecture and mysterious tunnels, but he had “no interest in going down the old, long-flowing-robes-and-high-arches Da Vinci route.” Only when he got an invitation

ARTS In the Beginning Was the End Until 30th March Somerset House 020 7452 3000

at it in a contemporary way,” says Tristan. “Leonardo had lots of fantastic ideas—but he also had daft ones, and a lot of his ideas added to the stuff that he depicts in that cloudburst. The image is as much about him as it is about us.” Where better to start, then, than at its fountainhead: the lab in which mechanical engineers of the future are educated and shaped. Tristan’s research here was meticulously executed. “We were actually assisted by someone who had been made redundant during the department’s closing down. He brought great knowledge, and the performers themselves are very well versed in what they do.” Critics of the production have been quick to brand it as anti-technology, yet the vision offered by the engineering rooms is anything but. The condemned machines still work effectively, and only in the following rooms, where various luxury items malfunction to hilarious effect, does it become apparent that the line between controlling machines and being controlled by Above: Tristan Sharps them is a fine one. Tristan isn’t anti-science any more than Da Vinci was—but he is, like Opposite: A performer in In the Beginning Was the End the Florentine polymath, acutely aware of the destructive potential it possesses. Like, for example, the issue of climate change. Though reluctant, when asked, to commit to much about the future either of the play or the planet, if there’s one thing Tristan will talk vehemently about, it’s this. “Am I pessimistic or optimistic? I don’t know. But am I passionately anti burning a big hole in the ozone, anti the huge amounts of electricity that we waste day to day, anti the huge generators that we have to keep on all the time just to power the internet— absolutely!” He looks exasperated “We have this notion that technology will be a power to see King’s College’s eerie, abandoned over climate change. It’s the reverse.” engineering department did Tristan’s vision for a Da Vinci-style examination of “the world While short on answers, In the Beginning we live in and where we are going” start to Was the End is big on questions: the first, take shape. brilliantly, posed by the title. “I read the bible Fast forward two years and it is this and the Qur’an in the process of writing this, space, together with the maze of staircases and I thought of the first line of Genesis, ‘In and tunnels connecting King’s and the beginning was the word’. Then I thought Somerset House, which sets the stage for about the Book of Revelations and endings, In the Beginning Was the End. Arguably the and it came from that,” says Tristan. The first company’s most ambitious yet, the world you issue it raises is one of predestination—our enter during this 70 minute show is one built “predilection to self-destruct”. “I think that’s on books, in which technological devices always been there but now we have more are founded on “an extraordinary amount tools with which to do it and there are more of knowledge and research, and are built to people on the planet,” he explains. The end last”. People—performers, really, but you of the production doesn’t quite mirror the soon forget—work silently around you and beginning, but there are similarities enough screens glow and hum reassuringly. There to make you wonder. Is extinction written as is little sign of the catastrophe that awaits surely into the story of humanity as death is unless you really look. in its individual parts? “When I first saw this department, We’re offered no answers—at least, suddenly the whole other side of Leonardo nothing explicit. We know the planet will opened up to me, and I realised I could look last—that much is obvious from the 43 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

production’s setting in old, yet sturdy tunnels—but we suspect, from searing glimpses of our own mortality, that we won’t. Notices warning the audience of ‘scenes of nudity’ before the show are not without justification. Nor, too, are the signposts: ‘Sheer drop’, ‘Keep clear’, ‘High voltage’ and other doomful writings on the wall. “The challenge,” says Tristan, “is not whether we want to save the planet, but whether we want to save ourselves—and why.” Those with religious beliefs have the language and the apparatus to discuss it: Tristan, who was born to a Catholic mother but “never quite found my feet in that world”, does not. It was for this purpose that he created In the Beginning was the End—and indeed every other dreamthinkspeak production, all of which concern death, life and the relationship between the two. “All the best art for me is about death. Not specifically, necessarily, but in a really interesting, positive way. Death is extraordinary. It is the root of all life,” Tristan marvels. “There are religions that understand that but outside of religion it’s hard to get your head around.” And does he feel In the Beginning Was the End does that? He shrugs. “That’s for the audience to say.” Enigmatic to the last, if Tristan has any thoughts on what the legacy of In the Beginning Was the End might be, he isn’t telling. It’s still developing, he patiently explains. “The performers change around all the roles to keep it fresh and lively. It’s an extraordinary journey, and one I’m pleased about—but it’s not something I can stand back from until the run ends.” By the end of March, he’ll have 1600-odd performances to reflect on. Performances run each evening until 10 or 11pm, and audiences book for a slot at five minute intervals during this time period. And, like the absurd technological amenities that litter the latter half, the performers both live and recorded are stuck on a loop. You have to take time to explore it: the programme suggests 70 minutes, but Tristan advises longer and I’m inclined to agree. “Take your time. Check every room,” he says. “It’s a journey where you are sometimes faced with more than one choice and sometimes a single choice.” He stops, leans forward and looks at the Dictaphone meaningfully. “That’s really important, readers. Hoover up as much as you can, particularly in the early stages as it will benefit you later on.” For a moment I wonder whether he’s talking about life, or the show I’m about to see. I suppose it doesn’t matter—it’s sound advice for both experiences. And, as dreamthinkspeak attests, they are both very much aligned.



/London Transport Museum What must visitors make of Londoners’ relationships with the Underground? Tempestuous at best, schizophrenic at worst—no sooner have we damned the tube to hell for its inability to cope with a bit of snow than we are enthusiastically celebrating 150 years of its life and reflecting proudly upon its startling contributions to graphic art. The celebrations are already well underway, with a host of important people taking a commemorative journey in a stunningly refurbished steam train back in January, marking the anniversary of the tube’s inaugural journey in 1863. For the rest of the year, Transport for London has planned a whole slew of events and exhibitions, of which Poster Art 150 at the London Transport Museum plays a colourful and important part. Thanks to the pioneering work of Frank Pick, the prewar managing director of the Underground whose belief in the merits of good design made the tube a bastion of brilliant graphic art, inventive typography and world famous branding, there’s no shortage of eye-opening work on display. Comprising 150 of the best posters to have been commissioned by the Underground, the show will include posters by Howard Hodgkin, Man Ray and Paul Nash, alongside gems by those lesser known lights of the genre. It’s a feast for art lovers as much as it is train buffs, and, as such, provides the perfect day out for both tortured artist teenagers and geeky fathers. Just don’t expect them to choose the same posters in the visitor vote at the end.

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ARTS Poster Art 150 Until October London Transport Museum Covent Garden Piazza 020 7379 6344

Opposite: Keeps London going by Man Ray, 1938 Left: Highgate Ponds by Howard Hodgkin, 1989 Top: Underground; the way for all by Alfred France, 1911 Above: Four times the number carried by Theyre Lee-Elliott, 1936

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Potted Potter Comprising all seven Harry Potter books and a real life game of Quidditch, this 70 minute-long production at the Garrick theatre doubles up both as a hilarious play and a tongue twister: potted Potter parodied in a play. It can be a bit of a

The Weir 18th April—8th June Donmar Warehouse


/Donmar Warehouse

With two Oliviers and one Tony nomination to his name, Irish playwright Conor McPherson could probably tackle just about any subject he wanted. Yet even the best of playwrights have their subjects of choice. For McPherson, it seems, it’s ghost stories—troubled spirits which manifest variously in pubs, literary festivals and big old houses. 2011’s production of The Veil at the National Theatre shook the core of even the most hard-hearted critics. This year it’s the Donmar Warehouse’s turn, with The Weir—a modern play whose premiere in 1997 at the Royal Court scooped up three Best New Play awards and sealed McPherson’s burgeoning reputation. It is set, naturally enough, in Ireland, in an isolated pub owned by a landlord called Brendan. There he and local men Jim and Jack are gathering for their daily pint. As the crowd grows, the conversation turns to Valerie—a pretty young Dublin woman who has recently started living in the area—and before you know it Valerie herself has arrived, prompting the relaying of ghost stories, rolled out by the loquacious drinkers in a bid to impress her. Only when it is her turn as storyteller, however, do the dead of spirits past and present become chillingly real. The Donmar’s version of the play is being directed by artistic director Josie Rourke. Given the quality and clarity of her theatre’s output since she took over a year ago, there is no reason to suspect that this won’t be another quiet triumph. 46 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

‘muggle’ at times—Lord of the Rings and Narnia adventures make an unexpected cameo appearance and there is a slight misunderstanding between Hogwarts and warthogs—but it is all in very good humour, and in sentiment it offers as much parody as praise. No need for a

NEWT in Harry Potter, or Wizardry to enjoy it—just a good sense of humour, and some hand-eye coordination. Did we mention the Quidditch is interactive?

ARTS Great Expectations In a year in which Britain dominated the sport scene, the world almost ended and the Queen kept reigning, it’s easy to forget that 2012 also marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens. Yet thanks to actors and

actresses Grace Rowe, Chris Ellison, Paula Wilcox and others, the curtains are far from closing on this event. Since early last year they have been touring regional theatres across Britain with their production of Great Expectations, the legendary tale of orphan Pip, ex-convict

Magwitch and the most infamous bride in literature, Miss Havisham. And if the reviews of theatre critics around the country are to be believed we can expect great things from it when it arrives at the Vaudeville. Adult Pip is played with “great style”, Paula Wilcox’s Miss

Havisham is “truly brilliant” and Grace Rowe as Estella has “just the right mix of haughtiness and vulnerability” —making for a production to which one thinks Dickens himself would happily have laid claim.

Sunken Garden 12th-20th April London Coliseum



/Inside Story Our anonymous West End insider gives a backstage view of life in Theatreland Heights are an interesting thing. The mere mention of them sends some people into a cold sweat, while others remain completely unmoved. I never used to like them that much until an electrician friend of mine said to me, “If your stomach doesn’t churn every now and again when you are working at heights, then you really shouldn’t be up there. It’s nature’s way of reminding you that you are one slip away from very bad things.” This seemed to give me permission to be a bit nervous in high places. One set I worked on—for three days running with barely a break—called for the hanging of a large banner from a horizontal pole rigged about 40 feet up in the air and protruding off the stage into the auditorium—tricky enough when you’re as fresh as a daisy, and decidedly dangerous if you’re not. The only way of getting to the rigging point involved a piece of equipment called a ‘tallescope’—essentially a metal basket bolted to the top of an extendable ladder, which sits in a cradle mounted on wheels. At this point I should remind my dear readers that most stages have a slope. If the whole thing sounds spectacularly unsafe, that’s because it is. On this occasion the last banner fixing point called for the tallescope to be fully extended while standing right at the edge of the stage. A very tall tecchie had to stretch well outside the basket and towards the auditorium, which promised a landing place of hard wooden chair backs if it all went wrong. When the time came the only carpenter working that day who was tall enough to reach the rigging points went ghostly pale at the thought. To be fair, even 47 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

most electricians whose natural habitat such places are, admitted they didn’t envy the fellow who had to head up there. In the end the carpenter was excused from risking his life. Instead the chief electrician headed up. His reasoning was that since tallescopes sway and under such situations could sway alarmingly—shift your weight at the wrong moment and that sway can easily become a topple—someone comfortable with such places should be up there for this one. All other work was stopped and every available crewman stood on, sat on, or hung off the bottom of the tallescope to stop it from toppling over. What followed was a tense 10 minutes before the gently wafting material hung correctly. The reason this occasion stuck with me is once it was all done, the usual interdepartment banter was entirely absent. In a world where the chance to get one over the other department is rarely missed, pretty much nothing was said. It reminded me the small realties behind that famous phrase “the show must go on”. On almost any other day a carpenter would have happily charged up, but on this day and at this time it felt wrong. It was a situation where the wrong person doing a job faced a real chance of harm, so the right one stepped forward even though it was not his job. Occasionally something happens that strikes a chord and reminds you that this is no ordinary job. There are other jobs with greater consequences or played for higher stakes. But as a way of paying the mortgage and stocking the wine rack, I can’t think of anything I’d rather do.

When describing Sunken Garden, it’s easier to start off by saying what’s not in it—cartoon drawing and abstract expressionism. All other art forms, it seems, are here in full. Composed and directed by Michel van der Aa, this landmark new film-opera tells a multi-layered story of a missing person by mixing text, live and recorded images, and even a libretto from Cloud Atlas novelist David Mitchell. It is an adventurous pitch for the Dutchman’s ENO debut, but one which his previous prize-winning musical theatre production, Afer Life at the Barbican in 2010, more than qualifies him to pull off. “His ability to fuse music, text and visual images into a totally organic whole sets him apart from nearly all his contemporaries,” wrote The Guardian. It’s a feature of the ENO’s determination to attract a new audience that such a pioneering production has received its blessing. Sunken Garden’s title and premise may suggest murky depths, but art critics here and elsewhere have high hopes.





Courtauld Gallery Strand 020 7848 2526

National Portrait Gallery St Martin’s Place 020 7306 0055

Tenderpixel 10 Cecil Court 020 7379 9464

Pablo Picasso began the year of 1901 as a promising 19-year-old artist, influenced by the artistic pinoeers of the previous generation—Van Gogh, Degas, ToulouseLautrec—and ended it on the cusp of greatness. This was the year of his debut exhibition in Paris, arranged by the influential art dealer Ambroise Vollard. It was also the year that, inspired partly by the suicide of a close friend, Carlos Casagemas, the depressed young painter embarked on what became known as his Blue Period—a series of sombre, melancholy portraits rendered in muted shades of blue and turquoise. This Courtauld exhibition brings together a remarkable set of paintings from 1901, through which the first glimmers of his genius became increasingly evident. This is a snapshot of an artist finding his feet and setting his course for the spectacular life that would follow.

Native American life has often tended to be viewed in a historical rather than artistic light, being a feature of museum displays rather than galleries. Now, thanks to a fruitful collaboration between the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the NPG, this is about to change. This vivid, evocative and compelling collection of 50 portraits painted by George Caitlin, a Pennsylvanian-born artist who spent much of his life documenting Native Americans and their way of life, will be displayed for the first time outside America since Caitlin himself toured with them. The artist set out to create a particular idea of “this vanishing race”. The first year he embarked on his project, the Indian Removal Act was created, commencing the 12 year action that would remove the remaining Indians from land east of the Mississippi, and within just a decade or so the Mandan of North Dakota would be decimated by smallpox and the number of buffalo would drop by millions.

Of Parameters is an international group show of works that draw upon the application of scientific observation, data gathering and mathematical formulas to create a visual representation of a tightly-ordered world of systems and controls. Subtitled ‘measurable truths, definitive outcome’, the exhibition includes pieces created in the 1970s by two eastern European pioneers— the Czech Karel Miler and the Hungarian Dóra Maurer—alongside contemporary works by Tomas Chaffe, Cevdet Erek and Marcell Esterházy, all of which, in their own different ways, shine a light upon the patterns and structures that help organise our lives.

14th February—26th May /Courtauld Gallery

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7th March—23rd June /National Portrait Gallery

Until 23rd March /Tenderpixel



The Sony World Photography Awards are just about the most prestigious prizes on offer to purveyors of the photographic arts, and with the medium as healthy and dynamic now as it has ever been, there is no shortage of entrants. This year saw over 122,000 entries from 170 countries— the highest number of submissions ever received for this rapidly expanding competition. The shortlist, covering a variety of categories, has been selected by a panel of experts chaired by Catherine Chermayeff of Magnum Photos, and ranges from haunting shots of the Syrian conflict to the Obama presidential campaign; an intimate study of cinema-goers in Kabul to quirky and witty shots of the animal kingdom. The shortlisted images are being displayed at Somerset House, offering a vivid snapshot—quite literally—of the world in 2012. 49 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013


Somerset House Strand 020 7845 4600



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GUNSHOT [OFFSTAGE] Tom Hughes on a famous tragedy at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

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The sound of the gunshot was lost in a roar of laughter during the second act of Rose Marie at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. The house was full, as always. The operetta was in its second year, a sensational extravaganza imported from America with a huge cast. The “totem scene”, which closed act one, featured 100 dancing totem poles. King George V had seen the production three times; the Prince of Wales was in the royal box only a fortnight earlier. Drury Lane’s new manager, Sir Alfred Butt MP, had scuttled Shakespeare for musicals. Rose Marie, taking in £6,000 per week, was credited with “the salvation of the Theatre Royal”. From his chambers backstage, Sir Alfred certainly heard the gunshot. Across his desk, the beautiful French actress and dancer Regine Flory had fired a single bullet into her own head. At her death on 17 June 1926, Regine Flory was 32. Adored on both sides of the Channel, she was said to be the wealthiest actress in Paris and perhaps the world. She made headlines when she insured her jewellery for 2 million French francs. Her shocking suicide, and the setting for it, created an immediate sensation—“What mysterious secret grief impelled her to shoot herself in the presence of Sir Alfred Butt? The question thrilled the whole of Europe.” 52 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

As a teenager, Regine had understudied in Paris for the celebrated singer-danseuse Mistinguett. One night, owing either to a sore ankle or a case of appendicitis—the stories vary—Regine got her break. Her understudy days were finished. During the Great War, she escaped the continent for London, where “her chic dancing and her innate fascination” was duly noted by approving male critics. The theatre historian Kurt Ganzl described her as a “febrile and highly sexual performer”. War weary audiences delighted in her dances. A dazzling brunette, she became famous for her daring “flesh-coloured” stockings that flustered the censors. A notice had to be posted assuring the audience that Mademoiselle Flory was not bare-legged. Though the slaughter continued on the Western front, the shows went on in the West End. In one revue, Regine performed a new number called The Tanko. It was meant to be in mock celebration of that new mechanised weapon of war.SiegfriedSassoon,inhispoem Blighters, quickly returned fire: “I’d like to see a Tank come down the stalls, / Lurching to rag-time tunes, or ‘Home, Sweet Home’ / And there’d be no more jokes in music-halls / To mock the riddled corpses round Bapaume. Regine survived the controversy and the war. She was the featured

actress at the Gaiety Theatre in Aldwych, managed by Alfred Butt. In 1904, Butt had quit as an accountant at Harrod’s to manage the Palace Theatre in Cambridge Circus. By 1918, he was running the Empire, the Adelphi and the Gaiety, with time enough to get his knighthood for managing the wartime rationing. A month following the armistice, Butt premiered a play at the Gaiety created for his protégée entitled Beauty Spot. Regine, of course, capered about in the requisite “dainty costume” and was surrounded by a “comely chorus”. The war-weary audiences, many of them de-mobbed soldiers, flocked to see it. The critics again raved about Regine “whose dancing, singing and virility created a furore”. Butt, seemingly, would do anything for Regine—when she expressed her wish to return to her beloved Paris, he built her a theatre in the Rue Mogadur which opened in 1919. Of course, there were rumours that the relationship was more than professional. Butt was boyishly handsome but he was also married with children. There was never a scandal—he preferred London, his home in St James Square, and his race horses in the country. In Paris, however, Regine was unhappy. She had numerous affairs, many with well-known men (and one escaped seminarian.)


She suffered badly from insomnia. She was addicted to drugs. She threw herself into the Seine at least once. Her last affair was with Max Viterbo, a Parisian dramatist who managed Le Cigale theatre. The two eloped, roaming Europe in an automobile, until Viterbo chose to return to his wife. It was said that Regine went to the forgiving Madame Viterbo pleading: “They say I am worth over a million francs. Will you take all this and surrender your husband to me?” The answer was “Non, merci.” A distraught Regine told friends that she could not remain in Paris. She would go to London to see Sir Alfred Butt. Without his help, she would shoot herself. A French detective was dispatched in pursuit. Butt was warned and had Regine searched upon her arrival at Croydon Airport; no weapon was found. In London, Regine took a suite at the Savoy. On the evening of 17th June, she walked into the Savoy’s dining room, in a spectacular gown, wearing magnificent jewels. She dined alone but not unnoticed. Following her meal, she took a taxi the short distance to the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. She was seen among the pre-curtain crush in the foyer. Finally, she went backstage to see Sir Alfred. The French “suicide sleuth” was there. Butt told the detective to wait outside—he would meet with Mlle Flory alone. The two talked for about a quarter 53 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

of hour. Then the shot rang out. The detective burst into the room to find Flory dead on the floor. The inquest at Bow Street before Mr Ingleby Oddie was a complete sensation. Sir Alfred described the visit of “the deceased” to his chambers. Their conversation had been so calm and gay that the baronet had decided that all the warnings he’d been given were “so much French exaggeration”. She had merely come seeking work but, alas, he had nothing for her. She asked, “You cannot put me in a musical? Cannot you give me a tour?” He repeated that he had nothing. She told him that the Shubert theatre group in America had made an offer. He advised her to take it. When he had cause to look away for a moment, he heard “an appalling explosion” and turned to see her fall from her chair. She had taken a tiny pistol from her purse. Sir Alfred told the inquiry that he was aware that Regine had been unhappy in love. He also knew she was addicted to morphine. Max Viterbo came from Paris to acknowledge their recent affair which he had ended. Monsieur Samali, the feckless detective, with a Gallic shrug, stated, “No one can stop a person determined to end their life.” The medical report said death was instantaneous. The autopsy revealed numerous needle marks in her thighs. A variety of

“insomnia drugs” were discovered in her room at the Savoy. The grim proceedings concluded, Oddie bluntly announcing his findings: “It is the penalty of people like her who go to bed at six o’clock in the morning, and still cannot sleep, who take drugs to keep themselves going, whose life is one whirl of excitement, to suffer from tedium vitae, depression and suicidal tendencies. If they cannot get a thing they want, having an unbalanced mind like grown-up spoilt children, they sulk and shoot themselves. In a fit of pique, following prolonged drug-taking, after an unnatural, unhealthy life, possibly complicated by an irritating love affair, on a sudden impulse, because she did not get what she wanted, she has taken her life.” It is not easy for a good solid Londoner to understand the ways of “show people”. In France, the more romantic followers of the tragedy at Drury Lane concluded that Regine Flory never found the right man, “She had despaired of ever finding a living lover who could make her forget her illusional one.” She was buried at St Mary’s Catholic cemetery at Kensal Rise. Sir Alfred Butt remained at the Theatre Royal until 1931



GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS Sam Hodges and Sophie Vickers, authors of the book London for Lovers, bring you their list of Covent Garden’s most romantic destinations

Cecil Court Between Charing Cross Road and St Martin’s Lane Previously known as flicker alley after the concentration of early film companies in the court, today it is a book lover’s Mecca —the shop fronts have not been altered in a more than a century and the traditional hanging signs announce specialists in rare and antiquarian books maps and prints. There is even a fortune teller reading palms in the window of Watkins Books. Liberation 48 Shelton Street If you’re into a bit of old school bedroom antics, this antique fetish shop offers opportunities for role play with a Victorian bridle and spurs, ivory dildos or, for the really intrepid, a World War I operation table with original straps. Magma 8 Earlham Street, Seven Dials Shelves of fashion, photography, and design books arranged cover-out tower 54 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

seven metres up to the ceiling. To encourage browsing, there are no signs or sections, and each desirable edition has a plastic-covered sample copy for perusal. The Actors’ Church 31 Bedford Street So called because of its historical ties with the theatre community surrounding it. The courtyard behind the Inigo Jones-designed St Paul’s church feels undiscovered amid the bustle of Covent Garden, and is filled with roses and trees. It was here in 1662 that the first recorded performance of Punch and Judy (or Joan, as she was then known) took place. Somerset House Strand The splendid courtyard in front of Somerset House has been variously filled with 10,000 ceramic daffodils, a circle of 12 enormous bronze animal heads sculpted by Chinese

Artist Ai Weiwei, and revelers dancing to dance music beneath the night sky. It’ hard to believe that until the late 1990s the space was used as a car park for civil servants working for the inland revenue. But now one of London’s most spectacular 18th-century buildings has become a contemporary cultural hub that genuinely has something for everyone. The courtyard is its beating heart, hosting in winter what Harper’s Bazaar describes as London’s most glamorous ice rink, under the boughs of a Christmas tree deigned by Tiffany and Co, and in summer shooting 55 jets of water from its belly, to the delight of the children (and adults) who play among them. Armed with pizzas from the Pizza Express next door, duvets, pillows and rugs, the highlight of the Somerset House calendar is the summer screenings that cast a sleepover spell on the strangely intimate gatherings of 2,000 viewers. As the light fails, bottles are uncorked, picnic blankets


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London for Lovers By Sam Hodges and Sophie Vickers Published by Square Peg, £12.99

gin, Italian vermouth and Fernet Branca) was created especially for the Edwardian actor Sir Charles Hawtrey, after he came in and exclaimed, “Coley, I am tired. Give me something with a bit of punch in it.” The Delauney 55 Aldwych Recently opened, The Delaunay, from the men who brought us The Wolseley, is the new place to eat: its German influenced menu features an array of wieners (that’s right) and an ice cream called the Lucien, after the late painter Lucien Freud who ate at the Wolseley every single day. Bill’s 13 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard Brighton’s favourite brunch spot arrived in London in 2012, offering an eco-friendly mix of food market, deli and brunch spot inspired by seasonal British produce.

unfurled and all eyes turn to the vast screen, suspended in front of walls dramatically illuminated in purple. Films shown are mainly old favourites, but the courtyard also hosts the occasional premiere for new work by the likes of Pedro Almodovar (who now holds all his UK premieres there) and the gulls that traverse the beams of light in the sky above. The Courtauld Strand The courtyard is by no means the only draw to Somerset House—the Courtauld gallery is perhaps the most perfect art collection in London. Unlike most other galleries in the capital, the Courtauld is rarely crowded and also has a small window of free entry for those with the luxury of time on a Monday morning. The gallery walls are filled with masters, predominantly Impressionist and post-Impressionist art, but the collection also boasts works from the early high renaissance right through to the twentieth 56 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

century. It’s the fact that some of Degas, Van Gogh’s and Manet’s masterpieces are permanently housed in such an intimate setting that makes the Courtauld so unique. This quality is best explored through a private tour for two, pre-booked through Art History tours, where qualified art historians guide you through a series of heroic, humble, strange, sad and often hilarious stories. According to a recent poll the painting to look out for is Paul Gauguin’s Nevermore. The American Bar Strand For cocktails afterwards, the art deco American Bar in The Savoy Hotel is home to some of the top mixologists in the country and the pianissimo sounds of Burt Bacharach and Cole Porter. In 1903 Ada Coleman took over the running of the bar as the first and only female head bartender at the Savoy. Her signature drink, the Hanky Panky (Bombay Sapphire

Circus 27-29 Endell Street, Seven Dials Circus is not everyone’s cup of tea—some have dubbed it a gimmick, others a quirky night of fun. As the name suggests, dinner—pan-American cuisine—is served among a plethora of cabaret acts, from contortionists to acrobats to flameswallowing dancers. You can choose to sit at a long wooden table—the ‘stage table’— which doubles as a performance runway. Circus’s interior design is one of its most talked about features—the work of Tom Dixon—from the surrealist foyer, a world of smoke and mirrors, to the futuristic black white and silver of the main space. For those who prefer not to mix food with hoop-based balancing acts, Da Mario does traditional and intimate Italian, the kind of place where waiters and customers are on first-name terms—a rare thing in central London. Clos Maggiore 33 King Street Voted most romantic restaurant in London for a reason, make sure to book one of the ‘conservatory’ tables, where low-hanging, blossom-laden branches frame your partner, under, in theory, a star-lit sky. Great Queen Street 32 Great Queen Street From the men behind the much-feted gastropub The Anchor & Hope, Great Queen Street does very good food without shouting about it: from crab on toast or smoked mackerel for starters, to roast lamb or rump steak for mains. Great Queen Street is also home to the controversial but beautiful Freemason’s Temple and shops displaying Masonic regalia. Masons in unfashionable dark suits surreptitiously enter the side door of the Temple carrying their ceremonial trowels and pinafores.

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Chesterton Humberts 196 Shaftesbury Avenue 020 3040 8400

SPECIAL AGENTS /Chesterton Humberts

Shorts Gardens

Located in Seven Dials, Keiron McGill works for the Covent Garden branch of Chesterton Humberts. He talks through the best new properties on the market, as well as the best places to go for cocktails, lunch and a quick film viewing. Where exactly do you operate? We cover a broad area from our Covent Garden office, servicing Fitzrovia and Soho to the west, Bloomsbury to the north, Clerkenwell to the east and as far south as the Embankment, but our core market remains Covent Garden. What sorts of property do you market? The style of our property in Covent Garden mirrors the changing architecture of London—with ornate Edwardian and Georgian mansion blocks sitting sideby-side with the ultra-modern mixed developments like Central St Giles. If I were to buy somewhere in the area, I’d go for Shorts Gardens, close to Neal’s Yard. It’s cobbled, central and there are really lovely loft apartments there. Is it a good place to be based, work-wise? Yes, as it truly is the centre of London. If you can’t do it in Covent Garden, it’s not worth doing. We also always go out as an office around here. Last time we went to Detroit, the cocktail bar. I love the Covent Garden Hotel too—their film club is now on Saturday nights, so you can go for lunch, and watch a 58 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

Tottenham Street

film. There’s always famous people in there as well. Any special properties on the market? We are currently offering a great selection of properties with my particular favourites being a beautifully secluded studio apartment in the heart of Seven Dials, priced at £450,000, and a stunning family house on Craven Street priced at £5.25m. The likely buyer for the Seven Dials Court flat will be someone who needs to be based in Covent Garden for work but may have an additional residence outside of London, whilst the Craven Street house will appeal to a family needing a good London base at a fraction of the price that similar houses would cost in, say, Mayfair or Marylebone. Do you prefer modern or more traditional properties? I love the modern, sleek look. Our Tottenham Street apartment is very minimalist—all clean lines and contemporary furnishings— as well as a 16 foot Zen waterfall which, as you can imagine, is the perfect antidote to busy city life. It’s huge, with four bedrooms, so ideal for a family, or for a couple who are looking to start one. Where are the residential hotspots in Covent Garden? The whole place in itself is a big residential hotspot right now as people have begun to really enjoy urban living in one of the fastest

growing cultural centres—music lovers naturally gravitate to property close to the Piazza and Opera House with the streets leading from Seven Dials appealing to a younger intake of city dwellers. We get a lot of lucky students too, as the universities aren’t too far away. What advice do you have for people looking to rent or buy in Covent Garden? Once you have lived in Covent Garden you will never want to leave, so make sure your choice is suitable for a long stay. People should also embrace the diversity and also realise that the benefits far outweigh any compromises you may expect to make. We always advertise properties online, and keep the website up to date so I’d say make sure you keep checking it and it’s always good to ring up in case there are some we haven’t put up yet. Are there certain times of the year that are busier than others? We are busy throughout the year—demand in Covent Garden is similar to the most sought after parts of other major cities, however oddly there is a bit of a drop-off in summer. Last year was perhaps due to the Olympics, but it tends to happen most years.




7 For All Mankind 11b King Street Womenswear Accessorize The Market at Covent Garden 22 The Market Building 020 7240 2107 agnès b 35-36 Floral Street 020 7379 1992 Womenswear & menswear Albam 39 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials 020 7240 9391 Menswear All Saints 5 Earlham Street, Seven Dials 020 7179 3749 57 Long Acre 020 7836 0801 Womenswear & menswear Banana Republic 132 Long Acre, St Martin’s Courtyard 020 7836 9567 Womenswear & menswear Barbour 134 Long Acre, St Martin’s Courtyard Womenswear & menswear Base 55 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials 020 7240 8914 Womenswear Ben Sherman 49 Long Acre 020 7836 6196 Menswear Betsey Johnson 4-5 Carriage Hall, 29 Floral street 020 7240 6164 Womenswear Birkenstock 70 Neal Street, Seven Dials 020 7240 2783 Shoes Brora 42 Market Building 020 7836 6921 Womenswear Burberry Brit 41-42 King Street Womenswear

Calvin Klein 120 Long Acre 020 7240 7582 Womenswear & menswear The Cambridge Satchel Company 15 Shorts Gardens, Seven Dials 020 7240 7712 Camper 39 Floral Street Shoes Carhartt 15-17 Earlham Street, Seven Dials 020 7836 1551 Womenswear & menswear Cos 130-131 Long Acre, St Martin’s Courtyard 020 7632 4190 Crazy Pig Designs 38 Shorts Gardens, Seven Dials 020 7240 4305 Jewellery Crocs 48 Neal Street, Seven Dials 020 7836 2505 Shoes Desa 6 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard 020 7836 6055 Leather & womenswear Diesel 43 Earlham Street, Seven Dials 020 7497 5543 Womenswear & menswear Dune 26 James Street 020 7836 1560 DUO 21 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard Footwear East 16 The Piazza 020 7836 6685 Womenswear Eileen Fisher 4 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard Womenswear Fat Face Clothing Thomas Neal’s Centre, 35 Earlham Street, Seven Dials 020 7497 6464 Womenswear & menswear Formes 28 Henrietta Street 020 7240 4777 Pregnant womenswear

59 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

Foxhall London 20 Earlham Street 020 3142 6248 Fred Perry 14 The Piazza 020 7836 3327 6-8 Thomas Neal’s Centre 020 7836 4513 Womenswear & menswear Freddy 30-32 Neal Street, Seven Dials 020 7836 5291 Womenswear & menswear G-Star 5-11 Shorts Gardens, Seven Dials 020 7240 3707 Womenswear & menswear Hoss Intropia 124 Long Acre 020 7240 4900 Womenswear Jack Wills 136 Long Acre, St Martin’s Courtyard 020 7240 8946 Jaeger London 2 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard 020 3328 9441 Womenswear and menswear Joules 3 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard Womenswear & menswear Kabiri 18 Market Building 020 7794 0754 Jewellery Karen Millen 22-23 James Street 020 7836 5355 Womenswear Kurt Geiger 1 James Street Laird London 23 New Row Hats Laura Lee 42 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials 020 7379 9050 Jewellery LK Bennett 138 Long Acre, St Martin’s Courtyard 020 7379 9890 Womenswear Lollipops 55 Neal Street, Seven Dials Women’s accessories

Lyle & Scott 40 King Street 020 7379 7190 Massimo Dutti 125-126 Long Acre, St Martin’s Courtyard 020 7935 0250 Womenswear & Menswear McClintock 29 Floral Street 020 7240 5055 Eyewear Monsoon 5-6 James Street 020 7379 3623 Womenswear Nicole Farhi 11 Floral Street 020 7497 8713 Womenswear & menswear Oliver Sweeney 14 King Street Shoes Orla Kiely 31-33 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials 020 7240 4022 Womenswear and homewares Original Penguin 8 North Piazza Menswear and womenswear Pandora 23 Long Acre Jewellery Peter Werth 1-3 Earlham Street, Seven Dials 020 7240 1922 Menswear Paul Smith 40-44 Floral Street 020 7836 7828 9-11 Langley Court 020 7240 5420 Womenswear & menswear Pop Boutique 6 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials 020 7497 5262 Vintage womenswear & menswear Poste Mistress 61-63 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials 020 7379 4040 Shoes Pretty Ballerinas 7 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard Shoes Rabeanco 25 Long Acre Bags



Replay 32 Long Acre 020 7379 8650 Denim & casual wear Rugby Ralph Lauren 43 King Street Womenswear & menswear Q Menswear 10 Earlham Street, Seven Dials 020 7836 4365 Menswear Size? 37a Neal Street, Seven Dials 020 7379 7853 Shoes Skechers 2-3 James Street Shoes Sole 72 Neal Street, Seven Dials 020 7836 6777 Shoes Stone Island 34 Shelton Street, Seven Dials 020 7836 8402 Menswear Superga 53 Neal Street, Seven Dials 020 7836 6935 Shoes Super Superficial 22 Earlham Street, Seven Dials 020 7287 7447 Superdry 24-25 & 28 Thomas Neal’s Centre, Seven Dials Womenswear & menswear Tatty Devine 44 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials Jewellery Ted Baker 1-4 Langley Court 020 7497 8862 Womenswear & menswear Topman General Store 36-38 Earlham Street, Seven Dials Menswear Twenty8Twelve 8 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard 020 7042 3500 Womenswear Tzar 15 King Street 020 7240 0969 Womenswear UGG Australia Long Acre Accessories

UNCONDITIONAL + 16 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials 020 7836 6931 Womenswear & menswear Urban Outfitters 42-56 Earlham Street, Seven Dials 020 7759 6390 Womenswear & menswear Vilebrequin 9 King Street Men’s swimwear Volcom 7 Earlham Street, Seven Dials 020 7836 3353 Surf and skate fashion Whistles 24 Long Acre 020 7240 8195 Womenswear


Adee Phelan 29 Shorts Gardens, Seven Dials 020 7240 3777 Hair & beauty salon Bare Escentuals 40 Neal Street, Seven Dials Skincare and cosmetics Benefit 19 Shorts Gardens, Seven Dials 020 7379 0316 Cosmetics The Body Control Pilates Centre 35 Little Russell Street 020 7636 8900 Covent Garden Dental Practice 61g Oldham Walk 020 7836 9161 Covent Garden Dental Spa 68a Neal Street, Seven Dials 020 7836 9107 Covent Garden Physio Ground Floor, 23-24 Henrietta Street 020 7497 8974 Physiotherapists The Covent Garden Salon 69 Endell Street, Seven Dials 020 7836 8362 Hair & beauty salon Crabtree & Evelyn The Market at Covent Garden 3 The Piazza 020 7836 3110

60 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

Erno Laszlo 13 Market Building 020 3040 3035 Skincare Good Vibes 14 -16 Betterton Street Yoga, Pilates, Power Plates Hair By Fairy 8-10 Neal’s Yard, Seven Dials 020 7497 0776 Hair & beauty salon Karine Jackson 24 Litchfield Street, Seven Dials 020 7836 0300 Hair & beauty salon Kiehl’s 29 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials 020 7240 2411 Skincare L’Artisan Parfumeur 13 Market Building 020 3040 3030 Perfume L’Occitane 6 Market Building 020 7379 6040 Lush 11 Market Building 020 7240 4570 Mac 38 Neal Street, Seven Dials 020 7379 6820 Cosmetics Melvita 17 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard Skincare Miller Harris 14 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials 020 7836 9378 Molton Brown Emporium 18 Russell Street 020 7240 8383 Skincare & cosmetics Murdock 18 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials 020 3393 7946 Barbers Neal’s Yard Remedies 15 Neal’s Yard, Seven Dials 020 7739 7222 Natural remedies & skincare Nickel 27 Shorts Gardens, Seven Dials 020 7240 4048 Men only spa

Pro Health Store 16 Drury Lane 020 7240 1639 Sports nutrition and health supplements relax 7 Mercer Street, St Martin’s Courtyard 020 7871 4567 Beauty and massage centre The Sanctuary 12 Floral Street 0870 770 3350 Women only spa Sanrizz 4 Upper St Martin’s Lane 020 7379 8022 Hair salon Sassoon 45a Monmouth Street, Seven Dials 020 7240 6635 Hair salon Screen Face 48 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials 020 7836 3955 Cosmetics Shu Uemura 24 Neal Street, Seven Dials 020 7240 7635 Skincare & cosmetics Space NK 32 Shelton Street, Seven Dials 020 7379 6384 Skincare & cosmetics Stuart Phillips 25 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials 020 7379 5304 Hair salon The Tanning Shop 52-56 New Oxford Street 020 7323 0623 Thai Square Spa 25 Shelton Street 020 7240 6090 Toni & Guy 4 Henrietta Street 020 7240 7342 Trevor Sorbie 27 Floral Street 0844 445 6901 Hair salon Walk in Back Rub Neal’s Yard, Seven Dials 020 7836 9111 Massage Yotopia 13 Mercer Street, St Martin’s Courtyard 020 3405 8888 Yoga and pilates studio



Aram Designs 3 Kean Street 020 7240 3933 Furniture Artbox 14 Thomas Neal’s Centre, Seven Dials 020 7240 0097 Fun accessories Berghaus 13 Shorts Gardens, Seven Dials 020 7379 9313 Outdoor clothing and accessories Cath Kidston 28-32 Shelton Street, Seven Dials 020 7836 4803 Homewares Coco de Mer 23 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials 020 7836 8882 Womens erotic boutique Covent Garden Academy of Flowers 9 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard 020 7240 6359 Flower design courses The Dover Bookshop 18 Earlham Street, Seven Dials 020 7836 2111 Design books Ellis Brigham 3-11 Southampton Street 020 7395 1010 Mountain sports Field & Trek 64 Long Acre 020 7379 8167 42 Maiden Lane 020 7379 3793 Outdoor pursuits Frances Hilary 42 Market Building 020 7836 3135 Gardening Kathmandu 26 Henrietta Street 020 7379 4748 Outdoor pursuits London Marathon Shop 63 Long Acre 020 7240 1244 Running equipment The North Face 30-32 Southampton Street 020 7240 9577 Outdoor pursuits Patagonia 6A Langley Street 020 3137 6518 Outdoor pursuits

SJ Dent 34 Great Queen Street 020 7242 6018 Sporting memorabilia Slam City Skates 16 Neal’s Yard, Seven Dials 020 7240 0928 Skateboarding equipment Specialized Cycles 11 Mercer Street, St Martin’s Courtyard Bikes and cycling equipment Spex in the City 1 Shorts Gardens, Seven Dials 020 7240 0243 Eyewear Stanfords 12-14 Long Acre 020 7836 1321 Maps The Watch Hut 128 Long Acre 020 7292 1247 Watches The Tintin Shop 34 Floral Street 020 7836 1131 Tintin memorabilia The White Company 5 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard 020 8166 0200 Homewares

FOOD RETAILERS & CAFES Battersea Pie Station 28 Market Building 020 7240 9566 Pies Ben’s Cookies The Market at Covent Garden 13a The Market Building 020 7240 6123 Candy Cakes 36 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials 30 Market Building, Lower Courtyard 020 7497 8979 Bakery Crème de la Crepe 29 The Market Building, Lower Courtyard 020 7836 6896 Crepes Double Shot Coffee Company 38 Tavistock Street, Opera Quarter 020 7240 9742

61 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

Ella’s Bakehouse 20a Market Building Euphorium Bakery Thomas Neal’s Centre, Seven Dials, 020 7379 3608 Bakery French Bubbles 22 Wellington Street, Opera Quarter Champagne Gelatorino 2 Russell Street, Opera Quarter Italian gelato Hardy’s Original Sweet Shop 25 New Row 020 7240 2341 Traditional sweet shop Hope and Greenwood 1 Russell Street, Opera Quarter 020 7240 3314 Sweets Kastner & Ovens 52 Floral Street 020 7379 6428 Bakers Ladurée 1 Market Building Macarones La Gelateria 27 New Row 020 7836 9559 Italian gelato Monmouth Coffee 27 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials 020 7379 3516 Coffee Neal’s Yard Dairy 17 Shorts Gardens, Seven Dials 020 7240 5700 Cheese New Row Coffee 24 New Row 020 3583 6949 Coffee New York Deli The Market at Covent Garden 24 The Piazza 020 7379 3253 Notes Opera Quarter 36 Wellington Street, Opera Quarter 31 St Martin’s Lane Wine, coffee and music Patisserie Valerie 15 Bedford Street 020 7379 6428 Patisserie Primrose Bakery 42 Tavistock Street, Opera Quarter Cakes

Roast & Conch 4 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials Chocolate Scoop 40 Shorts Gardens, Seven Dials 020 7240 7086 Italian gelato Sweet Couture 23a New Row Cupcakes, cakes and small bites The Tea House 15a Neal Street 020 7240 7539 Tea Tea Palace 12 Market Building 020 7836 6997 Tea Whittard The Market at Covent Garden 38 The Market Building 020 7836 7681 Tea & coffee Yu-foria Frozen Yoghurt Co 19a Market Building, Lower Courtyard 020 7240 5532 Frozen yoghurt


Axis at One Aldwych 1 Aldwych 020 7300 0300 Modern British Belgo Centraal 50 Earlham Street, Seven Dials 020 7813 2233 Belgian Bill’s 13 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard 020 7240 8183 Cafe & deli Boulevard Brasserie 38-40 Wellington Street 020 7240 2992 Modern European Busaba Eathai 44 Floral Street Thai Café des Amis Bar & Restaurant 11-14 Hanover Place, Long Acre 020 7379 3444 French Cantina Laredo 10 Upper St Martin’s Lane, St Martin’s Courtyard 020 7240 0630 Mexican



Carluccio’s Garrick Street 020 7836 0990 Italian Chez Gerard 45 Market Building 020 7379 0666 French Christophers American Bar & Grill 18 Wellington Street, Opera Quarter 020 7240 4222 Modern American Clos Maggiore 33 King Street 020 7379 9696 Quality food French Côte 17-21 Tavistock Street, Opera Quarter 020 7379 9991 French bistro Daawat at Johnstons 2 Burleigh Street 020 7497 4185 Indian Dalla Terra 25 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard Italian wine and food Dishoom 12 Upper St Martin’s Lane, St Martin’s Courtyard 020 7420 9320 Bombay cafe Le Deuxieme 65a Long Acre 020 7379 0033 Modern European The Forge 14 Garrick Street 020 7379 1432 Modern European Great Queen Street 32 Great Queen Street 020 7242 0622 British Hawksmoor Seven Dials 11 Langley Street 020 7856 2154 Steak and cocktails Hi Sushi Izakaya 27 Catherine Street, Opera Quarter Japanese The Ivy 1-5 West Street 020 7836 4751 Modern European

The Marquis 51/52 Chandos Place Pub classics J Sheekey 28-32 St Martin’s Court 020 7240 2565 Fish and seafood Jamie’s Italian 11 Upper St Martin’s Lane St Martin’s Courtyard 020 3326 6390 Kitchen Italia 41 Earlham Street, Seven Dials 020 7632 9500 Kopapa 32-34 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials 20 7240 6076 Fusion food L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon 13-15 West Street 020 7010 8600 French Les Deux Salons 40-42 William IV Street 020 7420 2050 French Loch Fyne Restaurant & Oyster Bar 2-4 Catherine Street, Opera Quarter 020 7240 4999 Fish and seafood Masala Zone 48 Floral Street 020 7379 0101 Indian Mishkins 25 Catherine Street, Opera Quarter Jewish deli with cocktails Mon Plaisir 21 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials 020 7836 7243 French Opera Tavern 23 Catherine Street, Opera Quarter 020 7836 3680 Tapas Palm Court Brasserie 39 King Street French PJ’s 30 Wellington Street, Opera Quarter 020 7240 7529 Bar and grill Porters English Restaurant 17 Henrietta Street 020 7836 6466 British

62 Covent Garden Journal Issue 19 Spring 2013

Restorante Aurora 3 Catherine Street, Opera Quarter 020 7836 7585 Italian Rossopomodoro 50-52 Monmouth Street, Seven Dials 020 7240 9095 Italian Rules 35 Maiden Lane 020 7836 5314 British Sagar 31 Catherine Street, Opera Quarter 020 7836 6377 Sarastro 126 Drury Lane 020 7836 0101 Turkish/Mediterranean Simurgh 17 Garrick Street 020 7240 7811 Persian Sitaaray 167 Drury Lane 020 7269 6422 Indian Sofra 36 Tavistock Street, Opera Quarter 020 7240 3773 Turkish Sophie’s Steakhouse 29-31 Wellington Street 020 7836 8836 Steak Souk Medina 1a Shorts Gardens, Seven Dials 020 7240 1796 North African Strada 13-15 Tavistock Street, Opera Quarter 020 3077 1127 Pizza Strand Palace Carvery Exeter Street 020 7497 4160 Carvery SUDA 23 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard 020 7240 8010 Thai Square 166-170 Shaftesbury Avenue 020 7836 7600 Thai Wahaca 66 Chandos Place 020 7240 1883 Mexican Wild Food Café 14 Neal’s Yard Raw food


Arts Theatre 6/7 Great Newport Street 020 7836 2132 Theatre Cambridge Theatre 32-34 Earlham Street, Seven Dials 0844 412 4652 Theatre The Courtauld Gallery Somerset House Strand 020 7848 2526 Gallery Delicate Mayhem Gallery 3 Russell Street, Opera Quarter Gallery Donmar Warehouse 41 Earlham Street 0870 060 6624 Theatre The Funny Side 33-35 Wellington Street 0870 446 0616 Stand up comedy Grosvenor Prints 19 Shelton Street, Seven Dials 020 7836 1979 Antique prints London Coliseum St Martin’s Lane 020 7632 8300 Opera London Transport Museum Covent Garden Piazza 020 7565 7298 Novello Theatre Aldwych 0870 950 0940 Theatre The Poetry Cafe 22 Betterton Sreet 020 7420 9887 Poetry Royal Opera House Bow Street 0207 240 1200 Opera Somerset House Strand 020 7845 4600 Tenderpixel Gallery 10 Cecil Court 020 73799464 Visual arts Vaudeville Theatre 404 Strand Theatre




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Shaftesbury Avenue WC2H

ÂŁ1,499,500 leasehold

A stunning & spacious penthouse apartment constructed approx. 18 months ago to an exacting standard. The accommodation is arranged over the upper 3 floors of this grand Victorian building & comprises 3 bedrooms, a reception/dining room, a master bedroom suite with balcony, 2 further bedrooms, 2 shower rooms & a guest cloakroom. EPC rating B

Sales 020 3040 8300

Monmouth Street WC2H

ÂŁ795 per week

A superb 2 bedroom duplex apartment overlooking one of Covent Garden’s most sought-after streets. Comprising a spacious reception room with working gas fireplace, separate fully fitted kitchen, dining room/study, 2 bathrooms & access to a large terrace. EPC rating D

Lettings 020 3040 8400


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