Why a visit to London? Why not??
The “Big Smoke” is a world capital by every definition. Culture, Arts, Enterprise, Politics and Entertainment all collaborate and collide here on a daily basis. Every year there are extraordinary new shows to see and exhibits to experience in the great venues like the V&A, the Royal Opera House and the Tate Museums – to name but a few. But to know (and love) London is to explore the madcap and innovative in her cafes, bars and nightspots.
One of the exploding arts forms (both fresh and new but also re-vitalised & re-imagined) in London this spring and summer is cabaret. In only its second year, the London Festival of Cabaret, a “Celebration of the Great American and European Songbooks”, is playing in downstairs speak-easy’s, studios and small stages across the Capital. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear and experience first-hand the eclectic mix of artists and musical styles in some stages that are off the beaten path. Start with the studio space at the St. James’s Theatre (www.stjamestheatre.co.uk) conveniently located in Victoria. Here you will find the best in cabaret and jazz performers supported by stunning ensembles of horns, bass and drums to set your evening alight. If you find yourself in the thick of the action at Piccadilly Circus, don’t miss Crazy Coqs Cabaret & Jazz (www.brasseriezedel.com ) at the recently renovated Bar Americain in Brasserie Zedel (see pictures). Brasserie Zedel is the latest restaurant offering by Jeremy King, one of the hottest restaurant gurus of the new millennium (his other restaurants include, the Wolseley, Café Colbert and The Delaunay.) The lounge is a stunning throw-back to the 1930’s. To quote Architecture Today magazine “probably the best and most authentic series of 1930’s interiors in the UK” and you will love the musical offerings on the menu.
Two other great stages to explore include Theatre 503 (www.theatre503.com) and The Unicorn Theatre (www.unicorntheatre.com.) If you take in a show at the Unicorn, make it an art afternoon and a theatre evening. The Unicorn is just a short walk away from Tate Modern where the landmark exhibition of the Matisse Cut-Outs is on display until 7 September, 2014 ( www.tate.org.uk )