Eda Aksoy, External, New art from further East, London

My friend Eda Aksoy is showcasing her photos and talent at The Gallery in Redchurch St. on 25th-31st October – don’t miss it!

Curated by Juan Carlos Farah and Ruba Asfahani

External brings to London promising and fresh talent from the Middle East, Turkey and Iran. It is a showcase of innovative paintings, photographs, sculpture and video installation, featuring work by Emirati artist Noor Al Suwaidi, Lebanese abstract calligrapher Shirine Osseiran, Abu Dhabi-based Tini Meyer, and the acclaimed Palestinian photographer Yazan Khalili.

An exploration and insight into the thriving art world of further east, this exhibition invites its audience to address the importance and shortcomings of individuality and tradition in a region frequently subject to clichés and misconceptions.

Featured artists:  Athier, Noor Al Suwaidi, Asad Faulwell, Ruba Asfahani, Cyrus Mahboubian, Saeed Taji Farouky, Eda Aksoy, Shirine Osseiran, Kate Busby, Tini Meyer, Kholoud Sharafi andYazan Khalili

50 Redchurch Street; galleryinredchurchstreet.com

For more information, please contact Juan Carlos Farah: +447531205955; art@newertown.com

Posted in Art, Events, Iran, London, Turkey, UK | Leave a comment

Beaufort Bar, Savoy Hotel, London

From Concierge UNPACKED

Looking for a touch of opulence as an antidote to the dull old days of recession? The Beaufort Bar at the newly reopened Savoy hotel in London will undoubtedly be the place to sip Champagne or a bubbly punch (served in an absinthe fountain at your table) and dream of a more glamorous age. The full 268-room property, which reopened yesterday, has undergone a $350-million restoration, with designer Pierre-Yves Rochon adding new life to the original 1889 hotel.

The Beaufort’s design is pure Art Deco, with jet-black walls and soaring alcoves of burnished gold leaf (price tag: $60,000) that recapture the property’s theatrical past: Impresario Richard D’Oyly Carte originally built the Savoy and the famous theater next door, and the whole bar sits on the hotel’s former cabaret stage.

Grab yourself a spot at the onyx leather bar and propose a toast to the golden days to come (we hope).

Posted in Accommodation, London, Places, Restaurants, UK | Leave a comment

St. John Hotel, London

Something not to miss.

The St. John Hotel will open in November 2010 at 1 Leicester St, London.

Manzi’s “famous seafood restaurant” had been open for some 60 years on the same site. Along with J. Sheekey’s it was the last of the long established “theatre” restaurants in the West End. In a conversation about future thoughts Manzi’s was mentioned and then Trevor Gulliver and Fergus Henderson were reminded that it was a hotel too, they were intrigued. There had been time spent in Beirut looking at a restaurant and hotel project and a seed had been sown there.

Like most London folk Fergus and Trevor have memories of Manzi’s through the years and if it was to have a new life it seemed right that St. John should be the ones to do it. Through the years the building had developed its own extensions, corners and idiosyncracies, the truth was that it needed to be completely rebuilt and this is what has been done.

‘Nose-to-tail eating’ has become ‘From table to bed’

1 Leceister St, London, WC2H 7BL;   +44 (0) 207 251 0848;   stjohnhotellondon.com

Posted in Accommodation, Food and drinks, London, Places, Restaurants, UK | Leave a comment

Red Bull Rampage

Posted in Random | Leave a comment

Paradise Beach, Campomarino, Taranto

Not many of my friends know this beach because it sits at the edges of Salento, at least in the way people from Lecce think of it. In reality, Campomarino, many years ago was part of the Lecce province before being transferred to Taranto and it’s a typical salentine place.

Paradise Beach is on a stretch of the Ionian coast that has remained relatively untouched and unspoiled at least compared to the neighbouring Porto Cesareo.

Aside from the tipical beauty of the sea on this side of Salento, Paradise is one of the best beach resorts because of the very welcoming feel and the good crowd you find there, made of the good youth of Taranto and their families, including some very yummy mummies. Many wealthy foreign tourists also tend to come back here every summer. The beach is vast and a bit isolated and if you walk its length on a less crowded day you may think you find yourself on a stretch of Brasilian beach.

The wooden veranda laid on more levels is perfect to taste the awesome dishes prepared by the chef Michele and if you are friend with the owner (I am), you can get the best table with ocean view. Bliss…

Since last year, Paradise Beach has become a full blown restaurant as well, also open in the evening. You can’t miss the pepata di cozze or the lobster tagliatelle, Michele’s specialty. Everything else, is also super tasty. Don’t drink too much wine or you’ll seriously think you arrived to paradise.

The staff is a great bunch of guys and girls, happy to help you out with anything you need but, during our last visit, Sinan and I fell in love with the shy Loredana (Lolla) and the explosive cuban Antia. What a girls!

And when you get there, make sure to say hi to Ester, the owner, who will welcome you with a big smile and a hug. Especially if you say you are my friend.

Posted in Campomarino, Italy, Salento, Seaside, Taranto | Leave a comment

Brick Lane Music Festival, 18-19 Sep 2010, London

Its official, the summer is nearly over but don’t worry as there’s still time to squeeze in a bit more fun and the Brick Lane Music Festival presents the perfect opportunity to do just that!

The festival takes place on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th of September across four key venues in Brick Lane and The Big Chill Bar will be representing with a line-up of epic proportions!

Saturday 18th sees a Big Chill favourite heading up the bill – the legendary Mixmaster Morris! Joining Morris on the bill will be some of the very finest DJ’s London has to offer… Earl Gateshead, the How’s My Raving? VIP Crew, Dollop DJ’s, DJ Khalil & DJ Rags (Livin’ Proof), Firas (Filthy Few), the Main Squeeze DJs and Big Chill Bar regulars, Bam Bam Sound.

Time: 2pm – 2am
Price: FREE

Sunday 19th sees the Purple Radio DJ’s kick off proceedings before the powerhouse that is Dom Servini steps up to take you higher rounding off a weekend of seriously powerful music.

Time: 2pm – 2am
Price: FREE

Go to the Big Chill website

Posted in Concerts and gigs, Events, Festivals, London, Pubs & Bars | Leave a comment

Arete’, s.p. Cavallino – Caprarica, Lecce

Another tasty photographic account by my friend Sinan’s trip to Salento.

From a distance, Arete looks like a private Tuscan villa with a big porch surrounded by linen curtains. 20 min. outside of Lecce, this restaurant is an institution of delicious appetizers and steak. From the warm bread served before dinner to the cheese served in between courses, everything here is worth trying. The warm chocolate croissants are a must for dessert.

Read here my experience at Arete’

Posted in Caprarica, Cavallino, Food and drinks, Italy, Lecce, Salento | Leave a comment