What’s Hot? Well, the weather for one! May and June have seen bikini-clad Brits enjoying sunny
skies throughout the country, and rumour has it, Britain will be enjoying a barbecue summer with
warm weather and sunny skies. Seems perfect then, that so much of this month’s What’s Hot is
outdoor-focused, with hot new locations with views, festival season and outdoor extreme adventure.
The club scene is on fire, art galleries are boiling over with hot exhibits and an interesting new
masterclass trend is making food a hands-on experience this summer. Read on for proof that it’s not just the weather that’s hot this summer in Britain!
It’s not just the weather….Masterclasses are hot!
While the traditional Masterclasses are excellent fun any time of the year, such as St James’s Hotel and Club award winning interactive class with their Head Mixologist, we are seeing the
Masterclass and cooking lesson spun on its head, with learning before/during/after eating seeming
to be the latest trend. You can learn to Salsa before or after dinner at aptly named Salsa! on Charing Cross Road, or take a Ginjo Sake Masterclass at Cocoon and learn the age-old Japanese custom of sake making. If you’ve always wanted to learn to make Sushi, then Cocoon’s
Sushi Masterclasses might interest you more; these are complete with hands-on competitions,
tastings and a reduction on your dinner bill if you sit down for dinner afterwards.
The Sunday Wine School at the Fish Shop on St Johns Street gives an education in Wines,
Cheeses and Chocolates, or trendy Underground Restaurant in Kilburn is offering cookery lessons. Gaucho has launched their Asado Masterclasses at Gaucho Hampstead, to learn about Argentine Barbeque – perfect to add a taste of Tango to this British Barbeque summer!
On the back of Slumdog Millionaire buzz, Moti Mahal in Covent Garden have recently launched a
recession-friendly Bollywood Dance & Dinner Package, offering Bollywood dance classes on
Tuesday evenings, followed by a two-course Indian dinner and Bumpkin’s breadmaking classes are extremely popular in South Kensington, where head chef Matthew Platt will be teaching the art
of making Bumpkin’s sourdough bread and the making, shaping and baking of variety of
It’s not just the weather…Afternoon Teas are hot
The Goring can do an all vegetarian or even gluten-free tea, and the newly re-opened Langham’s Bijoux Tea is a twist on tradition, celebrating collections of top jewellery designers on nearby Bond
Street. Harvey Nichols is offering exclusive Laura Mercier Perfume Afternoon Tea, inspired by Vanille Gourmande fragrance and afternoon tea at the Grosvenor House Hotel is all roses, as they
thare celebrating their 80 birthday with a special Rose Tea which includes scones with rose petal
jam and rose macaroons.
Vintage Patisserie’s Angel Adoree and her team of 1920s-style maids offer the chance to host
your own bespoke vintage afternoon tea, on hand to cater a small gathering or full-blown party at
the location of your choosing throughout the UK, with tea and homemade cakes are served from
mismatched vintage china while jazz plays and a dress-up trunk filled with everything (feathers,
pearls, fascinators) take you back in time.
It’s not just the weather…Funky accommodation is hot
The Fish House in Chilgrove near Chichester underwent a ?4m refurb to produce 15 design-led
bedrooms, each individually designed and named after a famous fishing port, with plasma TVs, wi-
fi, iPod dock, Espresso machine and a mini-bar, and the hotel has a garden with secluded hot tubs
each set in a private pagoda.
The Lace Market, one of Nottingham’s premiere boutique hotels, has a very hot history with former guests have included Ronan Keating, Matt Lucas, Oasis, Will Young, and most recently
Girls Aloud, and on a quirkier note, The Old Luggage Van is a retired railway carriage converted into self-catering holiday accommodation in Cornwall.
Windermere Suites in the Lake District was voted the AA Funkiest B&B of the Year 2009, with
Oddfellows in Chester and Snooze in Brighton also shortlisted for this award. The Andaz was
voted the world’s best hotel for party people according to travel website www.trivago.co.uk, thanks
to its top trendy design, atmosphere and prime location near Shoreditch.
The 4-star, 12-bedroom Rutland, Edinburgh’s newest boutique hotel, has won five major
hospitality awards since opening less than a year ago, including Most Exciting New Restaurant of
the Year 2009 at the recent Scottish Hotel Awards and also the Best Bar Award for its late lounge,
The One Below. This ‘iBar’ lounge boasts its own built-in Champagne buckets, iPod docking
stations to listen to your own music, and an interactive, touch-sensitive bar surface with electronic
touch-sensitive interactive canvas, allowing drinkers to play games and write messages to each
It’s not just the weather…the British club scene is hot
I am admittedly far too late mentioning the Queen of Hoxton, so let’s make sure to mention this super trendy hot spot first here and now. On Curtain Road near Liverpool Street, this 2 floor club
with drinking, dancing, DJs, live music, theatre, cabaret, art, photo exhibits, pinball, arcade games
and a roof garden makes for a unique night out like nothing else in London.
Cable’s impressive DJ line up, 23.5 hour alcohol license and London Bridge location makes this
one of the hottest clubs of the summer to party through to the morning, while Bangers&Mash at
Proud in Camden was voted ‘Best Night’ at the London Bar & Club awards 2009. Callooh Callay
and Last Days of Decadence in East London have rightfully been subject of buzz, and Maya’s
point that if you’re not in, you’re out, is backed by the sheer number of stars and celebs rumoured
to be inside this club in Dean Street at any time.
The return of TB/R defies the financial crisis, as they re-open this month with a lounge and dance
floor in a bigger location with a later liquor license and some of the hottest DJ sets in the capital.
Then there is Fabric with its Gramophone sessions, giant space and breakbeat, drum n bass and
hip hop beats. Other hot clubs include On the Rocks in Old Street, The Dogstar Brixton’s Latin Quarter nights, Bar Rumba’s spicy Latin nights, Hip Hop Karaoke at the Social in Little Portland Street, Sam and Mark Ronson et al at Notting Hill Arts Club, and the Roxy Bar & Screen in Borough High Street fun film nights.
The East Room members club in Shoreditch is offering a Sunday brunch for non-members up on their rooftop terrace, including Sunday papers, DIY Bloody Marys, huevos rancheros and bingo,
but for a bit more, okay much more, up scale new members club, The Yacht at Temple Pier is unashamedly aimed at the highest of high-rollers with an annual ?10,000 members bar.
Moving outside of London, Noho in Manchester offers films shown on the huge 'drive in movie'
style wall art, plays a mixture of grooves, and makes Connect 4 and other classic games available
in the unique styled surroundings in a Grade II listed building. Check out the nearby The Corridor located in an old textile warehouse, where you will find a cocktail lounge with jazz, soul and funk.
Learn to be a DJ at Komedia in Brighton’s North Lane. First you choose your DJ name, then you choose 15 minutes of floor-filling tunes, and lastly you have your 15 minutes of DJ fame behind the
turntables. No DJ experience necessary for this Stick it On experience. Click that link for photographic evidence of a fantastic time!
It’s not just the weather – these places are so hot, they’re hidden
Extending on the once-hidden but now clearly marked Lounge Bohemia in Great Eastern Street and Barts ‘secret’ and unmarked location in SW3, Ms Marmite Lover – foodie blogger-cum-chef has opened her Underground restaurant at an undisclosed location in Kilburn, where she cooks
mainly vegetarian food sourced from Portobello Road market (see cookery classes mentioned
above). Horton Jupiter’s Secret Ingredient in Hackney is booming as well, with reservations
taken on Facebook or by email. Both give you directions once you’ve booked.
Then there is Sipsmith, a brand new boutique vodka and gin range made in a garage right near
Shepherd's Bush by three guys who will even tell you the music they were listening to when they
made your personal batch. How about the Islington speakeasy with no name which sits behind permanently drawn shades, seats 30 and focuses on modern-retro cocktails until the wee hours of
It’s not just the weather – these venues with views are hot
thLondon’s highest cocktail bar, the exclusive Attic bar, on the 48 floor of a new Docklands skyscraper, boasts stunning Canary Wharf views and staggering attention to detail, drinks ranging from ?28 cognac to more reasonably priced cocktails costing ?8. The City of London’s answer to Canary Wharf’s bar with views is Vertigo42, located near Liverpool Street on Level 42 of the
former Nat West building with super stylish design, superb champagnes and breathtaking London
More centrally, the Thames view from the Oxo Tower Brasserie on Southbank is a perfect summertime location, as is the nearby and much loved Skylon in the Royal Festival Hall and on the Strand, Somerset House's recent launch of the Bombay Sapphire Dusk Bar overlooking the river is a hot new place to cool off in the evenings this summer. The gorgeous views from The Roof Gardens come in second to the spectacular Spanish themed gardens, champagne bar, and
resident flamingos on this rooftop 100ft in the sky in Kensington High Street.
Finally, opening in September 2009, aqua London is launching two restaurants and a bar set atop
the roof of one of the West End’s most iconic buildings and rumoured to have scored Spanish chef Alberto Hernandez of El Bulli and Atrio fame. Just where is still being held tightly under wraps, but
the high end Hong Kong export will offer innovative cuisine, cutting edge menus, and views across
It’s not just the weather...the British Art scene is hot
Calvert 22 in Shoreditch is dedicated to Russian and eastern European Art, and Orel Art in
thBelgravia is exhibiting Russian artist Andrei Molodkin until June 26.
McCarrons of Mercatoria in St Leonards on Sea in Hastings now has a larger premises, a gallery
and tea room too, and in nearby Battle the Independent Photographers Gallery focuses on UK fine art photography. July’s exhibit ‘Man on the Moon’ is very fitting with this being the International
Year of Astronomy.
Mooch Art in Manchester’s Northern Quarter is a gallery for exciting, emerging artists and
Somerset Art Weeks 2009 from 19 September to 4 October is a celebration of local contemporary
visual art featuring over 400 local artists in 90 venues across Somerset.
The London Transport Museum's new major exhibition opening October 2009 called Suburbia will explore how public transport helped to create the urban landscape, myths and identity of
London's suburbs, and how they have helped to weave the London and Britain’s cultural fabric
through images and postcards uploaded by the public to Flickr.
Following along on the underground/at home drinking and dining locations above, James
Tregaskes has just opened his first floor living room to the public as an art gallery called First Floor Projects in Kensington, open Thursday to Saturday 12-6pm or by appointment.
And finally, what would this section be without a Banksy mention. Banksy has gone on home to Bristol and ‘remixed’ the entire City Museum & Art Gallery. Organised under tight security, the
event has been kept secret from the museum’s entire staff and trustees, allowing Banksy to take
on the Museum to create what might be the most exciting graffiti show held in a regional southwest
museum this summer through 31 August.
It’s not just the weather… these festivals are HOT!
There is the new festival in Shrewsbury from 3-12 July called Shift Time is a Festival of Ideas, featuring national and international artists and performances. There is the Glade Festival, an Open Air Electronic Music Festival from 16-19 July 2009 in Matterley Bowl near Winchester, which
promises an excellent experience for those into electronica. Right in London, the Hackney Wicked
Festival from 31 July – 2 August will be a, well, wicked art festival spread across several locations
Then there is a packed Bank Holiday weekend in August, with Beachdown, set in the South Downs north of Brighton offering an eclectic line-up of music, film and comedy and even a
performance by Grace Jones. In London on the same weekend comes the unforgettable and
unique Notting Hill Carnival 2009.
Check out pictures and information online about the Bathing Beauties Festival from 18-20 September, which is the 10,000+ visitor celebration of the international project to ‘re-imagine the
st century, and takes place in along the Lincolnshire Coast. British Beach Hut for the 21
It’s not just the weather…Pride season is hot
London Pride kicks off the season on 4 July with its Come Out and Play themed parade setting off from Baker Street at 1pm. Brighton Pride hits the week of 25 July – 2 August 2009, with the main parade on 1 August ending in massive celebrations at Preston Park. Manchester Pride, named Manchester Tourist Event of the Year 2008, hits the northern city from 21-31 August.
It’s not just the weather…Extreme sports are hot!
In Brighton the White Air Extreme Sports Festival will be rocking the town from 18-20 September
this year and is one of Europe’s biggest extreme sports events. Eastbourne Extreme is the
extreme event of the summer, hitting the 18-19July, and promising adrenaline, music and intense
sports such as windsurfing, rowing, skating and kitesurfing plus a brand new attraction with the VW
Bus Stop bringing their Show & Shine Competition for the first time ever this year.
Okay, if celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Pierce Brosnan and Co. are doing it, maybe it’s not
exactly extreme, but ‘inventive’, ‘fun’ and definitely ‘hot’ describe Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP),
the trendy new watersport. Of course the craze has hit surf spots in Cornwall, and Harlyn Surf
School in Padstow is the first to offer lessons in Britain.
It’s not just the weather…British Food is hot
Farm Shops are becoming trendy, as seen by The Farm Collective, which has recently opened right in EC1 in London, serving locally sourced food from fine small British farms. Outside of
London, Croots Farm Shop in Derbyshire is celebrating their first successful year this June, and
offer food to eat in or takeaway, though if you eat it, you are guaranteed the idyllic farmyard setting
and a chance to meet the Shire Horses who live on the farm.
Crabshakk in Glasgow was named ‘New Restaurant of the Year 2009’ at the Scottish Chef
Awards and nearby Guy’s Restaurant and Bar is run by local chef Guy Cowan who spent twenty
years feeding Hollywood A-listers through his catering business and is now back in Glasgow.
Cosmo has just opened in June in Cardiff Bay and promises excellent Asian cuisine in the Welsh
capital with over 120 dishes to choose from.
Boundary in East London produces a real ‘wow’ feeling when you enter the bar, and its rooftop
terrace has made it a must see foodie destination in East London this summer.
Jamie’s Italian has opened in Brighton and even more recently, so has a Brighton version of the
Clapham Junction Recipease shop, Jamie’s food / kitchen shop where anyone can learn to cook
and make great food. Hove will see a new vegan place pop up by none other than Heather Mills
called V-Bites at Hove Lagoon in July, with hopes to franchise worldwide.
The Evening Standard calls El Pirata de Tapas in Westbourne Grove ‘a cut above the rest’, and
they offer lunch time specials for ? 9, Pearl Restaurant and Bar in High Holborn is a glamorous dining room and has gotten great reviews recently, as has the Cinnamon Kitchen, from the Cinnamon Club team right in the City of London, while Lemonia - Greek food in NW1 – boasts visits from Jude Law, Ewan McGregor, Gwyneth Paltrow, Daniel Craig and even Gordon Brown.
Korean food is trending, with Koba ultramodern restaurant in Fitzrovia being hot hot hot and
Kaya’s sleek and sophisticated dining room may even top that! Swedish food is also making its mark, with Fika on Brick Lane securing several headlines in recent months for its sweet or savoury
waffles, grilled salmon served on an oak-smoked board. The seafood at Deep in Imperial Wharf, run by Swedish husband/wife duo, comes straight from Lake Vanerne in Sweden. Madsen in South Kensington holds Swedish Tuesdays with pan-fried herring other Scandinavian specials.
Looking for even more international? Why not try Sushinho in King’s Road – Japanese/Brazilian fusion cuisine which is currently super popular in Brazil, as a result of the largest Japanese
population outside of Japan residing in the country. With Cassava chips, Sushi rolls, lunch time
Tapas as well as main courses which successfully fuse the two, half price Sushi Mondays and
Tango Sundays, why wouldn’t you check out this Chelsea restaurant?!
It’s not just the weather…British shops are hot!
The shop Bang Bang in Goodge Street is full of ex-catwalk stuff, samples, people's trade offs,
vintage gems and some key high street stuff.
If it’s not vintage clothes you’re after, but rather rehabbed retro furniture, Retrouvius architectural salvage and design business gives you another reason to make a trip to Kensal Green (as if
Paradise by Way of Kensal Green, Little Bay, the Underground restaurant and proximity to
Portobello Road weren’t enough). The new shop sells everything from second-hand furniture and
homewares to panelling, fireplaces, columns and reusable materials (marble, flooring, wood), and
Shoreditch House has made a visit there to find the right materials to design their pool.
Neville Hair and Beauty in Knightsbridge is offering a “WOW’ treatment for those with no time to head home to get ready after work before a night out. You book an hour at Neville, they’ll do your
hair, blow-dry, give you a mani-pedi and leg massage, set you up in front of a vanity mirror for a
DIY make up session, and send a refreshed and much better looking you on your way.
It’s not just the weather….Britain is a hot filming location
Robin Hood, starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, will shoot scenes at Freshwater West in
Pembrokeshire, and according to our celeb spotting section, Russell’s been spotted filming just
outside of London as well.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Harrows will also have scenes filmed in Pembrokeshire. It is thought that seaside scenes in the book which relate to a fictional village where Harry, Ron and
Hermione take shelter in Shell Cottage will be shot there.
Its not just the weather…Celebrities spotting is hot!
Russell Crowe is reportedly filming and producing his 2010 Robin Hood film and has been spotted
at The Royal Oak Paley Street, near Maidenhead and drinking Guinness with friends at The Good
Intent pub in Puttenham, Surrey.
St James’s Hotel and Club hosted Samuel L Jackson and A List celebrity pals including Alice Cooper, Don Cheadle, and Luke Wilson.
Keira Knightley has reportedly been just about everywhere, from Vintage Heaven on Columbia Road, drinking at Shoreditch House, with Rupert Friend at Barrafina in Soho and chatting to fans at the Hoste Arms, in Burnham Market in Norfolk where she is filming.
Kim Cattrall was watching Antony & Cleopatra at the Tobacco Factory Theatre in Bristol.
Princess Beatrice was eating at Pizza Express on King’s Road in London
Kate Hudson was spotted at L’Etranger restaurant in Gloucester Road, as have Penelope Cruz, Kelly Osbourne and Paris Hilton.
Contemporary Japanese cuisine saw a celebrity push with Rihanna at Nozomi in Mayfair and Mark Ronson at Zuma. Will Young was seen at Buddha Bar, while Prince William visited the Punch Bowl and then headed on to Whisky Mist, of course.
It’s not just the weather, these websites are hot!
www.indulgeincheshire.com is an online campaign to find where to eat, shop, sleep and pamper
yourself in Cheshire.
Always ahead of the game, VisitBrighton has recently launched Photosynth software on their site
www.visitbrighton.com/site/what-is-photosynth, which takes a selection of photos and 'stitches' them together in a virtual environment to create a powerful 3D effect for anyone on the Internet.
Catch up on the newest shops in Brighton at www.uniquebrighton.com, and of course always visit www.visitbrighton.blogspot.com or http://twitter.com/visitbrighton on Twitter to keep up with the latest in the seaside city.
Prince Charles is on YouTube with his Save the Rainforest Campaign
The Britglyph UK-wide public art project was nominated for a Webby award
http://webbys.britglyph.com / http://map.britglyph.com/
Follow Boundary on Twitter http://twitter.com/boundaryrooftop, as well as TB/R
http://twitter.com/tbar and Sipsmith http://twitter.com/SipsmithSam
And tourism-related Twitters like:
Tweet me if you have more travel related Twitters you would like everyone to follow.