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Wow factor at open house weekend

This year’s Open House weekend’s theme is Revealing, which is supposed to get us thinking about our environment and issues that could improve it. Like less noise. Less noisy electric drills. More garden squares. Lower houses that let the light in. That kind of thing. Most of us just want…

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Rabbit Hole at Mode

Up on Acklam Road at Mode, festival favourite, Rabbit Hole is coming to town on Saturday night – this is not Alice and Wonderland but a big party with DJ’s and great music. Starts at 6pm Saturday 20th and ends at 3am Sunday 21st September. Tickets are a bargain at…

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Back to school what to read

Literary expert Claire Harris from Lutyens & Rubinstein lists what is hot on the shelves for autumn. Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari – The subtitle of this book is A Brief History of Humankind and it is absolutely fascinating. The book has already engendered vigorous discussion in the shop and every morning…

Constable spectacular

Huge landscape videos greet you at the new John Constable exhibition which tracks how the artist learnt his craft. Constable grew up in Suffolk and his life as an artist was kickstarted when he met Sir George Beaumont in 1795. Art collector Beaumont encouraged him to copy works from his…

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Sing along to Frozen

Watch Frozen, the Disney smash hit, in high def at the Royal Albert Hall with a bouncing snowflake tracking the lyrics while you sing along. Who needs the bouncing snowflake, everyone knows the words. On Monday 17th November at 2pm and 8.45pm, this snappy sing song could set the tone…

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Dinner at New Tom’s

I had dinner at New Tom’s on Westbourne Grove – where old Tom’s used to be. My memory is “how delicious”. I was dining with men so they went for the big tasting menu – whole table has to agree on this as it is many small courses and it…

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Scary Cinema in 20th Century Theatre

From 30th October to 2nd November the 20th Century Theatre will be transformed into a a scary cinema and fright palace. Pop Up Screens plans to alter the theatre and show a fest of spine chilling films for halloween. On the way in you will have to survive a few…

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Kelly’s keys to calm

This week I want to introduce you to the concept of the ‘mid-point’. It’s proved an invaluable Key to Calm ever since my therapist suggested it as a way not just to survive success, but disaster too. Let’s start with success. When things go well, it’s lovely for a time….

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LIght and space at Serpentine Sackler

Lines of prose lead you round the latest Cerith Wyn Evans exhibition which uses the whole of the 1805 gunpowder store which is now the Serpentine Sackler Gallery. Wyn Evans responds to buildings and likes to work on exhibitions in spaces that he really likes. He worked in Bexhill-on-sea’s spectacular…

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Classical music put in context

There is a great classical music line up for the autumn organised by the ASPECT Foundation for Music and Arts which presents music in context and explores it through the prism of art, literature, history and philosophy. Artistic Director and ASPECT founder Irina Knaster says: “I am delighted to launch what…

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Bloomin’ marvellous

RBKC has won loads of awards for the gardens and parks we all love and enjoy. The glory list is long for K&C, one of London’s most densely populated borough, which won a bunch of awards in this year’s London in Bloom competition. There is an In Bloom award for…

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The Edge of Our Bodies

I had a lovely chat with Shannon Tarbet who will play Bernadette in the new play The Edge of our Bodies by Adam Rapp opening at the Gate Theatre on 25th September. This is the first play in the Who Does She Think She Is season at the Gate, comprising…

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Fashion factory

The Fashion Factory teaches youngsters how to make their own clothes in a fun and modern way and its energetic founder has great qualifications to make it all possible. Amanda Riley used to design clothes at the top end of the international fashion spectrum, working in Italy, Hong Kong and India…

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Graphic demonstrations

Graphics is the subject of a free show at the V&A this weekend where there will be workshops and demonstrations focussed on design, how to put together a portfolio for a job in the design world and there will be a talk about the psychology of fonts and type faces….

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Pedlars General Store Cafe

My new favourite place for avo on toast is the cafe at the back of Pedlars General Store on Talbot Road. Reasons are: I love the paint colours on the wall by the Little Green Company in three very pleasing toning shades of grey and greeny blue (pic). Next it…

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Kelly’s keys to calm

And now for my photo tip. Propped up on my bathroom mirror, alongside some of my favourite lines of inspirational poetry and if I remember, my gratitude list, is a picture of a middle-aged woman. Her nails need a manicure; her roots need dying; and her brown baggy top has…

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Absolute beginners Bridge with Andrew Robson

You have just one week to join Andrew Robson’s beginners bridge class at Bumpkin (Westbourne Park Road) starting 23rd September 2.15-4pm. Now I know this is fab because I have done it and am now moving onto intermediate (I know). I went reluctantly last year, dragged by a card loving…

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Timetable from The-Train-Station

Notting Hill fitness guru Gill Clegg suggests some short sharp exercise routines for the time poor that will keep you in shape. The new school year is upon us and although you always expect to have more time to work out, the reality often is that you just don’t. While…

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Clement James opens doors

On Thursday 18th September The Clement James Centre is hosting a bit of a shindig or open evening from 6.30-8.30pm, to which you are all invited. Highlighting the amazing work of the charity is the idea behind the soiree. The charity supports people in the local community through language teaching…

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Portobello pop-up

A group of shop owners who will be selling their wares at the pretty new Portobello Garden Arcade have a pop-up this week at 201 Portobello to advertise the arcade. There are great kimonos (pic) from £80 and Fiona Ainslie has started a business with jewellery, lovely beaded tunics and…

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Second Half selling exhibition

Fortuna Weeks will be one of seven local designers and artists showing and selling their art at the Second Half Centre next week. A recent graduate of Central St Martins, Weeks makes textile jewellery from fine Japanese thread with pearls and precious metals (pic, by William Besse). In the summer…

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Nush Gems pops up at Chic and Seek

Next Week from 18th – 20th September Nush Gems is popping-up in Chic and Seek on Portland Cross. Plan to go on Thursday when it is late night shopping to 9pm and you can have a manicure and glass of Prosecco while perusing the jewels. Nush Gems are the most…

Peace drawings

An exhibition which aims to bring people together to think about reconciliation and peace is showing this weekend at The Tabernacle. The work explores ‘the idea of vulnerability as a source of power’. The drawings are part of a conceptual art project and artist John Ligda says: “I’ve travelled to East Ukraine, Palestine…

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Selling exhibition of young artists’ work

There is going to be a selling exhibition of young artists who have all been highly trained together in Italy using traditional, very intensive methods. Each of them has studied at one or more of the three world-acclaimed academies in Florence. At the 20th Century Theatre next weekend,  12-13 September, 10am –…

Tall ships are sailing by

Just in case you hadn’t heard there will be tons of Tall Ships weighing anchor down Greenwich way this weekend. You can go on board for free or book for a sail. It is the first time they have had a Thames Regatta for a generation and this won’t happen…

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Thomas Heatherwick talk

Book now for the 5×15 talk by Thomas Heatherwick on 23rd October, 7pm at The Royal Geographical Society. Heatherwick is an energetic and inspiring speaker (already seen him and he was soooo interesting) and he is now designing a Maggie Cancer Centre in Leeds. He will be discussing the design…

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Most stylish photographer

Horst’s photographs make you thirsty to look and look again at his fabulous images. You leave this latest V&A exhibition with a definite spring in your step. The diversity of Horst’s work, which he continued passionately for 60 years, focuses on fashion but there are also surrealist works, a really beautiful…

Marina Abramović talk

Art, performance, time and nothingness is the title of an evening with artist Marina Abramović  following her recent exhibition ‘512 Hours’ at the Serpentine Gallery. She will discuss the exhibition and her career with the brilliant BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz. The Sunday Times’ Bryan Appleyard has said ‘Abramović doesn’t speak the pretentiously illiterate garbage…

Casa Cruz to go ahead

Casa Cruz has now won the permission it needed to start work on the old boozer on Clarendon Road. It has now taken the property and will begin construction works in the next few weeks. Watch that spot for the rise of an up-market Argentinian restaurant (with a slice of…

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Cook up some romance

 New local business Cook Dating, where you stir the sauce and feast your eyes on others getting steamy in the kitchen, is coming to Books for Cooks. If you are looking for romance this is a great way of doing it because of all the foodie distraction and if you…

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Hermitage comes to the Gate

This week you can treat yourself to an up-close-and-personal visit to the Hermitage, the latest subject brought to us by local filmmaker Margy Kinmonth.  Kick back and pretend you are wandering around the Hermitage in St Petersburg, one of the world’s biggest museums, with your own special guide. Sip a…

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Albion opens at the Bush

Albion by Chris Thomson opens at the Bush Theatre on 12th September  – 25th October. Local theatre tom tom drums tell me this is really very good – so I have booked. The Albion is an East End boozer (think the Queen Vic) and is where the English Protection Army…

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Not So Silent Movies at the Electric

On Sunday 7th September at 2.30pm in the Electric Cinema top class musicians, including special guest Al Doyle from Hot Chip, will perform completely original soundtracks to the world’s greatest silent films. There will be no rehearsal, no one watches the films in advance and the soundtracks are entirely improvised….

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Kelly’s keys to calm

I am indebted to my friend Paul who sent me this quotation from Ralph Waldo Emerson, the American essayist and poet who died in 1882: ‘Nothing can bring you peace but yourself’. This weekend, returning from holiday to chaos, dirty laundry, unpacking, a broken phone, and the challenge of getting…