Kensington Mums’ Social Events this August and September

If you’re a little down because summer’s almost over (and the weather seems to suggest that summer’s definitely over) then don’t fear – local parenting website Kensington Mums once again have a number of exciting events lined up to ease you into Autumn!

On Thursday 18th September, from 1pm to 3pm, Kensington Mums will be hosting a Beauty Masterclass at Whole Foods Kensington – join Whole Foods’ in-house healthy eating specialist Maura and learn how to make some amazing natural products…that you’ll also be able to take home! The products you’ll be taught how to make are an apple cider vinegar toner, a ‘Green Goddess’ face mask, and a coffee & coconut body scrub. The class costs £10 and little ones are welcome – learn how to make something new (and healthy!) as well as connecting with local, like-minded mums. Booking is essential, and can be done online – places are limited, so early booking is recommended! More details here.

Kensington Mums Fit Club

If you’re after something equal parts relaxing and social, there’s also the Kensington Mums and Bumps Coffee Morning taking place on Monday 22nd September from 10am to 12pm at the lovely Hotel Chocolat on Kensington High Street. For £5, you’ll receive a complimentary hot drink, be able to view a chocolate presentation by the resident chocolatier and also have an opportunity to try a small selection of chocolates. You’ll also be able to take advantage of a 10% discount on any purchases made at the cafe or shop. Tickets can be booked online – once again, book early to avoid disappointment! Children welcome; more details here.

And if you’re looking for something a little more energetic to get started with straight away, the Kensington Mums Fit Club is being held in Kensington Gardens every Saturday, 10.30am to 11.30am. This free club is hosted by actual Kensington mums Sabrina and Iram, and is open to all levels – and you can jog, run, bike or just walk during the session. More details here.

More on local mums, parents and kids’ news at the excellent Kensington Mums website: www.kensingtonmums.co.uk.

10th Parallax Art Fair at Chelsea Town Hall, 26th & 27th July

The tenth edition of the Parallax Art Fair returns once again to Chelsea Town Hall this month, featuring almost 200 artists exhibiting their works in the disciplines of fine art, ceramics, jewellery, glassware, textiles and home accessories.

Parallax Art Fair - James Austen Murray, “Soup Lion”
James Austen Murray, “Soup Lion”
Parallax Art Fair - Stewart Brown, “Level Pears”
Stewart Brown, “Level Pears”

This time round, the Fair will be supporting CARA (Council for At-Risk Academics) who will be selling donated art and signed catalogues (Maggi Hambling and Edmund de Waal) to raise money for persecuted lecturers and professors in Iraq and Syria. Given the heightened violence in the region where Iraqi universities have actually been attacked, the Parallax organisers are keen to encourage buyers to support CARA in this endeavour; CARA will be showing in Gallery 2 of the fair.

Parallax Art Fair - Zarina Kendjaeva, "Hasht Doira"
Zarina Kendjaeva, “Hasht Doira”

Dr Barlow, one of the founders of Parallax, says:

“I’m excited running these things is tough in a culture still weighed down by the fundamentalist objectivism trotted out by the arts industry, but in our last fair one artist sold work for £7000 proving that an artists’ art fair can be a much better deal for exhibitors and buyers alike than the old-style dealer fairs and galleries.There are no stingy entrance fees, no hidden or extra commission fees on top of purchases, and no VAT for some exhibitors either. It’s a much better deal for buyers. I do understand though that some people still think that they need to be told what is “good”, but those days are over since Derrida /et al/ switched on the lights and we stopped asking for an expert opinion on all the modern blurriness. You are your own mind. You are your own critic of objects and makers; what you like about them, is what is right. And you can also support artists directly and save money in the process!”

The exhibition is free to the public. Find out more about Parallax at www.parallaxaf.com, or follow them on Twitter for all the latest news.

A catalogue of selected pieces from the 10th Parallax Art Fair can be viewed at parallaxaf.co/catalogue.html.

10th Parallax Art Fair
Private view – 7.30pm – 9.30pm, Friday 25th July 2014 
11am – 5pm, Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th July 2014
Chelsea Town Hall
King’s Road
SW3 5EE

Summer Street-food Festival in Kensington this June!

Many of you may well have noticed the exciting launch of City Pantry’s Summer Street-Food Festival outside of Tesco on Cromwell Road last week – and have already sampled some of the fantastic food on offer!

City Pantry Summer Street-Food Festival

Exciting news reaches us that due to its first week success, the festival will be open one additional day each week. Now taking place every Wednesday to Sunday until the end of June, there will be plenty of delectable street food, family fun plus a Brazilian flavour of things, in special tribute to the World Cup.

The pop-up festival brings together some of the best stalls on the London street-food scene, including The roast of SherwoodCrabbie ShackColonel TomsMei Mei’s street cartBurger PitRoasticiniFratelli FumatiLoaves n Leaves – that’s really something for everyone, whatever your particular tastes and foodie faves may be!

Also on site is a Brazilian caipirinha bar and to really get into the party spirit, there’s a special 2 for 1 cocktail offer every night between 6pm and 7pm! To redeem the offer, simply follow @CityPantry on Twitter & tweet “Can’t wait to get to @citypantry #westival for cocktails at 6”.

If you’d like to delve a little deeper into the know how of cocktails, there’s also a Friday evening cocktail masterclass taking place this week (Friday 20th June), taught by head bartender and mixologist Alex Harris. To book a ticket for this week’s event, see here.

The Festival will also be hosting a number of other exciting events each week – keep up-to-date with the latest news on City Panty’s website or find them on Twitter.

Why not pop down one lunchtime or evening this week for some festival fun?

City Pantry presents A Summer Street-Food Festival
from 12pm until late every Wednesday to Sunday, until 29th June 2014
Tesco Kensington Superstore
West Cromwell Road
W14 8PB

Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair, 5-15 June 2014

London’s largest and longest-running art and antiques fair returns to Kensington Olympia once again this year! Over 180 of the world’s leading dealers will take part in this 11-day event, offering high-quality art, antiques, jewellery, vintage and contemporary design, furniture, glass, lighting, posters, prints, sculptures, silver and collectibles from 5th to 15th June 2014.

Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair 2014

With items priced from £100 to £1 million, there’s something for all collectors – whether you’re a first time buyer, a dealer, an interior decorator or an established collector. Even celebrities are frequently drawn to the Fair – past names that have visited include Dustin Hoffman, Mick Jagger, Princess Michael of Kent, Kanye West, Stella McCartney, Valentino and Oprah Winfrey.

Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair 2014 - Warhol
Andy Warhol, Greta Garbo, Colour Offset, hand signed, 64 x 60 cm, courtesy of Haynes Fine Art
Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair 2014 - 19th century specimen marble top
19th Century Specimen marble top with Micro Mosaics, Italy, c1830, courtesy of Craig Carrington
Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair 2014 - Green-ground enamel travelling-ink set with copper-gilt writing implements, cut glass ink and sander
Green-ground enamel travelling-ink set with copper-gilt writing implements, cut glass ink and sander with enamel lids. Birmingham c.1765, courtesy of Gould Antiques

This time round, a number of notable events will be taking place as part of the Fair. These include the Special Guest Exhibition, in which the 150th anniversary of the birth of British Art Nouveau designer Archibald Knox will be celebrated with the largest ever exhibition of his stunning jewellery, silver and metalwork. Archibald Knox was renowned for his iconic designs for department store Liberty & Co.

Daily themed tours – suitable for both novice buyers and seasoned collectors – will be led by independent art consultants on topics such as Art Deco – 20th century style and 1950s Modern and Beyond.

Numerous talks will be held by speakers from some of the world’s leading museums and galleries (including the V&A and the National Portrait Gallery), auction houses, publishers, jewellers, interior design firms and heritage properties including Highclere Castle – the real-life setting of ITV period drama Downton Abbey.

The Elegant Summer Bistro from Mosimann’s will also be on site serving up sumptuous summer lunches and quintessentially British tea – the perfect place to relax and unwind after a busy day shopping for art and antiques.

Mary Claire Boyd, Fair Director, Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair, comments:

“Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair is London’s original, quintessential art and antiques fair. Over four decades since the event was founded, we continue to pride ourselves on offering a wider choice of quality, vetted art, antiques, furniture and collectibles than any other event in the capital. Over the forthcoming months we look forward to announcing our exhibitor lineup alongside details of our partnerships, guest exhibition and special events programme, all of which will enhance the visitor experience and contribute to making 2014 our most exciting edition yet.”

Tickets for the Fair cost £15 and can be purchased online at www.olympia-art-antiques.com. Do also keep up-to-date with the Fair by following them on Twitter and Facebook!

Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair
5th – 15th June 2014
Olympia Grand
Olympia Exhibition Centre
W14 8UX
www.olympia-art-antiques.com

Pamper yourself with the Kensington Mums events taking place in June!

Yummy mummies in the area will be looking forward to some of the exciting events local website Kensington Mums has planned for June!

First up on 11th June (6pm to 9pm), it’s time for Lingerie Lessons with Kensington Mums. With canapes and drinks provided at the evening, you will receive a personal lingerie fitting as well as the chance to take advantage of 10% off Chantelle Lingerie. Taking place at Chantelle HQ in Berners Street, W1, this will be a fun yet informative evening with lots of help for those of us who’ve struggled with ill-fitting bras (who hasn’t – right, ladies?) and would like some general lingerie advice. There are limited places available for this FREE event, so please book soon by RSVP-ing to events@kensingtonmums.co.uk with the subject “Chantelle”.

Kensington Mums Events in June

The following week on the 19th June (6pm – 8pm) is the Kensington Mums Pamper Evening with Cosmetech Chelsea, where you can join fellow local mums for an summer evening of pampering and fine food and drink! Kensington Mums have teamed up with Cosemetech Chelsea to offer a private skin care pamper evening – every attendee will receive a complimentary Mini Obagi Facial consultation with the beauty team, plus a complimentary skin peel or microdermabrasion treatment…and lots of other treats! A Dermadart Microneedling demonstration will also take place for you to find out more on this particular treatment. You’ll also be able to tuck into canapes and champagne, meaning it’ll be a blissful night of some refreshing pampering. Once again this event is also FREE, so do please RSVP by emailing events@kensingtonmums.co.uk very soon!

Kensington Mums Events in June

There’s of course plenty of other exciting and interesting Kensington Mums events taking place in June (including their next Mumthly Talk at Whole Foods Kensington on 6th June) – take a look at their Events calendar here: http://www.kensingtonmums.co.uk/kmblog/events.

And don’t forget to check out all the latest local kids’, mums’ and parents’ news in Kensington in general on www.kensingtonmums.co.uk!

Storystock comes to the Saatchi Gallery for the Easter holidays

Following its launch at a sell-out festival at the Bush Theatre last year, the storytelling circus Storystock comes to the Saatchi Gallery on King’s Road for the Easter holidays this year, from 7th to 27th April.

Storystock

Suitable for children aged from 4 to 13 years old who love stories, Storystock combines stories with art, artists and art-isms and will be held alongside the Gallery’s new exhibition, Pangaea: New Art from Africa and Latin America.

There will be a number of workshops, pop-up events, tours – and storytelling, of course! – as well as Storystock’s reinvention of the audio guide, which they’ve named the ANTI-GUIDE.

Award-winning artist Amy Gadney has been commissioned to create the ANTI-GUIDE, offering up a completely different and immersive way of experiencing the Pangaea exhibition. The ANTI-GUIDE will be available throughout the exhibition’s run.

“We’re thrilled to be creating a family element to the Pangaea exhibition in the beautiful, inspiring and fun Saatchi Gallery. We want to give children the chance to learn about the art in an irreverent and playful way through our creative workshops, storytelling, pop-up events and ANTI-GUIDE – our psychedelic audio guide,”

explains Claire Gill, STORYSTOCK co-founder.

Tickets for Storystock can be purchased online at www.storystock.co.uk or by calling 08444 77 1000. Tickets for Storystock cost £18 online in advance – this includes a workshop, storytelling (for 4 to 7 year olds, in the morning) or tour (for 7-13 year olds, in the afternoon) and the ANTI-GUIDE.

Drop-in weekend passes, including for the Easter weekend, are available online or on the day and cost £10, which includes drop-in storytelling, activities, a tour and the ANTI-GUIDE.

The ANTI-GUIDE costs £4, which can be bought online or on the day.

Storystock
Saatchi Gallery
Duke of York’s HQ
King’s Road
SW3 4RY
www.storystock.co.uk

It’s All About Piano! returns to the Institut français, 4th to 6th April

From 4th to 6th April 2014, the Institut français in London will celebrate the king of all musical instruments with its second piano festival, It’s All About Piano! Come down to discover the infinite possibilities offered by the black & white keys, from recitals to film screenings, kids activities, workshops and much more. Rising stars and the greatest pianists – including Alexeï Lubimov, Lucy Parham, Pascal Rogé, Jacky Terrasson, Pascal Amoyel – will enchant with all styles of piano music, from the classical repertoire to harpsichord recitals and jazz performances.

It's All About Piano

There’s a full range of events on each of the three days of the festival, from a recital by Russian pianist Alexei Lubimov on the Friday; a screening of the children’s film The Magic Piano (followed by a storytelling of The Out-of-Tune Piano), and a documentary on The Making of a Steinway Piano, both on the Saturday; Musical Storytelling with award-winning storyteller Jan Blake, and recitals from Geoffroy Couteau, Kenneth Weiss and David Bismuth on the Sunday – with much more on each day as well, of course! There will also be several activities and events also taking place throughout the festival, including free piano tuition and a Build Your Own Piano workshop. And if you’d like to take things easy, why not relax in the Piano Bar where you can enjoy some music whilst sampling cocktails and piano-themed delicacies?

Each event is individually priced – please see the full It’s All About Piano guide for details and to book tickets: www.institut-francais.org.uk/itsallaboutpiano.

You can also purchase a Piano Pass for £10, which will give you 50% off the price of all recitals during the festival!

Make sure to come down to the Institut français this April to sample the delights of the piano!

It’s All About Piano
4th – 6th April 2014
Institut français
17 Queensberry Place
SW7 2DT

Exciting Kensington Mums events taking place in March!

Favourite local kids and family website Kensington Mums have a number of exciting events lined up for March that we’re sure you’d love to know more about and join in with!

First up, on Friday 7th March (10am – 2pm), Kensington Mums’ Motherhood Project will be featured in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s celebration of International Women’s Day. This will take place at the Harrow Club, 187 Freston Road, W10 6TH. This is a FREE event and crèche and lunch will be provided – however, registration is required so please email silvia.zeroual@rbkc.gov.uk or info@kensingtonmums.co.uk if you would like to attend.

Kensington Mums' Events - Mother's Day

Next up, on Saturday 15th March (3pm – 6pm), why not celebrate Mother’s Day with a very special event hosted by Kensington Mums and featuring some top guest speakers? Taking place at The Mosaic Rooms, 226 Cromwell Road, SW5 0SW, speakers will include baby sleep expert Jo Tantum; TV presenter and founder of Miamoo, Saira Khan; and Amanda Frolich, the UK’s leading celebrity children’s entertainer. Please see www.kensingtonmums.co.uk for more information about the event and to book a place; tickets cost £30. The first 30 people through the door on the day will receive a VIP goody bag!

Kensington Mums' Events - Fun Run

The following day, 16th March, will see the Where is Wally Fun Run with Kensington Mums take place in Victoria Park. All are welcome to take part, including children aged 8 and over (who must be accompanied by an adult) – registration is £20 which includes a FREE Where’s Wally? costume. No specific fitness level required – you can walk, jog or run 5 or 10km! There’s also fun races for the under 8s too – it’s £10 entry for these, including a free costume again. The event is being held in aid of the National Literacy Trust which helps struggling children to read and write. Email info@kensingtonmums.co.uk to take part.

For more details about these events and Kensington Mums in general, please see their fantastic website at www.kensingtonmums.co.uk.

The Parallax International Art Fair returns to Chelsea, 21st – 22nd February 2014

We’ve written about the Parallax International Art Fair a number of times before on this blog, so keen readers will be pleased to hear that the ninth edition is taking place at Chelsea Town Hall on 21st and 22nd February 2014.

This latest edition will see 225 artists take part from a very wide range of artistic styles and backgrounds, including photography, light-display, textiles, pottery, jewellery, ceramics, natural materials and embroidery, as well as paintings and sculptures in all conceivable materials. All of these different artistic genres put together will ensure that the ninth Parallax Art Fair is a fully experimental, visual and tactile exhibition. You can see some examples of works by artists exhibiting at the Fair below:

Parallax Art Fair - Following Mum & Dad - Mark A. Pearce
Following Mum & Dad – Mark A. Pearce
Parallax Art Fair - Isabel, Michel and Louis - Eleanor Swan
Isabel, Michel and Louis – Eleanor Swan
Parallax Art Fair - The House Of This Evening - Barbara Nati
The House Of This Evening – Barbara Nati

As ever, Parallax exhibits both new and established artists on an equal basis – without judgement or qualification from the organisers – meaning the truly international line-up will see both award-winning artists exhibit alongside undiscovered ones. This time round, the event will include a sculptor whose work in steel now adorns the outside wall of the Harlow Theatre, as well as a painter whose work was chosen by the City of London as its official Christmas card.

Entry to Parallax is free – for more information on the Fair and artists exhibiting, please see www.parallaxaf.co.

Parallax Art Fair
Private view – Thursday 20th February 2014
1pm – 8pm, Friday 21st February 2014
11am – 5pm, Saturday 22nd February 2014
Chelsea Town Hall
King’s Road
SW3 5EZ

‘Tell Me On A Sunday’ and ‘Putting It Together’ at St James Theatre in January 2014

News reaches us of a couple of fantastic musical theatre productions that will be held on our doorstep – at St James Theatre in Victoria – early next year.

First up, Tell Me On A Sunday is on from 7th to 12th January 2014 starring Marti Webb, one of this country’s most popular musical stars – she’s had leading roles in musicals such as Oliver!, Evita, Cats and Godspell. This one-woman show – which is an original production by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black – tells the tale of an English girl who’s newly arrived in New York, and who’s on the look out for success, companionship and love. But after enduring frustration and heartache, she starts to wonder whether she’s been looking in the wrong place all along.

Marti Webb will be reprising her original role in Tell Me On A Sunday, one that saw her receive huge critical acclaim. Originally performed as a album (which reached number one in the UK charts), the show became a TV special and was then performed on stage as one half of Song & Dance.

St James Theatre - Tell Me On A Sunday

Ms Webb last performed the role 10 years ago, and this special run will see only eight shows take place, supported by hits from theatreland’s latest and greatest shows, exclusive to the UK. Of returning to her role, Ms Webb says:

“I’m thrilled and delighted to be doing Tell Me On a Sunday again. It means so much to me, it really does. It was one of the most important things to have happened to me in my life.”

Tickets cost £20 to £37.50, and there’s also a special £60 premium ticket which includes a post show meet-and-greet with Marti Webb. To book tickets, please call the St James Theatre box office on 0844 254 2140 or visit www.stjamestheatre.co.uk.

Next up in January at St James Theatre is the London premiere of Stephen Sondheim’s Putting It Together, by arrangement of Sir Cameron Mackintosh and featuring an award-winning cast that includes David Bedella, Daniel Crossley, Janie Dee, Damian Humbley and Caroline Sheen.

St James Theatre - Putting It Together

Putting It Together was first produced by Sir Cameron Mackintosh in New York over twenty years ago, starring Julie Andrews. The show is a revue with a difference – set at a cocktail party in New York, it tells the story of two couples – one middle-aged and married, the other young lovers who are just starting out – who reflect on the complexities of modern relationships through the songs of Stephen Sondheim.

Sir Cameron Mackintosh says:

“I couldn’t be more delighted that my brother, Robert, is presenting the London premiere of Sondheim’s review ‘Putting it Together’ – a companion piece to Side by Side by Sondheim that I put together with Julia MacKenzie in England many years ago starring Diana Rigg and subsequently in New York with Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett.

Robert’s theatre, the stylish and innovative St. James, should prove the perfect venue for Sondheim’s brilliant, witty and moving material culled from many of his great musicals. ‘Putting it Together’ is a musical theatrical cocktail that promises to leave audiences shaken, stirred and highly entertained.”

Putting It Together at St James Theatre is directed by Alastair Knights, choreographed by Matthew Rowland, with musical supervision by Alex Parker, and associate direction and choreography by Scarlet Wilderink.

Tickets cost £20, £30, £35, £37.50 and £47.50 for premium tickets. To book tickets, once again please call the St James Theatre box office on 0844 254 2140 or visit www.stjamestheatre.co.uk.

The St James Theatre opened its doors in September 2012, and has seen productions such as Scenes from a Marriage starring Olivia Williams and Mark Bazeley and directed by Trevor Nunn; Bully Boy by Sandi Toksvig, directed by Patrick Sandford and starring Anthony Andrews and Joshua Miles; and The American Plan, directed by David Grindley and with a cast including Diana Quick and Dona Croll. The theatre is entirely funded by private investment and its space includes a 312 seat theatre, a studio space, brasserie and bar.

Tell Me On A Sunday
Tuesday 7th – Sunday 12th January 2014

and

Putting It Together
Tuesday 14th – Saturday 1st February 2014

St. James Theatre
12 Palace Street
SW1E 5JA
www.stjamestheatre.co.uk