World-famous orange liqueur brand Cointreau and South Place Hotel have collaborated to bring a slice of Acapulco and its vibrant atmosphere to the Secret Garden at South Place Hotel, from June 29th until the end of August, with a truly tropical Margarita Loves Cointreau pop-up.
Nestled on the first floor of South Place Hotel in East London, the Secret Garden, a veritable oasis of waterfalls and palm trees sets the scene for our celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the original Margarita cocktail.
Taking inspiration from Acapulco where ‘Margarita’ Sames, famously said of her instantly iconic concoction, ‘a Margarita without Cointreau is not worth its salt’.
WHAT’S ON THE MENU?
The partnership pays homage to the iconic cocktail and its origins by introducing delicious, innovative, Margarita inspired cocktails, as well as the original.
Selection includes, a lavender Margarita, a fruity twist or a citrus chai Margarita that are perfectly suited to alfresco drinking in the sunshine. And, with a retractable roof in case of changeable British weather and indoor heaters to hand, the uniquely inviting space will maintain a tropical climate all year round.
Kamil Winnicki, Bar Manager says of the partnership: ‘South Place Hotel is very excited to celebrate the 70th birthday of one of the most iconic cocktails together with the Cointreau family. I am sure that the collaboration between the two brands and the uniqueness of our Secret Garden will create an amazing experience to all guests.
Our mixologists are looking forward to present South Place Hotel’s takes on the Margarita and serve it alongside everyone’s favourite classic liqueur.’
What’s more there will be a phone at the bar – a direct line for consumers to ring up and order a Margarita any time of day whilst enjoying the calming sounds of waterfalls in this hidden gem right in the heart of London.
Guests can also expect an array of other exciting happenings, including, delicious Mexican inspired Sunday brunches throughout summer on the following dates 22nd July, 12th August and 19th August.
There will also be Margarita masterclasses for those that want to hone their cocktail making skills and DJ sets every Friday that will be sure to bring on the tropical vibes.
For the chance to win a margarita kit, tag your pics with #margaritalovescointreau #southplacehotel.
South Place Hotel is located at 3 South Pl, London EC2M 2AF
Regatta races with a medley of ‘Burning Man’ and ‘Shower Cap Chic’ fancy dress, a love boat with many a scandalous tale, an endless stream of high quality music and a floating art car that is creating a musical ripple effect in the Adriatic sea; that’s a small taster of what TheYacht Week has to offer.
The Yacht Week is a series of floating festivals set in the world’s most beautiful locations including Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro and the British Virgin Islands, all organised by Day 8. This large community of sailors materialised through a selection of friends who sailed together over a period of 11 years. The Yacht Week’s unique and tailored experience allows more than 16,000 adventurous travellers each year to discover vast new open waters through its carefully curated seven day sailing programme. Not one of those 7 days are the same, each providing a new adventure without fail. And Day 8 marks the point from which the memories and friendships formed continue to prosper.
It’s Rude to Stare were invited to join in on The Yacht Week’s fun pact offerings in Croatia. Once checked in to the beautiful Bali Katermaran, docked just outside Hvar – the St. Tropez of Croatia – we enjoyed an evening of riviera chic at Carpe Diem Beach, one of the country’s most beautiful beach clubs, watching the sunset with cocktail in hand. The next day we found ourselves boating to the Island of Vis, where you can explore an endless stream of hidden beaches or discover the rooms and passageways within Tito’s natural caves. When the sun had gone down it was on to the Tropical Retro Party at Fort Gorge; expect a forest of pine trees accompanied by a breathtakingly panoramic view of the Adriatic. Then more sailing to, yes, more beautiful locations. We enjoyed Zlanti Rat, one of Croatia’slargest beaches, situated in the stunning town of Bol, where volleyball, cocktails and sunbathing are mandatory activities.
The Yacht Week, @sameyeam
The Yacht Week Regatta was next – fancy dress imperative for each yacht – it was the ‘Shower Cap Chic’ crew who won in the eyes of It’s Rude to Stare during our visit. After a full day of racing and sailing in a fleet, our evening destination was Starigrad Bay for the raft party. With all yachts docked together, we jumped from boat to boat whilst being serenaded by the newly made Arthropod – Yacht Week’s floating art car. This is no ordinary beached taxi boat but a winged wonder, a DJ boat of dreams. Thanks to Void Speakers, the Buzz Boat has been graced with the highest quality sound system to provide a maritime music extravaganza. DJ Bladtkramer, one of Yacht Week’s most treasured techno whizz kids from Copenhagen, graced the decks on board the art car, providing an endless stream of carefully curated top quality beats.
The Yacht Week, Ása Steinarsdóttir
Once the raft party died down, It’s Rude to Stare met with DJ Bladtkramer and Paul Lojszczyk – the genius behind The Yacht Week’s brilliant selection of entertainment – to get some insider knowledge on this summer music/events programme, Lojszcyk explained:
When I joined the company in 2014, the whole EDM beast was peaking and this was certainly reflected on our events. Being a Swedish company there was a lot of Avicii (RIP <3), Swedish House Mafia, and other big room progressive house artists. However as the guests became more diverse and global music trends changes, so did the music at our events. Over the past few years we have been shifting the music towards a more sophisticated sound. We’ve seen a few music trends come and go, but we are now refining the musical experience with a focus on house, disco and hip hop, so we have a pretty nice variety of quality sounds during the week. In five years time I see a well rounded event that creates incredible experiences in stunning locations, with people making life long connections. There will be a focus on music, culture, travel and wellness. From a musical perspective, I see it continuing to mould into a week of diverse, cutting edge music that finds the balance between musical education and the music you know and love.
The Yacht Week prides itself on the carefully curated parties it hosts for its hedonistic sun seekers. Something that is reflected in this year’s lineup, which includes the likes of Goldroom, HedKandi DJs, Menendez Brothers, the DJ collective Applebum as well as the unapologetically fabulous collective, The Provibers.
Paul: Such a hard question! Mine would have to be one night in 2015 at the incredible Fort George Croatia which is a 200 year old fort located on a headland, overlooking the Adriatic Sea on the island of Vis. This one particular night there was a series of huge thunderstorms that circled the island and venue. For several hours there was an incredible natural light show to complement the party, and then all of a sudden, at around 1:30am, Armageddon hit and it started bucketing down. About 50% of the crowd left the dance-floor to seek cover like any normal person would. However the remaining 50% embraced the rain, thunder and natural strobe light and the energy was incredible and the atmosphere was electric
Mads: Last year for the Greece closing week we had some special programming to finish the season off. We had each of the most experienced residents on a yacht, sailing with the guests and the music, crowd, guests were all amazing. We essentially got to experience The Yacht Week as a guest and the experience was so good!
It’s fair to say that It’s Rude to Stare had a flirtatious insight into what Yacht Week has to offer, our verdict being a great deal. Day8 prides itself on being the ultimate place to come with your group of friends, and make hundreds of new ones. Its welcoming and all inclusive attitude is reflected in the genuine bond between the company’s team. Hospitable, honest, fun, determined and dedicated to providing a service that is the best possible for its holiday goers, Day8 are wholly representative of the term ‘work hard, play hard’ and should be fully credited for their international success. If you want fun in the sun and the opportunity to dance to some of the best music around until the early hours in a variety of the world’s most beautiful spots, The Yacht Week is the one for you.
Eaton Square Bar and Restaurant have recently launched a new gluten free menu offering up a range of dishes that are still delicious but much more accessible.
With 95% of their menu now gluten free, coeliacs can rejoice as they are able to enjoy dishes such as a chocolate fondant and a beetroot ‘ravioli’.
Equally exciting they have also launched a new cocktail menu which provides an unexpected twist on many of the classics. Say goodbye to the sickly sweet pornstar martinis you’re used to and instead enjoy Eaton Square’s version which involves a champagne reduction infused with citrus notes and lavender. It was fresh and floral with a hint of sweetness. Alternatively enjoy the results of a dangerously bold move to mess with a classic, with their smoked martini. Smoked with wood chips and lavender, this classic wears its new outfit well.
The gluten free menu is indulgent and delicious, with dishes such as scallops served with coconut porridge and seaweed. The porridge worked extremely well and the plump scallops were cooked to perfection.
My main was a black cod marinated with miso. Japanese influences pepper the menu and we were also served a fresh and clean Japanese white wine with our seafood, which went down extremely well.
Dessert was a chocolate fondant which you would never know was gluten free. It had the same oozy middle and rich flavour as any other fondant. Served with salted caramel ice-cream and a sesame twill it was a total crowd-pleasing dish which won everyone over.
The desire to create a gluten free menu came from the head chef’s need to feed his coeliac wife but thanks to that, we now have a well thought out and inventive menu which everyone can enjoy.
If you haven’t yet been to Eaton Square Bar and Restaurant, this is the perfect opportunity to visit. Be sure to sample a range of cocktails and don’t forget to save space for that chocolate fondant!
In an age of proliferating digital imagery and technological development, painting might be expected to be losing its historical importance. The exhibition A Return to Smooth Space at The.Dot.Project in London proves the exact opposite: rather than rejecting traditional media, artists David Matthew King and Bertrand Fournier have not only embraced painting, but have also experimented with it through different approaches. Both artists employ vivid and bright colours – each brush stroke seems to be an attempt to unleash abstraction. The gallery is filled with a series of canvases occupied by abstract volumes and shapes as we observe both artists attempt to unfold their creative processes.
Through innovative use of traditional tools, the works respond to many of the conditions that are shaping our world. While King uses multi-coloured strokes that never touch each other, yet run freely across the canvas, Fournier explores blocks of colour and their relationship to lines. US artist, David Matthew King, approaches the medium of painting in a very minimalist fashion. His works are inhabited by simple brush strokes that bring life to the intact canvas. The works almost convey a feeling of an imaginary dialogue between the brush strokes and the canvas. This experimental approach reveals King’s relationship with language. The painting almost becomes the background of a personal narrative, an ongoing and deep investigation of artistic expression, brought to life by colourful shapes. The visual interaction between colours, volumes and shapes is held together by an inner balance that offers the works a sense of harmony.
Similarly, Bertrand Fournier’s practice demonstrates the profound interest in balanced compositions and colour combinations. Fournier’s style is characterised by precise figures accompanied by bright colours. The artist’s visual language oscillates between a monochromatic palette and a vibrant colour. His work is uncontaminated, unpretentious and pure in its abstraction. Infinite variations of colour, lines and surface. Long lines stretch across the canvas, surrounded by delicate, organic geometrical volumes. Some canvases appear to be split in half, others have had their edges smoothed. There are visual tricks, natural abstractions created by the simple use of colour.
A Return to Smooth Space feels gradual and meticulous. It conveys a strong sense of calm and order. Each shape, mark, brush stroke and surface seems to grow out of nothing, but direct abstraction, an invisible visual force that bursts into an explosion of colour. Flawless and introspective, the show leaves no space for complex thoughts and rationality, it is just an outburst of coloured shapes. The whole exhibition really gives you a possibility to be absorbed by the art.
I’ve lived in London for more than a decade but there’s always new things to discover.
Last month, on a walk through the historic area of Clerkenwell, I stumbled across the Malmaisonhotel and a few weeks later I decided to check it out with a friend from out of town who was visiting.
The guesthouse boasts a lovely location, overlooking a small grassy park with plane trees yawning high into the sky.
It’s just a stone’s throw from Farringdon tube station, but its leafy surrounding makes it feel a world away from the bustle of London.
From the outside the Malmaison looks a little unapproachable, with a grand façade.
But on stepping inside, I was surprised to find dark interiors showcasing a spot of sex appeal.
Check-in was seamless and we made our way up to the third floor.
Navigating the purple coloured corridors, we checked into our Mal Club room.
I instantly loved the interiors, with a number of retro pieces echoing London’s swinging sixties – a leather recliner, a chrome and black leather swivel chair and overhanding reading lights.
The room overlooked the grassy park and I could hear the birds singing.
Looking around, there was everything we needed including an ironing set, a kettle and well-stocked mini bar.
In the ensuite bathroom, there was a range of Malmaison branded products and cotton buds – which are something hotels often neglect!
CHEZ MAL BRASSERIE
As my friend had a late afternoon flight, I arranged dinner in the basement restaurant Chez Mal Brasserie and at 6:30pm we ventured down.
The eatery is a gem, and I’d definitely return.
I was apprehensive when I spotted it was on the lower ground, but the place has a great atmosphere with red leather booths, candle light and a funky play list setting the tone.
We settled into a booth and a friendly waiter came to check in. Chez Mal has a generous menu and there are options to suit everyone.
After browsing the slickly designed menu book we opted for some seafood and vegetable tempura to start along with the prawn tacos, which came highly recommended.
As we were both fairly famished, we also put in an order for a slab of garlic bread with black garlic aioli sauce.
We both fell silent as the dishes arrives, with the generous portion sizes and neat presentation making us salivate.
Our stomach rumbles were definitely satisfied and we tried not to go overboard to leave rooms for mains.
For the next course, I ordered the blue cheese, chorizo and avocado-infused summer salad, (which is listed as a starter) as a main course size, while my companion plumped for the Cotes de bouef with béarnaise sauce.
To wash everything, I went for a vodka olive martini, which had a slight garlic taste that I couldn’t put my finger on.
The summer salad was divine and we struggled to work through everything after gorging on the heavy starters.
I had a nibble of the truffle parmesan fries but we failed to get through them all.
Despite feeling a little on the rotund side of things, I was hankering after something sweet and our helpful waiter advised us to try the pineapple and coconut cheesecake which is apparently everyone’s favourite. And it’s easy to see why, as this jazzed up interpretation on the traditional dish hits all the right notes, with sweet creaminess giving way to a crunchy biscuit base.
After dinner, we zoomed up the lift to bed.
I opened the window and let a gentle breeze waft in from the park. From there, the giant bed enveloped me into a deep slumber.
It was pretty lovely waking in the morning to the sound of bird song and shards of sunlight drifting across the room. There were blackout blinds but I always quite like rising with the sun.
I had to skip to work but I left my friend in bed to enjoy the convivial surroundings.
I received a report that the breakfast was good but not on a par with dinner.
So, if you’re looking for a slice of calm punctuated with a dash of sexy, check into the Malmaison on your next sojourn.
Malmaison London is located at 18-21 Charterhouse Square, Clerkenwell, London EC1M 6AH, UK
There is currently a Wine, Dine & Dream package available for £119, which entitles guests to a room, a two course dinner and a bottle of house wine in their room.
To book a stay or a table at the restaurant call 02037509402 or visit www.malmaison.com
I walked into The Westbury with a sudden swagger in my step.
This five-star hotel in the heart of Mayfair off Old Bond Street garuntees to make you feel like a movie star with low lighting, swathes of marble jigsawed with walls of smooth wood panelling.
I was getting a taster of a new Michelin-starred supper club launching for one night only in July, which is a collaboration between the Westbury’s in-house chef Alyn Williams and British sparkling wind brand Nyetimber.
Scrap the white, red and dessert wine combo. This tasting dinner is all about the bubbles.
Shown swiftly to one of the venue’s private dining rooms, I settled in for the surprise feast with the menu set to change for the public event.
The thing I instantly liked about the eatery was that it felt classy without being stuffy.
The acoustics were perfect and the soft light flattering.
I kicked things off with a class of Nyetimber’s Classic Cuvee which hit the spot perfectly, with the cold bubbles making the stuffy heat of the street feeling like a distant memory.
We were joined by a highly-charismatic Nymtimber ambassador, who ran us through the different sparkling wines which were served with each course.
I’ve met some of the Nyetimber team before, and something that really shines through is how proud they are to work for the firm.
I’d opted for a vegetarian menu, to give it a test, while my friend stuck to the run of things.
To tickle the tastebuds, a spread of canapés were laid out before us along with some moreish rounds of fresh-baked bread.
After we speedily snaffled the nibbles, the main event kicked off.
A delicate glass bowl of pea mousse and yogurt granita was put before me to start, followed by a meaty serving of roasted cauliflower topped with hazelnuts and black garlic.
Everything was absolutely divine, with top notch presentation and delicate flavours making for an elegant affair.
To accompany both dishes, we had a glass of the 2009 Nyetimber Classic Cuvee followed by a richer 2010 Blanc de Blancs.
But the star of the show was the was the punchy 1998 Blanc de Blancs, glowing a deep shade of gold.
I loved the rich flavour of this rare tipple but it wasn’t to everyone’s liking.
With the bubbles putting everyone in a fine mood, dessert suddenly sailed our way.
On the sweets front we were treated to a neat pannacottas topped with strawberries and Alyn Williams’ signature show topping dish: the Walnut Whip.
The deliciously nutty chocolate morsel came served with a gold walnut perched on top.
Complementing the flavours was a glass of sweeter Demi-Sec.
If you’re free on July 24 I can’t encourage you enough to snap up tickets for this one-off event.
It’s perfect date night material.
Alyn Williams told us diners will be served a different menu but they can expect a ‘modern style of cooking with some Alyn Williams classics’.
And to continue your night in style, the Westbury has 178 rooms and 27 suites.
The perfect excuse to eat, drink and be terribly merry!
The Westbury’s Michelin-starred five-course supper club takes place on Tuesday July 24 from 6pm – 9pm at Alyn Williams.
Zed events are back with a new experience following on from their zombie success last year.
If you’re looking for an adrenaline-fuelled adventure around a creepy disused building then this is the experience for you. Zed events allows you to immerse yourself in a story of villains, new friends and chainsaw-armed lunatics.
We were on a post-apocalyptic mission. After being issued military style rifles and receiving extensive training, we were set off to embark on a journey into the unknown in an abandoned shopping centre, in the dark. What could possibly go wrong?
The characters we encountered along the way were terrifying and brilliant. They made the experience feel authentically scary and helped build the storyline which we were to follow. The decisions we made as a group along the way shaped the experience and changed the course of action, helping us have some control over our journey.
Round every corner is something new to explore and a new character to defeat. At times we were running up flights of stairs and at others cowering behind old furniture.
It’s a great way to spend a Saturday. Running around the abandoned shopping centre was the most fun I’d had in a long time. If you haven’t experienced a Zed event then now is the time.
The experience takes place a short walk from Reading station. It costs £99 per person and is running until the end of August.
For more information and for bookings visit the Zed Events website here.