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25 Dec 2009

Merry Christmas




All of us at Check-in-London wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 
 
Thank you for making it such a successful year for us. 
 
We look forward to another year of great London serviced apartments.

New Year's Fireworks at the London Eye


Pyrotechnicians Groupe, F Jack Morton will orchestrate London's official New Year firework display from The London Eye and barges in the Thames, which will be broadcast live on BBC One. BBC Radio 1 will supply the sounds for Londoners who head into town to watch the fireworks live. If you're planning to be among them, don't leave it too late or you may find yourself being turned away. It'll be a great display against a stunning backdrop and good viewing spots are limited. Don't make for the London Eye - the immediate area is cordoned off as a fall-out zone - and note that road closures in the area will start early in the evening. The prime vantage points are the Victoria Embankment, north of the Thames, and the bridges (Waterloo, Westminster and the eastern Jubilee footbridge; the Millennium Bridge has only a partial view of the Eye). Dedicated disabled viewing areas can be found on the Albert Embankment, opposite the Houses of Parliament and on the Thames Path behind St Thomas's Hospital.

www.london.gov.uk/newyearseve/faq.jsp#faq11.

There will be all-night travel on Tube, DLR, Tramlink and selected National Rail services in the Greater London area. Twenty-four-hour bus routes will run as normal, but there will be a reduction in bus services leaving central London from around 7pm to 3am on New Year's Day, because of the road closures. From 11.45pm to 4.30am travel on all journeys on Tube, DLR, tram and buses will be free, as will some National Rail services on selected routes out of London after midnight.

For detailed travel information visit www.tfl.gov.uk.

15 Dec 2009

New Year's Day Parade in London


London's New Year's Day Parade crowns the capital's festive season – make sure you don't miss it!

The New Year's Day Parade in London features more than 10,000 performers representing 20 countries world-wide. Dancers, acrobats, cheerleaders, musicians and performers assemble in the heart of the city for a "celebration of nations". Young people from the US, Japan and Europe come together with those from London for three hours of pomp and frivolity.

The parade starts in 12 noon and proceeds along Piccadilly to Piccadilly Circus, then takes in Lower Regent Street, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, Cockspur Street, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall and ends at Parliament Square in front of Big Ben.

More than half a million people are expected to cram into London's most famous streets to see the parade weave its way along the 2.2-mile (3.5km) route.

The theme of the 2010 New Year's Day Parade is "Let Us Entertain You". And, with more than 8,000 participants from around the world as well as 25 London boroughs represented, you won't be disappointed!

"With so many boroughs on board – and lots of overseas participants planning to make the trip – there will be no better way to start 2010," says the parade's executive director, Robert Bone.

Get your space early to see this spectacular celebration!

London's Best Christmas Celebrations



During the festive period, London sparkles with wonderful Christmas lights, decorations and Christmas trees and the best way to enjoy Christmas in the capital is to stay in a comfortable London short stay apartment.

Whether you're in town for some ice-skating or Christmas shopping, make some time to check out all the Christmas decorations in different areas of London this year. They're always a great attraction, and really add to the Christmas spirit of the city.


Christmas Lights in the West End and in The City

Christmas Lights across the West End and in the City of London are an attraction in their own right. There'll also be fantastic Christmas concerts, and a unique light show at St Paul's Cathedral, on Regent Street and at Oxford Circus.


Christmas Celebrations at Covent Garden Market

Covent Garden is concentrating on the traditional this Christmas. Visit the market during the festive season, and you'll find free musical performances from traditional choirs, reindeer-petting for kids and the scent of mulled wine and roasted chestnuts drifting through the Market Building. With a 40ft (12m) Christmas tree, a 37ft (11m) topiary reindeer, workshops for kids, and story-telling for all the family, there'll be plenty of old-fashioned nostalgia on the Piazza this Christmas. Don't miss the exciting light installation from United Visual Artists, and the chance to stock up on delicious gourmet treats at the Covent Garden Real Food Market.


Carnaby Christmas Lights

Carnaby is known for quirky Christmas decorations, and all 12 streets around this pedestranised shopping district are filled with themed and funky lights and props. There are inflatable hot pink reindeers, surrounded by brightly coloured Christmas


Westfield London's Christmas Lights

Westfield is another hotspot for Christmas lights, events and ice-rinks. Be sure to catch all the Boxing Day sales as well.


Leadenhall Market Christmas Lights

The Christmas lights switch-on in Leadenhall Market is always a sparkling affair. Beautifully restored to its original Victorian splendour, Leadenhall Market's cobbled streets, ironwork and painted ceiling have a real Dickensian feel. See the Lord Mayor of the City of London flick the switch on as mulled wine, mince pies and music add a festive flavour to your Christmas shopping.


Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree

Every year since 1947, Norway has given a Christmas tree to London in gratitude for Britain's support for Norway during the Second World War.


Christmas Cheer at Kew

If you're craving a bit of countryside Christmas cheer, head to Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew during the festive season. The Christmas decorations, lights and Christmas tree at the Victoria Gate in Kew Gardens are quite enjoyable.

For more information or to book a Christmas Serviced Apartment in London, please call us on +44 843 289 8820 or e-mail us at info@check-in-london.com for rates and availability.

The Darwin Center at the Natural History Museum



Explore the Natural History Museum's brand new Darwin Centre, packed full of specimens, interactive activities and scientific debate.

The Natural History Museum's New Darwin Centre

This September, London's renowned Natural History Museum completes its new state-of-the-art facility, the Darwin Centre.
The first phase, containing 22 million zoological specimens stored in alcohol, opened in 2002.
Now you can also venture into the final piece of the project – a 65-metre-long (213 ft), 8-storey cocoon-shaped structure, which houses 17 million insect and 3 million plant specimens.

Inside the Natural History Museum's New Centre

The new Darwin Centre is a research and collections facility for scientists and visitors alike.
Highlights for visitors include:
  • An interactive tour of the cocoon to see the museum's collections and the projects of world-class researchers working at the centre
  • The Attenborough Studio: where you can discover more about the natural world and current scientific issues through multimedia, talks, and face-to-face encounters with scientists
  • Angela Marmont Centre for UK Biodiversity: dedicated to the study of the UK's natural world and a haven for wildlife groups, societies and researchers

Darwin Centre's Amazing Architecture

The new Darwin Centre cost £78 million and took 280 people 25 months to build.
As well as its impressive atrium, the new facility's architectural highlight is the giant cocoon building, set inside an even bigger glass box.
Designed by C F Møller Architects of Denmark, the cocoon is said to be the largest sprayed concrete curved structure in Europe.

8 Dec 2009

Christmas Afternoon Tea in London


What better way to relax after a hard day's Christmas shopping than with delicious cakes, sandwiches and tea.Over the festive season, London hotels and restaurants offer an impressive range of indulgent Christmas afternoon teas.These afternoon teas are popular, so book well in advance to avoid disappointment.


Throughout December, The English Tea Room at Brown's Hotel serves its award-winning afternoon tea with a festive twist, accompanied by the resident pianist playing well-known Christmas carols. The festive tea includes Yule logs, mince pies, turkey sandwiches with cranberry sauce, scones and Christmas cake, plus a choice of 17 different teas. From £37 per person
The Ritz


Christmas afternoon tea at The Ritz is served in the spectacular Palm Court on selected dates over Christmas. The seasonal tea includes a glass of champagne, mince pies and Christmas cake along with the Ritz's traditional choice of tea, sandwiches, scones and pastries. £50 per person


Claridge's festive afternoon tea includes sandwiches, apple and raisin scones, French pastries and Christmas pastries, served with tea or coffee and a glass of champagne. Southend Boys Choir provides a musical accompaniment at weekends, singing popular Christmas carols. Available 21 November to 3 January. £45 per person / £50 at weekends








Served on fine bone china designed by Zandra Rhodes, The Mandeville's Christmas afternoon tea includes organic turkey and cranberry sandwiches, clementine and walnut tarts, mince pies, Christmas cake, stollen, Christmas cookies and a selection of teas. For a special festive treat, you can add a glass of egg nog or mulled wine. From £22.50 per person
The Dorchester

The Dorchester's renowned afternoon tea in The Promenade is enhanced over Christmas with festive pastries, mince pies and a glass of champagne. At weekends, you can enjoy Christmas carols sung by a children's choir or duo. Available 21 November to 4 January. £45 per person / £55 at weekends




Chocolate Festival at the Southbank Center



The Chocolate Festival is a unique event which gives visitors a special opportunity to enjoy a wide range of chocolate related products - as well as fine truffles, bars and bonbons, you will be able to buy savory food with chocolate, chocolate cakes, pancakes, ice cream, milkshakes and more.

At the event you will be able to join great activities such as demonstrations, chocolate art, book signings and more.

Set in the world-renowned Southbank Centre, the festival is a great day out for chocolate lovers of all ages. Outdoor festival featuring chocolatiers and chocolate companies. Expect dozens of stalls selling chocolate- related products including cakes, chocolate-infused savoury treats and kits to make your own chocolate, as well as workshops and demonstrations.

http://www.festivalchocolate.co.uk/

6 Dec 2009

Christmas at the O2 London




Come along and enjoy a winter fairytale at The O2 with free entry into Santa's grotto, fairground rides for all the family, a German market - ideal for buying your christmas presents and yummy festive food, including mulled wine and bratwurst. There's something for everyone this Christmas at The O2!

Christmas comes but once a year and when it comes to The 02 it brings good cheer, a 30 metre high swing ride, traditional pfannkuchen, German beers and a white knuckle zone of thrill rides including a Reindeer Rollercoaster. This transformation will spread inside and outside The O2 across a 10,000 square metre area offering the public sheltered areas to enjoy the attraction whatever the weather. The Christmas Fair offers visitors a free Santa Claus from noon daily and customers can purchase passes to enjoy unlimited access to the rides for one low cost of £17.50 for children and £20.00 for adults. The variety of exciting fun fair rides will suit both adults and children, turning the worlds most popular entertainment venue into London's newest theme park.


26 Nov 2009

Winter in Hyde Park


Christmas is here .. and its a winter wonderland in Hyde park with 20 acres of christmas bonanza including christmas markets, cafes, bards, rides and attractions, ice rinks and Father Christmas himself..


Winter Wonderland’s Father Christmas was voted ‘Best Outdoor Experience’ by Time Out London. He and his entertaining elves welcome children to his Hyde Park grotto every day from 12 noon to 6pm, and 4pm on Christmas Eve – from Boxing Day onwards he takes well earned rest! There is no charge to meet Santa, and he receives kids of all ages on a ‘first-come first-served basis’, treating children who have been very, very good to a special gift.




Visitors are welcome to take their own photographs with Santa, however an official Winter Wonderland photographer will be on hand to take special souvenir shots available for purchase on the day.

Don't miss the GIANT WHEEL and New for 2009 is Zippos Christmas Circus, and at 7pm every night the heated big top will present thePalace of Grand Illusionhour-long performance.

HYDE PARK CORNER

The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House

The Royal Ballet's 'Nutcracker' reigns supreme for sparkling technique, shimmering sets, dancing snowflakes and the whole seasonal shebang. The flawless Miyako Yoshida, now based in Japan and working as a guest principal with the RB, returns to dance the Sugar Plum Fairy on opening night.

Despite its sugary connotations as the bonbon of the ballet world, The Nutcracker is far from a cliché. Its plot is as crazy as it is convincing, mirrored by Tchaikovsky’s zanily eccentric orchestration, and Lev Ivanov’s inventive choreography.

The action surreally nosedives into an increasingly fantastical world, leaving the cosy domesticity of Clara’s parents' house increasingly far behind. Almost as soon as we adapt to one new world, another follows swiftly on as transformation scene follows transformation scene.

The magician Drosselmeyer sets out to find a young girl who can break the curse imposed by the Rat King on his nephew Hans Peter and restore him to human form. Mice and toys stage a pitched battle. Clara travels to the Lands of the Snow and then the Sweets accompanied by a handsome prince transformed from a broken old Nutcracker doll. All is presided over by the strange and mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Don't miss this magical performance..

The Royal Opera House

12 Nov 2009

Christmas Fairs at the National Gallery



The National Gallery's seasonal shopping evenings are classy affairs, with present hunters plied with complimentary mulled wine and mince pies while serenaded by live classical music. On offer are Christmas cards featuring paintings from the collection (with 20 per cent off on the night), handmade tree decorations, fine art books and a free goody bag for the first 50 customers through the doors on each evening.

You will find something for everyone in the National Gallery shops, from handmade and fair-trade gifts inspired by our most festive paintings, to fascinating books about the Collection with an extensive range for both children and adults. Many of our products are designed exclusively for the National Gallery so you won’t find them elsewhere.


Sainsbury Wing Shop

London Jazz Festival



The London Jazz Festival, in association with BBC Radio 3, returns to Southbank Centre promising another exceptional line-up for this year’s ten day celebration of jazz.

From Friday 13 through to Sunday 22 November this pan-London festival brings together an eclectic mix of jazz talents from across the globe, presenting international stars alongside the best emerging talent. The landmark music event offers the chance to catch an array of premieres, new commissions, free events and the Festival’s renowned learning and participation programme.

The spectacular opening celebration of the London Jazz Festival focuses on a century of song. The sumptuously arranged programme draws on significant anniversaries of jazz songs, films, singers and songwriters down the decades. Guy Barker's specially assembled London Jazz Festival Orchestra showcases brand new arrangements, highlighting the durability of these timeless works as well as the stunning vocal skills of an array of stellar vocalists, including:Cibelle, Kirsty Almeida, Krystle Warren, Kurt Elling, Natalie Merchant, Natalie Williams, Roachford, Sarah Jane Morris, Sheila Jordan“Magnificent entertainment.

Backed by Guy Barker’s terrific big band, one superb singer after another came on stage.”
The Daily Telegraph (Jazz Voice 2008)

http://www.londonjazzfestival.org.uk

29 Oct 2009

London Freeze at Battersea Power Station


The UK’s ultimate snow sports and music festival is back for 2009! Taking place in London’s Battersea Power Station from Friday 30th October to Sunday 1st November, FSO4 Freeze combines the World’s best snowboarders and skiers with a massive music line up to match. This winter we'll be transforming Battersea Power Station into London’s very own ski resort.

We've got the London leg of the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup, International Freestyle Ski Comp, alpine themed bars and 2 live music stages including the Main Stage Tent and the all new and exciting Relentless Energy Pyramid Stage. Tickets are now on sale and selling fast so be sure you don't miss out on the biggest snow sports and music festival to ever hit the UK!

Oct 30-Nov 1

Battersea Power Station, Kirtling St, SW8 5BP

27 Oct 2009

Festival of Remembrance



Each year on 11 November, we remember the men and women who gave their lives in the two World Wars and subsequent conflicts.

During the First World War, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare.

First held in 1927, the annual Festival of Remembrance honours those who risked their lives for their country. The Royal British Legion welcomes members of the Royal family, Government and the public to join in the service and two-minute silence. The event is shared by millions watching on television and listening on radio worldwide.

When: 7 November, 2pm
Where: Royal Albert Hall

22 Oct 2009

The Affordable Art Fair at Battersea Park




The Affordable Art Fair (AAF) is the place to discover and buy paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography and original prints – all priced between £50 and £3,000.

With 120 carefully selected galleries from across the UK and Europe exhibiting there is contemporary art on show to suit every taste and budget.

The forthcoming Autumn Collection (22 – 25 October) in Battersea Park, London, marks AAF’s 10th anniversary.

When Will Ramsay founded the fair in 1999 his aim was to make contemporary art accessible to everyone, and to show you don’t need to be an art expert or a millionaire to enjoy and buy art. Ten years on the fair is still a relaxed and fun way to browse a huge variety of art at one time.

AAF is a great place to spot fresh, new talent – look out for the Recent Graduates’ Exhibition at the front of the marquee which features our selection of this year’s fine art graduates.

The Education Programme offers free activities suitable for all ages, including hands-on printmaking workshops, sculpture demonstrations, an open access drawing space and kids activity packs. And for those who prefer to listen The Contemporary Art Society are running a series of talks about collecting art.

Tickets available on the door.

Battersea Park,Queenstown Rd, London, SW11 4NJ

Transport Battersea Park

Times 11am-5.30pm Thur Oct 22; 11am-6pm Fri Oct 24, Sat Oct 25, and Sun Oct 26

Prices adv (before Oct 18) £10, concs £8; on door £12, concs £10, under 16s free, drinks reception Thur Oct 18 5.30-9.30pm £20

Legoland Fireworks in Windsor




Help Indiana Jones™ lift the curse at LEGOLAND Windsor's Fireworks Spectacular!

Dark forces are set to fall upon LEGOLAND Windsor this October half term unless young adventurers can help Indiana Jones defeat the Mummy’s curse and return an artefact to its rightful place. But this is not just any artefact; it’s the Headpiece of the Staff of Ra, last seen in Indy’s very first adventure - Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Fans of the Indiana Jones movies can catch an exclusive Indiana Jones audio adventure featuring the voice of actor John Rhys-Davies, who reprises his role of Sallah especially for the Park’s biggest event of the year. Don’t miss this exclusive performance - which precedes the fireworks show each night - and hear if the ‘best digger in Egypt’ can come to the aid of his trusted friend and make the perilous journey to the Temple of Ra.


As dusk falls, you can catch the breath-taking Indy-themed firework display which promises to be the Park’s best show to date. For an added treat, there’s the chance to enjoy some of the most popular rides under the cover of darkness when the Park stays open for an extra hour after the main fireworks display.

LEGOLAND Windsor will open as usual from 10:00 and the show will commence at dusk. This is all included in the normal LEGOLAND ticket price and is FREE to Full Annual Pass holders. Rides will close approximately one hour before the show begins.


Address: Windsor Park, Berkshire, SL4 4AY


Transport: Windsor Central/ Windsor & Eton Riverside rail then shuttle service (small chg)

Prices Day tkts £37, children & seniors £28; online £33.30/£25.20

Thorpe Park Mania



Thorpe Park is one of Europe's most exciting theme parks! For a special occasion or just a fun day out with friends or family, Thorpe Park provides a truly exhilarating experience!

Visit the thrilling roller coasters, including SAW - The Ride, the first ever horror themed roller coaster, the fun starts long before you get here!





Head out of town to catch end-of-season events at the theme park, which include late-night openings offering the chance to experience the rides after dark, and a series of Horror Mazes featuring a disturbing crime scene and freakish performances renacting the seven deadly sins from 'Se7en' . Late-night events are unsuitable for under-12s and booking is essential.


Thorpe Park, Staines Rd, Surrey, Chertsey, KT16 8PN

Transport: Staines rail then 10min bus ride,by car just off the M25 at Junction 11 or 13

Times Oct 19-23 10am-8pm; Oct 17, 18 & Oct 24-Nov 1 10am-10pm

Prices £34, £24 seniors, £20 disabled & helper, £21 under-12s, £88-£105 family; online bookings are discounted

16 Oct 2009

The London Craft Fair at Somerset House




More than 150 established designers and rising stars take part each week in this showcase for contemporary craft in the UK, held in a pavilion in the courtyard. Available to buy or commission are works in disciplines spanning glass, ceramics, jewellery, metal, furniture and textiles; there are also workshops, demonstrations and talks for kids and adults, this year with a focus on basketry. Eight basket makers present their work, which includes such surprises as Laura Ellen Bacon's large-scale, bird's nest-style structures on one of the exterior pavilion walls.



In the Crafting Space area, visitors including families can take part in basketry workshops involving weaving and reconstructing familiar objects in new forms - all designed to show that basketry is a vital and contemporary craft.


At the Thursday Lates, visitors can Meet the Stylists (including Linda Barker) for fashion and interior design tips.

9 Oct 2009

The Splendour of India's Royal Courts at the V&A




Courtesy of the Maharana Mewar Charitable Foundation - © David Dunning

Thrones, gem-encrusted weapons, a Rolls Royce... there's nothing particularly subtle about the world of the maharajas as explored in this major exhibition at the V&A, which covers the period from the collapse of the Mughal empire in the early eighteenth century to the end of British rule in 1947, when Indian princes acceded their territories into the modern states of India and Pakistan. But, as well as bringing on the bling, the show looks at the changing role and influence of the maharajas - politically and socially, in India and Europe - through their patronage of artists and designers. Paintings, photography, textiles, jewellery, metalwork and furniture are on show, many coming to the West for the first time, giving an indication of princely life and ideals, court culture and alliances.

Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Rd, London, SW7 2RL

30 Sep 2009

The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair




More than 100 dealers sell traditional and decorative antiques, accessories and twentieth-century design. A foyer display of Georgian cabinet making, artisan country furniture and Festival of Britain-influenced design from Robin and Lucienne Day and Terence Conran celebrates the 'Best of British'.

AUTUMN FAIR
29 September - 4 October 2009

The Decorative Fair is a thrice-yearly specialist event for the discerning decorator looking to source unusual English and European antiques, original 20th century designs and works of art from all periods to the present day. From opulent show-stoppers to useful furniture, around 140 exhibitors offer a broad range of both fine quality and affordable pieces for inspired interiors, in the relaxed surroundings of The Marquee in leafy Battersea Park – just over the River Thames from Sloane Square and Knightsbridge. The Fair is fun, fashionable and particularly well-known as an excellent source of painted furniture, Gustavian & Swedish design, 20th century design, lighting, accessories and named-design furniture, and excellent mirrors. It’s worldwide reputation, established over 25 years, entices international trade and retail buyers, interior designers, and private customers seeking unique and unusual furnishings and quirky accessories for decorating schemes.


http://www.decorativefair.com/

28 Sep 2009

Diwali At Trafalgar Square





The annual celebration of Diwali, 'the festival of light', will again take place in Trafalgar Square between 2 and 7pm. Diwali has religious significance for Hindus, Sikhs and Jains and is celebrated by many communities throughout the capital. This free event will present a colourful programme of entertainment, including music and dance, for all Londoners to enjoy.

Read more about Diwali on the Square.





ANISH KAPOOR at the Royal Academy of the Arts







The Royal Academy of Arts presents a major solo exhibition of the internationally acclaimed artist and 1991 Turner Prize winner Anish Kapoor.

Kapoor is regarded as one of the most influential and pioneering sculptors of his generation and is celebrated for works which enter into a profound spiritual engagement with the viewer such as the early pigment sculptures;
1000 Names (1979-80), Marsyas (2002) part of the Unilever Series at the Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, and Sky Mirror, installed at the Rockefeller Centre, New York in 2006.

Born in Bombay, Anish lives and has worked in London since the 1970s. Kapoor's pieces are frequently simple, curved forms, usually monochromatic and brightly coloured. Most often, the intention is to engage the viewer, evoking mystery through the works' dark cavities, awe through their size and simple beauty, tactility through their inviting surfaces and fascination through their reflective facades.

The exhibitions runs from 26 September to 11th December at the Royal Academy of the Arts.

25 Sep 2009

The Grand Plaza Serviced Apartments, Bayswater From £69.75


Introducing the newest addition to our portfolio of Bayswater serviced apartments Grand Plaza Apartments from £69.75 for a minimum stay of 1 night.

Grand Plaza Apartments is located in the vibrant area of Bayswater, close to Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens and Notting Hill with a selection of spacious apartments available, from studios to three bedrooms all designed with stylish and modern interiors. Set in a beautiful Victorian property which has been renovated to a high standard, these apartments are an ideal base for any trip to London whether short stay or long stay. Each apartment is equipped with all the comforts of home including satellite television, dishwashers, and complimentary broadband internet access to ensure an enjoyable and comfortable stay. Maid service is offered everyday for stays of 1 to 6 nights, twice weekly for stays of 7 to 29 nights, and weekly for stays of 30 nights or greater. Business facilities are available at reception for photocopying and faxing.

A choice of English or Continental breakfast buffet is available at Grand Plaza Apartments for an extra charge. This cost is reduced if your breakfast is pre-booked.

Guests at Grand Plaza Apartments can enjoy an enviable tourist location with Whiteleys Shopping Centre, supermarkets and multi-cuisine restaurants as well as world famous Portabello Market a short distance away.

For more information on this or any other London Serviced Apartments please call us on +44 843 289 8820 or e-mail us at info@check-in-london.com for rates and availability.

23 Sep 2009

The Regent Street Festival 2009



The annual Regent Street Festival will this year see Regent Street and Absolute Radio host a joint birthday party with Madness performing an exclusive concert for the radio station on the mile of style, supported by none other than the acoustic sounds of Newton Faulkner, plus singer/songwriter/guitarist Jersey Budd and musical duo the Yeah You's.

2009 sees the Regent Street Festival celebrate its tenth year and Absolute Radio’s 1st birthday on September 27 between 12 noon and 8pm. If you are attending for the festival, our West End & Oxford Street apartments are an ideal choice for your stay.

This year the Regent Street Festival has opted for the rather appropriate theme ‘Birthdays’. Traffic free for the day, together Regent Street and Absolute Radio will provide a fun-packed day in London’s favourite shopping street, with the national radio station bringing one of London’s most loved bands, Madness, to perform an exclusive gig for listeners on Regent Street.

The most anticipated annual free outdoor extravaganza of the year, the Regent Street Festival, as usual, will offer exciting events, activities and in store offers for all the family throughout the day. All this of course, will be topped by the rock ‘n’ roll birthday bash hosted by Absolute Radio Breakfast Show DJ Christian O’Connell & Hometime DJ Geoff Lloyd.

This special day will also raise money to support Cancer Research UK’s vital study into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease. With this in mind, Absolute Radio and the Regent Street Festival will be encouraging festival goers and retailers to dig deep on the day.

The September 27 birthday party will also see Regent Street celebrate 180 years of shopping history, with many of the stores celebrating birthdays, such as Jaeger – 125, Gap – 40, Hamleys – 250, Quiksilver – 40 and Desigual & Uniqlo each hitting the 25 year mark.

There will be celebrations all day long, including live performances on the main stage and two giant Birthday cakes made of thousands of little cup cakes to be served at 3pm. Outside of Hamleys there will be a children’s lawn which will be home to face painters, animal characters, a birthday tea party, balloon artists and magicians.

And it doesn’t stop there… with a fashion show, stiltwalkers, roaming musicians, a ferris wheel, a carousel, children’s rides and street performers on hand to keep partygoers entertained throughout the day. What’s more, if you fancy a nibble or a soothing cocktail, the food quarter (comprising of Heddon Street and Swallow Street) will also be adopting the birthday theme of the day. Expect special parties, children’s menus and of course, a vast selection of those aforementioned cocktails…

For more information on this or any other top events in London, please see our London Guide. For information on London Serviced Apartments please call us on +44 843 289 8820 or e-mail us at info@check-in-london.com for rates and availability.

16 Sep 2009

The Royal Opera House



Covent Garden is one of London's busiest and central neighbourhoods, bustling with shops, eateries, open-air entertainment and popular attractions. It is also a very desirable address for short stays in London and our Covent Garden serviced apartments would be an ideal base for exploring the area further. But one of its highly visited gems is the Royal Opera House which not only happens to be a stunning building but also plays host to numerous ballet and opera performances throughout the year.

London's Royal Opera House is the home of the Royal Ballet who have performed much-loved classics like 'The Sleeping Beauty', 'Romeo and Juliet' and 'Hansel and Gretel'. Many other famous productions including 'Swan Lake' and 'The Nutcracker' also make regular appearances and attract thousands of people from around the world. Set up by the choreographer and dancer, Dame Ninette de Valois in 1931, the Royal Ballet was granted 'royal' status by the Royal Charter in 1956 on it's 25th anniversary.

When the Royal Opera House reopened after the Second World War, 'The Sleeping Beauty' by the Royal Ballet was the first performance and it was also performed by the Royal Ballet on its very first tour of America.

In addition to many stunning ballet performances by the Royal Ballet, the Royal Opera House also plays host to many spine-tingling opera performances. Classics such as Carmen, Manon and Giselle are performed regularly. If you want a more sophisticated cultural experience on your trip to London, the the Royal Opera House is the place to go. See the website for details on bookings and tickets.

Venue: Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9DD
Website: http://www.roh.org.uk/events

For more information on this or other attractions in London, please see our London Guide. For information on serviced apartments in London, please call us on +44 843 289 8820 or e-mail us at info@check-in-london.com for rates and availability.

London Design Festival



The London Design Festival takes place this September and plays host to hundreds of events across the city to showcase around 20 design disciplines, from ceramics and graphics to architecture and interiors. Highlights include the 100% Design shows at Earl's Court (Sep 24-27), open days at artists' studios, exhibitions, talks and tours. If you are attending the event in London, our Kensington serviced apartments would be an ideal base for your stay.

The London Design Festival provides a platform for the creative talent at work in the capital and all over the U.K. and creates a unique opportunity to visit over 200 specific events and activities reflecting the diversity of world-class design talent in London.

The London Design Festival is the UK’s biggest annual celebration of design and reflects London’s status as the world creative hub of design and the gateway to the international creative community. It is made up of the widest possible range of design disciplines, all of which prosper in the city. These new ideas and activities make each festival dynamic, different and uniquely London. Supported by government, the design sector, and leading businesses, the festival offers a platform for the best new design talent in London and the U.K.

The festival inspires and engages the thousands of visitors that attend the events and exhibitions each year. In particular, it supports emerging talent that reflects London’s diverse influences. Acting as an platform brand, the festival works with national museums, retailers, universities, trade shows, magazines, international design businesses and of course individual designers, all of who contribute excellence to the festival programme.

The festival works year round with London locations and attractions such as Trafalgar Square, Southbank Centre, the V&A and Somerset House to programme engaging design-related content that reflects London’s diverse design story, and makes it a global destination for new ideas and talent.

Website: http://www.londondesignfestival.com/
Location: Various - check the website for details.
Time: Check the website for details


For more information on this or any other top events in London, please see our London Guide. For information on London Serviced Apartments please call us on +44 843 289 8820 or e-mail us at info@check-in-london.com for rates and availability.

6 Sep 2009

The Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising



Do you have an affection for retro packaging and ad campaigns? The Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising is a mecca of consumer culture and details the history of consumerism, consumer products and branding in a very engaging and informative way. The walls are covered in both familiar ad campaigns and some that you may never have seen before and there are also numerous vintage toys displayed. You may even recognise some from your own childhood! The collection is that of consumer historian Robert Opie who has been collecting for over a half a century. He wanted to unravel the story of consumer products since Victorian times and he began with an exhibition in the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1975 and continued from there to open his first museum in Gloucester in 1984.

Their current exhibition celebrates the 250th anniversary of the Guinness brand by looking at their advertising over the years. Everything from posters and TV commercials to drinks trays and beer mats are displayed in the exhibition and it really is a detailed look at how a brand such as Guinness became the consumer favourite that it is today. M.H. Bateman and Edward Ardizzone are among the most well-known artists and designers commissioned by Guinness. Perhaps the most memorable images, however, are the menagerie of zoo animals devised by John Gilroy, who also came up with the iconic slogan of 'My Goodness, My Guinness'.

Location: Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising, 2 Colville Mews, Lonsdale Rd, London, W11 2AR
Nearest tube station: Notting Hill Gate
Website:
Times: 10am-6pm Tue-Sat, 11am-5pm Sun (last adm 45mins before closing); closed Mons except bank holidays
Prices: £5.80, £3.50 concs, £2 children (7-16), £14 family (2 adults + up to 4 children)

For more information on this or any other museums in London, please see our London Guide. For information on London Serviced Apartments please call us on +44 843 289 8820 or e-mail us at info@check-in-london.com for rates and availability.

3 Sep 2009

London Events: Pestival




London always has a variety of shows and events on throughout the year and what's amazing about this city is that there is something for everyone no matter what your interest may be.

Among the many interesting events taking place around the city, this rather unusual one caught our eye. PESTIVAL is a Festival of performance, talks and visual art celebrating 'insects in art and the art of being an insect'. The whole idea behind Pestival is to promote awareness of insects and the good deeds that they do for the environment which a lot of people ignore because of their squemishness! Changing the public's view of insects is a difficult one but this unique festival manages to do just that. With over 50 interactive exhibits and events, this festival is ideal for a family day out and the kids (and adults) would find it fascinating. For those thinking of staying in the area, our Waterloo serviced apartments are ideally located for this event.

There are events for adults and children, most of which are free, including visual art from the likes of Bob and Roberta Smith, the chance to walk through a structure called the Termite Pavilion in Southbank Centre Square, or step into the BeeCab, a London cab in yellow and black showing a film about the life of a bee.


You can also meet beekepers, find out how to plant an urban garden that will attract insects, and buy food created by useful pollinators at the Slow Food Market.

Paid-for evening performances include Robin Ince's night of insect comedy with guests including Garth Merenghi, Robyn Hitchcock and friends playing insect-themed songs and Chris Watson's 'The Bee Symphony'.

Website: http://pestival.org/
Dates: Sep 4-6
Location: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London, SE1 8XX

For more information on this or any other top attractions or events in London, please see our London Guide. For information on London Serviced Apartments please call us on +44 843 289 8820 or e-mail us at info@check-in-london.com for rates and availability.

18 Aug 2009

BBC Proms in Kensington




Summer is one of the best times of the year to visit London and one of the key highlights of the season is the BBC Proms music festival. Each year the BBC's classical music festival takes over London's Royal Albert Hall and Cadogan Hall, as well as other venues in Kensington. For those staying in the Kensington area or in a Kensington serviced apartment, the events taking place are only a short walk away. From talks, films, family events and much more – there's lots to entertain you over eight weeks between July and September.

A hundred concerts are taking place as part of this festival. There are 76 concerts in the Royal Albert Hall, 19 at nearby Cadogan Hall and five Proms in the Park across the UK. There's a day devoted to Indian music, a free Family Prom, a Multiple Pianos day, late-night concerts, matinée concerts, family events, films, talks, the Proms Literary Festival, a whole weekend of back-to-back concerts at Cadogan Hall on the August bank holiday... so whether you're into Bach or Bollywood, arias or ukuleles, there'll be a concert for you this year!

Proms in the Park is an outdoor musical spectacular which takes place all across the UK (Belfast, Glasgow, Caerphilly and London). Book early to be a part of this celebration of classical music.

You can book by phone, online or in person at the Royal Albert Hall (note that you can select your own seat if booking online).

Contact: 0845 401 5040
Website: www.bbc.co.uk/proms
Location: Royal Albert Hall, Door 12
Time: 9am-9pm daily

For more information on things to do in London, see our London Guide or to book a Serviced Apartment in London, please call us on +44 843 289 8820 or e-mail us at info@check-in-london.com for rates and availability.

11 Aug 2009

The London Transport Museum




Half the world's population now lives in an urban environment, a reality explored in the excellent, if hard-to-navigate, newly reopened London Transport Museum's first display; audiovisual recordings of public transport in London and five other cities - Tokyo, Shanghai, Delhi, Paris and New York. Among the vehicles on display is the first underground electric train. It had no windows because there was nothing to see underground. The trouble was that no one could tell which stop they were at, a glitch resolved by employing an athletic announcer who ran to each carriage at every station, shouting out the stops. The London Transport Museum is located in Covent Garden and is one of London's top attractions and within easy reach of our Covent Garden serviced apartments.

Dating from 1890, this is one of several museum exhibits you can view at the London Transport Museum. The design gallery is a tribute to Frank Pick, the man responsible for rolling out the London Underground brand and giving each line its own character. Pick's work included ensuring the emblematic bar and circle logo became an intrinsic part of London's visual identity, to the extent it now signifies 'tube station' without the need for words.

For children, there's an under-5s play area decorated with Steven Appleby illustrations and the chance to sit in the driver's cab of a red bus and guide a Northern Line simulator through tunnels and up to platforms, which is fun for adults too.

Location: Covent Garden Piazza, London, WC2E 7BB
Nearest station: Covent Garden or Leicester Square.
Times: 10am-6pm Mon-Thur, Sat, Sun; 11am-6pm Fri (last adm 5.15)
Prices: £10, £8 seniors, £6 students, under-16s free

If you would like more information on the London Underground, please see our blogpost on Travelling on the London Underground.

For more information on this or any other top attractions in London, please see our London Guide. For information on London Serviced Apartments please call us on +44 843 289 8820 or e-mail us at info@check-in-london.com for rates and availability.

10 Aug 2009

Sea Life: London's Aquarium




Every year many visit London for long and short family holidays and choose to stay in comfortable and spacious London serviced apartments where there is plenty of space for the kids. As a city, London has a lot to offer family groups with lots of things to do and one very popular attraction is the London Aquarium. 

The SEA LIFE London Aquarium is home to one of Europe's largest collections of global marine life and the jewel in the crown of the 28 SEA LIFE attractions in the UK and Europe. Situated in the heart of London, the experience takes visitors on an immersive and interactive journey along the Great Oceanic Conveyor.

The experience starts in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. Along the journey, a stunning glass tunnel walkway offers guests an unforgettable experience by strolling underneath a tropical ocean. There is plenty of interaction along the way, from feeding the rays and watching diving displays to touch pools and discovery zones. Other stars of the show include green turtles, seahorses, octopus, zebra sharks and the ever popular clown fish. The true highlight however, commences as guests complete their journey in the deeper darker zone of the Pacific Ocean - take a walk on the wild side and watch 6 species of shark swim beneath your feet from a floating glass platform.

Opening times: 
SEA LIFE London Aquarium is open 7 days a week (except Christmas Day).
Monday - Friday 10am - 6pm with last entry at 5pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am - 7pm with last entry at 6pm
Timings are subject to change. Please check upon your arrival.
Location: SEA LIFE London Aquarium, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, London, SE1 7PB

For more information on this or other top attractions in London, check out our London Guide or to book a Serviced Apartment in London, please call us on +44 843 289 8820 or e-mail us at info@check-in-london.com for rates and availability.

26 Jul 2009

The Galapagos Giants at the London Zoo





If you are planning on coming to London soon, then the ZSL London Zoo is a great attraction to visit and very popular with visitors and Londoners alike. They have lots of the regular animal exhibits but they also have special exhibits every now and then which are well worth a visit. We have lots of accommodation options nearby such as Camden serviced apartments so check out our website for further information.

As part of the Darwin 200 celebrations, ZSL London Zoo welcomes a group of Galapagos tortoises in a new exhibit, 'Giants of the Galapagos'. The new 'Giants of the Galapagos' exhibit includes indoor and outdoor areas with fantastic viewing points and allows the chance to get a glimpse of these rare tortoises.The exhibit has tried to replicate on the tortoises' natural habitat as much as is possible and consists of watering holes and mud wallows so that they can feel more at home in the zoo environment.

'Giants of the Galapagos' is both fun and educational, giving all ages the chance to learn about the islands of the Galapagos and the various conservation projects that are taking place there. You can compare your weight to one of these gentle giants and also learn more about Charles Darwin's visit to the Galapagos Islands in 1835.

Galapagos tortoises are the largest tortoises in the world and they can live for more than 150 years which is a pretty extraordinary feat. They carry around large shells and use them as a protective shield to hide in whenever they feel threatened.

ZSL and other organisations are involved in many conservation projects in the Galapagos Islands, where they are determined to find out more about diseases and the various threats to the Galapagos flora and fauna. 

This is a fascinating exhibit and provides the public with an insight into the lives of the tortoises and the conservation projects that are ongoing on the Galapagos Islands.

Dates: 17 July 2009 to 6 September 2009
Times: 17 Jul 2009 - 06 Sep 2009 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Venue: ZSL London Zoo
Address: Regent's Park, London, NW1 4RY
Website: http://www.zsl.org

For more information on the ZSL London Zoo or any other top attractions in London, please see our London Guide. For information on Hotel Apartments London please call us on +44 843 289 8820 or e-mail us at info@check-in-london.com for rates and availability.

Candy Cakes in Covent Garden



Mixing vibrant colours with exotic candy toppings, Candy Cakes in Covent Garden is the ultimate indulgence combining the freshest flavours with the best of cake design in the Candy Cakes muffin style. If you are looking to make your London short stay a sweet one, then this is definitely one cake shop you don't want to miss!

Candy Cakes cater for a range of tastes and some popular flavours include Spider Lovin, Strawberry Sundae, Techno Mouse, Alphabet City and the Chocolate Flyer. The flamboyant names are reflective of the fun nature of the cakes.

The Candy Cakes concept is simple: fun, playful, bright products within cafés which reflect its pop art style and sweet-shop vision. The already iconic brand sells fresh coffee, delicious cakes and cool shakes both in their boutique-retro cafés and on-line store. The eye-catching cakes and fresh coffee offer an affordable indulgence that appeals to everyone. Whether customers want to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy London streets, or grab a cake and go, Candy Cakes invites them into their kaleidoscopic world.

Address: Unit 30, Covent Garden Piazza, London WC2E 8RA
Website: http://www.candycakes.com/

For more information about this attraction or to book a holiday apartment in London, please call us on +44 843 289 8820 or e-mail us at info@check-in-london.com for rates and availability.

12 Jul 2009

Futurism at the Tate Modern



Marking 100 years since the birth of this revolutionary art movement, the Tate Modern is celebrating with an exhibition on Futurism from 12 June to 20 September. Founded by the Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti in 1909 with the publication of the Futurist Manifesto, Futurism built upon the revolutionary art practices that Cubism started and commentated more on the advent of machinery, technology and speed that punctuated modern life.

This new London exhibition examines the work of Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni and Gino Severini and explores the reaction of the art world to Futurism and also the movements that followed and drew upon the techniques of the Futurist movement. Some highlights of the exhibition include Boccioni's dynamic bronze sculpture 'Unique Forms of Continuity in Space' (1913) and Picasso's 'Head of a Woman (Fernande)' (1909) as well as major works by Braque and Duchamp.

The Tate Modern is a top London attraction and can be accessed easily by the tube and from our Tower Bridge serviced apartments.

Price: £12.20
Free for Tate Members
Location:
This show is on Level 4 of Tate Modern
Getting there: For full details of access and facilities at Tate Modern, or to find out how to get here see: Tate Modern Getting Here
Opening Hours: Exhibition Hours Sunday to Thursday, 10.00–18.00. Friday and Saturday, 10.00–22.00. Last admission into exhibitions 17.15 (Friday and Saturday 21.15).

For more information on Holiday Apartments in London, please call us on +44 843 289 8820 or e-mail us at info@check-in-london.com for rates and availability.

10 Jul 2009

Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens



In July of this year, Kensington Gardens is hosting a new interpretation of the classic J.M. Barrie story of Peter Pan in the new state-of-the-art theatre pavilion specially commissioned for this event. Kensington Gardens and Peter Pan have a special connection as J.M. Barrie lived nearby to the gardens and a statue commemorating the story was commissioned by Sir George Frampton and erected in 1912. The aptly named Neverland Pavilion is a commemorative project which marks 100 years of the story of Peter Pan. The gardens are located in central London and nearby to lots of top attractions and to our Knightsbridge serviced apartments.

This production of Peter Pan promises to be an exciting experience and a unique opportunity to see the story come to life in the place that inspired the author, J.M. Barrie. You can also take a Royal Parks Peter Pan tour around Kensington Gardens where you can learn all about the story of J.M. Barrie and Neverland, culminating in watching the show.

Address: Neverland Pavilion,West Carriage Drive, Kensington Gardens, London, W2 3XA

Times: Tue-Sat 7.30pm, Tue, Thur, Sat mats 2.30pm, Sun 3pm

Price: £22.50-£47.50, under-16s 25 per cent discount (except Sat perfs)

For more information on this and more top attractions in London, see our London Guide and for information on serviced apartments, please call us on +44 843 289 8820 or e-mail us at info@check-in-london.com for rates and availability.

8 Jul 2009

Jeff Koons at the Serpentine



The controversial American artist Jeff Koons brings his new exhibition to the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens from July until September of this year. This will be his first ever major exhibition in a public gallery space on these shores and it is greatly anticipated by both art lovers and visitors to the city. Jeff Koons is known for his boundary-pushing examination of consumerism and his transformation of banal every-day objects into art objects. This current London exhibition of paintings and sculptures at the Serpentine is known as the 'Popeye Series', and focuses on a range of objects and imagery that incorporate both art historical and pop culture references.

Jeff Koons is a controversial American artist that came to prominence in the 1970s with his inflatable art objects which were focussed on subverting the notion of the art object in the gallery and playing with ideas of commercialism in the art world.

The Serpentine Gallery is located in the stunning Kensington Gardens and is surrounded by beautiful scenery and public parks. The gallery is easily accessible from our Bayswater serviced apartments and is nearby to such top London attractions as the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Royal Albert Hall and the Natural History Museum.

Address: Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London, W2 3XA

Times: 10am-6pm daily, July to September 13.

For more information on more top attractions and museums, see our London Guide, please call us on +44 843 289 8820 or e-mail us at info@check-in-london.com for rates and availability.

Hamlet at the West End




Jude Law stars in the Shakespearean classic Hamlet in Wyndham's Theatre in the West End this upcoming May in one of his most anticipated roles to date. For anyone who does not know the story, it follows a grief-stricken Prince Hamlet who is determine to avenge his father’s apparent murder, with devastating and far-reaching consequences for his family and his kingdom.

Wyndham's Theatre in the iconic West End became a Grade II listed building in 1960 and is one of the most iconic theatres in the West End Theatre District. It has played host to many famous West End shows such as The King's Speech, the History Boys and many other Shakespearean productions such as As You Like it and Much Ado About Nothing. Based in the famous West End, it is very centrally located and for more information on apartments in this area, check out our West End & Oxford Street serviced apartments.

Michael Grandage directs Jude Law as Hamlet in Shakespeare’s iconic revenge tragedy.
29 MAY - 22 AUGUST 2009 WYNDHAM'S THEATRE , Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0DA

Performance Times:
Tuesday – Saturday 7.30pm
Matinees Wednesday, Saturday 2.30pm
Sunday 3.00pm
Please note: matinees commence on 6 June 09
Evening performance is at 7pm on 3 June 09 - no day seats available on this day.
There will be a Monday performance on 1 June 09 at 7.30pm

For more information on Entertainment in London, check out our London Guide or to book an apartment please call us on +44 843 289 8820 or e-mail us at info@check-in-london.com for rates and availability.