Fire has always been a bit of an obsession with humankind. When the principles of light began to be understood over two centuries ago, it had a profound effect on work, life and the arts. The van Gogh Museum tries to highlight this time of profound change, using 300 objects. Pieces on display include the Statue of Liberty from the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, the first projection lantern, Monet’s ‘Rouen Cathedral: The Portal (in the morning)’ and the first sharp photos of the moon. Van Gogh’s ‘Potato Eaters’ occupies centre stage.
August 1, 2011
August 13, 2010
In the age of neo-this and fusion-that cuisine, it’s refreshing to find a new restaurant that boldly embraces tradition. Chef John Harris has firmly positioned his Lilette as a French restaurant. Food is prepared in classic haute cuisine style while using as many fresh, regional ingredients as possible. The menu is small but carefully thought-out with a mixture of the familiar (potato gnocchi, oyster soup) and the more complicated (potato-crusted black drum, roasted muscovy duck). The wine list is quite large and deserts are rich.
July 30, 2010
Dozens of bars, caf?s, clubs and restaurants are situated in Soho and
Covent Garden; the best way to explore is to cruise around on foot,
although a few venues stand out. Bar Rumba ,
one of the best dance clubs in town, plays host to a series of
excellent one-nighters: Monday has jazz, funk and drum ‘n’ bass;
Tuesday, Latin; it’s deep house on Wednesday; drum ‘n’ bass on
Thursday; New Skool beats on Friday; and garage on Saturday. Each night
is among the best of its type. Equally popular is The Wag , a
stylish club on three floors that similarly plays host to a wide
variety of music. Midweek sees indie-rock nights; Friday, an ’80s retro
session; while ‘Blow Up’ is one of the best parties around on Saturday,
a night that takes its inspiration from ’60s soul and pop, but that
plays all kinds of ‘lounge’ tunes and big beat too.
The Velvet Room ,
on Charing Cross Road, is a luxuriously appointed ‘club bar’ that also
hosts an excellent drum ‘n’ bass Wednesday-nighter (‘Swerve’) and a
great techno and deep house night on Thursdays (‘Ultimate BASE’).
Stylish ‘club’ clothes should normally guarantee admission. Nearby,
opposite the Centrepoint building, is LA2 , home to ‘Carwash’ on
Saturdays, the best disco night in town but one for which you must
dress the part (ie like an extra from Saturday Night Fever).
July 27, 2010
This is surely the biggest trance bonanza ever in the city. The venerable Loco is taken over by a multitude of live trance and DJ acts for 17 hours of acid beats. The list of people involved is much too long to cover in full, but headliners include Ananda, Driss, Joker, Krystal, virtaurt, Ninja and Cosmososquad. The evening costs 50F – proper value for money at less than 3F an hour.
July 26, 2010
July 25, 2010
July 23, 2010
Sexton’s constant touring and dynamic live show is starting to win him a highly devoted core of fans, and his dramatic, funny and lovingly crafted folk-rock songs deserve it. Like most of his recordings, his most recent album ‘Wonder Bar’ is a hit-and-miss affair, but live he sets the songs afire with a voice that is unmatched in contemporary pop and that’s part of his appeal. Once you hear him sing, you want to repeat the pleasure over and over.
July 21, 2010
If you haven’t yet seen the one-man comedy everyone’s been raving about, catch it on its return to Johannesburg, this time to Pieter Toerien’s new venue. ‘Defending the Caveman’ is a hilarious exploration of the gender gap and tackles the eternal, baffling and seemingly insurmountable differences between men and women. Tim Plewman remains unerringly enthusiastic in his role as the hero, anxious to defend the beleaguered male. Bound to get you laughing.
July 19, 2010
Africa by Africans is the subject of this show, housed in the small, but ever-enterprising, Hendrik Christian Andersen Museum. Appealingly entitled ‘I Ka Nyi’ Tan’ (Now don’t move!’) this collection of photographs showcases the work of Seydou Keita and Malick Sidibé, two artists from Mali who, for the past 50 years, have documented the political and cultural upheavals that have beset their country and continent. This exhibition is informative and extremely moving in equal measure.
July 16, 2010
This little restaurant on one of Paris’ newly hip streets, a stone’s throw from the ever-bustling place de Clichy, promises heavenly pleasures at down-to-earth prices. With good-humoured and accommodating service, this is a fine place to taste such successful variations on French standards as cassolette de ravioles (a rich, layered gratin of pasta, cheese and béchamel sauce) or an exquisite combination of spinach and scallops wrapped in crisp brik pastry and served in a pool of aniseed-scented cream.