Just moved to London? These are the apps you’ll need!

London

Whether you’ll be travelling or moving to London this year (2017),  this post will give you some tips on what are the most useful apps you’ll need during your stay.

Those days when we used to travel “light” with a map and a guide book only are long by now, today our daily lives are made easier by technology and the use of the phone for each little thing we might need is ingrained in our daily habits: from checking the news, emails, weather, transports and bank,  you’ll definitely need your phone, even more, when on a City Trip.

 

The Big Ben at night. Photo By Roman In London

 

  • Uber

A great app to have, it lets you find a taxi wherever you’re at, and you don’t have to deal with the hassle of paying the driver in cash as it’s all taken from your registered credit card. On the plus side, it’s about 30-50% cheaper than a traditional black cab.

  • City Mapper

Simple, sleek, and super helpful, City Mapper provides up-to-date transports times and line updates, the route planner is particularly useful, allowing you to optimise for a shorter journey or fewer changes.

  • Time Out London

You may be able to pick up a free copy of Time Out on the tube or around hotels and cafes. If you don’t find one, make sure you use the Time Out London app for suggestions of things to see. They list the latest events, culture and nightlife and have lots of suggestions for first-time visitors too.

  •  Bus London

Never wait in the cold again thanks to UK Bus Checker. The app will give you live bus times at any London stop so you know exactly when to show up at your stop to catch your ride.

  •   Meetup

If travelling solo or just looking to meet people I find this a very useful app as it gather a wide range of interests and opportunity to meet like minded people to have interesting and fun times

  •   Just Eat

This is internationally known and widely used almost everywhere. If you get too tired after a day touring the City this is a good app to use to get your dinner (or breakfast delivered).

  • Opentable

Eating out in London is quite an expensive business, but there are bargains around if you know where to look. Opentable, which handles reservations for up to 80% of London’sMichelin-starred eateries, can provide restaurant discounts on everything from quick bites to fine dining in over 4,000 UK restaurants, as well as nearby restaurant searches and the ability to book online.

  •  Currency Converter App

If coming from abroad you may not be used to the Pound and might experience the constant challenge of doing currency conversions in your head. Any currency converter app is, therefore, a must companion.

phone

 

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Roman In London: where to see it

Roman Wall

As surprising as it may sound (at least to me) the Roman Emperor Claudius invaded Britain in the year 43 AD and founded London who was named Londinium.

However, the Romans settlement didn’t last long (until around 61) when the Iceni tribe, led by Bodica, stormed in and burned it to the ground. A much bigger and stronger City rose in its place, but here and here there are still some remains of that short-lived Roman Empire influence.

The original City was built inside a set of defensive walls and some sections can still be seen today.

Roman London
In the 1300 the City was still confined within the Roman Walls. Map of the British city of London in around 1300. Vectorised version of File:Plan of London in 1300.jpg by William R. Shepherd, a work in the public domain in the United States, also its home country, by virtue of being published in 1923 without copyright renewal.

Roman Wall

Roman Wall
Roman Wall

The Roman Wall was maintained until the 18 century, some of its sections can be seen on the grounds of the Museum of London, in the Barbican Estate and around Tower Hill. It now follows roughly the boundaries of the modern Square Mile. Outdoor displays of the wall stretches can be found along the thoroughfare of London Wall, towards the Museum of London.

Roman Amphitheatre

Remains of London’s amphitheatre were recently discovered in the north of the city (1888 in Guildhall Yard), and you can visit them at the Guildhall Art Gallery. The  80m-wide dark circle of  dark stone in the courtyard outside shows where the Roman amphitheatre in London once stood.

It was built in AD70 as a simple wooden structure, it’s not clear yet what was happening inside the amphitheatre at that time, whatever animal fighting or gladiators being executed, what is sure though, is that it was a place for mass entertainment as it had a capacity to host up to 6.000 people.

Roman Amphitheatre © photo by PastLondon on Flickr

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Obsession at The Barbican: Review

Jude Law and Halina Reijn are the protagonists in Ivo van Hove’s “Obsession”, stage version of Visconti’s 1942 film at the Barbican which I went to see last weekend and this is my review of the play.

The story is an adaptation of the 1930s  crime novel  ‘The Postman always rings twice” by James Mc Cain about a man and a married woman having an affair and the plot to murder her husband.

The scenography set is minimalistic with a modern and stylish twist, but, although well-thought and very dynamic, I’ve really struggled to imagine those described Italian ambients and scenarios.

As soon as you step into the theatre hall you’re already submerged into the atmosphere as the actors are already performing their set on stage.

You can start “breathing” and witnessing the boredom of Hannah’s life in her marriage with Joseph as she lays almost stranded in the kitchen, her mind elsewhere, her anguish in the solitude while her present/absent husband carries on his work duties. The lack of communication and respect between them is already palpable.

After a few minutes, Jude Law sets his foot onto the stage and the atmosphere gets suddenly intense as the immediate erotic attraction with Hannah sets the voyeuristic expectations high. Although the focus of the acts is not onto their passion, but more on the internal conflicts of the character of Gino (Jude Law) who struggles with a debate between his wild and free side of personality versus the desire and love for a woman. However, the possibility of a stable and  (perhaps in his opinion) boring life, makes him struggle and not able to cope.  The play depicts his shifts from pure passion to boredom with the rapidity of the blink of an eye.

Jude Law interpretation is stellar in interpreting the difficult character of the moody Gino and so is the interpretation of Halina Reijn, however, especially in some fundamental parts of the story, the abstract scenography makes it harder for a viewer to fully immerse in the play.

At Barbican, London, until 20 May. Box office: 020-7638 8891.

 

 

 

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A day out in Greenwich

Greenwich is one of London’s most loved boroughs and home of some of London’s most iconic museums and landmarks like the Prime Meridian Line, the Cutty Sark or the Royal Observatory Museum.

 

Greenwich. Photo By Roman In London

 Morning:

The Cutty Sark is the first thing you’ll notice when out of the DLR, the historic merchant ship suffered from a fire in 2007 but has been restored after that.

But, let’s start the day from the Royal Observatory.The Royal Observatory is home to the Greenwich Mean Time and Prime Meridian line,  you’ll get the chance to learn about the discoveries of the 18th century while also having one on each side of the line and be in both eastern and western hemispheres at once.

Greenwich. Photo By Roman In London

Next stop is the National Maritime Museum. Here you can learn about the tales of explorers and brave sailors through an interactive collection of artefacts and displays.

greenwich
The Gypsy Moth, Greenwich. Photo By Roman In London

 

Photo By Roman In London

Lunch:

Greenwich is a great place to stop for food for its famous food market, there’s a fantastic range of street food from various part of the World, you’ll sample mini pancakes, macaroons and churros, marmalades and jam or authentic dim sum and dumplings and much more.

Photo By Roman In London

Afternoon:

After lunch, you can visit the Fan Museum, the world’s only museum dedicated to fans. Greenwich’s Fan Museum contains over 4,000 antique and unique fans dating as far back as the 11th century. The museum will take you through exhibitions about their social importance and cultural significance over time.

View from the Royal Observatory.

Evening:

You can end up your day in Greenwich in one of the most iconic pubs in London: The Gipsy Moth overlooking the Cutty Sark there is one of the most hard-to-beat views of any riverside pub.

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These are the TOP Festivals in London

You can easily associate the Spring and the Summer in London to many things: like the unmissable Pimm’s o clock, the overcrowded parks during the lunch break on a sunny day, or the long-awaited Bank Holidays (and long weekends too), but also with the Festival season!

Here’s a round out of the top festivals in London and  for this year:

April

Ceremony at Haggerston Park April 29 Price £35

East London Urban Dance Festival: Garage, Grime and House 

May

  • When: May 12-14 Peckam Rye Music Festival Price £15-20 (day) £39.50 (for the weekend)  Where: Spread across various venues in Peckam (Link here https://peckhamryemusicfestival.co.uk/)
  • When May 26-28 Where at the Dome Price £17.50 – £25 (day) £60 (Weekend) Raw Power Festival. 
  • When May 26-28 We are FSTVL (Carl Cox,Basement Jaxx, Katy B and many more) Where at the Damnys Hall Aerodrome Price £67.50  (day) £119.50 (Weekend)

  • When May 27-28 Where at Victoria Park Steel Yard London EDM Kingpins (Martin Solveig amongst others) Sat Sold Out, Sun £45
  • When May 28 Where at Brockwell Park Gala Price £25-£30

June

  • When Jun 3  Where Various venues Camden Rocks £39.50
  • When Jun 3 Where at Victoria Park Field Day £64.50
  • When: Sat June 10th Where: Boston Manor Park, Brentford  Junction 2 Croatian inspired music festivals running for its second year. Price £39.50 http://www.junction2.london/
  • When: Sat June 10th Where: Various Venues Shepherds Bush Bushstock  http://www.bushstock.co.uk Price: £24
  • When: Fri June 30 Where: Hyde Park, Kensington  British Summer Time  http://www.bst-hydepark.com/tickets/30th-june-phil-collins Line up includes: Phil Collins Price £52.50-£72.50

July

  • When: Sat 1st July Where: Hyde Park, Kensington  British Summer Time  http://www.bst-hydepark.com/tickets/30th-june-phil-collins Line up includes: Green Day Price £52.50-£72.50

 

  • When: Sun 2nd July Where: Hyde Park, Kensington  British Summer Time  http://www.bst-hydepark.com/tickets/30th-june-phil-collins Line up includes: Justin Bieber Price £52.50-£72.50
  • When: Thursday 6th of July Where: Hyde Park, Kensington  British Summer Time  http://www.bst-hydepark.com/tickets/30th-june-phil-collins Line up includes: Kings of Lion Price £52.50-£72.50
  • When: Sunday 9th of July Where: Hyde Park, Kensington  British Summer Time  http://www.bst-hydepark.com/tickets/30th-june-phil-collins Line up includes: Tom Petty and the HeartBreakers  Price £52.50-£72.50
  • When: Friday 14th Sat – 15th Of July Where: Victoria Park LoveBox http://loveboxfestival.com/

 

lovebox line up

  • When: Sunday 16th July Where: Victoria Park  Citadel Festival Price £49.50

August

  • When: 5 August Where: Central London Bloomsbury Eastern Electrics From £24.95
  • When: 5 August Where: Trent Park Oakwood 51st State Festival From £35-£65
  • When: 12 August Where: Brockwell Park, Herne Hill Sunfall From £50-£60
  • When:26 August 27 Sunday August  Where: Clapham Common South West Four  £49.50-£99 pre-sale   http://www.southwestfour.com

A Roman In London

 

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The Fog at The Tate | Fujiko Nakaya

London Fog, by Fujiko Nakaya, 2017, on the South Terrace of Tate Modern’s Switch. Photo By Roman In London

 

You may have noticed a mist of fog descending on the Tate Modern’s South Terrace. If you’ve been wondering what that was, it’s part of their new live exhibition, Ten Days, Six Nights.

The new installation is from 83-year-old Japanese fog-sculptor Fujiko Nakaya, which launched officially on the 24th od March. Nakaya, who first came to prominence through her collaboration with Experiments in Art and Technology (EAT) in 1970 and has been working with water vapor for over 40 years trying to develop a system to disperse water vapor at high pressure to create a cloud of mist.

A few of her installations have adorned bridges in Bristol, the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao and Philip Johnson’s Glass House.

This particular amorphous work acts as a barometer, reading shifts in atmospheric conditions – sometimes producing a faint mist, other times rocketing out great puffs of smoke. Of the work, Nakaya says:

‘Nature controls herself. I try and let nature speak.’

This was the time in the 60s when everyone was out on the streets. So, I didn’t want to paint clouds, I wanted it to interact with the environment,” she has said.

Walking inside fog, people are suddenly confronted with white darkness, but soon they find themselves trying to use all the senses other than the visual to orient themselves.

People love the feel of fog on their skin, immersed, wet and cold, but gentle and soothing. It’s a primary experience.

 

Info: Permanent Installation, South Terrace: Fujiko Nakaya, London Fog with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Shiro Takatani

Address

Tate Modern
Bankside
London
SE1 9TG

 

 

 

 

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Staycation this Easter? Here’s what London has to offer

As spring gets underway, this will guide you through

the best of the calendar this April

 

1. Art & Exhibitions

 

Watch Twelfth Night

In casting Tamsin Greig as “Malvolia”, director Simon Godwin refocuses Twelfth Night. Tamsin Greig stars in the National Theatre’s adaptation of this beloved Shakespearean classic where romance and gender collide with comedic flair.

Tickets from £15 at Nationaltheatre.com.

 

Master the art of the selfie

We all knew it: It was only a matter of time until someone decided that a selfie can be classified as a work of art. The Saatchi Gallery is –  as always – one step ahead of the curve with its pioneering exhibition: From Selfie to Self-Expression.

Free admission at Saatchigallery.com.

 

2. Easter Choccolate Treats

Try a chocolate scotch egg

Decadent cream egg-style fondant. covered in a brownie ganache and then rolled in crushed mini eggs. Is your mouth watering yet?

 

Photo Credits Channel4

3.Things to Do

“The Passion of Christ”

Participate in a mass religious-inspired performance of Jesus’ final days. As every year a re-enactment of Jesus’ final days, via a free performance from more than 100 actors, volunteers and performers. The 90-minute performances  are also projected onto big screens,

Friday 14th April; 12pm and 3.15pm, Trafalgar Square

The wildest egg hunt

An Easter egg hunt alongside entertainment and activities. This Easter Sunday you’ll be witnessing the  ‘the wildest egg hunt in South London’ – with lots of fun and “wild” activities such as magicians, craft activities, performers and face painters. This event is for all ages all day before Midnight Riot Records take over at nightfall for an epic adults-only after-party.

Credits Travioor

Sunday 16th April  at Pop Brixton

Easter Light Show & 500th anniversary at Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace is celebrating its 500th anniversary this year over the Bank Holiday Weekend. This will involve a  live cooking event in the Tudor Style,  and the launch of TimePlays – a series of micro-plays telling the stories of the palace’s rich history.

There is also a spectacular Easter Light Show every evening. hcp500.hrp.org.uk

 

Southbank Easter Fun Fair

Workshops, family activities, dance schools and parties at Southbank Centre, easter Food Market, even a bunny. This is what you wouldn’t really want to miss out. FOMO is bad.

https://southbanklondon.com/our-guide-to-easter-on-south-bank

When 1-17 Apr

 

Tall Ships Regatta

More than 30 vessels sailing along the Greenwich and Woolwich riverfronts for you to enjoy river-themed activities and fireworks.

13-16 Apr

 

Photo credits VisitsLondon

 

Easter Opening Hours and Transport in London

Good Friday and Easter Monday are both public holidays.

Most attractions are open over the Easter bank holiday, but check with individual venues in advance; particularly to find what is open on Easter Sunday in London. Shops are closed on Easter Sunday, Public transport services, including the London Underground, may be reduced between Good Friday and Easter Monday, so plan your journey in advance.

 

 

 

 

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Cerith Wyn Evans at The Tate Britain

Cerith Wyn Evans art Installation. Photo By Roman In London

Cerith Wyn Evans art Installation. Photo By Roman In London.

A neon explosion of glow has recently been installed at the Tate Britain’s Duveen Galleries. Welsh Artist Cerith Wyn Evans’s new masterpiece Forms in Space…by Light (in Time) has won this year Tate Britain Commission.

‘Cerith’s installation sits beautifully within the space, unfolding as you walk through,’ explains Clarrie Wallis, Tate’s Senior Curator of Contemporary British Art.

It seems all random when you walk in but it’s not.  As you come closer under the suspended lighting hanging from the ceiling, you can actually notice that there are patterns: cones, triangles, ovals.

There’s a rhythm to this mass of electricity. Apparently, hidden in the design are references to a host sources, from Japanese ‘Noh’ theatre to Marcel Duchamp’s The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass), 1915-23 (Noh is a traditional form of dance from Japan).  Marcel Duchamp, the father of conceptual art is also an inspiration for the artist.

You can see this installation until the 20th of August

Info:

 Duveen Commission, March 2017.

Address: Millbank
London
SW1P 4RG
Opening hours: Daily 10am-6pm (last admission for special exhibitions 5.15pm)
Transport: Tube: Pimlico/Vauxhall
Price: free
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#Wearenotafraid: London 22.03.2017

 

 

 

 

 

What happened?

Last Wednesday the 22nd March 2017 four people died in Westminster attack.

A policeman has been stabbed and his apparent attacker shot by officers at the Houses of Parliament.

Up to one dozen people were also injured after a car mowed down people on Westminster Bridge.

However, we all need to stay united and strong and not let fear command our lives. #PrayForLondon

 

 

 

 

 

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David Hockney Exhibition at the Tate Britain

Firstly, thanks to the David Hockney Exhibition, I had the chance to visit for the first time the Tate Britain (which is an astonishing museum by the way) as – oddly enough –  I never did since moving to London.

Secondly, I was very curious to see this exhibition and, although when it comes to art I’m quite easily pleased, this exhibition has impressed me in a quite unique way: the eclectic-ness of his art, the colours, the subtle humour revealed in some of his paintings (made me giggle a couple of times at the very least) along with the variety of the subjects of his representations: from daily life to unusual perspectives, all caught with a unique cleverness.

This exhibition is currently displaying 60 years of works of the Yorkshire-born English Artist, and it spans from the early stage while being a student in Los Angeles to the newest works made since his return to California.

 

Tate Britain
Tate Britain. Photo by Roman In London


David Hockney was born in 1937 and is one of the most popular artist of our time.

David Hockney. Credits HuffingtonPost

 

He has frequently challenged and questioned the conventions with his works, as with the protocols of perspective or simply by playing satirically with abstract art.

 

David Hockney Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) 1972 Private Collection © David Hockney Photo Credit: Art Gallery of New South Wales / Jenni Carter

During the 60’s Hockney moved to California and set out to paint that Country. The openness of the space or the geometry of the buildings and designs of the houses.

He is truly fascinated by the colours and at the same time questions of how could a painter capture the constant moving and transparent qualities of glass or water were absorbing him.

“WINTER TIMBER” 2009 OIL ON 15 CANVAS Credits Pinterest

 

 

David Hockney Garden with Blue Terrace 2015, Private Collection © David Hockney Photo Credit: Tate

Naturalistic representations were part of the late 60′ works. A series of still lifes and landscapes enabled him to master the qualities of acrylic paints.

 

Garrowby Hill, 1998 oil on canvas, Credits Pinterest

As mentioned earlier I have loved this exhibition and truly recommend it.

Tate Britain. Photo By Roman In London

 

Tate Britain. Photo By Roman In London

 

Tate Britain. Roman In London

 

Sculpture. Photo By Roman In London

 

Details of the interior of the building. Photo By Roman In London

 

View of the Big Ben. Photo By Roman In London

Info

Dates: 9 February – 29 May 2017

Final weekend:
Friday 26, Saturday 27, and Sunday 28 May open until midnight
Monday 29 May open until 21.00

PRICING

£19.50

A Roman In London

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