Fentimans Secret Spritz Garden in Farringdon this August

In the middle of bustling Farringdon, hidden behind ivy covered walls and unknown to passers-by, lies the Order of St. John’ Cloister garden, which will be taken over by Fentimans for three weeks in August as its Secret Spritz Garden.   It will be a hideaway filled with fragrant herbs, aromatic plants and Fentimans spritz cocktails. Created by the botanical soft drink and mixer makers Fentimans, the Secret Spritz Garden will be an oasis for after-work drinks and savoured weekend cocktails during the parched August days. Filled with medicinal herbs and plants, at the heart of the … [Read more...]

Two Shoreditch Restaurants in World Top 50

At a recent  ceremony in Singapore, the world’s 50 top restaurants were ranked and included only two from the U.K. – both in Shoreditch so within easy range of Barbican fine diners.  The Clove Club, located in the Old Shoreditch Town Hall came in at 27th and Lyle’s on Shoreditch High Street at 33rd.  Top spot was awarded to Mirazur near Menton on the French Riviera. This 50 best listing of world restaurants has been running since 2002 and is compiled by William Reed Business Media based out of Crawley in the south east of the UK and is based on reports from over 1,000 industry experts.  … [Read more...]

Barbican Flatwatch Summer 2019 – 50 Years and Still Going Strong

It is interesting to look back over prices of Barbican properties in the 15 or so years we have been publishing Barbican Life.  In our first issue in a feature with the rather anodyne title of Barbican Housing Market – it became Flat Watch in our second issue in Summer 2004 – we looked at pricing per square foot for asking prices for Barbican properties and came up with an average of £472 per square foot.  There was obviously something of a variation based on decorative order of the properties for sale and their location within the Estate with high elevation tower block properties commanding … [Read more...]

Our Concrete Utopia – Revisited

It is always interesting to see how the Barbican is viewed by outsiders in terms of both architecture and as a living space.  The following article was first published in the September 2016 edition of N for Norwegian, the in flight magazine for Norwegian Air Shuttle.  With the 50th Anniversary of the first residents moving into the estate it is worth revisiting this view of how an outsider views the finished product. A maze of 21 residential blocks and a world-renowned Arts Centre, London’s Barbican was designed as a radical solution to urban living – but only now, 50 years after building … [Read more...]

Update: Angler’s Terrace Collaboration

We recently reported on Michelin-starred Angler’s rooftop terrace launching a picturesque summer bar in collaboration with international award-winning gin producers, Cambridge Distillery.  We have now had a chance to try it out and can report that it is a great cocktail destination with some exceedingly pleasant gin-based cocktails - most welcome for an early evening break in our case. The Angler Terrace on the 7th floor of the South Place Hotel, and adjacent to one of the best fish restaurants in London - awarded a Michelin star in its first year - is a quintessentially British terrace … [Read more...]

Barbican Life – The First 15 Years

Barbican resident Lawrence Williams recounts the founding and 15 years of editing of this magazine which has built up from an initial 32 page plus covers issue back in  March 2004 to a much larger, and ever more profitable, version nowadays. The Barbican Estate residential complex may have reached its 50th year of occupancy, but Barbican Life magazine has only been going for 16 of these years, and is now being edited by the second editorial incumbent, Helen Hudson, who took over from me at the beginning of this year.  15 years is probably sufficient time to remain in post, but in my … [Read more...]

Angler Terrace Collaboration with Cambridge Distillery

Having started  from the 7th May and running until the end of August, Michelin-starred Angler’s rooftop terrace has launched a picturesque summer bar in collaboration with international award-winning gin producers, Cambridge Distillery. This quintessentially British terrace will bring Cambridge countryside charm to the city, offering refreshing gin cocktails amidst a haven of overflowing, blooming summer flowers and foliage. Founded in 2012 by husband and wife team, William and Lucy Lowe, Cambridge Distillery started out with the couple creating a laboratory in their living room. Inspired … [Read more...]

Artillery Arms update

An ever-popular ‘local’ for some Barbican residents, the Artillery Arms on Bunhill Row has had a relatively recent change of manager - Amelie has replaced Tony in this position - who has introduced some changes. The pub  first opened its doors as the Blue Anchor Tavern in 1831 further down the road from the present location (which incidentally still houses the original bar). The current name dates from 1856. The Blue Anchor was known for rat baiting events held in the cellar. In 1835, the Cruelty to Animals Act prohibited the baiting of any bulls, dogs, cocks and any other animal, but no … [Read more...]

Classy Italian dining in the Barbican Centre

Barbican residents are pretty well served with places to eat across the price spectrum without even having to leave the complex.  There are three licensed restaurants within the Arts Complex itself which all do particularly well, when there are performances on in the theatre and concert hall, but which deserve better at other times given the generally high quality of the food and the facilities on offer. Pride of place among these is Osteria on Level 2 (the library level), which is the complex’s flagship restaurant run by Searcy's, a group which offers high quality private catering … [Read more...]

New HAZ Turkish restaurant on Finsbury Square

The HAZ group of Restaurants has been something of a success story for Turkish-style cuisine in London and the group’s latest opening, its sixth, occupies the space in Finsbury Square’s Alphabeta building previously occupied by the rather shortlived branch of The Modern Pantry. HAZ has built itself up based on the experience and passion of its three Turkish founders. Using fresh, local, seasonal ingredients, and taking great inspiration from its heritage and ancient Turkish cooking techniques, its aim has been to celebrate Mediterranean flavours and provide a true taste of the Turkish … [Read more...]