The Barbican Estate

Former Barbican resident, Stefi Orazi is marking the 50th Anniversary of the first residents moving into the estate, with a new book, due out in October, which is a comprehensive guide to the estate and includes detailed plans for each of the 140 different flat and house types, along with beautiful photography of the building’s exteriors and interiors by Christoffer Rudquist. Stefi has interviewed Barbican residents and employees, past and present, giving a rare insight into how life on the Estate has changed over the decades. Stefi Orazi I remember very vividly the first time I … [Read more...]

Exhibition: Nursing during history’s deadliest pandemic

New exhibition marks 100 years since the deadliest pandemic in human history known as Spanish Flu  One hundred years ago, just as World War I was drawing to a close, an invisible killer more deadly than the war itself, swiftly swept across the globe, infecting half a billion people worldwide and killing 50-100 million, including 250,000 Britons.  A special exhibition at the Florence Nightingale Museum located at St Thomas' Hospital, which faces the Palace of Westminster across the River Thames on the South Bank , running from 21 September 2018 to 16 June 2019, marks the centenary of the … [Read more...]

The Time is Nigh

Just over a year ago in a Barbicania article entitled Mortality and Succession (those with internet access can read this by entering the following link into their web browser - ) I broached the inevitability of my handing over Barbican Life to a new editor. This after 15 years from my devising, designing and producing the magazine and the editing of every single issue through thick and thin. Over that period of time I have managed to get this quarterly magazine out, always on time, around a quadruple heart bypass operation, two strokes – the second of which kept me … [Read more...]

Flatwatch Autumn 2018 – Prices to Stabilise in 2019

Of the local estate agents serving the Barbican and surrounding areas, Hurford Salvi Carr (HSC) always comes up with some interesting research on both the sales and lettings markets at half yearly intervals. The latest such research, published in August suggests that overall prices have come off around 4% in the first six months of 2018 – mainly due to Brexit uncertainty and the imposition of the new Stamp Duty Land Tax and second home levy making buy-to-let a less attractive option. It should be recognised that HSC covers a rather larger area than just the Barbican, which tends to be a bit of … [Read more...]

Reading charity launches ‘Back to School’ volunteer appeal

As the new academic year approaches, national reading charity Beanstalk is stepping up its search for volunteers across London to help reach more children than ever before with its potentially life-changing reading support programmes.   This academic year the charity is aiming to support more than 1,900 children aged 3-13 across the region who are at risk of falling behind at school without intervention. In order to achieve this, Beanstalk needs volunteers to join its network of trained reading helpers to help deliver this one-to-one support in local primary schools and early years … [Read more...]

Divine Proportions

Divine Proportions is a new dining experience which runs from September 14th to January 12th at the Vaults in Waterloo, based on the story of Dionysus, God of Pleasure and Mischief. Blurring the lines between feast and fantasy, Shotgun Carousel presents an immersive party experience hosted by some of your favourite deities: ‘Five course banquet meets outrageous camp cabaret meets all night after-party’ Divine Proportions reimagines the story of the God (and sometimes Goddess) of theatre, dance and ritual ecstasy. Guests should prepare to be led on a journey to heaven and back, by your … [Read more...]

Bib Gourmand Restaurant on Charterhouse Street

Comptoir Gascon, north side of Smithfield, is a long-time Barbican gourmet bistro neighbour (opened in 2001). It is also one of Michelin starred Pascal Aussignac’s Gascony eateries and has held a Michelin Bib Gourmand since 2008 (‘Bibs’ are awarded for simple yet skilful cooking under £28). With so many new bars and restaurants opening around us it’s easy to be distracted from established classics such as this. Highest quality ingredients are sustainably sourced from small Gascony producers. Poultry is “Le Comité Renaissance” certified (highest standards for ethics and … [Read more...]

Business as usual at Gaucho

The recent news that the Gaucho Group has entered administration has caused some confusion, but the management team has confirmed it is ‘very much business as usual’ at each of its 16 restaurants around the UK.  There are at least two Gucho restaurants close by the Barbican, one on Charterhouse Street opposite Smithfield Market and one in the Broadgate complex. From London to Edinburgh, every Gaucho continues to trade through the administration period, and the sale of the business.  The company says a new owner is likely to be announced by the end of August.  “We are delighted to … [Read more...]

Free Art History Course

The Artist and the Garden – a FREE course to help people learn about art history Explore your passion for art and gardening during five-week course at the Paul Mellon Centre   For countless thousands of us in the UK, our appreciation and understanding of the myriad forms of art often comes through reading books, newspaper articles or watching TV programmes by the country’s leading academics and critics. The likes of Waldemar Januszczak, Andrew Graham-Dixon and Janina Ramirez do much to explain art history to those who have not previously studied the subject – but for those … [Read more...]

An Afternoon Tea Variety

Taking afternoon tea is very definitely becoming fashionable and very much a part of today's eating-out scene.  We have featured a number of options in the past few issues of Barbican Life and here's another selection prepared by the folk at Sauce Communications to highlight the offerings of some of their clients for National Afternoon Tea Week which is from 14th to 20th August The trendy one at Thomas’s Café at Burberry This year, celebrate Afternoon Tea Week at the fashionable Thomas’s Café in Burberry’s flagship store at 121 Regent Street. Take a front row seat in the heart of London … [Read more...]