Flat Watch Spring 2019 – Are Brexit Doubts Being Overblown?

Brexit negotiations are dragging on and both major UK political parties seem to be in turmoil over a variety of potential outcomes .  The EU is seemingly staying intransigent on their negotiation stance, and with regard to the property sales situation in particular we might have expected the Barbican market to be in a state of limbo, or in decline.  But the estate agents which handle most of the Barbican property business seem to be uniformly reporting something of a pick-up in sales and excellent business in the lettings market.  The main problem they are reporting is a lack of … [Read more...]

New Italian restaurant in Shoreditch

Shoreditch is definitely becoming one of the trendiest areas for new restaurant openings in London, and perhaps the newest, which was due to open on 22nd February, is Gloria which styles itself as a 70’s Capri-style & all-day long Trattoria run by a what it terms as a crazy bunch of 85 young and passionate people from the Bel Paese and the sunny coast of Naples. It offers what it describes as an explosive menu mixing old Italian classics, with amazing products direct from 180 small producers in Italy – plus a few fun twists from Chef Filippo. From the 10-Level Lasagna, to the … [Read more...]

Seen and Heard at the Guildhall Art Gallery

Seen & Heard, an exhibition at the City of London Corporation’s Guildhall Art Gallery is open until April 28th and features 50 Victorian paintings exploring the changing role of children in Victorian Britain. The Music Lesson, Lord Frederic Leighton, 1877. One of the paintings in the exhibition. With paintings from the Guildhall Art Gallery’s own collection and important pieces loaned by Tate Britain and the Royal Academy on display, the exhibition will include works by artists such as Pre-Raphaelite pioneer, John Everett Millais, and Thomas Webster RA, which cast the era in a new … [Read more...]

Great New St. John Street wine bar

Le Cellar, St John Street’s newly opened wine bar is definitely worth frequenting. Antonin Charlier, co-owner/managing partner is a wine expert with impressive credentials, including former buyer and bar manager for Pascal Aussignac at the Michelin starred Club Gascon restaurant and sister bar in West Smithfield as well as Bulgari Hotel & Residences. Antonin and childhood friend and entrepreneur/TV producer/yoga teacher Simon Maniora have finally realised a long-held ambition to open their own wine bar/restaurant. Le Cellar interior Le Cellar is a relatively short walk from the … [Read more...]

GSMD Principal’s Australian Award

Principal of Guildhall School of Music & Drama Lynne Williams has been awarded Member (AM) of the Order of Australia for significant service to the performing arts. The Order of Australia is the pre-eminent means by which Australia recognizes the outstanding and meritorious service of its citizens. The award will be announced in the Australia Day 2019 Honours List on 26th January 2019. Lynne Williams said: ‘I’m both appreciative and humbled by this recognition. A successful career in the arts is never a solo achievement. In accepting this AM, I’d like to pay tribute to all the … [Read more...]

Centre for Music Update

The Barbican, London Symphony Orchestra and Guildhall School of Music & Drama have released the first concept designs for their project to create a world class Centre for Music in London, as part of a progress update on their plans for the proposed new building. This update follows the recent news that the City of London Corporation has backed the next phase of work by providing £2.49 million for the three partners to undertake further design development, and to progress fundraising, business modelling and capital funding plans. The Centre for Music would be a world-class venue for … [Read more...]

All-Day Eating at LINO

On the newly redeveloped Bartholomew Close, by Barts Hospital and at the end of the road round the bend after the Neaman Practice, you will find LINO, a new all-day every day restaurant in the Barts Square zone.  The name of the restaurant was chosen because the building used to be an old linoleum and carpet warehouse.  The new interior has fondly kept the warehouse feel with original brown glazed tiles and 12-foot high double doors. The whole of this area, as you may know, has been gutted or rebuilt, so it is a credit to the designers that they have salvaged some of the décor for the … [Read more...]

Liveries unmasked

Helen Hudson unravels the mysteries of the City’s Livery Companies and Guilds and the origins and history behind the formation of these venerable City institutions.   The impressive main staircase at the Goldsmiths' Company Hall decorated for Christmas First of all, let me get this important item out there if you are looking for quirky Christmas gifts: the City and Livery website sells a drawn and decorated jigsaw puzzle map of livery halls in the City costing £30. That done, I’m going to go back to the basics on livery companies, selfishly, for my benefit, but hopefully … [Read more...]

Christmas Issue Barbican Flatwatch – Different Strokes

It’s amazing how the same piece of research can generate what appear to be totally different stories in the media.  It makes one wonder if all the accusations of ‘fake news’ which have been appearing sine President Trump came to power in the USA are actually due to differing interpretations of the same basic facts. The specific research I’m referring to here was put out by major estate agency Savills which generated seemingly totally contrasting headlines: “London prime property prices set to stagnate” trumpets the Financial Times while the rather less conservatively oriented Daily … [Read more...]

Jazz Bar on Old Street

There seems to be a whole host of bars and restaurants springing up close to the Barbican and one of the newer ones is Bugie Bar at 100 Old Street, a few yards from the top end of Whitecross Street in the direction of Old Street Station. Technically Bugie Bar is a basement cocktail bar (below a sex shop) which offers Jazz music, with live jazz performances weekly on Fridays.  Cocktails are reasonably priced and the atmosphere is lively.  It describes itself as the area’s newest ‘secret’ bar with free-flowing cocktails and a great collection of vintage jazz music.  It is currently open from … [Read more...]