First residents move in to Blake Tower

Named after the poet, artist and mystic William Blake, who is buried in nearby Bunhill Fields, and not the Marvel Comics lawyer for the righteous of the same name, Blake Tower, is, as readers of Barbican Life magazine will well know, the Barbican’s fourth tower block although considerably shorter in elevation than the estate’s main tower blocks – once Europe’s tallest residential towers.  And, after three to four years of construction it has been converted from a 218 room YMCA hostel to provide 74 high specification residential units to be added to, and run by,  the Barbican Estate. The first … [Read more...]

Bye Bye Gin Joint – Hello Osteria 

Gin Joint, the Searcys-run restaurant in the Barbican Centre has had a fairly short lifespan and is to close for refurbishment on January 25th – and will re-open on February 1st (a remarkably quick refurb) as Osteria  - Italian focused restaurant and bar. As is traditional in new restaurant openings of this nature, the official opening will actually be the 11 February. During the initial ‘soft opening’ period a pre-theatre menu will be in operation for Barbican audiences between 5-7pm Monday to Sunday. The full menu will be available to the public from the 11 February. Osteria is a … [Read more...]

Sabor Iberico opened in Whitecross Street

A new Spanish tapas restaurant, Sabor Iberico, has opened at 107 Whitecross Street, EC1 and is currently offering a 25% discount on food as an opening offer.  It will also be offering a regular discount for Barbican Association members. Whitecross Street is becoming an amazing location for relatively low cost eating with its huge range of street food stalls, and small restaurants and Sabor Iberico, which occupies the premises recently vacated by the Italian-themed Alba, should be a great addition given that there are no other Spanish restaurants in the immediate vicinity. According … [Read more...]

The Broadgate seafood experience

Amongst the plethora of new restaurants which have opened within the Broadgate complex is one which specialises in sea food, mostly shellfish – with crab dishes as its speciality.  This is Crab Tavern, the only one of the new mainstream restaurants in Broadgate Circle which is a totally new concept. It does serve some meat dishes too and describes itself as following the American ‘surf and turf’ ideal, although does seem to lack the combo steak plus shrimp dishes type so beloved of the American genre.  The only one of these on the a la carte menu is their surf and turf salad comprising … [Read more...]

Tunnelling under the Barbican

BA Chair, Jane Smith, recently had the opportunity to visit one of the tunnel boring machine sites under the Barbican and this article gives her impressions of what she found to be a fascinating experience.  There aren’t too many perks from being chair of the Barbican Association – but I think visiting a Crossrail tunnel boring machine probably counts as one. Certainly, when I was offered the chance to visit TBM Elizabeth digging the eastbound tunnel under the estate on her way to Farringdon, I jumped at it. Jane Smith in full Crossrail visitor gearin one of the TBM tunnels under … [Read more...]

Barbican Flatwatch -Summer 2015.

Post election euphoria revitalising market The property sales market had entered something of a hiatus period in the January to March quarter ahead of the General Election , particularly at the higher end of the market with plus £2 million properties particularly affected in view of Labour’s proposed Mansion Tax.  Not that there are many apartments that yet fall into that price bracket here in the Barbican bar the six tower block penthouses (and the new Blake Tower ones) – and these don’t often become available.  However, it may not be long now before we do see well appointed and positioned … [Read more...]

Blake Tower – the Barbican’s new tower block

Barbican residents will mostly be well aware that the Estate is being extended by the redevelopment of the former YMCA building on the corner of Fann Street and Aldersgate Street.  The official launch of the new development, to be called Blake Tower, took place at the end of May and now we have much more detail on the design, and what the new apartments will be put on the market for in terms of price. Blake Tower exterior The development is being handled by Redrow London, and the approved plans involve the construction of 74 one, two and three bedroom apartments and studios within … [Read more...]

New video about The Barbican by the Museum Of London

The Museum of London have put together this lovely new video about the estate. Well worth a watch. … [Read more...]

Review: Club Gascon, West Smithfield

Well what can one say about Club Gascon which hasn’t been said by reviewers before.  It provides a gastronomic experience, though not necessarily to everyone’s taste, courtesy of top chef Pascal Aussignac who is an expert at blending and matching ingredients to whet one’s tastebuds.  As such it is one of three Michelin starred restaurants in the Clerkenwell/Smithfield area (the others being North Road and St. John) having maintained this culinary accolade since 2002.  Reviews by perhaps more gastronomically experienced critics than the writer are almost overwhelmingly extremely … [Read more...]

Water, water everywhere… (The Rain Room at The Barbican)

Water, water everywhere... but not a drop of it falls on you in the Rain Room. The latest show at the Curve space in the Barbican Centre, has been causing long queues since its opening in October. Kate West went to find out if it is worth the wait. I've long been a fan of the Curve Art series. Since its launch in 2006 I've seen things that I loved - roller coasting bowling balls (Jeppe Hein 2007) and guitar-playing finches (Céleste Boursier-Mougenot 2010), things that I thought I would hate but ended up loving - numerous piles of someone’s mother’s hoarded possessions (Song Dong 2012), … [Read more...]