Philippa Gregory

“There are two great dates in my diary for October.  The first is Britain’s oldest book festival - Cheltenham.  Since 1949 readers have flocked to the Gloucestershire town to enjoy its stellar literary lineup.  For me, it's a chance to meet up with old friends, talk to readers, and listen to some inspiring writers.  I urge anyone who loves reading to visit - you won’t be disappointed. The second, is a research trip to one of my favourite places, Venice.  After the summer crowds have left, it’s a chance to enjoy the last few days of sunshine whilst exploring the history and culture of this beautiful city.”

Philippa Gregory

ART: Kara Walker, Tate Modern

October sees the opening of the 5th installment of the 10 year Hyundai commission at the Turbine Hall, with New York based artist  Kara Walker.  She will transform the hall with her ambitious artwork that is known for its candid explorations of race, sexuality and violence. Since Tate Modern opened in 2000, the Turbine Hall has hosted some of the world’s most acclaimed works of contemporary art, reaching an audience of millions each year. The way artists have interpreted this vast industrial space has revolutionised public perceptions of contemporary art in the twenty-first century. The annual Hyundai Commission gives artists an opportunity to create new work for this unique context. Walker’s work often comprises of black cut-paper silhouetted figures, referencing the history of slavery and the antebellum South in the US through provocative and elaborate installations. Her drawings, sculptures, film and more recently large scale installations, have featured prominently in exhibitions around the world since the mid-1990s. We can’t wait to see what she has in store for the space in the Turbine Hall, referencing the wider context of London and British history.   Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

October sees the opening of the 5th installment of the 10 year Hyundai commission at the Turbine Hall, with New York based artist Kara Walker. She will transform the hall with her ambitious artwork that is known for its candid explorations of race, sexuality and violence. Since Tate Modern opened in 2000, the Turbine Hall has hosted some of the world’s most acclaimed works of contemporary art, reaching an audience of millions each year. The way artists have interpreted this vast industrial space has revolutionised public perceptions of contemporary art in the twenty-first century. The annual Hyundai Commission gives artists an opportunity to create new work for this unique context. Walker’s work often comprises of black cut-paper silhouetted figures, referencing the history of slavery and the antebellum South in the US through provocative and elaborate installations. Her drawings, sculptures, film and more recently large scale installations, have featured prominently in exhibitions around the world since the mid-1990s. We can’t wait to see what she has in store for the space in the Turbine Hall, referencing the wider context of London and British history.

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DRINKS: London Cocktail Week, 10th Anniversary

London Cocktail Week  has long been a celebration of the amazing cocktail scene in our fair city. Ten years long to be precise because 2019 marks their tenth anniversary, so to celebrate, the week has been extended to ten whole Martini, Manhattan & Mojito filled days. Hurrah. There are three parts to the festivities: 1) Get yourself a pass on the DrinkUp.London app and enjoy £6 cocktails at over 300 different venues across town. 2) Go to the Cocktail Village in the heart of Brick Lane for festival vibes with music, food and err….cocktails of course. Or 3) Read up on the events schedule to see which venues are hosting their own mini events, all of which have been approved by the mixologist experts and creators of LCW. We can’t name everyone involved but to give you a taste of what’s in store then know that bars include 68 & Boston, Aqua Kyoto, Hacha, Nine Lives, Fam, Bar Elba, Blind Pig and many many more and events include flavour journeys, mixology lessons and DJ takeovers. Just drink responsibly....and don’t use plastic straws. Thanks.   Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

London Cocktail Week has long been a celebration of the amazing cocktail scene in our fair city. Ten years long to be precise because 2019 marks their tenth anniversary, so to celebrate, the week has been extended to ten whole Martini, Manhattan & Mojito filled days. Hurrah. There are three parts to the festivities: 1) Get yourself a pass on the DrinkUp.London app and enjoy £6 cocktails at over 300 different venues across town. 2) Go to the Cocktail Village in the heart of Brick Lane for festival vibes with music, food and err….cocktails of course. Or 3) Read up on the events schedule to see which venues are hosting their own mini events, all of which have been approved by the mixologist experts and creators of LCW. We can’t name everyone involved but to give you a taste of what’s in store then know that bars include 68 & Boston, Aqua Kyoto, Hacha, Nine Lives, Fam, Bar Elba, Blind Pig and many many more and events include flavour journeys, mixology lessons and DJ takeovers. Just drink responsibly....and don’t use plastic straws. Thanks.

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MUSIC: Ministry of Sound, The Annual Classical

We’ve ALL got a Ministry of Sound annual somewhere in the cupboard but some may not have been out for a ‘spin’ in a while. However, if the classics still get you going but your idea of musical enjoyment has moved on from bouncing around a sweaty club, to listening to Spotify over a dinner party, then the  Ministry of Sound Annual Classical  could be what you’re looking for. At the Royal Festival Hall this Friday 4th October, The Ministry of Sound has joined forces with some of the most talented players in classical music to create their take on what an Orchestral performance can be. Based on the early editions of their era-defining The Annual compilations, each performance features a full 50-piece orchestra performing iconic dance classics, completely rearranged and reinterpreted for 2019. They’ve handpicked the best tunes including tracks from The Chemical Brothers, Dario G, Faithless and Fatboy Slim to name a few. Tickets are from £30 for the 160 minutes of performances but act fast as the tickets that remain aren’t likely to be available for long.   Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

We’ve ALL got a Ministry of Sound annual somewhere in the cupboard but some may not have been out for a ‘spin’ in a while. However, if the classics still get you going but your idea of musical enjoyment has moved on from bouncing around a sweaty club, to listening to Spotify over a dinner party, then the Ministry of Sound Annual Classical could be what you’re looking for. At the Royal Festival Hall this Friday 4th October, The Ministry of Sound has joined forces with some of the most talented players in classical music to create their take on what an Orchestral performance can be. Based on the early editions of their era-defining The Annual compilations, each performance features a full 50-piece orchestra performing iconic dance classics, completely rearranged and reinterpreted for 2019. They’ve handpicked the best tunes including tracks from The Chemical Brothers, Dario G, Faithless and Fatboy Slim to name a few. Tickets are from £30 for the 160 minutes of performances but act fast as the tickets that remain aren’t likely to be available for long.

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CREATE: Life Drawing Workshop

It’s never too late to learn new skills or to push your creative side and art is a brilliant way to not only express yourself but also to focus your mind. Living in London, a hotbed for creativity, it’s not hard to find a plethora of classes to try and our pick of the bunch this month is a life drawing workshop with London Drawing. Held at  Artizan St Library  on the 12th October, their workshop will not only teach you the art skills you need but you’ll also gain a better understanding of human anatomy with the class taught by John Close, an artist and anatomist. The workshop was devised as part of a series they were commissioned to run at The Wellcome Collection and explores the fabric of the human body from the inside out using a range of imaginative processes. From bones through to muscles, you explore it all in order to consider the physicality of the surface of the body. The 6 hour class costs £69 and all materials are provided but most important of all, it’s open to all abilities so even if you back yourself with some pastels or have never sketched a thing in your life- this workshop will suit you all. You can also find detail on all their other brilliant classes, on their  website .   Instagram

It’s never too late to learn new skills or to push your creative side and art is a brilliant way to not only express yourself but also to focus your mind. Living in London, a hotbed for creativity, it’s not hard to find a plethora of classes to try and our pick of the bunch this month is a life drawing workshop with London Drawing. Held at Artizan St Library on the 12th October, their workshop will not only teach you the art skills you need but you’ll also gain a better understanding of human anatomy with the class taught by John Close, an artist and anatomist. The workshop was devised as part of a series they were commissioned to run at The Wellcome Collection and explores the fabric of the human body from the inside out using a range of imaginative processes. From bones through to muscles, you explore it all in order to consider the physicality of the surface of the body. The 6 hour class costs £69 and all materials are provided but most important of all, it’s open to all abilities so even if you back yourself with some pastels or have never sketched a thing in your life- this workshop will suit you all. You can also find detail on all their other brilliant classes, on their website.

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BOOK: Fashion W*nkers: It takes one to know one

If you don’t like gratuitous swearing then please move on… New book, Fashion Wankers, is a celebration of fashion passion. Guided by unashamed Fashion Wanker and style blogger  The Chic Geek,  and featuring Oscar Mitchell’s unique illustrations, it offers an amusing crash course in the dos and don’ts of making your way in the confusing world of style. A cult character of the fashion bloggersphere, The Chic Geek, a.k.a. Marcus Jaye, was established in 2009 and has grown to become one of the UK’s most respected and influential blogs on style and fashion. The insatiable beast of fashion is everywhere today, and, regardless of price point and location, we can all have fun feeding its appetite. You will discover the fundamentals of fads and fashions, learn the essentials of shopping and blagging, and catwalk through a spotter’s guide to 16 distinctive style tribes and their accessories. Once you learn to recognize your fellow Fashion Wankers, you will discover the fun of creating a Fashion Wanker look all of your own. It also comes with its own fun fold-out, style-guide game of #FashionWankers Bingo. Buy your copy  here  when it’s released on the 7th October. Now, have we said the W word enough? Wanker.   Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

If you don’t like gratuitous swearing then please move on… New book, Fashion Wankers, is a celebration of fashion passion. Guided by unashamed Fashion Wanker and style blogger The Chic Geek, and featuring Oscar Mitchell’s unique illustrations, it offers an amusing crash course in the dos and don’ts of making your way in the confusing world of style. A cult character of the fashion bloggersphere, The Chic Geek, a.k.a. Marcus Jaye, was established in 2009 and has grown to become one of the UK’s most respected and influential blogs on style and fashion. The insatiable beast of fashion is everywhere today, and, regardless of price point and location, we can all have fun feeding its appetite. You will discover the fundamentals of fads and fashions, learn the essentials of shopping and blagging, and catwalk through a spotter’s guide to 16 distinctive style tribes and their accessories. Once you learn to recognize your fellow Fashion Wankers, you will discover the fun of creating a Fashion Wanker look all of your own. It also comes with its own fun fold-out, style-guide game of #FashionWankers Bingo. Buy your copy here when it’s released on the 7th October. Now, have we said the W word enough? Wanker.

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HALLOWEEN: Classic Horror Marathon

The fact that Halloween is around the corner is enough to make us all scream. Wasn’t it the July London heatwave, like, last week?! The terror of time aside, the fact is, we really do need to get the face paints, out, cut eye holes in a bed sheet or whack a dishevelled festival flower crown on our heads and tell everyone we’re dressed as Day of the Dead, because All Hallows Eve is on the horizon. As it’s frowned upon for fully grown adults to trick or treat without risk of police interception, might we recommend you pop to the  Prince Charles Cinema  on Friday 18th October for an all night long horror movie marathon? From 9.15pm that evening, settle in for screenings of Ringu, Poltergeist, Alien, The Fly, Hellraiser and A Nightmare on Elm Street. How frightfully fun. The (obvs) over 18’s night runs through to 9am the next day by which time you should be suitably spooked and ready to catch the bus home for a nap...with one eye open. Tickets are £20 and you can buy yourself some trick or treat snacks and drinks there, to keep you going. Maybe an espresso martini to keep the energy levels up?   Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

The fact that Halloween is around the corner is enough to make us all scream. Wasn’t it the July London heatwave, like, last week?! The terror of time aside, the fact is, we really do need to get the face paints, out, cut eye holes in a bed sheet or whack a dishevelled festival flower crown on our heads and tell everyone we’re dressed as Day of the Dead, because All Hallows Eve is on the horizon. As it’s frowned upon for fully grown adults to trick or treat without risk of police interception, might we recommend you pop to the Prince Charles Cinema on Friday 18th October for an all night long horror movie marathon? From 9.15pm that evening, settle in for screenings of Ringu, Poltergeist, Alien, The Fly, Hellraiser and A Nightmare on Elm Street. How frightfully fun. The (obvs) over 18’s night runs through to 9am the next day by which time you should be suitably spooked and ready to catch the bus home for a nap...with one eye open. Tickets are £20 and you can buy yourself some trick or treat snacks and drinks there, to keep you going. Maybe an espresso martini to keep the energy levels up?

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CHILDREN: Play Well

For those who haven’t been, The Wellcome Collection in Central London is a free museum and library that aims to challenge how we all think and feel about health. Through exhibitions, collections, live programming, digital, broadcast and publishing, they create opportunities for people to think deeply about the connections between science, medicine, life and art. It exists to improve health by helping great ideas to thrive. Their newest exhibition is entitled  Play Well  and questions why we play? How important is it for all of us, young or old? What does it mean to play well? Using toys, games, artworks and design, this exhibition will investigate how we played as children and how we play now we’re grown up: developing social bonds, emotional resilience and physical wellbeing. By featuring video games, playing blocks, comic strips and images of people at play everywhere from playgrounds to refugee camps, as well as a newly commissioned play space by artist Adam James, we are all invited to consider the impact of play in our lives. Get your playful side over to the Euston Road from the 24th October to see if you can find out the answers to those questions.   Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

For those who haven’t been, The Wellcome Collection in Central London is a free museum and library that aims to challenge how we all think and feel about health. Through exhibitions, collections, live programming, digital, broadcast and publishing, they create opportunities for people to think deeply about the connections between science, medicine, life and art. It exists to improve health by helping great ideas to thrive. Their newest exhibition is entitled Play Well and questions why we play? How important is it for all of us, young or old? What does it mean to play well? Using toys, games, artworks and design, this exhibition will investigate how we played as children and how we play now we’re grown up: developing social bonds, emotional resilience and physical wellbeing. By featuring video games, playing blocks, comic strips and images of people at play everywhere from playgrounds to refugee camps, as well as a newly commissioned play space by artist Adam James, we are all invited to consider the impact of play in our lives. Get your playful side over to the Euston Road from the 24th October to see if you can find out the answers to those questions.

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RESTAURANT: Decimo

The Standard in Kings Cross opened this summer and was billed as one of the hottest hotel openings of the year in London. So far, it seems to be living up to its hype but although guests may have been staying for a while, not all parts of the hotel have opened yet. One such part is  Decimo , the brand new restaurant on the tenth floor by Executive Chef, Peter Sanchez-Iglesias, who named the TENTH (Decimo) floor restaurant after a few Mezcals in Mexico. Go figure. While he may not over think the names of his restaurants, the double Michelin starred chef certainly doesn’t skimp on the detail in his cooking. The menu pays homage to his hispanic roots with Spanish and Mexican dishes including para picar, seafood over ice, aguachile (Mexican ceviche), tacos, salads, and meat and seafood cooked over an open fire. Spain and Latin America also have an influence over the drinks menu that includes an "agave program featuring some rare agaves from Oaxaca". From the 10th October we will be able to enjoy all this whilst simultaneously enjoying the views over London in the bright and giant windowed restaurant. As far as meals in London go, this one looks likely to be anything but standard.   Facebook  |  Instagram

The Standard in Kings Cross opened this summer and was billed as one of the hottest hotel openings of the year in London. So far, it seems to be living up to its hype but although guests may have been staying for a while, not all parts of the hotel have opened yet. One such part is Decimo, the brand new restaurant on the tenth floor by Executive Chef, Peter Sanchez-Iglesias, who named the TENTH (Decimo) floor restaurant after a few Mezcals in Mexico. Go figure. While he may not over think the names of his restaurants, the double Michelin starred chef certainly doesn’t skimp on the detail in his cooking. The menu pays homage to his hispanic roots with Spanish and Mexican dishes including para picar, seafood over ice, aguachile (Mexican ceviche), tacos, salads, and meat and seafood cooked over an open fire. Spain and Latin America also have an influence over the drinks menu that includes an "agave program featuring some rare agaves from Oaxaca". From the 10th October we will be able to enjoy all this whilst simultaneously enjoying the views over London in the bright and giant windowed restaurant. As far as meals in London go, this one looks likely to be anything but standard.

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CHARITY OF THE MONTH: GET OUT

GET OUT  is a registered UK charity, founded in 2018 and based in the London borough of Tower Hamlets whose founding goal is to use environmental education to strengthen the connection between Tower Hamlets' young people and the natural world. Through a free programme of education, teamwork and surfing, GET OUT strives to give young people self-confidence, life skills and experiences which will help them in education, life and as environmentally-conscious members of their local and global communities. They believe (as do we) that all young people deserve the same opportunities to experience nature and become voices for its protection regardless of their background. There are many ways to get involved which are all listed on their website but they rely on donations and grants to keep going and if you can’t donate money then instead donate your time by volunteering either in person or via your computer. They are also always seeking unwanted garden tools and supplies so do get in touch if this is something you can help with.   Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

GET OUT is a registered UK charity, founded in 2018 and based in the London borough of Tower Hamlets whose founding goal is to use environmental education to strengthen the connection between Tower Hamlets' young people and the natural world. Through a free programme of education, teamwork and surfing, GET OUT strives to give young people self-confidence, life skills and experiences which will help them in education, life and as environmentally-conscious members of their local and global communities. They believe (as do we) that all young people deserve the same opportunities to experience nature and become voices for its protection regardless of their background. There are many ways to get involved which are all listed on their website but they rely on donations and grants to keep going and if you can’t donate money then instead donate your time by volunteering either in person or via your computer. They are also always seeking unwanted garden tools and supplies so do get in touch if this is something you can help with.

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‘APP’ OF THE MONTH: Mindbody

Mindbody  is like a global yellow pages for fitness and wellness classes and treatments. There are millions on there but find the right fitness class, local salon or spa treatment for you and then build up your own personal wellness community. With no memberships or commitments you can drop into a local gym or try a class without worrying about your bank balance and ongoing charges. The variety in options is what has Mindbody fans raving most about the app and reviews of all the suggestions can help you make the right decision. Maintaining our wellness is at peak importance right now so anything that makes it easier and fuss free sounds good to us.   Instagram

Mindbody is like a global yellow pages for fitness and wellness classes and treatments. There are millions on there but find the right fitness class, local salon or spa treatment for you and then build up your own personal wellness community. With no memberships or commitments you can drop into a local gym or try a class without worrying about your bank balance and ongoing charges. The variety in options is what has Mindbody fans raving most about the app and reviews of all the suggestions can help you make the right decision. Maintaining our wellness is at peak importance right now so anything that makes it easier and fuss free sounds good to us.

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Photo Credits: Play Well - Shirley Baker, GET OUT - Kimson Doan, Life Drawing Workshop - @londondrwaing, @johnclosearts, @greatart_uk

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