Katie Piper

“For July, I want everyone to get in to journaling. In a world where we’re all rushing around at a million miles an hour and constantly plugged into our phones, putting pen to paper may seem old-fashioned but it can really help you organise your thoughts and feelings. I write in a journal every day, and have done so for years now, as find it keeps me grounded when life can seem overwhelming. It’s really helped me and is one of the reasons I brought out my own journal, Confidence: The Journal, earlier this year - you can use it to make goals, reflect on the good and the bad and stay motivated.”

THEATRE: Pop Up Shakespeare

From the 8th of the month until early September, Blenheim Palace, a word heritage site in Oxfordshire, is going to be home to a  pop up Shakespearean theatre . They are moving here following a highly acclaimed season in York last year and audiences can see four of ol’ Billy’s most popular plays - Romeo & Juliet, Richard III, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Now don’t be put off by the words pop-up, this isn’t a group of people huddling under a gazebo, quite the contrary; the structure is impressive, solid and convincingly similar to the kind of venue the original productions would have been staged, if you squint to ignore some of the scaffolding on show. Outside of the theatre will be a Shakespearean village, offering the finest Oxfordshire fare: NB, Local ales and snacks to keep everyone suitably energised in the summer sun. In addition there will be an ‘array of ‘wagon’ entertainment.’ which both intrigues and confuses us in equal measure. Tickets are available via the website or SEE Tickets and you can either choose to just get production tickets or combine with access to the majestic Blenheim Palace and gardens making a real day of it. Here’s hoping the sun stays out as frankly so far this summer “The weather doth protest too much” for our liking.   Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

From the 8th of the month until early September, Blenheim Palace, a word heritage site in Oxfordshire, is going to be home to a pop up Shakespearean theatre. They are moving here following a highly acclaimed season in York last year and audiences can see four of ol’ Billy’s most popular plays - Romeo & Juliet, Richard III, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Now don’t be put off by the words pop-up, this isn’t a group of people huddling under a gazebo, quite the contrary; the structure is impressive, solid and convincingly similar to the kind of venue the original productions would have been staged, if you squint to ignore some of the scaffolding on show. Outside of the theatre will be a Shakespearean village, offering the finest Oxfordshire fare: NB, Local ales and snacks to keep everyone suitably energised in the summer sun. In addition there will be an ‘array of ‘wagon’ entertainment.’ which both intrigues and confuses us in equal measure. Tickets are available via the website or SEE Tickets and you can either choose to just get production tickets or combine with access to the majestic Blenheim Palace and gardens making a real day of it. Here’s hoping the sun stays out as frankly so far this summer “The weather doth protest too much” for our liking.

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RESTAURANT: Allegra @ The Stratford

It’s happening again, we are recommending something to you that is up high. We can't help it, we just have this thing with heights. If you like good food, stunning views, incredible wine, terraces, curing rooms and more, then you’ll like what we’re about to talk about too.  Allegra  at the Stratford is a brand new restaurant from acclaimed Chiltern Firehouse chef Patrick Powell. He has been at Chiltern Firehouse as head chef for four years with Nuno Mendes but has also worked at Wild Honey and L’Ecrivain so has a rather impressive CV to back up his first solo venture. Located on the 7th floor of the Manhattan Loft Gardens in the Olympic Park, and accessible only via a private lift, there is an exclusive and prestigious air to Allegra that makes us crave it more. Once you are up there you can savour in the incredible 360 views of the capital from their rather large outdoor garden terrace or simply indulge in the space indoors designed by Space Copenhagen. Allegra has its own curing room to make sumptuous charcuterie treats for the bar, a glass encased walk in wine room, yep, that’s a thing, and we’ve not even got onto the food yet? But we’ll do that now. Grilled asparagus with hand-picked crab, pistachio and ginger, Suckling pig with swede cake, peanut, mustard fruit & sage, Mackerel tartare, salted cucumber, buttermilk & apple...I mean...do we need to go on? Stay tuned to the website for exact opening dates but we predict there will be an olympic sized queue to get in to this one...   Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

It’s happening again, we are recommending something to you that is up high. We can't help it, we just have this thing with heights. If you like good food, stunning views, incredible wine, terraces, curing rooms and more, then you’ll like what we’re about to talk about too. Allegra at the Stratford is a brand new restaurant from acclaimed Chiltern Firehouse chef Patrick Powell. He has been at Chiltern Firehouse as head chef for four years with Nuno Mendes but has also worked at Wild Honey and L’Ecrivain so has a rather impressive CV to back up his first solo venture. Located on the 7th floor of the Manhattan Loft Gardens in the Olympic Park, and accessible only via a private lift, there is an exclusive and prestigious air to Allegra that makes us crave it more. Once you are up there you can savour in the incredible 360 views of the capital from their rather large outdoor garden terrace or simply indulge in the space indoors designed by Space Copenhagen. Allegra has its own curing room to make sumptuous charcuterie treats for the bar, a glass encased walk in wine room, yep, that’s a thing, and we’ve not even got onto the food yet? But we’ll do that now. Grilled asparagus with hand-picked crab, pistachio and ginger, Suckling pig with swede cake, peanut, mustard fruit & sage, Mackerel tartare, salted cucumber, buttermilk & apple...I mean...do we need to go on? Stay tuned to the website for exact opening dates but we predict there will be an olympic sized queue to get in to this one...

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ART: Olafur Eliasson, Tate Modern

You may well remember  Olafur Eliasson  for his 2003 Weather Project that filled the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern with representations of the sun and sky. It was impactful and awe inspiring to see and just one example of Eliasson’s works that cover the issues of climate change, energy, migration as well as architecture. For those who loved the Weather Project you will be glad to hear that July is the opening of a major retrospective of his whole career back at the Tate Modern featuring over 30 of his works, only 1 of which has been seen in the UK before. An example of one of the works you can see, is ‘Beauty’- a simple set up of a hose filled with holes that sprays a fine mist over those walking through. However, this fine mist produces the illusion of a rainbow when a spotlight is shown on it. Simple but magical. Over his career Olafur realised that his ­installations were really installations for communities to experience together and that is exactly what we can all now do from this month until early 2020. Eliasson and his team have also curated the menu for visitors to the gallery’s Terrace Bar with ethical, organic meals inspired by the food cooked for his team at his studio in Berlin. We predict this will be one that has everyone talking...and Instagramming.   Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

You may well remember Olafur Eliasson for his 2003 Weather Project that filled the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern with representations of the sun and sky. It was impactful and awe inspiring to see and just one example of Eliasson’s works that cover the issues of climate change, energy, migration as well as architecture. For those who loved the Weather Project you will be glad to hear that July is the opening of a major retrospective of his whole career back at the Tate Modern featuring over 30 of his works, only 1 of which has been seen in the UK before. An example of one of the works you can see, is ‘Beauty’- a simple set up of a hose filled with holes that sprays a fine mist over those walking through. However, this fine mist produces the illusion of a rainbow when a spotlight is shown on it. Simple but magical. Over his career Olafur realised that his ­installations were really installations for communities to experience together and that is exactly what we can all now do from this month until early 2020. Eliasson and his team have also curated the menu for visitors to the gallery’s Terrace Bar with ethical, organic meals inspired by the food cooked for his team at his studio in Berlin. We predict this will be one that has everyone talking...and Instagramming.

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EVENT: City Nights

Prince was pretty keen to party gonna party like it's nineteen ninety-nine and Calvin Harris is preoccupied with what’s acceptable in the 80’s but what if we told you that you could party your way through the decades without the use of a time machine?  City Nights  comes to Copeland Park in Peckham in July and kicks off with the 60’s in an immersive and bold new series of curated parties that recreate the underground art scenes of iconic eras. Live music, cocktail bars, art and incredible sets will encompass us into each decade and distract us from brexit and all the other bollocks that 2019 is throwing our way. Their 1966 evening is set in midtown New York in a converted warehouse loft where “a group of drag queens, musicians, artists and gallerists hang out, paint canvases, build installations and shoot 8mm film. Despite the landlord’s warnings, later that night there will be another party. Everyone in New York has been invited.” It sounds mega and we don’t want to miss out. After this there will be more city nights from different decades and we’re keen to go to every one. The dress code is 1960’s, OBVIOUSLY, and there is even a  mood  board on the website to help you nail your outfit, because everyone knows it all lies in the outfit.   Instagram

Prince was pretty keen to party gonna party like it's nineteen ninety-nine and Calvin Harris is preoccupied with what’s acceptable in the 80’s but what if we told you that you could party your way through the decades without the use of a time machine? City Nights comes to Copeland Park in Peckham in July and kicks off with the 60’s in an immersive and bold new series of curated parties that recreate the underground art scenes of iconic eras. Live music, cocktail bars, art and incredible sets will encompass us into each decade and distract us from brexit and all the other bollocks that 2019 is throwing our way. Their 1966 evening is set in midtown New York in a converted warehouse loft where “a group of drag queens, musicians, artists and gallerists hang out, paint canvases, build installations and shoot 8mm film. Despite the landlord’s warnings, later that night there will be another party. Everyone in New York has been invited.” It sounds mega and we don’t want to miss out. After this there will be more city nights from different decades and we’re keen to go to every one. The dress code is 1960’s, OBVIOUSLY, and there is even a mood board on the website to help you nail your outfit, because everyone knows it all lies in the outfit.

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SKILL: Studio Pottery London

Studio Pottery London  will be welcoming people of any experience and ability to practice the ancient art of throwing when they open their thoughtfully designed place of calm and community this month. The 3000 sq ft studio on Eccleston Place, SW1 is the first public throwing studio in Central London! Their expert teachers, led by Gregory Tingay (artist-in-residence for 2019 at Hauser & Wirth) not only lead their group sessions, they offer on-one-on tuition, which is an excellent way to learn and grow in confidence on the wheel. If you like the flexibility of throwing some clay in your own time you can become a member, enjoying exclusive access to their members area, equipped with several wheels, library, curated programme and workspaces. Their focus is throwing – working with clay on the wheel. This traditional craft provides a perfect antidote to the hyperactive pace, highly mechanised and technological, of the metropolis. The hands-on practice of throwing opens dormant creativity and encourages therapeutic transformation. Their lineage derives directly from the 20th century revival of studio pottery – enshrined in their name. If, however, you would rather purchase than actually make yourselves, then you can buy any of the historic and contemporary ceramics curated and managed by ex Christies Lucy Attwood. If you wish to join or become a pupil then please email  studio@studio-pottery-london.com .   Instagram

Studio Pottery London will be welcoming people of any experience and ability to practice the ancient art of throwing when they open their thoughtfully designed place of calm and community this month. The 3000 sq ft studio on Eccleston Place, SW1 is the first public throwing studio in Central London! Their expert teachers, led by Gregory Tingay (artist-in-residence for 2019 at Hauser & Wirth) not only lead their group sessions, they offer on-one-on tuition, which is an excellent way to learn and grow in confidence on the wheel. If you like the flexibility of throwing some clay in your own time you can become a member, enjoying exclusive access to their members area, equipped with several wheels, library, curated programme and workspaces. Their focus is throwing – working with clay on the wheel. This traditional craft provides a perfect antidote to the hyperactive pace, highly mechanised and technological, of the metropolis. The hands-on practice of throwing opens dormant creativity and encourages therapeutic transformation. Their lineage derives directly from the 20th century revival of studio pottery – enshrined in their name. If, however, you would rather purchase than actually make yourselves, then you can buy any of the historic and contemporary ceramics curated and managed by ex Christies Lucy Attwood. If you wish to join or become a pupil then please email studio@studio-pottery-london.com.

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MUSIC: Kew the Music

Jess Glynne, Jools Holland, Craig David, Beverley Knight, Billy Ocean, Garbage, Rick Astley plus even MORE artists are all appearing at  Kew the Music  this month at, yep you guessed it, Kew. These “picnic concerts” are on from the 9th to the 14th July and tickets are available from £30 but vary depending on ticket type. Attendees are encouraged to take a seat on the grass (or on a chair if you bring one) and sing away your evening soaking up the music and the atmosphere while tucking into a yummy picnic hamper which are available to buy via the website and are put together in association with St John’s Wood based delicatessen Panzer’ too. If you don’t fancy that then all guests are encouraged to pack your own pork pies and prosecco and curl up on a blanket as the evening draws in sound tracked by one of these fab artists. Glasto is a little too much for some people and this is the perfect London summer evening activity for live music but your own comfy bed guaranteed at the end of it all!   Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

Jess Glynne, Jools Holland, Craig David, Beverley Knight, Billy Ocean, Garbage, Rick Astley plus even MORE artists are all appearing at Kew the Music this month at, yep you guessed it, Kew. These “picnic concerts” are on from the 9th to the 14th July and tickets are available from £30 but vary depending on ticket type. Attendees are encouraged to take a seat on the grass (or on a chair if you bring one) and sing away your evening soaking up the music and the atmosphere while tucking into a yummy picnic hamper which are available to buy via the website and are put together in association with St John’s Wood based delicatessen Panzer’ too. If you don’t fancy that then all guests are encouraged to pack your own pork pies and prosecco and curl up on a blanket as the evening draws in sound tracked by one of these fab artists. Glasto is a little too much for some people and this is the perfect London summer evening activity for live music but your own comfy bed guaranteed at the end of it all!

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 EVENT: Walthamstow Garden Party

Walthamstow Garden Party  is a free two day global festival celebrating all things local and powered by the incredible creativity of Waltham Forest, London’s first Borough of Culture. 2019 is the 6th year of the festival and The Barbican, Create London, Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019 and a whole bunch of incredible local residents are involved in making it happen. Across the weekend we can get involved with all kinds of creativity and expressions including dance workshops, choir clubs, musical performances, sessions on growing organic produce and pollinator plants, poetry recitals, craft courses and pretty much everything in between. There’s no way you can leave the weekend without having ignited all the creative fires in your soul and to be doing it all in the borough that is leading the way in levels of culture with a group of their most passionate residents is a sure fire way to make us love this city even more than we already do. Check out the website for details on the amazing array of things that will be taking place over the weekend, take all your friends and family along and enjoy.   Facebook

Walthamstow Garden Party is a free two day global festival celebrating all things local and powered by the incredible creativity of Waltham Forest, London’s first Borough of Culture. 2019 is the 6th year of the festival and The Barbican, Create London, Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019 and a whole bunch of incredible local residents are involved in making it happen. Across the weekend we can get involved with all kinds of creativity and expressions including dance workshops, choir clubs, musical performances, sessions on growing organic produce and pollinator plants, poetry recitals, craft courses and pretty much everything in between. There’s no way you can leave the weekend without having ignited all the creative fires in your soul and to be doing it all in the borough that is leading the way in levels of culture with a group of their most passionate residents is a sure fire way to make us love this city even more than we already do. Check out the website for details on the amazing array of things that will be taking place over the weekend, take all your friends and family along and enjoy.

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THEATRE: Barber Shop Chronicles

We all know that going to the hairdressers or barbers is a great way to relax with a cuppa, have a good ol’ gossip and discuss opinions and current affairs. Which is why Inua Ellam’s came up with  Barber Shop Chronicles  because for generations, African men have gathered in barber shops to discuss the world. These are places where the banter can be barbed and the truth is always telling.  “Newsroom, political platform, local hotspot, confession box, preacher-pulpit and football stadium ”. Following two sell-out runs at the National Theatre and a world tour, Barber Shop Chronicles is coming to the Roundhouse this month for a brilliant two month run. Directed by Olivier award-winning director Bijan Sheibani and designed by Rae Smith ( War Horse ), the production takes the viewer on a round the world trip from Peckham to Lagos, Jo’burg to Kampara, all in one day to hear the tales of the different characters that frequent the barbershop. Their tales will make you laugh, tug at the heart strings and keep you entertained. Don’t miss out on tickets this time round!   Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

We all know that going to the hairdressers or barbers is a great way to relax with a cuppa, have a good ol’ gossip and discuss opinions and current affairs. Which is why Inua Ellam’s came up with Barber Shop Chronicles because for generations, African men have gathered in barber shops to discuss the world. These are places where the banter can be barbed and the truth is always telling. “Newsroom, political platform, local hotspot, confession box, preacher-pulpit and football stadium”. Following two sell-out runs at the National Theatre and a world tour, Barber Shop Chronicles is coming to the Roundhouse this month for a brilliant two month run. Directed by Olivier award-winning director Bijan Sheibani and designed by Rae Smith (War Horse), the production takes the viewer on a round the world trip from Peckham to Lagos, Jo’burg to Kampara, all in one day to hear the tales of the different characters that frequent the barbershop. Their tales will make you laugh, tug at the heart strings and keep you entertained. Don’t miss out on tickets this time round!

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CHARITY OF THE MONTH: Samaritans, Talk to Us

July is the month of the  Talk To Us , the latest campaign from the Samaritans where they are organising events across the country in local communities in order to let people know what services they offer and to ensure those in need of help are aware of how they can get it. It could be a bake sale or a coffee morning, the most important thing is that everyone knows they are there to listen 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, without judgement or pressure. The Samaritans are a unique charity dedicated to reducing feelings of isolation and disconnection that can lead to suicide. There is a branch in central London, on Marshall Street in the heart of Soho and they are hosting the  Big Listen  on the 24th of this month. There will be a whole team of volunteers on the concourse at Waterloo and volunteers, friends & family are all invited to join them between 7am and 7pm on the day whether to offer an ear for someone in need or to help raise funds for their invaluable service. Check the  website  to see what other branches are doing or alternatively, make a donation  here .   Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

July is the month of the Talk To Us, the latest campaign from the Samaritans where they are organising events across the country in local communities in order to let people know what services they offer and to ensure those in need of help are aware of how they can get it. It could be a bake sale or a coffee morning, the most important thing is that everyone knows they are there to listen 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, without judgement or pressure. The Samaritans are a unique charity dedicated to reducing feelings of isolation and disconnection that can lead to suicide. There is a branch in central London, on Marshall Street in the heart of Soho and they are hosting the Big Listen on the 24th of this month. There will be a whole team of volunteers on the concourse at Waterloo and volunteers, friends & family are all invited to join them between 7am and 7pm on the day whether to offer an ear for someone in need or to help raise funds for their invaluable service. Check the website to see what other branches are doing or alternatively, make a donation here.

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APP OF THE MONTH: Forest

The irony of promoting an app about NOT using your phone is not lost on us, but in case you need reminding as much as we do, then the simple truth of it is you DO NOT need your phone within reach at all times! Especially if it’s distracting you from work or other more important parts of your life. Whenever you need to concentrate or simply put your phone down, then plant a tree in the  Forest  app. The longer you leave your phone alone, the more the tree will grow. Simple. So watch your forest grow and know that you’ve been focusing on the important things. A naff but effective idea? Yes. Also, Forest partners with a real-tree-planting organization, Trees for the Future, to plant real trees on the earth. When users spend virtual coins they earn in Forest on planting trees, the Forest team donates to their partner and create orders of planting. When we last looked 477,604 trees had been planted. C’est incroyable. Bye bye distraction and procrastination, hello beautiful Forest.   Facebook  |  Twitter

The irony of promoting an app about NOT using your phone is not lost on us, but in case you need reminding as much as we do, then the simple truth of it is you DO NOT need your phone within reach at all times! Especially if it’s distracting you from work or other more important parts of your life. Whenever you need to concentrate or simply put your phone down, then plant a tree in the Forest app. The longer you leave your phone alone, the more the tree will grow. Simple. So watch your forest grow and know that you’ve been focusing on the important things. A naff but effective idea? Yes. Also, Forest partners with a real-tree-planting organization, Trees for the Future, to plant real trees on the earth. When users spend virtual coins they earn in Forest on planting trees, the Forest team donates to their partner and create orders of planting. When we last looked 477,604 trees had been planted. C’est incroyable. Bye bye distraction and procrastination, hello beautiful Forest.

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