Wednesday, 2 June 2010

London Guide: first time visit & interest in design

A friend of a friend of a wonderful friend just asked for a "what to do in London if interested in design" list for this weekend.
First time tourist. Likes coffee. List includes usual suspects and plenty of places to refuel.

My response:
It's a bit of a funny time for design events as in between Clerkenwell Design Week and the London Festival of Architecture but there is still a lot going on...

(Old Street tube)

+ Victoria Miro gallery
+ Walk up Old Street to St John Street and through to (approx 10-12 minute walk) to Exmouth Market.
+ Lovely street with an excellent bookshop and coffee at Caravan

(Algate East Station)
+ Whitechapel Gallery
+ New hotel that has got a lot of press for its design- worth having a look as nearby
+ Small but high profile galleries on Vyner Street:

+ London Fields - Broadway Market on Saturdays
recommend the cakes at Violet’s stand

Soho (Tottenham Court Road Tube)
+ Photographers Gallery- some intriguing work at the recent Graduates exhibition
+ Fernandez and Wells for coffee
+ Nordic Bakery for buns

Lambs Conduit Street- (Holborn tube)
+ Two excellent men’s shops if he likes shopping, Folk clothing and Oliver Spencer (expensive but beautiful tailoring)
Profiled on Monocle

Big exhibitions:
+ Design Museum- exhibitions can sometimes be disappointing but definitely worth going and has a well stocked shop
Exhibitions of International designs of the year and David Adjaye’s African photographic survey.
+ Serpentine exhibition and see the bubble!
+ V&A – Quilts!
+ Somerset House- fashion
+ Tate Modern – just missed Van Doesburg and the International Avant-Garde but other exhibits..
+ Barbican Art Gallery- Just missed Ron Arad – in between exhibitions

Regent’s Park (Regent’s Park tube)
+ It’s going to be lovely weather so worth a trip to the John Nash designed Regent’s Park and a walk up to Primrose Hill.
Walk past the Royal College of Physicians designed by Denys Lasdun and through the park along the Broad Walk and up to Primrose Hill for the view. Finish at the pub in Primrose Hill, The Landsdowne.

Please send requests to my email for tailored responses for visitors to our great city.

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