• 5 ways to get your nature fix in London

    As I type this, Soho is sunny. Not just a-few-weak winter-rays sunny, but a glorious, blazing, Vitamin D fest that has us sweating into our suddenly unseasonal puffas. Yesterday evening, it was 4 degrees; today, miraculously, it is 16. And while the miserable London winter has given me a perfect

  • London’s top 10 cultural cafés

    People watching is one of the greatest pleasures a big city affords. It’s especially good when practiced from a warm corner with a flat white and a home-made cupcake. It’s even better in a location that guarantees an eclectic crowd of trendsters, students, tourists, quirky arty types, and re

  • Stuff As Dreams Are Made On

    What more can there possibly be to say about Shakespeare?

    This was the ignoble thought I carried into the British Museum’s much-hyped autumn blockbuster, Shakespeare: staging the world. Frankly, Shakespeare exegesis suffers from the same paradox as the diet industry. Every commentator ends

  • Theatreland’s celebrity ladder

    TThe moment Stephen Fry utters his first lugubrious syllable in Tim Carroll’s Twelfth Night at The Globe, a frisson runs through the assembled crowd. By now, surely no nation on earth remains untouched by repeats of QI, and a good number of tourists and Londoners alike will have braved the Oct

  • The Tricycle’s new wheels

    Becoming the artistic director of any well-known theatre is always a tough gig. With Josie Rourke only one season into her tenure at the Donmar, Vicky Featherstone replacing Dominic Cooke as the first female AD of the Royal Court, and Greg Doran finally shouldering the seriously heavy mantle at

  • Classical cool

    Who would have thought it? Who would have suspected that, amongst all the industrial hobbits, pogoing punks and (sometimes barely) resuscitated musical icons offered by our beautifully bonkers Olympic ceremonies, The London Symphony Orchestra would turn out to be one of the bona fide stars? From

  • Britain’s forgotten horsewoman

    This summer, the British Museum offers us the opportunity to get up close and personal with one of the bravest, boldest and most important horsewomen that England has ever produced. It’s not the queen.  It’s not Mary King, Zara Phillips or one of the nine other ladies on Team GB’s 2012

  • Reading London

    I grew up in the Oxfordshire countryside and spent my formative years running half-naked in fields, riding resentful ponies and reading on a scratchy blanket my mother had got free from the National Trust under the shade of our orchard’s sticky, half-dead plum trees.

    At least, that’s how

  • Video design grows up

    London’s new smash musical Singin’ In The Rain has more than its fair share of memorable moments. And although the scene where Don Lockwood (Adam Cooper) joyfully splashes his way across the waterlogged stage wins out on feelgood factor, the funniest is the screening of Lockwood and his co

  • Silk and the city

    It’s whispering down the catwalk at Somerset House for London Fashion Week. It’s caressed by every tourist nipping into Liberty’s for an iconic paisley scarf.  And it’s the star of the current exhibition at the V&A, in the form of a shimmering golden cape that took 1.2 million Mad

  • In Residence: Beowulf

    This season, the British Library is all about the manuscripts. The gorgeous artworks in ‘Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination’ – its big winter exhibition charting 800 years’ worth of illuminated medieval and Renaissance manuscripts collected by English kings and queens

  • In Residence: Madonna del Prato

    Perhaps the recession makes us eager to feel we’re getting more for our money. Perhaps James Cameron, Peter Jackson and the other masters of the CGI epic have led us to expect nothing less. Or perhaps the arts marketing industry has simply got really good at fuelling the hype machine. Whatever