Feb 242014

Just a short walk from London Bridge Hotel, is the ever present reminder to the Great Fire of London – The Monument (built by Christopher WrenRobert Hooke). The 61 metre column stands at the junction of Monument Street and Fish Street Hill in the City of London. It was built between 1671 and 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of London and to celebrate the rebuilding of the City.

Inside The Monument is a winding stair case with 311 carved stone steps – The Challenge – to reach the top – *interesting fact alert* the height of the building is the exact distance between it and the site in Pudding Lane where the fire began – the reward – panoramic views of London and a certificate to take home with a frame- worth every step up and back down – phew!

The Monument is open daily and can be found on Fish Street Hill, London EC3R 8AH.

Via Magellan PR, a boutique travel PR company.

Feb 212014

It’s nearly Spring and I’ve got plenty of suggestions of things to do this month from discovering London’s dark history to Guinness celebrations, and the start of the rowing season to time with mother.

Barbican Centre


On 1st-2nd March, it’s the Barbican Weekender which is a free weekend of events exploring image and identity through arts and technology.

© Nobby Clark

© Nobby Clark

Also at the Barbican on 2 March is a collaboration between saxophonist John Harle and singer Marc Almond called The Tyburn Tree which looks at London’s dark history such as Jack the Ripper and the Ratcliffe Highway murder.


Shakespeare’s Globe

Photographer: Bronwen Sharp

Photographer: Bronwen Sharp

In  January I mentioned the new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe that opened with The Duchess of Amalfi. The next production started on 20 February and runs until 30th March. The Knight of the Burning Pestle looks like a fantastic comedy and stars Phil Daniels.


Pancake Day

© pfig

© pfig

Tuesday 4th March is Shrove Tuesday and the day to enjoy a pancake race. The Better Bankside Pancake Race is at Borough Market from 12pm-2pm with the races starting at 12.30pm.



Credit: Luke Webber/Revolution Series

Credit: Luke Webber/Revolution Series

The Lee Valley VeloPark opens on 14th-15th March with the Revolution  Track Cycle Series – the first event at the velodrome since the London 2012 Olympics. You’ll get to see big-name British riders competing including Laura Trott, Jason Kenny and Ed Clancy. 

© TfL

© TfL

If this inspires you to get cycling, there’s a new Barclays Cycle Hire docking station on Snowsfields with space for 32 bikes. You don’t need to book in advance and can simply pay by credit card, at the paypoint next to the bikes, and be riding away in minutes. There’s another rank at Duke Street Hill, both only minutes away from London Bridge Hotel.


St Patrick’s Day Parade

We celebrate St Patricks Day in London on Sunday 16th March with a free parade that starts at Green Park at midday and goes through central London to Trafalgar Square where the fun carries on all afternoon with Irish food, drink and culture.


Silent Auction

© London Glassblowing

© London Glassblowing

The London Glassblowing Silent Auction comes to an end on 15th March (see February in London for more details).


Recommended Exhibitions

You may also like to see the Dale Chihuly exhibition at the Halycon Gallery which is on until 5th April. And the Discoveries exhibition at Two Temple Place is well worth a visit.


Designs of the Year 2014

LEGO CALENDAR - Designed by Adrian Westaway, Clara Gaggero, Duncan Fitzsimons, Simon EmbertonPhotographs by Adrian Westaway

LEGO CALENDAR – Designed by Adrian Westaway, Clara Gaggero, Duncan Fitzsimons, Simon Emberton
Photographs by Adrian Westaway

The Design Museum has the Design of the Year nominations on display from 26th March to 22nd June celebrating design across seven categories: Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Furniture, Graphics, Transport and Product. Winners will be announced in May 2014.


Head of the River Race

© JET Photographic

© JET Photographic

The Head of the River Race is rowed from Mortlake to Putney (the Boat Race course in reverse). It’s the first major national rowing event of the season with over 400 crews taking part. It’s all happening on 29th March from 2.15pm, with crews departing at 10-second intervals,  and you’ll get a great view from London Bridge.


Mother’s Day

© London Bridge Hotel

© London Bridge Hotel

While Mother’s Day in many parts of the world is in May, in London it comes earlier on Sunday 30th March.  I’d definitely recommend afternoon tea as a wonderful way to spend time with mum. The Quarter Bar & Lounge is excellent value too and even includes a complimentary glass of Champagne.


Clocks Change

Don’t forget, in the UK we move to British Summer Time on Sunday 30th March and the clocks go forward one hour.


Laura Porter writes the About.com London Travel site and contributes to many other publications while sustaining an afternoon tea addiction to rival that of our Queen. You can find Laura on twitter as @AboutLondon and on Facebook as AboutLondonLaura.

Feb 172014

Having one of those mornings? You know the ones… you wake up on the wrong side of bed, use hairspray instead of deodorant, lose a shoe in the gap on the underground, find a leaking pen in your handbag… the list could go on!

Don’t panic – a two minute stroll from London Bridge Station your oasis awaits… Quarter Bar & Lounge, with its relaxed, chic styling and comfortable lounge chairs and booths, you can recover from any morning-mishaps with one of their delightful breakfasts. From poached eggs to fresh fruit salad, omelettes to a British favourite – smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, there is something for all tastes.

Eggs Benedict 6

Take the Eggs Benedict, perfectly poached eggs amongst a tower of thick, crispy bacon served on a toasted muffin with Hollandaise sauce – it is actually reminiscent of a ray of sunshine on your plate!

Sausage Sandwich 3

This two-tier sausage sandwich is a far cry from the builder’s favourite breakfast, with its luxury sausages and salad garnish. Enjoy with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, to replace that spring in your step.

Breakfasts are perfectly complemented by a range of tea and coffee, expertly crafted by the bars baristas, from a quick-pick-me-up espresso to indulgent hot chocolates, available in a variety of flavours.

So pop along to Quarter Bar & Lounge to start the morning in style, prices on their breakfast menu start at just GBP4!  Opening hours are from 8am weekdays, (9am on Saturday and 11am on Sunday), serving the breakfast menu till noon each day.  Oh and Wifi is complimentary of course.

Via Magellan PR, a boutique travel PR company.

Feb 132014

For this episode of Shaken not Stirred we bring Quarter Bar & Lounge twist on the classic Cuban cocktail, made with fresh kiwi, white rum and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

To make this fresh and fun cocktail you will need:

  • 1 ripe kiwi peeled and sliced
  • 50ml white rum
  • 50ml pressed apple juice
  • 15ml lemon juice
  • 15ml sugar syrup 

In the bottom of a cocktail maker muddle the kiwi and add the rest of the ingredients and shake well over ice, then double strain and garnish with a slice of kiwi. Sit back and enjoy!

Via Magellan PR, a boutique travel PR company.

Feb 102014


For this episode of Shaken not Stirred we bring you a classic that has been on the cocktail menu since 1870, the Whiskey Sour!

To make this classic you will need:

  • 50ml bourbon
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 25ml sugar syrup
  • 3 drops of bitters
  • 1 egg white

Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice (add the egg last) and mix well. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a slice of lemon and a maraschino cherry. Sit back and watch the day go by!

Via Magellan PR, a boutique travel PR company.

Feb 052014

When you reach number 66 Tooley Street, take a look – and perhaps a double take – towards the sky – yes, your eyes are not deceiving you – that IS a rocket attached to the side of the building.  This V2 Rocket, looking to all intents and purposes as if it was sitting on a launch pad, ready for action, publicises one of London’s best kept secrets and is largely overlooked by the travelling populace rushing to work. Below this relic of the Second World War, a sign directs you to the “Air Raid Shelter” – and by following the arrow, to the Winston Churchill’s, Britain at War Experience.

Once inside, a lift transports you back in time to a London Underground air raid shelter as it might have looked in the 1940′s. Greeted by a young girl and her pet you walk past bunks of sleeping Londoners, taking safe haven from the bombing raids overhead.

The soft tones of Vera Lynn  and the inspirational voice of Winston Churchill draw you in to watch footage voiced by letters home.

To the right is a mock up of a canteen, paying true homage to the English stiff upper lip – “when in doubt brew up.”

Having watched the powerful and emotional footage, you stroll through to the museum with wax works and artefacts designed to give a true sense of what it must have been like in 1940′s Southwark – gas masks, ration books – it’s all here factually presented and realistically portrayed. Even this inspirational chap below makes an appearance…

Looks familiar?  It’s Winston of course.  Having had a feel for civilian life a scene from the mess hall completes the tour.

However, this is not the end.   Take the stairs from the mess hall to the blitz: a picture perfect scene from war torn Tooley Street. Rubble smoulders on the ground, wardens and firemen rescue women from burning buildings, sirens sound the alert and the bombers can be heard over head.

A truly inspiring way to spend an afternoon and a very evocative WW2 experience.

Via Magellan PR, a boutique travel PR company.

Feb 042014

It has been a long argued topic of how to create the perfect ‘Bloody Mary’.  There are many different preparations to suit people’s individual tastes and this one has been prepared by Italian barman, Nicola.  Quarter Bar and Lounge has created what they deem a “rouge masterpiece in a tall glass”, that will have any customer leaving with a new favourite!

Method and ingredients

  • Frost glass with a salt and crumble mix
  • In the bottom of the mixer:
  • Slice three cherry tomatoes
  • Add a handful of fresh basil
  • Give ‘a jolly good shake of salt and pepper’


  • Pour in a generous splash of tobasco and Worcester Sauce and  a tablespoon of lemon juice
  •  ”Muddle” extremely gently
  • Pour in 50ml of premium Vodka
  • Top with ice
  • Add 100ml of a Premium high end tomato juice
  • Shake GENTLY
  • Pour with ice into a tall glass (do not strain)
  • Garnish with more basil tomatoes and pepper
  • Finish with two drinking straws into the glass and enjoy immediately!

The staff at Quarter Bar and Lounge believe they have created the perfect ‘Bloody Mary’ – and their secret weapon?  The freshest of ingredients bought at nearby Borough Market on a daily basis.

Via Magellan PR, a boutique travel PR company.