Vogue Festival 2014: Southbank Centre 29th to 30th March

One of the most eagerly anticipated events of the year for fashionistas, The Vogue Festival will this year be held at the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre. The festival offers a chance to see the glossy pages of Vogue up close and personal, and to experience the whirlwind world of fashion first hand.

This year’s event is sponsored by fashion powerhouse Harrods, and will include everything from interviews to panel discussions, makeovers to careers masterclasses, and an opportunity to see and hear from the most influential figures of the fashion industry to date.  Amongst the highlights of the festival are ten talks which you can book to see, including titles such as: ‘Valentino: King of Glamour’ and ‘Fashion Legends’ with Naomi Campbell. Guests confirmed for this year’s event include: Manolo Blahnik, Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton, Victoria Secret angel Karlie Kloss and Vogue Italia’s editor-in-chief, Franca Sozzani. The Vogue Festival takes place on the 29th and the 30th March and tickets are available from the Southbank Centre website.

After spending the day mingling with fashion’s elite, why not call in to DUKES London for dinner in our fabulous Thirty Six restaurant. Our three course dinner and bottle of wine costs £48 per person. To book, simply email [email protected].

The France Show in London

From the 17th-19th of January, Earl’s Court will undergo a continental-style makeover as it’s transformed into the host venue for the city’s annual France Show.  The show brings the best of France to the people of London in an exhibition honouring all the cultural quirks of our favourite Western European country.

View London states that the show possesses plenty of ‘joie de vivre’ and has dubbed the show ‘a full-on weekend of French fun’. There’s a huge variety of activities on offer for every kind of Francophile to enjoy, including a colossal traditional French market. The market comes complete with more than 50 hand-picked French stalls offering tempting treats like cheeses, charcuterie meats and a choice of French crafts.

The France Show runs from the 17th to the 19th of January at Earl’s Court in London.  Tickets for the event cost £10 in advance or £13 on the door and are available from The France Show website.

After taking in all of the cultural delights of France at the fair, why not come and sample the no less sophisticated atmosphere of the PJ Lounge at DUKES London.  Our champagne and canapés promotion costs from only £19 per person, and includes a glass of French bubbly from our partners Perrier-Jouet. Call 0207 318 6585 to book, or reserve yourself a place online through our website.

Festive fun with the Royal Ballet’s Nutcracker

The Royal Opera House, home of the world-renowned Royal Ballet is playing host to the most famous festive production of all time this winter, The Nutcracker, with 9 performances between the 2nd and 16th of January 2014. This classic, much-loved ballet was created by Marius Petipa, based on a fairytale by E. T. A Hoffman, and was first performed in 1892 at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.  Peter Wright’s direction with score by Tchaikovsky and Trevelyan Oman’s 19TH-century Christmas stage design make The Nutcracker a classic production for the festive season.

 

The story begins with a Christmas party hosted by the parents of a little girl named Clara, who receives a Nutcracker doll from a magician named Drosselmeyer.  When all of the guests have left and the house is silent, Clara discovers that the Nutcracker is enchanted and is swept away on a magical adventure. The Nutcracker is now showing at the Royal Opera House until January 16th.  Tickets for the event cost from £8 and are available from the Royal Opera House website. After the majestic performance, why not come on over to DUKES London for some rest and relaxation and enjoy our Winter Warmer promotion? Included in the special offer is a complimentary room upgrade, full English breakfast and free Wi-Fi.  For more information, visit our website.

Whistler Exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery

This winter, the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London will be exhibiting a variety of paintings by American-born, British-based artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler, in a special exhibition entitled ‘An American in London.’  Born in America and raised in Russia, Whistler came to London in 1859, and his early paintings of this period marked one of his most successful and profound impacts on the art scene.

Whistler is best-known for his attitude of adversity towards morals and sentimentality in art, and was in favour of the principle ‘art for art’s sake.’  The artist is best-known for the portrait of his mother named ‘Whistler’s Mother’ and his signature, which is signed in the shape of a butterfly – a reflection of his love of Asian art. Deemed ‘captivating, erudite and unexpected’ by the Financial Times, the ‘An American in London’ exhibition includes a variety of paintings of Chelsea and the Thames as well as prints, drawings, watercolours and pastels.  The exhibition provides a detailed examination of Whistler’s composition, subject and technique and how it developed over the years. The highlight of the exhibition is a number of Whistler’s iconic Nocturnes, including Blue and Gold – Battersea Bridge (1872-1877.)  Although the selection is small, with a widely varied selection of his works, the ‘American in London’ exhibition contains something for all types of art-lover.

After soaking in the cultural offerings of the Whistler exhibition, why not come over to DUKES London and spoil yourself with our Winter Warmer package, including complimentary upgrade and a full English breakfast before you leave.

Christmas at Kew Gardens

This year, Kew Gardens’ annual seasonal makeover is not one to be missed. Take a stroll through the illuminated gardens as they are transformed with a series of lighting installations created by prestigious artists from all across the UK. As twilight falls and the magic begins, take in the enchanted gardens and beautiful winter landscape as you explore all that Kew has to offer. An enjoyable stroll through the gardens should take around one hour and 15 minutes.

Once you’ve explored the enchanted gardens, it’s time to get into the Christmas spirit and enjoy one of the many festive family attractions. Take a ride on the charming Victorian carousel and other vintage fairground rides, or visit the boutique Christmas market which promises foodie treats and festive music for all. There’s something for old and young alike and you can even visit Santa’s Grotto and meet the man himself. Kew Gardens promises to be a magical visit this Christmas and offers fun for all of the family.

The winter trails at Kew Gardens will take place from 4.30-10.00pm on a range of different dates between 28th November – 4th January. Visit http://www.kew.org/ for more details. Why not make the day really special and treat a loved one to festive afternoon tea at Dukes Hotel before whizzing on to Kew Gardens for the winter trails? Accompanied by a glass of champagne, it’s the perfect toast to the happiest season of all!

Nour Festival of Arts

The Nour Festival of Arts reflects on the best contemporary art, film, literature, music and performances from the Middle East and North Africa. Running for four consecutive years, the Nour Festival challenges preconceptions, sparks debate and provides insight into culture from across the MENA region.

Taking place from the 1st October – 30th November, this year’s Nour Festival is offering a remarkable range of attractions, including art exhibitions, film screenings and thought-provoking talks. Highlights of this year’s festival include performances across the areas of dance, drama and music.

Nour, which means ‘light’ or ‘illumination’ in various Middle Eastern languages is rapidly becoming one of Europe’s most significant annual showcases of contemporary arts and culture.  Taking place at more than 20 venues across Kensington and Chelsea, Nour has welcomed new partners such as the Royal Albert Hall, Chelsea Theatre, Kensington and Chelsea College, the Gate Theatre and the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha to its venue list.

After an unforgettable journey into the MENA region, why not visit DUKES London to expand your experience with Champagne and Canapés for just £19 per person.

London Jazz Festival

Marked ‘one of the best jazz festivals in the world’ according to the Guardian, London’s Jazz Festival returns to mark its 21st birthday from 15th to 24th November.  Consisting of more than 250 shows over a ten-day period, the festival takes place in a variety of beautiful venues across the city, including London’s hub of cultural arts, the hip Southbank Centre.

The festival offers a perfect mix of classic artists who have helped to write the history of jazz, and new, exciting talent shaping the future of the genre.  The London Jazz Festival will be showcasing amazing artists from all over the world, including some of the very best talent the UK has to offer.  The event does much to showcase the city’s network of different cultures and communities, all of which are united by the electric atmosphere.

This event is not to be missed by all ardent jazz fans.  Highlights of this year’s programme include the opening night gala, Stan Sulzmann’s Neon Orchestra, and Madeleine Peyroux.  For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit: www.londonjazzfestival.org.uk .

Why not extend the experience by dropping into DUKES London after a show, to relax and recharge with 20% off all Classic and Superior rooms on weekends in November. Or to really get into the swing visit DUKES Bar beforehand for one of our famous Martinis!

 

London’s Frieze Art Fair

This October, London welcomes the return of the Frieze Art Fair.  The event is a contemporary art fair held in London’s Regents Park, which draws in over 60,000 visitors; some looking to buy, others just to spectate: “A must-see event” as described by The Guardian.

Originally staged for the purpose of selling works of art, the fair has become much more of a culturally stimulating entertainment event; including 152 of the world’s leading contemporary art galleries, specially commissioned artists’ projects, and an artist-led education schedule.

This year will be the 11th edition of Frieze London and the event aims to be better than ever with a complete redesign of its layout.  This change in design will introduce more sizable public areas and wider aisles along with a new and innovative layout of galleries. This year’s gallery list includes establishments from international territories such as: Brazil, China and Columbia.

Those looking to buy or simply browse should not miss out on the Frieze Art Fair. Tickets can be purchased from http://frieze.seetickets.com/event/frieze-london/regent-s-park/724064.  If visiting at the weekend, why not drop into DUKES London for our delicious Sunday Brunch, priced at just £35.