London Jazz Festival: one of the best in the world

A black and white shot of a man playing jazz on a saxophoneMarked “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 10-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 .

In London for the festival? Why not extend the experience by dropping into our DUKES Bar after a show to relax and recharge with one of our famous Martinis!

Image courtesy of Jimmy Baikovicius

Waterloo Food Festival: a must-visit for any foodie!

Mexican finger foodIf you’re in London this month, there’s still time to catch the Waterloo Food Festival! Renowned for its specialist food shops, bars, cafes, pubs and restaurants, the Southbank is hosting the fifth year of the celebration of food and flavour.

Join in with the festival for tastings, cooking demonstrations and a selection of street food, where food businesses within Waterloo sit alongside long-term festival sponsors, featuring tropical cocktails, freshly prepared Latin American food, traditional pub grub and a selection of butchers, bakers, greengrocers, coffee specialists and wine merchants.

Making its debut is also the Lower Marsh Market, one of London’s oldest and best loved street markets, with mouth watering offers on every delicious food stall. Festival goers can check out the many outdoor food and music events, such as a tequila tasting and ethically sourced Mexican food, or explore the Fantasy Cafe in which artists take over to create a place ‘full of your wildest dreams’.

The event is now more accessible than ever, with a brand new free app to download, helping food fans be informed on the go. The Twitter feed also provides live updates, and the offers and competitions page is a great way to find out how to get an amazing deal. Make sure you go soon, as the exciting event ends on the 31st July!

This is a wonderful destination for foodies everywhere, so why not quench your thirst after at DUKES Bar afterwards? The best venue to relax in a timeless atmosphere, the exclusive and intimate bar is famous for its personalised cocktails and renowned martinis, and is the perfect end to a day of exploring your taste buds.

Remembering London 2012 with the Open East Arts Festival

An aerial shot of London's Olympic ParkThis month the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will be open to the public to hold the Open East Arts Festival, celebrating one year since the Olympic Games and East London Culture.

This festival is the perfect day out – from the 27-28th July individuals have a special opportunity to see where the Olympic Games were held, whilst simultaneously enjoying a day in the park overflowing with food, music, theatre, sport and family fun.

There is a variety of live music and performances to discover from acts such as The Waterboys, Seun Kuti, some soul Caribbean and many other fantastic live performances. Enjoy some of the food from the real food festival, including a communal feast on one of the bridges over the River Lea or just simply relax and have a picnic along the quintessential river bank. In the mean time young ones can enjoy the mini circus from the house of fairytales, storytelling, art and craft workshops, puppet shows and a whole host of activities to keep them smiling.

Ticket prices range from £6.00 to £9.50, and under 5s can go for free. To check for availability of tickets please click here. The festival is set to last 2 days, runs from 1:30pm to 10pm and includes a spectacular finale at 9:30pm. Also keep a look out for upcoming events in the park, namely the London Anniversary Games and the Wireless festival.

And after a fun-packed day in the park why not wind down and enjoy a meal at our restaurant? Offering a wide variety of delicious British dishes, it is the perfect way to end a somewhat perfect day.

Image courtesy of EG Focus

Sundance Film and Music Festival returns to London

An external shot of the London O2 ArenaThis year’s Sundance Film and Music Festival is set to take place at The 02, London. The Sundance Festival offers four sensational days of live music and the UK premieres of American independent films, fresh from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

This year’s film festival boasts, amongst a variety of extraordinary films, Lake Bell’s award-winning “In a World….”, the story of an underachieving vocal coach, who is motivated by her father to pursue her aspirations of becoming a voice-over star, which sets her on a path to change the voice of a generation.

Musically, Sundance London presents a fantastic range of genres, including newcomer Alex Burey, a 17 year old soul singer from Croydon, and Lesley Pike who is known across Northern America and the UK for her engaging and comical live shows of electronic music that hold a hint of a 1980s influence.

Alongside film and music, Sundance London offers a range of special events that are designed to bring a unique experience to festival goers. One such event is the Filmmakers Hub Talk, an exciting opportunity to have a sit down talk with some of the festival’s filmmakers.

The bonus to this amazing experience is that it is affordable: individual screenings cost £14, which includes a booking fee. However, if you’re an avid film enthusiast, you might be more interested in the festival’s packages, such as the sky superscreen pass which is £280.

Just a 25 minute, no fuss train journey to the o2 Arena, DUKES London is a great place to stay while attending this remarkable festival. You can take the opportunity to wind down after the excitements of the day in our famous bar or alternatively you can relax in one of our luxurious suites.

Image courtesy of Hynek Moravec