• St Martin’s Courtyard’s Open Air Comedy Night Announced

    One night of free live comedy in St Martin’s open air Courtyard St Martin’s Courtyard is proud to  present the first free live al-­‐fresco comedy night in the heart of Covent Garden. Located just off Long Acre, the courtyard will be transformed into an open-­‐air comedy club  showcasing the sharpest comedic talent from across the country. For one night only a stage and 150
    theatre style seats will pop-­‐up for an evening of belly aching comedy.

     

    Aisling Bea

    Aisling Bea

     

    ‘Comedy in the Courtyard’ will take place on Thursday 30th July starting at 7:30pm with a stellar line up including one of  the fastest rising stars in the UK comedy circuit, British comedian and actor Joel Dommett. The fantastically charming radio  DJ and comedian Justin Moorhouse from Phoenix Nights and finally the incredibly funny and fearless Irish headliner, Aisling Bea, who has regular spots on Russell Howard’s Good News, McIntyre’s Roadshow, Live at the Apollo and starred in the award winning sketch show, Cardinal Burns.

    Hosting the evening will be the commanding compere Chris Gilbert, a veteran of five National Comedy Tours for the RAF in  addition to hosting events for Ricky Gervais, Michael McIntyre and Tim Vine.

     

    Justin Moorhouse

    Justin Moorhouse

     

    Tickets are free and available online at www.StMartinsCourtyard.co.uk through an online ballot. Winners will be contacted one week prior to the event and the ticket entitles the holder and a plus one, to a seat in the courtyard. If you’re not one of  the lucky ones to win a pair of tickets, don’t panic – a small allocation will be available on a first come, first served  basis from 6:30pm on the night. Heckling is guaranteed for late arrivals!

    Tell us your best joke on Twitter and Facebook for the chance to win a pair of VIP tickets. We have 70 pairs of tickets to  give away and 5 pairs of VIP tickets.

     

    Joel Dommett

    Joel Dommett

     

    Italian wine bar Dalla Terra will be offering a selection of delicious wine & bubbles to purchase throughout the evening at t heir pop-­‐up bar with a larger selection available in house.

    For your chance to win a pair of VIP tickets to the evening, follow St Martin’s Courtyard on twitter @SMCCoventGarden and  keep checking the website for more information, giveaways and opportunities to win.

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  • Events

    Ticketbis’ Essential guide for Wimbledon 2015

    Fun facts and trivia relating to this year’s championship

    With Wimbledon 2015 just around the corner fans are getting ready to enjoy another fascinating fortnight of action at the oldest and most historic of the four Grand Slams.

    This year’s tournament runs from Monday 29th June until Sunday 12th July and fans can still get tickets if they have their wits about them.

    Total prize money for the players has risen by 7%. That means £1.88m each is on offer for the Singles Champions and Novak Djokovic and Petra Kvitová will be fighting hard to defend their titles.

    Ahead of the tournament Ticketbis.net have compiled an essential guide for Wimbledon 2015, including some fun facts about the history and the modern day goings on at the Championships.

    Did you know only seven Championships have been recorded as being without rain interruptions since 1922? Those were 1931, 1976, 1977, 1993, 1995, 2009, 2010.

     

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    Read on to find out more!

    History

    The Ladies’ Singles Plate has been contested since 1886, whilst the Men’s Singles (Challenge Cup) has been disputed since 1887.

    Current champions

    Novak Djokovic (Gentlemen’s Singles)

    Petra Kvitová (Ladies’ Singles)

    Players

    More than 750 players will participate (757 in 2014 including qualifying)

    Prize Money for 2015

    Singles Champions: £1.88m

    Total: £26.75m

    Attendance

    Total attendance for 2014 Championships: 491,084.

    Up to 39,000 spectators per day.

    Matches

    660 during fortnight

    Longest Match 

    2010, Court 18, played over three days

    John Isner (USA) beat Nicolas Mahut (FRA) 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68

    11 hours 5 mins duration

    Final set lasted 8hrs 11mins.

    Most Aces in one championship

    Men: 212 – Goran Ivanisevic (CRO) 2001

    Ladies: 57 – Alexandra Stevenson (USA) 1999, Serena Williams (USA) 2008

    Fastest Ever Serve at Wimbledon

    Men: 148mph – Taylor Dent – 2010

    Women: 129mph – Venus Williams – 2008

    English Summer Weather

    Only seven Championships have been recorded as being without rain interruptions since 1922: 1931, 1976, 1977, 1993, 1995, 2009, 2010.

    Courts

    19 Championships grass courts (Centre Court, Court Number 1, plus 17 more). There is no court number 13!

    Grass

    Championships playing height 8mm.

    Hawk

    Rufus, a Harris Hawk, visits the Club most weeks in the year to provide a deterrent to local pigeons.

    Balls

    54,250 used during The Championships period

    No thank you

    Fans have been told by Wimbledon’s organisers they can leave their selfie sticks at home, whilst of course the players must avoid wearing bright coloured clothes and keep to mainly white shirts and shorts or skirts.

    Getting tickets

    Queue

    The 2015 Queue starts at 8am on Sunday 28 June. Only a few tickets are available each day for the show courts.

    Ground tickets

    Buy tickets on the day for standing room and unreserved seating across courts 3-19. But you cannot get into Centre Court or Courts 1 or 2.

    Go online

    Get resold Debenture day tickets through sites like Ticketbis.net

    Ballot

    Go in for the Ballot run by All England Lawn Tennis Club. Write to AELTC (P.O. BOX 98, London SW19 5AE) for ballot form, but this has to be sent by December of previous year. Your chances of getting tickets are around 1 in 10.

    Royal box

    Wimbledon’s Royal Box has 74 seats and getting an invite into this elite area is tricky but President Clinton has managed it and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton has found a way in for life!

    Become a Member

    Join the All England Lawn Tennis Club. There are 375 members, 100 temporary Members elected each year. If you have been good enough to win Wimbledon you can be invited!

    Become a Debenture Holder

    Sign a cheque for about £50,000 for Centre Court Debentures, or £20,000 for Court number 1 and send it to Wimbledon! Debentures only happen every five years.

    Tournaments

    There are 12 tournaments held annually as part of the Championships:

    Gentlemen’s Singles

    Ladies’ Singles

    Gentlemen’s Doubles

    Ladies’ Doubles

    Mixed Doubles

    Boys’ Singles

    Girls’ Singles

    Boys’ Doubles

    Girls’ Doubles

    Wheelchair Gentlemen’s Doubles

    Wheelchair Ladies’ Doubles

    Gentlemen’s Senior Invitation Doubles

    Refreshments

    At the largest single annual sporting catering operation in Europe, these quantities are supplied by Championships’ caterers over the fortnight of play.

    350,000 cups of tea and coffee

    230,000 glasses of Pimm’s

    100,000 pints of draught beer and lager

    142,000 portions of English strawberries

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  • Seven Dials’ upcoming Spotlight open air free music, arts and culture festival in London

    Seven Dials, London’s go to fashion, lifestyle and restaurant destination announces the date for Spotlight, a free one-­‐day festival of arts, music and culture. On Saturday 15th August, 12 noon until 7pm the area will be transformed in to a traffic free alfresco hot spot celebrating arts and entertainment.

    The open-­‐air stage will be positioned next to the Seven Dials monument, showcasing an impressive line-­‐up of theatre, dance, comedy and
    music performances. Visitors can enjoy the pop-­‐up lawn around the Dial complete with deck chairs and garden games.

     

    spotlight

    In between the performances, shop the selection of independent boutiques and flagship stores to discover a series of indoor and outdoor promotions
    and activities. Refuel at one of the many top restaurants, bars and cafes, including Tredwell’s, Kopapa, Earlham Street Clubhouse and Homeslice
    to name a few.

    Earlham Street will be transformed into a foodie’s paradise, lined with some of your favourite street vendors and Seven Dials bars and restaurants,
    offering a selection of vibrant street food.

    Don’t forget to SAVE THE DATE and put it in your diary for the perfect day out with family and friends.

    Head to SevenDials.co.uk for more up to date information.

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  • TheatreBreaks.com’s six West End musicals bringing back swinging sixties

    TheatreBreaks.com is rolling back the years and conjuring up the spirit of 1960’s London, with a series of ticket and hotel packages for six West End musicals that, between them, feature over 200 songs from the Swinging Sixties.

    The 60’s is probably one of the best loved musical eras and, with many bands and iconic tunes currently celebrating their 50thanniversary, it is no surprise that there are plenty of opportunities to experience the sights and sounds of Swinging London!

     

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    Currently there are five shows in London with 60’s roots: Jersey Boys , Let It Be , Sunny Afternoon , Beautiful and The Commitments (although The Commitments is set later, most of the music is still unashamedly 60’s).

    Theatre Breaks has also just announced that short breaks are also now on sale for the Broadway smash hit musical Motown – the musical which opens in February 2016. It tells the fascinating story of how Berry Gordy created the sound of Motown and, not only influenced the music industry, but also crossed political and racial divides, to bring people together in music.

     

    Swinging Sixties

     

    The 60’s and its music helped form the world we now live in, so I am so excited that visitors can now come to London and get such a taste of that decade: its music, what it celebrated and what it stood for!” says Simon Harding of TheatreBreaks.com

    Personally, I was only born in the 60’s so I didn’t know much about it at the time, but the fabulous music from these shows has always been part of my life.   “Stop in the Name of Love” and “Nowhere to Run” on the Tamla Motown label and the Beatles’ “Ticket To Ride” were in the charts in the UK the week I was born and, coincidentally, it was the same week that The Kinks’ Davies brothers had their famous falling out in Cardiff which ended in the drummer knocking out Dave!

     

    Swinging Sixties2

     

    Theatre and hotel packages start at less than £100 per person including top price ticket and accommodation based on two people sharing a twin or double room and Theatre Breaks offers discounts on optional rail travel too, so it doesn’t cost the earth to get to London either!

    Further information on Theatre Breaks’ Swinging Sixties Packages is at http://www.theatrebreaks.com/blog/london-musicals-with-songs-from-the-60s

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  • New Minicabster App Gets You A Cab In An Instant

    The release of the brand new Minicabster app today means that Londoners are never more than two taps away from the city’s most reliable and affordable minicabs. Packed with a range of exciting new features, the dynamic new app is set to revolutionise urban transport, and cement Minicabster as the go-to provider of minicab comparison and booking.

    Built purely with the user in mind, passengers now have the ability to save their favourite addresses as tiles on the start screen so wherever they are, comparing fares is simply one tap away. Minicabster is perfect for the regular travellers as the instant quote comparison puts passengers ‘in the driving seat’, with the ability to choose what type of vehicle they’d like, what price, and even browse the operator ratings before booking.

     

    minicabster1

     

    The app’s product and development was lead by Irshad Khan, Business Lead/Head of Technology at Minicabster who previously has worked for successful startups such as Just Eat, Blink Box and Adobe Shockwave. The new app was designed based on customer feedback, which overwhelmingly found that usability was one of the key criteria for the app – and the new design delivers. Ordering a cab to your location takes just two taps, and users can store their card details within the app, so there’s no need to get caught short without any cash.

    Another key benefit of the app is up-front pricing – Minicabster believe in transparency, so their passengers will never be faced with an unexpected bill when they arrive at their destination. The app allows users to get a confirmation of the cost of their journey before booking, so they can find the cheapest option and know that the cab provider will honour the quote. Getting caught in traffic can be a financial nightmare when you’re in a black cab or metered cab – but Minicabster provides concrete quotes, so passengers won’t pay a penny more on arriving at their destination.

     

    minicabster2

     

    Sadie Gee, Business Lead at Minicabster says, “The new app is in perfect alignment with our company ethos – we wanted an app that was fast, convenient and reliable, with plenty of features that put our passengers first. The typical Minicabster user tends to make the same journeys regularly, so we incorporated the ‘address tiles’ into the new app, meaning wherever passengers are, they can find the price to get home with literally one tap. With Minicabster, people can compare the most reliable local providers, pre-book journeys in advance or request an immediate minicab, save their favourite journeys and get confirmed quotes. We’ve deliberately made the app as simple as possible, so getting the best deal for any journey is as easy as possible, and everyone can spend more time focusing on the more exciting things – like where they’re off to!”

     

    minicabster3

     

    The new features unveiled by Minicabster are the result of in-depth research into the demands and needs of minicab users all over the country. Up-front pricing, the ability to pre-book journeys and the option to save journeys to the app were all sought-after features for regular minicab users, and Minicabster prides itself on its ability to listen to what passengers want from the service. The brand new app addresses these basic passenger needs and provides simple solutions to each of their demands.

    Gee adds, “All of the new features in the app were created with the passenger in mind – we constantly strive to ensure we offer the most reliable, punctual, and competitively priced service for our customers, from booking to arrival.”

    With the launch of the new app, Minicabster has set itself firmly on the road to success, putting passengers’ needs first and listening to the feedback of existing users to ensure their service meets every demand. The truly twenty-first century travel app is now a one-stop-shop for all journeys – whether they’re for business or pleasure.

    For more information about Minicabster, visit the website or download the app: http://www.minicabster.co.uk

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  • Eleanor Dillon-Reams leading London hit show Henry V

    Eleanor Dillon-Reams is Queen of Shakespeare’s Kings – Henry V – in the hit show, Henry V – Lion of England, in London for the first time to commemorate the 600th anniversary of The Battle of Agincourt.

    The role has been made famous in the past by Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh, but now Eleanor Dillon-Reams plays Henry V – and twelve other characters! Henry V – Lion of England was a hit at the Edinburgh Festival and has toured the UK, Ireland and the USA, but it comes to London for the first time – to a pub!

    Writer and Maverick’s Artistic Director, Nick Hennegan said, “To celebrate 21 years of the Maverick Theatre Company we thought we’d bring back the show that started it all to commemorate the Battle of Agincourt. On tour it’s been a big production, with lighting, music and special effects, but we first did it in a pub back in 1992 and we wanted to get back to that. We’ve also had four previous actors playing Henry V – all men. And our SM is female too. So it’s great that we’re now an all-woman show – apart from me, of course!”

    Director Katie Merritt said, “Eleanor was just the best talent for the show. I’ve always believed in gender-blind casting and although it creates extra elements for direction, we’ve been able to add a new scene with one of the female characters and it gives an extra dimension to the piece I think.”

    Eleanor Dillon-Reams said, “I’ve been very aware from day one that I’d be not only taking on a huge lead role but one that is famous for being played by many of the great MALE actors. Being a 20 something woman means I’m not necessarily as strong or physically big as any of the previous Henrys’ that have taken on this solo version of Henry V. It’s been a real exploration, but ultimately, the piece will inevitably be different because you have a woman playing the role and that’s not a hindrance, it’s really bloody exciting!”

    ‘Henry V – Lion of England’ by Nick Hennegan. Upstairs at The Wheatsheaf Pub, 25 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 1JB. Weekends till 20th June, 2015. Tickets £6-£24, but use the limited time special offer code when booking – HENRY01 and get HALF PRICE TICKETS!

    For further information see Henry V – Lion of England. Maverick can be found at www.mavericktheatre.co.uk or http://stageone.uk.com/

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  • Tourism

    24 hours in London

    Some ideas on spending 24 hours in London

    So you find yourself in London for just 24 hours  –  how are you going to make sure that you get the most out of your time in one of the world’s most exciting cities? Here are some ideas on seeing as much as possible during your time in London.

    Begin the day early with a stroll around Hyde Park, wander past the Serpentine and pay a visit to the Princess Diana Memorial. Stroll down past Hyde Park Corner and through Green Park on to Buckingham Palace.

    After taking the obligatory tourist snap with the iconic guards at the Palace continue your walking tour of the cities green spaces with a stroll through St James’s Park and down to Trafalgar Square. Take in Nelson’s Column and battle the other tourists to climb up onto the imposing marble lions that guard the column.

    Maybe refresh with a coffee and a snack and then head down Whitehall, past the impressive government buildings to see Downing Street which Prime Minister, David Cameron, calls home. Only a few more metres down the road you will come across the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey – some of the capitals most famous and beautiful buildings.

    Just across the river is the London Eye. Yes, it is basically a giant ferris wheel but at 443 foot, each 30-minute ‘flight’ provides you with wonderful, uninterrupted views of the city.

    Every visit to London should involve a stroll along the South Bank on the River Thames. It’s a great opportunity for some people watching and there are lots of street performers wowing crowds, book stalls to peruse and places to grab a bite to eat or a drink. Eventually you will stumble upon the imposing disused power station that has been converted into the Tate Modern, one of London’s most popular museums with locals and tourists alike.

    When you can drag yourself away from the modern art, continue your walk along the South Bank taking in St Paul’s Cathedral on the other side of the river and on to Borough Market. This farmers market is a foodie heaven and after all your walking, you will deserve to treat yourself. Sample the cheese, bread, pestos and pastries on offer and wash it down with some traditional English cider.

    By now, you will no doubt be weary from all the walking so it’s time to hop on a tube to Liverpool Street. From here you can wander through the stalls and trendy shops of Spitalfields Market on to Brick Lane where if you can fit it in, you can enjoy one of the best Indian curries in London. No doubt you will be exhausted but if you can manage it, the area around Brick Lane and Shoreditch High Street provides lots of great options for late night watering holes.

    Your 24 hours in London will be tiring but it will also leave you wanting more. Be sure to visit again soon.

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  • Events

    London themed Mr. Men story to be published by Transport for London and Egmont

    The Mr. Men Little Miss characters have partnered with Transport for London (TfL) and Egmont to publish Mr. Men in London, a brand new Mr. Men Little Miss story featuring everyone’s favourite characters on a day trip to the Big Smoke.  The new book will see the Mr. Men Little Miss characters join the millions of customers who use the transport network every day as they hop on and off buses and use London Underground to navigate their way around the tourism Capital of the world.

    Mr. Men in London is an official collaboration between Mr. Men Little Miss and TfL, consisting of a strong merchandise range including children’s stationery, wall art and adult gifting, the Mr. Men in London book, and a wide scale poster campaign throughout the London Underground network.

     

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    London Transport Museum’s Summer Family Programme will also feature Mr. Men in London themed events including storytelling, creative workshops and a Mr. Men Little Miss themed trail throughout the Museum.  Activities will run on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th June, from Monday 27th July to Sunday 2nd August, and Saturday 15th August to Sunday 23rd August.

    Sarah Bates, Publishing Director at Egmont Publishing said: “We loved teaming up with TfL and Sanrio to create this book.  We can’t imagine a better organisation to work with on a story about visiting London.  TfL is so much a part of the landscape and culture of London and we are thrilled that this book has been developed with them as it has given it an extra special ‘London’ feel.”

    David Ellis, Head of IPR Development at TfL, said: “We are very excited to see two iconic British brands working together in this way.  TfL and Mr. Men make a great pair and have come together in a book that families everywhere will be able to enjoy together.”

     

    mr men in london

     

    The trademark quirky humour of Mr. Men Little Miss runs throughout Mr. Men in London.  The story revolves around a tour of famous London landmarks led by Mr. Busy, including Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and, of course, London Transport Museum. The book will be £2.99 and will publish on 4th June 2015.

    Mr. Men Little Miss is owned by Sanrio and was the fifth most popular children’s book brand in 2014, selling over two million pounds worth of books.  In a recent poll conducted by Egmont, over 70 per cent of parents said that they have read Mr. Men Little Miss books to their children.  Film rights for Mr. Men Little Miss have recently been secured by Fox Animation, the studio behind the Ice Age and Rio franchises.  Shawn Levy, the producer and director of the Night at the Museum films starring Ben Stiller, is signed on to produce a Mr. Men Little Miss film.

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  • Events

    Trinity House Hosts Private Tour Over Waterloo Anniversary

    Trinity House, the working home of the General Lighthouse Authority located on Tower Hill, will host a rare private tour and tea in conjunction with the Waterloo Association from 2.45pm – 5pm on Monday, June 15th as part of the 200th anniversary celebrations of the Battle of Waterloo. A professional guide will conduct the tour of the House’s many fascinating maritime artefacts and important paintings which include a full-length, life-size portrait by John Lucas of the Duke of Wellington commissioned to commemorate his position as Master of Trinity House from 1837 – 1852. It is not essential to subscribe to the Association to participate but members will be given priority if places become limited. A nominal charge of £10 will be levied on arrival and will include light refreshments.

    Portrait of the Duke of Wellington by John Lucas

    Portrait of the Duke of Wellington by John Lucas

    Visit www.waterloo200.org.uk and www.waterlooassociation.org.uk for more information about this and other events taking place as part of the celebrations.

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  • Laksha Bay delivering taste of India to streets of London

    Londoners and tourists visiting the capital heading out for authentic Indian cuisine often head to the well-known curry hubs: Brick Lane, Soho and various high streets in the boroughs of London. But one impressive Indian restaurant and takeaway is giving world-renowned curry a new home, in the heart of Wapping and East London. Laksha Bay, a long established curry house has transformed Wapping into the hot new destination for curry lovers.

    Bringing a taste of the real India to the streets of East London, Laksha Bay has a large fan base of customers who regularly travel across London and from further afield to dine in the first class restaurant. Its takeaway service is also a firm favourite of locals who get to sample the delicious delicacies of South East Asia in their own homes. The flavoursome food and five star service is highlighted in one customer’s TripAdvisor review: “My husband and I make the trip to Wapping every 3 months or so as to get the best Indian food in the UK…we are never disappointed.”

    Head Chef at Laksha Bay, Anayet Hussain, said “London is one of the best curry destinations in the world. But many people are priced out of the fancy Indian restaurants in Soho and Chelsea, and while Brick Lane is a top choice for curry and Bengali cuisine, the crowds and touts can put some people off. Wapping is a lively neighbourhood near the river, and we are putting it on the map for a firm British favourite – curry.”

    Laksha Bay serves up an array of mouth-watering dishes, marrying authentic and modern cooking techniques. Offering a twist on one of the nation’s favourite meals, the Nepali Chicken Tikka Masala is a refreshing sweet and sour dish with lemon zest and a hint of mango, while the spicy Kolkata Lamb delivers tender pieces of meat prepared traditionally for an unprecedented flavour.

    The man behind the Wapping establishment, Fareed Nabir, recently won an award at the British Bangladeshi Business Awards for “Entrepreneur of the Year.” With the success of the restaurant ever growing, the recognition from the Asian community firmly establishes Laksha Bay as a curry house to watch out for.

    To find out more about the delicious Indian dishes on offer at Laksha Bay, visit http://www.lakshabay.co.uk to make your reservation or order online.

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