Tag Archives: london grump

Exploring the John Lewis Roof Garden

To celebrate turning 150 years old John Lewis has opened a lovely little roof garden, at the top of its gargantuan Oxford Street store.

 

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The rooftop is fully covered in turf, and fitted out with deck chairs, gazebos and little conservatories full of random garden objects. Even ruined radios. Everyone’s got a ruined radio knocking about in their garden, haven’t they?

 

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You can also refuel on the roof with fresh juices and snacks from “Joe and the Juice”.

 

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It’s all down to the work of Designer Tony Woods, who takes an innovative approach to traditional garden design by utilising British landscape features with the zeitgest of today. Planting has been carefully selected to ensure that the garden provides an abundance of colour and scent throughout John Lewis’s 150 celebrations, and gardeners from the store’s own Longstock estate also helped transform the space.

 

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The plants are nectar-rich and include favourite plants of yesteryear, such as roses and lavender. More contemporary planting includes blocks of textural grasses, peppered with wild flowers, and living wall schemes to encourage biodiversity.

 

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Tony Woods became the RHS Young Garden Designer of the Year 2013 for his ‘Escape to the City’ urban garden. His winning design conveyed how you can achieve tranquillity and escape, even in an urban garden. Tony is founder and owner of The Garden Club London.

 

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John Lewis Roof Garden Opening Times: 

The John Lewis Roof Garden is accessible through the shop and open daily 10am – 4pm (Sunday 11.30am – 4pm) until 31 August .

 

John Lewis Roof Garden,
John Lewis

300 Oxford St,
London
W1A 1EX

 

johnlewis.com

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Review: Hootananny Brixton

Have you ever been in a pub and thought to yourself… what this place needs is a shitload of passive aggressive people, sweating profusely and jumping up and down to the sounds of some kooky rock band that never quite made it but wholeheartedly refuses to give up…?

 

You HAVE? Fantastic!

 

Let me tell you about Hootananny, Brixton’s weirdest (i.e. worst) night out.

 

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So, What’s It Like?

Like a pub, designed by someone who hates pubs. One half of this grime-encrusted netherworld is really very much like a good old public house, it’s got a snooker table and everything.

The other is more of a school assembly hall, with a stage at the end. Massive velvet curtains too, harbouring small colonies of undiscovered species. There’s also a bar, but it’s been carefully hidden behind a monstrous crowd of slobbering drunks, so you might not see that.

Outside there are many marquees, and street food vendors selling some sort of garlic coated pizza thing, presumably in an effort to add a smattering of halitosis to the rich and varied scents drifting about the place.

There are also patio heaters, conveniently placed in the centre of the marquees, threatening to sizzle the skin off of anyone brave enough to attempt to pass them. So that’s fun!

 

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Don’t Miss

The toilets. Seriously, these funky-smelling things would give the good old festival toilet experience a run for its money… but that’s not even the best bit! The toilets at Hootannany also come with LIVE MUSIC!!

Here entertainment is provided by the attendants, who delight in screeching the most indecent of lyrics, stopping every so often to shout at you to hurry yourself up. Who doesn’t love to pee under pressure?

 

 

Will I Get In?

Hootannany Brixton reckons itself as some of member’s club, delusions of grandeur so hysterically funny you’ll forgive me for taking a few moments just to compose myself.

As you enter mysterious people in a hut whip a few quid from your desperate, nervous little hands, then glare at you as a strapping security guard frisks you to within an inch of your life. Only then are you presented with Hootenanny’s special membership card, which apparently gets you money off when you come back.

Why you would return after experiencing Hootannany once, though, is anyone’s guess.

 

 

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Will I Find Love?

No. You won’t. Because within minutes of being granted entry to this entirely tragic arena of awfulness you’ll feel so utterly dejected you’ll consider throwing yourself in front of a bus, before deciding that actually just going home would probably take the pain away.

 

 

 

Who Goes?

  1. People who hate music.
  2. Failed bands.
  3. People who want to fight you.

 

 

The Verdict:

Absolutely not.

 

 

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Hootannany
95 Effra Rd,
Greater London
SW2 1DF

020 7737 7273

URBAN FOOD FEST “SUPERHEROES” NIGHT, SATURDAY 24TH MAY

This Saturday (24th May 2014) Urban Food Fest will be hosting a most incredible Superheroes night, complete with heroic street food, costumes and a fully themed bar. 

Continue reading URBAN FOOD FEST “SUPERHEROES” NIGHT, SATURDAY 24TH MAY

Gluten Free Grilling with the Tefal Optigrill

I love a gadget. And I’ve just got a new one. It’s called Optigrill… and it’s practically perfect in every way. Made by Tefal, the Optigrill is a sort of jazzed up George Foreman, which by some sort of witchcraft knows how long to cook all sorts of different foodstuffs. Even steak.

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Balthazar, Covent Garden

Balthazar is the London brand of Keith McNally’s New York restaurant; it opened its doors for the very first time in 2013. Now I haven’t actually seen the New York version but rumour has it the Covent Garden outpost is exactly the same. Like EXACTLY.

Continue reading Balthazar, Covent Garden