Altitude 360 is hosting a Grammy Awards Charity event for Haiti

30 01 2010

Altitude 360 is hosting an exclusive screening of the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards with all proceeds going to fundraising event for Haiti, this Sunday 31 January, 2010. The event will involve a charity auction and a live screening of the ceremony with celebrity interviews straight from the red carpet.  Doors open at 8pm to 3am.

All proceeds raised through this event will go directly to the Red Cross in aid of Haiti. With only 600 tickets available for this event, entry is exclusively available for Altitude 360 Facebook Fans only.  Fans must RSVP by emailing, and will be selected on a first come first served basis.

Altitude 360 provides an 8,300 square foot events space offering 360-degree panoramic views across London, overlooking some of London’s monumental landmarks including The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and The London Eye.


For further information please visit the event’s Facebook page.

Altitude 360
Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP
Tel: +44 (0) 845 500 2929

Urban Species on Unlabelled Britain

19 01 2010

I’ve just recently started contributing to the blog Unlabelled Britain, run by the oh so cool and the gang guys from the VisitBritain office  over in New York. My latest post on Unlabelled Britain is on Urban Species in Shoreditch (see below). Unlabelled Britain is one of the best, freshest blogs out there covering the whole of Britain, and I’m geeked to be a part of it! Check it out!

Take it from them, Shoreditch shop owners know ‘East End’ cool

Urban Species 2

London can seem like an endless metropolis, impossible to navigate or even know where to start. Dig a bit deeper, though and you’ll find that London is really a collection of interrelated boroughs, a series of small towns. If you are looking to navigate your way through east London’s Shoreditch area, Urban Species is a great place to start. Owner Sarah and her son Hash, own and run the store located just off of Brick Lane, though they are just as much conduits for the creative community as they are simple shop owners.

Urban Species 3

Urban Species have their own lines ofclothing and art, are Marvel and DC Comics licensees, and are also an events company bringing together local artists, designers, dancers, musicians, even special effects make-up artists to produce exhibitions and club nights around town.

I recently met with Sarah to talk about the store and what’s on this year at Urban Species. Sarah tipped me off that we can expect to see a series of pop up shops being installed, the first of which is from the brand Moneypenny. Sarah is also one of the kindest and most welcoming people I’ve met in the area, which is why I would definitely suggest popping in if you get the chance and chatting with Sarah, Hash and the whole Urban Species gang for some insider tips on Shoreditch.


So you think you know London…Name this London location!

17 01 2010

Name this London location

Name this London location

Name this London location in the comment box below and show off your stuff in a MyMetropole blog post. You have free reign to show off your writing or your photos, though of course we’d like it to be London or Britain-related, if you can swing it!  Read the post from the most recent winner, Barb Alexander of TudorTudor blog.

Guest Post: My Favourite Place in London

14 01 2010
One of the coolest things about running this blog is the chance I get to connect with other bloggers who share my love for London. One such blogger is Joe Harvey, of Centre of the World, which intertwines a passion for writing and a passion for London through poetic storytelling with unrelated imagery of particular London locations.

Joe’s been good enough to share some of this knowledge (and his pics) with MyMetropole. Enjoy his guest post below and stay tuned for a follow-up by yours truly, whose goal it is to go check out a few of these locations that I either have not yet visited or didn’t even know about!!


My favourite place in London…

Of London’s myriad sites of intrigue and entertainment, the places and buildings that are most out of kilter with their surroundings tend to endear themselves to me the most.

In the North-West of the city, a gigantic limestone and marble Hindu Mandir hides amongst the grim suburbs of ‘the loneliest village in London’ – Neasden.

Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (Neasden Temple)

Camley Street Natural Park provides a retreat of calmness only yards away from the industrial activity of King’s Cross St Pancras.

Camley Street Natural Park

However, my favourite place in London has to be somewhere within the East End of the metropolis, where I currently live. In between disused docks, derelict warehouses and vacant lanes, is Trinity Buoy Wharf. This peculiar peninsula is home to London’s only lighthouse, a thousand-year-long record featuring Tibetan “singing bowls”, a minute hut displaying the works of Michael Faraday, a city made out of recycled cargo containers, “fatburgers” and a multitude of artwork, both complete and in progress.

Since 1998, this former buoy manufacturing site has dedicated itself to the creative arts and now houses approximately 350 artists and businesses. Artwork is strewn around the wharf, while in the distance

Antony Gormley’s Quantum Cloud

structure sits just to the side of the building formerly known as the Millennium Dome.

Fatboy’s Diner, an original 1940s all-American diner, serves ‘Fatburgers’, American breakfasts, omelettes and sandwiches. All delicious.

The Chain and Buoy Store and the Superintendent’s House provide the wharf with its historical insight. While Container City, a community built out of shipping crates, provides an alternative view on modern housing. London’s only lighthouse is home to the Longplayer Sound installation, an ever-evolving piece of music that has been designed to play continuously without repetition for a thousand years.

Container City

As with many of London’s delights, Trinity Buoy Wharf is enhanced by its inauspicious surroundings. Docks lie disused and industry unplugged. Regeneration is needed and the wharf is a prime example of how creativity can be used to rejuvenate a vacant space into an extraordinary site.

Thanks to Centre of the World for this excellent guest post!

I’m a photographer, not a terrorist

12 01 2010

Actually, I am neither a photographer nor a terrorist. And this is a travel & lifestyle blog about London, not a soapbox. But frankly I have been appalled at the stories of arrests of photographers going about their business throughout London and being arrested for it. Photographers are documenters of contemporary society, of architecture, and of the varied little enclaves of life that make humans such interesting creatures.  Taking  pictures of the architecture in the City of London is no more illegal than scanning the structures with your own eyes.

In a country with the highest levels of surveillance in the entire world and enough CCTV cameras to stir Orwell up out of  the grave, it

is inconceivable that innocent photography should be restricted. The average London resident is caught on surveillance footage over 300 times a day, according to last week’s Evening Standard, and yet crimes solved using CCTV footage has actually steadily decreased over the last 10 years. The government can advocate an (needless) increase in the use of cameras, yet Londoners and visitors to this great Metropole are being arrested for (innocently)  pointing their own lenses.

The thought of my favorite photographer, MissDani, being arrested for taking a picture of St Pauls Cathedral is horrifying, as is the thought of not being able to enjoy her photography and that of others who capture this buzzing capital city and showcase it for the world.

I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist is a mass photo gathering in protest of recent arrests and the overreaching invocation of terrorism laws.

12pm, 23 January, Trafalgar Square. Be there!

It’s Who You Know…Brett Jefferson Stott

9 01 2010

Brett Jefferson Stott is exactly the reason why I do these It’s Who You Know interviews. Director of Shoot Experience, a wildly popular photography services company based in London, Brett’s journey to his current entrepreneurial success is formed by a varied history: Where his passion led, he followed. Shoot Experience is an experiential photography organisation focusing on photography and audience participation, through photo treasure hunts, popular events such as the Shoot London event at the Tate and ShootSpitalfields events, photographic competitions, photography workshops and corporate events.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Brett exclusively for MyMetropole.

MyMetropole: Shoot Experience is such a fun concept. Where did you get the initial idea?

Brett:I had heard of a scavenger hunt in NYC in 2004 and thought it would be good to try something here. I chatted about it with a few friends and moulded the idea until it became a photo treasure hunt.

It took us 3 or 4 events to tweak the format we have now. The original concept was more of a Shoot London, Shoot Tokyo, etc. In the end we started small with a Shoot Shoreditch event in October 2005 which got the attention of Tate Modern who we then partnered with for our first Shoot London in May 2006. The rest, as they say, is history…

MyMetropole: What is your background?

Brett: I studied multimedia and worked producing multimedia and online content for 10 years. I also taught modules of degree courses at various institutions in South Africa and the UK.

This did involve photography to some degree and the experience and skills transferred quite well.

MyMetropole: What is the best part of your current day job?

Brett:We get to travel quite a bit and work with top galleries and museums on exciting projects which is very satisfying.

People get a lot of joy out of the work we do which is a pleasure to witness!

Shoot Spitalfields

MyMetropole: So you own an experiential photography company, worked in multimedia and online content production…What was your dream job?

Brett:I actually started out in music which was my dream. New media as it was then, when it was still quite new, was more of a back up. (Brett recorded under the names Jefferson and Freedom Republic).

Shoot Experience was almost accidental, I never set out to run a photography business – an idea became a business and it just grew that way.

I would have never thought 10 years ago that I would be doing what I am now but I am grateful for it and it has become my passion!

MyMetropole: What are your favourite London locations for picture taking?

Brett:I love the Square Mile – on the weekends its empty and the architecture and history is fascinating. You can really uncover some little known gems like St Dunstans Church which had its roof blown off in one of the wars and is now turned into a garden.

It is however an area where you are likely to be queried by police when taking photos.

MyMetropole: What are you favourite London locations for party/relaxation/restaurants?

Brett:Haggerston Park near where I live in Dalston is a really underrated park where I enjoy hanging out in the summer.

Our offices were in Shoreditch until recently and so the Vietnamese restaurants on Kingsland Road saw a good deal of our custom, especially Tay Do cafe.

There are some really great pubs near Dalston, the George, the Haggerston and the Skolt Head.

Read more about Brett Jefferson Stott and ShootExperience.

Who’s Jack – January 2010

7 01 2010

Who's Jack Issue 32

MissDani and I have  two articles in Who’s Jack for January. On page 42-43  I ramble a bit about Supper Clubs in London. This is a topic I’ve really become interested in, and have written about not only for Who’s Jack, but also for – also out this month.  The article covers the top current Undergrounds Restaurants, or Supper Clubs, in London including Hoxton Jupiter’s The Secret Ingredient in Stoke Newington, Arno Maasdorp’s The Saltoun Supper Club and The Salad Club in Brixton, Phlight in Fulham, and new kid on the block Civet Cat Club (around the corner from Jupiter’s Secret Ingredient).

The second article on p66 is a photo-article by MissDani and I on the book ‘This Book Will Change Your Life” by Benrik. The photographs feature the Barefaced Theatre Company, a creative bunch of individuals we had the pleasure of working with in November on the photoshoot. Barefaced was really willing to roll up their sleeves and undertake some fairly crazy improv situations such as “See the Virgin Mary in Everything” “Become a Secret Agent for the Day” and “Find a Lost Pet Day” (hang up a poster of a lost cat and see if anyone gives you one).

Another one of Benrik’s suggestions, “Start a Home Restaurant” inspired Horton Jupiter to do just that, sparking one of London’s Culinary Zeitgeists of the 2009.

Enjoy the articles and we would love your feedback! Make sure to have a click around the supper club websites and stay tuned in to what Barefaced is up to next.

Benrik Lost Cast - Barefaced

Saltoun Supper Club

The Salad Club

The Salad Club

Great British film of 2009: Sherlock Holmes

4 01 2010

This holiday staycation included equally extensive stints of slumber and sloth, sprinkled with enough spurts of activity to make sure there was still  a pulse.  Top of the list was bundling up and heading out to the Odeon on Tottenham Court Road on Boxing Day (December 26th) to check out the opening day of Sherlock Holmes.

Despite an unfortunately thin plot (you might say it was – groan – ‘elementary’), Guy Ritchie managed to deliver the 2009 British Film of the Year in this part mystery thriller, part comedy and all around love letter to London.

Filmed on location in London, Liverpool and Manchester,  Ritchie shot scenes at St Paul’s Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament, Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich and Tower Bridge plays a key role of its own alongside Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Rachel McAdams and Mark Strong. Other key locations include scenes shot in Manchester at the Manchester Town Hall, in Liverpool at the Albert Dock, and at Chatham Historic Dockyard in Kent.

Robert Downey Jr said, “Sherlock Holmes has great pride in being English.  London is an incredibly fascinating city and the centre of the world at the time our film takes place.  Holmes knows every inch of it and feels it’s his city.” The Holmes heartthrob added,” It was great fun filming throughout Britain.”

Slightly obsessed both with film locations (MissDani and I are set-jet addicts) and my new iPhone, I recently downloaded VisitBritain‘s  Great British Film Locations iPhone App (free) which came out as a result of the release of Sherlock Holmes.  The app works fairly well, and it is fun to find out which films were shot nearby. The app is especially useful for tourists to London or Britain who would like to visit film locations of their favourite British films.

From home in southeast London, I can see that Four Weddings and a Funeral was filmed 1.4 miles from here in Greenwich, Bridget Jones Diary scenes were filmed 4.7 miles from me in Southwark, SE1 (as in the location in this MyMetropole post) and that the nearest Sherlock Holmes location is 6 miles away at St Paul’s Cathedral.

While it is fun to imagine Guy and Jude and Robert and Rachel all palling around between shots at St Pauls or up in Manchester at the Town Hall, Guy Ritchie relied heavily on CG and animation technologies in order to recreate Victorian London, and some of the film was even shot as far away as Brooklyn, New York.

Sherlock Holmes is enjoyable, action-packed and brings Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson into the 21st century. Ritchie and the boys have definitely got a sequel or two coming to them, and hopefully this time the rumors will become reality and Brad Pitt will star in the next films to come.

Sherlock Holmes Location London Bridge

Sherlock Holmes in London

Sherlock Holmes location Albert Dock Liverpool