Tropical plants in Wales_2_ by malj


									Britain Calling                                                            June 2008

Kew’s birthday party
The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, west London, will be celebrating its 250th anniversary in
2009. Kew is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and houses over 40 listed buildings and other
structures including the Palm House, Temperate House, Orangery and Pagoda, as well as two
ancient monuments, Queen Charlotte’s Cottage and Kew Palace. The 132 hectares (326 acres)
of landscaped gardens attract more than a million visitors each year.
    New attractions in 2008 include a Rhizotron and Xstrata Treetop Walkway, which opened
in May. The Rhizotron takes visitors under the ground to learn about trees’ roots, while the
Walkway – 200 metres long and 18 metres (59ft) above the ground – looks down on the tree
canopy, with views over the Gardens and the London skyline.
    The anniversary celebrations will include a Tropical Extravaganza designed by Kew’s
horticultural staff. It will be set inside the Princess of Wales conservatory and will feature
orchids and insectivorous plants. Meanwhile, UK native flowers will be celebrated with a
display of native British orchids and other wildflowers.
    Kew’s scientific work will by marked by an exhibition in the Nash Conservatory featuring
the Millennium Seed Bank, one of the world’s most ambitious plant conservation projects.
   Dave Yard, Kew’s project manager, says: ‘In our 250th year we will be pulling out all the
stops to make the Gardens look even more spectacular than it usually does and to use the
opportunity to tell the public about the glorious history of Kew and the contribution that we
are making towards plant conservation.’
   Kew Gardens are open daily 9.30am–6.30pm weekdays and 9.30am–7.30pm weekends
during the summer (closing at 6pm after 31 August). Admission is £13 adults, £12
concessions, free for accompanied children under 17.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB
Tel: +44 20 8332 5655
Press contact: Bronwyn Friedlander
Tel: +44 20 8332 5607
Britain Calling                                                              June 2008

Autumn flowers in a Kent castle
Leeds Castle near Maidstone in Kent presents its Autumn Gold Flower Festival from 1 to 5
October. The castle rooms will be filled with flower arrangements to reflect the season of
autumn (fall), and visitors can vote for their favourite display.
   Leeds Castle has been home to royalty and nobility for over 1,000 years. In 1278 it
became part of the Queen of England’s dower – the settlement widowed queens received on
the death of their husbands. Henry VIII visited frequently, notably with his queen Catherine
of Aragon and their entire court, on the way to the tournament of the Field of the Cloth of
Gold in 1520, and Henry’s son King Edward VI granted the castle to one of Henry’s courtiers
for his services.
   The castle – which includes Norman foundations, a medieval gatehouse, a Tudor tower
and a 19th-century country house – was substantially refurbished in the 20th century. Visitors
can now see an eclectic mix of period architecture, interiors and family treasures. The castle is
open daily 10.30am–6pm (to 4.30pm from 1 October). Tickets allow admission to the castle
and grounds for one year from the date of purchase: £15 adults, £12.50 senior citizens/
students/visitors with disabilities, £9.50 children 4–15.
Leeds Castle
Maidstone, Kent ME17 1PL
Tel: +44 1622 765400
Press contact: Vicky Pilcher
Tel: +44 1622 604600
Britain Calling                                                             June 2008

London’s architectural treasures
Open House London is an annual free event when over 600 buildings of architectural merit
are open to the public. Hundreds of professionals and enthusiasts volunteer their time over the
weekend as architectural guides and stewards. This year Open House London takes place on
the weekend of 20–21 September.
   The buildings open to the public over the weekend range from ancient splendours to
contemporary designs, from government buildings to private houses. They include Sir
Christopher Wren’s baroque Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, the 1734 Bank of
England, Sir George Gilbert Scott’s splendid Victorian Foreign Office in Whitehall, Richard
Rogers’ iconoclastic 1978 Lloyd’s of London building and Trinity Buoy Wharf, a mix of old
and new buildings that includes contemporary office space for artists set in cargo containers.
Open House London
Tel: +44 9001 600 061 information line
(calls charged at 60p per minute.)
Press contact: Jeni Hoskin
Tel: +44 20 7383 2131
Britain Calling                                                             June 2008

Pottery in the Lake District
The Martin Brothers have inspired a loyal following of collectors with their stoneware
ceramics. There were nine Martin children, four of whom, Walter, Charles, Edwin and Robert
Wallace, set up the Martin Brothers pottery in the 1870s in a former soap-works in London.
    Today Martinware is collected as passionately as it was 100 years ago, and an exhibition
of their work opens this June at Blackwell, the Arts & Crafts House in the Lake District in the
north of England.
    Blackwell is one of England’s most important surviving houses from the beginning of the
20th century. Designed by M. H. Baillie Scott between 1898 and 1900, it is a superb example
of Arts and Crafts movement architecture.
    The house, with views across Windermere to the Coniston fells, has recently been restored
and opened to the public. Blackwell’s period rooms have been furnished with Arts and Crafts
furniture augmented by important 20th-century and contemporary craft and applied arts
displayed in three gallery spaces.
   Blackwell is open daily 10.30am–5pm, admission £6 adults, £3.50 children and students,
£16 family ticket. Fantasies in Clay: Martin Brothers Art Pottery (1873–1923) runs from 17
June to 2 November.
Blackwell, the Arts & Crafts House
Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria LA23 3JT
Tel: +44 15394 46139
Press contact: Jeanette Edgar
Tel: +44 15394 46191
Britain Calling                                                             June 2008

Christmas at Althorp
For 500 years, successive generations of the Spencer family have lived at Althorp in
Northamptonshire. This classic English stately home, which dates from the early 16th
century, was the childhood home of the late Princess Diana. The house and extensive grounds
are normally open to the public only during July and August, but in this 500th anniversary
year, the house will also be open for the last weekend in November to celebrate Christmas.
   Althorp has one of Europe’s finest private collections of furniture, pictures and ceramics.
For the Christmas weekend it will be decorated in traditional style with open fires, children
singing Christmas carols and hot mulled wine. There will be stalls selling gifts, cards and
decorations – and reindeer, a visiting Father Christmas and fireside storytelling for children.
   The Spencers first came to Althorp as large-scale sheep farmers in 1508. Since then,
members of the family have been politicians, courtiers, sailors, ambassadors, preachers and,
of course, a princess. The late Princess Diana is buried on an island in a lake on the estate.
   Althorp is open daily 11am–5pm from 1 July to 30 August. Admission £12.50 adults,
£10.50 senior citizens, £6 children 5–17. Christmas at Althorp is on 29–30 November, 10am–
5pm. Admission £7 adults, £5.50 senior citizens, £3 children, under-5s free.
Althorp, Northampton NN7 4HQ
Tel: +44 1604 770107
Press contact: Gill Buttwell
Tel: +44 20 7407 6882
Britain Calling                                                              June 2008

Annie Liebovitz’s life in photographs
The National Portrait Gallery in London is holding an exhibition of one of America’s best-
known portrait photographers.
    Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life 1990–2005 includes over 150 photographs by the
celebrated photographer. The pictures include her well-known work made on editorial
assignment as well as personal photographs of her family and close friends. ‘I don’t have two
lives,’ says Leibovitz. ‘This is one life, and the personal pictures and the assignment work are
all part of it.’
    The exhibition features many of her best-known portraits of public figures, including
actors, artists and architects Jamie Foxx, Nicole Kidman, Brad Pitt, Richard Avedon, Brice
Marden, Philip Johnson, and Cindy Sherman. Her assignment work includes reportage from
the siege of Sarajevo in the early 1990s, the election of Hillary Clinton to the US Senate, and
the aftermath of the 11 September attacks.
    At the heart of the exhibition, Leibovitz’s personal photography documents scenes from
her life, including the birth and childhood of her three daughters, and vacations, reunions and
rites of passage with her parents and extended family.
   The National Portrait Gallery is open daily 10am–6pm (until 9pm Thursday and Friday),
admission free. Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life 1990–2005 runs from 16 October to
25 January. Tickets £10, concessions £9/£8.
National Portrait Gallery
St Martin’s Place, London WC2H OHE
Tel: +44 20 7312 2463
Press contact: Neil Evans
Tel: +44 20 7312 2452
Britain Calling                                                             June 2008

Encounters with nature in Hertfordshire
Encounters is the name of a new contemporary sculpture exhibition in the Wilderness Garden
at Hatfield House, Hertfordshire. Taking natural forms as its main theme, the pieces on
display in the garden include animals, birds, plants and organic-shaped abstract works.
   Hatfield House is the home of Lord and Lady Salisbury. Lady Salisbury says: ‘The
sculptures have brought this part of the garden to life. The quality and craftsmanship of the
work is outstanding, and there is great variety of materials, shapes and forms. I hope that
visitors will enjoy the exhibition and return many times over the summer.’
   Hatfield House, 34km (21 miles) north of London, is a Jacobean house, built by Robert
Cecil, first Earl of Salisbury and Chief Minister to King James I from 1607 to 1611. The
house has a collection of pictures, furnishings and historic armour on display and has been the
home of the Cecils, one of England’s foremost political families, for 400 years. The garden
has many fine specimen trees including oaks, beeches and a majestic redwood, relics of its
days as an arboretum.
   Encounters is open daily 11am–5.30pm until the end of September. Entry is included in
the garden ticket (£5.50 adults, £4 children).
Hatfield House
Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL9 5NQ
Tel: +44 1707 287010
Press contact: Julie Kembrey
Tel: +44 1707 287093
Britain Calling                                                            June 2008

Celebrate Dukes’ centenary Bond-style
Dukes in St James’s, London is 100 years old this year. To celebrate, the hotel is offering a
Bond about Town package inspired by another great British tradition, Ian Fleming. The
creator of James Bond was also born in 1908 and was a frequent visitor to the hotel. Fleming
is said to have created the line ‘shaken not stirred’ used in the Bond novels when he was
drinking martinis at Dukes.
   Dukes Bar is known for its ‘best martinis in the world’ and guests will be able to develop
the perfect martini mixing technique under the guidance of resident bar manager Alessandro
Palazzi. Also included in the offer are a traditional hot towel wet shave at nearby Truefitt &
Hill, recognised as the oldest barber shop in the world, and a Miss Moneypenny
manicure/pedicure at the Dukes Health Club.
   The Bond about Town packages are for weekends only and cost from £450, based on two
people sharing, with overnight stay, three-course dinner, full English breakfast and a late
check-out (until 2pm).
St James’s Place, London SW1A 1NY
Tel: +44 20 7491 4840
Press contact: Georgina Banks
Tel: +44 20 7581 4111
Britain Calling                                                              June 2008

Scotland opens its doors
September is Doors Open Days month in Scotland, when over 900 buildings, many normally
closed to the public, open for free at weekends. Buildings of every age, shape and function
take part, from ancient forts to arts venues. A crematorium, a paddle steamer and a cave have
all been involved in the scheme in previous years.
   Highlights for 2008 include the Dalkeith Masonic Lodge, Midlothian (open 13
September), completed and consecrated in 1766 by the local order of Freemasons and
reputedly the oldest purpose-built lodge room in the world. The lodge is still used and on
Doors Open Day it will be set out as if for a Masonic meeting.
   The Willow Tearoom in Glasgow (open 20–21 September) was designed for a Miss
Cranston in 1903 by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, one of Scotland’s most iconic architects and
designers. On Doors Open Days the tearoom’s manager will take visitors on tours of the
building and show them the current restoration work.
   The Cruck Cottage in Dumfries and Galloway is typical of many cottages once
commonplace in the area and now very rare. It is made with three oak cruck frames, fastened
together with oak pegs. Its door is open 27–28 September.
   Doors Open Days forms part of European Heritage Days, and there will be special events
at many of the buildings. Activities include a bicycle tour, a musical concert, a canal trip, an
art exhibition and storytelling. Demonstrations will include ancient crafts, archery and
Doors Open Days
Press contact: Abigail Daly
Tel: +44 141 221 1466.
Britain Calling                                                           June 2008

Commemorating Charles Darwin
Next year is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. The Natural History
Museum in London is staging a major exhibition called simply Darwin, celebrating the
scientist who changed our understanding of the world and our place within it. It explores his
ideas and their impact, giving new insight into this brilliant observer of nature’s
   The exhibition will trace his five-year voyage to the Galápagos Islands on HMS Beagle.
Darwin’s notebooks, artefacts, rare personal belongings and the fossils and zoological
specimens he collected on his travels will show how he developed his ideas and came to
publish On the Origin of Species, which presented the evidence for his theory of evolution
through natural selection. Family photographs and letters will show Darwin as a family man,
husband and father of 10 children.
   The UK is holding a national celebration of Darwin’s life, ideas and his legacy from this
summer to the end of 2009. More than 70 organisations are planning events as part of
Darwin200, from art displays, drama and music to historical exhibitions and hands-on science
activities. Events will be listed on a dedicated website ( Darwin200 also
commemorates 150 years since On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection was
   The Natural History Museum is open daily 10am–5.50pm, admission free. Darwin runs
from 14 November to 31 March 2009, admission prices to be confirmed.
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD
Tel: +44 20 7942 5000
Press contact: Chloe Kembery
Tel: +44 20 7942 5654
Britain Calling                                                             June 2008

Arts and crafts in a Oxfordshire garden
More than 200 artists and craftsmen from around the world will take part in this year’s Art in
Action from 17 to 20 July.
   Art in Action, one of the UK’s longest-running arts and craft festivals, was first held in
1977. The event is staged at Waterperry Gardens, the grounds of a Georgian house in
   Visitors can learn or buy from the artists who recreate their studios in one of the many Art
in Action marquees, which feature painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, ceramics,
calligraphy, illustration, glass, metalwork, jewellery, textiles, woodwork and Art of Asia.
There is also music, performing artists and storytelling for children.
   Waterperry House is known for its gardens and this year Jekka McVicar will visit Art in
Action. Crowned the ‘Queen of Herbs’ by Jamie Oliver, Jekka has won 59 Royal
Horticultural Society gold medals at flower shows around the country, including Best Floral
Exhibit at Hampton Court in 2007 and 12 Chelsea Flower Show gold medals. At Art in
Action she will be working with sculptor Jeremy James, sundial maker Joanna Migdal and
furniture designer Philip Koomen to create a garden in the centre of the sculpture village.
   Art in Action is open daily 10.30am– 5.30pm. Tickets: adults £15, senior citizens £12,
concessions £7, children 9–17 £5, family and season tickets available.
Art in Action
Waterperry Gardens, Near Wheatley, Oxfordshire OX33 1JZ
Press contact: Anna Arthur
Tel: +44 7733 221 949
Britain Calling                                                              June 2008

Celebrating hops in Kent
Beer has been produced in the market town of Faversham in Kent for over 850 years. The
Faversham International Hop Festival, 30–31 August, recalls the traditional celebrations
associated with harvesting hops, a key ingredient in British beer. Londoners would travel to
Kent for a working holiday as hop pickers.
   The festival is centred on the Shepherd Neame Brewery, makers of traditional beers
including Spitfire Premium Kentish Strong Ale, Bishops Finger Kentish Strong Ale and
Master Brew Bitter.
   During the weekend festivities, there will be street entertainers, musical acts on two stages,
Morris dancers and vintage vehicles, as well as special Hop Pickers Steam Train journeys to
and from Faversham. The trains will also celebrate the 150th anniversary of the railway first
reaching the town.
  In 2007 the Shepherd Neame brewery was named one of the best tourist attractions in the
South East in the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence.
Shepherd Neame Brewery
11 Court Street, Faversham, Kent ME13 7AX
Tel: +44 1795 542285
Press contact: John Humphreys
Tel: +44 1622 604600
Britain Calling                                                          June 2008

The solstice skies on show in London
To mark the summer solstice, the PM Gallery in west London will be holding an exhibition of
the work of Neeta Madahar called Solstice. It consists of two high-definition video
projections of the 24 hours of the longest and shortest days of the year, which immerse the
audience into the ever-changing midsummer and midwinter skies. The videos were shot in an
English rural landscape in Wiltshire on the solstices of December 2006 and June 2007.
   For each film, a fixed camera was pointed at the sky, with Polaris (the North Star)
appearing in the centre of the frame. A team of camera operators then recorded for 24 hours
from midnight to midnight, with the camera on time-lapse mode shooting 25 times a minute,
so that each hour was condensed into a minute of footage and the 24 hours of each solstice
results in a 24-minute film.
   The projections have an orchestral soundtrack composed by Miguel d’Oliveira and
performed by the 22-piece City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
   Neeta Madahar was born in London in 1966. Her work is in several private and public
collections, including the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, the Santa Barbara Museum
of Contemporary Art and the V&A Museum.
   The PM Gallery is the extension to architect Sir John Soane’s home, Pitzhanger Manor in
Ealing, west London. Solstice is on show from 20 June to 20 July, Tuesday–Friday and
Sunday 1–5pm, Saturday 11am–5pm. Admission is free.
PM Gallery & Pitzhanger Manor
Walpole Park, Mattock Lane, London W5 5EQ
Tel: +44 20 8567 1227
Press contact: Kirsten Canning
Tel: +44 20 8295 2424
Britain Calling                                                              June 2008

World-class porridge making
The Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship will be held on 12 October at
Carrbridge in the Scottish Highlands.
   Porridge is a hot dish traditionally made with oats, water and salt. It is known as
Scotland’s national dish and the annual World Porridge Making Championship is followed
with interest by connoisseurs across the world.
   The proceedings start with the Porridge Parade – a pipe band-led procession of
competitors and judges – followed by the official Toast to the Porridge. The competition
includes traditional porridge and speciality sections, and the event includes the Cairngorm
Farmers Market, cookery demonstrations, product tastings, street entertainment and live
   Guest house owner Maria Soep from Argyll is the current champion. She uses organically
grown pinhead oatmeal in her porridge. Asked how she feels about winning, she said: ‘It’s
amazing. I just can’t believe it. I’m 50 and I’m famous – and it’s all because of porridge.’
   Some people insist that porridge should only be stirred clockwise using the right hand so
as not to invoke the devil, and that it should only be stirred with a spurtle – a straight wooden
spoon or stick without a moulded or flat end.
Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship
Carrbridge, Inverness-shire
Press contact: Linda Jolly
Tel: +44 1479 841211
Britain Calling                                                          June 2008

A little black fashion show
This summer the Fashion and Textile Museum in London celebrates an icon of modern
dressing – the Little Black Dress. The exhibition traces the history of this wardrobe staple
from the 1920s to the very latest fashions.
   The show features dresses chosen by fashion designers and includes little black numbers
designed by John Galliano, Amanda Wakeley, Giles Deacon, Zandra Rhodes and Betty
Jackson, as well as a gown by Julien McDonald worn by Victoria Beckham in her book That
Extra Half Inch.
   The Fashion and Textile Museum, founded by British designer Zandra Rhodes, is a centre
for contemporary fashion, textiles and jewellery. It houses permanent and changing
exhibitions – including a permanent display of Zandra Rhodes designs – and is now owned by
Newham College as an educational centre.
  The Little Black Dress runs from 19 June to 25 August, Wednesday to Sunday 11am–5pm.
Admission: £7 adults, £4 students and concessions, under-12s free.
The Fashion and Textile Museum
83 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XF
Tel: +44 20 7407 8664
Press contact: Rajet Gamhiouen
Tel: +44 20 8522 5713
Britain Calling                                                              June 2008

A fair in England’s National Forest
The fourth annual National Forest Wood Fair is being held on 25 August (August Bank
Holiday Monday).
    The National Forest was created 13 years ago and covers 500 sq km (200 square miles) of
the English counties of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire. Its aim is to increase the
woodland cover within its boundaries from an initial six per cent to about one-third. Seven
million trees have already been planted. It is the first multi-purpose forest on this scale to be
created in the UK for 1,000 years and has been steadily turning what was once one of the least
wooded areas of England into a multi-purpose, sustainable forest
    At the Wood Fair there will be demonstrations of woodworking skills, craft displays and
wood sculptures carved with chainsaws. Visitors will be able to talk to forestry experts and
learn everything about woodlands from tree planting to felling. Other attractions include the
story telling Wild Man of the Woods and timber-hauling heavy horses.
    Beacon Hill Country Park lies within the ancient Forest of Charnwood and is close to the
village of Woodhouse Eaves, five minutes' drive from Junctions 22 or 23 of the M1.
   The Wood Fair, which attracted 3,000 visitors in 2007, will run from 10am to 5pm on
Bank Holiday Monday 25 August. Admission charges include car parking and a programme
and cost adults £6, concessions £4 and a family ticket £14 (for two adults and two children).
National Forest Wood Fair
Beacon Hill Country Park, Leicestershire
Tel: +44 1283 551211
Press contact: Carol Rowntree Jones
Tel: +44 1283 551211
Britain Calling                                                           June 2008

Local food to the fore in Norfolk
The annual Bidwells Norwich & Norfolk Food Festival celebrates the growing interest in
food that is grown, reared and caught around the region. This year’s festival, which takes
place 8–14 October, includes a Battle of the Bangers (sausages) competition, cookery
demonstrations and master classes, and the Jellyvision Schools Challenge.
    On Sunday 12 October local restaurants will serve the Great Norfolk Sunday Roast. On
Tuesday 14, visitors can take part in A Moveable Feast, a gastronomic walkabout where 600
‘Feasters’ buy a £32 ticket for a three-course meal. Each course is taken at a different
restaurant in Norwich. There are 18 restaurants taking part and the evening ends with a party
at The Forum in Norwich.
    There are also plans to stage a Micro-Breweries Beer Festival and a programme of ‘food
films’ screened at Cinema City, a recently refurbished independent art-house complex in
    Richard Woolliams of Bidwells, the festival’s sponsor, says: ‘Last year’s festival saw no
fewer than 485 events across Norwich and the wider county and we are hoping to match that
again this year. Norfolk is a superb food-growing area and we have a wealth of local produce
on our doorstep, from both land and sea.’
Norwich & Norfolk Food Festival
Tel: +44 1603 727979
Press contact: Deborah Watson
Tel: +44 1394 446494
Britain Calling                                                           June 2008

Warhol comes to the South Bank
A major exhibition on Andy Warhol: Other Voices, Other Rooms comes to London’s
Hayward Gallery this October.
    The show brings a fresh perspective to the work of the celebrated Pop Art master, showing
works from the 1950s through to the 1980s. Warhol’s films, screen tests, videos and
television programmes will feature, along with installations, paintings and prints of some of
his most famous icons.
    Some of Warhol’s most famous films will be on show including Sleep (1963), Empire
(1964), Poor Little Rich Girl (1965) and Chelsea Girls (1966), as well as rarely seen screen
tests of artists and musicians Marcel Duchamp, John Cale and Salvador Dalí.
    The Hayward’s director Ralph Rugoff says: ‘If you think you know the work of Andy
Warhol, then think again. By drawing us into the mind of the artist, the exhibition makes us
look afresh at those familiar Pop Art icons of Marilyn Monroe and Campbell’s soup cans, and
introduces us to a whole new world of extraordinary images. I’m delighted to be hosting this
major Warhol exhibition in the Hayward’s 40th year.’
   The Hayward Gallery is part of the Southbank Centre on the Thames, the UK’s largest arts
centre. It is open daily 10am–6pm, Fridays until 10pm. Andy
   Warhol: Other Voices, Other Rooms runs from 8 October to 11 January. Admission
charges will apply.
The Hayward Gallery
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
Tel: +44 871 663 2519
Press contact: Sarah Davies
Tel: +44 20 7921 0887/0631
Britain Calling                                                              June 2008

‘Pearlies’ in a London church
Every autumn (fall) the Original Pearly Kings and Queens Association celebrate the Harvest
Festival with a church service at St Martin-in-the-Fields on Trafalgar Square in London. This
year’s is at 3pm on Sunday 5 October.
   Pearly Kings and Queens have been in London since 1875 when the original Pearly King,
Henry Croft, an orphaned road-sweeper and rat-catcher, befriended the costermongers, market
traders in Somers Town who decorated their clothes with pearl buttons to distinguish
themselves from the other traders. Henry sewed buttons on his suit to raise funds for the
orphanage. Soon every London borough had its own Pearly King and Queen. Today there are
around 40 active Pearly families, who raise funds for a variety of charities.
   The present church of St Martin-in-the-Fields was built in 1726 and has recently
undergone a £36-million renewal project. The work includes improved facilities for the
church’s work with the homeless and vulnerable, as well as a new east window designed by
Shirazeh Houshiary.
   Houshiary says that the new window, in etched glass and steel, is ‘like a veil; it is the warp
and weft of the veil. I was very much influenced by The Veil of St Veronica by Francisco
St Martin-in-the-Fields
6 St Martin’s Place, Trafalgar Square,
London WC2N 4JJ
Press contact: Julie Emig
Tel: +44 20 7766 1115
Britain Calling                                                          June 2008

New apartments in Westminster
Dolphin Square, in the heart of London’s Westminster has launched its new Dolphin House
serviced apartments, Dolphin Bar & Grill and the first phase of a sports and fitness club.
    The £12-million refurbishment means that guests can now stay in a choice of 165 studio,
one, two and three bedroom apartments from one to 89 nights. Prices range from £185 for a
studio, to £450 for a three bedroom, three-bathroom apartment per night. There is a Club
Lounge and Champagne Bar exclusive to Dolphin House residents. The new Dolphin Sports
& Fitness Club has as its centrepiece a new 17m x 8m (55ft x 26ft) slate-lined swimming pool
set beneath a recently-revealed original Art Deco ceiling.
    When Dolphin Square was completed in 1935 it was the largest apartment block in
Europe. As late as 1992, no other building in Europe had a greater number of self-contained
units under one roof. Many prominent people from royalty and socialites to actors and spies
have lived or stayed in Dolphin Square, including former Prime Minister Harold Wilson,
HRH The Princess Royal when she was Princess Anne, the Soviet spy John Vassall, Oswald
Mosley and William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw). Dolphin House is beside the river Thames and
has 1.4 hectares (3.5 acres) of private gardens.
Dolphin House
Dolphin Square, Chichester Street, London SW1V 3LX
Tel: + 44 20 7798 8000
Press contact: Lara Roussel
Tel: + 44 20 7940 2900
Britain Calling                                                              June 2008

Hotel re-opens in the Peak District
The Maynard boutique hotel in England’s Peak District has re-opened following a major
room refurbishment. Each of the ten luxury rooms has been individually styled so no two are
the same. The building is over 100 years old and the refurbishment work has kept the heritage
feel of the hotel while bringing the accommodation up to 21st-century contemporary
    The Peak District, in the heart of England, was Britain’s first national park, a scenic area
of 1,437 sq km (555 sq miles). It was established in 1951 and is visited by people from all
over the world.
   The Maynard, which can accommodate conferences for up to 100 delegates, is 13 minutes
from Sheffield by train (Grindleford station is very nearby) and within easy reach of the M1
The Maynard
Main Road, Grindleford, Derbyshire S32 2HE
Tel: +44 1433 630321
Press contact: Jon Gardner
Tel: +44 114 275 6996
Britain Calling                                                              June 2008

Four star hotel in a doctor’s house
The city of Hull in the north-east of England has its first four star hotel. The luxury boutique
Owner Hotel, in the heart of the city centre, is in one of Hull’s finest 19th-century buildings,
built in 1846 as a private house for Queen Victoria’s personal physician James Alderson.
   Kingston upon Hull is a busy port where the River Hull meets the Humber Estuary and has
been a gateway to the heart of England since Roman times. The modern city of Hull now has
one of England’s most scenic shopping centres, the glass-covered Princes Quay, by Prince's
    The Owner Hotel has conference facilities for up to 50 delegates. Rates start at £84.95 for
a single room.
Owner Hotel
Albion Street, Kingston upon Hull, East Yorkshire HU1 3TD
Tel: +44 1482 219878
Press contact: James Grant
Tel: +44 1482 219878
Britain Calling                                                          June 2008

New leisure facilities at the Maison
Maison Talbooth has recently been refurbished, with three new bedrooms, a Garden Room
restaurant, a swimming pool with outside hot tub, a pool house and tennis court.
  The hotel has also added three new treatment rooms which feature Dermalogica products.
Dermalogica’s presence at Maison Talbooth will serve as its leading showcase in East Anglia.
   The new bedrooms and the new treatment rooms look out over the countryside, some
towards the Suffolk village of Stratford St Mary and some over the Dedham Vale, designated
as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Maison Talbooth, which is near Britain’s oldest
recorded town, Colchester, belongs to the Milsom Hotels & Restaurants group. Geraldine
Milsom has created the new design schemes.
   Double occupancy bedroom rates start at £190 per night. For non-residents, day spa
packages are from £150 per person and include a facial, massage, pedicure, manicure and
light lunch, and use of the pool house and tennis court
Maison Talbooth
Stratford Road, Dedham, Colchester, Essex CO7 6HN
Tel: +44 1206 322367
Press contact: Charlotte Doherty
Tel: +44 20 7736 6639
Britain Calling                                                          June 2008

The UK’s first Indigo to open in London
InterContinental Hotels Group is to open its first Hotel Indigo in the UK. The Hotel Indigo
London Paddington, which opens with 64 bedrooms in late summer, is the first Hotel Indigo
property outside of the Americas and the first of many Hotel Indigo projects planned for the
   The group’s Indigo-branded hotels have been developed for guests looking for design-led
hotels as an alternative to traditional hotels but without sacrificing any of the business
amenities guests need and expect. The boutique Indigo brand launched in 2004 in the USA,
where there are currently 14 hotels with 54 planned to come.
   Room rates will be ‘location and market driven’ and will be similar to other four star
hotels in the area. The hotel is a two-minute walk from Paddington Station
Hotel Indigo
16 London Street, London W2 1HL
Press contact: Suzanne Seyghal
Tel: +44 1753 410 247
Britain Calling                                                               June 2008

Watch the chefs in a Scottish hotel
Balbirnie House Hotel has introduced Scotland’s first purpose-built chef’s kitchen dining
table. The chef’s table is a private tasting room for four to six diners. It is alongside the main
hot kitchen plating area where chefs put together the final touches of each dish before serving.
   Diners will be able to watch through a three-metre stretch of one-way glass. If they
choose, guests can also listen to everything being said in the kitchen during service via a
microphone pickup.
   The Tasting Room features a black granite topped table and a soft gun-metal grey Scottish
leather banquette, and is in a temperature-controlled climate. The table can be booked for
lunch or dinner, with a tasting menu that costs £50 per person, or £80 including wines.
   Balbirnie is a privately-owned country house hotel that dates back to 1777. It is in 160
hectares (400 acres) of parkland and a half-hour’s drive from Edinburgh.
Balbirnie House
Balbirnie Park, Markinch Village, by Glenrothes, Fife KY7 6NE
Tel: +44 1592 610066
Press contact: Anne Ramsay
Tel: +44 1592 610066
Britain Calling                                                            June 2008

Suites launched in Liverpool
The first Staybridge Suites to open outside the Americas opens this June in Liverpool,
European Capital of Culture.
   Staybridge Suites is an all-suite extended-stay hotel. The Liverpool property has 132 one-
bedroom and studio suites. Every room has a fully equipped kitchen area and the public
spaces include a hub kitchen and living room with open fire, the Pantry, a 24/7 mini
convenience store and an outdoor terrace with barbecue. The reception will be manned round
the clock.
    Staybridge Suites are designed for business travellers who stay five or more nights
(although bookings for fewer nights are fine). There are four tiers of rates which depend on
the length of stay. All prices include breakfast and complimentary after-work receptions, held
four nights per week.
   Seven more Staybridge Suites are being developed for the UK and there are plans to sign
around another 20 UK properties over the next two to three years. There are currently 130
Staybridge Suites in the Americas and 158 more in the pipeline.
Staybridge Suites
21 Keel Wharf, Liverpool L3 4FN
Tel: +44 871 4234939
Press contact: Suzanne Seyghal
Tel: +44 1753 410 247

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