Lates Through A Lens

London’s Science Museum is officially on the art map. After the launch of its highly anticipated Media Space last week, the permanent gallery created by Ben Kelly Design will host a changing programme of art and technology to reflect on-the-pulse dialogue in an every-changing media age. Releasing its art and photographic collection to the public for the very first time, Media Space was conceived between the London museum and the National Media Museum in Bradford, home of the National Photography Collection
Photographers Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr inaugurate the new gallery with the exhibition Only In England, which explores the relationship and fascination with English custom and identity. Parr has selected a collection of the late artist’s work from 2,700 negatives and contact sheets that are held at the Ray-Jones archive at the National Media Museum – they will be displayed alongside Parr’s very own critical social-scapes of modern English culture.

Digital collaborators Universal Everything take residence in the neighbouring Virgin Media Studio with a user-generated 360° video installation Universal Everything & You, under the creative direction of Matt Pyke. 

Kicking of the Science Museum’s first Lates since the opening of the Media Space will be my very talented friends The Ladies of the Press* who will be performing their popular Magic Moments Photo Booth for one night only. Ana and Renée will attract visitors with their low-fi photo booth, rooted in a Surrealist and Dadaist mashup, topped off with sprinkles of English seaside stereotype, in reference to Only In England. They will work their technological magic from their makeshift press station to produce simulated and printed creations for participants to discover and enjoy.
The Ladies of the Press* - Ana Cavic & Renée O'Drobinak
Other lens-centric highlights scheduled for this coming Wednesday’s Lates include a rare opportunity to hold some of the world’s oldest photographs from the Victorian era; workshops on how to make the most of your smartphone and the actress and campaigner Lily Cole will talk about her new digital platform Impossible.com.

Science Museum Lates - every last Wednesday of the month
Wednesday 24th September 2013
Exhibition Road

Only In England and Universal Everything & You runs to 16th March and 7th February 2014 respectively - visit the Science Museum for further details.

London Design Festival

There was a different energy about this year’s London Design Festival that spanned across all quarters of the capital. From the large-scale public installation Endless Stair on the Southbank to the celebrated talks and satellite fairs that were held in some of the city’s landmark locations from East to West, the annual event had a presence like never before, sharing the limelight with fashionistas during London Fashion Week. 
Last Wednesday I attended Heal’s equally fashionable party at its flagship on Tottenham Court Road to officially celebrate the store’s redesign in the company of both established and emerging designers that make up the new direction for the brand’s Autumn collection. Having previewed the collection last month (Heal’s Discovers, August 2013) it was a pleasure to see the designers who had been selected for the Discovers programme and competition again as well as meet with the international studios who were involved with grand installations for the store’s dynamic transformation.
Fold by Alexander Mueller
Congratulations to Alexander Mueller who won the Discovers Cass Furniture Competition with his limited edition coffee table in walnut, individually crafted by the designer. Fold will be available at Heal’s in the coming weeks and will no doubt be a hit with customers looking for contemporary elegance.

Heal’s Discovers is a brilliant platform for emerging talent and Alexander with his fellow finalists  - Mika Ogarca, Douglas Montgomery and Michael Randall - are all future design stars to follow.

The remodelled Lighting Department on the ground floor is a wonderfully curated space of design classics and new contemporary interpretations. The Utrem Lux series by West London-based studio DeGrossDesign is one such innovator bridging the sustainable with sophisticated style - it was a pleasure to catch up with Sabrina Gross and congratulate her on the amount of press that the studio’s products have deservedly received since the press preview in August.
DeGross Design & Innovation
The Heal’s experience at its flagship is that of focus and detail – the collections across all departments are finely curated to offer a host of national and international brands and manufacturers, affirming its status as a destination emporium in the heart of the capital. No more so is this celebrated than with a specially commissioned custom chandelier that cascades down the Cecil Brewer staircase located appropriately to the rear of the store in the Lighting Department.
Designed by all in-house studio Bocci the commission is a triumph in organic aesthetics and innovative minimalism. The magnificent sixty-five arm chandelier originates from Vancouver and its elements in all their grandeur transfer effortlessly to the versatile collection that is available at Heal’s. Standard or bespoke lighting options are available and range from single glass pendants to larger compositions made to order in an endless array of hues and installation construction to taste. The same boundless and electric language of Bocci is reflected in what is a new chapter for the Heal’s brand – an energy that design enthusiasts will look forward in seasons to come.

Visit Heal's at: 
196 Tottenham Court Road

Images courtesy of Heal's


Côte Allure

For all its rich history and idyllic landscapes, it may come as a surprise to read that Windsor has been the site of culinary landfill for many years. Surrendering to the town’s proximity to London and catering to tourists and day trippers with stale menus, it has been a sorry state of affairs with the imbalance between a world-famous setting and a poor food scene.
In recent years however, Windsor’s appetite for the je ne sais quoi has been met with a handful of new cafés, delis and hotels that appeal to discerning visitors and residents alike. The town’s latest culinary addition occupies one of the most sought after locations along the River Thames, previously home to a dated establishment of nil style and substance.
Côte Brasserie has reintroduced both the aesthetic character to the once-dilapidated waterfront property as well as a sense of pride for product and service that will be sure to overcome any memory of proprietors past. Located at one end of Eton Bridge, Côte greets visitors to the celebrated college enclave with its sophisticated Continental branding. Since opening its first restaurant in Wimbledon Village in 2007, it has been attracting the hungry and their tastes for good food and atmosphere with classic French cuisine in the informal setting of ticking stripes and plush bistro-style interiors. There are food chains and then there are food chains, and Côte firmly lies in the latter camp with a collection of outposts in prime locations throughout London, the Home Counties and across the country.
Authentic Parisian dishes with modern twists are found on the seasonal menu with just enough choice from starters through to dessert that will avoid any frustrating decision-making. After all, the French enjoy their food just as much as the spectacle – a bad table is hard to come by over the restaurant’s two floors that are styled with dining booths and spacious seating throughout. Its pièce de résistance is the light-filled gallery in the round to the property’s rear, which commands unrivalled views of the stunning backdrop that is Windsor Castle - venue-worthy for any special occasion. Alfresco dining may be enjoyed both on river-level and on the first floor terrace that will certainly strike food envy from river crews and pedestrians on the bridge.
For lunch and dinner start proceedings with a glass of Kir Royale and Charcuterie Board or Pissaladière - warm flatbread with caramelised onions and Reblochon cheese - to share. The Fougasse bread is delicious on its own with butter and sea salt, however be sure to order seconds if followed with Moules Marinières, swimming in flavoursome white wine sauce. Other fish dishes include CalamariTuna Niçoise and Salmon for starters and mains. Chargrilled ChickenRoast Duck BreastPork Belly and seven- to ten-ounce Steaks cater for carnivores. Prices range from £4.50 to £7.25 for starters and £8.95 to £17.95, for a ten-ounce steak, for main dishes. These are padded out with a handful of vegetarian options that include Warm Roquefort SaladBaked Crêpes and Risotto Vert. The popular Plats Rapides that have earned Côte a loyal following are priced at below £10.95 and offer healthy sized portions of Steak FritesCod GoujonsPoulet Grillé and the bistro classic Moules Marinières. With additional lunchtime, weekend and early evening specials - £9.95 for two courses and £11.95 for three courses - the menu satisfies all price points. A good selection of reasonably priced wine from a variety of vineyards and beer from France also feature. Dessert is a more standard offering, with in-house favourites such as Crème BrûleeCrème Caramel and Chocolate Fondant.

The breakfast menu offers a host of French pastries and light options as well as cooked plates from a Full English at £7.50 to a full French at £7.95 of scrambled eggs, boudin noir, bacon and mushrooms served on toasted brioche; eggs à la BenedictFlorentine and Royale as a side or main, make for a delightful trio of choice hard to come by in the town for morning trade and lovers of brunch. 
Now a month into its soft launch in August, the charming and attentive waiting staff meets that of any from Côte’s more established network. Parents of Eton College boys will welcome this new arrival as an upgrade to the limited choice on offer along Eton's desolate High Street for the lucrative custom of post-sport games family time on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Being able to accommodate both small and large groups comfortably, tourists will appreciate a pit stop of good food and drink before exploring neighbouring cultural hotspots in the town and along the river. Côte provides quality food with an attention to style and substance that has been enjoyed by neighbouring areas around Windsor for sometime. Whether a breakfast date, a lunchtime meeting or a business dinner, the restaurant offers the ingredients of a well-tuned, affordable product in an impressive setting: diners in Windsor in search of the je ne sais quoi need look no further.

Breakfast is served from 8am to noon, Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm on weekends. Opening hours are from 8am to 11pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 11pm on Saturday and 1030pm on Sunday – for reservations visit Côte.
Côte Brasserie
71-72 High Street
Eton, Windsor



Today is the launch of Sotheby’s highly anticipated annual selling exhibition of outdoor sculpture set in the stunning grounds of Chatsworth in Derbyshire. Beyond Limits presents a global collection of monumental art by modern and contemporary artists installed across the Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown landscape that is the seat of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.
The twelfth Duke of Devonshire
For over three centuries the head of the Cavendish family have garnered many unofficial 'titles' by way of distinction and influence in political and social British history. This tradition continues today with the twelfth Duke earning the moniker, Duke of Bling – a fitting epithet that reflects his commitment of a five-year-plan, and £14 million project, that will see the restoration of his ancestral home to its original gilded splendour. 
Presently in its third year and taking heed of the motto inscribed on the House, Cavendo Tutus (safe by taking care), the plan has focused on major works on both the interior and exterior of the House. The State Apartments, decorated with objets d’art that makeup one of the finest private collections in the land, return to their seventeenth and eighteenth century magnificence, as do forty-two windows and twenty-one two-metre high urns that have been given a touch of bling with twenty-four carat gold leaf, which sets off the golden sandstone façade spectacularly.
As with his ancestors, the current Duke continues the tradition and duty of supporting contemporary creativity with commissions by Michael Craig-Martin for a digital portrait of his daughter, the Countess of Burlington, and works by Lucien Freud and Damien Hirst to name a few, which are on display to symbolise the importance of evolution by engaging with the present, as well as reminding visitors Chatsworth remains a functioning private family home to this day.

My first visit to Chatsworth a few weeks ago was inspiring from beginning to end. Aside from the spectacular House and visitor services that are second to none in comparison to many public institutions I have visited, I was fortunate to witness the rare spectacle of large-scale art installation that was taking place in preparation for Beyond Limits. Below are a series of photos I shot during my visit – from the precision installation of Alice Aycock’s gravity-defying Cyclone Twist to Marc Quinn’s gigantic bronze shell Spiral of the Galaxy through to the decorative details that may be discovered in the decadent interiors and the beautiful warren of gardens that are all unquestionably worthy of a revisit once full restoration is complete in 2015.

Beyond Limits opens today at Chatsworth and runs to 27th October 2013. Entry to the exhibition is part of a garden ticket - for further information visit Chatsworth and Sotheby’s for details on exhibiting artists and sales.
 Cyclone Twist, 2013 - Alice Aycock
Cornwall Slate Line, 2010 - Richard Long
 Spiral of the Galaxy, 2013 - Marc Quinn
Declination, 2005 - Tony Cragg
 Chaos Concepción, 2012 - Jedd Novatt

Marianna, 2013 - Jaume Plensa
Standing Woman, 2003 - Fernando Botero
 Pavilion, 1993 - Thomas Heatherwick
 Cavendish serpent
English Baroque style
Objects speak louder than words 
 Digital portrait of the Countess of Burlington, 2010 - Michael Craig-Martin
 Chapel - Saint Bartholomew, Exquisite Pain, 2006 - Damien Hirst 
 State Music Room
 Leicester Bedroom
 Room with a view
 Great Dining Room
Sculpture Gallery 
 Marble lions (c.1823) by Francesco Benaglia (above) and Rinaldo Rinaldi (below) 
 Emperor Fountain
Picnic on the wild side
Officially launching later in the month by Sotheby's, Modern Makers will exhibit contemporary craft by international artisans in the main House. The exhibition will comprise of furniture, textiles, ceramic and metalwork, which will be on display throughout the famed English Baroque interiors of Chatsworth to create new dialogues between the past and present. Modern Makers opens on 18th September 2013 to 23rd December 2013.