Category Archives: Travel Agents

Vertical Booking CRS emerges as the preferred chain hotel CRS solution for B&B Hotels

ITALY, 2017-Mar-04 — /EPR TRAVEL NEWS/ — B&B Hotels Group, one of the main independent chains of economy hotels in Europe, a brand renowned for the quality of its smooth, efficient and cozy stays, has selected the Vertical Booking CRS solution for enterprise wide, integrated hotel online distribution.

With approximately 400 hotels across France, Germany, Italy, Spain and surrounding countries, B&B Hotels have strong growth plans to increase their hotel presence in targeted markets.

“B&B Hotels Group is launching a major digitalization project aimed at revamping its technology on Cloud based environments. As a first step and after a thorough analysis of the market, we have decided to partner with Vertical Booking. We are confident that Vertical Booking offers the right products and services for our ambitious project. We see Vertical Booking as a flexible partner involved in the success of B&B Hotels growth,” said Jérôme Destors, Group CTO at B&B Hotels.

“Vertical Booking is proud to be selected by such a large portfolio of hotels like the B&B Hotels Group,” said Alberto Guadalupi, CEO of Vertical Booking. “After a very rigorous RFP process, it was great to see the Vertical Booking CRS emerge as the preferred chain hotel CRS solution. We see this as further validation of our open CRS platform strategy and flexibility.”

The Vertical Booking CRS enables distribution of rates and inventory across all online and offline channels, such as: direct web booking engine, IDS (OTAs, Wholesalers, Tour Operators), Central Reservation Offices (CRO) and hotel Meta-Search and GDS. In addition to core distribution competency, the Vertical Booking CRS platform also includes business intelligence and marketing solutions such as a built-in OTA Price Comparison widget, Competitor Rate Checker, a native Hotel App for enhanced guest satisfaction, online reputation management and more.

Vertical Booking will be exhibiting from March 8-12, 2017, at ITB Berlin, Germany Travel Trade Show. Please stop by Hall 10.1 Stand 101 to learn how Vertical Booking can help you optimize distribution at your property.

SOURCE: EuropaWire

Tully Luxury Travel announced two new appointments to its senior leadership team

tully-luxury-travel-big_travelprnews

TORONTO, 2016-Sep-15 — /EPR TRAVEL NEWS/ — As Tully Luxury Travel prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary year, it has announced two new appointments to its senior leadership team. Ms. Cathy Holler joins as Vice President, African Dreams, and Mr. Pat Lista joins as Vice President, Product & Contracting. Both bring 30 years of experience in the tourism industry.

Cathy Holler brings her visionary and strategic skills, an entrepreneurial spirit, extensive experience and connections in the luxury travel sector and broad knowledge of Africa. Her most recent positions include Vice President, Business Development and Product Innovation at Travcoa, Vice President, Member Sales & Service – USA & Canada and Vice President, Destination Sales, both at Virtuoso.

“I am incredibly honored and excited to join Mary Jean Tully and the amazing team at Tully Luxury Travel to lead their African Dreams division,” says Holler. “Since I was young, Africa has held a special place in my heart. To now be able to focus all of my expertise, energy and passion to promote travel to Africa is a dream come true!”

Pat Lista brings his extensive background in contract negotiations, sales, marketing, budgets and supplier relationships. A fluid thinker and passionate leader, Pat excels at finding innovative solutions to drive business forward and navigate teams through changing business models.

“I’m excited about this new and important chapter in my career, and happy to be working with a group of individuals whose professionalism is second to none. Everyone is striving towards the same goal: to provide the most exceptional service and travel experiences for our clients. The future is very bright.”

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SOURCE: Travel PR News

DJ Seth Troxler opens a summer pop up in Hackney

Hackney Wick is given a welcome addition this summer in the form of pop up bar and restaurant, Smokey Tails. Created by six collaborators, all of whom have worthy credentials in curating fun, every aspect of the venue has been well thought out and nurtured. The team is made up of renowned DJ Seth Troxler and his VisionQuest partner Ryan Crosson, Jo Vidler from Secret Productions – the team responsible for the Secret Garden Party and Wilderness – and Ben Found from Futureline Productions, known for the production and design of Paradise Ibiza and Circo Loco events.

Decked out with sofas, cushioned benches, stone flooring and picnic bench tables, the venue offers guests a relaxed, beach-esque atmosphere. Cocktails include a Cuban Mule, Cockney Fizz and the bar’s signature offering Soul Happiness, a potent concoction of tequila and watermelon served frozen. Smoked for hours before eventually being cooked on a BBQ in an open kitchen, the meat options include buffalo wings, short BBQ ribs and a pulled pork and cabbage bun, while side orders range from couscous to a tomato salad. Seth Troxler’s BBQ sauce, which has been passed down through family generations, is also available to try.

With the owners heavily involved in the music industry, the venue also boasts a fine soundtrack every evening. Running throughout the summer, Smokey Tails is open Thursday through to Sunday.

Stay informed on all the best summer pop ups and events with LondonTown.com’sSummer in London article.

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Meatopia comes to London this September

The Tobacco Docks in east London will host the capital’s biggest festival of BBQ and smoking this September. Originally conceived in New York by food writer Josh Ozersky (TIME, Esquire, WSJ and New York magazine), the event has been running successfully for ten years and now transfers to London for a celebration of BBQing and music. A number of renowned chefs and iconic restaurants will be in attendance, providing tasting samples of their top dishes. Meat lovers travelling from outside of the capital can find a number of Hotels in London on LondonTown.com.

With chefs such as St John’s Fergus Henderson, Gizzi Erskine and Pitt Cue’s Tom Adams creating bespoke recipes for the event, it will be a unique chance to feast on such a smorgasbord of BBQ and smoked meat. Diners will be treated to charcoal grilled deckle steak with anchovy butter from the Hawksmoor, grilled Korean chicken wings from Gizzi Erskine, BBQ pigs head from Duck and Waffle, the Rum BMC burger from Almost Famous and venison steak frites from the Wild Game Company.

To wash it all down there will be craft beer, aged spirits and a selection of wines. While side orders come in the form of live music, DJ sets, cabaret performances, art installations and a few random acts of weirdness. The music line-up features Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra, Tom Findlay of Groove Armada and the Dulwich Ukulele Orchestra. Further highlights include talks and question panels from Tom Ozersky, the chefs and additional meat experts including burger maestro Daniel Young.

Find out about all the best events happening in London this summer with LondonTown.com’sSummer 2013 in London articles.

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Prepárese para el fin de semana South West Four Weekender de Clapham, informa LondonTown.com

Los fans del South West Four Weekender podrán disfrutar del décimo aniversario que se celebrará este año el sábado 24 y domingo 24 de agosto.

Este año continúa el elenco de estrellas típico de este festival con el número uno DJ Armin van Buuren que pinchará la noche del sábado. Conocido por su incomparable pasión por las actuaciones rebosantes de música y láser, el público alucinará con un show inolvidable. El domingo tampoco no le defraudará con Groove Armada y el artista número uno Example en cabecera. Con los mejores diez éxitos y colaboraciones con artistas como Calvin Harris, Laidback Luke (quien también actúa en el festival) y Chase & Status, Example está ahora en lo mejor de su carrera.

Otros platos fuertes son DJ Carl Cox, Loco Dice y Nicky Romero. Se celebrará el sábado y el domingo, “SW4” ha demostrado ser un éxito en sus primeros nuevos años, y Clapham Common se llena de juerguistas conscientes que no tienen que meterse en una tienda de campaña ni trabajar al día siguiente –así que la marcha está asegurada. La música podrá terminar a las 10 pm ambas noches pero las after-parties siguen en todo Clapham High Street para aquellos adeptos a parranda toda la noche.

Si quiere disfrutar del fin de semana en la capital, entonces LondonTown.com será su primera referencia para el alojamiento. Los Londres hoteles de LondonTown.com comienzan a 99 libras (incluido un descuento del 70%) por una habitación en el Hotel Verta by Rhombus, situado a media hora de Clapham Common cerca de Battersea que se está poniendo de moda. Si se quiere algo más de lujo, entonces el Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel & Spa ofrece habitaciones dobles deluxe con dos camas desde 149 libras, incluido un descuento del 67%.

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Paw Pageant Returns to Spitalfields

After a hugely successful inaugural event last year, the Paw Pageant is back. London ‘s coolest, smartest and most ridiculous mutts will compete to win a slew of prizes from eight different categories. The event will take place on Monday 26 th August in order to raise money for the Battersea Dog and Cats Home. To coincide with the event, LondonTown.com has revealed details of discounts on hotels in London close to the venue at Spitalfields Market.

Each round will feature a series of canine competitors, accompanied by a human consort, and modelling the latest in pooch-wear from esteemed designers including NW3, Oliver Bonas, Jigsaw and Mischa Barton. Battersea will be on hand to provide Free Microchipping and Dog Tagging to all pet owners, and Love My Dog has agreed to donate a £500 cache of prizes for the raffle. All proceeds go to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

The categories include:

•  Dressed up to the (Ca)nines

•  Jimmy Chews (the naughtiest dog)

•  Six of the best

•  Mini-mutt (smallest dog in show)

•  Maxi-mutt (largest dog in show)

•  Paw-fection (best in show)

The event kicks off at 1pm and ends at around 3.30pm. Entry is £5 for pre-registration and £8 on the day.

The capital’s premier events and booking website, LondonTown.com, are partnering with a number of hotels in London close to the Paw Pageant to bring guests special discounted rates on the August Bank Holiday weekend.

One of the establishments participating in the discount is the 196 Bishopsgate serviced apartments – less than five minutes’ walk from Old Spitalfields Market. When booking via LondonTown.com, guests can take advantage of a 17% discount on studio apartments, bringing the starting price down to £159.

The South Place Hotel is offering deluxe double rooms at a 63% discount, bringing the cost of a night’s stay down to £131. The South Place is located around five minutes’ walk from Spitalfields. Both featured deals are available exclusively through LondonTown.com.

To view more discounted hotels in London , and for more information on the 2013 Paw Pageant at Spitalfields Market, visit LondonTown.com.

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El Bolshoi Ballet se prepara para su 50º aniversario en el Covent Garden de Londres

Los aficionados al ballet podrán disfrutar este verano de la mejor danza clásica de la mano de Bolshoi Ballet. La mundialmente conocida compañía de ballet regresa a la Royal Opera House de Londres en una estancia que durará tres semanas y que marcara el 50 aniversario de su primera visita al Covent Garden londinense. El promotor Victor Hochhauser ha trabajado durante años llevando los mejores músicos, compositores y bailarines al Reino Unido.

Esta compañía rusa, en ocasiones más conocida por su dramas fuera del escenario (su ex-director Sergio Fillin sufrió graves quemaduras tras un ataque con ácido a principios de año, y uno de sus violinistas falleció tras una aparatosa caída durante una actuación) regresa a Londres con una serie de cinco obras: El Lago de los Cisnes, La Bayadere, La Bella Durmiente, Joyas y Llamas de París. El público podrá disfrutar de la actuación de Natalia Osipova y Ivan Vasiliev, interpretando un ballet creado por otro antiguo miembro de Bolshoi, Alexei Ratmansky.

El ciclo comenzará con El Lago de los Cisnes, con coreografía de Yuri Grigorovich, lo que promete ser el inicio de una serie de memorables actuaciones, entre las que se encontrará también una nueva producción de las Joyas de Balanchine.

Situado en el corazón del Covent Garden, la Royal Opera House de Londres mantiene toda la grandeza que le ha caracterizado desde 1858. Por su escenario han pasado algunas de las más importantes figuras de la música clásica. El edificio pasó por su última reconstrucción en 1990, si bien el auditorio principal se trata del original.

Cuando se trata de reservar Hoteles en Londres, LondonTown.com ofrece las mejores opciones en la zona de Covent Garden. El Kingsway Hall Hotel London se sitúa a solamente unos minutes de la Royal Opera House y dispone de habitaciones de matrimonio con un 58% de descuento, con precios desdelos 134 libras. Como alternativa, y a distancia similar, el Waldorf Hilton Hotel London ofrece habitaciones dobles desde 155 libras, lo que supone un 51% de descuento. La mejor manera de disfrutar de Bolshoi Ballet, de la mano de LondonTown.com.

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British fashion label that dressed Princess Diana celebrated in new exhibition

A British fashion label that dressed Diana, Princess of Wales, Princess Margaret, Princess Michael of Kent, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Jerry Hall, Madonna and Helen Mirren, will be the subject of a major exhibition this autumn at the Fashion & Textile Museum in Bermondsey. The museum is found a short walk from London Bridge station and tourists looking for hotels near London Bridge should visit LondonTown.com, where they will find the best deals on hotels in London.

Bellville Sassoon has been synonymous with high fashion for over 50 years. As Britain’s foremost couture label from the 1960s onwards, founder Belinda Bellville with designers David Sassoon and LorcanMullany, dressed many of the world’s most stylish women and the exhibition traces the history of British glamour from the couture houses of the late 1950s, to the celebrities who became clients of the company. It also explores the influence of ready-to-wear and Vogue patterns.

The Fashion & Textile Museum was founded in 2003 by designer Zandra Rhodes and offers a rolling programme of temporary exhibitions. It is housed in an old warehouse on Bermondsey Street that was remodelled by Rhodes and Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta in bright shades of pink, orange, yellow and blue. The museum is one of the most prominent buildings in the area, which is quite a claim when it is a near neighbour of the gargantuan Shard skyscraper. The Bermondsey area has many other attractions, such as the weird and wonderful Old Operating Theatre, a Victorian medical museum where there are regular demonstrations of gruesome of 19 th -century medicine, and the many charms of Borough Market, London’s best food market. On Bermondsey Street itself you can find some terrific boutiques and gastropubs, including the Garrison, a popular restaurant in this increasingly fashionable area of London. For more ideas of things to do in and around Bermondsey, see LondonTown.com, which has the most reliable and up-to-date listings of attractions, pubs and restaurants in the city.

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English customs celebrated in photography this summer in London

The Science Museum is planning the first ever major London exhibition of work by British photographer Tony Ray-Jones to open in its Media Space gallery in September 2013. Featuring over 100 works drawn from the Tony Ray-Jones archive at the National Media Museum, the exhibition will also include 50 rarely seen early black and white photographs by Martin Parr. The exhibition, titled Only In England, will explore the relationship between these two important photographers and their fascination with the English. The Science Museum is located in South Kensington. Visitors to London hoping to visit this and other exhibitions should arrange their accommodation via LondonTown.com, London’s principle source of information on the best value hotels in London.

Between 1966 and 1969 Tony Ray-Jones documented English customs and identity in a remarkable series of photographs. Humorous yet melancholy, these works attracted the attention of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London where they were exhibited in 1969. Tragically, in 1972 Ray-Jones died from Leukaemia aged just 30. However, his short but prolific career had a last influence on the development of British photograph. In 1970, Martin Parr, had been introduced to Ray-Jones and was inspired by his work to produce his series titled The Non-Conformists. These photographs were shot in black and white in Hebden Bridge and the surrounding Calder Valley. This project explicitly demonstrates the legacy and influence of Tony Ray-Jones.

Media Space is a collaboration between the Science Museum and the National Media Museum. Media Space will showcase the National Photography Collection of the National Media Museum through a series of exhibitions. Alongside this, photographers, artists and the creative industries will respond to the wider collections of the Science Museum Group to explore visual media, technology and science. To keep up to date with the latest news from the Science Museum and London’s other museums, visit LondonTown.com, London’s most reliable website for tourist information.

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Black super heroes the focus of new exhibition at Museum Of Childhood

A new exhibition opening at the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green will explore the way a black child in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s would find role models in the world of toys and games. Afro Supa Herowill open on 14 September 2013 and run until February 2014, and will be part of the museum’s Black History Month celebrations in October 2014. The museum is located in Bethnal Green, close to Fenchurch Street station. Visitors to London hoping to find the best deals on hotels and other accommodation, should see LondonTown.com, London’s most reliable website for hotels near Fenchurch Street and other central London stations.

Afro Supa Hero is a snapshot of a childhood and journey to adulthood, shown through a personal collection of pop cultural heroes and heroines of the African diaspora. Jon Daniel’s action figures, comic books and games offer an insight into the experience of a boy of African Caribbean heritage growing up in 1960s and 1970s Britain, in search of his identity.Born in southwest London, Jon Daniel found his positive black role models in the West Indian culture of his family and the African-American culture of the US. In his late twenties, Jon began collecting 1970s action figures, feeling that they most strongly embodied the era of his childhood. In the display the likes of Meteor Man, Mr T and Lieutenant Uhura stand alongside real-life icons Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Also on show are games, and comics including Black Lightning, The Falcon and Lobo, one of a two-issue series featuring the first leading African American character in the genre. For more information on this exhibition and other events at the V&A Museum of Chidhood, see LondonTown.com, which contains the latest information for all the best tourist attractions and museums in the capital.

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Explore abandoned tube station in September

One of London’s secret ‘ghost’ underground stations will reopen for a short time in a new immersive event organised by the London Transport Museum this September. Aldwych station, a branch of the Piccadilly Line, has been closed for decades but still opens occasionally for special events such as Lost & Found: A Secret Underground Journey, a theatrical tour that will allow visitors a rare look inside an abandoned station. Aldwych station is on The Strand, a short walk from Charing Cross, where many of London’s biggest central London hotels are located. Visitors looking for hotels near Charing Cross, should book through LondonTown.com, where they will find the best bargains on London hotel rooms.

September’s interactive experience will re-imagine the 150 year history of the London Underground by taking visitors on an hour-long journey through the ticket hall and down onto the platforms during an experience that will combine film, audio and interactive installations to tell the fascinating stories of forgotten characters, people and places. The tour will celebrate the past, present and future of the London Underground, and in particular Aldwych Station.

Visitors will be able to enjoy key moments in the 150 year history of the Tube, discover the well-preserved architectural features of Aldwych station and learn about the pioneering technology and engineering that has been such a feature of the Underground since it began. The show will last 1 hour and 15 minutes and run on Tuesdays to Sundays with ticket prices ranging from £20 to £30. Ticket price includes a single entry ticket to the Museum in Covent Garden, valid for one month. For information on other events organised by the London Transport Museum to celebrate the 150 th anniversary of the tube, see LondonTown.com, London’s best website for tourist information.

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Turner exhibition showcases artist’s love of sea

The National Maritime Museums has announced its major exhibition for winter 2013 will be Turner & the Sea, the first full-scale examination of British artist JMW Turner’s lifelong fascination with the sea. Dramatic, contemplative, violent, beautiful, dangerous and sublime – the sea was the perfect subject to showcase Turner’s singular talents, and the 120 pieces on display include some of the most celebrated paintings of the artist’s long career. Fittingly, the exhibition takes place at the National Maritime Museum, which is by the Thames in Greenwich. Visitors looking for cheap London hotels should visit LondonTown.com, where they will find superb offers on hotels in all parts of the city.

The extraordinary quality of the works gathered together for  Turner & the Sea – which opens on 22 November – confirms his status as the pre-eminent painter of water and demonstrates his unique ability to represent the elemental power of the sea. The exhibition features items on loan from some of the world’s most prestigious artistic institutions including the National Gallery, Tate, YaleCenter for British Art, British Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Royal Collection, CalousteGulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon and National Gallery of Art, Washington.

From his Royal Academy paintings of the late 1790s to the unfinished, experimental seascapes he produced towards the end of his life, more than half of Turner’s artistic output depicted maritime subjects.  It should come as no surprise that a man who spent much of his life along the coastlines of Britain and Europe, who spent days fishing the river Thames, and who reportedly had himself lashed to the mast of a ship to better paint a storm at sea, captured this subject so often and with such evocative mastery. Nonetheless, the sheer volume of material Turner created in his quest to depict the sea is remarkable.

The Fighting ‘Temeraire’ (1839), Snow Storm – Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth (1842),Staffa, Fingal’s Cave (1832), ‘Now for the Painter’  (1827),  Keelmen Heaving in Coals by Moonlight  (1835), Whalers  (c.1845) and  Calais Pier (1803) will all be shown, alongside works by other major British and European artists, including Willem van de Velde, Claude-Joseph Vernet, Thomas Gainsborough, Nicholas Pocock, John Constable and Richard ParkesBonington. Turner & the Sea  re-evaluates the compelling appeal of the sea for Turner and his contemporaries, and gives visitors the opportunity to see the ways in which he responded to the art of the past while challenging his audiences with a new and exciting maritime vision.

Further highlights include: Turner’s largest painting and only royal commission, The Battle of Trafalgar (1824), one of the jewels in the National Maritime Museum’s fine art collection;  Fishermen at Sea, the first oil painting Turner exhibited at the Royal Academy;The Wreck of a Transport Ship ( c. 1810), not seen in London since 1970s, displayed alongside  The Shipwreck  (1805) and  Calais Pier – the first time these three storm paintings have been shown together; and  The Wreck Buoy  (1849), Turner’s last exhibited marine painting. For more on the exhibition, see LondonTown.com, the capital’s most reliable site for information for tourists.

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Tate Britain showcases best of contemporary artists

Painting Now: Five Contemporary Artists  at the Tate Britain will focus on the recent work of TommaAbts, Gillian Carnegie, Simon Ling, Lucy McKenzie and Catherine Story, each of whom has developed their own distinctive approach to painting today. The exhibition will take place at the Tate Britain in Pimlico, close to Victoria station. Visitors to London are advised to check out LondonTown.com to take advantage of the website’s superb offers on London hotels.

Opening in November 2013, the Painting Now exhibition presents different responses to the specific practice of painting. It examines the subtle overlaps and affinities that can be drawn out of the varied work of these five artists to explore what painting might mean now. Each of the five artists has adopted a specific approach to painting that both exploits and subverts its conventions. In this respect, the exhibition reveals some of the different relationships that exist between contemporary practice and more traditional approaches to painting, picture making and image construction.

Featured artists include TommaAbts, who creates complex paintings which explore the possibilities of an abstract language of form and who won the Turner Prize in 2006; Gillian Carnegie who  exploits the conventions and genres of academic figurative painting; Simon Ling who  makes paintings either in the open air where his subject matter is found in nondescript landscapes, or in the studio where he fabricates elaborate tableaux; Lucy McKenzie (b. 1977) who moves between fine art and other fields, combining conceptual concerns with those of craft, fashion, heritage and commercial art and Catherine Story  who makes paintings of half-familiar forms that seem to inhabit a dreamlike space. Her work bridges a divide between sculpture and painting, allowing the two disciplines to exist alongside each other. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated publication with in-depth texts and interviews on each artist. For more information on this and other exhibitions at Tate Britain or Tate Modern, see LondonTown.com, London’s best website for tourists in the capital.

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ICA journeys through London’s subculture

The ICA has programmed a major new project at the Old Selfridges Hotel in London as part of a series of off-site events this summer. A Journey Through London’s Subculture: 1980s to Now   illustrates a perceived thread of creativity between the post-punk era and the present day – a legacy that underpins London’s incredible creative potential in the present. The project occupies the vast first floor of the Old Selfridges Hotel, a cavernous industrial space, situated on Orchard Street directly above the department store and entered near the Selfridges Food Hall. Just off Oxford Street, the exhibition is within close proximity to numerous London destinations and hotels. Visitors to London looking for cheap London hotels should visit LondonTown.com, where you will find the best deals available in the city.

This exhibition brings together 60 influential artists and art movements from London past and present to take a closer look at the link between artistic and creative endeavour in London from the early 1980s through to the emerging talent of 2013, proposing a single thread of creativity that can be traced back over the past twenty years. The ICA holds an integral place in this history, playing a unique role in the presentation of radical work by both established and emerging talent, many of whom are included in this project, to a wider audience at critical points in their careers.

The project is formed around 50 custom-made cabinets, each curated by artists or proponents of a particular creative scene, showcasing material ranging from flyers, books, photographs, drawings and other paraphernalia that capture a specific moment in time. This eclectic and personal approach takes visitors on a journey through creative culture in London, from post-punk to the present-day. It also fittingly ties in with Selfridges’ own ‘Bright Young Things’ project, which champions carefully shortlisted new talent and offers them the unique opportunity to become one of the store’s star brands for one season. For more on this and other events taking place at the ICA, see LondonTown.com, London’s best website for tourist information.

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Olympic Park reopens for mass bike event

Cycling is returning to the Olympic Park in Hackney on the weekend of 3 and 4 August when the Prudential Ride London festival takes place. This event has been organised by the Mayor’s office and will see a number of cycling events occurring across the capital. Cycling was one of the great successes of the Olympic games in 2012, and Ride London will celebrate the great popularity of the sport. Visitors coming to London for Ride London or any other event this summer should investigate the LondonTown.com website, where they will find dozens of great last-minute deals for cheap London hotels.

 The Olympic Park, which has been renamed the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will be the starting point for the Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 on Sunday 4 August, which will begin in the park and then follow a 100-mile route on closed roads through the capital and into Surrey’s stunning countryside. With leg-testing climbs and a route made famous by the world’s best cyclists at the London 2012 Olympics, it will be a truly spectacular event for all involved. Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 will finish on The Mall in central London, shortly before 150 professional cyclists race in the inaugural Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic on a similar route.

Spectators will be able to visit the park to watch the event, as well as watch the participants from any point along the route. Spectators are also welcome at an event held on Saturday 3 August. People can still sign up to participate in the Prudential Ride London FreeCycle, which offers a brilliant opportunity to get the whole family together to experience the fun and freedom of cycling around an eight-mile traffic-free circuit in central London.

More than 50,000 riders are expected to take to the streets at this mass-participation celebration of cycling. It will offer a unique opportunity to cycle through London on an eight-mile traffic-free that features many of the capital’s world-famous landmarks, from Buckingham Palace in the west to the Tower of London in the east via the Houses of Parliament and St Paul’s. Cyclists will be able to cycle the course at any pace and as many times as they like with the ability to stop off en route to enjoy a range of bike-based entertainment and activities and there will also be a variety of bike-based entertainment for the whole family to enjoy along the route. For smaller cyclists, the Strider Challenge adventure zone will give children from 18 months to five years the opportunity to have some fun trying out balance bikes. There will also be a variety of music and entertainment along the route, including bike polo, a fleet of music bikes and bands on bikes that will travel around the route. For more information on Ride London, see LondonTown.com, London’s best website for tourist advice in London.

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Protest posters exhibited at V&A in 2014

The V&A Museum has announced it will be holding an exhibition next year to celebrate the history of posters about protest. The exhibition will be called A World To Win: Posters Of Protest And Revolution and will open on 1 May 2014 – fittingly, as Mayday as traditionally an international day of protest. Visitors coming to London in 2014 should ensure they visit LondonTown.com to get the best deals on hotels in London. LondonTown.com uses the latest information to ensure you always get the best available price on rooms in the capital.

A World To Win promises to be an absorbing look at the powerful and dramatic imagery used in protest posters. From the ‘Votes for Women’ Suffragette campaigns of the early 20th century to the recent Occupy movements, political activists around the world have always used posters to mobilise, educate and organise. Posters have featured in some of the most striking political protests of our age, such as the Paris revolt of May 1968 when students and striking workers covered the walls of the city with posters that often boasted striking imagery and provocative, memorable slogans.

Making or displaying a poster is in itself a means of taking political action, while for many social and political movements posters have represented an important form of cultural output. Themes of protest and political participation have gained a powerful contemporary resonance in the wake of the Arab Spring and the global financial crisis. This display looks at a century of posters agitating for political change drawn from the V&A collection, including new acquisitions gathered from recent outbursts of protest. The exhibition will be free of charge and runs until 2 November 2014. For more information about this and other exhibitions taking place in 2014 at the V&A, visit LondonTown.com, which is the best source for reliable information on tourist attractions in London.

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London’s largest free jazz festival at Canary Wharf

London’s largest free jazz festival arrives at Canary Wharf this August with a sterling line-up of world-class artists and rising stars, headlined by  Soweto Kinch,  Omar Puente  and  Carleen Anderson. The Canary Wharf Jazz Festival is set in the picturesque Canada Square Park, with over 240 nearby shops, cafes, bars and restaurants to enjoy. Visitors to London looking for accommodation should visit LondonTown.com, which has a huge choice of suggestions for London hotels.

The Canary Wharf Jazz Festival gets off to a boisterous start on Friday 16 August  with what promises to be a powerhouse performance from  Roller Trio, whose invigorating mix of rock riffs, angular drums, electronic loops and powerful tenor sax has marked them out as one of the most exciting new bands around. They will precede Friday’s headline performance from the multi-award-winning alto saxophonist and MC  Soweto Kinch, a major figure in both the British jazz and hip hop scenes.

Saturday’s programme opens with a set by the  Nathaniel Facey Quartet. Young British alto saxophonist, composer, arranger and band leader, Facey has worked with some of the finest musicians from the UK and abroad, including Jack DeJohnette, Hugh Masekala and Courtney Pine. Next up come  Troyka, three London-based musicians whose intense live shows have seen them hotly tipped to follow in the footsteps of Polar Bear and Portico Quartet to become the next young band to explode from the capital’s fertile jazz scene. At 5pm  Soothsayers will maintain high energy levels with their deep, hypnotic grooves, powerful horn lines and sublime vocal harmonies. One of the UK’s most exciting, in-demand live performers, the double MOBO Award-winning saxophonist YolanDa Brown  will set the scene for Saturday’s headline performance from the acclaimed Cuban violinist  Omar Puente, who has worked with an amazing range of musical talent, including Nigel Kennedy, Wynton Marsalis, John Williams, Jools Holland and Courtney Pine.

Omar Puente  returns to Canary Wharf with his new project,  Omar Puente RaicesCubanas, a ten-piece, high energy band fronted by vocalists, Rene Alvarez and Yuri Moreno. Playing traditional Cuban style (Buena Vista Social Club) through to a more contemporary sound, there is little doubt the performance will be eminently danceable and heavily seasoned with Omar Puente’s original flavours.

Sunday’s entertainment will open with the  Zoe Rahman Quartet – in 2012 the pianist who is known for her individual style, powerful technique and exuberant performances, won Best Jazz Act at the MOBO Awards. Celebrated British jazz pianist, Jason Rebello follows; the player whose musical versatility and keyboard skills have found him working with a diverse variety of top musicians, including Sting, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Pee Wee Ellis, Joss Stone and Charlene Soraia. The penultimate performance of this year’s festival will come from the much-loved, award winning British jazz vocalist  Ian Shaw, whose solo shows are renowned throughout the world.

The 2013  Canary Wharf Jazz Festival will come to a memorable close with music from the  Carleen Anderson Soul Trio. As the late Amy Winehouse opined “when talking about REAL live performances, then one must look to Carleen Anderson. Everyone should see Carleen Anderson perform live. Not just once – at least three times in their life.”

Via EPR Network
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British Museum strikes gold

For centuries Europeans were dazzled by the legend of a lost city of gold in South America. The truth behind this myth is even more fascinating, as well be revealed in a major new exhibition at the British Museum this winter. The British Museum is in central London close to dozens of superb hotels – for tourists planning to book hotel rooms, visit LondonTown.com, London’s best website for finding the latest deals on the perfect London hotel.

El Dorado – literally “the golden one” – actually refers to the ritual that took place at Lake Guatavita, near modern Bogotá, when the newly elected leader, covered in powdered gold, dived into the lake and emerged as the new chief of the Muisca. In ancient Colombia, gold was used to fashion some of the most visually dramatic and sophisticated works of art found anywhere in the Americas before European contact. This exhibition will feature over 300 exquisite objects drawn from the Museodel Oro in Bogotá, one of the best and most extensive collections of Pre-Hispanic gold in the world, as well as from the British Museum’s own unique collections.Through these exceptional objects the exhibition will explore the complex network of societies in ancient Colombia – a hidden world of distinct and vibrant cultures spanning 1600 BC to AD 1700 – with particular focus on the Muisca, Quimbaya, Calima, Tairona, Tolima and Zenú chiefdoms.

Although gold was not valued as currency in pre-Hispanic Colombia, it had great symbolic meaning. It was one way the elite could publicly assert their rank and semi-divine status, both in life and in death. The remarkable objects displayed across the exhibition reveal glimpses of these cultures’ spiritual lives including engagement with animal spirits though the use of gold objects, music, dancing, sunlight and hallucinogenic substances that all lead to a physical and spiritual transformation enabling communication with the supernatural. Animal iconography is used to express this transformation in powerful pieces demonstrating a wide range of imaginative works of art, showcasing avian pectorals, necklaces with feline claws or representations of men transforming into spectacular bats though the use of profuse body adornment.

The exhibition opens in October 2013 and booking is now taking place. For information on how to purchase tickets and for news about other exhibitions taking place at the British Museum this year, see LondonTown.com’s extensive listings of events and exhibitions in London.

Via EPR Network
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First major London retrospective of the graphic art of MacDonald Gill

A major retrospective of the work of influential designer MacDonald ‘Max’ Gill will open in London this autumn. The first London exhibition to display the full range of Gill’s work, Out of the Shadows: MacDonald Gill will open at PM Gallery & House on 20 September, running until 2 November 2013. PM Gallery is the extension to one of Sir John Soane’s great architectural treasures, Pitzhanger Manor, designed by Soane as a place to entertain his friends and display his collection of art and antiquities. It is located within easy reach of central London. Tourists looking for hotels in London should visit LondonTown.com, where there is the latest booking information forhotel rooms priced at ranges to suit all budgets.

Inspired by the Arts & Crafts Movement, illustrator, letterer, architect and mural painter, MacDonald ‘Max’ Gill (1884-1947) produced a captivating and innovative range of graphic design in many forms, across four decades. Covering political and social issues and the fields of transport and communication, his work was celebrated in his lifetime but, unlike that of his elder brother, sculptor and typographer Eric Gill, it faded from view after his death.

Perhaps best known for the richly-coloured and highly-detailed, light-hearted pictorial maps he created for the London Underground, Gill’s body of work also includes the design of the alphabet for standard military headstones (for the Imperial War Graves Commission); the procession map and title page for the official programme for the Coronation of King George VI; painted wind-dial panel maps commissioned by Edwin Lutyens; a new logo and posters for the General Post Office; and a huge painted map of the North Atlantic for the First Class Dining room on the Cunard liner Queen Mary.

As well as featuring a selection of London Underground maps, the exhibition will include an extensive collection of original Gill artwork, personal papers and other assorted material, which had lain, undisturbed for over 50 years at the remote Sussex cottage where Max lived with his second wife Priscilla, until his death in 1947.

Most of the material to be displayed was discovered by Priscilla’s nephew, Andrew Johnston and his wife Angela, when they inherited her cottage in the 1980s. With Gill’s great-niece and biographer Caroline Walker carefully documenting each new discovery, a comprehensive collection of his work emerged once more into the light of day. As the poster maps were unrolled, they revealed colours as fresh as the day they were printed. Gradually it became clear that the collection had great significance, not only because it included graphic work of the highest quality, unseen for over half a century, but also because it formed an important record of a vanished age.

Among the key exhibits are Wonderground Map of London Town (1914) – the first of a series of seven humorous and colourful maps for the London Underground, which led to a worldwide resurgence in the art of decorative map-making’ Highways of Empire (1927) – a traffic-stopper across the major cities of the Empire, this map launched the Empire Marketing Board’s publicity campaign; GPO Mail Steamship Routes (1937) – part of a set of three communications maps, this shows the transatlantic journey of mail from pillar box to quayside; Tea Revives the World (1940) – a global view of the history and beneficial effects of Britain’s national drink and Atlantic Charter (1942) – celebrating the Anglo-American treaty which led to the peacetime UN and the cementing of the ‘special relationship’, this poster features the signatures of Franklin D Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, pasted in to the original artwork shown. For information on this and other exhibitions taking place at PM House, visit LondonTown.com, London’s best website for visitors to the capital.

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London Zoo extends chance to see tigers at night

London Zoo’s Friday night late-night opening has proved so popular that an extra date has been added. Zoo Lates takes place every Friday night in June and July and will now also be happing on 2 August. The event is extraordinarily popular with tourists and locals so book now to avoid disappointment. The zoo is located in London close to King’s Cross station. Visitors looking for hotels in the area should visit LondonTown.com, where they will find booking information for numerous hotels near King’s Cross and prices to suit all pockets.

Zoo Lates is a special event for summer that features more than just access to ZSL London Zoo. The evening also includes animal talks, improvised comedy, twisted cabaret, performances from artists who wander around the zoo looking for victims, pop-up bars, street food stalls, acoustic music, carousel rides and around 17,500 animals of all shapes, colours and sizes. Wine-lovers will also appreciate The Bordeaux Jardin du Vin, a brand new garden wine bar with a special selection of bottles from Bordeaux.

The zoo has also recently opened a wonderful new Tiger Territory, which recreates the lush foliage of the Indonesian jungle, allowing visitors amazing views of the Sumatran tiger, one of nature’s most magnificent predators, prowling in something that offers a close approximation to its natural environment. London Zoo also boasts stylish new modern surroundings for its gorillas and penguins, all part of constant upgrading work designed to ensure the animals at the zoo are in as pleasant an environment as it is possible. Things were very different when the zoo opened in the nineteenth century and visitors were still allowed to ride on elephants and feed the monkeys – these days, the care of the animals is much more closely monitored and the result is an experience that is as comfortable for the creatures as it is enjoyable for the visitor. Zoo Lates runs from 6-10pm and is an over 18s only event. For more information see LondonTown.com, London’s best website for details of attractions and events in the city.

Via EPR Network
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