Saturday, October 31, 2009

London Designers

London is one of the world's great fashion Meccas, and it is marked by it's creativity and eccentric flares. I am not much of a fashionista myself, but I do like to look at the new styles once in a while and see how far behind the time I really am.

All of these London Designers are fun and interesting and most are far beyond my meager means to afford. That doesn't mean that a bit of window shopping would not be worth while when in London, and who knows, maybe I could buy some tiny little thing and get a nice designer label shopping bag.


The famous Burberry check may have become a chav favourite, but the high-end Prorsum range has retained its exclusivity. Christopher Bailey has won British Designer of the Year for his work on the label.

Cath Kidston

Cath Kidston Ltd was founded in 1993 when designer Cath Kidston opened a tiny shop in London’s Holland Park. She began by selling the vintage fabrics, wallpapers and brightly-painted junk furniture she remembered fondly from her childhood. Her clever, witty re-working of traditional English country house style meant that her shop soon became a cult success.

Jasper Conran

A bit of an institution these days, Jasper Conran offers beautifully classic garments as well as homewares, jewellery, scents and a more affordable range of designs for Debenhams. This label provides fantastic smart casual wear.


Joseph's signature look is smart, tailored and modern. Shop here for beautifully made classic items that you just can't do without. The Fulham Road flagship store carries ranges of other top European designers as well.

Paul Smith

The king of British men's fashion is Sir Paul Smith and his label celebrates classic British tailoring injected with a twist. The trademark bright patterned shirts and loud cufflinks, wallets and accessories are instantly recognisable. Pop into Paul's for fun shopping and great men's gifts.

Pringle of Scotland

This traditional clothing label has worked hard in recent years to become one of Britain's hottest fashion brands. The Scottish company has shaken off its old golfers' image and Pringle now offers colourful and creative ranges of knitwear and cashmere.

Stella McCartney

Since leaving French fashion house ChloƩ, Stella McCartney has gone from strength to strength. She is now Britain's hottest celebrity designer and owner of one of the UK's most envied labels. Her high street range made exclusively for Hennes sold out across the country within hours of hitting shop rails. However for classic Stella chic and a more relaxed browsing experience, visit the Bruton Street flagship store.

Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood has been revolutionising the British fashion industry since the label's early days in the 1970s. She continues to lead the market with her bold designs today. Peruse the rails of her flagship store to take in her Red, Gold, Man and Anglomania labels.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The London Cabbie

In London, hackney-carriage drivers have to pass a test called The Knowledge to demonstrate they have an intimate knowledge of London streets. There are currently around 21,000 black cabs in London, licensed by the Public Carriage Office.

Taxi drivers given brain scans by scientists at University College London had a larger hippocampus compared with other people. This is a part of the brain associated with navigation in birds and animals. -BBC News

London Cabs are one of those icons of the city, famed for being used by the well to do, like Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. Well, maybe that was before London Cabbies had to learn The Knowledge.

I'm more of a Double Decker Bus kind of guy, but I do like the look of the London Black Taxis.

Fares are metered, and there is a minimum charge of £2.20. Black cabs are licensed to carry up to five people (six in the special Metrocabs and Mercedes Vitos) plus luggage. There are no additional charges for extra passengers or items of luggage within these limits. There is a £2 charge when you take a black cab from Heathrow Airport and also a £2 charge when you book a black cab by telephone.

London Taxis - Useful Information

  • Call the Taxi One Number to book a licensed taxi, no account needed - passengers simply pay with cash or by credit or debit card : +44 (0)871 871 8710
  • Be Cabwise, text HOME to 60835 (60TFL) and get black cab and minicab numbers sent straight to your mobile. There is a charge of 35p plus your network charge for this service, if you are on 3 or an overseas network you will need to text your location (street name and partial postcode e.g. Victoria St SW1) to +44 07797 800 000
  • Findaride – find details of licensed private hire and minicab operators in any part of London -
  • To comment or complain about taxi and private hire services email visit or call TfL on 0845 300 7000
  • London Travel Information (24 hrs): +44 (0)20 7222 1234
  • Lost property. If you have lost something in a black cab then call 0845 330 9882 or visit If you lose something in a private hire vehicle or minicab then contact the operator you made the booking with.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

London's Theatreland

West End theatre is a popular term for mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres of London's "Theatreland". Along with New York's Broadway theatre, West End theatre is usually considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English speaking world. Seeing a West End show is a common tourist activity in London.

Programmes such as How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? and Any Dream Will Do boosted attendances across theatreland.

The Society of London Theatre questioned 716 people about the influence of TV talent programmes on the productions they were likely to see.

Nearly half said the shows made them more likely to see the musical involved. Reality programmes landed Lee Mead, Connie Fisher and Jodie Prenger lead roles in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Sound Of Music and Oliver!

The Ipsos Mori poll also found that after watching the TV shows, a third of people were more likely to attend any musical - not just the one they saw on television; and nearly a quarter would consider a play or comedy as well.

The talent shows were broadcast between 2006 and last year. They coincided with record years for theatre audiences, which rose from 12.35 million three years ago to 13.6 million in 2007 and 13.89 million last year.

Book London theatre tickets - exclusive half-price and discount tickets from Official Agents Book London Theatre Tickets now!

Planning on taking in a Show while your in London? You might want to check out Society Of London Theatre Google Maps which has the seemingly endless places to watch a show mapped out for you.