Calling all zombies, ghouls, witches and vampires – Halloween has arrived in the City. Make the most of the spookiest time of year with our list of what to do, eat and try – guaranteeing a frightfully good time.
Discover all creatures great and small this Halloween at Leadenhall Market. With spooky guided walks, monster spotting trails, pumpkin workshops and more over the next week, there’s plenty to keep you entertained and in a scary mood – not to mention the famous six-metre tentacles bursting out of the market’s windows once again.
There are no tricks and all treats at Dabbers Bingo‘s Halloween line-up this year. Choose – if you dare – from the schedule of Halloween shows including ‘Do you Dare?’, a risky game which might have you making a deal with the devil, and ‘Panic! at the Bingo’, with a prize for best costume.
M Threadneedle St‘s much-loved Tokyo Brunch has been given a horrifying twist the Saturday before Halloween, with a chilling cocktail added to the usual bottomless line-up to get your hairs raised. The resident DJ will be blasting scream-worthy tunes, while the two best-dressed guests dine for free – so get ready to serve!
Gather your friends for a private walking tour for a spooktacular AND educational walking tour – win win. Let London Walking Tours guide you with a dash of sinister history, a sprinkling of spooky tales, a light dusting of dastardly villains – blended together to create a veritable feast of a ghost walk about Fleet Street’s most famous barber.
Take Halloween to new heights at one of the most famous annual parties in London. This year’s Halloween at Sky Garden includes ghoulish beats, fiendish cocktails and plenty of frights. Upgrade your ticket to a VIP drinks or 3-course dinner package and make Halloween THE night of the year, in one of London’s most iconic locations.
There’s always a reason to spend time in the City when Sculpture in the City is up. And to celebrate the 2023 edition, we’ve partnered with three of our favourite cocktail bars in the trail area to give One City Friends exclusive offers, all running until 17 September. Cocktails combined with world class public art? Date night just got a little bit more special. Check out our recommended art & cocktail itineraries below.
Visit Habitat, then head to Patch East for two cocktails for the price of one
Habitat by Pedro Pires has to be seen to be believed – an astonishing sculptural illusion that from one side, appears to be the outline of a human being, and from the other, forms the shape of a tree. Pires wished to highlight ecological imbalance with this fascinating artwork, showing how truly intertwined and connected our lives are with the flora and fauna that also call this planet home.
After seeing Habitat, head to Patch East – who are offering One City Friends two cocktails for the price of one across their iconic cocktail menu. And don’t worry if you’re at the other side of the City – Patch St Paul’s are giving out the same offer exclusively for One City followers. Cheers to that!
How to redeem: Book online at patch-bar.co.uk, then email [email protected] to request the offer. It’ll then be applied to your booking on the night. Offer expires 17 Sep.
Visit Untitled, then head to Moonshine Saloon for 10% off Moonshine Saloon
Enormous artwork Untitled by Arturo Herrera stands in beautiful contrast to the City’s iconic architecture. This colourful collage including a Cezanne reference and dripping paint, create a complex vision of how art and architecture stand together, and apart.
After seeing Untitled, head to Moonshine Saloon – who are offering One City Friends 10% off bookings. Don your cowboy hat for this immersive experience and bring your own spirit for custom made cocktails all night made by expert mixologists. Become an outlaw and be transported to an unseen world of the American Wild West…
How to redeem: Book online at moonshinesaloon.com, and use discount code ONECITY10 at checkout. Offer expires 17 Sep.
Visit Earthing, then head to Jin Bo Law for £9.50 mimosas
The completely unique sculptural juxtaposition between snail shells and human legs in Earthingby Jocelyn McGregor explores interconnections between the synthetic and organic world in an urban space. McGregor used her own body to create the disembodied human legs, creating a playful, humorous sculpture that stands out in the bustle of Aldgate Square.
After seeing Earthing, head to Jin Bo Law – who are offering One City Friends discount mimosas for £9.50, exclusively on Mondays, Tuesdays and Sundays throughout August and September. Jin Bo Law is one of the most iconic City rooftop bars, found on the 14th storey of the Dorsett City Hotel and offering fantastic views of the London skyline. T&Cs apply.*
How to redeem: Book online at jinbolaw.co.uk, then email [email protected] to notify the team. It’ll then be applied to your booking on the night. Offer expires end of Sep. T&Cs apply – see below.*
*Jin Bo Law Terms & Conditions: the Mimosa cocktail offer is valid only during the months of August and September. This offer is applicable on every Monday, Tuesday, and Sunday within the specified months. The exclusive price for the Mimosa cocktail during the offer period is £9.50. This offer is open to all One City promotion holders aged 18 and above. The offer is valid only for groups of up to 15pax. Guests are encouraged to make a reservation in advance to avail of this offer, as availability might be limited. The offer is subject to availability and may be subject to a limited quantity of Mimosa cocktails per day. It is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The offer is only valid for the Mimosa cocktail as described and cannot be substituted for any other beverage. This offer cannot be combined with any other promotions, discounts, or offers. Jin Bo Law reserves the right to modify or withdraw this offer at any time without prior notice. The offer price is exclusive of any applicable service charges or gratuities. This offer is non-transferable and cannot be exchanged for cash or any other form of value. Jin Bo Law reserves the right to refuse service or participation in the offer to any guest who violates these terms or engages in any inappropriate behaviour. By participating in this offer, guests agree to abide by the above terms and conditions. These terms are subject to change without prior notice at the discretion of Jin Bo Law.
“We spend so much of our time absorbed by our phones and thoughts; the artworks are there to draw you out and make you smile, to take a breath and be curious about what’s surrounding you.” ~ Stella Ioannou, Artistic Director of Sculpture in the City and Founding Director of Lacuna.
We had the absolute privilege of speaking to Stella Ioannou about all things Sculpture in the City. Stella is a pioneer in the art scene having led this fantastic annual public sculpture park from its beginnings to now: the 12th edition. This year’s Sculpture in the City was unveiled on the 27th of June and features 18 world-class artworks, including those by Ugo Rondinone, Phyllida Barlow and Oliver Bragg.
Stella shares insight into the clockwork of bringing such amazing works of contemporary art to the ‘Square Mile’ we all know and love. From public reactions to upcoming family activities, this interview provides fascinating context that makes looking at the trail all the more exciting. Without further ado, let’s get on to what Stella had to say!
Hi Stella, could you tell us about how Sculpture in the City began? Following a forward-thinking City of London Planning Department consultation with local stakeholders in the City Cluster area, there was an expressed desire to bring contemporary sculpture into the area as an experiment. I was brought on board to see how this could be done and following a short eight-month period we delivered four major artworks around Hiscox and Aviva, who alongside British Land, were supporting the project. I still can’t quite believe that in that first year, we showed Anish Kapoor, Julian Opie, Kenneth Armitage and a brand new piece from Franz West’s studio. Following the success of the first year it was evident the project had a natural home amongst the tall buildings and it has continued to grow in strength and support.
Why the City of London?
The area SitC is sited in is defined by the contemporary architecture of the iconic tall buildings such as the Cheesegrater, the Gherkin and 22 Bishopsgate. This particularly uber contemporary architecture could only really be paired with contemporary sculpture. The prevalent architectural materials of glass and steel make for the perfect setting for colour, and the scale of the tall buildings in combination with the very high-quality public realm of the area allow for large scale works to find a natural home.
It has always been important to me that the art is displayed in dialogue with the architecture. An additional bonus is that the unique architecture allows for unexpected reflections of the artworks in the glass buildings as well as the bouncing of light in the space.
What have been the biggest successes and challenges bringing together so many international artists and foundations?
That’s a difficult question in that I’ve worked with so many artists and galleries. Since the very first, four-piece exhibition back in June 2011, we have exhibited 152 artworks by 129 artists so I really don’t know where to start. Probably one of the biggest highlights was back in 2015 when we were preparing to install Forever by Ai Weiwei. We had spent months negotiating with the gallery as the artist was under house arrest in China and suddenly a few weeks before the installation and launch of the piece in September 2015, he was released and joined us in London. It was so unexpected and at the same time, poignant that he was in the City to celebrate what at the time was the largest installation of the artwork to date. It took nine days to install and was made up of 1274 bicycle frames. As for challenges, there have been many though not necessarily to do with the artists, but more to do with more boring factors, like road closures and weight loadings. I remember one year I was very keen we showed Temple by Damien Hirst in Cunard Place until the install team told me the lanes were too narrow for the articulated truck to deliver the artwork for installation. We joked about airlifting it, but the budget would never stretch to that!
What are the best reactions from the public that you’ve observed over the past 12 editions of Sculpture in the City?
When we started the project smartphone cameras were not as sophisticated as they are now, but I do remember witnessing the beginning of the ‘selfie’ culture. In 2013 we had two very photogenic pieces in the show: Ryan Gander’s More Really Shiny Things That Don’t Mean Anything and Antony Gormley’s Parallel Fields. In the case of Ryan’s work, people would pose as if they were holding the ball either in their hands or on their shoulders whilst Antony’s piece inspired whole families to pose next to the two figures leaning at the exact same angle as the artworks. It was also the year we showed Robert Indiana’s One through Zero which inspired many parents to photograph their children in front of their respective age number. Simultaneously we showed Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE and I secretly hoped that there had been a few love proclamations in front of it. That reminds me, in 2011 we had newly-wed couples posing on Franz West’s Garden Pouf, which was sited right next to St Helen’s church and the same happened when we had Gavin Turk’s ‘Ajar’ in St Botolph’s on Bishopsgate.
It’s really interesting how the artworks sit in dialogue with the City’s glass architecture. Many of the sculptures are visible from above through the office windows of nearby organisations, was this idea of being viewed from above a consideration in their placement?
We’ve never really sited artworks considering how they’d look from above. It’s always been about complementing the City and humanising it: allowing passers-by to pause for a moment and even I hope, to smile. Years ago I received a very enthusiastic email from someone who’d walked past Marina Abramovic’s Tree on Bishopsgate, which stopped her in her tracks. She thanked me for making her stop and enjoy a moment on her way to work and that’s exactly how I’d like people to experience the project. We spend so much of our time absorbed by our phones and thoughts; the artworks are there to draw you out and make you smile, to take a breath and be curious about what’s surrounding you.
Are there any key events you’re looking forward to over the next few months while the Sculptures are in place?
This summer it’s been great to see so many people coming in to see the new show and there’s plenty more to come. On 16th September we are hosting SculptureFest; a full day of family-friendly activities including guided tours, artist workshops and young art critic filming and screening. That will launch Sculpture Week London (16-24 September 2023) in partnership with Frieze, GLA and The Line, which will include free public tours of the project. Our annual education programme also takes place in September and October with nine local schools, so it will be busy and exciting.
Outside of Sculpture in the City, what do you love to do in the City of London?
I love the architecture and after 12 years still get very excited going into a new building, especially when I can go up to the top. Many of the new buildings will have free public viewing terraces. At the moment my favourite site is the roof garden at the top of 120 Fenchurch Street, which at 14 storeys high still feels very connected to the street and such a beautifully calm space to go and enjoy the views from. While waiting to go up in the lift, we also get to enjoy Mika Rottenberg’s Untitled: Ceiling Projection in all its multicolour glory with the accompanying crunching of the smashed lightbulbs.
What advice would you give someone looking to start a career in art curation?
At the very beginning of my career in the world of architecture and events, a wise person told me “you learn by doing” and that’s exactly the advice I would like to pass on. It’s so important to not be afraid of what you don’t know and just accept that you haven’t done it yet. Get stuck in and enjoy it, you never know where it will lead.
A huge thank you to Stella for taking the time to answer our questions!
CORD by Le Cordon Bleu recently hosted an extraordinary pop-up event in collaboration with alumni chef duo, Woongchul Park and Bomee Ki.
This unique dining experience brought to the table a five-course tasting menu that beautifully combined European and Korean influences. For a small extra price, you could also opt for a wine pairing.
For me, however, the journey began with one of CORD’s delicious kiwi mocktails (I had a meeting in the afternoon!). Then, we were served a gamtae waffle topped with Duckett’s Caerphilly cheese and seaweed – only found in South Korea. The combination of flavours was delightful, showcasing the chefs’ innovative approach.
Next, we were served a mulhoe (traditional cold fish soup) which featured scallops and a fermented tomato, enhanced by a refreshing doenjang granita. The ice cold temperature was a pleasant surprise, it was light and refreshing.
The main course was a true work of art—a barbecued wagyu steak and braised short rib, glazed with gochujang and accompanied by beef tongue rice and bisque foam. The presentation was stunning, and each component showcased the chefs’ expertise.
For dessert, we enjoyed a perilla pavlova with granny smith apples, perilla ice cream, and sesame rice crispies. It was a harmonious blend of flavours and textures that gave me the warm familiarity of an apple pie.
The finale was a black sesame praline infused with yuzu – an ingredient said, served on a hot stone. This interesting and flavourful experience was a fitting conclusion to the exceptional meal.
Throughout our time at CORD, the service was impeccable, and the attention to detail was evident. The ambience was elegant, and the staff’s knowledge added to the overall experience.
Overall, CORD by Le Cordon Bleu’s Korean pop-up event was a triumph of creativity and innovation. Park and Ki’s culinary prowess was evident in every dish.
If you’re looking for another remarkable fine dining experience, that combines the best of Korean and European cuisine, Park and Ki’s Michelin-star restaurant, Sollip is one to try. This fine-dining experience is only to be expected at CORD by Le Cordon Bleu, who have more pop-ups in their pipeline – so keep an eye on their website and why not make a reservation at CORD Restaurant.
For more of an insight into the experience, check out our most recent TikTok!
Are you ready for Barbenheimer? The ultimate double feature is coming to London on 21 July – and there’s plenty else to enjoy in the City’s cinemas. Who will dominate at the box office? That’s up to you…
TikToks be damned (Wes doesn’t look at them anyway). Catch the real thing and see Asteroid City in Barbican Cinema this summer, Wes Anderson’s latest production that takes us back to 1955. With his usual superstar line-up, catch Scarlett Johansson, Jason Schwartzman, Steve Carrell, Tom Hanks and many more A-listers in this tale following a grieving father who takes his family to a small rural city to compete in a Junior Stargazer/Space Cadet Convention.
At Curzon Aldgate, get cosy for Harrison Ford’s latest blast into the past; he’s once again cracking the whip in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. Set in two time periods – hello, CGI de-aged Harrison Ford – he’s joined by Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Antonio Banderas in his latest adventure, wherein a former Nazi is co-opted by the US government to aid Nasa’s moon landing efforts (uh oh). In the 40s Indy must do battle; in the 60s he’s in a caper with his estranged goddaughter Helena (Waller-Bridge), with the kind of quips the trailer has been making meat out of.
Gear up for ‘Barbenheimer’: the double feature no one asked for but everyone can’t wait for – Barbie and Oppenheimer. Two films released on 21 July, two renowned directors and stellar casts, two vastly different plots. Catch them both showing at Everyman Broadgate (alongside cinemas across London). Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, promises a playful and surreal take on every millenial’s favourite childhood toy, Barbie (and Ken!). What happens when a plastic figurine engineered around cutesy perfection makes her way into the real world? Cue existential crises – and a whole lot of nostalgia. Meanwhile, Christopher Nolan’s epic Oppenheimer stars Cillian Murphy as the American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer and focuses on his life – including his profound role in the development of the atomic bomb, the most dangerous weapon the world has ever seen. Shot on IMAX, this is likely to be one of Nolan’s best, with a plot that he promises will rouse and disturb. Which to see first?! You decide.