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Victoria Magrath, AKA InTheFrow’s, guide to Bloomsbury

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Victoria Magrath doesn’t just have one job. She has about eight. What started as a part-time blogging hobby under the pseudonym InTheFrow has now turned into an impressive career portfolio. She’s a brand ambassador, content creator, fashion and beauty blogger, brand consultant, author, influencer, social media director and, let’s not forget, an entrepreneur too. To say she is a busy woman would be an understatement. 

Magrath’s fashion and beauty blog, InTheFrow, is probably what she is best known for. It started in 2012 while she was completing a PhD in Fashion and lecturing about Fashion Marketing at the University of Manchester. A decade later, Magrath has built an empire — and amassed a whopping 1.3 million followers on Instagram — which has several accolades to its name. Her highlights? Becoming a brand ambassador for Japanese beauty brand Clé De Peau and being named the UK’s Top Fashion Blog for five consecutive years. 

Magrath left her home city of Manchester behind for London shortly after InTheFrow took off — and it’s been her home ever since. When she’s not working, managing or creating content for her many, many jobs, Magrath hits the indie restaurants and shopping hotspots of her local neighbourhood, Bloomsbury, with her husband Harrison and miniature dachshund Boe. Here, she reveals her favourite haunts. 

The restaurant: Bloomsbury Street Kitchen

Victoria says: Top of my list for eateries is the buzzing Bloomsbury Street Kitchen. Serving a unique blend of contemporary Japanese and Mediterranean small plates, this is the ideal spot for an evening spent gossiping with your girlfriends or dining with a loved one while sharing an eclectic array of incredible food. My favourite is the crab bucatini [with] plum tomatoes, chilli and lemon. It is divine. What’s more, they have a fabulous selection of sake, which is my drink of choice, and cocktails for those who are willing. 

We say: Bloomsbury Street Kitchen takes inspiration from Mediterranean gardens with hanging plants, exposed bricks and living walls featured throughout the restaurant. It opened last year as the latest addition to the Kitchens chain, which also has restaurants in Mayfair and Leicester Square. If sushi and fresh tartare are your thing, book a seat at the chef’s counter to see your dishes being prepared from scratch. 

Visit thekitchenrestaurants.co.uk

The hotel: Kimpton Fitzroy London

Victoria says: Kimpton Fitzroy London is my favourite hotel in London – it is a home away from home. The Corner Suite is my room of choice, with a glorious roll-top bath, fabulously comfortable bedding and a separate lounge and dressing area. The staff at the Kimpton Fitzroy never fail to make you feel like you are the only guest in the hotel. Their care and attention to detail is impeccable and allows you to ‘Guest How You Guest’. The hotel is part of IHG Hotels & Resorts, which believes when people are taken care of they can feel free to be themselves and live their best lives. 

We say: The Kimpton Fitzroy is one of London’s landmark five-star hotels, known for its grandeur, style and, above all, luxury stays. Overlooking Russell Square in the heart of Bloomsbury, the hotel is ideally located for those who want to explore, with Covent Garden, The British Museum, as well as the district of Fitzrovia all a few minutes away. After a long day shopping, we recommend a tipple or two in the hotel’s lavish Fitz’s bar before a three-course dinner at Galvin Bar and Grill. 

Visit kimptonfitzroylondon.com

The bar: Noble Rot

Victoria says: Noble Rot is situated in a townhouse on Lamb’s Conduit Street. Starting out as a magazine which evolved into a restaurant and wine bar in 2015, [the magazine] is home to some of the most exciting voices in wine and food (think Diana Henry and Jeremy Chan). If you love wine, you [should] know about Noble Rot, a relatively undiscovered gem among the masses in the heart of the city.

We say: Noble Rot’s two wine bars had an unconventional beginning. It started — and still is — the name of a quarterly food and drink magazine which opened its first bar in Bloomsbury in 2015, and the Soho addition in 2020. The flagship Bloomsbury bolthole is a cosy spot for catching up with friends by the roaring fire. Like its Soho sister, it has a celebrated wine selection, voted Wine List of the Year at the World Restaurant Awards 2019, and at the National Restaurant Awards in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Visit noblerot.co.uk

The café: Burr & Co

Victoria says: Burr & Co. is my coffee stop of choice for a fantastic oat milk latte designed to reset and revive. Tucked into a ground floor space at the Kimpton Fitzroy, the space offers a modern twist on the traditions of London’s Victorian era coffeehouses. We often drop in for a quick takeaway coffee when on the move, or to catch up on emails between meetings (with a side of people watching around the hustle and bustle or Russell Square). 

We say: A coffee joint by day and wine bar by night, Burr & Co is nestled on the corner of Bernard Street and Russell Square so is a perfect place to work from between meetings. Visitors are encouraged to bring their laptops and take advantage of the plug sockets and speedy WiFi while sampling its beverage menu. Who wouldn’t enjoy a day of catching up on work at one of London’s most regal hotels? 

Visit kimptonfitzroylondon.com

The hidden gem: Redemption Roasters

Victoria says: Redemption Roasters is an incredible café and roastery with a wonderful story, working alongside ex-offenders to reduce crime in the community through coffee. At its roastery inside HMP The Mount, it teaches practical skills in coffee roasting alongside the wider logistics around coffee production; a collective mission to change the game for ex-offenders and the criminal justice system. It also does a mean avocado toast! One for the soul and the stomach. 

We say: Impressive coffee with an impressive story, Redemption Roasters trains ex-offenders to roast beans and become baristas via its prison academies and community training programmes. The result? Great tasting lattes. Redemption Roasters has stores across London, from Moorgate to Hampstead Heath, so you can get a feel-good caffeine hit anywhere in the capital. 

Visit redemptionroasters.com

The entertainment: Bloomsbury Lanes

Victoria says: Every now and again, stepping away from the bright lights of the city centre and into a classic bowling alley is a must. Bloomsbury Lanes is an ode to childhood fun, a one-of-a-kind 1950s, American-style venue that makes bowling stylish. Bowling, cocktails and fries — nothing screams ‘Friday night fun’ more than this. 

We say: With eight bowling alleys, a diner, cocktail bar and karaoke room, Bloomsbury Lanes is more than your average bowling venue. It also hosts regular party events running until 3am so you can get your groove on after scoring a couple of strikes. 

Visit bloomsburybowling.com

The shopping: Independent boutiques

Victoria says: Bloomsbury hosts some of my husband’s favourite stores, including Universal Works and YMC. Rummaging through their rails is like raiding my husband’s wardrobe. After a day shooting my content, nothing says thank you more than a trip to one of his favourite stores to pick up a treat!

We say: If you’re in need of some retail therapy, the capital never disappoints, particularly Bloomsbury. Take a trip to Lamb’s Conduit Street for its array of quirky, independent shops. Highlights include Darkroom for handmade clothing and accessories and Persephone Books, a stand-out bookshop that celebrates forgotten female authors. 

Magrath’s curated Corner Suite stay at the Kimpton Fitzroy can be booked until 31 January 2023, visit thekimptonfitzroy.com

Read more: Wiggy Hindmarch’s guide to Chiswick

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ICE London 2023 to feature exhibitors from record 68 nations – IAG

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Industry trade show ICE London will feature exhibitors from a record 68 nations, topping the previous best of 65 set three years ago, according to organizer Clarion Gaming.
ICE London returns as a full-sized show for the first time since 2020 from 7 to 9 February, with the total 623 exhibitors representing everything from Argentina to Australia and Macau to Mexico.
“No other exhibition in the gaming space can come anywhere near the internationalism of ICE,” said Clarion Gaming Managing Director, Stuart Hunter.
“To have 68 nations represented by our community of exhibitors means that visitors are immediately part of what is a global experience with unique access to the smartest gaming innovators drawn from every corner of the world. There are very few exhibitions of scale in any industry sector which are able to compare with such international representation and legitimately lay claim to being a ‘global’ or a ‘world’ event.
“Once an event is recognized as being genuinely international, stakeholder groups including brands, regulators, trade associations, media groups and strategic industry-wide bodies focus their activities accordingly.
“Research that we’ve undertaken has shown that for many people ICE and iGB Affiliate London actually start on the Sunday preceding and finish on the following Saturday. In that week we estimate that over 100 gambling industry events will take place outside of the show hours providing a new and compelling perspective on why ICE and iGB Affiliate London are so influential and important to the world industry.”
IAG will have a team of four at ICE London next week. Visit us at Stand ND7-C.

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David Ford and Annie Dressner Live in London

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There’s something special about London on a Saturday night – there’s a certain buzz in the air as you head into the Capital city. For me that buzz was extra special, as I was going to see David Ford and Annie Dressner at The Lexington in Islington. I literally listened to their ’10 Days (Live)’ album for the first time a week ago, but since then it’s been on repeat and heading in I knew that the night was going to be special.
The Lexington is a great place for music, with a bar on the ground floor before heading up the winding stairs to the spacious venue itself. And as the crowd started coming in, the atmosphere in the room was growing by the minute.
Opening the night was Scottish singer songwriter Gary Stewart. He set the night off really well, with an engaging set that got the crowd onside from the start. He opened with his 2021 single ‘Hot To Trot‘ and you already knew the set was going to be a good one – a rousing folk song with great lyrical dexterity. The highlight of the set was ‘Frontlines’, a simply gorgeous song (check out a YouTube video of the song here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDCLwYwsesk). Gary ended with a fine cover of Paul Simon’s ‘Song for the Asking’.
It was time for a quick visit to the bar before settling down for the main event. 
The duo appeared on the stage to great applause, David in an orange shirt and Annie in a sparkling black dress. They opened with ‘Easy Falling’, the first song that I’ve ever heard of theirs, and a song that convinced me I needed to listen to the rest of the album. This slow and moving number is a touching love song and shows off the brilliant harmonies of David and Annie – there’s something special about the English (David) and US accents (Annie) mingling in the way that they do. 
Throughout the set, there were so many highlights. ‘Something I’ll Have to Learn‘ is a song with an almost timeless feel that feels like a conversation in song, Annie’s original ‘Strangers Who Knew Each Other’s Names‘ was simply brilliant and ‘Some Folks Are Lucky I Guess‘ is a song with a great sentiment. ‘Can’t Help What I Want‘ (below) is a great example of those brilliant harmonies that the two share.

‘Trash‘, a cover of the Suede hit, was a particular highlight – a song that was a nice surprise on the live album. As they break into ‘Oh maybe, maybe it’s the clothes you wear‘ it almost feels like this was a song that Suede wrote for David and Annie, their version is that good. Outstanding.
The set had a second cover, a song that Annie introduced as ‘an American classic‘. This classic was ‘Ain’t No Pleasing You‘ from Chas and Dave, a song that typified the cockney sound of London back in the 1980’s. I love the way they re-worked it and there was something special about the way Annie sings the word ‘Darling’ in her US twang that just resonated and put a smile on my face.
There were great moments of humour throughout the night, the chat between the two great. At one point mid-song, Annie passed her guitar to David, exclaiming ‘I knew there were chords in this song, I just didn’t know which ones‘ which had the crowd laughing.
The best of the night was saved till last. ‘Warning Sign’ had quickly become my favourite song from the pair and hearing it live in person lived up to all expectations. There’s such a beauty in live music, and hearing songs like this with other people in a venue can really bring a song home – and almost even change your own personal relationship with a song.
The final song of the night (there was no encore as David explained that they literally had no more songs!) was ‘Put Me In A Corner’. Annie’s vocals take the lead in this track and it was just magical, the emotion of the song emanating from the stage and filling the room. You can listen and see for yourself below.

You never know what to expect when you see an artist or artists perform for the first time. Some exceed expectations and some just don’t hit the heights you expect. In David Ford and Annie Dressner, it was definitely the former. The gig was stripped back – just two people on a stage creating a moment. And what a moment it was.
Annie and David and reviewer Nick Cantwell
Check out their websites and hit and follow the social links!
http://www.dressnerford.com/

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http://anniedressner.com/
***Note – I need to say a word about the audience for the gig. The audience was impeccable, with barely any talking at all at any point (apart from whispered orders at the bar). Credit goes to Gary, Annie and David, who managed to grab the audience from the start, but also to everyone there. If you were there yourself, give yourself a high five!***
Review written by Nick Cantwell (instagram.com/nickcantwellmanagement)
 
 
 


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Graduate Organist vacancy in London and Home Counties – Church Times

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Graduate Organist vacancy in London and Home Counties  Church Times

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