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The A-List: What To Do In London This Week

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// OPENING //TakuIt’s difficult to fault Taku, a Japanese Omakase that has just opened its discreet doors on Mayfair’s Albemarle Street. The intimate 16-cover restaurant feels at once romantic, secluded—almost clandestine—but also like a very tightly run ship. In the spirit of omakase (the Japanese phrase meaning “I leave it up to you”), diners relinquish control of their meal, adding a delicious sense of mystery and anticipation to proceedings. At Taku, you’re in very safe hands indeed—namely those of Chef Takuya Watanabe, formerly of Jin, the first sushi Omakase in Paris to receive a Michelin star. Every morsel on his daily changing 20-course tasting menu is immaculate, from the first sip of crab-infused miso to a plump charred scallop wrapped in nori, and freshly made nigiri handed straight over that beautiful bleached wood bar. Seasonal produce and edomae style shapes each dish, the latter a traditional form of sushi making that dates back to when street vendors would cure fish to keep it from spoiling. Today, the method is used by leading sushi chefs to bring out the most head-spinning umami flavours in fresh fish, which is simply sliced and served. The theatricality and precision of the chefs is mesmerising, and that combined with the actual taste of the dishes they create makes it difficult, at times, to maintain conversation. But it’s easy to delight in the quietude of it all—a meditative, magical two-hour respite from the chaotic noise that awaits outside. Book now (and don’t show up late). Taku// BEAUTY //andyourstoryWaterhouse YoungIf you’re considering injectables, it’s well worth a trip to Waterhouse Young. There’s something infinitely calming about this Harley Street clinic—it’s peaceful yet reassuringly medical, and the team are lovely. It’s known for its subtle approach and brilliant combination treatments, and a case in point is Glowfhilo, created by in-house skin and aesthetic doctor Dr. Paris Acharya. This starts with a personalised “no peel” peel, which exfoliates dull, dehydrated skin cells at the surface to uncover a glass-like glow. Then, there are five deeply hydrating Profhilo injections on each side of the face to boost collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin within the skin’s dermis. The treatment takes just 45 minutes (if that) and although the Profhilo stings a little, Dr. Paris makes the experience a pleasure with her kind, patient manner—not to mention flawless skin, the best possible advert for her work. Yours will look better straight away (perhaps with a few barely detectable bumps), but it’s around the eight week mark that the full effects of the Profhilo emerge. It’s hard to put your finger on what it does, other than making skin look lifted, more defined and healthier. It’s like you’ve had a long, restful holiday and come back with better cheekbones. Waterhouse Young// FOOD //The PelicanIt’s hard to determine what, exactly, causes a place to become “sceney”. Sometimes, a new opening seems to shoot from relative obscurity to go-to spot almost overnight. In the best cases, the surge in popularity is not without good reason—and Notting Hill’s pub du jour The Pelican is one such place. It opened last year, but by the summer hordes of West London’s finest were queueing for a pint and a pic for Instagram. Now we understand why. Everything from the honey-hued walls and wax-dripped candles to the trendy crowd makes for a cool, eclectic vibe. But the star of the show is the food, with bar menu classics and gutsy, out-there dishes (see spider crab toast) that feel sufficiently comforting to act as “pub grub”, yet smart enough to carry a special occasion. V.F. started with a pint before devouring some mince on toast—perfectly toasted sourdough heaped with rich, sturdy ragu and dusted with cheddar. Up next was a whole-roasted lemon sole with butter sauce, capers and parsley that fell triumphantly off the bone, accompanied with some of the best mash around (thanks to a presumably colossal amount of butter) and paired nicely with a glass of Pinot Noir. An unmissable side dish is the smoky roasted leek with fermented barley, which is designed to go with everything, and succeeds. Look to the “specials mirror” for the daily list of puddings, and should the salted caramel chocolate mousse be on the menu, snap that up ASAP. The Pelican// PARTY //Piotrowski PhotoPortman MaryleboneLast night saw the Portman Marylebone community kicking off the Christmas festivities in style, with a good old-fashioned knees up that included carols by the London Carol Singers on the elegantly lit Chiltern Street. The Marylebone merriment is running every Thursday night until December 22, so steal away from the office party for a couple of hours to come and soak up the joyful musical performances, warming mulled wine and treats from local restaurants and cafés. Spanning Chiltern Street, Seymour Place, New Quebec Street, Blandford Street and Old Quebec Street, there’s certainly plenty of space to get into the spirit—and bringing family and friends along is actively encouraged. Those in need of Christmas presents will be pleased to know that most shops are staying open late with many offers—a nice antidote to the onslaught of digital deals. Happy shopping! Portman Marylebone// DELIVERY //Rebecca HopeWhere The Pancakes Are Festive Brunch BoxIf you’re craving something that gives a nod to Thanksgiving and a tantalising taste of the festive season that is pretty much upon us, you may be interested in the delicious Festive Brunch Box from fluffy pancake specialists, Where The Pancakes Are. Available for delivery across the U.K., this box is likely to result in the best pancakes you’ve ever made, accompanied by an all-American feast of toppings. It includes a bag of pancake flour mix, organic eggs, butter and a litre of buttermilk, all of which require just the right amount of lazy weekend effort to combine. Then there’s a generous tangle of smoked streaky bacon, 100 per cent pure Canadian maple syrup, fresh bananas and blueberries to sprinkle on top. If you want to go fully festive, there’s an option to add house-made mince and brandy butter to smother over a stack, too. The box feeds up to six, and any leftover batter can also be frozen for a sweet start to another Sunday. Weekend-making. Where The Pancakes Are// LIQUID SOLUTION //Ingredients225ml Black Cow Christmas Spirit3 Clarence Court Burford Brown eggs, separated75g Caster sugar300ml Full fat milk150ml Double creamA pinch of ground cinnamonA pinch of ground nutmegMethod1. Whisk the egg yolks and half of the sugar for 2-3 minutes until light and frothy. Add the milk, cream, alcohol, spices until thoroughly mixed. 2. Whisk the egg whites and the rest of the sugar until fairly stiff. Then fold this and alcohol mixture into the yolk bowl3. Serve in any glass with a light dusting of cinnamon powder and grating of nutmeg.

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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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