A Londoner’s Guide to Autumn 2018

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”

– F. Scott Fitzgerald

It’s a testament to the sweeping pace of life, that one of the last posts I penned was an ode to the Monsoons in Mumbai.

Blink and it’s October and I’m back in London, just in time to see the city canopied by a wistful mosaic of oranges and yellows.

Pumpkin spice lattes are the order of the day and simple pleasures reign supreme – be it the satisfying crunch of fall foliage beneath your feet, or the cosy rush that envelopes you when you fish out your favourite sweater… And as tempting as it is, to spend an evening in (enjoying all those hyggefied touches to your home!) – chances are that you’ll be out and about on the town. Truly, there’s quite a lot to look forward to this autumn…


Art Attack!

… Starting with *the* art event of the year. Frieze Art Fair.

The keenly-anticipated art fair returns to Regents Park each October, set across two titanic tents. Frieze Masters is an ode to Old Masters; while Frieze London houses over 160 leading contemporary galleries (from all over the world), each showcasing iconic works from eminent artists. This year’s line-up includes the likes of Wolfgang Tilmans (at David Zwirner) and Marina Abramavoic (at Lisson Gallery) to name just a few!

While the Fair takes centre stage in Regent’s Park, Frieze Week (as it’s now known!) takes shape across the city with most galleries and art-focused establishments playing host to pop-ups and parties… Really, it’s the most enthralling time of year to be in London for art lovers and collectors alike!

Frieze London Regent’s Park | 4–7 October 2018 | https://frieze.com/fairs/frieze-london/visitor-information 

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Yayoi Kusama: THE MOVING MOMENT WHEN I WENT TO THE UNIVERSE opens this Wednesday at Victoria Miro. Entry to the exhibition will be by free, timed ticket only. A very limited number of tickets are still available—book now via link in bio, and follow us to be the first to hear about future ticket updates. ⠀ -⠀ Image: Yayoi Kusama, INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM – MY HEART IS DANCING INTO THE UNIVERSE, 2018 (detail). Wood and glass mirror room with paper lanterns. 303.9 x 622.4 x 622.4 cm, 119 5/8 x 245 1/8 x 245 1/8 in. Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo / Singapore / Shanghai and Victoria Miro, London / Venice © Yayoi Kusama. Photography: Thierry Bal⠀ #InstaKusama ⠀ #YayoiKusama #Kusama ⠀ #VMWharfRoad #VictoriaMiroWharfRoad⠀

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In other notable news from the art world, one of the greatest living artists of our time – Yayoi Kusama – has returned to Victoria Miro with her intriguing explorations of cosmic infinity and the hallucinatory… Flooded by paper lanterns adorned with Kusama’s psychedelic polka-dot patterns, the large-scale Infinity Mirrored Room is set to be the most Instagrammable spot in London this season! Now if we could only get our hands on one of the coveted (free) tickets for the exhibition…

Yayoi Kusama – The Moving Moment When I Went To The Universe | 3 October – 21 December 2018 | Victoria Miro, 16 Wharf Road, London N1 7RW | https://kusamatickets.victoria-miro.com


Fashion & Style Diaries

As for one’s seasonal wardrobe refresh, 5 Carlos Place by Matchesfashion is now open in Mayfair to cater to our every whimsical need.

The 7,000 square foot retail haven combines two floors of luxury shopping with another two floors of personal shopping suites, set against a pale palette of grey, teal and pink terracotta.

What’s more, there’s a cafe crossed with a content broadcasting hub, which will play host to a thrilling line-up of lifestyle events and pop-ups – from a Prada installation to restaurant residencies, panel talks, gem masterclasses and live music gigs! In zeitgeisty millennial  fashion, 5 Carlos Place is a space that you can visit both physically and digitally, as each event will be live-streamed and archived on their website… “it’s like Instagram Stories. You want to watch and see what’s going on!” ~ Ulric Jerome, chief executive, MatchesFashion.com. 

5 Carlos Place, Mayfair | https://www.matchesfashion.com/5carlosplace


Where Else is New, London? 

On to new and noteworthy openings on the foodie front.

Michelin star chef Andrew Wong, is bringing his modern Chinese cooking to Kym’s at the City’s new dining address, Bloomberg Arcade.

Kym’s 19 Bloomberg Arcade, London EC4N 8AR | https://www.kymsrestaurant.com

Kings Cross is emerging as an epicurean hub too, with an eclectic string of eateries (alongside shops and boutiques!) opening soon along the cobbled streets and captivating canal-side setting of Coal Drops Yard.

The carefully restored Victorian buildings will house a new and larger outpost of London’s favourite tapas bar, Barrafina; as well as Casa Pastor, which spins off from the Mexican-inspired taco spot in Borough Market. Most excitingly perhaps, Assaf Granit – the visionary chef behind The Palomar, Barbary and Balagan (three of my favourite restaurants!) has created a food & design playground for his lustworthy Middle-Eastern fare, in collaboration with iconoclast designer Tom Dixon…

Coal Drops Yard, Stable Street, London N1C 4AB | https://www.kingscross.co.uk/coal-drops-yard

London’s bon vivants will also be delighted to hear of Parrot – a tropical cocktail den cosseted within Waldorf Hilton in Covent Garden.

Co-owned by none other than award-winning actor, producer & DJ, Idris Elba, the soon-to-open bar hints (if not screams) of hedonism – right from its own chauffeur-driven car designated to pick up guests to the promise of “A-List surprises”, alongside live bands and West End performers. Cin Cin.

Parrot, The Waldorf Hilton, Aldwych, London WC2B 4DD | http://www.theparrotldn.co.uk/


A Foodie’s Ultimate Fix

Inevitably of course, autumn for me is synonymous with my foodie fix – timeless traditions and dishes which are a soothing antidote to the seasonal chill. Here’s signing off, with a few of my favourites…

Coffee & Cinnamon Buns. Because,  really. Is there a more steadying start to your day? Where to get your fix (and then cosily spend the rest of your day!), here.

Cacio e PepeAn artfully-simple three-ingredient pasta demonstrating a precise combination of cheese and carbs, laced with a heady kick of black pepper to warm you right up.  A guide to the best Cacio e Pepe in London, here

Dim Sum & Hot PotsAs cathartic as it possibly gets. Did you know that dim sum sum can be translated to “heart’s delight ” in Cantonese? A veggie’s guide to dim sum in London, here.

Hot chocolate. If you’re really ready to dial up the decadence, try the Italian-style ‘cioccolata densa’ at Said dal 1923 – a cosy café on Soho’s Broadwick Street associated with one of the oldest chocolate factories in Rome. The triple melted chocolate is served spilling out over the rims of the cup and is so indulgently thick, that it can – quite literally – be sipped by the spoonful! SAID London, 41 Broadwick St, Carnaby, London W1F 9QL


What do you love most about Autumn? 

Author: The Foodie Diaries

A food travel & lifestyle journal, chronicling my culinary and other adventures around town.

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