Two very different new cultural launches see Playtime bar, art installation and performance space on Islington Green and Ben and Hugo Warner’s London Wall Bar & Kitchen within the brand new Museum of London.
Playtime is testament to the fact that East London’s bar-meets-art scene is spreading its wings into the rest of the capital and the recent launch featured a performance from hula-hoop artist extraordinaire, Marawa The Amazing. The two-storey venue is working with an ongoing rostrum of artists to showcase a cutting edge and eclectic line-up of DJ’s, musicians and performers. Every four months will see a new resident artist transforming both its look and sound.
The opening show entitled Hang Me High is curated by cowboy artist Robert Gordon McHarg III, founder of the Subway Gallery, which, just in case you missed it, was fashioned out of a 1960’s kiosk in a pedestrian subway underneath the Marylebone Flyover. McHarg was also responsible for ‘Art-Tube 01, London’s first and only art exhibition to be held on a working tube train featuring specially commissioned works by Damien Hirst and Vivienne Westwood. The show features tributes to Frank Miller and Jack Kirby plus 'Micky Him,' the artist's satirical homage to Charles Saatchi and ‘I shot Damian Hirst', taken at the Gagosian gallery.
The artist has also supplied a playlist of his favourite music, ranging from Hank Williams to Primal Scream so expect a truly immersive experience. Playtime will also feature a varied musical program where friends of the venue from teams at Dazed and Confused to the Screen on the Green get to spin tracks they never thought would see life beyond their ipods!
But back to the bar where each featured artist will create a signature cocktail. Mc Harg’s offering, The Flamin’ Groovie, is a fresh watermelon martini with a twist of burnt orange, from which 25p from each drink sold is being donated to the Strummerville music charity.
However, if you’d prefer your cultural sustenance to take a more solid form, then check out the Museum of London’s newly unveiled Galleries of Modern London. The £20 million redevelopment tells the story of London and its people from 1666 to the present day. And once you’ve absorbed your fill, refuel at London Wall Bar & Kitchen in the museum’s annex.
This latest addition to Ben and Hugo Warner’s portfolio – encompassing Hyde Park’s Serpentine Bar & Kitchen, the Café at V&A and the Riverfront Bar & Kitchen at BFI Southbank to name but a few – will serve up a British pub-grub inspired all-day-dining menu.
Starters include Rabbit terrine with piccalilli and London Wall pork sausage rolls with house mustard and then main courses feature Lemon sole pan-fried in butter & capers with new potatoes. Head chef Olivier Dhainqut has sourced all meat from nearby Smithfield Market and his Smithfield Meat Board features the 10z London Wall Angus burger with French fries plus Cornish lamb chops, house mint jelly & cauliflower salad.