Weekend roundup for 17 July
Includes hopeful bridges, arty pigs and egg buns
👮🏻 Cressida Dick (who picked up her Damehood from Prince Charles earlier this week) is expected to try and stay on as Met Commissioner when her five-year term ends next April. Earlier this week Dick was criticised for “alleged police failures that allowed people to storm Wembley stadium,” and two police watchdogs are also “considering the launching of a formal investigation” into the Commissioner over the Daniel Morgan case. Yesterday The Spectator published a handy guide to the seven scandals that have occurred under Cressida Dick’s watch.
🚨 The investigation into the disappearance of Richard Okorogheye doesn’t make that list, but it was one of the cases that inspired the BBC to take an in-depth look at how the Met deals with missing persons reports.
🌉 The 25-metre Esperance Bridge has opened at King’s Cross, spanning Regent’s Canal and linking Pancras Square with Coal Drops Yard. The name “was chosen by local children from King’s Cross Academy” and means ‘hope’ in French,
🚌 TfL’s review into bus service demand (which was part of the £1.08 billion emergency funding deal agreed last month) has been postponed until autumn, “following warnings from business and transport groups that potential cuts would risk ‘choking the recovery’ from the pandemic”.
📺 A six-part TV series called Secrets of the London Underground starts on the Yesterday channel from Monday. According to IanVisits, “the series explores areas of London’s Tube network that – despite being just feet away from where millions of people regularly travel – hardly anyone knows about.” And while you’re at IanVisits why not check out the new Piccadilly line moquette? What do you mean you don’t know what a moquette is?
🏆 The ten winners of the Resilience Fund (the Mayor’s £1 million challenge “to incentivise innovators to address socially impactful issues facing London”) have been announced. They include a journey planner app that “empowers people to travel confidently when using public transport” and floating solar panels at Royal Docks “that will provide clean renewable energy directly to London’s City Airport”.
🎰 An ex-employee of Crown London Aspinalls is suing the “exclusive London casino” for race and sex discrimination. Semhar Tesfagiorgis alleged that wealthy patrons were allowed “to racially abuse staff with impunity” and that black employees were “segregated from gamblers who insisted on white dealers.”
🎓 A new report has revealed that Iranian hackers impersonated two academics at University of London “in an attempt to hack journalists, think tank analysts, and other academics.” According to Vice, the academics found the whole thing stressful, but they also saw the upside, with one of them saying, “I had conversations with a lot of interesting people that I would probably not have had interaction with otherwise.”
🪙 That torrential rain we had last week wasn’t great for a lot of reasons, but it did lead to a “once-in-a-lifetime find” of a hoard of more than 300 coins dated to the first century B.C., over in Hillingdon.
🛴 Westminster council has confirmed that you will be able to hire e-scooters in the West End from August 2. But you won’t be able to hire or park them in Oxford Street or Regent Street.
🚇 The Elizabeth Line could open next February, three months earlier than planned. Or it could open in June, a couple of months late. Or it could open in April. This is the almost entirely useless information from the most recent Project Status Update which Crossrail are very satisfied with, as those dates are all within the “previously declared opening window of the first half of 2022.” What do you want Crossrail, a medal?
🏃♀️ A study from St Mary’s University, Twickenham has revealed the thoroughly depressing, but somehow not unsurprising, statistic that 84% of female runners have experienced street harassment in London.
🚴 A report from a new data analysis tool that ranks world cities for cyclability, suggests London “could be on the precipice of ‘exponential growth’ in cycling” thanks to good scores for the “quality of the cycling network” in the city and “community perceptions of cycling”.
Art and culture bits
🖍️ The Royal Academy’s Young Artists’ Summer Show opened this week. The exhibition features work from people aged between 5 and 19 and, yes, we’re mainly telling you about it so we can show you this amazing picture of a pig, painted by five-year-old Vincent, from Hull.
🥁 The free music festival, the Cubitt Sessions returns to Coal Drops Yard next month. This year the festival features “classical, world music, jazz, street culture, and opera” including singer songwriter (and Elton John’s drummer) Jake Isaac and Brighton’s answer to Fleetwood Mac, MarthaGunn.
🤳 It was only a matter of time before we had to write the word “TikTok pop-up” wasn’t it? And, thanks to Westfield, that time is now. They’ve just opened “the UK’s first TikTok pop-up” so fans can “interact with influencers who have found success via the social media app and try to create their own mini-films.”
💮 Are there stamp-collecting TikTokers? If so they’ll want to get themselves down to Stanley Gibbons on the Strand as “the Holy Grail of philately” is going on display there. The British Guiana 1c Magenta is worth £6.2m and it’s back in the UK for the first time in 143 years, after it was sold to a British rare stamp dealer. According to the BBC “On arriving at Heathrow Airport, it will be met by an armoured truck and will go on display in a specially commissioned, zero-oxygen frame.”
⛹ Time Out published a really nice photo essay this week, looking at South London's basketball scene.
🇧🇶 Four artists, all of Caribbean descent, have been shortlisted to design the Windrush Monument that will be installed at Waterloo station next year. You can watch each of the artists talk about their designs here then share your thoughts thoughts through an online questionnaire.
🎨 After an artist was asked to move on from Carnaby Street by a security guard after setting up his easel, Apollo magazine asks Why are painters getting pushed out of public spaces?
🏟️ Also from Apollo: Will Wembley’s art trail make it any more welcoming? We’re not sure, but we do know that we kind of love design studio HagenHinderdael’s Meadows of Change (above).
💉 Yesterday saw people getting their Covid vaccine at Tate Modern. We told you about this the other week, but we had to link to this Art Newspaper article because they used the pun ‘Tate Moderna’ and we’re just really annoyed we didn’t think of that.
Food and drink bits
🍳 Egg restaurants seem to be having a moment. After Eggslut’s move to Shoreditch, now it’s the turn of “pro boxer and personal trainer” (and Afghan refugee) Sohail Ahmad to open Eggoland in Fitzrovia. The menu will mainly consist of “a range of different egg buns,” including combos like “fried egg, maple beef bacon and cheddar cheese,” and “spiced lamb, fried egg, feta, mint yoghurt & harissa butter”.
🇮🇳 If the art doesn’t tempt you to Wembley, then maybe an Indian restaurant from a twice Michelin-starred chef will do the job. You’ve probably seen Atul Kochhar on Masterchef or Great British Menu (or you might have read about him in the papers back in 2018 after he sent a series of anti-Islamic tweets to the actress Priyanka Chopra). Kochhar’s Wembley restaurant will be called Masalchi (which means ‘The spice master’) and will have a menu “based on street food that the chef has encountered on his trips across India.”
🥧 For reasons we can’t quite work out, the Electric Ballroom in Camden is going to be offering a “pie and mash brunch” from September. As well as Robins pie and mash there will also be “60 minutes of bottomless Sex on Southend Beach cocktails” and a “Chas ’n’ Dave Tribute Band”. And all for £30. Wow?
🍷 We’ve done the maths and we can exclusively reveal that, if things continue as they are, then East London will soon be nothing but wine bars. The latest addition to the vino tsunami opened yesterday and is called Hackney Coterie. There is (of course) plenty of “biodynamic, low-intervention and organic wines on the list” but, more unusually, you will also be able to sample from a range of sake, as one of the owners is a “bona fide Master of Sake”.
🍽️ Staying in Hackney: “Social fine dining” concept, The Water House Project, which began inside chef Gabriel Waterhouse’s Bethnal Green flat a few years ago, has got itself a 40-cover permanent location on Corbridge Crescent, right next to the Regent’s Canal. They’ll be offering a nine-course tasting menu that changes each month, priced at £99 per person.
🍻 Opening next week, the Bermondsey Bierkeller is exactly what it sounds like; a massive beer hall in Bermondsey. As well as plenty of pilsners and Paulaner there’s some frightening-looking purple cocktails, as well as currywurst, schnitzel and frankfurters and a ‘German Games Vault,’ which includes fussball and those other famous German pastimes: beer pong and pool.
🍕 This week’s ‘Best of’ list comes from Conde Nast Traveller and features some of London’s best pizza. There are 16 restaurants on the list so it’s not exactly discerning, but they do cover a wide area (including south of the river!), so it’s a handy list if you need to find a decent slice near you.
Long read of the week
It might be a little rich for a publication called Luxury London to moan about the kind of people who go to ‘trendy bars’ just to take photos for their Instagram, but their article Has Covid-19 snuffed out Soho’s indie spirit for good? is pretty interesting nonetheless.