Archives for category: Leisure

By now we do know that coffee shops and espresso bars have changed from the basic place to have a quick hot drink to a social meeting place.

Customers like to spend time in such places either before or after work – even during their lunch break. The main idea is to forget the daily stress and “recharge the batteries”.

Most places do have daily newspapers. According to the available space, there is even a kind of little library/bookshop corner.

It can go one step further as well: coffee table books. Great quality items, usually related to food and drink, music, fashion, design and coffee.

Coffee table book

Coffee table book

In general these books have been given by the owner or the barista as well. It is a good way to recycle and re-use what would go into the bin.

Customers always like to go through some kind of visual treat, whatever the publication date.

Nowadays, anything related to aesthetic is a win: the image is the first thing that people see and usually make their mind up too.

It works in retail and fashion. How many times in fact, individuals are buying shoes or clothes because the colour and shape are appealing. However, it doesn’t mean that it will be easy to take care of it.

There is an instant welcoming feel when such products are on shelves or tables. In other words it creates a natural harmony – it is neither too cluttered nor too clinical. Finding the right balance in a business is rather important.

More and more coffee places are going for the warm/simple and cosy décor!

This trend is also adopted by publisher. As a prime example Bare magazine/journal.

Bare issue 1 - Death of a dead man by Bastian Gunther

Bare issue 1 – Death of a dead man by Bastian Gunther

…Holding Bare magazine in your hands or flicking idly through it on the tube, you’d be forgiven realising that there was something different about it without being able to put your finger on exactly what that is. Printed on heavy uncoated stock and without a single retouched photograph between its front and back pages, the difference is subtle, but it’s there… Source

Bare issue 1

Bare issue 1

Overall, it seems that layout and graphic design of the actual printed/published edition or issue (whether hard copy or digital) are what potential readers are looking for. Check some book covers by Astrid Stavro HERE.

Graphic design and typography by Astrid Stavro

Graphic design and typography by Astrid Stavro

Most of us like to look at shop windows.

In the past few years displays have changed. Initially, there were just mannequins and price tags.


But businesses needed to upgrade their skills to show something new and innovate rather than imitate.

Nowadays, the big stores spend fortunes to have this eye-catching double take effect.

Harrods, Selfridges, Hackett or Liberty to name just a few who do this kind of almost avant-garde décor with a touch of “je ne sais quoi” with great class.  NB: For info it seems good to put some French expressions when talking fashion and design

Anyway, some photographers are also going that way for their shots. It is all about being in front of the queue.

As a first example, Agan Harahap went for something really different for a series of photographs titled “Garden Fresh”.

It is all about blending the difficult and almost ambiguous relationship between humans and animals sharing the same habitat and environment.

Agan Harahap

Agan Harahap

However,  the second example is about a high profile London private bank which likes to have striking visual impact too.

Coutts located on the Strand near Charing Cross has a huge glass window with regular second-to-none themes. It goes from sponsored events to charity or art related subjects.

Coutts Strand Nightshot

Recently, the bank was in the news for their skyline garden.

But probably the most interesting was the celebration of the 50 years of Jaguar E-Type – with a real car in the entrance hall. Something rather magic and this can be called thinking outside the box.

A rather impressive operation to get such an iconic car safely with not scratches through the doors of The Queen’s Bank.

This kind of interior design attracted a lot of interests from car collectors, dealers and tourists too.

Last but not least, London Sketch Restaurant.

Sometimes people are tired to go to the cinema to watch loud, over produced and rather futuristic films.

From the 3rd and until 21st July 2012, Propeller brings 2 great productions to London Hampstead Theatre:

Henry V: a total of 2h45 including the interval,

The Winter’s Tale: about the same length as the previous play.

Both plays are by William Shakespeare…just in case.

“…Propeller is renowned for combining a rigorous approach to the text with an exciting, physical aesthetic. Propeller engages its audience’s imagination and brings fresh understanding to classic plays. It’s Shakespeare rediscovered…”

Propeller is one of the most celebrated and innovative Shakespeare theatre companies, formed in the mid 1990’s after a successful run of Othello at The Watermill Theatre, Newbury.

To have all details regarding the July dates check the Tour Details page.

Such shows need sponsors of course.  Propeller has found The Touring Partnership, The Art Council of England, Coutts and Co to support these events.

Henry V – Photo by Manuel Harlan

Winter’s Tale – Photo by Manuel Harlan

The other interesting  fact is that Lifeworks – a charity based in Devon – will also get some help, because Propeller will be performing to raise money for the charity.

“…For children and young people with learning disabilities to fulfill their potential by providing them with new opportunities and skills that will lead to rewarding and active lives…”

A great choice & vision to share a lot of things in one unique action.

So, rather than stirring your brew endlessly, you know what’s on and where to go for a different night out.


However, if you aren’t too keen for such plays, Propeller has plenty more to offer. Running from November 2012 until August 2013 will be Twelfth Night & The taming of the Shrew.