24 hours in London: 24 things to do!

24 hours in London: 24 things to do!

So last week, I was at the BBC.

You know.

As you do!

And of course, I had to be in London in order to do the BBC Radio 4 recording.

The city of London hasn’t been having a good time of recent, what with two (2) terrorist attacks, a devastating fire in the Grenfell Tower building, and just a few nights ago, a fire outbreak in the market of Camden Lock!

What a disaster!

Thank goodness Londoners, like Mancunians, are the type of people to rally together, and keep each other close. They’re strong, and not easily over-whelmed.

Definitely no #reeling!

If you’re just joining, here’s what I’ve been up to in the past few weeks:

Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner for Bild am Sonntag
©Christian Spreitz

UK:

SWEDEN:

SLOVENIA:

Fantastic news! I’m travelling to Slovenia by bus. Now isn’t that just awesome. Eek!

GERMANY:

Book your hotel here! 

Arriving at Heathrow Airport – 24 hours in London: 24 things to do!

Now my time in London was awfully short – 24 hours to be exact!

I literally flew in from Berlin on the day, and after checking into my business hotel – The Wesley – promptly left to go to the museum!

Yes.

I’m that girl!

Tate Modern – 24 hours in London: 24 things to do!

I didn’t have a lot of time to do “stuff,” but if you plan well, you can really pretty much do a lot of things, and on a budget too. I’ve spoken about 6 easy ways to spend 48 hours in London, and how to save money before.

I know!

So here we go:

24 HOURS IN LONDON: 24 THINGS TO DO!

Is it safe to travel to Britain & the UK right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?

VISIT:

I love museums so whenever I’m in London, I try to go to as many as I can, in order to get a heads up on some art and culture.

Here are my favourites:

  1.  The Museum of London:
The Museum of London – 24 hours in London: 24 things to do!

The Museum of London is my absolute favourite London museum, and tells the story of London and its people, from archaeological interest, and is also the largest urban history collection in the world!

It’s located between the Barbican centre, the old Roman London Wall and St. Paul’s Cathedral! It looks pretty drab on the outside, but once you venture inside, you’ll be excited!

The Museum of London Docklands – 24 hours in London: 24 things to do!

A second site was opened in 2003, called the Museum of London Docklands. It’s housed in a Grade I listed warehouse at Canary Wharf, not far from the river Thames. I’m inclined to say that I liked it even more than the original site!

Cost: £0.00

I flew in & after checking into my business hotel – promptly left to go to the Charles Dickens Museum!

This museum was such a great new find that I had to go there, and was kindly sent a complimentary ticket.

Thanks so much!

The Charles Dickens Museum is a large Georgian terraced house, and the first family home of Charles Dickens! He wrote Oliver Twist, Pickwick Papers and Nicholas Nickleby right there, and achieved international fame as one of the world’s greatest storytellers!

I really had a great time there and was able to explore how he and his family lived, his books, furniture, and even some of his clothes. In fact, by all accounts Mr. Charles Dickens was a bit of a dandy!

At the Charles Dickens Museum – 24 hours in London: 24 things to do!

A delightful visit and well worth, the admission fee!

Cost: Adults – £9.00. Students – £7.00, Children from 6 – 16 – £4.00. Under 6 – Free of charge.

3.  The National Gallery:

The National Gallery – 24 hours in London: 24 things to do!

Founded in 1824 to display a collection of just 36 paintings, the National Gallery is home to more than 2,300 works of art, from medieval classics to world-famous pieces by French Impressionists.

The National Gallery is located at Trafalgar Square which can be quite packed with tourists and busy Londoners out and about for a drink, or a bit of lunch. So if it all gets too much, just pop into the nearest pub!

Cost: £0.00

4.  The Science Museum, London:

The Science Museum, London – 24 hours in London: 24 things to do!
©Plastiques Photography, courtesy of the Science Museum

When I lived in London, this was actually my favourite museum!

I remember getting scammed by a man who sold us magic jumping beans, and once we left Kensington & Chelsea, those beans never jumped again!

Anyhoo! The Science Museum features seven floors of educational and entertaining exhibits, including the Apollo 10 command module and a flight simulator, as well as medical history treasures, and developments in contemporary science, medicine and technology.

The Natural History Museum – 24 hours in London: 24 things to do!

But the best bit is the hands-on gallery where children can explore basic scientific principles, the oldest display of clocks and watches in the world, and the fact that the Science Museum is right next door to the Natural History Museum!

Cost: £0.00

Book your hotel here! 

SEE:

There are loads of things to see in London such as:

5.  Movies on the River!

Movies on the River – 24 hours in London: 24 things to do!
©Time Out

Yep!

London has the first ever open-air cinema!

This amazing and unique addition to London’s buzzing outdoor cinema scene is a summer-long collaboration of London’s Time Out Magazine. However, this being England, make sure that you have a brolly handy!

Cost: £29.00. Over 18’s only!

6.  Sutton House:

Morris Dancers at Sutton House in Hackney, London!
©Kbthompson

Sutton House is a beautiful Tudor red-brick manor house which surprisingly, can be found in the middle of Hackney!

It’s the oldest house in East London and is owned by the National Trust.

It was built in 1535 and is now beautifully restored with authentic original decor, London’s oldest loo, and a mural under the roof, painted by a group of squatters in the 80’s!

Cost: Adults – £5.40. Children – £2.70. Family – £13.60

7.  The Old Vic:

Old Vic 12
©2017 The Old Vic

The Old Vic is an 1818 venue named after Queen Victoria.

The Old Vic is the crucible of many of the performing arts companies and theatres in London today and formed the core of the National Theatre under Laurence Olivier, becoming a highly successful touring company.

It received considerable media attention when Kevin Spacey was appointed artistic director in 2003!

The Old Vic – Girl from the North Country
©2017 The Old Vic

The Old Vic is one of London’s oldest theatres and is located near Waterloo Station.

Cost: £10.00 for the first five (5) previews of every production, except otherwise stated. Thereafter, £15.00+

8.  SPORT:

On the cricket field at one of my best friend’s wedding on the Isle of Wight.
In the UK!

If you don’t have the stamina to plod through the city and queue with the masses, not to worry. Get yourself a basket, pack a picnic hamper, grab a blanket and a deckchair, plop in some champagne, and head to an outdoor open-air screening of whatever you fancy.

Next stop Wimbledon!

All you need is, some strawberries, a picnic hamper & a bottle of Pimms!
©British Tourist Authority

Don’t forget the Pimm’s!

Book your hotel here! 

EAT:

A lovely batch of fish n’ chips!

It’s true that London is known as one of the world’s most expensive cities, but amazingly, you can still eat well, and save quite a lot of money at the same time, by being diligent, keeping your eyes and ears open, and thereby saving yourself a pretty penny!

But how?

9.  LOOK FOR SPECIAL OFFERS:

Look for specials offers in the Evening Standard Newspaper!

A few years ago, I was in London and found that for the month of January and February, twenty-two (22) fine dining / top London restaurants, offered specially priced menus from only £15.00, including an alcoholic drink!

Lunch at Rotunda – A riverside restaurant in London.
Potted salmon & pickled cucumber

That food event was sponsored by the London Evening Standard newspaper, which believes that everyone can afford to eat at the best places, for only a fraction of the cost.

Lunch at Rotunda – A riverside restaurant in London.
Roast free-range chicken, cream potato, white onion sauce & onion petals!

Sponsored by the London Evening Standard Newspaper once again, June saw the launch of London Food Month, for the very first time featuring over 400 events and midnight feasts across the city of London!

I managed to fit a two-course meal plus a drink, at a London restaurant, on the riverside, for just ten (10) quid!

That’s right.

Lunch at Rotunda – A riverside restaurant in London.
A refreshing rosemary lemonade drink!

Cost: £10.00

10.   GET YOURSELF A SANDWICH:

A sandwich anyone?

In Britain, pretty much every shop, supermarket and pub, will sell you a large variety of wonderful sandwiches, spanning from an egg and cheese buttie to a BLT sandwich.

I usually get myself a lovely prawn and cocktail sandwich, which simply, never fails!

Cost: £1.80+

11.  EAT HUMBLE PIE:

A steak and kidney pub meal pie!

I never go to Britain, without having at least one helping of pie.

This trip wasn’t about being a tourist but luckily for me, there was a pub opposite my hotel – The Wesley – so I had a steak and kidney pie meal there!

Cost: £6.00

12.  UNICORN FOOD:

Freakshakes – An instagram monster of a drink & a dessert, all thrown together, and piled up with goodies!

It hasn’t yet reached Berlin, but the craze in London right now are freakshakes!

A freakshake is a milkshake topped with cream, cake, sauce, and sprinkled over with bubblegum, marshmallow, and a handful of sweets!

Cost: £8.00

Book your hotel here! 

DRINK:

Drink up!
©The Churchill Arms

Need I say more, but if you insist. A few words!

13.  Go to the pub and get yourself a pint of ale, bitter, lager, stout, or cider!

Get yourself a pint at a traditional pub in Kensington & Chelsea – London!
©The Churchill Arms

Trend at the moment – The Churchill Arms in Kensington:

The Churchill Arms was built way back in 1750, making it one of the oldest pubs in London!

14.  The London Cocktail Club:

There’s always time for cocktails – 24 hours in London: 24 things to do!

Opt for up-market cocktails at the London Cocktail Club.

Club membership is free and there’s a choice of eight (8) bars all over London! Over 18’s only.

What more do you want?

Cost: £9.00 – £12.00

15.  GIN & TONIC:

Gin & Tonic has been around for a very long time & we’ve never looked back since then!

A gin & tonic is a highball cocktail made with gin and tonic water poured over ice. It’s usually garnished with a slice or wedge of lime or cucumber, and commonly referred to as a G and T.

G & T has been around as far back as the 16th century, and we’ve never looked back since then!

A favourite of The Queen Mother.

Cost: £5.00

16.  AFTERNOON TEA:

Tea isn’t just a drink. It’s a way of life – 24 hours in London: 24 things to do!

Tea isn’t just a drink.

It’s a way of life.

The world is a better place with a cup of tea & delicate savouries – 24 hours in London: 24 things to do!

The world is a better place when you order your cup of tea accompanied by delicate savouries, such as thinly sliced cucumber sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream, crumpets, sponge cakes, and a glass of refreshing champagne!

The most outstanding servings are to be found at historical hotels such as Afternoon Tea at The Ritz and Claridge’s. But of course, a more budget-conscious way is to go to a typical cream and tea shop such as Bea’s of Bloomsbury and the Urban Tea Rooms.

Cost: £3.50 – £50.00

Book your hotel here! 

PLAY:

24 hours in London: 24 things to do!

London is a 24 hour city, and if you know where to look, there’s always something to do. Read on!

17.  URBAN BEACH PARTIES:

Brixton Beach party – 24 hours in London: 24 things to do!
Ⓒ Brixton Beach 2017

London isn’t Miami and you’ll be lucky if you get even the slightest tan, but when the sun does come out, you’ll need to use your elbows in order to jostle Londoners out of the way!

Beaches can be found all over London. Most are free like the Urban London Beach and The Beach at Brent Cross (free with the App), but some like Neverland London or Brixton Beach, have an admission charge.

18.  FESTIVALS IN THE CITY:

Music festivals are key to having a good time! 24 hours in London: 24 things to do!

South West Four (SW4), is a popular UK music festival that takes place on Clapham Common! Over 18’s only!

An alternative music festival would be OnBlackheath.

OnBlackheath is a music, arts and food festival for the discerning music and food lover, with bizarre yet wonderful fringe entertainment, and a safe and nourishing children’s area! It’s held in Blackheath! Families are welcome.

19.  CLUBBING:

There are loads of London clubs to try out and discover. I mean. Whatever. Right!

There are loads of clubs to try out and discover. Get yourself Time Out London, to find out what’s going on in town. Failing that, why not try a former residential block turned into a two-floor club and bar in the heart of trendy Dalston. The name? Birthdays!

Over 18’s only.

Cost: £5.00 – £10.00

20.  CONCERTS & GIGS:

Life is a party. If you’ve only got 24 hours, then dance on!

London is a trendy, hip, city. There’s just loads of live music, concerts and gigs to discover, and if you’ve only got 24 hours, then you’d best check right here!

Book your hotel here! 

SLEEP:

I was exhausted and really, really tired. So I nipped off for a nap!

I know that London is expensive, but my expert recommendation is to actually stay in the centre of the city.

Yes, the centre!

There’s a logic to my madness ‘cos transport around London is iffy and unreliable. You’re better off staying in Central London, where you can either take the bus, or walk!

My business hotel – The Wesley  was booked for me by the BBC, and even though it’s not my usual choice of an art-design or boutique hotel, it was a mere two (2) minute walk to Euston train station.

My hotel at Euston was very practical, and close to all forms of London public transport!

It’s very practical as the mainline train, the underground train stations, and bus stops, were right next to each other.

In fact, during my free time, I used the opportunity to walk right down to Covent Garden!

My hotel was that close!

And then I went to Covent Garden!

Book your London hotel here!

21.  SPLURGE AT DUKE’S LONDON HOTEL:

Splurge at DUKE’S London Hotel!

I’ve been wanting to come here but on this visit, I didn’t have the adequate amount of time to really indulge, but if YOU do, take a stroll down, have some refreshment, or stay for the night!

DUKES LONDON  is a majestic, historical, sophisticated, luxury hotel nestled in the heart of historic Mayfair, and only a 5 minute walk from Buckingham Palace!

Cost: £450.00+

22.  LUXURY AT THE GORING HOTEL:

Choose luxury at The Goring – © The Goring 2016

The Goring Hotel was opened in 1910 and is the only remaining hotel in London that is still owned and run by the family that built it!

The Queen Mother was a regular at The Goring Hotel, and Kate Middleton was based at the hotel during her wedding to Prince William.

Cost: £285.00+

23.  AFFORDABLE LUXURY AT THE HOXTON:

Trendy, affordable luxury at The Hoxton, Shoreditch hotel!

The Hoxton is the first trendy hipster destination hotel to open in East London!

This being London, the rooms are small but cleverly designed, with Wi-Fi, an hour of phone calls, fresh milk, tea, coffee, water AND a light breakfast bag provided, for free!

There are now two branches in London – Hoxton, Shoreditch and Hoxton, Holborn.

I’ll take it!

Cost: £139.00

24.  BED & BREAKFAST AT PARKWOOD:

Bed & Breakfast at the cute Parkwood / Parkwood at Marble Arch Hotel, London!

If you’re looking for a warm family atmosphere, opt for a B&B instead of a hotel.

I went to the Parkwood Hotel, now Parkwood at Marble Arch, back in 2010, when it was the UK Award Winner Bed and Breakfast for 2009 – 2010!

The Parkwood is a beautiful 200-year-old Regency townhouse. It’s just across the road from Hyde Park at Speaker’s Corner, and mere minutes from Marble Arch, Oxford Street & Harrods – ready for some serious shopping! Most of the West End theatres are also within walking distance and Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, etc, are just across the park!

Cost: £120.00

That’s it for now.

See you next week!

Book your hotel here!

24 HOURS IN LONDON: 24 THINGS TO DO!

24 hours in London: 24 things to do!

This article is not sponsored and all opinions and the swift time that I had in London, are my very own!

Next week, I’ll be writing about the great time I had in Slovenia, and spending the summer in France and Germany!

On August 23rd, I’ll be at Gamescom!

I’ll be there. Will you?

24 hours in London: 24 things to do!

Watch this space!

SPECIAL OFFER!

For two days only (17.07.17 and 18.07.7) Blue Host are offering their webhost programme at a rate of just of $2.65/mo for 36 months on their Basic Plan.

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Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

24 hours in London: 24 things to do!

What would you choose to do in 24 hours – Visit. See. Eat. Play or Sleep? How many things have you done? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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Vienna – the world capital of music, music everywhere!

Vienna – the world capital of music, music everywhere!

So last week, we returned from Vienna.

And what a marvellous time we had!

‘Remember how I told you that Vienna has the most frequently photographed monument in the city – the golden statue of Johann Strauss, has the circus fairground of Parter, the beautiful Schönbrunn Palace Gardens, and a history to be jealous of.

Vienna - a city with a precious heritage, charming traditions & imperial architecture!
Vienna – a city with a precious heritage, charming traditions & imperial architecture!

Well, I wasn’t joking when I told you that Vienna has a precious heritage, charming traditions, imperial architecture, museums, art collections, works of art, the world’s first psycho-analyst – Sigmund Freud, the home of musical geniuses such as Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Brahms and Mahler, as well as the era of the Habsburgs who reigned for more than six (6) centuries!

Oh yes!

Vienna is rich in baroque, historicism, art nouveau, as well as a nod to a world-class cultural complex and a future-oriented design of 60,000 square meters of space for a highly creative cultural scene in the Museums Quartier where we stayed, and in fact, all of the city!

Vienna is a highly creative cultural scene in the Volksgarten, and in all of the city! © WienTourismus / Christian Stemper
Vienna is a highly creative cultural scene in the Volksgarten, and in all of the city!
© WienTourismus / Christian Stemper

All!

Of!

The

City!

It was a miracle that we had the energy and enthusiasm to do anything else as I spent most of the time, staring at the glorious buildings, with my mouth wide agape.

And it’s not that I’m a novice either.

Me being a tourist in trendy Ximending
16 brilliant reasons why you should visit Taiwan!

I’ve travelled the world. I’ve been to many a country with wonders, but I’m of the school of thought that whatever funds a nation has, it should use it to restore it’s buildings, it’s history, it’s music, and it’s culture.

And most of that, you’ll find nowadays, in it’s museums and art galleries!

Near the Wien Museum Karlsplatz, Vienna!

I like music.

I may be a lifestyle travel blogger today, but none of that stuff ever left.

I still love music.

And art.

And literature.

MUSIC! MUSIC! EVERYWHERE!

Vienna – the world capital of music, music everywhere!

At first glance, Vienna seems to be all about classical music. And that’s a very good thing!

Did you know that Vienna has:

  • Around 10,000 music fans are treated to live classical music. Every night!
  • More than 15,000 concert events of various sizes and genres
  • Around 120 music & theatre stages
  • An impressive 2,000 hours of dancefloor music at 450 balls each year
  • Around 750 bars, dance venues, and discos
  • Vienna State Opera with a line-up 300 nights of the year!
  • The Vienna Boys’ Choir – Established in 1498, it’s the oldest boy band choir in the world!
  • The only surviving Viennese apartment used by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and located at the Mozarthaus Vienna! In fact, we visited this apartment which has now become a museum.
The only surviving apartment used by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and located at Mozart Haus in Vienna!
The only surviving apartment used by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and located at Mozart Haus in Vienna!

We couldn’t really take photographs so I only have a photo of the outside!

This apartment on 5, Domgasse 5, is the apartment that Mozart and his family lived in between 1784 – 1787, and where he composed his most famous opera piece – The Marriage of Figaro.

The price includes an audio guide in twelve (12) languages as well as three (3) floors of fascinating information about Mozart’s time and some of his most important work. In fact, the street opposite in its narrow cobbled nature, has hardly changed at all, and you would feel fully engrossed in Vienna of the day!

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

This museum was impressive, and I absolutely loved it!

Price: Adults: €11.00. Under 19 – €4.50. Students & Concessions such as the Vienna Card – €9.00. Families of 2 adults & up to 3 children – €24.00

In fact, Vienna is the only city in the world where it’s been the home and inspiration of so many composers of international renown!

  • Composers such as – Ludwig van Beethovan
A genius such as Ludwig van Beethoven.

Whilst in Vienna, we visited the Beethovan Pasqualatihaus. This house was where Beethovan lived and worked for eight (8) years of his life. Some of the pieces he worked on were his 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th symphonies, and most of all, his opera – Fidelio. The house was pretty basic and not as comprehensive  as that of Mozart. And moreover, we went on a Sunday where the Beethovan shop, and a possible tour of the building weren’t possible.

I found the inner yard of Beethovan Pasqualatihaus – where he lived & worked for eight (8) years of his life – to be quite authentic!

However, I found the inner yard to be quite nice and authentic!

Note that Beethovan’s apartment is on the 4th floor with no disability access. However, I found it endearing that normal Viennese people were living and gettng on with their lives in the apartments below, and next door! Note also that the original apartment was actually in the building across!

Price: Adults: €5.00. Under 19 – free of charge! Students & Concessions such as the Vienna Card – €4.00. First Sunday of every month: Free of charge! Guided tours – Free of charge!

  • Johann Strauss II – Otherwise known as Johann Strauss Jr., the Younger, or the Son!
Johann Strauss II ©August Eisenmenger, 1888 - composer of light music, dance music & operettas - also known as The Waltz King!
Johann Strauss II ©August Eisenmenger, 1888 – composer of light music, dance music & operettas – also known as The Waltz King!

A composer of light music, dance music and operettas, he also composed over 500 waltzes, polkas, quadrilles, and other types of dance music, as well as several operettas and a ballet! In his lifetime, he was known as The Waltz King, and the reason why waltz became one of the most popular dances in Vienna and throughout Europe!

For more info: go here!

Price: Adults: €5.00. Under 19 – free of charge! Students & Concessions such as the Vienna Card – €4.00. First Sunday of every month: Free of charge! Guided tours – Free of charge!

Joseph Hayden – A friend / mentor of Mozart & a teacher of Beethoven in Vienna!
Vienna – the world capital of music, music everywhere!
  • Vienna has the most successful German-language musical of all time – Elisabeth, otherwise known as Sisi, the Empress of Austria – translated into 7 languages, seen by 10 million spectators worldwide, performed in 11 countries!
The most successful German-language musical of all time – Elisabeth, otherwise known as Sisi, the Empress of Austria!
Photo @Juliane Bischoff
  • The only city in the world with it’s own musical genre!
  • Europe’s largest free open-air festival & party! – Danube Island Festival
  • Music Film Festival on Rathausplatz – Europe’s largest culture and culinary festival!
  • ImPulsTanz – Europe’s largest contemporary dance festival!
  • New Year’s Concert by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Vienna – the world capital of music, music everywhere!

In fact, one of the musical highlights of the year is the New Year’s Day Vienna Philharmonic Concert, which is organised by the Musikverein, otherwise known as the Vienna Music Association, and hosted in the Golden Hall.

It’s such a huge deal that only the best musicians in the world are invited to perform, and tickets are so hard to get, that the waiting list is three (3) years long.

In order to make it fair and easier for international visitors, tickets for the New Year concerts are drawn by lots, at the beginning of each year!

Not only that, but hotel availability at this time is non-existent.

‘Best to book early!

At the Vienna Opera Ball.
@ WienTourismus / Peter Rigaud/Couture Vivienne Westwood

Thankfully, there is a live world broadcast that is seen by up to 50 million people, in 90 countries! In fact, we watch it too!

Yes, we’ll be in our jammies, with glitter, balloons, and champagne glasses, strewn all over the house, but we never fail to sit down and watch the concert, as it’s actually so much fun!

Gustavo Dudamel – the youngest music conductor ever to lead the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Day concert!

However, Vienna today is much more than that.

Vienna has traditionally accorded the arts great respect, and over the centuries has never failed to foster creativity, and attract people from all over the world.

Vienna today is much more than classical music!
Vienna today is much more than classical music!

Vienna boasts:

  • 15,000 concerts. Every year!
  • 150 museums
  • 60 different operas and ballets
  • 50 theaters
  • 4 opera houses
  • Several stage theatres
  • Numerous galleries as well as renowned drama, music and dance festivals
  • And the largest repertoire in the world!

Vienna isn’t Berlin. Not for a single second, but you can have your music fix in a variety of places such as cafes, bookshops, wine taverns, at the Summer Night Concert in the Schönbrunn Gardens (a bit like the Proms), and even during the Vienna City Martathon where classical melodies fill the air, so that you can jog and strut your stuff, while running!

Vienna isn't in any way, like Berlin. Not for an item of a second! Beissoul & Einius at the BMVA.
Vienna isn’t in any way, like Berlin. Not for an item of a second!

Vienna is the world capital of music everywhere.

I really can’t think of anywhere nicer!

I’ve got lots more to say about Vienna, so I’ll tell you all about it next week. If you really can’t wait, there are loads of pictures and funny quips on Twitter!

Book your hotel here!

VIENNA – THE WORLD CAPITAL OF MUSIC, MUSIC EVERYWHERE!

Vienna – the world capital of music, music everywhere!

This article is part – sponsored by the Vienna Tourist Board and I received a press discount from the 25 Hours Hotels, but all opinions and the delightful music that we heard, are my very own! Thanks so much!

In April & May, I’ll be visiting Croatia, Sweden & Finland!

From 07.03.17 – 09.03.17, our friends – the British musical and comedy duo – Carrington Brown – will be performing Germany’s premiere of Carrington-Brown feat. The Swonderful Orchestra: Comedy meets Classics at Tipi!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in March, where are you?

Vienna – the world capital of music, music everywhere!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Vienna – the world capital of music, music everywhere!

Do you like music? What kind of music do you like? Share & let me know below! 

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

And it’s a wrap! How to see the next big thing at the movies. Plus very new stuff!

Hugh Jackman - Logan ©Berlinale
Hugh Jackman – Logan
©Berlinale

My Goodness!

What a fabulous ten (10) days we have had in Berlin.

Just wow!

Sunday was the last day of the Berlin International Film Festival otherwise known as the Berlinale! And what a wonderful time we all had!

We had a long, fantastic fortnight of films, films, and yes more films!

I live in Berlin. And of course, I’ve been to the Berlinale before but last year was the first time ever, to go there as a press person.

Never as a professional journalist!

So this year, I went as a pro!

Let me tell you.

It was cool stuff!

Jeremy Miliker - The Best of All Worlds - was looking pretty dashing! ©Berlinale
Jeremy Miliker – The Best of All Worlds – was looking pretty dashing!
©Berlinale

Berlin has been hobnobbing with the best. If it’s good enough for the likes of the talented Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Patrick Stewart (the X-Men), Penélope Cruz, Sienna Miller and Robert Pattinson (Harry Potter & Twilight) surely, it must be good enough for you!

In the flurry of excitement and talented art, I managed to watch forty-four (44) films in just ten (10) days.

Forty-Four!

I admit. It was a little exhausting but some films were long and some weren’t.

Me at the Berlin International Film Festival aka the Berlinale!
Me at the Berlin International Film Festival aka the Berlinale!

I’m a Vice-Principal & Corporate English Manager,  I’m married and have a teenage son, so I always have to get smart and creative. During the week, I went to only two movies per day – late night – and then really went crazy over the weekend.

I must be bonkers!

Book your hotel here!

The beautiful Sienna Miller & the gorgeous Robert Pattinson at the Berlinale ©Berlinale
The beautiful Sienna Miller & the gorgeous Robert Pattinson at the Berlinale
©Berlinale

Here are the films that I watched:

T2 Trainspotting - Ewen Bremner, Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller & Robert Carlyle © Sony Pictures Releasing GmbH
T2 Trainspotting – Ewen Bremner, Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller & Robert Carlyle
© Sony Pictures Releasing GmbH
  • T2 Trainspotting
  • The Party
  • Viceroy’s House
  • Logan
  • The Best Of All Worlds or Die beste aller Welten
  • Django
  • Bye Bye Germany or Es war einmal in Deutschland…
  • Vaya
  • Becoming Who I Was
  • Menashe
Dream Boat ©Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion
Dream Boat
©Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion
  • Dream Boat
  • Casting JonBenet
  • Berlin Syndrome
  • 1945
  • Vazante
  • Animal or Tiere
  • Foreign Body or Jassad gharib
  • Mr. Long
  • Ciao Ciao
  • Wallay
The Other Side of Hope - Sherwan Haji, Nuppu Koivu, Janne Hyytiäinen, Sakari Kuosmanen & Ilkka Koivula Malla Hukkanen ©Sputnik Oy
The Other Side of Hope – Sherwan Haji, Nuppu Koivu, Janne Hyytiäinen, Sakari Kuosmanen & Ilkka Koivula- Malla Hukkanen
©Sputnik Oy
  • The Other Side of Hope or Toivon tuolla puolen
  • God’s Own Country
  • Stonehead or Shi Tou
  • The Tundra Book. A Ta or Kniga Tundry. Povest’ o Vukvukaye
  • My Wonderful West Berlin or Mein wunderbares West-Berlin
  • The Taste of Betel Nut or Bing Lang Xue
  • Railway Sleepers or Mon rot fai
  • Just Like Our Parents or Como Nossos Pais
  • Grandfather or Aaba
  • Black Head Cow or Engiteng’ Narok Lukunya
The Dress on Her - Rose Yu & Peggy Tseng ©Lee Meng Ting
The Dress on Her – Rose Yu & Peggy Tseng
©Lee Meng Ting
  • The Dress on Her
  • Insyriated
  • In a Nutshell
  • Li.le
  • My Gay Sister or Min Homosyster
  • Swedish Cousin or La prima sueca
  • Playground or Terrain de jeux
  • Volcanoisland or Vulkánsziget
  • White Riot: London
  • The Catch
Lost Child or Xalé Bu Rérr - Abdou Khadir Ndiaye ©Cinekap
Lost Child or Xalé Bu Rérr – Abdou Khadir Ndiaye
©Cinekap
  • Lost Child or Xalé Bu Rérr
  • Promise
  • The Jungle Knows You Better Than You Do
  • Sirens

In my opinion, every film was brilliant, and none were duds!

So without further ado, here are the films that I think are going to be the next big thing, in alphabetical order!

AND IT’S A WRAP!

HOW TO SEE THE NEXT BIG THING AT THE MOVIES. PLUS VERY NEW STUFF!

Group selfie with everyone! - Viceroy's House ©Berlinale
Group selfie with everyone! – Viceroy’s House
©Berlinale

THE HITS FOR EVERYONE!

1. Becoming Who I Was

Becoming Who I Was ©Sonamu Films
Becoming Who I Was
©Sonamu Films

A seemingly ordinary boy (Padma Angdu) who lives in the Himalayan region of India, discovers (at the age of 5), that he is the highest ranking reincarnated Tibetan monk, giving him the noble and spiritual title of Rinpoche! However, the fact that the young boy was born in the India and hence in the wrong place, leads to his banishment from the local monastery in Ladakh. And so the lad is separated from his destiny, his spiritual monastery and thus his disciples, as his monastery is in closed-door Chinese Tibet!

This film is the real-life story of his struggle to get into Tibet and back to his people, with the help of his guardian, teacher and godfather Urgyan Rickzen.

I won’t tell you whether he succeeds, but I can tell you that there was not a dry eye in the room, and various sounds of sniffing and blowing of handkerchiefs!

If you can find this documentary, you must watch it!

2. Logan

Logan - Dafne Kenn, Hugh Jackman ©2017 Twentieth Century Fox
Logan – Dafne Kenn, Hugh Jackman
©2017 Twentieth Century Fox

I’m thinking that Logan, needs no introduction but if you’ve been living under a stone in the last ten (17) years, he’s also known as The Wolverine, from the X-Men!

The Wolverine is one of the greatest comic book heroes ever created and happily, Hugh Jackman was more than able to reprise his iconic role as The Wolverine for one final time. Mind you, this isn’t your every-day bubble-gum X-Men saga, ‘cos the film is bloody, violent, disturbing and raw, so get ready to hold onto your seat.

We saw it in a press-only screening, so I couldn’t make any comment about it when I first watched it!

As the only girl in a family of boys, my inclusion into the MARVEL family, and any other male-dominated comic / magazine, was always going to be a thing.

It’s 2029 and the mutants are gone – or almost gone. Could this be the last we hear of Logan? If you’re male, you’re going to love it. I know I did!

3. T2 Trainspotting

T2 Trainspotting - Jonny Lee Miller & Ewan McGregor ©Sony Pictures Releasing GmbH
T2 Trainspotting – Jonny Lee Miller & Ewan McGregor
©Sony Pictures Releasing GmbH

Yeeeees!

They’re back.

The boys are back in town, looking as roguish as when we last left them, 21 years ago!

Yikes!

It was the 90’s and for many people, the original Trainspotting film provided an adrenalin rush to the British movie scene, injecting the soundtrack of Underworld’s – Born Slippy NUXX – raves, techno clubs, ecstasy, poverty, politics, and the reality of a dead-end life into Scotland, and many parts of forgotten Britain at the time.

Trainspotting pretty much made careers out of our unforgettable anti-heroes – Ewan McGregor (Renton), Jonny Lee Miller (Sick Boy), Robert Carlyle (Begbie), and Ewen Bremner (Spud). I mean, I have the original book written by Irvine Welsh, I’ve seen the film a million times, and I even have the soundtrack somewhere, as we all use to go mad with it! As for me, it was the music more than anything that really made the film a cult one.

I’m amazed that Danny Boyle managed to get everyone together again with a shoot of over 70 locations, 12 sets, and 55 days, but manage they did, and they all look great. Indeed, the two main characters still manage to get into a pair of skinny jeans, and that’s saying a lot.

I won’t say any more except to say that T2 Trainspotting is a continuation of the first film, with flashbacks here and there, and references to the original story.

I loved it, and will most likely watch it again when it comes out at the cinema. You should too!

Book your hotel here!

4. Viceroy’s House

Viceroy’s House - Hugh Bonneville & Gillian Anderson Kerry Monteen ©Bend It Films Pathé
Viceroy’s House – Hugh Bonneville & Gillian Anderson
Kerry Monteen ©Bend It Films Pathé

Viceroy’s House is the personal story of the family of the British director – Gurinder Chadha.

The film is about the 1947 Partition of India into Pakistan, and how it affected everyone involved. The story takes place entirely in Viceroy’s House, the British Raj’s seat of government in Delhi, to create an Upstairs, Downstairs vision of Partition. The film focuses on the negotiations upstairs between Lord Mountbatten, the last British Viceroy of India, and India’s new political leaders Nehru, Gandhi and Jinnah, whilst interweaving the stories of the local Indians downstairs (their hopes and fears in relation to how these negotiations will impact their own lives).

The combination of British and Indian talent, gave Gurinder the opportunity to make a true-life British historical epic which is both sorrowful and heartwarming. With talented actors such as Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson and Michael Gambon. And she succeeds.

In fact, there is a twist to the story, but you’ll have to watch the film to find out. I suggest that you do so!

THE HITS FOR FILM NERDS

If you’re really into independent or international films, then the following list will please you, and whet your appetite, for good quality film-making.

Films that don’t need to worry about whether the audience will “get it” or appeal to 12 year old boys. In short, intelligent films!

Here goes:

The Party - Timothy Spall ©Oxwich Media Limited Adventure Pictures Limited
The Party – Timothy Spall
©Oxwich Media Limited Adventure Pictures Limited
  • The Party is a black and white subtly witty comedy replete, with sharp-tongued dialogue, that later veers off into tragedy. Very cleverly made and with a stellar cast.
Vazante -Alexandre de Sena, Adão de Fátima Gomes, Adelsson Gonçalo Higino & Celso Timoteo Pereira ©Ricardo Teles
Vazante -Alexandre de Sena, Adão de Fátima Gomes, Adelsson Gonçalo Higino & Celso Timoteo Pereira
©Ricardo Teles
  • Vazante is a black and white film based on 1821 Brazil. It showcases a slave trader who marries a 12 year old girl, which leads to  violence, prejudice, and inevitably, tragedy.
Menashe - The first Yiddish film to be presented at the Berlinale. Ever! © Federica Valabrega
Menashe – The first Yiddish film to be presented at the Berlinale. Ever!
© Federica Valabrega
  • Menashe is about religion and tradition that determine everyday life in the Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood of Brooklyn. The film is based in part, on the true life story of Menashe Lustig who after his wife dies, is pressured to re-marry as quickly as possible, even though he doesn’t want to! In the vein of a tragi-comedy, he attracts one misfortune after another.

In a way, Menashe is quite funny!

Casting JonBenet ©Netflix Michael Latham
Casting JonBenet
©Netflix Michael Latham
  • Casting JonBenet is a sly and stylized exploration of the world’s most sensational child-murder case – the unsolved death of six-year-old American beauty queen – JonBenet Ramsey. After years of media speculation and public fascination, we are presented with a documentary hybrid examining the macabre legacy of the starlet.
Berlin Syndrome - Max Riemelt & Teresa Palmer ©Berlinale
Berlin Syndrome – Max Riemelt & Teresa Palmer
©Berlinale
  • Berlin Syndrome is a film about an Australian backpacker who finds herself in Berlin, meets a friendly English teacher on the street, spends a night with him, and soon finds out that when he goes off to work, she is locked in! Cut off from the rest of the world, Clare experiences terrifying weeks during which she vacillates between yielding to her kidnappers’ obsessions, and continuously trying to escape.

We’ve all seen disturbing psychopathic thrillers before, but they’ve never been about fun-living hedonistic Berlin.

Gulp!

Book your hotel here!

Animals - Birgit Minichmayr & Philipp Hochmair ©tellfilm, Andreas Seibert
Animals – Birgit Minichmayr & Philipp Hochmair
©tellfilm, Andreas Seibert
  • Animal or Tiere is a film about an Austrian couple who plan to spend a few months in Switzerland. However, on the way to their rented mountain-hill house, they have an accident with some sheep on a country road. This accident initiates a whole series of weird and unsettling experiences for the couple, which ultimately leaves them both incapable of being sure about where exactly where they are: in the real world, or in someone else’s imagination…

Very cleverly done.

The Other Side of Hope - Sherwan Haji, Nuppu Koivu, Janne Hyytiäinen, Sakari Kuosmanen & Ilkka Koivula Malla Hukkanen ©Sputnik Oy
The Other Side of Hope – Sherwan Haji, Nuppu Koivu, Janne Hyytiäinen, Sakari Kuosmanen & Ilkka Koivula Malla Hukkanen ©Sputnik Oy
  • The Other Side of Hope or Toivon tuolla puolen is a film that consists of two stories. The first one is about Khaled, a young Syrian refugee who has lost virtually all of his family, and finds himself as a stowaway passenger in Finland. Wikström, the other protagonist, is a middle-aged travelling salesman. The film is about how they meet, racism, and kindness.

Although based on the serious topic of refugee safety, the film is strangely disturbingly hilarious!

Aaba or Grandfather ©Raapchik Films Soumik Mukherjee
Aaba or Grandfather
©Raapchik Films Soumik Mukherjee
  • Grandfather or Aaba is a film about a young girl who lives in the highlands of India. The young girl lives alone with her aged grandparents.

After her grandfather is diagnosed with lung cancer, she watches as he calmly digs his own grave, furnishing it for his comfort in the hereafter with a handful of his worldly possessions. His light-hearted approach to dying is a gentle and laconic acknowledgement of the natural cycle of life and death. But things don’t always go as planned in the land of the living..

A heart-warming, but sad film.

Lost Child or Xalé Bu Rérr - Abdou Khadir Ndiaye ©Cinekap
Lost Child or Xalé Bu Rérr – Abdou Khadir Ndiaye
©Cinekap
  • Lost Child or Xalé Bu Rérr is a film about an innocent young boy from an affluent family, who has the experience of a lifetime. after his first day of school.

The boy’s father fails to pick him up from school, so he simply walks off. Of course, he quickly finds himself lost and wanders through the noise and chaos of the poverty-stricken African city in Senegal. Does he ever find his way home?

Watch it and see!

In a Nutshell ©YK Animation Studio
In a Nutshell
©YK Animation Studio
  • In a Nutshell is a short animated film about an attempt to capture the world in a nutshell, through images ranging from a nut seed to war, from a chunk of steak to love, from indifference to apocalypse.

Splendidly presented!

Promise - Feng Linhua ©Xie Tian
Promise – Feng Linhua
©Xie Tian
  • Promise is a film about a young boy left behind.

Like 60 million other children in China, his parents leave the country to find work elsewhere. Fending for himself in the mountainous countryside, he finds solace in his parents’ promise to return on New Year’s Eve, and in the loyal company of a tame piglet.

With magnificent footage, the film tells the tale of an existence filled with unavoidable adversity.

A heart-breaking film.

FILMS I REALLY, REALLY LIKED!

I’m very into British / Irish, Asian and East European films, as they’re all quite gritty, weird and obscure. This year, I watched quite a few German films. And surprisingly, I liked them!

The Best Of All Worlds - Jeremy Miliker ©RitzlFilm
The Best Of All Worlds – Jeremy Miliker
©RitzlFilm
  • TThe Best Of All Worlds or Die beste aller Welten
  • 2 Trainspotting
  • The Party
  • Viceroy’s House
  • Becoming Who I Was
Wallay - Ibrahim Koma & Nathan Diarra Makhan ©bathysphere Les Films du Djabadjah
Wallay – Ibrahim Koma & Nathan Diarra Makhan
©bathysphere Les Films du Djabadjah
  • Wallay
  • Dream Boat
  • Menashe
  • Berlin Syndrome
  • Casting JonBenet
Mr. Long Ⓒ2017 Live Max Film LDH Pictures
Mr. Long
Ⓒ2017 Live Max Film LDH Pictures
  • Mr. Long
  • Vazante
  • Vaya
  • Bye Bye Germany or Es war einmal in Deutschland…
  • The Other Side of Hope or Toivon tuolla puolen
Stonehead ©3C Films Co. Ltd
Stonehead
©3C Films Co. Ltd
  • Stonehead or Shi Tou
  • The Tundra Book. A Tale of Vukvukai, the Little Rock or Kniga Tundry. Povest’ o Vukvukaye – Malen’kom Kamne
  • Black Head Cow
  • Grandfather or Aaba
  • The Dress on Her
Railway Sleepers ©Phim Umari
Railway Sleepers
©Phim Umari
  • Railway Sleepers
  • Lost Child or Xalé Bu Rérr
  • In a Nutshell
  • Promise
  • Animals
God's Own Country - Alec Secareanu & Josh O'Connor ©Dales Productions Limited The British Film Institute 2017
God’s Own Country – Alec Secareanu & Josh O’Connor
©Dales Productions Limited The British Film Institute 2017
  • God’s Own Country
  • Playground or Terrain de jeux

FILMS THAT I WOULD HAVE LIKED TO HAVE SEEN, BUT DIDN’T!

The Young Karl Marx - Stefan Konarske & August Diehl ©Kris Dewit
The Young Karl Marx – Stefan Konarske & August Diehl
©Kris Dewit
  • The Young Karl Marx
  • Return to Montauk
  • Skins
  • Belinda
  • From the Balcony
Final Portrait by Stanley Tucci - Armie Hammer & Geoffrey Rush ©Parisa Taghizadeh
Final Portrait by Stanley Tucci – Armie Hammer & Geoffrey Rush
©Parisa Taghizadeh
  • Final Portrait by Stanley Tucci
  • The King’s Choice
  • So Long Enthusiasm
  • Autumn, Autumn
  • Casting
For Ahkeem - Landon Van Soest ©Berlinale
For Ahkeem – Landon Van Soest
©Berlinale
  • For Ahkeem
  • Motherland
  • Spin
  • The Welfare of Tomás Ó Hallissy
  • Summer 1993
Freak Show by Trudie Styler ©Maven Pictures
Freak Show by Trudie Styler
©Maven Pictures
  • Freak Show
  • On the Road
  • Back for Good
  • We were kings
  • Mikel
The Grand Budapest Hotel Grand Budapest Hotel - Paul Schlase, Tony Revolori, Tilda Swinton & Ralph Fiennes ©TCFHE
The Grand Budapest Hotel Grand Budapest Hotel – Paul Schlase, Tony Revolori, Tilda Swinton & Ralph Fiennes ©TCFHE
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Last Days in Havana
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  • At the Fork – Culinary Cinema
  • Theater of Life
Chef's Table - Tim Raue - Culinary Cinema 2017 -Tim Raue. Tobias Koch ©Netflix 2017
Chef’s Table – Tim Raue – Culinary Cinema 2017 -Tim Raue. Tobias Koch
©Netflix 2017
  • Chef’s Table – Tim Raue – Culinary Cinema
  • Soul
  • Tea Time My Food Is My Home
  • Sameblod Sami Blood

FILMS THAT WERE A WASTE OF MY TIME

Bing Lang Xue The Taste of Betel Nut - Yue Ye, Shen Shi Yu & Zhao Bing Rui ©Berlinale
Bing Lang Xue The Taste of Betel Nut – Yue Ye, Shen Shi Yu & Zhao Bing Rui
©Berlinale
  • The Taste of Betel Nut or Bing Lang Xue: A jerky camera, noise overlay such that you could actually hear the footsteps of the camera person, and a confusing story line such that I spent most of the time falling asleep! Although the sex scenes just about passed muster!

Ahem!

Hugh Bonneville Berlin style! ©Berlinale
Hugh Bonneville Berlin style!
©Berlinale

In watching a festival film, you get to see a large variety of international locations and settings, and a better intimate view with acting and scenes, that are much more realistic than in films with a Hollywood budget!

The Berlin International Film Festival, otherwise known as the Berlinale, is a special treat for the public.

See you next year!

Me at the Berlin International Film Festival aka the Berlinale!
Me at the Berlin International Film Festival aka the Berlinale!

This article is not sponsored and even though I received press accredited rates for tickets, all opinions and the impressive festival films that I saw, are my very own!

It’s February!

On 24.02.17 I’ll be going to the first ever blogger event at the  Wintergarten Varieté Berlin on How to be an artist LIKE BERLIN!

On 08.03.17, I’ll be at the iambassador – Traveldudes – ITB Travel Tweet-Up event.

On 08.03.17 – 12.03.17, the world’s largest tourism trade fair – the ITB will be in action, and everyone who is anyone in the travel industry, will be here!

On 15.03.17, I’ll be at the Spring Reception for the British Community at the British Embassy in Berlin.

If you’re not in Berlin in February, you’re boring!

Watch this space!

And it’s a wrap! How to see the next big thing at the movies. Plus very new stuff!
Peter Kreibich © Berlinale

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

And it's a wrap! How to see the next big thing at the movies. Plus very new stuff!
And it’s a wrap! How to see the next big thing at the movies. Plus very new stuff!

Which of these international films would you choose? Let me know!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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