London Jazz Festival 2012

Nothing says sophistication quite like listening to some smooth jazz over a Martini. November offers the opportunity for you to indulge in both when the London Jazz Festival begins on Friday 9th November. At venues all across London, some of the biggest names in jazz will be strutting their stuff for nine days giving you the perfect chance to take in some of the richest culture in London.

Whether it’s at the Koko Club, Hackney Empire, BBC Maida Vale studios or the 606 Club, there’s no excuse not to head out in to London and take in some quality music. The venues are sometimes as iconic as the music itself. Maida Vale studios have seen many of the biggest artists in music record and perform there including The Beatles, The Clash and The White Stripes.

If you’ve never heard of any of the jazz performers don’t worry. Each one brings their own unique style to their performance. Whether they’re covering some classic hits or writing their own, each performance is different and provides a much more intimate feel than the average gig.

At least one name that you will probably recognise will be performing, as Macy Gray will be here alongside the David Murray Big Band at the Barbican on the final day of the festival. As well as some of Macy’s hits they will also be performing a number of covers which you can listen to below.

Macy Gray – Love Lockdown/Buck

With the Royal Academy of Arts and St. James Piccadilly just a short distance from DUKES London, you have no excuse not to go out and take in some of the finest jazz on offer anywhere in the world this November, before heading back to Dukes Bar to sample one of our classic Martinis.

Celebrate Bonfire Night with a Bang at Battersea Firework Display

November 5th is drawing closer, and if you’re wondering where the best firework displays are this year, look no further. Once again, London takes centre stage if you really want to celebrate Bonfire Night with a bang!

There’s a huge variety of firework displays for you to see in London this year, but our recommendation lies with the display at Battersea Park, which is only a 15 minute journey from DUKES London.

The display at Battersea Park is taking place on Saturday 3rd November and is said to be one of the most popular annual events in London. This year, the fireworks have been designed by Pains Fireworks, who have in the past created displays for some of the best known events and institutions, such as the Disney Concert Orchestra in Dubai and just as impressively, the recent Olympic Torch Relay.

This is guaranteed to be a night to remember for visitors of all ages! Watch the sky light up in a dazzling show featuring some of the most impressive fireworks, starting at 8pm. Make sure you stay warm throughout the night with the likes of hot roasted chestnuts and warm mulled wine, which will all be on sale at the event.

The ritual of celebrating Bonfire Night dates back 407 years. Back in 1605, Guido ‘Guy’ Fawkes failed in his plot to destroy parliament and all within it by gunpowder. Now a British tradition, every 5th November (or a date close by), the skies of the UK come to life with flashes of lights and loud crackles and bangs.

Entry is through advanced tickets only, which are currently £8.00 up until the day of the event, from when they will be priced at £10.00. Tickets are available online or alternatively you can buy them at a number of different local venues.

After what will be a memorable night, why not head back to DUKES and top off the night with one of the famous Martini’s at the DUKES bar before resting your head in one of the DUKES suites.

Find your Festive Cheer Early at the Spirit of Christmas Fair

Some complain that Christmas is starting earlier and earlier every year. Others love it. Whether you love it or not there is no excuse for not visiting the Spirit of Christmas Fair at the Olympia Exhibition Centre.

There is no longer an excuse not to visit London or to leave your Christmas shopping until the last minute. The Spirit of Christmas Fair hosts a range of exhibitors meaning you should be able to find the perfect gift for everyone. Whether it’s a special bottle of fine whiskey for your dad or a toy that your little sister will treasure forever, you should be able to find it here.

Just a District Line tube ride away from DUKES Hotel, the Olympia is a grand exhibition hall and will be packed with stunning independent retailers as well as a number of fantastic food and drinks stalls, meaning you can wine and dine in luxury to your heart’s content.

Not only will the Fair provide you with some brilliant ideas for your Christmas presents, but it will also feature the team from House and Garden magazine who will be offering some their best tips on how to make the most from your home.

Even if you’ve been a good shopper and bought all your presents early there is still plenty for you to see. Fashion, art, health & beauty and furniture are just some of the offerings that will be on show.

Running from the 30th October until the 4th November, there really is no excuse for not taking in the Fair and rediscovering your Christmas spirit early.

Entry for one day is £17.50 if you book in advance but if that’s not enough you can always buy an unlimited entry ticket for just £27, giving you up to six days of shopping heaven.

Whilst you’re in London, why not take in a show, or even one of our famous Martinis? You could make it an extra special weekend by staying in one of our Deluxe Suites. Whatever you do, please do try and make sure you enjoy the festive spirit which is slowly building in the capital at the moment.