Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition

Until the 18th of August the world’s biggest open-submission art exhibition is back presenting more than 1.000 pieces in a variety of styles. With the exhibition being held at Burling House only moments away from St. James Place, why not marvel at the art selected scrupulously by panel of artists and architects across the board from more than 10,000 entries.

The summer exhibition allows you to view the work of well-known and celebrated artists such as  Anselm Kiefer, as well taking you into the creative world of upcoming artists showcasing their paintings, structures, photography, prints, architecture and films. There will be a room dedicated only to portraiture, displaying works from established artists such as, Frank Auerbach, Alex Katz and Tom Philip RA, which takes you through the importance the portrait genre has played in both previous Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions and in contemporary art.

Other highlights will be a new large-scale sculpture from Anthony Caro RA and the series of six sublime tapestry pieces ‘A Vanity of Small Differences’ by Grayson Perry.

Tickets cost £6.00 for children and £10.00 for adults and are available here. The exhibition is open from the 10th July until the 18th August. The majority of the work which is displayed is available for the public to purchase, with the proceeds going towards the Royal Academy’s Schools bursaries scheme, the exhibition is also helping to support future artistic talents.

The exhibition opens from 10am Monday-Thursday, Saturday, Sunday until 6pm and on Friday closes at a later time of 10pm. So after wandering around and soaking in the beautiful art why not treat yourself again, to one of our gorgeous cocktails at DUKES Bar?

Notting Hill Carnival 2013

First held in 1964, the Notting Hill Carnival has since become one of Europe’s diverse and largest street festivals, and it’s back this year from 25th-26th August.

The Caribbean theme inspired carnival in West London will be packed with steel bands, traditional Calypso music and tempting food stalls. As well as a day filled with great contemporary music, you can also take pleasure in tasting some of the best of West indie inspired food like jerk chicken, rice and peas and rum punch as well as the odd taste of other exotic cuisines. This carnival is a celebration and a great way to get together and spend August bank holiday weekend in London!

You can expect to see 50,000 performers and around 2.5 million people over the Carnival weekend. For that reason, if you are planning on visiting the festival, please remember roads will be closed so transport to and from the carnival may have to be on foot! But don’t let that put you off as the carnival is well worth the few minutes’ walk! For more information on this please click here.

After a long day soaking in the cultural atmosphere, why not take the time to wind down at our very own PJ Lounge? A quiet and tranquil setting, Dukes PJ Lounge is the perfect place to settle down for the evening. Afterwards you can head to Restaurant Thirty Six by Nigel Mendham where we can prepare a variety of mouth-watering dishes for you and your family.

Waterloo Food Festival

If you’re in London this month, there’s still time to catch the Waterloo Food Festival! Renowned for its specialist food shops, bars, cafes, pubs and restaurants, the Southbank is hosting the fifth year of the celebration of food and flavour.

Join in with the festival for tastings, cooking demonstrations, and a selection of street food, where food businesses within Waterloo sit alongside long-term festival sponsors, featuring tropical cocktails, freshly prepared Latin American food, traditional pub grub and a selection of butchers, bakers, greengrocers, coffee specialists and wine merchants.

Making its debut is also the Lower Marsh Market, one of London’s oldest and best loved street markets, with mouth watering offers on every delicious food stall. Festival goers can check out the many outdoor food and music events, such as a tequila tasting and ethically sourced Mexican food, or explore the Fantasy Cafe, in which artists take over to create a place ‘full of your wildest dreams’.

The event is now more accessible than ever, with a brand new free app to download, helping food fans informed on the go. The Twitter feed also provides live updates, and the offers and competitions page is a great way to find out how to get an amazing deal. Make sure you go soon, as the exciting event ends on the 31st July!

This is a wonderful destination for foodies everywhere, so why not quench your thirst after at DUKES bar? The best venue to relax in a timeless atmosphere. The exclusive and intimate bar is famous for its personalised cocktails and renowned Martinis, and is the perfect end to a day of exploring your taste buds.