Chris Kenny, 50 Books

Collage artist Chris Kenny has taken over the windows of the cult Hoxton bookshop, the BOOKARTBOOKSHOP, with a collection of miniature book-sculptures constructed from, and inspired by, found titles and images. These poetic little objects touch on themes of love and longing, art and science, mortality and the search for meaning. They range in tone from the jokey to the melancholic to the caustic.

Also on show, inside the shop, is a mini-retrospective of Chris Kenny’s limited editions from the last twenty years (on sale for between £5 and £30) with such titles as The Pocket Book of Phallic Symbols, Eating and Being Eaten, and You are part of a divine pudding.

Opening this evening and running until 4th October.


17 Pitfield Street

12th September to 4th October 2014
Wed-Fri 1-7pm Sat 12-6pm

in conjunction with England & Co

Freixenet #LittleThings Event, Hoxton

Previous to this event, my knowledge of Freixenet was limited to occasionally spotting a bottle in my parents’ fridge. They are keen Cava drinkers so this suggested to me that the brand was worth looking out for. When the invite to Freixenet’s ‘Little Things’ event popped up in my inbox, I was intrigued and cancelled my pre-existing plans so I could accept.

A select group of bloggers met on the roof of the Queen of Hoxton in East London. The evening began with bespoke sparkling cocktails by renowned Catalan barman Javier de las Muelas alongside Spanish-themed canapés and delicious freshly carved Iberico ham.  The drinks were beautifully mixed and presented: Perfect Bellini, Garden Party and Black Luxury all using the Freixenet Cordon Negro.

We were blessed with bright sunshine and as we tasted a variety of the Freixenet range. The sun set magnificently before us harmonising with the pretty-in-pink Rose made with 100% Pinot Noir – the team had thought of everything. Next came fragrant dishes of paella followed by sugary churros with chocolate and strawberries, all prepared on the roof.

Stuffed full of food and drink, we reclined in the deckchairs for the grand viewing of the new promotional video, #LittleThings. This charming, comical series of four short films depicts surprise moments in life that are worth dancing about. It made the whole audience smile. Watch here.

Continuing in this vein, we then watched the classic 1980s feel-good movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, whilst enjoying Pops Classic Champagne ice lollies.

Zooming through London in the taxi home I looked through the goodie bag to discover a miniature bottle of Freixenet fizz. Every little thing was perfect about the evening: fun, food, films and fizz.

Learn more about Freixenet here.

Watch the #LittleThings video here.

White Lyan, Hoxton

As the prohibition bar trend begins to recede, cocktail purveyors look for new ideas to tempt customers. White Lyan is certainly unlike any other bar I’ve visited… award-winning mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana has created a bar which does not stock nor use perishable ingredients, omits ice and avoids all branded products. For his first solo venture he has challenged himself to a tricky task of concocting brilliant cocktails without any of the usual components.

The drinks are thoughtful and clever, most of the hard labour is done before the doors open… bottles of refined and rebuilt spirits sit scientifically in the fridges behind the bar. It is experimental but understated mixology, and it is certainly a lot calmer behind the bar without all the ice crushing and lemon zesting. When it comes to substituting the usual elements of ice, sugar, egg white and citrus, Ryan has an answer: a fragrance atomiser which adds zing to some recipes and a small electrical mixer used as a thickener to recipes that need it. There were moments when I thought, wow these cocktails are great, but wouldn’t they taste even better with the forbidden fruits.

The no frills, simple venue has retained many of the previous pub’s features, the focus is on the quality of drinks rather than a fancy interior. It is a notion I appreciated and understood. The price point is noticeably more reasonable than the competitors: cocktails are £6-9 each. The Moby Dick Sazarac is already a firm favourite made with rye, Peychaud’s bitters and absinthe-soaked rice paper. It is a tasty and exceptionally well balanced drink; I found the floating particles of ambergris (sperm whale secretion) rather distracting… but apparently it is crucial for adding texture and body. The Lyan Club Cocktail was rather more delicate – a lovely combination of Mr Lyan Gin, turmeric and red apple shrub, and soda. Off menu we tried various other wonderful concoctions, and I can recommend the Gimletto, Shurbo Tandy and the White Lyan take on a Whisky Sour.

Located in the less trendy end of Hoxton, you have to look hard to find White Lyan. I’ll let you decide whether Ryan’s creations are crazy, cool or clever; one thing’s for sure… everyone is talking about this new cocktail concept bar in London and I think it deserves the hype.

More information here: