Each month our London Spy leaves Cheltenham and the Cotswolds behind and heads for London. The spy brings you the latest news from the best restaurants, hotels, theatres and galleries in the capital. This month she checks out the hot new restaurant El Pastor, Zaha Hadid’s Exhibition at Serpentine Galleries, The Kite Runner at Wyndham Theatre, St Paul’s Cathedral Carols and the newly opened Design Museum.
The Design Museum
Art aficionado or not, the newly-opened Design Museum is a modern masterpiece. The great and the good are already flocking through its doors. Designed by minimalist architect, Jon Pawson, the museum has hopped sticks from Tower Bridge to Kensington (at the cost of £83 million). The result is a cool display of floating benches, concealed lighting and wrap-around glass railings complete with a soaring oak-clad atrium. The exhibitions tick all the boxes too, in particular Fear and Love – Reactions to a Complex World, a collection of 11 varied installations, representing contemporary life and politics.
224-238 Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 6AG; www.designmuseum.org
The brothers behind Spanish tapas bars, Barrafina, are unleashing their culinary genius once again. This time, they’re tackling Mexican food with their new taqueria, El Pastór, in Borough. Get ready for meat, fish and veg tacos aplenty, served with lashings of freshly-made salsa, plus Mexican seafood tostadas, chicharrón de queso and chargrilled esquites. Best of all, the corn tortillas will be made in-house in the restaurant’s own tortilla factory. You really can’t go wrong.
Opens on 12 December 2016 at 7a Stoney Street, London, SE1 9AA; www.tacoselpastor.co.uk.
Must See Exhibition
Zaha Hadid: Early Paintings and Drawings at Serpentine Galleries
One of the greatest architects of our time, Dame Zaha Hadid left behind an impressive legacy, including the aquatic centre for the London 2012 Olympics, and the Guangzhou Opera House in China. Known for her groundbreaking and innovative designs, this new exhibition goes right back to the beginning, showcasing Hadid’s early work. There are calligraphic drawings, rarely-seen private notebooks, experimental concepts and canvases exploding with colour.
From 8th December to 12th February 2017. Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London W2 3XA; serpentinegalleries.org.
Don’t Miss Theatre
The Kite Runner at Wyndham’s Theatre
Khaled Hosseini’s best-selling novel, The Kite Runner, a haunting tale of family, love and friendship, is hitting the stage. Already hailed by critics as a ‘theatrical tour de force’, this powerful play, set in Afghanistan, follows one man’s journey to confront his past and find redemption as he faces up to a life-shattering event from his childhood.
From 21st December to 11th March 2017. Wyndham’s Theatre, Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0DA; Tickets
Christmas Carols at St Paul’s Cathedral
If you’re trying to get lost in the Christmas spirit then there’s no better place to be than at a carol concert. Highlights include Westminster Abbey’s Ceremony of Carols (18th December), St Paul’s Cathedral’s Celebration of Christmas (15th December), Nordoff’s Carol Service with Tom Odell and Bill Nighy taking to the stage (13th December) and The School of Life’s Alternative Carols at The Granary Store in Kings Cross (13th December). For those needing a break from Good King Wenceslas, snap up the Rolling Stone’s Blue & Lonesome, their first album in a decade released earlier this month.