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volante: england

Summer in LondonSummer in London

Stanley Moss packs in a lot on his London walkabout, from Asian food to Guy Bourdin
some photographs by the author

Kate Moss’s Topshop range

Photograph from Vogue Paris, June 1986, from Unseen Bourdin at the Wapping Project

YOU CAN PACK a lot into a day in London this summer, and enjoy a succession of mini-expeditions into a variety of neighbourhoods and activities within the space of a few hours. A recent odyssey featured a morning visit to the Royal College of Art’s graduate sculpture exhibition at the Battersea campus, with inspired work by Britain’s finest young talent on display. Took no more than half an hour to stroll about the galleries.
   Followed that with a look at Unseen Bourdin, a remarkable exhibit of large-format colour photos by the late Guy Bourdin at the Wapping Project, a converted power station on London’s east side (take a cab, as the South London tube is closed for repair through 2010).
   There’s an excellent and pricey restaurant on site, highly regarded with an astounding wine list, but probably a better bet for a romantic dinner—check out the witty placemats rendered by London’s incisive, irreverent artist Paul Davis.
   Next up, a detour to Goldsmiths’ Hall to view Creation II, a world-class exhibit of contemporary jewellery, containing objects unlike anything seen in the stores. You’ll find it hard to ignore the opulent marble-walled interior of this heritage space.
   Then, boogie down to Sitaaray, a Bollywood-themed restaurant on Drury Lane in Covent Garden for a leisurely lunch. This mid-range pit stop is a great choice for families on the go. Chef Manish Sherma serves a procession of unlimited spicy kebabs and curries (prix fixé, £16) until you tell him to quit. He’s created an authentic menu, which goes perfectly in a setting rich with plush, glittery, shimmery filigree, Indian movie memorabilia and endless film clips of classic musical numbers (Lagaan, Om Shanti Om, Ram Da Basanti, Devdas). Cool your palate with chef’s refreshing mango lhassi, then head back out to the streets, revived.
   You’ll still have time for a visit to Topshop at Oxford Circus, where the expanded Kate Moss boutique has racks of items copied from the supermodel’s own vintage clothes’ collection.
   If you have any sterling left after that, stroll west on Oxford Street almost to Marble Arch, where Primark has an incredible selection of the best budget pieces in town. For a less frenetic experience, try the Hammersmith location on the west side of town. You will be amazed at the lightweight piqué polo shirts in chic colours for £2·50 (not a typo!), and much much more, proof positive that no matter the price or exchange rate, London shopping is still—as Austin Powers might remark—groovy, baby!


Royal College of Art Sculpture Studios
Howie Street, just off the Battersea Bridge Road
London SW11


The Wapping Project
Wapping Hydraulic Power Station
Wapping Wall
London E1W 3SG
Telephone 44 871 332-8754


Goldsmiths’ Hall
Foster Lane
London EC2V 6BN


167 Drury Lane, Covent Garden
London WC2B 5PG
Telephone 44 20 7831-9399


216 Oxford Street
London W1D 1LA
Telephone 44 20 7636-7700


484–504 Oxford Street
London, W1C 1HG
Telephone 44 20 7495-0420



Stanley Moss is travel editor of Lucire.



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Chef Manish Sherma at Sitaaray

Endless food and the mango lhassi at Sitaaray



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