Arts and Culture
Lifestyle contributor Cherelle Mukoko gives her rundown of the best British flower shows to visit this summer.
A long-standing tradition of almost 200 years, Britain's flower shows are renowned for a reason. The chance to admire the wonders of nature and all things that bloom is a pleasure enjoyed by swathes of people every year. Visit one of these amazing flower shows in England this summer to get in the spirit.
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And just like that, the first Monday in May has rolled back around again - when the world's rich and famous get together to do well, we don’t actually know. The annual Met Gala ball takes place on the first Monday of May at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Its purpose is to mark the opening of the Costume Institute's annual fashion exhibit, and this year's theme was ‘Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty’. The details of what happens at the inside Met Gala are often subject to what we can put together from the dribs and drabs of Instagram posts from our favourite celebrities. What we do know is that it never fails to provide plenty of red-carpet looks to swoon over in the group chat (or not).
With more to choose from than ever before – from small local events to the long-established big-hitters – book-lovers are spoilt for choice. And even reluctant readers might be tempted by the social scene and big names that the best festivals attract. Here’s our pick of the bunch.
It’s not often that I am captivated by an artist, and I don’t just mean by their work, but by who they are as a person. Yayoi Kusama left me intrigued and wanting to know more after witnessing her extraordinary collaboration with design powerhouse Louis Vuitton. So, who is this Japanese artist that stole the hearts of many? I took to YouTube to see if I could find out more about this fascinating woman and, how at 93, she has dominated some of the worlds most famous galleries and department stores. It’s safe to say that my endless hours of watch time made me a fan. On a mission to solidify my fan girl status, I booked a family day out to the Tate Modern to see a very special showcase of two immersive mirror room exhibitions by Yayoi Kusama. After knowing more about her history and why she is one of the most celebrated artists of our time, I was extremely excited to be able to get to experience her much-loved work in such a up close and personal setting.
There aren’t that many galleries in London that owe their existence to a dog: the seed that flowered into Kensal Rise’s 99 Projects first took root whilst gallery director Frances Casey was walking her canine companion during lockdown. Whilst the dog in question is apparently more of a silent partner, 99 Projects has grown exponentially since its 2021 inception; with February 2nd seeing the opening of their first satellite pop-up on Golborne Road in Notting Hill. In a part of London that’s no stranger to the gallery scene, a first exhibition can be something of a trial by fire. As a result, Casey has come out guns blazing, with a seriously striking first effort. If Dan Pearce and Cody Burridge’s collaboration is representative of future exhibitions in the space, it wouldn't be too surprising to see this pop-up turn into something more permanent.
Iconic African designers, such as Kofi Ansah and Alpahdi, have given the public the opportunity to explore never seen before designs amongst the array of garments and objects on display for the exhibition. I was absolutely blown away by the artistry that was on display, solidifying how much I will be supporting African designers moving forward. You have to visit to understand the magnitude of greatness when it comes to design. When asked what pieces evoked raw emotion, it was difficult to choose. Numerous parts of the exhibition evoked multitudes of sentiments which, to me, is the true aim of fashion. From extreme joy and pride to see such dimension, craft and skill, and at other times, sadness and disappointment to know that African designers aren't given the recognition and platform they deserve to be able to thrive as significantly as the designers we love today.
The central plank of Spare is simply: what makes the man born Henry Windsor tick? A question answered in frankly exhaustive detail. Over the decades since the death of Princess Diana, the numberless legion of royal biographies which have sprung up can be more accurately described in terms of forests than paper. Whilst the majority are penned by authors whose closest glimpse of royalty was a matinee of the Lion King, a few of them actually have the royal in question working closely with the author. For the blue-bloods, this is the way of getting your story told in as close to your own words as possible, without doing anything as gauche as writing an autobiography. The royals who actually do the unthinkable and publish under their own name tend to be divorced spouses, like Sarah Fergusson with My Story (she also penned 2011’s Finding Sarah: A Duchess’s Journey To Finding Herself, which I refuse to believe anyone has read) rather than thoroughbred Windsors.
They’ve hosted rockstars and royalty during their wildest nights out. Now, the team behind Mahiki, Raffles Chelsea, and the once happening Boujis, brings B London to the fold, with a view to capturing the best of old and new. For those unfamiliar with Boujis, the significance of B London’s upcoming launch - geared for March of this year - is rooted heavily in the once popular club which closed in 2016. During its epic run, made memorable by the drove of celebrities passing in and out of its doors, Boujis made headlines for high class drama perpetrated by none other than its clientele. This included Princes William and Harry, commonly caught by paparazzi stumbling from the club in the early hours of the morning. Speaking to veteran nightclub owner and B London partner, Carlo Carello, it’d be remiss of The Sybarite not to enquire about his knowledge of the royals, who are, as expected at this time, a little on the contentious side of public opinion. “To be honest, I’ll be brutal,” he said. “I’d love to stay away from Harry and William right now. There’s too much out there.”
Robert Burns was a British and Scottish national poet who composed songs in English and the Scottish dialect (yep - he was the guy who wrote Auld Lang Syne!). Born and bred on Scottish soil, Burns Night is (appropriately) celebrated on the 25th of January each year - the same day that Burns' was born. The Scottish national poet was also seen as a jolly Scottish figure within Scotland, and a personality that represents a separate identity from England. Historically, England has dominated the union between England, the principality of Wales, Northern Ireland and the kingdom of Scotland to form the United Kingdom, and this has been the case since the Act of Union was passed in 1707 CE between Scotland and England, the Act of Union 1801 CE between the main British islands on the island of Ireland, and the Act of Union 1536 CE United the government of the principality of Wales with the Parliament based in Westminster. Therefore, Burns Night celebrations have become synonymous with celebrating Scotland's cultural contribution to the world.
The luxury property market has been on the rise for many years, and this trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. For those who value the finer things in life, owning a luxury home is more than just an investment — it's a statement of who they are. While some cities such as New York, Miami, London, Dubai, and Singapore have always been the preferred destinations for luxury living, others such as downtown LA and Melbourne have made their presence felt too with some landmark luxury developments of late. Yet others such as Kiawah Island in South Carolina have remained the proverbial Shangri-Las of luxury developments — known only to a select few. Here, The Sybarite explores our top ten picks of some of the finest luxury developments around the globe, starting with London. All the properties on the list are distinguished by their pedigree of being the products of some of the most renowned builders and having been conceptualized by the most sought after architects in the luxury real estate sector. On top of this, each property has opulent interiors, the best views of each city, and state-of-the-art facilities for fitness and recreation.
Given that good weather in Scotland is never guaranteed, there’s a lot to be said for leaning into the dark nights and visiting in winter. For one, this is the time of year you’re most likely to experience the magical aurora borealis, and as the only Dark Sky Park in the UK, Galloway Forest is a great location for stargazing. January is also peak mussel and scallop season, delicacies for which Scotland is world-renowned. And where better to enjoy the finest malt whiskies by a roaring fire? Scots certainly know how to make the most of the longer nights and, having recovered from their Hogmanay celebrations, turn their attention to Burns’ Night at the end of January. Nowhere does so in greater style than The Fife Arms, a relatively new addition to the Scottish luxury hotel scene in its current incarnation. Nestled in the spectacular grandeur of the Caringorms just 15 minutes from Balmoral, the landmark Braemar hotel was comprehensively renovated by a team of architects, artisans and artists in 2018. Each of the 46 bedrooms is dedicated to a local place, person or event, meticulously researched and decorated to tell the story of the area. If their Hogmanay was anything to go by – at which Dame Judy Dench was spotted carousing at the piano with Sharleen Spiteri of Texas fame – Burns’ Night will be an extravagant affair.
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