Tag Archives: Southbank

Step Twenty-Six: Southbank Centre Christmas market

29 Nov


Southbank. One of my favourite parts of London. Not just for the views, the beautiful sunsets, the cultural buzz but also the Christmas market.

When I first started my blog, the aim was to do 52 Steps in 52 weeks. It’s been a year since I wrote about the market for the first time, when I was on Step Seven, and although I’m only half way through my Steps and haven’t exactly reached my target, it means I get to revisit the topic again.



We pretty much did the same fail-proof routine.

Walk up the market, listen to the buskers, ooh and aah at St Paul’s lit up, get into the festive spirit, warm up with some Bailey’s hot chocolate, walk back down the market, touch all the soft Alpaca jumpers and not buy any because I already have five, watch the chimney cakes being made, drink the first mulled wine of the season, pick and try some cheese, take selfie photos in front of the Eye, watch the carousel swing round and finally, the main reason I go to Christmas markets, stuff my face with German food.






The details:

Location: Queen’s Walk, Southbank. Tube: Waterloo.

Opening times: Mon-Fri, 11am-10pm, Sat-Sun, 10am-10pm.

Prices: drinks from £3, food from £4.

Open until 24th December.


Side step: see the father of modern fashion photography

3 Mar


London Fashion Week may be over, but you can still appreciate the beauty of chic design and posey-posey models at Southbank’s latest photography exhibition, Lifework: Norman Parkinson’s Century of Style.

Parkinson was clearly a man ahead of his times. In this exhibition of photographs and portraits that span his long career, you’ll understand why many say he was a pioneer in his field.

He introduced elements that are so common to us nowadays, but were ground-breaking for his time. On Facebook and Instagram we can’t just post a normal photograph. No, that’s too boring. Parkinson would have thought so too, and used exotic locations, bizarre props and unusual juxtapositions in his work.


The majority of photos are of female models back in the day, but you’ll also recognise celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn, Maggie Smith, Mick Jagger and David Bowie. Parkinson has included a few of himself, either solo or mingling with models not just standing normally as you’d expect, but hanging upside down.

He would have been 100 years old this year, and quite the over-achiever (it’s Sir Norman Parkinson, CBE) with his work appearing in magazines such as Vogue and Town and Country. So pay him some respect and see how his eccentricity reflected into his photography.

NPG x30113; The Young Look in the Theatre by Norman Parkinson

The details:

Location: National Theatre, Southbank, Waterloo tube.

Opening times: Mon – Sat: 9.30am – 11pm, some Sundays: 12 noon – 6pm.

Free admission.

1st March-12th May.


Step Seven: get some German sausage at Southbank

19 Nov

Ali: a very happy sausage.

Until last weekend, I hadn’t really felt the festive Christmas mood, just a freezing cold mood. So I decided a trip to Southbank Christmas market would sort me out.

Quite a few winter markets have opened, or are due to, but for me Southbank has always been one of the best as it’s one of my favourite parts of the city. Wooden huts line the river, Christmas lights weave through the trees and walking past the hog roasts and German bratwurst, you know you can’t leave without biting into a sausage. Ali and I did exactly that, followed by sipping a Baileys hot chocolate, followed by sampling all the cheese from Snowdonia, followed by trying to get perfect shots of Southbank.

At five in the afternoon it was already packed, so you’ll have to fight your way through the crowds. But it’s still worth wandering up and down the market to soak in the festive mood.

Food on offer: hog roast (around £6), German sausages (around £5), noodles (yes, noodles), cheese, chocolate, churros, fudge, sweets, gingerbread and an odd pretzel-like cake called ‘chimney cake’.

Drink on offer: beer, cider, mulled wine and hot chocolate (around £3) of all varieties.

Gifts on offer: smelly soaps, woolly hats, wooden ties (yes, my dad did always want a wooden tie), personalised prints and photos, hand-made leather notebooks, etc. etc.

Open now until 23rd December.

Monday to Friday, 11am-10pm; weekends 10am-10pm.

Side step: ‘and did those feet in ancient time, walk upon England’s mountains green…’

16 Nov

When I first heard of the Landscape Photographer of the Year exhibition, I immediately visualised the Grand Canyon, the rice terraces in China, the sand dunes in Peru…and got a little carried away.

I read the first line of the blurb and realised it was an exhibition solely on landscapes in the UK. A little disappointing, was my initial reaction, but still worth a visit as my geographical knowledge of the region, particularly oop narth, is poor.

The recently-opened exhibition features over 100 photographs divided into four different categories such as ‘urban landscape’ and ‘my landscape’. They were taken by photographers hoping to win the overall title of Landscape Photographer of the Year 2012.

Some of the photos did look a tad like generic screen savers, or stereotypical shots of the UK (the Shard, a London bus etc.), but the majority were remarkable and showed off the beauty of the UK. They definitely made me realise you don’t have to travel far to stumble across stunning views.

To read more about the exhibition, click here.

The details:

Location: Lyttelton Exhibition, National Theatre, Southbank

Opening times: Mon – Sat: 9.30am – 11pm, some Sundays: 12 noon – 6pm

Here until 12th January 2013.

Free admission.