SUMMER FETES: CONNAUGHT VILLAGE, W2




 


Now in its fourth year and following its huge success last year, Connaught Village, with the organisers of  The Hyde Park Estate, will be celebrating another Summer Festival street party this Wednesday afternoon.
The excitement is already mounting. From his balcony, A-Gent of Style can see the banners, posters and flyers going round, new window displays appearing every day and the bright yellow ‘Warning’ parking restrictions going up.



From 2.30pm until 8pm, head down to one of Central London’s hidden treasures  which will be transformed into a traditional village fête to celebrate the quintessentially mercurial British summer during an afternoon of family-friendly merriment, community spirit and fun for all ages.
No doubt that The Summer Festival will delight everyone with its live music, food demonstrations with top chefs, street food, art shows, fairground rides, street performers, children’s entertainment, craft workshops and flower arranging.

Connaught Village Summer Festival 2013

Connaught Village Summer Festival 2012


The ever popular Hyde Park Dog Show will also be returning from 4pm for another installment of, ahem, ‘paw-dropping’ canine cuteness amongst a red carpet, a white picket fence and parading pooches.

Connaught Village Summer Festival 2013

Connaught Village Summer Festival 2012


Amongst the Village’s triangle of shopping streets – Connaught Street, Porchester Place and Kendal Street will all be closed to traffic – the mix of fashionable retailers, art galleries and restaurants will be open late during The Summer Festival to showcase their latest collections, offers and complimentary drinks.




Nestled away in Bayswater between Marble Arch and Paddington, this charming enclave north of Hyde Park is made up of beautiful and exclusive Georgian terrace houses, which have attracted the likes of Tony and Cherie Blair, TV presenter Claudia Winkleman, DJ Paul Oakenfold and GQ editor Dylan Jones to name but a few, but also independent and specialist boutiques such as the delectable artisan bakery Cocomaya, the Haute Coiffure salon Daniel Mikhael or the Horiyoshi III boutique (where Tilda Swinton buys her oversized tatoo-printed scarves) and an array of cosmopolitan restaurants which have all given Connaught Village a soul and an identity amongst the too many faceless suburbs of London.



So come and celebrate with us on Wednesday!





And here is a list of the Village’s traders:

Fashion:

  • Atelier Mayer: vintage womenswear
  • De Roemer: womenswear
  • The Dresser: second-hand designer clothes
  • Sylvie Quentin: womenswear
  • ME & EM: womenswear
  • Horiyoshi III: clothing by Japan’s foremost tattoo artist
  • Kashket and Partners: ceremonial, military, civilian tailors
  • Viola: vintage designer shop
  • Chrysaliss: second-hand shop
  • Ritva Westenius: bridal couture designer
  • Bianca Furs: furrier

Independent retailers:

  • William Mansell: horologist and jeweller
  • Bourlet: Fine art framer
  • Connaught Jewellers
  • Prewett Miller: florist
  • Daniel Mikhael: haute coiffure
  • Hair & Beauty @17
  • Medicetics: beauty salon
  • Hair of Connaught Village
  • Fe: hair and beauty salon
  • Spirited Wines of Connaught Street
  • Wallers: newsagent
  • Crispins: supermarket
  • Hyde Park Veterinary Centre
  • Pharmacy
  • Griffin House Hotel
  • Connaught Village Dentists
  • Elegant Drycleaners
  • Jeeves of Belgravia
  • Nancy Drycleaners
  • Skola Travel Agents

Eateries:

  • The Duke of Kendal: pub
  • Cocomaya: fine chocolatier and artisan baker
  • Assal Patisserie
  • Pardis: Persian cuisine
  • Colbeh: Persian cuisine
  • Le Chef Masgouf: Persian cuisine
  • Casa Malevo: Argentinean cuisine
  • Stuzzico: Italian cuisine
  • Dolce: Italian cuisine
  • Bombay Palace: Indian cuisine
  • Le Pain Quotidien: bakery and European food
  • Markus Coffee: cafe
  • Connaught Coffee Shop: cafe

Art Galleries:

  • Barbara Stanley Irish Art & Fiumano Fine Art
  • Park Gallery
  • Indar Pastricha
  • Light Gallery
  • Mark Gallery

Interior Design:

  • Savannah: interior design studio
  • Connaught Kitchens: kitchen designers
  • Connaught Carpets: carpets and rugs
  • Connaught Interiors: interior design studio
  • Clarke & Reilly: creative studio
  • Rosewood Gallery; oriental carpets and rugs
  • Trevi Interiors: design studio



 

 

HOW DO YOU DO, MISTER SELFRIDGE?




No sooner was A-Gent of Style back in London than he was straight out to hit London Town.

First stop, A-Gent of Style‘s ‘corner shop’: Selfridge’s. Next time you wander around the department store for some retail therapy, make sure you drop by
Harry Gordon’s Bar.




Located in the lower ground floor, the bar, named after the store’s founder Harry Gordon Selfridge, is the perfect place to unwind and offers a wide range of wines and delicious cocktails (A-Gent of Style tried the ‘1909 Smash’ – Sipsmith gin, peach, mint – once again, only for the sake of research) and also a surprisingly good selection of beers mainly from London breweries. The food menu is simple yet tasty with a selection of charcuterie and cheese from the Foodhall, seasonal salads, soups and sandwiches.




Aesthetically, the bar has been designed like a modern, urban-chic cellar (or like one of those oligarch’s private wine rooms I’ve helped designed), replete with natural-looking stone floor, plain timber display cabinets, a thick white Calacatta marble bar surrounded by Burgundy leather stools and a metallic glass-hanging structure above it, the whole enveloped by Crittall-looking glass partitions and charcoal painted walls with subdued lighting that gives the room a sultry, masculine look.








 


Adjacent to the bar is The Selfridges London Wine Shop which has moved too from the ground floor to a brand new, larger location. You’ll find there a hand-picked range of 900 wines, 300 champagnes and 200 beers. The space features three enomatic machines, allowing you to taste a selection of the finest wines and spirits. A-Gent of Style particularly liked the Circus ceiling lamps by Corrina Warm with their simple and stylish aluminium shade and luxurious antique gold interior.


Wine-Shop--Bar_800x800_100KB






JJ Fox Cigars, the oldest cigar merchants in the world, have also moved to the lower ground floor – taking up a larger residence in the new Wine Shop with their unrivalled range of the finest specialist cigars.

I’m sure Lady Mae would have approved of it all






“A LONDONER IN PARIS”: THE BATTLE OF THE ECLAIRS





Be ready to be thunderstruck!

For that is what éclair literally means in French: lightning or thunder.



And they are about to conquer the world. The famous oblong choux pastry filled with cream is about to topple the macaroon and cupcake of their culinary pedestals.

When I was a kid in France and until only a couple of years ago, they only came in chocolate or coffee  (the latter being too ‘adult’ for my tastebuds) and were NEVER filled with whipped cream -“Certainly not in France, non!” would say the purists – but only with a thick chocolate or coffee-flavoured custard. Unless of course you shopped at Fauchon who was the precursor of reinventing the éclair in 2002 (they even created an annual “éclair weekend” in September!).




Now, this resurgence and renaissance of éclairs have captivated some of the most notorious French patissiers but also their counterparts abroad: Selfridges, M&S, Michel Roux or Jamie Oliver in the UK and even the carb-free L.A at Bottega Louie.

In Paris, two very stylish boutiques dedicated to the éclair have opened, L’atelier de l’Eclair and Eclair de Génie (with Fauchon’s former pastry chef, Christophe Adam). A-Gent of Style HAD to make a détour after his visit to  Atelier Brancusi (Wednesday’s feature).

Now you can try them in almost any flavour; not only the sweet variety – lemon meringue, salted caramel & mascarpone, apple & almond, peach-raspberry to name but a few – but also the savoury kind – salmon and dill, foie gras and fig (perfect at fancy cocktail parties, I am told, washed down with champagne), goat cheese and pesto, roasted ham and comté cheese…



I am sure Marie-Antoinette would have approved.

Let them eat…éclairs!




Have a great weekend everyone!


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