Pillars thrusting upwards, waves of tessellated roofing, light, shape colour and overwhelming detail: words that might describe the architecture of a religious cathedral. But this is the Retail Cathedral in Shepherds Bush in West London. The central area is decked out with Christmas lights - sorry, Festive lights - and currently clear, awaiting the seasonal spectaculars.
Westfield London first opened in 2008, one of the largest shopping centres in Europe in terms of retail floor space.
Yes, you can still see the famous ballerina Anna Pavlova (d. 1931) at the Victoria Palace theatre, London SW1! Her gilded statue shines brightly in the morning light above the theatre, greeting commuters arriving to the steel and glass office blocks which now dwarf the graceful theatre designed by Frank Matcham, which opened in 1911.
But I couldn’t see Raspberry Pavlova, the meringue, cream and raspberries dessert which carries her name, offered on the menus of nearby restaurants...
People enjoy the fresh air and fine views of the Écrins in various ways this autumn - photos from the Col du Granon (2413 m.)
Tasting the Vin des Hautes Alpes IGP wine in the thin air at more than 1600 m. in a mountain hotel in Cervières on the road to the Col d’Izoard, this is immediately a soft red wine for the mountains. A distinctive and slightly peppery taste reminiscent of the Swiss Valais or the new Austrian reds, this one is more tangy than a Mondeuse from Savoie. No great after-taste or bouquet but a refreshing and slightly tangy swig, standing up well to the locally-sourced soupe des ortilles, ie nettles. It tasted best with the local cheeses, Bleu de Queyras lightly scented with parsley and a soft goats cheese laden with fresh herbs.
Riding the Gorges de l’Ardèche
A great Proms moment and the end of an era: Bernard Haitink applauds Emanuel Ax and the Vienna Philharmonic after playing Beethoven together for probably the last time at the Proms
I had to ask and look to check whether the piano tonight was the Albert Hall’s usual Steinway Grand because Emanuel Ax played the opening run so delicately it could have been a forte-piano. This was the tone of his performance throughout, ethereal, great delicacy, precision and charm. Hardly a hint of Sturm und Drang.
Maybe my mood was set by seeing the veteran conductor Bernard Haitink walk on stage to cheers from the audience, face beaming though walking with all the difficulty of a maestro now in his ninetieth year; tonight’s interpretation of the Beethoven Fourth Piano Concerto struck me as much with pathos as with beauty.
Emanuel Ax played softly and delicately, straining the concentration of the audience, seemingly pulling us in to the world of two musicians who have made great music together many many times but who both know this is coming to an end. We were privileged to hear piano playing at the other end of the experience spectrum to “Young Musician”: clarity of interpretation, depth, serenity and poise.
Wine glasses and white tablecloths set out on tables in the main street of Gumpoldskirchen, Audis and the occasional Ferrari and Maserati parked discretely nearby. Traditional folk singer and fiddle on a small stage. A modern-day and Austrian scene out of Breughel or a set for Die Meistersinger. Next night, the rock band turn up and it all changes. A baccanale with cracking bass and drums, mighty brass and a singer whipping the crowd on to their feet on the cobbled streets: Skolka play Gumpoldskirchen Weinfest.