From Absent Friends to This is Home: Your Culture Guide to May

Do - Howard Hodgkin: Absent Friends | National Portrait Gallery. Absent Friends is the first exhibition of portraits by Howard Hodgkin (1932-2017), one of Britain’s greatest artists. Hodgkin’s paintings are characterised by rich colour, complex illusionistic space and sensuous brushwork. The role of memory, the expression of emotion, and the exploration of relationships between people and places are all fixations. The exhibition surveys Hodgkin’s development of a personal visual language of portraiture, which challenges conventional forms of representation. Until 18th June 2017. 

Howard Hodgkin  -  Going for a Walk with Andrew.

Howard Hodgkin - Going for a Walk with Andrew.

See - Loewe Exhibition | Liberty. To coincide with London Craft Week, Liberty will host a pop-up showcasing LOEWE: This is Home, direct from Salone de Mobile, Milan’s International Furniture Fair. Curated by LOEWE’s creative director Jonathan Anderson, the exhibition will house a category spanning collection of inimitably designed products, each obscuring the lines between decorative and functional. Coalescing inspiration from various art disciplines, the display offers an exploration of novel forms for the interior, articulated through a mix of materials, hands, techniques and cultural references. 2nd - 21st May 2017.  

Eat – Clarette | Marylebone, London - The heiress of the renowned Chateaux Margaux estate has just opened Clarette, the ultra-chic three-storey wine bar in Marylebone. The wine list in predominantly French, though there are wines from around the world so there is certainly something for everyone. There is also a selection of sharing plates available to complement the wines. 44 Blandford Street, London, W1U 7HS. 

Read - Ibiza Bohemia | Assouline. From roaring nightlife to peaceful yoga retreats, Ibiza’s hippie-chic atmosphere is its hallmark. This quintessential Mediterranean hot spot has served as an escape for artists, creatives, and musicians alike for decades. It is a place to reinvent oneself, to walk the fine line between civilization and wilderness, and to discover bliss. Ibiza Bohemia explores the island’s scenic Balearic cliffs, its legendary cast of characters, and the archetypal interiors that define its signature style.

Visit - London Craft Week | London. This annual event showcases exceptional craftsmanship through a journey-of-discovery programme featuring hidden workshops and unknown makers alongside celebrated masters, famous studios, galleries, shops and luxury brands. 3-7 May 2017. Full programme at: http://www.londoncraftweek.com

#SustainableCities May 2017 Guide: Keeping on the Pulse of Milan's Treasures

Curated by Katrin Kaurov

In our modern world of chaotic, fast-paced rhythms, there is one nation that still embraces il dolce far niente - the sweetness of doing nothing. Italians have mastered the art of slow lifestyle even in a business-oriented fashion and design capital, Milan. A true Milanese knows when to disconnect from the virtual, fast-paced world and embrace being fully present with all senses attuned to the moment. Whether it embodies zipping an ice-cold Spritz at an aperitivo in the bohemian district of Navigli, or an unhurried window-shopping stroll in the luxury district of via Montenapoleone, it's all about taking in the beauty of the city's cherished treasures. Running out of unique ways to wind down in Milan? Grasp the beauty of on-the-spot meaningful moments with our Culture Guide to May.

ART BOOST FOR THE SENSES — The highly anticipated “LOVE.Contemporary Art Meets Love” which travelled from Rome to Milan’s Museo della Permanente is curated by Danilo Eccher. It features 39 masterpieces dedicated to the expression of love, taking you on a deeply emotional journey. The contemporary art exhibition spotlights Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann and Francesco Vezzoli among others, enabling you to compare and contrast different visions of love’s fairytale.

Tracey Emin - My Forgotten Heart. 

Tracey Emin - My Forgotten Heart. 

GOOD ENERGY SPOT - Missing the edge in the elegant and sophisticated capital of Lombardy? There is an alternative East London vibe in Lambrate Design District. Situated in the hipster district nearby artists’ lofts, exhibitions and installations, East Market Milano brings together indie music, vintage designer clothes, old vinyls, multicultural street food and extravagantly dressed people. Taking place on the third Sunday of each month on 600 sq., the Brooklyn-type creative energy of the avant-garde market will leave you spiritually nourished.

East Market Milano. 

East Market Milano. 

FOR RECHARGING THE TASTEBUDS - Considered as the most “instagrammable” café in Milan, Macha Café, situated just a few steps away from Corso Garibaldi, offers a Japanese-Scandinavian fusion with a twist. Everything in the menu includes green macha - the Japanese superpowder notorious for unbelievable health benefits. The healthy menu ranges from filling (and incredibly photogenic) macha-avocado burgers to sushi bowls and delicate green chia puddings topped with macha for good. Be ready for a buzzing live queue to secure a spot in the new it-place!

Macha Café

Macha Café

SHOP FOR A GOOD CAUSE - An exclusive shopping marathon will take place nearby Moscova from 13-16 May, with a mission to fundraise for underprivileged children. The event called ‘Profit No Profit’ Haute Couture Shopping features more than 90 high-end brands donating their current season’s collection of clothing, bags and other accessories for charity. The items will be sold at discounted prices up to 80% and all the profit will be granted to “Associazione per il Bambino Nefropatico Onlus” and “Panda Onlus.”

Via Lincoln. 

Via Lincoln. 

STROLL AWAY THE WEEKEND - One of Milan’s best-kept secrets is via Lincoln, just a few steps away from the business district of Porta Nuova known for its skyscrapers and futuristic buildings. The picturesque neighbourhood via Lincoln, which grew out of the idea of having a garden city with small colourful houses, resembles an extraordinary fairy tale. Take a long stroll in the tranquility of the Rainbow District with its tiny gardens full of fruit trees and flowerbeds.
 

From The Rise of Modernism to Venetian Chic: Your Culture Guide to March

Visit: Degas to Picasso, The Rise of Modernism - Ashmolean Oxford: The exhibition presents over 100 works from a private collection that has never been seen in Britain before. The exhibition plots a course from Romantic artists such as Ingres, Gericault and Delacroix via the dramatic artistic transformations of Van Gogh and Cézanne, to the radical experiments in Cubism by innovators such as Picasso and Braque. Until May 7th 2017. 

Read: Venetian Chic, Assouline. Francesca Bortolotto Posait knows her way around Venice. Join her to visit artist's studios, elegant Ventian friends and palaces' secrets. To have her as a guide is to experience firsthand her affection for the private side of the mythic city whose daily visitors outnumber its population. Photographer Robyn Lea makes this book a revelation of the Venice of dreams. 

Eat: L'Antica Pizzeria, Stoke Newington. The world's best pizzeria has landed in London. The family run restaurant opened in Naples in 1870 and it is widely recognised as the city's best by the locals. 125 Stoke Newington Church St, Stoke Newington, London N16 0UH. 

Do: Wolfgang Tillmanns, Tate Modern. From intimate still-lifes and portraits, to images that address vital political issues, explore the photographs of this Turner Prize winning and groundbreaking artist. Until 11th June 2017, Tate Modern. 

See: Hamlet, Almedia Theatre. This well-known tragedy will be directed by Robert Ick and have stunning set design by Hildegard Bechtler. Andrew Scott will take on the title role of Hamlet in the Almedia theatre's new production. Until 8th April 2017. 

From Josef Frank to Travels with Chufy: Your Culture Guide To February

Go - Do Ho Suh: Passage/s | Victoria Miro Gallery. The exhibition will feature new fabric sculptures conceived especially for the gallery, including a walk-through configuration of Hubs, and a range of work on paper. The exhibition will be the first presentation of Suh's work in London since Staircase-III was displayed as part of Tate Modern's Collection Displays in 2011. 

See - The Fashion & Textile Museum, Josef Frank Patterns, Furniture, Painting. In the first ever UK exhibition, explore the work of artist and designer Josef Frank. Don't miss the chance to see Frank's stunning designs and colourful brand of modernism. 28th January - 7th May 2017. 

Eat - Aquavit, St. James's Market. The critically acclaimed and 2 Michelin starred New York restaurant has arrived in London. Aquavit London is a fresh concept that combines signature dishes with sophisticated design, all in contemporary Nordic style. In our opinion, this stunning restaurant would be the perfect place to celebrate Valentine's Day. 

Visit - Condo 2017. Condo is back again this year with a collaborative exhibition by 36 galleries across 15 London spaces. From 14th January - 11th February 2017. (http://www.condocomplex.org

Read - Travels with Chufy, Sofïa Sanchez de Betak | Assouline. Travel and style influencer Sofía Sanchez de Betak invites readers on a journey to off-the-radar hideaways and secluded retreats where those in the know seek unforgettable experiences. From the savannahs of Kenya to the glacial bays of Iceland to the soaring mountains of Patagonia, Betak shares her favorites: settings where wildlife and adventure abound, the lines between a hotel and its surroundings are blurred, and visitors are welcomed like old friends. 

From Swing Time to Zaha Hadid's Confetti: Your Culture Guide to January

See – Australia’s Impressionists, The National Gallery. Break away from the darkness of winter for the sun-filled landscapes of the Australian Impressionists in the first UK exhibition of its kind. Until 26th March 2017.  

Visit – Zaha Hadid: Early Paintings and Drawings, Serpentine Sackler Gallery. Don’t miss the chance to see the rarely seen drawings of the visionary architect Zaha Hadid. The exhibition is housed in the Serpentine Sackler Gallery extension that was completed by Zaha Hadid in 2013. Until 12th February.

Eat – Kricket, Soho. If you have already tried their amazing Indian small plates, you’ll be pleased to hear that Kricket is opening their second restaurant in a larger space with the same delicious food. Opens January 5th. 12 Denman Street, Soho, London, W1D 7HH. 

Read – Swing Time, Zadie Smith. Start the new year right with a great book. We seem to love everything that Zadie Smith releases, but her latest is a brilliantly written treat. 

Do – Chinese New Year. Whether you celebrate at home or in the main parade in Central London, see in the Year of the Rooster surrounded by colour, friends and dragons.

From Love of Hair to Fear and Love: Your Culture Guide to December

Hair by Sam McKnight, Somerset House. 

Hair by Sam McKnight, Somerset House. 

Art House by Assouline. 

Art House by Assouline. 

Eat - Noble Rot Wine Bar & Restaurant. We love the Parisian style wine bar and restaurant Noble Rot. Head over to enjoy their vast wine list, served with a succinct, seasonal British menu. 51 Lamb's Conduit Street, WC1N 3NB.

See – Hair by Sam McKnight, Somerset House. Is there anywhere more inviting than Somerset House at Christmas? Enjoy an afternoon at the Hair by Sam McKnight exhibition celebrating McKnights 40 year career. Until 12th March 2017.

Visit – Claridges. December is the time to treat yourself. Don’t miss the spectacular room-size Christmas installation designed by Sir Jony Ive, Chief Design Officer at Apple and Marc Newson, one of the world’s most influential industrial designers in collaboration with renowned British set designer Michael Howells.

Do – Design Museum. Following a five-year building project, the remarkable new Design Museum in Kensington has opened its doors. The current exhibition ‘Fear and Love: Reactions to a Complex World’ will occupy the space at the museum until 23rd April 2017.

Read - Art House, AssoulineArt House takes readers on a breathtaking visual tour of five residences designed to house six hundred works of art, including masterpieces by Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol, Donald Judd, Louise Nevelson, Diane Arbus, and Frank Stella.

London Design Museum in Kensington. 

London Design Museum in Kensington. 

From Bowie Collection to Turning Inwards and Trying to Float: Your Culture Guide to November

Eat: East by West by Jasmine Hemsley, the best-selling author, chef and entrepreneur has perfectly fused ancient Ayuryedic principles with the best British seasonal ingredients in her latest manifestation, East by West. East by West offers an amazing all day menu overflowing with bold flavours. The restaurant has opened as a pop up within the Maiyet Concept Store on Conduit Street and will be open until the 13th January. 

East By West, by Jasmine Hemsley. 

East By West, by Jasmine Hemsley. 

Go: Louise Bourgeois: Turning Inwards, Hauser & Wirth, Somerset. For the first time, Louise Bourgeois’s series of 38 soft-ground etchings are on show together at Hauser & Wirth, Somerset, in the exhibition, Turning Inwards. The drawings are accompanied by a selection of the artist’s sculptures from 1970 to 2005, casting new light on the themes of femininity, sexuality, botany, family and infancy in her work. The all-encompassing exhibition mirrors the intricacy of Bourgeois’ work. Each room embodies something different: a theme, a memory, a moment in the artist’s life that has notably influenced her artistry. From 2nd October – 1st January 2017

From Louise Bourgeois: Turning Inwards, Hauser & Wirth, Somerset. 

From Louise Bourgeois: Turning Inwards, Hauser & Wirth, Somerset. 

Read: Trying To Float: Coming of Age in the Chelsea Hotel, by Nicolaia Rips Set in New York’s infamous Chelsea Hotel, this wry and occasionally cutting coming-of-age story gives us an exceptional glimpse into the eccentric world of the Chelsea Hotel, where the author Nicolaia Rips has lived her entire life. 

Visit: David Bowie Collection, Sotheby's. This November, Sotheby’s in Bond Street will stage Bowie/Collector, a three-part sale encompassing over 350 works from the private collection of legendary musician David Bowie. At the heart of of the sale is a remarkable group of more than 200 works by many of the most important British artists of the 20th Century, including Frank Auerbach, Damien Hirst, Henry Moore and Graham Sutherland. On display to the public from 1st November – 10th November. 

From The Bowie Collection, Sotheby's. 

From The Bowie Collection, Sotheby's. 

See: Rodin and Dance, Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House. Head over to The Courtauld Gallery to view the first major exhibition to explore Rodin’s fascination with dance and bodies in extreme acrobatic poses. The exhibition explores a series of experimental sculptures known as the Dance Movements made in 1911, offering a rare glimpse into Rodin’s unique working practices. From 20th October 2016 – 22 January 2017. 

From Great Escapes to Floating Dreams: Your Culture Guide to September

Visit – Abstract Expressionism, Royal Academy. Experience the colour, scale and energy of America’s greatest art movement in this autumn’s must-see exhibition at the Royal Academy. Highlights include Pollock, Rothko and de Kooning. The perfect transition into the winter months. Opens September 24th 2016

Clyfford Still, PH-950 (detail), 1950

Clyfford Still, PH-950 (detail), 1950

Eat – 100 Islington – A shoot off of 100 Hoxton, you can’t go wrong with these delicious Pan-Asian and Middle Eastern small plates. 

Read – Slim Aarons: Great Escapes. Perfect for back to school season, this gorgeous hardcover journal features ten inspirational photographs of spectacular holiday spots from the infamous Slim Aarons from the 1950’s, ‘60’s and ‘70’s. 

Slim Aarons: Great Escapes

Slim Aarons: Great Escapes

Watch – Absolutely Fashion: Inside British Vogue, September 8th on BBC2. We can’t wait to catch a glimpse into the making of the Centenary Issue of British Vogue. 

Go – London Design Festival. Feel inspired across all of London as the Design Festival runs from September 17th to 25th. From pop-up shops to major design shows there will be fantastic events all over the city. Don’t miss Mathieu Lehanneur’s marble installation at the V & A. 

Ik-Joong Kant: Floating Dreams installation 2016

Ik-Joong Kant: Floating Dreams installation 2016

See – Floating Dreams by Ik-Joong Kant – Don’t miss the chance to see this major installation by Ik-Joong Kant, one of South Korea’s prominent multimedia artists. Floating Dreams is a large-scale installation positioned in the centre of the River Thames by Millennium Bridge. Constructed from 500 drawings and illuminated from within, the three-storey-high structure acts as a memorial to the millions displaced and divided during the Korean War.