WILTON’S MUSIC HALL NEEDS YOU!

This weekend, I visited Wilton’s Music Hall for the first time, to see their wonderful stage adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Wow – what a place! Even the beautiful images I posted back in March (see link) hadn’t prepared me for the magical atmosphere and the sheer sense of history that radiates from every corner. Almost everyone had come in their 1920s best – including the Wilton’s staff who were fabulous and friendly, drumming up excitement and adding to the sense of occasion.

The sell out run of The Great Gatsby has brought Wilton’s a bit of publicity, but they are still much in need of funding to keep this beautiful building going. One of the oldest surviving music halls in the world, the shell is (amazingly) in sound structural condition but essential maintenance is needed to keep the venue open, including major works on the roof, basement, soundproofing, ventilation and electrics.

Wilton’s fundraising initiative, or Capital Project, covers three phases of work, and they’ve just succeeded in raising the money for phase one, which commences this summer. The auditorium will be closed until early next year giving them plenty of time to focus on creating some exciting pop-up events in their hidden rooms throughout the bar and front of house area. In addition to funding phase two of their Capital Project, Wilton’s are also saving up for a new lighting rig which people can donate to specifically. This will enable them to put on even better productions.

If you haven’t yet visited, I suggest you get yourself down there pronto and find out what you’ve been missing out on (I’ve added a few really rubbish iPhone snaps below just to give you an idea). You can check out upcoming events and productions here, and find out more about how to get involved with fundraising here.

NEW JEWEL IN THE HAWKSMOOR CROWN

On Friday night, I went to check out the new bar at Hawksmoor Spitalfields, which launches officially today! Located beneath Will Beckett and Huw Gott’s original steak restaurant on Commercial Street, the brand new basement bar is a cool but cosy space, brimful of old-world charm and moody glamour. Reclaimed materials make up much of the décor, which features polished brass Art Deco wall panels made from old lift doors, decorative mirrors and parquet flooring, all of which were salvaged from the Unilever Building at Embankment. Columns are clad in glazed bricks from the Victorian era, and the dark wood tables are made from work-tops that were once part of a school chemistry laboratory. The three deep alcove booths are covered in peacock-blue tiles made to an original Art Nouveau pattern, and lit by weathered brass ship lamps. The ceilings of the alcoves, along with the bar top, are clad in dazzling copper, which combined with the dark blue leather seating, makes for a really atmospheric interior.

The guys put on a great spread. The cocktails (of which I definitely had a few too many) were imaginative and seriously potent, and the food I sampled was completely delicious. The new line-up will feature a selection of popular staples from the existing Hawksmoor bar menu: Hot Dog and Chilli Cheese Dog, Shortrib French Dip, Cheeseburger and the Lobster Roll, with Sausage and Egg HkMuffin available at weekends. New additions include the Chicken Burger, the Bermondsey Frier Sandwich, Chicken Wings, Shortrib Nuggets, Tamworth Laab, Jalapeño Coleslaw and Poutine (A Canadian dish that consists of chips, cheese and gravy and served with either braised chicken or oxtail!). I’m sure that last one tastes better than it sounds! Anyway, all-in-all, it’s a fab venu for a night out so get yourself down there pronto and have a gander. I can’t wait to head back.

Hawksmoor Spitalfields Bar 

157 Commercial Street, London E1 6BJ,

Tel. 020 7426 4856; Reservations: [email protected]

www.thehawksmoor.co.uk

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