Ancient Transylvanian salt mine, Salina Turda, finds a new lease of life as a spectacular subterranean theme parkThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 12 Apr 2016

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In the picturesque Transylvanian countryside, Salina Turda is an ancient salt mine that has become a tourist attraction for unlikely reasons. Deep below ground, visitors descend the mine’s tight tunnels not only to experience the extraordinary man-made chamber below, but for subterranean mini-golf, bowling, and to row around its underground boating lake. Show the rest of this post…

Shot by photographer Richard John Seymour, the Salina Turda dates back over two millennia, last active as a salt mine in 1932. Since then it was used as a WWII shelter, for cheese storage, and in its modern form, now offers a healing centre for people suffering from lung conditions. Part of a €6m investment, a mini theme park with ferris wheels, plus a spa and small amphitheatre were all constructed as this man-made marvel starts a new life for tourists.

Salina Turda, Aleea Durgăului 7, Turda 401106, Romania
www.salinaturda.eu

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The London List Abroad: Ace Hotel open their doors in New Orleans with character match to their new Louisiana homeThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 7 Apr 2016

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Branding away from their iconic minimalist style, Ace Hotel have embraced texture and character with their new New Orleans hotel. Sitting on the corner of Carondelet and Lafayette streets in the city’s Warehouse District, Ace welcome guests to their sleek and sophisticated rooms, dressed with a deep palette and Ace staple acoustic guitars and turntables. Also boasting a Stumptown cafe, Southern-inspired Italian restaurant Josephine Estelle, full music venue and two bars all in the building, New Orleans joins Pittsburgh in opening its doors, as the hotel company’s impressive expansion continues in 2016. Show the rest of this post…

Ace Hotel New Orleans, 600 Carondelet Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
www.acehotel.com/neworleans

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The London List Abroad: Boutique hotel Le Pigalle aptly captures the exhuberance of its surrounding neighbourhoodThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 15 Feb 2016

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In Paris’ trendy Pigalle district, Le Pigalle is a new 40-room neighourhood hotel that “celebrates the area’s tawdry values, brazen spirit and musical energy.” Boasting a cafe, restaurant, vinyl library and bar that hosts regular parties, the hotel has the vibe of an upmarket and little more homely Ace Hotel. Show the rest of this post…

Mixing rough and ready mid-century design with more contemporary touches, the rooms are styled to look and feel like an authentic Parisian apartment, sourcing artwork and furniture from the local neighbourhood.

Le Pigalle, 9 rue Frochot, 75009 Paris, France
www.lepigalle.paris/en

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The London List Abroad: Menswear label The Hill-Side open their first store Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighbourhoodThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 23 Dec 2015

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One of the hottest menswear labels in recent years, Japanese-influenced The Hill-Side have opened first-ever physical store located in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg district, the label’s own backyard. Slotting in perfectly alongside the wealth of shops in the hip Williamsburg neighbourhood, outfront, a New York Subway-style mosaic tile sign adorns the pavement, with tall windows letting light spill into the store. Mixing rugged daywear with more smart-cusual styles, the Brooklyn store carries The Hill-Side’s whole line, including shirts, outerwear, jeans, footwear and accessories, plus ceramics from local artists. The store is open six days a week, closed Monday.

The Hill-Side, 263 S 1st Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211

The London List Review: Bradford Cox opens for himself for a fantastic Deerhunter, Atlas Sound double-bill at Shepherd’s Bush EmpireThe London List

Posted in London, London List, Music
By Tim Baggott on 8 Nov 2015

If any other frontman chose to open for themselves on the final night of their UK tour, it would seem like a cynical move. But for some reason, Bradford Cox of Deerhunter and Atlas Sound, gets away with it tonight. Show the rest of this post…

A reverb-drenched, improvisational opening set from Atlas Sound saw each song take on a new form. Featuring a haunting rendition of Shelia from 2009′s Logos and an almost unrecognisable version of Cold as Ice from 2008′s Let The Blind…, the set was as spellbinding as it was unpredictable.

Perhaps acting as a Bradford Cox palette cleanser, when Deerhunter finally take to the stage they open with Desire Lines, a track sung by Lockett Pundt (guitarist). The set that follows is dominated by tracks from the latest record, Fading Fontier. Album opener All the Same was delivered with resounding confidence and was definitely the punchiest of the new tracks.

However, it was still the fan favourites from 2008′s Microcastle that received the best response from the crowd. The crushing guitars on Cover Me (Slowly) sounded colossal, filling the venue from wall to wall and the build up during the extended conclusion of Nothing Ever Happened whips the audience into an all-too-brief, beautiful frenzy.

The London Listings: 6a Architects’ Hanover Yard House feels warm and lived-in yet effortlessly modernThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 5 Nov 2015

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Located on a private mews in suave Islington, this two-storey home by 6a Architects features an amazing open-plan space and stunning interior filled with picture frames, pottery and books, everywhere you look. Though unfortunately most of the lived-in warmth will leave with the current owners, the loft-style Hanover Yard House is still perfect for the new owners to make it their own. Show the rest of this post…

The kitchen, dining area and living space are all inter-connected, with the bedroom only loosely divided from the rest of the open-plan first floor. A spiral staircase connects to the fully-irrigated roof which also houses a number of solar panels, which alongside an eco-friendly heat pump and underfloor heating help the property to be environmentally-friendly. Downstairs, the ground floor features a reception room plus two separate artists’ studios, accessed from across the mews.

On the market for £3.8m, while a lot of the value is in the ultra-accessible location, such a unique, charismatic space doesn’t come up on the London property market very often either.

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The Hanover Yard House is on the market for £3.8m through The Modern House: www.themodernhouse.net/sales-list/hanover-yard

The London List: Ann Veronica Janssens latest installation explores colour and light at the Wellcome CollectionThe London List

Posted in Art, London, London List
By Sam Bathe on 15 Oct 2015

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Invading the Wellcome Collection with mysterious coloured mist, Ann Veronica Janssens’ Yellowbluepink installation explores perception through the use of colour and light. One of the artists behind the Hayward Gallery’s remarkable Light Show back in 2013, Janssens again revels in the immateriality of such a medium, here playing with the notion of what you see, and how you see it. Yellowbluepink launches States of Mind, the Wellcome Collection’s year-long investigation into the experience of human consciousness.

Yellowbluepink is on show at the Wellcome Collection until 3rd January 2016
Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BE

The London List: Alex Chinneck unveils his latest surrealist sculpture for this year’s London Design FestivalThe London List

Posted in Art, London, London List
By Sam Bathe on 18 Sep 2015

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Best known for his gravity-defying installations, artist Alex Chinneck returns with another remarkable surrealist sculpture for the London Design Festival. Balancing a 35 metre-tall electricity pylon on its tip, A Bullet From A Shooting Star comprises 450 steel pieces, constructed from 1186 metres of steel weighing 15 tons. Taking residence on the Greenwich Penisula, the sculpture is one of the real highlights of this year’s festival and can be viewed from North Greenwich Station, the Emirates Airline cable car, the Thames Clipper service, Canary Wharf and all planes that fly to and from City Airport.

Alex Chinneck’s ‘A Bullet From A Shooting Star’ runs from September 19th-27th on the Greenwich Peninsula, London
www.nowgallery.co.uk/exhibitions/alex-chinneck-a-bullet-from-a-shooting-star/

The London List Review: Secret Cinema take on Star Wars for a hugely ambitious, and expensive, night of funThe London List

Posted in Film, London, London List
By Sam Bathe on 7 Sep 2015

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Normally keeping the movie under wraps until you are through the door, Secret Cinema have recreated Star Wars much to the delight of fans across the country.

If you are not familiar with Secret Cinema, the ‘live cinema’ company curate events that fuse film and theatre, re-creating large-scale immersive experiences that blur the lines of fiction and reality. By now it probably sounds like a broken record, but yet again their latest production is their most ambitious yet. Show the rest of this post…

Taking on beloved cult franchise, Star Wars, for a remarkable four-month London run, the show is inspired by the A New Hope, with fans living the first of the original trilogy before watching sequel The Empire Strikes Back at the end of the night.

In line with the spirit of the event we can’t reveal much more about what happens on the night, but rest assured, the Secret Cinema team have meticulously recreated a world so treasured by fans across the globe.

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With audience members taking real pleasure in dressing up as characters from the film, don’t miss the start of the event as things instantly kick into gear. With actors recreating story lines from A New Hope in a number of picture-perfect sets, it’s a great experience and you really feel part of the action. Though the sheer scale of the audience can make you feel lost in the production at times, if you explore and talk to the characters there’s plenty to do and you might even kick off some of the night’s big events.

Newcomers to Star Wars (yes, there are some out there) shouldn’t be put off, and it’s not a precursor that you be a huge franchise buff, but at £78 per ticket and £52 for children you probably need to a fan to justify the expense. You’ll easily spend another £30 on food and drinks on the night too.

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Because of the price, Secret Cinema’s The Empire Strikes Back production is not an unmissable experience. Few nights out in London can justify a £100+ all-in price tag, and though this production does come close, I’d be lying if I thought it was totally worth it. That said, fans are still flocking to the event in their droves and there’s no doubt you’ll have a lot of fun, just here’s hoping the next production doesn’t jump in price again, with tickets costing almost double what they used to just three years ago.

Secret Cinema presents Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back runs until September 27th. Tickets are available from the Secret Cinema website: www.secretcinema.org/tickets.html

Photography by Olivia Weetch, Marianne Chua, Al Overdrive and Mike Massaro, respectively.

The London List Abroad: The Hoxton hotel group begin their international expansion with a suave hotel in trendy AmsterdamThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 10 Aug 2015

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Their first international location ahead of expansions into New York and Paris in 2016, The Hoxton hotel group have opened doors on the trendy canals of Amsterdam. Transforming five 17th century canal houses for the residence, The Hoxton Amsterdam boasts 111 rooms over five floors, with mid-century inspired-interiors and furniture throughout. Show the rest of this post…

Housing Soho House’s new Lotti restaurant, plus a coffee shop, bar, conservatory and event spaces, The Hoxton will fit right in to a city undergoing a real re-invigoration.

The Hoxton Amsterdam, Herengracht 255, 1016BJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
www.thehoxton.com/holland/amsterdam

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FAN THE FIRE is a digital magazine about lifestyle and creative culture. Launching back in 2005 as a digital publication about Sony’s PSP handheld games console, we’ve grown and evolved now covering the arts and lifestyle, architecture, design and travel.

We’ve been featured on the front page of Reddit and produced off-shoot club night Friday Night Fist Fight, launched a Creative Agency and events column The London List.

FAN THE FIRE is edited by founder, Creative Director and Editor-in-Chief, Sam Bathe. Site by FAN THE FIRE Creative.

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