Apex Hotels Blogs

Edinburgh February 2014

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What’s On in Edinburgh in January 2014?

Event of the Month

Bruce Munro Field of Light | Photograph: Cheeckwood Field of Light (US) 2013 by Mark Pickthall

Bruce Munro: Field of Light (3 Feb - 26 April 2014)

For those staying at our Apex Waterloo Place Hotel, don’t miss the opportunity to witness the unique light installation piece, Field of Light, by Bruce Munro. Located a short walk from our Waterloo Place property, St Andrew’s Square will be lit up by this enchanting art installation every night until the 26 April.

Location: St Andrew Square, Edinburgh.

Website: brucemunro.co.uk

Observers’ Walks (until 29 April)

If you want to get out and explore Edinburgh, take advantage of this innovative and interactive audio guide created by The Collective Gallery. Simply head over to the website, download the audio guide and explore the monuments of Calton Hill. You’ll be led on an exciting and absorbing audio adventure and gain new insight to Edinburgh’s past.

Location: Calton Hill, Edinburgh.

Website: collectivegallery.net

Bolshoi Ballet Live: Lost Illusions (2 February)

Experience the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet - from the comfort of the cosy Cameo Cinema in Edinburgh - as they continue their series of live performances beamed across the world. Lost Illusions is a ballet based on Honoré de Balzac's novel and offers a story punctuated with passion, ambition and disappointment.

Location: Cameo Cinema, Edinburgh, EH3 9LZ.

Website: picturehouses.co.uk

Noël Coward’s Private Lives (14 February – 8 March 2014)

Nestled in Edinburgh’s cultural quarter and a short walk from our Apex International Hotel and Apex City Hotel, The Royal Lyceum Theatre provides Edinburgh with top-quality drama productions. Discover their exciting new production of Noël Coward’s Private Lives in their fascinating, chocolate box auditorium. A perfect treat for Valentine’s Day!

Location: Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, EH3 9AX.

Website: lyceum.org.uk

Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story (25 February – 15 March 2014)

Combine your love of music and theatre by getting along to the King’s Theatre to see this amazing musical about one of Rock and Roll’s original innovators. Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story tells the story of a rock music pioneer and features some of the greatest songs ever written.

Location: Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9FT.

Website: lyceum.org.uk

Dundee February 2014

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What’s On in Dundee in February 2014?

Event of the Month

Fawlty Towers The Dinner Show

Fawlty Towers – The Dinner Show (26-28 February)

Many people would dread the thought of a dining experience where everything that could go wrong, does go wrong, but not for those who are fans of the beloved British sitcom, Fawlty Towers. Become part of the show as you dine in Bonar Hall and experience first-hand the Fawlty’s infamous hospitality and comical mishaps. Be prepared for a night of manic mayhem and an unforgettable performance...just don’t mention the war!

Location: Bonar Hall, Dundee, DD1 3HN.

Website: laughlines.net

Andy Torbet: Operation Iceberg (4 February)

Delve into the depths of the frozen Arctic’s glaciers, sub-zero temperatures and hear about the fascinating lifecycle of a multimillion ton iceberg, all from the comfort of Tower Building in Dundee, as Andy Tarbet relives his Arctic adventures.

Location: Tower Building, Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN.

An Evening of Dirty Dancing (6-8 February)

Have the time of your life with ‘An Evening of Dirty Dancing’ at Dundee Rep Theatre. Enjoy timeless classics from one of the greatest movie soundtracks of all time combined with striking choreography. This theatrical treat is truly a spectacular tribute!

Location: Location: The Dundee Rep, Dundee, DD1 1PB.

Website: dundeerep.co.uk

Website: list.co.uk

Jongleurs Comedy Club on The Road (14 February)

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a difference with an evening of comedy at Jongleurs Comedy Club at Bonar Hall, Dundee. For one night only a trio of the best of British stand-ups will tickle your funny bone as they take to the stage for an evening of comedy.

Location: Bonar Hall, Dundee, DD1 3HN.

Website: dundeerep.co.uk

Anton Du Beke & Raymond Gubbay Big Band (14 February)

If an evening of dazzling outfits, outstanding dancing and timeless music sounds like your perfect Valentine’s Day, then we have the perfect evening for you & you don’t need to bring your dancing shoes. Performing in Dundee for one night only, Anton Du Beke and special guests will perform an evening full of sensational choreography.

Location: The Caird Hall, Dundee, DD1 3BB.

Website: cairdhall.co.uk

London February 2014

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What’s On in London in February 2014?

Event of the Month

 Valentine's Day London

Valentine's Day (14 February 2014)

What better place to celebrate Valentine's Day than London - the real city for love! With so much going on in the city, it really is the perfect place for all love birds. Sweep your loved one off their feet and enjoy spectacular views of the city with a Valentine's Cupid's Capsule on the London Eye. if you're looking for a meal with a difference then check out the Medieval Banquet - just a stone throw from Apex City of London Hotel, and experience the Valentine's Day Cinderella Ball which includes a four-course meal, unlimited ale, wine and a disco.

Take a romantic stroll this Valentine's weekend and take pleasure in the outdoor spaces London has to offer. Hyde Park is the ultimate spot to rendezvous with the park's 4,000 trees, a meadow, a lake, rose gardens, it's easy to forget you are in central London.

Make Valentine's Day unforgettable with our fantastic Valentine's Day hotel package. This offer includes a romantic Valentine's Day dinner with a complimentary glass of Champagne. You'll also find roses and chocolates waiting for you in your room on arrival.

Location: Various locations around London.

Chinese New Year (31 January - 2 February 2014)

London's Chinese New Year in is one of the largest celebrations outside of Asia with over 300,000 people taking part where Dragon dancing, music and performances will take centre stage. The Chinese New Year (Year of the Horse) falls on the 31 January with the main festivities taking place on Sunday 2nd in central London, Chinatown, Trafalgar Square and Shaftesbury Avenue.

Location: Various locations around London.

London Fashion Weekend (20 - 23 February 2014)

Calling all savvy, glamour loving, fashionistas! The world of fashion will invade the cite again, and luckily for our Apex guests London Fashion Week is hosted on the doorstep of the Apex Temple Court Hotel. This February, Somerset House will host the ultimate fashion and designer experience, bursting with pop-up shops, catwalk shows and much more - keep your eye out for all those celeb spots too.

Location: Somerset House, London, WC2R 1LA.

Website: londonfashionweekend.co.uk

A Midsummer Night's Dream (6-15 February 2014)

The world renowned Handspring Puppet Company from Cape Town and Bristol Old Vic's Artistic Director Tom Morris, unite once more, brining Shakespeare's magical 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' to the Barbican Centre. The Financial Times describes this unique performance of actors and puppets as, "funny, filthy and consistently watchable". Located within a 5 minute walk of Apex London Wall this show is a must see.

Location: Location: Barbican Centre, London, EC2Y 8DS.

Website: barbican.org.uk

Richard Deacon Multimedia Show (5th February - 17th April 2014)

Located within a five minute walk from Apex Temple Court, this Tate Britain exhibition explores the works from Welsh artist Richard Deacon. The self proclaimed 'fabricator' uses all manner of materials to construct the stunning and dynamic shapes. Steel, wood, rubber, leather, chrome and foam are often twisted and bended into open structures that will leave you astonished with the volumes created.

Location: Tate Britain, London SW1P 4RG.

Website: tate.org.uk

The Telegraph Outdoor Show (13-16 February 2014)

Do you love the outdoors and are looking for new challenges? The Telegraph Outdoor Show held at the ExCel features lots of interactive workshops and stalls dedicated to outdoor hobbies including climbing, walking, biking, adventure travel, eco travel and much more. The show covers everything you need for the outdoors so whether you're looking for outdoor gear, or want to meet famous explorers the Telegraph Outdoor Show is for you.

Location: ExCel, London, E16 1XL.

Website: telegraphoutdoorsshow.co.uk

The Brit Awards (19 February 2014)

The biggest UK music event is back and will be presented by James Corden for the final time. The Brit Awards 2014 will acknowledge the year's most successful artists and luckily for our guests is hosted at the O2, which is within easy reach from both Apex City of London and Apex London Wall Hotel. With live performances from the Arctic Monkeys and Katy Perry already confirmed, this is one awards ceremony we all want to go to.

Location: The O2 Arena, London SE10 0BB.

Website: theo2.co.uk

Blaze (18 February - 8th March 2014)

Blaze is a stunning production where the world's best dancers astound audience members with a performance that is full of high impact, complex skills and raw energy. The expanded cast of 16 members will pop, lock and break dance to a range of music included hits from Lady Gaga, Snopp Dogg and Michael Jackson. This is the perfect show for the whole family to enjoy and dance along with.

Location: Peacock Theatre, London, WC2A 2HT.

Website: london-theatreland.co.uk

Bailey's Stardust (6 February - 1 June 2014)

Opening early February, the National Portrait Gallery hosts a key exhibition of images that are handpicked by the iconic British photographer Davis Bailey. The Bailey's Stardust exhibition will reveal unseen images which include a recent portrait of Kate Moss. The exhibition will display the legend's work with segmented rooms devoted to travel, pop iconography, celebrity and much more.

Location: National Portrait Gallery, London, WC2H 0HE.

Website: npg.org.uk

Top five romantic things to do in Edinburgh

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The top five romantic things to do in Edinburgh

If you’re planning a romantic trip to Edinburgh for Valentine’s Day, we’ve come up with a top five count-down of the most romantic things to in Edinburgh. At Apex Hotels we like to help, and we hope this guide will inspire and inform your romantic Valentine’s break to Scotland’s breathtaking capital city. Carry on reading for ideas of romantic things to do during your mini-break to Edinburgh.

A romantic walk in the Botanic Gardens

Why not whisk your Valentine off for a romantic walk around the beautiful surroundings of Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic gardens. This stunning public space includes a wide variety of beautiful plants, tree and herbs that span over 70 acres of impressive parkland. You and your loved one can discover the impressive greenhouses; feed the extremely friendly - and very cute - squirrels that inhabit the park, or simply find a quiet spot in the gardens and take in the picturesque surroundings.

A romantic picnic at Arthur's Seat

For the more adventurous Valentine’s visitors to Edinburgh, make your way over to Holyrood Park and explore the dramatic and rocky landscape around Salisbury Crags and Arthur’s Seat. The imposing and iconic Arthur’s seat may look like a challenging walk from the bottom, but a well constructed – and well used path - will make your walk to the top a breeze. Why not make your trip to the top extra special and pack a special Valentine’s Day picnic at the summit – if it’s not too windy!

A romantic stargazing evening

What could be more romantic than gazing at the night sky with your loved one? Take a visit to the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh to enjoy one of the special Winter Astronomy Evenings. You and your loved one will get the chance to view the constellations from a new perspective with the observatory’s powerful telescopes. These events are popular and booking is essential.

Website: roe.ac.uk

A romantic evening view of the Forth Bridges

Located a short distance from Edinburgh City Centre, the picturesque village of South Queensferry will afford you impressive views of the Forth Road and Rail bridges. These iconic landmarks are the perfect talking point and offer a breathtaking backdrop to enjoy a romantic evening in one of the village’s bars and restaurants.

Enjoy a quiet evening together

If you and your Valentine want to find a quiet place to hide away and enjoy a romantic drink together, you’ll be spoiled for choice as Edinburgh has a range of fantastic bars and restaurants to choose from. Real ale drinkers are well served in the capital city with many cosy establishments to choose from such as Cloisters or the Blue Blazer, which are a short walk from our Apex City and International Hotels. If high-class and cocktails are more your thing then get down to George Street where numerous establishments exist to ensure the most romantic of evenings.

Dundee January 2014

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What's on in Dundee in January 2014

Event of the Month

Breaking Rules

Breaking Rules (26 January)

Hot on the heels of the massively popular break-dancing show, Breaking Convention comes Breaking Rules. Breaking Rules promises to bring you the best in urban street dance from around the UK. This special one-off dance spectacular will see local Dundee dance crews such as Showcase the Street and Small Petit Klien, go head-to head with crews from London and Edinburgh.

Urban dance’s popularity is growing and these events are always great fun for the whole family. Music is provided by live hip-hop DJ’s and the event will be presided over by the irrepressible MC Grandmaster Aljo. It’s sure to be a rowdy and raucous night featuring the best locking, popping and street dance around, so don’t miss this opportunity to see what the hype is all about.

Location: Dundee Rep, Dundee, DD1 1PB.


The Steamie (16 – 18 January)

For one night only, prepare to be dazzled by an incredible evening of music and dance. Enjoy this feast for the eyes and ears as conductor, Rainer Hersch, guides you through an evening featuring an assortment of Strauss classics such as The Blue Danube Waltz and the Radetzky March. This lavish performance features soprano, Kirsty Swift and an array of period dressed dancers and musicians.

Location: The Caird Hall, Dundee, DD1 3BB.


The Steamie (16 – 18 January)

Located a short walk away from the Apex City Quay Hotel, the Little Theatre is home to the Dundee Dramatic Society, who pride themselves on providing the people of Dundee with home grown theatrical productions featuring the best local talent. Join Dundee Dramatic Society as they deliver their take on The Steamie, a raucous tale of life, laughter and laundry in the Glasgow washhouses of the 1950’s.

Location: The Little Theatre, Dundee, DD1 2NU.


Ice Hockey: Dundee vs. Cardiff (24 January)

If you enjoy spectator sports and fancy trying something different, get down to Dundee Ice Arena and watch as The Dundee Tigers take on The Cardiff Devils. Ice Hockey is a fast paced and exhilarating winter sport and its profile continues to rise in Scotland. Don’t miss this ideal opportunity to experience what this exciting sport has to offer.

Location: Dundee Ice Arena, Dundee, DD2 3SQ.


Naiza Khan – Disrupting The Alignment (17 January – 15 February 2014)

Join award winning Pakistani artist, Naiza Khan as she presents an exhibition of her work at The University of Dundee’s Cooper Gallery. Khan’s first major Scottish solo-exhibition features a diverse range of innovative film, watercolour and photographic work that deals with the cost of expanding urbanisation on our landscape.

Location: The Cooper Gallery, Dundee, DD1 4HT.


Edinburgh January 2014

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What’s On in Edinburgh in January 2014?

Event of the Month

Mammoths of the Ice Age

Mammoths of the Ice Age (24 January - 20 April 2014)

Don’t miss the exciting opportunity - courtesy of the National Museum of Scotland and The Field Museum, Chicago - to venture back in time to a land dominated by giants. The Mammoths of the Ice Age exhibition is an exciting, interactive and family friendly event that sheds light on the lives of these giant woolly beasts that once stalked the earth, The Woolly Mammoth.

By examining original fossils, life-size replica models and engaging and informative interactive exhibition pieces, you’ll learn a tonne about these fascinating animals. You might even walk away with some mammoth facts as the exhibition runs alongside a series of public events, talks and lectures.

Location: National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF.

Website: nms.ac.uk

Rodin’s The Kiss (1 January – 2 February 2014)

This January is your last chance to see a magnificent example of marble sculpture work by renowned artist, Auguste Rodin. Rodin’s the Kiss has been on a year-long loan from the Tate Britain Gallery in London. Rodin’s masterpiece was originally unveiled to massive critical acclaim in 1889, and depicts the two doomed lovers from Dante’s The Divine Comedy. Don’t miss the chance to see this beautiful sculpture in the flesh, before it’s too late.

Location: Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL.

Website: nationalgalleries.org

AYE RIGHT? HOW NO’? The Comedy Countdown to the Referendum (8 January)

2014 is the year Scotland goes to the polls to decide its future, join some of Scotland’s finest comedians, poets and authors as they take a satirical look at the hot topics of the independence debate. Featuring a mix of stand-up, comedy, poetry, political comment, music and spoken word, this show will surely deliver a funny and thought provoking take on the big question of 2014.

Location: The Stand Comedy Club, Edinburgh, EH1 3EB.

Website: thestand.co.uk

The Bupa Great Run – Holyrood Park (11 January)

For the sportier types and those keen to burn of the post Christmas calories, there’s no better way to stay motivated than signing up for an organised run. This 5 kilometre run dash,around the breathtaking Holyrood Park, will blow away the cobwebs and get your blood pumping. All finishers receive a medal and a finisher’s bag stuffed with goodies.

Location: Holyrood Park, Edinburgh

Website: www.greatrun.org

Hansel and Gretel (8-11 January)

Get down to the Edinburgh Festival Theatre this January for Scottish Ballet’s World Premiere of Hansel and Gretel. This exciting new production updates the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale, beguiling and bewitching you as you are lead on a surreal journey into the woods with the magnificent Scottish Ballet. With music by Engelbert Humperdinck and choreography by Christopher Hampson this production is sure to delight and dazzle you in the New Year.

Location: Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, EH8 9FT.

Website: edtheatres.com

Winter Guided Walks in Glasshouses (15 January - 7 February 2014)

Walk off the Christmas excess on a winter guided walk around the Glasshouses located in Edinburgh’s Botanic gardens. You’ll be guided by one of the Botanic Garden’s expert guides, through a tropical haven that features over 3,000 different exotic plant species.

Location: Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh


Long Day’s Journey into Night (17 January – 8 February 2014)

Join the Lyceum as they deliver a production of Eugene O’Neill’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Long Day’s Journey into Night. This production has been directed by Lyceum regular, Tony Cownie and details one fateful day in the life of the Tyrone family. This production is guaranteed to hit hard with an intense depiction of a family as they struggle with addiction, truth and love.

Location: The Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, EH3 9AX.


Jack Nicholson Season (Selected dates throughout January)

The Filmhouse continue to showcase the talents of one of the most iconic actors, producers, screenwriters and directors that Hollywood has ever produced. Don’t miss the opportunity to see his career defining performance in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest on the big screen, as well as more recent efforts, The Border and The Pledge.

Location: The Filmhouse, Edinburgh, EH3 9BZ.


London January 2014

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What's on in London in January 2014

Event of the Month

 London Boat Show

The London Boat Show (4 - 12 January)

Located at the ExCel, the venue couldn’t be more suited to the exhibition. Luckily for our Apex guests the ExCel is in easy reach of our three London hotels, with just a short ride away on the DLR.

Whether is it your first time to this event or you are a regular on the nautical scene, the show has something for everyone. Come along and experience over 500 exhibitors selling everything from sail boats to engines, dinghies to power boats and charter holidays to sailing courses.

The show is set to give all boating enthusiasts an entire picture of what’s available on the marine market, whilst simultaneously providing a great day out for the whole family.

Location: ExCel, London, E16 1XL.


London Ice Sculpting Festival (11 - 13 January)

If you consider yourself quite an artist at creating a snowman in winter, maybe even making a little snowdog or doing your best to make an igloo – then this is a festival you’re sure to appreciate (and maybe even get some ideas from!). This truly spectacular event will allow you to witness artists at work, creating breathtaking ice sculptures that will impress & astound!

Jubilee Place Shopping Malls, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AB.


Twilight Tour at the Tower of London (Selected dates throughout January)

Experience a tour of The Tower of London with a difference with an atmospheric twilight tour. Hear chilling tales of the tower’s hauntings, past prisoners & secrets that are held within its walls as you are guided round the tower at its most spooky time. Tickets are selling fast so ensure to book early to avoid disappointment.

LocationThe Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB.


London's New Year's Day Parade (1 January 2014)

Celebrate the start of 2014 by witnessing this spectacular New Year’s Day parade. More than half a million people will line the streets as London becomes host to 10,000 performers, including acrobats, clowns, dancers and marching bands. The parade stretches along a 2.2 mile route passing by famous landmarks such as Big Ben, Pall Mall & Trafalgar Square.

Location: Across London.


Rooftop Film Club: Kensington Roof Gardens (Until 8 January 2014)

The Rooftop Film club brings the big screen under the stars with this truly unique experience. With a range of classic films (from Dirty Dancing to Top Gun) you can relax on comfy chairs, beneath the moonlight on Kensington Roof Gardens as you experience film like never before.

Location: Kensington Roof Gardens, London, W8 5SA


Burns Night in London (25 January)

Experience a “wee bit o’ Scotland” in London with a traditional Burns Supper, poetry reading and a toast. Burns Night celebrations mark the anniversary of the birth of the famous Scottish poet & lyricist and are held at various restaurants & bars across London. If you really want to get into the Scottish spirit some venues will also host a ceilidh after supper so you can learn (or show off) some Scottish dance moves.

Location: Various locations across London.

Nelson Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom Exhibition (6 January - 2 February 2014)

Celebrate the life of one of the world’s most treasured political and cultural leaders, Nelson Mandela, with this timely and poignant exhibition that sheds light on his long struggle for freedom. Featuring lithographs and drawings by Mandela and photographs of the great man by photographer, Jergen Schadeberg, this exhibition will leave you with a lasting impression of one the 20th century’s greatest leaders and humanitarians.

Location: Belgravia Gallery, London, W1S 4JL.


Peter Pan - The Never Ending Story (2 - 4 January)

Get down to Wembley Arena this January for a unique retelling of the classic children’s story, Peter Pan. Watch in awe as Peter takes to the skies to help Peter, Wendy and Tinkerbell from the clutches of the villainous Captain Hook and his band of Pirates.

Location: Wembley Arena, London, HA9 0AA.


Cirque Du Soleil's Quidam (4 January - 26 February 2014)

Join Cirque du Soleil as they return to the Royal Albert Hall with their dazzling new show, Quidam. Quidam is a celebration of those who go unrecognised in our ever expanding world. Featuring some truly breathtaking aerial acrobatics, and combined with a beautiful stage production, Cirque Du Soliel will wow you this January.

Location: Royal Albert Hall, London, SW7 2AP.


Dino Snores - For Grown Ups (17 January)

Have you ever wanted to spend a night at the museum? Well now you can with the National History Museum’s unique Dino Snores event. For one night only you’ll be granted special access to National History Museum; enjoy a midnight 3-course dinner in the museum’s restaurant; be entertained with live music and comedy, and join in an all night monster movie marathon. You’ll even get the chance to sleep in the shadow of a giant Diplodocus in the Museum’s grand central hall.

Location: Natural History Museum, London, SW7 5BD.


Twelfth Night Celebration 2014 (5 January)

Join a diverse range of performers at the world famous globe theatre – made famous by national treasure, William Shakespeare – as they celebrate the Twelfth Night festival. This traditional Christmas festival marks the end of the festive season and features some intriguing medieval rituals.This event is free and located a short, 5 minute walk from Apex Temple Court.

Location: Shakespeare's Globe, London, SE1 9DT.


NBA Basketball - Atlanta Hawks v Brooklyn Nets (16 January 2014)

Join a diverse range of performers at the world famous globe theatre – made famous by national treasure, William Shakespeare – as they celebrate the Twelfth Night festival. This traditional Christmas festival marks the end of the festive season and features some intriguing medieval rituals.This event is free and located a short, 5 minute walk from Apex Temple Court.

Location: O2 Arena, London, SE10 0DX.


London December 2013

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What's On in London in December 2013?

Event of the Month

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland (23 November - 5 January 2014)

London's wintertime festivities return, as Hyde Park is transformed into a festive, shimmery Winter Wonderland. Skate on the UK's largest outdoor Ice Rink, featuring over 100,000 lights set to illuminate the rink and create the perfect magical setting. The Giant Observation Wheel will let you experience Winter Wonderland from 60 metres in the air, providing stunning views of Hyde Park and beyond. Help make a child's dream come alive and let Santa and his elves greet you in his grotto or choose to shop, drink and dine in the Christmas Markets. Enjoy the thrills of gentle carousels, roller coasters or spooky ghost rides - with over 100 rides and attractions, there is something for everyone. Experience the Magical Ice Kingdom and be amazed by the beauty of the delicate sculptures and crystal-like characters. Fashioned from over 200 tons of ice and snow over, this mysterious attraction will let you lose yourself in the magical land of snow and ice! There’s something for everyone at Winter Wonderland and is one festive activity not to be missed.

Location: Hyde Park, London, SW1 7LY

Website: hydeparkwinterwonderland.com 

The Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker (10 December - 16 January 2014)

You know Christmas has arrived when the production of E.T.A. Hoffman's 'The Nutcracker' returns to the Royal Opera House, located just a 10 min walk from Apex Temple Court Hotel. It's difficult to picture a production more extravagant than Peter Wright's restaging of Lev Ivanov's choreography to Tchaikovsky's iconic play. Every ballet step of the way, this is one performance not to be missed this Christmas.

Location: Royal Opera House, London, EC2E 9DD

Website: roh.org.uk

Spitalfields Winter Festival (6 - 17 December 2013)

Located just a short walk from Apex London Wall Hotel, Spitalfield's end of year musical festival returns from several locations. The Winter Festival discovers east London's hidden gems, bringing together global and local artists. Old Spitalsfields Market will host an off the cuff musical performance, whilst the dramatic 18th century Hawskmoor - designed Christ Church opens its door to host classical concerts.

Location: Christ Church Spitalfields, London, E1 6LY

Website: spitalfieldsmusic.org.uk

Midnight Mass at St Paul's Cathedral (24 December 2013)

Sir Christopher Wren's stunning St Paul's Cathedral is located just a short walk from the Apex Temple Court and Apex London Wall Hotel and is a magical place to be on the night before Christmas. The cathedral's legendary dome will echo the elevated sounds of the St Paul's Cathedral Choi, whilst candles create a majestic atmosphere that is not to be missed.

Location: St Paul's Cathedral, London, EC4M 8AD

Website: stpauls.co.uk

New Year's Eve Fireworks (31 December 2013)

Celebrate an amazing year and watch the annual Mayor’s fireworks display, launched from the London Eye and rafts on the Thames. The world renowned fireworks are visible throughout central London and captivate audience members for a whole hour! Bring in 2014 with a bang and watch the celebrated display take place on the doorstep of our Apex Temple Court Hotel.

Location: London Eye, London, SE1 7PB

Website: london.gov.uk

Dino Snores - Sleep over at the Natural History Museum (7 December 2013)

This is your chance to find out what really stalks the corridors of the Natural History Museum when the sun goes down. Dino Snore is great family event which includes exhilarating activities, a torch-lit tour and a hearty breakfast in the morning. Get ready to nestle down under the shadow of Diplodocus in the central hall.

Location: Natural History Museum, London

Website: nhm.ac.uk

Disney on Ice - Dare to Dream (26-30 December and 3-5 January)

The new Disney on Ice performance 'Dare to Dream' comes to the O2 this December giving you the chance to see all your favourite Disney characters come to life. Make sure to catch the spectacular finale as all the Disney Princesses come together (for the first time on ice!). Dare to dream is full of amazing skating and special effects - creating a lifetime of memories.

Location: O2 Arena, London, SE10 0DX

Website: theo2.co.uk

Christmas Spectacular (27 - 29 December 2013)

For the first time this year, the Royal Albert Hall and Raymond Gubbay come together to launch the Christmas Spectacular keeping you entertained with classic after classic. Get ready for a Christmas movie medley including songs from Mary Poppins, the Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music. Keep your Christmas spirits elevated and enjoy the astounding combination of much-loved music, dazzling dance, breathtaking lasers and an incredible indoor finale!

Location: : Royal Albert Hall, London SW7 2AP

Website: royalalberthall.com

Handmade Christmas (13 - 15 December 2013)

Hobbies and craft has been revived over the past few years in the UK and what better way to celebrate than the handmade Christmas show at the O2. Spread over one weekend, Britain's best and dazzling crafters, designers and hobbyists merchants will congregate to showcase their talents. Say good bye to the power of the high street and get ready to find your perfect, seasonal gift.

Location: The O2, London, E210 0DX

Website: handmadechristmas.co.uk

Dundee December 2013

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What's On in Dundee in December 2013?

Event of the Month

The RSNO Christmas Concert - The Snowman (20 December 2013)

This Christmas, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra is bringing a very special treat to the Caird Hall. This live production of Raymond Briggs classic Christmas tale will delight young and old alike. It’s the exciting story of a boy who builds a snowman that magically comes to life, the two then embarking on an epic around the world adventure. The original, classic animation will be shown on the big screen with the famous score played live by the RSNO and RSNO Choruses. This is guaranteed to be a unique and exciting opportunity to see a classic Christmas story brought to life by Scotland’s premier symphony orchestra.

The RSNO will be conducted by Christopher Bell and the production features a special star guest, yet to be announced. You can find out more about the production by visiting the RSNO’s website. This is sure to be a unique experience guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit.

Location: Caird Hall, Dundee, DD1 3BB

Website: rsno.org.uk

DCA Winter Print Exhibiton (19 November 2013 – 19 January 2014)

Dundee Contemporary Arts are holding an exhibition of work that includes screenprints, collagraphs, etchings and lithos by DCA’s resident artists. This is great opportunity to view some excellent artwork created by some very talented local artists. All the work is available for sale, making it an ideal opportunity to choose that special Christmas gift.

Location: Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, DD1 4DY

Website: dca.org.uk

The BFG (28 November - 31 December 2013)

This Christmas join Dundee Rep as they bring Roald Dhal's classic children’s story, The BFG, to the stage. The BFG tells the story of a young girl who befriends a BFG – a Big Friendly Giant – who much prefers eating foul tasting snozzcumbers and fizzy frobscottles, than little children. This production has been adapted by David Wood and is sure to be a treat for the whole family this Christmas.

Location: Dundee Rep, Dundee, DD1 1PB

Website: dundeerep.co.uk

Tayside and Fife Health Services Christmas Carol Concernt (5 December 2013)

Join the Tayside and Fire Health Services for an evening of Christmas carols guaranteed to get you in the festive spirit. Proceeds from the event will go to CLIC Sargent.

Location: Caird Hall, Dundee, DD1 3BB

Website: cairdhall.co.uk

Dick Whittington (13 - 22 December 2013)

Join Whitehall Theatre and Downfield Musical Society as they bring you their irreverent take on the Dick Whittington tale. Now in their 85th year, the Downfield Musical Society will delight you with their traditional pantomime production that promises to be fun for the whole family. The show will delight with brilliant special effects, slapstick humour and audience interaction. Suitable for kids aged nine to ninety!

Location: Whitehall Theatre, Dundee, DD1 5JA

Website: downfieldmusical.co.uk

Edinburgh December 2013

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What's On in Edinburgh in December 2013?

Event of the Month

Edinburgh's Christmas (22 November 2013 - 5 January 2014)

Edinburgh comes to life at Christmas transforming into a sparkling and enchanting winter wonderland. It’s a fantastic city to explore at this festive time of the year with an endless array of shops, bars and restaurants to choose from. If you fancy a break from all that Christmas shopping, be sure to get down to the European Christmas market where you can relax with a warming cup of mulled wine, before enjoying some excellent traditional Christmas fare including biscuits, bratwurst and sweet treats. You can also get in the festive spirit by exploring Edinburgh’s Winter Wonderland in Princes Street Gardens where you can take the opportunity to try ice skating, or enjoy the views Edinburgh has to offer on a relaxing ferris wheel ride. The Edinburgh’s Christmas website provides an excellent overview of all the activities, festivals and shopping opportunities that can be enjoyed in the city over the festive period.

Location: Multiple Locations around Edinburgh

Website: edinburghschristmas.com

A Christmas Carol (28 November 2013 – 4 January 2014)

This December, why not treat yourself to a magical night out at the theatre? The Lyceum’s production of Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas tale will delight young and old alike. It’s sure to melt the heart of even the biggest Scrooge. Leave the Humbugs at home and get down to The Lyceum to enjoy this most quintessential of Christmas stories.

Location: The Royal Lyceum Theatre, Grindlay Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9AX

Website: lyceum.org.uk

A Dickens Christmas At Edinburgh Castle (21 - 24 December 2013)

If seeing A Christmas Carol wetted your appetite for all things Dickens’ then visit Edinburgh Castle this Christmas for a chance to meet Charles Dickens in person, learn more about the Victorian Christmas revival and witness the sights and sounds that inspired Dickens’ classic Christmas novel.

Location: Edinburgh Castle, Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NG

Website: list.co.uk

The Singing Kettle - Christmas Wishing Well (21 - 22 December 2013)

Keep the kids occupied this Christmas and take them to see this fantastic festive treat. The Singing Kettle team is back with a Christmas show that is filled with Christmassy fun for the kids.

Location: The Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh, East Lothian, EH21 6AA

Website: hubtickets.com

Peter Pan (31 November 2013 - Sunday 19 January 2014)

The King’s Theatre hosts Edinburgh’s traditional pantomime. This year sees Edinburgh Panto favorites Grant Stott, Andy Gray and Allan Stewart back for a festive take on the story of the boy who never grew old. It’s sure to be an unmissable festive romp at one of Edinburgh’s most beloved theatres.

Location: The King’s Theatre, 2 Leven Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9LQ

Website: edtheatres.com

The Ethical Christmas Fair (7 - 15 December 2013)

Now in its 6th year, the Ethical Christmas Fair presents an ideal ethical Christmas shopping opportunity. Browse and choose gifts from a wide range of fair trade, ethical and environmentally friendly retailers. The beautiful and ethically aware products typically available here include jewellery, crafts, homewares, food and drink and scarves and hats.

Location: Castle Street/ Princes Street, Edinburgh

Website: handupmedia.co.uk

Real Scottish Christmas Fair (30 November - 5 December 2013)

The Real Scottish Christmas Fair is an event that happens on one of Scotland’s busiest shopping streets. It's a great chance to pick up some Scottish craft, jewellery and artefacts that you don’t usually see on the high street.

Location: Princes Street, Edinburgh

Website: handupmedia.co.uk

Edinburgh's Hogmanay (30 December 2013 - 1 January 2014)

Celebrate New Year in Scotland in style and take part in Edinburgh’s world famous Hogmanay celebrations. The three day extravaganza features the opportunity to take part in a vibrant torchlit procession; join thousands of revelers for the epic Street Party, featuring music from world class musicians and DJs, and Ceilidh into the wee small hours with some of Scotland’s finest traditional musicians.

Location: : Princes Street and City Centre, Ediburgh

Website: edinburghshogmanay.org

Guest Blog: Mark Alston

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Guest Blog: Royal Yacht Britannia


 Lemon Drizzle Cake

Our guest blog this month comes from Mark Alston, the Executive Chef at the Royal Yacht Britannia. Be prepared, after reading this you will be licking your lips for some lemon drizzle cake.

The Royal Yacht is permanently berthed in the historic port of Leith, Edinburgh and is a 5- star visitor attraction and prestigious evening venue. Britannia was home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family for over 40 years. The fascinating audio tour of five decks allows you to discover how the Royal Family and 220 crew lived. All Apex customers receive 10% discount when visiting Britannia. Please be sure to ask our receptionist for a 10% off voucher.

Visitors to Britannia can enjoy a visit to The Royal Deck Tea Room where they can enjoy delicious, and freshly prepared, home-made food, stunning views and a warm welcome. This area was previously where the Royal Family enjoyed drinks receptions, sumptuous buffets, or played deck games. In these spectacular surroundings you can now treat yourself with speciality teas, coffees, lunch and Britannia’s famous lemon drizzle cake.

Our delicious lemon drizzle cake has been a firm favourite with Britannia’s visitors ever since the Royal Deck Tea Room opened its doors in 2009. Made on board in the original Royal Galley, we’ve been asked many times for the recipe by our visitors.

Britannia's Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe - Serves 12


For the cake:

  • 6 eggs
  • 330g soft butter
  • 330g caster sugar
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 2 large lemons.

For the Icing:

  • 300g icing sugar
  • 60g lemon juice

For the Syrup:

  • 110g sugar
  • 140ml water
  • the juice from half a lemon

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170˚c/gas mark 3 and prepare a 10 inch cake tin (or smaller tins/a tray)
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light in colour
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well each time
  4. Add the zest and juice of the two lemons
  5. Add the sifted flour and baking powder and mix until combined
  6. Cut out a disk of baking paper to fit the base of your cake tin
  7. Grease the cake tin well and place the disk in the bottom
  8. Fill the tin ¾ full with the cake mix and smooth out the top using a pallet knife
  9. Cook for 15 minutes at 170˚c (gas mark 3) then turn down the oven to 150˚c (gas mark 2) and cook for a further 40 minutes
  10. The cake is cooked when a skewer placed into the centre of the cake comes out clean

While the cake is baking in the oven, make the syrup, ready to brush on the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven:

  1. Put the sugar, lemon juice and water into a pan and boil for 25 minutes. Do not stir this!
  2. This will reduce down to a syrup consistency
  3. Brush this onto the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven
  4. Allow the cake to cool and remove from the tin

To make the icing:

  1. Mix the icing sugar and lemon juice together until combined
  2. Using a piping bag, drizzle the icing over the cake. You can also grate some lemon zest to add to the top of the cake.

Dundee November 2013

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What's on in Dundee in November 2013

Event of the month

Get your jazz on

Dundee Jazz Festival (20 -24 November)

The Dundee Jazz Festival evokes the distinctive character of British jazz which can trace its roots back to 1919 when the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, hailing from New Orleans, toured the UK and ignited a vibrant new music scene.

Despite once being frowned upon by the authorities as being "riotous" or "unnerving", British Jazz became a cultural sponge further absorbing the America jazz tradition during World War 2 and then taking varied influences from Africa and the Caribbean. All that is best about British Jazz is now coming to Dundee from 20 - 24 November and fans and curious parties alike are in for a treat. Among those flexing their talents will be Jo Harman, considered the hottest new vocalist on the UK blues scene and trombonist Chris Barber who has been the most important figure in the British traditional jazz scene for over 50 years. If you have never experienced jazz before, you don't know what you're missing baby!

Location: Gardyne Theatre, Dundee

Website: jazzdundee.co.uk/

Dundee Science Festival (2 – 17 November)

The Dundee Science festival is two weeks of exciting events from family fun days to talks and school programmes. It is a great way to see some daring experiments and have some fun at the same time.

Location: Dundee Science Centre, Greenmarket, Dundee, DD1 4QB

Website: dundeesciencefestival.org

Singing Kettle (15 - 18 November)

The Singing kettle is fun for the whole family and will have your kids clapping, singing and laughing. If you're thinking of taking the kids to a panto for the first time this year, this is a great introduction. It has great costumes and even a little audience participation to get your kids involved.

Location: Whitehall Theatre, Dundee

Website: dundeebox.co.uk

Grease (13 - 16 November)

This is the original high school musical that we have all seen when we were younger, with great songs and dancing that we all know. It is a great night out with friends or with the family.

Location: Webster Theatre, Dundee

Website: webstertheatre.co.uk

Dundee Symphony Orchestra (16 November)

The Dundee symphony orchestra is playing this month, if you have a classical ear then this is the concert for you. It is a great chance to hear some live classical music from a long running orchestra that was formed in 1893.

Location: Caird Hall, Dundee

Website: dundeesymphonyorchestra.org.uk

Mad About ABBA (15 - 16 November)

Mad about ABBA is a concert with a lot of sparkle and glam mixed with the sensational sound track of ABBA songs. There is plenty of ABBA songs and flamboyant costumes for everyone.

Location: Dundee Repertory Theatre, Tay Square, Dundee

Website: dundeerep.co.uk

Edinburgh November 2013

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What’s On in Edinburgh in November 2013?

Event of the Month


Bonfire Night (5 November)

The attempt by Guy Fawkes to blow up King James 1 was a dark affair so it’s a little ironic that we choose to mark the occasion by creating one of the brightest nights of the year with bonfire night. Edinburgh’s love of a good fireworks display is well known from its New Year celebrations so it’s no surprise that the capital likes to puts its heart and soul into a night full of explosions of colour, sparklers, toasty blazes and a bag of hot chips in the cold night air. Those in and around the capital have plenty of choice on where to enjoy Bonfire Night and The List  provides an excellent overview of locations and what entertainment you can expect. It’s well known that Guy Fawkes met a dark end so please let’s keep the irony going by everyone taking extra care and having a safe and fun night.

Location: Multiple locations around Edinburgh

Website: list.co.uk

Scottish History Festival (13 – 30 November)

This November the 'Previously...' history festival comes back to Edinburgh for its third year. It hosts a range of different events throughout the month starting on the 13th of November. Previously... is about recapturing the fun times from the days gone past including the food and drink that was consumed over the centuries.

Location: 22 East Hermitage Place, Edinburgh, EH6 8AD

Website: historyfest.co.uk

Edinburgh Art Fair (15 – 17 November)

Edinburgh Art Fair is Scotland's largest art show taking place in the Corn Exchange. Established in 2005, the Art Fair has introduced over 300 galleries and 5000 artists to the visitors that come along each year.

Location: Edinburgh Corn Exchange, 11 New Market Road, Edinburgh, EH14 1RJ

Website: artedinburgh.com/

Scotland VS South Africa Rugby (16 November)

Scotland take on the Springboks (South Africa) in the annual autumn test. Scotland will have a real challenge on their hands as they look to conquer one of the world’s best rugby teams.

Location: Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, EH12 5PJ

Website: murrayfieldexperience.com/emc-tests/

Scottish Fiddle Festival 2013 (22 – 24 November)

The Scottish Fiddle Festival was started in 1996 to promote traditional fiddle music to the Scottish people and the rest of the world. The Fiddle Festival is put together by volunteers that are passionate about fiddle music and helping it come to life for the audience.

Location: queens hall, kings hall and summerhall Edinburgh

Website: scotsfiddlefestival.com/fiddle2013/

Christmas Markets (22 November – 5 January)

The Christmas markets start from late November and run right through to January, giving you plenty of time to get some Christmas shopping done. There is always a great selection of stalls to have a look around and find some unique and interesting gifts.

Location: St Andrews Square, Edinburgh

Website: edinburghschristmas.com/markets

Scotland VS Australia (23 November)

Scotland Vs Wallabies (Australia), this is always one of Scotland's toughest rugby matches but it will be a delight to watch as Scotland face one of the Autumn test matches and prepare for the rest of the session.

Location: Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, EH12 5PJ

Website: murrayfieldexperience.com/emc-tests/

Edinburgh Christmas Light Switch on (24 November)

Nothing says Christmas is almost here quite like switching on Edinburgh’s Christmas lights. This year Sir Chris Hoy will be switching on the capital’s lights. There will be something for all the family with an all singing, all dancing show planned for this year’s switch on.

Location: George Street, Edinburgh

Website: edinburghschristmas.com/lightnight

Real Scottish Christmas Fair (30 November – 5 December)

The Real Scottish Christmas Fair is an event that happens on one of Scotland’s busiest shopping streets. It is a great chance to pick up some Scottish craft, jewellery and artefacts that you don’t usually see on the high street.

Location: Princes Street Edinburgh

Website: handupmedia.co.uk/events

London November 2013

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What's On in London in November 2013?

Event of the Month:

Shimmery wonderland

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland (23 November - 5 January 2014)

London's winter time festivities return, as Hyde Park is transformed into a festive, shimmery winter wonderland. Skate on the UK's largest outdoor ice rink, featuring over 100,000 lights set to illuminate the rink and create the perfect magical setting. The giant observation wheel will let you experience Winter Wonderland from 60 metres in the air, providing stunning views of Hyde Park and beyond. Help make a child's dream come alive and let Santa and his elves greet you in his grotto or choose to shop, drink and dine in the Christmas markets. Enjoy the thrills of gentle carousels, roller coasters or spooky ghost rides - with over 100 rides and attractions, there is something for everyone. Experience the Magical Ice Kingdom and be amazed by the beauty of the delicate sculptures and crystal-like characters. Fashioned from over 200 tonnes of ice and snow over, this mysterious attraction will let you lose yourself in the magical land of snow and ice! There’s something for everyone at Winter Wonderland and is one festive activity not to be missed.

Location: Hyde Park, London SW1 7LY

Website: hydeparkwinterwonderland.com 

Lord Mayor's Show (9 November 2013)

The Lord Mayor’s Show is three miles long, almost 800 years old and is like no other procession in the world. Luckily for our guests, our London hotels are positioned in a prime location for the famous procession. The modern Lord Mayor will be accompanied by military displays, acrobats and marching bands, all celebrating London’s power and tenacity. Fingers crossed for a clear, starry night as at 5.00pm the new Lord Mayor launches a glorious firework display over the River Thames.

Location: From Mansion House, via Bank, St Pauls and Fleet Street to Aldwych

Website: lordmayorsshow.org

ZSL London Zoo Fire Walk (21 November 2013)

Ever wanted to walk barefoot over red hot coals in front of a crowd? Now you can at the ZSL Fire Walk. You'll begin the evening by attending a 'Nothing is impossible' seminar and with the help of a Fire Master, you'll face the challenge of a lifetime and help raise much needed funds for ZSL London Zoo.

Location: ZSL London Zoo, London NW1 4RY

Website: zsl.org

Discovering Britain's Greatest Sausages (1 November 2013)

The British Sausage Week is just a stone's throw away from the Apex City of London and Apex London Wall Hotel. The pop up shop is set to discover the best sausage Britain has to offer with the help of Simon Rimmer, a well known celebrity chef and restaurateur. Make sure to pop in and sample the finest sausage from across the country.

Location: Spitalfields Market, London E1 6EW

Website: bavarian-beerhouse.co.uk

Isabelle Blow: Fashion Galore (20 November 2013 - 2 March 2014)

Somerset house is on the doorstep of the Apex Temple Court Hotel, so luckily our guests can enjoy the launch of the new fashion exhibition from Isabelle Blow. The display celebrates the astounding life and wardrobe of the Late British icon and showcases over 100 pieces from one of the best private collections of design, fashion and art in the world.

Location: Somerset House, London, WC2R 1LA

Website: somersethouse.org.uk

Freeze Festival (27 November - 1 December 2013)

Freeze Festival is the UK's largest winter sports festival and will embark on Clapham Common this year, bringing 500 tonnes of real snow with it. This five-day festival is a true winter wonderland with après-ski activities in abundance, a retail village with the latest equipment, Alpine-themed bars and live music. This event is for people who love winter sports and gives you the chance to see skiing world records be beaten.

Location: Clapham Common, SW4 9DE

Website: freezefestival.com

London Jazz Festival (15 - 24 November)

Calling all Jazz fans! The London Jazz Festival returns to celebrate its 21st anniversary and features hundreds of acts performing all over the city. Clubs, stages, restaurants and even foyers will open their doors for 10 days giving you the change to see exceptional, iconic jazz stars as well as new, up and coming musicians.

Location: Southbank Centre, London SE1 8XX

Website: londonjazzfestival.co.uk

Oxford Street Christmas Lights Switch-On (12 November 2013)

Watch the 54th annual Oxford Street Christmas lights be switched on at the world famous Selfridges. This iconic moment truly symbolises Christmas is here as the famous street is lit with beautiful lights. This year's £1.5 million display is set to dazzle crowds with three quarter of a million LED lights, it's sure not one to miss.

Location: Selfridges, 400 Oxfrod Street, London

Website: oxfordstreet.co.uk

Travis Pastrana's Nitro Circus Live (29 November 2013)

The world’s largest and most daring action sports event returns to London this November. Travis Pastrana is a 17-times X Games medallist and will lead a crew of 40 to perform the craziest tricks in freestyle motocross and BMX on a multi-million dollar set. The stunts performed are truly extraordinary as the performers push their limits and skill to the max.

Location: Earls Court, London SW5 9TA

Website: nitrocircuslive.com

The Bodyguard (6 November - 27 April 2014)

The 1992 iconic film which had us all belting how hearts out singing ‘I will always love youuuu’ returns to theatreland and this time feature soul sensation Beverley Knight. The iconic Adelphi Theatre will be hosting the new musical and luckily for our guests the theatre is less than a five minute walk to Apex Temple Court Hotel.

Location: Adelphi Theatre

Website: adelphitheatrelondon.com

Regent Street Motor Show (2 November 2013)

For one day only the famous Regent's Street Motor Show will give you the chance to join in and celebrate over 125 years of motoring. Arguably London's most famous street, Regent Street with be closed to traffic and will display over 300 cars, ranging from the early 19th century to cars of the future. If you're a petrol head and love cars, then this is the event for you.

Location: Regent Street, London W1V 5SJ

Website: regentstreetmotorshow.com

Dundee Literary Festival

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Dundee Literary Festival (24 – 27 October)

Do you consider yourself to be a book lover? If so, Dundee may just be holding the perfect festival for you this October.

On 24th October the Dundee Literary Festival will kick off for 4 days of talks, workshops, book signings, music and parties. The events will be taking place in both the Dalhousie Building and Bonar Hall, which are just a short walk from Apex City Quay Hotel. This will the 3rd year that the event has taken place in Dundee. If the last two years are anything to go by, book lovers will not want to miss out. A total of 30 events will be taking place at this year’s festival.

Enjoy a range of talks and workshops at Dundee Literary Festival

The programme for the festival has just recently been announced. Some of the highlights of the festival can be found below:


William McIlvanney – Saturday 26 October 7pm

The popular Scottish author will be reading and discussing his Laidlaw trilogy. Mr McIlvanney is often regarded at “the father of ‘Tartan Noir’, and his famous works include Laidlaw, Docherty and The Papers of Tony Veitch. The author is known for his vivid portrayals of 1970’s Glasgow.

John Whaite – Saturday 26 October 3pm

John Whaite was the winner of the third series of the popular show The Great British Bake Off. His first book includes the secrets to some of his most delicious recipes. Dishes featured in the book include Self-Saucing Chocolate Mud Pud and Pork, and Apple and Thyme Sausage Rolls. He will be signing his book at this year’s Literary Festival. If you’re a fan of the show, what better time to meet the winner of it, and learn some of his secrets while you’re at it?

Katherine Grainger – Saturday 26 October 8pm

Katherine Grainger is the 2012 Olympic rowing gold medalist. She has won a total of four Olympic medals (1 gold and 3 silver) as well as six World Championships Gold medals. Grainger has managed to accomplish all this during her sporting career while also managing to continue with her academic studies. Recently she was awarded a PhD in Law from Kings College London. She will be discussing her new autobiography in which she details both her sporting and academic accomplishments.


This is just a taster of the events that the Dundee Literary Festival will be offering. To see the full programme of events visit dundee.ac.uk/literarydundee/subject/.

Location: Dalhouise Building, Duniversity of Dundee and Bonar Hall, Perth Road, Dundee , DD1 4HN

Date: 24th – 27th October

Website: http://www.dundee.ac.uk/literarydundee/

Dundee October 2013

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What's on in Dundee in October 2013

Event of the month

It’s more than just books

Dundee Literary Festival (24 – 27 October)

Attend the Dundee Literary Festival this October to meet some internationally renowned authors, local names and children’s authors. You can even attend the Comic Conference which will feature a selection of graphic novelists. The festival was originally set up in 2007 and has been put on annually since then. The festival caters to both Dundonians and visitors to the city. It takes place in Bonar Hall, just a short walk from Apex City Quay Hotel. If you’re a lover of literature, you’ll love this festival. Read more in our Dundee Literary Festival blog post.

Location: Bonar Hall, Perth Road, Dundee , DD1 4HN

Website: dundee.ac.uk

The Drifters (4 October)

The soul kings, The Drifters, land in Dundee on their UK tour and they’re celebrating their 55th anniversary. They’ll be playing both their classic hits from the last 6 decades and their inspirational new material. There have been over 65 vocalists in the history of The Drifters and the current line-up consists of Michael Williams, Pierre Herelle, Ryan King and Carlton Powell.Book your tickets before they're gone.

Location: Caird Hall, City Square, Dundee, DD1 3BB

Website: ents24.com

Hiraki Sawa (5 October – 12 January)

Hiraki Sawa is the Japan-born artist who is now based in London. His art has captivated audiences around the world with dream-like video works where a simple bedroom is turned into a bustling airport or even as simple as tiny figures walking across the washing machine. Although his art style may not appeal to everyone, if you’re a fan, make sure not to miss the exhibition which will be on show at Dundee Contemporary Arts over the holiday period.

Location: Dundee Contemporary Arts, 152 Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4DY

Website: dca.org.uk

Jack Dee Live at Caird Hall (10 October)

After a six year absence from stand-up, Jack Dee is back with his side-splitting performances taking place in Caird Theatre in October. During his absence, Jack has been busy appearing on numerous TV shows including Qi, Have I Got News for You and 8 out of 10 Cats. When asked why he was touring again? Jack replied with ‘I want to spend less time with my family’. A taster for what’s to come in his performance.

Location: Caird Hall, City Square, Dundee, DD1 3BB

Website: cairdhall.co.uk

Dundee Mountain Ceilidh (4 October)

Dundee Mountain Club will be holding a Celidh onboard the impressive HMS Unicorn this October. The HMS Unicorn is located in Dundee City Quay, which Apex City Quay Hotel overlooks. It looks set to be a fantastic fun-filled evening, in support of a great cause, with all profits going to Tayside Mountain Rescue. Tickets to the ceilidh cost only £15 for adults and £7 for children under 15.A hot buffet is included in the ticket price.

Location: HMS Unicorn, Victoria Dock, Dundee, DD1 3BP

Website: dundeemountainclub.org.uk

Abba Mania (25 October)

Abba Mania is the world’s number one touring Abba production. The production celebrates the music of Abba in a respectful and enjoyable way, which is sure to revive the memories of the many who experienced Abba on the radio. If you’re an Abba fan, don’t miss your chance to hear favourites such as ‘Mama Mia’, ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘Super Trooper’ being performed. Don’t worry….you will be expected to sing along.

Location: Whitehall Theatre, 12 Bellfield Street, Dundee, DD1 5JA

Website: dundeecity.gov.uk

Halloween Howling (31 October)

Get ready to celebrate Halloween at the scariest party in Dundee. Templetown Woods will be the spooky venue for the party, and it’s set to send shivers down your spine. Will you be brave enough to try the torch lit trail? Try your best to hold in the gasps as you experience the ghostly gags around the camp fire. The perfect Halloween treat for your children this October. Tickets for the event are £3 per person.

Location: Templeton Woods Visitors Centre, Templeton Woods, Dundee, DD2 4TF

Website: dundeecity.gov.uk

Sondergard Conducts Brahms Four (24 October 2013)

Thomas Sondergard will be conducting Mendelsohn’s Concerto Piano No 1, Haydn’s Symphony No 99 and Brahm’s Symphony No 4 featuring the brilliant pianist, Dejan Lazic. Thomas Sondergard is the Principal Conductor of BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Principal Guest Conductor of Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Yes, Brahm’s Fourth is a tragedy, but it’s a tragedy where the hero goes down fighting, and this comes across in the performance. Book early to avoid disappointment.

Location: Caird Hall, City Square, Dundee, DD1 3BB

Website: cairdhall.co.uk

Essence of Ireland (29th October)

The popular smash hit show Essence of Ireland will be performed in Caird Hall this October. The show tells the Irish story through a mixture of music, song and dance. St Patrick’s Day may be celebrated once a year around the world, but in Essence of Ireland it is celebrated in every show! Songs that feature include favourites such as “Galway Girl” and “Danny Boy”. Get ready to celebrate all things Irish.

Location: Caird Hall, City Square, Dundee, DD1 3BB

Website: essenceofireland.co.uk

Edinburgh October 2013

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What’s On in Edinburgh in October 2013?

Event of the Month

The Real Mary King's Close

Close Fest – Ten Years of the Real Mary King’s Close (31 October)

It’s been 10 years since Mary King’s Close first opened its doors to brave tourists. To celebrate this occasion, the Close will be hosting a week-long spooky party. The party will include everything a good party needs – comedy, cake, live music and of course… some scary fun. The perfect treat for all the brave-hearted people out there. Read more in our Close Fest blog post.

Location: The Real May King’s Close. 2 Warriston’s Close, High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1PG

Website: list.co.uk

Scottish International Storytelling Festival (18 – 27 October)

Join in on live storytelling performances, talks and panel discussions this October at the Scottish International Storytelling Festival. The festival takes place at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh. The events will take place over 10 days and will allow you to experience both traditional and contemporary storytelling from some of the country’s most influential storytellers.

Location: Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SR

Website: edinburghfestivals.co.uk

Oktoberfest (9 – 11 October)

Get ready to experience some of the best German beer, food, music and an atmosphere to match at this year’s Edinburgh Oktoberfest. Help make Oktoberfest Edinburgh’s party of the year. This event, celebrating everything to do with beer, will take place in Princes Street Gardens, right in the heart of the city and only a short walk from Apex Waterloo Place Hotel. Tickets are going fast, with Saturday’s tickets already sold out. If you want to be part of the biggest party of the year, you’ll need to be quick to snap up the last few tickets.

Location: Princes Street Gardens West (Red Square)

Website: edinburgh-oktoberfest.co.uk

Crime and Punishment at the Lyceum Theatre (22 October- 9 November)

Chris Hannan is the person behind the stage adaption of Crime and Punishment, Dostoyevsky’s literary masterpiece. Don’t miss your chance to see one of the greatest novels ever, being brought to life in this theatrical production. The play will be on show in the Lyceum Theatre for two and a half weeks in October and November.

Location: Royal Lyceum Theatre, 30b Grindlay Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9AX

Website: lyceum.org.uk

Edinburgh World Justice Festival (12 – 27 October)

Edinburgh World Justice Festival returns this year with a programme jam packed with inspiring events. The festival was set up after the Make Poverty History march in Edinburgh during the G20 meeting, back in 2005. The aim of the festival is to raise the profile of international justice and development issues through a series of talks and events. If you’re in Edinburgh this October, make sure you don’t miss this.

Location: Various venues throughout Edinburgh

Website: ewjf.org.uk

Tesco Wine Fair (26 – 27 October)

At the Tesco Wine Fair you’ll have the opportunity to taste from a selection of over 250 wines, from all across the world. A variety of workshops will be held during the event. These workshops will allow you to talk to wine experts and learn a bit more about the wine you’re enjoying. There will also be Wine Walks taking place. Different experts will take small groups around the fair, and will give you a chance to experience wines with your specific interests in mind.

Location: EICC, Morrison Street, Edinburgh. EH3 8EE

Website: tescowinefair.com

The Lion King Musical (from 11 October)

The award winning musical ‘The Lion King’ will be in Scotland for the holiday season. You’ll have to go to the Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre if you want to catch the musical in Scotland, as it’ll be the only place where it’s performed. The musical is based on the 1994 movie of the same name, and is now even more popular than the movie. Join the other 70 million fans who have already seen the musical and get your tickets before they’re gone. Also consider our great value Theatre package deal which you can read more about here.

Location: Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre, 18-22 Greenside Ln, Edinburgh

Website: atgtickets.com

Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest (20 October)

Do you think you’re fit enough to take on Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest? Why not put yourself to the test. Last year, a total of 3100 Scotsmen and women stepped up to the challenge. The course starts in Princes Street Gardens and takes you “up, down and all over Edinburgh”. A beer tent will be set up in Princes Street Gardens, allowing you to enjoy a refreshing drink after surviving the unforgiving course.

Location: Starting at Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh

Website: mhsurvival.co.uk

Rewind to the 70s Concert (26 October)

The biggest 70’s night of the decade is happening in Edinburgh this October. Join Rewind to the 70s for an entertainment filled evening featuring Alvin Stardust, The Rubettes and Slade. The concert has been set up as a charity event to help raise money in aid of the National Autistic Society. Take a trip back to the 70’s and know that you’ll be helping support a great cause.

Location: Assembly Hall, Mound Place, Edinburgh, EH1 2LX

Website: rewindtothe70s.co.uk

Samhuinn Fire Festival (31 October)

Gather on the Royal Mile this October for a festival of fire, drumming, street theatre, dance, costumed performers and procession, in celebration of the Celtic New Year, marking the end of summer and welcoming the onset of winter. Samhuinn is the original Halloween celebrated by the Celts of ancient days. In 2012 over 6,000 people gathered to watch the festival’s torch lit procession down the Royal Mile. The Royal Mile is just a short walk from both Apex City Hotel and Apex International Hotel. Attendance is by donation.

Location: The Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Website: beltanefiresociety.wordpress.com