Apex Hotels Blogs

Craig Hill in Dundee

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Craig Hill - Jock's Trap (19 January 2013)

Scotland's favourite comedian is back and will be performing at the Dundee Rep this January with another show full of candid camp action.

Craig Hill brings his latest show Jock's Trap to Dundee (Photo: Steve Ullathorne)

Treat yourself to a sinful evening of gloriously camp, no-holds barred comedy packed with unadulterated fun. This is one date in the comedy calendar that is guaranteed to help shift the January blues. It will make you laugh so much your abs will get a work out.

Craig Hill has grown to be one of Scotland's best exports in the comedy arena. He regularly tours the UK as well as appearing at International Festivals as far afield as Sydney, New York, Cape Town and Montreal. On top of his busy schedule, Craig has managed to appear at the Edinburgh Festival every year for the last 10 years, performing memorable titles such as 'Craig Hill's Alive With The Sound Of Music' and 'Craig Hill Makes Your Whole Week'.

Craig's new show Jock's Trap is hilarious and sometimes extremely provocative, already securing great reviews and ratings. The Metro describes the new show as "'Wickedly subversive... Funny, charming and charismatic''.

No matter how big the stage or venue, the comedian has a rare ability to incorporate audience members without losing the feeling like you are watching an intimate gig. For those of you that are yet to experience Craig's energetic, camp performances, be prepared for an entertaining, laugh-fuelled evening.

Make the most of the Craig Hill – Jock’s Trap performance and enjoy a Dundee city break at the Apex City Quay Hotel with a dinner, bread and breakfast package from £119.

Location: Dundee Rep Theatre
https://tickets.dundeerep.co.uk

Vikings in Edinburgh

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Vikings! (18 January - 12 May 2013)

When asked about the Vikings, many of us would think of barbaric hordes in horned helmets. We imagine a primitive warlike tribe fuelled by excessive drinking and convinced that only death in battle would win them entry to the afterlife. It's an entertaining fiction, but the reality is much richer and more interesting.

From 18 January 2013, the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh hosts an exclusive exhibition of artefacts, rarely seen outside Scandinavia, which will open your eyes to the real Viking Age.

Silver pendant in the shape of a male head.  © National Historical Museum, Sweden

This is the only UK stop for this major exhibition of objects from Sweden's National Historical Museum in Stockholm. Over 500 artefacts are featured, giving an insight into many facets of Viking life from crafts and technology to their mythology and changing religions.

As their Head of Exhibitions, Sophie Nyman, reminds us: "They are a constant presence in popular culture across large parts of the world and there are numerous long-established myths surrounding the Vikings, including that the warriors had horns on their helmets.”

There's more to the exhibition than ancient museum pieces, though; they're complemented by a series of high-tech hands-on displays. One of these is a large digital display table allowing visitors to collaborate in excavating a Viking boat grave.

Make the most of your visit with a city break at Apex Hotels.

Location: National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF
www.nms.ac.uk

London Boat Show 2013

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London Boat Show (12 - 20 January 2013)

It's time to think about sailing off to London this January as the 2013 Tullett Prebon London Boat Show is back in full force with 1000's of product launches and interactive marine attractions that are sure to keep all the family enthralled.

The nine day show has become a key date in the social calendar of the sailing world and is renowed for exclusive launches and featuirng hundreds of boats that are all shapes and sizes. With so much to see, visitors will be pleased to know everything is under one roof, taking over the whole of the ExCel with entrances at the Prince Regent and Custom House stations.

The London Boat Show has something for everyone, whether you're in the market for a superyacht or a day sailing trip

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. Make the most of the London Boat Show this year and enjoy a weekend city break at one of the Apex Hotels in London, with weekend rates from £89.

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.

Whatever your boating experience or preference, the large array of boats and equipment on display will be a must see. The show will be host to world, European and UK launches from leading companies, bringing the newest creations and brands all under one roof. It is set to amaze, featuring boats and crafts of every shape, size, type and cost.

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.

Location: ExCel
http://www.londonboatshow.com/2012/2012_tullett_prebon_london_boa.aspx

Dundee January 2013

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What's on in Dundee in January 2013?


Event of the month

Craig Hill - Jock's Trap

Craig Hill - Jock's Trap (19 January 2013)

The kilted comedian is back with more gloriously camp stand-up comedy - Find out more in our Craig Hill - Jock's Trap blog post.


The Snow Queen (4 December 2012 - 5 January 2013) - Make sure you catch the remaining few shows of this magical adaption of the classic fairytale, The Snow Queen. Mike Kenny, one of the UK's leading playwrights, has adapted Hans Christian Anderson's traditional fairytale demonstrating an epic journey of friendship. Make the most of this winter show and enjoy the enchanting tale of adventure, discovery and friendship - a perfect treat for the whole family. - Dundee Rep Theatre, Tay Square, Dundee, DD1 1PB - www.dundeereptheatre.co.uk

Selling Dreams: One Hundred years of fashion photography (until 6 January 2013) - This is the last time to witness the glamour, mystery and drama of some the world's most remarkable fashion photographs, exhibited from the V&A at Dundee's McManus. The exhibition displays iconic images from the photographer greats of the twentieth century including Irving Penn, David Bailey, Corinne Day and Edwards Steichen. - The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery and Museum, Albert Square, Meadowside, Dundee DD1 1DA www.mcmanus.co.uk

Navarra String Quartet (15 January 2013) - Enjoy one the most accomplished young groups in Britain as the Navarra String Quartet perform at the Caird Hall this January. This talented quartet has grown to become internationally renowned, winning awards around the world including Cannes, Florence and Melbourne. - Caird Hall, City Square, Dundee, DD1 3BB - www.cairdhall.co.uk

Breakin' Rules 2013 (26 January 2013) - For one night only, the UK's finest break dancing company retunes to Dundee due to popular demand. The hip hop inspired group will entertain crowds with a variety of styles and flavours from the break dancing world. Dust off those popping and locking skills and be prepared to be blown away by this talented group. - Dundee Rep Theatre, Tay Square, Dundee, DD1 1PB - www.dundeereptheatre.co.uk

Cafe Science (30 January 2013) - On Monday 30 January at the Chambers Coffee House, Dr Clare Cunningham will lead a discussion on the social nature of humans. The lecturer from University of Abertay Dundee will explore both virtuous and nefarious behaviour, exploring relationships between people. This event is the perfect time to discover variable relationships and learn how our lives are inextricably entwined with the lives of others. - Chambers Cofee House, 34 South Tay Street, Dundee, DD1 1PD - www.cafesciencedundee.co.uk/

Edinburgh January 2013

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What's on in Edinburgh in January 2013?


Event of the month

Vikings!

Vikings! (18 January - 12 May 2013)

This new exhibition might challenge your preconceptions about the Vikings, if you're thinking "horned helmets and pillaging hordes". It features more than 500 Viking artifacts from the National Historical Museum in Stockholm; these precious objects are rarely seen outside Scandinavia and this will be the only chance to see them in the UK.- Find out more in our Vikings in Edinburgh blog post.


Mother Goose (1 - 20 January 2013) - The ever popular pantomime story of the goose that laid the golden egg, with star turns from Grant Stott and Andy Gray. - King's Theatre, 2 Leven Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9LQ - www.edtheatres.com/kings-theatre

The Loony Dook (1 January 2013) - Looking for a distinctive way to mark the start of the year? Or do you enjoy unorthodox New Year's Day hangover cures? Then the Loony Dook is for you. This great Edinburgh tradition involves nothing more complicated than running headlong into the icy waters of the North Sea, along with more than 1000 other maniacs in fancy dress. The event raises money for the RNLI, which seems very appropriate, so it's all for a good cause. - South Queensferry, Edinburgh - www.edinburghshogmanay.com/content/The-Loony-Dook/1459

Dirty Dancing (4 - 12 January 2013) - The musical adaptation of Dirty Dancing became the fastest selling West End show in history. Audiences will experience a live show that lives up to the film, full of heart-stirring music, romance and of course sexy dancing! Expect to have the time of your life. - The Edinburgh Playhouse, 18-22 Greenside Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3AA - www.edinburghplayhouse.org.uk

BUPA Great Winter Run (5 January 2013) - Like all of the Great Run events, this popular and welcoming race attracts runners of all abilities. Yes, the course sends you on a hilly circuit on the road around Arthur's Seat, but it's worth it for the stunning views over Edinburgh and across the Firth of Forth to Fife (try saying that three times quickly). Finishers will find a medal and a long sleeve shirt in their goody bag. It's worth sticking around afterwards to watch the world's elite athletes battle it out in the Great Edinburgh Cross Country race. (Don't believe us? Mo Farah won this race in 2011.) - Holyrood Park, Edinburgh - www.greatrun.org/Events/Event.aspx?id=2

Scottish Ballet: The Nutcracker (8 - 12 January 2013) - Tchaikovsky's Romantic score provides the music for this perennial Christmas favourite, based on ETA Hoffman's story Nutcracker and the King of Mice. It's worth booking in for one of the free pre-show talks with either of Scottish Ballet's Artistic or Music teams. - Festival Theatre, 13/29 Nicolson St, Edinburgh EH8 9FT - www.fctt.org.uk

Spin Doctors (23 January 2013) - In the early 1990s, this band's crowd-pleasing funk/rock/blues shot them to fame with hit single Two Princes. More than 20 years after the album that made their name, they're back on tour. If you remember them from first time around, this gig is a chance to indugle in a little nostalgia kick or guilty pleasure. For everyone else, it's a chance to find out what all the fuss was about. - HMV Picture House, 31 Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH1 2DJ - venues.meanfiddler.com/hmv-picture-house

Paloma Faith (29 January 2013) - Little known fact: retro pop maverick and occasional film star Paloma Faith used to work as a cabaret performer and magician's assistant, but has a background in theatre and dance (with undergraduate and Masters degrees to prove it). Some of this experience shows through in her spectacular live shows: extravagently theatrical costumes, a commanding stage presence and a real effort to connect with the audience. Her new songs have a more contemporary feel, with creative input from an intriguing roster of collaborators, so this should draw a varied audience to a great venue. - Usher Hall, Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH1 2EA - www.usherhall.co.uk

Bergen Philharmonic (31 January 2013) - One of the world's oldest orchestras performs a programme that includes Greig's Piano Concerto. Edvard Greig was actually artistic director of this orchestra for two years; this is.a rare chance to see the piece performed by an orchestra with such a direct lineage to the composer. - Usher Hall, Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH1 2EA - www.usherhall.co.uk

London January 2013

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What's on in London in January 2013?


Event of the month

London Boat Show

London Boat Show (12 – 20 January 2013)

From dinghies to luxury super yachts, the 2013 Tullett Prebon London Boat Show has everything you could ever want to equip yourself for a life on the high seas (or even lounging in the marina at the Monaco Grand Prix)- Find out more in our London Boat Show blog post.


Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 (now until 6 January 2013) - This is your last chance to see the exhibition of red carpet evening dresses, beautiful ballgrowns and catwalk showstoppers. The V&A opened the newly renovated Fashion Galleries which is displayed over two floors celebrating British Glamour since 1950. The exhibition covers 60 years of British design for all social occasions including royal balls and iconic award ceremonies. - Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL - www.vam.ac.uk

Fuerzabruta (27 December 2012 - 26 January 2013) - For a strictly limited four week period, Fuerzabruta is back thanks to popular demand. The show features mind blowing visual effects and is one theatrical experience that floods the senses. You may get dirty and you may get wet so prepare for sensory overload. - Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH - www.roundhouse.org.uk

Walking with Dinosaurs (2 - 6 January 2013) - Due to popular demand, the Walking with Dinosaurs arena spectacular is back for a short period of time. The programme is based on the award-winning BBC television series which sees Tyrannosaurs Rex stalk the stage with pre-historic friends. This show is set to inspire a new generation of palaeontologists and astound the rest of us! - O2 Arena, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 0DX- www.theo2.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=20&Itemid=122&eventId=2576

La Boheme (3, 5, 7, 10 and 18 January 2013) - Enjoy watching Puccin's most powerful opera in one of the world's most iconic opera houses. La Boheme will take audience members on a journeying of joy, heartbreak and tragedy, making it the ultimate romantic opera of all time. Luckily for Apex guests, the Royal Opera House is less than a ten minute walk from the Apex Temple Court Hotel. - Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD - www.roh.org.uk/productions/la-boheme-by-john-copley

Cirque Du Soleil's Kooza (5 January - 3 February 2013) - Premiering their new show in the UK, Cirque du Do Soleil returns this January with a sensational new show. Kooza is an exhilarating performance which is full of surprises, chills and thrills. Combining the two circus traditions of acrobatics and clowning in spectacular style, this is one show you don't want to miss. - Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP - www.royalalberthall.com

The Sleeping Beauty (9-19 January 2013) - Sleeping Beauty first premiered in 1890 and since then the romantic ballet has seen endless productions of this magical story. Schaufuss's version of this classic will feature top line talents including Irek Mukhamedov who was once titled 'the best dancer in the world'. The Sleeping Beauty at London Coliseum is set to be a production that personifies classic ballet. - London Coliseum, St. Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4ES - www.eno.org/see-whats-on/productions/production-page.php?itemid=2033

Walk around Charles Dickens' London (Selected dates in January 2013) - Explore a hidden London, through the eyes of Charles Dickens. Experience firsthand where the novelist lived and worked and witness some of the most evocative parts of the city. Running both evenings and mornings, the walk lasts approximately 2 hours and is easily accessed from all three Apex London Hotels. - location, street, city, postcode - www.dickensmuseum.com/events/night-walks/

Masters Snooker 2013 (15 -20 January 2013) - Calling all sports fans! This January will see Alexandra Place host one of snooker's most prestigious tournaments – The Masters. Witness the world's top 16 players all compete for the title where previous winners have includes the snooker's greats such as Steve David, Jimmy White and Ronnie O'Sullivan. - Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, London, N22 7AY - www.alexandrapalace.com/whats-on/master-snooker-2013/

The Active Travel Show (17-20 January 2013) - In association with National Geographic Traveller magazine, the Excel welcomes the UK's newest travel exhibition. This exhibition offers advice on active holidays and trips including everything from climbing to cycling, diving to trekking, overland adventures and everything in between. The show will feature tourist boards, bespoke travel operators and more travel experts you will ever find in one place. - ExCel London, One Western Gateway< Royal Victoria Dock, London, E16 1XL - www.theactivetravelshow.co.uk

TNA Wrestling – Maximum Impact (26 January 2013) - The TNA Wrestling tour hits the UK with maximum impact – and we mean that literally! Witness some the biggest superstars give each other the smack down and entertain the crowds. Wrestling legends Sting, Kurt Angle and Hulk Hogan are all due to make an appearance. - Wembley Arena, Arena Square, Engineers Way, London, HA9 OAA - www.impactwrestling.com/news/item/2679-England-Tour-Tickets-Are-On-Sale-Nottingham,-Manchester-and-London

She Sells Sanctuary

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She Sells Sanctuary

To ensure our lady guests can enjoy some real pampering time we have partnered with the Sanctuary Spa, and guests can enjoy an exlusive Apex Hotels discount. We sent our intrepid Marketing Executive Danica Smith to experience a day at the renowned spa. She was VERY reluctant to leave.

"My friends and I were looking forward to leaving the men at home and enjoying a girly day out and what an amazing day it was!

Set in the middle of London’s busy Covent Garden, the spa is a true sanctuary. As we left the Sanctuary shop below and entered the spa above, I felt the stresses of the London ease away.

We slipped on our luxurious robes and headed straight to the Koi Carp Lounge for a fruit platter and delicious berry smoothy. We could have spent the whole day relaxing in the cosy egg chairs, enjoying the sense of calm and serenity.

We then moved on and enjoyed a dip in the iconic Atrium Pool – it’s here that you can appreciate the spa’s size, spread over a number of floors.  We of course all had a go on the legendary swing, as did Shirley the Apex duck!
Shirley having a lovely time
Before we knew it, it was time for our treatments and I opted for the Sanctuary Massage, the ultimate in relaxation and pampering.

Next stop (and perfectly timed) was our complimentary sleep retreat session. This left us feeling deeply relaxed as we enjoyed the meditative experience - designed to reduce tension and revitalise both body and mind – and boy did it work!

We then treated ourselves to a delicious lunch and bottle of champagne, making us feel extra pampered. The rest of the afternoon was spent enjoying the spa’s luxurious facilities and of course more time spent in the Koi Carp lounge."

Please note, the Sanctuary is a ladies only spa.    

Quote 'Apex Hotels' when booking/purchasing to receive 10% off treatment bookings, 15% off spa packages and a whopping 20% off Sanctuary products and admission only passes.

Charity Coffee Morning in London

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Apex Hotels in London participate in World's Biggest Coffee Morning

On Friday 28 September Macmillan Cancer Support held their largest event of the year - The World's Biggest Coffee Morning. The purpose of the event was to raise funds to help people living with cancer and Apex Hotels sure did their bit to get involved.

Apex Hotels staff at Macmillan Cancer Support's World's Biggest Coffee Morning

All three London Apex Hotels hosted coffee mornings and encouraged locals to come along with friends, family and colleagues to show their support and join in the fun.

The chefs and their teams mastered up scrumptious cakes from scratch, naughtily nice cup cakes that were to die for and pastries fluffy enough to make the French proud. Luckily for the passing by commuters there were take away options too, ensuring no one missed out.

Visitors to the coffee morning were asked to make a contribution whilst we had a number of staff (all wearing Macmillan green T-shirts) hit the pavements to drive more donations. Through the hard efforts of the Apex Hotels' staff and the generosity of Londoners, we are proud to announce through the Macmillan coffee morning events we managed to raise £635.00.

Tasting new Heights menu

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Tasting New Heights Menu

The Head Chef of Heights Restaurant at the Apex International Hotel in Edinburgh has unveiled his new menu and before you continue reading we advise you to have a napkin to hand as your mouth is going to water. A lot.

Heights' Head Chef unveils his latest menu

With its amazing views of Edinburgh Castle you could hardly ask for a better backdrop for an evening of taste bud stimulation culinary adventure. Regulars to Heights will be well aware that John and has team are never short on new ideas and their commitment was recently recognised with the restaurant retaining its two AA Rosettes at the AA Awards.

This autumn John has created a menu that celebrates Scotland’s excellent larder in the height of the gaming season and blends classic and modern dishes with subtle twists.

We hope you have that napkin to hand as here comes a flavour of what you can look forward to.

Haggis bon-bon, potato purée, swede foam is a firm favourite with the haggis rolled in oatmeal to give a lasting finish. The red wine jus, potato purée ensures the dish isn’t too dry.

The Baked fig and Sainte-Maure goat’s cheese tart, elderberry reduction, micro salad is delicious. The sweetness of the fig and the elderberry balances out the bitterness of the goat’s cheese.

The Slow braised Scottish beef cheeks, horseradish, caramelised shallots, salsify crisps features beef that has been marinated for 48 hours then slowly cooked for 12 hours.

The Highland venison, cavolo nervo and carrot, bitter chocolate, golden sultanas (gf) is a delicious ‘gamey’ dish. The bitter chocolate sauce complements the meaty flavour perfectly. This dish epitomises chef’s desire to source in-season Scottish fayre.

Those with a sweet tooth will love the Chocolate pistachio fondant, milk ice cream (n). This chocolate sponge pudding is light with a soft chocolate centre and the chopped pistachio nuts give texture.  The milk ice cream tones down the fondant’s sweetness.

You can view the full menu here.

Heights Restaurant is open Thursday – Saturday from 7.00pm.