Apex Hotels Blog

We are the Mighty Ducks

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We are Mighty Ducks

A team of enthusiastic runners from Apex Hotels are looking forward to a quacking good time as they prepare to take part in the annual 2014 Hotelympia 10K run in London on 27 April.

We are the Mighty Ducks

This year the Hotelympia 10K is set to be the biggest and best yet with 2014 runners set to sign up and mark the 2014 race.

Known as the Apex Mighty Ducks, as a nod to the colourful, iconic ducks that can be found in each hotel, the Apex team is made up of nine of the company’s sportiest employees, including Managing Director Angela Vickers. The team will be conserving their energy ahead of the start as the 10K begins at the ExCel London which is close and convenient to the company’s three London Hotels.

The Apex Mighty Ducks team have entered the Hotelympia 10K run to raise money for The Springboard Charity which helps young, unemployed and disadvantaged people to improve their prospects for economic well-being.

The charity provides opportunities for sustainable employment, and vibrant careers across hospitality, leisure and tourism. Apex Hotels have built up a fruitful partnership with Springboard over the years, having hosted many awareness and networking events with the charity.

Among those representing the Apex Mighty Ducks are Andrew Jacques, IT Director and a pro on the cycling trail; Tony Mullen, a HR Manager who is known for his quick running times; and marathon veteran Karl Mitchell, the General Manager of Apex Temple Court Hotel who ran the London to Brighton 100K Challenge last year.

Follow all the latest race news on Twitter @Hotelympia10K or on Facebook

To help show your support for third amazing cause, please click here to make a donation.

To find out more about Springboard and their life-changing work visit their website.

London April 2014

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What's on in London in April 2014

Event of the Month

The London Marathon

The London Marathon (13 April)

This April London will open its doors to host one of the most iconic events of the year – the London Marathon. Millions of people from all over the world will watch, scream and cheer on the runners from street corners and pubs right across the city. Such is the popularity of the race that some people even call it London’s 26.2 mile street party.

We're so lucky here at Apex, as the marathon route is right on the doorstep of the Apex City of London Hotel. We’ll be making sure that Edwin – the hotel’s duck in residence – will be there to applaud the runners as they whizz (or in some cases limp) past.

Some supporters may choose to run from the sidelines to show their support, or like the most of us, will choose to just cheer in admiration from the sidelines. Whatever you do, this is one London event you do not want to miss.

Luckily for our Apex City of London guests, the biggest crowds of spectators gather at Tower Bridge, which is less than a 1 minute walk away from the hotel.

Or you may choose to watch the emotional finish as the runner cross the line in front of Buckingham Palace. Make sure to experience this legendary race; gather your friends and family and enjoy this great day out with a fantastic atmosphere.

Location: All around London

Website: virginlondonmarathon.com

Easter in London (18 - 21 April)

Spend the first UK bank holiday of the year in London and make it an unforgettable Easter. With a whole host of Easter bunnies and treats for the whole family, the capital has so much to offer this Easter. Enjoy Easter egg hunts at Cutty Sark, V&A Museum and Kew Gardens - after all it wouldn't be Easter without a traditional egg hunt.

Location: All around London

Website: virginlondonmarathon.com

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk (9 - 17 April)

Experience the first exhibition devoted to the icon that is Jean Paul Gaultier - France's most rebellious and iconic designer. The exhibition will feature 140+ outfits from the past four decades as well as never-before-seen footage of catwalk shows and concert performances displaying Gaultier's much lauded designs. Luckily for Apex London Wall's's guests, the Barbican is just a five minute walk from the hotel.

Location: Barbican Centre, London, EC27 8DS

Website: barbican.org.uk

Feast of St George in Trafalgar Square (21 April)

Celebrate St George's Day at the annual Feast of St George in Trafalgar Square this bank holiday. The feast of traditional English fare is a free and fun day out for the whole family. With an English farmer's market selling delicious treats, like hog roast and homemade pies, and a kids marquee full of activities and an outdoor games area, this is one festival not to miss.

Location: Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DS

Website: london.gov.uk

Explore the City's gardens and churches (Ever Saturday and Sunday in April)

Want to explore the real London? Then experience the award-winning tour and discover London's finest historic gardens and churchyards. Taking place every weekend, the walking tour starts at 1.30pm by St Paul's Cathedral and will provide two hours of historic insights into the City of London.

Location: The City of London

Website: cityoflondonguides.com

London Coffee Festival (3 - 6 April)

The London Coffee Festival is back and is a great place to discover, experience and indulge in artisan coffee. The festival attracts more than 15,000 coffee devotees, food lovers and professional baristas and is full of coffee-fuelled activities. Love your coffee? Then is one event you must check out.

Location: The Old Truman Brewery, London EC1 6QL

Website: londoncoffeefestival.com

Oxford V Cambridge Boat Race (6 April)

The first University Boat Race was held in 1829, and has grown to become one of the oldest sporting competitions in the world -- and a favourite date in London's calendar. For the 160th time, Oxford will faced Cambridge in this prominent boat race. Enjoy the race from one of the many riverside pubs - the perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Location: River Thames, between Putney Bridge and Chiswick Bridge

Website: theboatrace.org

English National Ballet: Lest We Forget (2 - 12 April)

Located conveniently close to all three London Apex Hotels, The English National ballet's artist director, Tamara Rojo has created a new performance, inspired by the First World War. Commissioned by Britain's top choreographers, this programme entwines classical ballet and contemporary dance in an exciting blend of techniques that is promised to be as touching as it is inspirational.

Location: Barbican Centre, London EC27 8DS

Website: barbican.org.uk

Silent Disco at The View from The Shard (1-2 April)

Silent disco is a craze that has gripped London revellers across the city. Now you can experience the silent disco phenomenon at new heights and dance the night away in Europe's tallest building. Pick your channels and watch three DJs battle it out, playing the best in rock, pop and part classics.

Location: The Shard, London SE1 9SG

Website: theviewfromtheshard.com

International Pillow Fight Day (5 April)

Take part in the world's biggest pillow fight and help put some fun back into the city's public spaces this April. People and pillows from all over the world will be getting involved in this annual festival as London's mass feathery fight will take place under Nelson's column. Make sure not to use any Apex pillows though.

Location: Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DS

Website: timeout.com

Dundee April 2014

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What's on in Dundee in April 2014

Event of the Month

Dundee Rep Children's Festival

Children’s Festival (4 April to 11 April)

Give the kids a treat this spring at Dundee’s Children’s Festival. Now in its third year, the Children’s Festival features puppetry, drama and circus performances suitable for ages 0 and upwards. Aliens Love Underpants opens the festival – a story brought to life for a stage production which is sure to make you laugh your pants off.

Celeste’s Circus and Gingerbread Man follow suit with their absorbing tales for all the family to enjoy. Re-live Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped, especially adapted for younger audiences and full of storytelling and imagination. Bringing the festival to a dramatic close is a dance production brought to you by the Scottish Dance Theatre. Innocence invites children on stage to join the dancers on a magical journey.

Location: Dundee Rep, Tay Square, Dundee, DD1 1PB

Website: skiddle.com

Royal Shakespeare Company: Richard II (14 April)

David Tennant stars in the screening of the stage production of a classic Shakespearean tale, Richard II, directed by Gregory Doran. A five-star production which brings history to life, it is being screened only a half hour drive from Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa.

Location: Odeon Cinema, 1 Whimbrell Place, Fife Leisure Park, Dunfermline, Fife, KY11 8EX

Website: list.co.uk

Dundee Record, CD and Music Memorabilia Fair (6 April)

Calling all music lovers...Scotland’s longest running Music Fair is coming to Dundee. Rare, collectible and bargain vinyl and CDs will be available, and you’ll also have the opportunity to sell your own items. Entry is £1.00 which is refundable against any purchase over £10.00.

Location: Marryat Hall, Dundee

Website: cairdhall.co.uk

Charity Garden Opening @ Duntrune House (18 March – 25 May)

EEnjoy some peace and quiet at Duntrune House at their charity garden opening. This forms part of a project to encourage people to visit Scotland’s beautiful gardens. Be enveloped in stunning surroundings and experience true tranquillity.

Location: Duntrune, Dundee, DD4 0PJ

Website: list.co.uk

Navid Nuur: Renderender (29 March – 15 June 2014)

Navid Nuur unveils his new show of unique and subjective pieces in Dundee Contemporary Arts. Featuring key, distinctive works of art including a wall painted created from the ashes of 2500 boxes of matches.

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

Website: list.co.uk

Edinburgh April 2014

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What's on in Edinburgh in April 2014

Event of the Month

 Edinburgh Science Festival | Image: Chris Scott

Edinburgh International Science Festival (5 April – 20 April 2014)

This April Edinburgh hosts one of Europe’s largest science and technology festivals, The Edinburgh International Science Festival. The festival has been going strong since 1989 and features an inspiring mix of events, activities and talks designed to encourage us all to discover more about the worlds of science and technology.

The festival consists of a range of paid and free events across various locations in Edinburgh. Please note that whilst some events are free, you may still need to contact the Box Office to book tickets for these events. To find out more about The Edinburgh International Science Festival, click here to view the programme, or follow the link below to view the website.

Location: Various venues across Edinburgh

Website: sciencefestival.co.uk  

Observers’ Walks (Runs until 29 April)

Get out and explore Edinburgh with this innovative and interactive audio guide created by The Collective Gallery. Simply head over to the website, download the audio guide and discover the monuments of Calton Hill. You’ll be led on an exciting and absorbing audio adventure, gaining new insight into Edinburgh’s past. This is ideal for those staying at Apex Waterloo Place Hotel and is completely free.

Location: Various venues across Edinburgh

Website: collectivegallery.net

Manic Street Preachers (3 April)

Get down to The Corn Exchange this April for some gloriously anthemic rock courtesy of Wales’ finest rockers, the Manic Street Preachers. The band will be showcasing songs from their new album Rewind the Film, as well as playing their hits. The Corn Exchange is easily accessible from Edinburgh City Centre via Bus and Taxi.

Location: The Corn Exchange,11 Newmarket Road, Edinburgh, EH14 1RJ

Website: list.co.uk

Peppa Pig's Big Splash (12 – 13 April)

Treat the kids to a special trip to the theatre for Peppa Pig’s Big Splash. Peppa Pig is a huge hit with kids and they’ll be kept entertained with a show that will have them singing and dancing along with Peppa and the gang. The King’s Theatre is a short walk from the Grassmarket, making it ideal for those staying at the Apex International and Apex City Hotels.

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

Website: edtheatres.com

Doug Allan: In the Company of Giants (13 April)

Doug Allan is one of the UK’s best wildlife photographers. Working with David Attenborough on the hit wildlife documentaries, Blue Planet, Planet Earth and Ocean Giants; Doug has been within touching distance of an incredible array of wildlife. Join Doug for an intimate evening at the Lyceum as he discusses his encounters with nature’s giants. The Lyceum is a five minute walk from our Apex International and Apex City Hotels: perfect for a night at the theatre.

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

Website: lyceum.org.uk

RSC Encore: Richard II (15 - 17 April)

This is an exciting opportunity to see the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Richard II. This was the RSC’s fastest selling show in its history, and features the incredible acting talent of David Tennant. The Cameo is ideally situated between our properties on Edinburgh’s Grassmarket and the Apex European Hotel at Haymarket.

Location: Cameo Cinema, Edinburgh, EH3 9LZ

Website: picturehouses.co.uk

Beltane Fire Festival (30 April)

The Beltane Fire Festival is a thrilling festival inspired by the ancient Gaelic festival of Beltane which traditionally marks the beginning of summer. The modern festival takes place on top of Calton Hill and is a vibrant spring celebration featuring pagan characters such as the May Queen and the Green Man. Guests at our Apex Waterloo Place Hotel will be ideally located for this thrilling spectacle, as Calton Hill is located a short walk from the hotel.

Location: Calton Hill, Edinburgh

Website: beltanefiresociety.wordpress.com

Dundee March 2014

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What's on in Dundee in March 2014

Event of the Month

 Italian Film Festival Scotand

Italian Film Festival Scotland (7 – 20 March)

If you’re a fan of all things film, don’t miss this opportunity to see the highlights of Italian Cinema as part of the Italian Film Festival Scotland. You’ll be able to catch the pick of Italian film at Dundee’s Contemporary Arts Centre. Highlights include the classic, “The Great War” by Mario Monicelli and political drama, “long Live Freedom” by Roberto Ando.

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

Website: italianfilmfestival.org.uk

Brendan Cole: License to Thrill (16 March)

If you’re a fan of the hugely popular strictly come dancing, you’ll no doubt be aware of dancing superstar, Brendan Cole. Don’t miss this opportunity to see Brendan performing his brand new dance spectacular at the Caird Hall. You’ll be treated to an enthralling evening of ballroom magic and spectacular Latin dance routines by this extremely talented dancer and performer.

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

Website: cairdhall.co.uk

Royal Ballet: The Sleeping Beauty (19 March)

Experience the prestigious Royal Ballet - from the comfort of your cinema seat - as they showcase their signature work, The Sleeping Beauty. This classic fairytale tells the story of Aurora and her charming prince who wakes her from the deepest of sleeps. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to witness a live ballet performance by one of the premier UK ballet companies.

Location: Dundee Cineworld and Odeon Cinemas.

Website: list.co.uk

Resolution Run 5k/10k (16 March)

Did you make a resolution at the start of the year to get out and active? Are you struggling to find the motivation? Dundee’s Resolution Run may be the perfect event to enter to help you realise your fitness goals. This run has an option of 5km or 10km and you can change distances on the day if you feel you’re up to a bigger (or smaller) challenge.

Location: Location: Camperdown County Park, Dundee.

Website: stroke.org.uk

London March 2014

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What's on in London in March 2014

Event of the Month

690x300-lon-blog-march14

Watch Tower Bridge Go Up (6 & 7 March)

One of the world’s most iconic structure, Tower Bridge is a must see on any tourist trip to London. Standing proudly over the Thames, Tower Bridge allows access to and from the Upper Pool of London for vessels reaching over 9m. The rising of the bridge is an experience not to be missed and, best of all, you can see it for free on both 6 March (7.30, 8.30 and 11.30pm) and 7 March (12.15am).

Location: Tower Bridge, London.

Website: towerbridge.org.uk

Tower Bridge Engineering Tour

If you’re looking to discover the history behind the bridge, to see the original Victorian Engine Rooms and also to experience striking panoramic views over St. Paul’s Cathedral - the Tower Bridge Engineering Tour will take you behind the scenes giving you a full insight into this world-famous attraction.

Location: Tower Bridge, London

Website: towerbridge.org.uk

St Patrick's Day Parade (16 March)

Witness a colourful parade of floats and marching bands with London’s 13th St. Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday 16 March. Starting at 12.00pm from Piccadilly and continuing to Whitehall, this magnificent event attracts over 100,000 tourists. There will also be a feast of Irish entertainment at Trafalgar Square after the parade with various performances, a food market and a comedy tent.

Location: Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DS.

Website: londontown.com

Russel Brand: Messiah Complex (2 March)

Russell Brand is back on stage for one night with this spectacular piece of comedy focusing on a disorder where the sufferer thinks they may be God. As always Russell’s cheeky humour combined with a quick wit, is sure to be a night of loud laughs.

Location: Theatre Royal Drury Lane (near Apex Temple Court).

Website: reallyusefultheatres.com

The Sleeping Beauty (Selected dates in March)

A classic fairy tale adapted into a stunning ballet performance. Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score creates an atmosphere that is sure to draw the audience into this wonderfully told tale of a cursed princess and the handsome prince who awakens her.

Location: Royal Opera House, London.

Website: roh.org.uk

Richard Hamilton at Tate Modern (13 February - 26 May 2014)

A key artist in the birth of pop art, Richard Hamilton was seen as one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century. Experience the full scope of Hamilton’s work at Tate Modern.

Location: Tate Modern, London, SE1 9TG. (5 minute walk from Apex Temple Court)

Website: tate.org.uk

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

Visit a landmark exhibition personally selected and printed portraits from David Bailey. As one of the world’s most distinguished and distinctive photographers, David Bailey captured both famous and anonymous faces throughout his career and is giving visitors the opportunity to experience this extraordinary display.

Location: National Portrait Gallery, London, EC2H 0HE.

Website: npg.org.uk

The Great Spitalfields Pancake Race (4 March)

Get practising your pancake flipping for this event. All you need is your best flipping saucepan and three friends and you can join in the race. Flip your pancake as you run through the heats and into the grand finale for your chance to win an engraved frying pan. If you’re not so good at flipping you can always dress up and be in for a chance of best-dressed team.

Location: Old Truman Brewery (Less than a 10 minute walk from Apex London Wall Hotel)

Website: trumanbrewery.com

GQ Comedy Extravaganza (10 March)

Calling all comedy lovers...get down to the Apollo for the 3rd annual GQ Comedy Extravaganza. With appearances from all your favourites such as Omid Djalili, Russell Kane, Jason Byrne and many more, this is sure to be a night of great entertainment and laughs.

Location: Evantim Apollo

Website: eventimapollo.com

Sir John Sloane's Museum by Candlelight (4 March)

A truly intriguing house, filled with Sir John’s collection of artefacts, antiques and works of art from around the world. This night time tour is a fantastically popular (and free) event so make sure you’re in line early to witness this magical tour by candlelight.

Location: Sir John Soane’s Museum

Website: soane.org

Ideal Home Show (14 - 20 March)

Are you looking for some home decorating inspiration? Or just fancy a great day out? The Ideal Home Show is coming to London’s Earl Court for its 106th year’s event. Expected to be the biggest and best event to date.

Location: Earls Court Exhibition Centre, SW5 9TA.

Website: idealhomeshow

The Head of the RIver Race (29 March)

Witness a race along the Thames at the annual Head of the River Race. Over 400 teams of eight are taking part this year which, combined with fast paced action and a competitive atmosphere, is sure to make this 4 ½ mile race a highly anticipated event for all.

Location: Along the Thames from Mortlake to Putney, London, TW9 4EN.

Website: horr.co.uk

Edinburgh March 2014

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What's on in Edinburgh in March 2014

Event of the Month

Union by Tim Barrow

Union (20 March – 12 April 2014)

2014 is a big year for Scotland and there is sure to be one question on everyone’s mind this year. Whatever your opinion on the Independence debate, the Lyceum’s production of Union is sure to offer thought provoking insight into our relationship with our neighbours across the border, England.

Written by the talented Tim Barrow, Union tells the story of the Act of Union of 1707 and examines our early relationship with England. You’ll be lead on an energetic and exciting romp through bawdy Scottish taverns, elegant royal palaces and the original Scottish Parliament. The Lyceum is a short walk from our Apex City and International properties, so you’ll be perfectly located to enjoy a night at the theatre.

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

Website: lyceum.org.uk

NT Encore: Coriolanus (6 March)

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to see the National Theatre’s live production of Coriolanus as the Cameo cinema brings the magic of the West End to Edinburgh. This live stage production will be broadcast live from the Donmar Warehouse and features the fantastic acting talent of rising star Tom Hiddleston and Sherlock writer and actor, Mark Gatiss.

Location: Cameo Cinema, Edinburgh, EH3 9LZ

Website: picturehouses.co.uk

Brendan Cole: License to Thrill (17 March)

If you’re a fan of the hugely popular strictly come dancing, you’ll no doubt be aware of dancing superstar, Brendan Cole. Don’t miss this opportunity to see Brendan performing his brand new dance spectacular at the Festival Theatre. You’ll be treated to an enthralling evening of ballroom magic and spectacular Latin dance routines by this extremely talented dancer and performer.

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

Website: edtheatres.com

Hardeep Singh Kohli: Hardeep is Your Love (21 March)

Join comedian, broadcaster, journalist and chef, Hardeep Sign Kohli as he brings you his unique wit. This show follows on from another successful year at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe where this show enjoyed a limited run. This show will leave you tickled as Hardeep tackles some of the big issues of middle age.

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

Website: edtheatres.com

Hidden Door Festival (28 March – 5 April 2014)

The Hidden Door Festival is a unique arts festival that takes place over 9 nights and features 70 artists in Edinburgh’s disused vaults. This exciting pop up arts extravaganza incorporates live theatre, cinema, music and spoken word from the best breakthrough creative talent that Scotland has to offer. This exciting event is only a short walk from Apex Waterloo Place Hotel.

Location: Market Street, Edinburgh.

Website: hiddendoor.org

Edinburgh's Festival of Ireland (11 March – 16 March)

Get ready for St Patrick’s Day and enjoy some of the Irish inspired activities offered by this family-friendly arts festival. This unique arts festival is a celebration of Edinburgh’s own Irish community and they’ll be plenty of opportunities to enjoy dance, story and song with a refreshing pint of Guinness.

Location: Multiple Venues around Edinburgh.

Website: edinburghsfestivalofireland.org