Rich Mix is a flexible, interesting venue, very handily located less than 100metres from Shoreditch High Street Overground Station. It has a theatre space and a bar on the 4th floor, holding around 100 people comfortably. The ground floor has a licensed bar in a space suitable for theatre, dance or live music and this area can accommodate many more. The first floor is a mezzanine, looking down over the stage. There are three cinema screens on the floors in between and there is also an Indian restaurant/café on the premises.
What really makes this venue, is the variety and diversity of the cultural events that are put on here. If you look at the programme for the coming month alone, there is theatre, dance, live bands, open mic nights, story-telling evenings, political events, family events, not to mention the films showing in the cinema, where it is one of the venues hosting the London Film Festival. It is also a venue for London Dance Umbrella Festival.
There mezzanine doubles as an art gallery and currently hosts a multimedia exhibition: Black Pride. Among upcoming exhibitions are “Hard to Read” bringing together art and poetry, and another depicting illustrations of Syrian refugees. There are weekend markets with different themes, one in December is specifically for independent potters and ceramicists.
An adaptable venue, embracing the local community, accommodating the art scene and enhancing London’s rich cultural diversity.
Here is a restaurant and bar complex with the Wow! factor. This really is a hidden gem. Its address is Piccadilly Circus because it is underneath it, but to find Brasserie Zedel, you need to stand on the corner between Regent Street and Shaftsbury Avenue and look up the narrower street between them. Its entrance is actually in Glasshouse street, you will see a few tables and chairs outside, under a red awning. Enter the unassuming looking café with and descend the circular staircase and you will arrive at a subterranean vestibule that looks like the set of a 1950s French film.
This alone is surprising, it has a number of doors and passages off it. One for coats, one for toilettes, one with a dinner suited man inviting you to the Bar Americaine, a post WWII, French/American style cocktail bar. One of the doors leads to Brasserie Zedel, a huge opulent ornate dining room, replicating a high end Parisian restaurant from some more glamourous era.
The room is very big and it is decorated in pink marble, polished chrome and mirrors, which makes it seems even larger when you first enter. It is busy and noisy and you feel like you have stepped into some hidden world. It is hard to believe that you are beneath Piccadilly Circus.
The menu is French, and in French but our waiter offered to translate, if we needed. The food is good, without being as spectacular as the surroundings. The prices are reasonable for central London and there appears to be some good value fixe price offers available. Despite its size, it is worth booking or there is a good chance that you will eat sitting at the bar, this is perfectly comfortable place to eat, but if you come here, you will want to get the full experience.
It has a nice wine and cocktail list, many good wines by the glass and wine by the bottle seemed good value for the quality. The service is good, although there are so many staff that you will be served by many different people on the one visit.
Our experience here has been good, and it is very handily situated if you are looking for somewhere to eat, either before or after the theatre.
The real reason to go here, however, is for the amazement of your party when you bring them into such an astonishing venue, so centrally located, in the heart of London.
Rising Stars is a showcase for up and coming music artists. The events are organised by Time Out and take place in famous venues around London.
On May 17th at 229 The Venue, Great Portland Street, the bands I saw were: Emily Capell, David Stewart, Saint Agnes and Jackaman.
Emily Capell is a singer/songwriter with a good voice, witty songs and a good stage presence. Her songs are poppy and catchy and have a nice sing-along feel to them.
David Stewart has a really strong voice, writes clever (sometimes harsh) lyrics and has great delivery. He exudes confidence and appears very relaxed on stage.
Saint Agnes are a prog rock, riff heavy band. Their songs were fantastic, great vocals, good harmonies. Their guitar riffs were excellent. They were visually interesting and really got the crowd moving. They got the best reaction of the night and I will definitely go to see them again.
Jackaman are an Indie rock outfit fronted by Lynne Jackaman who used to front St. Jude. They are on the rockier side of Indie and their songs and vocals are strong. Very enjoyable.
Rising Stars nights happen around London about 6 or 7 times a year. They are not expensive to get into and from what I have seen the music is always high quality. It is a great way of getting to see new live bands and a very good value night out.
The photo is of the band Saint Agnes