The Montcalm Blog

Watch films while mingling with the stars at Madame Tussauds

London has always been a good place for a bit of star-spotting, with many of the world's biggest A-list celebs either living or hanging out in the city. Of course, if you don't manage to track any down then there's … Continue reading

Posted in London Events | Leave a comment

Experience classical Indian music on the South Bank

London’s South Bank has for many years had a reputation as a global hub of culture, with all genres of art represented here, from music to theatre and everything in between. Performers and artists from around the world regularly appear … Continue reading

Posted in London Events | Leave a comment

Get under the skin of the capital at Open House London

Aside from all of the fantastic interactive attractions that London has to offer, one thing that makes the city so special is its appearance, boasting one of the most impressive and iconic skylines in the world. However, while being surrounded by such an amazing mix of historic and cutting edge buildings may be a real thrill for some visitors, the truth is that most people know very little about the architecture of London.

If you'd like to really get under the skin of the city and learn all about London's design and architecture then Open House London could well be the event for you. Since its inception back in 1992, it has become one of the most intriguing and popular weekends on the capital's cultural calendar, and is full of fascinating highlights that are as interesting to locals as they are to tourists.

Essentially, Open House is all about opening up the doors to the city's private buildings, giving the public a chance to catch a glimpse of the insides of some of the structures that feature so prominently on the famous London skyline. This is complimented by a series of guided walks, talks and other activities to help provide further insight into the history and architecture of the buildings and the city as a whole.

Taking place on September 20th and 21st, this year's edition of Open House will once again see a huge number of fantastic buildings take part in the initiative. Most of these are totally free to enter and no reservations are required, although access to the most popular venues will be available only to the winners of a ballot.

Among these is 10 Downing Street, the home of the prime minister. So, if you fancy taking a walk around the private residence of the one of the most high-profile heads of state in the world, be sure to enter the ballot now.

Of course, after seeing some of London's most elegant buildings, you'll want to make sure you have somewhere equally stylish to stay, which is why the Montcalm London Marble Arch is the perfect hotel to check into.

Continue reading

Posted in London Events | Leave a comment

Step into the world of Sherlock Holmes in London

Ever since Arthur Conan Doyle first introduced the world to Sherlock Holmes at the end of the 19th century, the famous sleuth has remained at the forefront of popular culture, solving mysteries both on the page and the screen, and captivating readers and audiences around the globe.

However, while Holmes and his sidekick Watson may have a reputation for being able to crack even the toughest of cases, the fact remains that the characters remain somewhat shrouded in mystery themselves, with very few people being aware of the detective's background.

For instance, what inspired Conan Doyle to create him, and what elements of Victorian society is he supposed to represent.

The good news is that all will be revealed later this year, thanks to a fantastic new exhibit at the superb Museum of London, dedicated entirely to Sherlock Holmes.

Opening on October 17th and running for six months, the display will transport visitors back to Victorian London, enabling them to step into the world of the famous detective and discover exactly what it is that makes him tick.

Using photography, early film, paintings and original artefacts, the exhibit – which is the first to focus exclusively on Sherlock Holmes in more than 60 years – aims to shed light on the influences which led Arthur Conan Doyle to create the crime-solving duo.

At the same time, the display will attempt to enlighten visitors as to how Holmes has remained so popular even to this day, by indicating the ways in which he relates to our lives and appeals to our imaginations, more than a century after he was first created.

The Museum of London is located within the so-called Square Mile of the City of London, and is surrounded by a number of Victorian buildings that provide the perfect backdrop to a journey into the world of Sherlock Holmes.

It is also easily accessible from many of London's top hotels, so there really is no excuse not to visit when this fantastic exhibit is on.

Continue reading

Posted in London Events | Leave a comment

Learn all about how The Simpsons and Futurama are made at the Science Museum

The Simpsons and Futurama are two of the most popular animated television shows ever created, and the fact that they are written and produced by the same team is no coincidence. Indeed, the makers of these two cultural phenomena have … Continue reading

Posted in London Events | Leave a comment

Brad Pitt and Benedict Cumberbatch to appear at London Film Festival

You don't have to travel all the way to Hollywood to experience the glitz and glamour of the movie world, as there are loads of fantastic cinematic opportunities to be enjoyed right here in London. Indeed, Leicester Square regularly plays host to the European premiere of blockbuster hits, giving fans the chance to see their favourite stars on the red carpet.

However, there is one event that trumps them all, and that is the prestigious British Film Institute (BFI) London Film Festival (LFF).

Held each October, the festival is considered to be one of the best events of its kind in the world, attracting a host of stars and featuring a superb array of movie screenings, talks, presentations and much more.

This year's LFF will kick off on October 8th, and, as has become tradition, will last for 12 days, finishing on the 19th of the month.

Anyone who has been eagerly awaiting the release of the festival's programme will be thrilled to hear that organisers have recently announced that the closing night will feature a screening of the upcoming World War II movie Fury, starring Brad Pitt and directed by David Ayer – both of whom will be in attendance in London on the night.

Telling the story of an army sergeant who takes his tank crew on a mission behind enemy lines, the film has been described by LFF director Clare Stewart as "a resounding cinematic success".

Of course, this is just one of the many amazing movies that are set to be screened at the festival, and fans of English actor Benedict Cumberbatch will no doubt be interested to hear that the star is lined up to appear on the opening night, when his new movie The Imitation Game – which tells the story of World War II codebreaker Alan Turing – will receive its premiere.

Screenings and other events will be held at the BFI centre on the South Bank, as well is in Leicester Square, both of which are easy to access from all central London hotels.

Continue reading

Posted in London Events | Leave a comment

London buses to get free wi-fi

London has always been a world leader when it comes to innovative transport solutions, with the world's very first subterranean railway having been built here. Indeed, it's now more than a century and a half since the London Underground first … Continue reading

Posted in London Getaways | Leave a comment

Discover the role played by London Zoo in WWI

As most people are aware, 2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of the first world war, and in honour of the occasion, a number of London's top attractions and landmarks are holding special events that provide an insight into … Continue reading

Posted in London Events | Leave a comment

Chiltern Firehouse named London’s top restaurant

Dining in London is always a terrific experience, with a host of the world's best restaurants to be found in the capital.

Indeed, whether you're looking for something cheap and cheerful, exotic and unusual or downright extravagant, all tastes are well catered for here, so you can be sure that there's never any danger of going hungry.

In fact, there are so many amazing places to eat that the only problem is that it can often be difficult to choose one – which is why the good people at Time Out have created a list of the 100 best restaurants in London.

At the very top of the pile is the hugely popular Chiltern Firehouse, where diners are treated not only to the very finest food they're ever likely to taste, but a wonderful all-round experience.

Located in Marylebone on the West End, the restaurant is set in an old Victorian fire station, with the Grade II listed building providing a unique and exciting place for a meal.

The venue is owned and run by one of the world's most respected restaurateurs, Andre Balazs, whose other projects include the likes of Chateau Marmont in Hollywood and the Mercer Hotel in New York.

As a result, the Chiltern Firehouse has been immensely popular ever since it opened, and has become something of a favourite among A-list celebrities – so you can be sure of having some pretty refined company if you manage to get a table at this prestigious eatery.

The open kitchen enables guests to watch the chefs at work as they employ some of the most innovative cooking techniques picked up from around the world to create a range of dishes that feature influences from a number of global cuisines.

So, next time you're in the capital and feel like dining in style, a trip to London's number one restaurant could well be in order – just make sure you've made your reservation well in advance if you want to get a table!

Continue reading

Posted in London Leisure | Leave a comment

Selfridges Christmas store already up and running

London is a fantastic place to be if you're a shopaholic at all times of year, although even the most obsessed retail fanatic probably wouldn't dream of starting their Christmas shopping in August. However, if you do fancy getting a … Continue reading

Posted in London Events | Leave a comment

Step into a mind-altering world at Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens has long been considered a world leader when it comes to botanical knowledge and research, and is the place to be if you like the idea of discovering the most exotic plants and ecosystems on the planet without … Continue reading

Posted in London Events | Leave a comment

Pay tribute to Robin Williams at the Peter Pan monument in London

Following the tragic news of the death of one of the greatest comedians and actors of all time, fans of Robin Williams around the world will be paying tribute to him by reliving some of the greatest on-screen moments of … Continue reading

Posted in London Getaways | Leave a comment