Culture - Conviviality - Cocktails
Salon for the City is an Antique Beat produced series taking a look at London through a different lens on the last Thursday of each month at the Westminster Arts Reference Library.
WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT THE SALON FOR THE CITY:
"Loved speaking at this event - marvellous location in the heart of Westminster - and all the questions from a curious, cosmopolitan, engaged audience."
Lee Jackson (Victorian London)
"A beautiful library, deucedly good speakers, a laid-back atmosphere, a spellbinding evening and the kind of Q&A session that'll have you fumbling for your notebook. A whole heap of London...it's a recipe that's only equalled by the fabulous gin cocktails handed out to those lucky enough to get a ticket."
Matt Brown (Editor at large Londonist)
"Salon for the City" proves that people still crave unique, transient, live and challenging events in a world of digitally cloned disconnected mulch.
Dave McKeen (Artist and illustrator)
"I am a superfan of Salon for the City and I try to attend every month if I can. The array of speakers and their insight is really fantastic and offers a wealth of little known information on London and its peculiar history. I would recommend this series for anyone who is insatiably curious about the metropolis.”
Amber Jane Butchard (Fashion historian)
"I’ve had the pleasure of having spoken at two Salons for the City but equally – if not more so – I’ve attended many other Salons on a range of topics. Every time it’s been a joy to attend a Salon, whether in front of an audience or as part of one.
Why so? Well, with regards to speaking at a Salon, I’ve twice had interesting co-speakers to work with, a curious and knowledgeable audience keen to ask questions and also a great host. Stephen is one of the best hosts and MCs I’ve ever seen - knowledgeable, witty and never failing to put speakers completely at their ease. It’s fascinating watching him at work, seeing how relaxed he is in front of an audience and trying to find out just how he does it… I think a key detail is this: you genuinely feel that if he wasn’t hosting, he’d be in the audience attending. Credit too to Stephen’s choice of topics and speakers: having London as the overarching theme really gives the impression that there’s an inexhaustible supply of topics yet to be covered. If the Salon is an archaeological dig into London, I don’t think we’ve got too far beneath the top soil yet…
As for being in the audience, it’s great fun. There are always a high numbers of attendees, and events regularly sell out (no easy feat in London, with a plethora of competing events). I’ve met some great people at the Salons just from chatting to whoever is sat nearby. And it’s also noticeable that even though there are some regular attendees, there always seems to be different faces in the audience each month. Importantly, the audience is an ideal size: smaller and it would be too small but larger and it might border into a more formal lecture setting. It’s also really important that we’re in a Library – not just in the setting and how the context the Library’s collections give to the talks but also how welcome you’re made to feel by the staff (cudos too for them selecting books that match the Salon’s topics for browsing at the interval).
For the quality of the speakers (myself not included), breadth of the topics, warmth of the welcome and comfortableness of the venue, these are some of the best events I’ve attended since living in London. Similarly, I can’t think of a better series of public events that show the intermingledness of London’s past, present and future.
I regularly come away from the salons with ideas to ponder, new friends to email, more books to read and the ineffable sense that the formula for a great event has been alchemically realised in front of me over the last hour and a half. Or maybe that’s just the gin cocktails…"
Ross MacFarlane (Research Engagement Office, The Wellcome Trust)