Children's Yoga age 4-8, Indaba Yoga, London

As any yoga loving London parent knows, trying to find a yoga class in London for kids is difficult. The few that have been on offer until now tend to be the annoying kind that treat kids who are not eighteen months old like they're eighteen months old. You know the kind of classes: those baby and toddler yoga type classes where chiffon scarves are twirled about and rattles rattled and silly songs are sung: it's not yoga at all, more a nursery school-style playgroup session. But now, at long last, coming to the rescue is Indaba Yoga, a Marylebone studio that opened back in July 2011. The studio now schedules a proper children's yoga class for four to eight year olds every Wednesday afternoon from 4.00 until 5.00. My daughter, who is seven, tried it out for the first time this week. She really liked the teacher, the group of kids, the essential oils being burned, the foot massage the teacher gave each child and most importantly, the fact it was proper yoga  - this is a girl after all who is lucky enough to have practised yoga in India, so she's hardcore about knowing and getting the real thing. Yoga parents who are reading this and going, YES!, here's the info: Indaba Yoga, 18 Hayes Place, London NW1 6UA. Tel: 0207.724.9994. Ten pounds per class. 

Le Labo Scent Dispenser/ Pump outside their Marylebone, London store

So I was walking past Le Labo on Devonshire Street, just off Marylebone High Street, when I saw this amazing looking booth/ petrol pump/ sci fi prop type thing outside Le Labo. I did a double take and went back to see what it was: it turned out to be a scent dispenser. You take a little Le Labo card (one of those fragrance testing strips departments stores love to wave at you, only beautifully designed because it's Le Labo) and hold it under the dispenser pump and then pump and a tiny drop - gorgeous smelling of course - lands gently on the tester card. And voila, there you go: a great and novel way to test a scent. I put the card in my wallet and it smells amazing and my wife and daughter are jealous and want to visit the Le Labo pump as soon as possible. 

Yoko Ono Wish Trees, Serpentine Gallery, London

As part of her excellent current show at the Serpentine Gallery, in London, Yoko Ono has set up a couple of 'wish trees' outside. You are asked to write a wish onto a tag and then tie it on any of the trees. There was a breeze when my family and I did it, so all the wishes were fluttering in the wind. Beautiful. Everybody was also reading everybody else's wishes. Some were straightforward. Some abstract. Some very sad. Somebody's very sad one had fallen to the ground - I hope it wasn't an omen. 

And inside the show, you find Yoko Ono's Smiles Film project. You sit and get your picture taken while you're smiling and it gets loaded up into her Smiles Film archive of people smiling. The other year at the Serpentine, I had my heartbeat recorded for Christian Boltanski's Archive of Heartbeats project. First my heartbeat for Boltanski. Now my smile for Yoko. What next at the Serpentine? And for who? 

Moments after you have your picture taken, you see the result on a large screen. It was interesting hearing lots of people say they didn't want to do it because it was too personal. I think it's a lovely project and I couldn't wait to take part. I haven't seen my smile picture on Flickr yet. I hope Yoko achieves her goal of collecting a photo of every person in the world smiling. 

Damson Cafe, London (Soho/ Covent Garden)

Happened on Damson Cafe quite by chance, cutting through behind CentrePoint/ Tottenham Court Road station/ New Oxford Street. 

It's on Saint Giles High Street, opposite the new food court development where Jamie, Byron et al have opened shop and just round the corner from Monmouth Street/ Neal Street as well: so in a nice spot - and fills a serious niche insofar there's now a great cup of coffee available in what was previously a bit of a decent cup of coffee wasteland (unlike others, I don't care at at all for Monmouth coffee, which is cramped, with average coffee and huffy staff). 

A quick Google tells me Damson Cafe has been open only a few weeks so far. It's a relaxing, light space and reminds me of a coffee shop I like in Venice Beach, California. 

The staff are laidback and the snack driven food selection looks good too. Had a great Flat White. Only thing missing was a 'help yourself' filtered water option, but the staff were happy to fix some glasses when asked. 

Definitely adding Damson Cafe to my 'Best Coffees' in Central London list. 

Olympic Flags Over Regent Street, London

Pretty Clouds Over Hyde Park

Work Gathering Pace On Zaha Hadid's Serpentine Sackler Gallery

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2012 by Herzog & De Meuron And Ai WeiWei

Kind of like a 1970s skateboard park - that's been part flooded. Or like a Niemeyer (who did the beautiful 2003 pavilion) building pushed into the earth and the roof left Star Trek like poking out by itself like a toadstool to get rained on and soaked. The smell of cork everywhere is amazing. The light on the water is amazing, too. Inside, underneath, it's dingy and depressing and claustrophobic and you feel the WEIGHT of the water on top of you. You just want to get out to the light - though kids love hopping about the steps and champagne cork seats down there.
It's so much better than last year's doom stricken bunker pavilion, which I really hated: that pavilion was a sneer at summer and I found it to be an ugly lump on Hyde Park in the sunshine.
This year's pavilion, compared to that, is amazing: but it's not as powerful or wow wow wow as the RED CRAZED Jean Nouvel pavilion back in 2010 - who can forget the red, that is still there superimposed as a memory everytime one passes by?

Burtynsky: Oil At The Photographers' Gallery = Great Show/ Great New Gallery Space

Love the new Photographers' Gallery space. And love the Burtynsky: Oil show. Had coffee downstairs - the cafe is run by LINA, the Italian deli nearby on Brewer street. Love how the gallery now has these blasts of window giving you great views down onto the street.

Like Crazy = Good Movie

A Fun Morning In London

So I came to the end of a leg of a big work project at 10 o'clock last night and woke up deciding to take a morning out to recalibrate. On top of that manic work fever lately, which has meant a stack of late nights, my daughter's school had a special history day today: all the kids were asked to come into school dressed as a significant historical character of their choice. My daughter straightaway announced she was going as Anne Frank. And set about studying the way Anne Frank wore her hair (the hairclip to the right). On which wrist she wore her watch (also the right). How she dressed. What kind of diary she had and how that could be emulated. Etc etc. She basically turned into Marlon Brando, Sean Penn, Robert De Niro and Co. doing their whole Method Actor thing. The whole experience of her getting ready for the day, given our family history and how she's slowly learning drip-feed style what happened to her ancestors during the Holocaust, gave me the goosebumps I don't know how many times. Anyway, so once I dropped her off, looking eerily like Anne Frank in certain photographs, I was ready to the max, for my 'Me Morning'. As I'm all written out since 10:01 last night, here's an illustrated account of what I got up to. 

A slow start to the day reading Valeria Luiselli's Faces In The Crowd at Fernandez and Wells, Beak Street. I've had some amazing coffees there recently. And the staff are really laidback about me sitting in there writing like a headcase at my laptop. 
A cool looking new sushi place on Lexington Street
Viva: Home to the best haircut in London. Ask to see the lovely and amazing Tara.
Was going to pick up another great Tri-Blend T from American Apparel but decided to blow the cash on magazines instead. Sorry Dov. 
Norman's fruit 'n' veg stall on Berwick street. I only buy fruit and veg from him. Great produce. And Norman (topless in the background) is a real character. PS: Best avocados in London.  
Not sure if Hix are being funny or if their neon X has broken down. I'm amused either way. And looking forward to having a birthday lunch there next week. 
The site of the old 'Whole Foods Market' aka Fresh and Wild on Brewer street. 
The brand new Whole Foods Piccadilly who have got me hooked on Rico Mexican Kitchen salsas. 
DKNY Bond Street: getting a face lift. 
Jubilee lips in the window of jeweller Solange Azagury Partridge, who I once had the pleasure of interviewing.  She's super interesting...
Selfridges magazine department. A slice of heaven for a magazine addict like me. Today I picked up the latest, just out issues of Milk magazine (see my recent piece about them in HuffPostUK), Vogue and Harper's. 
I love the name of this hairdresser on Edgware Road.
Green Valley Lebanese supermarket (recommended by Yotam Ottolenghi) side by side with a very old synagogue. There is hope for peace. 
Maroush deli: home to the best Baklawa in London. You just can't stop eating the stuff. 
If you want a fast Lebanese snack lunch/ dinner, there's nowhere better than Beirut Express. 
Pretty coloured fruit on Edgware Road always makes me smile
Nearly home. The shielding, leaning trees at this time of year look like an illustration from a children's fairy tale.
A neighbour's car on the street I live on sprayed with the weirdest graffiti slogan I've ever seen. Police?!

And then finally home....