This latest volume of Inspiration Station has got you covered. Step this way and enter Clive’s immersive virtual tour of the quirkiest, most creative new experiences, tech, gadgets and venues in the world right now.
Including the very best restaurants and venues like the super sleek Vogue Café pop-up at Westfield London, to the Grade II listed Albert Hall in Manchester. We’ve also got some great experiences, technologies and gadgets to share with you, featuring our pals at FLUX Lounge and the future of television.
Venues & Destinations
Albert Schloss, Manchester
On the ground floor of the iconic Albert Hall in Manchester, you’ll find this Bavarian-style beer cellar, which serves up traditional German food and a great rage of brews.
Albert Schloss serves the freshest Pilsner this side of the Danube. Add to this, 10 heritage brews on the taps, Alpine cocktails, homemade Schnapps, a great wine list and… well you get the picture. A text book Alpine Bier Palace that would make Albert proud.
The Gardening Society
Feeling a little green fingered now that summer has just arrived? John Lewis has transformed the rooftop of its Oxford Street store into a pretty epic rooftop garden, complete with AstroTurf flooring, real blooms, fresh herbs and garden kitsch galore. Sure to be a hotspot this summer, the rooftop space features a coffee shop, pop-up restaurants, bars and yoga classes, all with great views over the city. Open for the whole summer (12-8pm Monday–Wednesday; 12-10pm Thursday–Saturday and 12-6pm on Sundays), catch it before 4th September.
Roomers Design Hotels
Sleek German design meets great locations at Roomers Design Hotels – chic urban playgrounds that are sure to impress. The original Roomers in Frankfurt is a striking contemporary design hotel and an ideal base for incentive travel in the heart of one of Germany’s biggest city locations.
New Roomers hotels are due to open in Baden-Baden in South West Germany and Munich later this year, both of which will have several great event spaces with even greater views available for private hire.
Park Bosphorus Hotel, Istanbul
Whether you’re planning a conference, event or incentive trip, the Park Bosphorus Hotel combines the technology and elegance of one of Istanbul’s most exciting areas. The elegant hotel features a huge Ballroom spanning 800m2, catering for up to 660 people, plus a sizeable foyer area perfect for VIP receptions. It also boasts the largest terrace in the city and specially designed and dividable meeting rooms, 18 in all, each equipped with the latest technology.
Albert Hall, Manchester
This former Wesleyan Chapel is a Grade II listed building in the heart of Manchester. Since re-opening in 2012, the venue has earned a reputation as one of the most intimate and charismatic concert venues on the circuit. Vaulted ceilings, stain glass windows and the original organ all help to create a magical atmosphere for some of the most memorable concerts and performances Manchester has ever seen. Available for private hire for events, parties and conferences, this venue is perfect if you’re looking to bring a sense of theatre and grandeur to your event.
If you’re looking to put a bit of va va voom into your next event, look no further than Bike Shed. Home to hit internet collective, Bike Shed Motorcycle Club, this quirky venue in the heart of Shoreditch boasts four large redeveloped railway arches spanning a massive 12,000 square feet, with its own 30m private road.
Beyond the uber stylish bike shop and bar/restaurant housed in arches 1 and 2, you’ll find two fantastic spaces, which are available for private hire. Arches 3 and 4 each have a capacity for 150-200 people and have been fitted out to the highest spec with shiny poured concrete floors, underfloor heating and professional lighting and rigging.
The original features have been thoughtfully restored, making these two venues the perfect blank canvas space for some seriously cool live events – the possibilities are endless.
Vogue Pop-Up Café
Looking for a meeting venue with a little panache? A Vogue Café has set up residence in the heart of shopping mecca, The Village, Westfield London until 25 September 2016. A toast to British Vogue’s landmark 100th birthday, the pop-up café will serve up a specially created Vogue 100 champagne cocktail and a Vogue 100 punch, as well as a traditional English afternoon tea.
Pharmacy2 is an exciting collaboration between Damien Hirst and Mark Hix at Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall.
The exhibitions, which feature colourful pieces from Hirst’s personal collections is open to visitors during the day and evening diners when the gallery is closed. Serving classic British and European food, the menu reflects Hix and Hirst’s shared passion for quality food made from fresh ingredients.
Great food aside, the quirky decor is colourful, creative and thought-provoking with work from some of the artist’s most iconic series including the Medicine Cabinets and butterfly Kaleidoscope paintings. With rows of medications, ‘100 most prescribed pills’ wallpaper and pill-shaped bar-stools, it makes for an intriguing backdrop.
Available for exclusive hire on Sundays and Mondays, the restaurant can hold groups of up to 60, creating the perfect setting for inspiring drinks receptions, dinners and networking events.
Technology & Gadgets
You might have gathered that we’re innovation junkies here at Clive. Hence why we feel we’ve found our second home at Flux LDN. Built to drive insights and knowledge as well as to stimulate conversation, ideas and innovation, this great space gives leading minds a chance to get hands-on with the latest, emerging technologies; inviting people to explore the future of business through hands-on interaction with the newest, game-changing technologies.
Leading brands, agencies and corporations can visit the lounges for demonstrations, workshops and deep-dive into the future of key areas, such as retail, collaborative working, and experiential marketing. So that’s just what we did.
On Wednesday 22nd June, we were invited to the Robot Party at Flux LDN, where we learnt more about the growing impact of artificial intelligence in the workscape and retail environment. With robots able to break human barriers and solve issues such as discrimination in the workplace, can we expect humans and machines to be working together in the near future?
Pilot In-Ear Translator
Lost in translation? Not for much longer. At the convergence of wearable technology and translation, the Pilot is the world’s first smart earpiece which translates conversations in different languages as you speak.
Working in pairs, synced to each other, they connect via Bluetooth to an app on your phone. Pre-orders are expected to start soon, with the tech costing around £130.
Turning your smartphone’s LED light into something that’s actually useful; the F.lens creates a tight-focused flashlight to help you see better and further in complete darkness. Made from lightweight aluminium this magic flashlight booster sticks on with magnets. Created through a Kickstarter campaign, the first batch are expected for delivery this month, priced around €18.
You may have experienced 3D TV or cinema or perhaps even enjoyed a 4D experience at a theme park, but are you ready for 9D TV? This next generation entertainment experience will focus on human senses to achieve a more in-depth feeling of realism and experience.
Combining all five senses: sight, sound, touch, smell and taste into one unique experience. Currently in development in a research lab in Brighton, we will be first in line to try it out if/when this new form of VR becomes reality.
Get set for an underwater adventure! Over 500 permanent life-size sculptures can be found in MUSA, Cancun – one of the largest and most ambitious underwater artificial art attractions in the world. This incredible Atlantis-esque museum can be viewed from a glass bottom boat, scuba diving, speed boat or by snorkelling and would make an incredible activity for an incentive trip.
In a galaxy not so far away AKA Barcelona, Porta Estel·lar, Catalan for ‘Star Gate’ was an immersive light and sound installation inside a plane created last year by Playmodes Studio. This cutting edge space brings you on a cosmic journey through the creation of visual and sound sequences. Users will experience the depths of the solar system in an intense six-minute trip that includes comets, planets, galaxies, crossing nebulae and visiting alien worlds, until finally returning safe to earth.
Harry Potter Exhibition
Pottermania is once again sweeping the nation with the launch of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child West End stage show. And if you’re potty about Potter, don’t miss this fantastic free Harry Potter exhibition in Soho. Located in The House of MiniLama on 26 Greek Street, the house is home to graphic art and authentic props from all the Harry Potter films, spread across four floors. Open until February 2017, this gem of an exhibition is pure magic.
La Cite Du Vin
Forget Alton Towers and Thorpe Park, we’ve found a theme park (of sorts) with a little more culture and finesse. Located in the heart of the Bordeaux wine region, La Cité du Vin is an homage to all things wine.
The unique venue, which opened in June brings wine to life through an immersive, sensorial approach, all set within an evocative architectural design. Twenty wine-themed sections and exhibits that cover the history and culture of wine, whilst a simulated boat ride shows what it is like to be a wine merchant sailing across the globe.
Various parts of La Cité du Vin are available for private events: the lounges, reception areas, rooms and 250 seat auditorium can be tailored to suit your needs. Located on the first floor, the reception rooms offer 360-degree panoramic views of Bordeaux. This bright, contemporary space is perfect for cocktail receptions, lunches and dinners, product launches and conferences. The rooms are modular, enabling more intimate spaces to be created for events hosting up to 160 people. And for large-scale events, private hire of the entire La Cité du Vin can be negotiated.
Looking for a great immersive theatre experience? There’s an app for that. Purchase a Wiretrapper ticket (£20) this summer, download the app and you’ll receive an email telling you where to go (a public place in central London); put on your headphones, open the app and the main character will speak directly to you. This novel public audio project is a unique sound-based performance event hidden in public spaces in the centre of the city. You’ll need a smart phone, headphones and a coat. This is Britain, after all.
Other Cool Ideas
Seven Magic Mountains
Renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone’s colourful large-scale, public artwork Seven Magic Mountains is located in the desert outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. Featuring seven 30-35ft high dayglow totems comprised of painted, locally-sourced limestone boulders stacked atop each other, the exhibition launched in May and will be on show for two years.
Moving Wall Sculpture
Turkish sculptor Varol Topac’s kinetic installation, Bir-lik is made from tree branches, creating a hypnotic, constantly moving piece, which forms sculptures, shapes and faces. Forever moving and changing, the intricate piece resides in the Swissotel Büyük Efes in Turkey. Watch the video to see it in action.
Inside the ARoS Art Museum in Aarhus, Denmark and you’ll find a fantastic 150-metre-long, 3-metre-wide circular glass walkway in every colour of the rainbow. The colourful rooftop walkway was created by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson and offers a spectacular technicolour 360-degree panorama of the surrounding city.
Brixton Currency Cash Machine
In April 2016, the world’s first local currency cash machine was unveiled in Brixton. The Brixton Pound ATM in Market Row dispenses special Brixton bank notes, which can only be spent locally in the area. The notes feature images of local heroes such as David Bowie as well as pieces of Brixton public art. The aim of this quirky project, designed and produced by creative agency, Kind Studio, is to encourage people to spend their money locally and support independent businesses – boosting the feeling of community in the area. The notes can be spent in more than 300 local businesses including shops, bars and restaurants.
A Million Times
This incredible art installation is a giant clock made up of 288 individual tiny timepieces. Once a minute, the clocks align to tell the time. Find it at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York. And, if you’re not going to find yourself in the Big Apple any time soon, watch the video here.
What started out as a simple virtual wave between neighbouring office blocks in the Canal Street area of Lower Manhattan morphed into a full scale post-it war that made headlines around the world. It began with a ‘Hi’ made from post-its on the window of one of the buildings. The other building responded with ‘Sup’ and then things got interesting… #CanalNotes was born. Both buildings house a number of marketing and media agencies, so needless to say there were some creative designs. Simpsons characters, Angry Birds, Batman signals and the Snapchat logo were amongst some of the creations fashioned entirely from coloured post-its. It’s rumoured that post-it manufacturer 3M heard what was going on and provided free post-it notes to fuel the battle. After two weeks, agency Havas Worldwide brought the war to an end with a giant image of an epic mic drop.