Sunday, January 27, 2013

Veeraswamy..oldest Indian Restaurant in London

Veeraswamy is the oldest surviving Indian restaurant in the U.K, and possibly the world.
It is one of London's oldest surviving restaurants.
The Veeraswamy Restaurant was established by Edward Palmer in 1926 in Regent Street. Palmer was a retired Indian Army officer and in 1924-5 had run the Indian section at the British Empire Exhibition, Wembley, where his company, E. P. Veeraswamy & Co., Indian Food Specialists, sold spices, chutneys and curry pastes at the café..

The British tradition of drinking beer with a curry is said to have originated at Veeraswamy's when the Prince of Denmark visited and decided to send a barrel of Carlsberg to the restaurant every Christmas thereafter.

Veeraswamy is decorated to maintain the air of 1920s Indian sophistication with which it opened back in 1926 and reflects the Maharaja’s palaces of the period. The restaurant has been the rendezvous of rich, famous, and fashionable lovers of Indian food. Customers included Edward - Prince of Wales, King Gustav of Sweden, Pandit Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Charlie Chaplin, King Hussein of Jordan, and Marlon Brando.

London’s oldest Indian restaurant situated on Regents Street. Open in 1926, this historic Indian eatery recently received a complete transformation with a décor that reflects its original 1920’s glamour. Vibrant Indian colours and jewel coloured lighting set the scene at this first floor restaurant. The menu has also been given an overhaul and dishes are much more bold and authentic. Indulge in flash grilled oysters served with a spicy salsa; raj kachni (puffed wheat poori filled with potato, lentils, tamarind and yogurt); chicken breast rolled with pine nuts, lemon and rose petals and the star of the show – the lobster Malabar curry. There are also numerous seafood dishes inspired by the Southern coastal regions of India.

Veeraswamy has been serving first class Indian food to London’s diners for decades and is certain to do so for many more. A fantastic and legendary Indian restaurant in which to enjoy a romantic evening in the West End.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

2012 Review: Notable Deaths in Music

Remembering the accomplishments of 6 stand-out musicians who passed away in 2012, from Ravi Shankar,
Etta James and Whitney Houston to Donna Summer.

Etta James (25 January 1938 – 20 January 2012)
Etta James, who has died aged 73 after suffering from leukaemia, was among the most critically acclaimed and influential female singers of the past 50 years, even if she never achieved huge popular success. From her first R&B hit, in 1955, the risqué Roll With Me Henry – cut when she was only 15 – through a series of
classic 1960s soul sides (the lush ballad At Last, the raucous house rocker Tell Mama and the emotional agony of I'd Rather Go Blind), then a series of critically acclaimed 1970s and 1980s albums that won her
a broad rock audience, to more recent albums of jazz vocals, James proved capable of developing and changing as an artist.

Whitney Houston (9 August 1963 – 11 February 2012)
Few pop singers have been gifted with a voice as glorious as Whitney Houston's, and even fewer have treated their talent with the frustrating indifference she did toward the end of her life. She sold more records and received more awards than almost any other female pop star of the 20th century, but spent most of her last years mired in a drug addiction that sapped her will to sing and left her in a shambolic state.

Donna Summer (31 December 1948 – 17 May 2012)
Though she will be remembered for disco classics such as Love to Love You Baby and I Feel Love, Donna Summer, who has died of cancer aged 63, notched up many achievements in a career lasting more than 40 years. She recorded three multi-platinum albums and three consecutive double albums topping the US chart. She reached a commercial peak in the late 1970s with a string of chart-topping singles, including a duet with Barbra Streisand on No More Tears(Enough Is Enough), and was able to bounce back from a subsequent slump with hit records in succeeding decades. She also branched out into television, with appearances on America's Got Talent and the reality show Platinum Hit.

Robin Gibb (22 December 1949 – 20 May 2012)
Robin Gibb, who has died aged 62, was one of the three brothers who made up the international
chart-topping group the Bee Gees. They were best known for their disco hits of the 1970s, which included Stayin' Alive, Night Fever and Jive Talkin', but enjoyed success in every decade from the 1960s to the 2000s. Robin also charted intermittently as a solo artist. He released six solo albums between 1970 and 2006, and scored a British No 1 single as recently as 2009 with a new version of the Bee Gees' song Islands in the Stream, for Comic Relief.

Ravi Shankar (7 April 1920 – 11 December 2012)
Ravi Shankar, who has died aged 92 after undergoing heart surgery, was the Indian maestro who put the sitar on the musical map. George Harrison called him "the godfather of world music" and it was Shankar's vision that brought the sounds of the raga into western consciousness. He was thus the first performer and composer to substantially bridge the musical gap between India and the west.

Timeless and transcendent. Those are two key qualities that describe the music of truly great artists, no matter their chosen genre. Sadly, a significant number of such greats passed away in 2012. Happily, their music will spring forth anew, each time a neophyte listener discovers their work and revels in it with the same delight as a longtime fan.