RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016

Having spend a bit too much money in recent trips to Paris & Copenhagen (more on that coming this week on Cake + Whisky!), I decided to put myself on a spending ban for a little while.

RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + Whisky RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + Whisky

But looking’s not spending, and the RIBA Regent Street Windows Project is the perfect excuse to indulge in a spot of window shopping.

RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + Whisky RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + Whisky

Returning for its seventh year, the RIBA Regent Street Windows Project is an annual showcase of innovative architectural shop window display.

RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + Whisky RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + Whisky

Some of Regent Street’s leading retailers, including Liberty, Kiel’s and Kate Spade, have collaborated with RIBA’s finest emerging and established RIBA Chartered architects to create a series of stunning windows with an architectural twist.

RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + Whisky

This year’s windows reflect the versatility and ingenuity of the architects in creating new and fresh designs that build on each brand’s history and vision.

RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + Whisky

Liberty’s windows, designed by Architecture Social Club, tells a modern tale of the store’s founder’s story.

RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + WhiskyRIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + Whisky

With a play on the brand’s iconic floral patterns and a plethora of details, it’s one of the most stunning displays I’ve seen in years. and definitely worth taking a detour when you’re next in the area!

RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + Whisky

With a special appearance of Sir Arthur himself, his marble bust having been moved from its usual pedestal for the occasion!

RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + WhiskyRIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + Whisky

Kate Spade’s display, imagined by Design Haus Liberty, is a play on the iconic golden dots & black and white stripes present in many of the brand’s collections.

RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + Whisky

The perfect playful-yet-sophisticated background for the brand’s newest baby, the Cameron Street Byrdie bag!

RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + WhiskyRIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + Whisky

Down the street, architecture firm Bureau de Change pays hommage to suit-and-shirt specialist brand Charles Tyrwhitt’s craftmanship.

RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + Whisky RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + Whisky

Including wooden replicas of the brand’s patterns, the window is a salute to its expertise and width of product, ranging from shirts, to suits, ties, and even shoes!

RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + Whisky

Across the street, Kiehl’s window is a work of love & patience.

RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + WhiskyRIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + Whisky

Dozens of handmade china ‘petals’, assembled to ressemble a quinoa husk (quinoa being the active ingredient in Kiehl’s new Night Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate).

RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + WhiskyRIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + Whisky

A unique collaboration, and a lot of work indeed, but the result’s well worth the effort.

RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + WhiskyRIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + Whisky

And that from every possible angle…

RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + Whisky RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + Whisky

And it would be rude not to pop in & say Hi to Mr Bones (and possibly try this revolutionary quinoa elixir for yourself when you’re at it!)

RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + Whisky

With ten unique windows blending contemporary architecture, innovative art & design practices, the RIBA Regent Street Window Project is a showcase for some of London’s finest emerging architects.

RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + WhiskyRIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + Whisky

RIBA Regent Street Windows installations will be on display from Monday, 5th September for a three week period until Sunday, 25th September, so that leaves you plenty of time to plan your own Christmas-window-shopping before Christmas tour!

Double brownie points if you manage to get some actual Christmas shopping done while you’re at it!

Visit architecture.com/windows for the full programme of events and a free walking map to download

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RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016 | Cake + Whisky

RIBA Regent Street Windows Project 2016

Le Méridien Piccadilly Afternoon Tea and Unlock London by RIBAPix

Having Afternoon Tea has been at the very top of my London Bucket List for quite a while now.

I mean, what is there not to love about a meal that’s basically cake, with a few bits around it?

Nothing. My point exactly.

So when Le Méridien Piccadilly and The Royal Institute of British Architects asked if I’d like to join them for a cake-and-scone-fuelled presentation of their current collaboration, a London-centric, architecture pictures exibition named Unlock London, I could barely stopped jumping all over the place (I was THAT close to add heart-eyed emojis to the RSVP email to be honest…)!

But is there any better reason to get overexcited than the prospect of a few of my favourite things (architecture pictures, bloggers and errrrr… cake!) all in one room?

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

Le Méridien Terrace Grill & Bar is one of the most stunning places I’ve ever seen. Nestled on the second floor of the landmark Piccadilly hotel, there’s so much to love about it, starting with the incredible glass ceiling.

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyLe Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

The very well-stocked bar must certainly be another (and I heard the terrace itself is one of the best places for a drink come summer…) but I’ll have to leave those for another day.  

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

For the time being, I was far too busy contemplating the three-tiered platter that had just been put in front of me…

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

Luckily I wasn’t the only blogger in the room and nobody touched a thing until we all took pictures to our heart’s content!

Then it was time for a London-inspired feast!

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

Starting with tea (obviously).

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

The Jing selection available at Le Méridien is both impressive and interesting and it left many in our group wondering which one they should go for.

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

But I knew it’d have to go for the Whole Rosebud tea as it is one of my favourites and it’s not often you actually find it on a tea menu!

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyLe Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

Next came a selection of finger sandwiches (of which my favourite had to be the Smoked salmon one)

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

Then there were scones (both plain and with raisins).

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyLe Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

And clotted cream of course.

Since I’m quite a newbie at that whole afternoon tea ritual, I obviously had no clue as to what the proper order to pile cream and jam up was, but thanksfully, I had an expert sitting right by my side.

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

We debated on the topic for a little while before deciding that jam on top was more Instagramable (definitely a word) and all embrassed our new-found less-than-traditional way to eat scones!

But the best was still to come!

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

The cakes!

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyLe Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

A whole platter of them, even! 

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyLe Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

The ‘Helen of Troy’ poppy seed cake (considered to be the most beautiful cake of the 1930s) was definitely the prettiest of the bunch.

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

But if you want to win my heart, there’s no better way than a few of Traditional Bakewell tarts!

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

After indulging in all those treats, we learnt a bit more about the exibition that inspired them all: Unlock London.

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

The exibition showcases a selection of stunning photographs from the 1.5 million held in the Royal Institute of British Architects’ massive picture library (which is now available to browse online! ?).

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

Left: St Pancras Station, Euston Road, London (1949) | Right: Paramount & Plaza cinema, Lower Regent Street, London (1968)

Taken by leading architectural photographers from the 1930s to 1960s, these images show iconic London landmarks as well as some less well known or long since vanished.

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyLeft: Leisure Kitchen Equipment, Regent Street, London (1954) | Right: Night street cleaning near St Paul’s Cathedral, City of London (1957)Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyEscalator, St John’s Wood London Underground Station, Wellington Road, London (1940)Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskySt Pancras Station, Euston Road, London (1949)

Last but not least, we went on a little tour of the hotel, which ended up in the lovely Oak RoomLe Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyLe Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyLe Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyPowder pink from the floor to the ceiling with touches of gold here and there, it’s a little girl’s dream come true. Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyBut we were not there to play dolls! Instead, we had a bit of a photography workshop.

After picking our favourite from a selection, we had to give architectural photography a go while trying to explore angles, lighting, reflection…

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyLe Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + Whisky

I went for a bit of a darker take of the pink room to try and get details to pop up…

Le Méridien x RIBA Afternoon Tea | Cake + WhiskyAnd ended up discovering that chair backs might very well be your best friend when trying to frame architectural details…

Tea, cake, bloggers and fun; very much my kind of afternoon!

Want to experience Le Méridien Piccadilly’s Afternoon Tea for yourself (and take a look at those stunning pictures when you’re at it)?

What about you say you’re coming from me and bag yourself a 20% discount in the process and send me cake pictures on Instagram? Deal?

Unlock London at Le Méridien Piccadilly, 21 Piccadilly, London W1J 0BH
Terrace Grill & Bar - Le Meridien Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Le Méridien Piccadilly Afternoon Tea and Unlock London by RIBAPix