Rita Payne's Blog (11)

Jaipur Literature Festival in London a Feast of Lit & Ideas

Like migratory birds, more than 70 eminent authors and thinkers from across the globe just gathered in London this past May 20-21 for what has become an annual fixture, the Jaipur Literature Festival. The venue was different this year, because its…


Added by Rita Payne on July 7, 2017 at 10:07am — No Comments

A London Storm Diary

I set off with trepidation on Monday morning after dire warnings about the worst storms to hit Britain this decade. Stepped out of the front door to find our window boxes had been blown off and lay scattered on the ground - my husband's lovingly nurtured geraniums cruelly tipped out and the plants and roots exposed to the elements.

A tree…


Added by Rita Payne on October 29, 2013 at 8:47am — No Comments

UK Woos Music Tourists

Britain is acknowledged as the musical capital of Europe.  It is famed for being home to the The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Elton John, Rod Stewart, the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Elvis Costello, Coldplay, Adele, Florence+The Machine, One Direction – legendary figures  across the world.


VisitBritain and…


Added by Rita Payne on October 15, 2013 at 6:29am — 1 Comment

Taste of London 2013: a Celebration of Fine Food and Wine



Thousands of people converged on Regent’s Park in London for an annual summer event which showcases the vibrant food and culture of Britain and other parts of the world. Taste of London offers visitors the unique opportunity to dine from 40 of the capital’s top restaurants, sample and buy from 200 food and drink producers, enjoy wine tasting and watch some of…


Added by Rita Payne on June 28, 2013 at 8:47am — No Comments

Sierra Leone: Poor But Brimming With Potential

First impressions of what to expect in Sierra Leone were not encouraging. The Sierra Leone High Commission in the UK, where tourists are required to apply for visas, is on a narrow street in central London. The reception area was dark and shabby. Visa applicants were directed along a gloomy passage to an official sitting in a small room behind…


Added by Rita Payne on December 25, 2012 at 12:36pm — No Comments

Curry Goes Global in London


Hundreds of curry lovers, food experts and restaurant owners from across the world gathered in London for a gala ceremony to recognise the talents of chefs, the unsung heroes of the kitchen. The awards are the brainchild of Syed Nahas Pasha and his brother, Syed Belal Ahmed, who run Curry Life magazine regarded as the authoritative voice of an…


Added by Rita Payne on October 17, 2012 at 5:00pm — 2 Comments

VisitBritain Unveils New Strategy Plan

VisitBritain has launched a consultation on an ambitious growth plan which aims to attract 40 million visitors to Britain by 2020. The strategy is built on Britain’s successful hosting of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by showing that aligning marketing and Government policy can deliver an economic legacy. Reaching that figure would deliver £8.7 billion…


Added by Rita Payne on October 12, 2012 at 10:18am — 4 Comments

London: Recapturing the Olympics Buzz?

Londoners suffered collective withdrawal symptoms when the Olympic Games ended on August 11 and are now hoping to recapture some of the drama and excitement when the Paralympics  begin  on 29 August. This is a good time to reflect on what the Games achieved and whether this fervour can be replicated.

Feelgood Olympics.

There is general…


Added by Rita Payne on August 28, 2012 at 8:30am — 1 Comment

London Olympics 2012: Time for the Athletes to Shine

The London Olympics 2012 got under way with a spectacular opening ceremony viewed by an estimated 27 million people in the UK and one billion world-wide. A commentator described the curtain-raiser master-minded by award-winning film director, Danny Boyle, as bold, British and bonkers. This probably sums up most accurately the epic three-and-a half hour extravaganza…


Added by Rita Payne on July 30, 2012 at 9:05pm — No Comments

Queen's Diamond Jubilee Countdown: Best of Britain

Gun salutes across the United Kingdom set off four days of celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth the Second’s accession to the throne. The festivities promise to be the most spectacular in the country for hundreds of years. The excitement over preparations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee has been building up for months and has now reached fever pitch. Shops have run out of bunting but red, white and blue, the colours of the British flag, the Union Jack, can be seen…


Added by Rita Payne on June 2, 2012 at 10:30pm — No Comments



Nick Clegg (centre). Photo by Tania Payne


The annual award season has been in full swing in London with an array of glittering dinners for high-flyers among the British Asian community. I must admit to viewing these events in the past as back-slapping occasions for the usual suspects…


Added by Rita Payne on November 29, 2011 at 11:00am — No Comments

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