London Life Events

the guardian open weekend

March 29, 2012

Yes, as promised, here’s my take on the guardian open weekend. It described itself as a festival of readers and reasonableness. Ashamedly, i was late in knowing about this so all tickets to any talks or readings i wanted to attend were long sold out. Spotting an opportunity to maybe have a peek at the glorious offices of the guardian was enough to drag me there on a sunny saturday, camera in hand, ready to come back and share with you lovely readers.

Mooching around, I became very quickly interested in the following: the first being that this festival was held 5 minutes away from my home, the second was the great community spirit it attracted and the third aspect was the chance to view the guardian’s offices.

Yes, i’m immensely proud of living only a few minutes away from the kings cross regeneration, a truly visionary project which will transform the area into a vibrant 21st century hub of truly inspiring train stations, amazing office spaces, retail units, innovative housing projects and generally convert it into a new area with a creative edge. Central saint martins college of art and design recently moved here into their new home and, of course, the offices of the guardian within kings place, just by regents canal.

Back to the festival.

The place was buzzing with people running around trying to find where their next talk is being held and others drinking and eating or working on their laptops while listening to a life band playing music.

Outside by the canal you had the very quirky le cool team, who ran a collective writing experiment called london, by london. “We invite the public to trawl the vast world of words that’s been written about the capital in search of choice sentences. We’ll take these sentences and chop, rearrange and reframe them to create a new story: the story of london, by london.”

And the eden project was also present. Hello Dave.

T-shirts were being airbrushed….

A big mural was commissioned to capture the weekend and explore some facts about the guardian newspaper.

Here are some photos of the guardian offices. I think they had 5000 people on each day of the weekend. It was a real privilege to be allowed to wonder around.

And so the day came to an end. I hope you enjoyed my little tour of the festival. This was the first time the guardian opened its doors to the public. Judging from the atmosphere the event was a total success. I look forward to the second one next year.


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  • Reply Igor March 29, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Well this looks like a great event – and your pics are fab!!

    • Reply tina March 31, 2012 at 11:09 pm

      Well thank you Mr Igor!

  • Reply Holly March 29, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    wow wow wow! All those colours! All those creative ideas!

    I love the idea of London, by London idea! Is there a way to see the result?

    You’re always out on cool adventures, so glad you share them with us (and you fab pics) here 😉


    • Reply tina March 31, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      You know, not sure about ‘le cool’s results but I subscribe to their weekly guide online. I’m convinced there will be a result and I will let you know. x

  • Reply Lauren March 30, 2012 at 12:33 am

    Wow! What a vibrant, fun event. I almost wonder if it’s a little okay that you didn’t get into any talks (a little!)…took some of the pressure off so you could just wander around and absorb all that amazing energy. Next year, you’ll know to grab a spot at a talk!

    • Reply tina March 31, 2012 at 11:12 pm

      To be honest, I wouldn’t have been able to interview Sarah on the book barge AND review the festival if I had gone to any talks…

  • Reply Nicola March 30, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this, wish I had been there but now feel I nearly was. You have really conveyed the atmosphere with your lovely photographs. Love the offices and really love that very, very long table.

    • Reply tina March 31, 2012 at 11:16 pm

      Thank you for posting this on Facebook:) we could always meet and have tea on that very very long table one day..

  • Reply Theresa March 30, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    This event looks right up my alley. If I lived closer to you, I would have loved to tag along (or do you prefer to do things alone?). Seeing the Guardian offices makes me really want to go back to work, but only if I can work in a space like the above. 😉 Too bad about the talks being sold out as I know you would have brought us back a great review. Next year.

    • Reply tina March 31, 2012 at 11:33 pm

      The reason I blogged about the offices is to show how amazing it is to have great design, lots of space, break out corners and an amazing canteen. It was a real pleasure to navigate that space.
      On top of it they are right by the canal. That’s what I call ‘fantastic working environment’. Thank you for pointing it out:)

  • Reply caroline March 30, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Oh fantastic! Would love to go next year if they do it again. That was so worth going to Tina-really great post and pics-thankyou!x

    • Reply tina March 31, 2012 at 11:34 pm

      Thanks Caroline. Yes, thanks to Nicola I went and will be on the case next year. x

  • Reply Toni March 31, 2012 at 7:51 am

    I love the idea of visiting the cool environment the inhabited by The Guardian, but having already booked plane tickets to Denmark this was not to be! Thank you Tina for providing this insight into what went on! I’ll make sure to book my ticket for next year!

    • Reply tina March 31, 2012 at 11:35 pm

      It seems like it might be another London Bloggers outing. Will keep an eye out and alert everyone x

  • Reply annie March 31, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Ah lucky you going to this. I really wanted to go but got caught up in coursework and wedding shopping. Boo!

    I was reading about it on the Guardian website, love that they said it broke the stereotype that all female guardian readers wear Birkenstocks and knitting their own couscous 🙂 Apparently no one identified the invisible woman though….

    Matthew Williamson’s talk sounded fascinating, wish I’d seen that x

    • Reply tina March 31, 2012 at 11:40 pm

      Didn’t know female guardian readers wear Birkenstocks? You know they are trendy now, right? Knitting their own couscous???

      There were some great talks and yes, I would have loved to go and see Matthew Williamson. Well, let’s plan for next year!

  • Reply Tracey Chalk March 31, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Wowzer…you are not alone in not knowing anything about it til a couple of days before the event though. Shame! xx

    • Reply tina March 31, 2012 at 11:41 pm

      I know, still kicking myself. Hope you are well x

  • Reply Jennifer April 3, 2012 at 4:15 am

    Wow! The Guardian offices are incredible. What a treat to get a bit of a behind the scenes look! I would have loved to have gone on that tour:) I’d love to visit the Dazed and Confused offices – I would be willing to bet they are colorful and full of creativity! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply tina April 3, 2012 at 8:26 am

      Never thought about the offices of Dazed & Confused. Must google…

      Have visite Google in London which is cool but not like some others of their rather quirky venues.
      Been to ‘innocent’. Love creative offices. They so enhance people’s moods.

  • Reply ursula (room to bloom) April 3, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    All I can say is I’m dead jealous of you living so near the Kings Cross regeneration area. I was at the British Library last week and just love the new vibe around there. x

    • Reply tina April 4, 2012 at 12:06 am

      Hey. I know it’s rather exciting with St Pancreas International, the new hotel, new station, kings place etc etc… and we must not forget the incredible British Library… let me know when you next go. I’m often there.

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