Back in May whilst on yoga retreat in Formentera I met, over supper, a lovely woman called Helen Bagnall who told me about an event she had been running with friend Juliet Russell since 2008; Salon London. This has now become London's best cultural monthly showcase of specialists from the worlds of scent, the arts and psychology.
The salon was an Italian invention of the 16th century and was a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, both to amuse and to refine one's tastes and increase knowledge, often consciously following Horace's definition of the aims of poetry, "either to please or to educate"
Helen and Juliet have effectively reprised this format to create a series of fascinating events that never fail to surprise and delight. My first outing at private members club Adam Street featured the writer of Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain, Professor Elaine Fox explaining why you are a glass half-full or a glass half empty sort of person. An awesome session by Rough Trade's Lucy Tesco offering samples of the soundtrack of the summer, and then mind reader Philip Escoffey who kept us guessing for days after.
The last session was featured as part of the Inside Out Festival at the National Theatre to investigate more about Marianne Elliot's production (now sold out) of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, based on Mark Haddon's novel adapted by Simon Stephens.
The speakers included Marcus Chown, known to many as the Cosmology Editor for the New Scientist, will be explaining the secrets of life, the universe and everything and for one brilliant transcendent moment you will understand the quantum world Staff Director Katy Rudd explored the workings of the theatre using lots of interactive audience participation and mathematician David Speigelhalter OBE Professor of Public Understanding and Risk talked the real numbers behind uncertainty, leaving you able to interpret statistics like a pro.
See here for details of the next event. See you there... x