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Top five things to do in Hampstead and Highgate this week

08:00 18 August 2014

War correspondent Oggy Boytchev was the producer for BBC World Affairs editor John Simpson

War correspondent Oggy Boytchev was the producer for BBC World Affairs editor John Simpson

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A talk by a celebrated BBC war correspondent, the start of the Highgate Jazz and Soul Festival, and a 1920s themed summer garden party at a pub are just some of the things featured in our top five this week.

1. Tuesday - BBC War Correspondent Talk

One of the BBC’s most experienced war correspondents comes to Hampstead to talk about his life in the firing line.

Oggy Boytchev, the celebrated producer of the BBC World Affairs editor John Simpson, will be giving a talk on his 30-year career in journalism, as well as signing copies of his new autobiography, Simpson & I: Between Two Worlds.

Boytchev worked at the BBC for more than 20 years where he covered major international conflicts including Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo - often on the frontline or undercover.

His book lifts the lid on the untold stories behind the headlines, and documents some of the most memorable reports ever to appear on BBC News.

It also covers Boytchev’s turbulent relationship with John Simpson.

The pair worked side-by-side for more than a decade in what was arguably one of the most successful partnerships in modern journalism.

Simpson called the book “a delightful account of our co-operation on the road”.

Boytchev will also discuss the role of futuristic, unmanned aerial drones in frontline reporting.

Takes place at Waterstones in Hampstead High Street.

Starts 7pm.

Tickets cost £5 (inc. free glass of wine) and are available at Waterstones.com.

2. Friday - Highgate Jazz and Soul Festival

The Highgate Jazz with Soul Festival returns for its fourth year featuring top musicians from the UK, Europe and the USA. Curated by saxophonist Brandon Allen, the Bank Holiday weekend (Friday to Monday) sees more than a dozen performances across Highgate. On launch night, Kerim Gunes Band will take to the stage at Caipirinha Bar in Archway Road. Other venues include the United Reformed Church in Pond Square, The Old Crown pub in Highgate Hill and Upstairs at the Gatehouse in Highgate village. Three concerts will also take place on Sunday at Lauderdale House in Waterlow Park, Highgate. Along with familiar names, organisers will be showcasing new talent.

For a full programme of events and to book, visit brandonallen.co.uk/highgate-jazz-festival. Prices range from £12.50 to £17.50.

3. Thursday to Sunday - Roundhouse Reverb Festival

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Imogen Heap brings a unique music festival to the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm this weekend.

Reverb 2014, which explores the ever-expanding role of technology in the creation of music, will feature four innovative shows alongside free workshops, talks and interactive sound installations.

From today (Thursday) until Sunday, the audience will be able to peer into the new worlds of artists and immerse themselves in their performances, from improvisations of whole orchestras to tech-infused solo acts.

On Friday and Saturday (2pm to 4pm), visitors will be able to try Ms Heap’s own unique “mi.mu” glove system, allowing the wearers to wirelessly create music 3D using hand gestures and movement.

In another show on Friday, cellist and composter Peter Gregson will be exploreing what the future holds for music, showcasing his work in bringing app developers, composers and performers together, before performing his new album Lights in the Sky.

Saturday sees a performance by the London Contemporary Orchestra while Sunday’s events include music workshops and DJ sets that “turn classical music on its head”. Many more talks and shows are on offer catering to a whole range of music tastes.

Tickets for individual events and a festival pass (£75) can be bought at roundhouse.org.uk, where a full program is also listed.

4. Saturday - Pub Summer Garden Party

Enjoy a 1920s-themed summer garden party at the Sir Richard Steele pub in Haverstock Hill, Chalk Farm. There will be an outdoor cocktail bar, barbecue, free sandwiches and cakes. There will be a free glass of fizz on arrival and VIP table service.

Starts 5pm, ends 1am. Large parties are advised to book (£1 deposit per person) by calling 020 7483 1261.

5. Monday - Cake Club

The Camden Clandestine Cake Club calls all baking aficionados to come to their monthly meet-up to share tips and exchange recipes.

This month, bakers are invited to bring “edible masterpieces” inspired by pieces of art, from a Mondrian-inspired battenberg to a Jackson Pollock decorated cake.

The meeting is always held at a secret location somewhere in the borough, but it will be somewhere near Camden Town Tube station.

Find out exactly where by emailing camden.cake.club@gmail.com.

This is a free event. Visit clandestinecakeclub.co.uk/groups/camden for more information.

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