Big British Invite Takes New Yorkers Across the Pond This Weekend
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

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(l-r) Karen Clarkson, vice president of North America for VisitBritain, Downton Abbey actor Dan Stevens, R&B singer Estelle and Simon Talling-Smith, executive vice president of the Americas at British Airways, pose at The Big British Invite opening reception on Thursday, March 21 (Image: Source)

New York City residents can hop the train to SoHo this weekend to get a taste of Great Britain.

British Airways and VisitBritain have teamed up to bring a slice of modern-day England, Scotland and Wales to the states via a 15,000-square-foot space inside 78 Mercer Street. “The Big British Invite,” an interactive pop-up event taking place today and Sunday, will feature the best of Britain, offering delectable bites and sips, music and simulations of the highly popular nightlife. It runs from noon to 6 p.m. both days and is open to anyone who is 21 and older who signs up in advance at The Big British Invite website. Admission is free.

The organizers held an opening night reception on Thursday hosted by Grammy-Award winning singer-songwriter Estelle and Downton Abbey actor Dan Stevens. Before the festivities began, Karen Clarkson, vice president of North America for VisitBritain, the country’s tourism organization, and Simon Talling-Smith, executive vice president of the Americas at British Airways, welcomed a group of press who were present for a preview that evening.

The pop-up experience will showcase “what is new, what is now, what is next” in Britain, said Talling-Smith.

Twelve British Airways flights depart from New York to London daily, hosting over 3,000 travelers between the two areas each day.

“We want to inspire a new wave of New Yorkers to experience the best Britain has to offer–whether it’s an afternoon exploring the Tate Modern or an evening enjoying a dram of whiskey among the sprawling hills of Speyside,” said Clarkson, in a statement.

The “American Boy” songstress, who led a tour through the space, gushed about the airline’s comfortable seats, which attendees will be able to try out firsthand, British “comfort food” and the bar and music scene found in Britain.

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Janel Martinez

With a focus on news and the under 35 crowd, Martinez develops engaging, daily reports for BlackEnterprise.com. She also pens the blog, After School Daze: Life After Undergrad, where she delves into the day-to-day issues and concerns of recent graduates trying to adapt to life off campus. Prior to Black Enterprise, the Bronx, N.Y. native contributed to Latina, Latina.com, Honeymag.com, Syracuse Record and The Post-Standard. When she's not writing articles, the self-proclaimed travelista is on the prowl for her next excursion.   Martinez holds a bachelor's degree in magazine journalism and sociology from Syracuse University.


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