Damon Albarn calls Adele feud 'not even true'
This week we interviewed Blur leader Damon Albarn and National Theatre boss Rufus Norris about 'wonder.land', their new musical version of 'Alice's...
11 legendary recording studios in London every muso should know
It was 31 years ago this week that the cream of '80s pop squeezed into Notting Hill’s Sarm Studios to record the charity single, ‘Do They Know It’s...
Open all hours: meet London's cornershop owners
It's there when you need booze, chocolate, loo roll and milk. The humble corner shop is every Londoner's best friend. Kieran Yates celebrates an urban...
Out-of-action Piccadilly line trains are causing rush hour delays
If you usually get to work on the Piccadilly line, it probably hasn't escaped your notice that it's been a bit of a shambles lately. But it's not the...
Rihanna announces a Wembley Stadium gig on her ‘Anti’ tour
For someone who used to release a new album every damn year, Rihanna’s been mighty cagey in the run-up to her new record ‘Anti’. The album drops this...
A new charity is fighting homelessness in London by turning rough sleepers into baristas
Think for a minute: when was the last time you bought a Big Issue? Would you have bought one sooner if, instead of flicking through it and leaving it on the...
Your shout: Sarah Sumeray - 'I love London buses: they're full of weirdoes'
Taking public transport is never dull. In fact it's the greatest show in town. The crowds, the cost, the mingling odours of KFC and sweat, the manic...
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Winter is coming: London might be getting snow this weekend
Brace yourselves, London, because this unseasonably warm weather is about to take an icy turn. This weekend, temperatures are forecast to drop to zero...
You’ll never guess which London borough earns the most
Just kidding: it’s The City, obviously, and by a pretty margin, too. As revealed in a new report by the Office of National Statistics, pinstriped types earn...
Overheard in London: this week’s #wordonthestreet
Every week you share the weird things you’ve overheard in London. Above, a few perplexing snippets from the past seven days – don’t forget to tweet us your...
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Six tips for hosting a truly memorable engagement party in London
Venue: Barsmith, FarringdonSamantha Baines You are engaged: hurrah! Now comes the spreadsheets, lists and organisational nightmare that's part and parcel of planning a wedding (it will be worth it in the end!). First things first - it's time to celebrate the end of singledom with all of your loved ones. Here are six top tips to make sure you celebrate in style: 1. Pick a great venue You can end up shelling out loads on an engagement party venue but this is money you could be saving for the big day. In London, there are lots of brilliant bars and pubs that will give you a free space/room in exchange for their bar takings - some bars will stipulate a minimum spend but let's face it, there will be drinking, LOTS of drinking. Barsmith is in Farringdon and has areas that you can book for your party for free. They even do drinks packages so you pay in advance and they stock up a huge drinks fridge in your party area. It's basically like having a party at your house with a bigger fridge, more atmosphere and much less mess. Top tip: If you are inviting older family members it is worth thinking about having somewhere for them to sit as well as gauging how loud the music in the venue is.
Five festive nights out south of the river
With twinkling Christmas lights going up all over the place, the festive period is well and truly upon us. South Londoners don't need to head to north to embrace the season with these events... Christmas at Kew Head to Kew Gardens after dark to enjoy their special winter trail. The mile-long path weaves its way through the botanic gardens with sparkling lights, illuminated fountains and, intriguingly, a choir of holly bushes, all making for a magical evening. There will also be the chance to buy gifts at the Christmas fare. Christmas Films at The Vaults, Waterloo The Underground Film Club makes the Vaults in Waterloo their home for winter. Here, you’ll find drinks from ‘Spirited Mixers’ and a food pop-up from a Hawksmoor head chef. And if that’s not tempting enough, then the plethora of Christmas feel good films should be. Choose from the likes of ‘Elf’, ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’ and a ‘Home Alone’ double bill. Fondue at The Lodge, Clapham When the months get colder and you need a warm hug, an evening in a mock alpine restaurant is sure to perk you up. Head to The Lodge for the second year of this ridiculously popular pop-up. This time its home is bigger and has moved from Balham to above the Clapham North pub. Enjoy mulled wine and cider, charcuterie and, most importantly, fondue. Southbank Centre Christmas Market When those wooden huts appear on the Southbank each year, it's a sure sign Christmas is just around the corner. The stunning riverside setting is
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TfL has released a new and improved walking tube map
Click for the full-sized map Sure, the tube is great and everything, but sometimes all those stops to 'regulate the service' and the lack of any natural light can grind you down a bit. If you've ever wondered whether it would be quicker to walk – or at least get off a stop early – the folks at TfL have released a shiny new version of the official walking tube map showing the average walking times for each station. There are loads of stations in Zone 1 that are less than a ten minute walk away from each other, so a short stroll could save you the aggro of going underground on a sweaty tube carriage. Some of the Overground stops are a bit more spread out – and the Victoria line's quick one-stop journey from Highbury & Islington to King's Cross translates as a not-so-swift 35 minute walk, so if you're in a hurry or feeling lazy, then it might be better to grin and bear it on the tube. Can't be arsed to walk? Try using one of these sneaky tube shortcuts that only Londoners know See the UK passport's new (weirdly inaccurate) tube map Or take a look at the top five worst times to be on the tube
Sweet cheesus! It's your favourite mac 'n' cheese in London
Scott Chasserot Who does the best cheesy pasta in London? You told us! Balthazar: Covent Garden A photo posted by Sheffie Weatherford (@justsheffie) on Sep 14, 2015 at 5:16am PDT 'If you're a foodie then this is one you have to tick off the list.' Tim A via www.timeout.com Hawksmoor: various locations A photo posted by Hawksmoor (@hawksmoorrestaurants) on Sep 2, 2015 at 12:09pm PDT 'They do the best mac 'n' cheese in all the land!' Amy Williams via Twitter The Mall Tavern: Notting Hill 'Their Blue Monday mac 'n' cheese has an inch-thick crust of golden breadcrumbs and cheese sitting atop a mountain of blue cheese pasta. Stretch pants at the ready.' Alexandra L via www.timeout.com Loaf: Fitzrovia A photo posted by Jolli (@jolli316) on Jul 7, 2014 at 3:49pm PDT 'Choose from plain mac 'n' cheese, or with truffle oil or pulled pork.' Ian W via www.timeout.com Spuntino: Soho A photo posted by Amelia Butler (@timetobristol) on Aug 11, 2015 at 12:13pm PDT 'A pretty damn fine mac 'n' cheese that gets my vote.' @skinnychamp via Twitter Pizza East: Shoreditch, Kentish Town and Portobello Road A photo posted by Neil P Byrne (@neilpbyrne) on Sep 25, 2015 at 5:23am PDT 'Forget about their pizza - the mac 'n' cheese is also served straight from their wood-fired oven. Truly the best cheesy carb dish.' Debbie Walpole via Facebook The Mac Factory: Camden A photo posted by @webefeasting on Jul 6, 2015
Top five excuses for being late
Nathan James Page 1. 'Google Maps sent me the wrong way' All smartphone owners have spent 20 minutes stuck on a street corner, cursing the day they chose the cheapest possible data plan. In these moments, ëI got lostí is a valid excuse for being late. If a smartphone user gets lost at any other time, itís their own fault. In fact,'Google Maps sent me the wrong way' is the new 'Sorry, I didn't get your email': we all know it's a lie, but have to be politely understanding about it. 2. 'I got stuck at work' No Londoner - except maybe someone in the emergency services - has work so important they can legitimately put a friend through the shame of sitting alone in Nando's. When we say we're 'stuck at work', we usually mean we spent all day flicking between Facebook and YouTube before remembering at 4.30pm that we had a huge report to finish. Or that a colleague is giving us gossip so good it warrants staying in the office a bit later. (Actually, maybe that is a legitimate excuse.) 3. 'Eurgh, my commute was a total nightmare' The only good thing about commuting in London is that we can use the unpredictability of public transport as a valid excuse for being late. While car drivers in the provinces are expected to set off half an hour early because they know the traffic's always bad, we can stroll into work behind time and blame it on 'the bloody DLR again'. Shout out to the office weasel who always pipes up about the train being 'fine when they got it': you're a dick.
Quit your job, become a... bikebuilder
Scott Chasserot Matthew Sowter, 38, bicycle framebuilder and owner of Saffron Frameworks In short, what is it you do? 'I design and fabricate custom bicycle frames, and I assemble the finished bikes. Each project throws up new challenges, but it's very much a collaborative effort with the customer, which means that I am open to building anything: track bikes, mountain bikes, single-speed, cyclocross...' Have you always worked with bicycles? 'No. About five-and-a-half years ago, I was living in South Africa, working as a chef and doing a lot of amateur bike racing. Then I got chronic fatigue syndrome and was unable to race. I had to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I came across an interview with a framebuilder in Italy by the name of Darren Crisp. Something clicked. So I badgered Darren with phone calls for advice, and then went off and did a welding course.' What goes into the process of making a custom bicycle? 'It starts with a consultation. Then the customer goes to a bike-fitting specialist who measures their body with lasers. From that, we build the bicycle frame and weld it together. While the frame is sent off to be painted, the other parts ñ wheels, gears, saddle - all get ordered in from different suppliers. After the frame comes back, we assemble the complete bike.' What skills do you need for the job? 'You need a strong eye for design, and you have to be fastidious and strong-willed in your standards. You also have to put your heart and soul
25 reasons London is the beer capital of the world
Decline the wine, bin the gin: the capital is now the very best place in the world to be drinking beer, and we've got 25 reasons to prove it. 1. This is a golden age of beer Ten years ago, London beer meant a pint of Pride and not much else. We were a city in love with pallid Continental lager. We had lost our identity! But in 2015, you probably have a favourite brewery, a favourite pale ale and a favourite place to drink it. Every week, someone chucks in their dull job and says, 'I want to be a brewer.' Every week, a pub realises that Carling Extra Cold leaves us cold - we just want something made in Hackney or Penge or Wimbledon. We really, really love London beer. 2. And it really is bloody delicious! None of this cheerleading would matter if everything tasted a bit meh. But have you tried The Kernel's incredible Double Mosaic IPA? Or Weird Beard's Tsujigiri, infused with Asian yuzu citrus? Frankly, we're embarrassed to have ever allowed the likes of Budweiser to pass our lips. 3. London has been swimming in the stuff for centuries In the thirteenth century, monks at St Paul's brewed 67,814 gallons of beer a year to be lapped up by thirsty Londoners. Henry VIII's Hampton Court entourage necked 13,000 pints every day. Many styles we love originated here - porter kept our city's 'hardworking people' working hard in the 1700s, IPA was brewed to be shipped to the colonies. You're welcome, world. 4. In fact, the PM's pad used to be a brewery The earliest known building
City envy: New Yorkers can now rent a mum
Mums make everything better, don’t they? The sympathetic smiles, the unending enthusiasm for laundry, the mastery of pies – sometimes all it takes is a visit from mum to give you hope that perhaps you’re not a totally wretched human being after all. Hence why we’ve got a major envy-on for New York right now. A new service called Need A Mom has just launched over there, offering to hook up troubled city dwellers with a sort of maternal prostitute who definitely won’t touch you in that place you like but will definitely cook you things, drink tea with you and generally put up with your bullshit. NeedAMom will work within your budget. #needamom #ineedamom #ashouldertocryon #mommy #support #bushwick #ridgewood A photo posted by NeedaMomNYC (@needamomnyc) on Sep 29, 2015 at 11:40am PDT As reported by our pals at Time Out New York, the service is the brain-child of actual mother Nina Keneally, who, via her website, promises not to ‘question your lifestyle choice’, ‘be judgemental about your friends’ or ‘keep you on the phone for 45 minutes talking about the neighbor’s cat’. So nothing like a real mum, then. Or get a dose of 'town envy' with Darlington's new Greggs pasty and wine pairing night.