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Your up-to-the-minute guide to London life, news, culture, pop-ups, and openings

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12 things you’ll only know if you’re a Christmas retail temp
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12 things you’ll only know if you’re a Christmas retail temp

It’s the most magical season of all. You get to enjoy pumpkin-spiced everything, the beautiful lights on Oxford Street, the… oh wait, you’re a Christmas retail temp. Here’s what this festive season is really like.   Most of December is spent in a zombie-like haze of tiredness. Don’t bother making plans this month, your only goal is to stay awake until the 25th.   via GIPHY   People are mean. Those who shop in jumpers with Christmas puddings on them aren’t always as jolly as you’d think. They can, in fact, be very angry, un-jolly people. Take note.   via GIPHY   Everyone gets worked up over the tiniest thing. 'This jumper is taupe, I specifically asked for fawn. You’ve ruined my Christmas.'  via GIPHY   The plastic bag charge seems completely pointless. Every item is basically covered in 12 layers of red and green cardboard, with snowflake confetti inside. Merry Christmas, environment.  via GIPHY People turn into savages. They forget how to put things back where they found them, and you begin to learn how to fold, and refold and refold clothing one-handed with your eyes closed.  via GIPHY You’ll run out of stock of a popular item at the beginning of December and wish you were dead. This is a BIG deal. There will be meetings. Sometimes the manager cries. Customers just don’t forgive this kind of betrayal.  via GIPHY The fitting rooms are the definition of a nightmare before Christmas. They just keep coming. And no one leaves. And

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Six alternative Christmas gifts for Londoners
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Six alternative Christmas gifts for Londoners

We've come a long way since the days of WH Smith's pre-packaged afternoon tea in a remote manor in Lincolnshire. Luckily, when it comes to experiences this this city, there's plenty of great, wrapping-paper-free gifts all over London, ready to welcome you with open arms when the festive buzz has worn off. Here are six of them.   Movie marathon or sing-a-long at the Prince Charles Cinema  We’re assuming here that you know this person well enough to judge whether they would love or despise a solid nine hours of 'Lord of the Rings' or a 'Frozen' sing-a-long. Get it right, and this is a banger of a gift (fun, affordable, quirky), get it wrong and you’ve essentially just forced your loved one to endure 'Let It Go' screamed by hundreds of baby-adults. From £16 per person. © Michal Baginski Turkish shave at Ted’s Grooming Room   This is an evil but possibly genius plan to initiate the removal of that ‘temporary’ beard you’ve been dreaming about mowing off since 2015, cleverly disguised as a luxury spa treatment. Mwahaha. From £22.50 per person  © Andy Parsons Flying the trapeze with Gorilla Circus    This is a gift for circus wannabes, show-offs or 'SATC' addicts desperate to channel Carrie in *that* episode. Give the gift of flying — in addition to an inspirational and Pinterest-esque social media post with the caption 'in life, there's no safety net'. From £28 per person.   A photo posted by QUILL (@quilllondon) on Jun 19, 2016 at 3:37am PDT  Lea

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Four places you never dreamed you could have a night out before the 24-hour Northern line
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Four places you never dreamed you could have a night out before the 24-hour Northern line

Hey, here’s a little irony about the all-night Northern line. The part of the line that serves some of London’s classic (predictable?) nightspots – like Old Street and Angel – isn’t actually the part of the line that now runs through the night on Fridays and Saturdays. Oops. But with London becoming an ever more decentralised city, why worry? There’s a whole load of alternative places where the overnight underground does let you get to now. Face it: you’ve always dreamed of a night out in Finchley – and thanks to late openings on the Northern line, now you can finally have it. Bonus points if you can get to them all in the same evening. Hendon Central   A photo posted by Ali Tuite (@alituite) on Nov 11, 2015 at 10:26am PST Proving that Hendon’s got more to it than just a museum about aeroplanes, authentic Irish bar The Claddagh Ring will have you truly flying after a few pints of the black stuff. It’s raucous, sporty, and often has bands hammering away until 2am. Highgate   A photo posted by Daria Sitnina (@dashasitnina) on Jul 20, 2016 at 4:04pm PDT Day or night, it seems there’s always something afoot at Boogaloo, a late-night beacon of hope on Archway Road. Art installations give way to quizzes, musicians, and themed DJ nights; recent gatecrashers include a band called The Libertines. Woodside Park   A photo posted by Shoes & Booze (@shoes_and_booze) on Mar 20, 2016 at 6:27am PDT Serving an area perhaps better known as

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Here are seven places you should swing by at Spa Terminus this month
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Here are seven places you should swing by at Spa Terminus this month

Thanks to global food supplies, we can now eat whatever we want, whenever we want. But if you're all about food that's truly in season, the Spa Terminus area in Bermondsey is home to over 25 food producers running thriving businesses. Here are seven you should visit this month:   Ice Cream Union     Sara’s choice of seasonal ice cream   ICU does artisanal ice creams and sorbets and you can expect new and seasonal flavours to their menu, no matter the weather. Treat yourself to an amazing spiced pumpkin, Christmas pudding or brandy butter ice cream.   Natoora     Seasonal vegetable box   Natoora Delica pumpkins are a seasonal favourite along with cime de rapa and spiky baby artichokes – all fresh in from Italy. Natoora sources from small farmers known for quality and flavour and they supply leading chefs and restaurants including The River Café. They also have a few shops and other outlets around London.   Monmouth Coffee     Coffee is always in season       Monmouth has become a legend on the London coffee scene, with a great range of blends for the winter months. Try the Gititu from Kenya for its rich seasonal taste – it has a hint of cherries, citrus, sweet caramel and cloves.    The London Honey Company     Inspired by the beauty of bees The London Honey Company collects honey from their beehives scattered around London’s rooftops, but they also send their hives to other parts of the UK to make honey of single origin. The late

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Watch this guy will make the fastest falafel wrap you've ever seen
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Watch this guy will make the fastest falafel wrap you've ever seen

Hungry and in an insane rush? Hot-foot it over to iFalafal in Petticoat Lane market on Goulston Street where this falafel wizard will you whip you up a tasty Middle Eastern snack in just 17 seconds. The street food vendor is taking fast food to new speedy heights and is getting a reputation as London’s 'falafel wrap master'. The £3 wraps come with a lightning speed addition of falafels, houmous, pickles, cucumber, lettuce, chilli sauce and tahini. They're getting such a reputation that there's even a Reddit thread called 'The Fastest Falafel Wrapper in London'. Don't believe us? Prepare to be amazed:   Still not impressed? Check this:      Hungry? Here are some more places to get some damn good falafel in London.

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Overheard in London: this week’s #wordonthestreet
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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 own! Like Word on the Street? We’ve now made a book of these little beauties! ‘Word on the Street: Ridiculous Things We’ve Overheard in London’ is out now, £6.99. To buy a copy, visit timeout.com/wotsbook​.

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Quit your job, become a... street food seller
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Quit your job, become a... street food seller

Andy Parsons   Evi Peroulaki 38, market stall owner and co-founder of Souvlaki Street What the hell is souvlaki? ‘It’s a Greek wrap. We use Greek pita, tzatziki, salad and either pork, chicken or halloumi.’ Why set up a street food stall? ‘Pure greed! Both Conor (my partner) and I love souvlaki, but we couldn’t find good souvlaki in London. So we turned up at our local market in Clapton one day with a disposable barbecue from Sainsbury’s to see how it went. We brought enough to make 20 wraps and they all went within an hour.’ Can anyone turn up and do it? ‘No, we had an audition with the guy who runs the market. It was a bit like “MasterChef”. After that, we started turning up every other Sunday and it got really popular.’ What's an average day for you now? ‘Early morning starts to get to the market by 8am. If I can get up at 6.30am, it’s a lie-in! Then we set up and start serving. I don’t get to sit down again until 9pm. By 10pm, I’m dead.’ How do you fit in a social life? ‘What’s a social life? We don’t have any friends any more! It’s very hard, especially in the summer because we do so many festivals. It’s like having a child: it takes every single moment of spare time you have.’ It sounds awful... ‘It’s our baby! The fact that it’s ours and we can take it in any direction we want is definitely the best thing about it. No matter how tiring it is or how much it sucks the life out of you, it’s your thing. We watch it grow every day and it makes us proud.’ Do

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City envy: there's a wine theme park in Bordeaux
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City envy: there's a wine theme park in Bordeaux

Theme parks: nightmare places of interminable queues, huge crowds of mardy teenagers, and £15 burgers filled with mystery meat. But take a moment to imagine this, if you will: the interminable queues have been replaced by row upon row of bottles of pinot noir. There are no rowdy youngsters, just glasses full of the finest cabernet sauvignon. And instead of dodgy food, there are gallons of delicious chenin blanc. This oenophile's wet dream is a reality, because the world's first wine theme park has just opened in the French city of Bordeaux. La Cité du Vin offers ten floors of adults-only fun, with experiences ranging from wine-tasting sessions to exhibitions on the history of wine and even a wine-merchant- themed boat ride. There are no rollercoasters, but the resulting hangovers should be able to recreate some of their effects. Want more great things in other cities? You can now get a pizza in a box made of pizza (!) in New York And there's an IMAX spin studio in New York

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11 reasons to go to Marchmont Street in Bloomsbury, WC1
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11 reasons to go to Marchmont Street in Bloomsbury, WC1

Bloomsbury is something of an unknown quantity. It’s hidden away, tucked among and behind all sorts of places that everyone already knows. But head to its back streets, past the busy roads and you’ll discover one of central London’s greatest treasures. Neither crazy-busy like Oxford Street, nor aggy like the City, not touristy like Covent Garden, it has all the history of Soho but, brilliantly, none of the crowds. Despite being near London’s busiest bits, Marchmont Street is one of Zone 1’s most chilled-out places to wander around and it has an amazingly rich heritage. It’s got all bases covered: art, cinema, architecture, museums, green spaces, shopping, fine food, nice pubs and cheap eats. And if you turn up on a Sunday morning you basically get it all to yourself. That rich history I alluded to earlier? The street’s full of stories: from the LGBT powerhouse Gay’s the Word (recognise it from Pride?) to Percy and Mary Shelley’s old house and the gossip-worthy goings-on of Jane Austen-era Brunswick Square, it’s basically a living museum of London. So as all the tourists head straight to the British Museum, go a little bit east and give yourself the whole day to have a proper exploration of the road that London historians call Bloomsbury’s ‘original high street’. Drink this   A photo posted by nicolondon1985 (@nicolondon1985) on Jun 21, 2013 at 4:17am PDT The Norfolk Arms runs a mean bar and also serves pata negra and soutzouki as well as modern British food a

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Top five cheapest Londoners
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Top five cheapest Londoners

© Nathan James Page       1. The exact-bill- divider-upper You and your work chums head out for dim sum, and eventually the bill arrives. Andy from Finance pipes up: ‘I only had one glass of pinot, and I didn’t touch the noodles.’ Dividing up the steamed dumplings, tofu skin rolls and lotus leaf rice parcels among you and seven of your colleagues is like thrusting a fully-grown Arizonian cactus up ya derrière. All because Andy foresees a personal economic meltdown if he spends a few extra pence on Donna from HR’s sticky rice. 2. The pots-of-cash-TK Maxx-weekender Kathy lives in a four-bed, three-bath, fifteenth-floor Thames-side apartment, has no comprehension of what the Jubilee line is and executes her weekly shop at Borough Market, but she’ll take up your whole Saturday dragging you round the aisles of TK’s in the hunt for a cost-effective kaftan. She’ll barter her way out of service charges, bully waiting staff for complimentary booze and wangle her way out of cancellation fees. You can take the girl out of the north-west, but not out of a 60 percent-less-than-the-RRP discount department store. © Nathan James Page   3. The daily saver, holiday splurger With Sam, it’s all voucher deals, Groupon bargains and TopTable offers; she’ll never start with an apéritif at a hyper-cool hotel or contemporary cocktail bar: ‘You can buy a whole bottle of plonk for the price of one cosmo in that gaff.’ She’ll happily bang on about P&O’s ocean-fresh lobster, the tasty p

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This tube map shows the average property prices at every London Underground station
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This tube map shows the average property prices at every London Underground station

Click for the full-sized map Everyone knows that if you ever want to get on the property ladder in London, you're going to need a helluva lot of cash. To quantify just how money we're talking about, the folks at TotallyMoney.com have put together this handy (if depressing) map, which shows the average house price, per square foot, within 0.3 miles of every London tube station. To put it into context, the average one-bedroom flat in London is about 500 square feet, so you don't need to be a mathematician to work out that Zone 1 is pretty much off-limits unless you're secretly sitting on a pile of gold. The research shows that the Hammersmith and City line is the most expensive at £1,125 per square foot, while the Metropolitan line has the cheapest average property price, at £504 per square foot. Although, it's worth bearing in mind that the Metropolitan line stretches all the way out to Zone 9, so you might save on property but you'll have a seriously long (and expensive) commute. Want more depressing property maps? This one show how unaffordable renting in London is. Here are 25 things you didn't know about the tube.

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Bum rush: photos of the World Naked Bike Ride in London
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Bum rush: photos of the World Naked Bike Ride in London

  A photo posted by A Broad In London (@abroad.inlondon) on Jun 11, 2016 at 9:23am PDT On Saturday, hundreds of cyclists stripped off and saddled up for the World Naked Bike Ride's London leg.   A photo posted by Paukova (@paukova_zhzh) on Jun 11, 2016 at 7:46am PDT Ostensibly a protest against oil dependency and a car-dominated public realm, it's also quite a good laugh.   A photo posted by Ming (@indieboy) on Jun 11, 2016 at 9:05am PDT Photos suggest quite a troubling number of arsehole-on-Santander-bike incidents. Let's hope everyone brought some Dettol wipes.    A photo posted by Norberto Gomes (@norgomes) on Jun 12, 2016 at 8:51am PDT The bike ride takes place in cities around the world, with recent happenings in Chicago and Los Angeles.    A photo posted by Secchi (@secchiyao) on Jun 11, 2016 at 2:33pm PDT The event happens each year, so if you're feeling inspired, make a plan for next June!   A photo posted by @chichiwawawa on Jun 11, 2016 at 12:44pm PDT And now to conclude the post, more naked people on bikes. Enjoy!    A photo posted by Monkey (@monkey_muscle) on Jun 13, 2016 at 2:01am PDT      A photo posted by Tom (@i_am_tomr) on Jun 11, 2016 at 12:18pm PDT     A photo posted by Ashish Surana (@_aashishclicks) on Jun 11, 2016 at 1:30pm PDT     A photo posted by Asier Susaeta (@assier78) on Jun 12, 2016 at 3:52am P

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