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

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Four places in London for excellent onion rings

  Few things go better with a pint or a burger than a portion of well-made onion rings. In fact, some are so good you could dine on them alone. Here's where to find the perfect ringers.  The Ring, Southwark This pub got its name because it serves up the best onion rings in London. (No, I refuse to believe it had anything to do with the now-defunct boxing ring over the road.) Here you’ll find moist, buttery onions in a fluffy outer shell. The kicker? They’re laced with chilli. Meat Liquor, various sites It has come to be known in certain culinary circles that the onion rings at Meat Liquor are quite simply as big as your face. What more really needs to be said? © Dirty Burger Dirty Burger, various sites What do you get when you cross the two best accompaniments to a burger? Answer: onion fries. That’s right, Dirty Burger’s onions are in no way circular, but guess what? It doesn’t matter. These beauties are salty, sodden with oil, and surrounded by a paper-thin batter – in other words, everything you want in an onion ring. You know, without the 'ring' bit. The Mayflower, Rotherhithe As you surely already know, this pub’s named after the ship that transported the first pilgrims to America in 1620, departing from the adjacent dock on the Thames. Unfortunately for them, these pilgrims clearly didn’t taste the pub’s bar snacks – the allure of the al dente onions encased in a batter with the crunchiness not unlike Monster Munch would’ve ensured they never bothered to s

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21 things you think when you leave London for a European city break

You've found a great bank holiday deal and you plan to head to another European city half-expecting the same familiar buzz, amenities and customs. On the contrary: prepare for the culture shock to leave you desperately clutching your Oyster card to your chest as you struggle to battle this minefield of a place that feels nothing like home. 1. 'The nearest high street is how far?' 2. 'Is it okay to drink the water?' 3. 'Am I an idiot for asking that?' Flickr / Dan Taylor-Watt 4. 'Please tell me you have wi-fi.' 5. 'I need Google. Damn these data roaming charges.' 6. 'I can't believe we're still waiting for the bus.' 7. 'Should we get an Uber? They've got Uber here, right?' Flickr / PROzoetnet 8. 'I think we should consult the map.' 9. 'This bar shuts HOW early?' 10. 'Is anything open here on a Sunday?' Flickr / César Rincón 11. 'Why is their McDonald's menu so different?' 12. 'The silence around here is deafening. This can't be the city centre.' 13. 'Oh, someone spoke to me in the native language. I must look like a local. Fitting in.' Flickr / Daniel70mi Falciola 14. 'What's the word for avocado?' 15. 'This supermarket is a minefield.' 16. 'Do you think I can get soya milk here?' 17. 'Fanta PINEAPPLE. Get in.' Flickr / Pedro Ribeiro Simões 18. 'Where's the shade?' 19. 'Bloody tourists.' 20. 'Oh shit, I'm a tourist.' 21. 'I really miss London.' For more seasonal LOLs, here are 15 things Londoners secretly think when a friend ge

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Here's how to go around the world (or London) in eight brunches

  Brunch is taking over the world. What began as the preserve of the fabulous and hungover has become a city-wide phenomenon with almost universal appeal. I mean, it’s effectively breakfast, except you get a lie-in and nobody judges you for drinking within an hour of rolling out of bed. That said, eggs benedict can get a little boring if you have it every weekend, so why not try these internationally inspired brunches instead?    A photo posted by Asia de Cuba London (@asiadecubauk) on Feb 24, 2016 at 2:37pm PST   Asia de Cuba Asia de Cuba’s Covent Garden restaurant sets the standard for fusion cuisine with its unique menu of chino-latino grub, and its brunch menu is something very special indeed. Order a la carte, or choose the decadent Cocktail Brunch, £48, which includes a galaxy of small plates, a main of your choice, unlimited Mexican doughnuts and bottomless bellinis, mimosas, mojitos or bloody marys. For extra special occasions, upgrade to bottomless Perrier-Jouet Brut NV champagne for £70 per person. Weekends, noon–4pm.   A photo posted by Hannah Cannell (@swimbikebake) on Mar 15, 2016 at 2:54am PDT Dishoom Just around the corner is Dishoom, famous for its Indian street food and mile-long queues. It also has branches in Shoreditch, King’s Cross and Carnaby Street, but wait times can still reach up to three hours at dinner time. Skip the lines and treat your tastebuds instead to an Indian-style brunch instead; dishes include the famous b

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Five ways to spot an American in London

Americans love London. And whether they've been here five minutes or five decades, you can spot an American in London a mile away. It's all thanks to these classic giveaways.   A photo posted by used clothing LORE (@u.c.lore) on Oct 30, 2015 at 9:14pm PDT 1. The old university gear Like spotting a zebra in the wild, you can always pick out the American at the gym. Dead giveaways include: old sorority and fraternity gear (hey Sigma Sigma Sigma pledge class of ’09!), classic university shirts collected from Harvard, NYU and the random gems emblazoned with Michigan State. Also, you’re at a gym. Are you sure you're not American too?     A photo posted by Carla (@londonisforliving) on Mar 13, 2016 at 8:41am PDT 2. TALKING LIKE THIS CAN YOU HEAR ME? I’M ENUNCIATING MY WORDS AND SPEAKING VERY LOUDLY. There’s no such thing as a whisper. You’ll never ask them to repeat themselves as you heard it all the first time.     A photo posted by Jenn (@jenntello) on Apr 10, 2016 at 8:54am PDT 3. The terminology Sneakers, trash, parking lot, school… even if they’ve been living in London for years, you’ll always be able to pinpoint the American based on the words they use. Some of us who've been here for a while translate what we’d actually say based on where we are. Yep, I’ll take out the rubbish. Or I’m wearing my trainers today. But we do occasionally slip into ‘I’m going to school today', before remembering that school is for 12-year-olds here. Rig

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Video: here's how they make rainbow bagels

The rainbow bagel is here and it's taking over Instagram. Originally created at The Bagel Store in Brooklyn, it was only a matter of time before someone in London started making them.   Rob Greig       The first place to bust out the food colouring was The Beigel Shop (the yellow one on Brick Lane), so we went behind the scenes to find out how they make the Play Doh-style boiled beauties and if they actually taste any good. Here's the technicolour baking process – watch to the end to find out whether they actually do taste like a rainbow.    

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Trendy fried chicken vs cheapo: Which is better? (And other foodstuffs)

Thanks to the gentrification of humble takeaway fare in London, there are kebab restaurants run by ex-Le Gavroche chefs and chippies that do fizz with your fish. But is gourmet junk food actually better than the cheap and cheerful originals? There’s only one way to find out… Fish and chips Cheap: Haddock and chips, The Fryer’s Delight, Holborn. £7.95 This old-school chippy has been on the scene since 1968, so it’s had plenty of time to hone its craft: crispy batter, light and flaky fish, crunchy chips with fluffy insides – and not too much guilt-inducing grease on the plate afterwards. An oldie and a goodie. Posh: Haddock and chips, Vintage Salt, Islington. £12 As with The Fryer’s Delight, you get perfectly executed fish and chips here, but it comes with a heftier price tag. What you’re really paying for is the experience. This place is nice: brasserie feel, stonkingly good cocktail list (pickle-juice martini, anyone?) and proper fabric napkins. Now that is posh. VERDICT: It’s a draw. The fish and chips aren’t an awful lot nicer at the posh place, but it gets bonus points for the trimmings. Fried chicken Cheap: Spicy ‘M’ wings, Morley’s, Camberwell. £2.30 for eight wings   As every connoisseur of post-pub munchies knows, it isn’t Red Bull that gives you wings, it’s five pints of strong IPA followed by a stagger through the delicious meaty aroma of your local chicken shop. The batter at Morley’s sings with spice, the wings are deliciously greasy, and they cost

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Four places in London for the totally tea-obsessed

Can't get enough of a good cuppa? Head to one of these lovely spots to get your tea fix. The pub Stoke Newington Tea House    A photo posted by Anne (em) Cortez (@mariemontclair) on Jan 7, 2016 at 2:25pm PST Describing itself as ‘a British pub with some twists’, this newly opened drinking spot – formerly The Daniel Defoe – allows you to sip on the leafy stuff in the setting of a traditional boozer. More than 100 types of loose leaf tea are available, as well as a range of cocktails, beer and wine. 102 Stoke Newington Church St, N16 0LA. Stoke Newington rail. The café Tiosk   A photo posted by Irene Michaelides (@ireney10) on Mar 5, 2016 at 7:34am PST There are many minimalist cafés in east London but few that have shunned coffee in favour of London’s original caffeinated drink. Broadway Market’s Tiosk has more teas than you can shake a stirrer at, along with a sumptuous-looking selection of salads, stews and wholesome soups. 33 Broadway Market, E8 4PH. Cambridge Heath rail. The bar Jarr Kombucha   A photo posted by @jarrkombucha on Nov 27, 2015 at 9:10am PST In case you’re not au fait with this Californian health craze, kombucha is a bitter-tasting fermented tea drink packed with supposedly beneficial microbes. Hackney Wick’s Jarr Kombucha bar is dedicated to the ‘live’ stuff and even does a fine line in kombucha cocktails. So you can be healthy while being, er... unhealthy. Mick’s Garage, Queen’s Yard, E9 5EN. Hackney Wick Overgr

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In pictures: behind the scenes at London's theatres

Photographer Matt Humphrey has spent the last year living a theatre buff's dream, hanging out backstage at over 50 productions including 'Hamlet' at the Barbican Theatre, 'American Buffalo' at Wyndham’s Theatre and 'As You Like It' at the Globe. He's taken a whopping 18,000 behind the scenes photographs, including snaps of Damian Lewis, Benedict Cumberbatch and Dame Helen Mirren getting ready to go on stage as her Maj in 'The Audience' – and you can now see the best of them in his new book, 'A Year Backstage In London Theatre'.  The book is out on March 28 but we've got a sneak peek of the backstage snaps: Matt Humphrey       Matt Humphrey   Matt Humphrey   Matt Humphrey   Matt Humphrey   Matt Humphrey   Matt Humphrey Matt Humphrey     'A Year Backstage In London Theatre' is £45 and available for pre-order here. Check out the top ten theatre openings in London this March.

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Five maps that quantify exactly how rammed London is

London – it's quite busy, isn't it? But maybe more than you even realise. As of this time last year, 8.6 million people call Greater London their home. That makes London a LOT bigger than other UK cities. You could fit people from all these city districts into London, for example: Admittedly we're cheating a little, because just as 'London' is much bigger than just the central district, so 'Greater Manchester' is much bigger than just the middle bit of Manchester. But even if you take entire metropolitan counties, you can still fit everyone from five of the country's biggest into Greater London: See? There's loads of us. Who else could you fit in London? Yep, there are more Londoners than Scottish (5.3 million) and Welsh people (3.0 million) put together. How about some American cities? You could fit the citizens from these all places comfortably inside the Big Smoke:  In fact, we're even bigger than all these countries combined: Come to think of it, London is also more populous than Israel, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, New Zealand and Jamaica... to name but a few. (If we became our own country, we'd be the 96th largest – just a few thousand people smaller than Austria.) If this is all making your blood pressure rise, just be glad you don't live in Shanghai, which at 24 million people (nearly three times the size of London) is the largest city in the world:  Finally, a snappy demographic fact to impress someone on a first date: if you drained

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Where is the best Nando's in London?

  London is filled with amazing independent cafés, Michelin-starred restaurants and quirky street food pop-ups, but you know what? Sometimes you don't want any of that. Sometimes you just want a Nando's (cheeky or otherwise). And because it's a chain, it doesn't matter which one you go to – they're all the same, right? Wrong. The folks at The Mirror have taken it upon themselves to find out once and for all which are the best and worst Nando's restaurants in the country. They looked at every Nando's UK branch that had more than 20 reviews on Trip Advisor – and apparently it's something people feel pretty strongly about, as there were 308 branches that made the cut. Each branch was ranked by its average star rating and then by the total number of reviews submitted. If you're really committed to getting the best Nando's experience, you better hop on a train to the north-east as the most-loved branch is in a town called Boldon, just south of Newcastle. But the good news is that four of the top ten best Nando's are in London. Next time you want to get your poultry and peri peri fix, head to the King's Cross branch, which came third in the country. Or failing that, branches in Earl's Court, Victoria Wilton Road and Covent Garden all made the top ten, too. Prefer your chicken fried? We lift the lid on London's obsession with fried chicken. Or find out which fared better in our taste test of trendy fried chicken vs cheapo.

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Quit your job, become a... yoga instructor

© Rob Greig   Olga Allon, 39, director and head teacher at Hot Yoga Society Why did you decide to pursue hot yoga instead of normal cold yoga? ‘I fell in love with it. Ten years ago there weren’t many hot yoga studios around and I felt huge benefits from doing it, so I thought it was the right decision. But I’m also a qualified architect.’ Whoa. Was it a tough transition from architecture to yoga? ‘It was incredibly hard to move away from the security of a nine-to-five job and a salary, but it was becoming increasingly frustrating being in an office environment. I also knew that at some point I wanted to have a family. The unknown was definitely daunting, but it was exciting at the same time because I knew I wanted to have that freedom to choose how I spent my days.’ What's an average day like now that you're the boss? ‘The day normally starts about 6.30am with mindful meditation, then it’s straight to the yoga studio, taking classes, teaching, meeting people to develop the business, spending time with my staff and teachers, and trialling new classes.’ Do you have to maintain a healthy lifestyle for this job? ‘Absolutely. If I’m going to preach about that lifestyle and have a studio that’s effectively all about health and wellbeing, I need to live it myself.’ Are there ever any awkward lol moments in your class? ‘We have a posture called “wind- removing pose” and it does what exactly it says on the package. It’s supposed to clear out your intestines, so you tend

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25 photos that prove London is just a cute little village

It's a popular misconception that London is a bustling global metropolis with a population of over 8 million. But in fact, it's simply a twee-as-fuck village consisting purely of cobbled streets and charming attractions. These photos prove our point. 1) All the museums are tiny:   A photo posted by @anya_alaska on Jan 17, 2016 at 10:15am PST 2) The streets are all small:   A photo posted by Erica Siegel (@ericasiegel) on Jan 12, 2016 at 2:36am PST 3) The village garden is well turned out: Patrizia Ilaria Sechi" data-width-class="" /> © Patrizia Ilaria Sechi  4) And the local pub is ridiculously pretty:   A photo posted by {رو لولو} ȓŭė ℒʊℒʊ (@ruelulu) on Jul 30, 2015 at 12:50am PDT 5) There are pretty little cottages: Patrizia Ilaria Sechi" data-width-class="" /> © Patrizia Ilaria Sechi 6) Winding roads everywhere:   A photo posted by @jamesleach on Jan 10, 2016 at 9:14am PST 7) A sweet local greengrocer:    A photo posted by @t3j1 on Dec 8, 2015 at 12:06pm PST 8)  Wide open spaces are never far away: Mark, Flickr" data-width-class="" /> © Mark, Flickr  9) There are colourful facades:   A photo posted by JAMES HENRY / (@getjimbo) on Oct 1, 2015 at 10:08am PDT 10) Street stalls:   A photo posted by #prettycitylondon (@prettycitylondon) on Oct 17, 2015 at 1:24am PDT 11) The two main modes of transport are VINTAGE CAR:   A photo posted by K S E N I A (@kseniaskos) on Jan 24, 2016

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