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The Time Out London blog

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

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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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London's street art neighbourhoods: Turnpike Lane

Over the past quarter of a century, street art has become part of London's image. Some areas, however – think Shoreditch, think Camden, think Leake Street – are far more recognisable as centres of street art than others; partially because they have so much of it. That doesn't mean that those places are the be-all and end-all of it, though. Almost everywhere in London has at least a few walls worth seeing, and, of all the lesser-known corners of our painted city, Turnpike Lane is perhaps one of the most exciting and vibrant – nicely exemplified by, if nothing else, the very fact that each of the following works are located within a 60-second walk of each other.     A photo posted by @chris10112 on Apr 4, 2016 at 2:54am PDT 1. 'The Heron'  ATM's heron, which is painted on the side of some lucky person's house, is situated just off Langham Place, about a minute from the station. It's the Turnpike Art Group's largest piece at over 18 feet, and looks really rather magnificent when all lit up by that streetlight at night.   A photo posted by @chris10112 on Apr 4, 2016 at 2:57am PDT 2. 'Fox' Boe & Irony are a pair of anonymous street artists who have works on walls across the city – all of them animal-themed. Their fox, on Waldegrave Road, has been there for a few years now and is probably one of the area's most recognisable landmarks.    A photo posted by @chris10112 on Apr 4, 2016 at 2:55am PDT 3. 'The Lapwing' (and Fio Silva's mural)  That t

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Eight ways to tell a real Londoner from a fake Londoner

You live in London, you work in London and you use your holidays to escape from London -–but are you are real Londoner? Follow our eight-point checklist to weed out those field-loving London imposters.      London is your Oyster! via photopin (license)" data-width-class="" /> photo credit: London is your Oyster! via photopin (license) 1. Real Londoners have tried to open their front door with their Oyster card Your Oyster card has become such an important part of your daily life that it's now more important than the keys to your house. Why can't we just beep home? It would be so much more convenient. Our Oyster love is so deep we even have special patterned holders for these cards, so special they make purses and wallets redundant. That's how real Londoners roll.   London tourist and red phonebox, Covent Garden via photopin (license)" data-width-class="" /> photo credit: London tourist and red phonebox, Covent Garden via photopin (license) 2. Fake Londoners smile even when they don't have to Don't get us wrong, we Londoners are lovely people – some of the best out here. We just don't feel the need to inanely smile the whole time. We are saving our smiles to lure the bus driver who has already closed his doors or for reacting to the new pop-up restaurant right next door or for the free samples guy at Victoria station (hello, multiple free samples). Yes, if you spot any smile-happy people in London, they are definitely fakes.   Bucket And Spade On The

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Five great Bermondsey breweries to check out

Railway arch microbreweries with a BYO food policy are the name of the game on the Bermondsey Beer Mile. If you're a fan of top-notch craft beer, here are five you should check out. Photograph by Michael Kelly | Courtesy of The Kernel  The Kernel If you've never tried anything from the original Bermondsey brewery, add its Citra IPA or Chinook Pale Ale to your spring beer list. Unlike its brewing brothers, The Kernel opens its doors solely as a bottle shop on Saturdays from 9am to 2pm, allowing the brewery to focus on what it does best. Courtesy of Brew By Numbers Brew By Numbers Brew By Numbers founders Dave Seymour and Tom Hutchings met in Asia. On their return to the UK, Dave started homebrewing, while Tom – an old friend of Toby from The Kernel – was drinking their craft beer, wondering how he could do something even better. Along came Brew By Numbers in 2011. Their numbering system is distinctive – the first two numbers refer to the style of beer (saison, porter, IPA, etc.), while the second two denote the specific recipe and hop variations. If that sounds confusing, don't worry – everything they brew is utterly delicious. Courtesy of Fourpure Brewing Co Fourpure Brewing Co Fourpure was founded in 2013 by brothers Daniel and Thomas Lowe. In 2014, it became the first British brewery to can its beers – a move that's slowly becoming the industry standard. They've just launched their new brew, Flatiron, a moreishly malty red ale.  Courtesy of Partizan

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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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