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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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Six cultural gems you’ll find in Smithfield

What better place for the new home of the Museum of London than Smithfield, where London’s history has played out for centuries? There are buildings on West Smithfield which survived the Great Fire of London, dodged the bombs of The Blitz, and have seen our city grow around them for almost 1,000 years. That makes Smithfield one of the oldest areas in London, and one that deserves much more recognition than it gets. Here's six cultural gems you should check out the next time you're in the 'hood:  Memorials to revolutioners Tell a medieval Londoner that you were off to admire the rich cultural beauty of Smithfield and they’d look at you as if you were one turnip short of a turnip surprise. That’s because, in their day, the area was an infamous site for executions: it was here that Scottish patriot Sir William Wallace was hung and quartered in 1305; that Wat Tyler, leader of the Peasant’s Revolt, met his end in 1381; and that Henry VIII exacted his revenge on the people who dared deny that he was head of the church. Memorials for Wallace and Tyler remain here today.   @damienhirst #stbartholomewthegreat #smithfield A photo posted by @davidahbtaylor on May 21, 2016 at 4:25am PDT     A Damien Hirst masterpiece at an Oscar-worthy filming location Remember when everyone rushed to Tate Modern to see Damien Hirst’s exhibition? Well now you can see his work again - this time at St Bartholomew the Great church in Smithfield. ‘Exquisite Pain’ - a gilded statue of Saint

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Seven spots to seduce a date in South London

So you’ve swiped right, slid into DMs or actually struck up a conversation in real life and have secured a date. After the obligatory outfit planning panic attack and social media sleuthing, all there's left is to pick a place to go. Impressing your arm candy doesn’t have to include the Central Line or Soho. Whether one of you lives south of river or you want to explore, there’s plenty on offer in the underbelly of the city. Here are seven spots to seduce your date in south London.     A photo posted by The Coffee Co. UK (@thecoffeecouk) on Feb 14, 2016 at 2:43am PST The Coffee Co., Clapham Common Keep it casual with a coffee and Crosstown doughnuts at The Coffee Co. They’ve expanded beyond their Tooting roots with a new Clapham Common location that opened just weeks ago. 7 Clapham Common, SW4 7AA.     A photo posted by The Gorringe Park (@thegorringepark) on Apr 8, 2015 at 10:00am PDT The Gorringe Park, Tooting Feel like a teen again at The Gorringe Park. This gastropub has a boutique basement cinema which offers free film showings at 8pm every night, so you can take your beau to the back row after a beer. 29 London Road, SW17 9HW.     A photo posted by Andrea Palmberg (@andreapalmberg) on Nov 16, 2015 at 2:12am PST South Bank Book Market, Waterloo Underneath a bridge has never been so romantic. Hold hands over Hardy and swap interests at The South Bank Book Market, and find out if your date is more Mr Men than memoir

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Nine things you'll know if you grew up in Wembley

Tucked away in Zone 4 of North-West London (aka North Wheezy to many of its residents), Wembley is commonly known for its stadium, arena and hosting the X-Factor auditions. But if you grew up in this unique corner of London, you might be able to relate to the following: 1. Diversity is a given Multiculturalism is your default. From Diwali celebrations on Ealing Road to Irish pubs on the high street and the Somali community in the square, the ethnic make-up may have evolved, but Wembley has been diverse for a long time. The London borough Brent, home to Wembley, was the first local authority in the UK to have a majority black, Asian and minority ethnic population.   A photo posted by Karolin (@klingklung) on Apr 26, 2016 at 4:28am PDT   2. You're used to event days You grew up in shadow of Wembley Stadium and Arena. Every other weekend you'd hear the concerts from your garden or get stuck in traffic after a big match. You got to know which pubs would be reserved for which football fans and in later years perhaps made a quick buck renting out your driveway. 3. It was all about the 182 That bus could take you to Harrow shopping centre or Brent Cross shopping centre in one go. What was cooler than hanging around a shopping centre or bus station instead of going home after school? Literally nothing. 4. The free bus You remember the 18 when it was bendy and you could just jump on. Some of you would even sit on it and shout, 'I'm on the free bus!' down your

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This charity footie match is your last chance to visit West Ham FC's Boleyn Ground

If you want to spend a day watching some fun football games steeped in history and help raise money for The Moore Family Foundation and The ABF Soldier fund while you're at it, you need to head down to Upton Park this Monday. It's the home of West Ham FC's beloved Boleyn Ground - the legendary stadium which sadly, is set to be demolished after 112 years. West Ham fans and veteran ballers will come together for a free charity match and play as a reformed Upton Park FC and The Royal Engineers. The original teams played in the very first FA Cup and Upton Park FC went on to represent Great Britain at the Olympics in 1900, which they won. Gates open at 1pm with kick-off for the 'father and son' Generation Cup Final at 1.15pm, followed by the First Team Cup Final at 3pm. Half-time entertainment will allow you to get the chance to take a penalty on the pitch in a game Beat the Goalie. Boleyn Ground is at Green Street, E13 9AZ. For more details about the charity match, e-mail chairmansoffice@uptonparkfc.co.uk

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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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