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The Time Out London blog

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

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This graph explains why you always feel broke

Do you somehow feel like you never have quite enough money? Do you remember getting a pay rise you were convinced was going to solve all your financial problems... only to feel exactly as broke as before? Well, it's not just you. It's everybody! Let's start with the big picture. From our survey of 10,000 Time Out London readers, the median person earned £29,500. When we asked you how much it would take to live 'comfortably' in London, the middle guess was £38,500. Already, that's a £9,000 pay gap, or 30 percent of your actual salaries. Ouch. It seems like the solution would be to earn £38,500 and finally discover financial independence. But the problem is, the sense of how much you want to make keeps increasing the more money you actually make. The two figures move in lockstep, in fact, to an almost comical extent. As people's earnings move up and up the blue line, the red line of 'what I'd need to be comfortable' hovers infuriatingly out of reach, like a consumerist carrot on a stick. Earning £18k a year? You think you'll be comfortable once you earn £29k.But once you are earning £29k, it feels like true stability will require £36k.And when you get to £36k, gadzooks! Suddenly £44k is the point at which you can just relax. This phenomena holds true from £20k to £65k, where increases in income result in almost no perceived increase in financial comfort. We call this the Persistently And Infuriatingly Nasty Financial Un-Loveliness Zone, or the PAINFUL region. Even mo

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Google now shows you how busy London restaurants and bars will be

It's almost impossible to keep a good restaurant quiet in London. Often the queues are as legendary as the food. Luckily, Google can now tell you when the most popular times at London's best restaurants and most prolific dining spots are. The future, eh?  Pitt Cue Co Pitt Cue Co is as famous for the painfully long lines heading out the door as it is smokey signature ribs. This non-booking restaurant hits peak queue on Fridays 6.30pm when its audience of social media-savvy twenty-somethings line the Soho street. Head there instead on Saturday when it's a much more relaxed affair, and practically dead at midday.                                               Dishoom Dishoom is the place to head when your gastronomic satnav says no to a Brick Lane curry. The queues at the Shoreditch branch might not be as enduring as Tayyabs but timing your visit is advisable. Grab an early dinner on a Friday at 6pm or soak up the more relaxed atmosphere on a Saturday lunchtime.                                                     Meat Liquor Meat Liquor offers next-level queuing to Marylebone diners, ready to wet their elbows with grease. Head down for a late bite on Friday around 11pm to grab one of their infamous burgers and follow it up with a mean cocktail or two until they eventually shut at 2am.                                                               Social Eating House Knowing when to

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Hot stuff: where to get the tastiest curry in Tooting

Guy Dimond heads to south London for fresh mangoes, tasty samosas and some of the best curry in London. Tooting is rightly famous for its ‘curry corridor’ running between SW17’s two tube stations (Tooting Bec and Tooting Broadway). But it’s not the number of restaurants, it’s the diversity of the Asian populations and their regional cuisines that makes Tooting extraordinary. It has a mix of Sri Lankans, Pakistanis, Gujaratis and East African Asians all bringing their masalas to the mix. The best way to explore is by walking down the Upper Tooting Road from Tooting Bec tube towards Tooting Broadway. Just past the handsome Sikh Gurdwara and opposite the mosque are a couple of excellent fruit and veg shops - Nature Fresh [1]􀀀 (126 Upper Tooting Rd) and Daily Fresh Foods [2] (152-156 Upper Tooting Rd) - where you’ll find good Indian and Pakistani mangoes, plus esoteric ingredients such as karela (bitter gourd) and fresh tamarind pods.   The colourful Indian sweet shops are more than just eye candy. Pooja [3] (168-170 Upper Tooting Rd) is an excellent place to get vibrantly coloured Indian sweetmeats such as barfi or halwa, while just across the road, Shivdarshan [4] (169 Upper Tooting Rd) is the place for Gujarati savoury snacks such as ganthia (the fried chickpea noodles used in Bombay mix) or samosas.  Pass the halal butchers and sari shops, and you hit a long run of Pakistani restaurants. There’s not much to choose between them these days, as they all produce decent ve

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This book of maps shows the damage of WWII bombs on London

London Metropolitan Archives / City of London Police To mark 75 years since the first bombs fell on London in WWII, Thames & Hudson is publishing (as a book) the bomb damage maps which detailed what and where was destroyed. As the bombs dropped – and the houses, shops, offices and factories tottered, collapsed, burned or simply disappeared, along with thousands of their inhabitants – the authorities filed reports cataloguing the destruction. Later, these were painstakingly inked on to large-scale Ordinance Survey maps by the Architect’s Department of the London County Council, to record the damage to individual streets and buildings. They used seven colours, from green (clearance areas) to black (total destruction).  The result is an amazing visual record of what happened to London in the war, like a bullet-pocked wall on a huge scale. While some areas, especially in the west and north of the city, escaped largely unscathed, in some parts the devastation was appalling, and appallingly localised. So my street in Deptford shows no destruction from bombing at all (postwar developers saw to that), but five minutes’ walk away, the loss of homes and warehouses is enormous. When you see the purple (‘damaged beyond repair’) encroaching around St Paul’s Cathedral, it seems more amazing than ever that it should have been spared. The docks look like the year-planner of some megalomaniac CEO. This maybe isn’t a Christmas-present book (though I’d be delighted to find it under the tre

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London is the ninth most adulterous city in the world

Londoners, hang your head in shame, because apparently we're all a bunch of cheating scoundrels. A group of computer whizzes have hacked into the dating website Ashley Madison to find out more about the kind of people using the site, which specialises in 'casual encounters, married dating, discreet encounters and extramarital affairs'. But if you're one of the thousands of Londoners with an account, you probably already knew that. After some hi-tech digging, the hackers have revealed the top 25 cities where people have signed up to the site and London has just scraped into the top ten, coming in at number nine with 179,129 accounts. The frisky folks in São Paulo came in at number one, followed by New York in second place and Sydney picking up the number three spot. And as if that wasn't bad enough, our City Living Survey also shows that even though 39 percent of Londoners are single, there's a one-in-four chance that you'll be chatted up by someone in a relationship. Our 2015 Dating Survey also found that 17 percent of respondents said they had dated someone who was married. Come on London, try keeping it in your pants every once in a while. Want more of London in numbers? Take a look London's most extreme postcodes or find out what makes us happier than sex. Find out more things we learned in the City Living Survey here.

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Finger-lickin' good: your favourite fried chicken in London

From fancy birds for Dalston hipsters, to cheap wings for Chicken Cottage fiends, here's London's finger-lickin' best. Chick 'n' Sours: Dalston   A photo posted by @chicknsours on Jun 28, 2015 at 5:44am PDT 'A great selection of flavours, good atmosphere and pretty affordable pricing.' Natasha Eve Wynarczyk, via Facebook Butchies: Broadway Market   A photo posted by Butchies (@butchies_london) on Jul 25, 2015 at 3:17am PDT 'Their "Clancy Wiggum" with bacon, guacamole and chipotle mayo is so ridiculously good it'll leave a tear in your eye and a hole in your heart when it's gone.' Alexandra Laverick, via Facebook Clutch: Haggerston   A photo posted by Clutch Chicken (@clutchchicken) on Jun 18, 2015 at 1:29pm PDT 'Because the soy tenders are BANGING.' Zing Tsjeng, via Facebook Bone Daddies: Soho   A photo posted by Bone Daddies (@bonedaddies) on May 1, 2015 at 8:51am PDT 'Their Korean fried chicken is simple and super delicious.' Duygu Cook, via Facebook Moral Fox: Notting Hill   A photo posted by Cecilia Payne (@bombaymixx) on Jun 19, 2014 at 11:43am PDT 'Unbeatable so far.' MeiYing Chan, via Facebook Chicken Cottage: various locations   A photo posted by @foodie.007 on Jul 29, 2015 at 11:25am PDT 'Ten wings for £4.49. Bargain!' Ray Yeung, via Facebook Jubo: Old Street   A photo posted by Jubo London (@jubolondon) on Dec 12, 2012 at 11:31am PST 'It's got to be Jubo for Korean frie

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Those posh Nine Elms flats are getting a 'sky pool', so the rich can look down on you while they swim

While the rest of us make do with dowdy marble pools with just a single servant to hand us our towels, London’s mega-rich have just kicked their aquatic downtime up a notch. It’s just been revealed that the Nine Elms development near Battersea Power Station will feature a 90ft ‘sky pool’, linking the tenth stories of two luxury residential buildings that you will almost definitely never ever set foot in.       Doing his best to justify the gigantic architectural dick-swing, CEO of property investment firm Eco World Ballymore Sean Mulryan explained:  ‘My vision for the Sky Pool stemmed from a desire to push the boundaries…The experience of the pool will be truly unique, it will feel like floating through the air in central London.’  Coincidentally, this is a feeling that can also be experienced by being fired from a cannon on the roof of Centre Point into the Thames – something we’d wholeheartedly suggest Mr Mulryan adds to his to-do list.  The apartments at Embassy Gardens go on sale from September. Prices start at £602,000, so fuck you. Why not go swimming in one of London's lidos and outdoor pools instead?

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A short commute makes Londoners happier than sex

Over 10,000 Londoners shared their story with us in our epic City Living Survey. And the results are fascinating. We asked how happy and calm people were feeling, and a bunch of other questions about their life.Then we looked at connections between the two: were people who worked from home happier than average? How about people who don't drink alcohol?Here's what we found... Average improvement in wellbeing by lifestyle factor Having a short commute +8.3%Exercising in past week +7.8%Cycling instead of taking tube +6.9%Having sex in past week +6.5%Being in a relationship +5.0%Not relying on coffee +4.7%Calling family in past week +3.7%Earning more than average +3.1% That's right, a swift journey to work each day had a bigger impact on Londoners' happiness than sex, love, money, or even being free of the demon caffeine addiction. Londoners who said they felt 'almost always' happy had an average commute of 36 minutes, while people who are 'almost never' happy have an average commute of 45 minutes. In fact, every additional ten minutes spent getting home from work knocks 1 percent off someone's overall wellbeing score. But does how we travel make a difference? Anatoleya" data-width-class="" />Anatoleya" data-width-class="" type="image/jpeg" total="637105" loaded="637105" image_id="102823160" src="http://media.timeout.com/images/102823160/image.jpg" alt="A cyclist in Oxford Circus, London." class="photo lazy inline"> © Anatoleya Overall wellbeing by main mode of transpor

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Eight things that are going up quicker than your salary

Rail fares have risen three times faster than wages over the past five years. Ticket prices have gone up 25 percent, salaries have risen 9 percent. Eddy Frankel finds some other things rising faster than your pay.   <img id="e0caf73d-280d-079b-b19f-ce6997fb28a3" data-caption="" data-credit="" data-width-class="" type="image/jpeg" total="61642" loaded="61642" image_id="102836492" src="http://media.timeout.com/images/102836492/image.jpg" class="photo lazy inline">   1. My nephew Alex Even though he's basically illiterate, has no indoor voice and picks his nose, in his six years of life this adorable bundle of terror has grown from 52cm to 107cm. That's 105.77 percent growth - 96.77 percent more than your salary. Alex 1 - average humans O.   <img id="31da12da-c363-0bb9-d53f-de4b40e47720" data-caption="" data-credit="" data-width-class="" type="image/jpeg" total="43723" loaded="43723" image_id="102836494" src="http://media.timeout.com/images/102836494/image.jpg" class="photo lazy inline">         2. Kids' salaries When they were born, kids like my nephew made £0 per annum, because they were babies and babies have no need for cash. They're like anarchists, living off the land, if the land was made of boobs. Let's say they get £3 per week in pocket money now - that's £156 per annum. My calculator says that's 'infinity percent' growth. So really it's all been downhill since you were six, hasn't it?   <img id="019a

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Check out these colourful snaps of discarded drug baggies in south-east London

All artists have their muses – some favour landscapes, while others are really into still life. Not Dan Giannopoulos, though. He's spent the last two years snapping pictures of discarded drug baggies in south-east London. And it turns out there's a lot of them – 322 in this picture, to be exact. Naturally, there are quite a few plastered with Bob Marley's face: But there's also a few rogue characters, like this little guy: And one for all the patriotic pill-poppers:         He's also plotted the points where he found each one on Google Maps, which is pretty dedicated. Take a look at some more of his snaps:                             Check out his website for more of his work (not just of drug baggies) or follow him on Instagram. For more cool photos of London take a look at these 33 dreamy Instagram pics from @London.

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Only in London: 10 things that make our city so unique

Unique details make this city special. And they're captured in 'Bleeding London', for which hundreds of Londoners snapped all of the capital's 58,000 streets. Alongside our pick of photos from the project, Chris Waywell gets to the heart of what matters. You name it, we got it We Londoners face an occupational hazard. At some point someone will smirkingly quote you Dr Samuel Johnson’s 'When a man is tired of London, he’s tired of life' like they’re telling you to stop moaning or something. When Johnson penned the Great London Cliché, the city had 750,000 inhabitants. That’s the size of Leeds. Fuck knows what he’d have made of giant African land snails in markets, hip hop karaoke, bike polo, Holi festival, Sink the Pink, BYOB bars and restaurants serving cans of fish. But it’s all testament to London’s belief that anything can be interesting, revealing and enriching, and that there’s an audience out there waiting to Instagram it. Take that, 'Doctor' Johnson (it was an honorary title: he couldn’t do liposuction, or anything). ONLY IN LONDON: Visit Cross Bones Graveyard, where a spontaneous shrine pays respect to the city’s deceased prostitutes. Something for nothing There are plenty of reasons why London, not Paris, is the most-visited city in the world. Two of those reasons are the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery, both of which are free and epitomise something amazing about London. They’re big and full of works important enough to put on the front of a Peng

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Ol' dirty basket: five London food shops with a 'zero' hygiene rating

Apparently we're all stuffing our faces with takeaways these days, but if you do fancy venturing into the kitchen then make sure you aren't picking up your ingredients from one of the dirtiest shops in London. According to the Food Standards Agency's website, there are 14 food shops in the UK with a 'zero' rating for hygiene, and five of them are in London. One of the shops that's managed to score the lowest possible rating is a Tesco Express in Highgate, which recently closed its doors for a day to deal with a mouse infestation. Mmm, mice – just what you want to see hanging out among the mature cheddar. But even if there aren't swarms of rodents in the cheese aisle, you'll probably want to steer clear of any food shops with a big fat 'zero' in the hygiene department. If you want to know which London food shops to give a wide berth, here's the full list: Tesco Express, Swain’s Lane, Highgate. Fine Foods, Harlesden. Sira Cash & Carry, Southall. Abbey Wood Afro Caribbean Cash & Carry, Willesden. Cheam Food Centre, Sutton. Want more cheery news? There are nine London boroughs in the top ten worst places to live in the UK. But it's not all doom and gloom - here are some lovely London spots to get a nice cuppa.

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Londoners have ranked tube stations in order of commuter hellishness

Londoners put up with a lot when it comes to public transport. The overground is down somewhere every weekend, the Victoria line is packing up shop between Seven Sisters and Walthamstow Central for the summer and we haven't had the Central line at Tottenham Court Road since the dawn of 2015. Sigh. We're about as irritated as the folks who voted Kensal Rise the most infuriating station to commute to and from in London in Easy Roommate's recent survey. In total 1,500 tube-riding Londoners ranked their regular stations on a scale of one to ten – or ahhh to arrrgh – and the results have been compiled on a snazzy Easy Tube Journeys mini-site. The flat/flat-mate-finding company have listed the best and worst places to reside in the capital based on travel and rent prices. North Ealing came top of the list, with rent averaging £500 per month, and Kensal Rise came last at number 297, with rent prices around £561 per month. Dalston Junction was voted third hellish, whilst Anerley and Rotherhithe came joint third easiest, and North Acton, Old Street, Hackney Central and Blackfriars made middle ground. See where your stomping ground ranked: Easy Tube Journeys. Forget the commute, here are the five worst commuters. We've all done it… Londoners' tube confessions. Make travelling easier with this easy-to-read unofficial tube map.

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The top ten new restaurants in London

Move over, Michelin. Time Out is back with our definitive online list of the 100 best places to eat in London. Check out the Top 100 and read on for Tania Ballantine's pick of the tastiest newcomers. 1. The Manor   Some 'hoods have all the luck. Already blessed with 2013's hot newbie The Dairy, Clapham then welcomed its sister branch in November 2014. The Manor is larger and airier, with pale wood, clean lines and a grown-up elegance (even if the loos are graffitied to the point of vandalism). As at The Dairy, the cooking here will knock your socks right off, and probably the rest of your clothes too. Unusual ingredients, cutting-edge techniques: it's all here. Clued-up and cheery young staff are a bonus, as is the excellent dessert bar which affords you a front-row seat for some liquid-nitrogen-fuelled theatre. A third restaurant, Paradise Garage, has just opened its doors in Bethnal Green. Clapham, it seems, has got competition. Top 100 ranking: #4. When to go: Midweek, for the terrific-value lunch (four plates for £25) or any time you're with food-obsessed friends. What to have: Everything is sensational, but the crispy chicken skins (pressed into layered 'chunks'), with a sweet, smoky barbecue sauce and lightly fermented ribbons of cabbage, can't fail to please. And dessert. Do not miss dessert. If you like The Manor, you might like... The Dairy (#49), Restaurant Story (#33). The Manor is at 148 Clapham Manor St, SW4 6BX. 2. Snaps & Rye   Jacqueline and Kel

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Turkish delight: the best food spots in Green Lanes

Kate Lloyd discovers rows of baklava and bargain mezze platters on a trip through London's miniature Turkey There are so many Turkish joints in Harringay, it’s hard to know where to start. The Green Lanes thoroughfare runs from Turnpike Lane to Newington Green and is lined with Mediterranean restaurants. Women sit in café windows, kneading Gözleme dough, and even some of the nail salons have traditional Turkish tea tables outside. My first stop is Yasar Halim [1] (495-497 Green Lanes), a Turkish supermarket with a dreamy patisserie. You’ll find fresh veg, an extensive olive selection and 35p cups of chai, though the real magic is in the bakery. Counters are piled high with Middle Eastern breads, as well as Turkish lahmacun pizza and cream cakes. Oh, and there’s a long glass cabinet filled with row after row of golden baklava at just £9.50 a kilo.   Prices are low and portions are huge at most of Harringay's Turkish restaurants. My go-to spot is Gökyüzü [3] (26-27 Green Lanes). The wood-panelled restaurant has a warm homely feel, with bright ceramic plates on the walls and a big pile of flatbread on top of the wood-fired oven. Every meal here starts with an overflowing bowl of complimentary lavash bread and tzatziki. Try to leave a bit of space, though: the güveç (lamb and aubergine casserole) and spicy minced chicken sarma tavuk beyti are both winners. For lunch, I usually opt for a bargainous mezze sharing platter. Big enough for three, it costs £8.50 and comes with to

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Life’s a Bleach: London’s coolest salon heads to Soho

Get ready to paint the town pink, blue and every shade of the rainbow. Bleach London, the Dalston salon that launched a thousand pastel dip dyes, is bringing its trademark directional cuts and Instagrammable colours to Soho’s Berwick Street. As well as offering dye-jobs in uncompromising hues ranging from Day-Glo to Disney mermaid (prices start at £55 for a light pastel wash), the salon will be offering a £1-per-minute styling service for partygoers, and will sell Bleach’s cult off-beat product range. The West-End outpost will stay open until 11pm, and can be booked out for private shindigs – though we’re guessing you’ll have to fight off the fashion crowd with a statement shoe in order to secure a slot. Throw in an in-house dye dispensary that doubles up as a bar when the sun goes down and you have all the makings of London’s premier party salon.  2 Berwick St, W1F 0DR. www.bleachlondon.co.uk. Oxford Circus tube. In need of a chop? Here are London's best hair salons.

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