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Why you should go to Banqueting House this weekend
Deep in the heart of London there’s a scandalously overlooked gem that goes by the name of Banqueting House. It’s fancy and opulent in every way imaginable, and here’s why you should visit it this weekend if the heat gets a bit too much. What’s this lesser-known palace all about then? Shimmy on down Whitehall and you’ll stumble upon Banqueting House, a 400-year-old marvel originally built for pomp royal masques and debauched ceremonies. A thing of imposing scale and elegant architecture, it’s the only remaining part of Henry VIII’s Whitehall Palace and has played an important role in British international politics since it was built back in 1622. The place is now mainly used to greet ambassadors and heads of state – from Nelson Mandela to Barack Obama – from all over the world. Oh, and it’s the last room in London Charles I saw before he lost his head on a scaffold in front of the house in 1649. Grim. Tell us more! Believe it or not, Banqueting House was the first building in England to be completed in the neoclassical style. Begun in 1619, the grand house was designed by east Londoner Inigo Jones, a famous fellow credited with starting the classical architecture boom we all see in London and throughout the country today. It’s actually the third Banqueting House to have stood on this site (the first two were destroyed by fires) and legend has it that during the Great Fire of London Sir Christopher Wren blew up the adjacent building to stop the fire destroying Jones’s ma
You know you grew up in East Dulwich when…
Aside from knowing how to properly pronounce the name of the place (the ‘w’ in Dulwich is as useless as trying to get into Frank’s Café on a sunny bank holiday), there are a few things that only people who grew up in East Dulwich will understand. A post shared by Paul (@winkiepaul) on Apr 9, 2017 at 8:21am PDT You know that the best view in London is from Dawson’s Heights field or Nunhead Reservoir Forget Primrose Hill or Hampstead Heath. When the sun (eventually) comes out, you know there’s no need to go north of the river. You’re constantly amazed at how fancy Lordship Lane has become It pretty much always comes up as a topic of conversation among your friends in the area. A post shared by @90smomattheschoolgate on Jan 22, 2017 at 7:58am PST You know the best fry-up in London is found at the Dulwich Café Some people might be happy to pay silly amounts for their breakfast, but Dulwich Café on Lordship Lane is still the original and the best. You’re always trying to convince people that not everyone who grew up in East Dulwich is posh There’s a difference between East Dulwich and Dulwich Village, y’know. A post shared by P I L A T E S __ B A R N E (@pilates__barne) on Dec 14, 2016 at 6:50am PST You spent your teenage years hanging
16 amazing things you probably didn’t know about Big Ben
It’s been featured in countless books, films and TV shows, but while Big Ben might be one of the world’s most famous landmarks, how much do you really know about the old bonger? With this month marking 158 years since the iconic chimes of the great clock boomed out into the London air for the first time, here are 16 remarkable facts about everyone’s favourite clock. 1. Ben was originally supposed to be called Royal Victoria, after Queen Victoria. © UK Parliament 2. The tower ain’t called Big Ben. The proper way to refer to it is as the Elizabeth Tower. Formerly known as the Great Clock Tower, the British landmark was renamed in honour of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. A post shared by Sara Helen Santini (@santinisarah) on Dec 31, 2016 at 9:18am PST 3. The Elizabeth Tower sways. Yes, like its unofficial cousin in Pisa, it leans – by about 0.22 metres towards the northwest – which results in an inclination of about 1/250. If you look at it continuously for about 20 minutes, you’ll probably notice it. © Lee Dyer / Via Flickr 4. Ever spotted those pretty Latin words under the clock faces but had no clue what they mean? From left to right they read: ‘Domine salvam fac reginam nostram Victoriam Primam’, which means ‘O Lord, keep safe our Queen Victoria the First.’ A post shared by Efe | London | 🇬🇧 🇳🇬 (@justefe) on Apr 27,
Nine things you probably didn’t know about Euston station
It may feel modern, but Euston station is 180 years old this year. Here’s everything you need to know about the grandaddy of London’s inter-city termini. Public domain The station was nearly based at Chalk Farm When plans were first mooted in the early 1830s to build a railway between London and Birmingham, landowners at the southern end got all NIMBY. The line was originally going to stop short at Chalk Farm – a place way out in the sticks back then. A little arm-twisting meant permission was eventually granted to bring the tracks closer to the metropolis, terminating at ‘a vacant piece of ground in a place called Euston grove’. Allan Warren, Creative Commons Licence It’s named after a very big house in the country The plot of land snapped up for the terminal belonged to George Henry Fitzroy, the 4th Duke of Grafton whose crib happened to be Euston Hall, a stately home in Suffolk. When he died in 1844, the Duke was 85 years old – an age described at the time as being ‘considerably beyond the ordinary limits of human existence’. Pictured above is his very distant descendent Hugh FitzRoy, the 11th Duke of Grafton, whose grandson Henry is the current Duke. Public Domain Early trains needed a lift Because of the steep gradient between Euston and Camden, early engines faced an uphill struggle. This meant they had to be hauled out of the station on a long winch, which was powered by a huge, stationary steam engine based at Chalk Farm. R
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Pizza the action: eight of London's top pizza toppings
What are this town's top toppings? Which pizza players whack the whackiest things onto their dough in the most brilliant ways? Take a bite out of these bad boys available by the slice or pie... 1. The Full Moon Slice at Voodoo Ray’s Photo: Andy Parsons It sounds like something your flatmate’s friend who slept on the sofa for five months and tried to grow mushrooms in the bath would have cooked up for Glastonbury. But no: the mayonnaise pizza is real, and a slice of it can be yours. Voodoo Ray’s wildcard option (it’s only available after midnight, for obvious reasons) features bacon sprinkles, marinated tomatoes and mozzarella, all held together by splodges of cult Japanese mayo brand Kewpie. The one for… Mayonnaise-loving werewolves. £4 (slice). Get a 22" pizza and four cocktails for £35 at www.timeout.com/raysbaroffer. 2. TSB at Yard Sale Pizza A post shared by Yard Sale Pizza (@yardsalepizza) on Aug 28, 2016 at 8:20am PDT Not to be confused with the banking giant, Yard Sale’s TSB is all the reason you need to eat your greens. Manchego and pine nuts are the supporting acts for leggy florets of tenderstem broccoli (hence TSB), gorgeously charred. And if you finish your veg, it’s totally fine to have one of their freshly baked brownies for dessert. The one for… Chlorophyl nuts. From £9.50. 3. XO pig cheek, collard greens and crackling furikake at Homeslice A post shared by Homeslice (@homesliceldn) on
Londoners reveal the most embarrassing things that have happened to them at work
Nathan James Page We asked you to share the most embarrassing things that have happened to you in the work place. Get ready to blush. 'I vommed into my handbag, and a colleague unwittingly offered to carry it. He then proceeded to ask me out while carrying a bag of puked-up curry.' I pushed my boss into a swimming pool.' 'I vomited and shat myself in front of a class full of students.' 'I was having a catch-up with my boss in the canteen when they started playing Salt-N-Pepa's 'Let's Talk About Sex'. Very loudly.' 'Working late, I walked into the boardroom to find two male, married senior executives pleasuring each other.' 'IT picked up a group email I'd sent asking who was buying the MDMA for the office Christmas party.' 'I shouted "Oh fuck!" on a conference call to thousands of my fellow employees.' 'I got caught going for the five-knuckle shuffle in the office darkroom.' 'I had a sex toy delivered to my office on the day that the admin decided to open everyone's post for them.' Now tell us: what's your most heartwarming London story?
Nine lovely photos of London's overlooked neighbourhoods
Even before Arcade Fire spent an entire album bemoaning the 'endless suburbs stretched out thin and dead' the 'burbs have had a bad rep, but one German photographer has managed to find beauty in towering pylons, low terraced brick houses and overused sports fields. Philipp Ebeling did a ten-day, 250km circular walk around London's outskirts to document the places 'too far from the inner city to feature in the story of London, not far enough out to be leafy suburb and commuter land'. He captures the bits of the city where you can probably still get a coffee for under £2, where the sky isn't reflected in glass-paneled skyscrapers and abandoned spaces aren't turned into street-food markets (yet). 'London Ends' is a love letter to places like Tottenham, Barking, Catford, Woolwich and other areas forgotten by the guidebooks but inescapably real to the great swathes of people who live here. Ebeling told Time Out that when he first arrived in London, at 19, from a small village in Germany he found the city overwhelming: 'You never feel like you really know the city because it is so spread out and the many centres are very disconnected. It took me years of exploring until I had a more complete picture of the city in my head. The crazy thing about London is you can always find a new and different neighbourhood or street where there is something new to discover.' 'London Ends' is available to buy from FishBar, a gallery in an old fish and chip shop. Check out some of the photos b
Most Googled: How did Soho get its name?
It's been a hot spot for sex shops, gay clubbing and posh restaurants, but Soho might owe its weird name to another, older London pastime. ‘The origin is uncertain,’ says Hazel Forsyth, senior curator at the Museum of London, ‘but according to popular mythology, “so-ho!” or “so-hoe!” was originally the cry of the huntsman.’Hundreds of years ago, the area now covered by Soho was uninhabited land, and a popular hunting spot for the capital’s great and good. In a 1563 account, historian John Stow describes how the Lord Mayor and his hunting party caught a hare, ate it for dinner at the chamberlain’s banqueting house then went back out to chase a fox just for fun. There is another Soho, of course. But New York’s SoHo is boringly named after its location in Manhattan, south of Houston Street. Would they have chosen that particular name if ours hadn’t existed already? I think not. Copycats. Check out the best restaurants in Soho.
London's favourite emoji has been revealed
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so it's no surprise that time-pushed and communication-averse Londoners are relying on emojis to get the message across. After all, why pick up the telephone when a tiny picture of two glasses clinking will do the trick? But which emojis are Londoners using the most? Perhaps the eye roll for Underground delays, an umbrella to represent the city's standard weather, or the aubergine for... y'know. Surprisingly it's none of these – the most popular emoji in London is the 'crying with laughter' face. You know the one – usually preceded with 'lol' and named as Oxford Dictionaries 'Word of the Year' in 2015. 😂 According to Emojipedia, other popular emojis that Londoners search for on their online archive include the Union Jack flag, love heart, smirking face and party popper. Can we blame Brexit for the number of people using the Union Jack flag emoji? We'll never know. But judging by these findings, Londoners are a flirtatious and patriotic party crowd. Did you know you can now get London emojis including Sadiq Khan and the tube roundel?
The seats on seven London Underground lines are never washed
Apologies in advance to the majority of you who’d rather not think about the levels of filth floating about in the tubes you board, but we’ve got new figures to share with you, and they ain’t pretty! Responding to a Freedom of Information request, TfL has recently revealed that seats on seven of the tube lines never get washed with shampoo. Those using the District, Circle, Northern, Piccadilly, Hammersmith and City, Jubilee and Metropolitan lines, you’re in for a dirty ride. The only lines to get a little scrub are the Bakerloo, Central and Victoria lines, and even they only get shampooed every six months to a year. If that’s brought you out in a cold sweat, find solace in the knowledge that carriages get a basic clean every night, seats are hoovered regularly, and covers are replaced if soiled. The floors get a sweep and the poles a spot clean every night, and mopping takes place every two to three days along with a thorough wipe down on the poles. A TfL spokesperson said: 'We’re committed to providing the best possible service on London’s transport network. 'Although cleaning regimes vary across the Underground, each line has a rigorous cleaning schedule in place, for both the interior and exterior of the trains, to provide a pleasant environment for our customers.' Still, maybe getting a seat on the tube isn't that appealing after all. A few years back, Time Out set out to find out how clean the tube was. Watch the dusty results below: In other underground ne
Three ways you can get to know your neighbours in London
Between all the passive-aggressive notes and the hallway grunting, a quality relationship with your neighbour can be hard to come by. But it's not totally impossible. Check out these three websites that can help rebuild neighbourhood morale, one click at a time. A post shared by Streetbank (@streetbank_share) on Nov 20, 2014 at 8:53am PST Streetbank So you’re hosting a party next week and you could really do with your neighbour’s barbecue set (not that you’ve been peeking into their garden or anything like that). Streetbank has you covered, listing all manner of tools and whatnot available to borrow in the local area. The exchange of services is also encouraged, which may include language tuition or advice on a range of interests, so even budding competitive dog groomers can find inspiration. Users are also able to declutter their cupboards of forgotten items, such as that dust-covered film projector you haven't used since 'Finding Nemo' came out on DVD. Team London Want to make a difference but don’t have the time or money to fly halfway across the world? With Team London, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your own borough. There’s a wide selection of roles on offer, such as child mentors, conservation workers and choppers/stirrers of nutritious surplus food for the homeless. It doubles up as a handy platform for charities to enlist local help. You’re guaranteed to meet fantastic, like-minded people and you can even collect badges to show off about your vo
Vodka, dumplings and revolutionary art: it’s the best of Russian London
London’s got Russia on the brain, and not just because of world politics or the centenary of the Russian Revolution. Grumbling about oligarchs is a major pastime these days, but Russian London isn’t all posh bars and mansions in Belgravia. There’s also a young, creative, trust-fund-free Russian community running dumpling-obsessed supperclubs, film pop-ups, art shows and start-ups. Of the 300,000-odd people of Russian descent in London, about half were born in Russia. The expat population has spiked in the last decade, leading to the jokey name Londongrad. But we’re an internationally minded bunch. When we do hang out together it’s usually to enjoy a nostalgic meal of pelmeni, or to do good. The London-based charity Gift of Life, for instance, helps cancer patients with fundraising events starring Russian classical music and theatre stars. It’s a long way from ‘Meet the Russians’. Sasha Raspopina Did you know? The Russian spring festival Maslenitsa, also known as ‘pancake week’, is widely celebrated in London in the last week of February. It’s a great time to feast on blini! Sasha’s favourite Russian places in London Home to Russian and post-Soviet art and photography, Calvert 22 Foundation in Shoreditch also has a bookshop stuffed with publications on everything New East, from brutalist architecture to Gosha Rubchinskiy. If you’re hungry and adventurous, look out for appearances by the Mince & Dough Russian Canteen, a pop-up serving some of the best Russian dumplings in