Popular posts from our Blog Network
Six places in London connected with Pocahontas
Notepads at the ready, people. This might come up at your next pub quiz: 400 years ago this March, the legendary Pocahontas died just outside London. Folks tend to think of her as a Disney cartoon, but there was far more to her life than that. Here are six sites around the city associated with this remarkable Native American woman. Ludgate Hill Born around 1596 in the US state of Virginia, Pocahontas met English settler John Rolfe whom she married in 1614. Two years later, the couple sailed to England along with 11 other members of her tribe – the Powhatan – in what was essentially a PR stunt for the cash-strapped Virginia Company of London. Once in the capital, the group’s first digs were at the Belle Sauvage Inn on Ludgate Hill. It was described at the time as being the ‘haunt of thieves and conmen… noisy, dangerous and evil-smelling’. Shame they didn’t have TripAdvisor back then. Had it not burned down in 1666, the inn would have stood roughly opposite today’s City Thameslink station. Robert Lordan St Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside Another English chap associated with Pocahontas was Captain John Smith (wrongly portrayed as Pocahontas’s beau in the 1995 Disney film). According to legend, the explorer was spared a nasty execution when (in Smith’s own words) the young Pocahontas 'hazarded the beating out of her own brains to save mine'. A statue of Captain Smith, copied from a sculpture in Jamestown USA, can be found in the yard of St Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside, where he wa
Seven London restaurants serving candlelit dinners during Earth Hour
WWF’s Earth Hour – the world’s biggest environmental event – is on Saturday March 25, uniting millions of people in support of saving the planet. The ‘hour’ starts at 8.30pm when lights are switched off in cities around the world. One of the ways you can get involved is by enjoying a candlelit dinner at participating London restaurants. Here are seven that are getting out the matches. Oxo Tower, South Bank Ash Knotek, WWF - UK 1. Oxo Tower What better place to bask in the glow of a romantic candlelit dinner than at the Oxo Tower? It's not only a London landmark but also a flag-bearer for sustainability (Oxo is a founding member of the Sustainable Restaurant Association). Oxo sees Earth Hour as a chance to celebrate doing its bit to reduce its impact on the planet and will be switching off its lights along with many other buildings on the South Bank. Twist, Marylebone Twist 2. Twist Twist in Marylebone has planned a special candlelit menu for Earth Hour, inspired by its philosophy of keeping things simple and authentic. Seasonal Italian and Spanish tapas dishes are made with love and prepared with respect for the environment. The Thomas Cubitt, Belgravia The Thomas Cubitt 3. The Thomas Cubitt This ‘upmarket but down-to-earth’ gastropub in Belgravia will be offering customers a fun night out that will also show off its ethos of sustainability. Expect amazing food, a great atmosphere and good service. The Ra
13 awesome things you probably didn’t know about Westminster Abbey
The peeps at Westminster Abbey recently stumbled upon the Royal Peculiar's forgotten attic. Located 70 feet above the church floor, the gallery contains what Sir John Betjeman dubbed 'the finest view in Europe' – basically a perfect view of the Nave and the shrine of St Edward the Confessor. What's in there? you ask. Lots of pretty stained glass, altarpieces, royal armour and, rather randomly, the oldest existing stuffed parrot on the planet. The good news is, this 700-year-old attic, which has been given the very fancy name of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries, will be opening in 2018. So we can all have a look at that ancient parrot for ourselves. Until then, check out these awesome things you may not have known about Westminster Abbey: the place is much cooler than you think. 1. More than 3,500 bodies are buried within the Abbey’s walls – including Henry V and Elizabeth I, Edward the Confessor, Charles Dickens and Sir Issac Newton. Tomb of Queen Elizabeth I © Westminster Abbey 2. The Abbey's network of groovy cloisters houses the oldest door in the realm. Made of solid oak from Hainault (yes, really), the Abbey Oak door (once thought to be covered in human skin) is said to date all the way back to 1050. Not only is the thing old, it’s the only surviving Anglo-Saxon door in England. The oldest door in the land © Westminster Abbey 3. Since being built, the Abbey has hosted 17 royal weddings, the most recent being Will and Kate’s. A
Five reasons to swing by Willesden Green
Not familiar with this north-westerly spot near Kilburn? Well, there's a lot more to this multicultural hub than the Jubilee line and an easy bus journey to Notting Hill. 1. It offers some of the most authentic sushi, yakitori and saké A post shared by Jerome de Sadeleer (@jeromeswiss) on May 10, 2015 at 1:13am PDT Walking along Walm Lane before it merges with the vibrant High Road, you may notice Sushi Masa, a popular, tiny restaurant more suited to a Ginza back street than NW2. 2. It has inspired modern literary masterpieces A post shared by Asia Corleone (@skinnytost) on Feb 20, 2017 at 8:47pm PST The neighbourhood has a significant amount of literary connections, the most significant being born-and-raised-in-Willesden author Zadie Smith, who used the melting-pot of her local area as the backdrop for ‘White Teeth’, ‘NW’ and ‘Swing Time’. 3. It has a lovely little oasis behind a row of terraced houses A post shared by Nicky Gavey (@roaminrobbie) on Jul 9, 2016 at 4:26am PDT Sandwiched between Willesden Green and Cricklewood, the tranquil, community-run Mapesbury Dell has a pond, gardening club and annual free opera evening – which means you no longer need to jump on the 52 to Kensington for some midsummer arias. 4. It’s great for people-watching fuelled by a killer full English A post shared by ℳartina Belley 🌏👣 (@travelindipendent) on Aug 6, 2016 at 12:54am PDT Lazy weekend? Pul
Read more blog gold
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