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Why you should go to Banqueting House this weekend
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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…
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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
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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
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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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Watch this guy will make the fastest falafel wrap you've ever seen
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Watch this guy will make the fastest falafel wrap you've ever seen

Hungry and in an insane rush? Hot-foot it over to iFalafal in Petticoat Lane market on Goulston Street where this falafel wizard will you whip you up a tasty Middle Eastern snack in just 17 seconds. The street food vendor is taking fast food to new speedy heights and is getting a reputation as London’s 'falafel wrap master'. The £3 wraps come with a lightning speed addition of falafels, houmous, pickles, cucumber, lettuce, chilli sauce and tahini. They're getting such a reputation that there's even a Reddit thread called 'The Fastest Falafel Wrapper in London'. Don't believe us? Prepare to be amazed:   Still not impressed? Check this:      Hungry? Here are some more places to get some damn good falafel in London.

City envy: we want a burger-burrito like Brooklyn
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City envy: we want a burger-burrito like Brooklyn

  Good news for junk-food lovers, terrible news for cows. A New York eatery is serving up a food hybrid we never knew the world needed: the burger burrito. The niftily named Burgrito's restaurant opened in the Park Slope neighbourhood of Brooklyn recently, and as well as dishing up regular old burgers, it has a glorious signature dish that's as brilliant as it is terrifying: a sliced beef patty and a handful of chips plus American cheese, chipotle sauce, tomato, lettuce, onions and bacon, all tucked up in a floury tortilla wrap. It's available for hungry Brooklynites to snap up for $9.99 (about £8), and there's also a veggie-burger-filled 'Vegrito' for those who want a meatless option. Clean eaters should probably know that the 'Burgrito' clocks in at around 900 calories. Even so, we know a few Londoners who'd roll with it. We're also envious of Rotterdam's screensaver art exhibition

Overheard in London: this week’s #wordonthestreet
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Overheard in London: this week’s #wordonthestreet

Every week you share the weird things you’ve overheard in London. Above, a few perplexing snippets from the past seven days – don’t forget to tweet us your own! Like Word on the Street? We’ve now made a book of these little beauties! ‘Word on the Street: Ridiculous Things We’ve Overheard in London’ is out now, £6.99. To buy a copy, visit timeout.com/wotsbook​.

Quit your job, become a... street food seller
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Quit your job, become a... street food seller

Andy Parsons   Evi Peroulaki 38, market stall owner and co-founder of Souvlaki Street What the hell is souvlaki? ‘It’s a Greek wrap. We use Greek pita, tzatziki, salad and either pork, chicken or halloumi.’ Why set up a street food stall? ‘Pure greed! Both Conor (my partner) and I love souvlaki, but we couldn’t find good souvlaki in London. So we turned up at our local market in Clapton one day with a disposable barbecue from Sainsbury’s to see how it went. We brought enough to make 20 wraps and they all went within an hour.’ Can anyone turn up and do it? ‘No, we had an audition with the guy who runs the market. It was a bit like “MasterChef”. After that, we started turning up every other Sunday and it got really popular.’ What's an average day for you now? ‘Early morning starts to get to the market by 8am. If I can get up at 6.30am, it’s a lie-in! Then we set up and start serving. I don’t get to sit down again until 9pm. By 10pm, I’m dead.’ How do you fit in a social life? ‘What’s a social life? We don’t have any friends any more! It’s very hard, especially in the summer because we do so many festivals. It’s like having a child: it takes every single moment of spare time you have.’ It sounds awful... ‘It’s our baby! The fact that it’s ours and we can take it in any direction we want is definitely the best thing about it. No matter how tiring it is or how much it sucks the life out of you, it’s your thing. We watch it grow every day and it makes us proud.’ Do

City envy: there's a wine theme park in Bordeaux
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City envy: there's a wine theme park in Bordeaux

Theme parks: nightmare places of interminable queues, huge crowds of mardy teenagers, and £15 burgers filled with mystery meat. But take a moment to imagine this, if you will: the interminable queues have been replaced by row upon row of bottles of pinot noir. There are no rowdy youngsters, just glasses full of the finest cabernet sauvignon. And instead of dodgy food, there are gallons of delicious chenin blanc. This oenophile's wet dream is a reality, because the world's first wine theme park has just opened in the French city of Bordeaux. La Cité du Vin offers ten floors of adults-only fun, with experiences ranging from wine-tasting sessions to exhibitions on the history of wine and even a wine-merchant- themed boat ride. There are no rollercoasters, but the resulting hangovers should be able to recreate some of their effects. Want more great things in other cities? You can now get a pizza in a box made of pizza (!) in New York And there's an IMAX spin studio in New York

11 reasons to go to Marchmont Street in Bloomsbury, WC1
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11 reasons to go to Marchmont Street in Bloomsbury, WC1

Bloomsbury is something of an unknown quantity. It’s hidden away, tucked among and behind all sorts of places that everyone already knows. But head to its back streets, past the busy roads and you’ll discover one of central London’s greatest treasures. Neither crazy-busy like Oxford Street, nor aggy like the City, not touristy like Covent Garden, it has all the history of Soho but, brilliantly, none of the crowds. Despite being near London’s busiest bits, Marchmont Street is one of Zone 1’s most chilled-out places to wander around and it has an amazingly rich heritage. It’s got all bases covered: art, cinema, architecture, museums, green spaces, shopping, fine food, nice pubs and cheap eats. And if you turn up on a Sunday morning you basically get it all to yourself. That rich history I alluded to earlier? The street’s full of stories: from the LGBT powerhouse Gay’s the Word (recognise it from Pride?) to Percy and Mary Shelley’s old house and the gossip-worthy goings-on of Jane Austen-era Brunswick Square, it’s basically a living museum of London. So as all the tourists head straight to the British Museum, go a little bit east and give yourself the whole day to have a proper exploration of the road that London historians call Bloomsbury’s ‘original high street’. Drink this   A photo posted by nicolondon1985 (@nicolondon1985) on Jun 21, 2013 at 4:17am PDT The Norfolk Arms runs a mean bar and also serves pata negra and soutzouki as well as modern British food a

Top five cheapest Londoners
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Top five cheapest Londoners

© Nathan James Page       1. The exact-bill- divider-upper You and your work chums head out for dim sum, and eventually the bill arrives. Andy from Finance pipes up: ‘I only had one glass of pinot, and I didn’t touch the noodles.’ Dividing up the steamed dumplings, tofu skin rolls and lotus leaf rice parcels among you and seven of your colleagues is like thrusting a fully-grown Arizonian cactus up ya derrière. All because Andy foresees a personal economic meltdown if he spends a few extra pence on Donna from HR’s sticky rice. 2. The pots-of-cash-TK Maxx-weekender Kathy lives in a four-bed, three-bath, fifteenth-floor Thames-side apartment, has no comprehension of what the Jubilee line is and executes her weekly shop at Borough Market, but she’ll take up your whole Saturday dragging you round the aisles of TK’s in the hunt for a cost-effective kaftan. She’ll barter her way out of service charges, bully waiting staff for complimentary booze and wangle her way out of cancellation fees. You can take the girl out of the north-west, but not out of a 60 percent-less-than-the-RRP discount department store. © Nathan James Page   3. The daily saver, holiday splurger With Sam, it’s all voucher deals, Groupon bargains and TopTable offers; she’ll never start with an apéritif at a hyper-cool hotel or contemporary cocktail bar: ‘You can buy a whole bottle of plonk for the price of one cosmo in that gaff.’ She’ll happily bang on about P&O’s ocean-fresh lobster, the tasty p

This tube map shows the average property prices at every London Underground station
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This tube map shows the average property prices at every London Underground station

Click for the full-sized map Everyone knows that if you ever want to get on the property ladder in London, you're going to need a helluva lot of cash. To quantify just how money we're talking about, the folks at TotallyMoney.com have put together this handy (if depressing) map, which shows the average house price, per square foot, within 0.3 miles of every London tube station. To put it into context, the average one-bedroom flat in London is about 500 square feet, so you don't need to be a mathematician to work out that Zone 1 is pretty much off-limits unless you're secretly sitting on a pile of gold. The research shows that the Hammersmith and City line is the most expensive at £1,125 per square foot, while the Metropolitan line has the cheapest average property price, at £504 per square foot. Although, it's worth bearing in mind that the Metropolitan line stretches all the way out to Zone 9, so you might save on property but you'll have a seriously long (and expensive) commute. Want more depressing property maps? This one show how unaffordable renting in London is. Here are 25 things you didn't know about the tube.

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