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Love Local: keep supporting the independent businesses that make London tick

It's never been more vital to keep buying from the city's unique shops, makers and food and drink outlets

Joe Mackertich
Written by
Joe Mackertich
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Hello London,

For more than 50 years Time Out has been all about showing you the best of the city. And very often the best of the city is something local. London's independent or iconic restaurants, pubs, theaters, gig venues, nightclubs, cinemas, art galleries and concert halls. The places where stuff happens.

Recent events have made it tougher than ever for London's local businesses to thrive and, in some cases, survive. Jaw-dropping rent and business licenses were already posing a challenge, before the pandemic came along and vanished months or years of potential revenue.

Time Out wants to help. That's why we've been running our Love Local campaign to support local food, drink, culture and entertainment in London. From the knife-forgers in Peckham, to chefs selecting their favourite fruit and veg shops. We're also asking interesting citizens to share with us their picks of the neighbourhoods they know and love and spotlighting the craftspeople that are turning out fantastic local products

We're also proud to have played a role in getting the word out about various crowdfund campaigns that successfully saved a number of London venues. The Jazz Cafe, The Gun pub and Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, among them

We'll go on highlighting independent shops and businesses, so do get in touch with info about your local makers and your crafty mates. Tell us about them at hello@timeout.com and we’ll tell other Londoners.

Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with the ongoing campaign. As London emerges from an abject period, Time Out will continue to fight for the city's brilliant local businesses.

Joe Mackertich
Editor
Time Out London

Love Local: how you can support local businesses in London

  • Theatre
  • Theatre & Performance

From November 7 you will be able to evade the cops for fun in London. Steady on! It's only part of a new immersive heist game, based on the hit Netflix show 'Money Heist'. You might know the non-English language series by its Spanish name 'La Casa de Papel'. It was all about crims and banks and robberies and Salvador Dali masks. Big hit. In the series, a shadowy criminal mastermind, known as 'The Professor,' plans history's biggest ever robbery, with help from a group of thieves. Long story short: they take hostages and lock themselves in the Royal Mint of Spain. Well, Netflix has finally revealed the location for the immersive theatre experience coming to London next month. The address is 79-85 Old Brompton Road. You might also know that address by a different name: Christie’s Auction House. Obviously, that means it’s bang in the middle of London’s Arts District. Audience members will be helping plan robberies and evade security, all in the shadow of the Natural History Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum.  Using the television programme as a 'jumping-off point', the immersive experience in London will involve audience members being recruited into the notorious gang, to pull off a series of robberies on international targets. You'll be breaking into major landmarks, infiltrating vaults and earning a spot in the gang. And yes, all while wearing one of those fetching jumpsuits and a Salvador Dalí mask. Organisers promise 'astounding' visual effects, plot twists that h

  • Art
  • Art
  • price 0 of 4

The much-loved artist Yinka Ilori has joined forces with LEGO to reimagine a local laundrette made up entirely of LEGO bricks and using his typical bold, colourful style.  Ilori worked with kids from his old primary school, St Jude & St Paul's C of E in Dalston to develop ideas for the project, which is called Launderette of Dreams and will be on view from October 28 - November 6 at 133-135 Bethnal Green Rd. Based on the laundrette on Essex Road that Ilori visited as a child, there will be a number of yet-to-be-announced workshops taking place at Launderette of Dreams which they're calling a 'play space'. Photograph: LEGO So borrow or a child – or even take one of your own if you can still stand to be around them post-lockdown and home schooling hell – and get stuck in to this indoor playground, which will be full of interactive elements and problem solving games for them to get stuck into. LEGO nerds will be in their element here, but please don't take your actual laundry with you, this is a fantasy launderette only.  2021 has been a big year for British-Nigerian designer Yinka Ilori, who was creative director of The Brit Awards, had two stand-alone installations at London Design Festival, built a technicolour basketball court in London’s Canary Wharf and splashed out all over Greenwich Peninsula. Is there anything this man won't colour in?  Yinka Ilori tells us all about hanging out in Islington The top 10 art exhibitions coming up in London 

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  • Shopping

Is it even Christmas without the smell of pine needles? Fake trees are all well and good, but sometimes you crave the real deal. Heaving a dusty plastic tree down from an attic simply doesn’t warm the cockles anywhere near as much as a trip to the local Christmas market. There are, however a few basic rules to observe. Listen and learn... Know your Christmas treesRead up on the Nordic spruce, Nordmann fir, Scots pine et al to decide whether you want to prioritise price over, say, needle retention. The only drawback to a real tree, after all, is that spiky green carpet come January.   Get to grips with dimensionsDo not buy a tree until you know how high your ceiling is. Choosing the right tree will (obviously) depend on what your home can accommodate. Bear in mind that it will likely expand threefold once that netting has been snipped off. You can always chop away unnecessary branches (although remember, children under 12 should not handle chainsaws unsupervised). When Christmas is over...If you’ve not arranged a tree pick-up, your local council should offer a tree recycling service. See www.londonrecycles.co.uk for details. RECOMMENDED: More Christmas fun in London

  • Things to do
  • City Life

The BBC’s Wogan House on Great Portland Street is where, when I was 20, I started doing a show called ‘Loose Ends’ on BBC Radio 4. It was hosted by Ned Sherrin, who was a mentor to me. He introduced me to lots of people in show business who are still influential in my life today. I remember walking down Great Portland Street towards the BBC studios and psyching myself up to be witty, charming and funny in the face of all these people who were so much more witty, charming and funny than I was. These were really posh people and I was from a council estate in Liverpool. ‘Loose Ends’ was my first full-time radio occupation when I moved to London. It took me from being the ‘scally in the alley’ to someone whose opinions were worth listening to. I left ‘Loose Ends’ to make TV shows but I’ve always thought radio was my natural home. I went back to it 20 years ago when I got my first 6 Music radio show. I still do lots of my Saturday night shows from Wogan House and I still get goosebumps walking down Great Portland Street. It’s been the home of my radio career.  Craig Charles presents on BBC Radio 6 Music, weekdays, 1pm-4pm. Read more from this series: Singer and actor Jordan Stephens on landing a part in ‘Star Wars’ Chef Vivek Singh on finding a home for his first restaurant in Westminster

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

No-one knows Lewisham better than singer-songwriter Therryi-Jay. She gives us her guide to the friendly south-east London neighbourhood.  1. The Fitting Studio ‘Every woman in Lewisham and its surrounding areas needs to go to The Fitting Studio to get a bra fitted. It’s the best bra shop. The experience is unique and tailored to you, and they make you feel so confident .’ 102-106 Kirkdale, SE26 4BG. View this post on Instagram A post shared by The Broadway Theatre, Catford (@the.broadwaytheatre) 2. The Broadway Theatre ‘If you grew up in Lewisham, you’ve been to The Broadway Theatre. You can go watch anything, from a comedy show to a Yardie production to a community show, and the pantomime is amazing for children. I performed there as a child and would love to have a headline show there one day.’ Catford Rd, SE6 4RU. 3. NRG Gym ‘There’s a lot of gyms in Lewisham but NRG brought a whole new vibe. It’s set over two floors, has an infrared sauna and a women-only zone. It’s such a little gem where there’s no room for self-consciousness.’ 156-160 Lewisham High St, SE13 6JL.    View this post on Instagram A post shared by Payiz Mediterranean Restaurant (@payizrestaurantuk) 4. Payiz ‘There’s a bartender at Payiz called Carlos. He makes the most amazing Tequila Sunrises. The food is homemade Turkish and Cypriot, and it’s delicious. The lamb ribs are crazy, but what really makes me buy into it? The bulgur wheat.' 102 Granville Park, SE13 7DU. 5. Ninth

  • Restaurants
  • Eating

The Old Selfridges Hotel rarely opens its doors for public events but, in the run-up to Christmas, its welcoming those looking for an immersive, imaginative culinary experience.  Created by Street Feast and Tramshed Project founder Dominic Cools-Lartigue and in partnership with Executive Chef Andrew Clark and Head of Drinks Rich Woods, The Great Feast will be held at the space directly above the iconic department store between November 11 and December 18.  The multi-sensory event promises to take ticket-holders through four different experiences, each with its own food and drink menus. A host of Michelin-starred and award-winning UK chefs – including Tom Sellers, Andrew Wong, Jason Howard, Chantelle Nicholson, Ravinder Bhogal, Selin Kazim and AdeJoké Bakare – will create eclectic and innovative dishes to tantalise tastebuds.  At The Counter Of Joy, you’ll be able to kick things off by sampling a mix of savoury small plates, while Wonky Dreams will offer up an array of cocktails concocted exclusively for The Great Feast. Woods’ drinks will be accompanied by sweet winter treats by Chin Chin Labs, including some fittingly festive Christmas tree baked Alaskas and bespoke Christmas crackers with an edible surprise. Plus, there’ll also be Wonka-inspired ice cream and a range of other delicious desserts.  Joyride will take diners on a 45-minute immersive experience, during which they’ll be given a pair of wireless headphones to help round out the full sense-driven journey around a l

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

Yes, London. We’re back out there and loving it. But how have your going out habits changed? Are you roaming around Theatreland in full-on Elsa costume? Or is your neighbourhood now where your heart resides forever? And how do you feel? Liberated? Nervous? Disgusted by the lack of mask-wearing? Please take two minutes to tell us - we want to know all about your time out... // window.beOpAsyncInit = function() { BeOpSDK.init({ account: "5f69f55f46e0fb0001fde886" }); BeOpSDK.watch(); }; //

  • Things to do
  • City Life

After 18 months of a pandemic-induced pause, the Night Tube is finally coming back next month, just in time for Christmas party season.  The nocturnal service won’t immediately return to the same scale it was before March 2020, with only its two busiest lines getting back into after-hours operation. As of November 27, you’ll be able to ride the Central and Victoria lines all night long on Friday and Saturday nights.  TfL’s announcement comes after Londoners petitioned the government to reinstate the Night Tube in the wake of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa’s deaths, as a way to help improve the safety of women in the capital. In a press release confirming the service’s return, the transport body said it would ‘provide a safe, quick travel option for Londoners and visitors looking to make the most of all the capital has to offer in the evenings, and those who need to travel to or from work at night’.  TfL added that the returning Night Tube would also ‘help businesses like bars, clubs and restaurants as London’s night-time economy continues to recover following the pandemic’.  Service will also return on the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines ‘as soon as possible’. TfL said training new Night Tube drivers for those lines still needs to take place before they can get running again, and that each line’s return ‘has to be planned around complex vital operational and engineering closures’. ‘The reason why I was so keen to be the first mayor in London’s history to start the Nigh

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  • Things to do
  • City Life

A new modular housing project has arrived in Haringey to help London’s rough sleepers – and, honestly, the resulting pods look excellent.  Named the ‘SoloHaus modular solution’, 33 homes have been built on disused, council-owned land at Ermine Road, Tottenham. With funding help from the Greater London Authority, the project is run by Haringey Council and Hill Group, who donated half of the homes as part of a £15m commitment to provide a total of 200 units over the next five years.  Time Out went to the site to have a nosy around and we were impressed. Although resembling a grey shipping container from the outside, step inside and you’ll find the pods are much nicer than many of the dingy London rentals you'd find on Rightmove.  The furnishings are all very IKEA and everything feels extremely new. At around 24 square meters in size, the homes have a bright living area fully furnished with a sofa, coffee table, kitchenette with crockery and equipment, and a desk slash eating area.   Photograph: Time Out / Chiara Wilkinson There’s a large storage cupboard, complete with a washing machine and a clothes horse, and a separate bathroom with a shower, toilet, and sink. The bedroom, also separate, has a single bed with bedding, a wardrobe with clothes and shoes, a chest of drawers, a bedside table and plugs. Also on site is an office where residents can access support from the council’s homeless programme – so there’s pretty much everything you’d need to get you going.    Photograp

Dream with us here. Imagine a space that hosts gigs and stocks local beers, but that also puts on yoga classes, skills training workshops, dance lessons for pensioners and events for under-18s. A space that isn’t owned by greedy landlords but by the community. It sounds too good to be true, but it isn’t. Lenny Watson, Verity Hobbs and Sophie Farrell, a group that goes by Sister Midnight, are crowdfunding to buy the Ravensbourne Arms, a huge pub on Lewisham High Street that’s been shut since 2016, and turn it into a not-for-profit venue that does all of the above. ‘We want to create a cultural space with local music and local people at its heart,’ says Watson. Sister Midnight was a record shop and music venue based in Deptford where the gigs were plenty and pints were £2.50. Watson founded it after spending years volunteering at a local record store that was due to turn into a cheese-and-wine bar. ‘I just thought, sod that,’ she says. So she scraped together the money for the rights to the lease, and Sister Midnight called the venue its home for two years. Unfortunately, it shut during the pandemic. But they were determined to find another place to carry on its legacy. The Ravensbourne Arms was on their radar, so they put out a community consultation. ‘We had £90,000 in provisional pledges,’ says Farrell. Sister Midnight turned into a community benefit society issuing community shares to fund the purchase of the pub. Community shares allow contributors a say in how the busines

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