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Alex Sims

Alex Sims

Contributor

Articles (13)

Things to do in London this week

Things to do in London this week

If proof were needed that the passing of time is totally unrelenting, we’ve blinked and realised December is well and truly here, bringing with it the last days of 2022. Yes, even though our last lucid memories took place in 2019, 2023 is on the horizon. But, before a whole new year lands, London is getting chock-full of Christmas cheer.  If you thought London couldn’t get any more Christmassy, prepare to be proved very, very wrong. Alongside the ice rinks, light displays and cookie-cutter cute markets, another slew of festive-ready treats is heading our way this week. From candle-lit Swedish carol services, another stage production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ but this time with bonafide legend Simon Russell Beale as iconic miser Ebeneezer Scrooge and bizarre festive spectacles like the Great Christmas Pudding Race through Covent Garden.  Rather not be forced to listen to Michael BublĂ© on repeat (we hear you)? Hit up some of the capital’s other offerings instead. Fill your bags with occult gifts and witchy memorabilia at the Satanic Flea Market, watch a theatrical re-telling of the iconic Wagatha Christie trial, see a 30th-anniversary screening of seminal feature film ‘London’ at the Barbican or grab a seat to watch this year’s World Cup tackles and penalties in HD glory at some of London’s best pubs, screens and fan zones.  RECOMMENDED: sign up to our incredible newsletter and get to know London better than all your friends. There are also plenty of exhibitions to work your way a

Chinese Lunar New Year in London 2023

Chinese Lunar New Year in London 2023

New Year’s resolutions not gone quite to plan yet? Well, there’s another chance to turn over a new leaf as Chinese New Year arrives. Also known as the Lunar New Year, the Spring Festival, Tet and Seollal, it’s the official start of the new lunar calendar, which means a chance to wipe clean the slate and start afresh for a more positive new year. In 2023 Chinese New Year falls on Sunday January 22 and this time around it’s the Year of the Rabbit. And after being cancelled last year, we’re all hoping that the traditional London Chinese New Year Parade will take to the streets again. Normally, the main parade starts in Charing Cross Road before dancing through Shaftesbury Avenue and finishing with a lion eye-dotting ceremony and stage performances in Trafalgar Square.  As well as the spectacle of costumed parades and stage performances there’s also plenty of ways to join in the celebrations, from tucking into special set-menu dinners at London’s best Chinese restaurants to joining historic walks and workshops. We’ll be adding more details of events as they’re announced. For more insider advice, be sure to read up on the best of Chinese London.  RECOMMENDED: More great things to do in London this January.

Things to do in London this weekend

Things to do in London this weekend

The nights are darker, the days are shorter and there’s a distinct chill in the air. It can only mean one thing, winter isn’t just coming – it’s here. That means as well as the annual search for your hot water bottle and pulling out a load of receipts you’d forgotten about from the pockets of your winter coat, a new season of brilliant cultural happenings is upon us.  We're already a few days deep into our advent calendars, which means it’s now acceptable to fall head-first into London Christmas and we can’t deny that the city looks a whole lot prettier covered with lights, ice rinks and cookie-cutter cute markets. This weekend also sees a load of other festive fun including candle-lit Swedish carol services, another stage production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ but this time with bonafide legend Simon Russell Beale as iconic miser Ebeneezer Scrooge and bizarre spectacles like the Great Christmas Pudding Race through Covent Garden.  Rather not be forced to listen to Michael BublĂ© on repeat (we hear you)? Hit up some of the capital’s other cultural offerings instead. RECOMMENDED: Sign up to our free, incredibly useful London newsletter.  Fill your bags with occult gifts and witchy memorabilia at the Satanic Flea Market, watch a theatrical re-telling of the iconic Wagatha Christie trial, see a 30th-anniversary screening of seminal feature film ‘London’ at the Barbican or grab a seat to watch this year’s World Cup tackles and penalties in HD glory at some of London’s best pubs, scre

London’s loveliest Christmas tree displays

London’s loveliest Christmas tree displays

Christmas in London is always memorable. There are dazzling festive lights, Yuletide markets, glistening ice rinks and not forgetting the city’s display of twinkling trees. From atmospheric traditional firs to minimalistic art installations, every year brings a huge variety of trees to visit around the capital. Here are some of the city’s best this winter. Many of the fabulous London Christmas trees for 2022 haven't been announced yet. We'll update this list with more details when we get them.  RECOMMENDED: Where to buy a Christmas tree in London. 

The cosiest winter pop-ups in London

The cosiest winter pop-ups in London

Looking for the best place to enjoy a chilly evening in London this Christmas? You, my friend, should immerse yourself in the world of the city’s seasonal pop-ups. In the run-up to Christmas, London goes mad for the winter snugs, complete with hot chocolates, steaming mulled wines and ciders, twinkling lights and novelty festive kitsch. From Christmas bars that look straight from the set of ‘White Christmas’ to toasty igloos where you can gorge on hot melted cheese, here’s our round-up of the best hideaways, markets and quirky festive experiences waiting to lure you in from the cheek-tingling cold and warm your socks off.  RECOMMENDED: Here are the best things do in London this Christmas

London events in January

London events in January

Hello, 2023! It is truly great to see you. January is the ideal time to discover London on a budget and without the crowds. Many of city's very best theatre and musicals, restaurants and bars – ranked definitively by Time Out's crew of expert local editors – offer discounted tickets and cheap meal deals. Check out Time Out’s recent Best of the City Awards for a handy starter list. Spend cold, clear days walking off your post-Christmas malaise in glorious parks and spectacular walking routes. Cosy up with drinks on a beautiful heated winter terrace, or in one of the 100 best pubs in the city. And catch up on magical lights, winter wonderlands and Christmas shows before they disappear.  Find out more here about how Time Out's independent editors review and rate events and venues. And bookmark our regular weekend guide for even more things to do in the city.

The best half-term activities in London

The best half-term activities in London

Guess what: it’s somehow half-term again. It might seem like mere days since the new school year began, but the kids are getting yet another holiday (Saturday October 22 – Sunday October 30) which means that it’s only a matter of time before somebody complains that they’re bored and you’re racking your brains for something to do besides plonking them in front of the telly.  Luckily, London has plenty of brilliant kid-friendly museums and galleries that really come into their own when school is out. And this is never more true than during the October half-term; not only do you have all the spooky fun of Halloween, there’s also plenty of family-friendly Diwali and Black History Month activities.  Whether you’re after some rainy day fun, outdoor play or some budget-friendly free activities for families, London absolutely has you covered. Here’s our roundup of all the best things to do with your children this October half-term. 

The best Halloween events in London

The best Halloween events in London

After last year’s somewhat half-hearted celebrations, this year's Halloween – which falls on Sunday, October 31 2022 – promises to be bigger, badder, spookier and more spine-chilling than ever before. There’s plenty of fright-filled fun to be had throughout October, whether you want to watch horror films on the big screen, join a lantern-lit ghost tour, learn all about London’s Magnificent Seven graveyards, carve pumpkins, or let your synthetic wigs down over themed cocktails at a seasonal pop-up. So when you’re after something strange in your neighbourhood, who ya gonna call? Time Out London, that’s who! We might not be so great at ghost-busting, but we’ve got everything else covered this ‘scary szn’ with our whopper list of the very best Halloween events in London for 2022. RECOMMENDED: Your ultimate guide to Halloween in London

London events in September 2022

London events in September 2022

September in London may be ‘back to school’ time, but it’s also when the city comes alive. A lot of London’s cultural scene goes into semi-hibernation mode over the summer, but come autumn it kicks back into gear with landmark museum exhibitions, new theatre and art shows and brand new food and drink openings.  One of the most anticipated big exhibitions of the year hits in September. The V&A’s ‘Hallyu! The Korean Wave’ is a large-scale exploration of Korean pop culture and the first of its kind in the UK, taking a look at South Korea’s music, movies, fashion and online games from the explosion of K-Pop bands to the ‘Gangnam Style’ craze.  London theatres will also be gearing up for a brand new season of shows with the National Theatre putting on an ‘urgent new staging’ Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’, the Donmar Warehouse will see US smash-hit musical ‘The Band’s Visit’ have its UK premiere, while big guns Helen Hunt and Simon Russell Beale will be taking to the stage, with Oscar-winner Hunt in new play ‘Eureka Day’ and Russell Beale playing the lead in Henrik Ibsen’s classic ‘John Gabriel Borkman’.  In the art world, Freize is taking over Regent’s Park again with a collection of eye-popping sculptures, Damien Hirst is burning his paintings in Newport Street Gallery and there are also major (and much-needed) retrospectives of Slovakian artist Maria Bartuszová and iconic performance artist Carolee Schneemann.   There’s also a whole host of city-wide fests taking over the capit

The best jazz bars and clubs in London

The best jazz bars and clubs in London

Jazz in London is constantly evolving. While it may be having something of a moment in the capital right now with new emerging musicians reimagining the genre in a whole lot of wonderfully inventive ways, its old-school roots are still alive and kicking. So whether you’re a longtime jazz lover or a total newbie, you’ll find your spot at one of London’s best jazz clubs to soak up some serious vibes. Truly, there’s nowhere quite like the iconic Ronnie Scott’s in Soho, but the capital boasts a selection of characterful jazz venues dotted all over the city. From free-of-charge, grass-roots nights that take over New Cross pubs on Sunday nights, to slick, modern Dalston venues, pick one with a vibe you like the sound of and get ready to get your groove on.  RECOMMENDED: keep the party going at the best bars in London. 

Pride in London 2022: best places to watch the parade

Pride in London 2022: best places to watch the parade

Thanks to the city’s wealth of queer bars, clubs, nights and other spaces, London’s LGBTQ+ scene is among the most fabulous in the world. But, it’s Pride Month when the LGBTQ+ celebrations really take off, as Pride in London fills the city with LGBTQ+-themed events, protests and parties. At its very centre is the annual Pride parade.  After a two-year hiatus of live streaming and cancellations, the parade is making an epic IRL return. This year’s parade promises to be extra-special as it marks 50 years since the very first Pride march in 1972. In celebration of this, the 2022 march will retrace the route of the historic inaugural 1972 parade.  The route will begin in Hyde Park, where the first post-march picnic took place. Setting off from Hyde Park Corner, the procession will head down to Picadilly Circus, then turn south on to Haymarket and Trafalgar Square, before ending in Whitehall Place.    Pride in London     When is the London Pride Parade 2022? This year London’s Pride parade will place on Saturday July 2. Pride in London says that on this day they want the parade to ‘make a powerful statement’ and ‘march towards progress’. It will be calling for the UK government to ban conversion therapy, reform Gender Recognition, provide equal protection for LGBTQ+ communities against hate crime, end its hostile environment toward minority migrants, establish a national Aids memorial and take a leading role in tackling the violence and discrimination against LGBTQ+ people aroun

Urban beaches in London

Urban beaches in London

Let’s be honest: urban beaches are in no way as good as real beaches. We’re not going to stand here and try and kid of you of that. There’s no sea to swim in. There’s very limited access to high-quality fish and chips. It’s very unlikely you can go surfing at one. That being said... you can’t catch the Tube to the coast, so, why not make life a bit easier for yourself and visit an urban beach? They have sand, they have cocktails, they often have beach parties and they sometimes (when we’re lucky) get a bit of sun. We’re not going to turn our noses up at any of that. Here we’ve rounded up the most decent ones in the city. If you fancy a swim instead then check out these dreamy London lidos and outdoor pools. And if you still aren’t convinced that a sandpit by the South Bank will give you those sweet holiday feels, here are some actual beaches near London you can head to.  RECOMMENDED: Our guide to outdoor London.

Listings and reviews (3)

Temper Shoreditch

Temper Shoreditch

4 out of 5 stars

Descending into the gloom of Temper Shoreditch’s basement restaurant is like entering a cult club night. Thudding disco and raucous chatter envelop you as you walk in from Great Eastern Street straight downstairs into a dark, smoky, neon-lit subterranean world. But instead of a DJ, the star of the show here is a huge smoldering fire pit that takes pride of place behind open bar seating.  The fourth restaurant in the Temper family, the Shoreditch incarnation of these steakhouse and barbeque spots is cut from the same cloth as its older Soho sibling (there are two other joints in Bank and Covent Garden). It has the same pitch-black walls and ceilings and illuminated fridges full of glistening slabs of raw steak. Like the W1 spot, hunks of charring meat hanging over the glowing coals are visible across the restaurant floor in various blackened states, sending scents of searing fat into the air. Every now and then a rush of flames erupts as the chefs flambé smoking cuts of meat. It’s wonderfully theatrical and flashy – something that feels straight from the mind of a gout-ridden Tudor king.  In fact, the concept was the brainchild of restauranter Sam Lee and chef Neil Rankin who founded the mini-chain. Rankin’s since left and now David Lagonell heads up the menu. While the restaurants still pride themselves on butchering steaks in-house from rare breed cattle, it’s moved on from each site having its own specialism (Soho concentrated on tacos; the City site on curry). Now they sha

Peckham Cellars

Peckham Cellars

4 out of 5 stars

If you lived in southeast London over lockdown, you may have spotted a lone pink and turquoise van pootling down the empty streets. It belongs to wine bar and restaurant Peckham Cellars, which, even when we weren’t allowed to leave the house, kept on resolutely delivering tasty bottles of wine to our doors. For me, seeing those little vans at the height of the pandemic was a small sign of hope: proof there was still life in our shuttered city and that neighbourhoods all over London were looking out for the independent businesses that make them shine.  Looking after locals is still very much in Peckham Cellars’ soul. A friendly cloud of chatter drifts down the street as you approach the place along Queen’s Road as people loll about on wooden benches on the pavement outside, hands clasped around wine glasses and forks hungrily diving into an assortment of small plates. This is a neighbourhood joint so relaxed and laidback, you’d think nothing of popping in for a drink and snack on any day of the week. But, unlike many local joints, it manages to pair this breezy atmosphere with exceptional food and an impressive wine list worth making a long journey on the Overground for. (It’s officially a Michelin Bib Gourmand-winning spot, if you needed any convincing.)  It’s no surprise the place has attracted such attention. The collected CVs of the three friends who started it up in 2019 read like an anthology of London’s hottest restaurants: Spring, Quo Vadis, BAO, Rovi and Morito are al

Sundance London

Sundance London

The UK offshoot of Robert Redford’s Utah film behemoth, Sundance London may be small but it’s still chockablock with indie cinematic magic. This year’s 12-strong film line-up includes Emma Thompson’s frank sex dramedy ‘Good Luck to You, Leo Grande’, Jim Archer’s ‘Brian and Charles’, which follows the relationship between a lonely man and a cabbage-munching robot he built in his shed, and Lena Dunham’s comedy ‘Sharp Stick’.

News (22)

TfL’s cable cars have just had a serious glow-up

TfL’s cable cars have just had a serious glow-up

For ten years, the London cable car has stretched high above the Thames like a mighty winged chariot chugging people looking to soak up the city skyline from North Greenwich to the Royal Docks and back again.  Constructed in 2012, as the east of the city underwent a huge metamorphosis for the London Olympics, the cable car was one of the shiny new additions to the capital, that along with the Olympic Stadium and Anish Kapoor’s squiggly red ArcelorMittal Orbit, turned a former no-go area of the East End into a shiny landmark spot.  Since the games, the cable car has been sponsored by Emirate Airlines, whose red branding has become synonymous with the grand chair lift 90m above town. But, after a decade of repping the landmark, Emirates’ sponsorship deal came to a close in June and the cable car has been in a patron-less wilderness. Until now.  Photograph: Transport for London Transport for London has announced that technology company IFS (yeah, us neither) are the new sponsors of the cable car line and, as part of their takeover, they’ll be rebranding it the ‘IFS Cloud Car’ with snazzy purple cars complete with a cloud motif, while the two cable car terminals will also be renamed ‘IFS Cloud Greenwich Peninsula’ and ‘IFS Cloud Royal Docks’.  This latest evolution was unveiled this week with the new glow-up fully complete. A one-way ride over the river will still cost £5 for adults and £2.50 for children. Or, if you’re after more of a party vibe, you’re allowed to cram up to t

The Elizabeth Line is already the most punctual train in the UK

The Elizabeth Line is already the most punctual train in the UK

Streaking into the London landscape in a blur of white and purple, the Elizabeth line has taken the capital by storm. For the first time ever Londoners can get across the capital laterally in one fell swoop from Abbey Wood in the south east, to Reading in the west. The depths of south east London are now some of the most connected areas of the city. It has blisteringly cold air con and stations that look like they’re straight from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’. Heck, the line is even going to be running through the night between this weekend to help people join The Queue to pay their respects to The Queen as she lies-in-state in Westminster Hall.  In short, the Elizabeth line seems to have answered all our public transport woes (if you live within walking distance to it, that is). And now we have hard figures to back up just how great it appears to be. According to new numbers released by the Office of Rail and Road, the Elizabeth line has become the most punctual train in the entire country, just over three months since it opened officially on May 24.   https://twitter.com/RossLydall/status/1570341653201752067 The quarterly figures released this week show that 88.1% of Elizabeth trains were on time between April and June – the top performance of all 24 UK rail operators. The figures included the performance of TfL Rail as the services on its western and eastern branches were running before its central section opened. Only 1.8 per cent of the 60,573 TfL Rail or Elizabeth li

Everything that’s cancelled in London now that the Queen’s died

Everything that’s cancelled in London now that the Queen’s died

After 70 years on the throne, the sad announcement was made on Thursday September 8 that Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-serving monarch, had died at the age of 96.  The announcement has set off a series of carefully planned official events, marches and memorials. Plans are currently being put in place for her state funeral, which will take place on Monday September 19. She will be the first British monarch to have her funeral at Westminster Abbey since 1760 and her coffin will lie in state for five days beforehand (Wednesday September 14 to Monday September 19) in Westminster Hall where the general public will be able to walk past the coffin to pay their respects.  As well as changes to strike action and transport services, many major events will be postponed and landmarks closed as a mark of respect on Monday September 19. Here’s a list of all the major London events and landmarks that will be closing and cancelled on the day of the Queen’s funeral. Museums and galleries  Alfred Waterhouse’s Romanesque cathedral of nature, the Natural History Museum, will be closed all day on Monday September 19, as will its neighbour the Science Museum. The art world also pays its respects on Monday, The National Gallery, Tate Modern and Tate Britain all closed too.  Tourist attractions Queen Elizabeth II was a patron of London Zoo. As a mark of respect, the London landmark and its Whipsnade sister site announced that both will close on Monday. ZSL said in a statement: ‘Her passion f

12 brilliant spots to watch the UEFA Women’s Euros 2022 final on Sunday

12 brilliant spots to watch the UEFA Women’s Euros 2022 final on Sunday

The lads didn’t win last year, but England’s women are hoping to do better in the UEFA Women’s Euros Final on Sunday July 31.  After scoring a winning goal in extra time in a nail-biting match against Spain in the quarters, the Lionesses beat Sweden by a spectacular 4-0 in the semi-final in Sheffield on Tuesday. We’re still thinking about the most satisfying goal we've ever seen.  The BIG final between England and Germany takes place this Sunday (July 31). There are lots of screens popping across London where you can see all the kicks, corners, headers and (England) goals in glorious HD detail. Here’s a list of spots across the city that will be showing the mega fixture. Could it finally be coming home? Keep your fingers crossed! RECOMMENDED: We chat to Alex Scott, ex-England international and BBC host of the Women’s Euros. Where to watch the UEFA Women’s Euros Final in London Trafalgar Square   Photograph: Luis Kramer   The London landmark has been transformed into an epic Women’s Euros football fan zone with screenings, food, events and more. There’s space for 7,000 people to watch the England-Germany final. If you’ve got footie on the brain, head to the square in between the matches for screenings of ‘Bend It Like Beckham’, live panel discussions, training sessions, interviews and a pop-up five-a-side football pitch to keep your skills silky. Open daily Jul 23-31, 11am and 6pm. Entry free. Truman’s Social Club This cavernous beer hall was billed as ‘the UK’s biggest’

An illuminated night-time flotilla will turn the Thames into a ‘stunning river of light’

An illuminated night-time flotilla will turn the Thames into a ‘stunning river of light’

London’s ‘dirty old river’ is about to look a whole lot snazzier.   An illuminated flotilla will float along the Thames at night this September to create a ‘stunning river of light’. Over 150 boats decorated in glistening white lights will process along the waterway from Chelsea to Tower Bridge as part of an art installation called ‘Reflections’ that will make a ‘sparkling night time Canaletto scene’, according to organisers. Celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year, the flotilla will be free to watch and include Gloriana, the Queen’s Rowbarge, which was made for Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, which also saw a 1000-strong flotilla pass down the channel.  View this post on Instagram A post shared by Thames Festival Trust (@thamesfestivaltrust) To mark the occasion, some of the Thames bridges will be illuminated with colour and light shows as the iridescent vessels travel downstream. All the participating crews will be raising funds for the RNLI and supporting the construction of a new lifeboat station at Waterloo Bridge. Part of the Totally Thames festival – an annual celebration of London’s main watery artery – ‘Reflections’ is just one of a whole bunch of imaginative, river-themed activities the fest will be bringing to various locations along the riverbank throughout September.  As well as the illuminated boats, other highlights will include an installation of 200 silk flags exhibited outside the National Maritime Museum called ‘River of Hop

AJ Tracey is headlining an epic Major League Baseball game in Crystal Palace

AJ Tracey is headlining an epic Major League Baseball game in Crystal Palace

Three years ago, the American juggernaut that is MLB (Major League Baseball) crash-landed in the capital with its first London series. Now, it’s back with a day-long extravaganza in Crystal Palace Park and it’s got some pretty illustrious guests in tow.  Described as ‘baseball meets festival vibes’, ‘MLB Home Run Derby X’ lets you watch games featuring legendary teams the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees, and catch a lineup of live music headlined by none other than acclaimed London-born rapper and Time Out cover star AJ Tracey, who’ll be providing the all-American proceedings with a London edge.  There’ll also be batting cages where you can practise your swing and plenty of tasty food to complete the festival atmosphere. And you’ll need your sustenance because there are FOUR big baseball games to see on the day; two preliminary games, a third-place play off and the final, which will determine which of the four teams is one step closer to taking home gold as part of the HRDX Champion global tour. Each of the teams will include a line-up of famous Babe Ruth-style baseball superstars including Boston Red Sox’s Jonny Gomes, Chicago Cubs’ Geo Soto, Los Angeles Dodgers’ Adrián González and New York Yankee’s Nick Swisher. As well as younger up-and-coming players and some wildcard, beginner players – ‘like Strictly come dancing, but baseball’ according to the organisers. Dramatic home runs, tasty food and tunes from one of the country’s finest

Record crowds are expected at this weekend’s Pride parade in London

Record crowds are expected at this weekend’s Pride parade in London

For three long years, London has been missing its annual helping of giant rainbow flags, glitter-festooned floats and pop music echoing around Soho Square. So it’s a big relief that Pride in London is making a much-anticipated comeback on Saturday July 2.  Not only is this year’s Pride parade special because it will be the first time since 2019 that people from across the LGBTQ+ community have been able to meet up and celebrate IRL, but 2022 also marks the fiftieth anniversary of London’s first-ever Pride rally.  In 1972 just a few hundred people marched through central London as part of a week of a heavily policed demonstration, but 50 years on record crowds of more than 1.5 million are expected to join the celebrations, either as part of the 300 floats travelling through the streets, or as spectators bringing the feel-good vibes.  In honour of the big anniversary, this year’s parade will follow the same route as the 1972 march. Already decked out with colourful flags for the occasion, the route will start at Hyde Park Corner, wending its way down Piccadilly, through to Haymarket and then on to Trafalgar Square, before eventually finishing in Whitehall.  Image: Davi Barbiere / Shutterstock At the end of the parade, there will be a moment of reflection, which organisers are calling ‘50 seconds of all of our pride’, giving attendees a quiet moment to look back on the last half-century of LGBTQ+ history.  The theme of this year’s march is #AllOurPride ​​– a nod to the fact th

You can stay in a Wembley Stadium apartment that overlooks the Euros

You can stay in a Wembley Stadium apartment that overlooks the Euros

If ‘football crazy, football mad’ feels like less of a rabble-rousing pre-match chant and more of a state of mind to you, then get a load of the latest addition to Wembley Stadium. To mark the arrival of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022, one of the stadium’s boxes has been transformed into a cosy football-themed hotel room and two lucky people can stay overnight for a front-row seat of the tournament final on Sunday July 31.   Available for one night only, the Pitch View Penthouse from Booking.com features an astroturf carpet, pitch-green grassy walls and the sound of cheering crowds as you enter. But, most importantly it has a private balcony with top tier views of the pitch for the championship match.  Photograph: Booking.com The lucky pair who bag the room will also get a chauffeur-driven ride to the stadium on the day of the final match, a behind-the-scenes stadium tour with former England player Karen Carney, get to watch the match with VIP hospitality and finish off the whole experience with a pitch-side breakfast the next morning.  Want the chance to feel the plastic turf between your toes and breakfast beside the pitch still covered in hot sweat and tattered confetti from the night before? You can try your luck at bagging the VIP experience by heading to Booking.com on 10am on Wednesday July 6, the day the tournament kicks off with England playing Austria, which will be reservable on a first-come-first-serve basis!  If your fingers aren’t fast enough to bag the room (or y

TfL is putting up some very special LGBTQ+ posters to celebrate 50 years of Pride

TfL is putting up some very special LGBTQ+ posters to celebrate 50 years of Pride

TfL has just released some fabulosa news. In the run-up to this weekend’s Pride parade on Saturday July 2, which marks its 50th anniversary this year, Transport for London will be decorating its tubes, trains and bus stations with a collection of colourful posters celebrating London’s LGBTQ+ community.  Polari, a secret language used by gay men in the 20th century, will feature on lots of the signs. So expect to see plenty of posters wishing you a ‘bona night out‘ and complementing your ‘dolly old eke’ (aka ‘pretty old face’).  Photograph: TfL Photograph: TfL Other posters will spotlight game-changing queer communities and businesses, including the brilliant Cocoa Butter Club, which has carved out an important space for Black and brown cabaret artists in the city, Gay’s The Word, the pioneering bookshop which is the UK’s oldest queer independent bookseller, iconic queer nightlife venue the Royal Vauxhall Tavern and inclusive sports teams such as Stonewall FC, London Cruises and London Otters Rowing Club.  Photograph: TfL Photograph: TfL ‘From seasoned queens covertly gossiping in Polari huddled on the top deck of an old Routemaster in the ’60s, to members of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners headed to their meeting at The Bell pub in King’s Cross in the ’80s, to jumping on the underground to see old friends at First Out Cafe in the ’90s, on to the non-binary or bisexual young adults of today enroute to  Gay’s The Word for the first time, the bus and Tube network

This London borough has been named the most expensive place to drive in the UK

This London borough has been named the most expensive place to drive in the UK

You might already have guessed that we love London here at Time Out. We think it’s one of the best cities on the planet. From its world-renowned culture and its enviable food scene to the fact that you can find the Rosetta Stone and a jar of pickled moles with its own Twitter account in the same postcode.  But, we’ll admit there are some things we’d love to change about the place, particularly the fact that it’s a pretty pricy spot to call home. Unsurprisingly, for somewhere that’s usually at the top of lists detailing the most expensive places to live in the world, London is home to UK’s most expensive street (Kensington Palace Gardens, fyi, where the average property price is a cool £29,898,000), the most expensive meal ever served (£13,000 for three diners at Le Gavroche), and, recently, what we expect is the most expensive pint in the country at £80.  Now the capital can also claim another costly title, with one London borough being named the most expensive place to drive a car in the UK. The unenviable winner is Westminster, according to car rental business Riverdale Leasing. To get the figures, the company researched the average cost of insurance, fuel, parking, repairs, serving and road tax in the 50 most populous areas of the UK in May this year and found that drivers in SW1 spend a whopping £8,722 per year on their cars. The figure is a huge £4,922 more than the average British driver spends per annum – which they estimate is £3,800 – and £3,217 more than the averag

Snoop around a secret Thames island that’s only open twice a year

Snoop around a secret Thames island that’s only open twice a year

Where in London can you find a giant upturned ice-cream cone bursting out of someone’s roof, gardens full of headless mannequins, a nature reserve and a working boatyard? Eel Pie Island, a tiny Thames mudflat in Twickenham, may only be 500m long, but it manages to pack in a whole lot of weird and wonderful stuff.  Never heard of it? There aren’t that many bits of London that are actually secret any more, but the residents of Eel Pie have done a very good job at keeping their island as clandestine as possible. Only accessible by boat or via a little footbridge reaching over the river, a ‘private property’ sign at the entrance usually keeps people out of the secluded enclave, except for twice a year when the public is granted the rare privilege of being able to snoop around the place at the island’s Open Studios event.  Photograph: Shutterstock What’s so special about it, you ask? Well, the island was once at the epicentre of the UK’s rock ’n’ roll music scene. If you visited the place in 1963, you’d have been treated to Rolling Stones gigs every Wednesday and bands like The Who, Pink Floyd and Screaming Lord Sutch all played at the Eel Pie Island Hotel, which was destroyed in a fire in 1971: how rock ’n’ roll is that? Basically, it was the place to be in the ’60s: full of anarchistic artists and counter-culturalists.  While the island’s music scene isn’t quite as thriving today, you’ll find 26 artists’ studios full of painters, potters and sculptors all working away in the s

Six ways to get involved with Refugee Week in London

Six ways to get involved with Refugee Week in London

Refugee Week, the annual festival celebrating the many contributions that refugees have made to the UK, is back. Founded in 1998 and held every year around World Refugee Day on June 20, the event brings a wonderful programme of arts and culture to areas across the country to ’enable people from different backgrounds to connect beyond labels, and encourage understanding of why people are displaced, and the challenges they face when seeking safety.’  Here are some excellent ways to support it in London:  Refugee Week at the National Maritime Museum We all know laughter is the best medicine, so it’s fitting that the Greenwich museum has invited No Direction Home - a comedy collective from refugee and migrant backgrounds - to host a night of roaring stand-up to mark this year’s refugee week theme: ‘Healing’, as well as talks, exhibitions and creative workshops. National Maritime Museum. Jun 23-25. Free, booking required. Dance with Little Amal Remember Little Amal, the giant puppet refugee girl who walked from the Syrian border to Manchester last year? Now she’s treading in her boots again for a dance party on the Southbank. Dance for Refuge and other guest artists will be providing the soundtrack as well as bringing attention to the urgent needs of young refugees. Southbank Centre. Jun 25. Free.  Migration Museum Refugee Week Late After itself migrating around London over the last few years, the Migration Museum has found a permanent home for its eye-opening exhibitions about th

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