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Alice Saville

Alice Saville

Contributing writer

Articles (80)

The 14 best spa breaks near London

The 14 best spa breaks near London

Thank god for spas. When you’re feeling pummelled by the pressures of city life, make for a spa to be pummelled by massage therapists instead: soon, your stress will ebb luxuriously away like the retreating tide. There are some fab day spas right here in London, but venture out into the Home Counties and beyond to find the best (and priciest) examples of the genre: think grand, historic country houses with squadrons of super-skilled masseuses, steamy hot tubs, ornately-tiled pools, and elaborate extras like snow rooms. Most of them also have restaurants, bars and options for overnight stays, so you can keep that ultra-relaxed buzz going into the next day: perfect for a romantic mini break, chilled hen party, or solo treat. Here’s our pick of the very best, located just an hour or less from the capital.  RECOMMENDED: Affordable spas in London

The best bookshops in London

The best bookshops in London

London is a bookworm’s paradise. Whether you’re after novels, comics, antiquarian tomes, or just somewhere beautiful to curl up with a good book, you’ll find it here in one of the many shops dedicated to the printed word. Hearteningly, the rise of online retailers hasn’t put a dent in the city’s characterful, welcoming book-monger scene. Instead, bookshops have upped their game, offering personalised recommendations, readings, book clubs and cosy cafés where you can enjoy your purchases over a steaming cuppa. Ready to get turning pages? Here’s our guide to the best bookshops in London, whether you’re in central, north, east, south or west London. More of a borrower? Head to these lovely London libraries.  RECOMMENDED: Literary destinations and activities in London.Also: Our pick of the 100 best children’s books ever.    

London’s best afternoon teas

London’s best afternoon teas

Afternoon tea. Yes, it's twee, but there is something quite fun about working your way through what's essentially dessert tapas, especially when you’re at one of London’s top hotels or restaurants. We've rounded up London's best afternoon teas in a city renowned for putting on some of the world’s best spreads – with tiny cakes, little finger sarnies and pots of perfect tea the name of the delicious game. Expect to pay in the region of £50 to £80 for the pleasure per person, but you'll be in for a treat and a half. Many of the teas have set times for seatings, so booking in advance is always recommended. RECOMMENDED: The best hotels in London.

The best bakeries in London

The best bakeries in London

From Asian patisseries to sourdough specialists and beigel gurus, when it comes to bakeries London is one big doughy goldmine. This means whittling down the best bakehouses in the city is no mean feat. But, we’ve risen to the challenge and eaten our way through the lot to round up London’s yeasty royalty. Whether you want fluffy naan breads from north London institutions, exquisitely-made pastries, perfectly-proved sourdough, or heritage-grain flaky goodness, there’s an oven in London cooking up something for you. Why not pair your pastry goodies with a hot drink at one of the best cafés and coffee shops in London? Go on, treat yourself.  RECOMMENDED: London's 50 best cheap eats.

The best drag clubs, shows and nights in London

The best drag clubs, shows and nights in London

‘Don't be a drag, just be a queen,’ sang Lady Gaga. And who are we to disagree? London is teaming with drag clubs and nights where you can rub shoulders with drag royalty at its wittiest, prettiest, and most fearless. There are stalwart venues including The Glory, Admiral Duncan or Royal Vauxhall Tavern, where you'll find drag shows pretty much any night of the week. But the fun doesn't stop there. Chase down stars from Ru Paul's Drag Race at venues like Clapham Grand. Or go to hybrid nights like drag quizzes, drag brunches or lip-syncing contests.  Before you head out on your London drag adventure, it’s a good idea to keep a few things in mind to make sure the night stays fun for everyone. Don't touch performers (unless they ask you to). Be sure not to make assumptions about performers' sexual orientation or pronouns: drag queens and kings can be any gender and any sexuality, that's part of the fun. If you're straight and cis, remember that you're in an LGBTQ+ space: go with an equally respectful mate and you'll usually be welcome, show up with a raucous stag or hen party and you might not be. Last but not least, let the queens know that you’re having a good time – they feed off a crowd’s energy, so give them something to shout about. RECOMMENDED: Keep the party going at London's best gay bars and gay clubs.

Easter holidays activities for kids in London

Easter holidays activities for kids in London

Kicking off with a whopping four-day bank, chocolate egg-filled holiday weekend, the 2024 school Easter hols stretch from Friday March 29 to Sunday April 14. That’s a lot of child entertaining to do, but with the weather hopefully turning and spring now fully sprung, it’s a great opportunity to go out and have fun with the family and take advantage of the most fun family activities available this April.  Stuck for ideas on how to fill all this free time? That’s where we come in. Below is a list of ideas for things you can get up to in London with the kids this Easter holidays.  RECOMMENDED: Crack open our full guide to the Easter weekend.  

The best Easter events and activities in London

The best Easter events and activities in London

Easter weekend isn’t just a time to scoff loads of chocolate and have a big roast dinner: it’s also a double bank holiday. We get four whole days off between Good Friday on March 29 and Easter Monday on April 1, so the world – or at least London – is our oyster. Worried about filling up all your extra time off? Time Out has your back. There’s plenty to do in the capital over the Easter weekend: from checking out spring flowers and other kid-friendly Easter activities to swinging by one of London’s top rooftop bars and coffee shops. Hopefully, the weather will be glorious and hanging out in the park for four days straight won’t involve dashing away from freak rain storms. But if not, you can still spend your time checking out a free art exhibition, seeing some top theatre or treating yourself to a proper pub roast on Easter Sunday. If you’re looking for something truly special to do over the extra-long April break, read on for our top ten things to do in London this Easter. RECOMMENDED: Check out our eggcellent guide to Easter in London.

London’s best hot cross buns

London’s best hot cross buns

As Easter approaches, a parade of ever-more-elaborate chocolate eggs marches across supermarket shelves. They’re flashy, but their prestigious metallic wrapping is often as deceptive as an AI-generated cover letter, masking a hollow, sickly egg that’s wholly unqualified to lift your spirits this spring. If you want to splurge on one seasonal treat, make it the humbler and infinitely more satisfying hot cross bun instead. You know where you are with these sturdy teatime delights, their richly-spiced flavours honed by generations of ordinary bakers. And although the standard issue high street ones are pretty great, it’s infinitely more satisfying to go to a proper bakery and emerge clutching a giant, gleaming example of the genre in a rustling paper bag. This city’s bakeries fill up with buns as soon as Easter approaches, so we’ve scooted around town to pick up London’s best hot cross buns, whether they’re classics or unholy mash-ups. Then, we got an elite panel of taste-testers to rate them so that you can guarantee that you’re getting maximum bun for your buck. Fire up the toaster, we’re off to bun nirvana. RECOMMENDED: Fill your Easter with fun with these things to do over the long weekend.

So you want to get into... learning a new hobby from home

So you want to get into... learning a new hobby from home

There's something absolutely delicious about an evening at home – sinking into an armchair, grabbing your fave snacks, and freeing yourself from the pressure to squeeze yourself into a stylish-but-uncomfy outfit. But staying home doesn't mean you have to get boring. If you currently list your dating profile interests as ‘walking, watching films, and eating Sunday roasts,’ it might be time to add a little spice to your life, and getting a cool new hobby is a perfect way to do that. 

The best movies of 2023

The best movies of 2023

Oh, we are so back. It took a few years, but 2023 felt like the year that Hollywood finally found its footing post-pandemic – which is ironic, considering Hollywood also shut down for large parts of the year. Before all the strikes hit, though, there were indications that the movie industry was coming back to life. There was the #Barbenheimer phenomenon, of course, which helped power the domestic box office to its strongest overall numbers since 2019. But in terms of pure moviemaking, the year was particularly strong. Martin Scorsese dropped another masterpiece, while Across the Spider-Verse made comic-book movies fresh again (at least until Madam Web, anyway). Past Lives made audiences swoon, while small-time charmers like Theater Camp, Scrapper and Rye Lane reasserted the vitality of indie filmmaking. And don’t forget the one about the dancing killer doll! Overall, it was a great year for movies – even the Oscars were enjoyable. But what movies were the greatest? Here are our picks. RECOMMENDED: 🫶 The best movies of 2024 (so far)📺 The best TV and streaming shows of 2023🎥 The 100 greatest movies ever made

The best things to do on Mother’s Day in London

The best things to do on Mother’s Day in London

Stuck on ideas for Mother’s Day (Sunday March 10 2024)? We thought you might end up in a sticky situation like this so that why we’ve pulled together a list of some of the best mum-friendly events happening around London. You can thank us later.  You can treat your mum to a delightful Sunday lunch, a wander around some of London’s loveliest shops, a cultural visit to the best current art exhibitions or a thrilling new theatre production. The options are endless so don’t spend too long creating that masterpiece of a throwback social media post, okay? Check out our top picks for the best events to take mother-dearest to this Mother’s Day 2024. RECOMMENDED: the full guide to Mother’s Day in London 

The best places to try bubble tea in London

The best places to try bubble tea in London

A decade ago, you'd be hard pressed to find a bubble tea shop outside Chinatown. But now, Londoners are rarely more than a few minutes away from bubble tea shops that offer a thrilling variety of toppings. Popping pearls, custard, cheese, cornflakes... if you can suck it through an extra-wide straw, you can probably find it in the depths of a bubble tea somewhere in this city.  Bubble tea was invented by an enterprising tea shop in Taiwan's Taichung City, where a cafe owner had the idea of adding chewy tapioca 'pearls' to his signature drink. So it's unsurprising that many of London's bubble tea shops are branches of Taiwan-based chains like Yi Fang or Ding Tea. But there are plenty of smaller outfits serving up creative takes on this fun beverage, alongside snacks like wheelcakes or pork buns. Here's our pick of the very best. RECOMMENDED: The best ice cream in London.

Listings and reviews (239)

Lulworth Cove Inn

Lulworth Cove Inn

4 out of 5 stars

The almost uncanny perfection of Lulworth Cove draws thousands of holidaymakers each year, all enticed by this wonderfully round, calm bay and its views of the Dorset coast beyond. Stay at nearby seaside pub hotel Lulworth Cove Inn and you'll get stellar views over this rocky coastline, as well as the chance to escape the crowds with a brisk pre-breakfast stroll round its pebbled edges, or watch the sun set over its waters with an after-dinner pint. Owned by Dorset-based brewers Hall & Woodhouse, Lulworth Cove Inn's interiors mix old-school pubby charm with plenty of artfully arranged seaside flotsam and jetsam. Upended wooden boats become shelves housing maritime paraphenalia, vintage holiday posters paper the walls, and a cheery aqua and yellow colour scheme extends into the bedrooms upstairs, echoing the hues of the beach that's just a short toddle down the road. These rooms are all about solid, midcentury-style comfort, with cast iron bedsteads, wicker chairs, and carefully chosen vintage furniture that's a welcome break from other hotels' standard issue MDF. Still, there's enough freshness to stop it feeling fusty, with breezy colour palettes and whimsical touches like Roberts Revival radios lodged on the bedside tables and handmade stuffed toys parked on your pillow. The hefty cooked breakfasts make good hikers' fuel for anyone planning to set off along the Jurassic Coast come sunrise: if you can't stomach a full English, there are welcome lighter alternatives like gran

For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy

For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy

4 out of 5 stars

This review is from 2023. ‘For Black Boys…’ returns for 2024 with a new cast. To say that ‘For Black Boys...’ is the kind of show you don't normally see on the West End is a massive understatement. It’s a sleeper hit that started out at tiny fringe powerhouse the New Diorama, then transferred to the Royal Court before making it to Theatreland, powered by a passionate fanbase rather than rave reviews. All of its cast and most of its creative team are Black men, talking about their experiences of growing up in a world that often sidelines and stereotypes them in a style that's non-linear, raw, spontaneous, and massively fun to watch.Its creator Ryan Calais Cameron researched the play by running open-ended therapy-style sessions for Black men, ones that sprawled out over hours as they broached hard-to-talk-about subjects like mental health, masculinity, and love. Some of that same soul-baring earnestness finds its way into the finished play, which is structured around dream-like dialogues between the six cast members. ‘I'm already learning new ways to hate me’ says one boy, after getting ignored while playing kiss chase. This opening scene explores how school offers unwanted lessons first in other kids' prejudice, then, later, in the grinding historical traumas of slavery. The same rhythm patterns throughout the play, with big themes getting introduced and then broken down through the fragmented experiences of the cast.But it never quite feels predictable, because Calais Camero

The Manor House Hotel, Alsager

The Manor House Hotel, Alsager

4 out of 5 stars

The outskirts of Stoke-on-Trent don't feel particularly countrified, with their sprawling streets of tiny red brick workers' cottages and old pottery mills. But at the city's furthest edge you'll find the Manor House, a popular spa hotel that ekes every bit of rural charm from its location. The biggest draw? Its English country garden, with outdoor pools laid out in formal courtyards, with views of the rolling green meadows beyond. You'd think that a spa sesh at this spot would be a summer-only affair, but it works surprisingly well in chillier seasons (on our visit, snow was on the ground). A rich fug of steam rises from the main heated outdoor relaxation pool, which has an abundance of spots to lounge with a glass of fizz from the swim-up bar. Around it are thoughtfully designed cabins offering botanically inspired relaxation opportunities. The potting shed houses a herbal sauna, where a zing of lavender rushes through your airways as your limbs surrender to the steamy heat. The less intense salt steam chamber invites you to inhale salt and essential-oil scented vapours next to a rose quartz centrepiece (which, whether or not it has healing powers, certainly looks very pretty). And the glass-walled, heated sunroom is a blissful way to banish wintry gloom, with a swing overlooking green fields.   Need to warm up? There's also an indoor pool for proper swimming, and a short, crowd-pleasing list of treatments, including massages and skin treatments like a warming honey facial.

The Manor House Hotel, Alsager

The Manor House Hotel, Alsager

4 out of 5 stars

The outskirts of Stoke-on-Trent don't feel particularly countrified, with their sprawling streets of tiny red brick workers' cottages and old pottery mills. But at the city's furthest edge you'll find the Manor House, a popular spa hotel that ekes every bit of rural charm from its location. The biggest draw? Its English country garden, with outdoor pools laid out in formal courtyards, with views of the rolling green meadows beyond. You'd think that a spa sesh at this spot would be a summer-only affair, but it works surprisingly well in chillier seasons (on our visit, snow was on the ground). A rich fug of steam rises from the main heated outdoor relaxation pool, which has an abundance of spots to lounge with a glass of fizz from the swim-up bar. Around it are thoughtfully-designed cabins offering botanically-inspired relaxation opportunities. The potting shed houses a herbal sauna, where a zing of lavender rushes through your airways as your limbs surrender to the steamy heat. The less intense salt steam chamber invites you to inhale salt and essential-oil scented vapours next to a rose quartz centrepiece (which, whether or not it has healing powers, certainly looks very pretty). And the glass-walled, heated sun room is a blissful way to banish wintry gloom, with a swing overlooking green fields.   Need to warm up? There's also an indoor pool for proper swimming, and a short, crowdpleasing list of treatments that focus on massages and skin treatments like a warming honey faci

Mean Girls

Mean Girls

3 out of 5 stars

Ruthlessly funny and endlessly memeable, 2004’s Mean Girls is right at the twisted heart of the teen movie canon. This fun-but-timid musical reboot doesn’t have much hope of upstaging its sharper older sister, but it’s an enjoyable retread for anyone who doesn’t mind seeing this cattiest of films getting declawed. You can almost smell its creators’ damp-armpitted nervousness as they navigate 2024’s woker sensibilities: the cast is newly diverse and the script treads more lightly that the original, which hammered out jokes skewering teens’ ignorant stereotypes of Africa, fat shaming, and gay panic. In this Gen Z high school, the threat of getting mocked online is much, much scarier than an acid putdown in the corridors. Accordingly, the story’s beats are the same but they land differently: some are fumbled (the cringey attempted internet-speak of ‘I’m a cool mom with six 0s #besties’ just doesn’t hit the same), some are freshly hilarious (fawning Karen describes queen bee Regina’s pimple as ‘sexy – it’s like a face breast’). And everything’s heightened by a punchy-but-underused score of songs plucked straight from the hit 2018 Broadway ‘Mean Girls’ musical. Reneé Rapp’s performance as super-mean Regina is a highlight here, as she fills this high school tyrant with near-demonic levels of evil charisma. She’s got a great voice too, showcased in her barnstorming rock number ‘World Burn’. New girl Cady is no match for her: The Nice Guys’ Angourie Rice is Lindsay Lohan’s nerdier, s

The Lost Boys

The Lost Boys

4 out of 5 stars

There’s a visual sumptuousness to Belgian-Tunisian director Zeno Graton’s French-language debut film that’s unexpected, given that it’s set in such a bleak, grey place: a juvenile detention centre for teenagers. In dreamy, intense colours, he shades a powerfully physical romance between two boys who wrestle with each other, and against a system that doesn't want them to be free. When we first see Joe (Khalil Ben Gharbia), he’s playing by the rules. Sawing wood in the workshop. Watching patiently as other kids get visits from their families. Letting his pent-up emotions a permitted outlet in a poetry session where he spits out all his fury at a society where Arab boys like him are constantly surveilled and pushed to the edges. But the arrival of brooding, tattooed William (Julien De Saint Jean) shatters his will to conform. Their bond is instant and physical, with none of the angst that often accompanies coming out stories. They escape a cross-country run to roll among the fallen leaves, or dance to Arab pop until their bodies collide – and are dragged apart by youth workers. Ben Gharbia is a thoughtful, conflicted foil to De Saint Jean’s mesmerisingly strange, troubled performance here. He writhes like a contemporary dancer or retreats to etch out strange drawings of intertwined snakes, effortlessly suggesting a messed-up backstory that never really gets explained. A powerfully physical romance shaded in dreamy, intense colours But then writers Clara Bourreau and Maarten Loi

Queendom

Queendom

4 out of 5 stars

With her whitened face glowing above a snowy fur coat, her bleached eyelashes delicate as snowflakes, Gena Marvin seems like an inextricable part of the frosty Siberian landscape she grew up in. But as director Agniia Galdanova’s sympathetic, moving documentary shows, this 21-year-old drag artist couldn't have been born into a more inhospitable climate. Marvin’s grandparents can’t see her as anything other than a hapless, self-destructive lad – one who's dangerously obsessed with a Western artform that's at odds with the severe conformity of their Russian hometown of Magadan, literally and culturally built on an old Soviet gulag. Again and again, Marvin pushes at the limits of this bleak society. She’s kicked out of her local supermarket. So, spurred on by bigoted attacks against other Russian queer people, she decides to venture right into the middle of a paratroopers’ rally in full drag, attracting the stares of buff men in berets in scenes that are homoerotic and menacing all at once. It’s hard to understand the emotions coursing through Marvin’s body, as it’s wrapped in gaffer tape or barbed wire in a series of improvised exercises in fashion-as-armour. She admits to fear, but never to doubt as she embarks on her single-minded mission to subvert Russia's remorselessly anti-LGBTQ+ agenda. She’d rather show her trauma through performance, not words: so Galdanova and cinematographer Ruslan Fedotov collaborate with her on obliquely beautiful scenes where she writhes painfully

The SpongeBob Musical

The SpongeBob Musical

3 out of 5 stars

Kid's cartoon 'SpongeBob Squarepants' is such a uniquely North American creation. What other nation would take a cheery ocean sponge and force him to labour as a burger-flipping fast food worker whose only dream is to become ‘management material’? Still, what some might read as a bleak satire on the mind prison of capitalism, the makers of this musical adaptation deem a peppy story for kids, and they largely succeed in creating a fun, panto-esque show for summer holiday crowds. ‘The SpongeBob Musical’ had a stint on Broadway in 2017, reeling in audiences with its extravagantly camp design choices and a score of songs written by improbably big names including Cyndi Lauper, The Flaming Lips and Panic! At the Disco. This new touring UK production still has a seriously enjoyable (if inevitably disjointed) soundtrack, but director Tara Overfield Wilkinson’s production has a bit of a low-budget, panto-esque feel, with Steve Howell’s design gesturing vaguely to sea-rescuing sustainability by using crushed plastic bottles and rubber gloves. ‘You're just a simple sponge, but somehow you don't seem to absorb very much,’ SpongeBob's boss Eugene Krabs tells him, to audience ‘awwws’. But then, an underwater volcano threatens to turn this town's shelly inhabitants into mixed seafood tempura, and SpongeBob must save the day. Kyle Jarrow’s relentlessly saccharine book is light on both suspense and laughs, and this production’s declamatory straight-to-audience acting style and cringey mome

Word-Play

Word-Play

3 out of 5 stars

Rabiah Hussain’s new play skewers a particularly British kind of bigotry, quietly corrosive as acid rain. A kind that implies things without saying them, gently enforces conformity, and rebrands hatred as plain common sense. ‘Word-Play’ deliberately talks around its points, in a series of sketch-like scenes exploring how language clouds reality. Sometimes, its impact is blurred by the same obfuscation that it’s satirising – sometimes it's blade-sharp.The play is bookended by scenes set in the world of politics, showing that this country’s tone is set by the people in charge. The scenes are a bit like ‘The Thick of It’, only with the sweary chaos tempered by a deliberate vagueness about what's actually happening. Some kind of gaffe-prone leader (Boris Johnson?) has gone off script with an offensive remark, and his Downing Street aides are scrambling together a strategy. Is there a way of seeming to say ‘sorry’ without actually, you know, apologising? Kosar Ali is hilarious as the keen bean junior staffer who bombards the team with Googled synonyms, each more inappropriate than the last.Then the story shifts to more intimate scenes in ordinary homes, where moments of prejudice clang like dropped crockery. A Highgate dinner party explodes as a woman begins to find the words to speak about against her patronising husband, who refuses to understand that the UK is becoming an increasingly hostile place for migrants like her family. A man tries to get his girlfriend to spell out wha

Barbie

Barbie

4 out of 5 stars

Barbie has long been famous for exercising something akin to total mind control on the nation’s female under-sixes, but even so it’s hard not to marvel at the sheer level of meme-ified hype Greta Gerwig’s Barbie has achieved this summer. Pop-ups, tie-ins, special screenings… Google its stars’ names and a digital sprinkle of fuchsia glitter appears. It was probably quite hard to talk the marketing team down from dyeing the worlds’ oceans pink. Still, the idea of Gerwig being allowed to play with Mattel’s favourite toy is so irresistible that Barbie probably didn’t need to go to all this effort: This is a director whose films are automatically get-the-gals-together landmark events. And if Barbie doesn’t quite have the emotional sensitivity or the storytelling craft of Gerwig at her best (as seen in Lady Bird or Little Women), it still has enough archness, weirdness and unabashed femininity to be completely exhilarating. Gerwig’s signature joke here is to treat the practical ramifications of the actual Barbie toys coming to life with total seriousness. Barbie showers in invisible water, floats into her car from above and hangs out with friends who are all also called Barbie. Sarah Greenwood’s production design is extraordinary, splicing details from every era of Barbie’s style journey into a coherent universe of Dream Houses nestled among the familiar rocky mountain ranges of classic movies, bordered with sparkling transparent plastic seas.   The opening sequences have the nosta

The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz

3 out of 5 stars

Crashlanding onto the stage of London's Palladium, this high-octane 'Wizard of Oz' promises to obliterate the wicked witch of school holiday boredom, banishing her memory in an all-consuming explosion of video projections, perky songs and old-fashioned sap. It's certainly not subtle. But kids will complain that TikTok feels too slow after a few hours in its exhilarating company.Director Nikolai Foster's production started out at Leicester Curve theatre last year: now, it's hitting the West End with a souped-up cast designed to wring some humour from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jeremy Sams's overly sincere book. Now, comedian Jason Manford is playing the Cowardly Lion, but the book is light on jokes for this star to milk, so when Manford incongruously announces that 'I'm a friend of Dorothy', it brings the house down. In a less successful bit of star casting, reality telly personality and dance troupe Diversity's choreographer Ashley Banjo pops up as the Tin Man. His singing skills are somewhat rusty, so it's a relief when he breaks into a 'Hamilton'-style musical theatre rap.The standout performances here are the most vocally accomplished. As Dorothy, Georgina Onuorah delivers a subtle, rich 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow,' its wistful tone a welcome contrast with the score's bombastic newer songs. And Christina Bianco is an enchanting good fairy Glinda, whizzing about on a Barbie-pink Vespa and bringing spine-tingling operatic flourishes to her role.Their performances insert some m

La Syndicaliste

La Syndicaliste

3 out of 5 stars

After five decades in the business and more major acting awards than she has manicured fingers, Isabelle Huppert must have plenty of roles at her disposal. So it’s not entirely clear why she decided to try on Jean-Paul Salomé’s half-baked thriller for size. Yes, the subject matter is genuinely interesting. It’s the true story of Maureen Kearney, an Irish union rep who was subject to a bizarre sexual assault after she accused an energy company of selling its secrets to China. But Salomé's jazz-soundtracked attempts to set this film up as a twisty-turny mystery can’t really hide the fact that it’s a thrill-free zone after the first few minutes. ‘But no matter, we’ve got one of the world's greatest living actresses on board! She’ll patch up the holes in the script!’, its makers may well have reasoned. And on a level, they’re right. Huppert brings an engaging mix of bolshiness and fragility to the role, clinging to her glorious, hyper-feminine uniform of silk scarves, lipstick and platinum blonde chignon as she flips the bird at her concerned, schlubby husband or dodges a chair flung by an enraged energy company boss.  At first, everyone’s sympathetic to her claims that she’s being intimidated by shadowy forces. Then the police start to think she faked the assault, and her life falls apart. But 70-year-old Huppert firmly resists crumbling – her heavily-made-up face shows little emotion. The psychological intensity of her breakdown is further dimmed by the low-budget, daytime-tell

News (246)

All the London Marathon 2024 road closures and traffic disruption you need to know

All the London Marathon 2024 road closures and traffic disruption you need to know

The London marathon happens (pretty much) every year, but somehow that doesn’t stop it coming as a huge surprise to even the most seasoned city-dwellers. So if you’re not already clued up, please be warned that this Sunday April 21, you’ll find 48,000 sweat-drenched runners stampeding through the city, trailing cheering fans, road closures, traffic restrictions in their wake. If your weekend plans involve a pleasant stroll through Blackheath, motoring over Tower Bridge, or picnicking in St James’ Park, please read on. Knowledge is power.  RECOMMENDED: Here’s the full guide to the 2024 London MarathonCheck out the 2024 route here What roads will be closed for the London marathon 2024? This handy map marks the overall route.   Image: Courtesy London Marathon But the roads on it aren’t necessarily closed all day. Instead, their closing times are staggered as the runners make their way from Greenwich to central London, meaning that an afternoon browsing the chichi shops of Blackheath is far from off the cards. Read on for a full breakdown of road closures and times:Charlton Way, Greenwich: 4am to 1pmShooters Hill Road: 4am to 1pmSt John’s Park: 7am to 1pmCharlton Park Road: 7am to 1pmOld Dover Road: 7am to 1pmLittle Heath: 7am to 1pmCharlton Park Lane: 7am to 1pmArtillery Place: 7am to 1pmJohn Wilson Street: 7am to 1pmWoolwich Church Street: 7am to 2pmWoolwich Road: 7am to 2pmTrafalgar Road: 7am to 3pmCreek Road: 7am to 3pmEvelyn Street: 8am to 4pmSurrey Quays Road: 8am to 4pmS

South London’s much-loved Horniman Museum will soon start opening late

South London’s much-loved Horniman Museum will soon start opening late

When London’s museums first started opening late in the 2000s, it was a total gamechanger. The V&A’s senior curator Susan McCormack led the charge, with buzzy after dark openings that brought younger audiences through the museum’s doors for a monthly line-up of talks, workshops, and live music. Soon, the other South Kensington institutions followed suit, while Tate Modern’s uber cool Tate Lates filled the gallery with DJs and sent queues snaking down Southbank. The initial hype might have subsided around museum lates, but they’re arguably more needed than ever. They’re a chance to do something (usually) free, fun and different in an increasingly pricy city, and to fill an unpromising weeknight with a bit of top quality culture. So it’s nice to see south London stalwart the Horniman getting in on the act, with a new late opening on the first Thursday of every month. The extended hours will run from 5.30pm to 9pm, giving you a chance to browse the free collections without dodging the dozens of kids that normally flock to this very child-friendly museum. The late openings will also have special events themed around the collections. In the first one on Thursday April 4, writer Jenny Lau invites people of east or southeast Asian heritage to bring their most treasured teacup to the museum’s Chá, Chai, Tea exhibition, and share their reflections for a new poem. There’s also a special Thursday Lates deal which means you can see the Horniman’s two current ticketed exhibitions (the aqu

How TfL is using specially-designed CCTV to make London bus shelters safe

How TfL is using specially-designed CCTV to make London bus shelters safe

We’ve all been there: marooned on a lonely street at night, trying to melt into the safety of a bright red bus stop as strangers with potentially villainous intentions loom out of the darkness. Night buses are a much cheaper (and more eco) alternative to cabbing it home, and actually riding them usually offers safety in numbers, however chaotic the line-up of tipsy passengers might be. But there can still be an element of anxiety that comes with waiting for your ride to show up. Now, TfL is tackling the problem head on with a new programme of safety measures. A pilot scheme will install specially-designed CCTV cameras on selected bus stops: Peckham Library is the first stop to be outfitted with the new surveillance scheme, with shelters at Finsbury Park, Gants Hill, Stratford City and Turnpike Lane set to follow suit soon. The cameras will hopefully act as a deterrent, as well as storing footage for 31 days for any subsequent police investigations.  These new cameras will join an existing scheme to patrol TfL’s network at night. Since January this year, 15 specially trained night enforcement officers have been making their way around London’s tube and buses after dark. According to TfL, in their first four weeks they removed 47 passengers for obstructive, threatening or rule-breaking behaviour, as well as preventing 82 more passengers from boarding in the first place. Bringing in 15 officers might well sound like a drop in the ocean compared to the tens of thousands of passen

TfL is launching an epic 15-mile walking and cycle route through central London

TfL is launching an epic 15-mile walking and cycle route through central London

If you’ve got a free day in your calendar coming up, don’t squander it on something boring like batchcooking, cleaning or drafting vengeful messages to your foes. TfL has unveiled a new 15-mile walking route that crosses some of London’s most fascinating corners. Take on all the whole damn thing in a glorious (if exhausting) all-day hike, or pick and choose the stretches that catch your fancy.  The so-called Green Link Route is a direct response to London’s love affair with putting one foot in front of the other, with a 10 percent increase in walking since the pandemic, and 57 percent of us wanting more dedicated walking space (according to TfL). It’s the newest part of the Walk London network, which already includes much loved routes including the Green Chain and the Thames Path. Photograph: Go Jauntly It’s also a bit more urban in character than some of this city’s existing walking thoroughfares, crossing right through east London, from Peckham in the south right up to Epping Forest in the north. But the ethos of this route is all about avoiding traffic and helping walkers stumble upon hidden green spaces and historic sights, even in London’s busiest corners. That means that you’ll find yourself traversing Walthamstow Marshes, London Fields and Burgess Park, discovering fascinating historic sights like Clothworker’s Almhouses or Postman’s Park, and stumbling upon promising spots for lunch such as Islington’s Exmouth Market. Has your curiosity been piqued? Find the full ma

This show has been named the best in the West End

This show has been named the best in the West End

Normally, theatre awards are a mysterious business, with major showbiz gongs handed out by shadowy panels of industry insiders. But the WhatsOnStage Awards are an altogether different affair, because its winners selected by public vote amidst much online fanfare. In years gone by, this approach has yielded some slightly odd results: reflecting the fact that canny shows can mobilise their fanbases on social media in order to rake in the accolades. Still, it’s hard to argue with this year’s big winner. Hotshot director Jamie Lloyd’s stunning take on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Sunset Boulevard’ landed a whopping five stars in Time Out, with theatre critic Andrzej Lukowski praising its ‘wonderfully weird and audacious’ approach. Now, it’s landed seven wins at the 2024 edition of the WhatsOnStage Awards, with its star Nicole Scherzinger being anointed as best performer, and Lloyd being named best director.  However, Sunset Boulevard didn’t manage to land the coveted best musical gong, which went to ‘Cabaret’ at Playhouse Theatre. It’s arguably a bit weird for the title of best musical to go to a show that’s been open for well over two years, instead of celebrating fresh blood in the West End. But unlike other awards, the WhatsOnStage Awards have categories specifically designed to celebrate long-running shows. And they also delve much deeper than most awards around, highlighting backstage talent as well as regional and small-scale shows that don’t get a look in elsewhere. Curious to s

This historic London train station waiting room has been restored

This historic London train station waiting room has been restored

For over 40 years, the waiting room at Tottenham’s Bruce Grove station was left to moulder. Plaster crumbled from the walls, the roof rotted away, and passing passengers were left wondering what lay beyond its boarded up windows. Now, finally, a project funded by Transport for London and Arriva Rail London has unveiled this once-hidden Victorian space to the public once more, and it’s a beaut.  The jewel in the crown is the waiting room, which has been restored to its original 1872 design, complete with the bold green and ivory colour scheme favoured by its then-owners, Great Eastern Railway. Heritage features including cast iron radiators, wooden benches, fireplaces and gothic arches doors have all been lovingly restored thanks to a £35,000 grant from the Railway Heritage Trust.  Photograph: courtesy of Arriva Rail London But the works have also extended to three other spaces - including the old station master’s office, also decommissioned in 1980 and fallen into disrepair. Now, Bruce Grove station has a brand-new community space, staff mess room, and storage facility to play with. It’s all a welcome fresh start for this Tottenham transport hub, which provides valuable Overground links into central London. Looking for an excuse to visit? It’s named after nearby Bruce Castle, a sixteenth-century manor which houses local history displays as well as a collection of dreamy paintings of veiled women by artist Beatrice Offor (1864-1920), who once lived in the area. Head down and

Rejoice, a super rare (and cute) baby gorilla has just been born at London Zoo

Rejoice, a super rare (and cute) baby gorilla has just been born at London Zoo

Here’s some warming news for a cold and frosty day. Undeterred by the kind of weather that even London Zoo’s penguins might reasonably describe as ‘a bit nippy’, a critically endangered troupe of Western Lowland gorillas are welcoming a new addition to their dwindling clan. Two days ago, London zookeepers noticed that mother Mjukuu was preparing to give birth. London Zoo’s Primates Section Manager Kathryn Sanders said: ‘We started our day as normal – we gave the gorillas their breakfast and began our cleaning routines. When we returned to their back dens, we could see Mjukuu was starting to stretch and squat – a sign that she was in labour.’ In a feat that most human mothers would envy, Mjukuu gave birth in just 17 minutes, before cuddling the new arrival in the safety of her indoor back den. Wisely, the zookeepers gave her plenty of space, monitoring her progress via CCTV.  According to Sanders: ‘Mjukuu was spotted on camera tenderly holding her newborn and demonstrating her wonderful mothering instincts – cleaning her infant and checking it over. We’ll be giving mum and baby lots of time and space to get to know each other, and for the rest of the troop to get used to their new addition – they’re as excited as we are and can’t stop staring at the baby.’ Zookeepers still don’t know the sex of the new arrival (good luck to anyone tasked with prying the little one away to examine its genitals). But they’re thrilled that an international conservation breeding programme for West

Chinatown is getting a fancy new pagoda

Chinatown is getting a fancy new pagoda

For decades, ‘meet me at the pagoda’ was a classic utterance for anyone planning a Chinatown get-together, whether it involved feasting on crispy duck pancakes or delighting in wontons and equally delicious insults from the legendarily rude waiters at Wong Kei. Now, Wong Kei’s staff have been to charm school, and that pagoda is a distant memory. The ornate structure was taken down in 2016 after over 30 years in service, as part of a project to regenerate Chinatown. A replacement was promised imminently, but it’s only now, eight years later, that Chinatown’s finally getting one. Westminster City Council has allocated a quarter of a million pounds to creating a new, multi-tiered pagoda. The building will be designed and created in authentic style in China, then shipped over and installed in Chinatown as a meeting point for new generations of Londoners.  It won’t come a minute too soon for Chinatown’s businesses, acting as a sign of renewed hope and investment in a district that’s struggled through the pandemic and cost-of-living crisis. Originally, London’s Chinatown was in Limehouse in the East End, where eighteenth century sailors settled and created a community complete with shops and restaurants. But in the 1950s the centre of gravity shifted to London’s centre, which combined cheap rents with pleasure-seeking crowds in search of fun and good food. By the 1980s, Chinatown was finally recognised by local government and turned into a recognisable version of today’s tourist ho

These cozzie livs crafts make perfect last-minute Christmas presents

These cozzie livs crafts make perfect last-minute Christmas presents

I hate to break it to you, but if your Christmas shopping still isn’t done, you’re skating on seriously thin ice. There’s not much time before you plunge into a freezing cold lake of regret. Thankfully, if you’ve got some spare time this weekend, all is not lost. Here are four not-too-taxing craft ideas for perfect presents: the materials are all things you could pick up your local corner shop, the actual artistic skills required are average-to-minimal, and the results will be pretty great, especially compared to whatever generic nonsense you could pick up on a last-minute dash down your local high street. Go on, give it a go. ’Tis officially the season to make your Mum remember what it felt like to be proud of you. Photograph: Jess Hand Chocolate salami This idea is shamelessly borrowed from Nigella Lawson, who in turn shamelessly borrowed it from the entire Italian nation, who have been crafting biscotti sausages at Christmas for decades. What makes this version different is that unlike the traditional recipe, it doesn’t include fresh cream and eggs: which means you can stick it under the tree without causing major issues (at Christmas, preventing e coli is at the forefront of no one’s minds). Plus, it’s way more than a gag gift: it’s deliciously moreish sliced with a cup of tea, like a cross between a Florentine and a chocolate truffle. Just be careful not to gift it to anyone who’ll be disappointed it’s not actual meat... 300g dark chocolate100g salted butter150g conden

A pre-loved Christmas jumper pop-up is coming to Covent Garden this week

A pre-loved Christmas jumper pop-up is coming to Covent Garden this week

Once, Christmas jumpers were the preserve of primary school teachers and kooky grannies. Now, they’re pretty much obligatory as December’s silly season dawns, with even serious-minded fashionistas deigning to swathe themselves in technicoloured wool, jingly bells, and the odd flashing light or two when Christmas Jumper Day rolls round. Still, David Attenborough wouldn’t be very impressed by the carbon footprint of a sweater that only gets a couple of wears a year. Luckily, a new Covent Garden pop-up shop is here to help. Kids charity Save the Children is opening a pre-loved Christmas knitwear store on Friday December 1, at 5-7 Shorts Garden, Covent Garden. It’ll house a collection of second-hand knits that are perfect for anyone looking to make a splash on their school or office Christmas Jumper Day – an event that’s raised £35 million for Save The Children since it began a decade ago. But there’s also a twist. The shop is called Story Knits, because each jumper on sale will tell the story of a child that Save The Children has helped. These tales include those of Junior, who’s been taught to grow climate resistant crops on the Solomon Islands, and of Kiki, who uses a Save The Children-supported food bank in the UK. The store will be open for just one week in the run-up to Christmas Jumper Day (on Thursday December 7) and will run from 11am-2pm and 4:30pm-7:30pm. Sweaters will be priced at £30, with all funds going straight to Save The Children. Can’t make it down? There’s als

2024年夏、ロンドンのデザインミュージアムでバービー展が開催

2024年夏、ロンドンのデザインミュージアムでバービー展が開催

2023年夏、ロンドン市民は深刻な「バービー熱」に見舞われた。グレタ・ガーウィグに憧れ、ピンクのキラキラしたアイシャドーに夢中になり、自分の仕事は「ただビーチにいること」など、事実にいろいろ逆らって主張する、というのが症状だ。涼しくなってくれば、比較的平常心が戻ってくるかと思いきや、そうはならないかもしれない。 ロンドンの「デザインミュージアム」が、バービーファンの熱烈なピンクの炎をさらに燃え上がらせる展覧会を開催すると発表したのだ。この展示は、カリフォルニアにあるバービーの公式アーカイブに特別にアクセスすることを許可された同館が掘り出した、バービーの65年の歴史を物語るパステルカラーの「宝物」で構成される。 この開催タイミングは完璧に思えるが、実は3年越しで計画されており、映画が公開されるずっと前から予定されていたという。 デザインミュージアムでの展覧会ということで、当然部屋に「おもちゃ」を並べるだけでは終わらない。同館は展示について「ファッション、建築、家具、乗り物のデザインなど、デザインのレンズを通してバービーの世界を探求する」と説明している。実物大の「夢の道場カサ・ハウス」や、おしゃれなピンクの車が展示されることを期待しよう。 そしてこの展覧会では、バービー誕生の大物語にも迫ることになると思われる。 バービーは元々、リリというドイツの人形に影響を受けて作られたキャラクターだ。リリはタバコ屋やバーで買えるジョークグッズとして作られたものだったため、あからさまにセクシーなプロポーションをしていた。しかし、マテル社の創業者の一人である女性クリエーターのルース・ハンドラーにとっては、それが意外なインスピレーションとなった。 そうして、当時流行していた「赤ちゃん人形」ではなく、大人の女性に見えるようデザインされた人形、バービーが誕生したのだという。 この物語の続きが知りたいバービーマニアは、2024年7月5日(金)に予定されている展覧会のスタートを楽しみに待とう。 関連記事 『A dazzling new Barbie exhibition is coming to the Design Museum in 2024(原文)』 『映画「バービー」が好きなら見ておきたい映画10選』 『世界で最も美しいピンク色の場所8選』 『2023年公開の注目映画17選』 『バンクシー、カウズ、草間彌生も? ロンドンに現代美術館「Moco」がオープン』 『坂本龍一のバーチャルコンサート「KAGAMI」がロンドンに上陸』 東京の最新情報をタイムアウト東京のメールマガジンでチェックしよう。登録はこちら  

A dazzling new Barbie exhibition is coming to the Design Museum in 2024

A dazzling new Barbie exhibition is coming to the Design Museum in 2024

This whole summer, London has been infected with a serious case of Barbie-itis. Symptoms: idolising Greta Gerwig, falling for pink glittery eyeshadow, and claiming against all contrary evidence that your job is ‘just beach’. You might assume that the cooler weather would bring the return of relative normality but no such luck.  A new exhibition has been announced by London's Design Museum, one that's only going to fuel the fiery pink flames of Barbie fans' collective ardour. The museum has been granted special access to the official Barbie archives in California (where else) and has dug out all kinds of pastel-hued treasures that tell the story of the famous doll over her 65 year history. This being the Design Museum, you're going to get way more than a bunch of toys in a room, though. The museum says it will ‘explore the story of Barbie through a design lens, including fashion, architecture, furniture and vehicle design’: so let's cross fingers for life-size Mojo Dojo Casa Houses or snazzy pink motors on display.  Although this Barbie exhibition is arriving on the scene with immaculate timing, it's actually been three years in the planning, and was scheduled long before the movie came out. It will open on July 5, 2024, and run throughout the summer, ready to delight tourists and visitors to London alike. It'll have a big story to tell, exploring how Barbie was inspired by a German doll called Lilli that, with her overtly sexy proportions, was designed as a joke gift availabl