Playstation 5 or Xbox Series X: which console should you buy?
Mastered sourdough? Completed Netflix? Arch-rivals Sony and Microsoft are here to save 2020 with two new, awesomely powerful games consoles: the Playstation 5 and the Xbox Series X. There is very little risk of either becoming obsolete for years yet – this is cutting-edge gaming technology that’s still coming into its own – so you’ll want to invest now. But which should you get? We got two writers to weigh up the pros and cons of both the PS5 and the brand new Xbox. RECOMMENDED: 6 awesome throwback video games that’ll get you back into gaming
6 awesome throwback video games that’ll get you back into gaming
So you haven’t gamed in a while. Maybe you’ve been busy, perhaps you think you’re a little old. But time does seem to be playing funny tricks these days. Throughout the weirdness of 2020, many of us have been reaching for old hobbies and discovering that, yeah, all that stuff was actually pretty fun, wasn’t it? RECOMMENDED: 11 video games you can get lost in If you’ve been staring at that console gathering dust in the corner over the past six months, it could be a good time to consider booting the ol’ thing up again (or investing in one of the new-gen consoles like the PS5 or Xbox Series X). Sure, there’s a fresh load of gaming franchises to catch up with – but look closely, and you’ll see that several of today’s best video games hit the same buttons as many of the classics. Here are six brilliantly nostalgic games that’ll transport you back to your childhood – and maybe even make you want to stick around there. 🎮 If you used to love ‘Mega Man’… A love letter to 8-bit games, ‘Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove’ has all the style and challenge of your favourite classic platformers. The Showdown battle mode even lets you challenge your pals to a duel – just like the good old days. PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC. 🎮 If you used to love ‘Tony Hawk Pro Skater’… A remake of the first two Tony Hawk games, ‘Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2’ is a reminder of why a generation of non-skaters know what a ‘switch foot pogo’ is. Even the infectious skatepunk soundtrack is still there. PS4, Xb
A new Kerb street food market is coming to Oxford Street
Fancy grabbing some ‘climate-positive’ burgers, Thai comfort food or stuffed waffles at London’s newest street food hotspot? Course you do. Street food curators Kerb are behind this new food market arriving in Mayfair that launched on December 9. South Molton Street Market takes over the fancy stretch just off Oxford Street in the West End every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from noon until 7pm (noon-4pm Saturdays) for two weeks. Food vendors confirmed for launch include Ground and its ‘dry-aged, pasture-fed for life, minimal waste and carbon negative’ burgers and Utter Waffle, serving sweet and savoury treats. Or you can seek out crispy seafood from Calamari Canteen and Yaay Yaay’s Thai home-style food. There will be more vendors announced – with a focus on comfort food in the run-up to winter – and there’s a global flavour to the offering, with oshpaz, pide, arnabeet and jollof rice dishes all in the mix too. South Molton Street is fully pedestrianised and has plenty of benches to plonk yourself down on while you eat. It’s also a colourful destination, with the whole street decorated with bright, patterned flags designed by Camille Walala. Check out South Molton Street Market’s website to see the full street food line-up. Read all about Shoreditch’s new foodie destination, Tramshed Project. Dine-in cinema is coming to Bao’s Borough restaurant.
Pret has already launched its Christmas menu
When does Christmas begin? As soon as Halloween is over? Once you open the first window of your advent calendar? We have the definitive answer: it’s when Pret launches its Christmas menu. This year’s festive offering is already out. It’s been launched around the same time as last year’s winter menu – it’s just that we’re not feeling anywhere near as festive this time around. Nevertheless, it includes all of the classics to get you in the mood, alongside new hot food items and three vegan additions for meat- and dairy-free peeps. Fear not, both Pret and Veggie Pret will still be open for takeaway during the lockdown period or they can deliver all these Christmas goodies straight to your door. Of course, Pret’s famed Christmas lunch sandwich – turkey with port-and-orange cranberry sauce, stuffing, spinach, mayo and onions – will be returning alongside a range of seasonal sandwiches and baguettes. It will also be selling pigs in blankets in a pot or stuffed into a sarnie with onion relish, something it inherited from the EAT chain it took over, along with the famous chicken pot pie soup, high-street dining buffs. The new vegan options on offer include a nut roast featuring butternut squash, rocket, Christmas pesto, vegan sage mayo, onions and caramelised pecans, plus vegan versions of its seasonal baguette and hot rolls. All of the mince pies are dairy-free, too. For other sugary treats, there’s Christmas tiffin and a gingerbread snowman, whose head you can dunk in one of Pre
This company is employing out-of-work musicians to deliver Christmas trees in and around London
A new company is delivering Christmas trees to London homes – while also supporting entertainers who have been hit hard by the year’s events. Green Elf Trees is employing out-of-work musicians and performers to deliver their Christmas trees and a range of decorations by hand throughout the holiday season. With every purchase, they are also making a £3 donation to your choice from three charities (Great Ormond Street Hospital, Shelter or Dogs Trust). The website is from the same people behind Plantsavers – a lockdown enterprise that sold plants from closed garden centres that would have otherwise gone to waste – and it offers two different types of full-size Christmas tree, starting at £49.99. The first tree, a Nordmann Fir, is your classic festive living room item, vibrant green and wide in shape. The other tree on offer is a Fraser Fir, which has a slimmer, more pointed shape and a richer dark-green colour. The Fraser also keeps its needles better, so it's a good choice for those of you who don't want to spend your whole life hoovering. You can also buy pot-grown trees that are said to last for years. Smaller tree options start at £34.99, with miniature table trees available for those who might not have enough space for a full-sized fir in their London flat. In terms of decorations, there’s a range of wooden and glass items, LED lights and fancy toppers for your new tree, as well as sustainable wooden advent calendars in which you can place your own daily surprises. When or
Kerb has drawn up a list of London street food traders delivering in lockdown
Get steamed buns, vegan tacos or DIY pizza kits straight to your door using this handy new list of London’s best street-food deliveries. Street-food market operator and curator Kerb has produced the Lockdown 2.0 Trader Directory, a list of past and present traders at their markets who are delivering during lockdown. And it includes the likes of vegan taco legends Club Mexicana and stone-bake pros Pizza Pilgrims. With lockdown upon us, the section of this list that shows all of the places delivering food – whether that's hot meals or DIY kits – will probably be the handiest, but you can also sort the directory to see the businesses that have opened shops or are still operating as market stalls for takeaway. Have a browse and see what takes your fancy – there’s everything from DIY doughnut kits to piping hot curries. Once you’ve picked your favourite from the great selection (which is easier said than done), you can click the link to see the menu and find out how to make an order – easy peasy! So what are you waiting for? There's nothing better to ease the lockdown blues than getting some of your fave street food. Check out Kerb’s handy list of street food on delivery here. Japan Centre is now delivering groceries and sushi in London. Find a complete list of London restaurants now doing delivery.
Mail-order mince-pie kits are raising money for London’s homeless
Homelessness charity The Connection at St Martin’s is teaming up with vegan bakery Poster Bakes to deliver mince-pie kits to your door and help people sleeping on London’s streets this Christmas. You can order the DIY mince pies from either Poster Bakes’ website or its Instagram for £12, including delivery. There are two festive flavours – almond frangipane and walnut streusel – and both are completely vegan. Inside each box you’ll get enough ingredients to make 12 to 15 mince pies (don’t eat them all yourself!) and instructions on how to bake them. All you need is an oven and an appetite for Christmassy snacks. The profits from these mince-pie kits will go to The Connection, which is helping support those who are rough sleeping in London: proceeds from every mince-pie box ordered will go towards giving a homeless person a hot meal and a mince pie of their own. You don’t have to worry about missing the postman either – the kits are designed to fit through letterboxes and don’t need a signature. The ingredients keep for 28 days in the fridge, but we need all the festive joy we can get at the moment, so you may as well bake them straight away! Get a Mailorder Mince Pie Kit for £12 from www.posterbakes.com. Get in the Christmas mood with takeaway mulled wine from these London pubs. More feelgood festive news? This company is employing out-of-work musicians to deliver Christmas trees in and around London.More DIY meal kits to have delivered to your door.
Gloria has launched new delivery-only restaurant Napoli Gang
Big Mamma, the group behind Italian restaurants Gloria and Circolo Popolare, announced a new delivery-only restaurant called Napoli Gang back in September – and now it’s extending its delivery range to include parts of south London. The menu features a seasonal selection of ten pizzas including the Hot Damn, featuring spicy sausage, and the The Notorious B.I.Cheese (hint: it’s very cheesy). There’s even a vegan pizza for dairy-free diners. Napoli Gang has also reworked some of the most popular desserts from other Big Mamma restaurants for delivery. An ultra-creamy version of its tiramisu and a slice of its huge – and quite frankly, iconic – lemon meringue pie are some highlights of the dessert menu, which also includes homemade gelato. While pizza and dessert are the main attractions, Napoli Gang also offers a range of antipasti, sides and even a couple of pasta dishes. The first two kitchens opened earlier in the year in Shoreditch and Kentish Town, each with a two-mile radius. And now Napoli Gang has added a third kitchen to Wandsworth, which will launch for delivery on Monday November 9. There’s also talk of two further kitchens being added to the literal Gang before Christmas. Visit the website for updates and to place an order – and start making a giant, wedge-shaped space in your stomach for that sweet, sweet pie. Can’t wait that long? Gloria has revealed the recipe for its undefeatable lemon meringue pie. In other Gloria news, the team is opening a massive new r
A pop-up pumpkin market is taking over Covent Garden
Covent Garden will be getting its first ever pumpkin market just in time for Halloween. Open on Friday and Saturday (October 30 and 31), there will be plenty of pumpkins to pick, and surrounding businesses in the shopping hive will also be getting in on the seasonal action, with pumpkin-flavoured sweet treats and even a cocktail or two on sale. Covent Garden Apple Market will be getting a very orange makeover, with more than 200 pumpkins and 14 types of squashes and gourds on sale. Decorated with fresh seasonal flowers, too, it’s sure to have a very autumnal vibe. If that’s not enough pumpkin for you, you can also enjoy it in seasonal food and drink items around Covent Garden. The Ivy Market Grill will be serving blood orange margaritas and pumpkin-spiced lattes, Buns & Buns has concocted a mandarin spritz cocktail and a special pumpkin soup and The Gentleman Baristas has made its usually ‘invisible’ sticky toffee pudding bright orange, and will be serving it with candy floss and hot caramel. There’s also a load of spooky sweets on sale, from Cupcake Stories' Bloody Cupcakes and a treat box of Ladurée’s glow-in-the-dark macarons. Wash them down with an autumnal tea from Whittard of Chelsea – yes, before you ask, there is a pumpkin-spiced one. Covent Garden Pumpkin Market is at the Apple Market on Fri and Sat (Oct 30-31). Oh, gourd! Even more places in and around London for pumpkin picking. Find a full guide to Halloween in London right here.
This Google doc of all the London pubs with heated gardens is spreading like wildfire
Quite a few of our writers have been sent an online document listing all of the heated outdoor beer gardens in London via WhatsApp this week. We’re taking that as a sign that someone wants us to write about it. The mysterious ‘Booze with Heaters’ Google Doc, found here, features more than 100 pubs with heated outdoor areas. Who created the (possibly cursed) list is unknown – even the contributors on the doc itself are anonymous. But it’s actually quite useful for Londoners under Tier 2 measures (let’s hope it doesn’t put us out of a job!) There’s not too much detail on the list apart from the name of the pubs and what area they’re in, but a lucky few have some extra details like ‘fire pits + heaters’ and the not-so-complimentary ‘awful food’. The list is organised by area, but there’s also a handy map made for readers to locate the warmest beer gardens about, if they don’t fancy googling all of the addresses. However, the map is getting added to less frequently than that Google Doc: if you want all the options, stick to that list. As comprehensive as this list may be, why not check out our very own list of the best beer gardens in London for less of the ‘distinctly average vibes’. Like it warm? Check out our favourite cosy outdoor drinking and dining spots for autumn. Not into pub gardens at all? Take in the views from one of these great rooftop bars.
The Petersham is reopening soon
Covent Garden Italian-inspired restaurant The Petersham will be opening its doors again on Nov 5. The restaurant will be serving lunch and dinner from Wednesday-Sunday with a menu full of seasonal dishes and fresh English produce. Some of the highlights include spaghetti with razor clams and bottarga as a starter, as well as main courses of Haye Farm beef with marinated shallots and crispy thyme potatoes or Turbot with coco beans and mussels. For a sweet end to your dinner, there will be poached pear with burnt butter ice cream and masala doughnut. The Petersham take pride in their grand surroundings too - it features seasonally changing floral displays, contemporary art on the walls and flower stems adorning the mirrored tables. There's also a heated terrace outside for those who prefer their fine dining to be outdoors. If you're feeling particularly indulgent, like really indulgent, they're also offering fresh truffles which diners can order by weight and have grated onto any dish. Get the chef's recommendation for what they go with best if you're not a truffle expert! The Petersham opens on Nov 5 in Covent Graden. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make a reservation. The Camden Grocer stars in new Southwark pop-up shop A sparkly new light installation has landed in Chinatown
The Camden Grocer stars in new Southwark pop-up shop
A new curated shop selling food, drink, plants, homewares and furniture is popping up in Southwark. Menier Store is transforming the Menier Chocolate Factory, a Grade II listed Victorian warehouse, into a mini department store full of specialist retailers and will open on October 30. The stars of Menier Store are North London food and drink experts The Camden Grocer. They'll be bringing all their best fresh fruit and veg, along with artisanal cheese, charcuterie and other foodstuffs, while In-Tray plants are selling a variety of houseplants, pots and indoor gardening accessories. There will also be Scandi-style homewares from Att Pynta, upcycled vintage furniture from HRB Studio and some of the best ornaments, collectables and furniture from Fleming Fine Antiques on offer. So whether you're after coffee, crockery or cacti, Menier Store might have what you're looking for. Menier Store opens on Oct 30 at 51 Southwark Street. Visit their website for more info The 100 best shops in London. Dalston’s getting a new outdoor theatre and bar space.
You can now go wild swimming all year round in West Reservoir sans wetsuit
Stoke Newington’s West Reservoir has announced that wild swimmers will be able to go ‘skin swimming’ all year round – even if it’s absolutely freezing! Previously, swimmers had to wear a wetsuit when the water temperature was below 16C, but they can now hop into West Reservoir at all times of year wearing nothing more than some speedos, swimsuit or a bikini (if that’s your thing). However, they strongly recommend a wetsuit once the water is below 14C. While it may seem borderline insanity to plunge into an extremely cold lake, plenty of wild swimmers wouldn’t have it any other way. While wetsuits keep you warm, many swimmers actually enjoy the cold and don't like how constricting wetsuits can be on your movements in the water – not to mention contorting your body to get into the pesky thing in the first place. Now is a better time than ever to go swimming in West Reservoir or any of London’s other outdoor lidos and swimming pools, after research has suggested that it isn’t just good for mental and physical health but could potentially help slow dementia – powerful stuff, right? If you feel like going for a dip in West Reservoir, check out all the info here, including how to download the app to book your session. And visit West Reservoir’s Instagram for up-to-the-minute info. Alternatively, dip your beak into a different kind of freezing liquid delight at London Cocktail Week. Find further stuff to do this autumn that’s not so chilly.
Rudy’s is opening a vegan butcher
Camden Market’s meat-free junk-food legend Rudy’s Vegan Diner is opening London’s first permanent vegan butcher in Islington. And when better to launch it than on World Vegan Day, which falls on November 1? To celebrate the opening, Rudy’s Vegan Butcher will be giving out a free pack of baycon to 200 eager customers. It’s first come, first served, so be sure to get down there early to grab yours. There’s a whole range of meat- and dairy-free food on sale: dirty burgers, seitan chick’n, lobstah salad, a rack of jack and even a Christmas roast turk’y are just some of the options. And you can also pick up Rudy’s Diner faves cheeze sauce and chilli non carne to put in your fridge. Rudy’s is also introducing a new selection of plant-based charcuterie – including ham, salami, pepperoni and its famed pastrami – for all your sandwich-making needs. If you can’t make it down to the shop in person, have a browse of the website – online orders made on World Vegan Day come with a free pack of baycon. What’s better than free baycon? Rudy’s Vegan Butcher opens on Nov 1 at 206 Upper St. Find out more details here. London chefs reveal how they make their signature vegan dishes. More of a carnivore? Here are the London butchers who will deliver meat to your door.