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Ella Doyle

Ella Doyle

Guides Editor

Ella joined Time Out in June 2022 as a contributing writer, working on branded content, news and features with the London and UK teams. She is now guides editor across North America and the UK, specialising in all things food, culture and travel. Ella also covers podcasts and music for Time Out Worldwide. She loves nothing more than a Turkish on Green Lanes and refuses to ever leave north London, ever. 

Articles (152)

The 12 best Airbnbs in Napa

The 12 best Airbnbs in Napa

Fancy getting away from it all? Us too. Sometimes the hustle and bustle of city life can get too much and you need a few days to chill out and drink some seriously good wine. Yep, we’re talking about Napa, the wine capital of California, full of gorgeous vineyards—boasting fabulous wine tastings—as well as great restaurants, too. But that’s not all there is to do in the region—there’s loads to discover. So why not head down and see it for yourself? And when you do, be sure to choose a luxurious place to rest your head in the evenings. Luckily for you, we've got the hottest picks of the best Airbnbs in Napa, so have a read-through and thank us later. Updated April 2024: We like to keep our lists relevant and up-to-date with the most talked raved about Airbnbs along with the rarest finds in Napa, like our newest entry this chic design farmhouse stay, this or this beautiful country home hidden among the orchards. Yes – places like this really do exist.  RECOMMENDED: 🏨 Best Napa hotels to book right now Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in every Airbnb featured, we've based our list on top reviews, hosts and amenities to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines. 

Stop trying to make caviar happen

Stop trying to make caviar happen

Food trends are great, aren’t they? Amid life’s monotony, they help us make sense of the passing of time. The chore of choosing what to eat three times a day becomes marginally more exciting. They assist us when deciding what to order at the bar (lest we forget the month of Negroni Splagliatos). They give the team at Torres ideas for their next crisp flavour.  Food trends are why we’re suddenly all scraping two dinners out of 39p butter beans and why everything you eat is doused in chilli oil. It’s why wine simply has to be orange; why you suddenly realised you actually love Guinness after all; why you’ve gone off Neck Oil completely after drinking that and only that for about three years.  Ultimately, food trends can bring us closer together. They’re harmless, for the most part. But there’s a key distinction to be made here. And that’s between the food trends that are candid, silly, genuine, and those that are forced, unwillingly, down our tiny little throats.  I’ve had emails instructing me to ‘swap the lamb for caviar’ at Easter Which brings us to the latest. Those pesky, fishy black balls, all cold and strange and wet-looking, that you used to only see in films about the rich and famous. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re talking about caviar.  Did you know a new Caviar Bar is about to open in Mayfair? No, not the already-existing Caviar House at Harrods which sells caviar-topped ice cream. Another one! Did you know that you can order a caviar rigatoni for £80 at the OWO’s resta

The 9 coolest Airbnbs in Philadelphia

The 9 coolest Airbnbs in Philadelphia

Philly isn't just a place for insanely good cheesesteaks and rich history (but boy are those cheesesteaks great). It's also a thriving patchwork of a city filled with the best parks, breweries, indie shops and unique eateries. And what could be better than completing your stay in town with an ultra-cool Airbnb to rest in after your travels? We've weeded through all the options to present you with the coolest Airbnbs in town – paying particular attention to the spots that offer the one-of-a-kind, local experience that you’d never get in a Center City hotel. Aren't we nice? Choosing an Airbnb in Philadelphia puts you in the heart of our incredible neighborhoods, but still close enough to access all the best Philadelphia attractions. Plus, in many cases, you’ll spend a lot less than you would at a regular hotel, which means you’ll have more cash to spend on dinner at one of the best restaurants in Philadelphia or the best bars in Philadelphia. Updated April 2024: We came across two new city center townhouses on our latest Philadelphia Airbnb sleuthing session, and you can bet that they now take pride of place in this list. FYI: they're both family-friendly and pleasantly affordable. Double win.  RECOMMENDED: The best hotels in PhiladelphiaThe best Airbnb cabins in Philadelphia Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in every Airbnb featured, we've based our list on top reviews, hosts and amenities to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links

The 50 best podcasts to listen to in 2024

The 50 best podcasts to listen to in 2024

There are a million podcasts out there, and 2024’s releases are showing no signs of slowing down. There’s already been a load of bangers since the beginning of the year, and here at Time Out, we’re determined to listen to them all. After all, how else are you going to know which one to choose? We’ve rounded up our favourites, from political podcasts that look behind the news to comedy podcasts with your favourite funny people, and plenty of those all-important investigative whodunnits to keep you up at night. If you’re looking to dig deeper into one genre, we’d recommend trying our specialist lists on for size (you’ll find them below). But for a full list of good, addictive podcasts of every genre, read on.  RECOMMENDED:🎧 The best podcasts on Spotify😂 The best comedy podcasts 🗞️ The best news podcasts💤 The best sleep podcasts🎶 The best music podcasts

London’s best restaurants for pizza

London’s best restaurants for pizza

London is full of perfect pizza. The finest of fast foods, this delicious staple has been elevated far beyond its humble roots by great Italian restaurants in London, pop-ups, street food vendors and pub residencies, and we know just where to find these world-class wonders. Whether it’s delivered in a cardboard box or served in a swish restaurant, excellent pizza is hard to beat. Browse our list of the best pizza parlours in town and try not to drool on your screen. Recent additions to the list include Alley Cats' crispy New York style slices in Marylebone, Chicago deep dish at Soho's Japes and thick, crispy square pies from Detroit Pizza in Spitalfields and Islington. RECOMMENDED: The finest fish and chips in London.  Leonie Cooper is Time Out London’s Food and Drink Editor. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines.

The 13 best Airbnbs in New Orleans

The 13 best Airbnbs in New Orleans

It's time to get funky in the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans. Explore the multitude of streets that burst with charm and character, and sample tasty cuisine like boiled crawfish (hello, it's the seafood capital after all) and po' boy baguettes. Mmmm. All that walking and eating is exhausting, but where to stay to complete your visit? Lucky for you, New Orleans is bursting at the seams with unique Airbnbs, from enormous penthouses (with pools) to cute little library rooms full of worn-out classics. So whether you’re there to sample New Orleans’ fabulous bars, and restaurants, or you’re headed up there for a festival, choose an iconic Airbnb before you go. Here are our top picks.  Updated April 2024: Keep your eyes peeled for two new properties in this list – especially if you're a fan of artistic interiors.  RECOMMENDED: 📍 The best things to do in New Orleans🏨 The best hotels in New Orleans Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in every Airbnb featured, we've based our list on top reviews, hosts and amenities to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.

The 13 best classes in London

The 13 best classes in London

There’s nothing quite like brushing up on a new language or trying your hand at a sip-and-paint session in the city, is there? And that’s why we’re here to show you the best London has to offer. From silver ring-making in the Oxo Tower to pottery classes, dance classes, or learning how to podcast (as it’s so on-trend right now), these are the best classes in London. Now, all you have to do is decide which ones you want to try. These classes are tried and tested, and you’ll leave having had a great day and having learned a new skill. What could be better?  RECOMMENDED:📍 The best things to do in London🎵 The best London musicals🎡 The best London attractions This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.

The 15 best Airbnbs in the Scottish Highlands

The 15 best Airbnbs in the Scottish Highlands

Nothing says a getaway quite like a trip to the Scottish Highlands. A place where you're sure to escape the hustle and bustle of the city scene. Hike mountains, dip your toes in the loch, and watch the sunset over the gorgeous landscape. Doesn't that sound perfect? And of course, a place that idyllic needs to be enjoyed with a stay at one of the many unique Airbnbs in the area. Cosy and comfy cottages with wood-burning stoves (you'll need it with the cold weather), glamping pods, and even castles; how could you ever choose? We've picked out the best of the best to help you decide. You're welcome.  Updated April 2024: We've added two new properties that offer panoramic views from their outdoor hot tubs. Need we say more?  RECOMMENDED: 🇬🇧 The best Airbnbs in the UK🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Check out the best Airbnbs in Glasgow🏰 Off to Edinburgh? Here's where to stay Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in every Airbnb featured, we've based our list on top reviews, hosts and amenities to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.

The best Airbnbs in Melbourne

The best Airbnbs in Melbourne

Forget what Sydneysiders tell you: Melbourne is the cultural capital of Australia. Visitors flock from all over to visit the city for the endless supply of cutting-edge galleries, restaurants and events. And when you’re in a city this cool and hip, it seems like a mighty shame to be staying in a cookie-cutter hotel. Experience the city like a local in a unique and homely Airbnb. You might enjoy it so much that you reconsider moving and making the city your new home. There are so many amazing Airbnbs in our city that are often more affordable than your standard hotel and provide a way cozier and more welcoming stay. Whether you're a local keen on a staycation or a visitor who wants to feel like a genuine Melburnian, these are the best Airbnbs you'll find in Melbourne.  Updated April 2024: With so many incredible Airbnbs in Melbourne, we couldn't help but add a few more to the hot list. Check out the two new players: a spaceship-esque penthouse in central and a jaw-dropping manor house on the Mornington Peninsula – if you're keen to keep the city life at arm's length.  RECOMMENDED: The best day hikes from Melbourne The most quirky Airbnbs in VictoriaThe best hotels in Melbourne Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in every Airbnb featured, we've based our list on top reviews, hosts, and amenities to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.

The 50 best drinking songs

The 50 best drinking songs

  If you’re anything like us, most often when you’re dancing, you’re also drinking. So hey, it’s no surprise that a large number of tunes out there are about doing just that – booze! And we’ve rounded up the best of the boozy best, right here, from Rihanna to Chumbawumba (you know the one we mean). So fill up that cup and wack on this playlist: it’s time to dance. Here are the best songs about drinking to wet the whistle.  RECOMMENDED:🎉 The best party songs🎤 The best karaoke songs🕺 The best pop songs of all time😃 The best happy songs🍆 The best sexy songs Written by Michael Chen, Brent DiCrescenzo, Sophie Harris, Oliver Keens, Andy Kryza, Hank Shteamer, Kate Wertheimer, Zach Long, Matthew Singer, Leonie Cooper and Camille Bavera. 

17 day trips from London to escape the city

17 day trips from London to escape the city

As much as we love London here at Time Out, we’re also partial to the odd daydream about a leisurely getaway to somewhere that’s not quite so big and busy. Microdose on that holiday vibe by taking a day trip to one of the many laidback, joy-inducing destinations just a few hours away from London, which pack in plenty; from historic cities and cute villages to sandy beaches and rolling countryside. If you’re wanting a quick getaway, here are 17 of the Time Out team’s favourite day trips from London, complete with our recommendations of cute pubs and ace restaurants – all close enough to the city to get there and back in one sweet day.  RECOMMENDED:✨The best day trips from London👪 The best family day trips from London☀️ The best weekend trips from London🏘️ The best Airbnbs near London🌳 The best quirky Airbnbs in the UK This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

The 100 best TV shows of all time you have to watch

The 100 best TV shows of all time you have to watch

Television used to be considered one of the lowest forms of entertainment. It was derided as ‘the idiot box’ and ‘the boob tube’. Edward R Murrow referred to it as ‘the opiate of the masses’, and the phrase ‘I don’t even own a TV’ was considered a major bragging right. And for a long time, it was hard to say that television’s poor reputation was undeserved.  A lot has changed. Television is now the dominant medium in basically all of entertainment, to the degree that the only thing separating movies and TV is the screen you’re watching on. Now, if you don’t own a television – or a laptop or a tablet or a phone – you’re basically left out of the cultural conversation completely. The shift in perception is widely credited to the arrival of The Sopranos, which completely reinvented the notion of what a TV show could do. But that doesn’t mean everything that came before is primordial slurry. While this list of the greatest TV shows ever is dominated by 21st century programs, there are many shows that deserve credit for laying the groundwork for this current golden age. Chiseling them down to a neat top 100 is difficult, so we elected to leave off talk shows, variety shows and sketch comedy, focusing on scripted, episodic dramas, comedies and miniseries.  So don’t touch that dial – these are the greatest TV shows of all-time. Recommended: 📺 The best TV and streaming shows of 2023 (so far)🔥The 100 greatest movies of all-time🎬The most bingeable series on Netflix

Listings and reviews (19)

Freak Scene Sushi & Robata

Freak Scene Sushi & Robata

3 out of 5 stars

Freak Scene Sushi & Robabta is the second branch of the pan-Asian fusion restaurant headed up by ex-Nobu chef Scott Hallsworth (the other is in Parsons Green) and kind of a strange place. But on my visit it was completely packed out – I couldn’t get a reservation for two weeks – so I had an inkling they were doing something right here in Balham. There’s two floors, but they’re very different; upstairs is full of (very) tightly-packed tables, an open kitchen and alarmingly loud rock music, which later on shifted to ’90s RnB. The basement is quieter, more sultry, with thick curtains and just a few tables. Downstairs is much more like an actual omakase restaurant, and would be better for a date. There’s graffiti in the toilet, which feels as though it’s been written on for effect; there’s no way that much could have accumulated in the month or so since opening.   Some things sound gimmicky yet end up delicious, like sushi tacos with truffle ponzu and shallot salsa Staff are great and not over-the-top polite. Normal, chill types who talk to you like human beings. It’s nice. And make sure you go with their recommendations – some things on the menu sound gimmicky yet end up delicious, like sushi tacos with truffle ponzu and shallot salsa, salty, citrusy and full of flavour, served on what is basically an XL pop chip. It works! To start, we washed down edamame (charred and deeply smoky, tossed through butter and sake) with cucumber margaritas. We followed with crab sushi, made with

Old Neptune

Old Neptune

What is it? The most iconic pub in Whitstable, possibly even the UK, the Old Neptune serves up good pints and wonderfully uncomplicated seafood right on the beach, with a postcard view to match. Locals call it the ’Neppy’, by the way.   How old is the Old Neptune? This old thing has been around since the 19th century, and it’s somehow managed to keep its old-school charm (if you can excuse the cliché), even as it becomes a ridiculously trendy spot for locals and DFLs alike (that’s short for Down From London, but there is a ruder version). Over the years, this spot has had a number of celebrity visits – you’ll find the photos stuck up on the wall, along with a tribute to Roger Michell’s 2006 film Venus, which filmed one of its scenes here.  What should I order? Now that we’ve had to say goodbye to Whitstable’s beloved fish and chip shop, V.C. Jones, this is the spot for your fishy fix. I also love the crab sandwich here (lots of Whitstable’s restaurants use the same bread from Grain & Hearth, and it slaps). It’s far from the best seafood in Whitstable, but it’s well-priced and it’ll certainly hit the spot after a few beers.  What are the prices like? Actually very reasonable, with a fair few pints under the £6 mark. You won’t find any Beavertowns or Brewdogs here, but the Whitstable lager is much better anyway. Bloody Mary’s are small but come in at around £7, which is the same as the prosecco, served in those tiny fun bottles instead of by the glass.  Time Out tip Call in adv

GA Notting Hill

GA Notting Hill

What is it? GA Notting Hill (short for Gennaro Dell'Aquila, the name of their founder), five minutes from Notting Hill Gate station, offers haircuts, organic hair dye, blowdrying services and more.  What’s the vibe? As we all start thinking a little bit more about what we put into our bodies, it might be time to start thinking about what we’re putting into our hair too. And that’s where GA Salons come in. These guys are all about using only the natural stuff; plants and roots, with none of the chemicals. The idea, they tell me, is to fight back against the cycle you’re otherwise trapped in; using products that strip the hair of its natural oils, and then having to get more products to replace it. How did it go? But they aren’t messing around here: these are premium products, and not only did my blowdry at GA leave me looking shiny AF, I wore that same hair out on the weekend (five) days later, and it still looked as good as when I got it done. In fact I was very sad to wash it with my own products. Next time, I’ll stock up on theirs; GA sell everything from shampoo to face masks. What treatment should I get? I got a haircut and blowdry but I’ll be back for a balyage. Oh, and it’s not just hair here either; depending on the store (there are branches in Chelsea, South Ken and Wimbledon), you can treat yourself to manicures, body sculpting, lash tint and more. Trust this team: I felt so safe in the hands of my hairdresser Gabriella, I even took the plunge and got bangs!

Art'otel Battersea

Art'otel Battersea

4 out of 5 stars

Battersea Power Station feels a bit like leaving Real London to go to a sort of made up place. Even the people look too clean. One of its newest additions is Art'Otel, designed by Spanish artist Jaime Hayon and opened in late 2022 with a spa, rooftop bar and infinity pool up top, fits right in. Art’Otel’s 164 rooms are grand, artsy and full of colour, with lots of fun touches; a record player, a Roberts radio, more hanging art by Hayon. It’s all very Wes Anderson but it doesn’t take itself too seriously; the staff are great and a laugh, the clientele is a real mix; families, couples in the lift in bath robes, groups of girlfriends having the best spa weekend of their lives. And if your room has a view of the Power Station, well, it’s pretty cool. If not, simply get the lift to the rooftop, which is spectacular by day or by night, decked out with a hot tub, deck chairs and the almighty pool. Or book ahead for Joia, a very special Portuguese and Iberian restaurant with its very own views and a premium menu to match. If you want a more chilled-out dinner, head to Tozi Grand Café, a buzzy, cheerful Italian where the cacio e pepe is served at your table in a giant cheese wheel. Neighbourhood  Well, you’re as close to sleeping inside Battersea Power Station as it gets. So sure, get your shopping done, and perhaps convince your other half to finally get that rescue dog, since Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is right next door. Hop on the Uber Boat back into town just to say you’ve done i

Café Lapérouse

Café Lapérouse

An fancy new restaurant right in the centre of the Raffles London's hotel courtyard, which opened in 2023 in the OWO, otherwise known as the historic Old War Office. ​​A spectacular circular building, Café Lapérouse's pavillion café is all glass walls, a circular bar in the centre and plush chairs shaped like little shells. Behind it is the ‘Salon Lapérouse’, a no-kids-allowed fine dining restaurant with live piano.  There’s a famous Lapérouse in Paris, which was one of the first restaurants to get three Michelin stars, and Café Lapérouse is a kind of new interpretation of it, with the original Lapérouse bought out by Benjamin Patou of the Moma Group. In 2021, the new, offshoot Café Lapérouse opened in Paris at Hotel de la Marine. This is what you'll find here, as the group plans to launch an international chain.  The menu is exactly as you’d imagine for a hotel restaurant in the heart of town. Dishes come with the option of adding black truffle, pastas are served with all manner of fancy things, and caviar has its own section on the menu. The rest? Small and oh-so French; find a variety of cocktails, a huge wine list and French classics. To start, ‘Lapérouse-style’ snails, gratinée des halles onion soup and croque monsieur. For main, a selection of meat and fish dishes; steaks, beef tartare, sea bass. The chocolate soufflé for dessert is sold as the original Lapérouse’s recipe. 

Yotel Amsterdam

Yotel Amsterdam

4 out of 5 stars

Amsterdam is expensive, make no mistake about it. Sometimes eye-wateringly so. But fear not: Yotel has changed the game. Run by the company behind YO! Sushi, Yotel has historically made its name for quick one-night stopovers (there’s even one inside Amsterdam airport), but has since expanded to offer affordable city-centre options for longer stays. Now, there are Yotel ‘pads’ in Boston, Edinburgh, Porto and San Francisco. Yotel Amsterdam City Hotel is one of their newest ventures, located on the River IJ. Rooms are small, compact, clean and simple, with some fun techy gadgets and great views over Noord. The beds pull out of the wall, controlled by a remote control, there’s a TV with every channel you can imagine, and you can change the colour of your room on a touch-dial, for a laugh. The Deck bar and kitchen is open all day – if you’re there in summer make sure to grab a mimosa for the terrace overlooking the river. Oh, and order the Instagrammable salmon étagère (€65 for two); bagels, salmon tartare, wasabi creme fraiche and chive cream cheese on an afternoon tea-style rack. Once the bar is closed, you can hit the grab-and-go section in the main lobby, with crisps, ramen noodles, and even a beer tap to pour your own pint. And make sure to take advantage of their bike hire, free for your arrival day. Neighbourhood  You’re in one of Amsterdam’s trendiest areas, away from the chaos and tourist hotspots of the city centre but with plenty of bars and restaurants to discover. Don

Old Vic

Old Vic

What is it? The Old Vic is an iconic theatre right next to Waterloo rail station that’s been around since 1818. It has a lively history, and was once famous for staging all of Shakespeare’s plays between 1914 and 1923 (the first theatre to do so). In 1963 it became the first home of the National Theatre, which finally moved to its purpose-built South Bank digs in 1976. After a tumultuous few decades, the ‘modern’ Old Vic launched in 2003 with US actor Kevin Spacey as its artistic director. He was succeeded by current boss Matthew Warchus, whose programming constitutes an eclectic array of shows, from musical theatre to modern classic adaptations (it’s especially famous these days for Jack Thorne’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol, for example). It’s been home to theatre stars Judi Dench, Laurence Olivier and Maggie Smith, to name a few.  Is it worth visiting? Absolutely, yes. This is, in our opinion, one of the best theatres in London, a blend of star-studded casts, large-scale production and a really beautiful historic theatre space. One-off tourist or life-long local, The Old Vic is a big ol’ fun London night out for families, pals or as a solo eve to see some seriously good theatre. Plus, The Old Vic is worth visiting even if you’re not seeing a show; take advantage of good wifi at the café or check out its bar, also open to non-theatre-goers (and open till 2am Thurs-Sun). Aside from the classics (reds, whites, rosés, Camden beer and Tony’s Chocoloney) there’s seasonal cock

Murano

Murano

4 out of 5 stars

It’s not often that I blink at dinner and four hours have passed by. Sure, I’m fond of my dinner companion, and sure, there were multiple courses, but time is a mere construct when you’re having this much fun.  Walk into this Michelin-starred spot, and things instantly feel special. Not in an overly flashy way. Special in the way that the waitress asks you about your bag when she takes it to the cloakroom, and little cheese puffs arrive on your table before you’ve even asked for water (they’re actually gourgéres with gorgonzola, but they taste like elevated Mini Cheddars). The interiors are all soft, clean furnishings, leather chairs and tables laid with tiny vases of flowers. Oh, and green. Lots of green. It could almost be a bit clinical if the staff weren’t such a laugh. Pasta was a highlight; the provolone and smoked potato agnolotti basically a grown up mac and cheese  Murano’s been around since 2008, opened by acclaimed chef Angela Hartnett (of Gordon Ramsay protégée fame, but we’re over him now). There’s a few tables outside or you can stare at the soulless, expensive streets of Mayfair from within. And at the back – a room often reserved for private events, but if you’re lucky it’s open for business – you get to watch the chefs at work through a little window. More special occasion than post-work business meeting, a woman being treated to a birthday meal by her boyfriend is having, in her words, ‘the best night of her life,’ chatting away to the sommelier about Itali

Willy's Winter Wonderland

Willy's Winter Wonderland

Want to eat banging food, see all your favourite funny people and support a really great charity? We’ve got the event for you. This Saturday, Instagram chef What Willy Cooks is throwing a Christmas bash at Peckham Arches featuring grub from Supa Ya Ramen, Bangers and Rogue Sarnies, and stand-up by some wicked comedians, including the very funny Rory Marshall and Laura Smyth. The best part? All the funds from Willy's Winter Wonderland are going to Shelter, supporting people facing homelessness in the UK.

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

4 out of 5 stars

Sure, it’s nearly December, but it’s not really Christmas in London until there’s a few things happening. Regent Street lights. Uncopywrited Mariah Carey covers blaring in Superdrug. Bond Street station full of teenagers necking tinnies before Winter Wonderland.  And, of course, the return of ‘A Christmas Carol’ to the Old Vic. Jack Thorne’s adaptation premiered in 2017, and hasn’t showed signs of stopping since: it has played every single year since (including 2020) with a series of star-studded Scrooges, from Rhys Ifans to last year’s Owen Teale. This time, Scrooge is Christoper Eccleston off the telly. Your ma is swooning.  To put it simply, the Old Vic ‘Christmas Carol’ is a good laugh, which is lucky, because there are so many adaptations of Dickens’s story in theatres come Christmas that each needs a USP.  Not much changes year to year, and that’s why we love it; there’s overpriced mulled wine for sale, ol’ town folk handing out free mince pies to the crowd, potatoes and carrots thrown on a slide to the stage, and even a whole bit where it starts snowing.  Eccleston takes a little while to warm up but is a fantastic Scrooge once he gets there. His performance feels more sincere than the last version I saw (Paterson Joseph, who brought a bit more wackiness to the role), but he’s most dynamic (and most himself) during Scrooge’s more caricatured moments, and the jokes. At, ‘You might be an undigested bit of beef’ the audience roars with laughter. Another highlight is his s

The Dylan

The Dylan

5 out of 5 stars

When you pictured your trip to Amsterdam, De 9 Straatjes (the nine streets) is probably the district you had in mind: full of cyclists and boutiques and stroopwaffels and beautiful tall buildings lined up along the canal. But you can’t imagine The Dylan until you’ve seen it in real life.  This luxury boutique hotel, tucked away behind a gate and sandwiched between canals, is home to just 41 rooms – which have a slightly Tardis-esque way of being much, much bigger than you imagine they’ll be. They range from spacious double rooms to luxury suites, across the hotel’s Original and Serendipity buildings. All rooms are beautifully clean and decked out with Aesop soap, coffee, tea and a minibar, with varying views out onto the courtyard and beyond. The superior suites are particularly special, some of which are loft style with two floors, characterised by exposed beam ceilings. There’s a 24-hour concierge number and room service for breakfast in bed – or pastrami sandwiches and chicken burgers (more suited to your second dinner after a few drinks, perhaps).  But for your first dinner, head to The Dylan’s restaurant OCCO, which looks out over its courtyard (in summer, you can dine out on the terrace, but we weren’t so lucky). Go for the house wine if you know what’s good for you; it comes from The Dylan’s own winery, and it’s perfectly light to pair with food. The langoustine is herby and fresh and the bouillabaisse is well-seasoned with just the right hit of citrus. Finish with the

The Laslett

The Laslett

4 out of 5 stars

A lot of thought has gone into The Laslett. The result? Not just any high-end hotel. Tucked into one of Notting Hill’s residential streets, you’ll notice it by its outdoor terrace, which is lovely in summer but equally as lovely in winter, with little heaters and cubby holes.  Staff are friendly and the entrance is unassuming, with a sweet small restaurant area to the right and a cosy area to the left. Dinner there is fine (and the wine is lovely) but breakfast is by far the star of the show, all scrambled eggs and broad bean guacamole and oozy deep orange egg yolks.  You’ll find the Recharge Rooms downstairs, where there's an intergalactic-looking Ozone machine (one of only two in London, I’m told). It’s supposed to promote ‘strategic wellness’, but it’s basically a Kardashian-esque detoxifying, steaming aromatherapy session which feels a bit like entering a spaceship but leaves you feeling genuinely relaxed and rejuvenated. Gina, who ran it while I visited, is especially lovely. Facials, skin treatments and the likes can also be booked, and it’s worth it.  But really, you’re here for the rooms, where the minibar is stocked with Torres truffle crisps and mini bottles of prosecco and the bath has little hand-labelled bath salts that look like they’re out of Alice and Wonderland. And sure, it’s got ridiculously high ceilings, a fluffy bed and a Nespresso machine, but the special part is the shelves lined with vintage penguin books – Brontës and Hemingways – and the little cubb

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The 8 ways you can help homeless people right now

The 8 ways you can help homeless people right now

  Those facing homelessness are vulnerable all year round, but particularly at Christmas, when the temperature drops and many homeless people face extreme weather conditions. Across the UK, there are a number of ways that we can all support the homeless, whether it's setting up a monthly donation to a charity or offering food, clothing or money to individuals wherever we can. Wherever you are based, here are eight ways you can help this Christmas.  1. Download Streetlink Streetlink is a website and phone app that allows users to alert authorities to someone sleeping rough in England and Wales. Volunteers can help people facing homelessness find a bed for the night, as well as point them to long-term support services. Download the app here. 2. Contact your local council Streetlink is the quickest way to find support for those sleeping rough, but it does not guarantee the person will receive help. You can also contact your local council, which can help locate a bed for those facing homelessness. In some UK areas, SWEP (Severe Weather Emergency Protocol) has been activated, which means more beds will open up in local shelters.  3. Speak to the homeless Facing homelessness is extremely challenging, and there can be days where they might not communicate with anyone at all. If you are able, you can ask a homeless person what they need, and help them source food, a hot drink, money for shelter or warm clothing. The Big Issue has some helpful tips for reaching out to homeless people

What is the winter solstice and when is it?

What is the winter solstice and when is it?

So the festive season has finally arrived, meaning it’s dark at 5pm and we’re all getting Monzo warnings to chill on the spending. But though it doesn’t necessarily feel like it, it’s still technically autumn right now. It’s not actually winter until we reach the Actual Shortest Day of the Year, aka the winter solstice. But that moment is coming up relatively soon, and you know what that means? The days are going to start getting brighter again. Final push, eh? Here’s everything we know. What is the winter solstice? It basically just means the shortest day of the year (and the longest night of the year, obvs). The winter solstice occurs when the Earth turns on its axis, to the point where its poles reach their maximum tilt away from the sun. It happens twice a year – creating the shortest day and the longest day. The actual winter solstice only lasts for a moment, but the name refers to the whole day. When is the shortest day of the year in the UK? The winter solstice usually falls on December 21 to 22. This year, it will fall on Friday December 22. The exact time of the solstice is 3:27am. For some context, you’ll get eight hours and 49 minutes less daylight on that day then what you get on the June solstice.  How do we celebrate the shortest day of the year? There are a whole load of ways people celebrate the winter solstice all over the world. Prehistoric monuments like Stonehenge are aligned with the sunset for the winter solstice, so people often visit them on the day. P

Reading and Leeds Festivals have just announced their 2023 headliners

Reading and Leeds Festivals have just announced their 2023 headliners

What with all the Christmas cheer, summer seems a long way off right now. But the more organised among us know that this is the time to start getting events booked in. And if you want to avoid having to stay in while your pals all get wrecked, we’d strongly advise getting on those early-bird ticket sales ASAP. And if you don’t know where to start? Reading and Leeds have just announced their line-ups for next year, and they’re looking pretty promising. Here’s everything you need to know about the 2023 editions of these two banging festivals. RECOMMENDED:Here’s the full Reading and Leeds 2023 line-up and stage timesThe best UK music festivals to book for 2023How to get tickets for Reading and Leeds festival 2024 When are Reading and Leeds Festivals? Both of the three-day events will take place from August 25 to 27 2023. Leeds Festival will be in Bramham Park, while Reading Festival will take place at Richfield Avenue.  Who are the headliners? The headliners for both festivals were announced today on BBC Radio One, with Billie Eilish, Sam Fender, Lewis Capaldi, Foals, the Killers and Imagine Dragons all set to top the bill. Other performers will include Shy FX, Yung Lean, Slowthai and Bicep. Headliners play both festivals on different days throughout the weekend. Reading and Leeds is traditionally a rock festival, but features artists across indie, dance, pop and more. Scots singer Lewis Capaldi tweeted that he expected some backlash from rock music lovers for headlining the fe

Do Europeans drink water? A TikTok investigation

Do Europeans drink water? A TikTok investigation

So, it’s officially Euro Summer. And if you don’t know what that means, well, we don’t blame you. It’s not entirely clear. But all the Americans are doing it on TikTok (the hashtag alone has nearly 700m views), and ‘Europecore’ is now its own category on Depop (it features cowboy boots, Nike t-shirts and long jean shorts, obviously). Essentially, young Americans travel to unspecified countries in Europe, and post about it on TikTok. And thus their Euro Summer commences. But quickly, Euro Summer turned from a highly-anticipated travel opportunity into hurtling controversy. Americans discovered that ‘Europe’ (exact location still unclear) ain’t all sunshine and roses. And onto our TikTok ‘for you’ pages tumbled a series of American bugbears: Europeans don’t eat vegetables. Europeans charge you for the toilet. European train stations smell bad.  The most controversial of all? That Europeans don’t drink water. Apparently.  But is it true? Do Europeans simply not drink water? And if so, how do they survive? There was only one way to find out. We’ve asked Time Out editors in Barcelona, Madrid and Paris the big question. Do you drink water, or not? @taylorhuntleigh Maybe it’s just me? #europeansummer ♬ Summer - Calvin Harris First thing’s first: Do Europeans drink water? María José Gómez, Time Out Barcelona: ‘Many tourists act as if they don't know that people from Barcelona are actually living beings, but, certainly, we are, so if we don't drink water, we die. ‘T

Wetherspoons has just put these 39 pubs up for sale

Wetherspoons has just put these 39 pubs up for sale

It’s no secret that pubs are struggling at the moment, especially independent ones. But the one guy you’d think would be fine is ol’ Wetherspoons, with its nearly 900 pubs across the UK and Ireland.  But it looks like even Spoons isn’t thriving in the current climate. The chain has just announced it will be selling another seven of its pubs – bringing the total to 39 this year.  The location of those seven pubs hasn’t been revealed yet. Owner Tim Martin announced in July this year that the chain could be set to lose around £30 million in revenue this year, but it looks like the sales haven’t been as bad as predicted. A spokesperson said trading at the minute is ‘broadly’ in line with its expectations, though it had dipped in October. And if your local does hit the market, don’t fret – the venues are going to stay as Wetherspoons for now, until someone buys them. And if no one does, they’re just going to stay as Wetherspoons, so you can still get your pink gin pitcher and chips ‘n’ gravy fix. Martin said that ’in the absence of further lockdowns or restrictions, the company remains cautiously optimistic about future prospects’.  The list of the 32 venues we do know are up for sale are as follows: Barnsley – Silkstone Inn Beaconsfield – Hope & Champion Bexleyheath – Wrong ‘Un Bournemouth – Christopher Creeke Cheltenham – Bank House Durham – Water House Halifax – Percy Shaw Hanham – Jolly Sailor Harrow – Moon on the Hill Hove – Cliftonville Inn London Battersea – Asparagus Lond

We went off-grid in a cabin in the forest and I barely touched my phone

We went off-grid in a cabin in the forest and I barely touched my phone

What with the cozzy livs and commuting and all that, city life can get a bit much sometimes. You might find yourself wishing you could throw your phone into the ocean or go live in the woods in the middle of nowhere. Well, it turns out there’s a bit of a market for that – sans phone-throwing – and it’s really catching on.  Unyoked is an Australian company offering city dwellers the chance to hide away in a cabin and immerse themselves in nature for the weekend. It now has cabins in different spots throughout the UK, including Norfolk and Wales, and they’re mostly reachable by a short-ish train journey from London or another major city. We popped down to our cabin in the South Downs National Park after work on a Friday. Simples.  The 20-minute cab ride from the station to the cabin cost an eye-watering £28 each way, something you definitely might want to bear in mind as an extra expense when choosing your spot. Arriving in the dark is vaguely horror movie-esque, but the bright yellow ‘Unyoked’ signs quickly remind you that you’re not quite as in the middle of nowhere as it seems in the dark. I wondered whether we’d be able to spot signs of life from where we were staying (I hoped not), but although you pass a whole house and another Unyoked cabin on the way, once you reach it, you really do feel isolated.  Photograph: Intone Films Photograph: Intone Films Photograph: Intone Films The cabin is cute and shed-like, with a tiny little kitchen, fridge and shower room. You c

How to visit the Queen’s grave at St George’s Chapel in Windsor

How to visit the Queen’s grave at St George’s Chapel in Windsor

Getting a bit of déjà vu? Normal life in London – and much of the UK – pretty much came to a standstill as the Queen’s funeral took place at Westminster Abbey last September. And today pretty much the same thing has happened.  The King’s coronation is in full swing at Westminster, with central London now pretty much on lockdown as royalists and curious people come to have a gawp at the new monarch. The whole thing is a bit weird, but definitely interesting. And it also may have you got feeling a little misty-eyed about our previous sovereign, Elizabeth II.  Her funeral last year culminated in a committal service and private burial at the King George VI Memorial Chapel (part of St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle) in the evening. The Queen was buried alongside her mother, father and sister. The body of her late husband Prince Philip was also removed from the Royal Vault to be laid next to Her Majesty. Now, a ledger stone has been laid and members of the public are able to visit her grave. Here’s everything you need to know if you want to pay your respects. RECOMMENDED: Here’s the full schedule for the King’s coronation Will you be able to visit the Queen’s grave at Windsor? Windsor was said to be the Queen’s favourite home (even over Buckingham Palace) and is the longest-inhabited royal castle in the world. The property is estimated to be worth around £235 million. But many have been wondering whether this means they will be able to visit Windsor to see the Queen’s tomb. The

You can now fly from London to Istanbul for just £30

You can now fly from London to Istanbul for just £30

It’s March, and we’re all gagging bit of spring sunshine – jacket weather, perhaps, so we could put the puffer coats away for a while. But it’s the UK, so all we’re getting is more cold weather, wind – and a hell of a lot of rain.  And you know what? We’re over it. At times like this, there’s really only one antidote. Yep, ladies and gentlemen, what we all need is a holiday – ideally, a holiday that won’t break the bank. With that in mind, budget airline Wizz Air has just dropped some all-new, seriously cheap flights to Turkey, one of the hottest holiday destinations around (yes, we mean in both senses of the word).  The new flights from the UK go directly to Istanbul, year round, as well as to Antalya and Dalaman on the Mediterranean coast. You can book them right now on Wizz Air’s website and via the Wizz app.  And yes, it’s going to be cheap. Like, as low as £30.99 cheap. So for the price of a takeaway for two, you can instead head to Istanbul for beautiful architecture, ancient mosques and some seriously good stuffed Turkish flatbread.  Want all the deets? We’ve got you covered. Right now, you can fly from Luton to Istanbul for £30.99, and from Gatwick to Dalaman for £35.99. Not too shabby, right? For more info, visit Wizz Air or GoTürkiye.  Stay in the loop: sign up to Out There, our free newsletter about all the best stuff to do across the UK.

The UK’s highest railway is finally reopening to the public

The UK’s highest railway is finally reopening to the public

Anyone remember the UK’s highest railway? Much to the disappointment of railway lovers (and skiers), it was shut down back in 2018 due to a ton of structural problems. But fear not, readers, we have great news: the UK’s most elevated railway is officially back in business, and it’s opening very soon indeed: January 26. The Cairngorm Funicular shut down five years ago, but the Scottish government has since poured around £25 million into fixing it up so it’s ready to go again. Running up the Cairn Gorm mountain in the Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands, it connects the mountain’s base station with its skiing area and restaurant way up the mountain – 1,097 metres up, to be exact. It was meant to reopen last year, but got delayed by blizzards (and Covid). Now, after receiving the necessary safety certificates from the UK Department of Transport, it’s back just in time for the end of snow sports season. Scotland ski trip, anyone?  Stay in the loop: sign up to Out There, our free newsletter about all the best stuff to do across the UK.  

So, who’s going to be Christmas number one this year?

So, who’s going to be Christmas number one this year?

So, after months of waiting, it’s nearly the big day. The eve of the eve. Festive lights line every street, trees can be spotted in every window, and Christmas tunes are blasting in all of the high street shops. But what song has actually got to the top this Christmas? What is the Christmas number one? It’s all very Love Actually, we know, but the Christmas number one thing is still happening, and only one can win. The Christmas number one isn’t the most popular song of the whole year, it’s just the one that tops the charts on the final week (so from December 16 to 22). Here’s everything we know about the race this year.  When is the Christmas No 1 announced? Drum roll please, the Christmas Number One is announced… today! At 4pm today (Friday, December 23), you’ll have to tune into BBC Radio 1’s Official Chart Show with Jack Saunders to hear the winner announced.  Who is in the running for the Christmas No 1?  Surprisingly, it’s YouTubers. A YouTube group named LadBaby have topped the charts for the Christmas Number One for the last four years, and all of the songs have been sausage roll themed: ‘We Built This City’ (2018), ‘I Love Sausage Rolls’ (2019), ‘Don't Stop Me Eatin’’ (2020), and ‘Sausage Rolls For Everyone’ with Ed Sheeran and Elton John (2021).  If LadBaby win this year with their song ‘Food Aid’, a parody of Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’, they will be the first act ever to get five Christmas Number Ones. LadBaby’s song features Money Saving Expert’s Mar

Everything we know about the King’s Christmas Day speech this year

Everything we know about the King’s Christmas Day speech this year

This year was a pretty monumental one in the UK. We saw the death of the late Queen in September, and a new King was crowned following her 70 years on the throne. Since then, we’ve got used to a new national anthem, and the first King Charles III coin was announced two weeks ago. It will be the King’s coronation in March next year, but before we get to that, there’s another tradition to get ready for. King Charles III will make his first speech on Christmas Day this year, which will mark the second time Charles will address the country following the death of his mother. Here’s everything we know about the King’s 2022 Christmas speech. When will King Charles III make his speech?  The King will give his first speech as King at 3pm on Christmas Day. The speech itself was actually pre-recorded by His Majesty on December 13 at Sandringham, but will be shown on the telly on December 25. Where can I watch it? King Charles III’s speech will be shown at 3pm on BBC One, BBC Two, ITV One and Sky One. You can also catch up with it afterwards on BBC iPlayer and ITVX.  How long is the speech? Definitely set your alarms, because it’ll be over before you know it. The King’s speech lasts just ten minutes from start to finish.  What will the King say in his speech? We don’t know exactly what he’ll say, of course, but it’s likely he will speak about his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. Last year, the Queen paid tribute to her late husband Prince Philip, who had died in October 2021.  Historian Jerem

Now for sale: the creepy home that belonged to ‘Frankenstein’ writer Mary Shelley

Now for sale: the creepy home that belonged to ‘Frankenstein’ writer Mary Shelley

We’re nearing the end of 2022, and you might be drawing up some grand plans for the new year ahead. Well, if those grand plans involve buying a house, we might have just the thing for you – but it’s a little more left field than your average one bed.  Mary Shelley’s old home in Buckinghamshire has just hit the market, and it could be yours if you have a spare million lying around. The legendary Gothic novelist who wrote the infamous ‘Frankenstein’ moved out of the property around 200 years ago (to move to Italy – good move Shelley), and now it’s up for sale once again. The historic property is going for £925,000, which is considerably more than what Shelley would’ve nabbed it for in the 1800s, when it would have sold for around £12,000. If only, eh? Still, it’s a pretty nice place to live. The Grade II listed building features some rather pretty architecture, with a little front porch leading out to a leafy street in the town of Marlow.  Photograph: Savills Inside, there’s a reception room, inner hall, and a seriously nice kitchen and dining room with a vaulted ceiling – the perfect place to pour yourself a cuppa during the dark night and get to work on your first gothic novel, Wednesday Addams style. There’s three bedrooms in total, so you can move a couple of your novel-writing pals in, too.  On the outside of the house, you’ll find a plaque that writes: ‘The Poet & Playwright Percy Bysshe Shelley and his wife Mary authoress of “Frankenstein” lived here, 1817-1818.’ The f