Ellie Muir has been a freelance writer for Time Out London and Time Out UK since the start of 2022. She writes news and features covering culture, food, travel, lifestyle trends and city life.
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Ellie Muir has been a freelance writer for Time Out London and Time Out UK since the start of 2022. She writes news and features covering culture, food, travel, lifestyle trends and city life.
Life in London can be tense. We gird ourselves with overcrowded commutes, contorting into unlikely gaps on the tube. We hunch over laptops all day long, sit through stressful meetings and stay at our desks late into the evening, often topping it off by slumping over our phones to scroll through pictures of our mates on holiday. Even if we find time in our days for an hour or two of proper fun, mindful quiet or the endorphin hit of a sweaty exercise class, we still have tired feet, tight muscles and shoulders in need of soothing. Enter the spas and studios in London dedicated to massaging the city back to health. Permit yourself a break, put your slippered feet up and let these amazing treatments work their magic. Looking for more treatments? Check out the best spas in LondonWant to save money on your massages? Loads of great deals at Time Out Offers
More often than not, date night involves food. With so many amazing restaurants in NYC (not to mention romantic restaurants), it’s not hard to find a new spot to take the love in your life for a meal. But if you’re a foodie in search of unique date ideas to shake things up a little bit, a cooking class might be right up your alley. More specifically, check out the best couples cooking classes in NYC to brush up on your culinary skills while having a fun night out. We’ve tried them and boy are they good. There’s a lot there, too. From basic culinary skills to cooking with wine, rolling sushi, or cooking authentic Thai food of exceptional quality, these couples cooking classes aim to entertain and educate. And the best bit? You’re sure to grow even closer as you mix ingredients with your special someone. Just make sure it doesn’t turn into a kitchen competition — these classes contain knives! And peelers. Peelers can be dangerous, too. Anyway, whatever the focus of the cooking class you decide to book, you’ll learn something new and taste something delicious. Plus, you’ll have the skills you need to cook a delicious meal for a stay-at-home date night, or to impress your pals a-deux. And if you’re looking for more ways to develop skills while kindling a romance, consider one of NYC’s best pottery classes — fun, functional, and you might even get to recreate that scene from Ghost. Here’s hoping, huh? RECOMMENDED: Full guide to date ideas in NYCRECOMMENDED: The best hotels in NYC
What do the words ‘cooking programme’ mean to you? For a certain generation they might conjure up images of Mary Berry baking a flan, fire blazing in the background, or Fanny Cradock scolding the viewer in that inimitable rasp. These days, however, many of us live our lives guided by the puppet strings of #foodtok and Instagram Reels, with content creators telling us what type of fettuccine to cook and exactly how to eat it. If you’re already acquainted with the internet wormhole that is food-themed social media, then you will have witnessed an ASMR pasta squelch or an olive oil drizzle on a phallic food item that zooms so close, it becomes slightly unsettling. Sizzle. Chop. Vigorous, vigorous squeeze. We’re all thinking it… when did food videos get so disturbingly sexy? Since the inception of TikTok and Instagram’s Reels feature, online recipe videos have become ubiquitous. The 15-second TikTok clip has stripped back the bullshit; the trendy thing to do now is film content using a standard smartphone, not a massive camera set-up, creating a more intimate relationship between the viewer and presenter. The latter, of course, will be extremely attractive by conventional standards. Some of the videos are getting seriously steamy. @cedriklorenzen on TikTok deeply kneads a ball of dough with his muscular veiny hands and firmly presses his index and middle fingers into the centre of an avocado. Another content creator, @Simplyni, enters the frame with a bouquet of flowers, lights
It’s midnight on a Friday in Aldgate Square, east London. If you’re familiar with the area, you’ll know that Aldgate isn’t really a thriving hub of London’s nightlife scene. It’s known for being a cold, concrete jungle with skyscrapers and overpriced student accommodation. Bustling with suits by day, deserted by night. Beneath the glassy highrises on this cold November night, however, is a group of 30 young people, all paired up, hand in hand, led by the rhythm blaring from a mammoth speaker parked up on the concrete. They’re not out clubbing or puffing relentlessly on Elf Bars, as you might (lazily) assume a Gen Z would spend their Friday night. They’ve been dancing salsa since 8pm and they’ll probably be here, dancing, until 1am. One toe-tapper among the crowd is Lamine Kherroubi, 24, who works as a regulations officer. Kherroubi would rather be out in the cold, dancing every Friday night instead of being in the sweaty heat of a nightclub. ‘It’s a no-brainer to be here every week. It’s a community,’ says Kherroubi. ‘I never imagined I’d be the sort of guy that dances. Salsa isn’t part of my own culture but when my friend invited me along to dance, I was hooked.’ Kherroubi gets more fulfilment out of a Salsa session than a night out on the tiles. ‘It’s kind of like you’re going out on a night out. But when you’re here, dancing, there’s no judgment. It doesn’t matter what you look like or how well you dance. It’s just two people working together to dance.’ ‘I find people m
The information on this page was correct at time of publication, but please check with venues before you head out It’s been a unique old year, that’s for sure. While 2022 may have had fewer lockdowns, less social distancing and a lot more fun than 2021, it’s still been full of crises, turbulence and more political chaos than you can shake an iceberg lettuce at. To see the new year in, take your pick from the capital’s plethora of New Year’s Eve parties. From a day-to-night NYE festivals to low-key underground discos – get your glad rags on, and get ready to give 2022 the ultimate send-off. RECOMMENDED: Find things to do in London on New Year’s Day.
Need to de-stress, stretch out or get zen? In London you are never far from a yoga studio and classes with brilliant instructors ready to show you how to perfect your technique, build strength and get even more flexible. Whether you’re a sun salutation newbie or an experienced yogi, fancy sweating it out in a powerful bikram class or laying on your back in a candlelit studio, London’s yoga scene has got you. Here are some of the best studios around London to help you unlock those endorphins. We’ll see you in shavasana. Fancy something a bit different? Check out hot yoga or rooftop yoga. If intensity is more your thing, take a look at our top picks for outdoor exercise classes or best boxing classes. RECOMMENDED: More ways to be active in London
To cuff, or to get cuffed: that is the question asked by thousands of single people during the lonely, biting winter months. Enter cuffing season: a period of time when previously contented singletons seek shelter in the cosiness of a ‘committed’ relationship for the winter, until it's summer again, at least. According to Merriam-Webster’s definition, the annual cuffing season actually kicks off in October and lasts until just after Valentine’s Day. So, if you’re beelining towards a sickeningly romantic winter and want some cute, quality date spots to visit with your cuff-ee, we’ve got you. Here’s our guide to actually good dates in London this cuffing season. Cupid, take the wheel. Photograph: Andy Parsons For eating Forget performative date spots like Hakkasan, Sushisamba or Sexy Fish in trying to impress your beau (unless they’re paying). Instead, cosy up at dumpling house My Neighbours the Dumplings (Victoria Park, Lower Clapton), or chow down home-cooked small plates at stripped-back Jolene (Newington Green). Alternatively, if you're after a more bougie moment, check out Cecconi’s Italian in Shoreditch for romantically dimly lit din-dins. Photograph: Caitlin Isola For drinking TikTok would have you believe that a date isn’t a date unless it’s at an overpriced bar on the top of a skyscraper. Sure, it’s a special thing to do with your new cuffmate, but it does feel a bit overdone, especially when there are loads of quirky, romantic bars to try out at ground le
Five years ago, dense but airy sourdough toast smothered with green gunk was the status symbol for millennials across the capital. It was synonymous with the lifestyle of the carefree Hackney dweller, who spent their Sunday brunchtimes strolling around Victoria Park before stopping by their local artisan café for the ultimate it-dish: smashed avo on toast. If you started your day with a perfectly peppered mush (plus optional poached egg) and posted it to your Instagram, it looked like you had your shit together. Whether in the form of a cute cuddly toy, or as the root of the ‘avocado hand-injury’ mini-demic, the exotic fruit was everywhere. But devoted avo-fanatics have strayed away from them after revelations that the fruit is actually an ecological nightmare. Now, the dish is being struck off menus and replaced with the less problematic shakshuka or eggs benedict. What on earth is going on? How to spot a food trend According to millennial and Gen Z global-food-culture expert, Eve Turow-Paul, culinary trends come from a number of factors including ‘community and belonging’, aka being down with the cool kids. ‘These trends are all about showing off to get social approval,’ she says, ‘in an attempt to fit in with a social group.’ ‘People are online looking for something new and cool,’ she continues. ‘They post about it to let others know what they’re eating, making the new thing cool. These trends are short-lived, because once something becomes ubiquitous, it’s no longer spec
Despite the pollution, train strikes and expensive rent, London is actually a very magical place. It’s actually tricky to walk around the city without noticing the impact of witchcraft; whether it's the slew of mystic shops in Soho or the immersive witchcraft walking tours — Londoners are obsessed with the city’s witchy legacy. In fact, there are (very genuine) covens of witches meeting in the back of bookshops or casting spells in their homes. Witch, please. We’re not talking about green-faced, black cat-holding, pointy-hatted ladies, ‘Mystic Meg’, or the people on ‘Witchtok’ selling tarot readings for £200 a pop. No. We’re talking about the real witches of London. There are tonnes of places to embrace magik in the city to channel your inner witch, plus loads of shops to stock up on potions, spells and occult accessories. And you'll likely find a serious witch in one of these places to befriend (they're very nice, actually). Read on to find the best transcendental spots, from bookshops to BYOB (literally Bring Your Own Blood) healing workshops.
The rivalry between London boroughs is as fierce as they come. South-east and south-west are so different from one another they might as well be in different cities. Each corner of the city has its own reason to feel superior, whether its the Turkish restaurants of the north, or the Morley’s of the south, and Hackney dwellers swear with a cultish conviction that they never need to stray further than a few metres from their converted warehouse in London fields. But no matter what side of the Thames your allegiance lies, there are a few wise locals who know what’s really good. We scouted out the coolest residents, from musicians and nail artists, to chefs and record store owners. They gave us the inside scoop. North London Eddie’s Bakery This pide shop is so hidden it’s basically within a car wash. Come here to chat with Eddie, the best-dressed chef in London. You’re not short for traditional pizza shops around Finsbury Park, but this one trumps them all. 13 Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, N4 3SG Chosen by Ed McIlroy, chef and founder of Four Legs and The Plimsoll The Walled Garden at Fenton House The heavenly hidden garden, equipped with an orchard, ‘Peter Rabbit’ vegetable patch and topiaried trees are straight out of a fairytale book. While you won’t actually catch a few rogue playing cards painting the roses that climb the walls red, the backdrop of the 17th century Merchant’s House is the perfect place to sit with your morning tea as you enjoy the garden’s charm. Hamp
Every year, over the August Bank Holiday weekend, 2 million people trek through the streets of west London – tinnies in hand – led by a soca beat thudding in the distance. Their destination? Oh, just this little event that’s actually the second-biggest street party in the world (after Carnival in Rio de Janeiro). With thousands of kaleidoscopic costumes, more than 50,000 performers, 40,000 volunteers, hundreds of parade floats and 38 mega soundsystems, Notting Hill Carnival is the best party in the city. But it’s much more than just a party or an excuse to get piss-faced. Behind the origins of Carnival is a turbulent story that follows Notting Hill’s West Indian community after it protested at the 1958 race riots to establish its identity in London and unapologetically celebrate Caribbean culture. Though Londoners may come to Carnival without the foggiest of ideas about why the event exists, the political significance of Carnival is as important today as it’s ever been. For Matthew Phillip, Notting Hill Carnival CEO, who started attending the parade when he was still in a pushchair, the beauty of Carnival is its inclusivity, he tells Time Out. ‘Seeing people of all different racial and religious backgrounds, whatever their sexual orientation is, everybody is at ease and enjoying themselves.’ Looking at the dancers in bedazzling feathers and sequins, the old geezers, the MCs, the tipsy art students in Burberry check, gun fingers in the air, it’s obvious why Notting Hill Carniv
Yes, it's cold out. It's also quite wet. The leaves have fallen from the trees and turned the pavements into a slimy, slippery ice rink. But we're lucky to have some amazing, huge, parks in London, and walking around in them on a crisp winter's day is genuinely one of life’s great joys. Whether you're a Royal Parks stan, a fiend for Hampstead Heath on a chilly day or a Greenwich Park fanatic, there are loads of parks to choose from. So, get out there and enjoy some bracing green space. RECOMMENDED: Seven of London's prettiest walks
The Pelham is the sort of hotel you’d see in an American Christmas rom-com when the main character visits England during winter vacation. The hotel itself is comprised of two townhouses, developed together to create an intimate home away from home. Common areas for guests include the library room and drawing room; both dimly lit and wood-laden with traditional twentieth-century furnishings, toasty enough to curl up under a blanket next to the fire. All of the rooms are an acceptable size, with the junior suite being bigger than most flats in London. The decor is slightly kitsch, at times, given that each room has a bright colour scheme. That’s all forgiven by the sweet, festive feeling of the place (we’d recommend going during the holiday season for the real cosy experience). And while The Pelham is definitely upmarket, evident in its plush, tranquilising beds and beautiful bathrooms in each room, it still has a clumsy English charm; the floors in the hallway creek as you walk and the lift is absolutely tiny. Yet, it all adds to the undeniable, comforting appeal of the place. The Neighbourhood: Situated in the heart of South Kensington, opposite the Tube station and up the road from Exhibition Road, where you’ll find the V&A, Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and rows of boutique restaurants and cafes on the way. It’s convenient for people looking to explore the city’s cultural, upmarket side. There are also direct connections to central London via the Underground an
Comb your way through the wash of Simmons and Be at One chain bars scattered across Soho, you’ll find the best cocktails in London’s buzzy hub lie in more understated spots. Henson’s Bar and Social, on the ground floor of Mimi’s Hotel, is just that. With its oak-panelled lounge, fuzzy red velvet curtains and low ceilings, it has an old boys’ club vibe, but thankfully minus the stuffy men. There’s nothing OTT about Henson’s, but it still maintains a sense of grand, classic bougieness. It’s the sort of place you’d take someone if you wanted to impress them, but also show that you’re both down-to-earth and refined. The atmosphere was pleasant, but not as bustle-y as I was hoping for on a Thursday night in Soho. The generic, swish bar music was also a bit dull and could have done with more consideration. The menu, however, was exacted with painstaking precision, because the drinks were absolutely delicious. Henson’s extensive offering showcases a range of classics done absolutely right. It’s a blend of drinks you know and more rogue blockbuster concoctions, such as the exuberant Truffle in Paradise, but nothing ridiculous or overdone. The cocktails – all £13 – are broken down into four categories: Signature, Aperitivo, Classic and Forgotten Classics. The Mezcal Negroni was a smoky delight, strong and fragrant and topped off with a shaving of orange over the top of a gigantic ice cube. The Daiquiri was crispy, zesty and fresh. Next up was the show-stopping Joy of Life – a delic
Kicking off at 7pm on New Year’s day, and running all the way until 2am, Somerset House has partnered with Moët & Chandon to ring in 2023 with a bang. There will be, of course, amazing views of the world-famous fireworks, from Somerset House’s Terrace, plus the ice rink will be open to all. On the music front, Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK star Jonbers Blonde and Soho Radio will be performing DJ sets to get skaters moving, while women-led Foundation FM will take over Somerset House’s East Wing with house party-style vibe, spinning the latest sounds from London’s underground club scenes. And for the grub? Delicious food and drinks packages from Chalet Suisse by Jimmy Garcia in partnership with Switzerland Tourism, and Spring Restaurant.
Now in its tenth year, Southbank Centre is returning with its nostalgic through the decades party. Across its five floors, each of which is themed around a different decade from the 1920s to the present day, the venue will be transformed with six themed nightclubs and dance classes, plus performances from live acts, orchestras and specialist DJs. Once the countdown to midnight begins, the outdoor spaces and terraces will be the ultimate viewing point for the iconic New Year’s Eve fireworks display. New Year's Eve ticket prices come as package bands, from 'Party Only' to 'Roof Garden Spectacular' to 'Golden Dining', ranging from £130 to £345.
Ring in 2023 with an unforgettable prehistoric celebration at the Natural History Museum's dino-disco. Get ready to throw some shapes alongside Diplodocus and his mates, let out a roar at the silent disco and take in the Jurassic-themed performers. There will be a live band, dino-themed activities and a chance to explore many of the Natural History Museum’s galleries (like the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition) after dark. You’ll even get a complimentary beer, wine or soft drink. FYI: Jurassic-themed fancy dress is strongly encouraged and there will be a prize for the best costume, so get your glad rags on and party dino-style.
Potheads, listen up! Whether you’re an earthenware, porcelain or stoneware fanatic, or just simply like to admire pretty ceramics, then the Turning Earth markets this winter will feed your artsy appetite. At the markets, 100 ceramicists come together to sell their handmade ceramic artworks, along with open studios from neighbouring businesses flinging their doors open to sell handmade items, including furniture makers and house plant stylists. Expect ceramic workshops, mulled wine, mince pies, street food and live music, too. The Turning Earth markets will take place in north and east London in 2022. On November 19 and 20, Turning Earth will take place at Crawley Road, Tottenham. On December 3 and 4, the market will be located at Argall Avenue, Leyton.
A relative newcomer to Brockwell Park’s busy festival schedule, Wide Awake bills itself as a ‘musical melting pot’, delivering on left-field indie, post-punk, electronica and techno. For the 2023 event, indie-pop singer-songwriter Caroline Polachek is headlining, with other artists like the sultry hyper-pop star Shygirl, Coucou Chloe, Daniel Avery (live), Joy Orbison, Jockstrap and VTSS billing the lineup. Produced by live music heavyweights Bad Vibrations, LNZRT and MOTH Club, it's no doubt that Wide Awake 2023 will leave crowds surprised as it celebrates artists that defy traditional genre lines.
Unless you’ve been living under a massive arancini ball, you’ll know that sourdough, neapolitan pizza is all the rage these days. And with good reason: it’s proper, authentic Italian comfort food, which 081 Pizzeria serves up to near perfection. Its original branch is a street-food set up in Peckham Levels. Now, it’s added a cosy new spot in Fitzrovia (inside Smuggler’s Tavern on Warren Street), which moves it into more refined terrain, offering a selection of hand-crafted Neapolitan pizzas and Napoli-inspired tapas dishes. A red neon sign on the wall reads: ‘Pizza is a very serious thing.’ I couldn’t agree more. And 081 wasn’t lying when they drilled that sign into the wall. The menu expertly delivers on honest, Italian comfort food, brimming with small plates and inventive pizzas served up in cosy surroundings that make you feel like you’re having dinner at a talented neighbour’s house. For starters, the courgette flower was a mouthwatering, crispy delight, stuffed with ricotta and smoked mozzarella cased in a deep fried tempura shell, served on a bed of asparagus cream — a tasty, textural dream. But the aubergine parmigiana was the showstopper of the antipasti. Made with slices of velvety, slow-cooked, melt-in-the-mouth aubergine, smothered with cheese and tomato sauce sandwiched in a delicious salty, deep fried Sicilian dough, it was a delectable warmup. Now for the pizza, which we know by now is serious business. The composition of the house pizza — the 081 — was almost
Chelsea Physic Garden is a wonderfully gothic place to celebrate Halloween, and is putting on all sorts of family-friendly fun as usual this October. Join Wild Immersive Theatre for a family theatre experience where you’ll embark on a quest to find the very last dragon’s egg in existence via solving puzzles, codes and perambulations through the garden, or take part in a spooky pumpkin carving workshop, where you’ll learn about how pumpkin plants grow and explore the autumnal flora or London’s oldest botanical garden. All materials and tools will be provided, and each participant will get one pumpkin lantern masterpiece to take home. Halloween costumes are strongly encouraged, btw.
KidZania is kicking off Halloween with its ‘Festival of Fright’ for those between the ages of four to 14 to unleash their inner Zombie or ghoul. If you haven’t heard of KidZania, the main thing to know is that it’s a mini-city for the little’uns. The cobbles of KidZania’s inner-city streets will be filled with spooky characters and clever clues for the children to interact with, like investigating paranormal activity for the city’s Metro newsroom. On the city trial, the kids can work their way through different spooky spots to find material to write a best-selling ghost story, or they can show off their most monstrous moves on the Halloween stage at the KidZania theatre. And don't fret, there will be terrifying (and tasty) snacks for both kids and grownups.
Camden Market isn’t just for foodies and vintage clothing connoisseurs. It’s also a great family day out, especially this Halloween, when its indoor funscape Babylon Park will be transformed into an alien lair for a series of spooktastic family-friendly featuring live acts, themed food and sweet treats and even a ghoulish ghost train choo-chooing around Hawley Wharf. And the horrorsome fun doesn’t end there — Camden market store Josiah Amari will be hosting witchy-themed cupcake decorating workshops, while families can book a brunch with a twist at To Home From London, which is serving up a menu of delicious ghoulish pancakes over spooky season. Because there’s truly no sight more terrifying than a bunch of toddlers on a sugar rush. Find out more about Camden Market’s Halloween activities here.
Loanhood(the fashion rental app with a mission of slowing down consumption) is hosting a clothes swap supported by Hackney council. Bring along your pre-loved clothes and receive tokens in return and swap your preloved woolly jumper for somebody else’s disco pants. Remember to bring five items to trade for tokens, which will then be assessed by the trusty Swap Shop Assistants on arrival. The number of tokens you get will depend on the quality of the clothes you bring, so leave your old rags at home and donate them to a textile recycling centre instead.
The UK is already well catered for when it comes to waterparks, but there’s a new resort coming to town that’ll really put the rest to shame. Work has just kicked off on the £250 million Therme complex, which is due to open opposite the Trafford Centre in Manchester in 2025. So, what does it have that the others don’t? Well, for starters, it’s massive: there will be a ridiculous 25 pools, 35 water slides and 30 saunas. The latter will feature traditional Aufguss aromatherapy experiences where you can expect a rub down with frozen iced tea or honey. Photograph: Rule 5 / Therme Group Elsewhere, we’re talking real palm trees, constant 30C temperatures and a huge cocktail bar. The park will also have a dedicated family zone with splash parks for the little ’uns and a ‘living slide’ (aka a slide covered in plants). The original Therme opened in Bucharest, Romania, and has proved a huge success. It’s hard to imagine the Manchester one not being a hit too. Stay in the loop: sign up to Out There, our free newsletter about all the best stuff to do across the UK.
South London’s cathedral of electronic music Printworks is officially closing down in 2023, but before it goes, the club is going out with a bang. It has just confirmed the full line-up for its closing season in spring and summer 2023, offering its biggest programming yet, as a culmination of its six brilliantly successful years of operation. The iconic Surrey Quays venue opened in 2017 and can hold 6,000 two-stepping partygoers. It has hosted the hottest DJs across electronic music including Peggy Gou, Bicep, Defected and Aphex Twin. The venue is renowned for its humongous size and excellent programming that attracts flocks of ravers from far and wide. DJ Mag ranked it the seventh-best club in the world in 2021. Printworks won’t be gone for ever, though. The team behind it assured its Twitter followers that discussions around the design, planning and delivery of a future Printworks continue. They confirmed in a statement that the venue will stay shut for ‘a number of years’ but remain dedicated to reopening it, hopefully in the same building, as soon as possible. In a statement, Printworks owner Broadwick Live said it was ‘delighted’ to be in discussions with developer British Land ‘about our return to the venue following the site’s redevelopment’. It added: ‘While there is still a detailed planning process that needs to take place before we can 100 percent confirm our return, we’re now further along in this process than we have been for some time.’ Roger Madelin, joint he
A Western lowland gorilla called Kiburi made his debut at ZSL London Zoo this week after global logistics experts DHL Express flew the whopping 193kg silverback to London from Tenerife. The 5ft 4, 18-year-old arrived as part of an international breeding programme for critically endangered species, joining females Mjukuu and Effie, and youngsters Alika and Gernot in the family’s Gorilla Kingdom home at London Zoo. There are high hopes that a match-making effort will increase the gorilla population to bring the species out of endangered status. Unsustainable logging practices, commercial hunting and fishing, and oil and gas development threaten the western lowland gorilla across its habitats. Kiburi, who travelled from Zoo Loro Parque in Tenerife, was apparently flown business class by DHL for the 1,903-mile door-to-door journey travelling in a custom-built crate supported by a team of zookeepers, cargo handlers, security teams, aircraft engineers, pilots and drivers. Photograph: ZSL London Gorilla keeper Glynn Hennessy said: ‘Kiburi enjoyed an in-flight meal of nutritious leafy greens, snacked on leeks and a banana and had a refreshing drink of cold fruit tea during his first-class trip.’ Hennessy added: ‘We flew out to meet him last November and spent five days getting to know him and watching how he interacted with other gorillas. We found him to be a calm, friendly individual and a great fit for our own gorilla family’s dynamic.’ ‘Kirubi loves a lie-in in the mornings
South London has some epic parks and nature reserves. Greenwich, Crystal Palace and Brockwell Park are some of the city’s most beautiful and rightly celebrated parks. But there’s an incoming contender that might steal the crown for the best south London green space. Beddington Farmlands in Sutton (near Croydon) is set to be restored as a nature reserve and will be transformed from its former use as a landfill site and sewage works. The new greenspace will be bigger than Hyde Park (phwoar!) and will provide habitat and species resilience amid environmental worries. The restoration of the land was one of the conditions of the building of the ominous-sounding Beddington Incinerator, a rubbish-burning facility, which was granted in 2013. It might be some time before south Londoners can run around the green space and feel the wind blow through their hair, though. The original plan was for the nature reserve to be completed by the end of 2023, but work on the site has been delayed due to management issues. Sutton Council is now considering taking legal action against Valencia Waste Management, formerly Viridor, the company in charge of the project. At a meeting on Monday night, Councillor David Bartolucci said there had been no real progress on the farmlands since January. He said: ‘The creation of the Beddington Farmlands will create the single biggest site dedicated to nature in Sutton and will help provide habitat and species resilience in the face of the changing climate.’ Ba
In 1973, Elton John wrote a song about the death of Marilyn Monroe with lyrics by Bernie Taupin called ‘Candle in the Wind’. Most people know it, though, for its second incarnation, ‘Candle in the Wind 1997’ (aka ‘Goodbye England’s Rose’), a new version of the song with different lyrics about Princess Diana, who tragically died on August 31 1997 in a car crash in Paris, aged just 36. Elton John performed the reworked version at Diana’s funeral at Westminster Abbey on September 6 1997 (its only live performance) and released it as a single, with all sales going to the charities that Diana supported. It peaked at Number 1 in the UK, Elton John’s fourth UK Number 1 single. It then went on to be the biggest-selling physical single in chart history. Legend has it that the music megastar recorded the second version of the song at Richard Branson’s Townhouse Studios in Shepherd’s Bush almost immediately after Diana’s funeral. The studio was created in 1978 by Branson’s Virgin record label, and other stars who have laid down tracks there include Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue, Oasis, the Sex Pistols and Queen. The studio closed in 2008, and the building was subsequently sold off to developers and converted into residential properties. Now the site where ‘Candle in the Wind 1997’ was recorded is on the market again for a deep-pocketed buyer to own a piece of London’s musical history. Photograph: Dexters Listed with agents Dexters, the west London pad has hit the market for £1,895,0
A brand-new airline called Fly Atlantic plans to launch cheap flights to North America from the UK. There’s one catch, though: you’ll have to go to Northern Ireland first, as the airline will only operate from Belfast International Airport. The new flights from Belfast are due to start in summer 2024, offering cheap connections between the UK various US and Canadian destinations. The airline aims to serve a whopping 35 airports overall. Belfast International is about 300 miles closer to New York than London’s airports, which might explain why Fly Atlantic plans to make Northern Ireland a hub for flights to North America. The main airline operating from Belfast International right now is EasyJet, which means there are loads of handy existing connections to airports across the UK and the rest of Europe. The new airline plans to use narrow-bodied aircraft, but it’s yet to decide on which particular model – it’s apparently between a Boeing 737 Max or Airbus A321. Initially, Fly Atlantic says it will employ 50 people at Belfast International Airport and 250 crew, with a long-term plan to create 1,000 jobs over the next five years. It hasn’t been confirmed how much the transatlantic flights will set you back, but the airline is billing itself as a budget option. Andrew Pyne, Fly Atlantic’s chief executive, said: ‘Our vision is of Belfast as a strong aviation hub linking Europe and North America.’ He claimed the airline would be a ‘game-changer’ for customers, Belfast residents an
It’s nearly the end of year, and that means it’s a good time to reminisce about all the trends that took off in 2022. So, what about baby names? Well, parenting site Baby Centre has just released a list of the most popular names for boys and girls – and we’ve got the results right here. This year, the most significant changes can be seen in the top names for baby girls, with Olivia knocked off the number-one spot from 2021 and replaced by Sophia in first place and also beaten by Lily in second. Tens of thousands registered their new baby names on the site this year, and experts used the data to figure out where the inspiration may have come from. The new entries are the most telling, with Maya and Ivy jumping into the top ten. BabyCentre suggested that the popularity of Maya may be down to Love Island’s recently announced celebrity presenter Maya Jama. The website also noted that parents seem to be showing their 1990s nostalgia when naming their newborns, opting for names like Gabrielle and Aaliyah – two of the decade’s biggest R&B icons. As for the boys’ names, two fell down a huge 27 places each, with Joseph dropping to 88th place and Hugo down to 90th. Edward fell 20 places to 92nd and Ollie 22 to 76th. The top five names were Muhammad, Noah, Theo, Leo and Oliver. Here are the top ten baby girls’ names for 2022: Sophia Lily Olivia Isla Ava Amelia Freya Aria Maya Ivy And here are the top ten boys’ names: Muhammad Noah Theo Leo Oliver Jack George Luca
Remember the chaos at airports last summer? There were queues, delays, more queues, lost luggage and cancellations. Our travel plans were in complete disarray. Now, a survey conducted by Which? has revealed the worst airports for security wait times between February and August this year. The researchers asked 1,300 people who travelled from a UK airport over that period how long they waited at security. Leeds Bradford Airport has been crowned the unfortunate winner, leaving passengers waiting an average of 35 minutes to get their security checks done. The delays are apparently down to staff shortages and a spike in demand for travel after Covid restrictions were scrapped, leading to huge queues often snaking through the terminals. In August, the West Yorkshire airport installed electronic screens providing passengers with live updates on estimated wait times. Meanwhile, Bristol Airport had passengers waiting half an hour on average, and Birmingham and Manchester had queues lasting for 24 minutes. Heathrow came in fifth place, with wait times averaging at 20 minutes for security checks. Here’s the full list of the worst airports for security queues in the UK: Leeds Bradford, 35 minutes Bristol, 30 minutes Birmingham, 24 minutes Manchester, 24 minutes Heathrow, 20 minutes Luton, 19 minutes Belfast International, 18 minutes Stansted, 18 minutes Edinburgh, 16 minutes Gatwick, 16 minutes Newcastle, 15 minutes Glasgow International, 13 minutes Belfast City, 13 minutes London Ci
US Fashion brand Guess has come under fire this week after its flagship store on Regent Street was the centre of viral fashion controversy. Anonymous graffiti artist Banksy has encouraged shoplifters to head to Guess on Regent Street and take whatever they want from its newly released capsule collection, which is inspired by the artist’s work. Banksy said the brand had helped themselves to his artwork ‘without asking’. He then asked: ‘How can it be wrong for you to do the same to their clothes?’ The artist shared an image of the shop’s front windows on Instagram, showing items from the capsule collection inspired by his work. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) Behind the mannequins wearing accessories, T-shirts and coats featuring his graffiti, there is a large background image of his famous ‘Rage, the Flower Thrower’ stencil, showing a masked Palestinian throwing a bouquet of flowers. In the windows, the collection is advertised as ‘Guess x Brandalised with Graffiti by Banksy’. After the artist shared his post, Guess shut the flagship store, masked the window display and called in extra security guards to stand outside the shop, according to the BBC. The Guess website says the clothes were created in partnership with Brandalised, a company that secures the rights to graffiti across the world. The brand says it offers customers the chance to buy ‘affordable graffiti collectables’. In a statement before the clothi
It’s rare that women’s lives are honoured in statue form. In Parliament Square, there’s only one sculpture of a woman — Millicent Fawcett — while the rest are men. And, shockingly, London has twice as many statues of animals as named women (there are about 1,500 monuments across the city, fifty depict specific women while nearly 100 are of animals). In a history-making moment, the first, full-size bronze statue of one of London's most famous authors, Virginia Woolf, was unveiled in west London last week, overlooking the riverside at Richmond-upon-Thames, where the author set up Hogarth Press and lived for a decade. After a five-year funding campaign that raised £50,000, the sculpture sits on a bench, book in hand, smiling. The sculptor behind the Woolf sculpture, Laury Dizengremel, hopes that it will challenge stereotypes. ‘There are so few women represented in sculpture,’ Dizengremel told the Guardian. ‘I find it quite remarkable that [Woolf] will be situated where so many people will walk past, where so many women and girls will be inspired.’ But locals have different ideas about the statue. The Richmond Society previously said putting a statue commemorating her near water felt inappropriate, since Virginia Woolf died aged 59 after she drowned herself in the River Ouse near her Sussex home in 1941. She lived in Richmond from 1914 to 1924. Charity Aurora Metro first revealed plans for the bronze statue in 2017 and won permission from Richmond Council in 2018. But campaigne
Depop hustlers and Vinted warriors, listen up! Primark’s mega flagship store on Oxford Street is now offering a secondhand designer clothing section, called WornWell, stocking pre-loved designer pieces for shoppers. The outlet, which is right by the entrance to the store, sells denim jackets, jeans, dresses and coats from as little as £20, from brands like Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, Dr Martens and Yves Saint Laurent. @izzytomassi1 if only it was primark prices ! #primark #vintageprimark #londonprimark #wornwell ♬ anti hero sped up - r & m <33 Primark has partnered with The Vintage Wholesale Company to launch the concession, which is also running in its Birmingham and Manchester stores. WornWell items are sourced from across the globe and handpicked for their quality and fashion pedigree, with a stock containing ’70s, ’80s and ’90s trends. Some people have even reported seeing Dior and Dolce & Gabbana items for sale. Vintage-clothing connoisseurs: it’s your time. Depop, who? The UK’s best winter walk has been named, and it’s in London. ICYMI: You can post a Cadbury’s chocolate bar to a loved one for free this Christmas.
In the aftermath of the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September, the entrance to Buckingham Palace was flooded with marmalade sandwiches, flowers and more than 1,000 Paddington Bear toys in tribute to the late monarch. What’s the link between the monarch and the bear, we hear you ask? Well, the connection between the two dates back to 1986, when children’s author Michael Bond wrote the book ‘Paddington at the Palace’ when Paddington visits Buckingham Palace, but doesn’t get to meet the Queen. Fast forward to June 2022, during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Paddington made a cameo in the official Jubilee celebration, where the bear and the Queen had tea together and found a shared love for marmalade sandwiches in a short film. So, for many, it seemed like a fitting tribute to the late monarch’s life to leave Paddington Bear soft toys outside the palace during the national period of mourning. Now, more than 1,000 Paddington Bear toys have been collected by the Queen Consort and will be donated to Barnardo’s children charity next week. The teddy bears have all been professionally cleaned ahead of the delivery, and will be presented by Camilla, Queen Consort on Thursday, with some going to Bow Nursery, while others will be distributed to children supported by Barnardo’s across the country. In 2016, Queen Elizabeth passed her patronage of Barnardo’s to the then Duchess of Cornwall. New footage shows the bears doing a bit of sightseeing around Buckingham Palace and Clarence House