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Hayley Spencer

Hayley Spencer

Articles (22)

The 13 best things to do in Morocco

The 13 best things to do in Morocco

There are few countries more colourful than Morocco; that are so ripe for adventure and boast so many amazing things to do. Morocco's rich mix of Arabic, Berber and European cultural influences are reflected in the country's blue cities, maze-like souks and remote Atlas mountain villages. By day you can get your kicks by bombing across desert dunes on a quad bike, or people watching with a steaming mint tea in the medina. And by night, feel like a king as you snooze at an ornate riad hotel after filling up on mouth-watering tagines and tapas. From popular tourist spot Marrakech to the quieter coastal town of Essaouira and the arty, photogenic town of Asilah, these are the best things to do in Morocco. RECOMMENDED:🛏 The best hotels in Morocco📍 The best things to do in Marrakech🍴 The best restaurants in Marrakech

Christmas gift guide: for the epicurious

Christmas gift guide: for the epicurious

We’ve come up with a Christmas cheat sheet to help you pick out the best artisanal treats and nifty kitchenware from London makers and beyond – plus merch to help show support for our local eateries.  Need more nudging? Check out our full Christmas gift guide.

Christmas gift guide: for the house-proud

Christmas gift guide: for the house-proud

Seeing as we have spent so much of the past couple of years locked indoors, it’s only fitting to get your loved ones a little something special for their glorious homes this Christmas. Don’t worry, we’ve done the hard work for you and found the coolest must-haves for anyone’s chic flat. Need a few more tips? Check out our full Christmas gift guide.

Christmas gift guide: for tech heads

Christmas gift guide: for tech heads

If you know someone who’s always whipping out a shiny new gadget, you’ll know that they’re usually the most annoying people to buy for. Luckily, we’ve rounded up some unsual bits they’ll love as much as their Pro Max 13.  Need a few more tips? Check out our full Christmas gift guide.

Christmas gift guide: for the burnt-out

Christmas gift guide: for the burnt-out

Let’s face it: it’s been an exhausting and unpredictable year which has, no doubt, left some of us feeling worse for wear. If you’re buying for someone who has been feeling the burnout, we’ve put together a list of some Christmas present ideas that are all about the self-care and self-indulgence. Need a couple more pointers? Check out our full Christmas gift guide.

Christmas gift guide: for culture vultures

Christmas gift guide: for culture vultures

This year hasn’t been kind on art lovers or art institutions, so a present purchased from one of London’s cultural hubs and creators will not only earn you brownie points, but it will also give back. We’ve rounded up gifts that any art-head would surely love to receive this Christmas.  Need a few more tips? Check out our full Christmas gift guide.

Christmas gift guide: for small Londoners

Christmas gift guide: for small Londoners

If you’ve got a burgeoning musician, artist or scientist in your family and you’re racking your brain for Christmas gift ideas, fear not. From books they won’t be able to put down to an actual toy theatre, we’ve found the coolest presents for kids. Looking for more inspiration? Check out our full Christmas gift guide.

Christmas gift guide for: girlfriends

Christmas gift guide for: girlfriends

We’ve trawled London's best boutiques and online stores for the most unique and exciting fashion, beauty and home gifts to impress your partner on Christmas morning. Looking for more inspiration? Check out our full Christmas gift guide.

Christmas gift guide for: boyfriends

Christmas gift guide for: boyfriends

We’ve trawled the best London boutiques and online stores for the most unique and exciting fashion, beauty and home gifts to impress your partner on Christmas morning, from cool trainer collabs to tempting tomes. Looking for more inspiration? Check out our full Christmas gift guide.

Christmas gift guide: gadget geeks

Christmas gift guide: gadget geeks

Even if you’re not up on the latest gadget trends, we’ll help you make one tech-savvy soul very happy this Christmas. Check out our top picks of the season, from high-tech toothbrushes to sleep-improving speakers. Looking for more inspiration? Check out our full Christmas gift guide.

Christmas gift guide for: dad

Christmas gift guide for: dad

Even if he’s the guy who has everything, we've found unique and affordable gift ideas that dad will love, from clever security tech to loungewear he'd be proud to be caught out in. Looking for more inspiration? Check out our full Christmas gift guide.

News (116)

Cosy throws to bundle yourself up in as the nights (and the news) get darker

Cosy throws to bundle yourself up in as the nights (and the news) get darker

Photograph: Gobinder Jhitta Before the clocks have even gone back, signs of a hard winter are hanging over us. On top of it getting colder, heating bills are on the rise  and supermarket shelves are looking bare, so some literal home comforts are much needed right now. Think something soft and reassuring to hide under during these gloomy times. Luckily, London’s chic boutiques and interiors meccas have come up trumps with stylish blankets and throws to snuggle into. Whether you want tactile textures, a cheery print or a woven work of art that will double as a wall hanging when the cold snap has passed, we’ve found something to suit. Clockwise from top:  1. Patterned wool-blend blanket, H&M Home Created in collaboration with artist Diana Ejaita, this woolly guy features a bold print that’s bound to cheer up even the most magnolia of rentals. £49.99. 2. Tanzanian hand-woven throw, Artisans & Adventurers Made from super-soft cotton, this hand-woven throw will add some serious luxury to Sundays spent bingeing Netflix. £85.  3. ‘Phases of the Moon’ throw, Lark London Give a nod to the long dark nights we’re about to enjoy with this moon-print throw. £25.  4. ‘Desert Days II’ blanket, A New Tribe Wrap yourself up in this unique design, or just lay it artfully over the sofa and wait for the compliments to roll in. £220.  5. ‘Bruka’ throw, Aria The playful print on this cotton blanket is great for distracting yourself from the stressors of winter. £68.  6. Ferm Living patchwork-q

People are comparing the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree to a cucumber

People are comparing the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree to a cucumber

Here's the @TrafalgarsTree in all its glory! Stood next to some lovely Norwegian people, god jul! #christmas #tree #london #TrafalgarSquare pic.twitter.com/4FzmLxECR2— Chris (@imageplotter) December 1, 2016 The Trafalgar Square Christmas tree has been unveiled, but this year's grand lighting ceremony was pretty anticlimactic, because the 2016 spruce looked pretty sorry for itself. Some people have compared it to a giant cucumber, while others pointed out this could be a sign that Norway is mad at us. Every year since 1947, the city of Oslo has donated a Christmas tree to London to show its gratitude for the support Britain gave it during WW2, but it kind of seems like its hospitality is running out. Case in point: Is the Christmas tree in #TrafalgarSquare meant to look like a giant illuminated cucumber 🤔 🌲 pic.twitter.com/TtDfSmSBy4 — Chloe Wood (@ChloeWood101) December 1, 2016 Someone else suggested that the tree looks like it was bought at Brixton Market.   Looks like they got the tree at Brixton Market #timesarehard #rockinaroundthetoiletbrush #nondrop A photo posted by Jack Docherty (@jackdocherty) on Dec 2, 2016 at 3:02am PST Not exactly the bushy, full fir and ornate light show that screams 'Instagram me!' is it? And remember the 2015 tree? It was wonky. So, Norway: if we've done something to piss you off, please let us know and we'll extend our sincerest apologies. Here's some other Christmassy stuff to do instead.

You’ll soon be able to do VR flat viewings from your sofa

You’ll soon be able to do VR flat viewings from your sofa

There are few things as stressful as house-hunting in London. Finding a property that isn’t a tent in someone’s living room or an over-sold shed is a feat in itself, and then there’s the almighty battle to secure it over thousands of others renters. So what if you could send someone to do the legwork for you while viewing from your sofa/desk/the pub? That’s the idea of Movebubble’s new virtual property viewing service. It’s like Uber but for renters, apparently. The app allows you to tune into your chosen viewings via your phone or computer, while someone else deals with the stress of travelling between properties and being bombarded with estate agent spiel, all the while filming with their phone. And if you’ve accidentally lined up a clanger, no problem – you didn't waste your time going to see it, someone else did. There are two packages available – a one-hour version that gets you your own ‘property PA’ who will travel via moped between up to four properties, or a premium half-hour service, which gets you up to four assistants who'll each broadcast a different property giving you the option to switch between them.  If you end up finding the flat of your dreams – or at the very least, something habitable – then you can ask your guide to put in an offer on your behalf, or advise you on the next steps to securing it. Sorted. The service will launch in June via MoveBubble.com, with prices starting at £49. Rent in London: 18 things you should know London’s 10 least affordable p

Dominique Ansel Bakery is giving away free Cronut holes this Saturday

Dominique Ansel Bakery is giving away free Cronut holes this Saturday

As fusion baked goods go, the Cronut is definitely up there. And as it turns the grand old age of four this weekend, Dominique Ansel Bakery, which made the original Cronut, is giving away free Cronut holes – y'know, the bit from the middle of a Cronut. It's not the whole hog, but it's a delicious bite-sized treat, nonetheless. Get yourself down to the Belgravia bakery on May 13, and if Happy Birthday is playing while you're in store then they'll be dishing out free Cronut holes. Choose from the first ever flavour rose vanilla, which was launched in New York, or the first ever flavours from the London bakery – butterscotch cocoa nib. Or if you're feeling adventurous, go for the hokkaido milk honey ganache and yuzu lemon curd from Tokyo. Dominique Ansel Bakery London is at 17-21 Elizabeth Street, SW1W 9RP. For more tastes of sugary heaven, check out the best cakes in London.

A £1.25 million house in Blackheath is being raffled off for £5 a ticket

A £1.25 million house in Blackheath is being raffled off for £5 a ticket

UPDATE: The raffle has now been cancelled and shut down The average deposit for a house in London now stands at an eye-watering £90K. So imagine if you could buy a whole house for less than a cheap lunch. Well, a woman in Blackheath is raffling off her five-bedroom house for just a fiver a ticket. The house has failed to sell since March, and the owner has been struggling to pay her mortgage because of disability. So to avoid repossession she's taken an original route to selling it, giving Londoners the chance to bag the ultimate bargain in the process by raffling it off through her own website.  The house comes fully furnished, including £12K worth of crystal chandeliers and her leather sofas. That'll impress your guests, for sure. The only snag is she needs to sell 750,000 of the tickets by November to cover costs. If she doesn't shift enough then a cash prize will be offered instead. Ok, this is starting to sound a bit dodgy, but with the possibility of getting a five-bed house for a fiver on the table, we're not about to question it. You've got to be in it to win it, right? Check out the raffle and the pimpin' house at HomeRaffler.com And remember the tree house in Blackheath that also made headlines this week?

You can now have a four-course dinner on the Emirates Air Line

You can now have a four-course dinner on the Emirates Air Line

Who doesn’t love dinner with a view? So it’s pretty big news that pop-up pro Jimmy Garcia is giving his gourmet treatment to a four-course dinner on the move. Over the Thames to be exact, as he's offering guests the chance to enjoy a four-course meal while sitting in the cable cars of the Emirates Air Lines, which scale 90m, making it the highest restaurant over the river. On arrival, guests will be treated to cocktails and canapes, followed by a starter of scallops with pickled candied beetroot and horseradish snow (whatever that is). Then, it’s all aboard for the main course – chicken and pancetta ballotine served with fondant potato and a red wine jus. Fancy. Dessert will be served on your return journey in the form of edible plant pots. The novelty confectionary consists of Oreo and white chocolate cheesecake soil, edible flowers, crystallised mint and basil leaves, chocolate pebbles and meringue toadstools. Oh, and there’s a miniature watering can filled with salted caramel. Naturally. And as if that wasn’t enough grub, once you’re back on dry land, you can load up doughnuts with your choice of filling. Sounds like a treat – as long as you're not prone to vertigo, obvs. Photo: Zibi_/Flickr The pop-up will take place on June 8, 7:30pm - 10:30pm. £75. Book here.   Plus, here's some more great pop-ups taking place in London this May.

🌈 Eight lovely rainbow streets in London 🌈

🌈 Eight lovely rainbow streets in London 🌈

London isn’t all grey and gloom – just look at these colourful streets for proof. West London has it down when it comes to rainbow roads – the streets off Portobello Road are a veritable feast of colourful terraces, though the residents of Camden, Paddington and Hampstead give them a run for their money with their primary facades. Here are the London streets that are most worthy of the rainbow emoji... Bywater Street, Chelsea A post shared by @celina2567 on Aug 28, 2016 at 2:51pm PDT   Conduit Mews, Paddington   A post shared by Sam ✨Blogger | Photographer (@callmeadventurous) on Oct 10, 2016 at 6:38pm PDT Bonny Street, Camden A post shared by Alex PB (@a_peebs) on Feb 9, 2017 at 4:14pm PST Chalcot Square Gardens, Primrose Hill A post shared by Travel | Fabulous | Footsteps (@tfi_footsteps) on May 1, 2017 at 5:15am PDT Falkland Road, Kentish Town A post shared by Angie Situ (@angiesitu18) on Feb 18, 2017 at 4:18pm PST Denbigh Terrace, Notting Hill A post shared by Alexandra Micheten (@michetenalexandra) on May 3, 2017 at 7:43am PDT Hampstead High Street A post shared by Alexandra Micheten (@michetenalexandra) on Apr 27, 2017 at 12:16am PDT Portobello Road Market A post shared by Travel colorful ✈️🎨 (@giuliet.ta87) on Apr 26, 2017 at 9:59am PDT   Feature image: Stephanie Sadler/Flickr Love anything rainbow related? Here are some colourful croissants to sink your teeth into.

Six FREE things to do in London this week

Six FREE things to do in London this week

Put your money away! Here are the week’s best free events. Pop-Up Park Joy Yoga Wiggle into leggings, grab a mat and let your stress melt away with some yoga in the thick of nature. (Without leaving central London!) Don’t forget snacks: there’s a picnic after. Meet the team at the Diana Fountain for the afternoon’s fun. Green Park. Tube: Green Park. Sun May 14, noon-3pm. May Fayre and Puppet Festival Join Mr Punch at the annual May Fayre and Puppet Festival. With puppet, dance and music shows, and a brass band procession through Covent Garden, there is plenty for your inner (or actual) child to enjoy. St Paul's Church Gardens. Tube: Covent Garden. Sun May 14, 11am-5.30pm. Desire, Love, Identity: Exploring LGBTQ Histories This timely exhibition provides glimpses into LGBTQ experiences across the ages and around the world. It marks the fiftieth anniversary of the passing of the Sexual Offences Act in 1967. The British Museum. Tube: Holborn. Thu May 11-Oct 15. The Convention on Brexit and the Political Crash Concerned about the UK’s future? Take part in crucial debates about the state of the nation and the populist insurgencies that are sweeping Western democracies at this huge public event. Book in advance. Central Hall. Tube: Westminster. Fri May 12-Sat May 13. Submit to Love Get creative and get to know the community around you – all in one lunchbreak. Brain injury charity Headway East London has launched a pop-up shop running free craft workshops at lunchtime every week, a

You can now play croquet on a rooftop in east London

You can now play croquet on a rooftop in east London

There are few things Londoners haven’t done on a rooftop by now. The capital’s sky high spaces are already home to summer cinemas, mini golf courses and beaches, and now the people at Tobacco Dock are creating a space dedicated to lawn sports. Croquet and petanqué (like bowls but French) to be exact. A lawn club-themed space named Skylight will take over the top three levels of a former car park in of east London from May 25. The classy new pop-up will also be serving up street food and cocktails to keep you well lubricated for all that sporting action, with a bar for every story. Grub comes courtesy of burger pros We Serve Humans and Greek street food brand Yiro. Want more sky-high fun? Check out London’s best rooftops with dazzling views.

A house in Blackheath hidden by a huge overgrown tree has been sold for £554,000

A house in Blackheath hidden by a huge overgrown tree has been sold for £554,000

London’s sky-high property prices never cease to surprise us, so it’s nice when a bargain property crops up. But that’s usually met with suspicion. And a property new to the market in Blackheath, costing a bargain £450,000, compared with the area’s £800,000 average, definitely has something to hide – or, rather, something hiding it. You literally can’t see the house for the trees. We’re not talking well-kept topiary either, it’s more like a forest. However, the listing for the property on Ruthin Road in Blackheath assures us there are three bedrooms in there somewhere. It also has a 50ft garden and a garage. The house went up for auction today in Mayfair via Savills Auctions at The Marriott hotel and sold for £554,000. Savills Auctions describes the home as being ‘in need of complete modernisation’. Ya think? Want more weird property news? Peckham has been named the best place to live in London. Three-quarters of London homes are inadequate, apparently. 

This map shows the shocking number of moped muggings in London

This map shows the shocking number of moped muggings in London

The amount of muggings taking place on two wheels has reached a worrying high and the Metropolitan Police have now mapped activity to show the frequency of the crime in one of London’s most targeted areas. It highlights the fact that as many as 20 moped phone muggings took place around Bloomsbury in just one week within one square mile: Please RT - This map shows where cycle/moped enabled thefts of phones occurred on #Bloomsbury for 1st wk of May #LoveYourPhone #CrimeMapping pic.twitter.com/xbFeS6bYmx — Bloomsbury Police (@MPSBloomsbury) May 7, 2017 It comes after the launch of Operation Attrition last year, a joint campaign by the Met and City of London police to combat phone thefts by criminals on motorbikes and mopeds in Camden and Islington. As well as becoming an increasing issue in Bloomsbury this year, moped muggings have also been reported near UCL, and at the buildings along Tottenham Court Road and Goodge Street, as well as near Great Ormond Street Hospital. A group of muggers bearing hammers were photographed at the weekend preying on people in the West End. The police have a list of around 200 potential criminals responsible for the majority of the crimes, but the difficulty of procuring evidence means it is hard to prosecute in these sorts of cases. However, this weekend, police arrested an 18-year-old who attempted to carry out a mugging in broad daylight near Oxford Street. Last year, the Met disclosed that moped muggings had risen 600 percent in two ye

London rent prices have fallen for the first time in eight years

London rent prices have fallen for the first time in eight years

Yes, you read that correctly: London’s rental prices are falling. Only ever so slightly so far, but it’s nothing to be sniffed at right?  For the first time since 2009, property prices have fallen by 1.2 percent compared to 12 months before, with average rent falling from £1,519 to £1,537, according to tenant referencing company, Homelet. Dan Wilson Craw, director of Generation Rent, the campaign group for private renters told The Guardian that we can thank an influx of new builds for the drop. ‘Lots of residential property built over the past few years is now coming on to the market and that increase in supply is rippling through the market,’ he said. Naturally, London rent is still sky-high compared to the rest of the country, now at an average of £904 per month. Londoners were found to spend two-thirds of the average London income on rent, so this price drop is great news for those searching for a new pad, or as ammunition to negotiate with your existing landlord.  Image: Joris Vanbillemont Want more property news? Three-quarters of London homes are inadequate, apparently. And this Monopoly-style map shows how unaffordable London property is.

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