The best new restaurants in London
Every week, a frankly stupid amount of brilliant new restaurants, cafés and street food joints arrive in London. Which makes whittling a shortlist of best newbies down to manageable size a serious challenge. But here it is. The very best new restaurants in the capital. Go forth and eat – featuring everything from Thai food with a pool table, fine dining surrounded by £50mil worth of masterpieces and a Turkish kebab classic reimagined for a new era. RECOMMENDED: The best restaurants in London
The 13 best things to do in Nice
Okay, fine, we’ll get it out the way early. There are lots of nice things to do in Nice. There, happy now? The jewel in the crown of the French Riviera is all about feeling happy, with delectable restaurants and unbeatable shopping the headline attractions. Well, that and the beaches, the gorgeous beaches, of course. The best things to do in Nice are an exercise in luxurious living, a by the grace of God location accentuated by the high life. What’s not to love? Don’t make the mistake of assuming it is all super expensive though; you might be surprised at some of the bargains lurking around here. Either way, you’re in for a very nice time indeed. RECOMMENDED: The best Airbnbs in Nice
Public Transport in London over Christmas and New Year
Travelling at Christmas is NOT easy. The festive period always needs that bit of extra planning in London, especially as you’ve got to see one grandma in Essex and another in Yorkshire before the New Year. So we’ve made it easy for you. Here’s what TfL, the Underground, buses, trams, trains and the Overground are up to this Christmas and New Year. Is public transport running in London over Christmas? The answer is sort of yes and no. Between Friday December 23 and Monday January 2, there’s planned work, rail strikes, closures and service changes on the network, so make sure you check before you travel. On Christmas Eve, for example (December 24 falls on a Saturday this year), services will finish earlier than normal across the London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, Elizabeth line, London Overground and London trams. This normally means things close around 9pm, but it tends to start being a reduced service from around 7pm. There are also no night bus services on Christmas Eve, so don’t stay in the pub too long and get caught out in the (possibly) rain. When are the train strikes over the Christmas period? There are ongoing RMT strikes in December and January as 40,000 Network Rail staff across the UK are walking out. The remaining dates for the planned action are December 16, 17, 24, 25, 26 and 27, and January 3, 4, 6 and 7. All the information about the strikes and which lines are affected can be found here. Is public transport running on Christmas Day? Everything st
The Street That Changed My Life: Londoners share the parts of the city that have shaped them
In our The Street That Changed My Life series, we ask well-known Londoners to share their memories of the places in the city that have helped shape who they are. The street a DJ grew up on, the place where a comedian did their first gig, the site of a chef’s first restaurant: these are the corners of the capital that mean the most to them.
Hype Dish: we find out what goes into London’s most iconic plates
London isn’t short on excellent restaurants serving up creative, innovative and wacky dishes. But sometimes you just want a classic, something you can guarantee will be good. Something you might – whisper it – even queue for. Think Padella’s pici cacio e pepe, Quo Vadis’s smoked eel sandwich and Gloria’s Incomparable Lemon Pie. These are London’s hype dishes – and in this series, we’ll be dissecting what goes into these much-loved creations.
How Jessie and Lennie Ware became the first family of food
I’ve interviewed London-born popstar and podcaster Jessie Ware twice. On both occasions, butter has played a significant part. This time around, we’re in a casino in Mayfair. Jessie’s mum Lennie is here too. The pair are posing with a suitcase full of shiny foil-wrapped blocks, pretending to be on the run with their buttery loot for our high-concept cover shoot. ‘Where does this rank on the list of weird things you’ve been asked to do?’ I ask them. ‘Pretty high,’ says Jessie. Photograph: Jess Hand The Wares’ side hustle The first time I talked to Jessie Ware was back in June 2020, in the seemingly neverending first lockdown. Butter was involved then because she showed me how to make brownies over Zoom using a recipe from a cookbook that she’d written with her mum. Jessie leaned into her laptop screen and bellowed instructions at me to whisk ‘the bloody eggs’ and ‘fucking give it some welly’. We even staged a virtual photoshoot in her back garden, with Jessie propping her laptop on her garden-waste container. Today, we agree, is way more fun (what isn’t, compared to 2020?). As well as actually being in the same room together and not having to use a bin as a tripod, the major difference this time is that Jessie has brought her cookbook co-author mum with her. Lennie Ware has become a bit of a celebrity herself, thanks to the podcast the pair host together. Launched in 2017 and now in its thirteenth season, ‘Table Manners’ sees the mother-and-daughter duo invite celeb guests
London restaurant staff on what not to do on a date
Don’t flirt with the staff ‘I’ve seen a couple gaze into each others eyes only for the woman to go to the bathroom and the man pass a piece of paper with his phone number on to the waitress. The waitress gave the piece of paper to the woman on her return from the bathroom and she made a quick exit. He was left with a red face and the bill.’ Tim Healy, owner, Joe Allen Don’t be late ‘A gentleman was incredibly late for a date and his excuse was that he’d got caught up shaving himself from head to toe in preparation. Why he felt the need to approach the date as if swimming the channel is a mystery best left unsolved.’ Olga Turral, waiter, The Pig & Butcher Don’t try to blag it with the wine list ‘Don’t show off about wine if you clearly have no idea. More than once, I’ve had someone tell me they hate sauvignon blanc, but love sancerre (sauvignon blanc from the Loire Valley), which is a sticky one to explain without making them sound stupid to the guest they’re trying to impress.’ Ian Toogood, general manager, Launceston Place Don’t be a dick ‘We once had a couple on a first date. He was on time, she was ten minutes late. When she arrived, he tapped his watch and said: “You are very, very late!” before even saying hello. Needless to say, she had a glass of water and left. It was painful to watch.’ Rizwan Khan, general manager, Junsei The best restaurants in London you should be booking. Things to do in London this weekend.
Revealed: Time Out London’s 2021 Love Local Awards winners
If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that Londoners really love their city. In this year’s Love Local Awards, there were a whopping 100,000 votes as you guys championed your favourite places in the capital. All those votes are a celebration of the city’s beloved local restaurants, pubs, bars, cafés, shops, music venues, galleries and theatres – the places that make this city what it is. Now, we can finally reveal the winners…
London makers: local businesses making beautiful things in the city
From gin made in Ealing to bean-to-bar chocolate crafted in Bermondsey, creative Londoners are making wonderful things all over the city. Whether you’re looking for gifts, original homeware, or artisanal produce to stock up your kitchen cupboards, you’d be surprised what you can find if you’re keen to shop locally. Give big businesses a swerve and support these local gems instead.
13 songs that got us (awkwardly) dancing again in 2021
Whether or not we felt comfortable enough to hit the club, 2021 was the year we got our groove back. Hell, many of us had given it a go at home. We’d played that Dua Lipa album to death. We’d tried, desperately, to make ‘lockdown discos’ a thing. Last year, some of the bigger legends among us even attended virtual NYE parties. It was good fun, until it got boring – fast. Though much of the world has slipped in and out of lockdown this year, there were moments when most of us were able to get back on the dancefloor. The pre-night hype, the thump-thump-thump, the endless spilled drinks: by God, it felt good. And even if we weren’t quite up to a night on the town, as 2021 went on, there were certainly many more reasons to regain that spring in our step. The vaccine rollout sped up. We saw our loved ones again. And we danced – in bars, on street corners, and yes, at home. So wherever we wound up, however we got there, here are 13 songs that got Time Out writers dancing again this year. RECOMMENDED: 15 really, really great books that got us through 2021
The electric rise and fall of London’s most notorious party pub
Ask a Londoner of a certain age about The Dolphin pub in Hackney and it will probably go one of two ways: 1. They’ll wince and say something along the lines of: ‘Is that that place on Mare Street?’ 2. They’ll regale you with stories of messy nights, questionable decisions and sickly shots of Jägermeister. When I put out a call asking for drunken tales, these were the kind of responses that slid into my DMs: ‘We took my mate’s dad there once. He got kicked out for being topless and rowdy.’ ‘It’s the only place where you can get everyone to sing along to “Mysterious Girl” at 3am without judgement.’ ‘I had sex in the toilets.’ People have strong feelings about this pub on Mare Street. It’s a rare kind of place where the word ‘legendary’ actually applies. Its late licence means it’s open until 4am at the weekend. Its door stamp (of a Dolphin, obviously) is an icon in its own right, and not just because it’s impossible to scrub off – punters have been known to get it tattooed on their wrist. There are even rumours about a now-defunct loyalty card. From the outside, with its wood-panelled front and classic gold signage, The Dolphin looks like your average traditional London pub. In fact, right now, it is shut, windows covered with notices from Hackney council about a review of the premises licence. But in its heyday, between 2005 and 2015, the pub’s owner Yaşar Yildiz says thousands of people would go through the doors on Friday and Saturday nights. It was sweaty. It was noisy. It
Meet the future: 20 21-year-olds on life in London now
We're closing off 2021 re-sharing some of our favourite pieces of the year. In August, we spoke to 21-year-olds from across the city about life in London in the pandemic. What were you up to in the year 2000, eh? Enjoying the fact you could still smoke in pubs? Rocking out to Queens of the Stone Age (with no support) at Camden Underworld? Basking in the afterglow of a cool school trip to the Millennium Dome? Using a Jane Norman carrier as a handbag? Getting a roll of film developed? Buying the ‘Thong Song’ on CD? Well, while you were doing all of that, this lot were busy being born. London’s freshest generation of adults slid out of birth canals in Y2K, turned 16 as Britain voted to leave the EU and graduated from teenagehood amid the fucking pandemic. What the hell does all that do to a person? That’s the question we were so desperate to find an answer to that we set out to interview a whopping 20 21-year-olds from across the capital about their likes, dislikes, hopes, fears and ambitions. What we discovered is a generation who are in some ways exactly how society imagines them (politically astute, social media-obsessed, career-hungry, isolation-exhausted) but who are also full of surprises. Take TikTok, it makes them feel old too. Or partying. Yes, they are into it, despite all the stories about them being non-drinkers and club avoiders. Or London. Sure, some young people might have fled to the coast and countryside over the past year but at least four of our interviewee
Listings and reviews (46)
Alice's Adventures Underground
This review is from 2017; ‘Alice’s Adventures Underground’ returns in March 2023 to reopen the brand new venue Labyrinth. ‘We’re all mad here’, says a grinning purple Cheshire cat. He’s not wrong. I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole and it is absolutely bonkers. Well, technically I’m in the Vaults in Waterloo, but it feels like another world. After a sell-out run in 2015, Les Enfants Terribles and ebp’s ‘Alice’s Adventures Underground’ has returned to the Vaults for more immersive adventures. We’re ushered into a room filled with dusty books, grand chandeliers, an old piano, and a looking glass, of course. A blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman appears behind the looking glass. She is Alice, presumably, but she can’t remember her name. ‘Who am I?’ she asks, before disappearing. But that’s the last we see of her for a while, because this is not Alice’s adventure – it’s ours. Like a group of excited schoolchildren, we move through a tunnel lined with yellowing book pages and our adventure begins. You decide whether to ‘eat me’ or ‘drink me’ to determine which path you’ll take (there are 24 adventures happening at the same time, making it almost impossible to see the same show twice). You’re given a playing card and split into ‘suits’. Each group is led by a performer throughout, which means there’s an actual narrative (albeit a totally mad one), so you’re not left wandering aimlessly. It’s not just the experience that’s impressive – the logistics are enough to give you a headache. The
Sarap Filipino Bistro
Vegetarians and squeamish people, look away now. The most delicious thing on the menu at Sarap Filipino Bistro, a new Filipino-inspired restaurant in Mayfair, is unapologetically meaty. It’s a pork trotter, okay? Deal with it. The restaurant is Filipino chef Ferdinand ‘Budgie’ Montoya’s second London eatery – his first one is in Brixton and this new Heddon Street spot is a more fancy affair. As I walk in, my eye is drawn to a blackboard of recommendations. At the top, under ‘What Budgie’s eating’, it says: ‘Rellenong Crispy Pata, twice cooked adobo pork rice stuffed trotter.’ Who am I to argue? When it comes, the waiter encourages us to pick it up and get stuck in, telling us that all decorum has gone out the window as diners tuck in to this dish. He talks us through how they make it, too: the trotter is stuffed with pork and rice cooked in adobo sauce and then the whole thing is deep fried. The pork and rice it’s stuffed with is rich and glossy, while the outside was like really good crackling. It’s served with a tangy vinegary sauce to dip into, which cuts through the richness. It’s incredibly tasty. It’s a pork trotter, okay? Deal with it. The trotter is one of three small plates on the menu, alongside four large plates and three sides. If you went in a group, you could quite easily work your way through the entire lot. Me and my one dining companion had a pretty good go at it. The pork trotter was my favourite dish, but that’s not to say that the whole menu is a meat fe
The last time I went to the space that is now The Plimsoll, it was an Irish pub with an old-man vibe called The Auld Triangle. In some ways, it hasn’t changed much. The wallpaper is still peeling off the ceiling a bit, the seating is your classic pub stools and it has Guiness on tap. But that’s not a bad thing: it feels like a proper London boozer. What is obviously different is the shiny new kitchen you see when you walk in the door. I’m not even sure if the pub did food before, but if it did, I can guarantee that what’s on the menu now is in a totally different league. The guys responsible for this kitchen glow-up are Ed McIlroy and Jamie Allan, the chef duo known as Four Legs, who previously had a long-running residency at The Compton Arms. When that came to an end, they decided to take the plunge and open their own pub. The spot they’ve taken over is a few minutes’ walk from Finsbury Park station on the corner of St Thomas’s and Plimsoll Roads, hence the name. Their reputation in the kitchen has followed them to the new place – I could only get a reservation at 6.15pm on a Monday night, and even then, the place was absolutely buzzing. The menu is a mix of snacks, small plates and bigger plates. It’s one of those where your brain goes: ‘yep, yep, yep’ as you scan it. I could have happily eaten everything on the menu. A word of advice: this is not the place for you if you want to load up on vegetables – our waiter commented: ‘We’re quite a carnivorous restaurant…’ My tota
Walking down Rupert Street in search of Evelyn’s Table, I almost walked straight past the entrance. That’s because this is not the sort of restaurant you just stumble across. Tucked away in the basement of The Blue Posts pub, through a door marked ‘private’, is where you’ll find this tiny 10-seater restaurant. The ‘table’ is a kitchen counter table, giving diners a front row seat to watch the chefs at work in an equally tiny kitchen. Taken over by chef brothers Luke, Nat and Theo Selby in October 2020 (I can only imagine the high standard of their family dinners), the vibe here is all about taking British, seasonal ingredients and creating an ever-changing set menu of creative dishes using French and Japanese techniques. As well as the Selby guys, there’s maitre'd Aidan Monk and sommelier Honey Spencer – and that’s it. There are no wait staff, they all chip in. The intimate set-up here could feel overcrowded or a bit hectic, but somehow it doesn’t. It sort of feels like being at a mate’s house. If your mate had incredible knife skills and a banging wine cellar. There’s no a la carte option here – it’s a five-course set menu (£75, and they’ll ask for any dietary requirements in advance). There’s an optional wine pairing (£60), too. It’s ideal if, like me, you are an indecisive diner. One of my favourite dishes was actually a sneaky bonus dish which wasn’t listed on the set menu. They grind up leftover cuts of venison from the following course (a decadent dish of roasted veni
The Battersea Poltergeist – Live!
Be prepared to be spooked at this live version of the BBC podcast ‘The Battersea Poltergeist’. For the unfamiliar, the podcast explores the story of a ghoul that allegedly haunted a family at their home in Battersea for years. The live show will delve deeper into the case with a discussion between the podcast’s host Danny Robins and two of the paranormal investigators who worked on the show, Evelyn Hollow and Ciaran O’Keeffe. For an added creepy bonus: it’s at the Clapham Grand, which is only a few minutes away from where the haunted house was.
Halloween at the Courtesan
If you’d rather dodge the usual Halloween-themed fare of pumpkin everything and creepy things made to look like fingers, head to the Courtesan for dim sum, cocktails and a night of burlesque, cabaret and opera.
‘The Lost Love Speakeasy’ review
At the beginning of ‘Lost Love Speakeasy’, I found myself standing outside a nondescript building in Bermondsey saying to the doorman: ‘I'm here to find Stella’s new coat’ as per my email instructions. It’s fair to say that my night started off like many immersive productions. But then it all got a bit strange – and not in a good way. This production from The Lost Estate is billed as a ‘Jazz Age tale that sweeps audiences from the African-American fishing villages of South Carolina to the glittering lights of Broadway.’ In reality, this is a bit of a stretch: I watched the show for 90 minutes before there was even the hint of some kind of plot. When I arrived it seemed promising: the set is pretty impressive, all dark green wooden tables with gold detailing and lots of feathers. Audience members are seated at tables throughout the show and all the action happens on a stage in the middle. The premise is this: we are in a New York jazz club, there’s a live band and a Deep South menu dreamt up by fave London chef Neil Rankin is served throughout the show. What could go wrong? A lot, it turned out. It started off badly as the actor playing Stella, the main character, had a broken mic. Obviously, this was a technical hitch that couldn’t be helped but it made the confusing set-up even more confusing, as I couldn’t hear a word she was saying. Then a man appeared (his mic was working, thankfully) – a ‘ghost’ from her past (it was unclear if he was an actual ghost). Then they both d
Bullet Tongue Reloaded
This review is from November 2018. 'Bullet Tongue' returns as 'Bullet Tongue Reloaded' in June 2019. It’s a rainy Monday night and I’m standing in a stranger’s living room when someone pulls out a gun. Okay, it’s a plastic one, but still, it’s enough to make the crowd jump. I’m watching ‘Bullet Tongue’, the latest production from The Big House, a theatre company that works with at-risk young people to bring their experiences to the stage. It’s the organisation’s first show at its new home in a disused frame factory in Islington. Making full use of the space, the production is a promenade show. We move around as the story unfolds in different parts of the building – from a gang member’s living room to a graffitied street to a caravan in Eastbourne, each space with a different backdrop.‘Bullet Tongue’ explores London’s gang culture through a group of teenagers, including a stand-out performance from Shonagh Woodburn-Hall who plays the fierce 16-year-old Bumper. The plot is informed by the real experiences of the actors and you can tell – it feels authentic and, as a result, deeply bleak at times. But there are funny moments too: like Bumper’s sort-of stepdad barbecuing sausages in his teeny-tiny Speedos outside the caravan.Immersive theatre is often a vehicle for the silly and absurd, but ‘Bullet Tongue’ does something completely different. The audience moves with the action, but there’s no singling people out or awkwardly getting them to interact. From sitting in the prison vi
‘Fight Night’ review
‘Keep him hydrated at all times’, a woman barks. ‘And hold his spit bucket.’ I’m in a room full of people I’ve just met, helping a boxer named Bam Bam prepare for a big fight. The words ‘Lose your head, lose the fight’ are scrawled on a blackboard – we’re told to repeat this mantra to help get our man pumped up. I’m at ‘Fight Night’, an interactive, immersive boxing match by Exit Productions, which returns to the Vault Festival after winning the Innovation Award at the festival last year. It’s definitely an original concept – over the course of about 90 minutes, the audience is immersed in the shadowy side of the boxing world. At the start, we’re split into two teams (determined by our allegiances to north and south London) and we’re supposed to root for our boxer. I say supposed to, because it’s soon clear that there are lots of dodgy dealings going on – and it's every man for himself. We’re given chips to place bets throughout the night – and there’s even a prize at the end as a fiver is handed out to one lucky audience member. Between fixing the odds and spreading rumours (one audience member tells me to place a bet against our boxer as he’s just lied to the bookies about him being injured), the audience is given the power to influence the result of the fight. It’s very much dependent upon you to get involved, though, which means it’s easy to feel a bit lost. While I wandered around with a few other audience members hoping to dig up some dirt on the boxers and trying to g
Complete with hanging baskets, dark wooden panels and gold lettering, The Gunmakers looks like a proper, old-school boozer. And it is, to an extent – a nineteenth-century pub given an update by the folks behind Bermondsey bar Nine Lives. They’ve kept original details (the mirrors embossed with ‘gunmakers’ are a nice touch) and have added a space upstairs decked out like a living room that feels cosy without being overcrowded. The most popular spot is a lovely garden hidden at the back, decorated with fairy lights, lanterns and hanging foliage. But here’s a twist: on the top floor you’ll find The Gun Club, the pub’s barber shop, which is worth avoiding if you make bad decisions after a few pints. Modern trappings extend to the bar, too. It stocks classy canned cocktails from Ace + Freak (produced by the same company that owns the pub). I was initially a bit sceptical – even though I love a G&T tinny – but I was pleasantly surprised by a zingy watermelon and cucumber sangria. The food menu has a New Orleans vibe with dishes including creole shrimp burgers, jambalaya arancini and crawfish mac ’n’ cheese. With so many cosy nooks and crannies, this is a great spot for after-work drinks. You might have to fight it out for a seat in the garden, though.
There are very few situations that can’t be improved by cheese and wine – and you’ll find both in abundance at this delightful deli and wine bar. Based in an unassuming spot on Holloway Road, it’s bigger than it looks from the outside – there are tables in the window and at the back of the room, or you can pull up a bar stool at a large wooden table in the middle and watch staff dish up olives and cut slices off huge slabs of cheese. On my early Saturday evening visit, there was a steady stream of people coming in to buy wine, cheese and meat, as well as those staying for a tipple. Open fridges are filled with cheese, cured meat and olives, while huge cans of cornichons and chutneys from Hackney-based producer Newton & Pott line the shelves. There’s no real kitchen, but they’ll ask you what kind of things you like and make you up a personalised plate to nibble on while you work your way through the wine list. Speaking of which, there’s a good selection on the menu, including an ‘orange and interesting’ section and a decent number of by-the-glass options. You can also go off-menu if you spy something on display that takes your fancy – it’s £10 corkage if you’re staying to sip it or you can take your bottle home. They also have some wines on tap at around £8 or £9 per bottle – you buy a bottle, fill it up, drink and repeat. And if that’s not enough to keep you coming back for more, I don’t know what is.
If you don’t know your Bordeaux from your Burgundy, wine bars can be intimidating. Happily, that’s not the case at Humble Grape, which lives up to its name with an unpretentious approach to vino. Having originally made its home in Battersea, this independent wine bar and shop has opened a second branch down a cobbled passageway just off Fleet Street. Despite the modest exterior, it’s surprisingly vast inside, with dark wood panels and wine bottles lining the walls. Soft jazz tinkles through the speakers, and there’s a choice between seats at the bar, cosy booths or tables in the back. The wine list has around 30 options by the glass or carafe – or delve deeper with more than 200 varieties by the bottle. Luckily, you don’t have to be a connoisseur to understand the menu, which walks the line between funny and informative (without ever sounding patronising). A bottle of red with a particularly complex name is described as ‘Virtually unpronounceable. Completely unforgettable,’ while a variety of chardonnay is billed as ‘liquid lemon meringue’, a surprisingly apt description. If, unlike me, you need more to convince you than the word ‘meringue’, staff clearly know their stuff and are happy to advise. For even more booze for your buck, a flight of four varieties costs £13 or bottles at the bar are retail price on Monday nights. This wine destination might be humble, but with prices like that, it’s worth shouting about.
London chefs tell us their kitchen nightmares
Jeremy Chan Chef and co-founder, Ikoyi ‘One busy Friday evening, our gas switched off as the restaurant filled up. We couldn’t turn it back on, so we turned the oven up to 250C, leaving metal trays to get super-hot, which we used to sear and cook. We held blow torches beneath pots to warm up sauces. Somehow, we made it through nearly 500 plates of food all cooked with a blow torch and a broken oven.’ Pary Baban Chef and owner, Nandine ‘During lockdown, the fryer was left on overnight. When I arrived at the restaurant in the morning I was greeted by a smoky kitchen. The next day, the kitchen flooded. The near-fire the night before had thawed out a tap that we thought was broken, but was actually completely frozen from the weather. Needless to say, seeing the restaurant flooded the day after the fire incident was quite a shock!’ Chris Leach Chef co-founder, Manteca ‘During a Friday lunch in December when omicron was getting going, we were already three staff down when the grill chef burned his hand and went to A&E. Then in walks a well-known critic and sits opposite the kitchen. Then the environmental health officer shows up for a surprise inspection. Definitely one of the most unenjoyable services since we opened.’ How to get involved in Cook for Ukraine in London. The best restaurants in London you should be booking.
'Off Menu' hosts James Acaster and Ed Gamble share their ultimate London meal
We turn the tables on ‘Off Menu’ hosts James Acaster and Ed Gamble and ask them about their ultimate London meal. They share their dream starter, main, dessert and side dish from London restaurants James Acaster Starter‘I’d have Kricket’s Keralan fried chicken. I didn’t expect to be so good the first time I had it. It just blew my mind how succulent it was, how delicious and flavourful the batter was. And the yellow dip it comes with tastes like liquid butter.’ Photograph: Kricket Main‘We went to Sabor for Ed’s birthday and the whole suckling pig there was insane. It was so flavourful and the skin was amazingly crispy. It was so tender that they just picked up a plate from the table and used the edge of it to cut it up.’ Photograph: Sabor Side‘I’d want Busaba’s Thai calamari. I know it’s a little chain now, but it’s one of my favourite things to eat. It’s never been bad, ever. It’s magic, really – the flavour is unique and the texture is amazing: perfectly light and crispy.’ Dessert‘I’d have Shackfuyu’s french toast with matcha ice cream. It’s a wedge of brioche french toast that’s dusted with brown sugar – it’s crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside and the soft-serve ice cream marries really nicely with it. I’ve not seen anyone who doesn’t go nuts for it.’ Photograph: Shackfuyu Ed Gamble Starter‘The bread from Kudu in Peckham is so rich and delicious it could be the entire meal. It’s an incredible brioche-style bread which you dip into pans of melted butte
Overheard in London: this week’s #wordonthestreet
‘I don’t want to sound like an old person, but do you want a cherry menthol sweet?’ ‘Fifty is just 40 with a hat on.’ ‘I can’t do yoga now, I’m full of sausages.’ ‘What’s the difference between a power shower and a shower-shower?’ ‘I don’t think I’ve ever bought a doughnut in my life.’ ‘The city is so gentrified now. They’ve even priced the pigeons out.’ ‘Turns out that emus can take quite a lot of bullets before they die.’ ‘That salt is really… salty.’ ‘Noel Edmonds’s face can fuck off.’ ‘True friendship is deboning their chicken at 3am.’ ‘I’m having trouble getting through bread at the moment.’ Every week you share the weird things you’ve overheard in London. Above, a few snippets from the past seven days – tweet us yours using #wordonthestreet and @timeoutlondon
Overheard in London: this week’s #wordonthestreet
‘Can’t believe I spent my last £15 on teaspoons.’ ‘The first thing I saw this morning was my cat’s bumhole.’ ‘Everything’s a Wordle when you’re illiterate like me.’ ‘I’m a fan of a high voice in a man.’ ‘I don’t want to spam your Slack.’ ‘I can’t curate myself. I’m uncuratable.’ ‘I’m sweating, but I can’t tell if it’s the sausages or if I’m just hot.’ ‘I think I’ve got mango chutney on my Kindle.’ ‘I’m attracted to the colder tube stations’ ‘Well, if you’re not going to move to Bethnal Green, you may as well fuck off to Mexico.’ Every week you share the weird things you’ve overheard in London. Above, a few snippets from the past seven days – tweet us yours using #wordonthestreet and @timeoutlondon
Top chefs on their favourite independent takeaways in London
As part of our special Takeaways Week, we asked top London chefs to share the independent takeaway spots they really rate. Tomos Parry, head chef and owner, Brat ‘Massala in Stoke Newington is the best Indian, hands down. The food is so vibrant. Their Bengal lime lamb (pictured above) is my favourite – they braise these limes from Bangladesh and it makes the most delicious, aromatic dish.’ 9 Cazenove Rd, N16 6PA. Aman Lakhiani, chef patron, Junsei ‘I love the Keralan restaurants in East Ham and Ananthapuram is one I always return to. Try the fried netholi (anchovies fried in Keralan spices), which are amazing.’ 241a High St North, E12 6SJ. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Peppers & Spice (@peppersandspice) Meedu Saad, head chef, Kiln ‘Caribbean food is so comforting and I’ve been eating it since I was a kid growing up. Peppers & Spice on Tottenham High Road does it very well, especially the oxtail, brown stew chicken and peanut porridge. This place is an institution.’ 541 High Rd, N17 6SD. Julian Denis, head chef and owner, Mao Chow ‘Ararat Bread on Ridley Road is a place of dreams. You can become hypnotised watching the flatbread getting made right before your eyes. As well as doing some of the best bread in town, they also have a small takeaway-only menu of bread with toppings. Cheese bread, meat bread, egg with bread, sesame bread… you get the picture. It’s all killer, no filler.’ 132 Ridley Rd, E8 2NR. View this post on Instagram A
Landlords who own most of the West End say big crowds are finally returning
Remember when central London was totally deserted during the first lockdown? Thankfully, the days of the city having a post-apocalyptic vibe are (hopefully) behind us. One of the big West End commercial property landlords, Shaftesbury, says that crowds are returning, meaning empty buildings are filling up, whether that’s flats (yes, some people actually live there), shops, restaurants, cafés or bars. The commercial property company owns big chunks of Chinatown, Covent Garden and Soho, which amount to 16-acres across the West End. It says its vacancy rate has dropped below 5 percent for the first time since the pandemic started, which is obviously good news for them. But it’s also good news for Londoners – after a bleak two years of businesses closing down and people fleeing the capital, it’s good to know that central London isn’t a ghost town anymore. Piccadilly Circus has had a royal makeover for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Someone’s been hiding Greggs stuff in Primark’s Oxford Street window display
There’s an opera about football heading our way
Football and opera might seem like an unlikely pairing but as we all know, the beautiful game does involve a lot of singing. Just think about the crowds of fans at the Euros last summer belting out ‘Football’s coming home’. (But don’t think about flare bum guy, whatever you do). Presumably, the calibre of singing will be somewhat higher at the new football opera that’s heading to the stage and screen this year, to tie in with the 2022 World Cup. Commissioned by Sky Arts, ‘Gods of the Game: A Football Opera’ will be performed in October at the Theatre in the Woods at Grange Park Opera in Surrey, and will air on Sky Arts, Now and Freeview shortly afterwards. The show, which is directed by Londoner and artistic director of the Young Vic Kwame Kwei-Armah, is about corruption in the football world. It tells the story of two childhood friends who are now football icons, fronting their nation’s bid to host the World Cup. They uncover a world of bribery and corruption… but presumably football prevails? And maybe even ‘comes home’? The performance will be 90 minutes, yes, like a football match. Not your ordinary opera, it will also include a ‘footy fan chorus’, which is exactly what it sounds like. They’ll be casting a load of football fans who will be giving a crash course in opera so they can perform a ‘ specially composed chorus’ in a football stadium in the UK. Footage of these opera-singing football fans will then be played on stage during the performance. So if you’re a football
Parakeets have taken over a tree in south London
No one really knows why there are so many parakeets in London. There are a few theories – the best one being that Jimi Hendrix released a pair onto Carnaby Street once and they reproduced, erm, a lot. Either way, parakeets are all over this city. But it seems they have congregated in a big way in south London – specifically, in a tree in a train depot in Grove Park in Lewisham. Londoner Kerry Waters posted a picture in the ‘Shit London’ Facebook group showing the Grove Park tree that’s literally covered in parakeets, to the point where they sort of just look like leaves at first glance. But look a little closer and you’ll see that it’s a big old crew of green-feathered parakeets. One commenter said: ‘They are noisy little buggers too but very pretty and they keep the trees around the cemetery green all year round!’ Do we really have Jimi Hendrix to thank for the ‘noisy little buggers’ that have taken over this south London tree? We’ll never know. A 1.5-acre green space is opening up in the heart of the City Loads of great Camden food stalls are doing food for a fiver right now
Arsenal has launched a new kit with Adidas inspired by the Piccadilly line seats
Ever stared at the pattern on the seats of Piccadilly line trains and thought: you know what, I’d like to wear that? Well, you’re in luck. Adidas has teamed up with Arsenal FC and TfL to create the ultimate collab for Arsenal fans, tube fans and... Arsenal and tube fans. The new collection takes inspiration from the seat pattern, also known as a moquette, which appears on the Piccadilly line seats. The range includes an adult jersey and a youth jersey, plus a reversible padded vest and trousers, both of which feature the Arsenal tube station roundel. Photograph: Adidas The new designs will be worn by Arsenal players as they warm up ahead of games between now and the end of the season. The clothing celebrates Arsenal tube station, the only Underground station to be named after a football club. Fun fact: it used to be called Gillespie Road before it was changed in 1932. As part of the campaign, Adidas has also teamed up with London artist and Arsenal fan Reuben Dangoor, who’s created a limited-edition Oyster card. Anyone who buys an item from the new range will have the chance of getting one of these cards, pre-loaded with £15. It’s not the first time Adidas has collaborated with TfL. Back in 2018, the brand created a limited-edition pair of trainers inspired by the tube. It’s surely only a matter of time before the Adidas X TfL streetwear collection drops. TfL says the Elizabeth line is set to launch this year... finally. A big chunk of the Northern line is closed for 17 we
TfL says the Elizabeth line is set to launch this year... finally
It feels like we’ve been talking about Crossrail launching for approximately… one million years. The new transport network was supposed to launch in 2018, yet here we are, still Crossrail-less. It’s become like that annoying admin task you just roll over from your to-do list every single day. One day you’ll do it, maybe, but not today. But according to TfL, the wait might finally be over. One section of the Elizabeth line (to give it its proper name) is now set to open in ‘the first half of the year’. TfL hasn’t given a specific start date but, unless it’s subject to any more delays, it should be officially in action by the end of June 2022. The services initially launching will be between Abbey Wood and Paddington Elizabeth line stations. Before it can open, TfL has to run tests along the line, involving everything from incidents that require emergency services to responding to issues with signalling. It’s coming to the end of the first phase of its trial operations, but, as you might have guessed, there are still more to do. Could 2022 be the year that Londoners can finally experience the transport unicorn that is Crossrail? We’re going to say yes (probably). A big chunk of the Northern line is closed for 17 weeks (!). Halfords is offering Northern line commuters free eBike loans.
Overheard in London: this week’s #wordonthestreet
‘Bacon is overrated. It’s so salty and fatty but what else has it got going for it?’ ‘I just need to invest in my future mouth-health.’ ‘I think I’ve found a way to introduce crickets into our normal meals.’ ‘Who the hell is using Times New Roman in this day and age?’ ‘If there’s a Bavarian honey cake on the menu, order it.’ ‘You just don’t see grappling hooks any more.’ ‘Fish-and-chip shops don’t do dessert, do they?’ ‘Would you eat a crisp before midday?’ ‘When would you say that you first became aware of kale?’ ‘These profiteroles are sweating profusely.’ Every week you share the weird things you’ve overheard in London. Above, a few snippets from the past seven days – tweet us yours using #wordonthestreet and @timeoutlondon
10 things that sort of defined London in 2021
Let’s be honest, this year didn’t exactly get off to a great start. It was cold, it was bleak and everything was closed. But hey, at least we all had loads of time to binge-watch and weep over the truly excellent TV show ‘It’s a Sin’. And remember when it snowed that time in January? That was nice. But if we’ve learned one thing from this year, it’s that London is resilient. When the big outdoor hospitality reopening in April cruelly coincided with torrential downpours, we dutifully sat sipping cold pints under dripping wet pub garden umbrellas. And you know what? We were ecstatic about it. As everything unlocked, Londoners flocked to restaurants, bars, cafés, theatres, cinemas, galleries and museums, reminding ourselves why we love this city. This year saw the sweaty, joyful and euphoric return of festivals and clubs. It was the year that football properly, nearly, actually came home. It was the year that we all laughed at stupid stuff like the Marble Arch Mound and a man charging thousands of pounds for salty slabs of meat. For a year that started off so terribly, 2021 has not been without joy. At the time of writing, things feel uncertain again. As we’ve learned from the last (nearly) two years, the situation can change overnight. But now we know that, no matter how shit everything gets, Londoners still know how to laugh, they still buzz with creativity and new ideas – and there’s always a chance that someone might even stick a flare up their bum in the name of football. S