Kate Solomon is a freelance journalist and music critic who writes for publications including Time Out, Guardian, GQ, Metro and Evening Standard.
Perfect autumnal days out in London
Summer's all about lazing about in pubs and beer gardens. But as a faint chill creeps in the September air, it's time to get a bit more ambitious. Suddenly, you'll find yourself daydreaming of bracing walks through amber-hued forests and cosy pubs for pints afterwards. London's packed full of places that are perfect for an autumnal day trip, whether you want to go collecting up armfuls of pumpkins from farmers' markets, embracing the autumnal gloom in this city's eerie Gothic cemeteries, or warming your cockles in an old-school whisky tavern with a wee dram, there are plenty of things to do in London that were just made for this time of year. So dig out a jumper and don your most fetching hat: autumn in London is here, and we've got eight autumnal outings in the city guaranteed to get you in the mood for smashing conkers. Summer, we’re so over you. RECOMMENDED: Unmissable autumn events in London
Top birthday ideas in London to celebrate your big day
It's your birthday. You can cry if you want to, but we'd recommend organising a stellar celebration instead. There's nothing wrong with cramming your mates onto a table in your favourite pub, but why not get a bit more ambitious? A birthday is the perfect excuse to dress up fancy, persuade the gang to try a new activity, or discover a fun new corner of the city. Here are ten birthday ideas for celebrating in London, from Scottish dancing to an epic fancy dress party. Recommended: plan your playlist for afters with the 100 best party songs.
The 20 greatest songs about heartbreak
Heartbreak is hell, but it's inspired a helluva lot of great pop music – just ask Fleetwood Mac. Our list of the greatest heartbreak songs has been chosen by the DJs from U Suck, an ace Dalston club night devoted to break-up bangers and empowering, screw-you-anyway-mate anthems. From Robyn to Solange, and Taylor Swift to Gloria Gaynor, these tunes will remind you that however bad you're feeling right now, somebody else has probably had it worse. Oh, and if you still need some feels, check out our list of the 50 best sad songs, too.
Five endorphin-pumping exercises you can do in your flat
Want a simple at-home work out that won't involve squinting at an exercise video on your phone screen? Russ Harris from bougie London gym six3nine is here to help. Here's his guide to getting fit inside. 'If you’re not exercising already, this is a really good time to start - it’ll add structure to your day and make you feel more in control when you’re stuck inside. Make the purpose of your session that both body and mind feel good after – not so you can say ‘I’ve burnt as many calories as possible’ or ‘I can’t walk’. Use your whole body rather than just favouring one muscle group and break your workout into a warm-up, main section and a cool down. Not just to be safe but to be efficient and so that you enjoy the sesh.' RECOMMENDED: Here are 50 things to do when you’re stuck at home
Five super-weird board games you've probably never heard of
Now that we’re all staying indoors, it’s time to pretend you’re in some remote country cottage and expand your board game collection (there are only so many times you can fall out over Monopoly). Michele and Samwell from Draughts, the board games caff, reveal the very good games you didn't know existed and will probably still fall out over. RECOMMENDED: Here are the best films on Netflix right now.
18 places you had no idea existed in outer London
It's pretty easy to get caught up in the hubbub of central London but, legend has it, there's even more to get up to beyond Zone 2. Hop on a tube and broaden your knowledge of this bustling city with wildlife havens, regal estates and and golf courses where dinosaurs roam free. Before you set off on your Greater London jaunts, take a look at our London area guides for handy tips. RECOMMENDED: Secret things to do in London
Nile Rodgers: ‘Meltdown will be like nothing London has seen before!’
The chic song ‘Le Freak’ has been through a number of versions. As it was originally written, in a coke-and-champagne haze after Nile Rodgers and his writing partner Bernard Edwards were turned away from legendary disco club Studio 54, the chorus went ‘Aah… fuck off!’. When they realised it needed to be more radio-friendly, it became ‘Aah… freak out!’ And now, in front of a camera, toting a disco ball, Rodgers has morphed it once again: into ‘Aah… Time Out!’ The legendary hit-writer, singer, musician, producer, philanthropist, ex-addict and cancer survivor is in town to chat about curating the Southbank Centre’s Meltdown festival, following in the footsteps of MIA, Massive Attack and one of his most famous collaborators, David Bowie. You’ve probably already heard at least two Nile songs this week (triple that if you’ve been to a wedding). With Chic he wrote some stone-cold disco classics. As a producer, he coined the disco-funk-pop sound of the ’80s, working with Bowie on ‘Let’s Dance’, on Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ and on a dizzying number of other collaborations. We caught up with him to talk Meltdown, and to hear about the time he thought the mob had taken out a contract on him. ‘Studio 54 was all about the music, the dancing, freedom of expression and true release on the dancefloor’ What sort of vibe are you going for at this year’s Meltdown? ‘I like it when you go to see a band that you already know you like, and then you learn something new about them and you go: “Oh,
Have you seen Singapore’s insane tropical airport?
Tiny bottles of shampoo, taking your shoes off to go through security, thousands of other people’s wheely cases getting in your way… Flying isn’t exactly the glamorous experience it used to be. And while we’re not knocking air travel per se, wouldn’t you prefer to hang out in a beautiful butterfly garden while you wait for your gate to be announced? View this post on Instagram A post shared by Time Out London (@timeoutlondon) on Apr 29, 2019 at 10:29am PDT Well, at Singapore’s Changi Airport you can do just that. And the tropical garden in Terminal 3, with over 1,000 butterflies fluttering about to calm you down, is just one of the many delights of this place. Regularly named the world’s best airport, Changi has just had a huge £1.3 billion expansion designed by the same architect who created the city’s famous Marina Bay Sands complex. The new development, Jewel Changi Airport, has a hotel, shops and restaurants like many airport complexes. But it also contains a four-storey indoor ‘forest valley’ housing 3,000 trees and 60,000 shrubs, a series of gardens including topiary and mazes. It even contains the world’s largest indoor waterfall, the spectacular Rain Vortex, which is probably a bit more enjoyable to sit and look at a business traveller frantically looking for his boarding pass. In fact, Changi makes us want to go to Singapore just to hang out in departures. And you definitely can’t say that about most airports.
Record Store Day
On Saturday April 13 the world’s independent record shops come together to celebrate Record Store Day 2019, and London’s top music boutiques are set to join in the fun. Whether you’re an avid vinyl collector or just want to catch some great live music, be sure to get involved. Free special events, gigs, DJ sets, pop-ups, exhibitions and workshops will be taking place at record stores around London, and lots of one-off vinyl and CD releases – some recorded exclusively for Record Store Day – and promotions are available on the day. Here’s our full guide to the best of RSD in London.
Unusual workshops and courses in London
January doesn’t have to be the only time you take on new challenges. Start over and learn some mad skills at these London workshops. From wrestling to writing, taxidermy to trapese, making your own cheese to carving home-made spoons, take your pick of these truly unusual things to do and learn something super useful (or super strange) while you’re at it. RECOMMENDED: We've tried all these unusual hobbies in London
The 50 most iconic places in London
To celebrate Time Out’s 50th anniversary, we’ve pulled together a list of 50 iconic London addresses, but this is not just a list of buildings. These are the cultural spots that help make London… London. The ones we love, that resonate with us, that draw us back. Whether you’re searching for nightlife in a former printing press, a unique shopping experience at the UK’s first gay and lesbian bookshop or drinks in a world-renowned cocktail bar, these awe-inspiring spots are not to be missed. If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, check out our list of 101 things to do in London, as well as what’s happening in London today, this week and this weekend.
Top of the pods: the best podcasts about music
If the bios on Tinder are anything to go by, music is ‘life’ to at least 90 percent of Londoners. Whether you’re into obscure psytrance, your dad’s record collection or Little Mix, there’s guaranteed to be a podcast out there discussing the minutiae and inside stories of your favourite tracks. With all this dead time on our hands, what better opportunity will you have to dig into the world of music podcasts? Here’s where we reckon you should start... The nuts and bolts of songs Song ExploderIn each episode, an artist takes one of their most popular hits and break it down for you, talking about the inspirations behind it and anecdotes from the recording process. Sounds like one for the heads but it’s actually very easy to digest. Tape Notes If you want to geek out even further, download Tape Notes which brings musicians and their producers together to discuss the art of knob-twiddling. Definitely not for the casual listener, this one goes deep. Switched on PopA musicologist and a songwriter walk into a bar... and make a podcast? This one takes pop songs and discusses what makes them tick as well as how they fit into ‘the cultural landscape’. You’ll find yourself listening to music in a whole new way. DissectYou’ll only get a new series of Dissect a couple of times a year, but it’s worth waiting for. Each season, the podcast analyses one album, dedicating a show to each song so that you get a real beat-by-beat insight into exactly what’s going on. The series on Kendrick Lama
このご時世でビデオチャットを使った「#仕事（#business）」が盛んに行われている。しかし、仕事でウェブカメラの前に出るとき、生産性とは正反対の感覚を持ってしまうことも多いだろう。『マクビティー ホブノブビスケット』（イギリス人が大好きなビスケットの一つ）を早食いしているけど、同じぐらい熱心にスプレッドシートにも立ち向かっている、とZOOMの向こうの人たちに思ってもらいたいのであれば、まず、仕事をしている風の環境を作ってみるといいだろう。 本にもなっている著名なインテリアブログ『Mad About the House』著者、ケイト・ワトソン・スミスによると、ビデオチャット画面に映り込む周囲をスタイリングすることで、相手にテレワークを真剣に取り組んでいるように見えるそうだ。イリュージョンを作り出すティップスをケイトが教えてくれた。 1. デスクスペースを慎重に選択 ソファや（最高の仕事場であっても）ベッドの上ではなく、テーブルに座る。 2. 整頓する 背景はできるだけ目立たないように。特に、時流に合わないようなポスターなどが背景を支配するのはよくない。 3. コーヒーカップを置く コーヒーは、どんなときも生産性の高い働き手が好む飲み物であるため。 4. 植物を置く 信頼性と責任感を持って何かを管理できることを示すのはいいことだ。置く植物は、生育が良いものでなければならない。そうすれば、チャットの相手は水をやりについて心配することなく、あなたが言っていることに集中できるはずだ。 原文はこちら 関連記事『クイーンのブライアン・メイがインスタグラムでギターレッスンを披露』『坂本龍一がプレミアムライブを緊急生配信』
A camgirl’s guide to looking cute while video calling your crush
Now we’re all in lockdown, many of us are facing a significant amount of video-calling time – especially those who aren’t quarantining with the cutie they’re dating. And, turns out, it’s not always easy to look as fit on camera as you do IRL. Obviously, you could accept that you’ve not brushed your hair in weeks and there’s one of this morning’s Cheerios stuck to your face and let your date fancy you for who you are (that’s the sensible thing to do), but it’s nice to look nice. Camgirl Liz has tips on how to do it. 1. Find your best side ‘If you take a lot of selfies then you know what angles work for you – my best side is my left so I always sit kind of off-centre.’ 2. Sit in good light ‘It’s best to have your light coming from the front so your whole face is lit, then you don’t get shadows and the light blows any imperfections away.’ 3. Invest ‘Invest in an HD webcam – built-in webcams are almost always completely crap.’ Learn how to use the Houseparty app.
How to tweak your desk so you look professional on work video calls
Seems like a lot of #business is happening via webcam nowadays. If you’re feeling the opposite of productive but want to convince that you’re smashing through spreadsheets as quickly as you’re smashing through the Hobnobs in your cupboard, then it’s time to create a professional illusion. Kate Watson-Smyth, author of interiors blog and book Mad About the House, says that styling your surroundings can fool callers into thinking you’re taking wfh very, very seriously. Her tips? 1. Choose your desk space carefully Sit at a table, not on your sofa or your bed (even if that’s where you work best). 2. Tidy up You’re going to want have the background as bare as possible. ‘Now is probably not the time for a large copy of Jilly Cooper’s “Riders” to be dominating the screen,’ she says. 3. Make sure there’s a cup of coffee in shot It’s the productive worker’s drink of choice, after all. 4. Get a plant They’re nice to look at and show you can reliably and responsibly look after something. Although Watson-Smyth adds: ‘Make sure it’s healthy, that way your caller can focus fully on what you’re saying rather than wondering if they can ask you to water it.’ Learn how to use the Houseparty app.
Feeling awkward talking on Zoom? A YouTuber gives their tips
Almost everyone hates their own voice and nothing exacerbates that more than a video call. We enlisted top YouTuber Gav Murphy to dish the dirt on how to talk on camera... ‘Jumping on a Zoom call could be the first time you’ve heard your own voice for ages. I talk to myself and have imaginary conversations out loud all the time. This keeps your mind ticking along in “human speak mode” so you don’t end up sounding like the spotty teen from “The Simpsons”. ‘Talking over people is going to happen but it’s important not to get flustered when it does. A quick “Go on…” is better than constant apologising.’ Learn how to use the Houseparty app
‘The thing that saves you is the routine.’ How to deal with cabin fever by a former prisoner
Who better to tell us how to deal with the endless tedium and cabin fever of self-isolation than someone who spent 30 months at Her Majesty’s pleasure? Here’s how former prisoner Chris Atkins, author of ‘A Bit of a Stretch: The Diaries of a Prisoner’, reckons we can weather the indoor storm. The thing that saves you is the routine. In prison, if your routine gets disrupted it really fucks with your head. Things have to happen at certain times and you have to do them in a certain order, and you just totally latch on to that.Now I’ve got a better view and I’ve got better coffee but actually, it’s not a million miles away, either. Obviously not seeing my son was the worst thing about prison – but in terms of filling your day and lack of social contact, it’s very similar. You adapt to environments very, very quickly. For the first month or so I went: ‘Oh my God, being in prison is a total pisser.’ And then I stopped saying that. I would just get up and go, ‘I wonder if we’re gonna get a shower today.’The crucial thing is filling those hours and not not letting that overwhelm you. You learn quite quickly how to compartmentalise time and assign little mini-goals to break things up. Break time up into chunks. I always focused on something in the immediate future rather than this massive thing at the end.I used my time. I read, I kept a diary, I turned it into a book and I also did an Open University degree in psychology. And it’s different in prison – you can either do a full highb
The two houseplants experts promise you can’t kill
If you can’t go outside, bring the outside in. Sure, you can throw on another six layers and open the window for an hour a day, but a less hypothermia-inducing idea is to load up on plants. Not only will they make you feel better for having some greenery around you, but houseplants will also help purify the stuffy air in your cramped flat and look great in the background of all the isolation selfies we have no doubt you’ll be taking. But which plants are going to look good and, y’know, not die? ‘Pothos.’ Alice Vincent, author of ‘How to Grow Stuff’ and keeper of @noughticulture on Instagram, says. ‘Always Pothos. Can’t kill it, and it’ll grow loads. It’s cheerful and beautiful and Pinterest-worthy.’ Obviously, the local garden centre is off limits so hit up plant delivery services like Patch or Grace & Thorn. Even if your space isn’t blessed with lots of natural light, it doesn't mean you need to abandon your dreams of green, says Alice of shady basement flats. Peace lilies tolerate most light conditions and, when happy, will flower all year round. Time to get ordering from plant subscription services like Patch. Read about the best things to do at home
Things you only know if you programme the Prince Charles Cinema
…according to Paul Vickery. No one just wants to see your favourite films ‘We have a lot of freedom at The Prince Charles Cinema to show unusual films, but it’s important to have a good mix. It can’t just be “Paul’s 20 Favourite Films” played over and over forever (unfortunately). I open it up to external programmers, talk to the team or see what people have put on our requests board. Sometimes I have to put on films that I hate.’ Wikipedia is your friend ‘None of the information about who owns film rights is really publicly available. You have to ask people you know in the industry or hit Wikipedia and hope you get lucky. I spent five months last year just trying to find out who owns “Synecdoche, New York”. We finally got it, but that’s a lot of work for just one evening.’ It’s really, really hard to screen ‘Point Break’ ‘The rights to screen it are really expensive. It’s owned by a financial company who don’t know anything about the film industry, so the terms they put forward are beyond the means of a small cinema run. We did show it once, but it took us seven years to track it down and get permission. Keanu Reeves even sent a video message. That’s why we’ve never done a Keanu Reeves season – you just can’t without “Point Break”.’ Quentin Tarantino always sits in the front row ‘Tarantino comes to watch movies when he’s in town. He sits front row in the centre and just wants to be part of the audience. We have quite a few famous fans. Christopher Nolan came to watch “Levia
The Drumsheds 10,000-capacity mega venue opens this summer
Picture the scene: Enfield. A cloudy Tuesday. An industrial estate close to the motorway. A whiskery old man steps out of a beat-up van and seems unsure how to react to the group of hipsters gingerly stepping round piles of rubble to save their Air Force 1s. I’m taking a tour of The Drumsheds, London’s biggest new music and cultural venue and the surprising new location of Field Day, the genre-spanning alternative music fest which previously took place in Hackney’s Victoria Park and then Herne Hill’s Brockwell Park. An abandoned Enfield gasworks isn’t necessarily the first place you’d expect to find a major culture and nightlife destination but Broadwick Live, the developers behind both this and Canning Town’s Printworks, have huge plans – four giant interconnected warehouses, ten acres of space, a huge field out the back...all that, and there’s an Ikea down the road. The warehouses are vast. There are four linked together where the organisers hope to throw clusters of late-night events, rather than regular weekly club nights, and they estimate they can fit 10,000 punters in at a time. And because it’s indoors, previously open-air events like Field Day can run into the small hours –Field Day has a 3am license, for example – saving revellers the effort of finding somewhere to carry on the sesh nearby. Also good to know: it’s close to Zone 3’s Tottenham Hale and new Overground station Meridian Water, which is due to open in June. It adds up to a more European approach to festi
Eight of the coolest small festivals around the world
Forget Primavera. Give Burning Man a miss. The best festivals right now are smaller, niche affairs. Here are eight weird and wonderful offerings for 2017. 1) Fête des Lumières, Lyon, France A photo posted by Remaille69 (@remaille69) on Jan 9, 2017 at 5:46am PST For three nights every year, the city of Lyon is lit up by thousands of bulbs as artists paint illuminated visions all over the city’s buildings, streets, squares and parks. The closing spectacle is not to be missed: a huge light show on the beautiful Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. • Great for: night owls • 2017 dates TBC • fetedeslumieres.lyon.fr/en 2) Meadows in the Mountains, Bulgaria A photo posted by Irene Cornerstone (@irenecornerstone) on Oct 23, 2016 at 8:12am PDT You have to be a pretty dedicated festival-goer to trek to a village halfway up a mountain in the middle of Bulgaria, but the sunrise DJ sets and incredible views more than make up for the slog. Definitely a festival where someone is likely to bust out the fire poi at any given moment. • Great for: hippy-dippy escapism • Jun 9-11 • meadowsinthemountains.com 3) Dimensions, Pula, Croatia A photo posted by DIMENSIONS FESTIVAL (@dimensionsfestival) on Sep 14, 2016 at 8:43am PDT An abandoned fort on a Croatian beach plays host to some of the world’s most inventive DJs, tickling an eclectic set of fancies from jazz to techno, house to disco, funk to soul. Daytime boat parties will get you geared up for the dystopian Mad Max-
In full swing: Revisiting the London hotspots of the Rolling Stones' era
The Rolling Stones show ‘Exhibitionism’ has just opened, putting ‘swinging’ London back in the spotlight. Kate Solomon revisits the decade’s hottest locations Carnaby Street Carnaby Street was just a grubby Piccadilly thoroughfare before ‘His Clothes’ opened in 1958 and ushered in the swinging ’60s. With its bright yellow sign and blaring pop music the menswear boutique drew hip young things like moths to an affordable (if not massively well-crafted) flame, and everyone from The Beatles to Sean Connery shopped there. Copycat shops flooded the street and with all the bands kicking their heels there it’s no wonder that the Carnaby phenomenon was immortalised in song: The Kinks’ ‘Dedicated Follower of Fashion’ pokes fun at the identikit mod hipsters who couldn’t get enough of it. God knows what they’d have made of The Kooples. Today try: The Carnaby Echoes app. Take yourself on a tour of the area’s musical history. You can always pop into The Kooples while you’re there. Bazaar, King's Road Alamy If Carnaby Street reinvented menswear, when it came to women’s fashion, Chelsea was the place to be. It was all thanks to Mary Quant, who, at just 21, opened Bazaar on King’s Road. Famous for its surreal window displays and a little thing called the miniskirt, it became a hotspot for London’s chic dolly birds. Quant didn’t know much about running a shop – she underpriced everything and constantly ran out of stock, working through the night to make clothes for the following da
Rise and shiners: meet the Londoners who get up before sunrise
While most of us are fast asleep, some hardy Londoners are out making the most of their city. Kate Solomon speaks to four of them. The photographer Anthony Epes gets started an hour before sunrise to host his dawn photography workshops ‘My old boss once asked me to take photos of London as the sun comes up – he used to sleep rough, but he’d wake up by the entrance to St Paul’s and the view would give him hope. So I came to London to do that and fell in love with it. ‘The city is very peaceful: you won’t find it like that at any other time of the day. Crowds and cars take the city out of context; you don’t see its true elegance and history unless you see it that early. The sun rises in the east, so all the shadows fall the other way: the forms are different, the shapes are different. Morning light is usually cleaner and crisper than evening light. It doesn’t carry the dust of the day. ‘The only people I meet are ones who’ve been up all night and they’re in the best mood. I’ve got a whole portfolio of happy, pissed people. Once I had six of these ‘morning- after people’, as I call them, build a human pyramid on Westminster Bridge, one on top of the other, howling at the sun as it rose.’ Worth getting up for ‘If you go to Lower Thames Street, there’s a staircase by the Northern & Shell building. It takes you up about four storeys to a big area with a balcony where you can watch the sun rise over Tower Bridge. It’s beautiful.’ For upcoming classes see www.citiesatdawn