Katherine Lovage is Time Out's former Global Commercial Copywriter.
The 11 best Airbnbs in New Orleans
New Orleans is where things get funky. The home of jazz music, there are a thousand streets to explore, each bursting with character and charm. But whether you’re there to sample the delicious cuisine, ranging from boiled crawfish – it’s not called the seafood capital for anything – to po’boy baguettes, or you’re just there for a seriously good time, choose the right place to stay to complete your visit. It turns out New Orleans is also home to some seriously unique Airbnbs, from huge penthouses with a pool to quaint little library rooms lined with worn books. So whether you’re there to sample New Orleans’ fabulous bars, and restaurants, or you’re headed up there for a festival, choose an iconic Airbnb before you go. Here are our top picks. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in New OrleansRECOMMENDED: The best hotels in New Orleans
The 8 best Airbnbs in Nice
There are several reasons to visit Nice, but let's start with just three: sun, sandy beaches, and socca. Capital of the French Riviera, this glamorous southern city has a vista to rival any postcard, thanks to glittering waters, classic architecture, and lively streets full of bars, restaurants, and bustling shops. And if you're looking for accommodation, staying at an Airbnb offers an authentic taste of life on the coast that you just can't get at even the top hotels. Got your passport ready? Here's our pick of the best Airbnb in Nice, so you can visit in style. Bon voyage!
The 12 best Airbnbs in Costa Rica
You’ve either been to Costa Rica, or you’ve dreamed of going to Costa Rica. But if it’s the latter, why keep dreaming? Make it a reality and get yourself there to soak up that sun, sea and sandy goodness. But it’s not just a place for heading into the rainforest and leaving your troubles behind, Costa Rice has got a ton of culture spots to get your teeth into. Ready to make the journey? Us too. But before you do, we’ve rounded up the very best Airbnbs to stay in when you’re here. Recommended: The 14 best things to do in Costa Rica
The 8 best Airbnbs in Munich
Not as cosmopolitan as Berlin (and way less boisterous than Hamburg), Munich is often unjustly disregarded as a worthwhile destination. This is just flat-out wrong, since Germany’s third-biggest city has a lot going for it, and no, not just the yearly Oktoberfest (although that looks like a right laugh). In fact, the city is filled with lovely parks, beautiful riverside walks, remarkable attractions, a highly reputable art scene and, at Christmas, charming markets aplenty. If you’re hunting for an affordable place to stay, an Airbnb property is likely a better choice than a hotel or B&B. Lucky for you, we’ve done the hard work for you and rounded up some of the best Airbnbs Munich has to offer. Passports, packed. Recommended: 11 best things to do in Munich
Best alcohol delivery services in London
Oscar Wilde famously said that ‘work is the curse of the drinking classes’. And while we can’t promise to cut down your work hours, we do know how you can get booze delivered to your door without having to get off the sofa. And right now that sounds like a damn good plan to us. Okay, so maybe you do have to lift a finger – but that’s really it. By shopping with the best alcohol delivery services and ordering drinks online, you can sack off that trek to the corner shop or supermarket and have all your boozing needs served up at home, you great big lush. (And hey, we’re all about supporting local businesses but of course, you’ll be doing that anyway because you’re fine, fine people.) So when you really can’t be arsed to leave the sofa (we’ve all been there), then our list of the best alcohol delivery services in London is all you need. After all, what can be better than booze delivered to your door? RECOMMENDED: The best flower deliveries in London
The 21 best things to do in York
York is a city that marries history with contemporary elegance like few others in the UK. One of the most beloved places for tourists to visit in the UK, as well as to live, there's a good reason people flock to York in huge numbers. A cultural hub since Roman times, this is something that continues through to modern-day life and there’s plenty here for the inquisitive visitor to get totally lost in. From the majestic York Minster cathedral to the surrounding streets of quirky tea shops, sumptuous restaurants, buzzing bars and a variety of museums. York’s got a delightful selection of stuff for any tourist, stretching from family-friendly activities to high-end fine dining. It’s also an incredibly digestible city. You can walk from one side of the city to the other in under half an hour – so it’s perfect for day trips or weekend breaks and means you can walk at a nice relaxed pace and take in the incredible architecture and cobbled streets. Below is our list of the finest York has to offer. Recommended: the best Airbnbs in YorkRecommended: the best hotels in York This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.
The 11 best flower delivery services in San Diego
The florist scene in San Diego is better than ever. Budding new independent retailers are sprouting up (see what we did there?) all over the county, and if you are in a hurry, many florists offer same-day delivery. So if you're searching for gorgeous Christmas blooms, Valentine's Day treats, birthday or hostess gifts, something for Mother’s Day, or just want to brighten up your own home (hey, you deserve to treat yourself, you know!), you'll find something to suit every occasion. There is prompt delivery, so you'll never have to wake up on the day and panic-jog to a nearby gas station and pick up some wilted flowers that look sweatier than you. Want to select some blooms that are native to the area? Try California Poppies, Hummingbird Trumpets, Lewisias, Pacific Coast Irises, Coast Indian Paintbrush, Common Thrift, or Yarrows. Chances are they won't have to travel far to reach their recipient, meaning they will stay fresh longer. We’ve picked a bunch of our favorite florists, all of whom deliver throughout the San Diego region. Happy gifting!
The best walking tours in London
London’s one of the most walkable capital cities in the world. Indeed, in many ways, London is the anti-L.A.: here people think you’re mad if you do drive a car around town. Besides, nothing quite lets you get to know a city like a good walk around – after all, London existed long before there were any forms of public or private transport more sophisticated than a horse. Plus, after trekking across half the city, you have the perfect excuse to sit down with a pint (or two). Sure, bus and boat tours are good, but there’s nothing quite like a London walking tour. From basic sightseeing treks to specialised theme tours, whether you’ve got a day, an afternoon or just an hour, there’s some sort of tour out there for you. Buckle up, folks: here’s our pick of the best walking tours in London. Need more sightseeing inspiration? Check out our list of 101 things to do in London. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.
The 10 best Airbnbs in Texas
Despite its rep for barbeques, cowboys, and rodeos, Texas is one of the Union’s most diverse and fascinating states. The largest of the lower 48, the Lone Star State ranges from old west towns and desolate arid landscapes to buzzing cities and dazzling seaside resorts. If you’re headed to Texas and need a few pointers on where to stay, well, you’ve struck oil. We’ve worked our way through the state’s many, many Airbnbs to tell you which ones are the absolute best. Read on for our full list of Texas’ finest Airbnbs. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.
The 12 best Airbnbs in Buenos Aires
A dream destination for sun-seekers, history lovers and culture vultures alike, the city of Buenos Aires is an exciting blend of European style and South-American glamour. With beautiful architecture, world-class restaurants, vibrant streets and plenty of amazing things to do, it's easy to get swept away in the cosmopolitan magic. And when browsing images isn't enough to satisfy your Argentina-based wanderlust, it's time to plan a trip. Luckily, there's a whole host of hotels and affordable Airbnbs all over the capital, to help make that holiday happen (and to make it affordable, too). So pack your bags, people: here are some of the best Airbnbs in Buenos Aires. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.
The 10 best Airbnbs in Cape Town
When it comes to finding a city with an incredible mix of history, wildlife and nature, and top restaurants, hotels and things to do, few cities do it better than Cape Town. Iconic natural beauties like Table Mountain, majestic animals such as the African lion and elephant and a rich tapestry of civil rights history – you’ll find it all here, right on the Southern peninsula of the African continent. And if you’re visiting this idyllic metropolis, there’s no better way to embrace authentic living than by staying in an Airbnb. So we’ve curated a list of some of the best Airbnbs in Cape Town, to make booking a breeze. Permission to daydream, granted. Looking for the best areas to stay in Cape Town? Take a look at these awesome neighbourhoods.
The best hot yoga and bikram in London
Hot yoga and bikram has been well and truly embraced by Londoners over the last few years – once an eyebrow-raising exercise fad, today there are dozens of studios dedicated to the practice. Newbies might wonder what the attraction to doing exercise in tropical-level heat is, but proponents rave about the benefits of getting a good sweat on and the increased flexibility that the heat allows, while others just like a spot of warmth on a cold London night. And who can blame them? Here we’ve rounded up the very best studios offering hot yoga and bikram in London. Just don't try any on a hangover!
Listings and reviews (9)
‘Variant 31’ review
There’s a lot of big talk around ‘Variant 31’. It’s billed as an incredibly complex fear-fest, as close as you’ll get to gaming IRL, so much so that its opening was pushed back twice. And since 90 percent of my friends refused to join me prior to my visit (wimps), surely, I thought, this had to be good. And by good, I mean shit-your-pants terrifying. As we approached for our midweek slot, green lights shone through the windows with a menacing glare. Smoke bellowed from the tattered New Oxford Street building complex it’s housed in, congealing with blobs of rain and fogging up the street below. It would have been creepy if we hadn’t been waiting out there for 45 minutes while it ran behind schedule. Still, once you’re inside things ramp up. Sour-faced ‘lab staff’ thrust you into hi-tech gear – a light-up military vest with a pretend gun. Then a safety briefing happens (goal: collect points by tapping your bracelet on hidden scanners and kill zombies) and then you’re thrown into the belly of the beast, along with a burgeoning dose of hyper-vigilance. There’s a husk of a plot here. A (not so) brilliant scientist has concocted a serum to reanimate the dead. What could go wrong? Well, everything, it turns out – because his experiment went tits up and now the undead are gonna getcha. Oooooo. But despite the actors putting up a good fight (often having more fun with their elaborate deaths than we do), things are mostly one-note. Your actions don’t seem to make any difference, scar
Undeniably lavish, minus the pomp, The Mark does everything right (and makes it seem easy, too) Known for its impressive celebrity clientele, The Mark beckons the fashion-conscious with near-tangible magnetism. Why? Because ostentatious aspects of design are married with more contemporary and zealous aesthetic choices. Yes, there’s black-and-white decor and yes there are marble features, but it’s all punctured by distinctive orange hues in the form of flora, wallpapers and soft furnishings. In short, it looks really, really nice. And the whole operation is slick and polished, from succinct check-in to simple check out. As for the suites, the bath is luxuriously deep and the wifi is speedy. Plus, it’s culinary wonderboy Jean-Georges Vongerichten who heads up the fine dining restaurant and bar offerings, so you can expect an eclectic menu with the likes of hamachi sashimi, Scottish salmon and parmesan-crusted chicken with artichokes and lemon-basil butter. Delicious. Neighborhood: A five-minute wander from Central Park and pretty close to the Guggenheim, The Met and the rest of Museum Mile, you’re perfectly located for a few days of culture. But while it may be the glistening streets of the Upper East Side that draws tourists and inner-state travellers to the hotel, it’s The Mark’s flamboyance that keeps them there. Nearby: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: for creative inspiration Papaya King: to get your fill of hot dogs and syrupy papaya juice Bemelmen’s Bar: for a luxe dri
Skyler is a Wandsworth salon with an unusual premise – the hair specialists don’t use scissors. Instead, this place is all about colour. Walking into reception through giant glass doors, there’s a full display of hair product eye candy: it’s a Wonka factory for colour junkies. Oh, and there’s a blimmin’ great slide there, too. Why? Who knows. But does it really matter? A silky-haired staff member accompanies me through to a mirrored area and we talk through my grand ideas. Not someone to downplay fashion statements, I opt for a rainbow base layer and a blue streak in my fringe. (It’s worth noting that Skyler also has more natural options on offer, including the ever-trendy balayage). All in all, the process takes a couple of hours. Pros: you don’t get neck ache because the washing area has fully reclinable chairs; the massage was heavenly; and between trips to the basin, I got to chill in an area complete with magazines, teas, colouring books and free-to-turn sweet dispensers (which I took full advantage of). In fact, waiting was almost as enjoyable as discovering my new do. And I say almost, because I got to go home looking like a bag of Skittles. Winner.
Whenever I feel despondent enough to listen to Dido unironically, I know it’s time to get a manicure. My visit to Brixton-based nail salon Ama coincided nicely with a recent bout of misery, and boy did it nourish my soul. Firstly, the store is aesthetically delicious – the outside walls are wild with foliage and the inside ones plastered with glorious images of Beyoncé, Frida Kahlo, Maya Angelou and the Guerrilla Girls. The space is small, but not cramped, the vibe is modern and the staff are welcoming. But the best thing? The signature free-from manicure therapists use eco-friendly products and polishes. By the end of the treatment, my nails looked great and I felt totally green-fingered.
Having perfectly preened eyebrows is a trend that has arrived and stayed, so I feel zero shame in admitting that I am very precious about mine. I’ve seen bad versions, from over-plucked sperms to blocky Scouse brows, and my reaction is visceral. You can imagine, then, the pulsating anxiety I had when I shuffled into Bambrows – I was about to give up one of my treasured hairy bits to unknown hands. Luckily for me, Bambrows founder, Chanice, had some of the most beautiful eyebrows I had ever seen. I sat in the chair, leaned back and we got to work. We chatted through my preferences and decided on a tidy-up with a light tint, to give my brows the appearance of thickness. The waxing was quick and almost pain-free (not entirely though, sorry), and the tint was wiped away within minutes. By the end, I was a total convert – my brows were nothing less than enviable. Oh, and I got caught taking some particularly vain selfies on the train home – the ultimate endorsement.
Millennium Hotel London Knightsbridge
Sure, it’s well-heeled tourist-central but let’s face it: there’s still plenty of appeal to Knightsbridge. Anywhere home to Harrods the Royal Albert Hall, gorgeous buildings and first-class shopping is always going to make for a sweet city break – even (especially?) to those of us who live further east. This elegant four-star hotel impresses inside. The lobby is pretty chic, with marble features and walls lined by mirrors. And the room? Beautiful, contemporary and clean as a whistle. Expect all the usual amenities – including a pretty nifty mobile phone device that helps guests from out of town discover London. My only complaint? There is access to free wi-fi, but if you’re looking to work from your room, be warned: while I could easily access the internet on my phone, I struggled loading web pages on my laptop. Still, I would happily stay here again – after all, who wants to take their work home with them anyway?
House of Lady Muck
House of Lady Muck is part of a new generation of salons. The delightfully trendy space in the Oxford Street outpost of Topshop is occupied by a thorough wash of millennial pink, blooms and persian carpets – a Wes Anderson-esque daydream. It’s a cutesy, small space, but it doesn’t feel cramped. The moment I sit down I’m offered a drink (naturally I opt for champagne) and I begin flicking through some artfully-curated colour swatches. I opt for the 40-minute gel manicure (£40), and the chipped ghost of nail polish past is swept away from my mistreated talons. The technician files my nails to almond-shaped perfection, cures my cuticles of their unevenness and lightly buffs without damaging my natural nails. Not one for minimalism (although understated chic is HOLM’s forte) I go for pink glitter which is neatly applied and topped off with gloss. The cherry? An indulgent, moisturising arm massage that’s given with such tenderness I could drift off in my chair.
New Motion at Lightbox
Lightbox is a compact venue nestled within the Vauxhall arches, close to Vauxhall Station. Usually a vibing club where house music reverberates through to your very soul, this popular South London spot transforms itself during the week into an even sweatier workout space courtesy of fitness collective New Motion. The space is undeniably cool. In fact, wandering in feels a little strange, especially if you’re used to corporate or dreary gyms. Not only are the walls covered in twinkling LEDs, there’s a bar behind you, which feels like a particularly cruel taunt during a post-work class. Luckily, as soon as the workout begins, those distractions drift away. New Motion have a mixed bag of classes on offer, including: 4Kardio Dance, HIIT x House and Vinyasa Flowz. I headed into Box ‘n’ Bass. Wraps on, I begin a supercharged warm-up where cardio takes centre stage. As everyone star jumps to the beat, the LEDs inject some fun into the workout. Then begins the boxing, where combinations and pad work are joined by some high-tempo tunes to get you really pumped. Later on in the class burpees are also thrown into the mix, as well as core-testing planking variations, squats (lots of ‘em) and sun-salutation-esque twists. It’s all pretty sweaty and tough, but it’s so much fun that it hardly seems to matter. Plus, punching things whilst listening to Pow by Lethal Bizzle is nothing short of hilarious.
All Star Lanes White City
When All Star Lanes first opened in 2006, they were right up our alley. Now, they’re adding to their super-striking bowling empire, with a new Miami-themed venue in Westfield, White City. Turning up the heat, the decor here is fashion-fusion, where London luxury meets modern Miami flair. Naturally, palms are pretty much everywhere, and they’re joined by ten sleek bowling lanes, private rooms, karaoke, and toasty outside terraces. Between turns, you can nibble on Americana classics, sample Miami-style seafood and sip clever cocktail concoctions.
Orgasm ahoy! See ‘When Harry Met Sally’ on our movie boat
We’ll have what she’s having. Well, if what she’s having is a sunset film cruise down the Thames with a classic movie, anyway. Yep, it’s all hands on deck, because Time Out’s exclusive cinema boat will be showing ‘When Harry Met Sally’ on July 27. Your chance to jump aboard London’s only floating picture palace on the Thames, this is a cinema experience like no other. Slip on your deck shoes and a striped T-shirt, because you’ll set sail from Tower Pier and enjoy some city sightseeing while you drift. Once the sun goes down, the boat will drop anchor and you’ll get to enjoy this classic flick on the top deck. Plus, the boat is stocked with drinks and snacks – and we’ll even give you a blanket so you can get extra comfy while you catch feels. See you there! To buy tickets for ‘When Harry Met Sally’, click here. To see the full Movies on the River line-up, click here.
Hey stud, you can catch ‘Grease’ at Movies on the River next week
Why this car is automatic. It’s systematic. It’s hyyyyydromatic. Why, it’s greased lightnin’! Throw on your leathers or your pink satin jacket, because ‘Grease’ is coming to Movies on the River. That’s right – our nifty cinema boat is pitching up at Tower Millennium Pier on Wednesday July 24 so you can enjoy this classic musical on the top deck of a boat. All aboard, because after you’ve floated down the Thames, you’ll drop anchor for some extra-special movie-watching among some equally impressive city sights. Plus, there’ll be an onboard bar with drinks and snacks, and we’ll even provide you with a blanket. We’re peachy keen, wbu? Tell me more, tell me more... To book tickets for ‘Grease’, click here, or to view all film listings, click here.
It’s back! Movies on the River is launching this week
Kicking back on a boat is great – but you know what’s even better? Watching a film while you’re doing it. Cue Movies on the River: the best seat in the house, that isn’t in the house. Yes, London’s only floating cinema is back! A unique way to enjoy some of your favourite flicks, these sunset sessions are dreamy. Enjoy the view as you drift, then watch the big screen, nibble on popcorn and sip on a tasty bevvy when the boat docks up (in the middle of the river). And since Movies on the River is curated for you by Time Out, you know it’ll be plain sailing. So what’s on this week? Well it’ll begin with the high school, hair-slickin’, ‘Grease’, followed by ‘Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again’, the Queen biopic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘The Greatest Showman’ and then finally, Hepburn classic ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’. Swoon. Not only that, but there’s a bar on board, so you can ensure you’re well watered, too. If you can’t make it for these movies, no worries! The cinema will set sail from Tower Pier near Tower Bridge for five nights a week, every Tuesday to Saturday from June until August. And if you’re worried about catching the last train – don’t be! The boat will return you back to the city streets in plenty of time. Full steam ahead! Can’t decide when to visit? To flick through the full movie schedule, click here.
The Crystal Maze Live Experience has moved to a new West End location
Start the fans! The live version of the cult ’90s game show has moved to a West End location. We head along to find out what’s new. Like any well-rounded twentysomething, I spent my tweens drinking questionable alcopops, picking out polyphonic ringtones and watching gameshow re-runs on Challenge TV, where ‘The Crystal Maze’ really had its way with me, thanks to charismatic bald Maze Master Richard O’Brien. Fast-forward to the 2016 reboot and Stephen Merchant slipped into the presenter role, followed by current host Richard Ayoade. Sticking with the original format, the show has spawned a new set of maze devotees and inspired The Crystal Maze Live Experience escape game, which has just moved from its old digs in Angel to a new location on Shaftesbury Avenue. Now occupying the old Trocadero space (which has been given a £5 million renovation), the revamped maze is twice the size of its predecessor, with 32 fresh crystal-collecting games and a glamorous on-site bar. A note to all escape-room nerds: the maze’s production value will make you quiver. The set-up unites the classic Aztec, Medieval, Future and Industrial zones, which are all whimsically decorated in the style of the ’90s show. As you’re led around by a Maze Master – ours was partial to innuendos like ‘put the ball in your sack’ – it’s hard not to get swept up in game-based delirium. Your team captain is in charge of choosing which person plays each game to win the all-important crystals - each giving you five pre
Leave London for an underground shell mystery in Margate
London’s trusty tube network shuffles us to work every day but, let’s get real, the Underground is pretty banal. Margate’s Shell Grotto, around 80 miles south-east of the Central line, puts London’s subterranean spaces in the shade. The strange underground cave is unlike anything you’ve seen before and is something of a landmark on the Thanet coast. View this post on Instagram Looking for something different to do this weekend? We are open all bank holiday weekend, 10am-5pm. 🎉 Tag someone who hasn't experienced the wonder of the Grotto yet.. 🐚#visitmargate #shellgrotto #different #wonderful #interesting #shells A post shared by Shell Grotto (@shellgrotto) on May 4, 2018 at 1:55am PDT Descending the chalk stairway, the first thing you’ll notice is the shiny walls. Very sci-fi. But lean in and you’ll see that this is no bygone ‘Doctor Who’ set. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Tucker & Marks (@tuckerandmarks) on Aug 18, 2018 at 9:46am PDT The buried trail’s walls and roof are thickly covered with shells – around 4.6 million of them. Why? View this post on Instagram A post shared by Travel Dream Seekers 🌏 (@traveldreamseekers) on Dec 7, 2018 at 9:59am PST The Shell Grotto was discovered in 1835, but its purpose and age are unknown. Theories range from cults to astrology to alien intervention, but no one actually knows its origin. It’s a real-life mystery. And if that’s not enough to intrigue yo
50% off food at some of London’s best eateries with our new restaurant boxes
There’s no use denying it: at Time Out, we can’t stop eating. Our Food team hunts down the city’s best eateries and the rest of us profit from their finds. London’s delicious – and boy, do we know it.So here’s some big news! We’ve just launched two limited-edition restaurant boxes, bagging you (and a pal, date or whatever) 50 percent off the food bill at some of London’s very best restaurants. Yep, put down that cookbook and quit your half-hearted attempt at ragú, because we’re here to banish your meal-based dilemmas. But with two boxes on offer, here’s some handy info to help you choose between them… The Favourites Box Wanna get dishy somewhere that’s been tried and tested, Time Out-style? No sweat, dinner devotees: get a load of our Favourites Box, which gives you discounted food at 11 (count ’em!) London eateries that we’ve raved about in the past 12 months. Each restaurant in this box has a tasty four-star (at least) Time Out review, so getting your gastronomic game on point is easy. For more info, click here. The Splash Out Box If merely the mention of steak, celeriac and truffles is enough to make you start cooing like a pigeon, then we feel you. Luckily our Splash Out box runs the full gamut of London’s pedigree restaurants, giving you and a (very) lucky friend half-price food at eight of London’s fanciest spots. Want to know who’s on the menu? Click here to find out. Time Out’s Favourites Box and Splash Out Box are both on sale now. Prefer to keep it plant-based?
Don't miss the biggest Pride festival in the UK
Love London Pride? Brighton is actually home to the biggest Pride festival in the UK. A post shared by BrightonPrideOfficial (@brightonprideofficial) on Jul 15, 2018 at 9:00am PDT This year, you can dance through the rainbow-draped streets with the parade crowd at the annual ‘Carnival of Diversity’. There’s the seafront Pride Village Party, the LoveBN1 Fest, a Pride Dog Show and the Pride Pleasure Gardens, which is home to a weekend’s worth of fierce fun, including drag acts from SinkThe Pink, The Glory and more. Then there’s the Pride Festival in Preston Park, headlined by Britney. A post shared by BrightonPrideOfficial (@brightonprideofficial) on Jan 22, 2018 at 11:04pm PST Brighton Pride is a mega weekend of entertainment for sure. But with events promoting tolerance and inclusion, supporting LGBT+ organisations and charities, it’s also a super-important celebration of a diverse community. Heading to Brighton Pride? The event runs from Aug 3 - Aug 5 2018. Find more information here. A post shared by BrightonPrideOfficial (@brightonprideofficial) on Aug 7, 2017 at 5:19am PDT Looking for London-based LGBT nightlife? Here are the best gay bars in London Interested in queer heritage? Visit London's LGBT landmarks
The historic John Snow water pump is back in Soho
We know, we know – water pumps are hardly the most thrilling of objects. But hear us out, because this one’s pretty major. After disappearing briefly during renovation work in Soho, a refurbished replica of the John Snow pump has been unveiled on Broadwick Street today. Originally, the water pump was the source of a deadly cholera epidemic - but luckily, now it’s just a reminder of the lives saved by Dr John Snow. Ok...but who’s he? And why care? Dr Snow’s the guy who produced evidence that cholera was waterborne, ground-breaking research that changed the way scientists investigate and treat epidemics across the world. All in all, very impressive stuff. If you’re schlepping around Soho and want to welcome back the Jon Snow pump, you can find it outside the John Snow Pub on Broadwick Street. Spending the day in W1? Here's our guide to Soho Been there, done that? Here are some more ace things to do in London this weekend
Hamleys now has an entire floor dedicated to Harry Potter merch
Just when you think there couldn't possibly be any more Harry Potter merch flying around London, toy-shop-titan Hamleys has partnered with Warner Brothers to unveil an entire floor dedicated to the boy who lived. Within Hamleys’s Department of Magic, you'll find collectables, wands, golden snitches (if you can catch one) and enough chocolate frogs to complete your famous witches and wizard card collection. Plus, thanks to the theatrics of the Hamleys staff, you can bet that the sorting hat will be brought to life too. (🤞 GRYFFINDOR).To get a dose of Potter pop culture, head to Hamleys flagship store on Regent's Street. Or try one of these ace Harry Potter activities in London. More Potter? You'll Neville believe (sorry) these Harry Potter holiday spots. Think you're an expert on JK Rowling's boy hero? Test how well you know Harry Potter’s London
Celebrate the summer solstice with sunrise rooftop yoga
Forcing our bleary-eyed selves out of a duvet pre-dawn is usually reserved for catching holiday flights, but even the most hardened night-owls should consider making an exception for what might just be the most beautiful morning of the year. The Queen of Hoxton is hosting a Summer Solstice Rooftop Yoga session, welcoming the longest day of the year and summer in London in serene style. Expect loads of early-morning stretching and posing with all the auditory delights of singing bowls, too. If you can bear the 4.30am start, you know what to do. If you can’t – and we’re not here to judge — you can downward dog at a 7am class instead. Summer Solstice Rooftop Yoga is at the Queen of Hoxton on June 21. There are two sessions: 4.30am-5.30am and 7am-8am. Tickets from £10, on sale now. Want to shavasana under the sun every day? Discover more rooftop yoga sessions.
Hackney Arts Centre is coming together nicely
Already a renowned den of artistic expression, another cultural dimension is opening soon in Dalston: the Hackney Arts Centre. Initially announced last year, this multi-discipline space is an ambitious overhaul of what was originally a popular art deco cinema – the Savoy – built in 1936. Before redevelopment, the dishevelled picture house had been carved up into the Efes snooker hall and a wedding venue. The auditorium had been closed to everyone since 1984 (the last film shown there was ‘Scarface’). But the venue’s rebirth as Hackney Arts Centre will see it open at various times throughout the week, day and night – so punters will always be able to get a fix of live music, club nights, film screenings, poetry readings, comedy and more. Size-wise, there’s a pretty roomy 1,000-capacity standing venue called the HAC Hall, a 750-seater HAC Auditorium, a bar and a kitchen too. The latter will be open from 8am till late, while the venue as a whole will also provide educational initiatives in creative disciplines and a platform for emerging talent. When the doors open in August with a performance from Kevin Morby it’ll be running a special programme until everything is fully completed in 2019. Today’s first announcement of shows includes highlights such as London songsmith Lianne La Havas and Ethiopian jazz deity Mulatu Astatke as well as talks organised by 5x15 and various market pop-ups from the likes of Hackney Flea Market. The project is being spearheaded by Village Undergrou
Test your Harry Potter knowledge at a quiz night in the actual Great Hall
Accio Harry Potter fans – here’s your chance to prove that the wizarding world is just common knowledge to you. The Warner Bros Studio Tour is hosting Harry Potter quiz nights on the actual set this summer, where you can pit yourself against other teams to decide who’s the real master of magic. What can dedicated Potterheads expect? Definitely the opportunity to swot up beforehand, because the tour, featuring the Forbidden Forest, Diagon Alley and more, is included. Quizzers will then have a hot meal complete with butterbeer at the Backlot Café, before making like Harry, Ron and Hermione sitting their OWLs and embarking on some Sirius-ly (sorry) good quizzing in the Great Hall. If you win, you’ll get a bag of pretty swish (and flick) exclusive HP goodies. Sorting hats off and thinking caps on. Harry Potter Quiz Nights in the Great Hall take place on Jul 5, 12 and 19 at Warner Bros Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter. Tickets, which cost from £65, go on sale June 5 and are available to book here. Love Harry Potter? Check out our guide to Harry Potter tours and more magical things to do in London.