Get us in your inbox

Laura Richards

Laura Richards

Laura Richards is Time Out’s former London Digital Director.

Articles (187)

London’s best rooftop bars

London’s best rooftop bars

From swanky City skyscrapers to performatively casual warehouse hangouts, the capital has a real crush on a rooftop bar. Whether braving arctic-cold conditions or catching a breeze in a heatwave high, Londoners are blessed with all kinds of rooftops offering a combination of wicked city views and top-notch drinks. Take your pick from hip Shoreditch or buzzing Soho and Covent Garden, it’s time to soak up those sunsets.  Bear in mind, though, that a lot of these places are always in high demand, so we recommend booking tables as early as you can. Lots do offer walk-ins as well, if you enjoy living dangerously. Fancy a square meal high up in the air? Check out London’s best rooftop restaurants. Prefer somewhere a bit more down-to-earth? Here are London’s best beer gardens.   

The best rugby pubs in London

The best rugby pubs in London

Rugby fans, rejoice! The Six Nations is coming up (Sat Feb 4 - Sat Mar 18) and where better to watch the action than at one of London's best rugby pubs? Our selection of top London pubs can be found near the home of English rugby, Twickenham, and beyond, but they all have one thing in common: more than a bit of a buzz on match days. Grab a pint of craft beer or a lovely lager and settle in for some serious sports action.  RECOMMENDED: Where to watch the Six Nations in London

The best bars for a date in London

The best bars for a date in London

Sorting out a sizzling date spot but not quite sure where to start? We got you. We're proper romantics here at Time Out, and have been on our fair share of date nights in London – which we like to think of as the hottest city in the world (sorry, Paris!) Some of these places are the kind of dreamy, low-lit bars you'd expect, but others are a little more left-of-centre; we know it takes more than couple of candles and a Negroni to charm this city's discerning daters. So read on to discover atmospheric cocktail bars as well as some outstanding and character-filled watering holes – all of them perfect for a lovely spot of London wooing.   Fancy some food with your flirting? Here are the most romantic restaurants in London

The best secret bars in London

The best secret bars in London

At Time Out, we know a lot about bars in London. We know about the city’s best bars. We know about rooftop bars. We know about cocktail bars. And yes, we even know about (whisper it) secret bars. There’s a chance you don’t even know what secret bars are. You might have walked past them loads of time without even realising they are there. That’s how damn secret they are. But be in no doubt: London has its fair share of mysterious, hard-to-find drinking establishments. If you promise to be discreet about it, we’ll let you in on them. Just don’t go blabbing your mouth off about them.

Places in London to drink when you’re not drinking

Places in London to drink when you’re not drinking

It's no longer impossible to find tasty and satisfying alternatives to pints at London's pubs and bars – in fact, some of the no-alcohol options on offer right now are even better than their boozy cousins. And they come with an added bonus of leaving you hangover-free, too. These bars cater to non-drinkers for Dry January and beyond. We've got buzzing drinking holes that also specialise in alcohol-free cocktails, completely dry tasting rooms and pubs with a penchant for low-and-no beers. These zero-percent champions are 100 percent fantastic. 

Ski lodge bars in London

Ski lodge bars in London

There’s nothing quite like hitting the slopes. But due to the price, and, well, the distance, it’s not something most of us can make a very frequent habit of. Well, we’ve got the answers to all your prayers, right here in the Big Smoke.  Fancy a plate of raclette? Or a glass of vin chaud and some cheesy tunes? There’s a whole host of cracking aprĂ©s-ski themed bars in London, with heated terraces, soaring rooftops, cosy blankets and those all-important hot cocktails. And now that it’s well and truly winter in London, what would you rather be doing than this?

Outdoor drinking and dining terraces in London cosy enough for winter

Outdoor drinking and dining terraces in London cosy enough for winter

Okay, it's winter. But that doesn't mean you have to spend every night cooped up inside in stuffy, packed out pubs and bars. Some of our favourite London bars and restaurants have created gorgeous (and surprisingly cosy) spots for outdoor socialising. So wrap up warm and check out these new outdoor terraces for drinking and dining decked out in wintry decor and adorned with roaring fire pits, patio heaters and enough faux fur to make you think you got stuck in the wardrobe on your way into Narnia. Recommended: London's most cosy pubs

The best quirky bars and pubs in London

The best quirky bars and pubs in London

Why visit a bog standard boozer when you can enjoy a pint in a weird and wonderful London drinking den instead? Get lost in a theme so immersive that you’ll feel you’ve dived straight into your drink. Delve into secret bars in the most unlikely of places. Or just have a laugh over arcade games, eye-catching lights, staff in character and cocktails served in the world’s whackiest drinking vessels. We’ve rounded up the coolest and quirkiest bars and pubs in London, guaranteed to brighten your evening. RECOMMENDED: The very best bars in London

London bar reviews

London bar reviews

Stay in the loop with the latest reviews on the hottest drinking spots in town. Updated weekly, this is our archive of 'recent reviews'. For the bang-up-to-date 'current reviews', check out the pages for either restaurants or bars. 

The best places to drink mulled wine in London

The best places to drink mulled wine in London

Sure, strolling through the winter markets with a mulled wine in your hand is the optimum way to warm up, second only to a rich hot chocolate. But pub mulled wine can be a bit hit and miss: there's nothing worse than a sickly sweet bevvie that comes topped in a thick layer of gritty cloves. So we’ve sought out the best cosy London pubs pouring mulled wine that’s a cut above the rest. Find yourself a nook and wrap your mitts around one of these steaming, spicy bevvies.   Pubs and bars typically start serving mulled wine in late November, so keep your eyes peeled from then on for maximum seasonal cheer. Recommended: The cosiest winter pop-ups in London

The best pubs in Islington, London

The best pubs in Islington, London

Battle through the naff chain boozers and you'll find a host of charming pubs all across Islington, from Canonbury and Barnsbury to De Beauvoir and Highbury. Whether you're in the mood for a proper old-school palace of pints or a slap-up gastropub, there's a watering hole for you in Angel and Islington. Here are some of the very best.  RECOMMENDED: Discover more things to do in this neighbourhood with our Islington area guide

The best King’s Cross bars

The best King’s Cross bars

If you know where to look, there are some great places for wine, spirits, craft booze and beyond in buzzy King's Cross. Take a look at our list of the best places to drink in the historic – and recently revamped – neighbourhood, from old-school spots and elegant DJ bars (check Spiritland for sure) to quirky cocktail joints and upmarket wine bars such as Chapel Down. RECOMMENDED: Find more fun in the neighbourhood in our King’s Cross area guide

Listings and reviews (200)

‘Magic Mike Live’ review

‘Magic Mike Live’ review

3 out of 5 stars

Magic Mike on stage feels a bit like dating in London in my thirties: all the young, hot people got it on while I sat on the sidelines. But as a voyeur at this expensive strip-meets-cabaret show, there was some serious titillation: pains are taken to remind you that it has very much been made with the female gaze in mind. The romp unfolds in a faux-club built in Leicester Square’s already-slightly-seedy (in a good way) Hippodrome Casino, based upon the Xquisite strip joint from Steven Soderbergh’s surprise 2012 cinematic  smash. The movie’s star Channing Tatum – whose IRL undressing escapades originally informed the film’s plot – is behind this theatrical reimagining, with London the second destination of ‘Magic Mike Live’ following a hugely successful run in Vegas. But it’s important to note that co-director Tatum (who, alas, merely lends his voice to the performance) has worked with a gender-balanced team and the sense that this is a safe space for women enshrouds the entire show, despite it being filled with semi-naked men.  The plot (in the loosest sense) centres on Michelangelo – Mike to you – a waiter plucked from the crowd and trained in showing a woman a (consensual) good time by our female emcee, played by actor Sophie Linder-Lee. She sounds a bit like Jane Horrocks and makes a lot of jokes about ‘jizz’ and the tightness of her own vagina. Most of the ladies pulled to the stage for some public gyration were mega hot (so hot, it almost felt like they’d been planted),

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas JourneyJingle Jangle

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas JourneyJingle Jangle

3 out of 5 stars

A snow-dusted Victorian town and a John Legend soundtrack give this Netflix holiday movie the ecstatic feel of The Greatest Showman with a dose of the cranky-yet-sweet-natured moralising of A Christmas Carol. And while a sugar crash hits around the movie’s midway point, there’s a lot to make you feel good about David E Talbert’s tale of a toymaker who’s lost his mojo, and the estranged granddaughter who helps him find it again. Not least its mostly Black cast, which marks it out from almost every other Christmas caper before it.Like any good festive yarn, it’s a story within a story – taking us to the world of Cobbleton, home of Jangles and Things toy store. And like a lot of us this year, its owner Jeronicus Jangle (played by Justin Cornwall in the opening number) is having a bit of an existential crisis. A young Jeronicus leaping around the scene soon becomes a weathered Forest Whitaker – who plays a sad, lonely grump with reliable skill. When granddaughter and plucky science wiz Journey (Madalen Mills) arrives for a visit, she helps him reconnect with his ‘magic’ and find the ‘square root of possible’. Admittedly, it’s a load of nonsense, but it’s Christmas, so who cares?She’s soon trying to stop Toymaker of the Year and former Jangles apprentice Gustafson (Keegan-Michael Key, the perfect mustachioed villain and buffoon) from running off with another of grandad’s ideas, the one that could finally make him his millions. The moral of the story might be predictable – family a

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

3 out of 5 stars

Iceland was odds-on to win 2020’s Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in history, long before – as with every other major event this year – the competition got cancelled. It seems fitting, then, that the country should take centre stage in Will Ferrell’s Netflix dedication to the europop extravaganza. And the film does mostly come across as a surprising dedication rather than the US-centric send-up many expected. It seems sensitive and mostly true to the competition. Perhaps even Will Ferrell can’t spoof the unspoofable?He stars as Lars Erickssong, a small-town guy with big dreams to win the Eurovision Song Contest with his collaborator since childhood, love interest and ‘probably not sister' Sigrit Ericksdottir (played by a pitch-perfect Rachel McAdams). The kooky Icelandic stereotypes make them a likeable pair, but one with a very small fanbase. Even Lars’s ‘extremely handsome father’ Erick (now-silver fox Pierce Brosnan) has no time for the duo’s delusions in power-ballad group, Fire Saga. But by a twist of fate (and by praying to the Icelandic elves), the band ends up competing for their country on the contest’s main stage in Edinburgh.The songs are as anthemic as they ought to be (Savan Kotecha, the songwriter behind Ariana Grande’s biggest hits, is one of the production team). The staging is ludicrous, especially for Lion of Love by Russian lothario and favourite Alexander Lemtov (performed with animalistic prowess by Dan Stevens). And the lyrics are, of course,

Festival de la CanciĂłn de EurovisiĂłn: La historia de Fire Saga

Festival de la CanciĂłn de EurovisiĂłn: La historia de Fire Saga

3 out of 5 stars

Islandia tenĂ­a muchas posibilidades de ganar el Festival de la CanciĂłn de EurovisiĂłn 2020 por primera vez en la historia, mucho antes, como con cualquier otro evento importante de este año, la competencia se cancelĂł. Parece apropiado, entonces, que el paĂ­s tome el centro del escenario en este tributo de Will Ferrell. Parece sensible y mayormente fiel a la competencia. Ferrell interpreta a Lars Erickssong, un chico de un pueblo pequeño con el gran sueño de ganar el Festival de la CanciĂłn de EurovisiĂłn con su colaboradora de la infancia, interĂ©s amoroso y probablemente no hermana, Sigrit Ericksdottir (interpretado por Rachel McAdams). Los extravagantes estereotipos islandeses los convierten en un dĂșo simpĂĄtico, pero uno con una base de fans muy pequeña. Incluso el padre extremadamente guapo de Lars, Erick (ahora zorro plateado Pierce Brosnan) no tiene tiempo para las ilusiones del dĂșo en el grupo de baladas Fire Saga. Pero por un giro del destino (y rezando a los elfos islandeses), la banda termina compitiendo por su paĂ­s en el escenario principal del concurso, en Edimburgo. Las canciones son himnos como deberĂ­an ser (Savan Kotecha, el compositor detrĂĄs de los Ă©xitos mĂĄs grandes de Ariana Grande, es del equipo de producciĂłn). La puesta en escena es ridĂ­cula, especialmente para “Lion of Love” del ruso Lotario y el favorito Alexander Lemtov (realizado con destreza animal, Dan Stevens). Y la letra es, por supuesto, una tonterĂ­a total. Los fanĂĄticos de EurovisiĂłn sin duda disfru

Smokey Kudu

Smokey Kudu

5 out of 5 stars

A bouncer pulls open the door to one of the arches by Queens Road Peckham station, as if it were an exclusive club. Plenty of railway arches have transformed into breweries and bars in south-east London – Peckham has a shedload of them – but this is the first along this stretch and there’s something very different about it. Mainly the fact that it feels nothing like drinking underneath the comings and goings of Queens Road. The bricks have been painted in earthy red tones, a directional sound system played soul tunes we could easily talk over and thanks to impeccable soundproofing, I hardly detected the rumblings overhead during what became a very protracted cocktail session. The lights of a very stylish chandelier flickered a touch
 or maybe I was just a bit drunk. That all probably makes it sound a bit bougie, but it’s not. Smokey Kudu is the child of Kudu, a knockout South African restaurant a couple of hundred metres down the road. What Kudu does well is to marry fun flavours with top-notch service. And that’s what they’re doing at its spin-off bar. Two smiley staff worked the floor, with a dedicated bartender in a beanie hat behind the bar, smoke occasionally puffing from his workstation. Divided into four sections, the menu works from light, aperitif-style drinks through to heavy, boozy cocktails, reimagining the classics using ingredients native to South Africa. If you don’t fancy that, the SA wine list is just as on-point. But you really should try the cocktails, pric

Tincture

Tincture

4 out of 5 stars

The whole speakeasy thing doesn’t work if, once you pull back the door, the bar behind it isn’t buzzing. And it was really quiet when I visited Tincture. It’s below a vegan restaurant and is also predominantly plant-based – and right now, there’s a bit of a correlation between veganism and teetotalism. And while there are as many alcohol-free cocktails on the menu as there are boozy ones, you wouldn’t picture that from a bar modelled on the Prohibition era’s hedonism. The reality is that it’s a great hangout, on or off the wagon. Chiming in with the planet-saving plant-based ethos, there was no refit when the basement bar space was acquired. Instead, it’s chosen to recycle the art deco-leaning interior. Luckily, it’s a lovely bar – if a little fifty shades of brown. Seasonal, zero-waste cocktails are named after the foodstuff that makes them, and while five a day might be a bit much, we polished off a few of these sinkable bevvies pretty swiftly. Favourites included Pears, a kombucha-filled number with shavings of parmesan on the side, and Nips, a curiously earthy combination of apple, bitters and rum infused with roasted parsnips, which came with root veg crisps. Powering the alcohol-free stuff is an in-house creation called ‘crossip’, which our engaging bartender described as like a Lucozade sachet. It was a bit of an acquired taste in the Sazerac – a boozeless drink which tasted smoky, like a mezcal cocktail. But credit to it’s creators, it’s always nice to find new, inter

Like A Boss

Like A Boss

2 out of 5 stars

A lack of charisma and un-funny gags make this comedy about the cosmetics industry as pointless as a blunt eyeliner pencil. Mia (Tiffany Haddish) and Mel (Rose Byrne) are best buddies, business partners and flatmates in ropey friendship comedy ‘Like a Boss’. They’ve shared every detail of their lives – and plenty of dope – since high school, and yet they share little chemistry on screen as their make-up company, Mia & Mel, gets swallowed up by a cosmetics conglomerate fronted by Claire Luna (Salma Hayek). Inevitably, their friendship is tested as Luna puts them through their paces and smashes their ideas – literally, with a golf club, for no discernible reason. Predictably, Hayek’s character is a one-dimensional boss ‘bitch’ with a backstory that we never really understand, who has self-professed ‘enormous’ breasts and wears a Charlotte Tilbury wig. Scenes in Mia and Mel’s store are just as jarring. Jennifer Coolidge plays shop assistant Sydney, channelling her turn in ‘Legally Blonde’ but with astronomically worse one-liners (‘It’s fresh and clean, like a thermometer that goes in your butt’). There are some funny moments, including a shocking baby shower cake reveal and a typically sassy performance from the inimitable Billy Porter (‘Pose’) as Mia & Mel’s make-up creator, but most of the gags feel either completely out of context or completely out of nowhere – as does an appearance from Lisa Kudrow right at the film’s flimsy finale. There’s no amount of foundation that cou

Socias en guerra

Socias en guerra

2 out of 5 stars

Mia (Tiffany Haddish) y Mel (Rose Byrne) son las mejores amigas, compañeras de negocios y roomates en la comedia Socias en guerra. Han compartido todos los detalles de sus vidas, y mucha droga, desde la escuela secundaria, pero comparten poca quĂ­mica en la pantalla cuando su compañía de maquillaje, Mia & Mel, es tragada por un conglomerado de cosmĂ©ticos liderado por Claire Luna (Salma Hayek). Inevitablemente, su amistad se pone a prueba cuando Luna los pone a prueba y destruye sus ideas, literalmente, con un palo de golf, sin razĂłn aparente. Como era de esperar, el personaje de Hayek es una molesta jefa unidimensional —con una historia de fondo que nunca entendemos realmente— que se impone por sus enormes senos y usa una peluca de Charlotte Tilbury. Las escenas en la tienda de Mia y Mel son igual de discordantes. Jennifer Coolidge interpreta a Sydney, canalizando su personaje en Legalmente rubia pero con frases astronĂłmicamente peores (Es fresco y limpio, como un termĂłmetro en tu trasero). Hay algunos momentos divertidos, que incluyen una revelaciĂłn impactante en baby shower y una actuaciĂłn tĂ­picamente atrevida del inimitable Billy Porter (Pose) como creador de maquillaje de Mia & Mel, pero la mayorĂ­a de los gags se sienten completamente fuera de contexto o completamente de la nada, tal como aparece una apariciĂłn de Lisa Kudrow en el endeble final de la pelĂ­cula. No hay una cantidad de base que pueda cubrir las grietas de los personajes a medio formar y trazar aquĂ­.

Joyce

Joyce

3 out of 5 stars

It was just after payday and Brexit Day, plus Dry January was finally behind us, but even so, the staff at Joyce were surprised with it being so busy on a Tuesday night. But socio-economic factors aside, there’s nowhere as stylish to drink in Brockley – a bar with a living-room feel occupying a former funeral parlour. Launched by the owners of nearby Salthouse bottle shop, Joyce focuses on small producers – many of them local to the area – across 12 taps pouring natural wine and craft beer, plus a concise supporting cast of spirits from all over the UK. The line-up includes botanical spirit Escubac from Edinburgh, wine from East Sussex’s pioneering Tillingham vineyard and IPAs from Deptford’s Villages brewery. For snacking, it’s more basic – Wotsits, Mini Cheddars and Cheeselets – but you won’t hear me complaining. By way of decoration there are just a couple of hard-to-decipher tapestries (a cute crab next to an egg and an archway?). Otherwise it’s just sandy-coloured stone, creaking floorboards and a fireplace with a ‘funeral’ sign on its mantelpiece. The focus of the room is definitely the bar: shiny white tiles backing the taps and making them pop. The staff manning them were easy to talk to and clued-up on their neighbourhood. And they even chucked in a free almost-glass of wine when supplies of a juicy chianti were too low to produce a full glass. It was chilly enough on the night we visited to suggest the venue’s previous macabre incarnation. But otherwise, Joyce seems

The KPH

The KPH

3 out of 5 stars

If you choose to drink in Notting Hill, you will have come to terms with £6 pints. That’s something I hadn’t prepared myself for at The KPH (Kensington Park Hotel), the legendary local of both The Clash and seedy postwar necrophile John Christie, who was supposedly a regular. But the pub – now a Henry Harris establishment – has had the sort of gastro revamp campaigners feared would happen as a part of the area’s so-called ‘social cleansing’. The upstairs has been converted into boutique rooms and a smart dining space, but the ground floor stays dedicated to drinks. It’s had the kind of makeover that strips away the history (and to an extent the personality), but is hard to hate since it’s so good-looking – my companion described it as ‘New Orleans chic’. Twelve keg and three cask lines hold those pricy pints, although I didn’t really mind paying the extra for the good stuff, a jar of The Kernel’s Export India Porter. Brilliant bar snacks – from terrine to taramasalata – gave a taste of the fancy things going on upstairs. Its edgier vibes might have been neutralised, but music lives on, with a jazzy quartet starting on dreary Norah Jones covers before picking up the pace with Sister Sledge and Stevie Wonder. Some of a gaggle of locals – from a generation that clearly still knows how to drink – even got up to groove for a bar or two. Maybe the millennials are priced out at The KPH, but those oldies seemed happy that their old haunt is still swinging.

Fugitive Motel

Fugitive Motel

3 out of 5 stars

Light, bright and a little bit California: decoratively speaking, Fugitive Motel is a breath of seabreezy air along the dingy stretch just down from Bethnal Green station. Light spills into a space filled with cacti, concrete and a timber-framed bar and, once darkness falls, a retro neon sign illuminates the place. Less uplifting was the service, with drinks slammed down on the bar abruptly and sighs given in response to fairly straightforward requests (like, ‘Can I have a pint, please?’). So much for world-famous American hospitality. You can make your own fun at Fugitive Motel, though. It shows big-screen sports in the saloon bar, and there’s shuffleboard and cornhole if you fancy getting physical. I suspect many a good date night has already unfolded here. Bar snacks suit sharing, too – the pizza toppings showed that variety really is the spice of life, even if the sourdough base was a little bit more chewy than I like it. And I’d avoid the zucchini fries, which were cut too finely to withstand a bout in the fryer. The best bit – aside from its dreamy dĂ©cor – is the drinks range, with a heap of emerging low- and no-alcohol brands in the fridge, and interesting London, US and German craft beers on tap. And that’s alongside a kegged Espresso Martini: finding that on tap in London is like hitting the drinking jackpot.

Linda Meredith Skincare

Linda Meredith Skincare

You might feel like a celebrity going incognito at a Harley Street surgery as you head into Linda Meredith. The Knightsbridge beauty clinic is hardly marked on street level, and you enter a non-descript, narrow stairwell that leads you up to a second-floor reception. The layout feels more reminiscent of a smart dentist’s surgery, truth be told. And Hollywood smiles beam down from the walls as signed photographs of clients past show this beauty brand’s sway over the years. There’s a slightly 90’s and 00’s relevance to it (Julia Stiles, Natalie Imbruglia, Claudia Schiffer), but if it’s good enough for Gwynie (who’s mug takes pride of place by the reception desk), it’s good enough for us. My therapist Kinga made me feel at home right away, and seemed to genuinely revel in the fact that my skin needed a good clean. I was recommended what they call a Haute Couture Facial (an hour-long treatment costing £100) to help clear up congestion, which included a fairly pain-free extraction session and an intensely tingly micro-peel that enlivened my senses. The peace was amped up by cosy blankets and pillows, but hindered by the noise carrying around the building and its slightly crammed-together therapy rooms. But it’s all in the results: within a week, my skin was visibly brighter – to the extent that people were commenting on it – and my complexion since feels softer and more even. It's probably not up to Goop levels yet, but it feels like I might be on track. 

News (609)

All of London’s Michelin-star restaurants doing takeaway and delivery

All of London’s Michelin-star restaurants doing takeaway and delivery

Restaurants may have been closed for what feels like an eternity, but that hasn’t stopped the Michelin Guide from doling out a load of fresh stars for 2021. That means there are 66 London restaurants now considered to be the holy grail in dining, seven of which are brand-spanking-new to the list. While the buzz makes us want to book a table immediately, you can get a flavour of what some of these culinary destinations are all about in lockdown, too – by ordering their grub. If you haven’t already gone meal-kit mad, dive in at the deep end with one of these very fancy offerings. Or forget about faffing around with veloutĂ© in your rusty old pan and get in a very posh takeaway. Then you’ll just have to beg your housemate to hang your handbag on a bespoke stand, pull your chair out for your arrival to the table and rearrange your napkin as you nip for a toilet break between courses. All totally normal behaviour.  Here’s a complete list so you can fine dine from home. One-star newbies  Fish-focused excellence at Behind Sola brings you high-end Californian cuisine The Mayfair Indian staple that is Benares One star  South-west French fancies Club Gascon It's sophisticated. It's European. It's Elystan Street Galvin La Chapelle's French and Italian gourmet greatness The elite Indian of Gymkhana Cutting-edge dim sum from Hakkasan Seasonal tasting menu specialists Hide The Ledbury (RIP) sister restaurant Kitchen W8 Lyle’s, aka Shoreditch's favourite dining room Hey, it's that lovely Ma

Meal kits from top London restaurants for a bit of Valentine’s Day romance

Meal kits from top London restaurants for a bit of Valentine’s Day romance

Did you know that the way to the heart is actually through the stomach? Sounds gross, but trust us on this one. That means that if you’re no Casanova in the kitchen, the approach of Valentine’s Day (Monday February 14) might have you breaking out in a sweat because Monday night is the least exciting day of the week to go out and many restaurants are closed on the big day. Fret not, you’ve not left it too late for deliveries, and these ever-reliable and ever-delicious London restaurants have pulled together some very special (and not to mention easy to assemble!) meal kits for the international day of lurrrve. That means you can focus on setting the mood at home just right, or just settling in for a night in front of Netflix (cos meal kit for one = the ultimate act of self-love). Spread the love and cook up a storm with some awesome Valentine’s meal kit options.  Andrew Edmunds Recreate some of that famed date night magic from one of London’s most romantic restaurants. Head chef Tom Trubshaw has designed a three-course menu that’ll have you fall head over heels in love, from creamy carrot and chestnut soup to confit duck leg and a layered black forest gateau. They’ve even thrown in some candles from Issy Granger to help really set the mood for an amorous tablescape. Kits before the big day have sold out, but they’ll be available until the end of next month. Who says love is only reserved for one day? £65. Pre-order for Feb 18, available for delivery until March 25. https://www

Three extremely good (and affordable!) whisky delivery services

Three extremely good (and affordable!) whisky delivery services

Fancy a dram? Yea, you do! While you may have a go-to bottle of whisky on your makeshift drinks shelf, apparently variety is the spice of life. Who knew?! With that new knowledge, go forth and drink the spirit adventurously. While it’s harder to try new drinks while bars are closed without forking out for a whole bottle, there are a handful of life-saving companies finding a way to get affordable and really interesting whisky to yours. So check out these three delivery services to help diversify your experience of the water of life in lockdown – for Burns Night and beyond.      Whisky-Me (pictured above)  I mean, what’s not to love about a pouch of the good stuff dropping through your letterbox? You get 5cl of a different single malt delivered to your door each and every month when you sign up to subscription service Whisky-Me. It looks like Capri Sun, but the contents is curated by the team behind specialist Shoreditch bar Black Rock. If they don’t know good whisky, no one does.    From £7.95 per month, www.whisky-me.com Drams to Your Door If you’ve never visited Milroy’s, you’re missing out. Soho’s library of single malts – with a spin-off in Spitalfields – is a great shop-meets-bar to visit when looking to expand your whisky horizons. Luckily, in lockdown the team behind Milroy’s has developed a delivery service that sends flights of different whiskies to you in one neat package. Each bundle contains three 30ml drams curated by region or flavour profile. The packaging is

These London pubs are serving takeaway mulled wine this winter

These London pubs are serving takeaway mulled wine this winter

Christmastime is coming and new variant Omnicron is putting the cat among the turkeys: so perhaps it’s time to revisit the hottest trend of 2020, takeaway mulled wine. Even if you’re feeling nervy about sitting inside your local pub, you can still show your support – and fuel any bracing walks around the capital. C’mon! It’s all good exercise.  As the days get colder, takeaway mulled wine – a trend that first emerged in late 2020 – means you can get stuck into safe outdoor socialising without feeling the chill. Or alternatively, use the service to treat your cohabiters to a very steamy round at yours – without having to faff around with cinnamon sticks and end up with a kitchen that smells like the inside of a gingerbread house.  So get as organised as your folks with their to-do list this Christmas, and get in a warming round of the mulled wines from this list of London venues.       Clissold Park Tavern, Stoke Newington Plus hot toddies and mulled cider, too  The Grapes, Limehouse The Lauriston, Victoria Park Also serving mulled cider and hot toddies Red Lion and Sun, Highgate And Frozen Margaritas, if a thing like the cold doesn’t bother you  Renegade Urban Winery, Bethnal Green Making its own wine in its east London HQ – and mixing up three shades of the mulled stuff. Pay for a glass or get it for free with every wine bottle purchase!  Sun Tavern, Bethnal Green Also serving hot punch Pelton Arms, Greenwich Plus boozy hot chocolates or your standard takeaway pintsThe Vault

This fluffy, pink mezcal bar just popped up in east London

This fluffy, pink mezcal bar just popped up in east London

We’re frilled to welcome this gorgeously dressed and decadently trimmed mezcal spot to Stoke Newington. Doña Bar – brought to you by the team behind London Mezcal Week – has just popped up in the east London neighbourhood with its flamingo-pink look. The decor is said to blend Mexico with a 1920’s Harlem jazz club. But despite the playful appearance – and all the feathers – its got a drinks list that means serious business, with original mezcal cocktails championed.    Pasco Photography But the late-night bar’s real USP is that it will champion female-led performance. While Doña Bar is far from a girls-only space it intends to put a spotlight on female performers, with live music taking place every night.  Pasco Photography The bad news? The bar’s life in Stokey is fleeting, just popping up in the ’hood until Saturday December 21. But in that short time, it’s sure to tickle its punters pink.  Doña Bar is popping up at 92 Stoke Newington High St, N16 7NY. Open Wed-Sat, 6pm-11.45pm.  Find more hot-pink drinking spots in our list of London’s best neon-filled bars.  Get more boozy news delivered straight to your inbox when you sign up to Time Out. 

Takeaway pints in London: pubs near parks serving beer on draught

Takeaway pints in London: pubs near parks serving beer on draught

Sure, pub beer gardens are back open – but they’ve returned with a side of admin. In recent weeks, securing seats at London’s best outdoor drinking spots has involved booking waaayyy in advance. And nothing says fun like a strict two-hour timeslot policy! Luckily, takeaway pints are back too, and you don’t need to book yourself in for a session if you’re doing said session in the park.  We’ve rounded up all the London pubs near parks that are serving beer and other delights for you to take away. One final thing to mention: many pubs are now encouraging you to bring along your own pint glass to help reduce single-use plastic consumption. Drop your local a line to see if it’s joining the #plasticfreepints movement.Otherwise, though, bottoms up!   Victoria Park The Lauriston The People’s Park Tavern Hampstead Heath  The Duke of Hamilton  The Red Lion and Sun (check out its gorgeous takeout hatch!) View this post on Instagram It was late March as lockdown hit the industry when I grabbed a table from inside the pub, stuck it in the front yard and placed a few bottles of wine and beer on it, hoping in some crazy way to try and create an off sales business that might help us through the pandemic...and maybe help a few of our customers through it too! Yet seven months on, that idea, born out of an instinct for survival, has become a vital part of our business now and going forward. Many businesses have suffered from this pandemic, many of whom have been genui

Four London-made tinnies to get your hands on before March 8

Four London-made tinnies to get your hands on before March 8

Drunk so many M&S tins over the years that you’re basically Percy Pig now? Never want to look a Tyskie in the eye again? Good news. We’ve sourced some extra special tins to stock up on ready for picnic season AKA March 8 (when sitting in the park with a mate is allowed) until April 12 (when pub gardens open). Our choices?  1. Hackney distillery 58 Gin is in on the hard sparkling water act, using its spirit to make raspberry and pink-grapefruit seltzers. 2. Prefer your tinned gin in a cocktail? Hippy Fizz from Porter’s Gin is like Um Bongo for adults. It's technically made in Aberdeen but London bartenders are the brains behind it.  3. East London Liquor Company is also crafting cans: faves include vodka and rhubarb. 4. But if tinnies mean beer, there’s a West Coast IPA renaissance. Pick up a can of London Beer Factory’s Big Sur – like being hit by a massive fruity wave. The best picnic spots in London. 

Cute alert! Four baby otters have arrived at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo

Cute alert! Four baby otters have arrived at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo

Brace yourself for cuteness overload. Just before Christmas, Battersea Park Children’s Zoo welcomed the arrival of an adorable litter of Asian short-clawed otter cubs. And this season’s brightest debutantes are now ready to meet the world.  The four cubs – two male and two female – arrived on December 16, and the south London zoo has given them names to reflect these very strange times: Tia, Bubble, Rishi and Whitty. Keepers at the zoo have confirmed that, under the care of parents Little John and Robin, the quadruplets are growing exactly as they should, having just reached the eight-week milestone. Little John and Robin only arrived at the zoo in June 2020, so clearly they’ve taken to their new home very nicely.       Photograph: Battersea Park Children’s Zoo ‘These four cubs represent a huge milestone for the conservation of a species that is growing increasingly vulnerable to extinction,’ said keeper Jamie Baker. ‘Across South and South-East Asia, the wild populations of this species are in dramatic decline due to habitat degradation and the illegal pet and wildlife trade. Little John, Robin and their cubs represent the start of a new, safe and future-proof population of Asian short-clawed otters within zoos that will directly contribute to the conservation of wild otters across a range of countries,’ added the zookeeper.  Photograph: Battersea Park Children’s Zoo Alas, you won’t be able to meet the quartet right now, with the zoo currently closed to the public. But y

Join Borough Market’s virtual cookbook club

Join Borough Market’s virtual cookbook club

A secretive meeting of food fanatics has been taking place within the depths of one of the world’s most famous food markets since 2016. Borough Market Cookbook Club was like any other book club – but with added flames and flavours. For each event, a different landmark cookery book would take the spotlight, and attendees at Borough Market’s Cookhouse would bring along the results from one of the recipes they’d attempted to make from scratch at home. The group would then discuss the book and chow down on the dishes communally. Oh, and drink Borough Wines dry while they were at it (because what is a book club without wine, anyway?!). Naturally, all that sharing had to stop rather suddenly last year. But given that most of the cooking took place at home anyway, the appetite for a digital version was very much there. And so, Cookbook Club lives – on the worldwide web.   As always, the club is totally free to join. Even better: while in the past you’d pay £8 per event, they’re waiving the fee for the online format. Food writer and historian Angela Clutton is still hosting the meetings, and leading the discussion on the ins and outs of each fundamental read – just over Zoom, that’s all. Book a place in advance and you’ll then receive a couple of recipes from the book to have a stab at from home. You can then discuss your efforts with a group of fellow food lovers.       Up next (Feb 25), Rosie Birkett’s ‘The Joyful Home Cook’. Hopefully to reignite your passion after months of cooki

Invite world-class cocktails into your house this Margarita Day

Invite world-class cocktails into your house this Margarita Day

Right now, every day should be Margarita Day. The Margarita is absolutely the kind of strong, zesty party drink to pep up your time at home. But if you haven’t already been embracing the limes in lockdown, how about making it happen on Monday February 22, which is actual Margarita Day: an official, globally recognised time to honour a cocktail that was surely sent from the tequila gods. Yes, we know it’s a Monday. But at this point, why should a thing like the day of the week matter to you, amigo?  Marking the day are two master mixologists from Mayfair’s classy watering hole the Connaught Bar – the ‘world’s best bar’, no less. While the swanky hotel haunt may be best known for its Martinis, its pair of drink wizards, Agostino Perrone and Giorgio Bargiani, have designed a limited edition cocktail set for this auspicious occasion. Each kit contains three bottled cocktails reinterpreting the classic bevvy.  The Alpha Margarita includes a Chardonnay-based orange liqueur, the Omega Margarita features the bar’s own Italian aperitivo-style liqueur and the Sigma Margarita is said to have chocolatey notes thanks to the inclusion of palo cortado sherry. The best part of these new-fangled flavours, though, is that all proceeds from the collection will go towards The Drinks Trust, a charity supporting staff from the hospitality industry in these very tough times.  The Margarita Collection is available to order via The Drinks Drop (£35) as part of Patron Tequila’s Margarita Month celebra

Order a Chinese this weekend and you might get lucky

Order a Chinese this weekend and you might get lucky

Thinking of seeing in the Lunar New Year with a Chinese takeaway? Yeah, you are! It’s a pretty great way to show some love to struggling restaurants – after all, this is the second year that celebrations of Chinese New Year have been impacted by Covid. If you need further convincing before placing an order this weekend, though, know this: Deliveroo is sneaking red envelopes inside selected food deliveries. (They actually look decidedly pink to us, but we’re not complaining!) For those who don’t know, these ‘red pockets’ are typically filled with money and given as good luck gifts around the New Year. And while Deliveroo isn’t stuffing actual wads inside your takeaway, it will be littering orders with credit vouchers so you can order even more food from the delivery platform throughout The Year of the Ox.      Ten London restaurants are taking part in the promotion – and a total of 25 across the UK – and there will be five ‘gold card’ prizes in the mix. These hold £1,000-worth of credit each (just imagine how many dumplings that equals!) as well as vouchers for smaller credit values. The restaurants in London taking part include a couple of Chinatown faves, and a spread of locations across the capital. Here’s a full list:  Din Tai Fung, Covent GardenFour Seasons, BayswaterHakkasan, MayfairJin Jiang, DeptfordMurger Han, EustonPlum Valley, ChinatownRoyal China, HarrowShikumen, Shepherd's BushSichuan Grand, StratfordTao Tao Ju, Chinatown To get lucky, you’ll need to place an ord

One of London’s best Indians has a new biryani delivery service

One of London’s best Indians has a new biryani delivery service

Piping hot rice, fragrant spices and crusty pastry: the precise formula to combat this cold snap. And exactly what you can expect from new delivery service Empire Biryani. Take that, Beast from the East!  Launching today (Thursday February 11), Empire Biryani promises London-wide delivery on traditional biryani dishes that are 36 hours in the making and come fresh from the kitchen of London’s top Indian restaurant Gunpowder (which has branches in Spitalfields and Tower Bridge). The service will centre around Northern Indian dum biryani, with rice and meat steam-cooked on a low heat before being topped with a shortcrust pastry lid. Punters can pick from one made with lamb shank or a very impressive veggie alt filled with shahi mushroom.  That’s not all. There are sides, too! (But they don’t come with pastry on top. You’ve been warned.) You can add the likes of paneer butter masala, aloo gobi, beef boti kebab or Hyderabadi egg curry to your order to really up the ‘winter warmer’ factor.   There’s the option of a biryani for one, for two, or to share between four. And you can either have it delivered hot and fresh out the kitchen (via Deliveroo) or as part of a finish-at-home meal kit – where all you have to do is bung it in the oven until that lid turns golden brown. Lockdown just got spicy.    Find out more about Empire Biryani and order in the goods right here. We tried all of London’s most hyped meal kits – these were the best. Here’s a load of top Indian restaurants doing t

The best things in life are free.

Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

Loading animation
DĂ©jĂ  vu! We already have this email. Try another?

🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!