Maddie Balcombe is a trainee journalist currently studying towards a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism at Cardiff University. Her interests include all things pop culture, food, travel, wellness and news.

A born-and-raised Essex girl, Maddie has always loved the buzz of London life. You’ll typically find her in the gym, snapping pics of her food, gossiping over a ridiculously-priced bottle of wine, or laughing out loud to the podcast playing through her headphones (embarrassing!)

Maddie Balcombe

Maddie Balcombe

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Articles (3)

The best brunch in London

The best brunch in London

The humble brunch is perhaps one of the greatest inventions of the modern age. Breakfast is too early to really get stuck into, while eating eggs and downing buckets of coffee at lunchtime seems odd. Brunch, then, is the one true morning-ish meal, especially if it incorporates pancakes, bacon and those aforementioned eggs – or a totally vegan take on proceedings like at LD's at The Black Heart in Camden or WAVE in Hackney. London is particularly well stocked with places to indulge in the famous breakfast/lunch hybrid. Let us guide you to the best restaurants in town for a fabulous brunch in our city, from a traditional full english to innovative twists on the majestic meal, such as a bacon bao brunch. And it’s not just a weekend treat; some of these spots serve brunch every single day.  RECOMMENDED: Like unlimited fizz with your fry-up? Here are the best bottomless brunches in London.  Want to brunch for less? Check out the awesome selection at Time Out Offers. Leonie Cooper is Time Out London’s Food and Drink Editor. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines.

10 things you never knew about dying in London

10 things you never knew about dying in London

If there’s one thing that’s certain about this life, it’s that there is a lot of uncertainty. What came first, the chicken or the egg? What really happens in Area 51? Who actually is Banksy? Sometimes we just have to resign ourselves to the fact that there are a large number of things we will simply never know; myriad questions that will go unanswered. And – not to totally bring the mood down – one of the biggest mysteries of them all is death. Whether you’re having a half-philosophical, half-heated chat about the afterlife with your family at the dinner table, or just find yourself falling down a reincarnation rabbit hole after one too many drinks with your mates, there’s no denying that death is, well, a mystery.  But there are also some things about dying that we do know. And, as it turns out, London has its fair share of quirks when it comes to the inevitable D word. So listen up: we’re about to reveal the things you never knew (and might’ve been too scared to ask) about carking it in the capital. 1. Nothing’s cheap in this city – not even dying  London is the most expensive place in the UK to have a funeral, at an average cost of £5,283 in 2023, according to Legacy of Lives. That’s compared to the country-wide average of £4,056 – and it doesn’t even factor in the cost of burials. In some places – like the capital’s prestigious Highgate cemetery – it can cost upwards of £25,000 to secure a full grave. Best get saving. 2. There’s an entire café dedicated to death Welcome

Late-night bars and pubs in London

Late-night bars and pubs in London

After-hours fun in London is easy to find if you know where to look. To help you avoid the hapless post-midnight plod around town on the hunt for more liquor in London's best pubs, consult our definitive list of late-night bars and boozers in London. These are the best of the capital’s drinking spots that stay open into the wee small hours, listed in order of lateness. Remember, cocktail hour can be any hour in London. If you fancy a dance with your drink, then check out London’s best clubs. RECOMMENDED: The best cocktail bars in London. Leonie Cooper is Time Out London’s Food and Drink Editor. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines.

News (18)

The UK’s best national park for road trips has been crowned

The UK’s best national park for road trips has been crowned

With stunning lakes, rolling hills, towering peaks and much more, the UK has no shortage of striking landscapes. And plenty of those sit within our national parks – of which there are 15 spread around the nation. Each national park has something unique on offer. Here at Time Out, we know about those parks as well as anyone – and even have a comprehensive list of the country’s most beautiful ones. But what if you want to explore Britain’s national parks from the comfort of a car? Fortunately, car dealership Cinch has just revealed its ranking of the UK’s best national parks for road trips. Cinch assessed each national park based on a number of factors, including the number of nearby cafes, parking spaces, average temperature, and social media popularity.  Cinch crowned the Peak District as the UK’s best national park for a road trip. It came out top partly due to its immense popularity on social media (the park has received over 300 million views on TikTok).  The Lake District was runner-up, favoured highly because of the astounding 355 cafes that can be found providing sweet treats and caffeine fuel to all who visit it. The New Forest – the mildest of all national parks (with an average temperature of 15 degrees celsius), and home to 120 car parks – took third place. Of course, Cinch’s methods are somewhat flawed. Our scenic parks have much more going for them than some social media hits and a couple of car parks. But, if we were going to try and settle for all which park is

Revealed: Britain’s mouldiest places to live

Revealed: Britain’s mouldiest places to live

You don’t need us to tell you that Britain’s housing market is in a pretty dire state right now. From the shortage of available housing to the astronomical prices, the crisis has reached new heights. It’s tough out there.  But your problems don’t end when you find somewhere to live: from bills to damp and draughty rooms, renters and homeowners across the country have a number of issues to deal with. One of the biggest problems of them all is mould.  But some places are mouldier than others. To reveal Britain’s mouldiest towns and cities, thermal imaging company Tester looked at Google search patterns for residents across the UK, taking into account how often people searched for stuff like ‘mould problems’ and ‘mildew solutions’. According to Tester, the more searches, the mouldier the place.  If you live in Bolton, we have bad news. The Greater Manchester town was named in Tester’s study as the mouldiest place to live in Britain. According to the study, Bolton’s residents were frequently scouring the internet for mould solutions, with one in ten people in the area Googling ‘mould problems’ in the last year.  In comparison, the least mould place in Britain is Derby, where only one percent of the population made similar Google searches. Discover the full results of Tester’s study below. The top ten mouldiest places to live in Britain Bolton Manchester Norwich Bournemouth Huddersfield Leeds Birmingham Portsmouth Newcastle Maidstone Did you see that this Northern town is the be

The Tacover 2024: Dates, tickets and what to expect at the UK’s largest taco festival

The Tacover 2024: Dates, tickets and what to expect at the UK’s largest taco festival

They might be slightly tricky to eat, but there’s no denying that tacos hold a special place in a lot of our hearts. With their crunchy shells, fresh toppings, spicy kicks and dreamy dipping sauces, what’s not to love? London’s love affair with tacos is no secret, as the city is crammed full of spectacular Mexican restaurants. And this month the city’s taco obsession will reach fever pitch, as the biggest taco festival in the UK (and Europe, for that matter) is returning. Called The Tacover, the fest will bring tiny tortilla goodness to London for a third year. We at Time Out visited last year and, trust us, you won’t be disappointed. Here’s everything you need to know about Tacover 2024.  When is the Tacover 2024? This year, the Tacover is running for just one weekend, on May 25-26 2024. Where is the Tacover 2024? The fourth edition of the UK’s biggest taco festival will take place in northeast London at Signature Brew, Blackhorse Road. How much are tickets? For entry to the festival during the day, tickets will cost £10. If you want to join the fun into the night, pay £15 to enjoy DJ sets (fuelled by tacos and tequila) until 1am. Tickets are a hot commodity, so head to Tixr to secure your place. Who’s bringing the tacos? A host of taco vendors from across London will unite under Signature Brew’s roof to serve up crunchy-shelled treats all day long. Each vendor will provide three tacos to choose from (including vegan options), and all will be capped at £4 per taco. The line-

This tiny northern English village has been named the UK’s best place to retire

This tiny northern English village has been named the UK’s best place to retire

When the daily grind gets a bit too much (which, let’s face it, is quite a bit of the time), who doesn’t fantasise about the day we give up working for good? Retirement might seem a bit of a way off, but one day we’ll all – hopefully – be able to finally kick back, relax, and log off from the world of work one last time. But where in the UK is the best place to retire to?  A new study by Howden Insurance has revealed the UK’s top 10 retirement locations, considering a host of factors like overall satisfaction rating, the typical cost of a home, proximity to parks, local crime rate, and distance to essential facilities.  Taking all that into account, one northern English village came out on top. Pendle, a cosy, picture-perfect spot in Lancashire, was crowned the best place in the UK to retire to. Howden Insurance found that pensioners today favour Pendle due to its welcoming community, peaceful landscapes, and heaps of history. On top of this, the village was also recognised as having great value for money.  Second in the ranking came Hyndburn, another Lancashire town, while third was pottery haven Stoke-on-Trent. Discover Howden Insurance’s full list below. The UK’s top ten places to retire  Pendle Hyndburn Stoke-on-Trent Newcastle-under-Lyme South Tyneside Hastings Burnley Blackburn with Darwen Gateshead Fylde Did you see that Liverpool’s docks are getting a £15 million glow-up? Plus: LiveNation is giving out thousands of cheap gig tickets Stay in the loop: sign up to our

Liverpool’s docks are getting a glitzy £15 million glow-up

Liverpool’s docks are getting a glitzy £15 million glow-up

Liverpool is known for many things: The Beatles, scouse stew, and – of course – its docks. Back in the day, Liverpool’s port was a hub of global trade. Each of the 43 docks that sit along the banks of River Mersey comes with a rich historical past, ranging from the Royal Albert Dock, which is now home to the Tate Liverpool, The Beatles Story exhibition and a host of shops and restaurants, to the city’s oldest dock, which opened in 1715 and is appropriately named The Old Dock. But, it’s recently been announced that one of Liverpool’s lesser known docks is getting a glitzy makeover. It’s been confirmed that the Canning Quayside and Dry Docks will undergo a drastic £15 million renovation. The revamp was commissioned by National Museums Liverpool and has just been granted planning permission. Architects Asif Khan Studio are teaming up with artist Theaster Gates to totally transform the area.  If all goes to plan, Canning Quayside will be transformed into a space for recreation and education. In an effort to make the area better connected, a footbridge will link it with Royal Albert Dock and breathe life into what is currently a dead end. This will make it easier for tourists and locals alike to journey from the city’s International Slavery Museum to the wider waterfront. Here’s a render of what the Canning Quayside makeover could look like.  Photograph: Asif Khan Studio Additionally, Asif Khan Studio plans to unearth the South Dry Dock, opening it to the public for the first ti

Sarnie Party in London: All you need to know about location, tickets and vendors

Sarnie Party in London: All you need to know about location, tickets and vendors

There are few greater joys in life than a stack of fresh toppings stuffed between two thick slices of bread. From the classic staples (we’re talking egg mayo, pulled pork and slaw, and grilled cheese) to the slightly more unusual (picture PB and jelly and ice cream sandwiches), London has taken the humble sandwich to a whole new level. So much so, that one south London sarnie even secured a spot on our list of the world’s best sandwiches. And now, there is an entire festival showcasing the best sarnies the city has to offer. It’s called Sarnie Party, and here’s all you need to know. When is the Sarnie Party sandwich festival? This brand new foodie festival will take place from May 17 - 19 2024, with timings as follows: Friday May 17: 5pm - 10pm Saturday May 18: 11am - 4pm, 5pm - 10pm Sunday May 19: noon - 5pm Where will it be? The sandwich fest will be bringing carby goodness to north London, hosted in Camden Town Brewery, Kentish Town. How much are tickets? Tickets will cost £30 per day, entitling you to three sandwiches and a Camden Town beer upon entry. Plus, enjoy music and entertainment from local DJs and drag queens. Head to the Sarnie Party website to secure your ticket. Sandwich vendors to look out for The Sarnie Party sandwich festival is not messing around when it comes to vendors. Some of the biggest names in London’s sandwich scene will be in attendance, dishing up never-before-seen sarnies. The line-up will change each day: Friday The Big Deal’s Bodega The Bla

Lidl is massively expanding throughout London with over 200 new stores – full list of target locations

Lidl is massively expanding throughout London with over 200 new stores – full list of target locations

If you ask us, the bigger the bargain, the better. Whether you’re scrimping on subscriptions or cutting down on takeaways, most of us are on a mission to save money wherever we can – and enjoy as much of London as we can for as little money as poss.  And all that explains why budget supermarkets are having such a moment. In this year’s People’s Choice Awards, budget wine grocer Booth’s was voted the country’s favourite place to buy a bottle and Aldi ranked highly in Which?’s study to find the UK’s favourite supermarket. Now, there’s even more good news for London bargain lovers: listen up. As part of huge expansion plans throughout the UK, Lidl has revealed it wants to build nearly 250 new supermarkets in London. As it stands, the chain has around 100 stores in the capital.  Areas such as Camden, Notting Hill and Shoreditch are among the areas named on the store’s new London location wish list. Here is the full list of places in the capital that Lidl wants to open new supermarkets.  RECOMMENDED: The full list of locations target locations for Lidl throughout the UK. London locations that could be getting new Lidl supermarkets London south Addiscombe Addlestone Ashtead Balham Banstead Barnes Battersea Beckenham Bickley Biggin Hill Brockley Bromley - South Camberwell Carshalton Cheam Chertsey Chessington - East Chessington - North Chislehurst Clapham Common Clapham - North Clapham - Old Town Clapham - South Cobham Coulsdon Deptford - High Street Downham Dulwich Earlsfield Eas

Capital’s Summertime Ball has just revealed its huge 2024 line-up – here’s how to get tickets

Capital’s Summertime Ball has just revealed its huge 2024 line-up – here’s how to get tickets

A staple in London’s summer festival circuit, Capital’s Summertime Ball (with Barclaycard) is back with a bang. This summer’s ball is the first with Capital’s all-new breakfast team (Jordan North, Sian Welby and Chris Stark) at the helm – and it’s apparently set to be ‘one of the best Summertime Balls ever.’ This year’s Summertime Ball line-up is looking as huge as ever (consisting of David Guetta, Becky Hill, Perrie and RAYE, to name a few), and 80,000 tickets will go on general sale this week. Don’t want to miss out on one of the summer’s biggest parties? Here’s all you need to know. When is Capital’s Summertime Ball? This year’s ball is taking place on Sunday June 16. Where is the Summertime Ball? The star-studded lineup for this year’s show will take to the stage at Wembley Stadium. When do tickets for Capital’s Summertime Ball go on sale? General sale for the ball goes live tomorrow, on Wednesday May 1 at 9am on Global Player, Capital’s official app. Make sure you have downloaded the app so that you don’t miss out on tickets. You can try Ticketmaster, too. When is the presale? The pre-sale, open to Capital listeners logged into Global Player, went live today (April 30). How much are tickets? We’ll update this page when we know the specific prices for this year’s event.  As a benchmark, tickets in 2022 ranged from £56 to £106. Keep an eye on Ticketmaster for full details. Can I go VIP? Yep, you can do that through the official hospitality partner, Seat Unique. Packages g

Here’s how to (legally) get into Glastonbury without a ticket

Here’s how to (legally) get into Glastonbury without a ticket

So, you’re probably here right now because you forgot all about Glastonbury tickets going on sale back in November and are now feeling extremely sorry for yourself. You might have also missed out on this year’s resale, which took place in April. Or maybe you’re among the hundreds of thousands who went to eye-watering lengths to get their mitts on a ticket, but missed out when they sold out in under an hour. But fear not – if you’re still desperate to trudge through the mud and enter the gates at Worthy Farm, there are several other ways you could (legally) get into Glasto this year, without even having to stump up the hefty ticket price. Here are your options. RECOMMENDED: Everything you need to know about Glastonbury 2024. Volunteer with a partner charity Every year, more than 2,000 people volunteer at the festival. WaterAid and Oxfam are among the charities that partner with the festival every year. Each organisation needs volunteers. Typically, you’re expected to commit to working three to four eight-hour shifts over the five days. This could include anything from cleaning the loos to litter picking, checking tickets or being a steward. The rest of the time is yours to enjoy the festival. And there are apparently a lot of other benefits (other than getting free entry to the biggest music festival in the UK). If you volunteer with Oxfam, for example, you get access to a communal marquee for volunteers, free boiling water, tea and coffee supplies, free phone-charging, access

London’s two best bakeries have been crowned by the Telegraph

London’s two best bakeries have been crowned by the Telegraph

When it comes to bakeries, it’s no secret that London is home to the best of the best. From crusty sourdough to decadent cakes, the capital has pretty much nailed the art of baking, if we do say so ourselves. If you need any further proof, check out Time Out’s list of the best bakeries in the capital. But it’s not just us at Time Out who reckon London’s great for baked goods. Earlier this year British Baker (a kind of god in the pastry world) agreed, naming three London spots in its best artisan bakery list – and now newspaper the Telegraph has spoken, crowning two London bakeries among its baker’s dozen of must-visit baking spots in Britain. Getting the official Telegraph nod of approval is Tarn Bakery in Highgate, north London, which is headed up by Florin Grama and Felix Ortona Coles. According to the Telegraph, ‘Tarn’s sourdough bread uses UK-grown grains, and the pastries include classic croissants and pains au chocolat, plus more unusual sweet and savoury bakes.’ We rate Tarn highly too – it even secured a spot on our own best bakery list. On the other side of the city in Tooting lies the Telegraph’s second pick, Cut the Mustard. ‘It may be a little removed from London’s primary bakery circuit,’ says the paper, ‘but it’s worth making the trip to Tooting to sample some of the more unusual bakes on offer here.’ You can enjoy baked goods galore here: from the ‘Chocolate Hazelnut Dream, a cross between a pain au chocolat and a twice-cooked hazelnut croissant’ to ‘black pudd

Revealed: the 10 most affordable London boroughs to buy a home

Revealed: the 10 most affordable London boroughs to buy a home

It’s no secret that London’s housing market is a waking nightmare. From astronomic rents to house prices that fluctuate almost as much as the weather, right now navigating this city’s housing options is tougher than its ever been.  Chief among this city’s property market problems is London’s priciness – and everyone knows that this city ain’t cheap. In fact, recent research revealed that the ten most expensive streets in Britain are all right here in the capital.  But don’t worry, it’s not all bad news. According to South Park Removals, London house prices fell by 5.2 percent last year, the largest decline in the whole of the UK. And house prices have fallen faster in some parts of the city than others. South Park Removals compared average house prices and average salaries across London’s 32 boroughs to come up with the 10 boroughs that are most affordable to buy a home.   Tower Hamlets took the crown as London’s most affordable borough to live in. The average Tower Hamlets salary was between £78,000 to £80,000 and the average house price was £575,183. So, the average salary was just 13.9 percent of the average house cost. Havering came in second place, with the average salary equating to 10 percent of the average housing price, and Barking and Dagenham took third. Take a look at the full list here: The 10 most affordable London boroughs to buy a home Tower Hamlets (average salary equals 13.9 percent of average house price) Havering (average salary equals 10 percent of avera

A London fish and chips shop has been named the best in the UK

A London fish and chips shop has been named the best in the UK

London is known for many things: tall buildings, fast-paced locals, extremely overpriced pints of beer. But, unfortunately for some, it’s been a while since fried fish, chunky chips and mushy peas made that list.  In the National Fish and Chip Awards earlier this year, only one London chippy was nominated. But Stones Fish and Chips in Acton came home empty handed, losing out to chip shops in Wales, Glastonbury and Darlington, to name but a few. This miserable result for the capital led many to believe that London’s well and truly lost the art of deep-fried fish and vinegar-soaked chip butties. Or has it?  Betway (the online gambling company and, apparently, now chip shop connoisseur) recently embarked on a mission to discover which of the UK’s many fish and chip shops is the best. It did this by gathering data from Google, TripAdvisor and Instagram, and analysing the findings to come up with a most-popular list.  Fish Lounge in Brixton Hill, an unassuming establishment nestled between barber shops, came out on top. Along with Scottish fish and chip joint East Coast in Musselburgh, Fish Lounge was officially named the UK’s most popular destination for one of the nation’s most-loved dishes.  Fish Lounge may be the most popular, but does that actually make it the best? The people of TripAdvisor favour it highly, according to research undertaken by Betway. Reviews rave about the service, the food and the friendly vibe. The restaurant has been awarded a 4.5 out of 5 star rating on