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Phoebe Trimingham

Phoebe Trimingham

Phoebe Trimingham is a Senior Digital Content Producer. She loves museums, long-distance cycling and a good book. You know, the crazy shit. Follow all the action @PhoebeTrim.

Articles (24)

The best dance classes in London

The best dance classes in London

So, you want to dance? Perhaps you’re worried that when you return to the club post-pandemic your moves will be reminscent of your uncle’s after two VKs and a Jägerbomb. Perhaps your body’s begging for an endorphin fix only moving in unison with 17 other cool cats will fix. Perhaps you just want to get a bit fitter this January. Do not worry. From ballet to Bollywood, via salsa and new jack swing, the city is full of places to master new moves and dance like nobody’s watching. But where to start? We’ve rounded up our favourite classes and courses from all ends of the dancing spectrum. So whether you’re a newbie with twerking trouble or a pirouetting pro, here are the best places to throw some shapes in the city. RECOMMENDED: Sport and fitness in London.

Nine dreamy bike rides in and around London

Nine dreamy bike rides in and around London

London loves to cycle. Whether you’re a lycra-lover, fixie obsessive, road racer or just enjoy a casual bike ride now and again, this is a city that has a lot to offer those who favour two wheels.    If you’re looking to spend an afternoon with the wind in your hair and a bike seat beneath your bum, look no further. We’ve rounded up the most tremendous rides in the city – from Zone 1 zips that take you past all the tourist attractions (without you ever needed to board a tour bus) to trips out to London’s nature-packed edges, here’s our pick of challenging, fun and central cycle routes in London. Fancy something that’ll hurt your glutes a little more? Take a look at our list of tougher, hillier, longer bike rides from London.

Which Hogwarts House are you? Find out with our Harry Potter house quiz

Which Hogwarts House are you? Find out with our Harry Potter house quiz

Over 20 years since the first film and a quarter-century since the first book, Harry Potter’s grip on the popular imagination is as strong as ever. JK Rowling’s boy wizard Harry and his pals Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger remain true icons, their nemesis Voldemort one of the all-time iconic villains. And that means there’s one question that simply won‘t go away: what house would I be in? Yes, it is admittedly a question that a lot of people have asked over the years. But only your old pals at Time Out offers a shamelessly London-centric spin on the age-old quandary of which of the four Hogwarts houses the wizarding school’s semi-sentient Sorting Hat would put you in. Because, anybody who knows their wizarding stuff knows that the houses – that’s Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor and Slytherin – aren't just for organising broomstick-based sports teams. They go beyond quidditch: they’re a way of life. The Sorting Hat isn’t random: it sees deep into your soul to define – once and for all – which Hogwarts house is yours to stake a claim to. That definitely 100% entirely goes for this particular Harry Potter house quiz, which was first written to celebrate the launch of Jack Thorne and JK Rowling’s play ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ back in 2016 – and it’s the only one giving you the chance to get your London life sorted in the process. Answer the 11 city-based questions below and KAPOW: like magic, your existence in the capital will suddenly make sense.   If you’d like

The 100 best children’s books

The 100 best children’s books

Unveiled! Time Out London’s 100 best books for kids, toddlers and teenagers. From classics to new works, picture books to sophisticated epics, here are reads to amuse and amaze, to offer first experiences and to fire young imaginations. We invited the Time Out team, staff at London’s best children’s bookshops and many contemporary authors and illustrators to name their ten best children’s books. Special thanks go to the writers and artists creating brilliant books who took the time to nominate their favourites – Charlie Higson, Sophie Kinsella, Terry Deary, Cressida Cowell and Chris Riddell. Our list is based more on passion than science and it’s worth pointing out that there are some writers who are so prolific that their votes were split across their repertoire. Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo and David Walliams are all great writers who didn’t make it into our final 100. However, we’re really pleased with our list of the best children’s books and we hope it will inspire your family’s own adventures into children’s literature. Check out London’s best bookshops.

6 brilliant bike rides from London

6 brilliant bike rides from London

Got the urge to feel the crisp autumn breeze in your hair? Perhaps you’re desperate for a bit of fresh countryside after a long, hot summer in the city, or you’ve realised post-pandemic that you’d rather your workouts came with a side of outdoor adventure rather than the smell of other people’s sweat on gym studio mats? Whatever your reason for wanting to get out on your bike right now, you’ve come to the right place.  It's surprisingly easy to get out of the capital on two wheels, and find yourself in pretty forests or close to the coast. London is surrounded by rural areas – from the chalk cliffs of Sussex to the rolling hills of Buckinghamshire and the woodland of Essex to the coastline of Kent – and many of them make brilliant places for a bike ride. From waterside paths to cross-country treks, check out these brilliant bike rides from London and get peddling. Need to get your bike in gear before you set off? Visit one of the many bike shops still in London. And if you would rather keep your cycling adventures within Zones 1-6 then check out our round up of the best bike rides in London – there are loafs of good ones there. (And we have even rounded up a list of London cycling caffs to stop at if you get peckish on your travels.)  Discover the best walks near London and the best daytrips to go on too.   

18 places you had no idea existed in outer London

18 places you had no idea existed in outer London

It's pretty easy to get caught up in the hubbub of central London but, legend has it, there's even more to get up to beyond Zone 2. Hop on a tube and broaden your knowledge of this bustling city with wildlife havens, regal estates and and golf courses where dinosaurs roam free. Before you set off on your Greater London jaunts, take a look at our London area guides for handy tips. RECOMMENDED: Secret things to do in London

The best barre fitness classes in London

The best barre fitness classes in London

Even in rush hour you can spot those who have pranced and flexed in the name of barre-fitness. They stand strong amongst a sea of slumped, slouched commuters. Barre classes use the same techniques and postures as traditional ballet, but with a focus on strength and conditioning rather than pirouettes and pliés. So watch ‘Black Swan’, grab your gym kit and get ready to stand tall amongst the crowds. For more pocket-friendly fitness options, check out London's best free fitness classes or try our guide to yoga in London. RECOMMENDED: Fitness in London

The best spinning classes in London

The best spinning classes in London

Ten years ago New York company SoulCycle took indoor cycling and gave it an injection of cool. The format quickly spread to London and today there are dozens of places to go to get your high-energy cycling fix. Indoor cycling can sometimes seem a bit intimidating but, trust us, once you’ve sweated through your first, 45 minute ‘party on a bike’ you’ll soon understand why fitness fans get hooked so quickly. Spinning is a seriously addictive way to get fit. Motivational instructors double up as DJs; danceable soundtracks create a party vibe, and high-energy routines guarantee a full body workout. We’ve taken a spin across the capital to bring you the very best places to go spinning in London – whether you’re a cycling newbie or a cleat-clicking pro. 

Summer solstice: how to make the most of the longest day in London

Summer solstice: how to make the most of the longest day in London

The summer solstice isn’t just for Druids and Stonehenge hippies; everyone can celebrate the Earth getting up-close and personal with the Sun. This celestial movement happens once a year and results in the longest day out of all 365 of them. This year it falls on Friday June 21 2019 and to help you make the most of all that glorious daylight, we’ve pulled together a guide to packing the hours with fun. So stay put and do your sun-worshipping in the capital.  RECOMMENDED: 24 amazing things to do in London this summer.

Ten photos of seriously hardcore ballerinas

Ten photos of seriously hardcore ballerinas

If your image of a ballerina is someone pink and fluffy twirling around to Disney, then this new addition to the London photography calendar will make you appreciate 'Swan Lake' on a whole, new level. Photo-mastermind Rick Guest reveals the reality of life as a ballerina in 'What Lies Beneath'. Ignoring all the gloss and tutus, he focuses on tough training regimes and the impact that they have on dancers' bodies. It also features Guest’s long time muse, The Royal Ballet’s Principal Edward Watson and Artistic Director of the English National Ballet Tamara Rojo. We've picked out some highlights below to get you in the dancing mood... 1) Sergei Polunin: 2) Eric Underwood: 3) Melissa Hamilton: 4) Edward Watson: 5) Marianela Nunez: 6) Tamara Rojo: 7) Edward Watson: 8) Sarah Lamb: 9) Edward Watson: 10) Zenaida Yanowski:

11 really rare photos of the Barbican being built

11 really rare photos of the Barbican being built

Love it or hate it, the Barbican isn't going anywhere – and not just because it’s made of whopping great tonnes of hefty, Grade II-listed concrete. Opened by the Queen in 1982, the Barbican complex took over a decade to build and was declared 'one of the modern wonders of the world' by her majesty. Recently, and unexpectedly, the Barbican came into possession of over 1,400 photographs of the final stages of its construction. Rarely seen images of the Brutalist beauty being bashed together are now part of the Barbican's 'Building the Brutal' series. Take a look at some of our favourites below, featuring trees being craned across the conservatory, construction workers dangling in the concert hall and those famously textured walls being painstakingly sculpted, almost unbelievably, by a man with a drill. When you’re done, check out our pick of the Barbican's greatest hits or find photography in London on at the moment. 

Listings and reviews (12)

SoulCycle

SoulCycle

For those who couldn’t care less about indoor cycling, know one thing: we have big news. SoulCycle London has landed. Founded in the US in 2006 and operating in 15 states, it’s the mommy of the spin studio concept. Now, for its first UK posting, it’s chosen Soho as home. But will the all-American enthusiasm translate? How will Londoners handle the high fives? London’s spin scene is anything but lacking. There are cycling juggernauts all over the city, each with carefully curated cult followings of their own. This US puppy had to make its mark – and it’s definitely bought its A-game. Staff as bubbly as cheerleaders greet you in the showroom. Part shop, part café, part check-in desk, the experience is nothing short of lovely. Likewise, the changing rooms – which are typically bustling and bright – pump out tunes to fit the mood. The space is immaculate, with fluffy towels, marble showers and everything you might need, from charging plugs in the lockers to Drunk Elephant face serum. There’s even a water purifier.  But SoulCycle’s mighty reputation really takes hold in the studio downstairs. 45 minutes of intense energy and release await, guided by ridiculously impressive instructors who make you forget you’re there to work out. It’s an experience. From start to finish, the whole room rides together, collectively bouncing to each track. The music is always on point, the routines tight and just the right amount of challenging (try Mantas’ class on a Saturday for a kickstart to the

FirstLight Cycle

FirstLight Cycle

On a mission to spread ‘light and happiness across the city’, FirstLight has its work cut out in London this autumn. But they’re giving it a damn good try. Each class follows the journey of the sun – from morning, noon to sunset. A virtual simulation is displayed on a 30ft mirror at the front of the studio, which tracks the sun as it crosses locations from Dubai to Rio (or, in our case, New York). It’s fun and gives the class a nice structure, but I doubt it really did much to enhance my ‘focus and wellbeing’. It was a bit distracting and left me thinking it was probably better to just go for a run in the actual great outdoors. Much more convincing was the workout itself: slick bikes, polished routines and a seriously bouncy instructor. Not the most challenging of spins, but a definite sweat-inducer. FirstLight is a good place for beginners looking to test their legs. And, with luxury changing rooms kitted-out with all the right smellies and products, it’s a nice place to refresh post-workout – morning, noon or night. 

The Vincent

The Vincent

4 out of 5 stars

Unlike the once-shabby, now-glorious Sebright Arms, this is not a pubby tale of rags to riches. This time round, the team behind that fab East End boozer has gone straight in at the posh end. The Vincent sits beneath one of those shiny towers of £500k flats, but don’t let that put you off. It’s a sheeny café-restaurant serving up brunch, dinner and drinks that juts out below the apartments above like a light-filled conservatory. Ginormous windows, plants and lovely community references quickly whisk your mind away from the housing crisis. It’s laidback and bright, with a focus on doing the simple things really well. A heap of bright yellow kedgeree kicked things off nicely, big chunks of smoked haddock undercut by a tangy mango salsa. Deliciously hangover-curing in every way. A plate of waffles crowned with bacon and golden fried chicken was equally ace – covered in maple syrup and easily the chunkiest thing on the menu. Saying all that, there’s definitely a vegetarian-vegan theme going on. The ‘vedgeree’ alternative was proudly declared; we were told the vegan meatballs are popular; and you have to pay extra for actual meat with your full English (you’ve been warned). But it was the £2 bottomless coffee that ultimately won me over. Unlike the flats above, everything here is good value. And despite the slightly sterile location, The Vincent totally shines.  

The London Loom

The London Loom

I’m not going to lie, I didn’t know what I had signed up for. I thought I was going ‘looming’. In a ‘sorry, can’t come to the pub tonight, I’m going looming’ kind of way – which, in hindsight, sounds pretty sinister. A trip to The London Loom in Hackney Downs Studios quickly corrected my hobbie-to-be. Turns out, I went weaving. On a loom. Gotcha.  I rock up on a rainy Wednesday evening. My mood is instantly lifted by the rainbow of multicoloured threads and psychedelic fabrics on display like a sweetshop. Francesca – one of the two founders – was just as colourful and welcoming, introducing us to the looms with an obvious love for all things weave. Workshops vary in length and expertise, from freestyle weaving for beginners, to tapestry and warp measuring for more advanced loom-lovers. In our two hours, we’re aiming to weave a small wall-hanging. Sure. Francesca explains how to prepare our yarns and pass them through open threads, switching to each new row with a wooden foot pedal. ‘I will definitely break this’, I think, as I settle in front of the delicate-looking contraption.   There are just three of us in the class and we’re soon let loose on the wall of threads, free to experiment with whatever we fancy. The choice of colours is overwhelming. After my first couple of rows, I seem to get the knack of it. Francesca is on hand to help with more complex designs, but I find the real joy comes from the zoned-out moments of focus. It’s incredibly relaxing. There’s a definite r

Autumn Yard

Autumn Yard

Please note, Autumn Yard has now closed. Time Out Food editors, October 2018.  Amble down to Autumn Yard during the week and you’ll be met by dog walkers and health food buffs. Fast forward to the weekend and the brunchers descend, the soundtrack livens up, and this café-bar-store near Hackney Downs Studios slides into action. The warehouse floor is decked out with clever, dark furnishings and a wildly distracting open-plan kitchen. Long tables covered in cocktails are complemented by cosy corner enclaves – perfect for couples or coffee. A bar and shop sit at the entrance and an outdoor terrace will be great for beers come summer. There’s something for everyone. In fact, you could come here and have any experience you wanted. Bring your mum, bring a date, bring your dog, bring them all. While the space is all-encompassing, the dishes – many of which are veggie or vegan – are surprisingly detailed. Healthy weekend classics come with lovely twists, like beans on toast upgraded to a smoky cannellini stew piled high on garlic-smothered sourdough, or a sweet potato hash flaked with juicy ham hock and crisscrossed with an intense hollandaise sauce. Both were delicious and satisfying, just like brunch should be. Zingy juices hit the spot too and, although we didn’t venture down the drinks menu, the vegan wines looked tempting in the way that alcohol always does on Sunday. So, yes, booze is an option, as are healthy veggie sandwiches, bottomless brunches, vegan cupboard essentials, c

Café Miami

Café Miami

3 out of 5 stars

Will Smith’s ‘Welcome to Miami’ is playing as I enter this north Hackney café. It’s no coincidence: everything at Clapton’s latest Instagram paradise is achingly stylised. From heart-shaped sugar cubes to strategically plated food, Café Miami is one big brunch-based photo-op. It’s incredibly well curated. The retro furnishings and hand-picked condiments are all guaranteed to look great on social media. There’s nothing wrong with that; but for me, substance well and truly trumps style. Alas, this place flew off on a golden-winged emoji and left behind an average menu of underwhelming toasted sandwiches. Elsewhere, a weekend ‘special’ of coconut pancakes was nothing special at all: flavourless and pedestrian. A waffle burger (heart-shaped, of course) was much more exciting, with chorizo, avocado and bright orange hot sauce, but too small for £9.50. Homemade strawberry pop-tarts completed the Americana party and, yes, they looked extremely clickable. So ask yourself: What does brunch mean to me? If it’s all aesthetics and uploading your waffles on the house wifi, then Café Miami is an ideal pastel-toned canvas. But if you like catching up with friends and eating tasty and cheap – albeit perhaps less photogenic – food, then go elsewhere. Actually, Miami #IRL is lovely this time of year.

Roma

Roma

4 out of 5 stars

Right, what can I remember about the Romans? They wore sandals, partied in coliseums, built a bloody huge empire and – here’s something my history GCSE didn’t mention – they could cook up one hell of a feast. Welcome Roma, a restaurant fit for an emperor in an area conquered by chains. This isn’t some gimmicky ordeal (don’t turn up in a toga): it’s a smart, city-slicker restaurant taking inspiration from the food and drink of ancient Rome. Surrounded by an army of City eateries, Roma features gilded mirrors, mosaics and a bust of an emperor (which one, who knows – my history exam didn’t turn out well), leading up to a golden restaurant and wine bar. While the decor screams imperial splendor, the menus are much subtler in theme. Ask your waiter to talk you through the extensive wine list; it solely features vineyards that would have fallen within the Roman Empire. Those guys loved a bevvy after a hard day’s empire-building. If you’re going to drink like a Roman, you have to eat like one too, which explains Roma’s banquet-style portions. A huge platter of cured meat was followed by a thick-cut, perfectly pink tuna steak, wrapped in vine leaves with sweet leeks and sharp olives, served with a creamy risotto. It’s one of the dishes that they cook in hay: an ancient technique that left the fish melting with moisture and earthy flavours. A side of samphire gnocchi soaked in parsley butter completed the feast, but probably wasn’t necessary. As for dessert, skip it (too heavy) and re

Aqua Sana

Aqua Sana

Center Parcs may not conjure images of relaxation, but Aqua Sana spa, deep within the Woburn Forest resort, is determined to give it a go. Open to guests and day-trippers alike, the huge 'World of Spa' centre is spread across two floors, including an outdoor infinity pool, Zen garden and café. They've literally thought of everything; it's a spa theme park with extra water beds. Giggly groups of guests grab robes and make their way around a maze of rooms with exciting themes like ‘The Mineral and Gemstone Spa’ and ‘The Blossom Spa’, each with its own series of steam, sauna and relaxation areas.  Helpful tips are displayed everywhere – handy if you don't know your ‘Lava Volcano Sauna’ from your 'Crystal Steam Bath'. For those after a more bespoke visit, it's easy (and recommended) to top up your spa day with a goodie from the treatment menu. Again, absolutely everything is covered, from deep tissue massages and silky body scrubs, to Hopi ear candling and volcanic mud wraps. A new addition for 2016 is the great Elemis 'Speed Spa' offering an express menu of facials all within 30 minutes. We tried the signature ‘Nutritious Auspicious’, which was just as nourishing as it sounds. Even without any of these extra scrub-ups, a relatively reasonable £79 gets you unlimited spa access, lunch and a welcome glass of fizz, so it's the perfect hen-do activity or day-date. It's also just an hour on the train from St Pancras, so you'll be there faster than you can say 'Aqua Meditation Room'. 

The Bach

The Bach

3 out of 5 stars

A ‘bach’ is a small holiday home or beach hut, and a familiar part of everyday life in New Zealand. That’s great, obviously, but this is land-locked London, where a bike shed (let alone a second home) is a luxury. The nearest we’re getting is this Kiwi café on Broadway Market, serving up colourful dishes to a mixed crowd of weekend hangover survivors and yoga babes. A typical Saturday queue was gracefully handled and the menu, with its inevitable sharing ethos, sounded promising. But when we were eventually sat, the corn fritters turned out to be pretty underwhelming – undersized and in need of more chilli jam. A french toast stack with treacle bacon and fried banana was better, but didn’t live up to the heady expectations of that description. The zingy juices hit the spot, though, and the excellent coffee comes from Allpress. There’s no brunch-time cocktails, but plenty of tasty counter cakes to linger over. Luckily, the staff are lovely enough to lift those limp fritters, clearly trained at the school of ‘touch customers on the arm whenever possible’ (if that’s your thing). Let’s just hope they can up their brunch game a bit – then I’ll be bach.

Rookery

Rookery

4 out of 5 stars

Wander down the alleyways of Clerkenwell and you'll eventually find The Rookery, its door so satisfyingly hidden we walked past it twice. Once inside, wood-panelled walls lead to an antique reception desk, where guests check in to this playful boutique hotel: a converted Georgian townhouse, heavy with local history and as far from luxury chain monotony as you can get.  It's impossible not to fall under The Rookery’s spell. Like the slinky house cat who winds around the furniture, the place feels elegant and full of secrets. Lady Grey purred proudly as she showed us around the nooks of the library and into the sitting room, with its decadent honesty bar. Antique armchairs slept around an open fire. Afternoon cakes appeared as if from nowhere. And the magic continued up into the warren-like, art-filled corridors of 33 individually decorated large bedrooms (plus a few hidden doors, I’m sure of it). Our room was dominated by a magnificent four-poster bed and a huge clawfoot bath with brass fittings. I could have done without the twee lace curtains, but the overflowing bookshelves of leather-bound books were a great distraction. While the decor is dialled to eighteenth-century glamour, modernity is definitely not forgotten. Local ‘on trend’ brands stock the minibar, REN toiletries soothe weary time-travellers, and wifi bounces off the marble surfaces throughout the hotel. There's no restaurant, but that’s no problem considering the location in one of London’s major foodie district

Ginger Pig Butchery Classes

Ginger Pig Butchery Classes

You know what you should do after a stressful day? Hack up some meat. Then eat loads of it, drink some wine and carry on hacking up meat - to be specific, an innocent, delicious pig, lovingly reared in rural Yorkshire. In case it's not already clear, this review is not suitable for vegetarians. The Ginger Pig's butchery classes are a must for curious carnivores. I arrive at mine in a post-work flurry to be greeted by a warm sausage roll and a total sausage-fest - I was one of only two women in the group of 20. We gather around a carving table and plunge straight into a demo with a very experienced, very jolly butcher who gracefully chops his way through an entire pig. It's fascinating. I stand in awe as he slices and hacks. We learn the best cuts of meat to buy and get a cupboard-full of cooking tips. All amidst flying chunks of pig flesh. I wouldn't call myself squeamish, but it was gruesome. Poking a freshly-plucked eyeball brought back queasy memories of GCSE biology. Then it's our turn. Gloves on, knives out, meat everywhere. I'm given a huge hunk of loin and clear instructions on how to roll, chop and slice the meat away from the bone. After a lot of concentration and no cut fingers, we're all rewarded with a 'here's one I made earlier' slap-up meal. Roast pork (obvs), wine, and the most cracking crackling I've ever had. At £155, this is a serious-interest-only class. It's not for the faint-hearted, but would suit foodies wanting to learn about the meat industry and peop

Ruby's

Ruby's

4 out of 5 stars

Light-fingered Londoners may have stolen all the vintage milk bottles that Ruby’s famous blackberry mojitos were once served in, but that hasn’t stopped the place from shining with details. In the basement of a five-storey townhouse, knick-knacks and odd furniture fill a small drinks den, and unusual cocktails sparkle in decorative glasses, served on retro beer mats. Classics are given a twist (like the very spicy Chili Apple Martini) and a seasonal menu explores new concoctions (try pine liquor and liquorice mixed with gin in autumn's Pinin' For Home). So even if Ruby’s doesn’t appear to sparkle from street-level, step down the rickety staircase into a cave of treasures, glistening features and strong-looking, strong-tasting cocktails. Just don’t nick anything, all right?

News (7)

No kidding! Tickets have just gone on sale for the Oxford v Cambridge Goat Race

No kidding! Tickets have just gone on sale for the Oxford v Cambridge Goat Race

Two goats. One race. The dream? To be crowned winner of the annual Oxford v Cambridge Goat Race and roll around victorious in a load of hay. That's right, sport fans, London's favourite farmyard fiasco is back for a ninth year of hoof-biting action. Taking place on April 2 – on exactly the same day, at exactly the same time as the far duller Boat Race – it's a firm fixture on London's sporting calendar and always a sell-out. As well as careering livestock, there'll be live bands, market stalls, booze, baa-rs and other goat-based fun, including the opportunity to bleat your way through some Goat-e-oke or try your hand at Goatee knitting. Tickets are on sale now, so act fast, kids.  Farm gates open at noon. Main race takes place around 4.30pm. Tickets are £14 and available right here. 

Five classic and lovely things to do in London this autumn

Five classic and lovely things to do in London this autumn

That London to-do list hiding at the back of your mind? The one you wrote when you first fell in love with the city – when you were younger, cuter, less cynical and oh-so up for exploring the landmarks? Well, dig it out again, pal because we’ve just updated our list of the ultimate 101 things to do in London. It's a bumper bucket of the city's must-dos and must-sees, so whether you’re new to town or fancy living like a tourist for the day, go remind yourself why London is one of the best cities in the world (and reward yourself with some satisfying tick-offs in the process). Here are five classic autumn outings to get you started. Crunch leaves in Kew Gardens West London’s palace of flowers, leaves, and frickin’ great foliage turns into a whole new world in the autumn months. Celebrate the change in seasons with some serious yellow, gold and brown.    A photo posted by Kew Gardens (@kewgardens) on Sep 20, 2016 at 6:57am PDT     Beat the crowds at Liberty That weird Tudor building at the gates of Soho will fast become every Londoner's one-stop-shop for last-minute Christmas presents. Get in there early and buy all the fancy socks now.    A photo posted by Liberty London (@libertylondon) on Oct 13, 2016 at 11:38am PDT     Freak out at Highgate Cemetery London's finest collection of dead people takes on a different air from October onwards. No longer a spot for semi-spooky strolls, the cemetery becomes a full-on ghostly hide out in the lead-up to Halloween.    

Uh oh, it's 100 days until Christmas...

Uh oh, it's 100 days until Christmas...

'What's that? You haven't finished your Christmas shopping yet? But there are only 100 days to go until the big day, people, ONE HUNDRED DAYS!'   Okay, chill out mate, we all like a mince pie, but there's no need to bang on about your baubles just yet. A hundred days is a long time and there are some pretty serious celebrations coming up between now and December (Halloween parties and Bonfire Night displays spring to mind, and they're just for starters). What would be just lovely is if you could keep the C-word under wraps for just a little while longer, so we can get back to enjoying the here and now, the present if you will – no, not that type of present – because next thing you know it'll be the start of 2017 and we'll be counting down the days until the next herd of reindeer.  For those of a more merry disposition, don't worry, we're just being grinches – here's a flurry of features to (yule)tide you over until we get in the Christmas spirit:  The best Christmas theatre shows coming to London Sparkling Christmas lights of London past And our big, festive guide to Christmas in London 2016 'Can I get a ho, ho, ho?!' No, you most certainly may not.

Help Calais refugees at a free film screening of 'Fire At Sea'

Help Calais refugees at a free film screening of 'Fire At Sea'

If the current doom-loop of news is getting you down, here’s a good way to brighten things up. On Tuesday evening, NT’s bar in Netil House will be hosting a ‘Collecting for Calais’ screening to gather donations for the refugee camp in Calais. The award-winning documentary ‘Fire At Sea’ will be shown, which explores the Italian island of Lampedusa and how locals interact with the newcomers arriving on shore every day. It’s free to get in, but guests are asked to bring items to donate. Camp provisions are running really low and there are things specifically needed – so please only donate items from the list below (or, you know, good old cash). So do a nice thing and head down. Help prove that the world is still a positive, connected and occasionally bright blob of rock that we all just happen to share.  FOOD: Tinned food with ring pulls (lamb, chicken, beef, tuna, sardines, tomatoes, beans, lentils), easy cook rice, cooking oil, dates DRINKS: Tea, green tea, UHT milk, coffee, sugar, long-life fruit juice CLOTHES: Men’s jogging bottoms (28-34 waist), hoodies and T-shirts, socks, flip flops, men’s summer coats, waterproof trousers SLEEPING ITEMS: Blankets, roll mats, sleeping bags TOILETRIES: Toothpaste, toothbrushes, shower gel, shampoo, deodorant, razors, washing powder, sun cream MISCELLANEOUS: Wind-up torches, buckets, rucksacks
 ‘Collecting for Calais’ is at NT’s Bar (Netil House), London Fields, E8 3RL on Tue Aug 9 from 6pm (screening starts at 8pm). Entry is free, but plea

15 reasons to go to Chatsworth Road, E5

15 reasons to go to Chatsworth Road, E5

Chatsworth road smells amazing. Thanks to the fresh bread, exotic flowers, food stalls and reassuringly expensive scented candles all over the place, the whole thoroughfare is an olfactory marvel. It’s a feast for the eyes and tastebuds too. A long residential strip running through Homerton, Chatsworth Road is both a functional, neighbourhood high street and a genuinely great destination full of independent shops, excellent eateries and good-looking people. Originally intended to cater for life’s practicalities, it was one of the first planned high streets in London. Some sparky Victorians turned fields near a growing suburb into a pathway of amenities for the locals, including a butcher, some greengrocers and a loo (which still stands today as Hackney’s only free unisex public toilet). But hey, times change, gentrification happens, and now there’s a dog-grooming parlour. But there’s also a string of nice cafés, a friendly family crowd and a weekly food market that’s much better than the nearby tourist trap of Broadway Market.  So whether you’re a Hackney local or a Chatsworth newbie, here’s where to find a great butcher, some wonderful bakers and a whole gang of scented-candlestickmakers. Eat this   A photo posted by MAX CHATER LTD (@maxchater) on Mar 3, 2016 at 6:42am PST Mountains of Mediterranean food at Pivaz where the portions are as big as the Greek deficit. It’s the perfect place for a boisterous weekend brunch or a romantic evening meal. Anything at British ga

Five children’s books you’ll definitely remember if you’re in your twenties

Five children’s books you’ll definitely remember if you’re in your twenties

    Life would be sweeter if we were still read bedtime stories. You've had a stressful day at work, your fringe trim has gone wonky, the threat of international terrorism is ever-present, and yet none of that matters anymore when you’re being soothed to sleep by a bedtime tale. Sorry champ, but that’s never gonna happen – you're in the real world now where Oyster machines eat your wages and crash-diets corrupt your soul – plus it’d be a bit weird to ask your housemate to read you to sleep. Instead, here are five kids’ bedtime books you'll definitely remember if you're in your twenties. Glance through the golden days then get back to nodding off to ‘Making a Murderer's sweet sounds of despicable and total human injustice. Goodnight. 1. 'The Cat in the Hat' by Dr Seuss A cat? In a hat? And he can talk!? Oh man, this is funny. He can also successfully break into people's houses, which throws up questions of morality and the treatment of hostages, but hey, look at his funny hat! 2. 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea' by Judith Kerr When an uninvited tiger cruises in for dinner and eats more than his fair share of the pasta bake, things quickly turn nasty. A vital lesson in meal etiquette for the sharing-platter generation.   3. 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle Another book about a greedy and frankly over-indulgent animal, this caterpillar just can’t get enough. He scoffs his way through treats, has a nap in a cocoon, and then turns into a beautiful butterfly, which is exactl

Three ways to celebrate National Sake Day in London

Three ways to celebrate National Sake Day in London

Jump aboard the sushi boat and kimono-over for a party – it's World Sake Day today. We’re not being ‘sarky’, we’re genuinely excited about this annual tribute to our favourite Japanese spirit. Celebrated worldwide, the date traditionally marks the start of sake production in Japan – and London isn’t going to miss out on a party, especially when there’s booze involved. Head up to the sushi gods at Sushisamba for a special range of sake inspired dishes, cocktails and sake-serving Geisha; or stay on ground level for 20 percent off sake at The Japan Centre. Or why not take a trip to any Shoryu Ramen restaurant to try their celebratory flight of three different sakes (including Namazake – the chosen tipple of the Japanese Imperial Household). This is a whole day dedicated to Japan’s national booze, so go on, get into the spirit. Kanpai! For more booze-fuelled fun, take a look at five banging events for London Cocktail Week. Or check out five pubs and bars with resident pets.