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Rhys Thomas

Rhys Thomas

Contributing writer

Articles (140)

The 11 best Airbnbs with pools in the UK for the ultimate staycation

The 11 best Airbnbs with pools in the UK for the ultimate staycation

It's a bit surprising, isn't it? Pools tucked away in UK Airbnb listings. Who would've guessed? But, despite our unpredictable weather, there are actually Airbnbs that offer a poolside escape right here on home soil. If you're looking for a UK staycation, these Airbnbs make a fantastic alternative to the usual run-of-the-mill hotels popping up everywhere. And if you're lucky enough to snag some sunny days, they can give you that tropical getaway feel without the hefty plane fare. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, right? To help those planning a British vacation, we've curated the top UK Airbnbs with private pools. From beach houses in Cornwall to charming barns in Wales, these spots are ready and waiting to amaze. Let's just hope the weather plays nice… RECOMMENDED: 🚗 The best road trips in the UK 🏖️ The most stunning hidden beaches in the UK 🌳 Amazing treehouses in the UK you can actually stay in Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in every Airbnb featured, we've based our list on top reviews, hosts, and amenities to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.

The best Napa hotels to book right now

The best Napa hotels to book right now

A trip to Napa Valley is not to be rushed; Wine Country is meant to be savored. That being said, you should definitely swallow it and not spit it into the proverbial bucket. Thankfully, there's no shortage of standout Napa hotels for relaxing, swimming, and wining and dining (and wining and wining), in style. You'll find historic vineyard estates, stylish boutique newcomers, scene-y rooftop decks, and truly luxurious digs. (Soaking tub with a view, anyone? Well, they'll have that, obviously). To help you focus on the good stuff: Cali vino, and not the: oh my god there are so many places I can't be bothered I'm going to stay at home and get some expensive wine from the bodega... We've rounded up the best places to stay in Napa Valley. You're so welcome. RECOMMENDED: The best Airbnbs in Napa Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in and review every hotel featured, we've based our list on our expert knowledge of the destination covered, editorial reviews, user reviews, hotel amenities and in-depth research to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.

The 13 best Airbnbs in Paris for a true slice of ‘la vie en rose’

The 13 best Airbnbs in Paris for a true slice of ‘la vie en rose’

The City of Light is a top pick for a dreamy escape. It's brimming with diverse neighbourhoods and endless attractions, welcoming travellers from all over the world. Whether you're wandering along the Seine, savouring mouthwatering croissants at charming street cafes, or gazing in awe at iconic landmarks like the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, and, of course, the Eiffel Tower, you'll never find yourself short of things to do in this epic location. But, let's face it, staying in a city as popular as Paris can be a bit of a budget buster, especially when it comes to booking a hotel. That's where Airbnb comes to the rescue. From snug apartments perfect for a romantic retreat to luxurious homes for larger groups, opting for an Airbnb is a great way to truly experience the city's vibrant culture. To make your trip planning a breeze, we've done the heavy lifting and handpicked some of the finest Airbnb options in Paris. So if you’re looking to experience Paris in all its glory, these awesome accommodations let you live like a real Parisian. Voilà! RECOMMENDED:🇫🇷Here's where to stay in Paris🏨 Take your pick of the best hotels in Paris💰 Check out the best cheap hotels in Paris Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in every Airbnb featured, we've based our list on top reviews, hosts, and amenities to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.

Where to stay in Washington, DC’s best neighborhoods—and why

Where to stay in Washington, DC’s best neighborhoods—and why

Planning a trip to DC? Good call. The District is packed with free, cheap and family-friendly things to do to keep visitors busy. The city is broken into four different quadrants that are made up of distinct neighborhoods, each one promising history, art, food, drinks and so much more. Below are a few of our favorite neighborhoods (complete with pros and cons for each one), so you can better decide where to stay in Washington, DC on your next visit. Plus: Hotel picks for each neighborhood. We hope these are helpful – hopefully see you out on the town sometime soon! Happy vacation, friends. RECOMMENDED: The best hotels in Washington D.C.RECOMMENDED: The best Airbnbs in Washington D.C. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

The best pet-friendly hotels in NYC

The best pet-friendly hotels in NYC

Whether you’re visiting NYC or taking a little staycation, there’s no need to pay a small fortune to have someone watch your furriest friend. Bring them along, they make the best travel companion! Top NYC hotels across all price points are putting the “friendly” in pet-friendly. The best pet-friendly hotels in NYC not only allow dogs, but often pamper them as much as (if not even more than) their humans. A dog is everyone's best friend, right? Unless you're a cat person... Some of these hotels have a resident pooch who oversees the lobby (tip them with snacks), while others greet doggie guests with curated local treats and other extras such as comfy dog beds. What else would you expect from a city that’s obsessed with pets? Tried and true New Yorkers don’t like to leave their canine companions at home—and thanks to these pet-friendly accommodations, out-of-towners don’t have to either. Round out your dog’s big NYC adventure by going all out with a feast at one of the city’s best dog-friendly restaurants. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best hotels in NYCRECOMMENDED: The best Airbnbs with fireplaces in NYC Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in every Airbnb featured, we've based our list on top reviews, hosts and amenities to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines. 

The 12 best hotels in the Lake District, for a breathtaking short break

The 12 best hotels in the Lake District, for a breathtaking short break

As the UK's most visited national park, the captivating, enigmatic Lake District is just about as English as landscapes come. Forged from glaciers (remember those old geography classes, anyone?), this UNESCO site is one of the UK's most popular tourist hotspots for visitors, domestic and international. And while people flock to the Lake District because of the history, the walking, the breathtaking scenery, picturesque villages, and the, well, lakes, after all of that, you really do need a place of comfort, great food, log fires, and luxurious spas to rest your weary bones. Long gone are the days of cobwebby, damp B&Bs – style and quality are on the up in the region, so it's worth checking out these incredible Lake District hotels right now, as this is just about the perfect time to explore this fascinating, beautiful part of the world. From remote bivouacs and remote stays to lakeside luxury and world-famous hotels that draw people from all over the world, here’s our pick of the best hotels in the Lake District to start booking now.  February 2024 update: one of our favourite hotels is currently unavailable, so we've replaced it with an incredible new property we've found: Seatoller House. Enjoy! RECOMMENDED: 🏡 Check out the best Airbnbs in the Lake District🥾 Here are the best things to do in the Lake District⛰ These are the most beautiful national parks to visit in the UK Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in every hotel featured below, we've based our

The 8 best flower delivery services in San Diego

The 8 best flower delivery services in San Diego

The florist scene in San Diego is better than ever. Budding new independent retailers are sprouting up (see what we did there?) all over the county, and if you are in a hurry, many florists offer same-day delivery. So if you're searching for gorgeous petals to surprise your loved one with, you're in luck. There is prompt delivery, so you'll never have to wake up on the day and panic-jog to a nearby gas station and pick up some wilted Roses that look sweatier than you. Want to select some blooms that are native to the area? Try California Poppies, Hummingbird Trumpets, Lewisias, Pacific Coast Irises, Coast Indian Paintbrush, Common Thrift, or Yarrows. Chances are they won't have to travel far to reach their recipient, meaning they will stay fresh longer. We’ve picked a bunch of our favorite florists, all of whom deliver throughout the San Diego region. How do we determine the cream of the crop? Our staff picks combine the top, most recent reviews with some of our personal favourites to make sure you get the best deal on the web. Throughout this article, you may notice some affiliate links – these have no influence on our editorial content – we pinky swear. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.

The 16 best online stores for flower delivery in NYC

The 16 best online stores for flower delivery in NYC

There's always something to remember and buy gifts for. Birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's Day, house warmings, new babies, Mother's Day... you name it. They deserve a gift, too. But, hold on a second. Don't rush to your nearest grocery store for a bouquet of wilting roses just yet, we have your back. Luckily, we live in NYC in the 21st century where you can get flowers delivered straight to your door for the very next day – or in some cases, that exact same day. And who doesn't love being gifted a bunch of flowers? And it’s not just bouquets you can get sent to your loved one. You can get potted plants (perfect for plant fanatics) and even more brought straight to their door. We’ve saved your bacon by rounding up all of the very best flower delivery services in NYC, ready for you to choose your fave.  RECOMMENDED: 🍫 Check out the best chocolate deliveries in the USA How do we know it's the best of the best? Our lists are expertly curated by our local experts far and wide to offer you the lowdown on the best delivery services in NYC. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

The 14 best Airbnbs in Los Angeles, for the dreamiest LA vacation

The 14 best Airbnbs in Los Angeles, for the dreamiest LA vacation

Los Angeles is one of the most remarkable cities in the world. Hollywood films, gorgeous beaches and A-Listers: it’s a place of luxury, sunshine and some of the best restaurants in the country. It makes sense why the place is so popular. So, if you’re visiting for the first time, or you live just outside of the city and want a weekend break, consider renting a unique Airbnb in Los Angeles instead of your standard run-of-the-mill hotel. Choose from stylish homes in West Hollywood to architectural townhouses in Venice; you’ll find something no matter what vibe you’re looking for. These superb Airbnbs in Los Angeles might just convince you to become a full-time Angeleno – if you’re not one already, of course.   RECOMMENDED:🏨See our full guide to the best hotels in Los Angeles🌴Check out these top-of-the-range Palm Springs stays🏄‍♂️Discover the best things to do while you're in LA Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in every Airbnb featured, we've based our list on top reviews, hosts and amenities to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines. 

The 14 best hotels in Brooklyn's Trendiest Neighborhoods

The 14 best hotels in Brooklyn's Trendiest Neighborhoods

Venture across the river for a stay at one of the best hotels in Brooklyn. Once there, experience the borough’s finest – from the best brunch in the neighborhood to the trendiest venues for live music – arguably in the city. If rest and relaxation are more your speed, you’re in luck, because these hotels also house some of the most incredible hotel rooftop pools in the city. Not to mention, Brooklyn is home to some of New York's best pizza, so make sure you grab a slice while visiting.  Just make sure your phone’s charged – you’ll definitely want to post those iconic shots of the Manhattan skyline. Whether you're looking for a hub near the heart of the area or a getaway on the outskirts, this list should help you make the most of your time out in the Big Apple. Here are our top picks of the best hotels in Brooklyn.   Updated February 2024: Along with the fabulous existing hotels on this list, we've added a couple of newbies well worth shouting about, or rather, snoozing in. Both hotels offer a cozy design design-conscious stay in NYC'S trendiests neighbohoods, one in Williamsburg and the other in Boerum Hill. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best hotels in NYC Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in and review every hotel featured, we've based our list on our expert knowledge of the destination covered, editorial reviews, user reviews, hotel amenities and in-depth research to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence o

The 20 best hotels in New Orleans, for a trip of a lifetime

The 20 best hotels in New Orleans, for a trip of a lifetime

The best hotels in New Orleans range from high-end national brands to quirky, boutique properties, with plenty of options in between. There's something out there to suit everyone – even if you've got a very acquired and niche taste.  These New Orleans hotels offer everything you need for a comfortable stay plus service and attention that will make your visit to the city memorable. A new crop of independent hoteliers has transformed unique spaces into posh retreats, while a handful of historic hotels have stood the test of time and have become attractions in their own right. Plus, many of these hotels even have on-site bars and restaurants that have earned accolades on their own.  Whether you’re a business traveler, party animal or trend-seeking influencer, these hotels have it all. Deciding which New Orleans neighborhood to be based in is always a tough decision – maybe you’re looking to blow off some steam with a French Quarter fiesta, or perhaps you’re more in the mood to decamp to a trendy hideaway in the Marigny – but wherever you decide to stay, you’ll have a perfect spot to rest your head after exploring all the best restaurants and bars in NOLA. February 2024 update: one of our favorite hotels is currently unavailable, so we've replaced it with a new incredible hotel we've found: the Bourbon Orleans Hotel. RECOMMENDED: The best neighborhoods in New OrleansRECOMMENDED: The best Airbnbs in New OrleansRECOMMENDED: The best things to do in New Orleans Who makes the cut? W

The 17 best boutique hotels in NYC from luxury gems to trendy retreats

The 17 best boutique hotels in NYC from luxury gems to trendy retreats

Boutique hotels in NYC have a special place in our hearts - they're not just luxurious with top-notch amenities, they’re bursting with character, offering experiences that few others can match. Seriously, these independent hotels have such unique styles that you'll be planning a full-scale home makeover in your head before check-out. With so many amazing choices, picking the best boutique hotels in NYC is tough. From the Financial District to Williamsburg, these hotels with rich histories and daring designs offer everything from mixology classes and indulgent full-body massages to Parisian-style gardens, rooftop bars, and jaw-dropping views of the city's iconic landmarks.  To help plan your perfect NYC trip, we've done the legwork for you, rounding up our personal favorite boutique hotels in New York City. Because when you're in one of the world's greatest cities, your stay should reflect the unique character and style of the place. As a final note, among some of the editor's old favorites, you'll find some new digs on this list too. Expect a contemporary retreat for the urbanites with "drop dead" views and one of them most iconic luxury stays in Manhattan that money can buy. Welcome to the good life. RECOMMENDED:🇺🇸 View our full guide to the best hotels in NYC🏊‍♀️ Discover the best NYC hotels with pools🚶‍♂️ Check out the best things to do in NYC🍔 Head over to Time Out Market NYC💸 Splash the cash at the best luxury hotels in NYC Who makes the cut? While we might not sta

Listings and reviews (4)

Spooky Spurs Stadium Tours

Spooky Spurs Stadium Tours

Few things in life are scarier than taking a penalty, but this spooky tour of Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium might be. From freaky face-painting to ghoulish games, there’ll be all sorts of Halloween-inspired activities for future Harry Kanes to get stuck into, culminating in a Halloween adventure around the stadium where they can search for all the hidden tricks and treats. There’ll even be a prize for the best spooky costumes (no Arsenal kits though, they’re far too scary!)  

Edgar Wright's London After Dark

Edgar Wright's London After Dark

Film fans are going to absolutely love this one. The director Edgar Wright is hosting a big old takeover at the BFI Southbank called ‘London After Dark’. Across October and November this year Wright’s takeover series will be a load of film screenings he's curated. But that's not all. They're not just a pick n mix of moving images. Oh no. This list of screenings is the exact list that has inspired his latest film ‘Last Night in Soho’. The idea being, you can sit there after dark in the lovely BFI Southbank and soak up all those films that have influenced Wright’s recent hit There are 17 screenings in total, with choices like ‘The Small World of Sammy Lee’, ‘Frenzy’, ‘Peeping Tom’, and more.

Brent Cross Winter Festival

Brent Cross Winter Festival

It's back! For just the second time ever, there's going to be a Brent Cross Winter Festival this year. Following on from the very well received 2019 winter festival, this year's instalment will be a great welcome back for the North-West Christmas festivities.  Despite being young, there's no shortage of attractions and activities to enjoy at the wonderland. From bars to bus rides, light displays to a giant observation wheel – the shopping center truly becomes a spot for all things Christmas cheer and quality time. Some of the main features you'll want to check out include the massive ice rink. We're talking one of the largest in London. Plus, and here's the good bit, it's indoors. So you can be sure the surface isn't getting washed out with that Dickensian winter rain. With the help of Santa’s little elves, you'll also find Santa Claus's Magical Grotto where children will be able to share their Christmas wishes with Santa. He's not flown over from the North Pole empty handed though, oh no. He's brought presents!  So come along, enjoy the festive season!   

Winterfest

Winterfest

Following the success of Winterfest in 2019, and a postponed event in 2020, Wembley Park’ will once again host Winterfest. On Thursday 25th November 2021, the festive (uh...) festival, will begin.  An official switch-on of London’s tallest LED tree at Wembley Park Boulevard will mark the start of the event, which contains a host of attractions and events (all visually focussed) which will run until January 4. The super-lit tree will also be the canvas for a series of brand-new digital artworks by Brent-based artist Yoni Alter. ‘City Lights’, will be made up of 100,000 kinetic lights which pulse to different rhythms and evoke the vibrancy and pace of a cityscape. That's a lot of light. Other attractions include ‘Reunion’, a unique light installation from Kumquat Lab, which will be unveiled in Market Square as a world exclusive. The idea of 'Reunion' is to celebrate us being able to interact after the pandemic. With this installation, light will become an interactive experience.  There will be other light installations and a photograph exhibition at Winterfest also. Plenty to see! 

News (60)

成長するウェールズの新世代ラップシーン

成長するウェールズの新世代ラップシーン

水曜日の夜、ウェールズの首都であるカーディフを訪れたなら、行くべき場所は一つしかない。 街の中心部にあるヴェニュー「Porter's」だ。ここではコメディアンのライブやパブクイズも開催されるが、最近はウェールズのローカルラップシーンに一番触れられる場所として人気。れんがの壁とコンクリート床に囲まれた空間では、ドリルからグライム、ガラージからヒップホップまで、同シーンから生まれるあらゆるサウンドを楽しむことができる。 道路を挟んですぐの場所には、ストームジー、ケンドリック・ラマー、ニッキー・ミナージュなどのスターたちがコンサートを行ってきた「カーディフ・インターナショナル・アリーナ」がある。かたや「Porter's」のキャパは100人ほど。しかし、ここを震源地の一つとするウェールズの「地元産」ラップは沸々と話題を集め、最近広く知られるようになってきている。 この1年間で、「ディフ」(カーディフの短縮形)出身の若手ラップアーティストが世界中で聴かれるようになり、ストリーミング再生回数の「100万超え」も出始めた。 その中で、22歳のラッパー、ジュース・メナスは2022年の夏、ウェールズ女子サッカーチームの「2023 FIFA女子ワールドカップ」予選キャンペーンにオリジナルトラックを提供。28歳のメイス・ザ・グレートは、男子サッカーチームの成功を祝う、エネルギッシュで国を愛する気持ちを込めたトラックをリリースした。 かつてはオルタナティブやエモ、メタルを中心に扱ってきたカーディフのヴェニューも、ラップシーンの中で大いに注目を集めるようになった。例えば 歴史的にインディー音楽と関わりが強かった「Clwb Ifor Bach」は、今ではラッパーやグライムファンが集まるライブを頻繁に開催している。このことでも分かるようにウェールズラップは流行しており、その規模はますます大きくなっているといえる。  Photograph: Porter’s 過去にも注目されたウェールズのラップシーン ウェールズがラップシーンが盛んな国として注目されたのは、これが初めてではない。DJであり、ブームタウン・フェスティバルの元音楽ディレクター、そしてウェールズ国立博物館のために同地のヒップホップについての展示キュレーションを担当したカプチン・バレットは次のように振り返る。 「1980年代初頭、ウェールズではグランドマスター・フラッシュ・アンド・ザ・フューリアス・ファイヴなどの曲をかけるディスコDJがいました。この地域から、4DeeやMC Ericのようなアーティストがラッパーとして登場するようになったのは、数年後です」 MC Ericは、カーディフでジャマイカ人の両親のもとに生まれ育つ。兄のサウンドシステムに合わせて言葉をリズムに乗せるようになり、その後はよりダイレクトにヒップホップに関わっている。彼は1980年代後半に、テクノトロニックのメンバーとして、当時大ヒットして時代を象徴する曲となった「Pump Up the Jam」に参加したこともある。 1990年代後半から2000年代前半にかけても、ウェールズには同様の波が押し寄せた。グライムパンクバンドのAstroid Boysはおそらくその頃の最大の存在だったといえる。2012年、彼らは「Fire in the Booth」にも出演を果たし、フリースタイルパフォーマンスを披露した。 しかし、何組かを除けば、ウェールズの才能はほとんどアンダーグラウンドにとどまっていた。次の世代のウェールズラップのスターにマイクを渡す前に、火が

The UK’s most exciting rap scene? It’s 131 miles from London – and only getting bigger

The UK’s most exciting rap scene? It’s 131 miles from London – and only getting bigger

If you ever catch yourself in Cardiff on a Wednesday night, there’s only one place you should go. At Porter’s, a 100-capacity venue in the city centre, you’ll discover a thriving rap scene that rivals pretty much anything else in the country. From drill to grime, garage to hip-hop, you’ll hear it all in this brick-walled, concrete-floored bar, which also hosts live comedy and pub quizzes. It’s just across the road from the Cardiff International Arena, which has previously hosted stars like Stormzy, Kendrick Lamar and Nicki Minaj. But right here, in the Welsh capital, a cauldron of homegrown rap is bubbling – and it’s starting to spill its raw guts all over the place. Over the past year, young rap artists from the ’diff have played across the world and streams are starting to surpass the million mark. Last summer, 22-year-old rapper Juice Menace released an exclusive track for the Welsh women’s football team’s 2023 World Cup qualifier campaign, while Mace the Great, 28, released an energetic, patriotic track celebrating the men’s team’s successes. Venues that were once reserved for alternative, emo and metal are taking plenty of notice too: Clwb Ifor Bach, historically associated with indie music, now often puts on gigs filled with MCs and grime fans. Needless to say: Welsh rap is a thing, and it’s only getting bigger.  Venues once reserved for emo and metal are now putting on gigs filled with MCs and grime fans This isn’t Wales’s first rodeo as a nation with a vibrant rap sce

A guide to London’s ten most affordable neighbourhoods

A guide to London’s ten most affordable neighbourhoods

Let’s be honest: there’s nowhere in London where it's properly cheap to rent a room, but it turns out there are neighbourhoods where you can still get a space for less than £600. Want to get to know what they are, where they are and what they’re like? Look no further. Here are the key details to know – from parks and pubs to big supermarkets and transport connections.  10. Palmers Green, N13 Average room rent £598.What’s it like? A suburban area beyond Tottenham. Broomfield Park is nice. River Lee isn’t far away. Best places to eat and drink Cypriot cuisine rules these quarters, the food at Nissi is a prime example. Big supermarkets nearby There’s a Waitrose in a weirdly fancy building, a Sainsbury’s and a big Morrisons. Transport connections Arnos Grove is just outside the postcode. Otherwise, buses run to central, and Palmers Green station has Great Northern and Thameslink trains. 9. Upper Edmonton, N18 Average room rent £595.What’s it like? A bustling, diverse area with a big Ikea and 
an even bigger park (Pymmes).Best places to eat and drink Lincoln’s Patisserie is a gem. Hilal Restaurant does great Turkish food. And try Enfield Brewery for pints. Big supermarkets nearby A huge Lidl, with a car park and all the rest. Transport connections There’s Edmonton Green Overground, a couple of buses and national rail from Meridian Water to Stratford every half an hour. 8. Wanstead and Leytonstone, E11 Average room rent £592.What’s it like? A slice of east London, further out than

Adele invited Grenfell survivors and firefighters to her London concert

Adele invited Grenfell survivors and firefighters to her London concert

Adele is without doubt, one of the best celebrity Londoners to have ever existed. Born in Tottenham, raised in Brixton and West Norwood (after a brief spell down in Brighton) she's up there with chicken shops, the Southbank skaters and railway arches with fun things in them when it comes to our city’s finest achievements.  Community has clearly been on Adele's mind too. Last night, to mark the release of her new album ‘30’, the singer hosted an episode of ITV's ‘An Audience With’. It was by all accounts, an A-List event. Dame Emma Thompson, Stormzy, Emma Watson and plenty more were in the audience. Mainly ambivalent about my Britishness until I watch something like Adele in London Palladium with Emma Thompson tryna get everyone up on their feet and Stormzy being all shy asking a question and then I'm like oi oi saveloy — Bolu Babalola (@BeeBabs) November 21, 2021 More importantly, Adele also invited plenty of Londoners who lived through the 2017 Grenfell Tower tragedy, including firefighters who were at the scene, and NHS staff. They were all treated to performances by Adele from her new album alongside some of her most popular tracks from the previous three records. She even gave them a special shout out ("Grenfell oi oi") during the show.  The emotional surprises were also gifted to Adele herself, who was prompted by Emma Thompson to speak about one of her inspirations from childhood, an old teacher called Miss McDonald. Was Miss McDonald in the audience? Yo

Nine Elms will turn into a giant advent calendar on December 1

Nine Elms will turn into a giant advent calendar on December 1

Yup, it’s that time of the year once more! Sure, there are already mince pies in the supermarkets and mulled wine at the pub, but for many people the festive season truly begins when December arrives and we can start on our advent calendars. And for south-west Londoners that tradition has become larger than life. For the third year, Nine Elms is transforming into a massive neighbourhood advent calendar.    The area will be hosting a huge, sprawling art trail, organised by Nine Elms Art Ministry. Twenty-four venues will each host an art installation – so there will be literally 24 doors to open. This year the theme is Peace on Earth. The artists involved have responded to that with all manner of creative and innovative installations, including a giant vintage collage, a floating barge and a living forest (you’ll find that in New Covent Garden Market). Artists include Saskia Jiggens, Adalberto Lonardi and Michael Wallner – all of who were part of the event last year – and many others based in the borough and beyond.  You can visit the trail on foot, using a special map to navigate your way around all of the installations – and you can check out the two new tube stations in the area while you’re at it. The trail is also available online, should you not fancy the cold: Nine Elms Arts Ministry’s social media channels will highlight one venue, and its artist and installation, each day. The event will start on December 1 (duh) and the work will be up until January 5, but the online

The Union Chapel needs your help to raise funds

The Union Chapel needs your help to raise funds

Islington’s Union Chapel is a true cornerstone of its community. The late nineteenth-century Gothic-revival building has a place in the lives of many: worshippers go there for services (it is still a working church), audiences enjoy live entertainment there and homeless people use its drop-in centre. Times are tough, though. The chapel has, like so many other venues, lost a huge amount of its live-events income as a result of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions. With Covid cases still high across London, there’s still an uncertainty in the air when it comes to planning for its future. This isn’t stopping the Union Chapel from persisting with the expansion of its charity programmes, though. London’s most vulnerable need our help more than ever. Please join @frankturner @hornesection @TheMaeMartin @stephenkb in supporting our crowdfunder. Please watch. Watch donate. Please share.https://t.co/D9M1CKF71b — Union Chapel London (@UnionChapelUK) November 20, 2021 The issue is that 80 percent of the chapel’s charity income was earned through its events, so now it will need help from the generous public (that’s you!) to achieve its goal of accumulating £120,000 over the next 30 days. The campaign has already raised more than £5,000, with support from the likes of Frank Turner and Deborah Frances-White. The funds will go towards supporting the Union Chapel’s community work for the rest of 2021 and rebuilding the Grade II-listed Sunday school hall, turning it in

Eggslut has dropped its first Christmas Sandwich

Eggslut has dropped its first Christmas Sandwich

Christmas menus are great, aren't they? What says ‘oh my goodness I get some time off work soon’ better than a limited-edition lunch number from the lunch spot ten-yards away from your office? Nothing. Exactly. If you’re a little done with the usual supermarket/superchain fare though, Eggslut might offer something a little different this year. They've just announced their new seasonal items.  Let’s get deep into what they're cooking for a second. The Eggslut Christmas Sandwich is a brand-new creation. The heart of it is a turkey and sage patty with a 'Christmas spiced' butter, and the toppings are cranberry sauce, rocket, plus a quality fried egg (Clarence Court Burford Brown, for the egg heads among you) on top. All of which is slotted between two slices of a brioche bun from Bread Ahead. Nice. It comes in at £9.95. They’re also bringing back their non-alcoholic Eggnog drink (which is a fiver).  You can pick up the festive goods at their stores across London (there’s one in Portobello, Fitzrovia and Shoreditch) from December 2 (that's day two of the Advent Calendar!) and on Deliveroo. Customers who order via Deliveroo or click and collect on the eggslut app can redeem a free Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie with any sandwich and drink (when ordered together) also, for a bit of an extra treat. If you're thinking ahead to morning munching on the big day itself, the Fitzrovia branch will be open from 8am - 5pm on actual Christmas Day. Pretty ideal if you're the type to accidentally

The West End’s Christmas lights switch-on was the largest in the world

The West End’s Christmas lights switch-on was the largest in the world

Oxford Street usually unveils its Christmas lights first, but this year 20 streets across the West End, including Regent Street, Bond Street and areas in Mayfair and Piccadilly, all lit up in sync last week for what was the biggest switch-on in the world. Between them, they’re using more than a million LEDs. The Oxford Street display is brand new for this year, consisting mainly of nice calming stars, which make a lovely impact in the night sky. Pretty magical looking, really. As per, Bond Street’s installation is pretty stunning too, making use of opulent peacock motifs.  Instagrammers have been loving the lights too, with dozens of snaps already being uploaded to the grids. Here’s a little look at the photos people have taken. The lights should be on until early January. Best off seeing them at night-time, naturally.  View this post on Instagram A post shared by London UK 🇬🇧 (@its_so_london)   View this post on Instagram A post shared by م (@mmn.inldn) View this post on Instagram A post shared by 珍妮 (@jennie_zznnnn) View this post on Instagram A post shared by Wellington Araújo (@wellington_anaju) View this post on Instagram A post shared by Magdalena Skorupa (@magdalena_skorupa_) View this post on Instagram A post shared by Delia (@youmenthesea)

That little ticket Kiosk near Leicester Square is up for sale

That little ticket Kiosk near Leicester Square is up for sale

Ever walked past that tiny kiosk near the Garrick Theatre? The little round one tucked under a lamp-post, that used to be a bit of haven for cheap, last-minute tickets to theatre and music shows across the city? Well if you have, and enjoyed it, you might be pleased to know it's up for grabs. How much? Oh just 3.3 million great British pounds, plus VAT. That's right, for more than three million pounds the kiosk could be yours. Tourist Island, it's known as. From the surface you might be scratching your head as to the price tag, as it's a mere 250 square foot on ground level, which is roughly the same size as a small (maybe very small) studio apartment. However, there's also a basement which is a much more spacious 1448 square feet (nearly six times the size), according to Metro. On the for sale sign it’s described as a freehold with 1700Sq ft of space, so the numbers add up. This also means you're paying around £1943 per square foot.  It's actually been on the market for eight months or so. Prompted by the freehold ending, TKTS presumably decided to pass the building onto another business, having taken their ticket sales online. They first used the space for ticket selling in 2011, and stopped operations in Spring 2021. The spot has recently been brought to attention as a result of good bants on the Facebook Group Londonist Urban Oddities, where people have speculated what the new function of ‘Iconic Island’ should be, and whether it'll end up on Grand Designs. While the top-

London’s David Bowie pop-up shop has opened

London’s David Bowie pop-up shop has opened

If you're looking for new things to do in London, here's an idea that'll help you ch-ch-change up your itinerary. A David Bowie pop-up shop has opened in near Soho.  Running from October 25 through to late January 2022, the ‘retail experience’ will have a load of drops, including signed memorabilia and other rare and unique merchandise. It's intended to be a place to celebrate the life of David Bowie, exploring his super-prolific and influential career across music, fashion and art.   At the store, fans are able to watch and listen to Bowie content for the first time, using immersive audio. There’s also hour upon hour of unseen behind-the-scenes footage and clips to enjoy. If that wasn’t enough, there’s an extensive gallery of photography and installations offering new insight into Bowie's career, so you’ll be wanting to visit time and time again.  Should you want to swing by, the shop is at 14 Heddon Street, not too far from Piccadilly Circus. Bit of trivia for you: This is a couple of doors away from where Bowie (well, Ziggy Stardust if we're being specific) posed for that moody late-night shot that became the album cover of ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars’. If you're on the other side of the ocean, no worries, a sister shop is opening on 150 Wooster Street in downtown Manhattan. This spot is also significant, being near the house Bowie lived in while creating the final album he released during his lifetime, ‘Blackstar’.  The store is

Sadiq Khan launches £25,000 grants to change street names in London

Sadiq Khan launches £25,000 grants to change street names in London

Back in June 2020, in the wake of the George Floyd protests, Mayor Sadiq Khan announced The Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm. The initiative was founded to review and improve diversity and representation in public spaces across the capital, including statues and landmarks.  A little over a year on, a study (the first diligent one of its kind) has found that London has more statues of animals than it does of named women. The study also found that around 1 per cent of sculptures are dedicated to named people of colour, with just 0.2 per cent being named women of colour, as the Guardian has noted.  These (less than good) findings have prompted the mayor’s office to announce a £1m fund to help kick-start actual change across the city where representation in public spaces is concerned for "Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, women, LGBTQ+ communities and disabled people" a statement says. The initiative also extends to reviewing current landmarks, statues and street names across London, in a bid to decolonise the city we all live in together. As part of these efforts, grants of up to £25,000 are being made available for community-led groups that wish to remove and replace street names, building names, and memorials in their area that reference figures responsible for slavery and other events of oppression and colonialism.  The first round of Untold Stories grant applications opened on October 21 and will close on January 12, 2022. The applications are open t

Camley Street Natural Park has reopened

Camley Street Natural Park has reopened

Did you know that quite literally right next to Coal Drops Yard in King’s Cross, there’s a unique urban nature reserve? Well, there is! It’s called Camley Street Natural Park. It isn’t massive (clocking in at around a hectare) but it boasts a huge variety of habitats and wildlife that you can spend the day discovering and getting lost in.  Get ready, the canalside park includes: woodland, grassland and wetland habitats, such as meadow, ponds, marshy areas and reed beds. These diverse environments attract insects, amphibians, birds, mammals and hundreds of plant species. Quite the line-up!  The reserve has been a park since 1985, but its history dates back to the eighteenth century, when it was an industrial area. Until the 1960s the spot was used as a coal drop for the railways but it became derelict. Then it was colonised by nature, so the London Wildlife Trust campaigned to save the site from redevelopment, and succeeded. In December 2017 the park closed for reconstruction and reopened in September 2021. The makeover includes a new Visitor and Learning Centre featuring a café. Other improvements include better accessibility and interpretation, and there has also been ‘habitat enhancement’ work taking place.  Camley Street is also creating a butterfly and invertebrate bank, which is being worked on in collaboration with the park’s volunteers. So you might notice some differences there from one month to the next. Nice to have a new spot to walk to in central, isn't it?  Visit