Listings and reviews (6)
Wimbledon BookFest Sunrise Festival
Featuring appearances from bestselling authors including Julian Barnes, Abdulrazak Gurnah and Tina Brown, Wimbledon BookFest celebrates its fifteenth birthday this year at its Sunrise Festival. Held over seven days on Wimbledon Common, it comprises more than 50 talks, readings, and workshops ranging from high-brow chat to light-hearted lols plus a handful of offerings for younger bookworms with award-winning fiction, climate change and the war in Ukraine being dominant themes.
Italian Sparkling Wine Festival
Travel to cloud wine, London! Now's your chance to sample 60 types of wine from 15 wine specialists, each travelling directly from Italy for this event — talk about comittment. Indulge in a unique list of Italian sparkling wines and discover Eataly's carefully selected Italian wine producers who will be sharing their knowledge, passion and wine notes from their vineyards. More good news to come — all tickets include a bespoke Eataly wine glass and limited-edition pouch to take home… what are you waiting for?
Brew By Numbers Riverside Beer Festival
Soak up the sun and the Thames-side views of the London skyline with the best global beer in-hand. Tucked away on Greenwich Peninsula's Morden Wharf, the three-day Riverside Beer Festival features some of the best breweries in the UK, Europe and the US. But it isn't all beer… pair your dizzy delights with food courtesy of some of the UK's best street food vendors — handmade Himalayan dumplings, calzone, jerk chicken, BBQ and haggis are just a few of the flavoursome options available. The beer festival also promises live music and DJ sets in the evenings, as well as unlimited beer pours across your entire session and a branded festival glass.
Good Friday All Day Party
Good news, London! Truman’s Social Club has announced their Good Friday All Day Party. The Walthamstow venue at the heart of the community is hosting a bank holiday bonanza in their outdoor space, featuring smash hits from the the 80s, 90s and 00s with live DJs throughout the day. The DJs will ensure the party never stops, providing timeless tunes from synth wizardry and ripping guitar solos, to pop classics and sing-along belters. Truman’s Social Club will be providing exceptional cocktails with unmissable deals running all day alongside over 20 beers on tap, as well as artisan wines and low/no alcohol options. This is the place to be for unrivalled fun and entertainment on Good Friday. Are you sold yet? Entry to the All Day Party will be free for the whole day!
Calling all gin-lovers! Junipalooza, the UK’s largest gin festival, is kicking off at Tobacco Dock, promising direct access to the people behind your favourite gins. Either the distiller or brand owner will make an in-person appearance, providing an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the production process of 60 different distilleries, and over 400 of the world’s finest gins. Exhibitors vary from British makers such as Isle of Wight’s Mermaid Gin, Cotswolds Distillery and Tarquin’s Gin to some of the most exciting gins from around the world, including brands such as Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin, Mallorca Distillery and Never Never Gin. The fun doesn’t end there — immerse yourself in two experiential themed rooms and a newcomers zone, showcasing some of the newest gins on the market, including both traditional London Dry gins and an exciting variety of flavoured gins. New to the festival this year will be a street food area in collaboration with Feast It, offering a range of delicious independent food stalls including a lounge with seating and music.
Sutton House After Hours
Receive a sparkling welcome to Hackney’s most historic house. Travel through five centuries of scandal, royal drama, London history and hauntings in just one evening. Enjoy a welcome drink before embarking on a tour, and experience the stories of those who have called Hackney’s oldest house a home since it was built in 1535 by Thomas Cromwell’s right-hand man, Ralph Sadleir. After the tour ends, take a chance to explore the panelled rooms and painted staircases in the evening atmosphere.
The best of Vauxhall, picked by a cool local
Food podcaster Hugh Smithson-Wright (of ‘Hugh’s Joy of Food’) picks his favourite places around Vauxhall. 1. Royal Vauxhall Tavern ‘A legendary LGBTQ+ venue. It’s home to nights as eclectic as Duckie – I’ve been going for 20 years – BeefMince, Bar Wotever and Solve-Along-a Murder-She Wrote. The RVT has fended off several greedy developers, and became the first venue to be listed sui generis, aka in a class by itself, by Historic England for its significance to queer history in the UK.’ 372 Kennington Lane, SE11 5HY. 2. Above the Stag ‘I feel pride that the UK’s only dedicated LGBTQ+ theatre is in Vauxhall. As well as the main house, there’s a snazzy cabaret lounge. They’ve also added a terrace and refurbished the bar.’ 72 Albert Embankment, SE1 7TP. Photograph: Alexander Baxter 3. Brunswick House ‘This is one of London’s most beautiful dining rooms – it’s dripping with chandeliers. I’ve been coming here since it opened about a decade ago, and the magic never wears off. The food is modern British and always thrilling.’ 30 Wandsworth Rd, SW8 2LG. 4. District ‘This Aussie-style all-day café and brunch spot in Embassy Gardens does a “Brekkie Bun” – with eggs, bacon, rocket and chutney on a soft roll – that can see off any hangover.’ 7 New Union Square, SW11 7DN. 5. The Surprise ‘When I moved to my current flat, I scoped out the nearest pubs. The Surprise didn’t seem like the most promising one. It felt like it belonged to its regulars: multiple screens showing multi
The Royal Vauxhall Tavern is supporting disability-positive drag
‘Disabled, not invisible’ – this is the mantra that has motivated Disabled, Queer and Hear founder Wayne Allingham throughout his drag career. Also known as Sugar Cube, Allingham hasn’t let his degenerative hemiplegia (a form of cerebral palsy) and learning difficulties get in the way of his love for performing. That’s despite often feeling like an outsider in the community. In 2018, Allingham decided to create Disabled, Queer and Hear to promote inclusivity at drag venues across the country. With each show that he hosts, including an appearance at this year’s Pride on July 2, the intention is to break down barriers and remove stigma for disabled queer performers. ‘Being a disabled person is thought to be a burden on society, plus a lot of disabled folk have lost their confidence and feel like they haven’t got a safe space,’ Allingham says. ‘Disabled, Queer and Hear gives the disabled community a place where they can enjoy a night out with their friends and feel empowered.’ The project was born in the iconic Royal Vauxhall Tavern. He thinks of the former Victorian music hall-turned-gay stalwart as his ‘second home’. In March, the RVT hosted Allingham’s perception-smashing LGBTQ+ Disabled Artist of the Year event. It saw dozens of disabled performers competing for the coveted title. The event was fully inclusive, with wheelchair access, specially installed accessible disabled toilets (the RVT’s loos are not wheelchair-accessible, as with most older pubs in London), Braille men
‘Top Boy’ is now sponsoring Hackney Wick FC’s new strip. What?
Yeah, yeah, yeah ‘Top Boy’ is great and all that. The show looms large on the London TV landscape. Now, it’s doing classic east London move – diversifying into clobber. ’Top Boy’s’ off-screen relationship with Hackney has now been made official. The show has been named the official sponsor of football club Hackney Wick FC. The unique collab symbolises a lot more than just a shiny new kit. Founded by former gang member Bobby Kasanga, the club’s new home and away shirts embody many on-screen themes, including identity, representation and collectivism. Thanks to Hackney-based designer Foday Dumbuya, the strips feature a signature LABRUM zig-zag motif, inspired by traditional African art. Obviously, each kit sports the unmistakable ‘Top Boy’ logo too – they are the sponsors, after all – with Hackney Wick FC’s charity Grassroots for Good adorning the left sleeve. ‘Joining with Top Boy on this project was a real privilege; even more so to have the support from cast members from Hackney,’ says designer Dumbuya of the collection. ‘When I was designing the kit, I wanted to include a bold graphic that incorporated the rich diversity of Hackney and LABRUM’s celebration of West African heritage. The zig-zag is synonymous here. I hope the players will wear the kit with pride.’ ‘Top Boy’ touches on the real-life issues that local people of Hackney are going through,’ says Kasanga. ‘It represents the marginalised commuities I come from. Our club has worked hard to become a semi-profession
A London pizzeria is offering free ‘liquorice pizzas’ inspired by the BAFTA-winning film
There are no centerists in the great liquorice debate. It’s sweet Marmite. The confectionery concoction inspires either instant disgust from its enemies or a furious defence from its fans. Love it or hate it, a limited number of black liquorice pizzas are currently being baked in an exclusive London kitchen. According to our secret insiders, the questionably glorious creations are topped with chocolate sauce, lemon-and-mascarpone ‘cheese’, coconut-and-raspberry sprinkles and actual liquorice allsorts. Inspired by Paul Thomas Anderson’s BAFTA-winning film ‘Licorice Pizza’, liquorice-makers Maynards has teamed up with hip pizzeria Made of Dough to create 100 unique ‘dessert pizzas’. The oddball liquorice pizza will also include a packet of liquorice allsorts and a Sky Store voucher that you can put towards the cost of an at-home cinema evening. If the quirky creation appeals to your tastebuds, head to Made of Dough in Peckham or Shoreditch on April 14. If you can’t be arsed, or just forget, you can always create an approximation at yours. You will require: Pre-bought pizza dough Chocolate sauce Lemon mascarpone (lemon curd folded through mascarpone) Freeze-dried raspberries Desiccated coconut Liquorice allsorts Method: Roll out then bake the dough Warm your chocolate sauce and smooth over your base Add teaspoons of the lemon-mascarpone ‘cheese’ Scatter desiccated coconut and raspberries over it, and finish with a handful of liquorice allsorts Enjoy Not convinced? Here a
CityStack is levelling up London’s independent pubs
There are a LOT of pubs in London. Even with the pretty dismal news over the last few years of ongoing venue closures, the capital’s endless boozers suggest an almost (almost) unhealthy fascination with intoxicating beverages, sticky carpets and elderly men in corners. Sometimes, people, you can have too much choice. It’s a perennial struggle to choose a pub, especially in the era of – gasp – booking. Now, there's a new initiative: CityStack is an app that offers the chronically thirsty a selection of just ten independent public houses. It’s chosen them based on boozer reviews, and it has even got off the sofa to go and check them out for itself. A bit like Time Out (though not as good, obvs). The ten selected taverns span the city, from Kentish Town to Pimlico (though nothing south of the river for the truly adventurous drinker). Each one promises something special – a great craft ale roster, a hidden beer garden, a delish menu, a lovely toilet or a stuffed jackdaw perched on a branch. Okay, maybe not the last two. Yet. CityStack also offers a pack of ten money-saving coasters, each giving you £10 off a £20 spend at one of its curated tanking houses. So, whether you’re looking to get stuck into a massive Sunday roast and/or watch the hours lazily drift by in a slightly adjusted frame of mind, it’s definitely pub time again. Check out our wholly unbiased guide to the 100 best pubs in London. Now, take it outside! London’s best beer gardens.
Over 1,300 new jobs and new homes are coming to Walthamstow
The heart of Walthamstow is coming back to life. Waltham Forest Council has given the green light on exciting plans to redevelop The Mall shopping centre and rejuvenate the entrance to the Victoria line at Walthamstow Central tube station. Both sets of plans are expected to bring hundreds of jobs to the local area, as well as a new children’s play park. Around 5,000 square metres of new retail space will create 350 new permanent retail jobs, in addition to 538 new homes and a re-landscaped town square. A further 500 jobs will be introduced in the area during the construction phase of the project. For north London shoppers, the new retail centre will deliver shopping units designed for major retailers alongside small local independent stores. Redeveloping The Mall will give residents the choice of shopping locally, rather than travelling to shop further afield. The good news doesn’t end there — the proposed new tube station entrance will be built next to the shopping centre, while the number of escalators will double and a large lift will also be installed. The new ticket hall will not have a ticket office, just ticket machines, and will come with six standard ticket barriers and two wide barriers. With plans to ‘bring significant investment and opportunity to businesses and residents alike’, the council has promised to introduce below-market-rent homes and more than £7 million to deliver further affordable housing nearby. The plans await confirmation from Mayor of London Sad
This south London neighbourhood is ‘the best place to live’ in the capital says the Sunday Times
It’s that time of year again. Granted, these balmy spring months bring about the much-needed, hopeful glimpses of sunshine and the not-so-needed, dozens of highly-Instagrammable blossom posts – but we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about the blissful season when a group of expert judges from The Sunday Times gather to crown one unsuspecting leafy suburb with the coveted title of ‘The Best Place to Live in London’. After last year’s rather provocative winner – Teddington – our expectations weren’t that high, tbh, especially as the Sunday Times called us out for our response in 2021, slightingly referring to our readers as ‘the manbun massive’, while extolling the opening of another estate agent on Teddington High Street. How things change… This year’s winner left the other nominees, such as the up-and-coming Hanwell and the ever-happening hood of Victoria Park, in the shade. The paper praised this ‘lofty southern suburb’ for its parks, period mansions, cool cafés, indie shops, strong schools and panoramic city views. Any guesses? If historic Greenwich or Victorian Nunhead spring to mind, you’re mistaken. The Sunday Times’s 2022 winner is Crystal Palace, for its ‘bohemian vibe’ and ‘welcome urban edge’, despite being on the suburban rim of the capital. While not on the forefront of most Londoner’s minds, Crystal Palace promises a thriving local community, along with a mosaic of independent businesses and outstanding schools. Its ‘village-like location’ sits on a priv
The Bank of England Museum has reopened its doors after two years
Good news, Londoners – you can officially re-add the Bank of England Museum to your weekend itinerary. After a lengthy pandemic-induced pause, the iconic landmark that brims with history and some spectacular architecture has reopened its doors to the public with an updated gallery and a new temporary exhibition. Opened in the late ’80s, the museum tells the centuries-old story of the Bank of England, from its origins in 1694, as a national bank to fund the war with France, to the present. Upon its reopening, visitors will have the chance to explore the refreshed Modern Economy gallery which looks at, among other things, the impact of the global pandemic on the UK economy, and a display focusing on financial literacy. The new temporary exhibition, ‘Slavery & The Bank’, draws on new research undertaken by specialist staff from the Bank’s Museum and Archive. It uses a series of objects from the Museum collection to explore the historical connections between the Bank of England, the business interests of the City of London and the transatlantic slave trade. As always, admission is free – it’s well worth the trip, even if you’re not a finance bro. Bank of England Museum, Threadneedle Street, EC2R 8AH. Open now. Free. The top ten museums in London. 14 weird but wonderful museums in London.
The world’s largest Lego store is launching in London
It’s a Lego-lover’s dream – the flagship Leicester Square store is building up to be the world’s largest bricky haven, with a 330sqm extension in the works. The current outlet boasts several Lego masterpieces, complete with its own toy tube station and carriage, and a block replica of Big Ben. Expect to see plenty of new additions to the revamped store, including the brand new ‘Retailtainment’ concept which blends physical and digital experiences, allowing Lego enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the famous building bricks, as well as create personalised products. Some of the new innovations include: The Brick Lab: A world-first retail experience that immerses customers and their Lego builds in an amazing virtual world. Walls, floors and ceilings are brought to life with light, sound and music for a truly interactive build and play experience. Lego Expressions: Visitors can have fun with Lego Minifigures who mimic their facial expressions. Tree of Discovery: An interactive model that showcases Lego storytelling on a huge scale. The 880,000 piece structure will be the centrepiece of the store and visitors of all ages are invited to explore a magical wonderland hidden inside the tree through windows in its rainbow trunk. Storytelling Table: Fans can go behind the scenes of the Lego design process with the new storytelling table. They'll learn about Lego sets via interactive areas that allow them to 'meet the designers' through interviews and videos displayed on screens. Perso
The Night Tube is returning to these three lines from next month
London’s glorious Night Tube is making a much-needed comeback. After over two years of pandemic-induced pause, the nocturnal service is returning to the Jubilee line on May 21, followed by the Piccadilly and Northern lines later this summer. This introduction will level up Londoners' nightlives, adding to the depleted weekend services that currently only run on the Victoria and Central lines. TfL is now promising 24-hour access to some of the capital’s most prominent entertainment hotspots, as well as trains that will run continuously through the night on Friday nights/Saturday mornings and Saturday nights/Sunday mornings on all three lines. Nick Dent, London Underground’s director of customer operations, said: 'The return of Night Tube on the Jubilee line, along with the Piccadilly and Northern lines later in the summer, will be a boost to the night-time economy and help our customers travel around London overnight at weekends.' But let’s not break out our dancing shoes just yet – start dates have not been announced for the Piccadilly and Northern lines, prompting speculation that transport bosses are hoping to save money by riding out the current wave of industrial actions. But don’t despair – delirious 4am tube rides are just around the corner! The Cultural TfL Map. Tube noise complaints are on the rise.
London thunderground: tube noise complaints are on the rise
If your ears are ringing after your tube commute, you’re not the only one. The high-pitched, ear-piercing screeching of our transport network is haunting Londoners – so much so, that more than 1,000 tube noise complaints have been made in the past three years. You can’t go wrong with a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones if you’re braving the Northern or Victoria lines. Figures show the majority of the complaints made to TfL were about these two lines. The Northern line provoked 282 unhappy missives, while the Victoria line weighed in at 254. According to a hearing expert, the noisiest sections of the tube are the same decibel levels as being at a rock concert. There’s no shortage of unhappy Londoners as a result; complaints have been increasing, with 301 made in 2021, up from 243 the previous year. So, where is this unholy racket coming from? TfL says the noise coming from the tracks is from normal wear and tear, minor track faults or misaligned joints. Lucky for us, inspections are regularly carried out, and around £150m is spent each year on track improvements; TfL’s maintenance programme includes continual rail grinding that removes defects on the rail surface, and helps reduce noise and vibration. Hoping to save Londoners’ eardrums, Mayor Sadiq Khan stated that alleviating tube noise ‘remains a top priority’. In the meantime, you might have to put up with the capital’s underground rock concert for a little while longer. Deafened? Try a lovely silent London bus with
Meaningful mural painted in memory of ‘EastEnders’ legend June Brown
It’s a bittersweet day for ‘EastEnders’ fans — a London artist has paid a touching tribute to actress June Brown after she passed away on Sunday at the age of 95. The mural was painted yesterday in Romford, East London by artist Gnasher. Fans said the painting took a couple of hours to complete and attracted a lot of attention from locals. Support for Gnasher’s artwork has come pouring in on Instagram — his post titled ‘For June’ has attracted over 1,000 likes, with hundreds commenting on the post. One wrote: “What an amazing tribute to a wonderful actress. RIP June.” Another said: “The detail on this is incredible. Brilliant piece.” And: “What an amazing tribute to an absolute legend.” Best known for playing the iconic character of Dot Cotton, Brown was one of the soap’s most beloved characters, having appeared in 2,884 episodes prior to her retirement in 2020. Following the news of June’s death, a statement from an ‘EastEnders’ spokesperson said: "There are not enough words to describe how much June was loved and adored by everyone at EastEnders, her loving warmth, wit and great humour will never be forgotten." To see the mural for yourself, head over to Rise Park in East London — the commute is worth it. The best things to do in East London. The best new theatre in London this April.