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Stephanie Hartman

Stephanie Hartman

Steph is a freelance writer at Time Out London and pineapple enthusiast. Follow her on Twitter @S_J_Hartman.

Articles (13)

The best places to go stargazing in the UK

The best places to go stargazing in the UK

There are few things in life more calming than a star-filled sky. The chaos of modern existence can often feel overwhelming, but the endless sprawl of the worlds beyond our own does gleeful things for the heart, mind and soul. The United Kingdom has seemingly perfected the balance between the urban and the rural, and the latter provides us with many of the best places to go stargazing going. Where to start? You can start by putting that digital device down (once you’ve finished reading this list, of course) and heading to the beaches of Cornwall, the hills of Kent, the national parks of England and Wales and the furthest reaches of Scotland, where lucky stargazers may even get a glimpse of the fabled Northern Lights. Peace and calm aren’t so far away, after all. RECOMMENDED: Magical and mystical places in the UK 

A perfect day in Bruton

A perfect day in Bruton

Tucked into the Somerset hills but easily accessible from London and Bristol by train, Bruton seems to be the village on everyone's lips at the minute. Recently, the teeny tiny town has been attracting attention with its luxurious, arty air. It seems that art galleries like Hauser & Wirth, speciality shops, fancy places to eat, and luxe places to stay are around every corner in these cosy streets. As well as the cultural delights of the town, the opportunity to get into nature is always calling at this Somerset hideaway. Look above to see the Bruton Dovecote, a National Trust-enshrined tower, which you can tramp up to via allotments and charming stonework. A day out here is a perfect amalagmation of the old and contemporary, nature and newness combined.

The most colourful places in the UK and Ireland

The most colourful places in the UK and Ireland

If lockdown has felt grey and gloomy, why not treat your Zoom-tired eyes to a dose of glorious technicolor when we’re allowed out again? According to the government’s latest lockdown exit strategy overnight stays in self-catered accommodation will be possible from April 12, while stays in hostels, hotels and B&Bs will be allowed from May 17. That means, day trips and domestic holidays are just around the corner. If you’re looking for a much needed change of scene, these eye-popping destinations are just the ticket. From bright homes to candy-hued beach huts, and gaudy pubs to pastel-palette villages, these destinations are guaranteed to put you in a good mood. Get planning your trip to one of these colour-filled spots across the UK and Ireland – even if your day trip does end in a downpour, there’s always a chance of a rainbow, right? Please note: Travel from England to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is currently not allowed. Facilities and businesses in the towns and villages we mention will be closed at the moment. Government advice is to avoid public transport so don’t travel by train or bus. Please be mindful of the people who live locally. If you decide to travel, check whether car parks are open before you set off and adhere to social distancing guidelines.  RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in the UK

Everything you need to know about Orchids Festival at Kew Gardens

Everything you need to know about Orchids Festival at Kew Gardens

An orchid festival, eh? Tell me more. Well it turns out orchids are a pretty big deal in the horticultural world. Kew Gardens has been honouring the flower with its own festival for more than two decades and last year botanists discovered a whopping 600 new species. Each year brings with it a new festival theme, this time: Colombia, a country that is home to 4,270 species of orchids. Enter the Princess of Wales Conservatory from Saturday February 9-March 10 2019 and you’ll find a rich South American paradise. Bloomin’ lovely! But Kew’s always full of flowers. What makes this so spesh? You’re right, but the colours of this particular festival are always guaranteed to slash straight through the winter blues. So I should expect Kew’s hues to be on-point? Hell, yes! As well as the many, many flowers, look out for a ‘Carnival of Animals’ display depicting a toucan in flight, a hanging sloth, swimming turtles and hundreds of colourful butterflies suspended from the glasshouse ceiling. Yellow orchids floating over the glasshouse pond depicting the legend of El Dorado. In short: it’s going to be gorgeous.  So it’s not just a load of pot plants? As if. Kew has enlisted the help of Colombian multi-disciplinary artist, Vanessa Moncayo Gonzaìlez to transform the glasshouse film room into a Bogotá-style cafe where you can grab a cup of tea and take in some colourful street-art style murals. There will also be a special 'lates' series where you can wander around the display after dark. Joi

London Craft Week: the best bits

London Craft Week: the best bits

London Craft Week (Wed May 8- Sun May 12), a five day festival of activities and exhibitions, celebrates all sorts of craftsmanship across the capital. Big brands and specialist workshops alike will host events to showcase both ancient skills and exciting new talent, and you'll even have a chance to try your hand at some crafting yourself. Check out our pick of the week's events below. NOW CHECK THIS OUT: London's best events this May

19 things to get really excited about in 2019

19 things to get really excited about in 2019

Grab your cultural diary (pretend you’ve got one) and add these unmissable events for the next year, all guaranteed resolution-free*. We’ve rounded up the most exciting art and museum exhibitions (like the biggest Manga showcase ever held outside Japan), blockbuster London theatre shows, and new venue launches to look out for in 2019. There’s some pretty left-field additions to the London cultural calendar too. Keep an eye out for an arty party dedicated to the power of the moon, an electronic music festival inside a selection of London’s iconic brutalist buildings and an Abba-themed dining experience at the 02. The future might be uncertain, but we’ll always have one thing to rely on: there’s no such thing as a dull week in London.  * Okay, one of them might be exercise-related, sorry! RECOMMENDED: 101 best things to do in London

London’s best gallery and museum gift shops

London’s best gallery and museum gift shops

How many times have you gone to a museum to catch an exhibition, only to fritter away an hour (and a good few bank notes) at the gift shop instead? Hey, don’t blame yourself, blame the irresistible spread of greeting cards, jewellery and homeware at the V&A shop, or the Design Museum’s devilishly enticing stationery selection. Best of all, you can kid yourself that you’re having a culturally enriching afternoon when really, you’re making a dent in your Christmas shopping. Win-win, eh? From kid-friendly Science Museum silliness to beautiful books at The British Library, no excuse is necessary to visit these superb gallery and museum gift shops. RECOMMENDED: 101 best things to do in London

Unusual workshops and courses in London

Unusual workshops and courses in London

January doesn’t have to be the only time you take on new challenges. Start over and learn some mad skills at these London workshops. From wrestling to writing, taxidermy to trapese, making your own cheese to carving home-made spoons, take your pick of these truly unusual things to do and learn something super useful (or super strange) while you’re at it.  RECOMMENDED: We've tried all these unusual hobbies in London

A perfect day in Hastings

A perfect day in Hastings

From William of Normandy in 1066 to the eighteenth-century smugglers who made for its cliffside caves, people throughout history have flocked like gulls to this seaside town. Nowadays they come to seize generous plates of freshly caught fish and find the bubbling creative scene Hastings has cultivated. As for the town itself, that’s out to conquer some of Brighton’s glory and come out victorious.

What’s the deal with the Royal Wedding?

What’s the deal with the Royal Wedding?

Remind me, who’s getting hitched then?Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales (Prince Harry) is marrying American actress Rachel Meghan Markle (Meghan Markle). They met on a blind date organised by a mutual friend in July 2016 and they announced the relationship to the world in November of that year. Now it’s all systems go and they’re getting royally hitched in London.  Hoorah! When and where are they tying the knot?The pair are making it official at noon on Saturday May 19, 2018. The ceremony will take place at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle and will last about an hour. Then they’ll hop in a carriage for a procession through Windsor to wave at the members of the public who want a piece of the wedding action. When will my invite arrive?If you’ve not got one by now, you’re not joining Harry and Meghan on the dance floor, sorry guys. But a hefty 2,640 people have been invited to join the celebrations and stand on the grounds of Windsor Castle to see the wedding party enter and exit the chapel. People who work for charities, community organisations and young people who’ve shown strong leadership will make up the throng. But you didn’t want to go anyway, right? Nothing good happens outside of the M25. So I’ll just catch the highlights on TV then?You can watch the whole thing if you want, thanks to a live-stream organised by Kensington Palace. Play royal wedding drinking games or rank the frankly absurd hats sported by guests (we’re expecting great things from you, Euge

8 museum exhibitions we can’t wait to see in 2018

8 museum exhibitions we can’t wait to see in 2018

London’s museums are home to landmark permanent collections and incredible things to see and do. But they’re also world class when it comes to their temporary exhibitions. 2018 sees countless shows arrive in the capital and this is our pick of the very best. From a peep at animals in the dark at Natural History Museum and the Museum of London’s celebration of lesser known suffragettes one hundred years on to the V&A’s ‘Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up’, which will unlock her wardrobe and showcase her beautiful dresses, jewellery and more.  RECOMMENDED: The best London museum exhibitions to see right now 

14 days of great Christmas events

14 days of great Christmas events

December 25. It really creeps on you doesn't it? And there's not much time left to soak up those Christmassy vibes. Don't panic, because we've put together a whole 14 days of festive things to do over the holidays. Make the most of it with Christmas markets in London, ice rinks and Christmas lights. You'll be whistling Slade songs before you know it.   RECOMMENDED: Christmas in London

Listings and reviews (4)

Makin' Bacon classes

Makin' Bacon classes

Spending Friday night in a cold south London smokehouse isn’t generally how I like to start my weekends. But here I am at the tiny London Smoke & Cure, ready to make some rashers at my first Makin’ Bacon class. Tonight the emphasis is on curing, not smoking, and that starts with mixing a ‘cure’ from scratch. Salt, sugar and a tiny amount of sodium nitrate (toxic in high quantities, but needed to prevent botulism and to keep our bacon looking pink) are stirred together before we add ingredients to give our meat some oomph. Fragrant chopped bay leaves, crushed peppercorns and juniper berries are combined and massaged on to our back cuts. This salty cure is what’s going to turn our pork to bacon, drawing out moisture and intensifying its flavour. A second cut, used to make streaky bacon, is taken from the pork belly. To a meaty wedge we add a sweet slick of maple syrup to candy it up. Once both hunks of meat have been coated, a nifty vacuum pack machine seals up our supplies. Gratification is delayed: before we can eat it, there’s a week of massaging and turning our meat, followed by another seven days of it sitting in the fridge once we’ve washed off the cure. Next up is a lesson in butchery. Confronted with giant slabs of pork belly (complete with a rogue nipple) we’re tasked with removing the ribs so the meat can be plunged into a bath of brine and made into rashers for the Crystal Palace Food Market. Making these meaty morsels is mostly a waiting game, so our tutor whips

Christmas Swag Workshop

Christmas Swag Workshop

If you’re after a dainty day of flower arranging, you won’t find it at Grace & Thorn’s anti-wreath ‘swag’ making session. Be prepared to get messy and work those stems hard. I start by grabbing a couple of branches and fashion what looks like an upside-down pine tree to form the base of my ‘Christmas swag’ and layer up the fragrant foliage. I’m shown how to bundle together mini bouquets of greenery and berries, then arrange and secure them with generous rounds of wire. The key is making it look like you’ve not put too much thought into it, while secretly questioning where every last leaf and thistle falls. Final additions of dried chillies and slices of orange jazz the whole thing up. You can even whack a giant pine cone into the mix if you’re feeling frisky. After whipping a length of festive ribbon into a sassy side bow, I’ve finally got my swag on. 

Gingerbread Ornament Workshop

Gingerbread Ornament Workshop

The moment I step into Bread Ahead’s kitchen for a gingerbread ornament-making session, I am greeted with a fat slab of dough that smells divine. Master baker Kevan Roberts has rustled it up for me, but during a usual class participants work together to make it before it’s divided up and rolled out. I kick off by cutting out Christmas trees, angels and stars (basic, but they’re all classics, okay?). Then it’s time to stamp out a second shape in the middle where I can pop in broken shards of boiled sweets, crushed up into pastel hues. We are encouraged to mix the colours to form a stained glass window effect, swirling together as they melt in the oven. At first taste, the fiery kick of ginger beats any gingerbread I’ve attempted at home.  Straws are used to poke holes for ribbons to be laced through before piping bags are handed out for final embellishments. They look so good, it almost makes up for the class’s hefty pricetag. I’d say I’m saving them to hang on my tree, but with half my box already demolished,  I’d be lying.

The Museum of Drug Policy

The Museum of Drug Policy

Fancy a mind-expanding discussion about gender, sexuality, drug legalisation and the decriminalisation of sex work? Okay, you could just log in to Twitter – or you could head to Bermondsey to the pop-up Museum of Drug Policy. This cool experimental project is the work of Release, a UK charity dishing out free, non-judgmental and confidential advice about drugs. Following pop-ups in New York and Montreal, it’s coming to London with an interactive exhibition about how drug laws shape societies. Weed all about it with archive material from Release’s collection, let director Ava Duvernay open your eyes to America’s industrial prison system at a free screening of her powerful documentary ‘The 13th’, or get clued up about drugs and nightlife at a talk led by east London’s own Oval Space. Whatever your position, you’ll be well prepared for your next online debate. Find out more here.

News (376)

The fatberg has arrived at the Museum of London (and it’s tiny)

The fatberg has arrived at the Museum of London (and it’s tiny)

It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for: The fatberg has finally reached the Museum of London. Thankfully it’s not the entire 130 tonnes of congealed fat, oil, grease, wet wipes, condoms and sanitary products that were found last year in the Victorian sewers beneath Whitechapel. If that were the case, the museum would have a whole load of queasy visitors to contend with, not to mention a gallery extension on its hands. The foul monster in its entirety stretched over 250 metres (six metres longer than Tower Bridge) so this is just a tiny slice of it. If you’ve got a strong stomach you get an eyeful of the rancid blob from today as part of the ‘City Now City Future’ exhibition, which explores life in urban environments. The rest has been cleverly converted by Thames Water into environmentally friendly biodiesel. Move over Rosetta Stone, you’ve got nothing on the fatberg. The Fatberg exhibit opens today (Fri Feb 9) at the Museum of London. 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN. Free. Want more fatberg facts? Check out things you only know if you’re a fatberg flusher. In need of a fat-free exhibition? Here are eight shows worth seeing this year.

Scratch ’n’ sniff wallpaper and other inventions at this year’s London Design Biennale

Scratch ’n’ sniff wallpaper and other inventions at this year’s London Design Biennale

Four installations to look out for at Somerset House’s 2018 design gala A celebration of equal marriage ‘Full Spectrum’ Following his ‘Reflection Room’ at the V&A last year, Flynn Talbot is back and representing Australia in this year’s Biennale. The country’s recent legislation of same-sex marriage inspired this piece, made from 150 fibre-optic strands, which visitors can walk through and touch while light and colour floods their path. Scratch ’n’ sniff wallpaper ‘Sensorial Estates’ Playing with scent as a tool for triggering memories, this pavilion not only features the sights of Hong Kong, but the smells of it. Find scratch-and-sniff wallpapers and boxes filled with aroma-infused design objects alongside each other, exploring nostalgic representations of the region. Licking is not allowed. We asked. A wall of condensation ‘Matter to Matter’ Get the satisfaction of running your fingers over this computer-generated condensation coating a pane of glass in Latvia’s interactive installation. Designed by Variant Studio, the contemplative space encourages visitors to write and draw across the digi drops of water, and to meditate on how nature and technology can co-exist.  A recreation of sites destroyed by Daesh ‘Maps of Defiance’ Working on the ground in the Sinjar region of Iraq, the UK’s Forensic Architecture collective has been training Yazidi volunteers how to document the sites of genocide and destruction inflicted on the region by Daesh (Islamic State). The process by

Leave London for an afternoon inside this giant pink pineapple

Leave London for an afternoon inside this giant pink pineapple

Daydreaming about getting out of the city? Check out our pick of places that are worth leaving the confines of the M25 for... Visit Berrington Hall's walled garden and you’ll find a striking pink pineapple sitting pretty in the middle. Created by artists Heather and Ivan Morison and titled ‘LOOK!LOOK!LOOK!’, the structure was first imagined as a mini origami maquette referencing the hall’s interior geometric shapes. Photograph: Ivan Morison Its pineapple-like appearance was a happy accident, which is bonkers considering the fruit was an indicator of wealth and power in the eighteenth century, when the hall was built, and the estate was known for growing pineapples. The finished fruity pavilion reaches eight metres into the air with folds of pink mesh pulled across its timber frame. Photograph: Ivan Morison In the warmer months it serves as more than just a photo op, with workshops happening within it. Once you’ve look, look, looked, there are the rest of the grounds, designed by celebrated landscape gardener Capability Brown, and the mansion to explore. Photograph: Ivan Morison Berrington Hall, Herefordshire. £12. www.nationaltrust.org.uk Looking for more reasons to leave London? Check out the best day trips from London

Carnaby Street’s Queen-themed Christmas lights have been unveiled

Carnaby Street’s Queen-themed Christmas lights have been unveiled

Christmas has come early for Queen fans thanks to the release of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and the unveiling of Carnaby Street’s annual festive light display yesterday evening.  Lyrics from the six-minute masterpiece, reimagined in neon and hoisted high above the famous shopping street to celebrate the release of the film charting the band’s career, were switched on by band members Brian May and Roger Taylor alongside cast members from the film including Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, and Gwilym Lee.   Doubling up as the Carnaby Street Christmas lights, the Queen-themed fluorescents follow last year’s carnival themed offering packed with parrots, giant party poppers and neon flamingos. The lights will be shining over Carnaby Street until early January 2019 and there’s also a ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ pop-up shop where you can pick up Queen-inspired products for your Freddie Mercury-loving relatives. Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Get ready to travel up one of Battersea Power Station’s iconic chimneys in a huge glass lift. Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see an igloo on a London rooftop this Christmas.

Hurry! Tickets for Alternative Miss World go on sale this morning

Hurry! Tickets for Alternative Miss World go on sale this morning

Stop everything you’re doing. Alternative Miss World tickets go on sale this morning at 10am and trust us, you want to get your hands on one. For the uninitiated, Alternative Miss World is the brainchild of performance artist, sculptor and jewellery maker Andrew Logan. Since 1972 he’s been running the competition, which structurally follows traditional pageants with daywear, swimwear, eveningwear and personality categories, but totally smashes the beauty-centric content associated with conventional pageants to pieces.   Logan’s quest instead is to champion creativity, equality and uniqueness. You can never guarantee exactly how an Alternative Miss World will play out as the shows always go ahead without rehearsals but what you can be certain of is fierce and phenomenal costumes and non-stop chaotic fun.  This year’s theme is ‘Psychedelic Peace’ and the pageant is being held at Shakespeare’s Globe. Literally couldn’t get any better, could it? See you in the online ticket queue!       Alternative Miss World tickets go on sale this morning (Mon Jan 29) at 10am here. Alternative Miss World. Shakspeare’s Globe. Sat Oct 20. 7pm. £25-£50. Want more offbeat fun? Check out these unusual things to do in London or uncover what it’s like to be a life model

The Open House ticket ballot for the BT Tower and 10 Downing Street is now open

The Open House ticket ballot for the BT Tower and 10 Downing Street is now open

Open House is back for 2018, flinging open hundreds of doors that would normally remain firmly shut to the public. Across Saturday September 22-Sunday September 23, buildings in every borough of London will be free to roam including factories, government buildings and private homes.  Heaps of the cribs, offices and impressive pieces of architecture on the list don’t require booking, but the big boys always bring huge numbers to their yards, which means a ballot system is in place to keep things fair. If going up the BT Tower, nosing around 10 Downing Street or checking out The View from The Shard (all for free!) are experiences waiting to be ticked off your bucket list, head to the Open House website today (Tuesday August 21) and sign right up. Good luck! Enter the ballots here. Find out more about Open House.  Prefer being outside? Check out these hidden gardens and green spaces in London  

A ‘Sex and the City’ conference is coming to London

A ‘Sex and the City’ conference is coming to London

Sat in front of our screens channelling our inner Carrie, we couldn’t help but wonder: does London need a ‘Sex and the City’ conference? And then miraculously, The Book Club announced today that a ‘SATC’ symposium will be touching down this September in celebration of the show’s 20-year anniversary. So it turns out the answer is yes, our city does need a whole day dedicated to Bradshaw and her gang. Writers, performers, academics and journalists will kick off proceedings with a morning of ‘SATC’-centric talks followed by an afternoon of panel discussions spanning the show’s feminist legacy, politics, psychogeography and, of course, sex. Let’s not forget sex. No doubt you’ll be craving cosmos after all that chat, so sink a few during a quiz about the gals come nightfall. You can even bag prizes if your knowledge of Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda is up to scratch. Sex and the City: A 20th Anniversary Conference. The Book Club. Sep 8. £5-£20. Obsessed with current TV too? Check out three great ‘Love Island’ final parties. 

What to expect from Bourne & Hollingsworth’s summer pop-up Beautiful Allotment

What to expect from Bourne & Hollingsworth’s summer pop-up Beautiful Allotment

An allotment, eh? What’s so ‘beautiful’ about it then? A new watering hole is popping up in the Geffrye Museum’s Victorian gardens, set up by Bourne & Hollingsworth (the crowd who run that fancy brunch spot in Clerkenwell). The addition of vegetable patches and wheelbarrow cocktail bars that roll up to wherever you’re sitting make the whole thing even more attractive.   Will I have to get my hands dirty? Hell no. All the groundwork’s been done already. The only fork you’ll be needing is the food-shovelling kind as you work through platters of barbecue while stretched out on a day bed. The waiting time for an allotment is, like, ten years. Will I have to get in line for this too? Not if you’re savvy with your seeds and plant the idea among friends now. Reserve a spot ahead of time for one of the long flower tables, one of three potting sheds or the treehouse built around one of the garden’s oak trees.   And how do I get there? You could hop on the Overground like the rest of us schmucks, or just honk your way to Hoxton with the help of a tractor! That’s right, a vintage trailer hitched to a farmyard vehicle will pick you up from within a one-mile radius of the venue for a fee. It won’t be speedy but there’s an on-board bartender, and we know for a fact you don’t get one of those with an Oyster card. Beautiful Allotment, Geffrye Museum gardens. Hoxton Overground. Wed July 25-Aug 26. Free entry, book in advance. Like the great outdoors? Discover hidden gardens and green space

See loads of free art at the new Nocturnal Creatures festival

See loads of free art at the new Nocturnal Creatures festival

You can sleep all day and party all night at this new contemporary arts festival sprawling across the East End this weekend. It’s called Nocturnal Creatures, and has been organised by the Whitechapel Gallery in association with Sculpture in the City, allowing performances, video, sound and more to pulse through the capital after dark. There will be works by London Open 2018 artists, three actors will be doing hourly recitals of Alexis Teplin’s mesmerising performance piece ‘Arch (the Politics of Fragmentation)’ and the gallery’s bar will be filled with space-age electro and cosmic funk while you make the most of happy hour. Other buildings and venues within scuttling distance will be keeping the padlocks off come twilight, too. Just across the street, the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, which was responsible for making some of the world’s most famous bells until it closed last year,  will be opening its doors for a special installation created by Rachel Pimm exploring themes of agriculture, ecology, and military and political histories of materials. Now void of bells and the materials to make them, the space will be reanimated to map out where they once were cast, to a score of whirring machinery by audio artist Graham Cunnington. Continue your date with the night with artist-led tours of Sculpture in the City, where artworks by the likes of Marina Abramović, Sarah Lucas and Tracey Emin are dotted among architectural landmarks, then wind up in Broadgate where multimedia artist T

Win tickets to a giant screening of England’s World Cup semi-final

Win tickets to a giant screening of England’s World Cup semi-final

With every goal that brings the England team closer to the World Cup Final, the fuller the pubs get on match night. But there’s just not enough space for all us loyal fans in the local boozers to cheer on King Kane and his comrades, is there? Luckily our favourite human man (second only to Gareth Southgate) is organising something rather special so that hundreds of thousands of us can watch it together in one big, lush green space.  That’s right, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has been busy making plans with the Royal Parks, the Football Association and other agencies so that England v Croatia can be shown on a giant outdoor screen in Hyde Park this Wednesday evening. He announced today along with Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Matt Hancock, that a ballot system will give up to 30,000 lucky sports fans the chance to see the lads play in the semi-final game (it’s the first World Cup since 1990 that England have made it this far, so it’s kind of a big deal), marking the biggest London screening of a football match since 1996. Football really is coming home again and we can’t wait to hear a crowd that size singing our new favourite football song to the tune of Atomic Kitten’s ‘Whole Again’!  The ballot for tickets opens at 4pm today and you’ve got until midnight to enter. If you’re a lucky winner you’ll be notified by 1pm tomorrow (Tue Jul 10). Register here to watch Croatia v England – World Cup Semi-Final screening. Hyde Park. Wed Jul 11.  We hung out w

Here’s how to win a sleepover in the BT Tower

Here’s how to win a sleepover in the BT Tower

Measuring 189 metres and piercing the skyline since 1985, it’s safe to say that BT Tower has become an iconic spike on the London landscape. A fortuitous few get a peek at its innards every year during Open House London and 1,400 of you got to dine in the building’s revolving restaurant when it reopened for two weeks back in 2015 to mark the tower’s fiftieth birthday. The rest of the time, though, us average Joes don’t get a look in.  This July, however, to celebrate the launch of BT’s new super speedy fibre and 4G plan BT Plus, the tower is being opened again and transformed into an activity hub giving more of you lucky lot the chance to explore five activity zones inspired by the nation’s favourite ways to connect with friends and family. Off the back of recent research conducted by BT which identified the top ways Brits like to spend time with loved ones, the zones will feature the sights and smells of a trip to the beach, a picnic in the park, and kicking back in front of the telly to watch sport. Those who manage to nab a slot via the ballot system will be able to spend an hour in the revolving venue and will also be given a picnic hamper to enjoy as they take in 360-degree vistas.  Now that all sounds pretty fab, but BT has also decided to throw a sleepover into the mix. That’s right, one ballot winner will be given the chance to get their snooze on, on the building’s 34th floor and wake up to those idyllic views. It’s not quite heaven, but at 518 feet above the city, i

Five things to see and do at London’s new ice-cream exhibition

Five things to see and do at London’s new ice-cream exhibition

The British Museum of Food’s founders Bompas & Parr are opening an exhibition dedicated to all things ice cream! Get a flavour of what’s in store:  See a massive collection of retro dessert merch     The B&P duo have enlisted another twosome obsessed with the chilly treat in the form of husband and wife Robin and Caroline Weir, who own the world’s largest collection of ice cream paraphernalia (we’re talking a cool 14,000 items amassed over 40 years). You’ll find lots of it here charting the ripples of our relationship with ice cream throughout the ages.   Enter the ‘Conehenge’ Café Entry and exit to ‘Scoop’ is via ‘Conehenge’, an ice-cream café dedicated to intriguing flavours of a bygone era. Think candied fruit, an all-day-breakfast flavour and an eighteenth-century daffodil recipe the Bompas & Parr development kitchen has been working on for the last six months. Dip your dollop under the world’s first hundreds and thousands fountain and wait for the sugar rush.   Travel back in ice-cream time ‘Often licked, never beaten’ was probably not a truthful tagline for the two rival Scottish criminal clans selling drugs and stolen goods from ice-cream vans in Glasgow during the 1980s. A whole section of the show is dedicated to their dodgy dealings – they brought a whole new meaning to ‘revenge is a dish best served cold’. After something a little more wholesome? Try the recipes of Agnes B Marshall, the radical Victorian ‘Queen of Ices’ and one of the earliest inventors of the e