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Time Out London contributors

Time Out London contributors

Some great words from some great writers. 

Articles (23)

The tastiest things we ate in 2022

The tastiest things we ate in 2022

It has been a deeply delicious year.  Over the past 12 monthas the Time Out office has been powered not just by exemplary Korean fried chicken and vegan ‘fish’ but, in an unlikely coming together of both Scottish and Canadian cuisines, haggis poutine.  Step this way to discover what else whet the appetites of our London staff in 2022, and then feel free to head off on a greedy little pilgrimage to eat these delightful dishes yourself. Tell them Time Out sent you. Seconds are encouraged. Want more joyful things from this year? We got you. Here are London's best gigs of 2022 And the best books of 2022

The best new restaurants of 2022

The best new restaurants of 2022

It takes guts to open a new restaurant, especially in 2022. With the London food world still struggling with the fallout from so many lockdowns, coupled with Brexit-induced inflation, staffing issues, the rising cost of bills and rents, and everything else terrible that comes with a cost-of-living crisis, opening a new dining location seems like absolute madness.  But the capital’s restaurateurs have persisted and we thank them heartily for their service to our stomachs. From small independent sushi spots to multi-million-pound Mayfair joints, pubs serving up spectacular south Indian cuisine, hole-in-the-wall bagel bakeries and low-key vegan Sichuan spots, loads of great new places arrived on the scene this year. Here are the Time Out London team’s favourites.   Why not have a look at the 22 best songs of 2022. Or even the 33 best films of 2022.

Secret Santa gift ideas

Secret Santa gift ideas

Ah, the old Secret Santa quandary. You’ve got to get a gift for that bloke from marketing that you’ve never actually spoken to – plus, you’re on a tight budget and you’ve put off buying until the last minute. Have no fear: we’ve rounded up some of the best secret Santa gift ideas from various stores to give you a spot of inspiration this Christmas. 

Where to get started with...

Where to get started with...

Historically, three things have put you off reading classic authors: a lack of time, trepidation about where to start and, crucially, the fact we all secretly prefer back-to-back episodes of shoddy Netflix dramas over the greatest works of literature the world has ever produced. Well, we can’t do anything about that last one. It’s just human nature. But you do have time now. Lots of it. So we thought we’d point you in the right direction with our ‘Where to get started with’ series. Every week, we spotlight a highly regarded author, and recommend the best entry point into their work – whether that’s a novel, play, or short story. If you like what you read, we have advice on what to go for next. Allow us to ease you in gently to the world of Very Good Books. 

6 London wellness classes that you can (probably) fall asleep in

6 London wellness classes that you can (probably) fall asleep in

From bougie gyms and spin studios to outdoor workouts, London isn’t short on places to get sweaty. But sometimes, you want to slow the pace a bit. Some gentle yoga, perhaps, or a meditation workshop. And sometimes, you want to go to a class where you can basically fall asleep (just us?). We go in search of the best wellness and yoga workshops where you can squeeze in 40 winks. RECOMMENDED: London’s best fitness classes

5 writers on their favourite Sunday roasts in London

5 writers on their favourite Sunday roasts in London

It’s officially roast season, which (hopefully) means gravy by the bucketload, massive yorkshire puddings and a vast pile of roast potatoes. We asked five writers to wax lyrical about their favourite roast dinners across the city, from veggie options to classic roast beef. Let’s tuck in.  RECOMMENDED: Things to do on a Sunday in London

Four writers on their favourite pub gardens in London

Four writers on their favourite pub gardens in London

London’s not short on lovely parks or ace rooftop bars where you can have a tipple when the sun comes out, but everyone knows that the beer garden is where it’s really at. From wide open terraces to hedge-screened hideaways, there’s something special about the city’s pub gardens. RECOMMENDED: Outdoor London

Five writers try out London’s most unusual wellness treatments

Five writers try out London’s most unusual wellness treatments

Sure, spa days are great, but sweating it out in a sauna isn't the only way to feel good. From bathing in wine to being blasted with liquid nitrogen, we test out some of London's most unusual ways to feel good.  RECOMMENDED: The best spa breaks near London

9 ways to make every day more extraordinary

9 ways to make every day more extraordinary

How often do you stop and consider just how many possibilities for adventure and discovery London has to offer? If you’re a local, chances are you tend to overlook the small things that make this city such an inspiring place to live. To mark the launch of their new smartphone, the Google Pixel 3, the folks at Google have unveiled the Curiosity Rooms. Located a stone’s throw from Piccadilly Circus at 55 Regent Street, the three-floor space is filled with installations, pop-ups, workshops, free events and talks that are all designed to ignite your sense of curiosity. The rooms are open from now until December 16, from noon-9pm on Thursday to Saturday, and noon-6pm on Sunday. Can’t make it down to the Curiosity Rooms? No worries: you can elevate each day by experiencing your city through the eyes of the Google Pixel 3. Let us tell you what you can find when you explore London, Google Pixel 3 in hand. 1. Get high To get a new perspective, sometimes you need to see things from a totally different viewpoint – literally. Climb up high and those same old streets, buildings and landmarks you pass daily will be transformed: you’ll feel like a tiny part of a massive, beautiful, heaving metropolis. South Londoners, head to Greenwich Park or Crystal Palace; for those up north, hot-foot it to Primrose Hill, Parliament Hill or Alexandra Palace. Sure, you might start panting on the hike up there, but it’ll be worth it – especially if you take a wide-angle #skylineselfie to capture the momen

Crush hour: writers share their experiences of love in the city

Crush hour: writers share their experiences of love in the city

Lavender in London By Bella Cox, a Barbican Young Poet living in east London I’ve never had a girl bring flowers to a date before. There was a boy, once, when I was 16. He was apologising for being 20 minutes late in the only language he’d been taught that girls understood and he thrust the over-large bouquet in my hand in a mute please-don’t-be-mad-at-me gesture as soon as he arrived, which got me to smile. But the date didn’t go well. A woman bringing flowers to a date is unprecedented. And she’s done it out of nothing more than kindness? I am bemused and, like last time I saw her, speechless. We are standing in the entryway to the tube, disgruntled commuters bustling past us, her beaming like a freshly shined jewel. She hands me the flowers, words desert me, we smile into a kiss that is filled with nerves. As we do, and without our permission, our lipsticks spread two different shades of red around each other’s mouth. Shit. Another unprecedented occurrence. I’ve never been with a woman who also wears lipstick. I feel my cheeks plum to match my lips; Red Peril. But behold! She is a Londoner and baby-wipe prepared! So we stand, giggling at the entrance, gently wiping each other’s mouth back to neutral, me awkwardly clutching the first-date bouquet between arm and ribcage, still not sure what to say, her asking me to keep still and smell the flowers. I Miss Your Instagram Stories Travis Alabanza Artist, writer and performer living in south London It was sometime in July that

Ask Jenk: our teenage agony uncle solves London kids’ problems

Ask Jenk: our teenage agony uncle solves London kids’ problems

Back-to-school is a tough time for kids: back to homework, peer pressure, getting nagged by mum and dad… But help is at hand! We put some young Londoners’ problems to 13-year-old Jenk Oz, who – as the country’s youngest CEO – seems to know his stuff. I don’t mind going to school mostly, but I hate maths. Does it ever get less boring? Sophia, 10, Balham Jenk says: ‘Maths is like Marmite – you love it or you hate it! However, it’s a really important subject because, unlike a lot of school subjects, you’ll actually end up using maths every single day for the rest for your life – whether shopping, playing music, watching sports or checking the numbers on your first ever payslip! I think the best way to cope with it, if it’s not your favourite thing to study, is to make it as fun as possible. There are so many new maths-focused apps that are created in gaming style, making learning a lot more fun. Also, websites such as BBC Bitesize can help you break down complicated sums and equations to make them easier to understand. The easier they become, the more you will learn to love it, and the less boring it will be!’ I want to watch ‘Game of Thrones’ but my mum won’t let me – she says I’m not old enough. How can I change her mind? Josh, 12, Dalston Jenk says: ‘My mum won’t let me watch it either! It’s rated age 15 and I’ve heard it’s pretty gory, with some pretty grown-up content. If I ever want to watch something that’s got an older rating, I usually ask my mum or dad if they can wa

Tube etiquette: Time Out readers’ ten rules for commuters

Tube etiquette: Time Out readers’ ten rules for commuters

Last week we brought you a comprehensive guide to tube etiquette. From standing on the right to never eating a McDonald’s, we rounded up the dos, don’ts and don’t-you-even-think-about-its of travelling on the London Underground. However, it turns out 20 rules just aren’t enough. You guys took to Facebook, Twitter and Reddit to add your own ideas to our list – and you had very strong demands! So here’s the Time Out readers’ guide to tube etiquette. 1. Take your rucksack off before boarding (via Nick Herrod) ‘Please, please take your rucksack off your back before boarding. You have no control over it and you take up twice the space. Grrr.’                2. Get your Oyster card ready (via Suzette La Pierre)  ‘Don’t wait until you are standing in front of a barrier to find your Oyster card – keep it bloody moving!’ 3. Maybe do your beauty routine at home (via George Chapman) ‘I got on the Northern Line once to discover a seat covered in fingernail clippings. Don’t know why these people don’t just move in and save on rent.’ 4. Never wait at the end of an escalator (via Gayle Richardson) ‘If you are organising a group of teenagers from a language school, please don’t tell them to wait at the bottom of the escalator as they tend to take it far too literally.’             5. Keep your limbs under control (via John Wolfe) ‘Have some spacial awareness! I can’t count the amount of times people have flailed their arms out in front of me, or blocked the platform as a huge group.’ 6. Don

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News (45)

Three writers share their favourite London walks

Three writers share their favourite London walks

Have you looped your local park more times than you ever thought possible? Yeah, same. We asked three writers to reveal the walk they love the most in the city – whether for its views, terrains or sentimental value. Their replies will get you excited about pounding London’s streets again.  Blythe Hill to the Horniman View this post on Instagram A post shared by Brockley_Life (@brockley_life) When I was a child, I split my time fairly evenly between my gran’s ground-floor flat on Faversham Road and my mum’s basement flat in the heart of Forest Hill, a couple of hundred yards from the half-demented Victorian opulence of the Horniman Gardens. It’s about a mile and a half from one point to the other, and there are two ways to do it: the flatly utilitarian option of following Stanstead Road; or the route that snakes from Blythe Hill Fields in the Catford borderlands, all the way up through Honor Oak, and lets you arrive by stealth at the carefully manicured greenery in Forest Hill. The first is for the daily grind – a choke of South Circular traffic and sparsely stocked cornershops. The second is more suited to reflection. It’s a route I still take about once a month, when the weather’s good and my day’s clear. From Blythe Hill, the eastern skyline opens up to reveal the slightly dated skyscraper impositions in the City, a view that Gran never really took to. Certainly, it lacks the spectacle you’ll be granted at the Horniman, but the older I get, the more I apprec

In 2021, let’s celebrate the little things

In 2021, let’s celebrate the little things

A few years ago, I started to discover joy and awe in the small things. I was spending some time in rehab meetings all over London, many in churches. Churches often have churchyards, and in one of them I noticed a flower with pink and yellow petals like battenberg cake. It lit me up. I started to look outwards, instead of down at my phone. I saw goldfinches, blue tits, sparrows and woodpeckers. Leaves and buds and seeds and roots. Cormorants, water voles, foxes and butterflies. I began to look at how our connection with the rest of nature can affect our mental and emotional health. The evidence blew me away. I found that walking down a tree-lined street or through a green space or urban woodland affects our body and brain in myriad ways. Hearing birdsong can lower stress levels; watching spring light fall through the trees can be psychologically restorative; handling plants in soil may have mental health effects via the microbiome pathway; the smell of earth after rain, known as ‘petrichor’, can affect areas of the brain associated with calmness and relaxation. It’s not just paying attention to other species that can bring us joy. Take your earphones out on the bus and listen to the lives of others. Watch someone stroking their dog, or kissing the cheeks of a baby, or two men having a big old hug. Look up and see a ballet lesson in an old schoolroom. Puffs of flour as a baker kneads bread. It’s all there, hiding in plain sight. Our humour: the seven noses of Soho; the fridge

Rhys James imagines London in ten years' time

Rhys James imagines London in ten years' time

For our comedy special, Rhys James offers a view of London from the future... Gentrification spreads from the centre like a kombucha spill. We come to accept the definition of ‘gentrified’ as ‘has a Gail’s bakery now’. East London becomes so vintage the plague returns, localised in Hackney Wick. Brexit causes house prices to soar as people accept their ‘move to Paris to drink tiny coffees for a year’ fantasies are dead and demand increases. Alternatively, a lack of Brexit causes house prices to soar as homeowners decide they need more money to pay for tiny coffees in Paris next year. A giant inflatable flailing tube man is erected in the City by a YouTube prankster for the sole purpose of ruining the establishing drone shots on ‘The Apprentice’. Zones 1 and 2 become permanently pedestrianised to meet the demand for marches.  Every car is now a Prius, as decreed by UN President Thunberg, causing mass confusion as to whether or not your Uber has arrived. Niche sport bars like Flight Club, Bounce and those mad warehouses for tiny golf inspire more novelty nerd-sport pubs. The most talked about include Catch (indoor fishing), Windy City (indoor kite-flying) and the extremely short-lived Gulp (sword-swallowing). Visitors from the north still somehow end up plonked directly into Leicester Square and go home believing London is an Angus Steakhouse and three beatboxers. Rhys James: ‘Snitch’. Leicester Square Theatre. Leicester Square. Mar 13 2020. Find out about the best comedy nigh

Dane Baptiste’s top three places to take a poo in London

Dane Baptiste’s top three places to take a poo in London

What do you do if you wanna take a poo in an English country garden? I wouldn’t know, I live in London. As a London resident, being cash rich and time poor, finding the space to eat, live, pray and love isn’t always easy. There’s a lot of shit to deal with, especially when you need one! Here are some tips on convenient places to defecate in your city. Pubs Typically only paying customers can relieve themselves in pub toilets, but if you give the impression that you’re meeting friends/a date who stands you up (acted out with fake phone call for good effect), everyone will understand why you need a number two, as the world has shitted on you. Upscale department stores Selfridges, Harvey Nicks, Harrods. Who poos there? The rich (like you), that’s who. And a rich person won’t be questioned about if they’re buying anything. Maybe bring a cravat or monocle to complete the illusion. Comedy clubs It’s hard to hear your butt burping when everyone is laughing. Comedy clubs provide excellent facilities, with the talented acts loosening your belly in the best way. Don’t tell anyone I told y’all… Dane Baptiste: ‘The Chocolate Chip’. Soho Theatre. m Tottenham Court Rd. Mar 2-14 2020. Find out about the best comedy nights in London 

It happened here: Norris & Parker’s funniest London moment

It happened here: Norris & Parker’s funniest London moment

Londoners look back on their funniest (mis)adventures in the city. This week: at Guy’s Hospital in Southwark, comedy double act Katie Norris and Sinead Parker had an unusual bonding experience… Sinead We’ve all heard the old proverb ‘The comedy duo that smear together have no fear together.’ This time, however, Katie’s smear test results had come back fine and mine were abnormal. As friends and comedy partners, we have absolutely no boundaries: we often share a bed, a bath and, sadly, a birthday. So it made perfect sense for Katie to come along to my colposcopy at Guy’s Hospital for moral support and hilarity – if your idea of hilarity means having your legs spread in stirrups as five strangers, including a silent male trainee, stare at your vagina as it’s projected on to a large HD screen. One of life’s reassuring constants is that a humiliating situation can always be made worse if you’re an actor, because there’s always someone who will ask, ‘Have I seen you in anything?’ On this occasion things were simpler as I was able to point at the screen and respond: ‘Just this.’ Colposcopies are embarrassing, uncomfortable and scary. It was lucky that Katie was there to hold my hand, make me laugh, look lovingly at my vagina and say, ‘You have a fabulous c**t.’ Though this did prompt the nurse to ask, ‘Are you a couple?’ At this point I wondered: Do Ant and Dec ever have these problems? Katie For me, having to stare at Sinead’s vagina projected on to a large HD screen while she cru

Overheard in London: this week’s #wordonthestreet

Overheard in London: this week’s #wordonthestreet

‘Funny: you always see famous people going through King’s Cross but never anyone from “EastEnders”.’ ‘I don’t even want diamonds, just handbags!’ ‘She needs to get herself to Berlin and get pregnant.’ ‘Dance is an art. Unless it’s a dance-off. Then it’s a sport.’ ‘I was so drunk my iPhone didn’t recognise my own face.’ ‘Is it global warning or global warming? Yeah, it’s global warning.’ ‘Maybe they’ve weeded out all the problematic corpses.’ ‘What do you mean “Is it organic?” It’s cooked!’ ‘I’ve actually gone right off prosecco ever since my champagne tour.’ ‘She cheats at yoga.’  Every week you share the weird things you’ve overheard in London. Above, a few perplexing snippets from the past seven days – don’t forget to tweet us your own! Like Word on the Street? We’ve now made a book of these little beauties! ‘Word on the Street: Ridiculous Things We’ve Overheard in London’ is out now, £6.99. To buy a copy, visit timeout.com/wotsbook. 

Overheard in London: this week’s #wordonthestreet

Overheard in London: this week’s #wordonthestreet

‘A guy on Tinder wanted to sniff my bum. I feel quite flattered that a guy wants to stick his nose there.’ ‘In our orchestra there was one incredibly fit bassoon player.’ ‘I’m so glad I’m not in crypto right now.’ ‘Also, I’ve just woken up with an Australian geologist’s business card.’ ‘I’ll draw your eyebrows on, but I won’t go to Tesco’s with you.’ ‘Think about it: helicopters aren’t that expensive.’ ‘I’ve always wondered what beards look like underwater.’ ‘Full stops make me nervous.’ ‘I wish my husband was here – he has a real authority with flies.’ ‘If babies matured as fast as dogs, I’d probably consider having one.’  Every week you share the weird things you’ve overheard in London. Above, a few perplexing snippets from the past seven days – don’t forget to tweet us your own! Like Word on the Street? We’ve now made a book of these little beauties! ‘Word on the Street: Ridiculous Things We’ve Overheard in London’ is out now, £6.99. To buy a copy, visit timeout.com/wotsbook. 

Overheard in London: this week’s #wordonthestreet

Overheard in London: this week’s #wordonthestreet

‘Yes, the password is “Jesusislove1”. Capital “J” for Jesus.’ ‘Everything is free if you have a spoon.’ ‘I follow all political parties and some porn stars. I am very selective about my porn stars.’ ‘I’m so angry with the dentist and the world because of the size of my cheeks.’ ‘LA is just the Dalston of America.’ ‘I don’t like rabbits: they’re too salty.’ ‘…then she got him that gramophone as a peace offering.’ ‘What do you mean, Bristol isn’t up North? I always thought that all you got south of London was Brighton and Poole.’ ‘Yeah, we’ll see how unfuckable the situation is in the morning.’ ‘There’s more to life than Acton Town station.’ Every week you share the weird things you’ve overheard in London. Above, a few perplexing snippets from the past seven days – don’t forget to tweet us your own! Like Word on the Street? We’ve now made a book of these little beauties! ‘Word on the Street: Ridiculous Things We’ve Overheard in London’ is out now, £6.99. To buy a copy, visit timeout.com/wotsbook. 

14 reasons Londoners love the NHS

14 reasons Londoners love the NHS

As NHS celebrates its 70th birthday Londoners share their memories of the iconic institution ‘I was born premature at 24 weeks with my twin sister. We were in the ICU for a month and wouldn’t be alive today without the doctors at St George’s. Multiple ops as a baby, a couple now I’m older, and all is well. God bless the NHS.’ Daniel Clark ‘My husband had a heart attack two years ago. Within two hours he had a stent fitted to clear a blocked artery and within four months he had a triple bypass. The care he had was fantastic, we can never thank the staff enough for all the care and dedication.’ Sharon Smith ‘My children suffered the usual childhood accidents plus croup, asthma attacks and appendicitis. On every occasion the NHS was amazing and the nurses in particular were so fantastic.’ Karen Patricia Lowe ‘Had cancer twice. NHS cured me twice. Still here alive and kicking. Father, twice over. Immeasurably indebted... twice.’ Julian Cousins ‘I had an aneurysm in October 1970. A top neurosurgeon did two ops on me to pin it and here I am, 47 years later, still enjoying life, all thanks to our marvellous NHS.’ Neville Blythe ‘My baby went listless and his face turned blue. Within seconds an ambulance was there and he was rushed in. He had severe gastric flu and was kept in overnight. We will never forget how fantastic everyone was.’ Rachel Lampen  ‘Newham University hospital helped deliver my baby safely on NYE after my liver started to fail and there was a danger for me and baby

Waffles, beer and Flemish masters: it’s the best of Belgian London

Waffles, beer and Flemish masters: it’s the best of Belgian London

We arrived in London five years ago, eager to be part of one of the most vibrant cities in the world, and we were not disappointed. However, there was one thing that we were weren’t able to easily find: our national treasure, Belgian beer! Soon, our festival Ales Tales was in the making. England and Belgium have a deep shared history, with commercial links from the thirteenth century – long before the modern country of Belgium existed! In fact, it was at the London Conference of 1830 that Belgium was created, after secession from the Dutch. Most Belgians are easy-going and open-minded, with a self-deprecating humour that helps them fit in as discreet expatriates. In fact, we only need to answer two questions to feel at home: where can you find Belgian beers, and where are the best chips in town? Nicolas Tondeur and Sayuri Kasajima Did you know? Belgium is the only non-Commonwealth country allowed to parade its troops in uniform and bearing arms in central London. The Belgian Parade takes place every July at the Cenotaph. Nicolas and Sayuri's favourite Belgian spots in London For the best selection of Belgian craft beer in London, all year round, head to The Beer Merchants Tap in Hackney Wick. These guys have been importing Belgium’s finest for decades. London has several masterpieces from the golden age of painting by the Flemish artist Sir Peter Paul Rubens, but the most spectacular has to be his ceiling of Banqueting House, completed in 1636. Find authentic, artisanal Belgi

On this day in 1969, the Kray twins were convicted of murder

On this day in 1969, the Kray twins were convicted of murder

Reggie and Ronnie Kray were the foremost perpetrators of organised crime in the East End in the 1950s and ’60s. They were involved in armed robberies, arson, protection rackets, assaults and murders. They became celebrities in the ’60s, socialised with prominent entertainers such as Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland, had their photos taken by David Bailey and were even interviewed on television. They were so feared that no one would offer testimony against them. Eventually the police arrested them and, with the twins safely in custody, witnesses came forward. On March 4 1969, the Krays were sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for 30 years: the longest sentences ever handed down at the Old Bailey. From ‘London Map of Days’ by Mychael Barratt. Love London? Sign up here to get Time Out tips in your inbox every week.

6 Christmas dinners in London that aren’t hideously unhealthy

6 Christmas dinners in London that aren’t hideously unhealthy

’Tis the season to be jolly and London’s restaurants are getting in the spirit, updating their menus with seasonal twists. Enjoying a Christmas lunch out doesn’t have to mean overindulging, so if you’re looking for healthier options, why not book a spot at one of the city’s more health-conscious eateries? We’ve rounded up six of them below: from mince pies to festive cocktails, you’re in for a guilt-free treat.1. Farmacy, Notting Hill Plant-based Farmacy will be offering a nuttily good Xmas menu featuring a ‘Christmas Bowl’ that will save you from the cold with its whipped squash, charred brussels sprouts, winter spiced activated seeds and filling buckwheat. Chocolate lava cake with salted caramel ‘nice cream’ adds decadence while being dairy, refined sugar and additive-free. 74 Westbourne Grove, W2 5SH. 7221 0705. Tube: Royal Oak. Available throughout December.2. Nama, Westbourne Grove Nama’s raw vegan menu boasts desserts full of natural sugars, cacao and fruit, including a Christmas cake and salted chocolate caramel slice. Start with the artisan nut cheese and festive fruit chutney before delighting in the ingenuity behind a main of beet roast served with caramelised carrots, cauliflower mash and cabbage (all prepared at 42°C or below for the legit ‘raw’ tag). 110 Talbot Rd, W11 1JR. 7313 4638. Tube: Westbourne Park. Available throughout December.3. Essence Cuisine, Shoreditch The plant-based and free-from food concept developed by internationally renowned celebrity chef

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