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Sarah Cohen

Sarah Cohen

Deputy Chief Sub Editor, Time Out London

Sarah Cohen has been Deputy Chief Sub Editor at Time Out London since 2019, and she previously worked for the company from 2006 to 2012 in various digital editorial roles.

She is a Snoopy fan and dairy phobe who grew up in west London and never left (apart from a few years at university). You will often find her in the cinema, at a gallery or anywhere she can indulge her carnivorous tendencies.

You can reach her at [email protected]

Articles (69)

The 50 best London attractions

The 50 best London attractions

A visitor, a daytripper and a tourist all walking into London and... as it turns out, there are certain iconic London attractions that they all simply have to visit. These museums, galleries, monuments and parks are part of the city’s fabric – to experience them is to uncover a patch of the capital's culture and history. But where to begin? We’ve pulled together a list of the 50 best attractions in London for you to start ticking off your bucket list. And the best news? Loads of these must-see London attractions are free, and those that aren’t, you can book below. Still after some sightseeing inspiration? Check out our list of 101 things to do in London, and find out what’s happening in London today, this week and this weekend. RECOMMENDED: The best free things to do in London This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

London’s best rooftop bars

London’s best rooftop bars

From swanky City skyscrapers to informal warehouse hangouts, Londoners have always really, really loved rooftop bars. Even in the colder months, that blessed combination of wicked city views and lovely drinks ticks our collective boxes. Time to soak up some sunsets (perhaps while wearing a very big coat).  A lot of these places are always in high demand, so we recommend booking tables as early as you can, although some of these bars are walk-in only. Prefer to keep your feet on the ground? Here are London’s best beer gardens. 

The best comedy clubs in London

The best comedy clubs in London

London has the biggest and best comedy scene in the world, and though it’s been dented by two years of pandemic, it’s now back in a big way. From tiny basements and rooms above pubs to huge venues, there’s comedy in the capital for comedians (and audiences) of all shapes and sizes. But where to start? Our list of London’s best comedy nights and clubs encompasses local gigs, central hangouts and big theatre shows where you’ll find performances from the funniest comedians in the business, all guaranteed to raise your spirits and leave your ribs tickled. RECOMMENDED: our complete guide to theatre in London.

The best music festivals in London in 2022

The best music festivals in London in 2022

There are plenty of world-class music festivals being held only a tube ride away from most Londoners. Luxurious stuff considering, after a long day of sun and debauchery, there’s nothing better than a warm shower and your own bed.  With headliners from underground electronic DJs to massive international rap stars, loads of 2022 London festivals are busy selling tickets. Take a look at our list of best in show.  RECOMMENDED: The best UK music festivals.

Unusual and original things to do in London

Unusual and original things to do in London

London is so stuffed full of world-class theatres, museums, attractions, music venues and parks that you’d have to live here for aeons before you’d be able to tick them all off your bucket list. A noble pursuit, for sure, but do you ever hanker to experience the quirkier side of the capital? Our guide to unusual and original things to do in London sends you off the beaten track to those one-of-a-kind, unexpected places and experiences that give the city its edge. Read on for animal adventures, historical havens, culinary curiosities and loads of other strange stuff. RECOMMENDED: 101 things to do in London.

The best restaurants in Shoreditch

The best restaurants in Shoreditch

Shoreditch is a dining destination for hipsters, tourists and City workers alike, so it’s no wonder that there are restaurants of all cuisines and price ranges in the area. But which of the many options deserve your time and money? Let us tell you! Our list of the best restaurants in Shoreditch only features places that we know will hit the spot, from Michelin-starred favourites best visited on expenses to stellar street-food joints. Go east! RECOMMENDED: The best bars, pubs and rooftops in Shoreditch.

London’s best burgers

London’s best burgers

Fancy a burger? Of course you do. The simple meat-between-bread combo is always a winner, whether for a fast-food fix or a gourmet feast. We’ve selflessly toiled away, trying and tasting a vast range of patties to compile this list of London’s best burgers. You can thank us later. London’s finest are utter meaty marvels: juice-seeping, humming with flavour and far more complex in creation than they’re ever given credit for. Roll up your sleeves and tuck in to the best flippin’ burgers in town.

Hidden gardens and green spaces in London

Hidden gardens and green spaces in London

London is one of the greenest cities in the world. Most of us have a local park and there are iconic huge open areas from Hampstead Heath to Greenwich Park and beyond. But the capital is also full of secret nooks and hidden crannies of green space that are lesser-trodden and so usually pretty peaceful. From nature reserves to community gardens, we’ve dug up some of London’s most secret outdoor spaces – the Davids to Goliaths like the Royal Parks. Yes, you might have to seek them out in the shadow of an empty office block. No, they won’t have Santander cycles and rentable deckchairs there. But, instead you’ll find pockets of glorious nature to tuck yourself into and forget about all your worries. RECOMMENDED: discover more of secret London.

22 places in London that look nothing like London

22 places in London that look nothing like London

London’s great and all that, but sometimes we all need a change of scene. Foreign travel has been a bit tricky recently, so you could do worse than visit a London spot that will transport you thousands of miles away. There are buildings, venues, green spaces and experiences in the capital that make you feel like you’re in another country. Visit an Iranian grotto, a Finnish sauna and a Turkish palace using your travelcard. Traverse the wilds of the Scottish Highlands or go white-water rafting on the Zambezi without crossing the M25. Our list of places in London that don’t look like London offers a world of possibilities.     RECOMMENDED: Secret London.

The best cocktail bars in London

The best cocktail bars in London

What’s the best cocktail you’ve had in London? And where did you drink it? In the capital you can find cocktails for every taste, but knowing where to look can be daunting, as there’s so much choice. This is where our ranked list of London’s best cocktail bars comes in. Here you’ll find everything from fancy hotel spots to dark and dirty speakeasies, party places to secret basements. What they all have in common is mixed drinks that will tingle your taste buds and blow your mind.  Some of these joints stick loyally to the classics – visit Dukes for a Martini you’ll never forget or Bar Termini for a Negroni as good as they come – while others experiment to create the most wildly original cocktails around. You’re guaranteed top-notch tipples whichever bar you choose from our curated list of London’s best places to drink cocktails. Sip on!

Romantic restaurants in London

Romantic restaurants in London

Flowers, gifts and grand gestures are all well and good, but sometimes sharing a meal is the best way to conjure romance, especially if the food is superb and the setting special. The places in our list of London’s most romantic restaurants all provide excellent cooking in a space that will woo you before you’ve even sat down. From chic French spots to elevated Japanese joints, we’ve got somewhere for every amorous encounter, whether a big date, anniversary dinner or ‘Yay! We got a babysitter’ celebration. To paraphrase Shakespeare: if food be the food of love, munch on. But which are the best restaurants in all of London? These!

London’s best dim sum restaurants

London’s best dim sum restaurants

Peking duck, special fried rice and unctuous noodles are all delicious, but sometimes Chinese food is best eaten in exquisitely crafted bite-sized packets. London’s best restaurants for dim sum offer traditional buns, dumplings and rolls as well as renegade riffs on the old classics. And not just in Chinatown: you can sample London’s yum cha scene across the city, from a luxe west London hotel to a hip East End joint. All you need are a pair of chopsticks and a pair of elasticated trousers. RECOMMENDED: London’s best Chinese restaurants.

Reviews (41)

Winter Lights

Winter Lights

The bright lights of Canary Wharf's towers are quite the spectacle after dark, but the business district will glow brighter than usual for 11 days in January thanks to the addition of sparkling illuminations created by artists from around the world. The Winter Lights festival returns for its seventh edition with a new set of dazzling artworks, installations and interactive experiences, plus some old favourites from previous years. ‘Permafrost – Sleeping Giants’ by Fisheye will bring three brightly coloured life-size mammoths to the area, 12 glowing swans will glide across the water in formation and Camille Walala’s mural at Adams Plaza Bridge, ‘Captivated by Colour’, will be transformed by light especially for the festival. All 27 of the artworks are free to visit and a map showing their locations will be available to download from the Winter Lights website soon. There will be food and drink stalls along the trail and many of Canary Wharf’s shops, restaurants and bars will be running special offers and discounts.

Carmel

Carmel

4 out of 5 stars

In 2015, chef Josh Katz opened Berber & Q, a now much-loved Middle Eastern grill and smokehouse in Hackney. Next came sister restaurant Shawarma Bar on Exmouth Market. But Katz lives way across town in west London, so for his latest project – with brother Paul and business partner Mattia Bianchi – he has chosen to set up closer to home, in Queen’s Park. Finally, a bit of restaurant love for my neck of the woods. Carmel, the resulting all-day Eastern Mediterranean restaurant, is a delight. The interior is mainly white – tiles and painted brickwork – and numerous plants nestle on ledges and hang from the ceiling. There are three seating options: up at the counter overlooking the open kitchen or the bar; on benches along the communal table that stretches across the room; or, our choice, in the row of smaller tables suitable for a more intimate experience. We visited in the evening, but there’s an exciting lunch menu too, and the plan is for Carmel to open for breakfasts of shakshuka, turmeric-fried eggs and stuffed french toast as well. From the dinner line-up of small and large sharing plates, we started with firm and zesty cured sardines with lemon verjus, chunks of soft potato and sour cream, topped with slices of onion, green chilli and radish. Each mouthful was a riot of contrasting yet complementary tastes and textures – a very well-put-together combination. Then came the surprise of the evening: this carnivore found a vegetable dish that rivalled any of the meat or seafoo

Le Petit Beefbar

Le Petit Beefbar

3 out of 5 stars

Vegetarians look away now. Everyone else, welcome to Le Petit Beefbar: it does what it says on the tin. The Beefbar concept – to offer the highest quality meat in a modern yet luxurious surrounding – was first realised by ‘artistic director’ Riccardo Giraudi in 2005 with his flagship restaurant in Monte Carlo. Since then, the brand has expanded across the world and has just opened its first UK outpost in Chelsea. The modern yet luxurious vibe was evident straight away as we entered the restaurant, in the form of a dazzling, uplit horseshoe bar that dominates the front of the room. People were perched on stools sipping unusual-looking cocktails, which inspired us to order some drinks as soon as we sat down on the red leather banquette at our table in the dark-wood-panelled dining room. My friend considered trying one of the signature tea-infused cocktails, but instead plumped for the El Frances: Courvoisier VSOP, Olmeca Altos Reposado tequila, crème de cassis, crème de peche and fresh lemon juice. She was delighted to report that each of the fruity elements held their own. My maple lemonade was a revelation: why have I never mixed maple syrup and lemon juice before? A sweet-and-sour masterstroke. The meal of small and large sharing dishes began with a spectacle. A plate arrived covered with a cloche. As the waiter lifted this, wispy clouds of sweet-smelling smoke billowed into the air, eventually clearing to reveal two bao. But this dish wasn’t just smoke and mirrors: the buns

JW3 Ice Rink

JW3 Ice Rink

West Hampstead’s Jewish arts, culture and community centre gains a 70-capacity, 200 square-metre ice rink in its piazza for winter, with twinkling lights overhead. Sessions last 50 minutes and little ones can make use of cute penguin stabilisers or banana toboggans to help them round the ice.  Find more places to go ice skating in London.

Victorian Santa’s Grotto

Victorian Santa’s Grotto

Festive cards, gifts, trees and, of course, Father Christmas – so many familiar Yuletide trappings arrived with the Victorians. As an homage to this, the Museum of London Docklands is giving its grotto a nineteenth-century spin, transforming its Sailortown gallery with appropriately vintagey decorations and distant carolling. Santa’s on hand to talk Christmas wishes and pose for selfies, and he’ll throw in a gift for the little ’uns too.  Find more Santa’s Grottos in London.

Danish Christmas Bazaar

Danish Christmas Bazaar

A rambling Hampstead villa (now the Danish YWCA) is transformed into a little piece of Denmark for the weekend, with Danish carols and an authentic hot-dog stall on offer alongside stalls selling lots of Danish goodies, ranging from food and drink – yep, Æbleskiver (pancake balls) and Gløgg (hot booze) – to classic homeware. Find more Christmas markets and fairs.

Christmas at Leadenhall Market

Christmas at Leadenhall Market

At 6pm on Friday November 19, the actual Lord Mayor of London will switch on Leadenhall Market’s Christmas lights. Most of the lights will be found adorning mini Christmas trees and garlands lining this City of London Victorian shopping arcade like an avenue of festive foliage leading up to a giant tree at the end. There will be music to sing along to before and after the switch-on too, and the lights will shine on until Twelfth Night. Leadenhall Market is also planning an evening of late-night shopping and Christmas workshops on December 8. Whisky-tasting, gift-wrapping and wreath-making are among the activities you can book for, and several of the market’s boutiques and restaurants will be open until 8pm.

Sparkle in the Park

Sparkle in the Park

This Greenwich light trail has a dazzling array of extras. Expect twinkling trees, fire-art installations and interactive elements, plus live music, a market selling gifts, street food and drinks of all kinds, and a Christmas disco at the end of each night. The whole thing is free and you don’t even have to book – just show up in your warmest clothes and follow the lights.

The Hawk’s Nest Christmas Market

The Hawk’s Nest Christmas Market

The Hawk’s Nest is an outdoor, covered twinkling woodland hideaway under the railway arches near Goldhawk Road tube that does a nice line in cocktails and pizza. On Sunday afternoons in the run-up to Christmas, it will be home to a gift market, featuring By Olive tableware, Kitty Joyas jewellery, Ilex Studio vases and many other desirable items. Local artists will be selling their artwork, prints and Christmas cards. And there will be piles of baked goods and gallons of hot beverages, both alcoholic and non. After the market closes at 6pm, comedian Jamie Allerton will host a carol-singing session. Also, keep December 21 free for a quiz and festive film screening.

Lush Winter Wreath Decorating

Lush Winter Wreath Decorating

At this hands-on workshop run by the florists of Oxford Street’s Lush, you will learn how to decorate and personalise a plastic-free winter wreath using fresh and locally sourced seasonal flowers and foliage. Tools, aprons and greenery will be provided and you can bring along ornaments to weave in if you like. Not got time to learn a new craft? You can pick up a readymade wreath from Lush too.

A Christmas Less Ordinary at Greenwich Peninsula

A Christmas Less Ordinary at Greenwich Peninsula

There’s a lot going on at Greenwich Peninsula this Christmas. Like food? Browse fresh, local produce at the seasonal edition of Flow farmers’ market (every weekend from December 4 to 19) or sample festive street food from around the world at the Design District Canteen food hall. Fancy settling down in front of a Christmas classic? ‘Love Actually’, ‘Elf’, and ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ are among the films showing in Design District’s Winter Movie Nights season (weekends from December 4 to 19). Want to be wowed? Check out lighting collective Squidsoup’s ‘Wave’, an audio-visual, interactive light display made up of 500 suspended orbs (from November 29) or Lydia Chan’s technicolour AR fantasy-world installation at the Now Gallery (November 19 to March 6 2022). Plus, there’s jazz at the Bureau and loads of Christmas craft workshops. You’ll never want to leave.

Noir Kringle: The Black Santa’s Grotto Experience

Noir Kringle: The Black Santa’s Grotto Experience

Set up in 2018 by a mother in search of positive Black representation at Christmastime for her children, Noir Kringle offers a full-on grotto experience with a Black Santa. Kids can tour his vintage workshop surrounded by glitter, presents, stockings and Christmassy sounds and smells. The 45-minute experience includes activities like storytelling, making Mrs Kringle’s magic reindeer feed, mini elf school and, of course, a meet-and-greet – and photo op – with Father Christmas, who will give each child a present. It sounds super fun, but also an important step towards introducing more diversity into Christmas and extending inclusion to (whisper it) fictional characters. The first batch of tickets for Noir Kringle has sold out, but the organisers will be doing a second release with more time slots. Keep your eye on their website and social media for details.

News (19)

In pictures: Ukraine solidarity protest in Trafalgar Square

In pictures: Ukraine solidarity protest in Trafalgar Square

As the war in Ukraine continued over the weekend, so did worldwide protests in solidarity with its people, including several large events in London.  On Saturday, Ukrainians, Russians and people of many other nationalities gathered at Downing Street to put pressure on the UK government to increase sanctions on Russia and do more to help Ukrainian refugees. There were also crowds outside the Russian embassy in Kensington Palace Gardens who pelted the building with eggs and fake blood while calling for Putin to withdraw his forces. The focus switched to Trafalgar Square yesterday (Sunday February 27), where thousands of people congregated to add their voices to the protest. Photographer and journalist Chris Bethell was among them – you can see some of his pictures below. Another ‘Stand with Ukraine’ rally in Trafalgar Square is planned for 6pm this evening (Monday February 28), and there will undoubtedly be more until the war ends. Photograph: Chris Bethell Photographer: Chris Bethell Photograph: Chris Bethell Photograph: Chris Bethell Photograph: Chris Bethell Photograph: Chris Bethell Photograph: Chris Bethell Photograph: Chris Bethell Photograph: Chris Bethell Photograph: Chris Bethell Chris Bethell is a UK-based photographer and journalist. www.christopherbethell.com/@christopherbethell How to help the people of Ukraine if you’re living in London. This night walk is raising money for loads of London homelessness charities.

You can slide down the Tower of London’s moat into a field of flowers

You can slide down the Tower of London’s moat into a field of flowers

As we reported previously, the Tower of London’s moat is going to be filled with wild flowers to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Gardeners are currently busy planting 20 million seeds that will grow into a beautiful meadow called ‘Superbloom’ come June, when the attraction opens. Wandering through a floral garden sounds like a lovely, gentle activity, right? Except that the organisers have just announced the addition of a giant slide at the entrance. Thrill-seeking visitors can grab a mat and zip down the side of the moat on an eight-metre slide. There’s room for four people to have a go at once and adults are just as welcome as kids. But once you’re in, you’re in: it’s one slide per person. And access is weather-dependent. Image: Historic Royal Palaces The slide was originally built for a National Trust property in Berkshire, but has been repurposed for the Tower of London moat. It’ll have plants running alongside it that complement the wild flowers below.  And don’t worry, bobbing along on your bum isn’t the only way to get into ‘Superbloom’ – those who don’t like feeling their stomach jump into their throat can walk through the fully accessible main entrance. But where’s the fun in that? ‘Superbloom’ is at the Tower of London, Jun 1-Sep 18. Book tickets here. You can climb the Cutty Sark’s really high rigging. This summer’s Serpentine Pavilion will be a place of rest and music.

Archaeologists have uncovered a hidden Roman mosaic near The Shard

Archaeologists have uncovered a hidden Roman mosaic near The Shard

A few metres away from one of the most modern things in London can now be found one of the most ancient. A huge Roman mosaic, dating from the end of the second century or the beginning of the third, has been unearthed near The Shard.  Specialists from the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA), who have been working to uncover the artefact since June, say the eight-metre-long mosaic is the largest to be found in the capital for 50 years, calling it a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ discovery. We're a bit late for #MosaicMonday but it's worth the wait!Our archaeologists unearthed the largest area of Roman mosaic found in London in over 50 years, an incredible discovery made while working on the Liberty of Southwark - @uandiplc urban regeneration project with @TfL. pic.twitter.com/AuD3t4zWeI — MOLA (@MOLArchaeology) February 22, 2022 The archaeologists have deduced from the highly decorative mosaic’s design – which features flowers, geometric patterns and twisted ropes – that it was probably the floor of a ‘triclinium’: a fancy dining room where well-to-do Romans would recline and feast. This may have been part of a ‘mansio’: a kind of motel for people travelling to and from Londinium over the river. Photograph: MOLA/AndyChopping The mosaic was discovered because the area is being redeveloped by TfL and property company U+I to build a housing, shopping and office-space complex called The Liberty of Southwark. Before that can happen, the mosaic is going to be lifted and taken

A gorgeous lantern festival is coming to Bermondsey

A gorgeous lantern festival is coming to Bermondsey

Around Christmastime, London’s outdoor venues, from Kew Gardens and Kenwood to the South Bank and Greenwich Peninsula, filled with dazzling light trails, installations and festivals. But as the nights began to get shorter, these cheering spectacles came to the end of their runs. The season hasn’t quite finished, though: on Friday March 4, Illuminate Rotherhithe and Bermondsey’s free lantern festival will be taking up the baton. Locals are encouraged to gather at either Rotherhithe’s Mayflower Hall or St James’s Church in Bermondsey from 4pm, from where, as night falls (5.30pm), processions of glowing lanterns will make their way through the neighbourhoods, accompanied by music from a choir and samba band, arriving at Southwark Park’s bandstand at 6pm.  By then, participants and onlookers will undoubtedly have worked up a hunger, so after the parade has done a circuit of the park, there’ll be free pizza, cinnamon buns and biscuits for all, plus musical entertainment, a barn dance and appearances from ‘much-loved surprise guests’. Mysterious. Want to get involved? Head to one of Illuminate’s free lantern-making workshops which are popping up in the area this weekend (February 26 and 27), and learn how to craft your own paper-and-willow creation. This year’s theme is ‘trees and everything in nature you find in or on them’, so you may need a lot of green tissue paper. Southwark Park, Gomm Rd, SE16 2TX. Fri Mar 4. Free. Find other things to do in Bermondsey with our area guide. An

You can go to the cinema for £3 this weekend

You can go to the cinema for £3 this weekend

Still haven’t caught up with ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ or ‘Licorice Pizza’? Well, clear your diary on Saturday (February 26) and head to your local Cineworld, because the cinema chain will be offering tickets for £3 all day (although booking fees will still apply). That means you could watch at least three or four movies back to back for the same price as it usually costs to see one.  The discount doesn’t only apply to traditional 2D screenings, either: for maximum eye-boggling effect, you can watch IMAX, 4DX, ScreenX and Superscreen presentations too. Not sure what all of those are, but they sound BIG. But which film(s) to choose? New releases like ‘Cyrano’, ‘Death on the Nile’, ‘Uncharted’, ‘Belfast’ and ‘Jackass Forever’ will be showing on Cineworld screens, and blockbuster hits from last year, like ‘Dune’, will be returning especially for the occasion. Or you could take the kids to see ‘Sing 2’ – or your parents to watch ‘The Duke’. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Cineworld Cinemas (@cineworld) Arthouse fans can bag a bargain too: Cineworld owns all of the Picturehouses, and those cinemas will be running the £3 ticket deal as well. Choose from titles like ‘The Souvenir Part II’, ‘Flee’, ‘Drive My Car’ and heaps of others. And there’s more: Cineworld is also offering discounts on its Unlimited membership scheme, so you can get money off future cinema trips too. All of this means you should definitely spend twice as much as usual on

Where to see the Brit Awards nominees live in London this year

Where to see the Brit Awards nominees live in London this year

Tonight is the music industry’s big bash: the great and good of pop will be gathering at The O2 for the Brit Awards, hoping that they’ll be going home with a little statue to put on their, no doubt fancy, mantelpiece. But once the party’s over and the dustcart has done its thing, what’s next for the nominees? Big tours, that’s what, which is where you, the fans, come in.  Many of the Brit nominees are playing live in London this year, although some of their shows are already sold out: good luck trying to get tickets to see Adele at Hyde Park, Billie Eilish at The O2 or Wolf Alice at Hammersmith Apollo. The closest Little Simz is playing to London is August’s Reading Festival. And the only way to catch London Grammar in the capital is by watching them support Coldplay at Wembley Stadium, although you could leave when the headliners come on. But there are plenty of Brit-nominated acts whose London concerts you can still get into. Here’s our pick. Dave Nominated for: Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Hip Hop/Grime/Rap Act The south London rapper is bringing his We’re All Alone in This Together tour to, er, south London later this month. The O2. Feb 21-22 (Feb 22 sold out). Buy tickets. Dua Lipa Nominated for: Song of the Year, Best Pop/R&B Act Also coming to The O2 is five-time Brit winner Dua Lipa. She’s also won a bunch of Grammys, you know. The O2. May 2-3 (May 2 sold out). Buy tickets. Sam Fender Nominated for: Artist of the Year, Album of the Yea

London’s museums have been hit by a wave of Covid closures

London’s museums have been hit by a wave of Covid closures

It’s not just restaurants, bars and theatres that are feeling the Omicron effect in London. Several major museums have closed due to staff shortages and concern for public safety. The school holidays are usually a busy time for such institutions, so these closures will deliver a serious blow. The Natural History Museum, the UK’s second most-visited museum after Tate Modern, will be shut from today (December 21) for a week, but hopes to reopen on Tuesday December 28. All tickets already bought for its exhibitions ‘Wildlife Photographer of the Year’ and ‘Fantastic Beasts: the Wonder of Nature’ between these dates will be cancelled and refunded. Thankfully, the museum’s outdoor ice rink is unaffected by this closure, so you can skate into Christmas as planned. The Museum at South Kensington will be closed from 21-27 December, due to an unforeseen staff shortage. We plan to reopen on Tuesday 28 December. You can also book new tickets for a future date on our website. https://t.co/9CmgCms76H — Natural History Museum (@NHM_London) December 20, 2021 The Wellcome Collection is not so optimistic. It closed on Friday ‘until further notice’, saying it will ‘monitor the situation and government advice’. Other casualties include the Foundling Museum in Bloomsbury, Camden Art Centre and the National Army Museum, all of which will now be closed until early January. The Museum of the Home’s last day until next year is on Thursday December 23, due to staff shortages. And Sir John Soane's Mu

The first Grenfell Silent Walk in 18 months happened last night

The first Grenfell Silent Walk in 18 months happened last night

Yesterday marked four-and-a-half years since the Grenfell Tower fire, which took the lives of 72 people. To commemorate this, Grenfell United, ​​a group of survivors and bereaved families, organised a silent walk from Kensington Town Hall to the memorial wall at the base of the tower. Gatherings like this used to take place every month, but this was the first one since summer 2020, due to the pandemic. “Just look at the sea of evidence out there” - @GrenfellUnited #GrenfellSilentWalk pic.twitter.com/AlagXI3C39 — AO (@Anieshasha) December 14, 2021 As well as a symbol of remembrance, last night’s event was the launch of a new campaign for justice. Grenfell United is calling on the Metropolitan Police to pursue a criminal investigation, saying that plenty of evidence has been gathered and people have waited long enough. It’s encouraging supporters to share a video featuring survivors and relatives of the deceased reading out findings from the public inquiry, using the hashtag #DemandCharges, an evolution of its previous slogan, #DemandChange.  #DemandCharges #Grenfell @GrenfellUnited pic.twitter.com/qJ3Ksf2GCJ — Tim Downie (@TimDownie1) December 14, 2021 Is Grenfell Tower due to be demolished? The theatre group helping to rebuild its community after Grenfell.

The London Transport Museum’s new PJs look very fly indeed

The London Transport Museum’s new PJs look very fly indeed

Being told you look like the back of a bus is no longer an insult thanks to the London Transport Museum’s new Routemaster-inspired pyjamas. They sport a design that imitates the ‘moquette’ fabric used to cover double-decker bus seats in the late ’50s. ‘Moquette’ means ‘carpet’ in French, and anyone who’s travelled on a bus or tube will have experienced sitting on the hard-wearing, faintly bristly material. Luckily, the pyjamas are made from 100 percent cotton. Just as the Routemaster became a design classic, so the moquette pattern that adorned its innards has endured. It was created by industrial designer Douglas Scott, who used maroon, yellow and green to mirror the colour scheme of the bus’s interior. As well as the pjs, matching socks, a scarf, a throw, a baseball cap, a laptop case, a travel bag and a cushion are available. The pyjama set is unisex and comes in five sizes, from extra small to extra large. It costs £60 and can be bought online or from the London Transport Museum shop. Bus chic: it’s gonna be big in 2022. Consult our Christmas gift guide for other Londony present ideas. London buses are being turned into refuges for the homeless.

How to have fun outside in London right now

How to have fun outside in London right now

Here we go again. Following the government’s announcement of Plan B yesterday, you might be feeling cautious about those upcoming Christmas parties in your diary. But gathering with 30 of your workmates in a packed venue isn’t the only way to socialise. Remember when the great outdoors was our living room, restaurant, bar and dancefloor? It can be again, even in winter. Loads of London pubs have got wise and installed awnings and heaters in their beer gardens. Terraces couldn’t be cosier, with insulating foliage and blankets to snuggle up in. And these days, it’s common to bask in the glow of a heat lamp when eating outside at restaurants.  You can order pints and mulled wine to go, take in some alfresco art and even see a festive play in the open air. Most of London’s ice rinks are outside, and then there are the Christmas illuminations glowing-up every corner of London right now: grab some friends and head out on a light trail. You can even do your Christmas shopping outdoors at one of the capital’s many seasonal markets. So, fling on your hat, scarf and gloves and take the party outside. Want more outdoor fun? Explore London’s hidden gardens. Our ultimate guide to Christmas in London.

You can swim beneath the stars in this (heated) London swimming pool

You can swim beneath the stars in this (heated) London swimming pool

Nowadays, going for a swim at one of London’s lidos usually requires advance booking, but you’ll have to be seriously on the case to maximise on this cosy, outdoor swimming adventure: Hampton Pool is back with its very popular Moonlight Dip sessions.   Once again, Londoners will have the chance to splash about under the stars at the (thankfully!) heated outdoor lido. There are various time slots, starting from 6pm, but the most exciting are the Friday night 10.15pm swims: proper after-hours action. The 75-minute sessions run on selected Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights from November 26 to January 9 and can be booked on the pool’s app. They cost £12 for adults and £8 for kids. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Hampton Pool (@hamptonpool) on Oct 25, 2019 at 12:22pm PDT A moonlight dip is something you’re more likely to find at a far-flung beach party than a swimming pool in the suburbs, but the Hampton team is determined to bring it to city dwellers too.  ‘We started our moonlight swims to give our customers the chance to swim in our heated pool under the stars,’ Hampton Pool manager Mickey Lewis told us. ‘Each one has its own special feel depending on the time of year, and we love seeing families from the locality and further afield coming along to join in the party atmosphere.’ View this post on Instagram A post shared by Hampton Pool (@hamptonpool) on Oct 29, 2019 at 11:24am PDT

Celebrate the release of ‘No Time to Die’ at one of these suave Bond events

Celebrate the release of ‘No Time to Die’ at one of these suave Bond events

Bond is back. Really, properly, definitely back. ‘No Time to Die’ was the first high-profile Covid cultural casualty: due to come out in April 2020, it was postponed again and again, but will finally be released in cinemas on September 30. Tickets went on sale this week, so you can book now to see the biggest film of the year. If you want to get in first, many cinemas are holding midnight screenings on September 29, but to really super-size your Bond experience, get involved in one of these events. After all, you only live twice. ‘No Time to Die’ Opening Night Event Head to your local Everyman cinema on the evening of the film’s release day to enjoy champagne, cocktails and canapés before the screening. Black tie optional but encouraged.Everyman cinemas. Sep 30. £50. Book here. Vesper Martini Cocktail Class Perfect your shaken-not-stirred technique at a masterclass in the Genesis Cinema’s Bar Paragon that will teach you how to create 007’s drink of choice. Also, if you turn up at the Genesis wearing black tie for a screening of the film on its opening day (Sep 30) you’ll get free bubbles.Genesis Cinema. Sep 27-29. £20. Book here. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Fulham Road Picturehouse (@fulhamroad_ph) ‘No Time to Die’ Evening Event Hackney Picturehouse and its new sister on Fulham Road are hosting a soirée where you can dress up in your finery for food and drink before the film with the bar staying open throughout the screening.Fu