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.
The 100 best comedy movies: the funniest films of all time
Of all film’s genres, comedy might be the hardest to nail. A great horror film can tap a universal fear to be effective. Thrillers and action flicks can appeal directly to the adrenal gland. But comedies are trickier. No matter the flavour – romcom, satire, gross-out, teen, screwball – they need to hit their punchlines with deadly precision. And they need to do it effortlessly, because once a comedy shows signs of straining for a joke, the audience checks out. And that’s to say nothing about comedy being the hardest genre to translate across cultural divides, class strata and generations. Funny is hard. That makes choosing the 100 best comedies of all time a little tricky. To help us with the task, we enlisted the help of comedians (such as Russell Howard and Diane Morgan), actors (John Boyega and Jodie Whittaker, among others), directors and screenwriters (including Richard Curtis), as well as several generations worth of Time Out writers. Next time you need something to turn that frown upside down, you’ll know where to start. And if you don’t find something to bring the chuckles, well, there are 99 more options where that came from.
Self Esteem’s radical guide to self-love
‘What would Rita Ora do?’ That’s a question Rebecca Taylor – aka Self Esteem, pop artist and cover star of Time Out’s very romantic Valentine’s issue – asks herself a lot. How would Rita Ora pose if she was asked to ‘act natural’ in an outfit that’s just a shirt, tie and some very big earrings? Would Rita Ora drink the champagne brought to the Time Out cover shoot to use as a prop? Would she lick a lollipop with ‘I fucking love me’ written on it? The ‘Rita Ora Test’ has even led to Taylor getting the same personal trainer as the singer. (‘As I’m lifting, I’m like: Yes, this is literally what Rita would do!’) And nearly every time she brings it up, it’s followed by a massive, filthy laugh. ‘It’s a big part of my artistic process. Hahaha!’ Second acts That laugh (which is still reverberating around my head days later) has been ringing out across the empty Time Out office for an hour now. It’s Friday night and Taylor and I have somehow managed to work our way through most of a screwtop bottle of prosecco as we chat. To be fair, the 35-year-old – who rose to fame in ’00s folk band Slow Club – has plenty of success to toast. Over the past 12 months, she has gone from retired indie star to hyped pop powerhouse. Her second solo album, ‘Prioritise Pleasure’, was released in 2021 and became a cult hit with a certain type of millennial who’d got better at saying ‘no’ to stuff during the pandemic. Covering the pressures to be thin and hairless, get married, have babies and hide our
The 23 best things to do in Amsterdam
What are the best things to do in Amsterdam? Wow, what a question. How long have you got? The Dutch capital is Europe’s ultimate eclectic rabbit hole, a city that offers up more fun and fascination than anyone could cover in multiple lifetimes. It’s no great surprise that this is a place that people return to time and time again. No matter how long you’re here, you’ll find more than enough to do. Do you want genre-defining museums and envelope-pushing galleries? There’s no shortage of creativity here. How about a world-famous nightlife and party scene? From late at night until shepherd’s delight and beyond. Amsterdam is a hub of history, culture, architecture, sex, drugs and rock and roll. Each neighbourhood here offers something a little different, each a little pocket of humanity filled with beautiful cafes, vibrant markets and all the rest. These are the best things to do in Amsterdam.
Ten films not to watch with your parents over Christmas
There are some films we all know aren’t family friendly. ‘Hey Nan, want to watch “50 Shades of Grey” on Boxing Day?’ said no one ever. But many movies start off looking safe before diving into the kind of sex, drugs and horror that’ll leave your dad frantically rustling through the TV guide. Here are ten of them.
Secret wonders of London to seek out on your next walk
London’s lockdowns led many of us to discover the city more on foot. So if you’re after new stuff to head to on your ambles, then look no further. Let’s start looking at our city’s historical sites, tranquil beauty spots and architecture with the eyes of a tourist, taking time to explore parts we’ve never seen before and dig into their histories. From dark and weird artefacts and really, really, really old stuff to the super-cool curiosities hidden in plain sight at some of London’s major landmarks, this guide is a starting point to exploring the stranger side of our city.
Christmas markets and fairs in London
Markets, eh? They’re pretty nice to wander around at nearly every time of year – especially if you go to a classic, bougie one like Columbia Road Flower Market and not, for example, Warrington Market, where I spent most of my teenage years buying fake Jane Norman bags that smelled of meat. But, at Christmas? Well, that’s when markets come into their own. Every year, throughout November and December, London fills with the kind of markets that host fairy-light-lined stalls, festive street-food sellers and community tombolas, with a playlist of Christmas songs on loop in the background. In fact, whether you’re looking for tasty treats, traditional decorations and cutting-edge arts and crafts or are just shopping for a last-minute present, the capital’s selection of Yuletide stalls are here to help. It seems especially fitting to spend the run-up to Christmas Day picking up presents from markets this year, given what a tough two years it’s been for London’s independent businesses. Local makers, creators and traders need your support more than ever, and popping to a ceramics fair or a vintage furniture market is a great way to do just that. Plus, you can’t deny that even a trip to the touristy German-style chalet market on the South Bank is an unbeatable way to serve those festive feels. Christmas shopping’s never looked as good. We’ll be updating this page with London Christmas markets for 2022 as they are announced. Recommended: Our complete guide to Christmas in London.
We ask London’s Christmas grotto Santas what they’re really thinking
Which reindeer is Father Christmas’s favourite? And how do you master a really good ‘Ho ho ho’? We put the important questions to London’s Christmas grotto Santas. Photograph: Gobinder Jhitta Santa, Selfridges Christmas Market Have you ever wanted another job? ‘Sometimes I say to Mrs Claus “Wouldn't it be nice just to be ordinary?” because I can’t go out, even in the summer. Trying to walk down the pavement is a nightmare. I’ll have my red shorts on, trying my best to blend in, but someone always spots me.’ How do you do a good ‘ho ho ho’? ‘There are two sorts of “ho ho ho”. You’ve got your big public “HO HO HO”, and for that you need to take a huge breath and think of yourself as a big bell. The other one is your quiet, more personal “ho ho ho”. People like that one. Everyone gets used to the loud one and they just ignore it. But if you get close and chuckle “...ho ho ho”, people stop and say “Oh, hello Santa” as if they didn't realise it was me.’ Photograph: Gobinder Jhitta Santa, Christmas Extravaganza at Castle Square Is Rudolph still your favourite reindeer? ‘There's no such thing as a favourite reindeer. Dasher and Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen are all equally as valid as Rudolph. Yes, indeed. I treat them like children... Children who I put out in a stable for 11 months of the year.’ What do your friends think of you being Santa? ‘I think my friends get a bit envious. They’re all working nine-to-fives, and there I am flying overhead on
Meet the future: 20 21-year-olds on life in London now
We're closing off 2021 re-sharing some of our favourite pieces of the year. In August, we spoke to 21-year-olds from across the city about life in London in the pandemic. What were you up to in the year 2000, eh? Enjoying the fact you could still smoke in pubs? Rocking out to Queens of the Stone Age (with no support) at Camden Underworld? Basking in the afterglow of a cool school trip to the Millennium Dome? Using a Jane Norman carrier as a handbag? Getting a roll of film developed? Buying the ‘Thong Song’ on CD? Well, while you were doing all of that, this lot were busy being born. London’s freshest generation of adults slid out of birth canals in Y2K, turned 16 as Britain voted to leave the EU and graduated from teenagehood amid the fucking pandemic. What the hell does all that do to a person? That’s the question we were so desperate to find an answer to that we set out to interview a whopping 20 21-year-olds from across the capital about their likes, dislikes, hopes, fears and ambitions. What we discovered is a generation who are in some ways exactly how society imagines them (politically astute, social media-obsessed, career-hungry, isolation-exhausted) but who are also full of surprises. Take TikTok, it makes them feel old too. Or partying. Yes, they are into it, despite all the stories about them being non-drinkers and club avoiders. Or London. Sure, some young people might have fled to the coast and countryside over the past year but at least four of our interviewee
Bimini Bon Boulash: The drag star sent to save us all
We're closing off 2021 re-sharing some of our favourite pieces of the year. In May, Bimini Bon Boulash was our first cover star post-lockdown. The weird thing (apparently) about becoming famous in lockdown is that it doesn’t feel real. You have thousands of Twitter followers. Your every Instagram is ablaze with flame emojis. But there are no screaming crowds, no meet and greets, no red-carpet invites. In fact, the only time our cover star got a sweet, sweet taste of celebrity fame was in the park at dawn. ‘I’d be walking my dog at 6am and people would ask for a photo. I’d be like… I haven’t even brushed my teeth yet,’ they say. ‘I started really watching what I put in my basket at Tesco because I didn’t want people to think I eat badly.’ It’s the end of a long day. They’re sat, feet up on the sofa, in the empty Time Out office. Their make-up’s half off. Their false lashes are plonked on the arm of their seat. They’ve got a cup of tea in one hand, a lipstick-smeared wipe in the other, and they’re swaddled in black Juicy Couture velour (diamante-emblazoned, obviously). It feels a bit like we’re winding down from a big night out and, for one brief moment, I allow myself to believe that’s the case: that I’m at an afters with Bimini Bon fucking Boulash, the gender-bending, cis-tem-offending queen of east London. Norwich City and other looks Every few minutes our conversation is pierced by Bimini’s laugh: loud and staccato, like a wind-up toy bouncing up and down on a table. ‘I
The Lashana Lynch guide to finding inner peace
We're closing off 2021 re-sharing some of our favourite pieces of the year. In September, Lashana Lynch chatted to Time Out about starring in the latest James Bond. Lashana Lynch spent the last night of the 2010s on her own. While the rest of London was out partying and toasting the arrival of 2020, she did something she’d never done before: stayed home, gathered some crystals around her and burned some sage (it cleanses bad vibes). ‘People were like: “You want to spend New Year alone?” But I wanted to see what was going on inside,’ she told me early last year. ‘I don’t know if I’ll get to do that again. This year is going to be hectic...’ Oh, Lashana, you had NO idea. Photograph: Andy Parsons The eve of change It was March 2020 when I first sat down with Lynch in a Time Out meeting room. Imagine a set-up like a micro-budget remake of ‘Charlie’s Angels’: a long boardroom table, cream leather chairs but also Magic FM creeping under the door. I met the west Londoner to talk about what was expected to be a life-changing moment. The new James Bond movie ‘No Time to Die’, co-written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, was set to be released in April 2020. And, after a 13-year rise through the industry in soaps, theatre shows, Shonda Rhimes’s ‘Still Star-Crossed’ and blockbuster ‘Captain Marvel’, Lynch was starring in it as secret agent Nomi, rumoured to be the new 007. It’s the kind of role that turns someone into both a superstar and a target. (When we spoke, Lynch had already experienced
The 20 worst Christmas songs ever inflicted on humankind
The best Christmas songs of all time bring tidings of pop-inflected comfort and groovy joy. These... aren’t those songs. These are the worst Christmas songs of all time: sludgy byproducts of mankind’s consumerist urges, sentimentalist miscalculations and questionable tastes. Here you will find no Bing Crosby or Darlene Love. This is the Isle of Misfit Songs: Home to the cast of Duck Dynasty and Justin Bieber, GaGa and Chewbacca. Whether you love them for their awfulness or dread them for their inevitablity, each is proof that just because you have holiday spirit does not mean you need to sing about it, even if you've got a golden voice.
Football Crazy, Football Mad
Football, it’s good. If you’re a fan of the beautiful game then you’ll probably be interested to hear about this new exhibition in Hoxton. Football Crazy, Football Mad will run from Nov 18-21 at Hoxton Arches and is the work of creative agency Patterns of Play. The plan? A look at the intersections of football, art and design around the world. Thirty artists will be displaying pieces – so expect a good show. And, in case the whole thing leaves you gagging for a kick-about, the whole thing is reasonably near the astro at Haggerston Park
If any generation knew how to throw a party it was the lads and lasses in ‘70s New York. If they weren’t lounging about on a large white horse, they were roller-skating through the city in glittering gowns. Or you know… something like that?! Anyway, the team at the Jellied Eel are bringing the spirit of that tremendous era to Leyton for a Studio 54-inspired immersive dining experience. On the menu? Fondue, laced with Champagne. Cocktails, laced with Champagne. And also, you guessed it, Champagne, straight up. It’s all happening at new warehouse space Patchworks, which will be decked out like a Manhattan loft party for the whole of the festive season – think fur rugs, a vintage wood burner and a disco ball, with a massive retro campervan and director’s private room that serve as VIP spaces. Performances from musicians, singers and a world-class circus performer are promised too.
Crystal Palace Park is becoming home to a load of dogs in their finest Christmas gear in November. If that won't get you feeling festive, we don't know what will. This year's Dog-Fest will feature Santa Paws Dog Walks, a Christmas-themed dog show, a so-called Dogstacle Course and a Santa Dash, where London's most competitive pups will test their speed, racing over hay bales. There'll be mulled wine and hot chocolate on offer as well as a chance to get a Christmas card portrait with your pooch.
Now That's What I Call Christmas
You know those NOW! CDs you had as a kid? Well, the Southbank Centre is taking that concept and turning it into an event for Christmas this year. Except, rather than the music being played out of a tinny '00s CD player, it's going to get performed in the Royal Festival Hall by an orchestra and a choir. Capital Voices will be running through contents of 'NOW that's what I call Christmas' on December 10. Think: 'Fairytale of New York'; 'Last Christmas'; 'All I want for Christmas' and more.
Before I tell you any more about my trip to Brutto, I need to get The Giant Mural out of the way. A frenzied painting of a blue, three-eyed man, a gorilla with a port glass, Keith Lemon (?!) and many other surreal things getting sucked into a black hole. I sat facing it for three hours and hated it. No work of restaurant art has ever left me feeling so unsettled, which is a shame because everything else about my visit to the big Tuscan-inspired trattoria was so relaxed it was almost meditative. So, I’m going to pretend the mural doesn’t exist and won’t mention it again. Brutto is the latest opening from Russell Norman, who founded Polpo (that Soho Italian small-plates spot known for really good spritzes). It’s on one of those streets near Smithfield that looks like the set of ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’, but the vibe inside is much more ‘a restaurant that the love interests from an ’80s New York romcom would go to’ than ‘a hangout for Scrooge and Tiny Tim’. It’s wood-panelled and moodily lit – even at lunch time. The tablecloths are gingham, light fittings have napkins flopped over them and walls are pastel green and dotted with art that Norman collected while researching the space. Meanwhile, a soundtrack of soul and Neil Young made sure things stayed very, very chilled while I was there. (At one point I spotted one of the bar staff dancing and whistling along to ‘Harvest Moon’ between orders.) My pal and I kicked off our lunch with three lots of St John bread. Like every
Crafty Fox Christmas Market
Last year, Crafty Fox’s Christmas markets went online only. Now they’re back in business. You’ll be able to make small talk over scented candles once more! Expect to find bespoke homeware, art, cards and other lovingly made stocking fillers at the events coming up at the The Department Store in Brixton, The Crossing and Mercato Metropolitano. Or you can buy all the felt pieces and beads you need to make them yourself. If 2021 isn’t the year of your handmade Christmas presents, it’s never going to happen.
Festival of the Dead
Since last year’s Halloween was an extremely tame seated affair for us all, why not go all out for 2021 with a trip to Europe’s biggest touring Halloween show. The Festival of the Dead is pulling up at the Troxy on Oct 23 and it's bringing a boat load of party vibes with it. Think: circus performances, clubbing and carnival all mixed up into one extremelty high-octane witch's brew. And the music? Rock, metal and the dark side of dnb and electronic.
Night of the Raving Dead
If you’re looking for just a classic, massive Halloween knees-up, this party at the Troxy should definitely be on your hit list. It’s a fancy dress fiesta promising an immersive experience filled with ghouls, ghosts and zombies. There’ll be loads of special drinks and there’s also a cash prize for the best dressed. And you can expect proper house party vibes – it’s all being pulled together by a promoter called Matt’s BBQ who started out running literally BBQs for his mates and has since put on massive raves in Jamaica and Ibiza.
Halloween House and Garage Brunch
What’s spookier than chowing down on a two-course brunch to some sexy garage classics? Some might say... quite a lot?! But if your idea of celebrating spooky season is less ‘dressing up as a swamp monster and watching every “Saw” movie b2b’ and more ‘popping on some cat ears and dancing to some very good music’ you're in luck. House and Garage Brunch promises games, DJ sets, dancing and bottomless rum punch plus a burger, fries and a chocolate brownie for every guest. Vegan options available.
Halloween at Lost Boys Pizza
Claiming to be the world's only ‘vampire pizza bar’, Lost Boys Pizza is hosting a whole weekend of halloweeny stuff. Expect four costume balls held over the course of October’s spookiest weekend. Tickets cost £40 and includes shots, pizza and three cocktails per person. You can book tables for two, four and six people and the grand prise for best fancy-dressed? Tickets to a movie screening with pizza and prosecco for you and up to 12 friends. It's unclear when the vampires will show up.
Neon Naked Death Drawing
When most Londoners get decked out in Halloween fancy dress, it’s usually because they’re heading out to a party, going out trick-or-treating or because they work at The London Dungeon. Not the models at this October 31 life-drawing sesh. They’re donning neon body paint and costumes – think: creepy clown and zombie outfits – for a special sketching class this spooky season. You’ll have a couple of hours to capture their deathly appearances before the venue, bar The Jago, switches from artist’s studio back to booze central. You can buy tickets to just the sketching class or to both that and the subsequent Halloween knees-up. It goes on until 3am.
Making a Statement
Why do we all feel so weird about money? That’s the question that a new exhibition running at Brewer Street Shop, from Thurs Sept 9 to Sat Sept 11, asks. A collaboration between Lloyds Bank and ethnographer Paula Zuccotti, the show’s aim is to dig into the real stories behind a study the bank did recently. It showed that only half of Brits check their bank statements every week, despite financial wellbeing being more important to our mental health than physical or social wellbeing. The way they’re doing it? By asking a group of volunteers to share their monthly bank statements and turning the lists of purchases into artworks. How will it feel for the participants to see their spending laid bare? Will it encourage us all to be a bit more open about our spending habits? The bank says that by displaying visual representations of people’s spending, it hopes that the exhibition will help people to think a bit more about where their money’s going – and develop a better relationship with money. Even if it doesn’t achieve that, it’s a chance to have a nosey into the financial lives of other people – juicy stuff. One of the volunteers involved? Er... Me. (I’ll admit to being pretty nervous about revealing my spending habits to the world, especially after coming out of lockdown a fully-fledged online shopping fiend.)
In pictures: hundreds of Londoners donate supplies for Ukrainian refugees to Polish community centre
Londoners. Nice people, aren’t we? That was proven this weekend when hundreds of us queued outside the White Eagle Club in Balham to donate supplies to Ukrainian refugees arriving in Poland. The donations were offered up in response to a request on social media, and piles of supplies built up at the London Polish venue, including pillows and duvets, clothes, toys and sanitary products. ‘The response is great,’ Magda Harvey, the club’s owner, told PA. ‘People are really helping. And it’s not just Polish people that are coming and bringing stuff. It’s amazing,’ she said. ‘People that are crossing the border have just got a small backpack and maybe a small suitcase and what they are wearing. They’ve got nothing.’ The club is still collecting donations for the people of Ukraine, with drop-off times from 9am to 7pm, Tuesday to Thursday and 10am to 5pm on Sundays. The address is 211 Balham High Road, SW17 7BQ. Right now, wanted items include helmets, torches, batteries, plasters, black bin bags, drones, bulletproof vests, binoculars, knee protectors, portable generators, walkie-talkies, wound dressings, army clothes and first aid kits. You can find a full list here. At the White Eagle Polish Club in Balham to drop off some things for Ukrainian refugees in Poland. Looks like half of London got there before me ❤️🇺🇦🇵🇱🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/D9A4ZyCKKd — Darren Hague (@dhague) February 27, 2022 At the White Eagle Club in Balham. People are being so generous & donating loads.BUT
And the winner of Time Out’s Clash of the Slices is...
The winner of Time Out’s Clash of the Slices has been revealed. Yard Sale beat Pizza Pilgrims in the final of the knockout tournament, which finished on Time Out’s Instagram Stories this morning. The vote came after nine days of competition between some of London’s most popular pizzerias. Sixteen venues – Franco Manca, Pizza Union, Mike’s, Firezza, Voodoo Ray’s, Santa Maria, Pizza Pilgrims, Theo’s, Yard Sale, Zia Lucia, Gordo’s, Rudy’s, Four Hundred Rabbits, ICCO, Homeslice and L’Antica Pizzeria de Michele – all took part. Readers voted for their favourites through group stages, quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Yard Sale Pizza (@yardsalepizza) There were many close rounds throughout the tournament (Santa Maria, for example, mobilised its cult-like following to beat pizzerias with much bigger operations in London). The final was the closest head-to-head of all though. Pizza Pilgrims created videos, sent newsletters and enlisted the support of stars like Andi Peters to try and secure a win. Meanwhile Ed Gamble backed Yard Sale, whose bosses sent a text out to all its fans encouraging them to vote. The result? The sourdough slingers beat the Neapolitan boys by just four votes: 4,566 to 4,562. A trophy’s in the post to our Clash of the Slices champion. In the meantime we want to express our gratitude to all the brilliant pizzerias that took part. It was so much fun and we hope to bring it back, bigger and
Pancake Day meal kits and deliveries from London restaurants
First up, we should point out that this is a safe space for pancake orderers. Sure, not making your own on Pancake Day is a pretty lazy move. They require roughly three ingredients and about 10 minutes of your time to make. But we’re not here to judge. We’re here to enable. If you want to spend your hard-earned cash on perfect takeaway pancakes or a bougie pancake meal kit then we say go for it. You deserve it. These are unprecedented times after all. But if you are going to order pancakes on March 1, at least get yourself some good ones. Where The Pancakes Are You’d have to be pretty obsessed with pancakes to open a restaurant dedicated to them. And the good folk at Where The Pancakes Are certainly are. They’ve launched a series of £45 Pancake Day meal kits for half-arsed (and cash-rich) pancake makers around the city. They come with everything you need to make fancy buttermilk pancakes, plus your choice of toppings from blueberries or bacon and Canadian maple syrup. A good (if expensive) treat. Polo Bar This legendary Liverpool Street caff is doing a special series of pannies to celebrate this year’s PD. They’re opening up their pancake hatch and will be available from February 23-March 1 on Deliveroo and Uber Eats and cost around £11. Expect super-decadent toppings like sticky toffee pudding, banoffee and Lotus biscuit and cookies and cream. View this post on Instagram A post shared by The Breakfast Club Cafs (@thebrekkyclub) The Breakfast Club You
10 life-changingly good takeaway sandwiches in London right now
In the era of the posh takeaway, status subs, chunky ciabattas and whopping focaccia are the new kings. In fact, our city is awash with tasty sarnies right now. Here are some of the best for your discerning tastebuds. And if you're in the market for a bit of imaginary globe-trotting, do check out The Big Site's list of the best sandwiches in the whole entire world. 1. Cold Cuts from Dom's Subs What’s on it? Bresaola, gabagool, salami, mortadella, provolone, vinegar peppers, lettuce, tomatoes and mayonnaise on a semolina sub roll. Your eyes are not deceiving you: This Cold Cuts sub (£10) from Dom's Subs deploys a quartet of meat – from ruby red bresaola and nut-studded mortadella to Tony Soprano-approved gabagool and peppery salami. The veg accessories add much-needed crunch and acidity, while the chewy semolina roll ensures no ingredient goes rogue. It’s the kind of sub that requires some mouth stretches before you dive in. London is very much a sandwich city, and Dom’s is now our leader. 2. Dusty Knuckle's Veggie Option What’s on it? Pumpkin seed tahini, coriander and lime chutney - salad of mixed soft herbs and pickled red onions. At some point in Lockdown 1 (don’t ask us when, time is blurry) Time Out’s art director posted a picture of a takeaway sandwich on the office Slack that caused uproar. It was giant. It was crusty. It looked so, so delicious. And it was from the Dusty Knuckle bakery of ginormous crusty potato sourdough fame. The socially conscious spot (in Dalsto
‘Emily in Paris’ in London, imagined
‘Emily in Paris’ star Lily Collins announced on her Instagram yesterday that the show has been renewed for two more seasons. You might wonder why that is news that we, Time Out London, would cover, considering the show follows an American marketing exec who moves to Paris, France, not London, England. Well, it’s because Season 2 ended with lots hanging in the balance. Emily was choosing between staying in Paris and returning to Chicago, while her British crush Alfie had just moved back to London. It left viewers asking: what if she followed him back to Blighty for Season 3? Well, we’ve imagined just that… Scene 1 [EXT: THE MALL, DAY] ‘Get out of the bleedin’ way!’ Emily has just stepped out of Heathrow Airport. It’s commuter time and The Mall is chockablock with red buses and black cabs as gloomy Londoners try to make their way to work. It’s pouring with rain. She’s here for business – pitching a campaign to important British tea brand PG Tips – but also pleasure: will she be able to make it to The City to track down former banker beau Alfie before she flies back to Paris, France? Scene 2 [INT: BLACK CAB, DAY] Emily’s driver takes a shortcut to her meeting via Wimbledon tennis club, Tower Bridge, trendy Dalston, the Houses of Parliament and Snaresbrook. Scene 3 [INT: CAFÉ, DAY] Emily arrives at a caff in Leicester Square, orders a pot of tea and Instagrams it with the caption ‘exciting things brewing!’. Scene 4 [INT: CAFÉ, DAY] God, Emily feels stupid. Here she is, dre
Exclusive: reports of sexual assault in London nightlife venues reached six-year high in 2021
Reports of sexual assault in London clubs, bars, pubs and music venues reached their highest levels since 2016 last year. That’s despite venues being closed or under strict social-distancing guidelines for six months of 2021. Information requested by Time Out’s staff writer Chiara Wilkinson from the Metropolitan Police revealed that there were 207 reports of sexual assault between January 1 and October 31 last year and a further 29 reports of rape in London nightlife venues. Overall, reports of rape and sexual assault in London venues have increased by almost one fifth since 2016. It’s unclear whether this is due to a rise in reporting or prevalence. These statistics reflect a national rise in reported rapes. The Office for National Statistics found that the number of rape offences in the year ending June 2021 was the highest ever recorded, with a spike between April and June. Nick Stripe, the head of crime statistics at the ONS, told the Guardian that this might be because high-profile cases and campaigns encouraged victims to come forward. He said: ‘Prior to the pandemic, the number of police-recorded sexual offences was well below the number of victims estimated by the Crime Survey for England & Wales, with fewer than one in six victims of rape or assault by penetration reporting the crime to the police.’ Bryony Beynon, co-founder of Good Night Out, a campaign to improve responses to sexual assault in venues through staff training, told Time Out: ‘There’s going to be a mi
The Time Out 2021 London animal power list
Forget the politicians, we all know that it’s the city’s animals that are really in charge in London. But which 2021 critter was the most powerful? This is our very scientific and indisputable list: Image: Time Out 6. This cat We’re not saying this is Sam from ‘Postman Pat’ IRL, but it is black and white and it did sneak into a postman’s van. Can’t argue with evidence. Image: Time Out 5. Beavers The biggest comeback of 2021? Not Adele’s. London’s beavers’. They were reintroduced in Tottenham after being extinct there for 400 years. Good one, lads. Image: Time Out 4. This baby sloth Born at London Zoo, this weird-looking dude was named Terry, after a long-serving zookeeper. He’ll be literally hanging around there for a while. Go say hi. Image: Time Out 3. Sharks Tope, starry smooth hound and spurdog: not the members of London’s newest TikTok skate crew, the shark species that have found home in the Thames. Image: Time Out 2. Ravens All hail our goth bird rulers! In 2021, the ravens of the Tower of London ensured their reign would long to continue with the birth of two baby ravens. Image: Time Out 1. This huge crab Wouldn’t want to get into an arm wrestling match with this boss. 12 inches wide, the large-pincered big boi was found in Teddington’s Bushy Park. No-one knows why. Go in search of more powerful creatures at London’s best city farms.
The inaugural Time Out Restaurant Mascot Power Ranking
We're closing off 2021 re-sharing some of our favourite pieces of the year. In March, we ranked London's restaurant mascots. It was a very serious endeavour. The other day I was walking down Hackney Road and a thought crossed my mind that I just couldn’t shake. It was one of those moments that some people might describe as ‘the catalyst of genius’ or ‘typical of a highly intellectual and serious journalist’. But please don’t, I’m too shy for that kind of praise. Anyway, the thought: ‘Who would win in a fight: the Dom’s Subs sub mascot or the Yard Sale pizza-box dog?’ Would the sub’s superior reach be a difference-maker? Can the dog hold a pizza cutter in its paw, to use as a deadly weapon? Or would the dog just grab the sub by the bun and chuck him to a fiery death in the oven? Then I started to think about how a whole wave of new London restaurants have mascots. (It’s a thing now, to have a little dude or dudette who appears on your merch and on your delivery packaging.) And then I thought some more about which ones looked hard and which ones didn’t. And that’s how we ended up here, with our new annual power ranking of London’s restaurant mascots. It’s like the Forbes Power List but much tougher to get on, in that you have to be a cartoon connected to an eating establishment. Some notes before we get started. Our decisions about ranking placements were made fairly via criteria including Mascot Vibe, Mascot Body Build and Mascot Weapons. Decisions were made by a respected pa
Things to buy to support London’s restaurants and bars right now
It’s all got a bit bad again, hasn’t it? With Covid cases rising rapidly in London and lots of us starting to isolate so that we don’t get sick over Christmas, our city’s venues are looking decidedly empty. Some have even closed. Forza Wine, for example, shut on December 15 to protect its customers and staff. Its owner Bash Redford, revealed to Time Out that doing so has lost the wine bar more than 1,000 bookings between now and the end of the year. ‘We had two more positive cases this morning, which we could have gotten through on a skeleton staff, but we would’ve been broken, it’s just not worth it. We had to make the call to protect staff and our customers. If we don’t, no one’s going to be able to get home for Christmas.’ Redford said. If you’re feeling worried about the future for your faves but are nervous to head out for food or booze right now, you’ve come to the right place: we’re spending the next few days rounding up all the stuff you can buy to support London’s restaurants and bars. From brilliant merch and foodie bits to vouchers and meal kits, all these things make excellent last-minute Christmas presents for friends (and treats for yourself). Foodstuff Today Bread sourdough starter, £3 Made from 200 percent hydration wholemeal rye. Dishoom house chai, £16 The same Masala Chai you get given in the queue for the Indian mini chain but in a tin to make at home. Lina Stores pasta hamper, £65 Rigatoni, bucatini, trofie and some very good olive oil and passata. Thr
The restaurants and bars shutting early because of Covid
Covid cases are rising in London right now, and our city has been declared an Omicron hotspot. The result? Christmas parties are being cancelled, commuters are working from home and now restaurants and bars are starting to shut their doors. You can read all about the effect it’s having on our food and drinks industry in our special report. Hill and Szrok were among the first to announce on Instagram that the restaurant would remain closed until after Christmas. The founders posted: ‘With this untimely new wave threatening to jeopardise our beloved Christmas, we have decided to close our restaurant in order to protect you and our staff alike during this rough patch. We will only operate as a butchers until further notice.’ Forza Wine also uploaded a post with a similar message: ‘It is with high levels of sadness, fear for the future and the health of everyone around us that we’re closing with immediate effect…until after Christmas’ it said. ‘We’re doing so in the hope that our staff can get home and see their loved ones.’ Meanwhile, Toklas bakery has also announced its closure for the festive period. ‘Yesterday we made the difficult decision to close the restaurant and bakery until the end of the year,’ it said. ‘After a couple of cases of Covid we did not want to risk the welfare of our team and guests. We will re-open on 6 January. Have a great Christmas and see you in the new year!’ A list of restaurants that have closed early for Christmas (with thanks to our friends at E
Things to buy to support London’s cultural venues
Things are looking a bit dodgy right now. Covid cases are rising rapidly in London. Lots of us are sacking off socialising so that we don’t get sick over Christmas. The result? Footfall to London’s cultural institutions – who were planning on a semi-normal December – has massively decreased. Want to fight to keep your faves open, but a bit nervous about, you know, actually going out? You’ll definitely want to read on. We’re spending the next few days rounding up all the stuff you can buy to support London’s theatres, nightlife and music venues, galleries and cinemas. From brilliant merch to memberships, all this stuff makes excellent last-minute Christmas presents for friends (and treats for yourself). Theatres Royal Opera House T-Shirt, £20 This T-shirt was especially designed to celebrate and support the Royal Ballet’s return to the stage after lockdown. Hamilton shot glass, £8 Perfect for toasting the toast of the West End. The Globe Shakespeare playing cards, £12.99 Spoiler alert, Romeo trumps Hamlet. National Theatre tea towel, £14.50‘Everybody dies in Shakespeare’ or so says this tea towel. Mop up spills and look smart at the same time! Royal Court Theatre Friend membership, £35Gets your priority booking and discounted food. Donmar Warehouse Friend scheme, £75 Time was, ponying up for the £75 Friend scheme was basically your only way of seeing anything at the boutiquey Donmar. Gets you early access. Good Friend membership at the Young Vic, £120 Bag the best seats in th
The 2021 checklist
Well, it’s certainly been a year hasn’t it. 2021 has brought with it unique quirks that humankind has never endured before: seeing a man shove a flare up his butt to celebrate England’s football success, for a start. As we finish off this year (with perhaps less of a bang than we thought two months ago) it’s time to look back on the year-defining experiences we’ll always remember the past 12 months by. Attending the first freezing cold park meet up with six people. Not knowing what to do when spotting a group of seven having a picnic. Mastering the art of balancing takeaway food on bins. Power-walking across a park to reach the nearest public toilet… only to find it shut. Going to a ‘seated outdoor club’ that’s actually a picnic bench in a wind tunnel. Having an 11am pint for the pub reopening because all the pubs had been booked weeks in advance. Running out of storage on your phone because you’ve downloaded 25 different order-to-table apps. Having to just go up to the bar anyway because the app is incredibly glitchy and for some reason you can’t use Monzo on it. Being at your first gig back and being surprised at how bloody loud it is! Finally going to a gig you booked in 2019 and realising you don’t really like the artist any more. Returning to festival toilets after a year off and being too disgusted to use them. Being caught in the Catch-22 of not being able to go into a shop and buy a mask because you forgot your mask. Complaining at the unfairness of being pinged.