Friday, 19 August 2016

Little Venice and Regent's Canal

Little Venice, about a square mile within London's Maida Vale district, is one of the more exclusive residential districts in central London. When the Grand Union Canal was opened in 1820, the area was home to artists, writers and women of the night. Today, Little Venice is a bit more genteel. The area is comprised of about ten tree-lined streets with beautiful 17th century white stucco homes plus shops on Formosa Street and Clifton Gardens. Easy access to Oxford Street, the West End, Paddington Station and even Heathrow make this oasis on near London's canals a much coveted, fashionable and expensive address.

A Self-Guided Walk/Day
You can walk and explore Little Venice and Regent's Canal and make an entire day of it if you like starting with a visit to the London Canal Museum. Or maybe start with breakfast at Café La Ville at the corner of Edgware Road and Aberdeen Place. Walk to Regents Park, up to Primrose Hill for a wonderful commanding view over London and then along Regent's Canal to Camden Market. That walk is all of about 30 minutes with paved towpath all the way. If you don't want to walk, both Little Venice (TUBE: Warwick Avenue) and Camden (TUBE: Camden Town) are served by the Tube so you can return by the Underground. If you're going to go it alone, we recommend you pick up an Eyewitness Guide to London.

A Guided Walk of Little Venice is offered by The Original London Walks. All you need to do is to be outside of Warwick Avenue on Wednesday 11AM or on Saturday or Sunday at 2PM with the price of admission.

Little Venice

Monday, 27 June 2016

London's Top Activity Bars

London, the centre of the world, still remains famous - despite having over 300 languages, four world heritage sites, 40 West End theatres and the oldest underground railway network in the world - firstly for:
1) Its rain. And secondly,
2) Its bars.

Check them out here:
All Star Lanes | Bowling’s great. Especially when you combine it with cocktails, non-sweaty shoes, a 1950’s vibe, an authentic American diner serving everything from corn dipped Mississippi fish finger sandwiches to chargrilled prime beef steaks, and private karaoke booths. 
Details: Holborn, Bayswater and Shoreditch.

Baranis | A basement cocktail bar with a simple menu of traditional French snacks and a sizeable array of the region’s prime anise-flavoured apéritif, pastis. They also have a gravelled indoor pétanque court, where the goal is to throw hollow metal balls as close as possible to a small wooden ball. Simple. Unless you don’t have arms.
Details: 115 Chancery Lane, Temple, WC2A 1PP

Bar Kick | “Shoreditch royalty” would be a relatively adequate summation of Bar Kick. Then again, so would “a bustling, rambunctious football-inspired bar offering a menu of epicurean sandwiches, charcuterie and cheese, cocktails, beer, wine and - most importantly - foosball tournaments.
Details: 127 Shoreditch High Street, Shoreditch, E1 6JE

Urban Golf | Golf: hitting a tiny ball with a tiny club into a tiny hole hundreds of metres away behind trees, water beds and sandpits. Urban Golf: kind of just like that, except virtual, and indoors, and warm, with 50 of the worlds best courses on electronic hand, and bar food menu, with drinks.
Details: Soho, Smithfield, Kensington

Draughts Board Game Café | A partially crowd funded board game café in the heart of Hackney, stocking more that 500 games and a much smaller selection of local craft beers, ales, ciders and wines as well as homemade baked goods.
Details: 337 Acton Mews, Haggerston, E8 4EA | A £5 per person cover charge applies

Bounce | Set over 12,000 square feet of a Russell Sage-designed space in Holborn, Bounce features an impressive 17 ping-pong tables, a 40 foot bar serving seasonally-inspired drinks, a DJ booth and a raised restaurant for overlooking the action. In short, if table tennis was fun before the addition of cocktails, music and all of your friends – which it was – then Bounce has done the nearly impossible, and actually made it better.
Details: 121 Holborn, Holborn, EC1N 2TD

Lucky Voice | Karaoke is a legitimate sport. It requires skill, determination, perseverance and finally, alcohol. But it also requires a karaoke bar, like Lucky Voice, where the deal is simple: you pay per person for private rooms, into which you can take all manner of drinks prepared by the on site cocktail bar.
Details: Soho and Islington.

Original Sin | As well as looking like the broody basement bar of a lower NYC whisky refinery, Original Sin is also one of the rare gems which exist to provide you with only one thing: fun. Oh, and a free pool table.
Details: 129 Stoke Newington High Street, Stoke newington, N16 0PH

The Four Quarters | A Peckham bar / pub specialising in all your classic misspent-youth arcade and video games like Pong, Asteroids, Tron, Pac Man and Streetfighter II.
Details: 187 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4TP

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

What to expect when visiting London

SURE, everyone knows the basics of London - the home to Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Tower Bridge, Big Ben and the London Eye.
England’s capital and most visited place is commonly seen as the gateway to Europe. No-one misses visiting London when they head to the UK, it’s almost compulsory.
Whether you want fish and chips, to ride the tube or visit Camden Markets, London has it going on. Modern London is multicultural and full of life and you’ll never get bored however, there’s more to it than you’ll imagine. 
You’ll need an Oyster card which charges a deposit of £5 + £2.40 per journey on top. 
If you want to rest while you get taken up or down on the escalator, make sure you stand on the right side. Especially in London, people will frantically be coming past you on the left so make sure you remember this.
The tube gets crammed! Peak times such as rush hour in the morning anywhere from 7am-10am and 4pm-7pm can be tight. The tubes will fill up quickly and it won’t be a comfortable ride back.
It’s not unusual for it to be silent on the tube. In London no one seems to speak to each other, whether they are staring at their smart phones, reading the paper, snoozing or gazing into the distance, expect this.
It doesn’t rain as much as you think. London actually rains less than Paris or Rome not to mention the rest of the UK. It may be grim sometimes but when it rains it is normally just in spurts rather than all day long. Just take a hoodie or a coat just in case, or a small umbrella if you want to carry one around.
Tips aren’t as essential in London as they would be in the US, however it’s common to tip. If you’ve ordered food 10 per cent is a good start however if there is a service charge added, which is more often now 12.5 per cent then that’s the majority or all of your tip right there.
Dining out in London doesn’t have to cost the Earth. Visit a money saving website like MyVoucherCodes to avoid paying full price when eating out at London’s popular restaurants.
Pubs are a way of life here. People will often go to the pub during the week but mostly on weekends. If you sit in the pub all weekend then that’s considered pretty standard in London. Don’t feel the need to do something productive, the pub’s a fine substitute for that!
Most of the city’s top museums and galleries are completely free entry. So if you want to head to the famous British Museum, Tate Modern or National History Museum then you won’t have to pay a thing.
Shopping alternatives from Oxford Circus are Covent Garden, Kings Road and Regent Street. They’ll be more low key in comparison however are good options to consider.
The black cabs have a novelty about them but you’ll find if you do ever take a taxi, local cabs and Uber are cheaper and more convenient.

And the most important - have a jolly good time!

Monday, 15 February 2016


Chel-Ski is a new dry slope that offers skiing and snowboarding training just ten-minute walk from Fulham Broadway Station. Don't expect to be bundled up in salopettes as your hurtle into artificial snow drifts, because your session takes place on a giant astroturf treadmill. Getting used to skiing on the spot is a challenge, but once you are up and gliding smoothly it's the ideal setting in which to gain confidence and perfect your technique.Sessions at Chel-Ski are always with an instructor and as much for beginners as improvers - it must be far less scary to learn to snow plough on a bit of carpet than on an icy slope. 

Despite the apres-ski themed cafe, this is no substitute for the real thing but, for what is essentially a combination of a lesson and a workout, it's great fun. 

As is seeing how confused people get when you tell them you went skiing on Monday morning!

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Ideas for Valentine’s Day in London

Celebrate at the fabulously romantic Clos Maggiore for an unforgettable Valentine’s Day in London.

The famous ‘Bob Bob Ricard’ of Soho serves a luxury British and Russian menu and is well worth a visit. Feel free to use the ‘Press for Champagne’ button as many times as you like.

Dining in the dark will open a new world of possibilities at Dans le Noir.

Fancy afternoon tea on Valentine’s Day? Why not try one of these lovely venues.

Alternative ideas for those of you who are very active
Try the ping pong at tables ‘Bounce’ or something completely different at the indoor rock climbing venue, The Castle Climbing Centre. An expedition across the roof of the O2 sounds like a challenge but could be surprisingly wonderful.

Views of the city
The view of the London skyline from the Shard is truly a breathtaking experience.

An unforgettable Champagne Experience at the London Eye will have you spinning in your own private capsule.

And lastly, one naughty little secret is the Coco de Mer. Pssst!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Essential Guide to Christmas in London 2015

There's nothing more festive as London at Christmas time. Plan well ahead to avoid disappointment. 
This year Christmas Day falls on a Friday. There are public holidays for Christmas Day and Boxing Day on the 25 and 26 December. As Boxing Day is on a Saturday in 2015, there is an additional public holiday on Monday 28 December. New Year's Day (1 January) also falls on a Friday and this is a public holiday.

London on Christmas Day

Virtually everything is closed for business on Christmas Day in London. Some places, including banks, remain closed on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas). Almost all of London's attractions close for at least one day over Christmas, and many close from 24 to 26 December, as well as 1 January. There's considerable variation, so it's a good idea to check directly with specific attractions before travelling.
There is also a chance to enjoy the traditional Peter Pan Cup Christmas Day race. Since 1904, swimmers have been braving the cold for this outdoor competition in the Serpentine lake. Wrap up warm and admire all participants! 
Some pubs and bars open for a few hours on 25 December, so you can pop in and share some Christmas cheer.

Public Transport Services over Christmas

Public transport is limited over the Christmas period, so make sure you plan your journey in advance. There is no public transport running on Christmas Day. Make sure you can get home safely on Christmas Eve as there are no night buses and public transport starts to wind down from early evening.

Some taxis are available although they may charge more on Christmas and Boxing Day. You should check details before travelling and book in advance to avoid big queues. Check the Transport for London website before travelling.

Staying Safe Over Christmas and NY

Any minicab journey that isn't booked by phone or in a minicab office is illegal, dangerous and puts you at risk of attack.
Simply download the free Cabwise app on Android or Apple to your smartphone or text CAB to 60835 to access Transport for London's Cabwise service. You'll receive two minicab numbers and one taxi (black cab) straight back. Texts are charged at 35p per enquiry plus the standard text message rate. Roaming rates apply to overseas networks.

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Ping Pong Bar Bounce in Shoreditch

Ping Pong Bar Bounce just opened on Old Street. Don’t worry if you can’t really play, you could always have a drink and watch!

Alongside 17 ping pong tables there’s an Italian restaurant, serving pizza, antipasti and canapes, plus a cocktail bar. A private room with three tables is also available for bookings.
If you’re keen on the whole pub games thing, there’s more good news. The Bounce team has also been working on Flight Club – a darts bar opening on Finsbury Square later this year.
What do you need to know? Bounce is at 239-241 Old Street, More info here .