Visit London Blog » London Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 16 Jan 2015 16:06:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Top 10 London Instagram Photos For May Mon, 23 Jun 2014 09:00:53 +0000 Here is our pick of your best Instagram pictures from the past month. To be in with a chance of being featured follow us @visitlondonofficial and be sure to use the #visitlondon hashtag when you’re snapping around the capital.

"I didn't take this, it took me" by @theboygeniuz

“I didn’t take this, it took me” by @theboygeniuz


Ace Hotel Shoreditch by @cjmaur

Ace Hotel Shoreditch by @cjmaur

Big Ben by @tschang

Big Ben by @tschang

London from above by @tigramgros

London from above by @tigramgros

Little Venice by @solar_patrick

Little Venice by @solar_patrick

Millennium Bridge by @chrisgpic

Millennium Bridge by @chrisgpic

Neals Yard by @loulou_m_k

Neals Yard by @loulou_m_k

Tate Modern by @liisa_lee

Tate Modern by @liisa_lee

The Anchor by @alanisko

The Anchor by @alanisko

Trafalgar Square by @landofnordcom

Trafalgar Square by @landofnordcom

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Brazil in London Fri, 13 Jun 2014 08:34:00 +0000 The Fontanas. Courtesy of Rich Mix

In case you missed the news (where on earth have you been?) the 2014 FIFA World Cup is being held in Brazil. But you don’t need to jet around the world to get into the spirit, there are plenty of amazing places and ways to enjoy Brazilian culture right here in London.

Here are just a few ideas to get you started – from dancing up a storm to sipping delicious rum cocktails.

Brazilian cocktails in London

Made in Brasil cocktail and snacks

The caipirinha is the most popular of Brazil’s cocktails – a refreshing kick of cachaça (sugar cane rum), sugar and lime. Enjoy a classic caipirinha – or one of the many spin-offs, made with fresh fruit – at the newly opened pop-up Barzinho in Soho, Guanabara in Covent Garden or Floripa in Old Street.

Brazilian restaurants in London

Brazil is famous for its barbeques (or churrascaria) – and Brazilians know a thing or two about grilling meat to perfection. Find out for yourself at London chain Rodizio Rico, which has branches in The O2, Islington and Notting Hill. Other dining options include Raizes in Hackney, Barraco in Kilburn or the Japanese-flavoured Sushisamba in the City. While other favourite dishes to look out for include Brazil’s national dish, feijoada (a hearty bean and pork stew), moqueca (a tasty fish stew made with coconut milk) and the deliciously sweet pudim (a caramel-like flan made with condensed milk).

Brazilian music in London

Made in Brasil

The Brazilian music scene is big in London – and growing all the time. To hear live music, you need to head to places like Vauxhall restaurant/bar Tia Maria, glitzy Covent Garden bar Guanabara and Camden restaurant/bar Made in Brasil. As well as samba you’ll find choro, bossa nova, forro, MPB… the list goes on. Many non-Brazilian venues also hold regular Brazilian music nights too, such as Ronnie’s Bar (above famous Soho jazz club Ronnie Scott’s) and Primo near Westminster. And don’t forget to look out for samba, samba reggae and maracatu bands and dancers parading at the Notting Hill Carnival in August.

Brazilian dance in London

Brasil Brasileiro. Courtesy: Sadler's Wells

Like with music, there are many different forms of Brazilian dance – and you find many of them in London. Learn how to shimmy to samba at the London School of Samba itself, partner up for forro dancing (Forro London lists all the different forro nights in London), discover empowering maracatu and samba reggae dance with Gandaia Arts in Brixton, cross continents with Irineu Nogueira’s fierce Afro-Brazilian dance sessions… you could dance every night of the week! If you prefer to watch rather than participate, why not check out Brasil Brasileiro, coming to top dance venue Sadler’s Wells on 8 July.

Brazilian martial arts in London

If you prefer your dance with bite, seek out Brazil’s famous martial arts/dance form: capoeira. You can learn to ‘ginga’ (and the rest) at the many capoeira schools across London. Another popular Brazilian martial art is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – a self-defence sport focused on grappling and ground fighting. Just make sure you don’t get the two mixed up!

Brazilian events in London

Joga Bola! at Rich Mix

If you want to find out what Brazilian events are happening in your area or right now, pay a visit to, a great online resource of Brazilian happenings and culture – with a handy monthly newsletter. Other top sites to visit include Brazilian/Latin American magazine Jungle Drums and the website of London’s Brazilian Embassy. Just three upcoming events not to miss include: the World Cup kickoff party Brazil Day at Trafalgar Square on 12 June, musical feast Joga Bola! at Rich Mix (from 12 June to 13 July) – with The Fontanas (pictured top) and many more, and Radical Geometry: Modern Art of South America at the Royal Academy of Arts (5 Jul-28 Sep).

Find out where to watch the World Cup in London.

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London Fashion Week: Events You Can Go To Sat, 08 Feb 2014 09:30:03 +0000 SS13 Alice Temperley at a previous edition of London Fashion Weekend

If you’re not lucky enough to get a ticket to next week’s London Fashion Week AW14, don’t worry – there are plenty of other ways to enjoy LFW fever in London.

From couture cocktails to catwalk shows, we’ve picked out the coolest official and unofficial London Fashion Week events – and, best of all, they’re open to everyone!

International Fashion Showcase 2014

Discover emerging designers from around the world at the International Fashion Showcase. Organised by the British Council and British Fashion Council, the umbrella event sees 30 embassies and cultural institutions across the capital exhibit works by emerging fashion designers from their countries. And, for the first time, you can catch 14 of the showcases in one place: 180 The Strand.

London Fashion Weekend Feb 2013

London Fashion Weekend

After London Fashion Week, Somerset House remains a buzz of activity with London Fashion Weekend (20-23 Feb). Unlike LFW, it’s open to everyone (with a ticket), so you can make like Anna Wintour and catch all the action from the front row. Catwalk showcases feature Julien Macdonald, Amanda Wakeley, Farhi by Nicole Farhi and Maria Grachvogel. You’ll also get the chance to shop top designer brands, attend industry talks and get a free Limited Edition Designer Tote Bag. Plus if you’ve got your own fashion blog, you can apply to be the Official London Fashion Weekend SS14 Blogger!

Juergen Teller ‘Bus Stops’

If you take a bus along The Strand during London Fashion Week, check out the tops of the bus-stop shelters and you’ll spot a series of photographs by top fashion photographer and artist Juergen Teller. This uniquely placed exhibition has been organised by Transport for London and gallery Annin Arts as part of celebrations for the Year of the Bus. The photos portray well-known faces from the fashion industry and beyond, including Kate Moss, Bjork and Dame Vivienne Westwood. Just make sure you nab a window seat on the correct side of the top deck!

Image courtesy of the Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair

The Vintage Collections: Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair

To mark London Fashion Week, Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair is hosting a special edition entitled The Vintage Collections. Known as ‘the Selfridges of vintage’, the fair will present a highlight of the LFW schedule, with style inspiration for the coming season. There’ll be 50 traders offering womenswear, menswear and accessories from classic London labels such as Vivienne Westwood, Ossie Clark and Biba – plus a tearoom, an alterations service, makeovers and more.

X Guestlist Catwalk Show at Vibe Bar

Brick Lane’s happening Vibe Bar is hosting its own alternative to London Fashion Week, the X Guestlist Catwalk Show. As well as catwalk showcases by designers Elena Ferti, Yan Neo and Jenny Sun, there’ll be an exhibition of work by Mia Hawk and Benjamin Jensen.

The Brigitte Bardot cocktail from Drake & Morgan

London Fashion Week Cocktails

Maybe it’s something to do with Sex & The City, but cocktails and fashion seem to be the perfect pairing – just like Carrie and Big (eventually). Bartenders across London are busy conjuring up fashion-themed cocktails ready for the LFW set. The PJ Lounge at Mayfair hotel Dukes St James London has a limited-edition cocktail menu for February, featuring tipples such as The Cara, The Kate and The Karl.

Drake & Morgan (the people behind The Refinery, The Parlour and other London restaurants and bars) have had a similar brainwave, and during LFW will be serving cocktails inspired by classic fashion icons: including The Brigitte Bardot (bourbon, brandy, sugar syrup, egg yolk, cream and chocolate powder) and The Jackie Kennedy (white rum, lime, sugar syrup and Maraschino Liqueur).

Skinny Salads and Couture Cocktails at Mews of Mayfair

Skinny Salads at Mews of Mayfair

Close by, restaurant/bar Mews of Mayfair will be catering for model diets with its limited-edition range of low-calorie Skinny Salads, paired with ‘super-slim Couture Cocktails’. There are four pairings to choose from, including Hot Smoked Salmon accompanied by a flute of English Garden fizz (in total: 235 calories) and Prawn & Crayfish Salad with Mutiny Mews (146 calories). Available 14-18 Feb only.

Help a Capital Child party

Help A Capital Child LFW Party

This Valentine’s Day, show some real love and book a ticket for the Help a Capital Child LFW Party. The shindig at London’s Sway will raise money for Capital FM’s Help A Capital Child charity, and promises to be great fun, with catwalk shows from London’s hottest emerging designers, DJs, music and partying until 3am.

Italian Valentine Fashion Night

The very same evening, the Italian Valentine Fashion Night will take place at Il Bottaccio near Hyde Park, featuring some of the best fashion and homeware brands from Italy and raising money for the Amy Winehouse Foundation with a charity auction. There’ll also be a special performance by Mitch Winehouse and other celebrities.

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5 of the best London New Year’s resolutions Wed, 01 Jan 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Conquer a fear of heights with a trip up The Shard


Happy New Year! After all the fun and excitement of Christmas and New Year’s Eve, it’s time to turn your attention to 2014. For many of us, that means making a New Year’s resolution; and London is the perfect companion to keep you on the right track.

I’ll detox…

Detox at the Mayfair Hotel SpaAfter all that stodgy Christmas pudding, brandy butter and too much roast turkey, it’s definitely time to get your body into shape. Many join a gym come 1 January, but what better way to start your new regime than by spending a leisurely detox day in one of London’s many spas? The May Fair Spa has a great range of treatments featuring everything from manicures and mud wraps to Moroccan steam cleansing – it’s open daily to guests and non-guests, so it’s easy to start the New Year on the right (newly pedicured) foot.

I’ll spend more time with my kids…

Spend some time with the kids at the Natural History MuseumHas the festive season made you realise you should spend

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more time with your kids? Make 2014 the year to do more parent-child bonding. There are plenty of family-friendly museums and activities in London for all ages to enjoy, from children’s theatres and city farms to hands-on experiments at the Science Museum and exploration at the Natural History Museum.

Delve into one of the many toyshops, from the world-famous Hamleys on Regent Street to the traditional and quirky Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop in Covent Garden. If you’re only here for a day, you can cram in a lot with our family day out itinerary.

I’ll conquer my fear of heights…

If you’re looking to banish your fear of heights this year, head up all 72 floors of The Shard. From The View – the observation area at the pinnacle – you’ll see all of London and far beyond with stunning 360-degree views. Reward your bravery with afternoon tea at Aqua Shard, which gives the phrase “high tea” a completely new meaning. And don’t forget to pick up a souvenir photo to prove you’ve been all the way up the vertigo-inducing 1,016ft-high (310m) structure.

I’ll save money…

Marvel at the National Gallery's famous artworkIf your resolution is to save money, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on a trip to London. As well as affordable accommodation such as cheap hotels and hostels, and affordable restaurants, London is jam-packed with free attractions, from some of the world’s best museums to lesser-known stop-offs unique to the city.

Among the major free-to-enter museums and galleries in London are the National Gallery which hosts one of the world’s most impressive collections of art, Tate Modern which satisfies those with a more contemporary taste, and the Victoria and Albert Museum that’s perfect for design lovers. For something more unusual, head to the Sewing Machine Museum or get your teeth into the British Dental Association Museum.

I’ll slow down…

Wander through Epping ForestLet’s face it, life is hectic these days and we all rarely get enough “me time”. After the last-minute hassles and family arguments of Christmas, take time to relax in one of London’s peaceful open spaces.

If you’re looking for a stroll, why not lose yourself in the gladed Epping Forest watched inquisitively by resident deer. On a more reflective note, London has many cemeteries that are the perfect places to contemplate the year ahead, including the large Brompton Cemetery with its elegant chapel modelled on the design of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Chelsea Physic Garden (closed until March) is another tranquil haven where you can relax with a book, a cup of tea and some cake nestled among medicinal plants.

What’s your new year’s resolution? Tell us in the comments below…



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Dot London is Coming Fri, 15 Nov 2013 12:01:22 +0000 The dot London domain projected on London's City HallLondon lovers will be excited by today’s news that you’ll soon be able to add a .london domain to your email address or your website.

Always on the cutting edge of technology, London will be one of world’s first cities to launch a domain name in the biggest change to the online world since .com was launched nearly 30 years ago.

London & Partners, the organisation behind, announced today that internet addresses ending in .london will be available next year. This follows ICANN, the global internet body, giving the new system a green light.

The agreement means London-based businesses, organisations and individuals will be able to apply first for new web addresses ending in .london from spring 2014, allowing them to maximise their internet presence and identify themselves online with one of the best cities on earth.

Tens of thousands of businesses, including some of London’s most prestigious brands such as Selfridges and Carnaby Street, have already expressed an interest in the new addresses, which will be live online in summer 2014.

By choosing a .london address businesses, museums, shops, theatres and galleries will receive a domain name that is easy to remember and instantly identifies them as being located in London.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson comments: “Adopting the .london suffix will enable organisations to more closely associate themselves with our great city’s powerful global brand. This is also an excellent opportunity to expand London’s digital presence, which in turn is set to generate funds to invest back into the city.”

Information on the new .london is available online at You can also sign up on the website to receive information as it becomes available.

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London Theatre News: War Horse, Grease 2, Dinosaur Zoo, The Pride, Versailles, Privacy, Fathers and Sons, The Only Way is Downton Wed, 30 Oct 2013 11:22:19 +0000

War Horse’s Joey on Display at V&A

If you’re in awe of the puppetry in War Horse, you can take a closer look at leading horse Joey at the V&A Museum as the original West End puppet is now on display, and boy does he look striking.

Theatre Awards

Joey has won his fair share of awards, and we’re getting near that season of prize-giving again. The Evening Standard Theatre Awards long list has just been announced and it reads like a who’s who of the London stage – or the most glamorous dinner party guest list you’re ever likely to see. Among the big names in the running are Judi Dench, Kristin Scott Thomas and Adrian Lester.

Donmar Warehouse Spring Season Revealed

Powerhouse play producer the Donmar Warehouse has announced its 2014 spring season, leading with two new plays. The first, the latest from writer/director Peter Gill, is called Versailles and is set around the signing of the famous post-WWI treaty. Its cast includes emerging star Tom Hughes, who was brilliant in TV series Dancing On The Edge, and Pat And Cabbage star Barbara Flynn. Privacy, the new play from Olivier Award-nominee James Graham follows, with the season concluding with a revival of Brian Friel’s Fathers And Sons.

Grease 2 Concert and Dinosaur Zoo

On a marginally less high-brow but no less exciting note, a stage version of Grease 2 will get a concert staging at the Lyric Theatre next year – the perfect night for all cool riders or girls for all seasons. Meanwhile, Dinosaur Zoo,which was a roaring success at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre this summer, is coming to the Phoenix Theatre for Christmas.

The Pride Extends Season

If you’ve not seen Hayley Atwell and co in The Pride yet, don’t miss your chance. This award-winning play about prejudice and love has just extended its run at Trafalgar Studios to 23 November. At the venue’s smaller Studio 2, 2014 offers the chance to see a one-man impression show telling the story of what happens when the inhabitants of Downton Abbey have to turn to 2013’s celebrities to save their family home in The Only Way Is Downton.

  • This is a Guest Post by Official London Theatre, the premier website for London theatre. With the latest news, fantastic features, comprehensive listings & incredible offers it is your one-stop shop for everything about the theatre capital of the world.


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London Video of the Week: London Architecture Places by TheWorldsCities Fri, 11 Oct 2013 09:00:30 +0000

If you love great architecture, you’ll love London. From the Royal Albert Hall to Tower Bridge, The Gherkin to the O2 Arena, this fascinating video showcases the best of London’s eye-popping architecture.

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Five Facts About Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Wed, 09 Oct 2013 16:37:59 +0000

Shakespeare’s Globe is a faithful reconstruction of the 1599 open-air playhouse where Shakespeare used to work. Audience members can pay just £5 to stand as “groundlings” in the yard in front of the stage. As well as watching plays from April to October, visitors can take a tour of the world-famous theatre all year-round. Here are just a few of the fascinating facts that you’ll

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learn about the theatre on the Globe tour:

1. The Original Globe Theatre Burned Down

The first Globe theatre burned down in 1613 during a performance of Henry VIII, when a theatrical cannon misfired, igniting the thatched roof and wooden beams. Miraculously, no-one died in the blaze.

2. Planets Rocked in 1599

The Globe’s dimensions were dictated by the movement of the planets during the reign of Elizabeth I (1533-1603).

3. Odd Beam Out

The theatre’s wooden frame is made entirely from oak except for one mahogany beam which was donated by a well-meaning but ill-informed patron.

4. Animal Magic

In the 1997 production of Henry V, the actress playing The Queen of France had to deliver a speech with a pigeon on her head.

5. Gory Play Polishes Off Audience

Lucy Bailey’s 2006 production of Titus Andronicus was so gruesome and gory that the Globe reported “a higher level of fainters than we normally would experience”. Once the story hit the press, the play was an immediate sell-out. Famous for being Shakespeare’s bloodiest play, Titus Andronicus features cannibalism, mutilation and more than 12 grizzly murders.

Find out more about the Globe Exhibition and Tour here

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London Video of the Week: Warner Bros Studio Tour Fri, 04 Oct 2013 09:00:49 +0000

Calling all Harry Potter fans! Take a sneaky peak behind the scenes of the magical Harry Potter movies by watching this fascinating video about the Warner Bros Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter. Watch and share more London stories for a chance to win a five night trip to London! Find out more about The London Story here


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London Video of the Week: Making London from Vegetables by Tibits Fri, 06 Sep 2013 10:48:09 +0000 As well as providing delicious vegetarian food at their Heddon Street restaurant, the Tibits team are also talented when it comes to making cities
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from vegetables. Here’s their model of London:


And here’s how they made it:

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