Visit London Blog » countries beginning with t Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 16 Jan 2015 16:06:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Togo in London: African Worlds Gallery at the Horniman Museum Thu, 12 Jan 2012 10:00:55 +0000 Drum with membrane, red textile and bells at either end. Part of set with beater Wooden female Ho Ho figure (one of twin set), wearing blue dress 'Hare' green lipstick in green and gold plastic container Bottle of perfume called Bint El Sudan Gourd rattle with blue and yellow plastic beads Anyu soap in pink box

Where can you find something in London which represents the small West African Nation of Togo? The answer is in Forest Hill. More specifically, in the African Worlds Gallery of the Horniman Museum and Gardens, a  treasure trove of objects collected from across Africa.

We’ve been to the Horniman before on our World in London journey, in fact, we’ve previously featured the very Vooduon altar where the objects from Togo can be found.

Nestled among the pieces in the Mami Wata altar from Benin, are a few seemingly random objects from neighbouring Togo. Not much is known about these objects, which were acquired during a field trip in 1998. They include a glass perfume bottle, a green lipstick (!), a rattle, a drum and wooden figures.

All these objects are on display at the museum and can be seen on the Mami Wata altar, apart from the perfume bottle which is positioned out of view.

Do you know anywhere else where you can find Togoan culture in London?

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Chinese Taipei or Taiwan in London: Taiwanese Bubble Tea at Bubbleology Wed, 17 Aug 2011 15:00:31 +0000

Chinese Taipei is the designated name used by the Republic of China, commonly known as “Taiwan”, when they participate in the Olympic Games.

In recent months, Taiwan’s bubble tea has been big news here in London. Bubble tea had previously been sold in stores in Chinatown, but the drink is now going mainstream.

Served warm or cold, bubble tea drinks have a red or green tea base, and are infused with fruit flavours. Then, at the bottom, they have tapioca pearls, called “Boba Pearls.” These pearls have a texture like gummy bears with a slight caramel taste, and take in some of the flavour of the tea. Yum!

London now has a bubble tea gourmet determined to bring the true taste of Taiwan to the city: Bubbleology owner, Assad Khan.

Khan fell in love with the drink while working in New York. Spotting the potential to spread the bubble tea love in London, he opened Bubbleology in Soho earlier this spring.

Khan knows his bubble tea: he drank four or five cups a day in New York, and 40 cups a day on a two-month research trip to Taiwan before setting up business in London. He believes the choice of materials, water temperature and timing were essential. Khan has imported the shakers, plastic-sealing machines and plastic cups from Taiwan, along with the thick straws that allow you to suck up the “bubbles” and chew on them.

His staff, called “Bubbleologists,” have trained under renowned bubble tea masters to learn the exact science of making proper bubble tea. In a nod to the country responsible for this unusual, refreshing drink, they all wear a Republic of China flag pin on their uniforms.

So if you want a taste of Taiwan in London, head down to Bubbleology in Soho or in Harvey Nichols’ restaurant. You can read more about the brand at

Do you know of any other examples of Taiwanese culture in London? Let us know in the comments below.

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Tunisia in London: La Goulette Tunisian Restaurant Thu, 26 May 2011 11:54:57 +0000

La Goulette is the only purely Tunisian restaurant in England, according to new owner and chef Alex Mahfoudh.

Beautifully decorated with Tunisian wall tiles and coloured lanterns, the Kilburn restaurant is one of the best places to experience a taste of Tunisia without leaving London.

“I feel like I’m in Tunisia, that’s why I love it,” says Mahfoudh, a Tunisian who has spent half his life in London. “It’s Tunisia in London.”

Last night we sat under the canopy at the front of the restaurant and enjoyed an evening of Tunisian hospitality.

We started off with some typical Tunisian mezze dishes, including salad ommuk huria (cooked, crushed carrots with harissa and spices) and vegetarian brick (a deep-fried filo parcel filled with mashed potatoes, egg and fresh parsley).

Next I enjoyed the vegetarian cous cous with vegetables and chickpeas, while my mum chose the lamb kousha: lamb with vegetables and saffron sauce cooked slowly and served in a clay pot.

I couldn’t finish the enormous portion of cous cous so the waitress kindly wrapped it up and gave me a doggy bag to take home.

We finished with some sticky baklava and a second glass of the Wardy Clas Blane Lebanese wine.

La Goulette is a sociable kind of place where you talk to people at neighbouring tables. We met two groups of locals, all visiting the restaurant for the first time.

Mahfoudh tells me there’s music and dancing every Friday and Saturday night (and they’re hoping to introduce belly dancing soon). I’m already planning my next visit.

La Goulette, 51 Willesden Lane, Kilburn, London, NW6 7RL. Tel: 020 7624 5800

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Thailand in London: Michelin-Starred Chef David Thompson Fri, 25 Feb 2011 10:20:32 +0000

Australian chef David Thompson heads up Nahm, the first Thai restaurant in Europe to be awarded a Michelin Star.

On the menu you’ll find authentic Thai dishes such as geng jeut buap (clear soup of snake gourd, girolles, egg and crab) and geng nok grataa dong sai gtrateu (partridge curry with shampoo ginger and holy basil).

We called David in Thailand to ask him about his love of Thai food for our World in London series.

How did you get into Thai cooking?

By default. By accident in 1986. I was just seduced by the country, the people and ultimately the cuisine. It’s an easy country to like.

What do you love about Thai food?

Its vitality, its vibrancy, its freshness and the fact that it’s damn delicious.

What’s your favourite Thai dish?

The last one! I can only remember the last and it’s usually the favourite one.

What can people expect from a meal at Nahm?

A vibrant slap across the chops really, where lots of things are happening on the plate and indeed in the restaurant.

Apart from Nahm, where are the best places to find Thai culture in London?

There are areas all over the place. Thais are everywhere. They spread their charm and their delicious food all over the place. There are lots of Thai restaurants in London and increasingly more so.

Where do you go for a taste of Thai culture in London? Let us know in the comments below.

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Trinidad and Tobago in London: Notting Hill Carnival Wed, 23 Feb 2011 10:30:26 +0000

Aviane Hunte, aka Trini Nista, is a communications professional (on hiatus) from Trinidad and Tobago, and a full time Masters student in London. She loves travelling and exploring new places, cultures and meeting the people who make each town or city so unique. Read her blog on life and style and the London lifestyle at

On 7-8 March this year, millions of people will converge on an island that is a mere dot on the world map, but which radiates euphoria, creativity, spectacular colour and revelry. Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is known as “The Greatest Show on Earth” and for many Trinbagonians, there is nothing better.

Notting Hill Carnival

Miles away, across the Atlantic, the Caribbean diaspora in the United Kingdom have recreated the magic of the island revelry in Europe’s largest street festival: London’s Notting Hill Carnival. With Trinbagonian origins, Notting Hill Carnival is a celebration of the Caribbean traditions of masquerade and innovation, and is a manifestation of the colour and camaraderie of Caribbean people in London.

Origins of Notting Hill Carnival

Recreating the “mas” in West London goes back to 1964, where calypso, steel pan and mas formed the nexus of a celebration of a community, far removed from their origins physically, but striving to keep their links to the islands intact. Since then, the festival has grown in popularity and takes place every year over the August Bank Holiday weekend (28-29 Aug in 2011). The streets of Notting Hill are transformed from black asphalt carriage ways to waves of colour and people, from different backgrounds and experiences, accompanied by the blare of Caribbean music from massive sound systems and the rhythms of steelpan and drums. Add the aroma of rich Caribbean food and it’s an exotic weekend getaway, without really going anywhere.

Sounds of Carnival: Steelpan and Soca

Trinidad and Tobago joins the rest of the English and non-English speaking Caribbean in making Notting Hill Carnival a true blend of cultures and diversity. The sounds of steelpan and soca, (the popular music of Carnival parties or fetes) help define the festival, echoing its parent festival in Trinidad and Tobago. The musical art form has continued to evolve with the Indo-Caribbean influence creating chutney and soca-chutney music, with rapso and ragga soca, with strong American and Jamaican influences, also laying claim to the hips of revellers.

It is easy enough to try to describe a festival like this, and the energy which comes from the people – strangers of all shades, sizes and personalities, who meet each other on the streets of West London and form friendships over a beer, or a wine (the hip gyrating dance associated with soca music). Yet to really experience the vivacity of the people of Trinidad and Tobago and the rest of the Caribbean, you really just need to be there.

Experience Notting Hill Carnival

So, while Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, which Time Magazine recently described as the “technicolour giant of all Caribbean carnivals” heats up in the southern Caribbean and you sit in London, wondering how and when you can experience such a thing – take a turn into Notting Hill in August and engage in the spontaneity and effervescence of the islands of the Caribbean. You don’t need much besides a camera, a posse, your waistline and a sense of adventure because this is a slice of the hot and spicy Caribbean in the heart of London.

Have you been to Notting Hill Carnival? Perhaps you’ve experienced another aspect of Trinbagonian culture in London? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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Turkey in London: Green Lanes, Harringay Fri, 10 Sep 2010 09:00:54 +0000

For our World in London blog post for Turkey, I spent a sunny Friday afternoon creating a photographic essay of Green Lanes in Harringay, a heavily Turkish-influenced area in North London. (Harringay is a locality in the borough of Haringey).

From restaurants serving up lamachun, pide and kebabs, to travel agents, to supermarkets, to Turkish barbers, Green Lanes is a lively mix of Turkish treats (you’ll also find plenty of Greek and Polish shops, a Bulgarian restaurant and a Somalian cafe!)

You can see these photos and more, plus add your own to Visit London’s flickrpool.

And please tell us about about anything Turkish in London, in Green Lanes or elsewhere, you’ve come across in the comments below.

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