Visit London Blog » old spitalfields market Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 22 May 2015 17:44:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 London for Under 18s: Teenagers’ Day Out Sun, 15 Dec 2013 10:00:06 +0000 Visitors at Trafalgar Square. London on View/VisitBritain

Going on a day out in London can be tricky when you’re a teenager. You want something interesting and cool but not too expensive – and where you don’t need ID or parental accompaniment (if you’re going with just friends).

So we’ve come up with an itinerary for how your day could look. There’s enough to fill a whole weekend, let alone one day, so pick and choose according to how much time and money you have to spare.

Camden Market

Morning: Shopping at Old Spitalfields Market or Camden Market

Markets are a great place to pick up a bargain or unique gift. Old Spitalfields Market is a cobbled, indoor market with stalls selling everything from vinyl records (on the first and third Friday of the month) to vintage (on Saturdays). If your style is more alternative, head for Camden Market where you’ll find goth fashion, handmade accessories and much more.

The Boiler House Food Hall

Lunch at Boiler House Food Hall or Honest Burgers

If you went for the Spitalfields option, pop into nearby Boiler House Food Hall for lunch. This indoor food market – located inside The Old Truman Brewery (look out for the giant chimney) – is packed with traders selling dishes from around the world: India, Japan, Poland, Morocco… it’s all there. Opted for Camden? Pick up some street food at the market or take a seat at Honest Burgers for a British beef burger (served with chips, from £8).


Get involved at the British Music Experience or the Roundhouse

Hop on the Tube to North Greenwich and explore the British Music Experience (£6 for under 17s when booked in advance). See John Lennon’s specs and other music memorabilia, show off some moves in the ‘Dance the Decades’ booth, record a song in the Interactive Studio and much, much more. Alternatively, see what’s happening at Camden’s Roundhouse. This top music venue has a programme called Creative Projects, with drop-in sessions for 11-25 year olds in music, creative media and performing arts (from £2).

Namco Funscape

Go Gaming at Namco Funscape or Get Creative at Tate Modern

Take the Tube to Waterloo and then walk to Namco Funscape (next to the London Eye) – an amusement venue full of interactive games, plus a laser maze, bowling alley, bumper cars and karaoke rooms. Watching the pennies? Walk up river for a wander around free contemporary art gallery Tate Modern. Don’t miss the digital drawing bar on Level 3, where you can create a piece of digital art and see it displayed instantly on a giant screen. Then you can say you’ve exhibited at the Tate!

Dinner at Wahaca or the Gourmet Pizza Company

Refuel for the evening at the South Bank branch of Wahaca, where street food tapas starts at £3.70 for a black beans & cheese quesadilla. Or go Italian at the Gourmet Pizza Company (along the river near the OXO Tower), where you’ll find delicious pizzas and pastas starting at £7.75.

National Theatre

Take in a show at the National Theatre or Barbican Centre

Many London theatres offer cheap tickets to under 26s. The National Theatre has a free membership scheme, Entry Pass, offering a limited number of £5 tickets to 16-25 years for each of its performances (UK residents only). The Barbican offers free (yes, free!) tickets for film, music, art, dance and theatre shows to 16-25 year olds through its freeB membership scheme. Younger teens should check out Unicorn Theatre near London Bridge, which groups shows by age (i.e. 17-12, 13+, adult) to make it easier to choose the ideal show for your age group.

Party with Under The Radar or McCluskys

Given UK licensing laws, London’s clubs and bars are strictly reserved for over 18s – as Justin Bieber discovered on his birthday. However, a number of underage, alcohol-free nights do exist in the capital. Upcoming events include Winter Special at the Renaissance Rooms in Vauxhall, organised by youth music scene promoters Under The Radar. Also on the calendar for December is a live showcase by MOBO award Winners Krept & Konan at McClusky’s in Kingston.

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London Shopping News: London Designer Outlet, Harrods Christmas Parade, Old Spitalfields Market, La Maison Maille, Cath Kidston Tue, 29 Oct 2013 17:34:44 +0000

From Harrods Christmas Parade to the opening of London’s first outlet shopping destination, this is an exciting time for the capital’s retail scene!

London Designer Outlet Opens

Listen up, bargain hunters! London’s first designer outlet shopping destination has opened in Wembley, with stores offering up to 70% off prices at leading high street shops. Boasting 85 outlets including Adidas, Gap, Guess, Phase Eight, Superdry, Clarks, Nike and M&S, the shopping centre also has a raft of restaurants and cafes, as well as a nine-screen cinema complex.

Harrods Christmas Parade

Get into the festive spirit this Saturday (2 November) by watching the glitzy Harrods Christmas Parade weave its way down Brompton Road. Beginning at 8am, onlookers can expect real-life reindeer, dancers, performers and a string of children’s favourites including SpongeBobSquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Wallace and Gromit and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Santa will enter Harrods at 8.50am to open the magical Christmas Grotto at 9am.

Cheese & Wine Festival at Spitalfields

Old Spitalfields Market will be heaving with wine, cheese and bread this weekend (1-2 November) for the Cheese & Wine Festival, and the Real Bread Festival. More than 40 artisan food companies will be taking part, including cheesemonger La Fromagerie, the bakery Flour Station and organic wine merchants Vintage Roots. 11am-7.30pm on Friday 1 November and 10am-7pm on Saturday 2 November

Mustard Shop La Maison Maille OpensLa Maison Maille boutique

Calling all foodies! A gourmet mustard boutique has opened in London’s West End. As well as selling Dijon Mustard, La Maison Maille sells 60 other varieties, from ‘parmesan and basil’ to ‘fig and coriander’. Traditional ceramic pumps are used to serve the fresh mustard, which is currently Chablis mustard with black truffle. Popular with royalty, La Maison Maille was founded in France 266 years ago.

Pop-up Barber Shop

Planning to cultivate a moustache for Movemder? Gillette is setting up a pop-up barbershop offering free hot towel shaves and moustache touch-ups for all those taking part in Movemder. The barber shop will host a number of events throughout the month including live acoustic sets, comedy nights and motivational evenings. 7 Earlham Street, Covent Garden.

Wine Car Boot

Taste, learn about and buy wine from nine of London’s best independent wine shops at the Wine C4r Boot. Open on Saturday 16 November from 12pm-6pm, the sale will take place at Arch E, Union Car Park, Great Suffolk Street, SE1 OUE. Tickets are £10 and include your first five tastings, a six bottle wine carrier and a tasting glass.

Beautiful Crime Launches Concept StoreMug Shot My Face - press image 2 David Bowie  Russell Marshall-250

Love art? Urban and contemporary art company Beautiful Crime is launching a concept store in Covent Garden on Friday 15 November to provide art fans the chance the buy rare works from big-name artists such as Jonathan Yeo, Tracey Emin, Mat Collishaw, Banksy, Eine, Jamie Reid, Charming Baker and Anthony Micallef. Other arty products, mugs, t-shirts and books will also be available from £10. There are works to suit all budgets, with prints and originals ranging from £30 up to £20,000. Located under the Lulu Guinness store, 17 Floral Street WC2E 9DH. Open until 29 December.

Cath Kidston Flagship Launches

Hyped as the “home of modern vintage”, Cath Kidston will open the doors to its new UK flagship store at 180 Piccadilly on 5 December.  The 7070sqft store will home accessories, vintage furniture and children’s clothes. It will also stock the exclusive Piccadilly Print, a never-seen-before design featuring all that is iconic about London life including pigeons and black taxis.


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Accessible Budget Accommodation in London Tue, 10 Sep 2013 10:14:56 +0000 Accessible London

It can be a challenge to find inexpensive places to stay in London when you or your travelling companions have access requirements.

We asked Gordon Couch OBE, accessible travel expert and author of the highly regarded Access in London guidebook, to share his advice and recommend some London budget accommodation.

“London offers a wider choice of accessible accommodation than ever before, though it’s not always easy to find your way through the mass of information. All the Access in London information and recommendations are based on visits by experienced international travellers who need to take access issues into account.

“London is big, and much of the transport system was designed a century ago. In spite of a great deal of progress, travelling around in London is probably the biggest challenge/problem for the disabled visitor who wants to be both independent and mobile, and to see many of the sights.

“Consequently the location of your accommodation is of enormous importance. Then, with a little determination, almost anything is possible.

“You can choose to stay somewhere near an accessible tube or DLR station. (A step-free London station map is available).

“Hotel prices vary substantially depending on the demand for accommodation on a particular night. There can be substantial savings if you can book early. Some hotels only offer accessible rooms with a double bed – suitable for some, but not for others. Whatever you decide, it will be a compromise.”

Top five choices for accessible budget accommodation:

• The Generator Hostel London which is a large back-packers hostel in Bloomsbury, with accommodation designed for disabled visitors on its lower ground floor.

• The YHA Thameside hostel just over 2km downstream from Tower Bridge. It has an accessible riverside pub/restaurant 100m away, and is about 750m from the accessible Canada Water Tube station. I have stayed at the hostel and found it to provide excellent value.

• The Tune Hotel Liverpool Street near Old Spitalfields Market.

• The Premier Inn London Waterloo is in a superb location for getting to the South Bank and to Westminster (for starters).

• The Travelodge London Central Covent Garden is close to the West End theatres at the top end of Drury Lane, with the possibility of a parking space.

All have several accessible rooms, all offer the possibility of separate beds, and two can provide parking. All have location advantages and disadvantages, and much depends on what you want to do, where you want to go and how confident you are about getting around. If you can master the bus network, your horizons can extend far further.

In addition to the five mentioned, there are several more Premier Inns in very central locations. There are Ibis hotels in Greenwich and Stratford, and near Earl’s Court. In each of these areas, there is local interest, together with easy accessible transport links to the centre of London.

Remember that the best accommodation gets booked early.”

For more information see

Download a step-free London station map.

Read Visit London’s page on accessible public transport in London and watch TfL’s accessible transport video

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What’s On This Weekend. 23-26 August 2013 Mon, 19 Aug 2013 09:00:50 +0000
It’s the August Bank Holiday weekend – get set for three days of colourful parties, family activities and, hopefully, summer weather!

Notting Hill Carnival

There are always lots of great parties during the August bank holiday weekend, but nothing beats the Notting Hill Carnival. This incredible, Caribbean-themed spectacle sees thousands of colourfully-dressed people take to the streets for a parade that features dancing, themed floats and lots of great music. Head to the area on Sunday for the family-themed day, or turn up on bank holiday Monday for the main event, which is always followed by a wide range of after-parties! 25-26 Aug

Rugby League World Cup Fan Zone in Trafalgar Square

Don’t miss this free Rugby League event in Trafalgar Square, which takes place shortly before the Tetley’s Challenge Cup final. Between 10am and 4pm you can see the World Cup trophy up close, meet big names such as Steve McNamara, Martin Offiah and Kevin Sinfield, and watch the England Wheelchair Rugby League squad play an exhibition game. Families can also take part in interactive activities, which might just inspire the next generation of Rugby League stars! 23 Aug

Strictly Summer Ballroom at the Southbank Centre

Ballroom dancing expert Nicky Miles is waltzing into the Southbank Centre for a glorious afternoon of traditional dance on Monday. Between 12pm to 3pm, you can learn how to perform dances such as the tango and foxtrot, before demonstrating your new-found skills to the sounds of the Ross Mitchell Combo. This is followed by a live show from professionals between 4pm and 5pm, after which you’ll have another chance to try out your moves. The event is free. 26 Aug

The Paw Pageant at Old Spitalfields Market

Love dogs? Head to Old Spitalfields Market at 1pm on Bank Holiday for the most fun you can have on four paws! Visitors can see a glitzy canine fashion show, browse the pet product market and see the top dogs awarded prizes at the end of the day. Entry is free. 26 Aug

Family Fun Days at Islington Boat Club

Families will have a great day on the water at the Islington Boat Club this Saturday thanks to their range of fun activities. You can enjoy a narrowboat trip, hire a pedalo, take part in a workshop or just relax with some tasty BBQ food and live music! Entry is free, although there will be nominal charges for activities and the BBQ. 24 Aug

More London events

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London Shopping News: Xbox store, Old Spitalfields Market, Broadgate Artisan Market, Cleo B Thu, 20 Jun 2013 09:00:43 +0000 From new markets to pop-up shops, here’s the latest London shopping news.

World’s First Xbox Store To Open in London

Calling all gamers! The world’s first Xbox store is opening at Shoreditch pop-up mall Boxpark today (20 June). The concept store homes playable gaming pods, head-to-head challenge areas and a Microsoft Surface display. You’ll also find the latest and greatest in Xbox hardware and software.

New London Markets

New markets alert! Old Spitalfields Market has two exciting new markets popping up this month. Taking place every Friday and the second Saturday of every month is Spitalfields Produce Market which sells a fantastic range of seasonal and locally-sourced vegetables, fruit, meat, chicken, fish, cheese, eggs, juice, bread, cakes, jams, preserves and local crafts. Starting up on Saturday 29 June is The African Market which will feature African-inspired fashion, accessories, jewellery, shoes, homeware, beauty products, books, music, crafts and more. For kids, there will be face-painting and glitter tattoos. The market will take place on the fourth Saturday of every month

If you like to feast on artisan cuisine, hotfoot it to the new Shepherds Market at Broadgate, where you’ll find hand-crafted chocolates, Italian cheeses, Pacific oysters, macaroons, Argentinian empanadas, sushi made freshly at the stall and much more.

Cleo B Pop-up Shop

Finally, here’s a date for the diary for fans of Cleo B shoes, the go-to-brand for celebrities like Paloma Faith and Jessie J. The luxury label will be hosting a pop-up shop at boutique East London hotel, Andaz Liverpool Street from 19-21 July. New collection Pixel will be available to buy in the hotel’s Masonic Temple. Inspired by retro video games, vintage tin robots and luxe sportwear, Pixel fuses bold colour blocking and chunky metal detailing.

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London Shopping News: Boxpark, Selfridges, Le Coq Sportif, Regent Street and a Jewellery Fair at Old Spitalfields Market Fri, 07 Jun 2013 09:13:37 +0000 From new shops openings to mammoth denim departments to unmissable retail events, there’s no better place than London to rev up your summer wardrobe.

Denim Revolution at Selfridges

The world’s biggest-ever denim department opened yesterday at Selfridges, with nothing but jeans covering a whopping 25,000 square feet. Housing more than 11,000 pairs of jeans priced from £11 to £11,000 (for Paige jeans festooned with two-carat diamonds and your name stitched on the back), shoppers can choose from over 60 brands, from Primark to J Brand, Levi’s to Christopher Kane. Feeling overwhelmed by choice? Personal shoppers and product specialists can help you find that perfect pair of jeans, while an interactive area has lookbooks and fit guides.

New Covent Garden Sportswear Shop

Now that summer is here, it’s time to get kitted out in some seriously stylish sportswear. Step forward Le Coq Sportif, which has just opened its first UK shop in Covent Garden’s Seven Dials. Famous for making jerseys for the Tour de France team, the iconic French brand is stashed with oodles of sporting, cycling and lifestyle gear for men and women.

20% Off Shopping Weekend at Boxpark

Fans of pop-up shopping mall Boxpark can rejoice because it is hosting a 20% off event this weekend (8-9 June). Made up of shipping containers, the Shoreditch-based mall is heaving with independent brands. Download the Boxpark app and present it at the till to claim your discount.

Jewellery Fair at Old Spitalfields Market

A glittering collective of emerging jewellery designers will be selling their fabulous wares at Jewel East at Old Spitalfields Market this weekend (7-9 June). Shoppers will also be able to commission one-off pieces. Also on sale will be costume and vintage jewellery.

New Shops to Open on Regent Street

Global fashion brands are flocking to Regent Street to set up shop with four new stores set to open in the famous shopping destination in the next few months. Shoe shop United Nude will stock exclusive styles for women, only available on Regent Street, while the men’s showroom will be situated on the second floor. American clothing giant J Crew will be opening its first UK flagship store, while luxury French fashion house Longchamp will be opening a plush boutique. Kiko Makeup Milano will be opening an opulent store that will emulate their luxury Milan shop. Happy shopping!

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