Visit London Blog » world cup Enjoy the very best of London Mon, 23 Feb 2015 16:10:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Uruguay in London: Photographer Julio Etchart Fri, 29 Oct 2010 14:14:17 +0000

To find a little piece of Uruguay in London, I spoke to photographer Julio Etchart, who moved from Uruguay to London in the 1970s. Julio has worked all over the world on projects ranging from music commissions, magazines and displays for charitable organisations such as Oxfam. He is currently exhibiting at the Apples and Pears Gallery in East London.

Both Uruguay and London have an influence on Julio’s work:

“All my career has been for NGOs and charities that work in development. I’d like to think the influence is there. Uruguay is a very cultural country. It has a very high literacy rate and good state education. But being [in London] at the centre of the cultural capital of the world has broadened my horizons. I was influenced by many cultures here.”

And what is the Uruguayan community in London like?

“We are a small community of 400 or so.

“There isn’t anything that you could call Uruguayan in London – apart from the expats, of course! There used to be a fine restaurant in Camden, the well-known Camden Brasserie, set up and run by two Uruguayan brothers for almost 25 years. But though they kept the place, they are both retired back home and they just got a (non-Uruguayan) manager to run it. That’s the closest you get to it.”

But even without a physical hub in London, there is one thing that unites the Uruguayan community here: football! Uruguay reached the semi-finals in this year’s World Cup:

“The World Cup was the only opportunity for the expats to get together. It only happened once, at the semifinals: a group of us, invited by the ambassador, got together at an English pub in West London to watch it.

“I watched most of the games at the Rich Mix cultural centre in Bethnal Green, since I was invited to have a slide show of my football photo gallery on the big screen during the intervals.” [You can see the slide show at]

Uruguay has even enjoyed Olympic football success:

“Uruguay won the football World Cup twice (in 1930 and 1950) a long time ago, though, but we also won the Olympics Football cup (before the World Cup was actually instituted) at the Paris and Amsterdam Olympics of 1924 and 1928. So there is a strong, albeit old, Olympic connection there.”

Julio’s current photography exhibition, Katha: In the Footsteps of George Orwell in Burma is showing at the Apples and Pears Gallery, documenting Orwell’s five years in Burma and locations from his novel Burmese Days:

“I read all of his novels in translation as a child. I went to the places where Burmese Days was written and followed the trail. It’s a travelogue.”

Julio’s next project is an exhibition marking the 200th anniversary of the independence of Latin American countries. It takes place in City Hall from 22 November 2010.

Do you know of anything Uruguayan in London? We’d love to know.

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Things To Do in London This Weekend Fri, 09 Jul 2010 15:03:37 +0000 The weekend is set to be a scorcher and we can’t wait to be outside in the sun.  Take a look at our top tips to make the most of London this weekend:

Good luck to those of you taking part in the British 10K on Sunday. And don’t forget to enter our Vinopolis giveaway.

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World Cup Semi-Final at the BT Tower in London Wed, 07 Jul 2010 14:50:50 +0000

As the World Cup reached the heady heights of the last four yesterday, I decided there was no better place to watch the semi-finals than at the BT Tower  – one of London’s tallest buildings.

The BT Tower originally opened in 1966 with a viewing gallery, souvenir shop and rotating restaurant, but sadly it has been closed to the public since 1981.

After being security checked I ascended the 500-odd feet to the viewing deck in less than 30 seconds by lift and walked into what was once the restaurant; now it’s a spacious viewing gallery.

The view was simply breathtaking. London looks even more beautiful from up high than it did from street-level.

Despite the important football match being shown on the many flashy plasma screens, I struggled to keep my eyes on the ball and away from the stunning views.

Tower Bridge, The London Eye, the Gherkin and Canary Wharf, all gigantic structures in their own right, looked like little souvenir models from Hamleys.

Last year The Times reported that negotiations were afoot to re-open the tower to the public ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games. I for one would add my name to any petition supporting such a move.

Would you like the BT Tower to re-open to the public?


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Hard Rock Calling in Hyde Park Thu, 01 Jul 2010 09:26:35 +0000

The spectacular Hard Rock Calling took place over the weekend in London. The concerts entertained thousands of rock music lovers.

There was a great atmosphere as legends Pearl Jam, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney took to the stage in the middle of Hyde Park. Other main stage performers included Jamiroquai, Corinne Bailey Rae, Elvis Costello and Crowded House, with the Bandstand and Pepsi Max Stage providing additional acts to entertain the crowds.

London truly sizzled in the scorching summer heat and we could not have hoped for more perfect weather! Even the giant screen showing England’s World Cup dream being shattered on the Sunday could not spoil the occasion as revellers settled back with a beer or two to enjoy the show. All were welcome and almost 50,000 fans came to enjoy the laid-back vibe of the festival.

Some of my many highlights included Pearl Jam’s Alive and Stevie Wonder’s Superstition. Paul McCartney kept the fans happy as he sang Beatles classics Let It Be and Hey Jude then surprised fans with a spectacular firework display at the end.

Hard Rock Cafés are known throughout the globe for their ability to bring music to the public and this festival was no exception. With the perfect line up, sunshine and crowd, Hard Rock Calling 2010 was truly unforgettable.

Check out the other great Music Festivals in London this summer.

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Visit London Blog Giveaway: Win BFI Cinema Tickets Mon, 21 Jun 2010 09:30:42 +0000

Right now, many of us are caught firmly in the grip of footie fever. But we do feel for those of you who don’t want to watch the World Cup in London.

With this in mind, our good friends at BFI Southbank are hosting an Alternative To The World Cup film season.

What better way to escape the World Cup madness than by settling down in a darkened cinema to watch one of the classics such as:

  • All of Grace Kelly’s films including Hitchcock’s Rear Window
  • A Fistful of Dollars starring Clint Eastwood
  • Kubrick classic A Clockwork Orange
  • Eco thriller Soylent Green with Charlton Heston
  • Tilda Swinton’s latest I Am Love
  • Manga movie Ghost In the Shell 2: Innocence

Lucky for you, BFI is offering 10 pairs of tickets to any film during their June and July seasons to celebrate their alternative to the world cup campaign. And we want to know, what’s your World Cup alternative?

Leave a comment below and email with Visit London World Cup in the subject by Friday 25 June to win.

Read competition terms and conditions

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World Cup Willie tours Visit London Thu, 17 Jun 2010 11:13:31 +0000 World Cup Willie at VL Towers, Photo By: Trevor Summers World Cup Willie at VL Towers, Photo By: Trevor Summers World Cup Willie at VL Towers, Photo By: Trevor Summers

World Cup Willie, the mascot from the 1966 World Cup, has been reincarnated.

And what’s more, he paid a visit to VL Towers this morning!

The cuddly mascot is travelling around London today to promote the magnificent Wembley Stadium tour.

During the 90-minute tour, you’ll have the chance to be snapped with a replica of the FA Cup, climb the steps to the Royal Box and see unique objects from English Football’s history.

While the World Cup is on you’ll also have the opportunity to grab a photo with the famous Jules Rimet World Cup trophy. There’s also a chance to meet World Cup Willie yourself on the tour every Friday throughout the summer holidays.

The England 2018 World Cup bid is currently being considered by FIFA with a decision expected in December… But who could deny a cute lion?

For more information call +44 (0)844 800 2755 visit

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Watch World Cup Brazil vs North Korea in London Tonight Tue, 15 Jun 2010 16:36:56 +0000

Excitement is building in anticipation of tonight’s World Cup match between Brazil and North Korea.

Join the fun with a Brazilian carnival parade through central London! At 6pm tonight the Brazilian School of Samba musicians accompanied by carnival dancers in full costume will parade from Oxford Circus to Tiger Tiger near Piccadilly Circus, where the Brazil match will be shown.

It’s free entry to Tiger Tiger to watch the game.

Or, if you’re in the East End, head to Favela Chic to see the match on the big screen and be entertained by samba rock with Adriano Trinidade before and after.

Read our guide for more places to watch the World Cup in London.

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World Cup Weekend Roundup Fri, 11 Jun 2010 13:14:01 +0000 This weekend, plans can easily be divided into those that involve watching the World Cup or cowering somewhere far away from any hint of the beautiful game.

Watch the football:

Find the best places to watch the World Cup in London with our guide. And let us know if we’ve missed any gems in the comments box below.

Avoid the football:

  • Absolut Ice Bar has proclaimed itself a football-free zone with discount food offers and cocktails for £5 until 9pm. 12 Jun 2010
  • Get 50% off your food at Dim t during all England World Cup matches. Download the voucher and make sure you place your order between kick-off and final whistle
  • If the weather’s good, escape to the terrace at Sanderson for an al fresco champagne dinner and not so much as a mention of the F-word. 7pm, 12 & 18 Jun 2010

And the rest:

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2010 FIFA World Cup theatre in London: Bend it Like Beauty Tue, 08 Jun 2010 17:24:41 +0000 World Cup fever has hit London. Hostels, hotels and many of the capital’s 6,000 pubs, bars and restaurants are waving colourful flags from across the world in celebration of the world’s largest sporting event (click here for details of another decent-sized sporting event coming 2012). Over 300 languages spoken in London so your football team – whoever they may be – has a following and a welcome here.

If you’re in London for the next few days and are keen to learn more about the World Cup and watch quality theatre at the same time, check out live comedy show called Bend it Like Beauty. This is a one-man performance by highly acclaimed and award winning South African actor Ben Voss. He plays well-to-do business woman of the year Beauty Ramampelepele who has flown to London to welcome the world to the World Cup in South Africa.

This charming satire offers a fascinating insight into the humour and openness of South Africa and its people, right here in London. It is an hour-and-a- half comedy performance that had me in stitches. Ben Voss offers hilarious tongue-in-cheek tips on best practice for attending the World Cup: “when you pack – take trainers, you will have to run” and “please, if you’re British, don’t dance”.

This is theatre away from the flashing lights and big-set productions of the West End and based just a short distance from the Brit Oval: the home of another much-loved British sport (cricket). The play is a simple, comic satire with a wonderful script that manages to remain light and funny while still managing to convey serious truths about a young African democracy in the high-profile role of host nation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Mid-way through a fascinating chat with her audience Beauty answers the phone with “no, don’t worry its fine, I’ve had enough now”. Not too long after this she is gone – leaving us wanting more from the magician who made one and a half hours in a small basic theatre feel like an entire week with a good friend.

Bend it Like Beauty runs at Oval House Theatre until 12 June 2010.

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New Lion Terrace at ZSL London Zoo Thu, 27 May 2010 14:11:00 +0000

London Zoo‘s magnificent Asian lion family showed their support for the England football team as their new, improved paddock was unveiled this morning.

This is Lucifer, a seven-year-old father of two. We suspect he might be a tad more excited about the meaty treat stuffed inside the football than the beautiful game!

The new big cat enclosure will allow visitors to get even closer to the zoo’s lion pride.

And the England footballs will continue to kick around the enclosure as part of the animals’ enrichment.

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