I think we all got a bit freaked out last Thursday when weather reports suggested that we were going to be hit by an enormous storm surge. And then the apocalyptic storm came and went and we weren’t all underwater. We got off pretty lucky and it’s all thanks to the Thames Barrier. Many parts of the UK were left devastated as one of the worst storms in 60 years rampaged through the country on Thursday and Friday.
The Environment Agency predicted the tidal surge could be worse than the one that hit in 1953, when over 300 people died and tens of thousands of homes were destroyed. As a result, the alarming decision was taken on Thursday to close the 520 metre-long barrier to protect London from the estimated flood chaos (as illustrated in the picture above).
Good call guys! Chief executive of The Environment Agency Dr Paul Leinster said of the measures taken to save the capital: ‘We estimate that at least 800,000 homes and businesses have been protected by flood schemes in the past 24 hours.’
They might have internal satnavs, but what do London’s cabbies really know about the city? From good fish suppers to bad loo breaks and worse passengers, four of London’s finest share what they’ve learned on the job. Interviews by Eddy Frankel.
There’s a growing trend for French Dips in London – where sliced meat is dipped backed into its cooking juices before being put into a sandwich. The latest place to get on board is Dip & Flip. One half burger joint (where the patties – beef, chicken and veggie – are of course ‘flipped’), one half hot sarnie joint (there are currently two choices of ‘dips’ – lamb and beef, both served with a small side of gravy for extra dipping), it’s perfectly pitched between the pubs and bars of the Northcote Road and the commuter spill-out of Clapham Junction station. Read the full post…
As always, there are some fab film events happening in London this week. Here are five of the best:
1. Winter Shuffle: ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’ + Nic Roeg Q&A.
If you’re after a taste of Dickensian London, head to St Clement’s Hospital in Bow. The former workhouse and psychiatric hospital is now the happy home of Shuffle, the brilliant community-run film festival Danny Boyle first curated back in May. Returning with a winter edition, Shuffle’s line-up is pretty special. Boyle will drop in to chat with Prof Brian Cox and Mark Kermode after a screening of his film sci-fi ‘Sunshine’, while Jarvis Cocker will interview Brit director Nicolas Roeg on stage after a showing of his masterful 1975 space oddity ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’. Roeg’s hugely ambitious and imaginative film transforms a straightforward science fiction story into a rich kaleidoscope of 1970s America. St Clement’s Hospital, Mile End Rd, E3 4LL. 4pm. Sat Dec 14 – £15.
Got a few pairs of old jeans lying around? Not sure what to do with them? Make them into a giant picture of London, obviously. That’s exactly what artist Ian Berry – aka Denimu – has done. Until this Wednesday the Catto Gallery plays host to his solo show, exhibiting all manner of images of London collaged entirely out scraps of the blue stuff – there are denim pubs, a denim Primrose Hill and even a denim depiction of the tube. Read the full post…
We got our first look at part two of Peter Jackson’s epic three-film adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ prequel ‘The Hobbit’ last week. As our reviewer Keith Uhlich enthuses, this is a much pacier, more action-heavy film than its rather chatty, slapsticky predecessor ‘An Unexpected Journey’. Kicking off with a shapeshifting bear-man on the rampage and climaxing with Smaug the dragon in full flight, the film doesn’t sit still for a moment, cramming the screen with marauding orcs, man-eating spiders, pratfalling dwarves, pompous elves, untrustworthy man-folk and one seriously unconvinced hobbit. Along the way we get to witness arguably the most complex action sequence of Jackson’s career – it involves barrels, bows and arrows and more death-defying leaps than you can count – and some rather silly, rather sweet elf-on-dwarf flirting.
All in all, as Uhlich suggests, this is a film for those who’ve already bought into Jackson’s fantasy universe. If you’re looking for dramatic heft and real-world drama you might want to go elsewhere, but if all you want is to lose yourself for 161 minutes in total, spectacular escapism, look no further.
Have you seen Pinterest’s snazzy new place-pinboards? They mash pinboards up with a rather nicely designed map showing the location of each pin, which is pretty great if you’re pinning places you’ve been or would like to visit.
We’ve kicked things off by bringing our Christmas guide, 50 best restaurants and 50 best bars to Pinterest, so you can easily find the amazing stuff that happens to be nearby. And we’ll be adding more area guides, best-ofs and round-ups in the coming weeks and months.
It’s a known fact that Londoners are looking pretty fashionable these days. Whether you’re in Peckham or Hackney, style-savvy individuals can be spotted everywhere. Here are a few – of the many – best dressed in Soho: Read the full post…
FILM: Saving Mr Banks★★★★★ In this delightful movie, Emma Thompson plays ‘Mary Poppins’ author Pamela Travers. Thompson takes the audience along with her in an Oscar-worthy performance, as she portrays Travers’s leap from disgruntled prune to kite flying optimist. The rest of the cast don’t disappoint: Tom Hanks paints a masterly portrait of Walt Disney as a complex, benevolent visionary (his dark side is mostly overlooked) who spars deliciously with Travers. Colin Farrell is a revelation as Travers’s beloved alcoholic Aussie dad – sweet and carefree, but also beset by personal demons. And Rachel Griffiths convincingly plays the super efficient great-aunt who rescues the Travers family from disintegration – and the character is instantly recognisable as the Down-Under source of the nanny with the black umbrella. Ewan Comrie In cinemas now. Read the full post…
Sink the Pink are pushing the boundaries in further directions with their new venture. The no-holds-barred tranny disco and dress-up jolly is no longer just Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club’s finest tranny cabaret-meets-naked-bears night. It’s now a clothing range, too. Featuring t-shirts of Mickey Mouse penises and giant bananas peeling back to reveal hot pink phalluses, mesh dresses, harlequin-patterned sportswear and water-tight cycling shorts bearing the name of the now-legendary club night, the designs are based on the décor of the club. Glyn and Amy, who are the brains (and legs) behind the all-singing muck-up night have a slight obsession with all things fluoro and 90s, and this shines through. Fans of moody black might not take to this one too easily. Read the full post…
Now. Here. This. Be the first to know what's on in London with the Time Out blog. Check in here for insider news, tips and deals from the worlds of food, fashion, arts, culture and more. Consider it your ultimate newsfeed for daily London life.
Got something you want to share with us? Send your news, tips, comments, cat gifs, ideas and London photos to Sonya Barber, blog editor at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @sonya_barber