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19 crucial secrets to running a successful London Marathon

Posted at 2:15 pm, April 24, 2015 in Fun London
London Marathon

[Photo: Julian Mason]

It’s the London Marathon this Sunday April 26. Whether it’s your first time participating or you’re a veteran competitor, here are Guy Parsons’ tips for making your race go off without a hitch – or a stitch!

1) Running is energy-intensive, and it’s critical to give your body the fuel it needs, so load up on carbs and alcohol the night before. There are 1,536 calories in a 700ml bottle of Jack Daniels, for example, enough to power you for almost two hours of running at a four-hour marathon pace!

2) Stick to your usual equipment. Race day is not the time to break in a brand new pair of running shoes.  But it’s a great time to break in a new horse. Horses love marathons! 26.2 miles? That’s ‘neigh’ problem! Ho ho!

3) Do you remember the old saying ‘it’s a marathon, not a sprint’? Not everybody does! If you see anyone running too fast, start screaming at them, ‘HEY, PAL! IT’S NOT A SPRINT! STOP SPRINTING! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU? I WILL CUT YOU TO DUST!’ They’ll be sure to thank you for the reminder to ease up a little.

4) Your body loses water and salt through perspiration. Replenish yourself with an electrolyte sports drink such as Lucozade, or better yet, by licking the precious, mineral-rich sweat off another competitor. Just don’t forget to let them lick you back! A classic bit of marathon camaraderie.

5) The liberal use of Vaseline is a popular way to prevent chafing, but if you choose to partake in the traditional halfway-point sex party, (where all inhibitions are abandoned within an enormous writhing heap of supple athletic flesh and the events transpiring are never again spoken of) switch to a condom-friendly water-based lubricant instead. Safety first!

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42 brilliant things happening in London this weekend

_husky_[Photo: _husky_)

Cheer on this year’s London Marathon runners from Tower Bridge and grab some street food from Potters Field close by, hear DJ sets from legendary ’80s pirate radio players at the South Bank, or pick up your pencils and head to a workshop at Pick Me Up. Here are all the cool things happening around town this weekend.

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Protest against gentrification by bringing the best of Brixton to the streets

Posted at 12:00 pm, April 24, 2015 in Property
Brixton Village © Tricia De Courcy Ling

All it takes is a new branch of Waitrose and a couple of artisan bakeries and boom – you’re well on your way to being priced out of your tiny one-bed flat. These guys feel your pain – over 4,000 people are planning to take a stand against gentrification in Brixton on April 25 with a demonstration in front of the Black Cultural Archives building in Windrush Square.

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Toy town: check out this interactive mini model of London

Posted at 10:00 am, April 24, 2015 in Free, Fun London
New London Model detail, New London Architecture exhibtion.

[Photos: Paul Raftery]

Who doesn’t love things in miniature? Now there’s a mini model of London that you can play with and brush up on your London facts. New London Architecture has created an interactive model city with touch screens that allow users to find out information on London’s past, present and future. The 12.5 metre-long model covers more than 85 square kilometres of London, from King’s Cross to Peckham and from the Royal Docks to Old Oak Common, including 19 boroughs and around 170,000 buildings. For the history buffs, there’s a visualisation on the model of the 1666 great fire of London. And for those who can’t get enough of Crossrail, you can track the route and impact of new transport links. Read the full post…

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No kidding! Nicole Kidman returns to the West End

Posted at 9:00 am, April 24, 2015 in Arts & Entertainment
nicole kidman

After a long while away, Hollywood starlet Nicole Kidman is returning to the West End to star in a the UK premiere of ‘Photograph 51’ by Anna Ziegler, directed by the very excellent Michael Grandage. Kidman last graced London’s theatreland 17 years ago in 1998 in when she got briefly starkers in the play ‘The Blue Room’ at the Donmar Warehouse. One reviewer at the time called her performance ‘pure theatrical Viagra’. We’re thinking that taking on the role of Rosalind Franklin – one of the scientists whose work in the ‘40s and ‘50s lead to the discovery of DNA – may not be quite as racy. But we’re still excited nonetheless.

‘Photograph 51’ starts Sept 5 and runs until Nov 21 at the Noel Coward Theatre. Tickets go on sale today at 9am, so get clicking at michaelgrandagecompany.com or ring 0844 482 5141

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Canada Water station is being rebranded for the London Marathon

Posted at 8:00 am, April 24, 2015 in Transport


If you’re travelling on the London Overground or Jubilee line this weekend, don’t be surprised if you find yourself suddenly gagging for a delicious, refreshing glass of water. In an unprecedented move, TfL has agreed to rebrand Canada Water station as ‘Buxton Water’, in exchange for a gigantic wad of cash from Nestlé, Buxton’s corporate overlords.  

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Celebrate World Book Night with a free book when you hop in a Hailo cab

Posted at 6:15 pm, April 23, 2015 in Free, Fun London

No-one likes spending money on taxis, but you can now get more bang for your buck with free books up for grabs in Hailo black cabs. Penguin Random House UK have teamed up with Hailo to launch the ongoing offer which starts this evening aka World Book Night (April 23). You can take the books home to read – although, in a very loose library-like system, you’re encouraged to return them to a Hailo cab once you’ve finished. There are eight books to choose from including ‘Screw It, Let’s Do It: Lessons in Life and Business’ by Richard Branson, ‘Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success’ by Arianna Huffington and ‘Dead Man Talking’ by Roddy Doyle. For those who prefer someone else to do the reading for them, you can get a free audiobook extract through the Hailo app every day between April 23 and April 27.

Read about black cab drivers’ latest protest against TfL.

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Four things you should see at Pick Me Up festival

Posted at 5:15 pm, April 23, 2015 in Arts & Entertainment, Design

Pick Me Up 2012 (c) Andy Stagg

[Photo: Andy Stagg]

Featuring an array of new designers and illustrators, the Pick Me Up graphic art extravaganza returns to Somerset House for its sixth incarnation. You’ll be spoilt for choice with the impressive selection of dynamic works on display, ranging from screenprints to animation. And not only can you see work being made on site, be part of a live-studio audience for Pick Me Up TV and get tips on how to get the attention of bloggers and publishers, you can even get your hands dirty making work and exercise your noggin at one of the many open forums and debates.

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Four big gigs on sale this week

Posted at 4:15 pm, April 23, 2015 in Arts & Entertainment

Heads up: tickets for all these great London music and comedy events go on sale tomorrow morning. As ever, check our just announced page for the rest of this week’s biggest and best London gig announcements. Read the full post…

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There’s a Kickstarter campaign to fund the Thames Baths

Posted at 3:30 pm, April 23, 2015 in Fun London, Outdoor London
thames lido

Remember when we said the Thames might be getting its own lido? Well, now it might be one step closer to actually happening. Studio Octopi, the architects who came up the plans, have started a Kickstarter campaign to raise £125,000 towards the development. Okay, we admit that jumping into the freezing cold temperatures of the dirty old Thames doesn’t sound that appealing – which is why the fresh water pool will have filtered Thames water that’s warmed all year round. And it isn’t all about swimming either – the project includes plans for a café as well as ‘cine and swim’ nights (which may, or may not mean watching a film while submerged in water).

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Sign a petition against the body-shaming adverts popping up across London

Posted at 2:30 pm, April 23, 2015 in News


What better way to liven up your mundane daily commute than with a heap load of body-shaming? Nothing gets us more pumped for the working day than thinking: ‘Hey, my thighs are looking gross. I should probably cancel my summer holiday and spend the next few months crying while scrolling through Hot Celebrity Bikini Bodies slideshows’. Read the full post…

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Slides, discos and beanbags: the most fun offices in London

Posted at 1:30 pm, April 23, 2015 in Fun London


Because your office shouldn’t be all about hard work… Read the full post…

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Healthy food could be the next big London food trend

Posted at 12:15 pm, April 23, 2015 in Food & Drink
Maple & Fitz

What’s the world coming to? Once upon a time, hearing the words ‘healthy eating’ would be enough to make most people scream in horror, desperately searching for the nearest bag of chips. But two of the nicest places we’ve been to recently make an explicit connection between their cooking and the pursuit of good health, yet their food is not just acceptable but outstanding.

First there was Maple & Fitz, in Fitzrovia, where a box of three salads will give you a filling, varied, and skilfully executed meal for just £6.95. (Stay away from the juices, in which health considerations trump questions of good taste.) Then came Bel-Air in Shoreditch, where a takeaway box of up to four salads costs even less (£5.50). They also do slightly less virtuous things such as crab cakes and braised beef, but those salads are so tasty we’re happy to keep saying the H-word. Good food that’s good for you: this is a trend we’re willing to bet on – and happy to take advantage of.

Read our review of Maple & Fitz and Bel-Air.

By Richard Ehrlich

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Meet Mister Glory: the male beauty pageant at The Glory in Dalston

Posted at 10:00 am, April 23, 2015 in Music & Nightlife
mister glory

We caught up with Jonny Woo and John Sizzle, co-owners of The Glory on Kingsland Road in Dalston, about their new male beauty pageant, which launches at the start of June.

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Five ways to boost your commute

Posted at 8:00 am, April 23, 2015 in Fun London

London Underground.
[Photo: Chris Billington]

Put down that newspaper immediately…

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Epping-Ongar Railway might be getting reconnected to the tube

Posted at 6:15 pm, April 22, 2015 in Transport
London Underground - Best and Worst Stations

The Epping-Ongar Railway has been getting a lot of airtime lately. Last month an American porn production company caused outrage by using the heritage railway site as a backdrop for its 1940s themed porn flick. And now, in slightly more wholesome news, it’s been announced that Ongar station might re-open after being closed for 21 years. The Epping-Ongar Railway is extending its line, bringing it to within 100 metres of Epping tube station. Ongar station used to be the final stop on the eastbound Central line, and reopening it would reconnect the railway line to the tube. Let’s just hope the porn merchants don’t hear about the plans and get any ideas about a sequel – the world could probably live without ‘Nympho 2′.

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Giddy up: horses are delivering beer for St George’s Day

Posted at 5:15 pm, April 22, 2015 in Food & Drink
lamb tavern

Way before our roads were filled with HGVs, it was down to the humble horse to deliver London’s beer supplies. To celebrate St George’s day on April 23, The Lamb Tavern in Leadenhall Market is going back to basics and getting its beers delivered by traditional dray horses.

The pub is owned by Young’s & Co, which used horses to transport its beer for 150 years before it had the luxury of good old engine power. The horses will be trotting into town with the beer delivery at 1pm and there will be traditional morris dancers at 11.30am and 1.30pm, as well as a live band at 6pm so you can spend the whole day horsing around.

Find more great pubs in London.

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This woman has been giving away £1 to Londoners in exchange for their best stories

Posted at 4:15 pm, April 22, 2015 in Fun London

A penny for your thoughts? Pah, Michelle Thomas has been offering Londoners a whole pound for ‘em. For the last three years, she’s been whiling away the hours holding a sign that says: ‘I will pay you £1 for your story’. Having just been made redundant, she decided to spend her days gathering the best stories that Londoners could offer. Over the years she’s collected over 200 stories including ones about panthers hunting children in the Himalayas, finding God through LSD and escaping from a religious cult – you know, the usual. She’s now putting all these crazy tales together in a book called ‘Salt Beef Jack and Other Londoners’, which she’s crowdfunding to get published.

Find out more and help crowdfund ‘Salt Beef Jack and Other Londoners’.

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One small step for martinis: cocktail menu heads into space

Posted at 3:15 pm, April 22, 2015 in Food & Drink
beaufort bar space

Who says space food and drink only comes in tubes and freeze-dried sachets? The Beaufort Bar at The Savoy decided to get the space party started (ie. organise a massive publicity stunt) by sending out cocktails into the atmosphere. Well, sort of.

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Welcome to The Dark Room: the live-action video game at the Udderbelly festival

Posted at 2:15 pm, April 22, 2015 in Arts & Entertainment
dark room

Put down that Xbox controller and get ready for a real life video game, as interactive show The Dark Room is coming to the South Bank’s Udderbelly Festival. Probably not one for the claustrophobic, the show sees audience members locked in a dark room and the only way out is to take on the ‘Evil Floating Head’, who’ll be testing out your logic skills as you try to escape. Said evil head belongs to the brains behind the operation, John Robertson, who started the show as an interactive YouTube series before taking it to the live stage. There’s a £1,000 prize at stake and while winners get prizes, losers get punished – so bring your A-game, folks.

The Dark Room: Arena Spectacularrrgh is on at the Udderbelly on April 24 and May 15 at 10.45pm. Book tickets here.

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