Monthly Archives: July 2010

London Zoo…You Can Come Too

London Zoo takes up a reasonable chunk of Regent’s Park and is almost an institution, so I couldn’t get away with not mentioning it for much longer.

Visit the Gorilla Kingdom

Yesterday I headed out to visit the lions and tigers – no bears, unfortunately – oh my! And it was a lovely afternoonout.  Apart from the spider talk in the B.U.G hut, where I was stood about a metre away from a tarantula…(eek!)

The zoo has over 720 different species of animal – all split up into different areas to explore.  There are Giants of the Galapagos, Meet The Monkeys, Gorilla Kingdom and Animal Adventure where the kids can pet some of the sheep, donkeys and llamas.

One of the highlights is the new Rainforest Life exhibition, which only opened this year.  It’s a fab recreation of a rainforest with monkeys running around above your head and sloths hanging from the trees.  Luckily they’re not tame enough or cheeky enough to come and nick your camera (yet).

Another highlight is feeding time.  The penguins are always popular, and feeding time is no exception:

There are lots of opportunities to catch things like this, with shows and events happening throughout the day – including the aforementioned spider talk, and animals in action.

Tickets are from £17.20 for adults, £15.70 concessions – check the website for details on pricing (prices depend on peak season)

Visit the Reptile House and see where Harry Potter shot a scene

Zoo Lates

If you’ve never been to the zoo, have always wanted to but are always at work (and can’t be bothered to fight your way through hoardes of kids at the weekend) Zoo Lates is designed for you.

Running each Friday night throughout August, the zoo will be opening after hours until 10pm.  The evening involves being able to look round the zoo, sipping Pimms or a Mojito and getting down at the silent disco.  If you need to refuel there’s also a BBQ.

Tickets are available online and at the gate (although online booking is recommended) and online prices are £16.20 for adults, £15 concessions.

Nearest Tube: Camden (then a 15 minute walk) or Regents Park (then a 20 minute walk).  Alternatively you can get the 274 bus from Baker Street.

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Filed under Local interest, N London

Feeling Gloomy? Put On Your Red Shoes and…DANCE!

I’ve just found out about a brilliant concept that I feel the need to share with you all.

Feeling Gloomy is a club night with a twist.  With nights in New York (wish I’d known about it whilst I was there…) and soon to be Berlin,  Feeling Gloomy play songs for the melancholy from the o2 Academy in Islington.

Well, not quite – the songs are fairly upbeat, but the lyrics aren’t necessarily so.  Think along the lines of Scissor Sisters ‘Comfortably Numb’, or choose from a wide and varied list including Kylie, The Smiths, Blur, David Bowie –  even Frank Sinatra.

Speaking of ol’ Ziggy, on Saturday, August 7, you can get involved in a free Bowie-themed walk which is kicking off in Brixton and will take in all of Dave’s old haunts (I’m pretty sure I can call him Dave).

The trail will take you up to the West End before giving you the option of heading on to the aforementioned Feeling Gloomy night, which for one night only – you’ve guessed it – is Bowie themed.

If all that excitement wasn’t enough, costumes are encouraged, and your tour will be accompanied by ‘Bowie’ himself (*cough*) belting out some tunes along the way, inbetween getting you some facts on the old fella, of course.

The tour is free, but is first-come, first-served.  If you wish to head over to Feeling Gloomy, that will set you back £6 before midnight, or £8 after. NUS £5.

The walk starts at starts at 6.30pm at Trinity Arms, 45 Trinity Gardens, London, SW9 8DR.  Food and drink will be available en route.

o2 Academy Islington is located at 16 Parkfield St, Islington, N1

Nearest Tube: Brixton (for the walk), Angel (for the club)

For more information, head over to the Facebook event page.

BIG thanks goes to Mike Toller for flagging this one up.

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Filed under Central London, Local interest, Music, N London, S London


This weekend why not get outdoors and try out something different?

Ping London are setting up a load of ping-pong (or table tennis, if you’d prefer) tables around the city, ready for you to have a go! Bats and balls are provided so there’s no excuse.

Tables are all over the place, including Heathrow, The British Library and Soho Square. There will be classes available too.

The tables will be out and about until August 22 – plenty of time to turn you into a ping-pong champion!

Time Out have a helpfully created map of all the table locations.  Click here for more info.

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Filed under Central London, E London, N London, NE London, NW London, S London, SE London, Sports, SW London, W London

Disco Health Club

Exercising in a club? Eh…?

This is the new concept behind Disco Health Club – start the night out at one of two workouts at The Green Carnation, then stay on for some full-on partying.

This Thursday you can try out Lindsay Jay’s ‘Summer Body Workout’ – an aerobics routine akin to Jane Fonda’s vids in the 80s – and retro garb is thoroughly encouraged.

There are two classes, one at 6:30pm and one at 8:30pm (click through for tickets).

The bar will be serving soft drinks and juices (no alcohol – don’t want to undo all that good work), and you’ll also be able to get changed at the venue (so you can ditch the gym gear and get your glad rags on) – all under an a/c system to keep you cool while you’re busting out the moves.

Tickets for each class cost £7 (£6 concessions) – but they’re going fast.

The Green Carnation is located at 5 Greek Street, Soho.

Nearest Tube: Tottenham Court Road

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Filed under Central London, Sports

London Aquarium

As you can tell from my lack of posts, I’ve been rather busy recently – apologies for not updating the site for a while.

No worries though – my lovely friend Jon Forman recently went down to the London Aquarium and wrote this little review of it for your reading pleasure…

What the eff am I doing here?

I’ve taken my first day off since March, it’s a Monday, I’ve got a hangover and somehow in the deep and dark memory of last night (when she wasn’t drunk) my housemate has persuaded me this would be a good idea.

Ever get that thing where you kind of come-to and you’ve brought yourself to somewhere you might not quite want to be? This is one of those. Last time I came to somewhere like this I was 7 and in Scarborough. I think.

Things don’t immediately get any better. The invalid nature of my – now well out date – student card means I have to pay adult whack. Not a parent in sight to take the hit. £18….resists mentally converting this amount into the opportunity cost of something else. There’s also some shoddy attempt at cross marketing in the foyer; a lifeless Ant (or is it Dec?) tries in vain to point you in the direction of Madame Tussauds up at Baker Street.

Ahh but here are the fish! A quick skip down a flight of stairs – lift available – and you’re thrust into the heart of the ocean. The tanks are logically arranged (most boring first through to the Shark Walk finale i.e. we start with the coastal waters of Great Britain) and there’s a tonne of information to read. Any more of this and my day off is going to become a little too educational for my liking.

Leaving Blighty’s pond behind we take a trip around the world including the most exotic the Seas have to offer.  Highlights remain as they were back when I was 7 – sticking my hand in the tank with the Rays (though the sign says don’t touch) and the Sea Horses. Can you believe the Male carries the babies? I know!

Good day out (of the rain)

Our trip goes without a hitch, oh, except for the fire alarm going off twice. In all seriousness, it was a good day out, though some of the information boards looked a little tired and the Shark Walk wasn’t quite what I remember. Some would say that this can be explained away by the touristy City Hall location and the fact that I’m almost 25. If I had a serious criticism it would be that too many of the ‘exhibits’ were actually differing views into the same (admittedly interesting) tank. I would go again, although I think I’ll hold on until I have a child (or can at least borrow one) till the next time. You know what you’re getting with this kind of activity; out of the rain.

Prior to exiting, I made sure to collect my tacky London Aquarium Medal for completing all of my quiz questions correctly (advisory quiz age 6 to 10) so it’s not all bad.

I’d give it 6 ½ arbitrary stars out of 10.

London Aquarium costs £18 for adults (£16.20 online price), children 3-15 yrs costs £12.50 (£11.25 online price).

The Aquarium is located on the South Bank next to the London Eye.

Nearest Tubes: Westminster and Waterloo

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Filed under Central London

Free Coral Gig

The Coral are playing a free gig tomorrow night (Tuesday, July 6) at Rough Trade East.

To get a wristband to the gig, head to the Rough Trade store and buy their new album ‘1000 years’ .  Any remaining wristbands will be given out on a first come, first served basis one hour before the show.

Rough Trade is in the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane (entrance on Dray Walk).  The show starts at 6:30pm.

Nearest Tubes: Aldgate East or Liverpool Street

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Filed under E London, Music

Free Mystery Jets Gig

Mystery Jets are playing a free instore gig tonight at Rough Trade East.

To get your wristband, head to the Rough Trade store and pick up their new album ‘seratonin’ – any left over wristbands will be given out on a first come first served basis one hour before the show.

Rough Trade East can be found in the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane (entrance is on Dray Walk).  The gig kicks off at 7pm.

Nearest Tube: Aldgate East or Liverpool Street

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Filed under E London, Music