Category Archives: SE London

Last chance to ice skate at Canary Wharf

Tired of the cold yet? No? Well head on down to the last weekend of ice skating at Canary Wharf.

The ice rink is closing on Sunday, February 20 – so get your skates on (quite literally) before it’s over for another year.

Learn to skate amongst the towers above on the 720-metre-square rink, or watch from the bar or viewing gallery.

The rink is open 9:45am-11pm on Saturday, and 9:45am-7:30pm on Sunday.  Last entry to the rink is an hour before closing.

Tickets are £12 or £9 conecssions, and that includes the hire of the skates.

The ice rink is located at Canada Square Park.

Nearest Tube: Canada Square DLR

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Urban Barn Dance

Looking for an unusual way to spend your Saturday? Mosey on down to the Deptford Project for their Urban Barn Dance and dosey doe to your heart’s content.

Line dance your way through tracks by Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash and other country classics, and even the kids can get involved as animals from Kingston City Farm will be making their very own special appearance!

The fun begins at 11:30am and ends around 6pm, and is taking place at the Deptford Project on Deptford High Street.  Entry is a thigh-slapping bargain at £2. 

Yee-ha!

Nearest Tube: Deptford/New Cross

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Filed under Music, SE London

Spots V Stripes

I’m sure you’ve all seen the latest Cadbury advert. So are you Team Spots or Team Stripes?

Find out this weekend as Spots v Stripes hits London, in Leicester Square, Victoria and Brockwell Parks and Westfield Shopping Centre.

There’ll be games and challenges at each venue, and you can get involved by joining one of the teams.  If fashion’s your thing, turn up in an appropriately spotty/stripey outfit and you could find yourself up on the website.

All the games are free and suitable for all ages.

The Spots v Stripes challenge is on until Sunday, September 12.

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Tower of London

My roving reporter Jon Forman has been out and about exploring the city again.  Here’s his take on the Tower of London.

The parents have been down this weekend, staying in a hotel on Gloucester Road. They were promming over at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday night – I think it was a Hungarian Orchestra playing some Mahler and Beethoven – and then Sunday left us free to dive into some good old fashioned tourism. Father expressed an interest in visiting The Tower of London; something which initially struck me as a little strange. Does he have a passing interest in History? Yes. Does he often express an interest in exploring the nationalistic embodiment of the hegemony of the monarchy? No.

The Tower of London (Picture courtesy of FreeFoto.com (c) )

Anyhoo, explore we did and upon my arrival at the nominated location at the anointed hour, Father was already looking rather pleased with himself having successfully negotiated the ‘interweb’ to pre-book tickets. We decided a good plan of attack would be to take on the wall walk, and on heading up the first of perhaps a hundred narrow spiral staircases the day would bring, we were thrust into the full history and atmosphere that The Tower has to offer.

It’s easy to forget the impact that some of The Tower’s past residents and internees have had on the country, nee the world. Henry the VIII and Anne Boleyn, Sir Walter Raleigh and the Kray Twins don’t often appear in the same sentence but have all spent time within the walls of The Tower for varying reasons.

The general ambience and presentation of information really gives you  this sense, whilst also providing interesting facts that you might actually stand a chance of remembering. The exhibits are genuinely engaging and err just on the side of what I’d a call ‘glam historical macabre’. See the Block and Axe with which Lady Jane Grey met her grizzly end, sit on the chair which bore the weight of the final soul to be dispatched at the tower. (A WWII German spy – death by firing squad whilst sat down!)

I was genuinely surprised to find myself lapping up this same atmosphere which keeps those lovable Yanks coming back year on year. If there’s one thing we Brits do well it’s Pomp & Circumstance and the epitome of this was the excellent exhibition on the various Crown Jewels to which The Tower is a home.

Impressive day out

I was impressed with the ‘overall attitude’ and packaging of the day out. Ice creams weren’t too expensive, the place is excellently maintained, and exhibits are modern and labelled in an informative manner. If you stay to take in everything on offer, you’ve got a full day out on your hands. The parents and I got through the majority of the exhibitions (including the Ravens) and this took us from 10am until 4pm once we’d included a short break for lunch!

Overall the day brought tired legs and full minds, and there was a real buzz about the place. I found a particular pleasure in the failed actors unleashing their inner jester to entertain the cue for the Crown Jewels.

On this showing, I’d say that The Tower has cemented itself as one of the Capital’s top-flight and most value for money attractions. To coin a phrase one might call it the Jewel in the Crown…….

Adult: £17 (£16 online). Concession: £14.50 (£13.50 online).

Nearest station: Tower Hill

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Filed under Central London, Historical, Local interest, SE London

Open House, Open City

Normally closed to the public, the Arsenal in NYC’s Central Park was one of the buildings I visited as part of Open City in New York

Ever been having a stroll around London (do people ‘stroll’ in London?) and seen a house you’ve thought ‘that looks lovely.  Wonder what it’s like inside…’?

Well, now’s your chance to have a nosy around some of London’s best loved buildings, as well as somearchitecturally interesting homes.

Open House London is happening on September 18 & 19, enabling you to have a look around all these places for FREE.  There are over 700 buildings, architectural walks, cycle tours and more to keep you busy over the weekend.

I went to Open House in New York City once, and it was a really great way to get to know the city and find out some interesting nuggets of info on the buildings.

You have to book for some of the viewings/talks – so order your guide here to get the full listing of events and buildings.  (The guide costs £6.50)

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Silent Cinema

You’ve heard of silent disco right? Well now it’s time for Silent Cinema.

Brought to you by the same people who ran the Starlite Urban Drive-In, this time you’re invited to another outdoor cinema where you can watch 80s classics, horrors and cult films on the big screen.

Each person will be given a pair of wireless headphones to hear the film’s audio.  So you can move around, head to the bar, go for a smoke – all without missing any of the movie.

Silent Cinema will be showing films at the Deptford Project in September.  The line up is as follows:

80s Favourites
Thursday September 9th 8pm Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Friday September 10th 8pm Heathers
Saturday September 11th 8pm The Breakfast Club

Horror London
Thursday September 16th 8pm An American Werewolf in London
Friday September 17th 8pm 28 Days Later…
Saturday September 18th 8pm Shaun of the Dead

Cult Classics
Thursday September 23rd 8pm A Clockwork Orange
Friday September 24th 8pm The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Saturday September 25th 8pm Withnail & I

A bar will be available on site, along with a cafe.

Tickets are £10 and can be bought here.

Nearest Train: Deptford and New Cross.  The nearest Tube is New Cross on the East London Line.

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Filed under Arts, SE London

Canary Wharf Jazz Festival

Jazz.  Nice.  Free jazz. Even nicer.  Canary Wharf is hosting a free jazz festival this weekend – what’s not to like about that?

There’s a fairly full line up:

Friday 13th August
7 – 8pm Robert Mitchell Trio
8.30 – 10pm Alex Wilson

Saturday 14th August
1.30 – 2.15pm Jazzphonica: Roundhouse Jazz Ensemble
2.45 – 4pm TBC
4.30 – 5.45pm Matthew Halsall
6.15 – 7.30pm The Baker Brothers
8 – 9.15pm Ruby Turner

Sunday 15th August
1 – 2.15pm Ernesto Simpson
2.45 – 4pm The Haggis Horns
4.30 – 5.45pm Natalie Williams
6.15 – 7.30pm Pee Wee Ellis

Why not take a picnic and chill out in the park? (Word of warning – glass bottles and portable furniture are not permitted)

It’s all taking place in Canada Square Park and is totally free!

Nearest Tube: Canary Wharf

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Filed under Arts, Festival, Music, SE London

Exploding Cinema Disposable Film Festival

A bit of a mouthful, yes.  But the Disposable Film Festival, organised by Exploding Cinema is an interesting concept.

You’ve heard of drive-in movies, right? Well this is a bike-in.  That’s right, you’re invited to come along on your bike to watch screenings of your own photos (well, you and the rest of the audience’s) which have been taken on anything deemed as disposable.

That could be an actual disposable camera, a webcam, mobile phone…you get the picture (no pun intended.  Seriously)

The Film Festival is moving around, but this weekend is stationed in the Utrophia Project Space, which is at 136 Tanner’s Hill.   It’s all going down on Saturday, August 14.  Doors are at 7:30pm, and it starts at 8:30pm.  Entry is £5.

Nearest Tube: New Cross

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Ping-a-ling

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

Bank Holiday Fun

It’s the second Bank Holiday of the month – what’s not to like about that?!

Here are a few ideas for the next couple of days to keep you occupied….

Spitalfields City Farm Fayre

Check out sheep shearing demonstrations and try your hand at knitting and weaving, amongst other things.  There’ll also be live music and theatre, and you can see some rare breeds of sheep too!

The farm’s located on Weaver Street (off Brick Lane) and is open until 5pm today.

Free entry.

Nearest Tube: Aldgate East/Liverpool Street

Friendly Footy

Our very own world cup is taking place in Charlton Park with the finals taking place this afternoon.  The players are ex-pats and second generation competitors taking part in the Inner City World Cup.

The competition includes youth and women’s teams, and there’s music and food from the various countries.

Free entry.  The event finishes at 6pm, with the final being played at 4pm.

Nearest Train: Charlton Rail Station

Rock ‘N’ Roll Circus

We all know I love The Blues Kitchen – I’ve mentioned it numerous times on the radio show and on the site.  So imagine my delight when I found out they were putting on a themed night tonight.

Rock ‘n’ roll bands bands will take to the stage whilst other entertainment comes in the form of a razor-blade eating magician and a fire eater, as well as a contortionist and the world’s strongest man.

The Blues Kitchen is on Camden High Street, and the event kicks off at 5pm tonight.  No cover charge.

Nearest Tube: Camden Town

It’s Hot Hot Hot!

Bank Holiday Monday sees the culmination of Brick Lane Curry Festival, which has been running for the last couple of weeks.

Head to Vibe Bar and you can try out the 5 best curries, and vote for your favourite, whilst watching Bollywood dancing and live music.

Vibe Bar is located on Brick Lane, and the event is running from 12pm-11:30pm.  The curry tasting will take place between 1pm-3pm.

Nearest Tube: Aldgate East

Ally Pally Picnic Fun

If the weather’s nice, why not head to Alexandra Palace on Monday, to take part in their Bumper Picnic.  The event’s being run in conjunction with National Family Week, and there’ll be face-painting, a funfair and live music – as well as a BBQ.

The event’s happening from 11am-5pm. Entry is free.

Nearest Tube: Wood Green (then take the W3 bus to the Palace)

Pop-up Rockabilly

It’s the launch weekend for this pop-up club which is only here for 6 months before moving on to a new venue.

The Silver Bullet is playing host to rock ‘n’ roll and rock-a-billy bands, as well as having DJs and a jukebox.

Entry is free at the club, which is at Station Place in North London.  Doors open at 6pm.

Nearest Tube: Finsbury Park

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Filed under Central London, E London, Festival, Food & Drink, Local interest, Music, N London, SE London, Sports