High Street Heroes: T&F Slack Shoemakers

The Vlad 320, a traditional men's brogue shoe in tan leather made by T and F Slack Shoemakers of LondonAs any fashion lover will tell you, shoes can definitely make or break an outfit – and depending on how much time you spend walking, they can make or break your feet as well. A stylish pair of shoes that fit your feet perfectly may seem like an elusive ideal – but creating such coveted footwear is all in a day’s work for our latest High Street Hero, T&F Slack Shoemakers London.

Read more about this unique boutique that stays a step ahead by combining contemporary style with traditional craftsmanship… Continue reading

Get your popcorn for the BFI London Film Festival 2014

BFI London Film Festival - Bex.Walton on Flickr CCOctober is a big month for cinema fans in London, as the annual BFI London Film Festival brings yet another fascinating programme of films to screens across the capital. From the latest in drama, comedy and horror, to thought-provoking short films and documentaries, there’s something for everyone at this year’s event, which runs from 8th to 19th October 2014.

Read on to learn more about one of London’s favourite festivals, including highlights of the 2014 programme and practical information on attending screenings. Continue reading

London’s best classical music venues

A view of the interior of the auditorium at the Royal Albert Hall in London, with orchestra, choir and audienceLondon boasts a vibrant classical music scene, regularly hosting world-class performances by leading soloists and orchestras from both Britain and around the globe. Whether you prefer intimate chamber music, grand orchestral compositions or perhaps an evening at the opera, there’s bound to be a performance in London you’ll enjoy.

For those visiting the capital, it’s worth doing a bit of research as classical performances are staged in a number of diverse concert halls and other venues. To help you narrow down your choices, we’ve listed some of the top venues for classical music in London: Continue reading

Explore London's architectural gems with Open House London

View of modern architecture along London skyline from the river.London is known for its fabulous architectural heritage, and this weekend (Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st September 2014), visitors and locals alike have an rare opportunity to glimpse inside some of the capital’s best-known structures during Open House London 2014.

From cosy Victorian pubs and grand neoclassical structures, to impressive church buildings and modern eco-friendly houses, there’s something to satisfy every architectural taste and interest. Read on to learn more about this exciting celebration of architecture and design, as well as some of the fascinating locations you can visit… Continue reading

Totally Thames – celebrating London's river

Racing boats approach Tower Bridge on the River Thames in London during the Great River RaceThe River Thames has always played a central role in the life of the capital, from London’s founding right through to the present day. From trading and shipbuilding through to transport, defence and leisure, there are few aspects of London’s development that have not centred in some way on this winding body of water.

Totally Thames (the rebrand of the former Thames Festival) celebrates London’s river, its ecology and history in a month-long festival of river-themed events. Held from 1st to 30th September, the 2014 festival includes everything from races and regattas to live gigs, fireworks, art exhibitions, educational talks, archaeology and more – plus the appearance of a giant floating hippo sculpture by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, previously best-known for creating a massive inflatable rubber duck. Continue reading

Reasons we love London in the summer

Fountain in the centre of Trafalgar Square, London, with crowds sitting around the edge on a summer's dayWhile many visitors envision London as a city of perpetual drizzle and fog, in summer the capital often experiences spells of glorious weather that rival warmer climes. Locals and tourists alike are lured outside to bask in the sun and enjoy the many summertime delights London has to offer, from outdoor cinema, concerts and cultural events, to bustling vintage and food markets.

As temperatures rise, London’s outdoor bars, cafés and restaurants come into their own, especially those located on rooftops or along the banks of the Thames, such as The Lawn, the brand-new pop-up bar at The Tower Hotel. Street food vans do a booming business on every corner, and many residents take to the city’s stunning parks and gardens to enjoy a picnic, game of tennis or simply to relax in the sun.

It’s these simple joys that make locals love London in the summer, despite the heat and crowds that can sometimes make city life a challenge during hotter months. To inspire you in planning your next visit, we asked some top London bloggers to tell us what they love about London in the summer. Here is what they said: Continue reading

World War I centenary events in London

Almost 900,000 bright red ceramic poppies pouring out of a window at the Tower of London and filling part of the Moat in honour of the World War One centenaryAs the world marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I this month, London is commemorating the event with a variety of special activities taking place over the summer months. It’s a perfect opportunity to take some time out and reflect on the legacy of this world-changing event, as well as to learn something new about the Great War and the people who fought in it.

Whether you’re interested in artistic depictions of war, period artefacts or first-hand accounts of ordinary life, there’s something to pique your interest amongst the First World War centenary events being held in London. Here is a selection of those taking place during summer 2014: Continue reading

Culture in the sun: The best outdoor events in London this summer

Jazz saxophonist playing on a bridge in London over the Thames with a view of Big Ben in the backgroundLondon is an exciting place in the summer, with endless festivals and performances providing the perfect excuse to enjoy an outing with family and friends. The longer days and warmer weather allow many of these events to be staged outdoors, and what better way to while away a sun-drenched afternoon than by lounging on the grass, listening to music or being entertained with theatre or dance?

To help you make the most of the fine weather and London’s cultural happenings, we’ve rounded up some of the best outdoor events in the capital this summer. Pack a picnic, bring your sunscreen or a jumper, and prepare to enjoy the best of London’s outdoor arts scene in 2014. Continue reading

Unsung Heroes of London: Your Favourite Hidden Gems

View of Tower Bridge in LondonAmongst social-media savvy travellers, the travel “selfie” is now an established part of any city experience. Skim through any holidaymaker’s Instagram feed and you’re almost certain to find multiple self-portraits painstakingly snapped in front of the most famous local monuments.

Earlier in the year it was announced that Tower Bridge was the sixth most-Instagrammed landmark in London, on a list headed up by Big Ben, The London Eye and Harrods. The good news for intrepid travellers in search of the perfect Tower Bridge selfie is that The Tower Hotel offers an extraordinary view of this legendary monument – in fact, the hotel was chosen by Trip Advisor to feature on its recent list of 10 hotels around the world with stunning views.

London has also become known as one of the top selfie destinations in the world, with locals and visitors alike hopping aboard the mobile phone pic bandwagon. Yet aside from grabbing those prize photos in Hyde Park, Oxford Street or Covent Garden (other London locations that made the list), locals in particular are taking selfies in a number of their favourite – yet relatively unknown – places in London… Continue reading

Celebrate Father’s Day 2014 in London

A speedboat takes sightseers for a ride along the Thames with the London skyline in the backgroundDads are often the forgotten hero in our lives – a constant figure who can be relied on to step up with advice, affection and support throughout the year. Father’s Day is a brilliant opportunity to show your dad how important he is and thank him for everything he’s given over the years.

Fortunately there are many ways to make your dad feel special, and a day out in London is one of the best. No matter what your father’s tastes and interests, there’s an activity that’s sure to bring a smile to his face. Here are some of our favourite Father’s Day activities in London – from adrenaline-fueled adventures to laid-back pampering, there’s a treat for every dad. Continue reading