Category Archives: London Life

Five Reasons Never to go to Elephant and Castle

There are some places in London you should never, ever go to. And one which lies about having elephants and/or castles should definitely be high up on that list.

This nightmarish mishmash of roundabouts, subways and gloom has been plonked right in the middle of London but is studiously avoided by most, who are wisely untrusting of its intentions.

 

Here are five reasons never to go to Elephant and Castle:

 

 

1. The Ungodly Smell

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Take a short tour around this marvellous web of roundabouts and you may notice a certain whiff. “What is it?” You will wonder to yourself as you gallantly attempt to negotiate a tangled web of pedestrian crossings which can only have been designed as some sort of macabre death game. It is the smell of hopelessness. Of sighs. Of depravity. And also of fried chicken.

 

 

2. The Strata Tower

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One bedroom flats in this monstrous thing go for 800k, which is pretty good going for a giant tower voted Britain’s ugliest new building. It’s won a Carbuncle Cup and everything. People nominated it for its ‘plain visual grotesqueness’ and ‘Philishave stylings’. One person even moved out of the area because the sight of it made him FEEL ILL.

 

 

3. The Frighteners

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Regeneration is big news in Elephant and Castle at the moment. Planners and developers are enthusiastically trying to wipe out the area’s current inhabitants to make way for a better breed of cappuccino-drinking suits. But they haven’t quite succeeded, as is evident from the continued presence of a troop of people we shall call ‘the frighteners’. These terrible beings lurk in alleyways, gulping on cans of lukewarm white lightning, staring. One chased me the other day. It was 8:30am.

 

 

4. The Subway

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Have you ever tried to negotiate a spaghetti junction many miles beneath the ground in near pitch-darkness with only a foul smell and a vague, often completely wrong sign to guide your way?

 

If not you must head to Elephant, and fast. This subway is like a magical puzzle game made of fun. There are around 85 tunnels, they all look completely identical and half of them aren’t even joined on to the other ones so sometimes its entirely IMPOSSIBLE to find your way out of there alive.

 

Bring flares.

 

 

5. The Shopping Centre

 

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A shopping precinct so ugly that many cannot bear to look upon it, this hot-pink monstrosity has repeatedly won awards for its sheer shitness. Within it are a handful of shops you’d never want to go into, and also a Tesco where the shelves are completely bare, which is just as well because the shop assistants are too distraught to serve anyone anyway.

 

Its neighbours are roundabouts. It’s been known to reduce grown men to tears. At night the whole area is filled with the spine-tingling sounds of its shrieks. But don’t worry, someone bought it last year for £80m and they’re going to PULL IT DOWN AND BURN IT HOORAY!!!

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Would you pay £1000 to get married on the South Bank?

Because you can. Soon. To celebrate the year in which same sex marriage became legal, the Southbank Centre has created a Big Wedding Weekend (Saturday 30 – Sunday 31 August), as part of their Festival of Love!

 

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All couples, gay or straight, young or old, are invited to marry or renew their vows on the stage of the Royal Festival Hall, with its world famous organ, followed by bubbly, all day dance and entertainment, an optional wedding buffet and the opportunity for you and your guests to enjoy the wonderful riverside setting at Southbank Centre.

 

This is how it works:

There will be six ceremonies over the weekend – Saturday 30 – Sunday 31 August. Saturday will have ceremonies at 11am, 1.15pm (SOLD OUT) and 3.30pm (SOLD OUT) and 5.45pm. Sunday will have ceremonies at 1.15pm and 3.30pm.
Each ceremony will last for 90 minutes and comprise of 20 couples who will all declare their vows separately in front of their family, guests and registrars.

This is followed by music, dancing and entertainment for the rest of the day and evening.

 

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There are two packages to choose from:

 

Package One – £1000

  • A 90-minute ceremony with choirs, fanfares and live music on the Royal Festival Hall stage
  • A glass of  bubbly for all your guests
  • Registrar
  • Photographs with stunning backdrops
  • 2 bouquets of flowers
  • Day-time and evening  activities
  • Riverside location
  • 40 guests

 

Package Two – £2000

  • A 90-minute ceremony with choirs, fanfares and live music on the Royal Festival Hall stage
  • A glass of  bubbly  for all your guests
  • Wedding buffet  (This is a cold tapas menu and a dessert and doesn’t include drink. Please see the Wedding Menu.)
  • Registrar
  • Photographs with stunning backdrops
  • 2 bouquets of flowers
  • Day-time and evening  activities
  • Riverside location
  • 40 guests

 

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Book your wedding via weddings@southbankcentre.co.uk, go on!

 

 

About the Festival of Love:
Saturday 28 June 2014 – Sunday 31 August 2014

 

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Over two months, Southbank Centre brings together hundreds of artists, communities and partners to create its Festival of Love. The festival, which celebrates the Same Sex Couple Act, features an exciting programme of free events, differently-themed weekends, performances, poetry, talks and pop-ups. The Thames-side site is also being transformed by several large-scale indoor and outdoor installations and artworks.

30 August – 31 August: Hackney Flea Market Goes DIY

The monthly Hackney Flea Market gets a DIY twist this month – independent creatives and vintage market stall holders are getting together in Stoke Newington to sell you their fine creations!

 

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Everything will have a DIY Art theme, and there’ll be over 60 hand-picked independent creatives and makers, small press publishers, photographers, illustrators, DIY wear & goods makers, printers, textilers, record labels, comic folk, bookmakers, zinesters, screen printers, ceramicists, all exhibiting, and peddling their wares at some very reasonable prices!

 

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There’ll also be DJs and BAKED GOODS.

 

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Exhibitors include:

http://finmakesthings.tumblr.com/

http://www.darkmattergoods.bigcartel.com

http://anuambasna.com/

http://www.mpawson.demon.co.uk/

http://marcelinaamelia.ownlog.com/

http://www.wobblyrock.com

http://www.bellykids.co.uk/

http://www.eyeballcomix.co.uk/

http://hannahprebble.tumblr.com/

http://instagram.com/duvetdaysclothing

http://www.ampleplay.co.uk/index.php

http://www.sabbakhan.com

http://ziebo.tumblr.com/

http://www.cobywalsh.co.uk/

http://www.sambaldwinillustration.co.uk/

http://www.facebook.com/wellwellgoodgood

http://elliotttees.tumblr.com/

http://www.kimberleyfountain.co.uk/

http://society6.com/farfaning

http://www.joeyfourr.co.uk/

http://www.belsartworld.com/index.html

http://www.mariannamadriz.com/

http://allieoldfield.com/work/4577992317

http://cargocollective.com/georgiasawersillustration

http://www.hannahhillart.com/

http://garethbrookes.tumblr.com/

http://www.lessthanfivehundred.com/

http://www.averyhillpublishing.com

http://www.chloenorthillustration.com/

http://tinypencil.com/

http://instagram.com/davidgeeillustrations

http://felinevomitus.com/

http://www.querstret.co.uk/comics/4578765697

http://www.elenikalorkoti.com/

http://james-burgess.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/foxandberry

http://www.promises-promises.co.uk/

http://www.oliviabishop.com/

http://www.indestructibleenergy.com/

http://melonshrub.com/

http://www.janeillustration.co.uk/

http://design.tribambuka.co.uk/

http://www.misterpeebles.co.uk/

http://www.your-ad-here.co.uk/businesses/pixel-press

http://www.kymfitzart.co.uk/

http://sophiebarras.com/wordpress/category/illustration/

http://retromaps.tumblr.com/

http://annalieart.tumblr.com/

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/PrettyPaperDreams

http://cargocollective.com/wolfmask/Illustration

Louise Kyme

Faith Taylor

 

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When?

30 August – 31 August

30 August at 11:00 to 31 August at 18:00

 

Where?

73a Stoke Newington Church Street,

London
N16 0AS

Tonight: The Launch of Carnival Del Kerb

Kerb’s bringing the zing and the hurgh back to Friday nights with a brand new event – Carnival Del Kerb. The new night market takes place at The Paperworks, 48-50 Newington Causeway in the heart of grisly Elephant & Castle.

 

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What is it? 

There’ll be Kerb’s spiciest traders, brilliant music collaborations and a load of South London drink choices.

 

Think Herne Hill hero, Baba G, doing his Biryani Bar, street food’s magic man (and of nomadic status), Angus of The Everybody Love Love Jhal Muri Express, pedalling the Kolkata zing or Kimchinary adding an extra K-Town kick to those famous burritos.

 

Also ready to sizzle is new trader BBQ DREAMZ and his fearless Fillipino BBQ, South Norwood-er, Pitmaster G of Miss P’s Barbecue firing up his #BadBoyBeefRibs and our first ever jerk trader to hit the KERB. It’s taken a while but we’ve finally found the one that works a scotch bonnet like no one else – introducing Boxed Freshstraight out of Croydon and with jerk pork galore, done on the drum.

 

Then it’s Sri Lankan heat from Kothu Kothu and family, Vietnamese twists from Bill or Beak and London’s most tropical doughnuts brought to you by the always inventive You Doughnut  girls.

 

If this isn’t making your face sweat then try the sauces on the counter of Vinn Goute‘s mobile creole kitchen – or taste how far award-winning Crabbie Shack has ramped up the heat on his soft-shell crab burgers. And at the back there, turning to his favourite repose of rogue, is the old KERB does Peckham mucker, Fleisch Mob with his flame-cooked menu: shoulder of pork, sea bream, chuck-eye steak. (Stray beyond him to the apex of The Paperworks and you’re in for an edenic treat, FYI).

 

Then if you just need to sit the hell down with a drink and some tapas, there is no one better suited than the Donostia Social Club and his pintxos bar on wheels for making this happen.

 
The music:

To warm everyone up for Carnival weekend and Carnival del KERB, it’s Love Glove and their attic full of 45s – disco, funk, motown, reggae.

 

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The drinks: 

Four bars serving cocktails, London beers, wine, prosecco, shots – all designed to help you eat and then dance better.

 

When? 

Starts Friday 22nd August then the following three Fridays – 5pm-11pm

 

FREE ENTRY! Bring cash for food. Bars take cards.

Today – Sat 23rd Aug: Free Savoury Ice Cream in Soho

London is bored of delicious ice cream, apparently. That’s why Jacobs (of cream cracker fame) have come up with a novel idea – a savoury ice cream parlour.

 

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That’s right, a whole ice cream parlour stocked exclusively with savoury ice cream. This three day pop-up parlour will include all the favourite Jacobs flavours (twiglets, mini cheddars etc) but in icy, melty form. There’ll also be ‘Blue Cheese & Crackers’ and ‘A Pint of Ale & a Packet of Twiglets’.

 

Are you brave enough?

 

P.S. It’s free. Tweet your pics with #snackhappy.

 

When:

Thurs 21st Aug, 7pm – 9pm,

Fri 22 Aug – Sat 23rd Aug, 2pm – 8pm

 

Located in a truck parked at:

15 Bateman Street,

Soho,

W1D 3AQ

London’s Talking Statues

Ever thought London statues were a bit… quiet?

 

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I’m with you. And so are the people behind new project London’s Talking Statues, which launched today. Iconic statues all over London are coming to life, so lonely passers by can talk to them.

 

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The project has been organised by Sing London, and will enable people to swipe their phones on a  tag next to statues, after which they’ll receive a call from the famous figure on the plinth.

 

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Actors have recorded monologues by respected writers, there are loads to try. Have a quick chat with Queen Victoria in the City (as imagined by journalist Elizabeth Day) or tell Brunel all the latest gossip in Paddington (you’ll actually be talking to Hugh Bonneville, though, don’t get too excited).

 

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Other statues on the London trail include Isaac Newton, Sherlock Holmes, Peter Pan and Dick Whittington’s cat, while the long list of contributors features names such as Jeremy Paxman, Patrick Stewart, Jacqueline Wilson, Anthony Horowitz, Jenna Louise Coleman, Frank Skinner, Simon Russell Beale, Meera Syal and Sanjeev Bhaskar.

 

You can even write the words for new statues which are yet to find a voice! Enter the London’s Talking Statues competition here. Winners’ chats will be recorded in time for Christmas. Ages I know, but it takes time to bring metal lumps to life, alright.

Want to Sleep in a Shipping Container?

Boxpark has teamed up with The Hoxton, Shoreditch to offer London’s first shipping container hotel – Hox in a Box.

 

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The pop-up hotel is open for 10 nights only, and has been designed in the same style as The Hoxton’s rooms (i.e. very comfy indeed). There’s duck feather duvets, 300 thread count linen, home ware from Let’s Go Hme, Roberts radios and tea making facilities (obviously).

 

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Guests also get breakfast delivered from Lyles and dinner at a local restaurant.

 

P.S. Hox in a Box rooms come without bathrooms, which I’d say was a bit of an issue. Guests will have to use to use BoxPark’s facilities or go to the real Hoxton hotel for a shower…

 

Hox in a Box is open until 23rd August

 

www.hoxtonhotels.com/blog/stay-the-night-at-boxpark-in-hox-in-a-box