If Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, London Eye, Palace of Westminster and Tower of London are the places that first cross your mind when you think of London, you are a knowledgeable person with an inclination for historical landmarks and popular tourist attractions.
If bar hopping, attending DJ parties and visiting swanky clubs are things that you are looking forward to the most while in London, you are 100 percent a party animal and this article is exactly for you.
The nightlife of a city can decide its popularity and the inflow of tourists. A large number of people visiting cities like Las Vegas, Amsterdam, Seoul, Ibiza, Bangkok, and Miami every year is a proof of the fact that outstanding nightlife is an excellent contributor towards drawing tourists from across the globe. While exploring the cultural points of interest, historical landmarks and museums are important, you cannot say that you have seen it all until you experience the nightlife of a city.
London, a melting pot of different cultures and one of the most developed cities in the world, is also one of Europe’s hottest destination for party lovers. With pubs and trendy nightclubs dotted across the city, it can be difficult for one on a vacation to decide where to head to. Prepare your itinerary, and put on your party boots as we bring you a list of the best party places in London.
We asked people around the office to tell us about their most memorable food experience while abroad. We got a variety of answers and learned that food can help you to assimilate and explore a new culture, or comfort you when you are homesick.
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To deny a Californian a burrito is to deny them a basic staple of their diet. My first experience with Mexican food in Budapest was a limp quesadilla from a mall food court, a completely cheese-less tortilla topped with wilted iceberg lettuce, tomato wedges, some starchy corn kernels and a squidgy blob of tart ranch dressing. I felt a bit lost over the next few months. There was no reliable standard to fall back on when zsemle, trappista and radish sandwiches got dull. Vegetarianism was seen as a medical problem in the city (No meat? Are you feeling sick?), leaving me to miss what had always been a foolproof option. Continue reading →
It’s no shock that history nerds love museums. And when said history nerd is also an Anglophile, a trip to London is not just a vacation, but a pilgrimage. Having been to London several times, there are some museums I never get tired of no matter how much time I spend there, or how little it changes from year to year. As any true history nerd can attest, some things are just too awesome to only see once.
Of all the museums in Europe, the is usually in every sightseer’s Top Five. It’s a no-brainer, and for very good reason. It’s amazing. One of my former college professors once described it as “a staggering assemblage of pillaged artifacts from all over the world.” There are too many awe-inspiring relics to even mention. One of my favorite galleries features what’s known in Britain as the Elgin Marbles and known to the rest of the world as “Pieces of the Parthenon that Greece wants bluehost back.” It’s an incredible gallery that I never tire of, no matter how much time I spend there. Truly, you can’t go wrong in the British Museum, but if you need some suggestions on where to start, check out the BBC series which traces the development of human society through the museum’s collection. I will leave you with one tip though. The first time I went, I completely missed the Rosetta Stone because of the crowd of people surrounding it, so if you want a decent view and are short like me, use your elbows.
Pillaged statuary in the Enlightenment Gallery
Some of the famed Elgin Marbles
Admittedly, this wasn’t originally on my list of must-see museums, since my “interest in paintings” threshold is relatively low. However, it was a rainy day in and I really needed a restroom so I thought, “why not?” features art from 1250-1900 by everyone from Da Vinci to Van Gogh. Like most major London museums, the building is incredibly beautiful, with architecture from the Late Georgian and Victorian periods. All in all, even if classical art isn’t high on your priority list, the National Gallery is a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Continue reading →
In fall 2010 my husband and I spent our belated honeymoon in London. We had planned our trip so as to accommodate our main interests: music and art.
Our main shopping destination was Sounds of the Universe, which is not just a record store, but a true institution. Suffice it to say that Sounds is associated with the mighty Soul Jazz record label, famous for its compilations of top-notch funk, reggae, avant-garde jazz, dub, no wave, and world music. Soul Jazz also publishes beautiful books (such as Kanaval—Vodou, Politics and Revolution on the Streets of Haiti) and releases DVDs. The atmosphere in Sounds of the Universe is not unlike San Francisco’s Aquarius Records, with knowledgeable and dedicated staff playing underappreciated albums and singles (the soundtrack to our record-browsing was some magnificent heavy dub). The difference is that Aquarius’s primary interest is avant-garde metal and noise, and Sounds of the Universe, just like Soul Jazz, has its main focus on Black music genres and their progeny, such as the various strains of contemporary bass music. Apart from Soul Jazz releases there are records and CDs put out by other independent labels. Sounds of the Universe recently started its own label, the first release of which was a 12″ by Chicago house and techno producer Hieroglyphic Being.
Sounds of the Universe. Photo courtesy of Julia Glosemeyer
To hear some cool new sounds live, we headed to Fabric. It is a giant, labyrinthine club, known for being very democratic: no one will turn you away at the door if your clothes are not expensive. Snobs might hate Fabric because it is so large and crowded, but I adore the fact that you can enjoy gigs by the most cutting-edge DJs in a non-elitist setting. When we were there, we heard sets by young dubstep producer Gemmy as well as drum ‘n’ bass institution Roni Size. If you want to brave Fabric and bypass the long lines, get a membership. For a monthly fee you will get not only priority entry, but also CDs delivered to you by mail. Recent additions to the Fabric and FABRICLIVE CD series have included mixes by Four Tet, Pinch, Agoria, and Pearson Sound/ Ramadanman. Continue reading →
Two months ago I traveled to Europe with a friend. London was our first stop and we would only be staying two days, which admittedly is not enough time to see and experience all that the city has to offer. Our first day in the city was lost in a haze of tube transfers and jetlag. When we finally did manage to leave our hotel the first day, we spent most of the day walking, walking and more walking–ending the day utterly exhausted. That night, feeling a slight panic that we only had about 24 hours left to experience the city, we resolved to make the best of our last day before catching the Eurostar to Brussels. With only a short list of priorities, here are 24 hours in London.
9am: Eagerly we leave our hotel located in Kensington Garden Square, right behind Whiteley’s, and start walking west through Notting Hill to a cafe rumored to have a great traditional English breakfast. The morning is bright, crisp and sunny as we pass expensive cars and gleaming white row houses covered in ivy. The cafe is located just across the street from The Travel Bookshop–yes, Hugh Grant’s bookshop from the movie. It was a real bookshop, but sadly it closed not too long ago.
9:30am: “I can’t leave London without having some bacon,” my friend announces firmly. “English bacon is different, it is actually cut from the back of the pig as opposed to to American bacon that is cut from the belly,” he explains. He orders the traditional English breakfast with a side of bubble and squeak (a fried mash of vegetables and potatoes) and I order french toast with bacon and banana; we both order huge cups of coffee. Looking around the cafe, I get a good feeling about the food we are anticipating. Its a Thursday morning and the place is busy with people on their way to work, friends catching up over coffee and eggs and an open refrigerator full of a mixture of familiar and exotic looking drinks (Tang in a can!). Continue reading →