Christmas events in London to please festive fanatics and even the biggest Grinch

Christmas events in London to please festive fanatics and even the biggest Grinch


Note: Mariah Carey included.

christmas events

It goes without saying that Christmas in London is a pretty big deal, with every inch of central London strewn in Christmas lights and gigantic ornamented trees popping up like daisies wherever you look. It’s hard to be a Grinch around this time of year as the English capital really gets into the spirit, with a whole range of festive activities packing out the city’s events calendar. While there’s no denying the charm of Winter Wonderland or a classic Christmas panto, there’s a ton of other things going on that you’ll want to get involved with.

For anybody who wants to give a new winter carnival a go, Clapham Common’s Winterville is fast emerging as the hipster’s alternative to Hyde Park’s major offering with a street food market, roller disco rink and more. If you’re looking for something fun to do with your pals, some of the city’s most beautiful locations make ice skating in London a reality with pop up rinks at the Natural History Museum and Somerset House. And of course, if you’re sick of hearing the carols and bells – you can give Sink the Pink’s drag horror show or new musical kid on the block Hadestown a go.

Ready for some festive cheer? Here’s a few Christmas events in London to keep your eye on…

Winter Wonderland

christmas events

Winter Wonderland in London is always one of the most hotly anticipated events of the year, transforming Hyde Park into a festive paradise. Every year, people flock to the Christmas escape to chow down on mulled wine, bratwurst and other festive delights and hop onto various theme park rides. With classics like the ice skating rink, Christmas circus,  Bar Hutte’s Christmas karaoke booths and the ice bar returning, they’re introducing a brand new Peter Pan on Ice show, a Teletubbies extravaganza as well as a new theme for the Magical Ice Kingdom: the Secret Forest.

Where is Winter Wonderland?

Hyde Park, London

Winter Wonderland opening hours

Opens November 22, 4pm-10pm; November 23 – January 6, 10am – 10pm (Closed on Christmas day)

Winter Wonderland tickets

It’s totally free to enter the park, however certain Winter Wonderland attractions require that you book tickets in advance. These include ice skating, the Magical Ice Kingdom, bar ice, the giant wheel, Zippo’s Christmas Circus, Cirque Berserk, the Snowman Experience, Peter Pan on Ice, the Teletubbies Christmas Show, Bar Hutte, the Comedy Club and Ice Sculpting Workshops.

Winterville 2018

christmas events

If you’re somebody who prefers the offbeat things in life, Winterville’s emerged as the hipster’s alternative to Winter Wonderland. Fittingly, it takes place in Clapham Common and it’s run by the team behind both Field Day and Street Feast – meaning you can expect banging live music led by Sporty Spice herself with a throwback DJ set and food from London’s most promising culinary geniuses. You can also expect Backyard Cinema to be screening some festive flicks, neon mini golf antics, roller disco, ice rinks, stand up comedy and even Mexican wrestling (because why not). With so much to see and do, you’ll definitely want to drop by and check it out.

Where is Winterville?

Clapham Common

Winterville opening hours

Open November 15 – December 23

Winterville tickets

Entry to the park is free, however attractions including the ice rink, roller disco, Plonk Golf, Backyard Cinema, Chivaree Circus, Bus King Theatre are paid. The full list of ticketed attractions is available here.

Ice skating in London

Ice Skating at Somerset House

David Jensen

Somerset House becomes a dreamy Christmas getaway every year and 2018’s no different. This year, they’ve returned with their gigantic ice skating rink and brought a 40 foot Christmas tree to the table. This year, Fortnum & Mason are actually helping sponsor the rink and they’ve also thrown in an alpine-inspired restaurant lodge and a Christmas arcade for all your gift-buying needs. Plus, there’s also going to be Skate Lates where a number of DJs will light up the ice with some banging tunes.

Where is it?

Somerset House, London

When is it? 

14 November 2018 – 13 January 2019

How can I get tickets?

Tickets are priced at £11 for adults and £8.50 for children. They can be booked through Somerset House’s website.

Ice Skating at Natural History Museum

There’s nothing quite like skating at the Natural History Museum’s rink in the shadow of the architectural masterpiece. It’s an experience that’ll send goosebumps across your skin (and not just because the weather’s freezing) as you skate around a gigantic Christmas tree and under the surrounding tree’s canopy of fairy lights. If you’ve had enough of gliding around, you can also retreat for a mulled wine at the Cafe Bar and balcony where you’ll be able to watch the skaters down below.

Where is it?

Natural History Museum, South Kensington, London

When is it? 

Open 25 October 2018 – 20 January 2019, 10am – 9pm (closed on Christmas Day)

How can I get tickets?

Tickets start at £12.65 for adults, £8.80 for children and £9.90 for families. Students pay £9 for access to the rink and a drink and there’s also a parent and toddler package, which is priced at £11 and also comes with a beverage. Tickets can be booked through Ticketmaster.

Christmas Events in London

Christmas Pantomime: Snow White at the London Palladium

christmas events in london

There’s nothing like a panto to put you and the family in good spirits and this is set to be one of the biggest this year. Snow White will be taking over the London Palladium this year with the likes of Dawn French, Julian Clary, Paul Zerdin, Charlie Stemp and Danielle Hope ready to banter. Given that last year’s show snagged an Olivier Award, we’re betting this one’s going to be just as impressive.

When is it?

December 8 – January 13

Where is it?

The London Palladium, London

How can I get tickets?

Tickets can be booked online here.

Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You Tour

christmas events in london

Greg Pace/REX/Shutterstock

We’re not kidding you, this is actually happening. After bringing festive cheer across the United States last year with a Christmas-themed tour, Mariah Carey is taking Europe by storm with a concert full of carols, her biggest hits and of course that eternal classic: All I Want For Christmas Is You. Your biggest issue is going to be trying to snag tickets at a reasonable price…

When is it?

December 11, 7.30pm

Where is it?

The O2 in London, however she’s also touring across the UK at locations like Nottingham and Leeds.

How can I get tickets?

Live NationTickets are available through .

Pinocchio

christmas events in london

Think you know this age old tale? Nearly There Yet theatre has taken puppetry to the next level with this family-friendly show, in which Pinocchio ventures out into the great unknown and tries to become a real boy. With circus elements, singing and some pretty crafty puppet mastery, it’s a great shout if you’ve got little ones with you over the festive period.

When is it? 

Runs until 29 December

Where is it?

The Albany, London

How can I get tickets? 

Tickets are priced at £12 each and are available at The Albany’s website.

Sink the Pink x Pleasance Theatre: How to Catch a Krampus

christmas events

Sick of the panto? This show run by drag collective Sink the Pink promises to be unlike any other Christmas show you’ve seen before, with a creepy spine-tingling thriller. Based on the monster myth of the same name, a spiritual medium is put to the test when her latest trick takes on a life of its own and the Krampus is unleashed upon the world. In fact, it promises to be so scary that the show’s even “arranged for first aiders to be present at every performance”. Yikes. Merry Christmas?

Where is it?

Pleasance Theatre, London

When is it?

13 November – 23 December

How can I get tickets? 

Tickets can be booked online through Pleasance Theatre’s website here.

Hadestown

Helen Maybanks

This brave new musical has just opened in London and it’s racking up favourable reviews left, right and centre. Forget all the traditional shows on the West End, this folk musicals centres on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice – transported to an alternate depression-era America. Orpheus, an optimistic musician ventures into a mining town to find his fiance, only to be confronted with its imposing overlord Hades. I’ve personally seen it and I’m not going to lie, I’m seeing it again. It. Is. Glorious.

Where is it?

Olivier Theatre, National Theatre, London

When is it?

Now till January 26

How can I get tickets?

Tickets are available through the National Theatre’s website.

Christmas Activities

Rekoderlig Cider Lounge

christmas events in london

This cosy little spot on the Southbank is back for the fifth year running, serving up a taste of Scandinavia from the heart of London. With fire pits, a massive Christmas tree and healthy servings of Rekoderlig’s Spiced Plum cider (served cold or hot on those icy nights), you’ll be able to clink your glasses with as the London skyline in full view. Plus, you don’t have to pay entrance – just wander in.

When is it open?

Sunday – Thursday, 10am – 11pm, Friday – Saturday, 10am – midnight

Where is it?

Entrance off Southbank Centre’s Queen’s Walk, London SE1

The Four Realms at Christmas

christmas events in london

The Nutcracker is nothing short of a Christmas classic and Disney’s going to be releasing a brand new take on the beloved story with their film The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. To celebrate the movie, Bombas and Parr has created an immersive experience inspired by it where you’ll be able to travel through all four of the magical universes. From the candy-themed Land of Sweets to the mysterious circus realm, this half hour experience is the perfect way to make the magic last.

When is it? 

10 – 31 December, 12 – 8pm daily except Sundays, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve (open 12 – 6pm).

Where is it? 

The Atrium, Westfield London, Ariel Way, Shepherd’s Bush, W12 7GF

How can I get tickets? 

Tickets are priced at £5 for adults, while children aged 12 and under go free. They can be booked through Eventbrite here.

So whether you’re hanging out with friends, family or just trying to figure out a cheeky date night – we’ve got you sorted.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

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Susie Lau tells us everything we need to know about “Volez Voguez Voyagez” the new Louis Vuitton exhibition in Shanghai.

Susie Lau tells us everything we need to know about “Volez Voguez Voyagez” the new Louis Vuitton exhibition in Shanghai.


Vuitton lovers, listen up! The newest Louis Vuitton exhibition, Volez Voguez Voyagez has just opened in Shanghai and is a veritable treasure trove all all things Vuitton. Retracing Louis Vuitton’s great journey from 1854, starting with a portrait of a young Louis Vuitton by Chinese artist Yan Pei-Ming, expect to see everything from custom made trunks, portraits and some of the most exquisite custom-made dresses made for the red carpet. Susie Lau attended the opening and documented her trip exclusively for us. Read on to find out her highlights from the exhibition and what she’s up to next.

What are you wearing for the event?

I am so happy to wear an outfit from the Cruise 19 collection which I loved!  And yes I can bounce around all night long in these thigh high trainer boots.

How did you decide to do you make up for the event?

I have statement outfit and shoes on, I decided to go for a classic make-up style. A subtle eyeliner/eyeshadow action was perfect for the opening of the Louis Vuitton Volez, Voguez Voyagez exhibition.

 

Who did you hang around with?

These trips are always great because I have the chance to re-connect with old friends. I loved hanging out with the beautiful Yoyo Cao @yoyokulaka, Chinese stylist/ fashion personality Leaf Greener and Aleali May @alealimay.

What did you have for dinner?

The first night I had dinner with Yoyo at a Sichuan fusion restaurant Dao Jiang Hu. It was delicious!

 The day of the event, we went to Sense 8 for lunch. Honestly these were some of the plumpest and most luxurious dim sum I’ve ever had.

 Finally, It was a surreal final dinner, I sat with Jaden Smith to my left and Chinese up and coming rapper Lexie Liu to my right. It was a fabulous ending to the trip.

What are you favourite moments at the exhibition?

Oh there are so many…

 The venue! It was an incredible space inside the Shanghai Exhibition Centre, which was built by the Russians in 1950s.

It was great to see a close-up of the custom made Louis Vuitton gown Alicia Vikander wore to the Oscars in 2016, where she won Best Actress.

 

Obviously the Cat’s pyjamas from the Grace Coddington’s latest collab with LV which I saw at the Cruise 19 show this summer! 

There was the Cheongsam inspired dress from one of Marc Jacobs collections for LV, which was great to see in person.

 I couldn’t stop taking photos of the Shanghai-specific lantern which decorated the entrance to the VVV exhibition. The after party took inspiration from this and had more LV monogrammed lanterns inside where the Chinese mega idol Kris Wu performed.

 Artist, He An’s Neon sign that read “Dream With the Wish to Create Desire”

Leaving the exhibition and where off to next?

Ending the night in a digital backdrop photo booth that also featured the beautiful Bund skyline of Shanghai.  Itching to get back to London but sadly no rest for the wicked as I’m flitting between Milan and Paris for the next few weeks…

Louis Vuitton will showcase “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton”
at the Shanghai Exhibition Center, an iconic historical building in the center of the city, from 16th November 2018 to 1st February 2019.

 

 

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Stressed? You need to try this ‘on the go’ meditation pod

Stressed? You need to try this ‘on the go’ meditation pod


That’s right – zen in a big box

if you work in an office

Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

The weekend has come and gone, your workload is making you miserable, and the next opportunity to find the best brunch feels like a million miles away.

Welcome to Monday.

But before you start Googling the ‘best time of day to start a new job’, we have some news that might be of interest…

There’s a new way to banish stress during the week.

Enter, the meditation pod.

meditation post

If you’re looking for a quick injection of zen to alleviate the pressures of your 9 to 5, this new way of kicking back could be the answer.

Inhere have launched meditation pods for time-poor city dwellers, offering ‘on the go’ sessions. They boast a selection of 10, 15, 20 and 30 minute guided meditations, but if that’s not quite your thing you can also chose from a variety of calming sounds from oceans waves to forest rain.

Users are encouraged to sit, lounge or lay fully horizontal, place the headset on and ‘ease the mind from thoughts of stress or anxiety.’

meditation pod

Inhere said: “With mental health issues on the rise and busy workers striving for more of an equal work life balance, this partnership comes at a very opportune time, and will offer busy Londoners a haven from the bustle of the daily grind and a time to relax, unwind and reflect.”

The first pod has arrived in London, and will be located at the popular co-working space, Uncommon Borough, from the 16th October.

Brb, podding ourselves calm.

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Gigantic Harry Potter wands will light the way home for Londoners this winter

Gigantic Harry Potter wands will light the way home for Londoners this winter


Lumos!

harry potter wands

We hope you’ve practiced your swish and flicks and memorised your incantations. It turns out that London is set to get a little bit more magical this month, as nine gigantic wands are going to be installed nearby one of the capital’s biggest attractions: St Paul’s Cathedral. Beyond being a super cool nod to the wizarding series, they also light up at their tips to guide the way for those finding their way home.

The installation is officially called Fantastic Beasts: Wizarding World Wands Supporting Lumos and will be open to the public between 18 October and 12 November. Forget going to see Oxford Street switch their lights on, as you’ll be able to murmur your own Lumos and watch the fifteen foot wands light up the darkness at 6.45pm every night.

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Exciting news in London! Next month, as excitement builds for the 16 November release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, an installation of nine giant wands will illuminate the walkway between Millennium Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London to help raise awareness for Lumos, and our mission to end the institutionalisation of children around the world. Standing fifteen feet tall, the wands – bringing to life those belonging to some of the most beloved characters in the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films – are the centrepiece of the new installation, Fantastic Beasts: Wizarding World Wands supporting Lumos. It is set to light up Peter’s Hill every night at 6:45pm from 18th October to 12th November. The installation also kicks off a series of exciting activities for fans every “Wizarding Wednesday,” including wand training and a live performance of music from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films by a military marching band. Come and see the wands from October 18th! #lumos #wearelumos #wands #wizardingworld #harrypotter #jkrowling #fantasticbeasts #thecrimesofgrindelwald #warnerbros #magic #london #cityoflondon

A post shared by Lumos (@wearelumos) on Sep 21, 2018 at 2:59am PDT

And while we’re on the topic of the Lumos spell, the installation is all in support of J.K. Rowling’s charity of the same name. Aimed at bringing orphans a better life and ‘ending the institutionalisation of children around the world’, the gigantic wands are intended to spread awareness of Lumos’ mission.

If you’re around the area on one of their Wizarding Wednesdays, it’s also worth popping down to see what’s happening as apparently there’s going to be a whole range of Potter-themed activities: think live musical performances of the films’ stunning scores and wand training sessions. (Note: no Unforgivable Curses allowed.)

harry potter wands

GIPHY

It’s also been speculated by The Evening Standard that Daniel Radcliffe could potentially be involved in some way, as the wands will be installed just a stone’s throw away from his old school City of London School for Boys. We’ve reached out to his agent to see if there’s any truth to it, but fingers crossed we’ll get to see him in person at a Wizarding Wednesday.

Josh Berger, the President and Managing Director of Warner Bros. Entertainment UK, said, ‘London has played a huge role in the on-screen legacy of the Wizarding World…Fantastic Beasts: Wizarding World Wands supporting Lumos is emblematic of this unique relationship, celebrating the magic of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts here in London while raising awareness for the vital work being done by Lumos on behalf of some of the world’s most vulnerable children.’

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be released in the UK on November 16.

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48 seriously cool places to have brunch in London

48 seriously cool places to have brunch in London


Marie Claire’s guide to the best breakfasts and brunches in the Big Smoke

Brunches in London

From beautiful bowls of granola to hangover fry ups (and everything in between) we’ve rounded up London’s best breakfasts and brunches, where the food is both delicious and highly Instagrammable.

London’s best breakfast places

Kettner’s Townhouse, Soho

You wouldn’t necessarily expect to find peace and tranquillity in Soho, but Kettner’s Townhouse offers exactly that. Less than five minutes away from Leicester Square tube station, the restaurant, champagne bar and 33 bedroom townhouse offers breakfast every day from 7am-12pm. Kettner’s serves classics such as Eggs Royale (£12) or a Full English (£8/£14), as well offering the particularly indulgent option of adding Exmoor caviar to the dishes.

We were blown away by the sheer number of freshly made juices and smoothies that Kettner’s offers, too – the Energy botanical (£4.50), with its mix of orange, mango, passionfruit, ginger, lime, cacao, maca perked us up and the Matcha shake (£5) was a delicious creamy healthy(ish) option to end our meal.

Christopher’s, Covent Garden

Nestled in the heart of Theatreland, Covent Garden staple Christopher’s has one of the most expansive brunch menus that this seasoned brunch fan has ever encountered – and quality is just as great as the quantity.

In the sun-filled dining room, we were treated to superlative riffs on brunch staples from all over the culinary map. The Superfood Brunch menu means that even those who don’t see weekends as a chance to indulge will be in heaven: we loved the Born To Be Green super smoothie (£7) and the Avocado and Tomato Toast, with its perfectly poached egg on top (£10).

If you fancy something more decadent, Christopher’s has also got your back here, too. The Lobster Benedict (£24) is generously laden with the most tender lobster, while the Milk Chocolate Brioche French Toast (£12) was out of this world… a heady combination of copious amounts of melted chocolate, brioche, ice cream. Combine this with the fact that a separate Build Your Own Pancake menu exists, and it’s clear that Christopher’s also caters for those with a sweet tooth.

Make sure you combine your meal with a cocktail – it would be frankly rude not to, thanks to Christopher’s famous Martini Bar. We tried an incredible signature dirty martini, as well as a Vesper (named after the character from Casino Royale), which managed to combine vodka and gin without either becoming overpowering. Thanks to its delicious food and brilliant service, Christopher’s, a dinner-must for over 25 years, is now definitely one of our go-tos for brunch.

Aqua Shard, London Bridge

It’s hard to beat the 360 views of London from level 31 of The Shard, home to its cavernous two-storey restaurant Aqua. And now there’s a brand new brunch menu to try as you drink in those uninterrupted views across St Paul’s and watch toy-sized trains far below sliding in and out of London Bridge.

The new brunch offering is a push-the-boat out affair featuring truffle, lobster and Wagyu beef. At £48 for 3 courses, it’s also one to be lingered over well into lunchtime, as smaller breakfast-friendly starters of buttermilk pancakes and a dinky eggs benedict lead into main courses of beef sirloin, Scottish lobster thermidor and a decadent truffle-laced bubble and squeak. If you’ve still got room to spare there’s a pudding menu of white chocolate and lime cheesecake, brownies and treacle tart.

Just as well there’s a lift to take you back down those 31 floors…

WOLF, Stoke Newington

For all you East Londoners, we have found your new go-to brunch spot. WOLF, located on super hip Stoke Newington High Street, celebrates authentic Italian food – and, boy, does it celebrate it in style.

Standard brunch ingredients like eggs and sausages are of course on the menu at WOLF, but head chef Karla Knowles (formerly of Petersham Nurseries) has turned these old favourites into new classics. Each element of our fennel sausage dish with deep fried egg, flat gnocchi and caramelised tropea onions (£10) was delicious both individually and combined, while my guest and I actually fought over each rich and salty morsel of the broken eggs with anchovies and capers (£7.00). We finished our meal with the banana bread (£7.50), where sour rhubarb and the comforting softness of the marscapone working together as the perfect foil for the banana.

We also have to give the drinks a huge shout out – not only does WOLF offer a ‘bottomless brunch’ with either their Aperol cocktail or takes on a Bloody Mary or Bellini, their cocktail menu is the stuff of dreams. Each drink was developed in house: the combination of cardamom-spiced rum, cinnamon and pineapple juice in the ‘Ananas Speziato’ (£9.00) was totally incredible.

WOLF also offers a dinner menu, so regardless of the time of day, you can savour a meal in a restaurant where food really is king.

Granary Square Brasserie, Kings Cross

If you haven’t done brunch at the Granary Square Brasserie – the new restaurant from the team behind The Ivy Collection -then get in now. Slap bang in the heart of Kings Cross, by the famous fountains next to Regent’s Canal, it’s the perfect pit stop to refuel in one of the City’s most vibrant locations.

It’s a place that celebrates, no, revels in its all-day dining concept seven days a week. The delicious all day brunch menu at weekends ranges from classic breakfast favourites  such as home-made granola and Eggs Benedict, to an exquisite range of lighter offerings (think Crispy duck salad to Tuna Carpaccio) and more substantial meals (classic Fish Pie with salmon, cod and smoked haddock, a Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder with roast vegetables and delicious steaks including an incredible Cote de Boeuf ). High on our recommendation list is The Hake – the best fish dish we’ve had in ages and the Shrimp and Scallop burger is to die for.

Go for the weekend brunch menu (until 4pm) and experience the resident DJ by the central cocktail bar in the heart of the restaurant as you settle into the sumptuous velvet banquette seats with a Bloody Mary. If dining ‘al fresco’ is your thing, check out the terrace for views across Regent’s Canal. With its coloured parasols you can almost believe you’re in the Riviera.

Pickled Fred, Shoreditch

What a little gem we’ve discovered hiding 20 seconds from Shoreditch’s Brick Lane. Opening in September Pickled Fred has been dishing up a new take on Asian food with dishes like the incredible roasted cauliflower or beef shin and bone marrow rending, there’s something for all – vegans, vegetarians, gluton-intolerants and carnivores.  So we were extremely pleased to hear they’ve just launched a less than ordinary brunch menu available from 11:30 to 3pm. If you need a change from Eggs Benedict (as delicious as it is) how does this sound – Halloumi Fries with harissa yoghurt and pomegranate; Chermoula Aubergine with labneh, dukkah, pickled cherry tomatoes, rocket, feta and cous cous or a Jackfruit Scotch Egg that will make you seriously question how something that good and convincing could really be meat-free.  Also on offer is a bottomless brunch for £25, you can have a flatbread of your choice with 90 minutes worth of unlimited Bloody Marys, Aperol Spritz or Prosecco.

Dishoom, Covent Garden

best breakfasts london

Dishoom, Covent Garden

The bacon naan has become the stuff of brunch legend in London, with eager queues of early bird city dwellers vying for a table. Luckily they serve coffee in the queue.

The Social Pantry, Clapham

best brunch london

There’s a friendly neighbourhood feel to this chic, award-winning independent cafe on Lavender Hill. It’s also a great compromise if the group you’re meeting up with includes both a hungover pal in need of a salty fry-up and a virtuous yogi who’s been up since seven and wants to mainline some grains. From the ‘something filling’ section of the menu there’s delicious chai-spiced French toast and the full English ‘Pantry’ breakfast, while your yogi friend will love the super-C smoothie bowl.

Ask for Janice, Farringdon

best breakfasts london

Take an early morning stroll (or jog, dare we suggest?!) around the Barbican before heading to the quirky Ask for Janice for brunch, where you can order a breakfast burger in between taking pictures of the kooky but cool interiors.

The Continental Pantry, Notting Hill

Best brunch London

Brunch at The Continental Pantry in Notting Hill

Run by old pals Kate and Maria, The Continental Pantry serves food inspired by the pair’s upbringings in Madrid and London. Pop in first thing for some fresh, crunchy sourdough with butter and jam, or mashed avocado on toast with lemon and smoked salmon.

100 Wardour Street, Wardour Street 

best brunch london

The party never really stops at this 8am – 3am breakfast/lunch/dinner/late night newcomer in the heart of Soho, and rightly so given the building’s history as the site of the old Marquee Club, where The Rolling Stones did their first ever live gig. Saturday brunch is a fun, buzzy affair where bottomless Prosecco is encouraged and the three-course menu mixes classic 11am favourites – smoked salmon and scrambled eggs – with dishes like harissa and agave roasted aubergine. Worth booking in for a long sitting.

Sexy Fish, Berkeley Square

Sexy Fish

Egg and soldiers, Sexy Fish style

Sometimes you need to go all out. And few places cater a more luxurious brunch than London’s hottest Asian eatery, Sexy Fish. The restaurant from the people who brought you The Ivy and J. Sheekey has launched a new brunch menu every Sunday, where the music, food and cocktails flow from 11.30 – 4pm (in case your hangover’s so bad you can’t face the world until mid-afternoon). There are plenty of bespoke twists on brunch classics to tempt you, like the asparagus egg and soldiers (above), but the real must-try is the ‘Sexy Benedict’, a spin on eggs benedict cut through with black charcoal muffin, lobster and truffle. It tastes and looks as decadent as it sounds.

Sartoria, Mayfair

best breakfasts london

Sartoria, Mayfair

Following an extensive refurbishment, Savile Row’s Sartoria re-opened its doors in late 2015 with a brand new breakfast menu to sink your teeth into. With classic Italian cooking – courtesy of renowned Italian chef Francesco Mazzai – our highlight has to be the Eggs Purgatorio, a rich egg baked in a spicy tomato sauce with freshly baked Italian breads on the side.

Village East, Bermondsey

best breakfasts london

Village East, Bermondsey

While it may not be your usual breakfast dish, confit turkey hash with poached eggs and spinach has become a firm favourite at Village East. If you’d rather save turkey for Christmas, then you can order up their Campfire breakfast or the protein-filled Steak & Eggs breakfast right up until 4pm on the weekends.

M Restaurants, Victoria

best breakfasts london

Aurélie Four @photobyA4 / Marcel @lecorgi

Want to go out for brunch but love your dog too much to leave him / her at home? M Restaurants has launched a weekend ‘Dine With Your Dog’ brunch menu at their branch in Victoria, where you and your furry pal can kick off the day together with a two-course brunch and some bottomless bellinis (for you). If you want total immersion in the dog-dining experience you can even partake in the ‘six legs brunch’ menu, which features a specially tailored menu of two courses each – two for you, two for your dog (no Pedigree Chum, we promise), but if that sounds a little close to the bone (sorry) you can leave your dog to the four legs menu and tuck into some quinoa porridge, followed by waffles with maple butter. We took Piper (below) to try it out and she licked the bowl so much she pushed it across the room with her nose. The dog equivalent of a five-star review.

best brunch london

Lobster Bar, Richmond Road

best breakfasts london

Lobster Bar, Richmond Road

Seafood lovers, rejoice! The Lobster Bar in Hackney serves up a variety of seafood brunches (beyond smoked salmon and scrambled eggs.) We recommend the indulgent Lobster Benedict.

Rawduck, Hackney

Best places to have brunch in London

Rawduck might be a cool Hackney breakfast hang-out, but the food shows there’s substance there as well as style. Make sure you order one of the ‘Sparkling Rhurbarb Shrub’ breakfast cocktails.

Urban Coterie, Shoreditch

best breakfasts london

Urban Coterie

On the 17th floor of the futuristic M Building in Shoreditch – which has been built to look like a giant triangular optical illusion – Urban Coterie‘s ‘Brunch with a view’ let’s you tuck into your duck scrambled eggs and hot smoked salmon while looking out across the East London skyline. Designed by Urban Coterie’s Anthony Demetre, a three-course brunch includes bottomless mimosas for £32 (warning: if you’re tucking into the drinks the building will look even weirder on your way out.)

The Clifton, St John’s Wood

the clifton

If you’re up north, dip off a side street on Abbey Road and make your way to The Clifton, a historic 19th century pub. While it was closed for a little while, it’s finally reopened as a modern gastropub and the menu is serious.You’ll get all the regular brunch staples with a dash of the uncommon – smoked hake, anybody?  – and if you’re feeling truly decadent then you can kick off the affair with a cheeky oyster and perfectly spiced Bloody Mary. The portions are pretty major – we had the waffles served with crispy Dingley Dell Bacon and fried duck eggs (naturally topped off with a generous helping of maple syrup) and it could have probably fed two people. There’s no place better than their glass conservatory on a sunny day.

Polpo, Soho

best breakfasts london

Polpo, Soho

With branches in Notting Hill, Covent Garden, Chelsea and Smithfield, as well as the one that we tried in Soho, Polpo is gaining popularity and spreading fast thanks to its Venetian bàcaro menu. The brunch offering, which launched earlier this year, features delicious poached eggs and scafata, ricotta on toasted sourdoughs and brunch pizzettas. As in pizza for breakfast. Need we say more?

ROKA Aldwych

Best places to have brunch in London

ROKA Aldwych

The best breakfasts London has to offer don’t always feature avocado and eggs. The Han Setto weekend brunch at ROKA is perfect if you’ve had enough of that to last you a lifetime. For £59 (which includes a bellini when you arrive and wine) or £43 if you’re off the booze, the brunch features some of the Japanese restaurant’s star dishes, like the raw salmon, avocado and wasabi tobiko maki and the beef, ginger and sesame dumplings. The first course is followed with a Japanese robata grill of fresh fish and meat and a dessert platter. Delish.

The Ivy Kensington Brasserie

Best places to have brunch in London

The Ivy Kensington Brasserie

If the setting for you is just as important as the food, then the beautifully plush Ivy Kensington Brasserie is definitely the place to go if it’s a special occasion. The weekday breakfast and weekend brunch menus are full of classic dishes with some luxurious additions. Truffled eggs, anyone?

Berners Tavern, Berners Street

Best places to have brunch in London

Berners Tavern, Berners Street

Step into The London EDITION for a taste of their renowned breakfast menu in a beautifully decorated restaurant. With high ceilings, walls covered in paintings and attentive waiters, this is a pretty special place to start the day. Sack off the healthy options (chilled citrus salad with ginger and lime is one) for the Hazelnut waffles, berries and cream.

Foxcroft & Ginger, Dalston, Soho and Whitechapel

Best places to have brunch in London

Foxcroft & Ginger, Dalston, Soho and Whitechapel

With a working bakery downstairs you can just be ‘popping out to buy some bread’ when you head to Foxcroft & Ginger. And while you’re there picking up your sourdough or rye, you might as well try something from the incredible breakfast menu. All the egg dishes are spot on.

BungaTINI, Covent Garden

Best brunch london

Italian-themed bar and restaurant Bunga Bunga has been running legendary party brunches in its Battersea branch for several years now. These generally feature loud music, a never-ending supply of prosecco and more breakfast-themed Italian food than you can finish, including the ‘Bunga Benedict’ and ‘Englishman’s Breakfast’ pizzas. If you’re not quite up for the noisy Battersea fiesta, Bunga Bunga’s Covent Garden sister restaurant BungaTINI has just launched a new ‘Wood-Fired Brunch’, which includes unlimited bellinis, wood-fired pizzas and a fun party atmosphere without the raucous crowd. Burrata for breakfast? Why not.

Bubbledogs, Charlotte Street

best brunch london

A really good hotdog is an underrated thing, perhaps unfairly getting less airtime than the ubiquitous burger. But champagne and hotdog joint Bubbledogs has been working to change all that since it launched in 2012, brainchild of Sandia Chang and her husband James Knappet, who now runs a Michelin starred restaurant called Kitchen Table at the back of the venue. This year Bubbledogs has branched out into the brunch market, teaming up with artisanal spirits company The86Co. for weekly brunch parties. There’s a Bloody Mary menu and the hotdogs are served with a sunny side up fried egg. We recommend the Jose (above) a hotdog topped with fresh tomato salsa, avocado, sour cream and pickled jalapenos.

Duck & Waffle, Heron Tower

best brunch london

Duck & Waffle, Heron Tower

With views stretching out over London, Duck & Waffle has become one of the most sought after reservations in the whole of the city. As the restaurant is open 24 hours, we suggest turning up before sunrise (whether that’s straight from bed or straight from the club) and settling in for breakfast with a view. Tip: order the restaurant’s eponymous dish, put it on Instagram and you’ll probably get a comment or two from the chefs. The new version of ‘compliments to the chef.’

Sketch, Soho

Fantastical, photogenic and bloody well brilliant, sketch may be a little bit out of your budget to become your ‘regular’ but this is definitely a place you can name-drop and Instagram to your heart’s content, which is what most of us want these days from a meal out, isn’t it? Once you’re there, you might as well hang around for their equally brilliant Afternoon Tea.

Bel-Air, Paul Street

best brunch london

Bel-Air, Paul Street

Billed as ‘feel good fast food’, Bel-Air founder Andrew Bredon aims to bring a bit of LA to EC2. The cafe serves up a selection of breakfast pots, including their appropriately named Muscle Beach which has grilled steak, smokey spinach, sweet potato and a poached egg. Perfect for those wanting to make some #GymGainz.

Andina, Redchurch Street

best brunch london

Andina, Redchurch Street

Currently daydreaming about spending your days on a beach somewhere with a wildly good looking man fanning you? Take a trip to Peru (while staying in Shoreditch) at Martin Morales’ Andina where you can eat Granola Andina and greek yoghurt or Peruanazo which is two fried eggs, tacu-tacu with rice and butterbeans, belly bacon and saltado criollo. Who needs the bright blue shores of Mancora?

Berber&Q, East London

best brunch london

Berber&Q, East London

With a permanent queue snaking outside of its door, Berber&Q has become the hot brunch spot in town. A newly launched menu will further cement its reputation for being one of the best places to start the day. We suggest getting there early.

BunnyChow, Wardour Street

best brunch london

BunnyChow, Wardour Street

South African Street Food concept BunnyChow serves up a particularly delicious veggie breakfast option with salsa beans, aubergine, peppers, spice-kicked red onions and a fried egg. Enough to tempt even the strongest carnivores.

Busaba Eathai, Soho

Best places to have brunch in London

Busaba Eathai, Soho

Busaba Eathai’s new brunch menu features coconut porridge, fisherman’s spiced rice and their so-called ‘perfect hangover cure’ – the Busaba Bloody Mary and Khai luak. We’re told that Khai luak is a soft boiled free range egg with a gentle Thai seasoning which is stirred and then taken as a shot followed by a Bloody Mary chaser… we’ll be leaving that one to someone more hardcore.

Brew, Putney and Clapham

Best places to have brunch in London

Brew, Putney and Clapham

While Brew do an incredible take on Turkish Eggs, we’re more likely to order the soft-boiled eggs with soldiers – which come with a choice of Marmite or Vegemite, may we add – as an homage to our childhood days spent dipping soldiers into runny yolk.

Casa Brindisa, South Kensington

Best places to have brunch in London

Casa Brindisa, South Kensington

One of the best tapas restaurants around, Casa Brindisa also serves up a mean breakfast and brunch. Try their mushrooms, scrambled eggs, tomato and Manchego or just order like there’s no tomorrow and scoff a whole plate of Iberico ham yourself. We won’t judge you.

Carluccio’s, various locations

Best places to have brunch in London

Carluccio’s, various locations

Probably not the first place you may think of when your best friend suggests ‘breakfast?’, but Carluccio’s has got a pretty substantial morning menu and one you should definitely try out. With their handy little deli you can also pick up some lunch while you’re there. Easy like Sunday morning and all that…

Eelbrook, New King’s Road

Best places to have brunch in London

Eelbrook, New King’s Road

A favourite spot with the Chelsea lot, Eelbrook’s brunch should ideally be eaten al fresco on the terrace overlooking London’s Eel Brook Common so you can people-watch as you munch. We love the Baked Tilley’s Eggs with tomato, yoghurt, harissa and grilled flatbreads – a London brunch with a Middle Eastern twist.

Farm Girl, Portobello Road

best breakfasts london

Farm Girl, Portobello Road

Make like Julia Roberts and head to Notting Hill for a breakfast with a twist at Farm Girl. With naturopathic doctor (nope, us neither) Melly Lou of Liquorice Lifestyle advising on nutrition for the menu, you can guarantee you’ll come home feeling grrrreat.

Granger & Co, various locations

best brunch london

Granger & Co, various locations

Go healthy with the slick Granger & Co by ordering one of their fruit and grains dishes with a smoothie; we’re a big fan of the buckwheat bowl.

OPSO, Paddington Street

best brunch london

OPSO, Paddington Street

With a full range of breakfast dishes going on, OPSO is one of the most loved brunch and breakfast places in the Marylebone area (and, for that matter, the city). You can either choose to start your day off right with their Earl grey infused rice porridge or one of the granola dishes or indulge your naughty side with the pancakes. We like them covered in praline spread and hazelnuts.

Ottolenghi, Various Locations

best breakfasts london

Ottolenghi, various locations

Famous around London for being one of the best delis around, Ottolenghi serves up a mean breakfast. While the whole menu is great, it would be wrong to go there and not order their signature Shakshuka. It’s seriously tasty.

Providores, Marylebone High Street

Best places to have brunch in London

Providores, Marylebone High Street

As one of the first restaurants to bring brunch to the capital, Providores pulls a big crowd and regularly has a queue of hungry punters outside. They’ll all be ordering Peter Gordon’s signature breakfast dish, the Turkish Eggs.

Street Kitchen, Parkgate Road

Best places to have brunch in London

Street Kitchen, Parkgate Road

Street Kitchen on the Broadgate Circle is run by Jun Tanaka and Mark Jankel with a mission to serve up ‘slow food, fast.’ Pick up a Caravan Roosters coffee from the barista before stuffing your face with one of their SkMuffins with farm sourced ingredients.

The Jam Tree, Clapham

Best places to have brunch in London

The Jam Tree, Clapham

The Jam Tree does classics with a twist (where doesn’t these days?). We suggest ordering the black pudding, apple and chutney on toast as well as one of their nine variants on a Bloody Mary.

The Modern Pantry, Clerkenwell

best brunch london

The Modern Pantry, Clerkenwell

Another name on the tip of every foodie Londoner’s tongue, The Modern Pantry is a place for those who like their breakfast healthy. We’d go for the Honey roast oats, seeds and nuts with grated apple, pomegranate and greek yoghurt if we were that way inclined… you know, you could just eat their less healthy sugar-cured omelette.

Tredwells, Upper St Martin’s Lane

London's best breakfasts

Tredwells, Upper St Martin’s Lane

Marcus Wareing’s informal restaurant in Covent Garden has a great brunch/breakfast offering with cheat day treats such as caramelized banana eggy bread with bacon, maple syrup or chorizo jam and slow cooked egg, avocado and toasted sourdough. If you’re sticking to the diet plan then you can order granola or a seasonal veggie frittata.

Whaam Banh Mi, Great Windmill Street

london's best breakfasts

Whaam Banh Mi, Great Windmill Street

If you’ve got a sweet tooth from the moment you wake up then Whaam Banh Mi have got you covered. Chocoholics should order the fresh, daily baked Banh Mi smothered in Nutella.

Coya, Mayfair

Best breakfasts london

Isn’t London amazing you can now enjoy the best of Latin American cuisine as a bottomless champagne brunch.   London’s first Peruvian restaurant that opened to critical acclaim in 2012 has launched a brand new menu including their new signature brunch cocktail the ‘Pisco Mary’.  Dine on Peruvian dishes such as Corvina Trufa (Corvina ceviche with truffle) and Arroz Nikkei (Chilean sea bass casuela) created by Executive Chef, Sanjay Dwivedi and served in the South American inspired dining room. As the DJ plays chilled house you can relax while the in-house nanny keeps the kids entertained (Sundays only FYI).  Situated opposite Green Park and 5 minute walk from Bond Street it’s the perfect location to take a break from some serious window shopping.

London best English breakfast

Two of our favourite spots for a trad fry-up…

Bibendum, Fulham Road

best brunch london

Bibendham, Fulham Road

There’s a bit of a story behind this one so bear with us: Bibendum is named after the Michelin man (yes, the Michelin man). He’s actually known as Monsieur Bibendum, a name which comes from the Latin phrase Nunc est Bibendum which translates as ‘now is the time to drink’. While this may be a slightly inappropriate name for a mascot used to advertise car tyres, it’s a bloody great name for a restaurant. With all that in mind, we’d recommend heading there for the two most important Bs in life: breakfast and a Bloody Mary.

Parlour, Regent Street

Best places to have brunch in London

Parlour, Regent Street

Parlour’s quirky breakfast menu features classics such as smoked salmon with scrambled eggs as well as their full English Parlour Breakfast. You can also DIY at their toast station with some fresh baked bread.

Have you got a favourite breakfast place in London? Tell us in the comments section below.

The post 48 seriously cool places to have brunch in London appeared first on Marie Claire.

The best facials in London for relaxation or complexion perfection

The best facials in London for relaxation or complexion perfection


best facials London

Whether you’re living and working in the city full time, or are need of a bit of downtime, the best facials in London are a must to have on your radar.

They’re a great way to take things up a gear from your best face masks for more intensive results, so we’ve scoured the city from east to west to bring you the definitive guide to the top facialists and treatment options in the city.

For several weeks I’ve made it my life’s mission to find the best facials in London, whether the end goal is clearer skin, a brighter and firmer complexion, or simply de-stressing the mind. But a girl only has one face and one skin type, so I enlisted the help of the most reliable guinea pigs I know – the MC digital team.

Getting monthly facials would be the dream, but in reality it’s a treat you save up for. So consider these the ones worth stashing your pennies away for when it’s time to treat yo-self. You deserve it.

ESPA Optimal Skin Health Facial

best facials London ESPA Life Corinthia

‘The first thing you need to know about this seriously relaxing facial – and boy, is it a good one – is that included in the price is an an hour of chill in the  ESPA Life at Corinthia facilities beforehand.  That’s steam room, sauna, chill, the works. I had to double check that my booking confirmation email wasn’t too good to be true. As someone who really struggles to switch off, this alone makes it incredibly good value as you’re already significantly calmed going in to the facial. I could just pack up and end the review there, but I won’t.

‘What comes next in one of the treatment pods is a thorough skin analysis under a UV lamp, then a delicous-smelling combination of triple cleanse, steaming and extraction (that you barely even notice because you are too zen), followed by a treatment mask. It’s a facial, so there’s facial massage and lymphatic drainage involved, but you’re also treated a bit of massage on the head, neck, shoulders, arms and hands, as well as exfoliation of the latter two.

You know when you remember having the facial, but you were so relaxed that you sort of don’t at the same time, because you were off floating on a cloud somewhere? Yeah. That. I’m already experiencing ESPA Life withdrawal syndrome and I desperately need to go back for another fix.’ – Lucy Abbersteen, Digital Beauty Writer

How much is it?

£140 for 60 minutes, or £190 for 90 minutes, at Corinthia London

Book now

Sisley Signature Facial

best facials London Sisley Claridges

‘I had always heard excellent things about Sisley Paris, so when an opportunity arose to try out their signature facial at Claridge’s, I leapt at the chance. I’d recommend arriving a little early in order to make the most of the stunning changing room (it’s literally an Instagram gold mine) and to spend some time reclining with a coffee in your fluffy robe and plush slippers. But that was nothing compared to the 60 minutes of pure relaxation that followed. I’m generally quite an uptight person, but this treatment switched me off in seconds.

‘Sisley is renowned for its scientific approach, using only the finest natural ingredients, and after deciding that my treatment should focus on hydration, my facialist went about choosing the right plant extracts and essential oils for my skin. Then came my signature facial, catered specifically to my skin and its needs. Lavender, rosemary, sage, geranium – you name an essential oil, it went on my skin in the form of gentle cleansers, serums and scrubs.

‘The highlight was the nourishing mask – which was quite literally bandaged to my face – and while it sunk in, I was treated to a surprise foot massage. It was pure luxury and I left the spa considerably more relaxed, not to mention, my skin was GLOWING.

‘For me, this kind of facial is ideal. It wasn’t hugely informative and it wasn’t a skin consultation; but that’s not why I went, nor is it what I personally look for in a facial. I don’t need someone to tell me about my skin, I just need to relax and feel pampered, something it offers in spades. If you want to know the ins and the outs of your complexion or try off the wall methods and violent extractions, this isn’t the treatment for you. But if like me, you want to lie on a warm bed and switch off for an hour as an expert facialist calms your senses and nourishes your skin with the most luxurious oils, look no further. Can I go and have another one now?’ – Jenny Proudfoot, Junior Digital News Editor

How much is it?

£120 for 60 minutes, or £165 for 90 minutes, at Claridge’s

Book now

Omorovicza Illuminating Facial

best facials in London

For the uninitiated, Omorovicza are skincare Dons. Conceived in Budapest, and harnessing the infamous ‘healing’ powers of Hungary’s thermal waters, Omorovicza’s products and facials (I’m looking at you Elemental Emulsion and your everlasting wait list…) have been a mainstay in my otherwise ever-evolving beauty routine. They look great, smell great, work great and never once have they made my unruly skin breakout.

Tucked away in the heart of the Liberty store, the Omorovicza Treatment Rooms act like little slices of Budapest; they’re peaceful, dimly lit (no one wants a facial with a side order of fluorescent strip lighting) and smell incredible thanks to the unique blends that subtly flood the air.

After an initial skin consultation (I wanted hydration and glow), I opted for the Illumination facial, which all sounded very Harry Potter so I was there for it. I was so thoroughly relaxed, that the many varied elements of the facial merged into one hour of facial bliss, but the signature element consists of a gentle copper peel (don’t be alarmed by the slight tingle, my skin showed no sign of redness after it finished) and an energising facial massage that I was convinced made my skin more buoyant. And of course, plentiful spritzes of the cult Queen of Hungary Mist in-between.

After a quick hit of SPF for the journey home, the facial was over. My skin looked dewy, plumped and yes, GLOWY. With no sign of irritation or redness, this facial is a goer for pre-event skin boosting. Omorovicza, I bow down. – Holly Rains, Digital Editor

How much is it?

£125 for 60 minutes at Liberty London, redeemable against Omorovicza products on the day

Book now

Kate Kerr Advanced Brightening Facial

best facials London Kate Kerr

Facial legend Kate Kerr and her right-hand woman Michelle (who I met with) are based out of Mondrian London, overlooking the Thames. It should be noted from the get-go that this is a thorough skincare session, so if you are looking purely for relaxation there is much more to this facial than that. Michelle and I discussed my complexion in great depth, and then she got stuck in. After serious deep cleansing, she hand picked treatment masks to target my skin’s congestion and brighten the overall tone. She then got down to business, really paying attention to every area of my face when it came to extraction, not just the nose and chin.

‘The treatment rooms are very chic and minimal, and there’s zen music playing for the whole duration of your treatment – not too tinny, not too over the top and not too ‘pinky-plonky’ – which I find really helps me to zone out while someone is sorting out my face. If you want your skin thoroughly analysed, complexion cleaned up to look healthier and brighter, and a bespoke skincare routine at the end of it to boot, this one is for you. You’ll understand your skin so much more when you leave and I can’t recommend Michelle enough, both as a facialist and to chat to!’ – Lucy Abbersteen, Digital Beauty Writer

How much is it?

From £150, or £230 with Kate Kerr herself, Mondrian London

Book now

Eve Lom Ultimate Cleanse Facial

best facials in London

‘If blackheads are your biggest skin woe, this treatment is one of the big guns when it comes to giving skin a deep-clean. My now-husband’s nose REALLY needed clearing before our wedding day, so he was the perfect candidate to put Eve Lom’s Ultimate Cleanse to the test. It’s pretty unique as the treatment involves applying hot paraffin wax onto the skin to heat the skin, which in turn really opens up your pores, so that the therapist can get all of the built-up gunk out. And they really, really layer the wax on. At first, it feels pretty peculiar, unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before, but the warmth from is calming and therepeutic. The wax is essentially painted on with a brush in rhythmic motions and it feels like pure heaven.

‘Once your skin is ready (aka warmed to perfection) your pores are basically the most open they’ll ever be, which means the therapist has easy access to all the nastiness. If you think about how much pressure you usually have to apply to remove blackheads, it’s the opposite after the wax – next to no pressure is needed. To ensure the skin stays warm, the therapist rips the wax off bit by bit, only working on small areas at a time. It’s called the ultimate cleanse and it’s exactly that. If anyone needs a full on skin clean (and those men who don’t do anything to their skin really do), this is IT.’ – Katie Thomas, Digital Beauty Editor

How much is it?

£100 for 60 minutes, Sanderson London

Book now

Decléor Anti-Pollution Facial

best facials in London Decleor

‘As with all Decleor treatments, this facial started with a back diagnostic (bear with me). This involves the therapist looking at your back to reveal why your skin is behaving in a certain way, by gently stimulating pressure and reflex points. This revealed that I was stressed and hormonal, as my lower back was quite hot (I was in fact about to come on my period). I honestly found it fascinating as I believe the way to great skin is understanding how it behaves. This was followed by cleansing, a lymphatic drainage massage to remove toxins and pollution and replenish moisture. The rest is tailored to your skin concerns, and as mine was congested, I had a purifying mask and scrub to remove dead skin cells.

‘My skin obviously felt amazing afterwards – glowing and smooth – but what I loved is that it’s an overall super relaxing experience. Whilst Decleor products are working hard tonight the damaging effects of pollution, the therapist massages everything from my face to my shoulders and limbs, really releasing tension. Because how can your face glow if the rest of your body is strained?’ – Penny Goldstone, Digital Fashion Editor

How much is it?

£75 for 75 minutes at the Decléor Day Boutique and Day Spa, also nationwide

Book now

Elemis BIOTEC Radiance Renew Facial

best facials London Elemis

‘After chatting with my ELEMIS therapist about my skin woes over a piping hot cup of tea, she sat me down in front of a machine that scanned and analysed my face to discover what my problem issues were. Once she had a better idea of what my skin needed, she then told me that the Biotec Radiance Renew Facial was the ideal one as it was designed to even out your skin tone, restore radiance and reduce dark circles (all things that were issues I flagged in our consultation). It included a facial massage, ultrasonic peeling technology – this electronic spatula that weirdly feels like they’re shaving your face, but miraculously does away with any dead skin – and their radiance activator packed with anti-oxidants, hyaluronic acid and peptides that had me glowing for days afterwards. The entire session finished off with a cooling gel mask.

‘Although it was of course super relaxing, I really loved that the main focus was on helping me get the best skin I could – both during the session and in the future once I’d left. It really felt like a mixture between a pampering session and a consultation with a skin expert, so it’s perfect for those who want to get serious and nail their skincare routine. Also the ultrasonic peeling was kind of intimidating at first (it hums like crazy and stings a little) but it did absolute wonders.

‘I literally have never glowed like that in my life and I was coming off a pretty dark, hungover weekend. I really loved that they not only took my issues into consideration, my therapist really took the time to help me boost my at-home regimen – as I had relatively dry skin, she recommended I start oil cleansing and then gave me a small card at the end with a proposed skincare routine moving forwards. Just so great.’ – Megan C. Hills, Digital Lifestyle Writer

How much is it?

£110 for 60 minutes, or £160 for 90 minutes, at the House of Elemis

Book now

Sunday Riley Ice Lift Facial

best facials London Sunday Riley

‘There are three reasons why you should go and get a Sunday Riley facial at Hershesons salon. 1) Because you walk out with skin so happy, bouncy and glowy that it’s practically singing. 2) Because this is the only place in the world (yah huh) where you can get a Sunday Riley treatment. 3) Because of Iris.

‘It’s not often that I tell people to go for a facial because of the therapist. Typically, my recommendations are results-based. Don’t get me wrong this facial gives good – no, GREAT – results, but I have to tell you that Iris had me at hello. She asked me about every product that I use, wanted to know the brand name, how often I use them and when. She does this because she wants to know what your skin is used to and what it can and can’t handle.

‘The facial itself is part relaxation – the cleansing, the mask, the lymphatic facial massage, the hilarious chatter with Iris, and part punch – a combination of red light LED and cryotherapy. Don’t worry at all about the LED, which boosts collagen – you can’t feel a thing, and while that’s going on Iris is at the bottom of the giant bed relieving all of the tension from your toes.

‘But the cryotherapy, the cryotherapy took my breath away. Not because it was painful, because it’s so damn cold and my body does this funny thing when it’s super cold – it’s like it’s confused and forgets how to work. I’ve done cryotherapy chambers before and the same thing happened then, I couldn’t regulate my breath. I had to close my eyes and tell myself to breathe in and breathe out. But don’t panic, because Iris is there the whole time making you laugh and making you feel so comfortable.

‘Once she’s finished blasting your face with sub–zero air, give your face a little touch, you won’t believe how cold it is. But that chilliness fights signs of inflammation, so it’s all good. Iris then applies your favourite Sunday Riley products and you’re good to go. When you sit up, you’ll notice the change. You’re a little pinker (in a good way) and a little tighter. And you’ll be smiling, because Iris is by your side.’ – Katie Thomas, Digital Beauty Editor

How much is it?

£120 for 1 hour at Hershesons London

Book now

Su-Man’s Signature Facial

best facials London Su-Man

‘Su-Mans facial is legendary’ – that’s the opening line on the about section of Su-Man’s website. Punchy? Yes. Hyperbole? Absolutely not. In fact, it’s  impossible not to verge on hyperbole territory when talking about this facial. ‘This was a life changing experience,’ ‘Su-Man has magical hands/is a wizard’ – all words that have left my mouth after having this treatment.

That’s it for me now. I keep thinking, ‘How will I ever go to a “normal” facial ever again?’ I’m truly done for. I now refer to time BS and AS (before Su-Man and after Su-Man). It’s 2018 AS, and I worship at the altar of Su-Man.

Su-Man’s background is in Shiatsu, dance and pilates. So as you’d imagine, the facial is peppered with targeted massage and relaxation tailored to your individual needs. After my neck and shoulders were worked on  – all the tension builds up to your neck and jawline – my ears were massaged to stimulate lymphatic drainage, using the most beautiful products. From the watermelon-based gel cleanser to the mask that made me crave chocolate cake, it was all divine.

Su-Man gives you a mirror to marvel at the results yourself. It’s like time stops still. And, if you’re anything like me and hate looking in the mirror, you’ll take the mirror with reservation. But anyway, there you sit, mirror in hand and you really look at yourself. Like, REALLY look at yourself. Part of the Su-Man philosophy is not only looking good but FEELING good. Maybe it was her super calming and caring nature rubbing off on me, or maybe it was because she told me my skin is great, but looking in the mirror I think, okay, I look alright. Actually, scratch that, I look good.

On the day of my great awakening, I did a double take after walking past my bathroom mirror. Hang on, does my jaw look more defined? I stroke my jawline to make sure it’s real.

Later I’m sitting at the dinner table and my hand grazes my chin. ‘What has she done to my face?’, I think to myself. ‘Maybe she IS a wizard?’

Can a facial be a life changing experience? I think so… – Sunil Makan, Associate Editor

How much is it?

£250 at Agua Spa, Sanderson London; call 020 7300 1414 to book now

The post The best facials in London for relaxation or complexion perfection appeared first on Marie Claire.

These are the most Instagrammable places to go during London Fashion Week

These are the most Instagrammable places to go during London Fashion Week


How to be an influencer 101…

Photo: Olivier Degoulange/REX/Shutterstock

London fashion week has officially started which means all manner of things – bad traffic, excellent celebrity spotting and a lot of well-dressed people frequenting the city.

One of the most exciting parts of London fashion week however is the Instagram opportunities, which are endless BTW.

Sure, you might not have invites to the hottest shows in town, but even if you’re not actually attending LFW, you can still get in on the buzz, right?

From cool monochrome cafes and fashion week backdrops, to beautifully tiled floors and pop up presentations, there are plenty of Instagrammable ‘fasshuuun’ opportunities to go around.

So from getting an on-trend coffee to a LFW beauty treatment, here are the most Instagrammable places in London to hang out during fashion week.

Duck and Dry

What’s happening? For blow dries in the capital, there are few places more Instagrammable than Duck and Dry. Marble counters, duck egg blue furnishings, bare-bricked walls and the perfect egg-shaped mirrors to take blow dry selfies and Boomerang videos in.

What to order: A blow dry and a glass of Prosecco, or if you manage to get an invite to a party or show, get yourself a professional updo.

Glow Bar

What’s happening? While this isn’t a London Fashion Week exclusive, plenty of influencers will be hanging out in the new Instagrammable health and beauty shop over the weekend to browse the self-care drinks and take advantage of the Wifi and photographic decor (we’re talking pastel pink furnishings and rich green plants).

What to order: A moon milk – yes, it’s a thing and it’s packed with superfoods. Take your pick from chill, glow, yoni, golden or siren, and be sure to snap it against the marble table.

The Shop at The Bluebird

What’s happening? Covent Garden’s The Shop at The Bluebird has got a pop-up London Fashion Week area. We’re talking vitamin IV drips, rails of Rixo dresses and Bella Freud jumpers to browse, complimentary Kombucha and pop-up agile work stations with every phone charger imaginable. Did we mention the extra strong WiFi?

What to order: A vitamin IV drip and a complimentary bottle of Kombucha.

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Brighten up your day ☕💕 via @n__r331

A post shared by NAC (@nacmayfair) on Aug 13, 2018 at 3:35am PDT

NAC Mayfair

What’s happening? NAC is the place to go to for an Instagrammable brunch – and the food lives up to the hype. Expect the fashion crowd to head to NAC this fashion week season – and it’s not just because of the French bistro’s Mayfair location, situated near a lot of the shows. Decor-wise, we’re talking whitewashed bricks, pink backdrops and dark green plush sofas, and to eat, every brunch dish imaginable from churros and french toast to banana pancakes, acai bowls and all kinds of avocado concoctions.

What to order: The banana pancakes of course – they’re the most popular to Instagram and will give you a sugar hit before your day of fashion week oggling.

Saint Aymes

What’s happening? What’s not happening at Saint Aymes? Almost every fashion blogger you’ve ever heard of has had the obligatory Instagram snap on the black and white tiled floor in front of the wisteria-framed cafe. Flower walls, stunning tiles for downwards shoe shots and of course the pastel crockery to laden with whatever Instagrammable food you decide upon.

What to order: A signature unicorn latte – yes there is such a thing as a unicorn latte, and yes, as its name would suggest – it’s Instagrammable AF. Also on the must-try list are the pastel heart-shaped biscuit and the blueberry pancakes.

Farm Girl

What’s happening? Given the central locations of all three Farm Girls, they tend to be an obligatory stop for fashion bloggers and YouTubers – especially given the excellent lighting and photographic coffees. Whether they’re covered in lavender seeds or decorated with pug faces, their lattes might just be the most Instagrammable in history.

What to order: After bracing the cold weather for street style photo opps, we’d recommend a warming chai latte, but the liquid gold latte featuring a pug’s face and the rose petal latte are the most Instagrammable by far.

DryBy

What’s happening? DryBy has just had a revamp, turning it into an Instagrammable glam preparation hub. We’re talking agile working stations, allowing you to work on your laptop during a blow dry. Then head on downstairs for a gel manicure, with specialist technicians offering customised metallic designs and lettering.

What to order: A signature blow dry and a manicure of course.

Sketch London

What’s happening? Sketch has always been one of London’s most Instagrammable eateries, with each room offering different photographic opportunities. Fashion week is no exception, with influencers flocking to Sketch for the ‘gram. The Gallery offers the most photogenic afternoon teas, from its pink plush decor to the zigzag floors and monochrome drawings on the walls and the Glade is best if you feature a lot of greens on your feed. Maybe a trip to both is necessary? Just saying.

What to order: Afternoon tea at the Gallery, and an obligatory visit to the Sketch bathrooms for a photo in front of the iconic pod toilets. Trust us.

Dandelyan

What’s happening? For a post-fashion week cocktail, there are few places more on-trend. The Art Deco inspired decor (that lavender leather sofa), a soundtrack of 70s/ 80s rock mixed with funk and disco, and of course the most Instagrammable cocktail menu around – from the Nemo Old Fashioned and HMS Hi-ball, to the Nitrate Manhattan and Concrete Sazerac.

What to order: For Instagram purposes, the King Pig Sour or the Monkey Puzzle – solely for glass choice, cocktail colour and garnishing.

See you there! And happy Instagramming over fashion week!

The post These are the most Instagrammable places to go during London Fashion Week appeared first on Marie Claire.



These are the most Instagrammable London spots during Fashion Week

These are the most Instagrammable London spots during Fashion Week


It’s essentially how to be an influencer 101…

Photo: Olivier Degoulange/REX/Shutterstock

London fashion week has officially started which means all manner of things – bad traffic, excellent celebrity spotting and a lot of well-dressed people frequenting the city.

One of the most exciting parts of London fashion week however is the Instagrammable opportunities, which are endless BTW.

Sure, you might not have invites to the hottest shows in town, but even if you’re not actually attending LFW, you can still get in on the buzz, right?

With cool monochrome cafes and fashion week backdrops, to beautifully tiled floors and pop up presentations, there are plenty of Instagrammable ‘fasshuuun’ opportunities to go around.

So from getting an on-trend coffee to a LFW beauty treatment, here are the most Instagrammable London spots to hang around in during fashion week.

Duck and Dry

What’s happening? For blow dries in the capital, there are few places more Instagrammable than Duck and Dry. Marble counters, duck egg blue furnishings, bare-bricked walls and the perfect egg-shaped mirrors to take blow dry selfies and Boomerang videos in.

What to order: A blow dry and a glass of Prosecco, or if you manage to get an invite to a party or show, get yourself a professional updo.

Glow Bar

What’s happening? While this isn’t a London Fashion Week exclusive, plenty of influencers will be hanging out in the new Instagrammable health and beauty shop over the weekend to browse the self-care drinks and take advantage of the Wifi and photographic decor (we’re talking pastel pink furnishings and rich green plants).

What to order: A moon milk – yes, it’s a thing and it’s packed with superfoods. Take your pick from chill, glow, yoni, golden or siren, and be sure to snap it against the marble table.

The Shop at The Bluebird

What’s happening? Covent Garden’s The Shop at The Bluebird has got a pop-up London Fashion Week area. We’re talking vitamin IV drips, rails of Rixo dresses and Bella Freud jumpers to browse, complimentary Kombucha and pop-up agile work stations with every phone charger imaginable. Did we mention the strong WiFi?

What to order: A vitamin IV drip and a complimentary bottle of Kombucha.

View this post on Instagram

Brighten up your day ☕💕 via @n__r331

A post shared by NAC (@nacmayfair) on Aug 13, 2018 at 3:35am PDT

NAC Mayfair

What’s happening? NAC is the place to go to for an Instagrammable brunch – and the food lives up to it. Expect the fashion crowd to head to NAC this fashion week season – and it’s not just because of the French bistro’s Mayfair location, situated near a lot of the shows. Decor-wise, we’re talking whitewashed bricks, pink backdrops and dark green plush sofas, and to eat, every brunch dish imaginable from churros and french toast to banana pancakes, acai bowls and all kinds of avocado concoctions.

What to order: The banana pancakes of course – they’re the most popular to Instagram and will give you a sugar hit before your day of fashion week oggling.

See you there! And happy Instagraming over fashion week!

The post These are the most Instagrammable London spots during Fashion Week appeared first on Marie Claire.



This charity event at Ibiza Ushuaia will melt your heart

This charity event at Ibiza Ushuaia will melt your heart


We can all agree Ibiza Ushuaia know how to throw a great party right? Their legendary pool parties are not to be missed and this charity event is no different.

ushuaia ibiza beach club
Credit: guillegs.es

The Night League in association with Music Against Animal Cruelty otherwise known as M.A.A.C are coming together with Ibiza Ushuaia to present ‘Wild’ and we are very much here for it. According to M.A.A.C 90% of the Worlds Rhino population have been lost in the last 40 years and up to 30,000 elephants slaughtered for their ivory each year; its safe to say we have a global crisis on our hands.

So if you want to party the night away and support animal cruelty at the same time, er yes, then this event could be right up your street.

Ibiza Ushuaia

When:

Thursday 13th September expect a line up of stellar DJ’s at Ibiza Ushuaia

Who:

DJ’s including South African’s finest, the man of the moment Black Coffee, Swedish DJ Adam Beyer and Art Department.

Johnny White of Art Department and co-founder of M.A.A.C explains that ‘This isn’t just techno against animal cruelty. This is music against it. This is a global force against treating animals like they have any less right to be here than we do.’ All DJ’s are contributing their time and performance for free and all profits will go directly towards wildlife conversation projects. So far, so good.

With the music industry uniting at Ibiza Ushuaia on this global cause lets hope its sends a message and we can all come together to support the cause and raise funds for such a worthwhile cause. Boom, we are in! Buy tickets here

The post This charity event at Ibiza Ushuaia will melt your heart appeared first on Marie Claire.

Kynren – the action-packed spectacular that has to be seen to be believed

Kynren – the action-packed spectacular that has to be seen to be believed


Now in its third year, Kynren is a live-action celebration of two thousand years of English history that can only be described as ‘epic’ – the perfect way to round off your summer.

 

How do you bring two thousand years of English history to life? If you’re Kynren, the award-winning live-action show held just outside Durham each year, you do it with a cast and crew of a thousand (yes you heard that right), fireworks, giant water-jet ballet sequences and a menagerie of animals – including live horses, sheep and goats. On top of that, you perform it on a 7.5 acre stage in front of 8,000 people. Its no surprise that most viewers rate this show as the best live performance of their lives. We’re not going to disagree. This is worth every single one of the hundreds of thousands of five-star TripAdvisor reviews online.

Set against the incredible backdrop of Auckland Castle in County Durham, the 90-minute spectacular begins in sunlight and magically culminates with fireworks set against the lake in the darkness. It opens as the dusk falls. The lake is still and you watch as King Harold rejoices, having conquered the Vikings, but his celebrations are short-lived. The tranquil waters of the lake begin to ripple and swirl as the first of several battles commence that will document England’s turbulent past. Suddenly a Norman longship erupts from the water’s depths, bearing a fierce William of Normandy and his roaring men who leap ashore, swords held high. The show continues with one striking and utterly gripping historic scene after another, each even more impressive than the last. We were spellbound.

This year the show also commemorates two very special centenaries through its theme of ‘In Remembrance’: the ‘poppies and poignancy’ of the World War I Armistice, as well as the Suffragette Movement changing the law to grant the vote to some women with the Representation of the People Act.

kynren

Kynren have also added new scenes including a World War II commemoration of the Royal Airforce, Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation at Westminster Abbey, and England winning the 1966 World Cup taking centre stage. Combined with nail-bitingly bold new stunts, including horses jumping over flaming obstacles and dragging a Roman centurian along the ground at speed, you will spend every minute on the edge of your seat gawping with sheer awe.

With award-winning composer Nathan Stornetta (who has worked alongside Gladiator and Pirates of the Caribbean maestro Hans Zimmerman) in charge of the score, Kynren’s soundtrack only adds to this multi-sensory spectacular.

Off the stage, this year has seen Kynren’s cast and crew of 1000 local volunteers further recognised, after being awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (the equivalent of an MBE for volunteer groups) for their work in the show, as well as their contribution to making Bishop Auckland an international tourist destination and bringing much needed funds to the community. Their dedication and passion has to be seen to be believed, and is the perfect reflection of the show’s name, which comes from Anglo-Saxon ‘cynren,’ meaning generation, kin or family.

With tickets still available for the last two shows of the summer, this is a spectacular treat for history-buffs, regardless of age. Dont miss this great opportunity to round  your summer off in style.

Kyren: An Epic Tale of England takes place on Saturday 8th and Saturday 15th September at Flatts Farm, Toronto, Bishop’s Auckland, DL14 7SF.

The post Kynren – the action-packed spectacular that has to be seen to be believed appeared first on Marie Claire.