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Clos Maggiore is très bon indeed.

Find your joie de vivre and grab your monsieur or mademoiselle, because it’s time to dine out, Provence style. Whilst London is blessed with beaucoup French restaurants, Covent Garden‘s Clos Maggiore stands out from the crowd. Yes, they have fancy food and an award-winning wine list, but the ace up their sleeve is this gorgeous conservatory.

Photo: @clos_maggiore

Yep, that’s the one. and it’s simply magnifique. Nicknamed “the fairy room”, a meal here takes place beneath a canopy of cherry blossoms. That canopy is hiding a glass roof, through which you can gaze at the stars (good luck in this town). Alternatively, gaze into the roaring fire that keeps this place warm, or into the eyes of your dining companion, because Clos Maggiore is hella romantic.

Photo: @clos_maggiore

Oh, and it’s also full of twinkling fair lights that illuminate the room by night. No biggie. Clos Maggiore has developed a neat little habit of repeatedly being voted the most romantic restaurant in the world, and this room is the reason why. Just make sure you ask to be seated in the conservatory, if you want the full experience.

Photo: @willowandrosemakeup

If you can tear your eyes away from the ceiling, Clos Maggiore also has some food you might be interested in. Just to warn you, it won’t come cheap. There’s a price to pay for fine dining in ultra-luxe surroundings, which explains why some of the starters are pushing £20. They do include the likes of a wild octopus salad and slices of suckling pig belly, so you can expect them to be appropriately decadent.

Photo: @mylondonfoodstory

Mains include such delights as truffle-stuffed chicken leg, and a shoulder of Windsor Park venison, which presumably hasn’t been filched from Her Majesty’s estate. The focus at Clos Maggiore is all about clean, modern Provencal cooking, using ingredients sourced from independent UK suppliers. Or if that’s too wordy, call it French, fancy, and filling.

Photo: @ingridwilkinson

Desserts range from the vaguely familiar (crunchy peanut butter parfait) to the exotic and mysterious (caramelised Valrhona chocolate sensation). Either way, they’re pretty as a picture.

Photo: @mopelephant

Decadent food and luxurious interiors really are enough to make you fall in love. So it’s hardly surprising that many trips to Clos Maggiore end with an engagement ring. Just some food for thought…

Photo: @newbyteas For more like this, see our guide to London’s most romantic restaurants.

Location: 33 King St, Covent Garden, WC2E 8JD. Nearest station is Covent Garden. See it on Google Maps.
Opening hours: lunch is 12-2:30pm every day, whilst evening sittings are 5-11pm (Monday to Saturday) and 5-10pm (Sunday). Clos Maggiore’s dress code is smart casual.
Price: starters begin at £9.90, mains from £21.50, and desserts from £8.90. There are multiple menus available, these prices have been taken from the a la carte menu.
More information: from their website.

Featured image: @miranda_wang.19

Four more wondrous spots:

 Hampstead’s Beautiful Derelict Terrace
 An Afternoon Tea That’s Out Of This World
 The Insta-Famous Bakery With Fab Cupcakes
 West London’s Foodie Summer Hangout

The post This Breathtaking Restaurant Might Just Be The World’s Most Romantic appeared first on Secret London.

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A new pop-up restaurant will turn your Instagram feed into your perfect meal.

All that Instagramming could be doing more than just making all of your followers jealous. Hey, it could be inspiring your next meal out! Intrigued? 

What have you been up to recently? Hiking the Himalayas? Diving the Great Barrier Reef? Or just eating at London’s coolest pop-ups? If you’ve documented it on Instagram, Eat Your Feed, the newest personalised recipe tool, knows about it. The new app is inspired by your experiences, and will personalise your recipe feed according to your recent antics. (So, you can quite literally Eat Your Feed – geddit?)

To celebrate the launch, the new app, created by number one stock brand Knorr, is bringing the first ever Instagram-powered restaurant to the capital. Taking over Jones & Sons in Dalston, the restaurant will be open for one night only, and it’s free for just a few lucky customers!

A post shared by M O N I (@moniguerrero28) on Mar 23, 2018 at 11:03am PDT

The technology within the app will analyse your feed and match your meal to your personal experiences. You can expect to be served anything from traditional French beef bourguignôn, to a spicy Moroccan lamb tagine – but everything will be made with flavoursome Knorr stock, because marketing 🤷‍♀️ And, as well as the main course, you’ll also get some delicious side dishes, bread and olives to start and two drinks (alcoholic, if you please).

The event will take place on Wednesday 11th April and you can apply for a spot here (please not: applications close at 10am on Thursday 29th March). 

The post A Restaurant Powered By Your Instagram Feed Is Coming To London appeared first on Secret London.

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The best Easter events in London in 2018 over the bank holiday weekend.

Here’s a cracking list of eggcellent things to do in London this Easter that don’t just involve stuffing your face with chocolate and Yorkshire puddings, and getting really pissed (although there’s a lot of that, too).

Easter egg hunts in London

Lindt Bunny Hunt at Hampton Court

Hunt for Lindt Gold Bunnies around the stunning home and gardens of Henry VIII and be rewarded with, well, a Lindt Gold Bunny we assume.

The Hunt will take place between 26th March and 15th April. Find out more about the event here

Cadbury’s Easter Egg Hunts

Photo: @maja.aroundwego

Explore stunning National Trust locations as you hunt for chocolate eggs. They’re taking place all over the country, but in London you’ll find them at Fenton House in Hampstead, Ham House in Richmond, Morden Hall Park, Osterley Park in Isleworth, Rainham Hall in Havering, Red House in Bexleyheath and Sutton House in Hackney.

The Cadbury’s Hunts take place from Friday 30th March until Monday 2nd April, and it’s £2 to enter. Find out more here

Bluebird’s adult-friendly egg hunt

Let the kids run out in the courtyard in search of Easter eggs while you retire to the cocktail bar. Sounds ideal, right?

Takes place on Easter Sunday (1st April) at 11am. Find Bluebird at 350 King’s Road, SW3 5UU. 

Easter dining in London

Easter “Brunch” at the Chelsea Harbour Hotel 

Enjoy a delightful meal with a glass of Champagne at the Chelsea Harbour Hotel. Get an amazing sharing platter of starters, including prawn cocktail and charcuterie, before tucking into a fancy roast dinner and a wonderful platter of desserts, all followed by a selection of British cheeses. Check out the full menu here and purchase tickets over on Fever.

The Easter menu will be available on Saturday 31st March and Sunday 1st April between 12.30-2.30pm. Find the Chelsea Harbour Hotel at Chelsea Harbour, Fulham, SW10 0XG.

Deep fried Creme Egg sundaes 

Mac & Wild are going eggstra wild this Easter with their deep-fried Creme Egg sundaes making a sweet addition to their menu. You can also opt for their boozy bottomless brunch option, featuring their classic Full Scottish Breakfast and bottomless cocktails including Bloody Scotsmen (with whisky), Bloody Botanists (with gin) and Bloody Marys (with vodka).

The sundae will be available from Friday 30th March until Monday 2nd April. Find Mac & Wild in Fitzrovia (W1W 7PS) or Devonshire Square (EC2M 4YN). 

Chocolate Afternoon Tea at Lanes of London

Of course the Easter weekend wouldn’t be complete without at least one spectacularly chocolatey afternoon tea. Head to Lanes of London for Mad Hatter-inspired cupcakes and brownies, and chocolate tea cups filled with blackcurrant hibiscus white chocolate cream, plus so much more.

The tea is available between Friday 30th March and Sunday 1st April, from 12-5pm. Find Lanes of London at 140 Park Lane, Mayfair, W1K 7AA.

Triple Chocolate Egg & Soldiers at Christopher’s

Eggy soldiers, eggcept swapping the toast for sugar-coated churros and the egg for chocolate eggs filled with lemon and white chocolate, hot milk chocolate and molten dark chocolate. Sounds like a bloody Good Friday to me.

Available from Friday 30th March until Monday 2nd April. You’ll find Christopher’s at 18 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 7DD. 

Easter Egg Pizza at Bunga Bunga

Bunga Bunga is already pretty legendary on the pizza front, but the bank holiday weekend will see the launch of The Eggs-troadinaire Pizza, topped with all things Easter. Picture this: custard base topped with Creme Eggs, Mini Eggs, Lindt Chocolate Bunnies and more.

It’ll be available from Friday 30th March until Monday 2nd April. Find Bunga Bunga at 167 Drury Lane, Covent Garden, WC2B 5PG (only available at the Covent Garden branch).

Gluten free Hot Cross Buns at Beyond Bread

London’s 100% gluten free bakery is, of course, joining in on all the Easter action with some special naturally wheat-free treats. Hot cross buns! Gingerbread cookies! Coeliacs needn’t miss out on the fun.

Find Beyond Bread in various locations across London.

The Ivy Soho Brasserie’s Easter pudding

Imagine this: biting into deliciously smooth chocolate mousse with an exciting bite of honeycomb and popping candy, all enveloped in a chocolate bunny-shaped shell alongside a drizzle of caramel sauce. Now you’ve imagined it, go ahead and taste it for real.

Available from Friday 30th March until Monday 2nd April. You’ll find The Ivy Soho Brasserie at 26-28 Broadwick Street, W1F 8JB.

Lily Vanilli’s Powder Pink Pudding 

To celebrate the long weekend, lovely London baker Lily Vanilli has designed a pretty, pastel-coloured dessert especially for Laurent-Perrier’s Cuvée Rosé Champagne pop-up. It’s a beautiful tart with a pink lemonade filling topped with mini meringues and it almost looks too good to eat.

The dessert will be available from 27th March until 2nd April. Find the pop-up at Mondrian London at Sea Containers, 20 Upper Ground, South Bank, SE1 9PD. 

Treat yourself to a classic Sunday roast, because Easter

Check out these Sunday lunches that will make you wish it was Sunday every day.

Indulge in other delicious Easter-themed treats 

Dominique Ansel Bakery

Here are ten of London’s best bakeries that are guaranteed to satisfy that sweet tooth.

Easter cocktails to try

Mr Fogg’s G and Tea

This is technically an afternoon tea, so food is also involved, but we put it under ‘cocktails’ because the focus is on the hundreds of gins that guests are invited to try. Indulge in gin cocktails and authentic Victorian sweet and savoury delicacies, complete with hot cross buns and Easter eggs, of course. Also at Mr Fogg’s, drink cocktails from real eggs served in a real egg box. Crackin’!

The G and Tea will be available on Saturday 31st March and Sunday 1st April. Find Mr Fogg’s Residence at 15 Bruton Lane, Mayfair, W1J 6JD. 

Aster’s Chocolate Egg Cocktail

Aster are celebrating the four day weekend with a eggcellent brunch menu, including a chocolate egg custard tart, and the return of their Chocolate Surprise cocktail, served in a giant chocolate egg. It’s made with golden rum, dark chocolate liqueur, bitter chocolate, milk and sugar, so it’s definitely only suitable for grown up Easter bunnies.

Available from Friday 30th March until Monday 2nd April, the brunch costs £21 for two courses and £26 for three. Find Aster at 150 Victoria Street, Westminster, SW1E 5LB. 

Summerhouse Easter cocktails 

How do you like your eggs in the morning? In a cocktail, duh. This sweet, sweet creation is a delightful mix of brandy, cream, egg yolk, and subtle hints of cinnamon and vanilla. It’s beautifully decorated with spun sugar and a Haribo fried egg, and it’s guaranteed to get you right into the Easter – or should we say Bank Holiday? – spirit.

Available from Friday 30th March until Monday 2nd April. Find The Summerhouse at 60 Blomfield Road, Maida Vale, W9 2PA. 

More Easter events

Bunny cuddles at South Place Hotel

Somehow, once upon a time, bunnies got mixed up in all this Easter business and became a cute and cuddly symbol of the holiday. So, in honour of this, South Place Hotel are borrowing some bunnies from Spitalfields City Farm and will be available for cuddles throughout Easter Sunday.

Find South Place Hotel at 3 South Place, EC2M 2AF.

Egg-shaped bowling balls at QUEENS

If you’ve ever tried to roll a rugby ball, you’ll know that it’s a recipe for disaster, but QUEENS have decided that rolling an egg-shaped ball – which in my eyes is just as disastrous, if not worse – will be a bit of fun. Battle it out with your mates, just as you would in a normal game, but this time you could be in with a chance to win a beautiful chocolate Egg made for champions. Worth a go.

Their Easter Egg-travaganza is taking place over the Easter weekend, naturally. Find QUEENS at 17 Queensway London, W2 4PQ. 

Peter Rabbit-themed Festival at Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens is going Peter Rabbit MAD, which all sorts of family-friendly activities throughout the grounds. The festival is taking place between 30th March and 15th April and you can check out the full schedule of events here.

Passion of Jesus in Trafalgar Square

Photo by: Roy (via Flickr)

Watch the annual enactment of Jesus’s final days, all taking place – for free – in Trafalgar Square. Expect hundreds of performers, including donkeys, to bring the biblical story to life.

The Passion of Jesus takes place on Good Friday, with live performances at both 12pm and 3.15pm.

Canopy Market Easter Special

Canopy Market, King’s Cross

Canopy Market at King’s Cross is becoming a weekly affair! And it’s kicking off with an Easter special, featuring hot cross buns (obviously), an easter egg hunt (obviously) and a petting farm, as well as all the regular traders. With appearances from Bread Ahead, Casa Cannoli and Le Jeune Chocolatiers, you’re in for an absolute treat (quite literally).

Canopy Market will be open from Friday 30th March until Sunday 1st April. You’ll find it at West Handyside Canopy, just off Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4BZ.

Easter parties

German Bier Festival at Ally Pally

Springfest is back to give London revellers a particularly Good Friday. Get ready for beers and bratwursts galore, all set inside the iconic Ally Pally Great Hall. There’ll be everything from Oompah bands to Club De Fromage DJS and an ABBA tribute act, all awash with deutsche biers, pretzels, Bodean’s BBQ and waffles. Prost!

Springfest takes place on Good Friday (30th March) and you can get your tickets here. Find Alexandra Palace at Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. 

Willy Wonka Brunch Party

The World of Pure Imagination no longer needs to remain in your head: prepare for an all-day party with fire-breathers, stilt walkers, Oompa Loompas, karaoke and a photo booth. Get your golden ticket here. Unfortunately, tickets for the brunch have now sold out, but you can still join for the all-day party for just £8.

The Willy Wonka Brunch Party takes place on Friday 30th March. Find Bunga Bunga Battersea at 37 Battersea Bridge Road, SW11 3BA. 

Prince of Wales’s rooftop reopens

Brixton’s first and only rooftop terrace (ever since Brixton Rooftop shut..

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Living it up in London is all fun and games… Until you realise you really should be saving for the future.

Once you’ve realised it’s time to start pinching pennies, life tends to become a whole lot harder. Trust us, we know how hard it can be to save money when the temptations of all of London’s pop-ups and restaurants are pounding on your door. There’s got to be a better way to save money without missing out, right? Just read on or click here to find out…

1. You resorted to packed lunches of leftover pesto pasta tupperwares and sad-looking tin foil-wrapped sandwiches.

And you didn’t even have a nice lunchbox to stop them from turning into tin foil pancakes by the time you got to work.

2. You walked all the way from Vauxhall to Farringdon just to save the £2.40 tube fare.

You subsequently arrived at your destination dripping with sweat and with blisters all over your feet because you weren’t wearing appropriate footwear.

3. You ‘pre-drank’ before going out to eat in order to save money on wine.

Hell no would you have consented to pay £16 for a bottle of Pinot Grigio when you could get the same bottle for £4 in Tesco.

4. You bought an outfit, wore it to your mate’s party with the tags still in it, then returned it afterwards.

Sorry Topshop.

5. You made flasks of tea to take into the office with you instead of splashing out on snazzy Pret coffees.

Tea from a flask really just does not taste as satisfying as a barista-made coffee.

6. You set up a ‘food blog’ on Instagram in the hopes of blagging yourself some freebies.

Inevitably though you got bored two weeks later, once you realised that people were not, in fact, lining up to get a look at your budget-friendly sandwiches.

7. You sold all your ‘unnecessary’ worldly possessions on eBay.

Things like coats and scarves were more luxury than necessity at the time.

8. You queued for 2 hours outside a toast-based pop-up for a free piece of ‘unicorn toast’.

This turned out to just be a piece of bread topped with cream cheese and rainbow sprinkles.

9. You agreed to go out for a Friday pub lunch and ended up sitting alongside your work colleagues, staring longingly at everyone’s meals whilst nursing a solitary beer.

Dark times. Dark, desperate times.

10. You started ‘meal prepping’ and ended up eating the same chicken and rice dish for lunch every day for a week. You now passionately hate chicken and rice.

We cannot possibly understand how we ever thought that was a good idea.

11. You finally cancelled that £40 a month gym membership that you never used.

Ok, that was actually kind of a good thing. We’ll let that one slide.

12. You ordered the Spaghetti Pomodoro instead of the Corn Fed Chicken you really wanted because it was the cheapest thing on the menu.

Nobody should ever have to compromise on their meal choices.

13. You put your room on Airbnb and retreated to your parents’ house during rentals.

Your flatmates were certainly not impressed.

14. You walked all the way to your nearest Waitrose just to get the free coffee.

The best things in life are free. Well, almost.

15. You contemplated moving *shudder* ‘up north’.

There’s nowhere like your beloved London. We can’t believe we could have even entertained such an idea. Luckily, we’ve found a better way to save money and carry on doing the things we love…

Moneybox makes saving part of your everyday life through ‘round ups’. Say you buy a coffee for £2.40, Moneybox will automatically set aside the 60 pence change – meaning you’ll start to save money without even realising it! You can even start investing your savings with a choice of three simple investment options – you really don’t need to be an expert to get started. Get going from as little as £1!

Investing can be a powerful way to grow your money over time and see higher returns than you would with your savings sitting in a current account. You can even opt for their Lifetime ISA, which gives you a 25% government bonus on all savings up to £4,000 a year towards your first home. So, if you’re a first time buyer, you could get £1,000 free from the government every year!

You can find out more about Moneybox on their helpful website, but we reckon you’re best off just downloading the app and giving it a go. You’ll start to see the benefits in no time.

This post was sponsored by Moneybox. As with all investing, capital is at risk and you may get back less than you invest. Government early withdrawal charge applies to the Lifetime ISA. If you withdraw your money for any reason other than buying your first home (up to the value of £450,000), or for retirement after age 60, you will pay a government charge of 25%.

The post 15 Truly Tragic Things We’ve All Done In Order To Save Money In London appeared first on Secret London.

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Daybreaker London will have you dancing from dawn.

Nothing works up a sweat quite like bopping around the dancefloor like a loon. That’s why Daybreaker offers Londoners the chance to tear it up to brilliant tunes, all before they hit the office. [All photos: Ayden Whitfield for Daybreaker]

Next taking place on Wednesday, March 28, proceedings open at 6am, with an optional hour of yoga and meditation for the truly zen morning people among us.

Then, at 7am, DJs and live musicians kick off a two-hour soul and disco party to put a smile on your face and get the old internals effervescing.

Free drinks and snacks are provided to fuel the fiesta, and then at 9am it’s time for one last euphoric floorfiller before everyone returns to reality with a proper natural buzz on. Hitting the club has never been quite so wholesome.

Fancy trying it out? The next edition kicks off at Cargo in Shoreditch next week: grab your tickets here.

The post This Is London’s Yoga And Disco Party For Morning People appeared first on Secret London.

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Darkness will reign in the capital to support Earth Hour.

Ever felt dazzled by the bright lights of the big city? Well, you’ll get some respite soon, as buildings all over London are switching off their lights tonight (March 24th) in support of the World Wildlife Fund‘s Earth Hour. Landmarks all over the capital will be going dark between 8:30 and 9:30pm, to call attention to the looming threat of climate change. It’s also likely to result in a lot of very confused and disappointed tourists, bereft of selfie opportunities.

Cities and towns in 178 countries will be switching off their lights, and London is helping to lead the way. Among the sights that will be plunged into darkness tonight are the London Eye, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Piccadilly Circus, the Gherkin, St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and the National Theatre. Meanwhile, Carnaby Street will go dark too, but before the lights go out you can catch their famous arch, which has had a jungletastic makeover in honour of Earth Hour.

Besides being good for the planet, Earth Hour also represents a great opportunity to take a moonlit stroll around London. You might actually be able to stargaze for once, but don’t hold your breath…

Elsewhere on Saturday, you can catch the Boat Race from a lovely riverside pub, or head to Spitalfields City Farm for the ever-popular Goat Race.

Featured image: @peppyhere

The post London Is Switching Off The Lights For Earth Hour appeared first on Secret London.

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The Boat Race is a gruelling thing to do. But at these riverside spots, it’s a dream to watch.

This Saturday, March 24th, perennial rivals Oxford and Cambridge will attempt to sort out their beef on the waters of the Thames, as the Boat Race returns for 2018. The country’s finest rowers will splash their way from Putney Bridge to Mortlake, and over a quarter of a million people are expected line the river to watch. The 73rd Women’s Boat Race kicks off at the oddly specific time of 4:31pm, with the men battling it out for the 164th time at 5:32pm. Amidst the glow of a warm spring evening (we can dream, can’t we?), there’s no better way to watch the Boat Race than with a pint in hand, at one of the fine riverside pubs and restaurants along the route. (Alternatively, try the fluffy send-up of the event at the Goat Race in east London.)

START The Star And Garter Photo: @starandgarter1

The obvious place to begin is as close to the starting line as possible, et voilà: The Star and Garter. They’ll get the day started with a bang, offering drinks deals, giveaways, and butlers ferrying around booze. Fromage fiends Cheese Town will be in attendance too, serving baked Camembert and cheese boxes from 12pm until late. Won’t that go just perfectly with your pint?

4 Lower Richmond Road, Putney, SW15 1JN. Nearest station is Putney Bridge.

Thai Square Putney Bridge Photo: @thaisquaregroup

Ok, so it’s not a pub – it’s more banh mi than beer garden – but this place does have an ace up its sleeve. They’ll have a food stall serving Thai dishes from just £1, and the Boat Race will be screened live in the bar. Music and revelry continues until 2am, so alumni of the winning team can celebrate their victory until the wee hours.

2-4 Lower Richmond Road, Putney, SW15 1JN. Nearest station is Putney Bridge.

The Duke’s Head Photo: @londonfoodie.co.uk

For a spot with a little more grandeur, mosey over to The Duke’s Head. This Victorian boozer is Grade-II listed, and has witnessed almost every Boat Race in history. With rooms like The Rowing Club and The Coxswain Dining Room, you’ll be sure to get an oar-ful of knowledge from rowing aficionados.

8 Lower Richmond Road, SW15 1JN. Nearest station is Putney Bridge.

MIDDLE The Crabtree Photo: @aliliiicious

Our first pub on the north bank of the Thames, The Crabtree gets into the swing (or should that be stroke?) of things. They’re laying on a whole Boat Race Festival, with live music, street food vendors, and pop-up bars, all with lovely views of the river. Coming here really would be a stroke of genius.

Rainville Road, Hammersmith, W6 9HA. Nearest stations are Hammersmith and Baron’s Court.

The Blue Boat Photo: @veronicawesolowski

With a terrace that opens up right onto the river, The Blue Boat commands a very nice view of the race. They’re also openly defying the weather gods by hosting an outdoor barbecue, serving up ribs, burgers, and sausages. Cross your fingers for sunshine if you’re planning to head here.

Distillery Wharf, Parrs Way, Hammersmith, W6 9GD. Nearest station is Hammersmith.

The Blue Anchor Photo: @emmachambers17

A lovely little pub sitting close to Hammersmith Bridge, The Blue Anchor has a lot going for it. Craft beers on tap, smashing views of the Thames, and an appearance in Sliding Doors are just some of its charms. Having served ales since 1722, this place has seen many a rower go gliding past, and a recent refurbishment has it looking ship-shape.

13 Lower Mall, Hammersmith, W6 9DJ. Nearest station is Hammersmith.

The Rutland Arms Photo: @global_girls_fly

Right next door to The Blue Anchor, the Greene King-owned Rutland Arms has more of a party vibe. They’ll throw the doors open at 10am, host a BBQ, and run a Britpop-a-thon at the conclusion of the race. After which, the Boat Race will seem like a Blur.

15 Lower Mall, Hammersmith, W6 9DJ. Nearest station is Hammersmith.

The Dove The Dove

The further you go along the Boat Race route, the older the pubs seem to get. The Dove is so old, Charles II used to wine and dine his mistress Nell Gwynne here. You aren’t likely to spot any royals here come race day, but it does boast officially the smallest bar room in the world, so expect it to full up rather quickly.

19 Upper Mall, Hammersmith, W6 9TA. Nearest station is Ravenscourt Park.

The Old Ship Photo: @jamesmthorpe

You’ll see the boats coming and going here, as The Old Ship has a wide view of the Surrey Bend. It’s a Young’s Pub, so you can expect a fairly standard range of beers and bar food – but the terrace views will more than make up for it.

25 Upper Mall, Hammersmith, W6 9TD. Nearest stations are Ravenscourt Park and Stamford Brook.

FINISH The White Hart Photo: @whitehart_barnes

The Boat Race will in all likelihood be decided by now, but if it isn’t, The White Hart is a smashing spot for a photo finish. Their lovely outdoor terrace will surely be rammed, but if you’re here early enough, you’ll get a commanding view of the finish. Should hunger strike, you’ll be well catered for in this gastropub.

The Terrace, SW13 0NR. Nearest station is Barnes Bridge (National Rail).

Rick Stein Photo: @ricksteinrestaurants

Again, not a pub, but it’s earned a spot on this list as it’s brand spanking new, and also highly appropriate. Since you’re watching a river race, seafood is surely the food of choice for Boat Race day. And who better to serve it than Rick Stein, master of British seafood? Their Boat Race special is a three course, seafood-heavy meal, and it will set you back £70. Guess it’s an appropriate time to splash out…

Tideway Yard, 125 Mortlake High Street, SW14 8SN. Nearest station is Barnes Bridge (National Rail).

The Ship Photo: @leonrc

It’s about as close to the finish line as you can get, making The Ship very popular real estate when the Boat Race rows around. This picturesque building is a tranquil spot when the boats are gone, but on race day, expect it to be busy. Tradition dictates that the winning team should dip their cox in the river (not as dirty as it sounds), and this eighteenth century pub will give you the best view of the celebration.

10 Thames Bank, Mortlake, SW14 7QR. Nearest station is Mortlake (National Rail).

Featured image: The Dove

The post 12 Rocking Riverside Pubs To Watch The Boat Race From appeared first on Secret London.

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A magical place where the Baileys isn’t just dairy-free, its free-free too.

There really should be some sort of beacon whenever free stuff is available, calling impoverished Londoners to it. Luckily, you have us to tell you about it instead, and we’ve found a good ‘un. On Friday March 23rd, Baileys are launching a one-day pop-up to celebrate their vegan Almande (that’s just a fancy way of saying almond) variety, and they’re giving the stuff away for free.

Just a glass, mind you. Giving away a free bottle would be a little too frivolous. Try to suppress any questions you may have, such as “why are they serving Baileys when it isn’t Christmas?” (who cares, it’s free), and “is this a launch party?” (no, because vegan Baileys has been a thing for a while now). Whatever you want to call it – a continuation party maybe? – it is a party nonetheless, and the drinks are free. Which, let’s be honest, is the most important thing.

Also free are the vegan treats laid on by London’s sweetest dessert makers to produce free vegan treats. East London faves Lily Vanilli have whipped up a sticky toffee pudding, ice-cream aficionados Nonna’s Gelato have concocted an Eton Mess, and rumours about that vegan cheesecake will be in attendance. You’ll only get to try one, so choose wisely!

Find it at 13 Soho Square, W1D 3QF, between 1pm and 7pm on Friday 23rd March only.

Featured image: @baileysofficial

The post Get Free Baileys And Vegan Treats At This Soho Pop-Up appeared first on Secret London.

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West London’s favourite shopping centre is upgrading, and it’s shaping up to be extremely impressive.

On the 20th March, loads of fantastic new shops opened their doors. And, to celebrate the new openings, Westfield London is putting on a whole host of tasty giveaways and events over the weekend that we thought you might like to hear about.

Visitors to the new and improved Westfield London can expect some bold new retail concepts from loads of big-name brands. The nation’s favourite department store, John Lewis, has landed a starring role in the upgrade, with a whopping new 230,000 sq ft store. That’s more than 80 times larger than a tennis court, if you needed an idea of scale. The branch includes a personal styling lounge, a discovery room offering a range of complimentary taster sessions, and even a specialist & Beauty salon.

Alongside John Lewis, you can expect new openings from Flying Tiger Copenhagen, Emperor, West Elm, BoConcept, Stradivarius, Space NK, Boots, the first Adidas Stadium Concept Store, Pinkberry… We could go on for hours! This is the first phase of openings so there’s lots more to come – just take a look at our list of March openings at the bottom of the page to find out what’s up and running right now.

In the coming months, there’s much more to come. You can look forward to boutique bowling from All Star Lanes and a mini golf course from Puttshack that electronically tots up your score. There’s not long to go now until getting your game face on – finally a chance to knock your scorecard-cheating mate down a peg!

Their opening weekend looks set to be a big one, with loads of foodie giveaways taking place from midday on Saturday and Sunday. You’ll have the chance to enjoy free candyfloss, sweetie bags, gingerbread biscuits, chocolate slabs, and hot chocolate. There’s even a doughnut selfie wall from Dum Dum Doughnuts. A sweet tooth’s dream!

Here’s what just opened up on the 20th:

John Lewis
West Elm
The White Company
Molton Brown
Pret A Manger
Charles Tyrwhitt
Space NK
Miller Harris
Skinny Dip
Currys PC World
Flying Tiger Copenhagen
Cosmo Nails
Dr Botanicals
Massage Angels

For more information visit the Westfield London website and make sure you keep an eye on Secret London for updates. Westfield will be hosting a celebration of food in June and a funky birthday bash in October when Westfield London turns the big 1-0, so keep your eyes peeled for further announcements. In the meantime, make your way down there yourself to check out the shiny new stores. You’ll find Westfield London at Ariel Way, W12 7GF.

This post was sponsored by Westfield.

The post Westfield London’s New Extension Is Looking Seriously Impressive appeared first on Secret London.

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Vegans will want to make a trip Crosstown for these bad boys.

Hole-y smokes, the unthinkable has happened: vegans have claimed the doughnut as their own. We knew it was coming when vegan varieties started popping up all over the capital, but Crosstown Doughnuts have taken it one step further, by launching their new Marylebone location as London’s first all-vegan doughnut shop. (See our guide to London’s best vegan restaurants.)

Photo: @crosstowndoughnuts

The new addition to the Crosstown family opened on Monday, serving up their much-vaunted sourdough doughnuts. Just like the rest of Crosstown’s rings, these are handmade in London each morning – the only difference is that this lot are entirely plant-based. Top vegan flavours include the peanut butter jelly doughnut and the apple pie doughnut. King of the castle is their beloved vegan blood orange doughnut, made with beetroot dough and sprinkled with pistachio crumbs.

The vegan PBJ. Photo: @crosstowndoughnuts

Doughnuts’ old partner coffee is coming along for the ride, don’t you worry about that. Crosstown is continuing its partnership with London-based Caravan Coffee to brew you up a cup of Joe. For the rest of March, you can get a cup for just £1.50, along with a splash of plant-based milk (the store is entirely dairy-free). Matcha, chai, and hot chocolate are also on the menu up in Marylebone, but you’ll likely be taking them on the go, because this Crosstown branch is teeny tiny. Vegans of London, doughnut miss out on this one!

Location: 5-6 Picton Place, Marylebone, W1U 1BL. Nearest station is Bond Street. Crosstown serve their full range, along with limited vegan options, at locations all over the city – see them all here. They also deliver!
Opening hours: 9am-6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am-6:30pm (Saturdays and Sundays). They’ll close up shop early if they run out of doughnuts.
Price: doughnuts cost between £2 and £3.80, whilst coffee starts at £2.50.
More information: from their website.

Featured image: @crosstowndoughnuts

The post Crosstown Doughnuts Have Opened Up An All-Vegan Branch appeared first on Secret London.

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