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We love London, but it turns out – shockingly – that not everyone feels the same way, as a scroll through TripAdvisor proves.

Big Ben is a timeless (no pun intended) landmark, right? And The Globe is a vital part of London’s incredible, diverse cultural landscape, yeah? Not if you’re one of these disgruntled TripAdvisor users, who were less than impressed with London’s tourist attractions for some weird and wonderful reasons…

One was not impressed by Buckingham Palace… Don’t forget to subscribe to Secret London’s YouTube channel for more top videos!

The post We’ve Uncovered The Weirdest TripAdvisor Reviews Of London Tourist Attractions appeared first on Secret London.

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International Busking Day is an all-day celebration of street performers, showcasing some of the best live music and entertainment that the world has to offer.

If you’re looking for plans this weekend, we have something for you that won’t cost a penny. The fourth annual International Busking Day, which has been created by Busk in London with support from Sadiq Khan, is set to feature over fifty performances from local and international talent — and it’s all completely free.

Photo credit : Chris Winter / Wembley Park

Taking over Wembley Park on Saturday July 20, there’ll be five stages where you can discover new artists — from the Main Stage on Olympic Way to performances inside Boxpark Wembley. Artists for this year’s International Busking Day include UK chart-topping indie rock band, Noisettes, and the very special headliner, Brit Award winner and Grammy/Mercury Award nominee, KT Tunstall.

KT Tunstall said of her upcoming performance: “I’m delighted to be supporting International Busking Day in Wembley Park in London this year, alongside the diverse array of talent that will be present. Having started out as a busker myself, I‘ve always felt it has the potential to play an important part of finding your way into life as a vocational musician.” 

They will join over fifty other acts, including singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Hattie Briggs; folk pop singer-songwriter Lucy May Walker; singer-songwriter Sherika Sherard; multi award-winning‚ indie pop & rock artist Natalie Shay; musician and singer-songwriter Josh Greaves; singer-songwriter Robbie Boyd; and performer Bethzienna Williams, finalist on this year’s The Voice.

Photo credit : Chris Winter / Wembley Park

As well as the music, there’ll also be a series of industry talks and opportunities to try out new audio gear. Boxpark will also play host to the official after party from 8:30pm, and taking the stage at 10:30pm is after-festival headliner is Children of Zeus, a soul project from two of Manchester’s most respected artists – DJ, MC and beatmaker Konny Kon, and soul singer Tyler Daley.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, says of the event: “I’m delighted that Busk in London is bringing International Busking Day back to Wembley Park. Our capital is renowned for its vibrant and diverse busking scene, so it’s great that such talented artists will be entertaining the local community across five stages.”

International Busking Day takes place on Saturday July 20, from 12-8pm. It’s totally free to attend – just register your interest here.

The post Discover Some Of The World’s Best Street Performers At This Free All-Day Festival appeared first on Secret London.

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There are cult eateries, and then there’s Max’s Sandwich Shop.

Yes, I know the word cult gets bandied about a lot, but some places truly deserve the moniker. One such place is Crouch Hill’s famed sandwich cafe, where the sarnie creation game is pumped up to epic levels. For Max’s Sandwich Shop isn’t just the best thing since sliced bread, but it might also the best at putting deliciousness between sliced bread.

Photo: @twofatslugs

As sandwich-slingers go, owner Max Halley is the perfect blend of devoted foodie and free-spirited genius. For instance, the classic ham sandwich gets a makeover of Pimp My Ride proportions, and is reborn as the Ham, Egg, ‘N’ Chips. Slow cooked ham hock, piccalilli, a fried egg, shoestring fries, and malt vinegar mayo combine for a spiffing riff on the dinner classic – and having had some delivered to the office this week, we can confirm it’s as delicious as it is filling (props to the folks at Longbottom & Co for setting that up).

Photo: @platesoftate

Joining this marvellously meaty creation on the menu at Max’s Sandwich Shop are witty delights such as Et Tu Brute? Murdering The Caesar. This time, roasted chicken thighs, pickled grape and tarragon salsa, baby gem chicory, garlic croutons, and anchovy mayo combine, deftly balanced between two delicious slices of focaccia.

Playing with your food: looks cool in theory, highly impractical in reality. Photo: @freshmikeeats

Indeed, it all starts with the bread; there’s no place for sagging slices of wholemeal at Max’s Sandwich Shop. Focaccia is the only game in town, toasted and salted to perfection, and – crucially – sturdy enough to hold an avalanche of fillings.

Photo: @infatuation_london

The menu changes on the regular, with recently departed creations such as This Is How We Spring Roll (pickled spring rolls, MSG & black bean mayo, kimchi) and Mutton Bloody Tikka Mate (mutton tikka, lime pickle yoghurt, Bombay Mix) have proved popular. Given Halley’s penchant for experimenting, you can rest assured that a new sandwich is never far off, which just begs you to make a repeat visit.

Photo: @fernandherfood

As you might have twigged by now, it’s all about that sandwich life here at Max’s Sandwich Shop, but sides and starters will help you fill up the edges. Deep fried mac ‘n’ cheese balls, crushed fried potatoes with pomegranate molasses, and soy and vinegar chicken wings all feature, and there’s always a sinfully sweet dessert option to consider. Yes, I know you might be full by this point, but starter-sandwich-dessert really is the only way to sandwich your meal…

Location: 19 Crouch Hill, Stroud Green, N4 4AP. Nearest station is Crouch Hill. See it on Google Maps.
Opening hours: 6-11pm (Weds, Thu), 6pm-midnight (Fri), 11am-midnight (Sat), 11am-6pm (Sun). Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Price: sandwiches are £9.50, sides begin at £4.50.
More information: on their website.

Featured image: @platesoftate and @fernandherfood

The post The Marvellous Sandwich Shop With The Outrageously Delicious Sarnies • Max’s Sandwich Shop appeared first on Secret London.

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We love London, but it turns out – shockingly – that not everyone feels the same way, as a scroll through TripAdvisor proves.

Big Ben is a timeless (no pun intended) landmark, right? And The Globe is a vital part of London’s incredible, diverse cultural landscape, yeah? Not if you’re one of these disgruntled TripAdvisor users, who were less than impressed with London’s tourist attractions for some weird and wonderful reasons…

One was not impressed by Buckingham Palace… Don’t forget to subscribe to Secret London’s YouTube channel for more top videos!

The post We’ve Uncovered The Weirdest TripAdvisor Reviews Of London Tourist Attractions appeared first on Secret London.

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If you’re looking to get more bang for your buck, don’t miss out on these spots.

Is there anything better than the sweet taste of a good deal when heading out for a fancy meal? Our friends at Bookatable are the ones responsible for just that – showing you where to find some of the city’s tastiest, free-flowing offers that’ll add the perfect side to your evening. They’ve rounded up some of their favourite sweet, sweet deals that you can claim at some of London’s top restaurants just by knowing where to look. 

Here’s everywhere you should be visiting and, warning, you’ll want to mark out some space in your diary and round up your closest friends immediately. We hope you’re hungry!

Palatino

In the heart of London’s original ‘Little Italy’, Palatino in Clerkenwell is a 10-minute walk from Old Street Station. The sister restaurant of highly acclaimed London restaurants Sardine and Rotorino, Palatino offers bold and flavoursome yet simple Italian dining. Compiled by acclaimed proprietor Stevie Parle, dig into juicy onglet, chicken & pistachio meatballs, hunter-style game, or lobster with fennel & chilli. Can’t decide what sounds the best? Feast upon their Star Deal of – wait for it – bottomless pasta and an Aperol Spritz for £27.50 per person. Claim it here.

Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar

If you’re after a classy Afternoon Tea with all the trimmings, head to Gillray’s Steakhouse & Bar. On the menu you’ll find things like London Cured Salmon, Caper Butter, Beetroot Bread and Matcha Tea and White Chocolate Macaron as well as more traditional afternoon tea choices. At the moment, you can also enjoy free-flowing G&Ts with afternoon tea for £43 per person. Here’s the deal. 

Inamo

“Bottomless Asian tapas” might be three words you only dreamt of hearing together but you’ll find them with free-flowing wine or beer at Inamo in Soho. With influences from Japanese, Chinese, Korean & Thai cuisine, you won’t be going hungry (or thirsty). The deal is £39.95 per person and you can find out more here.

Bokan 37 Restaurant

Ready for brunch? At Bokan 37 Restaurant you can gaze at the views from the 37th-floor setting while gorging on a 3-course Brunch menu with unlimited Prosecco for £52 per person. Focusing on seasonal ingredients, bold flavours and artful presentation, you’ll find the perfect midpoint between Instagrammable views and mouth-watering food. Here are the details.

Heliot Steak House

Heliot Steak House has attracted rave reviews for its inspired menu and has been voted Best Steak Restaurant in London by Bookatable users. Bring your nearest and dearest along to celebrate with a steak & lobster lunch with free-flowing champagne, fries & a dessert for £30 per person. Steak without breaking the bank? Yes, please!

The Perception at W Hotel

Our ears prick up as soon as we hear the word “Frosé” so the Brunch and 1.5 hours of bottomless Frosé and Prosecco deal at The Perception at W Hotel is going straight to the “favourites” list. A hidden oasis in the centre of London, The Perception boasts bold interiors, bar-raising cocktails, mouth-watering dining experiences and, crucially, bottomless Frosé for £39 per person. We’ll meet you there.

temper Covent Garden

temper specialises in wood-fired meats, day-boat fish and signature corn tacos but their pizzas are also definitely worth a mention. We recommend visiting this one with an empty stomach because after 90 minutes of bottomless pizza and wine (£25 per person) you’ll be rolling home. Their deep-pan Detroit pizza covers all bases from a classic Margherita to toppings like Beef cheek & bone marrow. Find out more here.

R.S. Hispaniola

Dinner on a boat? With bottomless Prosecco and three courses of food that’ll make your stomach rumble just reading it? The R.S. Hispaniola offers scenic views of Big Ben, the houses of parliament and the London Eye and currently has a top deal that you can dive right into. You’ll get all of the above for £35 per person. Want to come along?

COYA Mayfair

Let’s take a minute to highlight the 40 tequilas and an extensive rum list you’ll find at COYA Mayfair. Go all out for a fancy celebration at this Peruvian restaurant with their three-hour party brunch experience with unlimited cocktails, food, DJs and more (£75 per person). On the menu you’ll find ceviche and marinated skewers, as well as small dishes and hearty mains. We’ll let you savour the drinks menu yourself.

Maxwell’s Covent Garden

No one needs a reason to order bottomless Aperol Spritz but when you order from the A La Carte menu at Maxwell’s Covent Garden, you’ll be given the go-ahead anyway. Favourites on the Maxwell’s menu include signature burgers, fajitas, wings, baby back ribs and the famous freakshakes. The downstairs bar Cocktail Baby serves up a cocktail list full of original takes on the classics. We’ll say it again: £20 bottomless Aperols?

This article was sponsored by Bookatable. All deals are subject to change and are dependant on availability. Find out more via Bookatable’s website here.

The post 10 London Restaurants With Free-Flowing Offers That You Don’t Want To Miss appeared first on Secret London.

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Free. Disney. Pop-up. It’s all the things we love in one.

Yes, those three words are music to our ears. Speaking of which, you can add musicals into the bargain, because this glorious confluence of lovely things is actually a musical affair too. Opening on July 23rd for six weeks, the Disney In The West End summer pop-up is an all-singing, all-dancing celebration of The House of Mouse, and there’s loads to enjoy here.

Photo: @thelionkinguk

With Disney musicals (and remakes) very much in vogue right now, the returning Disney In The West End pop-up is a collaboration between four current and future West End musicals. The current duo, Aladdin and The Lion King, are both contributing a spectacular exhibit; The Lion King brings the masks, costumes, and puppets of the show for you to peruse, along with a nifty ‘Circle of Life’ VR experience – whilst Aladdin will provide a nostalgic ‘Cave of Wonders’ arcade that’s sure to be magical.

Photo: @aladdin

Meanwhile, the two future arrivals also have a presence. Mary Poppins, which makes a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious return to the West End in October 2019, will contribute a kite decorating workshop. Despite not arriving until autumn 2020, the West End production of Frozen will also be involved, with a photo experience aiming to build hype for the big arrival.

Disney In The West End will also feature puppetry demonstrations, music and movement tasters, and live performances and autograph signings from the cast of The Lion King (Thursdays) and Aladdin (Fridays) – see the full list of events here. And not to belabour the point, but it’s all free! Thankfully, there’s no possible way you’re tired of Disney at this point, so head on down for this magical experience.

Location: 21 Long Acre, WC2E 9LD. Nearest station is Covent Garden. See it on Google Maps.
Opening hours: open from July 23rd – September 1st, 2019. It’s open 10:30am-7pm (Mon to Sat) and 11am-5pm (Sun).
Entry: free (did I say that already?)
More information: on their website.

Featured image: @aladdin

The post A Fabulous, Free Disney Musical Pop-Up Arrives In Covent Garden Next Week appeared first on Secret London.

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How much are you willing to pay for a cuppa?

The Rubens at The Palace, which overlooks The Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, is one of London’s swankiest hotels. The five star venue serves an already-pretty-fancy afternoon tea with freshly baked scones, pastries and classic finger sandwiches. But, for the sake of making it even fancier, they’ve decided to throw the UK’s most expensive cup of tea into the mix.


For a pot of Ceylon Golden Tips, which holds just three cups of tea, you’ll be handed a bill for £500. Five hundred English pounds. Of course, at that price, it’s not just any cup of tea. In fact, it’s a very rare tea blend produced in the highlands of Sri Lanka, and brought to the UK by specialist tea merchants PMD Tea.

(See also: London’s most Instagrammable hotels.)

Exclusively available at The Rubens, Ceylon Golden Tips—now known as The Rubens Golden Tips Tea—has been created by expert tea pluckers who hand pick the tips of a special tea plant before sun-drying them on a velvet cloth. Ooh la. 

(See also: the tea-inspired restaurant and museum in Covent Garden)

The tea has a smooth, light and mellow texture with subtle fruity notes. The leaves can be infused up to three times (and if you’re paying half a grand, you’ll definitely be getting your money’s worth) and the flavour profile will change each time.

Anyone who opts for this extra spennyspecial tea will be given the full, five star treatment. The tea leaves will be picked with golden tweezers and weighed with precision. After being infused, it will then be poured from a special silver tea set with white glove service. 

The Rubens’ Royal Afternoon Tea costs £45 per person, plus the additional (and, importantly, optional) £500 for a pot of The Rubens Golden Tips Tea. For more information and to book, head to The Rubens’ website.

The post The UK’s Most Expensive Cup Of Tea Has Arrived In London appeared first on Secret London.

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Get your cultural fix under the stars at The Globe’s Midnight Matinées.

I’ve seen The Tempest performed in the woods, Macbeth performed in a thunderstorm, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream performed with a steaming drunk actor – yet there’s still nothing quite like a midnight Shakespeare showing at The Globe. London’s most awe-inspiring theatre started the practice back in the early 2000s, and this Saturday sees the next of their Midnight Matinées arrive.

Photo: @georgeywraybourne

Starting at 11:59pm, the Midnight Matinées run on a few select dates each summer, on The Globe’s stunning open-air stage. Next up, on July 20th, is the theatre’s riotous, colourful production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream – always a treat at this time of year. Meanwhile, 2018’s winning, gender-fluid interpretation of As You Like It is back on September 6th, with the Forest of Arden taking on a magical midnight quality.

Photo: @elena_acee

So, we’ve established that it’s quite unlike your standard theatre-going experience – but there’s another excellent reason to head along. Namely, that the Midnight Matinées tend to be a wee bit boozier than your standard Shakespeare show. The Globe’s bar remains open until the interval’s end (roughly 1:30am), and something about the midnight air and rousing comedy makes the audience especially merry…

Photo: @the_globe

I’ll be quite honest with you, I’m already 130% sold on this – and that’s before I tell you that Midnight Matinées are still just £5 for a standing ticket. Forget the clubs, forget the bars, because when the clock strikes midnight, this is the place to be!

Find out more about The Globe here.

The post Magical Midnight Shakespeare Productions Are Coming To The Globe appeared first on Secret London.

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A summery BBQ in London might sound like a glorious way to make the most of the weather…

…but we’re all familiar with the struggles of successfully roasting meat on a pile of hot coals. Black or undercooked; there seems to be no in-between when it comes to outdoor cooking. But we’ve teamed up with the masters of the BBQ Weber and their Grill Academy series to change all that. Now’s the chance for you and a friend to come along to Weber’s next grilling session (2nd August: 11.30am – 3.30pm) completely free!

The Weber Grill Academy is the place to head to find that seemingly imaginary secret recipe for Successful Barbequing. Based at Meat N16 in Stoke Newington, they offer four-hour courses filling you in on what you need to know about BBQing everything from your standard chicken and pork to some more unusual options. And now, they’re offering two Secret London readers the chance to take BBQing to a whole new level with the arrival of their “Wild Cuts” course. 

Wild Cuts focuses around some of the lesser-spotted but still undeniably delicious things that could pop up on your BBQ this summer. This unique hands-on experience teaches you the Weber Way of barbecuing, demonstrating further techniques like smoking, as well as covering key skills like lighting and temperature control. You’ll learn how to perfectly barbecue the delectable Wagyu steak, butcher Wild boar to create your own mince and how sugar smoking can give even the simplest of dishes and delightful caramel flavour. And the best bit? You’ll be able to feast upon everything that you cook up during the course. 

The nine-course menu that you’ll create includes dishes like “The Ultimate Ostrich Scotch egg” as well as roasted and smoked bone marrow, alpaca kebabs and hand-cut Cotswold Wagyu. Worry not if you’ve got a sweet tooth, because you’ll also get the chance to perfect barbecued buttermilk waffles and sugar-smoked pineapple skewers to round off the event. 

You’ll spend the course with a drink in hand, perfecting your BBQ skills and digging into all of your perfectly-cooked dishes. It’s the best way to impress your pals for the rest of summer when you can casually don a chef’s hat and whip up any number of delicious, freshly BBQ’d picks. 

Want to be in with a chance of winning? Just answer the question below!

This article was written in association with Weber Grill Academy. Terms and conditions apply – find them here. For more information or to sign up to one of Weber’s amazing range of Grill Academy’s teaching you how to cook the Weber way, click here.

The post Competition: Up Your BBQ Game At This Wickedly Wild East London Academy appeared first on Secret London.

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‘The Tulip’ has been cut down in its prime, thanks to the latest City Hall decision.

If you were excited to see The Tulip arrive on the London skyline, we have some bad news. On the other hand, if you were aghast at the thought of a 1000ft sperm cell towering above the capital, you’re probably thrilled at this: Sadiq Khan has officially rejected the planning application for the controversial skyscraper.

Bye Tulip, it’s been real.

Arguing (via a spokesperson) that the skyscraper offered “very limited public benefit” and “would result in harm to London’s skyline and impact views of the nearby Tower of London World Heritage Site”, the project has now been nixed. Hopes were mixed for mayoral approval; rumblings of Khan’s reservations were widespread, even in spite of the fact that the building had been greenlit by the City of London and had artfully sidestepped the concerns of key heritage groups.

Nope.

But, much like the ill-fated Garden Bridge, it’s not to be. Perhaps that’s wise, since within minutes of us posting the news on Facebook, you lot had alternately christened it “the dildo tower”, “the butt plug”, and “a giant sperm propelling itself out of the ground into the abyss” (my personal favourite). Kiss goodbye to rotating glass gondolas, a ‘classroom in the sky’, and eight floors of viewing platforms, because they’re now mere fantasy; winter came early for this Tulip.

On the plus side, we can now add it to the list of crazy London ideas that never happened.

The post Sadiq Khan Has Blocked Plans For London’s New 1,000 Foot Glass Skyscraper appeared first on Secret London.

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