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The new tower, designed by Norman Foster’s firm Foster + Partners, was approved by the City of London Corporation back in April, but Sadiq Khan has now advised planners to reject the proposals, after concerns regarding its design were raised.
The Mayor’s team concluded that the design for the building ‘has not resulted in the world-class architecture that would be required to justify its prominence’, and also raised issues regarding the impact it would have on views of the nearby Tower of London. A spokesperson said that Sadiq had ‘a number of serious concerns with this application and having studied it in detail has refused permission for a scheme that he believes would result in very limited public benefit’. Ouch.
The architects said they were disappointed and were considering their next steps. How about a chrysanthemum instead? Or a nice hyacinth? No?
You’ll know the Southbank Centre as one of the UK’s best and buzziest art and culture hubs. But for more than 40 years, it’s also been the UK’s spiritual home of skateboarding. With its smooth pavements and angled banks, the centre’s lowest level – the Undercroft – claims the title of the longest continually skated space in the world. And now, after a hard campaign to save it for future generations of skaters, it’s about to more or less double in size.
Let’s back up for a second. About 15 years ago two-thirds of the Undercroft was closed off during the refurbishment of the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, and has remained that way ever since. Then, in 2012, a plan was announced to close the entire Undercroft and move the skaters off the site altogether. But the Undercroft community – fronted by the campaign group Long Live Southbank – gathered public support and eventually reached an agreement with the Centre, safeguarding the future of the space.
Now LLSB has more good news: it has announced that a chunk of the previously boarded-up old Undercroft space will be opened up again, restored for use by skateboarders and BMXers. That’s thanks to a joint application for City Hall funding by the campaign and the Southbank Centre itself, which will turn the third and final part of the Undercroft into a new centre for schools and young people.
Join the skateboarding community to celebrate at the Southbank Restoration Jam on Saturday (July 20), and witness the grand reopening of the old space alongside skate schools, live DJ sets and giveaways. After years of uncertainty, skating is coming home.
As much as any true Londoner will jump at the chance to immediately sink a four-pack in the nearest park whenever the temperature creeps above 20C, for many of us the warm weather of recent summers is also a startling reminder of impending doom.
And so it should be, because in 30 years London will have a climate similar to that of Barcelona today, according to new research by the Crowther Lab in Zurich.
According to the interactive world map created by researchers, the average annual temperature in London will go up by 2.1C, and the maximum temperature of the warmest month in the year is likely to increase by a pretty scorching 5.9C. So last July’s peak temperature of 34C could be more like 40C.
And while a Mediterranean climate may sound pretty fabulous when you’re soaking up the rays from a rooftop bar, researchers also warn that this is likely to be accompanied by severe droughts comparable to the one seen in Barcelona in 2008, when the government was forced to spend millions importing drinking water. So finding a sunny spot to drink your Aperol Spritz is going to be the least of your worries.
Of course, London isn’t the only city expected to suffer potentially disastrous consequences as a result of global heating. The research indicates that 80 percent of cities globally will undergo dramatic changes in climate, while a worrying 104 cities are forecast to experience climates that have not yet been seen at all in a major city.
The lab’s founder, Tom Crowther, told The Guardian that ‘we are absolutely not prepared’ for these dramatic changes. ‘Planning for climate change needs to start yesterday,’ he added. ‘The sooner it starts, the less the impact will be.’
So there’s a cheerful thought for next time you’re getting the pints in at your local beer garden.
From flakes to freakshakes, sorbets to sandwiches, ice cream is a pretty versatile thing. But, according to Farringdon pub The Conductor, our delicious friend hasn’t been living up to its full potential all these years.
Welcome, The House of Ice Cream, a new pop-up where scoops of the good stuff will be served as the accompaniment to fried chicken, chips and hot sauce.
Sounds fowl? Don’t worry, the wacky brainchild of Fuller’s Kitchen, dreamed up to celebrate National Ice Cream Day, will also be serving some slightly less out-of-the-box (or should we say tub?) options for those who prefer to keep things sweet.
You can nab a range of boozy ice-cream floats including tequila with blood orange sorbet and a Pornstar Martini with raspberry sorbet, or, for the traditionalists among you, simply head to their DIY ice-cream bar where all manner of toppings will be awaiting you.
The House of Ice Cream opens tomorrow (Wednesday July 17) for the next fortnight.
The 63rd London Film Festival opening film has been announced – and it looks like a cracker. Armando Iannucci’s ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’ is a Charles Dickens adaptation with a Londoner, Dev Patel, in the title role and a supporting cast so awesome, the Leicester Square red carpet will need to be reinforced to support its heavyweight status on Wednesday October 2.
Co-starring with Patel are Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Ben Whishaw, Gwendoline Christie, Benedict Wong and Paul Whitehouse. Peter Capaldi plays the ever-optimistic Mr Micawber.
Directed and co-written (with Simon Blackwell) by Iannucci (‘The Death of Stalin’), it’s the first cinematic adaptation of Dickens’s most personal novel in half a century. It’s a fitting way to open a festival whose previous Brit-lit curtain-raisers include ‘Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’ and ‘The Remains of the Day’.
Patel plays the good-hearted Copperfield, whose fortunes ebb and flow from boyhood to adulthood against a backdrop of Victorian England and the scheming of his nemesis Uriah Heep (Whishaw).
The BFI London Film Festival runs October 3-13. The full festival programme is announced on Thursday August 29. Check back for all the details then – and don’t forget that Time Out will have its own gala at the fest.
Big news: London is becoming the first ever National Park City, which means pledging to protect our green spaces. Celebrate with eight days of alfresco fun. See winning snaps from the wildlife photography competition (pictured), try paddleboarding or head to a pedal-powered party at National Theatre’s River Stage. Various locations. Sat Jul 20-Jul 28.
London Green Film Festival
Swap bingeing box sets on your sofa for watching thought-provoking environmental documentaries in a deckchair at this ten-day outdoor festival. It’s powered by natural renewable electricity sources too. Regent’s Place. Tube: Great Portland St. Wed Jul 17-Jul 26.
Vegan ice cream giveaway
Celebrate National Ice Cream day with free Miiro treats, which are basically like Magnums but vegan. Head to Whole Foods in Piccadilly on Sunday afternoon and choose from salted caramel, peanut butter or chocolate hazelnut. Whole Foods Market. Tube: Piccadilly Circus. Sun Jul 21.
Comfort Swap Shop
Clear out those clothes gathering dust in your wardrobe and bring them along to this pop-up swap shop, where you can exchange your old threads for items donated by Oxfam and the fashion cupboards of Elle and Cosmopolitan. Fancy! 52 Brewer St. Tube: Piccadilly Circus. Thu Jul 18-Mon Jul 22.
Dash Water, which is infused with wonky fruit, is hosting a picnic to celebrate the fruit and veg that gets cast aside. On the menu are cucumber sandwiches and lemon pavlova with raspberries, all made with produce that would otherwise be destined for the bin. Soho Square. Tube: Tottenham Court Rd. Thu Jul 18.
Wild swimming season is officially in full swing and it looks like London is on its way to becoming an epicentre of alfresco bathing. Beckenham Place Park has already refilled its lost Georgian lake for outdoor dips, and now a duck pond in north London could be set to become the next destination for Londoners to (legally) strip down to their swimmers outside.
A crowdfunding campaign has been started to turn two ponds at the bottom of Broomfield Park in Palmers Green, Enfield, into an outdoor swimming spot, and it’s far from a pipe dream. Between 1900 and 1933 the bottom pond was used as a swimming pool with hundreds regularly gathering to see the Broomfield Park Swimming Club in action.
What’s more, one of the ponds earmarked for renovation is Grade II-listed and makes up the only remaining set of Baroque water gardens left in existence. So, if the project is a success you’ll be able to swim in a national treasure!
For decades, only waterfowl have been able to swim in the pond, but that could all be about to change. Broomfield Pond Swim Society is hoping to raise £121,277 to fix broken pipes and desilt the ponds, so they can be filled up and made swimmable again. They’ve also promised a mini pop-up water park for children with a giant water slide.
The Mayor of London has already pledged £40,000 towards the project, but over £75,000 still needs to be raised in 29 days in order to make it a reality. If you fancy chipping in for a swim, you can support the crowdfunder here.
Images courtesy of Enfield Local Studies and Archive
Sixty years ago, in 1959, Ronnie Scott’s opened its doors in a basement on Gerrard Street, Soho, before moving to its current home on Frith Street in 1965, where it has attracted the biggest and best names in jazz ever since.
As part of the year-long diamond anniversary celebrations, the club is holding a free street party this Saturday – July 20 – from noon until 6pm. The Frith Street festivities will, of course, feature some amazing jazz acts, but there’ll also be family-friendly activities, outdoor bars, champagne cocktails and street food.
Headlining the music side of things is London-based saxophonist Nubya Garcia. She’s just back from a North American tour and is absolutely storming it at the moment, leading the charge of the new Brit jazz stars to explode on to the scene (check out her debut EP ‘Nubya’s 5ive’ to get a feeling for what she’s about). This could be one of the last times you’ll be able to hear her play for free, and she comes highly recommended.
Other acts lined up are ever-popular Ronnie’s regular Pee Wee Ellis and his Fun Assembly, Latin jazz band Eliana & La Evolucion and children’s jazz group Kinetika Bloco. As well as superlative jazz, there’ll be a load of kids’ entertainment including face-painting, balloon-modelling and a bubble show. And who doesn’t love a bubble show while sipping champagne and listening to jazz?
The charitable arm of the club will also be holding its third instrument amnesty, where members of the public are asked to donate musical instruments and equipment to be handed out to various programmes that help young people growing up in challenging environments.
So head down to Frith Street this Saturday afternoon and help wish one of our city’s most beloved musical institutions a very happy sixtieth birthday.
Twelve fascinating facts about Ronnie Scott’s
1. Ronnie Scott and Pete King originally opened the club in a basement on Gerrard Street in 1959, before moving to Frith Street in 1965.
2. The club has always had a house pianist. Currently it’s the nimble-fingered and very talented James Pearson.
3. Sonny Rollins wrote the theme to ‘Alfie’ in the club.
4. The club once flew a grand piano suspended under a helicopter across the face of the Matterhorn in Switzerland. This was for a special Ronnie Scott’s house band performance taking place as part of the Zermatt Unplugged festival.
5. The club currently has 3,524 members. But you don’t need to be a member to get in. If you’re new to the club and want to check it out, you should get along to one of the Late Late Shows (usually every night except Sunday, after the main show). Entry is a tenner in advance, £12.50 on the door.
6. Last year Ronnie’s sold 77,539 bottles of beer, 3,500 bottles of champagne, 81,219 cocktails, 24,890 glasses of white wine and 2,999 plates of scallops.
7. The club sold 98 percent of its tickets for headline shows last year, so if you see something you want to go to, make sure to grab your ticket early.
8. The club only shuts for three nights a year.
9. Behind the bar is an unopened Magnum of 1964 Mumm Champagne that symbolises the club’s status as a gangster safe house.
10. Zoot Sims was the first overseas artist to appear at Ronnie Scott’s. For the first two years the club was open it was nearly impossible to get work permits for American musicians. Founder Pete King lobbied for the ban on Americans to be lifted, and in 1961 Sims was booked for an unprecedented four-week residency.
11. Miles Davis only ever played at the club once, in 1969.
12. The club has only changed hands once in 60 years. The current owner Sally Greene bought the club in 2005.
Ronnie Scott’s Street Party is on Sat Jul 20 between noon and 6pm on Frith St, Soho. Check out Time Out’s guide to the best jazz clubs in London here.
Last summer, Disney launched a pop-up ‘experience’ in Covent Garden offering fans the opportunity to interact with a series of fun installations themed around its West End musicals, ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Aladdin’.
This year it’s back, and with back-up: ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Aladdin’ (in its final West End summer) are returning, but this time they’ll be joined by events and experiences based around ‘Mary Poppins’ (which comes back to the West End this autumn) and a little show called ‘Frozen’ (running on Broadway and arriving in London next year).
The exact line-up changes on a daily basis, but hourly introductions to the shows’ movement, music and costumes feature heavily, alongside occasional live performances, plus installations such as a ‘Mary Poppins’ spelling challenge, a ‘Lion King’ VR experience and a ‘Frozen’ ‘photo moment’ that will presumably be Instagram-tastic. (Somewhat inevitably can also buy tickets to all the West End shows, except ‘Frozen’).
Disney in the West End Summer Pop-Up is at 21 Long Acre, WC2E 9LD. Tue Jul 23-Sep 1, Mon-Sat 10.30am-7pm, Sun 11am-5pm. Daily listings can be found at www.disneyonstage.co.uk.