Here lies Giro the dog: The only ‘Nazi’ memorial in London

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The only Nazi memorial in London: The grave of Giro, the pet dog of the former German ambassador

Photo from German Federal Archives via Wikimedia Commons

Leopold von Hoesch in November 1931.
(Photo from German Federal Archives via Wikimedia Commons)

Sheltering under a tree, lies the only memorial to a Nazi in London. However, in this case, it is in memory of a Nazi dog named Giro, who unfortunately had no choice in the party he was aligned to. Situated outside Carlton House Terrace in St James is the grave of Giro, the terrier owned by German Ambassador to the UK, Leopold von Hoesch (1881-1936). The pair lived at No.8 and No.9 Carlton House Terrace – two 19th century Regency homes designed by architect John Nash, which were merged to form the German embassy in 1923.

Previously working in Paris, Hoesch was transferred to the UK in 1932 (bringing his faithful companion with him). At the time, he was representing the Weimar Republic. It didn’t take long for Hoesch to find favour with the British and he was able to enhance Anglo-German relations. When the Nazi party took over Germany in 1933, Hoesch continued to represent his country, despite his growing unease about Adolf Hitler. From 1934 onwards, Hoesch began to clash with Hitler. One of Hoesch’s main contentions was his distrust of Joachim von Ribbentrop (1893-1946), who was steadily climbing the Nazi power ladder.

Meanwhile, as Hoesch’s relationship with Hitler was worsening, he suffered some personal heartbreak at home. In February 1934, his beloved Giro died after chewing through an electric cable in the back garden. The Ambassador gave his dog a funeral and buried him with a diminutive gravestone featuring a German epitaph, which translates as: ‘Giro – a faithful companion! – London in February 1934 – Hoesch.’ The grave was originally in the garden of No.9 but was moved to its present site under a tree in the 1960s following some building works.

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The small, if somewhat wonky gravestone, reads: ‘Giro – a faithful companion! – London in February 1934 – Hoesch.’

While he was popular with the Brits and had a reputation among social circles for his fabulous parties at the Embassy, Hoesch couldn’t hide his growing dismay over Hitler’s policies and actions. When Hitler invaded the Rhineland in March 1936, Hoesch wrote to Germany’s Foreign Minister, Konstantin Neurath strongly stating his disapproval, accusing the Führer of trying to provoke France.

A month later on 11 April 1936, Hoesch died of a heart attack in his bedroom at the German Embassy. Due to his popularity with the Brits, he was given a large funeral cortege, with his coffin draped in a Nazi flag. Accompanied by Grenadier Guards, Hoesch’s body was escorted down The Mall with onlookers giving the Nazi salute. An amazing scene you can imagine, given Britain was at war with Nazi Germany just five years later. Hoesch’s coffin was escorted all the way to Dover, for transfer back to Germany for burial.

Hoesch’s nemesis von Ribbentrop ended up succeeding him as Ambassador, but the latter’s relations with the British couldn’t be more different to his predecessor. He was a fully committed member of the Nazi party and strongly aligned to Hitler, who had ordered him to negotiate an Anglo-German alliance. However, Ribbentrop completely failed to understand the workings of British politics and the monarchy, wrongly believing King Edward VIII (1894-1972) could dictate foreign policy. After two years in London, Ribbentrop returned to Germany 1938 to become Foreign Minister and became a major Nazi figure throughout the war. Following World II, he was convicted of war crimes and hanged in 1946.

  • Giro’s grave is located under a tree at the top of the Duke Of York stairs in the middle of Carlton House Terrace, St James, SW1Y. Nearest station: Charing Cross or Piccadilly Circus.
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Giro and Hoesch lived at No.9 Carlton House Terrace (last house on the right of the terrace with the taller roof)

For Metro Girl’s blog post on the history of Carlton House Terrace, click here.

For more London history posts, click here.

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Festive fun at the London Eye with Frostival and Eyeskate

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Take to the ice under the twinkling shadow of the London Eye for the Frostival

With December only a week away, it’s no surprise that many London attractions are getting a festive makeover in the run up to Christmas. One such landmark taking part in the Yuletide fun is the London Eye, with their Frostival returning for the third year. I went to the launch last week and it really got me in the festive spirit.

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Ride on the London Eye with a cocktail and chocolate

For those of you budding Torvill and Deans, the Eyeskate open-air ice rink is back so you can glide across the ice under the shadow of the twinkling London Eye. Seasoned skaters are welcome to bring their own skates or you can borrow a pair. There’ll also be a bar serving drinks for after you’ve caught your breath.

Meanwhile, for those who prefer their ice strictly with a drink instead, visitors can enjoy a special Winter Cocktail Experience on the London Eye. The award-winning Cocktail Trading Co will be mixing up special drinks, such as a ‘Merry Stockings’, a ‘Candy Cobbler’ or a ‘Punsch and Judy’ for you to sip while enjoying stunning views of the capital in one of the Eye’s pods. You’ll also enjoy priority boarding, one hour on the Eye and some nibbles.

For those in the mood for romance, two can enjoy the Mistletoe Cupid’s Capsule. You’ll be hosted in your very own pod with chilled Pommery Brut Royal Champagne and luxury Hotel Chocolat pink Champagne truffles, with a bouquet of mistletoe strategically placed for a kiss or two!

    • Eyeskate is taking place from 14 November – 2 January 2016, while the Winter Cocktail Experience is available on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only from 14 November – 2 January 2016. Eyeskate tickets start £9.45 (adults) and £6.75 (children). London Eye ticket upgrades from £9. London Eye, Jubilee Gardens, Southbank, SE1 7PB. Nearest station: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For more information, visit the London Eye website.

For a guide to what else is on in London in November, click here.

For a guide to London’s Christmas markets and fairs, click here.

Or for listings of London’s other ice rinks, click here.

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Leadenhall Market: Shop in one of London’s oldest commercial hubs dating back to Roman times

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Leadenhall Market as seen from Whittington Avenue with a Portland Stone pediment over the entrance

Leadenhall Market is one of London’s oldest markets, dating back to the 14th century. However the site has actually been one of the city’s commercial hubs since the Roman invasion, when it was the location of the Basilica and Forum. Originally built in 70AD, it was expanded in 120AD, covering 2 hectares. The forum was a large open-air square and became a popular meeting place, with market stalls erected within the walls. However, the buildings were destroyed by Rome in 300AD as punishment for London supporting Carausius (d.293AD), who declared himself Emperor of Britain to the chagrin of Rome. It wasn’t until the early 5th century that the Romans finally left and Britain was independent from Rome.

In the early 14th century, the Manor of Leadenhall was owned by Sir Hugh Neville. Originally the local area was a meeting place for poulterers, then cheesemongers from 1397. The market sprung up in a series of courts beside Nevill House – known for its lead roof – on Leadenhall Street.

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The current building was designed by Sir Horace Jones in the 1880s

In 1411, the Corporation of London acquired the freehold of the land as a gift from former Mayor Richard ‘Dick’ Whittington (1354–1423). After the manor house was destroyed in a fire, it was replaced by a public granary, chapel and school as a gift to the public from Mayor at the time, Simon Eyre, Meanwhile, the market was expanded with traders selling poultry, grain, eggs, butter, cheese and herbs. Around this time, Leadenhall was considered the most important market in London and became quite the tourist attraction, with visitors coming to marvel over the bustling trade within the stalls. Over the 15th and 16th century, the market also offered wool, leather and cutlery for sale. The market was mentioned in Samuel Pepys’ diary in 1663 when he bought a leg of beef for six pence.

When the Great Fire ravaged London in 1666, the stone of Leadenhall Market actually prevented the flames from spreading north-east and escaped largely unscathed in comparison to most of the City. Leadenhall was subsequently rebuilt as a covered stone market with the stalls divided into sections; the Beef Market, The Green Yard and Herb Market. The Green Yard was listed as having 140 butchers stalls at one point, with fishmongers in the middle. Read the rest of this entry

Winter Garden @ The Landmark review: Intimate, fine dining in a stunning atrium

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Minestrone soup with parmesan croutons at the Winter Garden at the Landmark London

I’m often in charge of booking restaurants when I go out to dinner… or at least have an idea of where I’m going before arrival. However, for my birthday, I handed over responsibility of planning a celebratory meal to my sister. I was thoroughly surprised when it was revealed the Landmark London hotel was our destination, and within it the Winter Garden restaurant. I had seen photos of the Winter Garden setting – a stunning eight-storey atrium with tall palm trees stretching towards the glass roof. A grand piano was being played with groups of diners well spaced out throughout the dining area giving an intimate feel and fabulous ambiance.

Our table of five were shown to a table near the back of the dining room so we had a good view of the surrounding area. We were ordering off the set menu (three courses for £35) which came with a glass of champagne cocktail. The menu is predominantly British with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influence. To begin, I decided on the Minestrone Soup with Parmesan Croutons. The flavours were stronger than I anticipated, but tasted lovely and mixed well with the smoothness of the cheese croutons. One of my party also allowed me to try the Tartar of Citrus Cured Salmon, served with Crème Fraiche, Avocado, Caviar and Anchovy Oil.

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Tartar of Salmon

For my main, I ordered the Pan Seared Sea Bass with Fondant Potato, Tomato Chutney and Grilled Baby Courgettes. The dish was well presented and tasty. I particularly enjoyed the fondant potato, which was creamy, sweet and gorgeous.

To finish, there was only one dessert option for me – the Warm Chocolate Fondant with Vanilla Ice Cream. It was nice and sweet, but not too rich and I enjoyed it. Although we hadn’t told the staff it was my birthday, they had worked it out and decided to surprise me with a birthday muffin with a candle with the pianist stopping his playlist to play me ‘Happy Birthday’. I was somewhat embarrassed, but it was very thoughtful of them and a lovely unexpected gesture.

Overall, the food, service and ambiance was brilliant. The setting is quite unique for London so would be a great choice for a special occasion. I’ve heard the Afternoon Teas are good (well, award-winning actually!) so will have to make a repeat visit.

  • Winter Garden @ The Landmark London, 222 Marylebone Road, Marylebone, NW1 6JQ. Nearest station: Marylebone. For more information and booking, visit the Winter Garden website.
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Pan seared Seabass with Fondant Potato, Tomato Chutney and Grilled Baby Courgettes

For more of Metro Girl’s bar and restaurant reviews, click here.

Winter Garden - The Landmark London Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Guide to Christmas markets and fairs in London 2015

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Sweet tooth: Buy some marzipan for Christmas Day munchies

When it comes to looking for Christmas presents, many of us are tired of the same old stuff flogged at the high street chains and want to find something a bit more original or unique. Well, fortunately Christmas markets are more popular than ever with long-term and one-off and weekend ones popping up all over the capital. As well as giving you the opportunity to browse dozens of stalls, many also have plenty of festive fun and entertainment to really get you in the mood.

For a guide to open-air ice rinks in London, click here.

For a guide to what’s on in London in November, click here.

Long-term markets

  • 19 November – 3 January 2016 : Winter Wonderland Market

Winter Wonderland features a fun fair, food, drink, circus and an ice rink in Hyde Park over the festive period and includes a German market selling gifts too. Free entry. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch or Knightsbridge. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website. For a blog post on Metro Girl’s visit to Winter Wonderland, click here.

  • 20 November – 24 December : South Bank Winter Market

Wooden chalets selling festive food, drink, gifts and treats alongside the riverbank on the South Bank. There’s also the Rekorderlig Cider Lodge pop-up bar in the car park. Free. Open Sun-Thu 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm. Queen’s Walk and Hungerford Car Park, South Bank. SE1. Nearest station: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For more information, visit the South Bank London website.

  • 20 November – 3 January 2016 : Weekend Christmas Market @ Wembley

Every weekend in the run-up to the Christmas and New Year period, there will be a festive market with food and drink. Free entry. Wembley Park Boulevard, Wembley, HA9 0QL. Nearest station: Wembley Stadium or Wembley Park. For more information, visit the Wembley website.

  • 26 November – 23 December : Christmas Markets @ Winterville

Christmas markets and bazaar will be on at the alternative festive wonderland in East London. There will also be an ice rink, pantomime, cinema, circus, crazy golf, fairground and Spiegeltent. Free entry. Opening hours vary. Winterville, Victoria Park, Grove Road, Bow, E9 7DD. Nearest station: Hackney Wick, Mile End or Cambridge Heath. For more information, visit the Winterville website.

  • 30 November – 3 January 2016London Bridge Festive Market

A market featuring food, drink, craft stalls and live entertainment across The Scoop, Hay’s Galleria and London Bridge City Pier. Free entry. Open 10am-8pm. Queen’s Walk and Hay’s Galleria, SE1 2DB. Nearest tube: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information, visit the More London website.

  • 4 – 20 December : Barbican Christmas Market

The Barbican’s foyers will be transformed into a (indoor!) Christmas shopping extravaganza with independent stalls selling quality vintage and designer clothes, arts and crafts, jewellery, books and toys. Free entry. 12-8pm. Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS. Nearest tube: Barbican or Moorgate. For more information, visit the Barbican website.

  • 4 – 20 December : Islington Christmas Market

Over 60 exhibitors selling gifts and crafts, food stalls and a Santa’s Grotto. Free entry. Islington Green, Islington, N1. Nearest station: Angel or Highbury & Islington. For more information, visit the Islington Christmas Market website.

One-off or short-term Christmas fairs

  • 11 – 15 November : Country Living Christmas

Handmade gifts from hundreds of artisan designers and makers. There will also be a lifestyle theatre with experts giving talks and demonstrations. Tickets: Adults £10-£14, Children £8. Opening times vary. Business Design Centre, Islington, N1 0QH. Nearest station: Angel. For more information and tickets, visit the Country Living Fair website.

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Get ready for Christmas and head to a festive market

  • 18 – 19 November : Operation Smile Christmas Fair

Over 40 stalls selling gifts, clothing, decorations, gourmet food and drinks at the historic Fulham Palace. Admission: £20 on 18 Nov preview (including wine and canapés), £5 on 19 Nov. Open for 18 Nov preview 6.30pm-9.30pm, Open 19 Nov 10.30am-8pm. Fulham Palace, Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham, SW6 6EA. Nearest station: Putney Bridge. For more information, visit the Operation Smile website.

  • 20 and 22 November : Made In Blackheath Christmas Fair

Local craftmakers and artists sell their wares at an indoor Christmas market. Open Fri 20 9am-4.30pm, Sun 22 9.30am-2pm. Bianco 43 Restaurant, 1-3 Lee Road, Blackheath Village, SE3 9RQ. Nearest station: Blackheath. For more information, visit the Made In Blackheath Facebook page.

  • 21 November : Christmas Market @ St John at Hampstead

Christmas market in Hampstead, featuring gift, treats and presents and children’s activities. 11am-2pm. St John-at-Hampstead Church, Church Row, Hampstead, NW3 6UU. Nearest station: Hampstead. For more information, visit the church website.

  • 21 November : Christmas Bazaar @ Dulwich Picture Gallery

Over 40 local artisans will be selling crafts, pottery, jewellery, toiletries and more. Free entry. 10am-5pm. St Barnabas Parish Hall, Dulwich Village, SE21 7BT. Nearest station: North Dulwich or West Dulwich. For more information, visit the Dulwich Picture Gallery website.

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Indulge your sweet tooth while savouring your fave tipple at the world’s first edible alcohol store Eat Your Drink

© Smith & Sinclair 2015

Down the hatch! Try Smith & Sinclair’s trademark cocktail pastilles at their Eat Your Drink pop-up in Soho

Those with a sweet tooth and penchant for booze… did you know you can combine both loves at once? Alcoholic explorers Smith & Sinclair, who launched their alcoholic confectionary last year, are opening a new pop-up store. Based downstairs at Benefit in Soho’s Carnaby Street, Eat Your Drink is a strictly adults-only candy store with a difference.

Smith & Sinclair have deconstructed iconic cocktails, such a Mojitos and Pina Coladas and transferred those recognisable flavours into a not-so-humble sweet. Shoppers will be able to taste, touch and smell their favourite drinks in a new physical form. Be prepared for an assault on the senses with a range of boozy experiences, such as alcoholic bubbles and perfumes to infused candy floss and cocktail dib dabs and garnishes. Among the brands working with S&S include Duppy Share, Sipsmith Gin, Firefly Tonic, Jools Drinks and Two Birds Vodka.

As well as selling a range of naughty treats, Eat Your Drink will also be hosting evening events, such as panel discussions, workshop and more. Events will start from just £5.

  • Eat Your Drink is open from 17 November until 24 December 2015. Located downstairs at Benefit, 10 Carnaby Street, Soho, W1F 9PF. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. The store is open daily for free, but evening special events will be ticketed through Eventbrite and DesignMyNight. For more information, visit the Smith & Sinclair website.

For a guide to what else is on in London in November, click here.

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Westminster Hall: Stand in some of Britain’s most famous footsteps at Parliament’s oldest building

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Westminster Hall is the oldest building in Parliament and has been the setting to many historic events

Westminster Hall in 1810 (image from Wikimedia Commons)

Westminster Hall in 1810 (image from Wikimedia Commons)

Whatever your taste in architecture, few Brits would deny the Palace Of Westminster is one of our greatest architectural treasures. While the current buildings mostly date back to the mid 1800s during Sir Charles Barry’s reconstruction, the oldest part of the building, Westminster Hall, has been there since Medieval times. There has been a palace on the site since the 11th century, although the royals have chosen other properties as their main residences from around the 16th century.

The Hall was first built in 1097 under King William II (1056-1100) and was the biggest hall in England, measuring 73 by 20 metres. However, the stunning hammer-beam roof you see today wasn’t added until 1393. Commissioned by King Richard II (1367-1400) in 1393, it was created by Chief Mason Henry Yevele and carpenter Hugh Herland. The roof is made of oak farmed in Surrey and weighs an impressive 600 tons. Aside from its practical use, the roof also featured decorative angels, with 13 statues of kings dating from Richard back to Edward The Confessor placed in niches along the walls. Six years later, it was under the very roof he commissioned that King Richard was deposed by Henry of Bolingbroke, who went on to become King Henry IV (1367-1413). The deposition went on to be immortalised in Act IV of Shakespeare’s play Richard II. King Richard later died in prison.

Over the centuries, the Hall was primarily used for early Parliament, legal matters and court cases, with Court of King’s Bench, the Court of Common Pleas and the Court of Chancery based there. The 1875, these courts merged to become the High Court of Justice and met at the Hall until moving to the Royal Courts of Justice in 1882. Notable historical figures to have undergone trial in Westminster Hall included King Charles I, William Wallace, Guy Fawkes and Thomas More. The building has also hosted the lyings-in-state for members of the royal family, such as Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother in 2002, but also a few notable state figures such as Sir Winston Churchill in 1965.

However, the Hall wasn’t just the location for serious functions, many monarchs’ coronation banquets took place between the 12th and 19th century. Addresses during the monarch’s jubilees and during foreign leader’s visits, such as Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama, have also been heard within the Hall.

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The stunning oak hammer-beam roof was constructed in the 14th century

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A plaque to mark the trial of King Charles I, which took place in Westminster Hall, before he was sentenced to death in January 1649

By the early 19th century, the ageing Hall wasn’t looking too great so architect Sir John Soane (1753-1837) oversaw the dilapidated north façade being completely rebuilt between 1819-1822. Over a decade later, there was more work needed to maintain the crumbling building under Sir Robert Smirke (1780-1867), who replaced the wall facings with a layer of Huddlestone stone and lowered the floor between 1834-1837. During the building works in October 1834, a fire broke out at the Palace of Westminster’s House of Lords Chamber due to an overheated stove. A majority of the 11th century palace complex was destroyed, but the Hall was fortunately saved thanks to a change of direction in the wind and fire-fighting efforts.

After much discussion, a Royal Commission settled on Sir Charles Barry’s (1795-1860) Neo-Gothic design in 1836. The designs incorporated Westminster Hall, with the Palace eventually completed in 1870 – 10 years after Barry died. Under his plans, the grand south window was removed and was replaced by an arch and stairs to St Stephen’s Hall, which remain today. Between 1914-23, the roof was in dire need of repair after the discovery of damage by death-watch beetle, with many trusses replaced and the structure strengthened by hidden steelwork.
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Guide to what’s on in London in November 2015

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

Autumn is in full swing

Autumn is whizzing by and with the onset of November, we know that Christmas is almost around the corner. For those organised enough, there’s lots of Christmas-related events on this month so you can start your gift shopping. However, if you’re like me and don’t like anything Christmas-related until December, there’s plenty of non-festive fun on around town. Here’s my round-up of the best festivals and special events on in London this November.

For a guide to open-air ice rinks this winter, click here.

For a guide to London’s Christmas markets and fairs, click here.

  • 1 November : London to Brighton Veteran Car Run

Setting off from Hyde Park Corner between 7 and 8.30am, spectators can line the 64-mile route all the way from the capital to Brighton to watch 500 classic cars show off their prowess and vintage style. Entrance rules stipulate cars must be built before 1905 and will be either of the three or four-wheel variety. Expect many drivers and passengers to be suitably dressed in costume and vintage clothing for the spectacle. Free to spectate. For more information, visit the Veteran Car Run website.

  • Now until 1 November : Mademoiselle Prive

A journey through Chanel’s creations, highlighting the Haute Couture, Bijoux de Diamants jewellery and Chanel No.5. 10am-6pm. Free. Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 4RY. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For more information, visit the Saatchi Gallery website.

  • 2 – 8 November : Spirit Of Christmas Fair

For the super organised, get ready for Christmas early with this fair, where you can stock up on gifts, design and food all ready for the festive season. There will also be a winter restaurant and a champagne bar. Opening times vary. Tickets: £19.50. Olympia Grand, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Spirit Of Christmas Fair website.

  • 2 – 8 November : Winter Olympia Art & Antique Fair

Arts and antiques event, featuring over 120 dealers showcasing their unusual objects and art. Open Tues-Thur 11am-8pm, Fri-Sat 11am-7pm & Sun 11am-5pm. Tickets: £15 advance, £20 on the door. Olympia National, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Olympian Antiques website.

  • Now until 4 November : Kilburn Literary Festival

The North West London suburb of Kilburn hosts their second literary festival, featuring talks, workshops, readings and competitions. At various venues across NW6 including the North London Tavern, Tricycle Theatre and the Sheriff Centre. For more information, visit the Kilburn Literary Festival website.

  • 5 – 29 November : World Press Photo Exhibition

The shortlisted entries for the annual World Press Photo completion go on display in the Royal Festival Hall. Free. Open 10am-11pm. Royal Festival Hall, Upper Ground, Southbank, SE1 9PX. Nearest station: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information, visit the World Press Photo website.

  • 6 – 27 November : Richmond Literature Festival

A festivals of books and words at various locations across the borough, including Marble Hill House, Hampton Library, Richmond Old Town Hall and St Mary’s University. Featuring talks and Q&As from authors, including Simon Singh, Vince Cable, Alwyn W Turner, Sonia Purnell, Henry Marsh and more. For more information, visit the Richmond Literature Festival website.

  • 6 – 28 November : Crystal Palace International Film Festival

Screenings, premieres and Q&As during this two week long festival in South East London at various venues. Nearest station: Crystal Palace. For full listings and tickets, check the CPIFF website.

  • 7 November : Wahaca’s Day Of The Dead Festival

A festival celebrating modern Mexico, including live music, film, street art, culture, food, talks, Mezcal & tequila Mexican market. From 1pm onwards. Tickets: £31.90. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest tube: Wapping (Overground). For more information, visit Wahaca’s website.

  • Now until 7 November :Nightwatchers @ Tower Of London

Enjoy special access to the Tower Of London when the visitors have gone for an immersive nighttime experience, directed by award-winning digital theatre company ANAGRAM. Have an induction to the world of covert investigation as you find your way around London’s most notorious prison using messages and phonecalls. For ages 16+ only, running time 45 minutes. Tickets: £16-£20. Tower Of London, Tower Hill, EC3N 4AB. Nearest station: Tower Hill, Tower Gateway (DLR) or Fenchurch Street. For more information and booking, visit the Historic Royal Palaces website.

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London Never Dies: Enjoy a James Bond-style evening at London Cabaret Club

© London Cabaret Club

The London Cabaret Club’s production London Never Dies is on at the Bloomsbury Ballroom
© London Cabaret Club

With the release of new James Bond film Spectre this week, everyone is talking about 007. So why not have your own super spy-inspired experience at a sexy and entertaining evening at London Cabaret Club?

The pop-up club will be setting up camp at London’s Art Deco Bloomsbury Ballroom ahead of their grand opening in the same venue next year. Every week, over the weekends of 30-31 October and 6-7 November, the talented cast will be bringing the glamour, mystery and excitement of Bond to life.

© London Cabaret Club

Watch the glamour and the excitement of 007 come to life at the London Cabaret Club
© London Cabaret Club

Having kicked off earlier this month, the LCC will be performing different shows every week based on a different Bond film. Diners will find their meals inspired by the exotic locations of each film. Guests can expect to be dazzled with fabulous costumes, original choreography, exclusive music and high production values as the dancers bring Bond to life.

Following a three or four-course dinner and the show, live DJs will take to the decks so you can shake a tailfeather until the early hours.

Evelina Girling, CEO and Co-Founder of the London Cabaret Club said: ‘To celebrate the James Bond fever that is soon to hit London, we are launching our Boutique Shows this Autumn, celebrating 50 years of British espionage presenting the show London Never Dies.’

Tickets start from £40 (Show only), £75 (Gold tickets, includes 3-course dinner and access to Rose Room Lounge), and £105 (Diamond tickets, includes VIP seating, 4-course dinner, theatrical cocktail and access to Rose Room Lounge).

  • The London Cabaret Club Ltd is on at Bloomsbury Ballroom, Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, WC1B 4DA. Nearest station: Holborn. London Never Dies is on until 7 November 2015. LCC will also be returning for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve shows. For more information and booking, visit The London Cabaret Club website.

For a guide to what else is on in London this month, click here.

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Guide to open air ice rinks in London this winter 2015/2016

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Get your skates on at one of London’s ice rinks this winter

The Christmas period seems to be hurtling towards us at full speed, which means the capital is getting a festive makeover. One of the most popular winter activities is visiting some of London’s open air ice rinks. Many rinks have lessons and penguin aids for those less confident balancing on the blades. As well as the rink, many of the venues offer pop-up cafes and Christmas markets so you can warm up after a swirl – or fall – on the ice. Here’s a guide to London’s rinks this winter.

For a guide to London’s Christmas markets and fairs, click here.

  • 29 October – 3 January 2016 : Natural History Museum Swarovski Ice Rink

A 1,000 square metre rink in the gardens of the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. Opening hours vary. Session times last 1 hour. Adults from £15.95, Children 12 and under from £11. Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 5BD. Nearest tube: South Kensington. To book, visit the Natural History Museum website.

  • 31 October – 27 February 2016 : Ice Rink Canary Wharf

Skate in the middle of the soaring skyscrapers on Canary Wharf and surrounded by shops. Non-skaters can watch the action from a heated viewing terrace. Session times last 1 hour. Opening times vary. Adults £14.95, Children £9.95. Canada Square, E14 5AB. Nearest tube Canary Wharf. To book, visit the Ice Rink Canary Wharf website.

  • 14 November – 3 January 2016 : Eyeskate @ London Eye

Skate in a raised rink in the park shadowed by the London Eye as part of their Frostival. Open daily from 10am until 9pm. Session times last 45 minutes . Tickets start from £9.45. London Eye, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, Southbank, SE1 7PB. Nearest station: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. To book, visit the London Eye website. For Metro Girl’s post on the Frostival, click here

  • 16 November – 25 February 2016 : Broadgate Ice

Temporary ice rink at Broadgate Circle in the City of London is open for over three months. This year’s rink will be accompanied by a pop-up Alpine Bar, where you can warm up and enjoy a Choc-tail and cheese or chocolate fondue. Open 10am-10pm. Session times last 1 hour. Adults £13, Children £9. Broadgate Ice Rink, Exchange Square EC2A 2BQ. Nearest tube: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit Broadgate’s website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

In the courtyard: Skate at Somerset House on The Strand

  • 18 November – 10 January 2016 : Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason

One of the original pop-up ice rinks located in the courtyard of Somerset House. As well as general skating, they also host club nights on ice and skate lessons. Session times last 1 hour and are from 10am until 10.30pm (later for club nights and New Year’s Eve). Adults and Children start from £8.85. Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest tube: Temple. To book, visit the Somerset House website.

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