Tired of London, Tired of Life - A website about things to do in London



For more regular updates, visit Tom's Britain, a new website about things to do in Britain.


18 September 2014

Go on holiday

Tired of London, Tired of Life is away. Here are some things to do until it returns:

Or buy one of these great books:

For further ideas, try:
See you in October.

17 September 2014

Join the Paraiso School of Samba

Fresh from their win at this year's Notting Hill Carnival, the Paraiso School of Samba are looking for new members to join their band, and are holding beginners classes in drumming and dancing to encourage them. Weekly classes offer the chance to learn Samba  dancing alongside those who performed at the Olympic Stadium during the 2012 Games, and drumming classes are also available from the end of the month.

Your author previously played in two Notting Hill Carnivals with Paraiso, starting out in a series of classes just like these. They can be great fun, and help you to meet an interesting and mixed crowd from all over the world, including those who grew up in Brazil like Paraiso founder, Henrique da Silva.

For more see http://www.paraisosamba.co.uk/

16 September 2014

Walk Keats' Fleet

As part of the 'Totally Thames' Festival, literary walker and Curiocity bod Henry Eliot is leading a guided walk today, Thursday and Friday, themed around John Keats and the River Fleet, beginning at St Paul's Cathedral, and proceeding to the heights of Hampstead Heath.

Henry is an event-creator of strong pedigree, so it promises to be very interesting, tracing Keats' life along the length of the Thames tributary, beginning close to his birthplace in the City and ending at his famous London home, Keats House in Hampstead, reading the man's poetry along the way, with tickets just £8, including entry to Keats House, which is usually £5.50.

For more, see http://totallythames.org/events/info/keats-fleet

15 September 2014

Eat at Lardo

Sure, pizza restaurants in high-ceilinged converted industrial buildings are about as common in modern Hackney as fixed-wheel craft beards, but your author had a fine lunch at Lardo on Richmond Road yesterday as he awaited the approach of the Hackney One Carnival Parade, and it felt worth a mention.

Though Lardo takes its name from a cured cut of pig fatback, and meats are a speciality, there is also plenty for vegetarians, and your author's dining partner yesterday is a vegetarian chef who described her meal as one of the best in recent memory.

For more, http://www.lardo.co.uk/

^Picture © Stephen Barber used under a Creative Commons license^

14 September 2014

Attend the Hackney One Carnival

The Hackney One Carnival returns to the streets of Hackney today with music and dancing from 12 noon to 8pm. A carnival procession will leave Ridley Road at 2pm and follow a circular route via Dalston Lane, Richmond Road, Hackney Town Hall and Narrow Way, and back to Ridley Road, with music and bright costumes the order of the day.

We are told to expect 800 performers, including Paraiso School of Samba, Pantonic Steel Ochestra, Unity, Urban Touch, and groups from Shacklewell primary school and Our Lady’s Convent High School.

For more, see http://www.hackney.gov.uk/carnival.htm

13 September 2014

Visit a Cabbies' Shelter

The annual Heritage Open Days event is the rest of the country's equivalent of next weekend's Open House London, but does occasionally feature some London highlights and this year's event features special openings of the green Cabbies' shelters at Embankment, Temple and St John's Wood.

The 60 original shelters were originally constructed between 1875 and 1914, by the Cabmen’s Shelter Fund and still provide tea, meals and places to socialise between fares for black cab license holders. The openings today feature work by three artists specially commissioned to create works inspired by them, including Kathy Prendergast's map of the knowledge, produced in collaboration with A-Z Maps.

For more, see http://cabbiesshelters.org/programme/

12 September 2014

Sit in Hilly Fields Stone Circle

Found just south of the top of Hilly Fields, Brockley's green hill which rises 175 feet above sea level, the Hilly Fields Stones are not an ancient stone circle, placed as they by The Brockley Society to celebrate the millennium and create a sundial for the park.

Brockley Central tells us that the twelve 400-million-year-old granite boulders were brought from Mount Struie, near Inverness and the two taller stones are known as St Norbert’s Gate are cut from Caithness flagstone, quarried close to Wick in Scotland's far north, as is the circle's central horizontal flagstone.

For more, see http://brockleycentral.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/a-history-of-brockley-part-9-hilly.html

11 September 2014

Walk the Cray Riverway

A peaceful little path on along the furthest edges of London, the Cray Riverway is a waymarked walk following the River Cray for ten miles in the London Borough of Bexley, stretching from Foots Cray Meadows near Sidcup to the point where the Cray meets the River Darent just east of Crayford, before they both flow into the Thames

En route, the path takes in river meadows, woodland, parks and formal gardens and is especially beautiful at this time of year, when the autumn sunshine shows its face.

For more, see http://www.bexley.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3222

10 September 2014

Visit the Stables Gallery at Hall Place & Gardens

There are only four days until Bexley Arts Trust's open art and sculpture exhibition at the Stables Gallery at Hall Place & Gardens finishes, but that still gives you plenty of time to pop in. The Gallery, situated in the former stables of the Grade I listed Tudor manor house in Bexley, was opened in 2008 and provides a showcase for local arts and other exhibitions.

The art on show if of admirable quality, and if anything takes your fancy most works are available to buy, so you could be taking them home and enjoying them forever on your wall.

For more, see http://www.bexleyartstrust.co.uk/2.html

9 September 2014

Wave goodbye to the Tall Ships

It's the final day of the Greenwich Tall Ships Festival, and the ships will begin leaving around noon, after gathering at Deptford and then joining a Parade of Sail along the Thames towards Tilbury from around 1.30pm.

It's been a great few days, with fireworks every night, beautiful boats on the river and plenty of people smiling. Let's hope they come back soon.

For more, see http://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/tallships/paradeofsail

8 September 2014

Seek the remains of Richmond Palace

Constructed around 1501 by Henry VII of England, Richmond Palace was occupied by royalty until 1649, when it was sold following the execution of Charles I, and subsequently demolished. As a result very little of the Palace remains, but some elements such as the original Palace Gatehouse and the Wardrobe are still visible.

From Richmond Green it is possible to walk through the arch of the Palace Gatehouse, which remains along with the Wardrobe. Through the Gatehouse is Old Palace Yard, a peaceful spot which is home to grand private houses including the Trumpeters House, built in the early 18th century.

For more, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richmond_Palace

^Picture © Jim Linwood used under a Creative Commons license^

7 September 2014

Attend the Brockley Front Garden Sale

Your author took a cycle up to Hilly Fields in Brockley yesterday lunchtime, and when cycling through the Brockley Conversation Area was surprised to find many residents flogging their wares in front of their houses. After stopping to buy a new piggy bank, it was revealed that this was a coordinated effort by the Brockley Society, who had managed to encourage more than 100 houses to take part.

The Coordinated Brockley Front Garden Sale continues today from 11am – 4pm, with plenty of bargains and a great chance to meet chatty Londoners and learn about their lives.

For more, see http://www.brockleysociety.org.uk/item/38-front-garden-2014

6 September 2014

Watch fireworks over Royal Arsenal, Woolwich

The Tall Ships Festival is now in full flow in Greenwich and Woolwich, and after two nights of fireworks over the river in Greenwich, tonight attention switches to the Royal Arsenal in Woolwih, where visitors are promised a bandstand music extravaganza from 6.30pm and then fireworks at 9.45pm.

Elssewhere, there will be a traditional ships river parade in Greenwich from 12-2pm and ship visits in Greenwich and on the Greenwich Peninsula all day.

For more, see http://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/tallships

5 September 2014

Attend the Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival

Though those in Greenwich last night were treated to a surprise firework display, the Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival officially kicks off today, with a Festival Village in the Old Royal Naval College, a parade of Thames Barges at 3pm, a launch event called Peixos by Catalan street theatre group Sarruga at 8.30pm and more fireworks at 9.15pm.

This website will be covering nothing but the Festival - which continues until Tuesday 9th September - this weekend, as events take place in the Thames between Royal Woolwich Arsenal and Maritime Greenwich, including some at Greenwich Peninsula and at Wood Wharf in Docklands.

For more, see http://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/tallships/

^Picture © Ian Patterson used under a Creative Commons license^

4 September 2014

See Philip Jackson's The In-Pensioner

Commissioned by the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the In-Pensioner is a bronze sculpture which stands in front of the Octagon Porch and North Front at the Royal Hospital, showing a Chelsea Pensioner at life-size and a half.

The bronze was unveiled in 2000 by the Duke of Westminster, the Pensioner stands proud and defiant, despite his age, and around the plinth at the bae, the soldiers' prayer said by Sir Jacob Astley before the Battle of Edgehill in 1642 is repeated "O Lord you know how occupied I shall be this day. If I forget thee do not forget me".

3 September 2014

See the Mapping London exhibition

The Thames Festival is dead. Long live Totally Thames, a month of vaguely Thames-related events, some of which have even been put on specifically. Today sees the opening of Mapping London at the Gallery at OXO at OXO Tower Wharf, an exhibition of rare maps of London from 1572 to 2013.

Curator Daniel Crouch is better known as the man behind Daniel Crouch Rare Books in Bury Street, SW1, and is one of the world’s leading specialist map dealers, himself collecting and selling maps since the age of 16. Here Daniel brings together a number of interesting maps from the 1572 Braun and Hogenberg map, the oldest known map of London to survive intact, to a contemporary map of underground London from last year.

For more, see http://totallythames.org/events/info/mapping-london

^Picture © Daniel Crouch Rare Books^

2 September 2014

See the Soane Museum by candlelight

The arrival of longer evenings is not necessarily a bad thing, as the season to truly appreciate a candlelight tour at the Sir John Soane Museum is again upon us. Though it will be even darker next month, tonight is the night to pop over to Lincoln's Inn Fields from 6pm - 9pm for the special openings that take place on the first Tuesday of each month.

As usual, tickets will be issued to the first 200 people who arrive, so arrival by 5.30pm is sensible, otherwise you will be required to wait until 7th October, 4th November or 2nd December to see the Museum as it was when Soane held his famous open house events to show off his collection.

For more http://www.soane.org/your_visit/evening_opening/

1 September 2014

Eat at the Queen's Wood Cafe

A popular community cafe set in a brick and wood chalet within the Queen's Wood in Haringey, the Queen's Wood Cafe is a peaceful spot for a cup of tea before or after a walk in the woods, and since 1998 it has also featured an award winning organic garden.

The chalet was once a lodge for the keepers of the wood, at which time the garden would have served as the keeper's garden. At this time of years, the terrace offers a fine spot for a quick cuppa beneath the dappled green of the ancient woodland tree canopy, and plants are often also on sale to keen gardeners.

For more, see http://queenswoodcafe.co.uk/