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Where to go, what to do and what to see



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must see


London fashion, music and theatre A guide to the best cupcakes in the city Sites that inspired Harry Potter’s world

How to enjoy London on a budget The best museums and markets in the city


Contents I’m Kathryn from Knoxville, TN. I always have a song in my head so I loved exploring the music of London

Jasmine here from San Diego. I love art, film and dancing. I enjoyed experiencing the magic of the city

I’m Lauren from San Antonio, Texas. I liked discovering the fashion and entertainment in London

Hey I’m Norris from Hong Kong. I love eating and sleeping too, and I am a fabulous cook

I’m Amy from Milwaukee. I love Harry Potter and I’m convinced I’ll make it through platform 9 3/4

July 2011

Hi I’m Ray from Hong Kong. I love eating, sleeping and shopping. All great things to do in London

Must See London staff: From left to right: Jasmine Wang, Amy Bahr, Kathryn Sullivan, Norris Ng, Lauren Pfeiffer, and Ray Tse

Must See London Contents

p. 3

Museum Reviews

p. 4

Insight into London’s most fabulous museums

p. 12

London’s Best Cupcake

p. 14

Music to Your Ears

p. 16

London Budget Wise

p. 18

Market Reviews

p. 20

Highlights from a day in Camden

Taste test to the most delicious cupcake in the city

London Street Fashion

p. 6

The latest trends and where to find your new style

A guide to the best music in London

Spotlight on Theatre

p. 8

A look at London’s rich theatrical history and what’s on

Harry Potter’s London


p. 10

See the real sites that inspired Harry’s magical world

How to experience London on a budget Walk through London’s most famous markets

Don’t miss these must-see spots!

p. 22

museums british

bethnal green



It’s no surprise that hundreds of visitors are drawn to the British Museum daily. With a neoclassical exterior that rivals some of Britain’s best historic buildings and a modern interior design, one could spend a day admiring the architecture alone. But there’s more to see than just a brilliant view. The museum is home to thousands of artefacts from every corner of the globe, including the world famous Rosetta Stone, and visitors can explore most galleries for free. Don’t miss the superb Greek and Roman collections, which boast more than 100,000 objects between them, some of which once decorated the Parthenon. Another highlight is the Living and Dying temporary exhibit on the ground floor, which examines the way different cultures and people around the world maintain health and well-being. The collection includes an art piece called Cradle to the Grave by Pharmacopoeia, which showcases a monstrous collection of pills representing the amount of prescription drugs the average UK resident will use in their lifetime. Of course, there is a downside to offering so much for no cost. Even on weekdays the museum tends to be crowded, and it takes away from the wonder somewhat when you can’t admire an Egyptian tomb or an ancient Greek statue without cameras flashing nonstop. The galleries are also subject to temporary closings, so be sure to check the website to avoid being disappointed. With a bit of patience, however, a day at the British Museum makes for a truly memorable experience. A.B.

Whether you are six or 60, this museum offers people of all ages a fascinating opportunity to explore toys like dolls, puppets and games from the past. Here, you may not only find out the materials from which your favourite toys were made, you may also experience how modern toys today are different from those belonging to your parents and grandparents. The Museum of Childhood is a cheerful place for children and adults to visit. As well as from England, there are lots of toys which are all from different countries like Australia, Russia and China. The collection includes Victorian dolls’ houses that have amazingly detailed rooms as well as wonderful dolls. There are also late 19th century to early 20th century puppets from different countries such as Japan and Italy. Hand-made European wooden horses sit in the same room as teddy bears, games and robots. This extraordinary collection has over 8,000 dolls including a wooden paddle doll from 1,300BC, which is the earliest doll among the collection. There is a short introduction and history for every single toy from each era ranging from the 16th century to the present day. Inside, there is a café and a playing area . Parents can enjoy a cup of coffee or tea while their kids can try out the toys they have seen in the museum. There are teaching sessions about how different toys work, with resources that can be downloaded from their website. Plus there is an excellent museum shop. N.N.

Here, you’ll walk through time-specific rooms like ‘London before London’ and ‘Expanding City’ and the general arrangement of the rooms takes a chronological path. The attractions include artefacts from each era, as well as period-accurate dioramas and interactive exhibits. Art enthusiasts might be pleased to view works of art in their original historical contexts: sculptures set in a diorama of a room, or a painting mounted near wardrobe and trinkets from its time of origin. The Museum of London is clearly catered to children. A variety of treasure hunts, activity books, and pamphlets are available at the front desk for families and children to read during their journey through the museum. In areas highly concentrated with artefacts behind glass, the museum is sure to have the items set at a child’s eye level and to have some interactive or tactile exhibit nearby. Notably, there is a touchscreen water activity educating visitors about the medieval Black Plague. There are also various recreations of wardrobe to try on in each era. Visitors might be interested in the variety of audiovisual presentations available. These include a video montage describing the Great Fire, and a projected re-enactment staged in an 18th century pleasure garden. Presentations are short and frequent, so a tired passerby can have a seat and learn something in the meantime. Children and adults will also enjoy the Victorian Walk, a recreated street complete with shop fronts. J.W.


When you look into a city’s museums, you will find its culture. Here we share with you some of the best museums London has to offer for fine art, history and enlightenment

Getting There: Holborn or Russell Square tube, Great Russell Street WC1B 3DG; 020 7323 8299.; 10am-17.30pm daily, Fri 10am-20.20pm

museum of museum of

Getting there: Bethnal Green tube, Cambridge Heath Road E2 9PA; 020 8983 5200.; 10am -17:45pm daily

Getting there: Moorgate, St. Paul’s or Barbican tube, London EC2Y 5HN; 020 7001 9844.; 10am-6pm daily

tate victoria modern & albert Located on Bankside in a former power station, this museum houses an extensive collection of international modern art. The building itself is stunning, with a large industrial main hall and fantastic views of the Thames River. Open since 2000, the museum showcases various kinds of artwork, including paintings, sculptures, photographic and video installations. There are four main collection displays, each with a free guided tour offered every day: Poetry and Dream, Material Gestures, States of Flux, and Energy and Process. These collections showcase artwork from 1900 onward, with a general focus on modernism and change. One of the highlights is the abstract paintings, many of which have bold colours and textured surfaces. In addition, the museum has several current exhibitions including A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters by American artist Taryn Simon. This exhibit documents bloodlines and their histories through a collection of photographs. In addition to the artwork, Tate Modern has a variety of other offerings. There are various options for food including a restaurant, an espresso bar and a café, as well as three museum shops. These stores have a particularly wide range of books, covering everything from architecture and art history to local interest and magazines. While Tate Modern seems to attract a younger audience of students and 20-somethings, it is also family-friendly with a family zone that provides games and activities for children. L.P. Getting there: Southwark/ Blackfriars tube, Southbank SE1 9TG; 020 7887 8888. modern; 10am-6pm daily, FriSat10am-10pm

Affectionately known as the V&A, this museum is the largest arts and design collection in the world. Founded in 1852, it was named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. You will quickly understand why readers voted it Best UK Attraction 2010 for the Guardian Travel Awards. Artwork and artefacts from Europe, North America, Asia, and North Africa will charm you as you navigate through the seven levels of the museum. You are sure to feel cultured after experiencing everything the V&A has to offer. From the grand entrance to the eccentric decorations, this museum spared no effort to enchant visitors. This is no quick stop attraction. You’ll want to set aside plenty of time to get lost in the beauty of the V&A. The European Medieval and Renaissance sections display stunning spiritual figures. The Asian exhibits inspire a new appreciation for detailed oriental artistry. Then the majestic exhibitions of the Raphael Cartoons and Cast Courts will take your breath away. The V&A presents art in a way you can’t experience anywhere but London. You will drool over the two-story jewellery collection and love dancing your way through the theatre and performance showroom. The gift shop sells books, postcards and prints that let you take your favourite piece home with you. The splendour of the V&A is available to you at free admission with the exception of special exhibitions and events. This museum embodies the beauty and culture of London. K.S. Getting there: South Kensington tube, Cromwell Road SW7 2RL; 020 7942 2000.; 10am5:45pm daily; Fri 10am-10pm

the wallace

collection Established in 1897, this collection is one of London’s bestkept secrets, tucked away behind busy Oxford Street. It was created by Richard Seymour-Conway who left it all to his illegitimate son, Sir Richard Wallace, who, in 1900, donated the house and collection to British Government as a national museum. The collection includes famous paintings, arms and armour from France, Germany and Japan, as well as exquisite porcelain and furniture from the 15th to the 19th centuries. If you do not have much time, look at some of the highlights from the collection. The Laughing Cavalier by Frans Hals, is one of the most famous paintings in the collection as is a painting, allegedly by Rembrandt. Plus, there are countless French paintings, porcelain, furniture and gold boxes from 18th century. This museum also has monthly exhibitions and displays, with excellent explanations of the work. Besides, there are free public tours everyday to allow you to have a better understanding of the works an history of the Wallace Collection. If you feel hungry after visiting the museum, you may dine in the Courtyard Restaurant- Oliver Peyton’s cafe or brasserie de luxe. For those who are looking for the quick coffer or light lunch, you can choose to head for the cafe. Finally, don’t miss the museum shop which offers a wide selection of publications and gifts highlighting the core areas of the Collection. You can buy some unique gift for your family and friends there. R.T. Getting there: Baker Street or Bond Street tube, Manchester Square W1U 3BN; 020 7563 9500.; 10am-5pm daily


STREET FASHION London is the place     

   even going on the tube can sometimes look like a fashion show. Ray Tse s out the latest fashion trends in the capital


hat exactly is fashion? And what are the current trends? There’s mainstream fashion, established by well-known designers or certain style trends you see in magazines or it can be your own style. Actually, all are correct. One of the best places to see what’s hot and what’s going to be hot is London. At this fashionista heaven, you can see lots of high-end fashion brands in every corner. At the same time, you can    market fashion at Topshop, Next, H&M and Zara as well as many individual shops.     the cutting edge centre for fashion. When you are walking along the Oxford Street or Covent Garden, you can see most of the people dress well. Some of them follow the current fashions, some of them wear their own style and some of them even mix both styles. The clothing that they are wearing is their own mix and match style, making up their unique look. Walking around London is like being invited to a fashion show, surrounded by people who look like models. People in London is not necessarily follow what’s the trendiest, but wearing their own style and often put together   !             based completely on their persona, it looks really good because they feel comfortable in it! Everyone has their own character and, sometimes not just following the mainstream can be called fashion. No matter who they are, by wearing their own outstanding style, in London, anyone can be a fashion icon. By the way, who inspire them?

Except the fashion icon like Cory Kennedy, Lady Gaga, Kate Moss, one of the most important sources is from the people on the street. Whenever they are walking along the street, they will pay attention to others’ dressing. Some of them may inspire them to try a new style or simply inspire them to get their next purchase item. Besides, they may go searching on the Internet to see the most updated fashion style and get inspired. Those websites like fashiontoast ,lookbook and streetfashionmonitor jam packed with all the latest styles and allow people to search and select the street styles that they are interested. Those websites also provide some tips about the current popular style, comment and advices on men’s and women’s fashion as well. Besides, some bloggers may share their fashion knowledge and show their own fashion style on the blog to let others follow and make reference.      own style today? Here I would like to give you some advices to let you get started easily. If you aim at buying the brand clothing, you may go to Bond Street or those famous department stores. 

       store and high quality clothing there.    thing casual and affordable, you are probably recommended to walk along the Oxford Street, there are many mass-market fashion shops. Also, you may go to Brick Lane where you can shop at those individual shops as well as vintage market, here you can have treasure hunt for incredible fashion items. Whatever you want to buy, it’s all in London.

Who: Selina Khan Job: student (major in culture studies) Orange dress: Vivienne Westwood Hair band: Primark Denim Jacket: vintage shop Accessories: bracelet from Thailand ring from vintage shop Handbag: Furla

Who: Constantino Dixon Job: salesman Grey hat: Ben Sherman Black jacket: Topman Black slim cut pants: Cheap Monday Brown hoes: Burberry Tote bag: Salvatore Ferragamo Watch: Swatch

Who: Charles Jones Job: website designer Glasses: DKNY Blue and white tee shirt: GAP Apple green sweater: Topman Leather belt: Fred Perry Dark blue jeans: HARE Dunk high lime shoes: Nike

Who: Laza Evams Job: student (major in photography) Hair band: Top shop Sunglasses: Gucci Shirt: birthday gift from friend Light grey sweater: Zara Light grey pants :Zara Brown sandals : Topshop


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ince Elizabethian times, the city has been churning out monumental works that have helped to shape the theatre industry. From traditional Shakespeare to modern collaborations, visitors won’t want to miss out on seeing some of the greatest live performances on earth. Any travel book will tell you to take advantage of musicals in the West End during your time in the city, but if you’re really interested in the theatre scene you’ll have to look further. Theatre has been around for hundreds of years, and there is no better spot than London to discover the rich history of performance.  Walk along the river Thames in the South Bank and you’ll follow in the footsteps of millions of 17th century theatre-goers who flocked to see the latest works at playhouses. Perhaps the most notable of such playhouses was Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, a replica of which still stands in the South Bank today. The original Globe was constructed in 1599 and was where many of William Shakespeare’s plays were performed. They were a huge source of entertainment and there was big money involved—sometimes shows were so in demand that actors got the script just as they were walking on stage. All social classes came to the theatre,

from the rich nobles who paid a fortune to sit in box seats, to the lower class “groundlings” who would pay a penny to stand in front of the stage and whose shouting and drinking were almost as entertaining as the plays themselves. The Globe was eventually demolished by Puritans during the English Civil War, when theatres were outlawed for a time. The site was rediscovered in the 20th century and a replica was constructed due to the efforts of American actor Sam Wanamaker. Today, the Globe is a fully functioning theatre that attracts visitors from all over the world. Obviously, the company specialises in Shakespeare, but other shows are performed as well, and some performances are even filmed and broadcast in cinemas. The wonder of the Globe during the 1600’s was that the plays performed there were new and exciting, but just because the original theatre no longer exists doesn’t mean London isn’t still a leader in producing landmark works. The Royal National Theatre is a company on the South Bank that is renowned for its creativity and ingenuity in performance. Because it’s subsidised, the theatre is not dependent on public approval

to keep running, which means it’s able to take risks in performance that other theatres won’t. At the National—as it’s called for short—you’ll find a variety of shows that take chances, from critically acclaimed classics to brand new contemporary works. The National was founded in 1962, but its origins go back to the mid-1800’s, when demand began to grow for a venue to house serious theatre as opposed to what was profitable at the time. It wasn’t until 1949 when Parlimant finally passed the National Theatre act that the dream of a government-funded theatre came to be, and the National was born. It was originally located in the Old Vic theatre, and its first director was revered British actor Laurence Olivier. Today, the National houses three different theatres, each of which can put out three productions in a season. There is also free entertainment available through the National’s Watch This Space festival, which takes places during the summer and features jugglers, dancers and all sorts of outdoor performances along with mainstream theatre. The National sponsors creative projects that allow theatre artists to participate at all different levels. Connections is

on theatre

“ a unique program that commissions new plays for young people to perform with theatre companies around the world. Basic workshops for all ages and skill levels are offered as well, and devoted theatre fans can even take a backstage tour of the theatre and see what goes into running a theatre production.With so much going on, this venue is a powerhouse for creating great theatre. From historical recreations to new collaborations, you can find every kind of theatre in London. You are truly a part of history when you sit down to watch any show here, so take advantage of the opportunity. There has always been something new and different to see in the city where Shakespeare once walked.

Walk along the river Thames on the South Bank and you’re following in the footsteps of millions of 17th century theatre fans


There’s so much going on in London that it can be hard to decide which shows to go to! Here are a few suggestions: Woman in Black

The 39 Steps

Billy Elliot

Blood Brothers

War Horse

All’s Well That Ends Well

A ghostly thriller full of mystery and suspense , this drama will have you on the edge of your seat Where: The Fortune Theatre A fun, larger-than-life musical about being yourself. Young kids will enjoy it especially Where: Victoria Palace Theatre This show got its start at the National Theatre and features a specially made horse puppet. It was so popular that it will soon be touring around the world Where: New London Theatre

Three actors play a large range of characters in this classic whodunit piece, and it makes for crazy fun Where: Criterion Theatre This new award-winning musical that has elements of comedy and tragedy will touch your heart Where: Phoenix Theatre One of Shakespeare’s best comedies, this goofy, zany show is great for all ages. Bring a seat cushion if you want to be comfortable on the wooden benches! Where: The Globe Theatre

London’s Best Lauren Pfeiffer hunts around the bakeries of London for a perfect cupcake


f you’re searching for the perfect treat, look no further than the cupcake. Cupcakes have recently grown in popularity, but they have been around in the United States since the early nineteenth century. Originally they were created because it was easy to measure the ingredients for a small cake, and they baked more quickly than a larger traditional cake. However, over the past few years cupcakes have become trendy, and they are enjoyed now more than ever before. The rise in popularity may be due to the fact that cupcakes are a guiltless treat, containing fewer calories than most other desserts because of their small size. The recent interest may also have been sparked by the television show Sex and the City, in which Magnolia Bakery’s cupcakes were featured in one scene. Whatever the reason, cupcakes are continuously a popular dessert enjoyed by all ages. Between different types of cakes and various flavors of icing, the possibilities are endless when creating the perfect cupcake, and London is no exception.

Hummingbird Bakery When I began my search for the best cupcake in London, I reviewed several bakeries and chose four to visit. The first, Hummingbird Bakery, is located in the lively Soho area. The bakery was warm and inviting, with bright décor and a display case filled with colourful cupcakes. Even though it was quite busy inside, the service was still quick and friendly. The bakery’s Red Velvet cupcake is a customer favourite, but there are many other options available— there is even a special kind offered each day of the week, so everyone is sure to find a flavour they will enjoy at this traditional bakery.

Lola’s Cupcakes Continuing my cupcake hunt, I went to Lola’s Cupcakes in Oxford Circus. The cupcakes are sold at a counter in

Topshop instead of being served in its own bakery, which is convenient for onthe-go shoppers. The counter seemed very popular, providing busy customers with a quick break from their shopping. The decorative cakes at Lola’s look so appealing that it is hard to choose just

one kind to try. There are a variety of classic flavours offered in addition to a few surprising ones, such as Rocky Road and Vanilla Coconut. This is the perfect place for the bustling crowds of Oxford Street to get a quick and delicious takeaway treat while shopping.

Cupcake Candy Cakes The next place on my agenda was Candy Cakes, situated in the vibrant area of Covent Garden. The cupcakes here are unique because of their hard, candy-like icing instead of a more traditional creamy consistency. There is an assortment of flavours offered in the store, with some standouts such as Caramel Rum Truffle and Lemon Rose. But Candy Cakes’ specialty is customised cupcakes for birthday

parties, weddings, holidays and more. The bakery will add elaborate decorations and personal messages to their cupcakes for any occasion, making it a wonderful choice for special events.

Hummingbird Bakery

Primrose Bakery Primrose Bakery, located in the Strand area, was my last stop in the search for a perfect cupcake. The shop was small, but the big, bright windows and seating area gave it a welcoming feel. The vanilla cupcakes come in a selection of lovely colours with beautiful decorations, and there is a wide array of other flavours as well. Some unusual kinds, such as Earl Gray, Malted Marshmallow and Ginger Fudge, help make Primrose a memorable bakery. There are also mini cupcakes for those wanting a smaller treat. In addition to desserts, the cake shop serves tea and coffee, so it is a great place to relax and catch up with friends. Due to the rise in popularity of cupcakes over the last few years, there is no shortage of cupcake shops in London—but a few stand out among the rest for different reasons. Hummingbird Bakery is the best choice for someone who would like a delicious cupcake in a classic cake shop. Lola’s Cupcakes will appeal to the busy shopper who would like a fast, convenient treat. Candy Cakes might suit those who want an out of the ordinary cupcake, with candy-like icing and a personal touch. And finally, Primrose Bakery is perfect for someone who wants a classic afternoon tea with a less traditional flavoured cupcake.

The best cupcake Although each of these bakeries has a unique offering and a wide variety of cakes, I usually prefer a more classic cupcake flavour. So, my pick for London’s best cupcake is Hummingbird Bakery’s Red Velvet cupcake. While the other bakeries offer many unusual flavours and other wonderful options for more adventurous eaters, Hummingbird Bakery has perfected a traditional favourite in their scrumptious Red Velvet cupcake, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a perfect cupcake in London.

155a Wardour Street

Lola’s Cupcakes

Topshop, Oxford Circus

candy cakes

Covent Garden Piazza

Primrose bakery

42 Tavistock Street



Camden Town is vibr crowd, the endless ro shopping venue. We and discover the uniq

Lots of individual shops along the street, people love Camden Mar styles as well as the stalls decorations are all different from those y

Take a little time to explore the shops on Camden and you never know what           so thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great deals to be found on everything from tacky tourist knick knacks to vintage records like these. A.B.

The Stables Market, situated in a former horse hospital, is a large and popular section of Camden Market. Home to a wide variety of stalls and shops, the market offers its bustling shoppers an assortment of items, including clothing and accessories, household furniture and decorations, antiques and more. L.P.

rant and exciting. Perfect for a young ows of funky markets provide a great rows eave your way through the streets que treasures this town has to offer

rket because it is different. The pricing, the fashion you can see in Oxford Street or Regent Street. N.N.

An unique market that is created by many different individual shops. The market is like a maze. It is not a straight long street like Bond street. Here you can bargain, you can experience the local London and you can also see many outstanding decorations everywhere. R.T.           


                    busy market, dotted with trees and rowboats. J.W.

A local Camden stall owner creates hand          Venders hand craft dazzling, colourful collections to display to shoppers. Each stall radiates itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own vibe of originality. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the perfect spot to buy a unique souvenir no one else will have. K.S.

Harry Potter’s

london T

From Platform 9 ¾ to the mysterious Leaky Cauldron Pub, Jasmine Wang leads an experience between magical and Muggle worlds with a homemade walking tour of the city

he name Harry Potter can mean different things, depending on who you ask. For some, it is a wildly successful industry based on a series of fictional books by the author J.K. Rowling. For others, it is a way of life. Harry Potter fans, especially those my age, have essentially grown up with Rowling’s books over the years. We have experienced the anticipation of each instalment in a way that future generations cannot. I felt lucky to be in London for the first time during this momentous event, so I took the time to tour some of the original filming locations for some of the previous Harry Potter films shortly before celebrating the film itself. While many Harry Potter walking tours are available in London, I researched the film locations online and was easily able to put together a self-guided walking tour. I was able to save money, choose my locations, and go at my own pace. I took my tour early July 2011. At this time, the premiere of the eighth and final film of the Harry Potter series was imminent. Thousands of people gathered at Trafalgar and Leicester Squares on July 7 to participate in the premiere of the second instalment of the cinematic adaptation of the seventh book. With the help of my Oyster card, I knocked out all of the sites I wanted to visit in two separate trips, for free. Ambitious tourists, however, would easily be able to visit all of these sites within a day.

diagon alley

reptile house, zsl

One of the first scenes in both the first book and film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, involves a conversation between Harry and a snake in the Reptile House in the London Zoo. It’s £18 for students to visit on the offseason, which may or may not be worth the trip if one is only going to go see the Reptile House. Instead, I had a lovely stroll through Regent’s Park. I could see the giraffes and zebras in the Zoo from the street.

As we crossed the streets from the Tube on the way to Leadenhall Market, I noticed the underground bathrooms which were the employee entrances to the Ministry of Magic. Wizards would march into the stalls, put their coin in, and flush themselves down the toilet. Visitors had to use a telephone box, and dial ‘MAGIC’ to enter the ministry. What struck me at first about the market was its orderliness. The Alley in the film exhibited shops that were more crammed unevenly together, a stylistic touch by the film’s producers. The narrow walkways and mildly kitschy storefronts, however, matched Diagon Alley well, even in Muggle London.

Tube: Great Portland Street; head toward Regent’s Park.

gringotts bank

London’s Australia House, or Australian embassy, is the site of Harry’s first encounter with Griphook and his inheritance at Gringotts, the wizarding bank. When I left the Tube at Temple, I was happy to see arrows pointing from the station to my destination. After a short walk, the gargoyles adorning the outside of the embassy became visible, clearly marked as the Australia House. Beautiful sculptures in the classical style flanked the most ornate door, on which was mounted a coat of arms, held up by kangaroos. Since I visited Australia House on the weekend, I was unable to enter the embassy proper. The place is rather strict about its security, so few tourists are granted entrance just for the sight of Gringotts. Those who are allowed inside would be able to see the Exhibition Hall with the signature marble floors of Gringotts in the films. Tube: Holborn or Temple.

Tube: Monument/Bank.

king’s cross Harry’s letter from Hogwarts directs him to take the train at King’s Cross from Platform 9¾. His famous sprint into the brick wall between the two platforms at King’s Cross is commemorated in the Muggle world by a statue between platforms nine and ten. My first attempt to find this site was partly in vain. The entrance to the station was flanked with construction, so I walked between the platforms to see if I could find the famed luggage cart, pushed halfway into the wall. I experienced what was probably the same sad confusion as Harry’s, looking between platforms and not being able to find what I had hoped to be there. The monument had been moved to the entrance of the station during the construction. Tube: King’s Cross.

the leaky cauldron

This wizarding drinking spot is known to us as the Market Porter Pub, on Stoney Street in the Borough Street Market. After walking through the various food booths selling fresh food wares, I encountered a rather large pub on the corner that had swarms of people drinking and merrymaking outside. One step inside, however, and it was clear that this was the place. The windows, green like those in the film version, gave it away. Tube: London Bridge.

the river thames The signature London skyline plays a large role in the introduction to the film Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Office workers watch from afar as dementors destroy the Millennium Bridge while flying across the Thames in pursuit of Harry. Parliament Square, Buckingham Palace, and many of the main tourist attractions in London also appear in the films as wizards and dementors fly over the city on brooms. I took this walk separately from the other sites, if only because it is a beautiful walk. London provides signs to a ‘Thames Path’ on the South Bank which takes a visitor through some of the prominent riverside sights. The Millennium Bridge isn’t exactly adjacent to Parliament Square, meaning the visit will be a healthy stroll. Especially on a summer day, when the sun doesn’t set until late, an outing with friends from Parliament Square, down the Blackfriars bridge and back across the Millennium Bridge can be quite enjoyable. Tube: Westminster (Parliament Square), Mansion House (Millennium Bridge).

The places I went to were spread out enough to have sufficed as a tour of the city of London itself. I was able to see many of the main tourist attractions near each site. It was also a pleasant surprise to find that most of these locations were readily available to the public, and for free. The filming locations, even as they carried on their day-to-day operations, had a certain magic on their own. It wasn’t perhaps the fantastical magic of Hogwarts, but there is certainly a surreal feeling when one steps onto a former movie set. Each time I walked into the perimeters of a particular site, I felt the ghosts of beloved literary characters bustling about, like a memory, slipping past quotidian reality.

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s the home of popular music sensations like the Rolling Stones, Spice Girls and Adele, it is no secret that London plays host to a fantastic music scene. Festivals, concerts and pubs send every genre of music pouring into the city streets. This musical city played a role in the Beatle’s phenomenon and is the site of the first Hard Rock Cafe. If you’re in need of a musical fix you’ve come to the right place.

iTunes Festival billboard in Camden

Wireless Festival in Hyde Park


If you have travelled to London looking for a party, look no further than the annual summer music festivals. July and August are packed full of huge festivals with performers ranging from global stars like The Black Eyed Peas to more seedy and underground artists like Lydia Lunch. Some are short, two-day events while others carry on for an entire month, but all are worth experiencing. The annual iTunes festival features a month long concert series at the Roundhouse in Camden. What sets the iTunes series apart from other festivals is its free entry. Fans who wish to attend go online and enter a raffle for the artists they want to see. The lucky winners are sent a pair of coveted tickets. With a killer line-up every year, iTunes has featured performers such as Adele, Coldplay, Foo Fighters and Bruno Mars. Another festival that pulls out big name artists is the annual Lovebox Weekender. Lovebox is all about putting on a show. Exciting lights and backdrops at the performances combine with off-site after parties to form an epic

weekend. Snoop Dogg, Scissor Sisters and Jessie J are just some of the musicians that have turned up to play in this Victoria Park event. Victoria Park also plays host to High Voltage music fest that rolls into town to rock the streets of London. Only in its second year, High Voltage already has a reputation for filling the stages with noteworthy bands across all subgenres of rock. Shredding the stages of this twoday festival are rock-n-roll icons like Judas Priest, Slash and ZZ Top. The Wireless Festival is a weekend concert in and outside of the festival walls. You can jump to David Guetta’s beats or sing along with Fergie. If you don’t want to spend too much for the

Vice festival guide is distributed annually free of charge. It previews upcoming festivals

ticket, grab some friends and picnic in the park. You won’t have a great view, but the music will make you feel like you’re inside in the action. In late August as summer is coming to a close, London’s biggest electronic festival sets the city to dancing. Get ready for the master mixes of artists like Underworld and Pendulum. Not tired? Follow the techno hype beats on to the after party and dance the night away at the Ministry of Sound. From repetitive electronic beats to ultra loud speakers, London festivals are some of the greatest in the world. So if you’re ready to take over the city parks and experience the non-stop rage of a festival, there is no shortage of opportunities in London.

Live Music at pubs

If you’re not a fan of the festival atmosphere, you can find music streaming from pubs and clubs in every corner of

The Monarch pub in Camden

the city. Acoustic soloists, aspiring bands and local DJs await you on every street. Anywhere you turn in any of the sections of London you will find you’re not far from a show. If you venture out to Camden for a day of shopping through the endless markets, rest your feet inside any of the many bars and prepare to be serenaded. Chalkboard marquis boasting the best live music in town will greet you at each pub you enter. Bands like Oasis and The Darkness played Camden venues on

their journey to fame. Barfly and Underworld are two of the Camden hotspots where you’re bound to be introduced to talent. Other stops like the Monarch and the Oxford Arms have a traditional English pub feel mixed with modern music nights. Islington has many venues suited for a young, music-loving crowd. The Hope and Anchor has been the leading rock spot in Islington for a long time. Used in the past as the site for album recordings and even their own festival, this pub is still rocking out today. This is also where the English group Keane made their debut in 1998. Close by in Hoxton you’ll find a bar called Roadtrip. Open until 5am on the weekends, Roadtrip is clearly ready to party. Local DJs turn the basement floor into a techno rave and spin the night away. Across the street the William Blake will have you swing dancing on Mondays, relaxing to the solo sounds of an open mic night on Wednesdays, and partying for the weekend with a live band every Friday. Even in the shop-packed blocks of Oxford Street you’re never far from

The Oxford Arms pub in Camden

London’s famous musical history. The 100 Club has a rich musical claim to fame having hosted performances by groups such as The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The White Stripes and the Rolling Stones. Their diverse tastes in music will treat any visitor to a good time. Even the City of London Festival recognizes the impact of music. They partnered with the non-profit organization Sing London for their 2011 celebration. Thirty pianos were placed at different spots throughout the city, each uniquely painted to fit its location. The pianos are inspiring impromptu recitals and filling London streets with music. You cannot fully experience London without soaking up the rich musical atmosphere. The city awaits with diverse and inspiring melodies.

Part of the City of London Festival, one of Sing London’s 30 pianos around the city


Budget Wise The exciting capital of the UK is also the most expensive city in Europe. Norris Ng looks at the best ways to enjoy this fabulous city without breaking the bank


iving standards in London are very high compared to other cities around the world. When you are visiting, it seems that everything is beyond your budget. However, if you "    #  % many interesting and exciting activities for free easily, as well as good-value food and shops.

Indoor activities

There are over 240 museums in London. It is good news if you are planning for visiting those famous museums like British Museum, Tate Modern or National Gallery, because these popular museums are free entry. Also, try the not so well-known museum like Museum of London, V&A Museum of Childhood and Wellcome Collection. There is special monthly exhibition in Wellcome Collection, every exhibition has their own interesting theme like â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dirtâ&#x20AC;? which is the special exhibition theme of summer 2011. It tells how people solve the problem of dirt from the past, the history of soap as well as showing some paintings, collection and advertising videos which are related to cleaning the dirt in the past.

Outdoor Activities Parks

If you are not very interested in those museum or you love playing with the sunshine, I suggest you to visit parks like Regent Park and Green park. Inside the Regent Park, you can row a boat in the lake and enjoy the wonderful boat trip with different kinds of birds. Besides, you can have a picnic with your families and friends under the relaxing environment as there are very spacious that you will never feel crowded. For the Green Park, it is another great park in London. The famous sumptuous Buckingham Palace is just near the park. Seeing the changing of guard of the Palace is a fascinating activity in the morning to you.


To explore the local London, you may go to the local markets like Borough Market, Brick Lane, Camden Town and also Columbia Road Flower market.

  %!  inside these markets. Borough Market is focusing on food and beverage while the Brick Lane and Camden Town are selling different kinds of food and clothing as well as groceries.

Brick Lane is like a little India since there are many Indian store keepers and they offer varied types of curry. Also, there is a small vintage market and all the vintage shops are concentrated in an area so it could probably help you to save time for your next activity. Columbia Road Flower market is a Sunday street market in east London. Sellers arrive from 4 am every Sunday morning to set up their stalls. Some of the sellers grow their own plants and some are imported from all around the world. A wide range of plants are available at competitive prices.


One of the most important activities for travellers should be shopping. However, there are lots of shops along the street.

#  always easy, you may need to compare their price before you pay. So, here I would like to suggest some inexpensive shop to you. Primark, New Look, Peacocks and River Island offer stylish and good quality clothing. You can see these shops

are always crowded because of the affordable price. An evening dress only  " ! # any shops which is even cheaper than that. Besides you may also visit charity shops like Oxfam, British Red Cross as      # incredible donations there.


After a day of playing and shopping, you must feel tired and hungry, right? So, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to introduce some tasty and good-value food to you.

#  #      have mentioned above, you can easily #    In Borough market, you can try the fresh seafood like oysters that I highly recommend. Once you stepped into the little India Brick Lane, you can see different kinds of Indian curry, Japanese sushi, Chinese food and Korean BBQ.

Apart from the markets, you may try some low price restaurant in China town. There is a Chinese buffet that costs about ÂŁ10 per person only and you can eat all the food they provide. Besides, Four seasons restaurant in Chinatown that is serving their signature  !  #!   choice too. Meal with drinks only costs around ÂŁ12 per person. Also, there is an Indian buffet restaurant in Chapel street cost only ÂŁ3.5 per person. In addition, you can enjoy 50% off over 3,000 restaurant from popular chain restaurant to hotels if you registered a Tastecard in timeout website. You may #  like destinationcoupons offers varied types of coupon. Tip: There are lots of Londoners love dine out on Saturday and Sunday, so make sure you have your reservation before going to the restaurant. If reservation is not allowed, remember to go early and avoid queuing.



Without a doubt, there are lots of good restaurants in London. However, the price of meal may hit your wallet heavily. So why not shop at a traditional food market instead? One of the most interesting is the renowned Borough Market located near the famous London Bridge. As far back as 1014, and probably much earlier, London Bridge attracted traders selling grain, fish and vegetable. In the 13th century, traders were relocated to what is now Borough Market, which has historically focused on fruits and vegetables. In recent years, it has added stalls dealing with the fine foods. Plus, it was famously used as location in the film, Bridget Jones’s Diary. Borough Market has become a wonderful food heaven because of the wide range of food available from all over the world at a reasonable price. What’s on in the market? Here, you can find freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices, oysters, seafood, ostrich burgers, sirloin steak burgers, Turkish sweets, freshly baked bread and cakes, what you can think of are all in the market. Also, visitors can enjoy the variety of cuisine like Indian, Chinese, English, Turkish and Mexican and most of the stallholders are willing to provide free tasting of their food. By the way, the long queues from the stall guarantee the taste and popularity of food. It is definitely a place for tourists to experience the freshness of London food as well as visiting an interesting area. R.T

In the 1950s West Indian immigrants flooded into London to spice up the English streets. Brixton Market has become a showcase for their dazzling colours and flavours. On Electric Avenue just around the corner from the Brixton tube station, the market is no place for rookies. The ethnic vibe and fast pace will test your skills of running with the locals. Brixton Foods is the first stand to greet you with the smells and sounds of this historical London shopping centre. Raw meats, fresh produce, and potent spices line the short but flavourful street. While some London markets are perfect for a quiet stroll, Brixton brings market shopping to life. Local shoppers are on a mission to find the foods they need at the best prices, and the vendors are more than ready to push their products. The vocal atmosphere creates an exciting dynamic for unseasoned market visitors to experience. The cultural flair of the market embraces the diversity London has to offer. You’ll be introduced to fruits and vegetables you’ve never seen before, but with such low prices it is the perfect time to be adventurous and try them. Be sure to wind your way through the maze of stalls. Buried behind the piles of produce and meats you’ll discover unique vintage clothing, candy shops, CDs and some of the best food in the city. Excite your senses and experience a different side of London when you spend some time exploring the gritty and vibrant Brixton Market. K.S.

If you’re a foodie and you’re traveling to London, look no further than Harrod’s Food Hall. Here you will find an incredible variety of eats from around the world, ranging from exotic Asian seafood to Spanish delicacies. Every type of food has its own section—meats, dairy products, seafood—you could spend hours walking through. The real treasure of the food hall is the Patisserie, which has the magical feel of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Rows of beautifully packaged candy and pastries make the perfect souvenir to bring back for sweet-toothed relatives, and if you’re lucky you may even get a free sample. One downside is that like all great tourist destinations, the food hall can be crowded. However, Harrod’s high class reputation also means that while there will be a lot of other people around, you’re unlikely to deal with rudeness or high noise levels. Another thing to note is that with high quality of course comes higher prices, but it would be worth a trip just to walk around and look at the beautiful displays. Unfortunately, there is nowhere to sit and eat in the food hall itself, which seems like a crime for such a big tourist destination. Guests who want a sit down experience should visit one of the many restaurants inside. Café Harrods offers first-class service without breaking the bank. Try the tea—for £29 you’ll get a personal pot of tea and a three-tier tray of delicious finger sandwiches, scones and desserts that are enough to make for a full meal. A.B.

Getting there: London Bridge tube, Borough High St; SE1 www. Thurs 11:00 am to 5:00 pm; Fri noon to 6:00 pm, Sat 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Getting there: Brixton tube: Electric Avenue SW9 8JX; tel: 07960 942 060. www.; 8am-7pm daily

Getting there Knightsbridge tube; Brompton Road SW1X 7XL; 020 7730 1234.; Mon-Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 11:30am-6pm


Sure, there’s a Pizza Express on every corner, but why not look off the beaten path for dinner tonight? Explore London’s wide variety of fresh food markets and your stomach will thank you




When entering through the original John Lewis department store on Oxford Street, one steps onto a few escalators and passes several designer labels on sale before finding the Waitrose Foodhall underground. Opened in October 2007, the department store’s foodhall is a division of Waitrose, a premier grocery and winery market. It measures 17,000 square feet, boasting specialised cheeses, wines and meats, as well as typical market fare. Catering to both locals and tourists alike, there is a range of premium-quality foods as well as a takeaway ‘tube-dasher’ service. Andy Street, managing director of John Lewis, told the Guardian at Foodhall’s opening that the market was inspired by food markets of note worldwide. While there are plenty of everyday grocery products, the Foodhall emphasises their specialisation of products including sauces, wines and pre-packaged foods. One can get freshly prepared cold and hot foods, as well as handmade breads from the Flour Station. The wine section is especially impressive, taking up a large part of the market on an elevated platform in one corner of the store. An 18-seater wine bar offers customers a taste of the foodhall’s entire selection. Shoppers may also enjoy pastries from the bakery and patisserie, or get fresh fish, meat, and cheese. Employees bustle about in each section, waiting to serve the next customer. There is also a fragrant florist standing at the Cavendish Square entrance of the store. J.W.

Portobello Market is one of the most famous markets in the world and the largest market in London. Located in Notting Hill in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, it is most known for its fruits and vegetables as well as the antique shops on Saturdays. It is also the location of many scenes in the movie Notting Hill, such as The Travel Bookshop on Blenheim Crescent and Saint’s Tattoo Parlour on Portobello Road. The busy streets of the market are lined with all kinds of shops, from antiques to food to souvenirs. The antique shops have many unique items at reasonable prices, such as furniture, home decor and dinnerware, trinkets and other items. The streets of Portobello Market are filled with different restaurants, shops and food stands as well. There is a wide selection of fruits and vegetables, offering everything from strawberries, bananas and apples to potatoes, broccoli and courgette, otherwise known as zucchini. The market also offers numerous food stands with fish, meat, bratwurst and schnitzel, sandwiches, fish and chips and a cheese shop. And for dessert, there are various options including waffles, ice cream or gelato, coffee, jam and more. With all of these choices, everyone is sure to find something they will enjoy--and because most of the food is sold at low prices, there are many great bargains to be found. Going to this vibrant market is a wonderful experience where you can find a variety of lovely, unique items and delicious food. L.P.

Whole food market where is a great choice for those who like natural and organic health products. Everything is stocked here and sold here, from fresh bread to seafood to beauty skin care products including nail polish and bathing thing that has been organically certified. The market is an 80,000square-foot large where you can find just about everything you need for an ethical lifestyle. All the products are high quality and there are some eco-products that are suitable for both adults and babies too. The market is on three floors: the basement and the ground floor sell food, beverages and some cosmetics while the first floor is an impressive food hall that offers 16 different dining choices such as Shabu Shabu, a Japanese hotpot, sushi, Italian pizza, pasta and of course, burgers. Apart from that, they have a great gelati counter and there is also a choice of over 100 chocolate – including pure, unsweetened, milk, white, dark and the almost unpalatable, raw. When you come to that shelf of chocolate, you will be impressed and tempted. It’s definitely worth spending a couple of hours in here for looking, tasting, exploring and buying. Tip: before you go to the market, you may visit their website and find out some coupons to save your wallet. Also, if you are tired of thinking the meal for your family every day, just check out their easy meal plans for the week. It’s simple, easy and convenient. Let’s try! N. N.

Getting there: Oxford/Bond St. tube, London W1A 1EX; 020 7629 7711.; 9.30am-8pm Mon-Sat, 12-6pm Sun

Getting there: Notting Hill Gate/ Ladbroke Grove tube: Portobello Road, W11; 020 7375 0441. www.; 8am-7pm daily, except Thursdays until 1pm

Getting there: High Street Kensington tube: , 63-97 Kensington High Street, W8 5SE. www.; MonSat 8am-10pm, Sun. 11am-6pm


unmissable treasures While roaming around the city, we saw beautiful streets, historic monuments and famous sights. Here are our top picks for “can’t miss” London

The Notting Hill Coronet is a historic independent cinema showing a wide range of films, including current Blockbusters, foreign films and local productions. The Coronet originally opened in 1898 as a Victorian theatre and began showing films full-time in 1923. The building has retained the charming interior of the original theatre, although there have been a few improvements and restorations over the years. A highlight of the Coronet is the ticket prices at £7 each. and on Tuesdays all tickets are only £3.50.

If you’re a fan of nature, you’ll love to have a stroll through the many parks in the city. Green foliage greets you quietly on a summer visit. Walk into the heart of Hyde Park to find the Serpentine, a picturesque lake filled with swans and ducks. If there’s a concert playing at the park, you’ll be able to relax by the water and still hear it just fine. Many of the parks are nearby as well, so it’s only a few minutes’ walk to see the famous Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens, or the Princess Diana monument fountain.

Tea time is a traditional way to gather with family and friends in London. You may see many hotels or restaurants offering afternoon tea, but how to choose the best one? No worries, the top London tea place award has already chosen the best ones. The Ritz, The Chesterfield Mayfair, The Langham and Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill, all are the winners of the top London tea place. They provide varied types of tasty cakes, sandwiches, and scones. So why don’t you make your reservation now?

Among its many claims to fame, London is the home of Abbey Road Studios. Music legends, The Beatles, recorded their music here as well as captured their famous crosswalk photo. Aside from being a tourist must-see, this spot gives you a chance to leave your mark on a piece of history. Outside the studio, visitors from all over the world stamp their signature on the sidewalk wall and become a small part of the Abbey Road story. Sign your name and walk the zebra crossing. You’ll be walking the path of the stars.



If you’re growing weary of the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan lifestyle, stop by Regent’s Park. This monstrous area of green space is nestled in the heart of the city but is a picturesque retreat for anyone needing a little peace and quiet. Visitors can rent boats, feed the birds, play sports or just sit and take in the atmosphere. Regent’s park is also home to London Zoo, which is a treasure on its own. Crafty guests can even peek at the giraffe exhibit through the fence without having to pay an admission fee!




Once you arrive to London, you see the number of theatres is much more than cinemas. Although you may not be interested in musicals in your home country, you may be curious about the London musical. Is it really worth spending an evening to watch a musical? We Will Rock You, The Lion King or The Phantom of the Opera are world-famous musicals. The entire show is about the lighting, stage, clothing, singing and acting. So from the theatre to the performance, all you would say is Amazing.


Must See London  

Where to go, what to do and what to see when visiting London.

Must See London  

Where to go, what to do and what to see when visiting London.