December 2014 Issue 1588 tntmagazine.com
BE A MERMAID FOR A DAY
A WALKING, TALKING ROBOT!
WON’T YOU STAY ANOTHER DAY? East 17 want you to, and so does Boris’s visa proposal
PRINTS CHARMING See the winners of our photography comp inside
Inside! Christmas markets, parties, ice rinks, pant os, carols & m ore
Been dreaming of one? Head for Lapland
LONDONACTUALLY + DEFROST AT LAS FALLAS SOUTH AFRICA WORK ABROAD A WEEKEND IN BUDAPEST
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FROM THE EDITOR
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I love Christmas in London. Everything seems more magical: with a wave of a wand a group of burly drunks are transformed into a merry bunch of Christmas-jumpered fellows; the gloomy grey skies are sprinkled with fairydust, or rather, fairylights; coats and trousers of grey, black and brown are whizzed into red, green and sparkly dresses and suits (well, maybe not sparkly suits, but you get my drift). Plus there’s so much to do. From Christmas markets to pantos to parties to ice skating to carol services and more. For 50 of the top festivities happening in London, including New Year’s Eve parties, turn to page 20. If you’re staying here for Christmas Day itself, why not embrace the experience and have yourself a merry English Christmas? It mainly involves getting drunk, burning the turkey and falling asleep watching Eastenders. Turn to page 70 for tips. And who knows? You could be staying in London for many Christmasses to come, as 2015 is the year Boris will be fighting for his policy to make it easier for Aussies and Kiwis to live and work in the UK with a bilateral visa. How awesome would that be? Turn to page 16 to read more about it and show your support. Of course one of the reasons we love living in the UK is how easy it is to travel. You could pop over to Lapland for Christmas to go dogsledding, feed reindeer (and eat one or two...) and, of course, to meet the man himself (p42). Or perhaps spend a weekend exploring one of Europe’s fascinating cities, such as Budapest (p48).
SEE tntmagazine.com/findtnt for pick-up points or tntmagazine.com/emag to read TNT online
If you’ve saved up your pennies by staying far from home this Christmas, why not treat yourself to a far-flung trip in the new year? You could go all out with a safari experience in South Africa (p50) – or there’s always the option of volunteering out there for a truly amazing way to start 2015.
All thieves of TNT bins will be prosecuted. Editor’s image by photsolutions.me
But hey, you’re in London now, so embrace it. After all, London actually is all around us...
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Merry Christmas and happy New Year!
What does 2015 hold?
TNT Magazine is printed on paper from sustainable forests. There is no business connection between the proprietors of this magazine and TNT Ltd, the worldwide transportation group. Copyright here and abroad of all original materials is held by TNT Magazine. Reproduction in whole or part is forbidden, except with permission of the publishers. Registered as a newspaper at the Post Office.
THIS MONTH LONDON DIARY 8 LONDON INSIDER
FOOD 14 DRINK 15 BACKING BORIS 16 FESTIVE 50 20 PHOTOGRAPHY WINNERS 28 CHATROOM
TRAVEL TOP 5: XMAS MARKETS 36 TRAVEL BITES
FESTIVAL: LAS FALLAS 40 EURO TRIP: LAPLAND 42
ON THE COVER
WON’T YOU STAY ANOTHER DAY?
BIG TRIP: SOUTH AFRICA
East 17 want you to and so does Boris’s new visa proposal
LATE DEALS 58
Christmas markets, parties, ice rinks, pantos, carols and more
SPORT ROUND-UP 62 HEROES AND ZEROS 2014 64
DESPERATELY SEEKING 74 CLASSIFIEDS 73 4
HEAT UP AT LAS FALLAS
Feel the fire at this blazing festival
Been dreaming of one? Head for Lapland
CAREERS: WORK ABROAD 68 LIVING: ENGLISH XMAS
See the winners of our photography comp inside
A WEEKEND IN BUDAPEST 56 Bike it, bus it and booze it in Budapest
WORK ABROAD Top tips on landing the job you want
FORGOT TO BUY A CHRISTMAS PRESSIE OR GIFT FOR SOMEONE IN AUSTRALIA & NEED TO GET IT THERE QUICKLY? 42
Grand Living Homewares makes it easy, sending anywhere around Australia, Free Gift wrapping, with a hand written card to your loved one. Buy now & tell us what date you want it sent. Free shipping on orders over $150.
Hand decorated Christmas Gifts for family and friends in Australia www.hamperme.com.au
Send sensational gifts home to South Africa this Christmas!
www.SilverRibbon.co.za 69 TNTMAGAZINE.COM
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THIS MONTH’S TOP PICKS LONDON JEWISH COMEDY FESTIVAL
EAST LONDON DESIGN SHOW
Until Dec 7
Featuring stand-up shows, films and more, this new nine-day event offers up the likes of David Baddiel and Ruby Wax as well as a flurry of young up-andcomers. Special screenings will include The Frisco Kid.
The annual celebration of independent designers is back for its 21st year. Featuring everything from jewellery to furniture and prints, it’s a very handy stop-off for some Christmas present inspiration.
Times vary JW3, 341 Finchley Rd, NW3 6ET Finchley Road jw3.org.uk
Times vary The Old Truman Brewery, E1 6QL Shoreditch High Street eastlondondesignshow.co.uk
THIS MONTH’S MUST-DO WINTERVILLE Dec 2 – Jan 1 Escape the corporate hype machine and head to Victoria Park for an alternative, creative and largely free take on the joys of winter. There’s stacks of free entertainment, including gigs, cabaret and comedy, in the Spiegeltent, plus there’s a craft beer area, pop-up town, street food and even a roller disco. See p20 for more.
Rolling with it, kitty-style
Victoria Park Road, E3 5SN
£8 Don’t worry, you’ll not need to be throwing your car keys in the middle at this nightly themed event. Instead it’s a whole new look at the world of pub sports, brilliantly chucking a ninehole crazy golf course into a warehouse and surrounding it with clubhouse bars and street food shacks.
With stacks of live music, a street food quarter and a market crammed full of independent artisan stalls, this short-lived weekend village is being created by the people behind Soho Flea Market. Escape the cold and leave feeling merry. What more could you want?
From 6.30pm 7-11 Hearn St, EC2A 3LS Shoreditch High Street swingersldn.co.uk
Times vary St John-at-Hackney Church, E5 0PD Hackney Central cityshowcasemarkets.com
ILLUSTRATION ART FAIR
THE GODFATHER LIVE
Taking place in the East End’s Hoxton Arches, this three-day event showcases 15 of the hottest young illustrators working today. There will also be DJs, food and plenty of opportunities for buying supercool where-did-youget-that art.
For something a little different this month, check out the world premiere of The Godfather Live, which involves the 1972 Francis Ford Coppola classic being shown on a giant screen while its timeless Nino Rota score is performed live by the Philharmonia Orchestra.
From noon Arch 402 Gallery, E2 8HD Old Street thelondonillustrationfair.co.uk
7.30pm Royal Albert Hall, SW7 2AP South Kensington royalalberthall.com
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SUNDAY 14TH JUNE 2015
ROYAL ALBERT HALL Just another quiet night in for Noel…
AN EVENING WITH NOEL FIELDING Dec 8-9
£25 The fine surveyor of surrealism and flowing hair is on
the road doing his first live tour in five years. Among the jokes, expect some live animation, music and a few of his best-known characters, as well as appearances from some of his buddies, such as his brother Mike, aka Naboo.
ROYALALBERTHALL.COM | GIGSANDTOURS.COM TICKETMASTER.CO.UK | STARGREEN.COM
THECATEMPIRE.COM A METROPOLIS MUSIC PRESENTATION BY ARRANGEMENT WITH THE AGENCY GROUP
The Duke’s Head & St Christopher’s Fellowship present:
Times vary O2 Academy Brixton, 211 Stockwell Road, SW9 9SL Brixton ticketmaster.co.uk
THE CASE OF A CURIOUS COCKTAIL
Photos: Getty, supplied
£8+ Okay, so you sleep in
the same T-shirt for three nights. Put it in a plastic bag. Head to this party and put your bag on the table. Sniff a few other bags. If you like what you smell, take your pic with the bag and stick it on the wall. If they like the look of you, game on…mmm.
Running alongside the museum’s Sherlock Holmes exhibition is this special one-off event, a thrilling cocktail-making hunt through the galleries after dark. You’ll need your best deduction skills to find your ingredients before crafting some signature drinks.
From 7.30pm Stories, 30 Broadway Market, E8 4QZ Bethnal Green pheromoneparties.com
7pm Museum of London, EC2Y 5HN St Paul’s museumoflondon.org.uk
This 27th of December get your reindeer outfit ready and RUN! Let’s raise loads of dosh for an amazing cause. Route: 4 miles of fun starting at the Dukes’s Head Putney, running to Hammersmith Bridge and back again! Join us for the after party in The Rowing Club: prizes and amazing surprises for all participants.
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Ross Noble: friend to badgers
Nicole Scherzinger is exploring more of her feline feelings in Cats
MARK THOMAS: CUCKOOED DEC 1-13 / 7.30PM / £16-23 The clever campaigner retells the true story of his mate who spied on Britain’s arms dealers.
HENRY IV: PARTS I & II ENDS JAN 24 / £10-55 EACH PART Award-winning South African-born Sir Antony Sher puts on the padding to play the fat knight Falstaff in the RSC’s double bill.
269 Kilburn High Rd, NW6 7JR
GERHARD RICHTER UNTIL DEC 20 / FREE The pioneering German, who happens to be the world’s most expensive living artist, puts on his first London show for a couple of decades to mark the opening of this new gallery.
Marian Goodman Gallery
5-8 Lower John St, W1F 9DY
ROSS NOBLE: TANGENTLEMAN DEC 3, 4 & 5 / 8PM / £27.50 The Georgie improviser extraordinaire has a new show full of all the exquisite inventiveness you’d expect from the cult comedian. Eventim Apollo Hammersmith 45 Queen Caroline St, W6 9QH Hammersmith
DAVE GORMAN GETS STRAIGHT TO THE POINT (THE POWERPOINT) DEC 16, 17, 18 & 19 / 7.30PM / £22.50 The check-shirted man of innovation is back on the road with a brand new tour. And he’s taking his slideshow and projector with him. Southbank Centre Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX
Barbican Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS
TURNER PRIZE 2014 UNTIL JAN 4 / £10 See for yourself this year’s winner and three finalists of the illustrious art prize.
CITY OF ANGELS ENDS FEB 7 / £10-42 A New York novelist succumbs to the temptations of Tinseltown in Josie Rourke’s revival of this 1989 musical homage to film noir.
Millbank, SW1P 4RG
Earlham Street, WC2H 9LX
ELVIS AT THE O2 FROM DEC 12 / £9+ The start of a nine-month exhibition showcasing more than 300 Elvis artefacts, many of which have never been exhibited outside of Graceland.
CATS ENDS FEB 28 / £20-59.50 The Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger gets her claws out as Grizabella in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit ‘80s musical.
The O2 Peninsula Square, SE10 0DX North Greenwich theo2.co.uk
London Palladium Argyll Street, W1A 3AB
Photos: Getty, Uli Weber, supplied
Mr Bruno lets Club de Fromage know what he means
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CLUB DE FROMAGE DEC 6 / 10.30PM / £6.50+ The legendary pop and dress-up night is going to town to celebrate its eighth birthday. As well as banging out the usual charts classics, from The Bangles to Blur, the one and only Frank Bruno will also be in attendance, doing everything from manning the door to judging the air guitar comp.
KASABIAN DEC 1-6 / 7PM / £42.50+ Start warming up those lungs. We’re not quite sure when the middling indie kids transformed into a festival headlining juggernaut, but that’s what happened. Prepare for zero snobbery, a taste of psych-rock and chanting galore.
O2 Academy Islington
O2 Brixton Academy 211 Stockwell Rd, SW9 9SL
16 Parkfield St, N1 0PS
DUMB & DUMBER TO St Vincent: aka A dull time isn’t likely singer/songwriter when Annie Lily’s Clarkinvolved I LOVE THE 80S VS I LOVE THE 90S DEC 6 / 10.30PM / £5+ Party down memory lane with this retro night celebrating the classic hits of both decades. Jazz Cafe 5 Parkway, NW1 7PG
ANGUS AND JULIA STONE DEC 16 / 7PM / £26 Get your folk on with the gloriously tender sounds of the Aussie siblings as they return to perform together following solo stints. Eventim Apollo Hammersmith
45 Queen Caroline St, W6 9QH
SATURDAY SESSIONS: BOB SINCLAIR DEC 20 / 11PM / £20+ French house extraordinaire Bob Sinclair takes prime position in The Box, along with his trademark samples and disco strings, not forgetting his peace and love inspirations. Ministry of Sound 103 Gaunt St, SE1 6DP
LILY ALLEN DEC 12 / 7PM / £35 The potty-mouthed provocative pop princess’s (try saying that after a few shandies…) return might be a bit hit and miss, but you can always expect an entertaining time at her live shows. O2 Brixton Academy
Elephant & Castle
211 Stockwell Rd, SW9 9SL
FATBOY SLIM DEC 20 / 8PM / £28.50 The man otherwise known as Norman Cook doesn’t tend to play too many shows nowadays, what with having already conquered the world an’ all, so expect tickets to go double fast.
MANIC STREET PREACHERS DEC 15, 16 & 17 / 7PM / £35 Famously epic live, the Welsh rockers are on the road, but not to plug their latest back-toback albums. They’ll instead be hitting up their excellent 1994 record The Holy Bible.
O2 Brixton Academy
211 Stockwell Rd, SW9 9SL
Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
“I’m gonna hang by the bar. Put out the vibe.” Ah, the words are enough to send a warm glow through the body and kickstart a quoting marathon. The incredibly stupid but genuinely hilarious Dumb and Dumber was one of the hit comedies of the ’90s and its long-rumoured sequel, Dumb and Dumber To, is now finally making its way to cinemas for a December 19 release. And yes, we’re intentionally ignoring the car crash travesty that was 2003’s Dumb and Dumberer. This time original stars Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey return as the hapless Harry and Lloyd, while original writers and directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly are back in charge. And early indications suggest this isn’t simply some sacrilegious get-the-band-backtogether-to-cash-in scenario (we’re looking at you, Anchorman). Expect the characters to carry on where they left off, only 20 years older, as they hit the road again to this time find Harry’s adopted daughter. Also expect stupidity of the highest, and funniest, order. dumbanddumberto.co.uk
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IN ASSOCIATION WITH
Ping pong at Bounce I swing my bat and miss the ping-pong ball for the fifth time in a row. Oh God, this was not a good idea. I shake my head apologetically and run around after the ball bouncing around between the feet of fellow punters, hoping that my jeans are the flattering kind as I parade my arse in the air like a cat in heat. But then the benefit of a ping-pong date shines through as my date comes around to show me a few techniques. I am usually far from the ‘Damsel in distress’ type, but I could make an exception for this excuse to get up close and personal, particularly as his tips actually did result in me hitting the ball back, even scoring some (occasional) points. Having a good laugh, some (relatively) friendly competition and, of course, plenty of ball-related innuendoes, ping pong turned out to be a damn good ice breaker on a date. I’m not advising you head to your local gym in sweats, though. Instead, go to Bounce in Holborn, a buzzing underground bar and restaurant, where the focus revolves around gangs of friends bouncing balls at each other. Party music blares out of the speakers and the carefully placed fluroescent lighting allows for a club-like atmosphere, but with enough light so you can actually see the ping-pong balls. (This does, however, mean you can’t use ‘bad lighting’
as an excuse for being crap at the game – I tried that one.) Having worked up a hunger and thirst, my date and I followed our game with a pulled pork pizza, garlic bread and wedges, sipped on some cocktails and shared a bottle of wine. And why stop there? The perfect way to end a pingpong date is, of course, with a bit of tonsil tennis... By Caroline Garnar £10/18 off peak, £13/26 on peak for 30/60 mins. Bounce, 121 Holborn, EC1N 2TD bouncepingpong.com
MYLONDON When I want to chill out I… go to a park. My favourite one that is not too far from me is Victoria Park. It has been improved unbelievably over the past decade and it is such a lovely place to lose yourself in. They often have events going on, but it’s so big you can always find a quiet corner to relax and chill out in. The most interesting person I’ve met in London is... Sean Lock. After a show a few years ago I had a few minutes with him and a crowd sharing a beer. I’m a huge fan and have seen him live a couple of times. I often wonder whether celebrities are as personable in the flesh – and Sean certainly was! My favourite spot to take visitors is... South Bank on a Saturday afternoon. There’s just so much for the eyes to digest! In the summer I love walking by the river, visiting the Underbelly festival, and having a drink up above it all at the Roof Garden. My favourite place for dinner is... Il Bordelo in Wapping, my favourite restaurant in London. Huge portions, friendly staff, and a great atmosphere. I entertain there both personally and for business, and I am never disappointed.
When you’re hungover in London you can’t beat... a walk down Regents Canal. It’s so peaceful and quiet, although when it’s busy you might have to dodge a cyclist or 10. If it is raining, I’m more likely to be sat somewhere in Canary Wharf nursing a hair of the dog. My favourite spot in London is... Borough. The market is great – there’s so much to see, do and eat! I often enjoy a morning there followed by a walk down the Thames or dinner at Black and Blue for a truly awesome steak. My perfect weekend in London would be... Christmas. The roads are quiet, people are relaxed, and almost everyone enjoys a break. I still occasionally go to a late night club around Christmas for a large night out. I’m not that old… yet! What I love most about London is... the variety. I’ve lived in Asia, I’ve travelled the world, and some days I feel like I see something from every part of the world right here in the city. The east end is a great example of this variety and colour. I spend a fair amount of time around Shoreditch and Brick Lane, and like to watch Arsenal at the Corner Shop Bar. Five words that sum up London are... The centre of the world! Visit
guidelondon.co.uk to buy stylish men’s designer clothing
RICHARD BENSON DIRECTOR OF GUIDE LONDON 12
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Images: Getty and Twitter
‘DATE COACH’ JULIEN BLANC KICKED OUT OF OZ FOR BEING A DOUCHE
A controversial dating consultant who allegedly promotes manipulating women into having sex has been booted out of Australia after the government cancelled his visa. Self-styled ‘pick-up artist’ Julien Blanc, of US organisation Real Social Dynamics, was in Australia to share his “dating” tactics at a series of seminars. But Australians were outraged when they realised that Blanc was reportedly teaching men how to pick up women using physical force and emotional abuse – his methods allegedly include grabbing women in the street and pushing them towards his groin. Blanc’s Melbourne seminar had to be moved to a boat on the River Yarra after the hotel, which had originally been booked, cancelled the event. But protesters surrounded the boat, and owners Melbourne River Cruises also called off the seminar as soon as they realised what was going on. Australian immigration minister Scott Morrison said Blanc’s visa had been cancelled. “This guy wasn’t pushing forward political ideas, he was putting a view that was derogatory to women and that’s just something that our values abhor in this country,” he told Sky News. Victoria police confirmed on Twitter that Blanc had left the country and that he would be followed by his assistant. The pair had intended to stay in Australia until this month. On his website Blanc pledges to “make girls beg to sleep with you after short-circuiting their emotional and logical mind into a million reasons why they should”. We’ve got a feeling he won’t be pulling again any time soon...
TOWER BRIDGE UNVEILS GLASS-FLOORED WALKWAY Visitors to Tower Bridge can now experience dizzying bird’s-eye views following the opening of a stunning glass-floored walkway 42m above the Thames. The glass floors have been installed on both the 120-year-old bridge’s two high-level walkways. Those with a head for heights will be rewarded with breath-taking views of the Thames and passing traffic. If you’re lucky you’ll also be able to see the bridge opening from above. The £1m project has involved the installation of glass floors measuring 11m long and 1.8m wide in each walkway. Each floor comprises six glass panels, each three inches thick and weighing around 530kg – more than enough to bear the weight of the plumpest tourist. Rectangles of oak flooring and Victorian carbon steel removed during the construction process have been carefully stored in case there is ever a wish to restore the bridge to its original condition. Some concerns have been expressed that the glass floors could also afford some interesting views for thrill-seekers looking up from below, or for those up top seeking happy reflections. However, strategically-placed lighting should ensure that neither women in skirts nor Scotsmen in kilts necessarily require underwear. Adult admission to the Tower Bridge Exhibition costs £9. Further details are available by visiting towerbridge.org.uk
AUSSIES GETTING LESS SEX BUT ORAL IS A YES Frustrated Aussie couples are having less sex than a decade ago despite becoming more open-minded and adventurous in their range of bedroom activities. The second Australian Study of Health and Relationships found that people in heterosexual relationships score just 1.4 times a week on average, down from 1.8 times a week when the study was conducted in 2003. The study – published in the journal Sexual Health – collated data collected from 20,094 phone interviews with Australians aged 16 to 69. The root cause – so to speak – of the collapse in coupling could lie in the pervasive influence of modern technology and working methods in home life. “People take their laptops and smartphones to bed and are reading their work emails before they go to sleep at night,” explained lead author Juliet Richters, professor of sexual health at UNSW Australia, quoted by Lifehacker Australia. “It’s that feeling that you’re always on duty.”
The survey found that an unfortunate 14.6% of respondents had had no sex in the four weeks before the survey and just under 30% had to settle for a meagre nookie ration of less than once a week. Happier news was that 21% had frolicked two to three times a week, but only a jubilant 1.7% claimed to have hit the jackpot with a home run every day. Young couples are more sexually active, with people in their 20s getting jiggy 2.1 times a week while those in their 60s get it on only once a week. Yet the sap is clearly continuing to rise across the board, with most survey participants saying they enjoyed sex with their partner, and insisting they would ideally like to do the deed between two and four times a week. But the survey also found that Australians are now becoming more relaxed in their approach to sexual practices once regarded as taboo. Some 88% of men and 86%j of women have experienced oral sex, up from 79% of men and 67% of women a decade ago. TNTMAGAZINE.COM
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BITE SIZE FESTIVE FOODIE TREATS
XMAS ROAST IN A BURGER Do XXXXX you eat anything as long as it comes between Xxxxxxxxtwo burger buns? Well you’re in luck, as K West hotels is serving a whole [web] Christmas dinner stuffed in between a brioche. The deep-fried turkey breast comes smothered in XXXXX Camembert Xxxxxxxx and cranberry relish, and it’s garnished with a sprout wrapped in [web] smoked bacon. The Christmas dinner burger is priced at £13.50 and served with a pile of crispy goose fat roast XXXXX potatoes. Xxxxxxxx k-west.co.uk
RED [web]NOSES AT RED LEMON The Red Lemon pub in Notting Hill is serving up Rudolf in a burger. Well, probably not Rudolf himself, how will Santa deliver his presents? But his deer friends (geddit?) will be served up in a bun until December 31 with hot breaded Camembert, sweet-cured bacon and cranberry sauce plus a side of chips for £16. theredlemon.co.uk
DULUXE Pop-up restaurant with a surprise ending, Spitalfields
Deluxe describes itself as a ‘non-restaurant’ restaurant, which the team promises will become clear at the end of your meal during the ‘big reveal’ (it does – read on). Its menu is short and simple, with European classics which, they say, can all be recreated at home. A nice added treat is the help-yourself pick and mix and a photo booth so you can remember your night long after Deluxe disappears on December 14. THE GRUB: There are just four starters and four mains, which is actually a welcome relief. We begin with an Asian beef salad, which is cooked to perfection. The meat is just rare enough, with a good chilli kick. Then of course we had to go for the smoked reindeer. It’s somewhat of a novelty that makes a visit here that extra bit special. And once you’ve got Rudolph out of your head, you will truly enjoy the smoky, meaty flavour of his counterparts, served with refreshing mascarpone and pickled berries. The lobster in the linguini was perhaps a tad overcooked but the green-bean side that came with the lamb chops was delightful – garlicky, buttery, and herby; the perfect accompaniment to the juicy meat. The panettone breadand-butter pud with white chocolate custard was definitely the best dessert, and the cheese board was very well priced. BEHIND THE BAR: There were a number of wines to choose from, and prices start at £3 a glass, which is truly a bargain in London. They also host wine tasting sessions on Tuesday evenings, which you can pre-book. BILL PLEASE: This is where the big reveal happens. The prices on the menu are good – £5-7 for a starter and £12-14 for a main. But when you get your bill they’re even better. Ours came to £100, but it was discounted to £40. Why? Turns out everything we had enjoyed came courtesy of supermarket giant Lidl’s Deluxe range – so each item on the menu really can be recreated at home. The even better news is that the restaurant’s proceeds are being donated to CLIC Sargant, a charity with supports young people with cancer. VERDICT: Leave your ‘marketing gimmick’ judgement at the door and tuck in, people. Just don’t forget to leave space for the pick and mix. By Rachael Getzels THE SCENE
Photos: supplied by VQ and The Blues Kitchen
GINGERBREAD GENIUS Whether you’re looking for a unique gift, a cool dessert for your Christmas party, or you just embrace the true meaning of this time of year – stuffing your face with every available festive goodie – try Bee’s Bakery for a range of cool, cute and bespoke cookies and cakes. A new ‘It’s Christmas’ range is available online at notonthehighstreet. com and etsy.com, in Harrods and the Jamie Oliver store Recipease in Notting Hill. beesbakery.co.uk
Ely’s Yard, Spitalfields, E1 6QR
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cashDE saVers CRIB RIB
how You spEnd iT
Cocktails and meat, South Kensington
Dreams come brew keiSha herBert, 24 We all know that JoB Market researcher Despite being a rib shack with a gang-slang name, this new cocktail pounding headache from FroM Leeds lounge and restaurant is in South Kensington so don’t expect finger lickin’ and Green too much cheap bubbly LiveS Bethnal cap poppin’. It’s not pretentious, though, so you can relax as you sip on your the night before. Well cocktails and suck on your good, this year your dream of ribs with a DJ playing ambient house music Howat doa you budget? still-able-to-hear-each-other waking up hangover-freelevel. The decor is ornate, with twinkling Afterchandeliers, monthly expenses and can become asoft reality with and beautiful Moroccan touches, particularly adding a bitinto my savings, baroque-esque furnishings 50% off a stellar bottle I try to set myself a weekly the impressive domed private dining room. of champagne. Usuallymixologist Bastien Dupuy has brought inspiration spendingfrom amount. It can be BEHIND THE BAR Acclaimed costing £29.75, trips to the PacificHeidsieck and Caribbean, creating concoctions such as thedifficult punchy when Heels some weeks Blue Top is £15 a pop at are busier than others, but in the City with vodka and Chambord muddled with lime, chilli bitters, pink Asda. Or you can opt for a I always try to go with the grapefruit and pomegranate, and the Mojito Rojo, which is rum shaken with lime, bottle of ‘I heart Prosecco’ cheapest options. mint, gingerfrom beerBudgens, and fresh red chilli, which admittedly nearly blew my head off. for £9.99 Elsewhere, wines are European and beers are local brews only. Tesco.com, Rhythm & Do you have any tips for THE GRUB Marinated for 24 hours in one of four sauces (before you saving get there, Booze or Londis. money in London? THE SCENE
obvs), the barbecue ribs are satisfyingly sticky and sweet. For something I try toeven take my own lunch a Fighting into work butare I don’t always more substantial,chance the steak is a healthy slab of well-cooked meat, or fish lovers The origins of some the tempting mains and seafood-heavy starters.manage catered for with Settlingthat. in forA Taste Card term ‘Boxing are yet utterly addictive chocolate cheesecake. the night? ShareDay’ the rich undecided, but we all BILL PLEASE Ribs from £14.50, cocktails £10. know it’s due to the VERDICT Food that’s wipe-your-fingers-with-a-serviette good, plus killer cocktails.
is really good for getting discounts at restaurants. Last big blow-out? I went to a second-hand clothes fair last month. Instead of leaving with a few cheap bargains, I ended up spending a lot more money than I imagined! I spent the last week of that month on a very small budget. What non-essential items do you spend money on? Each month I get something new to refresh my wardrobe. And if there’s a special occasion, that’s another excuse to hit the shops.
how ThEY spEnd iT
snap it up Do some celeb stalking at super-star hangout Gilgamesh in Camden. The famous restaurant is offering 50% off its £55 set menu through December. Just try not to tussle the 3 OF THEwith BEST professional paps outside, waiting for a star spot. CHRISTMAS See lastminute.com
OH DEER ME... Try the Rodolf’s Revenge cocktail: a combo of venison stock and mandarin blossom vodka garnished with juniper berries and orange peel. That’s enough to get Santa arrested for drunk flying... is that naughty Rudolf’s plan? thehappenstancebar.co.uk Beckham the big spender
Spend it like Beckham
You know when you buy a fancy new toy and don’t know where to keep it? David Beckham faced this conundrum when he bought a Miami football team for £16 million but couldn’t find a stadium for them. So he’s building one...
❚ At least Beckham has earned his ridiculous fortune honestly – his old team, Manchester United, GET PIE-SSED are the most valuable sports The Lido Caféworld, has turned the club in the clocking classically mince in at £1.4Christmassy billion. pie into a cocktail, using vodka infused ❚ Nothing canwith get spices in the way of business for J-Lo exand candied fruit in itsand white husband Marc Russian. Plus thisAnthony. is served The divorcedthe pairreal stillthing, co-own alongside with the Miami Dolphins. Looks salted caramel ice cream. like a sports team is for life, Yum. thelidocafe.co.uk not just for Christmas.
Do more Spend less
❚ Basketball team Chicago Sky never have a problem finding someone to sing the national anthem given COCKTAIL CLASS that former Destiny’s Child Learn how to shake member, Michelleup Williams, Christmas cocktails – including owns a share of the club. an amazing-sounding Christmas Martini – at ❚ Formercookie basketball star Johnson was part of a Magic 90-minute masterclass. Enjoy a £1.2billion buy the nibbles too, as deal well to as turkey bankrupt Dodgers. That’s and stuffingLA flavoured vodka a hefty price for a team with shots... yikes. revolution-bars. no money. Sounds like he co.uk/cocktail-masterclass may have missed a trick.
become a myTNT VIP 87 tntMagazine.coM 15 TNTMAGAZINE.COM
Words: Caroline Garnar
Photos: supplied and Getty. Words: Rachael Getzels
punches that are thrown 1 Gloucester Road, S.Kensington, SW7 4PP as eager shoppers try to get the best deals on the first day of major nationwide sales. Oxford Street will be prime territory with up to 70% off all high street brands. Get ready to rumble.
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Backing Boris The Mayor of London wants to make it easier for Aussies and Kiwis to stay in the UK, and we’re behind him all the way... WORDS CAROLINE GARNAR & KEN HURST
Last month, TNT’s website, Facebook and Twitter accounts were buzzing at the news that Mayor of London Boris Johnson was throwing his not-insignificant weight behind a proposal which would make it easier and cheaper for Australians and Kiwis to stay in Britain. He launched the ‘How to Solve a Problem like a Visa’ proposal in British Parliament on the morning of November 3. The fair-haired one said he hoped the scheme would reverse the dramatic drop in Australian migration to Britain – from 40,000 in 1999 to 26,000 in 2011. Go Boris. The report proposes to reverse the current ‘discriminatory’ British Government immigration policy, which caps the number of migrants it can take in from outside Europe at 20,000. Johnson has put forward a ‘bilateral mobility zone’ agreement between Australia and Britain, modelled on the trans-Tasman agreement between Australia and New Zealand. This would mean that any Australian or New Zealander who wanted to travel to, live and work in Britain would get a free visa. The same would apply for British citizens who wanted to work in Australia. However, expats would not get immediate access to welfare support. It has also been acknowledged that the idea would have to wait until after the British elections in May. The report states: “Extra Brits would never be seen as alien. Nor would Aussies or Kiwis in Britain. “The UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand share the same head of state, the same language and the same common-law legal system. Critically, they are all highly economically developed democracies and there is also a distinct common culture and familial bond between them. “Taken together this has led some to ask why policies of free movement don’t already exist... It would certainly allow a greater flourishing of our common unity.” The report also points out, however, that “the issue may come down to political climates and the resulting political will”. The report also recommended extending the same option to Canadians.
The reactions When TNT broke the news of Johnson’s proposal, we received strong reactions from our readers – of praise and condemnation. Racist and hypocritical is how some see Johnson’s campaign, although the idea seems to have the support of thousands more.
The story got more than 80,000 hits on TNT’s Facebook page and hundreds commented or pressed the ‘like’ button on the TNT website. “How awesome would this be?” posted Morgan. “Awesome as hell,” replied Sam. Kerryn welcomed the news with, “That has just made my day!” while for Kara, a simple, “Woooooooo” followed by 10 love heart symbols was enough. Even shorter and to the point was Kate’s, “F**k yes.” For some back home, the change would see them hotfooting it back to Blighty. Renae would “be back straight away,” while Ellen “Will be right behind you Renae” and Alistair “Can’t wait to get back” and is “doing everything I can to get there”. Other comments were more skeptical and questioning. Andrew wanted to know, “Why would Aussies wanna stay long term in UK? Your weather is better, pay is better and life in general seems more comfy in Oz.” In a similar vein, Colin asked, “Why would you want to live here? All our lot move over your way. Grass is greener but that’s about it.” Doubts were creeping in for Kristie whose line was, “I just don’t want to get these hopes up”, for Dass who was, “Fingers crossed,” and Andy who “doesn’t think it will happen under
Danielle is desperate to get back to London life
the current government”. Natasha was more definitive. “They have until I graduate to sort their shit out,” she wrote. Questions were raised. Like Hayley’s, “Does this mean no age limit?” and Kerryn’s, “Does this mean we can get a second [visa]?” But harsher criticism reared its head too. Sue criticised the unfairness of the current system and pointed to some non-Australians who “simply come to take advantage of every benefit they can”. Someone using the handle ‘Big Bird’ condemned the Mayor’s support as “Just another stunt by Boris” that was no more likely to fly than his Thames Estuary airport idea. Theloneous Honk (surely too good a name not to be his own) wondered whether the plan was being put forward “because white, sorry I mean pink, foreign nationals... are considered higher in the food chain than beige, brown or black foreign nationals?” before advising Boris to “start canvassing as the new UKIP clown” and follow Nigel Farage who had “a similar line on dodgy versus dapper Europeans”. ‘Rudobrody’ drew distinctions between immigrants he described as ‘expats’ from the Commonwealth and ‘refugees’ from Africa, who he thought should be allowed in, and EU citizens who should not. In general, though, the voices of Australiasians were in full support of Boris’s proposal, with some shouting louder than others...
Reader campaign Danielle Duchesne is a Kiwi who has recently been booted out of the UK after her two-year visa ran out. Her friend Louise Baker, also from New Zealand, is still in the UK but only has a year left. “The past year has gone by so quickly and I know the upcoming one will go even faster...” she laments. They are desperate to gather as much support as they can for Boris’s campaign, even starting a Facebook page under ‘Support UK Visa Changes for Kiwis and Aussies’. They are looking to get as much support as they can, hoping the united voices of Australiasians backing Boris’s policy will help make it happen. “Not going to lie, it feels like I’m going through a bad break-up. Sorry if that sounds dramatic, but it does,” says Danielle, who was forced to return to New Zealand in October this year. A contemporary dancer, she moved to London as soon as she finished school having visited the city alone during a summer break travelling Europe. “I fell in love with 18
TNT readers Danielle (left) and Louise are campaigning for support for Boris’s visa proposal the city, the dance, and the energy. So on October 14, 2012, a friend and I flew out ready for an adventure. The moment we landed, I knew this was the right thing.” Danielle did however struggle with progressing her dance career at first, instead taking reception, restaurant and marketing jobs before qualifying as a personal trainer. After a rollercoaster two years, she really started to feel settled. “In my last few months, I found myself in the right head space to really push forth with my aspirations to dance, while maintaining a role in the fitness industry. I had also connected with so many wonderful people, and was in no way ready to say goodbye. Most of all, though, I had fallen completely in love with the city. I had a life in London that I was not ready to let go of. Leaving when the choice isn’t yours is a whole different ballgame, and I don’t think I’ll ever really let go of London.” Indeed, it’s only been just over a month since she’s left and Danielle is already longing to get her old life back: “There are so many little things that I miss about London: pockets of beauty in and among a big and crazy mess; I miss the energy of the city, the beauty of it, the parks, the cheeky picnics and drinking; the dance classes, my fitness classes, the bustling way of life; tapping my Oyster in and out of Tube stations, the Hammersmith river, the night buses home; Shoreditch cafes, Southbank, the moments when you realise you’re living in this amazing city... the list could go on.” So when Danielle heard about the new push for bilateral visa mobility zones, she knew she couldn’t just sit back, wishing she was back in London and waiting for something to happen. “Even though we are just two people, it feels good to try to do something. I have reached out to radio stations, a few magazines, and we are now in the process of presenting a report to MPs in London asking for their support so we can then push forth if we get a good percentage backing this. “I feel my usual fire coming back to me, with the idea that the more positive energy we put out regarding this, the better our chances of getting that positive bounce right back – it’s only physics!” And if their hard work pays off, Danielle will be the first on the plane back to the UK: “I can’t wait for the moment that I can feel the wheels touchdown in London, but this time without an expiration date.” If you would like to share your view or personal story, get in touch with the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos: Graham Turner – Queen of Hoxton
Woodlandia at WigWamBam
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12 pantomimes, 10 Christmas markets, seven skating rinks, six New Year’s parties, five carol concerts, four food and drink spots, two Christmas parties, four wonderlands, and partridge in a pear tree.... WORDS CAROLINE GARNAR
Now sing the above to the tune of ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ – it works! Sort of... you just have to be creative with your syllable-to-note ratio. Has that got you in the Christmas spirit? Good. Otherwise we’ve just made this list of the top 50 festive things to do in London for nothing...
FOOD & DRINK MONTAGUE SKI LODGE The Montague Hotel transforms its outdoor deck into a makeshift ski chalet, complete with falling snow, friendly looking snowmen and reindeer, and bar staff donning sobad-they’re-great Christmas jumpers. A £25 ‘ski pass’ will get you a selection of mini turkey burgers, bratwurst and deepfried Camembert, plus three festive drinks, from mulled wine and schnapps to flavoured vodka and that Christmas classic, Jagermeister. Oh, and that 25 quid could win you a threenight holiday in Geneva. Until Jan 30; Montague Hotel, 15 Montague Street, WC1B 5BJ; £25 montaguehotel.com/skimontague Best for... getting warm by the fire WOODLANDIA AT WIGWAMBAM The Queen of Hoxton’s rooftop wig-wam has returned for the winter. Step inside to take a pew on a moss-covered log and tuck into apricot and herb stuffed pork loin, Sloe gin pulled lamb shoulder, and hot jacket potatoes, all cooked over the central brick barbecue grill. Next, grab a hot toddy from the bar, or a hot buttered rum if you prefer, and head outside into the chill, but with roaring fire pits dotted around, you can cosy up and stay warm – just prepare to leave smelling of smoke. But Christmassy smoke, which is okay. Until Mar 2015; Queen of Hoxton, 1-5 Curtain Road, EC2A 3AN; drinks from £6, food from £5.50 queenofhoxton.com/rooftop Best for... eating Rudolf DELUXE Deluxe is a pop-up ‘non-restaurant’ serving festive fare,
Montague Ski Lodge including reindeer with pickled berries. There’s a Christmas surprise when the bill comes too... see p14 for TNT’s full review of Deluxe. Until Dec 14; Ely’s Yard, Spitalfields, E1; mains from £11 deluxerestaurant.co.uk Best for... breakfast BILLINGSGATE COOKERY SCHOOL As a festive first for fish lovers, Billingsgate Cookery School is laying on an exclusive breakfast in the lead up to Christmas. From £35 you can tuck into early-morning treats at one of Britain’s oldest and most renowned markets. Enjoy fresh fruit and pastries followed by smoked haddock royale, smoked salmon kedgeree, salmon and scrambled eggs, or the classic kippers on toast, all washed down with Champagne, naturally. Plus you can pick up some fish-based festive recipes from food writer and director of Billingsgate Cookery School, CJ Jackson. For an extra tenner, you can take a tour of the ›› TNTMAGAZINE.COM
Photos: The Montague on the Gardens
Best for... Christmas chintz
market, once the largest fish market in the world. Wed, Thu and Fri mornings until Dec 19; Ely’s Yard, Spitalfields, E1; mains from £11 seafoodtraining.co.uk
CAROL CONCERTS December 1-23 THE CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL AT ST JOHN’S SMITH SQUARE A whole series of concerts, you can pick your preference from performances including the City of London Choir, a more unusual French Baroque Christmas or A Winter Wonderland by the National youth Music Theatre. We recommend witnessing the closing performance of Handel’s ‘Messiah’ by Polyphony and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment – a tradition that has been going for 20 years this year. St John’s Smith Square, SW1P 3HA; cost varies according to concert and seat sjss.org.uk/whats-on December 8 & 15
E1 6LY; £30 nspcc.org.uk/what-youcan-do/events/london-carols-candlelight December 16 WESTMINSTER ABBEY CHRISTMAS CONCERT If it’s good enough for the royal family, it’s good enough for us. Hear the Abbey Choir, seasonal readings and sing along to traditional carols. The abbey welcomes more than 12,000 worshippers over the Christmas period, so book fast. If you miss out on the Christmas concert, there are free tickets to some of the Christmas services, but you still need to book in advance. Westminster Abbey, Broad Sanctuary, SW1P 3PA; £15-36 westminster-abbey.org/ events/christmas December 18 LOVE CHRISTMAS CELEBRITY CHRISTMAS CONCERT So Christmassy they’ve written it twice, this concert is taking place in one of our favourite buildings in London – the magical St Paul’s Cathedral. Russell
Watson, the St Paul’s Cathedral choir (bound to be a good one, right?) and the London Gay Men’s Chorus (also bound to belt it out) sing the songs, while iconic Brits from opposite sides of the accent scale, Babs Windsor and Joanna Lumley, are set to do readings. Money raised is going to Age UK. St Paul’s Cathedral, EC4M 8AD; £16.50 stpauls.co.uk
CHRISTMAS MARKETS WEST
Best for... meeting Santa BELGRAVIA CHRISTMAS SUNDAY MARKET On Sunday December 7 the market on Elizabeth Street and Pimlico Road will be transformed especially for Christmas. This strip is pretty at the best of times, but when lit up with Christmas lights it takes on an extra special glow. Alongside the market stalls you will find carol singers, a traditional brass band, school choirs, jugglers and the man himself, Santa and his reindeer.
CHRISTMAS CAROLS AT KENSINGTON PALACE More than just a carol service, you will get a tour through the palace, with a guide telling you stories of Christmas past, before the choir serenades you around its 30ft tree. A glass of mulled wine and a mince pie are included. We’ll be there with bells on... Kensington Palace, The Broadwalk, Kensington Gardens, W8 4PX; £10 hrp.org.uk/KensingtonPalace December 10 CHILDLINE CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT Help a good cause with your £30 ticket, which isn’t entirely selfless as in return you will enjoy a night of carols sung by the Chapel Choir of Selwyn College Cambridge, a glass of Cava and a cupcake, as well as readings from celebrity speakers. Christ Church, Spitalfields, Commercial St, 22
Carols at Kensington Palace
Photo: © Historic Royal Palaces
Photos: The Montague on the Gardens
Dec 7; Belgravia, SW1X 8BX Best for... stepping back in time TUDOR CHRISTMAS MARKET AT KINGSTON-UPON-THAMES This marketplace dates back to the 12th century, so you will need little imagination to see yourself step back in time as you mooch around the Tudorstyle huts peddling festive goodies. The nearby Old London Road also has a good array of boutique stores great for rummaging around in for unique gifts, such as the up-cycled furnishings at 37 London Road, featured on TV show Mary Queen of Shops. Until Dec 24; Kingston Town Centre, Clarence Street, Kingston Upon Thames, KT1 1NR Best for... Celeb spotting SHEPHERD MARKET CHRISTMAS PARTY In the heart of Mayfair, you’re bound to find some gifts for your sophisticated friends at this market (if you have any, that is). If you’re a fan of Christmas light switch-ons, and even more so when it’s done by a famous finger, go along on December 4 to say ‘oooh’ and then ‘aaah’ at the gifts on offer. Dec 4, 1-40 Shepherd Market, Mayfair, London, W1J 7PJ
Bonkers for bikes? Lusty for Lyrca? If so, head to Spin London’s special Christmas market where exhibitors will be punting goodies to fulfil every cycling need – from clothing to accessories to gadgets to bikethemed gifts. There will be craft beer and mulled wine, live exhibits from local artists, plus DJs spinning some tunes. Dec 5-7; Rochelle School, Arnold Circus, E2 7ES spinldn.com Best for... a traditional English atmosphere CHRISTMAS AT MORDEN HALL PARK A slice of countryside in the city, roam the beautiful leafy grounds of Morden Hall. The market is held in the Victorian stable yard, and with hot chestnuts roasting, real pine Christmas trees and candle making, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. If you hear bells, it’s not Santa come early, but the weird and wonderful English tradition of Morris dancing... enjoy. Dec 6-7 & 13-14; Morden Hall Park, Morden Hall Road, Morden, SM4 5JD
Best for... hipsters WINTER VILLAGE AT ST JOHN AT HACKNEY Creative types applied to sell their wares at this market, so you’re bound to find some cool and quirky bits and bobs. The East is a hotbed for hipster types, so if your mate’s got a beard or a bike with a basket, shop for them here. This atmospheric church often hosts live music, including a recent gig from Aussie Tina Arena, so expect some good carol singers too. Dec 5-7; St John at Hackney, Lower Clapton Road, Lower Clapton, E5 0PD CENTRAL
Best for... views over London SOUTHBANK CENTRE CHRISTMAS MARKET You can’t miss this line of traditional wooden chalets filling the tourist hub of the Southbank. Have a mooch around the stalls on your way to the Frostival at the London Eye (see p26) or on your way to see what else is going on at the Southbank Winter Festival (p26). The
Best for... locally produced fare SPITALFIELDS CITY FARM CHRISTMAS MARKET This one-day market promises to offer unique gifts, from handmade cards to locally produced goods. Plus, you’ll feel like you’re in the nativity with donkey rides, sheep, cattle and loads of hay surrounding you. Dec 7; Spitalfields City Farm, Buxton Street, E1 5AR spitalfieldscityfarm.org Best for... bike enthusiasts SPIN XMAS Are your mates psycho for cycling?
Tuck into roasted chestnuts
best bit? The night-time views over this picture-perfect part of the Thames. Until Jan 4; Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX NORTH
Best for... a truly unique gift ALFIE’S CHRISTMAS SHOPPING PARTY Alfie’s Antique Market is a seriously cool spot that stocks antiques, vintage fashion and retro furniture. You will find a truly unique gift here, and you can even add a personal touch thanks to the in-house engraving service and bespoke jewellery design. On the Christmas shopping night there will be live music, canapés and cocktails along with tarot card readings, a Christmas wrapping service run by St John’s Hospice, and a hat making workshop. Dec 4; 13-25 Church Street, St John’s Wood, NW8 8DT SOUTH
Best for... Making a day of it GREENWICH MARKET AT CHRISTMAS This spot has a buzz all year round, but particularly at Christmas. Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the market, which has more than 150 stalls offering handmade toys, jewellery and artwork as well as gorgeous food, before taking in the grand sights of the Cutty Sark and stately Greenwich Maritime Museum. As the sun sets, climb the hill in the park to take in the twinkling city view from where the old observatory is perched. Until Dec 24; Greenwich High Road, SE10 9HZ
CHRISTMAS PARTIES WHAM’S LAST CHRISTMAS AT MAGGIE’S In true retro style, every Thursday in December Maggie’s nightclub is dedicating its decked halls to this ’80s
Christmas classic. On December 4 they’ll even have a Wham! tribute act. Drink Christmas cocktails from Wham! mugs and wear your fave Christmas jumper, it’s time to give George the festive respect he deserves. Every Thursday in Dec from 10.30pm; 329 Fulham Road, SW10 9QL; £15 maggies-club.com CHRISTMAS JUMPER PARTY Browns Bar & Brasserie is putting on this festive party, encouraging people to wear their winter woollies. You will enjoy a glass of mulled wine or hot cider, a three-course meal including two drinks, a live DJ until 1am, plus there’s a prize for the best Christmas jumper, and all for a not-unreasonable-price-forLondon £39.99. Dec 6; 82-84 St Martin’s Lane, Covent Garden, WC2N 4AA; £39.99 designmynight.com/london/bars/ leicester-square/browns-bar-brasserie
AT THE THEATRE Proper pantos SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS Richmond Theatre has arguably bagged the best baddie possible, with Jerry Hall playing the Wicked Queen. Moving on from the classic Snow White story, the prince is working with Dopey, Grumpy, Doc et al to help save Snow White from being banished forever by Ms Hall – cue wicked cackle. Dec 5-Jan 11; Richmond Theatre, The Green, Richmond, TW9 1QJ; £11.90-42.40 atgtickets.com BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Written by award-winning Paul Sirett and with set and costume design by the winners of a Tony for Best Costume Design, Harriet Barsby and Jenny Tiramani, you can bet this is going to be an impressive production. Plus this fairytale tells the wise moral story that
beauty is within, well until the beast gets all hot and stuff… Until Jan 17; Theatre Royal Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, London E15 1BN. £6.50-26.50 stratfordeast.com DICK WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT With Dick and his pussy and a chef call Baps, it’s surprising this is a family friendly panto, but oh yes it is... and the innuendos will go way over the little ones’ heads so you grown-ups can enjoy yourselves too. Until Jan 3; Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, King Street, London, W6 0QL; £15-35 lyric.co.uk ROBIN HOOD You can’t miss the opportunity to see a bunch of men in green tights, so head to Winterville’s Robin Hood panto, re-imagined by Hackney-based Tour De Force. With a mix of pro actors and kids from local schools, there will also be puppets, comedy and a singing reindeer. Dec 6-31; Winterville, Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, £10 winterville.co.uk/events/panto Christmassy classics THE NUTCRACKER If you’d rather stick baubles up your bum than shout ‘he’s behind you!’ then The Nutcracker is your kind of Christmas classic. A magician brings toys to life on Christmas Eve in this enchanting tale, performed by the stunning dancers of the English National Ballet. Dec 11-Jan 4; London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4ES; £69-79 eno.org/whatson/other/nutcracker-1415 CHRISTMAS SPECIAL WHITE CHRISTMAS Enjoy Irving Berlin’s classic feel-good musical at the Dominion Theatre, which is a complete bundle of jazz-hand retro joy. To make a real festive event of it, stay at the Bloomsbury Hotel
Photo: David Tett for Lyric Theatre
next door where for £395 you will get an overnight stay for two including breakfast, two tickets to see White Christmas, two tickets for ice skating at Somerset House, a festive afternoon tea and a visit to Winter Wonderland. Visit doylecollection.com/bloomsbury to book. Until Jan 3; Dominion Theatre, 268-269 Tottenham Court Road, W1T 7AQ; £44.50106.25 dominiontheatre.com EDWARD SCISSORHANDS This may not immediately strike you as Christmassy, but it’s set at Christmastime and there’s a lot of ice and snow, so this time of year is a great excuse to watch this brilliant story. Even better, this musical version sees Eddie getting down to the beats – just be careful with those scissors, mate. Dec 2-Jan 11; Sadler’s Wells, Rosebery Avenue, EC1R 4TN; £12-55 sadlerswells.com
THE SNOWMAN We can’t think of The Snowman without breaking into a (bad) soprano and trilling ‘We’re walking in the aaaaaair’. Just us? Well we’ll try to refrain from joining in when the live band plays it as James and the Snowman fly through the night sky in this ballet production from the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Until Jan 4; Peacock Theatre, Kingsway (entrance on Portugal Street), WC2A 2HT; £36-42; sadlerswells.com
Photos: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, PWR events.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL From Bill Murray to The Muppets, most have had a stab at recreating Dickens’ story of Ebenezer Scrooge learning the true meaning of Christmas. This version sees the unmistakable vocals of Griff Rhys Jones as the narrator of this timeless tale, which turns 170 this year. Dec 15; Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX; £10-15 southbankcentre.co.uk
Or for something different...
A LAD IN TIGHTS From the producers of Snow White and the Seven Poofs and Sinderfella, this adults-only drag panto stars Stephanie Von Clitz as Aladdin and has a brilliantly camp genie who wants to rub everybody’s lamp. Expect sing-along songs – yes, we’re talking ‘YMCA’ and ‘Material Girl’ – as well as plenty of laughs at this gay-in-more-ways-than-one panto. Dec 2-Jan 4; Upstairs At The Prince Of Wales, 150-151,Drury Lane, WC2; £18 ticketweb.co.uk
SLAVA’S SNOWSHOW If you can get past how creepy clowns can be, this magical dream-like show is a must watch. Surreal but beautiful, this award-winning show has been a hit success around the world with fantastic performances and a finale that leaves you knee-deep in ‘snow’. Dec 17-Jan 7; The Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX; £20-65 slavasnowshow.co.uk
BOOTY AND THE BIATCH Christmas is all about the kids... oh no it isn’t! Imagine a world where Mrs Potts the teapot is a meth-head who talks to herself, the beast she cares for is a vile queen and the candlestick, Lumiere, is lactose intolerant. This is what to expect in the naughty, burlesque and cabaret panto Booty and the Biatch – prepare to look at Disney in a whole new light... December 14-17; Lost Theatre, 208 Wandsworth Road, SW8 2JU; £17.50; paullmartin.com/tickets.htm
WINTERVILLE This brand new Christmas festival is being held in Victoria Park and proposes to offer a cool and quirky alternative to the usual festivities. Alongside the usual ice rink and fairylights you will find a retro roller disco and a Speigeltent hosting a whole bunch of comedy and club nights – from the Edinburgh Fringe Show’s Cutting off Kate Bush, to a family rave, to Rebel Bingo and Cirque du Caberet. Sounds awesome, right? We’ll see you there...
Photos: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, PWR events.
Winter Wonderland Dec 2-Jan 1; Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets; free entry, buy show tickets in advance at ticketweb.co.uk/feature/winterville; winterville.co.uk WINTER WONDERLAND The classic Hyde Park extravaganza, expect rides, an ice rink, a big wheel,
ICE SKATE VAUXHALL AT PLEASURE GARDENS This may sound like a kinky spot for car lovers, but it is in fact a festive destination, with an ice rink – complete with pros to show you how it’s done – a Christmas tree maze, market, street performers and traditional rides.
WC2R 1LA; £7.50 for one hour; somersethouse.org.uk WEST
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM ICE RINK Until Jan 4; Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD; £12.65 for 50 minutes; nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/ice-rink HAMPTON COURT PALACE ICE RINK Until Jan 4; East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU; £11.50-13 for one hour, thehamptoncourticerink.co.uk
Photos: Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason
WESTFIELD LONDON ICE RINK Until Jan 4; Ariel Way, London W12 7GF, £913.50 for an hour uk.westfield.com/london/news-andevents/ice-rink EAST
BROADGATE ICE RINK Until Feb 26; Exchange Square, Primrose Street, EC2A 2BQ; £12.50 for one hour; broadgate.co.uk SOUTH
Skate at Somerset House
CANARY WHARF ICE RINK Until Feb 28; Canada Square Park, E14 5AX; £14.50 for one hour icerinkcanarywharf.co.uk
a market and lots of Christmassy food, drink and tunes. See page 34 for more info. Until Jan 4; Hyde Park, Westminster; free entry hydeparkwinterwonderland.com
Until Jan 4; Tyers Street, Vauxhall, SE11 5HL; prices vary iceskatevauxhall.co.uk
NEW YEAR’S EVE
SOUTHBANK CENTRE WINTER FESTIVAL The Southbank Centre and its surrounding areas have been transformed with a Christmas tree maze, a bustling market and...er... giant illuminated rabbits. It’s packed programme includes workshops, exhibitions, carol services and festive shows – many are listed here, but check its website for a full events calendar. Until Jan 11; Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX; ticket prices vary southbankcentre.co.uk
EDITOR’S PICK LONDON EYESKATE AND FROSTIVAL Combine your ice skating session under the iconic London Eye with heading up in one of its frosted pods, joined by a special guide who will tell you all about the frosty sights of London below you. Until Jan 4; The London Eye, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB; from £9.45 for 45 minutes londoneye.com
MAYOR OF LONDON’S FIREWORKS He’s charging for them this year, but this will hopefully mean less crowds and an even more spectacular show. With the London Eye flashing in time to the countdown, Big Ben chiming out midnight and a stunning 10-minute show of pyrotechnics rocketing out from the South Bank, you can’t get any more iconic London for New Year’s Eve. £10; Next to Big Ben, Westminster london.gov.uk
SKATE AT SOMERSET HOUSE Until Jan 11; The Strand, London,
Best for... iconic London
Best for... 29 hours of partying EGG LONDON – NYE Going from 9pm New Year’s Eve right
Photos: Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason
Skate at Somerset House through until 2pm on New Year’s Day, Egg is running its longest NYE party ever, so dance music fans can party into, and beyond, the night. Top DJs confirmed include Bondax, Patrick Topping, Leftwing & Kody and Him_ Self_Her, and the show will go all out with lasers and confetti cannons for midnight. £15; 200 York Way, Kings Cross, N7 9AX egglondon.net Best for... retro fans I LOVE THE 80S VS I LOVE THE 90S NYE @ THE GARAGE Party like it’s 1999 – or 1989, depending on your decade of choice. Room one puts the decades head to head with party anthems, pop hits, dance tracks, rock, Britpop and hip-hop. In room two there’s an ever-popular silent disco, while room three is all about the Noughties, and it’s all going on until 4am. £13; 20-22 Highbury Corner, N5 1RD
ilovethe90sparty.com / ticketweb. co.uk/event/AJI3112X Best for... the old at heart THE COFFIN DODGERS DISCO NYE PARTY Can’t keep up with the young ’uns any more? Then this over-28s NYE party is for you. Grab your best cardi and favourite walking stick and get ready to granny groove-it to rock, pop, disco and indie. Hosted by Don and Reg, who have begrudgingly given up watching Jools Holland on TV for the night, expect Werther’s Originals, silly games and a flask or two of (spiked) tea. £24; O2 Academy2 Islington, N1 Centre, 16 Parkfield St, Islington N1 0PS coffindodgersdisco.com Best for... getting your glad rags on DISAPPEARING DINING CLUB NYE DINNER DANCE Held in a Grade II listed warehouse on
the Thames featuring London’s last remaining lighthouse, you can enjoy the awesome views while tasting a welcome cocktail and canapés before sitting down to a lavish three-course dinner and dancing your way through midnight until 4am. £100; The Chainstore, Trinity Buoy Wharf, 64 Orchard Pl, E14 0JY disappearingdiningclub.co.uk Best for... fans of fancy dress A VINTAGE NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY Step back in time to enjoy live music, jive dancing and cabaret singers. You will find six floors of entertainment, with dining areas, a private terrace where you can watch the South Bank fireworks, a photo studio, and even a hair and beauty parlour so you can get truly dolled up. Spanning every era from the ‘20s to the ‘80s, pick a decade and get glammed up. £117.50, £192.50 includes dinner; Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX southbankcentre.co.uk
Mayor of London’s NYE fireworks
South America and overall winner
Siesta, Humahuaca, Argentina, by Sarah Freeman
Beyond Anzac: Explore the pretty Beyond Explore the pretty coastlineAnzac: of Gallipoli while youâ€™re there coastline of Gallipoli while youâ€™re there
Shapes, Antelope Canyon, Arizona, USA, by Ruairi Cassidy Xxxx
North American Winner
Glow in the Dark, Summit of Mount Kilamanjaro, Tanzania, by Steve Ash
The Flower Field Kids, West Bengal, India, by Debdatta Chakraborty
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And the winners are.... Feast your eyes on the stunning winning photographs of the TNT/STA Travel Show photography competition
Look out, Castle Point, New Zealand, by Stephen Johns
In case you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere, TNT hosted its Travel Show last month. For the first time we hosted a photography competition, and the entries were incredible. Our readers are a seriously talented bunch and we thank you all for taking the time to enter. We displayed the top photos in our gallery at the Travel Show, and here you will get to see the winners, with one for each continent (although none of you have been to Antarctica it seems, you unadventurous lot) including one overall winner.
The prizes The overall winner will join Tatra Photography’s trip on June 1-4 2015 in Tatra National Park, Slovakia. While the five other winners across the six categories have won a share of £1,000! The beautiful Tatra Mountains are a dream for photographers with its unique culture, historical architecture and spectacular landscapes. The best locations in the National Park have been handpicked for your enjoyment, including the Tatra mountain valleys, emerald lakes and giant mountain waterfalls. The four-day workshop includes a masterclass in landscape and filtration photography from professional photographer, Mark Bauer. For more information, visit tatraphotographyworkshop.com.
On the Rocks, Yorkshire, England, by Roger Evans
The judges DAVID FAIRMAN is a renowned photographer and film director whose bold, innovative style has seen his work exhibited in major galleries around the world. He is currently listed in the top 3% of most popular film directors worldwide by IMDB. You can download his book Take Great Digital Pictures in 24 Hours for £7.99 from amazon.co.uk. NIGEL WILSON is a professional photographer and tutor whose clients include the BBC, Sky and The Sunday Times. TNT has been to his weekend course and went from being an iPhone clicker to a fully fledged SLR snapper in just two days. Check out his courses at photographycourses.org.uk, plus if you tell him you read TNT Magazine, he’ll give you a 15% discount off any of his weekend courses. Nice man. LISA FERRON is TNT Magazine’s Art Director and has worked at the magazine for seven years. She has a 25-year career as an international magazine designer and art director. She has lived and extensively travelled in Australia, the States and Europe, giving her a great eye for travel photography. Turn the page to see some more of the amazing entries we received...
Taking a break, Dal Lake in Srinagar, Kashmere, India, by Amitava Chandra
Kicking up some dust, South Luwanga National Park, Zambia, by Malcolm Ash The Kelpies, Falkirk, Scotland, by Andrew W Bowman
Mirror image, Lake Bled, Slovenia, by Alexandra Denning-Kemp
Jute Collectors, West Bengal, India, by Debdatta Chakraborty
African sunset, Masaai Mara, Kenya, by Malcolm Ash
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facebook.com/tntmag Lazing starfish, Kendwa Beach, Zanzibar, Tanzania, by Malcolm Ash
Above the clouds, Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, by Steve Ash
Shade and colour, Trujillo Peru, by Sarah Freeman
Corfe Castle station, Dorset, England, by Svatopluk Dolezal
The Old Mill, Babcock State Park, West Virginia, USA, by Brian Hennessy
Boy and boat, Bocas del Toro, Panama, by Sarah Freeman
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The Gandy brothers Rob and Paul Forkan survived the Sri Lankan Boxing Day tsunami 10 years ago, but lost both parents. Together they are continuing their Mum and Dad’s memory through their philanthropic venture, Gandys flip-flops, and by telling their story in new book Tsunami Kids: Our Journey from Survival to Success INTERVIEW CAROLINE GARNAR
How much did your parents inspire your charity work? Mum and Dad were very thoughtful and philanthropic, and they believed – rightly, we think – that it would help us in life to realise how lucky we were. They wanted to show us how the other half lived, even when we were on holiday, so they volunteered us to visit a children’s home when we were on our travels in Goa. The experience really made us value everything we had and fed our desire to give back in our parents’ memory and carry on their legacy of giving. You were taken out of formal education so you could travel and live abroad. Do you think this helped or hindered you? To be honest we feel that being exposed – especially at such a young age – to the difficulties and cruelties life can present allowed us to develop a maturity and resilience beyond our years. The school-of-life education we got on our travels with our parents was a gift that eventually saved our lives. We also learnt a lot about entrepreneurial skills from our parents, who started up several small businesses themselves during our childhood. 32
Tell us about your memories of the Boxing Day tsunami... You could feel it before it hit, it was like the world shook. The humid air was sucked away in a second and replaced with a solid wall of water. In that moment everything became noise, energy and panic so our memories of the event are confused as well as painful. A fight-or-flight adrenaline reaction kicked in, and we just knew we had to escape the water. We somehow managed to scramble onto the roof of our apartment, and we found our younger brother clinging to a tree. We were also reunited with our younger sister later that day.
Tell us more about the inspiration behind Gandys flip-flops... Having spent years travelling, flip-flops were our footwear of choice; they were the unofficial Forkan family uniform. The original idea for the brand came from a phrase we’d heard people use when they were hungover: “I’ve got a mouth like Gandhi’s flip-flop!” The idea made us smile: why hadn’t anyone thought to make a brand of flip-flop and call it that? As there would probably be issues with using the name, we changed the spelling. We’ve had a lot of support from Sir Richard Branson, and celebrities – Jessica Alba and One Direction are among the famous feet who’ve been spotted in Gandys. The aim of Gandys has always been to help children all over the world, and securing land to build our first children’s home in Sri Lanka in memory of our parents is a real milestone for us. We would like to have a children’s
home in every continent funded by the Gandys Foundation eventually. How would you recommend people help make a difference on their travels? It’s easy to travel the world in your own little bubble, and ignore the poverty and deprivation you see all around you. Volunteering on our travels gave us a real insight and connection to the local community, and we’d recommend this to anyone – it’s so great to feel you’re doing something worthwhile and gives you a real sense of perspective that will last long after you’re home again. And obviously, pack a pair of Gandys – they’re the ultimate flip-flop for travelling and you’ll know you’re helping children around the world with every step you take. Read Rob and Paul’s story in their book Tsunami Kids: Our Journey from Survival to Success. Out now, published by Michael O’Mara Books, £16.99. For more on Gandys flip-flops visit gandysflipflops.com
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IMAGE OF THE MONTH
WHEN IN ROME, ER, WE MEAN NORMANDY... You will soon be able to see the sights of Rome and the natural wonders of the Amazon rainforest in... France. The Panorama XXL is opening on December 20 in Normandy on the north banks of the Seine in Rouen. The 115-feet high, 111-feet-wide rotunda will display dramatic 360° frescoes by German artist Yadegar Asisi. As well as Rome and the Amazon, visitors taking in the sights from the central viewing platform will be able to step back in time and see Rouen as it looked in the Middle Ages. Entrance costs ¤9.50. panoramaxxl.com/en/
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ENGLISH CHRISTMAS MARKETS
The three ghosts of Christmas past, present and future really needn’t have gone to all that bother with Scrooge. They could have just left him a note, telling him to go to a Christmas market, and he would have been
Photos: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, PWR events.
transformed then and there into a big bundle of festive joy. A Christmas market is a microcosm of all that’s great about the northern hemisphere at this time of year. You simply can’t fail to get in the festive spirit when you are wrapped up against the cold, fairy lights are twinkling, carollers are singing and the smells of cinnamon and ginger fill the air. We used to love our Christmasses on the beach back home, but there is something truly magical about spending this season in the snow (or at least cold), and England truly thrives at this time of year. With this in mind, we have gathered the top five Christmas markets in England so you can turn your Scrooge into a Santa fan pronto.
WINTER WONDERLAND, LONDON One of the best bits about living in the capital of England is you can be sure that the biggest and the best things are happening right here. And London’s main Christmas market held in Hyde Park is no exception. 36 00
Although, calling it a Christmas market doesn’t really do it justice. This is just a small part of the festivities, with a small village of wooden huts offering Christmas trinkets. Beyond this you will find the UK’s largest open-air ice rink, fairground rides including a Ferris wheel, a Magical Ice Kingdom, which is like something out of Frozen, and a circus, offering family fodder by day, and freaky fun for adults by night. Of course food and drink is in good supply, with nine areas dedicated to doling out mulled wine, spiced hot cider, hot chocolate, hog roasts, bratwurst and more. Many of them also have live music or DJs – and don’t worry, they won’t play Mariah Carey on loop. Sure it’s all a pumped-up commercial version of Christmas, and you’ll drop a small fortune if you go all out (which you may as well, what’s Christmas without bankrupting yourself?), but it’s on your doorstep and it’s basically bloody good fun. Go on, go walking in a Winter Wonderland. Now-Jan 4, 10am-10pm. Free to enter. hydeparkwinterwonderland.com
2 GERMAN MARKET, BIRMINGHAM Inspired by its twin city, Frankfurt, Birmingham’s Christmas market is home to 180 glowing wooden chalets sprawled across Victoria Square, Centenary Square, Chamberlain Square and New Street, each one packed with treats from glistening handmade baubles to traditional wooden toys. The edible treats are equally irresistible as the aroma of mulled wine, rich gingerbread and marzipan fill the air. Until Dec 22 birmingham.gov.uk/frankfurtmarket
3 FESTIVE FUN IN BATH The cobbled streets and square between the stunning Bath Abbey and the internationally renowned Roman Baths become a Christmas shopper’s paradise. More than 180 traditional wooden chalets line the streets, each one offering bespoke gifts, decorations and edible goodies. Oh, and don’t forget to pop in to say hi to Santa, take a spin on the ice rink, or, our personal favourite, take a dip in the Thermae Bath Spa, overlooking the twinkling lights. Until December 14 bathchristmasmarket.co.uk
OR HOP ON THE EUROSTAR TO...
A charming Christmas market with more than 80 chalets. The main square is transformed into a Winter Wonderland with an 18-metre high Christmas tree, plus visitors can enjoy the seasonal sights of the city from a giant Ferris wheel. Until Dec 30, 1hr 20m journey, from £69 return BRUSSELS
The Brussels Christmas market is hailed as one of the most inventive in Europe. The Plaisirs d’Hiver or ‘winter pleasures’ market has more than 240 chalets and stalls. A 200ft ice skating rink and a nightly sound and light show in the Grand Place offer entertainment for all. Until Jan 4, 2hr journey, from £69 return BRUGES
BIGGEST IN EUROPE, MANCHESTER
MEDIEVAL MARKET AND MORE, NORWICH
Manchester sparkles over the festive season with markets spanning eight picturesque city centre locations, pitching it as the biggest in Europe. There is an excellent selection of gifts on offer from fine amber jewellery and handcrafted leather bags to Dutch flower bulbs and Spanish chorizo. Don’t miss the iconic giant Father Christmas perched on top of the town hall – perfect for a seasonal selfie! Until December 21
Norwich has not one, not two, but 11 Christmas markets to choose from. Try the traditional Assembly House Christmas Fair, or for something a little quirkier, why not try the Dragon’s Hall Medieval market with costumed stallholders and period musicians? There’s even something for dogs... Back by popular demand, Santa’s Grotto for dogs is being held in The Forum, where pooches can get a photo Santa Claws (geddit?). Until various dates in December
The beautiful market square of Bruges is transformed every winter with an abundance of colourful lights and illuminated festive stalls crammed full of Christmas goodies. Around 30 traditional stalls sell everything from gifts, speciality foods, chocolates and sweets to unusual handmade Christmas decorations. An open-air ice rink and Christmas Hobby and Toy Fair offer plenty of additional family fun. Until Jan 2, 3hr 20m journey, from £79 return eurostar.com
For more see visitengland.com/things-to-do/winter-warmers. Photos: Getty, Thinkstock. 2014 Bath Tourism Plus, Mark Waugh and VisitNorwich.
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TRAVELBITES Tour Search website has taken off!
Photos: supplied and Getty. Words: Ken Hurst and Caroline Garnar
TNT has launched its brand new Tour Search website, meaning you can find and book more than a thousand tours from all corners of the globe. You may have already used our Tour Search when it was part of the tntmagazine.com travel section, but now it has its own URL, tnttoursearch. com, with a brand new look and functionality, making it easier than ever for you to book a tour – with new tours added on a daily basis. The new TNT Tour Search now features live availability of each tour from all operators and a fully integrated booking engine means travellers can search, find and book tours in one place. TNT Magazine has a 30-year history with an Antipodean market delivering travel guidance, information and offers for expats living and working in the UK and travelling all over the world from their new base. In early 2014, TNT decided to act on numerous requests from readers to feature more information on tours and trips across the globe from leading UK and international tour operators. As a result, the first version of TNT Tour Search was launched as part of the www.tntmagazine.com travel section. With many leading operators joining the new Tour Search and featuring hundreds of tours worldwide, TNT quickly identified the need to redesign and upgrade the functionality. Now with it’s own URL and standalone offering, www.tnttoursearch. com was launched at the Travel Show in London on November 1 2014 with more than a thousand tours from all corners of the globe. Visit www.tnttoursearch. com today and find your next destination!
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WHITSUNDAYS WIN IT AT THE AUSTRALIAN 2014 GOLDEN BACKPACK AWARDS It’s official, The Whitsundays have been voted Australia’s best destination, but Cairns and Melbourne aren’t far behind...
The tourist hotspot topped the annual poll of tens of thousands of TNT Magazine readers and web surfers combined with the verdicts of a panel of secret shoppers in the 19th Golden Backpack Awards in Australia. The award was one of
almost 40 accolades handed out at a gala gathering of the great and the good of Australasia’s independent backpacker and adventure travel industry at a ceremony hosted by TV presenter Mikey Robins in Sydney on Thursday
November 6 at the Sydney Exhibition and Conference Centre. Other Australian winners included The Great Barrier Reef, the voters’ choice of Best Visitor attraction. For New Zealand, the Best Destination award went to Great Lake Taupo, with previous winner Queenstown bumped into second place and Bay of Islands claiming third Spot. Best NZ Visitor Attraction was awarded to Franz Josef Glacier Guides, which picked up its first ever Golden Backpack Award. The Best Tour/Activity in Australia was won by The Rock Tour for its fabulous tour of Uluru, while Best Accommodation in Australia was among a haul of three awards collected by the team at Base Sydney. The full list of winners can be found here... goldenbackpackawards. com.au
Best time to book winter destinations We all love to bag a bargain and there’s little worse than going to book a flight only to find it’s gone up 50 quid from when you last looked...
Global travel search site Skyscanner has analysed thousands of searches from the UK to reveal when the best time is to book for the six most popular winter city destinations and found the following: ›› Bangkok – 3 weeks before departure ›› Geneva – 3 weeks before departure ›› Berlin – 5 weeks before departure ›› Miami – 5 weeks before departure ›› Sydney – 6 weeks before departure ›› Hong Kong – 8 weeks before departure The destinations picked for this analysis were chosen as their popularity soars over the winter period, with the biggest increase in searches of all global cities between August and December. Earlier in the year, Skyscanner also released the best time to book the top 10 most
popular country destinations all year round as follows: ›› Spain – 5 weeks before departure ›› USA – 21 weeks before departure ›› Italy – 6 weeks before departure ›› France – 6 weeks before departure ›› Greece – 3 weeks before departure ›› Turkey – 13 weeks before departure ›› Portugal – 5 weeks before departure ›› Germany – 9 weeks before departure ›› Cyprus – 4 weeks before departure ›› Croatia – 6 weeks before departure Make a note of these and you could save yourself some serious cashola. For more information on price alerts visit skyscanner.net/news/get-best-air-faresskyscanner-price-alerts
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WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT YORK THIS CHRISTMAS
Romantic and picturesque, York is arguably the UK’s most Christmassy city
unpretentious restaurants serving top British food, and several of them are pulling out the stops for Christmas. Café Concerto is run by husband-andwife team Ian and Rozz Hancox and will be serving its seasonal favourite throughout December – the toasted Christmas ciabatta filled with turkey breast, caramelised onion, stuffing and homemade cranberry sauce. Alternatively, head to the lively Il Paradiso del Cibo for an authentic Sardinian Christmas.
›› Dressed for Christmas
Given its northern climate, you might be surprised to hear that York is best seen in winter. The winding little streets of cobbled stone are warmly lit and filled with carol singers, conjuring a festive atmosphere Dickens would have approved of. And with the newly extended St Nicholas Market, plus a string of seasonal events, ’tis truly the season to visit York.
Photos: Supplied. Words: Darren Loucaides
›› Let the bells ring York’s magnificent Gothic cathedral – the biggest in Northern Europe – is a good place to begin a tour of the city at any time of year. But with the church bells ringing, the Minster is an essential starting point at Christmas. Pale light seeps through the enchanting stained glass windows while angelic choirs sing beneath vaulted ceilings, making it easy to feel the Christmas magic here, whether you’re religious or not. There’s a full programme of concerts in December at the Minster, while Advent Masses are packed. On the lighter side, the Theatre Royal’s red-and-gilt interior is a glamorous setting for the famous York pantomime, led by the longest-running Dame and local icon Berwick Kaler. Seasonal sounds can also be found at the National Centre For Early Music, with medieval numbers and folk compositions.
›› Wine and dine Perhaps York’s best-known winter attraction is the St Nicholas Market. Usually held over one weekend in November, it’s become so popular that it’s running from 27 November-21 December this year. Sidle past the little wooden huts lining Parliament Street and pick up jewellery and ceramics by local craftsmen, or try mince pies and mulled wine. The best place for the latter, though, is at the festive bar Barley Hall – York’s masterful medieval restoration piece (£2 entry). Kids can also meet Father Christmas here. Having whetted the appetite, what of dinner? York is blessed with
Once England’s second city, York had diminished by Georgian and Victorian times, but the aristocracy were still thriving. Several museum-houses show off the grandeur of the times. Lord it up at 300-year-old mansion Castle Howard, with log fires, craft markets, live music and enormous Christmas trees (£14). Or the 18th-century Fairfax townhouse is made-over for a traditional Georgian Christmas, including a stunning dinner table display (£6 entry). Kirkgate at the York Castle Museum tantalisingly recreates a Victorian street (£9.50 entry). Dressed for Christmas with old toy shops, fondant chocolate-making and bauble-craft workshops, it’s a fitting tribute given that the Victorian era helped save Christmas by clawing back lost traditions (partly thanks to old Scrooge, who can be found nosing about the street). A stone’s throw from the Minster, an ideal wintry place to stay is The Judge’s Lodging. Reopened in January after a sixmonth renovation, the property dates back to 18th century and is a grand home away from home for Christmas, with traditional feasts and doubles from £100.
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LAS FALLAS If you’re seeking sensory overload you can’t beat Valencia’s Fallas festival, a five-day firework-packed mega-fiesta with plane-loads of paella on hand to sustain you – and plenty of Agua de Valencia (the city’s Cava-based cocktail) to wash it down. Derived from the Latin word for ‘torch’, the Fallas are a blaze of life, colour and deafening noise, so be prepared to miss out on sleep; in true Spanish style this is non-stop fiesta with a few hours siesta-time sandwiched in between. Spain’s third-largest city has been celebrating the Fallas festival for the past two centuries – it’s said to have originated when Valencianos added their own quirky twist to the traditional Latin habit of lighting fires to welcome spring by burning effigies, known as ninots, on top. Satirising previous year’s events or public figures, these ninots soon became unpopular with local politicians, who repeatedly tried to ban the Fallas – luckily without success. Nowadays Valencia’s Fallas are a huge affair with a whole area of town 40
– the ciutat fallera – given over to the sculptors and artists who will create the three- or four-storey high wood and papier-mâché figures that will be paraded around the streets on floats. Each barrio, or area, of the city has its own casal faller, which is the committee that presides over the creation of the ninots and decides who will be satirised – previous victims have included George Bush and Lady Gaga. March 15 is La Planta, when the spectacular final pieces are added to those monumental Fallas and the fiesta can begin. Fallas festivals have sprung up all over the province over the past few decades but Valencia City is definitely the biggest and best of them all, so we recommend you head there for it. Plus, when you’re partied-out, there’s still a lot more to keep you there. Once a bit of a backwater, Valencia is now one of Spain’s hippest cities, so it’s worthwhile lingering in this conurbation overlooking the Mediterranean to admire buildings in the beautiful old quarter or striking new architecture such as David
Chipperfield’s Veles i Vents America’s Cup building, or to visit amazing museums such as the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, where you’ll find an interactive science museum and Europe’s largest marine park. Add to that one of Spain’s liveliest nightlife scenes and plenty of eateries serving paella, the scrummy rice and seafood dish that was invented here, and you’ve got plenty of reasons to hang around in Valencia.
Words: Heidi Fuller-Love. Photos: Getty, Thinkstock and TNT archives
WHEN? MARCH 15-19
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XXXXXX FESTIVALGUIDE TOP FIVE
The insider's guide to Las Fallas
WHAT TO EXPECT This a fiesta that attracts surprisingly few tourists, so you can expect an authentic Spanish experience. From the 15th onwards the day starts at 8am with La Desperta, when hordes of locals swarm out into the streets throwing firecrackers, and brass bands playing drums and other traditional instruments at full volume march beside them. Later in the day comes the Mascletà, another deafeningly spectacular volley of firecrackers and firework displays held in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, then there are all sorts of extravagantly costumed parades and theatrical events. By nightfall the entire city morphs into an open-air party space strung with multi-coloured lights, where costumed revellers snack on sugary doughnut bunyols and dance until dawn in dozens of verbenas or street parties. Each night is a wilder version of the previous one until La Cremada, the final night on March 19, when bonfires are lit all over town and those amazing ninots are stuffed with fireworks and set ablaze in a madcap atmosphere of merry mayhem.
GET IN THE SPIRIT First off make sure you wear comfortable shoes because you’re going to do a lot of walking if you want to get a slice of all those different neighbourhood parties – and make sure you wear casual clothes too, because you’ll get pretty dirty with all those firecrackers popping underfoot. Your Sunday best should be left at home. Make like locals and carry around your own glass on a string around your neck (you can buy them from most stores during carnival) so that you can fill up on the free booze that’s on tap at most of the street parties. If you want to wear traditional costume you’ll fit in fine with this crazy crowd – you’ll find plenty of rental places open during the festival. Finally, wear a big smile at all times and try to learn a few words of Spanish – or Catalan is even better!
Meet Shae, one of Topdeck’s awesome Trip Leaders who, after many years of adventures ‘on-the-road’, decided to bring her experience into the office, becoming our Festivals Manager. What does that mean? Basically she has the coolest job in the world organising Topdeck’s trips to the likes of Oktoberfest, ANZAC commemorations and, next year, a journey through the Balkans to the worldfamous Sziget Festival in Budapest. Tough times. But from all these, one of her favourite festivals is Las Fallas in Valencia and here are her tips: For the culture vulture ›› Don’t miss the ninots before they burn – Las For those who like to Fallas is most famous for the burning of its large immerse themselves in papiermâché sculptures in honour of the patron Saint cultural experiences while Jospeh, saint of carpentry. travelling, the Hammam de However, don’t be waiting until laaround Mosquee dumidnight Paris is anuntil they start the burning – be sure to see them in all their glory beforehand. ideal destination. Visitors ›› Hang out at the beach can respectfully spend time – While the festival itself isthe in early March, Spaina is famous for having great in mosque and book weather in allthe year round, and nothing stops the Spanish massage hammam from showing off for after. Enjoy the on the beach. Valencia has arguably the best city beaches in wonderful architecture ofSpain, and the area around them hosts and somethe of Salon the nicest restaurants and bars in the mosque, the city. A perfect place for that sunset sangria. de Thè, which serves honey ›› Try paella – Forget tapas, Valencia is home to pastries and North African paella. Induce one of the best food comas you’ll ever tea. la-mosquee.com/ have with this seafood and rice dish. Head to the Old htmlfr/hammamfr.htm Town if you want the good stuff. ›› See the city of Arts and Sciences – It’s the top modern attraction in the city and a glimpse into the future. Home to a planetarium, laserium (yes – it’s as awesome as it sounds), an interactive museum of science, oceanographic park, a landscaped walk and even an opera house – it has to be seen to be believed. Also, try horchata (a local drink – look out for the carts). ›› Watch out for the firecrackers – During the height of the celebrations the locals love to head out into the streets with firecrackers. Don’t worry, apart from making you jump – they are harmless! Why not get involved?
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Photos: Getty, Visit Finland, Inghams, Celia Topping, Kemi Tourism Ltd and Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort
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Lapland it up Do you have a Christmas spirit of Buddy the Elf proportions? Then this winter wonderland is for you. SANTAAAAAA! WORDS: SARAH TUCKER
Lapland is the definitive snow scene on the Christmas card. It’s the place Santa hangs out, more so than his alleged home of the North Pole (it’s less isolated in Lapland and he’s a sociable fellow). With its pine forests, yard-deep snow, indigenous reindeers and huskies, the region never fails to overwhelm the Christmas spirit of plane-loads of kids and kids-at-heart disgorging out of the Ivalo airport and being taken from reindeer riding, to storytelling by the local Sami tribes, to skidooing, to husky sledding, to tobogganing, to meeting the great man himself. Granted, a lot of it is geared up for kids, but we sneaked up on Santa while he was sorting the Christmas lists and found out what Lapland has to offer for grown-ups… The best months to go to Lapland are December and January, when it’s cold but bearable, and there’s guaranteed snow – although there is usually snow cover from October to May. Temperatures reach -40° here, so understandably, Lapland even has its own sauna society (sauna.fi). Most homes have one, and the Finnish take a sauna every morning like we would a shower, usually running out in the snow afterwards and rolling about in it naked. Or at least that’s what they tell tourists so you have a go while they laugh at you. Tip: During the day, lots of thin layers are better than a few thick ones, and a ski outfit is not enough for the safari excursions or on most trips, be they on snowmobile, reindeer or by husky. But don’t worry, you’ll be provided with the correct clothing so frost bite won’t distract you from the fun. WHAT TO DO: Start with a visit to a reindeer farm (porofarmi.com) and sit with herdsmen around an open fire to learn about the oldest form of livelihood in Lapland. Then drive a snowmobile to a husky farm (visitfinland.com/ article/a-canine-case/) where the howling and yapping of these surprisingly endearing dogs blisters the silence. Then to the ship, Sampo, the world’s only tourist ice breaker, (visitkemi.fi/en/sampo-icebreaker) operating on the northern Gulf of Bothnia out of Kemi. After serving for 30 years as an icebreaker, the ship now takes groups across the ice. You can even swim in the Arctic waters wearing a ‘Mr Blobby-esque’ suit. Not a good look but it keeps you warm. Be sure to take a toboggan along Finland’s longest toboggan run from Kaunispaa Fell to Saariselka (saariselka. fi) and learn to cross-country ski (lapland-travel-info.com),
which looks easier than downhill, but is actually harder – although it’s also more fun. Don’t miss Action Park, where professional rally drivers go to learn winter techniques. Tourists are allowed to take part in a mini-tournament on the ice-covered go-kart track. At night, if you are brave enough, you can go snowmobiling over ice lakes (lapland.nordicvisitor.com). You are easily distracted from the thought of falling through the ice by the reds, blues and yellows of the Northern Lights scorching the sky. Oh, and be sure to finish off with a hot meal of reindeer stew or delicious wild salmon at Huippu Kaunispaa Fell restaurant (kaunispaanhuippu.fi). ››
my husky-driving illusions. But as the dogs bound joyfully my husky-driving illusions. the dogs bound joyfully through the forest, I doubtBut theyascould go much faster through the forest, I doubt they could go much faster whatever I choose to shout. Besides, with the wind whipping whatever choose with the wind whipping my breathIaway as to weshout. speedBesides, along, I’m just grateful for my my breath away as we speed along, I’m just grateful huge and cosy snowsuit in the sub-zero temperatures.for my huge cosy snowsuit in the sub-zero temperatures. All and too soon it’s over, and with the good-natured huskies All too soon it’sin over, with the good-natured huskies rolling ecstatically the and snow to cool down, I try to work rolling ecstatically in the snow to cool down, I try to work out whether I canIt’s persuade WHERE TO STAY: got to anyone to let me take one of out whether I can persuade anyone to let me take one their ludicrously puppies home. The answer? Yes, ifof be done. Sleep incute an igloo their ludicrously cute puppies home. The answer? Yes, if I’m to in hand builthappy for two Theover Igloo€1000 (about £850). I’mTired, happybut to not hand over €1000I head (about yet beaten, for£850). some ice karting at Village in Kakslauttanene Tired, but not yetin beaten, I discover head forjust some ice karting at All Wild Adventures Levi to what go-karting Saariselka (kakslauttanen. All Wild Adventures in Levi to discover just what go-karting without any gripping power fi), the largest igloo village inis like. After a few hilarious without circuits any gripping power is like. After a few hilarious practice used the world. Sleepto onget a bed ofto slithering around slick icy practice circuits to get used to slithering around slick icy corners and the ice, eat at icealong tables, sitslippery at ice straights, I put my foot flat corners and along the slippery put my foot flat to the fl oor,down and promptly spin straights, off into a Isnow drift. chairs, and an ice-cold to Fortunately, the in floor, andLapland promptly off into a snow drift. in hasspin saunas galore to defrost vodka ice glasses. Don’t Fortunately, Lapland has saunas galore in therebyisareindeer hide, –worry, followed roll in the snow if you wanttotodefrost get your – followed by a roll in the snow if you want to get your a woolen rug and heart-rate back upthermal again. But while it might be Finnish heart-rate back up entirely, again. while there’s it mightbeen be Finnish sleeping bag between you But fashion to strip off I decide quite fashion to strip off entirely, I decide there’s been quite and the ice bed, so you won’t enough excitement for one trip. ❚ enoughtoexcitement one trip. ❚ freeze it, which is for helpful. Finnair fly from Heathrow, to Ivalo via Helsinki finnair.com
Stop off for a drink in the Ice Hotel Stop off for a drink in the Ice Hotel
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Learning how to Learning to look goodhow in the look good in the snow with a Meribel snow with a Meribel ski guru ski guru
EAT EAT EAT
MIDRANGE MIDRANGE MIDRANGE
LUXURY LUXURY LUXURY
With its fairylit trees outside With trees outside Withits itsfairylit fairylit trees outsidePoro and wooden beams inside, and wooden beams inside, Poro and wooden beams inside, Poro restaurant in Ylläs hits the spot restaurant in in Ylläs hits thethe spot restaurant Ylläs hits spot whether you’re looking for a whether looking forfor aa whetheryou’re you’re looking romantic evening meal or a cosy romantic evening meal or or a cosy romantic evening meal cosywith traditional Finnish spread. aStart traditional Finnish spread. Start with traditional Finnish spread. Start with the fabulous creamy salmon soup the fabulous creamy salmon soup the fabulous creamy salmon soup before trying reindeer with sweetly before trying with sweetly before tryingreindeer reindeer with sweetly sour lingonberries. (lappvillage. sour lingonberries. sour lingonberries. (lappvillage. firavintolaporo.com /en_restaurant.html) fi/en_restaurant.html)
Restaurant Pihvipirtti, aka The Restaurant Pihvipirtti, The Restaurant Pihvipirtti, aka The Steakhouse, in Levi aka might not have Steakhouse, in Levi might notnot have Steakhouse, in Levi might the most inspired name but thehave thethe most inspired name butbut thethe most inspired name fantastic food easily makes up for fantastic food easily makes up up for for fantastic food easily makes that. There’s a starter fish buffet, that. There’s a starter ﬁshfibuffet, that. There’s a starter sh buffet, with more ways to pickle a herring with more ways to pickle a herring with more ways topossible, pickle afollowed herring than you thought than youyou thought possible, followed than thought possible, followed by three choices of steak, including by by three choices of steak, including three choices of steak, including reindeer. (hulluporo.fi /poro/esivu) reindeer. hulluporo.fi/en reindeer. (hulluporo.fi/poro/esivu)
DRINK DRINK DRINK
Levi’s nightlife hub is the Crazy Levi’s hub is the Levi’snightlife nightlife hub theCrazy Crazy Reindeer Hotel. Asiswell as beer Reindeer Hotel. As well as beer Reindeer Hotel. As well as for the relatively cheap price beer (for for cheap price (for forthe therelatively relatively (for Finland) of about cheap a fiver,price there’s Finland) of about a ﬁver, there’s Finland) of about a fi ver, there’s a new opening season, the Rockpub Café Wanhathere Hulluthis Poro, a new pub opening there this season, the Rock Café Wanha Hullu Poro, plus live music at weekends –Poro, even the Rock Café Wanha Hullu liveunlikely music attoweekends even ifplus you’re recognise –– most live unlikely music attoweekends even ifplus you’re recognise most of the acts! if you’re unlikely to recognise most of the acts! (hulluporo.fi ) hulluporo.ﬁ/en of the acts! (hulluporo.fi)
The Finns love their karaoke – and The love their karaoke – and TheFinns Finns their karaoke take it verylove seriously indeed, –inand case take it very seriously indeed, in in case take it planning very seriously indeed, case you’re to join in. Ihku you’re planning toto join in.in. Ihku Bar, you’re Bar, onplanning Levi’s mainjoin street, Ihku stays onBar, Levi’s main street, stays open on Levi’s staysfrom open until fourmain in thestreet, morning until four in the morning from open until four in the morning from ThursdaytotoSaturday. Saturday. There’s also Thursday There’s also Thursday to Saturday. There’s also livemusic musicand andstand-up stand-upcomedy comedy live onon live music and stand-up comedy on some nights. (ihkubar.fi ihkubar.ﬁ ) some nights. some nights. (ihkubar.fi)
If you’re looking to party the night If you’re looking to party the night If you’re looking to party night away, Ylläs isn’t the most the buzzing away, Ylläs isn’t the most buzzing away, Ylläs isn’t the most buzzing area. Most bars dotted around the area. Most bars dotted around thethe area. Most dotted villages are bars attached to around restaurants villages areare attached to restaurants villages attached to restaurants if you’re looking drink soso if you’re looking to to drink andand so if you’re looking to drink and dance, head to the nightclub at the dance, head to the nightclub at the dance, head to the nightclub atathe Akäs Hotel in Äkäslompolo – beer Akäs Hotel in Äkäslompolo – a beer Akäs Hotel in Äkäslompolo – back about £7.50. a beer willwill setset youyou back about £8.50. will set you back about £7.50.
SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP
Finland’snot notaabargain bargaindestination, destination, Finland’s Finland’s not into a bargain destination, but checking anapartment apartment but checking into an but checking into an apartment ratherthan thanaahotel hotelcan cancut cutcosts. costs.The The rather ratherAlp than a hotel can just cut costs. The Äkäs Apartments outside Äkäs Alp Apartments just outside Äkäs Alp Apartments just outside ÄkäslompoloininYlläs Ylläseach eachhave haveaa Äkäslompolo Äkäslompolo in cost Ylläsfrom each£359 have a mini-sauna and mini-sauna and cost from £474ppfor for mini-sauna and cost from £359 for sevennights nightswith withInghams. InghamsYou’re (inghams. seven seven nights with Inghams (inghams. co.uk). on the free ski also on You’re the freealso ski bus route. co.uk). You’re also on the free ski bus route. inghams. co.uk. bus route.
TheLevitunturi Levitunturi Hotel is The SpaSpa Hotel is walking The Levitunturi Spa is as walking distance fromHotel the slopes distance from the slopes as well walking distance from the slopes as as shops Levi’s and shops and restaurants. aswell Levi’s restaurants. well as are Levi’s shops and10 restaurants. Rooms split among buildings Rooms are split among 10 buildings Rooms are splitabout among 10 buildings and costfrom from £110pn based and cost about £180pn based and cost from about £110pn based twosharing. sharing. Therearearesaunas saunas onontwo There on two sharing. There are saunas attachedtotosome someofofthe therooms, rooms, and attached and attached to someisoffree the rooms, the spacomplex complex guests.and the spa is free toto guests. the spa complex is /en) free to guests. (hotellilevitunturi.fi hotellilevitunturi.ﬁ /en (hotellilevitunturi.fi/en)
unforgettably romantic stay, ForFor anan unforgettably romantic stay, For secluded an unforgettably romantic stay, Golden Crown igloos thethe secluded Golden Crown igloos the secluded Golden Crown igloos outside Levi perfect. heated outside Levi areare perfect. TheThe heated outside Leviigloo are perfect. Thefurry heated glass walls glass of of thethe igloo walls andand furry glass of the igloo walls and furry rugs snuggle under mean they’re rugs to to snuggle under mean they’re rugs to snuggle under for mean they’re ultra-cosy perfect gazing ultra-cosy andand perfect for gazing up up ultra-cosy and perfect for gazing up stars spotting Northern at at thethe stars or or spotting thethe Northern at the stars or spotting the Northern lights. igloos cost from £220pn. lights. TheThe igloos cost from £259pn. lights. The igloos (leviniglut.fi /en) cost from £220pn. leviniglut.ﬁ /en (leviniglut.fi/en)
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Photos: Finland, Inghams, Thinkstock Photos: VisitVisit Finland, Inghams, Thinkstock
There are two branches of Julli’s in There are in in ThereÄkäslompolo aretwo twobranches branches ofJulli’s Julli’s both and of Ylläsjärvi, both Äkäslompolo and Ylläsjärvi, both Äkäslompolo and Ylläsjärvi, on either side of the slopes in Ylläs. on side ofofthe in Ylläs. oneither eitheras side theslopes slopes As well traditional dishesinonYlläs. the As well asastraditional dishes ononthe As well traditional dishes the menu, there are pizzas and burgers menu, there are pizzas and menu, there pizzassimply andburgers burgers for about £9 are if you’re for £10 if you’re simply forabout about looking to£9 refuel after a day in the looking totorefuel after a aday ininthe looking the snow. Greatrefuel for a after cheekyday drink too. snow. Great for aacheeky drink too. snow. Great for cheeky drink too. (jullis.com) www.jullis.com/en (jullis.com)
Photos: Photos: Visit Finland, Inghams, Thinkstock Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort., Revontuliravintola Poro and Kemi Tourism
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THE EXPERT ON LAPLAND, SCANDINAVIA, AND RUSSIA The Lapland and Nothern Light Expert Explore Northern Scandinavia together with us on our road trips and see real Lapland visit genuine sami people, Ice Hotel, Santa go Dogsledding, Snow mobiling, Sauna with arctic swim and Aurora chasing in Abisko National Park plus more.
Lapland with Jokkmokk Market Book before Dec 15th with TNT promo code and get 5% discount
On this 6 days Lapland winter tour we go to Swedish Lapland including the annual Sami event Jokkmokk winter market. Dates: 5-10 Feb, 2015. Number of days and nights: 6/5. Price: 430 Euros
IN 201 WE STAR5 ICELAND T AND OF C TRIPS O RSE SCANBAU L STYLE!!! T
Magic Lapland Adventure Book before Dec 15th with TNT promo code and get 5% discount
The best of Swedish & Finnish Lapland plus day trip to Norway. Departures: Feb 20th and March 20th Number of days and nights: 7/6. Price: 435 Euros
Ticket release January 15th for our most popular tour Lapland x-mas. The trip is legendary and we often sell out 6 months before departure!!!
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YOUR WEEKEND IN BUDAPEST
From buses and bikes to budget bars and burgers, beautiful Budapest will keep you busy without breaking the bank.
South gate of Fisherman’s Bastion
MORNING There is a Grand Hotel Budapest, but save money staying five minutes’ walk from transport hub Deak Ferenc Ter at Red Fox hostel (redfoxhostel.com). Handy for city sights, you’ll be at the heart of the downtown nightlife too. If you thought the English could drag out 1966’s World Cup victory, outside the hostel is a giant mural commemorating legendary Hungarian soccer star Puskas and the famous 1953 victory over England. Later, after your free hostel drink and an evening of budget Budapest beer, this huge painted wall will let you know you’re home. Back on Deak Ferenc Ter, friendly local touts in green jackets sell 48hr tickets (4,800HUF/€20) for the bright green sightseeing bus tour. A big book of vouchers covers four bus routes and
a boat ride, free beer and shots. Also included is a token for the Hungarian meaty treat ghoulash so an early lunch is taken care of. The buses will bring you up to the castle eventually; when you start to climb you know you’ve crossed from flat Pest into hilly Buda (Buda and Pest were originally two different cities on either side of the Danube river). From the ramparts of the the Fisherman’s Bastion get that defining holiday shot looking over a Danube dominated by the huge Gothic parliament building (as above). Restaurants up here are ‘tourist traps’ but offer decent enough food and it’s all still affordable. You’ll find the national spice paprika everywhere and, being Central Europe, pork is just as ubiquitous. A block off the main drag at 30 Úri Street, Cafe Miro (cafemiro. hu) offers international cuisine but also typical Hungarian dishes in large portions including a kind of ratatouille with the unfortunate name ‘letcho’.
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AFTERNOON If the madding crowd gets too much, exchange hordes of foreign tourists for hordes of chilling locals at Margaret Island, the wooded retreat where they relax. Fitness fans run the Peace Mile while families stroll among the rose garden. You can justify that evening’s ‘liquid carb loading’ bar session by cashing in the voucher for an hour’s bike ride. Or just watch people on passing boat cruises watching you watching them. Indeed, being watched is the theme at the modern House of Terror museum (terrorhaza.hu). Budapest may be a big break destination today but has been occupied and controlled by both the Nazis and the Red Army. If you like your culture a little less dark, Budapest’s most impressive plaza is nearby at Heroes’ Square and the Museum of Fine Arts (szepmuveszeti. hu) has Titian not tanks. EVENING For a cosy dinner with a difference, two can dine at a table in the back of a communist-era transit van at Koleves Vendeglo (kolevesvendeglo. hu). It means ‘stone soup’ but there’s duck for just £8 or you can add to the alternative aspect with ‘Jewish baked beans with goose leg’. The big thing in downtown Budapest is ‘Ruin’ bars and you’re already on the strip here at Kazinczy Street. Some take a bit more finding, visible only by a small sign on the street indicating a buzzing courtyard boozer lurking behind a faded facade. But on Kazinczy it’s easy to find the original and best known example, Szimpla (szimpla.hu). Close by is Instant (instant.co.hu), the big venue for big nights, where 20+ rooms keep the party going late.
DAY TWO Words: Simon Cole. Photos: Thinkstock and Getty
MORNING Brunch is a new concept but you can get a hearty one at Bordo on Nagymezo or Most on Zichy Jeno (mostjelen.hu) before tackling Budapest again. Your bus ticket is still valid, or you can sign up in seconds for Budapest’s version of the Boris bike (molbubi.bkk. hu). Just take your credit card to one of the many docking stations and it’ll cost you around £1.25 for a 24hr pass. New
48HOURS Religious experience: Sacre Coeur
Szechenyi Baths cycle lanes mean it’s easy to explore Budapest by bike. Bloody brilliant Budapest. AFTERNOON For a souvenir with a difference – maybe Hungarian vintage, Soviet memorabilia or just someone else’s tat – weekends are a good time for fleamarkets. The monster is Ecseri, but it’s a 40-minute trip to the suburbs, so save time by heading to the market in the eastern corner of the City Park (bolhapiac.com). Once you’ve trawled the stalls you’re ideally placed for a classic Budapest experience, the thermal baths. Close by are the Szechenyi Baths (szechenyifurdo.hu). For around £12 you can spend all day sweating out the previous night’s excesses or try your hand at chess in the outdoor pools.
Chain Bridge by bike
EVENING Back in the fashionable 7th district, the Gozsdu Arcade off Kiraly Street is a new development thronged with bars. On Sundays it’s a jewellery and crafts market but by evening bars such as Spiler Shanghai (spilerbp.hu) fill up with the party crowd. £3 cocktails and £2 microbrews cater for all tastes or there’s the the Lehuto craft beer bar next door for ale connoisseurs and international IPA collectors. When munchies strike, dig into a delicious £2 street burger from the Zing Burger van outside. TNTMAGAZINE.COM
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Cape crusader With a recent history as dramatic and brutal as witnessing its hungry lions on the hunt, travelling South Africaâ€™s Eastern Cape is an extraordinary and humbling experience WORDS: KATIE MONK
Riverdene Lodge view at Shamwari Game Reserve As well as being a land of staggering beauty, dramatic landscapes and abundant wildlife, South Africa’s Eastern Cape is also full of fascinating history and culture. From early settlers and frontier war heroes to anti-Apartheid icons and literary legends, it’s all here, and it would be a shame not to learn about it while visiting. I’ve hired a car and am driving a scenic loop from Port Elizabeth up into the Karoo, then down to the coast to soak up as much adventure, history and nature as I can, and hopefully see an animal or two. My first stop – Shamwari Game Reserve (shamwari.com) – is one of the largest and most famous private parks in the country. It also has the highest concentration of the ‘Big Five’ – lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino – in the Eastern Cape, so my chances of spotting them are good. After a quick afternoon tea, I’m off on my first drive. Westley, my ranger, grew up in the Greater Kruger National Park, so I know I’m in good hands. What Westley doesn’t know about animals, quite frankly, isn’t worth knowing. He has a sixth sense for tracking them down in the wild – or rather his eyesight is far more accustomed to the subtleties of the African bush than my computer-addled peepers. The minutest of movements and he’s off to see what it is before I even have time to whip out my binoculars. “Every drive is different,” says Westley. “You never know what you’re going to find. Some days you get lots of animals, other days not so many. The rangers all work together here, so if one of us spots something, we’ll tell the others. Though we never crowd the animals.” The drives depart each day at a brutal 5.30am – when the wildlife is most active, but the guests less so – and a far more civilised 4pm, when the light is perfect for photography. In just two days I’ve ticked off two white rhino, two black rhino, an alpha male lion on the prowl, two lionesses chilling out after demolishing a warthog, a female tortoise laying
eggs in the earth, and oodles of springbok, waterbuck, zebra, giraffe, elephants, impala and cheeky little vervet monkeys. It’s quite the bounty. My last afternoon yields a very rare creature – a lone caracal (also known as a desert lynx) down by the river. “You can live in Africa all your life and not see one of these,” whispers Westley, as we crouch wide-eyed, holding our breaths. “This one’s a young female. She’ll grow much bigger than this. If she were the size of a lion, the lion wouldn’t stand a chance.” It’s the briefest of encounters before the little cat slinks off into the bushes, never to be seen again. I’m still imagining the caracal vs lion stand-off when Westley cuts the engine and points out a lake full of hippos honking and snorting in the murky depths. We get out to watch them just long enough to witness three giraffes stalk silently over the horizon on the other side. On the way home, Westley teaches me the collective nouns for different animals – a dazzle of zebras, a bloat of hippos, a journey of giraffes. Oh, what I wouldn’t do to attend a collective noun meeting. Admittedly Shamwari is a top-end experience (John Travolta regularly flies his family in, and Brad Pitt has been sighted in the bushes), but for those who aren’t on a Hollywood budget, or wish to have a more behind-the-scenes experience, the reserve also offers affordable volunteer programmes that range in length from two weeks to three months. Participants come from all over the world, are all ages, and often return because they’ve enjoyed it so much. As well as helping to protect some of Africa’s most endangered species, volunteers can take part in camp-outs, care for neglected lions at the Born Free Centre, work on the vegetable patch in the local school, and help with road fixing, fence mending, fertility testing, tree pruning and flora management. During my trip, I meet two former Shamwari volunteers – a guy from Italy in his thirties, who took time out from selling cruise ship tickets in Pesaro to spend two blissful
Eek! Lion alert...
[Caption] Relaxing at the Shamwari Reserve
weeks tracking rhino in the bush, something he described to me as “a dream come true”, and a 72-year-old lady from Kent, who had always wanted to travel and work with animals, but was only now able to make it a reality. “The volunteer programme is for people who’ve fallen in love with nature and want to protect it,” explains Quinton Gillson, production development manager at the Shamwari Conservation Experience. “It’s educational rather than formalised – we tailor the experience to each person’s needs.” Working with endangered animals, especially rhino, is not only a privilege, but in today’s climate, of critical importance. In 2013, South Africa as a whole lost 1,004 rhino to poaching. This year already, 402 rhino have been killed. It’s a very real problem. In the last 18 months, Shamwari has donated four million rands (about £223,000) to rhino conservation. Tourism makes it all possible. The next morning, wildlife ticked and counted, I’m ready for some history and culture. Some 200km inland, through the open plains and sheep-farming communities of the Karoo, I reach the former military outpost of Cradock. It’s much hotter and drier up here (Karoo means “land of thirst” in the Khoisan language), and silver windmills dot the surrounding landscape, adding to the whole Out of Africa movie-set feel. Dutch-style workers’ cottages line wide treelined streets – built to accommodate ox wagons – and there’s even a replica of London’s St Martin-in-the-Fields church. I pay a visit to Schreiner House – one-time home of Olive Schreiner, the feisty human rights activist and author of the first-ever South African novel, The Story of An African Farm, published in 1883. Not only did Schreiner break social norms by being a female novelist at a time when such a thing was unheard of (she wrote under a male pseudonym), she also fought for racial and gender equality. The author only lived at number 9 Cross Street for three years as a young girl, from 1867 to 1870, but the house now stands
BIGTRIP as a museum devoted to her life and works. Cradock’s other famous residents were the ‘Cradock Four’ – Matthew Goniwe, Sparrow Mkhonto, Fort Calata and Sicelo Mhlauli – four anti-Apartheid activists, who, in 1985, were abducted near Port Elizabeth and brutally murdered by
Black eagles swoop overhead while baboons call out from below
the security police. Their graves lie just outside town, in the Lingelihle Township cemetery. My guide for the day, Amos Nteta – waiter and barman at the Die Tuishuise & Victoria Manor hotel – knew the Cradock Four personally, so his tour feels doubly poignant. It also happens to coincide with South Africa’s Human Rights Day. “We were always expecting to die,” explains Amos, as we pick our way between unmarked graves covered in sticks instead of flowers. “We spoke in code and couldn’t take any notes. Matthew was like Steve Biko – he knew he was number one target but he didn’t want to run away.” Reflecting on the weight of Amos’s words, I leave Cradock to drive west, through the parched veld, to Graaff-Reinet – the fourth oldest European settlement in South Africa. Graaff-Reinet is a beautiful mix of Victorian, Cape Dutch and Georgian architecture – and 220 of its buildings are designated heritage sites. After walking around town I visit the tombstone of another famous struggle icon, PAC founder Robert Sobukwe, who launched the anti-pass protests, which led to the Sharpeville massacre and his incarceration on Robben Island. He died in 1978 and 5,000 people attended his funeral in Graaff-Reinet. A visit to his memorial site is a must, and a sombre reminder of the country’s recent history. Later that day, I arrive at the arrestingly beautiful Valley of Desolation, which forms part of the Camdeboo National Park. Huge dolomite columns tower out of the red earth, and I scramble up to a viewpoint just in time to watch the sunset. Black eagles swoop overhead while baboons call out from the wooded canyon below. It’s as peaceful a spot as you’re going to get anywhere in Africa, and the perfect place to contemplate everything I’ve seen and learnt so far. My journey ends all too soon on the Garden Route, at Storms River and Tsitsikamma National Park. This is the hub of all things adventure, including the popular five-day Otter Trail hike, which runs along the coast. Not far from here, at Bloukrans Bridge is the world’s highest commercial bungee jump at 216m, where people I know are willingly flinging themselves into the valley below to the sound of thrash metal. I, however, am content whizzing through indigenous rainforest to the sound of birdsong, at a less daunting 30m above ground. The ziplines pass between giant outeniqua yellowwood trees, some of which are 700 years old. Maybe next time I’ll do the bungee. But for now I’m happy playing Tarzan in the trees.
Jump off Bloukrans Bridge (attached to a bungee of course)
Zipline through outeniqua yellowwood trees
Xxxx WORDS RACHEAL GETZELS
Enjoying a drink as the sun sets
Rock tombs in Dalyan TNTMAGAZINE.COM
BIGTRIP NEED TO KNOW Travelbag (0845 543 6615, travelbag.co.uk) offers two nights at Long Lee Manor at Shamwari Game Reserve staying on a full-board basis, one night at Die Tuishuise Cradock, on a bed & breakfast basis, one night at the Andries Stockenstroom Graaff Reinett on a bed & breakfast basis and one night at the Tsitsikamma Village Inn on a bed & breakfast basis from £1,499 per person including flights with South African Airways from London Heathrow to Port Elizabeth (via Johannesburg) and five days’ car hire. Book by March 31 2015 for travel between May 1-June 30 2015 Shamwari Game Reserve Long Lee Manor bar
Die Tuishuise Cradock
Tsitsikamma Village GETTING THERE SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS operates double daily flights from Heathrow Terminal 2 to Johannesburg connecting to more than 30 destinations within Southern Africa. Return flights to Port Elizabeth from London Heathrow via Johannesburg are from £862pp including tax, surcharges and APD. For more information, visit flysaa.com or call 0844 375 9680. For more information on visiting the Eastern Cape visit easterncape.co.za
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VAL D’ISERE – DECEMB ER 19-28, 2014 BY ACTION -OUTDO ORS.CO .UK
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< £250 AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS Three nights’ B&B accommodation at the Golden Tulip Amsterdam West from £159pp. Located just 10 minutes from the heart of Amsterdam with famous sights just a short walk away, or bikes can be hired from reception. Includes return flights from Gatwick, Luton or Stansted, departing on selected dates between December 21st and December 24th. qwertytravel.com PORT EL KANTAOUI, TUNISIA Fourteen nights B&B accommodation at the 4-star Houria Palace Hotel from £179pp. The Houria Palace offers a complete range of facilities such as swimming pools, disco and restaurants and is located 300m from the beach 500m from Port El Kantaoui. Includes return flights from London Gatwick, departing December 31st. icelolly.com ROME, ITALY Three nights’ 4-star accommodation at the Grand Hotel Tiberio from £134.50pp. The hotel is only 10 minutes’ walking distance from the Vatican Museums and the magnificent ‘Basilica of Saint Peter’. Includes return flights from Gatwick, departs January 20th. holidays.easyjet.com
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> £500 PARIS & AMSTERDAM FESTIVE PARTY This festive spectacular is a stunner. Do Christmas in style in the City of Lights – cruise along the Seine River, admire the view from the Eiffel Tower, be awe-struck at the Palace of Versailles or simply sip coffee while watching the Parisians glide by. Next, we explore the Christmas markets in fairytale Bruges then we hit party capital itself – Amsterdam! The biggest party is in the streets and we’ll be there with the locals to see in the New Year – Dutch style – all from £745pp! Includes return travel from London, nine nights’ accommodation plus some meals inc Christmas Dinner, departs December 24th. busabout.com WEST EUROPE ROCKER Want to hit all the main sights in a short amount of time? The Western Rocker does just that – experience the amazing food & culture of Italy, the breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps & the elegance of the ‘City of Lights’, Paris, in a little over a week. Includes seven nights’ accommodation (five nights in hostels, two nights in hotels) and most meals, does not include external flights, departs December 30th from £514pp. contiki.com BRAZIL & ARGENTINA ON A SHOESTRING Experience the treasures of Argentina and Brazil in this jam-packed trip from £934pp. Explore two of the continent’s most vibrant capitals and marvel at Iguassu Falls. Includes 10 nights (seven nights in hotels, one night in a hostel, two overnight bus), does not include external flights, departs January 3rd. statravel.co.uk
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‘Like Sherlock Holmes himself, cleverness and wit triumphs over a seemingly impossible task.’ The List ‘This is great family entertainment.’ British Theatre Guide ‘Casts the perfect spell over the audience.’ New York Times – Critic’s Pick ‘Gloriously irreverent.’ Time Out London – Critic’s Choice
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Go to tntmagazine.com/competitions. See webpage for terms and conditions. Winners will be selected at random. One lucky winner will be able to take home Blu-Bot robot from the Science Museum Shop boasting the latest in robot technology. With more than 20 facial expressions and the capability to nod or turn his head, BluBot will be able to let you know just how he is feeling. Blu-Bot loves to interact and will communicate automatically with another BluBot companion close by. With a bluetooth connection, Blu-Bot can change his voice and record or play messages. He is definitely clever and most importantly fun as he knows all the latest dance moves! Blu-Bot is certain to be on every Xmas wish list this year. The first ever Science Museum Store Pop Up is now open at Bluewater shopping centre. Come along to see science and BluBot in action. Open until December 31. Enter at tntmagazine.com/competitions sciencemuseumshop.co.uk
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SPORT ROUND-UP | GAMES TO WATCH | INTERVIEWS | FOCUS
LUCK OF THE IRISH QUASHED BY AUSSIE TEAM Australia beat Ireland in their hybrid AFL-Gaelic International Rules clash in Perth on November 22, with the hosts having no trouble adapting to the unfamiliar round ball. The Irish found the net twice for maximum six pointers but Australiaâ€™s tactic to take overs (three points) when they were presented proved a wise one with the score ending 0.17.5 (56) to 2.9.7 (46).
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STAR BOARDER JAMIE IS OFF THE RAILS SNOWSPORTS
Olympic snowboarder Jamie Nicholls, 21, didn’t grow up in the Alps or even near them – his upbringing in Bradford directed him everywhere but to a life of professional snowsports... except for the local snow centre his parents drove past every time they went to the shops. TNT caught up with the Go Ski Go Board ambassador at The Snow Centre, Hemel Hempsted, last month where he was encouraging everyone to give the (legal) white stuff a go. How did a lad from Bradford get into snowboarding in the first place? I started at seven on a dry slope in Halifax (in the north of England). I lived about five minutes from Halifax Ski Centre and every time my mum and dad went past it I said “I want to go there”. I got lessons for my birthday, and we picked it up as a family – I picked it up super quick and loved it, and started competing at the age of eight.” Snowsport England has announced there’s been an 11% increase in activity on UK slopes and centres since Sochi – have you noticed the increase? I’m seeing so many more people coming every week at the moment, even Simon Pegg (of Paul and Hot Fuzz fame) was here yesterday. Every day is really busy now with people giving it a go – even more since Sochi, which a great. You’re now a fixture on the multidiscipline World Snowboarding Tour, but you still love spending time at an indoor centre? Yeah, I love it. My favourite thing is riding rails – and Thursday and Friday nights out here is brilliant with loads of rails set up. 62
Just as Boxing Day is for Test cricket at the MCG and pretending to understand sailing with the start of the Sydney to Hobart, London’s laying on some tasty festive football fare with Chelsea-West Ham, Crystal Palace-Southampton and Arsenal-QPR in the capital. Santa suits and superhero costumes are mandatory.
I really like skateboarding so it’s a bit like that. Google your name and a video of you winning Burton Rail Days in Japan at age 18 comes up first... Yeah (laughs), that was incredible. I was so happy to get invited to go there let alone go on and win it. It was the first time they ever held it. That competition is held in the streets of Tokyo, so it proves you don’t need a big slope to hit the snow. You don’t need miles of slopes to get involved in snowsports – obviously you need snow, and if you’ve reached a certain level some rails, and you’re set. You don’t even need a lift ticket. Is that legal? You do have to worry about cops chucking you out of the spots, but you’re all good other than that. When it snows in the UK I like to get on Google maps and find rails. In England it’s a bit of a novelty so here the police tend to turn up and go, ‘This is cool’. But in America they’re onto it, because
it happens every day in winter. In London it’s not something you see every day, but try it out indoors first...
BIG MONTH FOR... Sam Burgess could achieve the incredible and win rugby league’s Golden Boot for best player in the same month he is set to make his rugby union debut for Bath in the Premiership. The Clive Churchill Medalist for best player in the grand final win with South Sydney, is nominated for the award to be announced on December 19. After recovering from the broken facial bones picked up in the first minute of the NRL GF, Burgess is tipped to be tried in the back row for Bath.
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HIGHLIGHTS THIS MONTH
Words: Michael Gadd. Photos: Getty
Aussie skipper Michael Clarke’s fighting to be fit
AUSSIES READY FOR ULTIMATE SUMMER TEST AUSTRALIA V INDIA Tests start December 4
CRICKET Michael Clarke is named but not certain to lead Australia in their four Test series against India starting on December 4 at the Gabba. Fitness remains an issue for the skipper, and in Pakistan form also deserted him, but the selectors are giving him every chance to make day one when naming a 12-man squad. Also taking on an India side, that is sketchy at best when not on their home turf, is a returning Ryan Harris (after post-Ashes knee surgery) and Shane
Watson following decent form in the 4-1 ODI series win over South Africa. Young paceman Josh Hazlewood could also make his Test debut after being brought in at Mitchell Starc’s expense, while Glenn Maxwell was also dumped from the side that lost 2-0 to Pakistan. India has never won a series in Australia and is currently a shocking sixth in the world rankings, but have some dangermen including Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli who should put on a show for the biggest Tests of the year – Cheteshwar Pujara is their highest ICC-rated Test player at 15th.
LET’S GET TRIVIAL | ATP World Tour Finals The European Rugby Champions Cup’s third and fourth games of six in the group phase take place in the first two weekends of December, with the three London clubs all still with a hope of making the knockout stages. Last year’s finalists Saracens are away and then home to fellow Premiership side Sale (Dec 6 and 13) in Pool 1, and must win both games, in some style, to push for a spot as one of the top second placed sides and rely on results from Muster (who they lost to) and Clermont (who they beat). Although struggling in the Premiership, Harlequins lead Pool 2 after wins over Wasps and Castres, but it’ll mean nothing unless they can beat Leinster (Dec 7 and 13), who are also unbeaten in their first two games. Wasps could have something to say about that in their remaining four matches though, with games here and there against bottom-placed Castres (Dec 7 and 14) a chance to get on the board.
2 Prem League: Crystal Palace v Aston Villa 3 Prem League: Arsenal v Southampton; Chelsea v Tottenham 3-7 Swimming: FINA World Championships (25m) 4 Cricket 1st Test: Australia v India 6 Prem League: QPR v Burnley; Tottenham v Crystal Palace; Man City v Everton 7 Prem League: West Ham v Swansea 7 Euro Rugby: Castres v Wasps; Harlequins v Leinster 9 Champs League: Liverpool v Basel; Galatasaray v Arsenal 10 Champs League: Chelsea v Sporting Lisbon 12 Cricket 2nd Test: Australia v India 13 Prem League: Chelsea v Hull; Crystal Palace v Stoke; Arsenal v Newcastle 13 Euro Rugby: Saracens v Sale; Leinster v Harlequins 14 Euro Rugby: Wasps v Castres 16 Cap 1 Cup QF: Derby v Chelsea; Sheff Utd v Southampton 17 Cap One Cup QF: Bournemouth v Liverpool; Tottenham v Newcastle 20 Premier League: QPR v West Brom; Tottenham v Burnley 20 Prem Rugby: Harlequins v Newcastle; Saracens v London Welsh 21 Prem League: Liverpool v Arsenal 21 Prem Rugby: Wasps v London Irish 26 Prem League: Chelsea v West Ham; Crystal Palace v Southampton; Arsenal v QPR 26 Cricket 3rd Test: Australia v India 26 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 26 Prem Rugby: London Irish v London Welsh 27 Prem Rugby: Harlequins v Northampton 28 Prem League: Tottenham v Man Utd; QPR v Crystal Palace; West Ham v Arsenal Jan 1 Prem League: QPR v Swansea; Tottenham v Chelsea Jan 3 Cricket 4th Test: Australia v India Jan 3 Prem Rugby: Saracens v London Irish Jan 4 Prem Rugby: Wasps v Sale; London Welsh v Harlequins
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Words: Michael Gadd. Photos: Getty
2014: the year’s 14 most stupid and superb in sport
South Sydney win their first Premiership in 43 years Most Heroic (Crazy) Sam Burgess needed four plates inserted to fix facial injuries from the first minute of the NRL Grand Final, won by his South Sydney, in which he won the Clive Churchill medal for man of the match. Proof you don’t need a functioning head to play league?
Closest but... Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin’s move from Premiers Hawthorn to Sydney worked out pretty damn well. After his record signing the big forward won the Coleman Medal for most goals kicked, but the Swans fell short in the final against who else but his old mates..
Ben Flower’s GF red card walk of shame
Biggest brain fart Ben Flower’s sickening punches on Lance Hohaia’s noggin earned him the dodgy distinction of being the first player sent off in a Super League Grand Final. The early incident doomed his Wigan to defeat by St Helens – and he got a sixmonth ban.
Biggest nailbiter merchants The Wallabies are many things, but they can’t be accused this year of being boring. A draw and a one point loss in the three Bledisloes, either side of nailbiters against Argentina and South Africa, but most of all the Autumn Internationals with deficits of 4 (win over Barbarians), 5 (win over Wales) and 3 (losses to France and Ireland), before England.
Fan of the year Who can say they wouldn’t get “a bit carried away with all the free alcohol in the box” if given the chance at the AFL Grand Final. Brit Heather McCartney can’t as she got nude due to a “silly bet”. 64
Most extreme pounding England are still recovering from the relentless battering given to them in the 5-0 Ashes flogging Down Under. Mitchell Johnson was the biggest destroyer with Andy Flower and Kevin Pietersen (who’s a smidge bitter) the patsies.
Most ambitious Anthony Mundine could potentially land a fight with US superstar Floyd Mayweather Jnr, the 47-0 champion, after his split decision win over Sergey Rabchenko made him the mandatory contender for the WBC and WBA titles. It was a career saver for Mundine, and he’s past his prime, but what a reward a big ‘Money’ match-up would be for his career.
Best team effort It wasn’t just Southampton players who pitched in to equal the record for most individual goalscorers in a Premier League match in their 8-0 demolition of Sunderland on
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October 18. The result included three own goals with Saints striker Graziano Pellè ruining the party with a double.
Best revenge Australia dominated the World Cup last year, demolished New Zealand in the final and gave them an Anzac Test touch-up. But in the Four Nations the Kiwis backed up their round robin win with an impressive final victory over the Kangaroos.
Socceroo Tim Cahill’s Dutch volley was a World Cup highlight Least disappointing It could’ve been so much worse for the young Aussies at the World Cup in Brazil. But under Ange Postecoglou they were anything but disgraced losing 3-1 to Chile and even giving semi-finalists Netherlands a major scare in a 3-2 loss that included Tim Cahill’s famous left-footed volley.
Biggest switch Sonny Bill Williams and Burgess are rugby’s gain, but for boldness alone this has to be Jarryd Hayne, who’s quit rugby league at the top of his game – joint Dally M medallist no less – and is chasing a lofty dream as an NFL career.
Kiwis clinch their Four Nations win Most historic The 30-2 NRL GF win for Burgess’s South Sydney Rabbitohs was the proud club’s first premiership in 43 years, and follows decades of heartbreak including being dumped from the comp and fighting their way back.
Mitchell Johnson destroys England
e 2015 n u J M 5/6/7 rD TEa th
Most WTF moment Believe it or not, sportspeople do far worse things than drunkenly urinating into their own mouth and letting a mate record the moment, but Todd Carney got sacked by the Sharks for that very thing. He’ll be hoping to take the piss in the Super League next year with Catalan Dragons.
NEW TE WEBSI
OW BI Early aVaIl aBlEsNea and sambucna ENTr0ys are a blast! Trohme swunil,d dogs t.to Samoa “Ibaizdea it1 much easipier.wilFl not disappoin ”
tr m ps this tch the ma side ste . From lay screen, DJ urse e r e h t d of co stant p detail is “oEmvemryentator, hsutagllesin, food stands an c market stand, efreshments. best! ” liquid r r rugby at its Summe
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Log on to www.rugbyspy.com and buy your tickets or contact us for group bookings or team entry at firstname.lastname@example.org. www.facebook.com/RugbySpy
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LIFESTYLE CAREERS | LIVING | CLASSIFIEDS | DESPERATELY SEEKING ISLA HAVE ME ONE OF THOSE JUMPERS (SORRY)
Isla Fisher is supporting Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day campaign on Friday December 12 to ‘make the world better with a sweater’. Join Isla and donate £2 to take part. To find out more visit christmasjumperday.org. The knitting pattern for the Christmas jumper Isla wears can be downloaded at Deramores.com and for every pattern downloaded, a donation will be made to Save the Children.
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How to land the best jobs abroad For those of us without a bottomless pot of money, often our only way of seeing the world is to work while doing it. Here’s how to make sure you land a job no matter where you are...
Planning an adventure where you need to fund your way around? It’s not easy – you have to hunt down and wheedle out the available opportunities like a truffle hound as your money dwindles, and its not helped by happy hours and three-for-one shots. Dan Miles, author of cult best-selling novel Filthy Still: A tale of travel, sex and perfectly made cocktails has been on both sides of the equation: hunter and hunted. Competition can be fierce, not to mention occasionally underhanded. So what can you do to land that perfect job abroad? Here, he shares his insider tips... 68
But be wary
Standing silhouetted in a doorway as you dive headlong into your wellprepared spiel on why your name is another word for awesome, can be terrifying, but is unfortunately necessary. An email can be ignored, but a smiling human is far harder to dismiss. The thing to remember, and something employers don’t want you to know, is that they want you as much as you want them, and quite often a whole lot more. Even if you’re abroad temporarily, while most backpackers do not want to work per se, they are both willing and able, and you’d be amazed how desirable that is.
I once mentioned in a hostel bar that I had applied for a job in a local café. By the following morning 21 other people had followed suit. I’m not suggesting you trust no one, just play your cards close to your chest. Oh, and beware of preparing your CV on a hostel’s computer. One girl I met left hers unattended whilst she ran to the bathroom, and failed to notice the promise of extra curricular services on a prominent part of the employer’s anatomy that some comedian had inserted into the profile section in her absence. To be fair she did receive 46 job offers in a single day, but even so.
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LEARN TO MAKE JEWELLERY
TURN WORK INTO AN ADVENTURE
Of course you don’t have to go for an office job. Instead make your ‘work’ as fun as your travels with training and volunteer opportunities such as these... Diving with dolphins Animal care and marine conservation packages have become incredibly popular, and there are now options throughout the world. Smaller Earth is offering the chance to work in tropical destinations such as Mexico and the Seychelles, where participants will be able to dive with sea turtles in the Indian Ocean or encounter dolphins, manatees and stingrays in the Caribbean Sea, all while carrying out vital coral reef research. New ways to get active outdoors Learn sports development and coaching in South Africa and Zambia, or get resort work and travel in Canada all year round for great weather and abundant wildlife, including bears, mountain lions and eagles. Teach or learn a language If you love languages then travelling abroad is bound to offer you some interesting experiences. And if you love travelling, then learning a language or two couldn’t hurt. From au pair programmes in China to teaching English in academies in Prague, learning a foreign language is an invaluable skill, both personally and professionally. Volunteer in specialised camps or schools If you are good with people and like to immerse yourself in different cultures, look into helping out a camp, for example one for disadvantaged children abroad. Packages are available with Smaller Earth. Visit smallerearth.com or campleaders.com
Own something with a collar You’d be amazed how many people think boardshorts, sandals and Ramones T-shirts are suitable job hunting attire. You don’t need to carry a suit half way round the world, but you’d be amazed how far a pair of trousers can take you. A positive take on your achievements is vital,but there’s a fine line between ‘spin’ and ‘outrageous lies’, and only you know how close to that line you’re willing to sail. A friend of mine once landed a job in an all-Jewish Function Centre by claiming to be Israeli (he’s from Alaska and Catholic.) Unfortunately his new career didn’t last long due to a habit of publically eating
bacon sandwiches on the way to work.
Know when to shut the hell up! If two people are talking and one goes quiet, the other will nervously fill the vacuum and inevitably end up saying something stupid. On one occasion when I was the interviewer, and had gone quiet purely because I was monstrously hungover, the applicant spontaneously admitted to an arson conviction. He did not get the position. Filthy Still – A tale of travel, sex and perfectly made cocktails – the cult bestselling novel by Dan Miles is available now at amazon.com.au
Fancy yourself as a jewellery crafter? Then you’re in luck, as London Jewellery Workshop has launched a six-month diploma course in Shoreditch. The course, which is due to start in January, 2015, is run by Nina Gilbey, who has been a silversmith and teacher for more than 20 years. “This structured course is unique – it’s very much design focused. By the end, students will have been exposed to many techniques and expert approaches,” says Nina. The course is suitable for complete beginners. Basic skills are at the core of the course include piercing (cutting), filing, annealing, textures, finishing and polishing; chain making, links and findings (clasps, clips and catches). The course can provide valuable skills and resources that learners use in their career, or perhaps towards studying at a higher level. Even if your turnover isn’t quite like those of the big shot jewellers in the industry, you can actually make a healthy profit in this trade. It’s a lot less risky than being a jewellery thief, and can be really rewarding, so give it a go... The new jewellery course will be held just off Shoreditch High Street. londonjewelleryworkshop.co.uk
LIFESTYLELIVING CHRISTMAS COOL
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Uncle Bert is so happy at Christmas, mainly because he is so very drunk
Show Santa the way... With this festive lantern. Photos: Thinkstock
P-p-p-pick up a pillow... With this penguin cushion.
Have yourself a merry English Xmas
Not back in Oz this month? Embrace the weird and wonderful world of an English Chrimbo...
If you’re not heading home for Christmas, instead of lamenting what could have been – a morning surf! A barbecue on the beach! Dad’s cooked ham! – why not embrace the traditions of a typical English Christmas... Twit t-woo your friends... With these owl tree decorations. dotcomgiftshop.com
Get a tealightful glow... With this candle holder. whitestuff.com
The characters If you and your flatmates are arranging a house Christmas dinner, why not assign roles – we’re not talking Dungeons and Dragons, unless that’s what floats your boat – but Mum, Dad, the teenagers, the crazy Aunt or Uncle and the dippy Gran. Here’s some costume inspiration... Mum: Sparkly tights, a sparkly dress, a sparkly shawl and, the piece de resistance, Christmas earrings. Dad: A flannel checked shirt that you think makes you look like a hot lumberjack but actually make you look like a farmer. Boy teen: Your usual outfit of a grungy T-shirt and low-slung jeans. You don’t do
dressing up for Christmas. Okay? Girl teen: A T-shirt adorned with Harry Styles, or a pink onesie. Crazy Uncle or Aunt: A really bad Christmas jumper, tucked into your waist-high jeans, or worn over tights thinking you can ‘get away’ with wearing it as a dress. You can’t. Dippy Gran: A grey or blue-rinse wig, a cardigan about three sizes too big, a floral shin-length dress and wrinkled stockings.
Christmas morning It’s Mum’s job to cook Christmas dinner so get in that kitchen! Remember to slowly get tiddly on G&Ts so that the vegetables end up singed and the turkey is as dry as old boots (if you actually want a tasty dinner, see box out to the right). It’s Dad’s responsibility to put the presents in the stockings on Christmas Eve because Father Christmas is a lazy bugger and won’t have gotten round to it. The good news is
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Cook the perfect Christmas roast Mums, if you’re happy to embrace the role but want to actually be able to eat what you cook up for Christmas, here are some top recipes from Executive Chef Russell Ford at 108 Brasserie (108brasserie.com). ROAST THE PERFECT TURKEY 1 x 5kg turkey 250g butter, unsalted and at room temperature 1 orange, grated 1 lemon, zested Salt & pepper to taste 1. Soften some butter and mix with grated orange and lemon zest – rub butter mix all over turkey and season with salt and pepper. 2. Pre-heat oven to 190°c and cook the turkey for 15 minutes until it has a nice golden brown skin – it’s important to start turkey in a hot oven to seal and start browning the skin. 3. Then turn the oven temperature right down to 180°c and cook the turkey fully for approximately four hours for a 5kg bird, basting throughout. Ideally, if you have a probe you need to cook until the middle of the bird has reached approximately 75°c. It’s important not to cook too far over this temperature or the turkey will start to dry out.
4. Remove from the oven when ready and leave to rest for approximately 10 minutes. 5. Serve stuffing on the side and the perfect Christmas vegetables. GOOSE FAT ROAST POTATOES 1 kg red potatoes (pref Désirée potatoes) peeled and cut into halves 1 bulb of garlic, cut in half across the mid section 4 sprigs rosemary 3 tbsp goose or duck fat Salt & pepper to taste 1. Preheat the oven at 190°C. Place potatoes in pan and cover with cold water, season with salt and bring to the boil. 2. When potatoes are cooked, drain and fluff them up slightly by tossing them in the colander for a minute or two to roughen up the edges. 3. In your oven dish, mix the fat, garlic and rosemary with the potatoes until coated with the goose fat and season to taste. 4. Roast until golden brown (approximately 30 minutes or to liking). They should be crispy and fluffy in the centre. CARROTS AND PARSNIPS 1kg heritage carrots, peeled and cut into rough wedges (or to your liking)
you get to help the teens figure out how their presents work – usually breaking them in the process. Teen boy and girl, this is your moment. Tear into every present and toss it aside like the ungrateful brats that you are. Argue with each other and generally drive everyone else crazy. Crazy Aunt/Uncle and dippy Gran, you watch the opening of presents pretending you give a shit. Gran has a tactical snooze while crazy Aunt/Uncle starts hitting the booze, and hard.
Christmas afternoon Mum’s done her bit, although continues to faff, running between the table and the kitchen as she realises she left the potatoes in the oven and put her mobile phone in the fridge.
500g parsnips, peeled and cut into rough wedges (or to your liking) 60g butter 6 sprigs thyme 3 tbsp clear honey Salt & pepper to taste 1. Place the carrots in a pan and cover with cold water, season with salt and bring to the boil until tender (approximately 20 minutes). Drain and set aside.
Dad, it’s your time to shine as you are given the ‘me man, me cut meat’ task of carving the turkey. When you cut yourself, you pass your blood off as cranberry sauce. Teen boy, you sit moodily as your crazy Aunt/Uncle attempts to make you pull a cracker, laughs hysterically at the bad jokes inside, makes you wear your party hat and asks about your ‘love life’. Teen girl giggles at her phone as she has a text sesh with that boy she fancies – this week, at least. Dippy Gran has to mash her food up so she doesn’t get it stuck in her dentures and sings ‘diddly-dee’ songs to herself from time to time. After dinner, everyone piles into the living room to fall asleep during the Queen’s speech and watch a never-
2. Meanwhile, place the parsnips in a separate pan (they cook slightly quicker) and cover with cold water, season with salt and bring to the boil until tender (approximately 12 minutes). Drain and set aside. 3. Over a low heat, warm the butter (to give it a caramelising effect) and toss the vegetables adding the thyme and honey and glaze. Season to taste and serve. Bon appetit!
ending episode of Eastenders where everybody dies.
Christmas evening It’s game time! Mum is well and truly tiddled, and so she’s the first one up for Charades. Somehow she manages to make every action look rude – it’s Cocktail, I was shaking the cocktail thingy! – so the teens cringe in embarrassment groaning “Muuuum” while the crazy Uncle/Aunt makes inappropriate comments – “Ooh you can see you’ve done that move before Margerie. Bet you can’t wait to get to the bedroom you naughty pair.” Gran pretends she doesn’t know what everyone’s on about but secretly sits and day dreams about one hot night with David Hasslehoff. Merry Christmas! TNTMAGAZINE.COM
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SAY WHAT?! ‘i guess i don’t have the thing that all women want...’ ‘a big cock?’ ‘okay I don’t have the two things that all women want...’
Want a green finger? I’m an amateur gardener and I’m desperately seeking a cheap hoe. Taking flattery too far: Lucy, we’ve been friends forever, but I really need my space. I move to London, you move to London, I find a place in Clapham, you move into the spare room, I get a boyfriend, you get a boyfriend – the same
board, and when I turned my light on it stopped. My flatmate sleeps at the other end of the hall, and my neighbours are all married – surely it can’t be them?! Hopping mad: I saw you on the Northern Line between Camden and Moorgate. The carriage was empty (just you standing near the door), and our eyes locked as I
THINGS THE QUEEN SHOULD DO BEFORE SHE DIES for better oral hygeine you should brush your teeth in your bedroom.
Photos: supplied and Getty. Words: Ken Hurst, Stephanie Palmer and Caroline Garnar
‘what do those tiny keys open?’ ‘your vagina.’
My wife has left me because I’m a compulsive gambler. I’d do anything to win her back.
i took a chance and messaged that guy on tinder whose pictures are of him comparing his cock to various household objects. i think he could be the one.
i just googled the word google. i’m messed up.
Dress up as Santa and deliver gifts to all the kids in England on Xmas Eve
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Konnichiwa, I am looking for a Japanese lady in London who would teach me Japanese. In exchange I can teach her English or Hungarian. Brand of idiot: I introduced myself at Russell Brand’s event at Hoxton Docks. I’m tall with long brown hair and you had strawberry blond hair. Kicking myself for not giving you my number! Reply telling me where I’m from if you see this. Bye! Voices unite: Hey, I’m an American who just came to London a few weeks ago. I am working on a new genre of music, which combines hip-hop and opera. I can do the hip-hop, can you do the opera? Come on, let’s make sweet music together... Fingers crossed: I have lost a gold cross and chain, which belonged to my nan. I kept it in my wallet so it could have fallen out anywhere. If anyone should find it, please contact TNT. It is precious to me and would mean so much. Thanks, Caroline. Turn me...on? Door carpenter from Brighton desperately seeking big shiny knob. I want you back: Simon, I’m sorry I ran off with your sister. I’ve changed my mind and want to be with you again. Want to hash it out on an episode of Jeremy Kyle? Looking for some hot stuff: I like having hot sauce drizzled on my balls before having it licked off. I’d get my dog to do it but it gives him the shits.
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