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December 3-9 2012 Issue 1527



DITCH THE TURKEY Alternative ways to spend Xmas Day

PARTY LIKE IT’S 2013 The biggest NYE bashes in the UK

COMEDY ISSUES Steve Hughes puts the world to rights


o getaways b im r C r u o beaches with y n n u s r fo n’s grey sky Swap Londo


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EST. 1985


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020 3651 2081 29/11/12 15:45:11


EDITOR’S LETTER Here at TNT, we’ve got all your bases covered for Xmas. If you fancy staying in London, it doesn’t have to mean pigging out until you’re comatose, you can venture out of the house. Flick to P8 for the lowdown on what’s open in the capital on Christmas and Boxing days. Or, if you want to ditch the UK and the bitter winter that’s bound to hit us, turn to P76, where you’ll find more holiday ideas than you can shake a turkey leg at. You’re welcome!










































Switch off the TV set and do something different this Christmas. Here’s what’s on

REALLY BIG ISSUES Aussie stand-up Steve Hughes goes on the offensive for his London show





We investigate the worst blunders as a hoaxer hijacks Jetstar’s Facebook page





South African Neil de Kock on playing for London’s Saracens and the Heineken Cup












84-105 106




Photos: Getty; Thinkstock Cover: Thinkstock





The very best New Year’s Eve street parties taking place across the UK



Leave the fairy lights behind and jet off to one of these top destinations for Xmas


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EDITORIAL Group editor Carol Driver Editor Laura Chubb Content editors: Sub/ Sport Michael Gadd Travel Helen Elfer Entertainment Alasdair Morton Web Oliver Jones Social media Dan Thorne Features writer Jade Bremner


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A Christmas party with a difference ....

DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Head of design and production Jon Cooke Acting picture researcher Ruth Board DIGITAL & IT Head of digital marketing and development Syed Ahmad

SALES Commercial director David Alstin Sales manager Jaqui Ward Classified Ad Manager Matt Syder Sales administrator Abby Nightingale MARKETING & EVENTS Marketing and events executive Phoebe Cherrill ACCOUNTS Margaret Roberts | Suzanne Welsh TNT MULTIMEDIA LTD CEO Kevin Ellis Chairman Ken Hurst PUBLISHER TNT Multimedia Limited DISTRIBUTION Emblem Direct Ltd PRINTED BY Wyndeham Peterborough Limited NEWS AAP SAPA NZPA PICTURES Getty Images, TNT Images, Thinkstock TNT Magazine , 16 Brune St, London, E1 7NJ General enquiries Phone 020 7953 8469 Fax 020 7953 7957 Email SALES ENQUIRIES



For an X-Rated Xmas party, look no further. If robins bouncing around in the snow and cute little reindeer are not for you, this is a Christmas party with a difference. Workshops explore different erotic crafts and games, with a stage show featuring burlesque perfomer Matt Fraser (above) and more. There’s a darkroom photo booth, erotic storyboard and life-drawing workshops and a burlesque dance class. The evening promises to reveal hidden talents, both your own and other participants. A night that would make Santa blush. £20

COVER PRICE: £1 where sold SEE for pick-up points or to read TNT online SUBSCRIPTIONS AND DISTRIBUTION Caroline Penn 01603 559004 All thieves of TNT bins will be prosecuted.

December 8, 6pm-2am Green Carnation, 5 Greek Street, W1D 4DD

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The founders of Denmark’s electronic music fest Stella Polaris soundtrack an evening of pre-Raphelites artistry. There’ll be the acoustic charms of Mads Bjorn, producer August and Lulu Rouge (DJ set), too. This evening of performance, music and more will also include a craft fair and an interaction installation.

The UK’s only all-day ping-pong challenge is back at Europe’s first purpose built pong club. As well as testing your skills and endurance at table tennis with six different bar tab prizes up for grabs, there is a half time show with street dancers, cheerleaders, beat-boxers and limbo dancers, and it’s all in aid of Breast Cancer Care UK.

William S Burroughs, renowned as the father of the Beat Generation, was a man known for his narcotic indulgence as much as his literary verve. But it’s his artwork that is the focus of this All Out Of Time And Into Space exhibition, with paintings, drawings and a selection of his ‘talismanic art objects’ on display.

Dec 7, 6pm-9.30pm SW1P 4RG Pimlico

Dec 8, 12pm-7pm Bounce, EC1N 2TD Holborn

Dec 6-Feb 16, Tues-Sat, 12.30pm5.30pm WC1N 3AL Holborn


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.

Tottenham Court Road




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Monday 10th December, Kick-Off 8pm. MEOW MEOW’S LITTLE MATCH GIRL Southbank Centre

Tickets on sale now!

Originally conceived for the Sydney Festival, this awardwinning, critic-wowing, audience-stunning show makes its London debut at Queen Elizabeth Hall. Twisting and turning its way around Hans Christian Anderson’s festive tale, the international cabaret sensation brings a wholly new take on the famed fable through her comedic, musical and theatrical skills. A sterling alternative to a carol concert or traditional panto. £15+

December 13-30. Wed-Fri, 7.30pm; Sat, 6.30pm, 9pm; Sun, 2pm, 6.30pm SE1 8XX Waterloo



If, like many, the best thing for you about Christmas is not the presents, the excess partying or the awful-butace office party, but the guilt-free, fab festive foodie indulgence, then this twoday fest at the ExCel London is for you. There are pressos from top chefs, including Jamie Oliver, live cooking demos and much more.

Business lister Yelp keeps things festive and local this year with a London-themed Christmas market at Proud Camden. There’s free entry, drinks and nibbles on offer too, as well as offerings from more than 50 independent companies with top tips on gifts and food to make sure you’re all set for Crimbo and the party season this year.

December 7-9. 10am-6pm E16 1XL Custom House

December 6, 7pm-9pm NW1 8AH Mornington Crescent

Photos: Jeff Busby


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Buy online at or call 0843 208 1234 (option 1) All tickets are subject to availability, terms and conditions apply.

30/11/12 16:26:45


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CLEARED: LONDON RIOTS ‘MUGGERS’ Two men jailed for robbing a Malaysian student in one of the defining images of the London riots won an appeal to have their convictions quashed. John Kassongs Kafunda, 23, of Ilford, and Reece Donovan, 25, of Romford, were found guilty of robbing 21-year-old Ashraf Rossli as he walked through Barking. The robbery was filmed and caused outrage when posted on YouTube. The men were jailed, but on Thursday the country’s top judge overturned the verdict following a private hearing. Kafunda and Donovan claimed they were not in the video clip.

It would seem David Cameron’s address is no longer No10 Downing Street. It’s Flat 2, Rupert Murdoch’s arse #leveson Stephen Fry doesn’t hold back on Twitter after the PM’s speech on press freedom

CASH-MACHINE FRAUD ON THE RISE The number of people falling victim to ATM scams has soared, figures show. “Cash claws” – where a device is used to trap money inside the machine – have increased from 150 in the UK in May to 2500 in London alone in August. Graham Mott, of Link, in charge of the UK’s ATM network, said the scam was rife across Europe. He added customers should report undelivered banknotes immediately.


Mighty mau5: fans line the streets in Southwark for a secret Deadmau5 gig at Flat Iron Square on Wednesday

Squatters take over pub

‘We’ll stay until we’re taken to court’ say group of 10 in Black Bull Squatters have taken over another Chelsea pub – just weeks after the practice was made illegal in residental properties. A group of 10 are inside the now-closed Black Bull, in Fulham Road, getting in via an open window in the women’s toilets. The squatters have said they are cooperating with the landlord, even showing potential new leaseholders around. However, the police have been called in after the leaseholder claimed there has been aggressive behaviour and alleged that the squatters had been stealing. Officers attempted to enter on Thursday to remove the squatters. David Ameri, 26, told the Standard: “We said to the leaseholder that we would

leave after a few days as soon as we found another place, but then he called the police on us. We were being reasonable. Now he has cheated us. Now we will stay until he takes us to court.” The leaseholder argued: “They are not friendly hard done-by hippies, they have been aggressive to both me and my daughter. They have stolen stock and illegally re-connected the electricity. They say they are only living in the commercial part of the property, not the flat upstairs, but we have seen them in there.” It comes weeks after squatters took over the Cross Keys in Chelsea. A law change on September 1 meant that although squatters can no longer occupy residential properties, they can use commercial ones.


New owners? 2012 Stadium


NORTHERN: No Sunday service between Edgware and Camden Town until 8.30am southbound and 9am northbound.

WATERLOO & CITY: No Sunday service.



Photos: Getty


It’s been a long time coming, but it looks as though West Ham United will be named the preferred bidder to take up residency of Stratford’s Olympic Stadium this week – that is, if they can find enough cash. The club are up against Leyton Orient, a football business college and a group keen to bring Formula One to the park. But the London Legacy Development Corporation is meeting on December 5, with the Daily Mail reporting WHU is on the brink of being named the primary tenants. It all comes down to negotiations over a £20m-£40m funding gap – a compromise is expected to be reached between London Mayor Boris Johnson, the club and central government to bring the stadium saga to a close. Let’s wait and see...


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Alternative Xmas Forget EastEnders and getting fat, don’t spend Xmas and Boxing days cooped up indoors. Here’s what else to do WORDS CAROL DRIVER Sitting around an open fire, stuffing your face with turkey, then passing out in front of a rerun of Only Fools And Horses. If this sounds like your idea of hell, fear not, Christmas and Boxing days in London don’t have to mean staying in watching the goggle-box. As most of the capital shuts down, it’s the perfect time for exploring the unusually quiet city streets – or for doing something different altogether. Not for the faint-hearted, the Peter Pan Cup is the Serpentine Swimming Club’s annual event. Taking place on Christmas morning for more than 100 years, it sees daredevil swimmers plunging into temperatures as low as 4˚C for this 100m race. Jumping into too-cold water at 9am will undoubtedly give you a wakeup call to remember (and blow away the cobwebs from the night before ) – but it is dangerous, so if you’re not already a member of the club, you can’t join in on the day. However, it’s worth going along to see these hardy swimmers put themselves through their paces, and there’s always a crowd of spectators strolling around Hyde Park. 8

Jeremy Cavanagh, an Aussie living in London, has taken the plunge six times so far. Speaking about the moment his skin hits the water, he says: “It always hurts, even though we swim every week leading up to the race. “It’s a handicapped race, so everyone gets in at different times – but there are crowds of people cheering every time someone jumps in, which is a great help.” So why get involved in the first place? “It’s a physical challenge. Having grown up in Australia on the beach, living in London, I always missed swimming and I didn’t like indoor pools. After the race, I go home and have my turkey dinner.” If that sounds like too much hard work, at the opposite end of the festive spectrum is the Charles Dickens Museum – the only London museum open to visitors on Crimbo Day. Visit here to witness a traditional Dickensian Christmas, as well as displays of Dickens’ belongings, paintings and writing. Recently reopened after a major refurbishment, 48 Doughty Street will come alive during the festive season, with the sights, sounds

and smells of a bygone era – from traditional Victorian decorations to the smells of pine, citrus and spice. As well as being treated to a screening of classic movie A Christmas Carol, you’ll get to munch on mince pies and sip mulled wine. Dr Florian Schweizer, director of the museum, said: “Experience Dickens’ home as he would have known it, with beautifully refurbished period rooms which tell the story of one of the world’s greatest storytellers. “This has been the most exciting year in the museum’s history. I’m sure Dickens would have been delighted about the transformation of his former home for his 200th birthday.” All Tube, DLR and Overground services are closed Xmas Day and limited on Boxing Day, so bag yourself a Boris Bike. Merry Xmas! MORE CHRISTMAS AND BOXING DAY EVENTS IN LONDON ›› Serpentine swim. 9am. Free to watch Hyde Park, S2 2UH Knightsbridge Charles Dickens Museum. 11am-6pm. £18. 48 Doughty Street, WC1N 2LX Russell Square


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Ta an

Taking the plunge: Serpentine swimmers, and, left, opt for a Dickensian Christmas

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HAMPTON POOL HAMPTON What is it with swimming on Xmas Day? Rather than the hardcore Serpentine race, this is a suitable-for-all, 36m heated (28˚C) pool overlooking a woodland area on the Bushy Park outskirts. There’s also a 12.5m learner pool. Get up early, work off last night’s booze then pack a picnic to eat on the grass for a Christmas with a difference.



Christmas Day, 8am-midday High Street, TW12 2ST Hampton

What better way to walk off a hefty Xmas lunch than strolling around the capital, exploring it according to Dickens? Discover the finest Georgian alleyways off The Strand and Covent Garden – a surviving part of Victorian underworld – as well as Dickensian associations. Copperfield, Oliver Twist and Pickwick all make an appearance. After all that walking, reward yourself with a pint in a nearby cafe. £9

RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT! PICCADILLY CIRCUS If you haven’t already checked out this London attraction, Christmas Day will be the best time, away from the maddening crowds. Gawp at more than 700 weird and wonderful exhibits, including a two-headed calf, three shrunken heads from Ecuador and the blue-faced man from China. Then make your way through the mirror maze and spinning tunnel just to finish off your hangover. £26.95

Christmas Day, 2pm-4pm Meet by the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN Charing Cross

Christmas Day, 10am-midnight 1 Piccadilly Circus, W1J 0DA Piccadilly Circus

1660 – THE LONDON OF SAMUEL PEPYS TRAFALGAR SQUARE This festive-themed walk around the traffic-free streets of London takes in the spirit of Xmas past. Learn about Samuel Pepys – diarist extraordinaire and chronicler of the 17th century. For two hours, walk in his footsteps – where Pepys lived and worked, then head to Westminster Abbey to hear how the bodies of Oliver Cromwell and others were dug up so they could be hanged. Learned guides will tell tales about the Plague, the Fire of London, and about Pepys’ career, which went downhill. Much more interesting than an EastEnders omnibus. £9

Christmas Day, 11am-1pm Meet by the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN Charing Cross




This friendly boozer is opening up its doors on Crimbo Day, so swan in for a pint of ale. Or, if you haven’t got your roast sorted, book now to tuck in to a four-course dinner with all the trimmings at £70.

You’re in London for Crimbo, so visiting a traditional boozer is a must. With fireplaces and a tops bar menu, wile away the hours over a few pints or opt for the four-course Christmas roast for £60.

Christmas Day, 11.45am-3pm Clapham Common, South Side, SW4 9DE Clapham Common

Christmas Day, 8am-3pm 107 Shepherd’s Bush Road, W6 7PB Hammersmith






Christmas dinner tastes even better when it’s prepared (and cleared away) by someone else. Chow down on salmon, roast turkey and proper pud at this traditional, brasseriestyle French restaurant.

Spice up Christmas lunch at this Indian restaurant. Munch mixed game balls with hot and sweet pumpkin chutney, Kadhai-seasoned duck, saffron-poached peer and sip spicy signature cocktails.

Legend has it if you see all of the Seven Noses of Soho, you’ll attain infinite wealth. Well, we can’t guarantee that, but this popular tour promises a Crimbo with a difference, exploring the deserted streets of Soho and learning about its fascinating – and sometimes dark – history. And you may even get to see the secret eighth nose...

Christmas Day, 12-3pm, 3.30-5pm 27 Brompton Road, SW3 2AW South Kensington

Christmas Day, 12pm-4pm 5 Kingly Street, W1B 5PF Oxford Circus

Christmas Day, 4pm Meet at Covent Garden or Trafalgar Square





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BOXING DAY BASH WIMBLEDON Watch more than 1000 stock cars smashing into each other during this ‘you must be mad’ annual bash at Wimbledon Stadium. This derby of destruction is bound to wake you from your turkey-induced comatosed state, as vehicles bump and crash their way around the track, doing serious damage during the London Championship and the National Big Van Bangers. Top fun. £13

This must-see exhibition kicks off its 11-day run on Boxing Day. Based on the awardwinning TV series of the same name, this spectacular event brings the life-size giant reptiles back to life to tell the story of their 200-million-year reign. Expect a T-Rex the size of a two-storey house in this puppet show, which has grossed £84m around the world and took six years to perfect. Well worth a trip. £20+

Boxing Day, 7pm The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square, SE10 0BB Greenwich

SLAVA’S SNOWSHOW SOUTH BANK Having toured 80 cities to rave reviews, this dreamlike spectacular is back in the capital. Pull yourself out of one festive slumber and drift into another as clowns combine theatrical performances and special effects to create a surreal world. Sure, it’s good for big kids, but you’ll end up knee-deep in snow at the end after a blizzard, getting the white Christmas you’ve always wanted. £20+

Boxing Day, 2pm Wimbledon Stadium, Plough Lane, SW17 0BL Wimbledon Park

Boxing Day, 7.30pm Southbank Centre, Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX Waterloo



Sod the budget turkey and celebrate the festive season in style. Dine on a fancy two-course brunch – think lobster, Cote de boeuf, sea bass – in Season on the first day of the sales. Or head to the bar for a super-posh cocktail.

We can’t mention Boxing Day without mentioning sales. This is heaven for bargain-hunters. Head to Westfield Stratford for impressive discounts, to catch a glimpse of the Olympic venues and for top bars to chill out in.

Boxing Day, bar open until 11pm Fifth Floor, SW1X 7RJ Knightsbridge

Boxing Day, 9am-11pm 2 Stratford Place, E20 1EJ Stratford



Got friends visiting? Show them how cultured you’ve become since moving to London and take them to this classical concert featuring the likes of Vivaldi, Mozart and Bach.

Work up an appetite for another full-on meal with a session on the ice. Somerset House reopens its rink on Boxing Day so you can glide in beautiful surrounds.

Spend the day after Christmas learning something new at this popular tourist attraction. Hear all about the Bard, where he lived in London and his work for the Globe during this 30-minute tour. Wander around with expert guides who’ll fascinate you with tales of the venue as an open-air playhouse in 1599 to its reconstruction in 1997. If that whets your appetite, book to see Twelfth Night at the Apollo later. It kicks off at 7.30pm and tickets cost from £25.

Boxing Day, 7pm St Martin-In-The-Fields, WC2N 4JJ Charing Cross

Boxing Day, 10am-10.30pm Strand, WC2R 1LA Temple

Boxing Day, 10am-5pm 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, SE1 9DT Waterloo


KISS ME KATE SOUTH BANK This show-within -a-show production has received top reviews. It’s a combination of gunwielding gangsters, highmaintenance actors and love triangles revolving around a touring musical production of The Taming Of The Shrew. It’s the first musical the Old Vic has staged since Kevin Spacey joined as artistic director in 2003. An award-winning night out.

Photos: Getty; Andrea Artz


Boxing Day, 2.30pm, 7.30pm The Cut, SE1 8NB Waterloo






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WIN a date with decadence Wotif we could help you score brownie points with your plus one? SIGN UP to Wotmail Europe to WIN a night of luxury at The Royal Horseguards, London.

LAURA AMOS CHEF – THE DESSERT DELI What baffles me about London is the north and south circular and the sign-posting in general. Being from Dorset, we have signs for everything – villages, towns, attractions – with a good indication of how far they are away. In London I’d be lost without my sat nav as I have no sense of direction.

Go to to enter. @WotifEurope

London’s best-kept secret is Battersea Park in Wandsworth. When I want to chill out I enjoy taking an hour or two off and going out for dinner, but if I really want to relax, I go back home to Dorset. That’s where I really chill and catch up on sleep because as a chef I’m always on the go and my brain never switches off. The most interesting people I’ve met are black cab drivers. They have so many weird and wonderful stories to tell and meet so many different people in their day-to-day lives. My favourite place for a drink is The Ship pub in Wandsworth. It always has super-friendly staff and the food is great, especially the pork belly. For when you’re hungover in London you can’t beat a long walk along the river, followed by a Sunday roast in a cosy pub. What gets me up in the morning is my alarm clock repeatedly going off, as it’s really hard to get up if I finished work only a few hours before. My perfect weekend would be a Saturday lie-in, although this never happens as I am always up early for my Northcote Road Market stall. Then a mooch round the shops, catching up with friends for food and drinks and an epic Sunday Roast, too. Then an afternoon nap. The last naughty thing I did was getting very hot headed and using some choice language when a van cut me up. Unfortunately, I was on my handsfree to a friend at the time and had to apologise as she heard absolutely everything down the phone. So did the old man opposite me stuck in the traffic who shouted: ”Don’t worry love, but get used to it.” Five words that sum up London ... Exciting, exceptional food, charismatic people.; The Dessert Deli is out in hardback now 12


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[Caption] inside Market Place Spacious:

BAR THE SCENE Tucked away on a side street behind Oxford Circus stands this stylish bar and restaurant. The ground floor is decked out with wooden tables and benches, while the basement houses spacious seating booths and dancefloor – perfect for a group of mates. DJs perform every night of the week, playing anything from reggae, garage, disco and everything in between. The crowd here is a rare mixture of both students and young professionals, but they’re all up for a good time. THE GRUB There is a full lunch menu including soups, sandwiches, salads and gastropub classics such as a six-ounce burger and fish and chips, providing the perfect pit stop. The late-night kitchen serves a tapas-style menu starring crispy squid with apricot and chilli jam, and baby Cumberland sausages glazed in maple syrup – yum! BEHIND THE BAR The Market Place Punch at £24.95 per pitcher is especially impressive if you’re willing to share it with friends. The wine selection also comes in at fairly reasonable prices. Choose from a small range of worldwide beers and ciders, including New Zealand’s Steinlager Pure. BILL PLEASE Lunch menu from £5.50; tapas plates from £4.50; cocktails from £6.95; beers from £3.70 a bottle and £4.30 a pint; wines from £3.95; spirits from £3.80. VERDICT If you fancy a night out in central London minus the eye-watering bar tab and with a non-pretentious crowd, then this is the place to be day or night. RRB

11-13 Marketplace, W1 8AH


Oxford Circus




This traditional gastro pub brings a slice of the country to Southfields. Expect top-notch pub grub from a seasonal menu that changes daily. Then sit back with a pint in front of the roaring wood or coal fire and relax.

Once a spit-and-sawdust boozer, this acclaimed East Dulwich bar and dining room is a hit with locals. Choose a wine from the extensive menu (or get the staff to help) and curl up in front of the hearth.

Grab some mates and head to this Fulham pub for a hearty Sunday lunch. Then, with a drink and a paper (or laptop if you must with the free wifi), get comfortable in front of the huge wood fire on the squishy armchairs.




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Rustic: homely and doesn’t mess with great quality steak

HONKY TONK XMAS New York-inspired Honky Tonk will be throwing open its doors for a weekly party brunch. Dig into an all-American menu – think French toast with maple syrup, bubble and squeak, and eggs benedict – while tapping your feet to live blues, jazz and rockabilly. Dishes start from £5.95. To add a tequila kick to your lunchtime, swap jam on toast for a marmalade margarita at this west London venue. The brunch takes place every Saturday until January 5.

DIM SUM AND SOME Mixing themes from Chinese medicine, Asian tearooms, poppy fields and elegant boudoirs, a new restaurant is opening in London. Opium Cocktail And Dim Sum Parlour is housed in the roof of a listed building, overlooking the back streets of Chinatown. Expect to enjoy dim sum – think lobster dumplings with XO sauce, crispy fried oysters – while seated within oriental wardrobes. Don’t leave without trying a cocktail, showcasing Asian flavours.

NEW KID ON THE STREET Feast on Malaysian food and street art at Tootoomoo (above) – a new Pan-Asian restaurant inspired by a folklore tale. The menu – expect sushi, randang, green curry and spicy salads – has been influenced by street food hawkers. While the design is courtesy of Milo Tchais, who was commissioned to design a mural depicting the stories of the little girl who tames a giant. Book in or grab food to takeaway from the venue in Crouch End.

LA PATAGONIA ARGENTINIAN THE SCENE At the end of Camden High Street sits this delightfully rustic little Argentinian restaurant. Rustic not in the sense of dishonest pretension, but in the sense of bare stone walls, warm and attentive service, and an open kitchen in the corner that fills the room with the scent of the menu and, on the upcoming chilly winter’s evening, a hearty warmth, too. THE GRUB As you’d expect from an Argentinian establishment, the menu is meat, and especially steak, heavy. While there are choices for the veggies there (including some appetising pasta dishes and empanadas), it’s just not really the point. Steaks, chorizo, blood sausage, lamb … you get the picture. We opt for the balsamic sweetbreads and chistorra as starters, the former an enjoyably palletpiquing proposition loaded with spring onions and rocket salad, the latter a spicy sausage taster of the meat feast to come. The menu-topping rib-eye steak arrives as a sterling slice of Argentine pride, a hefty slab of meat that’s as imposing as it is delicious. The Milanesa a la Napolitana’s a thinner rump steak covered with mozzarella, tomato and ham, a less stomach-stretching but equally sublime choice. With red meat’s predominance to this point, dessert needs a wait, and even then it is but one shared that we can manage. It’s a wait worthwhile, though – the chocolate mousse is, simply, as syrupy and creamy as you can imagine.

Wines include reds and whites for all tastes and budgets (we try the highly recommended Mendozan Norton Reserva cabernet-sauvignon), as well as a Patagonian prosecco and Quilmes Argentinian beer. BILL PLEASE Starters from £4.50; steaks from £14; mains from £12-£30; desserts from £6. Wine from £4.50 (by the glass) and £15 (by the bottle). Beers from £6. VERDICT A rustic charmer that has excellent food – especially the single-sitting defying steaks – and atmosphere that is welcoming, warming and hearty. And it has really good steaks, did we mention that? ALASDAIR MORTON BEHIND THE BAR 31 Camden High Street, NW1 7JE

Mornington Crescent


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Christmas in the UK makes more sense

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The government’s going to put a limit on cheap goon – better not get too dear, it’ll be on rap videos before you know it

Stan i can’t wait – it’s only three more chelsea managers until xmas

Ricki Gangnam style biggest youtube video ever. That’s proof there are more than 800 million anti-music lovers

Yalmaz found robbie williams tickets just in time – I was of out loo roll

Stevo My wife says she really wants to fuck Robbie Williams. I said she should say he molested her as a teen

Alan Just got my 2013 chelsea manager’s calendar. One for every month

Steph Saw a job for a “shop assistant” advertised, but thought Bugger that, I’m not taking orders from a shop

Katie movember’s over. A proper charity cause guys look like twats with ‘taches

Lenka My wife said she was sick of my bogan haircut and that she’d leave me if i didn’t change it. I said I’d mullet over




Loved the cover of TNT this week (1526) and the article on Christmas markets – it’s getting me excited about the festive season in the UK. I’ve always wondered why we (Aussies) insist on spraying fake snow on our trees and windows when its 30 degrees outside and we’re having a barbie. I can’t wait to make a snowman, go ice skating and sip mulled wine in front of a nice cosy fire. That makes much more sense. Hayley Callahan, via email

RACISM A RARITY Re: Racist Melbourne bus rant (TNT 1526, Sporadic racism occurs anywhere with a vast multicultural make-up. Such views are expressed just as frequently in the US, UK, New Zealand, Canada and elsewhere. Humans are alike the world over and no country is free from idiotic prejudice (sexism, racism, homophobia etc). Australia is, in the main, a very tolerant, welcoming country where millions of people from different walks of life co-exist in harmony. I’m tired of others making ill-informed judgments or embellishing tales to convince the world that Australia is generally a racist nation. It is not. milo1974, via

MILKING A JOKE Re: Internet ‘milking’ craze ( What a bunch of idiots, there’s nothing funny or clever

about this. Why don’t you just go and kick our dairy farmers in the balls. They work really hard to provide us with milk and are really struggling to make ends meet at the moment and you just waste it all. Amy Green, via

LONDON’S NO.1 Re: Wanderlust lists London in world’s top 13 tourist traps ( I think it’s a wind-up. Yes, London’s changed a lot and has become expensive and the tour routes are the biggest rip-off – I was disgusted by cocky and rude staff passing about a tip bucket. But, it is the best city in the world. The UK has a lot to offer and so much to see. London is the envy of the world. Aziza Al Busaidy, via Facebook JAMES IHA /27 CHRISTMAS ABROAD /76

Hayley wins a three-day tour of Ireland with Shamrocker

YOUR TWEETS Tweet us @tntmagazine @LianaGalassi Re: Heavy metal banker Mark Carney made Bank of England head: Great, so as I like heavy metal too, can he find me a job? ;) @mandrewnz Australia named second best place to be born: Congratulations New Zealand, the ‘almost award-winning seventh-most-popular place to be born’ in the world!

YOUR FACEBOOK Follow us on facebook/tntmagazine

Reid Cassar-Mcnally: Re: Naked man on statue: I don’t think Prince George would want that man’s package all over his face. Raj Awasti: Re: Internet ‘milking’ craze: The Cravendale cats are going to go mental. Clint Heine: Re: Government plans to ban cheap deals on booze to stop binge drinking: Just like how wonderfully Prohibition worked, I see this being a real winner.

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+ Present

Tuesday 18th December 5pm till late The Elk Bar - Fulham Festive Set from Brooke Supple Brass Band / Carol Singing Christmas Competitions The Elk Bar 587-591 Fulham Road, London Tube: Fulham Broadway

Tacky Christmas Jumper Best Dressed Competition

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Email us at marketing@ with ‘Spotted’ in the subject line. Email must include a photo of yourself. You’ve won a 13-week UK subscription to TNT Magazine!

SPOTTED AT CLUB DE FROMAGE O2 Academy, Islington Saturday, Nov 27, 2012 Photos by: Anna Stephens / TNT For more Spotted, like us on


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Faux folk or not, the Mumfords are big business

ALASDAIR MORTON FOR THE RECORD Is Chris Brown the most odious person in music right now? There is fierce competition, for sure: Simon Cowell continues to perpetuate crimes against music and Justin Bieber is still whining and bollocking on about fuck all that matters. But Brown is a class apart. The R ‘n’ B star deleted his Twitter account after a verbal spat with writer Jenny Johnson revealed a particularly vile side to him. Who knew, right? Johnson started it all by commenting on a Brown tweet about looking old for his age – “being a worthless piece of shite can really age a person” she quipped, to which Brown retorted “take them teeth out when you Sucking my dick HOE”. The verbal sparring continued, with Johnson commenting on his lack of remorse for his previous crimes, to which Brown outrageously responded: “Just ask Rihanna if she mad???” The Rihanna who he was convicted of assaulting? Most vile man? Undeniably yes. End of.

MUMFORD AND SONS The O2, SE10 0DX DEC 11 & 18 | DOORS AT 6.30PM | £29.50

The Mumfords are absolutely huge, but also enduring the disdain of many in the music world. Why? Because they’re posh? Successful? Waist-coast wearers? Who cares? They make cracking tunes, which is the only thing that really matters. M&S are not just successful, we should point out. Playing a headline show at the Electric Ballroom is successful. Grammy nods, million-selling albums (both 2009’s Sigh No More and this year’s follow up Babel), and playing the White House for Obama, who is a fan, is a little more than this. They’re playing The O2, as well, which is a level of success reserved for the likes of the Stones and other long-inthe-tooth rock acts. Yet there’s an aura of mistrust surrounding the Mumfords, who are often subjected to misguided musical snobbery. Yes, they are posh boys from west London who have adopted a look and style, but this is really no different to any other musical act – genres need their own identifying traits and the Mumfords allegiance to their alt-folk inspirations should be seen as nothing more. They are also driven not just by a remarkable talent, but by a sure-footed ethical stance that saw them play their own mini touring festival, Gentlemen Of The Road, this summer, in smaller, out of the way UK towns, where they handpicked the line-up and worked with local businesses. What could be more inspirational – and arguably punk-rock in spirit – than that? And then their two albums are loaded with top tunes, too, which is why they are among the UK’s biggest musical exports. Enjoy without guilt. North Greenwich



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Goulding had a number one album in Lights, then started dating Skrillex and everyone worried her follow up, this year’s Halcyon, would see her take a dubstep whub-heavy approach. She didn’t. What she did do was make an incredibly emotional, catchy pop-folk-disco album, with ace single Anything Can Happen. Brixton Academy 211 Stockwell Road, SW9 9SL Brixton





SAT, DEC 8. 10PM-5AM £7+

SAT, DEC 8. 10PM-6AM £15+

The boutique festival folk have lined up an eclectic collection of live electronic music acts and techno DJs for this sure-to-stun Christmas party. The Egg headlines, alongside Captain Flatcap, Worakls and a custom-made LED show to ensure the Leicestershire festival’s vibes and atmospherics are recreated.

One of London’s newest warehouse spaces is the latest venue to host one of the Mobilee line-ups. The record label celebrated its seventh year in 2012 and has the likes of Anja Schneider, Sebo K, Rodriguez Jr (live), Ralf Kollmann and Geddes for this night of pioneering house and techno total tuneage.

Brixton Jamm 261 Brixton Road, SW9 6LH Brixton

The Sidings 51-53 Southwark Street, SE1 1RU London Bridge

THE BIRTHDAY SUIT THE BUZZ SO FAR Idlewild guitarist Rod Jones has not been twiddling his thumbs idly while the Edinburghbirthed band are on hiatus. No, he’s been getting busy with one of his many other projects, The Birthday Suit, and their sophomore LP, A Conversation Well Rehearsed. From the indie-rock of A Can of Worms, to punkier tracks like Uh-Huh Uh-Huh, and the soaring You Deserve So Much Better, it’s characterised by its diversity and infectious hooks. THE CRITICS SAY “With material this good, Idlewild’s hiatus could be long” Kerrang magazine THE PLUG A Conversation Well Rehearsed is out Dec 3 through Sing It Alone Records.

Photos: Getty







FRI, DEC 7. 7PM £17.50

FRI, DEC 7. 10PM-6AM £15+

THURS, DEC 6 £7.00

The Southampton-born alt-blues rockers are steadily climbing the rock ‘n’ roll tree, having scored support slots with the likes of Jack White’s The Dead Weather and The Black Keys earlier this year. Proof hard work and quality tracks can fly in the face of publicity courting pranks. Touring with latest album, Sweet Sour.

The last month of the Hydra parties sees none other than former LCD Soundsystem main man James Murphy welcomed through the doors for a four-hour set of DFA-styled classics, mixing the rare with the mega-hits. Sure to prove that Murphy has not lost his edge one little bit. Horse Meat Disco line up in support, too.

The South African-born singer-songwriter has won plaudits aplenty for her first three albums, combining complex, multi-instrument compositions with her strong storytelling nous. She supported Rodriguez recently in the capital and joins All The Queens Ravens here. She also plays the iconic Half Moon in Putney on Dec 9.

Brixton Academy 211 Stockwell Road, SW9 9SL Brixton

Fire South Lambeth Road, SW8 1UQ Vauxhall

Green Note 106 Parkway, NW1 7AN Camden Town


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1redlight: Trus’me, Michael Cleis The third instalment of the 1Redlight events featuring David James, otherwise known as DJ Trus’me, and Michel Cleis. Deadly Rhythm Soundsystem also appear. Plastic People, Curtain Rd, EC2A 3QE (020 7739 6471). 9pm-2am. Adv £5.

I Love Pacha Christmas Party: Twisted Plastic Records Launch Party Dave Silcox, Ben Prince, Facto, Spooner St, Nene Dasile, Fabio Serrano, James Christian, and Mufgy spin house, dance and electro. Pacha, Terminus Place, SW1V 1JR (0845 371 4489). 10.30pm-late. £15.

Bite Resident DJs Lydia, Ian and Marcus provide a mix of indie, electro, disco and punk. Miabella, Greek St, W1D 4DL (020 7025 7844). 10pm-3am. £5, NUS/w/flyer £3. Cuban Hideaway DJ Rich plays Latin house, funk and R‘n’B. The Hideaway, Stanthorpe Rd, SW16 2ED (020 8835 7070). 9.40pm-late. £7. Hard Core Salsa DJ Mario plays mambo and salsa, plus dance lessons. Salsa!, Charing Cross Rd, WC2H 0JG (020 7379 3277). 7pm-late. £4, free before 9pm. In Deep - Future Dance Music DJs Mike Keefe, Danz and Felix Maxwell Clarke supplies an eclectic blend of deep house, garage, grime and hip-hop, at this modern club music night. New Cross Inn, New Cross Rd, SE14 6AS (020 8692 1866). 8pm-2am. Before 10pm £2, after 10pm £3. A Tribute To Duke Vin A celebration of the pioneer of Jamaican music in the UK, featuring DJs Tiny T, Asher G, Oxman, Naoko The Rock and surprise guest artists. The Lockside Lounge, West Yard Dock, NW1 8AF (020 7284 0007). 8pm-midnight. Free.

TUESDAY 4 Barfly Presents Fidlar and Back To The Future DJs spin rock and indie records. The Barfly, Camden, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8AN (0844 847 2424). 7.30pm-late. Free. Bombs Away Hip-hop courtesy of The Beatbox Collective, Switch and Bombs Away DJs. Proud Camden, The Horse Hospital, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8AH (020 7482 3867). 7.30pm. £5. Paradox Tuesdays Anthony Collins, Outart and Thanksmate spin house and techno at the popular midweek gathering. Egg, York Way, N7 9AX (020 7871 7111). 10pm-6am. £15, £12 before 1am, NUS/mems £8. Riding High DJ Abi Clarke provides 1980s and 1990s soul, boogie, rock and dub. Vibe Bar, Brick Ln, E1 6QL (020 7247 3479). 7.30pm-11.30pm. Free. Songs Of Praise DJ Paddy Garcia plays soul, pop, hip-hop and disco. Catch, Kingsland Rd, E2 8DA (020 7729 6097). 9pm-midnight. Free.

WEDNESDAY 5 Breed/8 Rex The Dog welcomes the animation outfit Walkabout Vs Pikilpta, as well as RUFUS and Bambi, John Sizzle and A Man To Pet, for a laser-filled night. Dalston Superstore, Kingsland High St, E8 2PB (020 7254 2273). 8pm-4am. Free. Christmas Beach Party Resident DJs spin Latin funk, surf-pop and soul. South London Pacific, Kennington Rd, SE11 4LD (020 7820 9189). 7pm-1am. Free.


The Hydra: Bugged Out James Murphy, Horse Meat Disco, Dan Beaumont and Nadia Ksaiba spin electro, house and disco. Fire, Arch, 39-43 Parry St, corner South Lambeth Rd, SW8 1RT (020 3242 0040). 10pm-6am. Adv £15.

HALCYON Ministry of Sound. Dec 26. £20 Israeli psytrance duo Infected Mushroom (above) are playing a rare DJ set with Azerbaijani Astrix an equally rare live set at this Boxing Day party. SE1 6DP

Elep & Castle

Fabric Presents A live performance from Matthew Dear in support of his fifth album, plus DJs Daniel Avery and Matt Walsh. Fabric, Charterhouse St, EC1M 6HJ (020 7336 8898). 9pm-1am. Adv £12.50.

Soul Junction Furious Pace and Disco Dolly supply Motown, classic soul, 1980s rare groove, 1970s disco, jazz and funk. Ronnie Scott’s, Frith St, W1D 4HT (020 7439 0747). 7pm-2am. £5.

Les Femmes Sur Le Ponte House and dance music courtesy of resident female DJs. Bar Vinyl, Inverness St, NW1 7HJ (020 7291 5380). 8pm-midnight. Free.

Strictly Business Presents DJs Jeru The Damaja, Phoenix Da Icefire, DJ Dister, Galaxy High, Sonny Delight, DJ EveR and Muskut Beats spin hip-hop. The Silver Bullet, Station Place, N4 2DH (020 7619 3639). 7pm-late. £12.

Mean Fiddler & Jazz Cafe Presents Hello Skinny, DJ Max Wheeler, DJ Tim Jukes spin soul, funk and R‘n’B, plus a live performance from Alice Russell. XOYO, Cowper St, EC2A 4AP (020 7729 5959). 7pm-11.30pm. £12.50. Metrolatina DJs mix jazzy salsa with Cuban sounds. Salsa!, Charing Cross Rd, WC2H 0JG (020 7379 3277). 9.30pm-2am. £4, free before 9pm. Stripped Back Soul Resident DJs play Motown and soul. The Blues Kitchen, Camden High St, NW1 7JN (020 7387 5277). 7pm-1am. Free. XXL Wednesdays DJs Christian M and Alex Logan play funky house in the main room, while Joe Egg spins retro in the Fluff Bar. Pulse, Invicta Plaza, SE1 9UF (020 7403 9643). 10pm-3am. £3, mems free, annual m’ship £10.

THURSDAY 6e. Heat Row 2012 Christmas Party DJ Swerve spins hip-hop, R‘n’B, bass and party anthems. Ginglik, Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12 8PH (020 8749 2310). 7pm-1am. £20. Le Piscine DJs James Welsh, Jonnay And Bradley and Marsham play house music. Plan B, Brixton Rd, SW9 7AY (020 7737 7372). 10pm-4am. £5. Onvision Resident DJs and guests spin deep house and techno. Egg, York Way, N7 9AX (020 7871 7111). 10pm-6am. £15, £12 before 1am, NUS/mems/adv £8. Room Service Weekly gay dance party in the company of guest hosts and residents including Kris Di Angelis, Fat Tony, Steve Pitron, Matt Bogard and Ariel. Miabella, Greek St, W1D 4DL (020 7025 7844). 10pm-3am. £8, £5 before midnight.

Thursday Members of Mystery Jets spin indie-electro and post punkrevival at the Official Jack Wills Varsity Match After Party. The Clapham Grand, St John’s Hill, SW11 1TT (020 7223 6523). 8pm-late. £10. Your Mum’s House Resident DJs play pop and disco. The Nest, Stoke Newington Rd, N16 7XJ (020 7354 9993). 9pm-3am. £7, £5 before midnight, free before 10.30pm.

FRIDAY 7 10 Years Of Terrorhythm Dubstep and grime courtesy of DJs Plastician, Tempa T, Stinkahbell, Psy:am, Om Unit, Crissy Criss, MRK1, DJ Cameo, Scrufizzer, Fearless, Big Narstie, Row D and sETra. Cable, Bermondsey St, SE1 2EG (020 7403 7730). 10pm-6am. Queue jump £20, £13, mems £11, adv £10. Darling Farah And Guests The Detroit-born producer spins techno and house. Plastic People, Curtain Rd, EC2A 3QE (020 7739 6471). 10pm-3am. £8, £6 before 11pm. Deep Disorder DJ J. Roast, Perry Robinson, Brad Clark, Gav Rayner and Geoff Vincent supply deep house and nu-disco. The Whitehouse, Clapham Park Rd, SW4 7EH (020 7498 3388). 9pm4am. £7 after midnight, £5 before midnight, free before 10pm. The Gallery Dash Berlin, Ben Nicky, Ali Wilson, Phil Reynolds, Gavyn Mytchel, Steve Lee, Cole Jonson and Neil Page provide trance, progressive and techno music. The Ministry Of Sound, Gaunt St, SE1 6DP (0870 060 0010). 10.30pm-6am. £16.

Lock N Load Events DJs provide drum ‘n’ bass, dubstep, house and electro, with guests Sub Focus. Electric Brixton, Town Hall Parade, Brixton Hill, SW2 1RJ (020 7274 2290). 9pm-3am. £22.50. Lovedough Launch Party Mystro, Charlee Drew, Bakery Boys, Phreeda Sharp, Tanya Lacey, Baby Sol and Dixon Brothers play hip-hop, R‘n’B, garage and dubstep. Proud Camden, The Horse Hospital, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8AH (020 7482 3867). 7.30pm-2.15am. £10. A Love From Outer Space DJs Andrew Weatherall, Sean Johnston, Legowelt, Daniel Avery and Eskimo Twins spin house, disco and electronica. Corsica Studios, Elephant Rd, SE17 1LB (020 7703 4760). 10pm-6am. £15. Resident DJ Party House, techno, dance and electro from resident DJs. Gigalum, Cavendish Parade, Clapham Common South Side, SW4 9DW (020 8772 0303). 7pm-late. Free. X Project Saura Showcase The techno label showcases its artists across two rooms featuring Pig & Dan, Coyu and Luke Wolfman in Room 1, plus Wildkats, Matt Fear, Colin Chiddle, Charlie Brennan, Not Nice DJs and 7oel in Room 2. Egg, York Way, N7 9AX (020 7871 7111). 10pm-7am. £13-£20.


Lovebox After Dark High Contrast, S.P.Y, Total Science, Maldini and AD Ganon play drum ‘n’ bass at the Sick Music Album Launch featuring MCs Wrec, Texas and Lowqui, plus Joker, Kode 9, Pinch, Scratcha DVA and Union DJs. Fire, Arch, 39-43 Parry St, corner South Lambeth Rd, SW8 1RT (020 3242 0040). 10.30pm-6am. £14 Annie Mac Presents DJs Baauer, Duke Dumont, Roses Gabor, Monki and Annie Mac play garage, grime, electro and bass music. Koko, Camden High St, NW1 7JE (0870 432 5527). 10pm-4am. £18.22. Myopia Jingle Ball’s Up DJs provide hard dance and hard house. Club 414, Coldharbour Ln, SW9 8LF (020 7924 9322). 9pm10am. £10 before midnight. Paris Is Burning Parisian themed indie, electro, rock and pop courtesy of in-house DJs, plus a live set from The Modern Folks. The Lexington, Pentonville Rd, N1 9JB (020 7837 5371). 8pm4am. £7, adv £4, £3 after 11pm. The Playground At Proud Camden DJs spin commercial, Motown and house with live performances from Enfant, Caviare Day and The Bloogs. Proud Camden, The Horse Hospital, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8AH (020 7482 3867). 7.30pm-2.15am. £10, £8 before 10pm, free before 9pm. Shoom 25th Anniversary Presents DJs Danny Rampling, Derrick May, Bushwacka!, Farley, Heller, Alfredo, Leo Mas, Mark Moore, Dom Moir, Kris Di Angelis, Ilona Inc and Legendary Children supply house, electro and techno. Cable, Bermondsey St, SE1 2EG (020 7403 7730). 10pm-6am. £25. Warehouse Presents W!ld, Billy Stock, Danny Bayley, Tom Hurley, Rob Charles and Ollie Gibson spin electro, techno and house. Club Warehouse, Harbet Rd, N18 3HT (020 8807 0078). 11pm-7am. £8.



Big Vinyl Circus DJs Joe Le Groove and Lorenzo Panico spin house and techno. Cable, Bermondsey St, SE1 2EG (020 7403 7730). 5am-noon. £15.

Bedroom Bar Swing & Blues DJs play swing and R‘n’B, plus Lindy Hop lessons and social dances. The Bedroom Bar, Rivington St, EC2A 3AY (020 7739 5706). 6pm-midnight. £8.

Connected Xmas Bash Tough Love, Kody, Jesse James, Johnny Bloomfield and Figure of Two play garage, disco and soul. Cargo, Rivington St, EC2A 3AY (020 7739 3440). 8pm-late. £15, free before 9pm. Dirty Dutch Exodus Chuckie supplies Dutch house. O2 Academy Brixton, Stockwell Rd, SW9 9SL (0844 477 2000). 10pm-late. £15. Heroes House and techno from Butch, Reset Robot, JoJo De Freq, Inigo Surio and Jay Tempest in Room 1, while Room 2 welcomes Felix Martin, Severino, Warboy and Raphael Mello. Platinum 57 hosts Room 3 and Joe Robots, Sigmund K and David Agrella man the decks in Room 4. Egg, York Way, N7 9AX (020 7871 7111). 10pm11am. £20, NUS £13, mems/adv £15. House Clique Resident DJs spin house music. Gigalum, Cavendish Parade, Clapham Common South Side, SW4 9DW (020 8772 0303). 7pm-late. Free.

Bush Hall Presents John C Parkin plays ambient music to relax, followed by music to let go, plus spoken word and video, in line with his series of therapy books. Bush Hall, Uxbridge Rd, W12 7LJ (020 8222 6955). 7.30pm-late. £35. A Christmas Mod Ball DJ Kev Lock spins 1960s Mod, rock and soul, with live performances from the Steve Cradock Band, The Most and Penny For The Workhouse. 100 Club, Oxford St, W1D 1LL (020 7636 0933). 7pm-11pm. Adv £20. Parlour & Wefunk Present DJ Static and Professor Groove spin funk, hip-hop and rap. The Bedroom Bar, Rivington St, EC2A 3AY (020 7739 5706). 10pm-1am. Adv £7. Sunday Sessions Legendary DJ Norman Jay provides house, funk, soul and jazz. Gigalum, Cavendish Parade, Clapham Common South Side, SW4 9DW (020 8772 0303). 2pm-11pm. Phone for prices.


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MONDAY 3 Alexisonfire The award-winning Canadian post-hardcore and screamo band performs a farewell show of songs from its entire back catalogue. O2 Academy Brixton, Stockwell Rd, SW9 9SL (0844 477 2000/ cc 0844 477 2000). £25.

London Afrobeat Collective The outfit performs covers and original material in a blend of folk, funk and African rhythms. Rich Mix, Bethnal Green Rd, E1 6LA (020 7613 7498). Adv £12.


The Manfreds Rock and blues by the Paul Jones-fronted combo. Cadogan Hall, Sloane Terrace, SW1X 9DQ (020 7730 4500). £29.50.

Ehud Banai, Omri Vitis, Hadar Manor, Vashti The Jerusalemborn singer-songwriter performs traditional Israeli music, combined with contemporary folk-rock. 12 Bar Club, Denmark Place, WC2H 8NL (020 7240 2622). £6. Beck American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Beck Hansen plays alternative rock and anti-folk from the album Song Reader. Rough Trade East, Brick Ln, E1 6QL (020 7792 3490). Free w/wristband gained by pre-ordering the album. Brand New Heavies Mainstream R‘n’B and soul outfit. The Jazz Cafe, Parkway, NW1 7PG (020 7485 6834/ cc 0870 060 3777). Also Tue to Fri, £25. Ben Gibbard The American singersongwriter and guitarist, best known as the lead singer of Death Cab For Cutie and The Postal Service, performs alternative rock and indie-rock. Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, N1 2UN (020 7226 1686). £21. The Raveonettes The duo from Copenhagen, Denmark and its touring band plays indie-rock and noise pop with vocal melodies and a new wave electro-pop sound in support of the album, Observator. Village Underground, Holywell Ln, EC2A 3PQ (020 7422 7505). £14.50.

TUESDAY 4 Peter Andre, Sam Gray The Australian pop singer who regained fame after an appearance on I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, performs his hits including Mysterious Girl and Flava. The O2 Arena, Peninsula Sq, SE10 0DX (0844 856 0202). £27.50-£30.

The Men They Couldn’t Hang The London-based outfit plays punk-tinted folk-rock. The Borderline, Orange Yard, Manette St, W1D 4JB (0870 060 3777/ cc 0871 231 0842). £17.50.

ALT-J Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Jan 18 & 19, 2013. £30 The startlingly named and, now, Mercury Prize-winning alt-blues-indie call-them-what-you-will-sters play a duo of celebratory headline shows.

W12 8TT

She Bu

WEDNESDAY 5 The Fall Mark E Smith’s veteran Manchester band plays its brand of acerbic post-punk. Islington Town Hall, Upper St, N1 2UD (020 7527 2000). Also Thu, £23.50 & £25.

Buckcherry Singer Josh Todd and his band from Los Angeles, California, performs hard rock and alternative rock, with influences from glam metal and punk. Electric Ballroom, Camden High St, NW1 8QP (020 7485 9006). £16.

Florence + The Machine Singersongwriter Florence Welch leads her outfit in playing indie and folk-influenced pop in support of the album Ceremonials. The O2 Arena, Peninsula Sq, SE10 0DX (0844 856 0202). Also Thu, £29.50.

Kathleen Edwards Alternative country and folk from the Canadian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist to promote the album Voyageur. Bush Hall, Uxbridge Rd, W12 7LJ (020 8222 6955). Also Fri, £20.

God Is An Astronaut, Maybeshewill, Nordic Giants The three-piece plays instrumental post-rock and space rock with ambient and electro elements. Heaven, Charing Cross Arches, Villiers St, WC2N 6NG (020 7930 2020). £14.

Molotov Jukebox, Nimmo And The Gauntletts The Londonbased band fuses Gypsy rhythms, dubstep, folk and swing. The Borderline, Orange Yard, Manette St, W1D 4JB (0870 060 3777/ cc 0871 231 0842). Adv £15.

Michael Kiwanuka Retro soul from the London-based singer and musician. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX (020 7960 4200/cc 0844 875 0073). £17.50 & £20, concs £8.75 & £10.

The North Sea Scrolls The eclectic three-piece performs concept songs surrounding the phantom history of the lost sea scrolls. St Pancras Old Church, Euston Rd, NW1 2BA (020 7388 1461). Adv £15.

Evan Dando And Juliana Hatfield The American singer-songwriting duo, both members of the band The Lemonheads, play alternative rock. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX (020 7960 4200/cc 0844 875 0073). £17.50 & £20, concs £8.75 & £10.

Mark Mulcahy, Hayden The American singer-songwriter and frontman of Miracle Legion performs alt rock and indie. Bush Hall, Uxbridge Rd, W12 7LJ (020 8222 6955). £15.

Ben Folds Five American singersongwriter and combo perform alternative rock from the album The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind. O2 Academy Brixton, Stockwell Rd, SW9 9SL (0844 477 2000/ cc 0844 477 2000). Also Wed, £37.50.

Patrick Wolf The Londonborn singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist performs indie and new wave folktronica from the album Sundark and Riverlight. Rough Trade East, Brick Ln, E1 6QL (020 7792 3490). Free w/wristband.

James Iha The Chicago-born singer, best known as the guitarist for The Smashing Pumpkins, plays alt-rock and dream-pop. Bush Hall, Uxbridge Rd, W12 7LJ (020 8222 6955). £17.50. Lisa Stansfield The multiplatinum selling and awardwinning singer-songwriter, born in Heywood, performs her R‘n’B, soul and pop hits. The Scala, Pentonville Rd, N1 9NL (020 7833 2022/ cc 0844 477 1000). £29.50. Waka Flocka Flame Hip-hop and hardcore rap from American artist Juaquin Malphurs. IndigO2, Peninsula Sq, SE10 0DX (0871 220 0260). £26.50.

THURSDAY 6 Biscotti The Soft Boys frontman Robyn Hitchcock and Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones perform alt rock and psych folk. Cecil Sharp House, Regents Park Rd, NW1 7AY (020 7485 2206). £20, adv £17.50. Boris The Japanese band plays experimental rock with touches of drone metal, noise rock, psychedelia and ambient music to promote the album Attention Please. The Scala, Pentonville Rd, N1 9NL (020 7833 2022/ cc 0844 477 1000). Adv £15.

FRIDAY 7 Band Of Skulls Garage-flavoured alternative rock by the Londonbased trio. O2 Academy Brixton, Stockwell Rd, SW9 9SL (0844 477 2000/ cc 0844 477 2000). £17.50. Ali Campbell Reggae by the ex-UB40 vocalist from Birmingham. IndigO2, Peninsula Sq, SE10 0DX (0871 220 0260). £25-£50. The Dead Formats, The Rocco Lampones The Essex-based new wave and power-pop band performs songs from its album At Sixes And Sevens. Aces & Eights, Fortess Rd, NW5 2HP (020 7485 4033). £5. Vic Godard And The Sexual Objects The singer-songwriter and Subway Sect frontman plays punk with accompaniment from the group. Boston Arms, Junction Rd, N19 5QQ (020 7272 8153). £12, adv £10. Kris Kristofferson The country singer and Hollywood icon performs his hits. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX (020 7960 4200/cc 0844 875 0073). £35 & £40, concs £17.50 & £20.

Gary Numan The electronica and new wave pioneer, singer and multi-instrumentalist promotes his album Splinter and performs new versions of songs from Dead Son Rising alongside some of his hits including Cars. HMV Forum, Highgate Rd, NW5 1JY (020 7428 4099). £28. Alexander O’Neal, Junior Giscombe Soul and R‘n’B from the American singer, known for the 1980s hits If You Were Here Tonight, Criticize and Saturday Love. Islington Town Hall, Upper St, N1 2UD (020 7527 2000). Adv £29.50 & £36.50. Therapy?, Hawk Eyes, Lafaro The three-piece, led by Ballyclareborn singer-songwriter and guitarist Andy Cairns, plays alternative rock and metal with elements of grunge and punk-rock to promote its album A Brief Crack Of Light. Koko, Camden High St, NW1 7JE (0870 432 5527). £17.50.

SATURDAY 8 Alabama 3 The band performs a unique mix of acid house, alt blues and electro-country from the album Shoplifting 4 Jesus alongside older songs such as Woke Up This Morning and Hello... I’m Johnny Cash. HMV Forum, Highgate Rd, NW5 1JY (020 7428 4099). £20. Battitude 2012 Alt rock and punk showcase featuring Keith TOTP, Abdoujaparov, Chris T-T And The Hoodrats, New Royal Family, Rhesus, Insult and Ben Floyd Trio. The Windmill, Blenheim Gardens, SW2 5BZ (020 8671 0700). Adv £6. Chas & Dave The boisterous rock ‘n’ roll duo plays cult cockney songs on a farewell tour, including well known hits Ain’t No Pleasing You, Snooker Loopy, and Rabbit. IndigO2, Peninsula Sq, SE10 0DX (0871 220 0260). £20-£45. Eddie & The Hot Rods The veteran band from Essex, that was prominent during the early days of punk-rock, plays pub rock from the album 35 Years Of Teenage Depression and its hits. Half Moon, Putney, Lower Richmond Rd, SW15 1EU (020 8780 9383). £10. Jingle Bell Ball Pop extravaganza. Saturday sees performances from One Direction, Bruno Mars, The Script, JLS, Cheryl, Little Mix, Lawson and Rizzle Kicks. On Sunday Girls Aloud, Pink, Example and Calvin Harris will play live. The O2 Arena, Peninsula Sq, SE10 0DX (0844 856 0202). Also Sun, day ticket £45.

Ralph McTell Award-winning folk singer-songwriter. Cadogan Hall, Sloane Terrace, SW1X 9DQ (020 7730 4500). £25. Mono The Tokyo-based four-piece plays ambient instrumental postrock. Village Underground, Holywell Ln, EC2A 3PQ (020 7422 7505). £15. Truckfighters, Steak The Swedish three-piece plays noisy stoner rock and metal. The Underworld, Camden High St, NW1 0NE (020 7482 1932). £10. You Me At Six, Deaf Havana, We Are the Ocean The award-winning Surrey-formed five-piece performs alt rock and pop-rock to promote the album Sinners Never Sleep. Wembley Arena, Arena Sq, Engineers Way, HA9 0DH (0870 060 0870). £24.

SUNDAY 9 Attica Rage, Atemist The Glasgowbased four-piece plays fast and grinding hard rock and heavy metal. Nambucca, Holloway Rd, N7 6LB (020 7281 8877). £10. The Cat Empire, Clairy Browne, The Bangin’ Rackettes The Australian band plays ska-rock and jazz. O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12 8TT (020 8354 3300/ cc 0844 477 2000). £25. Hadley Fraser, Adrian Hansel, Rosalie Craig, Sandra Marvin The singer-songwriter, musician and actor plays folk and country. St James Theatre, Palace St, SW1E 5JA (0844 264 2140). £15-£25. InMe The band from Essex, fronted by singer-songwriter and guitarist Dave McPherson, plays alternative rock with elements of grunge and heavy metal. The Garage, Highbury Corner, N5 1RD (0870 060 3777/ cc 0844 847 1678). £13. Jaya The Cat, Anti Vigilante, Tyrannosaurus Alan, Clay Pigeon, The American band plays reggae, ska and punk rock in support of the album The New International Sound Of Hedonism. The Underworld, Camden High St, NW1 0NE (020 7482 1932). Adv £11. Laurie Levine The South African singer-songwriter and her band performs melodic alternative country with Americana, blues-rock and folkroots influences in support of the album Six Winters. Half Moon, Putney, Lower Richmond Rd, SW15 1EU (020 8780 9383). £8, adv £6. Red Sky July The Londonbased outfit plays melodic acoustic country and folk with pop sensibilities. The Green Note Cafe, Parkway, NW1 7AN (020 7485 9899). Adv £10. Steve Cradock Band, The Most, Penny For The Workhouse The Solihull-born guitarist and his band performs Britpop, mod revival and lively rock ‘n’ roll. 100 Club, Oxford St, W1D 1LL (020 7636 0933). Adv £20. Norma Waterson & Eliza Carthy Traditional folk music by the established mother and daughter duo from Yorkshire. Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, N1 2UN (020 7226 1686). Adv £18.50.


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James Iha The Smashing Pumpkins co-founder turned solo star on new album, Look To The Sky, looking on the bright side and his NYC home INTERVIEW ALASDAIR MORTON

It’s been 14 years since your last solo album – what have you been up to? After Smashing Pumpkins broke up I needed to not be in a band for a while and recharge my batteries. I started a recording studio with a couple of friends and a label, Scratchie Records. I began A&R-ing and producing, then around 2003 I started playing with A Perfect Circle and did some remixes and film score work, too. About three years ago I started to find the motivation to start writing for myself again. What changed then? In the last 12 years I’ve been playing with bands and different musicians, and I feel like this record is more representative of me. Stylistically there’s more experimentation, a little more rock than before and more atmosphere. [1998 solo debut album] Let It Come Down was very acoustic and stripped down and I wanted to do enough things on this record so it felt bigger. How have you changed as a musician? A lot has happened since the Nineties – music’s changed, the internet wasn’t around back then. Producing and A&R-ing younger bands has helped me broaden my world view. When you’re in a band you are in your own bubble 24/7, so it was refreshing to hear what was going on at a street level right now.

Photo: Aliya Naumoff

Who’s inspired you recently? I like [alt-poppers] Beach House, [French altrockers] Phoenix and [ambient rocker] Julia Holter. Like most people I have playlists veering from classic rock to hip-hop to classical.

Positive: James Iha on life and music contribute cool ideas to a few songs. My coproducer Nathan Larson, from the band Shudder To Think who toured with the Pumpkins, is friends with Tegan and Sara and suggested Sara do some vocals. She’s in New York a lot, as well. How is it being ‘the frontman’? It is tough. You get to do everything yourself, which is great but it is also super hard. I don’t really like being the focus, but you have to put yourself out there to be a solo artist. I am definitely used to being the guitar player and not ‘the guy’. It takes some getting used to. What’s the toughest part of it? Too many emails! I spend too much time on that.

What influenced writing the album? Lyrically, I was looking for more storytelling and to include elemental things – the sky and stars and the natural world. I felt the title was a positive way of looking at life. There is a lot of drama but also great things all around you. It’s a view on the planet and where we are. That sounds really pretentious and heavy, doesn’t it?

Do you enjoy keeping it varied? I like the mix of doing different things – I’m doing this short European tour and then some more solo gigs in the States next year. And I’m rehearsing with A Perfect Circle at the end of this year before playing the Soundwave Festival in Australia next year. It’s a cool mix of smaller solo shows and then big rock shows.

You enlisted a lot of New York guests ... There is a lot of energy and talented people in the city. I know the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and I asked Karen [O - singer] and Nick [Zinner - guitars] separately to come over, and they were able to

Do you enjoy getting behind the scenes in the studio? Yeah, I’m producing some local bands at the studio. I was in one band for 13 years so it’s good to do different things.

Was your Scratchie Records business hit by Hurricane Sandy? Luckily we missed all the water and electricity loss, but a lot of our friends were not so lucky. It was pretty terrible. I think freak weather’s the new norm. I am not a scientist, but I’d definitely say it’s got to be related to global warming. How did you feel about the various recent Pumpkins incarnations? For me, when we broke up in 2000, it seemed like a natural time to end it. I haven’t talked to Billy [Corgan] in years and haven’t thought about it that much. It was a huge part of me and I’ll always be remembered for being in that band, especially during the Nineties. I try to look at it positively, it was a great band during a great time and it would be ridiculous to avoid it, but it’s just not a part of my present. You’re often seen as the ‘quiet one’ – do people have a misconception of you? I don’t even know if people give me enough attention to develop any misconceptions about me! I am a pretty positive guy, who is a musician that tries to keep working and be out there making songs and music. Look To The Sky is out through The End. He plays Bush Hall, Dec 4. 7.30pm. £17.50 W12 7LJ Shepherd’s Bush


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Possible psychos? Farrell, Walken, Rockwell and a Shih Tzu discuss

SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS FILM review by Alasdair Morton STARRING: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson | 15 | 109mins

CELESTE AND JESSE FOREVER FILM STARRING: Andy Samberg, Rashida Jones, Elijah Wood | 15 | 15mins

Samberg and Jones are the titular couple who keep hanging around with each other even after they’ve got divorced, such is their bond. This is an oddball rom-com-drama and a refreshing exploration of relationships, why they work and when to move on when they don’t. On general release December 7


How do you follow up a Bafta best original screenplay winner, especially when it was Martin McDonagh’s caustically funny thriller In Bruges? By taking it up a level and decamping from a small European town to Hollywood, that’s how. Martin takes the small cast/constrained setting of his Oscar-nominated predecessor, in which two hitmen hide out in the beautiful town waiting for a job gone wrong to blow over, and expands, with more characters and the wacky world of the movies as their backdrop. Farrell is Marty, a boozy screenwriter struggling to write his script Seven Psychopaths. His slightly untethered pal Billy (Rockwell) then kidnaps the dog of a gangster (Harrelson), plunging them into a crazy, convoluted world of the title’s mad men, movie cliches and overcoming writer’s block. It’s a part post-modern, part meta-textual crime-dramedy-action-satire, if you follow, as McDonagh toys with what’s real, what’s fictional and what is lodged somewhere in the blurred boundary between these two. While endlessly playful, it’s unfocused – the film flits between the seven psychos’ stories and its own arching narrative. McDonagh teases Hollywood’s foibles, but with only varying success – the final shoot ‘em up action showdown is torn up a treat, but poorly written female roles are acknowledged yet hardly addressed. His boy’s own story does have some brilliant performances – Harrelson’s as a Shih Tzu-loving gangster and Christopher Walken as a threatening yet moralistic nutjob – and is haphazardly and gleefully unpredictable. Flawed but fun. GOOD FOR: Seeing the rule book torn up and thrown out the window


1527 FINAL NEED THEATRE Lon Scen28 28

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The hit sensation South African stand-up comes to London for the first time with his critically lauded show The Racist, which sold out at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe and damn near snapped up all the five-star reviews going. He’ll be one of the biggest performers out there soon enough so get in first and see him now.

Photos: Simon Kane

Soho Theatre W1D 3NE. Dec 5-Jan 12. £12.50+ Tottenham Court Road





It’s the last week of this outstanding exhibition at the Royal Academy, which uses bronze artworks as the launchpad for a display of myriad styles, approaches, times and textures spanning no less than 5000 years of cultural expression. Include ancient Greek, Roman, Medieval and Renaissance. No sign on Man United’s Fergie, though.

Based on Lynn Shelton’s 2009 mumblecore movie Humpday, DC Moore’s adap explores male bonding with hilarious results as happily married Lewis and best bud Waldorf agree to a drunken dare involving sex, a camcorder and lots of lube. Hilarious especially when negotiating art, pornography and friendships overlap. LK

Royal Academy of Arts Burlington House, W1J 0BD. Until Dec 9. £14 Piccadilly Circus

Bush Theatre Uxbridge Road, W12 8LJ. Until Dec 22. £15+ Shepherd’s Bush





Comedy drama set in the titular New Jersey suburb with an all-star cast – Hugh Laurie, Leighton Meester, Catherine Keener, Alison Janney – about a father who begins a relationship with the daughter of a family friend, with disruptive results. Awkwardness and passive aggressiveness abound as the families try to figure out whether age really matters.

Nothing can quite compete with Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film version of Anthony Burgess’s futuristic 1962 novella. But Alexandra SpencerJones’ visceral all-male production exudes a sweaty, atavistic menace as teenage Alex and his gang of Droogs indulge their adolescent sprees of senseless, testosterone-fuelled violence. LK

On general release December 7

Soho Theatre Dean Street, W1D 3NE. Until Jan 5. £15+ Tottenham Court Road

NICK REVELL What’s the show about? It will be whatever dominates the headlines. It’s impossible to predict but I’d guess there’ll be some kind of horrific situation in the Middle East, with luck someone from Queensland will have tried to ride a crocodile or juggle brown snakes while drinking a bottle of tequila. In fact, maybe we could book one of those guys. And, going back to the Middle East, we’ve discussed that a few times now, so we must be pretty close to solving the whole thing forever. Could be this month ... Where was your fist show? An open spot at The Comedy Store in 1980. It started great, I got two or three good laughs, then I began talking and it went down hill. I survived the trauma, but Rik Mayall smashed it, so I went away thinking there must be a way to do this well. I was hooked from then on finding out how. Who’s your comedy idol? Lenny Bruce has to be the one – he utterly transformed stand-up comedy with his style and subjects. No Pressure To Be Funny Soho Theatre, W1D 3NE. Dec 9. £10 Tottenham Court Road


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Heavy issues: former metal drummer Hughes delivers hilarious politicalcomedy rants; and (right) he can blow a mean smoke ring as well



1527 FINAL London Focus Steve Hu30 30

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Stand-up for your rights Aussie comedian Steve Hughes brings his re-tooled Big Issues show back to London, and he’s just as irked as ever before WORDS ALASDAIR MORTON

It’s been a big year for Sydney-born stand-up Steve Hughes. He kicked off 2012 with his first solo UK tour, Big Issues, and has since taken his comedy to the next level. Now he’s rounding the year off on a victory lap, a revamped version of his topical show. As we find out when we catch up with him ahead of his London dates, success hasn’t tempered the outspoken comic’s temperament and cynicism towards the modern world – lucky, it’s a minefield for his material. “Freedom of speech exists within our minds and behind controlled doors,” he rants matter-of-factly. “Did you hear they’re banning ice cream vans now ... because of obesity,” he continues. “I believe a global catastrophe is coming.” Forthright Steve doesn’t mince his words when addressing the state of the global nation. He’s a cynic and conspiracy theorist, yet combines this with an everyman-supporting passion for standing up for those who can’t or won’t speak up for themselves. And Hughes is a contrarian – a heavy-metal playing, dope-smoking polemicist, a campaigner, a pacifist, an anti-globalisation satirist, a common-sense supporter, and that’s just for starters. It shouldn’t work, but it does, very well indeed. Hughes came to the UK in the mid-Noughties, finally holing up in Manchester after a stint rooming with top Aussie comic Jim Jefferies in London – seeing a Bill Bailey show in Oz was his inspiration, making him realise he’d have to work with talents of that calibre to improve. Also because, as he jokes (but not really), many Australian artists need to find success elsewhere before they’re afforded it back home. “My cultural theories are that they don’t have the infrastructure, in society or within their own consciousness, to accept something unless it’s mainstream, or forced upon them,” he reasons. “Even AC/DC had to come to Europe and sell millions there before they got recognition back home.” Hughes, after touring his sold-out show in the UK earlier this year, spent much of the summer performing Issues in Australia, where his star has risen after his UK rung-climbing. So what’s been getting his goat since he last caught up with TNT? Well, the British excelled at London 2012, on and off the track; a gunman killed 12 at a US cinema, reigniting the gun control debate; and the US went to the polls to vote for the presidency … For many, Obama’s re-election was seen as a positive, a concerted ‘no’ to the Republicans’ revisionist stranglehold of the post 9/11 society. Not so for Hughes.

“I don’t believe that people are voted in, they are put in power by secret governments, and the elite people behind them,” he bluntly proclaims. “Obama is just as evil, if not more so, as [George W] Bush and has carried out more than 300 drone strikes in a year and a half. He’s just a Rothschild Zionist puppet. And so was Mitt Romney.” So, not pleased with last month’s vote then? “When you

Barrack Obama is just as evil as George Bush

create this psychology of a disposable society, you create this idea of our leaders being the same in the collective psyche. [The Democrats’ campaign slogan] ‘Change we can believe in’ – what does that even mean? Armageddon could be change, and who is ‘we’ anyway? The public? Or you and your cronies and your secret society? “They’re going to create a third world war so they can say that we need to be saved from this damnation and then there will be a singular government monitoring the entire ››


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(Clockwise) Hughes in his non-bearded formative days; the new axis of evil?; he laments the death of the ice cream van


much a campaigner for a future in which we all live in peace and harmony, where man is good to man, and above all, good times run riot. More than that, despite his perceivably preachy theorising, he is also very, very funny indeed. A natural on the stage, there’s little difference between stage Steve and off-stage Steve – and he has a roaring laugh. The black-clad former Slaughter Lord thrash metal drummer is also full of surprises, whether it be with a tangent in his shows’ breathless narrative or with his side projects. He’s certainly the last person you’d expect to find voicing

Australia is becoming a police state now

an animated character. “We’ve had this little demon character for years now, a spawn of Satan little thing,” he says of his voice role in a Sydney animator friend’s indevelopment movie. “We even have a pop song that we wrote for the boy band in the film!” Despite being unapologetically one-minded in his views, Hughes is not short of self-awareness. “If I thought all the time about the things that I think about the future, I’d wind up in my fucking room reading Nietzsche with the windows blacked out,” he says. Full-on can’t be full-time. “I met this great artist recently in Finland [while on tour], who was actually really excited about living in these times. He thought about our consciousness expanding and people being allowed to be who and what they were, so it all depends on your viewpoint.” So what’s yours? Big Issues Leicester Square Theatre, WC2H 7BX. December 6 & 7. £14 Leicester Square

Photos: Getty, Zakarij Kaczmarek

world. That’s why terrorism is better than communism, as anyone can be a terrorist.” His suspicion is by no means limited to the US, though. “Australia is not as good at sport anymore because their culture has changed,” he argues of his native land. “It used to be a very isolated country before the internet and globalisation. When I grew up it was all about sport [one of his early routines involves him joking about an equal love for death metal and cookery at the expense of team activities]. But now the country has changed and, through the influence of the US, it’s becoming a police state. “You can’t push fascist agendas in Europe, because they’ve seen it all before. But in Australia, especially white Australia where no one’s been oppressed, they’re laying these oppressive ideals on people. They have an anti-jaywalking campaign called Operation Disobedience! (TNT assumes this is a gag, as we’re not sure any such campaign exists). I’d like to see them try that name in France!” Anything else Down Under that irates? Yep. “They’ve become more superficial and shallow. They’re all going: ‘We’re not worried about being racist anymore we just care how much cash you’ve got!’” Whether it’s the impending onset of global conflict and our future subservience or the changing attitudes of his homeland, Hughes is equally irked by the little things and refuses to be constrained by popular logic. “They say that 64 per cent of Australians are obese now – are you kidding me? Those cunts can’t stop running around in the sun! All they do is get ‘experts’ to come in and redefine what obese is. It is all crap to take control.” As heavy as this sounds, his ‘fight the power’ routine is peppered with observations of contemporary life he simply views as sensible – juxtaposing prejudices and ignorances with an honest view of the world and its people. How it is versus how it should be. And he stands by every word. But far from being an anger-driven comic, he is just as TNTMAGAZINE.COM

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GIVE LIFE TO A FAMILY THE CENTRE FOR REPRODUCTIVE AND GENETIC HEALTH The Centre for Reproductive and Genetic Health is one of UK’s top fertility clinics but we need the help of egg donors! As many as one in seven couples are affected by infertility and may require assistance in starting a family. In the past 21 years, CRGH has helped to conceive over 4,000 babies. Some of these pregnancies would not have been possible without donated eggs. If you’re a woman between the ages of 20 and 35, who would like to help a couple in need, then please call Joy Green (Head of Nursing) on

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Jools Holland: The Golden Age Of Song


Air Conflicts: Pacific Carriers Game

You can choose your side – US or Japan – in this aircraft carrier-set flight sim. £34.99


The squeaky-voiced Later… presenter performs with Amy Winehouse, Florence Welch, Lily Allen and Tom Jones. £8.99

Brain Training 3D DS Game

Willy Mason: Carry On

Fine-tune your brain and memory with this new and improved 3D version of the grey cells-bettering hit. £19.99


Third album from the nu-folk/country star, who woroked with Lianne La Havas on her debut. £8.99

easyMute Android app

Silences any music/apps when you cover the handset. FREE

Dan Fesperman: The Double Game Book

Euro-trotting spy thriller set before the Berlin Wall’s fall from the master of the genre. £12.99

Kingdom Of Plants App

David Attenborough goes behind the scenes of the hit green-fingered BBC show. £7.99

David Walliams: Camp David Book

Brilliantly titled biography of the Little Britain star. £9.80

Aquapac Gadget

Great for keeping your essentials safe when hitting the surf. £8.00

The Dark Knight Rises DVD

Batman’s final outing, with Catwoman and Tom Hardy’s fearsome Bane. £10.00

Kung Foon Gadget

Fork and spoon combo that works with chopsticks for al fresco eating. £8.00

First: The Official Film Of London 2012 DVD

Relive the summer’s triumphs through the eyes of 15 firsttime competitors. Inspiring. £9.99


App of the Week TriggerTrap Android app

New Android version of the iOS hit SLR-controller which lets you control your pic-taking remotely from your phone. £2.99


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Lightweight cotton shirt Stripes don’t have to be garish, try this tasteful top.

Roxy ski jacket Be the envy of everyone atop the snowy mountains.

Thick wooly jumper Wear this around a wood cabin’s fire this season.

£11 0.0 0






Studious-looking fashionistas unite – this is the pop up for all your pre-Christmas needs. Irish accessories label Stighlorgan is doing seasonal sample sales on their bags, belts and hats in Dalston early this week. Their soft and moody designs from the neighbouring isle would make a thoughtful seasonal gift for your mates (or yourself). Choose a beautiful leather number with subtle rope details or a Seanán satchel tote. The bags can be worn sideways, messenger style, while you parade around the streets of east London flicking your hipster mop of hair as you go. Or, just carry your shopping in it. At the store, do try not to have a seizure from excitement – prices will be slashed on items from last season, plus there will be ex-showroom items up for the taking. If you miss the pop up, visit their online shop (below).

Block stripe T-shirt Simple class. That is all.

Photos: Stighlorgan



Adidas red watch Sporty statement piece that would work well with sweats.







Beat keeper shirt Break the mold with a piece from ubercool label RVCA.



The Macca Hit the slopes with a badass beanie.

OPEN Until December 4, 10am-8pm COST Items from £10 Stamford Works, Gillett Street, Dalston, N16 8JH Dalston Junction

Seasonal stripes

Billabong mission backpack What a manly and stylish design from the Aussie label.



Happy socks Wear them under your jeans to keep warm and cosy.


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XAVERIANS CRICKET Clapham Old Xaverians is a London institution, established in 1927, now with 180 playing members about 400 tag-alongs. They’re calling for new players to join the club ahead of the 2013 season – serious league types play Saturdays and the friendly sides play Sundays. Newbies are welcome to hone their batting, bowling and fielding skills at regular training sessions, and seek advice from the friendly and qualified coaches. They’ll also put you through your paces with some fitness work. “The club has a competitive but social nature,” says keen Old Xaverian player Matthew Benedict. It’s also a great way to meet other Londoners and see some of the UK, he explains. “We have annual tours to all different parts of the UK, such as Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Wight and Jersey.” Home matches are played at the pristine London School of Economics sports ground, where there are two nets, lawn tennis facilities and a relaxing bar with a veranda – where you can sink a couple of pints after an enjoyable game. Join Sunday sessions between 12pm-2pm. Winter sessions cost £3. Southfields Community College, SW18 5JU claphamoldxaverians Southfields


Man in the Mayan mask Music and lycra with wrestling madness, Lucha Britannia is no ordinary workout WORDS JADE BREMNER I’m worried I’ll walk into a bar brawl or a sex dungeon in this dark alley, outside a sketchy-looking row of arches. This is where Londoners congregate weekly, strap on gimp-ish masks and pounce on each other. If you’re looking for an unusual way to get fit in the city, Lucha Britannia is it! Wrestling sessions are held at Resistance Gallery, known for its edgy exhibitions such as Till Art Do Us Part – An Homage to Pain. Fitting, I think, for the British version of Mexico’s famed Lucha Libre, or free wrestling, with roots in ancient Mayan mask culture. Lucha Britannia has evolved into a hyper-physical performance, with outrageous fantasy characters and Monty Python-style. And they pull off some serious stunt man moves on a regular basis. “It’s story-telling and physical theatre,” owner and instructor Garry Vanderhorne says. “But, in our live theatrical shows, mistakes cannot be made. Not only will it look really bad, it’s very dangerous.” On cue, there’s a colossal thud on the practice mat. Two wrestlers spin each other around, flipping from a stationary position,

Look out: Leon Britannico about to crush Major Lee Rotten 36

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and bounce off various parts of their bodies. “You have to have complete trust in your opponent,” Greg Burridge, a pro wrestler and coach, says. “Compared to other forms of wrestling, what we do is faster-paced and it’s high flying.” It looks threatening and painful, but that’s the point. “It’s not ballet, but it will keep you really fit and stimulate your brain,” Vanderhorne says. Sure beats the gym. “People even come just for our warmup,” he adds. I can see why – 20 wrestlers and wannabes limber-up by dancing and stretching to rave music and strobe lights, and are occasionally interrupted by participants shouting “buttocks” after particularly taxing moves. I discover this class is not just for beefy blokes, but a diverse alternative community: “We get everyone from porn stars to mimes and burlesque artists here,” Vanderhorne reveals. So leave your inhibitions at the door, mask up and get involved. Beginner classes: Mondays, 7.30pm-10.30pm. £10 per session, including a ‘Lucha aerobic’ warm-up. 265 Poyser St, E2 9RF

Pawn stars: Pongo Moon and Chester Checkmate


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DiorShow Maximizer Active plumping lash primer £21.90

Brightening Apricot Scrubble Natural soap-free wash foam £5.29

Royale rumble: Lucha Brittania in full flight MORE WRESTLING CLUBS London Amateur Wrestlers WHAT: Join this club to learn Greco-Roman, freestyle wrestling and submission grappling skills and techniques. WHERE & WHEN: Saturdays, 11.45am-2pm. Thornton Heath Leisure Centre, 100 High Street, CR7 8LF. £15 per lesson. SEE:

London Fight Factory WHAT: They coach freestyle wrestling here, the very same discipline featured in the Olympics. Instructors will also teach you a few sneaky Brazilian jiu jitsu, muay Thai and boxing moves to add to your arsenal. Photos: Getty; Thinkstock; Izaskun Gonzalez


WHERE & WHEN: Thursdays, 8.30pm-9.30pm. 19 Ebenezer Street, Hackney, N1 7LU. £15 per lesson (plus £25 joining fee). SEE:

Legion Wrestling WHAT: Get taught the freestyle and GrecoRoman disciplines by professionals at this established competition-winning wrestling gym in east London. WHERE & WHEN: Beginners’, Tuesdays, NEXT 7.30pm-8.30pm. 16 WEEK Wellington Road, Leyton Home and E10 7QF. £7 per class. away: Xmas SEE: orphans’ guide

Anatomicals Memorably Good Daily moisturising cream £3.79

TOP TREATMENT: REIKI MASSAGE Leave your skepticism at the door and get on board with this century-old spiritual practice. The idea is to unblock your energy – it sounds silly, but who really cares as long as it works. And that it does. At The Happiness Centre they’ll merge a light-touch acupressure massage with their energy unblocking techniques to create balance. Somehow you’ll feel energised and Zen on your way out. It’s especially good for anxiety, we’re told. £45 204 Uxbridge Rd, W12 7JD

Shepherd’s Bush

I Coloniali Tibetan shower cream Invigorating rhubarb £13.95


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MONTHLY SPOTLIGHT Working in Wellington, NZ

Middle Earth? Find a relaxed lifestyle and Hobbits, if you look hard enough

Give it some Welly Live out your own Lord Of The Rings-style fantasy in New Zealand’s atmospheric and captivating capital WORDS JADE BREMNER Clasped by moody hills, rugged coastline and a natural harbour, New Zealand’s capital city offers an abundance of jobs in technology and administrative government roles. Wellington is the most remote capital city on Earth, but it shot to fame after the epic fantasy trilogy Lord Of The Rings was produced here. Although it’s not quite The Shire, residents say it certainly feels like it. The tiny population of just less than 400,000 gives it a distinctive community feel. You can save hours communing to work and spend the extra time absorbing the stunning scenery, cafés and arty culture instead. “It’s a fun and friendly city, which is very welcoming. There is a load to do and see, no matter what your interests 38

are,” explains 28-year-old Sarah Jane Clifford, from Ireland. Clifford works as an office administrator in Wellington, and had no trouble finding her feet after relocating from Europe in 2011. “My move was one of the best decisions I have ever made,” she says. “In a month I had a permanent job. Recruitment agencies are very proactive here.” Clifford reckons it’s possible to get between NZ$42-47k (£21-24k) per year, in a similar role. She also raves about the work/life balance in Wellington over other big cities. “I am within walking distance of the city,” she says, “But I live far enough away to be in a quiet area.” Clifford’s trek to the other side of the globe has also allowed her to lead a

healthier lifestyle: “I have taken up a variety of sports and I am more active than I was compared to back home.” There are extra-curricular activities in abundance, agrees recruitment expert Jason Walker, the managing director of Hays in Wellington. “The standard of life here is high as it’s a very cosmopolitan city,” he says. “The city also has a strong focus on the arts, culture and fine dining.” However, he adds, job opportunities in the region can be quite specific. “There are a disproportionately high number of people employed in government-related roles and the public sector,” Walker says. “Industries which support the public sector, such as accountancy and finance, are also prominent in Wellington, as


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LIFESTYLECAREERS ON THE JOB CHLOE NELSON CAREER Director of Ladypillo Ltd AGE 34 LIVES London FROM Manchester How did you get into your line of work? Knowing firsthand that women have curves and they need support, I wanted to create something to ergonomically work with the body.

Photos: Getty, Thinkstock

(left) A statue of longest-serving PM Seddon outside Parliament; you could be an admin whiz in NZ are construction WELLINGTON DOWN TIME heating. It’s not too and IT.” ideal in the windy and Free time in the city is great, as British PHP rainy months.” activities are in abundance. Here’s developer, Ashley Meanwhile, Emma a few to whet your appetite ... Etchell, 37, believes Maree Wanders, 27, • Go on a Lord Of The Rings tour that given the current from New Zealand, and visit the sites from the movie, economic climate in the filmed in the area. These include has lived in the city UK, heading to NZ in for 22 years; her latest Hobbiton Woods, Helms Deep and 2010 was a good move. role is an operations the spooky fictional city and castle He works in the Minas Tirith ( administrator. She technology industry believes Wellington is • Take a cable car ride and gaze where wages range a good place to develop over Wellington in all its glory. See widely, between the CBD and out across the harbour experience. She says: NZ$65-95k (£33-48k). “I have worked for to the Hutt Valley and Mt Victoria Etchell says that security companies, ( although he could healthcare call centres, • Take a close look at NZ’s reptiles, potentially make more event hosting firms... insects and birds at eco attraction in other cities, such as “I’ve gained a lot Zealandia ( London or New York, of skills that have it’s Wellington’s great come in handy in other living environment that makes up roles and opened the door to other for it. “Wellington has quite a small opportunities, eventually landing me a community,” he says. “People here are permanent role at a global company.” more relaxed and down to earth, and Wanders says that during her time as well as friendly locals, there’s fishing, temping she was earning NZ$14-22 amazing scenery and countryside. I love (£7-11) per hour and her permanent the place.” role pays NZ$40k (£20.5k) per year. However, when considering costs, “If you’re after art, beaches potential residents should be aware of less than half-anthe inflated rental prices. hour away, outdoor NEXT “The cost of living here is quite high lifestyle, culture WEEK and the quality of rental properties is and a slower paced Whoops: Work below standard, unless you are lucky or and friendlier Christmas party willing to pay very high weekly rent,” lifestyle, Wellington nightmares Etchell says. “Most houses lack proper is the place to be.”

What do you do day-to-day? Every day is different, mainly due to the fact that I engage with such a broad variety of market sectors, from big multi-national companies to independent salons and mobile therapists. What’s the best part of your job? I know how good our products are, so my favourite part is when clients realise it too and become excited. What’s the most challenging part? Challenging the status quo. We are pioneering an innovative product that people didn’t even know existed. The reaction from clients confirms that it’s a worthwhile mission.



Use these clever tricks and techniques to bag your dream job in London ...

• Jobs often go unadvertised.

Give yourself the best chance to be headhunted by uploading your CV to job search websites and

• Build a network of contacts in your industry, and maintain them, so you’re in their mind when a vacancy pops up.

• Think outside the box – roles

are often hidden on company websites and Twitter feeds.


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Career opportunities TNT is the market-leading magazine, new media and events brand serving UK-based Australian, New Zealand, South African and other international and young communities.

Drive, ambition, professionalism and a desire

TNT publishes a weekly magazine that’s been around for almost 30 years, and has a circulation of 50,000. It has vibrant interactive websites and puts on an impressive range of events from community parties and award celebrations to major exhibitions.

Telesales Executives

We have a number of job opportunities for people with attitudes and ambitions that match our own to join the team and help TNT into 2013 and its next phase of growth.

to succeed and earn rewards are prerequisites for these roles. Applicants will need to have the following:

» Sales and customer service skills » Articulate and able to make a high volume of outbound sales calls

» The drive to meet and exceed individual targets » Have proven organisational and computer skills » A genuine commitment to delivering outstanding customer service

» Experience in travel, recruitment or media

Digital Sales Executives

February 27-March 4 2012 Issue 1487

» Knowledge of digital sales » Previous experience of working within a media or digital environment

» Proven history in new business development » A natural talent to see beyond the ordinary » Understanding of where online marketing fits in the




wider marketing mix

A petrolhead’s guide to London

» Ability to identify new revenue streams » Excellent presentation and communication skills

PIRATES & DRUG DENS Intrepid Simon Reeve on his new TV series

Key Accounts Executives


» Solid sales experience (both face-to-face and phone) » Previous experience of working within a media or

We try our luck at speed flatmating

P! I R T A T A H W

– details inside T Travel Show als at the TN de e siv clu ex Score + 48 HOURS IN ... SHANGHAI LATE DEALS TOP TRAVEL GADGETS VALENCIA

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23/2/12 17:35:55

Please send your CV, covering letter and current salary to with the relevant job title in the subject line


TNT_1527_edit.indd 40

digital environment

» » » »

Excellent presentation and communication skills Proven history in new business development Ability to build a rapport quickly with clients A genuine commitment to delivering outstanding customer service

» Excellent account management skills » Ability to identify new revenue streams » Passion for independent travel



30/11/12 13:30:45

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CASH-SAVING TIPS SWEET SUNDAY CINEMA Xxxxxxxxx Buy any four promotional packs of M&Ms, Maltesers, XXXXXXXXX Revels or Minstrels Xxxxxxxxxxx that show the “Sweet Sunday” logo and you’ll XXXXXXXXX get a free movie ticket Xxxxxxxxxxx for a Sunday screening at a participating XXXXXXXXX Cineword, Showcase or Xxxxxxxxxxx Apollo cinema. Visit the Sweet Sundays website XXXXXXXXX (, Xxxxxxxxxxx register and type in the unique code found on the packs to get your freebie. EARLY CHRISTMAS The self-proclaimed home of the roast, Toby Carvery, is offering a three-course Christmas dinner for £10.99 until Dec 24. Book now to get this discounted grub, or choose the £13.49 option (it includes coffee or tea, a mini mince pie and a Christmas cracker).

Photos: Getty



bring a radio and get some tunes on. Also, travel by bicycle. Never take the Tube – I haven’t taken the Tube in years. It’s all about the bike.

GEMMA COUSINS, 29 JOB Athletics coordinator FROM London LIVES London How do you budget? I’m not especially good at budgeting – it’s all or nothing for me. And it

JUICY BEAUTY TREAT Get a free beauty and pampering treat worth £20-£30 when you buy a promotional pack of Sunraysia juice. Sign up at with your code and select from prizes including a mini-manicure, eyebrow shape or mini massage, and more.

normally falls into the ‘all’ category. Do you have any tips for saving money in London? Don’t go out. Stay indoors, lock the doors and turn the TV on. If you go out, go to the park and have a picnic,

What was your last big blowout? During the Olympics I spent £120 on beers in one day, for me and one other person! I had a cracking time, though; we went to the taekwondo and couldn’t remember a bit of it the next day. What non-essential items do you spend money on? Clothes, going out and buying food that I don’t really need.

HOW THEY SPEND IT! Bizarre blowouts When it comes to random spending, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt do it well. They reportedly splashed £2935 on curry and booze on a night out with mates. They’re not the only ones...

❚ Nicolas Cage is another wacky spender. He once outbid Leonardo DiCaprio for a £173,000 dinosaur’s skull – most people are satisfied with a visit to the Natural History Museum.

Johnny forked out £9300 for Jack Kerouac’s jacket

❚ Mega-rich teen singer and actress Miley Cyrus supposedly spent £15,021 on hair extensions – she’d flown them in especially from Italy to New York.

❚ Eccentric Lady Gaga is apparently so petrified of ghosts she bought an EMF (electromagnetic field) meter worth £31,000 – the machine is said to be a paranormal activity detector popular with ghost hunters.

❚ Johnny Depp owns two of Jack Kerouac’s jackets, one of them worth more than £9300. He also collects pigeon skeletons. MAKE IT CHEAPER GROUP LTD T: 020 7981 2741 Make It Cheaper - the saving experts for business - provide expert advice to thousands of UK businesses, saving them time and money on their business costs

JOB OF THE WEEK: Sales Advisors Location: EC4R 9AS Salary: £18 - £20K (£35 - £40K OTE) Uncapped Comission This is a fantastic opportunity for a high performing individual with proven outbound sales experience to join a new team, learning new varied product knowledge with a view to becoming a specialist in a specific product area. Nikki McDonald | 020 7981 2741 |


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Eco ’hoods



Robot salt ‘n’ pepper shakers Wind them up and watch them go



Get all environmenal in one of these forwardthinking districts WORDS JADE BREMNER

Mini retro popcorn maker No fuss and popped in minutes



Being ‘eco’ doesn’t have to mean wearing yak wool jumpers, slurping lentil soup or chaining yourself to the nearest tree in protest over plans to build motorways. Doing your bit for the planet could be as simple as living in a green neighbourhood. And, despite being known as the Big Smoke, there are plenty of areas in the capital offering stylish living as well as ways to help the environment. As such, an increasing amount of people are choosing eco towns and green lifestyles in London. Here’s our pick of sweet spots for do-gooder living ...

Mudchute, E14 WHY IT’S ECO: Just south of Canary Wharf, Camera lense cup For thirsty photography fanatics



Giant moustache mug Feeling bare after Movember?


Mudchute is home to one of London’s largest city farms, Mudchute Park & Farm (, situated on 32 acres of greenery. Slap bang on the Isle of Dogs, you’ll find sheep, goats and horses grazing beneath the looming towers of the financial district – we kid you not. Here you can volunteer with charities such as Froglife (, which conserves the habitats of newts, snakes, frogs and toads. LIVING: London island life is sleepy. The area consists of new detached and terraced properties that attract professionals and families. Don’t expect raucous weekends or a buzzing town centre, but a tranquil oasis in a concrete jungle. Going out? Try the Lotus Floating Chinese Restaurant moored in nearby Thames waters ( TUBE: Mudchute – DLR.

Mudchute: offering a farm among the city skyscrapers Dalston, E8 WHY IT’S ECO: Dalston is way ahead of the city when it comes to organic lifestyles. For shops selling healthy produce, residents are spoilt for choice. Tuck into fresh sourdough sandwiches and slurp on smoothies in cafe Healthy Stuff ( Or become an urban farmer and have a go at growing your own food. Clever environmental concepts, such as FARM:shop ( and Dalston Roof Park (managed by, encourage locals to grow vegetables and herbs in allotments and on rooftops. LIVING: “The majority of people moving to Hackney are of the younger professional generation, mainly creatives,” explains Nick Karamanlis, of Stirling Ackroyd estate agents.

Canal life: Swap four wheels for two Expect a smorgasbord of artistic music, art and theatre in the area, too. Our favourite is Café OTO ( for avant-garde performances such as Korean experimental electro or bizarre opera. TRAIN: Dalston Junction – Overground.


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“Peckham Rye Park in south London is quite lovely. The community in Peckham works really hard to preserve it – there’s even a great community wildlife garden.”


“The City of London is very good about offering recycling as a service, not just rubbish. Most major cities don’t do that. Hopefully it guilts people into recycling.”

Angel, N4 WHY IT’S ECO: Save the environment by riding a bike, rather than driving. Angel has access to canals connecting pedestrians and cyclists to London Fields, Broadway Market, Camden and Paddington. The routes offer stunning views; you’ll witness sleepy canal boat life, river wildlife and breathe in smog-free air while you’re at it. For comprehensive maps see LIVING: Angel has classic townhouses and lively nightlife. Try 69 Colebrooke Row (, a tiny bar serving cocktails to write home about, or Barrio North (, a South American eatery oozing energy and kitsch decor. TUBE: Angel – Northern line.

Photos: Thinkstock; Getty

Enfield, EN2 WHY IT’S ECO: This part of London is a recycling fanatic’s wet dream. It’s got a ginormous EcoPark (, with points for paper, cans, fridges and metals. Plus there’s a compost centre where you can pour away your kitchen waste without feeling bad. No, it’s not exactly glamorous, but living here means you’ll be a little closer to guilt-free consumerism. LIVING: Consider this neck of the woods’ variety of inexpensive suburban Victorian Houses. Travel time into central London is 35 minutes, and its town centre has independent and chain restaurants, such as the Italian chain Caffe Uno ( and Bar Ten ( for grilled grub. TRAIN: Enfield Town – National Rail.



Allotments: keep your own chooks Richmond, SW14 WHY IT’S ECO: Here you’ll find the biggest urban park in Europe. This green space is a whopping 2500 acres and comes complete with a National Nature Reserve, woodland gardens and grasslands – as well as 600 stunning wild red and fallow deer wandering freely about the place. With conservation galore, residents will reap the benefits of fresher air and birdsong in the mornings. Sounds bloody delightful to us. LIVING: Richmond is 20 minutes from central London and offers everything from stately homes to well-finished flats. Meanwhile, social activities are in abundance – you won’t be bored here. Get cultural at Richmond Theatre (, the Museum of Richmond NEXT ( WEEK and numerous art galleries ( Spotlight: TUBE: Richmond – District Brixton Village line, Overground.

“London is famous for its parks, but Dalston in Hackney has several allotments. I love that you can find something so green and down to earth in such a big city.”


“South Bank does a great job of using boats to get to Canary Wharf instead of public transportation. It’s eco-friendly in a way that’s not typical, which I love.”


“London is actually a relatively clean city that puts a lot of effort into maintaining itself, especially its lovely parks, like Regent’s Park.”


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Middle Earth: Cate Blanchett, who plays Galadriel, emerges from a Hobbit house at the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington

Nice pad: Harris’s home

OLD LADY LEAVES £8M ESTATE TO NEIGHBOUR AUSTRALIA Being a nice person sometimes does pay off. An elderly lady left her entire estate – worth £8m – to her neighbour who brought her bread and milk, snubbing her family. Betty Harris’s relatives fought the decision, but last week Australia’s Supreme Court upheld the old woman’s will. Harris, who died aged 95 in 2009, chose to bequeath her worldly possessions to Beatrice Gray, who used to help her out with chores at her Sydney home. Niece Coralie Hart said Harris was deluded when writing the will. But the judge rejected this, hearing Harris hadn’t spoken to nieces and nephews in 13 years. TWEETS OF THE WEEK @Queen_UK This is arse-archingly boring #leveson @wilw Never Say Never Again But Call Me Maybe #Rejected Bond Titles @Blownmind If Prince William is 100% royal and Kate Middleton is 0% royal ... would their son be the Half-Blood Prince?

EDITOR ‘DELETED DICTIONARY WORDS’ NEW ZEALAND An editor is being accused of deliberately deleting words from the Oxford English Dictionary. Wanganui-born Robert Burchfield, who died in 2004, secretly removed thousands of entries for years because he didn’t approve of their foreign origins. He would blame previous editors when people realised words had gone missing, reports The deception was 44

uncovered by Sarah Ogilvie, a linguist, lexicographer and former editor on the OED, who reveals them in a new book, Words Of The World. Examples of Dr Burchfield’s deleted words include balisaur, an Indian badgerlike animal; the American English wake-up, a golden-winged woodpecker; boviander, the name in British Guyana for a person of mixed race living on the river banks and danchi, a Bengali shrub. “This is really shocking. If a word gets into the OED, it never leaves. If it becomes obsolete, we put a dagger beside it, it never leaves,” Ogilvie said. “He said he opened up the dictionary, and put in swearwords for the first time. The claim is true. In that sense he was the first to bring the dictionary into the 21st century.”

POLICE IN A FLAP AFTER EMU ESCAPES UNITED KINGDOM An escaped emu has been detained by police after it was spotted walking through a busy town centre during rush-hour. Devon and Cornwall Police were called to Barnstaple in north Devon after the 1.3m bird was spotted by locals. Acting Sergeant Zoe Parnell and PCSO Stephen Huxtable found the emu and managed to catch it. A police spokesman said: “Although the bird was in a state of panic, they managed to coax it into the rear of the police car and call the owner.”


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Temperature, in celcius, expected to hit some of the UK this winter. (Check out our Xmas getaways on P76)

Height, in inches, Jenny Wood, from the UK, stretched herself from 5ft 2in doing A-Grow-Bics at Gymbox. Just weird

‘Whoa! What do you mean I’m doing it wrong?’




Amount, in pounds, Brits are expected to spend on Christmas presents this year – compared to the Aussies’ £650 each

UNITED STATES Couples are paying sex advisers up to £150 per hour to watch them copulate in order to give them advice. The New York fad has really taken off, according to a sex tutor who says he has around 200 clients that he watches while they’re making love. Therapist Eric Amaranth has also observed semi-famous couples ‘doing-it’ in front of him, sometimes offering them toys and tips during and after the deed. Amaranth has coached couples on the verge of breaking up, as well as single people who are interested in pleasing themselves. ‘Students’ can choose between virtual sessions via Skype, for £110 an hour, or coaching in the flesh – where he’ll come to a designated hotel room and watch.


Photos: Getty, Thinkstock

SERBIA A warning has been issued in Serbia warning residents to beware vampires and to prepare with garlic and crosses. No, it’s not a prank or a belated Halloween story. The authorities’ concern comes after a mill – home to the nation’s most well-known vampire – collapsed. Fables claim Sava Savanovic lived on the Rogacica river in Zarozje village, where the building was. Mayor Miodrag Vujetic said:

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Number of fans who lined the streets to see Cate Blanchett for the world premiere of The Hobbit in Wellington, NZ

And you thought they weren’t real... “People are worried, everybody knows the legend of this vampire and the thought that he is now homeless and looking for somewhere else and possibly other victims is terrifying people. We are all frightened.”

100% PURE? TAKE IT WITH A PINCH OF SALT NEW ZEALAND Tourism New Zealand’s “100% Pure” marketing campaign is not to be taken literally, the prime minister has said. The slogan came under fire when international media said it misrepresented the country, but John Key has stood by it. “Overall, 100% Pure is a marketing campaign. It’s like ... McDonald’s ‘I’m Lovin’ It!’ – I’m not sure every time someone’s eating McDonald’s they’re lovin’ it. “It’s the same thing with 100% Pure, it’s got to be taken with a pinch of salt.” He also urged Kiwis not to run the country down with research which “might not be factually correct”.


QUOTE OF THE WEEK Please stop watching and filling your head with filth. I don’t want to be on it Two And A Half Men actor Angus T Jones tell us what he really thinks of the show in a now-viral religious video. Wonder if he thought the £200,000 an episode he was pocketing was filth?

30/11/12 16:02:06

They call it the daily grind for a reason, but don’t let office tedium get you down, check out TNT online for the best bizarre headlines and awesome features every day. Do your co-workers a favour and log on to

T N T F O E S O DAILY D m this week

om e of the headlines fr

Here’s a tast COMEDIANS doesn’t just bring you the best of what’s on in London and awesome travel tips, but a daily dose of awesome features, too



The comedian talks about fanny magnets and the intrinsic comedy of existentialist angst

The Stand Up For The Week comic on racist jokes and his new DVD What’s Happening White People COMPETITIONS



Win tickets to see the heavy rocking Southampton three-piece at the O2 on TNT’s Facebook page

Check out TNT’s Facebook page to enter our Travel Top Tips competition to win


With the Aussie icon quitting test cricket, we round up the greatest moments of his career

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TNT puts the world to rights




Textual healing: Dumping via SMS is GR8 to save face

Photo: Thinkstock

Ditch your other half with dignity and a minimum of fuss

One in 10 Aussies has been dumped via a text message, apparently. I’d warrant a guess that most of them are over it now, but the relationship counsellors Down Under? Well, they’re still extremely upset. They’re getting their knickers in a twist over ‘lack of respect’ and ‘communication issues’ and questioning on behalf of today’s poor, emotionally stunted youth – where did it all go wrong? Californian psychologist Gian Gonzaga says: “Breaking up is a very difficult thing to do and sometimes people take the easy way out with a text message. You’d hope that people are able to treat others with the respect they deserve. The more impersonal the break-up, the harder it is on the individual at the other end.” Yawn. Call me cold-hearted, but I really can’t see what the big deal is. I mean, I’m not suggesting anyone kicks their childhood sweetheart to the curb with a merciless “UR DUMPED :-p” message. But when low-key relationships come to an end, all you really want is to save a bit of face. If your booty call decides he or she has had enough, or someone you’ve had a few drinks with just isn’t feeling it, a short but sweet SMS does the job fine. Then you’re free to overreact in private – call friends, agonise, feel completely gutted, have a little cry and then text back something breezy and dignified. A friendly e-dump does pay you respect by implying: “I’m sure this is no biggie for you either.” Consider this hideous alternative: a friend of mine got invited out for an ‘important dinner’ by a man she’d been seeing for all of three weeks. When she arrived, her stupendously arrogant date held her hand across the table and, looking into her eyes, said: “I have some very sad news for you. I don’t want to see you anymore.” That, to me, is utterly brutal. She had to sit through two more courses of him asking if she was OK every 10 minutes and shooting her concerned, sorrowful looks. Yeeuuch. She wasn’t crazy about the guy, but that dinner? Took her months get over. » Agree or disagree? Is it cruel to dump someone by text?

NO MORE VIRAL CLIPS, PLEASE If you’re one of the nation’s really cool kids, you’re probably reading this while one of your mates films you, another splashes a pint of milk over your head and everyone else leaps about, hooting with laughter and squealing: “This is kerrraaazzzyyy, man!” Which is fine. I’d find the ‘milking’ craze pretty funny too if one of my friends was doing it – especially if I was good and drunk. Same goes for ‘Batmanning’. I’d be in hysterics if I was seven pints into the night and someone decided to hang upside down from my shed roof. But for god’s sake, please, don’t send

Milking is funny if you’re totally wasted

me yet another grainy clip of a student I’ve never heard of being daft. I’m probably at my desk, stone cold sober when I open it, and won’t find it remotely as amusing as they obviously do. Unless it’s of the naked guy that climbed on Whitehall’s Prince George statue that is. Dude, that was bloody hilarious. TNTMAGAZINE.COM

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Social media #fails They can make or break a company. Here’s our pick of the worst WORDS CAROL DRIVER When social media goes wrong, it can have a devastating impact, damaging a company’s reputation in minutes. The beauty of sites such as Twitter and Facebook and real time communication is they are a way of sharing a message, an image or a video with a possibly global audience. Do it well, it can improve brand image and sell products. Do it badly, and the negatives are the same as the positives: post something libellous, insensitive or just plain stupid, and it has the potential to be seen around the world. Many social media campaigns have backfired, leaving bosses red-faced and employees handed their P45s. Only some firms, with quick-thinking and a well-taken response, manage to save themselves from viral hell. Either way, to the unaffected, it can be hilarious to watch. In light of the Jetstar Facebook page hacking – see below – we round up the best social media fails.

Jetstar: Facebook folly Australian budget airline Jetstar was forced to apologise after its Facebook page was hacked last week. A hoaxer using the name “Jetstar Australia” and using the official company logo started responding rudely to genuine posts. Replying to someone who asked about sale prices they wrote: “Don’t be such a tight ass, and pay the full price. It’s cheap anyway.” The fraudster also convinced one woman the airline had cancelled her flights. “Are you kidding me! You’ve just cancelled my family’s Gold Coast holiday! Please tell me you are joking,’’ the customer responded. Replying to a man who posted to say he hadn’t heard back about a previous complaint, the hoaxer wrote: “Have you ever heard of giving up? We have a lot of complaints and unfortunately can not process them all within allocated times. Please stop acting like a spoilt brat and grow up.’’ Unsurprisingly, Jetstar wasn’t impressed, responding on its official Facebook page: “Unfortunately, someone has made 48

a fake Jetstar Facebook and they’ve been impersonating us. We are working with Facebook to get this resolved.’’ Luckily for Jetstar, there was limited damage, with many of its Facebook fans declaring it “hilarious’’. “Well done to the person who created this,’’ wrote one user, while another said: “The fake account probably deals with customer service better then you clowns.”

British Airways: Racist retweet It’s always nice to be mentioned in a tweet – except when it’s a racist comment, filled with expletives. If that happens, you should definitely not, under any circumstances, retweet it to your 211,000 followers ... unless you're British Airways. It all kicked off when this message was posted by Twitter user Jae Jang Ladd in November: “@British_Airways Fuck you. Fuckin cancelling my flight! #bunchofcunts!” Another user called Asian Ronaldo replied: “@jaeladd @British_Airways Fuck you. Fuckin cancelling my flight! #bunchofcunts”, go back to your fuckin country you g***.” It was this message BA retweeted to its followers, causing hundreds to repost the message and lash out at the company. The airline deleted the message and posted this: “Apologies for the last RT. We are sorry for any offence caused and are investigating how this may have happened.”

The Maldives: Hashtag hijack Think of the Maldives and images of pristine beaches and azure waters spring to mind. Although, apparently, not if you live there or campaign for human rights. It must have seemed like a good idea at the time – the #SunnySideofLife hashtag tourism bosses urged local firms to help make trend on Twitter around the world. They got what they wanted, but only after it was hijacked by campaigners using it to raise awareness of the real side of island life. Despite being launched in July, the hashtag is still


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Oops: (clockwise) American Apparel Sandy sale; Jetstar’s Facebook page is hacked; #SunnySideOfLife turns bad

being used today, for tweets including: GunJaaday: “Pls do a Google image search with keywords ‘Maldives Police’. The #SunnySideOfLife is a Police State. #PoliceBrutality.” And @BloodyyLycann writes: “A country where the police knows the murderer but fails to arrest him/her till they get approve from some politicians #SunnySideOfLife #Fail.” However, Maldives tourist minister Ahmed Adeeb ignored the haters, tweeting: “Thank u all the Resorts, Tour Operators, Tourists & all those who love Maldives who gave positive tweets for #sunnysideoflife making a trend.”

Kenneth Cole: Arab Spring (collection) Often companies will jump on to Twitter trends, seeing an opportunity to promote relevant products. There are subtle ways of doing this, and not so subtle ... American fashion designer Kenneth Cole obviously falls into the latter category. At the height of the turmoil in Egypt in February last year, he tweeted from his @KennethCole account: “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online.” Cue outrage on Twitter, resulting in Cole apologising for his tweet, admitting it had been “poorly timed and absolutely inappropriate”.

Photos: Getty, Facebook, Twitter

Gap & American Apparel: Sandy sale Also not understanding that disasters and death aren’t a springboard for promotional purposes, Gap and American Apparel both faced a backlash when Hurricane Sandy hit last month. As chaos reigned across the States, AA sent an email blast offering 20 per cent off to customers in nine Eastern states if they used the promotional code ‘SANDYSALE’, “in case you’re bored during the storm”. While @Gap pounced on the opportunity, tweeting: “All impacted by #Sandy, stay safe! We’ll be doing lots of shopping today. How about you?” Both ended up apologising.

WHEN HASHTAGS GO BAD #SUSANALBUMPARTY Even innocent hashtags can sometimes backfire – the Susan Boyle (above) album party being the latest. Excited promoters took to Twitter last week, writing: “Susan will be answering your questions at her exclusive album listening party on Saturday. Send in your questions #susanalbumparty.” It was a hashtash they’d come to regret, as, obviously, it can be read two ways. Another Twitter fail came from the United Nations this week. The official @UN wrote: “On Day of Solidarity with Palestinians, Ban Ki-moon stresses urgency of reaching 1-state solution.” It took about 35 minutes for that to be changed to “2-state solution”. “Seriously, this may be the biggest typo in the history of international relations,” freelance writer Yair Rosenberg tweeted.


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World-leading All Black McCaw

RICHIE TOP OF THE WORLD … AGAIN? RUGBY All Blacks captain Richie McCaw could today be named IRB Player of the Year for the fourth time. He is on a four-man shortlist from which an independent panel of past players will pick a winner. His teammate Dan Carter – the winner of the award in 2005 – also made the list ahead of surprise inclusion, England’s understudy fly-half Owen Farrell, and France’s Frederic Michalak. McCaw’s the only player to have won the award more than once – in 2006, 2009 and 2010 – in its 11-year history. The IRB Coach of the Year will also be named and it’ll be a massive upset if the All Blacks aren’t named IRB Team of the Year.


The Wallabies loss will be the British Lions’ gain if Quade Cooper ends up out of rugby union for good, says coach Warren Gatland ahead of his composite side’s 2013 tour Down Under. “People love to hate him in a certain way, but I think as a rugby player he’s absolute quality,” Gatland said. The QLD Reds and the ARU are still keen to have Cooper on board, but contractual issues have left them at an impasse. Cooper’s only plans for 2013 at this stage are to fight an as yet unnamed opponent on the undercard of best mate Sonny Bill Williams’ boxing bout against South African Francois Botha in February. Gatland, while happy his Lions may not face the prodigious number 10, says to lose such a talent from rugby would be a shame. “He is the kind of brilliant player that the game needs,” the Wales coach said. “It 50

AFL rookie Joe Daniher is living the dream, following in his dad Anthony’s footsteps after being signed with the Essendon Bombers under the father-son recruitment rule. High-flying antics such as this at the club’s pre-season training camp on the Gold Coast is what his club can expect of the 18-year-old, who is 201cm and tipped to be a star.

needs someone who does things a little bit different, almost like Campese.”

HATTON IS ‘HAPPY’ AND MOVING ON BOXING Ricky Hatton was battered following his defeat to Vyacheslav Senchenko, and retired after the fight, but has proclaimed himself a “happy man”. Having been to rock bottom and back ahead of the fight, Hatton says he’ll now focus on the careers of other fighters as a trainer and promoter. “I’ve no complaints,” he said. “It’s been three and a half years and you all know the story. I needed to put a few demons to rest and I said before the fight I felt I’d already won and that hasn’t changed.”

BIG WEEK FOR ... Former Socceroos coach Frank Farina has a tough job going from coaching Papua New Guinea to dragging Sydney FC from the bottom of the A-League. Despite being sacked by the Brisbane Roar in 2009 for being caught drink driving on his way to training, his CV isn’t in dispute. He takes over a side with Alessandro Del Piero, an asset on and off the field, and room in the playing roster to bring in new blood. He need not be punished for his past – could his be the comeback of year?


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QUOTES OF THE WEEK I tapped my inner superhero. I’m usually a ninja, but my spidey sense told me he was going to fall, so I saved his life. He owes me his first-born or something – or a sandwich New York Giants tight end Martellus Bennett who caught an NFL fan who fell from the grandstand last week

Pat Cash has still got it (the headband)

PREVIEW Legends’ legs have gone but what a show STATOIL TENNIS MASTERS DEC 7-9, ITV4 These legends tournaments can be hit and miss – the ageing legs have limited steam and the power is long gone, but the one thing age does bring is character and entertainment value. That’ll be on show when rivalries such as John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl in the Legends draw and Tim Henman and Goran Ivanisevic in the more ‘youthful’ Champions draw are reignited this week. The competitions, which also include

doubles, start on Wednesday at Royal Albert Hall, and sessions will be broadcast live on ITV4 from Friday to Sunday, starting with three-time Wimbledon champ McEnroe and Andy Murray’s coach Lendl. Naturally, there’s an element of the travelling circus about these exhibition tournaments and the laughs comes as thick and fast as the trick shots and winners. Also in the Legends singles draw is Aussie Pat Cash, who won Wimbledon in 1987, and Swede Mats Wilander, a seventime Grand Slam champion, who both look like they could still be playing at 47 and 48.

THE CHAT | Pros split on long-putter ban

The peloton today are suffering for our past and that’s not fair Confessed drug cheat Tyler Hamilton calls on former teammate Lance Armstrong to tell the truth for the good of cycling

In my defence, it is very difficult to do a press conference in Scouse for a room full of French journalists Idiocy magnet Joey Barton on why he did his best Allo Allo impression post-game


Photos: Getty

FOOTBALL going on with the long putter golfers Q What’s such as Adam Scott use? Will it be banned? A It’s not the long putter that will be outlawed, but the technique that some of the world’s top players (including American Webb Simpson and Saffa Ernie Els) use to gain an advantage from it. The US Golf Association and the Royal and Ancient Club announced last week that from 2016, putters that are anchored to a part of the body that isn’t the hands – such as the chin or chest (like Scott, right) – during the stroke will be outlawed. World number one Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods were part of a chorus supporting the ban. The Irishman tweeted: “Better image for the game … skill and nerves are all part of the game.” Phil Mickelson said it was “grossly unfair”.

Man City v Man United Top-of-the-table Manchester derby Sun, 1.30pm, Sky Sports 1

CRICKET India v England Third Test match from Calcutta Weds, 3am, Sky Sports 1

CRICKET Australia v South Africa Scott’s ‘outlaw’ club

Day four and five of third Test Mon & Tues, 2.25am, Sky Sports 3 TNTMAGAZINE.COM

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Sarries on song Saffa-stacked Saracens have their eyes on prizes in England and Europe, says Neil de Kock WORDS MICHAEL GADD

North London’s Saracens could hardly be better placed as the end of 2012 nears. The defending Aviva Premiership champions are entrenched in the top three of the domestic competition after 10 games, with easily the best defensive record. And coming into the next fortnight’s home and away Heineken Cup clashes with Irish giants Munster, they’re sitting pretty at the top of pool one after convincing round one and two wins. But this side is ambitious, and as their South African scrum-half Neil de Kock says, they’re refusing to forget last year in a hurry. “It’s pleasing where we are at this stage of the season, but it’s early days, and it’s always these back-to-back fixtures that can make or break you when it comes to being in a position to make the knock-out stages,” the hard-working playmaker from Cape Town says. Saracens were stellar in England’s top club competition last year, finishing with the most wins and holding off Leicester Tigers in the grand final. But in rugby’s answer to the Champions League they were a flop, losing all their games and missing the knock-out stages. Granted, their pool included the eventual winners, Ireland’s Leinster and France’s Clermont, who made the semi-final. At least they’ve already exorcised their demons with the other team to beat them – they flogged France’s Racing Metro 30-13 in October. “That was disappointing for us in the Heineken Cup but amazing to win the Premiership,” de Kock says. “We are an ambitious club and would like to think we can challenge hard in both competitions. It’s demanding on the squad, but that’s why we turn up to training every day.” The Saracens defence is their strength – they memorably withstood a 30-phase onslaught in the closing minutes of the last Premiership final to hold out Leicester and keep a 22-18 lead – but after scoring seven tries in their opening two games against Edinburgh (45-0) and Racing Metro, they’re showing shades of genuine diversity. 52

“We pride ourselves on defence,” de Kock says ahead of clashes with former Heineken Cup champs Munster. “It’s going to be tight. We’ve got loads of experience and I do believe we’ve got the calibre to get a result (at Thomond Park in Limerick) and do the same when they come here. “They’re a team that have been there and done that over so many years, so the top level is just second nature to them. We’re a pretty young team in that regard.” London Wasps were the last England team to take Europe’s top club prize in 2006/07, beating Leicester in the

We pride ourselves on defence, but want more

final. Since then, Ireland and France have had a mortgage on the title, Leinster with three (including the last two in a row), and Munster and France’s Toulouse with one each. If Saracens do the job this year, they’ll do it with a large portion of help from overseas talent, especially South Africans – there are seven Saffas in the first team squad. Their side, much like Aviva Premiership leaders and London side Harlequins, who are also leading their Heineken Cup pool, also features six England representatives. “We’re a real cosmopolitan team,” says de Kock, who’s playing his seventh season for Saracens. The team also includes players from Italy, New Zealand, the US and Namibia. “That’s the way the game’s going these days, all the major European clubs have a strong international contingent,” de Kock says. South Africans feature heavily in Europe, more than their southern hemisphere counterparts New Zealand and Australia who won’t pick overseas-based


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(Clockwise) Neil de Kock; directing the Saracens pack; celebrating last year’s victory with daughter Layla

Photos: Getty

players for their national teams. South Africa only recently changed their tune on the policy. ”We pride ourselves on our away record, and that could be part of it, we don’t have as many home-grown guys,” de Kock says. The return match against Munster will be only the third time this year Saracens have played at their “home” ground, Vicarage Road, Watford. Early in 2012, though, they’ll have a permanent base at Barnet Copthall Stadium, which will be known as Allianz Park and will be the first professional rugby ground in Britain with an artificial, all-weather surface. De Kock says having a home ground will give the club a more defined identity and he hopes they can make it a fortress. Until then they’ll be the all-conquering nomads. A former Stormers player in Super Rugby, de Kock represented South Africa in the 2003 World Cup in Australia where, as he puts it, “the All Blacks smashed us” in the quarter final. He has played in the UK since 2006. “It’s been a good time,” he says. “This is my seventh season at Saracens and I love it. It’s been a big change in the club that I arrived at. It’s a team that’s always been OK but not always pushed for silverware, but that’s changed. “The Premiership is one of the toughest comps week in, week out. Any team can beat another, first to last,” he says. He says playing in the Heineken Cup – unique to rugby in that the club sides take on Europe rather than representative sides such as those in Super Rugby – is the icing on the cake. “I think it’s the best comp in rugby to play in,” he says. “It’s phenomenal. I loved being in the Super Rugby teams when I played, but there’s something extra to this, maybe it’s because it’s the club you play with all year that goes into the big competition.” Saracens play Munster in Limerick on December 8, 6pm, broadcast on Sky Sports 1 & on December 16, 3pm, at Vicarage Road Stadium, Watford. Visit for ticket details

Quin-tastic: Chris Robshaw’s back

HIGH-FLYING HARLEQUINS TAKE ON WINLESS ZEBRES The Aviva Premiership leaders Harlequins will welcome back their England stars when they play Italy’s Zebre home and away over the next two weeks. Zebre are winless from the first two Heineken Cup matches, a nightmare start for the Parma team’s debut in Europe’s top club competition. The Harlequins, in contrast, are flying with two wins from two after thrashing Barritz 40-13 at Twickenham Stoop in round one and overcoming tough Connacht 30-22 away from home. Quins have had six stars on international duty over autumn, including Danny Care and captain Chris Robshaw, but remain on top of the Premiership. They’ll be keen to stay in pole position in Europe. Harlequins play Zebre in Parma, Italy, December 8, 1.35pm (view online) & December 15, 3pm, at Twickenham Stoop. Visit for ticket details


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TNT puts the world to rights


Punter: fierce with a cheeky grin

For this modern-day fan, he’s better than Bradman

Ricky Ponting bows out a true champion of and for the game

» Agree or disagree? Is Punter better than Bradman? 54

There is sweet FA to endear anyone outside Stamford Bridge to Chelsea at the moment – on or off the field. Fans have been petulant babies since Roberto Di Matteo was sacked, booing his interim fill-in Rafa Benitez because he’s not Di Matteo and for something he said at Liverpool. Seems disrespectful to the colours worn so proudly when a billionaire buys championships to spend your own hard-earned jeering your own team. Then there’s the snore ball played under Benitez, who’d rather not lose than win games with the gazillions of pounds worth of talent he has at his disposal.

Fans are behaving like petulant children

Worst of all, is the arrogant handling of the Mark Clattenburg saga, calling him a racist to everyone who would listen, sprouting to the media before allowing an investigation, and then giving a less than half-arsed apology when police and the FA found the referee had no case to answer. Go whoever’s playing the Blues!

Photo: Getty

In the tributes to Ricky Ponting since announcing the third Test against South Africa is his last, he’s been too easily put as second best behind Donald Bradman. If I was writing the list, it would be the other way. Controversial, perhaps, but from my perspective, it’s no contest. I’ll admit to being quite one-eyed when it comes to Punter – as a kid, for some reason, I nicknamed the plucky Tasmanian ‘God’. As a beer-appreciating adult in a sports-nut sharehouse, I crowned the fringe Punter. I’m a fan, but numbers don’t lie. I know no one who saw Bradman play, or who can tell me the bowlers he faced were any good – and I’ll bet most of you don’t either – but between 1928 and 1948, I’m certain cricket was nothing like it was between 1995 and now. Certainly not as professional. Sure, Bradman’s average was 99.94, but in 52 Tests (37 of them against England) and 80 innings (10 of them an average-inflating not out) he never faced a Dale Steyn or Morne Morkel. You throw out the uncovered wicket argument, fair enough, but I suggest any games which routinely resulted in 600-plus scores can’t have been that treacherous. I have seen Punter bat, lots, in all sorts of conditions, against a range of attacks, since he was robbed of a century on debut by an LBW shocker on 96 in Perth 17 years ago. Before this week, he’d played 167 Tests, 285 innings against 10 nations, averaging 52.21. He’s only second to Sachin Tendulkar for most Test runs, with 13,336, is equal with Jacques Kallis (best player ever for mine – visit to see why) on second for most times past 1000 runs in a year. He also has the most Test catches for a non-keeper (195 – Bradman caught just 32). His average hasn’t been under 50 since 1998. Amazing. But stats are bullshit for the real value of Ponting. Fact is, he should’ve gone a while back. This year’s average of 49 is his best since 2006, by some way, yet he’s not playing well enough for him. A great batsman, leader and highlight reel contributor, I’ll most miss his fierce hunger for the contest in an era when a ball on the chin is expected, not a scandal.



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Go to See webpage for terms and conditions. Winners will be selected at random.

TICKETS TO SOUNDWAVE FESTIVAL TNT T and Soundwave Croatia are teaming up to give three lucky readers a pair of tickets each to Soundwave Festival Croatia, Europe’s hidden gem in the festival calendar, taking place from July 19-21 in a secret cove halfway between Zadar and Split on the beautiful Dalmatian coast. This year’s first wave of artists have been announced and feature the amazing Bonobo playing with a full live band, Submotion Orchestra, Craig Charles and Channel One Sound System amongst many. There are more headliners to be announced,

covering the spectrum of music from drum ’n’ bass and hip-hop, to cuttingedge Electronica and the finest party music under the sun. Enter to win tickets to Europe’s finest boutique festival for an experience of a lifetime. Enter at




















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IT’S ALL KICKING OFF The Rockettes perform at the 80th Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in New York City.

Photos: TNT, Thinkstock, Getty





It’s the biggest night of the year, so don’t spend it queuing at the bar in your local pub. Hit up one of the UK’s best parties instead.

TNT whizzes through Switzerland on zip-wires, rope-bridges, high-wires and plummeting mountain paths.

Swap the sofa for snowy mountains, the TV for hot Thai beaches and the shopping crowds for remote Himalayan adventures. TNTMAGAZINE.COM

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HELPING HANDS We’ve been feeling all warm and fuzzy on the TNT travel desk this week after hearing about Graham Hughes, the guy who travelled through every country in the world without taking a single flight (see ‘Record Breaker’ on the right hand page).

It wasn’t just the mammoth achievement, but the fact he hit the nail on the head when speaking to reporters after finishing his journey. He said: “The main feeling today is just one of intense gratitude to every person around the world who helped me get here, by giving me a lift, letting me stay on their couch, or pointing me in the right direction ... I think I also wanted to show that the world is not some big, scary place, but in fact is full of people who want to help you even if you are a stranger.” Aww. Right on, Graham! Reading that reminded me of all those times when I’ve thought I’m completely screwed and then someone popped up out of nowhere and saved my ass. One time I fell off a motorbike on a dusty Goan road and gave myself a nasty cut, which got instantly covered in grit. A guy ran out of the nearest restaurant with a bottle of feni, the local firewater, and poured the alcohol straight on the wound, meaning it healed without any infection – saving the rest of my holiday. What a hero. Elsewhere, I’ve had people draw complicated maps on the inside of cigarette packets, make endless phone calls to try to get me a lift and, most unbelievable of all, run after a bus shouting and yelling when they saw I’d dropped my passport on the road. Have you been rescued or helped by a kindly stranger on your travels? Email

SNOWGLOBE us If you’re looking for somewhere off-the-scale to spend New Year’s Eve this time around, South Lake Tahoe is your best choice. At the 29-31 SnowGlobe festival, you can spend your days skiing and snowboarding, and your nights dancing until you can’t stand to a line up that includes big hitters DeadMau5, Chromeo and Wiz Khalifa. DEC

WHY: SnowGlobe launched in 2011 with more than 30,000 people camping, dancing and partying their way into the new year in the Sierra Nevada mountains. This year they’re pulling out all the stops with dance troupes, artists and winter sports too. You certainly won’t run out of things to do.


Amsterdam’s pretty streets and canals are flooded with 15-30 multi-coloured lights for this fest, which includes the ‘Illuminade’, a walking route featuring light-based installations and artworks. Buildings along the Amstel River will also be illuminated right up until January 20. DEC



This gigantic Goan beach party lasts for three days 27-29 and has everything a backpacking hippy’s heart desires: trance DJ sets that last ‘til dawn, spicy curry stalls, flea markets and, of course, warm sandy beaches to dance on. DEC



Watch the snow world’s athletic elite as the 10-16 Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup series hits the Alpine slopes of La Plagne. Visitors can witness competitors race down La Plagne’s bobsleigh track, which was first built for the 1992 Olympic Games. DEC

Join thousands of others for the last night on Earth, if 21 the Mayans’ prophecy comes true. Roni Size and Andy C are playing in Antwerp at this celebratory bash. The best part? If they’re right, at least you won’t have a hangover. DEC


DO IT BECAUSE: This is a rare opportunity to experience the ordinarily peaceful Lake Tahoe in a completely different way – absolutely pumping. Dancing at the already infamous all-night afterparties with a mountain backdrop will be a great start to 2013.

Photos: Getty

to share your stories

See in 2013 at Lake Tahoe’s SnowGlobe with Deadmau5


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SICK OF FLYING SOLO? For those of you who are gagging to join the mile high club, but have never been able to persuade someone else to join in the fun – well now’s your chance. Dating website, based in the US and with 200,000 members worldwide, helps horny jet-setters hook up in the airport before they take off. You just plug in info about yourself and the site matches you up with anyone with similar interests and travel arrangements. Meet in the departures lounge, and the rest is up to you: travel companionship, a sweet holiday fling – or a quickie in the plane loos. Who says romance is dead?

Photo: Thinkstock

CRUISING’S A DRAG Carnival Cruises found itself at the centre of a storm last week, when the company, which offers a ‘Drag Stars at Sea’ package, asked customers not to cross-dress in case they offended families. There was instant uproar, as the Caribbean cruise, which includes drag shows featuring stars from the US TV series RuPaul’s Drag Race, is supposed to be LGBT-friendly. Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president quickly reversed the cross-dressing ban, saying: “We sincerely apologise for the miscommunication and for any unintended offence we have caused.” Hooray! Now where did we leave those fishnets?

Airport e-dating: he hopes to avoid the early arrivals lounge

RECORD BREAKER A 33-year-old has just broken a new Guinness World Record by visiting every country in the world without setting foot on a plane. Brit Graham Hughes travelled 160,000 miles in 1426 days using boats, buses, trains and his own two feet. More impressive still, he managed the whole epic journey on a shoestring – just £62 a week. The Liverpudlian, who filmed the expedition for a National Geographic documentary series and to raise money for the charity WaterAid, completed the mission last week when he finally arrived in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.

APOCALPYSE NOW The Mayan apolcalypse is, of course, just around the corner, so many of those convinced the world will end have been taking comfort in rumours that Pic de Bugarach, a ‘sacred’ mountain in south-west France, will burst open to reveal an alien spaceship that will carry nearby humans to safety. Unfortunately, French officials are having none of it. They have already announced they’ll be closing off the mountain and village below on December 21 because of concerns they will be overrun with hysterical New Age crazies. Or perhaps they’re just saving all the spaceship seats for themselves. Darn.


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New Year’s Eve UK

Bizarre: Tar Bar’ls ceremony in Allendale; and above, Hogmanay party in Edinburgh

(Clockwise) Puckering up in Dublin; Cardiff’s fireworks; and some mad oufits in Newquay




Ringing in the new Dress up to the nines, drink up a storm and see in the first hours of 2013 in style – or a gutter – at our top five epic party hotspots WORDS HELEN ELFER

Fancy tarting up in tartan trousers to see in 2013? Carrying flaming barrels of tar around an old village? Or throwing some shapes in stilettos as you watch fireworks burst over Cardiff Castle? Don’t spend New Year’s Eve stuck in a queue for the bar at your local pub this year, instead get together a group of your nearest and dearest and head off around the UK for one of these wild and wacky parties. Edinburgh, Scotland PARTY: Hogmanay is the mother of all NYE parties. The reason? It’s not the spectacular midnight fireworks, the heart-stopping view of the illuminated Edinburgh Castle or the DJs, dancers and bands on stage (Glasgow legends Simple Minds headline this year). Nope, it’s that at the end of the day, December 31 is all about getting absolutely obliterated, and the Scottish can drink everyone under the table. Join 80,000 booze-thirsty tourists and Scots on Princes Street for the party of a lifetime. DRINK: Start your evening off with a few wee drams of whisky. And then a few more. And repeat. WEAR: The barmier the better. Mad tartan outfits (make sure all your mates match, too) are de rigueur.

Photos: TNT, Getty; Thinkstock

Dublin, Ireland PARTY: Dublin is a party force to be reckoned with on New Year’s Eve. A torchlit procession brings everyone out on the streets for entertainment and there’s live music galore with a huge Countdown Concert at College Green. This features a 3D light display which illuminates Trinity College and top headline acts, which are being kept under wraps for now. DRINK: Guinness, of course. And a few rounds of Baby Guinness shooters. Why not? WEAR: A warm coat over your party threads – Dublin’s going to be a chilly place to spend the night outdoors. Newquay, England PARTY: It all kicks off in Newquay town centre on December 31, where you’ll see hordes of Oompa-Loompas, Smurfs, saucy nurses, superheroes and Mad Man all on the lash. Fancy dress costumes are a must, and everyone gets

extremely competitive over the wackiness of their outfits, so make an effort. There’s even a fancy dress carnival. Head to the Central Square to join the fun, then stop by one of the many pubs and clubs which will be ringing in 2013 in style. DRINK: It has to be Cornish cider, neat or mulled. WEAR: The most obscenely small, tight, stupid or just plain offensive costume you can think of. And, yes, it’s still too soon to do Jimmy Savile. Northumberland, England The famous Tar Bar’ls ceremony in the village of Allendale involves a procession of local men, called guysers, carrying barrels of flaming tar around the streets at midnight, before throwing them on to a bonfire. It’s so dramatic you’ll feel like you’re in a scene from Game Of Thrones. DRINK: Real ale – this is a rather macho occasion after all. WEAR: Something that isn’t flammable. Cardiff, Wales PARTY: You’ve got two options when celebrating Calennig in the Welsh capital. The first is a nice gentle skate at midnight on the Admiral Open Air Ice Rink. Alternatively, you can hit the city’s mega-clubs along St Mary’s Street for what will inevitably be one of the wildest nights of the year. Not much contest really, is there? Make sure you’re outside for the midnight countdown, though, as the public fireworks display, visible from most of the city centre, will be a show-stopper. DRINK: A Welsh single malt? Nah, more like vodka jelly shots, two-for-one alcopops, champagne – if someone else buys – and a few tequila slammers to see you through to 2013. WEAR: Taffies love going all-out and dressing up to the nines, so expect to see Isle of Jura: We sparkly dresses, stilettos and mix whisky with designer shirts all getting waterfalls an outing tonight.




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A trip to Thailand costs £799pp with Travelbag



SKIING IN FRANCE A seven-night stay with easyJet Holidays (0843 1041000; Includes flights and three-star, selfcatering accommodation in Flaine’s Residence Les Terrasses De Veret. Departs London Gatwick on Dec 15.

< £250

BUCHAREST A three-night stay costs £270pp (save £90) with Untravelled Paths (0871 6629521; TNT reader exclusive offer, includes accommodation in the Fagaras Mountains’ Ice Hotel and a lodge, plus day trips. Excludes flights. Departs between December 26-30. MARRAKECH Three nights is £285pp (save £39) with Flight Centre (; 0844 8008624) quoting reference 1241099. Includes flights, five-star, B&B accommodation. Book by December 15. Valid for travel January 7–31, 2013. Departs from London Gatwick. MOROCCO A 10-day tour is £289pp (save 50 per cent) with Travel Talk (020 8099 8852; Includes four-star accommodation, some meals, plus visits to Fes and more. Excludes flights and local payment. Book by December 16. Departs on December 18.

> £500 ANTIGUA Seven nights costs £999pp with Travelbag (0871 7034240; Includes flights and three-star, allinclusive accommodation at the Jolly Beach Resort. Book by December 31. Valid for travel throughout September 2013. Departs from London Gatwick. VAL THORENS A seven-day ski trip costs £568pp (save 15 per cent) with Travel Talk (0208 0998852; Includes multi-room, all-inclusive accommodation, ski pass, equipment rental, instruction and more. Departs on February 3, 10 and 17, 2013. Excludes flights. Book by December 16. THAILAND An 11-night stay costs £799pp with Travelbag (0871 7034240; Includes return flights and five- and four-star, B&B accommodation. Book by December 31. Departs from London Heathrow on May 30, 2013.

DAILY TRAVEL DEALS GO TO where new travel deals are updated daily. There are more than 30 deals live at any time. Also sign up for TNT’s weekly travel newsletter, which will be emailed to you every Wednesday with the most up-to-date deals and guides to over 170 destinations. Sign up at

MONEY TRANSFERS Need to send money between Australia, New Zealand and the UK? You don’t need a bank to do it. We also do money transfers to South Africa.

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1.53 1.94 14.1 5.13 1.24 1.59 1.58 12.3 10.7 1.49 1.95

Photos: Thinkstock

ROME A two-night stay costs £134pp with easyJet Holidays (0843 1041000; Includes flights and four-star, B&B accommodation at the Grand Tiberio Hotel. Departs London Gatwick on December 11. EGYPT A nine-day tour costs £194 (save 50 per cent) with Travel Talk (; 020 8099 8852). Includes five- and four-star accommodation, some meals and visits to Cairo, Sphinx, Kom Ombo Temple and more. Excludes flights and local payment. Departs on December 18 and 24. Book by December 16. TUNISIA Seven nights costs £179pp with (0800 1116271). Includes flights and four-star, half-board accommodation at the Hotel Riadh Palms in Sousse. Departs London Gatwick on December 12. SEVILE A three-night stay costs £201pp with (020 3384 7066). Includes accommodation in a self-catering, two-bedroom apartment, based on three sharing. Excludes flights. Valid for travel until December 25. ALGARVE Seven nights cost £115pp with easyJet Holidays (0843 1041000; Includes flights and four-star B&B accommodation at the Aparthotel Monica Isabel Beach Club. Departs London Southend on December 8.

£250 – £500


30/11/12 15:10:14


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@tntmagazine RUTH ROXANNE BOARD Talks travel photography


HOT TIPS: White balance You may not be aware of what white balance is, but it’s well worth having it in your photography arsenal. White balance helps us to get the colours of an image as authentic as possible. Have you ever noticed that your photos sometimes end up with a blue or yellow tinge? This is caused by different lights emitting different

colour temperatures. Your eye automatically adjusts for this, but your camera doesn’t and needs to be told what to do. Choose the appropriate light setting on your camera. It may also be worth investing in a white or grey card that provides the camera with a reference point for a more accurate white balance reading.


WINNER GEYSER AT DAWN Katie Sawaya, New Zealand

WHY IT WORKS The steam rises from the geyser, drifting to the right of the frame, surrounded by the frozen landscape of Haukadalur in Iceland. The sun rises above the hill, illuminating the snow in a warm glow of a new morning. Despite its cold climate, the inhabitants and tourists of this Nordic land can enjoy the geothermal springs caused by the volcanic activity on the island. Iceland is indeed a land of contradictions!


WHY IT WORKS The long bridge traverses this grey body of water in Panama City, the gateway to the Americas. The photographer has created a perfectly balanced image. The bridge crosses in the upper third of the frame parallel with the horizon. The colours of the sky and water are so similar that they could be one huge space. The shoreline creeps into the frame, giving the viewer a stepping stone into the watery scene. A THREE-DAY TOUR OF SCOTLAND AND A PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE Upload your images to First prize is a three-day tour of Scotland for two worth £218 from Haggis Adventures ( Must be taken within three months of receiving prize letter. The runner-up wins a £60 photography course voucher from Nigel Wilson Photography (




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Save 10 Europe 2013 %


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TRAVELER’S REST OVERVIEW This Shanghai youth hostel isn’t an easy one to find, housed down a long alley off a backstreet in the Jing’an district. But once you have managed to lug your backpack here, you’ll be pleased you did. The sprawling Thirties building used to be a towel factory, but the lime green paintwork and original exposed brick make it look edgy rather than industrial. The surrounding streets are packed with tiny dumpling stalls, quirky boutiques and cheap bars, yet you’re only a few minutes’ walk away from the international glitz of upmarket shopping street West Nanjing Road. Facilities are top notch for budget travellers, as you can get your laundry done here for next to nothing, and staff can arrange good value city tours for you. WOW FACTOR The communal areas are a great place to meet fellow backpackers and drink a few beers. The common room has board games, a pool table, table tennis set-up and a foosball table to keep you occupied, while the sunny rooftop bar and cafe is the perfect spot to relax if you need a bit of respite from the busy streets. ROOMS Clean and simple. Furnishings are basic but comfortable enough. BILL PLEASE Dorm beds from £5.50pn.

No. 36 Lane 319, Jiaozhou Road, Shanghai, China

00 66

You don’t have to be religious to get something out of a visit to a pilgrimage site. Inspired architecture, a heavenly bit of peace and quiet and the chance to see ancient religious traditions still being practised today are just a few of the potential highlights, even for the staunchest of atheists. As for the devoted or the not-really-sures, if you do manage to score some divine one-on-one time communing with the big guy in the sky, well that certainly would be a bonus. India spoils you for choice with its many spiritual sites, from the Islamic Taj Mahal to the Hindu stone carvings of Mumbai’s Elephanta caves. But the Lotus Temple in Delhi is definitely one to stick on your must-see list, as it’s one of the most actively inclusive holy places in the world. A Bahá’í House of Worship, it welcomes people of any or no faith through its doors. Prayers and scriptures from other religions are allowed to be recited inside too – this isn’t to say anyone will appreciate it if you start reeling off chunks of the Star

Wars’ Jedi Code at top volume. But if you’re discreet and respectful, pretty much anything goes, and the main hall has fixed times for prayer sessions of different faiths. The temple doubles up as a learning centre, as there’s an information centre and library where you can read up on the monotheistic Bahá’í Faith, ask the volunteers questions or watch religionbased films throughout the day. The man, woman, animal or Wookie upstairs aside, this is still a tremendous place to visit. Inspired, obviously, by the lotus flower, its design features 27 free-standing marble petals arranged in clusters to form nine sides, which is a traditional feature of a Bahá’í temple. Nine ponds surround the marble lotus, which makes it look like it’s floating on water, too. The creative design has won the Lotus Temple countless architecture awards and other accolades for its dramatic illuminations at night – after dark, the curved petals are flooded with blue, gold and green light.


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The Vatican’s website has a rather unsettling picture of His Holiness, surrounded by twinkling stars and reaching out as if to give you a sharp clip around the ear. But don’t let that put you off a visit to Vatican City. The Sistine Chapel’s ceilings are there to crane your neck at, as well as St Peter’s Basilica and the Apostolic Palace. If you make it on a Sunday, you’ll probably get to catch a glimpse of the Pope, too.

Photos: Getty





Nowadays the only people who really count the ancient Incan ruins of Machu Picchu as a pilgrimage site are, of course, wide-eyed travellers. But one theory says the journey to Machu Picchu from Cusco could have been a ceremonial one for the Ancient Incans, who built the Inca Trail to Magli to prepare pilgrims for entry into Machu Picchu. The final leg would have been a climb up the steps to the Intihuatana stone, the highest spot in the main ruins.




Bodh Gaya in Bihar, India, is supposed to be the site where the Buddha obtained Enlightenment and is considered the most important Buddhist pilgrimage site of all for followers. Not only will a visit here get you up close and personal with the giant 82m Great Buddha Statue, but you’ll be in excellent company – both the Dalai Lama and Richard Gere have both made pilgrimages here.



There’s no missing the iconic gleam of the golden Dome Of The Rock, which sits at the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City, dominating the skyline. A sacred site for varying reasons to many Jews, Muslims and Christians, it’s also one of the most vehemently disputed holy places in the world. Not surprisingly, extremely strict rules apply to tourists wishing to visit the site, including restricted hours for different religions and a conservative dress code.

NEXT WEEK: Middle East: Places you can still visit safely


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30/11/12 14:32:34


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Sunny Madeira: beautiful, but beware the mossies




If your tip is printed, you’ll win vouchers (worth up to £60) for entry for two into one of No.1 Traveller’s airport lounges at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted. With complimentary food and drinks, free Wi-Fi and newspapers and magazines, your trip will get off to a flying start. See Tweet your tip to Email Text TNT and your message to 81707* *Messages cost 25p each + standard network rate. 18+ billpayers only. Send STOP to end. Number may show on bill. A2B 08700460138




planning to go to Madeira, Q I’m Portugal, soon. Should I be worried

am visiting Thailand in April next Q Iyear, and want to try to experience the

about catching dengue fever, since there have been some cases there recently? And what precautions would I need to take? Ruth, via email

country away from Bangkok and the islands. I have been to Thailand a couple of times, and tended to stay in touristy areas, so this time I would like to visit the north. Do you have any recommendations for where to go? Abbie, via email

latest reports show there have been A The 1357 reported cases of dengue fever on


is one of the world’s most popular A Thailand tourist destinations, with 19 million travellers flocking to this stunning destination last year, but it’s certainly still possible to escape the crowds and get off the beaten track. Only one per cent of foreign travellers visiting Thailand go to the north-east, which is known as Isan. This area is the Thailand of yesteryear – rice paddies, pedal rickshaws and incredible history. Restored Khmer ruins, similar to those found at Angkor Wat in Cambodia, can be found at Phanom Rung and Phimai historical parks. There are buses to both parks, but you will need to take a motorcycle taxi for the final leg of the journey to Phanom Rung from the bus stops at Ban Tako or Ban Ta Pek. To really experience rural Thailand, look for accommodation in a homestay. The village of Ban Prasat in Nakhon Ratchasima province runs a great scheme with some of its residents welcoming visitors. At a cost of around £10 per night, it really is a terrific, budget-friendly way to get to meet local people. Organise your homestay through the Tourism Authority of Thailand (

BEACH BUM Got my plane tickets booked to Goa, India, for December 20. All you mugs will be shivering in London, watching crap telly and eating overcooked turkey while I’m lying on the beach with a beer in my hand. Hooray! Brian Clack, via email



Lonely Planet’s Laura Lindsay will give you the benefit of her infinite wisdom if you email a question to If your question is answered, you’ll win a Lonely Planet guide of your choice. This is a reader forum — TNT and Lonely Planet accepts no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by anyone using the information provided.

Photo: Getty

the Portuguese island of Madeira – of this number, 25 were travellers. While it’s true there’s a danger, you shouldn’t let this put you off your visit as thousands of people go to countries with a risk of dengue fever every year and don’t contract the disease. The key point is that you need to take the right preventative measures to stay safe. Dengue fever is a flu-like illness transmitted by mosquitoes, so precautions such as wearing a strong repellent (those containing DEET are proven to be the most effective) and a lightcoloured, long-sleeved top and trousers to cover your skin are a must while you’re there. Be extra careful during the day because (unlike with malaria), the mosquito which carries dengue fever is about. If within two weeks of returning home you experience any of the symptoms of the fever (including severe headaches, rashes, nausea or vomiting) you should seek medical advice. There are no travel restrictions in place for Madeira, but I would continue to check the Fit For Travel website for updates in the weeks leading up to your trip (

FRIENDS VS FAMILY I’ve always gone back home to Brisbane for Christmas, but Iast year I couldn’t afford the plane fare. Me and a bunch of other ‘orphans’ rented a cottage together in Devon and just partied there for the week. We cooked a huge proper roast and everything. It was so much fun we’re doing it again this year – sorry mum. Angela Hausler, via email


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15% OFF

* £66 SAVE UP TO * Valid on below trips for 2012 departures. Excludes Edinburgh Hogmanay. Book by 9 Dec. Enter promocode ‘wintersale’






£189 NOW £161 (STUDENTS NOW £152)

£115 NOW £98 (STUDENTS NOW £93)

Loch Ness, Isle of Skye & North West Highlands

Isle of Skye, Loch Ness & Glencoe







Departs Edinburgh 24 December


Our Legendary Festive trips! Experience a Scottish Christmas in a Royal Highland Hotel.

£439 NOW £373


Haggis Day Adventures

Departs Edinburgh 24 December

Our friends at National Express have offered us a great rate on return coach travel from Edinburgh for £40 and singles from £29. Reserve at time of booking.

£409 NOW £348 Departs Edinburgh OPTION 1 - 27 December Highlands then Hogmanay OPTION 2 - 29 December Hogmanay then Highlands

EDINBURGH HOGMANAY 5 DAYS £349 Edinburgh 29 December

HAGGIS SOLD OUT HOGMANAY 4 DAYS £349 Departs London 30 December


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+Christmas in the Royal Highland Hotel where Queen Victoria once stayed! +Mulled wine by the Grand Staircase +Our legendary HAGGiS Ceilidh Night +Christmas dinner and all the trimmings +Party night in Inverness, Capital of the Highlands & exclusive night club entry +Loch Ness - search for the monster +Cairngorms National Park ‡ +Isle of Skye’s jaw dropping scenery ‡ ‡ Mega Highland Christmas only





+3 day tour of the Isle of Skye, Loch Ness, Glencoe and more† +HAGGiS Highland day trip ^ +HAGGiS walking tour of Edinburgh ^ +The famous HAGGiS sponsored Loony Dook - swim in the sea ^ +The legendary HAGGiS Ceilidh night +Carry a torch in the festival opening event, The Torchlight Procession +Hogmanay Street Party Pass +Explore Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh † Hogmanay & Highlands only Edinburgh Hogmanay only



30/11/12 13:31:10


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LOOKING FOR A TOUR? Overwhelmed by choice? Check out our Tour Search at We’ve done the legwork so you don’t need to, and put thousands of tours in one place. Enter the details of what you want, read what other TNT readers have to say about it, then select your ideal tour!

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Been somewhere good lately? Send us a horizontal photo of yourself with a copy of TNT from anywhere around the world and, if we print it, you’ll win a trip for two to Bath and Stonehenge with Anderson Tours, valued at £104! » Email your pictures to ontheroad@ along with your name, where you’re from and where the photo was taken, or see Files must be at least 500Kb.

DISNEYLAND, FRANCE Hayley Miller, from New Zealand





Surrey, England

London, England

BEST I went to Thailand with my girlfriends during my gap year. One of my friends has a godmother who owns a house on the beach, and hanging out there was so great. We got to stay in this beautiful, exotic country and go to the beach every day. Amazing!

Scariest travel experience? My friend and I got followed in Greece down a dark alleyway. We ran back to our hotel screaming hysterically. Ideal travel companion? I love travelling with my boyfriend. He’s the person I’m most comfortable with so I’m more willing to go outside of my comfort zone when he’s there. Weirdest thing that’s happened to you? I seem to get my luggage lost every time I travel, and I don’t know why!

WORST I’m a theatre director, so I often have to travel around. I once went to Blackpool for the circus in October and it was cold and wet the entire time. » Tell us your best/worst trips, email


Photos: Getty; TNT

CHRISTMAS ON THE HIGH SEAS Sail around the Spanish islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura aboard a luxury yacht for the festive period. One week costs £1349pp with Essential Sailing (0845 653 0126; Includes on-board, en-suite accommodation, crew and meals, including Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. Excludes flights. Departs December 22.


MARUSKA ADYE NZ office manager Wild about Africa

My first ever big trip was visiting relatives in New Zealand from my childhood home of Tanzania. My strongest memory is tasting strawberries for the first time on that trip. My most challenging travel experience was negotiating my way from Zimbabwe to Tanzania as a backpacker. I had to spend a night in a bus stop with nothing to eat but a jar of peanut butter. My favourite place in the world is fishing in New Zealand’s Marlborough Sounds, off Namibia’s coast and in Botswana’s Okavango Delta – anywhere I can relax with a drink nearby, a spectacular sunset to watch and a fishing rod in hand. The next trip on my travel wishlist is either Panama, which is relatively untouched and has some amazing coastline and marine life as well as rainforest, or Rwanda, where the gorillas are a must-see and there’s fascinating history there. I can’t decide. TNTMAGAZINE.COM

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Flight of fancy: sightseeing, Swiss-style [Caption] GERMANY

Bern and Interlaken



GETTING THERE SWISS has daily flights from London Heathrow and London City to Geneva from ÂŁ98 return.

Interlaken Geneva


Scenic: the train to Jungfrau

Hold on: rope bridge action in Gantrisch; (left) picture-perfect town of Interlaken [Caption] 72


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Flying high TNT whizzes through Switzerland at top speed on zip-lines, rope bridges, high-wires and plummeting Alpine mountain paths WORDS GRAEME GREEN

“You must move like a princess or a ballerina,” insists Andre, our cycling tour guide. As a pretty sturdy guy, and a keen cyclist, I have to admit I’ve never really never thought of Kate Middleton or Anna Pavlova as training inspiration before. I’m a little non-plussed. But there’s a first time for everything, and this is all part of my lesson on how to ride an electronic bike in the Bernese region of Switzerland. Andre explains that less effort actually gets the bike to do more work, making cycling and even climbing hills easy and sweat-free. Everyone else in my group seems pretty content with the added assistance the electricity provides, but I’m a big fan of cycling the old-fashioned way. I can’t help thinking: “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” The mountains and farm-covered countryside of northern Switzerland are prime biking territory. The scene is classically Swiss – green, natural, with gentle clanging from Alpine cow bells sounding across the hills and valleys. On our e-bikes, we ride past lavender fields and classic flower-covered farm chalets, racing down hills and effortlessly climbing to the tops of others. Always in the distance are the serene white peaks of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. After a few hours free-wheeling, we park our bikes close to a grumbling line-up of bulky cattle at the Emmental Show Dairy. Here we witness a traditional cheese-maker stirring milk from the Alps’ most important residents in a copper vat over a fire – the curd of this white gold will soon become a round of the region’s famous holey Emmental. We taste the cheese at all stages of its evolution, from the creamy young varieties through to its deeper and nuttier incarnation that’s been aged for 18 months. In the afternoon, we ride on through the countryside to Lützelflüh, where a toothless Swiss man named Rudolf teaches us how to play platzgen, a traditional Bernese game that involves throwing a heavy piece of metal – a starshaped discus – at a pole stuck into several tonnes of clay. It’s important, Rudolf says (as Andre translates), not to stand in front of the thrower. There’s speculation as to whether his absent teeth had something to do with him being a victim of this, so we take heed of his advice. Platzgen is a simple game, a bit like amped-up boules. Rudolf keeps taking me aside and explaining in detail, with lots of pointing, exactly where I’m going wrong. For all I know he could be telling me: “I see a great platzgen

champion in you.” My German’s a little rusty. Our group heads over to our home for the night in Bern, the Swiss capital, walking through Old Town’s cobbled streets. We eat at Altes Tramdepot, a big, loud, lively hall where hearty food is served, before getting stuck into its deliciously crisp local brews. Plenty more bars in the town centre turn out to be buzzing too, so we push on through to the early hours. There are worse ways to shake a hangover than climbing

Zip-lining, is there a better hangover cure?

ladders, dangling from ropes and hooks, and zip-lining through the treetops, so first thing the next day we drive south to Gantrisch Rope Park (£23; ›› in the pine forests on the mountainside. I take on a

Effortless: electronic biking TNTMAGAZINE.COM

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long and testing climb up a ladder up the side of a tree, from where a series of bridges, high-wires, hoops and other obstacles stretch out ahead. Maybe it’s the rope moving beneath my feet or the alcohol still in my blood, but when I see the ground 36m below, the fear factor is suddenly intense. In the afternoon, we arrive in Interlaken, which is known as the ‘adventure capital’ of Switzerland. It’s popular with hikers, bikers, kayakers and, as I find, Segway-ers, riders of those two-wheeled vehicles that can hit 20kmh with a gentle lean. We chug around Interlaken on these, visiting the sparkling lakes of Thun and Brienz, which are set against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains. The ride is gentle but the scenery is heart-stopping. Finally in Interlaken, I ride a train and then a gondola slowly up to the top of Jungfrau mountain to the First Flyer, an 800m zip-line, high above the ground. It’s a huge adrenaline rush as I’m launched in the harness out into the sky. But, despite the speed reaching up to 84kmh, the ride is extremely smooth, so much so that as I fly through the fragrant forests, it crosses my mind that now would be the perfect time for another one of those tasty cold beers. ❚

Segways: lean machines

NEXT WEEK On tour: We hit the road with Aussie indie-rock band, The Jezabels



The large and rambunctious hall of Altes Tramdepot (above) is often busy with tourists and locals. It’s especially popular for Bavarian sausages and Tram beers, which are brewed in the middle of the restaurant. Meals from £20.

Easy-going and fashionable, Restaurant WineArt is a bar and lounge with Mediterranean cuisine and, as the name suggests, a good selection of wine to go with it. Main meals around £26.

The very grand setting of Kornhauskeller is inside an old granary. It serves food from different Swiss regions, including the Bernese specialities. About £30 per meal. Kornhausplatz 18, 3000 Bern 7; tel. 00 413 1327 7772


The Kreissaal bar in Bern has a good selection of whiskies in the upstairs section and a cool, minimalist comfy area in the downstairs cellar. £2.40 for a small beer. Brunngasshalde 63, 3011 Bern; tel. 00 413 1312 5000

Lively club Johnny’s fills up with a cross section of Interlaken society, from bearded motorbikers to the beautiful people. £4.60 for a bottle of beer.

The exquisite Sky Terrace (left) behind the Schweizerhof turret gives a panoramic 360° view over the UNESCO world cultural heritage city of Bern. £5 for a bottle of beer.


Clean and modern, the Youth Hostel Interlaken is located very close to the Interlaken Ost train station. Double room from £43pn.

Cool, trendily designed Hotel Bern (left) is in the heart of the Old Town of Bern, not far from the clock tower. Double room from £174pn.

Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa (above) is a five-star hotel and spa resort with a classic English feel, situated on the edge of the central park in Interlaken. Superior rooms from £350pn.



Photos: Christof Sonderegger, Thinkstock, Jungfrau Railways, Jost von Allmen



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Land of fire and ice This is Reykjavik in 48 hours WORDS HELEN ELFER

DAY 1: 10:00 Never mind the extremes – from fire to ice – that Iceland is renowned for, most people just think of it as the land of Bjork. And where Reykjavik is concerned, that’s not a bad place to start. Quirky, edgy, creative, musical and more than a little bonkers are all characteristics that apply as much to the capital city as the pint-sized popstrel. Once you’ve adjusted to the surreal daylight hours – 22 hours of light in summer, and almost round-the-clock darkness in winter – you’ll soon get into the Icelandic swing of things. Start off your first day with a mega brekkie of sausage and eggs at Grái Kötturinn (mains from £6.50; Hverfisgata 16a; tel. 00 354 5511544), a tiny cafe which has nearly as many stuffed bookshelves as it does tables. 11:00 Sticking with the sausage theme, make your way to The Icelandic Phallological Museum (entrance fee £5; to see how you or someone you know measures up to a 67-inch sperm whale penis and the pickled organ of an elderly Icelander who died last year. 13:00 Feeling a bit hot under the collar? Restore your composure with a walk in the fresh air around the strikingly original Lutheran church Hallgrímskirkja ( It took 38 years to build and the architecture was inspired by the basalt lava flows of Iceland’s landscape. 14:00 You’ll find busy hot dog stands all over the city, so get in line and grab one with the works for lunch. Some of the best are at Bæjarins Beztu (Pylsur Tryggvagotu 1), in operation since 1937 – apparently former US president Bill Clinton stopped for a snack last time he was in town. 15:00 Devote at least some of your afternoon to 76

Reykjavik’s Art Museum, which is spread over three locations: Hafnarhús, Kjarvalsstaðir and Ásmundur Sveinsson Sculpture Museum (entrance fee for all three £5.50; Hafnarhús has a huge collection of edgy graphic art from Icelandic artist Erró. 18:00 If you’ve got a strong enough stomach, get stuck into what might be the most Icelandic meal possible: smoked puffin and reindeer, at The Fish Market (mains from £18.50; Dinner here doesn’t come cheap, but the splurge is well worth it just for the bragging rights alone once you get back home. 20:00 Stomach suitably lined, it’s now time to start the famous Reykjavik ‘runtur’ (that’s the local lingo for pub crawl). Have a few beers at the casual, candle-lit Boston (pints from £3.50; Laugavegur 28b; tel. 00 354 5177816). It stays open until 6am, so you can come and go between here and other nearby venues, such as trendy dance spot B5 (pints from £3; and Mediterranean-themed, upmarket bar Vegamot (wine from £4,40; DAY 2: 10:00 Blinding headache? As soon as you can peel yourself out of bed, soothe it with breakfast of fruit, toast and coffee in the city centre’s Guesthouse Sunna (rooms from £39pn; 11:00 Once you’re feeling human enough to venture out again, take it easy with a soak in one of Reykjavik’s misty geothermal pools. One of the most popular is Blue Lagoon (entrance fee £28;, where those in need of a little TLC can opt for a massage, scrub or a host of other beauty treatments.


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Photos: Karin Beate Nøsterud, Sigurjon Gujnsson,

Hangover cure: a reinvigorating geothermal bath

13:00 It’s all about making the most of the fresh seafood while you’re here, so head to Sægreifinn (Verbúð 8; mains from £5; tel. 00 354 5531500) for great value lobster soup and fish kebabs. 14:00 Want to try a traditional horseriding session on an Icelandic mount? Viking Horses (riding tour approx £50; have a centre just 10 minutes’ drive from downtown. A ride takes you through a scenic trail of the Heidmork nature reserve and close to the border of the Hengill volcanic system. 16:00 You’ve just got time to stop in at Kolaportið Flea Market (Tryggvagotu 19; tel. 00 354 5625030), where you’ll find skint but trendy hipsters from Reykjavik hunting for bargains among the vintage records, bright knitted mittens and bobble hats. Pick up some souvenirs here for your buddies back home. 18:00 Icelandic Fish and Chips (mains from £5; does a hearty, healthy take on traditional fish and chips – their batter is made from spelt and barley, which apparently makes it marginally better for you. Either way, it tastes good. 20:00 Reykjavik is full of live music clubs, where bands play from early in the evening until late. In the increasingly hip 101 district, there are a few small but totally rocking venues, such as Cafe Amsterdam, (Hafnarstraeti 5; tel. 00 354 551 3800), where you can catch local acts. Fly from London Heathrow to Reykjavik return from £311pp with Icelandair

Original worship: Hallgrímskirkja church

Reyk-on: live music’s a big deal TNTMAGAZINE.COM

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Christmas overseas AROUND THE WORLD

Christmas is coming: hit the slopes in Val dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Isere 78


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Do Xmas with a difference Swap the sofa for snowy mountains, the TV for hot Thai beaches and the shopping crowds for remote Himalayan adventures WORDS HELEN ELFER

The Queen’s speech doesn’t do it for you? Allergic to paper crowns? Can’t stand the thought of sitting next to your squiffy aunt as she sniffles her way through the most depressing episode of EastEnders ever screened? We hear you, loud and clear. So make a break for it and spend Christmas overseas this year. You don’t have to give up any of the traditions you actually like – they have great fruitcake in India, snowy scenery in Russia and, naturally, vats of mulled wine in Germany. And if you head to the States, you can even still have your Starbucks Toffee Nut Lattes in a red cup. But whether you’re looking for a holiday that’s sporty, foodie, sunny or just something completely different from your usual Christmas celebrations, there’s definitely a holiday on this list that will fit the bill.


Germany, which boasts some of the best Christmas grub on the planet? In the lead up to the big day, browse all the goodies in the many Christmas markets across the city, including iced gingerbread cookies, lebkuchen (soft, cinnamon-flavoured biscuits) and stollen (festive fruit cake) among other sweet treats. For Christmas dinner itself, Germans usually go in for a traditional, multi-course roast, which could include goose, stuffed carp and suckling pig, or a rich cheese fondue with a generous kick of wine. Be warned, though, do this foodie holiday right and you won’t be able to squeeze into your seat on the plane ride home. DON’T MISS: Washing down everything you eat with cups of the ultimate Christmas tipple, glühwein. GETTING THERE: Fly from London Heathrow to Berlin with British Airways ( from £307 return*. Flight takes approx one hour 45 minutes.

BEST FOR: A cosy getaway

BEST FOR: A guaranteed white Christmas

WHERE: Krakow, Poland. WHY: You can’t beat Krakow for traditional Christmas scenery. From the twinkling lights of the festive markets, to the snow-covered Gothic churches, every sight you clap eyes on looks like it belongs on the front of a Christmas card. The city’s most unique Crimbo tradition is the ‘sopka’ – miniature portable theatres used for puppet Nativity plays. You’ll find them at most of the old churches in the city. DON’T MISS: Get a scenic tour of Krakow by night from a horse-drawn carriage, which you can arrange from the central Rynek Glowny Grand Square. Bring a blanket and a flask of mulled wine to keep you warm if it’s snowing. How much more Christmassy could you want? GETTING THERE: Fly from London Stansted to Krakow with Ryanair ( from £235 return*. Flight takes approx two hours.

WHERE: Moscow, Russia. WHY: Tired of always dreaming of snow-cover scenes on Crimbo Day and never actually seeing them? Then take matters into your own hands and jet off to Moscow for the holidays where your chances of seeing snowflakes falling on December 25 are infinitely better than they are in London. While you’re here, indulge in ice skating on the frozen lake in Gorky Park, then visit some of Moscow’s most iconic architecture, such as St Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin, while they’re covered in powder. DON’T MISS: The ultimate Russian Christmas experience – watching Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker at the Bolshoi Theatre, which has an annual run between Xmas and New Year. Book tickets (from approx £190) well in advance. GETTING THERE: Fly from London Heathrow to Moscow with British Airways ( from £587 return*. Flight takes approx three hours 40 minutes.

BEST FOR: A foodie holiday WHERE: Berlin, Germany. WHY: Everyone knows the real meaning of Christmas is to stuff yourself silly. So what better place to do it than in;

BEST FOR: A skiing holiday WHERE: Val d’Isere, France. WHY: Crackling log fires? Check. Snow outside? Check. All ›› TNTMAGAZINE.COM

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Clockwise: ice skating in Central Park; a white Xmas in Val d’Isere; festive decorations in Kerala

the food and wine you can put away? Absolutely. A break sliding down the white stuff in the French Alps is perfect for those who love classic wintery traditions, but hate that lethargic overdone-it feeling after endless housebound days. In Val d’Isere, sporty types can burn off the last round of turkey sandwiches by flying down the powdery ski slopes. But if you do want to indulge, warm up another saucepan of spicy mulled wine and stay by the fire in your cosy chalet. Everyone’s a winner. DON’T MISS: From December 22-29, Val d’Isere hosts an Enchanted Christmas event, which includes giant snow sculptures, concerts, torchlight descents and fireworks. GETTING THERE: Fly from London Gatwick to Geneva from £300 return* with British Airways ( Flight takes approx one hour 25 minutes.

about in the snow with armfuls of presents from Macy’s. DON’T MISS: Taking a break in the nearest coffee shop, preferably one attached to a quirky second-hand bookshop, where you’ll probably fall in love after your cappuccino gets mixed up with a lonely stranger’s latte. GETTING THERE: Fly from London Heathrow to New York from £1112 return* with Virgin Atlantic ( Flight takes approx six hours 30 minutes.

LONG HAUL BEST FOR: Living out Xmas movie fantasies WHERE: New York, US. WHY: There aren’t many cities as iconic as New York at Christmas. From the ice rink at Central Park and the giant tree at the Rockefeller Center Plaza, to choirs singing carols in lobbies across town and the OTT Santa’s grottoes, it’s no wonder all the best festive films are set here. So if you’re a big soppy fan of feel-good slush-fests such as Miracle On 34th Street, Elf, Noel or Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (don’t be embarrassed, we won’t tell anyone), head to The Big Apple for the ultimate seasonal experience. Go the whole hog like the New Yorkers do, and stagger 80

Wrap up warm: a traditional carriage ride in Krakow


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BEST FOR: A sunny beach break WHERE: Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand. WHY: Thailand has countless idyllic stretches of sand, but to combine heavyweight festive partying with relaxation, head straight to Ko Pha Ngan. Not only is it one of the country’s prettiest southern islands but it’s also a magnet for backpackers who want to let off a bit of steam. Fill a week here soaking up the sun by day and slurping buckets of Thai Red Bull and whiskey at night. Then, cover yourself in glow-in-the-dark body paint and rave on the sand until the sun comes up, then do it all again. DON’T MISS: Haad Rin beach is famous for its wild Full Moon parties, where everyone drinks, dances, watches fire poi and dares each other jump over burning skipping ropes. The annual festive bash (on Xmas Day) is bigger, even more crowded and with a smattering of Santa hats. This is a Christmas party you won’t forget in a hurry. GETTING THERE: Fly from London Heathrow to Koh Samui via Bangkok for £1486 return* with British Airways ( Journey time approx 15 hours.

Xi’an warriors: not in the Christmas mood

BEST FOR: A spiritual Christmas WHERE: Kerala, India. WHY: Because you won’t find much spirituality around Oxford Circus this month. In Kerala, south India, you’ll feel a million miles away from the seasonal buying frenzies of the West, but will still get to enjoy the region’s own, sunnier brand of Christmas celebrations. Around one fifth of the population is Christian, but the other religious groups here, namely Hindus and Muslims, have low-key celebrations as well, meaning most of the shops and cafes will be all decked out with star-shaped lanterns and baubles. Even the palm trees get covered in tinsel and streamers, so the place feels festive, albeit in a slightly surreal, unconventional way. Since religion is taken very seriously in Kerala – which you’ll be reminded of by road signs everywhere that say, ‘God’s own country’ – Christmas is more of a faith-based celebration than an excuse to party, and you’ll see adverts for English-language midnight masses ›› outside churches across the state.

Bah humbug! AntiChristmas holidays Find the whole business of Christmas about as interesting as watching a 10kg turkey defrosting? Then head to one of these very un-festive hotspots to escape all the glittery madness. China Shanghai’s shops will be filled with Christmas trees and festive decorations at this time of year, but in the rest of the country it’s business as usual over the yuletide period. In Xi’an, visit the Terracotta Army, a huge collection of intricately carved horses and warriors dating back to the 3rd century BC. They belonged to Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, and were supposed to protect him in the afterlife. SEE: Japan You can’t avoid the tinsel and Santa hats altogether in Japan anymore, but it’s not an official holiday. Make the most of all the wintry Japanese pursuits on offer that have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas. Go skiing in Niseko, Japan’s biggest resort, or do a little shopping at the Shimai Kobo market, held on December 21 in Kyoto’s To-ji Temple. SEE: Turkey As approximately 90 per cent of the population is Muslim, Christmas in Turkey is quite a low-key affair, and not widely celebrated at all outside of Istanbul. But if you can’t even bear seeing the odd string of fairylights, head out to the remote Kackar Mountains near the Black Sea in north-eastern Turkey for a week’s trek. You’ll be so busy forcing your aching muscles up the steep mountain slopes you won’t even have enough breath to hum a chorus of Jingle Bells. SEE:


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DON’T MISS: On Christmas Day, make sure you get hold of a fat slice of yummy plum cake, which is a Keralan take on the West’s traditional Christmas pud. It comes sprinkled with icing sugar and decorated with festive ribbons. GETTING THERE: Fly from London Gatwick to Kochin from £1167 return* with Emirates ( Flight takes approx 11 hours 35 minutes.

BEST FOR: A feel-good Christmas WHERE: Pokhara, Nepal. WHY: Remember when ‘Christmas spirit’ used to mean something other than Jägermeister? Pod Volunteer arranges placements in Pokhara in Nepal, where you’ll help out at orphanages, street children’s centres and schools. When you’re not working, explore the surrounding Himalayan mountain region by rafting, kayaking and trekking. DON’T MISS: That ultimate warm and fuzzy feeling of having done something worthwhile with your holiday. GETTING THERE: Fly from London Heathrow to Kathmandu from £904 return* with Qatar Airways ( Flight takes approx four hours 30 minutes.

Party Thailand-style on Koh Pha Ngan’s beach *Flight prices given are for the Christmas period

Cosy cottage: the perfect setting for Crimbo dinner

India not hot enough for you? Don a Santa hat

BEST OF THE REST ORPHAN’S CHRISTMAS BREAKS IN THE UK Family the other side of the world? Club together with your mates and spend Christmas together in one of these self-catering cottages around the UK

SNOWDONIA, WALES Cadair View Lodge is a snug log cabin in the heart of Snowdonia National Park. It has a massive kitchen for all that Christmas cooking and views of Cadair Idris. Sleeps: 6 Price: £300 for three nights between December 24 and 26 See: ARGYLL, SCOTLAND Cnoc nam Ban is such a remote cottage (the nearest pub is three miles away) you and your mates can go as Christmas crackers out here as you like. Bring plenty of supplies! Sleeps: 6 Price: £300 for a week See: 82

Photos: Getty, Thinkstock

CORNWALL, ENGLAND The Boat in Tregony, Roseland Peninsula, is a big stonefronted cottage perfect for a raucous Orphan’s Christmas Day. Drive to Cornwall for traditional dinner in the cottage, then spend the rest of the time in the village pub. Sleeps: 6 Price: £666 for five nights between December 22 and 27 See:

Snow wonder: St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow

NEXT WEEK White Desert: Blinding sands and ancient Egypt tombs


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Post your message at or email Text TNT and your message to 81707* HEN-PECKED: To the hens party I shared a couple of laughs with on the District line. There’s nothing better than spending a Tube ride talking to six inebriated middle-aged women – especially when they start performing dances from the musical Chicago so you join in for the hell of it. I had a great time, let’s do it again. Micky PARLEZ VOUS?: To the woman outside of the pub in Paris last weekend, I don’t think I’ve ever

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laughed so hard with a random stranger. I forgot your name the second you said it, but your hilarious insights on intimacy will stick with me. Never underestimate the power of a few drinks and an awkward “parlez vous anglais?” It gets you into a lot of fun. Jamie TURKEY PLEASE: As an American, the one thing the UK is missing is Thanksgiving. Who would say no to a day off work where all you have to do is go to your sister-in-law’s house, sit down all day long, eat, then eat, then eat some more. Throw in beers and

Trafalgar Square. Touching Dan Carter’s shoulders, secret shots of Sambuca; our attempt at doubling on a bike, and playing Guess Who on a rainy day. I love you, and will really miss you. Your fellow big bum, Rebecca! DIRTY KIWI & CHEESY: This love story starts with a plastic pint. It’s built to stand the test of time. We add to this beer. Beer is always there for you. It’s the reliable choice. Next we add a half of cider. Cider may be sweet, but it’s the potent part of this union. It is bubbly, can sometimes be a little bit

dirty but always refreshing. People have often debated which should come first, beer or cider? After years of intensive research we can conclude it is best when you come together. A beer alone is just a beer. A cider alone is just a cider. When you put them together with a dash of black current, you get the greatest marriage of them all ... the Snakebite! Congratulations on your wedding day, another Walky romance goes the distance. Love Stace and KK NO MATES: I can’t believe you lot all let me down when I needed you most. I’ve helped you all out a bunch of times but the moment when I asked for the favour to be returned, you all turned the other cheek. Some mates you are. Screw you guys. DE SPARKLY: Wow, was it just me or did you feel the spark as well? Maybe it’s just because it’s Christmas-time, but you picked up my iPhone after I’d dropped it, then handed it to me with the cutest smile I’ve ever seen. You brightened my day. Same time tomorrow? Girl with the red beanie, Bank Tube NEVER AGAIN: Guys, I can’t even remember what happened at the Walky that night, which is no excuse, but I’m really sorry. B, I have absolutely no recollection of trying to snog S, and J, I promise I don’t remember stealing your wallet and buying everyone rounds with your credit card. I’ll pay it back, honest. And P, I’m so sorry for throwing up all over your house. Yes, I’ll pay for the cleaner as well. Love you guys! Don’t hate me. VK xx

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GIVE IT UP: Desperately seeking a seat on the Tube during my morning commutes. It’s rather annoying having to stand through all the stops to Mile End in heels and uncomfortable stockings because pricks refuse to give up their seats for a damsel in distress. Chivalry is officially dead. Ellen NO DIRECTION: To the middle-aged Indian man blasting One Direction’s What Makes You Beautiful in my ear on the Tube last week: I salute you, sir. I wish I were as comfortable with my masculinity as you obviously are, but I had that damn song stuck in my head for days and you are to blame. Richard WAXING LYRICAL: To my fellow womankind, avoid dodgy £10 bikini waxes at all costs. It is £10 for a reason and some things deserve to be splurged on. I learned the hard way so you don’t have to. You’re welcome. MP LONDON, BABY: Pint of good British ale: £5. Plate of fish and chips to soak up the booze: £10. Arm wrestling an old man from Leeds in a pub on a Wednesday night: priceless. Only in London. TJ ’TIS THE SEASON: To the homeless lady in Earl’s Court who asks everyone for a cigarette – I gave you a pound a month ago, now bugger off. Stop making people feel cheap every time they step outside. Jimmy ARRIVEDERCI: Why is there always an obnoxious horde of Italian 20-somethings wherever I go in London (or the world)? Stop being so loud – you’re worse than the cast of Jersey Shore. Aussie Ag

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Your essential contacts list All the services you need for living and working in London Limited Companies & Accounting Money Transfers Tax Refunds UK Immigration UK Bank Accounts Travel Clinic Aus/NZ Migration Shipping Contractor Payroll

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TNT Magazine / Issue 1527