TNT Magazine / Issue 1529

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December 17-23 2012 Issue 1529 tntmagazine.com

WIN!

VIP TICKETS TO HALCYON AT MINISTRY OF SOUND ON BOXING DAY

THE END OF THE WORLD How to party like it’s the apocalypse

OUT WITH A BANG We pick London’s best NYE bashes

SKIING IN SERBIA Find secret slopes and go-go dancers

E H T BEAT R E V O G N A H

rning after o m e h t r fo d tests cures a o r T N T – y on to be joll ’Tis the seas

+ VOLUNTEER AT XMAS SOUTH AFRICA WINTER TRAVEL GUIDE BOOMTIME BUSKING

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LAURA CHUBB EDITOR laura.chubb@tntmagazine.com

EDITOR’S LETTER Christmas is always a ‘merry’ time in more ways than one. The warm and fuzziness of the festive season inspires an obsession in us all to catch up with every single person we ever met for ‘Christmas drinks’ – which means that, while we might feel jolly in the evening, Christmas mornings don’t tend to be a time for cheer. Thus, the ever dutiful TNT team tested out some hangover cures so you don’t have to, in the hope we can make December a little less ho-ho-horrifying for everyone. See the results on P36.

THIS WEEK

LONDONDIARY

4

LONDONNEWS

6

DRINK & EATS

12&13

@TNT

14

SPOTTED

17

LONDON SOUND

18

Photos: Thinkstock; TNT

LISTINGS CLUBS & GIGS 20&23 COMPETITION

22

CHATROOM FRANK TURNER

27

LONDON SCENE

28

LONDON FOCUS

30

LIFESTYLE

35-41

SHOPPING

35

HEALTH & BEAUTY

36

CAREERS

38

MONEY

41

NEWS & SPORT

42-52

TRAVEL

55-78

8

FEATURES PARTY INTO 2013

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London’s best New Year’s Eve bashes for starting 2013 with one hell of a bang

HANGOVER HELL

TNT investigates whether you can have a ‘merry’ Xmas minus the morning after pain

THE END IS NIGH

64

DIARY

56

NEWS

57

LATE DEALS

60

SECRET SLOPES

HOTSHOTS

61

TOP FIVE

64

We go skiing in Serbia and find awesome powder, go-go dancers and scary blokes

TIPS

66

SHORT BREAK

68

48 HOURS IN... BRUSSELS

72

CLASSIFIEDS DESPERATELY SEEKING

94-113 114

36

36

Top spots for seeing out the end of the world if the apocalypse hits on Dec 21

ULTIMATE SA

68

74

The winner of our travel blog competition on his highlights from South Africa

WINTER TRAVEL

81

Check out our 14-page guide to winter’s must-visit destinations – don’t miss out!

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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 DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Head of design and production Jon Cooke

LONDONDIARY

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Careful with those toys this Xmas, they’re made by kids and Will Ferrell

Acting picture researcher Ruth Board SALES Commercial director David Alstin Sales manager Jaqui Ward 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 tntmagazine.com General enquiries Phone 020 7953 8469 Fax 020 7953 7957 Email enquiries@tntmagazine.com SALES ENQUIRIES

Shhh... SECRET LONDON ELF AND THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL HACKNEY

PHONE 020 7989 0567 EMAIL sales@tntmagazine.com WHERE TO GET TNT

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

Quite what Charles Dickens himself would have made of Jim Henson’s take on his classic A Christmas Carol is anyone’s guess, with Michael Caine as a wicked Scrooge being shown the error of his ways by the likes of Kermit’s Bob Kratchit and Gonzo’s narrator. Top songs, top gags and as much a festive fixture as Dickens’ tale. So too Elf, which has Will Ferrell in not-annoying mode as one of Santa’s helpers who winds up in New York. Both Christmas flicks are on the same day so you can make a big screen double-header of it. FREE

Dec 20. 4pm (The Muppet Christmas Carol) and 7pm (Elf) St John-at-Hackney Church, E5 0PD Hackney Central

MONTAGUE SKI LODGE

GLASSBLOWING OPEN STUDIO

AN EVENING OF HIGH TEASE

This pop-up vodka bar and winter barbecue returns to the Montague on the Gardens’ outdoor area, bringing a little bit of the Alps to west London. It’s decked out with snow – and snowmen – with expert mixologists and tasting platters on offer too. For the price of a ‘lift pass’ you get three cocktails and grub.

Truly one-of-a-kind ornaments and gifts can be snapped up, such as tree decorations, jewellery and art pieces, at London Glassblowing’s open studio Christmas market. Rather than picking something up from the shelf of the high street’s main offenders, go artisan and artistic and impress your mates.

Taking some terribly English tradition and injecting a little spice, this night fuses high tea and titillation in the grand splendour of the Grosvenor Hotel’s Victorian Parlour. You get a welcome cocktail, scrumptious champagne tea and a burlesque show, featuring the likes of dancer Bettsie Bon Bon.

Until Dec 24. Mon-Sat. 10am-6pm SE1 3UD London Bridge londonglassblowing.co.uk

Dec 20. Jan 3 & Feb 28. 6.30pm 101 Buckingham Palace Road, SW1W 0SJ Victoria guoman.com/tease

£20

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.

00 4

stjohnathackney.org.uk

Until Jan 31. 11am-11pm WC1V 5BJ Holborn montaguehotel.com

FREE

£60

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Pantos off: Dick and Cox show

DICK!

Leicester Square Theatre Dick and his cat Dave star in this down and dirty panto that is certainly only for adults. On their journey seeking fame and fortune in the big city, the duo encounter showgirl Sofonda Cox and the evil Queen Runt as they try to survive a slew of cock gags and more puns and innuendo than any panto before – which is saying something! Festive and filthy, a cracking combination. £18.50

Various dates until Dec 18. Times vary WC2H 7BX Leicester Square leicestersquaretheatre.com

MAYOR’S CAROL SERVICE

PSYCHEDELIC BOAT PARTY

If baubles are higher on your Christmas list than cock and ball gags (see above), get yourself down to the Mayor of London’s Carol Service, where there will be choral music, candles, Bible readings, and peace and goodwill to all. Wrap up warm – it’ll be chilly in Southwark Cathedral.

At Noah’s Psychedelic Dreamboat Party, fancy dress is mandatory as guests are paired up as animals for an ark that insists it will, along with its house and disco tunes, survive the Mayan’s apocalyptic predictions. Seriously out there and one of a kind, unlike those on board.

Dec 17. 7pm SE1 9DA London Bridge london.gov.uk

Dec 21. 9pm-4am Hoxton Docks, E2 8BD Haggerston skiddle.com/tickets

FREE

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LONDONNEWS

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VOMITING BUG TAKES THE CAPITAL AT XMAS Londoners are blowing chunks in their thousands thanks to a highly infectious norovirus sweeping the city. The illness, which causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, is responsible for keeping hordes of London workers at home in the busy lead up to Christmas, while Wimbledon Chase Primary school reported that 639 pupils were off sick with the bug on a single day last week. A statement from the Health Protection Agency advised that people “be vigilant with their hygiene” to limit it spreading.

There will be feelings that she has ‘got away with it’ The judge that spared Labour MP Margaret Moran a jail sentence on mental health grounds after she scammed £60,000 of expenses

THIEVES SWIPE KIDS’ CHARITY XMAS GIFTS It seems the season of goodwill is lost on some after thieves stole presents donated to disadvantaged children from a charity in Merton, south London. Home-Start was burgled last week, leaving staff devastated at the loss of gifts intended for kids coming to the organisation’s Christmas party. A total of 71 presents were nabbed by the robbers and £150 worth of party food was also pinched. A wave of new donations are now being made through the website virginmoneygiving.com.

ON THE TUBE

Spice Girls musical Viva Forever has opened on the West End to widespread derision. The Telegraph said fans had “paid top whack to see a clunker”. Ouch

Christmas travel chaos

Teams of volunteers at London stations to minimise disruption The expected Christmas travel chaos on Britain’s railways will be headed off by a volunteer force of ‘travel champions’. London Commuters will be bracing themselves for busier-than-normal journeys during the Christmas exodus next week. There are also improvement works scheduled on lines over the next fortnight, considered by many with travel plans over Christmas to be a cause for concern. However, Network Rail chief executive Sir David Higgins told the Evening Standard lessons had been learned over the 2012 Olympics that would result in fewer delays during the festive travel rush. This would include working with Transport for London to ensure the smoothest journeys possible.

Olympic ‘travel champions’ volunteers will be on duty at mainline stations all over London to help passengers, and a transport co-ordination centre in Southwark will be on hand to ensure busy services such as Southeastern, East Anglia and Wessex Trains are running well. Sir David told the Standard: “We have a much more co-ordinated relationship with TfL. You will see it in the way we deal with disruption and delay. If you are a station manager at Liverpool Street you will know what is happening at Paddington and on the Central line.” He added that Christmas would see his company’s biggest ever programme of works. Fingers crossed, then.

THIS WEEK IN LONDON...

THIS WEEKEND’S WORKS

DLR: No service between Shadwell and Bank on Saturday or Sunday. No service between Canning Town and Beckton on the Sunday.

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

Thankfully, sprouts are not on the menu for once ....

Photos: Getty, Thinkstock

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It’s your last chance to catch Christmas food market Street Feast at Boxpark on Shoreditch High Street this week, where Christmas trees, twinkly festive lights and the best of London’s street food are sure to put you in the holiday mood. The pop-up market will be at Boxpark on Thursday only, serving up eats from the likes of Big Apple Hotdogs, Pizza Pilgrims, fellow purveyors of cheese pies Well Kneaded and Caribbean cuisine from Mama’s Jerk Station. Street Feast is dishing up at Boxpark from 6-11pm, or you can catch it again in Hackney on Friday. There’s also a New Year’s Eve bash before the market deserts us for a bit and takes a winter break. Boo! More at streetfeastlondon.com.

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FREEPHONE 0800 151 3511 Anglo Pacific International Plc, 5/9 Willen Field Road, Park Royal, London, NW10 7BQ Email: baggage@anglopacific.co.uk Hours: Mon-Fri 8.30am - 6.00pm Sat 9am-1pm

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So long 2012! It’s been an immense year for London, so don’t even think about leaving the capital when it comes to seeing it out Words frankie mullin 2012 has been London’s year – from the frenzied Jubilee celebrations to the better-than-ever-imagined Olympics. So contemplating not being in the capital to say farewell to the year in which London excelled would be foolish. And make sure you do it in style; forget moaning that New Year’s Eve is overhyped and settling for an old man’s boozer. Instead, embrace it and give 2012 the epic send-off it truly deserves. If you want to add a taste of the exotic, but are too skint to disappear, London can deliver that too. Just as the capital handed the Olympic baton to Brazil in August for the 2016 Games, it’s fitting to give December 31 a South American flavour. Bodymove’s White & Gold Rio Reveillon in Egg is promising a brain cell-destroying 14-hour bash emulating New Year’s Eve in Rio. House maestros Derrick Carter and Karizma will each be playing a stomping three-hour set, while a samba troupe will perform with percussionists and dancers. At midnight, there will be a live link up with Big Ben from the Brazilian Big Top, and another with one of Sao Paulo’s biggest clubs when they 8

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hit midnight at 3am GMT. The King’s Cross club will be draped in white and gold, says Bodymove promoter Ali Bee. “We are hoping to create a colourful and exhilarating carnival atmosphere,” she explains. “We have clubbers coming from around Europe coming to this party.” In Rio, locals traditionally dress in white on NYE to gather on the beach to give thanks, then light fireworks and dance until morning. The parties are legendary and Bee hopes to recreate the up-for-it spirit. “I’ve travelled to many different countries to celebrate NYE, but nothing beats the Brazilian atmosphere and their white-and-gold-styled parties,” she says. “They celebrate the new year with dancing, live music and the friendliest atmosphere.” Rio Reveillon goes on until 2pm on January 1, so Bee says she expects to welcome people coming from different clubs as well as the hardcore who will stay in Egg for the marathon session. “We believe this makes us the UK’s longest NYE party,” Bee says. “It’s going to be a meeting of the tribes.” For another event with a destination

theme (but a little more low-key), Bunga Bunga will be hosting the Incognito Masked Ball with 18thcentury Venice as its inspiration. The brilliantly named Battersea pizzeria will be transformed into Italy’s City of Canals. Surrounded by a gondola-shaped bar, Venetian statues and staff in fancy dress, guests will be given a Venetian mask then invited to a sumptuous six-course banquet. Feasting over, partying will commence. Founder Charlie Gilkes says former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi (who made Bunga Bunga parties famous) would certainly be pleased with the tribute. “He’d enjoy drinking out of cups shaped like his own head,” Gilkes says. “He would also like being able to party incognito. Although it might seem a bit tame compared to his own parties!” Happy new year! More NYE parties ›› Rio Reveillon, £35; Dec 31 8pm-Jan 1 2pm Egg, 200 York Way, N7 9AX Caledonian Road egglondon.net Incognito Masked Ball, £85 (with dinner); Dec 31 7pm-late 37 Battersea Bridge Road, SW11 3BA Fulham Broadway bungabunga-london.com

Che


Bellissimo! Non-stop fun at Bunga Bunga

ing nn w! wi sho rd w wa ne e a ing h t zl siz

Cheers! Fishbowl cocktails at Incognito Masked Ball

13 – 30 December

Little Match Girl

Dress by Harvey B-Brown © Magnus Hastings

‘Simply electric’ +++++ (Time Out, Sydney)

Book tickets 0844 847 9910 Southbankcentre.co.uk

Party time: Recreate Carnival atmosphere in London tntMagazine.com

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Beat Dimension NYE Warehouse Party netil house

A Vintage New Year’s Eve southbank

Home to 94 creative studios, Netil House is an amazing venue and this will be one of London’s coolest warehouse-vibe parties. Headliners include Belfast’s Space Dimension Controller, Manchester’s XXXY, R&S Records’ Pariah and Breach. Amazing visuals will be created by VJ Rebel Overly. Don’t miss out on having a drink in Netil360, the building’s panoramic rooftop bar with spectacular views of London.

Celebrate the new year vintage style, with retro pop-up nightclubs, beauty parlours, cocktails, dance classes, Twenties ragtime bands, a Forties swing orchestra, rock ‘n’ roll combos, films and DJs playing tunes from the Twenties to the Nineties. For £139.50, you’ll also get a three-course meal at a table beside the main ballroom floor of Royal Festival Hall.

£20+

Dec 31, 8pm-6am 1 Westgate Street, E8 3RL London Fields beatdimension.co.uk

£80+

last tuesday society masked ball the coronet You can always count on the quirky Last Tuesday Society to throw a wild, spectacular party. This year, London’s ultimate purveyors of decadence are holding a masked ball that will include the sounds of Urban Voodoo Machine, a cinema of desire, rooms of dancing as well as the chance to be fed oysters by naked people covered in gold. Plus, the party is in aid of homeless charity, Crisis. £15+

Dec 31, 7pm-2am Southbank Centre, SE1 8XX Waterloo southbankcentre.co.uk

Dec 30, 10pm-4am 28 New Kent Road, SE1 6TJ Elephant & Castle thelasttuesdaysociety.org

champagne, dinner and dancing shaka zulu Fire eaters, bubbly, a five-course gala dinner, then access to the nightclub are all on offer at this South African-themed venue. Breakfast at 3.30am. £25+

We, Like You New Year’s Eve Party bloomsbury bowling lanes This Fifties-style bowling club always knows how to put on a party. The NYE gig will feature music provided by Funk King, BBC Radio 6’s Craig Charles as well as The Correspondents – including blues, jazz, electro and drum’n’bass. The basement room will be taken over by London hip-hop crew Livin’ Proof and, if you feel like a break from dancing, the bowling lanes and karaoke rooms will be open as usual. £20

Dec 31, 7pm-4am Tavistock Hotel, WC1H 9EU Russell Square, Goodge St welikeyounewyearseve. eventbrite.co.uk

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Dec 31, 8pm-4am Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AB Chalk Farm shaka-zulu.com

Buttoned Down Disco’s F*ck New Year’s Eve Party Koko Giant balloons, swirly visuals, free entry before 10pm, booze and a mash-up of indie and electro anthems. Plus, you get a “F*ck NYE” badge. FREE

Dec 31, 9pm-3.30am 1a Camden High St, NW1 7JE Mornington Crescent buttoneddowndisco.com

Cargo NYE Presents: Post Apocalypse with Ryan Crosson cargo

Simian Mobile Disco xOYO

moondance scala

With Simian Mobile Disco headlining and DJ sets from the dance-house Hercules & Love Affair Soundsystem and Andy Butler along with live vocalists, this NYE bash is all about the music.

Old skool, jungle and general electro mayhem from the likes of veterans Ratpack, Micky Finn and Slipmatt. This is a big party – some 55 artists will play for 10 hours in three big arenas. Epic.

According to the Mayan calendar, December 21 is the day the world will end. If you’re still alive 10 days later and fancy throwing some shapes to banging house and techno, courtesy of Ryan Crosson (Visionquest), Lee Curtis and others, Cargo is your spot. Non-obligatory dress code is post-apocalyptic, Burning Man, cyberpunk or zombieinspired. Go all-out.

Dec 31, 9pm-5am 32-37 Cowper Street, EC2A 4AP Old Street xoyo.co.uk

Dec 31, 8pm-6am 275 Pentonville Road, N1 9NL King’s Cross scala-london.co.uk

Dec 31, 8pm-6am 83 Rivington Street, EC2A 3AY Old Street cargo-london.com

£20+

£25

£15+


Secretsundaze NYE The Bussey Building

Club De Fromage & Old School Indie New Year’s Eve Fancy Dress Extravaganza 02 academy Two rooms will do battle at this epic seven-hour party. Choose from the one playing pop hits such as Lady Gaga and Girls Aloud or dance the night away to indie classics from Pulp, Blur et al in the other. Expect games, balloons, confetti, silliness and, randomly, meat pies. Oh, and if you don’t make an effort with your fancy dress costume, you’ll stand out like a sore thumb. £22+

Dec 31, 9pm-4am 16 Parkfield Street, N1 OPS Angel clubdefromage.com

An all-night rave in deepest Peckham with a stellar line-up that includes Chicago-based artist Amir Alexander, Dutch dubstep DJ Martyn and Secretsundaze residents Giles Smith and James Priestley. Expect to be working up a sweat to house, techno, drum’n’bass and dubstep. The party has been moved from its original warehouse location but the vibe will remain anarchic. £27

Belle Epoque Circus Party Village Underground Welcome in 2013 in a velvet-draped big top where acrobats swing from the ceiling, ringmasters crack whips and ballerinas twirl. Expect amazing costumes and performances from some of Europe’s top acrobats. Sneak away to the intimate curtained areas on the mezzanine level, and pop into the boudoir for a lesson in costume makeup. Costumes should be wild and wonderful. £40

Dec 31,10pm-6am 133 Rye Lane, SE15 4ST Peckham Rye secretsundaze.net

Dec 31, 9pm-3am 54 Holywell Lane, Shoreditch, EC2A 3PQ Shoreditch High Street belleepoqueparty.com

Defected in the House electric brixton Defected In The House presents a line-up of world-class underground house DJs including Dennis Ferrer, Deetron and Noir. £33

New Year’s Eve Swing Spectacular floridita

Dec 31, 9pm-7am Brixton Hill, SW2 1RJ Brixton electricbrixton.com

80S LOVE maggie’s It’s all about the Eighties at this party, inviting guests to toast iconic personalities from Roger Moore to Timmy Mallet with a Veuve Clicquot reception. At 2am, bacon butties will be wheeled out so you can refuel and carry on your 80s dance-a-thon. £30

New Year’s Eve East Side Story 2013 barrio east

Start your night in Soho with a gourmet three-course meal (tickets including dining from £60) while listening to the smooth, slick sounds of The Midnight Stompers. When the feast is finished, Thirties/Forties band Swing Zazou will take to the stage, upping the tempo with must-dance-to music getting everyone on their feet. It’ll be a glittering evening, seeing 2012 off in style.

A vintage New York new year. Tuck into turkey and roast chestnut stuffing burgers with cranberry and ginger relish and listen to live jazz and Motown music as New York scenes are projected on to the walls. Low-key fun.

Four rooms of dance music hosted by Toolroom Knights who have residencies in cities across the globe including Vegas, Moscow and Miami.

Latin-themed bar, Barrio East (review P12) is promising a “big block rocking celebration” on New Year’s Eve. Beats will be provided by DJ Jimi Needles and Ferdie Ahmed, there will be a tequila ice luge, and cocktails – which the bar specialises in – will be discounted until 10pm. When midnight strikes, confetti cannons will fire.

Dec 31, 8pm-3am 100 Wardour Street, W1F 0TN Tottenham Court Road floriditalondon.com

Dec 31, 6pm-12.30am 6 Hollywood Road, SW10 9HY West Brompton honkytonkchelsea.com

Dec 31, 10pm-5am 103 Gaunt Street, SE1 6DP Elephant & Castle ministryofsound.com

Dec 31, 8pm-4am 141-143 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JN Old Street barrioeast.com

£30+

A NEW YORK YEAR honky tonk £20+

Dec 31, 10.30pm-late 329 Fulham Road, SW10 9QL Earl’s Court maggies-club.com

Toolroom Knights ministry of sound £45

£10+

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LONDONDRINKS

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[Caption] Barrio East: a holiday in Shoreditch

BAR

The latest Barrio bar to bring a taste of Latin America to London, this new opening on Shoreditch High Street is bigger and brighter than siblings Barrio Central in Soho and Barrio North in Islington. Separated into areas with their own distinct feel and design – for example, ‘La Boca Barrio’ is a dancefloor set against a recreation of a colourful street in the Buenos Aires neighbourhood, while the ‘Timber Yard’ offers booths constructed from higgledy-piggledy painted planks of wood – stepping into this place is like being handed an instant sunny holiday. THE GRUB A selection of Latin American street food. The ceviche, served in shot glasses, is particularly good – cubes of sea bass are lent an irresistible blend of refreshing zing (via lime juice) and invigorating fire (thank the yellow chilli). THE SCENE

Original Barrio cocktails are divided into ‘new releases’, ‘remixes’ (classics given a Barrio twist) and ‘greatest hits’ (the best of Barrio cocktails past). The menu warned the Ron Mocha Boca could result in scenes of a sexual nature, and it wasn’t kidding – a boozy milkshake blending Santa Teresa Añejo rum, marzipan, coffee and cream, it made me moan in ecstasy. Loudly. BILL PLEASE Cocktails from £8; wines from £5/ £18 per glass/ bottle; beers from £3.80/ £4.20 per bottle/ pint. Snacks from £3; sharing plates from £5. VERDICT Warm, relaxed and colourful, it’s another world in here. A winter essential. LC BEHIND THE BAR

141-143 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JE

3 OF THE BEST XMAS PUBS

barrioeast.com

Shoreditch High Street

THE AVALON

THE LANSDOWNE

THE HOLLY BUSH

Inspired by the land of King Arthur legend, this Balham pub is the Holy Grail of winter nights. As well as serving up a three-course roast, The Avalon is offering a free glass of mulled wine when you buy a £15 tree.

This posh Primrose Hill boozer is known for its top Mediterranean-inspired pub grub, and 17 years after opening it’s still a popular choice. Head here to chill out in front of a cosy fire with a pint or two.

A house built by renowned artist George Romney around 1800, this old-world Hampstead pub has been untouched since. A charming fireside makes this the perfect place for a festive beverage in London.

theavalonlondon.com

thelansdownepub.co.uk

hollybushhapstead.co.uk

advert

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BITE SIZE

Silk Road: packed on a Tuesday

HOMEMADE CHRISTMAS Stock up on delicious seasonal fair at Hackney’s Homemade Market. From 11am on December 22, traders will be selling deli goods from chutneys and jams, to artisan produce and cakes. If you’re grabbing some last-minute Christmas presents, look no further than this Hackney market, which will also sell stocking fillers, vintage clothes and festive decorations. Find it at John-at-Hackney churchyard, Lower Clapton Road, E5 0PD. destinationhackney.co.uk

LITERATURE AND BOOZE Learn about famous writers while on a pub crawl of the city’s finest boozers. The London Literary Pub Crawl Xmas edition includes free mince pies, wine as well as a traditional sing-along. You’ll meet near Goodge Street Tube and enjoy a pub quiz as well as visiting the venues which influenced or were frequented the likes of Virginia Woolf, Charles Dickens, Dylan Thomas, George Orwell and Anthony Burgess. The walks take place on December 20 and 22 and costs £18. londonliterarypubcrawl.com

Photos: TNT

WINTER WONDERLAND The Elk in Fulham has transformed its garden with sparkling lights, Christmas trees and illuminated reindeers for the festive season. Chow down on festive treats such as turkey and pancetta patties with sage and onion relish, cranberry mayonnaise served on toasted brioche. Wash them down with a steaming mug of butterscotch Schnapps, hot chocolate or a Candy Cane (strawberry vodka, Creme de Menthe and cranberry juice).

SILK ROAD CHINESE

Don’t come here for the decor – the no-frills wooden benches, bad purple paint job and basic crockery won’t impress your date. Somehow, though, the atmosphere is incredible. The food translates to good vibes, and a lot of happy customers, despite the sticky floors and cosy seating arrangements. THE GRUB If you know your Sichuan from your Yunnanese and Hunanese grub, you will love this place. However, if you’re used to going to the local Chinese takeaway for sweet and sour pork and chicken chow mein you should come here with an open mind – and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The food is specific to the Xinjiang region in northwest China, and it will probably taste like nothing you’ve had before. Expect both Chinese and Middle Eastern influences. Lamb skewers are dowsed with Xinjiang’s famous spicy seasoning (made with Szechuan peppercorns, chilli powder, cumin and garlic) and served traditionally, with alternating lumps of grilled meat and crispy fat. Meanwhile, the cold, crunchy cucumber with garlic is prepared to perfection. All dishes come in hearty sharing portions, including the spicy shredded potato, and aubergine and tomato hot pot (both are sweet, sharp and exceptionally moreish). Feeling particularly adventurous? Dabble in a bit of shredded kelp or ox tripe, each comes in a chilli broth. The last page of the menu veers away from Xinjiang, here you’ll find Jiaozi dumplings. The perfectly crafted bags of deliciousness offer a break from the spice. The light egg, leek and shrimp ones are particularly good when dipped in vinegar. THE SCENE

There are only two choices of alcohol: typical Tsingtao beer (£2.50 a bottle) and red wine (£12 a bottle). Or opt for a traditional pot of Chinese tea (£1). BILL PLEASE Cold dishes from £3; hot dishes from £6; skewers from £1; dumplings £2.50 for 10. VERDICT Excellent value, quick service and the best Xinjiang food we’ve had outside of the Middle Kingdom. JADE BREMNER BEHIND THE BAR

elkbar.com 49 Camberwell Church Street, SE5 8TR

020 7703 4832

Denmark Hill

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LETTER OF THE WEEK

2Day FM has come under fire

Text TNT and your message to

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I’M REALLY PISSED OFF about this WHOLE Royal baby thing. they’re obvIOUSLY just doing it to CLAIM extra benefits

Ozzy JOHN MCAFEE ARRESTED. TRIAL EXPECTED TO LAST ABOUT 30 DAYS

Phil The Pope once said THAT HE’D NEVER USE SOCIAL MEDIA. NOW HE HAS A TWITTER ACCOUNT. He’s a catholic converter

Maddy I’VE DECIDED ON MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION. I’M GIVING UP LENT

Leo Mitt Romney spent millions not becoming president. I spent 65p and got the same result, only I have a twix to show for it

Rachel AT LAST, A WEEK IN WHICH A CELEB WE USED TO LIKE HASN’T BEEN ARRESTED

Josie The pope hasn’t done anything. He’s Just collecting followers. He hasn’t said anything on twitter either

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SHAME ON THEM Re: 2Day FM phone hoax scandal (tntmagazine.com): The station should be closed with immediate effect, or at least the director should quit and the two DJs should be prosecuted for involuntary manslaughter. How disgraceful. I hope they know that they have destroyed a family. Anon, via tntmagazine.com

DON’T LAY BLAME I don’t think anyone could make these two feel as bad as they do already, and they cannot and should not be held responsible for the actions of another person. I hope the two of them can overcome what they are now going through as there don’t need to be any more victims in this story. Another London Kiwi, via tntmagazine.com

Nirvana reunion benefit gig (tntmagazine.com): Charity is awesome and all, but plenty of other people could have done a better job AND actually sang one or two of the band’s actual songs instead of coming up with something that Paul could manage. Paul Kenney, via Google+

GO ON, GEEZER You’ll be lucky if you can do the things [Paul McCartney] can when you reach his age! This gig is for a good charity and you sods are worried about losing the musical quality ... piss off the lot of you! Steve Martin, via Google+

PISS OFF PAUL The world has had ENOUGH of this wrinkly plank! GTFOff the stage. Phil Hall, via Google+

Dave

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FEEBLE FRONTMAN Re: Paul McCartney stands in for Kurt Cobain at

HANGOVERS /36 SECRET SKIING IN SERBIA /68

Johnny wins a three-day tour of Ireland with Shamrocker shamrockeradventures.com

YOUR TWEETS Tweet us @tntmagazine @hilaryloris An @tntmagazine left on the tube this morning. All-out 3-way brawl to claim it next. Unsuccessful – I’ll have to settle for online version! @_missrain A stroll through London & found my precious @tntmagazine now life is good @natrose85 The more I read about Scotland, the more I want to go there

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Helen Gracie: Weirdest baby names of 2012: Four, Tron, Popeye. Is this because our growing pop. is bored of names? Cara Kerfoot: Re: Sir Ian McKellen has prostate cancer: He is one of the great actors of the age and I hope he has a speedy recovery, sending positive thoughts your way Sir McKellen. Anita Tahir: Thai accent sexy? I know most of the ladyboys are sexy, but the accent?

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The 2Day FM DJs would never have thought they’d get so far. Have you heard the call? Have you heard the accents they’re putting on? The way they’re talking? They’re trying to get themselves rumbled before they get too far. [The public’s] reaction is exactly the thing [the public is] criticising. [They’re] playing the same game as the tabloids, apportioning sensationalist blame.

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EST. 1985

DISCOUNTED FARES WORLDWIDE AUCKLAND SYDNEY MELBOURNE PERTH CHRISTCHURCH BRISBANE ADELAIDE MAURITIUS BANGKOK JOHANNESBURG KATHMANDU BEIJING LAGOS ACCRA NAIROBI ENTEBEE HARARE COLOMBO CAPE TOWN SAN PAULO

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BUSINESS ONE WAY From £2170.00 £4492.00 £4520.00 £4300.00 £4530.00 £2220.00 £1640.00 £1245.00 £3230.00 £1815.00

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The Pogues: festive folk

ALASDAIR MORTON FOR THE RECORD “Some guys asked me go and jam with them...” Paul McCartney’s understated words as he introduced Dave Grohl, Kris Novoselic and Pat Smear to the stage at last week’s Hurricane Sandy benefit show. “Then the penny finally dropped – I was in the middle of a Nirvana reunion.” Reunion in the sense the three used to share the stage as part of the seminal band, but the former Beatle was hardly leaping into the drum kit a la Kurt Cobain. If the trio were to take to the stage again, though, doing so under the banner of such a good cause was the only way to avoid the possible punk purist backlash (Courtney Love was probably unimpressed still). Cut Me Some Slack, the tune they’d been jamming, was rocking but forgettable, and seeing multi-instrumentalist showoff Grohl behind the kit is no rarity. The best thing about it was seeing Krist’s low-slung bass bouncing on his knees as it did in his grunge years heyday.

THE POGUES + FRANK TURNER The O2 THURS, DEC 20 | DOORS AT 7PM | £32.50

It’s a Christmas tradition for Irish-London folk punks The Pogues to play a festive show, and just as much for their 1987 hit Fairytale Of New York to hit the charts. This year, Shane MacGowan (whose birthday’s Xmas Day) and the boys have something a bit more grand than usual planned to bring some festive cheer. The venue for this December show is a little more expansive than it has been in previous years as they take over the Dome for a night. Fairytale, too, has been re-released for its 25th anniversary, again making impressions in the charts and becoming a contender for the festive number one spot (it was denied this upon its original release by the Pet Shop Boys’ You Are Always On My Mind). Over the years, MacGowan’s been kicked out the band (“Why did it take you so long?” he quipped in 1991) then welcomed back, and this current incarnation reconvened in 2001 (before disbanding again in 2010). Throughout the years, The Pogues never hit the heights their craft deserved – even the 1985 masterpiece Rum, Sodomy and The Lash only achieved 13th place in the UK charts (maybe it was the catchy name?). Yet at Christmas they rule and will be joined by 20,000 like-minded whisky-supping souls to support them in fine voice. One of these will be none other than Frank Turner, a folk-punk troubadour some 24 years MacGowan’s junior. While short of years, though, he is not short of spirit and there is no one more suited to carry The Pogues’ torch onward. Turn to P25 for our interview with Frank Turner. North Greenwich

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theo2.co.uk

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NEW BAND

MACY GRAY GIG THURS, DEC 20. 7PM £30

I Try was one of the most honest and heartwarming pop songs of the Noughties, even if Macy sounded as if she needed to clear her throat. After dalliances with acting, she’s returned this year with Covered (versions of tunes by the likes of Metalllica and Radiohead) and her rejig of Stevie Wonder’s album, Talking Book.

Photos: Getty

Koko 1a Camden High Street, NW1 7JE Mornington Crescent koko.uk.com

AWAKE LONDON XMAS SPECIAL

BACK TO ’95 BOXING DAY SPECIAL

CLUB

CLUB

SUN, DEC 23. 10PM-6AM £8+

WEDS, DEC 26. 10PM-6AM £15+

Cable’s most intimate room hosts this pre-Xmas bash which features residents James Graynor (Dirty Filthy Soul) and Ben Cain spinning the most cutting-edge beats to celebrate the last party of 2012 (before NYE that is). A 12 Days Of Christmas comp is running in the lead-up, too, so you can win stuff and request mixes for the night.

Work off that belly full of turkey with this night of old skool garage and house classics featuring live performances, guest DJs and MCs and a host of special guests, too, including DJ Spoony and Matt ‘Jam’ Lamont. So get out of the house, get your groove on and get party season back under way properly.

Relay 33 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3JW London Bridge cable-london.com

Club Colosseum 1 Nine Elms Lane, SW8 5NQ Vauxhall backto95.com

EMMY THE GREAT AND TIM WHEELER

SOULWAXMAS

HAPPY MONDAYS

GIG

CLUB

GIG

THURS, DEC 20. 7PM £16.50

DEC 21 & 22. 8PM-3AM £27.50

DEC 19 & 20. 7PM £32.50

This indie-pop duo made one of the best festive albums of last year in This Is Christmas, and they’re back in 2012 with single Zombie Christmas and take their little joyous, festive tunes out on the road so the undead can rejoice with Santa and his lot. Odd, but surprisingly, it works … really well.

The Belgian legends will take to the stage as part of their live rock band Soulwax (above), as well as in rounding off the evening under their DJ alter-ego moniker 2manyDJs for a night than runs the gamut of the musical spectrum (Dolly Parton samples?). Support comes from the equally legendary Erol Alkan and many more.

The druggy kings of baggy have reconvened and jumped aboard the reunion train along with fellow Madchester mates Stone Roses. Shaun, Bez and the rest of them – we’re not sure who the others are – are back to rattle through Step On, Kinky Afro, 24 Hour Party People and all their other maracas-shakin’ hits.

Scala 275-277 Pentonville Road, N1 9NL King’s Cross scala-london.co.uk

Brixton Academy 211 Stockwell Road, SW9 9SL Brixton o2academybrixton.co.uk

Roundhouse Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8EH Chalk Farm roundhouse.org.uk

CROWNS THE BUZZ SO FAR The Cornish selfstyled ‘fish-punk’ four-piece released their debut LP Stitches In The Flag in November, and it was a catchyas-fuck collection of ramshackle folk-rock that lodged in the head like a hammer. Socially-aware lyrics, energetic rhythms, rasping, roguish vocals – they’ll have you stomping round the dance hall, so it’s no surprise they’re supporting Boston Irish punks Dropkick Murphys in the new year. Meanwhile, they’re playing a festive tour for The Big Issue, busking on the capital’s streets. One to watch! THE CRITICS SAY “Stitches In The Flag is full of rousing, riotous, rebellious anthems” Mischa Pearlman, BBC THE PLUG Play London, Dec 18. Free. See The Big Issue for details. bigissue.co.uk

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CLUBLISTINGS

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MONDAY 17 Bite Resident DJs Lydia, Ian and Marcus spin indie, electro, disco and punk. Miabella, Greek St, W1D 4DL (020 7025 7844). 10pm-3am. £5, NUS/w/flyer £3.

Balkankan DJ Shefitza plays electro Balkan folk, Gypsy and Balkan beats, with a live set from Arhai and dancer Lily Devla. Ginglik, Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12 8PH (020 8749 2310). 7pm-3am. £8, guestlist £6 before 10pm, mems free.

BOOK NOW!

Bangface 87: 9th Birthday XmashUp Krome And Time, Jumping Jack Frost, Cooh, Kanji Kinetic, Bass Clef, DMX Krew, Demon Cabbage, Bassbin Terrorizer, Rapidax and Saint Acid spin drum ‘n’ bass, electronica and acid. Electrowerkz, Torrens St, EC1V 1NQ (020 7837 6419). 10pm-6am. £12.

Bump DJ Wayne G and guests play commercial house, chart and pop. Barcode Vauxhall, Goding St, SE11 5AW (020 7582 4180). 9pm-late. Phone for prices. Consey Island Party Resident DJs spin 1950s rock ‘n’ roll, 1960s French pop, Latin and swing. Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, Pollard Row, E2 6NB (020 7739 2727). 9pm-2am. £8, £7 before 10pm. 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. Kinky Kabaret DJs spin pop music, plus cabaret sets. Freedom Bar, Wardour St, W1F 0TA (020 7437 3490). 11.30pm-3am. Phone for prices. The Qcumber Christmas Banana Party DJs Ollie Blayney and DJ Valesko spin house and techno. The Bedroom Bar, Rivington St, EC2A 3AY (020 7739 5706). 9pm-midnight. £10, adv £5.

TUESDAY 18 Balearic Deep, vocal and Balearic house. The Shadow Lounge, Brewer St, W1F 0RF (020 7287 7988). 10pm-3am. £5, guestlist free.

UKF BASS CULTURE NEW YEAR’S EVE Brixton Academy. Dec 31. £40+ One of the biggest nights this new year’s has Chase and Status (above) with DJ Fresh, Delta Heavy and loads more drum ‘n’ bass superstars. SW9 9SL

Brixton

o2academybrixton.co.uk

WEDNESDAY 19 Brixton Jamms For Africa! CODA, Lunatrix and ChainSka Brassika play dubstep, reggae and ska. Jamm, Brixton Rd, SW9 6LH (020 7346 8920/ cc 020 7274 5537). 7.30pm-late. £5. Disco Paradise Jo Public plays rare groove, disco, rock ‘n’ roll and soul. Joiners Arms, Hackney Rd, E2 7QL (020 7739 9397). 11pm-2am. Free.

Chop Suey DJs Martisau and Phaze One spin bashment, classic R‘n’B, hip-hop and urban-dance. Proud Camden, The Horse Hospital, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8AH (020 7482 3867). 7.30pm-1.30am. £3, £1 before 10pm.

DJ Mag Best Of British 2012 Awards Party Richy Ahmed, Darius Syrossian and Shadow Child spin house, techno and disco with the winner of the Best Of British DJ category, a special guest and the DJ Mag Allstars. Cable, Bermondsey St, SE1 2EG (020 7403 7730). 8pm-2am. £10, adv £7, early bird £5.

Desire DJs Steven Geller, Bruno Nouer and Sven Jon spin house and electro records. Covert, Albert Embankment, SE1 7TP (020 7820 6757). 3am-11am. £8, w/flyer £6.

Factory Afterparty DJs play house, nu-disco, electro and techno. Covert, Albert Embankment, SE1 7TP (020 7820 6757). 1am-8am. £6, w/flyer/mems £4.

F.I.S.H Resident DJs play house, disco and minimal techno. Covert, Albert Embankment, SE1 7TP (020 7820 6757). 11pmlate. £8, w/flyer £5 before 1am.

The John Blaze Rap Jam Xmas Special Resident DJs spin hip-hop and rap. The Windmill, Blenheim Gardens, SW2 5BZ (020 8671 0700). 7pm-late. Free.

Glamorous Afterparty Deep house and electro courtesy of DJs Kaos Kid, Marlon K and Francko Harris. Covert, Albert Embankment, SE1 7TP (020 7820 6757). 5am-11am. £7, w/flyer £6.

Lovesick Presents Disco On Ice Blonde Ambition and Shamu spin disco classics beneath glitterballs as partygoers take to the ice. Somerset House, The Strand, WC2R 1LA (020 7845 4600). 8pm-11.30pm. £17.

House Party UK Dance, chart, electro and hip-hop. Dingwalls, Camden Lock, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8AB (020 7428 0010/ cc 020 7428 5929). 9pm-late. Adv £5. An Indie Pop Christmas Party Pop, indie and soul courtesy of Victoria And Jacob, Hoshal Patrick, Librarians Wanted and Playhouse DJs. The Hideaway, Junction Rd, N19 5LB (020 7561 0779). 7.30pm-11.45pm. £3. Two Sisters Records Christmas Party Wichita Records DJs spin alternative, pop, psychedelic and rock, with live performances from Young Husband, The Red Lapels and The New Union. The Lexington, Pentonville Rd, N1 9JB (020 7837 5371). 7.30pm-late. Adv £3.

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THURSDAY 20 6T’s Northern Soul Xmas Party DJ Harboro Horace and guests spin soul. 100 Club, Oxford St, W1D 1LL (020 7636 0933). 9pm-2am. £10. Bad Sex Mayton DJs and Fin Munro spin indie, rock and pop, plus live sets from Danglo and Gare D’ici. Proud Camden, The Horse Hospital, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8AH (020 7482 3867). 7.30pm-2.15am. £7, £5 before 10pm, guestlist £5, free before 10pm. Brownswood Christmas Party Gilles Peterson, Lefto and Alex Patchwork spin electro, dance, funk and soul. Village Underground, Holywell Ln, EC2A 3PQ (020 7422 7505). 9pm-late. £11.

Club AC30 Christmas Party Mat Flint and Dom Gourlay spin alternative, pop and rock, with live performances from Echo Lake, Novella and SPC ECO. The Water Rats, Gray’s Inn Rd, WC1X 8BZ (020 3589 5983). 7.30pm-late. £8. Faded Ace, Snips, Jam Masters, Ralph Hardy and Semo spin hip-hop, drum ‘n’ bass, dubstep and house. The Rhythm Factory, Whitechapel Rd, E1 1EW (020 7375 3774). 10pm-3am. £5 & £8. I Love FWD Xxxy, Foamo, Scratcha DVA and Mele spin dubstep, house, techno, electro and garage. Plastic People, Curtain Rd, EC2A 3QE (020 7739 6471). 9.30pm-2am. £7. Globetronica Residents and guests supply house, dub, broken beat, nu-jazz and world beats. The Player, Broadwick St, W1F 8HN (020 7494 9125). 8pm-2am. £5 after 9pm. Legends Rob Manga spins soul, R‘n’B, funk, hip-hop, reggae and disco. Rich Mix, Bethnal Green Rd, E1 6LA (020 7613 7498). 8pm-late. £12, adv £10. OLO Presents OLO DJ plays pop and rock, with a live performance from Crushed Beaks. The Lock Tavern, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8AJ (020 7482 7163). 8pm-late. Free. Secret Thursdays DJs Radlett, Hitman and Jay Shaw play bashment, club classics, hip-hop, house, R‘n’B and Afrobeat. Orleans, Seven Sisters Rd, N4 2HZ (020 7281 8482). 10pm-late. £5, free before 11pm.

FRIDAY 21 Alan Vs Jungle Syndicate! Switch, More Like Trees, Beatbox Collective and Equinox & Andy Skopes spin house. Jamm, Brixton Rd, SW9 6LH (020 7346 8920/cc 020 7274 5537). 10pm-6am. Adv £12.50 & £15. Amp & Deck’s Christmas Party DJs Amp & Deck, Phil Mison, Capita! and Lucky Jase play electronica, ambient and experimental, Balearic house. The Waiting Room, Stoke Newington High St, N16 0LH (020 7241 5511). 7.30pm-late. £5.

Egg Presents Julian Jeweil, Noob and H2 spin house and techno. Egg, York Way, N7 9AX (020 7871 7111). 10pm-7am. £20, adv £15, NUS £10, mems £13. Loud Noise End Of The World Party DJs Coki, Kryptic Minds, Jakes, Mensah, Swindle, Barely Legal and Jack Swift spin dubstep and electronica. Cable, Bermondsey St, SE1 2EG (020 7403 7730). 10pm-6am. Adv £8 & £10. Love And Harmony Channel One, Jah Youth and Aba-Shanti-i spin dub and reggae. The Scala, Pentonville Rd, N1 9NL (020 7833 2022/ cc 0844 477 1000). 10pm-late. Adv £12. Release & Illusions Of House Hoxton Whores, Soul Purpose, Jesse James, Carlos & Ryan, Jason Lee Ward, Lewis James, Calcule Matanza and Shane Who spin house and tech to recapture the energy and excitement of Ibiza. Relay, Bermondsey St Tunnel, SE1 3JW (020 7403 7730). 10pm-6am. £17.50, adv £13.50 & £15, early bird £10. Smirnoff Pre-Party House, techno and electro courtesy of in-house DJs. Gigalum, Cavendish Parade, Clapham Common South Side, SW4 9DW (020 8772 0303). 7pm-late. Free. Smirnoff Be There R3hab, Sidney Samson, Michael Woods, Bassjackers, Shane Patrick, Ben Gold, Ali Wilson, Lee Osbourne, Karma Club Nights, DeeAfro, Roxmaker, Ben Wood, Alan Kirby, Alexander J and Jason Smythe spin house and electro. The Ministry Of Sound, Gaunt St, SE1 6DP (0870 060 0010). 10.30pm-6am. £15. Soulwaxmas Presents: Alt rock, acid-house, dancepunk and electro courtesy of Soulwax, 2manydjs, Ego Troopers, Kindness, Erol Alkan and Mixhell. O2 Academy Brixton, Stockwell Rd, SW9 9SL (0844 477 2000). 8pm-3am. Also Sat £27.50.

SATURDAY 22. Born Electric DJ and producer James Zabiela plays house and techno, plus support from DJ T, Pangaea and Glimpse. Electric Brixton, Town Hall Parade, Brixton Hill, SW2 1RJ (020 7274 2290). 10pm-6am. Adv £15. Circus X-Mass Yousef, Lee Foss, WhiteJail, Rene, ThanksMate, Roberto Amo, Modular Envelope, Franky Redente and Troupe Records spin house and techno across three rooms, with a live set from Matador. Egg, York Way, N7 9AX (020 7871 7111). 11pm-late. £20, mems/adv £15, NUS £13.

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Entice Matt ‘Jam’ Lamont and MC Mighty Moe meld old skool garage and house with support from PaulMichael, Martin Jackson, Bertie Morse, Mister B and DJ KS b2b Peekay. The Whitehouse, Clapham Park Rd, SW4 7EH (020 7498 3388). 9pm-5am. Adv £12.50, VIP £16. Fedde’s London Takeover Dutch DJ and producer Fedde Le Grand spins house and dance, with Nimo, Dean Oakley, Ozzy Giovessa, Ray Gallea and Steve OD. The Ministry Of Sound, Gaunt St, SE1 6DP (0870 060 0010). 11pm-7am. £18. Hat-Club London Electronic Youth, Damien Stone, Justin Pywell, Katie Cooper and Tony Hayes supply deep tech-house. Cargo, Rivington St, EC2A 3AY (020 7739 3440). 8pm-3am. £15, free before 9pm. Hed Kandi Christmas 2012 Glamorous house party featuring Phil Faversham and DJ Eibhlin with support from Shane Macauley, Mike Kirkland, Miss Mavrik and Max Bloom. McQueen, Tabernacle St, EC2A 4AA (020 7036 9229). 8pm-4am. £15. Lifted Music Christmas Party DJs Xkore, Aeph, Culprate, Neonlight, Document One, Xilent, Mefjus and Memtrix spin electronic dance. Cable, Bermondsey St, SE1 2EG (020 7403 7730). 10pm-6am. Queue jump £22, adv £10 & £12, mems £12. Silent Disco Resident DJs play pop, indie, dance and R‘n’B. Gigalum, Cavendish Parade, Clapham Common South Side, SW4 9DW (020 8772 0303). 7pm-late. Free.

SUNDAY 23 Awake Christmas Special Dirty Filthy Soul and Ben Cain spin house and bass. Relay, Bermondsey St Tunnel, SE1 3JW (020 7403 7730). 10pm-6am. £10. The End Of Year Christmas Soiree DJ Longers, Vibes, Mr Play, Jay Knox and Glacier spin R‘n’B, hiphop, house and garage. Mare Moto, Kings Rd, SW6 2DZ (07507 313767). 9.30pm-3am. £15, adv £10. Jamais Vu Christmas Special Fabio and Grooverider spin drum ‘n’ bass with support from Al, Bailey, 279, Betoko, Jumpin Jack Frost, Randall and Tendai. Horse And Groom, Curtain Rd, EC2A 3NZ (020 7503 9421). 8pm-2am. £5, free before 11pm. La Dolce Vita Tim Cullen, Soulshakers, Denielsen, Yorick, Shaun Mynet and Alex Muirden spin electro, techno and prog. Gigalum, Cavendish Parade, Clapham Common South Side, SW4 9DW (020 8772 0303). 7pm-late. Free. Later D’Johnny, Paul Martin and The Oli spin house. Fire, Arch, 39-43 Parry St, corner South Lambeth Rd, SW8 1RT (020 3242 0040). 11.30am-8pm. £6. Movimento Afterhours House, nu-disco, tech-house, techno and electronic soul courtesy of Francesco Poggi, Ivan De La and Manuel Morales, plus Offkey in room 2. Club Aquarium, Old St, EC1V 9DD (020 7251 6136). 2.30am-9am. £12, concs £10, adv £8.

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MONDAY 17 Jon B Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jonathan David Buck plays R‘n’B, soul and pop with his backing band to promote his album Comfortable Swagg. The Jazz Cafe, Parkway, NW1 7PG (020 7485 6834/ cc 0870 060 3777). Also Tue, £20.

Emmy The Great And Tim Wheeler The singer-songwriter and musician and the Ash frontman play upbeat indie-rock and pop songs from the album This Is Christmas. The Scala, Pentonville Rd, N1 9NL (020 7833 2022/ cc 0844 477 1000). £16.50.

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Macy Gray The Grammy Award-winning American R‘n’B and soul singer-songwriter performs Talking Book in its entirety, her interpretation of Stevie Wonder’s classic album. Koko, Camden High St, NW1 7JE (0870 432 5527). £30.

Editors, The Courteeners, The Temper Trap, Lucy Rose, Theme Park The four-piece from Birmingham, led by singer and guitarist Tom Smith, plays light and ethereal indie-rock. O2 Academy Brixton, Stockwell Rd, SW9 9SL (0844 477 2000/ cc 0844 477 2000). Adv £25. Enter Shikari, Cancer Bats, EngineEarz Experiment The St Albansbased four-piece plays energised electronic post-hardcore, with touches of dubstep and alt metal, to promote its third album A Flash Flood Of Colour. Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH (0844 482 8008). Adv £20. Julian Littman And Band, Dai Watts The musician, composer and singersongwriter Julian Littman plays pop-rock to promote the album Life’s Rich Bloody Tapestry. Downstairs At The King’s Head, Crouch End Hill, N8 8AA (020 8340 1028). £10. John Mayall Veteran blues singer-guitarist, often quoted as one of the fathers of British blues, whose musical career spans over fifty years. Leicester Square Theatre, Leicester Place, WC2H 7BX (0844 873 3433). £25. Slow Club The Sheffield-based duo of Charles Watson and Rebecca Taylor play light and ethereal folk-rock and indiepop from the album Paradise. Koko, Camden High St, NW1 7JE (0870 432 5527). £14. Thin Lizzy Classic rock from the veteran Dublin-based outfit featuring singer Ricky Warwick. O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12 8TT (020 8354 3300/ cc 0844 477 2000). £27.50 & £29. The Wildhearts Singer and guitarist Ginger and his band reform to play its hard rock and punk-rock hits including Sick Of Drugs and Stormy In The North, Karma In The South. The Forum, Highgate Rd, NW5 1JY (020 7428 4099). £20.

TUESDAY 18 ABC Singer-songwriter Martin Fry and his veteran new wave, new romantic and synthpop band performs the album The Lexicon Of Love in its entirety with backing from Southbank Sinfonia conducted by Anne Dudley. Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, Catherine St, WC2B 5JF (0844 412 2955). £35-£75. Tomoyasu Hotei The Japanese guitarist, best known for the song Battle Without Honor Or Humanity, performs rock with his band. Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH (0844 482 8008). £28.50.

STANDON CALLING Standon Lordship. Aug 2-4. £85 The New York hip-hop legends are the first confirmed headliner for this three-day Hertfordshire festival, which won’t break the bank either. SG11 1PR

Ware

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Mumford And Sons The multiplatinum selling London-based indie-folk outfit, led by singer Marcus Mumford, performs its hits. The O2, Peninsula Sq, SE10 0DX (0844 856 0202). £29.50-£32.50.

Happy Mondays The original line-up of the Madchester band performs its alternative rock and acid house hits including Step On. Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH (0844 482 8008). Also Thu, adv £32.50.

Nordoff Robbin’s Ultimate Christmas Cracker Ex-Bucks Fizz singer Cheryl Baker, vocalist Linda Lewis, the musician Nik Kershaw and others perform festive hits in support of the music therapy charity. The Clapham Grand, St John’s Hill, SW11 1TT (020 7223 6523). £30-£350.

Ed Harcourt The singer-songwriter and musician plays indie-rock and orchestral pop in support of the album, Back Into The Woods. Cecil Sharp House, Regents Park Rd, NW1 7AY (020 7485 2206). £18.50.

Parokya Ni Edgar, Gloc-9 The Filipino five-piece performs a fusion of ska, punk-pop, rap and traditional Filipino music. Troxy, Commercial Rd, E1 0HX (020 7748 2728). £35. The Prodigy The raving big beat, alternative electro and dance-rock pioneers, featuring songwriter Liam Howlett, MC Maxim and vocalist Keith Flint, play songs to celebrate the 15th anniversary re-issue of breakthrough album The Fat Of The Land. O2 Academy Brixton, Stockwell Rd, SW9 9SL (0844 477 2000/cc 0844 477 2000). Also Wed & Thu, £45. Stackridge, Robert Vincent The long-running Bath combo play a mix of progressive rock, classic pop and music hall-style comedy. The Borderline, Orange Yard, Manette St, W1D 4JB (0870 060 3777/ cc 0871 231 0842). £16.50. Stooshe Pop, R‘n’B and hip-hop from the London-based trio. The Scala, Pentonville Rd, N1 9NL (020 7833 2022/ cc 0844 477 1000). £13.50.

WEDNESDAY 19

Martha Reeves And The Vandellas The Motown vocalist and her current backing-singers perform soulful pop and R‘n’B, including the band’s best-known hits, Jimmy Mack and Dancing In The Street. The Jazz Cafe, Parkway, NW1 7PG (020 7485 6834/ cc 0870 060 3777). Also Thu, £25.

The Pogues, Frank Turner And The Sleeping Souls Shane McGowen’s rebellious collective plays its folk-punk favourites, including the hit song Fairytale Of New York. The O2, Peninsula Sq, SE10 0DX (0844 856 0202). £45. Stereophonics, Gaz Coombes The Kelly Jones-fronted fourpiece performs post-Britpop and alt rock, including the hits Dakota, Handbags And Gladrags, and The Bartender And The Thief. Troxy, Commercial Rd, E1 0HX (020 7748 2728). £35.

FRIDAY 21 Bad Manners Humorous singer Buster Bloodvessel and his London-based band, who first gained popularity in the early 1980s, perform its ska and 2 tone hits. 229 The Venue, Great Portland St, W1W 5PW (020 7323 7229). £20. The Bizzarros, Fudge & The Frequency, Kelly Woods, Stay North Project Blues, funk and soul by the London-based band. 100 Club, Oxford St, W1D 1LL (020 7636 0933). £10, adv £8.

Status Quo, Bonnie Tyler, Eddie & The Hot Rods Classic rock from the veteran band celebrating more than 40 years of hits. The O2, Peninsula Sq, SE10 0DX (0844 856 0202). £38.50.

Citizen Fish, Zounds, 16 Guns, Louise Distras The band from Bath plays lively punkrock and ska punk with songs about social and political issues. The Garage, Highbury Corner, N5 1RD (0870 060 3777/cc 0844 847 1678). £12.

Paul Weller, Miles Kane The singer-songwriter and former frontman of The Jam and The Style Council plays songs from his new album Sonik Kicks. Hammersmith Apollo, Queen Caroline St, W6 9QH (0844 249 1000). £39.50-£55.

Django Django The Londonbased band plays psychedelic pop and melodic indie to promote its self-titled debut album. O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12 8TT (020 8354 3300/ cc 0844 477 2000). £15.

The Wonder Stuff, Pop Will Eat Itself, Jesus Jones Miles Hunt’s alt rock band from the Black Country. O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12 8TT (020 8354 3300/cc 0844 477 2000). £20.

Hit Factory Live Christmas Cracker Big acts from the Stock Aitken Waterman & PWL stables celebrate the record label’s 25th anniversary by performing their hits for one night only. Act include Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Steps, Rick Astley and Sonia. The O2, Peninsula Sq, SE10 0DX (0844 856 0202). £49.50.

THURSDAY 20

Frankie Cocozza Pop by the former X-Factor contestant. O2 Academy Islington, Parkfield St, N1 0PS (020 7288 4400/ cc 0844 477 2000). £10.

Dappy Hip-hop and pop by former N-Dubz member, singer-songwriter and rapper, Costadinos Contostavlos in support of the album Bad Intentions. Hammersmith Apollo, Queen Caroline St, W6 9QH (0844 249 1000). £18.50.

Cradle Of Filth Extreme metal with a goth flavour by singer Dani Filth and his Suffolk-based crew to promote the album The Manticore & Other Horrors. The Forum, Highgate Rd, NW5 1JY (020 7428 4099). £15.

Duke Special The singersongwriter, aka Peter Wilson, performs his vaudeville-style, addictive pop-rock tunes. O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12 8TT (020 8354 3300/cc 0844 477 2000). £15.

SATURDAY 22 Asia The original line-up of the prog rock four-piece supergroup, featuring bassist John Wetton, guitarist Steve Howe, keyboardist Geoff Downes and drummer Carl Palmer, reforms to promote the album XXX. O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Shepherd’s Bush Green, W12 8TT (020 8354 3300/ cc 0844 477 2000). £22.50.

Berlin Blonde, Big Deazy, Guilded Youth Alt rock from the London-based five-piece group. Nambucca, Holloway Rd, N7 6LB (020 7281 8877). Adv £5 Cities Will Fall, The Cramatics, The Vibe, Age Of Wild Contemporary metal with elements of dubstep, electronica and hip-hop from the London-located outfit. Dublin Castle, Parkway, NW1 7AN (020 7485 1773). £7, concs £5. Freedom From Torture Presents: Bombay Bicycle Club, Dan Croll, Trophy Wife The four-piece from Crouch End, London performs gentle and acoustically based indie-folk and alt-rock. Koko, Camden High St, NW1 7JE (0870 432 5527). Adv £20. Madness Ska and pop from Suggs and the band known for the hits House Of Fun, Our House and Baggy Trousers promote the album Oui, Oui, Si, Si, Ja, Ja, Da, Da. The O2, Peninsula Sq, SE10 0DX (0844 856 0202). £29.50-£47.50. Ruts DC, Rebel Truce, Sex Pistols Experience, 4jerry, 101ers Tribute, Latchicos, Dun To Def, Good Weather Girl The London-based trio performs funk-infused punk-rock to raise awareness of the Strummerville charity. 100 Club, Oxford St, W1D 1LL (020 7636 0933). Adv £30. Mick Wilson The current lead singer of 10cc plays pop and rock songs from his album So The Story Goes, plus covers of famous hits. Colour House Theatre, Merton Abbey Mills, off Merantun Way, SW19 2RD (020 8542 5511). £20, concs £17, adv booking required.

SUNDAY 23 The Carnabys The five-piece performs soul, rock ‘n’ roll and funk. Colour House Theatre, Merton Abbey Mills, off Merantun Way, SW19 2RD (020 8542 5511). £6. Beverley Craven Acoustic pop from the singer-songwriter best-known for the 1991 hit Promise Me. Half Moon, Putney, Lower Richmond Rd, SW15 1EU (020 8780 9383). £12. Matisyahu An eclectic fusion of hip-hop, reggae and alt-rock with a Middle Eastern flavour, from the Brooklyn-based artist. O2 Academy Islington, Parkfield St, N1 0PS (020 7288 4400/ cc 0844 477 2000). £30, NUS £25. Glen Matlock And The Philistines, Spizz, Ed Tudorpole, London, Night Of Treason, The Duel, Tv Smith The London-born guitarist performs punk and rock with his band. 100 Club, Oxford St, W1D 1LL (020 7636 0933). Adv £30. Samara The six-piece band performs a lively fusion of Latin-funk, soul and samba. 606 Club, Lots Rd, SW10 0QD (020 7352 5953). £10. This Is The Kit, Rozi Plain, Sweet Baboo Contemporary folk and alternative folk-rock by Bristol and Paris-based singer-songwriter Kate Stables and her backing band. The Lexington, Pentonville Rd, N1 9JB (020 7837 5371). Adv £7.

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COUNTDOWN TO AUSTRALIA DAY Get together with your fellow countrymen at Infernos on January 26 for Australia’s biggest day of celebration. Entry is absolutely free. To help you celebrate the way it’s done back home, the TNT Australia Day party in association with Busabout will have everything Australian on offer – think Jumbuck’s Pies, plus entertainment and music with Triple J Hottest 100. Best pre-register now!

CELEBRATE NYE WITH TNT

January 26. 9am-9pm: 12 hours of power! Infernos, 146 Clapham High Street, SW4 7UH tntmagazine.com/australiaday

FLAME BAR, INFERNOS

New year will soon be here so it’s time to start planning where you’ll be for the final countdown of 2012. With a licence to thrill, TNT will be holding a spectacular James Bond-themed party at the VIP Flame Bar in Infernos on December 31. So come along and welcome the new year in style. Tickets are just £12 each and include a glass of bubbly on arrival before 10pm, live music from Ian Munro – formerly of platinum-selling NZ band GST – a DJ, drink specials and the chance to win prizes on the night. What could be better than seeing in 2013 with us? Nothing at all, that’s what. Book now so you won’t miss out.

SAVE THE DATE: TNT LANGUAGE SCHOOL

Monday, December 31, 8pm-late Flame Bar, Infernos, 146 Clapham High Street, SW4 7UH tntmagazine.com/nye

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Fancy learning something new in 2013? TNT offers five-week basic Spanish and French language courses starting January 2013. You’ll learn all the lingo you need to know to converse in shops, restaurants, ask for directions and more. Ideal for those planning a trip in 2013.

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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.

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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:

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February 27-March 4 2012 Issue 1487 tntmagazine.com

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Frank Turner The folk-punk troubadour on playing the big shows, saving small venues, staying true to his roots and the promised land Down Under INTERVIEW ALASDAIR MORTON

How did the The Pogues show happen? It was an invite from the band, which was fantastic. I hadn’t met them but we have connections through [Joe Strummer Foundation for new music] Strummerville. You played Wembley Arena earlier this year, was it a tough decision taking on such a big venue? I was concerned with retaining the things that are important to my music – community and inclusivity. It’s easy to lose those in an arena. It took six months planning it and everyone came away from it with that feeling, so we succeeded. In many ways, it was an experiment to see whether I can function on that level and interesting to see that I can. Is that why you’re playing a more regional tour now? It was an attempt to reassure people who thought I might withdraw from regional tours for short, big city arena runs. I wanted to send the message that that’s not my intention. We’ve just done Cork, Bangor, the Isle of Man, all over the British Isles. And you’re playing a fundraising show at Southampton’s The Joiners Arms... It was the first venue I went to and played at. Small venues are a part of the music scene so when I heard they’re having financial troubles, I wanted to help. I’m flying in from another show for an ailing venue in Zurich the day before, so it will just be me and my guitar. I’m playing two shows now as when they put the first one on sale the system crashed so they added another one. How’s the tour’s ‘dance off’ been going? It’s a bit of fun, the winners have been in Truro.

Photos: Getty

You’ve sustained a few injuries, too... That’s par for the course, but I get a lot less now than when I played in hardcore bands so it’s fine. Do you ever want to go back to your hardcore roots? Doing those shows this summer with [hardcore side project] Mongol Horde was fun – I will find time to make a record and tour but it’s not what I want to spend the majority of my time doing.

Being Frank: a happy megalomaniac artist Last year’s album England Keep My Bones was a massive success – how has that result shaped the follow-up? It’s unlikely for me to be doing what I’m doing; releasing my fifth record and my most anticipated yet – that in and of itself is unusual. I have done the whole thing on an independent label and will continue to do so – and that’s unusual. I have been thinking about why a lot of bands get boring with age – not that many bands’ fifth albums are that interesting. Part of the reason is they start second-guessing themselves and calculating for their audience. So in writing for this record, I’ve pushed myself to ignore those things and release my most raw and exposed record – which is what I would have done if I was still writing songs in my bedroom. What’s the album going to be about? It is basically a break-up record, to be honest. It is about personal life catastrophes. Do you enjoy being a solo star or do you miss being in bands? I’ve spent a lot of time in bands and it has its advantages. When it’s going well, it’s like a gang, but I felt liberated by being able to write what I want. There’s a degree of megalomania in that but there’s a degree of megalomania in art. Now I have my cake and eat it – I have my backing band and I can write what I want.

What tempted you to play Danny Boyle’s Olympics Opening Ceremony? We just got a call asking us to meet with Danny – it turns out he’s a big fan of my music. He asked if I’d like to be part of it and I said yes. There are people who backlashed in a tediously punk-rock way, but it would be a boring yarn to spin in the pub in 40 years that I’m the guy who almost played the Olympic Ceremony. Life is short. If you have the opportunity to do something interesting you should. And to all the people who’ve had a go at me for doing it, I can only say next time you are asked to the Olympics Opening Ceremony, you turn it down, mate! Are you looking forward to heading out to Australia next year? I’m excited about going back. We’re doing the Byron Bay Blues Festival, which is exciting, and the rest of the currently announced shows are opening for the Dropkick Murphys. I love those guys and we have shared a lot of road together. We are going to be announcing some headline shows of my own soon, too. Many musicians, myself included, describe Australia as the promised land of touring and it is great being out there. Frank Turner plays The O2 supporting The Pogues. Dec 20. £41.75 Peninsula Square, SE10 0DX theo2.co.uk North Greenwich

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Walk on: The Hobbit is copping a Baggins

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY FILM review by Ruth Roxanne Board STARRING: Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, Ian McKellen | 12A | 169mins

LIFE OF PI FILM STARRING: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain | PG | 126mins

Oscar-winning director Ang Lee is hoping to steal some of The Hobbit’s glory with his 3D adaptation of Yann Martel’s 2001 best-selling novel about a young boy marooned in the Pacific with a Bengal tiger after a shipwreck. It’s sure to pack a visual punch but it will be Lee’s heart-swelling storytelling that’s most likely to linger here after you’ve taken off the glasses. On general release from December 20

28

Peter Jackson’s latest Middle Earth adventure has some questions to answer: can it successfully divide one novel in to three films? And does the new 48 frames per second presentation deliver the goods? Frustratingly, the jury’s still out on both. In making three movies, back stories have been enlarged and storylines re-appropriated as Bilbo (Freeman) journeys with Gandalf and a group of dwarves, encountering a certain item of jewellery and its protective owner Gollum (Serkis doing his ‘precious’ mo-capped performance). But while the strong narrative’s loaded with magical moments, barbaric scenes and monstrous creations (orcs, goblins, trolls – tick!), its three-hour runtime will test even the patience of die-hards. Derided as looking like telly by some, the revolutionary High Frame Rate (HFR) tech, presenting the film in twice as many frames as the norm, is a new look that takes adjustment: the frenetic action’s smoothness impresses but the detail afforded by the hyper-real visuals will turn off as many as it will enrapture. Freeman is fantastic as Bilbo, playing him with charm and sincerity, and McKellen’s Gandalf is a wizened guide ready with wit and wisdom. It’s undeniably Jackson’s film, though, and his ambition is there for all to see as he leads cinema into the next realm. Despite veering dangerously close to indulgence on occasion, this is a stunning, breathtaking and mostly triumphant return to Middle Earth. GOOD FOR: Seeing the (possible) future of cinema – it’s full of hairy footed little people, for now

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TONY LAW’S XMAS FOR WELL MANNERED FREAKS

GIGGLE!

COMEDY

Titled with as much understatement as you’d expect, mad-capped Canadian Tony Law (right) is joined for this festive flurry of nonsense by fellow lunatic Nick Helm, sketch-duo The Behemoth and more. It’s a show that promises to kick Christmas in the balls with fantastic anti-yuletide fun from like-minded mentalists. Bush Hall 310 Uxbridge Road, W12 7LJ. Dec 21. £10 Shepherd’s Bush bushhallpresents.co.uk

MARIKO MORI: REBIRTH

ARABIAN NIGHTS

EXHIBITION

THEATRE

From a New York artist all about contradictions and juxtapositions, this show is comprised of installations that consider Eastern and Western cultures, as well as the meeting of science and spirituality. With pieces from different disciplines – photography, sculpture, installations – Mariko Mori looks at the life cycle of a star.

One story slips neatly into another, then another, in American Mary Zimmerman’s 20-year-old version of a resourceful young girl’s clever ruse to save herself from the hands of King Shahryar of Baghdad. This modern adaptation of The Book Of The Thousand Nights And One Night entertains with humour and darkness.

Royal Academy of Arts 6 Burlington Gardens, W1S 3ET. Until Feb 17. £10 Piccadilly Circus royalacademy.org.uk

Tricycle Theatre Kilburn High Road, NW6 7JR. Until Jan 12. £14+ Kilburn tricycle.co.uk

LATE NIGHT GIMP FIGHT What’s the show about? It’s a combination of this year’s Edinburgh show and some new festive sketch comedy treats. Think of it as an advent calendar of comic delights – behind every door is a man wearing nothing but a gimp mask and shame.

Photos: Tom Pullen; Storm Davison

What’s the latest you’ve ever stayed up? We’ve done the 24-hour drinking thing in Edinburgh. There’s a pub, The Scotsman, which opens at 6am, so if you keep yourself drunk between being kicked out of bars at five and that first pint, you’re on to a winner ... or more accurately, a loser.

PITCH PERFECT

THE BODYGUARD

FILM

THEATRE

Taking its cues from TV’s Glee, this bad-mouthed, ill-mannered college comedy about rival a capella groups looks to up the satirical bite of its small screen cousin. Anna Kendrick (Judge Dredd) joins her new college’s singing club. “It’s not good enough to be good we must be different,” she says. Best of the lot looks to be Aussie Fat Amy (Bridesmaids’ Rebel Wilson).

American Heather Headley hits all the right notes in Alexander Dinelaris’s new stage version of the Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston starring 1992 film about a pop princess being stalked by a crazed fan. There’s not much tension generated in the scrappy plotting, but Headley excels and the Houston back catalogue is a winner.

On general release from December 21

Adelphi Theatre Strand, WC2R 0NS. Until April 27. £20+ Charing Crosss thebodyguardmusical.com

What’s the funniest thing you’ve done? We have a sketch that involves Paul doing a very sexually explicit mime. The first time we did it was to an audience of 15 people, most of which were Paul’s family. The rest of us found it the funniest thing ever. When Paul’s mum congratulated him afterwards on the “accuracy of the mime” we completely lost it. Which celebrity would look best in a gimp mask? John Travolta. Late Night Gimp Fight Soho Theatre, W1D 3NE. Until Jan 5. £15+ Tottenham Court Road sohotheatre.com

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Helpful chat: give time to those often ignored

Food for thought: hampers assembled for the needy

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Giving back this Xmas It’s the season of goodwill, and there’s no end of opportunities to lend a hand in London. We roll up our sleeves and volunteer WORDS JADE BREMNER

“Welcome to the North Pole,” smiles a woman who’s doing the work of a Christmas elf. I’m inside a top-secret building in London where more than 30 volunteers are furiously wrapping Christmas gifts in brightly coloured paper. There are boxes stacked everywhere – if the helpers were wearing green pointed hats, the Santa’s grotto theme would be complete. But, among the festivities and frivolities, there’s a serious message. I’m helping Kids Company (kidsco.org.uk), the charity founded by the vibrant Camila Batmanghelidjh to help underprivileged inner-city children. With Christmas being the season of goodwill, more of us are turning to doing good, instead of pigging out in front of the TV and slugging one too many sherries. So I’m giving up my time to make sure 4000 children – who may have been involved with drugs, exposed to violence, sexual abuse, poverty, gangs and prostitution – receive a nicely wrapped present on Christmas Day. A worthy cause indeed. Ex-Peace Corps worker Kaitlin Kubinsky, 27, manages the gift-wrapping project and what she calls the “poverty busting” department. “Some 36,000 kids are currently being helped by Kids Company,” she tells us, adding that anyone putting their hand up to help at this time of year “makes a huge impact”. Through street centres, a therapy house and services in schools, Kids Company aims to create a safe, caring, family environment. And each volunteer project, event and method of support – whether creating food hampers, mentoring, taking kids horse riding or helping them express themselves through art – is tailored to the needs of the individual. Operations manager Jeremy Stone says: “These kids might be going home to a horrible little flat, with no running water, and suddenly they’ve got a month’s worth of presents to play with. It’s a supportive network – we help these children feel safe.” Along with simple but effective projects, such as wrapping gifts, Kids Company runs other activity sessions and schemes that volunteers can join throughout the year. Colour A Child’s Life is one of them. “We decorate a home that’s in need, do painting, [assemble] flatpack furniture and lay carpets,” Kubinsky explains. And the benefits aren’t a one-way street – the sense of satisfaction volunteering brings is second to none, she adds. “It’s an indescribable feeling working with Kids Company; you get this warmth inside,” she smiles. “When the families

come home after a Colour A Child’s Life scheme, and you see the reaction from the children, you know you’ve made a difference.” With so many worthwhile projects vying for your attention in London, it’s difficult to decide which to dedicate your time to. Often there’s an emotional connection. Matthew Connolly, a volunteer for Samaritans (samaritans.co.uk), knows this

For many, Xmas won’t mean joy and cheer

more than most. “Christmas is often a period of joy and festive cheer for many people,” Connolly, 26, says. “However, for some groups, this is not quite the case. Four years ago, I didn’t have a reason to live, or a reason to get up in the morning,” he explains. “My life simply consisted of eating very little, attending a job that I hated, sleeping ››

Elfish work: TNT’s Jade Bremner wraps gifts at Kids Company TNTMAGAZINE.COM

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Shelter: a roof over their head is all some people need to change their life a lot, and then waking up to do the same again the next day.” Connolly believes that in the current economic climate, homelessness, crime and unemployment are especially prevalent and many are suffering, undiagnosed, in silence. “Depression and mental illness to me at that time was something only weirdoes had,” he says. “I didn’t want to be tarnished with that brush, so I chose to do nothing about it.” Instead, he turned to drinking heavily and drugs, taking ecstasy at the weekends. At rock bottom, he stumbled upon the Samaritans. “What did I have to lose?” he says. The councillors offered invaluable support and advice, and four years on, he’s swapped drugs for music, a career in teaching, his own business and volunteering. Connolly is now a trained Samaritans listener and helps others who find themselves in a position similar to the one he was in. Once you find a project that you believe in, and you enjoy helping, it’s likely that will become something you commit to doing for life. Londoner Harriet Sinclair, 29, helps Crisis, a homelessness support organisation (crisis.org.uk), every year. “It’s nice to be able to give something back. Homeless charities strike a chord with me because the concept of a

‘home’ is really important to me,” she says. Two years ago, Sinclair volunteered at a Crisis at Christmas soup kitchen, serving food to hundreds of people, handing out clothes packs and washing people’s feet. “Many homeless people are ignored in the street. It’s easier to look away than acknowledge them,” she explains. “At shelters and soup kitchens volunteers actually speak to them and treat them like human beings.” Sinclair also works monthly at the Kentish Town SanKTus Welfare Project (sanktus.org) soup kitchen. And she has set up WinterBoxes2012 (winterboxes2012.wordpress. com), a programme that involves collecting shoeboxes filled with donated “winter survival essentials” such as soap, a toothbrush, gloves and food. She distributes these to as many of the estimated 5600 people sleeping rough in the city, and those who are ‘vulnerably housed’, as she can. “When we’re moaning about how cold it is, we’ve actually got somewhere to sleep at night,” she says. “I know I’m not saving the world, but if I can make a difference to at least one person, it’s all been worth it.” ❚

NO TIME TO VOLUNTEER? GIVE A CHARITABLE CHRISTMAS GIFT INSTEAD WWF

CENTREPOINT

MANGO TREE

This charity supports trainee healthcare workers in Malawi. They’re offering Christmas gifts with different donations of £10 (which will provide students with books), £20 (will provide them with equipment) and £40 (to sponsor a student). In return (as well as feeling good), you get a bag, a special pen or a certificate. medictomedic.org.uk

Adopt an animal in someone else’s name. You have the option to choose between different animals including tigers just like Kamrita, one of the last 150 tigers left in Nepal. You could also adopt giant pandas, polar bears, bottlenose dolphins and orangutans by giving a monthly donation of £3, £5 or more to WWF. support.wwf.org.uk

This leading homeless charity is offering the chance to purchase Centrepoint Virtual Gifts on behalf of your friends and family for a young homeless person. From £5 up, Centrepoint will choose a suitable present – such as a meal voucher, study kit or toiletries – and make sure it’s under a tree for them on Christmas day. centrepointgifts.org.uk

Mango Tree Goa is a small UK-based charity which helps support young disadvantaged children in India who may be living in slums or other poor conditions. You can donate on behalf of a friend or family member, and the recipient will send them a special thank you card. Different priced donations will help kids stay safe from abuse. mangotreegoa.org

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Photos: Getty; TNT

MEDIC TO MEDIC

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Off the shoulder dress Versatile dress for an Xmas do, club or dinner party.

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POPUPWATCH GORILLA PERFUME

This pop up and exhibition aim to change the way we perceive scents. Perfumers Mark and Simon Constantine have created a magical multi-sensory tour called Voice Of Reason: Exhibition Of Olfactory Works, which will launch their nine new fragrances amid a medley of multimedia artists, composers and illustrators. Visitors can go into retro listening booths playing soul and jazz by Gil Scott-Heron, watch video installations and experience smell-inspired audio, visual and edible art. There will also be a light show projected onto helium balloons. “Not every perfume smells nice and not every perfume will suit you, but why should it?“ Constantine says. “You don’t buy clothes because one size fits all, and you don’t order the same food as everyone else, so why should perfume be bland and middle-of-the-road?”

Festive bling

Converse All Star Jazz up boring jeans with these all gold, leather hi-tops. office.co.uk

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LIFESTYLEHEALTH CLASS OF THE WEEK

BUMS TUMS & THIGHS This is a class that really focuses on the wobbly problem areas. Bums, tums and thighs (BTT) is a workout that gets results. The session combines aerobic routines with free weights and repetitive movements (think squats and lunges). It’s not for the faint of heart though – you’ll be feeling the burn for at least two or three days afterwards (especially if you’re as unfit as us). However, there is a range of abilities in the class so you can go to the pace of the fastest or slowest person in the room. It’s the most fun we’ve ever had in a fitness studio, and the teacher, Nancy, is super-enthusiastic – she often introduces random pole dancing routines into class, each performed to motivating pop tracks. Towards the end, Nancy will wind things down and focus on the abs. This comes as light relief in so much as you get to lie down, but then comes the combination of serious crunches, sit ups and leg lifts. Do them properly every week and you’ll eventually have the sculpted tummy of a Pussycat Doll. Classes are on Monday nights between 6.30pm-7.30pm. At £5.50 per class, they’re a bargain as well. Cathall Leisure Centre, E11 4LA better.org.uk Leytonstone High Rd

@tntmagazine

Fix a hangover Any merry night before means a bleary morning after – team TNT susses out how to survive it It’s hard to enjoy the Christmas period when you have a stonking headache and feel like you’re going to puke. Don’t give up the mulled wine and brandy butter yet, though. TNT has dutifully played crash test dummy to find out which hangover cures actually work.

Full English Breakfast 3/5 ALASDAIR MORTON: “I sit down at Streatham’s Hideaway hoping to greasy spoon away the shakes and alco-sweats through some saturated salvation. The bacon and sausage are great for restoring sugars and salts, but eggs alone are better as they contain cysteine, which breaks down alcohol. Eggs Benedict next time, I think.” PRICE: £5-£10. hideawaylive.co.uk

Egg-static Hair Of The Dog, 4/5

Paracetamol, 5/5 HELEN ELFER: “The secret trick is to pop the painkillers before you go to bed. You wake up in the morning painfree, and avoid that bleary morning search through the medicine cabinet when your head’s pounding so Para-to-paracetamol hard you can hardly – it’s a surefire fix see. It really works a treat. Genius.” PRICE: 39p per pack of 16. boots.com

BeetActive, 3/5 JADE BREMNER: “In my tender state the last thing I want to consume is this foul-smelling, blood-like liquid. Apparently betacyanin, the stuff that gives beetroot its colour, is an antioxidant that speeds up detoxification. The first sip was revolting and didn’t stay down. After forcing it to, I admit my hangover subsided surprisingly quickly.” PRICE: £5.99. nutricentre.com

MICHAEL GADD: “Sometimes it’s right to fight fire with fire, or in this case, beer with beer. After an epic bender, a midday pint of the most flavourless ale I could find on the way to the football – and a can on the train – did exactly the trick. Downside – has the hangover been cured or just delayed?” PRICE: Approx £3.80 from any London pub.

One for the team 36

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XMAS GIFTS RU-21, 1/5 LAURA CHUBB: “This dietary supplement claims to metabolise alcohol more efficiently with a combination of vitamins and acids. However, the box is careful to state these claims have not been proven by an official ‘Seriously, what body. No wonder. After a heavy Saturday RU looking at?’ session, Sunday is spent suffering from nausea, a dull headache and a general space cadet demeanour.” PRICE: £3.95 for 20 tablets. ru21.co.uk

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Naturally nasty

17 Mirror Shine lippy Roasted red, for that Mad Men look £4.79 boots.com

Balmy morning Headache Relief Balm, 3/5 DAN THORNE: “After a beery house party I tried rubbing some of Anatomicals ‘Oi! You Throbhead’ Headache Relief Balm on my temples and passed it around to my fellow sufferers. It smelled just like Tiger Balm and certainly brightened up my senses. Surprisingly, it did actually seem to numb the headache, but I’m pretty sure it does NEXT WEEK absolutely nothing London’s most for sickness.” stylish hoods PRICE: £4.10. amazon.co.uk

Alida’s Meerkat Tweezers A wild and quirky way to pluck £2.99 alida.co.uk

Photos: TNT; Thinkstock

TOP TREATMENT: COMFORTER TREATMENT Lush’s newest treatment uses a chocolate scrub to exfoliate the skin. A gentle massage follows with moisturising body serum. The massage table’s more like a big comfy bed and naff ocean sounds are replaced with fun, retro music (like Singin’ In The Rain). Green sparkles twinkle on the pink-lit ceiling and bubbles float through the air during the treatment. It’s all topped off with a pink lemonade cocktail. Super fun and worth every penny. £65

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LIFESTYLECAREERS

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He’s big in the Tube: Wilfy and his fans

Boom time to busk There’s no better season to belt out tunes in the Tube – it could be just the career leg-up you need as a musician WORDS JADE BREMNER Ever wanted to perform in front of an audience of millions? Well, in London you don’t have to be a multi-platinumselling artist to be heard by thousands of people every day – Underground buskers get a platform on which to showcase their talents and gain valuable experience playing live, all while earning a crust during the busy Christmas season. An estimated 3.5 million people use the Tube on a daily basis. And at 25 stations, more than 200 musicians perform at up to 39 busking pitches. To win a slot, and play for festival-sized crowds, buskers must first audition through Transport for London’s Underground Busking Scheme. Once they pass and are awarded a licence, they are eligible to 38

book a pitch and start playing for tips. The standard of buskers around TfL’s sites is so high, London has become one of the most desirable places for street artists – and passengers – in the world. Yoko Hallelujah came from Japan specifically to busk this way. She’s been strumming Beatles covers and her own songs in the tunnels for five years. “On a bad shift, you can make £5 and on a good slot, I’ve made £100,” she says of her two-hour shows. “It differs every day – donations are connected to the way people feel. If a Londoner is not in a happy mood, they won’t give us any money.” Hallelujah explains her busking has been a launchpad for the release of her own CDs around the world. She says perceptions about her means of

delivering entertainment have changed over time. “My friends now respect my busking and music, so do people back home in Japan,” she says. “They offer positive encouragement, so I don’t stop.” Balham’s Jamie West has been performing around the capital’s transport hubs for 10 years and it’s been good to the singer-songwriter – he won the first Young Busker Of The Year award in 2009, which led him to play the opening of the Olympic Village and even radio airplay. Yet he still hits the streets and walkways. “Busking at Christmas is really good,” he says. “Not just for the [money in the] guitar case, but also because people are more friendly.” He plays folk, rock and blues during

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LIFESTYLECAREERS ON THE JOB MARTINA SEWASTIANOWICZ

JOB Shop assistant AGE 23 LIVES London FROM Sweden

How did you get into your line of work? I’ve worked in shops since university. It’s a great part time job and there are always jobs in retail – you just have to apply.

Photos: TfL; Jamie West; TNT

Underground sound: Jamie West and, left, Yoko Hallelujah Indie-rock singera set. “Right now, I’m WHERE TO START songwriter Wilfy listening to loads of • Become so good you’d be willing Williams wants to Robert Plant and the to give yourself money. The only “sell as many records Mystery Jets,” he says. way to get there is practice. as Shakin’ Stevens or West is proudly a • Tailor your act to busking – pack James Morrison”, both full-time musician. “This light and choose material that famous former buskers. year I released a single works with less accompaniment. He moved from called Put Your Love • Email busking@tube.tfl.gov.uk Letters Up about the to book an audition slot. If they like Portsmouth to play to London commuters walls of Post-it notes you, you’ll get a licence. three years ago. communities made “My main spot after the riots,” he says. HEAR OUR BUSKERS He gets to showcase Throw them some coins on the Tube is Piccadilly in the evening, so I get to play his music daily, but or have a sneak peek here: for tens of thousands admits punters can be • Yoko Hallelujah: of people a week,” he unpredictable. “One uk.myspace.com/yokohallelujah says. “While I’m not guy started dancing in • Jamie West: jamiewest.net a rock star, I’m about front of me, then put • Wilfy: facebook.com/wilfyw as close as you can be his hands down his without a record deal.” trousers momentarily. For Williams, it’s all about the music, I had to stop playing to make sure but in order to survive, he admits that he didn’t take it any further!” he needs to make £30 a day from Londoner Matt Jones has played on passers-by. “If I’m having a bad money pavements for 20 years. He loves the day, I’ll knock out Wonderwall (by fact he can choose his working hours – four to five hours a day, he boasts – Oasis), but I try and avoid it.” and doesn’t answer to a boss. He plays He accepts record deals only go to classic, crowd-pleasing guitar songs. the best, so artists have to find other “It’s not going to make you rich, but avenues to get their music heard. it pays more than minimum wage,” he “This is the practice makes perfect says. “If you’re planning on practising in route,” he says. “Right now I’m like your bedroom anyway, you may as well a seed on the ‘Underground’. I’m get paid for it. Certain spots are more practising every day getting better profitable than others. I play Charing and better, but when I’m ready I’m Cross and at busy Oxford Circus.” gonna burst outta here.”

What do you do day-to-day? I help customers find what they need, answer questions and process deliveries. Every day is a bit different . What’s the most rewarding part of the job? I love staying in touch with all the latest fashion. Plus, I love shopping so the employee discount definitely doesn’t hurt. What’s the most challenging part of your job? Satisfying a customers’ every need is not the easiest thing in the world. Some people are just difficult, no matter what advice or help you try and offer them.

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CASH-SAVING TIPS

LIFESTYLEMONEY

HOW YOU SPEND IT!

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BA’S XMAS BARGAINS British Airways is offering XXXXXXXXX a different deal every Xxxxxxxxxxx day until December 24. Visit the advent calendar XXXXXXXXX at britishairways.com to Xxxxxxxxxxx find your bargain. So far they’ve included 40 per XXXXXXXXX cent off Hilton Hotels and Xxxxxxxxxxx £50 off UK and European getaways. Bonus! XXXXXXXXX Xxxxxxxxxxx

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ONLINE ARGOS SAVINGS They’ve gone festive deal bonkers at the high street store that sells almost everything. Shop online and get up to 60 per cent off various gadgets, toys and Christmas gifts every day of the week leading up to December 25. Visit argos.co.uk and search for ‘Countdown Christmas Deals’. Happy shopping. ONCE YOU POP ... Pringles is doing a fun competition all week, giving away thousands of prizes on its Facebook page including goodies such as Pringles music speakers, iTunes gift cards and 7digital music vouchers. To be in with a chance of winning, select your can from the tree on facebook.com/pringles. If you don’t win the first time, try again tomorrow.

hair cut once a year, don’t go shopping and get a hot water bottle. What was your last big blow out on? I’ve just bought a pair of flight tickets to Vietnam. They were not cheap, but I know they’ll be worth it.

KATHERINE MILES, 29 JOB Personal assistant FROM Surrey LIVES London How do you budget? I just try not to live beyond my means.

Do you have any tips for saving money in London? Walk at much as you can, educate yourself as to what is in season food-wise and take lunch to work. Don’t join the gym if you aren’t going to use it, get your

What non-essential items do you spend money on? I love cheese, but don’t suppose I really need cheese. I like to buy people gift cards, they are definitely not essential. And I drink wine – OK that may be slightly essential.

HOW THEY SPEND IT! If it ain’t broke, celebs Charlie Sheen reportedly lent Lindsay Lohan £62k to pay taxes – she’s hardly the first star to have money strife

❚ Singer Toni Braxton’s been bankrupt twice, and was recently accused of fraud. She’s said to owe £31.1m to companies such as Tiffany and Four Seasons Hotel.

Montag: she’s busty but broke

❚ The Hills’ Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt admit to spending all their reality TV earnings. They blew their £6.2m fortune on cars, crazy rent, Heidi’s failed music career and plastic surgery.

❚ MC Hammer made tens of millions from his record sales. It’s believed he once had 200 staff which cost him £311,800 a month in wages. After some serious spending he’s now worth £900,000. ❚ Boxer Mike Tyson made about £200m in his fighting career, but dropped into £14m debt after buying tigers, mansions and items such as a £110k necklace.

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WORLDVIEW

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Stranded: don’t forget a map

APP LEAVES DRIVERS STRANDED IN DESERT AUSTRALIA Drivers are getting stranded in the Outback for up to 24 hours after relying on iPhone apps for directions. Six motorists have found themselves in Murray Sunset National Park – 43 miles from their desired destination of Mildura. The park is 3000sq miles of desert and is home to poisonous snakes. Some stranded drivers spent as long as a day lost, without food, having to walk for hours in temperatures of up to 46ºC. Inspector Simon Clemence said: “Some people just trust the technology. Any satnav is going to give you errors, but this one ... may end up in a loss of life.” TWEETS OF THE WEEK @AngryBritain Nasa say ‘world will not end on 21 Dec’ Nasa also say they landed on the moon #conspiracy @fleetstreetfox END TIMES: Macca to replace Kurt Cobain in reformed Nirvana. Get the children indoors and nail the windows shut @stuheritage There’s an X Factor for dogs on telly Boxing Day. Cannot circle my calendar hard enough

‘HOW TO LOVE?’ TOPS GOOGLE SEARCHES AUSTRALIA Who says Aussies are a shallow bunch? According to Google, “how to love?” was the most searched for “how to” question in 2012. The findings released last week show swimmer Stephanie Rice was Australia’s most searched-for Olympian, and “what is permeate?” as one of Australia’s most Googled questions. Lara Bingle (pictured) 42

Unexpected Journey: Australian actress Cate Blanchett poses at the European premiere of the first of The Hobbit films in Leicester Square. Do you think she’s just seen the crazed fan in the background?

was the year’s most looked-for celebrity. AFL champions Sydney Swans were the most searched-for sports team (followed by Essendon FC) and Hurricane Sandy was the most searched-for news event. The results were revealed in Google’s annual Zeitgeist report, which the company describes as “a barometer for what captivated Aussies during 2012”. Korean pop act Psy’s Gangnam Style was the nation’s highest-trending search term, followed by Nine Network’s The Voice and English-Irish boyband, One Direction. The trending category is calculated on the basis of how long a search term remains popular, rather than simply how many people search for it.

‘JESUS LOOKALIKE’ ABUSED AT DARTS UNITED KINGDOM A darts fan was told to leave a televised match involving Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor after the 4500-strong crowd started chanting “Jesus” at him. Bearded Aussie Nathan Grindal was enjoying the final against Kim Huybrechts when the lively audience started to turn on him at the Cash Converters Players’ Championship at Butlins, Somerset. Security was called, as play was interrupted by the chanting. Grindal, a labourer from Oxfordshire, was visibly upset when he was escorted out by security. As he left the crowd chanted, “Stand up if you love Jesus”. He was escorted to a nearby pub to watch the game on TV.

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THIS WEEK

IN NUMBERS 11.72

Time, in seconds, it took James Gallaugher, 11, to run final 25m of a 100m relay race at a New South Wales primary school

Per cent of over 30-yearold British travellers who have never been on a plane according to a sunshine.co.uk survey

Season’s greetings: the card sent by police

10

COPS SEND CRIMBO CARDS TO CRIMINALS

13

Amount of Brillo pads eaten by a boxer owned by Southend Utd’s Marc Laird. The dog survived an op to remove them

UNITED KINGDOM Santa knows if you’ve been naughty or nice, and it seems the police do too. They’re sending Christmas cards to criminals in the hope of guilt-tripping them into behaving over Crimbo. West Midlands Police are posting them to burglars, robbers and car thieves. The design of the cards varies depending on whether the criminals are single or have a family. For those with children, the cover features the face of a sad kid and reads: “All I want for Christmas is for you to be there.” Inside, it carries the message: “All the presents in the world won’t make up for your lack of presence.” Chief Superintendent Neil Evans said: “[They should] work with police and partner agencies to help them break free from crime or we will work to catch and convict them, resulting in them spending time in prison.”

LOST IKEA MONKEY TAKEN TO SANCTUARY

Photos: Getty

CANADA An adorable baby monkey who was spotted wandering around an IKEA store whilst wearing a very stylish shearling coat, has been taken to a primate sanctuary. Darwin, a five-month-old rhesus macaque, was a much-loved pet who escaped from his owner’s car to go on his

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Number of green, blue, yellow and pink Post It notes used by Aussie Nathan Atkins’ mates to cover the 21-year-old’s car

Monkey business: Darwin adventure. Unfortunately, owning monkeys as pets is not legal in Toronto, and Darwin’s lawyer owner was fined C$240 (£151) for owning a prohibited animal. The little monkey has now been transferred to Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary in Sunderland, Ontario.

TRAVELLER HIT WITH $150K ROAMING BILL AUSTRALIA We all know roaming charges are extortionate, but a woman was left stunned after being slapped with a gobsmacking AU$150,000 mobile bill. After a nine-week trip around Europe, the unnamed Australian woman returned home to find her phone calls had cost more than her entire holiday. After complaining to the industry watchdog, the sky-high charge was reduced to AU$1147. It was among AU$8m worth of disputed global roaming fees. Let this be a lesson to us all.

8000

QUOTE OF THE WEEK As soon as I finish this job & can get home, my priority is to try to bring my family back together. Reports are false & cruel Russell Crowe sets the record straight on Twitter after being falsely accused of dating Billy Joel’s ex-wife Katie Lee

14/12/12 16:03:17


This week TNT online has been reviewing the year that was 2012. A year of incredible achievements, inspirational stories, unsung heroes and hilarious headlines. Check out the year’s highlights at tntmagazine.com

2 1 0 2 F O T S THE BE m this year

co from TNTmagazine. es in dl ea h e th of e Get a tast

BEST STORIES OF THE YEAR TNTmagazine.com is the best place to catch up on news from Down Under, and the most hilarious news stories from across the web

TNT NAMES THE FINEST UNSUNG HEROES OF 2012 From the 101-year-old marathon runner to the Aussie gran who led the police on a high-speed chase

tntmagazine.com/yeti COMPETITIONS

THE END OF DAYS

ALL THE BEST VIRAL VIDEOS THAT MADE HEADLINES Yes, the man who dive-bombed into a frozen pool is in there, with a whole heap more brilliant viral moments

tntmagazine.com/apes

WIN SOME SUPER SNAZZY CHAMELEON EYE HEADPHONES

LIMITED EDITION ROLLING STONES TOTES UP FOR GRABS

Win two pairs of Musical Fidelity buds worth £149 and two pairs of Quarkie cans on our Facebook page

Get your hands on a collectible 50th anniversary Carnaby Street Rolling Stones canvas bag

tntmagazine.com/headphones

tntmagazine.com/stones-bags

Ignore the Mayan calendar, we round up other apocalypse predictions that have come and gone over the years

tntmagazine.com/mayans

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TNT puts the world to rights

OURVIEW

COMMENT: LAURA CHUBB laura.chubb@tntmagazine.com

This guy might look like a “laidback larrikin”, but he’s Australian, which means he’s a right evil bastard. Fact

Oz a nation of bullies? That’s rich coming from a Brit ...

Photos: Thinkstock

Newspaper article slamming Australians is complete nonsense

Australia is a nation of furious bullies. That was the conclusion jumped to in The Times newspaper last week, when Brit-journo-turned-Sydneysider Beverley Hadgraft used the 2Day FM scandal as a truly tenuous springboard from which to brand Oz culture one of “general nastiness”, and claimed the “laidback larrikin” image of Brand Australia was well on its way to total destruction. An odd article, all told, seeing as the evidence put forward for this consisted of a couple of barbs aimed at controversial 2GB presenter Alan Jones, one about him “scolding” Julia Gillard for arriving 10 minutes late to an interview and another on the issue of him hating cyclists. (I’d suggest the latter is not an Oz-only phenomenon.) Actually, Jones is guilty of far worse than this – in October, he suggested Julia Gillard’s father had “died of shame”, prompting more than 20,000 Australians to sign a petition calling for advertisers to abandon his breakfast show. But that’s beside the point. Holding up a handful of shock jocks as proof that Australians are all evil bastards is like insisting Ashley Cole proves every single Englishman and woman is an odious arsehole (honest, we’re not). And to place an entire country under the banner of “bullies” is (a) ignorant in the extreme and (b) rich coming from a Brit. It’s not like London’s streets are filled with fluffy bunnies hopping happily to work every day of the week, is it? If there is any kind of increase in a bullying attitude within Australia, it’s more symptomatic of a dismaying global trend than something solely sinister Down Under. The ability now to say anything about another person without having to face them, and have those remarks seen or heard by large groups of other people, has unleashed a very dark side of human nature; Twitter’s greatest achievement so far appears to have been to make trolling an international pastime. And isn’t trolling just a zeitgeisty word for bullying? So Ashley, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. » Agree or disagree? Is Australia a nation of bullies? letters@tntmagazine.com

SCREENTIME MAKES YOU STUPID: PROOF Brits are fast becoming whatever the opposite of a super-race is – basically, a right bunch of dullards. Well, that’s if two new pieces of research are to be believed: one, a US study that suggests too much exposure to TV, tablet, computer or mobile phone screens decreases brain power and creativity; and two, a survey by Ofcom that discovered Brits spend more than four hours in front of the TV every day. I’ve always argued the rise of the smartphone spells trouble for humans: wandering around in circles because your phone’s GPS can’t find Pizza Express and you’ve forgotten how to use an A-Z is

Brits watch four hours of TV every day

just the tip of what is shaping up to be a ship-sinking iceberg. I also find it difficult to believe there are four hours of good TV on every day, which is why I don’t own one. Oh, people take the piss about this and the fact I only use my phone for calls and texts. But now there’s proof tech dinosaurs like me are smarter than everyone else. TNTMAGAZINE.COM

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The end is nigh... Or not. As the Mayan calendar predicts December 21 ‘doomsday’, we look at other end-of-days prophecies WORDS CAROL DRIVER This Friday will be the end of the world. Apparently. The Mayan calendar has kicked up a stink, regarding December 21 as the end-date of a 5125-year-long cycle, so it’s curtains for the lot of us. New Age prophets predict this could mean the planet imploding, exploding, flooding or all of the above. And, as the imminent potential doomsday draws nearer, people are starting to panic, calling institutions such as Nasa to ask ‘is the end nigh?’ questions. Officials of every creed have crawled out to debunk the theory, including the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who issued a spoof video bidding farewell to her loyal supporters. In the clip, she said: “It turns out the Mayan calendar was true. Whether the final blow comes from flesh-eating zombies, demonic hell beasts or from the total triumph of K-Pop, if you know one thing about me, it’s this: I will always fight for you to the very end.” Of course, no one has taken it seriously – except for the Russians, who’ve started panic-buying food and alcohol, leading the government and the Orthodox Church to intervene, issuing statements to calm the situation. American scientists have also shrugged off the Mayans’ theory. Astronomy professor Andrew Fraknoi said: “It sure is a lot of fun to be worrying about the end of the world ... Hollywood knows that, too.” He added that what people should do is “buy a new calendar”. Although the Mayor of San Francisco de Paula, Brazil, has urged citizens to stock up on supplies, the large Mayan population of Yucatan, Mexico, will be hosting a cultural festival on December 21. End-days predictions have been made for millennia, with that stalwart of information, Wikipedia, claiming the first one was as early as 634 BC, when Romans feared their city would be destroyed 120 years after it was founded. Oddly enough, it was never realised. Here are our other top end of the world predictions. See you next week ... 46

Planet X collision, 1995 WHO: Nancy Lieder, founder of ZetaTalk (zetatalk.com). She claimed she could receive messages from extraterrestrials from the Zeta Reticuli star system, through an implant in her brain. She also believed that she had been chosen to warn mankind. Type her name into Google and the second most popular dropdown is “Nancy Lieder is crazy”. PREDICTION: A mysterious Planet X, known as Nibiru, was on a collision course with Earth and would impact in May 2003, destroying humanity. Even a near-miss would shower the planet with deadly asteroid impacts, so there would be no way of escaping this impending doom. No scientific evidence ever supported this. REALITY: When the date passed without incident, Lieder announced she could not disclose the actual date, as she didn’t want the establishment to know. Of course.

Engulfed in fire, 1843-44 WHO: William Miller, a farmer, Baptist lay preacher and student of the Bible, is one of the most famous false prophets. His followers – the Millerites – were so convinced by his preaching, they sold all their belongs and in their hordes took to the mountains to wait for the end. PREDICTION: To begin with, no one took much notice of Miller when he started to preach about the end of the world. However, interest grew when he started lecturing in New York. He then wrote of his beliefs – that Jesus would return to Earth and the world would be engulfed in fire between March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844 – in publications and used posters to spread the word. REALITY: It’s reported up to 10,000 Millerites sold their stuff while waiting for doomsday. When it inevitably didn’t come, Miller changed the date to October 22, 1844. When that day also ended well, it led to The Great Disappointment, leaving Millerite leaders and followers disillusioned and bewildered.

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All over?: Clockwise: asteroids could rain over the world; Mayan calendar; the Mayan Temple of Kukulcan

Return of Christ, 2012 WHO: As well as spending three-and-a-half years in jail for tax evasion, Ronald Weinland is the founder of the Church Of God, Preparing For The Kingdom Of God. He’s also an author, having penned books such as The Prophesied EndTime. In 2008, he called himself “the spokesman of [God’s] two end-time witnesses”. He ran a church from his home and delivered sermons on the web. PREDICTION: Weinland’s church has adopted an apocalyptic belief in the imminent end of the world. He predicted Jesus Christ would return to Earth 1335 days after September 30, 2008. On his return, Christ would then set up the Kingdom Of God, and 7000 ministers and leading members of the Sabbatarian Churches of God would die in the biblical event, The Great Tribulation. REALITY: When Christ didn’t show up on May 27, 2012, Weinland changed the date to May 19, 2013.

Photos: Thinkstock

Sinking Cities, 1977 WHO: William Branham was a Christian minister with such clout, some in the community considered his ministry and teachings to be supernaturally vindicated by god. He also founded a post World War II “divine healing” movement. PREDICTION: In 1933, Branham predicted the world would terminate in 1977 with the return of Jesus Christ on Earth. He had a number of theories of how it would all go down, including that Los Angeles would sink beneath the ocean. REALITY: Rather than Branham’s prediction coming true – which, surprisingly enough, it didn’t – it seems his fellow minister Kenneth Hagin’s could have. Hagin said in 1964 he had received a prophecy that, “He who now stands in the forefront of the healing ministry as a prophet will be taken out of the way”. In December 1965, Branham was driving with his family in Texas when his car was hit head-on by a drunk driver. He died six days later, on Christmas Eve. Spooky.

WHAT IF THE WORLD ENDS? HOW TO BE PREPARED Should the world end on December 21, don’t be caught without your smoke alarm or forget to check your car before venturing out – that’s the tongue-in-cheek advice of British authorities. A London Fire Brigade spokesman said: “Fit a smoke alarm on each level of your home, then at least you might stand a chance of knowing that the end of the world is nigh ahead of those who don’t. “If you survive the apocalypse you’ll be alerted to a fire more quickly should one ever break out.” The AA warned: “Before heading off, take time to do the basic checks on your car and allow extra time for your journey. “Should the announcer break such solemn news, try to remain focused on the road ahead and keep your hands on the wheel.” You’ve been told.

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SPORTNEWS

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New Swan: Tippet

TIPPETT READY TO FLY FOR THE PREMIERS AFL Controversial Sydney Swans recruit Kurt Tippett is looking at homes in Sydney after he was unveiled last week. Tippett, 25, was picked up in the preseason draft from the Adelaide Crows and gives the Swans a forward who can be a focal point for their attack – not that the defending premiers needed it last year. He won’t be able to play until the 12th round – the week after the Swans play the Crows – after he was fined AU$50k and given a 12-week suspension for a draft tampering rule infringement. But the 202cm star seems to have put that behind him. “It’s a great city and the team’s very, very successful and well respected,” he said. He added the Swans environment is one he thought he “could play my best football in”.

CROWE BLAZING OVER TAYLOR’S SACKING CRICKET Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe reportedly burned his Black Caps blazer in protest at the treatment of dumped Test skipper Ross Taylor. Kiwi golfer Ryan Fox re-tweeted, “Burnt NZ cricket blazer Dec 7, 2012. RIP” from @MartinCrowe299. The account and tweet has since been deleted, but when contacted by the NZ Herald Crowe said he’d make “no comment now or ever”. Taylor withdrew from NZ’s tour of South Africa, which starts with a Twenty20 match on Sunday, after he was axed. NZ Cricket admitted it had handled the situation poorly. But as TNT went to print, NZ Cricket had apologised and Taylor was likely to play the Saffas. “Keen to put it behind me and looking forward to getting back with the team soon,” he tweeted. 48

An extra bootylicious Caroline Wozniacki padded her up and downstairs assets to parody her mate Serena Williams’ proudly full figure at an exhibition match in Brazil. Some people said it was racist. Others said it wasn’t amusing. Wozniacki said she was having fun

GRIFFITHS RARE GOOD NEWS FOR THE BLUES

BIG WEEK FOR ...

FOOTBALL

Simon “The Wizard” Whitlock went out in the semis of last year’s World Darts Championships but has every reason to have his eye on the final prize in this year’s final on New Year’s Day in London. The Aussie came even closer in 2010 when he lost to living legend Phil “The Power” Taylor in the final. Leading up to this year’s champs, which began on Friday, The Wiz has won his first European Masters and the Dutch Masters, so he’s in top form.

Sydney FC has lured Joel Griffiths back to the A-League after four years in Asia in a major coup for the club’s new manager Frank Farina. Striker Griffiths agreed to a three-year deal with the club which, despite signing Alessandro del Piero, is struggling at the bottom of the ladder. The Blues have been playing del Piero as a lone striker in the absence of better options due to a series of injuries. Griffiths won the league and the Johnny Warren medal for the competition’s top player in 2008. He’ll come from Shanghai Shenhua where he’s been lining up next to Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba.

TNTMAGAZINE.COM

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QUOTES OF THE WEEK I was happy. It shows that no matter who you are and whatever you do, you can fall Swimmer Ian Thorpe on disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace

I’m enjoying my bowling. I try to take wickets. I am satisfied

Gylfi Sigurdsson takes it to Rio Ferdinand

PREVIEW SWANS ON SONG TO UPSET THE REDS SWANSEA V MANCHESTER UNITED

SUN, 1.30PM, SKY SPORTS 1 Michael Laudrup’s Swansea City side show no signs of intimidation when faced with clubs above them on the ladder, but they don’t come any higher up than Alex Ferguson’s United. The Premier League leaders come to Liberty Stadium to face an in-form Swans side, one of the most enjoyable to watch passing sides of the season who have converted fluency into results for the most part. They’ve taken down the year’s bolters

West Bromwich Albion 3-1 and Arsenal 2-0 in recent weeks and their 4-3 loss to Norwich seemed to be a blip. The last time high-flyers visited south Wales in November last year, the sides were only split by a solitary Javier Hernandez goal in the 11th minute. This is the first time the teams have met this campaign and don’t be surprised if Fergie’s lads sit back and absorb Swansea’s sweet early exchanges, then look to counter with their bevy of options. Man U may have the depth of Swansea three times over, but don’t be shocked by an upset.

THE CHAT | Wiggo backflips on TDF defence

Massive understatement from slinger Lasith Malinga. He’d just taken six for seven for the Stars in the T20 Big Bash

It was a difficult and slippery pitch that we had to contend with Bizarre words from Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger after his side was ousted from the Capital One Cup by Bradford City

Not good enough. I would like to apologise to all of you. You deserve better Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis to the fans

TV HIGHLIGHTS

Photos: Getty

DARTS Is Brad Wiggins going to play second fiddle to Q Chris Froome for Team Sky at next year’s Tour de France or what? Cycling’s a curious team sport – it seems so individual A but Wiggins needed his team, especially Froome who came second, to win the Tour. Next year’s more hilly course is said to suit Froome more than Wiggins, and Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford said it was likely Wiggins would play back-up and look to take out the Giro D’Italia instead. But Wiggo was mixed on that last week. “I’m probably going to try and win,” he said. “Maybe we’ll have two leaders.” Sky is strong enough to. Wiggins will go with the team’s wishes, but they could just as easily both go for yellow and see what happens. Sacre bleu!

World Darts Championship The best live from Alexandra Palace Until Jan 1, 7pm, Sky Sports (check guides)

FOOTBALL Capital One Cup: Leeds v Chelsea Winner takes the last semi-final spot Weds, 7.45pm, Sky Sports 1

CRICKET Melbourne Stars v Sydney Sixers Wiggo: mellow in yellow

Warnie’s boys and the Big Bash champs Fri, 8am, Sky Sports 1 TNTMAGAZINE.COM

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Born to Exell Nothing about Bega-bred Boyd Exell’s upbringing suggested he’d go on to dominate the world extreme carriage driving circuit WORDS MICHAEL GADD

When it comes to dominating a sport, Aussie Boyd Exell is the equivalent of Jordan, Phelps, Pele, Bolt and Armstrong (without the drugs) in the world of extreme carriage driving, a discipline combining the grace and control of a royal procession with the speed, skill and courage of a wild west chase scene. For the past four years Exell’s won his holy grails, the FEI World Cup Driving Final and the prestigious CHIO at Aachen, Germany. He’d won them multiple times before that. He’s also the only Australian to win a gold medal in any event at the World Equestrian Games, where all equine events come to compete at the top level. To go on listing his achievements would be an exercise in repetition, and to say he excels would be a rubbish play on words and an understatement – suffice to say, the bloke from Bega, NSW, is bloody good at it. To watch his command at the reins of four powerful beasts, controlling all four with one hand, also does an injustice to his sport – he makes it look so easy. Predictably, he puts a lot of his success down to the horses. “Each one of them is like a V8 engine, which you must control,” Exell explains. “The front two have to be bold and brave and intelligent and sensitive. The back two have to be powerful and strong, and followers – soldiers rather than lieutenants. They have to cope with the weight of our competition carriage, which is three-quarters of a tonne.” There’s more to it than Exell lets on. He explains that when he asks his front two horses to go left, the back two must take a few steps in the opposite direction before following the leaders’ path. It’s a marionette-like dance with massive fourlegged puppets, and they have minds of their own. Boyd will be among 10 of the globe’s top drivers who will compete as part of the London International Horse Show on December 19 and 20. The event is a rock ‘n’ roll version of the sport established competitively as a three-day event in 1972 by Prince Philip. “He worked with the FEI (international equestrian federation) to design the rules for the sport, and 50

it’s taken off from there,” Exell says. “It’s huge in Germany, Hungary, Romania, and all around Europe.” Carriage driving, or four-in-hand, in its full form is much like the equestrian all-round, or eventing, with dressage, cross country and an obstacle course instead of show jumping. “The dressage is all about the training and skill and movement of the horses,” Boyd says. “The second day is all about the rough and tumble and the speed over a 20km course. And the third day is the cone driving, which makes

Each horse is like a V8 engine you must control

sure the horses are still supple and balanced and controlled after the previous day. You’ve basically raced them like Formula 1 cars the day before, so it shows their versatility, when they haven’t become wild machines after that.” Last year at the Olympia, carriage driving was a test event, but this year it’s the sixth round of the FEI World Cup series, which Exell is leading. The format of this winter indoor series is a trumped up version of the third day’s course, run over several rounds. After the eight rounds around Europe, the top eight will make February’s final in Bordeaux, France. Exell will guide his four horses around a course of gates with speed, reaching up to 30mph in a confined space, and accuracy, aiming to avoid the five-second penalties given every time an element is bumped by horse or carriage. “To win, you basically need to go around clean, and when you’ve got four horses in tight areas at galloping speed, there’s nothing guaranteed,” Exell says. “It’s a bit like rally car driving. You have to be clean but you have to push it.”

TNTMAGAZINE.COM

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Photos: Getty

Clockwise from left: Boyd Exell crashes through a water obstacle; doing what he does; indoor and outdoor cone courses

For the Olympia competition, Exell’s crack team will include 22-year-old Bill and Junior, and the youngsters, 19year-old Spitfire and Lucky. “Bill’s my secret weapon,” he says. “When I make a mistake he just assumes I didn’t mean it and goes the other way.” He says it helps that his horses enjoy the spectacle, as the London event will be a spectacular that is not only for purists, but entices new fans to equestrian sports. “It’s a great showcase for the sport,” Exell says. “The crowd is pumping, the laser lights are flashing and then there’s the thundering hooves. The atmosphere is electric.” It’s the closest thing to a home event Leicester-based Exell gets, having been in the UK since 1993 when he had to choose between a party or a round-the-world ticket as his 21st birthday present. “I took the ticket but only made it to the second stop, and the rest of it was void,” he says. He saw a chance here to further his equestrian ambitions that was too good to pass up. “I love the Australian lifestyle, but I’d always loved the idea of the hunting prints I’d only seen on walls in Australia,” he says. “That spurred the dream on – I loved the countryside here and the traditions and culture.” He hardly comes from the elite ranks you’d expect of a royal-endorsed sport, with a school teacher mum and civil engineer dad. “I haven’t taken the expected path, my siblings include a programmer, architect and an accountant,” he says. “But I’m glad I did.” It’s a journey which began at age eight when his mother’s friend introduced him to carthorses. “I was devastated at the thought of carthorses,” he says. “But in two days my concentration was on the horses and nothing else.” At 16, he won his first major title, the Australian pairs championships (two horse carriages) and he’s been a worldbeater since. At the last World Cup event in Geneva, Exell finished with a total time, after two runs, that was 35 seconds ahead of the runner-up, with no penalties. Look out London.

GB Olympic dressage gold winner Charlotte Dujardin

BEST OF EQUESTRIAN HORSE SKILLS ON SHOW The centrepieces of the London International Horse Show will undoubtedly be the FEI World Cup events for dressage, jumping and extreme carriage driving, but there’s plenty more equine mastery to be seen. World famous French horse performer Jean FrancoisPignon will perform most nights of the show, alongside the highly skilled Barcelona Police Mounted Unit. On the first night of the driving competition, from 6.45pm December 19, the Team GB Olympic equestrian medalists will parade in front of fans after the Kennel Club’s ABC Agility Stakes Final (that’s clever dogs racing). The Shetland Pony Grand National will also be run. Eurosport and the BBC will be broadcasting selected sessions throughout the week. The London International Horse Show at the Olympia runs Monday, December 17 to Sunday, December 23. Tickets are still available. W14 8UX olympiahorseshow.com West Kensington

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SPORTVIEW

TNT puts the world to rights

COMMENT: MICHAEL GADD michael.gadd@tntmagazine.com

Mare up there: The UK gave Luke Nolan and Black Caviar the credit they deserved

Balls and all, this will be a hard year to beat

GB’s the boss when it comes to putting on a sporting show

» Agree or disagree? What was your sporting highlight of 2012? letters@tntmagazine.com 52

After a week of outrage over the throwing of coins at football grounds, and justifiably so, since Rio Ferdinand was clocked near the eye in Manchester it seems only fair to add our own two cents. If you throw a missile at a player or fellow fan at a football ground you are a sad, pathetic and cowardly oxygen thief who belongs in jail away from those who know how to play nicely. You’re also ruining it for everyone else. British fans are brilliant. I genuinely believe the atmosphere that comes through the TV to all corners of the globe is a

Throw coins? You are an oxygen thief

big part of why the Premier League is so popular. But there are always dickheads who ruin it for those doing the right thing. Sing songs, chant, use humour to ridicule the opponents mothers if you really have to, but don’t be racist, sexist, homophobic and seriously, stop throwing all that money. If you don’t want it, I’ll…

Photo: Getty

I’d give my right nut to have this year over again – preferably not like Warrington prop Paul Wood though. Sure, every year’s a cracker in sport, but this one was taking-the-piss-level greedy, especially for my first year in the UK. The Euros were heaven for a lifetime southern hemisphere-dweller – blanket coverage, decent punditry (mostly), educated ‘debate’ at every turn (pub) and a brilliant tournament. I knew England was harsh on its national team, but didn’t know half of it. Now I know where Aussies get it. Sublime Spain, the Danes upsetting the Dutch, the Italians getting flogged 4-0 in the final (I’m still bitter about 2006), on at a sensible hour – it was a treat. The fanfare over Black Caviar’s arrival was a phenomenon. For a couple of weeks it was “Frankel who?” The Aussie extended her unbeaten run to 22 races at Royal Ascot. When she did, it was her closest race ever, holding on after pulling the equine equivalent of a hammy. I could have watched the bloke she’ll now never face, Frankel, on TV in Oz, but the majesty given the royal-trained stallion now making a mint getting his rocks off was unrepeatable. Will it be his last race? It was. We saw it! Special. After getting past inevitable questions many would be familiar with, such as “Why are you here when it’s so sunny back there?” and “How are you handling the weather?” – seriously, Poms talk about the weather a lot – the next query is on a more important topic, the 2013 Ashes. I’ve seen cricket at every level this year, from having some of the most fun of my life playing games on village greens in between eating cake and sambos – well played Matfield Green – to taking the permitted two pints into Lords for county games to England being toppled from the top. And I’ve not even addressed the epic EPL (in the daytime!) or the lower quality to the NRL, but fast and fun to watch Super League yet. Then the Olympics – Jacques Rogue didn’t have the balls to say, “The best ever”, like Juan Antonio did in Syd-en-ney, but it would have been OK if he did. Australia did well in 2000, but Team GB dominated. I’ll won’t forget that buzz, until the next thing trumps it.

TOSSERS: MORE CASH THAN SENSE

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ay On e-Wers! Pio n e

NEW FOR 2013 - ONE-WAY SAIL DEPARTING SPLIT OR ZADAR Includes the party haven of Zcre Beach - one of the most happening places in Dalmatia, attracting top DJ’s from around the world. Enjoy the mix of natural wonders, local food, wine and historic towns. With cheap flights in and out of Zadar this is a great option for those on a budget.

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TNT Language School sponsored by

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L ANGUAGE SCHOOL

NEW

January 2013 Language Classes

Learn The Lingo courses, part of TNT’s Language School, are ideal for beginners or those who’d like to brush up on the basics Spanish & French

Ë SPANISH RÁPIDO

VENUE: Holland Park YHA, Holland Walk,

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Tuesday January 22 Wednesday January 23

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TRAVEL LATE DEALS | HOTSHOTS | TRAVEL TIPS | TOP FIVE | TOURS | BIG TRIP IMAGE OF THE WEEK

HO HO HO! Holidaymakers get into the festive spirit, donning Santa Claus’ costumes in the Mediterranean Sea in Nice, southern France

Photos: Getty, Thinkstock

INSIDE

BACK TO BLACK /58

SERBIAN SLOPES /68

SAFFA ADVENTURE /74

Gangrene and apple-sized swellings are a far cry from the rural village of Eyam today, but the history of the Black Death plague lives on.

Once riddled with cluster bombs, Kopaonik is now known for cracking ski runs and parties for Belgrade’s most beautiful people.

Shark diving, ostrich riding, bungee jumping and more – join the TNT travel blog comp winner’s South African adventure. TNTMAGAZINE.COM

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TRAVELDIARY Helen Elfer

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Voodoo? Only if you do

TRAVEL EDITOR

END OF DAYS Who would ever have thought the (extremely slim possibility of) the end of the world would prove such a winner for airlines?

For any of you who haven’t heard yet, December 21 marks the end of an ancient Mayan Calendar cycle which began in 3113BC (you can read more about it in our Top 5 Mayan Temples on P64). Fascinating fact, yes. But an apocalypse signifier? Not so much. I thought it was just nutters who really thought the world was going to end this week. You know, just your average disappointed Y2K-ers or the religious crack-pots who were gutted when The Rapture didn’t actually happen last year. The kinds of people that spend years pouring over ancient/alien/biblical ‘clues’ and whip themselves into a frenzy, convincing each other that the end is nigh. But apparently this isn’t the case with 21-12-2012 – lots of people are actually coming round to the idea. Online flight booking company Skyscanner reported a 41 per cent increase in searches for one-way flights to Bugarach in the south of France last week. Why? Because the Pic de Bugarach mountain is thought to have an alien spaceship parked inside, and the massive rock will burst open on doomsday and rescue any humans in the surrounding area. Still, you’d think people would at least hedge their bets and book a return flight, you know, just in case. Perhaps Skyscanner customers are just a little fruitier than everyone else, but those numbers are frighteningly high – seems more people than I realised are secretly crazy. Anyway good luck on Friday everyone. See you on the other side.

week? Write to helen.elfer@tntmagazine.com

If one of your new year’s resolutions is to ‘Be more adventurous’ you couldn’t make a much better start than by heading to Benin’s Voodoo 10 Festival. Dance to tribal drums, invoke spirits, dress in animal skins and watch the unique horse races. And, if you feel that way inclined, why not practice a little voodoo, too? JAN

WHY: Around 60 per cent of Benin’s people practice Voodoo, which is the official state religion, so this eye-poppingly colourful festival is of major significance to the West African country. Most of the celebrations are light-hearted, but there’s a dark side – look out for voodoo dolls riddled with nails.

beninconsulate.co.uk; journeymart.com

WINTER WINE FEST

CAMEL WRESTLING

Canada

British Columbia is big on wine and bigger on skiing, 12-20 and the Sun Peaks Winter Festival of Wine combines the two. Events at the resort include blind winetasting, fondue-eating and night-time ski runs. Just don’t drink and ski. JAN

sunpeaksresort.com

NOORDERSLAG

Netherlands

The huge music fest that is Eurosonic Noorderslag 9-12 has reached its 27th year. Famed for giving up-and-comers a break on a major stage, there are 260 European and UK acts lined up for this year. Go and check out Acid Symphony Orchestra and Ghostpoet. JAN

festival.eurosonic-noorderslag.nl/en

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DO IT BECAUSE: Bare-breasted dancing and gin-drinking are a big part of the festivities. Yes... so far, sounds like Friday night at Walkabout. But these celebrations kick off with a goat-slaughtering by a voodoo priest, not a round of Jager Bombs.

Turkey

Selcuk becomes a camel battlefield each year on the 2O third Sunday of January. Not particularly animal rights-friendly, camel wrestling involves two of the poor beasts butting each other until one gives in or is pinned down. JAN

allaboutturkey.com

US

TNK FEST

Explore Chicago in the freezing cold as you make 16-20 your way round some of its best music venues. The Tomorrow Never Knows festival showcases heaps of emerging indie bands on multiple stages. Look out for Jessie Ware and Kriz Baronia this year. JAN

tnkfest.com

Photo: Getty

Got any plans to escape if the world ends this

VOODOO FESTIVAL Benin

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AIRPORT ‘CROOK’ There’s no denying airline security staff can be royal pains in the ass, confiscating everything from lighters to your favourite face cream. But now it turns out there may be crooks among their number too after Sean Henry, a US airport luggage screener, was arrested for allegedly stealing from suitcases. The security worker at New York’s JFK International was charged with grand larceny, accused of trying to leave the airport with two planted iPads. The tablets were being tracked in a sting operation to crack down on airport theft. Police said they found various other electronic devices in his bag, and more items at his home that may have been stolen.

Photo: Getty

A REAL PISS TAKE Holidaymakers in a Mexican resort were seriously pissed off after a bunch of drunk spring break students wrecked their holidays – and a Canadian travel agency was forced to pay them £18,700 in compensation. Staff at Club Grand Coco Bay had to shut down the hotel’s Jacuzzi due to “fouled-up” water, and guests reported US students taking a leak on their balconies. Apparently “busloads” of them had decided to push the spring break tradition of going as feral as far as they could. One hotel representative even admitted it had “completely lost control of hotel security”.

[Caption] JFK airport: where will thieves strike next?

RHINO RESCUE State-of-the-art surveillance aircraft is going to be used to help protect South Africa’s rhinos. Those in Kruger National Park are under serious threat from poachers, as their horns, which are considered a potent medicine in some Asian countries, sell for around £60,000 per kilo. However, the new plane contains thermal imaging equipment that will enable poachers to be tracked across the park. Abe Sibiya, Kruger National Park’s managing executive, said: “This is not a war [against poachers] that’s going to end today or tomorrow. We are in this for the long haul.”

CHINA AIR RAGE Flying off the handle takes on a whole new meaning in China’s airports, as a Reuters report suggests air rage incidents are increasing. Two passengers who had been refused compensation for a delay pulled open the plane’s emergency exit door earlier this year, while in a separate incident, 20 angry passengers invaded the runway only to find themselves within 200m of an oncoming plane. Just last month travellers held their pilot hostage for six hours when their flight was diverted because of bad weather. We’re all for people power, but perhaps that’s taking things a little too far?

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Take a break: a well-deserved rest on Whinstone Lee Tor

EAT, SLEEP, DRINK

Eyam

Eyam

UK WALES

ENGLAND London

GETTING THERE Travel by rail from London St Pancras to Grindleford for £133 return. Then take a taxi to Eyam for about £15 thetrainline.com

Gorge yourself silly on gigantic baked potatoes, slabs of home-baked cake and hot chocolate swirled with fresh cream at The Buttery. Beers from £2.80, meals from £5.25. eyamhall.co.uk The Poachers Arms is a gourmet gem of an inn serving Brit favourites such as pie and gammon. Sunday lunch costs £8.95. poachersarms.co.uk Hikers and newcomers will find a warm welcome at The Bulls Head Inn, not to mention a great range of cask ales. Drinks from £3.50. thebullatfoolow.co.uk Kick back inside the rustic walls of The Castle for golden local ales or simply to snuggle by the log fire after a day of hiking and biking. Drinks from about £3.30 vintageinn.co.uk Staying in a Victorian gothic mansion needn’t bust your budget. Bag a bed in the YHA Hostel for the price of a few pints. Dorm beds from £10. yha.org.uk

Moving: a sad memorial to plague victims and, left, Windgather Rocks

58

The small and cosy Peaks Inn is the perfect place to doze off in a comfy king-sized bed. Bliss after an adrenaline-fuelled day hiking. Doubles from £70. peaksinn.com

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UKTRIP

Black Death revisited Gangrene, fits and apple-sized swellings are a far cry from the rural village of Eyam today, but the history of the plague lives on

Photos: Anita Isalska; James McCormick; britainonview.com; Getty; Thinkstock

WORDS ANITA ISALSKA

Gruesome tales of the Black Death and perfect British cream teas don’t come together often. And yet here I am, licking whipped cream off a spoon, just minutes after perusing a collection of rusty medieval scalpels. This might not be a typical day out, but, as I’m quickly discovering, there’s nothing ordinary about Eyam. Driving into this peaceful village, the cheerful house fronts give me no clues about its grim past – Eyam is surrounded by arguably the most stunning scenery in northern England. Mountain bikers pedal their way around Hope Valley, climbers challenge themselves on the craggy Windgather Rocks and walkers happily wear out their hiking boots on the Whinstone Lee Tor in between stops for ale and giant scones. The region is a magnet for energetic travellers, but these wholesome pursuits aren’t the reason I’m in Eyam today. The village is best known for quarantining itself during the early days of the Great Plague, the last of England’s major outbreaks of bubonic plague. This notorious illness gave its victims agonising, apple-sized swellings all over their bodies, fever, fits and even gangrene, before killing them off in their thousands. It was spread by fleas hitching a ride on black rats. And while most of northern England avoided the Black Death that ravaged London, a tragic twist of fate brought the sickness right into the heart of Eyam. The village tailor had ordered rolls of cloth from London and diseasecarrying fleas were lurking in the material. As soon as it was unpacked, bubonic plague was unleashed on the small town. The first stop on my dark history tour is Eyam Museum (eyammuseum.demon.co.uk), which holds grisly insights galore. I find it hard not to flinch at some of the unsettling displays: leech-carrying boxes, glinting scalpels, and the pièce de résistance, a 17th-century plague protection outfit with a long beak. Even if it didn’t keep you plague-free, this elaborate cloak would certainly have given your fellow villagers a scare. No pustule is left unexamined in this historic building, and every gruesome cure is relayed in detail. One remedy urges plague victims to drink herb-infused water while a dog lies on their chest; another cure recommends doing unspeakable things to a pigeon. The villagers were no better off for these efforts, and I suspect the pigeons didn’t fare well either.

Digging deeper into Eyam’s ghastly past, I tour the plague graves and historic buildings. Beige brick houses with roses creeping up their walls initially evoke a picture-perfect English village, but as I’m getting used to in Eyam, there’s more beneath the surface. A closer look reveals sombre signs in front of each house, relaying tragic histories. Villagers had bravely stayed within Eyam’s boundaries, determined not to spread the contagion, watching helplessly as their families and friends succumbed to the plague. Kindly folk from nearby towns brought food

They did unspeakable things to pigeons

packages to the border of Eyam and, in exchange, the people of Eyam left payment in a trough of vinegar, hoping to disinfect the coins. A walking tour shows me exactly where this happened, plus plenty of other historic gems. I take time to check out the stocks, where medieval punishments would have been doled out, and the stately Eyam Hall (eyamhall.co.uk), which is rumoured to be haunted by a ghostly servant girl. Eyam’s overgrown churchyard would be picturesque anywhere else, but the tomb of Catherine Mompesson, a prominent villager who tended to Eyam’s sick until her own grim end, makes a mournful silhouette in the grounds. With twilight approaching and shadows starting to loom, I’m ready to hotfoot it out of the graveyard. The Peak District has terrain to challenge adrenaline junkies, fantastic food and great views – but if you’re hungry for somewhere Isles of Scilly: We truly unique, head to go on the lookout Eyam. And remember: for grey seals squeamish travellers need not apply.

NEXT WEEK

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LATEDEALS

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A five-day Hogmanay tour costs £349pp with First Festival Travel

DEAL OF THE WEEK HOLIDAY IN MALTA

£169

Seven nights with easyJet Holidays (easyjet.com/holidays; 0843 1041000). Includes direct return flights and three-star, allinclusive accommodation. Departs London Gatwick on January 16.

< £250

60

HOGMANAY A five-day budget tour costs £349pp (save £30) with First Festival Travel (020 7471 6417; firstfestivaltravel.com). Includes hostel accommodation, coach transport, Hogmanay pass, Aussie/Kiwi new year party, Loony Dook pass. Book by Dec 28. Departs London Dec 29. EUROPE A seven-day tour costs £310pp (save 50 per cent) with Travel Talk (020 8099 8852; traveltalktours.com). Includes four- and three-star accommodation, some meals. Excludes flights and local payment. Book by Dec 23. Departs June 9 and 23, 2013. FRANCE A seven-night ski trip is £485pp with Flight Centre(0844 8008624; flightcentre.co.uk) quoting reference 2538240. Includes flights and four-star, self-catering accommodation. Valid for travel Jan 13-20, 2013. Book by December 28. Departs London Gatwick.

> £500 NORWAY A four-night break costs £849pp with Taber Holidays (01274 875199; taberhols.co.uk). Includes flights and self-catering accommodation in a rorbu in Svolvær, Lofoten. Based on two sharing. Departs London Gatwick on December 28. LA PLAGNE A seven-night ski tour costs £647 (save 15 per cent) with Travel Talk (020 8099 8852; traveltalktours.com). Includes multiple rooms, all-inclusive accommodation, ski pass, equipment rental, instruction and more. Excludes flights. Book by December 23. Departs February 25, 2013. NEPAL A 16-day trek costs £759pp (save £100) with The Adventure Company (0845 450 5316; adventurecompany.co.uk). Includes domestic flights, accommodation, some meals. Excludes international flights. Book by January 31, 2013. Valid for travel during 2013.

DAILY TRAVEL DEALS GO TO tntmagazine.com/travel/latedeals 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 tntmagazine.com/travelemail

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.

TRANSFER FEES FROM £1 For live transfer rates, visit tntforex.com or call 0870 898 8996

EXCHANGE RATES* Australian dollar New Zealand dollar South African rand Polish złoty Euro US dollar Canadian dollar Hong Kong dollar Swedish krona Swiss franc Singapore dollar

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n Great rates n No hidden bank fees n Faster transactions n Easy-to-use online systems n Safe, secure and fully compliant

n Unrivalled customer service * Transfer rates are as of December 11, 2012. Please note that these are mid market rates in relation to GBP

Photos: Getty; Thinkstock

ROME A two-night break costs £90pp with easyJet Holidays (0843 1041000; easyJet.com/holidays). Includes flights and three-star B&B accommodation at the Tre Stelle Hotel. Based on two people sharing. Departs from London Gatwick on January 29. EGYPT A nine-day Felucca Odyssey Xmas & New Year tour costs £194pp (save 50 per cent) with Travel Talk (traveltalktours.com; 020 8099 8852). Includes five- and four- star accommodation, some meals and visits to Cairo, Giza, Pyramids, Sphinx and more. Excludes flights and local payment. Departs December 24. Book by December 23. ISTANBUL A three-night stay costs £199pp (save £25) with Flight Centre (flightcentre.co.uk; 0844 8008624) quoting reference number 1241824. Includes return direct flights and four-star, B&B accommodation at the Balin Hotel. Prices are based on two people sharing. Valid for travel March 1-23, 2013. Book by December 21. Departs from London Heathrow. BUDAPEST A two-night stay costs £96pp with easyJet Holidays (0843 1041000; easyjet.com/holidays). Includes return direct flights and four-star B&B accommodation at the Carlton Hotel. Based on two people sharing Departs from London Luton on January 23, 2013.

£250 – £500

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HOTSHOTS

RUTH ROXANNE BOARD Talks travel photography

WINNER

HOT TIPS: The Tropics Tropical scenes are what drive many of us to travel, so it would be a shame to not document that postcard perfect picture the way you remember it. The main issue with shooting in such areas is they tend to be hot, humid and rainy! This can cause issues for your equipment, so consider investing in a dry bag, repair kit and carry

case for when you are travelling. Research the climate and species you expect to find there. You don’t want to arrive in hurricane season! Rainforests and jungles tend to be dark, so pack a tripod and flash. For the beach, use a polariser filter to balance out the exposure between the bright sand and the sea, and keep the horizon level.

WINNER COLOURS OF ZANZIBAR Josep Gonzalez, Barcelona, Spain

WHY IT WORKS With the rich turquoise colour of its coastal waters, Zanzibar looks like a beautiful paradise. The clear, sandy waters by the shore and the deep dark tone of the sea into the indigo horizon provide a rich gradient of tones. The bands of watery blues cut across the frame, dividing the sea with a depth of colour, while the waves breaking in the distance appear like fluffy clouds. The fishing boats sit calmly in the shallows while the fishermen go about their business.

RUNNER-UP MARSAXLOKK HARBOUR Ben MacKay, London, England

RUNNER-UP

WHY IT WORKS The small boats rest in the still blue waters of this peaceful fishing village in Malta. The bay is full of manmade objects, the boats, the buildings in the distance, a footprint left by human society. The various bright colours of the vessels add interest to what otherwise may seem like a flat image. A THREE-DAY TOUR OF SCOTLAND AND A PHOTOGRAPHY COURSE Upload your images to tntmagazine.com/hotshots First prize is a three-day tour of Scotland for two worth £218 from Haggis Adventures (haggisadventures.com). Must be taken within three months of receiving prize letter. The runner-up wins a £60 photography course voucher from Nigel Wilson Photography (photographycourses.org.uk).

WIN

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TOP FIVE

MAYAN TEMPLES

CHECKING IN

1

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TIKAL, GUATEMALA

Calm in the chaos

THE LEELA OVERVIEW Mumbai is not an easy city to negotiate. The wayward traffic, smoggy air and miles of shanty towns can be intimidating. Ease your way into the chaotic, yet fascinating, culture with a stay here. This hotel has a distinctly colonial feel about it, with guests swanning around the grand lobby in linen trousers and straw hats. Many travellers check in before taking an iconic train journey across India, such as the coastal Konkan Express (which can be booked at reception). WOW FACTOR Not many hotels in India’s industrial capital have a lush pool, with an outside bar, surrounded by a tropical-style garden – exactly what you need after a sweaty day sightseeing. More curiously, there’s a level below the lobby where you’ll find a warren of shops selling gifts to take home, nick-nacks and tasty local snacks. ROOMS While the pretty-dated decor probably won’t compare to brand spanking new five-star hotels in Toyko or New York (you won’t find mod-cons like iPod docking stations or room CCTV here), the clean and spacious rooms are miles ahead of many guesthouses in Mumbai. They also come with wifi and traditional embroidered rugs. BILL FROM Stay from £81 per night.

Sahar, Mathuradas Vasanji Rd, Andheri East, Mumbai 400059 theleela.com/locations/mumbai

00 64

Imagine the party if New Year’s Eve came around once every 5000 years. Now consider how wild it would be if the revellers also believed the event marked the end of the world. Well, that’s exactly what’s about to happen across the Mayan region of Central America on December 21. Whether or not we’re still here on December 22, expect parades, parties and giant clocks in the towns of south-eastern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador throughout the month. However, it will be the pyramids, not the towns, where the action takes place. Shamans will be seen offering up animal sacrifices to the sky with bloody jade daggers in their hands, almost like a scene out of Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto, as guardians of the old traditions congregate. This is because of the Mayan’s hugely complex calendar system made up of different sized cycles in which the universe and mankind move as one. The shortest cycle is 13 days and the longest is 5125 years – the current long cycle began in 3113 BC and soon ends.

Doomsday theorists have latched on to the date, pointing to 1300-yearold inscriptions naming this year as “the end”. One of the best places to witness the moment of truth is Tikal. Hidden deep in the northern Guatemala jungle, the tips of its pyramids rise above the forest canopy. It’s hard to imagine a better setting for an Indiana Jones movie, but George Lucas beat his buddy Spielberg to it and used the World Heritage-listed city as a location for the original Star Wars (when it doubled for the fourth moon of Yavin FYI). It remains arguably the most exciting of the Mayan sites to visit. Howler and spider monkeys abound, while in every direction lies hints of what is yet to be discovered, as only a tiny fraction of the thousands of buildings have been excavated. Dominating the site are the six main pyramids, including the tallest of all surviving pre-Columbian structures, with the 8th century built Temple 4, standing 70m tall. tikalpark.com

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TULUM, MEXICO

One of the last Mayan cities to be built, Tulum is the place to welcome the Apocalypse from the comfort of some of the planet’s finest beaches. The ruins themselves might be underwhelming, but Tulum is all about the location. Originally known as the City of Dawn, Tulum looks out over the sapphire blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, just a few hours south of the redeyed party towns Cancun and Playa del Carmen. tulum.com

Photos: Getty; Thinkstock, Andrew Westbrook

4

MAYAN TEMPLES

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CHICHEN ITZA, MEXICO

One of the most important Mayan cities for over 1000 years, Chichen Itza is nowadays the pin-up star of Mayan civilisation and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World to boot. And it doesn’t disappoint, offering the undisputed masterpieces of Mesoamerican architecture as well as a grisly insight into some of the more brutal aspects of the culture. The 30m-high main pyramid is the supreme example of the Mayan’s dedication to their calendar. chichenitza.com

3

TOP FIVE

COBA, MEXICO

Head deep into the jungle on the road between Tulum and Chichen Itza to find what’s left of Coba, an expansive city surrounded by croc-filled lakes that began life around 1500 years ago. It’s now the one Mayan site that you can explore on bike, making it far easier to discover the thousands of structures, including Mexico’s tallest Mayan pyramid. mexperience.com

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PALENQUE, MEXICO

Surrounded by dense, sweaty jungle, Palenque is another once-great city that was reclaimed by the forest after overpopulation, war and a lack of resources forced its people to bail. Palenque is home to some of the finest Mayan art and decorated sculptures to be found in the region, while its artificial terracing system is further proof of the staggering building prowess of the Mayans, who built their cities without using metals, animals or the wheel.

NEXT WEEK Volcanoes: The world’s biggest and bubbliest

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got a number of trips planned to Q I’ve Europe in next few months and I want to know how to get the best deal on my euros. Am I best to buy them all in one go? Where will give me the best deal? Danny, via email speaking, the trick to getting A Generally good currency rates is buying greater

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thinking of driving and staying at an apartment for four or five days. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Louise, via email year is a great time to visit Amsterdam A New as the Dutch certainly know how to throw a good party! New Year’s Eve festivities are centred on Museumplein (the square in front of the national museum, The Rijksmuseum) where thousands of revellers gather from 9.30pm onwards for the Nationale Oud en Nieuwfeest (the National Old and New Festival). This is the country’s major new year’s street party, where you’ll find live acts, fireworks and festive food stalls. Most of the squares in the city will hosting festivities so there will definitely be something to suit your needs. A smaller-scale but popular option is Chinatown’s Nieuwmarkt square or for the best views of the city’s fireworks displays, the Magere Brug (which means ‘Skinny Bridge’) is the place to be. If you want to continue the party into the wee hours, there are a number of nightclubs hosting parties. Be aware that the entry fees are steep (around £40) but top picks include popular nightclub TIK TAK’s party at the Heineken Music Hall and Dazzleville, a huge party on the city’s NDSM Wharf. As Amsterdam is a popular choice for new year, be sure to book up accommodation and restaurants in advance to avoid disappointment.

CAPED CRUSADER Cape Town is my all-time favourite city – it’s got surf, beaches, wine, wildlife, everything. I’d say if you’ve only got a week to spend in South Africa, don’t waste time travelling around too much, you can stay put in Cape Town and you will definitely not run out of things to do. Saffas really know how to show you a good time. Simon Lemon, via email ON SAFARI If you’ve got the cash, beat the crowds on safari by going to a private reserve, where you’ll be more likely to see animals up close. Sabi Sand Game Reserve is next to Kruger National Park and we had an amazing time there – we saw lion cubs! Sarina Su, via email

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quantities in one transaction and buying in advance online. You will get a much better deal like this than buying currency last minute from airport kiosks, for example. I’d suggest ordering all of your holiday cash from an online foreign exchange service, such as Travelex (travelex. co.uk) or the Post Office (postoffice.co.uk). Money Saving Expert’s travelmoneymax.com allows you to input the amount and currency you need to purchase and whether you want to collect from a store or order online; the clever little calculator will let you know the best rates available from a variety of sources. Be aware that if you do exchange cash before you travel and then use a debit card for any additional expenses, the majority of banks charge a hefty £1.50 for each transaction, so be sure to exchange enough cash before you travel. It is actually safer to carry money abroad on a specialist credit card, as this avoids carrying around huge quantities of cash, although you’d be wise to check your bank has ATMs in the country you’re going to. If you don’t have a credit card, a prepaid, money top-up card like FairFX’s is a good option if travelling in Europe.

would love some advice about Q IAmsterdam for New Year! We are

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Styling: top quality runs

Kopaonik SERBIA

ROMANIA

BELGRADE

SERBIA Kopaonik

GETTING THERE JAT Airlines flies direct from London Heathrow to Belgrade from about ÂŁ150 jat.com

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[Caption] Party? Belgrade knows how!

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Serbian slopes Once riddled with cluster bombs, Kopaonik is now known for cracking ski runs and parties for Belgrade’s most beautiful WORDS NICK DALTON

I stand at the top of the 2017m Suvo Rudiste mountain

and gaze towards Kosovo, 65km away. I’ve just ridden up a speedy lift that swept me over the heads of uniformed Serbian troops trudging up the piste on winter manoeuvres – an unexpected reminder that it wasn’t much more than a decade ago this region was ripped apart by war. Nowadays, Kopaonik is Serbia’s leading ski area, a hip and happening mountain centre which attracts rich and fashionable Belgradians from the nearby capital. Last time I visited, five years ago, the then resort director explained why the off-piste was closed – cluster bombs. The ski runs of Kopaonik were the target of NATO strikes in 1999 and while the slopes have now been officially cleared, the off-piste is no longer even on the map. I have to admit I’m relieved as this means I don’t feel obliged to try it out, but I am delighted that the rest of the ski-safe area has now been expanded to a respectable 55km. Suvo Rudiste is the focal point of all the ski action. Four lifts converge here and a number of runs fan out across the slopes, all of which weave their way back to the base. None of these Kopaonik runs are particularly hard, but they are definitely a blast. A six-man chairlift purrs up through the dense, snowy woods, taking me to the blue slope of Karaman Greben, which I then whiz down at top speed. Next I try out several runs that are marked as blacks, but they seem a little too easy for this grading. This makes me feel as though I’ve struck gold when I finally discover Gobelja, a section of slopes at the edge of Kopaonik which includes Duboka 1, a rolling black that leads down to a little hut with an open fire in the middle. Here I get to sip slivovitz (local plum brandy) and lunch on hunks of crunchy pork fat, hot peppers and chunky lamb stew – they’re attaching a small pig to the spit over the fire for later. The resort of Kopaonik is like nothing I’ve seen anywhere else on my ski travels – it is purpose-built, but looks about as far from the staid, grim Eastern Bloc style you might expect from its past as part of the old Yugoslavia. Instead, the exterior has the appearance of a medieval fairytale, a jumble of pitched roofs, half-timbered walls and little bars, clustered around a courtyard and sheltered against the outside world. Inside it’s a very different story – all glitz and glam. There’s the Grand Hotel, with its languid bar, where everyone, guests

and waiters alike, is turned out in head-to-toe black. New, sleek and elegantly rustic restaurants are dotted across the resort, while there’s an array of older places that do treble duty as bar/club/restaurant. More, slightly unsavoury venues lurk in other odd corners of the cold courtyard, and after dinner I take the chance to wander among them. One dodgy cafe has several disinterested go-go dancers inside and an enormous, scary-looking chap who seems to be in some way connected to them. There’s no way of telling what’s going on

Far from the staid, grim style you expect

in some of the other bars without poking my head past the doormen, who all have cigarettes permanently hanging from their lips. I feel like a character from a Cold War thriller ››

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as I edge around this strange resort. Expensively clad tourists swish across the slopes, while the men who make the place work – on the lifts and in quiet bars – look like a throwback to another era as they huddle and talk in hushed tones, as if expecting James Bond to appear and thwart an evil plan. On the coach ride back to Belgrade, I take in the cold, beautiful lakes and towns where moustachioed Serbians sell bottles of home-made slivovitz. We gradually leave the snow behind and I prepare for a night of partying in the capital’s notoriously frenetic clubs. I start off at the World Travellers Club (usp-aur.rs/aboutaur.html), a vintage kitsch basement lounge hangout. I then hit The Tube (thetube.rs), a small and modern club in the basement of the Serbian Red Cross building. Then it’s on to Magacin (Karadordeva 2-4, tel. 00 381 6256 6061), one of Belgrade’s super-clubs, which attracts international DJs to its sanctuary beneath the Kalemegdan Fortress on the River Sava’s banks. The courageous thing to do would be to see the night through, but I’m knackered and crash out in the small hours – far too early by Belgradian standards. I guess the clubbing and skiing combo defeated me this time, but I promise to be back again soon for round two.

Belgrade’s Kalemegden Fortress

NEXT WEEK Kitesurfing: The windy weather of Ireland finally gets put to good use

MIDRANGE

LUXURY

EAT

Dolly Bell seems like a simple fast food joint at the bottom of the slopes, but it sparks up in the evenings with live music. They serve a combo of international dishes and traditional Serbian food (above). Dishes start from £4. serbia-hotel.org

There’s a warm welcome at Putnik Hotel’s Restaurant and the food is cheap and cheerful. Take advantage of the all-you-can-eat offers, such as Pasta Festival on Friday nights, which costs just £7pp. putnik.com

Casa Montagna Buongiorno (left) is a modern mountain hut at the base of the slopes, where bare wood meets white tablecloths for an up-todate take on traditional dishes. Cosy up next to the fireplace after dinner with a drink. Mains from £12. casamontagna.serbia-hotel.org

DRINK

Fireside Bar, in Putnik Hotel, is the perfect place to sit nursing a glass of wine by a roaring fire after a chilly day on the slopes. Drinks are around £3 each, and there’s a 20 per cent discount on wine on Fridays if you eat at the pasta buffet. putnik.com

The EXIT Café (left) is a casual but jolly club-like affair with regular theme nights (retro, cocktails) and pumping music. Drinks from £2.50. (Suncani Vrhovi, Konak Maglic, tel. 00 381 63 8077948)

James Bond wouldn’t look out of place sipping a martini in the Havana Bar, a hip, plush hangout that would be cool anywhere in the world. Wine and cigars are the order of the day here, so get stuck in. Drinks from £4. grand-kopaonik.com

SLEEP

Konaci Apartments are cute little boltholes which are very good value, considering how close they are to all the action of the main square. Apartments from £28 per night. konaci-kopaonik.com

Hotel Angella (left) a three-star hotel with smart, simple rooms, most of which come with views of the sparkling nearby lake. The sprawling terrace is a great place to hang out when the sun is shining. Rooms start from £62 per night. mkmountainresort.com

A several million pound refurbishment has turned the Grand Hotel into Kopaonik’s plsuhest hotel. It’s a pale wood and leather haven for the hip, complete with bowling alley (above) and huge swimming pool. Rooms from £99pppn. mkmountainresort.com

Photos: Dragan Bosnic; Getty; Thinkstock

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TRAVELWEEKENDER

Belgian break This is Brussels in 48 hours WORDS JADE BREMNER

DAY 1: 10:00 00:00 In Xxxxxx this European Xxxxx Xxxxxx political hub you’ll find both French 00:00 and Xxxxxx Flemish, Xxxxx uber Xxxxxx amounts of culture, art and history, plus, 00:00food Xxxxxx and Xxxxx beer byXxxxxx the bucket loads. Start your trip with a00:00 visit to Xxxxxx Arcadi Xxxxx Café Xxxxxx (mains from £6; Rue d’Arenberg 1a; 00:00 tel.Xxxxxx +32 25113343). Xxxxx Xxxxxx It’s a great spot for an early morning pastry 00:00 or Xxxxxx cake and Xxxxx cupXxxxxx of coffee. The interior is super cute, with DAYold-fashioned 2: 00:00 Xxxxxx cake Xxxxx standsXxxxxx and Post-its on the walls. 00:00 Begin 11:00 Xxxxxxsightseeing Xxxxx Xxxxxx by wandering around the buzzing medieval 00:00 Xxxxxx central Xxxxx square Xxxxxx Le Grand-Place (Rue au Buerre Ilôt 00:00 Sacré, Xxxxxx 1000). Xxxxx Amid Xxxxxx the soaring gothic and Renaissance architecture, 00:00 Xxxxxxvisitors Xxxxxwill Xxxxxx find museums, cafes, bars and chocolate 00:00 Xxxxxx shops. Xxxxx GrabXxxxxx yourself a truly Flemish treat at La Maison des Maîtres Chocolatiers Belges (chocolates from £2; mmcb.be). Here Belgium’s leading chocolate artists craft delicate and sumptuous, melt-in-the-mouth morsels. They’ll also package them beautifully in mint green boxes – pressie idea, perhaps? 12:30 The Flemish, it seems, are excellent at making dainty things, they also have a heritage in lace making. There’s an entire museum dedicated to this very form. The Costume and Lace Museum (Rue de la Violette 12 Ilôt Sacré; +tel. +32 22134450) showcases outifts, ball gowns, overcoats and mini skirts from throughout the ages. They evoke images of what the people from bygone eras would have worn strolling along the city’s canals and historic lanes. 13:30 Toddle back to the central square and get your camera ready for Brussels’ most bizarre attraction, the Manneken Pis (corner of Rue de l’Étuve and Stoofstraat and Rue du Chêne/Eikstraat). This tiny 72

statue’s name translates to “little man pee” and is of a boy taking a leak, but it’s world famous. This chap dates back to 1619 and was designed by sculptor Jerome I Duquesnoy. The locals dress him up in various outfits throughout the year, depending on the festivities. Legend has it that the original was stolen, and this one’s a replica. Scandalous! 14:00 By now you must be peckish, and we’ve got just the place to fill up. KoKoB (mains from £7.30; kokob.be) is a few minutes’ walk from the central square and serves spicy Ethiopian cuisine, including curious yet delicious dishes, such as chicken drumsticks with boiled eggs and berbere. Or try the veggie mix, served in dollops on a round tray. 15:00 After a late lunch, the beautiful Cathedral of St Michael and St Gudula (cathedralestmichel.be) awaits. This architectural wonder, built in 1047, looks like something from a Harry Potter film and opens its doors daily so visitors can soak up the spooky gothic vibe. Inside you’ll find bright stained glass windows and staggering ceiling arches. 19:00 After your busy day of walking, sink a few cold ones at a traditional Brussels boozer. A La Mort Subite (alamortsubite.com) serves cherry and peach beers, plus local brand Maes Pils, on tap. If you’re in need of a bar snack, they also do a range of sandwiches and chunky chips. DAY 2: 10:00 Start the day with another one of Brussels’ stranger sites, the Atomium (atomium.be). This 102-metre futuristic design was commissioned for the 1958 Brussels World Fair. It’s made up of nine spheres, all connected by iron branches. You can actually get inside the balls and gawp at awesome 360-degree views of the city.

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Photos: Thinkstock; Xxxxxxxxxxxxx Getty

Brew haven: stock up on beer [Caption]

12:00 If you’re still hanging from the night before, soak up the excess juice with a burger at the trendy Junk Food Deluxe (burgers from £3.60; junkfooddeluxe.com). Get your chops around a fresh herbs and Comté bap with pure beef, fresh herbs, Comté cheese, sundried tomatoes, rocket and crispy coppa on soft bread. Makes us salivate just thinking about it! 14:00 Make the National Botanic Garden of Belgium (br.fgov.be) your next stop. Within its 92-hectare grounds there are two lakes, beehives and 18,000 different kinds of plants, including, it claims, six per cent of all the known plant species in the world. 16:30 Next, warm up in the museum René Magritte (musee-magritte-museum.be), which is dedicated to the nation’s great artistic export. It holds more than 200 of his surrealist works. Peruse oils on canvas, drawings, sculptures and painted objects. 18:00 For the last night, go fancy at Les Salades de Gaspard (mains from £11.30; lessaladesdegaspard.be), which serves chunky salads and hearty pasta dishes. 19:30 Finish your trip by catching a cultural performance at the Palais des Beaux-Arts (bozar.be). The venue hosts National Orchestra shows and cutting edge dance events on various nights. Book in advance to secure a seat. Xxxx xxxx xxxxx xxx xxxxx Fly return to Brussels from London with Brussels Air from £99. Or book a return train trip and one night hotel deal with Eurostar from £93. brusselsairlines.com eurostar.com

[Caption] Cheeky leak: the Manneken Pis

Futuristic: [Caption] Brussels’ Atomium TNTMAGAZINE.COM

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Top of the world: Brian on Table Mountain NAMIBIA

Six-week tour

BOTSWANA

SOUTH AFRICA SOUTH AFRICA

GETTING THERE Virgin Atlantic flies direct from London Heathrow to Cape Town from £1113 return. virgin-atlantic.com

Cape Town

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Over the rainbow nation Shark diving, ostrich riding, wild dog tracking, bungee jumping and more – join the TNT travel blog comp winner’s Saffa adventure WORDS BRIAN MURPHY

A free six-week holiday in one of the most amazing countries in the world? Yes please! As the winner of TNT’s travel blogging competition, I found myself in the enviable position of taking an all-expenses-paid trip to South Africa, sponsored by the South Africa Youth Travel Confederation. This meant an epic journey from Cape Town to Soweto, taking on such tasks as shark diving, bungee jumping and conservation projects. My mission was simple: give everything a go and let you all know what it’s like. So here are some the highlights of what really was the trip of a lifetime. The top of Table Mountain

WHEN TO GO: The best time to visit South Africa if you’re looking to cover the whole country is September – there are less tourists at this time but the weather is still beautiful in both the north and south. CURRENCY: £1 = ZAR 14 (South African Rand) ACCOMMODATION: Green Elephant Backpackers is based in Observatory in Cape Town, a very lively part of the city. The hostel has a warm, friendly atmosphere and staff can arrange tours and excursions in the city, including wine tours. SEE: greenelephant.co.za

I touch down in Cape Town with the sun shining and just the gentlest of breezes blowing. That means one thing – the notoriously weathersensitive cable car atop Table Mountain is up and running, so I waste no time in heading straight to this iconic world wonder. Once I’m at the peak off this iconic landmark, I take the Skeleton Gorge hiking route, which means scrambling over waterfalls, streams and giant ladders on my way to some spectacular views over the city. DO IT YOURSELF: Park entrance £3.40; cable car £14.70. tablemountain.net

Diving with sharks The next adventure on my list is shark diving – I’ll be in a cage but I’m feeling a little queasy as my boat departs from Hermanus. Maybe it’s butterflies or perhaps I don’t quite have my sea legs yet, but I know this is a treat – the waters here, an hour’s drive from Cape Town, are famous for being among the world’s best for whale watching. So, when we arrive at Shark Alley – an area of sea between two densely populated seal colonies – I volunteer to enter the water first, eager to get off the rocky boat. I don a wet suit and climb into the cage. The water, carried by Antarctic currents, is freezing. I bob up and down while the crew throw lines of bait to the sharks and then duck underwater. There’s a Great

White Shark only metres away and with the worst possible timing, my seasickness suddenly returns with a vengeance. The cage, latched firmly to the boat, rocks backwards and forwards in a sadistic motion. A puking disaster seems imminent and it’s only with sheer force of will that I make it back on to the boat before throwing up over the side. I sink to the ground and peer into the water, wondering, do sharks eat vomit? The answer it seems is no … but fish do. Yuck. DO IT YOURSELF: Shark cage diving costs £100 with Marine Dynamics Shark Tours. sharkwatchsa.com

Garden Route tour

A few days later I head north along Route 62 on a five-day tour of the Garden Route, a lush and green stretch of the south-eastern coast of South Africa. One memorable stop is Ronnie’s Sex Shop. This was once a normal bar until Ronnie’s friends got drunk one night and decided to add the word ‘sex’ between ‘Ronnie’s’ and ‘shop’ on the wall outside. Almost overnight it became a compulsory stopping point for bikers, tourists and anyone willing to donate a bra to hang behind the bar. Things gets even more surreal when we drive on to Oudtshoorn for a spot of ostrich riding – what else? I find my trusty steed standing perfectly still in the middle of a dusty paddock with a bag over its head, safe in the belief that if it can’t see me, I can’t see it – an ostrich’s brain is one-quarter the size of its eye. I hoist myself up, tuck my legs beneath its wings and hold on tight. As the bag is removed and it bounds around the field with me on top. Not a mode of transport I’d chose every day, but an experience for sure. DO IT YOURSELF: A five-day Garden Route tour with Cape To Addo Safari costs £330. capetoaddo.co.za

Bungee jumping Bloukrans Bridge, also on the Garden Route, is the site off the world’s highest bridge bungee jump. I arrive via a ›› TNTMAGAZINE.COM

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Clockwise: up close and personal with an elephant in Shamwari; a bungee jumping off Bloukrans Bridge; and Ronnie’s Sex Shop rickety metal gangway which sags with every step, allowing me to ‘fully appreciate’ the massive 216m drop – ‘This is a walkway of doom,’ I think to myself. As I kit up, music is pounding, which helps to get my adrenaline going, and when it’s finally my turn I step to the edge and force a smile. ‘My god it’s high’ is my last clear thought before I flop forward into the abyss. The music vanishes and the only sound is the rushing air. I plummet at breakneck speed, until suddenly I feel the sensation of raindrops from the river on my face and realise I’m shooting back up again. I bounce and sway as the cord creaks and groans. It’s all over and as I’m brought back up to the bridge, I’m completely exhilarated. DO IT YOURSELF: Jumps cost from £54 with Face Adrenalin.

all is a lion that was kept at the bottom of a well. It walks with a limp and its neck is twisted from years of looking up. DO IT YOURSELF: Shamwari offers a range of volunteering options that involve working with children and animals. shamwariconservationexperience.com

Surfing in Coffee Bay The next day we hurtle up the coast to Coffee Bay, a laidback paradise on the Indian Ocean between Port Elizabeth and

faceadrenalin.com

Volunteering After all this excitement, it’s time to take part in some more selfless activities, so we head for Shamwari, the largest privately owned game reserve in the Eastern Cape. Shamwari sponsor and run eco-projects at the local school and today the children have been asked to bring in bags of cow dung for the vegetable patch – the class with the most manure is rewarded with a huge cake. I’m about to start work on the vegetable patch with the kids, but before I can get stuck in, I’m whisked off for a drive around the reserve. Gardening with brighteyed children would have been a joy, but how often do you encounter a pride of lions and a 40-strong herd of elephants? The next day I visit the Born Free Centre, a refuge for mistreated animals from around the world. I see a malnourished lion which was kept in a nightclub in the Canary Islands, and another with its teeth filed away that was a photographer’s prop in Romania. The sorriest sight of 76

Jaws redux: Cage diving in Shark Alley

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Durban. To get there, though, we pass through the Transkei, one of the poorest parts of South Africa and a world away from the picture-perfect Garden Route. The landscape consists of rugged hills broken into tiny plots of land, with thatched mud huts that have no electricity – seeing them is like stepping back in time. I stay at a vibrant backpacker hostel called Coffee Shack, the ideal base for four days’ surfing lessons. With a typical day involving getting up at 8am, hitting the waves, a walking tour at 11am, more surfing in the afternoon, then dinner and, of course, drinks in the evening, I’m the good kind of exhausted. Maybe that’s why they call this the Wild Coast. DO IT YOURSELF: Coffee Shack surf lessons cost £3.60. coffeeshack.co.za

Wild dog tracking North of Durban is Hluhluwe-iMfolozi, a 120,000ha reserve where I’m to spend two weeks with conservation organisation Wildlife ACT. With four other volunteers, I camp out and monitor the lives of wild dogs, one of the

Deborah Smook

I go to sleep in a tent to the cry of a hyena

The insider's guide

most endangered animals in South Africa. We work to the dogs’ timetable, rising at 4am and tracking them for the morning before returning to our camp around 10am. We stay put while the dogs sleep through the mid-day heat, then head back out from 3pm until sunset as they hunt. Each night I go to sleep in my tent to the sound of the wind and the occasional cry of a hyena, a predator of the wild dog. DO IT YOURSELF: Joining the Wildlife ACT volunteer programme costs £850 for two weeks.

What makes Cape Town so special? The presence of the magical Table Mountain always guarding over you, the sparkling ocean surrounding you and the beautiful wine lands, not to mention the melting pot of cultures, make it pretty special. No matter where in the city you are, you only need five minutes to get somewhere out into nature.

Deborah Smook, national and marketing coordinator for the South Africa Youth Travel Confederation

wildlifeact.com

Mountain hiking The fortnight flies by and I find myself on the move again, this time inland to the spectacular Drakensberg

››

Is there anything that you don’t like about Cape Town? Once you get there you might never want to leave! But South Africa is such a big and diverse country that it would be a shame not to explore beyond Cape Town. Oh, and the weather can be a bit unpredictable in winter. Where do you go to get away from things? The Cederberg – a stunning mountain range about two hours drive from Cape Town. It’s a little off the beaten track with few tourists. The mountain is full of rocky outcrops with great spots for rock climbing and hiking. If you only do one thing in South Africa make it a… wine tour – this is always a pleasant surprise for foreigners. South Africa not only has some of the world’s best wines, it comes at very affordable prices and the region is one of the most beautiful in the world What is South Africa’s best kept secret? I would have to say the Wild Coast. It’s so different from the rest of the country and simply a place you cannot leave. Where in South Africa do you still need to visit? I haven’t been to Sodwana in KwaZulu-Natal for diving – apparently it’s an excellent spot.

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Mountains. A long hike takes me from a steep beginning to level terrain, to lush grassy plains with the mountain peaks looming on the horizon and I spend all day wandering through a mass of trails and admiring the views. DO IT YOURSELF: The staff at Inkosana Lodge provide trail maps and offer advice on the best routes. inkosana.co.za

Exploring Soweto The final leg of my trip takes me further inland to Soweto, a township of four million people on the outskirts of Johannesburg. I take a bicycle tour, learning about the history of Nelson Mandela’s hometown and seeing the meadowlands and streets. Children wave, shout hello and try to soak me with water. Today is the first day of summer and it seems Soweto is one big water fight, which feels like a suitably celebratory end to my amazing trip. DO IT YOURSELF: A Soweto bike tour costs from £27. sowetobicycletours.com Brian’s trip was sponsored by South Africa Youth Travel Confederation. backpackingsouthafrica.co.za

Penguins on Robben Island

Photos: Brian Murphy; Lizet van de Kamp; Getty; Thinkstock; White Shark Diving Company; Picasa

BEST OF THE REST CAPE TOWN Haven’t got six weeks spare to fit in all these activities in South Africa? Stay in Cape Town instead, where you can pack a huge amount in without even leaving the city.

WINE TOUR FROM CAPE TOWN From the moment you are handed your ‘drinking hat’, it’s clear Wine Flies offer no ordinary tour. From vineyard to vineyard, guests glug 25 wines, ports and brandies, a huge lunch and a lot of cheese – what a combination. Price: £39 See: wineflies.co.za

Ostrich riding in Oudtshoorn; above, iconic Table Mountain; below, the huts of Transkei

ROCK CLIMBING Escape the city and enjoy great views over Cape Town while rock climbing on Table Mountain. Hundreds of possible routes mean qualified instructors can tailor the day to suit even total beginners’ needs. Price: £85 for a half-day See: ventureforth.co.za ROBBEN ISLAND Take a boat from Cape Town to Robben Island, where you can see the former prison of Nelson Mandela and be shown around by ex-political prisoners. Check out the colonies of African Penguins who live here, too. Price: £16.50 See: robben-island.org.za

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NEXT WEEK Brooklyn: We cross the bridge to uncover a cooler side of NYC

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SKI EUROPE The best slopes for all budgets

PLUS DestinationsWinterindd 81

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DESTINATIONS WINTER

Tignes, France is a great destination for those looking to take their skills to the next level

Head to Bansko, Bulgaria for a budget ski

Hit the slopes and the clubs in Borovets, famed for its après-ski

Under the splendour of Mont Blanc at Chamonix

2

Zermatt lies at the foot of the Matterhorn

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SKI RESORTS > EUROPE

Now’s the time to slope off Whether you’re a bona fide beginner or regular powder pounder, and no matter what budget you have to play with, there’s skiing to be found this winter WORDS ALASDAIR MORTON

W

ith the onset of winter comes many things: cold commutes, limited hours of daylight, but also the arrival of the snow season. So grab the skis, don your thermals and check out our rundown of the best resorts and slopes, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first timer.

For novices ...

If you’re making your snow debut, you’ll be looking for two things – none-too-taxing slopes on which to practice, and others in a similar boat. Budget hunters should head to Eastern Europe, which boasts a spoilt-for-choice selection of destinations ideal for those who are keen to avoid breaking the bank as much as breaking bones with an illadvised off-piste calamity. Bansko in Bulgaria is one such venue, and as the country’s number-one ski resort, it is a great place to put that tentative snow plough to good use as your take your first tentative downhill steps. A two-day ski pass here costs £25pp. Those on a more midrange budget should check out Val Ceris in France. The resort has six snow parks to entertain, and for those who fancy a break from learning, there’s a wealth of non-ski activities on offer, including dog sledding, rifle-shooting (aim at the smug skiiers who got too good too quickly) and biathlon courses. A two-day ski pass here costs a reasonable £60pp. A little further north in Serbia, Kopaonik is ideally suited to people with a little more cash to spare. It regularly attracts the well-off and chic from the country’s capital, Belgrade, and the 55km of snowy slopes offer plenty of blue runs for beginners. A two-day ski pass here costs £65pp.

For taking it up a notch ... You’ve nailed the nursery slopes and weathered the bruises, now it’s time to venture forth and show what you’re really made of. Top venues for getting beyond the basics include the UK’s homegrown slopes and centres. The 180m Sno!zone slope at Tamworth is great for perfecting your skills before taking them abroad again (costing just £65 per day), and more slopes can be found north of the border in Scotland’s Nevis Range, Glencoe, and the Cairngorms (the Nevis Range offers two-day lift passes for £52pp).

Bulgaria’s Bansko is the country’s number one ski resort and perfect for first timers If you’ve got the parallel turn down, try Tignes in the French Alps, the 1992 Winter Olympics host venue, where the lofty altitude ensures excellent conditions for its 3000km of piste and off-piste runs. It has a halfpipe and boardercross routes, too, as well as plenty of freeriding ops (costs £180pp for a six-day ski pass). The Italian resort of Livigno is a great destination as well; centred around three quaint little villages, it has six runs for all abilities, 40km of prepared cross-country runs and boasts duty-free status, so you don’t even have to cough up your savings to have a luxury-filled trip. A two-day ski >> pass costs £110pp. tntmagazine.com/destinations

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DESTINATIONS WINTER

You can also board in Borovets, Bulgaria

For perfecting downhill skills ... You’ve endured the embarrassing spills and come back for more. Now it’s time to test your mettle. For the fiscally shrewd, head to the Polish town of Szklarska Poreba, which has top conditions and is famed for its high number of days of sun, guaranteeing your downhill snaps will look glitteringly impressive (costs a super-cheap £30pp for a two-day ski pass).

You’ve borne the bruises and endured the embarrassing spills, now your mettle will be tested For those looking to splurge, Zermatt in Switzerland boasts 365 days of snow, and is the highest ski destination in the Alps, soaring to over 3000m. Its 360km of pistes (a proud 20km in mid-summer, too) are renowned for their speed skiing and mogul fields. A two-day ski pass here is £106pp.

Spend evenings partying and days boarding in the Alps

FOR THE BEST APRÈS-SKI The only thing better than kissing goodbye to those aching limbs and that embarrassing moment you went ass over tit the first time you ventured off a blue run, is making sure your night is as eventful as your piste-bound day. Borovets in Bulgaria is famed for its après-ski, with nightclubs Mamcitas and Bonkers popular with tourists. Verbier in Switzerland, one of the world’s premiere off-piste locations, is a must visit for post-snow action – and for sleb-spotting. And Morzine, on the Swiss-French border, is an ace spot for nightlife, with the annual Rock The Pistes and Basscamp music festivals drawing big acts. (en.rockthepistes.com; basscamp-festival.

Chamonix, in the shadow of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the European Union, boasts extensive off-piste runs for the courageous, in the most stunning surrounds. Expect to splash out £120pp for a two-day ski pass here. n » For more information: skibansko.com; serbski.com; ski-france.com; snozoneuk.com; tignes.co.uk; szklarskaporeba.pl; livigno.com; ski-zermatt.com; chamonix.com

4

This must be the après-ski warm-up

Photos: Getty Images, Pascal Tournaire/OT Chamonix, TNT Images, Thinkstock.

Good times at Rude Chalets, Morzine

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Photos: Getty Images, Pascal Tournaire/OT Chamonix, TNT Images, Thinkstock.

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DESTINATIONS WINTER

World wonder: Cape Town’s Table Mountain and below, hitting the waves

Try surfing or even windsurfing (above) in the Canary Islands

Whale spotting in Sri Lanka

6

Go on an African safari

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winter warmers > the world

Banish your winter blues Don’t spend the chilly season stuck in gloomy London. Check out our favourite sunny escapes for all travel tastes, whether you want to hit the booze or the beach WORDS JADE BREMNER

C

lose your eyes, imagine yourself lying on warm sand, with the sun beaming down on your face, while waves crash and exotic birds squawk in the background. No, we’re not trying to torture you while you suffer through England’s winter – this could become reality if you take our advice and book one of these winter warmer breaks. We’ve picked the best spots for guaranteed sun and made sure there’s a trip to suit every traveller’s style. So swap your boring bus ride for a wayward tuk tuk

meal of spicy curry at one of the local restaurants, such as Mama’s Galle Fort Roof Café (76 Leyn Baan St, tel. 00 94 91 222 6415) which has cheap grub (curries start from £1.50) and views over the sea. MORE: srilankatourism.org GET THERE: Emirates flies from London to Colombo from £559 return (emirates.com).

journey, your lunchtime sandwiches for fresh fruit picked straight from the tree, or relax with a glass of wine from a sunny local vineyard. And of course, don’t forget to pack

BEST FOR: Boozing. The small town of Stellenbosch, on the

the factor 30 ...

Cape Town, South Africa outskirts of Cape Town, is potty about wine. Here visitors can drink away their winter blues on a vineyard tour. Guides will drive you around, tell you all about the grapes native to the area and then pour your drink for you. Easy Rider

Galle, Sri Lanka

BEST FOR: Wildlife – Sri Lanka has it in abundance. The best place to base yourself for access to all this beautiful, tear-

Specialist Wine Tours (winetour.co.za) is a good bet. A full day of drinking is £30pp. WHAT ELSE? There is, of course, that big Table Mountain

shaped nation has to offer is in the southern town of Galle.

thing that’s definitely worth making a trip up by cable car

From here you can go whale watching in the Indian Ocean by boat, and just an hour’s drive away is the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, which is home to 15 leopards and cheeky

– be sure to take the obligatory snap of it dominating Cape Town, too. Another must-see is Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was locked up for 27 years. And don’t forget the

purple-faced langurs. Entry into the park costs a mere £3.18,

‘Big Five’ – elephants, lions, rhinos, leopards and buffaloes – which can all be spotted at Kruger National Park

and a tuk tuk driver will take you to the entrance for a few pounds. Cheap and very cheerful. WHAT ELSE? Galle’s town centre is a colonial, Unesco World

(krugerpark.co.za). A four-day tour with Cape Town Safaris (capetownsafaris.com) costs £754 per person, and includes

Heritage Site. Here you can sip Ceylon (Sri Lankan) tea at sleepy, hippy cafes, admire the whitewashed colonial

four-star lodgings, all your food and 4x4 safari-style transport around the park.

buildings that offer a fascinating glimpse into the town’s past, or wander along the Galle ramparts, looking out over

MORE: capetown.travel GET THERE: Qatar Airways flies from London to Cape Town

the crashing waves. While you’re here, don’t miss out on a

from £562 return (qatarairways.com). tntmagazine.com/destinations

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DESTINATIONS WINTER See elephants along with the rest of the Big Five at South Africa’s Kruger National Park

Swim with whale sharks or play beach sports (above) in Oman

Musandam, Oman

giant trevally fish reach 65kg in weight). A boat trip for eight people costs £450 (more at oceanactive.com). MORE: omantourism.gov.com GET THERE: Qatar Airways flies direct from London Heathrow to Muscat from £782 return (qatarairways.com).

Canary Islands, Spain BEST FOR: Get wet and wild with the watersports in Gran Canaria or Fuerteventura. The beaches are packed with surfers and windsurfers due to the consistent swells and

COSY CITY BREAKS Only got a weekend to spare? Wrap up warm and enjoy a snug city break instead Prague, Czech Republic The capital of the Czech Republic is considered one of the most beautiful cities on earth. Take in historical sights such as the Hunger Wall and Strahov Monastery. (praguewelcome.cz) Helsinki, Finland Nowhere does cosy like Scandinavia. Head to Helsinki for cute Christmas markets and saunas. The Finnish love the latter – even in the surrounding pine forest, you’ll find hidden wooden huts with boiling hot rooms and a lot of relaxed Finns. (visithelsinki.fi)

high winds. If you’re a newbie, start at Las Palmas’ Playa de las Canteras beach in Gran Canaria, where Club Mistral (club-mistral.com) offers windsurfing lessons at Bahia Feliz bay, from £40 for a two-hour lesson. WHAT ELSE? The volcanic landscape is dream terrain for hikers. Scale Teide, Spain’s highest mountain on Tenerife. Day trips are available from £80pp (tenerifehiking.com). MORE: grancanaria.com GET THERE: Ryanair flies direct from London Stansted to Gran Canaria from £128 return (bookryanair.com). n

8

Prague

Photos: Thinkstock, Getty, Mark Lloyd, Six Senses Zighy Bay, Otro Modo surf school

BEST FOR: Chilling out on isolated beaches. Get lost on Oman’s untouched coastline, set against dramatic jagged mountains and myriad secret coves. The most isolated spots can be reached on a day trip by dhow. These cost from £42pp with alboomdiving.com or sheesabeach.com. WHAT ELSE? Feeling brave? Spend some time in the water with whale sharks – dive trips start from £70 per day (alboomdiving.com). Or go extreme fishing (the region’s

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s Group Course n Private Tuitio rses Children’s Cou Snowboard rs Freeride & Tou

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Skischule SMT Mayrhofen / Leitung Roland Rahm 6290 Mayrhofen 456 · T +43-(0)5285-63939 oder 63313 · Fax +43(0)5285-63007 info@mayrhofen-total.com · www.mayrhofen-total.com

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DESTINATIONS WINTER

Scottish and proud: party on Princes Street

GETTING THERE Train fares between London and Edinburgh cost from around £120 return. eastcoast.co.uk Consider the coach for a cheaper option; single fares from London Victoria start at about £14.50. nationalexpress.com

SCOTLAND

Glasgow EDINBURGH

ENGLAND

Fireworks are set off at midnight

Tartaned up: ready for a big night out

Photos: Getty Images.

Braving the River Forth for the Loony Dook on New Year’s Day

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HOGMANAY > EDINBURGH

Heading to Hogmanay Edinburgh’s infamous New Year’s Eve party might just be the best place in the world to ring in 2013. So pull on those tartan trews and get ready to celebrate WORDS HELEN ELFER

H

ogmanay really is the mother of all NYE parties. Not a one or even two-night celebration is enough for those hard-partying Scots, who ring in the new year with an epic bash that stretches through three days of music, torchlit processions, fireworks and, naturally, a lot of drinking. Here’s everything you need to know about the best New Year’s Eve party in the world.

The background

giant screens, outdoor bars and general merrymaking at the famous city-wide street party that takes over most of Edinburgh. As for New Year’s Day, if you’re feeling up to it, join the 1000 ‘loonies’ in the The Loony Dook, a tradition that sees folks jumping into the freezing waters of the Forth Estuary in an attempt to numb their New Year’s Day hangovers. A suitably crazy way to round off a bonkers bonanza of partying. SEE: edinburghshogmanay.org

Christmas was discouraged, and so all of the festive

Best of the rest

After the Scottish Reformation in the 1500s, celebrating traditions took place at new year instead. The word ‘Hogmanay’ probably came from the French ‘hoguinan’, which means a new year’s gift. Since then, the celebrations have grown in to the spectacular New

take some time to explore the rest of Edinburgh. Arthur’s Seat, a 823ft-high volcano, presides over the city’s skyline and if you make it all the way to the top, which isn’t too

Year’s Eve ritual it is today.

tough a climb, you’ll be rewarded with incredible views.

Hogmanay’s highlights

For a spooky bit of sightseeing visit Mary King's Close, an underground warren in Edinburgh’s Old Town said to be haunted by plague victims who were walled up in the

The theme of the party on December 31 is ‘Be Lucky.’ And if you’re one of the 80,000 partygoers heading off to Hogmanay, you certainly are. Festivities kick off on December 30 with the atmopsheric torchlight procession, which involves thousands of torch carriers walking from Chambers Street to the Son et Lumière for a fireworks finale on Calton Hill, complete with a traditional pipes and drums performance. On New Year’s Eve itself, the annual Photos: Getty Images.

If you’re heading up north for the Hogmanay festivities,

Concert in the Gardens is always a huge draw, and this year features headliners Simple Minds alongside Bwani Junction and The View. But the shenanigans don’t end there. More live music and entertainment follow, with DJs,

1600s and left to die. A tour here gives a truly fascinating insight into life in the city between the 16th and 19th centuries, and walking the dark, spooky passages with a costumed guide is a nerve-jangling experience – listen out for the reported ghostly scratching from inside a chimney where a child sweep is said to have died. Next, Edinburgh Castle, which has been a royal residence since the 12th century, is the city’s most iconic edifice. Time your visit for around 1pm, when a field gun inside the castle walls blasts a round of shellfire to mark the hour. SEE: edinburghcastle.gov.uk; realmarykingsclose.com tntmagazine.com/destinations

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V

DESTINATIONS WINTER

Après-ski can spell trouble on the slopes

Get insured before attempting snowy stunts

Avoid too much vino with lunch if you’re hitting the slopes afterwards

Emergency aid is costly

Photos: Thinkstock, TNT Images, freerideworldtour.com/DDaher.

Pray it’s just a bruised bum

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TRAVEL INSURANCE > SKIING

Get yourself covered Travel insurance is a must for every skiier who doesn’t want to return from the slopes with their leg in a cast – and packing a crippling hospital bill to boot WORDS HELEN ELFER

nasty accident on the slopes is every skiier or boarder’s worst nightmare. Not only will a broken leg obviously ruin your sporty holiday, and mean a prolonged stay in a foreign hospital, but, if you’re not insured, it could set you back thousands of pounds, too. Whether or not you decide to buy travel insurance is your decision, but every skiier should at least make themselves aware of the risks before jetting off.

A

What are the main risks?

What will travel insurance cost me?

Not only is the latter extremely dangerous, but in some resorts it can also lead to the confiscation of your lift pass if you’re caught. In terms of insurance, injuries sustained

which, when you think about it, is less than you’d spend

under the influence of drink or drugs might be considered by your travel insurer as being “self-inflicted” and give

Photos: Thinkstock, TNT Images, freerideworldtour.com/DDaher.

A winter sports insurance policy doesn’t need to be too pricey. You can get decent cover for as little as £30,

In one word – booze. Accidents are more likely to happen after a heavy night out on the lash; if you’re feeling foggy and hungover when you hit the slopes, you’ll put yourself and others at greater risk of serious injury. Recent research by Santander Insurance revealed a whopping one in four British holidaymakers had hit the slopes under the influence of booze from the night before – worse still, 17 per cent had done so after a lunchtime drinking session.

on a particularly raucous après-ski night. If you are splashing out on an expensive trip, make sure you up your cover accordingly. There’s no point buying a policy that pays

them grounds to refuse to pay out for any resulting claim.

out for the cancellation of a holiday up to the value of

What about my ski gear?

£500, for example, if the trip is costing you £1000.

Theft on the slopes is an ever-increasing problem, as many skiers and boarders don’t take simple precautions when

What kind of policy should l buy?

dropping by a bar or restaurant. Many policies wont’ pay if your equipment has been left “unattended”, so check

It’s crucial skiers and boarders choose a policy for the type of winter sports they plan to do. Some cheaper travel insurance policies don’t cover these at all. Others might cover you for skiing and snowboarding, but not the likes of tobogganing, or more extreme snowy activities such as paraskiing or ski joering. In addition to sports and any physically risky activities, a good insurance policy should also cover you for all the other things that could go wrong on your trip, from cancelled flights and lost bags, to a stolen passport and additional medical problems.

how your policy defines “unattended”. If your gear is stolen, report it to the police immediately, as some insurers will refuse your claim unless you can provide them with an official police report. If your gear is badly damaged while skiing and you want to make a claim, make sure you bring the skis home with you – insurers may not pay out if you leave them abroad. It may also be wise to get a letter from the resort or your instructor confirming the damage took place on the slopes, and not before you arrived. tntmagazine.com/destinations

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XMAS & NEW YEAR TOURS STILL AVAILABLE !

Egypt Full world wо - Pyram s, N e d V y ngs!

£299

pharaohs adventure

6 days

£549

sand blaster

13 days

£349

king tutankhamen

9 days

£649

dunes and tombs

17 days

£399

FHZQU VQMVHHFE

EBZT

£749

beyond the pyramids 12 days

£449

king ramses

13 days

£779

nile and siwa oasis

$BJSP t 1ZSBNJET t /JMF 7BMMFZ t /JMF 'FMVDDB t 7BMMFZ PG UIF ,JOHT 4JXB 0BTJT t "CV 4JNCFM 0WFSOJHIU TMFFQFS USBJO t 9."4 /: EFQBSUVSFT t %BIBC UIF 3FE 4FB

NUMBER 1 FOR EGYPT !

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Phone for brochure • Open 9am-9pm 68 North End Road, West Kensington, London W14 9EP

TNT_1529_Travel.indd 95

15 days

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plona, La Tom with FFT to Pam d lle ve tra ve “ I ha Rock! “ ? - First Festival xt ne re he W . st and Oktoberfe

Egypt & Jordan

PYRAMIDS & NILE SAILING!

Packages from

ÂŁ259

Egyptian Express - 9 days

fr ÂŁ259

Pyramids & Beaches -14 days

fr ÂŁ359

Pyramids to Petra - 16 days

fr ÂŁ879

XMAS in Berlin Festive Berlin - 5 days

fr ÂŁ199

ADVENTURE TOURS MOROCCO

TURKEY fr ÂŁ459

Marrakech & Beyond - 8 days

Coast to Cappadocia - 12 days

fr ÂŁ509

Marrakech, Sahara & Surf - 11 days fr ÂŁ749

Totally Turkey - 14 days

fr ÂŁ599

Best of Turkey - 10 days

fr ÂŁ549

XMAS & NY Russia

Turkey & Egypt - 18 days

fr ÂŁ699

RUSSIA

Istanbul to the Red Sea - 23 days

fr ÂŁ799

Vodka Shot - 6 days

fr ÂŁ449

The Snowball - 6 days

fr ÂŁ399

The SnowBall - 6 days

fr ÂŁ399

COMING UP FOR 2013! PADDYS DAY

QUEENS DAY Amsterdam Queens Day Coach

fr ÂŁ219

fr ÂŁ109

Sailing Split - 8 days

fr ÂŁ369

ROYAL ASCOT

PARIS EASTER Baguettes & Bubbles

fr ÂŁ189

CROATIA

ANZAC DAY Turkey or Belgium

Accommodation or Coach

fr ÂŁ399

Race days out

fr ÂŁ79

PAMPS “CRACK ONâ€? IN IBIZIA days in tKe :orld¡s Sarty eSicentre includes nigKts +otel $ccommodation (ntry to tKree suSerclubs 6unset boat Sarty %eacK Sarty Ibizia Bar Crawl Free club transfers

fr ÂŁ229

TNT_1529_Travel.indd 96

Snowmad XMAS! Austria XMAS - 8 days

fr ÂŁ599

Full itineraries and tour information can be found on our website or by calling our ofÀce First FestiYal 7raYel 1ortK (nd 5d /ondon : (3 &losest 7ube :est .ensington

14/12/12 09:34:20


Hogmanay 5 Day EDINBURGH: 29 DEC - 2 JAN

Packages from

TRAVEL

£259

Leaving Saturday morning for this Epic New Years tour in Edinburgh.You’ll have time to sample Stirling Castle, the Torch Light Procession, the Street Party and Loony Dook!

Hogmanay 4 Day EDINBURGH: 30 DEC - 2 JAN

Packages from

£239

The biggest celebration of New Year in Europe and not to be missed! We’re Loony Dook specialists too. Coach from London or accom only - Hostel or Hotel.

ST PATRICK’s Day DUBLIN 15TH - 18TH MARCH

Packages from

£189

Watch Dublin turn in to a sea of Green as we join with the locals to celebrate Irish Style! And a trip to Dublin wouldnt be complete with out a trip to the Guinness Brewery! Choose our coach tour or meet us in Dublin

QUEENS DAY

AMSTERDAM 28TH APRIL - 1ST MAY

Packages from

£159

Be prepared to be “oranged” as the Dutch go crazy celebrating their Queens Birthday. Street Parades and Parties, huge outdoor concerts, outdoor flea markets and much more. We have coach tours or accommodation only.

5 Day Hogmanay

Xmas Markets

discount

discount

£20

£20

firstfestivaltravel.com 020 7471 6417

TNTMAGAZINE.COM

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TNT_1529_Travel.indd 98

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TRAVEL TNTMAGAZINE.COM

TNT_1529_Travel.indd 99

99

14/12/12 09:34:39


we

europe

FAVOURITE EAST EUROPE & FESTIVAL TOUR OPERATOR 2012

15% * OFTFO £105

P SAVE Utrips for 2012 departures. * Valid on below by 23 DEC. Book e ‘wintersale’ Enter promocod

CHRISTMAS IN PARIS 4 DAYS WAS £349 NOW £297 DEPARTS LONDON 24 DECEMBER INCLUSIONS: Busabout Guide, Return coach and ferry from London to Paris, 3 nights accommodation, 3 breakfasts, Welcome dinner and drink, Paris by night tour by coach, trip to Palace of Versailles with picnic lunch, Christmas dinner, bike tour and river cruise, FREE Lonely Planet guidebook

NEW YEAR IN AMSTERDAM 4 DAYS WAS £369 NOW £314

WINTER SALE

DEPARTS LONDON 30 DECEMBER INCLUSIONS: Busabout Guide, Return

coach and ferry from London to Amsterdam, 3 nights accommodation, 3 breakfasts, 1 dinner, orientation walk of Amsterdam town and country bike tour, canal cruise around Amsterdam, FREE Lonely Planet guidebook

FESTIVE PARTY TREK 11 DAYS WAS £699 NOW £594 (STUDENTS WAS £674 NOW £573) DEPARTS 22 DECEMBER CZECH REPUBLIC, AUSTRIA, SLOVAKIA, HUNGARY & POLAND OPTION 1: Prague to Krakow

UT OPTION 2: Krakow Prague SOLDto O INCLUSIONS: All transportation with

Busabout Guide, 10 nights accommodation and breakfasts, Tour of Auschwitz and Birkenau, Walking tour of Krakow, Christmas and Christmas Eve dinner, Vienna Schnapps museum, FREE Lonely Planet guidebook

Morocco MARRAKECH & SAHARA 8 DAYS £574 DEPARTS 23 DEC Marrakech, Gorge Du Dades, Todra Gorge, Sahara Desert Camel Trek & Ouarzazate MARRAKECH ENCOMPASSED 15 DAYS £834 DEPARTS 23 DEC Marrakech, Rabat, Meknes, Chefchaouen, Fes, Mildelt, Sahara Desert Camel Trek, Ait Benhaddou & Essaouira

2013 BROCHURE FLEXIBLE COACH NETWORK THROUGH EUROPE

20% OFF* ALL PASSES SAVE up to £166 * Valid on all 2013 departures. Book by 23 DEC. Pay in full by 31 MAR. Enter promocode ‘earlybird2013’

OUT NOW FOR A COPY GO TO BUSABOUT.COM/BROCHURE NEWS & VIEWS

FOLLOW US

/BUSABOUTeurope

@busabout

BUSABOUT ADVENTURES

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UP TO 20% OFF*

UP TO 50% OFF*

SAVE up to £163

SAVE up to £130

SPAIN, ITALY, IBIZA, CROATIA, GREEK ISLANDS, TURKEY, SCANDINAVIA & THE BALTICS, EGYPT & EASTERN EUROPE

LAS FALLAS, PAMPLONA, OKTOBERFEST & QUEEN’S DAY

* Valid on all 2013 departures. Book by 23 DEC. Pay in full by 31 MAR. Enter promocode ‘earlybird2013’

* Valid on all 2013 departures. Book by 23 DEC. Pay in full by 31 MAR. Enter promocode ‘earlybird2013’

FOR ALL EARLYBIRD DEALS VISIT:

08450 267 514 TNT_1529_Travel.indd 100

www.busabout.com/earlybird

www.busabout.com

info@busabout.com 14/12/12 09:35:13


FAVOURITE SCOTLAND TOUR OPERATOR 2012

15% OFF39

TRAVEL

*

SAVE UP TO £ * Valid on JAN& FEB 2013 departures.

Book by 23 DEC. Enter promocode ‘wintersale’

FESTIVE

5

HIGHLAND FLING DAYS (MON ) From £189 NOW From £161 (STUDENTS NOW From £152)

15% OFF £ *

*

Loch Ness, Isle of Skye & North West Highlands

SKYE HIGH 3 DAYS

SSAVE

(MON & FRI) From £115 NOW From £98 (STUDENTS NOW From £93)

PASS IO

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SAVE UP TO 66 * Valid on festive trips listed. Book by 23 DEC.

Isle of Skye, Loch Ness & Glencoe

&HUWL¿FDWH RI ([FHOOHQFH

Enter promocode ‘wintersale’

HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS

FREE

2012

Haggis Day Adventures

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

Lonely Planet Guidebook

MEGA HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS 5 DAYS

PREFERRED BY STA TRAVEL & FLIGHT CENTRE GLOBALLY JOIN US

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£439 NOW £373

Departs Edinburgh 24 December

ROYAL HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS 3 DAYS £315 NOW £268

Departs Edinburgh 24 December

HIGHLIGHTS

15% OFF SAVE UP TO £34

*

* Valid on JAN & FEB 2013 departures. Book by 23 DEC. Enter promocode ‘wintersale’

FREE F STUF H UP

WORT

WAS £225 NOW £191 (Students NOW £183) BLARNEY CASTLE, CLIFFS OF MOHER, KILLARNEY, INIS MÓR/CONNEMARA Includes FREE entry to: Blarney Castle & Cliffs of Moher

Our legendary St. Patrick’s packages have been designed to give you an amazing time discovering our stunning country plus the chance to party with us Irish!

EDINBURGH HOGMANAY 5 DAYS £349 NOW £297 Edinburgh 29 December GROUPS OF 4 - SAVE 5% GROUPS OF 10 - SAVE 10%

WAS £129 NOW £110(Students NOW £106) BLARNEY CASTLE, CLIFFS OF MOHER, GALWAY & DINGLE Includes FREE entry to: Blarney Castle & Cliffs of Moher

TNT_1529_Travel.indd 101

HOGMANAY & HIGHLANDS 7 DAYS Departs Edinburgh OPTION 1 - 27 December Highlands then Hogmanay OPTION 2 - 29 December Hogmanay then Highlands

SOUTHERN ROCKER * 3 DAYS (Fri)

FREE LONELY PLANET GUIDE

‡ Mega Highland Christmas only

£409 NOW £348

TO

€66

CELTIC ROCKER 5 DAYS (Mon)

+ 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 ‡

TEL: 08450 267 507 INFO@SHAMROCKERADVENTURES.COM

WWW.SHAMROCKERADVENTURES.COM

HIGHLIGHTS

+ 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

TNTMAGAZINE.COM 101

† Hogmanay & Highlands only ^ Edinburgh Hogmanay only

14/12/12 09:35:19


TRAVEL

ay On e-Wers! Pio n e

NEW FOR 2013 - ONE-WAY SAIL DEPARTING SPLIT OR ZADAR Includes the party haven of Zcre Beach - one of the most happening places in Dalmatia, attracting top DJ’s from around the world. Enjoy the mix of natural wonders, local food, wine and historic towns. With cheap flights in and out of Zadar this is a great option for those on a budget.

Croatia One-Way Sail INK UP

L to make an both One-Ways sailing days 14 ble ta et rg fo un ubrovnik t-D pli r-S Zada

s Anchor up and jump off

DEPARTS SPLIT OR ZADAR NEW FOR 2013 (JUL & AUG) 8 DAYS FROM £519 DEPARTS SPLIT OR DUBROVNIK (MAY - OCT) 8 DAYS FROM £449

the boat into the Adriatic s Captain the Pirate Cruiser as it sails along the Dalmatian coast s Orientation walks s Boat Captain & local Crew s English speaking Busabout Guide s 7 nights accommodation on board (bedding included) s 7 breakfasts and lunches s Secluded swim stops s Sunbathing on the deck

Croatia Island Hopper DEPARTS SPLIT (MAY - SEP) 8 DAYS FROM £424

08450 267 514

20% * F OF AVE

Highlights & Inclusions

www.busabout.com

HOGMANaY

S £163 UP TalO s. de l 2013 parture

* Valid on y in full by 31 MAR. Pa Book by 23 DEC. ode ‘earlybird2013’ Enter promoc WATCH CLIPS

/BusaboutTV

info@busabout.com

DISCOUNTED: £20 OFF OUR LAST FEW SEATS!

(30TH DEC - 2ND JAN) EDINBURGH 2012/2013 - EUROPES BIGGEST NEW YEARS EVE PARTY

HURRY....BEDS FILLING FAST

✔ Hostel Accommodation Only FROM £249 ✔ Hotel Accommodation Only FROM £269 ✔ Coach Tours FROM £309 ✔ Hi Speed Trains Tours FROM £359

WOW - LOOK WHAT’S INCLUDED

: FER OF t, take L f s A ECI s le SP f seat ckage E T a o INU dful ay p T M han man LAS just a ll Hog h fa Wit 20 of £

accommodation ✔ Our Famous Aussie/Kiwi New Year Party ✔ Superb top class city centre n to Stirling ✔ Choice of room configurations ✔ Street Party Pass ✔ Braveheart excursio options Only Accomm or Coach Train, ✔ New Years Day party ✔

ANZAC DAY 2013

SUPERB VALUE TO 2 Day Tour 4 Day Tour 5 Day Tour

Land based tours

URS TO ANZAC CO

VE – 25 APRIL

Just £99 From £159 Only £199

“THIS IS THE NON-STOP PARTY EVENT OF THE YEAR.”

LLING: E S W O N S R U O T 2013 a - 3 - 8 July mplon - March 17 • Pa • St Pat’s Day, Dublin Tomatina – August 28 La • ril pt-6 Oct • Anzac Day - 25 Ap • Oktoberfest: 21 Se 20-22 • Royal Ascot -June

info@pptravel.com • 020 7930 9999

all start and finis

h at PP’s superb

Istanbul hotels

pptravel.com

102 TNTMAGAZINE.COM

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TRAVEL

Christmas & New Year Christmas in Egypt Favourite Big Tour Operator

9 DAY Egypt Express Dep. 22 Dec 2012

NOW

WAS £330

UP TO

Favourite Ski/Winter Operator

15%

Favourite Tour Operator in Western Europe

£290

OFF

Includes US$135 local payment

TNT Golden Backpacks

WINNER

12 DAY Festive Pharaohs ONLY

Dep. 22 Dec 2012

Cairo

£265

start/finish

Favourite Ski/Winter Operator

ISRAEL N JORDA

St Catherine

SAUDI

EGYPT

Includes Christmas Dinner & Party in Dahab and New Year’s Eve ‘Desert Party’ in a Bedouin tent!

IA 8 ARAB Dahab

Christmas in Europe

Ski Trips Austria

EuroClub

18 DAY Winter Getaway Dep. 27 Dec 2012

Includes Paris, Rome, Salzburg, Prague, plus more!

NOW

WAS £1250

£1147

Includes £220 food fund

£399

What’s Included: Snow bike pub crawl, traditional Austrian Xmas Dinner on Xmas week, PLUS MORE!

14 DAY Winter Wonder

Dep. 29 Dec 2012

13 Jan 2013

£219

Includes Paris, Swiss Alps, Venice, Salzburg, plus more!

WAS £1370

Includes walking tour of Krakow with local guide, 3 nights accommodation, 3 breakfasts, 1 dinner & a European trained Topdeck trip leader.

NOW

FROM

Dep Weekly Jan-March

EuroHotel

4 DAY Krakow New Year ONLY

8 DAY Ski Austria

Europe Summer Sale Save up to £325*

£1233

10% OFF

Ends 28th Dec

CALL 0845 257 5210 *Terms and conditions apply. Prices quoted are for specific departures only. All trips subject to availability. Discounts are off the base trip price only, and do not apply to food funds, sailing funds and local payments. Flights not included. Egypt trip price includes local payment based on $1 = £0.618, which must be paid locally in USD. Exchange rates correct at time of printing, and subject to currency fluctuations, depending when payment is made. Offer subject to availability. The 10% ’Early Bird Discount’ is valid for new confirmed bookings made from 1 November 2012 and paid in full by 28 December 2012. The 10% ’Early Bird Discount’ applies exclusively to all EuroClub, EuroHotel, EuroCamping, Explorer & Winter Europe trips listed in Topdeck’s 2013 Europe brochure. The’ Early Bird Discount’ can be combined up to a maximum of 20% using one standard brochure discount with the exception of the ‘Early Payment Option’. Our Croatia Sailing and Turkish Gulet sailing trips are eligible for the 10% off Early Bird discount only and cannot be combined with any other offer. Please contact our friendly team for further details. The discount does not apply to Food Fund, Sailing Fund, local payment or pre/post accommodation. Normal cancellation conditions apply. Topdeck reserves the right to withdraw this offer at any time. The ‘Save up to amount’ is based on our ‘Discover Europe’ trip. See online for full terms and conditions.

TNTMAGAZINE.COM 103

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TRAVEL

WEEKEND BREAKS AND DAY TOURS WEEKEND BREAKS AMSTERDAM & BRUGGE from £170

11th January. Return coach & ferry travel, sightseeing in Amsterdam & Brugge, 2 nights B&B hotel accommodation, visit to Cheese & Clog factory & Tour Manager.

EDINBURGH BY RAIL £179

18th January. Return rail travel & transfers, 2 nights B&B hotel accom, guided city sightseeing tour, plenty of free time & Tour Manager.

PARIS BY EUROSTAR from £229

25th January. Return Eurostar & transfers, 2 nights B&B hotel accom, guided city sightseeing tour, plenty of free time & Tour Manager

DAY TRIPS ¸ Thurs 27th Dec - A Day in Wales from

£50

¸ Sun 29th Dec - Windsor & Hampton Court Palace from £41

£35 ¸ Sun 6th Jan - Isle of Wight from £45 ¸ Sat 5th Jan - Cambridge from

Travelling to Europe on a Walkabout?

PLUS Stonehenge & Bath EVERYDAY. From £50 with entrances to Stonehenge & the Roman Baths included!

Cover valid throughout EU and other countries*

LUXURY MINI COACH TOURS No more than 15 passengers with your choice of pick up anywhere in zone 1! From just £55pp Departing daily:

Overseas driving licence acceptable

Every Saturday & Sunday: * *NEW* Canterbury, Dover & Dover Castle

Follow us @andersontours

Cover for periods ranging from 15 days to 1 year No permanent address needed, documents can be emailed

* *NEW* Windsor, Stonehenge & Salisbury * Oxford, Stratford & the Cotswolds

www.andersontours.co.uk or call 0207 436 9304

Cover available for Campers including Vans

*for more detailed information visit

hertsinsurance.com/walkabout Anderson Tours is fully bonded by Client Trust Account

Anderson Tours Travel Shop, 81 Charlotte Street, London W1T 4PP

2U FDOO +,& WR GLVFXVV ÁH[LEOH FDU LQVXUDQFH for up to 12 months

0800 121 7421

CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR TOURS Christmas Breaks Paris by Eurostar - Mon 24th - Thur 27th Dec £299

New Year Breaks Paris By Eurostar - Sat 29th Dec - Mon 1st Jan £299 BOOK ON ANDERSONTOURS.CO.UK OR CALL 0207 436 9304

Herts Insurance Consultants Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority No 309073

104 TNTMAGAZINE.COM

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TRAVEL

PADDY’S DAY CELEBRATE PADDY’S DAY IN DUBLIN! ■ 4 Days Hostel 15-18 MAR £189 ■ 3 Days Hotel 16-18 MAR £189 ✔ Central Dublin Accom ✔ Paddy’s Day Parade

2013 EARLY BIRD SPECIALS!

FOOTBALL ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE GET BEHIND MARK SCHWARZER AND THE SW6 BOYS! ■ Fulham FC v Blackpool (FA CUP) SAT 5 JAN 3PM £18 ■ Fulham FC v Wigan SAT 12 JAN 3PM £33 ■ Fulham FC v West Ham WED 30 JAN 8PM £43

CATEGORY A & A+ BOATS AT UNBEATABLE PRICES! ■ 7 NIGHTS JUN-SEP fr£379 WE SAIL CROATIA’S BEST ISLANDS & ROUTE! ✔ Split ✔ Markaska ✔ Mljet ✔ Dubrovnik ✔ Korcula ✔ Vela Luca ✔ Hvar ✔ Bol ✔ Brac ■ CAT A+: JUN fr£389 JUL fr£469 AUG fr£449 SEP fr£399 ■ CAT A: JUL fr£379 AUG fr£399 SEP fr£379

ANZAC DAY

PAMPLONA

JOIN OUR HIGHLY ACCLAIMED ANZAC TOURS

GALLIPOLI TOURS ■ 3 Day Tour 24-26 APR £199 ■ 4 Day Tour 23-26 APR fr£239 ■ 5 Day Tour 22-26 APR fr£279 ■ 8 Day Tours 20-27 APR or 22-29 APR ■ 15/16 Day Tours 11-26 APR or 22 APR-6 MAY

fr£389 fr£589

WESTERN FRONT TOUR WWI French & Belgian Battlefields + Anzac Day Services ■ Eurostar Tour 23-25 APR £299 ■ Make Own Way 23-25 APR £279

ITALY TOURS CHECK OUT THE BEST ITALY HAS TO OFFER! ■ 7 Days JUN-AUG £299 ✔ Rome ✔ Florence ✔ Cinque Terre ✔ Pisa ✔ Venice ✔ Milan

LA TOMATINA THE WORLD’S BIGGEST FOOD FIGHT! 26-29 AUG £149 ■ 4 Days Beach Camping ■ 4 Days Hostel/3 Days Hotel 26/27-29 AUG fr£179 ■ Ibiza, Barcelona & Italy Combo tours also available!

THE INCREDIBLE RUNNING OF THE BULLS! 4-15 JUL ■ 3 Days Pamps/San Seb Camping ■ Italy-Barcelona-Pamps 26 JUN-8 JUL ■ Barcelona + Pamplona Fiesta 2-8 JUL ■ Pamplona + Ibiza Combo 5-11 JUL ■ San Sebastian + Pamps 3-8 or 5-10 JUL ■ Coach Tours Depart 3 or 4 JUL fr£279 ■ 4 Day San Sebastian Hostel 5-8 JUL £269 ■ 4 Day Pamplona Hotel 5-8 JUL £339

GREEK

ISLANDS

£149 £749 £349 £399 £229

GREEK ISLANDS

GREEK ISLAND PARTY HOPPER ■ 9 Days JUL-AUG £399 Tours start in Athens every Saturday ✔ Mykonos ✔ Ios ✔ Santorini ✔ Athens ✔ High speed ferries ✔ Breakfasts ✔ Fanatics Tour Rep ✔ Parties

OKTOBERFEST BEERFEST IN MUNICH! ■ Prague + Buda Fest ■ 6 Days Coach Tours ■ 4 Days Camping ■ 4 Days Hostel ■ 4 Days Hotel

20 SEP-7 OCT

8 DAYS THU-TUE FRI-MON FRI-MON FRI-MON

£379 fr£209 fr£99 fr£199 £349

BOOK ONLINE NOW! www.thefanatics.com or call 0207 240 3223 COVENT GARDEN OFFICE 1st

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