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London on a budget: must-do activities costing under £20

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Man standing in a museum in London
London can still offer affordable entertainment in 2022 | Photo: Eric M.V

 

Whether that’s exploring the city’s iconic art galleries and museums with the family, or romantic date nights with your partner at a comedy club or west end show, there is a whole host of things to do in London, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to do them – well, unless that you want to eat a £730 burger at Salt Bae’s restaurant in Knightsbridge.

If your budget is a lot more modest and you would rather explore activities for free to £20 and under – here is a shortlist featuring some of the best value activities London has to offer this January.

Lets start with some free ones:

View of the Tate Modern

Tate Modern | © visitlondon.com/Jon Reid

Tate Modern

Visitors of all ages can enjoy a taste of culture in the city by taking a walk through the Tate Modern on Bankside on the banks of the Thames. Discover the work of renowned artists such as Cézanne, Bonnard, Matisse, Picasso, Rothko, DalÍ, Pollock and Andy Warhol. The gallery’s restaurants also offer fabulous views across the city for a crisp winter Instagram shot.

 

National History Museum

The Natural History Museum | © visitlondon.com/Jon Reid

 

Natural History Museum

You can delve into the history of planet Earth in The Natural History Museum in South KensingtonWith galleries to explore and unique treasures from the museum’s collection of more than 80 million specimens spanning 4.5 billion years, The Natural History Museum also hosts late night events and activities, from yoga and silent discos to dinosaur-themed sleepovers, so you can relive your ‘Night at the Museum’ movie fantasies.

 

Changing of the Guard

Changing of the Guard | Photo: Roberto Catarinicchia

Changing of the Guard

At any time of the year, London’s eye-catching skyline is a must-see, with a range of locations in which to enjoy fantastic From walks along Hyde Park and rural green parks like St James, where you can stroll through with a hot drink in the winter and watch the world go by. If you’re looking for some quintessentially British hot-spots, why not check out the Changing of the Guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace? Be in awe of the visuals and music this centuries old ceremony offers four days a week at precisely 11am.

 

Somerset House

Somerset House courtyard | © visitlondon.com/Jon Reid

Somerset House

Home to an exciting program of art exhibitions and outdoor film screenings. Set around a handsome 18th-century courtyard, this buzzing arts center is the perfect place to wander and soak up the sights and sounds of the city.

 

A bit of cash to spare?

Here is what to do in London with £20 and under:

London Transport Museum

London Transport Museum

Step back in time at the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden and explore transport icons and ground-breaking designs from across the decades. From the red London bus to the first ever Tube map design, you can see first-hand how the city has grown since 1800. Tickets cost £18.50 per adult and children go free.

 

Waiter preparing a cocktail in a bar

Photo: Louis Hansel

Ballie Ballerson

When it comes to affordable nights out in London, this Shoreditch hangout should be on your radar. From bottomless brunch filled with Pornstar Martinis and all-you-can-eat pizza, it’s a must have in your diary this year. There are also themed events running throughout the year, such as Bottomless Brunch, Ball Pit Bonanzas and Bottle Nights. Tickets start as little as £10 per adult.

 

A microphone on the stage of a standup comedy club

The Vauxhall Comedy Club | Photo: Matthias Wagner

The Vauxhall Comedy Club

Looking for a place in the city to have a laugh with friends? The Vauxhall Comedy Club has a range of events running throughout the year for as little as £15 per person. Various comedians take centre stage, spilling jokes and aiming to entertain you all night long.

 

Club Curling on Stable Street

Club Curling on Stable Street, Kings Cross

Club Curling on Stable Street

See whether you’ve got the ability to fly out with the British curling team at the next winter Olympics. Get a feel for the ice as up to four friends can compete against each other at Club Curling in King’s Cross. Head online to book an hour slot on the sheet of ice, costing £5 per person. Stick around to enjoy the array of eateries and bars around the area.

 

Emirates Air Line Cable car

Emirates Airline cable car

Emirates Air Line Cable Car

Glide above the Thames in the Emirates Air Line cable car and take in aerial views of London’s skyline as you travel from the Greenwich Peninsula to the Royal Docks. You can enjoy the beautiful views of the River Thames, London’s skyline and even The O2. Plus, the view at sunset over the river makes a magical date night activity where you can watch the city come alive after dark with extended night flights after 7pm. A single journey costs just £4 or take a return trip for £8.

 

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Lifestyle

Britons turn to tea before facing difficult emails or conversations

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Young woman drinking tea while working from home
Tea mood: 48% of those surveyed admitted that a tea-break is an essential time out during their day | Photo: Vlada Karpovich

It is your best friend throughout the winter and the perfect companion any other season of the year. But a report recently published by the UK Tea & Infusions Association (UKTIA), highlights other interesting findings. According to the study three quarters of us drink black tea, with or without milk, but only one in 100 people drink a classic builder’s brew of strong, dark sugary tea. Interestingly, seven times that number (7%) add CREAM to their tea, only marginally fewer than the percentage who add a plant-based milk (10%). And more: less than one in four people (22%) adds milk or sugar before adding the teabag and hot water – following the golden rule of seasoned tea lovers that strongly believe you should never add milk to your tea as the last item.

The UK imports around 100,000 metric tons of tea every year and although the nation consumes millions of cups of tea every day, according to the UKTIA’s Tea Census Report the favourite brew remains a humble cuppa – black tea – derived from the Camellia sinensis plant.

“If there’s something the Brits do well, it’s popping on the kettle and brewing a good cup of tea. It’s a tradition that dates back to the 16th century when Charles II married the Portuguese princess and tea lover Catherine of Braganza.” – says Sharon Hall, head of the UK Tea and Infusions Association, remind us that the origin of the popular beverage is not always known.

“Most people think that black tea comes from China (39%) or India (37%) but most of the tea drunk in the UK actually comes from Kenya, although it is often blended with other teas such as Assam tea from India, Ceylon teas from Sri Lanka and black teas from Rwanda and other east African nations.

When it comes to infusions, peppermint and chamomile are the most popular ones with 24% and 21% of respondents drinking them at least twice a week.

Although tea can be a real thirst quencher as well as a means of socialising, our love of tea runs far deeper as many respondents turn to tea when they’re emotional and cold according to the Tea Census Report.

“Tea is a hug in a mug, a loyal friend, and a calming aid. A third of Brits (32%) see their tea break as a time to connect with other people, but 38% catch up on social media, 16% enjoy doing a puzzle on their tea-break and 5% use the time to just sit and think.” – adds Hall. “Around a third (29%) of Brits turn to chamomile when they want to de-stress, and a fruit infusions is a popular choice when we’re feeling dreamy (16%).”

Nearly half of those surveyed (46%) and detailed in the Tea Census Report told us a cup of tea gets them going in the morning and one in five (18%) say a brew helps them face a difficult conversation or email. More than half of those polled (56%) also confirmed that their feelings are a factor while making their choice of tea or infusion, with black tea coming up on top to sip on a variety of occasions, from feeling hungry or nostalgic, to when you feel motivated or happy.

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Cannes Film Festival is screening classics and new releases at the beach

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La Plage in Cannes ready for daily screenings
10 films will be screened free of charge Cinéma de la plage 2022 | Photo: © Joachim Tournebize / FDC

Featuring a variety of worldwide productions, the Cannes Film Festival’s Cinema de la Plage is screening daily a mix of restored classics, cult films and premieres.

Open to all audiences, the Cinema de la Plage takes place on the beach every evening, from 9:30 pm and remains free of charge. The program, which runs alongside the Official Selection, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather,” the 40th anniversary of Steven Spielberg’s “E.T.,” as well as Peter Weir’s “The Truman Show” featuring Golden Globe Award winner Jim Carrey.

Other movies on the Cinema de la Plage lineup include “Spinal Tap”, a mocumentary classic of the 1980’s directed by Rob Reiner about a fictional English heavy metal band. A sequel to the film, with the original director and cast, will be released in 2024. Henri Verneuil’s French cinema classic “A Monkey in Winter” with the late Jean-Paul Belmondo, as well as Christian-Jaque’s “Fanfan la tulipe” which had world premiere in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in the 50s, are also part of this year’s lineup.

Cinema de la Plage 2022 lineup until May 28th:

Wednesday, May 18
Spinal Tap (1984, 1h22, United States) directed by Rob Reiner

The cult classic mockumentary of the 80s about a fictional heavy metal will be showcased at the Cinema de la Plage on Wednesday, May 18th, and a sequel to the film is in the works with the original director and cast.

Reiner will direct ‘Spinal Tap II’, expected to hit the screens in 2024, and return as filmmaker Marty DiBergi. Also back are David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean), Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer), and Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest), the nucleus of England’s loudest and sauciest heavy metal band.

 

Thursday, May 19
Le Pacte des loups / Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001, 2h22, France) directed by Christophe Gans

In the Cannes Classics’ selection, a stand-out restoration for an explosive movie! A vibrant story and cast to be rediscovered on the Cannes beach, thanks to Metropolitan.
For the 20th anniversary of Christophe Gans’ Le Pacte des loups, rediscover the unabridged version of this movie in restored 4K Dolby Atmos – with 4K post-production work being supervised by the original film team was put in place and unedited original negatives used to reconstitute the original movie.

 

Est-Ouest (1999) directed by Régis Wargnier

Friday, May 20
Est-Ouest (1999, 2h01, Russia / Ukraine ) directed by Régis Wargnier

A great adventure movie, from one of the genre’s French masters. It was subject to a riveting production diary, and partially filmed in Kiev, Ukraine. This movie was nominated for Best Picture at the César awards and for Best International Feature Film at the Oscars in 2000. Screening this movie is also a way for us to show our support for the Ukrainian people and their hardships. Director Régis Wargnier will be in attendance.

 

Saturday, May 21
The Godfather (1972, 2h55, United States) directed by Francis Ford Coppola

For this monument film’s 50th anniversary, and the 100th anniversary of the MPA (Motion Picture Association), rediscover Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece and the Corleone family’s odyssey. Career-defining performances for a legendary saga.

Sunday, May 22
Un Singe en hiver / A Monkey in Winter (1962, 1h43, France) directed by Henri Verneuil

A French Cinema classic and hommage to the stars of stars, Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Gabin through the story of one night’s drunken shenanigans and memorable dialogue penned by Michel Audiard.

 

La Cour des miracles (Save Our School) directed by Carine May and Hakim Zouhani 

La Cour des miracles (2022) directed by Carine May and Hakim Zouhani

Monday, May 23
La Cour des miracles (Save Our School) directed by Carine May and Hakim Zouhani

Two world premieres will take place on the beach in Cannes as part of the 2022 Cinema de la Plage lineup : Carine May and Hakim Zouhani’s Save Our School, a French comedy about two teachers’ attempts to establish Paris’ first suburban ‘green school’. The screening will be attended by the filmmakers and cast members Anaïde Rozam, Sérigne M’Baye, Gilbert Melki, Sébastien Chassagne and Mourad Boudaoud.

 

Tuesday, May 24
Strictly Ballroom (1992, 1h34, Australia) directed by Baz Luhrmann

Baz Luhrmann’s first film, who is also present this year at Cannes with Elvis in the Official Selection, the visionary director behind Romeo + Juliette, Moulin Rouge! and The Great Gatsby.

All the ingredients are there to awe you: dance, music, glitz and glamour! A stylized and enchanting romantic comedy. The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, M&A Films, Baz Luhrmann and Spectrum Films have collaborated to digitally preserve and restore Baz Luhrmann’s first feature, Strictly Ballroom in the Cannes Classics’ selection. This 4K restoration utilized original materials held in the NFSA’s collection staying true to the film’s original presentation in 1992.

 

Wednesday, May 25 
Christophe… Definitely(2022, 1h26, France) directed by Ange Leccia and Dominique Gonzales-Foerster

Christophe… définitivement (Christophe… Definitely) a musical documentary directed by Ange Leccia and Dominique Gonzales-Foerster and featuring the story of the unforgettable and nocturnal musician, author of the legendary song Aline (most recently featured in Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch), is also amongst the new films scheduled to premiere for the public at the French Riviera.

 

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), directed by Steven Spielberg

Thursday, May 26
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982, 1h55, United-States) directed by Steven Spielberg

Spielberg, E.T. and Cannes. Still to this day, those names put together elicit excitement and enthusiasm from the world and festival-goers, the same excitement and enthusiasm already there in 1982 as this film from Steven Spielberg still enchants generations. This movie, which was shown at the Closing Ceremony of the 35th Festival de Cannes the 26th of May 1982, will have a comeback on the same day this year. It was the last movie shown at the old Palais des Festivals and holds a special place for its director and the Festival. Let us all together celebrate this legendary movie’s 40th anniversary and communal history this coming Thursday May the 26th, on the Cannes beach!

 

Friday, May 27
Fanfan la tulipe (1952, 1h42, France) directed by Christian-Jaque

For Cannes native Gérard Philipe’s 100th birthday anniversary, one of his most iconic movies which was in Competition in 1952 and won the Best Director Award. An opportunity to rediscover this iconic actor, hand in hand with Gérard Philipe, le dernier hiver du Cid, a documentary on the actor screening in the Cannes Classics’ selection.

 

Saturday, May 28
The Last Picture Show (1971, 1h58, United States) directed by Peter Bogdanovich

Wrapping up the screenings of the Cinéma de la plage 2022 and a last hommage to one the great cinephile film directors, Peter Bogdanovich!  The bittersweet story of two friends growing up in rural America through hardship, military enlistment, heartbreak and alcohol-fueled road trips.

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BAFTA TV Awards 2022 reveals winners at London ceremony

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Jodie Comer receives the Leading Actress award for Covid care home drama Help
Jodie Comer won the Leading Actress award for Covid care home drama Help

BAFTA has announced the winners of the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards for the best TV shows and performances of 2021.

Hosted by British actor Richard Ayoade (The IT Crowd), the event took place at the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank, and featured a red carpet performance by singer George Ezra.

Sean Bean (Snowpiercer) won the Leading Actor award for his performance in Time, which also won for best Mini-Series. Matthew Macfadyen, a first-time nominee, won for his performance in Succession in the Supporting Actor category, and Coronation Street was awarded the BAFTA for Soap and Continuing Drama.

News Coverage was awarded to ITV News at Ten Storming of the Capital, and the award for Current Affairs was presented to Fearless: The Women Fighting Putin (Exposure).

Besides the celebration of talents within the British TV industry, the UK government’s plan to sell off Channel 4 was often brought up on the stage at this year’s BAFTA TV Awards, as stars pledged to fight to keep the broadcaster, founded in 1993, in public hands.

Jodie Comer, who previously won a BAFTA for her performance as Villanelle in Killing Eve in 2019, said:

“I want to say a huge thank you to Channel 4 for believing in the script from the very beginning.” – highlighted the actress who scooped a Leading Actress award for her performance in Help, playing a young carer at a Liverpool home who forms a bond with a patient struggling with early Alzheimer’s disease and that are further affected when the COVID-19 pandemic strikes.

Channel 4 won five BAFTA awards, but its future remains unclear.

In April, the government issued a landmark Broadcasting White Paper confirming that it will push on with the sale of Channel 4. The commercial transaction is expected to make the government around £1 Billion.

“The BBC and Channel 4 are things we have to hold on tight to and fight every inch for.” – said director Steve McQueen, who won a Factual Series award for his documentary Uprising.

Other winners of the night include Sophie Willan, who won in Female Performance in a Comedy Programme for playing the titular character in Alma’s Not Normal, and rapper Big Zuu, winner for Entertainment Performance and Big Zuu’s Big Eats cooking show won for Features. The Underground Railroad, the US series about escape from slavery in the Deep South, won in the International category. This is Barry Jenkins’ third BAFTA nomination and first win.

This year the event celebrated its 75th anniversary. The occasion was also the first in-person BAFTA TV Awards since 2019.

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