Top Ten London: Top 10 Things to See and Do in Ealing

Top Ten London: Top 10 Things to See and Do in Ealing

Once a rural Middlesex village, Ealing was swallowed up along with much of the surrounding area as London grew into the metropolis it is today.  Ealing was made its own borough in 1901 and became part of Greater London in 1965.  While once a sleepy community, today Ealing is alive as a commercial and event center of West London.  As such, there’s much to do within the borough, and we’ve outlined our top ten favorite places to visit.  You’re welcome to add your own favorite Ealing locations in the comments.

Open Ealing

A celebration of the arts, Open Ealing, bring exhibitions, performances, and workshops to West Ealing on a weekly basis in galleries and venues.  Whether you want to take in a poetry reading, see the paintings of different cultures, or learn how to make such art yourself, Open Ealing can help.  Be sure to check out their calendar of events for more information.

Sowa Patisserie

Ealing is home to one of the largest Polish communities in London, and the hallmarks of the country’s culture are all around.  This is no less true when it comes to the food, and Sowa Patisserie is one of the finest examples.  Of course, it’s not just a restaurant you’ll find here, but a fantastic bakery that makes any number of classic Polish desserts as well as made-to-order custom cakes.

Wharncliffe Viaduct

One of the many works of Isambard Kingdom Brunell, the Wharncliffe Viaduct was built as part of the main line for the Great Western Railway.  In addition to being a wonderful piece of Victorian architecture in the borough, its hollow cavities in the supporting piers are home to bat colonies that are protected by the Countryside Act.

Ealing Broadway Shopping Center

You know that commercial aspect of Ealing mentioned in the introduction?  Well, you could say its epicenter is the Ealing Broadway Shopping Center.  It was founded in 1985 and features an array of shops and eateries, so whatever you’re in the mood for, chances are you going to be able to find it here.  It’s a lower on this list since it’s essentially a shopping mall, but it is a place of economic importance to Ealing.

Ealing Studios

One of the most important buildings in London’s film history, Ealing Studios was responsible for many of Britain’s classic comedies including Passport to Pimlico, Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Lavender Hill Mob, and The Ladykillers.  While not open for tours, you can still stroll by and see the place where films are still made, including the revival of the St. Trinian’s franchise.

Ealing Town Hall

An example of Ealing’s success, Ealing Town Hall was built in the 1880s as Ealing became a prosperous suburb of London.  While it once housed not only the town government but also a library, firehouse, and public baths, today it is mostly used as a venue for hire.  It’s worth seeing for the Gothic Revival style that characterized many government buildings of the period.

The Questors Theater

The Questors are a large theater company and one of the best examples of amateur theater in London.  Holding memberships in the Little Theater Guild of Great Britain and the International Amateur Theater Association, the company put son some twenty productions a year as well as offering choral performances, poetry readings, youth theater, and acting classes.

Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara

A Gurdwara is a house of worship for those of the Sikh religion and the building in Ealing is one of the finest architectural examples of a Gurdwara in London.  As such, it’s a major building for the Sikh community not only home to worship but major events, weddings, and celebrations.  If you want to know more about one of the city’s major communities, this is a good place to start.

PM Gallery and House

Also known as Pitzhanger Manor House and Gallery, it was originally built as a country villa and has experienced several changes over its history.  However, the interior has been well preserved as a historic manor home and is currently under renovations that leave it closed to the public.  Visitors can still see the lovely gardens until the house reopens as Ealing’s primary borough museum.

Walpole Park

Perhaps the largest green space in Ealing, Walpole Park has a lot to offer visitors.  Pitzhanger Manor House and Gallery is part of the park, and there are rose gardens, Regency planted beds, a children’s play area, a walled kitchen garden, and more.  Walpole Park is also home to several community events throughout the year including the Ealing Comedy Festival, Ealing Beer Festival, Opera in the Park, and more.  If you visit nothing else in Ealing, you need to make Walpole Park the top of your list.

Top Ten London: Top 10 Things to See and Do in EalingLondontopia – The Website for People Who Love London

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Watch: Sadiq Khan on whether recreational drugs should be legalised in London

Watch: Sadiq Khan on whether recreational drugs should be legalised in London

Not too long ago, we sat down with the Mayor of London to discuss some of the biggest challenges facing the city (and how he deals with internet trolls). Our questions were all put forward by Time Out readers, and we’ll be posting Sadiq Khan’s answers one by one.

This week’s question is from Saad Habib via Facebook: ‘There’s growing evidence that reforming cannabis policy would be beneficial to London’s economy. Do you agree?’ Watch Sadiq’s reply above.

Got a question for the Mayor? Post it at

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8 Must-Try Italian Dishes and Drinks in Florence

8 Must-Try Italian Dishes and Drinks in Florence

If you’re planning an Italian getaway, you’re likely getting very excited for your adventure. This city is full of fun and exciting activities and attractions, but its food might be most notable. One of the best parts about a trip to any Italian city is getting to taste all of the delicious local foods. When in Florence, you want to make sure that you taste the best foods so that you really get a feel for the local area’s specialities. Here are the top 8 must-try Italian dishes and drinks in Florence:

Zuppa di Fagioli

Zuppa di Fagioli is a delicious white bean soup. This hearty dish is typically enjoyed during the colder weather. It’s full of vegetables, pasta and beans. This soup was traditionally considered a poor man’s dish as it’s made with inexpensive ingredients. Today, it’s enjoyed all over Italy, but especially in the Tuscan region.


Cantucci, also referred to as biscotti, are almond biscuits that are especially popular in the Prato and Florence areas of Italy. These simple creations are twice-baked. While you may be used to dipping them in coffee, the Italians actually dip them in Vin Santo, a sweet dessert wine.


Schiacciata is a classic Tuscan flatbread found throughout Florence and its name means “squished.” Most Tuscan-inspired schiacciata features only olive oil and salt, for a simple but delicious taste. Many Italians enjoy snacking on this plain or alongside cold cuts!

Bistecca alla Fiorentina

When considering the best dishes and drinks in Florence, you also need to try the popular entree, Bistecca alla Fiorentina.

This T-bone cut steak is delicious and flavourful. Prepare to enjoy a thick piece of meat that has been cooked over a wood fire. You should know that it’s huge—so come hungry!

Meat and Cheese Plate

It’s common to enjoy plates of meat and cheeses while in Florence! A popular cheese of choice is pecorino, which is a hard cheese made from whole sheep’s milk. Popular meats include Prosciutto del Casentino, an aged ham, and pancetta, peppered bacon made from pork belly. Go ahead and pour yourself a glass of wine as you enjoy a mix of meat and cheeses!


If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, you’re going to love the gelato in Florence. This Italian ice cream speciality can be found all over the city. What makes gelato different and better than traditional ice creams? It’s slow churned, which helps to make it denser. It also has a lower percentage of fat and the taste is one that many people think of as the best in the world. Once you have gelato, you won’t want to eat boring, regular ice cream again.

Crostini Neri 

Crostini Neri or black crostini is toasted bread served with chicken liver pâté on it! In Florence, this is an appetizer often enjoyed before the entree. At celebrations and on holidays, you can also find this on the table. This is a flavourful and tasty dish.

Tuscan Wines 

Wine is a popular drink found in Italy and in Florence especially, it’s essential that you try a variety of red wines. If you’re not sure what to try first, order a glass of Chianti, which is a deep red wine with rich flavours. Another amazing wine found here is Brunello di Montalcino. This expensive wine is made from Brunello grapes and has a long ageing process. Wine is the perfect complement to Italian dishes.

These are some of the most notable dishes and drinks in Florence. Here at Eating Europe, we can introduce you to these tasty creations. Whether you choose to book our Florence Artisan Food Tour, Authentic Florence Home-Cooking Class, or another completely different experience, we’re ready to help you taste and explore the best local cuisine while in Italy! Connect with the local culture and food by booking with us today!

The post 8 Must-Try Italian Dishes and Drinks in Florence appeared first on Eating Europe.

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What To Do And Where To Stay For The Best October Events

What To Do And Where To Stay For The Best October Events

Crunchy leaves, bonfires, cosy cafes and festival fun; October is the perfect time to combine a holiday with a fun-filled event. When lazing on the beach all day isn’t really an option, the cooler weather lends itself to parties, shows and festivals. From a woodland light and sound spectacular to a knitting cruise on Loch Ness, you’ll find plenty of weird and wonderful October events to keep you entertained. And if you love a trip to Scotland, you’re certainly in for a treat this month!

13 Top Things To Do In October In The UK

From secluded cottages surrounded by countryside to slick apartments in the city, Holiday Lettings has hundreds of rentals to choose from. Make the most of your October event and book a holiday rental near one of these fabulous festivals.

Sea Creatures: Life Beneath The Ocean, Edinburgh

When: 21 September – 18 October

This fascinating exhibition in the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, features a close-up look at more than 50 sea creatures. There are around 200 ethically-sourced exhibits in total for visitors to explore, featuring incredible cross-sections of the animals and their complex organs – from whales and penguins to Great White sharks – using the same process as developed by Dr Gunther von Hagens, made famous by artist, Damien Hirst. Book a family-friendly rental nearby for an unmissable opportunity to learn more about the creatures of the deep.

See all holiday rentals in Edinburgh

Ilkley Literature Festival, West Yorkshire


When: 28 September – 14 October

Women take centre stage at this year’s Ilkley Literature Festival as the longest running festival of its kind in the North of England announces another stellar line-up. The packed programme of events includes comedian and ‘Strictly’ star, Susan Calman (12 October), poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy (14 October), hugely successful fiction author, Joanna Trollope (11 October) and young-adult fiction trailblazer, Jacqueline Wilson (4 October). The festival also welcomes back Leeds-born international stage and screen legend, Alan Bennett (5 October) and business-savvy fashionista, Mary Portas (13 November), who’ll be talking candidly about her life and work.  

Look for a literary-inspired stay in Ilkley

The Enchanted Forest, Pitlochry


When: 4 October – 4 November

The Enchanted Forest, Scotland’s premier sound and light event, returns this autumn with a wild and wonderful new show that reveals nature by night in the heart of Faskally Wood. The name of this year’s extravaganza, ‘Of The Wild’, is inspired by the hidden beauty of Highland Perthshire’s wild woods. The creative team has taken that theme literally and come up with a spectacular show that combines breathtaking visuals, state-of the-art technology, interactive special effects, and a dazzling music score that fuses contemporary and traditional. So, if you love autumn, why not book a rental in Pitlochry to see this event and make a holiday of it?

Pick a place in Pitlochry this autumn

Quest for Oz, East Lothian


When: 4 – 28 October

The Quest for Oz is a spectacular new light show adventure, combining theatre with augmented reality. Taking place at Drummohr House & Grounds, this intriguing event features real and virtual characters from the land of Oz. Journey through Glinda’s Bubble Land, navigate the Maze of Dreams and reveal your future with Doc Wonders’ Lucky Charms. Your quest is to help the wizard collect enough yellow bricks to rebuild the road. This brilliantly detailed and utterly magical installation by Vision Mechanics is geared to children with enquiring minds and their families, as well as adults with a childlike curiosity.

Book a break in East Lothian

Ullapool Guitar Festival, Scottish Highlands


When: 5 – 7 October

Now in its 19th year, the Ullapool Guitar Festival is a celebration of the guitar and its many different styles. Taking place at the MacPhail Centre in Ullapool, this musical event has an international line-up, featuring musicians from Germany, India, Spain, Australia, South Korea and Venezuela. Over the weekend, expect a full programme of events including five concerts and three late-night Festival clubs. There’ll also be workshops on the Saturday and Sunday mornings, and an amazing trade show. So, whether you’re a guitar hero or an enthusiastic beginner, this is the festival for you.

See all rentals in Ullapool

Bookmark Book Festival, Blairgowrie, Rattray and The Glens


When: 5 – 7 October

‘Bookmark is one of the greatest small book festivals in Scotland.’, said the poet Alan Riach. This three-day event has an eclectic range of talks and shows on many subjects, from art to politics. Friday evening’s entertainment includes two politicians discussing their love of music, plus a reading by and conversation with a much-loved novelist. On Saturday, hear discussions about fiction based on real events, such as Walter Scott and the SS POW’s at Cultybraggan Camp, and the suffrage movement in the early 20th Century. To round off the weekend, Sunday celebrates Muriel Spark’s centenary with a day of events featuring writers and commentators who knew her best.

Find your favourite holiday home in Perthshire

CowalFest, Argyll


When: 5 – 12 October

This annual outdoor and walking festival, taking place at the Cowal Peninsula (an hour west of Glasgow), has lots to offer walkers, historians and nature lovers alike. Serious challenges await experienced hikers, while the social walks take things at a more leisurely pace, with a café or inn stop along the way. Perhaps a guided heritage walk about the Cowal Clans or nearby villages is more your style? Then join a special interest walk which include bird watching, local geology, creative writing, meditation and photography. Be sure to pack a camera for your trip to this stunning part of Scotland so you can capture those beautiful views.

Book a scenic break in Argyll

A Taste of Shetland


When: 5 – 7 October

The Taste of Shetland Festival brings together live entertainment and cooking, with some of the best food and drink Shetland has to offer. The headline chefs are MasterChef: The Professionals Champion (and Scotland’s first ever National Chef), Gary Maclean, and author and TV chef, Manju Malhi. Highlights include the launch event ‘Ready, Shetland? Cook!’, and live cooking demonstrations in the Food Theatre and on the Seafish Peerie Stage. Plus, the live finals of children’s competition ‘Peerie Bites’ and the adults’ ‘Cooking Challenge’ will take place over the weekend. Shetland’s food and drink producers will be launching new products and offering tastings, too, so don’t miss out – plan your tasty trip to Shetland!

See all foodie holidays in Shetland

Mindful Drinking Festival, Glasgow


When: 13 October

Club Soda and Heineken 0.0 present Scotland’s first Mindful Drinking Festival at The Briggait in the centre of Glasgow. This free event will give you a chance to taste the new wave of alcohol-free drinks now available, including alcohol-free beers, wines, spirits, sodas and a host of drinks, such as kombuchas, shrubs and elixirs, invented by radical alchemists. There will be drink wizardry from local mixologists, live music and street food. Take part in free tasting workshops, meet Willem van Waesberghe, Heineken’s Global Master Brewer from Amsterdam, and hear celebs share their experiences of Mindful Drinking.

Go to Glasgow this October

Loch Ness Knit Fest, Inverness


When: 19 -21 October

This wonderful wool-filled event is now in its third year, attracting people from all over the world who want to celebrate the rich craft culture and history of the Highlands of Scotland. There’ll be a marketplace with over 50 yarn sellers, and workshops with local and international teachers. The Main Stage programme includes traditional Scottish music, presentations and fashion shows. There’ll be demonstrations in the Crafting Village or visitors can simply kick-back in the Knit and Natter Lounge with a cuppa and a cake. A Ceilidh, Knitting Cruise on Loch Ness and Highland Feast are just some of the special events that really showcase the true Highland experience.  

Find a rental in Inverness this autumn

Musicport 2018, Whitby


When: 19 – 21 October

There’s a potent sense of voyage and discovery about the Musicport Festival, which sets sail from Whitby every October. Taking place in the Pavilion Complex on the west pier, with its tall windows and invigorating view of the North Sea, the venue hosts an eclectic mix of diverse rhythms, melodies, food, dances and poems. Complete with its six stages and impressive line-up of global performers, Musicport is the perfect festival to sample ‘an exciting variety of world-class world acts.‘ (online review). Headliners this year include Vieux Farka Toure (Mali), Tankus The Henge and Luar Na Lubre (Spain). Make the most of your time in the delightful northern seaside town with week or two at a holiday rental.

Book a musical stay Whitby

The Dornoch Whisky Festival, Scotland


When: 26 – 29 October

The Dornoch Whisky Festival is back! This year, the festival welcomes a phenomenal VIP: Stephen Woodcock, Distilleries Manager of Distell International. He has a very special tasting lined up which is not to be missed. There’ll also be some great industry brands and the incredibly popular ‘Grand Tasting’ that features a mix of distilleries, independent companies, independent bottlers and of course, our very own Dornoch Distillery & Carnegie Whisky Cellars. If you love a wee dram, book a holiday rental nearby to enjoy this wonderful October event.

See all stays in Dornoch

Celtic Samhain, Aberfeldy


When: 31 October

As darkness draws its veil on 31 October, the barrier between our world and the spirit world disappears, allowing phantoms, ghouls and faeries through to torment us and create mischief!

Celtic Samhain, the predecessor to Halloween, is an ancient festival where mortals perform rituals to protect family, crops and livestock from the spirit world. Join the Crannog Community as they celebrate this very special time of year with foot-stomping music from the Mad Ferret band, fire, metals and magic, shadow puppets, Samhain games, storytelling, incense, warming soup and bread, and the spectacular wicker ram bonfire finale! October events don’t come much more fiery than this.

Book a spooky stay in Aberfeldy

The post What To Do And Where To Stay For The Best October Events appeared first on Holiday Lettings Blog.

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Flat Iron – No bookings-no nonsense steak

Flat Iron – No bookings-no nonsense steak

I’m very fussy when it comes to steak, I can’t stand fatty cuts yet begrudge anywhere I have to pay through the nose for a good steak. Because of my standards I’m pretty sure I didn’t eat steak out for a good 5 or so years. Then I found Flat Iron.

Steak has never been such an obvious choice…Saying that…it’s the only choice! The menu consists purely of one cut of steak for a very reasonable £ 10 and a few simple yet well executed sides. The steak is served with a mini cleaver, which is every alpha male’s dream, but you barely have to use it as the steak is perfect and just falls apart on its own.

The only downside I’d say is that they don’t take bookings but this only gives you an opportunity to have a drink in their basement bar beforehand before being seated. The slightly rustic décor adds to the simple rawness of the place and lovely details such as the tin cup of salted popcorn you’re given as an appetizer really make for a pleasant evening.

The post Flat Iron – No bookings-no nonsense steak appeared first on Spotted by Locals London.

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