Saturday 30 June 2012

Monday 25 June 2012

The London Dungeon, Tooley Street, central London

If you book online, you'll get cheaper tickets and you'll jump the often-lengthy queue for The London Dungeon, a bloodthirsty and macabre stalwart of the capital's tourist circuit. You may still need to queue inside a murky mock graveyard, complete with gargoyles, tombstones and an incongruous video  promoting the London Sealife centre. Once you have shown your email receipt, you head into the very dark and very dingy passageways, lined with cages with live rats, scattered with mutilated mannequins and patrolled by a short, scary woman with a pet rodent of her own. She is enough to get young girls screaming, but adults may find her colleague - a tall man in hooded robes more alarming. He has a weird voice, bulging eyes and a habit of banging the floor hard when you least expect it. After he has given a little speech about the crypt where he "works", you are ushered into a confusing maze of mirrors.

Sunday 24 June 2012

Vintage bikes, Herne Hill Velodrome, south London

Herne Hill Velodrome, which hosted the cycling events in the 1908 and the 1948 Olympics, celebrates its new track with a procession of bikes from yesteryear.

Sunday 17 June 2012

Wahaca, Chandos Place, central London

A cavernous Mexican restaurant in a basement near Covent Garden, Wahaca has spicy food, funky decor and a lively buzz. This subterranean space, which is harshly illuminated by large colour panels in the ceiling, has plenty of tables, wooden screens and wide, padded benches on which two rows of people sit back to back. Wahaca's menu, which covers an A3 paper place mat, offers a mix of "street food" (smaller dishes priced up to five pounds) and larger dishes (around a tenner), plus some side dishes for a few quid apiece. If you want to try the "street food", you will probably need two or three dishes, plus one side. While you are choosing, you might want to sample the lovely, fresh guacamole (£3.85), served with tortilla crisps. There is not enough and you will be scraping the bowl.

Saturday 16 June 2012

C'est Ici Brasserie, Kingly Court, central London

If you wander off Regent Street around lunchtime, C'est Ici Brasserie's chalk board touting a cheeseburger and chips for £6 might catch your eye. If the sun is out, you might also be tempted by one of the tables at the front on Kingly Street. It's worth stopping - the burger, served with salsa sauce and chunky, nicely-cooked chips, is meaty and tasty. The "Berry-Go-Round" smoothie is also good, but not quite thick enough to justify the £4 price tag. The interior, with its smart patterned wallpaper and black and white prints of France, is also alluring, as is the terrace at the back on Kingly Court. The service is a bit erratic, but C'est Ici Brasserie seems like a reasonable lunch stop. 7/10

Friday 15 June 2012