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McDonalds cashes in on free wi-fi, Tracey Emin moves into Spitalfields and surprise surprise, Zucca hits the bigtime

Published on January 13th 2012.

Stop Press

Internet, Supersized
McDonalds is claiming that more than six million emails are sent from its outlets everyday thanks to the free Wi-Fi connection. The most popular venue is apparently Holloway Road but Queensway and Earls Court are also in the top ten. “It is one of our most popular side orders,” says IT director Mark Fabes.

R.I.P Selwyn Baptiste
Notting Hill is paying tribute to one of the founders of the Notting Hill Carnival, who died at home last week. Selwyn Baptiste was one of the first to bring steel bands to the streets of west London and remained a chairman on its committee for many years.

Living It Up
‘Unhotels’ are the latest trend, offering homeowners an opportunity to make a profit on their business trips and visitors to the city an opportunity to live life like a local in some of London’s most luxurious homes. Onefinecity.com not only provides upmarket townhouses and apartments in areas such as Kensington, Knightsbridge and Mayfair, but even provides ‘unguests’  with an iPhone that has residential recommendations. New competition for Craig’s List, that’s for sure..

Humming Hummingbird Leaves the Nest…
The Hummingbird Bakery will be opening their fifth shop in Angel Islington on 27 January. The St John Street branch is the infamous cupcake café’s second opening in the past year and the chain is planning to start taking its cupcakes abroad from next year too.

Article-1326190781532-0F5E8C4500000578-668306_636X420 Pix Morris Madness
The Hammersmith Morris men celebrated the ‘Hammersmith Flyover’ dance’s 50th anniversary by performing on the stretch of road that’s its namesake. Last year, Morris dancers were outraged to discover that the traditional dance had been cut from the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. Fans now intend to organise Morris-dancing flashmobs, which will spontaneously jump into dance amongst the crowds of spectators. How conspicuous they will be in purple and yellow-striped socks and straw hats is debatable.

Argentina Meets Kensington
Opening 16 January at 87 Sloane Avenue in South Kensington is Galante, an Argentinian-influenced bar specialising in 1930s and ‘40s cocktails. The launch honours the third anniversary of the death of Argentinian bartender, ‘El Barman Galante’. In tribute, the bar will serve a collection of original cocktails created by the man himself and contemporary cocktails inspired by his legacy. Expect Art-Deco finishings, crystal cut glassware and white tuxes galore.

Zucca is Pucka
As we predicted in our review last month, Bermondsey High Street is one of the best places to eat in London these days. Now Sam Harris’ Zucca wins the Decanter/Laurent Perrier Restaurant of the Year award. BYO all day Mondays is a pioneering concept but Harris insists on one proviso: you have to offer the sommelier a taste.

Cars crash
As you might have predicted with congestion charging and the Gestapo traffic wardens, more and more people have given up having a car in London. New figures from Southwark Council show a steep decline across the borough. In fact, the council estimates it is twenty million kilometres saved.

Article-1325699960597-0F55DDAD00000578-192432_636X490 Lost London
Photographs taken by photographers commissioned by London County Council to record neighbourhoods on the verge of redevelopment have been dug up and showcased in a new book by author Philip Davies. Davies says of the images, “They depict a world in the throes of transformational change – from the horse-drawn Victorian and Edwardian city through the inter-war years to the devastated scenes and buildings of the wartime capital."

Panoramas of Lost London, published by English Heritage, is priced at £40.

Home From Home
Spitalfieds is becoming a new neighbourhood of choice. Tracey Emin has just opened a £4million studio and of course author Jeanette Winterson runs Verde’s coffee bar – we smell a trend here…


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