Monthly Archives: January 2012

Horrible Histories Play comes to London

A stage production based on the popular Horrible Histories book series comes to London in February.

Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain will play at the Garrick Theatre from Tuesday February 14th to September 1st 2012, giving audiences the chances to be transported back to Britain's gory past.

The production, which features a talented cast including Benedict Martin and Lauryn Redding, is ideal for families staying at cheap London hotels.

Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain will answer bizarre and intriguing questions such as why the Romans never won MasterChef, how Parliament escaped Guy Fawkes' gun power plot and whether someone found guilty of treason would be more likely to lose their head or heart to horrible King Henry VIII.

The play will take audience members on a rollercoaster ride full of blood, battles, mayhem and murder, delving into Britain's Roman, Tudor, Stuart, Georgian and Victorian past.

Audience members will also have the opportunity to be transported back to the turbulent times of the First World War.

Viewers will be able to see some of their favourite historical characters, including Florence Nightingale, King Henry VIII, Guy Fawkes and Anne Boleyn.

The Horrible Histories books have also been made into a popular BAFTA-winning TV show of the same name, making complex historical ideas more accessible for younger people.

Tickets to the production are priced at between £13.50 and £25 and can be purchased either via the internet or at the box office.

The original Horrible Histories books were written by Terry Deary and Peter Hepplewhite. Deary studied drama at college and worked as an actor and teacher at the TIE company in Wales, before becoming a theatre director specialising in writing plays for children.

Blitzed Brits, the fifth book in the series, was published in 1995, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of VE day. The book was massively popular and reached number one on the bestsellers list.

Mayor unveils mammoth cycling festival

Cyclists will soon be peddling their way to London hotels to take part in the recently unveiled bike festival which mayor Boris Johnson hopes will kick-start a cycling love affair shortly after the upcoming Olympic Games.

Billed as a "world class" two-day festival of cycling, organisers hope to attract thousands of bike-loving tourists to central London hotels.

The mayor pointed to figures that suggest the big event could bring in as many as 200,000 visitors from outside the capital and generate tens of millions of pounds in spending.

Ideal for families on London getaways, the festival will launch with a family fun ride of 70,000 cyclists doing an eight-mile loop of closed roads around the top attractions in the city.

This will be followed by a 100-mile dash around the capital with 35,000 amateur, intermediate and world-class cyclists.

Starting in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, it will mirror much of the route of the 2012 Games cycle road race, which will take in lots of the nearby scenic Surrey countryside.

"This spectacular event will help ensure that the 2012 Games are just the start, not the end of the benefits of hosting the Olympics," remarked Mr Johnson.

"We are already creating long lasting opportunities for the Park and the capital, which will showcase London to the world, attract more visitors, create more jobs and support the economy."

The event will mark the reopening of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as the mass participation cycle will take place in August 2013.

Officials hope this will help boost the capital's economic gains from the Olympics, which is expected to create 200,000 jobs, regenerate the east end and boost the market by £2 billion.

Margaret Ford, chair of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, added: "The London Cycling Festival is just the kind of event that fits into the family ethos of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

"Thousands of people will get the chance to enjoy our most beautiful parkland in an event that will bring people together and encourage healthy living."

Beer Boutique brings unique drinks to the capital

While visitors to the capital can enjoy the best cocktail bars in London, many tourists may want to snap up some unique drinks to bring home, with Putney's new shop The Beer Boutique offering a wide selection.

The south of the city venue boasts an array of drinks, including 150 different types of barleypops, ideal for adventurous drink lovers in central London hotels.

Founded by an Aussie and a Belgian who met in the Netherlands, the pair have scoured over 85 breweries for the best of the best.

"The Beer Boutique offers you a carefully selected range of the finest beers from around the world," enthused the shop.

"We hold frequent beer appreciation events and our friendly knowledgeable staff are always happy to help you find the right beer for any occasion."

For tourists looking for events to make up their London getaways the venue hosts weekly Saturday tasting sessions where the experts highlight the best of their shop.

The group promises to delight tasters with a combination of unique beers and unusual complimentary foods, such as Imperial Stout with raspberries and rich cream.

A popular event, the tastings still don't require any reservations and are open to all on a first come first serve basis.

Among the bold, bizarre and tasty bottled beers available are treats such as Schlenkerla Rauch Marzen, which is described as "beer with bacon in it".

Additionally, drinkers may also like to try the Maui CoCoNut Porter, a Hawaiian-made libation crafted out of coconuts.

London events experts extolled the brew-masters' Delirium Tremens which was once voted as Best Beer in the World.

"This Belgian pale is named for the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, with their pink elephant logo apparently being a common hallucination – if you haven't seen it, you've either never really started drinking, or never really stopped," remarked the group.

London Eye goes high-tech

Guests in London hotels will soon see a bevy of new technological features attempt to lure them sky-high to the perennially popular London Eye.

According to officials, the city is planning to turn the giant Ferris wheel into a more interactive experience.

A favourite attraction for many in central London hotels, the London Eye will hope to take advantage of newly installed mobile phone technology to offer visitors interactive apps.

Once activated, the software will see experts from across various professions talk to them over their handsets.

One such guide is set to be a professional photographer who will offer advice to tourists on where to snap photos as the capital unfolds beneath them.

Set to launch at the end of February, the phone apps will initially be free, perfect for those in cheap London hotels hoping to keep down costs, but will eventually cost 50 pence after the early trial.

"The apps will be available across multiple platforms, allowing a wide range of users the chance to take advantage of the new feature," added the gadget gurus Tech Radar.

If all that wasn't enough, a free Wi-Fi network will be opened up to guests at the ground level concourse surrounding the London Eye.

"London Eye is delighted to announce its brand new in-capsule experience, which will be available to all guests who visit London's most iconic landmark," remarked London Eye caretakers.

"The London Eye's capsules are now complete with state of the art Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 devices, displaying bespoke content."

Other app features to wow visitors includes a 3D view of each key sight, hoping to bring the city to life, compiled from 360 non-stop 24-hour filming.

"We're delighted to be able to enhance the experience of London tourists and residents when they visit one of the capital's best known landmarks," chimed in Andy Griffiths, managing director of Samsung UK and Ireland.

Natural History Museum unveils interactive film

No London getaways are complete without a visit to the Natural History Museum, with the famed store of knowledge and artefacts from across the globe now playing host to Who Do You Think You Really Are? – an interactive, educational film.

Ideal for families staying in London hotels looking for an educational and entertaining activity in the city, the movie is aimed at young people and boasts the talents of beloved nature enthusiast David Attenborough.

"This interactive film will transport your students back in time to explore the tree of life," explains the venue.

Resident world-class scientists will help youngsters to learn all about evolution and natural selection by explaining how life has evolved from single-celled organisms.

The group added: "Using cutting-edge computer technology, you will share a room with dinosaurs, early mammals and our hominid ancestors."

Set in the Attenborough Studio, in the museum's Darwin Centre, the 50-minute production promises to entertain everyone from four-year-olds through to adults.

Designed for audiences 64 members strong, each visitor will be treated to a visual feast of large-screen projections, with interactive personal handset computers and webcams.

Extinct creatures, such as Coelophysis and Homo-erectus, will be brought to life, with audience members able to see them wandering the historic halls and feel their "life-like presence".

While enraptured by the technological wizardry, people will also learn how all life on this planet is related, from prehistoric creatures through to bananas.

There will also be plenty of activities for kids to try out as well, such as interacting with virtual specimens and games based on the challenges of sorting DNA.

"During the film, scientists give you virtual gifts," the museum enthused. "At home you can visit our NaturePlus community to access these gifts and additional information, including augmented reality clips and forums discussing Who Do You Think You Really Are?"