Tag: london

My love for 80's & 90's Nintendo is up there with my love for pre Tommy-'boat-loving'-Lee-dating Pamela Anderson, in the list of things from my childhood that will never die. Though it was only a couple of years ago that I thought it might be fun to try and reclaim some of my favourite games & hardware from my youth for a nostalgia fix.

As with most retro shopping, it all started on eBay, finding myself a NES Zapper light gun for a few quid which, without the NES console was not the most practical purchase, but it was worth the money just to hear the distinctive and highly primitive sound of the trigger once again. Why? because the age old saying of 'it's the little things that count' plays a huge part in retro gaming, the little things can evoke the biggest memories.

Those with the tech savvy know how might use Emulators to some extent but then you're missing out on half the experience, the small important things such as the original controller and the feel of its buttons or the almost ritual cartridge blowing before slotting it in, then paired with a coin collect sound or the boss at the end of a certain level you remember defeating! it can take you back to when you got so happy with yourself you ended up doing the Carlton dance in your Batman PJ's only to have your jealous friend hit the reset button (ps, 20 years later and it's still not funny Warren...) it's all priceless.

However it turns out that retro gaming does have a price, and though there is the odd bargain around prices are constantly rising as the games become harder to get hold of. A few years ago you couldn't get a £5 trade in for an old console, but now, in the right place you could get double what you originally paid for if it's in great condition. So with the rise of all things 90's, now would be the ideal time to get your pixel passion fired up again wile the affordability window is still ajar.

One thing to remember though is that the best nostalgia moments are when you stumble across the things you forgot about, sadly Google is yet to invent the 'search my deep sub conscience' feature so there is no faster way to come across things than to just start browsing and searching. Watching retro game youtube collection roundups do help, but we found London has an alternative that goes that one step further than just seeing the game on a screen.

Retro Game Base in Streatham is a store that lives up to its name and specialises in all the things my inner child (and likely your's too is you were born in the first part of the 80's) loves. In the store you can scan shelf upon shelf of games and more to find all the goodies you forgot about and even see the games in action as the staff (when not serving you) will be hammering away on the controllers in true retro shoot 'em up style. Retro Game Base is also the ideal place to buy the important little things eBay sellers sometimes forget to include on their items (like the battery cover for a Gameboy I purchased) and if that has not convinced you to pop down, just know that they have retro arcade machines too, which you can buy or play (while trying to convince your girlfriend it would fit nicely in the corner of your front room instead of the cats bed).

And just when you thought things couldn't get any better in terms of old school gaming in London, Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes have launched an 80's and 90's Throwback Club Night (which we hope will be on going) in partnership with Retro Game Base. On the 31st of August you can head down, drink, bowl, dance to old school tunes but most of all, play SNES, Megadrive, Dreamcast, Saturn, PS1, N64 and more till 3am! I think it's safe to say you will see me there fairly tipsy challenging everyone on the original Mario Kart or attempting to pull of ridiculous Killer Instinct combos, I might even be in my Batman Pjs.

holiday in londonWith London awash with things to do and the weather looking just peachy, it has bee reported that instead of going away, many of us will be staying put this Bank Holiday.

Many people are booking short stays in the UK rather than getting on a plane and with all the great stuff to see and do on in London at the minute it's a great opportunity to catch some Culture and some rays before the summer ends.

You can check out what's on for Bank Holiday on our events page or keep an eye on our London events posts.

If you intend on a short break somewhere else in the Uk, it's reported that the best of the weather will be in south-east England, where temperatures look likely to reach 27C (81F) on Friday.

 

 

The days of paying for a bus journey in London with cash could soon be numbered if plans from Transport for London (TFL) are approved.

The number of people using cash, as opposed to an Oyster card, fell to less than 1% this year compared to 20% ten years ago.

TFL is also considering plans to let people borrow emergency money on an Oyster card even if they had run out of money.

A decision will be made once the public consultation ends on 11 October and if plans do go ahead cash payments would be axed completely in 2014.

Leon Daniels, Managing Director for TFL surface transport, said: "It costs £24m a year to accept cash on buses and with so few customers paying cash it makes sense for us to consider removing it.

"The savings made can then be invested into making further vital improvements to the capital's transport network."

Image: BBC

Hidden in the depths of a deserted forest just outside of London Farr Festival is back for it's fourth year. With just over a week to go organisers have been begging woodland warriors to 'only tell your best friends' to keep Farr Festival 2013 one of the summers best kept secrets.

The line up has been cherry picked from some of London's best underground house, disco and electro scenes including London collective Troupe responsible for sell out nights at XOYO, South London Ordinance, The Martinez Brothers, Ben Pearce and Waif and Strays to name a few.

Not content with the magical woodland setting and feel good tunes reverberating from a funktion 1 sound system, fancy dress, flying circus, beach bar complete with sand and palm trees, yoga classes, massage areas, fairground rides and secret sets in a fox hole are also lined up to keep revellers entertained over the weekend.

Farr are even putting on Disco Busses from East and West London to the site, so you can make some newfound festival chums and dance on the way to your surbuban party paradise in under two hours.

The conception of Secret Garden party back in 2004 was of a similar boutique and magical scale, so watch this space for a review as Farr could well be the next big festival thing.

Cake who are organising some of the daytime party have limited discounted tickets here otherwise you can still get your hands on  full price weekend from the official Farr Festival site. 

 

As far as views of London go, the sight from the top of Min Jiang in High Street Kensington, which stretches out across the park towards the London skyline, is pretty impressive.

Despite not being that high up, the hotel restaurant it’s ideally situated and a perfect viewing spot for Kensington Gardens.

Starting off with a refreshing lychee martini and a fragrant mojito I was instantly impressed by the whiter than white crisp tablecloths, gleaming clean decor, and immaculately trained waiters giving just the right amount of attention without becoming annoying.

We went for the half wood-fired Beijing Duck (order before you get your drinks as it takes 45 minutes to cook) which was the right mix of juicy, slide of the fork tender flesh and crispy, salty skin.

It was by far the best thing I'd eaten in a while especially when mixed with Min Jiang's signature toppings such as; shredded leek, cucumber, garlic paste and crunchy sugar (it works). The rest of the duck was then bought out in a plate – we went for it minced in a spicy sauce and lettuce wraps.

This is probably enough for most people but as we were feeling pretty greedy we also went for the delicately fragranced dim sum filled with blue swimmer crab meat and a plate of very delicately crisped squid which lacked the greasy after taste or rubbery squelch you normally get left with.

Our main was a deeply blackened cod fillet which easily flaked away from the bone and was cooked with a subtle hint of ginger and a juicy succulent texture. To mix with this one we also tried a sticky rib eye beef dish with a thick deliciously rich black pepper sauce.

Finally – as with mine and Hugh's standard track record – we ‘forced’ down two puddings – a chocolate hazelnut cake and a slightly odd creamy mango dish, which out of all the dishes on offer were the least impressive.

The clientele was largely made up of suits, salmon trousers and people staying at the hotel so we were pretty out of place but if you can look past that it’s a great view on offer with dishes, in particular the duck, which match the sights.