We started the year in a lockdown and we’re ending it in the grips of a new variant – not quite the Roaring Twenties we had imagined right? Still there was some fun to be had sandwiched in between the big C, music festivals made a welcome return to the UK, international travel opened up so we were able to see some fun, and football *almost* came home. Here’s what made LOTI over the past twelve months…
With the Euros finally taking place, a year later than scheduled, in 2021, we decided to make things interesting by giving you the chance to predict the outcomes of the matches and win some big prizes. LOTI A.M.C (that’s Armchair Managers’ Club for the uninitiated) brought football fans together, and even though it didn’t come home in the end, it was a glorious run by the Three Lions. And hey, there’s always Qatar 2022….
Plenty of exhibitions came to town this year but there was one trend that had you buying tickets in your droves and that was immersive art shows. We had not one but two dedicated to the life and work of Van Gogh; Yayoi Kusama returned with one of her Infinity Rooms; and you could step inside the Sistine Chapel right here in London. And with exhibitions on Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera and Gustav Klimt opening next year, this is one trend that shows no signs of slowing down.
LOTI Heroes is our way of recognising and honouring individuals, brands and businesses that are doing something positive for the city and the people that live here, and after the year we’ve all had, we needed to highlight the good more than ever. This was our third edition and best one yet, with a host of new faces amongst the familiar in our Top 50 change-makers and pioneers.
World-class galleries and museums, beautiful parks, incredible restaurants cooking food from across the globe, cool shops and boutiques, a whole host of performing arts and music venues….London’s not exactly short on things to do (there’s loads of them that don’t even cost any money). But what about the weird and wonderful, the unexpected and the unusual? We brought you the best of those too.
Ever-changing lockdown restrictions forced chefs and restaurants to be creative and create different ways for you to enjoy their food outside outside of a dine-in service, meaning we’ve now got tons of takeaway options and an ever-expanding selection of DIY meal kits. These were some of our fave new ones to get on order.
Remember when we could only socialise outdoors? Available tables al fresco were like gold dust and we helped you secure those ressies with our round-up of the best beer gardens in London.
When you couldn’t find a table in a beer garden, you headed for the rooftops and there’s never been so many to choose from. New ones were popping up all the time, both on new developments or carved out of little spaces in the city.
It’s no secret that we eat out a lot so we’ve been rounding up some of our favourite dishes from all the places we’ve eaten every month. The stand out bangers we’d happily go back and eat again and again…and again. If any tickle your fancy, you best get down and try them sharpish, just don’t blame us if the “daily changing menu” has already wiped ’em out!
When we did our Lockdown Awards last summer, we had hoped that it wouldn’t become an annual tradition….fast forward to spring 2021 and there we were again. Three lockdowns in, the novelty of the meal kit may have disappeared but businesses continued to rise to the challenge and keep us all fed and watered.
There’s one thing that’s guaranteed in spring time and that’s that your Insta feed will become filled with shots of cherry blossom. We rounded up the best places to spot the blooms and secure those perfect snaps.