Published work

Featured Articles

Explore a featured selection of my writing work below.

How ketamine became Britain’s go-to party drug

When, and why, did the country go mad for K? And is it *really* killing the dance floor?

‘It always strikes you when you’re not expecting it,’ says Oliver*, 23. ‘ Your vision shifts and you start seeing these geometric shapes. Or you can feel like you’re in this giant chamber, with weird sounds and reddish, purple neon lights.’

Oliver is talking about experiencing a K-hole: taking too much ketamine and going into a dissociative, hallucinatory state. Regulars on the club scene might be familiar

Stripteases, projectile vomiting and ambulances: has brunch gone too far?

‘You’re looking like a real New Yorker now,’ the chipper waiter tells my friend, giving her a knowing nod as he pours her fourth mimosa of the day. It’s barely past midday, but we’re glassy-eyed and swaying in our seats at a new restaurant-slash-bar-slash-club in north London, Destiny’s Child pounding in the background. And yes, we’re drunk.

It’s a scene we all know well. You’ve just sunk as many bloody marys you can humanly fit in your stomach, stumbling out onto the street at 2pm. The afterno

How Cornwall went to war with Greggs (again)

A woman in a white cap and floury black apron is looking at me with disapproval. ‘No comment,’ she says firmly, when I ask her about the new Greggs that’s opened in Truro. A customer waiting for her order inhales sharply when she overhears my question. ‘We don’t want to be involved in anything political,’ the woman behind the counter adds.

She is a pasty-maker at one of Cornwall’s many independent bakeries: a not-all-that-uncommon profession in this part of the world. So when did opening a plac

“It’s one big boys club”: the women reclaiming graffiti culture

In its early days, graffiti-writing meant scaling walls to get into abandoned buildings, walking along train tracks in the dead of night, and battling with other writers to gain notability. Influenced by the originators from 1970s New York, the UK graffiti scene began to take its own form. But from the get-go, men dominated proceedings, with women writers few and far between.

In her 2001 book, The Graffiti Subculture: Youth, Masculinity and Identity in London and New York, ethnographer Nancy Ma


Queer London DJs curate your ultimate Pride playlist

London Pride is finally here! And what do the LGBTQ+ community do best? A night out on the tiles, of course. London has literally tonnes of incredible queer clubs and club nights, and let’s not forget that dance music genres like House, Disco and Acid House originated from the LGBTQ+ scene. So we asked five of London’s best queer DJs to recommend some absolute essential bangers for an epic Pride night out in the capital. Grab the speaker, pour yourself a G&T and whack these on before heading out

King Charles who? Meet the alternative kings of London

In case you hadn't heard, Britain is getting a new monarch. But we've had enough of old sausage fingers for the time being, frankly. So we sat down with London’s royalty, who rule over the realms of theatre, drag, music and... Peckham. These kings of the capital are dripping in charisma, smarts and pzazz. Charlie boy better watch his back, lest they supplant him from the throne. Long live the alternative King(s)!

‘My grandfather was the pearly king of Mile End and his father was the Coster King

The story of The Black Sheep Bar in Croydon: an unlikely spiritual home of dubstep

Put on your best bass face and point your gun fingers: this is the story of dubstep in CR0

Picture the scene: a dingy nightclub in Zone 5 that you’ve queued for two hours to get in to. In the booth, a snapback-sporting DJ blasting out wobbly basslines that are so powerful you can feel your face vibrating. The air is thick with sweat and your £2.10 pint of Carlsberg is warm in your hand. The year is 2010. This is Croydon, this is The Black Sheep Bar and this is the heyday of dubstep.

We know, w

Will Elf Bars die in 2023?

2022 had us all riding the vapour wave, but are colourful E-cigs going to stick around into the new year?

Unless you’re still stubbornly self-isolating, chances are you’ve noticed that the UK’s been taken over by colourful sticks emanating puffs of sweet-smelling vapour. Originating from China, the most popular brand of disposable vapes, Elf Bar, comes in flavours like Cotton Candy, Blue Razz Lemonade and Peach Ice, and by the summer of 2022, these rainbow sticks of fruity-flavoured smoke had t

Why's it so hard to get an Uber at the moment?

Why’s it so hard to get a lift? And why do they always cancel? We spoke to cabbies to get to the bottom of London’s problem with ride-hailing apps

Picture the scene: you’ve stumbled out of the club at some godforsaken hour. Eyes blurry, mouth dry, you’re feeling wonkier than a bendy bus. Fumbling for your phone, you book an Uber to come and rescue you. But what’s this? A driver has accepted, but the tiny car on the screen keeps getting further and further away. Eventually, the ride gets cancell

How London dumped the dating apps

On a Thursday night in London, 600 keen partygoers have gathered at the Steel Yard, a massive venue under the railway arches near Monument. Even though it’s a weeknight, the event is a sell-out. In the toilets, squads of girls gather to gossip, readjust their crop tops and fix their makeup. The night is sponsored by Magnum condoms, and boxes full of their eponymous product line the walls. It’s not long before they’re all gone. Single men skulk in corners, eyeing up women as they arrive. Couples

Life without a living room: how young renters are losing their communal space

Around a third of people aged 20 to 30 in London are having to hang out in their hallways. And the problem is spreading beyond the capital

For two years, I lived in a houseshare with four other people. We had five bedrooms, one kitchen, two toilets, but no living room. The seemingly barbaric layout of our house was thanks to our landlady who decided to make the most of her property, a former council house on an estate near Camden, and convert the first-floor lounge into a large bedroom. Granted

Is it just us or… is London covered in rubbish?

‘This rat just hurled out of the bin bag and jumped really high,’ says Oliver from the Rats out of SE5 Instagram account. ‘It looked massive, so at first I was like, “Oh my God has someone thrown a kitten in a bag?” But then I realised it was a rat. I was disgusted.’

Oliver, who preferred to remain anonymous because of his job, has lived next to Camberwell Green for the past three years. Over the summer, he noticed an insurgence of vermin running riot in the area. ‘It's suddenly got crazy,’ he

Why the f*ck is there so much burrata everywhere?

The white cheese blob is now ubiquitous on London restaurant menus, so we went to find out exactly why

‘Burrata is a product that is suitable for travelling,’ declares Simona di Vietri, founder of La Latteria, a burrata-maker in west London. ‘Would you ship bread made in France to Australia?’

Simona is referring to the thousands of burratas that are packed into vans every day and shipped from cheesemaking factories in Italy to locations all over the world, many of which are wolfed down by us B

Hype Dish: Mangal 2’s seriously smoky cull yaw kofte

Sertaç and Ferhat Dirik talk us through this banger of a dish

When Mangal 2 opened 30 years ago, it was one of the first ocakbasi restaurants in London. Now with a cult following, Sertaç and Ferhat Dirik are still finding ways to surprise. Their cull yaw kofte (meat from older ewes) pays homage to their Turkish heritage, but with a twist. They use ‘retired’ sheep instead of lambs, giving a unique flavour. ‘Things that are considered waste are opportunities to create something that might not be

"We tell a story through the outfits." | Meet the man who dresses Tyson Fury

On 2 August 2015, Nav Salimian got a call from an unknown number. He was working at Claudio Lugli, a menswear brand owned by his family based in north London.

“Have you heard of Tyson Fury?” the caller asked.

“Of course,” Salimian replied. He knew the Gypsy King. He’d been following his upcoming match with Wladimir Klitschko, he was excited to watch the fight.

The caller had seen other boxers – Amir Khan and Conor McGregor – wearing Claudio Lugli suits. Fury wanted one. But the catch? Salimia

‘Out and About!’: the archive celebrating 40 years of queer resistance

Since 2011, archivists at the Bishopsgate Institute have been documenting activism, art and personal histories within the LGBTQ+ community. One of the largest archives of its kind, it holds everything from photographs of queer nightlife, to relics from niche subcultures like the Gay Vegetarians, to a puppet in the shape of a penis crossed with a venus fly trap (or a “penis fly trap”).

In a new exhibition at the Barbican titled Out and About!, items from the archive will go on display highlighti

Life inside an isolated Russian mining town

Dubbed ‘Russia’s treasury’, the district of Yakutia sits atop a vast pile of wealth in the form of a giant diamond reserve. It’s here that Belgian photographer Hanne Van Assche discovered Udachny, a mining town frozen in time.

In her new book Udachny / Lucky, Van Assche explores the inhabitants’ deep connection to their landscape, and how the diamond industry has kept this small community tethered to the hinterlands of coldest Siberia.

Shooting as part of her master’s degree at Ghent Royal Aca

Female AI Assistants Are Programmed To Reinforce Harmful Gender Biases

Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Google and Microsoft’s Cortana all have one thing in common – their default voice is female, white sounding and subservient. There is a growing conversation around how female AI assistants reinforce harmful gender biases. In 2019, the UN published a study titled ‘I’d Blush if I Could’ that highlighted how female AI assistants are programmed not to stand up for themselves when consistently receiving sexist and abusive comments. The same year, Caroline Criado

Community, archives and anarchy: how photos of Hackney in the 80s tell an important story for grassroots activists today

In 1983, the Rio Tape/Slide Newsreel Group was created as part of a community arts project that put the local people of Hackney both behind and in front of the camera. These photographs, rediscovered in 2016 hidden in the basement of the Rio Cinema in Dalston, tell a story of grassroots activism and community.

Politics in 2020 bears a striking resemblance to what was happening in 1983. With the elections of Reagan and Thatcher, Conservative populism was spreading across the western world. Facin


Who’s Holiday! review: Miz Cracker stars in this naughty festive take on Doctor Seuss

If you’ve always wondered what happed to little Cindy Lou Who after the Grinch stole Christmas, this is the show for you. But be warned: this isn’t the sugary sweet Who of the book; she’s all grown up now, and she’s a Xanax-popping, bong-huffing, slut-dropping ex-convict.

In ‘Who’s Holiday!’, US playwright Matthew Lombardo gives the story of the Grinch a full drag glow-up. It’s a one-woman show, starring ‘Drag Race’ veteran Miz Cracker and directed by Kirk Jameson. As with ‘Wicked’, it’s a chan

Rotorious review

Decent chips and gravy are something you can rarely get in London. Northerners who’ve migrated south often bemoan the capital’s serious lack of the good sauce to slather on your spuds, which is typically confined to northern chippies or KFC. Although chips and gravy aren’t the main item on the menu at Rotorious, it's certainly worth going there to scoff them.

Heading up Rotorious, the new audaciously named rotisserie chicken joint at Market Stalls in Peckham, are brothers Adam and Sam Reid, nei

Caia | Restaurants in Ladbroke Grove, London

Caia is a tale of two venues. The upstairs room of this new Notting Hill restaurant and wine bar gives off an air of sophistication, with chic bar stools to perch on and floor-to-ceiling bottles. But there’s a clear vibe shift when you walk downstairs to the basement. Suddenly you’re at a ’70s house party, with kitschy-cool velvet seating, chandeliers and even a disco ball. And here’s the kicker: on the far wall is a massive vintage record stand, bedecked with retro vinyl and three turntables. T

Hackney Coterie brings new flavours to the heart of East London

Hidden away under the railway arches by Hackney Downs station, this unassuming spot is home to a vibrant new restaurant.

Calling itself a modern brasserie, the restaurant and wine bar is not defined by one cuisine, although hints of modern British and Asian run throughout. Hackney Coterie is founded by two friends, Anthony Lyon running front of house and sommelier Kelvin McCabe.

With exposed brick, hanging plants and colourful Basquiat-esque art, we’re definitely in East London. A giant pop-ar


Printworks might stay open as a clubbing venue

There could be a significant reprieve for the south London club following huge public outrage at its closure

The beloved venue Printworks will live to fight another day, as plans to shut down the south London nightlife institution for good might be shelved due to a massive public backlash.

that Printworks would be closing to be developed into offices in July this year. The huge industrial venue is in the middle of British Land’s redevelopment of Canada Water, and plans were approved to transfo

A statue of the Queen may be put on the Fourth Plinth

The Trafalgar Square spot has become famous for hosting some challenging contemporary art

To commemorate the Queen after her death, it has been suggested that a statue of our longest-reigning monarch could occupy a permanent position on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth.

The idea has been spinning around London’s rumour mill for years, with former London Mayor Ken Livingstone first mentioning the statue of Her Majesty back in 2013. The proposed sculpture will show Queen Elizabeth II on horsebac

London Underground has banned busking until after the Queen's funeral and people aren't happy

If your commute is usually backed by the sound of singer-songwriters strumming their guitars, you can expect to trudge through the tunnels of London Underground in silence for the next week. In light of the Queen’s death on Thursday (September 8), TfL has decided to ban busking on the underground until after her funeral. However many musicians are concerned about what this means for their income.

This comes as part of a that has seen everything including football, community events and club nigh

A corner shop opposite Battersea Power Station is selling £3,000 wine

Among the essentials you usually pick up from the local cornershop like toothpaste, pints of milk and late-night Tiskies, you wouldn’t expect to see truffle and caviar. But for the bougie of residents in SW11, this is apparently completely normal, as the cornershop in the new Battersea Power Station complex is selling some extremely extravagant items, including a bottle of 2007 Petrus for a cool £3,000.

Nestled inside a padlocked and temperature-controlled ‘Fine Wines’ cabinet, the red is one o

Why Stoke Newington flooded so badly yesterday

Yesterday, after a week of immense heat, Stoke Newington saw some unreal scenes after torrential rainfall caused flash flooding. Chaos ensued as water gushed on to roads, pavements and parks, flooding local shops, pubs and homes.

Yesterday the Met Office put out an amber weather warning across London and parts of south-east England, meaning that there could be a threat to life. It warned there were likely to be floods, power cuts and travel disruptions.

Amber Middleton is a manager at The Thre

This beautiful London café has been forced to close after 60 years

Islington’s Alpino Cafe is leaving its home because of what it calls its ‘greedy’ landlord

The latest casualty of gentrification and London’s spiralling rents comes in the form of a beloved Islington greasy spoon, Alpino Cafe, which is having to move, its owner citing a ‘greedy’ landlord.

The family-run Italian-English joint on Chapel Market opened in 1959, and ever since has supplied the area with hearty fry-ups, plates of pasta, kippers and chicken escalopes that are synonymous with the Angl

The team behind Printworks are opening a new club in east London

They’ve just announced the line-ups for the first nights

With the news last week that Printworks will be closing down and be turned into offices, Londoners were devastated to see another beloved electronic music venue bite the dust. Luckily we haven’t retired our Air Maxes just yet, because the people behind the Surrey Quays music mecca are opening a brand new club in east London.

A collaboration between Broadwick Live (Printworks, Tobacco Docks) and LWE (Junction 2), The Beams will be based i

An anticolonial statue will occupy the Fourth Plinth

Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth is getting a new occupant, and this time they’re giving the old white dudes a rest, as the statue will celebrate John Chilembwe, an anticolonial hero and baptist who was killed in an uprising in

Samson Kambalu, a Malawian artist and associate professor of fine art at Oxford, has created the sculpture, called ‘Antelope’. It will be unveiled in September and is the fourteenth contemporary artwork to be commissioned for display in the historic location.


Canary Wharf has launched a new open air swimming venue

Wave to the bankers as you perfect your butterfly

Attention all you wild swimmers and water nymphs, because London’s got a brand new outdoor swimming venue. It’s found in the very wild natural beauty area of Canary Wharf.

Jokes aside, this new spot seems pretty swanky and the epitome of urban swimming. Against the backdrop of One Canada Square and Newfoundland tower block, Middle Dock, a 220-year-old former dock, is now open for seven days a week until the end of September.

You can launch you

Asda has started security tagging butter

The cost of living crisis has come for dairy, as shoppers this week were dismayed to find Lurpak’s spreadable butter is being hawked in some supermarkets for an insane £9.

The butter is now so outrageously expensive that Asda has security tagged it. And it’s not just butter, as Aldi and Co-op have also been spotted tagging blocks of cheddar and packs of lamb chops.

In Iceland, it’s currently £9.35 for 1kg of Lurpak, while in Tesco it’s £8.98. The cheapest pack of Lurpak was found at Co-op wher

How to help the people of Ukraine if you’re living in London

Practical things you can to do to support

Russian president Vladimir Putin has launched a full-scale attack on Ukraine, sending in military forces by air, land and sea. Ukraine is at war and people around the world are looking for ways to show their support for the nation. If you want to help the Ukrainians and you’re living in London, here are some practical things you can do.

Donating money to charities working on the ground is probably the most effective thing you can do to directly help th

Bando Belly burned down and there’s a GoFundMe to save it

suffered a tragedy last week after a fire destroyed the restaurant’s kitchen. The blaze was sparked by a malfunctioning fuse box which exploded early in the morning on Wednesday May 11.

One of the co-founders, Naz Ramadan, has started a GoFundMe to help rally support to restore the beloved venue in . So far she has raised £1,723 of the £10,000 goal.

‘I've been cheffing it up for ten years and poured my heart into Peckham’s Bando Belly for the last year. On Wednesday, I woke up to the news that

Dreamachine is London's trippy new immersive experience

Apparently it can make you hallucinate with sounds and lights

A trippy new immersive experience has come to London. Running at Woolwich Public Market, ‘Dreamachine’ uses sounds and lights to make you hallucinate, tapping into the ‘limitless potential of the human mind’ – that’s right, no illicit substances are involved. It’s also completely free. Sounds like a wild ride, right? Strap in.

What actually is the titular machine?

It’s essentially a big box with flashing lights and loud music. Thin

We have burning questions about the London Eye Jubilee pod

The London Eye is one of the capital's undeniably iconic tourist attractions. And to celebrate ol’ Lizzie’s Platinum Jubilee on June 2-5, the Eye's organisers have created a brand new pod experience, dedicated to our longest-reigning monarch.

We’ve had a gander at what is being billed as ‘The Queen’s Head’, ostensibly designed to be a traditional 1950s pub, soaring 135m over London, and the decor is… a lot.

A zip around on The Queen’s Head will set you back £60, which will include not one but

London is hosting three naked bike rides this summer

Get ready for pants-free fun. No, not that kind of fun! It’s a bike ride.

Picture this: it’s a beautiful summer’s day, you’re zooming through the streets of London on your fixie, wind in your hair. But that’s not the only place you can feel a breeze. You look down, and you’re completely naked. But it’s not embarrassing, it’s liberating. You’re surrounded by a sea of bare bottoms, gloriously jiggling around the city’s streets.

That’s right, it’s time for the (WNBR). And nudies rejoice, because

Kink and fetish clubs in East London under threat of being shut down by the council

Earlier this month, Tower Hamlets council contacted venues E1 and Colour Factory, which host Klub Verboten and Crossbreed, two of London’s most popular sex positive, LGBTQIA+ friendly fetish club nights. The council threatened the venues with legal action in an attempt to prohibit “nudity and semi-nudity” at nightclubs in the borough, by invoking “archaic” laws that would require attendees to be clothed at nighttime venues.

Founded in 2016, Klub Verboten is London’s largest kink community and c


The funniest reactions to the London heatwave so far

London is in meltdown, literally. In this country we’re not really equipped for any kind of extreme weather. Tarmac is bubbling, trains are cancelled and the Queen’s Guards are still wearing their furry hats and wool jackets. In 40C heat, with air con, our city’s been thrown into utter chaos.

Despite the weather giving us all a feeling of impending doom, we wouldn’t be Brits if we didn’t approach the frankly terrifying heatwave with our signature sarcasm and deadpan wit. On Twitter, every man,

20 things London still does better than anywhere else

Tins and tings. Here’s all the stuff we are greater at than every other city in the world

We’ve got over 3,000 public green spaces in London, and if there’s one thing they’re good for, it’s cracking open a few cans and gorging on ‘picky bits’ with your mates. During lockdown in 2020, Londoners were so desperate for a knees-up that park boozing got alcohol temporarily banned from London Fields. A proud boast, indeed.

The voyage to a day festival in London is an epic pilgrimage. Hundreds of buck

10 great ways to take part in London Craft Week 2022

London Craft Week is back this week, with makers and creatives across the city celebrating all things crafty from Monday May 9 to Sunday May 15. If you want to discover a hidden talent or learn from experts in their field, there are loads of workshops, exhibitions and talks to choose from. Whether it’s spectacle-making, wine-tasting or knitting, we’ve rounded up our top picks for you to help you have a really fun crafternoon.

Make your own spectacles with Cubitts

Make the kind of glasses that

Ten brilliant looks from Harry Styles

Often hailed as one of the most fashionable men on the planet, it seems that Harry Styles’s fashion knows no limits.

Fabulously flamboyant and not afraid to play by his own rules, Harry Styles has secured himself a place in the highest echelons of fashion.

Styles is Gucci’s darling, has hosted the Met Gala, and was the first man to appear solo on the cover of American Vogue.

As the singer gears up to release his highly anticipated third album Harry's House, Square Mile looks back on his best

The best pubs in Camden

Ah Camden – a mecca for rock music, markets and late-night revelry. And tourists. Lots of tourists.

But don’t be put off by the crowds as Camden serves up some of the best pubs that London has to offer.

There’s vast diversity of choice – whatever your drinking needs, Camden will have the pub for you. These are boozers once frequented by the likes of Amy Winehouse, Oasis and even Charles Dickens.

For the best beer gardens, Sunday roasts and musician haunts, we've selected our favourite pubs in

The best cocktail bars in Soho

If there’s one thing Soho isn’t lacking, it’s cocktail bars. But how to choose the best ones?

Our comprehensive list helps you avoid tourist traps serving watered-down Cosmos, and leads you straight to the best cocktails bars in Soho.

As you stumble out onto Dean Street in the wee hours of the morning, you’ll have ingested some of the finest cocktails that Soho has to offer – and maybe even have room for a nightcap.

Whether you’re looking to sip Cantonese spirits in Chinatown, taste London’s

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