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13 February, Issue 148

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LondonNet Homepage:

AHOY! Contents:
1. WHAT'S UP: London for Free, Offers, Attractions
2. LONDON DIARY: Chuff Chuff Time
3. ENTERTAINMENT: Theatre, Music, Clubs, Cinema
4. HOTELS: London and Worldwide hotel deals
5. NEWS: Latest news from London
6. COMPETITION: - Singapore Sling Compie
7. TALKBACK: The Whirligig Parachute Remembered
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1. WHAT'S UP - What's new on LondonNet

- Singapore Sling Compie
We've got a a three course meal for two and bottle of house wine at Singapore Sling, Camden.
- Scroll down for competition details.

- London Eye: A date in a pod
- Theatre: Take in a show
- A Night at the Opera
- Exclusive deals at London hotels
- Citybreaks in Europe's finest hotel

LONDONNETDOTCOM: shines in Arabian first night
- Our horse grabs fourth in Dubai desert warm up

LondonNetDotCom claimed a promising fourth place on a closely fought miler in Dubai last Thursday night. The four-year-old mare clearly enjoyed her first trip under floodlights at the Nad Al Sheba racecourse. Jockey Ted Durcan rode her hands and heels to help her acclimatise to the untested conditions. "She did really well and I didn't have to touch her," Durcan said. Despite this light touch she secured the fourth fastest time ever recorded on track, as she came home two and a half lengths from locally based winner Seihali. All looks good now for a competitive return to the same track for the Group 3 Cape Verdi on 19th February 2004.

- Scroll down for competition details.



Get Into London Theatre

Savings on tickets range from 25% to 70% depending on show and performance. Tickets available until 27 Feb 2004 for performances between up to 28 March 2004. See our theatre page for details and tickets:


- The Gore (Hotel of the Year 2001) UKP129 double rooms (save UKP61)

Bed and Breakfast:
- Hyde from only UKP17 per person per night

- Generator from UKP9 per person per night

- Free updates of all available rooms or tenants in your area


- For the latest information and tickets for a wide range of London's premier attractions see our reqularly updated London Attractions page.
Top Sellers (22 January - 12 February 04)
1) London Eye
2) Madame Tussaud's/Planetarium
3) Bateaux London Restaurant Cruises
4) RHS Chelsea Flower Show
5) The London Dungeon



HOTELGENIE: Our handpicked selection of fine European hotels.


- Chuff Chuff Time


BRITAIN'S Transport Secretary Alistair Darling was furious this week when he discovered it took meetings of 60 people to adjust the timetable of a single branch line.

When you picture the scene of dozens of people arguing over whether the 6.55 from Brighton should arrive at East Croydon at 7.40 or 7.41, it is hard not to side with Darling.

The timings between each station must be known, approximately, before the meetings, so our panel of 60 would have struggled to get any kind of real debate going. Maybe they spun out the meetings by taking points of order on what, when you think about it, is the real definition of that apparently simple word, 'timetable'. You can imagine one side of the room pushing the 'table' side of things, emphasising the importance of clear layout, while their opponents in the 'time' party mused on the development of the concept of time throughout the ages and tried to placate its extreme wing which wanted to re-introduce a sundial element into time's measurement.

All this is possible, but more likely, I think, is that these meetings were another form of that recent social phenomenon - speed dating. In this case, the 60 men and women concerned sit around a big table, the edge of which is traversed by a model railway track. To avoid the embarrassment involved in possible open rejection, each person places a little note to his or her would be love-match in the truck of the toy train. The train then stops at every playmate, who might have an amusingly suggestive station type nickname like Dictoria. You can make up your own tunnel of love jokes. Happy Valentines Day, Darling.
David Clee (mailto:[email protected])




- Anything Goes with lyrics by Cole Porter
Trevor Nunn's Olivier award-winning production of PG Wodehouse's Anything Goes.

Special Deals
Jumpers @ Piccadilly Theatre - All seats only UKP20...

George Moore believes in good but those around him aren't so sure... Simon Russell Beale (a three times Olivier Award-winner) confirms his status as one of this country's greatest stage actors as he takes on the role of the beleaguered moral philosopher. Starring opposite him as his glamorous wife Dorothy, is Essie Davis, winner of the 2003 Olivier Award for best supporting actress in A Streetcar Named Desire.
All tickets only UKP20 (+ppf)! Valid on Monday-Thursday evening performances until 26 February 2004.

Secret Rapture @ Lyric Theatre - Best seats only UKP12.50...
When their father dies, two estranged sisters - Marion, a hard-nosed Thatcherite government minister, and Isobel, a warm-hearted liberal - forge an uneasy reconciliation. Cast includes Peter Egan, Jenny Seagrove, Belinda Lang and Simon Shepherd.
Best available tickets for only UKP12.50 (+ NO ppf)! Valid on all performances (except Saturday evenings).

Up and Coming for 2004
- A quick review of what to look out for this year:

When Harry Met Sally (starring Luke Perry)
Mary Poppins (based on new book by Julian Fellowes)
Billy Elliot (music by Elton John)
It's A Wonderful Life (music by Steve Brown)
The Woman In White (currently being adapted by Andrew Lloyd Webber)
The Producers (Tony award winning musical)

- Theatre Tickets
Top Sellers (22 January - 12 February 04)
1) The Lion King
2) Mamma Mia!
3) Thoroughly Modern Millie
4) Phantom of the Opera
5) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

- Theatre: A to Z of Shows
Our guide to all the leading musicals and dramas running or soon to open in
the West End. With quick links to previews, reviews and ticket pages.



Rock and Pop

- Gig Highlight:
The Streets, Brixton Academy

Fri 21st May 2004, UKP17.50
Mike Skinner's music divides many, but for me the conversion was simple - show me a copious and knowing wink to ska and I'm anybody's. Though let's face it this is a crunch year for The Streets. Follow-up albums by innovative artists are notorious for failing to deliver. But I'd like to think that if anyone can pull it off it'll be Mr Skinner. Last tour the gigs would start with a 'Ghost Town'-inspired 'Let's Push Things Forward' and move on to the get-you-through-the-bad-times Stay Positive inducing a state of audience harmony in their wake. Now there's the prospect of a whole new album's worth of material to be showcased. I've got my ticket already and I urge you to join me for their return to the Academy to find out why. (Peter D. Clee)

The Sugarhill Gang @ Ocean
Mon, 16th February 2004, UKP15.00
The Sugarhill Gang might be passed off as a novelty act, but their epic "Rapper's Delight" was enough to secure them a high pedestal in the minds of hip-hop artists and fans. That song is classic in and of itself, but the New York City rap trio is no one-hit wonder; they had hits with "Kick It Live From 9 to 5" and "Apache." Their songs have been remade and remixed by younger artists and they've been sampled by the likes of Sir Mix-A-Lot, but no one has been able to capture the late '70s energy of hip-hop as displayed by Wonder Mike, Big Bank Hank and Master Gee. Most modern music fans under the age of 35 probably don't know the band, so this show might very well be older rap enthusiasts and white boys dancing to the only rap song they know. Either way, it's probably going to be amusing. (Patrick Garvin)

- Gig Listings
Our list of forthcoming London gigs. Plan your gigging and book your tickets

Top Sellers (22 January - 12 February 04)
1. The Streets - Brixton Academy
2. Elbow - Brixton Academy
3. Cursive - The Garage
4. Jamie Cullum - Hammersmith Apollo
5. Peter Gabriel - Wembley Arena



Classical and Dance

- Carmen, Savoy Theatre
Bizet's great masterpiece bursts from start to finish with a score that is amongst the best known in opera. Gypsies, soldiers, smugglers and toreadors add colour and excitement to the story of the doomed love of Don Jose and the fickle gypsy-girl, Carmen. The final juxtapostion of roaring crowds and violent death is horrifyingly breathtaking.
Conducted by Stuart Stratford. Directed by Gale Edwards.

Top Sellers (22 January - 12 February 04)
1. Carmen, ENO
2. Tosca, ENO
3. The Tempest, Royal Opera
4. Royal New Zealand Ballet
5. Arabella, Royal Opera
- Tickets:



Cinema Places
- The Odeon Cinema, Leicester Square

Looking for something to do that's quintessentially London? The Odeon Cinema in Leicester Square boasts one of the largest screens in all of England. To accommodate all 1,943 seats for that screen, there are two levels. And your bum is not the only one that's been on those seats. It's a cinema that's been used for countless premieres and event launches, and placards commemorate seats that have been sat in by stars such as Catherine Zeta-Jones, Halle Berry and Michael Caine. Currently, the cinema is showing "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King," but don't plan on seeing it on Sunday, because the Odeon will be hosting the BAFTAs. Feel free to go to catch the stars as they walk in, though, for you never know if you'll spy Daniel Day-Lewis or Nicole Kidman. Signs mark where their rumps have been, too. (Patrick Garvin).

Film Of The Week
- Tooth (U)

Family (2003) 91mins UK
Director: Edouard Nammour
Starring: Yasmin Paige, Rory Copus, Maisie Preston, Harry Enfield
Tooth is a young, feisty and mischievous Tooth Fairy who lives in Fairytopia - a secret world now devoid of magic and mystery. Bored by the routine of collecting teeth and leaving money under children's pillows, Tooth foolishly decides to give away all of the fairies' money to a young girl called Tolly and her brother Tom. When the other fairies discover what has happened, they demand Tooth retrieve the missing funds.

- Other New Films This Week
Cheaper By The Dozen (PG)
Un Chien Andalou + L'Age D'Or (15)
Big Fish (PG)
Dogville (15)
The Haunted Mansion (PG)
I - Proud To Be An Indian
It's All About Love (15)
Looney Tunes: Back In Action (PG)
Osama (12A)
People I Know (15)
Silent Grace (15)
Suddenly (Tan De Repente) (15)

- Special Preview (Limited Screenings)
The Barbarian Invasions (Les Invasions Barbares) (18)

- Listings
A to Z of London Cinemas:
A to Z of Films showing in London this week:


Best way to soak up the sights of the city as you wine and dine
- Cruises on the Thames...



- G-A-Y @ 30 Old Compton Street, Friday 20th February 2004
G-A-why not? With neon pink lights and a less-than-subtle name, G-A-Y is direct in its aim to be the quintessential gay club in Soho. Londoners seem to think so, too; the weekend lines are outrageous, thanks to flyers that make the cover charge only UKP1. Like many clubs in Soho, G-A-Y doesn't just play a song, but the video as well. It can get the party started, or it can be obnoxious if it's a slower song that isn't danceable. Most people there will dance to just about anything, and are happy-go-lucky enough to not mind that there's not much room to move your elbows. Friday night the club hosts the unapologetically kitschy Camp Attack, featuring hits from the 80s in one room and the 90s in another. It's only fitting that on nights like this at a club as bold as G-A-Y, George Michael and Madonna hits rule the roost. (Patrick Garvin)

Meet the Neighbours @ Neighbourhood, Friday 20th February 2004
West London's awesome new venue, with local young gun DJ's Seb Chew (Yo Yo) and Kemosabe (Magik/Jetset) playing a party mixture of vintage funk, modern urban flavours, electro-disco and West London dancefloor classics. Free guest list for 4 if you bring 10 friends and all names of your guests will be entered into a prize draw to win 5 pairs of tickets to see Groove Armarda play live on Fri 5th March.
Venue details (nb this event is not listed but is going ahead!):

- London Clubs Chart: Most Popular Venues
(Based on Page Visits on LondonNet, Top Sellers 22 January - 12 February 04)
1) The Metro Club
2) Fabric
3) Bar Rumba
4) Neighbourhood
5) Heaven

- Club Venues and Listings




Three of The Best
- Top three offers currently available to LondonNet readers:

The Ritz***** (Piccadilly)
- Style, sophistication and old-fashioned levels of genuine service come together at one of the world's legendary hotels. New even better exclusive rates for 2004, with half price deals on selected suites.

The Gore**** (Knightsbridge)
- Doubles now from only UKP 129 incl. VAT.

The Hyde Hotel *** (Paddington)
- Comfortable three star hotel offering the best value ever on LondonNet:
Just 55UKP for a double room!

- London Hotel Chart
Top Sellers (22 January - 12 February 04)
1) Columbia
2) Commodore
3) The Ritz


Best Value Accommodation for 2004:

Bed and Breakfasts:
Budget Hostels:


New additions and highlights from our sister site


5. NEWS: Latest news from London

More Cops - Worse Service
- 999 response times slower than before despite Met recruitment bonanza
Get out your scorecards and your binoculars
- The BAFTAs are almost here



- Singapore Sling Compie
We've got a a three course meal for two and bottle of house wine at Singapore Sling, Camden.

Singapore Sling, located at 16 Inverness Street, London NW1, offers diners extensive Pan-Asian cuisine served within stylized Oriental design lines – devotees such as Samuel L Jackson, Chris Martin, Gwyneth Paltrow and Miss Dynamite attest to the success of the venue’s invocation of the sensory delights of the East. Since opening in 2001, Singapore Sling has provided the discerning imbiber and diner with a selection of food that encapsulates the culinary diversity and quality available from South-East Asia. The menu is drawn from the vibrancy of Asian roadside cooking, bringing the diversity of this traditional form of food preparation into a modern restaurant environment – fusing the wealth of tastes and styles of cooking from China, Mongolia, Thailand and Singapore.

Tube: Camden
16 Inverness Street, London, NW1


Question: When did Singapore Sling open?

HOW TO ENTER: All you have to do to enter is send an email with the correct answer and subject header "Singapore Sling Compie" to:
mailto:[email protected]

NB Include email, telephone number and postal address (which will only be used for this compie-guaranteed). If you don't include your details we can't send you info about the prize!

RULES and INFO: First correct answer out of the Editor's hat wins the prize, details will be sent to the winner. The Editor's decision is final.
Closing Date: Noon, Friday 20 February 2004


LondonNet Competitions Page
- Details of some of the best free competition sites on the web. Register
today for your chance to win cash, cars and lots, lots more.

Issue 147, 22 January 2004
Starsky and Hutch @ Nell's Compie
Helena Engstrand (London, NW2)


7. AHOY! TALKBACK: Readers say their piece

Send mail to mailto:[email protected]
- The Editor reserves the right to amend your contributions for reasons
of elegance, space, legality and plain sheer bloodymindedness.
- We welcome your views on any subject, questions about your visit and of
course feedback about the newsletter or website.


Dear LondonNet,

We currently live in Italy but will relocating back to the UK soon. Whilst sitting here reminiscing about days gone by, nights with no sleep, and endless partying, I remembered that just over ten years ago we used to go religiously on Saturday nights from 8pm to something called Whirligig. It was a dance venue that used to play New Age dance music. We used to go in and get our faces painted with paints that glowed in ultraviolet light and they used to have something called The Parachute at the end. I know this seems a little weird but I was wondering if anyone knows if this place still exists and if not what happened to it. I have looked on the 'net but not found anything as yet... Can you help?

Thanks for any info you can cast my way... :-)

Yours faithfully

Maya Stone

REPLY: Wow Maya you've just taken us back. I went to the Whirligig back in the early 90s when it was based near Old Street. Yes you're right the night used to end with a huge silk parachute falling onto the crowded danclefloor. A couple of the others here in the office did their Whirl in 1995-1996 when they think it was based in a town hall in Hackney. Sadly none of us have heard anything of them for a few years now. If any of our readers know what happened next let us know and we'll forward your news to Maya. (Ed)
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