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Draycott Hotel: Drawing Room

Celebrity Spotting in Britain has become a national pastime. Each year thousands of visitors gather on the streets of London, clutching Timeout magazines; hoping to make some sense from the many pages of where to go and what to do in the City.

Say, you're a celeb spotter! You've come to London for some serious celebrity action. Where would you go to spot the Stars?
Here are some Celebrity Hotspots: some are relatively easy to get in to; but you need to book at least 6 months in advance. Others are membership only, so to land a seat at the bar will require some serious networking on your part.

Celebrity Hotspots
Most people go to The Ivy for the name and the status. You will spend more than the food is worth, but that is to be expected! You're not there for the sumptuous fare, but for the celebrity action... hopefully! Oak panels, soft lighting, and 1920s stained glass windows enhance the idea that it's all terribly snobby. The service and attention to detail are exemplary, the menu is eclectic, mainly British/European with a few far-flung influences. But it caters mainly for people who know what they want. Simple ingredients prepared to perfection have earned The Ivy its coveted reputation of serving delightful 'comfort food'. The cosy dining area almost certainly means if a celebrity is at the next table, you'll be sitting a stones throw away from them.

Celebrities often seen enjoying the famously diverse menu at The Ivy are David Bowie & Iman, Tom Cruize, Elton John and George Michael

San Lorenzo
in Knightsbridge is probably the most infamous restaurant in London, because it was one of Princess Diana's favourite haunts. The place is still very popular with celebrities and is famous for dishes such as "bagna cauda", risotto with cheese and asparagus and polenta with blue cheese.

A Knightsbridge institution for the rich and famous, San Lorenzo is notorious for its glamorous clientele, rather than for the quality of its food and service. Its tinted windows protect the privacy of its well-to-do diners. The Italian food is pretty ordinary but the place is always packed, so it's essential to book.

Stars you could bump into if you decide to visit San Lorenzo are Naomi Campbell, Madonna, Guy Ritchie & Gwyneth Paltrow.

The Groucho Club was established in 1985 and the name was inspired by one of Groucho Marx's quips; he once remarked that "I don't want to join a club that will accept me as a member."

The original membership was drawn from the publishing world but over the years has expanded to include all creative fields of the media and arts. Soho with its bohemian history and working and living population of writers, artists and filmmakers was the natural location. The Groucho is the original modern members club. The infamous membership Committee has long been the fearless arbiters of who is considered a suitable Groucho Club person. Concerts, exhibitions and parties are hosted here and the 19 bedrooms are open to members and their guests. You'll have to make friends with a member just to get into the Bar area.

They say membership to the Groucho Club is more exclusive than the SAS and nearly as tough to get in; more mysterious than the Mason's, with an initiation ceremony that would make a Ninja faint.

Celebrities whom you might see at The Groucho include, Jude Law, Sadie Frost, Kate Moss & Robert Downey Jr.

Author Bio
The Draycott Hotel in Cadogan Gardens is both exclusive and secluded; attributes that are high on any celebrities list. Many celebrities find a home here, and Ali the Head Concierge has become a famous figure in his own right. He has taken care of people like, Michelle Pfeiffer, Pierce Brosnan, John Malkovich, Cheryl Ladd, Gerard Depardieu and Carole Bouquet. Ali comments: "Part of this job includes being followed around by the paparazzi; I make sure I go the extra mile in protecting the privacy of the Draycott's guests".



Live entertainment has been a long standing entertainment tradition and what better city to enjoy these venues than London? A night at the theatre gives spectators a chance to have live interaction with their entertainment. The biggest misconception of theatre is that it is an expensive night out. Considering current family activity trends, such as theme parks and shopping excursions, theatre has actually become one of the less expensive alternatives.



London nights are horror at its best, during the Halloween's night. Do you want to feel the most horrific nights making your flesh creep? You really can not run away the temptation of being at one of the London clubs serving as Halloween's London party venue. Besides planning for your Halloween's club night, you can be at these Halloween Lodon venues, to get sparked up for your Halloween's night about to unroll. Find the most beckoning horrors of London Halloween's at thee Halloween club nights:

Death and Debauchery Masked Ball: This Halloween party venue will be thriving on 30th of October in the George Tavern. This cool London club will be heated up with the souls of the dead. Find the celebration heating up with horrific soundtracks and sinister acts that can give you Goosebumps. The ambience will be amazing with the electronic soundtracks of the soul sisters.

White Mischief: The Haunted Ballroom: What can be better than a haunted ballroom on the ghost's night? With unique music coming curious dance, the things will be set across the stars such as Abandoman and Nina Conti. The art of the room and the scary decor is set in place by the expert directors who have given some memorable movies. You can join in the Halloween party on the 30th of October on the Scala.

Alice Cooper's Halloween Night of Fear: Alice Cooper's Halloween Night of Fear is the perfect Halloween's venue with all the scariest and ghoulish modern freaks and shows playing best Halloween's party on the 31st of October 2010. Its shows will include the bizarre presentation of the Zodiac Mindwarp & The Love Reaction and Jim Rose. Enjoy the winning acts of these Halloween parties.

Popstarz Halloween Monster Ball: Join in the celebration of the Monster Ball on 29th October 2010. Dark soundtracks with beast loved beats and the spooky nights. Little spooks will be welcome here with a ghost train running their way.

Torture Garden: Torture Garden Halloween ball will take place on the 30th of October 2010. An admirable collection of things can be found with the body art feature, Bondage and latex organised in Debut London. This is going to be one of the most happening nights of Halloween's eve. Do not miss it if you want to enter the world of horrors.

Besides attending these parties, you can choose to throw some memorable Halloween parties at finest party venues in London. Find out the great party venues in London to serve as a suitable Halloween party venue.


Shock new figures show the average resident in Greater London spends more than 17 hours on their backsides every day.

A study found the daily commute, a day at the office, and an evening in front of the TV means they spend hardly any time on their feet.

It emerged the typical working adult in the capital spends four hours and 55 minutes at their desk, and a further three hours and two minutes parked in front of the TV.

Once home they will sit down again to use a laptop or home computer for another two hours and 36 minutes.

The statistics also showed that 56 per cent of residents exercised for just a few minutes every day - walking to and from their parked car.

Meal times mean people sit down for a further 23 minutes, while one hour and 22 minutes are dedicated to playing computer games.

Weight Watchers UK, which conducted the poll of 3,000 adults across the UK in conjunction with its get active! campaign, put the results down to the recession and longer working hours.

Company dietician Zoe Hellman said: ''In a recession we have to work harder and for longer hours to make ends meet, so we therefore have less time and money to spend on exercise - but to spend over half our day sitting down is a health bomb waiting to happen.

"Incredibly the average person only does 50 minutes of exercise each week - that's just a quarter of what is recommended for a healthy lifestyle.

"We know that it can seem difficult to find the time to exercise, but there are ways to introduce it into even the busiest lifestyles.

"Walking up the stairs instead of taking the lift, running from the tube instead of walking, parking further from the shops and walking for 30 minutes at lunchtime instead of sitting at the desk are all free and easy ways of keeping fit.''

The research, carried out this week, shows that Londoners spend an hour and 41 minutes on public transport, and a staggering one hour and 57 minutes in the car.

Finally, before settling down to sleep at night, Londoners spend an hour and 25 minutes reading books, magazines or newspapers.

The picture is no brighter elsewhere in the UK.

More than half of people admitted that while they should exercise more, it is difficult to find the time

And 52 per cent of folk freely admit that on most days the only exercise they get is the short stroll between their house and car, nursery and car, or work and car.

Four in 10 people claim their long working hours are to blame for their lack of exercise, while the same number also attribute a lack of energy for the slump.

A third of lazy people simply can't be bothered to exercise more, while a quarter blame the quantity of housework they have to get through.

A fifth of parents say the children take up too much of their time, and over half of us are simply too exhausted by the end of the day to do any exercise.

Finally, whilst 12 per cent reckon they are happy the way they are, more than one in ten of us say the last thing we want to do is to exercise after a long commute.

It follows continued warnings from the Government about obesity levels and the importance of at least 30 minutes' exercise per day.

Zoe Hellman added: "Half an hour's exercise each evening would actually help workers to wind down and de-stress, and could even induce a good night's sleep afterwards.

"Mostly, this lack of exercise and movement is down to habit. People become so used to relaxing in front of the TV at the end of a busy day they choose that over a quick short jog or gym session.

"But exercise also has an important role in helping people to lose weight and for keeping your weight in check, in addition to the long term health benefits of being active."

The poll also shows that 37 per cent of people reckon they would exercise more if they worked shorter hours, and one in 10 would make more of an effort if they lived closer to the gym.

Astonishingly, 20 per cent of those polled say they aren't fit enough to exercise - and 17 per cent feel too fat.

When people do summon up enough energy to do a bit of moderate exercise, the top three choices are walking (43%), jogging (20%) and going to the gym (16%).

Swimming and cycling are also favoured activities for one in five Brits.

And when it comes to keeping fit - men are more likely to exercise to get fit and maintain good health, whereas women are most concerned about losing weight.



Two people have been arrested on suspicion of arson after a Victorian pier was severely damaged by fire, police have said.

The blaze, which was reported at around 1am on Tuesday, destroyed 95% of Hastings pier, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said.

Most cultures of the world seem to all have a similar tale of a mythic flood that all but wiped out the civilizations of the time. This flood of yore, of fame was so huge and devastating that it all but annihilated civilization.

Indeed many times archaeologists – many of them famous and of great repute have thought that they in their diggings and studies had actually uncovered as well as documented actual proof and direct evidence of the giant flood which we in the “Western World” know and refer to a “Noah’s Flood” of biblical fame and origins.


London loft conversions are an increasingly popular way for homeowners to expand the useable space within their house without going through all of the hassle and expense of moving. Planning law in England changed significantly on 1 October 2008 with 'The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (No. 2) (England) Order 2008' coming into force. How does this new law change the situation for London loft conversions and does it mean that I do not need planning permission?

The idea behind the changes to the planning laws was to reduce the pressure on local planning departments by allowing many domestic extension projects to proceed under 'permitted development' rather than having to apply for planning permission. This means that certain types of work, such as many loft conversions and extensions, do not require planning permission. To understand how the law has changed, it is necessary to briefly examine the position prior to 1 October 2008.

The previous legislation governing permitted development for London loft conversions was the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995. This established a system of allowing homeowners to develop their property by a certain volume depending on the type of house. For instance, a terrace house could usually develop by up to 50 cubic metres (40 of which could be used for a mansard or dormer loft conversion) and a semi-detached or detached house by 70 cubic metres (50 of which could be used for a dormer or mansard loft conversion). This effectively meant that any house with an existing large ground floor extension would have already used most of its permitted development volume and could not undertake a loft conversion in London.

The most significant change brought in by the 2008 Order affects extensions at ground level. The system has now been changed from one of volume to one governed by maximum dimensions depending upon the location and number of storeys. For instance, a single storey extension to the rear of a terrace house can be a maximum of 3 metres deep from the original rear wall.

This means that ground level extensions completed prior to 1 October 2008 which fall within what would now be considered the maximum dimensions do not affect the volume that can be used for London loft conversions. It is possible to use up to 40 cubic metres in a terrace house and 50 cubic metres in detached and semi-detached houses for a loft conversion, whilst also having a large ground level extension.

More restrictive limits apply to conservation areas, areas of outstanding natural beauty, National Parks etc. Limits may also have been applied by the local authority to individual properties, such as properties of historical merit, or areas by means including planning conditions and Article 4 directions.

In general it is strongly advisable to submit an application for a 'Certificate of Lawfulness' before starting any work, even if you believe that it clearly falls within your permitted development rights. Local Authorities often have quite different interpretations of what London loft conversions are permitted under the new legislation. A certificate of lawfulness is a straightforward application that only costs £75 and gives you the peace of mind that what you are proposing is lawful and does not exceed your permitted development rights.

This article is a brief summary of the law specifically relating to extensions and permitted development in England and should not be relied upon as a complete statement of the law. To understand your rights and obligations fully, study the relevant law or consult a planning solicitor. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, it does not constitute legal or other professional advice.

James Gold is a director of Landmark Lofts, one of London's leading loft conversion specialists. Landmark Lofts undertake London loft conversions throughout the city and offer a full design, build and management service using their in-house team of Architects, Chartered Building Surveyors, and Chartered Builders.



Greedy insurance companies are taking money from the pension pots of women who are retiring at the state pension age of 60.

In the 1980s a large amount of personal pensions were sold to women. This allowed insurers to cut the value of their savings if they retired before their 65th birthday, even though retirement age for women is 60.


Bankers and other people who have lost their jobs in the recession will be able to qualify as teachers in just six months and the best people fast-tracked for headships under government plans announced on Tuesday.


The government have announced recommendations for a high speed rail link between London and Birmingham, at an estimated cost of £15.8 - £17.4 billion, with a future proposal of a two route extension on the east and west which will link to existing lines at Manchester and Leeds, providing a direct service to Glasgow and Edinburgh. These two route extensions are currently estimated to cost a further £12.6 - £14.2billion. These new links will be capable of carrying trains at speeds of up to 250mph.