The Heart of Earls Court and the Soul of Music.

Since 1954, the Troubador Club has built a prestigious reputation for providing originality in music, spoken word and atmosphere.

Skiffle, an obscure genre of music with a twist of jazz and folk, was a widely popular style in the United Kingdom during the 1950’s. It could regularly be heard at the Troubadour. As time progressed, this Bohemian-style coffee shop grew to become one of the area's major music venues.

Most notably, Richard Harris, Charlie Watts and Bob Dylan performed here in the 1960s. It continues to draw big name musicians - opera singer, Kate Corrigan, and Pete Doherty have played the small club's stage.

“That night was the craziest I’ve ever seen this place," reminisces John Talevera, the Troubadour Club’s music promoter.

- Text and image by Lisa Aprile.

Celebrate the Tate's Tenth Birthday (It's Free!).

Five floors of displays make up the Tate Modern art museum, located on the South Bank at the south end of the Millenium Bridge.

From more familiar painters such as Jackson Pollock to more obscure exhibits, even those wary about art will find something they like here, in a former power plant that was converted into the gallery in 2000.

The Tate Modern also presents live events and films. While there make sure to stop off on the third floor balcony for great pictures. While the museum it free, some exhibits will cost you.

- Text by Robin Tarleton. Image by Grace Dickinson.

Dance Classes Where Every Movement Has Meaning.

Indian culture has thrived throughout London and the Greater London area since huge waves of Indian and Punjabi people started migrating to England in the middle of the 20th century. Dance is one aspect of their culture that can be experienced around the city through festivals, shows and now, classes (at left, Krupa Chavda leads a class at the Dance Attic).

These activities are available for any London residents or visitors to enjoy.

Like most countries, the different regions of India have different cultures, resulting in numerous styles of dance. Bollywood dancing combines Bhangra, a folk style of Indian dance with other styles from around India. Bhangra originally was used in the 14th century as a celebration of good harvest in the Punjab region, an area spanning northwestern India and eastern Pakistan.

“From the origins in the farms, the dance has become a popular, regular kind of routine at any form of celebration,” says Mahi Gill, a student at Imperial College and co-president and school’s Punjabi Society. “The dance is in essence a form of expressing celebration and bringing a community together.”

Every aspect of Bhangra dance displays an important cultural value. The costumes represent unity and color, both important in historical and modern times to the Punjabi celebration. The songs express feelings of Punjabi pride and history of the region.

- Text and image by Christie Francis.

The Criterion Theater: A West End Classic.

Among the bright lights and bustle of Piccadilly Circus, the Criterion Theater stands strong.

Established in the late 19th century, this historic venue continues to serve as one of London's ultimate theater experiences. Elaborate pillars and Victorian mirrors embellish the Criterion’s interior, which was originally illuminated by gas lamps.

The Criterion still delivers spectacular performances while providing patrons with an elegant, nostalgic atmosphere. The hilarious stage version of John Buchan’s 1915 novel, 39 Steps, has been running since 2006. Past shows include Star Wars-Shortened and Mack and Mabel.

Smoking and cameras are prohibited. Latecomers are only permitted into the show during the intermission.

- Text and image by Lisa Aprile.

Budget Travel Comes With a Price.

“If you’re late, we won’t wait,” is the slogan of Easy Jet, the budget airline headquartered in Luton, near London.

It’s completely reasonable though. You can’t expect a flight to be late just because you are.

What is unreasonable, however, is having one person behind the check-in counter, as was the case on a recent day.

Yup. Just one.

What that created was nothing less than chaos. With a line wrapping around two corners, there were literally hundreds of people queuing for this one person.

Perhaps Easy Jet should stress their on-line check-in option more strongly when you purchase tickets, or at least warn of the possible pandemonium for those fliers who prefer face-to-face check-in.

Generally, arriving at the airport two hours before your flight is protocol. Some would even call that too early. When flying Easy Jest, however, that’s just a tad bit too late.

A two-hour prior arrival makes it necessary to immediately search for the “Closing Flight” line. This line is for those flights that are leaving within the next two hours.

Because standing in the general line will make you come frighteningly close to seeing how true their slogan is.

- Text by Shanae Mitchell. Image courtesy of Easy Jet.

Equestrian Competition on Royal Grounds.

The annual, three-day equestrian competition known as the Festival of British Eventing concluded today at Princess Anne's estate, Gatcombe Park, in Gloucestershire, two hours west of London.

Among the events were show jumping, cross country and dressage. The horses' and riders' abilities were tested throughout each of the disciplines: dressage shows off the technical training, cross country tests the horses' stamina and speed, and jumping tests for courage.

There were also sheep dog displays and Kennel Club competitions where dogs ran through agility drills.

- Text and images by Erica Vines.

Notting Hill: Where Julia Roberts Said, "I'm Just a Girl, Standing in Front of a Boy ..."

Located along Portobello Road, in the fashionable Notting Hill neighborhood, is a seemingly endless outdoor market.

The famous Portobello Market stretches for more than one-half mile with hundreds of stalls adjacent to colorful townhouses. Selling everything from clothing to music, souvenirs to antiques, you can do nearly any of your shopping at this market.

Thousands of people, including tourists and locals, walk the market where parts of the movie Notting Hill were filmed.

The market takes place every day except Sunday, with Saturday being the best day for shopping and people watching.

- Text and images by Robin Tarleton.

Vegan Delight From a London Classic.

Routemaster number 2690 was retired in March 2004 after putting in a good thirty-seven years of reliable bus service around London. But this Routemaster’s career wasn’t quite over. Three years later, in March 2007, Routemaster 2690 was back in action.

Its new occupation would grant the red, 1967, double-decker’s engine a break by summoning the bus to be stationary. But it would still serve London customers, this time emerging as a hip restaurant with an all-vegan menu, planted in a back lot of Shoreditch’s Old Truman Brewery.

It's new name: RootMaster.

“I’ve always loved Routemasters,” says Sylvia Garcia, 28, the woman who created the restaurant. “A friend of mine suggested buying a bus and selling items like umbrellas or Wellies at music festivals. But I knew I’d get bored of that because I’m not really passionate about those things. I’ve been vegan for a long time so I decided to get a bus and turn it into a restaurant.”

- Text and image by Grace Dickinson.

Open Studios and Rooftop Concerts in The Wick.

The three-day Hackney Wicked festival showcases non-traditional art created in the formerly industrial community of Hackney Wick in East London, adjacent to the rising Olympic Village.

Artists open studios and personal flats so that visitors can experience the community.

With bands performing on rooftops and a wooden chicken torched at the end of the event, this unique festival stands out amongst the vast number of other annual London festivals.

-Text by Christie Francis. Top three images by Rick Kauffman. Bottom images by Grace Dickinson.

The Last of the Traditional London Brewers.

"Drinking a Fuller's beer is like having a new conversation with an old friend," boasted Martin Appleby, a tour guide for Fuller's Brewery in Chiswick.

Appleby (left) said there is a different taste with each pour of a Fuller's beer, which contains no preservatives and thereby evolves up until the moment it hits your lips.

Since 1845, Fuller's has been brewing beers along the Thames and running pubs around Southeast England.

Officially listed as Fuller, Smith and Turner PLC, Fuller's is London's only remaining traditional family brewer, creating classic ales and porters, as well as a variety of new beers. They offer tours of the brewery, showing off the original Victorian equipment and a 150-year old wisteria.

Tours must be booked in advance. Fuller's operates up to 20 tours per week where knowledgeable tour guides like Appleby show you around, answering any questions along the way. Each tour lasts about 1 - 2 hours with a generous tasting at the end (provided you are over 18).

By the end of the experience, you'll likely think of Appleby as an old friend.

- Text and middle image by Lisa Aprile. Top image by Robin Tarleton. Bottom image by Leah Williams.